13 December 2016


These were
inexpensive and they
look really nice. 
Still chugging along and creating a nicer aesthetic around myself.

Still need to
add a frame
to that mirror.
Well as promised here is the final product - the bathroom! The shower stall walls are a basic kit that I got at Home Depot, the quality is OK and installation rather easy but it's not the prettiest. Then again at $75 it was a steal. If I had had the money I would have tiled the walls but maybe in a few years if I decide to stay in this house longer. The color is nice but I forget what it was called, all I know is that I got it at Ace Hardware from a color I chose at Lowes. The showerhead and faucet are a Moen piece that I got at Lowe's when they had a clearance event for about $25. The paint was a total of $35 but that doesn't include all expenses.

Wal-Mart cabinet my
sister no longer wanted.
Yay me :)
  • Paint $35
  • Shower Wall Kit $75
  • Showerhead Kit $25
  • Primer $20
  • Compound $16
  • Tape $2
  • Paint Supplies (misc.) $20
  • Shower Supplies (misc.) $40
  • Lighting $20
  • Towel Hooks $10
  • Drywall $20
  • Misc. Items $100
  • Total:  $383

I love these hooks!
I found them
for $4 at Ross.

I guess final cost it was more likely more, including all the time I dedicated to this project. Things I learned, I don't mind the hard work and my father really wishes his daughters were more feminine. I don't think he completely dislikes our DIY abilities but I sometimes get the feeling he questions his choice of activities with young daughters back in the day. I think he's regretting not taking tea now, even if most of the time he just thinks it's cool we can do these type of projects. Although without his help that bathroom would have been a week long or 2-week long project for me alone. Likely more expensive too because I would have gone through quite a bit of trial and error.

15 November 2016

Grateful in Texas

What an eventful year this has been, so many changes for good and bad. The last time I wrote something I had been thinking about myself mostly, focusing on my future and my needs. A lot of "my" and "I" thinking but not very much of anything else. Mind you I feel that we are all entitled to a little bit of that thinking from time to time but sometimes it is difficult to not let it take over. However, today I will not share anything related to politics, groups affected by recent politics, or anything that can lead to negative thoughts. I need a break from the world and its very confusing environment, I will concentrate instead on the positive!

Well, the best news I can possibly share is this:

I HAVE A JOB!!!!!!!!

Wait it gets better! I have a job doing something I actually wanted to do! I know, I told you it only got better. Yes, I am working as a Research Administrator and although it is a steep learning curve - I LOVE IT! It is not the most exciting or glamorous job in the world but it is a change that I wanted and needed in my life. You could call me a glorified paper pusher but after years of dealing with bio-hazardous waste (literally & metaphorically), I'm enjoying wearing something other than bleach-stained jeans. I'm sure that not everyone is nice and that I am bound to have some run-ins with a few "characters" but on the whole I am happy of having an 8-to-5 job. Believe me it is not a small thing to have this type of job because let me tell you that the life of laboratory people is hard work and long hours. The work can be rewarding but the sacrifice made in the lab is no small feat and for me it was no longer one I wanted to continue. I think as great as all of that is, the best is that it is no longer grant funded. You have no idea the stability and comfort I now feel and how absolutely grateful I am for those two things.

As of my last post I had promised a post on the finished product in my bathroom but honestly I feel quite superficial writing about a silly bathroom when so much has happened. I still need to take the pictures, maybe I'll do that tonight being as I have free evenings and I leave work early.

16 September 2016

Re-Building Identities

Well hello, today I want to write something a little more positive and something that brings me great joy. I have spoken about this before - I process sadness or grief through hard manual labor. I always have, probably always will. I hadn't realized that I needed to mourn the loss of my job, the loss of love I felt for research, especially the loss of identity that came with the first loss. How did I work it out? Well first I focused on my garden and made several changes to my yard and second I focused on my guest bathroom. The garden I have kept everyone up-to-date on and you all know the bad luck pictures brought but the bathroom that was another thing!

Here we go with the bathroom. What you need to know is that my bathrooms had the most horrible wallpaper in the world! First of all it was an ugly pastel rendition of a southwestern pattern from the 80's that was then painted over with an uglier beige color. What it made it absolutely horrible was the fact that it wasn't installed correctly and you could see every single panel individually, where it either wasn't matched correctly or it overlapped panels. Yeah. Blah.

Okay so again I thought that I had before pictures but once more I have remembered half way through that I wanted pictures. Well to the left there you can see the old wallpaper but you can't see the raised texture or the old pattern, I only discovered that when we removed the bathroom mirror. The whole reason I decided to get this done was because that particular faucet started leaking and I was loosing a lot of water. A previous hack job on the faucet caused that leak and they had superglued that tile square around the faucets together and I actually had to break it apart with a hammer for the tile to come off. You'll see what I mean in a bit.

Below is the back wall of the shower, behind the faucets and you can see the water damage caused by the previous hack job and probably old leak, I also tore that out. On this wall you can also see all of the glue on the walls, that was so difficult to remove! I used a 50/50 mixture of water and Downy Softener, notice I was specific of the brand because towards the end I ran out of Downy and I figured dollar store brand would work the same. It didn't. I had to use a lot more of the dollar store brand for it to remove the glue from the walls versus Downy. Don't use the special scents, just the regular old type in the original blue bottle is what you need. The Downy mixture, a scraper, and a sponge to wipe of remaining residue/mixture is all you need, plus some elbow grease. I was able to remove that in a day.

Now after all this I had to tear out walls and put up sheet rock plus primer, compound on corners and edges, plus texturing of the walls, and then paint over the texture. Yes an extremely long process, or so it sounds it took me about 4 days total including prep time. I chose a white with a blue undertone that changes a lot with lighting. I still have to paint the cabinet, replace the sink faucet, and maybe replace the counter top but I'm not sure about the last one yet. Within the shower stall I ended up removing all of the brown area because it was ripped off by the tile. Once I added texturing to the new walls I also had to prime but I suggest using an oil based primer because it will seal any glue you may have missed. If you don't use an oil based primer the glue will absorb moisture from the air and start lifting the paint and anything else you put on the walls. My preferred primer is Zinsser primers, I have to say that they are the best, the oil based primer even works on laminate surfaces.

