Jill Weatherholt

Writing Stories of Love, Faith and Happy Endings While Enjoying the Journey

Summer Spotlight: Maria aka Brickhousechick

141 Comments

 71546_771273103591576898_oMoochas Gracias Jill, for letting me take part in this fun Summer Spotlight Series. Although summer is officially and sadly over, I am happy to be featured during this most delightful autumn month. You have yourself some fascinating and talented followers, Señorita Jill! I have enjoyed reading their bios and learning about their accomplishments and hobbies.

I call myself brickhousechick, not only because of my mighty proportions and dimensions (ahem), but mostly because I have weathered several devastating storms throughout my life and I am still alive and kicking (and kicking some more).

Some of these storms have nearly crushed me to pieces and pulverized me to the ground. Yet somehow, my brick exterior and stubborn demeanor have managed to protect me, thus far. For this, I am quite grateful.

I am the happiest when I am laughing, eating, dancing and drinking Sangria. My favorite song to dance to is none other than, Brick House by The Commodores.

I was born in Puerto Rico and came to live in the US at the age of 9. I didn’t know English when I arrived but was able to pick it up quickly. I am fully bilingual and have noticed that as I age, my first language (Spanish) dominates, particularly when I am angry or in distress. As a result, I am proud to be able to swear like a sailor, in my native language.

I studied Psychology in college and have always been fascinated with human behavior. I like to try to understand what drives people to behave the way they do (when I figure it out, I will let you know.) Naturally, I ended up working in the banking industry for 11 years, after I graduated. I can’t think of a better environment in which to practice my schooling than stone buildings filled with catatonic anal-retentive, rule following co-workers as well as schizophrenic and usually angry, bank customers. Often times, it is through experiences that the real educating takes place.

I live in a fairly recent emptied-out nest with my remarkable husband who didn’t realize he was marrying the queen of “high maintenance”. My two wonderful kids are in college and must be missing me like crazy, right about now.

Ay, where did the time go? I better get to answering Jill’s questions.

1) Is there anything about the opposite sex you just don’t understand or comprehend? How much space do I get for my answer? I don’t understand and/or comprehend how my (I don’t want to generalize) significant other, after 25 years of marriage and 10 dating, still makes the same mistakes over and over again. In particular, commenting on my food portions and telling me that I will never be able to finish my meals. “Don’t fill up on bread or you won’t be able to finish your meal”, says he. Hello? For crying out loud, when have I ever not been able to finish a meal?

2) What celebrity do you get mistaken for? She is not a star per say, but I have been told that I look like journalist, Elizabeth Vargas. When I was younger, people (mostly my mom) told me that I looked like Elizabeth Taylor. I guess I should have been named Elizabeth.

3) What do you miss most about being a kid? After answering question #1, would you be surprised if I said I miss eating everything and anything without gaining weight? As a toddler, I actually went through a period where I did not want to eat (imagine that?) and my parents had to trick me and force feed me. I think that phase only lasted a day or two and then I was cured. I miss eating Pop Tarts, Frosted Flakes, Squirt-on cheese, Cheez Whiz and SteakUms. Those were the days…

4) What is the hardest thing you have ever done? Without getting too serious, although this question screams seriousness, giving birth and fighting a serious illness, are up there. I can actually say however, that neither of those was as hard as my attempt at saving my 19 year-old niece from herself. I took her into my home, gave her unconditional love, sacrificed my relationship with my own daughter, provided her with all the professional help available to her and lost myself along the way. To no avail. She is currently living in the streets and does not want to be saved. I do not regret trying, but damn was it hard.


5) If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
There is a lot more learning to be had, let me tell you. As they say (who is they anyway?), it is never too late to learn something new. Now that my nest is empty and much cleaner than when the chicks were in it, I have a list of activities and things I would like to try. There is no ONE thing, just a whole lot of things. Some of these include learning to speak Italian, learning the Art of Meditation, cooking exotic foods, eating exotic foods, making exotic cocktails, drinking exotic cocktails and while I am at it, writing a book.

Enjoy your weekend and thank you for reading!

Thank you for taking the spotlight, Maria. You’re an inspiration to those of us living with a chronic illness. Up next week, it’s Shel Harrington.

