Category Archives: About Me

Here We Stand

I don’t know if the world will remember

Time could erase our names

If I come back, will you find me

Footprints long washed away

I’m ok if the world can’t remember

This love in my heart will remain

I’ll wait in the place

We made shadows

Knowing I’ll see you again

 

❤  para siempre y solo para ti, mi esposo querido. e

bellarealvintage

A big thank you to everyone who has visited my eBay postings to see what new treasures pop up each week.  Here is the first group I am working through to get posted for sale.

If there is a piece you know something about, please share!  Some of my favorite finds have more to do with the history behind it ❤

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/252400546890?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649

My Uncle Spock

By Estela (Probably Part Vulcan) Caballero

Even though the show always said Spock was Vulcan, I was sure he had some Mexican in him.  Side by side pictures of Spock and my dad beg the question, “Might they even be brothers?”  Don’t go nuts Trekkies, I know his mom was human and his dad was Vulcan.  Spock was a weekly visitor into our home.  Sure, it was just a show but we only had three channels, maybe four if we made my little brothers take turns holding the square shaped antennae just right.  The good shows were something we looked forward to.  It’s hard to explain to someone who can’t remember a time when you couldn’t pull up your shows, anything really, at any time.3665471071_0f59d3e248_b

Before I could tell time, I used tv shows as a reference. An old broken watch rested among my most treasured belongings in the corner of the closet.  As my mom would hurry out the door after making us food to eat while she was at work, she would ask me to recite the schedule of what she needed to make sure I did while she was at work.  I would quickly retrieve my watch from the closet and tell my mom not to worry, I knew what time everything needed to happen and show her I had my watch. If the potato processing plant she was working at needed extra people to cover the next shift, they would give employees little or no notice, often waiting until the last hour to tell them it was their turn for mandatory overtime.  There were no cell phones to call and check up on us during her breaks.  We didn’t always have a working land line.  “When________ ends, make sure you check you’re brother to see if he needs to be changed” or “Make sure you brothers and sister go to bed after ________.”  The only time I saw my mom sit still was when she was driving–  that didn’t seem to count since she was driving.  Aside from that, she was on the move always preparing and readying.  She rarely spoke of her own childhood and would quickly change the subject when I asked her how she learned to tell time or what her favorite shows were when she was my age.  I came to understand that I should stop asking.

Star Trek was a marker and it’s possible the reason those old shows occupy a special place in my memories was because they were sometimes the only constant in rough waters.  Spock helped my dad learn English and he inspired me to think in a new way.  He gave my mother comfort. She knew his visit to our home would ensure her youngest got a fresh diaper if her oldest forgot.  I was the keeper of time and in charge during those hours but I was still a child, a relentless day dreamer and my mother knew that better than anyone else.  Spock helped a little Mexican girl watch over her brothers and sister.  A mental map would activate at the first sound of the theme music reminding us all of our pre show duties.  One brother would go grab a bottle for Buddy, the baby.  My sister would drag a large heavy blanket from the room and we’d all climb on after it was stretched close to the rickety table holding the tv.  Certain shows warranted a temporary peace between us and this was one of them.  In order for peace to be real, all of us had to like the show.

The baby  was named Buddy by my father.  Just before my mother went into labor, we were watching a Jerry Lewis movie with a suave character named Buddy Love.   Buddy was number five and by then both my mom and dad had several chances to draw a line in the sand over who would chose the name.  They already had two boys and two girls and Buddy didn’t sound too bad.  She worked all the way up to the day Buddy was born and her maternity leave would last little more than most people took off over the holidays.  She was tired and had only enough energy to firmly convey Buddy was fine but my dad was pushing his luck if he told the nurse Buddy’s middle name was Love one more time.  I was happy his name was Buddy.  When people asked why we called my chubby littlest brother Buddy or “Booodgie” as my dad’s family pronounced it, the story would bring laughter even if they had heard the story many times before.  My mother and father would laugh.  As things went from bad to worse, as they too often do, I would try to retell the story and break the harshness permeating everything from the air to their looks at each other.  Even the silence sought refuge from the heartbreak of a family breaking apart for good.

