When I was about 10 years old, w

e went once to the little town, puebla actually, my mother was born in, and lived the first 12 years of her life. It was dirty. Not in the traditional sense. It was void of any concrete or asphalt. Just dirt roads and adobe buildings. No one in my family got out of the car. I remember being somewhat amazed how different life was in this place compared to my home. I also remember looking at my mom, and her not looking outside the car window, reading, instead, the ever present book she carries. Not the same book. She reads lots of books, all the time. A new one every few days. 🙂

Mom is a reader. The poverty she rose from is quite remarkable.

I don’t speak Spanish because as a child my mother was still not much of an English speaker. My father wasn’t much better, but he was functional, having been in the army and having gone to college. I did know some Spanish as a child but was always told to speak only English, even when they spoke to me in Spanish.

My mother was always a volunteer at my elementary school. For some unknown reason my 4th grade teacher, Mrs Arnold, talked into taking night classes to get her GED, as she had only completed up to the 6th grade.

The self taught scholar was about to catch fire.

She started taking night classes in 1974 and by 1982 had earned her Master’s degree in Education.

She was hired as an instructional assistant in 1979 and told her principal that if he didn’t hire her as a full time regular teacher the next year, she was not coming back. She had her own class the next year.

During the time she pursued her education I called her the Tasmanian devil. I would wake up each day and she would already be up and stuff had gotten done around the house. The family would be served breakfast and out the door she went. When I came home the house would be empty. Then around 4 or 5 a tornado would blow through the door. More stuff got done in the house and before the tornado left hot food was on the stove or oven. As I went to bed each night I could hear her either typing a paper or listening to her and my father working on her assignments together. I am told she helped my father a lot through college, mostly typing up his assignments. Not her first experience with a language she didn’t know. She had an uncle that taught her to “read” English and gave her books to read, and she did 🙂

Within 8 years she earned her GED, A.A., B.A., and M.A. All while running a household with a husband and 3 children. In my opinion, the husband was just as much and sometimes more work than her 3 children. She took care of that 😀

I don’t remember the sequence of events but it went something like this. She used to do all his ironing, even boxers and handkerchiefs! One day he found fault with her ironing. Next I knew all his clothes were removed from the closets and drawers and piled on the bed. Another time he criticized her washing. She stopped washing his clothes. Final thing, the guy was a little slow what can say, he criticized her cooking. That meal wound up in the sink.

To his credit, he learned to wash, iron, cook, and other household chores. We children also learned early to do those things for ourselves also.

They both came along way together. Having been born and raised very traditionally and poor, they transitioned rather smoothly into middle class Americans.

Education is a powerful thing. The desire to make yourself into the person you see yourself as, and not how others see you, was very strong in my parents.

See you soon! Enjoy!

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Please, may I make a request of all of you? You are not required to respond, but, please stand if you can or would like to, and if standing or not, look around, and in the spirit of fellowship acknowledge each other

Ok, also not required, but, if you need to, roll your head around, roll your shoulders, extend your arms, roll your wrists, wiggle your torso a little

Thank you, 🙂

Let us give thanks for the opportunity to honor a life of LOVE, COURAGE and FEROCITY

Let us give thanks that we are able to share this moment, together

Let us give thanks for the path in our life that has given us, an opportunity, to celebrate…

A life,

The life of Maria Irma Romero Santos


Spirit, daughter, sister, friend, coworker, wife, mother, mentor, grandmother, great grandmother

On August 15, 1936, a tenacious woman, Esperanza Jimenez, and a gentle man, Longinos Romero, gave birth to a little girl. Irma was born in a humble village near Juarez, Chihuahua Mexico. That humble unassuming beginning on earth has been a part of Irma’s personality throughout her life. And through that humble beginning, Irma developed a thankful, and generous spirit.

Irma’s life fed and nurtured an amazing and wonderful spirit. Everyone who met Irma could feel that spirit. She had respect, generosity and kindness for all. She was thankful for the opportunity to be a blessing.


Irma’s SPIRIT inspired…


Irma treated everyone as worthy of kindness and love. Irma was an example to the world that true unconditional and selfless love existed. I believe that her example of selfless love has been a model for all of us to emulate, and to love one another, and be kind to one another, as she so loved and was kind to us.

Irma’s SPIRIT inspired…


A little girl, born into a life where bare necessities were not a guarantee. A little girl, that the world had little to no expectations of. A little girl that dreamed she could, and did, create a life others only imagined. A little girl, that through hard work and grit, persisted to achieve beyond the expectations of others. This little girl, Maria Irma, has inspired others to be courageous in their own life, and to purse and conquer their life goals and life challenges.

