A Mesh Dress and Instagram Friends


Last week I had a bit of a tantrum about Instagram. While the tantrum is still present, here’s the truth: I do wake up, open up my Instagram, scroll through the feed, and find style inspiration. This happens often, and it was definitely the case when I went to wear this mesh dress. I saw this picture of @cindyscurry, and I instantly knew what I was going to wear to work/school that day. (The last time I’d worn this dress it wasn’t so work appropriate!) Here’s what I’d like to say about Instagram: I have made some really neat connections and even friends from this social network. Yes, I get down about my numbers and wish I had both more likes and followers, but aside from statistics, I have proof. I’ve made girlfriends (and a few male friends too) around the world from Instagram. I need to make sure I don’t forget about that!! I started to make a list of all the friends I’ve made in order to share them here, but it’s way too long, and it would break my heart if I accidentally forgot one of you. Needless to say, despite low numbers, I do love the #instafriends I have made. You rock. And, you help me get dressed in the morning! So, thank you very much not only your friendship but your style inspiration too.

I got this polkadot mesh dress at Shein for only $12. It’s a fun one because it has to be layered–there are a ton more ways to wear this dress, and I’m ready to figure them out!

Ballerina Wannabe and What It Did To Me

Ballerina Wannabe 1
If I were to describe myself, one characteristic comes to mind: I’m happy-go-lucky. I’m a positive person with my glass half full. I prefer to have fun, be spontaneous, and laugh. I have always been proud of my maiden name, Freuen, which in the German language is a reflexive verb meaning “to be happy!” My mom told me once, when I had grown-up, that she worried about me as a young woman because of my go-for-it attitude. She was right to worry; I have many a story to depict my shenanigans–and they didn’t end once I “grew up!”

Another characteristic to describe me would be my fierce independence. I don’t ask for much help, and not many people really, really know me. I prefer the airy fairy, happy smiling version of myself. I’m also confident–obviously; I’m writing and posting myself all over the Internet. I’m no Kardashian by any means, but I do have pics floating around these interwebs of me in my swimsuit. What what!? Crazy I know! However, just because I appear confident does not mean I don’t have insecurities, but I’ll save that for another post. Today, I’m talking about something else….

Ballerina Wannabe 2

The two characteristics mentioned above have kept me tight lipped about something–something major. I’ve been in pain, big time pain, for a while now. I don’t mention it much, but I’m beginning to. Basically, I don’t like to cause anyone trouble, and I don’t want to ever sound like a whiner. That’s why I’m always so upbeat here on this blog, and that’s why in person not many people have known what I’ve been going through. I can’t quite figure out why I’m divulging now, but it could have to do with not wanting to keep up appearances any longer. I can’t. I just can’t do it anymore.

This by no means is an indication that I won’t be posting all my stylish attempts, posting selfies, posting my favorite lipsticks, and posting pics of more and more of the tennis shoes I’m buying to replace my heels. But, there’s going to be a shift in how I write here. I want to write more honestly. If I have an opinion–even if it’s negative, I plan to start sharing it. If I lose a follower or two, so be it. I’ve had some serious struggles, and I really can’t keep them to myself any longer.

Ballerina Wannabe 4

I’ll start with the most recent update that can’t be avoided. I replaced my right hip. It was so utterly painful I could not bare it any longer. The details of this past year from the initial hip operation on August 28, 2015, are so many, both before and after, but suffice it to say that by the middle of April of this last year, I finally had to seek help. I am not in any way embarrassed by this. In fact, I’ll most likely speak more about mental health. To start, if you feel depressed for any such reason, it is ok, and it is even more ok to go get help. The chronic pain I was experiencing was taking my mind, and luckily with guidance I was able to start thinking rationally again. It had been a while…

I still have a very long road of recovery ahead of me. This is it though–there is no other measure I can take now that my organic hip is gone. I am hopeful however, and I am fully motivated. I have amazing family support from my two kiddos and definitely from my super star husband. My employee has granted me the time off to recuperate, and I feel very lucky for this. But this is it: I have to make the most and best of my situation. Again, luckily with the positive attitude that permeates my life, I will make it through this.

