Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Plastic and Crocheted purse

Many years ago I found instructions in a magazine for a crocheted little girl's purse using Joy dish washing liquid bottle.  The bottom part had to be cut off and have holes pierced all around the edge. Then yarn was used to make the upper part using double crochet stitches and crocheted strings were used as closure at the top. It was not only a purse, but a small baby cradle for a little doll.  all you had to do was fold the upper crocheted part over the plastic part, covering it into looking like a baby basinette for a baby doll.  I recently got an empty Suavitel softener bottle and it looked so beautiful and blue that I decided to make another one now for my grand daughter.  
I marked and cut the bottle using an exacto knife and scissors to get the bottom ready and got carried away with the leftover pieces for other future projects I have in mind--a dragonfly, two butterflies to be used as necklaces(information will come later) and even some parts to be used with a dragon and even earrings. I then used an awl to pierce holes all around the edge 3/8 of an inch away from the edge and with 3/8 of an inch between holes,  I then intended to start the crochet part but realized I had to prepare further the edge before I could use a crochet needle.  I used a large upholstery needle to "bind" the edge with a spiral stitch (in and out with the needle in a clockwise direction). I then did the same stitch in the opposite direction(counterclockwise) and finished the whole thing by looping the yarn over the top of the stitches by inserting the needle as shown under the two stitches as they touch.  This procedure leaves a loop between stitches that can be used to crochet the top, without having to insert the crochet needle into the pierced holes, which would enlarge the holes and make them look ugly. Crochet double crochet stitches all around until the desired length is attained.  Remember the top part has to be able to cover the bottom part when turned down.  Crochet single crochet strings to insert at the top to close it.  You may add tassels to the strings.  Strings should be inserted through the same spaces but in opposing directions so that they can be pulled from opposite sides to close. I soon realized that since the Suavitel bottle was so big, this might end up being my purse and I will add crocheted flowers on the plastic bottom to make it better!!
Start two double crochet stitches in each space for four rounds, then one double crochet and one chain skip a double crochet and double crochet in next one all around for three rounds, then one double crochet, chain two and kip one double crochet and double crochet in next one for one round and the last row one double crochet chain two and another double crochet in each double crochet for one round and tie off.
For the two ties, chain until it equals the edge of top with about ten inches more, then chain on each chain for second row to make a stronger chain and insert through larger holes in second to last row at top and tie off at the side(the long side...do the same thing with the other tie in the opposite direction as shown.
There is a closeup that shows how the strings are inserted, besides the the overall look of the strings completely inserted. There is a picture showing the purse fully closed. I decided to crochet a bottom with a light brown yarn to simulate a trellis on which to attach some crocheted flowers in addition to the simple way i had done the small ones before.  I crocheted a chain with 13 stitches and then single crocheted all around the chain using three single crochet stitches in the first and the last stitch of the chain to round the ends. The second row of single crochets had two single crochets on the first and third single crochets in the end chain. I then did double crochets on each single crochet, but on the rounded ends I had two double crochets with three double crochets in the middle of the rounded ends.  The second double crochet row had two double crochets, chain 5, skip two double crochet and then two double crochets in next one, but have four spaces of skipping only one double crochet in each rounded end for a total of 19 pairs of double crochets; The next row, slip stitch on two chains on the five chain loop and single crochet in the third chain or the middle of the chain five, chain nine and single crochet in the third or middle of the next chain five, continue around until until you finish the round with a total of 19 loops of chain nine.  Slip stitch to the middle of the chain nine and single crochet in the fifth chain, chain 12 and go all around.  then slip stictch to the middle of the chain 12 and single crochet in the middle and chain 13 and continue that round and then add a last one using the sme chain 13 all around.  On last row, slip stitch in the middle chain of the 13 chain, single crochet and chain 6, single crochet in the middle of the next chain 13 and repeat till the end. Using a large quilting needle and a long piece of yarn connect with a slip stitch the chain 6  to the to the Vshape stitches that were done on the puched holes to hold the bottom of the crocheted bottom to the crocheted top.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

More Info on My Grand Parents

Grandfather Miguel Lopez was born about 1865, because he was 19 when he married in 1884, and he died on May 3, 1933 and was buried in Los Saenz, Texas.  His father's name was maximo Lopez and his mother's name was Paula Escobar.  His grandfather's name was Jeronimo Lopez.
Miguel's first wife was born in 1871 and died about 1909 or 1910, and was buried in Los Saenz, Texas. Her father's name was Martin Fuentes and her mother's name was Cipriana Sanches.  She had a brother named Santos Fuentes, who moved to Weslaco in the 30's, when my mother lived there too.He had only one daughter, who graduated in Weslaco High and married a man from Zacatecas named Zamarron.  She had one son, Andres Zamarron , born February 18, 1945.  he was raised by his mother because his father had a previous family in Zacatecas, who came and took him back to Zacatecas. Jose Andres, called Andy, lives now in Woodlands, California and drives 18 wheelers.  he only knew my mother and Tia Fita and now that they are dead, he only knows me as family.  He has never met all the other second cousins he has.  I have been trying to get him to come and meet everyone else.

