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January 31, 2011

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January 19, 2011

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January 4, 2011

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Bug

January 31, 2011

Happy 15th Birthday to my little Bug. It seems like just yesterday my mother died and My Honey Bunch and I realized life was too short and decided to create this. What joy he has bought us (mostly)! He is profound, intelligent, beautiful, talented, gentle hearted, stubborn, slow as molasses...but let's not go to the dark side.

Happy 15th, Bug.

Nic 2011

This is his first visit to Grandma's house in 1996.

Nic 1996

The little Chalunka on his first birthday in 1997. An articulate perfectionist who had at least a 300 word vocabulary by age 1.

Nic 1997

Coming out to Clayton to watch the progress on the house in 1998. How his little fuzzy self warms my heart.

Nic 1998

Always hanging out with Daddy doing this chore or that in 1999.

Nic 1999

So greatful for his army of trucks and diggers in 2000.

Nic 2000

Preschool in 2001 (far left) with a few other faces you may recognize!

Nic 2001

Birthday in 2002 when he still enjoyed having birthday parties.

Nic 2002

Birthday in 2003 showing his more serious side more and more.

Nic 2003

Still loves hanging out with Daddy in 2004. Camping trip to Bodega Bay.

Nic 2004

Birthday breakfast in 2005.

Nic 2005

He met a ball or two briefly in his younger years! This was 2006.

Nic 2006

Hanging out with his big brother in 2007.

Nic 2007

Pool done! 2008. He would only get in it twice since then.

Nic 2008

Changing looks in 2009.

Nic 2009

Showing his talent in 2010.

Nic 2010

Burying a friend in 2011.

Nic 2011

Happy Birthday, Bug! I hope life's journey takes you were you want to go. I love you, Mama.

 

 

Alcohol Abstinence

January 28, 2011

In the last two years, I've lost about 33 pounds. I have just 5 more to go toward my goal but it's the most stubborn 5 pounds ever! I wondered if I was subconsciously sabotaging the loss since I promised Nat that she and I could get our belly buttons pierced once I reach goal weight. I'm a little afraid since I'm extremely squeamish, can't stand the site of blood or needles. That's why I'm not a doctor. Well, really, that's not the only reason.

Anyway, I decided to take drastic measures and cut out alcoholic beverages on weekdays.

Monday

Plan to quit drinking on weekdays failed. On Monday.

Cute comments from the Peanut Gallery over on Facebook. Dr. Oz says I should drink; that's a dumb plan; at least you tried. Cute.

OK, there's still the rest of the week.

Tuesday

Tuesday. Salud!

Wednesday

Wednesday. Cheers! More 'likes' and cute comments from the Peanut Gallery. Love that Peanut Gallery!

Wednesday 2

Unfortunately, still Wednesday. Peanut Gallery cracking up.

Thursday

Thursday. Um yeah. Who was I kidding?

So since it's Friday and Friday is part of the weekend, I'm not even going to try to pretend I'm not going to have a beverage. Headed down the street to have wine with friends. Said friend and I went to a Chinese restaurant for lunch. I got this in my fortune cookie:

Friday

Ohhhhhh...maybe I'm not supposed to drink on the weekends!

 

 

Random Thoughts

January 28, 2011

1. It seems like the skunk's greatest predator is the tire. Poor, slow little Pepe Le Pews.

2. I talk to myself a lot when my kids are in the car. They are not listening to me. They have their iPods on.

3. I have an actual conversation with the lone carpool kid (mine has been sick, the others busy with after school things). We both like cars.

4. I love the way the trees look through the haze/fog as you crest the hill on Ygnacio Valley Road.

5. I finished putting Christmas away on January 28. Am a good Mexican.

6. Kelsey, David, I'm sorry you didn't get to see the Nutcrackers live and in person. Next year I'll call you to help me put them out.

7. I'm going to lunch at OIC Bowl. I wonder if they have anything thing that's not crispy (fried) or in a sauce (butter/oil)?

