This is How I Roll
Well first, this is how I used to roll:
(Sorry, it was taken with my cell phone as I not-so-tearfully said goodbye).
Now, I rock the streets of Miami out with this:
It's not very obvious, but she is silver.
Urban mami: too cool for a minivan, too smart for a gas-guzzling SUV.
(It's a joke! Chillax! I truly love all my minivan-driving, gas-guzzling SUV-road-hog readers)
I was 15. The night before, I had a good friend's quinces party, and I remember my parents picking me up and telling me Andrew was on the way, and I was like, "what Andrew?"
We lived in Kendall at the time, in a typical community with a lake. I remember my uncle and dad putting boards up against the sliding glass doors (smart move, we wouldn't have lasted without it), but we had nothing else - no shutters, no wood on the other windows - nada.
I don't remember how well-stocked our pantry was, but I also don't remember being hungry, so I guess we were o.k.
We spent the worst part of the storm huddled in one of the bathrooms, the one in the middle of the house, where it was safest, listening to the radio and praying a rosary. The memories I have of the great hurricane that caused so much devastation are a mix of fleeting images and sensations: the moaning of the front door, sounding like it was about to split in two (later we found a multitude of tiny cracks and tears on it); the way the water that filled the tub trembled as objects hit our home and roof tiles came flying off; my utter fear when my dog ran out of the bathroom and into the pitch blackness of our house.
But what I remember the most is the morning after. We were lucky: missing roof tiles, fallen trees and tool shed (and 20+ years' worth of memories) torn to shreds. But our door never flew off; our windows were intact; our roof did not cave in. And our electricity came back two nights later. We were incredibly blessed.
But that morning after, I went with my dad to visit the nuns at the Ermita de la Caridad (where my parents have been very active since it was founded). What we encountered was horrific. The nuns' home was just feet from the bay. Besides finding a 20+-foot sailboat grounded in the church's parking lot, we found that the nuns' home had been all but destroyed. The windows that faced the bay (two sides of the building) were all smashed in, and ocean water flooded the whole place. Everything had been destroyed, from the nuns' quarters to the large communal room that housed all the paperwork and history of the church as well as all kinds of supplies. Everything was lost: papers dating back decades, pamphlets, rosaries, statues, props and costumes from various plays, furniture, equipment, etc. The nuns - all elderly - were both shocked at their loss and grateful for having survived. We spent that morning salvaging what could be salvaged (not much) and cleaning the mess of water and seaweed up.
My high school is located next to the Ermita, so at one point, I slipped over to check the damage out. Three memories stand out: the huge-ass boat that was now docked on our lawn; the way I ran my fingers along the wall of one of the buildings, and my fingers were coated with sea salt; and the fact that - on a lawn strewn with seaweed, torn up benches and chairs, leveled portable buildings and a wide variety of debris - our little fiberglass statue of Mary, Help of Christians remained standing, silent and serene in the glistening sun.
My high school suffered a great deal of damage as well, and we spent my sophomore school year dealing with the effects of the storm: damaged buildings, no A/C, roof issues, etc. We also had the awful "hurricane days" where we'd have longer school days to make up for the ones we lost.
That winter, my drama club went on "tour" - we took our holiday play around the county (you haven't been challenged as an actress until you have to do "Holiday Customs Around the World" in front of hundreds of bored, but wired, kindergarteners). One of the areas we visited was Richmond Heights, an area down south that was severely impacted (basically, destroyed) by the hurricane. In my mind's eye I can see us in the bus, driving down streets lined with rows and rows of what used to be houses but were now mere shells of houses: one standing wall here, a jumble of concrete there. It looked like a war zone.
South Florida has recovered quite remarkably from Hurricane Andrew, but there are still parts of the county, especially in the south where Andrew hit hardest, where evidence remains.
It's hard to imagine just how devastating this hurricane was until you see this collection of images (thanks to SOTP for the heads-up).
A Week Alone With My Son
This past week, it was just Max and me at home. My husband was on a boys’ vacation, mountain biking in Vancouver, B.C. It’s been a life-long dream of his to bike his version of “Mecca”, and in exchange for our staying in Miami close to family, he now gets to go on a yearly mountain bike trip to somewhere other than Ocala.
Anyway, with Daddy away, Max and I have spent an entire week in each other’s faces....
Are you riveted yet? Find out what deep and meaningful things I learned this last week over at GNMParents.
Labels: losing weight
Restaurant La Flor de la Canela, Las Americas Shopping Plaza, 11865 SW 26th St. (Coral Way), Store J-1.
National Aviation, 14980 NW 44 Ct., Opa-locka
Corpus Christi Church, 3220 NW 7th Ave., Miami
Unity Coalition, 45 NW 27th Ave., Miami
St. Boniface Church, 8330 Johnson St., Pembroke Pines
San Isidro Church, 2310 Martin Luther King Blvd., Pompano Beach
2423 Harding St., Hollywood
6517 Taft St., Hollywood.
League of United Latin American Citizens Florida aid sites:
Paracas Restaurant, 3602 North Armenia Ave., Tampa
Machu Picchu Restaurant, 3861 Tamiami Trail East, Naples.
