Sunday, May 31, 2015

A Moose, A Buffalo And A Chicken

Hanging from the wall was a moose and a buffalo, while sitting on different counters were chickens. As my granddaughter and I walked into the White Fence Farm Restaurant, I remarked that it looked different. It seemed more open and not as jam packed with stuff. The candy and pie area had been moved closer to the front desk and had the look of a '50's ice cream parlor called Granny's. The chickens and roosters had been moved into a smaller room and when a button is pushed, the same corny jokes entertain visitors.

I suppose one could say we were celebrating my granddaughter's school year ending and since she gave me a neat card, my birthday. I mentioned to the waitress how things looked different. "Oh yes," she said, "new owners have taken over the restaurant but nothing is changing. Everything remains the same other than a few changes in the areas that were too crowded."  She also said, "Oh, and we have new uniforms." I found out that the new owners took over in November of last year. She mentioned that there was a lot of wasted space that has now been filled by moving things around and giving the gift areas an uncluttered look.

There was a positive change in the hours for Saturday. It used to be Saturday's dinner would begin around 4:30 p.m. Now, on Saturday and Sunday the restaurant is open at 11:30 a.m.  The restaurant is closed on Mondays; Tuesday through Friday the hours are 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. I could not see any difference in the food when we were served the corn fritters, bean salad, pickled beets with onion, and cottage cheese. The chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy were like I remembered them so the new ownership seems to be working out!

We ate a delicious, expensive piece of fudge as we looked around at the different areas. She took my picture with Thomas Jefferson!

Upstairs looked the same. Children were sliding down a "pig chute," and playing in a red barn. We sat in the living room area and talked about school, her cousins, Estes Park, took selfies and it felt as if we were in a private room with the large couches and overstuffed chairs! We sat on metal tractor seat stools and waited for the music to begin. The country and western band began to play and I could tell it was not her kind of music.  After listening to part of a slow two-step we left.

Spending time with my granddaughter is special. How fast the time flies because she is no long a little girl but a teen-ager. She helps me understand my smart phone by showing me how to get the new emojies. I asked her how I would turn photos around and once she explained what I should do it was easy. Without her explanation I can struggle for hours and not figure things out!

A wonderful Sunday on a sunny day,
 sky blue; not gray,
every thing okay!
Good food,
great mood,
with love so vast. 
I wish
 moments like these forever would last,

Granddaughter fun
lights up my day like a bright sun,
 then like a marathon run,
Sunday is gone,
leaving a feeling of satisfaction.
E. Moscoso
May 31, 2015

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Celebrating Our May Birthdays

It was fun seeing friends at Los Arcos Mexican Restaurant yesterday and being serenaded by Sol De Mi Tierra Mariachi group. There were seven of us; a school teacher, a nun, a worker who takes care of small animals, a Children's Museum employee, a mother of a politician, a man who had just returned from Mesa Verde, Pagosa Springs, etc., and me. Some drank Margaritas, two drank wine, one had a beer and I had my favorite of water with lemon.Three had other appointments and left our gathering after eating. The rest of us stayed to enjoy the music! Two of us were celebrating our May birthdays.  We enjoyed the good food, the fun companionship and the great music. Three of us had worked together at one time and we spent time catching up on what we have been doing since we last saw each other.

The mariachi in their navy outfits embroidered with yellow and white flowers is one of the best groups I have heard. They play requests but did not know my request of Los Aretes Que Le Faltan A La Luna. (The earrings missing from the moon.) The group played plenty of other tunes plus Las Mananitas, the Spanish happy birthday song and then in English the old standby of Happy Birthday To You.

It was a fun evening and as we parted ways we said we would get together again soon. I certainly hope it isn't a whole year before we see each other again because by then we will all be a whole year older!

