Friday, September 30, 2016

A Nun In A Bar

Sister Act at the Arvada Center for Performing Arts is a musical that ends on October 2, 2016. I am so glad I got to see the musical last night. We were in the third row from the stage and I felt as if I was in the middle of all that was going on. In 1992, Whoopi Goldberg played the part of the nightclub singer in a movie by the same name.

The story is about a singer who sees her boyfriend shoot someone and the police hide her in a convent under a witness protection plan. She becomes friends with the nuns and makes the solemn and off key choir become a swinging and jiving group. The choir saves the church from being sold as the boyfriend looks for her to kill her so she cannot testify to his dastardly deed. Many funny lines and actions as the musical moved from scene to scene.

Twenty-three great songs were belted out, there was lots of dancing and super acting. Three things impressed me: (1) how a policeman's uniform is torn off, literally torn off, to have him in a sparkling red and white outfit while he sings a jazzy tune. Then, that outfit is torn off and he is back in his policeman uniform. Very clever how they were able to change costumes without him ever leaving the stage. (2) how the sets slid on and off to become a bar scene, a church, a bedroom and a police station. (3) how the musicians are underneath the stage, yet the music is loud and clear.

The standing ovation was well deserved, as they sang their final song. Costumes were flashy for everyone except for the nuns in their black and white habits.

After the play, as some of the actors were leaving the theater, I managed to talk to a few of them and compliment them on a great performance. The man wanted by the police was played by a large actor, and as he was headed out of the theater he was kind enough to let me take his picture.

A fun and exciting evening with three friends and we all commented on how great the musical had been.

"Watch your attitude
or you may be headed
for the smoking section
of the after life!"
Mother Superior to Delores in Sister Act

Monday, September 26, 2016

Pozole, Calabacitas and Enchiladas

On Saturday I visited a friend where two other friends would join us. Lately, we have been meeting for a movie night at her house and usually we have dinner or pizza or maybe snacks. Our conversations are usually better than the movie or the food! Last night it was stir fry, dumplings, rice and cookies. I did not eat the delicious smelling fare because I decided to have a salad as I am trying to eat healthy. I had already seen the movie chosen: Joyeux Noel. (France and Germany forget the war on Christmas Eve and for a few hours there is peace.) I left early to watch a Netflix movie, Eye in the Sky, also a war movie with a lot of suspense..

They decided to go see Bridget Jone's Baby on Monday, (which I had already seen).  I was called to see if I wanted to meet them for lunch at Jack n Grill and I told them I would meet them after the movie. I arrived before they did and ran into a friend and her daughter. We chatted until the other three friends arrived and enjoyed a wonderful meal. Pozole (hominy) which I ordered, calabacitas (zucchini and corn) for two, and an enchilada plate for one. Once again, we enjoyed the food, our conversations and spending time together.

"A friend is what the
heart needs all the time."
Henry Van Dyke

Celebrating 160 Years

Two twins were born in North Dakota in 1936 and today they celebrated their 80th birthday. About one hundred family and friends gathered to wish them a happy day. Good food, great conversations, swinging music and many memories were shared. Vases of colorful flowers decorated the room. Music provided by Prestige Music kept persons on the dance floor as they did the Chicken Dance, the Hokey Pokey, and some waltz', Latin, polka and slow dancing.

Family members had a wonderful program honoring the two ladies and a video of their lives was shown. It was fun seeing the two girls as they grew up and we learned that they were opposites; one liked to read while the other one liked to play. In the video we traveled with them through their lives, travels, marriages and families . I only know one twin because she is a member of my church.
Grandchildren played tunes on the piano for their grandmothers and a funny poem was read. The whole room buzzed with happy people and singing happy birthday to the two celebrants. I saw three priests in attendance, a deacon who enjoyed dancing,  many relatives, and quite a few friends.

The twins were not dressed alike, but they were wearing one piece of jewelry that was alike. "This is the only thing we are wearing that is alike" one of the twins said as she pointed at the owl hanging around her neck. Below are some of the pictures taken at the beautiful and fun party!

A wonderful party, a beautiful family and a fun time at the party.
Happy Birthday to a lovely lady!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Everything Comes in Threes

When I sneeze it is usually three times. If my phone rings I usually answer on the third ring. And so on. Yesterday three things happened as I walked around Lake Arbor in Arvada.

The first thing was that a dog I wouldn't mind having was being walked by his master. What a beauty; the dog not the master! The blondish dog is one that I could easily make my buddy. That is, if I wanted a dog! A labradoodle that does not shed, is cute, and from what I hear, a good companion. The man praised his dog highly as the dog looked up at me with light brown eyes. When he sniffed around my feet, I did not have a fear of him ripping my shoe off because he seemed so gentle. Yes, if I ever decide to get a dog, I will look into a rescue labradoodle! Later, on the Internet, I found out it is a cross between a Labrador Retriever and a Poodle.

