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Renewed Hope Through Old Memories

March 30, 2013

Have you ever woken up one day and wondered “How the heck did I get here?”  I am sure most of us have and some of us have had more than one of these days, I know that I have.  These “what the heck” days seem to be coming more frequently which I suppose is only to be expected as we grow older and see time pass us by with so many things left undone and unresolved-though I still have those periods where time seems to drag and nothing seems to move forward.

Easter Bunny Sisters-I got to dress myself-ugh!!!!

Easter Bunny Sisters-I got to dress myself-ugh!!!!

Well, this had originally turned out as a pretty depressing post; but then my sister and I went on a delightful trip down memory lane to an Easter thirty one years ago and much of the heaviness in my heart lifted and a rewrite was in order.  It is amazing how much comfort and joy that happy childhood memories can bring-the memory of how it felt to believe anything and everything was possible and worries were on the backburner.

What was this memory?  Something pretty basic, it was remembering what we got for Easter in 1982.  I was given the Rio album by Duran Duran and my sister was given Lexicon of Love by ABC.  That was one of the most joyful Easters we ever had as kids.  We spent the day listening to the records over and over, never tiring of them.  I still do the same thing when I get a new CD I like I will listen to it over and over for months and months, it is nice to know that some things never change and that we have some personality traits firmly set early on, it gives a nice sense of permanency or lunacy, I prefer to think the former.

New format but old memories

New format but old memories

I remember that wonderful Easter morning when the Easter Bunny brought my sister and me the gift of early 80’s music those were the days.  We had so much fun listening and committing the lyrics to memory and some of them have still stuck to this day.

A little bit of Easter cheer on my temporary desk

A little bit of Easter cheer on my temporary desk

These albums were gifts then and they were a gift to me today as I have been listening to them and reliving those happy feelings and memories.  Now that the years have passed and I am older, I have to completely concede that my sister definitely chose the better album of the two-though I still love Rio, ABC’s album is better musically but both are priceless for the wonderful feelings they renew.

Easter is about rebirth and renewal, and this old music and these old memories have put the joy of hope in my heart that I have not felt in quite a while and a smile on my face and a spring in my step.  A small and odd Easter miracle, but a miracle just the same so I will take it!

Hoping you have a little Cha-Cha in your step this Easter season :)

Hoping you have a little Cha-Cha in your step this Easter season 🙂

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Affordable Handmade Jewelry $10 and Under from Señorita Whiskers on Etsy

March 15, 2013

I believe each day is a good day for a gift, but we do have Easter and Mother’s Day approaching. This post is just to highlight some handmade goodies in my Etsy store Señorita Whiskers all $10 or less. So if you are looking for something special and you are budget minded, or just need a little something as a pick me up for yourself please check out these affordable finds available by Señorita Whiskers!

Click on the images and it will take you to its Etsy listing.

These light and sweet earrings evoke Spring:

Fun and Bright Earrings

Fun and Bright Earrings

It’s always nice to have a little Yeti heart hanging around to put a smile on your face:

A Fun and Happy Yeti Heart Pin

A Fun and Happy Yeti Heart Pin

Lovely pale pink frosted heart drop earrings:

Lovely Hearts for Your Lonesome Lobes

Lovely Hearts for Your Lonesome Lobes

This little deluxe Vampy heart is too sweet to be scary:

Sweet Deluxe Vampy Heart

Sweet Deluxe Vampy Heart

Blue grinning skull earrings just want to hang around with you:

Blue Skull Dangles

Blue Skull Dangles

A light and pretty bracelet for your naked wrist:

Sweet and Lovely Millefiori Bracelet

Sweet and Lovely Millefiori Bracelet

The Temporary Desolation of Relocation

March 12, 2013

I have found with complete certainty that undertaking a long distance move is not for sissies!  I am also finding that I may, indeed, be a sissy.  The relocation took months to complete and that is just taking into account getting our belongings and persons into the new state.  Am I close to being settled?  No, and it will take several months from what I surmise at this time.  I am not a patient person, so perhaps that is what the sum of this experience will give me-that very virtue I woefully lack.

What I have learned without a doubt is that getting lost in Washington DC is very easy; you might also say I became somewhat of an expert on the subject-having driven through it several times on three straight drives from Miami, FL to Maryland.  I assure you this is an area where I did not hope for such expertise.   I will say that on the positive side, my panic, terror and anxiety has lessened with each experience of misdirection but it has also made me lose my faith in all things Mapquest and Google Maps.  Once the directions hit DC they get incredibly muddled, but each site did at least get me to the threshold of the nation’s capital.