Grandfather Miguel Lopez and His Children

On the back of my grandfather's wedding license, someone with a beautiful handwriting wrote the names and some information of their children.
Miguel Lopez and Josefa Fuentes got married on August 25, 1884
So according to the information on the wedding license, these are the names of their children:

!.  Maria Lopez, born November7, 1885
Padrinos-Agustin Escobar y su esposa que va a ser, Casiana Escobar(bautisada 12 dias despues de nacida)

2.  Victor Lopez, born October , 1887
Padrinos-Juan Saenz y esposa Victoria Garza

3.  Donato Lopez, born August 7, 1890
Padrinos-Sebero Martinez y Filomena Martinez (22 days after birth)

4.  Fortunato Lopez, born October 14, 1892
Padrinos-Eduardo Martinez y Tomasa Moreno (22 days after birth)

5.  Antonio Lopez, born January 14, 1894
Padrinos-Juan y Apolonia Lopez (22 days after birth)

6.  Santos Lopez, born November 1, 1897
Padrinos-Uvaldo Ybanez y Juana Lopez (2 months after birth)

7.  Esbarda Lopez, born October 13, 1900
Padrinos-Leandro Martinez y Placida Saenz

8.  Maximo Lopez, born November 6, 1901
Padrinos-Severo Martinez y Cipriana Flores (3 months after birth)

9.  Jose Lopez, born January 17, 1904
Padrinos-Jose Salinas y Isidora Barrera

10.  Petra Lopez, born January 31, 1906
Padrinos-Salome vasquez y Eulogia Lopez

11.  Josefa Lopez, born Julu 17, 1908
Padrinos-Inez naranjo y Petra Rosalez

12. Miguel Lopez-this date was not posted-both mother and child died in chikldbirth

It had been said by my mother and her sister that there was another son born who died at childbirth. he was about the second or third child, named Maximo too, but since he died at birth, they used the name again later, as seen in the list on the back of the certificate. Josefa Fuentes had been 13 when she married Miguel, who was 19, and they had 13 children in all.

Miguel then married Reyes Mena (21) and had 6 more children:

1.  Nazario Lopez

2.  Fabian Lopez

3.  Isidra Lopez

4.  Isabel Lopez

5. Elvira Lopez

6.  Virginia Lopez-born August 27, 1927

One of the middle girls was a twin and her sister had been given to the oldest girl of the first family, Maria, but for some reason they took her back but she died as a small baby. need more information on this.

Friday, June 29, 2012

My Ashes

When I die, I do not want to be buried anywhere.  I have never owned property in my whole life why should I own any after I die?  Besides I have seen too m any bones disturbed after death for countless reasons.  Some bones have been stolen for evil purposes and witchcraft and some just because someone needs the land for something else. I prefer to be cremated and have my ashes divided and placed into four small ceramic containers and given to my four children.  Each may do as he or she pleases with my ashes and it is all fine with me. Either keep me or throw me away where ever they please, whether it is the ocean, land or even flushed down the toilet. But no one will ever complain that I was buried close to one child and far from the rest.  No complains at all!

My Singing Childhood

In 1952, I used to sing at the top of my voice and to dance too.  I had soaked up a lot of songs and dance ideas watching Mexican movies.  I even had my own little costume for my performances.  I had a beautiful orange skirt with a an old gold yellow blouse with elastic at the elbow and large sleeves.  I collected bottle caps outside the corner store, took out the cork inside, put them on the bottom of my skirt and then replaced the corkback in holding the cloth of the skirt between . They made a sound when I danced and I loved it.At that age it was my dream to be a singer and dancer when I grew up, but my mother soon erased that dream from my mind. She said only bad women, or sluts, sang and danced so I stopped dancing and singing  In fact when I went to school and we sang, I found out I couldn't even carry a tune at all.
Later in my life, when I was about 47, I discovered that although I could not sing at all any songs, when I went back and tried to sing the old songs I used to sing as a child, I could still sing those but not new ones. My favorite singer in my childhood was Luis Perez mesa and I think sing his songs or similar ones but not new ones!