The second observation was a large group of people in white t-shirts, singing, and milling around. My first thought was that I was late for the Spirit of Christ people who were going to walk around the lake that morning. What an organized bunch at SOC, I thought, it is really a big event. As I neared a stage there was some sort of selection for a princess and a young woman with a child in a stroller (one of many strollers) I asked her, "What kind of a gathering is this?" Her reply was that it was a yearly event for Apraxia children. She must have seen my puzzled look since I had no idea what Apraxia meant. "It is for children with speaking disabilities."

The dictionary description: A nervous disorder making a person unable to perform movement. Loss of ability to perform coordinated movements or manipulate objects in the absence of motor or sensory impairment which includes speech. Another definition was the it is a neurological condition characterized by loss of the ability to perform activities that a person is physically able to do.

Wow, I had never heard of Apraxia and had no idea that there were so many people (children) with the problem.
The third thing was when I saw the plumed hats of the Knights of Columbus and a group of people walking toward the lake. I  took pictures of the dedicated persons. They walked from Spirit of Christ  church to the park singing hymns while the priest carried the monstrance with the Blessed Sacrament. A police car followed them to stop traffic as they crossed streets and he kiddingly said to me as I took pictures, "Did you get my good side?"

It was a cool, sunny morning. The lake gave a sense of peacefulness, especially when I saw ducks or geese calmly floating on the lake and the sun made the ripples in the water sparkle.

"We adore You Most Holy Lord,
Jesus Christ, here and in all the
churches of the whole world,
and we bless You
because by your Cross you have
redeemed the world."

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

An Interesting Walk

"But the beauty is in the
walking --we are betrayed
by destinations."
Gwyn Thomas

One of the things I used to do in the past was walk. I would walk around Berkeley Lake, Rocky Mountain Lake, and in my neighborhood. It has been years since I took daily walks and lately I have begun walking again but this time it is around Lake Arbor in Arvada. During my walks I have seen  geese, fish, birds, dogs and clouds.

A goose found a small puddle to drink water and I wondered why it would drink from a puddle and not while it swims in the lake. Another puddle had dog prints in the greenish-turquoise water.

A heron in a tree and a horse in the clouds were spotted by my daughter and out came our cameras! A family of geese rested under a shade tree on a hot day.

I look forward to my walks, it is good exercise and I wonder what interesting thing I will spot along the way!

"My grandmother started walking
five miles a day when she was sixty.
She is ninety-seven now,
and we don't know where
the heck she is!"
Ellen DeGeneres

Sunday, September 18, 2016

A Student Ticket And Laughter Galore

Do parents ever see their children as adults? I know my daughter is a grown woman and yet an odd thing happened when my daughter came to visit and we decided to go to a movie. As I went up to the counter to pay for our tickets, I said: "Two tickets to Bridget Jone's Baby, one senior and one student." The young fellow looked at me with puzzled look on his face and I wondered if he was going to say, "You do not look like a senior." Just then I heard my daughter say, "No, it's a regular adult ticket for me."

What a laugh we had as we walked away from the counter with our tickets. She said, "He probably wondered how I could be a fifty year old student." I said, "I have no idea why, but to me I felt as if you were still in school and we were going to a movie."   The young man selling the tickets was too young to even try to understand how a mother's brain works! My question was, "Do you think he thought I was trying to scam and get you in cheaper?"  Strange how being with my daughter a part of me reverts back to when she was a student and living at home.

Laughter is the best medicine, so they say. Well, after laughing with my daughter I should be good to go for quite a while!  Laughter with my daughter had me gasping for breath and for ten or more minutes we could not talk. Our eyes watered and if we tried to talk we would burst into a fit of laughter all over again. It has been awhile since I have laughed so hard and probably it is one of those times "when you had to be there."  This is what got us going. We had been busy all day and around six in the evening we were both in our pajamas and watching television.  Her comment of "we are like two old ladies ready for bed," made us laugh because neither of us consider ourselves to be old!  I replied, "Yes, and we even ate our dinner at four just like many older people who eat early." That was all it took. We could not stop laughing and before long I was gasping for air. All we had to do was look at each other and we would go into another fit of laughter. Even now, as I write my blog I am laughing!

