How Nothing About My Body Is On Fleek And Why I Don’t Give A Flying Fleek


Is it me or is the phrase, on fleek annoying as hell?  Have you heard it used before?  Perfectly groomed?  Exactly right? On point?  Pftttt!  Like we need another reason to feel self-conscious and critical about our bodies.  As hard as it is to admit that my body is anything but on fleek,  it’s high time I not give a flying fleek! .

Since eyebrows seem to be the most popular recipients of the on fleek definition, let’s start with my 52-year-old eyebrows.  These babies have witnessed a lot of drama over the years and quite honestly, are suffering from PTSD.   The number of times they’ve had to rise, furrow, lower and endure hair pulling when things got real, is absurd.  As a result, they are thinning, graying, tiring and more appropriately described as being, On Meek! 

If facial hair on women were ever to be hip, my mustache would be so on fleek.  It would be my upper lip you would see first when googling images of on fleek mustaches on women.  No amount of waxing, extracting, bleaching, shaving or pulling have put a dent on my stache.  It’s time I let go of my fantasy of having no mustache ever, and accept my hairy, sun damaged, brown spotted upper lip, once and for all.  Frankly, I’m okay with calling my upper lip, On freak!

Sadly, when hanging around the house braless, it is clear that my boobs are, (Not)On Peak!  If I am sitting down relaxing, I notice that my girls end up resting on my ever expanding stomach. I’m not talking they brush up gently against my belly, I’m talking they nestle comfortably on my belly like peacefully sleeping (twin) infants.  (Sigh,  this is a tough one to not give a flying fleek about).

Have you heard about contouring with makeup? You know, when you use make up to make imaginary lines on your body to give the illusion of thinner lines by shading in areas and highlighting your assets?  Well,  I don’t contour my toes or arms (wierd!) but, to address a few facial issues making my face not on fleek, a little experimenting is doing wonders On(my)Cheek and that’s good enough for me.

For obvious reasons, I’ve learned never to go underwear shopping with my 20-year-old daughter, ever again.   As she sorts through the baskets of frilly and delicate thongs, her mama is looking in the camping section for large tents. The nylon kind that don’t need poles to stay up but instead, have a huge elastic band to accommodate the “curves”.  Oh, for crying out loud, my undies are definitely, On Geek!

I remember back in the day when I looked cute and somewhat sexy before going to bed.  Now, I get totally naked, turn on the air conditioner, place a fan directly on my face and leave one leg hanging off the side of the bed, uncovered.  I make sure my husband does not touch me because he generates too much heat.  In spite of all my efforts, I still get sweaty.  Thus when in bed I would say that I am, On Reek! 

I could go on and on but I will spare you the scary details. 

The truth is that as my body ages, I will undoubtedly continue to describe these imperfections for all to enjoy, but when I do, it will be with acceptance, humor and even pride.  Pride because I have earned every single flaw on my body by living a full life filled with food joy, drinks  love, meaningful parties  relationships and determination to be happy in spite of the diets obstacles I have faced.

Won’t you join me in saying no to perfection and not giving a flying fleek?



A Stroke Of Love: Dealing With An Aging Loved One



His eyes fight the strong urge to stay open as I stroke his hair.  He wants to stay awake but the power and comfort of the human touch is too much to bear.  When I stop, he opens them again as if to ensure that I am not leaving his side.  I continue.  

The love I feel for this man is beyond comprehension yet so familiar to a love I once felt for another wonderful man, my father.  I wasn’t there the day my father died but I was there on many other days by his side, giving him all the love I had in me and more.  I left his side on a Sunday to go back to my family and he died the next day.  Thankfully, he did not die alone.

This man whose hair I stroke is my father-in-law; a man I’ve known since my teen years.  The man who raised my husband and who along with his wife, produced six of the most caring, compassionate, and hard-working men I know.   A legend in his community  known for his devotion to the town he loves and to the thousands of children whose lives he touched, while presiding over the town’s baseball leagues. Beloved by many, respected by all.

Watching this larger than life figure succumb to the inevitable and unforgiving force that is aging, is heartbreaking, to say the least.  A sight too familiar to me and one no one can truly prepare for.  

His mind and memory sharply in tact serving more as a burden than a blessing making him fully aware of his daily weakening and decline. A once fiercely active and independent man who now depends on others for all of his needs.  His dignity constantly threatened as he watches his grandchildren treat him differently in their struggle to recognize familiarity and comfort in the grandpa they once knew. 

