Meet: Toña

I presented Tatiana first because apparently the calf came before the cow, but here is Toña who deserved her presentation too.

Her color is so lovely.  Thank you Toña for all the cheese.

Have a great day!

I Remember: The kid with the suspenders

When I was in third grade the first time I was a year younger than everyone else in my grade.

That, combined with the fact that I was extremely antisocial (now I’m just antisocial, I ditched the extreme part) made it very difficult for me to have friends in my grade.  I remember talking to some girls (I think I had three friends that I hung out with in the school yard) but I didn’t connected deeply with anyone.

I began wondering towards the back of the school during the lunch break.  I think it was because the school was in a construction stage or something but there was a part of the yard that was unfinished, as if the earth had been freshly ploughed.

That’s were I saw him for the first time.

He wore his pants terribly high with suspenders in pure Steve Urkel fashion.  His hair was always dishevelled and he wore very thick and large glasses.  Some kids were screaming at him and throwing him stones.

I have no idea how I did it because I was the most introvert person in the world, but I said something to them and after a few cat calls insinuating that I liked the boy, they went away and our adventure began.

He was looking for rocks for his mom, he said.  “These clear ones are quartz”.  I picked a few  for me, but mostly helped him look for them.  The sun was right on top of us and I could feel my neck burning but somehow it  felt nice.  We talked and I laughed a lot.  Being in his company was soothing.

Our feet kept sinking into the soft dirt, my mom nagged me about the state of my shoes, quartz and all.  I found him again a couple of times, in the same place and then one day he wasn’t there and I never saw him again.

The only evidence I have that these outings happened are a couple of pieces of quartz that survived the carelessness of my mom, who even included them in the landscape of our house – which is outside and everyone could steal the stones.

Whenever I see someone digging I remember the boy with the suspenders and I’m thankful for the time he made me feel I had a friend.

You thought you were invisible, but I remember you.



Double Coke

This is the kind of thing that I really don’t want to find during a walk outside.

And I say that after a few days ago, as I was talking in the phone with that certain agency (actually, it was exactly as they were explaining to me how I was to submit evidence of the science behind the living state of plants, which has to be a sign of some sort) – I was walking outside while on the phone, you know, because somehow that helped me with the stress levels – and a snake approximately four feet long (which in my book is like four hundred) crossed my walking path coming from behind me.

I don’t even know how I was able to keep talking and taking notes without cutting off that woman to tell her that I had just almost stepped on a snake.  And maybe I should have told her, that would have given her an idea of how my life is much more than sitting around preparing explanatory documents for agencies which employee people that don’t   understand basic science.

That’s it.  I promise I won’t mention that agency anymore.  Maybe.  Most probably.  There’s a kind of high probability that I’ll be able to let it go.   I think.  It will be really hard though.

Anyway, I want to see this less than I want to see a snake, and I really, REALLY don’t want to see a snake.  Again.

I’ll share this with the cool people of the Look Up, Look Down challenge when I remember to link up :)

Have a great day!

In memoriam: For Tutty

The past seventeenth of March, two days before my birthday I began mini vacations (as I like to call them) on my grandmother’s house.

Traditionally, I spend the first day back in my hometown in her home until my mother arrives there from work.  She loves the time she can spend with Baby J and I love the time I spend with her.

That day though, she received a sad call that made me really glad I was there.  The only cousin she had alive passed away after a battle with a couple of health issues.  It was still very much a surprise for everyone because she was only eighty one.  The women in my maternal family live to be over a hundred on average.

I met Tutty too late in my opinion, having only met her and her wonderful husband in 2012, but she was such a character and had such a spark that she really went straight to my heart.

Such was her personality that on the day of her passing a friend replied to all recipients of her demise announcement telling the story of how she had actually never met her in person, but corresponded with her for many years and got to talk to her on the phone.  She described her as a force of good and positivity through all her challenges (she was in a wheelchair after a brain stroke).

She and her husband (who passed away last year;  I believe she just had to go join him) left an incredible space in this world.  I’m both extremely honor that I got to meet them and incredibly sad that I didn’t got to spend more time with them.

In her funeral one of their grandkids read a beautiful piece she wrote for her grandmother which tells me that maybe the youngest generation she left behind might be able to carry at least some of her legacy.

This post is my humble way of leaving her a place here.

