Posts tagged ‘family’

December 28, 2011

Out with the old. In with the new.

New YearsWell this is the last post of 2011.  And just like a roller coaster, the year was full of ups and downs.  It started so bad for us with the death of my DBL, my neighbor and our beloved cat Luna, all in less than 3 weeks.  Then we watched my sister deal with chemo from afar.  My Dad suffered several heart attacks and his prognosis is not a good one.

But God is good and only dishes out things He knows we can handle.  So not everything in 2011 was bad.  I won my 1st online give away from the lovely Sew It All team.  The timing was so perfect as I received the box when I got back from my DBL’s funeral and I split the goodies with my grieving DML.

Then I found my great grandparents on the 1910 census records on  My Dad then confirms they were farmers and were known as the Pigeon Pea Clan. Di decided to do the Relay for Life and raised a good amount of money to fight cancer.

I survived the March 31st tornado hiding in my linen closet.  The only loss we suffered was a chunk of the loquat tree being ripped off.  After Main Coon kitty’s constant lonely cries we decided to adopt another kitty; a Chartreux mix we call Niza.  She has brought much-needed laughter to the home even thought she drives us crazy :P

Journey picked my sister as one of the fan VIP winners for their concert live on the Today show.  It was the 1st time she had the chance to actually touch the hand of one of the band members.  I cheered while I watched her on TV.

I was brave enough to move and makeover this blog.  I also added an annual flower bed to the garden to produce constant arrangements for the house and some extra to share with others.  And speaking of sharing, how about my mission trip to Honduras?  I met wonderful people in Moroceli and hope to one day see them again.

So when you go out to celebrate the New Year and say good-bye to all the bad stuff that happened, don’t forget to include the good things on your list.  I can almost bet they will out number the bad.  Celebrate all the good stuff that happened…the best is yet to come!

Linking to Transformation Thursday.

November 16, 2011

Pigeon Pea Clan

Pigen Pea FlowerWhen DH moved in to the house in 2006, my Dad and his two siblings stopped by for a visit. While I poured steaming coffee into cups and placed them on the dinning room table, Tati walked into the kitchen and stared out the window looking at the back yard.  “You should grow pigeon peas”.  Tati is my oldest Aunt. The oldest of the 12 children my grandmother Delia had during the 1930’s and 40’s. Lots of uncles and aunts; all whom I only know by their nicknames. “Just throw them on the ground. They don’t need any attention and they love dry land.” For someone whom I never saw tend a garden or grow food, she seemed to know a lot.

Years later while browsing on, I found a couple of 1910 census documents that looked like my great grandparents but I wasn’t sure. So I asked my Dad during our weekly phone calls and it turns out it was them. Not only that; I found out they were the only ancestors in that generation to read, write and own land. “That’s nothing” answered Dad confiming the amount of land on the census document. “My grandmother was a ‘hacendada’ (farm owner), but her husband lost most of it gambling. “What did they grow?” I asked. “Pigeon peas” he replied. “Of the many Toro families in Lajas, our family is know as ‘el clan de los gandules'(the pigeon pea clan).”

Sometimes I sit in my back yard and think about Alejandrina and wonder about the details of her life back then. What was her daily routine? How did she mange once the farm was gone? What did she think of grandma Delia when her son Arquimides decided she was the one?
Pigeon Peas
Last Saturday I went out in the yard. The sun was shining but it didn’t burn. An ocasional breeze would go by swaying the pigeon pea branches like dancing arms.  I water and fertilize the bushes with loving care.  I patiently wait until November for the early Christmas gift they bring.  DH and I sit in the back yard and remember growing up in Puerto Rico while we shell the the harvest.  On Christmas Eve, the roasted pork steps aside and gives the place of honor on the table to the rice and pigeon peas.  Of all the things I grow, the pigeon peas have the most meaning to me.

Pigeon Peas behave like perennials and go dormant during the frost, but come back again in the spring.  Like me, they feel right at home here in Central Florida.  I might not have a hacienda, but I can proudly say I’m a landowner.  It is one of the dreams that we all collectively share in this country.  I’m sure Alejandrina would approve.