I find my body shaking sometimes with fear and sadness for what is to come.  Intellectually, I know it is part of the cycle of life, a stage which is often celebrated and thought of as a journey to another bigger and better life.  But right now I can’t find that belief, I only have deep sadness for what was and what is to be.

He is a feisty fighter and stubborn as a mule, having survived recent major surgery to treat his cancer as well as heart surgery years back.  They don’t make them like him anymore.  He lived through the Depression, never complained about his life, hardly took a vacation and was ahead of his time in his ability to accept other’s differences with integrity and respect.  A model citizen and human being.

I cannot help but reflect on two particular memories I have with him.  While my husband and I were dating, true to his farmer background, he informed my husband that I was a good catch because I had good “onions”.  Little did I know that farming references would be a constant part of his repertoire throughout his life.  The other memory is of the time I had to host my first Thanksgiving, as a newlywed.  We are a big family but I did not think we were as big as he thought we were until (after offering to buy the turkey for me), he showed up at our door with a 30 pound bird.  Needless to say, I cried and called my mother for help as I tried to handle the beast.

The weeks ahead will be extremely difficult as we all navigate the ups and downs we continue to face.  I have got to gain the strength to accept what is and to support my husband and his family.  I will do anything I can to be there for him.  I will continue to offer my love and compassion to a man who I feel blessed to have known for so long.  He has loved me unconditionally and opened his arms to me from the day we met. And as long as he allows it, I will continue to stroke the full glorious head of silver hair he has, until he falls peacefully asleep. 






A Message To My Adult Children


Look at you both, one about to graduate from college and the other getting ready to study abroad for a year.  You must be so proud of what you have accomplished thus far and pleased to see where your hard work has taken you.  It hasn’t always been easy but you have persevered thanks to your evolving maturity and strong values.

There is nothing more rewarding as a parent, than to watch your children thrive and become caring and happy adults.  This is what your father and I have always wanted for you and will continue to want in the years to come.

You have heard the same messages from both of us from a very young age.  Scatter kindness.  Be compassionate.  Empathize.  Help those in need. As annoying as those messages may seem,  as you continue to grow, I can only hope that they become second nature.

My message to you as you embrace the next stage of your young life, is to strive to become the best version of yourself that you can possibly be.  You may reach your career goals and feel you are succeeding but as your mother I can tell you with certainty, that true success is measured by your  integrity and kindness towards others.  Nothing else comes even close.

Go out there, always remembering what is most important.  Treat others with respect, put yourself in others’ shoes, imagine what someone may be going through, give them the benefit of the doubt and think with your heart, always.  Success and happiness will follow when you truly love yourself and can share that love with those around you.

Be open-minded.  Embrace the differences in others.  Be flexible and willing to try new things even if it means stepping out of your comfort zone.  Absorb the experiences fully because they all count in ultimately making you the person you will become.

Be proud of your heritage and your culture.  Don’t be afraid to share all parts of yourself to others.  Never feel shame for what you are or where you come from, instead, be the good example of your race and ethnicity to combat the unfair judgements and misunderstandings others have formed.  You have watched me embrace the pride in my culture and raise my head up high when discriminated against.  You are half Puerto Rican, it is a part of you, carry that part of you proudly through out your life.

Life is not fair.  Bad things will happen.  Things will not go as planned and life will be cruel at times.  You will hurt and feel undeserving of such struggles and wonder how you will survive them.  I can’t protect you from the obstacles you will face and may not be able to make them go away, but I will always be there to listen and most importantly, to model and illustrate the coping mechanisms I have learned throughout my life when dealing with adversity.

You have both observed me struggle with my health issues and have seen how I have been able to move forward, in spite of them.  You have watched me refuse to be a victim of my circumstances and steer you away from blaming others for your pain.

Your father has been the example of what having integrity looks like.  An honest, compassionate man who has sacrificed his needs for all of us.  Always willing to give of himself to make us happy all while demonstrating and balancing his extraordinary work ethic.  A man who never tires of doing for others in the community and who has made a significant impact on others’ lives.

My beautiful children,  I carry you both in my heart, always.  I wish you only the best as you face, head on, your new experiences.  I hope that there is always room in your hearts for your father and I and for the beliefs  we have instilled in you.    

No one else in this world loves you more. 






