lola guerrero

50-something empty-nest-search-for-God-and-happiness with more than a dash of humor


Leave a comment

Pink Flamingos

 

pink flamingo printed paper

Photo by Designecologist on Pexels.com

 

In the afternoons, as I venture out for my walk, I see signs on people’s well-maintained lawns. I think their statements are wackadoodle, though it is their rights. They pay their taxes; they have every right to nail white cardboard to a stick and announce their state of mind. And I walk around with a ‘huh’ face asking myself who are these individuals and why that sign? I act like they should have asked me first.

Sign one–

Black lives matter.  

 Questions roam around in my head, is the person black that lives in the home, or she half black, half white? I don’t know. I walk around some more, hoping I’ll catch a glimpse of the owner. And then what? Do I approach the owner to begin a conversation? 

We all matter, do we not? If you are breathing, you matter. End of story. No second-guessing here. 

Sign two- 

Life is Beautiful. I shake my head. What? I think – It all depends on what you are smoking.

Life is not beautiful when you have been stuck with your husband for two months that have severe respiratory issues, and no, he does not have the virus. Or young children at home all day longgggg. 

Though I have to give kudos to the owner of this sign that no matter what goes on, how many peanut butter and jam sandwiches to prepare and loads of laundry to do the owner of the house still see the glass as half full. 

Sign three –

Honk if you question the Lockdown. I hear no one honking. 

Sign four- 

In the end, it will be ok, if not, it is not the end.  We are not at the end yet. We still have phases 2, 3, and 4. When Target, movie theaters, gym, and spas reopen, then it is the end. Yay. 

 I say getting a pedicure should have been on the list of E—ssentials.

Good heavens, I stare at my toes, and all ten are ghastly. I’m serious. Go on, take a look at your toes.

Sign five- 

Thank you first responders, doctors, nurses, firefighters, police officers, paramedics. Right on, I say, front line people, saving lives putting their lives at risk. Lucky them according to my reliable yahoo news, they are first in line to get the vaccine. Why, of course, they would be, you crazy Asian. I tell myself. My walk continues with visions of me arriving at the end of a long, long wait to get my vaccine. 

Till then, it is walking around my neighborhood looking for more signs to amuse me. And this one does. I see one neighbor that slay you with their humor during this unprecedented time. There are 20 pink plastic flamingos dotted all around his yard purchased from the dollar store. 

You gotta love someone who does this. 

Happy three day weekend! 


2 Comments

Chop wood, Carry water

scenic view of mountains under cloudy sky

Photo by Sasha Prasastika on Pexels.com

What image travels through your mind when you read:

“Before enlightenment chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment chop wood , carry water”

I image myself chopping wood with a weapon size ax in wilderness cold front Canada. And you?

My latest book read is Eleven Rings by Phil Jackson. The book was given to my husband as a gift.  It’s on our coffee table collecting dust. I glance at it  and pause. I think, “someday I’ll read it” for now let me blow away the dust.

With Lockdown still in place I am out of books. I start on  Phil Jackson’s book. I couldn’t put it down. It is the perfect read for such a time as this. Yes, you have to like basketball which I do, but it is not all about Air Michael, confident Kobe, Big Shaq and ridiculously high salaries.

Phil Jackson writes about know your weakness, capitalize on your strengths, bench your ego, make others great around you. Be  humble on and off the court.

This man is smart, competitive ( did I mention 11 rings?) and  innovative on how to turn a lagging team around and teach players to be more than the game.

His coaching style and practice session consist of  basic fundamental  basketball drills,  prepare for the next game and strength training. To mix it up a bit he will include meditation/zen before or after practice.

He believes Basketball is about being in the moment, know your opponents, see the court and who is open. The point  ‘chop wood, carry water ‘ is to stay focused on the task at hand rather than dwelling on the missed shot or worry  about the playoffs while still in preseason. To win NBA titles a team is made up of one breath, one mind.

Since Lockdown I am aware of staying within the 24 hour span. In the afternoon, when I am slicing mushroom for my big pot of spaghetti sauce I catch myself chanting : chop wood, carry water,  slice mushrooms. When I recall disappointments  within the last two months , I hear my husband’s voice in my head  “ It happened last month, that ship has sailed.

And when I think about the new normal  after Lockdown, his voice grow louder “and the future,  I know for sure there will be a second Lockdown. The  beach is crawling  with a bunch of cluster F^%$ who are not wearing masks.”

I snap back to the  task in front of  me  – make spaghetti  for dayssss. This axiom makes perfect sense- I am making spaghetti, not playing basketball, the circumstance is different but the instructions is the same : chop wood, carry water.

Happy Zen.

 


Leave a comment

Hmm, life is unfair. I’m depressed already.

easter egg and flowers on a table

Photo by Ksenia Chernaya on Pexels.com

 

Mother’s day weekend is here. A day to celebrate 6 feet away for all the moms. Yah, jumping jacks everyone. We do it all and then some.

What if I am not a mom, you say. Hmmm, life is unfair. I’m depressed already. I don’t like what you are writing about. Oh, please hold your horses. Keep reading. I’m about to get to the good part.

