Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Why not?

Yes, here I am again...always say I come back when there is something going on in my life. So much.....really....even if it's nothing new. At the same time, it is when one is busy that it is possible to do other things. Haven't you heard that?

So here we go. Most women my age have retired or their husbands have, they have no children at least not the ones that require care....they know themselves well, they know what they like and what they want. What they need is the will to do just that....and why not?

Just a couple of days ago, a friend sent me one of those messages with photos and uplifting words and music to go with the whole thing. I am weary of those things. More times than not, they want you to forward these messages. Really...I rarely do, what is the point? There is enough out there to clog the internet...let's be real. This one was different in one important way: it made sense to me!

It's time to consider the rest of our said. We have been daughters, wives, mothers, friends, lovers, caregivers. We have done everything required of us and more. We have put our dreams and our goals on hold for family and friends, husbands and lovers, aging parents and demanding children. What have we got in return? Well, some would say we have the satisfaction of having done our duty. Or we would feel at peace with ourselves. 

All that is good and personally rewarding, but don't you feel sometimes we deserve better? don't you feel we have the right to expect some palpable recognition? I do! I more than deserve and want.....
Sorry, but we are human and there is nothing wrong with that. I am not going to get it from others, I will make my own reward. So here it is...

From now on, be realistic. Accept that you have more years behind you that you have in front of you. Unless there is a medical development I do not know of, we are not going to live another 50 or 60 years! Then, we have to put our foot down...we will live the rest of our lives as we want. It will be marvelous! Do what you always wanted to do...why not?

Go places you wanted to visit, even if it is the museum in the next farther if it is possible. Remember when you wanted to take a cruise or walk at night along the Seine, or spend time in a Tuscan town, an English village or a Caribbean beach? Well, do it! why not?

Were you interested in painting, photography or pottery making? Do you think you want to explore your artistic side? Go for it! There are classes and groups and clubs that encourage all those things, right there in your city or town. I have a friend in Maryland who just had her first photography exhibition in Annapolis. So you see....why not?

Do you keep journals? why not publish your memoirs? We all have something to say, share  your experiences.  Do you think you can tell a story? or have you been told you are a storyteller? why not put that in writing? It is so easy nowadays to get your work on the internet. I wrote a book and started a blog at an age when others are thinking of retiring. So, why not?

Have you been called the life of the party? do your friends laugh out loud at your witty comments? Start a blog, share your wit and your humor. Remember, laughter is the best medicine and is side-effect free! Gather your thoughts and start writing! People love to be entertained. So, why not?

Do you love to cook or have a knack for organizing events? are your parties always well attended because nobody wants to miss them? Do your friends ask you for advise when buying clothes? Do you get compliments about your garden or your home? Then consider doing this....a hobby that can bring an income! Besides, if you love it, you'll be great at it. So, why not?

Now, whatever you decide to do, do with flair, with passion. These are the best years of your life because the only person you have to please now is you! Go out and get the most out of the rest of your life!!! WHY NOT?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

What if?....

Once in a while, now and again...I tend to let my mind wander into: what if. Absolutely not the thing to do, if possible or not to dwell on it if one does.... Unfortunately we all do this. I am doing it now...

Life has become hectic, for no apparent reason. Too much on my plate is no excuse, since I am usually busy. New worries? not really...old concerns? of course, but nothing major. Still I keep point to what if?

What if I pick up my writing again? what if I could travel to places I really want to go? what if going to see my mother was not a pressing issue? what if my daughter live closer? what if I start a business? what if I just not let my mind jump all over the place?!

When I lived in Curacao, what if was not an option most of the time since there was so much to attend too. Even when the children had left and we were empty nesters. Don't get me wrong...I did it then too, but somehow it was not as prevailing and not as urgent and not as annoying.

Truly, what if has to be the most annoying thought one can have. Let's try not to dwell on it......Let's write, travel, realize visiting my mother is a duty I cannot avoid, my daughter is not moving here just to please me and my mind is really working overtime. Now, starting a business....that has a nice ring to it!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Way too long......

I tend to come back to this blog when something happens I have no control over...why is this? I have no clue. Or maybe I do, just don't want to dwell on the reasons. There is too much I already dwell on....enough!