Someone In My House Is Snoring!

snore while sleeping

My father was a chronic snorer.  He had an undiagnosed case of Sleep Apnea and as a result, I got accustomed to hearing guttural rumbling noises coming from my parents’ bedroom.  

Fast forward to now.  There are three human beings that currently reside in my home.  One of them is definitely SNORING!!  Could it be my 20-year-old beautiful daughter?  My 53-year-old dashing husband?  Who is the culprit?

Well,  it has been brought to my attention by sources close (in proximity) to me, that I snore. 

Whaat? Not delicate and frail little ‘ol me!  Couldn’t be…

First of all, let’s get something straight.  I don’t SNORE, I breathe heavily with my mouth open.  There is a huge difference!

After adamantly denying that I snore breathe heavily with my mouth open, I finally accepted the possibility of it being a reality and decided to do something about it.  I purchased, “advanced 4-touch technology nasal strips.”  They promise to open up nasal passages reducing snoring   breathing heavily with mouth open.  


Talk about false advertising and marketing.  Let’s just say I did not look as dreamy as the woman on the box.  Once I found the tabs that one pulls out to expose the sticky side,  I couldn’t figure out if I had it upside down or not.  

The first strip did not stick because I moisturize my face before bed time and the little sucker kept sliding off.  After washing my face and drying it thoroughly (per instructions I neglected to read the first time), I tried strip number two.  HOLY WIDE NOSE!!!



Talk about opening up nasal passages

After kissing my hubby goodnight, I went to sleep.  Sometime in the middle of the night I awoke and felt my huge nose.  One side of the strip had come completely undone.  Needless to say, I looked quite lovely.



 The next night, I tried another strip – this time I placed it too low and could not breathe.


Reluctantly, I gave it another shot.  That night, I placed in on my nose perfectly, there was no flinging of sides in the middle of the night, I could breathe and I did not snore breathe heavily with my mouth open.  However, when I tried removing the strip in the morning, the skin of my nose came ripping off with the sticky strip.  OUCH!

Mother of God!

I am beyond traumatized by these damn nasal strips and much to my husband’s dismay, will not be wearing them ever again.  Wouldn’t he rather have me looking sexy and snoring  breathing heavily with my mouth open than me looking like a National Geographic tribal woman adorned with nose accessories with an excellent olfactory system?

There’s got to be another way.

Any suggestions?  Do you snore breathe heavily with your mouth open?

One Step Closer To Feeling Whole


Every time I travel back to my hometown, I learn something new about my upbringing and my ancestors.  It feels like a piece of the puzzle, that is my life, fitting nicely into its proper place.  The dots are easier to connect and I can feel myself closer to becoming whole.

Even though I left Puerto Rico at the age of nine, the minute I step off the plane and into the warm and welcoming ground of this island, my heart does a happy skip and I am where I belong.  I feel at home.  The smells, the sounds, the people, the music and the food are like no other anywhere.  A place where the flavor and way of living are as unique as the people that inhabit it.

As I sat with my dear mother reminiscing about old times yesterday,  I learned more about the life she led as a child and the experiences she had growing up.



Her family lived about 2 hours from the metropolitan area of San Juan, high in the mountainous town of, Lares.  A small agricultural town in the western part of the island.  Her father (significantly older than her mother) owned acres of farm land where he had a coffee plantation, grew sugar cane and raised cattle.  His farm was a successful and lucrative business that allowed him, his wife and three daughters to enjoy a comfortable life.

I learned that he housed his farmers and their families on the land, in houses he built for them.  As a result, he had incredibly loyal employees that made sure the crops were well taken care of.  My mother remembers jumping in her father’s jeep with him as he surveyed the crops and worked along with his farmers.  She too would join in to help.


The process of growing coffee was an arduous one that required skill and the proper timing to protect the beans from decaying in too much moisture.  Every morning they would spread out the beans on cement glacis (a surface with a slope) to dry them in the sun.  They would rake the beans and turn them to ensure that all sides would dry.  My mother remembers that almost every day at noontime, it would rain.  She would help as the laborers quickly gathered the beans and put them into covered barrels before the rain began.  Once the rain would stop they would set the beans back on the slopes to dry some more.


Maintaining the sugar cane and harvesting it was also time consuming and hard labor.  She recalls when fires would break out in the fields and the workers would rush to cut the leaves off of the remaining canes in order to save the rest of the crop from burning.  Her father supplied the coffee and sugar cane to various manufacturers around the island.