Next come the after images and although it's not completely done, you'll see why I say that the paint changes colors with the lighting. I don't mind it, I really like it but it might not be everyone's cup of tea. However, that will be for the next post because this has gotten out of hand!

The take away from this process is the following:

  1. Wallpaper glue removal involves a 50/50 Downy Softener and water mixture because it does a great job!
  2. Prime your walls with an oil based primer for the best results. My personal preference is Zinsser Primer, I do not receive any money or product for this endorsement. This is based on personal use and my personal opinion.
  3. I might suggest clean as you go. At the end of each day I would pick up items and sweep the floors and the day we put up the compound texturing I also mopped. This helped keep the mess localized and helped me feel more at ease with the whole process.

07 September 2016

Honey Dew Cantaloupe

Over a month and nothing much to report here.  I am still unemployed and starting to freak out in a bad way because lets be honest I'm a control freak. I like to set goals and reach them asap, checking off items on lists is a high that is unequaled by anything else I know. And no I have never done any drugs that have not been prescribed to me, there really isn't any comparison. Thus not being able to check off "New Job" off my list is annoying to say the least. Control issues, we've discussed this before.

Otherwise life has been okay, moving along a little slow but very quickly, especially when you don't work. You never know what day it is! If it weren't for my phone I would never know if it was Monday or Saturday, never realized how tied my concept of time was to work. Although it has been nice to have vacation time, it is also nice to have that humdrum existence of 8 to 5. I am looking forward to returning to a more structured existence. The only thing that has kept me semi-sane has been my garden and the fruits of my labor can be seen to the right. It weighed in at a little over 30 lbs! It's not as sweet as I thought it would be but the heart is very sweet, as you move towards the rind its not that great. However there are about 5 more of that variety above and a different variety which I planted last year but have no idea what it is because it spontaneously popped up. Yeah I didn't collect it all last year and those that decomposed in the yard came back. I also have cantaloupe that came up the same way as my surprise watermelon. That was weird because it should have been orange on the inside but instead it was green but super sweet, like honey dew melon! Looks like regular cantaloupe but its honey dew on the inside. Still scratching my head on that one, although it feels like my life at the moment. I planted a life I thought I wanted, then ended up with something completely different and next thing I know I have to start the garden all over again. Life and real garden. If I find a job elsewhere I'm going to have to give up gardening probably or just focus on pots.

I think I will bid everyone adieu because if I keep on focusing on the similarities between my garden and my life I am going to have another quarterlife crisis. How do you break those down if you've had more than one? Hope everyone has a good week!

05 August 2016

Feelin' Good

Well hello everyone! How is everyone out there? Me well I'm OK, sort of I guess. I am still unemployed but not unhappy or even completely freaked out. I am well, actually pretty happy. Is that strange? I know had started to freak out because I have officially been unemployed for 2 months but it hasn't been as bad as I thought it would be. Let me describe it a little.

#1 - I have enjoyed the time off, I have worked every month of the past 22 years of my life and this "break" has been a godsend. I really needed to just clear my head and truly find some peace, which I think I achieved for the most part. I'm still sort of freaking out but I've tried to not focus too much on that. Something that helped was that I had an interview 2 weeks ago and it seemed promising. It would be an amazing opportunity for me and has a lot more room for growth in the future, besides the great salary! The best part of it involves a lot of admin work but it is still in my field! I finished the interview and they did say it would take them 2 to 3 weeks to reach a decision and I'm assuming that's because they had others to interview. They may have gone in order of how the applications were received, if that was the case I may have been the first interviewee. I literally submitted my application the same day that job was posted. Yeah I was that excited.
~2 days old.

#2 - I now have a new nephew and let me tell you that those cute bundles are a great stress reliever, especially if you are not it's main source of nourishment. I feel for my sister, that is a difficult thing to do. He is a cutie pie and I love him to bits! I have not forgotten the oldest cutie pie either, I have actually made a greater effort to do things with him on a daily basis. This past weekend and most of this week I spent it helping out my sister and doing lots of babysitting. My mother had been here for the past month or so but she took a break too. I mean come on, a new baby plus a spoiled grandson? Abuelitas can only take so much. Yeah I got my fill of poopy diapers and hungry crying but I loved it too.

#3 - This is pretty important, at least I think so. I realized how sad and unhappy I was at my last job. Perhaps the situation wasn't the worst but I have to admit that it wasn't that okay either. Not even going to say close to best, because it only managed to make the OK list. It was partly the situation and partly the work itself. I think that's why #1 is still alright with me. I was decent at my work but honestly when it came down to it I just didn't see myself pipetting bacteria for the rest of my life. Not just that but I didn't have the desire or drive to continue that work. Some people are happy doing that day-in and day-out but not this Mexican. I needed something that I'm good at and that at the end of the day it ends. Yup, I really want an 8 to 5 scenario, never thought I would say that but there you go :)

Oh yeah and the garden is well, although I've stopped instagraming my photos because they were bad luck! Every single watermelon that I took a picture of or other plant for that matter - DIED!!!!! Yeah I stopped doing that and I now have 2 surviving cantaloupe plants, plus 3 large watermelons that will be ready in a few days. I hope. The front yard needs to be harvested for flower seeds and the grass is good. My "new" bathroom is also almost ready :) Oh yeah I redid the guest bath 2 weeks ago with my Dad! Pictures coming eventually.

Have a good weekend everyone!

06 July 2016

Progress Report

Well hello there, how have all of you been out there? Me busy with a brand new nephew! I've thrown in some gardening and cleaning but mainly the nephew thing. He has been a part of this world now for a week and he has an attitude issue already. I have also been spending a lot of time wishing for rain and a drop in temperature, yeah this week we are triple digits - ALL WEEK LONG. Yesterday's high was 101F (38C) and we expect a high of 105F (40C). I know it's trite to talk about weather but for goodness sake! I also feel kind of sorry for the new member of our family, as his first week is really hot.

