Tuesday, August 29, 2006


Drove to San Antonio. Met with an ad agency for lunch. Good meeting. Took a 30 min nap outside of Starbucks. Bought a lite frapuccino and headed home. Got into town right around 6. Drove like a mad woman to Miranda's Open House. My sister was kind enough to pick up the kids for me and keep them and give them dinner. Went to Miranda's Meet & Greet and learned about what she does each day. Picked up kids. Came home. Miranda finished cleaning her room (something she started SUN) and then in the bath. Now they are getting ready to go to bed. I still haven't eaten anything and I need a shower. Exhausted.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Love This Poem!

EE Cummings - i carry your heart

i carry your heart with me
(i carry it in my heart)
i am never without it
(anywhere i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)

i fear
no fate(for you are my fate, my sweet)
i want no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Happy Anniversary to My Love

I should have taken the day off. Had a facial and a massage.

Nine Years

Tomorrow is our nine year wedding anniversary. Where has the time gone?

Monday, August 21, 2006

Seth’s First Day

My poor baby. He starved for breakfast. He wanted a little girl’s cookie and he threw a tantrum and didn’t want his Cheerios and milk. Therefore he didn’t eat until lunch time. The teacher said he ate everything then. My poor little hungry lamb! I guess nursery school is also like boot camp.

He also cried during nap time and when he had a poopy change. They don't change kids laying down. They change them standing up, I guess in preparation for potty training. They make them touch their toes when they wipe him. He had issues with that. Other than that he did OK.

The funniest part was when I went to the toddler house to get his stuff with the teacher. He walked in with us and sat down automatically at his chair. The teacher smiled and turned and looked at him and said, "Thank you for sitting in your chair."

I couldn't believe they had him trained by this afternoon! Pretty impressive! That wild child may still have some hope. He was wearing his Leon, Guanajuato t-shirt with a lion on it that reads, "El leon no es tal como lo pintan."

Thinking of Mama and Hilda

Rey found this live version of "Amor Eterno" on iTunes. It's from Juan Gabriel's "La Historia del Divo" album. These lyrics are just too much and the way he sings them gives me chills. I thought of my mom and my sister like I always do when I hear this song, but this verse just adds a whole other level of feeling.

Hallan derramado tantas lagrimas por penas
De dolor
De amor de tantas despedidas y de esperas
Eso es todo lo que tengo ahora y tus recuerdos
Que hacen mas
Triste las angustia de vivir pensando como siempre en ti
Que te vieron tanto y que no han vuelto a verte hasta el sol de hoy
De tanto extrañarte
Y de tanto esperarte desde aquel adios
Eso es todo lo que tengo ahora
Ye eso es todo lo que tengo ahora
Y tus recerdos
Que hacen mas
triste las angustia de vivir pensando como siempre
y para siempre y por siempre en ti

lyrics by Juan Gabriel

Friday, August 18, 2006

Here's the School Update

This whole week I'm been thinking about when Miranda was a newborn and how extremely exhausted I was but I still had to wake up and feed her and I had no choice in the matter. I remember being so exhausted I literally had a piercing pain in my back between my shoulder blades from nursing. I would wake up exhausted to nurse her in the middle of the night and many times I would fall asleep with her on my lap.

OK, it's not that bad but it kind of reminds me of the same feeling. The feeling that I have absolutely no choice in the matter. I have to be up and out of bed no later than 6:15 and Miranda has to be up by 6:30 so we can leave the house no later than 7:30. Next week move that up half an hour when Seth starts nursery school. I need to be out of the house no later than 7 in order to drop them both off.

Now I know what all you mothers are thinking. Stop playing your violins! I know many women do this every day and my hat goes off to all of them. I don't know how women do this day after day, year after year until their kids graduate. How exhausting!

So now I'm one of those women. Welcome me into your honored club!

Miranda loves school! She has done really good and has received a lot of WOW and Good Job stickers. On Tuesday though she did get time out for the first time for "accidentally" pulling a boy's hair. Of course I doubt it was really an accident. When she told me we were driving home and I couldn't help it that my heart felt like breaking when she said, "and I cried quietly in the time-out chair."

