Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Chili, Frankenstein, and Amarula

A few nights ago, I met three friends to watch the original Frankenstein movie. It was filmed in 1931 with  Boris Karloff played the role of the monster. The well known story of Frankenstein was interesting to watch as Dr. Frankenstein and his assistant, Fritz, get body parts from cemeteries to create a monster. When the monster escapes there is a poignant moment where a little girl asks the monster to play and she gives him flowers. The monster appears to be content playing with the little girl as they toss flowers into the lake and watch the flowers float. When the monster picks up the little girl it is a breath-taking moment because we know that he is going to throw her into the lake also. Possibly thinking that she will float like the flowers, but she drowns.

The villagers are celebrating and dancing because Dr. Frankenstein is getting married.  When the little girl's father shows up with his little daughter's dead body, the villagers get angry and go in search of the monster. Dr. Frankenstein approaches the monster and the monster carries him to an old wooden windmill. The doctor is thrown out of the window of the windmill but survives and the villagers set the wind mill on fire and destroy the monster.

What surprised me was how advanced actors, acting and filming have evolved since 1931. Some where along the way, the monster is called Frankenstein though in the original story he is just called the monster. There were some funny parts, not sure if they were meant to be humorous, but we laughed anyway.

Before the movie the hostess served bowls of chili with warm tortillas. She then served a liqueur called Amarula which was very tasty. It is a cream liqueur with 17% alcohol and made from the fruit of an elephant tree in South Africa. A very tasty drink!

For dessert we ate Magnum ice cream bars which were rich and tasty. It was a fun evening to celebrate the coming of Halloween!


Saturday, October 27, 2018

Spookiness Lasts Too Long

Thinking back to when I was a little girl I do not remember going out trick and treating. Everything happened on the 31st of October; a one day affair. When my children were young they would put on costumes for parades in their school. After school, they rushed home to eat dinner and get ready to go out to knock on neighbors' doors to trick or treat.  Now a days, homes get decorated for Halloween beginning around the 1st of October. My neighbor across the street put out tombstones, dry branches with heads hanging on them, and orange lights on his house. Another neighbor put out carved pumpkins and lights early in October. Many homes in the neighborhood decorate their yards. Stores have spooky stuff like skeletons, witches, ogres, and scary looking cats among many Halloween decorations and costumes late in September.  Growing up our costumes were home made but now a child can be outfitted with whatever costume that can be found at Walmart, Dollar Store, Target, Hobby Lobby, Home Depot, Costco, etc.

Instead of a small bucket or sack to be filled with candy by near-by neighbors, I see children carrying pillow cases. Many children are not from the neighborhood but have been driven around by their parents. I heard that children are carted from poor neighborhoods to wealthier areas to get their treats. In the past, children felt safe enough to go out with their friends but now parents bring their children and stand at the end of the sidewalk as their kids come up and knock on the door. In the past few years, even the adults are getting into celebrating and getting dressed up in costumes for elaborate parties. Halloween is no longer a children's' holiday!

It has been a few years that I began turning off porch light and do not give out candy since the  neighborhood is older and there aren't any children around. The exception is the young family across the street. Many kids look frightening and take their ideas from scary movies. The last time I gave out candy it was a shock to me to see what looked like high school boys all bloody and holding knives and in their deep voices yelling, "Treat of Trick!" while they held their pillowcase out to get some candy. I heard where some city will arrest children over 12 years old and the kids can be charged with a misdemeanor or fined if they are out asking for candy. I think that law is a bit extreme but in this day and age, danger seems to be all around us!

Adults are now into Halloween and many parties are celebrated at different venues. It is fun to see crazy people driving down the street in a silly costume. My best Halloweens were when I went as a red devil costume made with a man's red underwear and won second prize. The second time I won $25 for being dressed as a soldier and handing out candy kisses while the third time I was Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz!

After the children come home, the candy is inspected and checked because it has been known that razor blades, poison, or terrible things have been done to the candy being handed out. Once the candy is checked the children are free to ruin their teeth at will!


