Monday, December 29, 2014

Rosita's RBG LED Lights

This is the basis for something creative since these lights can be programmed.  Imagine what you can do.

Monday, December 22, 2014

La Capilla del Cristo

This relic of an old church is rarely open, so recently when by chance I found it open I jumped at the opportunity to take pictures.  It was exquisite and I enjoyed looking at its rich design. 

Celebrating Chanukah as a Christian

It's it something.  It seems like thing are turning around.  Finally Christians are turning back to the origins of our faith.  Christianity was founded or established as a ministry first to the Jew and then to the world.  Jesus himself said over and over again that he came for the Jew first.  He was amazing.  Then he chose 12 Jewish men to follow him.  On one occasion Yeshua--- Jesus who is a Jewish rabbi went up to Jerusalem to celebrate the feast of Dedication which was none other than Chanukah!! This feast recalled when the consecrated oil in the temple lasted for eight days when it should have run out much much sooner.   

It isn't hard to understand.  Yeshua the Messiah, celebrated the feasts as outlined in the Torah which by the way are on the Jewish calendar not the Gregorian calendar.  Don't you think we should celebrate them, too?  

More than logic, there is a blessing in honoring God's appointed times as they appear on the Jewish Calendar.  Jesus in hidden from the eyes of many Jewish people but as we examine the feasts we find Yeshua, our Savior, in the middle of each one.  He, Jesus, Yeshua, the light of the world.

By the way, I lit the candles from right to left using the center candle to light the others and then turned the menorah around so  it would be seen from outside. I found these little crayon candles for the menorah and I thought they looked beautiful.  Hannukah is for Christians, too.  God bless the chosen people of God for through them came the Messiah of the world. 

For more information on how to celebrate Chanukah go to www.hebrews4christians.org. where you will find a wealth of information.

Monday, December 15, 2014

I Believed a Lie

I believed that life could be perfect.  What a ridiculous notion of Utopia.  All you have to do is kill off half the population and zap there you have it.  Of course you lose the insight and love of children with Down's Syndrome, the sheer genius of Aspergers, and the loving satisfaction of loving someone to the very end of their lives.

My goodness, I didn't even believe in divorce.  Not that I don't believe in marriage and committment.  Not that I don't believe in saying till death do us part.  I believe all that but I also believe now in letting the unbelieving partner depart.  Letting them go.  For goodness sake, God believes in free will.  I can, too.  If you read that whole section that deals with letting the unbeliever go, it says we are called to peace.  Peace is very important in life.  The older you get, the more you realize that there are really few things that are worth losing your peace over.  Things, let them have it.  I know it is a lot easier to let go of things gradually then to have them stolen or demanded.  Rewrite the event and in your mind see yourself as giving them up.

But again, I was talking about the lie I believed.  I believed that life could be perfect.  That I had to have everything perfect well because I had my eternal future perfect. I thought everything could be perfect down here.  All of course except my sometimes messy house.  Even then, I was demanding of myself and others.  That makes things uncomfortable and just plain unrealistic. Things happen.  Things unravel.  Things fall apart.  Things break apart.

I've learned I am not perfect.  My faith is on someone who is yet he gives me space. He knows I am weak yet loves me completely.  Completely.  Savor the word.  With all my frailties, faults, and especially weaknesses.  I need the Lord.  We all need the Lord.  I am surrendering all of who I am so that I can walk with Him.  He holds my hand and walks with me and I with Him.  I can run and fall, and He picks me up.  He helps me shake it off.  He says, "It's okay. You can do this."  Like last night, I was with my mom at the hospital and I came up to a rock and a hard place.  Literally.  I had been up all night, half dozing, half watching my mom trying to remove her bothersome oxygen cord to her nose.  I would often doze off and she would wait for it and then reach for the cord.  We played this game at least a half dozen times.   Then suddenly when I finally dozed off and mom did too, a man gently but happily woke me up. It was time to go to the newly assigned room which I hoped was a private room.  When we arrived, it wasn't.   To my dismay, it didn't even have a cot.  Ay Dios mio. 

What was I to do?  I had a blanket, a pillow, and a very hard floor. I also had my car outside and it was three thirty in the morning.  Walk out to the very dark parking lot or stay and take care of my frail mom.  Wasn't that for what I was there?  How could I possible do it?  I looked down on the floor and looked at everything I had available.  A sheet, a towel, a pair of velvet pants, a pillow and a blanket.  "You can do this, " the Lord whispered.  So I put all the stuff down, I doubled the pillow over and slept on my side.  I do admit I had to arrange and rearrange the blanket, but I was able to do it.  I slept soundly for two hours, and then I got two chairs together.  It was not a recliner but I reclined as best I could and rested for another two hours.  I did it.

This unperfect situation taught me something that I would never had known if hadn't faced it. I can persevere.  I can hang in there.  I can make it.  Those are important lessons.

