Thursday, January 16, 2014

2014 - Life is bittersweet

So here we are 3 months later, after my last post. A lot has happened and I thought I should update and put things into perspective again.

  • Our friend who I wrote about back then has passed. He fought a good fight, but in the end it was not God´s will for him to live longer. We lost 2 close friends last year. We pray for the widow´s who have to manage and learn to live on their own now. We will miss Evald and Werner dearly!

  • I started a new job again. I was 10 months at my previous job, but knew pretty soon, that it was not a job I wanted to stay at for long. So when this other position opened up, I applied and (hallelujah!!) got it. I love it! I have my own office, I can work at my own preference and I can take days off, without having to search for a replacement. Something I couldn´t at the previous position.

  • We celebrated Christmas with our new son in-laws and it was great! I love that they like each and visit each other. Something I have prayed for.

  • I am healthy again. Thank you Lord! Even though I still need to lose weight and start walking again, I do feel great. I know it is not to be taken for granted. Too fast things can change.

  • I got a new kitchen! Those that have me on fb have seen the pics, but here´s a glimpse for you.

  •  I love it. It´s so light and bright and clean. :) Too bad a cook doesn´t come with it. haha

  •  It is summer where we live and everyone is taking their vacations. We plan on going to a  hotel in eastern Paraguay next month, so that is something to look forward to.

  • This year is looking good so far. I miss reading everyone´s blogs, but am glad to keep up with some of you who are my fb friends. I wish you all a happy and healthy New Year!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Life is hard sometimes

Not sure why I´m here, because I had made the decision to stop posting here. But in a way it´s therapeutic to put down my thoughts and feelings here. I hope you don´t mind.
Life is full of sickness and pain at the moment. It´s so hard to watch a loved one suffer. We have friends who have cancer, we watch them..... we have a dad who fell and broke his hip, had a hip replacement, is still in hospital and is not getting any better, we watch him.....we have friends who´s marriages have split, we watch them.
What is a person to do? We pray. We try to help as best we can, but it hurts. I knew the time would come when people close to us would die, or suffer, and tried to prepare myself for it, but you really can´t. We are at the age, where sickness can come at any time. I was in the hospital for 3 days in Aug. and Sept, for two very different reasons. Both not explainable, no diagnosis. The pain came and went and no one knows from what. In Sept I had an allergic reaction  like I´ve never had before. One morning I woke up and my whole upper body was covered with red rash, even my face. Only after a few days of cortisone through the IV, did it go away. No one knows the reason for it.
I blame my sicknesses on my lack of exercise. Since I started full time work, I have not been able to do my walking like I used to. Back when I walked every day, I felt great. I know I have to get back to a routine of walking again and am working on getting my motivation up for that. It also helped to clear my mind. I know it was good for me, why is it so hard to do then??
I´d like to say to those that are healthy and have healthy friends and family: BE THANKFUL for each day  you have this blessing and know it is a gift from God. God knows how much a person can take, and doesn´t put more on his shoulders than that, but sometimes I think we need to focus on ourselves too, to not let ourselves get rolled over. We need to distance ourselves and not forget to focus on our own soul, we need to be aware of how much we can take. How to do that? Maybe a weekend away, or some time alone. That´s why it´s so important I start walking again too. Maybe your comments will spur me on. :)

My work is busy, but good. I think God gave me this new job, so I would be able to focus on that in the daytime and not have to dwell on the hard things happening in our lives at the moment. Even though it drains me totally some days, I´m thankful for the meaning it gives my day.

So, yes life is hard at the moment, but there will come other times. We will master this with God´s help and hope for better times.

Thanks for listening to my thoughts.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Wednesday´s Hodgepodge

It´s been too long, that I haven´t been here! I miss you guys and wish I could read all your blogs more regularly. But today I have some free time, so I thought I´d join in the Hodgepodge.

1. What's something you're never too young or too old to enjoy?

Good food, good books and travel. Ok maybe one day you´ll be too old to travel, but you should do it as long as you can. Oh, and good friends. NEVER too old for that.