Friday, October 26, 2018

Do It From The Heart or Not At All

This morning when I woke up the thought ran through my head that maybe, before going to meet the Gambling bus, I would go to mass. I got busy fixing breakfast, showering, getting ready and I thought maybe I would not go to mass. But, when I was finished and ready to go I looked at the clock and it was twenty-five minutes before mass would start so I thought I would go to mass. I loaded up the car and as I was driving I thought maybe, instead of going to mass, I should go and buy some candy for the gamblers. And then I thought that maybe I could run in to mass, miss the consecration, and rush out to meet the gamblers. My thought was that maybe some kind soul would bring something to eat for everyone. Feeling guilty for all my wishy-washy feelings, I decided I would go to mass and the gamblers could wait for me until after mass.

The decision was made. I would attend mass. I drove into the parking lot and was getting ready to park the car and it was nine on the dot. I reached over for my purse and it was not there. I had forgotten it at home. I turned the car around and headed back to my house to pick up my purse. When I returned to the church mass was over and my gamblers were ready to be checked in.

Somehow I think that God knew I was not really wanting to attend mass and he arranged it so I had to return home which made me miss mass entirely. I knew that if when I got up with the intention of going to mass and that was my pure intention, that I would have been at morning mass. I also realized that I should have given God first priority and not hemmed and hawed about attending mass. God was probably thinking, if you can't do it with your whole heart and soul, don't even pretend that you want to do it!

"When your values
are clear to you,
making decisions
becomes easier."
Roy E. Disney

Saturday, October 20, 2018

The Bucket

It was an ordinary bucket, much like you can pick up at Home Depot. A 5 gallon homer bucket in white. As I drove 65 miles per hour, I saw the bucket on the side of the road. Yet, it did not stay on the side of the road because a gust of wind blew it right in front of my car. I had no choice but to run over it. I could hear a rasping sound as I dragged the bucket underneath my car. Looking for an exit so I could get underneath the car and pull the bucket out I had to drive about two miles. I drove unto the exit and felt the bucket release my car. I looked in my rear view mirror and saw the bucket, smashed and unusable in the middle of the exit. I hoped that someone else would not have the misfortune of running it over again.

Now I had to get back on I-76 and had to drive back the way I had come on a frontage road until I could get back on the highway. It took about twenty-five minutes to get back to going in the right direction and continue my journey to Greeley.

A few moments of wondering what I was going to do, wondering if I had damaged something underneath my car, and wondering how I could have been so lucky as to have the bucket plop down in front of my car, I prayed that all would be fine. Evidently it was fine because I didn't seem to have done any damage.  I arrived at my destination about an hour later and everything seemed to be all right.

"A plastic bucket
can be used for repairs
but not good if it is
dragged underneath a
car until it tears away.
 Never should it be on a highway
on any given day!"
E. Moscoso

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Karaoke Fun

Three years ago I suggested that our 200 plus group try Karaoke. My idea did not go over with the committee because no one would want to do it and the members preferred to come to eat and socialize. Finally, this year we decided to try it. A couple, J & J Karaoke, were hired to entertain the group. I hoped it would go over and people would have fun. No one knew, especially me, that Karaoke would be such an overwhelming success!

Groups were formed, singers placed their name on a list with their favorite songs and some just danced to the music. The lady J went around like a cheer leader encouraging everyone to get up and sing. When she got around to me, I picked Patty Page's How Much Is That Doggie in the Window. I do not sing in public. I do not have a voice that can sing without hitting flat notes so I was hesitant in signing up but J insisted and cheered me on. When she said, "Don't worry, I will sing along with you!" I thought, what the heck.

 The brave singer who was first, sang Patsy Cline's Crazy.  Frank Sinatra was a popular pick with three men singing solos of My Way. A Deacon sang Jambalaya and even did some yodeling.  One man sang New York, New York, and a woman sang That's Amore. There was a trio, a quartet, and many more single singers. The spectators joined in and as I looked around the room, everyone seemed to be smiling and happy!

The finale was every one singing Que Sera, Sera and everyone left humming a favorite tune!

The luncheon was bratwurst, sauerkraut, potato salad and beets while the dessert tables were filled with lots of yummy goodies. Good food, great entertainment, friendship and sitting at creative decorated tables made for a perfect lunch for the Young At Heart gathering!

