Saturday, January 31, 2015


I found a few acronyms for IAR on the Internet. IAR Systems, Institute of Auto Research, Investment Advisory Representative, International Animal Service and many more. My IAR stands for insurance, adjuster and repair.

After my accident on January 23, 2015 the first thing I did when I arrived home in my limping car, was to call my insurance company. I have heard and read many horror stories of people dealing with their car insurance and I did not know what to expect. The person answering the phone was professional, knowledgeable, and kind. He explained that I would receive a call from the insurance agent who would handle my claim. He seemed thrilled when I told him I had photos of the accident and asked that I e-mail them to him.

Within a day and half I received a call from a nice woman who said she would be my Claims Adjuster. She explained the process of what to expect and arranged for a rental car for me. She also contacted an  appraiser to come look at my car.

A few days later, the appraiser came by and took photo after photo of my poor, banged up car. I was impressed how thorough he was as he walked around my car and got pictures from all angles. He told me that he would send the estimate to the insurance company and they would contact me.

In the meantime, I was set up with a rental car and a young man came to pick me up . After the paperwork was completed, I drove home in a white Hyundai. The estimate came and I e-mailed it to the collision garage and my next step was to call AAA to come tow my car to the garage where they would repair my car.

The AAA driver hooked up my car on his hydraulic flatbed truck and I found him to be friendly and a talker. He told me about an accident he had been in, different cars he picks up, asked about my accident, and gave me his card and a pen. I commented on how nice he was and he said, "You know it doesn't take any longer to be nice and our world would be so much better if we all treated everyone with kindness and politeness!  I agreed and as he drove away I felt a sadness to see my new car being taken away.

Everyone I have dealt with has been helpful and efficient except for the collision garage who has called me three times asking for the same information. The first caller did not have the estimate or the insurance company name and I let him know I had e-mailed the information. The second caller told me that my gray Honda had just been brought it and I had to tell her it was a brown car. When I received a call at 7:30 in the evening asking for the same information it puzzled me that the right hand did not seem to know what the left hand was doing. Again, I let the caller know all the information had been e-mailed to their office.

I wondered why there was so much confusion at the collision center and hoped that the confusion would not stand in the way of getting a good repair done on my car.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Enemies Are All Over

I have always been a trusting person. I believe I have a good radar that lets me know who are good people and who have quirks I do not like. Today, while driving to the doctor's office, the post office, the grocery story and the bank I noticed something different about me.

Whether cars were coming from my left, or my right, behind me or in front of me, I saw them as enemies. I had the feeling that at any given moment one might turn against me and crash into me. Never in my life had I checked every vehicle on the road with such scrutiny. My eyes were constantly moving from left to right, looking behind me and checking cars coming toward me.

Maybe this is good. Maybe I had become complacent in my driving. Maybe I needed something, like a crash, to make me become more aware of my surroundings. Down deep inside I have a fear of having another accident and when I drive into my garage without any damage, it is with relief! This feeling may go away soon because it is no fun seeing everyone on the road as my enemy!

You Never Know What's Around the Corner

Exactly one week ago on Friday, January 23, 2015, on a beautiful, warm summer-like day,  I met two friends at Starbucks. Even though the place was noisy we chit-chatted about life and about books we had read. When we got tired of shouting at each other above the din, one friend suggested going to her home to continue our talk. Later, one could not go to lunch but two of us decided to go to Chili's. I took an unknown route to get to the restaurant and ended up at the intersection of 79th and Pierce. As I drove across Pierce I saw a red vehicle headed toward me and I had a sinking feeling that I would be hit.

The red Mazda pickup attacked me with vengeance! I could see that the driver was not looking at me and when he saw me, I believe he tried to avoid me but there was no time because he came barreling down on me. I could not get out of the way and felt a solid blow that half spun me around. I heard a loud crunch and the sound of skidding. The sound of metal being crushed seemed extremely loud. I hung on to the steering wheel for dear life. When the noise died down and the car stopped, I opened my door and got out to see the damage. The rear door looked wrinkled, above the tire the metal was torn and twisted, the bumper was dislodged. and there were bits of pieces of my car on the ground.

My baseball cap must have flown off my head because I found it on the floor behind my seat. My insides felt jittery. It was as if everything inside me was trembling. I looked at my hands and they were shaking. My car, after making a half turn, was silent. The other driver came to see if I was all right. He said, "I'm really sorry" and I said, "So am I." We exchanged information and he called the police.

As I stood next to my car in the cold and waited for the policeman, my thoughts were: My 2013 Honda now had a smashed side, my friend was probably waiting at the restaurant and I had no way of getting a hold of her to let her know what had happened to me, and I felt bad that my perfect driving record for over forty years had been broken. I also wondered if I was in the state of shock!