"The more you praise
and celebrate life,
the more there is in
 life to celebrate."
Oprah Winfrey

Friday, May 29, 2015

A Friend's Mother

At the Young At Heart dinners and lunches at Spirit of Christ Catholic Community, I would see my friend with her beautiful elderly mother. I would think how lucky to have a mother to enjoy spending time with her. My mother died when she was fifty-nine years old and I still miss her. My friend lost her mother a few days ago and her mother was 96 years old. She was able to spend so many more years with her mother. I do know that no matter how long we have a parent, an empty space is left when they go away.

We learned that her husband who preceded her in death loved the color yellow. The priest told a story about
how God lets us know he is thinking about us. Evidently, while in hospice care, soft music was put on the television. As the music played a bouquet of yellow flowers came up on the screen.  "What a wonderful way to go," the priest said, "her husband's favorite color on the screen and surrounded by soft music." Makes one wonder if her husband was letting his wife know that he was waiting for her. I liked when the priest said, "life changes but does not end." It's kind of neat to know that we will continue on to better things!

Sister and brother told us stories about their mother and I got to know more about the lady. A few things made me wish I had known her better. I bet she had many stories to tell about her travels and cruises. The pride in always having her hair done, jewelry, matching outfits, and makeup I found interesting. "Even in assisted living when she came out of her room to eat, the nurses would comment, "It looks as if you are going out to a party!" She was helpful and with her sewing skills she would hem clothes for some of the people in assisted living.

She is now gone to a better life and is together with her husband Bernie. Now that is a beautiful picture!

Two funerals in one week made me think about how fragile life can be and it made me remember something my father told me a long time ago when we were discussing whether we believed in heaven and hell. "You know," he said, "I don't know if there is life after death, but I will live my life as God wants me to because in the end if there is a heaven that is where I want to go. If there is no heaven, I still lived a good and honorable life on earth."

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Such A Nice Man

 A few years ago I met man who was celebrating his 90th birthday. Even though he sat in a wheel chair, he was friendly and smiled a lot.  After that meeting, whenever I saw him we always greeted each other. He attended the same mass I did and he always sat in the same spot. As I would walk by, we'd make eye contact, and a big smile would cross his face. His hand would raise and I would grab it and lean in close and ask, "How are you doing?" His response was always the same. "I am fine."

For the past two weeks he had not been at mass and I missed him. Then, I heard that he had passed away. His funeral mass was yesterday and I felt as if my buddy had passed on. Strange how someone I did not know very well, once gone, is missed.

Today I learned about his background. He had been a teacher, a principal, and served in the Navy. His life,  according to his grandson, was loving his family, his friends, and his country. A sentence in the obituary notice, "because every life has a story," made me think how little we know of people who are our acquaintances.We may know them in this day and age but yet we do not know their past. I would be willing to bet that everyone has an interesting story.

His son and his grandson spoke about their Dad and Grandfather. I found out  that he was the Principal at Ranum High School and Westminster High School for thirty-five years  He was in the military and served in the Navy. He married his wife over 71 years ago, had two children and four grandchildren. The obituary had comments from former students from Texas, Arizona, Nebraska, Colorado, Iowa, and Nevada. They praised his fairness and his sense of humor. What I remember is his being a sweet, friendly and kind man.

At the funeral mass, the priest said that we were not celebrating a death, but a life. Christ died for us to give us eternal life and even though it is difficult to understand, it gives one a good feeling that life is just beginning
when we die. As I walked out of the church, the coffin draped in the United States of American flag brought tears to my eyes.

The reception proved he had many friends that belong to the Young At Heart group of Spirit of Christ Catholic Community. A luncheon was prepared by the Touch Committee and internment followed with military honors at Ft. Logan National Cemetery.

The day was mixed with sadness and joy.  Bouquets of flowers were interspersed with mementos of his life.