I did go to Panama in July. Stay for three weeks and a bit. Did what needed to be done, kept my mother and sister company, celebrated the town's saint festivities, visited the church, walked along the street behind the image of the saint (yes, they still do that in Latin America!!!). I also went to parties, danced, walked on the beach early in the morning and got stuck one day on the road because of a strong thunderstorm, high winds included! Sixty one trees were uprooted in the area, so it was big. So you see, I do other things when I'm not writing.

A month after this trip, I went back for one's never ending. There is always something to solve, papers to sign. This time I took my husband with me. It was a relaxing trip, despite the hassle of lawyers, notaries and rain! I am back in Miami, trying to get everything organized.....

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Traveling to Panama....Again....

There is no escaping's time to go to Panama again. Traveling alone is far from my favorite thing, traveling to Panama alone is absolutely not to my liking....but a necessity. So, once again, I am traveling to see my mother.

Many times I think to myself, how do I really feel about this back and forth? Do I go because I want to see my mother or because I have to go see my mother? Big difference. She is not longer interested in who comes and goes, her life is very structured and she likes her routine. She is doing as well as she is going to do from now on. Only thing my sisters and I can do, is provide for the comforts that make her days pleasant, peaceful.

Of course, nowadays it's easier ...since my sister went to live in Panama. There is not that sense of urgency...... is it that now she is more fragile? or that we know anything can go wrong, at any time? Or my sister is close by and very efficient? Who knows? The only thing we really worry about is the hiring of the nurses that care for her. It's getting more and more difficult to get them. The turn-over is higher now. We've managed to find them, but they don't stay long.  

I tend not to dwell on this. It has to be done...period. Fortunately, lately I have been visiting when there are things to do in town: Carnival, Easter week and other celebrations. It's easier when there are distractions. Still, not the ideal vacation...more to the point: it's not a vacation! This time one of my friends that live in Holland would be there visiting her family. We'll get together and reminisce, always a good thing! So, I bought my ticket, started getting everything organized. Then I'll pack and go.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


This has been a hard week....a lovely person, a dear friend passed way on Saturday. It was expected, she had terminal breast cancer and since November she was living on borrowed time. That did not stop her: she traveled to Costa Rica, enjoyed her family, her grandchildren, celebrated her 70th birthday with a great party, went to Europe, played bridge every Wednesday she could, went out to lunch, received her friends,...all with such grace and such dignity. 

Marja was the most positive person I have ever known. She never saw the glass half full, never saw the clouds if there was a bit of sun. She never judged anyone, was always cheerful....can't say enough about her lively attitude. Our bridge group has had more than its share of sadness. Since I moved to Miami, we have lost three of our friends! It seems so unfair, so cruel. Marja, probably is not liking this. She would have never said life is cruel...unfair, but not cruel.

This group of women that have been friends for more than 20 years, in good times and bad, is once more deeply saddened. We have learned to be close, to share and to support each other. This has hit us very hard, but Marja would have said that we are strong, we can make this journey one more time....still it's very hard. Tomorrow will be the funeral; I wish I was there, to share with them, to hug them and to shed tears, to smile as we remember Marja completely sure she'll be watching. There she is waving at us..... Miss You, Darling!!!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Annoying Disappointments...they are Real!

Disappointments....most people will tell you that they are real. In many cases people's lives are colored by the disappointments in theirs lives, but do we really know which ones are the real thing and which ones are just annoying. Yes, read correctly!

When I lived in the Tropics, a disappointment could be a rainy Sunday: no beach! Or it could be not having time at the end of the day to go walking and watch the sunset. One big disappointment: not able to get off the island on school holidays. It got so quiet when everyone was abroad....island fever set in. Going to the supermarket, trust me, and not finding what you where looking for....knowing that that item was not to be found on the island....major disappointment. After all, everything came from abroad. If it wasn't have to wait for the next container...Such was life in the Tropics. Annoying!!!

