Monthly Archives: March 2012

A sliver of the moon and a balmy night in paradise…

Coming back from my French class this evening, there was a beautiful breeze, a sliver of the moon and some twinkle, twinkle little stars that made me feel as if I was a citizen of paradise.

The peace and quiet of the night, together with my brain feeling just fried by my efforts to speak the romantic French language and sounding as if I don’t even understand myself, set the mood in perfect coordination, that when I came out of my car and looked up, the smallness of the moon, the palm trees moving with the rhythm of the breeze, forced me to stop to admire this wonder of nature all for myself.  No witnesses, just me and a joy in my heart for being able to be part of this magical moment.

Here is the attempt I made to capture this moment in time with my ccc (cheap, chic camera).

In my imaginative mind, I pretended that I was in some small island of the Caribbean or the Atlantic Ocean, and the waves of the crystal clear waters were rushing to the shore to make that unique sound that soothes the soul.

So…it was today…an evening to feel at ease with the Universe.

Your Happy Contessa

“To look up is joy.”  Confucius, Chinese teacher, philosopher, politician.  551-479 BC.

Racism, Bigotry and Prejudice…Alive and present…

No one likes to talk about the perverse sides of human beings.  All of us have weaknesses, but some of us have ugly sides called bigotry, racism and prejudice.

People that want to pretend that we live in a kind of utopian society are on denial or just plain blind and deaf, metaphorically speaking.

Here in Sanford, Florida, there was a murder that occurred recently and I am sure that if this boy, Treyvon Martin wouldn’t have been an African-American, he would still be alive today.

How do I know that?  Because I have lived through racism, bigotry, and prejudice.    Sometimes the feeling is so strong you can almost touch it.  I don’t have to even open my mouth, and an assumption that I am stupid or below average intelligence is immediately made.  Because…I am of Hispanic origin.

Treyvon Martin did not have a chance with this mentally sick person that deprived him of enjoying one of our rights as a human being.  Life.

I cannot imagine how his mother is feeling at this moment.  That must be an unbearable pain that will be with her for as long as she lives.

I am going to close this thought with the following:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident:  That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

Not anymore for Treyvon Martin.

So…it was today…a day to remember a young life that was not given an opportunity to accomplish what the future was holding for him, because someone denied him of this right because the color of his skin.

How sad.

May the Lord have mercy on us all.  Yesterday was Treyvon, and that makes me ponder on who the self-or government-appointed vigilantes are going to come after next.

Even love has to be taught…

Last night I had a dream…this very dear person, that has gone to Heaven, and I were having a conversation and all I remember about the dream is what this person said, that even in the dream I said “wow! that is so profound.”

This is what this person said “If you have not been taught, given or shown love, you cannot give love or even show love.”  The definition of love is so broad, that this has many applications.

This morning I have been thinking about this sentence and some pieces have fallen in place.  Some of our parents, friends, brothers, sisters, and so on… have not been generous in their showing of love or affection to some of us.  Now I realize that is because probably they were not shown or given love.  Sometimes some of us can face this syndrome, hold on to it forever, and become a prisoner on this circle of pity.  Sometimes that is the excuse we always use to get away with inexcusable behavior.  It is all about “me and my sad story.”

I have made peace with my own issue, because I remember very well that my grandparents were very dry in their showing of affection, so now the pieces fall into place.  They were not shown or given love…so there goes the cycle.

The reason why I am writing about this subject matter is because…nothing happens by accident in the universe.  Someone, somewhere, needed to make peace with this issue, and I am only a vessel.

So…it was today, March 19, 2012…a day to break that cycle and put some issues to rest.

Your Happy Contessa

“To be able to say how much you love is to love but little.”  Francesco Petrarca, Italian poet, scholar and humanist.  20 July, 1304 – 19 July, 1374.

Vintage chicks like trains too…Here comes the train…Six times a day…

And you thought that only little boys liked trains.  Well…I better like them a lot, because I have six of them going almost next to my building on a daily basis.

This morning during my forced-to-walk there it was… one of them.  This time a cargo or freight train.  I cannot help it, but I get so excited that I run just to see them go by.  There’s something about a train.  Only thing that I am not so crazy about is when at 2:30 a.m., there goes one of them and the conductor probably wants to get even with the people who are sleeping, that he/she blows that whistle so hard and often, that one of these days I am going to come out and invite them to come right in and run the train through my apartment.  It might as well.  It is so funny, that I am laughing by myself at that time of the morning and  saying, “time to bless all the people who I know, let’s see who do I start with…” until all the noise and commotion leave the area.

So…it was today…March 15, 2012…a day to remember that yes, I do like trains…

Your Happy Contessa

“Success is getting what you want, happiness is wanting what you get.”  Anonymous

Concoction of old apples…old raisins…and voila!

What do you do with old apples, totally ignored for over four months, because I am on a kick for cantaloupes right now; and a box of old dried raisins.

