Monthly Archives: August 2011

Ego gives…Ego gets…

Just a couple of weeks ago, I received this in the mail.  The ultimate ego enhancer.  A good friend of mine, because I have the best of the best that life has to offer, sent me this, a transfer into canvas of a picture that was taken a few months ago.  Homage to a grandiose ego.  Mine.  This was a farewell gift.  Unforgettable!  Thank you again, Miss Kelly.

I told her that she was really good at making me feel fabulous and somewhat important.  To be frank with all of you, I have a very healthy ego.  I don’t need anyone’s approval or certification to feel good about myself…until today.

I went into a Goodwill store, as I have been looking for a pair of bookcases to finally take all my books out of their boxes.  Nada.  Nothing.  Have been to antique shops, but money-saving is my current motto.  Nothing beats getting a good bargain.  Let me continue with the story.  The following book caught my eyes, “We’re just like you, Only Prettier.”  Is about confessions of a tarnished southern belle.  I think this book pretended to get me ready for what was about to happen.

I looked around some more, with the book in hand.  Finally decided to pay the $.99 plus tax for the book.  With $1.07 in hand, I am about to pay and then…the man said “It is $.95 because I gave you the seniors’ discount.”  My eyes popped out of their sockets.  Big bubble burster!!!  I started laughing not knowing what to do or say.  Finally after I recovered, I told him that I appreciated him being the first person of the day to burst my bubble.  And then quickly I added “well, I guess it goes both ways, it can work for you or against you…I need to think about that one.

So book in hand, I left to get some fried ripe plantains to nurture my recently majorly bruised ego and make myself feel good by gobbling up my new food addiction.  They had plenty of plantains, and I bought enough to calm and soothe myself and think that it is what it is.  But that does not mean that people should go around insulting and bruising others’ ego just like that.  Be tactful.  My wrinkles, lines, etc., etc., took over six decades to be accumulated, and for someone to come from behind a counter and just snap their big mouth into mindless generosity, it is something to ponder on.

So…it was today…30 August, 2011… a day of ego giving…and ego getting.

Your Happy Contessa

“What is, is.”  From  the book “A Thousand Names for Joy,” by Byron Katie.

Me…and my cup of tea…

Easy does it.  This evening I was thinking about my day…Vietnamese Restaurant…but I had fried rice so next time I will totally venture out into the Vietnamese cuisine.  Had a jolly time with some friends…and visited with a new friend, 9 decades young, that has the spirit and humor of someone maybe 2 decades old.

Sometimes, postings come to me easy and sometimes I have an abundance of ideas, but today, I totally let the whole thing flow and find me.  I even thought about doing the posting in the morning…but just then…tea time came.  I have a cup of chamomile tea before I go to bed to help me encounter the sometimes elusive arms of Morfeo, so while I was having my also healthy brew, the thought of “me and my tea” just showed up.

Stopped watching one of my soaps (it is being recorded, I am not that detached from my daily intake of drama), and took a few pictures and thought about how life is just like the situation I encountered today.  Let it flow, go with the flow, don’t worry, be happy.  The hippies had it right all along.  If I relax long enough, the universe delivers on its time, not my time.

Something to ponder on…something to write about…and another post, number 216, I think.

So the pondering of today…sometimes is good to just let it happen.  Even though I must confess, most of the time I am a “make it happen” kind of person.  But today…not so.

So…it was today…29 August, 2011…a day of visiting with old and new friends…and letting things happen.

Your Happy Contessa

“Whenever you are sincerely pleased, you are nourished.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson,  American essayist, lecturer and poet.  Leader of the Transcendentalist Movement of mid-19th Century.  25 May, 1803 – 27 April, 1882.

Existentialism…

Existentialism…a word I found in a book given to me by my good friend that just visited with me.  The book, “Entre Nous” is about describing French women and why, more or less they are the way they are.  Very French and very chic.

Going back to the word “Existentialism,” I immediately looked it up in the immense space of the internet.  Has it happened to you that you read something and after a few good number of paragraphs,  when you try to recap in your mind what you just read, you come to the conclusion that you read something extremely abstract, or really nothing to grasp your neurons.  This is what happened to me with this subject matter.