I imagined how she must have felt and what a humiliating experience that must have been. But she learned what was the consequence of acting up. Unfortunately, as my sister says, "Kindergarten is the boot camp of life." This is where she will learn all the rules of life. I hope she learns them well and I will be there to help her along the way.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

My Life is About to Change Forever

I'm about to enter a totally new phase in my life. I am about to become the mother of school age children. Tomorrow my 5 year old daughter begins Kindergarten and the following Monday I'm putting my 2 year old son in a Montessori nursery school.

What this means is that gone are the days when I can roll out of bed later than usual and go into work later because I know I will make up the work time either way. Gone are the days that if I don't feel well I don't have to get up and the kids can just sleep in with me. Gone are a lot of things.

From now on I will have to wake up at 5:30 or 6 a.m. and I'll have to get both kids up, fed, and dressed. With a girl that includes doing hair, like pony tails or braids. Add to that getting myself dressed and ready for work too. Then I have to get them to school first around 7:30 so I can get out of work in time to pick them both up by or before 6. Their schools aren't too far from each other, thank goodness.

I will have to do this every day for the next nine months unless Miranda is sick. Seth's schedule will be more flexible so at least if she's sick I can either stay in or take them to the sitter's. She's agreed to be my back-up so we haven't lost her.

My life is about to change forever.

On another note, I haven't written too much because I've been working out on a regular basis for the past 3 weeks. I even drag my butt to the gym on Fridays!! One week I even went during lunch time because I thought I was going to have dinner with a friend that week so I wanted to do a make-up day.

One good thing about the kids being in school is that since I'm going in earlier I'll also get out earlier in order to pick them both up before or by 6. I'll be picking up one at 5:30 and another one at 6. Rey will definitely have to help me out some days. But by being off of work earlier I'll be able to work out earlier, at least for one hour. Then it's home for showers, homework, and bed.

My life is about to change forever.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


Like most women I look at my face and I see imperfections I would like to improve. One fast rule I’ve always had is that no matter what, I am I am not going to let the rest of me go. I’ve talked about this on here before. That includes hair, face, clothes and shoes, of course. Always the shoes!

One of the things that bothers me about my face are these little growths or small pimples that have somehow grown over the last ten years. A friend of mine told me she had no idea what I was talking about and that she didn't see anything on my face, but I know she was just being nice. My more truthful friends and sisters see the bumps.

I’d been thinking about getting microdermabrasion for a while now but I never made up my mind to just do it. I spoke to the owner of Caritas about it almost two years ago and she explained to me how the procedure works. She looked at my face and told me that I would need around eight treatments to totally get rid of the unsightly bumps.

Microdermabrasion is (according to Wikipedia) “a cosmetic procedure popular in day spas and medical spas, in which the outermost surface of the skin is partially or completely removed by light abrasion. Different methods include mechanical abrasion from jets of zinc or aluminum oxide crystals, or a roughened surface. Particles and removed material are usually suctioned off using a small vacuum attached to a wand.”

Two weeks ago I finally decided to have it done and I was so excited when I went in for my first session. Caritas uses the crystals and then the vacuum wand. I thought it was going to hurt but I was surprised at how it felt. It doesn’t hurt but I’m not saying it feels good. It’s really more as if someone is scraping your face with the edge of a cardboard or thin plastic. It’s that abrasive irritating feeling, but no pain.

The first session Olga (the owner) set the machine on a milder setting but that was enough. I could tell the difference on the texture of my face immediately afterwards.

At my second session she decided to turn it up a notch and she was a little more aggressive on the larger bumps. She said she was very impressed on how well I was progressing. This time I did have a few red marks where some of the larger bumps used to be, but these will fade quickly. But no bumps! It also helps clear up minor acne scars, which I also have.

I discovered Caritas (6217 Irvington Blvd) a few years ago when one of my best friends went there herself. They do great facials for only $25-$30. They do the microdermabrasion for $50 and $17 extra for a mask afterwards. That's a steal in a city like Houston. Of course if you're looking for elegance and pampering this isn’t where you want to go. It's a very simple place. It's an old house converted into a shop and the owner also cuts hair, dyes and does highlights.

I’ll keep you updated on my progress as I continue on my microdermabrasion journey. I should do before and after photos of my face!