Of course I have been family-centric this past week and am quite obsessed with the family addition. My mother arrived about 3 weeks ago and those days before the nephew were rocky for me as my mother was living with me until he was born. Now my mother is happily ensconced at my sisters house and doting upon her older grandson and newer grandson. I love my mother, and I repeat that often to myself but after having lived away from her for so long sharing living quarters is not the easiest thing for me. It also brought my father and my youngest sister to my home and that added some stress to the living situation. You see I am an old cat lady sans cats, entrenched in her ways and loving of her privacy. I repeated to myself that I love them too - often. I think that the biggest issue with these visits isn't them but more the memories of the past and that my family can't always move forward or stop negative behavior. My father for example has never liked my house, he also never misses a chance to remind me. My sister still doesn't understand that I am not a maid and messes just follow her. As for my mother, well nothing is ever enough, I know she cares and thinks she's helping but honestly all I can hear is negative criticism and poof! - I'm 10 years old again. I guess letting go of past hurts is difficult for all but one thing that has helped is therapy and knowing that just because they say it, it doesn't make it true. That last bit has been on repeat for 3 weeks now but I've learned to deal a little better by doing the following:
  • It is temporary. Nothing lasts forever and a few well-meaning mean remarks are not the end of the world, despite being hurtful.
  • Forgiveness is healing. Yes parents can be very hurtful but not always on purpose, yes things pass but if you don't forgive they fester. I've always heard that forgiveness is divine, not to me. That phrase to me alienates me from it's purpose to not only forgive but to heal
  • Speak up when needed and remain quiet when needed. I have learned to speak up when I really can't take it anymore but I also learned to pick my battles. No I will never agree with either of my parents on everything but unless it truly compromises my principles or my safety I do not need to pick a fight over every little thing.
  • Remember what is important. At the end of the day whether they like my clothing, weight, hair, or anything else that is superficial doesn't matter because I know that they do love me and when I've needed help they have been there for me. Every generation is different and how we express that love is also different, just because I love a certain way doesn't mean they have to love the same way.

Other than that I am officially beginning to freak out about the work situation but I have hope I will find something that is the right fit for me soon. I don't want to just settle but it is hard to tell myself to not jump at the first offer. I have to admit that I took June easy, however I have been working since I was 15 years old - a break was due. This month I hope to get a job and I will continue to work towards a better future. Speaking of working, I have continued my garden and although it is not perfect and weeds abound it has not diminished the joy I've taken in my bounty. I have beautiful watermelon, the cantaloupe is finally taking off, my Jujube tree is full of fruit, and although the pomegranate will not provide fruit this year, I know it will next year. I guess seeing that progress has also helped me stay positive, knowing that I can nurture food into this world helps me correlate to my abilities in other areas of life.

24 June 2016

Grateful Friday

Well hello there everyone, as news goes there's not much to share, I am still working on my yard -front and back - and still looking for work. Life has moved on and I am definitely in a better place emotionally. I am still visiting my therapist and it's been helpful because I had a few bumps when I left the lab. Lets just say that letting go of the negative has never been my strong suit and she's really helped me. I know I haven't done a Grateful Friday in a while but honestly it's not for lack of gratefulness, more like I have just been busy and happy. There have been some freak out days and sad days but for the most part I've been positive.

Yesterday was a sad day because I of course lamented my situation and everything that has been going on. I was not very positive and all I could do was think what am I going to do? I am going to starve, lose my house, and end up a vagabond. Then I reminded myself, a) you are to OCD to be a vagabond, b) you have money to survive for 3 months comfortably, c) your family would help if need be, finally d) you will find a job and you will succeed. Of course that didn't come until the end of the day but I made it through and I guess once in a while taking a mental health day is needed, even if you aren't working at the tim. Yeah I've never been good at the positive stuff, my mind has always been a worst scenario kind of person and that's a habit that isn't easy to give up.

Gratefully this Friday here is my list:

Wildflower garden.
  • I am grateful for enough strength to be able to do the work I have been doing for my home and family.
  • The days are longer and sweeter of late, I am definitely a helionist.
  • Very grateful for the little one that will arrive next week! Not me, my sister I would have shared a sonogram if it were me.
  • I am very grateful that I am out of the toxic environment I was in previously.
  • I am hopeful for the future, although this is not "gratefulness" per se, it is something to be happy for because hopeful was not a word I would have used to describe myself 2 months ago.
  • I am grateful for the friends that have stood by me and their support.
  • For the people that I know that are helpful and kind towards me.
  • Even for those that have not been kind to me or helpful because through it all they taught me valuable lessons.
  • Extremely grateful that this month has been so kind because I needed it.
Well what else is there to say? Nothing much more for this week but only that I hope that all are well and that everyone has a great weekend!

03 June 2016

Grateful Friday

I am on my 3rd day of unemployment and it has been kind of nice but soon enough full on panic mode will set in and I will take the first job offered to me. Actually I came a micron away from having a job last week and it was uplifting because I hadn't even applied there. They ended up hiring someone with a masters degree because it killed 2 birds with one stone but I honestly think I was the frontrunner for that position. It would have been an inconvenience to actually take that job but I admit that I was a little excited about it even if I would have had to move. Fresh air and new people would have been nice but I guess things tend to work out for the best and who knows perhaps there are better things around the bend.

My initial plans were to spend my days working in the garden but I have to admit that I have not stuck to all of my goals. The first day all I did was relax and wallow a little in self-pity but that is also the day I found out I didn't get the above position - oh yeah it was for chemistry teacher at a HS 90 minutes away from where I live. It also rained cats and dogs that day and the next so gardening has been out of the question. I also had a therapy session that day and that helped me move past the self-pity session. Second day I actually went through my house with my sister and got together a bunch of stuff to sell at a garage sale on Saturday, it was nice to slough off excess even if I don't actually have tons of excess stuff. Either way it was good to get rid of stuff associated to things that were negative or what-if's. Today I have spent most of the day doing chores around the house, I also have some books so I can study some for my certification and then some time with my sister to be able to organize the garage sale for tomorrow. Although by previous standards - that burn me out - I am not as productive, I still feel quite productive. 

