Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Tuesday Odds and Ends

Good morning.  Had a busy day yesterday.  Headed out early to my classes.  I learned that the tough instructor was gone for the rest of the month so I attended the Monday qigong as well as dance, meditation, and arts and crafts.  It was very hot out--96 degrees--but there was a strong breeze which made it quite bearable. 
Made this little pin in arts and crafts yesterday.  It's made from a bottle cap, a cardboard circle, two pieces of material (1 small, 1 larger) some ribbon and a wee flower.

I've been feeling a bit melancholy lately.  The other day as I was looking through my mom's old photo album for some pictures of dad, it suddenly occurred to me that  I'm the matriarch of the family now.  I'm the only one left.  They are all gone--mom, dad, grandparents, my two aunts and my uncles.  All those smiling faces looking out at me from the album....all reminders of another time and place.  I think what hurts the most is that for so many years we allowed
so many years to pass without sitting down to iron out our differences....and now they are gone, and  we never had any closure.

Sat in on a very interesting online class yesterday-- 'Exploring Symbols In Divination'.  So many every day things that we pay no attention to as we go through our daily activities actually have a message for us if we pay attention.  Very interesting and something I plan on learning more about.

When Miss Miss Minga passed she left me several signs to let me know she was okay.
I think this is the most telling sign.  I found it on my phone the next morning.  If you look closely in the corner you can make out her face.
As she got older, her fur began falling out in clumps, but it was immediately replaced by new fur so she had no bald spots.  After her passing I began searching for some of her fur to put in an envelope and place it on her memorial.  Couldn't find any.  Then one day I got up and this was sitting right on the table next to my computer. 
I was waiting for the bus one day shortly after her death.  I looked down and there was a rainbow at my feet. You can see my cane and my boot.  LOL!!! 
 This white feather was found at one of the spots where she used to sleep.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Monday This and That

Good morning everyone.  It's a hot one here in Brooklyn.  Heading to my classes this morning.  Not looking forward to waiting for buses in this heat or that long walk to my classes once I get there.

Yesterday's sermon yesterday brought tears to my eyes.  He spoke about Father's Day and a father that won't be spending it with his young children.  A few weeks ago a  pizza delivery man was sent to deliver a pizza to a military base here in Brooklyn.  While there,  the security guard called ICE on him.  This man was the sole support of his family.  He worked long , hard hours to earn enough money to support his family in a job, mind you, that all those who are busy complaining that the illegals are stealing jobs wouldn't  be caught dead doing.  He has never broken the law,  yet now here he is locked up in a facility with hardened criminals while his family struggles to survive.  His only crime was falling in love and not returning to his country, but he had already begun the process to become a citizen.  That should count for something, but not in today's America. A GoFund me page has been set up to help the young mother, a citizen, and her children.

And then he spoke of the heartbreak of seeing  children ripped from their mother's arms as they seek asylum and placed into detention camps.  Never, in my 71 years of life, did I ever think I would see this in America.  This is NOT my America.  This is NOT, the America that welcomed my Irish, English, Dutch, and German immigrant ancestors.  I cry when I think of those poor children, and the trauma in their young lives that will stick with them forever.  The other day they were using the Bible to justify this horrible treatment of young innocents, but that backfired and now they are blaming the Democrats.  Well, if that's true, why wasn't this happening during all those years we had a Democratic president?

And now that I have my dander up, I'd like to share with you a wonderful heartwarming event I happened across the other day.  Taj Gibson, basketball player for the Timberwolves, was in Downtown Brooklyn buying prom clothing for poor children in Brooklyn.  What an awesome thing for him to do.  There is so much hatred and bigotry in this country today it was amazing to see the lineup of children from all ethnic groups.  We need more of this kindness in our world.
Had a very quiet weekend.  On Friday I decided to head over to the park for awhile.  It was a spur of the moment thing.  Didn't stay long--had my lunch, listened to for awhile to my audible book--"How to be an Elder" by Clarissa Pinkola Estes.  Then went home to work on some genealogy.  

