Monday, August 31, 2015

Help in Finding What is Lost

St. Anthony is known to many as the finder of lost things. I know that I have found items I have lost after I have prayed to St. Anthony. Many times right as my prayer ends, I spot what I am looking for. Other times it may take longer but eventually I do find what I have lost.

My Mother used to tell me a story about a young girl who prayed to St. Anthony because she could not find true love. For months she prayed but it didn't seem to help and one day she became angry and tossed the statue out her second floor bedroom window. The statue went sailing down and hit a man that was walking underneath her balcony. It hit him on the head and knocked him out. The girl's family rushed out and brought the unconscious man inside. The young girl helped in nursing him back to health because she felt guilty for tossing the statue out the window. She would bring him food and they would talk. When he was well enough to leave, he told her he had fallen in love with her. She also had fallen in love and when he asked for her hand in marriage, she accepted. She realized that St. Anthony had literally answered her prayers.

Not too long ago, a group of 40 persons went to Chimayo, New Mexico. One of the persons on the trip found, in one of the shops, a statue of St. Anthony holding baby Jesus. The child Jesus could be removed and she found out the legend said that the Child Jesus would be removed until the item was found. She bought a few statues to give as gifts. When she found out that other persons liked her statue of St. Anthony she ordered some more. Someone said, "Poor St. Anthony, the older we get the more help we need in finding things!"

On Sunday at St. Peter's Catholic Church, I saw a stained glass window of St. Anthony and once again I was reminded how using him to intercede for us is a popular belief in the finding of things.

Blessed be God in his Angels and in His Saints. 
O Holy St. Anthony, gentlest of Saints.
Your love for God and charity for his creatures
made you worthy, when on earth, to possess
miraculous powers. Encouraged by this thought
I implore you to obtain for me (request).
O gentle, loving St. Anthony whose heart was 
ever full of human sympathy, 
whisper my petition into the ears of 
Sweet Infant Jesus, who loved to be folded
in your arms; and the gratitude of my heart 
will for ever be yours. Amen

The Disappearance of the Green Chile

While I was in Greeley this past weekend, I was given three packages of frozen green chile. My thought was that I would have chile for quite awhile but I did not know that I would love the green stuff so much I polished off one bag in less than twenty-four hours.
By the time I got home from my Greeley visit, one package of the chile was almost unfrozen so I did not place it in the freezer with the other two packages. Toward evening when I got hungry for dinner, I warmed a tortilla, melted cheese on it, and put 4 tablespoons of the green chile.The chile had such a good flavor that I repeated the process. I can forget Hatch's or Pueblo green chile because this chile beats them both! I was told the chile seeds are from a crop begun many years ago from an ancestor.

 This morning I decided to have me an egg smothered with the plain green chile just as it came out of the baggie. I decided I liked it just as it came out of the package and did not add anything to it other than salt. My breakfast was perfect eaten with a warm tortilla. Yet, there was still some chile in the bag so I poured it into the skillet and warmed it. Imagine my  surprise when I saw the baggie was empty. How could I have eaten one bag so fast?

I knew the answer to my question without having to think about it.  The chile was  tasty, had just the right bite to it and I love green chile. I still have two bags in the freezer and I am hoping to control my urge for green chile, at least until I have time to prepare it with chunks of pork, tomato, garlic, and salt.  Or not!

I love that green chile stuff,
seems I can never have enough.
A little bite, but not too much,
with just a bit of a hot touch.
I can eat it all day long,
with Chas' chile I can't go wrong.
E. Moscoso
August 31, 2015

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Why Can't I Remember?

This morning I attended St. Peter's Catholic Church in Greeley, Colorado. I entered the large church and not one memory of when I was a child could I bring up. I remember attending mass and sitting on small four person pews to the side of the main pews. This morning I noticed the pews were placed on a slant and there were no smaller pews on the side. I looked at the altar, trying to bring back some memory of when I had attended in my child hood. Nothing came to mind.