I learned to tell time that year.  Spock and I grew apart for a time.  The possibilities learned in those days as the keeper of time never left me, even as I eventually joined the masses at the factory myself. I found little comfort in the cell phone tucked in my lunch bag. It was night and my tiny daughter should be sleeping.  At lunch time, I didn’t eat.  I was certain I could work 20 years and still not feel right eating my lunch at 2 am.  Instead I sat there and remembered sitting in front of the small screen, a tattered blanket became a magical carpet.  I got to travel through space and go where no man has gone before.  A rapt audience sat quietly on the floor in front of the tv and couldn’t wait to see what strange new worlds were waiting.  Anything was possible, that’s for sure.

As you can see, Spock is probably at least half Mexican and/or my dad is half Vulcan.  Don’t go all Mendel’s cross pollination on me.  The way it happened or percentages don’t matter–  look at those eyebrows.  I couldn’t photoshop it that close even if I wanted to. Live long and prosper–  and dream.  Dream big, then do it.

Spock Nacho and Spock Buddy

 

 

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Another brother– Jaime Spock with my dad.

 

 

 

Spirit

There isn’t a stove so I couldn’t make pancakes even if I wanted to.  Yesterday, I was seated at the most lovely restaurant eating pancakes and hoping it would be more than pancakes.  I was hoping somehow, it would be home.  It wasn’t.

For those of you who are part of the 4utu community, you know that part of my Sunday morning routine is to watch Britain’s Got Talent auditions while making breakfast.  I love hearing the backstory that accompanies those who shine on stage.  A few of these videos have become akin to old friends.  My heart longs for the smell of pancakes made with love as I listen to these stories in the background.  If you love pancakes, this is dedicated to you.  If you love stories that can take you back decades in the span of a few minutes, this is dedicated to you.  If you love, this is dedicated to you ❤

Mexican Mole: Unrelated To The Badger

By Estela Caballero

First, no moles (rodent kind) were used in the making of this chicken mole.  No moles, that I know of, are used in the making of any mole.  Just wanted to clear that up so you don’t spend valuable time trying to spot chunks of chopped up mole in these pictures.  For anyone wanting mole that calls for real mole– hey, who am I to judge– just look up a recipe for mole and substitute chicken with mole, badger or any other kind of meat you fancy.

Chicken Mole is a common Mexican dish.  The mole refers to the thick sauce the meat, usually chicken, is swimming in after it’s cooked.  The chicken is fully cooked before being put into the mole sauce.

You can buy mole sauce in a tall glass jar in the grocery aisle that stocks most other Mexican food– or you can make it from scratch.  The ingredients above are part of what went into the beautiful mole sauce my mother in law made for us.  She combined that with ingredients from image below.  I had no idea fried corn tortillas were part of the mix.

Oaxaca and Puebla are most often credited with oldest and best mole recipes in Mexico.  If you taste a deep dry chocolate flavor in some mole, it is probably in the recipe.  Peanuts are a staple in making mole sauce.  The sauces I’ve tasted have a smoky soft chile flavor.

My father’s side of the family is from Aguascalientes, a small state in Mexico with beauty, industry and agriculture.  No claim to the roots of mole.

My husband’s side of the family is from Michoacan.  A state of beauty and strength.  Michoacan has rich history, culture and is presently reclaiming it’s future.  While it may not have claim to the roots of mole, it’s getting a run for it’s money with my suegra’s version of their famous platillo.

We usually eat mole with a side of Mexican rice.  Sometimes we sprinkle queso fresco or queso cotija, different kinds of cheese, usually grated, over the mole and rice.  Dress up your plate as much as you want.  My mother in law is an artist with a plate and sides.  Finely sculpted wedges of avocado will stand at whatever attention she commands.  She will frequently wake up before any real early birds and chop fresh vegetables destined for a jar of water and vinegar to soften them up and flavor them for fresh chiles in vinegar.

I’m a messy eater and a C+ cook.   I don’t dare try to recount the careful pasos de mi suegrita (steps of my mother in law) or the recipe.  I’m trying to convince her to let me record her and post to share with the world.  Not there yet!  She’s amazing and has agreed to take any questions from the WordPress familia.  She was in amazement that her fine embroidery had drawn attention from all around the world.  I showed her the stats page on my behind the scenes blog pages.  I told her that each number by the flag represented someone who had seen her work.  She was in disbelief.  This humble woman who lives to serve had never imagined she would live to see the day her work was admired outside the small town in Michoacan where she lived, loved and toiled.