There are the disappointments we experience when our favorite sports team doesn't play well, loses in the last minute or  even worse...loses to an archival! These are also disappointments...just ask anyone in Boston today!!! This is particularly annoying, I think. These team are composed of individuals that get paid millions and millions. Whose lives are spread on newspapers and magazines, television shows and such. Who are adored by fans and, truly, care very little to give anything in return. Still, fans just get consumed with all the details of games, wins and losses, positions on the charts. Even when you are not even remotely interested, you get sucked in because your husband, your child, your friends are disappointed. Annoying!!!

Disappointments are part of life, annoying or real. We just have to make sure we detect the difference and act accordingly. Learn form the real ones, the ones that change something basic in our lives, like not getting into the school of your choice. When you don't get the job you wanted or needed. When the object of your love rejects you, leaves you. When a friend or family member breaks your trust. These are just a few examples, but you get the idea. You can call these real, look them over and learn from them, like you should do with your mistakes. The rest, see them for what they annoying incident that will really do not affect who you are, what you want, what is important in your life.

So, enjoy the beach when you can go or the trip when you take it. Make changes in your menu if you don't find what you need for a recipe. Celebrate when your team wins, be upset when they don't...but do not dwell on any of it and keep moving on. The beach will still be there next week, your dream vacation is coming soon, you discovered a new recipe and your team will eventually win!!!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Stormy Weather....

Yes, it's that time of the year...or almost that time. It's been raining in Miami for the last three days!!! Can't see the small islands on the bay, the skyline of Miami Beach or, sometimes, the building next door. Uugghh!! It is so depressing....I do hope this is not a preview of things to come, hurricane season is a month away, remember?

It's been pouring for most of the day so far. The wind is whipping white caps on the water of Biscayne Bay. I mean, wind, as in strong enough to push my Adirondacks chairs around in my balcony, and those are not light pieces. My plants are getting a well deserved soak, but the wind is not really been nice for my orchids....really! Rain pelts the windows and the AC is only adding to the misery: why does it kick in? It is not very hot out there.....but then, this is Florida. Someone called this rain: liquid sunshine yesterday!!

Nothing and no one is moving out there, deserted streets here on our small island. Nobody pushing strollers in the park or sitting outside for lunch. I am sure it's not finished, since clouds keep rolling in from the sea. Looks sad...but it's good for the grass, the plants.  Housebound for the last few days with a major cold, this has done nothing to lift my spirits.....well, that is not true. It has showed me that I cannot be missing much. Only ducks and fish could be having fun these days!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

World Book Night, Shakespeare and Birthdays!

It was a glorious day on my birthday this year. Do not think I ever told you, but I share the famous bard's birthday: April 23rd!!! It is definitely a plus when talking about birthdays and don't want to talk about age......why do that when we can discuss Richard III or Romeo and Juliet or Midsummer's Night's Dream...right? It has served me well and I have bragged about this for years.

This year, there was another reason to brag....and I will brag about this for years as well. On Monday April 23rd, 2012  we celebrated WORLD BOOK NIGHT US. What is that some of you will ask? well, the States, the UK, Ireland and Germany were involved in a most wonderful event. Thousands upon thousands of volunteers (called givers) went out into their communities and gave away free books! Yes, books! In this age of smartphones, tablets, texting and twitter, people received actual, printed, hold them in your hands books.

It worked this way. Stated last year in the UK and Ireland, publishers and writers decided to go out into their communities and promote the art of reading by giving away free books. In this way, illiteracy was also targeted and many people just felt great about the exercise. It was such a success, that this year it was expanded to include the US and Germany, and some day, it will be worldwide!! Not bad.....

Through a friend that lives in the Netherlands, I heard about the event taking place in the States and that it would be on Shakespeare's...(and my)....birthday. Had to was a must! So I went online, researched and applied and was chosen!!! A list of books was sent to me and I chose The Kite Runner. With the war in Afghanistan raging, people should know more about the country.....

The week before the event I picked up my books at The Bookstore in the Grove. This is an independently owned bookstore that absolutely correspond to the idea of this event: the neighborhood working together to promote reading, a place for people to meet. I got to explain to a group of neighborhood writers what was the event about and why was it important. What an experience! 