There was a kneeling angel that sort of triggered a memory but I wasn't sure of what. Maybe they were angels I had seen in some other church. Even the stained glass windows did not conjure up a memory. Maybe I was too young to remember anything of the church when I would attend with my mother.

In speaking with a friend, he told me that the whole church had been gutted and renovated on the inside. He said, "Nothing is wrong with your memory, it's just that it's different now." That made me feel better and I could appreciate the beautiful church with it's towering white ceiling without a feeling of having lost something; like my mind!
St. Peter

A Special Garden

My father used to plant a garden every year. He planted his garden until he was ninety-four years old. I remember rows and rows of tomato plants, chile peppers, corn, carrots, radishes, lettuce and squash. I thought he was the best gardener in the whole wide world! When I saw a friend's lush green garden today he reminded me of my Dad. My friend is known for the green chile he grows and when his wife or his daughters make green chile, it is one of the best I have tasted.

When I mentioned how good the chile tasted, he said, "It comes from a seed that has been in my family for years."

All the daughters, except one, have learned to prepare the chile like their mother makes it. In the past I have visited the family on a Sunday and for breakfast there is a feast of beans, rice, chile, tortillas, potatoes and eggs. This morning, because I had spent the night after a fun time celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary, there was a large pot of menudo! (Traditionally, when people party hearty the night before, the menudo is supposed to help with a hangover!)

I admired the garden and before long all the children had arrived with their spouses and their children. That was fourteen bodies without counting children. Soon more persons arrived and I stopped counting when I reached twenty-five people. I was told that "this is what we do on Sundays, everyone just shows up and we all pitch in to cook. Today we had most of the left overs from last night!" Outside, the area in front of the house had about nine cars parked in front. It looked like another party to me!

My thought was that my friends may have a green garden growing outdoors, but they also cultivated and helped their children grow up to be responsible, caring and loving adults. And that is also a special garden!

The Past and the Now

When the past and the present mesh together it makes for an interesting evening. Saturday I attended a 60th wedding anniversary of two friends. Their children planned the evening with delicious food, wonderful decorations, a great band and in addition to the forty some immediate family members, many friends were in attendance also.

In the year 1955, sixty years ago, my friends were married at Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church in Greeley, Colorado. Last night great-grandchildren praised their grandparents, grand-children told how much their grandparents were loved, adult children recalled growing up in a household of six girls and one boy and I spoke as a high school friend. I was introduced as "This is my mother's best friend from high school."

When I got up to speak how I wished for a better memory. I spoke on how our lives, my friend and I, were nonchalantly moving along in our senior year of high school. When a male family friend, who had been in the Navy appeared, it did not take long for a romance to flourish between the two.  One memory I had was how he would place a pack of cigarettes in the sleeve of his t-shirt and roll the sleeve up to keep his smokes. Also how my friend and I had been caught in a flood near Pierce, Colorado and had to be rescued by him and his brother. When they were married on August 29, 1955, I remember wearing a yellow dress and being one of the bridesmaids. As usually happens, after I sat down, I recalled many other incidents involving my friend and me!

As I heard bits and pieces of conversations, the one phrase I heard the most, was "Remember when.....!"
I saw people I had not seen in years and it was exciting to catch up on what they had been doing. I ran into a cousin and neither one of us recognized each other. When we did recognize each other we spoke about the past and also what was happening now. I saw a friend who also got married in 1955 and she and her husband danced beautifully on the dance floor. When I commented on how well they danced together, she
said, "You have got to remember that we have been dancing together since we were thirteen years old!"

What a glorious, festive time everyone had celebrating 60 years of my friend's marriage and remembering many memories! The decorations were black and white photographs on each table through out the room. If nothing else, those photos made us remember how we looked in our past.

Congratulations to my special friends. Congratulations to their children and their spouses who did an excellent job of making the celebration special. And congratulations for the large and beautiful family who
sticks together and meets every Sunday morning to be with each other. A very unique family and I am glad they include me as a "pretend" member of the family!