Contest: Wisdom

Winner will be announced Friday, March 18th.  Post your own original quote in the comments.  The comment with the most likes wins framed original art by me

I know you all have lots of your own great quotes waiting to be shared.  It’s ok to quote others but no one but you has the wisdom born of the life you’ve lived.  I’d love to hear them.  Please share in comments

Here is mine.

Don’t mistake soft spoken for soft.  It’s only referring to the sound of my voice.  The power is not in the volume of my words.  I don’t need to roar to be heard.

— Estela

 

aEC Estela Latina Blogger

Lupus & Me: Get Serious

Chronic fatigue.  I was embarrassed at this newest addition to a growing list of diagnosis’.  I liked the ones that made me sound like I might be an off duty nurse.  I’d rattle them off and even spell them if the pharmacist or doctor looked puzzled.  Systemic lupus erythematosus is often reduced down to just lupus. You could have systemic or discoid lupus.  I had both.  Discoid gave you lots of undeniable and very visible symptoms, mostly on the face.  Aside from your skin, your other organs were usually spared from attack.  I’ve always been an over achiever. As a young girl, I denied ever being the competitive type.  It was mostly a protective measure for my ego in  case I lost at whatever it was I had set out to do.  Why should this disease be any different?  I didn’t become infected with this disease.  It didn’t find its way into my kidneys and brain on a Trojan horse.  It was me.  The disease sprang from me.  It was part of my DNA.  It was just following orders, my orders.  Go big or go home.

I came to recognize symptoms in their early stage.  This knowledge, more of sixth sense really, came after several years of ignoring signals that something was wrong.  The problem was that lab results didn’t usually pick up my red alert.  Visits to the  Urgent Care explaining to the doctor that the sores in my nose and mouth or hives that sprang up the size of small grapes were not just uncomfortable.  I could handle discomfort just fine.  I would ask them to call one of the doctors on my list–  the standard treatment was high dose of prednisone tapered down over a period of 2 weeks.  Lab tests would be taken that day and again at the end of the steroid treatment.   The team of specialists I saw knew my case and admitted that mine was especially complex.  I was scared and pleased at the same time.  If I was going to be sick, it better be good.  And by good I meant, good like go big or go home kind of good.  You can understand why chronic fatigue was left off the list on first visits to a new doctor.  The doctor would read through the list.  When he would ask if there was anything he missed, I would mumble “chronic fatigue.”  He’d nod and when I saw that he and so many other doctors wouldn’t even write it down, I eventually stopped mentioning it all together.  It was wishy washy.  It took credibility away from the very legitimate condition that had introduced itself into my world.

Over time, the symptoms of chronic fatigue would begin to demand respect.  I know, chronically fatigued?  I’d joke that I’m also chronically averse to exercise and food that is good for me.  I could go on.  Chronic fatigue knocked me off my feet. It seems like this should take care of itself with a few good nights sleep.  You could sleep for the major part of three days and feel the same.  I continued to work most of the time since being diagnosed with lupus. If I stayed home, I felt tired.  If I worked I felt tired.  At least at work, I would be dressed up and could pretend to be the version of me I so wished to be.  If I stayed home I felt guilty–  lazy, even.

The concept of time took on a different meaning.  I don’t wear a watch or have a clock in my office. Time is relative.  An alarm beeps to let me know I have an appointment or meeting in the next 30 minutes. Aside from being on time for something, I stopped watching the clock.  A good day no longer meant a day.  That was too long.  I measured life and success in even smaller increments of time—I had to.  Instead of getting up and knowing I would have a great day, I accepted that if I could sit up without assistance, I was better than yesterday.  If I could sit up yesterday and today I couldn’t, then I told myself, I was better off than someone was yesterday.  I cried.  I gave up.  I had been defeated by the unserious sounding condition of chronic fatigue.  To be continued…..

❤ Estela

Connect

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Feel that bit of fabric

Fingers along a face

See what is before you

Goodbye

This is not a race

I can’t rely on memory

See there?

Ah, yes

His face

A kindness that went unnoticed

A love too often late

Estela