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The Good Ole Bronx

Orchard Beach 1939


NY Finests 1940's




Bronx Buildings 1935



Trolley Car on Fordham Road 1941



Rain



Rain
Wet
Cold
Drippy
Falling
Flooding
Rain makes me happy

-Delilah Torres (6 years old)

Last Quiz

Took my last anatomy and physiology (161) quiz tonight.... HOOOOOORAY!

The Boogie Down

Why is it that every time I tell someone that I grew up in the Bronx, they give me this sad sideways glance?

The media has made people afraid of the Bronx. Sure, it is a tough place and sometimes bad things happen. However, bad things happen everywhere. For the entire time that I live in the Bronx I was never robbed or mugged. Yet here in suburbia my car was broken into while it sat in my driveway and my son's bicycle was stolen from the garage. My neighborhood is a great neighborhood and these random acts will probably never reoccur, but the point is that bad things happen everywhere.

I loved growing up in the Bronx. My childhood was happy and carefree. My fondest memories were made in the Bronx, at a time when life was so simple and growing up there was fun.

I grew up mostly in an apartment building. No, I didn't have a white picket fenced backyard. What I had was an entire block to enjoy with the neighborhood kids. The boys loved to play stickball on the street, while we girls played hopscotch or double-dutch on the sidewalk. All ethnicities (Puerto Rican, Domincan, Irish, Chinese, Blacks) played together on many warm summer days. It was the most fun when we all played together, boys and girls. Manhunt, tag, or waterguns were always a crowd favorite. Running around the block, laughing and giggling. Our elders kept an eye on us. Back then there was no shame in putting someone else's kid in their place. Trust me, if our playing turned into rough-housing we got a finger wagged at us and a good yelling.

No, I didn't have a porch, but I had two great windows in my bedroom that faced a busy street. Many days I'd perched a pillow on my sill and let the city be my entertainment - TV was not necessary. After dinner my dad would pull a chair by one of my windows and sit there having his cafe con leche. My mom would join him, pulling another chair by the window, and they would talk . It was very comforting to see their shadows by the window. Many times I would also join them. I'd lean out the other window and converse with them, while we looked at pedestrians walking by. It was funny because at times the entire family ended up in my room, either right by the window or just hanging out with the windows open, so that the city creeped in. Back then my family consisted of my Mami, Papi, my sister, two brothers, and all the stray kids that eventually became part of our family.


Growing up in the Bronx we didn't have backyard barbeques, but we had neighborhood block parties. Good Ole Sam would get a city permit so that our street was shut down from car traffic, and we would party from noon 'till about midnight, sometimes longer if the cops weren't called. My brothers or one of our friends would DJ while the rest of us did our thing. These block parties were jammed packed. People from all over the Bronx would come to party because some of our friends were famous DJ's like, Grand Wizard Theodore. While the music blaired children were playing, running around, and being pains in the butts. However, we got away with it because during a block party most everyone was in a great mood. The teens were usually dancing and checking each other out, and the grown ups were perched on the trunk of a car talking to one another. Oh, and most of the men were either playing dominos or drinking beer...lol. It was all so carefree, man those were good times.


These are just some of the reasons that I love the Bronx. I will be writing more about living there in future entries. However, for now this is enough to let you know that the next time I say I am from the Bronx you don't pity me.

Yummy... my secret revealed

  • 1 cup all-purpose organic flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 1/3 cups mashed overripe bananas
  • 1 teaspoon of ground flax seed
  • 2 teaspoon of wheat germ

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, flax seed, wheat germ and salt. In a separate bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. Stir in eggs and mashed bananas until well blended. Stir banana mixture into flour mixture; stir just to moisten. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 60 to 65 minutes (for muffins bake 20 to 25 minutes), until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.
My family loves this recipe. It's so healthy and so yummy. If you don't have whole wheat flour you can just use all-purpose flour. Oh, forgot to tell you to put nuts in the batter.

Love You Baby


My Nemesis

There's only one person in the entire world that I know who actually loves to do laundry... you know who you are my dear friend who calls her washer and dryer sexy because they are red and shiny!