8. Attempt to quit drinking on weekdays failed miserably. Again.

9. Nat started taking ballet from the twin of the woman she took ballet from when she was in Kindergarten.

10. I still want to be a ballerina (or race car driver) when I grow up. Am settling for Zumba instructor and driving my Honey Bunches (is it Bunches or Bunch's?) Caddy hot rod every now and then.

The end. For now.

 

 

Blog Worthy Facebook Posts

January 24, 2011

For my friends who refuse to play along with Facebook, here is a sample of what goes on over there.

Facebook Post

 

 

The Body of Christ. Amen.

January 23, 2011

Yes, it's Sunday. No, I did not go to church. Well, I did. The Church of Zumba. (Great cool down song, Sheyla! Maxwell -- Ascension.) No, I did not become a born again Catholic.

I did, however, have a religious experience. I ate this:

christ

I love this stuff. It's a Mexican sweet. Flaky wafers stuffed with cajeta. Nom, nom, nom.

christ

So what does this have to do with the price of rice in China? Or the title of this post? Well, you see, the wafer tastes like the Communion wafer. Get it? The Body of Christ? Amen? I guess you would only get it if you are Catholic and take communion and have had this sweet. You would see the resemblance.

I told my heathen children, who also love this sweet, that it tasted like the communion wafer. So they also call it 'The Body of Christ'. It did bring up the question, "Why would anyone want to EAT The Body of Christ?" Let's not go there today, Little Heathens.

christ

Speaking of heathens, I'm reminded of a couple of Little Heathen stories I'll share with you on this fine Sunday.

In May of 2001, we went to Wisconsin to visit my S-I-L, and to attend the Baptism of her newest baby, Lizzie. Natalie was 3 years old and had never set foot in a church. So we go in and sit in a pew. Nat's eyes are huge with curiosity. Then the fully robed, head dress and all, priest comes out. Natalie tugs at my sleeve and whispers, "Mama, is that the King?" Snicker, snicker from Grandma, who is sitting on the other side of her.

When Natalie was about 8 or 9 or 10 (my feeble mind can't remember exactly when), she joined a basketball team. The teams we have here are run by the CYO (Catholic Youth Organization). Before every game, the girls stood in a circle and said a Hail Mary or Our Father. Natalie was concerned because she didn't know how to pray or the prayers. I told her not to worry about it, that she should just stand quietly and respectfully with her head bowed. I noticed a couple of times she would be eyeing the other girls. Then once, she started lip syncing the prayers -- moving her lips. LOL!

She was always so fascinated with the praying. One day after she was obsessing over them, I blurted out the Our Father. The whole thing.

Our Father, Who art in heaven
Hallowed be Thy Name;
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil. Amen.

She looked at me curiously and said, "Did you used to play basketball, too?"

Amen.

P.S. Yo se que es 'leche de vaca', pero que es 'cabra'? Quiero saber o no? Poor excuse for a Mexican.

 

 

Saloon

January 22, 2011

It tickles me that we have an honest to goodness saloon in our pokey little cow town. The Clayton Club. It's a place you need to hang out in at least once in your life time. Good people watching. Lot's of cowboys and cowgirls. Boots on the ceiling with a few drunken patron's under garments left behind up there. Getting visions of girls slingshotting them up. I even enjoy the country music. I always tell my Honey Bunch I could learn to love country music. If you listen to it, some of it is very similar to Mexican rancheras.

Clayton  Club

It also tickles me that if you wanted to, you could ride your horse down here and tie it up to this horsey tying up thingy! There is a guy that actually does ride his horse down there. I wonder if you can get a DUI on a horse?

Clayton Club

 

 

Moon

January 21, 2011

Moon, why are you so beautiful?

This was at dusk out of my back door the other evening.

Moon

The sun was still shining on the top of the mountains but it looked like the shine was coming from the moon. These pictures don't do it justice.

Moon

Just beautiful!

Moon

This was in the morning out of my front window. I took a billion pictures but this was the only clear one. I have to learn to use my camera in the dark.

Moon

This was later in the morning. Moon, you're so mysterious.

Moon

Oh Moon, why are you so beautiful? This stopped me in my tracks as I walked by my office window in the morning.

Moon

I took my big girl lense out and got pretty close.

Moon

Moon, I love you.