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Author: Jill Weatherholt

My name is Jill Weatherholt and I’m a writer. I have a full-time job, but at night and on the weekend, I pursue my passion, writing. I write modern stories about love, friendship and forgiveness. I started this blog as a way to share my journey toward publication and to create a community for other new writers. Raised in the Washington, DC area, I’ve lived in Charlotte, North Carolina since 2004. I hold a degree in Psychology from George Mason University and a Certification in Paralegal Studies from Duke University. My first book, SECOND CHANCE ROMANCE, published by Harlequin Love Inspired released on February 21, 2017 and is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.com. I was the first place winner in the Dream Quest One Short Story Contest in the Winter 2014-2015 competition. In 2014, I placed second in Southern Writers Magazine Short Story Contest. I was also a top ten finalist in Southern Writers Magazine Short Story Contest in 2012 and 2013. I’m a 2010 and 2012 winner of the NaNoWriMo Contest. I love to connect readers, visit me at jillweatherholt.com

141 thoughts on “Summer Spotlight: Maria aka Brickhousechick

  1. Great fun, with a spot of seriousness or two! You are certainly big in personality, though I see no signs of large proportions in your beautiful photo! I think it is a wonderful thing to be bilingual and even more so multilingual – I can barely manage English! I had rudimentary Italian for a short while but it has all gone now – I hope you go ahead and learn it!

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  2. Hello Maria! How nice to cyber-meet you. I applaud your efforts at trying to save your niece and your honesty about the effect it had on you personally. The things we don’t try to accomplish gives us the most angst, not those we try and sadly fail to achieve. And as a woman of a certain age trying to keep a handle on weight, I am still shocked by the things we ate as kids. All that sugar!! Wasn’t it fun though?

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    • Hi Renee! Having my niece with us was such a tumultuous experience that I feared we as a family, would never recover. It’s been over a year now and we are healing. It hurts more to think about the life she is living now.

      I can’t believe what we ate either! It all did taste good going down, though. 🙂 Thank you for reading! 🙂

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    • Hi Renee! You’re not kidding about the sugar we ate as kids. I’m surprised I had any teeth left when I entered adulthood.
      Happy Weekend!

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  3. Nice to meet you Maria – loved your answers to Jill’s questions. Impressed that you took all that time out to try and help your niece – sorry it didn’t work out but some poeple just don’t want to be saved. Perhaps she is still young enough to consider what you did for her and still turn herself around – you never know.

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  4. Great theme song.

    In college, we would open the windows and crank up the volume:

    She’s a Brick House
    She’s mighty, mighty . . . just letting it all hang out.

    Here’s to being who we are while allowing the bricks to fall where they may! Cheers!

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  5. Good to meet you, Maria. I love how you are bilingual. Where I live, English is becoming more and more a second language to Spanish! I hope your niece will be okay. I know she is gone from your house now, after all you sacrificed for her, and I know you worry about her. but now YOU are supposed to be living. And with an empty nest and a list of very exciting things on it, it sounds like you could have fun! Good answers to Jill’s difficult questions.

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    • Gracias, Hollis! How is your Spanish? 🙂 You are right, Spanish is being spoken everywhere! Regarding my niece, I have had to put it all behind me in order to focus on my kiddos and my health. I do look forward to enjoying my clean albeit empty, nest. The possibilities are endless! Have a good weekend! 🙂

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    • Hi Hollis! I admire anyone who is bilingual…unfortunately I’m not. Maria is a terrific Spanish teacher, if you’re interested in learning.
      Happy Weekend!

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  6. Loved the interview. Why do men keep making the same mistakes? I thought it is obvious because we are men. Trial and error only goes so far and learning to avoid trouble does not come with the gender. I really feel for you on trying to save your niece. I had the same problem with my adopted son. I finally got to the point where I admitted to myself I had done all I could do. I ‘m glad you are there as well

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    • Hi John. I made sure I specified that it was my husband and not ALL men who keep making the same mistakes. 🙂 Honestly, he told me again the other day not to fill up on chips and salsa. Ay! No hope. 🙂

      I am sorry that you had a similar difficult situation with your adopted son. You really do realize that you have to step away knowing you tried and also ensuring that you don’t go down with their “ship”.