My car covered in the first, and pretty much only, real snow of my first Maryland winter

My car covered in the first, and pretty much only, real snow of my first Maryland winter

The differences between Florida and Maryland are extremely vast, and I think it will take much getting used to.  One of the things I don’t miss about Florida, and will never miss about Florida, is the heat.  Ugh!  What a horrible thing the heat was, especially when your air conditioning dies a horrible death and you cannot replace its carcass.  I did enjoy my first winter in Maryland although it was on the mild side, I think it is much preferable to either extreme in the cities I have lived before-Milwaukee and Miami.

I have to admit that living in Miami for more than three quarters of my life what I miss most is the familiarity.  I think knowing where you are and knowing your way around are highly underrated-getting around in Maryland is really not as easy, getting lost however is.  Miami and the south Florida area also had many more built up areas so you could always find a place that had something you were looking for and many things were open 24 hours.  I got very spoiled with that way of life and accessibility.  Moving to a smaller city and state has been quite an adjustment to say the least.

Our eventual cozy and comfy home

Our eventual cozy and comfy home

I really hope that in time I do learn to love my new surroundings and my new state.  I pray that one day my not knowing how to get places will be a dim memory and that I won’t groan and grow anxious when getting to another part of Maryland necessitates me weaving through DC.  I pray for this but I know it will be a long time coming yet.

I have never seen a toilet paper holder/radio/telephone before

A toilet paper holder/radio/telephone left in our new home-it will not be staying nor will the pink paint

The thing I am having the hardest time with is being positive and hopeful.  I know I need to pull myself up by the bootstraps and start heading for the light at the end of the tunnel, but I haven’t been able to do that yet.  I don’t feel settled and I don’t feel like I am truly living.  I need to find a way to snap out of it and I hope that time will come soon.

The attic ceiling-I can't explain it, but it will be repainted eventually

The attic ceiling-I can’t explain it, but it will be repainted eventually

Our house, for my mother and I, needs a lot of work, more than we had anticipated.  We have started getting things done, and doing what we can ourselves with the help of our family.  We have to get more money together to continue the renovations and hopefully that will come soon…until then we are in a sort of limbo as we cannot fully settle into the house because we cannot live in it.  I know I have neglected the project since before the holidays and I have to get back into it.  Thankfully we have extremely loving and patient relatives to stay with in the meantime.  The house project is an intimidating one.  I hope that things will come together sooner rather than later and before we know it my mom and I will have a charming and welcoming home and I will find a job that I will do well and enjoy doing.

And now for something completely different.

February 13, 2013

And now for something completely different..

Tomorrow is the First Day of the Rest of My Life

August 19, 2012

ImageChange.  It is such a small word but it has such huge impact.  I must admit, I have never been the kind of girl to embrace change.  I am very much someone who has a schedule and sticks to it in pretty much all that I do and that even includes weekends.  I know I sound like SO much fun, right?  I am just very much one who likes to know what to expect, or at least to believe I know what to expect.  So how did I get to this point of resigning from my job of 7 ½ years with no job secured, and a deadline to move to a state far away without a place to move to?

Major life events can do that to you; send you spinning and catapulting you into the unknown.  That is what happened to me, a major change in the family dynamic and one for the better that has left my mother and me searching for a new place to live far from Miami where we have lived over three decades-the vast majority of my life.  I may as well be honest and come right out and say that I have never liked Miami and obviously as a little kid I didn’t have much say in the matter.

I missed the seasons of Milwaukee, my hometown, and the feeling of being accepted and just being comfortable.  I cannot honestly say I have ever felt at home in Miami, sure I am used to it by now and it is very familiar but I am not in love with the city and never will be.  Of course, my aversion to heat doesn’t help, pretty much with very few exceptions; Miami is hot all year round.  90’s in January?  No thanks, I can definitely pass on that.  I love seasons and my favorites are autumn and winter.  I know, boy have I been living in the wrong place.

What has kept me here?  The feeling of familiarity, the fear of change and of taking a risk which is why it took something outside of myself to propel me to give something new a chance.  There is so much to do, like finding a place to live extra fast…this has really been a challenge since we have many considerations; but I hope and pray we will find a livable space for Moo (my mother) and me.  We have so much left to pack up and we need to get a move on it.

