Thursday, May 31, 2018

Entering the Eighties

                                          "If I had known the 80's were so much fun
                                                I would have done it five years ago!"
E. Moscoso

My plan was to pass a quiet birthday and have lunch with a few of my friends. I was looking forward to meeting my California family in Santa Fe, New Mexico on Memorial Day weekend to celebrate my birthday but other than that nothing else was planned. I found it hard to believe that I was going to be eighty years old. I did not feel that old and comments from people who learned I would be eighty all remarked, "You do not look eighty!"

Even though my birthday is on May 20, I was given a birthday gift on the 17th of May. A wonderful book on Santa Fe, New Mexico with many artists' paintings. Little did I know this would be the beginning of many birthday celebrations.

A friend invited me to lunch on the 19th of May and said there would be about four of my friends present. I was happy because it would give me time to spend with my good friends. I met two of my friends and we drove together to Jay's Grille and Bar to met the two other friends. As we entered the restaurant the first two persons I saw were book club members. My first thought was how interesting that they had picked the same restaurant where I was meeting other friends. As I looked away from the book club friends, I was shocked.  Two long tables had been set up and over twenty-five persons were yelling "surprise!"



What a shock! I had to keep swallowing to keep from crying. What a surprise and how wonderful to see so many of my friends at my surprise birthday party! There were some from my Baker's Dozen group, Book Club, Young at Heart Members, Church Choir members, gamblers and people who traveled with me on my trips to New Mexico. I knew all of them but many of them did not know each other! Two balloons floated over a table with gifts, a pink jello cake with round signs with the number 80 on each one and cream puffs!




Oh, how we laughed, talked and took pictures. A decorated box was filled with birthday cards and this was one surprise birthday party I would never forget. The ladies who planned the party were led by one lady who enjoys entertaining.  How they managed to keep the secret amazes me because with our group, news travels fast!

In the evening, I went to a birthday party for a friend who has a birthday three days before me. I like to tease her and tell her she is three days older than me! She put my name on the large cake along with other May birthdays. It was nice seeing her and her family and trying to visit with a friend I had not seen for many years. The band was great blasting out Mexican music but it left no room for talking!





On my actual birthday I spent some time with my family at Mt. Olivet. My mother, father, brother and son. I placed flowers on their graves and couldn't help thinking it sure would be nice if they were still physically around for my birthday!

May 21 I had three friends for dinner and they showed up with a huge, beautiful bouquet of deep red roses for me. How wonderful to have friends, especially when my family is far away. A brother on the East coast and a daughter on the West coast.


May 22 I met four friends for our annual birthday lunch. Two of us have birthday's in May and we try to celebrate each year. I did not expect any presents because I had already celebrated my birthday but was surprised with the beautiful plant and a variety of hand therapy lotions. I love my friends and enjoy spending time with them.


May 23 I met the Baker's Dozen for a Mexican meal at 3 Garcia's. Because it was my birthday month I was treated to four sopapillas with honey. I sure do love having a birthday!

Met the father of my children for lunch at Olive Garden and had a great discussion about traveling and also about our losses. He has lost his mother, two sons and a wife and I have lost my parents and a son. He surprised me with silver earrings, Our Lady of Guadalupe and a nice card.

The following day I boarded Frontier Airlines to fly to Albuquerque, New Mexico to meet my California family. Good flight, friendly traveler's and easy to find shuttle. The driver of the Sandia Shuttle Express was kind and a lady who lives in Santa Fe and I talked for the one hour and fifteen minutes it took to get to Santa Fe. I arrived before my family and checked out apartment, D.

When they arrived, my granddaughter and I took a picture with two mannequins. The next morning we went to the Railroad yards to an arts, crafts, food and farmer's market area filled with lots of items and entertainment. A group of young talented dancers spun, leaped, did acrobatics, and balanced on arms or legs. We wandered and looked and I picked beautiful green turquoise earrings for my birthday gift.



Visiting Meow Wolf was fun and interesting. On my bracelet: House of Eternal Return is an experience that takes place in dark spaces with stairs, low overhangs, tight spaces, flashing lights, theatrical fog effects, florescent colors, music, and so many things from the imagination.  Three things I did not do was crawl up a fire place, go into a refrigerator, or slide down a dryer tube with flashing lights! I did stand under a rib cage, visit a child's room, visited the colored forest, entered a black and white room and look at all the amazing areas!

l







We ate lots of New Mexico food, saw a beautiful sunset, visited the historic plaza, saw Georgia O'Keeffe art work, treated my family to see the Spiral Staircase, went to mass at the Cathedral, saw arts and crafts on the grounds and the Prayer Garden Stations of the Cross. In Albuquerque we saw Old Town and ate at one of my favorite places. ( A disappointment because they no longer have blue corn cheese enchiladas, one of my favorite dishes in New Mexico.) One of my favorite evenings was eating in the patio and just relaxing and chatting. A high light was visiting the mission San Jose church in Laguna and seeing the altar screen donated by my ggggrandfather!