On our birthday...Shakespeare will forgive me if I include him in this.....I went into my neighborhood: Brickell Key (Miami, FL). This small man-made island is located at the mouth of the Miami River and has residents from all over the world. It was a perfect place. Met parents out on a stroll with their children, young adults with their smartphones, older couples, a couple of non-English speakers, people coming in and out of the grocery store, the dry cleaning, the juice bar. Loved it!!

It absolutely makes my head spin to think that there were 25,000 of us, in 6,000 cities and towns across the country giving away half a million books! Next year, I will do it again...maybe expand my range. Would love to see if this can be organized in Curaçao or Panama. All possibilities. This will keep me busy for months!

Friday, April 6, 2012

De-Clutter Revised.......

Yes, back to my favorite theme. This week, as I unpack and found not enough space in our new apartment for all my stuff, one clear thought came into my mind. I will not buy anything new and I will accept NO MORE gifts of things I need to pack and unpack! I have enough tea-sets, mugs, cups and saucers, dishes....etc... to give away or make two families happy. I can give coffee mornings for 12 or more, serve dinner for 12, entertain my whole family without having to resort to paper plates (God forbid!!) and have people over for drinks and serve my munchies in the nicest dishes. Enough!

I know this is not really de-cluttering, but I will assume it is. If you get no more stuff, you don't need a bigger place, you don't fret about things getting lost or broken during your next move.......De-cluttering used to be an excuse to get more, accumulating more stuff. Until my last move, I was in the don't buy unless you are replacing, mode. Not anymore, now, I just don't want to replace! It's a decision that came very natural this it!

De-cluttering will mean, from now on, not getting anything I have to keep. I will buy only what can be used and dispose of after a period of time. I will get only what I can discard or give away, things like clothes, sheets and towels, books. Or things that get used up like make-up, perfume, toiletries. This is a real breakthrough!

There are things I will be carrying with me, I know. My photo albums, my picture frames, my paintings, my journals, things my children made for me through the years.....I am a mother, after all, and these are part of my life forever. Now, everything they left with me, to store or take care of, that needs to go. They are adults and have lives of their own. They should start getting their clutter in their homes! It's the way life works. This feel great!!!!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Move still going on!!!

Amazing...We moved stuff until Saturday afternoon. Boxes are still everywhere because the kitchen cabinets have NO doors.......AND the new stove is not here, the new microwave has not been installed. Lights that do not switch on, electric outlets that do not work and other small annoyances. In the meantime, life continues.....there is laundry to do and meals to cook. Really! I have to gather all my wits about me not to scream!!!

Of course the estate agent says all would have been done, if only we would have given them more time. We wanted the apartment by the last week of the month......the contractor was not able to finish everything. Since excuses were invented, nobody takes responsibility...frustrating! Such is life, I know. Miami has been more than annoying the years we have lived here. A lot of people that have no work ethics, a lot of mañanas, a lot of nonsense.

I expected this in other countries and have been pleasantly surprised. In the States I expected efficiency and I have been disappointed. What to do. Let's do the best we can and wait for things to get done......Will keep you posted.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Moving is only as good as the Movers....

Absolute truth...and these movers are amateurs! Cannot believe it. I have been actually doing manual labor, and those of you know me well....know this is not good!! I refuse to do more than my share of that. Unfortunately, is either that or watch them bungled the whole thing or...WORSE....break something!

So I sit here, while they move things, making sure my pieces are well protected for the elevator ride down. At least I know I can move the rest of the small things ourselves. Especially breakables: vases, mirrors lamps, etc. The content of our closets and whatever is still in use in the kitchen. It's going to be an interesting week!

Now I need to go downstairs to make sure the things are put in the right places! Anything else? I wonder.......

My next move HAS to be to our retirement place...wherever that is going to be.

Moving Day is here!

Absolutely exhausted....most boxes moved to new apartment, closets semi-organized, small tasks done. Now comes the big challenge: moving all the furniture and arrange according to my plans. Frankly, I am too tired to think about that. I am working on emergency batteries!

Still, sitting in my old apartment, I am surprised how much I still feel needs to be moved. Of course, last time everything was moved in ONE day! That was overwhelming. Starting in the morning, finished in the late afternoon, had no time to get anything organized...except make the beds and sleep!

