Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Saturday Afternoon at the Movies

Roy Rogers, Dale Evans, Lash LaRue, Gene Autry, Hopalong Cassidy, and the Lone Ranger with Tonto are cowboys that come to mind when I think about cowboys.  Gaby Hayes, Andy Devine and Leo Carrillo were comical sidekicks. I lived in Greeley, Colorado and on Saturday afternoon I would get a nickel to go to the Kiva or the Park theater. There were two other theaters in Greeley, the Chief and the Sterling, but they cost a dime and that was too expensive for my family. Sometimes, my parents would take me to a Mexican film with Jorge Negrete.  From age six until my teens I was in love with Jorge.  If I got upset with my parents, I dreamed that
Jorge would come rescue me and I would ride off into the sunset with the handsome cowboy who could sing and ride! For years I preferred men with dark hair, a mustache, dreamy eyes, mariachi outfits, large decorated sombreros and riding a beautiful  horse! I still enjoy the Mariachi look and wonder if it is a throw back to Jorge!

I enjoyed watching Trigger perform tricks, and seeing Champion, Silver, Scout and Hopper. These horses became famous because of the cowboys that rode them and I still favor the palomino color.

The wooden seats in the theater were dangerous if my feet were propped in the crack of the seat in front of me.  When someone sat down, it would smash my toes and cause horrible pain. I would scream at the person in front of me to stand up so I could remove my mangled toes!  We never ate popcorn at the movies because it cost too much but the buttery smell always made me hungry.  When I got home from the movie, my mother would pop some popcorn, yet it never took away my yearning for movie popcorn. At the Mexican movies, I remember families bringing their own food to eat in the theater.

I still recall cowboys hiding behind boulders, horses galloping through sagebrush, good winning over evil, and how happy I would be when help arrived to get the good guys out of trouble.  Many a time I applauded when the "cavalry" arrived! I knew the masked man would win or a whip would be used instead of a gun. No matter how dire the situation, the good guy would win. I watched as herds of cattle moved in clouds of dust, I saw horses splashing through streams, chase scenes happened on horse back and fights that looked so real back then, today would look phony.


The reason these cowboys of the past came to mind is because I happened to see a pre-view of The Lone Ranger with Johnny Depp playing the part of Tonto.  My thought of the highly made up actor is that it is not at all like I
remember the Lone Ranger and Tonto! Movies have come a long way and are so much more sophisticated than in the 40' and 50's, yet nothing will erase the enjoyment of watching cowboy movies of the past!

The photos used in this blog were taken off the internet.


Sunday, June 23, 2013

Christmas in 2004

Other than a few Christmases I spent in Mexico, I have always celebrated Christmas in Colorado. Spending Christmas in California would be a first for me. On December 20, 2004, I got on a 747 United Airline plane headed for John Wayne Airport. I arrived in Orange County a few hours later and looked for my daughter who would pick me up.

As Barb drove up, I saw two little faces looking out of the car window. Both girls had happy, grinning faces! They looked as if they had grown quite a bit since the last time I saw them.  Brenna had lost a front tooth. We chatted all the way home.  They told me about school, about Christmas, about Pablo and anything and every thing that came to their mind.  They told me that their Dad was at work and how excited they were for when they would open their presents!  For lunch we went to Brea's Best, a place near their home, that is known for their hamburgers. Brenna has a special way of eating her hot dog.  She first eats the bun, then she picks up the naked hot dog and dips it into ketchup. Barb dropped us off at the house and she went off to run errands.  We watched Princess Diaries II.

When Eric got home, we ate chicken fajitas for dinner. They teased me because I used soy sauce on my white rice. After the girls took a shower, they danced and performed for us.  They are so cute and made me laugh when they did the hula dance.  They move their hands in a wavy motion and their hips sideways. Ariana read me a story before we went to bed. Both girls love books and Ariana is reading at a 3rd grade  level.

In the morning, both girls told me about their dreams.  I told them a story about "The Lonely Gift."  A doll that falls behind the couch and stays there, alone and neglected,  until the little girl is grown and is ready to have her own baby. The doll is found behind the couch and placed on the shelf  in the bedroom.  The woman plans to give the doll to her own baby. The doll, who had been so lonely for so many years is now happy as the whole family waits for the new baby.

I prepared waffles and each ate 1 1/2. I wanted to give Barb time to herself so I reserved a room at the Embassy Suites.  We checked in and the girls were excited about the many orange, white, black, and grey spotty fish (Koi).  We found the swimming pool but it was still too cold to get in the water.  We took pictures near the Egyptian statues and wandered all over checking the place out. I liked that a free breakfast is served, there is a reception with wine and snacks, and a shuttle. The suites have a front room, a small wet bar with microwave and refrigerator, and toward the back is the bedroom and bathroom. The entire Atrium can be seen from the all glass elevator that moves silently up and down from floor to floor.

