Monthly Archives: April 2011

In their shoes…

There’s a saying that goes something like this “do not judge a person until you have had a chance to walk in their shoes.”

Since yesterday afternoon,  I have been trying to imagine how would I feel if I were to be in the same situation that some of the people who were affected by the tornado outbreaks across the South, are facing right now.  It is even hard to start the thought process of putting myself into their shoes.  First, the fear of imagining if you are going to be death or alive after the storm is over, concerns over your family, friends, and pets;  what are you going to do to protect yourself and where are you going to go so you won’t get hurt.

After going through the process of the storm hitting your house, the wind, hail, lightning, and all the elements that take place during such an event, then the aftermath.  Having absolutely nothing when you come out.  It must be something surreal.  I guess nothing matters at that moment, except to know that you and yours are still around and are doing well.  It must be somewhat a paralyzing moment when you realize that all you worked for, everything you treasured, your purse, credit cards, your car, and all things that define you as an individual are nowhere to be found. 

Where do you start?  My imagination is limited to what comes next.  I cannot continue to imagine the scenario, because then my thinking process goes into a defense mechanism that jumps to questions about what I need to do to get prepared in case I will be faced with a situation such as that one in my future.  Just the thought is overwhelming.

If there is no bank, no ATM, no personal id, no supermarket, no water, no electricity, no food, absolutely nothing, all that is there is the goodwill of others.  Thanks God there is plenty of that all around.  Remember, always half full.  That’s why I always do my share whenever I am able, because as I said before, what I do for others, I am already doing it for myself.  Certified karma.

As to what can we do for these precious individuals that are facing right now the situation I just described;  we can pray, send good thoughts, and then support any cause that is lending a hand to the affected group of people.

As we have become a desensitized society that we think that because it is showing on the tele, it must be fiction, let’s remember, we could be one of them sometime in the future.

I am not lecturing anyone.  I always write for myself, because I feel I need to be reminded every so often about what life is all about and what my priorities should be as a member of our society.  If it happens to one of us, it has happened to us all.

So it was today…29th April, 2011…a day to remember…I will see you on Monday…You make it a good and happy weekend.

Your Happy Contessa

“Do unto others as you will hope they will do unto you.”  What we do for others, we do for ourselves. 

Picture taken by Kevin, my step-son.

Tornado Outbreaks across the Southern United States…

In some of the states of the Southern United States of America, tornado outbreaks have caused the death of at least 290 human beings as of this writing.

My thoughts and prayers for strength, comfort and peace go out to the family and friends of these people.

Sometimes silence is the best way to express or communicate an emotion, and this is one of those occasions.

So it was today, 28th April, 2011…one dark day in many families’ lives.

Very sincerely,

A Game Changer…



Once upon a time, there was this little young-at-heart lady that thought that she knew what she wanted her life to be.  Then one day, the big bad wolf of her thinking mechanism shocked her when a brand new thought crossed her mind.  It was the ultimate “game changer.”

She really didn’t know up to that point that life is more than a place where you live, the people who surround you, or the circumstances that are always brewing all around you.  And yes, there is 100% brewing all the time, even if we notice or not.

And you know what was that thought that made her wake up to a new reality?  Nothing that we could label extraordinary.  This is what flashed through her mind:  “you are in control of what you want to do, as you have been given this incredible blessing of having all the pieces in place in your life to do as you please.”  “So now, what’s going to be?”

That was a hard presentation, as Ron would have phrased, and an intimidating one, because we humanoids do not want to take responsibility for our lives, most of the time.  We just enjoy complaining, making excuses, waiting for all the Ts’ to be crossed and all the Is’ dotted.  Well 2011 Cinderella, it’s show time.  There is no magical carriage, just a 2003 Toyota Highlander, and a pretty yellow house in North Carolina that is your castle as of this moment, so show up for your life.

 I need to learn from the butterfly…it is not the quantity…but the quality of days that matters. 

I need to stop postponing my life, because life is happening right now.  My purpose in life is not a grandeur scheme designed by the Gods of above, it is right now, typing this posting. 

I learned from one of the many books I have read, that our purpose in life is…to do what we are doing at the moment.  Nothing more, nothing less.  No big fanfare, no fireworks, or winning the lottery or having lots of money, or saving the world from itself, it is just that…do the next thing on your agenda.

This I am writing for myself, so maybe I can read this post many, many times and eventually get it.  It takes 21 days for a habit to be created.  I may need 2100 days.  I am a slow learner.

But I have something to start from…some meat to chew on and some vegetables to swallow.

