My Mom’s Mom

Written by my sister, translated by me, as I couldn’t have said it better.
The picture shows grandma with me and my siblings. I’m the very skinny one in yellow next to her.

I had 2 grandmas that taught me a lot. 
One was an artist, sort of an airhead. On her house we had no set time to sleep, to eat, or to study. “The” right way of doing things did not exist, what existed was the new way, the way we were still to come up with. She used to give me paintbrushes, paint, clay, scraps of cloth and knitting needles. She taught me that the world inside of us is infinite.
My other grandma, the one I picked, was strong, intelligent and honest. On her house we had a set time for everything, there were closets and rooms off limits, conversations held in French so the kids would not understand. She showed me how to be polite, how to speak English, pictures and books of her travels. She taught me that the world outside of us is infinite.
I had a third grandma that used to intrigue me. During her life she shared very little with me and the other grandkids. She never told us stories from her youth, she never taught me how to make those beef croquettes, she didn’t have the time and she didn’t want to. On her house, we watched TV and felt bored. 
A few years ago, when she suffered the first stroke that put her on a health state that would eventually take her, I understood what was it that she has taught me. My third grandma taught me to resist. To have the courage to take whatever comes to our lives. Celina resisted and held on to life until yesterday, at 93 years of age. Always with that look of wanting more and wishing to stay forever. Kisses, grandma.



(the second grandma she said she picked was our grand aunt. the same one I remembered here recently too)

Tears in the keyboard

My own keyboard. Right now.

The big corporation that happens to be my employer had to let go thousands of people yesterday.

I was spared and still have my job. Should feel relieved and happy.

But my feeling is far from anywhere close to happy.

I feel sad.

For those who are going. For the people who will suddenly have to figure things out all over again. For my co-workers I’ll miss working with. For my friends I’ll miss seeing everyday. For the ones I love. For the ones I know just a bit but will still miss. For the ones I have never talked to, but used to see in the corridors. For the people I have no clue even existed.

Marc, Carla, Maria, Omri, Beth, Masahiro, Joe, Eiji, Rashmi, Steven, Koichi, Linda, Frank, Skamy and all the other people out there who also lost their jobs.

You’ll all be missed painfully.

Sad end of the week for all of us!

Know Your Numbers

Do any of my loyal readers remember my post last year The numbers tell?

Know Your Numbers

Know Your Numbers

Well, it’s that time of the year and I had my Know Your Numbers appointment this morning again.

All the numbers got much better from last year. And most even better than 2 years ago, when I was rocking! Yay!

Here’s the 3 year comparison:

Measurement 2011 2012 2013
Total Cholesterol 170 (desirable) 176 (desirable) 166 (desirable)
HDL 62 (exceptional) 48 (high risk) 54 (desirable)
LDL 94 (desirable) 108 (near desirable) 98 (desirable)
Total/HDL Ratio 2.8 (exceptional) 3.7 (recommended) 3.07 (exceptional)
Triglycerides 71 (normal) 101 (normal) 68 (normal)
BMI 24 (normal weight) 25 (borderline high) 23.6 (normal weight)
Body Fat 31% (borderline high) 32% (borderline high) 30.6 (recommended)
Glucose 90 (normal) 91 (normal) 76 (normal)

Yay to me and to my new Paleo way of eating!

Happy Happy Happy Birthday!

Big milestone today!


Not half a century quite yet, but, as as say in Brazil, I’m today ‘entering the house of the entas‘, from which we don’t leave until we turn 100 (what unfortunately is not as common as people would like ;))

In the morning, hubby woke up the girls really early so they could surprise me with birthday gifts. It’s true that the gifts were not really a surprise considering that I went with him to the mall yesterday to choose, but the kids don’t know that and they were really excited to surprise me.

They were the ones who told daddy what they wanted to give to me (a blouse and a dress). Then, on each gift they wrote their names.

Very cute!

For celebrations, I’ll actually have 3:

  • Lunch today with friends from work
  • Dinner tonight with hubby (got a babysitter for the kids)
  • Party on Sunday offered by a friend at her house.

Since last night (it was 24th in Brazil a few hours before it was here…) I’ve been also receiving lots of birthday wishes on email and facebook.

Yay! Happy birthday to me!!!!

Note: 40 = quarenta, then it comes cinquenta(50), sessenta(60), setenta(70), oitenta(80), noventa(90)… But cem(100)

Totally me

I just need to take the step to leave… But already working on that. Slowly but going…

With a written (on email) permission from Gavin, I copied the file and placed here, with the promise of providing the proper credits.
So here you go:

The words are copyrighted to Bill Waterson and the drawings are copyrighted to Gavin Aung Than


Zen Pencils © Gavin Aung Than 2013. All Zen Pencils artwork © Gavin Aung Than 2013. All quotes © their respective owners.