Irma’s SPIRIT inspired…


Anyone that knew Irma long enough, knew of her ferocity. Very few people mistook Irma’s kindness as weakness. Irma was a Leo. Katy Perry sang a song about Irma, and women like Irma…spend enough time with Irma, and you’re going to hear her roar

There are many things to say about Irma, some already said today, but the Irma I knew best was the teacher, of over 30 years. Same school, teaching 2nd grade, kindergarten, or 1st grade. She taught for so many years in the same neighborhood, that she taught not only children of former students, but even a few grandchildren of former students.


Irma left home after 6th grade, and moved to the city, Ciudad Juarez. Eventually, with each pay check, she would keep enough money for her self care basics and send the rest of the money home to help her 4 brothers and 3 sisters.

Around 16, she met a tall handsome man, Ramon. About a year later, they were married.

Irma and Ramon lived in various cities in western and central Texas, in the mid fifties and early sixties, as her husband pursued his education and the beginnings of his career.

By 1964, they and their two young daughters had moved to southern California, and in 1966, bought a house, with a Whittier zip code, but the neighborhood was appropriately referred to as Avocado Heights, a single tract of homes in an area surrounded by avocado and orange groves, grain fields, barns, and a dairy farm.

When I started elementary school, I was bilingual, but my school and neighborhood were 85-90% Caucasian. A decidedly English only environment. I clearly remember Irma taking the opportunity to improve her English, which was not very good at that time. Every afternoon, she would review with me my lessons in school, especially English.

From kindergarten through third grade, Irma always volunteered for classroom room mother opportunities. In 1974. Irma became a volunteer teacher assistant for Mrs Arnold, my 4th grade teacher. Thankfully for me, she was a master of maxing her role as Mrs Santos, not Ray’s mom, while in the classroom.

I believe Mrs Arnold saw the potential irma possesed, maybe not as a teacher, but certainly as an individual. Not knowing the powers about to be unleashed, Mrs Arnold encouraged Irma to take night classes and earn a GED. Irma did, and followed completing her GED coursework, with an A.A. from Rio Hondo College, and a Bachelor of Arts degree, a bilingual teaching credential, and Master’s Degree from Cal Poly, Pomona by 1982.

A stay home mom, became a certificated Master of her profession in 8 years.

As a child, during this period, I used to liken my mother to the Tasmanian Devil. I recall in the mornings, her making breakfast for everyone. I remember more often than not, she would be out the door before I finished breakfast. I remember in the afternoon at home, a tornado would blow in the house, stuff got cleaned, food got made, and the tornado would go out the door. Then at night, as I drifted to sleep, I’d hear her and my father, Ramon, going over her readings or assignments, or her alone in the kitchen, typing away at her next paper.

Of the many lessons I learned from my father, the ones I remember most fondly are the ones he didn’t directly teach me. These lessons I learned by watching a man adjust to the reality that the doe of a wife he married was turning into a lion. The theme of the lessons: Respect and honor the lion, or the lion will turn you into hyena chum.

I don’t remember the exact sequence, or the exact timing of these events, but it went something like this. Irma had tried to continue the cooking, cleaning, and other duties she had filled, prior to her new life: working full time and going to school full time.

One day, at dinner, my father made a critical remark about the food. Mom got up, grabbed his plate, dumped it in the sink, grabbed the pots and pans with the unserved dinner food, dumped them in the sink as well.

Dad learned to cook.

Another time, while preparing his clothes for the next day, Dad found a flaw in the ironing of one shirt. Not the quickest learner, Dad thought bringing that to Irma’s attention was a good idea.

Dad became quite skilled with the use of a clothing iron.

The last thing I ever remember my father, Ramon, ever criticizing Irma about was the laundry. Ramon found a stain on his shirt, and brought this to Irma’s attention. Irma took every clothing of his hanging, (and pressed), from the closet and dumped them into the dirty laundry. She also took his pressed boxers, and pressed handkerchiefs (yes, pressed boxers and pressed handkerchiefs) out of their drawers and tossed them into the hamper as well.

Dad got really good at washing clothes.

To his credit, and through Irma’s ever present LOVE, COURAGE, AND FEROCITY, Ramon learned to love, respect, and honor the lion that had emerged from the doe.


Irma was a paradox, in some ways. She loved to socialize, but she equally enjoyed her books and quiet time alone.

Irma loved her family, both sides, her in laws and her own extended family. She was always joyous, genuine, and full of love to all in her family.

The world, the world that encoutered Irma, has been better, because of her. Irma gave as much of herself, as well as she was able, into everything she did.
Irma was a hero to many.

Irma was my hero.

