Inside the Mind of Isadora


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Silence – A Walk through Life

Tree Path.web A Walk through Life ©Isadora DeLaVega

Spend your brief moment according to nature’s law,

and serenely greet the journey’s end as an olive falls when it is ripe,

blessing the branch that bare it and giving thanks to the tree that gave it life.

©Marcus Aurelius [philosophers/resources]

~~~~~

Weekly Photo Challenge – Silence

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Friday Fictioneers – Lurking in the Shadows

It had been weeks since I visited Henrietta. To soothe my guilt, I picked up her favorite sparkling wine. At ninety, she wasn’t a fine wine drinker. Five bucks would do. I purchased her favorite dark chocolates too.

I could see bright lights on in the kitchen. She usually kept them on low.

She’d say, “I have a budget, you know.”

Finally, Henrietta opened the door. She seemed dazed.

“Hi Henrietta,” I said.

“Who are you?”

“It’s Ella.”

She grabbed the Gazela and slammed the door.

Curiously, I peered through the window.

Behind the huge spiderweb, lurked a man’s shadow.

2018©Isadora DeLaVega

 

Genre: Flash Fiction
Word Count: 100 words
Photo Prompt:©Victor & Sarah Potter

To join Rochelle and her Friday Fictioneers
click here or the blue froggy above

 


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A Gift of Love

The way to love anything deeply is to realize that it may be lost to you one day.

2018©Isadora De La Vega 

A Gift of Love

Without you,

Life is just existing.

With you,

Life is worth living.

You put a name on the

Songs, birds sing.

And, you bring the smell of flowers,

To a breezy spring.

You are my sun,

You are my moon,

You are in my heart,

Forever and a day.

2018©Al De La Vega

❤❤❤❤❤

Heart - piano notes

❤❤❤❤❤

Jamie Dedes @ The Poet by Day is asking, “What is on your mind and heart as you start the new year?”

to join in click here

photo prompt©jamie dedes


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Nurture Yourself – Seek Peaceful Serenity

Because of our daily stress filled lives, especially during the hectic holiday festivities, we need to create a quietly calm and peacefully still place where we can feel tranquil serenity.

Our imagination can help us with this very difficult task of relaxing by providing us with the ability to dream of magical places. I love to imagine a garden of flowers filled with every imaginable color and shape. It’s an image that can make anyone smile.

What about a snow covered mountain or forest? Snow blankets on the slumbering earth. The sun sparkling on the hanging icicles of a cold winters day.

Peaceful thoughts of hearts filled with quiet calm because we could all be one. No labels, no issues, no hostility, no anger. Just wonderful love for all no matter who they may be.

Nurturing yourself at the end of a day helps you achieve an untroubled placid sleep for better health.

If people could be serenely still they would see a positive spin in their life’s situation. Sitting in quiet contemplation, without negative thoughts towards themselves and others can be transforming.

Can you imagine a place of serenity?

In Love and Light
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 click here

~~~~~~~

The video above was posted on the blog – A Frank Angle
to read it click here

******Photos from Google Images


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T’was the Night before Christmas – Florida Style

Santa w-Flamingo

Florida Christmas Poem

T’was the night before Christmas, and all through the town,
No noses were frozen, nor snow on the ground.

No children in flannels were tucked into bed,
They all wore their shorty pajamas instead.

To find wreaths of holly was not very hard,
For holly trees sprouted in every backyard.

In front of the houses were daddies and moms,
Decorating hibiscus and coconut palms.

The slumbering kiddies were dreaming with glee,
Hoping to find surf boards under the tree.

They all knew that Santa was well on his way,
In a fiberglass boat instead of a sleigh.

He whizzed up the rivers, zoomed up the canals,
Delivering toys to good boys and gals.

The tropical moon gave the cities a glow,
And lit the way for Santa below.

Quite soon he arrived and started to work,
He hadn’t a second to linger or shirk.

He jumped from his boat and gave a wee chuckle,
He was dressed in deck pants, with an ivy league buckle.

There weren’t any chimneys, but that caused no gloom,
For Santa came in through the Florida room.

He stopped at each house but stayed only a minute,
As he emptied his sack of the toys that were in it.

Before he departed he had a long drink,
From the glass of fresh orange juice left by the sink.

