Inside the Mind of Isadora


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Coquito – A Traditional Puerto Rican Libation

The Island of Puerto Rico is still in the recovery stages since Hurricane Maria devastated it in September, 2017.

Many are still without electricity, clean water, everyday needs such as food, clothing, simple essentials and telephones.

During this time of giving – perhaps, you can donate to this cause:

www.unidosporpuertorico.com

Somos una voz – We are one voice: donate here 

One day, the island will return to the beauty it once was as shown in this video – Sung by native Puerto Rican Marc Anthony

I’ve posted this before, but this year, it has so much more meaning for those of us who helplessly wait for news

from family members living on the island in the devastation of Hurricane Maria.Christmas coquito - shot glasses IMG_4867

My first Christmas experience of Puerto Rican traditions was in 1963

when I was sent to a private Benedictine Monastery high school called Colegio de Nuestra Señora de la Valvanera.

I was a senior. I lived with my maternal grandmother’s sister, her 5 children,

 my maternal great grandmother, who was a Taino Indian, and completed the family.

I had been raised in an orthodox Jewish neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York,

while attending Transfiguration Catholic school, up until that point.

When I first arrived in Puerto Rico, I was very unhappy after the first month. I had summered there but only for a month at a time.

I missed my former life.

Then, as I began to experience this very new culture, I started to feel an emotional connection I’d never felt before.

My great grandmother, Pagua, knew I wasn’t feeling like I belonged. She began to tell me stories of her ancestors and their traditions.

Below is one of the traditions I experienced during my first holidays on this personal cultural journey .

I hope you’ll try this very easy to make beverage and, perhaps, incorporate something

that sounds like a positive tradition in this story to your holiday festivities.

2017©Isadora DeLaVega

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

coquito

Coquito is a traditional drink served during Christmas, New Year’s Eve and Fiesta de los Tres Reyes celebrations. The drink is similar to eggnog except with rum. In many households, it’s prepared days ahead in order to allow the flavors to blend well. This particular recipe does not call for raw eggs. Nor does it call for you to crack open a fresh coconut. It’s a very simple mixed drink. There’s another recipe below that is made with eggs. It depends on your family tradition as to which way you make it. No matter which way you decide to make it, remember that it is a lot more powerful than you think.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes – tastes best if left in the fridge overnight

Ingredients:
2 15-ounce cans cream of coconut
2 14-ounce cans condensed milk
1 can coconut milk
6 ounces Puerto Rica Bacardi white rum (use less or more if you like)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Fresh grated coconut (coco rallado) for garnish

and/or cinnamon sprinkled on top

Preparation: 1. Mix all ingredients in a blender.

Refrigerate for about an hour before serving.

Coquito must be kept refrigerated until served.

Serve as a cocktail in a shot glass.

Enjoy … !!!
Serves: This recipe makes about 36 ounces.

 Exitos Navideños De Puerto Rico: La Gran Trulla

This is a traditional song sung by the carolers.

Christmas - coquito ingredients - maxresdefaultAnother recipe for this traditional drink:

Coquito is gluten-free.  To make it dairy-free substitute the milks (except coconut) with rice, soy, hemp, , or almond milk and double the sugar.  If you want to lower the sugar content; substitute all of the sugar for agave nectar or brown rice syrup.
1 can coconut milk
1 can coconut cream
2 cans evaporated milk
2 cans condensed milk
fresh grated coconut (coco rallado)
1 liter white Puerto Rican Rum (Bacardi)
cinnamon sticks
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ tsp vanilla
¼ tsp salt
8 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
In a bowl add egg yolks, sugar, milk, salt, cinnamon, vanilla and mix well. Add evaporated and condensed milks, rum, and coconut cream and coconut milk. Add grated coconut and mix well. You can mix all of the ingredients in a blender. Pour coquito into bottles with sealable tops and add the cinnamon sticks to each bottle. Refrigerate and serve cold.


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Hidden Deep Inside

The closet door flung open.

“What are you doing in there?”, he growled.

Before I could answer, I was being pulled up by my hair and pushed towards the kitchen.

“Get in there and help your mother.”

I guess he doesn’t want to know.

“See what happens when you hide from work,” she said.

Hide from work? How about I was hiding from the jump rope he just beat me with while you were talking to Mrs. Rosen about styling her wig.

There’s a place I go to tell my troubles. Hidden deep inside the closet is my peaceful place.