Made a startling discovery.  I was working on one of my family lines--the Whiteheads-- and came across an old photo of a great great uncle.   I did a double take when I first saw it.  He is the image of my first 'real' boyfriend, Richie.   I mean, he could have been his twin.  And Richie was a Whitehead, too. Could it be that Richie was indeed a distant cousin?  Could my Whitehead ancestors also have been his?  After seeing that picture I don't doubt it all.   Good thing the relationship broke up when it did although I don't know if distant cousins would have been incest. Richie came to me in my dreams not too long ago to tell me that he had always loved me.  That's when I did some research and found out  he had passed away several years ago.  

Speaking of photos and genealogy.  A few weeks back I found this on Ancestry.  This photo is of my 4th great aunt, Agnes Walton, sitting in front of the old school in Mt. Hope.  She was born in 1792 and died a spinster in 1884.  It was Agnes who kept the family history. Although I knew nothing about them back then when I still lived in Jersey, it was a shock to discover that that they had had a huge farm not too far from where I was living.  In fact, Picatinny Arsenal. a military research and manufacturing base was once their farm.  A small graveyard, The Walton Burial Ground, remains on the property.  My 5th great grandfather is buried there.
Sunday, after church, was mostly a day of rest, but I did throw together a big pot Sausage, Bean, and Pasta soup.  

I figured if I made enough Ralph could have some on Monday, too.  Threw a little Romano cheese on top and it was so yummy.  Not exactly on my diet, but hey, WW is not a diet.  One can eat what they want in moderation.  And it's okay to have pasta, or cake, or pizza, as long as you track, don't overdo, and get yourself back on track as soon as possible. The important thing is, one doesn't have to deprive themselves when on WW.

Italian hot sausage, casings removed
Cannonali beans
Ditalini pasta
Fire roasted diced tomatos
Chicken broth
Black pepper
Fennel Seeds

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Sunday Selections

Next month will be my daughter's 51st birthday.  Hard to believe that a year has passed since her 50th.  Hard to believe her 50th has passed.  Hard to believe I am old enough to have a 50 year old daughter.  Seems like only yesterday I was celebrating my 50th, and I wasn't happy about it. My daughter faced hers a lot better than I did.

I have to admit, it wasn't an easy birthday for me.  I was still in denial., unable to accept the aging process.  I wasn't ready to grow old.  I felt young, and I looked young.  I wasn't ready to be 50 so I remained in my 40's for several more years. Actually, I took 10 years off my age, and no one was any the wiser.   But I was, and every time I looked in the mirror I saw the telltale signs--the deep frown lines in my forehead, the double chin.  Nope, couldn't deny it any longer so I took the opposite route now.  I just didn't care what I looked like.  Ate myself into a 70 pound weight gain...and the heavier I got, the older I looked.  

Well, I am past all that now.  I proudly announce my age--71--and I must admit I get a thrill when someone says, "I don't believe it.  You don't look your age."  So, without further ado, here's a few photos of that eventful night.   I am a crone and proud of it.
 My three great grandchildren are in awe watching him cook.
My son, daughter, and me.
 My dish.  I had chicken.  I always do when I go out.  This was so good.
 My grandson on the far end, my great granddaughter, and my grandson-in-law.
 My granddaughter.  Any day now she is going to give birth to my 7th great grandchild.
 My granddaughter, my daughter's childhood friend, and my daughter.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Saturday Thought of the Day

One day our descendants will think it incredible that we paid so much attention to things like the amount of melanin in our skin or the shape of our eyes or our gender instead of the unique identities of each of us as complex human beings.  

Franklin Thomas

Friday, June 15, 2018

Friday Roundup

Happy Friday wishes to all.  Been a busy week for me.  So glad I was feeling better so I was really able to enjoy it.  I just have to realize these flares will come and go and find constructive ways to deal with them.  I think I did pretty good with this last one, and let me tell you, it was doozy.  The worst ever.  When it hits your feet, you know you got it bad.  

