Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy 2017!

(with my nephew N!)

Pending things from 2016 to talk about:

- I still need to write more about my unhappiness with work.

- I'm planning to blog about curly hair products & style.

- My obsession with the color green/aqua.

- Add photos to that post

Will add to this list if I remember more items.

In 2017...

... I hope nobody else dies in our family or of our friends. ;-(

I'm looking forward to perhaps spending some time in July and in December with K's whole family (I think December is more uncertain than July).

I'm sad that I most probably won't see my parents and brother's family. :-( I wish I had more money and could do that.

I hope I feel better about work in 2017, 2016 has been really bad (and I didn't even blog about it, there were so many other things to think/write about).

Yeah... I don't know what else to say about next year. I'll try again tomorrow.

2016 Maker: Tie-Dye Edition

I made about 20 tied-dyed t-shirts in Brazil for me, my mom, my sons, nephews (6) and friends' kids. Some of the children helped and made their own, but I made most of them myself -- and of course I rinsed each one (which takes FOREVER!) and put them in the dishwasher (all together) before line-drying. The photo has 13, but I made at least six more later, and dyed a white towel with the rest of the dye.

I bought a few t-shirts in the U.S. and then bought three more in Brazil (for little kids, pretty pricey) and my mom got two old shirts, including one that had belonged to my late grandma. We dyed a heart on that one:
Take a look at the others, I had to make a rainbow one for myself (and another, drip-dyed like one of my t-shirts, for my mom):

The boys were so happy with their t-shirts that they put them on still wet! (soon after I took this photo)

2016: Three Weddings & A Funeral... plus one graduation & a 90th birthday party

Same events as the previous post, different title, just to be cute, and because it's really true :-( and also because I need to write all these posts tonight.

Three weddings: May 29 in Massachusetts (we drove with the whole family); June 19, close to home; October 10 in California (only K and I went, it was a lovely getaway).

There wasn't actually a funeral (my FIL was cremated and my MIL still had his ashes) only a memorial service and I wasn't there.

Kelvin graduated from 8th grade and here are some photos of that day and the reception:
photos will be inserted later

K's grandma's 90th birthday party was a beautiful celebration:
photos will be inserted later

Crazy 2016: Joyous Celebration + Unspeakable Loss & Sadness + Devastating Political/Historical Turn

Note: the next post will have pretty much the same content, but the title will be different. Sigh...
This was a crazy year. The first half was "sunny" and joyous with our oldest son's 8th grade graduation and two weddings, then we had a trip to Brazil with multiple amazing sight-seeing trips and my husband's grandmother 90th birthday celebration and whole family reunion (42 people who live all over the world!).

Then there was unspeakable loss -- made worse because it was so unexpected -- when my father-in-law had a devastating stroke and died six days later. :-(

And to cap it off, we had devastating unprecedented political/historical changes with the election of a horrible man for president. Sigh... the least said about that the best.

This will be a year to remember, for many positive things, and lots of negative ones too. Some of these things were expected, others not so much (although back in May I was already getting ready to freak out about Hillary not winning -- I totally knew it could happen), and an unexpected death. Precisely the kind of thing that one is always afraid thinking about a new year. :-(

2016 Maker: Wedding Edition

My dear friend J got married in June and I helped by making tons of very "Pinterest-y"things I'd never made before to decorate her wedding shower and her wedding reception. It was lots of work, but lots of fun too, and oh, so pretty, I couldn't stop photographing! I made 30+ pinwheels (gluing paper to have two pretty sides), 12 folded paper rosettes (that my dad helped me with), and 10+ double or triple colored tissue paper pompoms (too bad I don't have good photos of those here, you can see them mostly in the background).

2016: The Sightseeing Year

It cannot compare to 2015 (pyramids?, Petra? or Zermatt, Mont-Blanc, Junfrau; not to mention Berlin & other places), but it was pretty good!

All from cell phones (more convenient)

Friday, December 30, 2016

How to Look Forward to 2017? or How Death Changes Everything

When I started this post back in August, my father-in-law's death had been only 24 days earlier. The pain is duller now, especially since he is not my own father and though I knew him for over 26 years and we were pretty close, I didn't see him very often. I still think what I wrote then and will write now is very true.