This blog has become extremely long so I will end it here and continue in another blog because there is still so much to write! What I can say is that this has been one fabulous and wonderful birthday!
I am looking forward with anticipation to see what exciting things are in store for me in the coming years!

I was born in 1938 and that's 80 years to this date.
God must have had a reason to put me on this earth 
so many years ago and let me grow from head to toe.
I wonder what's in store for me and curious to see!
E. Moscoso


Thursday, May 24, 2018

Safari From The Sofa

A friend of mine traveled to Africa a few weeks ago and on her return she invited some friends over to join her in some African fun. I arrived a bit late and was not able to wrap a skirt around my body like the other guests. These skirts, with African designs, are worn over regular clothing to keep their clothes from getting soiled. Sort of like an apron, we were told.




How interesting hearing about another culture, the places she stayed, and the dusty and bumpy safari journeys into the savannah and jungles. Her photography was super showing giraffes, zebras, elephants, lions, baboons, crocodiles, water buffalo, birds, rhinos, a hippopotamus, Kudos with stripes and spiral horns, and probably other animals that I can't recall!. All the animals are in their natural habitat though some looked at the camera as if they were posing! Some of her photographs could be in a National Geographic magazine!

Walking along the roads were soldiers with rifles as they looked for poachers. Sad that beautiful animals are killed for money! The places where my friend stayed varied from semi-primitive to fancy. Beds had netting curtains and she mentioned that it was to protect them from bugs though she did say she got bit by some unknown bug and a tick.



Dinner was placed on a beautiful African designed tablecloth and her centerpiece were three giraffes.
Pea soup with ginger and sour cream, roasted chicken, a delicious stew made with vegetables and chicken and spinach had us all asking for the recipe. For dessert we had a fruit salad; oranges, honey dew melon, and pineapple.

Something my friend did while in Africa near Victoria Falls is take a long ride on a zip line over trees and water. I told her she was more gutsy than I am, because it looked scary.

The evening went by fast as we joked, laughed and enjoying hearing about her experiences in Africa.
A big thanks go to her for being such a good hostess and treating us to a vicarious trip that we probably will never take!


"There is something
about safari life
that makes you forget
all your sorrows."
Isak Dinesen

The Sofa Safari Travelers!

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Ninety-Nine Clergy at Mass

A Deacon from our parish passed away and the funeral mass was at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, May 22, 2018. The parking lot was full and so were the pews. Many of the pews were taken up by the clergy. I counted ninety-nine priests and deacons and the majority were in white albs. It was a pretty spectacular sight!

The Archbishop, Bishop and our two parish priests came in behind the clergy. The choir's hymns were soothing and beautiful. When the choir director sang the Ave Maria I got choked up and wanted to cry. I noticed many parishioners blowing their noses and wiping their eyes. Our talented director is extremely talented and has a tremendous voice.

The Archbishop gave the homily and one question he asked was "What is in your heart right now." I looked deep into my heart and came up with the word, gratitude. Gratitude for belonging to a special parish, for our priests, for my health, for reaching eighty, for my friends and for my family. I suppose my list could go on forever because there are many things that fill me with gratitude.

Sometimes we feel as if we will live a long time but the truth is that we never know when our time will come when we will be called to meet our maker. I saw the Deacon at mass on a Sunday, he was taken ill the following day and he was gone in a week. The saying that we should be prepared is so true because no one knows what can happen in the future!

The priests and deacons prepared the altar for the consecration. I liked that it was the priests, in different areas of the church, giving out the body and blood of Jesus; no lay persons. How pleased the deacon must have been to have so many clergy, family and friends at his going away mass.

May Deacon Don St. Louis Rest in Peace

Monday, May 21, 2018

God Whispered In My Ear

I couldn't get into my house
'cause the key seemed stuck;
something was wrong
such was my luck.
No matter how much
I jiggled the key,
tried to force it,
pulled the key in and out
the key would not turn
and the door would not open.
What to do?
My anxiety grew.
Locked outside,
hope to get in died.
Should I call the
fire department?
Neighbor?
Who?
And then,
finally, the key turned
and I was grateful to
be inside.