The shuttle took us to Disneyland and I could not believe the lines. The tickets were $45 dollars each for half a day and before we entered, my backpack was searched.  We went to It's A Small World first and waited in line for about 40 minutes.It was fun passing the same people over and over again as we curled around the line. The lights, figures dancing and singing were so much fun to see! Africa,  Mexico, Hawaii, Norway, Australia, and Asia were some of the countries represented. When an announcement was made to keep hands inside of the boat and "Mothers, take care of your children,"  I said, "No, Grandmother's, take care of your grand children." The girls laughed and Brenna kept repeating the phrase, "And Grandmother's take care of your grandchildren!" We waited in another line for the Alice in Wonderland ride.The evil queen was huge and ugly.  The teapot pouring tea and the mad-hatter party were fun to watch. The white rabbit kept saying, "I'm late, I'm late, for a very important date!"

We went to Frontier Land,  passed a lake with gold fish, saw the petting zoo and a huge grey horse. Suddenly, we spotted Cinderella.  We crossed the bridge and came behind Cinderella.  I told the girls to stand by Cinderella so I could take their picture.  Cinderella said, "You need to go to the end of the line if you want to take a picture." By the time she finished her sentence I had already taken the picture. I realized that there was a long line waiting to take a picture with Cinderella. Oops. We bought some popcorn  and sat on a green metal bench to eat our snacks.  Ariana ate an apple and Brenna and I ate crackers and popcorn.  The park was very crowded.  I heard many different languages being spoken. It seems that no matter what you want to do, you have to stand in line.

We sat on the curb to wait for the parade. We ate some more snacks and I handed Ariana a small package of chocolates.  My thought was that she would take one and pass the bag back for Brenna and me. A few minutes later, I asked, "Ariana, where are the chocolates?" She looked at me and her cheeks were full, chocolate was oozing out of the corner of her mouth and I realized she had popped all the candy in her mouth.  I had to laugh!

The parade had Disney characters like Ariel, Snow White,  the seven dwarfs, Pinocchio, Dumbo, wooden soldiers and ginger bread men! The Calliope music was festive and happy.  I suggested going to the Jungle Cruise but they wanted to return to It's A Small World. We ate pasta and chicken at the Plantation Inn.  We ate on the porch near a window where we could look into the restaurant.  We could see the people eating indoors and I told the girls that we were three orphans looking inside at all the people having fun!

We went to Gibson Girls Ice Cream Shop and Ariana had a hot fudge sundae with a cherry on top and Brenna ordered a Chocolate mint without the cherry.  There were no empty tables and we ended up sitting on a narrow ledge. Ariana dropped her ice cream on Brenna's leg.  We managed to save the ice cream though I did not think they could eat the gigantic sundaes but they did. Later, Barb told me that "No one messes with the the girls' ice cream!"  There was still an evening parade and the fireworks but it was getting cold and we were tired so we called the shuttle to come pick us up.

Freeway 57 had an accident and it took us a long time to get to the hotel. We rested and because the stores were open until midnight, we decided to go to the mall at 10:30 p.m.  Brenna did not want to go until she realized the mall was just across the street. At the Disney store I bought them Kim Possible plastic figures.  At Foley's I purchased an outfit for each girl. We walked back to the hotel and after brushing our teeth we put on our pajamas and crawled into the king size bed.  It was difficult falling asleep but after prayers we dozed off.  Ariana piled pillows on top of her head.  Brenna slept in the middle and I ended up sleeping at the foot of the bed.

Around ten the next morning, Barb brought over bagels and orange juice.  After eating we went to see Lemony Snicket and A Series of Unfortunate Events.  At the house, Ariana and Brenna worked on making Christmas cards. After returning to the hotel we dressed up to meet Elinor
and Ed for drinks at the free reception where we snacked on white wine, soft drinks, popcorn, tortilla chips and salsa. The girls looked beautiful in their new outfits.  They put on sparkling "head gear" that we had purchased at Claire's Boutique. Elinor had laryngitis and could barely talk.  We went to City Market for an Italian meal.  It was fun relaxing and sharing thoughts.

Back at the hotel, we watched television, the girls played with Kim Possible and then we went to bed.  In the morning we went down for our free breakfast. We returned to the mall and visited their favorite pet store. Brenna began to cry and I could not understand why. Ariana thought Brenna got upset because one puppy was nibbling on another pup's ear. Brenna wanted to bring the puppy home and give it some loving. We checked out of the Embassy, Barb picked us up and I borrowed the car and went to see "Closer." I went shopping at Ralph's, Eddie Bauer, Old Navy, Albertson's and Trader Joe's. When I got home Barb was feeling under the weather with a cold and went to bed .  Eric and I prepared dinner. After the dishes were done the girls and I watched Santa Claus with Tim Allen.