The death of a close family member changes everything. After it happens so suddenly and unexpectedly (and I'm sure even if you're expecting it) one looks at life very differently, it's hard to explain. I have lost all four of my grandparents* and two uncles (husbands of my mom's sisters), but we were much closer to my father-in-law than we were with any of our grandparents and uncles (my husband had also lost both of his paternal grandparents). And the feeling of loss and the grief from losing a parent are much stronger than for a grandparent or uncle.
     * paternal grandpa when I was 8,  maternal grandpa when I was 16, maternal grandma at 25, and paternal grandma when I was 37.

One of the things that happens is that nothing is taken for granted anymore, we begin to say, "Yes, we'll go together on that trip next year, if all goes well" or "If all goes as planned and we're all still here." (end of 8/28's post) We begin to incorporate the thought that someone may no longer be with us in the future to every plan because now the awareness of the possibility of death is more real and closer. That's why looking forward to what will or may come is forever changed with such a life shattering event. We begin to think of the new year and wonder whether anyone in the family will die then.

Another thing that happened to me is that I no longer assume that K and I will get to grow old together and that thought is so sad! I look at my husband fully aware of the fragility of life now, he "feels" more fragile to me because his dad died so suddenly, I sometimes ask out loud "You're not going to die young like your dad, will you?" (He was 71) And of course that's a question with no answer. I assumed that we would live for a long time because of the longevity of his paternal grandparents (90+) and now his maternal grandmother (who just turned 90) as well as that of my maternal grandmothers (94 and 96). I was really looking forward to that, growing really old together, but now I cannot simply assume that.

Back in August I actually felt angry when I saw older men and thought that my father-in-law would never get to live to that age. And now I'm thankful every day that my father will be 80 years old in a year and that he's still healthy, that my mom is 76 and she's doing well, that my 87 year old aunt who has been hospitalized for nearly two weeks is getting better (I am so so thankful for that!). Not to mention my mom's other siblings who are still doing good at 90+, 88, and 84.

The truth is that life is fragile and can end at any moment, but we choose to be generally oblivious to that -- it would be too difficult to live otherwise. So when death comes so suddenly and reminds us this, life changes drastically and we need to learn to live with this new awareness. I think we're learning. I suppose it's good to be more prepared when the next time comes. Can one ever be prepared to face death, though? Hopefully yes.

The sad day I ruined my brand new favorite pants :-(

I ruined my favorite pair of pants yesterday. It's a pretty new pair, Pilcro brand that I bought on sale at Anthropologie last October and that I had washed only once. I'm so sad!!

On Wednesday we went to eat fried dough Brazilian pastéis (like an empanada, but fried and made with a thinner, crustier dough) and I had some leftover pieces which I brought into our super-crowded mini-van -- I was sharing the back seat with my youngest son and older nephew. When my SIL and I went out quickly to shop at a Portuguese grocery store in a place where there was no street parking I accidentally sat on the napkins holding the leftover fried dough and also wiped my greasy hands on the pants, which caused several greasy streak stains. So yesterday afternoon I decided I was going to wash the pants, and since there were oil stains I used dish detergent (Method brand) -- big mistake! The pants  discolored immediately! :-( In four different places.

What can I do now? I could possibly discolor patches everywhere, artistically, but would that look even mildly OK? Such a bad way to end this already bad year. :-(
So sad!!! :-( I just want to wear them like this, they're such a pretty color (lighter when dry -- I'll post more photos once it's dry).

P.S. I'm obsessed with this color and lighter ones. I'll try to write a post with photographic evidence.

2016's Final Blogging Stretch

Last year I had to write 19 posts on Dec. 31st to reach my goal of 215 posts in 2015. The goal is considerably lower this year (116 posts), so I have to write only 10 more after this post, and I've got two days to do it! And the good thing is that I have a lot to say, so it should be easy. I'll start with a look back at the past week.

Quick holiday trip update:
After we arrived here in Montreal last Friday, I spent nearly three days cooking for three families (13 people). The meals were relatively simple ones, but I was the main person cooking. K's uncle's wife helped to clean lot as did my husband and my sister-in-law, who was also in charge of setting the table and decorating on Christmas Eve.

We decided to do our Secret Santa and open presents on Christmas Eve because on Sunday K and his brother took their uncle's family on a driving tour to show them Montreal. It was really cold and most everything was closed, so it didn't take them too long.

They left on Monday and I spent many hours at the outlet helping my sister-in-law with her Boxing Day (more or less equivalent to Black Friday in the U.S.) shopping excursion (she took advantage of the holiday promotional prices to buy things for her mom to take to Brazil).

