W is for Wanton

Wanton

I’m not going to lie…. When I went looking for the literal translation of wanton, it bothered me. Why? Because I wasn’t thrilled with the way the archaic version of the word singled out women. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all cheers for anyone who is sexually immodest. Who embraces their bedroom beast. But considering how, historically speaking (especially in patriarchal societies), women have been oppressed into hiding that they even have a sex drive, to see my gender singled out… Grrr.

…And off my soapbox. Just to be clear, when I’m talking wanton, I’m being gender neutral. Mostly because I believe that overall life in general and sex in particular should be lived with wanton abandon.

Be wanton enough to chase your dreams, uninhibited by fear or judgment of others. Throw yourself feet first into your passion. No safety net.

Be wanton enough to explore your passions and desires. Share them with a lover. Don’t be afraid to try something at least once.

Be wanton with honestly sharing your feelings. Fear of rejection can destroy many wonderful life opportunities before they’ve even started. You’ll never know until you’re honest.

Love wantonly. It’s never a mistake, even if it isn’t always reciprocated.

Give yourself over to the life you deserve by pursuing it with raw, wanton passion.  And when those times come that it doesn’t work out? Learn from them so that the next adventure you wantonly chase is even bigger and better than the next!

Home for the Holidays

The holidays can be lonely, particularly when you’re far away from the people you love. Over the years I’ve learned that family can be created in the friendships you build along the way. As difficult as it’s sometimes been to be away from my immediate family at Christmas, I’ve never been lacking in loved ones to celebrate the holiday with… And those who were far away? Well I’ve always been with them in thoughts and spirit.

As a gal who adores Elvis, I figured it was time to use one of his songs to speak the words of my heart.

What have you done when you’ve been unable to be with the people you loved to celebrate the holidays? Any tips to make them feel closer despite the miles?

Badasses & Birthday Celebrations

I still remember the day my mother-in-law looked across the front seat of her car at me and uttered words that made me blink. Granted, I was only dating her son then, but still, her opinion of me mattered.

“You’re a stubborn person”

I wanted to put my hand to my chest and say, “Moi?” Instead, I found myself blinking owlishly at her, wondering where our conversation was about to go. She must have sensed my unease because she looked over at me, let out a light laugh and patted my leg.

“That’s not necessarily a bad thing, you know…”

I bit my lip and wondered if I should respond. Curiosity won out. “What makes you say that?”

“I’m well aware your family doesn’t exactly approve of your relationship. Most people find it easier to break up and start over…to try to find someone they would approve of, but not you. You know who and what you want and you won’t let anyone dictate who you do or don’t date. Not even your family. Considering how close you guys are, that’s saying something.” She shrugged. “See? Stubborn.”

That conversation has always stood out in my mind because I’ve always felt it was a trait we shared. She’s one of the most loving, accepting people I know…and a lot to live up to. This wonderful woman was riding horses and teaching aerobics classes in the fellowship room of her church into her 60’s. She’s been completely supportive and accepting of me… in fact, while we lived in Chicago, Saturday nights and Tuesday nights became our hang out time. Saturday evening was dinner with the ‘rents, followed by Mom and me watching The Pretender and Profiler together. Tuesday nights were reserved for Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Charmed. Hubby would either be watching college football or playing Warcraft or Diablo or sometimes he’d join us. I think he got a kick out of how close we’d become, but acceptance seemed to be a family theme…at least with me.

Hubby's mom...zip-lining (right before her 80th birthday)

Hubby’s mom…zip-lining (right before her 80th birthday)

 

There are times I miss those days… Miss not living close enough where we can just jump into a car and go. This weekend has been one of those times. She’s an awesome woman with a great spirit… A sense of joy in life and adventure that she shares with her son….whose birthday is only 1 day before hers. Yes, my husband was her birthday gift to herself….well, with the help of her husband. 😉

This weekend was their birthdays….but hers was a landmark. That daring woman zip-lining in that picture above? Well, she did that a couple months before her 80th…which she celebrated yesterday.