So it was today, 27th April, 2011…a day for reflexion and acceptance.  My thoughts and prayers go to the people that have been affected by the recent deadly tornado outbreak across the south.  Up to now 174 people dead. 

Your Happy Contessa, today I am a pensive Contessa

“Feet, what for do I need you, when I have wings that I can fly with.”  Frida Kahlo, Mexican painter.  This she said after becoming paralyzed.  She was an extraordinary and controversial woman.  That’s why we remember her, and Diego Rivera, of course.

When it’s time to send stuff or people to the Recycle Bin…


I know it sounds awful, but the reality of life is that sometimes we stop having things in common with some of the people that we know, and when we reach that season, we just stop knowing those people.  Then it is time to send them to the Recycle Bin.  Same thing applies to stuff.  For stuff there is the Salvation Army or the Goodwill.  For people, just because you cannot literally shove them off physically, without their knowing, you just send them to the RB.  When the prompt alerts you if you are sure of what you want to do, please do not hesitate.  Click yes, and send them off.

Why I am writing about this.  Because life sometimes gets too crowded with stuff and people.  Take for example Christmas cards, phone calls, and other situations.  Why to force ourselves to do something out of inertia.  We outgrow, stop caring or simply want to downsize or simplify our lives.  You don’t have to go to Florida to simplify or downsize before you die, you can do it right where you are.  It is not being cruel, it is…just that…no more common interests.  And the best part of it, it is ok.

Yesterday someone who was best friend with one of my sisters called me.  After a minute or so into the conversation, you know, the usual “how are you” etc.,  and so after the initial protocol of establishing communication, there was a silence…nothing to talk about.  We are not so alike.  No common interests.  She’s still with the old mentality of not cutting the umbilical cord with her family and children, and I am 360 degrees opposite.  Have to cut that cord, for everyone’s sake.  Mothers do have a life separate of our children’s own, but some of us are afraid to develop one that we can call our own.  We are afraid of seeming to be selfish.  What’s wrong with being selfish.  The first personal pronoun is ME, it is not you, them or they.  It is simply ME.  We don’t like to honor that.  Most of us think it is them first, and then the leftover crumbs are for moi.  No, no and no!

Don’t you love the little noise the Recycle Bin makes?  I love it when you click on Yes, I am sure I want to delete the stuff.  Liberating!

Sights of my walk today with Miss Raylene.  These two are on the way back home.  Nature showing its best.

So it was today, 26th April, 2011…another enlighted and liberating day…and cultivating a closer relationship with the Recycle Bin.

Your Happy Contessa

It is a good thing to shed layers of accumulated stuff when the right time arrives to do so.

My altered ego…meet my avatar…

While reading the Science Section of my newspaper, (by now you know that’s every Monday), there was an article titled :  “The future is (almost) now for avatars” by John Tierney.

I started reading it because things like this that sound science-fiction-like get my attention.  That and any conspiracy issue.  First I had to admit, I wasn’t too clear about what an avatar was.  Then I remembered that one day during my fooling around time with the computer, I saw a woman asking how she could get an image to represent her whenever she made a comment anywhere in cyberspace.  That caught my attention.  So someone led her to search on a site for “avatars.”

There I went and before I knew I had a figure that represents me every time I open my mouth to say something anywhere on cyberspace.

But this article is about attending meetings and having your avatar represent you and look through the eyes of your avatar to see others’ reaction through their avatars also.  They also take notes for you.  So in other words, you could be sleeping, while your avatar keeps you on the loop.  Am I clear or is it a bit confusing.  It is like those games people play and a little figure represents them.  In this case, you choose your avatar.  It could be a picture or you make your own image.  It is to please your altered ego.  You know I have a sort of out of control ego, that takes over very often in my life and makes me look like Narcissus sometimes.  I am not afraid to admit it.  It is what it is.  I co-exist very nicely with my ego.  At this stage in my life, what gives.

So…I was thinking…do you think my avatar could do postings for me?  Maybe it can answer very smartly to your comments.  That will be the day!!!  But then my neurons, the few ones I have left, will keep on disappearing, and that is not such a good thing.  I have to keep on thinking about what else I can do with my avatar, because after all, it is either I join progress and science, or I am bound to perish.  No yet, my dear friends.

What’s next with science?  When are they going to come up with clones that will be our altered ego the way we think we want to look and be.  I am ready for that one.  Then I can stuff my big mouth with cake and ice cream, chips, wine and the whole enchilada every single day.  I can’t wait for that one, really.  Then when I want to go out, I just put my clone outfit, and, voila, perfection in every sense of the word.  Ah, and they shouldn’t forget to inject this super clone with all the artificial intelligence it can handle without exploding.  Wow, a sight to behold.  I am starting my list of attributes I want on that clone.  Oh, and one more thing, keep it cheap!

