I’m proud of my Mexican-American heritage.

I’m a proud Mexican American/Chicana/Hispanic/Latina woman who didn’t cross a border but was born here legally of two legal citizens, one who is Mexican, the other who is white.  My mami is Mexican but she also didn’t cross the border, my grandparents are Mexican but they didn’t cross a border either, in fact if you trace it back, the border crossed us.  My ancestors lived in Texas when it was part of Mexico and when the borders were drawn they just happened to live on the inside of the Texas border, and just barely on the inside, if you were to walk a block down from their house you could literally see the border crossing check point.  My dad is Irish, Italian, French and Spanish, his Spanish/Italian dad met his Irish/French mom, my grandma Betty’s grandma immigrated from Ireland through Elis Island and her dad was born of French immigrants.  My point is that my lineage is comprised of immigrants but looking at me you’d think the immigrants I’m talking about are Mexican, not the case.

About a month ago I heard about Tuscan getting rid of their Mexican-American studies courses and banning a bunch of books they deemed “anti-white” .  Now as I librarian I don’t condone banning books of any kind, I believe if you don’t want your kid to read something don’t let them, but don’t try to wipe the book out entirely, but banning books that help to educate a segment of the population about their histories and their ancestors is deplorable, I don’t get it.  So should we stop teaching children about slavery and the holocaust because they paint white people and germans in a less than favorable light?  Of course not, that’s American history, that’s our history as a nation.

I was lucky enough to take some Chicano/a studies courses in college and it helped me tremendously to identify myself and to see the positives in being a Chicana, trust me that’s hard when you’re too Mexican to be white and too white to be Mexican.  It helped me to understand my cultura and our customs and practices but never did I leave class feeling “anti-white”  I was left feeling 100% me positive, I left feeling at peace with myself as a person, I left feeling educated about my history and my family’s history, and if we don’t learn about our past mistakes aren’t we doomed to repeat them.

I left those classes understanding that my life would have been 100% different if my ancestors had lived less than a mile south then where they did.  I left understanding why so many people risk their lives crossing the border to get the American dream.  I left understanding that I’m a proud American but an even prouder Mexican-American because that’s what I am, an American by birth place but a Mexican by birth right.  I don’t have to be one or the other, I can definitely be both.

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Confession time…

I have a confession to make….I’m a bit of a hoarder.  Now before you go imagining piles of paper and trash up to my ceiling, it’s not like that.  I hoard books, old books, new books, fiction, non-fiction, young adult, you name it I probably have a shelf full.  Working in a library probably isn’t helping the situation either, when people donate items we get first dibs on anything that isn’t going to go into the collection, as I result last week I walked away with a bag full of books to add to MY collection.  When we get shipments of new books in the library I’m armed with my post it notes to mark which items I want to read first and I rush them through processing.

If you were to open up my library account you would see that I have 9 items checked out right now and I’ve only started 1, the others are laying on my night stand waiting for their turn.  I’m just too busy and I know that, yet I check out items with the intention of reading them, but when I don’t get to them I get frustrated so I purchase them, adding to my overly packed book shelves.  It’s a vicious cycle and if I don’t nip it in the bud I will be one of those people you see on TV, with less mice mind you, but still it’s a bit of a problem.

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Since I’m called BAKER and books, why not a best of both post.

I know it sounds super un-American but sometimes I need a non chocolate option to appease my sweet tooth and this is one of my favorites.
Almond Cupcakes w/ Cream Cheese Icing:
1 1/2 c. slivered almonds
1 c. unsalted, sweet cream butter
2 c. sugar
5 eggs, large, separated
2 1/4 c. ap flour
1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 1/8 c. buttermilk
1 1/4 tsp. almond extract
1 c. sweetened flaked coconut
Toast almonds and let cool. Chop all but 1/2 c. (reserve for later).
Cream butter, sugar, egg yolks. Sift together dry ingred. and add alternately w/ buttermilk. Stir in almond, coconut and chopped almonds.
Beat egg whites until stiff peaks – fold into batter.
Bake at 350 for 18-20 min. use reserved almonds to top the icing.
Cream Cheese Icing:
2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. unsalted sweet cream butter
1 32 oz. pkg. powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
Cream together the cream cheese and butter.
Slowly add in the powdered sugar until proper consistency.
Finish with the vanilla.
And on to the books…
I’m a youth services librarian in rural Eastern Oregon so really I have nothing else to do but read…and read I do, especially young adult novels.  The last book I read was…
I have to say, it was pretty GD amazing.  It’s about a girl with cancer who doesn’t really see the point in her cancer support group, she doesn’t find it reassuring or helpful and in fact spends a whole lot of time mocking it and its leader, that is until she meets Augustus, a beautiful boy whose life has also been touched by cancer.  They seem to be each others missing piece, the cheese to her macaroni if you will.  In the course of the novel they learn to live without limitations and to accept the inevitable but not to succumb to it.  I teen girl squeed in parts and full on ugly cried in others, but throughout it all it kept me engrossed and entertained and feeling like I KNEW these people.  That’s what I love in books, the ability to transport me right there along side the characters and this book for sure did that.  Long story short, if you love the YA fic like I do, you should definitely read this book, if you love books in general, you should read this book.
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Scared.

2 days ago my mom came home from work early because of a migrane.  Yesterday she started experiencing double vision.  Today I talked her into going to urgent care to get checked out. Urgent care referred her to the hospital for blood work and a CT scan and also noted that 1 pupil is dilated.  The CT can’t happen until Monday because she has a certain medication in her system.

I am a google addict.  Usually its a good thing, today it’s a scary thing.  I came home and started Googling all the possible things that could be wrong.  She didn’t experience any sort of head trauma.  The double vision is in both eyes and is lessened by covering 1 eye.  Binocular diplopia says google. Binocular diplopia with 1 dilated pupil. Could be hyperthyroidism, or nerve damage, or autoimmune disorder, or _____ _____ something much more serious.  That last one stopped me dead in my tracks.  I can’t even say that word.  It cannot be that.

I’m a big believer in Karma and not sending things out into the world so I’m not mentioning that one until its been completely taken off the table.

And the table has been wiped down.

And sanitized.

And burned to a crisp.

Because I can’t for a second let myself think that its that.  Cause its not.  Its me being overly paranoid.  And its a bad case of google diagnosis.  That’s it.

On a funnier note, my mom looks like a pirate.  She has a sweet eye patch.  Which I’m considering bedazzling.  Because yes, I own a bedazzler.  Jealous?!  Cause you should be.  I like bedazzling medical equipment, I bought the damn thing to use on my brace and splint when I eff’d up my elbow a couple years back but I still have it and it’s itching for usage.

I think I just needed a bit of an outlet and this here little blog has provided me with that.  I leave you with this gem….

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So one off my new years resolutions was to start living life on my own terms.

So one off my n…

Hello world!

So I’ve started a blog.  Why the hell not, everyone else has a blog right, why not jump on the bandwagon!

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