How did I get here? Well, that’s the thing, we aren’t suppose to look back. But when you’re at the doc, he’ll want to know what you’ve done. All I was able to say was how active I was. I was an athlete at one time in my life. I used to play volleyball and was a cheerleader in high school. As an adult, I ran, skied, stretched with yoga, and hiked. And ultimately, my whole life, I have always been very, overly flexible, AND I have always been a show off. So, I was the girl that was doing the Chinese splits, touching my stomach down to the floor, and then pulling my legs through to lay flat on my stomach. I was the young girl that held my legs high over my head in a raised, extended leg kick begging my mom to let me dance. I wanted to be a ballerina, a gymnast, a dancer. Oh, I wanted it so bad! When I described all these things to the doc, especially the desire to be a dancer–not ever properly trained, he named all of these reasons as the cause for the degeneration in my hip. My right hip was filled total osteoarthritis, and it was progressing at a rapid rate! The pictures made it look like a white, over grown forest. I don’t regret any of it: I’ve always been a ballerina wannabe. And I still am if truth be told. I love to dance. It makes me happy. And as stated before, I like to do things that make me smile–only those things.

Ballerina Wannabe 6

But let’s be real. Or I should say I’m going to be real. I’m going to try. Guaranteed I’ll still be smiling because that’s just me. I prefer to be happy. So, here’s to me and here’s to finding happiness with my new hip. I am hopeful to become strong again. I am hopeful that I will be able to walk again. That is really the only thing I want–oh, and to dance!

Ballerina Wannabe 5

It’d be a shame not to include pictures of this sweet little lady (who happens to be my photographer!). She fills me with such happiness. Her tenderness in caring for me is beyond precious. I have to stop myself for feeling bad for my kids. I think, “They don’t deserve to see their mom in such pain.” It breaks my heart how many tears they have witnessed. But this Gigi, she’s always there, always consoling me. Always helping me to feel good again. I think I need to borrow her tee, don’t you!?

Ballerina Wannabe 7

Ballerina Wannabe 3

*These photos were taken out at Spirit Lake during the summer BEFORE I got my hip replacement on August 5, 2016. Maybe, one day, I’ll be able to stretch like that top pic again…

*Also, this post has been linked to the #iwillwearwhatilike and Sheela Writes link up.

Hip Update {On Wednesdays I Write}

hip

That’s the official name of it: “Femoroacetabular Impingement.” Say what? My doc grabbed my phone here because he had a better shot–I was just pretty happy to have a textbook hip problem!

My hip is hardly a fun topic to write about on this blog, but if you know me well, you know that my right hip bothers me enough for me to always have my pain management on the mind. I’ve had the diagnosis that I’ll need a hip replacement. It makes sense; my father has had both of his hips replaced. Aside from his height, I totally have his body: he’s where I get my nice legs from–but those legs also genetically have weak knees and hips plus small feet. I like the skinny leg and small feet part; the weak knees and hips part I don’t like so much. (I also tend to carry my weight in the same spot as my dad–hello middle and chin. Please, no offense Dad! I love having your skinny legs. In fact, my dad’s the only person I know who wears bicycle shorts with sag around the legs!) I know eventually I will most likely need to get my right hip, if not both, replaced. It’s just at 43 years old I feel too young.

Finally, I found a doctor who agrees! Oh, the relief in finding a good doctor! And this doctor, (well, aside from my dad) he might just be the very best doctor I have ever had (Although my Venezuelan OBGYN was pretty great too. I digress…) This arthroscopic surgeon based in Hong Kong is amazing. His name is Dr. Daniel Yip, and the moment I told him it’s been suggested that I get my hip replaced, he said, “You’re too young!” Yes, thank you doctor: I couldn’t agree more.

