Cooks and Eaters of the World Unite/ Cocineros y Comedores del Mundo Unidos

portrait of beautiful young woman over white background

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Sometimes I think of some of the problems of the world and I come up with the  easiest solutions.  I think, “Seriously am I the only one thinking this?”  I don’t think I can be the only one who thinks this but anyway here’s my big idea to feed people more healthy food, bring people together, eliminate waste and just make this world a little better.

A veces pienso en algunos de los problemas del mundo y se me ocurren las soluciones más fáciles. Pienso: "¿En serio, soy el único que piensa esto?" No creo que pueda ser el único que piense esto, pero de todos modos, esta es mi gran idea de alimentar a las personas con alimentos más saludables, reunir a las personas, eliminar el desperdicio y hacer que este mundo sea un poco mejor.
chef holding white tea cup

Photo by Tirachard Kumtanom on Pexels.com

Although everybody eats, my plan involves two groups Cookers vs eaters.  The cooks do just that cook (they can eat too) and the eaters eat (they can cook too.)  So the scenario would go something like this.  I am making a big pot of the Best Ever Mushroom Soup .  I can’t eat it all by myself and I know my good friend who likes to eat (he’s an eater) can come over to eat my soup or I can just give it to him to go.

And eaters serve such an important purpose.  By eating healthy food, it can support a zero waste lifestyle and I’m sure the cook appreciates you eating their food.  So you are doing a great service to humanity by eating.  Thank you and don’t feel bad or guilty for eating at someone’s house or accepting their food.  They obviously must care about you to offer you something to eat.  And face it, everyone needs help once in a while.  Who knows maybe next time you can whip up something for your favorite cook.

So wait isn’t the cook getting screwed over?  I mean they did all the cooking and the eater just came over and ate and didn’t contribute?  Well their contribution was eating the food, my friends will bring me something if I need it.  Nuts, sugar,chia seeds… They will say what can I get for you or I just start getting blessed by strangers.  It just gets the giving circle going.  So GIVE GIVE GIVE.  You’ll get back way more than you give.  Give it a go.

I miss the days when I could get off work and go home to a meal ready to eat.  My mom used to cook every night from scratch.  Thanks Mom!!  I  have very big shoes to fill.  Now I cook and eat, share my food with friends and things are going pretty smoothly.

Aunque todos comen, mi plan involucra dos grupos: Cocineros y comedores. Los cocineros hacen exactamente eso (también pueden comer) y los comedores (también pueden cocinar). Así que el escenario sería algo así. Estoy haciendo una olla grande de la Mejor Sopa de Champiñones de todos los tiempos. No puedo comerlo todo solo y sé que mi buen amigo a quien le gusta comer (él come) puede venir a comer mi sopa o solo puedo dársela para que se la lleve.

Y los comedores tienen un propósito tan importante. Al comer aliments saludables, puede mantener un estilo de vida sin desperdicios y 
estoy seguro de que el cocinero lo aprecia al comerlos. Así que estás haciendo un gran servicio a la humanidad comiendo. Gracias y no te 
sientas mal o culpable por comer en la casa de alguien o aceptar su 
comida. Ellos obviamente deben preocuparse por ti para ofrecerte algo de comer. Y acéptalo, todos necesitan ayuda de vez en cuando. Quién sabe, tal vez la próxima vez puedas preparar algo para tu cocinero 
favorito.

Así que espere, ¿no se está jodiendo el cocinero? Quiero decir que 
hicieron toda la comida y el que comió vino y comió y no contribuyó. Bueno, su contribución fue comer la comida, mis amigos me traerán 
algo si lo necesito. Nueces, azúcar, semillas de chia ... Ellos dirán qué puedo obtener para ti o simplemente empiezo a ser bendecido por extraños. Simplemente pone en marcha el círculo de dar. Así que da da da. Volverás mucho más de lo que das. Darle una oportunidad.

Extraño los días en que podía salir del trabajo e ir a casa a una 
comida lista para comer. Mi mamá solía cocinar todas las noches 
desde cero. ¡¡Gracias mamá!! Tengo zapatos muy grandes para llenar. Ahora cocino y como, comparto mi comida con amigos y las cosas van bastante bien.

MOM:VALValerie a Health and Wellness Coach is with her mom at her Birthday Party.  Valerie believes as you heal yourself you eat the planet.

Valerie, una entrenadora de salud y bienestar, está con su madre en 
su fiesta de cumpleaños. Valerie cree que mientras te curas te comes el planeta.

