She is “Mami” to me and always will be. Carmen Gudelia Velez Maldonado is presently 88 years old and going strong! I am blessed to have her visit for this month and we are having a wonderful time together.
Our days are relaxed and filled with shopping, gossip, novelas (soap operas), cooking and just being together and enjoying one another.
She is an excellent cook and I am especially interested in watching her cook the traditional dishes of Puerto Rico and learning as much as I can, knowing I will never match her flavors but I am hoping to try.
One of her specialties is Pasteles. Pasteles are a Puerto Rican dish often served at Christmastime. Plantains are grated into dough to be filled with meat (usually pork), and foiled with plantain tree leaves, so it can be boiled to cook the dough. They are a challenge to make and require experience to get the seasoning just right, but well worth the effort! My mom is an expert at it and each time she makes a batch they are coveted my the family.
We had a great day in the kitchen! Gracias Mami!!
P.S. This is NOT diet food :)
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!
My dearest best friend, confidant, partner in crime, sister of my heart…I love you!
So glad to celebrate another birthday with you even if you are in HAWAII without ME! BLESSING FOR ANOTHER YEAR!
This weekend we had a quick visit from my niece Vanessa, her husband Peter and their two sons, Peter Daniel and Zachary. It was a great time for Mike and I to have the house abuzz with kids laughter and the sound of pattering feet in and out of the house. One of the things we enjoy best about living in Sedona is sharing the beauty of our surroundings with visitors.
While Vanessa and Peter had been here before, it was the first time for the boys. They made good use of the short time here and did a variety of things. One morning as they were preparing for fishing down at the local creek, KABOOM! the sky broke open with a heavy rainstorm. But in Sedona, if you usually wait it out the sun comes shining through! Off they went on their adventure, unfortunately no fish were caught. Later in the afternoon we went out to Red Rock Crossing to wander along the creek there. The creek was very high and muddy but the scenery was beautiful. The boys also spent some time at the local Sedona Skate Park, taking their scooters (which we later discovered was not allowed, oops!) they managed to have a great time, just as we did watching them.
Day two, I and the boys had a day together so their mom and dad could have a “Date.” While they went off to a local vineyard and lunch, we went to the park and then to see a movie, ‘Dolphin Tale 2′, then to the local burger place which disappointed because it did NOT have a playground :( But all in all it was a great visit and we just wish it had lasted longer!
It is said that change is the only constant in life! And yet we find it so had to do and NOT to do. As I contemplate all the changes I want to make in this next year I am reminded of all the changes that I have already chosen to make. It’s a good thing. But history repeats itself, as we well know from the current state of affairs in our world and the question always remains, “Why are we not learning from the lessons and mistakes of the past?” I can only attempt to answer this question for myself personally. Change requires consistent practice!
My first intention with sharing these posts with you is that I might remember my purpose in setting, yet again, the intention of dropping the weight. But really it’s far more than that, it’s asking myself;
What do I really want?
Do I really think it’s possible?
Can I set realistic goals that keep me moving and feeling and living like I really mean it?
I believe the answer to all of these questions is a resounding YES!
My second intention is that you might also find it helpful to ask the same questions about whatever you are finding difficult to change in your life.
For me it’s all about food. You would have thought that I could have figured this out years ago but one of the things we humans are so expert at is avoiding uncomfortable emotions. So, first on my list of changes is to BREATHE and to FEEL and stop numbing myself with food. Find my proper relationship with it. Somehow along my journey food/emotions/comfort/control all got intangled together. But on the other hand food is such a life- giving, pleasure filled, sustenence to be enjoyed! Our culture teaches us to celebrate with food! From an early age we ARE comforted or rewarded with food, we gather around the table for intimate family occasions and share in the abundance…etc. Food is not just about sustenance but so much more! It’s time to put things into perspective and set some boundaries.
I will take a new track this time around and follow the advice of Socrates,
“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”
When this blog site began it was a means to preparing myself for a journey, one I was not sure was going to be possible. My hope and intention was that in sharing it with others I would not only have a place to document it but also a place to garner support and inspire others. It has blessed me in ways I cannot express. It has gone beyond just sharing my travels to ‘walking the walk’ of the Camino and more. I hope you all have enjoyed it as much as I have enjoyed sharing it with you.
As some of you know I turned 65 this year and while I love this time of my life it has certainly become a time of reflection and a time for letting go. They say, “with age comes wisdom” and while I surely believe this is true, I am more aware than ever that past patterns and habits have and continue to get in the way of that growth. This morning as I was on a trail, hiking along, I determined to start another journey. This one is about my health! Weight loss has always been a struggle for me and while in my young adult life it was mostly about looks and vanity now it is about my health and longevity. So, I realized going public with this would help me reach my goal just like on the Camino!
Now, I don’t intend for this site to focus on diet and weight loss as much as just share how I am becoming self-aware, changing habits and making discoveries about how to be the best me. I have been on just about every diet imaginable and they all work …for a time. Instead I have given myself a one year’s goal to change my lifestyle and honor myself. I will post the occasional links, my progress, my frustrations and I am sure some failures, but I am so excited to begin this journey WITH YOU! So ready to walk the walk! I appreciate your support!!
Celebrating my 65TH. Birthday in Hawaii!
This week I had the occasion of spending the day with my friend Robin Cameron and her cousin Terry Wright who was visiting Sedona for a family reunion. I was lucky enough to meet and visit with Terry when I made my first visit to her neck of the woods, beautiful Seattle WA., a couple of years ago. She was a wonderful hostess and showed me around Pike’s Place Market and the local knit shop. It was a great visit that I long to repeat!
This was Terry’s last day in Sedona and she asked if we could visit some of the local vineyards which she was hearing about. This actually was something I had never done having missed a previous opportunity with Robin and friends. So, off we went to a couple of recommended vineyards and they did not disappoint! While certainly not like visiting Napa Valley, we discovered some interesting wines and some really tasty dishes for a lunch that was very satisfying!! The pictures are from my favorite spot, Page Springs Cellars. I highly recommend this as an outing anytime you vacation in Sedona and I have already suggested to my husband that we make this a ‘date night’ in the near future!
Robin and Terry at Page Springs Cellars
We are home from our travels and settling into our routines again. The weather has been a little wet but very welcomed! It looks like we are at the tail-end of our rainy season. The nights are cooler and today the sun was shining and it felt like summer once again. I love the cumulus clouds!
I am looking forward to my favorite season in Sedona which is the Fall. The canyon will be filled with color, I can start making soups again and I love wearing sweaters! So I will be in “nesting” mode from now until the holidays. Not much travel planned for the near future except a wedding in San Diego in October and then my “Mami” will be visiting for a month, so she will enjoy autumn in Sedona too!
I want to send out special blessing to several family members who are struggling with serious loses this month. Hope is just around the corner even if it does not look that way just now. Keep The Faith!! Remember the LOVE! You’re not alone! I ask for you all to pray and keep in your hearts those I hold so dear…