Monday, August 07, 2006

The End of the Canal

You may have to go online to another site to read the end of "The Canal." I may have it published on the Houston Institute for Culture site once it's finished, pending approval of the director of course. So stay tuned and I'll let you know when it's finished and where to go to read it.

You can go there now to read some of my other stories. Follow the links beneath my bio on this page:http://www.houstonculture.org/forums. Also check out some of the other initiatives that this organization has for the community.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

The Canal Part 2

By Loida Casares Ruiz

It was getting late in the afternoon and the sun had started making its descent to the West. Sofia was starting to worry. She hadn’t heard from her two youngest sons all day.

“Where can those boys be? I hope they aren’t getting into any trouble,” she said to herself as she dried her hands on her apron and looked out her kitchen door. She pushed her light brown hair, streaked with grey behind her ear, pensively.

“You know those boys Mamá, they get tied up playing their games and they loose all track of time,” her eldest daughter Veronica answered wearily as she stirred a pot of stew before sitting down again to a magazine she was reading.

Since she was he eldest she always had to stay at home helping her mother with the wash and the cooking. She longed to be in town with some of her friends, at the picture show or window shopping. She always sounded bored and listless. She hated her life and she wished that she had the life her mother had at her age.

Sofia had a much easier life as a young girl. She was the daughter of a wealthy Spanish merchant in Reynosa who had married outside of the family’s circle of approved families. Now she was married to a poor farm worker with too much Indian blood for her parents’ comfort and her family quickly forgot her.

“Lorenzo, come here!” she called out into the yard.

“Si Mamá,” Lorenzo answered coming out of a shadow where he had been reading a book. He was only two years older than Rudy but he didn’t really play with the boys. He was the bookworm and the intellect of the family. He dreamed of a day when he could leave this small town for a university.

“Lorenzo, please go see if you can find your brothers. It’s getting late and they’ll need to be in for dinner soon.”

Lorenzo had only been gone a couple of minutes when she looked up out of the kitchen window and saw him hurrying down the driveway again with Old Man Lucas. She didn’t like their manner and it seemed that they were coming to tell her something important. Something, she guessed, that had to do with Rudy and Nico.

“Ay Dios mio!” she exclaimed nervously wiping her hands on her apron.

Veronica looked up from her magazine at the table surprised. She could hear the worry in her mother’s voice and she looked out the kitchen screen door to see her brother and Old Man Lucas too.

“Don Lucas,” her mother called out from the doorway, “What can I do for you?” she asked nervously.

Old Man Lucas reached the door out of breath and red in the face. His white hair was stuck to his head and he took of his big straw cowboy hat to fan himself.

Lorenzo was usually very polite and let the adults speak first but he looked at Don Lucas impatiently and burst out, “Mamá, Don Lucas found something at the foot of the old oak tree next to the canal.”

Sofia’s eyes went down to the pair of shoes that Don Lucas was holding in his hands and she immediately recognized them as Nico’s shoes.

“Ay, Madre de Dios,” she exclaimed, “What were they doing there?”

Finally Don Lucas was able to get the words out after breathing heavily for a few moments.

“Earlier today I was walking by the old oak tree next to the canal and I heard your boys playing up there. I heard Rudy challenging Nico to go out on one of the limbs that extends over the water. I told them they should come down but they told me they were fine. I kept on walking but I had a bad feeling about it all afternoon.

Later I decided to walk by again to see if I could see them still there when I found these shoes. I called for them and I looked for them the whole walk here but I never saw them anywhere.”

Sofia started for feel faint but she knew she couldn’t over-react. They had to search for the boys to see if they were anywhere nearby.

“Lorenzo, you go to find your father. Tell him he needs to come home now. Tell him what has happened.”

“Veronica, I need for you to get the word out to all of your brothers’ friends. We need to see if they are at someone’s house first. Let’s get going.”

Sofia took action and she and Don Lucas walked to the canal together to see if they could see the boys any where. He showed her exactly where he had found the shoes.

“You don’t think they fell in do you?” she asked the old man, her green eyes wide.

“Ni que lo mande Dios,” Don Lucas replied, “But I think you should prepare for the worst.”

