Inside the Mind of Isadora


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Friday Fictioneers – Car Rides from Hell

My designated car seat was behind my father who drove while smoking unfiltered ‘Camel’ cigarettes. 

He was a chain smoker. A habit he’d picked it up in the service.

Ashes would blow into the back seat as he drove us to our weekend park picnic outings or  Sunday beach getaways. 

I had the pleasure of inhaling carcinogen nicotine chemicals.

Despite complaints I’d felt like vomiting, the car ride would proceed with minimal sympathy.

At our destination, I’d have to sit until the dizzying feeling passed. Seltzer was the beverage I  drank to settle my stomach meanwhile my siblings drank cokes.

2018©Isadora DeLaVega

Genre: Short Story

Word Count: 100

Photo Prompt:Yvette Prior

 

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SPAM – SPAM – SPAM Thoughts

There’s been an abundance of SPAM sneaking around my computer.

Yes, they’re little snake-like creatures we can’t see. They create havoc of every imaginable kind. I have no clue on how they do it. I have a pretty good idea that no one else does, either. If they do know they’re keeping it quite hush-hush. 

It’s fascinating the way the computer repairman looks you straight in the eye and says, “These things just happen”. 

Really? 

I felt like a cartoon character with a big question mark above my head. Aren’t Firewalls and web protection supposed to prevent these little villains? 

My computer froze on my homepage with what seemed like quite an official letter from the FBI. The letter read that I was in violation of paying my fines to them. If I didn’t submit $500.00 dollars to them I would be taken to federal prison. There was a drop down with the amount on it and directions on how to get this money to them. 

Well, my first thoughts were whether or not I had sent in the tax money that I owed good old Uncle Sam. As all good Americans, I had instructed our accountant to submit our business and home taxes and to pay the owed fees. 

After checking on all that, my second thought was that I could use a nice vacation with three hot meals, use of an extensive library, exercise room plus a television lounge room. Then, I got angry and thought that whoever was doing this was a creepy low life individual that has nothing to do except create chaos in my business and home life.

There were other SPAM messages from time to time like: 

  1. Dobrowolskiqkn, obviously, not a real name thinks that I should be working out with this new method of exercise called TRX. A bit excessive for someone my age.
  1. And it’s evident that, horny hot, has been peeking into my bedroom because he –she – it – seems to think they know what I might need to do to have a better sex life.
  1. Seemingly, Anita902, thinks that I must have severe back pain and a bit of a nervous condition as she has recommended I take some Ultram and Vicoden. Do they not know these prescriptions are addictive?
  1. Gaming Site- to play video games. I have no desire to play games. 
  1. Lottery Site – so as to gamble. My hard earned money taken away with foolishness. I’ll pass. 
  1. Hacker Site – to avoid computer hacking. HUH?
  1. Transsexual – Stripper XXX Site –   this left me speechless and with eyes that never wanted to see again. There was body parts showing that weren’t meant to be seen in public.  

I wish I could say that these SPAMS are funny but after a few 100 times of deleting them from my SPAM box it gets a bit old. In addition, when it takes over my computer and prevents me from running my business, I feel frustrated. 

I believe technology is important but something has to be done to prevent this from happening. 

Who do you think is doing this?

Who do you think should be preventing this? 

