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Sunday, November 22, 2015


Advice on how to plan a successful wedding in two months.

Without a doubt, when our daughters are ready to start their life as Mrs. “Je ne se pa quoi”, we, as their parents, know that the time for change has arrived, and that a somewhat stressful time is just ahead. A lot is expected from us. From the emotional to the financial, the commitment is huge, and at times, more than we can handle. An additional stressor is, of course, dealing with the nerves of the bride, the groom, and of everyone around them.

 Some parents see this time as a time to make decisions: the ceremony, the venue, the guests, the food, the dress and the accessories, just to name a few.   Other parents want to be hands off, they’re the “just tell me where to show up” type of people. They simply don’t want to be involved.
In my case, supporting my daughter was paramount. I wanted to be as involved as she wanted me to be; no more and no less. She, and my now son-in-law -, were the ones calling the shots.

We only had two months to plan the wedding due to a job offer they got in a far away and unexplored land (by us) called San Jose, CA, so things were a bit hectic. I’m happy to report that the bride-to-be and I, remained busy, and at the same time, emotionally stable (for the most part.) In full disclosure, I have to confess, that I had a few recommendations for her as we started the wedding planning journey. I knew myself, and I knew her well. I knew what we needed to do in order to maintain our sanity (as much as possible in such circumstance) so we could be able to function well and be efficient.

Here is what I suggested:

DO NOT LET DRAMA DRIVE THE PLANNING - In order to pull this off,  they needed not to be capricious about stuff. She and I have planned many events in the past; from community events to fundraisers and family dinners, we’ve done it all. If we treated this as “another” event, I knew that things would gel just fine with minimal hiccups. To accomplish this, and due to the emotion involved, she would have to be as flexible as possible, to open her ears, and listen to suggestions first, then evaluate them, and then, make a decision.

CHERISH YOUR FUTURE MEMORIES - When she asked me to go with her to buy her wedding dress, I was elated. I also mentioned that bringing other people along was unnecessary. Despite what the show “Say Yes to the Dress” wants to drill in our brains about an “entourage”, having so many opinions can be detrimental, and slow down the process, plus it would have driven me crazy! Call me romantic, but to me, this should be a very intimate daughter-mother time, as opposed to a stage for personalities to compete.

BE PRACTICAL - I suggested to choose the color and the length for the bridesmaids’ dresses, but let them choose the model they preferred.  Due to time constraints, and very different body types, it would have been difficult to choose only one style. This part always has the potential of becoming a real nightmare!

CHOOSE A CLASSICAL LOOK - Wedding portraits will be seen for generations to come. Modern looks won’t look as modern ten - or more - years later (just look at some of your friends’ old pictures!) I suggested a classical bride look as opposed to an “avant-garde” one; you know, hair in a bun, conventional jewelry and a professionally done, discrete make up.

FOOD – Since this is one of the focal points of a wedding, think about everyone. It should be well presented, tasty, and easy to eat and digest (so guests are not at risk of staining themselves, or be uncomfortable.)

I didn’t mention here the ceremony, the venue, or the music – the other focal points of a wedding – because the happy couple had made up their minds and I had nothing to do with that whatsoever. Their taste was impeccable!

You may be wondering if all my suggestions were put into practice. Of course, the answer is no, and it was ok with me. After all, this was their wedding, not mine.

I gave my daughter one last piece of advice. The same one that someone gave me when I got married some 33 years ago:

“In every wedding, there’s always something that won’t happen as planned. Don’t worry. You will end up laughing about it, and telling the story to your grandchildren.”

(I know all too well about things that don't happen as pIanned during a wedding,  but that story will be for another day.)

Tuesday, June 30, 2015


By Silvia Uribe

You might have heard Donald Trump’s remarks as a “presidential candidate” regarding Mexicans, but in case you didn't, he said something like: most Mexicans in the US are affiliated with drug cartels, and that most are rapists. Whether you agree or disagree with him on his hate-based ignorant assumptions, and gross generalizations about Latinos in general, and Mexicans, in particular, you have a right to your opinion. If you agree with Trump, I hope you’re not afraid of reading on. If you’re not in agreement with him, and think that he was out of line with his discriminatory comments, I also hope that when reading this letter you analyze your own actions, or lack thereof -immediately after you heard those remarks, and even to this point in time.

I was born and raised in Mexico. Yes, I am Mexican, as Mexican as they come. I’ve been living in this wonderful country for 22 years now, and I am as American as anyone else. I love this country, my country, the USA.  When I hear the kind of ignorant remarks that Trump expressed so openly, I can very easily see that, what this country was, it is no more. Historically, the US has been a country with advanced ideas and the highest ideals. Those two characteristics were the USA’s trademark. They were also the springboard that propelled our country into becoming the power that it has, so far, been. Unfortunately, things have changed. When was the vision lost?