So what am I grateful for this week?
  • I'm so grateful that I've let go of what I thought my life should be and am embarking on the possibilities it could be.
  • Especially grateful for my family and all their support.
  • Thankful for my friend Isa who has been a rock, I only hope I can be of help to her too.
  • Very grateful to my therapist who has been a great cheerleader when I have most needed it.
  • Grateful to find my center again and realize that 18 yo me had a pretty clear idea of who she was and I let others and time almost convince me that was too childish.
  • Glad that music is the salve that is readily available for my soul. I have to admit just listening to some good music helps me immensely. Probably why I got so mad at that one co-worker who insisted on no music in the lab, I need it to focus and for relaxation.
OK that last one was little philosophical and sarcastic me is rolling her eyes right now but it's true.
 Well I hope everyone has had a great week and you have a great weekend :)

28 May 2016

Grateful Saturday!

Some days gratefulness is not easy to come by, especially when you're looking at your neighbors green grass. Oh it is difficult to not compare, especially for me. One bad thing that I learned in my childhood was to compare myself - to everyone and anyone. Lately I've been doing it a lot more so I think this week's gratefulness post should be about things I'm grateful I can do - without comparisons.

  • I am surprisingly not a bad artist. I am creative.
  • I am quite good at all sorts of puzzles, which I think helped me a lot these past few years at work.
  • Despite having been twice bitten, I am not shy of looking for the good in others. I should be shy of trusting but what can I say I like to talk to people and find their good. Unfortunately I have met unsavory characters that have more bad than good, selfish mostly who will take a lot if you let them.
  • I am adventurous, perhaps not formula one racing adventurous but I love to try new things.
  • I am an excellent cook even if my nephew does not appreciate my palate :)
  • As a friend if you need me I will be there or at least will try my best to be there for you.
  • I am now an excellent gardner, well I think so :)
  • I think a decent writer as well, not that I've written much lately but I hope to have more time soon.
  • I am a good daughter, a great sister, and a loving friend.
  • Teaching is something I also do well and I enjoyed for the time I taught.
Not sure what else I'm good at but I also don't want to toot my own horn too much, besides I have bigger fish to fry now. Yesterday was the last day of actual work in the lab and although I left with some mixed emotions I left with a light heart and light of step. I was a bit emotional but at the same time I felt so free. I am a little worried about finding work but I'm looking forward to not going back to the laboratory. It was a difficult transition, especially because I felt like I was put down again and quite honestly forced to leave in a way. Part of it was how I handled things because I set impossible expectations at first and then attempted to change them because I was burned out and unhappy. I guess change does not come easy to anyone, employee or employer. Now all that is left is for me to return on Tuesday and close out my position. I feel very hopeful and relaxed.

Today was great, spent it with family and just chilled. I didn't worry about experiments or lab meetings or analyzing data, I simply enjoyed my family. Keep me in your thoughts and send good vibes my way because now I need to find a job! Have a wonderful weekend!

22 May 2016

Grateful Day!

I have a lot to be grateful for last week and this week! I may need to move the grateful post to another day because it seems I just cannot get my butt in gear lately. Anyway let's jump in!

  • The best thing about last week was that my little sister graduated from university! She is now officially out of school and part of the adult world! It's not the best club in the world but we are all so proud that she finished her program.
  • It rained! It has been great to see so much rain, we really needed the moisture. The ground was so dry! It's still raining.
  • My garden is looking good, even if I'm the one that has to say so :)
  • I had an interview that I aced, although it may lead to a dead end. More on this later.
  • I spent a great weekend with the family this past weekend. 
  • I have hope for the future, more so today than I did a month ago.
  • Therapy is progressing well and I am learning to be nicer to myself. I feel like my therapists biggest challenge is getting me to be nice to myself. If were just half as nice as I am to others, I think I wouldn't need therapy.
  • Work is going by quickly and I have been super busy. Obviously everything has to be done before I leave because who else will do it once I'm gone right? In science, it is never over and quite honestly at this point in time I am so ready to say sayonara! No doubt someone else will figure it all out and any contributions I have made will be forgotten. C'est la vie.
  • I have completed some major steps for a complete career change and they were kind of scary.
  • I am grateful especially for my family and friends.
Obviously life has been pretty hectic but I am really trying to focus on living in a balanced fashion because dedicating every waking thought to research is not healthy for me or anyone else. Work really has been a challenge lately, my instinct is to stay late and work my butt off but common sense tells me 4 hrs more will not really accomplish more. On the contrary I will be miserable and the work will suffer, as it had been. As for my home, the inside has suffered some but the yard is looking pretty good. I want to say life is good although at this exact moment I'm not feeling it because quite honestly it is good. Yes I am definitely starting to feel freaked out by not having a job lined up yet but the thought of continuing in research is just depressing. I'm a strong person, I have tolerated almost 7 years of absolute misery, breaks in between but miserable nonetheless. Some of the past 10 years of research have been good, I can't complain about all of them but the past 2 years have been particularly difficult because I was so unhappy. Enough of that, moving on! Hopefully to bigger and better things :)

I hope everyone has had a good weekend because I surely did!

09 May 2016

Belated Grateful Friday!

Well I have just not been good about doing these posts but I do enjoy doing the grateful list.
  • I cleaned part of the front yard! A very small portion of the yard is now weed free and has basil seeds that will hopefully come up soon.
  • I attended a job fair on Friday and I got my name out there.
  • A company contacted me for a preliminary interview, a little nervous about that.
  • My whole family was in town to celebrate my nephew's birthday and that was fun.
  • I woke up everyday last week feeling good about myself.
I feel like I've made progress and that things seem to be looking up but I'm not going to call it a success just yet because it seems that my life is more down than up some weeks or months or years. The therapy continues and I am really trying hard to follow my therapist's advice but some days are easier than others. Last week had a couple of bitter pills but overall I managed things well. At least I think I did. We'll see how everything progresses but I have hope and I have a semi-plan. After all, the best laid plans of mice and (wo)men often go awry. Hopefully I will have some news concerning work soon!