We will miss Irma

I will miss irma

But, if we can take our personal moments of sorrow and pain, find a way to open our hearts, extend kindness to a stranger, call a friend not heard from in awhile, stop and visit a family member, finding something, to turn the sorrow and pain into a gesture of thoughtfulness…

What a way to honor a life that revolved around selflessness and dedicated to the wellness of others

The body has passed, but her spirit is alive

May we all find a purpose in life, that sustains and lifts others, as I believe the life of Irma Santos has, by sustaining and lifting the lives of so many.


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A few months ago, I was grocery shopping, and that thing happened. The happens to everyone, once in awhile. You’ll turn to go down an aisle, and then you see it

Old people. Specifically two old ladies

In order to maximize retail space, grocers often space aisles just wide enough for two shopping carts

And there they stood, one cart but side by side, backs facing me

I stood observing long enough for several other store customers to turn down the aisle, and quickly turn around, some with audible annoyance

But I stood there, captivated that what to me is a simple act, was a much more laborious activity for them. The longer I observed these elderly women, the more I noticed

As they shuffled, ever so slowly, they held hands

Both were well into their 80s, although one seemed even older, or had a health issue, preventing her from looking up

In fact, her ability to see was such that her companion, when needing to show her an item, would take it from the shelf, hold it in front of the other woman’s face, which was angled downward, and wait for nod of approval or disapproval, and place the item in the cart, or back on the shelf❤

I lost track of time. I was mesmerized

Beyond the methodical exercise of patience and discipline it was taking these women to do their shopping I noticed the most important thing

Love, dedication, and commitment

I understood as other customers came into the aisle, and quickly backed out, their day, their life doesn’t allow them to observe how others live

Especially old, slow ones

I honestly just realized how often I do that, in stores and elsewhere

Blessed are they who demonstrate love for others, are dedicated to good health, and committed to family


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Knowing what’s Important

Had an interesting thought pass this morning. I have always cared more for others than for myself

Not the first time I’ve had that thought. Honestly, depending on your perspective, its an arguable thought

My counter point ,…

Hop, hop, hop😉

One thing I’ve said to others, my goodness is not so much of what’s inside me, its a reflection of those I am around

Very fortunate have I been to be around so many wonderful and amazing people

As I ponder the future, not entirely certain who, what, where, or how

I embrace darkness because really, that’s the Genesis

There’s comfort in solitude, comfort in silence

When a flame extinguishes, the ashes can serve a new purpose

To, a new purpose


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My Winston❤

That is all💯


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Impulse 2016

So much to say


That says it all


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Dog Squad❤🐾

Dogs are social animals

Like people, they develop friendships

Like people, the personalities of their friends can be different than their own

Left to Right: Sophie, Winston, Harper Lee

Sophie is everyone’s friend. She’ll greet each person in the park, and invite every dog to a chase or wrestle

Winston will observe every person and only approach if he gets an eye contact invitation. He only hangs out for pets if the gesture is earnest. His preference for play is with similar sized dogs

Harper Lee is very particular about who she approaches, people and dogs. Once she decides she likes you, you’ve made a great friend

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Foreplay #femaleorgasm

Saw an interesting post the other day. It had to do with men who complain about wearing a mask have probably never performed orally on a woman until she finishes😉

Whether that’s true, or not, most men, my opinion, are logistically challenged with female sexuality, in general, and a woman’s orgasm, specifically

Many factors play into this, not just a man’s lack of knowledge or experience

A man has to want to please😊❤

What happens, often, the more a man is able to please a woman, the more she motivated to please him😉


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Impulse 2016 #colorguard

One of the things I appreciate about drum corps is it only allows you to be more of what you already are

In some cases, people, given the opportunity, look at themselves, decide they can be better, and make that happen

See picture above😁

A few, have a misunderstanding of their knowledge and ability, are given an opportunity to improve on that, and…


Yes, the students would like to shower. As a matter of fact, so would staff

And no, logistics are not easy😠


Emotional abuse and intellectual violations are like burned toast. Put a little extra butter on that😉

Call me burned toast, with extra butter❤

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The Heart of Darkness #begonia #talaverapottery #talavera 😁 #backyardoasis #gardenofeden

I am motivated to make the world more beautiful

Either by words or deeds

There’s a darkness in my heart, maybe in everyone’s heart

Focusing on the positive helps


I’ve missed out on a lot, because I didn’t want nice cooties polluting my dark heart

Yes and no

There’s an advantage to dancing in the dark, the light shines brighter

But, marinating in the dark, vision adjusts. You can see and feel things in the dark that you can’t experience in the light

Nor should you 😲

Love should find a way

Love will find a way

Easier for light to enter a broken heart😉

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