Turning the Tables: Eloisa and The Rated XXX Story


Like I’ve mentioned before, a few of us are starting to care for our parents and, while at times, it can be hard; other times, it is downright HILARIOUS! Turning the Tables celebrates our precious time that we spend with our beloved ‘viejitos’

Here is the story from one of my famfriends…the names have been changed to protect the innocent…or at least until I have permission to ‘name names’ LOL

Martina (not her real name) is the primary caregiver for Eloisa (not her real name)…Eloisa is now living with dementia as do many of our ‘viejitos‘. Surprisingly, Eloisa still has her sense of humor very much intact although, at times, she may not know who I am anymore. At first, it was kind of sad for Eloisa not to know who I was, but she shows no other signs of suffering and she actually looks really good, gracias a Dios.

Martina was off to work for the day. But before she left for work, she pressed ‘record’ on her TV so that she could record thst day’s episode of “Katie” the talk show. Fast forward to that afternoon…Martina comes home to find Eloisa sitting toda comfortable in her chair watching TV. Martina goes off to put her things away and, when she comes back to the living room, she hears these moaning sounds…looks up to the TV and sees that Eloisa has been watching “Katie” but it was “Katie Does Manhattan” pura pornografia!

I still laugh when I think of Martina showing me how she started running around looking for the remote to change the channel…and when she asks Eloisa about what she had been watching, the answer was, “asi han estado toda la tarde mijita/that’s how they’ve been all afternoon!” Gotta love our Eloisa and all of our ‘old skool’ LOL

Lesson of the Day: Watch it when you press the ‘record’ button or else put those parental controls on the TV!


A New Way of Life

It’s humbling and a tad emotional for me to realize that, no matter how much I have worked to improve my life, that I have a way to go to get back to feeling more like myself. Kind of feels like Inner Chillona needs to have her moment to cry and mourn “the way I’ve always done it”

I've basically done whatever, whenever, however, and wherever I've wanted to…I've also rarely had to think about the with 'whomever' either. Fast forward almost one year to the day that my life started to change a fuerzas. I was totally motivated this evening and was ready to do my regular 4-mile walk but the darkness started settling in quickly and, on the third mile, I started going back and forth in my mind, watching the sky go darker, watching the amount of people walking and running reducing with each step, and when I got to the Jeep, with tears in my eyes and frustration on my breath as I said. “chiiiiiin!’, I stopped at my Jeep, opened the door and jumped into my driver’s seat.

To have to learn an entire new way of thinking and living is exhausting, sad, and makes me angry — because these changes didn’t come from a positive space, didn’t happen because I really wanted them to happen, these changes came out of circumstances way beyond my comprehension and control. So now my personal challenge is to embrace a new way of living my life. I suppose that, eventually, Inner Chingona will have me accepting and embracing these changes…for tonight, Inner Chillona wants to take center stage — so it’s about feeling sad and crying about it.


My assignment for next time: start my 4-mile walk earlier in the evening so that I can finish before dark. Ni modo. But now I can go out and drive home to the light of an awesome luna llena/full moon as I accept my new life.

When The Song is Not About You and the Green-Eyed Monster named CELOS


As I sit here writing, I am, of course, listening to music. A song just came on, a very beautiful song that, for a very long time, I was unable to listen to without feeling CELOS/jealous big time!

You see, this song was about someone HE had loved and could not have … it burned when I heard it, when he would turn the song up in the car, when his eyes would stare into space, when he would become lost in his thoughts for 3 minutes or so. WHAT was he thinking about? WHO was he thinking about? WHY did it bother me so much?

You know how folks say women have a seventh sense? (Men have to have this sense as well)…We pick up on the subtlest of things and I just KNEW in my hearts of hearts that this was not any of the songs that he had dedicated to me – although he swore to me that ‘it was nothing, I just like that song’ mmm hmmm. I suppose I would really be mad had we not shared any songs — I have my share of songs from him LOL.

celos green

For the most part, I have never been one of those jealous women. I’m so outgoing and I’m always talking to people …so I rarely get into jealousy-mode. I smile now as I think of how jealous I used to get — like I had control of his thoughts or of his memories. I never told him … it was like I did not want to go there, to hear it, to have my ‘celos’ jealousy confirmed in his face, I was embarrassed.

There’s no way, no matter how we try, to control anyone’s thoughts or memories. At least I don’t think so…especially as I, too, have my thoughts and memories. I would hate it if I were constantly under that microscope of jealousy, of constantly being questioned about my past…wait a minute, I was there and it was so NOT for me.

It’s all about keeping things in perspective: whatever has happened in the past has nothing to do with you so why waste the energy tripping out and ruining your present and, possibly, your future? I guess that I’ll have to remember this if I am ever again confronted with a man lost in his memories. Let’s just hope that the songs are not any of ‘mine’ LOL

By the way, here’s the song, jealousy over, it’s a great song…

Working My Way Back: Inner Chingona vs. Inner Chillona


Got some news yesterday that sent me off the edge for a minute. News that seems so unfair that threatens to mess up all of the good work that I have done to work my way back from the worst year of my life.

What would Inner Chingona do? Inner Chingona has done a LOT of talking to me and basically screaming in my face to be PROACTIVE, to WORK IT, to NEVER GIVE UP, and to NOT give up my mind, body and soul to anyone who doesn’t deserve it and who does not think that I am ready to work for it. Basically, Inner Chingona advises me to keep on keeping on and to shut Inner Chillona the hell up.