Hope everyone had a great week and weekend!

03 May 2016

Belated Grateful Friday

I have a lot to be thankful for, especially these past 2 weeks. My life is slowly changing and I am looking forward to a lot of these changes. Although right about now I am truly freaking out because I have not found
My Jujube tree, lots of chile planted,
some corn, and cantaloupe!
a job yet. I perhaps jumped the gun but at the same time I no longer felt welcome or comfortable in my job so I figured better jump ship while the jumping was good. What is done is done, no point in freaking out now I guess, just need to plow ahead.

OK, grateful list coming your way:

  • I have maintained weight, not a great number but maintained.
  •  I feel much less stressed.
  • I am hopeful I will find a job soon.
  • Weather was amazing this last week.
  • I finished planting my veggies! The little garden actually looks really nice.
  • My sisters and I are going through a really great point in our relationships.
  • My parents and I are going through a good transformation in our relationship too. This is big because my relationship with them has not always been – nice.
  •  Although there is a bunch of crazy scary up in the air I feel good, better than I have in a long time!

Well for this last week this is the list and I’m happy for all that it brought. I hope everyone has had a great week!

25 April 2016


Lately I have been feeling very hurt and angry and I have tried letting go of the feelings by saying that it was partly my fault. I have tried to find my fault in all of this . What I found was that I have spent a long time trying to please many people and little to please myself. Now this may sound trivial or repetitive but what can I say I can be thick at times. I always talk about things I would like to do and how I WILL do them but in the end I spend my time pleasing others. I want to travel yet I chose to stay in a job that I secretly and sometimes publicly hate. I say I want nicer people in my life but I continue to indiscriminately allow everyone into my life and then wonder why I get bit in the ass.

Yes, others have contributed to my overall unhappiness but I have helped them along the way. Wanting to fulfill other's expectations first allowed them to expect too much from me. What have I done about this? Well, I have now limited access to my life for some people but the main thing is I began therapy. It's not easy to say or to even describe but it's helped. It's only been 2 sessions but having an "objective" view of my situation has helped a lot. I don't think I'll be put on happy pills but I have to say that if I had remained where I was, I may have needed some of that happy. Therapy will hopefully give me some tools to handle future downturns in life and help me achieve some clarity in what path I should take. At least it will give me a safe place to vent and understand why I do some of the things I do.

I actually thought about this post for a long time before publishing. I have re-written, deleted, added, deleted again, so many times that it no longer resembles what I started writing. Honestly the first draft was a lot of anger and calling out some people. I decided I didn't need to call out anyone, no matter what they said to me or did. Let me tell you that there's been a few negative nancy's lately but I have done a decent job of moving past the issues. I am feeling better definitely but I think the thing that helped the most was the decision I took about my job. It was very freeing. After all is said and done, the fear of not finding a job is easier to deal with than the stress of my work. This had even interfered with my grateful list. I'll be back to this soon but I had also been kind of busy.

Well hope everyone had a great weekend!

08 April 2016

Grateful Friday

How was this week? Bad and good. The week started off badly but it ended on a slightly positive note – I guess. Partially bad because I saw some true colors (mine and others) but also good because I have made a decision that is going to impact me dramatically in a positive manner.  First lets go through the grateful list and then I’ll explain all the coming changes.

  •  I woke up every day this week. Always good. 
  • I had a day off during the week.
  •  There is more sun in the evenings and I get to do stuff outside now! I missed the sun! I usually get out of work late, no matter what the entry time is, which means during daylight savings time I leave when it’s already dark or the sun is setting.
  • I have great friends and an amazing sister. I really needed their support this week and they truly came through for me.
  • I had surprise blue bonnets this week in my garden! I was surprised because nothing bloomed last year from any of the lupine seeds I planted but apparently they only bloom when they want to, at least in my case.
  • I put away a good amount of money for a rainy day (not a whole lot but to me a lot).
  • I got to play soccer and basketball with my nephew almost every day this week in the afternoons. That was fun and he seemed to enjoy the time together.
  • I cleaned out my closet of clothing that does not fit and is outdated, a little hard to do but necessary.

Okay now for the big changes! Well, I am leaving science – I hope. I have spoken with my boss and we decided that this is not for me; I think he knew before I did but I’m glad he allowed me to give notice instead. Mind you when I left the last lab and moved to this one I was really unhappy at the time. When I started in this lab the people made it such a nice place to work that I pulled the wool over my eyes. Although I love to learn new things, I made the same mistake I had made before – I worked weekends and late nights and burnt myself out; at the same time setting ridiculous expectations for my employer of what my schedule would be. This is not the schedule I wanted or want, especially as my family is now closer. I want time to volunteer and not feel like I am failing at work for leaving at 18:30. I want to go home and cook a dinner and eat it before 22:00 or at least have dinner with my sister. I want to wake up during the weekend and not think about having to go to the lab.

I don’t have another job lined up but I have almost 2 months to find one before the cash flow stops. I did have an interview this week but they decided to go in a different direction. I literally went through the whole process – 1 phone interview, 1 online testing, and a final interview. The next day they emailed me, saying no thanks which was surprising because they had discussed salary, training, benefits, and scheduling at the end of the interview. I have no idea what went wrong or why they said no but I was really bummed afterwards. This is where the friends and family stepped in and helped out a lot!

Obviously I am still looking and hopefully I find something soon, my end date here is May 31st and I have a small nest egg in vacation time. The company pays out unused vacation time and I have about 2 months’ worth of vacation time just sitting there; that can float me for a bit if I don’t find work in the interim. I gave my notice with the understanding that if I do find work prior to the end date then I leave before then and I really hope that I find work before then.  Otherwise I will be at work and finish up some projects before I leave.
I am scared and excited, I am also freaking out some but I have faith I will find something soon. Somewhere I can grow both in position and salary because this altruistic science thing does not pay the bills comfortably.