Shoes and More Shoes

Joan and David

Beautiful Franco Sarto shoe! I almost bought this one in pewter. It was gorgeous in that color but the 8.5 (my new size after 2 kids) was too big and kept slipping off the back. I ended up buying the black one like this one in size 8.

I had to go shoe shopping again. My every-day-wear black slingbacks that I probably wore way more than my other shoes started falling apart. First the heel kept popping out then the shoe just tore on the side. SO I was forced to go buy a new pair.

The day after I tore my shoes I wore some other back-up open toed black slingbacks to work and was really dismayed to find out that that pair had seen better days. So in all fairness I had to buy TWO pairs of black shoes. What can I say? I wear black shoes more than any other color. It happens when you work in a semi-conservative environment like I do. I love Nordstrom! They are so good at shoes.

Friday, August 04, 2006

I Love This Song!

Artist/Band: Dixie Chicks
Lyrics for Song: Everybody Knows
Lyrics for Album: Taking The Long Way

Tell me now if you came sneaking up behind
Would you know me and see behind the smile
I can change like colors on a wall
Hoping no one else will find what lies beneath it all
I think I hide it all so well

Stepping out, everyone can see my face
All the things I can't erase from my life
Everybody knows
Standing out so you won't forget my name
That's the way we play this game of life
Everybody knows

Looking through the crowd
I search for something else
But every time I turn around
I run into myself
Here I stand
Consumed with my surroundings
Just another day
Of everybody looking
I swore they'd never see me cry
You'll never see me cry

Stepping out, everyone can see my face
All the things I can't erase from my life
Everybody knows
Standing out so you won't forget my name
That's the way we play this game of life
Everybody knows

You say I'll pay the price
That's the chance that I'll take
Though you may think I'm telling lies
But I just call it getting by

Stepping out, everyone can see my face
All the things I can't erase from my life
Everybody knows

Standing out so you won't forget my name
That's the way we play this game of life
Everybody knows I am just barely getting by

I Recommend

Just thought I'd share with you ladies in their 30's like me, starting to think of eye wrinkles and under-eye circles. I've been using this eye cream by Avon for a couple of months and I love it. The gel part is for the eye lid and the cream is for under the eyes. It's supposed to be an eye lift without surgery.

On another note, did you notice my new picture in my profile? I'm wearing my new dress I bought recently from Torrid. I had to wear the little sweater on top to tone it down a bit. The smile is a bit fake but it's because Rey took the picture by surprise. Yes, that's a name badge I'm wearing and I'm holding a little boy's hand.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

The Master Storyteller

Preface- This was the original introduction I was going to give to my short story "The Canal" at my last reading but it got too long with this included, so I just dropped it and decided I'll use it later. Maybe as part of a preface to a collection of short stories.

I did talk about my dad a little before I read "The Canal" and I told about how he was a storyteller. The old fashioned kind, like the Indians, where his dad told him stories and his grandfather told his dad and so on. There aren't very many storytellers left. One guy, a great spoken word artist, came up to me afterwards and was in awe. He said he'd never met an actual storyteller like that. He'd only heard of them. - Shoegirl

My father is the best storyteller hands down. He'd hold me enraptured listening to the words fall from his lips. And I ate them up, like delicious chocolates I couldn't get enough of. I was only two, and at a very active age, yet I sat glued to my seat next to him on the porch of our house, listening to him tell his tales.

I have a picture to prove it. It's in one of those square box frames that were very popular in the sixties and seventies. It's basically a square cardboard box with plastic sides that interlock. It used to swivel at some point it time but now it balances on a broken stand and doesn't turn. It has five sides and on each one fit five perfectly squared snapshots of me as a baby. In one of the pictures I'm peeking out, my tiny face a little circle. I'm sitting in a chair next to him, but I'm so small you can hardly see me. My father's hair is black, he wears black thick rimmed glasses, and his starched white barber shirt. His hand holds a coffee cup from the ear and it's dangling precariously on his index finger as if it will crash to the floor at any moment.

My sisters took this picture to record this familiar scene of me sitting next to him on the porch. This is where you could often find me when my father didn't have customers next door at his barbershop.

The small white building stood lonely sometimes with the big red letters, "Nick's Barbershop" facing Jensen Drive during an era of long hair and little business. My mother meanwhile struggled trying to make ends meet selling Avon and Tupperware. That's how I would end up with my father watching me occasionally.