Hubby asked me to write a poem on his behalf…honoring her…and I did my best to do it justice. No, I’m not sharing it here…it was solely for her. But, I wanted to share HER with you guys… She’s the badass I strive to become as I get older! And she gave me an awesome man (who IS accepted and loved by my family, by the way… it just took my mom time). I guess that stubbornness she accused me of paid off! 🙂

So, happy birthday to them both…with a wish for many more. (Yeah, I know…birthdays and anniversaries galore for me in September.)

Hubby & me at Trump Tower in Chicago

Hubby & me at Trump Tower in Chicago

 

Unity

Before I Said "I Do"

Before I Said “I Do”

Our love is not
some
Five & Dime Store
romance;
Hot sizzles that quickly
fizzle.
When trials come,
inevitable in life,
we stand,
back to back,
trusting…
Able to lean
for support,
protection.
Together,
fingers intertwined,
outward demonstration
of our interwoven hearts;
shared strength.

When the world gets crazy,
Everything topsy turvey,
we hold to each other,
find shelter
from the storm.
I am your anchor,
you, my compass.
Together,
never lost.
As waves calm,
we sit,
peacefully,
side by side,
your arm ’round my back,
my head on your shoulder;
silent joy.
Appreciate beauty
in the life we’ve made.

Happy Valentine’s Day to all the lovers in the world. Remember-true love doesn’t start or end with just one day. I love you all for the way you’ve welcomed me and included me. Thanks!

He’s A Slice Of Something Amazing!

Since losing my retail job back in July I’ve been writing. As many of you know, there is no such thing as instant financial gratification in writing. (I chuckled to myself even as I wrote that sentence.) Writing-doing it right, takes time. Even once you’re finished with your story, it needs editing, polishing…yadda, yadda, yadda. I am okay with that. Hubby and I talked. We’ve decided to use this time to allow me to pursue my dreams! He believes in me…believes I’m talented enough to make a go of this.

It’s a bit of a scary move for someone who’s been working in traditional jobs since she was 16 and has had two careers that lasted nearly 10 years each. I never considered it a viable dream before. Had it not been for the prodding of some very good friends, I might have gone back to find some other job that took over my life and stifled my passions. Fortunately, my support system is pretty amazing…so I’m following my dream.

Then came today…February 1st. Why is this such a big deal? Because that means Valentine’s Day is in 13 days. Many of you have known me for a while now and know 2 things:  I like to celebrate holidays/milestones and last year was rough. Last year around Valentine’s Day I was doing at least 4 double shifts a week and 6 day work weeks. Somehow I managed to get Valentine’s Day off, so I made him his favorite Filipino foods. By late that night he was headed to the emergency room…and the following day found him having an emergency appendectomy.

This year will be different. As I racked my brain wondering what sort of awesome (not overly expensive…hey, I’ve been unemployed for a while now) gift I could get him, one of my awesome Twitter buddies, @Lisas_alter_ego posted something amazing! It was this picture!

Giordanos Pizza Heart

Hubby and I are from Chicago. This means that we can be a bit on the pizza snob side. It also means that there haven’t been any pizza places that have measured up to what we had back home. His absolute favorite thing is Giordano’s Stuffed Pizza. For Valentine’s Day they’re doing the pies shaped like hearts! And they FedEx them on dry ice! How cool is that? Sooo, guess what I’m gonna do for him? Absolutely! I’m gonna order one to be delivered for him.

I have an awesome man who loves and supports me. He believes in me and is willing to do whatever it takes so that I can pursue my dreams. To me that makes him pretty much the coolest person on earth. The pizza may not be much, but it’s a slice of home…and it’s one of the things he loves. Once I’m more steady on my feet again, I’ll be able to give him something more to show him how valued he is in my life…but for now, I’ll have to settle for a slice of cheesy goodness.

So what about you guys? Any plans for Valentine’s Day yet? Do you have a Valentine? Are you one of those people that feels this is just another Hallmark travesty? Let me know… while you enjoy my musical dedication to the day for lovers…

 

Alternative Explanation For The Immaculate Conception?

