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May 18, 2014

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A Tour of My Life

May 18, 2014

Back to my regularly scheduled blog posts. Or at least the ones kind of scheduled in my mind. I've added a few since my last post. I was just going to give you the tour of my life but we've since been to El Cajon for Larry's 60th and had Thayna's birthday party and just life in general.

Any whoooooo. Let's pick up at A Tour of My Life. As I mentioned, I couldn't sleep one night and got the bright idea to go look for, and take a picture of all the houses I've lived in. I discovered that sans the Mexico City part, I have lived my whole life in a 40 mile radius in the Bay Area.

I have been in a bubble! Also, this 'tour', only took 3 1/2 hours from Clayton to the furthest point in San Francisco, all the stops in between and back to Clayton. I can't decide if that's a good thing or a bad thing.

So. I was born in my house on Calle Aragon somewhere in Mexico City. I do not have a picture of that. My mother said she had one pain and I blooped out. She said I always did everything fast. Walked, had a baby. You know, the usual.

I don't remember coming to San Francisco. My Green Card says we came in 1960. The houses where we lived are off of I280, Alemany near San Jose Avenue. I remember when we got off the freeway, there used to be a milk store with a cow on top of it. Now that I think of it, wasn't Foster Freeze on University in Berkeley also a Milk Store? Where have all the milk stores gone?

My first recollection is of a house on Josiah Avenue. I remember it was a big old blue Victorian-ish. There was an old lady that lived next door who always gave me candy. It was those candy covered peanut things. The coating was reddish and bumpy. Do you know the ones I'm speaking of? I loved her! Nene was born at SF General when we lived here. I went to Kindergarten at San Miguel School from that house. I couldn't find it in my driving around. I don't remember much except that I was pretty quiet. I didn't speak English. They didn't have special programs for ESL students. We just went to school and learned the language.

I drove up and down the street looking for the house. There were a lot of folks out and about so I felt kind of funny driving so slow. I must have looked like I was casing some joints. This house looked like it might have been it, except I remember a large yard we played in, where the deck is. There was a swing set. Also, there is no house next door although it looks like there was a foundation there. I hope the Candy Lady's house didn't burn down. Could this have been our house? My sister probably remembers the address. Eme?


I drove up and down a few times and thought it might also have been this property. The house was set further back and there was a play structure in the front.


I remember there were two houses on Montana Street, just a block away. I remember the first house was set back and below street level. This might have been it below the red fence. I remember me and my sister taking pictures on the sidewalk, in our uniforms. We went to St. Michael's and I must have been in the first, she in the 2nd grade. Our '57 Chevy was either in the picture, too, or it was waiting to take us to school. So, Nena and Baby must have been born when we lived at the Montana Street houses.

Life Tour 03

On the other hand, I could be remembering this. There was a park a block away. Maybe we took picture there? I remember cyclone fence. I don't know. Eme?

Life Tour 04

Anyway, I continued on Montana Street to find the second house we lived in. I noticed Pookie and Marie's house. They were two little girls we used to play with. There was an old gentleman hanging out by his door, across the street from their house. He looked like he may have lived there since the early sixties. I should have gotten out and asked him...but the knee. Pookie and Marie's house had a funny, backward P shaped entrance. Easy to spot.

Life Tour 5

I remember the second house had a side entrance. I thought it could be this one but there was definitely not a building in the back. I don't think.

Life Tour 6

I continued and saw this one. This is definitely it! It even still has that Jasmine bush I remember so well because of the smell! I don't remember the gate, though. Across the street, there was an old woman getting into a van that carts seniors around. Our eyes met and I swear, there was some recognition. Why didn't I talk to these people?!

Life Tour 7

This picture was taken in this house. I guess we stood on chairs for everything. I remember standing on a chair to wash dishes even though I was only like 7. It must have been '65. I remember my mother being pregnant and Baby was the baby. He was born in '64. So there were 6 of us at the time. My mother did not come home with a baby when she came back from the hospital. The baby was stillborn. Her name was Maria de Guadalupe Ayala. I wonder where she is? The other thing I remember about this house is being constipated. Yes, I did say constipated. LOL! I used to take the centers of white bread and squish them into a ball so it was doughy and eat a lot of them. My mother blamed the constipation on that. Is that possible? LOL. Actually, this might have been at the Josiah house because it looks like it's Eme's 5th birthday. Eme?