Moving is something you are expected to do when you become an expat. Again, it's not clear if I am one...BUT one should be able to handle moving. I have moved many times in my lifetime...I expect I'll be moving a couple of more times yet. So, you would think, this is nothing, right? Well, there is the small consideration of growing older...see that I didn't say: OLD!!! You absolutely get tired more one should go slowly, take time, don't overdo it. Stop and put your feet up. Stop and enjoy a snack, a drink, make a phone call.

Lets consider this: when you move within a city, very few companies will offer you packaging services. They expect to arrive at your home and start putting boxes and furniture in their truck. When you move to another country, you can expect the moving company to do the packaging as well. Those are better moves, trust me! You might decide that some of your precious possessions should be packed by you: DO NOT! Those boxes will be marked and if anything breaks....their insurance will not cover it. So many rules...but in the end: you do less work yourself.

Now, once you arrive at your destination...the unpacking is on you, maybe the big pieces of furniture will be unpacked. Boxes will be placed in the rooms they belong to. You unpack, you rearrange. If you are lucky, you have moved to a country in which you can find household help. Don't get me started again in that subject. A good housekeeper is a treasure, believe me!!

Back to my latest move. I will be sleeping at this apartment tonight, in the new one tomorrow. Then it will all start again. Slowly I will sort through the boxes, the suitcases and place everything in its place. It will keep me very entertained for point in rushing.

Monday, March 12, 2012

De-Clutter, Simplify...

More and more boxes are piling in my living-room. Newspapers everywhere to use for wrapping, lists of things already packed, all is moving along. Is this is what I expected? Of course, after all I did this two years ago. It is my intention to de-clutter once again. Simplify as much as possible so the move is....easier!!! Well, I am trying. In the last two years, I have been sticking to one plan: not buying anything unless I am replacing something. All in all, this has been successful, resulting in less things to pack this time.

On the other hand, must remember that there are still boxes of books, papers, t-shirts, kitchen stuff and toys...of all things! They lie somewhere in a wire cage in the storage floor of the building. Why am I still moving these things? At one point these boxes have to be dealt with....not now!!! Now, I am moving everything to another cage.....

My packing, once again, includes downsizing. Some of the things that have been unpacked....can be disposed of! Donating and throwing away are very much a part of this exercise. Whatever is given away, and I still find this hard....take a picture and file in my computer!

More important, this time I am thinking of shedding other things. Clutter is not necessarily physical things. It is also unproductive habits like procrastination or attitudes we still have. Lets shed those habits that used to have a purpose, but not anymore. Learn to use time more productively, that is de-cluttering too. After all, shedding is never-ending....a work in progress!!
Much to much to do, but I'm sure it will be rewarding in the end.....

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Tea Sets and Coffee Mornings

In another lifetime, when moving away from Curaçao was not even contemplated, coffee mornings were very much a part of life. I do not drink coffee, but these delightful affairs included tea as well. The were no specific reasons for having them, but anything could be used a an excuse: a birthday, a return from a trip, a move to a new home, just anything. I totally enjoyed those get togethers.

With that in mind, soon after I moved to the island, I bought my first tea had a coffee pot as well with 12 cups and saucers, small plates for cakes and sandwiches, serving dishes. Lovely pattern by Villeroy & Bosch with bright flowers and small bees. Then, I got my mother's set of Noritake china with bold patterns and palette shaped saucers to have your edibles along with your cups....great idea! Of course I also collected small silver spoons from everywhere I went.

Lest I forget, there were my bridge mornings, when as many as 12 of my friends would sit down for coffee and sweets before we started playing. Those were the days!! Since moving to Miami, there have been none of this. There is no sign of that kind of gracious living here. Even with its Latin flavor, Miami is not laid-back and relaxed. It's like any other American city: hectic, maddening and without time for polite society.

As I pack away, I wonder, when will I use these beautiful things again? where in my future would I feel like having a coffee morning for my friends......never mind, I will and that is why I am keeping each and every cup, all my saucers and my silver spoons!


I know it's been a while...I keep telling myself a blog doesn't write itself!! Most importantly, one needs to write. So here we are again....writing, shedding, shredding, moving!