Growing up, I was raised by my Aunt Margaret. She was this little tiny lady, a basket full of love, kindness and ambition. She worked two jobs. When she couldn’t get a sitter for me, I went to work with her. I’d sit in a corner, pretending to read or put two comfy chairs together to nap.

She  loved God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit with all her heart.
Setting aside Sunday church service at 8 a.m. then treating me to IHOP for a stack of pancakes with dripping syrup, butta, and whip cream afterward.

Through my eyes, she was my mom. I didn’t know anything else.
She didn’t give birth to me, but she loved and cared for me as if I was her own. That was all I needed. She passed away two years ago at the age of 93.
With my biological mom, it took a while to reconnect with her.
A relationship I write about in a book that I am currently working on.

Here is what I know. Rest assured, every woman is a MOM. Whether it’s caring and lending support to a nephew, niece, foster children, grandkids, godchild, or have a child through adoption, you are a MOM. And let’s not forget nannies who do the same amount of work, minus the morning sickness and swollen ankles.

We appreciate your help babysitting and attending all their games through rain, hail, snow, or 99-degree heat. You know their favorite snacks. You remember their birthdays taking the time to send a care package during Lockdown of Zinc and Vit C. Just so you know, you are hip to the max and more fun to be with than most biological moms when you listen to the same music and is savvy on the iPhone.

Happy moms day to all women out there.


Leave a comment

Let’s talk about men-o-pause, shall we?P.2

beautiful beauty blue bright

Photo by James Wheeler on Pexels.com

Part 2

Unbelievable!! Some g-friends have all the luck. Happy dance for Cecilia that her husband joined her inside the closet. Who does that? Not my husband!

My dollar get- rich or die- scratching ticket husband if he found me in our bedroom closet weeping about the changes in my body, these are his exact words “it’s all in your head, get over it.”

That is not what you want to say to a woman  going through – The Change.

When my husband said the above to me, I want to call him an unfeeling 190 lbs of living cells and throw one of my Chrystal rocks at him. But I had a chat with me, “Jack, don’t do it, drop the stone. A Christian person does not go around throwing rocks at people.”

With calm nerves I join my husband on the couch I tell him ” work with me, we are a team. A lot goes on when a woman turns 50.”

I know that he heard me because he takes me in his arms and says, “I need to be a better husband, I love you, you Filipino crazy nut, but you’re my nut.”

We kiss, and I decide to make the the marriage work.
I mean, he is my scratch winning ticket, and I am his bingo prize.

It is not in our heads. It is real, and boy, take heed, it takes years to get to the other side. At 59 the end is oh so close.

So friend – be ready to ride the perfect storm, and if you are a man who happened to stumble upon my blog, here is what I know … you want to score points with your partner? Sit in the closet with her, brush her bangs from her eyes, kiss her tears away, hold her as you whisper love words in her ear.

Happy Wednesday!

 


Leave a comment

Let’s talk about men-O-pause, shall we?P.1

 

close up view colorful candy chocolate

Photo by Caio on Pexels.com

My long time friend Cecilia and I played ping pong text the other day. She lives in the coldest part of the country, Alaska, with her lawyer husband Sam and five-year-old son Riley. Every time I touch base with her, she is drafting a novel, chopping wood, or chasing her kid around.

She invites me all the time to visit, though I have no desire to go. It seems too blistery cold way yonder. This is what is depicted in movies that I watch on Net Flix. Big burly men with dark goggles, wearing heavy coats with fur vests. Never have I seen a woman with a tank top and white linen shorts on a dog sleigh traveling over ice, snow, and steep terrain.

Our texts:

“Last Saturday was horrible, horrible. I had a perfect snowstorm- menopause, fatigue, frustrated–cried half the day inside my master bedroom walk-in closet. I holed up.”

Wonder if she had the light on?

“Really, inside your closet? Did you have food? Food is a cure-all.”

“No food.”

“Before your isolation, you could have brought a glass of your favorite Rose’, celery, hummus, and MM’s. I know, I know, it’s not like these situations are premeditated.

“It’s pitch dark in my closet. Then, I hear Sam call my name, and I yell

‘in here.’ Would you believe he comes in and joins me.”

She didn’t have the light on.

“He joined you in the closet? I told you, I was right all along, you hit the MEGA million lottery ticket with him.”

“Yes, I know. We talked things out, and I most certainly will call my doctor. It is the early stage of menopause.”

“That is syrupy sweet. I’m so jealous in a friendly fashion. Your hubby joined you, and you talked things out, and all went well in the dark.”

Since I am close to being done with men-on-pause and she is a long time friend, I decided to giver her some ideas to get through this change of life thing.

The Essentials:

*estrogen and testosterone compound creams  *vitamins  *exercise (which you get a lot of that from wood chopping and chasing Riley around *take naps

AND

* When it comes to sex, this is a slippery slope. Some women sex continues to be a pleasurable activity, cheerios to them, and others like me, there is a giant STOP sign between our legs.

Not to lose hope, one remedy is tequila.