Since then we've been mostly staying up late and sleeping in, then playing board games and going out to eat, first to an all-you-can-eat sushi place and then in a Brazilian bakery. We also had to go to stores to return Christmas gifts and K ended up buying a bargain priced snow-board, bindings, and boots for himself!

I am still recovering from a pretty bad sinus infection and my husband also had a nasty cold, but we're much better. The guys (K, his brother and our two sons) were going skiing tomorrow, but the forecast is pretty bad weather for the place where the ski station is located, so I guess they will go on Sunday -- even though we were planning to start driving back then. It looks like we'll have to drive straight back home on Monday (our younger son goes back to school on Tuesday).

Other things we did: I read two books and have started a third one! We watched one movie (the new one about Pelé, the Brazilian soccer player, more on this later) and played lots of games!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Leaving at 2 am... (and Christmas not at home)

I should be sleeping right now, I really should. We had to wait for a packaged to be delivered by UPS to leave for Montreal, so we're leaving between 2-3 am (package arrived at 5:30 pm). I'm not sleeping partly because I took my medication at 12 pm because I needed to pack, clean the house, etc. But I think that if I went to bed I would fall asleep easily, it's not really too much of a problem. I'm naturally a night person and the medication just makes me a bit perkier at night.

BTW, since I mentioned this, I should go back and make some more comments about it. After I read What Now?'s comment I was thinking... why should I think of this "chemical help" for ADHD as optional? If someone has depression or other conditions I am 100% in favor of them taking medication, so why shouldn't I?

After I wrote that post and actually went ahead and finished my grading I realized that this was the smoothest grading EVER. True, I procrastinated and didn't start grading my tiny class (six students) until the last minute, but once I did, it went fast. I also never graded 8 page long final exams so quickly. Yeah, I think it TOTALLY works. ;-) ;-P

So, yeah... we hardly ever spend the holidays at home which is kind of sad, particularly Christmas, so we hardly ever get a tree. We had part of K's family come once (his mom, dad, K2 and his family and one of K's paternal cousins and his wife from Brazil who happened to be visiting the U.S.), I think, in 2008, but not only I did not say one word on the blog about it, but it was pretty rushed because everyone was gone on the 25th, including us -- we went to Florida to enjoy some warm weather. (That period of my life was awful, though, I was teaching online for Axia College/University of Phoenix and that was disastrous and horrible).

We were also home in 2010 (with friends and K2 and family only for about 24h -- the rental house was tiny) and then ALONE, just the four of us, in 2014 -- I blogged some cool Xmas tree photos (ha! I wrote a blog post about "home alone" Christmases back then and now I'm truly curious about 2024), but generally we either spend Christmas with K's whole family (every other year, on odd years) or with part of his family. We can't really do my family on even years because my parents can't afford to come (and we can't afford or have time to go) and they also don't like to come here in winter.

So... where was I going with this? Initially K4's wife had "offered" to come here for Christmas, but when K's uncle said he wanted to go to Montreal, we decided to go there too, so that's what we're going tomorrow! I'm sorry for the long digressions! I had fun revisiting Decembers past!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

This makes me SOOOO happy:

Another one taken just now with more vivid colors:
This suitcase is just so "me"!!! I bought it the night before we traveled to Michigan for Thanksgiving. I almost bought a less pretty one (still colorful, with orange foxes and squirrels), but I was leaving the store when I saw this perfect one and had to come back and exchange it!! Just what I wanted and needed, although it was a bit pricier than my sons' plain IKEA ones:
I love color!

Sunday, December 18, 2016

From Sunday (our 22nd anniversary): Done Grading! And going…

... to a one-night getaway for our anniversary! It's great that the boys are old enough to stay by themselves!

I never got around to posting this from my phone Sunday night. ;-) we were done grading and submitting grades only by 5pm and left later than we wanted. I calculated we only "wasted" 30 dollars for arriving at our lovely cabin two hours late.  ;-P

Now we're getting ready to travel to Montreal for Xmas with K's youngest brother's family (K4) and their uncle "D4"* and family.
*Mother-in-law is D1, all her siblings' names begin with D!

I'm recovering from a cold that got a second wind after our quick getaway. Hopefully I won't get sick again in Canada! 

Thursday, December 15, 2016

On deciding to get chemical help

I decided to go with the blunt title. There is no other way around it. And I just realized I had also been blunt in a post title from two years and exactly ten days ago (when I answered a question from What Now?)!

