Happy Birthday

Today was my mom’s birthday. For whatever reason, as we went to get her a plant and flowers, this song popped into my head from a cassette we’d had for my oldest brother – clearly something my mom had bought for him in the late 80s.

Hey, Michael!
It’s your birthday!
I’m in charge of the stars
and I’m here to say,
“Hey, Michael!
You’re the big star today!”

Obviously, my mother is not named Michael. However, since it was stuck in my head already, and she’s the one who’s bought Michael that tape in the first place, I felt it was appropriate. I sang the song to her for her birthday. And no, I didn’t even change the name. ;P
Happy Birthday, Mommy!! Love you!!
Post-a-day 2022

America!

Tonight, we attended a performance by the wonderful, fun musical group America. They were friends as teenagers living in England way back when their parents were stationed there in the military, I believe in the 1970s. They opened for Pink Floyd when they were 18, and have been going strongly ever since, doing roughly 100+ concerts yearly for 52 years.

As the different songs came on, seeing my mom was one of the coolest parts of the night. “Gah, I feel like I’m 15..,” was what she said early on when a particular song played that had often played at her school dances back in high school. On one, when it started, she said something like, ‘Oh, this one is s total make-out song,’ referencing how all the kids would get together for this song at dances. It was really fun, but also informative – it was great getting to see this history of my mom, as well as enjoy it all with her myself.

Thank you, God, and thank you, America, for such a wonderful night! In your name, I pray. Amen.

Post-a-day 2022

Bluebonnets, Baby

Today, we drove out to a small town northwest of Houston in search of bluebonnets. We stopped at a large gas station for a bathroom break after about SJ hour, then turned off on a local road and headed away from the highway. Within minutes, we found a lovely spot along the side of the road, and hopped out for some family portrait fun. And, truly, it was a lot of fun.

My friend and I both loved the photos I’d gotten of them, dog solos included, as well as the few photos she’d snapped of me with the baby – they were gorgeous and adorable photos. And I ended up looking like both a goddess and a mom, which was new and, in its lack of surprise, surprising – it just looked natural and right…, which was awesomely bizarre.

When we first hopped out of the car to get things started

Thank you, God, for that unexpected blessing, and for the wonderful ‘family time’ we had today. In your name, I pray with gratitude. Amen.

Post-a-day 2022

What’s-his-name

My mom aske me the name of my friend’s most recent child today. I had no idea, but imagined it would be names from the bible, and so I said the first two male Bible names that came to mind, adding that it was something Catholic like that, though I was truly only guessing all of it.

After a brief pause, my mom says, ‘Wait… but isn’t it [first name in Spanish] [second name in Spanish]?’

My eyes merely widened. ‘Seriously???’ I wanted to know. Was my mom really remembering correctly? And had I just pulled two names out of nowhere that were the right names, just in English instead of Spanish? Then my mom adds that it might actually just be the first name in Spanish and the second in English (as the second isn’t spelled any differently in Spanish versus English, but merely pronounced differently).

So, I looked it up on Facebook. I had sent my mom the original post about the baby’s birth, and that was the only time she or I had seen his names, anyway. I kid you not, it was exactly as my mom had guessed, and as I had thrown out randomly. The names were right, just that the first was the Spanish version of itself. My mom nailed it, and I was blown away.

Totally cool yet still bizarre, right? I had completely forgotten everything about that kid’s name in my conscious mind, but my subconscious had held onto it somehow – way cool!

Post-a-day 2022

P.S. N, if you’re reading this, yes, this was about your son. ;P

Saturday sickness

Man, my body is tired of menstruation… not having my supplements this time, leading up to my period, I mean, has been a real hassle. I spent most of the day sick today – exhaustion and weakness with slight elevation in temperature in the afternoon (I talk about this like I’m a weather report…). I felt roughly dreadful ever since my shower after the workout this morning. I went back to bed just for a nap, woke up after an hour, needing to potty and adjust the air to cooler, and then fell asleep hard for another three hours. I woke up hot and panicked, knowing it was later than it was supposed to be.

My mom didn’t mind too much, though. She still enjoyed the rodeo on her own, then left early, as it was incredibly crowded (as expected) by later afternoon, and brought me some soup. She just happened to have made some soup yesterday, and to have brought a bunch with her in thermoses to the rodeo, but not drunk them yet. It was just what I had needed, that soup. And it got me outside for a few minutes when I went to get it in the driveway and talk with my mom briefly.

