¡Ukela!

¡Ukela chistosa!

¡Ukela! ¿No que no?

¡Ukela!

Believe it or not, each one of these expressions carries its own weight when it comes to defining the word ukela. Yes, you’re right, if you’re thinking it sounds a lot like the word ukulele. At least it’s spelled very similarly. But ukela is more a PG-version of saying words like chingao, or even ¡cheet!

The latter, of course, is one of my absolute favorites.

Never mind that along the road to improving my own Spanish I learned cheet is one of those words many would refer to as an anglicism. If you’re not familiar, a word or phrase borrowed from English into a foreign language. Think words like troca, parqueadero and washateria. All words that are a hybrid between English and Spanish.

I think those words are my favorite because they come to be naturally. They’re not imposed on us as part of our accepted vernacular. Instead, they become a part of popular vernacular because we exercise their usage more often than maybe we should. They’re organic, if you will.

And, well, for me, I’ve always found them more fun.

So in summary, but not really… ukela is that word you use when things just aren’t going your way. When you want to say so much more, but remember “less is more.” When you’re just about to get mad and then decide to just laugh instead.

¡Ukela! ¡No te digo! 

¡Ukela!

This picture is pretty gratuitous, I’ll admit… but it very well might make you say ¡ukela!

Dollar Tree, Thrift Store Haul

This one is a haul. A haul of my recent purchases at a local Dollar Tree and some area thrift stores and antique shops.

Hope you enjoy it!

La Sangre Llama

August: Osage County. Probably not the best choice of movie to watch when you’ve got a lot on your mind. I’d remembered seeing this movie out a long time ago in the theaters. It was promoted as being in the theaters. I never actually saw it. Last night, though, we found it at RedBox and decided to rent it. You might have seen this film by now, so you know what I’m talking about. I won’t go into details for those of you who haven’t. Suffice it to say there were several points during the movie at which my mouth was open and my eyes glued to the television in complete silence, and without any movement at all.

Meryl Streep is one of my favorite actresses, but even from her, I wasn’t expecting so much drama. It was intense.

So, of course, afterwards I’m all like “damn, that was too much.” It got me thinking about family and what that single word means. Your brood. The unit you were born into. The people who know you better than anyone, and who can’t just turn their back to you and forget you. I don’t know of anyone who actually has. Because even though you can choose not to speak to one another, or see each other at all, the thing is those memories and ties you’ve built over a lifetime don’t go away.

They’re ingrained in us. As much a part of us as the blood running through our veins.

La sangre llama, we like to say.

La Sangre Llama

August: Osage County

I do believe that. I believe it because I live it. The smallest of details can trigger yearnings inside of me that are so deep I cannot fully understand them. I can see inklings of me and my family in others. Sometimes those encounters are joyous, like when a woman walking a certain way, wearing a certain sweater, grabbing her hair a certain way, reminds me of my sister doing the same. I smile and think about her. Sometimes those encounters can be sad, like when a stranger looks past the person cleaning around them, or pretends they’re not even there, I can’t help but to think of my parents who have spent so many years doing that same work. I see their faces, remember their sacrifice, and feel unbelievably grateful.

Sometimes those encounters can be bittersweet. Not happy. Not sad. Just somewhere in between. Like when a young child reminds me of my younger siblings, the innocence they once had, the way life has a manner of snatching that innocence away from all of us. Those encounters especially are the ones that make you stop and think. Because no matter how much we think we know, no matter how certain we are right now, we can’t ever be certain that we will feel the exact same way tomorrow.

There are blogs posts here, in this very blog, that I can go back and read and not recognize myself. It’s human nature, I tell myself. We all grow, change, evolve. Maybe we do. I’m not all that certain I can trust my own answers anymore. What I do know right now is that family DOES mean “nobody gets left behind.”

We’re not perfect. Every family has their own issues. Far be it for me to claim perfection in my own family. What I do know is that part of growing up is learning to accept the imperfections in those who we love, as well as in ourselves. Family, for me, means making mistakes, saying things at the wrong time, not having the right words to say at the right moments, sitting in complete silence at times, holding one another when there’s nothing else to be done, and most importantly feeling true forgiveness in one’s heart, even when the words “I forgive you” aren’t necessary.

