New Love

Lil' Mo

Loving animals apparently runs in the family. My sister shows Collies', and my brother just announced he is the new father of a 3 month-month old Great Dane, "Mojita." She is just precious, thought you'd want to take a look.

He called me with a zillion questions such as "She is dumping 4 times a day, is this normal?' Of course, the first question I asked him was if she was de-ormed. After he shared all her peculiarities with me; we set up a date, the big day, when I would get to meet her.

It seems our love of dogs goes back to the 50's, when I was a tot and my sister had her first collie, "Skippy." "Skippy" was the only male dog she ever owned from that time forward.  I can mentally account for each of her collies' throughout the years  with love and affection. There was "Charlie;" (the only mix, but she looked like 100 percent collie). Charlie was part German Shepherd.

Then, there was "Annie" and "Annie 1"; "Abigail" and "Abby." Add to that ”Vanessa" and "Ruby" who take center stage with "Rockstar". By the way, "Rockstar"  is not a collie, but a longhaired Chihuahua!

As a young man, my brother had a German shepherd, "Zsa Zsa."   "Zsa Zsa" was very selective about whom she liked. I remember an argument my grandmother had with my brother. It ended with her dress ripped by "Zsa Zsa" and her girdle being exposed!

So It comes as no surprise that I can’t wait to welcome the newest member of the clans' extended family.

In the meantime, take a peek yourself.


As life's plan unfolds, I am gifted with the understanding that our lives have been brought together for a reason. It is a gift to share together our joys, and hopes, and dreams. Thank you for being my friend.

I received a beautiful vase recently from a dear friend. It is eggshell white; tied at the neck with a checkered blue bow. The top is shaped like a rose that is beginning to open. It contains the little inscription above.

Blue hearts dance around the inscription.

I have put it on top of my bedroom dresser. This vase is a profound reminder that someone loves me. Just for me. Not because I am nice all the time, not because I say and do what I think they want to hear. They love me for being me. The good, the bad and the ugly. Yes, especially the ugly me.

Many years ago, when my then 14-year-old daughter went to visit her father in Connecticut, I received a call from my ex-husband announcing that she didn't want to come back to Colorado.  Instead, she wanted to finish high school in Connecticut. I came unglued. I was floored; no amount of pleading could change her mind. She was set on living with her father for her remaining years before college. Thoughts raced through my head at sonic speed: I wasn't going to see my little girl in her prom dress, her first date; I wouldn't be there when she went off to college.  Oh, I would see her, but, just as a detached party for a visit on occasion.

I wept and sobbed uncontrollably.  As I wept, I heard the door creak open, and in walked "my friend." There for good and bad, happy and sad. I shall never forget the warmth of her hug, and reassuring smile. It dawned on me that it really wasn't the end of the world. I could take my next breath. Life would go, on, and all would be well again.

I honestly don't know where I would be without my dear friends, because, regretfully; my family hasn't always been there for me.  I am the odd duck out; friends have been closer to me than family throughout my life. It is the little cross I have carried from early on.

God provides, the sun comes up, and like it or not, we move on.  Maybe we don't forget, and the empty hole never really gets to be filled. Healing comes to us gradually, and we start anew.

The next time I become "unglued" I will look at this vase and read the words aloud, very softly, one more time.

Show Off

It has been said the world over that "women dress for other women." I am no exception; and, I find the statement very true. Women love to compare outfits and compliment one another on "fashion statements" and accessories.

Okay, I am just going to a freaking training class. I still feel I have to dress professionally. So, instead of donning my blue jeans and a nice top, I put on my tights, a dress and boots today. Perhaps it's because I have been out of work so long and it is refreshing to be in the game again.

I must admit that I have always been a clotheshorse. Early on, I can remember that no matter how little I had to spend, I had to get something that made a statement. Good or bad, it didn't matter. I had to create a canvas with clothes.

However, if you catch me in the supermarket you won't want to pay me a compliment. I look like Greta Garbo resurrected. No makeup; sunglasses, egg beater hair, and long coats. No, I am not trying to sneak out with a six-pack of ginger ale. I am simply, hiding.

So, the next time you see me, you won't be surprised if I tell you:

"I love your diamond nose ring."

My Arrival

Just look at it. Untamed, wild and wonderful. I love the way the colors look like a Neapolitan ice cream. Rose, blue, grey and salmon. Wow! Imagine getting up in the morning and starting your day like this.

I have to pinch myself sometimes.

I have given up a great deal to live where I live. Funny thing is, I don't live like a King, and my lifestyle is probably the simplest it has ever been. No frills, no fancy clothes, but QUALITY OF LIFE.

