Thursday, October 16, 2014

Pursuing my Ph.D.

I am so happy I decided to pursue my Ph.D.  I never get tired of learning or teaching.  My brain and my soul need to be nourished constantly.

Where did the time go?  God willing, I will be thirty in January.


Saturday, August 30, 2014

Adventures with my dog Bella

They say you are either a cat or a dog person.  I used to think I was a cat person until I saw an adorable Boston Terrier at the rescue shelter in Amarillo.

All the other dogs barked at me and wanted my attention.  But not Bella (okay, her name was Molly, but I decided to rename her).  Anyway, she did not acknowledge my presence in any way.  I thought, "That's the dog I want!  I want an independent animal!"

Independent?  Psh, yeah right.  She follows me everywhere: to the kitchen, to the living room, to the bathroom, to my bedroom.  She peers out the window when I leave every morning, and it breaks my heart. 

Bella has improved the quality of my life.  I love my dog!


While I typed this blog entry, this is what Bella did.
 

















We love exploring our new home.



We'll cross that bridge when we get to it!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Ph.D. in the fall and journal excerpts

I am excited about starting my Ph.D. in the fall at Texas A&M University, my alma mater.  I have missed the intellectual stimulation, the research, the reading, the writing, and the learning.

I have grown so much and am ready to start a new chapter in my life.  So many experiences and people have contributed to my journey.  I have learned so much about myself and other people.  Just when I think I have it all figured out, life surprises me.  I have decided that I will never have it all figured out.

Writing keeps me sane.  I have decided to post some excerpts from journal entries I have kept these past few years.

Listen to your gut.  Sometimes it whispers while other times it screams.  Mine nags me until I listen to it.
"This doesn't work for me."
"This is not safe."
"This is not good for my health."
"Enough!  No more!"
"Stop it, Angela!"
"Red flag!"
"Danger!"
"Really, Angela, really?"

People can say "I love you" and prove otherwise.  Look at the evidence - observe their actions toward you.  Are they manipulative?  Are they "baffled" when you try to establish boundaries?

Surround yourself with people who build you up.  Life is too short to be around people who drain you or tear you down.

Don't let ANYONE pressure you into doing something that you know is wrong.  And ask yourself if that person really is your friend.  Is the friendship give and take?  Or do they take a lot more than you give?  Is your friend always there or only when it's convenient for them?

Don't ever let a significant other say, "It's my way or I end the relationship."  They "love" you?  They are not so significant.  In fact, they are manipulative and self-centered.  I don't care how many poems are written, cards are exchanged, and/or gifts are given.  It's not okay for you to yell at me.  You will not disrespect me.

Recognize signs of emotional abuse.  Never let anyone disrespect or disregard your boundaries.  Do remember, however, to establish your boundaries early on.  Stop making excuses for people who treat you poorly.  Stop thinking that you can transform ANYONE with your immense love.

Commit yourself to people who are committed to your best interests.

My self worth does not come from the opinions of other people.  It comes from God.  Without God, there would be no hope.
"What's wrong with you?"
"You're stupid."

I'm actually brilliant  If you don't like me, you have a real problem.  I'm a phenomenal person, and you should want to know me.

February 4, 2014
Fantasies feel real,
The lies reel us in,
We believe when people quote the lines
of a Hollywood feature.
Our life
becomes part of the film,
rolling on the movie reel
We are left reeling in pain
Thinking the fantasy would make us happy

In the midst of fantasy,
suddenly we awake
And we need what is real.
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More coming soon.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Feliz día de los padres

I love it when my father shares his stories about growing up in Mexico.

Once my dad was cutting pasture, and he didn't notice a plant on which a bees' nest was attached.  Well, he cut the plant.  The bees stung his face to the point that he was deemed unrecognizable by people in his own tiny Mexican village.

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Las avispas -as told by my father


Andaba cortando hierbas para pastura.  En la hierba grande que corté estaba el panal de las avispas. No me fijé y se me echaron encima en la cara todas las avispas.  Todas.  Se me puso la cara como tomate.  Tenía los ojos enterrados.  No podía ni ver casi. 

Estaba pasando por la orilla del rio.  Vi que se estaban bañando Daniel y Artemio.  Me sentía muy triste pasando por allí y me decían, “Oiga, amigo, ¿viene Ud. De Julimes?” pero yo no les contestaba nada.

“¿De dónde eres?  ¿Quién es tu papá?” Artemio me preguntó.

Yo no hablaba para que no me conocieran.

“Como que se parece a Vayo el de Panfilo,” dijo Daniel. Se tiraron un clavado en el río y yo me fui.

No quería que me viera la gente.  Cuando me di cuenta que no me conocían, me dio mucho gusto.

Friday, June 6, 2014

The best gift I have ever received

"We're not the one's who've been teaching Radio - Radio's the one who's been teaching us."  It's been years since I've seen the movie Radio, but that's my favorite line from the movie.

While I was teaching my students, they were teaching me.  They reminded me not to take life so seriously; their vitality influenced me.  I enjoyed supporting them at extracurricular activities and being part of their lives.

At the end of the year, I received a book full of life tips and quotes from Lora and Mackenzie.  I wanted to share this on my blog because it touched my heart.


Priceless.  This one is my favorite, Lora!



I've seen every episode, Mackenzie!

