Monthly Archives: May 2011

The Look…that never materialized…the teller of the truth…

Back in the Summer of 2009, when I was getting my wardrobe ready for my dream trip of 46 years to Paris, France, I was in a store, and passing by this dress, it called my attention.  It was on the sale rack, so that made it more appealing.  I went quickly to try it on in the you know by now, the chamber of horrors (Fitting Room).  Lights, mirrors, and action…arms, flabby, tummy with some rolls that were not there before I left the house and cellulitis galore.  But I pretended I wasn’t looking, and with my 20% additional discount, the dress was almost given to me for free.

In my mind this is what I envisioned; full-blown sun tanned arms and legs, 15 additional pounds needed to be shed, cool sunglasses, and hair flowing freely with the wind.  Maybe the French Riviera?  You know how creative my imagination is.  I was going all the way full speed.

Found the high-heeled sandals, that when I tried them in the store, my legs cramped up, but I told them to shut up and not to complain.  Bought them anyway.  I would need assistance to walk on these, but I would figure those details later.  I was going to be one hot mama in that dress, pearls, sandals, sunglasses and maybe a hat a-la-Garbo.  Did she ever wear a hat?  She was cool.  Oh yes, also,  hot red lipstick.  In my mind I was a total good-looking-diva.

Fast forward two years…I am cleaning my closet and the dress again was whispering my name.  It did it before but I pretended I couldn’t understand English or Spanish.  I wasn’t ready for the “look.”    But today, I tried the dress again, with the accessories, including the high-heeled sandals.  Oh man, cramps galore.  I thought that was only an illusion when I bought them.  I almost had to crawl out of them.

Then…mirror, mirror on the wall, the bathroom, the living room and all elsewhere.  The moment of truth arrived.  Merciless,  I looked as if I had gained 30 pounds, instead of losing 15, where is that push-up bra when you need one,  the legs looked pitiful, and shaking from the cramping, and also in a total disbelief, I couldn’t continue to watch the image being reflected back to me from this woman who I didn’t recognize at all.  Does she live here?  What’s her name.  Almost nauseated I took off that outfit, went to the garage to get a nice shopping bag, tissue paper and gently placed the dress and the shoes that were never meant to be in the bag and very ceremoniously took it away from my sight.

What went wrong?  Was my imagination so far off?  But, one thing for sure, I will not stop trying again to chase that image I envisioned that day.  There’s always hope.  Maybe if I exercise a bit more, do more dancing and lose a few extras you know what, I can get an even sexier little black dress.  Yes, I can.  Everybody else does, why not me.

Let me in a secret.  This is my second writing of this posting.  The first one disappeared totally.  This is the second time it has happened.  The first version was funnier, but…I cannot cry over a gone with the crapola first posting.  This is the best I was able to reconstruct.  Hope you enjoy another day in my pretend world.

So it was today, 30 May, 2011, a day of disappearing postings, facing reality checks, and contemplating buying kinder and gentler mirrors.  There’s only so much one can take.

Your Happy Contessa

“Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.”  I am the only beholder..so…

Who is a Patriot?…Memorial Day…2011

Who is a Patriot?

Someone who is unselfish.

Someone who puts his or her life at risk for the sake of others, it doesn’t matter who they may be.

Someone who looks out for the welfare of the others in his or her unit.

Someone who gives strength to others even when he or she is facing weak moments themselves.

Someone who lives the principles of the foundation of our beloved country.

Someone to whom we owe an endless debt of gratitude.

Someone that will keep our red, white and blue flying on top of our Capitol Building, the White House, our homes and all throughout our land.

Someone who protects our freedoms, our rights, and our Constitution.

Someone who is my brother, my sister, and appreciates more than any of us our freedom.

Someone that will make the ultimate sacrifice for us to live at peace in our country.

And that, my fellow countrymen and women, is my patriot and my hero.

God bless us all and God bless the United States of America.

This is my essay to honor our beloved departed veterans and our beloved active and retired service men and women of our national defense.

So it is today, 30 May, 2011…Memorial Day…to honor and salute…

Your Happy Contessa

“…We hold these truths to be self-evident:  That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”  From The Declaration of Independence of the United States of America.