If it had to be perfect,  if I had to be perfect, I would have never known.

Have a Merry Christimas, with the Messiah, the Christ, who was not welcomed in the inn, yet had even angels singing for him and an entourage of shepherds worship him.  The only thing that makes it perfect is a heart full of love for Him and his heart full of love for us.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Puertas de San Juan

Old San Juan doors

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Azalea in Puerto Rico

Can you believe it?

Saturday, November 29, 2014

How to Preserve Fall Leaves

First go out and scout for the best fall leaves.  I had thw opportunty to travel to New York as you saw in previous posts and collected my leaves.   I immediately set to drying them using what I had available including old shoppers and discarded magazines and let the leaves dry as well as kept them out of any sunlight.   On the other hand I secured a bottle of Mod Podge at JoAnne Fabrics.  If you look at the pictures you can see the process.  You should paint one side at a time, turn it over, then paint the other side after the first one has dried.  Another method is painting both sides the hanging them up on a clothes line but that is messy so I am going with mrthod one for the rest.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Quick Latex Paint Removal

I thought a pair of black sports shorts were lost forever until I did a search on how to remove paint stains.  It said to use rubbing alcohol.  That sounded too easy.  Can you believe it is true?  It works like a charm.  Get a cotton ball and saturate it with rubbing alcohol and start rubbing out the stain.  The alcohol starts disintegrating the paint and it eventually comes out.  It is amazing!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Flutterring butterflies

Look closely-- there are two in the tall grass.

Little Green Butterflies

Today, as I was heading to a Thanksgiving gathering at my sister's house close to the San Jose Lagoon,  I ran into these lovely green butterflies.   They were fluttering every where with an occasional yellow butterfly joining in.  It was a sight to behold.  So glad I had to wait a few minutes and was able to enjoy the view.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Christian Community Church's Christmas Bazaar!

  1. Talk about alliteration.  Anyway, this was my first time showing my art publicly.  To say I was a bit anxious about it is --an understatement, but I encouraged myself in the Lord.  The whole week was one of preparation.  Gathering the paintings, then getting them matted or framed, was also time consuming and frankly expensive, and finally packing up the car.  No wonder paintings cost so much! 
  2. The bottom line was that I learned a lot.  It is not easy to prepare for a Bazaar.  You really need to prepare thoroughly before hand, from what you will exhibit, to how you will display your items, the prices, and the logistics of how you will get your things in and out of the premises.  I should have brought both of my suitcases because I almost broke my back carrying something back to the car at the end of the day when I was exhausted.  Next time! I have to get some good matting and learn how to mat my painting.  I'm already planning ahead.  
  3. By the way you can visit my ESTY store anytime.  I will be putting some new items up shortly.  Just give me a couple of days.   

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

This is what I saw when I was driving on Route 53 near Naguabo, Puerto Rico: this stunning double rainbow.  It was breathtakingly beautiful. Blessed!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

More Fall Foliage

I never tire of these colors.   So I collected some leaves as you see below and many more.  I decided to take them home with me so I found some discarded store shoppers and a magazine and am using them to dry my leaves.  Later I am going to use some modge podge to preserve them.  Unfortunately some of the golden ones are turning brown already but there are some that are drying well.  Some of the leaves are so interesting with spots of black which I am afraid might be fungi.  I don't know.  In any case, they are surrounded by greens and reds.  I am loving the beauty in these leaves.  I had to remember that they were dead leaves and not to forget to enjoy the ones still on the trees.  So thankful I got to see the change in colors this year.  It was grand.

Fall Foliage in Penfield NY


Loved seeing the fall colors that were still visible in the Penfield,  New York area just a couple of days ago.  Oranges. Reds. Yellows.  Greens. And boring browns, that together formed a painter's palette that was unbeatable. Boring browns sounded nice but with the other contrasting colors, browns were stunning and boring no more. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Celebrating Veterans Day in Rochester

I was at Rochester Christian School for a student assembly to commemorate Veterans Day and it was impressive.   Veterans from the community were invited and honored with patriotic music played by the school band and sung by all.  Later  an active duty National Guardsman shared his experience in Afghanistan and what it cost him and his family.  In fact he lost two friends there whose memory he still tries to preserve.  At the close of the event all the other veterans were able to share a bit of their life experience as well.   As the children left they shook each of the veteran's hands and thanked each one for their service.  Adults did as well.  It was very touching.   I remembered my dad and two brothers.  So proud of them.

Happy Veteran's Day!! Never forget!

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Bougainvillea

My daughter says this would make a pretty post card.