What do you grow that is part of your family tradition? trees? flowers? heirloom veggies?  What are you doing to pass them to the next generation?

Linking to Transformation Thursday

May 30, 2010


I have a soft heart for little runts. Poor things are so tiny and frail. Most of them don’t survive. Luna was the smallest kitten in her litter, but full of spunk and attitude. She belonged to a friend of a friend who had too many cats and was looking for a home for the kitten. I first met her when she was 4 weeks old. Happy and full of energy, she was running all over the place with her little tail pointing straight up in the air.

I took the kitten home on the 4th of July weekend in 1995. By then she was about 8 weeks old. When I got home she seemed lethargic but I chalked it up to the change of her environment. When hours went buy and she wouldn’t get up, I took her to the vet. I still remember the look on his face. It was a nasty case of pneumonia. He told me to take her home and not to bother to give her a name because she most likely wouldn’t make it through the weekend. He gave me a prescription and ushered me out the door.

Di picked her up, put her on a pillow and placed her in the warm sunlight in her bedroom window. She nursed the kitty for the entire weekend. Completely ignoring the festivities, she fed her, gave her water and carried her to the litter box. Di stayed with her day and night. Amazingly after a couple of days, Luna woke up full of energy exploding like fireworks in the sky. We took her outside and she lifted her little tail and dashed through the yard. Thru the years, Luna became our constant reminder of what can be accomplished with faith, strength and hope.

Luna2Luna also taught us how to be grateful. Every time Di was sick, she returned the favor over and over again, staying in bed with her until she would get better. She would also come to my bed to comfort me in times of distress and sorrow.

As she gets older, her ability to sense sickness has increased. She insisted on sitting on my brother in law’s lap when he came to visit us in between trips to the Mayo clinic, totally disregarding his dislike of felines.

She has bonded with my neighbor unbeknownst to me until this morning. He asked me how she was doing, full of concern, after her big cat fight last night. We talked for a few minutes. I knew Luna had been visiting him when he described her dislikes and quirky personality. He told me about his struggles with cancer and that now he was terminal. I apologized to him for not telling him Luna might visit him after sensing his illness. He was unaware of her comforting nature, thinking her daily visits were just out of curiosity. But then his face lit up when he realized she had started keeping him company right after his cancer diagnosis.

My husband and I joke about getting her a “nurse kitty” uniform. It’s our own way of coping with the fact our 15 year old miracle could be leaving us anytime, taking the gift of giving hope and comfort with her. I love how the best perfumes come in the tiniest bottles.



(Luna went to heaven on January 3, my brother in law on January 25 and my neighbor on February 5 of 2011.  They are all free from cancer, resting in peace in the Glory of God and suffer no more.  We will miss them until we meet again.)

May 10, 2010

Reflecting on Mother’s Day…

I know…I know…  I’ve been gone for while.  The garden has taken up so much of my time this year.  Our 4 week winter did a lot of damage to my plants so I had to get to the uncomfortable task of digging up dead plants.  I still have 4 young trees to remove.  The veggie garden is in full swing and starting to produce.  Time does not stand still when it comes to gardening, so crafting and creating has been put aside.  Except for yesterday.  My mandatory day off.

As soon my daughter was old enough to cook and craft, she made a Mother’s day rule forbidding me to work.  I was to spend the day in my jammies letting her bring me my meals and enjoying the Sunday newspaper.  She’s in college now, but I still follow her “rule”, not doing a thing and letting my body rest.

So I rested my body but my mind kept drifting.  This year there where a lot of changes in the family.  We lost a great friend who was an amazing Mom.  We gained a daughter in law who is new to being a Mom.  Friends and family had babies this year.  It got me thinking about what I enjoy the most about being a Mom.

So I ended up breaking the rule of doing nothing to create something.  Thanks to my daughter for being such a wonderful kid.  To all the Mom’s, spend lots of time with you kids and take tons of pictures… time flies and it waits for no one.