Sunday, February 28, 2016

Mass in Spanish

God works in mysterious ways is something I have always heard. Today that saying made me take notice.  A couple of weeks ago I saw where there would be a Spanish mass at Mother Cabrini Shrine. Evidently there is one on the first and last Sunday of the month.  A thought fleetingly crossed my mind that it might be an interesting thing to do. I had been away from hearing Spanish and it is good to hear and practice the language to not forget it.

Yesterday I drove to the Shrine in the mountains and as I entered the grounds I saw a woman who, at one time worked with me at the Archdiocese of Denver Hispanic Office. When she saw me she came to the car but I could not open the door or roll down the window. No matter what I tried and what buttons I pushed,  the door and window would not open. She yelled, "Are you going to mass here?" I nodded and she said, "I'll see you then." I parked and when I entered the chapel I felt as if I was in Mexico. The Rosary was said in Spanish and everyone around me seemed to be Hispanic. 

We were told that the priest was running about fifteen minutes late. We listened to the musicians and choir practice until the priest arrived. When I saw him I was surprised because he was a priest I knew from when I worked at the Hispanic Office of the Archdiocese. What a coincidence that I would see two persons from my past.

He looked older and I remembered when he arrived, as a young man, how he took classes to learn English. Later, I heard that he was now a Monsignor which meant he was moving up in the world of a priest. Even though I had known him for a time, I had only heard his sermons in broken English. Yesterday, I saw a different priest. His homily was full of knowledge and he teaches in a humorous manner. Before long everyone was laughing while learning.

The gospel was about Moses meeting God and the burning bush. He is a good speaker in his own language. I realized what I have heard all along, priests need to speak Spanish for the multitudes of new arrivals from Latin countries. I liked his analogy about milk and honey. Milk is used to feed new born babies, for revitalization, to make strong bones and to grow, and the milk would help the Hebrews grow strong in their faith. The Hebrews were slaves to the Egyptians and had to work until sweat ran down their face.Who has tasted sweat? Yes, it tastes awful, but honey is the opposite and that's what the Hebrews would find in the promised land. A sweetness in their lives to come."  When he said how Moses was hesitant the priest asked, "How many of us are asked by God to follow a few rules, but we, as the Hebrews did, think we know better!" He encouraged everyone to try and follow the Lord's teachings.

After mass he called all the children up to the altar for a blessing. There must have been thirty or more children jostling to get near the priest. He had fun sprinkling them with holy water as he went through a litany of: "Obey your parents, be good, stay out of trouble, don't harm anyone, help those in need, don't fight with your siblings, and so on. I liked that he had a smile on his face as he sprinkled the water and I could see how the children loved being splashed with the water.

On exiting he seemed surprised to see me and asked how I was doing and I asked him "how is your English?" We chatted a bit and I left when I saw the many persons wanting to talk with him. I never met up with the woman who used to work with me and figured she got lost in the crowd. I would have liked to catch up on what she has been doing after not seeing her for ten years.

Yes, I have to agree, God works in mysterious ways.







Beautiful "B" Day

Saturday, February 27, 2016, four friends embarked on an adventure to Downtown Denver. What struck me as odd was that our activities all seemed to begin with a "B." Read on for our "B" day.

BLUE BUS

The Boulder Flyer, a large blue bus picked us up at 88th and Sheridan to take us to downtown Denver for $1.30. It was modern and comfortable and we arrived at Union Station in about twenty-five minutes. A huge surprise greeted us when we arrived. I had not been to Union Station for about ten years and I would not have recognized the brightly lit station for the drab, old-looking, plain building it used to be in the past. No longer did it look like a train station but instead it resembled a gargantuan living room. Couches were scattered
around; easy chairs, tables, lamps, and plants.  The restaurants and novelty shops are along the edges of the large room. Outside, I got the feeling of being on vacation in a foreign country. I did not recognize anything and many of the buildings around Union Station are new. Mobs of people wandered around, happy and cheerful. I do not know if it is always like that but yesterday there were tourists, Red Wing hockey fans in red, Avalanche persons in blue and burgundy, other persons in town for sports events, and theater going persons. It was exciting to be among so many fun-loving people! We got on the Free Shuttle that would take us to the Ellie Caulkins Opera House.