Upon meeting Dr. Yip he then proceeded to give me the usual examination and requested various reports like x-rays and an MRI. After I completed his tasks and went back to see him, I received the best explanation from a doctor that I ever had. First, he got out the physical hip joint with femur attached as well as a text book. He explained what the labrum is and what it does for our hips. He showed me how my femoral joint is abnormal and thus causing a tear in my hip joint’s labrum meanwhile aggravating it with each step. Wow! It all makes sense. And if I still wasn’t getting it, he showed me videos of what’s going on inside of me–ya, that’s exactly how it feels with every step when I can feel that silly tear in my labrum being pushed up by my femur. It doesn’t feel good, but knowing what has been wrong all these years? Ahhh, that’s relief!

Right then and there after the explanation I received an injection of cortisone in both my bursa (for the bursitis that accompanies this problem) and my lower back (for the lower back pain also caused). This Thursday I have an appointment to go in to receive another injection of cortisone plus some substance that will offer lubrication to the joint. This measure is to help with some relief over the summer. Then, the next step, is to receive arthroscopic surgery next fall. I know this will sound absurd, but I can’t wait! He feels confident that in cleaning up this joint, I will buy 5 maybe even 10 years on my hip! If he goes in there and can repair the tear, he will–although this is unlikely. He’s also going to shave off that abnormality on my femur so that this doesn’t happen again.

After this visit where I really learned about my hip issues, I got back to my office and there was already an email from Dr. Yip! He wrote me personally with different key words I might like to look up as well as a dozen websites to look at. If I wasn’t already in love with this doc, well, the personal email sent right after my visit sealed the deal! I am so appreciative to Dr. Yip’s care with me. I totally recommend him–even though I have yet to have surgery with him yet. (Although all those who have give him the same accolades.) If you are in need of arthroscopy surgery, he’s your doctor. All. The. Way!

Prom Date Memories But More Importantly, Prom Dresses!

Prom_Prom at the school I work at is just around the corner, like this Friday. As the Prom Committee’s sponsor, I’ve been working with about 15 students all year to create a special night for the upperclassman at our school. I think it will be a great night for all; they’ve been working hard and have created some fantastic highlights for the casino themed event.

With this anticipation of prom, memories flood back to me. My first prom came about because of my best big brother cousin David. He’s a year older, and I was friends with all of his friends. I was actually more than a little disheartened to be considered the “guy with tits.” Well, when one of David’s friends was in need of a date, David recommended me. A week before his senior prom, I got a very random phone call from this guy–I’ll name him Tim Lee to keep his identity safe. (The false name is given by no means because he was a bad date–he was a very nice young man.) I didn’t know Tim. I’d never met him before. He introduced himself on the phone as David’s friend. No problem. I played cool. After the quick introduction, Tim went straight into what is now called the “promposal” (although there was nothing remotely romantic about his question). It was just, “I know this is late notice, but do you want to go to prom? I can help you with the dress.” I thought quickly, had no idea who he was, knew I didn’t know how I was going to get a dress in a week, and said, “Sure!” What the heck. I’ve always been one to just go for it. I also told him it was ok about the dress–I’d figure something out.

The reason I said yes is pretty obvious….even at 16 I was all about the dress! I didn’t know how or where I’d get one, but the very idea of getting dressed up appealed to me. Luckily all the aunties were involved in this promposal–Annie’s going to the Prom! And ever more fortunate for me, my cousin David’s best friend’s mother was an excellent seamstress. Mom and I headed to the fabric store immediately.

Oh, I do love a fabric store. My imagination goes crazy dreaming up amazing dresses. It did just that for this prom*. Mom and I found a gorgeous black silk with very vibrant, colorful palm sized flowers strewn everywhere. We found one of those flamenco type patterns with a high-low hem line. Then, we found the inner lining: a bright satiny red! Oh, wow! We created the perfect version of a flamenco dancer dress. It was, to put it mildly, completely over-the-top. And, no, I have never lived that dress down. David started calling me Rosarita for a while….