My Dream Retirement Party

fancy reception

When working a long career, it is easy to dream about retirement.  Dreams about the future and dreams about a retirement celebration.  As the time grew nearer, I spoke to people about having a retirement party and I decided that I definitely wanted to have a party.  And I was only going to invite people who I truly cared about.  When you work for the government, you work with people that you have no choice in the matter.  I’ll say it first, I haven’t been the easiest person to work with over the years.

Anyway planning this party was a fantasy of mine and I only wanted super cool people there.  So I invited people who are currently in my life that were sweet. People that I’ve known for years since I was a kid and we kept some semblance of contact with each other over the years.  It’s so hard to maintain relationships over the years.  We get caught up in careers, kids and relationships.  Also for financial reasons, I just couldn’t invite everyone.

I decided that I wanted to share my dreams and passions with my guests.  For so many years I’ve had to walk around with this mask on that was suffocating me.  I had to be super tough and I couldn’t let the real me out or it would have been seen as weakness.

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Celebrating my 29th Birthday at SVSP.

It was in this safe space that I was creating that I knew I would be able to let my passions shine.  I decided I was going to perform for my guests.  It was really fun to plan this event.  I wanted to plan it because I knew it would be exactly as I wanted.

glitter girl

The most amazing people showed up and assisted me with this event.  My dear friend, Peggy who is an amazing event organizer, provided me with the caterer, a DJ was recommended by another friend and I found an amazing Videographer, Kristian Medina that was super cool and creative.

Kristian took these photographs but I am proud to say, I did the slide show.  Those that know me, know this is no small feat.  I was really happy with the way it came out.  I tried my best to put pictures in that were flattering.  Trust me I have some black male pictures if I wanted. Not really.

I did do a little editing and I finally figured out how to do a slide show.  And I picked some music from the evening and added that in.  #Lindseysterlingtranscendence, #Beatsantiquebattle, #Pa’Bailar-Siemprequieromasbajofondo&Julieta.  I threw in Siempre Quiero Mas because it’s an amazing song.  Great song to dance to.  (Wink Wink)

Also I really want to thank the people who showed up.  It’s not easy to get out of the house these days.  But thank you for showing up. I love you and appreciate you from the bottom of my heart.

I wrote a thank you note and was planning on reading it that night but of course I forgot it and had to just do it ad-lib style.  My favorite thing to do.  I’m going to write that here:

Thank you Letter intended for Valerie’s Retirement Party

I want to take this time out to thank everyone for coming to my party.  I really appreciate your spending time with me on this special occasion.  This has been a dream and a goal of mine for many years and I have happy to have finally made it to retirement.

Special thanks to the following:

Leonora Barron, mi madre and mommy.  I would not be here physically and also you helped me to make this event possible. Thank you Mom for always being there for me with all of my crazy ideas.  You’ve always supported and encouraged me and I appreciate you for that.   Again working for CDCR was not easy and I know I could be very harsh at times.  Thank you for forgiving me.  I hope I can be as gracious as you.

My father, John Barron who without you, I would not have been exposed to music to the extent that I was.  I know as a child it was sometimes very annoying to have a musician for a father.  But looking g back I am thankful that I had that influence in my life.  I understand now how you used to be “spacey” at times and I’m sure it was because you were mentally trying to figure out timing or a musical arrangement.  Thanks for following your dreams because I know it helped me go for my dreams.

For my daughter Victoria, Thank you for being so patient with me.  Thank you for being so loving and kind to me.  You have a huge heart and I hope you keep letting your light shine.  Thank you for going with me to all those classes and events and for taking my classes.  You were a real little trooper and I appreciate and love you for that.  Don’t ever forget your name means Victorious Star of the People.  Let’s enjoy my new-found freedom.  Let’s see the world.

To my brother, Adam Barron: Thanks for being there during the years and especially for looking out for my father.  Thank you for being supportive and for always opening your house up to me.  I know I hardly go around anymore but it’s because I’ve been working like a dog.  Keep shining your light Adam.  You are a beautiful person that everyone loves.  Don’t ever forget that.  Thanks for allowing me to be, “Adam’s little sister.”

To my brother, Ben:Thank you for always encouraging me to pursue my goals and for listening to me.  You’re an amazingly talented guitarist and performer.  I encourage you to continue with your artistic goals.  Thank you for staying true to your art which isn’t an easy task in these times.  You are a role model for everyone.

To my Aunt, Eleanor Barron-Druckery, thank you for being there for me.  Thank you for being supporting and listening to me over the years.  You a dreamer and I never realized how important dreams are.  But with all of your extensive writings on dreams, it has definitely helped me to find my vision for dreams.