BALLET

We had tickets to see Alice In Wonderland ballet and even though I am not a ballet fan, I had agreed to see the ballet because my friend kept posting neat pictures on Facebook. I am so glad she insisted because once the huge chandelier slid up into the ceiling and the music started, I was mesmerized. The dancing, the brilliant colors, the costumes, the sets, and the music were excellent. How Alice grew into a giant and how she was shrunk into a tiny Alice were cleverly done using brightly colored doors. A caterpillar turning into a huge butterfly was spectacular as the wings shimmered in black, blue and turquoise. Dancers on a long table were entertaining in their multi-colored costumes. The rabbit and Alice danced around on their toes and he would raise her high above his
head as well as join her in some of the dances. The witch in black and red with her silly husband was a fantastic dancer. Not knowing the moves in ballet I just knew that the splits were done in the air, legs were stretched to their limit, there was graceful leaping and coordination was next to perfect! The ballet had humor and the amazing thing is that not a word was spoken!

BIG BLUE BEAR

In front of the convention center stands a big blue bear. Yesterday there was either a girls' volley ball or basket ball game because I saw many in shorts, knee pads and numbered shirts. I wanted a photo of the blue bear without anyone in it but with so many persons milling around I was unable to get a clear shot. The
bear is gigantic and even though it has been around since 2005, I did not have a picture of it. It stands forty feet high and has become a Denver icon!
 
BOVINE METROPOLIS THEATER

As we walked a few blocks to get on a shuttle that would take us back to Union Station we happened to see a building that some creative person had painted. The mural made the wall of the building look better than the other walls in the alley. The unusual wall that had caught our eye made my friends encourage me to take a picture. We were curious about the creative artist who made the wall look appealing among the other drab walls! I did find out that The Bovine Metropolis is a improvisation theater.

BURGERS 

Our stomachs told us we were hungry and we looked around for a place to eat that would not cost us an arm and a leg. We settled on a place outside of Union Stations called Hopdoddy Burger Bar and it was crowded and noisy. I decided to order a burger and a coke even though I do not eat a lot of meat and I never drink soft drinks.The waitress was helpful and friendly but  forgot my coke which I
didn't really need, yet, I did enjoy my burger and fries. One of my friends ordered wine and it was brought in a can. I had never seen wine in a can before and the picture of the gorilla did not make it look too appetizing either. She did not like the taste of Moscato and ordered another white wine. I thought it was interesting that by changing two letters in the wine can, it would be my last name! We all enjoyed our burgers, our chatting, and trying to think of another outing that would be as much fun as what we had just experienced.
BUS

We arrived at Gate 19 to catch the bus that would return us to our cars. We got on the bus about five minutes and asked,  "How lucky are we?"   We got off on the opposite side of the highway and had to "hike" a ramp to get from the east side of the highway to the west side. We were puffing and huffing by the time we reached the west side where are cars were parked. We said farewell,  headed to our own homes feeling happy and content after a perfect beautiful day.

To end my blog, I am using a Hebrew word that impressed me on the Timeline at Union Station. 

Mizpah: 
May God be with you until we meet again

Friday, February 26, 2016

I Spent Forty-Five Minutes With Abraham

The time I spent with Abraham was frustrating. First, because he had an accent and was difficult to understand. Second, because I am not computer savvy and had to have instructions repeated two and sometimes three times. You see, I am having problems with my computer. It is on a twelve hour cycle and Abraham was trying to help me get it corrected.

Abraham was patient, and so was I,  as he lead me through many maneuvers as we tried to get my computer on a twenty-four hour cycle. His first question was about my operating system and because I was not sure he had me click on many buttons until we found out I have Vista. I cannot even reconstruct his instructions, I just followed his voice and tried to do what he was telling me to do.