2. Share one happy memory from your high school years.
When we moved back to Paraguay, I was just starting high school.

I had a hard time accepting that we lived in Paraguay now, but the one thing that got me "over" it was that we were allowed to drive around on our motorcycle from a very young age. We lived/live in a very remote area, a small town community and back then there were even fewer rules and regulations, so we had the freedom of driving ourselves around. It was FUN and gave a the feeling of being grown up.

3. A nationwide strike of fast food employees took place in the US last week...they're calling for higher wages and the right to unionize. Your thoughts?

Don´t really have an opinion on this, but I would totally be against a union. Those people that want one do not know that they may earn more, but there are other "ties" to consider.

4. September is National Honey Month...what's a favorite dish you make or eat that calls for honey?

I rarely use honey. If I do it´s on fresh baked bread with lots of butter underneath...haha

5. If you notice someone with a tag sticking out, a button unbuttoned, a shirt inside-out, or some leftover lunch between their teeth, do you say something or do you keep quiet?

I agree with Joyce, if I know the person I would probably say something, but if not....not sure.

This reminds me of a funny story. My friend always tells her husband what to wear, and one time he was going on a trip to a conference in Asuncion. So she packed his clothes and put notes on his shirts, saying "this shirt goes with the brown pants". The husband goes to the conference and puts on the clothes, like the wife had packed, but forgets to take the note off the shirt.... So when he walked into the conference, luckily someone told him, he had a note sticking on his shirt....hahahaha

6. What's a movie that always makes you cry? Or at least makes you feel like crying?

I haven´t watched a movie in such a long time. But one that made me cry, is "Into the wild". The book is really good too. So sad.

7. Mary Had a Little Lamb was written in 1830, and published in Juvenile Miscellany in September of that same year. Now for the fun part...create your own four line rhyme using that same tune.

Oh Joyce, I hate rhymes and doing rhymes! :) But for you:

Today is my day off, yeah!
My day off,  yeah!
My day off yeah!

What will I do with all the time?!

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Just to catch you all up, all is good here. The job is busy but good. This month will be very slow, because my boss is traveling, so I have very little to do....hence the spurt in blogging. haha
The girls are doing good as well. Busy with working and being newlyweds. Last week we celebrated hubby´s birthday and our son-in laws prepared dinner for us all. He loved that (as you can see). ;)

Sunday we celebrate 34 years of marriage. How did that happen??! I think we may have skipped a couple of years. haha

Thursday, June 27, 2013

I used to be....

Hello again!
I decided it was high time for another post and my friend Jeanie gave me a great idea. She wrote about the jobs she has had in her life and it was really interesting. You should check out her post here.

Anyway, maybe in the future someone in my family is interested in what their mom/grandmother used to do, so this is for them.

I started out working young. I was 17 and did not enjoy going to school, so I dropped out after grade 10. I started working in a store, but after only a few months decided to move to Canada instead.

Over there my first job was in a factory, making drawers. Reality hit and I realized that I did not want to do this for the rest of my life and that I had made a mistake in not finishing high school. Why I never took some classes to get my degree, I will never know. Something was always more important or there was no time.

Anyway I did take some evening classes and was able to train as a bank teller. This was the line of work I loved. Working with numbers. I only lasted about 6 months as a teller, when a job in the loan department opened up and I applied for that and got it. I loved that job. It was the job I have loved the most from my "working career". I stayed there for about 3 years until I got pregnant and had to stop working due to difficulties during the pregnancy.

That was in 1986 and the beginning of the most important job of my life. Having two beautiful girls and trying to instill lasting values onto them, was very important to us. I was a stay at home mom till they started school. But then I was more than ready to find some work and help with the home budget.

My mom had a boutique at the time and decided to offer me her shop. So we worked out a payment plan and I tried to run that shop, while having small children. Big mistake. After only 3 years, I realized that if I kept the store I would end up with more debt than I started with and I was definitely NOT helping out with our budget. We cut our losses and decided to sell the store.

After that fiasco I decided to stay in the line of work I loved, which was with numbers/accounting. I applied for a part time position in accounting and started that job in May of 1997. It was the ideal job. I was able to work in the mornings when the girls were in school and had the afternoons off. I stayed at this job for 10 years. Then I decided it was time for change.

I started to look for something else that would interest me, but it is hard to find a part time job in such a small community. So for the next 2 jobs I actually took what I could get, which was a year in the financial Dept. (until that job was moved and I did not want to move with it, so they gave me a job in the administration Dept. of our Co-op (hated that job).