If you think education is expensive…try ignorance…To go to college or not…

One day this week I was watching the news and there was a segment about the cost of education.  This particular father had attended an Ivy League school and he was stating that he didn’t think it was worth it for his daughter to attend college, because the high cost of education.  The saddest part was when the interviewer asked the young girl, around 10 or 12, if she agreed with her father,  she said, yes, she didn’t see the point in incurring this high amount of debt, because after all, it was not worth it.

It saddened me to see what a good job this man had done with his daughter brainwashing her, to the point that she probably would not even consider furthering her education.  What a selfish human being.  I am referring to her father.  How dared he take away the privilege of his daughter having the opportunity to being exposed to the world of higher education.  I am talking for myself here.  I did not have an opportunity to attend college because I was raised in a family that their motto was that women are only good to get married, raise children and take care of the husband.  Most of the time the man would have the mentality of a macho type that thought that he was doing this woman a favor by marrying her.  I cannot up to a point blame the guy, because the culture was ingrained with that kind of thinking.  Thanks God poco a poco that trend is being discontinued.

When I came to the mainland in 1978, I was in awe at all the opportunities people of all kinds have in this country.  But, being the type of person that I am, I saw that education is the only way to better oneself and I was continuously reading and taking any opportunity I was given to become more knowledgeable and I exposed myself to all kinds of avenues that would lead me to become a better person.

Then, there came my daughter Milagros.  From day number one, I knew I would do everything within my reach and power to give her an opportunity to attend one of the best schools this country has to offer.  You see, education for your child has to be given the same consideration and planning as to anything that has top priority in your life.  I started doing research, and more research.  I believe your input equals your output in efforts and actions.  Cost of her education was not even remotely in my plans.  I thought, first she has to get there, and when she gets accepted to the school of her choice, then even if I had to work 24/7/365 holding whatever number of jobs I had to do, I would do it.

A good education is the best legacy any parent can give their child.  Right in there also, is the opportunity to lead them into a good solid spiritual life.  Because when that time comes that I cease to exist, I can take that last breath so much easier.  I have done my job for my child, and for my country.  It is interesting to point out how we rate as a country in education compared to other leading nations.  Much improvement needed.

So it was today…26 May, 2011…a day to establish priorities in relation to give our children an opportunity to start their adult life with the tools needed to succeed.  When you have higher education the doors to opportunities open faster than if you don’t.

I take this opportunity to honor and show appreciation to those that have made the ultimate sacrifice for world peace and our country.  Happy Memorial Day.

Make this a happy weekend.  I will be back on Tuesday.

Your Happy Contessa

“I find that I have painted my life…things happening in my life…without knowing.”  Georgia O’Keeffe, American artist, 15 November 1887 – 6 March, 1986

“Each one of you have your own platform…” Oprah Winfrey

And there she was…today was the last episode of the Oprah Winfrey show as we knew it.  I am looking forward to see what she may have in storage to keep us enlightened.

“Each one of you have your own platform…”   That phrase she used at the beginning,  and it stock with me for the remaining part of the show.  Almost every word that she said was precious to me.  She is absolutely right.  We may have a platform with an audience of one, two, three, or millions, as she did.   The important thing is to be careful how we use this platform of power we inadvertently have.

I am grateful to all my readers.  Even though I have a petite platform,  I am very appreciative of having each one of you to share my thoughts with five days a week.  If you watched Oprah’s last show, you will see where from I get a lot of my life’s beliefs and my way of thinking.  I have learned so much from this woman as to how not to be judgemental, how to be more compassionate and how to be more giving, even when the gift I give is very small.  She also taught me how to be a better listener, to watch the power of my words, and most of all, to acknowledge others’ need to be listened to and to be  understood.

She is so gifted and she knows it.  She allowed others to enlighten us with their wisdom, without minding who was getting the credit.  Her main intention was to give us the privilege of getting acess to others’ way of thinking and knowledge.  I think the secret to her success is that she is not afraid to be herself.  Sometimes when she acknowledged some of her weaknesses, we felt that it is ok not to be perfect.  She also transmitted her strength to us all when we needed a friend to look up to.

