Mambo and Death

When Mambo’s father passed away, he took advantage of a book which provided him with a lot of information on how to cope with the passing of a loved one.

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Whenever we are in our life, memory helps us see where we’ve been. We can look back on great moments as well as hard. We can think about life changing events, share influences and patterns. Memory helps us pull the parts of our life together and claim who we are. So we review our history and our memories in order to strengthen ourselves for whatever lies ahead.

Each one of us will remember different things or value different times of our lives. Remember together will expand our store of memories and draw us closer together. Even if the person we’re caring for isn’t able to communicate, we can sitting his or her presence and talk about memories. Our loved one leaves behind  legacy of memories that provides a source of continuing access to his or her presence, influence, stretch, guidance and love.

As long as our loved one is still with us, we can use our time together to make mew memories. Whatever we experience, whatever albums we look at, foods we book music we listen to, movies we watch, we’ll be making new memories of our time together in this journey.

“Death is not a medical event. Death is a spiritual event”. Even if we haven’t claimed religious beliefs or adopted spiritual practices, we experience a natural capacity for hope and reflection about what really matters, especially when death draws near.

When we anticipate separation from loved ones, we naturally feel an increased desire to interact with them and make every moment count. But we may find, some time before death actually comes, that our loved one begins to distance himself or herself from us. This process can occur gradually and in different ways.

As your loved one declines, he or she may become confused, mixing up details about who was here or when something happened. They may become confused about where they are or who others are. We recommend that if your loved one is pleasantly confused, don’t try to bring them pack into reality. Encourage him or her to speak slowly. If they are frightened, give gentle reassurance and tell them they are OK. Use your voice, eye contact and touch to maintain a supportive connection.

Caring for someone facing death matters so much to those who love him or her that the way we go through it together may color our future interactions with one another. Perhaps the best gift we can offer our loved one is to let him or her see that we’re pulling together through this experience.

First Time Home Buyer

Mambo is in the process of buying his own home.  He’s lived with his roommate Rob for 4 years now and feels it’s about time he gets his own place.  He’s renting his current room for very cheap so giving up on cheap rent will be a big trade off to buying a home in the San Francisco Bay Area, where home prices are steep.

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He’s been saving up for years though and can afford a down payment on an average size home.  He’s also got excellent credit and has traded expensive limousine rides for Uber, so he should be able to qualify for a loan.  You definitely pay the price to live in the Bay Area– with its great weather, great cuisines and diversity.  There are many homes on the market now that it’s summer so he’s got a good selection to pick from if he’s patient.

There some homes in desirable neighborhoods which come off the market within a week where sellers are receiving multiple offers, often over asking price.  There are also homes which stay on the market for weeks and months and those are probably the homes he may want to stay away from.

At the price range he’s looking at his option are either to purchase an older single family home or a newer town home, depending on what he wants.  The drawback to owning a town home are the HOA fees which tend to be in the $200-300 range and often include only amenities and exterior maintenance.  Not like it used to where it included water and garbage.  Town homes are great if you prefer low maintenance with small patio space.

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The older single family homes will definitely provide you with more backyard space.  However, you will have to consider the cost to maintain and clean it.  Mambo loves to entertain so he may be leaning towards a home with some yard space to set up a bbq grill and patio chairs and table.  He also loves to garden and may want to plant flowers, fruits and vegetables in his backyard.

Interest rates are still low at this time so if he can find a home that he loves, it would be the perfect long-term home.  Nothing beats the feeling of home ownership and having a place of your own.  He realized that he’s paid out about $25,000 in rent in 4 years. He would rather that money go towards his mortgage and building equity over the long run while he is living there.  Not to mention how much fun it will be to have his niece and nephews over.

Mambo’s Nephew

Mambo’s 2-year old nephew is so adorable.  About once a week he takes to his mother’s iPad and Facetimes his uncle.  Yes, the young lad is caught up with the latest technology.  It’s incredible how much they learn at such a young age!  So each morning once a week, Mambo gets a facetime call from nephew.  2-year olds tend to like repetition and so every time he calls, he makes the same requests.

He will ask to count the monkeys on his mantle.  Mambo has a strange obsession with monkeys and has about 8 types.  So they count them together one-by-one.  Then nephew asks to do it again.  He requests to see every little thing in the house, including a large stuffed dog on the sofa, Mambo’s car parked in the driveway, the clothes in the closet, the bathroom, picture frames, etc.

Nephew has been learning to swim for about a year and recently received his “intermediate aqua baby” ribbon for completion of the class and doing a fantastic job at swimming.  When Mambo was over the other day, nephew was super excited to show uncle his 3rd ribbon.

Nephew’s dad also recently built a play structure in the backyard for him, which he loves.  Every time Mambo comes by the house, he pulls uncle to the backyard and asks him to play at the play structure with him.  It’s a very cool structure with rock climbing, swings, a slide, telescope, and monkey bars.  Playing in his backyard is a great fun adventure for nephew.