I kept looking until I got the job in Human Resources working with IPS (our government health care plan). This job was very challenging, because anybody who knows about bureaucracy.....this job was FULL of it! I stayed at it for 4 years.

I was ready for a change and when our receptionist (in Human Resources, same Dept.) announced she would be quitting her job in March of this year I decided I would apply for it. It is a full time position and even though it's the first time I worked full time since I had my children, I'm really liking it. The job is not very challenging, but there is lots of different things to do, and I am definitely not bored (which is very important to me). I don't think I'll be at this job for many years, but for now it's just right.

I think I'm blessed to still be able to have a job at my age. I see how many young girls are looking for jobs and I hope I know when it's time to let one of them take my place. I just have to figure out what to do when I retire....

This is my office at the present time.

Who knows what the future holds?

Monday, May 6, 2013

Buenos Aires 2013

Yes, I went to Buenos Aires!
It was so exciting. My first solo tour. Ok, it was with my SIL, so not all alone, but it was both our first times making such a tour.

Arami travel agency  offered a 4 day tour to see Buenos Aires and do some shopping. Because our currency is stronger than the Argentinian Peso, it was an offer we couldn´t refuse.
Unfortunately Argentinian women are ALL skinny, because me and my SIL (who is also a bit on the heavy side) could NOT find any clothes that fit our sizes...We didn´t have enough time to explore many areas of the city, or I´m sure we would have found something, but as it was, we bought many gifts for our family and friends and only a few things for ourselves.
BUT..........that didn´t matter. Because we had such a good time otherwise. We laughed a lot and enjoyed seeing the sights. We walked and walked and enjoyed exploring the city. It is filled with old buildings and huge palaces from the past. You really feel like you are in Europe, not in South America.
Our hotel was right in the city center and it was easy to get to everything quickly. We arrived on Thursday night. It was already really late (after 11), but we all didn´t want to go to sleep. So we went to the famous "Puerto madero" (located only blocks from our hotel). We found an overpriced restaurant, but we were so giddy for being there, we didn´t care. We had some overpriced drinks and laughed our heads off....and didn´t get to bed until 1:30. :)

Celebrating our arrival

Friday we took a city tour and saw many monuments and old buildings with impressive architecture. It really is amazing how they have restored all those old palaces.

The famous obelisk

Puerto madero
In the afternoon we went shopping/sightseeing. After the late night on Thursday we were so tired on this second evening, that we just went to a nearby cafe for a small dinner. Buenos Aires is filled with little cafes that have their tables on the sidewalks and you can sit and watch the traffic or just "people watch".

Saturday we were given the choice of another tour to a different part of the city or just to go shopping again. Since we hadn´t really found anything for ourselves the day before, we decided to make it a shopping day. We explored 3 different areas of the city center and still could not find clothes in our size. That´s why in the end, we decided Buenos Aires did not have fat people (I actually only saw very few bigger people).

So, we decided to take our hotel up on their offer for a massage. That is how we ended our shopping day.
...just imagine that was me...

The evening was the highlight of the whole trip. We went to the "Cafe de los Angelitos" (check out the link, you´ll get a great idea of where we were) where we had a great dinner and live tango dancing.
We were not allowed to take pictures, but me being the rebel I am...took some, just for the memory.

When we got back to the hotel we I didn´t want to let the night end, so I persuaded 3 other ladies to take a night time tour (with a taxi) to the obelisk with me. I wanted to get a perfect picture of the monument, but just as we were circling the area, we witnessed how a tourist got robbed of his backpack. That was pretty sobering and we just made some pics from afar and went back to the hotel.

The next morning it meant getting up at 5 and heading to the airport at 6 a.m. That was hard! But like I said to the others, "We only had such a short time there, we could sleep at home". haha

When I think back, all I remember is how much we laughed and what great a time we had. A perfect little getaway from our everyday lives. I´m very thankful to my hubby for letting me do this.

Another pic of the obelisk, which shows better where we were.