I am now contemplating as to how I can enrich those around my platform to help each one of us to become a happier and peaceful people.  That’s the least I can do.

Miss Oprah, thank you for your devotion to your viewers and may God continue to guide you as to how you will be still enlightening us all with your wisdom and spiritual gifts.

And as your last words were,  “To God be the Glory.”

So it was today, 25 May, 2011, Miss Oprah Winfrey’s new beginning in her search to continue to teach us what she knows for sure.

Your Happy Contessa

“To know when one’s self is interested, is the first condition of interesting other people.”  Walter Pater, English essayist, critic of art and literature, and fiction writer.

Photos taken from Oprah’s last show.  Thanks to Harpo Productions.

Flowers…Flores…Fleurs…

Isn’t it just the perfect color, the perfect contrast, the perfect size, in conclusion, just perfect to remind me during my walk this morning about the gratuitous gifts of nature, if we just take the time to observe all around us.  It was just there by a mail box in all its splendor waiting to be admired, which I did.  Mission accomplished.  At least I noticed a fabulous display in all its perfection.

These hydrangeas are from Miss Raylene’s garden, now gracing my eyes and my table.  I believe you can transmit appreciation and admiration to flowers, animals and most important, to other human beings.  No questions about it.  Look at the balance in the different shades of colors on these flowers.  No one or anything can create such harmonious display of color and fragrance, when it’s possible.  It makes me ponder about the abundance of gifts bestowed upon us by our Creator.

Oops!  Someone lost a feather.  Big one you may notice.  Do you think it was during a fight, or struggling to survive?  I wonder where its owner is right now.  Hopefully this creature has or had incredible beautiful memories to keep on carrying on.  I need to remind myself that the goodness of life so outweighs the misfortunes we sometimes are faced with.  Balance, need to keep everything in balance and perspective.

I am closing this brief post with this collection of flowers I admired a few weeks ago.

It is my intention with each posting I do to transmit to my readers the abundance of beauty, goodness, and excellence all of us are constantly surrounded with.  Sometimes I add humor, because even our Creator has a sense of humor.  Must have one to have to deal with all of us.

So it was today…24 May, 2011…a day with a bouquet of flowers from me to all of you.  Be happy!!!!

Your Happy Contessa

“A wise man sees as much as he ought, not as much as he can.”  Michel De Montaigne, French, one of the most influential writers of the French Renaissance.  28 February, 1533 – 13 September, 1592.

“Everything else can be replaced…”

This morning I went for my solo walk, because my walking partner is out-of-town.  This bird was making the rounds for  breakfast.  After my necessary walk, full of warmth, sun, and lots of birds singing their tunes, I came home and turned on the tele to catch up with the news of the tornado in Joplin, Missouri.  One hundred and sixteen people have ceased to exist.  That’s the latest count.

While the information was being presented, one of the survivors, was giving a description of the experience he and his family went through.  He was being very descriptive.  I felt, listening to him, that I was going through the experience myself.  Then, the interviewer asked him how he felt now that he had lost everything.  He answered:  “I have my family with me, everything else can be replaced.”

I turned off the tele and started pondering on that phrase.  “Everything else can be replaced.”  I need to make sure that the memories I store in my heart and soul are always reflecting the goodness of us all, because I never know when everything I will have left will be my memories.  I need to choose the goodness of any bad situation I am confronted with.  Need also to be compassionate enough to forgive anyone that I may interpret is being hurtful to me.  I need to put myself in their situation or pretend to analyze the why of their behavior.  All and each one of us have been exposed to trauma, drama and lots of crapola in life.  What’s going to be?  I will make sure from now on that I will only choose the goodness over anything else.  It leaves a sweet taste in your mouth also.  Even the darkness of night has its own beauty.  It also makes us appreciate the brightness of a sunny day.  How’s all of this tied to the title of the post?  Because anything can be replaced, except for the memories and the love of those around you.  Sometimes my thinking is a bit complicated, but I hope you get my train of thought.

