Monthly Archives: December 2010

Sometimes you forget…


During my trip to visit my daughter last week in D.C., I was admiring the fresh roses my daughter had in her mini-kitchen and also in the mini-bathroom.  First I thought they were silk flowers and asked my daughter where did she get them.  They looked so pretty.  She looked at me and said:  “Mom, those are from Whole Foods, I learned from you that you always have fresh flowers in my bedroom when I come to visit with you.  So these are for you.”  I was surprised because we have a tendency to forget the niceties of life we are capable of doing.  Also, as the saying goes, it is not what you say, it is what you do that leaves a lasting impression.

You cannot imagine how joyful I felt at that moment.  Right now I am wondering what other impressions I have made to my daughter, good or bad, that will influence her life for as long as she lives.  Hopefully the good ones will overcompensate for the not so good ones.

I heard a saying once that goes like this, be careful of what you say or do, because maybe you will be the only bible some people will ever read.  There is a huge responsibility in being part of the human race.  Kindness and compassion are two qualities I am focussing on, because as I have more and more happy birthdays, I find it is easier to do so, and it gives me a good feeling inside, because after all, all that I do or say is between God and me.  Nobody else is involved.  My happiness or frustrations I create, even if I like this principle or not.  Gravity works, even if you cannot see it or believe in it.  Same applies to karma.  What goes out, comes right back at you.  Like the sight and beautiful scent of those roses.

Thank you sweetheart for making me a proud mama for a moment in our time together.

Wish all of you same experience sometime.

Your Happy Contessa

P.S.  I learned something new.  If you click on the pictures on the post, you will see an enlarged version.  Always for learning something new and sharing.

Why we need winter…

The Winter of our Discontent…have not read the book, but the title seems fitting to the way I used to feel about winter.  Do not like the cold weather, but because I am forced to be at this stop of my journey right now, I am looking for the good things this stop and season will provide to my life.  The photo above is my backyard.  It is beautiful!  At the next snowfall, I will photograph the same scene with snow on the trees’ branches.  Then it becomes majestic.

Why do I need winter?  Because after analyzing and concluding that our Creator did a perfect job with everything (what is not perfect in Nature, we screwed it up), I decided I need winter because I need to slow down, rest more than usual, need to ponder what next fabulous thing I am going to do during my journey through this beautiful planet, and set up some great expectations for myself.  It sounds so exciting, doesn’t it?   I can’t wait to see what I can concoct in my mind.  Then I need to write it down, because what I don’t write down, somehow it does not materialize.  It is amazing that when I write some things down that I expect to accomplish, they  become reality.  Sometimes with a twist (I may like it or not).  But it happens.  I call it my Wish List.

Winter is good also to check on what I want to get rid off in the house that is cluttering my space and my life.  Have to have space to keep good energy floating around.  Clutter only stagnate my space and in turn, my life.  Need that blue aura at all costs.

These two photos I took this morning.  Nature at its best, isn’t it!  These are some of the reasons why we need winter, otherwise we would not have these magnificent views.  They look the same, but if you are into details, you will notice the different trees.  Details, details, make all the difference. 

Yes, I took these after having my half of a plantain and an egg, boiled.  Put some EVOO  and sea salt on the plantains and sea salt on the egg.  I am hooked on these.  Good alternative to the oatmeal, at least for a while.

Where was I?  Oh, yes, winter.  Can I have all this beauty but a bit warmer weather?  Cannot have it both ways.  Need to learn that some things are not negotiable.  Then I remembered that I need to embrace change, otherwise I’ll perish.  Don’t want to do that.  I was going to start with another pondering thought, but I think I’ll leave it for a next posting. 

I am embracing winter right now because I have to, but at the same time I am enjoying this stop in my journey.  It is magnificent, wouldn’t you say?

Until our next time together,

Your Happy Contessa

Happy Everything…

I needed to read the subject matter a few times this morning.  One of those days, pondering what in the world I am going to write about.  And then after having my new, but still healthy breakfast (plantains with one boiled egg), and feeling stuffed, I decided to have half a plantain tomorrow.  Too much of a good thing sometimes is not that good.  

