Monday, March 21, 2005

New Jersey

There's nothing like being in New Jersey and seeing dreary weather! It is very nostalgic. For the rest of the week Dan and I are vacationing in NJ. We're leaving on Saturday. As you could imagine, we already have the week planned out. If there are some of you that we don't get to see, there will be a next time. Unfortunately, we can't stay longer than a week. But, I do plan to come back in the summer to see my brand new nephew!! So, we'll get to catch up then. Besides, you never know when we'll be back permanently.

Sunday, March 06, 2005


I love sunrises. They give me an unimaginable energy level when I witness one. The sky looks so beautiful and peaceful. I could stare at the sky all morning long while the sun is taking its rightful place. Dan and I decided to go to Key Biscayne, which is south of South Beach to see the sunrise. We wanted to lay on the beach while the sun was coming up. Well, we didn't make it, but saw it rise while we were driving. Either way, it was absolutely breathtaking. We stopped to get some breakfast and took it to the beach. Once there we sat in our beach chairs, wrapped ourselves in a blanket (it was chilly!), and stared at the bay.

It was such a great morning that I wish everyone could experience this. We talked, laughed, watched dogs play in the water, napped, and even saw a dolphin swimming around. By the time we decided to leave it was around 9:30 am. We spent three hours having a blast. I need to do this more often.


One of the great things about living in Miami (or for that fact living in Union City) is the discovery of new favorite Cuban treats. In fact, I should rephrase it and say one of the great things about living with my mother-in-law is the discovery of new treats. Either way, I can't go wrong. My mother-in-law, Marta, loves drinking shakes. If it were up to her, she would drink one every single day, and for that matter so would I. My favorite shake was chocolate. I love chocolate anything, but shakes are the best. Now I would pass on the chocolate shake for un batido de mamay (and I have to say it in Spanish because my Cuban friends know what I'm talking about) Mamay is a fruit that is readily available in Florida. My father use to make me mamay shakes when I was a kid. I remember liking them, but the fruit came frozen. Not much fresh mamay action in Jersey. So the shake wasn't anything out of this world. But here in Miami, you could get mamays practically all year round and damn they're good. Maybe, it's the way Marta makes it, but I can't get enough of it.

Everything changed today. I have a new favorite--batido de trigo (wheat shake). It just doesn't sound the same in English. My father-in-law bought puffed wheat the other day for shakes. I looked at the bag and didn't think much of it until today. Marta decided she wanted to make herself a wheat shake and offered me some. I told her that I never had a wheat shake, but I would give it a try. It doesn't hurt trying new things, which is part of my renewed philosophy. My God was that shake good! I can't believe I never tried this sooner. It's so good that I feel like asking her to make me another. This is better than any chocolate shake I ever had. The best part of these shakes that Marta makes is that they have few calories. They are not made with ice cream. It's just milk, ice, sugar, a pinch of salt, and whatever fruit or wheat product you want to add to it. And if you're really calorie conscious you could substitute the sugar with Splenda and it's just as yummy. In fact, I think I'll be making myself some wheat shakes for breakfast in the mornings before I go to work. At least I'll be in a good mood in the mornings!

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Luck Anyone?

I was going to blog about how sick I am again. I began a few sentences, looked at them, and signed out. I felt so drained just seeing what I wrote that I couldn't even deal with it. Yes I am sick, so what? I have to move along. I decided for some unknown reason to search the word luck. So I came across a website called Fast Company. It is actually a magazine. Anyway, the article that I found is called "How to Make Your Own Luck." I found the article to be inspiring.

As you know I've been trying to be on a positive mode. At times I find it very difficult to remain positive. This is especially true now that Dan and I are at a culminating period in Florida. To leave or not to leave? Who knows? At any rate, reading this article reminds me on how to look at things differently. I have to remember not to focus on the negative, which is very easy to do.

Here are four principles that Wiseman (I do wonder if his name is real), head of a psychology research department came up with:

1. Maximize Chance Opportunities
Lucky people are skilled at creating, noticing, and acting upon chance opportunities. They do this in various ways, which include building and maintaining a strong network, adopting a relaxed attitude to life, and being open to new experiences.

2. Listen to Your Lucky Hunches
Lucky people make effective decisions by listening to their intuition and gut feelings. They also take steps to actively boost their intuitive abilities -- for example, by meditating and clearing their mind of other thoughts.

3. Expect Good Fortune
Lucky people are certain that the future will be bright. Over time, that expectation becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy because it helps lucky people persist in the face of failure and positively shapes their interactions with other people.

4. Turn Bad Luck Into Good
Lucky people employ various psychological techniques to cope with, and even thrive upon, the ill fortune that comes their way. For example, they spontaneously imagine how things could have been worse, they don't dwell on the ill fortune, and they take control of the situation.

I suggest you read the article. Whether you believe in creating your own happiness or not, it doesn't hurt to look at things positively.