Life Tour 8

After I attended 2nd Grade at St. Michael's, we spent most of my 3rd Grade year living at my Grandmother's house in Mexico City. When we came back, I went to Columbus School in Berkeley for a couple of months. wonder school was so hard for me....I was young, I didn't speak English and I missed most of the 3rd grade!

As I was getting back to the freeway, I turned on to San Jose Boulevard and got a big fat de ja vu at this walkway over the freeway. I remember we used to cross over to the QFI store on the other side of the freeway.

Life Tour 10

I also remembered we used to hang out at the De La Fuente's house on San Jose Aveneu. I'm sure it was one of these houses. Jimmy was in my class at St. Michael's. I had a crush on him. LOL. The parents were one of my sibling's godparents. I don't remember which sibling. Eme?

Life Tour 11

Bye, bye Ocean View District in San Francisco! Oh, I must mention, I found it very odd that everyone in the neighborhood was white or Asian. Back in the day, everyone was black. Hmmmm....I wonder if that's when I started singing James Brown's 'I'm Black and I'm Proud'? The only black folks I saw were the old guy across the street from Pookie and Marie's and the old woman getting into the van. I bet they are the only ones left there from the '60s.

Life Tour

Let's take a quick detour out of my 40 mile bubble to drop you a picture of my Grandparent's house in Mexico City on Avenida Morelos. That's my grandfather, Ignacio (eeg-nah-see-o), and my cousin, Claudio.

Life Tour 9

After we came back from Mexico City, we moved across the bay to Berkeley. It's kind of vague but I remember we stayed with the Mejia family on 8th Street for a bit. I don't remember exactly which of these houses it was. The mom had just given birth to her 10th boy. Yes, TEN boys. I remember there being a problem with the baby's pooping. He didn't poop in 10 days or something. I have no idea how or why we ended up there. So ten boys, their parents, six of us, our parents. That must have been quite the zoo. I wonder if they still live there? By the way, the family is (are?) the owners of Juan's Place on 7th Street.

Life Tour 13

I remember the Vasquez' lived on the corner. I wonder if they still live there?

Life Tour 14

OMG...why did we move so many times? This post is taking forever! Moving on....

We ended up in this one bedroom apartment in Berkeley. It was about '68. My brother, Little, was born while we lived here. (Eme, Chacha, Chacho, Nene, Nena and Baby were taken so he was the Little Baby...hence, his nickname.) They drove to San Francisco to have him there. Not sure why. Maybe, the same reason they went back to Mexico to have Chacho there, I guess. Sometimes I wish I would have had more interest in my parents when they were alive so I would know this kind of stuff. C'est la vie.

What I remember about this apartment is that one year, I found a garbage bag full of toys at the top of a closet. I ran screaming to my brothers and sisters, "Santa Claus came early!!!! Santa Claus came early!!!!!" I got a whipping for screwing up Christmas. Ooooo, ooooo. I just remembered. We lived upstairs and I remember the other tenants upstairs. A couple and their daughter. Last name was Mandoblatt.

Life Tour 15

I also remember we watched as the Jack In The Box went up across the street. We used to go over and play in the skeleton.

Life Tour 16

One of my FAVORITE places was Lucky Dog Pet Store. It's now a Kung Fu Studio. We would go in there all the time and play with all the animals. We didn't have pets so this was the next best thing.

Life Tour

Oh, this was supposed to be the places I lived. Sorry. Sidetracked as usual. And sorry about the crooked picture.

Anyway, we moved across the street and to the Lucky Dog side of San Pablo to a...wait for it....TWO bedroom apartment! After all, we had seven kids now. What I remember about that place is that it was a four-plex. Still is, but it's now gated. Sandra Sedano, who was in my grade, lived upstairs. She was an only child, had pretty new clothes all the time and wore petty pants. I wanted some. We would later both end up at El Cerrito High but she wasn't my friend. Jessie Bonilla lived across the street. I had a crush on him.

I also remember one night I was awakened by an arm coming through the window trying to get me. I guess I screamed, my dad came running in, tried to grab the guy, but he ran off. I remember the throaty sound of a car driving off. Now, I know I have crazy dreams sometimes, unfortunately, I don't think this was one. I wonder if more occurrences like that caused the gate to go up?

