Tuesday, December 31, 2013

(To Quote a Barry Manilow Song) It's Just Another New Year's Eve

Okay when it comes to being sentimental- I run hot & cold. I don’t know if that’s good or bad- but it is what it is.

When I was younger, I would spend New Year’s Eve with my in-laws. Kind, loving people and before my father in law passed away, it was what WE did. Spend New Year’s Eve with them.  My mother in law, Gloria, would cook for days, well, it seemed like days when you would take a look at the spread displayed  on the table in their home.

<hmmmm, side note: Whenever Boberts & I have people over, I feel I have to have  a huge spread - (of food, heh heh) to make sure our “family”, aka invited guests, have enough choices…just in case they are picky or hungry (or both)…I learned that from Gloria- make everyone happy>

...anyhoo- as I was (ah)sayin'…..

I was always amazed at how much food there was, but she was a pro at cooking & doing everything quickly, so maybe it was just a day.  They would have friends & neighbors stop by for tamales and good cheer. Well, really, can you have anything else but good cheer? We’re talking homemade tamales - - homemade rice & beans, a dish that she called “stuffado”, which was shredded roast beef, made into small beef patties held together with egg & I don’t know what else in a tomato based sauce…it was really good(that’s saying a lot because I am not a fan of beef), roasted green chili peppers- it may have been jalapenos- it’s been so long, sometimes she’d have fried chicken and, oh yeah, Posole - ever have posole?
It's a soup made with pork, and hominy & broth. She'd also have Menudo - ever have menudo? Um... I’d tell you what the ingredients are, but it would make ME sick! I will say it takes hours to cook (or the main ingredient  is really- did I say really, I mean  extremely tough and *in my opinion* really, REALLY gross), the ingredients are, well, okay, I  have no words to describe what it is- excuse me while I hurl)….needless to say - although I find  myself doing exactly that – saying that I AM NOT A FAN OF MENUDO- (heh, I knew this guy - I won’t embarrass him by telling you his name, because we are still friends – yes, friends since West High school days- would call it “menoodles”…he was so cute, goofy but cute!)


Gloria, my mother in-law, would also have desserts of all kinds, and liquor!

LOTS of liquor. That was before I appreciated a good wine - -

or vodka. (Have I told you vodka is my friend? 'tis true)

During the New Year’s Eve festivities,  Gloria would mingle with each and every guest and at some point in the evening (one of my most favorite memories), Gloria & my father-in-law, Bill Aguilar (who was pretty famous in his own right here in the valley, as he was the one that started broadcasting live sports events in EspaƱol) would dance. They danced beautifully together. Everyone would stop and watch as they slid effortlessly on the make shift dance floor.

< OOOH- yet another side note- Adderall hasn’t kicked in yet- I can’t help it- just go with it- okay?....Wanna hear about what a small world in which we live? YAY- I’m telling you anyway - - Bill Aguilar, (Bob’s dad) actually knew my family BEFORE Bob & I were specks of anything in our respective parents lives.  Bill Aguilar danced with my family, yes, yes, shocker & extremely difficult to believe, but  I come from a family of dancers, in fact, my grandma & aunt opened the Orpheum Theatre when it opened the first time back  1929.>

So, as I was  saying, watching Bill & Gloria dance was a sight to see. They were so very much in love and when they danced, you could see just how much love they shared….dancing, after all, is the universal language of the love. (I just made that up... I don’t know what it is, but dancing is a way and has a way of expression, so let’s just go with that).

Throughout the evening, everyone was happy & laughing and eating and dancing and visiting and just, really enjoying each other.  As we prepared to say good bye to the year and celebrate the coming of a New Year, Gloria would pass out individual bowls of 12 red grapes WITH seeds. Part of the tradition - and I haven’t seen this anywhere else, well, it’s not like I travel, but I haven’t heard about this anywhere else – is to....exactly at midnight, eat all 12 grapes , one grape for each month, within 60 seconds. This should bring you good luck for the New Year.  It was fun watching everyone struggle –well,  I can only imagine that everyone else was struggling. There were giggles & down right wonderful guffaws.   In my mind, as I was struggling to move the seeds around my mouth using my tongue, I would think everyone else was having difficulty too, and THAT would make me  laugh, causing me to lose the contents in my mouth, which was okay because the  crunch of the grape skin would give me osco*….but I dunno… some peeps may be better tongue movers than others.

*osco: a word from my childhood meaning yucky, sick, gross..etc..