The policeman arrived in a plain blue car. He was in uniform but was wearing a navy, wool skull cap. He did not look like a regular policeman. What if this was the other driver's friend pretending to be a policeman, I thought. I've always had a vivid imagination. After talking with both of us, I knew he was a real policeman when he handed me a citation!

I tried explaining to him that when I started out there was no one on the road. It was after I started to cross the street that the Mazda had turned the corner and was headed straight at me. "Whenever there is a stop sign and there is an accident, the person coming off of the stop sign will get the ticket." I tried to explain that I had stopped at the stop sign and not seeing anyone I began to cross the street.  The policeman said, "It's Colorado law that you get the ticket because he had the right of way." I realized that I had no choice but to accept the ticket and go to court to try and make the judge understand that the Mazda was not anywhere in sight when I started crossing the street.

The jittery feeling lasted most of the night. I could not sleep and played and replayed the accident over and over again. What had started out as a beautiful day had turned into nightmare making it a traumatic and frightening day.

I was thankful that neither the driver or myself were hurt (or I hoped we weren't) and my wish was that I could rewind the last few hours and return to when we were laughing and talking at Starbucks.

Returning to the scene of the accident, I took a picture while sitting at the stop sign. The short distance between the stop sign and vehicles coming off of 80th are in clear view. I believe the other driver came unto Pierce going too fast when he struck me! I will go to court to see if the judge agrees with me!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

It Could Have Been Worse

A thought crossed my mind about whether our Guardian Angels age along with us. Could it be that my Guardian Angel might be slowing down and not watching over me as carefully as she used to in the past? Could it be that she is forgetful about certain things? Maybe she has aches and pains and is concerned about her health. As I thought these thoughts I felt guilty that doubt about my protector should even enter my mind. I know that my guardian angel still watches over me.

Everything that happens to me, that I think shouldn't have, could always have been a lot worse. I am sure that my Guardian Angel can do nothing about events that may happen but she does watch that they aren't so bad that I would be in terrible danger.  My favorite saying is, "it could have been worse!"

The Internet informs me that Guardian Angels have been around since the year 400. Growing up my parents told me that my Guardian Angel watched over  me. Movies have been made about Guardian Angels.
A few things have happened in my life that made me realize that I do have a Guardian Angel watching over me as she saved me from something bad that might have happened.

A definition of a Guardian Angel in About Religion: Guardian Angels are the angels who spend the most amount of time caring for human beings. They watch over people during people's entire lives on earth and their primary job is to protect people from spiritual and sometimes physical danger.

Psalm 91:11 "For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways." I do not need further proof  about Guardian Angels and I am sorry I  had those silly thoughts running through my head. Anyway, it did give me an idea for my blog!

Angel of God,
my guardian dear, 
to whom His love
entrusts me here,
ever this day be at my
side, to light and guard
to rule and guide.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Rotten Apples

Here it is, in the middle of winter, and we are at 71 degrees F. I remember hearing, as I was growing up, that the stock show was always in Denver during the coldest days of the year. The stock show ended yesterday and today it is nice and warm. I decided to go for a walk around my neighborhood while the weather is absolutely perfect. Who knows what tomorrow will bring! While it is wonderful here, the forecasters are saying that the east coast will get a blizzard with over three feet of snow. Go figure.

While walking I could smell a sweet, sort of rotten smell, and when I looked around the ground was covered with over-ripe apples. They looked a reddish-purple and mushy. I looked up at the tree and one apple was clinging to a branch. It almost looked like a tomato! It defied the rule of gravity and would not fall down to the ground. A good thing Newton was not sitting under this particular tree or we may never have learned about gravity!

My walk made me feel happy and I realize that I do prefer warm weather to cold weather!

"On my walk I found
rotten apples on the ground.
Once, they had been strong
but now, they were gone.
We too, are like the lone one
clinging to life under the sun!"
E. Moscoso
January 26, 2015

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Now I Know Why!

On a recent flight to California, I snapped my seat belt on, I made myself as comfortable as I could, and I looked in the pocket in front of me for the SkyMall magazine. It wasn't there. I looked at my neighbor's pocket and there was no magazine in his pocket either.

An anger came over me. Why, I thought, are people so inconsiderate and take the magazine when they get off the plane. Though I have also taken the magazine to read at home, it upset me that my copy was missing. I thought the flight attendants re-filled the pockets when passengers left the plane with the magazine. For about fifteen minutes I fumed because I really do enjoy looking through the magazine and seeing all the different, ridiculous and interesting items for sale. Items I would never buy but maybe, just maybe, I would like to have. On my return trip, again there were no magazines and I thought, I wonder if they didn't get them printed, did they forget to deliver them or are they discontinuing the magazine. I thought about asking a flight attendant, but I didn't.