He turned with a jerk and jumped into his boat,
Knowing that he still had more toys to tote.

He put it in gear and he opened the gas,
Then up the Peace River he went like a flash!

And I heard him exclaim as he went on his way:
“Merry Christmas, Punta Gorda, I wish I could stay …. Annonymous

Santa w- Surf Boards

This is turning into a yearly repost due to the Christmas festivities that are going on at this time.

I hope you enjoy it again. This was on the radio on Christmas Eve last year. 

Punta Gorda is a boating town 5 minutes away from me.

 

                                       Merry Christmas to all of my loyal followers.

                                     Thank you for having faith in what I do here.

                      May your hearts be filled with magical splendor of the Holiday Season.

                                         Blessings and many Hugs and Kisses to you !!!

                                                                                Isadora  😎


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Pasteles – A Traditional Puerto Rican Christmas Recipe

PR_Pasteles_photograph[1]

Recently a Puerto Rican restaurant opened in the next town from where I live. Hubby and I stopped in for lunch. The food was outstanding. We asked if they made traditional Christmas foods. When we heard they did we ordered these delicious pasteles. I’ve posted this recipe before but thought there might be someone adventurous who would like to try and make them. Enjoy ….

Pasteles aren’t appealing to the eye but delicious to the palette. There are as many pastele recipes as there are cooks. The recipe changes according to what is grown in the particular region. This is the one I am familiar with. Making and serving pasteles at Christmas time is a Puerto Rican tradition. Its hard work, but well worth the effort. There’s always a gathering of family members for the long and tedious work. As many as 50 to 100 pasteles are made at one time while traditional Christmas songs are played and the adults drink lots of coquito (look for this post).They hold up well in the refrigerator and can be frozen. As a child each one of us had a task. I do not make them but do enjoy eating them when they are available at restaurants or while vacationing on the island of Puerto Rico. They’re only available during the holidays. Pasteles were originally made for the traveling “Parranderos” (carolers). These were people who traveled with their instruments through town on the back of a flatbed truck singing and playing festive songs. Along the way, they would stop at homes where an invite would provide a little coquito and pastele. It was nourishment to help the travelers as they continued on their journey of spreading Christmas cheer. Everyone would laugh and dance as they played while sharing in the true meaning of giving. Having grown up in Brooklyn, New York, I had never experienced this. However, during the one year I attended school in Puerto Rico I learned about these traditions. It showed me another way to celebrate Christmas.    2017©written by Isadora DeLaVegaPastele

Recipe:

Prep Time: 3 hours

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 4 hours

Ingredients: STUFFING

2 pounds diced pork

4 ajíces dulces (small sweet peppers)

1 small onion

2 tablespoons recaito

4 cloves garlic

1 tablespoon adobo

1 tablespoons oregano (dry flakes)

1 bay leaf MASA DOUGH

4 pounds yautía

6 green bananas

1 tablespoon of salt

achiote oil

 

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WRAPPING:

40 banana leaves (cut into approx. 10 in X 5 in rectangles)

20 Pieces parchment paper (cut into approx. 8 in X 4 in rectangles)

20 Pieces of kitchen string (Cut into 18 inch. lengths)

Preparation:

PART 1 – MAKE THE STUFFING

1. Brown the pork pieces in a pan.

2. Add the rest of the stuffing ingredients.

3. Cook until the pork is no longer pink inside.

4. Set aside and let cool.

PART 2 – MAKE THE MASA DOUGH

1. In a large bowl, peel and grate the yautía and the green bananas together.

2. Stir in the salt and enough achiote oil to moisten the dough and add a little color.

You are now ready to assemble and wrap the pasteles.

PART 3 – WRAP THE PASTELES

 1. Set the dough aside and prepare a work surface to assemble and wrap the pasteles. If you have friends helping you, set up an assembly line.

2. Follow my step-by-step guide to assembling and wrapping pasteles.

3. Set aside the pasteles you are going to eat right away. You can freeze the rest.

PART 4 – COOK THE PASTELES

1. Bring a stock pot of salted water to a boil. There should be enough water to cover the pasteles.

2. Boil the pasteles for 1 hour.

3. Unwrap the pasteles before serving.

Serves: Makes about 20.


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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

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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

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