This was also the place where my cousin, Angelica, stayed with us for a while. My Tia Mila came over once and made Menudo. It's where I fell in love with it. We were going to St. Joseph's by now. My friend, Rebecca Beasley and I would hang out and wonder what is what like to kiss boys. We tried out kissing on each other. LOL! (TMI?)

Life Tour 18

Oh! Bay Side Market is still called Bay Side Market! Sort of.

Life Tour 19

Moving on up...(singing the song in my head) dad purchased a 4+ bedroom, 2 bath house in North Berkeley for $26,000. He put 10% down. He showed me the cash money. I don't know why. Proud? Y'all remember what Mom's house looked like, right? White with the green trim. By the way, that's Charles and Pookie and Timmy on the roof. Don't ask why. Don't ask why we had a friend named Pookie (a girl) in San Francisco and then moved to Berkeley and had a friend named Pookie (a boy). Funny, huh? I wrote on the back, "Charles, Pookie and Timmy 1972." I forgot how to use punctuation, too. Sorry. Oh and my brother is now married to Timmy's sister. And the last Ayala, Boobie, was born while we lived in this house.

Life Tour 20

So this is what Mom's house looks like now. I couldn't get it all in one shot. It's....different. This is the left side over the garage.

Life Tour

This is the right side. I would LOVE to see what they did with the inside.

Life Tour

Way too much reminiscing if I start now. I can't even go there. Including this house across the street, where Baby crashed his motorcycle into. Sorry. It's not pink any more.

Life Tour

Then P-Rez and I moved into this apartment in Berkeley just after Lina was born and where we lived when Mot was born.

Life Tour

Then Nene died, all hell broke loose, P-Rez and I broke up and I moved to this apartment in El Cerrito where I spent the next 6 years in hell.

Life Tour

Then Baby died, I decided life was too short to live in hell. P-Rez saved me and moved me back to the apartment in Berkeley. Does that count as living there twice?

Then, alas, P-Rez and I grew apart. As it turned out, we were together when we needed to be and more importantly, when the kids needed us to be. I hope. I then got this little apartment in Oakland. It was a fabulous building in the Trestle Glen neighborhood.

Life Tour

Then I met my Little Honey Bunch and we moved to this house in Piedmont. The lights that my Little Honey Bunch put up on the garage are still there. He ran electrical from up top to down there, so we could turn on the lights from the house. He was always such the handy little guy! This is house where we lived when we got our dog (from Lina) and the house where my mother spent her last Thanksgiving. Little carried her up those steps. She would die while we lived in this house and at that point, we decided life was too short to not start our family immediately.

Life Tour

We decided to buy a house, as we were renting the one in Piedmont. We started looking around and not too far away, after looking for several months, we stumbled upon this house. We looked at the outside and said, "Meh. Let's just look anyway." The moment we stepped into the entry, we knew it was our house. I see Lester is still opening windows. Lester Anderson is the guy who owned the house before us for 72 years. He died there and didn't move out just because he died. Our neighbors always called it Lester's house. I wonder what they're building now in Lester's house?

Life Tour

Nic and Nat were born at Kaiser Oakland just down the street while we lived here. I loved that house so much! We actually lived in civilization! The Grand Lake just down the street, restaurants, people of color.

Life Tour

Unfortunately, the public schools were still not great so we had to decide on private schools or moving from our beloved house. We didn't have a lot to choose from in the area. Catholic schools mostly and I wasn't doing that again! We started looking again. Having grown up in the Bay Area, we knew where we didn't want to live and we also knew where we couldn't afford to live. Clayton then popped up on the radar and I was like, "Oh yeah...that pokey little cow town out in the boonies." After doing some checking, we found the schools had high scores and there were several new and affordable developments. So....VOILA! Here we are!

Life Tour

So I've lived in 16 places, if you count the Berkeley apartment twice. That's a place for every year that we've lived in Clayton. Wow! 16 years here! It may not be the last place, though. My Little Honey Bunch stumbled upon a lot for sale. Will he realize his dream and build the house of his dreams here? We shall see, we shall see.

Life Tour

So there you have it folks. A Tour of My Life in a nutshell. Or blog post, if you will.