If he did have customers I could be found hanging around inside the barbershop either playing with his typewriter, riding my tricycle, or waiting impatiently with a piece of paper and a pen in hand for him to finish cutting some poor man's hair, so he could draw a picture for me. He would then translate the picture into a story as he drew each character.

"Here's Bobby and Sandra eating at a table and here's a dog under the table waiting for them to drop some crumbs for him to eat."

That was my daddy. That is how I heard all his stories, both bible stories and stories about himself when he was a little boy in the early thirties in the Rio Grande Valley.

"Tell me that story again."
"Which one?"
"You now, the one when you were a little boy."
"Which one? The one about the cat?"
"No! The one about you and Tio Rudy and the canal. When everyone thought you drowned!"
"Oh that one! Okay, I'll tell you again."

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Back to the Gym

You all haven't heard me talking about the gym in a while because I haven't been there in a while. I was doing so good for a while there. I was on a roll and then BAM! just like that I fell off the wagon. It's sad really. Especially considering how important this weight loss thing is, like life and death important. I keep telling myself, "Tomorrow I'm going to the gym," and then I don't. What got really sad was when the kids started asking me, "When are we going back to the gym?"

Why does it have to be so hard? It really shouldn't be. Simply put it should just be something we do naturally. I tell myself, "You know what you have to do. You just need to do everything you know you should." That includes preparing for my meetings (JW), exercising, reading to the children, and writing.

I said I was going to write about the balance between spirituality and life and I probably still will, but this has to do with it too. I really believe my life depends on my spirituality. They are intertwined and a part of each other. I should feel the same way about my health and that includes exercising on a regular basis.

As I was on the torture device, otherwise known as the elliptical machine, today I had an epiphany of sorts. First let me tell y'all. I finally bought that book I mentioned a while back. "Like Mother, Like Daughter: How Women Are Influenced by Their Mother's Relationship With Food-And How to Break the Pattern" by Debra Waterhouse. It's out of print so I found it on Powell Books and ordered it. When I got to the gym today the kids were asleep so I waited a few minutes and I started reading the introduction to the book.

Later when I was on the elliptical machine I started thinking about something that I think about often and what prompted me to buy that book. I started thinking about my kids and how Rey and I are their role models. I'm always thinking about that. When Miranda tells me she wants to be skinny I worry that I'm screwing her up already! I quickly tell her she wants to be "healthy." I don't want for her to struggle with her weight but I sure don't want for her to be anorexic or bulimic either.

So as I'm thinking about all this I think of yet another reason why I should be motivated to continue on my "get healthy" quest. (notice I didn't say diet or lose weight) It hit me that while she was inside of me I worked so hard to keep her healthy, eating all the right things and taking my pre-natal vitamins. I was gestational diabetic with both pregnancies but I worked so hard eating right and exercising.

The thing is when you have diabetes running in your family, like we do, and even when you don't, the best protection we can continue to offer our children after they are born is a healthy lifestyle. This includes being an example to them from infancy, continuing to eat right and to exercise. If I start to take care of myself again and I'm a good example to her of good health then I'm continuing to give her the same protection I did when she was inside me. If I don't do that, then what was the use in me taking such good care when I was pregnant? Interesting questions to ponder.

I know I should take care of myself for myself because I want to live a long life, but I also want for my children to be healthy. I always remember what one endocrinologist said when I was pregnant with Miranda and how mad it made me, but now in retrospect I realize what he said was true. He had an intern with him and he/she (I can’t remember if it was a man or woman) was watching the doctor check my sugar counts, my legs, etc..

The doctor turns to the intern and says to him as if I’m not even there, “You’ll notice that the ones who take the best care of themselves are the pregnant women because of the baby.”

I got so mad because I wanted to think that even if I wasn’t pregnant and if I was a diabetic I would still take care of myself. He knew what he was talking about after all. Diabetic or not, it is hard to keep up that kind of discipline that I had when I was pregnant.

"Life is fine balancing act," as Dr. Seuss says. There we go. It's all a balance. Just do what you know you have to do. Easier said then done but that's what I have to do.