I’m feeling much better now, but still not tops. Hopefully, I will improve throughout the night… though, it will be tough having to get up as often as it looks like I’ll have to do to use the bathroom (due to menstruation, not the potentially-menstruation-induced illness)… only tomorrow will tell.

At that, I bid you all a wonderful and rest-filled night! God, please, bless us all with your love in a new way tonight, that we better fulfill your will tomorrow. In your name, I pray. Amen.

Post-a-day 2022

QOTD

Today’s quote of the day? Courtesy of my mother: “Yeah, well, he snozed*, so he loze*…,” followed by and filled with intense laughter from the both of us. (*Rhyming with ‘hosed’ and ‘nose’)

Obviously, she had full intentions of using real words. However, her somewhat passive effort to switch the sentence to a past tense clearly failed, thus her quite literally choking on her own words (through laughter) halfway through the sentence. We could barely breathe, let alone talk, we were laughing so hard. It was glorious.

Post-a-day 2022

(Ugh, totally missed still)

Rose Girls in Glass Vases

It was successful, by the way, the gift. When I presented it to him, he didn’t fully understand. It just looked like an odd, artsy, plant-y presentation of a rose-shaped folded piece of fabric. After the distractions of other sudden comments and conversations from passers-by departed, he finally continued opening up the rose-folded fabric… One guy commented enthusiastically, “It’s a scarf!” at which point I realized that no one had any idea what it actually was yet, and he needed to unfold it all the way. Finally, he got there, and he discovered that it was a Hawaiian shirt! And it was a very nice and pretty and purple Hawaiian shirt. He was delighted, huge smile and hug and everything. He showed it almost immediately to his friends, and they went wild, cheering. As I had said, he’d needed a Hawaiian shirt. 😛 Even though he enjoyed it greatly, he commented at one point that he thought his friends might be even more excited about it than he was – a major compliment on the present. I was thrilled and grateful that it had played out so well. My mom had done the folding and presentation setup of the shirt, cutting palm fronds and leafy, green things, and picking up moss clumps to put it all together in a beautiful presentation, like a fancy flower on display in a box. (Naturally, I never got a photo of it in good lighting, because I was so excited about gifting it…, but it is what it is, so here is the poorly lit photo I have of the “flower”.)

A rose, by any other name, might be a Hawaiian shirt…

Separately, my mom and I went to an Islamic Art Festival today. It was filled with luminous, beautiful, heart-filled art. So much heart and light and love all around that room today. I am grateful to have been able just to be present with it all. I am further grateful for the fact that just a tiny bit of it came home with me this evening, thanks to my mom.

However, there was one piece that caught my eye early on in the day: a medium-large, mostly white painting. (I know, a white canvas sounds impressive, but it absolutely was…) It had some gold foiling on it, but looked like an otherwise white , slightly textured painting (almost oil-like with the depth and textures), with script shaped to look a bit like a whirling dervish, a Sufi. I wanted to know what it said. But mostly so that I could be clear that it had been calling to me in particular…, because it felt for the first time in my life that I wanted to – **snoot-snoot** – ‘purchase an art piece for our personal home collection’. I know it may seem to be odd wording there, but that was what it was. Like the Sophie Kinsella book “Remember Me?”, how they collected art for their fancy “loft-style living” penthouse, I wanted to start my own real collection of art today. (**Note: In the book, she had gone from having missed a bonus by a one-week hire date at her new, low-paying job to, after a car accident and resulting amnesia, being five years older, married, in a high-paying leadership job at the company, driving a Mercedes, and living in an extremely posh penthouse in London along the Thames. So, the lifestyle was absolutely foreign to her, and their art collection had particularly blown her mind simply as a concept, let alone what the art pieces were and how much they had cost [loads and loads, obviously]. Her commentary upon discovering everything in her ‘new’ wealthy life and lifestyle was comical and relatable, and her story was quite inspiring in terms of pursuing lofty dreams in life… like having a posh art collection in ‘loft-style living’. Hashtag real-life goals, right?… Anyway, moving on…)

When we returned later to speak with the artist – she hadn’t yet arrived to the festival for the day when we first were there -, I began crying during her explanation of the words on the piece and why she had done what she had for it. I couldn’t explain myself except that I was overwhelmed, literally overflowing with water. And I couldn’t seem to stop for a while. The words she was sharing through that piece were exactly what have been my guiding light lately in life, it was no wonder I was so drawn to the piece. I hadn’t even noticed initially that they were words, the energy of it was so loud and so truly in line with where I am presently moving in life.