At one point this is more or less our conversation.

"Get into your control panel."
"Where do I find it?"
"Go to the start button."
"You mean turn my machine off and restart?"
"No, go to the bottom left hand side and hit the round circle with what looks like flags."
"Okay, I clicked on the round circle."
"Find 'problems.'

We then reviewed the "problem history." Next we were in my Internet Options in the Control Panel. We moved to the Internet Properties and he asked that I delete "Browsing History. We were in and out of various programs with him instructing and I following and doing what he asked me to do.

No matter what he suggested I could not get into my Internet. Finally, he said, "I have checked the terminal for Century Link and everything is working. There is nothing wrong at this end. The only thing I can suggest is that you will need to update your computer to Windows 7 or 8.

The forty-five minutes I spent with Abraham did not leave me satisfied because what if what he was telling me was true, I knew I had three choices: Take my lap to get updated, buy another computer or work on my computer from nine in the morning until nine at night.

Oh, the woes of having a computer and not knowing the inner workings of the machine!

Wooden Clogs

Today I was given a gift of colorful wooden Dutch shoes. They are beautiful with red trim and a scene on the
top. I can't make out if it is a houseboat on the water or a house on green grass. The pointed toe has a red tip and the whole shoe is shellacked to give it a shiny surface. It is a quaint shoe and if my feet were smaller I would try to wear the wooden shoe.


Curious about wooden clogs I went to my favorite place on the Internet to find out more about the shoe. The following is information I found on the Internet:

           There is not a lot of information about the wooden shoes 
           because when the shoe wore out it was used for firewood. 
          The wooden clog originated in Holland. 
          I did find that in the years 1230 and 1271 some of the first 
         wooden shoes were found in Rotterdam, Netherlands. 
         The wooden shoe was used in muddy fields or by factory workers. 
They protected the feet and were easy to clean. 
         A funny item told about how smugglers would carve 
          a backward foot print on the sole of the shoe to confuse the police.
         Alder, Willow and Poplar are some of the woods used to make
         the wooden shoes. The wooden clog made a clicking sound 
         when walking and clog dancing during the Victorian age became popular. 
        Wooden clogs were the forerunners of modern tap dancing shoes. 
        The Netherlands produce over three million shoes a year but most 
        of the shoes are made for souvenirs.


My gift of the wooden clogs sparked my interest in finding out about the shoe. If I had not received the gift I probably would never have researched the interesting wooden clog!

"The flat sound of my wooden clogs on the
cobblestones, deep, hollow and powerful,
is the note I seek in painting."
Paul Gauguin

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Jazz For Seniors

Twenty women waited at Spirit of Christ Catholic Community to be picked up by an RTD bus and driven to Dazzle Jazz. None of the women knew exactly what awaited them. The bus made a stop at the Clement's Senior Center in Lakewood to pick up twenty more persons. There was a lot of chatter with the many senior citizens on the bus headed to Dazzle Jazz.

In downtown Denver the bus stopped at 930 Lincoln Street. It was an ordinary looking building, nothing fancy at all. As we entered the club I could see a lot of black drapes, a long bar and tables and chairs. Each group was seated in their assigned places and not only were the SOC and Clements groups seated, three other large groups entered the establishment and found their seats. One group told me they were from Notre Dame parish.

A waitress came by and explained the menu: A Flat -Roasted Pork Shoulder, mac and cheese with green peas; B Sharp - Chicken Curry Lentil Bowl with vegetables; Middle C - Crispy ham tomato Manchego
(cheese made from the Manchego sheep) salad with mixed greens, Roma tomatoes, almonds and mango mustard vinaigrette; and for dessert a white cake with strawberry chocolate Ganache, (chocolate and cream mixed together). The first drink was on the house and wine, Manhattans, daiquiris, and martinis were some of the drinks I saw being ordered.

The jazz band played in the background while we ordered and when we began to eat, the four excellent  musicians entertained us. Pernell Steen on the piano, Fred Fuller on Base, Jack McCutchen on Drums and Dave Adtkinson on Xylophone. Pernell told stories about jazz greats and tidbits about jazz players around town.