      I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

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    • Hi John! Thanks for stopping by. I just had to reset my follow with you. When I saw your comment I realized I had seen any posts from you in my reader…I was having TOP 10 withdraws.
      I’m sorry to hear you had a similar experience with your adopted son. There’s only so much one can do to help a person. I have no doubt both you and Maria went above and beyond.
      Enjoy your weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Reblogged this on brickhousechick and commented:
    The Wonderful Jill@Pursuing a Passion for Writing invited me to be a guest on her blog today. Check it out and make sure to check out her blog as well! Besos, Jill! 🙂

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  8. I think the love of learning is really the key to it all. If we keep that passion to learn new things, we will never really get old.

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  9. Maria is one of my favorite blogging friends – she always makes me laugh!

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  10. Hello, Maria. It’s very nice to meet you and I enjoyed your interview. Have a nice day.

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  11. Jill, I’ve truly enjoyed your author spotlights this summer. Thank you for introducing all of us to so many new and wonderful people. 🙂 Hope your weekend is beautiful. Elizabeth

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    • Thank you, Elizabeth. I’m glad you’ve enjoyed the series. I’ve loved learning more about everyone. Of course, I might need to change it to fall spotlight since I’ve got a few more lined up before I start posting again.
      When you feel as though you need a good laugh, Maria’s blog will crack you up. With that being said, she also has some serious posts about her struggles living with RA. She’s a strong woman.
      Happy Weekend to you!

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  12. Oh Maria (or should I call you Elizabeth Vargas)! As usual, you make me laugh out loud and then practically in the next sentence, you make me cry. You say your husband is remarkable (okay, he is), but so are you. I’m so grateful to have met you through your blog and also to see you highlighted at Jill’s blog.

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    • Hugs to you, Linda! I would rather make you laugh than cry, though. I’ll keep working on that. It has been wonderful getting to know you as well. So many amazing people here on the blogosphere! That Jill is pretty awesome too. 🙂

      Enjoy your weekend!

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    • Hi Linda! That’s what is so great about Maria’s writing, she touches on all of your emotions. She’s a special lady.
      I meant to email you this week. My co-worker was commenting on your lovely crocheted flowers on display in my cube. They always make me smile.
      Happy Weekend! xo

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  13. Well done, Jill and Maria aka Brickhousechick – Two lovely ladies amusing and entertaining us. My best wishes.

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  14. Bless your heart! I had a daughter like your niece. Only she finally came to her senses when she was sitting in jail and discovered she was pregnant. She is one semester shy of a college degree, but with two kids now and living in poverty, her 3.83 GPA isn’t doing her much good.

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    • Oh, goodness! Glad to hear that she is trying to turn her life around. As you mentioned, it is more difficult to do that with two kids but nevertheless, it sounds like she is making some good choices now. I hope she continues to move forward. Hearing this gives me hope for my niece. 🙂 Thank you for reading!

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    • Thank you so much for sharing your personal experience, SK. Obtaining a college degree while raising kids tells me she is trying to make a better life for herself and her children…that’s admirable.
      I hope you have a great weekend.

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  15. Sorry to hear about your niece. Must’ve been hard to see her end up on the streets, especially after all the effort you put in. But you tried, and she’ll always remember you did so. Maybe some day the knowledge that someone cared so much about her will be her saving grace.

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  16. September 23.
    That’s the first day of autumn.

    IT’S STILL SUMMER.

    Always nice to read about the brick behind the brickhouse.

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    • I know, I know my dear Guapo! The calendar says one thing but reality is telling me something else! This is why you need to go back to blogging, to count down the beginning and end to our seasons, like you used to do! The good news is that my tomatoes are still flourishing and I haven’t needed to turn on my air conditioner. 🙂

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    • Thanks for popping over, Guapo! You’re not kidding about it still being summer…it was 93 degree with almost 100% humidity today. I’m ready to turn off the A/C.
      Enjoy your weekend!

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  17. Fun interview, and please, you need to make room for the occasional Pop Tart… especially the brown sugar cinnamon… mmmm..

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  18. You know what I miss most about being a child? Not having a single care in the world. Those were the days.

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  19. Nice to meet you! (Gotta love Jill! We get to meet new bloggers every week.) I love your honesty and openness. I especially enjoy your love of food!

