Wednesday, October 17, 2018


I remember this phrase “Sticks and stones will break your bones, but words will never hurt you.” so well as we were taught it in elementary school, a feel better phrase when you reported someone bullying you to your teacher, a phrase that is a brush off because you’re wasting their time and that is the best they could come up with.

Growing up Portuguese we were always a part of the joke, “Hey Nubian, why does your brother have a mustache? Because he wants to look like your mother” and the jokes went on. I was made to feel less than and that it was somehow a privelege when I was invited to a friends house. I was 17 when a friend’s father told me I was nothing and would be nothing. A man who beat his wife regularly and his children feared him, a bully.

I have always tried to deflect people’s unkind words, they do hurt, but I try and envision the water on a ducks back, I take a few deep breaths, and move on. Just a little thicker skinned.

I recently learned that someone I have known for a long time, made a terribly derogatory comment about me. It hurt. The comment implied that I was of loose morals. I cried. I cannot think why this person would say something so hurtful, and I guess I will never know what caused that venom to spout from their mouth.

I never understood the teachers who were cruel to us growing up, the friends who snickered and made jokes, the whispers in the village about ‘those Portuguese children’. I never understood why we were targeted, what had we done wrong? As I get older I have a better understanding as to why. How miserable someone has to be that they tear anyone down in order to make their little chests puff out and strut around letting everyone know of their self importance.

I truly am blessed to have a mother, one of the strongest women I know, who is incredibly wise, who has always kept the family bond tight and taught us to always hold our heads high.  My sisters and brother who are my rocks and are prepared to wrap me up in a blankie and take on my fight. My husband and son who softly talk to me to calm me down as my Portuguese blood starts to boil and my hands start moving as rapidly as my mouth.

As I sit here writing my blog and trying to think of why people are cruel I remembered something my mother always said to us growing up “We don’t have to keep up with the Joneses because we are the Joneses.”

I told you my mother was wise.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

The Insanity.

Sea-Pink - Armeria Maritima 

I have just finished reading an article in the news today about 1,500 immigrant children that were taken from their parents and that the US Government has lost track of where they are. The president recently stated that immigrant children “are not so innocent.” And I cried.

When did the insanity begin? I feel as though I am spiraling down a rabbit hole unable to grab hold of the slick, oily sides. I find myself crying more when I think about the children, the children that come through the court system, the children that are left behind, the children that are taken from their parents crossing the US borders escaping for a better life.

I cannot even begin to imagine the fear that many people south of the border live knowing that the journey under darkness with only the clothes on their back, may get them imprisioned, but yet are willing to risk it all to provide a better life for their children.

I cannot fathom the pain the parents go through as they put their children onto trains to start the dangerous journey to cross the border, because if they stay they are forced to join gangs. And then when they finally reach the ‘promised land’ they are handed back to their government and face death from the gangs they refused to join.

When I heard that the GOP recently wanted to cut $23 billion from food assistance programs, I cried. How is that okay? My head is having a really hard time in trying to wrap around the fact that so many in the GOP who profess to be Christians but yet their inhumanity to those in need is far from what Christ preached.

How do people still justify voting for a person who showed his true colors, but was the lesser of two evils? I will read an article and then proceed to yell, rant and cry to both Bear and T and they just wait until I exhaust myself then we discuss, dissect and figure out what we can do to make a change.

I am surrounded by amazing, caring, compassionate people, and I know that I surround myself by people such as this because I was raised in a family who never turned anyone in need away. My Mother always instilled in us to find a little bit of Jesus in everyone. No matter how bad they were. (I have to admit though that I am still struggling to find Jesus in the current president though.)

Last weekend Bear and I went to harvest mussels at the beach and we came across flowers that were growing on the rocks. I was in awe of these beautiful, perfect, pink blooms growing in a less than ideal environment and it made me realize that beauty and hope can bloom from adverse conditions.

And I cried.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Letters to the Court.

The most favorite part of my job is reading the letters people send to the court.  The office will be quiet and I will hiccup laugh out loud and my co-workers know that I have found another gem.

All the letters are scanned into the system and are public information. I sometimes have to wonder if people realize this.