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

01 April 2016

Grateful Friday

Almost. This week had been a good week, in comparison to past weeks you could classify it as really good but that is relative. Almost made it there too. It was a good morning and then I was asked something that threw a pall over the day and this week's accomplishments. I know that I shouldn't let one little comment make a difference but the implications to my work are rather detrimental. I hope that this is my imagination but I know my brain - it likes to obsess. Let's distract that little organ and focus on the positive.

  • I have prioritized my time well this week.
  • I finished the design for the back yard for this summer. I really needed to sit down and decide where I was going to place seeds and different veggies.
  • I am also happy I didn't do the seed planting last weekend because we had freezing weather last night and probably tonight again. Yay procrastination!
  • My bedroom is still relatively clean. Lately it had been a disaster and having cleaned it up a bit has really helped improve my mornings too.
  • I got to see 2 friends that I hadn't seen in a long time and that was great. I have good friends.
  • I have been at work rather early this week and that is a plus because sometimes getting out of bed is the biggest battle of the week or day. 
  • We had a late night project at work this week that went rather well, at least in my opinion. 
  • I had good news on Monday, I'm hoping to do a post about this next week.
  • I had good talks with some friends and they gave me hope for the future.
  • My family is happy and healthy. 
The last item is the most important thing in this whole list. My father had surgery last year before Christmas and he is doing well. My mother is also in good health. My sister and her family are in good health. My youngest sister is finally in good health, she apparently has a thyroid issue but it has been diagnosed and properly treated now. Life is not an easy road and it has kicked my butt on more than one occasion but for the most part I have found happiness and I will again. Today is not forever and it is not the whole past. 

I hope everyone has a great weekend and I will work at having a good one too!

28 March 2016

Belated Grateful Friday!

Another late Grateful Friday but I had a lot to be grateful for last week so I'm going to go ahead and write it out!

  • I am currently looking for better opportunities and growth in my life. I took 2 major steps towards that last week and it was great. 
  • I got up each day with hope or at least I worked my way there.
  • My parents came to visit and it was a great weekend for all! Including my little sis! We had fun and good food.
  • My flowers are blooming, not everything but some of them, including the tulips! I didn't even think they were still alive but apparently some are still buried down there. 
  • I had a demonstration of a machine called Evapor at the house and they got some ketchup out of my bedroom carpet and an old paint stain. I was impressed by the machine but not enough to fork out $3000 but I still got a free carpet cleaning for my bedroom.  :D
I don't remember all the details from last week but it was a better week. I felt less stressed and more hopeful than I have in a long time. Life is definitely not perfect and some days are rather difficult but at least things are looking up for me. There are a lot of changes going on with me right now but I don't feel at liberty to discuss them right now but be assured that I will most definitely be discussing them soon! At least I hope so.

I hope everyone has a great week!

18 March 2016

Grateful Friday

This week being grateful is going to be very difficult. There were a lot of things that didn't work out for me and a deadline I did not meet. The latter has thrown a shadow over all of the week. I know I shouldn't define myself by my work because it's just a job, it is not all of me but it is very difficult to see myself or circumstances in any type of positive light. However, the point of being nicer to myself and these posts is to find the positive in my life and myself, so here goes.

  • I have woken up every single morning this week, albeit with the help of an alarm but it counts.
  • I took a positive step on Tuesday towards better mental and emotional well-being. I'm not quite ready to disclose details yet but it actually made the rest of the week much more bearable.
  • I have written some kick-ass cover letters this week. Details to come.
  • I have not killed any plants despite my lack of attention this week. 
  • I had lunch with my bestie and have weekend plans with her.
  • I let go of an issue that was bothering me, it was a nasty email and I let it go. 
  • I watched a cool movie - "Man Up" a british comedy.
  • Finally had some good results at work, even if the deadline was missed.
Outside of work I didn't have a whole lot of interactions with other people. My bestie works on a different floor now and I don't get to see her as often, just at lunch and not always. Currently my only human interactions involve co-workers, my sister is out of town so I'm on my own. Although my co-workers are nice, but they're co-workers. We do the friend thing outside of work but I think all of us sometimes just don't want to see each others faces. 

As for the deadline, I am disappointed in myself but there's nothing I can do now except keep on working and improve my situation. I tend to be very hard on myself and this has really brought me down. I hope I can move on from this funk soon.

Well there you have it, my list on the positive. If you think it's sparse it might be because I have been working extra hours, not a lot of other stuff going on at the moment. Hopefully, next week will be better.

Hope everyone has a great weekend.

12 March 2016

Grateful Friday (Belatedly)

It is not next week yet and as I want at least one post on gratefulness per week, here's mine for this week.

  • Despite my lack of control over how other people drive, I am still alive. I was almost hit the other day because a vehicle just decided to change lanes. I have since decided to be a little more defensive when driving.
  • I have recovered from my everlasting cold! I was eventually diagnosed with a mild case of bronchitis but I am all better now. Cough is gone and so is the congestion!
  • I had a great birthday dinner with my sister and an excellent lunch with my friends. This one is a little late but it was a nice day. My nephew went to school that day and told his teacher that it was a very special day. When asked he answered, "Because it's my tia's birthday!", a duh moment in his opinion, that made my day.
  • My sleep quality has improved, although I could be better about going to bed earlier.
  • I have really great friends in my life, even if I don't always acknowledge how amazing they are. 
This week posed a challenge in finding the positive things because it was tough. I'm not even sure if I believe everything I've written today. Life goes on and changes need to be made and the above is one small step in that direction. I'm not giving up because I know that better times are ahead.

09 March 2016

Budget Dreams

I haven't thought about this in a long time and I have to say that my ideal has definitely changed over time. In my teens the ultimate goal was to travel to Europe and see the great classics, which I did for the most part. Mind you I worked 2 jobs, went to school full-time, and commuted for 2 hours everyday to go to school/work to be able to afford this trip. This was definitely something my family could NOT pay for at the time or even now for that matter. I worked my ass off for that trip and I have great memories from that trip. I don't think I had a typical experience as far as college students are concerned but it was my own.