 

 

Quiet Spell

January 19, 2011

I don't think I've ever been quiet this long - EVER! Actually I wasn't so much quiet as busy. It's just been a world wind of a past nine days! I still haven't taken the time to figure out a comments section. I may have to break down and pay a service that already has that set up. LOL!

First, I was a last minute replacement for the Warriors/Clippers half time Zumba show. Abraham Hernandez ZES couldn't make it so Mia offered me his ticket. It was a BLAST! I can't wait to do it again next time. Do you see me?

Zumba Warriors

I'm the poof of hair near the G in Golden State Warriors in the center, next to Alex, the bald guy with with white towel hanging from his pants. Here are some links to videos:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v =rshx2XICCBc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v =7QMQMbbWj-g

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZiBeAu7VCuY

Warriors

My Zumba people with Alena Groopman, the Coordinator for the Zumba half time event. Me, Mia, Alena, Lupe, Alda, Tammy, Miguel, Alex and Jewel. Don't know the three lovely ladies on the bottom, but Zumba peeps are all 'family'. FUN, FUN, FUN!

Next, we went to the Wine Country to celebrate Mike and Marcie's birthdays. We dropped the babies off at Gma and Gpa's on Saturday morning and headed to our appointed lunch spot. Unfortunately, we had our wires crossed and while Mike and I were in a restaurant in the square in Santa Rosa, the rest of the crew was looking for the restaurant in the square in Sonoma!

Sonoma

We had our lunches separate and then met at Matanzas, did a little wine tasting, headed to Gun Lock Bun Shoe (not sure how you spell it, but this is the phonetic pronunciation - OH, there it is, on Mike's wine bag) for more wine tasting, then headed back to the hotel, The Lodge At Sonoma Renaissance Resort and Spa, for yes, more wine tasting! We ended up having dinner at the hotel and it was awesome!

We had breakfast at the Sun Flower on the square. Sonoma square. Great breakfast! Nice place. Don't have the pictures with me, I'll have to upload them to Phanfare later. (january) Picked up the babies, headed home and then...

...on to my next adventure. Zumba! I went to a Zumba Master Class at Club Shboom in San Ramon. Master Classes are a little different than regular classes. Typically, you get several local instructors with a ZES (Zumba Education Specialist) as the main attraction. Abraham Hernandez was the 'main attraction' especially when he took off his shirt, but I digress. Our assisting local instructors were Mia, Alex, RaQuel and John. This is the flyer I created for the event.

Zumba Flyer

Adrienne and I 'worked' the event but I got to dance quite a bit this time!

Adrienne, Mia and Rosy

Here is my token picture with Abraham. Nice kid.

Rosy and Abraham

As soon as it finishes uploading, I'll post a video of one of the dances. Uploading is a little slow at my Starbucks office. Plus, it's finals week at the high school and I have to go to high school car pool!

Here's a link to a video of the 'boys' doing a routine:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WiHT--Ptorc

 

 

Zumba. What Else?

January 10, 2011

I. Have. Exciting. Zumba. News!

I heard you groan!

Hmmm. Maybe I should put this on my Zumba page? ANYWAY...

As I mentioned before, I signed up to get my Zumba Basic certification on February 5 in Petaluma with ZES (Zumba Education Specialist), Aileen Padilla. Over the weekend, it was brought to my attention that a new certification class had been added on March 16, in San Francisco and the instructor is none other than the creator of Zumba himself, Beto Perez! So, I transferred to that class and I can't tell you how excited I am that I will be getting certified by Beto himself. Well, me and a couple of hundred other people. But still.

I'll get to have my very own picture with him like some of my other Zumba buddies do! Here's Beto and Mia.

betomia

In other Zumba news...

I took Mia's Aqua Zumba class this morning. It was good! I can already feel the soreness in my arms. Maybe this is my ticket off of this plateau I'm on.

I went went to regular Zumba after that. Then me and the Zumba girls went to lunch at Panera. Hmmm...what I said about the 'plateau'? Never mind.