Going back to the subject matter, I pondered about happiness.  Happiness for me could be a gazillion things.  Having my bed made and having the breakfast dishes done and feeling free like a bird, give me a certain degree of happiness.  It is somewhat a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.  I looked outside from the window of my kitchen and saw all the grounds covered beautifully with the purest white snow and I said to myself “what a wonderful world we live in.”  Going out there and slug it out  walking on the stuff and driving aware of it, is another matter.  But in the meantime let me continue focussing on happiness.  Right now I feel happy.  I am typing and thoughts just get flowing.  I am going out later to use a $10 coupon that a store gave me as an incentive to spend $50 or more.  Good marketing.  I feel I need to go back there and use that coupon, but the goodwill process will cost me some extra money.  What the heck.  I need some more winter socks and who knows what else I need, I’ll only know when I see it.

Happy Everything…It depends on me to give anything in my life a rosy color, it does not matter the degree of darkness of the issue I am facing at the moment.  I just put on my rosy eyeglasses (I have an unending supply in my mind), and carry on.  I wish you…Happy Everything.

Your Happy Contessa

City Daughter…Country mama and D.C.

It is good to be back!  Some many things to write about, but I’ll stick to the basics.  You know, of course, that I had a grand time with my daughter, her boyfriend and his family.  Eating and etc., etc.  Yes, nice gifts for all and vice-versa.  Happyville is in a bliss indeed.

Now, the scoop.  Christmas Eve, my beautiful daughter and I went to Whole Foods in D.C. or Chevy Chase, don’t remember.  As usual, I am driving my cart around and taking my time to supervise the vegetables, and saying to myself, wow, a pound of yams at $2.99.  Oh well, when you are in D.C., act as the people in that stressed out town act.  Price doesn’t matter, just get the task done.  Even though later your pocketbook gets in a stressed out condition too.  Going on with my looking around, finally my daughter says “mami, here you have to move faster or people will just run over you.  You are too nice, you talk to people and here that’s not the norm.”  She took the cart away from me and was zipping in and out of aisles, like she was in a Nascar lane.  I am left behind still admiring everything, even though the place is a mad house, as if the store was never going to open again.  But you know me, have to keep my blue aura at all costs.  Finally after a while, we got what we went there for and left.  Imagine trying to get a parking space.  Oh, forgot, the whole saying of my daughter to me was because at a bookstore I established a conversation with the cashier, complimenting her on her attitude, very upbeat and pleasant, even though the place was like a madhouse also.  I talk even to my shadow if there is no one around.  From there on…Christmas Day came, with its pleasantries, gifts, and stuffing myself as if I was a potato,  and Christmas Day went until December 2011.

Pigeon Alert!  Pigeon Alert!  This happened at Union Station, that by the way it is a beautiful place to wait for over five hours as the train bound south was late.  Nice people to talk with and pigeons all over the place next to where you sit to wait.  The issue here was the flying creatures’ droppings.  I thought, well if one of those aeronautical shots falls on my hair, of well, that means good luck and then I imagined how I would look with my hair washed in the sink at the restroom at the station.  Not a pretty picture.  I immediately took that negative thought out of my mind and proceeded to tell myself, that was not going to happen, but every time one of those creatures got too close over my head, I would invoke to higher authorities.  Not only had to deal with waiting, with my derriere growing flatter as the minutes went by, but the impertinent entertainment.  Life in the fast lane in Washington D.C. 

Finally around 10pm made it home.  Nice people at the train and all, but it was a long day.  Grew some muscles while moving my suitcase up and down the storage bin in the train, but tired muscle, less derriere and all, it is good to be home.

Thank you my lovely daughter and her boyfriend and to the people of D.C.  It was great while it lasted.

Having to deal with a lot of snow on the grounds here in North Carolina, I must retire now to face my day.

Until next time,

Your Happy Contessa

P.S.  The picture in the middle at the beginning of the posting I took while my daughter drove her car to take me to Union Station.  No, it was not snowing, just that her windshield has a lot of personality.  That’s the Capitol, where our fates are decided on a daily basis.

Merry Christmas to all…

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby.  Keeping watch over their flocks at night.  An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.  But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid.  I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.  This will be a sign to you:  You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those whom his favor rests.”

Luke 2:8-14

Merry Christmas to all…and to all a good time with your family and friends.  Safe journeys.

Your Happy Contessa

P.S.  I am off to visit my lovely daughter and will be out of touch until around the 28th December.  Yes she has a computer, but I am there to treasure every moment with her.  Thank you for always reading and really appreciate all your comments.