 

 


Leave a comment

CoV19 can’t stop a birthday shindig

 

purple and red balloons

Photo by spemone on Pexels.com

 

Let it be known Co-Vid 19 can’t stop a birthday shindig- no, no, no. When your mom turns 80, you do all you can to make it a fun day.

We had a virtual party for our mom, and all the grandkids living near and far wished her a happy day.

Earl, my brother, bless his heart, went to Safeway to buy a cake with strawberries on top. We all thanked him for his ‘front line courage’ to risk his life. Bravo!

Who would have known going to a grocery store is high risk?

Mom was a bit somber. Her casino closed down during her birthday month. Damm virus.

“Oh, not good.” She said.
“Mom, you need to understand, we need to stay inside. We are in Lockdown.”
“A na? (what) Lock-in.” My sister Lynn-Lynn and I giggle.

“There is a virus, and if you get sick, you go to E.R., and it is called Lockdown, not lock-in. Of course, she has a point we are LOCKED inside our homes, are we not?

“I get sick take me to casino, not E.R. I have pain, my back, leg…Oh Lorddd, I go to casino no pain.” She turns her face away from us like we don’t know what we are talking about and how dare her kids to tell her NO when it comes to gambling on a penny slot machine.

Our mother is convinced the casino in all its glory of flashing lights, all you- can – eat prime rib dinner for $14.99 and sitting next to good ol’folks  from all demographic backgrounds have healing powers.

**

The day after her celebration, my sister-in-law Sonya informs her. “Mom, you will get a stimulus check coming from the government. Tell Jackie to check your bank.”
This piques her interest and gets all giddy that Mr. President is passing out checks. Direct deposit no less!

She gets on her flip phone.
“Lynn-Lynn I get stim check. Sonya said. Pretty soon, I go to the casino.”
“Mom, stim check, what is that? ”
“Stimmmm check. You know the president gives money.”

Lynn–Lynn bats her longggg  falsies not comprehending what mom is saying
as she putts around in her kitchen, baking banana bread and macadamia cookies.

“Mom, is it your Social Security?”
“NOOO. you lissen.”
“Ma, let me think.”
Hmmm.

“Is it…stimulus check?”

“Stimless?”

“Mom, I get it now. It is called Stimulus, not Stim. Save all your money so Earl will drive you to the casino.”

“Yes, ok, I see you soon.”

**

Our mom is a model of health (Praise the Lord) strength and at her age – silliness down to her arthritic knee.
During the day, she nannies Baby J and has occasional chit-chats with Pearl (Earl’s cat) when she comes down from her high tower.
Babies, grandkids, and Pearl keeps mom  young  and laughing all the way to the casino with cash from Mr. President.


Leave a comment

You want to cut in line? WTH.

“Ahhh, Mister, you want to cut in line? WTH, really.
It’s a Starbucks drive-thru! Idiot. Jack, calm down, don’t be a jerk, love today, the sun is out, and you are Covid-19 free.”

The conversation in my head as I let the tub of lard inside his SUV go ahead of me.

Hmmm, what would Jesus do? I ponder away listening to Christian music in my car. Well, knowing Jesus, he will make a venti, five shots mocha latte, gently hand it to him and get on his knees to wash his feet too.

With a hint of a smile, I give him the wave – yes, go ahead even if I have not had my first sip of latte.

When it is my turn to pay for my drink, the cashier said ”
the man in front of you paid so drink is free.”

This exchange of kindness once again helped me believe karma does exist. God does see what I do, and he decides my reward.
To have my drink paid was a big surprise. The little things to get my spleen tickled. Haha.

I challenge you today, who me? Yes, my one and only reader of my blog to step out give of yourself, buy someone their coffee, spare a few masks and gloves or hand sanitizer, and see what happens you never know.

Happy Saturday!

black ceramic cup with brown liquid with heart shape on black ceramic saucer

Photo by Oriana Ortiz on Pexels.com


Leave a comment

It takes a song…

When lockdown started last month and my gym closed (damm), I had to do some kind of exercise. Walking became my new routine. At times I put my pods in and other days I walked with random thoughts of when the lockdown is over, I need to call my doctor for a pap smear, which I have been dreading. I am going to get my roots done and get a pedicure — all in that order. Yes, all essentials.

Somewhere in between my brain cells, a soft voice kept reminding me to come to the throne of grace and worship HIM.

The gentle voice kept speaking to me, and I wave it away. That is me.

Other thoughts that run through like will I be able to hug friends or family members? Can we gather around at Pegasus Pizza with my family on a Friday night to laugh and talk and to celebrate the weekend? How do we sit, side by side, or continue that 6 feet apart golden rule?

My favorite song, called The Heart of Worship – interrupts my stream of consciousness.
The lyrics go like this-

When the music fades
All is stripped away
And I simply come
Longing just to bring
Something that’s of worth
That will bless your heart

As I finish my walk, I realize it takes a song to speak to my heart that this time right now is all about coming to God and praying to him- way maker of all things. He will make a way where it seems impossible.

When all is strip away, what do we have? We have our faith. We have his son, Jesus.

I believe that God wants us to use this time to worship and find joy in his presence. There is nothing to do except sloww down and sit awhile and look upward where the presence of peace reigns.

Happy Tuesday!