2017©Isadora DeLaVega

 

Genre: Flash Fiction
Word Count: 100
Photo Prompt: Rochelle

To join Rochelle and her Friday Fictioneers in this challenge

click here or the froggy button above

 

*****In 2015, an estimated 1,670 children died from abuse and neglect in the United States. In 2015, Children’s Advocacy Centers around the country served more than 311,0002 child victims of abuse, providing victim advocacy and support to these children and their families. info:wikipedia
For more information click here: http://www.nationalchildrensalliance.org/media-room/media-kit/national-statistics-child-abuse/

 


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Small Business

Today, Janet @ Sustainabilitea.wordpress.com has added a post on small businesses.

With everyone running from place to place to get the best deals, Christmas can become

overwhelming. Check out some of the items she has listed.  Small Business click here:

Thank you, Janet, for adding me to the list of your favorite businesses:

Isadora Art JewelryCopper Whimsea’s by Al

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


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Transformation into Wearable Art

It all begins with a skein of yarn, a pattern and knitting needles.The results: a wearable cowl neck scarf. Knitting B&W Cowl 3.web

A warm neck apparel for those nippy cold days. 

Let’s make sure our head is cozy warm too.Recently, I’ve begun to relearn a skill I had from the late 1960’s.

I started making knitted items for my first born daughter back then.

Times were lean. Making items she could wear in the cold weather helped our budget a lot.

Now, I’ve begun to knit for the relaxation and calming effects it has.

The bonus is that I get to gift them to those who can benefit from their use.

These items were sent to my third born daughter who lives in

Albany, New York where it is 35 degrees right now.

Hope you enjoyed my creations.

Isadora 

~~~~~

Daily Challenge – Knit

Weekly Photo Challenge – Transformation

to join in click here


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Nurture Yourself – with – Natures Beauty

Have you ever been in a room filled with people at an event or a dinner party

or work or simply shopping,

where your eyes were drawn to someone,

somewhere in the room.

It’s because that person’s inner light shining brightly.

We can all be the bright light of spiritual illumination.

Look at the inner light of nature.

Feel it … Wear it … Be it !!!

Namaste,

Isadora 

Namaste
I honor the place in you
in which the entire universe dwells.
I honor the place in you
which is of Love, and of Truth,
of Light and of Peace.
When you are in that place in you
and I am in that place in me.
We are One.

~~~~~~~

Becca at On Dragonfly Wings with Buttercup Tea
hosts Nurturing Thursday to join in click here


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Friday Fictioneers – I’m Late – I’m Late

The subway doors opened. People poured off the train like swarms of ants.

Milagros rushed to get to her job. She hadn’t eaten and felt faint. She was late but needed to eat something. Her stomach growled as she ordered coffee and bagel in an out-of-breath voice.

“To go?”, the barista asked.

“Yes,” she said impatiently.

Panic took over the hunger pangs as she searched for her wallet.

Gone.

This can’t be happening.

From behind she heard, “Is this yours?”

“Yes!!!”

“It was on the floor”.

“I can’t thank you enough”

Sure you can, How ‘bout a date?”

2017©Isadora DeLaVega

Word Count: 100
Genre: Flash Fiction
Photo Prompt: Marie Gail Stratford

To join Rochelle and her Friday Fictioneers challenge
click here


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A Relaxing Afternoon – I think

Woman: “Heelo … can I hep yew?”

Me: “Yes, I’d like to make an appointment for a pedicure and manicure with John. A friend had recommended him to me.”

Woman: “Yew, come now.”

Me: “It will take me 20 minutes to get to your shop.”

Woman: “Yew, come nowww. He waiting.”

Me: “OK … see you in a little while.”

~~~~~~~

I drive my short little 20 minutes to the salon.

~~~~~~~

Woman: When I enter the salon, the woman at the front counter says, “Pic a cala.”

Me: I say, “I have my own color.” (thinking – there could be germs on their nail polish.)

Woman: John???? (shouting and unintelligible exchange)

Woman: Pointing, “You go there.”

I make my way to the pedicure chair. This man motions me to sit.

I grab my phone from my purse and, compliantly, I sit.

I place my feet into a warm soothing bath of salts. Now, I’m ready to be pampered.

The young man prepares his pedicure instruments and puts on his gloves.

Shutting the water off he looks up at me.

Him: “Wata ok?”

Me: “Excuse me?”

Him: Pointing, “Wata ok?”

Me: “Yes, its fine.”

The pedicure takes about 40 minutes.

Silence.

There’s never a word exchanged. Hand gestures are the mode of conversation.