When they played St. Louis Blues, I danced in the aisle and made everyone laugh. I surely hope they were laughing with me and not at me! But I was fortified with a glass of wine and didn't care! When Pernell Steen came by to greet everyone he said, "I saw you strutting around and I thought you were going to come on the stage to do your dance!" I responded with, "I probably would need another glass of wine to do that!"

Everyone enjoyed the jazz, the food, the stories and the camaraderie. At 1:30 we found our bus among the three buses parked outside and once boarded, we talked about what a fun time we had at Dazzle Jazz.


"If you have to ask
what jazz is, you'll never
know."
Louis Armstrong

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Better the Second Time Around?

While I was visiting my California family, my daughter asked, "Do you know anyone who might need First Communion dresses?" I told her that a nun who works with migrant workers collects clothes to give to those who need them.

"Do you think she might want these four dresses?" my daughter asked.
"I am sure she would and I will take them back to Colorado and give them to her."
"The thing is that I would like to see someone get some use out of them. They were only worn once and are practically brand new. I could give them to Goodwill or a second hand store, but I would like to see some child actually use them."
"I am sure the nun will give them to whomever needs them."
"Good, I'll get them so you can pack them in your suitcase."
"I can see that the dress I bought in Puerto Vallarta was never worn because a tag is still on the dress."
"You're right, that dress was never worn."
"Did you know that a Mexican artist hand painted the bodice?"
"Yes, I read the tag. It is an attractive dress, but the girls have outgrown it!"

It was decided I would bring the dresses home and give them to the nun. Today I took them and left them with a lady from Mexico who told me she would give them to the nun or if she thought they would fit her relatives in Mexico, she might mail them to her family. I told her that as long as the dresses were used, both my daughter and I would be happy.

It makes me feel good knowing that some child, who otherwise may not have had a pretty dress, will flounce around in one of the dressy dresses.




The dress was loved by one small girl,
as she spun and gave one big twirl.
Another child will enjoy it too
this dress that is not quite new.
The party dress that has been  found
is just as good the second time around!
E. Moscoso
February 23, 2016


Let's Start A Club

At my Timeline Bible class there are two students by the name of Shirley. Today I learned that there is a group of "Shirleys" that have formed a club and have social gatherings. One of the Shirleys told me she attends lunches with other Shirleys! In the picture below she is in the middle of the photo in turquoise and black.
 I looked on the Internet to see more about the Shirley Club and learned that a woman named Shirley from Australia asked anyone named Shirley to join her for lunch and sixty-three showed up. This was in 1966 and the Shirley Club was born! The two requirements to belong are fifteen dollars a year for dues and your name has to be Shirley. Presently, there are 183 members in seventeen states plus Australia, Canada and New Zealand. The club focuses on fun, food and friendship.

This year, the National Shirley Club USA convention will be held at the Double Tree by Hilton at Denver Stapleton North on July 22-25, 2016. When I read the activities, I wished my name was Shirley so I could attend. There will be three bus tours and one is for those who are not named Shirley. I suppose it is for spouses, friends and relatives. The non-Shirleys for $30 will travel to Buffalo Bill's Grave, Red Rocks, Mardi Gras Casino and Coors Brewery.

The $50 tour will go to Georgetown, Mt. Evans and White Fence Farm; while the $60 tour goes to Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park. They will travel over Trail Ridge Road and end up at Cinzetti's Italian Market and Restaurant.

Now, tell me that you are sorry your name is not Shirley so you could also enjoy the fun activities! Shirley from my class said, "The one good thing is that you never have to ask someone's name when you attend a get together at the Shirley Club!"