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  20. Great, now I’m in love again! You rock and definitely would have an instant audience for anything you wrote a book on. I’ll definitely be keeping tabs on how you go with the empty nest, our chicks are just starting to flap their wings. And is there anything under the Sun more alluring than an angry Spanish woman in full swearing-like-a-sailor flight? I say nup!

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  21. I think it’s wonderful that you tried to save your niece. That would have been a very draining experience, but if we all tried to do this I’m sure the world would be a better place. It’s unfortunate and a very hard lesson for everyone that they just have to want to help themselves. Great to meet you, Maria 😀

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    • Hi Dianne! Very kind of your to read my post. 🙂 You are right about everyone trying to help others in need. Trying is half the battle. It doesn’t always go as you would hope it would but at least you know you gave it all you had. Have a great weekend! 🙂

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    • Hi Dianne! It’s great to see you after the “Wedding of the Century.” You’re daughter was a beautiful bride…the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
      Your words are so true, to often people don’t try to help someone. I think that’s often where the problems begin. Maria has a big heart and I know it broke from this experience. She’s strong, so she’ll heal in time.
      I hope you have a great weekend!

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  22. Jill Thanks for following my blog. Is so nice to have you in the family

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  23. Dear Brickhousechick,
    You wonderful personality and writing style come though clearly in this interview. You’re an inspiration and it’s a pleasure to meet you.
    Another great post, Jill!
    Marylin

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  24. My parents kept junk food out of the house when I was a kid. Cinnamon graham crackers the closest thing to heaven I could find. And you know what? Totally backfired. I inhale chocolate and roll in icing. I bath in cherry Coke. i wash down cookies with more cookies. If your hubby ever has enough, you can move in here and enjoy the company of a like-minded, guilt-free roommate, regardless of what foodstuff you prefer to devour.

    Think how close your WordPress user handle was to being “Jungle Boogie.” Amazing.

    Thanks, BHC. I knew your post was going to be a riot.

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    • Oh Eric, this is too funny! I am visualizing you rolling in icing – ha,ha,ha! Though, it does sound like fun. When was the last time you ate an oreo? Double stuff? Not surprised that your parent’s attempt at keeping you away from the junk totally backfired, our neighbors made the same mistake. Their now 18 year old twins hoard candy! 🙂

      I could have chosen so many other funky songs as my user handle! I love anything funk. Jungle Boogie is definitely high on my list. 🙂

      Eric, thanks so much for reading and for your humorous and kind comments. 🙂

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    • And all these years, I thought you were an all organic, sugar-free guy…shows what I know. Growing up, my mom used to hit the Hostess Bakery once a week and stock up on Ho-Ho’s, Suzie-Q’s, Twinkies, etc. There was always a special treat in my lunch box. As an adult, I have no desire for those sweets.
      Enjoy the rest of your weekend, Eric!

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  25. Hi Maria. I like your combination of humor and seriousness. I’m not surprised that you’ve been mistaken for one of the Elizabeths. You have such beautiful coloring.

    I sympathize with you about your attempt to help your niece. We had a troubled teenage foster child for a couple of years. It was a very stressful experience.

    Have fun learning to cook exotic foods and mix exotic cocktails.

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    • This spotlight series Jill hosted has been so much fun! I enjoyed reading about you as well. Thank you for your kind words.

      I have learned that my situation with my niece is not unique to me – at all. Many people with the best of intentions, give up a lot of themselves to help/save someone in need only to find that unless the person accepts the help, nothing will change. Mental health plays a big role in determining wether or not change is even possible.

      Cooking and mixing exotic foods and beverages are on the top of my list! 🙂 Enjoy your weekend.

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    • Hi Nicki! Thanks for stopping by. Maria’s blog is definitely a combination of humor and seriousness, that’s what I love about it. As for Maria the person, she’s just awesome. 🙂
      Have a great weekend!

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  26. Duuuuuude. Yes totally Elizbeth Vargas. Ha! Great spotlight and glad to know a little bit more about you Brick!

