September 28, 2011

Grandma is a Kindergarten Flunkie

I'm so glad to be old. Ok, esta bien, I'm not ooold, but as my father told me several years back, "You're no spring chicken." Lovely huh? Anyways, glad to be past school age K -12 (college I still plan to continue, but that's another story). Several years ago when My Little One ,the intense 19 yr old, was in 6th grade and I saw they were teaching her pre -Algebra I was a little taken aback, but I was in no way ready to see what they are expecting Kindergarteners to do.

Then again, this is the generation who knows how to work a Wii, an Ipad and a Blu Ray while I'm still mourning the end of the VHS. My mind boggles just looking at the number of remote controls my grandbabies can use and differentiate between. And the quick thinking needed for some of these apparatus? Me keep up? JU SO FONII !!! My cell phone (the basic kind- not even WiFi) has many a missed call because I couldn't find the correct button on time. But today's children? The technology, the languages (gracias to abuelos and to TV's Dora and Kai-lan), the information and senses bombardment,and the country trying to raise it's educational level to compete in a Global society has lead us to ask our 5 year olds to perform weekly book reports and presentations. De veras! I kid you not. We need gifted communicators and apparently good test takers, because here's El Dr. doing his homework which needs to be bubbled in!

Can you imagine?

The children of today will need to be full of

Self worth



Oh yeah. O Si.
I would have flunked Kinder(garten), but they're gonna be just fine.

Babushka Besos a todos. Cuidensen.

September 20, 2011

La Tata

La Tata- Tatarabuela, Great Great grandmother of my grandchildren, Great grandmother of my trio, grandmother to Babushka, mother of mi Padre. Wow- that's a lot of mothering and a lot of love.

But if you think this was a typical stay at home kind of mothering - JU SO FONII !!!

Born in Cuba, in the Province of Oriente, she was the second youngest of twelve. Always with fire and liking the finer things, she was nicknamed "La Faraona" (the Pharoah) by her siblings; little did they know how well that was going to help them all. Her take charge "it's gotta be done" attitude helped her survive and succeed in a life that seems almost made for TV.

In a place and time when women didn't work outside the home, she was a single mom raising her son by selling insurance policies door to door. Her tenacity captured the heart and hand of a Count, but when he became too strict with her boy she kicked the Count to the curb. Sensing the political unrest on the island , she refused to let the new government indoctrinate her teen, so she left her beloved family and headed to the US- just her and her son. Arriving in New York she found the immigrants life, working in factories and learning the language, but she also found love. Marrying "Nonno", a handsome Sicilian with a talent for cooking, they scrimped together enough to open a restaurant in The Village. Thanks to their hard work and love of family, they were able to bring most of her siblings and their families from Cuba.

But as in all good novelas, the union was not to last, and though it was true love they had to go their separate ways. By this time they had moved to Miami, he had opened another restaurant and she decided she wanted music and distraction- so she opened a nightclub. Again, ahead of her time, in a man's world, she was the owner of the club, while wearing long sequinced gowns with a gun holder under the plumes. It was Miami in the 80's, Cocaine Cowboys had the bucks, but they didn't get to ride in her saloon.

Didn't I tell you this would be a great mini series ?!?!

Bueno, para no cansarte, she made it through the 80's and now is almost in her 90's. Legally papers say she's 87 pero en realidad they didn't keep the best of records in her little town in Cuba and she's 2 years older. ¿Viste? She's still living a story- and I'm grateful to be there to listen.

Babushka Besos a todos. Cuidensen

September 14, 2011

Time Traveling- Florida's Spanish Legacy, Past, Present and Future

Oldest European Colony in North America-  San Agustin

446 already?  Why it seems like just yesterday Don Pedro Menendez got off the boat.  Sorry, I'm Cuban, I had to say something about getting off a boat.

In all seriousness, BB loves this kind of stuff.  Re enactments, hands on learning, dressing up in costumes and playing a part- me pass up a chance to do esto?   JU SO FONI !!!

Kristin King & BB

As part of a theatre troupe "Theatre with a Mission" -  under the wonderful direction of Ben Gunter and for Mission San Luis ( )  we were invited by the marvelous group Florida Living History ( to help them with their re enactment.  Let me tell you- they take their history seriously.  These people know their stuff!!  There were encampments, cannons, flags, and fun-   lots of it.  


Oh the pomp and pagaentry!  You know I love it, but you know what I love more?  AIRE CONDICIONADO!!!  Don't know how the people of yore did it, pero let me tell you,  BB was bushed and baked.  Nada de termino medio- I was well done!!!  Pero I will definitely be back for more... in December.  Those dedicated souls of the Florida Living History will have another re enactment then, and I can't wait to attend, but para ahora I had my taste of the past- now homeward and onward to the future.