To my cousin Ray Ray Lozano:  Thank you for being there for me.  It’s been great getting a male perspective on things.  No matter what we are family first and even though we don’t always agree on everything, we’re still family.  Keep striving for your dreams and goals and you are an awesome role model.  Remember it’s your strength is found in forgiveness.

Peggy Rairden:  Thank you for helping with the decorations and for all of the input on the party.  Who knew going to a Zumba class would bring me a great new bathroom and such an amazingly talorented interior decorator and party planner.  Thank you for all of your support.

Alice Hutchings: I’ve known you for 20 years and have had a lot of fun in the past.  I want to thank you for coming the distance to be at this event.  I’ve always been able to rely on you over the years.  You used to be my mom at work.  Whether I needed a fork or if you shared your left overs.  You always helped me out in the best way and made me feel better.  You have a beautiful heart and keep letting it shine.

Special thanks to Angeline:  Thank you for pushing me beyond my limits.  Thank you for pursuing your dreams because.   You are always able to figure out what a person is doing and what they need to be doing so they can be better.  I don’t know how you do it.  As you know it’s not always easy working with people and our excuses for why we don’t do things to improve our capabilities.  Thank you for creating such an amazing safe place to learn to dance and thrive.  I wish you continued success.

Thank you to Alina for being the amazingly talented musician you are.  I know I wouldn’t have been able to get up here today and sing had it not been for your support and encouragement.  Thank you for following your dreams and you’re helping so many people and children to fall in love with the universal language of music  Thank you for sharing your gifts with us in the US.  I know you could have lived anywhere on the planet and yet we found each other. Thank you for following your passion had you not, you would not have been able to assist me with mine.  

I also want to thank all of the people who have been supportive of me throughout my career  As you know it’s not an easy career.  Sometimes it feels like all you are doing is putting out fires and it can be difficult to work together to reach a common goal.  I really want to thank John Butler who was my supervisor for 4 years.  I want to thank you for being supportive of me.  You probably don’t know how much you helped me and I will always be thankful for that.  I think I most appreciate was how you were more than understanding about giving time off.  Also after you retired, I missed your sayings or as I refer to them, “Butlerisms.”  Anyway I just wanted to say thank you!! In case you don’t know I’ve had some dark times during my career and as you know there are many people that suffer in my line of work.  

And it’s my passion and goal that I can inspire you to pursue your dreams and goals, no matter what they might be.

Lastly I love you all  and wish you all the best today and always.  I truly hope we are able to keep in touch.  And although we may not always agree on every single issue in life, I hope we are able to put those things aside and truly look at each other’s heart when we have disagreements.  We don’t know how long we have to live and I truly wish you all peace in your heart, love in your spirit and joy in your life.

 

 

Just Show Up, You never know what kind of awesome you are missing

Recently I had a retirement party and had a 50/50 Raffle. One lucky winner would win 50% of the proceeds and the other 50% went to a “Mystery Guest.”  People were asking me who the mystery guest was and did they actually think I was going to tell them.  I don’t think so.  I had my mouth closed like someone pleading the 5th.

How did I select this mystery guest?  Well I really wanted to bless this person because I just wanted them to know how much I appreciate their work and how their work was a blessing to me.

So I had it all planned out.  I picked the most amazing person.  I was working on my speech and then after I sent out the invitations, I promptly received an RSVP saying they couldn’t make it.  “Darn it.”  I really wanted to bless the.  So I had to pick another mystery guest.  Guess what happened…. they didn’t show up either.

So then I decided that I could not choose just one person.  So I chose two.  In alphabetical order my first choice was Alina Adams.  I chose her because she is my voice instructor and she’s really patient, positive and gives really good feedback.  She’s from the Ukraine and she’s a very talented violinist who honestly could have lived anywhere on the planet.  But we found each other and I just appreciate her work.  And also if she didn’t follow her dream of music then she would not have been there to help me when I found my dream of music.

mystery edited

Next comes Angeline Lucia DeGeorge.  I first met Angeline at a Zumbathon at her dance studio and I was a guest instructor.  I noticed she was a very talented dancer.  After I quit being a Group Fitness Instructor, I decided to be the student and began taking classes with Angeline.  I started with beginning tap and then convinced her to teach an adult ballet class.  She told me if I could get 6 people to commit that she would do a class.  The first class was very full with about 8.  The second class was 4 and now it’s usually 4 to 6 regulars.  After I decided I wanted to do a performance, I asked Angeline to choreograph it and work with her privately.  So for six months I met with her weekly.  It was very difficult, agonizing and rewarding. She’s also a very talented dancer and instuctor.  I picked her to share as a Mystery Guest because after all, had she not followed her dream and passion of being a dancer than I would not have been able to follow my dream of being a dancer.