Trump’s comments reflect not only his own biases, but those of some people for whom the only ideas and ideals are to preserve their “cast”, which they believe is entitled to judge and make decisions for everyone because they “are better” and “know better.” They are part of the 1% who has all the wealth. They want to have everyone else under their thumb, and want others to have the least educational opportunities, so they can pay them little money. This cast wants to preserve their lifestyle at the expense of others. It seems, however, that this 1% is being successful at establishing new values for our land. They don’t have advanced ideas, or high ideals. On the contrary, they want to live in a shameful past, enjoying the servitude of those of whom they see as inferior. Individuals  who think like Trump, are the ones bringing this country down by creating such a wide gap between the ‘have and the have not’s.’ Soon, if we let them continue on this path, we will all realize that there is not going back, and other countries, with a clear vision, will take the power over.

However, I’m really writing this letter to get the attention of those who believe themselves to be inclusive, and progressive; to those good, non-discriminatory people who really appreciate others, their hard work, and who believe that everyone should have the same opportunities to succeed in life.
In the aftermath of Trump’s statements, I have observed that no allies are speaking up. Where are you? When someone makes this type of comments, you just shake your head in disapproval but comply with your silence? We know that when we see an injustice and do nothing, we are part of the problem. Unfortunately, it is easier to remain in the dark, not stick our necks out, and not be criticized. I know it. I used to do this too.

I also know that being vocal regarding injustice is risky business, but at some point in our lives we have to decide between being accepted, and putting our ethical and moral values and beliefs first. Situations like these are the perfect opportunity for us to make a definite statement regarding what we want to see in our country, and what we don’t want the US to become.

During the 60’s, and more so recently, we see individuals of all skin colors protesting injustice, discrimination and violence against our black brothers and sisters. Why is this not happening when someone discriminates against Latinos? Are Latinos the new target minority? By being silent, we are condoning  the undermining of Latinos and other discriminatory behaviors  against them. (I'm happy to report that at the time of this publication, NBC and other corporations are cutting business ties with Trump due to his racist comments)

But, regardless of Trump’s statements, I believe that it is a must that we, as Americans, hold steadfast to our values and beliefs independent of what is popular. A stand against injustice should be a permanent stand. Acting on our values must include speaking up when injustice is witnessed against any person or group, on a national stage, or at a grocery shop. Speaking up against injustice can mean interjecting, or simply discussing the matter within our circle of influence to bring the issue out in the open. Talking about selfies, fashion and entertainment is fun, but we cannot expect that these conversations will make our lives and our country better. However, justice and equality will.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015



D reading to be positive
I n fear they live
S tanding on the fence, always 
C alling the other “weird”
R eaching out to know others? 
I mpossible! Plus, who cares? 
M uch easier to judge, only, 
I nstead of taking the time to learn 
N o! why should I accept them?  
A lways, they scream and shout   
T ime should not change us
I ‘ll be exclusive, and will still pout
O n the other hand, they don’t know that 

N o one, in fear, can truly carry out 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015



By Silvia Uribe

Yep. I'm the very proud mother of 2 young, smart, educated, independent women. I'm in my 50's, and I have devoted 30 years of my life to giving these human beings my very best with all my love, effort, time, advice, and most importantly, with my example. During these years, I watched them like a hawk, hovering over them, but not only to protect them – although no one would have been allowed to hurt them on my watch – it was more for guidance. It was very important for me to teach them about life, and about the art of making intelligent decisions; a handy skill that they would use all their life.

True, 30 years is a long time, but for responsible parents, as you know, time means absolutely nothing. They are up early, go to work, come back to cook and clean, and at night, if need be, they are ready to take care of an ill child. Do parents complain about this? All the time! However, if someone would offer to take care of our little one while he/she is boiling in fever, so we could have a good night sleep, most of us would have not taken the offer. Why? Because parenthood is an arbitrary and self-imposed control of our hearts, minds and bodies. However, for it is self-imposed, we simply assume it.

That’s exactly how I experienced it. My family and I went from one day to the next, with lots of love, laughter, enjoyment of life, and collectively, we took all the lessons that life gave us, and we moved right through them, until just a few months ago.

Last November, my oldest got married, and moved to a different city. Her wedding was perfect! The guests were the most loving guests. The bride and the groom couldn't be happier, and both families were walking on clouds. Everything was so perfect, that it was a rather surreal experience. When I finally touched ground again, in December, our youngest daughter made the decision of living independently, and moved out. She had contemplated the idea for a few months, and she did it.