This morning on a television show I saw where SkyMall Magazine is filing bankruptcy. Evidently, no one was ordering from the magazine but people were ordering on line. Therefore, the magazine is out and the Internet is in! It seems that most people just look up SkyMall on their electronic devices and order on line. I looked on the Internet and read: SkyMall catalog can be ordered on line. Order your SkyMall catalog today and treat yourself to the convenience of our print catalog. So those that want a hard copy can still get one as of today. Who knows what will happen in the future! Or one can look at the pictures on line and order whatever is wanted or needed.

Now I know why there were no Sky Mall Magazines on the planes!

Saturday, January 24, 2015


This morning I hit 17,000 views on my blog. I only know about six persons who actually read my blog so I wonder who the other 16,994 are also reading my blog? In looking at the stats for all time, the blog most read is Cellular Phone Dilemma with 2,144 hits.

The Cellular Phone Dilemma is followed by:

  • Could Paul Gauguin's Blood Run Through My Children, 
  • Saturday Afternoon at the Movies, 
  • Alcalde Mayor, 
  • Tucked Away Between Longmont and Arvada
  • I Am Watching You From Heaven, 
  • Red Garnet, Yam or Sweet Potato, 
  • Santo Nino de Atocha, 
  • Scent of a Gardenia
  • Eight Generations 
 The United States has the most readers followed by Russia, Germany, France, Ukraine, Latvia, United Kingdom, Poland, Canada and Turkey.

When I check the statistics for the week, these are my blogs that are being read.
  • Is It a Pea?
  • Cellular Phone Dilemma
  • Saturday Afternoon at the Movies
  • Dinosaur Ridge
  • Red Garnet, Yam and Sweet Potato
  • Final Thoughts on My Vacation to Cabo
  • Tucked Away Between Longmont and Arvada
  • How Did He Do That?
  • Two Words That Scare Me
  • Young at Heart Board
Readers are from the United States, France, Russia, China, Germany, United Kingdom, Mexico, Indonesia, Malaysia and Poland.

The day statistics only showed two countries reading my blog. The United States and Mexico.

  • Cellular Phone Dilemma
  • Saturday Afternoon at the Movies
  • The Mooing Cow
  • The Scent of Gardenia
  • Screen Writing 
  • I Am Watching You From Heaven
  • Sand Dunes
  • Praying the Rosary
  • Interesting Movie
Every once in awhile I like to check the statistics and wonder who all the readers are and what they think about my every day ramblings. I believe my type of writing is called "a slice of life," and that is exactly what the reader gets, a small piece of my life!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Screen Writing

For Christmas this year I was given a computer class, Industrial Scrips, Screen Writing and Screen Play Consultants, on how to write screen plays. "I know how much you like writing and thought you would like this gift," my son said to me. It is twenty-nine lessons and I am tested at the end of each lesson. So far, I have taken three lessons and passed them.  I already knew some of the information due to my interest in writing.

Lesson 1 was the Basic of Screen Writing; Lesson 2 explained "what is a story."  Every story needs a protagonist, goals, conflict, stakes, and log line.  Frank Daniels, I have no idea who he is, explained a story as: Somebody wants something badly and is having difficulty getting it.

Lesson 3 was an eye-opener for me. I learned how to set up a page for screen writing and that was entirely new to me. I never knew how picky editors can be and how setting up a page with its margins, caps, font size and lingo is very important. I always thought that if the story was good, someone else would do the screen script. Now, I am finding out there is a certain way it needs to be done or the script may never get read. I know this course will help me if I ever decide to write a screen play.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

What Do I Do With All My Stuff?

In the mail I received a card advertising San Marino Retirement Community and inviting me to come for a tour and lunch to see what they had to offer. Today, I decided to visit the place that tells me I can "enjoy beautiful gardens, walkways, fine dining, friendly people and so much more!"

I live in a three bedroom home, with a large living area, a large kitchen and a basement. Every room has got something in it, whether I need it or not. Even though I have gotten rid of a lot, my house is still full of "stuff." When I saw the size of the independent living apartments, I wondered, if I ever decided to move to San Marino, what would I do with all my stuff. The whole apartment I was shown might very well fit into my kitchen! I have always thought the bedrooms in my house were too small but when I saw the bedroom in the apartment it was even smaller than mine. The lady giving me the tour mentioned that all the apartments had balconies and some had a storage area. I got a glitter of hope that a lot of my stuff could go into the storage area until I saw the area. About half the size of one of my bedroom closets.