In the morning, Brenna woke me up. Before long, Ariana joined us.  They are so sweet and very lovable.  We ate good Mexican food for breakfast at a place near their home. I had a fat burrito stuffed with potato, beans, cheese and a delicious hot sauce. After getting home, Barb and Eric pulled weeds from their yard while Brenna made up song after song about everyone in the family, including Pablo.  She has a way with words.

At 4 p.m. at the children's mass, we were lucky to find a place to sit. The girls were in their Christmas outfits that they had picked out themselves.  Ariana in black velvet with rhinestone drops around the neck.  Brenna in a red jumper with a red rose on her shoulder and a white blouse.  They look very Christmasy! What beautiful grandchildren I have!  Mass was joyful with lots of singing and a good sermon.  After mass we went to TAPS Brewing Co. for a delicious salmon dinner.  The dessert was a sin -- a huge goblet filled with ice cream and chocolate cake for $12.95. The waiter brought five spoons.

Once we finished eating, the girls were excited because it was finally time for them to  open their presents. I've never seen Ariana move so fast! She was out of the truck as soon as Eric parked.  We got into our pajamas and Ariana played Santa with Brenna helping her.  They got a lot of presents: Watch, music box, lockets, ballerina ornaments, 4' doll, books, blankets, Katz dolls, Peruvian Poncho, finger puppets, board games, c.d.'s and lots more. When I asked Ariana if she liked her doll, she said, "No, I love it!" The C.D. for Brenna was Lizzie McGuire and I did not know the artist that Ariana got.

In the morning, Ariana was the first to wake up and come into the front room where "Santa" had left two scooters and a Barbie Doll House. Ariana woke Brenna and they began playing with their gifts. Eric assembled the toy house and it had lots of furniture for each room. The girls liked putting the furry lavender bed and some pink chairs into the different rooms of the lavender house.

We went to Ed and Elinor's home in Irvine where all the Hallman family would gather to exchange gifts. We ate tasty snacks and had friendly conversation. The children that I remembered from the past were now good looking adults.  The youngest are Ariana and Brenna.  Beginning with the youngest they began handing out the gifts. There were many packages: books, ties, binoculars, gift certificates, camera and toys.  I received a book and a tree ornament. Ariana was Santa and distributed the presents.  A lot of teasing, laughter, and joy.

Then it was time for me to leave. Hugs and kisses and then Eric drove me to the airport. My flight was late because the crew was stuck on some other plane.  An hour later, I was on my way home to Colorado full of happy memories!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Kitchen Table

Walking into my kitchen this morning, I noticed that my kitchen table was piled with bills and papers on one end and the opposite end had notebooks and flyers for a trip I am planning. When did my kitchen table become a desk of sorts? I remembered our table when I was growing up. A floral oil cloth covered the table. I remember going with my Mother to Woolworth or Kress, 5 & 10 cent stores, where she would buy a yard or two of oil cloth for our tablecloth.

We sat in designated spots around the table and my father's spot was never to be taken. If we had company and somebody happened to sit in my father's chair, we watched with wide-eyes to to see what would happen. My mother would graciously say to the visitor, "Mire, aqui se puede sentar usted," as she pulled a chair out for the visitor. I remember my father waiting patiently for the intruder to move. The rest of us knew better and never sat in his spot!

picture of cherries  - Red ripe cherries in a white bowl isolated on white background - JPG Then, other memories began wiggling into my brain. A dish with cherries in the middle of the table. Us eating and spitting the pit into piles in front of us. My brother spitting a pit toward me. Me yelling, "Look at Dick, he's spitting the pits at me!" A stern look from Dad. My brother obeying until he thought no one was looking and then another pit would come flying at me. The pile of stems and pits growing in front of us as we ate the plump juicy cherries.  Sometimes, we would drive to Loveland, Colorado, about 40 miles away, to the cherry orchards.  Dad would buy a large bag of cherries. We ate them in the car and our face and shirt would become splattered with pinkish-lavender juice.  Other times, we were handed a bucket, climbed a ladder and picked our own cherries.

Another use for our table was putting together picture puzzles.  Mom and Dad would buy a box with a beautiful picture on the front.  Dad's instructions were: "Look for the straight edges first.  Once the outside of the puzzle is done, the inside becomes easier."  The rule was that we could not look at the picture on the box for hints. Even now, it bothers me when people look at the picture while putting together a puzzle. Serious concentration prevailed as we each searched for a certain color or shape.
"Your hand is in the way."
"Move your arm."
"Work on your side of the puzzle."
"Your head is covering the light."
"Hey, that's my piece."
I liked to hide one piece because I wanted to be the one to place the last piece that would complete the picture. Sometimes, my brother would also keep a piece. My father would become upset with us because neither one of us would confess that we had that last piece. By dinner time, the threat of tearing the puzzle apart would be enough for us to place the last piece in the puzzle. After all our work, it only took seconds to break up the pieces to put back in the box.