I think as I get older, I appreciate more & more the experiences I was fortunate to experience.
Bill Aguilar passed away in 1987.  Gloria has lived without her husband, the love of her life, for longer than she was married to him.  They married on November 20, the same anniversary that Boberts & I have.  At the time, we thought that it would be a compliment (as such) to share a wedding anniversary with them. Every year that passes now, since my father in law passed away, I feel sadness for Gloria. Sadness because it's just another reminder of how she lives on - without her hubby... and guilty because Bob & I still have each other to celebrate another year of wedded bliss (REALLY! WE ARE HAPPY!! lol).  I am grateful that I got to know Mr. Aguilar, his time on this earth was way too short.  I feel for my mother in law and honestly… I think about how strong she was to continue to wake up every day, knowing Bill isn’t going to come through the door with some silly joke to make her laugh (something - although I tease - Bob does the same thing and truth be told, it’s funny that he is so goofy).

Wow this turned out to be not at all what I intended- I guess  just go with the flow type thang….huh?


New beginning…another day to start getting busy with what we want our lives to be.
We have choices…let’s make a choice to be kind, be loving and be all we are suppose to be.

Happy New Year and May 2014 Be YOUR Year. Your Year for kindness, abundance, good health & happiness.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Did Hell Freeze Over? But on the plus side…

So, Maggie, Vee & I went to see Star this weekend… Star, Estella Therese, is our friend that passed away last year. I’ve tried to see her a few times and even though I WAS POSITIVE I knew where she was/is buried, I gave in to the ‘slight possibility’ that PERHAPS I must be in a different area- because I didn’t see a headstone or even a marker. SO, we decided to go to the office to see what we could see (is there a song that used that phrase?) Anyhoo - - -A very nice man, with a very funny personality, was the lucky person chosen to assist us in our quest to locate several loved ones. Mags found hers, Vee found hers, I found my grandma (well, actually, turned out it wasn’t her, as my grandma is buried at another cemetery- boy is MY face red…) AND we found Star….with no headstone & no marker. WTH?? How can that be? I know - I know I KNOW (!), we are not supposed to judge BUT it’s been a year and a half since Star crossed over. I’m not gonna lie, this upset me. 

After Mags makes a couple of calls, we find out that in honor of Stars’ birthday, which is December 17th, St. Gregory’s evening Mass is intended for our friend. OH NO! A Catholic Mass – IN A CHURCH—egad! What a quandary for me (background scoop for y’all: I have a very, very strong aversion to Catholic Mass- traumatized as a child- long story – won’t… okay CAN’T elaborate). What to do- what to do…

Okay, it is for my friend. I HAVE to go, right?  Let me tell you that the last time I set foot in a church was, indeed for Star’s funeral… I am certain she is laughing her ass off in Heaven. (STAR?? Really funny girl!! I know you can hear me.. I hope you are having a great laugh!)

Yes, Bob and I did go to the Mass. During this very special service (I like to sit in back so I can sneak out)- well, sitting towards the back just made it more difficult because there was this child, a baby really, that evidently has never heard the words ‘sit down or shhhhh’ because this child was running and screaming and running & screaming and running & screaming through the entire service.(I will say that when my kids were young, I had more patience, but my kids also never were allowed to disrupt or be wild lunatics in a place where it is expected to be peaceful,but I digress). The mother, (I assume she was the mother) just sat there.    I lean over to Bob and commented that this lady is just wrong to allow her child to be disruptive. Bob (& Mags) state that, ironically the service is on how we shouldn’t judge- FUNNY STAR!!! REALLY FRICKIN’ FUNNY! 

Maggie & Bob are, of course, getting a chuckle – at my expense – but….that’s okay. I was in a church, I figure of ALL places, this is where I shall be forgiven… lol

I don’t know what the solution should be  - - If I had money, I would happily pay to have a headstone for my lifelong (and beyond) friend. NOBODY should be laid to rest without a way for loved ones to come and sit & visit.  It’s just disrespectful. I am NOT judging, I am merely stating my opinion.

Star doesn’t have a marker or headstone….and this is upsetting to me. As Maggie’s other half, Bill Keenley, says you don’t treat our dearly departed in this manner. For whatever reason – there HAS TO be some reason- a reason for which I am not privy (again NOT judging).

Happy Birthday, Star, I miss you every day.

BUT on the plus side… I wasn’t wrong… (did you ever doubt that?)… I knew exactly where Star is buried, sans marker and headstone, I know where Star is.... she is always in my heart!