The next day I had to
go out and left the door
unlocked. Something
I never do.
When back home
never more to roam
I began to feel like
a prisoner in my own home.
I went to bed
and in my dream
God whispered "WD40"
right in my ear!
When I awoke I looked
underneath my sink.
Found a blue can
marked WD40.
I sprayed my key
stuck the key in the keyhole
and it was a miracle,
the key slipped right in
to open the door.
Miracles do not have to be
a lightning rod
just a little help from God!

Saturday, May 19, 2018

What A Wedding

I did not stay up to watch the fairy-tale wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan but I did see a replay around eight in the morning. I suppose what surprised me the most was the blending of two cultures at the royal wedding. There did not seem to be as much pomp and circumstance that I remember in other royal weddings.  I  liked the looks shared between Harry and Meghan and wondered, what were they actually thinking? Somehow, the wedding seemed more casual than William and Kate's though the ladies and their hats seemed the same! I had never seen the wrapping of the hands in the celebrant's stole and thought it was a neat gesture.

All we have is a television picture of the two, young people in love, but it seems so authentic. When they look at each other I can almost see and feel their love, even though it is on the screen. I wish them a life time of happiness and may they, as all fairy tales end, live happily ever after!

Of course, it brought back memories of my wedding so many years ago on May 19, 1962. One never knows where life will take us and a dream of love lasting forever lasted six years but I did have my moment of feeling like a princess at my wedding.

"Love does not consist
of gazing at each other,
but in looking together
in the same direction."
Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Friday, May 18, 2018

Bringing A Father Home

Last evening at the Spirit of Christ Catholic Community monthly dinner of  YAH (Young At Heart) we had a speaker by the name of Patricia Gaffney-Kindig talk about looking for her father who went missing  during World War II. When I heard she would be speaking I wondered if the people would sit still and listen to what the lady had to say.

After announcements, a wonderful meal, birthday photos, Patricia Gaffney-Kindig got up to speak on Journey of the Heart.  The story began when her father went missing in New Guinea on a flying mission during the war. He disappeared three months before Patricia was born. As she grew, so did her desire to find her father's remains. Many searches done into the area where he had gone down finally revealed enough information to certify it was her father's plane. After forensic testing, a tooth and bone fragment confirmed that the remains of her father had been found.

She returned to the United States, with her father's remains, as his official escort.   On June 9, 1999 , she buried her father at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors.  As she spoke, she had to pause to take deep breaths and to drink some water because even after many years, she still gets emotional thinking about her father whom she never knew.

The dinner was entitled, Honoring Our Military Heroes, and as I looked around at the people sitting in their red, white and blue outfits I could see that everyone was attentively listening. Everyone was fascinated by the speaker and the process she went through to find her father and return him home. She received a standing ovation when she finished her talk.



Some men wore their uniform or their caps depicting in what branch of the service they had served. At one point the men and women who had served in the military stood up and everyone sang God Bless America!

"We sleep safely at night
because rough men stand
ready to visit violence on
those who would harm us."
Winston Churchill

Monday, May 14, 2018

Patience is Pure Gold

I wonder where DISH finds people to work in their information departments. Never could I work in a place that verbally tells someone how to fix anything! I have been having problems with my television and have been on the phone with helpers from DISH.  Each time I spend from 30 to over 60 minutes getting instructions on what I should do. I know I would not have the patience displayed by the persons on the other side of the phone line. All four persons I have spoken with  have been patient and I think it is over and beyond their call of duty. Not only do I not know some of the terminology but sometimes I have problems hearing and have to ask them to repeat. Sometimes three or four times! And they calmly do it!

Today was the ultimate of kindness and patience. A few days ago, it was decided that I needed a new Receiver. I would attempt to do the connecting myself and decided to take pictures of the process. The Receiver arrived in a large box. I carefully opened the box and got the receiver out. Then I took pictures of the old connections and where they went. I disconnected the wires with trepidation because I am not mechanically inclined and I was afraid I would do something wrong.

After I had the wires in the right place, I hoped, I turned on the television.
A blurb came up letting me know that there was no connection. I called DISH and a woman answered the phone and listened to my tale of woe. I told her I had disconnected all the cables. She than began asking me questions.


Do you have the cable connected to the satellite cable in?
Are the cables connected to the video and audio?
Do you have a picture?

I told her I did not and she said, "Is the television connected to the receiver?"

I told her that I did not know.  She said, "Follow the cable and see if the television is connected.

I struggled to get down on the floor, tried following the cable but ended up saying, "There are many tangled wires behind my t.v. and I do not know which cable you want me to find."