When he’s not outdoors, he enjoys coloring in the many different coloring books that he owns– Mickey Mouse, Care Bears, Cars.  He also loves building the tracks for his train set and building blocks and magnet tiles.  Unfortunately, like most kids, like loves watching tv.  Mom tries to restrict it to mornings only and maybe 30 min in the afternoon if he is behaved for the day.

Whenever Mambo is over, he tried to help out with nephew’s bedtime.  Assisting him with his bath, brushing his teeth, helping him with the potty, putting him in his pajamas, reading him bedtime stories, and tucking him to sleep.  It is one of Mambo’s favorite time of the visit.  He absolutely loves bonding with his nephew.

Nephew will be 3-years old in a few months.  But that will be another story in itself.  Mom is preparing invitations and decorations.  For now, Mambo continues his weekly visits and face times with his adorable nephew.


Mambo’s Family is in Town

Mambo’s sister and nephews were in town and they had a blast while out for the week.  Several trips were made to Napa and Sonoma Valley for wine tasting, which Mambo’s sister is a great fan of.  They love Ehler’s Vineyard and Winery because of it’s charitable deeds where all proceeds from the sales of wines minus overhead costs go to heart research.  They walked away with 6 bottles of Cabernet Sauvignon.

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The nephews were taken to several cool locations for fun.  One trip was made to Children’s Fairyland in Oakland which is fabulous for young kids.  There was also a trip made to the Yerba Buena Museum in SF and the Discovery Museum in Sausalito, which has a mix of both indoor and outdoor activities.  All great places for kids to explore.

Of course we can’t forget the San Francisco Zoo, which the kids loved.  They absolutely loved seeing the elephants, giraffes, tigers, lions, bears, monkeys.

It was little Micky’s birthday this week and the whole family gathered to celebrate.  Mambo went out and got some fun little Disney “Cars” themed decorations to surprise Micky on his 3rd birthday.  He absolutely loved the car shaped candles and oversized balloons.  We finished the day off with games and a delicious raspberry lemon cake with the “Cars” decoration on top.

Micky received great presents from family, including a train set, Magformers, clothing, and other various creative and educational toys and books.

They also made a trip down to the Monterey Bay Aquarium and saw fish, sharks, jellyfish, turtles, and whole lot more!  They also spent part of the bay on the beach and enjoy play and splashing in the water and building sand castles.  They were also able to catch glimpses of sea lions resting on rocks by the pier.

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On the final day, they all took a city tour of San Francisco in a rented SUV which they rented through a limo company.  It was very convenient as they took trips over the Golden Gate Bridge to Marin for beautiful shots of the bridge and the city.  They also stopped by the Twin Towers for a spectacular view of San Francisco and the Bay Area.  Made a quick stop in Chinatown for lunch at a dim sum restaurant.  Then took off to Fisherman’s Wharf, the Coit Tower and the Ferry Building.  It was all-in-all a fun and exciting trip.

Mambo’s sister and nephews took off to Virginia this morning but have a camera full of memorable photos to remember the fun they had with Mambo.

A Day in the Life of Mambo

What is a day like in the life of Mambo the burrito?  Well, he doesn’t sit around to be eaten all day, that’s for sure.  I sat down with Mambo to find out what a typical day was like for him.  His response will surprise you as he doesn’t quite live the ordinary life!

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Yesterday, for example, he flew into San Jose, CA via private jet for a video shoot in Santa Cruz for a local food advertisement.  He called Santa Cruz Limo and got great transportation services to his destination.  Mambo the Burrito apparently travels in style and was gracious enough to tip the driver $100 for the one-way trip.  Wow!

The video shoot went successfully for a great burrito advertisement that should air sometime next month.  In the meanwhile, Mambo was ravenous after the shoot.  He was in no mood for anything like a burrito.  Instead, he ordered a chicken caesar salad from Wendy’s.  Apparently Wendy’s has amazing salads!  What do you know.

After gulfing down his salad, he had some time to kill while out in Santa Cruz, so he decided to take a stroll along the beach at the Boardwalk.  He brought along a towel and sun block for a quick tan.  Burritos always have to maintain a natural golden look on the outside.

After a few hours of laying on the beach, he took a dip in the cold ocean to cool off.  The weather was about 75 degrees and the ocean water even colder so he didn’t stay in it for too long.  He spent the rest of the afternoon people watching– watching the kids build sand castles, people throwing frisbees and footballs around, dad playing with child in the water, everybody else laying on the beach sunbathing.

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Since he was in Santa Cruz, he decided to call up the limo company again and take the 7-mile scenic route from Monterey to Carmel for a bit of sightseeing and a fancy dinner in downtown Carmel.  The evening in Carmel was beautiful with small shops and boutiques along the streets.  He had a wonderful dinner meal at Casanova Restaurant with large pan-seared scallops topped off with a delicious creme brulee.  It was already getting late by this time, he decided to stay the night at Tickle Pink Inn.  It was a very lovely bed and breakfast inn which he enjoyed thoroughly.

All in all, he had a wonderful trip to the Santa Cruz and Carmel area.  This is just an example of a day in the life of Mambo the Burrito.  Check back for more of his upcoming ventures.