As the youngest of the three daughters, when she was not helping at the farm, my mother spent a lot of time by herself.  Her sisters were five and six years older and did not welcome their younger sister to join them in their activities, particularly during their teen years when  going to parties and dances was more appealing than playing with their little sister.  As a result, my mother had two imaginary best friends.  Mary and Bette.  She spent hours upon hours playing with them and including them in her daily activities all the while,  entertaining herself.  A skill that helped her later in life and contributed to her being remarkably resourceful in all aspects of her life.

Her mother was ahead of her time in that she had a vision for the modern and the latest fashions and used her talents to do most of everything by hand.  She was a skilled seamstress and would make her daughters beautiful gowns to be worn at balls and grand events.  She tells me of days when her mother would wait for her father to leave the house in the mornings, so that she could secretly make her daughters’ gowns in preparation for dances he had yet to give them permission to attend.  She kept a hidden trunk filled with her sewing machine and fabrics and would get to work as soon as he left the house.  As the event neared and the sisters waited for his permission (sometimes not until the very day of the event), if he allowed them to go, they had beautiful gowns ready and waiting to be worn.  An unspoken and unplanned agreement her mother and father had among themselves, each feeling satisfied that they had gotten their way.


Fresh milk from their cows was on their dining room table every day.  Unpasteurized and hard to swallow, the sisters would beg to pair their mandatory drink of choice with some sort of a sweet treat.  At times, their father would not allow for such sweets and watched to make sure they drank their full glass of milk.  My mother remembers being giddy with joy the day her father showed up from a trip to San Juan with a pasteurizing machine to be placed on their kitchen counter for their use.  Alas they could enjoy their milk.

As I listen to more accounts of my mother’s childhood, I cannot help but feel a deeper understanding of why I am the way I am.  I have a better grasp as to the influences that shaped my mother and in turn, her children. The stories leave me wanting further insight into the lives of my ancestors who left their mark on this beautiful island by contributing to its growth and livelihood.

No place is perfect and God knows Puerto Rico has its problems and challenges, but in spite of the uncertain economic future it faces, there is a past and a present that cannot be overlooked.  A land rich in culture and pride where family comes first and where outsiders are welcome with open arms so they can share in the beauty and uniqueness that is, Puerto Rico.

I have another week left of my visit and I look forward to learning more about my past and getting closer to understanding what has made me the person I am.





Earth To Trump Followers, Do You Copy?



Houston, we have a Y-UGE problem!

You-hoo,  I am talking to you. Right over here buddy, look at me. No, not over there look at me right here, babe. That’s right, yes. Don’t look away,  just stare right here at my eyes. Easy…that’s right.

Hi there. You are safe now, I got you. I know this is hard and scary but stay with me. Don’t let those big eyes of yours wonder. Come to mama, that’s right. Now, listen veeery carefully. It is going to be okay; you are safe now. I am not letting go of you, ever.

You were temporarily brainwashed by a very sick sick narcissist who has been promising you a rose garden surrounded by a tall wall of hate. I know that sounds crazy to you now but it’s true. He had a grip on you so tight that you became as frightening and delusional as he is. Yes, you. I know the truth hurts but I’ve got to be honest with you.

Look, if it makes you feel better you are not the only victim. There are thousands out there that have been swayed by his charm, his humor and his cojones.   He is a popular TV personality and is the lead in the most real reality show there has ever been. It’s called life; real life and he thinks he’s getting an Oscar.

Except that he’s starring next to real people. People who intuitively know that kindness, tolerance and integrity are what we all strive for but that have been brainwashed during a vulnerable and unstable time into believing that we must fear the different and that hate is the answer.

I don’t know you very well but you can’t possibly want that. We are all guilty of following the crowd at some point in our lives and wanting desperately to belong to a group and feel accepted and understood, even if we know deep down it is not a good group. The mob mentality kicks in and we do it because they are doing it and if they are doing it, it must be okay. It’s a fascinating and often devastating phenomenon that takes a life of its own and is incredibly hard to break.

Are you still with me, friend? I’m not letting go.  I am here with open arms to welcome you back to sanity. I won’t judge you, I promise. I will however, ask for your help in saving others that are still entranced and blindly swimming in a sea of lies and hate. They need us. They need you to help them see the light. To help them dig deep and find the compassion and love that exists in their hearts that they are temporarily blinded to because the are overcome with fear.