Besides her, everyone else whom I know despises this chore as much as I do.


I feel like I can never EVER catch up!

My Anniversary Flowers




Hubby surprised me with this beautiful bouquet...

LOL


Today my husband asked our daughter her favorite animal and she responded "Horses and pigs!"

My husband knew that she like horses, but was surprised by the pigs, so he asked, "Really? Why pigs?" and she answered "Because they are delicious!"

Hahahahaha

Playdate


Hands wrapped around mugs

Words of hope spoken

Dreams shared

Opened windows

Curtains softly sway

Spring breeze creeps in

Eyes glance out the window

Kids playing

Giggles slip in

Moms converse

Making plans for the future

Who are we?

Just moms?

Does life have more?


Best friends unaware...

...they have just shared a wonderful moment in time.

-Yvette Negron-Torres

(To Marisa: Only you can fully grasp this poem. Funny that what we were looking for was right there in our faces all along. Love ya)

Papa



What makes you our hero?
Putting your life on the line for our country?
The gun and badge you once carried?
The fires you now put out?
No.
That’s what makes you everybody’s hero.


Our hero,
Kisses our booboos,
Tucks us in at night,
Acts like a monster, a dinosaur, and even a wormy.
Our hero,
Plays hide-and-seek, baseball, football, and sometimes even soccer.
Gives us baths,
Reads us books,
Makes funny voices,
And rocks at Guitar Hero.
Our hero,
Mows the grass,
Grills our burgers,
And fixes things.
Our hero,
Takes us to church,
Prays with us at night,
Says rosaries,
And will lead us to Heaven.

Our hero, is not just brave,
Our hero is so much more.
-Yvette Negron-Torres

The Right Side of the Bed



How different it is when the right side of the bed is made

I lie on the left and look at neat pillows and a smooth comforter.


No lovely lumps to complain of. Nothing obscures the view of the television.

When the right side of the bed is made the television is no longer an entertainment, it is now a companion, tries to fill the void.

The room is quiet. No laughter, no teasing, no whispers in the dark.

My leg searches for its nook, but there is none to be found.

My arms are just as lost with nothing to hug. They stretch and feel cold, crisp sheets. They yearn.

The television fails its mission, so off it goes.

Darkness,
Silence,
Just the hum of the fan.
No murmurs,
No giggling,
No hugging,
No kissing.
I sniff remnants of what was once the smell of soap, and natural musk.
Just tossing,
Just turning,
Sighing and longing.

When the right side of the bed is made, my heart is gone.

And the only thing that keeps me going is knowing that tomorrow night…

…the right side of the bed will no longer be done.
-Yvette Negron-Torres
(Papi, my nights are restless without you. I love you. Muah.)

Angels

Today I must give a 7 - 10 minute Power Point presentation on the disease of my choice. I am so nervous and I shouldn't be. I have given breastfeeding classes to about 15 to 30 women during various occassions. However, this little presentation has my stomach in knots.

I have chosen Angelman Syndrome as the disease I will talk about. People with this neurological disorder are called "Angels". What a perfect term, for they are angelic in appearance with ever smiling faces. I have learned a lot about this disease and feel compassion for the people who suffer from it and for their families. However, I feel that those touched by an "angel" are truly blessed for these are the souls of innocence and true love. People who have Angelman Syndrome happen to be very loving and affectionate individuals.

In a few hours I will tell their stories and will feel honored for having done it, despite the nerves :)

Our Lord has Risen


Easter Sunday, one of my favorite days in the entire year. What a happy day.

Life. Rebirth.

It had been raining all week, but today it is gone. Poof, miraculously it's sunny and warm. A little gift from God.

Mass was so beautiful today. Our church covered in white flowers and our priests handsome in gold and white. The parishioners spilled out of every door. We arrived early and still had to stand for the first part of mass. Didn't bother me one bit - I was happy that so many people came to celebrate our Lord's resurrection. The hymns were all so beautifully selected and so beautifully sung. Oh, and the Eucharist, the icing on the cake. To receive our Lord's body, blood, and divinity after 40 days of Lent was just amazing.