Knee Surgery

May 7, 2014

So. Back on September 1, I was Zumbaing, to Mami, as a matter of fact, and all of a sudden, I couldn't walk. I stayed off of my knee for several weeks, getting subs and what not. I asked for an MRI but got an X-Ray. Which showed a Baker's Cyst. I was managing the intermittent pain with IBU and it eventually went away and I was back to teaching full force.

Then it happened again and I had to back off.

Give me an MRI.

No, MRI for you!


NO! Let's give you a shot of Cortisone.

It was like magic, I couldn't feel any pain for exactly 7 weeks. My Zumba classes were finally growing, I had regulars who loved coming to my classes, life was good!

Then, POP! I was doing Zorba, and I had to stop mid song and limp off the stage and luckily Thayna was dressed to teach and finished the class for me.


We should give you an MRI.


Oh, heh, heh. You have a torn meniscus and a partially torn ACL You will need surgery to repair it.


But the bottom line is I'm glad they finally correctly diagnosed the issue and that it is going to get fixed once and for all even though my recovery will be anywhere from 6 to 12 weeks. Then I'll have to build up my classes again. Big sigh. Or just count my losses, quit, and take up Ballroom Dancing. We'll see.

So the surgery date finally arrives -- May 1. I'm super excited. I go in and get prepped which means taking off all my metal (belly ring thing again...Nat helped me put it back in this time), getting nekid and in a gown, putting a hair cap on, getting an IV drip (squirming and cringing).

Knee Surgery

I went to the bathroom at one point and laughed at myself. My hair was piled high on my head so I looked just like Marge Simpson, which I said to the nurses. They laughed, so I must have. Too bad I didn't get a full head picture.

Knee Surger

So we're waiting around for a couple of hours, my Little Honey Bunch at my side. Have I mentioned that I love him?

Finally, it's my turn. They wheel me into the operating room. I scooch over from the gurney to the table. The lovely anesthesiologist says to me, "What's your favorite cocktail?" I'll give her a pass because she doesn't know me. "Gin and tonic!" She says, "OK, I'm giving you a little gin and tonic..."

Honey, I have NEVER had a gin and tonic like that! That was the last thing I heard at 12:30 and the next thing I knew, it was 2:30 and I was in the recovery room. That was the best gin and tonic I've ever had!

At one point, I can't remember if it was before, during or after the gin and tonic, someone said, "She's all made up and looks beautiful, like she's going to a wedding."

How sweet!! But the joke's on you! All I had on was a little lipstick, eyeliner and mascara. The beautifulness I owe to my Rodan + Fields Redefine Regimen! Click here to jump on to this Beauty Train/Fountain of Youth!

So the other funny thing is, my Little Honey Bunch was telling me know the other patients were getting their legs shaved. I inspected my leg to see if it had been shaved. I could not tell. Remember, I'm the Mexican hairless. I wondered if they went through the motions.

Knee Surgery

So my Little Honey Bunch gets me home, helps me upstairs, brings me narcotics, ice and food on a tray (posted in 365). Have I mentioned how much I love my Little Honey Bunch?

He doesn't even make fun of me and tell me that this is what I look like every day when I'm watching my shows. I catch up on my shows, I watch a little Dirty Dancing (posted on my Instragram). My sweet girls (Thayna, Emely, Noelia, Surys and Athena) come to visit me (posted on Instagram). My brother comes to visit me (posted in 365).

Feeling loved, doing my exercises, catching up on shows. I'm getting around without the crutches. I even stopped taking the narcotics on the 2nd day. This girl don't need no pain medication! My Little Honey Bunch is taking care of everything, meals, laundry, grocery shopping, making sure I take my aspirin and IBU, all while still bringing home the bacon. Have I mentioned that I love him?

Then it's the 5th day. Day to take off the dressing, which anyone who knows me knows I will be dreading that. I imagine blood and gore and the dressing soaked with blood and puss. My Little Honey Bunch knows this, of course, so we all knew he was going to remove the dressing for me.

Knee Surgery

Oh my gaude, oh my gaude, oh my gaude! I start hyperventilating! Tun, tun, tun....drum roll...

Knee Surgery

Really, that's it? Then I was going to freak out at what was under the little gauze thingies.