When I grew up in Florida, I knew from early on, I did not want to spend the rest of my life in Miami. Oh, it was intriguing; it had its beauty, but not the kind of beauty I wanted.

What turns me on are the mountains, seasons, snow capped mountains, Christmases gazing out the window and counting the snowflakes. Yum, so deliciously exciting to me.

I have earned this lifestyle. I have lived my life, my children are all grown, and having fun making the mistakes I once made.

We all arrive at the same place. The day we decide, okay; this isn't a dress rehearsal. I am gonna take control of my life and do what I WANT TO DO.

I've arrived.


It sho' was nice to get through my first day of work today. The drama continues. I don't exactly have the job yet...I have to pass a test after training. You got it, something else to worry about. I am very good at this. I have mentally started the countdown.

Next, I get to worry about a new roommate. That's right. My son is moving out; here I am, wondering if I will get the ax murderess as my roomie. I calm myself knowing that my apartment community requires a background check; I think I am safe for the moment. Whew! Does it ever end?

When I was a young girl, a friend once told me "I had a very vivid imagination." I think I need to turn it off, power down, decompress. Easier said than done.

Guess what? I have reached the conclusion that no matter how much I worry, or how I try to control things, everything is going to unfold just as it should. No matter how many sleepless nights, no matter how many chants of "bad rice." It's all there, right in front of me, ready to roll out.

When I lay my head on my pillow tonight, I will repeat to myself:

"Everything is going to be alright."

Good Rice

"Life is what happens when you're busy doing other things." I love John Lennon. He is the “writer of writers.’“ Somehow he captured everything in just one sentence. Something other writers' try to accomplish in paragraphs.

This analogy just about describes what I am up to these days. Trying to find a roommate; or, make a move. Preparing myself yet for another journey as I start a new assignment tomorrow. Now that I have gotten my wish and found work, I find that little empty space in my head is gnawing at me again.

Let's see how many NEW things I can worry about. It is never ending. Friends have been chastising me for even DARING to worry. But, I still do.

Maybe I think that if I worry, I will l scare off evil forces from entering into my life. Similar to the Chinese going out in the fields and chanting: "Bad rice...bad rice."

Wonder what will happen if I chant: "Good rice… good rice… for a change?

9/11 Flashback

It breaks my heart to see the suffering in Haiti. So many people, lost forever. Others, crying out from the rubble.

As always, America answers the call.

Americans are there, lending helping hands, doing what we can to salvage the country and its' citizens.

This chilling event has devastated one of the most impoverished countries. Countless organizations are taking donations for the search and recovery efforts. I feel so much compassion for these people; and yet I am helpless.

Relevations about 2012 flood my mind. This feels very ominous to me. I am trying to shrug off the uneasy feelings riveting through my body.

I tell myself this is nonsense. Is is nonsense? The suffering of Haitians and those unforgettable images give me pause.

I am going to pray, and keep praying for the end of pain; for miracles to minimize the loss of life. This is the least I can do for a nation already paid its' dues and then some. Parents in limbo, fearful that they will not see their children again. Others, trying to locate their relatives- all so incomprehensible to me.

I feel saddened; this evokes the same kind of feelings I had on 9/11. You may argue that this event is different.

 However, it seems very similar in many ways.

Happy Trails

Looks like persistence has paid off. I am going to be part of the working world again, it seems. That is if my business associates tell my future employer how wonderfully creative, hard-working and reliable I am.

I always believe hard work pays off. This time more than ever. With the recession, I had my trials and tribulations like everyone else. Relief was nowhere in sight for months' and months'.

Now, with God's help and protection, I hope I can once again get in the game. There are no promises, no big money, but just chance.

Everyone needs a chance.

I think I am going to like 2010.

Party Planning

Today I am party planning. What am I celebrating? Breathing, I guess. Seriously, I am hosting a pasta party for 10 people. Let's just say it is a big payback for the many times I have accepted invitations to my sister's home, and have let others' wine and dine me.

I know I am not in financial position to party, but I decided to do this and plan a dinner that was not too extravagant, yet fun. Here's the menu:

Spring Salad with mandarin orange dressing
Ziti Romano with cranberry raisins and nutmeg topping
Garlic Bread and more Garlic Bread

Simple enough huh? Well guess what, it didn't exactly end up non-expensive. I ended up forking out $87.00 (and that is WITHOUT wine or liquor). I invited guests to "bring what they would like to drink." I supply the soft drinks.

I am ready for the feeding frenzy. I have not decided on the dessert yet.