I don’t know what the answer is and can’t tell you which candidate is the best presidential candidate but I can tell you with certainty what can’t win. Hatred can’t win. Bigotry can’t win. Dictatorship can’t win. Greed can’t win.

You can’t possibly want that.

Now, open up that kind heart of yours and let it guide you, here on Earth.





I’m Dreaming of Balls With Power


Rachel  at  Misfits of a Mountain Mama wrote a very funny post about how much she is enjoying dreaming about winning tonight’s astronomical Powerball  drawing, now up to 1.5 billion (in case you’ve been living in a different planet.)  Check it out here.  I don’t think Rachel and I are alone in imagining what we would do with this or any big lottery winning.  Nothing wrong with dreaming, right?

In playing this pretend game, I found that my brain could not get past the very detailed part where I find out I am a winner.  The state of shock and disbelief is too overwhelming for me to imagine what I would actually do with the money.    

My day-dream goes something like this:

{Harp music playing in the background}

It’s Wednesday night, husband is in bed because he has a huge meeting on Thursday.  Daughter is out with her friends.  I am on wine glass number 3 and getting ready for the 11:00 news, after having watched the Chicago Fire,  Chicago Med  and  Chicago P.D  crossover event. I am holding my soon-to-be winning ticket consisting of three  Quick Picks.

The local newscaster (wearing an out of style suit) announces the numbers and shows a picture of the winning numbers on the 5 white balls and the one red ball.  I look at the TV screen and quickly write the numbers down on a piece of paper.  I then begin to check them against my numbers.  

The first quick pick is a dud.  I look at the second set of numbers. The first white ball number matches my first number.  The second white ball number matches my second number.  I start to hyperventilate and my heart is skipping many beats.

{Organ music now playing in the background} 

I shift in my seat and crack my neck from side to side.  The third white ball number matches my number.  HOLY SHIT.  The fourth white ball number matches my number.  THIS CAN’T BE HAPPENING.  I begin to shake and tell myself that I must be hallucinating.  

The fifth white ball number matches my F-U-C-K-I-N-G number.  I scream knowing that I have won a million dollars (but let’s be real, one million dollars gets you nowhere these days).  Then it’s on to the 6th number.  The RED power ball number.


I drop the glass of wine and it spills all over my nice living room rug.  I knock the lamp next to me over.  I stand up.  I grab a paper bag and breathe into it three times. I look at the numbers again. I start feeling dizzy and sick to my stomach.   I check the numbers again.  

I check the numbers again.  

I check the numbers again.  

All this, while breaking the record  for the number of times I have ever said these words:







Coño, Carajo, Puñeta!!


I am now on my knees looking up at the ceiling (which needs a new paint job) talking to our Almighty, asking Him what I have done to deserve this fortune.  I try to control the amount of F bombs I am dropping while talking to Him but under these circumstances, I think He will forgive me.

After hours of worshiping Him, kissing our dirty floor and swearing profusely, I am exhausted and collapse right on the floor.  I begin to laugh out loud while shaking my head and having seizure-like spasms.  I am convinced that I have wet my pants but continue laughing because I can buy 10,000 pairs of pants to replace the ones I am wearing.  The ceiling is moving, or is it the wine?

I fall asleep right there on my dining room floor.  I awake after 45 minutes and look around.  I pinch myself to make sure I am alive.  Rapid noises escape from one of my orifices, further convincing me that I am indeed, alive.  DEAR GOD, did this just happen? (the winning, not the gas.)

I get up from the floor (no easy feat) and stumble to the kitchen to grab a sponge.  I begin to wipe up the spilled wine on my rug and suddenly break into another laughing fit.  WHO CARES ABOUT THIS DAMN RUG?!

I pick up the winning ticket, I kiss it passionately leaving lipstick marks on it.  SHIT!  No one will be able to read the numbers now!  I skip brushing my teeth because, who needs their original teeth when you can afford a whole new white and shiny set of porcelain veneers?  

I head into the bedroom and see my husband sleeping peacefully on his side.  I take off all of my clothes and jump in bed.  I place the ticket in the top drawer of my bed side table, next to my Chapstick, my tweezers and my miniature book of Sex For Dummies, and settle in.  

The room is spinning.

 I fall fast asleep.


The End.

This is as far as the day-dream goes.

I guess we will have to wait until I win to find out what I will actually do with my fortune!


Keep on dreaming and best of luck tonight!