Tuesday, August 28, 2018

The Year Was Around the 1800's

Two hundred and eighteen years ago, my great-great-great-grandfather donated an altar screen to San Jose Church in Laguna, New Mexico. In doing research on my genealogy, I found a few references to Jose Manuel Aragon in different books.  In the book Religious Architecture of New Mexico by George Kubler a foot note stated that on the back of the altar screen was a notation in Spanish. "Se pinto este coral y se yso a costa del Alcalde Mallor Dn Jose Manuel Aragon este ano de 18  ." In different books there is a degree sign after the eight and in another it looks like 78. Since my ggggrandfather was alcalde mayor from 1790 until 1813 my guess is that the altar screen was painted while the Laguna Santero, who is credited in painting the screen, was in the area from 1800 - 1808. Don Manuel paid for the altar screen and donated it to San Jose Church plus donating other works of art to other pueblos. I have not been to the other places but they will be put on my bucket list!

On my recent visit to New Mexico in May of 2018, my family and I visited San Jose Church and the priest at the parish gave us a large poster of the altar screen photographed by Lee Marmon. I had the screen framed for a cool fortune of $210.41 but figured this was part of my ancestor's life so I didn't mind paying the amount! Now to find some place to hang it.

It is exciting to think that my ancestor may have looked upon the altar screen so many years ago. He lived in Laguna as the Alcalde Mayor and officiated in settling disputes between the Spanish and the Native Americans. Every time I see this framed poster, I will think and wonder about my great,great,great grandfather!

"Our ancestors are totally
essential to our every waking
moment, although most of us
don't even have the faintest idea
about their lives, their trials,
their hardships or challenges."
Anne Lennox

Monday, August 13, 2018

Vegetable or Fruit

Imagine slicing a watermelon and instead of seeing the red interior I expected, it was a pale yellow! That was a big surprise and yet when I tasted the yellow, juicy watermelon it tasted like what I am used to eating. No difference between red or yellow that I could taste!  It is just as tasty as a red one, yet it seems odd to look at the pale yellow color.

Looking on the Internet I found out that the yellow watermelon originated in Africa and it does not have the antioxidant lycopene that gives the red color to a melon. The good thing is that it does contain Vitamin A and C, Potassium, Magnesium, Iron, Calcium, Phosphorus and helps to keep the immune system strong.  It is considered both a fruit and a vegetable by experts, though I will think of it as a fruit!

I found out that Watermelon Day is August 3 every year. This is something I did not know and probably will forget by next year!

"When one has tasted
watermelon he knows 
what the angels eat."
Mark Twain

Sunday, August 12, 2018

My Son And I Watch A Parade

A friend called and asked if I was going to the annual Wheat Ridge Carnation Parade on Saturday, August 11, 2018. I told her I had planned on cleaning out my pantry. Though, the more I thought about it, I thought that even though I had heard about the parade and seen signs advertising the festivities, I had never attended. I figured it was a little town parade and not too interesting so I never felt the need to go even though I love parades! But, it did sound better than working in my pantry!

I told her I would meet her to watch the parade together but somehow, I got on the wrong side of the barricades and could not meet her so I stood under a large tree to watch the parade. A nice gentleman had extra chairs and invited me to sit in one of the chairs. There weren't many people so I had a full few of every one in the parade. In the shade, surrounded by friendly people, comfortable in the borrowed chair, I enjoyed the soldiers, old cars, marching band, Shriner's silliness, beautiful horses, dancers, fire engines and a few floats. Even the politicians did not bother me because they quietly marched with their signs. There was a small town feeling and candy, peanuts, beads, bouncing balls and water were tossed to the spectators!

As I watched a little girl who looked about four years old came up to me and handed me a card. I thanked her and looked at the card. A penny was stuck on the card with Lucky Penny written on the card."A small gift simply to say, we hope some kindness has brightened your day!" A warm feeling came over me because I knew my son was also watching the parade with me!

All in all I got a first aid kit, a bag of peanuts, some candy, but nothing thrilled me more than the Penny card!