According to the reading, Existentialism was a movement from the 40’s and 50’s that questioned or tried to explain our existence, and really, made it look complicated, but simplicity was all over it.  I remembered the Transcendentalists, there you go!  Same thing, just that this new movement was wrapped around with some bacon to make it look a bit different.

If I make it sound simplistic or maybe some people will label me as ignorant, then I have proven my point.  This word, Existentialism comes from exist.  To be or not to.  Basic, either you are this or that.  Trimmings come from exposure to people who like to make things complicated and hard to explain,  and that like to listen to their own voices.  Moi.  I accept it.  I like to write and talk.

I am sure that after reading all of the above, you will come up with nothing in your hands to show for.  That’s exactly the idea behind Existentialism, I think.  A lot of confused people creating a dialog to get more confused.

Come on, lighten up!  Things are simple just as they are.

So…it was today, another day of existing in this beautiful panorama of what I call my happy and contented life.

Your Happy Contessa

“People create their own questions because they are afraid to look straight.  All you have to do is look straight and see the road, and when you see it, don’t sit looking at it — walk.”  Ayn Rand, Russian born, American writer, and philosopher.  Developed a philosophical system called Objectivism.  2 February, 1905 – 6 March, 1982.

Library…Bibliotheque…Biblioteca…Visit to my local Library…

By now you know that I think the most important institution in a community is its local library.  Today was a very special day for me…after getting my driver’s license yesterday, I went today to get my very important library card.  I consider it one of the most important cards in my purse.

I have always been in love with libraries.  “My library” has a small bookshop that has a great offering of used books.  The books are in super condition.  Magazines, and all kinds of book related items grace the shelves.  Hardbacks go for $2.50 and magazines for $0.50.  I found a treasure!!  I purchased 18 magazines about my community.  The covers are a piece of art and I have been looking for this magazine in the local stands, but no luck.  So imagine when I saw recent and past issues of this magazine at that price.  I made out like a bandit.  So, so happy.  Still I cannot believe my luck.  I also purchased “The Synonym Finder” book that should help me when I am trying to communicate with all of you.  Hopefully.

This was taken a few years ago when I was visiting with my lovely daughter in Washington D.C.  That’s the Library of Congress.  You know how emotional I get.  I was in total awe and for a moment I was a citizen of the Utopian Society of Book Lovers.  I am creating that group right now.  To be a member, all you have to do is love books.  The People’s Library, as the tour guide called it, has so much to offer, but it is extremely difficult to take advantage of its offerings.  I am just mentioning it.  Their Rare Book Collection can be visited, but you have to make an appointment first.  I did not have the time.  One of the things listed in my bucket list.  I should get another more sophisticated name for that list.  Bucket sounds kind of low life.  Sorry, bucketers out there.

So…it was today, 25 August, 2011…a day of visiting my very important local library…and being in book paradise.  I shall return next Monday…maybe I will have a name for that list, or not.

To all of you that will be exposed to Irene’s path, I send my best wishes for safety and well-being.

Your Happy Contessa

“Classic – a book which people praise and don’t read.”  Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens), American author and humorist.  30 November, 1835 – 21 April, 1910.

Floridian…once again…it’s official…I am a full fledged Floridian…finally.

The inevitable had to happen.  I became a full-fledged Floridian today.  New license plate, and a new so-so looking photo in my new Florida Driver’s license.  Couldn’t postpone it any longer.  It is funny…there’s a sign in front of you in the place where the pictures are taken.  It says in very big and bold letters…SMILE…and I thought, yeah, right, so all my lines, bags under my eyes and wrinkles will show on that photo.  No way!  So now I look depressed.  Cannot win it all.

Keeping an old plate saved me $250!  Moving is expensive.  Deposit for this, deposit for that and deposit for even having the privilege of driving on the roads of tropical Florida.  Might as well…there is no state income tax in Florida.  How nice and lovely.  I am not that naive.  In life you always pay, sooner,  later, at the arrival or at the departure.  There is a price for everything in life.  Nothing is free.

I remember the meaning of insanity…thinking that life should be without problems or taxes, even when they are hitting you right on your face.  I am happy with my new license, considering the no smile zone that I imposed on myself.  Also paid my first electric bill…not that bad considering my small condo is kept at a sauna’s temperature.  That’s why I moved here…love that heat…not so the humidity, but cannot have one without the other.