Well…if you are like me, I do not like to waste anything, and like to repurpose almost everything…do not like to throw things out…you become creative on a rainy day such as today.

You peel them, slice them, put them on a pan with nothing in it, add the raisins, some cinnamon, some sugar, a pinch of salt, one teaspoon of vanilla extract, little, little salt, and if you have crystallized ginger, just a bit.  Put all the concoction to simmer very low, because it has to create a steam, no fat whatsoever.  I do not have margarine, butter or even other regular oil.  Only extra virgin olive oil, and I did not think that was proper.  I put olive oil on everything I cook, except sweets.

After steering for a few times, whenever you see the apples are al-dente, just remove them from the pan and into a dish.  Sooo delicious.  I am planning to have some with my dinner.  That will be salmon, tabouleh and steamed apples.  So good for me also.

So…it was today…11th March, a day to have old apples repurposed.

Your Happy Contessa

“Can we ever have too much of a good thing?” Miguel De Cervantes, Spanish novelist, poet and playwright.  1547 – 23 April, 1616.

Community Garden Trip…

This is my bounty from a trip with my 90-year-old girlfriend to our Community Garden.  First, I couldn’t open the lock, even though the combination was in place.  Then a city employee was passing by and I asked him if the combination had been changed, so he called the city and the combination was correct.  Then…he did something magical…he pushed the top of the lock and voila…”open sesame”…we went into the garden.  The way I was doing it, probably I would have been 80+ still trying to open the gates.

There were lettuces, collard greens, peppers, flowers, cabbage, and lots of other eatables.  My girlfriend’s plot was kind of skimpy, but looked good.  I have my tomatoes, pepper and mint leaves for my tabouleh.  Can’t wait to prepare it.

Beautiful red leave lettuce.  Eating fresh in our neighborhood.  Sounds like a commercial, but love fresh.  I am signing in for next season!

So…it was today…8th March…a day of fresh surprises.

Your Happy Contessa

“Buy fresh, eat fresh,  be healthy and happy.”  Your Contessa.

Gifts of Nature…Orange Blossoms…

Sometimes we take so much for granted.  The beauty of a flower, a rock, a scenery, and sometimes we even take friends, family and so many other things for…granted.

This morning during my whenever-I feel-like-it-walks, there was this scent in the air.  I kept my rapid pace, but stopped by some orange trees along my walk, to smell the blossoms on the trees.  What a miracle of nature.  That such a tree could be the origin of such a sweet aroma.  Went back home and got my ccc (cheap, chic camera) and got some pictures of the tiny flowers.  The one I chose is the one with another miracle of nature, the ever busy ants.  They are even mentioned on the Bible.  We should be a bit more like them, minding our business and storing for the leaner times.  How proper for these times.

Just wanted to share with you a moment of nature wonder during my walkabout.

So…it was today…March 7th…another beautiful day in paradise, as Ron used to say.

Your Happy Contessa

“Paint the walls of your mind with many beautiful pictures.”  William Lyon Phelps, American author, critic and scholar.  2 January, 1865 – 21 August, 1943.

North Carolina back into my life…what a nice surprise!

Sometimes you don’t realize how much you miss people or places, until you have the opportunity to see them again.  This happened to me for the past two weeks, but yesterday was my wake up call.

Raylene and Richard, graceful North Carolinians, hope this is the way you call people from that beautiful state, came to visit for the afternoon and evening.  We had a few hiccups, like the police patrol to welcome them officially.  Let me explain.  Some moron threw an empty beer bottle into my car, making a very small dent, but I called the police because I do not want a repeat performance.  Needless to say, when the police car came that’s when Raylene and Richard arrived.  Took care of that business, and then later on, at their hotel there was a fire.  Some palm trees caught fire, probably from who knows what, so they had another ounce of drama there.

After all that excitement, there we went out to dinner and had a very pleasant evening.  Except that my favorite college basketball team was the loser for the day.  I still have my mouth wide open.

Let’s forget about all the unwelcome actions into our day.  Look at the yummy gifts they showed up with.  North Carolina on my mind.  My personal party started this morning with the peanut brittle.  Sooo good!!

I am so glad I had the opportunity to visit with them yesterday.  Also had the opportunity to have the pleasure of one of my good friends visiting with me from the Virgin Islands two weeks ago.  Friends are very, very special to me.  I am grateful for all and each one of them.  They are my angels on this earth.

Great week also because I reconnected with family I had not visited with for the last three years.  My grandchildren are so awesome and so loving.  Piano playing, sacking quarterbacks, dating, and so much more were the themes of discussion at dinner last Friday.  Great spaghetti also.

My life is full of blessings, and great people.  A toast to that!

So…it was today…4 March, 2012…a day to reminisce about the goodness around in my life.

Your Happy Contessa

“The older I get, the more I savor and treasure every present I receive.”  Eleanor McMillen Brown, American pioneer interior designer.  1891 – 1991.