This past week I was scanning in a file and came across this gem. Needless to say this person has multiple offenses, so this made it even more funny to me.
"Your Honor, this letter is in hopes of a solution for both of our interests. I am sure my continued presence has become very irritating for you, as I know it has me." 
Sometimes one has to laugh at the littlest things in life, otherwise we allow the ugliness of the world to weigh us down. I hope my blog today brought a smile to your face.



Sunday, September 17, 2017

Social Media and Communication.

Some will get the point of this photo.

Social media has brought the best and worst out of people, and currently it seems as though the worst is prevailing.

I recently deleted my Facebook page as I found that the personal connection between friends and family was being lost by likes and status updates. I had also made the mistake of allowing people into my world that I had rarely any social contact with. When someone posted something that I felt needed challenging, I was told "Oh this doesn't refer to you." or "Why does she always challenge what you say?" I am a huge proponent of free speech, not stupid speech. Spewing garbage that isn't factual or has no basis for the argument, but purely follows the leader mentality, is stupid speech.

A few years ago I deleted my Facebook account as I had become discouraged by the fake life that people were posting. That decision came about as a dear friend of mine had passed away and from what he portrayed on Facebook couldn't have been further from the truth. It was devastating to me that I had been so naive into believing his life was as he played it out to be on Facebook. It was 5 years before I reactivated my Facebook account.

It has now required more effort on my part to stay in contact with people, to send texts, cards or postcards, to go back to the old school way of communication. Looking back on my childhood and teenage years, we stayed in contact more with people and surrounded ourselves with the people we cared about. It was easier back them to slowly phase people out of your life, with social media an "unfollow" decision creates backlash and venomous texts. As we grow older our circle becomes smaller because I have discovered I have less time or patience for people and their bull shit.

I will continue with my blog, when I feel the need to vent or share and I will make a more conscious effort to stay connected with those I love and care about. As far as the others are concerned, well maybe I should send them the photo above.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

She Should Smile More.

Photo credit.

I am privileged to be surrounded by some very strong women in my life. I have friends and family who are at corporate executive level positions, some are Doctors who are blazing trails in their research and a few who own their own companies.  These women are strong, tenacious and when seated at the conference table, they lean in.

I was recently having a conversation with a friend who was lamenting how her boss, who is female, is so unapproachable and when pressed more her response made me think. She stated that her boss would listen to employees ideas, but then tell them why they couldn't be done, her emails were straight forward and to the point which came across curt and she made changes to improve work flow and the adage "If it is not broken why fix it?" was expressed.

I listened to her as her words flowed and it is when she stated that her boss was a bitch did I decide to interject with my thoughts.  I asked my friend what she thought of her other boss, who was at the same level as her female boss, but happened to be a man. She stated that her male boss was very direct, but got things done and when he made suggestions to changing the work flow it worked and his emails were to the point as he was a very busy person.

I felt that I should point out the similarities between both her bosses, but somehow the female was made out to be the bitch, while the male was an executive who got things done. Her response was  "Well she should smile more."  I had to smirk as I had a vision of a dear friend who lives in Belgium and who is quite formidable in the corporate world, look at my friend and say "What a load of rubbish!" in her very proper English accent.

I have been in high level corporate positions where I would be at the conference table and many a time was asked questions that would not be asked of my male counterparts. At one conference I was asked why I wasn't home raising my child and taking care of my husband? A male counterpart told me to smile more and not be such a bitch. I think he may still be sitting in some corner rocking back and forth because of my response and gesture.

I am tired of people referring to women in power as bitches, or unapproachable, or whatever words fill the blank to justify their position. As woman we fight hard enough to be at the corporate table, to be treated as equals and to have the same wages regardless of sex. I have watched men denigrate women and only because that person was a threat to their ego.

As I pointed out the similarities to my friend the light bulb did turn on. Sometimes when we have conversations we should listen, make a list if needed, and be open to what people are saying. I learned from her that the thought of women being more motherly is what would be more acceptable in the workplace. I am hoping she took away from our conversation to start viewing executive women in a different light.  We need to separate the corporate executive from the maternal image we have somehow embedded in our DNA.

So to the dynamic, strong females in my life, when you're next seated at a conference table with men and start to feel the testosterone level rise, go ahead, lean in and say "You really should smile more."