The American Red Cross is accepting contributions. Call 1-800-733-2767 in English and 1-800-257-7575 in Spanish.
I've woken up this morning to the news about the big earthquake in Peru. Right now there are 337 dead and 1,350 injured.
Beyond how awful this is in general, I am especially distraught for one big reason: my sister, brother-in-law, nieces and nephew are currently in Peru.
We know they survived the quake, but they are in the region where the epicenter was located. They made it back to their hotel, where there is no power (obviously). Roads have collapsed and/or are shut down, including the one that would take them to Lima. Right now, they're trying to see what they can do to leave the country and come back home.
So, we're lucky. They survived, where hundreds have not. But my family is obviously worried and praying that they can stay safe and make it back soon.
Homemade Baby Food on Plum TV
Local TV station Plum TV (the Miami Beach TV channel and website went up this summer, but they operate in resort towns like Vail, Aspen and the Hamptons) is running a story today about homemade baby food.
When Max transitioned to solids, I made him his first (zillion) batches of food. I bought organic veggies and meats, cooked them, pureed them, then froze them in one-ounce servings. It wasn't as time-consuming as it is sounds - the first huge batch (sweet potatoes, carrots, peas, chicken, ground meat, lentils, black beans, etc.) took an entire day; but after that, it was more about maintenance and making smaller batches. I did that for about six months, when I began to feed him non-pureed food.
Anyway, it was totally worth it for me. I didn't want to just put him on processed jar food (which also cost more), and I have concerns about the pesticides and hormones (and all other crap) found in veggies and meats. Basically, I wanted him to get a good start in his solid-food-eating experience.
So a show like this is something I find useful and informative.
Now, go learn something new for today.
Take a Look Inside my Purse
Saw this at Her Bad Mother and thought it was a hoot.
This is my purse (or rather, the one I've been using all week):
And these are the contents of said purse (click to enlarge):
Let's examine, shall we?
1. My trusty notebook; carry it with me at all times. In it, I write down notes to myself, lists of all kinds, reminders, writing ideas, etc.
2. A random stack of papers. I have one in all my larger purses. It's all the crap I collect on any given day, week or month. In this stack, I can immediately spot a parking ticket, a lotto ticket (STFU), receipts and a maxi pad (hey, a girl has to be prepared).
3. Claritin, because I need to get a new prescription for my allergy meds, but the allergies, they show no mercy in the meantime.
4. iPod Nano on the thingy that allows me to listen to it in my car. Except that the lighter thingy in my car died a few weeks ago, and I'm devastated that I have to go back to CDs and the radio.
5. My "Hi, I'm a blogger, come visit my site" cards. Carry them everywhere and have yet to give any away (except to friends who already read the blog).
6. My make-up bag, containing one compact and 13,000 lip glosses.
7. Blackberry for work. I can't figure out how to use it, my messages don't come through, and that two-letters-on-each-key keyboard is driving me insane. Hate.
8. Breath mints. For my protection and yours.
9. Motorola Razr, my personal phone. If you've ever spoken to me on the phone, it was from this one.
10. Old, dirty, inefficient (and overstuffed) wallet. Time for a new one, it's just that the options are overwhelming.
11. Business card holder. With business cards in it. Ben gifted me this pretty, monogrammed case in our early days. Sadly, in real life, I'm pretty bad at self-promotion (see #5).
12. Socks. Because too many years of walking across flooded parking lots and ruining perfectly good shoes has led me to carrying rain boots in my car. The wet season sucks ass down here.
13. Tide To Go pen. It's useless; most of the time, it doesn't remove the satin. And when it does, I smell like Magic City Laundromat from Hell.
14. My pen.
15. Hershey's bar. For chocolate emergencies.
So now, what's in your purse (or bag)? If you do this, drop your link in the comments section.
Tere Reviews a Product (With Edits)
Poor Glad®. This post has come to pose a conundrum for me: where does a product review fit in here now, in light of all the talk about marketing in minorities and how, generally speaking, PR people look to us mommy bloggers for free advertising?
I've read some really good points on this topic; good enough, actually, for me to realize that my word, my opinion, have a value greater than "free" if companies with money to spare want me to vouch for them.
I committed to doing this review before I really began to think about this larger issue, and I am a woman of my word (especially my curse words). Also, I was asked to review a product I was actually, really, seriously curious about: the new Glad® SimplyCooking™ Microwave Steaming Bags.
Here are the facts as they apply to me and my household:
1. Max LOVES veggies.
2. I want to at least like veggies.
3. I LOVE to cook, but time? I have none.
4. I am appropriately horrified by all the poison and evil released by plastic, but I need a quick, easy way to prepare veggies because time? I have none.
5. I am too cheap to spend $3 on 10 single-use bags only to find out they suck.
Therefore, the offer to try some for free was sweet music to my cheap ears.
So, here's the gist of it:
1. Put veggies (frozen or fresh) in the bag.
2. Punch the correct amount of time (depending on fresh vs. frozen and quantity) into the microwave and hit "start".
3. Remove and eat.
Labels: product reviews
Labels: fun stuff
Labels: fun stuff