Prom itself, well, meh. I much preferred that frantic week ahead designing the dress, picking out the fabric, heading to Mrs. Zimmerman’s for fittings. Then, getting ready, applying red lippy, wearing my head in a low side bun, oh those are the wonderful memories I have of prom. Dinner with Tim Lee, dancing, the actual event… I can’t recall a single memory. But that prom dress! Oh, it’s in there. It’s in there for good!

*Side note: Keep in mind I wanted to live and study so badly in Mexico at this time, so I was heavily influenced by Latina flare.

Young Man in the House

young man

We will have a young man in the house tomorrow. On May 7th, 13 years ago, Vincent Freuen Krembs was born in Caracas, Venezuela. I won’t say it feels like yesterday. It doesn’t. We’ve been through a ton as a family. But, it does feel like the time has flown. I can remember the chubby little babe that made me and so many others just gush. I can remember the toddler that always looked after his little sister with such pride and care. There’s the young boy who played soccer, learned to ride a bike, and batted his first pitches on Juhu Beach in Bombay. “I don’t think so!” was his signature statement in Beijing. He was late to speak, late to poo, and late to read, but now he does all those just fine! He used to have trouble with his “r’s” but now they’re all fine too. Vincent is super strong–now stronger than everyone in the family, maybe even Kevin; now it’s a matter of just how strong will he get. In the most recent weeks, he’s growing at an exponential rate. I sometimes don’t recognize him. Both his eyebrows and voice have shifted becoming more masculine. He’s definitely becoming a young man.

young man

Both Kevin and I are very proud of Vincent. He’s still as cautious and aware as he was back at 3 years of age. Yet now his caution is preempted with sincerity and thoughtfulness. Vincent is a sensitive being. I can always count on him to mull things over, sit back and take things in, and then react in profound and insightful ways. As proud parents, we love the comments that come from his teachers who notice the same insight. He notices when I need help–for example rather than asking if he can take my bag, he just takes it. He clears my plate instinctively. He steps aside to let me go through the door first. He comes in to say goodnight to me at night. For each of these actions, my heart bursts with pride as I’m witnessing the gentle man I’ve always hoped he’d become.

young man

Tomorrow Vincent will be 13. Kevin jokes that he thinks I’m more excited than Vincent. Kevin could be right. I’m just so proud of the individual Vincent is becoming. I enjoy his company, and despite any rockiness that accompanies a teen mind that may lay ahead of us, I have faith that Vincent will always treat Kevin and me with respect and kindness. He’s just that kind of young man.

Happy Birthday Vincent!

My Silver Rings

silver ringsI have three silver rings that are as special to me as any amount of gold or diamonds. When I travel, I often slip them on so as to not draw any attention to myself. I’ve learned some lessons a long the way in regards to what I should wear, and generally, depending on where we’re traveling, I like to just blend in–not the norm for me usually, I know! A similar scenario happened when we lived in San Salvador, El Salvador. We had just been married and had begun our international life of teaching overseas. This volatile place (at the time) was somewhere that I did not want to draw attention to myself. I remember it taking a while to get used to visible guns and guards everywhere. I was so proud of my new wedding ring and band, yet against the striking poverty of the country, I often found myself pushing my humble diamond into the palm of my hand.

silver ring
It was at this time in El Salvador, just freshly married, that I started wearing the little promise ring that Kevin had given me when I left for New Mexico after university. He stayed on in Spokane to finish school while I moved down to teach 3rd grade on the Jicarilla Apache Indian Reservation. This little token was his way of saying, Yes, we’re together even though we’re miles apart. (Yes, I still have the actually letter we wrote as this was pre email days!) It’s a very simple ring comprising of two slim bands joined together–representing us. It’s a sweet token, one that I adore wearing. Wow, it’s a 20 year old ring by now! At the time, back in El Salvador as a newlywed, both Kevin and I didn’t mind locking up our wedding rings saving them to wear later in life once we felt safe.