She could tell it was positive crying, I believe. The piece itself she had set for $500, with all of the proceeds going to a charity she likes and supports. The latter part was impressive in and of itself (including what the wonderful charity does), making me want to support the artist all the more (and, of course, making me cry a bit more in gratitude for the wonderful, heart-filled good that people are still pursuing and doing in this beautiful life). The former set the piece where I believed it belonged, in a ‘true art piece’ category. She went on to tell me that she would be more than happy to work with us… on other offers of price, or, even, on a print of the piece – she’d gladly work with us on any of the options, as she wants the piece to go somewhere where it will be loved and appreciated and wanted.

So, we have all of her information, and I will be discerning over the next several hours and couple days, and I will reach out to her to let her know where I stand with everything, likely tomorrow or Tuesday. My mom said to me that this was a perfect example of where she would love to be in a life where such a purchase could be an easy, “Yes,” and a, “And here’s another $500 to go with it.” But we don’t live that kind of life. Not right now, anyway. And that is perfect for right now. Regarding what to do about the piece, I would love to have it in my home for the rest of my life. And that is a lot of money for me at present. Sure, I may have money in the bank, but, until I have reliable higher income, that money is there to keep me functioning (safely and reliably and without mental stress) in life with food and housing and transportation, etc.

I want to honor the piece for what it is. And I must honor my current financial state, and trust that God will guide me appropriately forward.

When I saw the piece, when it reached out and called me initially, my experience, though I hadn’t had the words at the time, was one of slight paralysis as the idea settled within me that, ‘I want to see that every day of my life.’ I believe fully that we are exactly where we need to be, exactly when we need to be there. And we are given exactly what we need, exactly when we need it. This piece and this wonderful artist and woman showed up today on purpose – we all fulfilled needs all around. This discernment is here for me necessarily, and right now. God, please guide me clearly forward with this art piece. I trust in you wholly. Amen.

Post-a-day 2021

Uhm, what?

Around 1:30pm today, I was worried. I hadn’t gone to the gym. I guess I had forgotten…, but how did that happen, I wondered? I thought back to when I went to bed last night, and how I got up this morning… and just a sec.. I did go to the gym this morning… What??

Yes, I had gone to the gym this morning. But so much had happened since then, I had felt like it was a totally different day already – the gym felt so, so long ago already. Bizarre, of course, but phew! I was worried there for a minute or two.

I was still restful today, but differently. I did accomplish a bit of the laundry this evening, which was a good start. Now I just need to progress tomorrow or Wednesday – going to help pack up at my grandma’s house out of town tomorrow. I managed important tutoring stuff this morning, providing help on literary analysis essays. I went to a stage production of Truman Capote’s “A Christmas Memory” with my mom at noon. It was great acting, to be sure, and we both enjoyed the little production and seeing a new stage. Though, I was exhausted and my eyes were closing a bunch throughout the show. Yes, I absolutely followed the whole thing, but my eyes definitely did not see the whole thing.

I can home and took a nap after the show, as I was so tired, and then went for my laser hair removal session. I had purchased what is called a Brazilian extension/extended area package. Aka -****Warning for real-body language coming up here**** – the labia, the anus, and the inner edges of the buttocks. However, I didn’t know about the labia part when I first got the package. By the time I tested how things felt and worked up the courage for myself, I had them start doing the labia, too. I’ve finished with all the rest of the lasering of hair, but now am making up for the lost time/sessions on the labia. It was really hard for me to say the words or loud for this, and I still am working on it, but I have improved much in my confidence, willingness, and comfort with the conversation and words, and I am grateful. The fact that I am writing this with real words at all speaks volumes to my improvement.

Anyway, I’m planning on a Secret Santa gift for a coworker. She likes Pocky and Anime, among other things. We have a $10 limit. So, I got her a Costco package of Pocky for $9, and am writing out three sheets of calligraphy for her in Japanese. One will be the name of our company in Japanese, one will be her name correctly written in Japanese, both of those using the foreign words alphabet, and one will be kanji of her name in Japanese (the Chinese characters that have the same pronunciation as her name in Japanese, and give a new meaning to her name with each character’s individual meaning). My mom and I both think she’ll enjoy it all, especially since she’s a huge anime fan. Usually, that spans a broad spectrum of just about anything tied to Japan and Japanese language. I hope she really enjoys them all. I know I would love such a gift! … Speaking of which, I wish I had people who thought out and planned it things like this for me more in my life. I love planning and plotting and, finally, giving gifts to people. But I sometimes end up just a little bit sad afterward, because almost no one ever does anything similar for me. Just my mom, really.