After mass, my husband treated us to Cracker Barrel for an amazing breakfast. We then went home and enjoyed our day with my best friend here in VA and her children. I cooked up a storm. We feasted and we played. My husband, friend, and I planned an Easter egg hunt for the children. The kids remained in the house while we hid the eggs. That was so much fun; the three of us running around like children trying to be creative with our hiding spots. Once we were done, we lined the children up from youngest to eldest and let them out the front door. They went absolutely nuts. It was hilarious to watch.

Once the eggs were found and prizes sorted, we cleaned up the kitchen, and then played a game of football. What a great time we had! I haven't laughed that hard in a while. After football we ate some more, and then played a game of soccer. It was five of us against my youngest son (the athletic genius) and our neighbor's son (the other athletic genius). Ummm, there was a reason it was five against two! They beat the heck out of us. Yes, two little boys beat five people. Wow.

Our evening ended with the children playing outside and grown-ups talking, eating, cleaning up, and laughing.

My home was filled with children, laughter, and love in celebration of Jesus Christ - it doesn't get any better than this :)

Good Friday


Watching "The Passion of the Christ" always puts things into perspective. I feel humbled. My problems are nothing compared to the cross that our Lord carried. That He would do something so beautiful and courageous for our souls, for my soul, is absolutely amazing.

My children chose to watch it with me this year. My husband could not, he was not ready to see it again. My children cried and were almost inconsolable. I had to stop it at the scourging for I knew that it was too much for them. However, once they were gone I HAD to watch. I needed the reality of what he went through. It always puts my life into perspective.

Afterward, my family and I prayed the holy rosary, and the meaning of each mystery was so profound. I cried with each word and could vividly picture my Lord and His passion.

Thank you Father for having died on that cross, so that one day I may have the chance to join you in Heaven.

Ivonnelie



Boricua linda,
Puerto Rican beauty.
Brown eyed girl, con pelo largo, y labios bonitos.


Your beauty,
A gift, a burden, and useful many times.
Your soul,
An array of colors,
Darkness that covers the light.
Like the sun hidden beneath overcast clouds.
Goodness weighed down by calamity
Tormented child, innocence taken from little clenched hands and eyes so sweet
Mamá tan joven, mother so young
Offspring of an anguished soul,
Ragdoll to disparaging people, unworthy of your love
Desperate for love, yet pushing it away
Always suspicious, always on the defense
Running, running, always running
Running to those who hurt you, who call themselves “familia,” yet stab you in the back
Tu familia verdadera esta aquí, siempre esperando
Waiting, waiting, always waiting
Never giving up
Praying for a break in the clouds
Knowing the illumination of your soul
Believing in the radiance that you hide
Stop hiding and come on HOME
-Yvette Negron-Torres
(Mi Querida Amiga y Titi de mis hijos, estoy aqui y nunca dejare de esperar.)

The Gift

Photobucket

"Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani!?"

-M. Stanley Bubien

(My favorite short story. Only 4 words, but the title says it all.)

Anantomy and Physiology

206 bones! Over 700 muscles! I felt overwhelmed and could not wait until we were done covering these topics in class.

Gotta tell you that I was foolish to think it would get easier.

Right now I am studying for tomorrow's exam and the Nervous System sucks so much more! Axons, nuclei, CNS, PNS, Synapes, CSF, motor homunculus... If I never see these words again for the rest of my life I will be one happy woman!

Second guessing my career choice!

It's tougher the second time around...

Who knew going to college as an adult would be so darn challenging.

Oh, how carefree and stupid I was the first time around. Everything was the end of the world. School was so hard!

Pfft...I wish I could smack that stupid seventeen year old girl.

Now this is hard! Juggling three kids, cooking, cleaning, extracurricular activities, religious ed, grocery shopping, etc. On top of "regular" life there's studying, papers, bibliography's, power points, ahhhhh!

Love my life, love my family, and love school. I am blessed, but boy, it sure is harder the second time around!

Weather

 
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