Eventually, he looks up and points to the manicure table.

Like a good soldier, I march to my chair and sit.

He begins removing my old nail polish. Tense from all of this silence, I make a silly remark about my worse-for-wear nails due to gardening. He looks up and nods.

Creepy.

Does he hate gardening? Does he feel I’ve entered his silent zone without permission?

Unable to continue in this silent tortuous world I ask, “Do you work everyday?”

Him: “Yeezz”

Me: “When do you go to school?”

Him: Pointing to his salon license he says, “I finith school. Am tech now.”

Me: “I see that your name Van Nac Tan. It doesn’t say John on there.”

Him: “Me John.”

Me: I want to say, ‘No, your license says Van Nac Tan. Is John the translation?’

Him: As if I needed more clarification he says, “I am tirty yeer ol’.”

Me: “Ahhh … but you look so young.”

Him: He sends me a grimace with his eyes and, I’m sure, from under his mask too.

Me: (thinking) I guess he prefers silence.

I decide he’s a man of few words and a man who does not enjoy a compliment.

Before adding my new nail color he hands me the bill.

Him: “Yew pay now. Tip cash only”

Me: (thinking) Do I have cash? I’m a charge card carrying person. You know the one who gets lots and lots of points if you use your charge card for everything. I give him my card and off he goes to run it through. I look in my purse and find my emergency cash stash. Lucky me or him.

He hands me the charge receipt for signing. He takes it and places it in a draw. I give him his tip. He grabs it and again throws it in the draw. Nods a quick, Thack u, I think?

My nails are polished to a glossy shine. I’m directed to the drying area next and, then, he leaves for the back room without a word.

Me: (thinking) this has been relaxing: I think.

2017©Isadora DeLaVega


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Friday Fictioneers – Perfect Moments

Another day is about to pass. With wide eyes, I see into the remains of the day. The red ink, in the blue milk skies, illuminating the world before dusk. I love you as the night loves shadow. I love the essence of all you are. Each time I see your handcrafted goblets, a smile invades my lips.

When I’m alone like this, you’re always in my heart. The sun massages my face from the suns rays streaming through the open window. The wind ruffles my hair. I can feel your exhaustion against yielding grain like my thoughts of you.
©Isadora DeLaVega

Genre: Flash Fiction

Word Count: 100

Photo Prompt: Sarah Ann Hall

To join Rochelle and her Friday Fictioneers challenge
click here or blue froggie


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Nurture Yourself – Enjoy Every Moment

Because the season of Autumn is upon us,

the changing foliage reminds us of the changes

we must make throughout our lives.

Every petal, leaf or bark shed

is a layer we shed on our own journey

to our final destination.

Relish in the colors of our lives.
Namaste, Isadora

2017©Isadora De La Vega

Namaste
I honor the place in you
in which the entire universe dwells.
I honor the place in you
which is of Love, and of Truth,
of Light and of Peace.
When you are in that place in you
and I am in that place in me.
We are One.

~~~~~

Becca, hosts Nurturing Thursday.

If you’d like to join in – click here


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Nurture Yourself – Take Care of Yourself

It’s been a long road back to blogging.

I’ve been healing from some upsetting things that have happened to me.

I’m hoping to tell of my experiences and of the many changes in my life.

It’s all been a part of my writing brain fog.

Healing happens in stages. I’m back on my the path. But, I’m in those beginning stages.

Taking care of myself was and is my first priority. I’ve been doing just that.
As many of you who follow me know, I live near the beach. I visit often. It’s my place to reconnect with nature. The waves against the shore are a meditative sound that help balance the stresses that can overpower me. Many of these traumas were beyond my control. Nature took a bite out of my safety net. The fall was shocking since there is no aggressive behavior in paradise.

The video below is where I was until these recent occurrences. I hope you enjoy it for its artistry of dance but also for the connected calm the two dancers are trying to impart on those who are viewing them. The ocean is where I find myself floating in the air, as the ship I might be on floats through calm waters.

Namaste,  Isadora 🙏🏻

Damian Smith and Yuan Yuan Tan in Christopher Wheeldon’s
“After the Rain”Namaste
I honor the place in you
in which the entire universe dwells.
I honor the place in you
which is of Love, and of Truth,
of Light and of Peace.
When you are in that place in you
and I am in that place in me.
We are One.

~~~~~

Becca at ‘On Dragonfly Wings with Buttercup Tea’

hosts Nurturing Thursday … to join click here.