The dining area is a huge bright room with a large mural on one wall that made me think of Italy. A very pleasant room. The tables had maroon tablecloths, nice center pieces, and chairs with floral upholstery. I was told, "Living in the apartments also includes three meals a day." I liked that aspect because I do not like to cook!

The lure of not having to shovel walks when it snowed and not having to worry about my lawn in the summer, was not enough to make me think about moving to San Marino Retirement Community. The other factor that made me wonder about a move into the small apartment was the price; ranging from $1795 to $2395 a month. The Villas looked nice with a attached garage and much larger than the apartments, I was told, but there were no openings. I didn't even ask what the homes at the Villas would cost!

Investigating for the future is what I am calling my visit to the retirement community. I may go look at other
places just to have an idea of what is offered for seniors because at my age, it never hurts to know what is available in Arvada for "older" people.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

What I Saw and Heard Last Night

I do not get involved in politics. I do not care to hear the bickering between the congress, the house and the president. I do not believe half of what I hear regarding politics. It upsets me to see a President put down, whether he be an elephant or a donkey. It seems that politics has gone from differences of opinions to downright mean and ugly insults. Last night, January 20, 2015, I listened to President Obama's State of the Union and these are my observations of what I saw while he spoke.

  •  Hypocrites clapping as if they really love the President.
  •  A man at eye level looked as if he had hair, but a camera angle taken from above showed a bald head with a few strands of hair swiped across the baldness. I felt bad for the man.
  • As the President walked in there was a lot of shaking hands with men, cheek kissing with women and one black lady was skipped over, though she appeared ready for her greeting. I felt bad for the woman.
  •  The President's hair is fast turning white.
  •  Boehner, Speaker of the House of Representatives, seemed a reddish-dark color in contrast to Biden who seemed a pinkish-white and the President's tan coloring.
  •  Nice to hear that over 10 million now have health coverage. 
  •  Strong applause when hard working people will add to the growing opportunity for every American.
  •  It was interesting to know that during WWII there was national child care so that women could help the war effort but now that both parents need to work there is nothing.
  •  The President wants quality child care, paid sick leave for seven days for the 43 million Americans, and women should be paid the same as a man for doing the same work.
  •  He asked if anyone could support a family for $15,000 a year? He would like to raise minimum wage and maybe the politicians against raising minimum wage should try living on the amount now paid. I thought that was a good point!
  •  We need educated youth and he would like to upgrade skills by lowering community colleges to a zero fee.
  •  It won't be long before three years of college will equal the same as high school.
  •  Veterans must have quality care and help to get jobs. It was nice that he thanked Michelle Obama and Jill Biden for their help in this area.
  •  Jobs should be here in America and not sent over seas.
  •  I found that he is still a great speaker. Knows what to say and how to say it. He also has a sense of humor that comes out when he smiles.
  •  Some clapped with heart. Others barely slapped hands together. Some stood up. Some sat. Some looked bored. Some looked sleepy.  Some seemed to be 100% behind what he was saying. Some smiled. Some looked angry. Some looked as if they agreed.
  •  When hunting down terrorists was mentioned, Boehner jumped up to applaud. Gave me the feeling that if he was able he'd have us in a war.
  •  Lifting the embargo from Cuba brought clapping especially an elderly man named Alan Gross. I had no idea who he was until I looked on the Internet. He was a prisoner in Cuba from 2009 until his release in December 17, 2014. Now I understand his repeated thank you and vigorous clapping.
  • I liked when the President said,  "Protect the one planet  we've got," on climate change.
  •  Military did not seem to like what he said about "Gitmo." None stood or clapped.
  •  He mentioned that those that serve in government should set a better example. A lot of good people on both sides of the aisle could get a lot done. "Imagine if we broke out of our old patterns and debated for the good of the country and not for those, I gotcha moments."
  •  Right to vote is sacred.
  •  Crime rate and incarceration is coming down together. Yet, it seems, to me, there is more crime than ever.
  •  He will continue to do what he believes is good for America. He will seek Republican ideas to make the country stronger.  The United States is not a collection of blue and red states. How great it would be to begin a new chapter together. Ended his talk with,  God Bless You.
  •  On his way out he did give a cheek kiss to the lady he skipped on his way in! Made me feel better.
  •  I noticed his remark seemed a bit angry when he said, "I won the last two elections," but I did not know why. I thought maybe there were hecklers, but in the news this morning I heard it was for those that clapped when he mentioned he had two more years.
  •  I also read this morning that Michelle's suit, a copy of a suit worn by the character in The Good Wife had cost close to $1000. That made me sad, wish she had been more conservative, like when she wore J Crew outfits.