Beautiful Fall in Penfield NY

The weather is in the forties and leaves are still on the trees though many have fallen and been collected.   Often you see them on the side of the road in piles you want to jump on back first like a soft dusty mattress and you remember.    Then there are those trees that look like someone is gently shaking a golden sheet with small golden coins.  Or the leaves scurrying across the street while a V line of geese fly south.  I saw it all yesterday.  All with multilayers of gray up above. And I sighed.  Beauty.

Friday, November 07, 2014

My Latest Collection

My latest collection of fall leaves.  Happy I got them!   Notice they are wet---that is how it has been in the Rochester area these past days.  My favorite clothes item this trip?  My rain coat. 

Glad to be here though.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Crusty Rooster

This afternoon, I snapped a picture of this vociferous Alpha rooster that makes all that wonderful ruckus every morning and caught him struting his stuff when I came back from a trip to Humacao.  It ran away too fast to get a close up.  Even from a distance you can see what a handsome rooster he is.

Better Paved Road or My Ride to Yabucoa Taking the Northern Route

Though I love driving through Caguas and seeing the sleeping princess, it is often a nightmare to take that road to Maunabo, especially at night.  So, I thought I would try route 66, the toll road, to Fajardo and then a piece of Route 3 to Fajardo which merges into Route 53 all the way to Yabucoa and route 901 el barrio Emajagua taking road 7760 (I think is the number) to Villas del Faro.  The highway is a breeze and it only takes ten more minutes with good driving time.  When there is "rush hour" traffic (such a misnomer) on route 52 to Caguas, we are talking about an hour difference in our favor.  

I left Isla Verde area at four thirty and naturally got some traffic on La Baldorioty till I reached route 66 and the rest was a breeze.  I had mountains on my right and an open road before me till I reached the exit to the road near Rio Grande.  On the way, on this elevated road in the hills,  you see the Atlantic Ocean below on the north skirting the island and lovely green hills placidly taking in the sunshine towards the south.  Later, once off of 66 and on Route 3 you see the colorful hammock and tourist shops as you get closer to El Yunque and El Palmer turn off.   After that it is a stone's throw to Luquillo and the typical seashore fritters at the Kiosks next to Luquillo Beach.  Stay on route 3 towards Fajardo. Beautiful views of the ocean and a typical island town is yours when you reach Fajardo.  

Fajardo is also home to the ferry or "lancha" that will take you to the pristine beaches of Vieques and Culebra with its famous, Flamingo Beach. Flamingo Beach There are several motels to choose from including Flamingo Beach Resort and Spa http://www.resortflamingobeach.com/   Check out this link to Vieques: http://vieques.com/island-puerto-rico-beaches/ The ferry will take you to Vieques or Culebra for a mere eight dollars round trip.  Don't be mistaken by the prices you see online.  I went and it is more expensive but still a gift a mere four dollars each way.  They are talking about raising the ticket to 10 dollars, so if you want to pay less, go soon. To check out availability go to http://www.culebra-island.com/CulebraIsland/Transportation/Ferry_Schedule.htm

As you leave Fajardo, Route 3 merges into Route 53, which is a decently paved highway which goes around the eastern side of the island starting with Ceiba with Roosevelt Roads (nicknamed Rosey Roads), Naguabo, Punta Santiago, and Humacao.   You can see numerous modern windmills slicing through the air which are pretty impressive.  I counted at least six.   You can also get off of Route 53 to access these towns and travel the seashore on a very scenic ride.  I did it several times with my mother on our Silver Hair adventures when there was no alternate route and I am so glad I did.  I don't want to fail to mention, that towards the west or the interior of the island we are basically on the backside of El Yunque Rainforest which in itself is a monument of nature.  It is breathtaking to look at. Driving and contemplating is not a good mix so stop, look, and snap your pictures.  The stops are worth it.  When I get a more reliable car I plan to go up the mountain and see where all these roads lead.  

Keep driving towards Humacao, and "laugh at the colored fishes," as we say in Spanish.  Nos reimos de los peces de colores, meaning we are on top of our game.  We have really dodged a bullet when it comes to traffic.  Another 11 miles and we will get to Yabucoa, and start our drive up Route 901 and the rest is history.  I made it to Maunabo before sunset, and that my friend, was good news.  And now to enjoy the breeze, the ocean, relaxing, and some painting.  

Happy trails to you!  If you have any questions, let me know.

That Elusive Butterfly

Yes, that elusive butterfly stood still for me.  Do you see the soft gray guilding its wings?

White Butterflies Everywhere

What a beautiful world where you can stop for a moment and have dozens of butterflies flutter here and there as they migrate past you on their way to some mysterious place! Perhaps to the mangroves or are they going beyond to the Azores, Morroco, or the heart of Africa?

¡Que mundo mas hermoso donde uno se puede detener por un momento y ver cientos de mariposas pasar le en la brisa en su camino a un lugar misterioso y desconocido!  ¿Sera acaso el manglar o sera mas alla hasta las Islas Canarias, Morroco, o en el corazon de Africa?