Dad would place a pile of raw peanuts in the middle of the table and we would all reach out, pick three or four peanuts, and proceed to crack the shell, pull it open, blow the reddish skin off and eat the peanut.  .  Peanuts were my favorite because sometimes there would be three peanuts in a shell.  I liked to make a pile of shelled peanuts before eating them and I hated when my brother would sneak and steal some of my ready to eat peanuts. When I accused him of taking my peanuts, he acted as if he had no idea what I was talking about. When peanuts were burned or rotten, and I did not notice, I got an unexpected dusty and bitter taste in my mouth.

Around Christmas time, my father would buy an assortment of nuts.  We could pick whichever nut we liked out of the pile in the middle of the table.  The large Brazil nuts were hard to crack but they had the largest nut meat. My father would crack the hard shell with a hammer and I would pull the rough, dark gray shell apart to enjoy the huge, white meat. The tan, wrinkled walnut I could break open with a nut cracker but I did not like to pick out the bits and pieces from all the tiny compartments. The oval Pecans with their smooth shell were hard to eat and parts were bitter. Most of the time I would smash the nut right along with the shell.  Almonds had a soft shaggy coat and were easy to crack with my teeth. I liked eating the almonds.  Hazelnuts were my least favorite because no matter if I used a nut cracker or hammer, the round nut always rolled away. I don't believe I ever ate a Hazelnut.

A friend of mine liked to read at the kitchen table, another liked to work crossword puzzles and someone told me that her husband used their table to repair greasy motors. I guess the kitchen table can be used for all sorts of things and now I do not feel so bad at seeing my table-desk!

"Gather around the kitchen table to eat, play and grow."
E. Moscoso

Monday, June 17, 2013

Are We Ever Satisfied With What We Have?

This morning as I walked out my front door, I happened to see a bird glide above my head and land on a telephone pole. I wondered what it would be like to have wings and fly.  As I looked up at the bird, I noticed the bird also seemed to be looking up at something.  A silver airplane was flying high above leaving a contrail of white.  The thought entered my mind that the bird was probably thinking that if he had wings of steel, he could fly long distances and never get tired.

The bird took off, following the plane (or so it seemed) and I entered the house.  What a neat photo that would have made, I thought.  I got on the computer and sent an e-mail to my daughter, the artist.  Maybe if I explained the scenario to her, she could draw me a picture.  Yes, my daughter's rendition of  "are we ever satisfied with what we have" is captured in her drawing!

"Open  your eyes,
look within.
Are you satisfied
with the life
you're living?"
Bob Marley

Awakened By A Strong Smell

Last night, I was awakened by a smell that I associate with skunks. The pungent odor filled my nostrils.  I sniffed around my bed, thinking it could be my bed covers. It wasn't. I lifted my head and sniffed the air. Could a skunk have sneaked into the house? With a scoffing noise and rolling of my eyes, knowing there was no way a skunk could get into my house, I fell back to sleep with the faint odor still surrounding me.
By morning, I had forgotten all about the smell and opened the door to my bedroom.  The smell was stronger and seemed to be all over the house. When we moved into our home in 1965, there were empty lots all around our property, and the smell of skunk was constant.  Either a car would hit a skunk or a skunk would meet a fox, dog or cat and send his spray flying. Once the area filled up with homes, it had been around thirty years that I had smelled the strong skunk smell.  I figured the skunks had moved on to other empty fields and my neighborhood was safe from the stinky beasts.

Evidently I was wrong.  Last night there was a skunk somewhere near and because I had one window open, the smell entered the house and filled the house with its disgusting smell.  It surprised me that such a strong smell, could come in from outside and fill every room in my house.  I did some spraying with Lysol. I lit a vanilla candle. I opened all my windows. I looked on the Internet to see what suggestions might be given to remove the odor. Didn't find anything helpful.

As I write, I no longer smell anything and I figure the smell is gone or I have gotten used to it and no longer smell it.  The test will be when I go outside and reenter my house.  I will then know if the smell is gone!

If there was a skunk around the neighborhood, I hope it has decided to move on, far away from this area!

