Inside the Mind of Isadora


19 Comments

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 


9 Comments

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.


30 Comments

Friday Fictioneers – Changing Marina

As soon as we approached the marina in St. Thomas, I could see his face turning red.

“Do you see this Laura Lee?”

“Yes, I do Max.”

“Things are changing. I used to love this little marina. Now, it’s always under construction and overcrowded with boats in every little space. It won’t be long before we won’t have a dock for our sailboat. I can recall when we’d be the eye candy for all who loved a good looking sailboat. Now, we can barely navigate around these obstacles.”

“Max, lookout. There’s a cruise ship coming; starboard side.”

Crunch

Man overboard.

2017©Isadora DeLaVega

 

Genre: Flash Fiction
Word Count: 100
Photo Prompt:©Fatima Fakier Deria

 

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


14 Comments

Sunday Song – Sea of Love

Nicoe Beach 2 2016.web                                                            Beach Love    2016©Isadora DeLaVega

~~~~~~

Sunset at Venice Beach in Florida

My daughter and grandson escaped to Florida for a little rest and relaxation.

Searching for sharks teeth, swimming and enjoying the beautiful sunset.

~~~~~~

Nicoe & Jeff 4 - 2016.web

Sea of Love- Israel Kamakawiwo’ole

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

 

 


13 Comments

Sunday Song – St. James Infirmary

Pete Fountian.web

Autographed photo of Pete Fountain @ Pete’s Place

St James Infirmary-Pete Fountain

The great and beloved clarinetist Pete Fountain’s died Saturday, August 6, 2016 of heart failure, according to his son-in-law/manager Benny Harrell. He was 86.

Pete Fountain – Basin Street Blues

I met Pete Fountain when I took my husband to New Orleans for his birthday in 1966. Jazz was, is and will always been a big part of his life. Fountain was his clarinet idol since the day he picked up the instrument.

We were visiting many, many night clubs while vacationing. We came across Pete Fountain’s club on Bourbon Street called  ‘Pete’s Place’. We made reservations for that evening.

Pete Fountian 1.web

From my Scrapbook – Pete’s Place

There was no fee to get in but there was a drink minimum of $4.50 per person. This was in 1966. As non-drinkers, we had to consume a lot of soda to meet that fee.

He was exceptional as a showman. During his 20 minute intermission, he came over to our table. You can imagine how awestruck my husband was. We thought he was coming over to us because of all the cheering during his performance.

Instead, he came over to us and said, “Hey kids, how would you like to come back stage after the show and take lots of pictures.”

It’s should be no surprise that we said, “Yes, at the same time”.

“Great! Because your flash is blinding me,” he said with a chuckle as he walked away.

Pete Fountian - Isa.web

From my Scrapbook – Me & Pete Fountain

Pete Fountain brought the New Orleans Jazz style to mainstream music through his many solo appearances on the Lawrence Welk and Johnny Carson shows.

Peter Dewey Fountain Jr. was born in New Orleans on July 3, 1930, and was exposed from an early age to the lively small-group jazz that was an integral part of that city’s atmosphere. Inspired by Benny Goodman and the New Orleans clarinetist Irving Fazola and by a family doctor who recommended that he learn a wind instrument to strengthen his weak lungs. He began playing clarinet at age 12. 2016©Los Angeles Times

The World of Jazz has lost a great musician.
R.I.P. Pete Fountain

2016©Isadora DeLaVega

When The Saints Go Marching In

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


13 Comments

Peaceful Sanctuary

Colombia - La Popa Court yard.web‘La Popa’ Church Courtyard – Cartagena, Colombia

Bright azure skies,
crimson flowers.
A peaceful spot
to sit for
hours and hours.

Soft, muted moments
to gather calm,
in restful simplicity.

An unobtrusive sanctuary,
on a summer afternoon.
A painting
for our eyes
to glimpse upon.