I told my students that one morning when I awoke, I panicked because my arm was asleep.  I thought I was about to have a heart attack, so I googled "signs of a heart attack" and was ready to drive myself to the emergency room or dial 911.   Apparently, I had just slept on my arm, so it was numb.  Oh well.



Thank you, Lora and Mackenzie!  I always wanted a book dedicated to me.  Thanks for making this dream come true!



Thursday, May 22, 2014

Tips for family travel: a collaboration with Kendra Thornton

I once read that health is the greatest wealth.  I internalized this saying.  If I do not have my health, nothing else matters.   When I am on vacation, I have to try with every fiber of my being to make wise choices concerning my health.  Speaking of fiber, eat plenty of it.  Aim for 25 to 30 grams a day.  Most Americans do not eat enough fiber, especially while on vacation.


1. Always carry snacks.  Be proactive. 

I carry almonds and other healthy snacks in my purse so that I can eat on my own terms.  As I rode on a bus through Switzerland last summer, I was able to soothe my hunger pangs with oatmeal cookies I packed in my bag.  I had no control over when and where the bus driver would stop, but I took a proactive role in curbing my appetite by carrying snacks with me at all times.

When the bus finally stopped at a Swiss restaurant, I was able to eat small portions of food because I did not feel famished. 

2. If you indulge, indulge wisely.  Think small.

If you must eat a sugar-laden dessert, eat small portions.

I hesitate to admit that when I am on vacation, I like to indulge my sweet tooth from time to time.  I make wise choices if I decide to eat sweets.  For example, I order a small chocolate shake instead of a medium or large.  Also, I always share my dessert with someone or I simply eat half of it.

If you are craving sweets, the better choice, of course, is to eat fruit instead of something that is replete with sugar.

3. Stock up and be proactive.

If I stay in a hotel, I go to the grocery store and stock up on water bottles, fruits, and yogurt.  By the same taken, even if I stay with family, I stock up on healthy foods that I need to eat.  My family members understand that I am a picky eater.  Because they love me, they are okay with that.    


4. Stay hydrated no matter what.

I once became severely dehydrated at Six Flags over Texas.  In mid-July.  IN TEXAS.  IN MID-JULY.  Time slipped away from me.  My primary concern was getting in line for the Superman Tower of Power as often as I could.  I forgot that I was sizzling in the sun.  My sister, a nurse at the time, saved my life. 

I vowed from then on to stay hydrated.  Always carry water bottles.  Make it a point to drink water regularly no matter what.

5. Walk around and explore.

I took speed walking in college for a physical education credit.  Yes, I earned an A.  I felt so much better after just 20 minutes of walking around campus. 

While on vacation, take the time to walk around and explore your surroundings.  You might not realize that you are exercising.  Who knows if you will ever return?  Be adventurous.


Remember that you are your own best nutritionist and your own best doctor.  You decide what you put in your body.

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Family Travel and Fun with Fitness
By Kendra Thornton
My family usually sticks to healthy habits. All my kids are active and enjoy sports. At home, I pack healthy snacks for them to enjoy at school, and we regularly share healthy meals together. When we go on vacation, it isn’t as easy to stick to a healthy routine, but I’ve found some tricks that help us stay healthy no matter where our journeys take us. I’ve shared these tips and tricks with my extended family who will be visiting us in Chicago in a few weeks.
1. Drink Plenty of Water
Never limit the amount of water your family drinks when on vacation. A few extra bathroom breaks aren’t nearly as inconvenient as the discomfort and dangers of dehydration. This is especially true when traveling on hot days or spending time outdoors in the sunlight. My family always takes along personal water bottles. On especially warm days, I often freeze the full bottles before we head out.
2. Eat Right When Eating Out
Eating out is a necessity on vacation. I like to use the same guidelines when on vacation that I use when eating out near home. I research to find restaurants that serve locally produced ingredients. I also try to find places that offer healthy menu options. Places that serve Mediterranean cuisine or offer vegetarian options are great places to eat.
3. Play for Fun and Exercise
Play together as a family. This is important all the time, and on vacation it can help your family get necessary exercise. Have races and competitions to help everyone stay active. My family likes to play together at the hotel pool. We’ll compete to see who can swim underwater the longest or who can swim across the pool the fastest. We even have splashing contests with one another.
4. Use Hotel Amenities
Many hotels offer fitness amenities. I like to learn about these amenities before booking my stay. As a family, we try to always stay at hotels with nice fitness facilities. Staying in a hotel right in downtown Chicago doesn’t only offer my family great gym facilities to choose from many of the hotels are close to all the sites!
You have to be intentional about keeping your family fit and healthy. When you make a point of keeping to a healthy routine on vacation, everyone will have a better time. I hope you find my special tricks helpful the next time you take a family trip.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Conversations with my dad

I love talking to my dad; I never know what he's going to say.

“Did you ever have a dog that died of old age?”
“No, back in the day in Mexico all my dogs contracted rabies, so we had to shoot them.”
 "Dad!”
 “What?  There was no other way.  We couldn’t risk being bitten by a rabid dog.”

“On the McGarraugh ranch, did any of your cows ever die?”
“Of course they died.”
“Did you ever become emotionally attached to them?  Were you sad?”
“Yes, I was sad because every time a cow died, I lost $1,000.”


True.