Maybe more garlic bread.

I am Not the Manager

I received this quote from a friend this morning on my email. It is thought provoking for me, it addresses exactly where I am at in my life. You see, I am leaving Boulder in the next couple of months. It is a journey I don't want to take. I am still not working. I cannot continue to enjoy the luxuries of maintaining my independence for which I fought.

It occurred to me that, as a fairly religious person with a moderate degree of faith, this move is not about me. While it is like taking a nasty dose of medicine, I have a mission. I am going to help someone else. I am very selfish. I want to be able to navigate my life and do the things I enjoy doing.
This mission is unique because I now have to FORGET about my needs and absorb my energy into someone else.  It's a little late, but I am preparing myself for the journey.

I can think of many people who can do this better. They are the naturals. They are the angels, they are BORN to love and serve. I do my fair share and keep up appearances. I know I have not done enough to help others. Okay, here is my big chance.

As I gaze out my window this morning, the trees somehow look different, I can almost hear them whisper "good bye" to me. I shall miss the antics of the squirrels, rabbits and the snippets of conversation and arguments of my apartment neighbors. Pepe will miss the canine companions and friendships he has made.

I have to learn keep repeating, I am not the Manager.

Social Media and Privacy

I am having lots of fun on Facebook and LinkedIn.  Nevertheless, I also have a concern, perhaps many concerns about these sites.  Oh, I love connecting with people I have not seen in years, but what about all the information that I share on these networks?  I have the option to filter information, just like my blog; I can share as much or as little as I want.  Most people do not understand that when they are on line and invited to join different groups their information (personal) is shared with third party companies.

 These lists are sold to other groups and businesses.  It comes down to you can't get something for nothing; someone always pays the price. In this case, it is you and I.

Is it any wonder there is so much identity theft? So, like everything else in life, there is a ying and a yang.  I have decided to participate in social media.  However, I am cognizant that my security is compromised every time I sign on the web. In my case, I have decided the positive benefits outweigh the negative. Truthfully, if someone wants to steal my identity as this point in my life, it will be their liability!

In the meantime, I am having lots of fun playing on "Farmtown" and "Farmville" on Facebook. I am also enjoying the cartoon version of my picture I also signed up to use on my Facebook page.

Bright and Beautiful

Today I reflect on all the wonderful things for which I have to be thankful.  There are so many blessings that are easily forgotten.  Such as:  getting a mammogram report that shows no evidence of cancer; two beautiful and healthy children; finding an old friend on Facebook; celebrating in the successes of family and friends; being able to walk.  One can go on and on.

So it's 2010 and all is not perfect.  But it is good enough.  It can be great, it is my choice.  So, today, I choose to be happy.  Maybe I don't FEEL happy,  but I CHOOSE to be happy. 

It's a wonderful excerise for the New Year.

Web Dinners

With the advent of the Facebook and MySpace revolution, it now seems we have to do very little to visit with friends, business associates, make new acquaintances and share our lives with complete strangers. What's next? We're heading to the point that we just might even have "virtual" holidays, that is, we can set up web cams in every room of our house and create our own virtual reality show. The Truman Show doesn't seem like such a stretch anymore.

Just think, don't want to cook for Christmas, Easter, or Thanksgiving? No problem , just hook up with friends and family for a "web dinner." Have great conversations in your jammies or in an evening gown of your choice. I am tentative regarding our progressive technology. I feel in the end, it has compromised human relationships.

When I visited Ireland a few years' back, I was disappointed to see every young person gabbing on his or her cell phones everywhere. On the buses, on the streets, in restaurants. Exactly like the people in the States. Why surprised? Ireland was supposed to refresh my spirituality, get away from it all, but it was just a miniature version of what I left.

My first boyfriend was from County Louth, in Ireland. I met him when he sailed into Port Everglades in 1968 on the Queen Elizabeth.  I loved the stories he crafted in true Irish style: the legends, ghosts, people, and most of all; how he depicted the barren countryside and thatched roofed homes.

Fast-forward to 2002, the only thatched roofed homes I found in Ireland were historical sites for the visitors. What a complete disappointment.  If this is where we're headed, I want my money back. Change is good, but at what point do we begin to loose our humanity, feelings, connections, things that mean the most to us?

It is now 2010, and the 2001 Space Odyssey looks like the romper room in comparison. What's next? Can we ever reverse the process? Do we want to? I am on the fence.

Ancestors and other Unidentifed Persons

My son has been having a ball on "Ancestry.Com".  He is determined to prove that my maiden name is in fact, not Spanish, but Slovakian.  It is fascinating to dig into one's geneolgy.  It is a bit scary in that you never know what you'll find.  Apparently, my father's name is quite rare.  The website advised us that there may be "a whisper" of a Spanish background.