2016©Isadora DeLaVega

~~~~~~~~

Daily Post – Sanctuary

to join in click here


5 Comments

Coquito – A Traditional Puerto Rican Libation

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 school called Colegio de Nuestra Señora de la Valvanera.

I was a high school senior. I lived with my maternal grandmother’s sister who had 5 children.

My great grandmother, who was a Taino indian, completed the family.

The family was well-known and taken care of very nicely since my great aunt was the mayors mistress.

It was an accepted arrangement in this town. I’ll be going into more details about this in my memoir I’m writing.

Anyway, you can’t imagine the culture shock I had.

I’d been raised in an orthodox Jewish neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York up until that point.

I was very unhappy  for the first month. 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.

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

I hope you will try this very easy to make beverage and, perhaps,

incorporate something that sounds like a positive tradition in this story.

2015©Isadora DeLaVega

***** Yes, I have posted this one before.

I added a little inside information from my memoir to make it fresh for those who’ve seen this recipe before.

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

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

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.


16 Comments

Sunday Song – Don’t Lose Heart

Heart Painting 1024.web

Don’t Lose Heart

 Don’t Lose Heart ~ Dan Fogelberg [ CC ]

Heart Painting 560F.webPhoto of painting exhibited on the Royal Princess Cruise Ship.

Photography©Isadora DeLaVega

*********

Lyrics ~ Don’t Lose Heart ~ Dan Fogelberg

This life is heartless and it’s rarely just
Full of sad betrayals and misplaced trust
And it can suck your spirit just as dry as dust
And steal your soul if you let it

Oo every life contains its sorrows and pains
Its stormy weather and its rough terrains
You watch me wrestle with my length of chain
And smile so bravely as you tell me

Don’t lose heart, Don’t Lose Heart
Though it feels like yours will fall apart
Just remember when the road gets dark
I will always be beside you

Well I spent my life pursuing fortune and fame
Chasing rainbows in a shadow game
And I’m not sure what I’ve lost is worth the gain
Or why my soul remains so restless

You’ve seen me stumble, Lord you’ve seen me fall
You shared my trials and you’ve seen me crawl
And when I think that I could lose it all
You give me courage and you tell me

Don’t lose heart, Don’t Lose Heart
Though it feels like yours will fall apart
Just remember when the road gets dark
I will always be beside you

When the road gets rocky and the ride gets rough
And the best you’ve got to give ain’t good enough
There will always be a place inside my love
Where you can find shelter, where you can find shelter

Oo every life contains it’s sorrows and pains
It’s stormy weather and it’s rough terrains
You watch me wrestle with my length of chain
And smile so bravely as you tell me

Don’t lose heart, Oh Don’t Lose Heart
Though it feels like yours will fall apart
Just remember when the road gets dark
I will always be beside you
Well I will always be beside, beside you

*********

aFrank @ A Frank Angle hosts musicals. The present one is called “Sky: The Musical“. If you haven’t participated you might want to click here to pop over and see what it’s all about. It’s a fun way to get those old songs out of your head while spreading a little cheer. aFrank reminded me of a singer I used to hear a (little) while ago called Dan Fogelberg. It was the inspiration for today’s song. Enjoy ….!!!!


12 Comments

A Quiet Respite

Ocean - white sailbaot 2.webDear Friends ….

It is time for me to take a brief respite.

I will be out on the high seas gathering energy from the wind and salty air:

Listening to the Music of the waves.

I will be ever vigilant to catch up on all of your blogs upon my return.

In my absence, there will be a great many things that

you’ve done that I will, no doubt, lose sight of.

Please feel free to send me a note on those you’d like me to read.

It would be disappointing to miss a single one of your stellar writings.
Namaste …
                           Isadora

**************

I will leave you with this very important health message.

Say Good Bye and Good Night  to “night time” leg cramps…

This exercise works wonders on circulation. It originated by the Watusi tribesmen.
It also slims you down without medication.
 
I have been doing these simple workout moves for a week
and I am already feeling much better.  

I recommend you start right away.

This video shows what you should do daily
to help leg and knee pain and stiffness.

Once a day is sufficient for assured success! 

Good luck.

Zaouli de Manfla


17 Comments

Sunday Song – Autumn Leaves

Flower 560 Floating.webAutumn Glow  2015©photography by Isadora DeLaVega

Autumn is a Second Spring
When every Leaf
is a Flowers
©Albert Camus

Eric Clapton – Autumn Leaves (with lyrics)

Flower 1024F.web

I posted the original photo without the saying on my photo blog
with the Great Frank Sinatra singing Autumn Leaves.

To view click here or title ‘Autumn Leaves’.