Sitting next to me was a man named Mark who evidently was well know and had or does play in a popular band. Many seemed to know him and he entertained the marchers by playing tunes on his horn! Some of the marchers clapped for him while others yelled, "Play it again!"

I met up with my friend and we went to lunch, visited a mutual friend in rehab and shopped at Heinie's market for green chile and peaches. A beautiful day and it sure beat cleaning out my pantry!

"If you're not in the parade,
you watch the parade.
That's life."
Mike Ditka

Saturday, August 4, 2018

The One Month Old Tomato

On July 2, 2018 I purchased some fresh tomatoes on the vine. One tomato was left and I left it on the counter while I went on vacation for eight days. When I returned the tomato still looked fresh. I decided to see how long the red vegetable would look eatable. Today, over a month since I purchased it, the tomato looks as good as when I bought it. Not a one wrinkle on it. No white mold. Solid. Firm.

What ever was used on that tomato to preserve it should somehow be made into a cream for older women. We would look pleasingly plump forever! Makes me wonder if something that is preserved so well should be eaten. How will our bodies ever digest it?

On Wikipedia, edited on June 19, 2018, this is what I found: A genetically modified tomato, or transgenic tomato, is a tomato that has had its genes modified, using genetic engineering. The first commercially available genetically modified food was a tomato engineered to have longer shelf life.  Currently there are no genetically modified tomatoes available commercially.  I think my tomato is not a normal tomato making me believe it is genetically modified!

I will keep this lone tomato on my counter just to see how long it can continue looking like a healthy tomato!

"I don't care what anyone says: 
Nothing is better than a 
tomato you grow. There's something
about it that's different than a tomato
you buy. It's a great thing."
Tom Vilsack

It is now October 1, 2018 and the tomato still looks presentable. The bottom  of the tomato is beginning to get some wrinkles.  Will it last until November? Will I continue to see how long it will last or will I toss it? I will keep my readers posted as to what happens to this everlasting tomato!

Thursday, August 2, 2018

A Special Gift Gathering Barbecue

August 1, 2018, I attended a Brown Robe Benefit (not the big, expensive benefit but one to gather gifts for the big one!) where people were asked to bring a $25 gift card. The gift cards could be for restaurants, movie theaters, specialty stores, grocery markets, online business or what ever our heart desired. At a later date the Brown Robe Benefit for $150 a plate would be held at the Sheraton Hotel in Denver, Colorado. The affair is called the Brown Robe because it is for the Capuchin Franciscans who wear the brown robes.

In speaking with Fr. Christopher, he informed me that the order is of brothers though the majority are priests. "We are not monks but brothers," he told me, and if you meet a brown robed man you can always be safe by calling him 'Brother.'" The tables, with white tablecloths, were on the lawn and had beautiful lanterns filled with pastel roses for center pieces.

Trays of hors d'oeuvres were set out with peppers, cheese, olives, ham, crackers, and spreads. Drinks were in glass jugs; one alcoholic and one with cucumber water. Wine, beer and pop were also served.
A welcome and a thank you from Fr. Christopher to the people attending and to the volunteers had everyone applauding.

The main meal was served and then the desserts came out. Never have I seen such original goodies!
A "smores" table with stacks of marshmallows, chocolate and graham crackers. A small burner with four small flames, yet enough to toast the marshmallow and melt the chocolate, was a popular spot.
Plastic cups with something I thought was bread pudding but it had fruit in it was delicious. Trays with different kinds of homemade candy also pleased the crowd. And of course, my diet went out the window!
 A wonderful party meeting some of the Capuchins (one was a friend of Fr. Jacob), seeing friends from Spirit of Christ, enjoying a good meal and the biggest surprise came as I was leaving. A lady came up to me and said, "Do you know who I am?" I had seen her earlier and vaguely thought she looked familiar but never thought about it again. Now, here she was in front of me and I said, "Oh, my, you went to Greece with me!" In 2012 we traveled with the Biblical school and did the Steps of St. Paul through the Archdiocese of Denver. On that trip we went to Rome and saw Pope Benedict. When she said two other friends were also present I was shocked. Never in a thousand years would I have remembered them but once I saw them, I recognized them. Seeing three fellow travelers made my evening!