"Like a dead skunk  in the middle of the road,
 it stinks to the high heavens!" 
Bill White

Sunday, June 16, 2013

The Total of Remembering

 The Total of Remembering

I remember
green eyes,
a large nose
and white teeth.
I remember
after-shave lotion,
gnarled hands
and two strong arms.
I remember
no argument being won,
and a dancer.
I remember
combing hair,
old cars,
and country roads.
I remember
a large hand holding mine,
a jean leg
and leather shoes.
I remember
a shake of the head,
a threat with a belt,
and a disapproving look.
I remember a quiet talk,
a fast walk, 
and going to the mountains.
I remember
a deep voice,
a rumbling laughter
and a loud song.
I remember
a shiny buckle,
a leather belt,
and a handkerchief.
I remember
dark hair, 
a favorite chair
and a trip to the zoo.
I remember
a harmonica being played
checking out library books
and black and white photographs.
I remember
learning to swim,
a quick way to do math
and playing games.
I remember
carnival rides,
watching parades,
and a rodeo.
I remember
a large garden,
fresh vegetables
and Popular Mechanics.
And one day, I remember
adding up all my 
remembering and 
there he was...my father!

E. Moscoso
June 19, 1981
with updates on June 16, 2013

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Sand Sculptures

 In the middle of the United States where there are no beaches, there is a sand sculpting contest going on! Sand is trucked in and dumped into piles.
The teams, in different colored t-shirts with "Sand in the City" on the front of each shirt, reminded me of ants working together. The team members load up wooden forms with sand and water and then pack it down.  When the forms are removed the packed sand will be ready to sculpt. I was told that the hope is that by this evening the sand will be a work of art!

I returned later to see the finished product.  The Arvada sculptures looked very amateur compared to sand sculptures I have seen in California and Mexico.  Maybe the sand here is different than the sand along the coast. It still is amazing to see what can be done with a bunch of sand!

My favorites were a car and a little bear with a ball.
It takes a special talent to form an art form with any kind of media, but I would think working with sand would be quite difficult!

"Technically speaking,
you can build anything
out of sand; it doesn't
mean you do it."
Eric Bana

The porta-pottys, in pink and blue, made it easy for males and females to know exactly which potty to use!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Hearing With Your Heart

  I have taken groups on pilgrimages to New Mexico and to Mexico.  Pilgrims seem to get closer to their faith on these trips. On one pilgrimage, the priest that accompanied us seemed to be at the beginning of Alzheimer's.  "Just have someone with him on the altar in case he forgets," was what I was told before leaving on our pilgrimage.

Everything was perfect until the homily. The priest, up until this point, had been helpful, full of fun, told jokes, heard confessions and listened to troubled souls. But, now, as I listened to the homily I noticed he skipped from one subject to another, his talk was disjointed, and I was embarrassed for him. I knew that after mass I would get complaints from the pilgrims.

After mass, a couple approached me.  "Thank you so much for bringing Father on this pilgrimage.  What a lovely homily." Another lady grabbed my arm and said, "It was as if he was talking directly to me."  Another said, "What a blessing to have Father with us."  Yet, someone else remarked, "Boy, he knows how to make me listen!" Every comment I heard was positive.  Did they listen to the same sermon that I had heard?  How could they not have noticed his rambling?

 "I believe in the surprises of the Holy Spirit."
L.J. Suenens

That's when I realized that somehow the Holy Spirit had opened hearts of those present to listen to the priest's words. When your heart listens, the Holy Spirit speaks to it.  Somehow, in what to me was a jumbled mess, his words had been heard. I knew that this pilgrimage would be rated a huge success and  that a miracle had occurred!

"O Holy Spirit, descend plentifully into my
heart.  Enlighten the dark corners of this
neglected dwelling and scatter there thy
cheerful beams."
St. Augustine

St. Rose Residence

Not too many people know about St. Rose Residence, a home for working women. I have never forgotten the address of 952 10th Street and the time I lived in the large, brick building run by Franciscan nuns.

Because my parents only had grade school education, they believed that graduating from high school was all that was needed in life. They did not encourage my brother or me to continue our education. I would have liked to attend Colorado University in Boulder because it had an excellent journalism program but there was no way I could afford C.U.  Dad said he would try to help me through the teacher's college in Greeley, known then as Colorado State College of Education, but I had no desire to be a teacher. At eighteen I was ready to work and face the world.  In Greeley, there weren't many opportunities for an office position.  I remember being offered babysitting jobs or working in a laundry.  I begged my parents to let me move to Denver and try to find a job in "the big city!" To them, Denver was a corrupt town and said, "No.  Absolutely not." No matter how much I cried and begged they were adamant that I would not move to Denver.

While growing up in Greeley, Colorado, I was friends with the Victory Noll Nuns and spent a lot of time with them at church or at their home. I had mentioned to them that I wanted to be a nun, but their advice was for me to work a couple of years and continue my education, and then, if I still had the calling, I could pursue being a nun. When I told them about wanting to move to Denver, only fifty-two miles away, the nuns thought it was a good idea.  Sister Carmelita and Sister Joan went with me to speak with my parents.