I liked what President Obama said, but after hearing the rebuttals from the opposing side, I doubt that anything will get done. The argument that people must not be happy with how the President is doing because the Congress is now 100% Republican, to me, does not mean anything. Some people are racist and will vote for a white person over a black. I hope that the next two years continue to improve and that President Obama will go out with flying colors.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Is it a Pea?

If it is shaped like a pea in a pod and looks like a pea pod, it must be a pea. Wrong. While eating at a Japanese restaurant,Kikoros, in Arvada, we were served an appetizer that looked like pea pods. "How do you eat these," I asked. The waitress said, "Just squeeze the bean out." I did, and found two or three delicious, semi-hard, green, pea like beans inside the pod. I liked the Edamame which turned out to be green soy beans. The outside of the pod had salt sprinkled on its skin and when the bean popped out, the tasty nutritional bean mixed with the salt turned into a delicious treat!

This is a legume that can be used by vegetarians and vegans in salads, appetizers or snacks. I found out that more and more restaurants are using Edamame. Some stores, like Trader Joe's sells the Edamame already shelled. The pods are boiled or steamed and sprinkled with salt and can be eaten hot or cold. It is a healthy snack with fiber, protein, vitamins C and A, and calcium.

At last, something I like that is healthy and good for me!

Saturday, January 17, 2015


Peruvian restaurants serve a sauce, usually in a plastic ketchup bottle, that can be squeezed over whatever you are eating. The sauce is green in color, though I have seen Aji a pale orange color. Aji has a different taste with a bit of a bite to it. At different Peruvian restaurants we have asked for the recipe but it seems as if it is a big secret. No one seems to want to part with how to make Aji.  For the Christmas holidays, I was in California and we ate at Inca Mamas and between three of us, we used up the whole container of the green sauce.

My son-in-law asked how Aji was made and the Peruvian waiter said, "Very easy. Iceberg lettuce, garlic, Serrano chile,and salt. My daughter tried making it and her comment was, "You need to add some mayonnaise. We made it, but the consistency wasn't quite right."

I decided to give it a try. I used a small head of iceberg lettuce a bit larger than a grape fruit, two cloves of garlic, 2 large globs of mayo, Serrano pepper cut in pieces and sprinkled some salt, pepper, and Adobo into the blender. It was difficult trying to blend everything so I added about one cup of water. My result is tasty.
It may not be quite like the Peruvian sauce but it will go great with any thing I want to put it on. The color is the same and once I put it in plastic ketchup bottle my experiment will be a success!

Looking on the Internet, I found some recipes where jalapeno peppers were used instead of Serrano peppers, and cilantro and onion were added to the mix. Next time I make Aji, I will add the cilantro and onion to see if it makes a difference!

I also learned that Aji had been used in Peru by the Incas and that other Latin countries also make a similar sauce. My thought is that here in the United States we will never have an authentic Aji because we do not have the Aji peppers. For me, it does not matter because I ended up with a tasty sauce which I will call Aji!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Are Dogs Taking Over the World?

On January 12, 2015, I blogged about a dog sitting in one of the chairs at Kaiser Permanente. Today, I went to see Wild with Reese Witherspoon and right before the movie began, in walked a man with two small dogs.

After the movie I waited and snapped a picture as they were headed down the stairs. Why, within a week, I saw a dog at Kaiser and two dogs at the movie? Made me wonder if dogs may taking over the world!

Growing up, I remember the only service dogs I would see were the ones assisting the blind. Or, newsreels of St. Bernards helping avalanche victims. Now there are dogs for emotional, hearing, PTSD ( Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), therapy and any support a service dog can give to a handicapped person. From what I have seen on television or read, these dogs are tremendous help for those suffering from problems.

As we left the theater, I caught up with the man and asked, "Did your dogs enjoy the movie?" His reply was, "They always do." He then had the two cute and well-behaved dogs pose for me.

On their red vests, I noticed  Working dog. Do not Pet. A patch let me know that the dogs were Service Dog, Access Required. Either the dogs were in training or they were providing moral or some kind of support for the man.

"If there are no dogs 
in heaven, then when
I die, I want to go
where they went."
Will Rogers

Thursday, January 15, 2015

How Did He Do That?

This was the question asked by everyone at the January 15, 2014, Young At Heart dinner. The theme of the evening was Under The Big Top and a magician, Jeff Jensen, performed unbelievable tricks. We all asked the question, "How did he do that?"