This one is for you Tutty.  Thank you.


Tuesdays of Texture | Week 13 of 2015

Every Tuesday I post a photo of a texture or the use of a texture and share a detail of my part of the world.  

I invite you to join in the fun of sharing an image of the textures around you by including a link to this post in your own post (you don’t have to make an exclusive Tuesdays of Texture post!).  You can also @ naramilee in twitter or instagram if you want to share an image from either platform. 
You can find an image you like during the week if you don’t have one today :)  
The past becomes a texture, an ambience to our present.
Paul Scott

Last week I took a little off time for my birthday.

After a couple of rough personal days and a few set backs on the work side I was shaken.  It’s never the launching of a new product if there’s not blood involved and this time, among some other incidents that are not worth our time, I had to deal with a certain government agency that -for one- demanded scientific and trustworthy proof that plants are alive.

I mean.  I’m a biologist.  My face was like.  I’m sorry to go all teen on you but I CAN’T EVEN.

And they were straight up serious.

My brain’s first response was some rapid reeling towards the road of where can I find this in the internet, but after a few hours of receiving yet more ridiculous requirements I gave up with dignity.

I included a line in the explanatory document I had to submit stating that any person that successfully completed second grade knows that plants are alive and that I was not debating it because I needed my life to get simpler, not more complicated.  I then moved on to telling every soul that crosses my path about that moment when the last bit of faith I had in this government’s performance was shattered by someone who didn’t acknowledge basic science.

There was also a urinary infection that made me visit my primary doctor (automatically assigned by my health insurance, the one I had to change to last year) only to find out his course of action was to give me some labs to be performed in two months.  Because by then he would see if I was still alive and then probably start some sort of IV.  Whatever, I went to get a second opinion (I had to pay for it, because defending your life is costly) and that doctor gave me all the antibiotics of the world and I’m now trying to defend my urinary track to prevent further aches.

Anyway, I skipped Tuesdays of Texture without notice mainly because I didn’t knew I was going to my parent’s house.  My bad.

So, I’m sharing the contributions of the week before last:

Debbie shared a beautiful view framed by an amazing wall.

Klara shared an amazing shot of a bee inside a flower that has such a great macro that the skin of the bee is the winning texture in it.

Prior shared a beautiful mossy shot, but the great part of her post is the lovely story of the stranger turned friend that she met outside a building while waiting for her mother.  Love that kind of encounter.

Norm shared beautiful close shots of two amazing walls.

Have a great day!  I hope you have some shots to share :)






Dancing Mondays: Gangsta’s Paradise Edition

Resuming regular schedule after a brief mini vacation on my birthday week.

This one is because covers of rap songs into vintage music styles are  the best idea ever, this is Gangsta’s Paradise a la Al Capone

Have a fun Monday!

I Remember: Public communication

When I was in college these were our smartphones.

Everyone talked into those things and I don’t remember ever carrying a hand sanitiser.  I do remember they smelled, so why didn’t I fear for my health, I have no idea.  Probably same reason why I used to drink tap water, in public places even.  And I didn’t die, maybe we were onto something.

When we used these we actually had to remember the numbers of the people we were going to call, all seven digits of them.  There was a time when I could tell you the phone numbers of seventy percent of my classmates, plus my entire immediate family.  My head didn’t had too many Servando  and Florentino lyrics back then, it was just some Bush and Metallica.

I even remember “texting” (was it texting if we only used beepers?) using that keyboard.  Each key has three letters so we had to press each one the number times corresponding to the letter we wanted.  OMG we did we do that?   I probably lost several hours of my lifetime texting boys that I didn’t even dated.

In the town I was lodging (lodging for college? there’s a better word for this but my brain does have all the Atención Atención repertoire now and I can’t recall it at the moment) we found we could hack these in a public plaza by charging long distance calls from a phone on one corner of the plaza to another in the oposite end.  We were twelve girls in a nineteen eighty five Honda looking for our free minutes to call family and friends.  (And boys we never even dated.)

Sometimes we went in our pyjamas and the ride included stopping for donuts and very loud singing of Bob Marley and Cristian Castro.  We had to wrap up our conversations fairly early because the town had a curfew and when the sirens sounded at ten o clock we had to be on our way back to the houses.

Those were our Unlimited Calls plans.

Oh yes, I remember.