Poco a poco…little by little

Happiness is…Having a food disposal that is clean, doesn’t leak and does what it is supposed to do.  No, I didn’t have to buy a new one.  The one you see is the one that yesterday looked very, very sick.  Thanks God for my honest Mr. Fix It.  When he first saw it he said that maybe I’ll have to buy a new one, but first he was going to check it to see if just by cleaning it, it should be able to perform.  When he dismantled the thing, I thought oh boy, there goes the Christmas present for myself.  Really bad, beyond words.  It was installed all wrong.   There was stuff all over the place.  Use your imagination.  But the nice little old man (probably he thought the same thing about me, this nice little old woman can use all the help she can get) went to work for over an hour, and by the time he was finished, it looked real good.  My checkbook is $125 smaller, but what the heck, I have a healthy and good-looking disposal.  That little old man is worth his weight in gold.

The picture on the right shows Christmas greetings ready to be mailed!  An adversity brought the opportunity to sit down and write these greetings.  As they say, every problem comes with an opportunity for something good.  The issue here is to find that something good.  I usually turn on my tv set after 5pm, so watching the monotonous and depressing news was not an option.  My novelas in Spanish have their night-time slot., so I needed to do something while Mr. Fix It (that’s the name I gave him) was busy, so I thought, why not to do two cards while he is busy.  Two became fifteen by the time he was finished.  So I try to look for the golden thread on some situations.  It doesn’t always work.

All in all, the disposal issue is somewhat like my generation.  We might look rusty, out of shape and sometimes our parts decide not to work, but if we take the time to be centered on the important things in life, we can keep on going like the phoenix that rose from the ashes.  Wow, that’s radical, but sounds good.

The moral with the cards I guess is…if  I tackle whatever it is that I am dreading doing, with the doing,  it becomes done!  That one was simple.

Happy with a working disposal and some cards done…

Your Happy Contessa

P.S.  I am sure you have noticed some errors or missing words in my postings, but it is not easy to write and then try to edit yourself.  My apologies.  Fill in the blanks when necessary.  Thank you!

Challenges to calm inner self…


Food disposal decided that it has had it with working without being nurtured.  Water all over the cabinet where disposal resides.  Calmly I told myself that it is better water on the cabinet than some other stuff.  Broke a glass too, so I told myself again, all the bad vibes were dispelled when the glass broke.  I don’t know for how much longer I can keep psyching myself up.  I am running out of good stuff to tell myself.

But, on the other hand, had a great time with the nice people I cooked for.  You know of course, because they gracious, that they said food was delicious.  How nice to have lovely people in your life.

Going back to being calm.  I decided that it feels better when you see all the goodness in your life versus the rotten stuff that happens to challenge your goodwill.  I remembered again the definition of insanity.  It is having pain or problems, thinking you should have none.  I have a somewhat degree of insanity right now.  The toothache (mild) does not contribute to my blue aura.  Like to keep that aura blue, because the moment it starts getting red, I am in big trouble.

There you have it today.  Short and very profound.

Your Happy Contessa

Guess who’s coming to dinner…

Here you have it…my dinner table already set.  I am a person that lives by making lists.  And that was top on my list for today.  Sometimes I find old lists that I have misplaced, and believe it or not, tasks on the list have been accomplished.  Thank you great neurons that populate my brain.

Oh yes, dinner.  I had intended to cook a homemade something,  even looked for the recipe on almighty internet, and was already salivating this old with a new twist dish.  Right at the supermarket, all of a sudden I changed my mind.  I imagined eating the food, and for some reason the thought didn’t seem that appealing.  Made a 360 degrees turn and I am cooking a homemade something else.  It is a comfort food, and I am doing my own version.  No internet involved.  I am a risk taker person most of the time.  I am sure it is going to be great.  Have you noticed how guests always say that food was delicious.  Who knows how food really was.  I really don’t mind, because to start with, I don’t like to cook!  But Ron always said “This is the best dish  you have ever prepared.”  He did it even if I just made toast.  So I am used to believe that I really cook good, but I am very partial.  As long as I have good music (there is a channel on cable that has holiday music), candles, oh yes, candles,  the table looks pretty, and company is good (I don’t invite anyone to my house I would consider not so good company, otherwise my cover might be blown, and they would figure out that I am not a great cook) and something is cooking on the stove and I look decent, everything is under control.  If it burns, or whatever happens with the food that doesn’t meet my standards, there is plenty alternatives down the road.

It really doesn’t matter what I am cooking or not, I think, what matters is the act of getting together with people you enjoy being with and that totally get you.  They know your weaknesses and ignore your silliness.  Perfect.  Dinner will be served, and we’ll be having a great time breaking bread and talking about good old times and the better ones ahead.  Remember, this is going to be my 62nd Christmas.  Hooray!