When I brought up trying ADHD medication in my last check up with my family doctor (in late September? October?), I was completely taken aback by his reaction. Seriously. I have been going to this doctor for a few years, after my husband found him and liked him, and he's nice (he's got a Brazilian wife, he's gotta be nice, haha!). He's your average allopathic doctor, though,* happy to take good (traditional) care of his patients and prescribe something for their ailments. I was taken aback because he seemed "too happy," almost giddy! He took note of the fact that it took me YEARS to reach this decision (over two years after my official diagnosis) and he praised me for considering it. He shared a personal story about his pre-med classmate with ADHD who didn't believe in medication and who ended up never going to medical school even though he was very bright. The doctor's argument is that medication can to wonders for certain people, really change their lives completely. So he prescribed the lowest dose (10 mg) of the most common med for me to try and I went back in two weeks.
          * whereas I was brought up as a big believer in a wholistic approach to health involving diet, natural treatments, teas, hydrotherapy -- even though my mom took me from doctor to doctor, I need to write about my childhood doctor visits sometime! And about growing up with debilitating asthma.

It turns out that the lowest dose kept me awake late into the night and I felt that it didn't help that much. When I went to the doctor again, he prescribed a different, more expensive medication that is supposed to be better. I took that for a few weeks and didn't experience the same troubles sleeping, only felt a dry mouth, so on my third doctor's visit he upped the dose a bit (to 30 mg). That seemed to be helpful and have no side effects (other than dry mouth) for almost a month, but in the past week or so I felt that I was staying up at night again and I also felt EXTRA sleepy if I didn't take it. So yesterday I got a refill with a smaller dose (20 mg).

I'm still conflicted about taking medication. I feel that it helps me focus more, be less distracted, but I'm not being more productive (in terms of grading and other work-related things)! Perhaps I'm even worse than I've ever been -- having a horrible time working at home and only feeling motivated to do any work when I'm at the university. I do feel less overwhelmed, though. Both in crazy, loud social situations (such as a having to help and deal with a gym full of children, grandparents, and parents such as when we had the Thanksgiving banquet). My husband feels I'm calmer too, I'm not driving him and the boys crazy with my outbursts and nervousness.

As a matter of fact, it may have been a coincidence, but one one fateful day, a Friday, when I forgot to take the medication (I remembered too late in the day and if I'd taken it I wouldn't sleep) it was UTTER CHAOS. I even burned a dish in the stove, something I hadn't done in forever!! I thought it was hilarious -- kind of a reprise or a "conspiracy" of the drug companies to keep me hooked.

There, I've said it. I feel bad for becoming "chemically dependent" on this medication even though I know that the chemistry in my brain is messed up to begin with, so maybe it's a good thing to give my brain and myself (and people around me!) a break. When I first started taking the pills, I left them in the kitchen table and my youngest son saw it and recognized the name of the chemicals from events against drugs they've had in school every year. He was clearly not comfortable that I was taking "drugs" and voiced it to me, with disapproval in his eyes. I have since kept the medication in my bathroom and I think my son got used to the idea of it.

I still haven't made up my mind on whether I'll take it on a regular basis. I think it's important that I decided to give it a try. I definitely need it before trips or stressful events in which my ADHD throws me completely out of whack. Sigh... but as far as grading and preparing classes is concerned... well, I still need to find out how to become more disciplined so I can give a chance to my better focus to do any good! It doesn't help that we had this crazy election season and even crazier presidential transition -- life isn't normal life anymore and I feel that very strongly.

In any case, it feels good to finally blog about this issue and get it "off my chest." I wish Spanish Prof. could still be around so we could talk about the effects of medication. Any thoughts, friends?

(and now on to a few "fluff-filled" posts perhaps? Nah, I love fluff, but I'm generally not very light-hearted in this blog -- I wish I had a fashion/style blog to go along this more somber & serious one). ;-P

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Collateral Damage: How having a high schooler ruined my laundering & my husband's morning sleep! :-(

edited to add photos! yay!
As weird as it may seem, doing laundry is one of my favorite household chores and, frankly, one of my various neurotic obsessions! ;-P

I have blogged about it over the years, mentioning the beginning of our now long-time obsession with practice of  line-drying back in 2007 and a funny fiasco from excessive line drying in an unseasonably warm January day (in 2008 -- right before Obama took office!) -- a direct consequence of my "laundering philosophy."