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  27. Maria, very cool stuff in your blog, have read a few before, now will have to get more serious about it! Since it sounds like both a party place and a human relations analysis post. I am excited about this and thank you, Jill, for this post! I enjoyed learning about you, Maria! (Or should we call you “Elizabeth?” ha ha! That is my middle name!) Anyway, sorry to hear about your serious illness and difficult child births. Glad you have two sons, who are at every moment of the day, saying to themselves, “I sure miss my Mom!” Smiles, for this one! Good luck and take care, Robin
    Jill, so wonderful, don’t stop when the summer ends… Please! You are really helping all of us, with your spotlighting talent and energetic, original writers! Hugs, Robin

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    • Hi Robin! It makes me so happy that everyone is enjoying this series. At first I thought I was being selfish/nosey, wanting to know more about some wonderful people, but as it turns, others were interested too and that’s what I had hoped for. According to the schedule, it will go into the fall. Thank you for your kind comment. 🙂

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    • Thank you so much for commenting and following me, Robin! Looking forward to checking out your blog as well! Funny that your middle name is Elizabeth! 🙂 Thank you for your kind words. 🙂

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  28. Jill, I was ‘back tracking through my posts, found such a sweet story you shared about an inspirational co-worker and friend, who smiles while going through her days. She is battling cancer and I felt so bad today, that I did not see this very wonderful tribute and wish to tell you, just in case you noticed… I am sorry I missed replying to this comment you made on my cancer post. Thank you, thank you for this. I think it will help me to remember daily, how ‘small’ my little troubles are, with this true example of inspiration. Best wishes for this woman’s remission, she is on my prayer list, Jill. Hugs, Robin

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    • How nice of you to take the time to comment, Robin. My co-worker is an inspiration to me each day. You would never know the battle she has fought and continues to fight as she prepares for another surgery that, praise be to God, will be her last. Thank you for this, Robin, it means a lot. xo

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  29. After meeting you in person, I totally see the Elizabeth Vargas thing. And, even when you’re eating bread, Mr Brickhouse looks at you like he’s falling in love all over again. You are the sweetest couple. I’m so lucky to have met you in person.

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    • Thank you for popping over, Andra! I’m so happy and a bit jealous that you were able to meet Maria. I have no doubt that she is as fabulous in person as she is on-line. Mr. Brickhouse is a lucky man and I’m happy to hear he adores her as much as we do. She deserves to be treated like a queen. 🙂
      Have a great weekend!

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    • Aww gracias, Andra! He is pretty wonderful to me I have to admit. There are times when he wants to place a pillow over my head as I sleep…and hold it down tight but mostly, he likes me. 🙂 As I told you earlier, we have not stopped talking about your visit! We will have to realize my dream soon and get Jill here in the mix. 🙂

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  30. Great guest post, Mrs. B. All this time as friends at our places and you can still surprise me. Bravo for spending all that time and energy on your niece. I am sorry to hear that she has yet to decide she is worth it. Someday. Only she can make that decision, as I am sure you found out the hard way. On to exotic food, exotic cocktails and a book now, empty-nester!

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    • It was a great guest post, wasn’t it? Maria is full of surprises. 🙂 Thanks so much for popping over, Mark.

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    • Hello my friend! I am happy to see that you are no longer awaiting moderation. I knew Jill would moderate in your favor. 🙂 I am filled with many more surprises but I have to let them out slowly. 🙂 I learned a lot while caring for my niece – some good but unfortunately, way too much of the bad and the difficult. I continue to pray that she decides she is worth it. Thanks for coming over to Jill’s wonderful blog. 🙂

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  31. Nice to meet you Maria and it was great to read your answers to the questions – but what do you mean you’ve given up eating frosted flakes 🙂

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  32. Hello Maria! Nice to learn more about you and get to know you better. I’m so sorry about your niece though. I can only imagine how difficult the whole experience has been. I’ve learned in my life that you can’t save someone who doesn’t want saving, you’re right, but that doesn’t make it hurt any less either. Sending healing your way, your niece’s way, and to your whole family.

    Sounds like you’ve got a strong support system around you and a good attitude about continuing to learn along the journey anyway!

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    • Hi Jess! Thanks for reading and for tweeting my spotlight post. 🙂 I learned a lot more than I ever wanted to know, while with my niece. I jumped right in to her tangled web of a world thinking I could handle it only to find myself trapped and clinging on for life. In spite of this dark period of time, I still do not regret trying to help her. I am ready to move forward and continue eating exotic foods. 🙂

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    • Thanks for stopping over, Jess. Maria has a good attitude with whatever challenge she faces…she’s a strong woman. Have a great week!