After cleaning what was left behind, I found myself looking at the empty rooms like I have never seen them. They seemed bigger, lighter, inviting. But their rooms were not the only think that changed. All of a sudden, almost magically, my husband and I had more time to spend with each other. Go figure! Good thing we kept our love intact after all these years, right?

People ask about our empty nest. They wonder if I am doing ok with our new state of life. They say things like “Take it easy” and  “You’ll get used to it” – Hell yeah!

I’m finding out that as much as I enjoyed raising my daughters, I am enjoying the fact that I am back in possession of my freedom, my time, my house.  So, if you are anywhere near, or already at this stage that I’m in, here are five tips that may help you go with the flow faster. I'm sure you'll think of more:

1    1) Start thinking about what YOU like!  Find an interest – or two – for yourself. Whether work related, or volunteering, or doing something artistic.

2    2) Make whatever you like for dinner, or don’t. Cooking is a free ride for you now. Make it when you want, IF you want.

3    3)  Move furniture around the house, or change some pieces if you can. You are in/at a different space in your life. Make your living space reflect it.

4    4) Treat your children as the adults they are. You are now an advisor.  The fact that they don’t “need” you as they did before means that you did a good job raising them.

5    5) Redirect your energy. Time spent with our kids will always be time well spent. But, as their priorities have changed, your priority now should be yourself and your spouse or partner, if you have one.

So, it may be an empty nest now, but being able to savor our liberty again, is not only a welcomed surprise, but also a satisfying way to live life after fifty.

Monday, February 2, 2015


And we can come together to serve a greater purpose
By Silvia Uribe
This is a tale of a beautiful young woman and her family, her church family, and a caring community, and how they (we) all came together in a time of crisis.

During her birthday party, in December 2014, 17 year old Grace Fisher suddenly began to feel alarming sensations in her body. Her hands were numb and her neck sore. She insisted they call 911, and she was rushed to the hospital.  After getting to the hospital, she gradually lost all mobility. Grace had to be intubated, unable even to breathe on her own.  This came as a shockwave that hit those who know her, including her friends, and her schoolmates and teachers at Santa BArbara High School.

Due to an unknown reason Grace contracted acute flaccid myelitis, a polio-like, paralyzing syndrome that has impacted 107 children in 34 states between August of 2014 and January of this year; Grace is only the 101st child patient to be diagnosed in our country.

Although Grace had medical insurance coverage, after a month in the hospital, the medical out of pocket expenses for her family were exponentially mounting. The idea of a fundraising event was brought up. This idea resonated with the Missions Committee at the First United Methodist Church, which already had a fundraiser planned with Via Maestra Providing the food. When they learned about Grace's family situation, it was decided to make Gracie the beneficiary, instead. From that, an outpouring of love, compassion, and positive energy emanated. 

The Moiso family, members of the church, and owners of the well-known restaurant Via Maestra 42, prepared and donated food for all those who would be willing to pay $25 for a meal. Many church members, rapidly RSVP'd and signed up to help with setting up, waiting tables, dish washing, and with clean up.  Other people advertised the event via Facebook, by email, and in any other possible way. It was widely announced that 100% of the proceeds would go directly to the family. The media, KEYT3 and Santa Barbara NewsPress played a crucial role informing the greater Santa BArbara area, in a compassionate and socially responsible way.

The rest is history.

Over five hundred people, from all walks of life in our community, gathered to achieve one single purpose: To support one child and her family during this crisis.  It was refreshing to see strangers interacting with each other, greeting each other, like old friends would do, except this was probably the first time they had ever met! My self-imposed duty that day, was to clean up tables, and although my intention was not to eves drop, I couldn’t help but listening to some of the conversations. One woman said “there is something for all of us to learn out of what has happened to Grace, and it is that we are still a community and we can come together to serve one greater purpose, no matter where we come from, what we do, or who we are. We sometimes forget about that”  Totally agreed!

The results? More than $34,000 were raised, at the event, and more donations are still coming in.

You can still make a donation:
Gracie Fisher Fund
308 Paseo Del Descanso
Santa Barbara, CA 93105

Grace was air transported last Wednesday, and she is now at the Craig Rehab Hospital just outside of Denver, Colorado. For updates on Gracie’s progress, see web site:  

If you are interested in sending Grace and her family a note of hope you can do it at:

Hospital Address: Craig Hospital
c/o Grace Fisher
3425 South Clarkson St.
                                Englewood, CO 80113