I wrote quite a bit about this"philosophy" and practices in the opening and "endnote" to this really long post about little boy underpants -- it sounds like such a promising topic, right? Unfortunately, however, humor is not my forte, so the post had lots of potential that wasn't realized. :-( I blabbered on about my laundering instead! :-D

Years later I wrote a quick post praising line-drying and I have also taken countless photos of clothes in my clothesline meaning to share them on the blog, but life always got in the way and those weren't posted...

... which brings me to the present moment. A day in which I had a load of laundry washing before 8 am, before I drove my youngest son to school! My fingers are really cold typing this (at 9:30 am) because I just hung that load outside to dry. It's 42 F (6 C) right now, and it will reach a maximum of 46 F (8 C), but there's plenty of sunshine and my obsession with line-drying knows no end! So, in the aforementioned "underpants" post I wrote that I don't do laundry very often (it helps that we have lots of clothes, particularly underwear, two weeks' worth) and that I generally mix bed linen (and kitchen tablecloths) with other clothes and that I do big loads that have to coincide with sunny days when I have time to hang it all to dry.

Well... that's how it used to be until high school uniforms ruined all that!! :-(

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE school uniforms (and my husband does even more than I do), they are convenient and save lots of time in the morning. Our sons' elementary schools only required "polo-style" shirts and pants that aren't sweats, that's all. The school logo red shirt was only a "field trip shirt." Now, my son not only needs to wear polo shirts with a logo, but the khaki pants he wears need to be a choice between two specific models from one vendor. In the beginning, I wasn't sure about the sizing, so he only had one pair of pants and two polos (navy blue and dark green), then I ordered one more pair of pants and two more polo shirts (white and red, different fabric). He wears these pieces of clothing daily, with the fleece sweater the school gave all students. This requires that I do laundry much more often than I did before and makes me cranky! I've never used the drier this often before since we started line-drying back in 2007. :-( And I'm using twice as much detergent and softener too.
So days like today when I can actually line-dry three loads of laundry make me very happy! When I hung the second load at 10:30, the first one had already some dry pieces and it had been a bit over an hour! I just hung the third load [at 12:20 pm] (this time just one set of sheets and a few other items) and later I will "warm them up" in the drier set on low. Oh, and I'm going to get at least one more polo shirt for Kelvin, maybe the light pink one (all boys should wear pink!), so I can have at least two that go with the light colored loads! (I think he doesn't like yellow [the only other option] like me).
Bonus cat in this photo that I just took (1:42 pm):
Enough about laundry, right? A few weeks ago K confessed that he was exhausted, really spent, and lamented: "I'm getting really really tired from losing over 45 minutes of sleep every morning!" I hadn't thought of it until that moment, but now that Kelvin needs to be in school at 7:30 am K has to wake up at 6:45 to make him breakfast, get ready and then leave the house between 7:15-20 to drop him off. He only wakes up our youngest son on his way back -- getting up at 7:30 is perfectly OK when you don't have to be in school until 8:15! I feel bad for K and I know I should try to drive Kelvin a ride few days a week, but I always have a hard time getting up in the morning. Sigh... Today K had a final, so I had to do it, that's why I did that very early load of laundry! ;-P

Now we can't wait for Kelvin to have a license 15 months from now. I just HOPE that his schedule won't be totally different from his younger brother so he can drive both of them to school then!

Monday, December 05, 2016


I am done teaching for the semester! Two exams and grading to go and that's it!

It feels great not to have several last days!

Friday, December 02, 2016

Pledging Allegiance? Bearing Arms? Conflicted feelings about (not) joining the Divided States of America

I have always had qualms about becoming a citizen anyway, always. As a self described accidental immigrant* who spent years proudly saying that I didn't like it here, that I wanted to go back to Brazil, etc., when we ended up staying and becoming residents (back in 2008) I suspected we might become citizens someday just for the convenience of it, if not by conviction.
    (big parenthetical remark:)
In fact, the main reason why we haven't done it since we became eligible in late 2012 is that we weren't willing to "pay up." K's brothers tease us mercilessly about this, but $ 1,600 makes a big difference when you have a tight budget. We kept deciding to use that money to travel (mostly to Brazil). Oh, and there's also the question of travel -- it seems you can't leave the country while applying for citizenship until it's all approved -- and we're always traveling outside the country (even if just to visit brother-in-law K4 and his family in Canada). So, in addition to the money situation, we hadn't really decided we were committed to doing it, we were not convinced we wanted to go ahead, so we kept putting it off.