This pic is from the internet, because I just couldn´t get a good one

Monday, April 15, 2013

March/April happenings

Here we are again. March has gone and April is flying by as well.
Not sure if I posted about changing my job on here. I was working part time at a job I liked, but there were many hours spent surfing the internet, thinking about food, doing NOTHING. There was just not enough work for that job. So when a colleague quit, my boss asked me to fill her position and my previous work was given to someone who already worked here and was able to take on the extra load. The position I filled, is more of a reception kind of job. Very different from what I was doing, but up till now I´m enjoying it. There is always something going on and I get to move around a lot. I don´t have as much time to be bored  think and that is good for my bank account (because when I'm bored I shop online...) and my body. haha
That also explains the lack of posting. Plus I´m stepping up on my exercise. I´m walking more again and trying to get the weight back down, that I had gained.This is the office I'm working in now.

Below are some pics of events that happened in the past month.
We had a "goodbye dinner" for the co-worker that left. Our boss has a handmade oven (called tapacua) at home and was always telling us how good the pizza tastes, made in one of those. So now he invited us to his house and made us a huge pizza in his oven.

It really was huge. 10 people plus 4 kids were satisfied after this meal. And is was really VERY good!

Notice to normal size pizza in back...
 On my walk one day I came across these passion fruit flowers. The were hanging over a fence and I thought they looked exquisite.

Another event that will forever stay in our minds was the passing of our dear friend and cousin Evald W. He was 53 years old and we last saw him and his wife, when they came for a visit in 2011. Who knew that would be a goodbye forever.
The day before Good Friday he came home from work and was doing some yard work outside, when he suddenly had a massive heart attack. When his wife went to look for him, he had already passed.  Totally unexpected and totally shocking for us all!

He was a new granddad and him and Anni were enjoying this new stage in life. He was very active in his church and will leave a huge empty spot there. Evald was a very loving husband and adored his wife. I know she will have a hard time, she will feel so lost and I pray she can find some new meaning in this new part of life God sees fit to place her in.

This really brought to mind, that ANY day, can be the day that will end your life. We should live accordingly. We should be aware that our lives are meant to be lived, so that others can see God's light in us. I know Evald lived like that. Hopefully I can too.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. Do you play games of luck/chance for money? Have you ever played bingo for money? Visited a casino? Placed a bet on a horse? Bought a lottery ticket?
I have bought a lottery ticket before, but that´s it. We don´t have casinos in our town, and I´m glad about that. I know if I let myself, I could lose a lot of money, if I went to casinos or played cards for money. If I had the money to do it, I would love it though...

2. Will you be preparing and/or dining on the traditional Corned Beef and Cabbage meal this St. Patrick's Day? Mashed-baked-hash browned-french fried...your favorite way to have potatoes?
St. Patrick´s is not celebrated here. So, no.
My favorite way to have potatoes is french fries.

3. What's the last thing you felt 'green with envy' over?
When my friends make trips, like to the Dominican Rep. or Switzerland and I can´t...

4. What's at the end of your rainbow?
 A life with no more money worries, no envy and no sickness.

5. March 12th marks the anniversary of the death of Anne Frank (June 12, 1929-March, 1945). Anne's diary detailing her time spent hiding from the Nazi's during the war ranks as one of the best selling books of all time. Besides your blog, do you keep any sort of diary or journal? Was this a habit you developed as a child or is journaling something new for you?
I´ve tried many times to keep a journal, but daily life gets in the way and I forget to update them. So this blog is the only thing that comes close to a journal.

6. What's an item in your home or closet that contains every color of the rainbow?
My bookcase.

7. Write a limerick with you as the subject. You can do it!! Just remember this is a family friendly blog...don't make me get out my wooden spoon.
I had to look up "limerick". Never heard that one before. And now, knowing what it means, made me almost give up posting this week. ;) (I´m not the poetry kind of gal...). But here goes:

There once was a woman from P.
who loved her cold yerba tea.

she had to have it daily
and this left her gaily

if one day she missed out
you better watch out for her "shout".

8. Insert your own random thought here.
I watched all 3 seasons of Downton Abbey last week. Now I'm even thinking with a British accent. lol! I loved it! I didn't think I would, but it got me hooked pretty quickly. Loved the rolling hills and the scenery. No wonder Joyce misses that place.
It's just too bad I have to wait almost a year for the next season to begin...