Jeff is a Denver native and has been performing magic tricks for about ten years. He told me that he does shows at Casa Bonita in Lakewood. I liked that he included YAH members for some of the tricks. When he went up to a lady and said, "Your name must be Gerri!" She was amazed until she realized he was reading her name tag. He performs to music, is humorous in what he does, and holds every one's interest by his witty wisecracks. The rings he tangled and untangled was an amazing trick.When he did a card trick we were shocked at how he could move playing cards from one person's pocket to another! A twenty dollar bill taken from a YAH member, had the member initial it, folded it into a tiny square, placed a hanky over it and then later found the twenty inside a lemon inside a gift bag. How did he do that?

As usual, the pork roast, mashed potatoes, vegetables, salad and bread were delicious and the dessert table with all the pies, cookies, cakes, brownies, candy and peach cobbler was a scrumptious sight to see!         

Everyone chatted with their neighbors and the evening was a happy affair with clowns roaming around. The table decorations were clever with three rings circus cutouts.

Credit and success of the YAH dinner can be given to all the generous persons willing to help. The volunteers meet to make the decorations and then decorate the tables and room on the day of the affair. I found the decorations to be clever, especially Barbie dolls as trapeze artists! I heard that some of the decorators had begun working at seven in the morning to have the room ready.

Kitchen help is needed for buying the food, cooking, setting desserts out, serving and cleaning up. Desserts are brought  by the attendees, depending on their last name initial.

The Entertainment Chairperson finds and contracts different acts to bring joy to the YAH members. Events Coordinators make sure drinks are provided, that the room is set up to accommodate the acts, and that there is a table for the photographs that are taken each month.  Greeters sit at the entrance and greet the people arriving to the dinner. I do not know exactly how many people are involved for an evening of fun but I do know it is a big bunch of helpers!

A highlight is singing Happy Birthday to the January birthdays and giving each birthday person a Hershey candy bar! One lady will celebrate her 93rd birthday this month!

"Magic is the only
honest profession.
A magician promises to 
deceive you and he does."
Karl Germain

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Don Diego de Vargas

The sun was hot as we wandered around the plaza at Santa Fe, New Mexico. The year was 1958 and it was my first time to the Fiestas of Santa Fe. Native Americans spread blankets on covered sidewalks to

show their wares; mostly jewelry. Different musical acts were on a main stage. I managed to take a few photos before some Native American man scolded me and told me to never  take pictures of the Indians. There is a belief that the camera takes their souls!  I obediently put my camera away. I did not get my camera out when the parade began and Don Diego de Vargas and his Spanish soldiers came riding in on beautiful horses with silver saddles. The Fiestas are celebrated for de Vargas' return to Santa Fe without a fight with the Pueblos, and even though there were problems and uprising, he is given credit for a peaceful reentry into Santa Fe.

When I began taking groups on Pilgrimages to Chimayo I tried to arrange the trip to coincide with the Fiestas. Each year we went, there would be a new Don Diego de Vargas. I managed to get my picture taken with some of them.

Don Diego de Vargas was born in 1643, married and had five children. Wanting money and a title, he came to New Spain (Mexico) and became a royal administrator. He had three more children by a woman he never married. The governor of New Mexico accused de Vargas of cheating and de Vargas was under house arrest from 1697-1700. When the King of Spain reinstated him and gave him the title of Marquis de la Nava de Barcinas, de Vargas returned to New Mexico as governor in 1703. Vargas died on April 8, 1704 at the age of sixty.

"de Vargas had prayed to the Virgin Mary, 
under her title of La Conquistadora, 
for the peaceful re-entry.
Every year the fiestas are celebrated
in her honor."

Monday, January 12, 2015

Is Kaiser Permanente Going to the Dogs?

Today while I was at Kaiser Permanente on Sheridan Blvd, I happened to see this dog sitting waiting for his appointment. Not really, but he sure looked as if he was waiting to be called. My guess is that the dog is a service dog and was waiting for his master! But, then, who knows! It was a sight that made me smile.

"I sit here in this chair,
looking around without a care.
People may think I'm out of place
to see my curious doggie face.
As I sit here with out guile
I  do make people smile!
Maybe that's how therapy works,
One of Kaiser's many perks!"
By Doggie in Chair
January 12, 2015

My Expired Handicap Parking Permit

When I fell and broke my ankle in September of 2013 I never even thought of a handicap permit for close-in parking. It wasn't until my daughter and son-in-law suggested I should have one, because I had problems walking, that I applied for one.  I got one in November and found the convenience of parking near entrances a big help. The permit would expire in February of 2014.