So it was today…24 August, 2011…a day of being initiated as a new Floridian and having a driver’s license that could look a bit better.

Your Happy Contessa

“I’ve learned not to worry about what might come next.”  Oprah Winfrey, American actress, producer and philanthropist.  29 January, 1954 – .

Nature’s taking its normal course of action…we create conditions…it reacts…

So now we have Irene approaching our mainland…and just early this afternoon a 5.8 earthquake hits the State of Virginia, spreading to North Carolina, and all the way up to Vermont.  The question is “what’s going on?”  Nothing much.  Nature reacting to whatever discomfort she/it has or maybe we are pushing her buttons too hard.

This is a subject to be much debated.  Are we affecting the environment so much that we are changing our natural conditions,  and making things happen as a consequence to our careless use of our beautiful and giving planet.  Every action has an equal or equivalent reaction.  Physics at its best.  I remember that class.  And the teacher also.

We sometimes forget the use of logic.  My friend, the one that recently visited with me,  and I were having this kind of conversation.  Sometimes we get so sophisticated in our way of thinking that we forget that the laws of nature have in the past, and will in the future, always rule.  Too much pressure on anything, and it will either explode or push back.  Pure logic.

Yes, the earthquakes come from down under, but what do we know about some groups experimenting with nuclear explosions just down under.  Everything always has a reason for being or happening.  Remember, it is what “they” don’t tell us that is of concern.  Just thinking.

That’s the way I think about Nature reacting to the ways our progress has forced us to do and use things that in some many ways destroy the environment that is so necessary for us to exist and make our sustenance.

If we only take and take, without bothering to replace and replenish, these are the effects we are seeing and feeling.  Let’s all be more conscious when it comes to the simplest ways that we could be doing that is affecting the environment.

So…it was today…23 August, 2011…a day to ponder about how I can reduce my footprints on the beautiful landscape of our Planet Earth.

Your Happy Contessa

“There is a sufficiency in the world for man’s need but not for man’s greed.”  Mohandas K. Gandhi, political and ideological leader of India during the Indian Independence Movement.  2 October, 1869 – 30 January, 1948.

Note:  Photo courtesy of NASA

Very quiet at the inn…

I am facing the same situation twice this month…suddenly after having fun and happy company, then…there’s only me.

Very, very quiet.  No one to talk with, no one to go and help the economy with.  Just plain doing laundry, cleaning and facing the bills and everything else that was placed in a drawer until I had the time to look at it.  Show time, baby.  They are all staring at me and saying, just like those two egrets, what’s up!  Are you doing something about whatever it is you are supposed to do, or what.

Life is just like that.  Having a great time and then taking a break.  Everyday is not a holiday, my mother used to say.  If we don’t do the mundane, ordinary things, we cannot differentiate when the fabulous and spectacular come into our lives.

Have to be quiet, and work like a worker bee and get ready for whomever decide to show up at my door.  Reservations recommended, please.

So…it was today, 22 August, 2011…a day to plan to catch up with the pending things to do…and get ready for some more fun and excitement when the time arrives.

Your Happy Contessa

“Sometimes, silence is the most eloquent expression of our emotions.”  Happy Contessa.

What economy?…Bernanke, eat your heart out, we are doing our share…

The economists should be noticing a slight shift in the economy after this weekend.  My visiting dear friend and I went shopping until the credit cards were getting too thin to be processed.  Just kidding.  Those things never get too thin to be processed.  The power of the plastic money.

Shopped my village until they were calling us on first name basis.  My dear friend helped a woman buy a $185 overcoat to visit Chicago.  Then she in turn, bought the same coat, and got a 10% discount.  Karma all the way.

Had lunch at a Cuban cafe.  Cuban sandwich, also called Media Noche, fried yuca, fried ripe plantains (what else) and flan to make the extending waists so much happier.  Today, Sunday it was caramelized peaches with cranberries spinach salad.  I had the familiar caesar salad and we shared the five cheese, basil/tomatoes pizza on a wheat crust.  Making the elastic of the waist of our slacks happy, we had red velvet cake for dessert.  What a happy life!!!

Also, I am getting a free facial at a high-end retail store, when  I purchase products worth $125.  Nothing is for free in life.  What did you think?  My face is somewhat good-looking, but not that much to appeal to the kindness of the saleswoman to just volunteer out of the blue of the sky to just hand me a free facial.  My visiting friend will have to wait her turn.  She is skipping town on Monday.