Lastly, I agreed to perform in a group Zumba at half time at the Warriors game this Friday! Woohoo! Here's a clip from one from last year. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z29wIjpN1pA

There will probably be clips of the one on Friday. Promise not to laugh at me if I look retarded? Please and thank you.

No more Zumba talk tonight. It's gin and tonic time! (I wonder why I can't lose that last 5 pounds?)

 

My Friday

January 7, 2011

I went to my Weight Watchers meeting this morning. Up 0. Down 0. For the last few weeks. Can you say 'plateau'? Drat you last 5 pounds! I did not feel like going to Zumba after. Yes, I did say that.

I. Did. Not. Feel. Like. Going. To. Zumba.

There's a reason though. The Friday morning instructor is just too Hip Hoppy for me and I was not in a Hip Hoppy mood. When I get my class, it's going to be 99.9% Latin! As it should be. Amen.

So me and my MacBook sat in Starbucks and watched the world go by while Vilma was at the house. I found out that the guy that sits in his jeep is not some stalker but just a lonely old retired guy who has nothing else to do. I found out that the lady with the Bijon Frise (sp?) puts her on the chair because she can't jump down. I chatted with Mary D, Carla N and Kathy W. I updated the school website and sent out the newsletter. I ate oatmeal for breakfast and had a Turkey and Swiss sandwich for lunch because I'm still here. The Starbucks morning shift is leaving before me.

A woman asked me about Silky, what year he was, what a beautiful color he was and then asked what I do. She was surprised that I had Silky, my MacBook and no paying job in this economy. She chatted up a couple of other people. I started wondering what SHE was doing hanging out in Starbucks for hours, not working, chatting people up in this economy.

Then my vivid imagination kicked in and I imagined she and her companion where preying upon the patrons at Starbucks and had some high tech gismo in his brief case and were stealing the personal information of all the people in Starbucks with laptops. Deep breath.

Then I decided I needed a life.

starbucks

There's Silky waiting patiently for me. OK, off to collect more to-do's at the Middle School!

 

Closure

January 5, 2011

It was another deeply sad day and it amazed me how this community came together. No, actually I shouldn't be amazed. You wouldn't expect anything less for such a precious child.

service

I didn't capture any pictures at the rosary, the mass, or the procession but I did manage to capture a couple during the burial and the reception. I felt the need to be discreet and respectful as these kind folks don't know me, my love of taking a billion pictures, or my love of cemeteries.

service

Just one of the many beautiful arrangements. Father commented on how he'd never seen so many flowers at a funeral.

service

At the reception, which was held in the school gym, this touching memorial was on display. A photo of his 15th birthday, just 23 days ago, is being viewed.

service

The book on the lower left was from his 4th grade classmates when he was first diagnosed. So moving!

Though his family and friends don't know it, the pain, sadness, and emptiness will never go away but over time, it will begin to dull and it will be replaced with beautiful memories.

RIP, Andrew Paul Ortega.

 

Actual Death

January 4, 2011

I was SO angry with my children these last two days. One won't do their school work. One won't do their chores. One took a million hour shower and almost made us late for the Rosary. One is being surly. One is being difficult. One is constantly arguing.

And then I went to Andrew's Rosary. And it was the saddest thing in the world to go to the funeral of a 15 year old who lost his battle with cancer. And it was even sadder to listen to his brothers, uncles, aunt, teachers, fellow Boy Scouts and friends talk of his braveness, his awesomeness, his kindness, his gaming and guitar skills, his quest to set an example for his younger brothers by continuing to get straight A's even though he had to endure cancer treatments for the last five years of his life.

And I know I shouldn't start sentences with 'and'. And I'm doing it anyway because I'm on a roll and I'm alive and I can.

And then I thought about how sad it was that Andrew's mother couldn't nag him, or comfort him, or listen to him play his guitar anymore, or listen to him play xBox anymore. And I thought about how he could no longer teach his little brother how to play the guitar. And I wondered if he'd ever had a puppy love, or had his first kiss, or held hands with her.

Andrew

And then I cried some more.

And then I remembered how I could hug my warm, live children to comfort them. And then I remembered that I had someone to nag, someone to argue with, someone to listen to as they played the piano or the guitar, someone to listen to as they played xBox with their friends. And I remembered that I can yell at them to go to bed, to hurry up, to do their damned homework. And then I remembered how lucky I am.