Happy New Year Everyone! First, I hope that this year brings you many successes, much joy and keeps you and your families healthy and happy.

Now as you guys are well aware, sometimes my blog takes on a very conversational tone. I enjoy talking to you guys, telling you stories…going back and forth on random topics. Because of that I want to share with you guys what happened last night.

My wonderfully awesome and supportive sister and her equally cool husband weren’t able to fly into town for Christmas this year, so they flew into town yesterday instead. Our plans were to have a mostly mellow, relaxing night with a few friends. I’d invited my best girl friend and her husband as well as my best guy friend and his boyfriend. Hubby and I decided that we would do a fondue and board game party! I had my electric fondue pot that I’d received several years ago and had added a chocolate/cheese fountain to my growing collection of kitchen fun this Christmas. We were looking forward to trying it out. My bestie brought her fondue set, too. This meant we could have 1 for cheese, 1 for broth (meats & potatoes) and 1 for chocolate (my brand new fountain).

As we’re setting up, hubby turns to my sister and the following conversation ensues:

Hubby: Sissy, it’s too bad you weren’t here for Christmas. You missed the flying singing lady at your sister’s church.

Sis: I heard!

Hubby: You could’ve sat beside me and enjoyed the show.

Sis: No, I wouldn’t have. I would’ve gotten drafted to sing.

Hubby: Not if you didn’t want to!

Sis: I’ve sung with them before.

Hubby: Oh, yeah…you would’ve. Oh well. So did your sister tell you the other story?

Sis: What story?

Hubby: The fact that she almost lost it in church that night because she’s got a dirty mind?

Sis: No….

Hubby: It was bad.

(At this point I interrupt to defend myself)

Me: Hey! I managed to keep it together.

Sis: What happened?

Me: Well, one of the older ladies was reading the scriptures leading up to Christ’s birth and she made a teeny tiny mistake…

Hubby: (snickering) It really was just one or maybe two words off!

Sis: (looking from me to hubby as we try to choke back our laughter) So what did she say?

Me: Well, she was reading the part where “an angel of the Lord appeared to Mary”

Sis: Yeah?

Me: Well, she got to the part about the Holy Spirit….(rolling on laughter and unable to continue)

Hubby: (watches me and shakes his head) Yeah…the lady is being so serious reading the scripture, your sister is up at the front of the church facing all the guests when the lady says “The Holy Spirit came on her.”

Me: (crying with laughter all over again) It probably was supposed to be came into…no those all sound bad, too. Oh…I think it was supposed to be came unto. Either way…that’s not what she said. And I couldn’t help it!

Sis: (chokes back her own laughter) Oh, God!

Hubby: Yeah…it was bad. I’m sitting in the pew looking up front and your sister gets this look in her eye and I had to look away or start cracking up myself. I started reciting sport stats in my head and looking at my feet.

Me: Hey! I didn’t actually laugh…and I was able to school my face pretty well.

Hubby: That’s true, but if people really know you…they’d have seen how hard you were laughing on the inside.

Sis: Thank GOD I wasn’t there…one look at her face and I would’ve lost it and had to walk out of church in the middle of the service.

Me: Well, guys…if you think about it…it explains so much!

Sis: What do you mean?

Me: “The Holy Ghost came on her.” (nods) Totally explains the Immaculate Conception

They both start rolling with laughter…

Hubby: (looking at me and shaking his head) You are not right.

Sis: You totally need to blog this story.

I can’t be the only person who hears accidentally dirty things at the most inappropriate places or inopportune times. Please help me not feel like I’m going to hell for finding this hilarious. Tell me some of YOUR stories! The difference one word can make….

Sending You A Little Christmas

For everyone who can’t be with their families for Christmas…especially all of the troops who are out there around the world, representing your respective countries, here’s a little Christmas love for you. And for all my new friends on here who take the time to read my stuff…I may not know you face to face, but thanks for enriching my year…this is also for you. Merry Christmas!

Gotta love Jim Brickman’s music…his stuff always hits right at the heart of the matter, and Kristy Starling makes those lyrics hers.