Friday, August 28, 2015

An Artist Among Our Midst

The Door
Recently, I went to help a friend with a garage sale. Because the day was extremely hot, we would sit inside the house and look out the window in case anyone drove up to view the items for sale. As we sat in her kitchen I told her I really liked a picture hanging on the wall. It was a bright picture of a doorway  with flowers. It is called The Door and it was painted in the year 2000.  "Yes," she said, "it's a favorite of mine also. My husband painted it." My comment was, "Wow, he is really good!"

A Castle in Austria
She said, "Follow me and I will show you other paintings he has done." I could not believe all the art work she had hanging on the walls. When her husband entered the room, I told him how much I admired his paintings and where did he get his artistic talent. He said that probably from his uncle "My uncle, me, my son and my daughter all have painted in the past. He said, "Come downstairs and I can show you more paintings." I had to smile because I recall the saying, "Come on up and see my etchings," when a fellow wanted to get a female up to his room.

We went to the basement where canvas after canvas were displayed. One large painting of a castle in Austria, I found to be amazing. Some scenes are peaceful and I liked the one of a small boat on a lake.I liked that he had a story behind everyone of his paintings. His work is impressive and yet, he is quite humble about all his paintings. Maybe others knew of his talent but I had no idea and was completely surprised!

The Seaside Near Monterrey, CA - 1978
Aspen in Longs Peak 1989
Arch to the Ocean 2000

I was impressed at how talented his whole family seemed to be as I saw some of their artwork hanging on the wall or leaning against a wall. When I commented on how creative everyone seemed to be, he said, "My uncle painted before I was even born. He pointed at a painting and continued, "My uncle painted that and when I was growing up, I would see it hanging on the wall of my house."

Who would have known that there was an artist among us? He no longer paints and the year 2000 seem to be the last paintings he worked on. I am so glad I got to see his work and chat with him about his talent.

"The secret to so many artists
living so long is that every
painting is a new adventure.
So, you see, they're always
looking ahead to some thing new 
and exciting. The secret is not 
to look back."
Norman Rockwell

Peaches Got Me Into The Kitchen

I happened to be in the office of Spirit of Christ Catholic Community and I was introduced to a Knights of Columbus member.  He said, "How would you like to buy a box of peaches? They come straight from the growers in Palisade, Colorado and they are the best ever. They are not like what you buy at the grocery store." He convinced me and on Tuesday I received my box. The Knight was so right. These peaches are sweet and juicy and I am enjoying them since peaches are my favorite fruit. I have given some to friends and I am eating them as fast as I can. Tomorrow I am making Peach Cobbler.

As many of my friends know, I do not like to cook. I can and I have cooked in the past, but now, in my retired life, there is no need for me to be in my kitchen cooking. This morning it was a necessity. The peaches that I had purchased from the Knights of Columbus were beginning to ripen. When I brought them home on Tuesday evening, they felt hard. Then, they all began to ripen at the same time. Even though I have given some to friends and I am eating lots of peaches, I needed to do something with those beautiful, juicy, large peaches.

This morning I decided to make a peach cobbler. First I washed the fruit. I then peeled the peaches and as I look at the pile of peelings, they even look good enough to eat! I sliced the peaches and I had to suck on the pits just like years ago when I was a little girl. That was the fun part, sucking on the reddish-purple pit! Even though the recipe called for a small amount of sugar, I did not use any sugar because to me the peaches were sweet enough and if not, I can always put whipped cream on top. That should make the cobbler sweet enough.

The finished product looks good and once it cools off, guess what I will be eating?

"Life is better than death,
I believe, if only because
it is less boring, and because 
it has fresh peaches in it."
Alice Walker, author

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

It's So Unfair

I have a friend who drives a bus when I take groups on three day trips to New Mexico. He has driven us for about five years. I had not taken the trip for around ten years and on August 17-19, 2015, I took a group on a Pilgrimage to Chimayo. Lucky for me, it was my friend from the past who showed up to drive us this year. I found some of our past pictures and it prompted me to write this verse about my friend and me.