Sister Carmelita had a blood sister who lived in Denver and she had an extra room because her son was in the military.  "What if Erlinda could live with my sister and my sister could watch over her," she asked. My Father thought that would be all right and the following week my parents, Sister Carmelita and I drove to Denver to meet her sister.  When we arrived, Sister Carmelita was told that the son had been discharged and there was no room available. I was devastated.  My Father shook his head and said to me, "Well, you cannot stay here. Let's go back home."

"Do you know," said Sister's Carmelita's sister, "that right around the corner, there is a place for working girls. It is run by Franciscan nuns and they have a curfew.  No one can be out later than ten at night.  They feed them breakfast and pack a lunch for them.  I think it would be a safe place for your daughter to stay with them."  We all walked to the large, brick building and rang the bell.  A nun in a black habit and veil, large white collar, and white covering her forehead answered the door. A large rosary hung at her side and when she walked it made a clicking sound. The varnished and polished hall, the immaculate floor that looked like a mirror, was impressive.

I don't know what changed my Father's mind....all the dark polished wood,  the cleanliness, the habit or if he just got tired of arguing with all the nuns! I was allowed to stay. I said good bye to my parents, my Mother and I cried, but I was excited to be starting a new phase in my life. I was introduced to my roommate and her last name was De Poole; I don't remember her first name. She went on to become a nun. My girlfriend from Greeley, Ramona Atencio, moved to Denver and became my second roommate.  She also became a nun! I traveled to Wheaten, Illinois to see them receive their veils in 1959.

St. Rose Nuns

I applied for work all over Denver, or so it seemed.  I would put on my nylons, heels, a professional looking suit and went to many interviews. The ironic thing was that while I was waiting for a "good job"  I got a job in a laundry.  All I had to do with tuck apron strings inside the folded aprons.  I worked there for about a month.  During the month, I was called for three different interviews, but each time I failed to get a job. It was very disappointing and I knew that if I didn't get a job soon, my parents might make me return to Greeley. Finally, early in 1957 I was hired by the City and County of Denver and began working as a typist in the Motor Vehicle Dept.

I recall getting up early, making my bed, eating breakfast prepared by nuns in white before leaving for work. What I don't remember is what I paid for room and board.  

My parents moved to Denver toward the end of 1957 and I left St. Rose Residence to live with them in North Denver at 3309 Shoshone Street.I lived with them until I got married.

St. Rose Residence was torn down sometime in the late 60's and the area as I remember it, is nothing but a memory tucked away in the folds of my brain!

"Nothing is ever really lost to us,
as long as we remember it."
L.M. Montgomery

Monday, June 10, 2013


 No woman is useless
while she has a friend.
Robert Louis Stevenson

The quote has been changed from man to woman and from he to she to better fit with my thoughts!

What is it called when something extraordinary happens?  When the stars line up to create the unexpected.   Wikipedia calls serendipity a happy accident or a pleasant surprise. I lean toward calling it a miracle.

Today, one of the above-mentioned phenomena happened to me.  I choose to think that it was the Holy Spirit working quietly to give me something I may have needed or something a long lost friend may have wanted.

I attend Spirit of Christ Catholic Church every Sunday at 12:15 p.m. I always park on the south side, go in the south door, and sit on the east side of the church.  After years of the same thing, today I decided to sit on the west side of the church. I do not know why, it was an impulse to enter through the north door. As I was entering the church, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a young woman, a child and a man. The woman was frantically waving her hand as if she wanted to get my attention.  Taking a good look, I recognized a friend I have not seen for about six years. Seeing her was an exciting surprise!

We embraced and she introduced me to her husband. Her daughter, who I have not seen since she was around seven years old, is now fourteen years old.  What a special feeling I felt in seeing my friend. After mass we were able to talk and catch up on what had been going on in our lives. There was lots to share. I told her that if I had done my regular Sunday routine, we would never have met.  She said, "And I go to Holy Family but today I was running late and we decided to come to Spirit of Christ." We both realized that something mysterious had happened!

In talking to her, I realized how much I missed her friendship.  I felt good seeing her and her family. I know God wanted us to meet today. It could have been a coincidence but I figure it was a miracle! I do not want our miracle to go to waste so we will see each other soon and continue our friendship of long ago.

"There are two ways to live your life.
One is as though nothing is a miracle.
The other is as though everything is a miracle."
Albert Einstein

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Visitor In My Yard

Sunday is my watering day. I was in the cool, fresh morning at six and ready to begin putting water on my dry grass. As I stepped out the door, in the middle of the driveway, I saw a grayish-brown bird.  It did not look like any bird I had ever seen. The pattern on its back looked like either vvvvvvv's or uuuuuu's. It had a long thin beak. Under its head was a dark spot while on the sides of it face a reddish color.  When it flew away it had red underneath its wings and a white spot above the tail feathers. I did not give the bird another thought.