Now that we  have it clear about avatars and clones, I am leaving you with two photos of Lolita the friendly bumble bee.  These two I captured early last week in Miss Raylene’s garden’s white azaleas.  I just love my camera!  It was cheap too.

So it was today, 25th April, 2011…another day full of avatars, clones and bees…just the way my avatar envisioned it.

How would you know if it is my avatar or me blogging?  You’ll know, her English will be perfect, and you already know mine.

Your Happy Contessa

Here’s looking at the incredible or not…our future…

To be…or not to be…a writer…seriously…


Last Wednesday I purchased three writer’s magazines.  I am always in the search to find different ways to improve my writing.

Looking through one of the magazines, I was reading one of the articles,  “in humor” as this author describes it, she mentions that she is forbidding herself the use of some of the following words:  wonderful, marvelous, stunning,  spectacular, divine,  breathtaking view and to put the cherry on the top of the list, she added the words incredible or unforgettable.  This deserves a big, big


If I were to apply this rule, I would have to be breathtakingly silent.  Can you imagine me with my limited knowledge of the English language??  I would be mouth shut with a big piece of duct tape.  That would be a sight to behold.  Unforgettable 🙂

This business about writing, I mean, being a writer to be taken seriously, I don’t know…I have my doubts.  I just like to express what I am thinking and use the words that are already recorded in the neuron collection of my ever shrinking brain.

If you have the ability to write a word, I think you are considered a writer.  I you are able to speak one word, oh, oh, are you considered a speaker?  Humm…this is becoming a double edge sword.  The water is getting murky.

I am going to continue to read these magazines to get some inspiration about becoming a better expressionist of my thoughts, and to get some ideas, such as this posting, because the blessed muses are MIA.  Maybe they didn’t appreciate my management style.  My apologies to you, my darling muses, please, please think about coming back and joining me back in North Carolina.  It is getting a bit too hot for comfort.  I cannot believe I just said that.

This was a sight to behold last Good Friday.  My reward for being a good girl.  I was doing some chores in my kitchen and suddenly I saw something moving in the bushes and when I looked, there they were.  Bambi and his daddy.  Only could take a picture of Mr. Big Bambi, because the bambino had his head down, always munching on the bushes.  Happy family.  Mami Bambi must have been doing dishes or something because she was nowhere to be seen.  One the very pleasant surprises life always delivers to me without any warnings.  Lovely!

Now, going back to the boycott of some of those words, do you think I am allowed to use some of those words and still consider myself a writer?

This is getting a bit more complicated than when I started…In my first posting I typed my whole posting on the title space because I so didn’t  know what the heck I was doing to start with, but kept on typing and then pressed “publish.”  And that gave birth to this, what I consider to be a very happy and very nice looking blog.

So it was today, 24th April, 2011…another day of learning to be a writer…

Your Happy Contessa

“It is easier when you know how.”  Someone in old Egypt, according to Ron.

Easter…and its meaning to me…

Easter…the perfect time of the year to let go of anything and everything that originates  from the feeling of fear, in any form or shape, and embrace a new life where love is the center where everything that has a meaning of new, hopeful and inspiring comes from.  Let love be the ruling force in your universe.

From one happy and hopeful person to another…

Have a very Happy Easter!

I shall return on Monday, 25th April, 2011…until then… just be happy!

Your Happy Contessa

The perfect book…

I am in search for this perfect book.  Went to the bookstore today, but couldn’t find it. 

I want a book that will tell me exactly what to do for the rest of my life, and the book has to know me well enough to deal with me kindly, but at the same time forcefully.  I want specific instructions about places I am supposed to be going, the perfect time to do it, and things to do on a daily basis to keep me fulfilled.

Do you know about a book like that?  I am still searching…but in the meantime, I think I may have to write that book myself, because I could waiting for the rest of my 24 lives.  Who told you cats were the longest living species?  I have 24 lives, not nine.  How did I decide on that number of lives.  I don’t know, I just made that number up.  Two dozens, so that’s enough to purge myself of any past mistakes or bad vibes I had or will ever have.

Going back to the “dichoso” (blessed in spanish) book, its index should give me an indication as to the steps to follow, what action to take, where to be, etc. etc.  I need to find that book.  I am like a schooner with no direction.  This is awful!  Sorry, I feel silly right now.  Oh, and it should tell me how to recognize and interpret the clouds, to help me in my collecting of clouds.