Knee Surgery

Really? That's it?

So, I have been getting around although nothing major. It seems to be coming along nicely. I'm trying not to over do it so as to avoid re-inuring myself. I have not ventured out to go grocery shopping but sweet Nat has offered. I'll have to take her up on it tomorrow since my Little Honey Bunch had to go to Boston. He was afraid of leaving me but I've been fine.

Every time my Little Honey Bunch goes out of town, I can't sleep. So I managed to convince myself that I would take a road trip today and take pictures of all the places I've lived in. Road trip successful! However, I'm too tired to blog that one tonight. Hasta manana!

Off to get a refresh of gin and tonic.

Ground Hog's Day

May 7, 2014

Welcome to Ground Hog's Day, aka, our anniversary! You get why I say that, right? You are familiar with the movie, Ground Hog's Day? Where the same thing happens over and over? Anyway...for the last several years, it seems me and my Little Honey Bunch have been doing the same thing for our anniversary. Not that there's anything wrong with it! I thoroughly enjoy our outings to The City. We do change up the dinner venue but the rest is usually the same. So our anniversary fell on a Sunday. April 27 to be exact and it was our 18th! We were trying to decide how many more years we might have together. We're hoping at least another 40, when we'll be well into our 90's. Hope the retirement plan outlasts us. LOL!

Huh. I just went looking for past posts about our anniversary and I couldn't find anything. Is it possible that this Ground Hog's thing is all in my mind? There is this one, April 2012 (click here), but it's not our anniversary. Doo doo doo doo (that's the theme from the Twilight Zone). Huh. Will investigate further later. I may be owed a few nights out in The City. Huh. OK, wait...I found one from 2013, our 17th (click here). Feeling a little less retarded. I guess this is what happens when you don't name your stuff/posts something identifiable like 18th Wedding Anniversary 2014 and date it on, or near the actual date. Looks like I'm going to be in the same pickle next year.

I think I have turrets syndrome of the brain and mouth. Do you ever wonder why when you're talking to me, all of a sudden I say something totally out of left field? Um, yeah. Bye.

Back to our 18th Anniversary on April 27, 2014. I realized I have Bridge Hanging Precariously in Mid Air Phobia. This gave me the total heebeejeebees. Turrets kicking in...looking for where I listed my phobias. Found it (click here). Oh but there are so many more that aren't listed,The Dookie Monster, The Lake Ness Monster, The Pool Ness Monster. So many phobias, so little time. Another time, another, nother post.


Ooooo, pretty! Especially since the car was moving. I wasn't driving!


Pre Happy Hour glass of Chardonnay in our room at The W.


Selfies before Happy Hour in the W Bar.


Gin and tonics at the bar. Ooof. That reminds me. Late for gin and tonic! Be right back. (De Ja Vu...I've done this before, right? Will. Not. Go. Look.)



So we went to this place we've never tried before called the Hard Water (click here). Cajun food. I was feeling like Gumbo. So it was good, quirky but probably a little spendier than Gumbo should be. Great experience, though! They had a lovely selection of oysters as well as a wall full of whiskeys. I won't post the fuzzy pic I took but click on the link above for a gallery. The wall full of whiskey is impressive! If you go, you MUST try the PORK BELLY CRACKLIN. If you love chicharrón, you will love this! I posted a pic of the Gumbo in my 365 (click here). Of course we had a lovely bottle of wine with dinner. The only Pinot they had was $100 so we opted for something else that I was going to remember because it was good but I forgot. Maybe I can make out the make and model from the pic. Not quite. Oh well.


The servers were my kind of people. They would toast each other every now and then with a little something something. And were kind enough (drunk enough?) to pose for a pic.


They said we must have the Chocolate Cream Pie. They were not lying. We finished the whole thing!


It definitely wouldn't be our Ground Hog's Day out in The City without topping off the night at The Buena Vista for an Irish Coffee or two!


Drunken selfie of good hair day also required on Ground Hog's Date.


We went to The Grove Cafe for breakfast and the barrista made our Anniversary with this. Love!


Back at the hotel to collect our belongings, our Ground Hog's Day picture on the window seat.


Happy Ground Hog's Day, Little Honey Bunch! I love you!