Bottom line, had they now shown up they would not have won and trust me they were happy they won.

End of Career

There is a bright shining light at the end of a tunnel that I’ve been traveling in for 26 years.  It hasn’t all been a dark tunnel but needless to say it has been very dark at many times.  I tunnel-1963456__480 say that I can see the light to retirement very clearly.  If you can hang in there until retirement age, you will be glad that you did.  But it was definitely not an easy challenge.

My career has been very rewarding but very difficult.  I did not have an easy ride.  Unless you tell people about your situation, they don’t really know what you have been through.  And our experiences shape who we are as people.  You see someone who is going though a difficult time and wonder, “Wow, how did they get there?”  Well I guarantee if you take a minute to stop and find out, you will see that they have probably been given a life with difficult circumstances.  In any case, I’ve been through many difficult situations at work.  From seeing dead bodies to being a victim of indecent exposure on numerous occasions, to having people attempt to have very inappropriate relationships, to being called names for my physical appearance, sexually harassed, and also not getting along with co-workers which is the most difficult situation.  I’ve almost had to shoot at someone, cell extractions, being a witness to an autopsy, testifying in a death penalty trial, photographing trails of blood and I won’t even get started on the numerous disgusting descriptions of crimes that I’ve read about.

It takes its toll on a person.  It makes you tough and it can make you a hardened person.  Have I had to be tough?  You had better believe it.  I feel that I am not a hardened person although I know I am definitely rough around the edges.  I at many times find myself wanting to fight.  Not physically although I am not afraid of it.  But many times I can be defensive and if I feel someone is trying to threaten me or come at me with something inappropriate, I will slam them down so fast, their head will spin.  I don’t mean to be so hard, but it’s because of all of my experiences.  And also because people still want to be disrespectful.  But I can be disrespectful too.  If someone goes low, I can go low so fast and I will beat them at being low.  Kind of embarrassed to say that.  But it’s true.  I can use profanity like there is no tomorrow.  Sometimes, you just have to use profanity to describe the situation.  And it feels better.  Thank Steve Martin in Planes, Trains and Automobiles.

steve martin

But now I for the most part am loving to people. If I see that they are suffering if they are acting out, I have compassion for them.  Many of the people I work with have also been through some bad stuff too.  Such as being assaulted which in my opinion is the most traumatic.  But the thing is once you’ve been traumatized, we all heal in the same way but the more traumatized, the longer it takes to heal in my opinion but feel wonderful exploring this area yourself.

So needless to say, many co workers act out in my opinion because they are stressed to the max, sleep deprived, suffering from PTSD, poor diet, over weight and lack of social support.  So pretty much just living in survival mode.

And also I just want to say that I know I have been hurt, but I have also hurt people very much.  So I have been the victim and also been the one hurt people too.  I have hurt people in many different ways and I am really sorry to those I did hurt.  That was never my intentions to hurt anyone.  But sometimes when we are going through grief, we don’t always treat the people close to us with the most appreciation.  We need them to take care of us and usually parents do that for their kids.  And sometimes people grow up on the outside but are still behave very much like children.  I think there are many examples of such behavior in politics.

bratty kid

But I do feel that all of us are big kids anyway.  We still like to kick back and watch grown up cartoons.  So it’s the adult version of you as a kid watching cartoons.  So let’s all be patient with our big kid self.  And let’s have some fun for a minute.  Seeing dead bodies isn’t fun and I’m ready to get away from that drama and negativity.

I think people around there are an extension of the inmate populations. So the negativity just flows out to the staff and then they turn on each other.  Also because there is not a lot of violence on staff, the staff turn on each other for their aggression and frustration.  If staff were being assaulted, staff would so be united.  I can guarantee that there is a lot of camaraderie at MCSP where that Officer was almost murdered.

But I do feel that I can lose contact with people there very quickly. The good new is  if you want to keep in touch with me after retirement, you can.  And if you want to share with me your experiences on the comments that would be fantastic.  Or you can just follow me and see if anything I am saying resonates with you.  You can also email me questions or comments or you can just say, “Hi.”  What I would really love is for you to share with me how you are dealing with your traumatic situation.  I know we are all so resilient and you can overcome whatever situation you are in, you can turn it around.  It will take time, work and more time but it will be worth it.  But just start somewhere.