Another thing, this should be a 24/7/365 minute by minute instructions as to what I should be doing with a guarantee that will bring me happiness for the rest of my life.  On a 366 day-year, I take one day break from the book.  This book is starting to appear as an instruction book to become a robot or a cookbook for nightmares.  Doesn’t it.  Ummm…I should give this book a little bit more thought.  Too much structure may not be that good after all.

But then on the other hand this book will know me so well that will customize everything around me.  Maybe I have that book already in my mind.  But I need a clearer path.  It is a bit shady right now. 

In the meantime, while I keep on searching for that book, I am going to continue to collect clouds, taking pictures and blabbing with all of you.  That makes me happy.

A stunning beautiful Morning Glory from our walk last Monday.

So it was today…20th April, 2011…another day for another search…

Your Happy Contessa

“What is a friend?  A single soul dwelling in two bodies.”  Aristotle, Greek philosopher, student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great.

Easter week…when I was growing up…Semana Santa…

 Semana Santa

When I was growing up…as in the 50s, and some of you were not even a thought, Easter week was not so like these days.  Now some of us have to look at the calendar to remember,  and for some of us it is just business as usual.

It is very comprehensible.  We have changed as a society in general. 

I remember during Holy Week (Semana Santa), you could not talk loud, no music on the radio, no television (we didn’t have any until mid 60s), and my mother could not beat us up.  That was a good part of the holiday.  Could not eat any meat.  Lots of fish, mainly bacalao (cod-fish) prepared every way imaginable.  Loved the bacalaitos fritos (fried cod-fish patties drained in oil), very yummy!  Also, we went to the beach a lot, but had to be very quiet and behave better than usual.  On Holy Friday, you could not speak one word until around Noon, no cleaning of anything, so the maids had the day off, and we used to spend the day in contemplation of each other’s faces.  It was a nothing-to-do kind of day.  Until the afternoon procession…

Now we are talking about scary stuff.  It was a long and big procession throughout the downtown area.  Men dressed in black outfits with black hoods and carrying a glass coffin with a statue inside, then the Virgin Mary dressed in purple with tears in her eyes.  These were humongous statutes and all very scary and sad-looking.  I remember I used to hide when the procession would pass by my house.  I would have nightmares remembering these images.  These two images I borrowed from sites on the internet that illustrate how Semana Santa is celebrated in Latin America to this day. 

holy week seville semana santa sevilla 06

 Then on Easter Sunday, there was no colored eggs, no bunnies, no searching for gifts or money, only going to mass and having a feeling of being glad because Jesus had conquered death.

I remembered my first Easter Week away from the Dominican Republic.  I was shocked at the way it was observed.  I used to be an extremely judgemental individual.  Very unhappy.  Later I learned that when you judge others, you are defining yourself and your weaknesses.  In a way, when you criticize others, you are considering that you are better than them.  Oh, not so good a thing to do.

Live and let others carry on with their own interpretation of life.  It is between them and God, anyways.  This is a philosophy that is very easy and light to live with.  I am making some adjustments every second of my life.

This was not the way I perceived this posting was going to go, but there it is.  Keep on learning and reflecting until that last breath.

After such a profound and heavy moment, and traumatizing memories, I am going to leave you to enjoy a very special place for me.  Oak Island, North Carolina.  A visit to someone very special and dear to me, and at the same time, another cloud collecting beautiful moment.

So it was today, 19th April, 2011…a day to remember…

Your Happy Contessa

Let the glory of the Creator be reflected in the way we carry ourselves and in our love for each other.

That word again…Resilience…

You reach a point sometimes that there is a general feeling of numbness in your life.  This is dictated by the circumstances around you, or by what you are thinking.

How can I look at the pictures and listen to the news and see people’s disbelief in their eyes, like not yet grasping that this is happening to them, and not feel numb.  Sort of like they are in limbo.  That feeling is transmitted to you even if you don’t realize it.

That’s when that word “Resilience” comes back into play again.  We must go on.  We are bigger and emotionally stronger than the circumstances.  That’s when we become resilient.  It is a process that takes time and each individual has her or his own time and way to do it.  We must respect that and support them in any way we can. 

It is not in my psych today to say much…the circumstances are speaking for themselves.  We are just witnesses to the moment.

I’ll leave you with something beautiful to focus on when the moment is just right.

Even in the midst of darkness, there’s always a gleam of hope and light in the distance.

So it was today, 18th April, 2011…we must keep on going on.

Your Happy Contessa