Rest in Peace
 Frederick John Jerigese
October 17,1923 -May 18, 2015

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Rabbit Habit

What I thought was unusual, I was told by a friend that it is very common in her neighborhood. The only place I have seen rabbits running wild is at the zoo. It's not like I have never seen rabbits where I don't expect to see them, but yesterday the rabbit was practically at the entrance to the store. I happened to be near Dillards at Flat Irons Mall when I saw the grayish-brown rabbit jumping around. It had oval dark eyes and long ears and it did seem to keep its eye on me. I figured it must be accustomed  to people because as I neared it did not bother to hop away.  A few leaps and the rabbit could have entered the store!

If in fact there are lots of rabbits all over Arvada, I can understand why. My granddaughter was a "foster parent" for three or maybe four rabbits. She would watch the rabbits until they were "adopted." Rabbits may be cute with their wiggly nose and their cute hops and leaps but I noticed how they love humping each other or anything. It was almost an innate desire. With all the amorous behavior I could understand why there are so many rabbits! An article about rabbits states: "Rabbits hump to show dominance." Well, it could have fooled me!
Though I have always read that rabbits are social animals, it seemed that the rabbit I saw was a loner because I did not see any other rabbits at the mall.

That evening after seeing the rabbit and being told they are all over Arvada, I heard on the news that there is an outbreak of Rabbit Fever. (Tularemia) in the area. Humans can get ill if a tick, flea or mosquito bites the infected rabbit and then bites the human. Suddenly, those wiggly nosed, long-eared bunnies do not seem so appealing!
In a friend's large yard, I saw rabbits that will never get sick with anything! Now that's the kind of rabbit I like. If nothing else, I did get an idea for my blog!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Our Lady of Visitation

Mass this morning reminded me of small churches I have visited in New Mexico. The church is referred as the "Little Church." It is situated in the middle of a neighborhood and if one doesn't know where it is, it can easily be missed. Our Lady of Visitation is predominately Hispanic and maybe has room for 100 persons. When the priest gives the homily, it feels as if he is sitting in someone's home. Everyone is friendly and seem to know each other.
The simple altar is typical of a New Mexico chapel with the statues behind the altar and on the walls. A large picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe was draped with white flowers. I liked Nuestro Senor de Atocha high on the wall. The choir is at the rear of the church and sang a bit off key but reminded me of folks that sing from the heart for the glory of God!

After mass we joined the parishioners for coffee and donuts. I found out that next week the parish begins cooking and freezing food for the Bazaar in July. I asked, "Isn't that extremely early to begin cooking?" The response I got was, "No, we are so small that we need to begin early to prepare for the large amounts of people that attend our Bazaar."

Federico Pena, an attorney, was also having coffee and I found out he is married to the daughter of a deacon at Our Lady of Visitation. I remember Pena as the first Hispanic mayor in Denver elected in 1983. He was instrumental at having Denver International Airport built and the road leading to the airport is named after him; Pena Blvd. I've heard that he brought the Rockies to Denver. In Washington D.C. he served under President Clinton as Secretary of Transportation and Secretary of Energy. He is friendly and posed with me and two friends.

The priest who is pastor at Holy Trinity also celebrates mass at the Little Church. Not long ago I met him at a friend's house and today I reminded him that he had brought his guitar and entertained us. He gave a beautiful homily about Pentecost and explained the readings. He told us that on Pentecost Sunday, priests wear red to represent fire.  Fr. John Paul Leyba has a sense of humor and made the congregation laugh a few times as he explained the readings.

I got the feeling that the Little Church is very much the way all Christians should be; loving, kind, and willing to help. Love thy neighbor is evident in the parish and they know how to make a stranger feel welcome.
"Lord, send out your spirit
and renew the face of the earth."
 Psalm 104, 24, 29-30

Saturday, May 23, 2015

A Wonderful Birthday

Looking Good Restaurant: This May was extra special for me. My birthday
celebrations began on May 18 by having breakfast with a dear friend. She and I have been friends for over thirty-seven years and we used to see each other quite often. Our getting together has not been as often lately because she met a handsome man who takes up a lot of her time so on May 18, which is her birthday, we met for breakfast around 9:15 in the morning and we were still talking at 12:15 p.m. We had a lot of catching up to do!