silver rings
In the meantime, my new husband needed a ring–to show he was married! It so happened on our very first trip to Antigua, Guatemala that we stumbled upon a silversmith on our first jaunt through this charming town. We stopped and ordered our new rings fashioned similarly to the original promise ring yet bigger. By the time the artisan was finished, we had my original baby size promise ring, a mama size version for me, and a papa size for Kevin. Actually our good friend Rusty got the real baby version–he had one made for his toe–unfortunately Rusty has since lost that toe ring, but he did wear it for many, many years. Since living in El Salvador, Kevin has returned to wearing his gold wedding band. And me? Well, every now and then I put away the gold again to wear all three rings detailed to you in this story. I wear the original thin one plus the one for me from Antigua stacked on my lefthand ring finger, and I wear Kevin’s on my righthand ring finger. I love how shiny they continue to become with their extensive wear, and as cheesy as it sounds, with each wear, these three rings just keep gettin’ more love!

*This post has been linked up to Brilliant Blog Posts.

Describing My Style

HipFunkyEclecticThe other day a good friend of mine was telling me about something she read about style. She read a blog post about being able to name one’s style in five words. This really got me thinking. Can I name my style in five words? There are a ton of adjectives to describe my style, so I needed to figure out how to narrow my description down. This pondering left me with three questions that I asked myself when it comes to my personal style and then answered them:

1. Is there one word that comes to my mind when I think about my style?
First off, the one word that comes to my mind is “HIP.” I always want to be hip–meaning to date or even ahead of the times. By no means does this equate to hipster for me–that I am not. I’m too nerdy, too over-the-top to be that sort of hip. I mean the kind of hip that likes to try new things and be the first to wear culottes for example. (I’ve had this black pair of culottes since around 2005! Yes, it might be time to get a new pair, but they work. Re-dying clothing makes black clothes last even longer!) I don’t mind experimenting. I love being the person to try out a new trend and in turn encourage others to do so. I can recall getting together a petition together in high school so all the girls could wear their winter shorts with tights. The trend took off, and before we all knew it we were all wearing winter shorts breaking the school dress code!

2. Is there a common thread to my style–something that can always be spotted?
This past week’s style story really led me to a common thread that always happens when I go to get dressed. Perhaps the best word is funky–I’m not sure. But you can bet to every outfit something bold will be happening. Whether it’s a pattern or a bright colour, I have to add a little funk to my outfit. Without something to draw attention to the outfit, I feel bored. I love subtle dressers too. Like both of my sisters are so classy and chic; I attempt to dress like them, but then I add a bold red lip or something leopard to the look. There’s no subtlety to either of those sartorial choices. I just can’t help it though. I love plaid and paisley. I crave the little quirky item that makes my outfit look different. Heck, I’m a librarian after all–we’re notorious for our funkiness!

3. Is there an explanation to my style?
It’s pretty obvious from this blog and many of the things I write about that the story behind my clothing is just as important as anything else. For this reason, I’d say I’m very eclectic. In my life I also love to travel, so it’s pretty typical of me to pick up special items along the way. I love that on each trip I come home with a collection of intricate, artistic bags or clutches specific to the destination (stay tuned for a giveaway next week!). I love having one of my items be from my time long ago in Saudi Arabia when I used to shop in these amazing discount stores with last season’s looks. I love that my culottes mentioned above are from a budget store called Shopko, that I’ve had them before culottes were even cool, and I’ve re-dyed them to make them last all the longer. I value the history behind any item way more than the actual brand. This storytelling type of dressing is very eclectic just like me!

My Style

So, I guess I’d like to believe I’m a HIP and FUNKY, ECLECTIC dresser. Hmmm, my style kind of sounds like a bag lady–but that’s me!

Do these three questions help you narrow down your style? How do you describe it?

*This post has been linked up to Brilliant Blog Posts, Let It Shine, Throw Back Thursday, Monday Mingle, Fab Favorites, and Passion 4 Fashion.

I Love India

I love IndiaI love India!

I know, I know, enough already, but just give me today and tomorrow to express some more of my love for India. I have to get it out of my system for the time being, and then I’ll be all set till the next visit.