I have walked the streets of Paris and sat beneath the Eiffel Tower during a night filled with fireworks. The only thing missing that night was a beautiful male model feeding me chocolate covered strawberries and champagne. I walked the paths of the Druids at Stonehenge and climbed the Alps in Switzerland. In Greece, I had plates broken over my head and walked the ruins of Athens. I can't complain. I've seen a lot in my life, all of this before I was 25 years old. Now I've even had the opportunity to travel to South America, perhaps not as many countries as Europe but I will not complain. Yes I know it was during winter and it was for work but it was still cool.

Now however, my budget is much more limited than it was in my teens and 20's. I have a house to pay, utility bills, chores, and adult-like responsibilities. Student loan debt is no joke and no matter how much Elizabeth Warren hits at banks and the Fed about student loans, I don't think that interest rates will ease up on students or their families. Budget woes in mind, I think my ideal vacation would be spending it with my family somewhere in the US. My father's dream is to drive up to Yellowstone Park and camp out. I am not a camper, I like beds above the ground away from spiders and I adore indoor bathrooms with plumbing. However, I would actually love to do this trip with my family. I've always wanted to visit that part of the US and although it may not be the glamorous streets of Rome or Paris, I have no doubt that it would be beautiful. At the ripe old age of 37, a road trip with my family (parents, sisters, nephews, and in-laws) is the dream vacation nowadays.

Where would you go on your dream vacation?

07 March 2016

Happy Belated Birthday to Dr. Seuss!

Can I re-do year 35? Please? OK, not 35 let's go all the way back to 25. Seriously!

There's a scene in the movie "Thirteen going on Thirty" that I like and dislike. Jen Garner's character asks her mother if she would go back in time and change any of the bad decisions she's made. Her mother's answer is, no because then she wouldn't be the person she is today, all her mistakes helped create the good in her life. I like the answer because it is true, without the mistakes or the good decisions we make we can't be who we are. What I don't like is that I don't feel I like who I've become or who I feel I've been pushed into being by my mistakes.

This is petty. Even I know that because while there is breath we can work towards being a better person. A better person not by the standards of others but by the standards we set for ourselves. Whether we follow a religious standard or just a personal moral view of the world, we can always make changes in ourselves and our lives. What I dislike about this idea is that I have to work my  ass off to accomplish this change. Petty I know.

Well although this post is a little late, I have actually been working on it the whole past week. This year #37 needs to be about working on myself and building the person that I actually like. I don't care if anyone else likes it, but I need to change me to someone I like. I'm known as a funny person, always willing to help, always an ear to listen to your problems. This year I need to find some ears to listen to me, this year I need to stop smiling when what I really want to do is scream, this year I need to not concentrate on the physical me but on the emotional me.

26 February 2016


I think that from now on Friday will be a day of gratitude, I don't think I could do it on Monday. A recap of the good will help start the weekend off well I think. Last year was a focus on a lot of bad things but this year I really want that to change. Especially after this week, I have been sick again and it is no bueno.

  • I'm getting better, this is a very good thing. I can breathe again!
  • I have woken up every day this week. That's a plus.
  • I figured out why my crochet circle looked so weird and I learned something about crochet in the process.
  • I found out what the new addition to my sister's family is going to be, can't tell because her husband doesn't know yet. 
  • My guest is leaving next week, although he is a nice & fun person, it will be nice to be able to walk out in my undies again. Not that I do that.
  • The weather is warming up and that helps me feel a little better every day.
Otherwise I haven't been doing much of late, except be sick. I felt slightly congested last week on Friday. Then over the weekend it just became progressively worse and so I went home sick on Monday, eventually to the doctor and turns out I have bronchitis. Yup. Well, lets not be dramatic, a slight bronchitis according to the NP (nurse practitioner) but now I have been given a treatment and an inhaler. Hopefully I will mend soon and believe me I will be taking supplements and lots of vitamin C from now on! I do not plan on spending Christmas sick again or any more days in what's left of 2016 in bed with a cold/flu.

Not a lot of "big" ticket items this week but hey. I guess not everyday can be a day in the life of Indiana Jones right?

Hope everyone has a good weekend!

17 February 2016

Twice Bitten But Not Shy

The summer bug has bitten me already! I actaully spent time this weekend picking out seeds I want to plant and now I have to cut some of the players from last year. Oops. Will someone please keep me away from the gardening section. In my 20's it was shoes, in my 30's it's plants. If it weren't for the fact that spilling acid on my legs and feet were an issue, it would probably still be shoes. However, the new obsession du jour is gardening. It can be a little frustrating at first but seeing the first bloom is so satisfying or harvesting that first cantaloupe just delicious. Yeah I've been bitten.

This year I'm going to plant my pomegranate and it should do well in this zone. I also plan on planting the Pride of Barbados that I stole found seeds for in Carlsbad. This particular plant is beautiful and this one will be highlighted in the front yard! As for the front yard I'm keeping it simple this year with some wild flowers that I collected last year and this lovely specimen.

Well I hope everyone is having a good week so far :) 

08 February 2016

Coffee and Thoughts

Well I'm still working on me and working at work and things seem to be better of late. At least I feel less stressed. I have also been better about going to bed at a decent hour, that's really helped with my energy levels. Coffee has gone back to the acquired taste that it is, instead of being the only reason my eyes were open.  Now I'm not saying my life is perfect, just better. Especially because I've been working on the whole letting go of things and not obsessing on that which is not in my control.  Life has a way of making you learn that lesson whether you want to or not, it's taking me way too long. I feel confident that I am making headway in my approach to mindfulness.

Relative to this I recently read an article that sort of fit into my look into my past for this year. It discussed the fact that only living in the moment negates who we were or could be because we look neither forward nor backward.  The present is great but it could never be what it is without our past, I like the idea. You can find the article here.

As for the present and the future, this is what I need to do! I still want to learn how to play the piano and I think learning how to read music would be the first step.

Well I hope everyone had a nice weekend!