Las Delicias:The nineteenth of May I had lunch with five friends at a Mexican restaurant and was surprised when the waiters plopped a sombrero on my head and sang happy birthday to me.

McDonalds: On the 20th I was treated to a cup of oatmeal for breakfast.

Home Cooked Meal: Another friend invited me to her home and prepared a delicious lunch. She and I became friends when we both worked for the Archdiocese of Denver and I liked that her daughters and my granddaughters are the same age. She loves to entertain and is an excellent cook. I have been to many parties at her home and the most important thing I see in her cooking, family and friends is how love seems to float around her and her home!

Young At Heart: At our dinner at Spirit of Christ Catholic Community on May 21, about fifteen May birthdays were celebrated by having Happy Birthday sung to us and each of us receiving a Hershey Candy Bar!

Georges: On Saturday I met family for lunch and I again enjoyed having birthday wishes sent my way!

I received cards with wonderful birthday wishes plus good thoughts from my Facebook friends. I would think that my birthday festivities would have ended. Instead, I will meet another friend whose birthday falls on May 23 to enjoy both of our "being born" days and on the 29th another friend and I will meet at Los Arcos to celebrate our May birthdays and listen to Mariachi music!

This year was a good one! I enjoyed having another year added to my life and I am thankful for my family and friends who have made my 77th birthday one of the best.

A High School Graduation

My long time friend has two daughters and they attend Holy Family High School. One daughter graduated this year and a special party was planned for her to celebrate her graduation and her 18th birthday. And what a fun party for the young lady!

Tables were set with large pans holding chicken in a sauce, rice and beans plus a cheese tray with grapes, a green salad, a veggie tray, hot dogs with all the condiments, and nachos covered in melted cheese. The attractive dessert table was loaded with candy bars, cookies, rice pudding, marshmallow and fruit skewers, and candy. 

It took the d-jay about an hour to set up all the equipment with pulsing lights, smoke, speakers, and selected music. A Mariachi band played for an hour and the girls joined in with a violin and a guitar. The graduate sang a beautiful ballad in Spanish. My thought was: These two girls are talented, sports minded, bi-lingual, friendly and have such a warmth about them. I knew the Mother had a lot to do with raising such special and neat girls.

Students, teachers, friends and family joined in sharing their thoughts about how they met the young celebrant. Things mentioned were how she lit up the halls with her smile, how positive she was, her kindness, what a pleasure to have in the classroom, her talent, a joy to be around, and how she was loved. I would have liked to have said how proud I was to see the little girl I met so long ago grow up to be such a lovely young lady but hearing all the praise and love from so many persons already had me emotional!

I liked when her step-father said: "Always

listen to your Mother and you will be all right." The music began and line dancing took over the floor. Young and old were dancing in puffs of smoke to the loud music when I left the marvelous party!

 A mother raises her children and hopes for the best.
Is sad when they leave the warm nest. 
She knows she did her best,
it's now up to them to do the rest! 
E. Moscoso
May 23, 2015

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Are 7's Lucky Numbers

On slot machines 777 will win some money. Today I am 77 and I wonder if this will be a good year for me. I remember my father telling me that even though he was 90 years old his emotions and feelings were still around 20 years old. I truly understand his statement today. I do not feel my age. I don't feel any different than I did when I was in my 30's. The problem is that my body is 77 and therefore cannot move as it used to move!

Breaking an ankle slowed me down. Going up and down stairs is more difficult. Getting in and out of the car is done in a slower manner. After sitting for a long time, it takes a while to get the joints moving and warmed up. Sometimes there are aches and pains. My mind does not seem to be affected until I try to remember something like a name, where I put something or why I entered a room. Eye glasses are a necessity and sometimes I need to use a magnifying glass to see tiny print. The day I lost a tooth I knew "nothing lasts forever."