College Life

May 7, 2014

Oh my gawd, oh my gawd, oh my gawd! I have so many Blog Posts swirling around in my head. We'll see how far I get today. Let's see...let's start from the very beginning, a very good place to start....ahem...sorry. But that does remind me, I will have to post a recording of one of my babies singing that song because it's so dang cute but if I tell you which baby, I might be disowned. For your listening pleasure, Do Re Mi (click here). And since that was so cute, how about the Eensie, Weensie Spider (click here). (Is that how you spell that?)

OK, now that I have sufficiently sidetracked myself, back to colleges. This past Spring Break, Nat asked if we could take a road trip to Southern California to check out some of the college campuses down there. This was before she told us she had no intention of going to college in Southern California. Ugh. Kids. I really think she only wanted to go because everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, from Clayton was down there, too.

So, before I show you the colleges we visited, that Natalie is never going to go to, I thought I'd tell you a funny story my Little Honey Bunch has shared with me. I'm pretty sure he finally told his parents so it's OK to post.

His first year of college, he went to Cal Poly. He wanted to be an architect but discovered he couldn't draw anything. By hand. He transferred to UC Berkeley after the first year and took this little thing called Computer Science, which obviously, has served him (and by him, I mean us) well. In the mean time at Cal Poly, in a drunken stupor, I mean after too many soda pops one night, some of the kids stole, I mean borrowed, a freeway sign. Kind of like this. Only a bigger.

San Luis Obispo

So it's sitting in the bushes outside the dorm, while they try to decide what to do with it. They finally decide they would like to hoist it and hang it from the dorm. They need a long piece of something to tie it to, that can span the 'lips' over the dorm windows. So they find a perfect piece of wood, in the form of the back of a bench at the Vista Grande dining hall pictured below. He said they would just casually sit on the bench, reaching behind them with the wrenches, loosening the bolts. They loosened the bolts but waited until night fall came, to stash it on the side of the dorm with the freeway sign.


It took a ground crew, a second-story crew, and an impeccable plan but once put in motion, they accomplished what I imagine looked something like this! I'm pretty sure they had it on the 3rd story part, but the tree was in the way for my demonstration.


He said it took the authorities about 3 days to get it down. They watched in amusement and almost helped when it looked like it might be too much for a bunch of grown people. The story is a lot funnier when he tells it. Buy him a Mimi's Martini down at Moresi's some time and hear it first hand!

It reminds me of another cool prank. Click here for post.

Bug Car

Anyhoooooo, we did hit Cal Poly. Katie Lewis came with us. I liked La Jolla. We had a burger in the cute little downtown.


Then we headed to Santa Barbara.


They had the awesomest bike/skateboard system.


We had dinner at this awesome restaurant.


Fresh seafood! Oh, why doth my mouth water?


And a beautiful view! I could live down here. I think.


OK, so I posted my sandwich from the morning on my Instagram. Enough about all the food (I love food). After breakfast, we headed to UC San Diego. It was...big. Oh, Nic has a booth here?


The library is tre cool.


I actually don't know if Katie and Nat actually looked at anything or if they SnapChatted and Storied the trip away. No matter. It was a good diversion from not being able to Zumba (knee to come).



We happened to be here on one of the two days a week this house is open to the public. With just 5 minutes to spare, too. The story is a student who moved here from somewhere (Korea? Japan?) on the other side of the world, built this 5 degrees off of level, because that's how he felt after moving here. Or he felt at home like this. Or something. I think they just gave him the wrong meds maybe. Anyway, it was pretty trippy. I couldn't go in. I almost threw up the moment I stepped through the door. LOL!


They could sort of hang.


Did anyone else notice these strands of blue beads all over? Wonder what that was about?


Then we passed by a sign of San Diego State University. The girls were done. Instead my Little Honey Bunch took us by a house he used to live in.

Then, more food...


Then the biggest Bird of Paradises I've ever seen! They are like 50 feet tall!


Then the beautiful home stretch after a fun, world wind trip!


I'm going to put my leg up for a while and then perhaps come back and continue with our 18th Anniversary Post. Ta ta for now...


May 4, 2014

May update coming soon...


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My name is Rosy, Chacha, Meez, Mama, Mother...take your pick. I am the sort of stay at home mother of 4. Sort of because of my Zumba and my Rodan and Fields jobs.

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

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

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