A Little Cheer Right Here

Still not over the tragedy from yesterday…but I don’t think we’re meant to get over events like that completely. I’m just glad to be home with my hubby and my dogs, able to hug and kiss them…and bake Christmas cookies.

Of course this means I need to smile because those cookies need to taste like joy, not tears…. So, for me, the first step is to bring on the music. Shocker, right? But not just any music…Christmas music!

So, here is one of my favorite Christmas songs, “Baby It’s Cold Outside”, done on one of my favorite TV shows, GLEE..by one of my favorite Pinoy Mestisos (kinda like me)…Darren Criss. I’m really hoping that his character and Kurt’s find their way back to each other…they were one of the sweetest couples on TV before the show decided to split them up. Darren Criss is just so uber talented!!!

So tell me, what is your favorite Christmas song from a TV episode or Movie? (By the way…my all time favorite Christmas movie is White Christmas)

And now, here are Blaine and Kurt (before they got together) singing…”Baby It’s Cold Outside”!

Parols, Noche Buena & Maligayang Pasko!

Pasko

This is an old picture of me playing Mary in a Christmas pageant in the Philippines.  You see the hanging lanterns over my head? Those are called parols. They’re a beautiful part of the Filipino Christmas tradition.

As a child I was enthralled with Christmas.  Every country had their tradition.  As I look back on my favorite Christmas moments, though…so many of them were tied with traditions I enjoyed in the PI. Although I’d participated in Christmast pageants most of my life, it was this one that I look back on with the most fondness.  I think it was that I liked the outfit…and ego liked that I finally had a lead role…Haha!

Where I’ve struggled with that Christmas feeling in Florida…thinking maybe snow on Christmas morning would fix it…I’d think back to my time in the Philippines and realize it isn’t the weather.  It’s the people. I have an odd confession I’m going to make. Though I’ve celebrated Christmas my whole life…I hadn’t really heard about Santa until I was about 10. I learned about the baby Jesus and blessings and giving gifts of love during the holiday. Santa came when I moved to the states and went to public school.

I like that tradition, too, but I can’t help but think to so many of you who post stories about when your child realized there wasn’t a Santa or other things…and I’m kind of grateful that I never went through that kind of disillusionment. Don’t get me wrong…I’m not saying my mom’s way is right…and quite frankly, with all the commercialism of Santa everywhere…in malls, in school, etc…it’d be tough to go as long as I did without knowledge of the wonder and magic of Santa.

But back to the Philippines.  The magic of Christmas comes to the Philippines through a lot of Spanish based traditions. Most Spanish/Hispanic cultures are familiar with “Noche Buena”. The part of the Philippines I grew up in treated it almost like a neighborhood block party…gates and doors were thrown open and everyone was invited.  Food abounded and you just went from house to house eating. Seriously! It was a time for family and friends to celebrate. In fact, most of our church would also show up at our house, so it was always full. We kids would also wander to the neighbors houses…it was a wonderful time with awesome foods.

My first time going out and Christmas Carrolling was also in the Philippines. My mom belonged to a singing group through the church and they’d go house to house to sing…and the proceeds would go toward sponsoring their trips to tour around the country singing at other churches. We kids were included in that, too! In fact, we sang Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer, complete with all the little childlike embellishments that go with the song. A few kids between the ages of 4-10…I’m sure it was adorable. Now, looking back I wonder how we didn’t question who Santa was when singing it…LOL! (Then again, we were too busy getting a kick out of yelling “like a light bulb”.)

People in the Philippines really just loved on each other and supported each other. Christmas was all about giving there…maybe that’s what I enjoyed so much. It was focused on friendships, sharing and giving. To this day my favorite thing to do is to try to find gifts that will touch the heart…not so much about the spending. I will always look back on my time there with warmth and love.  And I’ll remember the beauty of Parols and Christmas Trees and Holiday Pageants with a smile.

Have you ever spent Christmas in other countries? Do any of your holiday traditions stem from other cultures? What do you love about this time of year?

And now I leave you with my favorite Filipino Christmas Carol…I still remember learning to sing it!