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Here's That Flamboyan

Here's that flamboyan as you to take the  road that leads to the tunnel.

Monday, October 20, 2014

My ride up to Maunabo 2

Here is a view of a the parking area with a path to La Lucia Sugar Mill.  El Antiguo Ingenio Azucarero, La Lucia off of route 901 in Yabucoa, Puerto Rico.


Once you finish your ride on the elevated highway, you reach a dead end and you must either turn left and go to the Yabucoa beach, or turn right and head into town.  So you make a right and at the next light you turn into route 901.  This route will take you on one of the loveliest scenic routes in Puerto Rico.  Not with standing, you will go by some areas which though picturesque, they are also very humble.  As you go towards Maunabo there is still much of Yabucoa to be seen first.  Down the road you will see a new parking area that was just cleared for tourists to stop and view what is left of  La Lucia Sugar Mill.  The metal wheels and gears are quite impressive and represent part of the not so recent history of this area, la Industria Azucarera.  This place was once bustling with life and activity.  That huge valley which now holds plantains and cattle once saw a sea of sugar cane and when it was time for harvest, the sugar cane sported a large long ivory plume that waved in the wind.  It was a sight to behold.  Then the reapers came in with their machetes and cut the cane down and for years they loaded it on teams of oxen that would take it to the mill.  Later, trucks with sugar cane sticking out everywhere would slowly like molasses carry their cargo to the mill for processing.  In some parts of the island trains would pick up the sugar cane and transport it to the larger mills.  It was a golden industry.  I hope they open a museum there because it will honor our past.  

You continue going up the hill and you can see a sign to an inn or Parador called el El Parador Palmas de Lucia in Yabucoa, Puerto Rico.  You can check it out at http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g652397-d249831-Reviews-Parador_Palmas_De_Lucia-Yabucoa_Puerto_Rico.html  It is right next to the beach and is reasonably priced. 

You continue your ascent of the mountain taking numerous curves as you go.  In Puerto Rico it was the custom to honk the horn before entering a curve.  After a couple of close calls today, I did just that.  Well, guess what? No one was coming, so I had a graceful descent.  But what I must tell you before I reach the bottom is that there are some spectacular views on the way down.  Just before coming down there is a breathtaking view of Punta Tuna Lighthouse with it gorgeous beach.  You are so tempted to stop and breath it all in, and you can.  There are two nice stops on the way.  First at the very top of the mountain, you can stop at El Nuevo Horizonte Restaurant, which has a view of the ocean and a partial view of the valley below.  If you do not feel like you want formal dining they have a kiosk with typical Puerto Rican fritters such as Bacalaitos, Pastelillos, and Alcapurrias.  You can wash them down with a freshly made Piña Colada with a stick of pineapple and a cherry on top.  A great stop.

Around the next curve you are no longer in Yabucoa.  You are now in Maunabo territory.  Then as you continue down the mountain there is a small restaurant, called Bella Vista, or beautiful view and it is.  This is where you can relax and enjoy the view of Punta Tuna Lighthouse and the palm tree lined beach, below.  Though I have not eaten there my daughters have and they really enjoyed the food.  I can imagine the view from inside the restaurant.  What I have done is stop there on my way back to town in the morning and taken dozens of pictures from outside.  I never tire of it and I am sure you won't either.  

Once you are down the hill, you can either take the tunnel or the beach route.  The beach route has many restaurants and a beach view.  A public beach and government owned villas are only steps from the water.  Taking this road also gives you a better sense of the community while the tunnel gives you a quick route into town and is perfectly paved.  The views from the road leading into and out of the tunnel are stunning themselves.  One offers an elevated view of the ocean with a Flamboyan as a backdrop and the exit has an open view of the surrounding mountains.  Either way has it attractions.  

Finally, there you are on you last lap to Villas del Faro.  The road leads to El Barrio Emajaguas.   This narrow little road lined with colorful bougainvilleas, hibiscus, amapolas, canarios, adorning neighborhood yards, takes you through a Tsunami zone and skirts a preservation area.  This preservation area has a path that leads to the beach and you can actually drive your car to the entrance of the beach where you walk this terracotta colored shore at your leisure. Well at least till five o'clock PM when they close the gaates.  While walking the beach you might find some yellow plastic tape marking off an area to protect Leatherback turtle eggs, or you might discover some zebra butterflies, fresh sand dollars, pelicans flying overhead, or make some new friends.    It has all happened to me on my ride to Maunabo. 

It can happen to you, too.  Just take a ride to Maunabo!

Antiguo Ingenio Azucarero " La Lucia"

This is old machinery from an old Sugar Mill, La Lucia,  in Yabucoa, Puerto Rico.  It is located off Route 901 and it has recently been made available for people to approach it safely. They added space for parking.  

On the Road to Maunabo