Makes Me Wonder

How does a penny end up in the middle of my driveway? I walk across my driveway daily to pick up my mail. Back and forth and never have I see the penny I spotted yesterday. It is a beat up penny that has probably been run over many times and maybe I have even stepped on it. It has been hailed, rained and snowed on but I have never seen the penny on my driveway.

I am always happy to find a penny because I believe my son puts them in my path to let me know he is doing all right. How frustrating it must have been for him to put the penny down and then for me never to see it.  Yesterday, when found the penny, I think we were both happy!

Not too long ago I found a penny at a grocery store and I put it in my jean pocket. When I got home and was getting ready for bed, I pulled off my jeans and the penny fell on my bedroom carpet. To this day I have not picked it up because I think of my son every time I see the penny. I vacuum around it and I step over it.

One day the penny was not there. I did not move it so I wondered how it had moved and what had happened to it. As I looked for it, I found it near the dresser. My question is, how did it move from the middle of the room to an area near my dresser? Maybe there is a reasonable explanation but it still puzzles me and knowing how my son loved to play tricks on me, I wonder.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

A Walk Around A Lake

There were about fifty persons at the 9:00 o'clock mass at Spirit of Christ Catholic Community. After mass the Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament took place and then the procession began. The young Deacon wore a gold chasuble trimmed in red with a gold humeral veil, (vestment that covers shoulders and hands of priest or deacon that carry the Blessed sacrament in the beautiful golden and
spiked monstrance.
Four persons carried a canopy with the Deacon with the Blessed Sacrament walking underneath the  gold fringed canopy.

The walkers left the church and proceeded down Vance Street, down 81st street to Lake Arbor and around the 1.2 mile lake before returning to Spirit of Christ.  Along the way there was singing and reciting the rosary.  The voices echoed over the blue water on the beautiful fall day.

Back at the church after benediction there were hamburgers and hot dogs for those who walked around the lake for life.

"An early morning walk
is a blessing for the
whole day."

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Luke or Hamilton

Every day I have to make a decision on whether to read about the interesting fellow by the name of Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow or about Luke's teachings in the Bible.  Hamilton happened to be a book club selection and has 738 pages and was chosen at the same time that I began classes in Luke, The Gospel of Mercy. In studying Luke I will travel through different parts of the Bible which is also a large book!
Both books are interesting, though in parts quite tedious. One thing I realized as I read Hamilton, was why it had become such a sensation on Broadway. Hamilton led an interesting life and Chernow portrays him well through his letters with people in his life. I feel as if I am learning American history all over again, and then some.

Luke was a disciple of St. Paul and learned the gospel from him. He was a Gentile and a physician but had knowledge of the Jewish culture and Greek language. He writes about the life of Christ and miracles performed. I find the readings to be interesting and inspiring. In Luke's writings I am beginning to see a more realistic Christ living his life as a grown man.

My hope is that at the end of these two books, when I try to recall  parts of history, I do not confuse the two main characters!

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Pure Love

St. Francis of Assisi is known for his love of animals. Artist depict him surrounded by birds, wolves, cats, sheep, dogs; if it's an animal, St. Francis is there also. At. Spirit of Christ Catholic Community in Arvada, the white statue of St. Francis is with a large dog and a bird. Sometimes, real dogs get in the picture!

On Sunday, October 7, 2019, the annual blessing of the animals took place in the garden. Last year I remember there were cats, hedgehog, fish and dogs. One year I have been told someone brought a horse to the blessing. This year it was all dogs. I guess what surprised me was the love between the dogs and their owners. Some dogs were well behaved and obeyed, while others seemed rowdy and enjoyed barking at the other dogs. One of my favorite photos is a man holding a small Chihuahua. The look of love the master gives his dog, to me, is very tender.
I love the expressions on the dogs as I took their pictures. If a human was in the picture, I could tell how proud they were of their pet. The two deacons went around and blessed every dog present by sprinkling holy water on them I did not hear one dog complain!

"The love we give to a pet
and receive from a pet,
can draw us more deeply
into the circle of life, into
the wonder of our common
relationship to our Creator."
From the Internet