I’m often asked out of all the places that we’ve lived (there have been many: El Salvador, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, India, China, and now Hong Kong), which one is my favorite. While I always say each place has been special, hands down I end with India. I say, India has a very special spot in my heart. I also say I could expatriate to India believing I could live there forever. I simply say, I love India. (Yes, I am definitely on my way to feeling a strong fondness to Hong Kong as well!)

Don’t get me wrong. India is a terribly tough and brutal place. It’s extremely dirty and even more poor. It has very backward ways and is abundantly, no overly populated. It’s intense, can be brutal on all the senses, and is pretty much a hardcore spot in the world.

Yet, India has a people that are so gorgeous. The people cause me awe. I love India because I love its people so much. They are kind and respectful. They are nice and welcoming. They let me in with a wobble of their head saying, Yes, I see you, I hear you, I get you. I’m always treated like a maharani queen while I’m there. The men stand when I enter a room, and I never have to carry a bag. The women are humble and soft spoken, yet the very moment I give them my smile, I’m in; they easily return it radiating their bright smile right back. Oh, and the women’s dress–well, the colors and textures amaze. Then the little children….they are so precious, yes so poor, but also just so cute and shy and eager to let me give them my love.

Believe me when I tell you I can remember the day I fell utterly in love with India. We were (safely) witnessing life from our car in a tortuous traffic jam (they can be pretty epic in Bombay!), and life was completely buzzing outside: rickshaws, cows, tons of cars, even more pedestrians, beggars and then children beggars. We were in Juhu so we could see the sun setting on the ocean with a wildly crowded beach and the light was hazy but glowing–it should be called Indian light. Maybe it has already been claimed. It was at this moment that I realized something very important that I carried with me while living there and still believe it to this day. India is beautiful because of the chaos; it is the chaos that makes India so beautiful. That’s when my love affair started, and it still remains.

I love India. I love the people. Their warmth and kindness is always felt. I love the chaos. Somehow it all just moves and flows and works together. I love how energized I fell when I go there. I find myself smiling in awe at so much. Once I’m in India after a few days and giving my own attempt at the Indian head bob, I feel home.

Until next visit….but come back tomorrow for plenty of pictures of India’s beautiful people!

I love India

This moment was so sweet. Indians are very stoic when in front of a camera. I finally got this mamaji to smile alongside a gorgeous student who I could tell loved the Indian people as much as me.

The Story of My Ganesha

ganesha

This little Ganesh was given to me as I was leaving India back in 2009. A Ganesh should always face you right when you enter into a room. Also, if the Ganesh breaks or becomes harmed in any way, he should be immersed at the next Ganpati Festival.

I’m in India right now, but I scheduled this post to coincide with my trip–especially since I will be wearing my Ganesha necklace all week long. I often keep saying I’ll tell the story about this Ganesh that I wear but then always forget to. But now, that my Hindu God has a proper chain, and I’m wearing it more frequently, I’ll detail the long story about this precious treasure that I wear around my neck. I’ll try to be concise, but be forewarned it’s a multi layered story.

Living in India, and in Bombay in particular, it was bound to happen that Lord Ganesha became our Hindu God. He is ever present in this city; in fact the neighborhood in which we lived included us in his annual submersion each year called Ganesh Ganpati. Oh, what a festival! We learned to chant Ganpati Bappa Moriya (gun potty bappa more eee ah) in true Hindi form right alongside all the other Mumbaikars out in Juhu Beach where we lived.

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You’re actually not suppose to buy your own Ganesh; it should be given to you. Kevin and the kids gave me this one. He had a garland of marigolds around him most the time.