Sunday, February 21, 2016

A Confession

I am a cry-baby. People who worked with me in my past can attest to that fact. In my defense, when I was working I was going through menopause and one of my symptoms was crying. As I came out of that stage and entered where I am now, I can say that I do not cry as much any more. Yet, I am sensitive and will cry in movies that touch me, commercial that are sentimental, if someone does an unexpected kindness and stories I read that touch my heart. Hearing The Star Spangled Banner will bring a lump to my throat. Horse racing also makes me cry when the winner crosses the finish line. Seeing my children or grand children score a goal or win a race also made me cry! Seeing a beautiful sunset or sunrise is something else that makes me tear up.


Our book club selection for next month is Boys In The Boat : Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold by Daniel James Brown, a story about winning an Olympic gold in Germany by American rowers. Not knowing anything about rowing, this book written in  fiction style and easy to read made me realize what competitive rowing is all about. The story is interesting and I found it difficult to put the book down. Reading about things that happened in the past and reading about the men who were involved in winning the gold, I found to be interesting and in parts, heart-wrenching. I am at the beginning of the book and as I read about the first competition between the East schools (Yale, Harvard) and the West (Washington State, Berkeley) I could see the slim boat gliding in the water. When Washington pulls ahead my heart began to race also. And guess what? When the freshmen team wins, out came the tears. It surprised me that just reading about a race would cause me to cry. I was so happy that the western state won, how could I not cry? Now I know that not only horse racing makes me cry but evidently boat racing does too!

"Only the guy who isn't rowing 
has time to rock the boat."
Jean Paul Sartre


The story lets the reader meet the men involved plus giving us hints about what was happening in the country while these men were growing up. (The depression, politics,dust storms, Germany, weather, and other happenings in the world) and I am only in the first quarter of the book. Who knows what more will be revealed before that Olympic Gold is won!

There, now you know. I shed tears when my heart is grabbed and squeezed!

"We need never be
ashamed of our tears."
Charles Dickens

Saturday, February 20, 2016

From Miracle to Reality

What I believed was a miracle turned out not to be one. (See Blog of Feb 1, 2016, Did a Miracle Occur This Morning?)  I hoped it was a spiritual happening but for the past two weeks I cannot get on to my computer from nine in the morning until nine at night. I can work on my photo gallery, play games or open my office suite but that is all. Facebook, Internet and my blog can only be opened after nine in the morning and until nine in the evening. All night long I can not get in. It's a weird problem and I have no idea how it happened. What has worked for me sometimes when my computer acts up, is to completely turn off my computer. When I start it up again certain problems will be corrected. This time it has not worked.  I am lucky to have my computer working during the day so it is not a total loss!

I googled many questions to see if some one might give me a hint or have an answer, but nothing seemed to work. There were some responses but after reading all the different answers nothing helped. Even though I am frustrated, today I gave it one more try. Today I happened to ask the right question: Why is my computer off between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m.? One answer informed me to get into Firefox's Safe Mode.  I asked "What is Firefox's Safe Mode? Instructions came up to, 1) start the computer, 2) highlight "all programs", 3) click on Manage Firefox, 4) hit key for Mozilla Firefox Safe Mode, and a box pops up telling me that it is clearing out "old Firefox Data." After following the instructions on the screen, I will now wait to see if my computer shuts down at nine tonight. If it does, I have not fixed the problem.  If it continues to work into the night, then I am very happy and proud that I have fixed the program!

In the process I learned that Foxfire has been having problems with Yahoo. Maybe I got rid of  Yahoo and that might have been causing the problem. Whatever the problem, I have come to realize that it was not a miracle and that saddened me, but miracle or not, my hope is that I have fixed the problem!

Next Day: It didn't work!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

The Very Picture of You

The Very Picture of You, by Isabel Wolff, was the book club pick for discussion on February 16, 2016. Since I was going to be the moderator for the story, I read the book about a month and a half ago. In between I read two other books, After the Storm by Linda Castillo; and Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee. Somehow, The Very Picture of You disappeared from my brain. Luckily, the story was on my Kindle and I was able to reread it. I found it strange that I enjoyed it more the second time I read it. The book begins with a quote from Pablo Picasso.




"Are we to paint what's on the face,
what's inside the face,
or what's behind it?