Desert delicacies

Today a friend from work came back from vacations. Her brother came to visit her and they decided to go on a 2-week road trip, leaving from Redmond, Washington, going down all the way to Los Angeles, California, then from there to the Grand Canyon, Arizona, then Yellowstone, ID,MT,WY, and back from there.

As usual, upon coming back to the office she brought some local treats from her trip. There was some candy, which is something I usually don’t like and barely have.

And there was some desert food.

Not cactus. That’s easy and she wanted something different and challenging.

So she went for protein sources:

  • cheddar flavored larvae
  • sour cream and onion flavored crickets
  • tequila lollipops with little critters inside.

I’m the kind of person who likes to try everything.

So I went for the larvae very easily, since they look a bit like those tiny rice crackers anyways.

Tastes like nothing, though. Not even the promised cheddar actually.

For the crickets I was not so sure.

I know it couldn’t be worse than the larvae, but just the fact that they were there in whole with legs and eyes and everything was a bit intimidating.

Yeah, yeah, I do eat cows and pigs and chicken and fish and sometimes some lamb. But except for the fish, it’s not common for those to be whole in my plate and looking at me.

And eating fish is so culturally accepted to me, that it does not feel intimidating.

So I know my problem with the crickets was more psychological than anything else.

I really wanted to try it, but had to do some psychological work on myself first.

Then came OG, all open minded and went directly to the crickets.

That was what I needed. I took one too and we both tried at the same time.

She even took a picture of us a moment before we started chewing on the thingy.

That's me eating a cricket. Cropped to preserve the identity of OG who was also pictured...

That’s me eating a cricket. Cropped to preserve the identity of OG who was also pictured…

And you know what?

It’s not bad! Not bad at all.

Much better than the larvae actually.


When I sent the picture to my husband, though, he replied back saying it was gross. I guess tonight will be a no-kiss night… hahaha

The top 5 regrets I may but will try not to have before I die

This week, a friend posted in his Facebook a video of a doctor in a Brazilian hospital talking about a study made by an Australian nurse that lists the top 5 regrets of the dying.

I could not find a nice video in English, so posting here the link to the blog of the author of the study.

Right now, looking at those regrets, I identify some of them as potential regrets I’ll have later in life.

So i guess I have to start changing, right.

Actually I’ve been changing already, but maybe not as much or as fast.

So lets talk about each individually:

1.  I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

Not sure if I’m too guilty of that one. Sometimes I may do like others expect me too (having retired this blog as one example) but not so much I guess. Not to the point of having a reason to regret. I guess…

2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.

Define work! Hahaha. I do work hard in a way that I spend a lot of time in the office, which is time taken away from family. Sometimes I have the chance to go back home early, but because I know once I get home I won’t have time for certain things (like blogging) I stay at the office even longer for that. It’s not work, but still time away from family spent in the office. That said, if anything is needed for family that would required me to miss work, I don’t hesitate. Hubby does sometimes hesitate (although I need to be fair that when really needed he’s always there for them too. Nope, can’t complain of him at all), I never do.

I do wish though, that I would spend less time in the office so I could do things that interest me more. The problem being that I don’t enjoy my job really. If I did, I’d be more cool about this.

And I AM working on that. I am back to school to learn a new profession and be able to change and do something more enjoyable and potentially more flexible that would give me more time for leisure.

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.

This is one of the biggest ones for me. I do have a hard time. Especially when it comes to expressing my feeling to the people that matter the most. I can totally talk about my feelings to a stranger or a good friend who is just that, a good friend. But as soon as the person becomes really close to me and as soon as the feelings are related to them, regardless of what sort of feelings, than I have a hard time. I do say I love you to the loved ones, but I usually don’t say when I’m mad with them for whatever reason, when my feelings are hurt. I simply shut up and go on, which I know it’s not healthy and does not help the person realize that they could have hurt me (sometimes it’s not intentional, and they just don’t realize it.)

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

Yep, that’s another one. Although nowadays with Facebook and other social media t;s easier to find old friends again and reconnect. It’s never the same level of relationship. Especially if you are 7,000 miles away from them, so still a reason to some regret. But just the fact that we’re trying to reconnect I guess eases this one a bit.


5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

I’m trying this one hard! and you know what, I’m succeeding on it.

I won’t tell here that I’m 100% happy at 100% of the time (this past couple of weeks being an example of not feeling too extremely happy, as you can see in my previous post), but I’m doing much better now that I was 2 years ago.

Just need to continue living like that to not have this regret when my time comes.

So there you go. An evaluation of how I am doing in regards to the top 5 regrets.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Happy

It doesn’t take much to make me happy.

But here are a few little things that help.

Sample of good happy music (couldn’t add a link to the picture using the gallery…)

This post was written in response to the Weekly Photo Challenge: Happy

Sunday Post: Favorite Spot

I grew up in a house where we were a family of 5 people living on it (mommy, daddy, big sis, me, little bro) + a maid, her kids, a caretaker, once a week a cleaning person, and several dogs.

And I used to share a room with my sister.

That all meant that one of the hardest things to find at home was privacy and alone time.