My Once A Year Friend
I only see him once a year,
my friend which I hold dear.
Seeing him brings me cheer
'Cause I know I have nothing to fear.

I met him a few years back.
He never gives me any flack.
Each time he does come back
My joy is compounded in a stack.

A kind soul who likes to drive
and for perfection he does strive.
All in the bus are like a hive
Buzzing as we talk and come alive.

He drives a great big bus
and no matter what, he does not cuss,
he patiently maneuvers in and out
as he takes us all about.

Pictures taken once a year
as every time he does appear,
he seems to persevere
and why I get older is so unclear!

He never changes, yet stays the same,
maybe nature is to blame.
It's not fair and what a shame
that I do change while he stays the same!

E. Moscoso
August 25, 2015



The Well-Fed Happy Bus

On a recent trip to New Mexico, it was nice how some of the travelers brought snacks for the whole bus. I received a pretzel filled with peanut butter. An Italian lady made some delicious Biscotti that we enjoyed as we traveled. A kind person who did not even go on the trip baked the traditional New Mexican cookie called a Biscochitio. The anise could be smelled wafting from the bags where she had packed them. One of the passengers who is ninety-three years old made three different kinds of cookies; peanut butter, rangers, and snickerdoodles. Grapes were passed around and I saw large cones of caramel corn going from one person to another. A loaf of Indian bread made the rounds so everyone could taste the bread. I saw small bags of snacks being shared.

The one thing that could be said about the bus load of people, is that no one needed to be hungry. Our bus driver enjoyed all the treats also and we traveled as a well-fed happy bus.

"There is no sincerer love
than love of food!"
George Bernard Shaw 

Monday, August 24, 2015

Cristo Rey Church

On a trolley ride through Santa Fe we were taken by Cristo Rey Church. This was a church I had never heard about and had never heard the name of Cristo Rey in Santa Fe. I was acquainted with the Cathedral of St. Francis of Assisi, the Loretto Chapel (now a museum), San Miguel Mission (the oldest church in the United States), Our Lady of Guadalupe but had never heard of St. Anne, St. John the Baptist, San Isidro - San Jose, Cristo Rey or Santa Maria de la Paz. There are many Catholic churches in Santa Fe and surrounding areas. I read that there are 216 missions in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe.

When we arrived at Cristo Rey church I was unable to go inside to see with my own eyes the large stone altar screen. The stone is white and carved by unknown artists. A young girl traveling with us offered to take pictures for me. We were told that the church is built with adobes (dirt, straw and water), and the 20-40 pound bricks were dried in the sun. It took over 150,000 adobes to build the church. The walls are three feet thick. The ceiling is made with vigas (beams) and what looked like twigs but I found out they are cedar poles. All the wood is from the New Mexico area. The church was built around 1939.

In the pictures the young girl took there wasn't a statue of Cristo Rey. Makes me curious if there is a statue and where could it be?

Now there is one more church that can be added to the itinerary of future visits to Santa Fe.                                            

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Sloppy Joes and Bingo

They wanted people to come and stop
and see and enjoy -- to relax, to picnic. 
So people came out here to have a 
wonderful day. Liz Walton

Around one hundred persons attended the annual Young At Heart picnic at Oakhurst Park in Arvada, Colorado. The cooks had prepared two large roasters with the Sloppy Joe mix which they placed in large  buns. Another table held green salads, potato salad, macaroni salad, beans, vegetables, Cole Slaw and jello molds. One table held all the delicious looking desserts of pies, cakes, cookies, sweet rolls and interesting looking sweet stuff. Not only did the people enjoy the desserts but bees seemed to be having a hay day checking out anything with sugar!

Bingo was played and called by one of the members. The prizes were monetary and everyone wanted to win some money.

The day was on the cool side, yet the sun warmed those who stood or sat in the sun. I went around taking photos of many persons enjoying the day.

A picnic is more than eating a
meal, it is a pleasurable
state of mind.
DeeDee Stovel