2018©Isadora DeLaVega

~~~~~~~~~

Wednesday Writing Prompt – Life with Technology: a blessing or curse

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Friday Fictoneers – Institutionalized

Venom flowed through her veins. Hate was a mild word for what she felt for him.

She had him taken to an institution. He would be there for life.

Her mother died shortly before he was placed there. Doctors said her frail body was from malnutrition and improper medical care. At 88, she needed home health care. Instead, her mentally challenged son was her only caretaker.

Why was she angry at him?

It helped soothe her guilt.

Banned from his mothers funeral by her, he raged. The perfect storm for him to be taken away.

Lord grant her soul redemption.

2018©Isadora DeLaVega

Genre: Flash Fiction
Word Count: 100
Photo Prompt: Sandra Cook

 

 

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Story of a Broken Man

Grenada Drunk Man & Shell Art.web (1024x884)

Broken

While on vacation in Grenada, we decided to drive around downtown which could be quite a challenge. Suddenly, I was overcome by the sight of a man sitting on the sidewalk.

“Stop,” I shouted.

Startled, my husband stopped the car assuming he was about to hit something or someone he hadn’t seen.

I said, “Look,” while pointing to this man. “Please!” “You’ve got to find a place to park.”

He drove a bit and found a parking spot.

Since we were unfamiliar with the downtown area, we had to walk several streets in search of where the man had been.

I thought I should purchase one of those shells he was selling since he looked like he was in need of a sale.

Eventually, we found him.

He was unaware I was standing next to him until I said, “Hello, I see you have some shells for sale.”

Tear filled hazy eyes glared at my me. I felt sucked in by his sadness. He was dirty with a profound odor of the unsanitary kind. It was the type of odor you knew was from a lack of any type of facilities. Yet, I felt compelled to talk to him. In one hand he had a cup of rum; the other hand held a blunt, doobie, marijuana joint. Drugs!

After briefly talking about his shells, I told him, “I noticed he was drinking and smoking marijuana at such an early morning hour.” It was 10:00 a.m.

He said, “There’s no set time for me to kill my pain.”

I didn’t dare ask what his sorrow was.

I asked, “Does it help your pain?”

No words were said. Just a tilt of the head in my direction with a curved smile that led me to believe he didn’t think I’d understand.

We spoke for a short time.

I handed him the money for the shell with a little extra. I recommended he use it for food or shelter. I told him to keep the shell so he could sell it to someone else.

As I began to walk away, he took another puff from his big sweet scented herb and shouted, “Pretty Lady” …

I turned.

He continued, “Someday, when you get to heaven, say hello to my angel. I know you’ll meet her there. Tell her, I’ll be with her before long.”

2018©written by Isadora

 

~ Kindness is loving people more than they deserve ~

Grant that, we may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console,
to be understood, as to understand … Saint Francis of Assisi

*****

 

*****Definition of Broken: forcibly separated into two or more pieces; fractured. incomplete; being in a state of disarray; disordered;

**** I received the Bronze Award for a: Street Life/Slice of Life: A photojournalistic photograph, camera as observer.

*****This story was originally posted in February, 2014 


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Premonition

It’s been 3 days since I ventured to do anything on my blog.

I had had many fun things going on over the weekend.

Then, on Sunday evening, I had the terrible issue of accepting that my computers were down.

Now, I wanted to be on them.

Now, they weren’t working.

You’re probably wondering why I’m using the word ‘them’ and ‘they’.

I have a desktop computer and a laptop. I decided to get the laptop to take with me when I travel.

I can upload photos and remove them from my memory card, plus, I could see how well I’d taken the photographs. I could write stories or poems, etc.

When I realized my limited ability to get them to work, I thought about getting tech help. They could get walk me through the issue/issues.

However, I had a premonition it was going to be long and stressful process.

Today, I accepted that I could be having an incorrect premonition about this entire repair thing.

I called and to my surprise everything went smoothly and quickly. It was a simple fix.
And, it was a pleasure to speak to a tech who’d originally resided in Norway. I enjoy listening to people who have accents. This Norwegian accent was quite pleasant as was his assistance to my computer glitch.

Lesson Learned: Don’t always listen to your premonition.

2018©Isadora DeLaVega

 

~~~~~

The Daily Post – Premonition

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Pasteles – A Traditional Puerto Rican Christmas Recipe

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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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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 – A Small Stone

He stood at the door of 28909 Rue de Jardin. Memories flooded his mind. He’d never imagined seeing this house again.

Why had his father left it to him?

They hadn’t spoken in forty years. He was ten. His mother had divorced him immediately after she discovered his affair. Her broken heart finally erased by her suicide.

Sitting with Clarice, the now 90 year old mistress, in the large windowed parlor he remembered the park view from his bedroom. The wounds still felt razor deep.

He placed a stone on the gravestone; softly murmuring, “Ikh bin dir mühl. Hasholem Aaron Steinman”.

2017©Isadora DeLaVega

 

Genre: Flash Fiction
Word Count: 101 words
Photo Prompt: Janet Webb

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~~~~~

*****I forgive you in Yiddish – ikh bin dir mühl

*****Rest in Peace in Yiddish – hasholem

***** Within the Jewish faith, it is customary to leave a small stone on a grave. Placing the stone on a grave serves as a sign to others that someone has visited the grave. It also enables visitors to partake in the mitzvah tradition commemorating the burial of the deceased. Stones are a fitting symbol of the lasting presence of the departed life. info©shiva.com


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December 30, 2012


Icy rain poured on the cops.

The grim chaos didn’t surprise them. It was a safe haven for the regulars. A place they could shoot up.

“Overhere, Carl”.

