I’m not a Shark Week fan, but I love a good theme.
This past Monday my family had a tragedy; my grandmother, my Liti, passed away.
She was political, painted amazing works of art, designed clothes, and knew pretty much everything about Spanish culture and art history. That little description does not do her justice, but she certainly was an incredible woman.
What bothered me most about her passing was, I was never as close to her as my other family members. She lived in Florida, and I was traveling and working all over the place. I don’t have a lot of pictures, or inside jokes, but I remember almost every single time we were together. So when she passed, family members from all over were posting photos, memories, and saying touching words of goodbye. And I felt I fell a little short of being a granddaughter, since I didn’t have a lot to share. It weighed on me for the past week, until last night.
I went out and had dinner with my father, so we could feel the loss of her passing together. We both smiled though, she is at peace with Lito.
Here’s something I forgot to emphasize about my Liti: she loved art. She made sure everything in her life revolved around it, from what was hung on the walls to the jewelry she wore around her neck. And she wanted her grandchildren to share the same passion… Even when we were five. I share her passion now, but I have to admit, when I was younger all I did was want to play with horses. Art bored me. And my Liti took me to every single art museum, festival, theatre production…
I remember I was 8 or 9, my brother and I went to visit my Lito and Liti in Florida. They took us to this musical called “Dear Edwina,” a children’s piece about a girl named Edwina, and how people wrote letters asking for her advice on everyday issues: folding clothes, how to impress a crush, how to do well in school, etc… (This was a community theatre production by the way). It was very corny, and geared more towards toddlers.
But, I’ll always remember this one song about setting tables. The song was how to properly set plates, silverware, and napkins for a fancy dinner party. And the lyrics went in order on how to set it up: fork, knife, spoon… It was catchy!
One actor was dressed as a fork, the other a knife, and another a spoon. They harmonized and sang over each other as they placed their utensil. It was mesmerizing…
Fork, fork, fork… Fork, knife, spoon! Fork, knife, spoon!
I did not enjoy the performance that much. But from that day on, whenever I set a table or sit down for dinner, I sing that song in my head.
Back to dinner with my father.
We’re sitting, enjoying wine, and remembering Liti and Lito. The waiter comes over and gives us some plates and silverware for our appetizer. I unfold my napkin and sing to myself, Fork, fork, fork… Fork, knife, spoon! Fork, knife, spoon!
I smiled and suddenly felt a little better.
I don’t have a specific memory of her to share. I don’t have inside jokes, or a ton of pictures, but what she gave me is greater. She taught me the importance of education. She taught me how to paint. And, she taught me that it doesn’t matter what job or life you have, as long as you are happy.
I lost my Liti and Lito, but I know that they are together again, and that makes me happy. I miss them both very much but I know one thing is certain, I will always think of them. Especially when setting the table.
Fork, fork, fork… Fork, knife, spoon! Fork, knife, spoon!
I went from working at home, to working in an office for 10 hours a day. Obviously there are benefits for working at home: comfort, privacy, freedom… But, what really I enjoyed working from home is that all my stuff is there. If I’m hungry, I can make a sandwich. If I spill, I can change my clothes. If I have a headache, I can take something. Everything I need is right here, already purchased!
Office life is the exact opposite. You have to dress nice, you’re sitting all day, and you are miles away from anything convenient. However, I managed to find a few things to make life at the office a little more like home.
How to Make Your Office a Home
- Bring bowls and utensils. Eating from glass as opposed to cheap plastic will feel like you’re dining. Plus it’s classy.
- Stock up on medication. Every home has a medicine cabinet, dedicate some drawer space for the necessities: Tylenol, Tums, and your favorite remedy for cramps.
- Keep your nice clothes at work. Blazers, heels, jackets… keep it all at work. Make a ‘mini closet’ for quick changes.
- Bring your own coffee/tea. Every office has crappy coffee… just bring your own, it really makes a difference.
- Have a snack drawer. Stock up with some yummy munchies for whenever hunger strikes or you just feel like a treat.
- A Tide pen. This just came to me because I am wearing white pants and spilled coffee on myself. Now I look stupid and wish I had one.
- Have gum. Even if you’re not a frequent chewer, you’ll be an office hero for whenever anyone wants a piece.
- Bring a hobby. Doesn’t matter what you do for a living, you need a break from work sometimes. Personally, I like doodling.
- Decorate. Obviously.
- Have a “thing.” Whether you’re the ‘Gum Person,’ ‘Sports Guy,’ or ‘Always Late’ have a thing. It makes the office more of a family. I’m ‘Healthy Snack Girl.’ Not the most exciting, but that’s my thing and I take pride in it. Dried fruit anyone?
This past January, we found an abandoned kitten. A tiny, black, hungry, freezing kitten, maybe a month and a half old. We picked her up and she curled up in our arms, grateful the warmth, and closed her eyes with relief. I couldn’t in good conscious leave her alone to fend for herself, so we took her in.
We named her Romey, because we found her ‘roaming.’
Now, anyone who knows me knows I am NOT a cat person. First of all, I’m allergic. Like, really allergic. My eyes swell, my nose runs, my throat hurts and itches like crazy… I’m a miserable hot mess.
Second, I’ve just never been interested in cats because dogs are more engaging. Dogs come when you call, they play tricks on you, they’re your new best friend! Cats… don’t. They might fuck with you every now and then, but it’s not ever that funny.
To top it off, dogs do their business outside, not in my house. I actually had a slight panic attack our first week of having Romey because I kept walking by the box filled with litter and…. Other things………….
Point is, I’ve never liked cats. Except Grumpy Cat. Grumpy Cat is awesome.
It’s been about 6 months and we’re transitioning nicely. And surprisingly enough, turns out I do enjoy having a cat. I knew eventually I would, because I’m an animal person. But there are definitely some perks to having a cat.
1. She is the noise I hear 9 times out of 10. My house makes noises, and when I’m by myself, I tend to freak out a little and imagine these strange noises are the creeps from Law & Order SVU coming to get me… Then I turn around, and it’s just her. Phew!
2. She keeps my dog company. With the hours that my fiancé and I work, often times Bella is home alone by herself. My heart breaks every time we have to leave her for long periods of time. Now she has company! They’re the best of friends and they play together all the time.
3. She keeps me company in the bathroom. We pee together.
4. She’s so funny! I never thought I’d meet a funny cat. But this cat runs up a wall, jumps onto a desk, falls over and does a barrel roll, chases her tail, then sits by the window as if nothing happened. Hilarious! You have to see it.
5. She doesn’t make me sneeze! For the first time in my life, I can be around a cat and not sneeze. She is my magical kitty sent from heaven! I don’t sneeze and I still don’t believe it…
6. We’re best friends.
You might think that last one I put as an after-thought. But, that’s actually the whole point of this post. I adore her.