I hate to admit I cannot do things like I used to and when our church offered to have volunteers come help with my yard work, I signed up. As I was signing up I saw persons also signing up but they were signing up to work in yards and not asking for help. Those persons I saw signing up were more frail than I am, were older, and looked in worse condition than I am. I canceled my request because if they could volunteer to work in someone's yard, then I certainly could get out and work in  my own yard!

Being reminded of my age comes from places I would never even think about. When I saw my grocery bill  the total surprised me. $77.71 could have been a hint to make me think of my age. Is that odd or what?

When I think of the alternative, adding another year is not bad. I thank God every day for all that I have and I pray to keep going even with my aches and pains, some memory loss, an occasional limp, and being slower in all that I do. I am grateful I am still here to enjoy my life with family and friends. Most of all, today  I am happy to be celebrating another birthday.
"How old would you be
if you didn't know how
old you are?"
Satchel Paige

Sunday, May 17, 2015

A Burger, Fries and a Coke

 "We all need to make time
for a burger once in awhile."
Erica Durance

I do not eat meat. Most of the time I am pretty much a vegetarian but sometimes, like today, I was craving a good hamburger. I thought about the Red Robin Restaurant, Jim's Burger Haven, Larkburger, and maybe driving to Golden to an In and Out Burger. I had seen on the Internet that one would open in Golden. When I mentioned the In and Out Burger, a young man laughed and said, "That was a hoax. In and Out is a California company and I doubt that they will ever move out here."

We were standing in the Food Court at Flat Irons Mall and near the Street Legal Burgers. I asked another   man what he thought of the burgers. "They are good," he said, "and I like them a lot because they have a good sauce on them, something like thousand island dressing."

"Would you say they are better than Jim's Burger Haven?" I asked.

He replied, "They are close, but I prefer these, and they have great milk shakes."

I thanked him and got in line. It seemed to be a popular place as I waited in line. I asked the worker to put every thing on the side; sauce, onions, lettuce, and  tomato. I got a coke, ketchup for my fries, and the hamburger was served in a cardboard container.

The place reminded me of a mini-Gunther Toody's. I suppose because of the black, white, yellow and red tile or because the front of  a Chevrolet poked out of the wall.

The food court was crowded but I managed to find a table and prepared to enjoy my hamburger. The burger was good and a sign informed me that my burger was "fast, fresh and legal." If what I was eating was legal, what was an illegal burger?

"I always want to find the
best burger in town."
Dennis Quaid

Saturday, May 16, 2015

How Many Is Too Many?

 Crucifix is a model of a cross with a figure of Jesus Christ crucified on it.
 Merriam Webster Dictionary

Some mornings the first thing I see is the crucifix hanging on my bedroom wall. I try to remember to say a prayer as I begin my day. Sometimes I forget but the crucifix is always there to remind me. Another small crucifix hangs above the light switch and I usually say good morning or utter another prayer as I go out the bedroom door.

If I hurry out of my bedroom without seeing either crucifix in my bedroom, another crucifix is in the hall way. This one has a rosary hanging from it. As I continue to the kitchen, another crucifix is hanging to remind me of Christ's dying on the cross for me. My office wall also sports a crucifix, as well as the spare bedroom. The one in the bedroom is one that can be used when the last rites are given. The top slides open revealing an area for two small candles to be inserted, a small bottle of oil, and the two candles.

Three of the crucifixes are of someone who has died and crucifixes of my mother, aunt
and brother were given to me after the service. I don't know for sure, but I believe my father's is with my brother in the Boston area. My sister in law and I chuckle when we remember the priest handing her the crucifix. She is Jewish.

Every room in my house has Christ hanging from the cross while the front room wall is filled with crosses I have collected in my travels. They should be a reminder of my faith, prompt me to be a better person or remind me to pray though sometimes I don't see them at all.

"Practice mercy and forgiveness throughout as a lesson
that symbolizes the love shown through his crucifixion."
Unarine Ramara