Love...thy name is Michael Dane

I was just thinking about my sweetie. You know, he is my best friend. We had the pleasure of being good friends for almost a year and a half before we started dating. We worked together and we would hang out and do illegal activities, paint and draw together, go to art shows, animation fesitivals, movies, stuff like that. He could always make me laugh. He was different from other guys I knew. His mind was pondering things other people weren't even aware of.

He, of course, had a son and a babymama but hot damn if he wasn't the most beautiful-looking man I had ever seen. When the sun shined on his face, I could see all the burgundy hairs in his goatee...and that his eyes were an amber color. He had this way of looking at me and smiling...and I felt like he had smiled into my being. I just liked being around him.

When things had lined up and we decided we wanted to be together, I tell you, it was the wierdest thing. I had gotten over a crush I had on him, decided he already had someone else and there was no way I would come between that, and I was satisfied that we were at least friends. Then, one night a few months after he had separated from his son's mother and I was at his house hanging out with some friends...he walked me out to my car to say goodbye. It was our custom to hug and kiss each other on the cheek. This night he leaned over and wanted to kiss me on the mouth. I freaked out, and leaned further back so he couldn't kiss me and I questioned his intent. All these months and years he had pushed me away and said I was just his friend...now I wanted to hear from his lips exactly what he was trying to do.

I will never forget his words...I was a beautiful, strong, intelligent woman...why was I searching for someone when that someone was him...I was his best friend...he wanted to marry me someday. As I stood there in the darkness, tears streaming down my face, in front of the many paintings and sculptures of the artist community where he lived at the time, I felt like my heart was going to explode.

I loved him so much!

And that was it...exactly ten years, five months, and seven days ago....we have never been apart since.

No man could ever compare. And he is still that beautiful man...only now he possesses a few white hairs of wisdom, he might be a bit thicker but those warm and crinkly eyes are still the same, smiling at me. I am blessed to have him as the father of all my wonderful children...my best friend...my comforter...my lover...the man God ordained to be my covering. There are times when we are in a large crowd, usually church...I will look over and study him as he talks...and he will turn and look for me and smile at me...and I will still feel it in my being.

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I hate dogs

I can see you now...all you dog-lovers who think of your pet as your family member, getting all worked up and wanting to call the humane society on me. Don't trip...I don't really hate dogs....just one in particular works my last good nerve. I have a year old doxie/chihuahua mix named Chellie. As you can clearly see, she is adorable.

But oh yes, she is a devil in disguise. Perhaps it is my ignorance of dog personality or behavior, in fact I'm sure it is, but the majority of the things she does gets on my nerves. I really, really get a kick out of reading animal lovers blogs as well as myspace dog groups. These people go above and beyond dog ownership. They feel they have the same exact rights as humans. And hey, thats cool with me. Just the other day I read a blog of this woman who fostered a battered doxie...she had open sores throughout her body, she was severely malnourished, a tumor on her back, her hind legs were paralyzed, covered in her own fecal matter AND the original owners didn't even know what sex she was. They just wanted to get rid of her because she was starting to potty in the house. Ya think, being paralyzed and all she'd be able to drag herself outside when she felt nature calling. So the foster family decided Skittles was just too cheerful and friendly to put down so they asked for donations to do whatever it took to get this dog healthy again. I couldn't believe the long list of procedures, antibiotics, acupuncture, jacuzzi-swimming therapy, surgeries, massages, butt baths, high-calorie diets and vet visits this dog had. It was amazing. Her medical costs were nearly $4000!! Wow, just for one tiny little animal.

See, you really have to love animals to go to such great lengths. That foster mom would probably crap her pants if she knew that when Chellie refuses to eat her dry dog food (on those days I've run out of her canned, which I mix with the dry), I will leave that bowl outside for two days or more and will not offer her anything else. I figure, she'll eat when she gets hungry enough. I had two other dogs before her and well...lets just leave them out of this. Yeah, yeah, I make sure she has water, a cozy bed, a clean crate and toys and all that good stuff. But my world is bigger than my dog. She is an animal.

Maybe if I didn't have so many children I would have more time and energy and patience for all the silly little doggie things Chellie does, who knows. But right now I am ready to pull my hair out because she keeps escaping the yard. At first, it was very rare for her to get out. Now, she escapes pretty much every time she is put outside to potty. I don't feel dogs should live their lives inside a house, but dang it if she isn't greeting people at the front gate the minute she has an opportunity. Drives me nuts. To all you dog lovers who think it is adorable when their dogs chew up their socks and tear up all the toilet paper and snuggles on their bed when you're not home...help me out here. What can I do to go that extra mile with my dog and not want to strangle her when I have to go out searching for her dumb butt at 11 o'clock at night with my husband's sandals wearing only a wife-beater and some shorts.

Sometimes I just want to be without the responsibilty of a dog. But other times I am blessed to see my children enjoying their pet, chilling with her as they watch cartoons, swimming with her in their pool. I want them to have the memory of a family pet...not mama getting ready to serve that dog a beatdown. And I say that with a smile on my face, of course!


Cabin Fever!!