We seemed to be very close to that conviction when we arrived from Brazil back in August, though (I even blogged about filling the application and What Now? congratulated us -- thanks! ;-). My husband talked about how he felt he belonged here more than he did in Brazil (it's been 20 years, after all) and he started filling out the forms and checking what we needed to do to finally become citizens. His father's sudden death meant that now his mother is very interested in becoming a resident and she cannot do that through my other two brother-in-law who are naturalized because they are living abroad now. K was also relieved that his father got sick and died here because of the good care he received, particularly the "end of life" part of it (facilitated by my mother-in-law's cousin, a nurse who specializes in this area). K thought that being in the U.S. in this heartbreaking situation made very tangible difference for his dad, his mom and him and his brothers. It would have been different in Brazil in many ways, particularly in unlimited access to the patient in the ICU, and the ability to make certain decisions to ensure a peaceful end with minimal intervention

However, while filling the forms, K came across a little box that he/we needed to check. It said that he/we would be willing to bear arms to defend this country under circumstances that would warrant it. Interestingly, if you're born here, you don't ever have to say such a thing (a friend of ours remarked that if she had to say that to be a citizen she wouldn't want to do it either). It seems that one can still become a citizen while saying it's against one's conscience to bear arms;** we think that K's uncle did that and we were planning to ask him how it went. Taking such a stance, however, would certainly delay the processing of our application and we were in a hurry, wishing to travel abroad next Summer. 

Then, we got really busy and put it off once more and then...

... the election happened. 

You know, I was upset that I couldn't vote and was looking forward to the day I would be able to, but this "creature's" election has given us fresh new reasons not to "pledge allegiance" to this nation. Being an immigrant is hard enough, but having to put up with this level of xenophobia and anti-immigrant sentiment is excruciating. Maybe being a citizen would be helpful, at least I wouldn't have to hear my young son ask whether I could be kicked out of the country and what would be of him if that happened. I wanted to vote to elect a different president next time, but right now, it feels really good to be able to say that this man not my president because I don't really "belong" to this country in that way. I live here, though, and we have decided to do so permanently. I have nothing to fear -- except in the case of the fear of becoming a political dissident if the threats to free speech continue -- so maybe I should just go ahead and "join" you all, but I'm just too conflicted right now to make this decision! 

I finally (only now!) got to read "Farewell America" an excellent essay by Neal Gabler from Nov. 10 and its opening lines make this decision even more complex:
America died on Nov. 8, 2016, not with a bang or a whimper, but at its own hand via electoral suicide. We the people chose a man who has shredded our values, our morals, our compassion, our tolerance, our decency, our sense of common purpose, our very identity — all the things that, however tenuously, made a nation out of a country.
If this country died, why should I join it? Is there anything left to join? And he continues:
Whatever place we now live in is not the same place it was on Nov. 7. No matter how the rest of the world looked at us on Nov. 7, they will now look at us differently. We are likely to be a pariah country. And we are lost for it.
I am looking at this country differently. Heck, I'm looking at life differently, something shattered, life is not the same. Sarah Kendzior's beautiful essay talks about how Americans elected someone bent on destroying the country and advises us, well, more like begs us, to reflect on our lives and values before it's too late. I hadn't read her essay until last night, but its title had already inspired an unwritten blog post that sits in my drafts. I'd titled it "I always try to be my own light" and I do. That's why I'm writing this post, that's why I've been blogging for 12 years. She says: "I want you to write about who you are, what you have experienced, and what you have endured." Check, I've written over 2,000 posts about this (maybe I need to back up this blog, right? So it cannot be taken away by Google). She continues:
Write down what you value; what standards you hold for yourself and for others. Write about your dreams for the future and your hopes for your children. Write about the struggle of your ancestors and how the hardship they overcame shaped the person you are today.

Write your biography, write down your memories. Because if you do not do it now, you may forget.
And this is what I have been trying to do all along and will strive to do more.

I am upset and angry, I don't know what to do next. K and I will have to talk this whole "citizenship idea" over a lot. Sigh... I know there's a lot more I wanted to say, but I've been trying to write this post for weeks and I want to "publish" it before it becomes too dated. I'm sure I'll be blogging more about this issue since life as an immigrant is one of the main topics of this blog!

(I wrote the final paragraph before writing the previous ones with the quotations, but I will leave the ending as is) 

*I'm sure I'm not the original creator of this term, but I love to use it and I have yet to do a search to see who else has been using it.

** There is a film about a man from our particular religious denomination who was a "conscientious objector" playing in theaters right now (I haven't seen it, but may see it someday).

scheduled post, finished at 1:24 am.