Do you have two televisions? My answer was yes. "I want you to go to the television in the other room." I told her, You will have to wait because I am on the floor in front of television #1 and need to get up and go to the other room." She said, "Take your time."  A few struggles and I was up and headed to #2 television.

She had me push the search button and I told her I did not see it on the remote. She then said, it is called input on your remote.

We fooled around pushing buttons and then she had me go back to #1 t.v. She never got upset at having to repeat many of the questions and she would say, "Okay, let's try this and proceeded to give me new instructions.

As I fumbled around behind the television, I found a loose wire that looked like a USB port only wider. I told her about the wire and she said, "Yes, that is what connects your receiver to your television. Plug it in." That did the trick and I wondered if I had found that cable at the beginning if that would have fixed my television right away. She did not say anything but she could very well have said, "I told you so!"  Finally my television was working and I felt proud that I was able to follow the patient lady's instructions. I asked her if she had to take a patient pill to deal with people like me and she laughed and said, "No pills, but I understand how frustrating it can be when someone doesn't know the terminology....you did great!"

My next move is to return the old receiver by taking it to a UPS office and everything will be back to normal!

"Patience is the best
remedy for every
trouble."
Plautus

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Sad Weekend

Mother's Day weekend is sad for me. My one daughter lives far away and even though we stay in touch by texting and phone calls it is not the same as being together. And then my thoughts go to my mother. She has been gone for forty-four years and I still miss her. I often wonder what she would think and say about all that has happened since she died!

Every year for Mother's Day I buy flowers to take to her grave. My project for today is to go buy some flowers to place on her grave tomorrow. There are now more members of my immediate family at Mt. Olivet than living. My Mother, Father, brother and son lie under the grassy area near the statue of St. Anthony. An uncle lies next to my Mother's grave and it is odd how they ended up next to each other at the cemetery. He was the oldest and my Mother was the youngest of the family and now they are side by side. In another section lie my two aunts who were my Mother's sisters and I also take flowers to them because I know my Mother would have done it if she were around.

I cherish this photo of me and my mother taken sometime in 1938. It seems that it is the only baby picture of me with my Mom!  Another picture I like with my Mom, and my friend, was taken in the mid-fifties. I do not have many photos of us together making these two photos extra special!
Happy Mother's Day to all the Moms, living and gone,
and especially to my Mom in heaven!

Friday, May 11, 2018

Kombucha

Maybe I am not up to date with certain drinks but I had never heard of Kombucha until a lady at King Soopers was giving out samples. I found the drink to taste like wine and it had the bubbly feeling of champagne. She had eleven samples; citrus hops, clear mind, ginger turmeric, happiness, herbal uplift, lemon ginger cayenne, love, mint lemonade, spiced apple (the one I tasted), super berry, and strawberry basil. The ad mentioned that it was authentic kombucha made by a tea company.

Of course I checked the Internet and found out that it is a beverage produced by fermenting sweet tea with a culture of yeast and bacteria. Supposedly there are health and beauty benefits in drinking Dr. Kombucha Tea!

People were lining up to try the exotic drink and some of those tasting Kombucha said,  "I've never heard of this drink," and that made me feel good because I wasn't the only one that had never heard of it! There must be tea houses that serve Townshend's Tea because the sample card I was given had this information written on it. We start with the same loose-leaf organic teas we serve in our Townshend's Tea Houses.  Then we blend in organic herbs, fruits or other botanicals. No juices or flavorings are added after fermentation, making Brew Dr. a truly 100%  raw kombucha with trillions of live and active culture in every batch.

"If a man has no tea
in him, he is incapable
of understanding
truth and beauty."
Japanese Proverb







A Morra Banquet

Last evening I attended a Morra Banquet by invitation of some Italian friends. I did not know what Morra meant or was until it was explained to me that it is a game played by using your hands and fingers. The game originated in Italy and it involves drinking wine and trying to psych other participants. The Internet explains it as a psychological game by watching competitors and by learning body language and anticipating how many fingers will be displayed. There happened to be a nine year old boy who plays with the adults and from I heard the "kid is quite good!"

One exciting part of the evening was seeing my nephew (by marriage) at the banquet with his family. It had been awhile that I had seen them and it was great catching up on their news.
The food was excellent with prime rib, chicken, salad, pasta, vegetables and rolls. I don't usually eat red meat but I ate the prime rib with horseradish and loved every single chew and swallow! The desserts were beautiful (Italian ladies know how to prepare desserts!) and my friend took a large tray of cream puffs.