A few weeks ago, while pressing a button on my 20" television in the kitchen, everything got reversed. Words were backwards and picture was upside down. Don't even ask how I did it but she took one look and said, "There has got a way to get this fixed" as she turned the t.v. upside down with the base on top. Sure enough, the picture looked great but the lettering was still backwards. With extreme patience for about an hour, and with the help of the Internet, she managed to make my t.v. like new again!  Then it was back to yard work!

What fun having my daughter spend a few days with me. I appreciate the work she did cutting branches from trees, cleaning the patio and the yard, and fixing the gate to open without getting stuck. We had an enjoyable time walking around Lake Arbor where she sees things that I would have missed like a cloud horse. She also spotted some sort of Heron in a tree.  As she walks she looks up and around; I walk looking down. I told her I was afraid of falling so I keep my eyes to the ground! Going to a movie, visiting her father and enjoying our meals together were fun things to do.

Thank you, my dear daughter, for coming to spend time with me, helping me and making the few days you were here fun and enjoyable!

Mom and Daughter

Monday, September 12, 2016

Mass In The Fields

Every year the Migrant Ministry of Spirit of Christ Catholic Community sponsors two masses for the field workers. I have been to a few, but yesterday it not only was a mass, but there was entertainment along with pizza and dessert. The celebration included Sister Molly's 60th anniversary of being a nun and Rev. Msgr. Jorge de Los Santos celebrated his birthday plus 25 years of being a priest. Sister Molly has been active in Migrant Ministry for most of her life!

Volunteers brought table and chairs and set them up. Others placed the food on tables. An altar was set up and a young woman sang while another lady played the guitar. It took many hands to get ready for the celebration and when it was all over, it took just as many hands to take everything down.

The camp is near Platteville and surrounded by corn fields and yellow sun flowers. The area where the mass was celebrated is rough with rocks, patches of weeds, out door potties, laundry hanging on a fence and no trees for shade. It is an area not conducive to a home. The workers live in poor conditions to earn money to take back to Mexico to support their families.

The workers' lodging is in an apartment-like building and I heard that it is four men to a room. I am sure the workers appreciated having a mass, having people who cared, the entertainment, the many bundles of donated paper products and the food. I found out that all of the workers are from the Guanajuato area which is in Central Mexico.

When you think about people working under the hot sun and doing back breaking work, it makes one appreciate the crops of corn, cucumbers, onion, tomatoes, potatoes, squash, cabbage, peppers and beans that end up at grocery stores and on our tables.

After the Folkloric Ballet dancers performed, everyone lined up to eat pizza and dessert. I got to practice my Spanish with a lady and her friends. They, of course, wanted to practice their English!

Congratulations to the Migrant Ministry for a job well done and for helping make the day a success!

"Every time we sit at table at night
or in the morning to enjoy the
fruits and grains and vegetables from
our great earth, remember that they
come from work of men and women
and children who have been
exploited for generations."
Cesar Chavez

Sunflowers and Sunset on our drive home!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Italian For A Day

The Festival Italiano at Belmar took place on September 10 and 11, 2016. I have never attended this festival but I decided to drive to Belmar and see how Italians celebrate. Flags galore flapped over the fifty-eight booths. I know there were fifty-eight because that's what the calendar of events listed. As I walked around I saw booths of delicious looking food, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, ices and gelatos, t-shirts, colorful dishes, Bocce games and anything Italian one could imagine! I thought I heard Spanish being spoken but no, it was Italian.

The display of food made my mouth water and I took pictures of the ones I found to be interesting.

I saw flags on poles flying and men dressed in tights and joined the crowd to see Gli Sbandieratori,  the Flag Throwers from Florence, Italy as they performed. Two snare drummers and one trumpet made spectators take notice.  It was scary to the large flags flung twenty feet and then catch the flagged pole as they came down.

The Bocce games were being played by men and women. A tiny ball is tossed onto the green lane. Everybody then tries to come as close as they can to the small ball. If two or more are close, a measuring tape is brought to check who is closer. I am sure there is much more to the game, but this is what a Bocce man told me.
Two stages on opposite ends had continuous musical entertainment and I listened to a man sing love ballads. Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra songs were popular along with other Italian singers, bands, and orchestra. I suppose one could go to the festival and just sit from ten-fifteen until eight and listen to the different singers and groups. The sausage man, the chalk artist and the beautiful dishes makes Festival Italiano a fun thing to do!

I have saved the best to last. As I wandered around I saw a booth with Capuchin priest advertising a trip to Rome. I started to go ever to see how to enter when firemen hunks appeared before my eyes.
I think it is too bad that the Capuchin's are next to the Calendar Firemen because I noticed everyone was going over to see the golden firemen with tight bodies, me included, while guy in the brown robe did not get too much attention!

The end of a fun day at the Festival Italiano at Belmar