Family, for me, is about feeling happy and at home no matter where we are.

Family, for me, is in the heart.

The Thrift Shop Twirl

In life, there are always reasons to celebrate. Whether it be for a huge accomplishment, a small victory, or just because we have the privilege of seeing a new day with our friends and family. It’s also pretty easy to take these things for granted, especially the little moments that make us smile for no particular reason at all. Call me selfish, but what makes me the most happy is seeing those I love happy too.

This Thanksgiving Day we just want to wish you all happiness and joy. We hope you spend it with those closest to you creating great memories. And what better way to try to put a smile on your face than by sharing one of our random silly moments that made us smile.

Happy turkey day, friends!

¡Chisquiado!

Crazy.

A little bit off.

Silly.

Goofy, even.

Just not exactly how they are “supposed” to be acting. That’s usually what it means when someone says chisquiado or chisquiada. The word itself, chisquear can be interpreted to mean to confuse or amuse others. So you know when someone is speaking to you and they utter a complete sentence, but the words are all backwards. You nod in agreement at first, but then when your mind tries to process the sentence you just heard, it says “hold on, that’s off!”

You usually muster up something like, “huh?” And the other person then either looks at you bewildered at why you did not comprehend them (usually because they have no idea how they said what they said), or they laugh and apologize for their confusing wording. It’s one of those things that happens to all of us. If caught in the right tone and spontaneity it can be pretty hilarious too.

That’s when the word chisqueado comes in. ¡Estás bien chisqueado!

Or at least it does in our case. I think that’s one of Anjelica’s favorite words actually.

¡Chisquiado!

Black Friday Ready!

This post is sponsored by Cricket Wireless, but all opinions are mine.

Well, I say that every year, and then what do you know, I never make any of the big sales. We drive by a couple of stores and then decide they are too crowded and we probably won’t find anything all that awesome anyway… and we keep driving. We stop at The Galleria (Houston’s biggest mall, if you’re not familiar) and buy one or two very basic items, and then decide it’s too crowded there also before making a mad dash back to the car.

We drive away, pick up a hot chocolate or something and call it a day.

Waiting overnight or risking the possibility of getting into a fist-fight over a TV or something at a big box store just doesn’t appeal to me. I do love browsing for great deals though.

Those are almost as much fun too. Almost! :-)

Which reminds me, some thrift stores offer pretty great discounts on Black Friday too. Actually, a lot of them do. I know in Houston, for example, The Salvation Army has offered discounts of up to 50 percent on most of their merchandise. Some segundas open as early as 6 or 7 a.m. to give you plenty of time to shop their best items. Although, in some cases, the sales can end around noon too. It depends on the store. You should also know if you want a better chance at finding something really nice, you should shop early.

Yes, even at thrift stores, the early bird catches the worm.

Black Friday Ready!

If it’s a new prepaid phone you’re in the market for – whether it’s for your child, a parent, or yourself – you should know that Cricket Wireless recently announced a bunch of huge discounts on their latest smartphones too. These deals are good through January 8 and don’t require a contract. Cricket is even offering a $100 credit per line when you switch to one of their plans from your current wireless company. These are some of the phones that are on sale:

  • HTC Desire 510 (LTE) – Free after $75 main-in rebate at Cricket and GameStop stores
  • Motorola Moto G (LTE) – $25 after $75 mail-in rebate at Cricket stores
  • ZTE Sonata 4G (4G) – $40 at Cricket and GameStop stores
  • Motorola Moto E (4G) – $50 at select Walmart stores
  • LG Optimus L70 (4G) – $60 at Cricket stores
  • Samsung Galaxy Express (LTE) – $100 at select Walmart stores
  • ZTE Grand X (4G) – $100 after $50 mail-in rebate at Cricket stores

Black Friday Ready!

If you’ve never considered a prepaid phone, it might be an easy way to cut back on your expenses. They also make a great first phone for the kiddos. Edgar’s always on my Cricket phone.

Now tell me, what are you hoping to get your hands on this Black Friday!

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