In other words, we would have to contact a specfic group that specializes in researching my father's last name, that is very familiar with the Austrian- Hungary border from which his geneology is traced.

I remember my father hanging a picture of a matador in his office with the name "Danchez."  While, we spelled our last name "Danches," it was pretty intriguing at the time for the whole family.  My father's sister used to comment "I think we have Spanish roots traced back to the 4th century."  Now that caught my attention.  To date, we have not been able to prove we have Spanish blood in us.

I think I am very Spanish.  Entirely sentimental, totally family oriented, a penchant for sweets, BIG TIME.  I delight in having a dessert after dinner. If there isn't something sweet in the house it ruins the whole evening for me!  Because gravity has caught up with me, I now can maybe have desserts 3 times a week.  I am also entirely emotional and demonstrative.  Does that make me Spanish?

When I grew up in Miami, Beach Florida, the Cubans on Calle' Ocho loved there expressos with tons of sugar.  I don't remember any of my Cuban friends ever ordering expresso without sugar.  No one else in the family besides my father and I loved sugar as much.  I even like to add sugar to the recipes for meats I enjoy, (my son researched that and insists this is typical of  Slovakian -Austrian- Hungary linage).

Oh, and yes, we all have hot tempers.  We will  continue to dig to see if we can find that "whisper" anywhere.


There is a best friend in my life I have lost.  Her name was "Gretel".

 She was only 3  month's old when I first met her.  I remember the scenerio like yesterday.  It was a cold November day.  I bundled my two children up and put them into my Red Ford Tempo. Very slowly, we inched our way toward the Black Forest in Colorado Springs.  The house was very difficult to find and navigate the snowy, icy, road at the same time.  It took over 2 hours as we traveled at a snail's pace up Parker Road . We could hardly wait to get there.
You see, we weren't only going to be introduced to "Gretel" but two of her sister's also.  Finally, we arrived at the farm house, then we were faced with navigated a winding road all the way up on a hill to the farm.
We were greeted by three jumping German Shepherd female puppies, all smoothering our faces with wet kisses,  endlessly pawing and jumping for attention.

I looked at the kids, and asked, "Which one do you like?"  "That one!" they cried, and I quickly selected the most hyper puppy as our final selection.

"Gretel" was scooped up to have her nails clipped by her breeder.  She was absolutely beautiful, a black and tan face with a perfect diamond in the center of her forehead.  After getting her food and care instructions, I wrote out my check for six-hundred and fifty dollars. A decent price for a German Shepherd puppy in 1993.   It was done.  She was officially ours.

As we made our way back through the winding road of the house, "Lexi" her champion mom, ran along side of our car, knowing that she had one less puppy in her care.  "Lexi" followed us all the way to the highway road, trying to get one last look at the people who took one more of her pups away. It broke my heart, and I can still see her eyes as we drove away with Gretel; but I was so excited at the same time.

She too, was so excited that she threw up on the way back in our car.  We didn't care, we had our own German Shepherd puppy to love and cherish.  Once we took her out of the car, and into the house, my husband sneered at her from the couch.  "Why did you get a FEMALE?, I wanted a MALE," he said.
She knew he was less than enthusiastic to have her in his home.  She sat quietly at the garage entrance door with flat ears and sad, droopy eyes until he said the magical words: "come!."  The rest is history, she instantly became the fifth member of the family.

Through good times and bad times, she was our constant companion and best friend.  She sauntered from room to room at night, keeping close watch over her charges; never faultering on her love, devotion and endless protection.

We actually took her on a long car trip to Nevada.  Oh, how we LOVED having her curl up in the bed at night, between our two children, a very unusual but steadfast "nanny."

I taught her all her manners at obedience school, and practiced with her in our local school playground on weekends.  She was well worth every penny of her $650.00 and more.

After the children grew up and moved away, she got calmer and slower.  No more did she pace back and forth through the rooms looking after her charges.  It was clear she knew her mission was all but over. 

In October of 2005, she developed a sore on her side that wouldn't heal.  We thought she fought or caught on something in the yard.  But it was the worst.  She had a terminal cancer. 

She was spoiled and catered to even more those last 6 months'.  She wouldn't give up, she struggled to maintain her duties around our house.  When the end came, she could hardly hold her head up.  She stared at me as if to say "I'm ready."  We called the vet to our house to keep her comfortable.