One of the questions at the back of the book was if one had ever had a portrait painted and what were our thoughts. About ten years ago or longer, my daughter did a pastel painting of me.  She used something that looked like a crayon but it was an oil pastel. She told me it requires a specific technique which is different than a traditional painting.  This would be the closest for me to sit and have a portrait done. I only sat for about thirty-five minutes. (In the story the artist has her subjects sit for two hours at the six different sittings.)
I decided, since the story was about a portrait artist, to take my portrait to the book club. My idea was to point out the dot of white that the artist in the book did to complete the picture. It was the last touch of paint to finish the portrait.  My portrait also had the dot of white which I understand gives the portrait life!

Some of the book club members look at my portrait.


The story is about Gabriella (Ella) who is the artist, wondering what her father looks like, falls in love with her sister's fiance, and has interesting subjects to paint. Each has a story to tell; the politician, the eighty year old woman, and a forty year old who is unhappy with her life, and a girl who died in an accident. Ella's mother, Sue, refuses to reveal any part of her past and if she does, it is not quite true. I found the book to be about art, adultery, lies, love, unhappiness, and unfairness. It is a mystery romance, yet, the ending leaves one happy that everyone ends more or less content with their lives.

The book club enjoyed the book and as usual, we all had different opinions about how we would react in similar situations. The book for next month will be The Boys in The Boat by Daniel James Brown and it will be led my our only male member!

"Books are the quietest and most constant of friends;
they are the most accessible 
and the wisest of counselors,
 and the most patient teachers."
Charles W. Eliot

Where the Gourd Ends and Art Begins

I love all of the gourds my daughter designs. I marvel at her talent and remember something she wrote in her blog about how she got started in working with gourds. In her blog, she wrote: I am a painter and currently using gourds as my canvas. Their odd and quirky organic shapes make me smile and their warmth and visual texture are reminiscent of wood grain. Once she told me that it is as if  the gourds talk to her and help her create the work she does. My blog of February 16, 2016 titled Before and After shows some of my daughter's work.


This blog will be of some of the gourds that impressed me by other artists. My all time favorite was a grey whale though there were others that came in at a close second!

 





From miniature, one inch gourds delicately carved to twenty-six inch figures, each gourd had its own design. The one thing that surprised me is that I did not see any duplicates; each artist creates from his or her own imagination!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Dog vs. Cat

At the post office today, a lady had a small Chihuahua on a leash. The dog had skinny back legs and when it walked it was if the legs could not hold up the small body. His legs seemed to wobble and it kept going around sniffing the floor. My thought was, how could anyone like such a wimpy, little dog? As I stood watching the tiny dog with the bulging eyeballs I made a decision.

I am not a cat lover and would probably never get one but as I looked at the dog a thought came to me. If I had to pick between a cat or a small dog, I leaned toward getting a cat. A cat, at least, would have some meat on its bones and its legs would be hefty enough to hold it up. I expected the dog to tip over at anytime. The dog did not look as if it could cuddle and if petted, it would be like petting something stiff or hard. A cat would at least have fur and could possibly be easier to pet. That is, if it wanted to be petted!

Looking on the Internet I saw pictures of Chihuahuas and some were cute and had meat on their bones. Some had long fur but the one I saw today seemed fragile. I read that they are good watch dogs, possessive, one owner dog, not afraid of larger dogs, not good with small children and live to be seventeen years. Even with what sounds like positive things about the dog, somehow I do not like such homely, tiny animals!

"When I see a woman who is all
gaunt and emaciated, 
I don't think she is beautiful. 
She reminds me of a Chihuahua 
that's freezing and shaking."
Rosario Dawson

Airport Bliss

On my way to Phoenix, Arizona, as I went through security, no one said a word when I told them I was over seventy years old. That was disappointing because usually one of the TSA agents will makes me feel better when I am told I do not look my age. All I could think of was that maybe I am now looking my age.