“What da we have?” asked the coroner.

“DOA, female, white, blond, maybe 20, looks like an overdose.”

“Damn, these young people. They think they’re invincible.”

Gagging, Sarge nodded his head.

“Yeah, looks like heroin. She’s got teeth; that’ll help. Get her down to the morgue, ASAP.”

~~~~~

“Frank, she’s back here.”

“Seeing her, he screamed, Myrna.”

“God no, he wailed. Man, that’s my sister.”

“She’s been missing. She’s no junkie. She was kidnapped.”

2017©Isadora DeLaVega

Word Count: 100 words
Genre: Flash Fiction
Photo Prompt: j.Hardy Carroll

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Nurture Yourself – Have Faith in Your Other Hand

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Jenny’s Pearls

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Five year old Jenny was a pretty blue eyed, blond, angelic looking child.
She was sweet, loving and caring to everyone she met. Her mother and father
were very proud of Jenny’s big heart and giving nature.

One day, Jenny was shopping with her mother. They were passing a glass case when Jenny noticed these beautiful plastic pearls.

“Can I get them Mother?” Jenny asked.

“It is a very pretty pearl necklace but it is expensive. The cost is $2.50.” she calmly told Jenny.

She could see the disappointment Jenny’s face.

Feeling her sadness she said, “If you would like to do chores to pay for the pearl necklace I will get them for you today”.

“Oh, yes,” Jenny said.

“Well, we can make a chore chart when we get home”, her mother told her.

Jenny agreed and her mother purchased the pearl necklace for her.

As soon as the chart was up on the refrigerator, Jenny started to do her chores. A week later was her birthday. Her grandmother gave her one dollar as her gift. Soon, she had paid for the beautiful pearl necklace.

Jenny adored her little pearl necklace. She wore it all the time; except when she showered. She wore it to the store where it had been purchased and everyone admired it. She was smiling each and every time someone commented on its beauty.

Jenny’s daddy loved her very much; as much as Jenny loved her pearl necklace. When it was bedtime he would read her one of her favorite bedtime stories.

One night when he finished the story, he said, “Jenny do you love me?”

“Oh yes, Daddy, you know I love you.” She said hugging him tightly.

“Well, then, give me your pearls.”

“Oh, Daddy, not my pearls,” Jenny said. “But you can have Rosie, my favorite doll. Remember her? You gave her to me last year for my birthday. And you can have her tea party outfit, too.” “Okay?”

“No, darling, that’s okay”. Her father said as he brushed her cheek with a kiss. “Good night, little one.”

A week later, her father once again asked Jenny after her story, “Do you love me?”

“Oh yes, Daddy, you know I love you.” She hugged him tighter than the night before.

“Well, then give me your pearls,” he said.

“Oh, Daddy, not my pearls, Jenny said. But you can have Ribbons, my toy horse. Do you remember her? She’s my favorite. Her hair is so soft, and you can play with it.
You can braid it and everything. You can have Ribbons, if you want, Daddy,” the little girl said to her father.

“No, that’s okay,” her father said and brushed her cheek again with a kiss. “God bless you little one, sweet dreams.”

Several days later, when Jenny’s father came into her room to read her a story, Jenny was sitting on her bed and her lip was quivering.

When her father asked, “What’s wrong princess?”

Jenny said, “Here, Daddy.” She held out her hand and when she opened it her beloved pearl necklace were inside. She let it slip into her father’s hand.

With one hand her father held the plastic pearls and with the other he pulled out of his pocket a blue velvet box. Inside of the box was a strand of real pearls. They were glistening with shine. He had them all along. He was waiting for Jenny to give up the plastic ones so he could give her the real ones.

Instead of a story that night, Jenny’s father told her why he had asked her to give him the pretty pearl necklace:

He explained that in life there will be things that she will want to hold onto. These could be things that are harmful or will keep her from having a happy life. It could be a partner, a relationship, a friend, a habit or obsession. These things could bring her danger and could be impossible to let go of. He wanted her to believe that with her own inner strength of love of self she could let go of these things and still be whole.

When something is wounding – let go.  Something more precious could and will come along. She needed to have faith that within her all things were possible. Because, the most important part of who she was could always be found deep inside.

Sometimes, it will be hard to see what’s in the other hand but do believe this; one thing is true they are always working together …..  2017©Isadora DeLaVega

 

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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 @ On Dragonfly Wings with Buttercup Tea
hosts Nurturing Thursday
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