I whispered "love you Gret, and thank you."  She struggled until her last breath.  Somehow, I still feel her in the house, even though she is gone.  I don't think I will ever have a best friend quite as unique as "Gretel."

I will miss her until I can join her; and will always think of her as my most devoted friend and companion.

Make Your Dream a Reality

Reflecting back on "Up in the Air," which I enjoyed seeing yesterday, there was a part where George Clooney's character is firing an employee and he asks:  "At what point in your life did you stop living your dream?"  Wow, that hit home with me.

As far back as I can think, I always wanted to be a copywriter and move to New York City.  It was the mecca of everything, fashion, style, excitement, theater, art and film, all wrapped up in one beautiful package.
But, like the character in the film, I never started to put ANYTHING into my bag to lead me to New York.

I "settled" on Miami, Florida, my place of  birth to live and work as a young woman.  I had options, however; I let fear dictate my life.  Now I understand full-well how disastrous that can be.

 When I was accepted to Northwestern University to pursue a career in Journalism, guess what?  I didn't go.  Instead, I opted to "be safe" and close to the nest and attend the University of Miami.  Now the University of Miami was a decent school, but it wasn't the best school for my dream.

I suppose this will continue to be a life-long regret.  I often think "what if" or had I made that choice, where would my life be now? Perhaps I can live out that dream and write a novel about that.  It isn't strange at all that I have come full-circle and am writing this blog.  I suppose it is not only prophetic, but a catharsis for me at this point in my life.
I woke up with the song "Cry to Me" playing back over and over in my head.  Could it be because I just watched "Dirty Dancing" AGAIN?   What a pick me up.  I can't help but think,  how did they do that? every twist and turn on the dance floor.  Every time I see the movie, I have to get up and dance! 

Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Gray just glide on the dance floor. The movie will live on and on.  Every piece of music picked for the film ties perfectly into each scene, a work of  art for those sentimentalists that love  film and  50's music.

I took in "Up in the Air" today.  While I am probably the only woman in the world who isn't wooed by George Clooney,  I can't deny that he was a perfect fit for the movie.  The movie opened during the holidays and is still playing to packed theaters.  While I enjoyed it, it didn't rate as one of the best movies I've ever seen, but I certainly could relate to the plot, it definately makes one think.  Especially being out of a job, and relating to the scenerios depicted in the story line. 

While I am not an avid reader, I have a voracious appetite for film, and this one made me think. 

Crab Apple

 The beginning of the year has started out as a bang, but not a good one.  I have been unusually crabby.  Not a joy to be with, and have taken it out on those closest to me.   Hmmmm, wonder why?  If you have been following my blog, you understand why.

I am honestly at the point that I want to force gaity rather than impose anymore on friends and family.

Regarding the job front, someone suggested I start a paper route.  I can see myself up at 3 AM and bundling papers.  But hey, it's a job, right?

My mother once told me, "it's not what you were, but what you are today that counts."

Nobody cares how many advertising agencies I worked for, how many awards I have won in Real Estate and Marketing, or how many major shopping centers for which I was employed as Marketing Director.  It's what is happening right now that people will evaluate.

In that case, there isn't much to boast about.

But I can be happy for my friends' success stories.  Hearing all the holiday tales from family and friends does warm my heart.

As far as I'm concerned, I am calling the Paranormal team to exorcise me and the little black cloud following me around.

Fresh Starts...New Beginnings

My roomate and son, just got wonderful news for the New Year.  He was offered a new position in Engineering in Florida.  I am so proud and happy for him.  While the news wasn't my exact answer of a prayer, it brings me unbridled happiness to share in his success.

New Year's Eve was spent at the Rectory enjoying an indian dinner with our Pastor.  He is an indian priest, and we just adore him.  A brilliant man, he is never short on stimulating conversation and encouragement.  He is always researching other religions, and last night he shared his observations about the Koram.  While we are Catholics, it is always fun to understand other cultures and beliefs.

In between bites of scrumptious curried chicken and all the trimmings, the phone in the Rectory rang endlessly from family in India wishing him a happy New Year.  I had never heard him speaking his native language and enjoyed listening to the bantering of conversation and excitement in his voice.

We talked about Mother Theresa and how she visited his seminary while preparing for his priesthood.  Mother, never short on wisdom and encouragement, was always ready to serve others; sharing spiritual gifts connected with selfless living. I had always wished I had an audience with her, and I have always been in awe of  her life.

Today, the first day of this New Year, I am invited to one of Denver's most elegant hotel's for an early dinner with a close friend. 

I can hardly wait to turn the next page of 2010. While I can't look into the future, I am hoping it is better than 2009.