When I went out to move the hose, I saw the bird again.  This time I was prepared with my camera and got a few shots but not close enough to get any good details. It seemed to have a bigger wing span than other birds I have seen in the neighborhood.  It may be a common bird but I had never seen one quite like it.  Usually I see robins and sparrows and have only heard woodpeckers.

I looked on the Internet through many images yet could not find one that resembled my morning bird. Maybe someone who reads my blog may have an idea of what kind of a bird played in my yard.

"God loved the birds
and invented trees.
Man loved the birds
and invented cages."
Jacques Deval


My attempt at writing a poem in Spanish was when I volunteered in Mexico and worked with a Mexican volunteer named Lolita. Someone told me that without accent marks words in Spanish are misspelled.
Even if my poem does not have accent marks, I believe my poem can be understood.


Mi amiguita Lolita
es una pulguita chiquita.
Se esconde 
en el colchon
para llamar atencion.
De noche sale a ver
ques es lo que puede hacer.
Mi amiguita, Lolita,
la pulquita chiquita.

Le gustan los pies
y aveces dice, "que es?"
Le gusta morder
la pierna,
el brazo,
la nuca,
y la cabeza tambien
como una vez a cien.

En cabello rubio
Lolita encuentra a Julio.
Se ponen a jugar
y a saboriar.
Temen un bano
o una mano
porque les puede hacer dano.
Por eso corren rapida mente
despues que muerden a la gente.

Las pulgas dicen:
"Yo quiero se tu amigo,
Caminar con tigo,
Dormir con tigo,
Comer con tigo,
Bailar con tigo,
Irme con tigo,"
porque soy Lolita
la pulguita
que quiere ser tu amiguita.

Pobrecita Lolita.
No entiende porque
la gente no tiene mas fe
que la pulguita no mas
esta jugando
cuando da las mordiditas
que para ella tienen sabor de papas fritas!

Lolita, la pulguita
quiere ser tu amiguita
cuando da las mordiditas.

Fin del cuento y de la pulguita.

E. Moscoso
July 20, 1992

Jazz To Folk Music

A fun afternoon began in Westminster at the Jazz & Art Festival. While jazz played in the background, I wandered from booth to booth checking out handmade jewelry, photographs, paintings, beaded flowers, unique clothing, along with checking out the Cupcake Truck, a pizza truck, barbecue goodies, funnel cakes, and all beef hot dogs. Free samples of Zinga frozen yogurt were a big hit for those stopping by the coolers full of different flavored yogurt. I got a peanut butter yogurt! 


The most unusual art, which I had never seen, was Dee's Beaded Flowers.  Delicate flowers made of beads. Diane (Dee) Baron, gave me a short history lesson about how in the 1600's beads were used to decorate wealthy ladies' clothing.  Unused or damaged beads were used to make flowers for the church. Her web site is at: www.deesbeadedflowers.com

People stretched out on the grass, sat on canvas chairs, or stood around as Eric Trujillo and his group jazzed it up. He was followed by Maria D. Lopez with Manny Lopez Latin Jazz Trio. The rhythm made me feel like dancing. The bands featured included the Lionel Young Band, Colorado Conservancy for the Jazz arts, and Nelson Rangell.  After a mix up of where I was to meet my friend, we hooked up and listened to the music. When the wind began to blow and drops of rain began to fall, we left Westminster and headed to the Second Saturday Street Festival in Historic Olde Town Arvada.

We ate lunch at Fuzzy's Tacos and it was noisy and the food was not good. The red chili sauce tasted like Tabasco!  We were joined for lunch by my friend's political allies, Rita Schnidt and her daughter. Rita, I was told, has won many awards for her service in the Democratic party. We reminisced about how Arvada used to be forty-eight years ago. She and I moved to Arvada in 1965 and we agreed that many changes had occurred.

Downtown Olde Arvada was crowded with many persons looking or buying! We were treated to free cake at Rheinlander's German Bakery as they celebrated their 50th anniversary. Sales people had bakery items painted on their face and wore black t-shirts with gold "funfzig" written across the front. I found out that funfzig means 50 in German!

At a wine store we got free samples of wine.  The dimly lit and cold store, with artificial grape vines hanging from the ceiling, was a very popular place! Bottles of wine were against the wall, on tables, on boxes
and in people's hands!