What can I say about this? when we moved to Miami, the whole thing was an adventure, a total change after years of island living. When we moved from our last home to this was much less of an adventure. It was downright annoying! Two years later, this move is just exhausting and probably a perfect excuse to: feel sorry for oneself, have a soul-searching moment and decide why one keeps dragging all this baggage and get rid of accumulated junk. All those things, one thinks are needed, someone in the family wants, mementos of other times, other lives. At the moment, I am doing all three...of course the second one leads to the last one. A very good thing, indeed!!!

Since we are moving within the building, this is going to be a little less stressful, but packing has to be done.....and I am the elected packer. Have divided the place into area and slowly, I am getting things ready. What really slows me down: looking over things that I unpacked two years ago and never used while here. What is that all about? Need to go back to accumulated junk, someone else's treasures that I am still carrying. Are my children really going to come and pick-up the things I have kept for them? are they going to carry them away, grateful that they are still here? are they really interested in things they wanted packed in Curaçao all those years ago?

What was I thinking? I was downsizing, moving on with my life. Getting rid of things should have been my priority, well, it wasn't! Now I find myself trying to make decisions...again. Don't believe for a minute that it's going to happen all at once. All I am shooting for is some degree of de-cluttering. That will do for starters. Keep in mind Prati's motto: "Downsize your life, Upgrade your living". Couldn't have said it better myself.......on with the job.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Back Home....

I am back home. It was the trip I needed to take and I am so glad I did. It was also a hard trip to take and one I will not easily forget. On the other hand, I did enjoy most of it. The party was a great success. The house looked lovely, the white marquis, the flowers, the people I know and like and care for. There was laughter and good humor, there was a sense of peace. There was a sense that everyone knew how important this was and everyone was determined to enjoy the moment for Marja's sake.

She looked beautiful in a long turquoise skirt and silvery blouse. Silk and turquoise necklace at her throat. So elegant with her short, salt and pepper hair, smiling, engaging and talking to everyone, as if it was the most natural thing to celebrate her birthday under these circumstances. She is amazing! So proud to call her my friend.

The evening went very fast, there was excellent food and enough champagne, music and dancing. Marja circulated around the tables and seemed in very high spirits. At one point, silently, she just slipped away and left. It was the best way. Today, our bridge group had a special day for her. I was sorry to miss it, but life doesn't let you choose. I had to come back home . Life offers you opportunities, it's up to you to grab them. I am so glad I did!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Life is Good.....

Here I am, again, on the way to Curaçao. This is the trip I wasn't sure I could take, wasn't sure I wanted to take. This is the trip I am taking and will enjoy! What has happened to change my mind, you are wondering...because changed my mind I have! There are several reasons, I think, but only ONE that counts.

In the last couple of months two of my friends have lost their husbands, I knew them well and liked them very much. Their wives are just struggling to make sense of being alone and starting over. For what they tell me, it's not easy; they remind me that I should be grateful for what I have, enjoy what life offers me. They point out that things can change in a second, situations present themselves that we cannot control. It is not as if I didn't know this...I just have been too busy seeing the small things, the things that bother me and make my life complicated. Instead, they tell me, I should open my eyes to the bigger picture. To what I have that is so precious and I should take care of. Frankie bought the ticket, and rented a car. Then he got me ask a friend if I could stay with her. He is always there, trying hard to help, he is one wonderful reason to see the bigger picture!

So today, I am getting the house in order, packing and getting ready for this trip. Never mind that the realtor is coming again with a stream of potential buyers for this apartment. If she sells it, I might have to go through the packing again, looking for a place we would like, unpack once we get there, hoping it will be in the area of the city we so enjoy. So stressful, isn't it? Well, they tell me that is only in my mind. I should see the good side of this, try really hard, so I am. I am focusing on fact that I had a wonderful time in this place, the views are amazing, the building is beautiful and it is safe on the island. My family has loved it when they visited. What else can I ask for, as my friends would tell me. is good!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Comments and Other Strange Things

I have been writing this blog, on and off, for a few years. It was an idea after I published my book....more like a recommendation from the publishers. It gave me an outlet for my nostalgia, my missing the island where I had lived for so long, the people, the beach, the sunsets. It was also a way to put my work out there, so I went for it.