The Earrings of My Grandmother

I fell so guilty for not having stayed closer to my aunt Fita, but I didn't want her to worry about all the problems I had in my life. she had done the best she could for me and I felt I had not lived for the high potential she had in mind for me.
But I am very lucky to have spend a very happy week with her one year before she died, not knowing it would be my last time with her. I had a wek off and decided to go spend it with her beginning with the dqay of her birthday.  I took a bus to the Rio Grande Valley and even had time to spend a few hours visiting with my cousin Celia because of a stopover in San Antonio.
I arrived in Weslaco at 6am and was able to take a taxi to my aunt's house, where she had breakfast waiting for me.  She was very happy  to have me there and we enjoyed our time together very much. Although we did talk a lot during that visit I never got to ask her a question I had always had in my mind--whether she was my real mother.  I somehow always felt she was my mother, but might have let her sister raise me because she was unmarried when I was born.  I guess I will never know the truth for sure.My aunt did live with my mother after her father died until she got married about 6 months after my birth.
The following year she fell and injured her hip and was hospitalized.  The doctor said it was not serious at all, but if I wanted to go see her it would make my aunt very happy.  Then I talked to my aunt and what she said made me decide to go see her.  She told me that she had taken her earrings off and that she had given them to the woman who worked with her.  She said Belen would save them until I got there. I felt my aunt knew she was going to die and I immediately started packing a small bag to go. Her earrings had been placed in her ears when her mother died since she was the youngest daughter.  She always told me that the earrings would belong to me upon her death, but used to tease me that I would have to take them off her AFTER HER DEATH. Because she never took off her earring even to take a bath, the people at the hospital knew her well and allowed her to keep her earrings on.  That she had decided to take them told me I had to go see her while she was still alive.A couple of hours later, as I was running out to catch the local bus to the bus station, I got a phone call from the hospital--my aunt was dead! I demanded to talk to the doctor who had told me it was not serious but was unable to talk to him.  I called my local cousin to tell her the shocking news and she and her husband decided  to drive there for the funeral and I went with them. My youngest son and my daughter went with me too.
As soon as I walked up the steps to my aunt's apartment, Belen immediately gave me the earrings because she had promised my aunt to give them as soon as I arrived!Since I had to use the bathroom after our long trip I immediately put on my aunt's earrings, knowing that is what she would want. As soon as my other local cousins arrived, they asked where the earrings were and I was able to show them on my ears. Many seemed to feel they had a claim on them since they had belonged to our grandmother, but since my aunt didn't have any children and I was always very close to her like a daughter, my aunt always said they were mine.  she felt they should then be passed on to my daughter.  Today I feel that if my daughter never has any daughter to pass them to, they should go to Alyssa, my first grand daughter.
My aunt always felt I should have them first before I passed them on to my daughter as I had intended because I didn't have pierced ears, but my daughter did.  So at the age of 36, I finally pierced my ears.  I did it myself, and then pierced the three more times for a total of 6 piercings. Because I had a problem with one of the piercings I ended up with seven-a lucky number I felt. I love earrings.  At the age of 67, I even pierced the upper part of my ears but it was so painful I took off the strings and lost those piercingsb ut got a present of an ear cuff.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

My Aunt Fita's Devotion to Me

Maybe because I was an only child, I never seemed to understand the weird relationship between my mother and her sister.  They were only a year apart, and my mother was older than my aunt.  My aunt always lived close to my mother, even though my mother argued with her all the time. Only once did my aunt move away to live close to the relatives of her husband, but it only lasted some months and she was back in town. My aunt always seemed to silently forgive her no matter what my mother said or did. Every morning, my aunt would come to our house before she left for work.  Most of the time she walked, but if she was going to be picked up, she was picked up at our house.  She always had some trinket or something for me, and when I started going to school, she always gave me some change.  Sometimes she even walked me to school if my mother couldn't.
As I started growing, she would be burdened with stuff when she came home about 2 or 3pm, even when she was walking. Because of her I was keeping up-to-date on all the things that were happening in the world.  She would bring me newspapers. magazines, comic books and even hard cover books. I was an avid reader and my aunt's efforts were never wasted on me, because I read every bit of all she brought me. Just how well I kept up with everything was made very clear to me the other day when I heard the news talking about Queen Elizabeth's Coronation sixty years ago when I was only eight years old and I remembered it so well, having read so much about it when it actually happened, even though we didn't have a TV.  At eight years old, I knew what was happening in the world, and in faraway England.
I feel so guilty for for not staying close to my aunt in my later life after I got married, although I did write often and called her all the time. My life was too complicated and had too many problems and i wanted to spare my aunt worries.  I did not want her to feel that she had to help me with my problems, especially the financial ones. But she always sent me boxes full of things, and in my effort of looking out for my kids first, I came to rely on her to provide my own personal underwear and things such as purses, . combs and brushes.
After she died, I realized that she had never stopped trying to help me in any way she could. She left me two huge trunks full of blankets, tablecloths, sheets, towels and even trinkets to decorate the house.  She left everything  to me, including her washing machine, which was the first I ever had. But she left such an empty space in my heart and I have missed my Tia Fita so much.  She died in 1993, I still wake up sometimes on Sunday mornings thinking about calling her!