I consider myself to be an honest person, yet, when I continued using the permit after the expiration date I had pangs of guilt. My thinking was that since I still had problems walking,  I could not walk any distance, I needed a mobile cart to sit in while I shopped, and I had a noticeable limp that it was okay to use the expired permit.

Sometimes, if I saw someone worse off than me, I felt a bit of remorse but not enough to park in a regular parking spot. For ten months I parked in handicapped parking using the expired permit. My great awakening came  in December when I traveled out of state and my car was left in a handicapped parking spot at the airport. When I returned from my trip, there was a ticket on my car.

While in California, I had seen notices that it was a $250 fine if anyone was caught parking in a handicap parking without a permit. I opened my envelope and was relieved it was only $150. It was still a lot of money but I paid it without arguing, even though I am still wheeled around in a wheelchair at the airport. I still have a limp and my ankle swells up and gives me pain so I thought I might fight the ticket by taking time to go to court or even returning to the doctor for another permit. After a brief debate with myself, I decided to pay the fine.

I made up my mind never to park in a handicapped spot unless I had a current permit and consider myself lucky for all the times I did park with an expired permit. Today I was at Costco and even though I had to walk through the crowded parking lot, I felt good, free and without guilt as I walked into the store! 

Friday, January 9, 2015

Five Month Wait

My father was an avid reader of Jules Verne and once told me that Verne wrote about things that seemed impossible. Later, as the world changed, he told me what a great mind the author had, to be able to predict what would happen in the future. I remember going to the movie in my teens and my father mentioned he liked 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea better!

After seeing the new Cantiflas movie in September of 2014, I looked for other movies with Cantiflas as the star. Around the World in 80 Days won an Academy Award for best picture in 1956 (no matter what my father thought) so I decided to order the film from Netflix.  It was a long wait, either because it is a popular rental or because there are only a few copies, but whatever the reason I finally received the two disc DVD on January 8, 2015.

The movie disappointed me because I did not think the acting was that great. But, the places filmed were interesting and Cantiflas did have some funny sketches. I would rate it a five out of ten. It surprised me that it won over Giant, The King and I, The Ten Commandments, and Friendly Persuasion.

The movie is about a wager made by Phileas Fogg (David Niven) about going around the world in eighty days from England. He and his man servant, Passepartout, (Cantiflas) begin their journey by checking their pocket watches. They arrive in France and take a hot air balloon which gives the viewers a chance to see the beautiful landscapes in the area. In Spain, Cantiflas does a flamenco dance and joins bullfighters for a comical bullfight. In India a princess is rescued (a very young Shirley MacLaine that I did not recognize until I heard her voice). They continue to Hong Kong, Japan, San Francisco, the west with cowboys, Indians and the Cavalry and it was fun watching what would happen next. Mountain scenes, old fashioned steam engine train and boats on the ocean were modes of transportation for the travelers!

There were over fifty cameo appearances but I will only list those that I recognized. Red Skelton, Buster Keaton, Joe E. Brown, Edward R. Murrow, Marlene Dietrich, George Raft, Frank Sinatra, Tim McCoy,
Andy Devine, Trevor Howard, Charles Boyer, Jose Greco, Noel Coward, Sir John Gielgud, Gilbert Roland, Cesar Romero, Peter Lorrie, and Ronald Colman.

Cantiflas still wore his pants low on his hips and I liked him, not because his acting was so great, but for sentimental reasons. He brought back memories of when my parents would take me to Spanish films to see him.

Maybe the film won Best Picture because of the 112 locations, 13 countries, 140 sets and over 65,000 extras. I am glad I saw the movie again because I had forgotten most of it. It is an enjoyable long movie and perfect to watch in our snowy and 20 degree weather!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Blood Orange

While shopping at Sprouts I saw an orange-like fruit called a blood orange. I had heard about blood diamonds and wondered if these blood oranges had been harvested by slave labor. The blood oranges were smaller than the regular Navel or Valencia oranges. I had never heard of a blood orange and I was curious as to what it could be, how it was different than a real orange, where it came from and what taste it would have.

When I sliced the blood orange, the inside was a deep red, almost maroon. The color is pretty and would give color to a salad, could be used as a decoration on a plate or just be eaten like a regular orange.  I read where it is an orange with a slight raspberry taste. The blood orange I ate tasted just like a regular orange, but not as sweet. The blood orange was a bit more expensive than regular oranges. I liked that it did not have any seeds.