A new chapter is about to begin, and I don’t know what will be on the page after I turn this one.  There certainly will be things that I will miss about Miami.  I will miss the lizards; they are so familiar to me now.  I will miss how the city never sleeps and how there are always people about and there is always something open somewhere and I will certainly miss the sourdough cheeseburgers at Swensens.  Miami has been my home for over 30 years and even though I have never truly acclimated myself to her, I am still very grateful that she has given me a place to live and to learn so much in the many years I have been here.

I am scared, I have no idea what to expect and I have never done anything like this in my life.  However, I know it’s about time that I did.  I don’t have to choose to be unhappy in my surroundings just because they are familiar-I can scout out my happy surroundings or at least take the gamble of finding them.  I may fail but I may succeed there are no guarantees in life.  I may just find that my only regret will be not having taken a chance sooner.

Sign and Save

June 5, 2012

An entertaining piece on Merchant’s House in NY, and a link to add your signature to a petition to preserve a piece of history from the plague of boutique hotels.

Sign and Save.

The Haunted House of Dreams

May 5, 2012

She was going through her daily routine, making sure that all was as it should be in every room throughout the house she loved.  She was very attached to what some might think of only as a lovely home, but to her it was more than that it meant love and family and the brief happiness she had known there.  She paused a moment to look out the window, and she thought how very much things had changed…she wasn’t sure how long it had been since she first lived in the house, she only knew she was never going to leave it.  “Esta es mi casa para siempre y nunca me voy a ir.”  Enriquetta Marrero declared the house was rightfully hers and vowed she would remain in spirit; at least, that is how the story goes.  Enriquetta’s ghost is said to still haunt the rooms of her home now a popular bed and breakfast in Key West, FL known as Marrero’s.

My camera was fighting me when trying to take a picture near the entrance of Marrero’s.

We stopped by Marrero’s as part of the Key West ghost tour we took last August, a lovely Victorian mansion, located at 410 Fleming Street,  that was once filled with the family and love of Enriquetta Marrero.  The old Marrero mansion was completed in 1889 by a wealthy Cuban cigar maker Francisco Marrero, to persuade his sweetheart Enriquetta to move to the sparsely populated isle of Key West.  A beautiful home large enough for their family of eight children, sadly their happiness was to be short-lived.

Francisco met a sudden, and some say unnatural death while on a business trip to Cuba leaving Enriquetta a widow and their children fatherless.  The tragedy for poor Enriquetta was not to end there.  About six months after Francisco’s death a stranger came from Cuba to claim the Marrero estate, she was Francisco’s first wife whom he never divorced.  Imagine Enriquetta’s desolation at not only losing her husband but finding that the man she loved had lied to and betrayed her their entire marriage and now after everything she and her children would be lose everything.

A bitter court battle ensued, and the first wife was made administrator of Francisco Marrero’s estate.  Enriquetta Marrero and her eight children were to be left penniless and homeless.

On the day, June 16th, 1891 that Enriquetta and her eight children were driven out of their home, a crowd gathered to watch the sad spectacle, unfortunately people have always reveled in the misery of others.  Enriquetta told the onlookers that they were witnessing a grave injustice and that she would always remain at the mansion…at least in spirit.  Enriquetta Marrero and all of her children died, most from tuberculosis or diphtheria, within two years after being thrown out of their home.

Francisco’s first wife, Maria Ignacia Garcia de Marrero eventually sold off the house and all its contents and returned to Cuba.  The house changed owners and purpose many times over the years it was a casino, a bordello, a restaurant, and then a hotel.  People have reported sensing Enriquetta in all the house’s different business settings.

My camera finally behaved, and there you see the stairs where Enriquetta left her house with all eight children in tow, never to return…alive.

Many guests who have stayed at Marrero’s say they feel Enriquetta’s presence, and if she likes you she will let you know, and if she doesn’t she will make sure to let you know that too.  Her presence is particularly felt in what used to be Enriquetta’s bedroom, room 18.  Visitors to Marrero’s have felt her presence and it is usually gentle but she can be angry, depending upon what has urged her to make her force known.

If you are ever lucky enough to book a night or two at Marrero’s, it is usually filled up a year in advance, be kind to any spirit you may meet there for you tread upon her broken dreams.