So my favorite spot has always been one where I could find myself alone for a few minutes. During my teenage years, it was the bathroom (and currently maybe it’s starting to be the bathroom again, although with the kids, sometimes I can’t find privacy even there… :-S )

But when I was a kid, I was a little bit more creative about finding a favorite spot.

And my favorite spot during childhood was the best. It was at the friendly branches of a big mango tree.

Unfortunately I don’t have a good picture of that tree to share, but I was able to find one, where it appears in the background so I cropped it to be able to show it to you.

My favorite spot: the mango tree

There’s even a funny story about it that I recently told my daughter.

I don’t remember how old we were, but still children and, during a fraternal fight, I called my sister bad names. My mom heard it and was furious, so she headed to the kitchen to grab some very hot pepper sauce to put a drop in my month, so I would learn not to say bad words anymore.

Well… as soon as she turned her back to go to the kitchen grab the thing, I darted to the tree, since I know climbing on trees was not something my mom would do. But instead of going to the regular branches, I decided to adventure myself going to one that was a bit harder to reach. I reached it! But then I did not know how to get out.

My mom was telling me to climb down, and after a lot of shouting and crying she was finally convinced that I really didn’t know how to. She didn’t know what to do either. My brother, always dramatic, started to light candles by the tree, saying that I would never be able to climb down and was going to die up there.  My mom was almost using the pepper on him for that. Haha.

Then, she called the caretaker, who was not there on that day, but lived nearby, to take me out. He climbed up, held me and brought me down.

It was such a relieve that my mom gave up the pepper.

I was a bit desperate and got really frightened up there, but at least I got what I wanted, which was not to have the pepper. LOL

Then, during adulthood, when I was already past the mid twenties, I arrived home one day to find it cut. I was so sad and so mad. How could they have cut my tree!!!??? But it turned out it was sick and about to die anyways… Oh well…

At least it did served me and my siblings as a nice place to hide, play, read, study or just be by ourselves.

A sick child, a speeding ticket, some nasty emails at work and an injury

The title above can summarize my day so far, and it’s only 2:00 PM.

My 2 daughters have a cough that’s been going on for a couple weeks now. So earlier this week we called the doctor and scheduled a visit for both of them to happen today afternoon. But last night the little one started feeling too much of it. She coughed so much that ended up throwing up. And had a bit of fever. That equals to neither her, myself or my husband having had a good night of sleep.

Then in the morning, hubby volunteers to stay home with them and I leave home feeling a bit of a nice sense of freedom for not having to drop them off in school, so I put some nice music, louder than I would if I had them with me, and start going downhill… But the thing is that sense of freedom, loud music and driving downhill are not really compatible, and the combination of them made me distracted enough not to notice my own speed. And right today, just because there is a law called Murphy’s, there was a policeman controlling the speed people were going down the hill… 😦

Then at work, some emails are sent around that I see as nasty and that sort of put me on the spot a little bit. I didn’t really do anything wrong, and it was clarified in the end, but I still didn’t feel happy about the ‘somewhat accusatory’ emails.

Then, to forget it all and get some endorphin into my system I decide to go for a longer and brisker walk. Note that today is also a warmer day. It worked to made me relax, but I felt really dehydrated and now my poor plantar-fasciitis-suffering-feet hurts like crazy.

Oh boy… one of those days…

Just hope the afternoon and evening will be better and my feet will stop hurting! ;o)


So off to a new start!

And I’ll start by updating readers on what went on in my life recently.

As I have mentioned on some posts before, I was pregnant with our second cute little girl.

I was! Now I’m the proud mommy of 2 cute little girls.

Baby was born end of March very healthy and is growing fast to become a big and chubby 1 month old…

Toddler is still adapting to the live with someone to share mommy and daddy with. At first she would simply ignore the baby. Then she started to get some more interest on it. Now sometimes she approaches the baby and pet her, altough she still misbehave (or goes for the potty – and that’s a good thing, as she started potty training very recently) when mommy is holding baby, in an attempt to call the attention.

My parents are here to help and it’s been a good help.

10 days before birth, I took vacations at work, so I’m not working right now, and will be like this until mid-August, as my company gives us 20 weeks of maternity disability and parental leaves combined (last 8 weeks are unpaid, but I can survive 2 months without a salary…) And that’s also very good!!!

Then, once I’m back to work, hubby will take 4 weeks and, during his leave, his parent will be here to help him with the baby.

As for how we’re handling the 2 kids, I must say I don’t know quite yet. So far so good, but we have my parents here to help. Then we’ll have no help for a while, but I’ll be at home. Then help again. So I guess I will only be able to tell after my in-laws are gone and we’re on our own, with both parents working full time. A bit scary, but I’m sure we can make it!

Well, I guess that’s it for now, as my sleep deprivation is making my mind blank right now…

Maybe I’ll try to take a nap while baby naps and the remining of the family does not come home (hubby from work bringing toddler from daycare, and parents from shopping).