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  33. Wonderful to meet another woman with a healthy appetite – you know what they say about women with great appetites? 😉 love your sense of humour, generous spirit and passion for life Maria.

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  34. When I read the part about you weathering the storms of life, your determination reminded me that nothing can beat the spirit of hope. Keep the spirit of hope alive! I don’t see any “brickhouse” anywhere in your photo😄 I know a bit of Spanish and when I am frustrated, my Spanish just rolls off my tongue. Ay dios mio! Yo no tengo tiempo para este foolishness (buberia??) Then I sometimes drop on my knees and look to the heavens…señor padre, dame tu Paz!

    A good place to observe human behavior is the grocery store- you see people in their most natural forms. I used to work at the grocery store and I learned a lot just about myself and others as I stood by that cash register😄

    Best wishes with all the new things you want to learn, Maria.
    Oh, I almost forgot, I can order my food in Spanish. I don’t care if people around are laughing their heads off. What does that tell you? I love my food😄😄😄

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    • Mucho gusto! That’s great about you knowing Spanish and using it, especially when it comes to comida. I say brickhouse because of the song and the impossible dimensions (24-36-24) they refer to (which I am nowhere near). 🙂

      You are right about learning about people at the grocery stores. It’s fun to watch people talking to themselves about the items they are choosing and looking at their carts which can tell you a lot about them. You must have learned a lot!

      Thank you for your kind words! Hasta Luego. 🙂

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    • Hi Elaine! Thanks for popping over and sharing some of your experiences. I agree with you about the grocery store. Watching a person’s reaction when the register runs out of tape or the cashier has to do a price check…tells you who has patience and who is just plan rude. Enjoy your week!

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  35. Jill, thanks again for all the spotlight posts. Have a great week!

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  36. Such a pleasure to meet you, Maria, and you do resemble Elizabeth Vargas! I loved your description of working in a bank for all those years – I can’t even imagine it! Something else that is hard to comprehend is becoming an empty nester…how do we moms reinvent ourselves after decades of putting family and children first? This notion is only 7 years away for me, but I know it will be here before we know it. Wonderful post.

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    • Thank you, Gwen! I love your gravatar pic. 🙂 I am happy to report that I am adjusting to my nest being empty (and cleaner). I have my moments when I really miss them so much, but Mr. Brickhouse and I are having a blast. Our stress level has most definitely diminished and that’s mostly due to the fact that both kids are happy and adjusting well to their lives outside our nest. Enjoy your babies because “they” are right – time does fly.

      Thank you for reading. 🙂

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    • Cute picture, Gwen! I’m loving the short hair! 🙂 Believe me, Maria speaks the truth when talking about the banking industry. Enjoy your week!

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  37. Hola, Chica! I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to get over to read this one. Miss Andra kept me hoppin’ all weekend in Charleston. Great interview. Love you mucho! xoxo nancy

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  38. Wow, we must be sisters or something. Heh. It says right on my bio that “it fascinates me to figure out what drives us as individuals. I love delving into the psychology of people’s minds.” IOW, human behavior fascinates me. I also love to eat. I’d also love to learn Italian, since I’m Italian. They didn’t offer Italian in the school where I grew up, where half the school WAS Italian. Go figure. So, I took the closest thing to it … Spanish, which I also do not speak. I didn’t know anyone at the time who spoke it, so I couldn’t use what I was learning. Except, yo entiendo un poco. But, I probably wrote that incorrectly, because I do not really speak it. Anywayyy, thanks for sharing on Jill’s blog. Great to meet you.

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    • Hola Lori! We do have a lot in common don’t we. I am forever analyzing and trying to understand people’s behavior. It is so interesting to learn about what makes us tick. Unfortunately, I learned a bit too much about the behavior of my niece and tried everything within my power to understand where she was coming from and what made her behave the way she did. Sometimes there is just no clear answer.

      How funny about the Italian school not offering Italian. It’s never too late though.

      Arrivederci! 🙂

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    • Hi Lori! Well, I guess we’re triplets because I too love trying to figure out the motivations of others. I majored in Psychology in college and Abnormal Psych was one of my favorite classes. I suppose we are all “abnormal” in our own way. 🙂
      Enjoy your week!

