Three Months...

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Thursday, June 21, 2018
It's been three months since I returned to the US.

In that time I renewed my California ID and driver's license, opened a bank account, switched to a US cell phone, rediscovered my love of driving, wrote my very first article for the Livestrong website, signed a contract to write my second cookbook, wrote said cookbook, reconnected with friends and family (which has been so good for my soul), brought my three eldest kiddies to the US for a one-month vacation, and took them to get their US ID's. (They're here until July 5th.)

feeling like a lost soul -

Not too bad for my first three months.

But still, I feel like I've failed completely.

You'd think that I'd have all my ducks in a row and my life somewhat together by now, but my duck's seem to have scattered off to play hide & seek while I'm barely holding myself together with tape and glue.

I still don't have a real job. I'm broke AF and I don't have a steady income coming in. Oh, and as of 9 o'clock this morning I no longer have a car. (Hope's godfather graciously lent me a spare Suburban he had lying around, but I had to give it back today.)

So... I'm right back where I started three months ago.

And what's even worse is that I've failed my babies. I hadn't really taken them anywhere because I didn't have the money. And now I really can't take them anywhere because I don't have a car. At least they had a good time the week they spent with their aunt, who even took them to Disney. (For that I am grateful!)

My spirit is broken and I feel defeated. But I'm not ready to give up. I can feel my fighting spirit bubbling deep within me.

I just don't know what my next step is going to be.

I am however giving up trying to figure it all out on my own, because I have no clue what I'm doing. So, I'm putting it all in God's hands and letting Jesus take the wheel.

Where this adventure leads, I have no idea, but we shall see.

Starting Over

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Thursday, March 29, 2018
Embarking on a new adventure -

Hi, my name is Leslie Harris and I'm embarking on a new journey.

I'm not a fan of vague social media posts, but in this instance, I kinda have to be. (You'll understand, in time.) Without going into too much detail, after having lived in Small Town, Mexico for almost 18 years, I have recently moved back to SoCal (southern California).

For now, it's just me.

Let's Talk About Sex (Education)...

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Wednesday, January 30, 2013
sex education in Mexico -

Can you believe it's the last week of January, already?  Not only is this the last week of the first month of the new year, it's also the last week of Hope's extended Christmas vacation.  One of the perks of being a high school student in Mexico is a two month Christmas vacation.

Last year, I didn't know if Hope was even going to be able to attend high school this school year.  And now she is days away from starting her second semester of 10th grade, where all new books, subjects, and teachers await her.  I never thought we'd get to this point in time.

As thankful that I am that Hope was finally able to attend high school, there was a short period of time when I wasn't sure I wanted Hope to attend high school after all. 

The Little Boy Who Couldn't Take a Normal Christmas Photo

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Wednesday, December 19, 2012
the one with the Christmas photo -

Remember The Little Boy Who Never Wanted to go to School?  Well, he's up to his old antics again, but this time he just can't sit still long enough for his mommy to take his picture for the family's Christmas card this year.

What I Want on my Altar de Muertos

Friday, November 2, 2012

Friday, November 2, 2012
El Día de Muertos is a beautiful Mexican holiday celebration that teaches us to embrace death while honoring the memory of our deceased loved ones.

What I want on my Day of the Dead altar -

Dia de Muertos isn't a holiday I grew up celebrating, even though I was raised by my Mexican grandparents. But, having lived in Mexico for so many years, it's a holiday that I've come to embrace and love.

How to register your US-born child as a Mexican citizen (in Mexico)

Monday, September 3, 2012

Monday, September 3, 2012
Did you know that the Mexican constitution states that any child born abroad to Mexican-born parents has the right to Mexican citizenship? It's not mandatory, nor is it necessary to live in Mexico, but it does make enrolling your child in school (in Mexico) much easier.

How to get dual citizenship in Mexico -

The Half-Naked Housewife

Friday, June 1, 2012

Friday, June 1, 2012
My grandmother warned me that this day would come.  Back then, I was a know-it-all teenager who couldn't imagine ever doing something so potentially embarrassing, even if it was in the privacy of my own home. 
The Half-Naked Housewife-

The little boy who never wanted to go to school...

Monday, March 19, 2012

Monday, March 19, 2012
The little boy who never wanted to go to school -

Once upon a time, in a tiny Mexican village, lived a little boy named Jack.  Jack was a typical 7 year old little boy who loved to play soccer, ride his bike, and jump rope.  But there was one thing that Jack didn't like to do and that was go to school.

Never have I ever...

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Tuesday, October 18, 2011
I've been 37 years old for almost a whole month. You'd think by now I'd have my life together and already started crossing things off my bucket list (which I really need to share with you one day), but it occured to me that there is still so much I haven't done. Some are trivial little things that I've never had the chance to do or experience, and others are great big things I've always dreamed of doing. And then there are a couple of things I've never done, and never plan on doing.