After a few months, I was a small way I now know, since I needed to be constant, right? No use having a blog if you don't keep up and you abandon it for weeks at a time. I digress, as I have been known to do, but you get the point. Still, I kept hoping people would flock to my blog, make it a huge success and my book would sell in the thousands ...or hundreds? Never mind that, it was necessary to keep up, make it interesting and attract people with similar interests or that wanted to see themselves in the places I wrote about....I do not think I got the memo on that. I just plowed along and things just moved very slowly.

In the last few months, though, there has been a tiny ray of interest! I have some followers and people are leaving comments. Some by dear friends that read this blog regularly, some by people that genuinely have some interest in what I write or have bought my book. Then there is a group of comments that are just in a category by themselves: the advertising kind and the ridiculous kind. Those you expect, I have been told. Now I have learned of a new kind: the religious zealots.

On my last post, someone anonymously posted a really strange comment about television programs, the Bible and other things. It really blew my mind. How do these people find blogs like mine? or do they just go down the list of all blogs on the internet? A daunting task, if I ever heard of one! I firmly believe in Freedom of Expression, after all, I am exercising mine! Now, what I do not understand is using this freedom, to put out hate there or to judge people.

So in the interest of my sanity and my (few) followers and readers I exercised another right. The right we have all learned from out dealing with social media, especially Facebook: delete, ignore, remove and unsubscribe. Felt great!!!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Things close to our hearts....

Just something short.....when I was in Curaçcao, went to see Marja. She is battling a very aggressive type of breast cancer. I have wanted to see her since I was there in March; somehow I missed her at that time, haven't been back. So I was not going to miss her this time.

Found her at her home, looking thin, short salt-and-pepper hair, cheerful as always, positive as I have never seen her, ready to talk about what is coming and not a tear in sight! I am so proud to be her friend. Marja has always have this sunny disposition. She can see the good in everyone and everything, she is never judgmental, never critical, never hurtful. She is generally happy and cheerful, ready to make your day brighter with her attitude. You just can't help loving Marja!

She'll be 70 on the 27th and s celebrating, as she has celebrated other birthday: 40, 50, 60.....This time her daughter is giving a cocktail party at her home on the Friday night. I am expecting to get my passport in time to fly back. This is a celebration I would not want to miss.

New Year......

Cannot believe I have been away for a month and change! Oh, well, it's the way it works. The Holidays came and went. Camille and Tim came to spend time with us, it was wonderful! Then I was surprised with a trip to Curaçao...YES, Frankie and I spent a week on the island. Batteries charged and head clear. Needed that, and I got to spend more time with Camille.

Christmas was hectic, but great. Time to see family and sharing time with my children. Everyone came to the house for Christmas Day dinner: my sisters, my niece and nephew, significant others. After Christmas Eve with around 80 relatives on Frankie's side, my small family group was blissful! Good company, good times, gift exchange, fabulous view from our balcony, pictures and fun, couldn't have asked for anything better. Perfect!

On Boxing Day (to celebrate the Brit part of the group), a trip to the Upper Keys...not a great success because we didn't get to the beach, but definitely a good time with our children, Tim and Veronica.....By the way, if you need a good relaxing day, just head down and stop somewhere for good food and drinks, watch the sunset and head back. You do not have to make it to Key West!!! I will do that this year, though.

The days were warm and lazy, most of them spent by the pool, drinks and dinner with friends, Camille's birthday and more drinks. It was just right. Then, early flight to the island and the beach! Of course, welcoming the New Year at Tony and Valerie's, it was just like old times. The fireworks, the smoke and the noise, all welcoming the New Year, felt familiar and comfortable. The beach was relaxing and cleansing, need to get back more often. Saw almost everyone. Loved it.

A beach wedding at sunset, with superb dinner and dancing was an added bonus. Totally enjoyed the ceremony in the late afternoon, under white umbrellas and straw hats! Too soon we headed back and got into the routine of Miami. Hoping this year will bring Health, Wealth and Happiness in huge quantities. Started too good to be otherwise. So to all of you, hang in there.....ignore the ghastly Mayan predictions and concentrate on all the good things you want for this year. Just picture them, and they will come true!!! HAPPY 2012!!!!