Noticed these blooms in front of our building.
On Tuesday I was an almost victim--two times.  I was on my way home from my daily walk.  It was about 10 am, and the usually busy sidewalk was devoid of people...except for two men walking ahead of me.  One was a chubby Spanish guy with a striped shirt, the other a very thin darker Spanish guy in a black hoodie, the hood pulled up. I was about halfway down the block when they crossed the street.  The guy in the hoodie turns, sees me, and says something to striped shirt.  They take a few more steps.  Hoodie turns again. Then, striped shirt ducks into the doorway of the building on the corner.  Hoodie takes a few more steps and ducks into the building's garage entrance.  Both were then out of sight. It was obvious that they were hiding. Luckily,  just as the light changes a Chinese girl arrives and crosses the street directly behind me. They hadn't seen her from their angle.  I walk in the middle of the sidewalk  so she can't pass me by. Out of the corner of my eye I see them watching as we pass.  They then step out and start out behind us, walking real fast to pass us. I do believe they were planning something, but she came along. Scary thought right on my own block.  It hit me yesterday that what would have happened would be one would be behind me and one in front of me when they jumped out.  I wouldn't have had a chance.

Later in the  I get a message from Google saying that someone in China had my password and was trying to log into my account.  They blocked it.  Had to change my password and make sure all security was in place.  Imagine that.  I didn't even know my password, and they had it.  

On Wednesday evening I participated in an online class--The Shadow of the Mermaid with Kai Elliot.  I have to say it was excellent.  It's part of a week long video summit called 'Summer of Magic'.  That one I have saved to watch again.  What an amazing woman.   Bedridden 22 hours a day, she suffers from Danlos Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder.  But, oh, what a positive attitude and how much good she does for others.

I have also signed up for  'Woman Unleashed', an online retreat to unleash your personal power.  That's due to begin on June 20th and last until the 30th.  Can't wait.  These free online seminars are a great.  I always participate in them.

We mostly eat out on Thursday nights, a habit we got when we were both working.  Thursday was my late night.  I got off work at 7 and didn't get home until after 8.  Who wants to cook then?  So hubby, who also had it as a late night, always stopped at work to buy us take out.  Now retired we just sit back and order in.  Haven't for the past couple of weeks though because our one of our favorite restaurants closed its doors and we haven't been pleased lately with another one we order from.  The third we order from is a chicken place and just don't want to order from there every week, so until we find some new places to order, I've been doing some cooking.  Last night I made a huge pot of Sancocho.  

6 skinless chicken thighs
Le Fay frozen Sancocho vegetables

2 potatoes, cut in quarters 
Le Fay frozen Sancocho vegetables
2 potatoes, cut in quarters
Spanish oregano
1/2 cup Recaito
Sodium free chicken broth
Salt and Pepper

Heat oil and brown chicken. Add garlic and onions; cook until soft. Add broth, Recaito, water, potatoes, frozen veggies, and  cilantro.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Bring to boil and simmer until done.
My quirky avocado plant.  One day after finishing up our avocado I stuck it in an empty pot just for the heck of it.  I watered that darn thing for over a month, but nothing, so I shoved the pot under the little table next to my rocker.  About a month later I'm sitting there, and I see a stick pointing up.  "What the heck is that?"  I wondered.  I looked, and lo and behold, the plant was growing.  Hadn't been watered in a month.  It's actually to tall sticks with leaves on the end.  The stems alone are too weak to hold it up so that's why the ties are on there.  It certainly won't bring any avocados, but it's been an adventure.

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Throwback Thursday

With Father's Day arriving this weekend, I wanted to pay homage to my dad.  He was an alcoholic, and sadly, we never did have a good relationship. I don't know, perhaps I was a disappointment to him.  I was an only child, and I remember every Christmas dad would buy me a boy's toy....a truck, soldiers, etc.  I always wondered if he was disappointed that his only child was a girl. 
Dad, on the bottom, and a few of his friends.
Dad, on the right, and his twin.
Dad in the Army.
 Dad in the Army.
 Dad holding me in my grandparents' front yard.

 Dad with Tiny.
 Dad and me.  I guess I was about 14.
That's dad on the end, thin with gray hair.
Dad's grave.

I'm sorry dad.  Sorry that we missed out on so much.  Sorry because I know you couldn't help yourself.  You had a disease both physically and emotionally.  I miss you.  Wish I had had that chance to tell you I forgive you and love you.  But I know that you are watching over me now.  I feel that in my heart.  You know. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Wordless Wednesday

This is how they sell fish in my neighborhood. And stink?  This is right out on the sidewalk in the hot sun. It turns my stomach. I would NEVER buy it.  And this isn't even the worst of it.  There's a guy buy the train station who puts his daily catch on a pile of newspapers right on the ground, and people shove and push each other to buy it.