In honor of my 37th birthday, here are 37 Things I've Never Done.

Never have I ever -

If you give a kid a camera...

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Wednesday, May 18, 2011
What happens when you let your kiddies use your camera?

I'm not really sure.  But it did involve them dressing up their little brother in various costumes and capturing it all on film! 

No big brothers were harmed in the taking of these pictures.


Good Girls Don't Play Pool

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tuesday, March 29, 2011
In Country Girl at Heart, I mentioned that as a kid, I often went to work with my mom, who was a bartender.  In every bar that my mom worked, there were two constants: a jukebox and pool table.  I was fascinated by both.

I started playing pool at a very young age.  I could barely see over the top of the pool table, but that didn't stop me from playing.  From my earliest memories of playing pool at the age of four up until I was ten years old, there wasn't a day that I didn't play pool.

Just before my eleventh birthday, I went to live with my grandparents.  But my pool playing days didn't end there.  My grandparents had a membership to a campground in the mountains, where we spent every weekend camping.  The campgrounds had swimming pools, a play ground, miniature golf and a clubhouse/lodge.  My favorite of all was the clubhouse because there were two pool tables; one for the kiddies and another for the grown-ups.  I got to play on both.

When it came to playing pool, I was pretty good.  False modesty aside, I was really good.  I played both eight-ball and nine-ball.  I could call my shots, if that's what my opponent wanted.  I could shoot right-handed, left-handed and even behind my back.

In High School, my best guy friend and I would go shoot a couple of games of pool after school at the nearby bowling alley.  And my BFF (best friend forever) and I would play when I visited her at the community center where she worked.

There wasn't anything I loved as much as playing pool.

And then I grew up and got married.  The only time I got to play pool was when Hubby and I would visit my grandparents in the mountains.

One of my most memorable visits to the mountains was during my suegra's first trip to the U.S.  My grandparents really wanted my suegra to see their mountain getaway and since Hubby was stuck working that day, my suegra and I went with my brother-in-law, who was living with us at the time.  The five of us were chatting about how nice the weather was in the mile-high mountains, when my brother-in-law spotted the pool table.  Immediately he asked if I wanted to play and I happily accepted.

I've never been one to pretend I didn't know how to play, unless I was hustling someone, so I played to the best of my abilities for all four games.  All the while, my grandfather was making the weirdest of faces.  He looked like he was either going to sneeze or have a stroke.  When I asked him about it, he just mumbled and said that he was fine.  It wasn't until we were alone, sans mother-in-law and cuñado, that he told me I shouldn't have played so well.  Then, just as we were about to leave, Pappy hit me with a tidbit of information that left me anonadada (shocked, stunned and speechless).
"Mija, a los mexicanos no les gusta que las mujeres juegen billar.  No es un juego para mujeres decentes como tu."  (Translation: Mija, Mexicans don't think women should play pool.  It's not a game for decent women like you.)
WHAT?!  Are you kidding me?  It was 1995, hadn't they heard of the sexual revolution and equality of the sexes?  I couldn't believe what I was hearing.  My grandparents had raised me with their old-fashioned Mexican values, but not once did they ever say anything about playing pool.  They enjoyed playing almost as much as I did.

On the way home, I sat in the back of my brother-in-law's car wondering if my suegra thought less of me as a person because I could play pool.  And I worried about what she would think if she learned I was also a pro at card games.  (My mom worked as a card dealer at Circus Circus when I was 5.)

My suegra has never, to this day, said anything about that fateful day.  And I've never asked her about it.  But I have brought this subject up with Hubby on more than one occasion, especially since moving to Mexico.  (Note: Hubby doesn't have a problem with women playing pool.)  

Now, if you're wondering if after 15 years, people still think this way, the answer is YES!  Atleast in my pueblito

All over my small town, you can find little hole-in-the-wall pool halls.  Every time I walk by a billar, I wish I could shoot a game of pool.  But sadly, I can't.  These establishments are where "unsavory" characters hang out to drink, smoke and play pool.  No girls allowed.  Especially "decent" women such as myself.  Just to give you an idea of how bad of a reputation billares have, none of the men I know would be caught dead in one.  Billares are nothing like the honky-tonk bars I grew up in, nor are they anything like the trendy nightclubs in town, which cater to a younger and hipper crowd and don't have pool tables.

Sometimes I just can't believe that there isn't a place where I, a married mom of four, can go to shoot a game of pool here in town.  And that people think of pool as something so taboo.

What do you think? 


My Lil' Wiseman

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

"I'm not really a Rey Mago (Wiseman/Magi), but I played one in the school play last month."

*Tomorrow is Dia de Los Santos Reyes (Three Kings Day).  To learn more about this special holiday and how our family celebrates it, read Three Kings and a Full House.
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