Thursday, December 22, 2011

Snow Crystals

"Mommy where does snow come from?," inquires my curious and youngest daughter.

I pause before responding. Do I tell her how snow is formed with a lengthy scientific response? Do I tell her the difference between the types of snow- granules, flakes, graupel, ice pellets, etc? Or do I tell her fantastical stories of angels having pillow fights or unkempt supernatural beings combing their hair creating a heavenly dandruff?

Nope. I tell her simply,"They're little crystals that come from clouds in the sky." Crisis averted. Holding my breath and wiping my brow, I patiently wait for the next question.

For more drabbles of the holiday season, visit us at The Burrow for our Advent calendar.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Over at the Burrow

Today, I am over at The Burrow.  So go on and hop over!  Enjoy your day.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Chaotic Day Never to be Forgotten

It's been quite some time that I have written on this blog. I wanted to make my first post back meaningful. So here is my tale on that day ten years ago.

The day began as any other, rushing the children to school as I rushed for the bus, boat and train to Chelsea High School in Lower Manhattan. At the time, I was a paraprofessional or teacher's aide. I grabbed a quick and unhealthy breakfast at the corner deli store on 6th Avenue and Broome Street. Greeted my fellow pedagogues good morning and proceeded to my assigned classroom to prepare for the students entering at 8:30 am. My first student that morning was Jason, a bright intelligent young man, who exclaimed in his very calm and subtle voice, "Miss. A plane just hit the Twin Towers." I looked at him with utter confusion on my face since I know that Jason isn't one with a sense of humor. Doing the only thing an educator can do, I instructed him to write about it in his journal, which is our daily opening activity.

"For real Miss. A plane hit the Twin Towers," he insisted. Another teacher runs to my classroom and yells,"Oh my god! The Twin Towers were hit by a plane!"

(Over the loud speaker) "Attention staff. Please do not allow any students out of the classroom. Please close your doors and wait for further instructions."

"This is for real," I catch myself stating aloud as disbelief floods my face. I quickly went to the doorway and escorted any students still wandering the hall, into the classroom. There was a general murmur of unease as the students whispered their fear-laden thoughts to one another.

Five minutes passed and we hear a cry of disbelief outside the window from the crowd that gathered in the streets. I did not know this then, but that was when the second plane hit the South Tower at the World Trade Center.

In a panicked and almost desperate appeal, the principal makes another announcement.

"All staff please escort the students to the auditorium immediately."

I rushed to get the students in line and down two flights of stairs to the first floor lobby. Everyone was asking,"What's going on! What's happening?" It reminded me of the scene in Poltergeist when the oldest daughter returns from a date with numerous hickies on her neck, to her chaos-engulfed home. The students were told to have a seat. I left the students with the teachers and proceeded to the fifth floor and work my way down, checking for any lingering students.

As I passed the west facing windows on the fifth floor, I was horrified. It looked like something out of the seventh circle of hell in Dante's Inferno. The North Tower had a gaping hole, just above midway, with smoke and flames bellowing to the sky. The South Tower was engulfed in smoke and flames flared from the other side off of its center. I ran to the art classroom, where the art teacher was gathering her things to proceed to the lobby. I told her to come see what happened to the World Trade buildings. We stood there for an eternity and watched as the North Tower fell and then shortly thereafter, the South Tower collapsed. We cried and went downstairs.

Parents came on bicycles, roller blades and any other means they could think of. The transit system was completely shut down and most of my students lived in Harlem and Washington Heights. For those not familiar with Manhattan, that would be about a 100 to 200 block walk. The rest of the school day was a blur. I could not contact my family members on Staten Island to let them know I was fine. I could not find out if my children were safe with family or still at school. It was an unnerving and harrowing six hours.