We will toast to the goodness of life and the blessing of having each other in our lives.

Your Happy Contessa

P.S.  Dessert is pumpkin pie from the nice supermarket around the corner.  I told you, I don’t like to cook.

It’s starting to feel like Christmas…

Yes!  finally the spirit of joy and happiness of Christmas has arrived in Happyville.  It happened yesterday afternoon at Home Depot.  I had promised a ten-year old boy about three years ago that I would prepare and give him his own tool box.  You know, all he mostly does as all kids his age, is play high-tech games and the only things probably he exercises are his eyes and hands.  But what do I know about anything.  I got so excited when I found the tool box!  There was one that included more than a hundred tools, so I told the good-looking guy (how do they manage to find all these attractive guys, I always pondered,  and to add, they are very nice) that that package would traumatize the young man for life.  Probably he would never look at a tool ever again.  Even I got intimidated.  Going on with the story, I then proceeded to buy individual tools.  Hammers are so ridiculously priced and so big.  Then I remembered the good old Dollar store.  Bingo!  No hammers there.  Got a measuring tape and a screwdriver.  I found an extra hammer in my two tool boxes (didn’t think I had one?), but I still think it is too big.  It was this whole experience that got me to think how excited this young man was going to be when he sees his own tool box and probably I’ll take him around his house so we can find a screw and I’ll show him how  a screwdriver works.  Hope mommy and daddy approve.  Daddy doesn’t look like the handyman type.  I am going to find some letters to put his name on the box.  Isn’t that cool?  I can’t wait.

Oh, the ice scraper is for me.  I am ready for the next whatever decides to come down from wherever it is that ice and snow come from.  Just wanted to show you that I mean business with this weather.

The picture on the left was given to my daughter by her paternal grandmother when she was I think one year old.  It is very special.  Simple, but very meaningful.

Ron, my belated husband, used to tell me that his parents used to put oranges in his and his brother’s Christmas stocking and other candies.  I love the simplicity of things.  You are more prone to remember those.  I think life is getting more and more complicated and demanding, maybe that’s why sometimes Christmas seems to me overwhelming.  But remember, I have seen 62 Christmases.  One of the most memorable one was when I was around ten years old.  I got only one gift.  A humongous doll.  Almost as tall as me.  I will never forget that.  Nowadays you need to have a gazillion of stuff under the tree, otherwise, kids are not happy.  That’s what we the adults think.  I think I am becoming a little scroogy here, so I better stop while I am ahead.

Wow, and to think that was worried about having something to write this morning.  Life is full of surprises.  Good ones.  Remember, always half full. 

Until next time

Your Happy Contessa

The hidden effects of the season…

What do these three images have in common?  They are driving me out of my comfort zone too early in the morning.  Oh, before I forget, my lovely dentist did some x-ray (got zapped for the 4th time in a week) and found out nothing is wrong with my so much altered dental system.  You should have seen the x-rays.  I looked like a creature from outer space.  Thanks to the suggestions of a good friend, I did not have any problem driving in ice mixed with rain conditions.  Roads were pretty decent.  And some pills are helping to ease the pain.  Something looks swollen there.  I am dragging the pain with me to continue with my life.

Let’s go back to the three images above.  Oatmeal, I am deep breathing as I think about eating this good for me stuff again this morning.  Then I remember that my mother suggested I add vanilla extract to it and then she said, it makes it taste a little like vanilla ice cream.  ?  I have to admit, it makes it taste better.  So I’ll postpone the oatmeal issue until after the beginning of the year.  One down, two to go.

Christmas greeting cards…why am I having such a difficult time doing that?  I guess I miss Ron’s assistance and I don’t have him to share the complaining as to why we have to do that.  Sorry, but it is the truth.  If I do five a day, I should be finished in a few days, but even that train of thought is not working right now.  Maybe I’ll send them after the first of the year.  Two down, one to go.

Ads…so many and so little money to spend.  Do you think the people who love you will be understanding if you just say “Merry Christmas” and “I love you very much.”  I am laughing right now because that thought will get a you know what reaction.  As they say “show me the money.”  Do you think I can postpone this until the first of the year?  Last one down.

I am back to square number one. 

As my good faithful oatmeal is waiting for me, I leave the rest to your good Imagination Department.

Roads look good from inside the house, so I should do my before I leave the house chores, get ready and stretch  a bit my comfort zone.  My mind goes blank just thinking about walking into a store.  Am I alone with these feelings?

Au revoir,

Your Happy Contessa