The return trip from Phoenix to Denver an agent said,
"You need to take off your shoes."
I said, "I thought anyone over seventy did not need to remove their shoes."
"Yes, that is true so you will need to take off your shoes."
Thinking he was teasing me, I said, "I am over seventy."
"What? You are over seventy years old?"
"Yes, I was born in 1938."
"You do not look it. I'd guess you were sixty-four."
"Thank you, you have made my day.
"Hey," he yelled at his fellow TSA workers, "This lady is of age and that is why she has her shoes on!"
Everyone looked at me and some smiled.
I went through security feeling youthful, young, and happy!

A Spiritual Healer

People sat on folding chairs in front of a large stage. His soft and gentle voice came over the microphone. "When we unite our heart beats we are at peace....in harmony.... each heart is different, yet beating together.....all united....hearts beating as one."  I found a place to sit to listen to Tony Redhouse as he chatted with the audience, performed Native American dances, did a hoop dance with many hoops, and played a flute. He is known as a spiritual teacher: "Bring all the good that you dream in your life and dissolve whatever is not beneficial to your health and peace of mind."

When he donned on feathers on his head, his arms and back and danced the eagle dance he encouraged everyone "To open your wings.  Be at peace as you fly. Picture yourself sailing through the sky. Soar  effortless." The dance is done slowly to the sound of a flute, and it wasn't hard to picture an eagle in all its glory, gliding through the sky in peace in the clear, blue sky.

He asked for volunteers to come and play some of the instruments on the stage. No one moved. He encouraged the people by saying, "Be like children. Have no fear. Do not be afraid of what people will think of you. Enjoy your life. Participate fully as a child would. Children, before they are taught inhibitions, are free and carefree in what ever they do. A child is a free spirit and we should be also." Still no one moved. "The first five persons who come to the state will get a copy of my relaxing CD!" Eight persons got up and joined him on the stage. He laughed and said, "Bribery seems to work every time!"

"Music from the heart to your soul," is how he describes his relaxing music of flute and drum. He is a professional speaker, a spiritual healer, a hoop dancers (up to 25 story-telling hoops), and he "heals to the beat of a different drum."  At one point he sent a prayer up to the heavens as the smoke of a small fire went up to the heavens.

I  was mesmerized with his music and voice and I am sure at one of his seminars he is able to get people to relax, get positive energy, shake inhibitions and find spiritual truths.

Thunder Gourds

Being new to the gourd festival I had never heard of Thunder Gourds. When a coil wire, hanging out of a gourd, is tapped, a noise that sounds like thunder is emitted. I stopped at Ron Swank's booth who had over thirty gourds hanging in his booth. His card let me know that he was the creator of the Thunder Gourd.

"It's one of the easiest and fun gourds to make," he said. It did look simple enough because three pieces are needed. Coiled wire, Mylar or goat skin, and a gourd narrow at the top and larger at the bottom. The bottom of the gourd is cut off and a hole is cut into the gourd for the sound to exit. Mylar is glued tightly on the bottom of the gourd with a coiled wire coming though the Mylar. The wire hangs down about a foot and when struck or shaken, out comes the thunder sound! If the Mylar is not firm and tight, the sound will be tinny.


When the wire is struck or shaken, the vibrations of the wire is magnified making a thunder sound. The size and shape of the gourd determines the kind of thunder one can hear. I was amazed how similar to thunder the gourd makes! At one point about ten persons held the thunder gourds and shook them. The sound was like a storm was brewing somewhere near.






"A thunder gourd drum
makes a loud crackling hum.
Anyone can make one.
Makes you feel proud once it's done.
Strike the hanging wire
and listening to thunder you will never tire!"

E. Moscoso
February 14, 2016

Before And After

A miracle seems to be performed when artists can take dull, gray looking gourds and transform them into beautiful works of art. The Running of the Gourds festival took place in Casa Grande, Arizona at the Pinal Fairgrounds. My family drove from California and I flew in from Colorado to spend three days of being amazed!
BEFORE






AFTER







And this was my daughter's booth with some of her creative and beautiful gourds!






 


All her cat gourds sold before I could take a picture of them. Could it have been a Freudian slip?