The last student was picked up at approximately 4:30 pm. I didn't know how I would get home. Thank goodness, three other teachers also resided on Staten Island and offered to walk with me to the Staten Island Ferry and then drive me home from there. We walked east along Canal Street, through Chinatown and underneath the FDR Drive. The air was acrid with choking, chalky dust and smoldering ash. My shoes and the lower half of my pants were encrusted with this dust. As we passed the streets near the collapsed Towers, the air was suffused with a burning metallic odor.

We made it to the South Ferry station at Whitehall Street and boarded the boat. We made sure to get a seat towards the rear of the boat so that we could view the skyline of Manhattan. There was a huge gaping hole amongst the skyscrapers. The Towers were replaced with smoke and a great sadness was prevalent throughout the ferry. There were people crying, hugging, talking and simply looking for answers. There were others like me who did not utter a sound but the tears kept flowing. I sit here ten years later at my keyboard and the tears still keep flowing with many questions still unanswered.

Through the kindness and graciousness of my colleagues, I made it home at 7:00 pm. My aunt had picked up my children from school. I was given a lecture for approximately thirty minutes as I had not called anyone in the family and I was the only one unaccounted for. My husband, who was my boyfriend at the time, did not get home until approximately 9:00 pm. He was a bus paraprofessional, a teacher's aide who rides the school bus with students who require crisis management. Because traffic was at a standstill, the school had no school buses in which to send the students home. My husband had to wait until public transportation was resumed and escort the student home on the train before beginning the trek to his own apartment in Harlem.

We were the lucky ones. We actually made it home. There were 2,819 individuals who did not.

This is in remembrance of all those affected by the attack on September 11, 2001.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Bittersweet Ending to a Wonderful School Year

Well, today was the last day of classes for my high school students.  For the next two weeks, they will take their state exams and then it's over on June 28th.  It was a truly bittersweet end to this wonderfully busy school year.  I will miss my 11th graders as now they will transition to their senior year.  I wish you the very best.

To all my seniors, I hope you achieve everything you set out to do and become the wonderful individuals that I know you are.  If you ever need me, now that I am only a click or phone call away.

Love always,
Ms. Perez

P. S. Last words of wisdom . . .

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world."  - Gandhi

Monday, May 16, 2011

Emotional Overload: Extreme Error, Delete.

Emotional Desert

The barren landscape stretches
as far as the eye can see
The sands of time seal of life
perservering only the corpse of memories
Dry and dead no love can be found
I got lost, lost in the emotional desert

© By Mouthfullofpoison On 6/7/2007 12:18:16 AM

Trying to analyze one's emotions and mental state is a gut-wrenching process. It's only human to wear a mask day in and day out so that the world does not see the fragile individual lying beneath the surface.

I have spent all day wondering why do I put myself through this when the results are always the same. I shut down that part of my brain that allows me to feel and I go through the motions of work, family, and basic living. Everyone sees the bright eyed, energetic, industrious individual who is reliable, loyal and outgoing.

It is funny how no one sees the scared, shy, introverted girl who only wants to crawl under a rock and release the burden of responsibility. She cannot process her emotions because deep down she knows that she will BREAK. There is no return once a person's mental state becomes unstable. Work will mean nothing. Family will seem important but can always be dealt with later or tomorrow. Basic living is not that important when stuck in a personal mental hell.

So until then, I guess I will wake up each morning. Get the kids ready. Go to work. Kiss my husband good-bye until we meet again after work. Just like my emotions, the day to day stuff is a never ending cycle.

I wonder if anyone else ever feels this way.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Sibling Rivalry: Revisited

I wrote this two years ago . . .

Perhaps when I was younger, times and attitude were different. I remember taking care of my younger siblings. I recall ironing their school clothes on Sundays, feeding them breakfast in the morning, taking them to school and picking them up afterward.

This afternoon, my older daughter asked if she could have ice cream. I explained to her that the freezer had defrosted and she must check to see if the ice cream is edible. My younger daughter skips after her and asks if she could have ice cream. My older daughter yells, "No. Get out of here. Leave me alone." Of course, as all little children do, my younger daughter ran to my room and asked for ice cream. I was perplexed to say the least. I had to call my older daughter and explain the idea of "Am I my brother's [in this case 'sister's'] keeper."