And I’ll just say this now, the hardest thing to change is your eating habits.  So just consult a professional health coach for assistance.  What you put in your body has a huge effect on how you feel mentally.  Start with what you are putting in your body.

I am a health coach but I’m not currently taking clients because I am working full time and blogging and being a mom with a house and trying to keep myself healthy.  But start with your Health Insurance.  Kaiser has excellent programs and I think they are really invaluable.

If you are reading this, I want you to know that I am wishing you all the good things in life.  And may your guardian angels protect and guide you.  I hope you are having an amazing summer and that you don’t take things too seriously.  Life is going very fast.  Just know that you can all on your guardian angels anytime you feel like it.  Just try it and you will begin to see amazing things begin to happen in your life.

With lots of Love and Blessings and all good things.

Val

How to Love Yourself

men house work

So many people spend their time taking care of other people.  Between work, house work, meal prepping, working out, having a social  life there just isn’t much left after that.  At some point the tread on one’s tires can become very thin.  So now the concept of self love can seem a little selfish because most people are raised to think of other people first before thinking about themselves.  But in actuality this is not in our best interest or our friends and families best interest either.  You are much more available to friends and family if you are well taken care of.

Then there are the many people that experience self hatred.  The self hatred can come about for a variety of reasons.  Maybe there is a history of abuse or neglect.  It could also be due to depression, illness, body image and numerous other issues such as substance abuse or guilt.

Although it is fantastic to want to set goals to improve yourself whether it be to lose weight, organize your closet, graduate from College, get a new job etc.  The most perfect place to start is just to accept yourself exactly where you are right now.  Accept those self perceived flaws.baby-1356093__480

At one time we were all innocent little babies.  We just enjoyed being alive.  We were content to just look at our toes and realize all of the beauty and glory of life.  Somewhere along the way LIFE HAPPENED, and we lost that zest for life.  But it is still in there in everyone.  We just have to take a moment to remember.

So what are some of the ways you can love yourself?  Here are 5 things you can do to love yourself that do not cost any money.

1)Set your timer for 5 minutes and listen to your breath.  Allow yourself some quiet time just to sit quietly and breathe deeply all the way down to your belly.  Whatever thoughts come to your mind just observe them but remain unattached.  It’s a starting point just to see how it feels just to sit and breathe with yourself.  As you breathe you will notice that you will start to relax a bit.val_edited-9220

2)Start a gratitude journal or write down your thoughts.  A gratitude journal will help to lift your mood because you will be thinking about the things you are grateful for and it shifts your vibrational energy.  This is a great way to end your day.  While it is easy to go on a rant and complain in your journal, it can become a negative habit if that’s all one does in complain while journaling.  It is definitely great to get out the frustration but then end it on a positive note with something of gratitude.  Everyone has something to be thankful for.

3)Chew your food.  Well it may seem obvious that of course one chews their food.  However maybe you can slow it down and chew a little bit longer.  It will help your digestion and perhaps curb your appetite a bit.  Think about making it a rule to only eat when you’re relaxed.  I know this can be easier said than done.  Especially if you are standing over the sink eating ice cream out of the carton.  (We’ve all been there.)  Slowing down your chewing can definitely help.  Give it a try and see what happens.

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4)Go for a walk.  Walking is excellent at relieving stress and also at getting some exercise.  It can help if you are in a funk and just need sometime to get your thoughts straight.  If you are seriously stressed out try to imagine as you are walking that your feet are really connecting with the earth and that you are being grounded.  Sometimes our minds can go wild with thoughts.  But if you can learn to ground yourself, you can bring yourself back to the present moment and know that everything will be OK.

5)Last but definitely not least is to pray.  There is much to be said about praying.  I could probably write much more than just one little paragraph about praying.  But Praying to God, Jesus, the Universe, Mary, Arch Angel Michael, Arch Angel Raphael, Buddha or whatever you find to be your higher power, just do it.  There is power in prayer.  And it is there for your 24 hours per day, 365 days per year.  There is no prayer that is too big or too small.  All you have to do is ask for guidance, protection, knowledge, wisdom, strength and you will get what you need.  But you must be willing to ask.  Many people have been turned off of prayer for a variety of reasons.  But do give it a try.  What have you got to lose?  Nothing… What have you got to gain?  A MIRACLE.  All I know is it works and I feel very thankful for it.

children praying

Your thoughts are appreciated and wanted so don’t hesitate to leave your comments. XOXO!!!!

Valerie is a Health and Wellness Coach and a Yoga Instructor.  She lives in Northern California with her daughter.