NOW GO DO YOUR HOMEWORK, DAMN IT!

I love you.

 

Sudden Death

January 4, 2011

To whom it may concern:

If I should die suddenly for no obvious reasons, ask the coroner to check at the hair line behind my left ear. While I was at the orthodontist, I felt a ping, sting. It appears the wire being clipped on the guy in the chair next to me, flew into the side of my head. It has probably entered my body and is wreaking havoc, causing infection and organ failure.

Sincerely,

The Hypochondriac with the Vivid Imagination

 

It's Obvious...

January 4, 2011

...that I'm going to have more to say on some days than others. Guess I better figure out how to make nested menus, too.

On my way out to Zumba, I got a chuckle as I watched a CHP 'herding' (with his car) a cow from Kirker Pass back into the ranch. LOL!

 

Why do we have children?

January 4, 2011

They just tear your heart up, shred it to pieces, stomp on it and throw it away like last weeks leftovers. And then after they see you are visibly upset, doing their chore because you're tired of asking them for the millionth time to do it, you see you have a text and your hopes soar. Are they sympathizing with your plight? Are they going to say, "I'm sorry I didn't do my chore. Thank you for doing it "? No, they sent you a text asking you to stop at the store and buy them some things they need. K, tanks.

Big sigh. I guess I still haven't figured out how to be a good parent in 34 years.

I'll try to figure out comments later between, Zumba, Ortho, hair, and the Rosary. Maybe tomorrow. Or tonight when I'm wide awake at 3:00 a.m.

 

The Blog

January 3, 2011

There are two reasons for this...um...blog. The first is that I get the feeling the folks over on Facebook get exasperated with my random postings, causing them to 'unfriend' me, causing my feelings to be hurt. So, if you want to read my random thoughts, this is the place for you! At some point, I will probably wean myself off of Facebook. Maybe. We'll see.

The second is that I originally purchased this URL to start a business selling my technical services. As it turns out, I really don't want to HAVE to do anything -- but stay black and die! Sorry, that always comes out. It's a favorite quote of mine from -- guess the movie! I do enjoy 'nerding' around and I'll keep doing it on a volunteer basis -- please and thank you. Currently, I maintain the Middle School website, which I created.

I don't know how this site is going to be organized yet. I think it'll be separate/different than rosystraka.com. I didn't want to give up either URL, hence the two websites. The look will definitely change as I fool around more with Photoshop and Illustrator, learn Dreamweaver better and so forth. It may even grow into something more with time. Or not.

Take the journey with me and we'll figure out how to make it interactive, maybe add a comments section, discussions, recipes! I really don't know! But it does look like I better go RTFM (Read The F'n Manual).

Just some more ramblings...

My 14 year old son lost a friend to cancer on December 30, 2010. It's so unfair. Though I only met Andrew a handful of times, I could see he was a delightful boy, special and a good friend to his friends. Even though I'm no stranger to death, I could not even come up with the words to describe how my heart was breaking for this child's family and friends. There are no words.

This is a video of the two of them: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eqNmlIH8ERs

They held a vigil last night in front of his house. My son and another friend played the same song on the acoustic guitar. It was apparently extremely emotional.

Tomorrow is the Rosary and Wednesday is the funeral. I'm bracing for all the feelings I know will come rushing back. Emptiness, cold, disbelief, anger, anguish...

 

My name is Rosy, Chacha, Meez, Mama, Mother...take your pick.

My loves are my Honey Bunch, my children, my family, friends and Zumba.


One of my favorite sites and one I'll be stealing...um...borrowing ideas from. (Hmmm. I already see my Nerd font is similar to hers. Hers is Edwardian Script and Mine is Beautiful ES.)

The Pioneer Woman


This blogger introduced me to the above blogger and to the blogging bug in general. Love her!

That Girl Blogs


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This is my nieces blog. She's cute: http://temptationofliving.tumblr.com/rosystraka.com needs a facelift and makeover. I'll be working on that, too.

 

Suburbia, California

 

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