This was a daunting situation. I had to explain to my older daughter, in great detail, that the younger one is only five years old. She must have everything explained to her. Would it have been too difficult to tell her, "I am going to check if the ice cream is good. If it is, I will give you some. If it's not, then it must be thrown in the garbage." I discussed this issue with my older daughter. Her expression told me all. Not one ounce of what we discussed entered her brain. She feels the victim.

I had forgotten how self-centered teenagers can be.

Everything has changed.  I have a new refrigerator that works and actually freezes food.  *jumps for joy*  The younger one is now seven and the older one is now fourteen.  Their relationship has not improved.  However, now the little one gives the attitude right back to the older sister.  Will they ever get along?

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Decadent, Delectable Dessert

D is a good letter.  Gotta love the Tossing It Out A-Z Challenge. Yesterday I went to Rocco's Italian Bakery on Bleeker Street and Carmine.  This is only a six block walk from my job and I have to say well worth it.  I bought my friend/ co-worker a birthday cake since she kept saying "It's my birthday!"  Her cake was a chocolate mousse filling and buttercream frosting.  Ooh, I was so bad and had a piece but I couldn't help it.  Look . . .

Then, I had the nerve to buy a half pound of Italian cookies.  Oh the travesty . . .

After this, I spotted the red velvet cupcakes.  Between the smell of sugar sweet cookies and the waft of coffee in the air, I could not decide what to do.  My senses were bombarded with devilish temptation.  I bought the lot of them and lugged my goodies back to work.  However, I gave my children the Italian cookies so check plus for me!  I gave my youngest and my husband the red velvet cupcakes.  Has my husband eaten his cupcake?  No.  It is sitting in my fridge calling me to come hither and taste its delectable, decadent goodness.  What to do?  What to do?


Red Velvet Cupcake Image

Chocolate Mousse Cake

Italian Cookies

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Chaos, Crazy and Cockamamie

Well, of course, I did it again.  Forgot to post for Tossing It Out's A-Z Challenge.  So, I will just talk "craziness" for the next 100 or so words and call this post done.  Here we go-

My students have a habit of saying, "Real Talk, Miss."  I have no idea what real talk entails.  Therefore, I told them that tomorrow I expected Fake Talk.  *rolls eyes*

I am trying to buy a home.  I have called the housing counselor, the lawyer, the auctioneers auctioning the property, and the municipal credit union.  Of course no able body could come to the phone, so I got the automoton or voicemail.  No one has called back as of yet!  Bumbling boobs.  Oh wait, that was the topic of the day before.  *lights candle*

My children won't stop bickering.  There are times I just want to take their heads and bang them together like they do in Tom and Jerry cartoons.  Do I do this, NO!  I patiently listen to each cockamamie story and then mediate a solution that either of them could have devised themselves.  They fight worse than the two polar bears above.  *dies*

Quality Review this week is driving every single teacher in my school crazy.  Bulletin boards are being revamped.  Student work is nothing but a frenzy of grading and my desk looks like the Greek God Chaos stopped by for a visit.  *faints*

And just because:

All images from Wikimedia Commons.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Bumbling, Babbling Boob

Yes, I am calling myself a boob because . . . . . . I totally did not post on A day for the A-Z Challenge. So today's post is all about bumbling and babbling. I am in the process of getting my husband back in school and making sure he stays until he gets his degree.

I am still house hunting but now I even include condos. I hadn't considered them since I was really looking for the "American Dream" home. I am also boggled down at work. Hhmm, boggled, should have put that in the title too. I cancelled my trip to for spring break since I will need a hefty down payment plus pay for closing costs should I get the property. :(

I digress, work is like a freaking zoo frenzy. Oh, wait, I can save the frenzy for F day. :D The state will be in to review our progress and we will also be graded by the city's school superintendent's office (Quality Review). More on that by Wednesday.