Changing for a moment the topic, here’s Mr. Cardinal, having a close encounter this morning.   This is the closest I have ever been to one of these colorful and beautiful creatures.  He was there on that wooden post for a while.  He was taking care of his bathroom duties.  Maybe a bit constipated, because he really took his time.  What?  You don’t think they get under the weather also?  It depends on what he had for dinner.  Always take things a step further.  Nature is just another image of our own self.  Lighten up!  Life is short…use your imagination.

You may be thinking, how can this woman be writing about such a tragedy and then out of nowhere jumps into something so totally unrelated.  Because that’s life.  Totally unrelated.

Going back to the victims of the tornado in Joplin, I am praying that our Creator may bless all of the victims and their families with patience, peace and the motivation to carry on.  As one of the victims expressed it very eloquently…”Everything else can be replaced.”

Remember the Red Cross.  They are the first ones to arrive.

So it was today…23rd May, 2011…a day to mentally support victims of any disaster…it could be anyone of us any given day.

Your Happy Contessa

“I expect to pass through this world but once.  Any good therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any fellow-creature, let me do it now.”  Anonymous

The trip that wasn’t…or was it?…

This past Saturday morning, a relative of mine invited me to go to an art exposition in Raleigh, North Carolina.  There we went, enjoying the beautiful sunny day, lots of clouds for my collection, but nice non-threatening clouds, light blue skies, and a mini convertible to add to all and make it a perfect ride.  Took some pictures, you know I never leave behind my cheap chic camera (ccc).

This is a small sampling of some of the roads.  North Carolina does a beautiful job planting wild flowers along some of its highways.  It makes your journey more enjoyable.  There was a field of poppies but I was too late getting my ccc.

So…finally we made it into Raleigh.  Old Southern with its own charm city.  It has some of the old buildings with their distinguished architecture.  Lots of new architecture styled buildings also.  The old making space for the new.  Is that good or….Same thing with our population.  We the senior chicks and the other old gender still rule.  I think so!  Let’s go back to the field trip.  So…we go around…and around…and more around.  No parking space to be found.  It was warm, sun shining full blast, and my dose of warmth for the full year was being delivered right there and then.  Looking for a parking space.  So…my brother-in-law says “well, we’ll go around a few more times, and if there’s not a space, we just go back home.”  I said, “fine with me.”  So the merry went around a few more times, and of course, no space available.  Plenty of Vitamin D.  The happy vitamin, thanks God!

Life is full of surprises…we headed back east and I continued snapping pictures.  Here is one with a tower to continue to try to make contact with ET, and also to continue to zap all of us with its microwaves.  Believe it or not, the zapping is eternal.  And no ET response yet.  So I analyzed the situation.  First, we were headed west to witness some art and maybe get some inspiration.  I am thinking about pursuing some painting.  Have to dig into anything I can get my hands into.  But…the witnessing of others’ art did not materialize.  The goodness of this situation is that I have learned to accept whatever situation is delivered to me unexpectedly, with a new perspective.  It was not meant to be.  It was meant for me to get some sunshine on my ever pale arms, and sweat like a horse because the seats are leather and my shirt was not 100% cotton.  Cotton, my friends, is your friend when going on an expedition controlled by the sunny sun.

And this is Richard, the temperamental artist, waving goodbye after delivering me back to my yellow and navy blue cutest home.  He said he was inspired to go home and paint, maybe because we were talking about the beauty and glory of nature, and I was very glad to come back home and have a salad attack.  I didn’t realize how hungry I was.  So…everybody was happy.  Raylene, his lovely wife and my walking partner is somewhere in the North East attending some graduations.  I truly appreciate them both for their total support during my journey of being left behind.  Hi Ron.

My ever refreshing salad...

Life is a beautiful thing…we need to be flexible…accepting of what it is…and mostly resist arguing with reality.  The result of that is what creates stress.  Cannot argue with reality.

So it was 21 May 2011…a day of going and returning from an unexpected trip to nowhere.  Or…it was a trip to enjoy the sun, wind, clouds and just being exposed to our magnificent Mother Nature, and its Creator.

Your Happy Contessa

“Every man must find his own philosophy…his attitude toward life.”  Lin Yutang, Chinese writer and inventor.  14 March 1879-18 April, 1955.