Ramadan Dinner

U-U Chalice

U-U Chalice

Ramadan Mubarak

Last night members of the Unitarian-Universalist Church of the Brazos Valley were invited to a Ramadan Dinner at the Islamic Center of College Station/Bryan. I/We had a wonderful time.

 

Ramadan Dinner

Warm, friendly people,

Shias, from India and Iran.

Women modestly covered,

men in summer garb.

Embraces and smiles.

Delicious food.

Ramadan–fasting, introspection,

cleansing the body and mind, self-control.

Discussion on prayer, beliefs (we shared our own),

segregation (or not) of the sexes in worship.

Dinner at 9.

Conversation.

More smiling faces and female hugs.

Getting late.

Hope we gather again.

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Tragedy in Orlando

“Three of the most contentious questions in American culture and politics — gay rights, gun control and terrorism — collided in a horrific way in an Orlando nightclub early Sunday.” —Washington Post, June 12 “The New Norm: When Tragedy Hits, Americans Stand Divided”

The above quote from the Washington Post really struck me and I had to stop and think hard about the state of our country at this moment in time. This is 2016, folks, but I feel like we’re sliding backwards in so many ways. Violence, hatred, and intolerance get worse. I don’t think any of our presidential candidates have an answer. The answer needs to come from us.

I believe in a Higher Power and I believe we are all connected. The falsity is that we are separate from each other and from our Source. Separateness breeds us and them and that, in turn, promotes hatred for anything different or dissimilar. Don’t be afraid to reach out and connect with anyone you believe is different from you and you’ll discover our souls are the same.

People-Holding-Hands-1

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A Surprise Offer

 

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Farm ponies

How many places do you know where they call you on the phone and say, “Hey, do you want to come and pick our blueberries like you did last year?”

It’s a little family farm, 20 minutes from our house.I guess you call it a hobby farm  where they have chickens, turkeys, ponies, and BLUEBERRIES!

Sweet pony

Sweet pony

 

It’s been a cloudy day. Actually perfect for berry picking. The blueberries are just getting started and will continue ripening until the end of June. Each bush had clumps of berries from green, to pink, to deep bluish-purple. My daughter, Diana, and our old Black Lab, Lucky, accompanied me and we (not Lucky, he just whined) picked about 4 pounds. Cost us a little more than $3 a pound.

Reaching high

Reaching high

 

Me with my blueberry stash.

Me with my blueberry stash.

Well, you know, one for the basket and two for my mouth:) I’ll take some to my sister-in-law tomorrow when Roberto and I go to Crystal Beach, Bolivar Peninsula for the first time to visit her. Texas is sooooo big and we know so little of it. Lots to look forward to.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Overdue for Blogging

I’ve been very remiss about writing on my blog, mostly because I couldn’t think of anything to say and I hadn’t been feeling well for two months since I returned to Texas from Cartagena. But now I’m BACK on my blog.

Took a walk on my pleasant country road this morning. There are wildflowers still blooming.

Roadside flower

Roadside flower

Roadside flowers

Roadside flowers

 

A patch of wildflowers

A patch of wildflowers

I walk up the road every morning to feed an abandoned dog who is very shy. Won’t come

Bentley

Bentley

near me. His owner died a couple of months ago and my daughter was the one who discovered the dog was still there. I guess no one could catch him. We’re not sure of his name, usually call him Bentley, but no matter what we call him, he doesn’t come.

 

 

Roadside turtle

Roadside turtle

Walking further up the road after feeding “Bentley,” I discovered this sweet turtle by the side of the road. I thought he might want to cross to the pond on the other side, so I picked him up and saw that there was a deep round hole underneath him. Oops! It’s a female and she’s laying eggs into the hole. I put her back down immediately and apologized.

Ah, back at my front gate after a cool walk.

my front gate

my front gate

my road

my road

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Trip to Panama

Recently I left my winter vacation in Cartagena, Colombia, for a little visit to Panama. I was in Panama last year at this time for a brief tour of the Canal and its surroundings. I liked the hotel we stayed in, so I thought I’d go back there. There are two museums in the area I wanted to visit. The Smithsonian Institution has a Nature Research Center nearby and then there’s the Biodiversity Museum, designed by Paul Gehry. I also took a day trip to Isla Taboga, a 45-minute ferry ride from Panama City. Got sunburned that day. Ouch! Here are my photos:

Bridge of the Americas View from my hotel window. Channel for boats entering the canal.

Bridge of the Americas
View from my hotel window. Channel for boats entering the canal.

One tank at the Smithsonian Nature Research Center

One tank at the Smithsonian Nature Research Center

Cute baby sloth at Smithsonian Research Center

Cute baby sloth at Smithsonian Research Center

 

 

 

 

Along the walkway of the Smithsonian Research Center

Along the walkway of the Smithsonian Research Center

 

 

 

 

Biodiversity Museum from a distance. Quite colorful.

Biodiversity Museum from a distance. Quite colorful.

On the Ferry to Isla Taboga.

On the Ferry to Isla Taboga.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Approaching Isla Taboga

Approaching Isla Taboga

Church on Isla Taboga. Do the priests play basketball?

Church on Isla Taboga. Do the priests play basketball?

 

 

 

 

 

 

The man next to me on the ferry was visiting Panama for the first time. His wife, who took the picture, grew up in Panama in the U.S. section. They live near Austin, TX, about 1-1/2 hours from me. Small world:)

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Welcome, 2016!

Hail 2016

Hail 2016

It’s going to be a GREAT year. I can feel it. I’ll be in Cartagena in just a few days, enjoying the sun and warmth until mid-March. I hope to post more photos of the Cartagena flavor and my in-laws.

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO FAMILY AND FRIENDS!!!!!

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A Bundle of Gratitude

It’s been so long since I’ve written anything on my blog but I’ll try to do better. Want to wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving Past

Thanksgiving Past

Here’s a photo of a past family get together in Brooklyn at my parent’s house. Not sure of the date. Could be 2007? Missing from the photo are my daughter, Diana, my sister, Donna, and her daughter Aurora (and kids). My son is there, my husband, and ex-husband with his wife, my brother, Doug, and his wife, Natt. Happy times when my parents were alive. My mother loved when everyone got together.

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