Folk music was provided by a group from Ft. Collins named SHEL. It seemed like such an odd name until I figured it was the first letter of each of their names: Sara, Hannah, Eva and Lisa. Their mellow music would be followed by the Jeff Daniels rock band at 7 p.m. People brought their own chairs or found a place to sit near the bandstand.  A young man explained an odd looking contraption as a massage tool that can be used for hard to reach places. His card announcing Your Body Store let's people know that it is "Your body - Your life." The surplus store had interesting skirts for sale and denim shirts for ten dollars. Food trucks were setting up and I noticed the all popular funnel cake was ready for business.  It seemed as if everyone along Olde Wadsworth had put their wares on the sidewalk. All we had to do was walk along and look at the many items!

How wonderful that two different cities, both having over 107,500 residents, found a way to celebrate on a Saturday afternoon!

"What is the city
but the people?"
William Shakespeare

Friday, June 7, 2013

Who Watches a Baseball Game?

Recently, I attended a Colorado Rockies game.  My friend drove block after block looking for a parking place with exorbitant prices. I found out that on game day, parking prices may triple! It was challenging to squeeze the car in a small space and stuff money into a slot. Amazing to see people on the crowded streets selling peanuts, water and tickets. It seemed as if the world had turned purple. I tolerated hands going through my purse. The lines to buy food and drink were long.  Picnic tables were crowded and strangers became friends.  When a strong wind toppled a purple umbrella it knocked over a plastic glass full of Blue Moon beer sporting a slice of orange. That called for a free beer!

To find our assigned seats, we had to walk half way around the stadium.  Many persons milled around while others purchased souvenirs. Fresh strawberry shish-kabobs, ice cream, popcorn, beef and cheese sandwiches, churros, hot dogs, water, beer, and nachos were carried by the fans as they sauntered to find their seats. No one seemed in a hurry.

The stands were not quite filled, the field was lit up, music blared, and the game began.  My three friends and I found our seats to watch the Rockies play the Astros.  Already the Rockies had lost two games to the Texas team and tonight everyone hoped for a win.

I found it interesting that no one seemed to watch the game.  People to the right of us were having a picnic. Folks in front of us were arguing about a seat.  A lady with a camera was taking pictures of  group. There was constant movement up and down the aisle by vendors shouting their goods or spectators going up or coming down! When something happened on the field, music swelled and a large picture would show up on a huge screen.  A cheer would go up and then it was back to talking, eating or walking!

Favorite players were cheered and I am sure some fans were actually watching the game, but my friends and I chatted about everything under the sun.  We gossiped and ate Red Vines. I learned the name of Horton and Gonzalez but other than those two players, I still do not know who is on the team. I did ask about Guillermo Moscoso.  No one around me had ever heard of him. Later I found out he was a Venezuelan relief pitcher for the Rockies in 2012 but was no longer on the team.

It was exciting to see home-runs hit and go flying into the stands. Too bad it was not the Rockies hitting the home-runs! When we all stood up I was told it was the seventh inning stretch. At one point we all sang "Take Me Out to the Ballgame." I was learning a lot about traditions at a live game! In the eighth inning, it looked as if the Rockies would not catch up to the Astros and a mass movement began finding its way toward the exits. I felt bad for the players.  What would they think if they looked up to see the stands emptying.

Coors Field opened in 1995 and this was my third live baseball game. It was a fun evening to spend with friends and to be among others who profess a love for baseball!

"A hot dog at the ballgame
beats roast beef at the Ritz."
Humphrey Bogart

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Dinosaur Ridge

Straight out I-70 West, get off on the I-270 exit and after few miles a sign appears letting people know that the next exit will lead them to Dinosaur Ridge.  It is a small area, not far from the highway, with some old looking dinosaurs. If authenticity is the goal, the signs wired to the dinosaurs warning kids to stay off the cement dinosaurs, destroys the effect.  A yellow building houses a museum ($2.00 to enter) and holds some artifacts like fossils or leaves imprinted on rock.  Nothing looked original.  Everything looked man made. I did like the large pictures, lit up from behind, of the era of the dinosaurs.

In looking for a place to take my granddaughter who will be visiting me this summer, I found the ad for the area on the Internet. It looked interesting but after checking it out, this was not a place I would take a fourteen year old.  I think that children six and under would enjoy seeing the large figures and going through the small museum.

The gift shop has books and many different types of dinosaurs to
purchase. There was some sort of class seated at the picnic tables going over maps and the people were dressed as if they were going for a hike.  Hats, boots, long sleeved shirts, sunglasses and the smell of sun tan lotion.

Two of my favorite dinosaurs were painted in bright colors.One reminded me of  Oaxaca folk art and the other one was very patriotic.  I am sure the red, white and blue one will be seen in a 4th of July parade!

 "Dinosaurs may be extinct from the
face of the planet, but they are alive
and well in our imaginations!"
Steve Miller, Freaks