My Cousin Idolina

Sometimes I think about my childhood and I remember so many things.  One of those very vivid memories is about the day my cousin died in 1948, when she was only  six months old.  She had always been a very quiet baby and was not very active,  I remember hearing my mother question my aunt about the lack of development in Idolina, because she didn't seem strong at all and did not move much or even raise her head at all.  Maybe because of that, she died suddenly of what seemed just a minor illness.
My aunt arrived one day in a taxi, crying because the doctor had told her the baby was dying and nothing could be done. Assuming it might be some serious illness, my mother was very angry at my aunt for bringing the dying baby to our house, since I was only four years old.  my aunt assured her that it was not contagious and she stayed in our home until her baby died before the end of the day.
I remember that day in detail.  We lived in a small house, with wooden partitions dividing the house into three living areas.  The partitions did not reach the ceiling and there were no doors between the three areas.  The two doorways to the living room had heavy flowered curtains and I was hidden among the folds, seeing what was happening.When the baby died, a table in the living room to arrange the baby for the wake, in the manner I had seen several times when other people had died in the neighborhood. My aunt sat in a chair, crying as she dressed her baby in her best clothes and laid her on her best little blankets, while my mother screamed at her that she should let other women do this preparation, while dealing with her grief properly. I cried silently seeing my aunt's crying, but even at that age understood that my aunt would want to do everything herself because she loved her baby.
I soon realized that my father being a carpenter, was making the little casket for my cousin.  The next day after and all night wake of friends, relatives and neighbors, the funeral director came to take Idolina to be buried in the cemetery.
My aunt never had any other child.  She had married at thirty six and had already lost two babies before Idolina-one an early miscarriage and the other three days after birth. when Idolina died she was 40, but never had another baby.  She just dedicated herself to being my other mother and I owe a lot to her all my life until the day she died in 1993. I feel that she made me the way I am by contributing everything she could to my learning esperiences.

Saturday, March 24, 2012


More than a year has passed since I have posted here because the pain of losing my cousin Tina was still too vivid in my mind.  I still miss not being able to call her to discuss something with her.  Every time I told her I had lost a few pounds, she would say"but it doesn't show.  You're still the same size."  
It is indeed very ironic that I actually lost 40 pounds in the first months after she died and now the difference can be seen so plainly.  I have finally hit the way to keep those pounds I lost from coming back  Every day that I put on a new dress to fit my new size, I think of Tina and I wish she could see me now--I was able to lose and keep it off.  Besides continuing my usual exercise routine, I had many months of physical therapy and laser treatments on my ailing knees and my back which had started giving me lots of pain.  Even after the physical therapy had ended, I have not gained any pounds back.  I have now started going to the 24hour Fitness gym to exercise on the stationary bike like I used to do in the physical therapy. I was able to use my Silver Sneakers card from medicare and medicaid for my gym membership.  I have been doing so well that I have lost 12 more pounds this year in the months we have had and it has made me very happy.  but of course I've had to adjust my clothes again. I have had some setbacks but have not gained any pounds back, at least not permanently.  For instance of I gained two pounds, I lose them very soon again.  I have kept the joy of being able to wear my new clothes
One of the biggest setbacks was a strong and painful bout with gout on my left foot. I had thought I had a broken big toe on my left toe, but a blood test proved I had gout and now I am taking medication for gout. But one of the good results of my new way of eating has been that I am now taking only two pills for the high blood pressure instead of three as I did last year.  I hope with good eating and good exercise, I may be able to drop another pill and maybe both.  It would be wonderful if I could stop taking all medication eventually.
oh, yes and one thing i have been doing that has helped me to keep weight has been to eat an orange with each meal I eat.  There is supposed to be something in the orange which helps me digest the food instead of keeping it as fat!!