How to Read Music
A 5-minute starter course on reading music:
Posted by TED-Ed on Saturday, January 30, 2016

28 January 2016

Lives of Passion - ?

I wonder how many people are passionate about what pays their bills, mainly because I've been wondering that myself. I am envious of those people who truly feel that their work/job defines them as a person. For example my boss would die a happy man if he could work in the lab late into his life. Most other people I know just see it as a means to an end.

My first boss in research was focused on making money, although he always pretended it was because he wanted to treat cancer but he was defined by his work. The next one was better and she was more dedicated to the "fun" of the research but in the end it really didn't define her. The one after her was confused about how he saw his career. I think he wanted fame and money but also was in "love" with the science, in the end it doesn't define him. The present boss is defined by his work, even on vacation he'll check in or dedicate some time to his work. None of these situations are bad or good, they're in-between.

Minion Hat for the nephew.
I think when we define ourselves by our work, what we are really saying is that it is something we are passionate about. Those above I think simply found what they are passionate about. A recurring theme for me is that - no passion. I always feel confused and frustrated when people ask me what my passion is. I do not feel I have a passion but I enjoy doing so much. Let's see, I like to knit, crochet, draw, paint, build things, renovate items/houses, honestly anything creative. Also when I'm helping people, whether teaching a technique or helping someone else with something.

What to do then to find something to be passionate about? First I want to look back over my past. If I had to pick a job that I truly enjoyed, it was when I was a student assistant at UTEP. I processed the applications for incoming international (foreign) students and helped validate their financial information. Believe it or not most universities have other students look at bank statements for foreign nationals, yeah I know sooooo responsible. It's not that I enjoyed looking at bank statements, more like I enjoyed the interaction with the incoming students and providing them with assistance. That is my favorite from my varied job history, which includes retail (Eddie Bauer & Best Buy), restaurants (McD's), teaching, research, and door-to-door sales of tamales/sundries. The sundries includes stuff I would sell during the summer from catalogs to get cool stuff. My parents weren't huge on allowances, you did chores because you lived there and that was a privilege.

Perhaps that is the answer, something that has paperwork to push but also gives me varied human interaction? What exactly falls under this that does not leave me responsible for 100+ kids? Well, teaching was my second favorite. Perhaps I should be a bureaucrat? No I have an issue with extreme inefficiency. More thought needs to go into this. Sigh.

Well off to rethink this passions thing.

21 January 2016

2016 - Year of Mindfulness

When I was in middle school, I discovered Anne of Green Gables. It became one of my favorite books and I loved that little girl so much! I loved the fact that she had a bosom friend, that she lived somewhere and in a time that you read poetry for pleasure. I dreamt of having a friend that I was so close with that we would die for each other, not literally but maybe a little. If it hadn't been for her I probably would never have picked up a book of poetry in my life! She was spunky, she fought for what was right but most of all she always loved unconditionally and was unconditionally kind; even when Gilbert pulled her hair. She also made mountains out of mole hills quite often but that is part of being 13 years old in my opinion.

Anne Shirley definitely had a positive influence in my life,I smile remembering her exploits and the sweetness of her life - even if it was fiction. I learned so many "big" words through her books because everything had to be amazing in her world. I actually gifted that book to a friends daughter and she enjoyed it as much as I did apparently.

Well, this year I have decided to revisit my past but in a positive manner. Sometimes we forget the good we did and only focus on the bad we had. This year my goals aren't going to be about more this, more that or just me, I want to expand the circle of action.

  • I want to teach and encourage my nephew to read more, something he's loving since he got to kindergarten. He has really enjoyed learning to read and constantly asks for help sounding out words. 
  • I would like to be unconditionally kind like Miss Shirley, towards my friends, my family and strangers. Anne didn't always remember but whenever she forgot, she did her best to make things right. I also don't plan on being stupid, I want to be kind not taken advantage of. Like Anne, I do want to rectify when I can. Kindness to me is mindfulness of our actions and words, I especially want to be kind towards myself, be mindful of what I say to myself and how I act towards myself.
  • I definitely want to work on my health, I started last year off with a cold and I ended with a cold. I really need to boost my immune system, eat better and exercise mindfully. I was so focused on losing weight that instead I lost health. Exercise without proper nutrition and mental health is good for nothing. FYI I did not lose weight, I ended up gaining weight instead. Thus this year will be dedicated to eating better and yummier, also to boosting my immune system.
  • I want to say "No" more often, at least to the things that don't matter in the long run. I spend too much time trying to please and be a "better" friend that I end up being a very half-assed friend most of the time. That means less of some things but more time to truly enjoy a moment or person. Less rushing to meet this friend and then running to the next obligation, friends are not obligations. Family is not an obligation either but I feel sometimes I treat them like one.
  • I would like to set goals for long term happiness. Such as finishing a Masters in something I am passionate about. I want to find something to be passionate about. Establish habits to enjoy in the future not activities to fill the now.
  • I would like to find a volunteer opportunity that is more my speed and liking. I think volunteering for a person and attempting to convince conservative west Texas to vote for a Democrat even a conservative Democrat was stretching it a lot. Perhaps focus on something I've always liked or am good at, don't know what that is but I'm sure I'm bound to find something.
  • I would like to read more books. I really do not make time for reading at all, I used to enjoy it so much and nowadays I'm lucky to get in 2 books per year.
  • This year I also want to face my fears. I'm not talking about heights or spiders, only one of these scares me, but of legitimate fears that most humans have. We fear the unknown, the what if's of life, such as losing our jobs or having a health emergency. This is why I want to address my health. Foremost in my mind this year is my health and my financial situation.
I will be proactive about pursuing work and life goals but what is accomplished will be done whole heartedly, what is not accomplished will be for future work. This  year I'm taking it easy and just relaxing, no high expectations. I will try and address fears, some financial worries that I have but I think those things are something that will evolve over time not within the span of 365 days. I want to enjoy my days but also provide balance in the time I dedicate to the future and the present. I guess I want to enjoy my present but not hinder my future, lets see how that works out.