Anyway, in that somewhat sad note, I shall sign off for the night. I think I need to allow myself to experience this sadness, in order to allow it to be heard, at last, and to set it free. So, I shall sleep from here and feel the sad if no special presents for right now.

P.S. My mom and I celebrated Hl. Nikolaus day today together. We both brought each other things that had been ‘left’ with shoes in our own houses for each other. It was absolutely silly, but quite wonderful. I always loved December sixth as a child, and I’m glad I get to love it again. Last year, he brought me all the fixings for and a sewing machine itself. This year, he brought me spices, sweets, heart-shaped agates and stones, and some of the greatest leggings ever. I am quite grateful!

Post-a-day 2021

Turkey Day, run away

Today, we ran the Turkey Trot, my mom, folks from my gym, and I. A handful of them ran the 10k, and another handful and my mom and I ran the 5k. I surprised myself.

Of course, it was pouring rain off and on for the start of both runs, but cleared up fully just as the 5k started (at least, until an hour and a half later, when it wasn’t too relevant anymore). I had my running rain jacket on until the start of our run, at which point, as the skies looked clear and the rain had stopped, I tied it around my waist. An annoying appendage for a whole 5k, but it was worth it for keeping my body and hair and clothes mostly dry before the run.

My shoes ended up soaked, but not until about a third of the way into the run.

I pushed myself, and very much so. I have not trained with running, of course, so I had no idea how fast I could go. My ankle bone was out of place only five weeks ago, and has felt still a bit wonky this past month, so I haven’t really been running even in the workouts at the gym lately, and those are just 200-800m runs. And yet, here I was, prepared to walk, if at any point my foot/ankle needed it, running a 5k and giving it my best.

At just about halfway, one of the girls from my gym popped up next to me, calling me a smokes something or other. I, too, had expected her to be far ahead of me, and I had been keeping an eye out ahead for her, just in case I might be able to catch up to her. But she had been behind me for the first mile and a half. From then onward, though, we ran together. Apparently, my presence alone pushed her. Her pace thereby challenged me. And I, even aloud, gave a, “F***ing S—-,” in regards to our gym owner and programmer. He makes some amazing get amazingly challenging programming, and he is always challenging us to push ourselves. Always safely, but truly. And this morning, he was stuck in my head. I felt like a little kid who wanted to make his teacher proud, planning to tell him just how much I had stayed on top of myself to keep it up, lift up my legs more, take longer strides, breathe deeply, and crush it.

And, in multiple ways, I did. He always says that, it we’re throwing up, we’re doing it wrong. So, I limited myself there this morning – I was getting very close to my body’s demanding a vomit, and so shared that with the girl, just to let her know that I might not be able to stay with her. I only got a few meters behind her on the final quarter-mile stretch, finishing only a couple seconds after she finished (which, oddly, was finishing my race a few seconds faster than she had hers, as I began behind her at the start). Regarding results, I looked it up. Had I done the timed race, I would have been ninth in my gender-age category. And that is really cool. What’s most important to me about it all is that, by pushing myself and keeping on top of it and letting go over and over and over again if my mental strains, I ended up getting, without any running practice in the recent past, my fastest 5k time ever. And my EVEN 8:20 splits (8:21, 8:29, and 8:23 to be exact) we’re not only the fastest I’ve gone on a 5k, but the second fastest mile time I’ve had period.

Basically, it was really cool.

After the run, I grabbed some cookies and bananas, and rushed to the kids’ 1k run to see my nephew and nieces finish their run (if they were even there, which they turned out to be, since the rain had cleared up). I didn’t see them run, but I did see them all just after they crossed the finish line, and the point was for them to feel supported, which they did. So, when, upon surprising them with my presence, I congratulated them and offered them cookies and then a banana, too, I think their days were made.

Anyway, the whole affair certainly made my day. And running into two of my old students made it extra-special. My legs are sore, especially my lower thighs. They can really feel my lack of running, I suppose, though they were clearly able to take it, thanks to all the programming at our gym. Hopefully, they’ll feel okay tomorrow!

Anyway, Happy Thanksgiving, folks. I grateful for all, and I send out my love to you, whoever you are, whenever and wherever you are. May God continue to bless us all. Amen.

P.S. On the dating app, sometimes guys say that their personal hell is families who do 5ks on holidays. I suppose one for me would be families who don’t. I am grateful for my blood family and my gym family. We were a dream team this morning, k-ing on a holiday, even in the pouring rain. Thank you, God, for these families of mine.

Post-a-day 2021