What fun meeting people, spending time with my friends, seeing my relatives, eating good food, and seeing what awards were given out. The funniest was the team that came out at the bottom for losing the most games and the award was called the Horse's Ass Award. I was impressed about the young students who received scholarships and the winners of the competitions. It seemed, to me, that everyone got mentioned in one way or another.

Thanks to my friends for a lovely evening at the Hyland's Golf Club!

"Morra is a hand game
usually played for 
entertainment or to settle
a disagreement."
From the Internet

Thursday, May 10, 2018

A Sweet Goodbye

To wake up from a dream and feel happy that my son who passed away in October of 2016 came to me in a dream. He looked wonderful in a bluish-black turtle neck sweater. (Something he would never have worn!) His smile and his eyes made me think, what a handsome young man!  In my dream I was picking him up from a court date in Adams County and he was happy because the case had been dismissed. I could hear beautiful music that filled my heart with joy. He started to walk away and I yelled,  "I'll wait for you." I waited while listening to the beautiful music but he never came back and that made me sad. I knew in my heart he was gone forever.

When I woke up I tried to figure why I had such a dream. What was the court date? The beautiful  music that made me feel happy and full of joy. Why did he not return so I could take him home?

Here is my interpretation: Court date may have been purgatory and when it was dismissed it meant he was now going to heaven (beautiful music). Now that he had done his time in purgatory (court) he came to say goodbye to me so I could see his face once again. He walked away leaving me listening to heavenly music as I waited for him to return. A sweet good bye from my son because I know he is never coming back to be with me here on earth.

Remembering the good times!

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Past Friends Come In Fours or Fives

Something odd happened this week. My phone rang and it was a friend from my past. She and I were good friends while we worked together but then life took us in different directions. I considered her my best friend and shared many personal stories with her. She never said she was my best friend, but she also told me everything that was going on in her life! It is funny how no matter how long it has been since we talk, we can pick up exactly as if no time has passed. When she called I did not realize that our phone conversation would be over two hours long.

The following day, another friend who I have not seen in a fairly long time called and invited me to go see her daughter in a Mariachi group at Arvada High School. The group is from Metro University and they spread their cheer to anyone interested in beginning a Mariachi group. My friend has two daughters who began playing and learned the traditional Mariachi music in a program at Bryant Webster. Both girls are talented musicians and singers. The eldest daughter is taking a sabbatical and was not with the group but I did get to see the younger one play the Guiteron (a large fat guitar) and belt out a Mexican ballad! My friend and I went to Pho 65 to enjoy the soupy noodles and we talked up a storm!

Tonight I am having dinner with a friend who moved to New Mexico and it has probably been about twelve years since I have seen her. In the past we would meet every Christmas for dinner and exchange gifts but it just became harder for us to find a time to meet since we were all busy.  I still have the last gift I purchased for her buried somewhere in my basement.

We met at Chili Verde in Denver and laughed and talked as we caught up on what has been happening in our lives. The food was very tasty and when we arrived the place was empty but by the time we left there wasn't a table available. It is a great restaurant for authentic Mexican food. When we finished eating she surprised me by handing me four gifts that she had been accumulating during the years we did not meet.  The gifts were beautifully wrapped in gold foil purple and green ribbons. I felt as if it was Christmas in May!





Two weeks ago I saw another friend who had invited me to see The Diary of Anne Frank and I enjoyed hearing how her life has been going. We will try for the three of us to get together again; the one from New Mexico, the stage manager, and me; the original trio.

These past weeks have been wonderful as I reconnected with past friends. I thank God for allowing me to enjoy my past friendships and to find out how they have fared during the time we did not see each other. Friendships that last forever are wonderful!



"Why did you do this for me?" he asked. 
"I don't deserve it. I've never done anything
for you."

"You have been my friend," replied Charlotte,
"that in itself is a tremendous thing."
E.B. White



Something weird happened today. I sent a picture to a friend Maggie but it never showed delivered.
I called her to see if she had received the picture and a tentative, strange voice answered. I recognized the voice of someone I had known in the 50's. We would see each other at different functions; anniversary, wedding or funeral. I am sure it had been twenty years since I had talked with her. That I remembered her voice (plus her name) made me tell her who I was and that I thought she was another friend by the name of Maggie. 

We talked for awhile and she caught me up on deaths that had happened that I did not know about. It surprised me to hear the sad news and then we chatted about mutual friends. 

Now, I am beginning to wonder why all past friends are back in my life. Could it be that I may be leaving and am having a final chat with these past friends?  I surely hope not, it just seems odd.