My van is at the shop getting repaired. We haven't been able to drive it for a week now. Which means, I haven't left my house for that long. Ok, I went out yesterday to take the boys to the dentist...but other than that, I've been forced to stay home. I really miss having a car. Its horrible feeling like you can't just get up and go somewhere. I've been feeling really sleepy, down...is this what its like to be depressed?? It sucks! Geez. Its interesting that when you are feeling down you don't think to call anybody. Must be pride. You don't want anyone to know that your life isn't always great...that you just need someone to give you an encouraging word. You just expect everyone to call you up and see how you're doing! lol

On a lighter note, I saw Dave Chappelle's Block Party the other night. That dude is hilarious. Yeh, his humor is extremely racial...and he has a potty mouth...but he is hilarious nonetheless. Some of my favorite artists performed in that movie...I dig The Roots, Mos Def, Common, Michael loves Jill Scott, Erykah Badu was off the chain, I even tolerated Kanye West only because he performed Jesus Walks (heehee). But the highlight of the movie, to me, was the Fugees. I love the Fugees. "How many mics do we rip on the daily?? " Love, love love them! Especially Lauryn Hill. So it was cool to see them together and performing again. We had the surround sound on, bumping the music...I kinda felt like I was in Brooklyn for a minute!! When Dave said they needed some Mexicans I said, "We're right here!!" lollol I give the movie a thumbs up.


Its hot out there!

Yep, summer is upon us. I ain't gonna lie...I hate the heat! Everything becomes more difficult when its hot out. Just getting into the van and going to the market becomes a grouchy, sweaty mess. I am forced to do everything under the cover of darkness. My kids know better than to mess with mom when she is sweating. Meals consist of sandwiches and/or bbq. Over the last ten years, I have been pregnant several times during the summer. It isn't pretty, let me tell ya! I have memories of grostequely swollen feet and ankles, demands for caramel frappachinos, laying in a sweaty heap under the fan with my baby brother putting cold washcloths on my forehead (what can I say? I like to milk it!) I even had the audacity to go camping last year in 90 degree heat, eight months pregnant. I thought I was going to die, seriously! The only consolation was to lie there in the shallow water like a beached whale. When Xiomara was born, she decided to come in August, but at least she had the decency to be born at 2:33 in the morning. I would have been pissed if it was noon or something! I don't remember feeling the heat when I was a kid. I actually looked forward to the summer because it meant lots of swimming, bbq's, bike riding after dark, lots of family coming over. Now the only thing I can think of is, cooking over a hot stove and sweating, doing laundry out in my garage and sweating, watching the kids go wild in their little pool and sweating, getting everyone ready for church and sweating, letting my hair get nappy 'cause there is no way I am using my flat iron in this heat and sweating, getting out of church and piling into the stifling hot van and sweating ....you get the picture, right?

But for whatever reason, I still get excited for the summer. I guess all those years of public school set you up for the summer break mentality. Let me just think of the good things that happen during the summer, lest you think I am a negative, grouchy, complaining wench. Celebrating the 4th of July...and my mom's birthday on the 5th. Going to the beach and feeling the clean, cool salt air on your face. Ice cream, sun tea and homemade lemonade. Freeing my feet from shoes and finally getting to wear my flipflops again (going on 22 pairs and counting). Getting a nice tan and a few more freckles. Going to sleep right under the window so I can feel the cool breeze pass over me while I sleep. BBQ's. Celebrating my anniversary and remembering the day of my wedding when I was so young, optimistic, crazy in love, excited and blissfully happy. Remembering summers with my Dad in San Diego. Ahhh, I knew I could conjure up good thoughts about the summer...


bye-bye children

The beauty of having loving, involved grandparents, besides the obvious, is that you get free and extended babysitting! Yes, thats right, whenever my mom and stepdad go camping or spend the day at the beach or visit relatives, they enjoy taking one or two of my kids with them.


Just today, Diego and Sol had their bags packed to spend the weekend up in the mountains. Of course, they love going with their grandma-mama because they get that undivided attention, they get to eat out all the time, they don't have any chores and Papa does *cool stuff* with them.

Where mama and daddy are sometimes absorbed with what they have to do at that moment...mama is cooking or cleaning or talking on the phone or wiping somebody's butt...daddy is painting, working on the computer, working out in the yard (ok, maybe thats a stretch)....grandma and papa are just there for them, watching them ride their bikes, eating ice cream with them, reading to them. They are loved. What a blessing. And the blessing for me is....two less monkeys jumping on the bed, my whiner is silenced, my travieso is out of trouble, and I can semi-retire my referee suit. AND its a three-day weekend!!

There is only one other person, besides their daddy, who loves my kids unconditionally and thats my mama. I can trust my mom wholeheartedly with my children. I know she watches out for them, and not just in the physical sense but the emotional and spiritual as well. She loves to pour Jesus into them. Whenever they have a need, grandma-mama is there to fill it...whether it be new shoes, a bike, school books, a comforter for their bed, juice, snacks, eyeglasses. I've seen my mama put aside her own leisure in order to bring her hyper/loud/always hungry/obnoxious grandsons to places they normally wouldn't be able to go.

And they love adore her for it...
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