What would Inner Chillona do? Inner Chillona had me crying for a minute, freaking out, telling me that ‘that’s it, it’s over’, that all of the work I’ve done in the past few months has meant nothing. Inner Chillona tells me to put my head down and take whatever happens to me, to do more than step back, to stop my changes and to let events happen as they will.

At this moment, Inner Chingona is winning the battle, thank God. There is NO way that I will give up anything about me without a fight. If there is anything that I have learned in the last year, it is to really take my life by the reins and to do things my way, al que no le gusta, a mi me vale madre. I take responsibility for my mistakes and for picking myself up — NO MORE giving someone or something that power! It’s very empowering to finally say it … and, more important, to actually believe it.

So it’s time for me to keep on keeping on, for getting my ‘mevalemadre’ attitude back where it needs to be, to keep working toward the balance of doing good work, handling projects that excite me, passing the State Exam, being there with and for my familia, and to let Inner Chillona out when I need a good cry but ensure that Inner Chingona is very much present so that I can work thru these setbacks instead of letting the setbacks define me.


Turning the Tables: Caring for Mom and Dad


I’ve said it many times how blessed I am to have both of my parents here on earth, both bodies are a little slower but the minds are very sharp and very much intact.  

I was talking with friends last night about how many of us are now turning the tables, that is, we are starting to care more for our parents than the other way around.  I watch a lot of my friends who, at times, are the principal or only caregiver to parents. It’s hard on them and I thank God there are five of us to work it for my parents…and, some days, it’s even hard for us and we truly do try to work it evenly to make sure the folks are cool.

The more I talk to friends about caregiving, the more I see how much of a Latino thing it is for us to take care of our ‘jefes’, it is not even a question of whether we will care for them;  it’s a matter of figuring out how to make it happen because we WILL care for them.

As my brothers and sisters will tell you,   I tend to regress back to my role as the bossy, older sister and go crazy when any of my siblings make changes to the schedule (yeah, I’m a little control freaking too) or don’t pick things up around the common areas of the house.  I’ve been told that ‘ni saludo’ that I don’t even say ‘hi’ before I’m there trying to get things in order and yelling them at the same time.   

I’ve gotta work on being more flexible especially about having the house picked up and in order …You can always tell when one of us 5 has been cooking as the refrigerator is rearranged every time to fit whomever’s day it is to be with our parents … if it drives me crazy at times, it must drive them crazy too

When I sign off for the night, I’ll be going to spend the night at my parents’…they always tell me, “we don’t need someone here all of the time”, but I do know that they sleep better when one of us is around. I’m the one who’s up and down all night checking on them … now I’m so doing what they’ve always done for me. I’m just glad that they are here with us … I still need my parents.

Working My Way Back: To Listen or Not To Listen


As I was cleaning my parents’ house at the Ranch, I looked over at the phone, which said “Messages Full”. Nothing really new, as the phone has said “Messages Full” for over 5 months. As I looked down at the phone, I remembered exactly which voice mail messages were saved on that phone. My familia had lately been asking me if they should keep the messages on the machine or not. I had never wanted to listen to these messages, yet I was reluctant to erase them. Why not?

These messages were from an individual who decided that my familia “had” to hear his side of the story about what an awful person I was. Sadly, I had grown accustomed to this person telling me all kinds of demeaning and disgusting things. It’s amazing how easy it is to push those kinds of comments back — partly because you hope that he is kidding, that if you just shut up and take it, that he will get the rage he feels for you out of his system and NOT do the ‘sinfin’ of crazy things to humiliate you with familia, friends, and colleagues. I learned the very hard way that it is almost impossible to control another person’s actions — especially when they have made their mind up to prove their point, however misguided that point may be. As I had to hear the same things over and over, I knew exactly what would be said, how it would be said, when it would be said, and which names would be brought into these episodes. Once this individual would start in on “lo mismo”, I was usually shaking my head, rolling my eyes, and thinking/saying, “…here we go…”

It’s one thing to have to listen to this person go on and on to me alone…it’s quite another to listen to a recording of this individual saying the same things to my family. With every word and sound uttered by this individual, my normal ‘autopilot’ was OFF. I felt as if I were hearing the words for the first time, as if he were tearing my skin off piece by piece with each word. On one call, he would sound normal, intelligent, and composed; on another call, he would sound unglued, angry, on others, completely drunk or loaded. To hear my private business all out there, to hear each and every derogatory name, to hear each reference to my body and person, was almost too much at times, and I kept turning the machine on and off.

How to move forward from this? First, I totally MADE myself listen to each message, there were 37 of them, some as short as 10 seconds, some as long as 15 minutes, and then I cried out of pinche coraje anger, humiliation, embarrassment, and rage. When I stopped crying, I decided that I would indeed erase each message. Each time I pressed ‘erase’, I gave myself ‘shout outs’ telling myself something positive that I had accomplished during the past 5 months, or I would say a goal out loud that I wished to accomplish within the next 5 months, and I would remind myself over and over again that there are good people in this world who don’t live to harm me, that my familia is right beside me, as are my friends and colleagues. By the time I had erased all of the 37 messages, my positive attitude was very much intact, as was my resolve to put 2012 behind me and keep on keeping on. My life remains very much a work in progress. It is never too late to start over!