Sunday, November 9, 2014
During the second half of my trip I met my half sister Agustina. Before leaving to Mexico I called my cousin Ramon to ask him where my father was buried. During that conversation he told me that my half brother Manuel was looking for us and wanted to talk. I told Ramon to pass along my phone number and later that evening my brother called me.
It was a great conversation where I learned more about my father and where Manuel expressed wanting to have a sibling relationship with us. He also told me that I had a total of 11 brothers and sisters (8 brothers & 3 sisters) from my father's other relationship. He gave me Agustina's number and asked that I call her when I got to Culiacan.
Prior to meeting Agustina we had a lengthy conversation about our father. She told me that he always cried for us
Monday, October 20, 2014
Sunday, September 7, 2014
As I cleaned around the house my artistic side saw many opportunities to capture my thoughts, feelings, mood... life. Instead of flooding my Instagram account I decided to share it here.
Obama + Immigration = Disappointment
It goes back 13 years and the last entry was 4 years ago. Today I added another entry as well as mementos.
My favorite room at home. Green light, earth tones, peaceful with great energy. I love my bathroom.
Just me and Einstein chilling at home.
This is my playful side... :)
Monday, July 14, 2014
This is so hard. To recount, retell, explain the grief I'm feeling today and for the past six months. On April 10, 2014 the world lost Mattie. Mattie and her fiance Michael were traveling up north to Humbolt State University on a charter bus as chaperons with high school students. It was a trip they made every year since I've known them. The high school students of minority backgrounds were from the Los Angeles area and Mattie and Michael were Humbolt State alumni. Michael specifically was inspired to chaperon the students because he was raised in South Central L.A. and still managed to go to Humbolt State and obtain two degrees from them.
On April 10th as the charter bus was driving on the 5 fwy north of San Francisco, a FedEx big-rig trailer crossed the center divider and crash head on with the charter bus. Mattie and Michael were seated in the front and we're told that they died instantly... together.
Mattie and Michael met at Humbolt State many years ago. He fell in love with her right away and although she was slow to catching on, she eventually fell madly in love with him too. That's around the time I met them both. They had barely been dating a month when I met Mattie at work.
Mattie and I also had an instant connection. I felt it and I know she felt it too. It took me a while to realize exactly how to describe my feelings for her but I eventually discovered that I loved Mattie like a little sister. Mattie was the sweetest and most pure hearted person I knew. She was an eager learner of everything and anything and she loved sharing her knowledge. She was down to earth and sometimes was not aware of her physical beauty. Mattie was the perfect combination of inner and outer beauty.
Mattie also loved the arts. This was one of the many things we had in common. I loved her ability turn the most mundane items (like hundreds of keys) into a gorgeous necklace... and she ROCKED that necklace!
Mattie was notorious for loving sweets. Cookies, candies, donuts, pastries, anything with sugar. Her natural disposition was always energetic and happy. If you had one candy or donut you would be a witness to Mattie bouncing off the walls. Oh my was that a sight to see. We would give her sugar on purpose just to see her react to it. Mattie would pass along her energy to us and that was good enough.
The picture above is a selfie taken by her and sent via text to me. I had baked cookies for the office and taken them to work. I was not at the office when Mattie found the cookies so she sent the picture with a message that said: "My 'diet' thanks you for the cookies..." :)
The above picture was taken during our office Christmas Party December 9, 2010 by Michael. Mattie came over to where I was sitting and hugged me as you see here. Michael got my phone and took the picture. There was so much love between us. I can still feel her embrace today.
Last year Michael called me to ask for my opinion on Mattie's career at the bank. After a nice conversation Michael tells me about their upcoming trip to Paris and Madrid. He then tells me that he's planning to propose to her while on their vacation. He already had the ring and only a few people knew of his plans. Mattie's parents and me. He told me that I was very special to her and he needed to tell me about his plans. I was so happy for Mattie because I knew how much she wanted to marry Michael, I was happy for Michael because I knew how much he loved and cherished her, and I was so honored that they thought so highly of me. Michael proposed to Mattie in Paris on Christmas morning of 2013. They first attended Christmas mass at Notre Dame Cathedral then walked to the Louvre Museum. In front of the Louvre Michael got down on one knee and proposed to Mattie. The picture above was taken after she said yes. They were so happy.
Mattie oh Mattie. I miss you so much and still mourn your death. In May, just a month after her death, I was cleaning out my email at work and accidentally found this email from Mattie. She originally sent it to me early December 2013, before her trip to Europe, I was deleting old emails and found this during that process. I truly believe Mattie is still very close to me and this is her giving me a sign saying as much. She misses me and I miss her.
A few months ago (August or September) I was scrolling through Facebook and saw a food recipe page that caught my attention. After liking a few of their posts I decided to go into their page to see what else they had posted. When I went to their page Facebook thought to inform me that another friend also liked the page. That friend was Mattison Haywood, Mattie. How did that happen? All I can say is that Mattie was near me again.
I love you Mattie. I love you Michael. Michael thank you for loving and cherishing Mattie, for making her the happiest woman while on Earth. Thank you for being with her until your last moments. That truly is my only comfort.
Mattie thank you for being part of my life. You have changed me in ways that I still cannot understand. One day I will understand the reason why you left us so early. I do believe that everything happens for a reason yet I'm still waiting for a reason behind your loss. Like I said earlier, I can still feel your last embrace, our last hug. I can still hear your voice.
I don't know how to end this post. All I know is that I love you Mattie, I loved you like a little sister, and I miss you every day.
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
I LOVE Panera's Creamy Tomato Soup. During the Fall and Winter and I cannot get enough of it. I would go to Panera at least once a week when I worked in Santa Monica but now I'm on the complete opposite side of town. There's no Panera near home or work. :(
As I was driving 4 miles out of my way to get a bowl of this yummy soup from Panera the lightbulb in my head finally turned on. Why not search for the recipe online or Pinterest? Duh! I found a recipe claiming to be a pretty close version of the soup and I decided to make it tonight.
Final result? Delicious!!! It's not exactly like Panera's but it's pretty darn close. Close enough for me to eat it up fast. I'm so happy that I found this recipe and I no longer have to rely on a Panera near or far away.
Below is the link to the recipe I used:
I first tried Trader Joe's Creamy Tomato Soup and was very disappointed. It was way too sweet. Yuck!
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
I was surfing the web for cookie recipes when I found this recipe. I have always loved Captain Crunch cereal and at one point in my youth ate it for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Variations - the recipe calls for chocolate chips. I decided to make three variations of the cookie. One plain Captain Crunch, Chocolate Chip, and Toffee Chip. I love toffee and was hoping the cookie and toffee would go well together.
I usually like soft cookies but I think for this recipe the cookies needed to be crunchier. The crunch is what we love about the cereal, right? I also think the best cookie was the chocolate chop one but I that's just my preference. I will take the cookies to work tomorrow and get the final verdict for the guys at work.
Below is the link to the recipe.