Back to the bauble…first, I introduce Aloise. She’s one of those classy ladies that also has a tremendous amount of spunk. I have always appreciated Aloise’s style anticipating her outfits because they are always fabulous! She wore the most solidly, beautiful Ganesh around her neck–that was one constant to her fantastic ensembles. It was so beautiful (Kevin taught Aloise’s kids) that Kevin inquired about how he too could get this pendant to give to me as well. The Ganesh is actually from Sri Lanka, so Kevin put in an order for the next time Aloise would be going to her home there. The next birthday (I can’t remember which year) I received the gorgeous solid gold Ganesh. Oh, I wore it too. I remember arriving home one summer, and my mom said, And so where is Jesus now? She perhaps thought we had completed converted from Catholicism to Hinduism, so the following summer I loaded up my chain with all the my precious pieces that bring me comfort and help me to feel safe. Yes, I am very auspicious about my jewellery!

ganesha

We made an exception here and bought this Ganesh. It’s actually a door panel.

I had that Ganesh charm for a good five years or so. Stupidly on one trip I wore it, and the chain was not nearly strong enough. We had less than a 12 hour lay over in Ho Chi Minh City. In the morning we would continue to the beach, so it was a very quick stopover in this city. when we arrived to the hotel, we simply needed to venture out for a a quick bite to eat. We were out for less than 30 minutes because with in the first five minutes right outside of the hotel, walking along a very large yet vacant boulevard, a man walking past me, reached out, and tore my necklace right off my neck! I was so shocked. The kids’ hands were in mine, but then I dropped them instantly and began chasing after the man. I was so shocked it took me a moment to realize he had just torn my necklace off. I was no match for him. He ran up ahead and hopped on the back of a cycle. They were a duo team–they must have spotted me and scoped me out instantly. Meanwhile I had left the kids. They were crying, I began crying, and we were all just stunned. No, we did not eat dinner that night.

This was a big lesson for me: I’m such an innocent, trusting traveller, and while I don’t want to be cautious of people when I travel, I do have more of a sharp eye now. I think ahead about what I will wear in given circumstances. Later when we were in our hotel room, we read the fine print of the Lonely Planet guide book warning us of the “urban cowboy.” They definitely got us! We ended up having a nice time on the trip through Vietnam, but I would be lying if I didn’t say we were stunned and saddened by that experience. I missed my precious pendant a great deal feeling saddened that I had lost it and in such an awful way.

Fast forward to my 40th….It was an amazing month with a thoughtful little gift each day, an amazing party, but an even more monumental gift: my sister surprised me for the party! Then, to increase the sure joy of this birthday, Kevin regifted me the Ganesha! I couldn’t believe it. I can remember that simple meal sitting around the table. It had been such an amazing month and birthday weekend. I did not expect to receive any more gifts. When I opened the small jewellery box and peered inside to see a new Ganesha, I broke down crying.

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My second, very precious gold Ganesh

This second pendant travelled a bit just to get to me too, so it is worth mentioning. Kevin contacted Aloise again in Singapore–in plenty of time ahead. She had it made once again–interestingly enough it is not exactly the same. There are couple of minor difference, and I have found out that an artist would not make to Ganeshas in the same way. (At least I was told that.) Aloise picked up the Ganesh and brought it to Singapore where she lives. Our good friend Debbie picked it up from her in Singapore. Kevin knew we’d be seeing Debbie that February in Boracay for Chinese New Year. In Boracay Kevin was having trouble connecting with Debbie, so Debbie passed it on to Geraldine whose hotel was closer to ours. Kevin finally picked it up from Geraldine, and I’m not sure how Debbie got the money to then pass on to Aloise. Regardless, the Ganesh made it into the hands of Kevin, and I was clueless to all of this. I was so stunned to receive it on that Sunday, February 21, 2012!

Now, there’s one last litle bit: I’ve had this new Ganesh now for three years, yet I never wear it. I was scared to. I haven’t had a real solid chain to carry it. That’s fixed now because Kevin gave a beautiful, solid, strong chain for my 43rd birthday, and now I’m frequently wearing my Ganesha!

And that’s the multi-layered story of my Ganesh! Ganesha is the Lord of Protections, so I’m very happy to be able to wear him again.

*I know I used Ganesh and Ganesha interchangeably. I can’t explain why other than he has always had these two names for me. A third name would be Lord Ganesha. I’ll research this fact….and now I have found out that basically there are two names for him. Another spelling that I hadn’t seen was Ganesa.