On Wikipedia I read: The blood orange is a variety of orange with crimson, almost-blood-colored flesh.  December and January are the months when they are sold and most of crops we get are from California. I found out that something called anthocyanins causes the color red and can be found in red-purple fruit or vegetables.
The anthocyanin is beneficial to our health and can protect from many diseases! Who knew? The blood orange is loaded with Vitamin C, folic acid, anthocyanins, calcium, and Vitamin A. It is rich in antioxidants and a good source of fiber. It has been called a anti-aging orange. Wow, I must make a note to eat lots of  blood oranges!

I find it interesting that at my age I am still learning about new things. Makes me wonder where the fruit has been all my life and why this is the first time I came across it!

A blood-orange is new to me,
quite pretty you will agree.
Though it's a deep red inside
the orange flavor cannot hide.
E. Moscoso
January 8, 2015

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

A Gentle Giant

This evening, January 7, 2015, I attended a memorial for Father Lawrence Kaiser at the Shrine of St. Anne Catholic Church. The pews slowly filled up leaving a few persons standing in the back. I saw a few priests but did not recognize any of them even though I had worked at the Archdiocese for ten years. The white casket was in the front of the church. The only familiar face was of a Deacon from Spirit of Christ. There was a lot of whispering and chattering while waiting for the service to begin.

At 7 p.m. I noticed that the church went silent. Nothing could be heard and I felt as if I had lost my hearing.  Amazing to see the church in such a quiet mode. A hymn was sung without music and some of notes I could hear were off key.  I felt a sadness for Fr. Kaiser, shouldn't there have been a large choir of singers and musicians? I also wondered why the service was at St. Anne's and not at Guardian Angels where he had been the pastor. Before praying the rosary, Deacon Richard Borda gave us a quick lesson on the Blessed Mother. He explained that She is like a magnifying glass, enlarging God to us when we go to her. I liked the analogy.

After the Rosary, led by different priests or deacons, a sole guitarist sang "Great is Thy Faithfulness." It was a beautiful tune and it brought tears to my eyes. Deacon Borda spoke about his first meeting with Fr. Kaiser and how surprised he was when Father answered the phone with "Hello." Deacon had been expecting to hear, "St. Helena's"  or at the very least, a receptionist. .  He mentioned that Fr. Kaiser was a quiet man, but, if you ever met him, you would never forget him. I agreed with him on that point also.

Things I did not know was that Fr. Kaiser helped out at the Shrine of St. Anne's and ate breakfast with the priests and deacons from the parish. Now I understood why the Rosary was at St. Anne's. Fr. Kaiser's younger brother gave the eulogy but I could not hear him very well. I did notice he paused a lot when he became emotional and choked up. It was announced that the funeral mass would be tomorrow morning at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Denver.

We were invited to return to St. Anne's tomorrow, around one, for a reception. Anyone wanting to share stories about Fr. Kaiser was encouraged to speak at the reception. I am tempted to tell my story about his traveling to New Mexico with a group of pilgrims. On that trip I enjoyed talking with Father, learning about his love of rocks, his liking to be outdoors, and how he loved Mariachi music. On the trip he celebrated mass at the Santuario de Chimayo for a couple's 50th Wedding Anniversary. Fr. Kaiser was a special man and if I had known he was helping at St. Anne's I would have contacted him. I remember thinking that I would have liked to have him for my spiritual director! The last time I saw him was seven years ago
at a get together luncheon for the many persons that had traveled to Chimayo with me.

Driving home after the service, I saw an almost full moon in between the brilliant street and car lights and couldn't help thinking that Fr. Kaiser was on that moon looking down at me

The pictures below are from 2006 and my memories of Fr. Kaiser
will always be on the holy trip and how we all loved him!

On January 8, 2015, I went to the reception for Fr. Kaiser. I enjoyed watching a video of his life and realized what I knew of him was a tiny part of his life. He had goats at the rectory and the title of the video showing the goats was , Larry's Kids. I learned he was a photographer and Through His Eyes, a series of photos he had taken, showed his love of nature and that he had enjoyed painting. Pictures of his many arrowheads and rocks were also shown. I was told he wanted to have a museum at Guardian Angels, for the children, to display his collection.

I sat at a table with Guardian Angel people who spoke about him with love. They told me about the beautiful mass represented by many priests and deacons. Terri told me about her welcoming him when he first came to Guardian Angels, Vera spoke on having breakfast every morning after mass with Father, Roman had been an altar boy serving mass with Father and Angel, Lu and Sue all had sweet memories of  Fr. Kaiser.
Meeting people from Wiggins, Ft. Morgan, and Denver was interesting because they all had tales to tell.

I told them about Father's trip to Chimayo and the little bit I knew of Father Kaiser. I gave them my blog address so they could read about his going to Chimayo with us. It was a lovely reception, in a way sad but mostly remembering the life of Father Kaiser.