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  39. You’re right- SO much to learn! And having spent 30 years as a front of house Civil Servant I can tell you a human behaviour story or two- but I’ll be good (since I’ve never met you before- pleased to meet you, incidentally!)
    I’m glad you survived all those humps and bumps along the way 🙂

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  40. Hi Maria! I’m so sorry to be late for the party (so what’s new pussy cat, ha!) but I seriously thought I had already come over here on Friday and left a message…so I have no idea what happened there! But it’s great to see you here and I really enjoyed reading and learning even more about you. Thanks to our lovely, wonderful mutual friend Jill – Hi Jill!! – we met a few months ago and I’m sooo glad. You’ve had some hard knocks my friend, that’s for sure, but you are a survivor and an amazing, inspirational woman. That is a very tough read about your niece, it’s so hard when someone you love so much doesn’t seem to want to be helped. And you know I have no easy answers for that…but here’s to surviving those knocks and living life and raising a glass of exotic cocktails, beer or, and you know what I’m going to say…bubbly! Cheers to you both my amazing friends – 🙂 xoxo

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    • Hi Sherri! I had to laugh at your comment. Perhaps there was too much bubbly leftover from your birthday celebrations. 🙂 Well, whether you were here on Friday or not, the point is, your lovely smile is welcome anytime. Your comments always make me smile. xo

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    • Hi Sherri! No worries about being “late”, I myself am behind on my reading of posts. I wish Life wouldn’t get in the way of our blogging, jeez! 🙂 It has been wonderful getting to know you as well! That Jill is quite the match-maker! I never imagined that our attempt at helping my niece would result in such a traumatic experience. Never have I experienced such a difficult situation. Even having RA and that horrible life-threatening infection recently, are nothing compared to what we went through with her. It is such a sad situation. I still get a pit in my stomach when I think about her and wonder how she is doing. She did contact me recently and even sent me a birthday card, so it was good to hear that she was alive which is truly miraculous given what she is doing. Anyway, thank you for reading and here is a bubbly toast to continued friendships with lovely ladies like you and Jill! 🙂

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  41. Wonderful meeting you. Being able to swear like a pirate in Spanish sounds like a great advantage. Maybe I’ll take some lessons before I travel to another Spanish-speaking country. Of course, that might get me into some serious trouble. Might have to start running again just in case.

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  42. Maria, I love your spirit! The cussing is fabulous, and it takes a great lady with a lot of spirit and good cussing skills to try to save a loved one from herself. You can be so proud of yourself for trying–and you might never know that it did in fact make her life better in some way.
    BTW, I was in two banks yesterday. Yup, I get it.
    Thanks for a fun interview!

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  43. Hi, Maria and fellow pop tart lover! I always went for the frosted cinnamon. Every once in a great while I buy a box for old time’s sake, and am disappointed to find out it is really cinnamon-glazed cardboard. Then a few years go by, I see them again, get nostalgic, buy them again with great expectancy of the remembered delight, only to realize again it’s sugared crust. Sad.

    Was delighted for you meeting virtual-turned-real author/blogging buddies. VERY cool!

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    • Hi Shel! I lived for the chocolate Pop Tarts with white icing when I was a kid, but then I discovered chocolate chip pancakes. If you’ve never tried them, I’d recommend giving them a try, but no syrup required.
      I can’t wait for your post to go live on Friday…it’s great! 🙂

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  44. Nice to meet you as well, Shel! “Cinnamon-glazed cardboard”, ha,ha,ha! Perfect description, although it does not stop me from eating it. 🙂 I don’t think I could ever get myself to eat some of that squirt-cheese, ever again. Do they even sell that anymore?

    I just saw that you came over to my place and read about the near-miss murder that occurred in my home with blogging strangers! It really was a blast.

    Thank you so much for taking the time to read my post and to visit my blog! 🙂

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  45. Hola, guapa! Okay, that’s the extent of my Spanish 😉 I wish I was fluent in Spanish. I studied it in high school and even community college but never was able to learn well enough to hold a conversation. Still, I have lots of CDs and lessons on learning Spanish around so there is always hope. Maria, you are an inspiration, one that brings joy and happiness and great humor. I shudder to think where many of us might be without humor. It doesn’t trivialize the tragedies in our lives; it just makes them more tolerable. You have a great heart and it really comes through in this post.

    Jill, thank you for hosting Maria. She is indeed a “brick house chick” 🙂

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