The damage done with the stuffing our faces with food and libations were offset by the walking for hours in the mall and in the village.

And of course, there goes the train to make it just perfect!

Hope you have enjoyed the narration of our journey through the food alleys of somewhere in Florida.  We certainly did!!

So…it was today…21 August, 2011…another day of being grateful for the wonderful life I have and making a toast to my good fortune of having the greatest friends anyone can ask for.  Thanks dear friend,  and may our paths cross again soon.  In the meantime, may you experience much happiness and joy together with your lovely family.

Your Happy Contessa

“It is not how much you spend, but how you spend it.”  Happy Contessa, a happy American citizen, writer, philosopher and expert in happiness.  21 October…-

The contessa is totally out of sync…

Today was a day for cats and dogs to fall from the heavens and totally drench us all in this neck of the woods.  My brain’s still driving in the most intense thunderstorm I have ever driven through in a long, long time.  I pretended to my visiting “snow bird” that I was with it.  No problem, I can do this.  I am not stopping to wait until the rain stops.  No…I am a cool chick.  Well…just a few minutes ago she said…”you still have to write your blog”…and I thought, what was that, again  What is she talking about?  Oh…yes, the blog!

The neurons are not even connecting with each other right now.  There were lightnings all around us trying to see if they could zap us.  Thanks God no luck for them this time.  I am still trying to add two plus two equals two plus two, right?  Whatever that means.

As you can deduct, not too much of a good luck today in my production of a decent literally piece to entertain us all.  I am trying really hard, but all I am doing right now is laughing at my efforts of being with the pains of labor to produce.  Producing nothing it is.

I guess this is going to be all for today.  There is a nebula surrounding my cranium right now and everything is very foggy.  Hopefully there will be more clarity tomorrow.

Thanks for reading this piece of words put together by the magic of a screen and fingers that type.

So…it was today…18 August, 2011…a day of navigating through the intense fog of inspiration and coming through with nothing much.

Your Happy Contessa

“A person who never made a mistake, never tried anything new.”  Albert Einstein, German born theoretical physicist.  Developed the theory of general relativity.  14 March, 1879 – 18 April, 1955.

Snow bird in the heat of the summer…yes indeed…one that just landed…

This is becoming a foodies blog…whatever gives, I’ll take.  Let me get going.

Lucy, a “snow bird” is visiting me during the heat of the summer.  She came out of the terminal with her hair looking all smooth and freely flowing, really a good hair moment…then by the time we were a bit far away from the airport, there goes the hair…up in a bun.  Humidity at its best.  So much for the freely flowing good hair.  You know how important is hair for me.

Enough of the hair issues.  I am very glad to have her come to visit me and check my new digs.  She approved of my new pad and…wait a minute, this posting is mainly supposed to be about the incredible tasting and great looking food showing on the picture above.

Someone had told me about this supermarket that caters mainly to the ever-growing Hispanic population in this area, but also they have a deli that really numbs your brain in trying to decide what are you going to have to eat.  Showing are the arroz con guandules, carne guisada, yuca encebollada, pollo horneado, platanos maduros y dulce de guayaba.  In same order, rice with pigeon peas, stewed beef, yuca is a tuber and it was prepared with onions; chicken rotiserie, and of course, ripe plantains.  Dessert was a form of cake mixture with guava paste.  I forgot to take a photo of the “tres leches, ” a dessert made with three different kinds of milk, one of them being condensed milk.  Sweet, but not overwhelmingly sweet.  Just perfecto!

They gave us enough to last for maybe three days.  Aside note, we did pay for it.  The generosity lasted just long enough to last Friday.  I am not complaining.  It was a pleasure to pay for today’s banquet.

All these foods and flavors brought so many memories.  I am finding all these unique places that will cater to my wants and needs without having to use the stove at all.  Hurray for that!!!!

So…it was today, 17 August, 2011, a day to enjoy my visiting “summer snow bird”…and tasting the so ever delicious Hispanic food…from my new neighborhoods.

Your Happy Contessa

“Food is our common ground, a universal experience.”  James Beard, an American chef and food writer.  5 May, 1093 – 21 January, 1985.