My children are doing well but my eldest is feeling the crunch of his 11th year (3rd year of high school). With exams quickly approaching, he is now required to go to school on Saturdays for test prep. My two daughters are plodding along and receiving good grades. I hope all stays along that path or else I will no longer be able to post (I will have died from insanity).

Well that is all I have time for today. Must finish my blog post for the Burrow and continue house-hunting.

Friday, April 1, 2011

A is for Absent

This is just an absentee post since yet again I missed the beginning of the Tossing It Out A-Z challenge!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

A-Z Challenge

Tomorrow begins the Tossing it Out's "A-Z ch
allenge" and I have courageously entered as a participant. Crazy, yes. With my already limited spare time, I am trying to organize my works in progress and create a schedule where I'll actually have time to sit down and WRITE!

It isn't easy being a mother, wife, daughter, sister, teacher, and everything under the sun. However, this is for me! This is for fun! Click on the link and join us in this melee of madness, (Ooh, I could use that for my "M" day). I look forward to reading other participant's entries. :D

Friday, March 18, 2011

Write for Japan!

I was listening to the news yesterday, something I try to do every so often.  We New Yorkers tend to be absorbed in our own affairs and not really cognizant of the global village.  *winks*  I heard of the failing nuclear reactors, the never-ending search for loved ones, the constant aftershocks and the ever-mounting debris.  It broke my heart.  I couldn't imagine being in that situation- perhaps displaced, desolate and despondent?  My heart goes out to those suffering in Japan and I know that they have not requested aid but I donated to the Red Cross anyway . . . just in case.

Drabble- story told in 100 words.

Here are some links for Write for Japan!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Just Love

Sometimes, I really do not like you.  There are times when your obnoxious behavior is absolutely cannot be condoned.  The snide remarks, lack of anger management and use of profanity is unacceptable.  As a child, you were sweet, loving, optimistic and open-minded.  As an adult, for lack of better words, you really suck.  Not once did you come see me when I was sick in the hospital.  But you made sure to stop by on payday, didn't you! However, you are my blood and I love you unconditionally.  I will bail you out this time, if only just for love.

Please visit our Valentine's Feature at The Burrow!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Two Old Friends

Image courtesy of Aleatha Ingleton.

We sure had a wonderful life together.
Those walks in the park.
The kids playing in the backyard.
The trips we took.
Holding hands.
The new adventures.
Plus, everything in between.

Here we are.

We're like old goats staring at a river.
We saw it a hundred times.
Always felt like the first time, though.
We sure had some good times.
There were bad times too.
The arguments.
The screaming.
Gambling and drinking.

Yet, here we are.

Still together.
Even though you moved on.
I miss you.
You just wait for me.
I'll be there soon.

But, here we are.

Please visit our Valentine's Feature at The Burrow!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Never Again


Never did I believe that life would be so hollow without you. You were absent from the first family event of the year. It was an unrelenting agony. I cried in utter anguish over the injustice of it all but still you did not walk through that door and you did not kiss me hello. You did not eat and converse and you did not lend a helping hand. These are all the great qualities you brought to our table over the years. Yet you will never walk, kiss, eat, converse or lend a helping hand ever again.


Image taken from Wikimedia Commons .

This is in memory of my brother - Gilbert Orlando Gadsen II,  October 2, 1985 to February 2, 2007.

I love you, hermanito.

Don't forget to check out The Burrow's 2011 Valentine Feature!

Monday, January 31, 2011

The Library

There is nothing like the smell of the library. I remember as a child, the excitement when returning a book. Everything looked and felt larger than life. My shoes would click clack against the marble floors. I would caress the spines of the books on the shelves. The best part of the library was the stacks. I could spend all day, in a little nook, reading a book.

It is so sad that as an adult, I never have time to visit the library. Now, I have to settle for electronic readers. I long for those days in the library.


Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Don't forget to check out the new Burrow 2011 Valentine Feature, "Love in all it's forms!" beginning tomorrow!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Glass Heart

Giving yourself over to someone is always the hardest part.
Loving someone completely requires trust.
Always be truthful as there is nothing worst than a liar.
Saying "I love you" shouldn't take years if you truly love the individual.
Say it only if you absolutely mean it.

Hearts are fragile like glass so be careful when falling in love.
Everyone deserves to be loved, there's somebody for everybody.
Anyone can find love but most often it will find you first.
Rarely is there a perfect love, it takes work, commitment and compromise.
Try not to break a fragile, glass heart.

Image courtesy of Public Domain Images.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Boardwalk

The beach always brings back bittersweet memories for me. I remember my brother, two children, three cousins and I heading out to Coney Island for a day in the sand and surf. We walked along the boardwalk, swam in the ocean and watched animal show in the Aquarium. It was a glorious day with family.

Now with my brother gone, I have not returned to Coney Island. I'd much rather drive several hundred miles to Atlantic City and walk it's casino-lined boardwalk. The throngs of people drown out the sorrow and desolation that accompanies loss. Maybe one day, I'll go back.

Image taken from Wikimedia Commons.

Monday, January 24, 2011

On The Wall

Naomi and Michael. Forever together. That's what you told me.

Our initials immortalized forever on a wall. However, you're now a leaf on the wind swept away to oblivion. And although you're gone, I still feel you near me. A sweet caress while I sleep or a shadow at the corner of my eye.

Naomi and Michael. Forever together. That's what you told me.

Our years together seem like a grain of sand in this vast ever-expanding universe. It was a tumultuous and blissfully exuberant time together. But like everything that we most treasure, it came to an abrupt end.

Image by Aleatha Ingleton .

Friday, January 21, 2011

Children on the Beach

"Mommy, I got a bunch of sand in my butt."

"Go in the water, honey and wash out the sand."

"Mom, he keeps bothering me. He says I have a mustache and need to shave it."

"Ignore him sweetheart, he'll get tired of bothering you and leave you alone."

"Ma, there's sand in my sandwich."

"Throw it away and get another one sweetie."

"Mum, she's in my space. I told her about my personal space."

"If you all don't leave me alone to read this book, we are going straight home."

Don't you just love family day at the beach.

Image taken from Wikimedian Commons, Pierre- Auguste Renoir, Children on the Beach.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


"Where are you going?"

"Out with the other nobles. Thadius is having a gathering."

"A gathering? Or more like a chance for a night of drink and debauchery?"

"Sweetheart, I won't be gone too long. I'll take you in the chariot for a spin when I return."

"No you will not treat me like some common trollop off the street. I won't be bribed."

"How about we go for the stroll first and then I meet the gentlemen for a quick drink?"

"Alright. But be home well before the cock's crow."

"Fine. Come here Love and give me a kiss."

Image taken from Wikimedia Commons, Kiss, Briseis.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Burrow's Valentine Cafe

Every morning I cheat on my husband. I have tried to resist the temptation. I only end up with a pounding migraine headache.

I suffer from the absolute need for the delectable, awe-inspiring and indefinable quality of perfection you possess. No matter where I go, you are there. Every bodega, deli, diner and shop is stocked up with your warm, fragrant goodness.

I cannot be without you. Even while pregnant, I ran back to you. My husband cannot comprehend the magnitude of my desire for you.

I am forever enslaved to this legally addictive stimulant. I want you even now.

Image taken from Steven Evans, Wikimedia Commons.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

First Kisses

My first kiss wasn't all that memorable. It was the consequence, I'll remember. A boy in my class wrote a note about kissing me after school. I remember happily skipping home. I could feel my heart beating underneath my blouse and a sudden surge of giddiness. I was thinking, "Does he really like me? Is he my boyfriend now that he kissed me? Does it matter that he's not Puerto Rican? Will he ask for another kiss?" While all of this ran through my mind, I hadn't realized that I was only seven years old and shouldn't be kissing boys.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, Auguste Rodin, "The Kiss"