And what a promising future it is!  Come Thursday, September 15, up here in the South we will commence to celebrate National Hispanic Month with the THLPE and partake of the mingling, the networking, and of course, the PARTYING!!!  

Patrocinado por el Tallahassee Hispanic Latino Professionals & Entrepreneurs, we are well represented by this group of  enchanting, enlightened visionaries who believe our views as latins enhance this country.  

Spanish visionaries seeing something special in this land -  see the connection?  

 Oyé, me quedó bien.  

Babushka Besos a todos.  Cuidensen.

September 07, 2011

Another Year, Another Candle- Almost 50

Last Thursday I turned 49.  Almost 50.  ÑO.

As I start this 49th year cycle towards 50 let me reflect.  I've completed 7 full cycles (cycles of 7 years each- a mystical, metaphysical grouping, which I'm  into, but more on eso another time) and just what have I done so far?  Bueno, let's break it down shall we?

0 - 7  Pre birth to 7    
I hear mi mamá had a good pregnancy, nothing extraordinary except for it being her first child, and of course it being me.  ; )   At school I  was very shy and quiet.  Yo se, no need to say it- I know what you're thinking; I definitely grew out of that one. JU SO FONII !!! Don't blame you though-  if I wouldn't have seen those teacher's comments I wouldn't have believed it either.

7 - 14  Child, Tween and Teen
Woah- what a span.  Is it just me or does it seem like my generation didn't have much variance between the groups?  I for one was still playing w/baby dolls at 12.  And still had my baby fat at 14.

14 - 21  True Teen and not too true Adult
Now 14 marked a real shift.  It was during this year that I decided I was no longer a baby, thus I no longer was going to need my baby fat.  No way was I going to be a  Quinceañera gorda.  So good bye baby fat and hello bulimarexia.  The rest of the cycle is the start of dating, social blooming and suffering.  Oh the poems I wrote during those years!  And let's not forget the nights of chocolates and  Diet Pepsi with girlfriends as we pondered the mysteries of life- and boys.  Then the college years.  Being a good CAP  (Cuban American Princess for the uninitiated) I went to a community college while living at home.  Truth be told I kinda liked this arrangement and kept withdrawing from classes because breakfast at Denny's with my BFF was infinitely more satisfactory than Algebra....

As in life, the following cycles will be quick.

21- 28  Adulthood and Motherhood- not necessarily in that order
Got a car, got a job, and since I really didn't know what I wanted to do with my life, got a husband.  Ok, ok, I feel your sejas raising and eyeballs popping, but I had already tried to go into the armed forces for "direction"  pero the jobs they offered weren't appealing so I took the traditional route.  Sooo Private Benjamin right?  Bueno, by the end of this cycle I had another car, another job and on the way to another husband, but my beautiful babies made everything worth it.

28 - 35  On A Roll-  up and down hill
Went back to college and actually graduated.  Go me!!   Life lessons were also in store as I remarried and had My Little One.  The marriage ended, and at the end of this very emotional and challenging cycle I was sustained by my children and strengthened by their love.

35 - 42  All a Blur - trio of teenagers
Who remembers?  It must be true, self preservation through memory blockages.  I vaguely recall this being the period my children hit puberty.  And we all know my view on that subject.  ::shudder::

42 - 49  Change of Scenery-  coming out of the trance
A trio of teens, a mini breakdown, and a feeling of perpetual claustrophobia, I had to move from CAP mecca Miami.   By this time my two eldest had their own families and it was just me and My Little One.  Both of us growing up in a little rural town south of the state's capital.  Que?  You thought I'd go farther than that?  Por fa-  once a CAP.... besides, with nietos no way I 'd stay too far away.

"In these years we move from old stereotypical roles with a new found confidence in our individuality. We are prepared to please our self, rather than society and gain a real understanding of our uniqueness, accompanied by a sense of urgency to express our true self before it gets too late."

49 - 56  I've Gotta Be Me-  what else can I be?
The above quote describes perfectly my past year.  I left a "steady" state job ( oxy moron perhaps?) to pursue my inner calling.  I am a performer, a storyteller, a believer in beauty in all its' forms.  And I'm ready to blab it too!  Be it in person, in blog, or over the airwaves, I will follow my music, singing and sharing.  Y siempre, te lo voy a decir BAILANDO.

So all in all?   I done good!  And looking forward to the next round.

Babushka Besos a todos.  Cuidensen.

P.S.  Plans for this cycle start off with a radio show for BB, so if you are so inclined please donate towards this, humbly speaking, very worthy cause.  Corporate contributions and sponsorships are also very welcomed.

Don't you just see it now?  ""BB Bailando con Bustelo"    Oh SI!!!

P.P.S.  If you are truly inclined and "no quieres perder la costumbre", donations for BB are also greatly appreciated.  Mil Gracias.