Sunday, January 31, 2016

Remembering Our Lovely Family

Our Family is the greatest people in our lives. They may not be perfect, funny, wise, professional or outgoing, but no matter how they are, they are our treasure. A treasure we love and care for very much.

Here is my family. Humble people from the mountains of Puerto Rico. Not rich in money but rich in wisdom, farm land and unconditional love.

This is my Mother Maria at 20 years old when she met my Dad. A lady with a mind to write beautiful poetry. She has written over 800 poems and is currently on her 3rd daily devotional spiritual poetic books. She published 1 poetry book after receiving her award for The Golden Poet of the Year in 1983. She is currently in The Poet's Hall of Fame and she was also inducted into the National Library of Poetry. She is an avid runner and currently at the age of 78 she is still running 10 miles a day. She has won many medals and trophies in this sport. She is my Mom and she is my hero. 

This is my Dad Quintin when he met my Mom. He was 19 years old. My Dad was an army man in the Korean war. He was also very wise man with money. He could make money grow in many ways. He owned his own grocery store for over 40 years and yes he made tons of money, so much that he had money in 4 different banks at once.

This is my Dad when he was 15 years old.

Here is my Mom and I when I was about 1 years old.

and here is Mom and I when I was about 7.

 This is my maternal grandma Carmen, I didn't get to see her very much since she lived far away from me, but the times I did see her, she only gave me hugs. Those to me are treasured memories. I did meet my grandfather Pedro, he was a farmer and a very hard worker. He grew coffee, plantains, sure cane and potatoes. That was the way he earned his money. They were very poor, but they were very much in love, not only for each other but for everyone else also.

This is my paternal grandma, she was the light of my eyes and the lady I loved dearly. I never got to meet her husband but my grandmother Maria was one of the sweetest and most loving grandma anyone could ever desire. She had no education, so she did not know how to read or write. While I living with her in Puerto Rico for 7 years, I got to know who this lady was and I even taught her to write her full name. I spent many afternoons making her write over and over her name in print like a first grader until she learned it by heart. She loved to write her name and her notebook was full of her accomplishments...she was so proud of herself. I would read to her the scriptures every day in Spanish and I would also read to her many Spanish first grader books she understood well. I remember how she shared with me so much of her life and the hard strict upbringing she experienced from her parents. Today I treasure those stories so much that I am writing them down on a journal to pass them down to my son. I miss my beautiful grandmother very much. 

I hope everyone can take many moments of their busy lives to unite themselves with their grandparents. They would not only learn how precious those moments of love and learning would be, but to know who they really were can be a gift they will treasure forever. Once these relatives are gone, its too is the day to call and visit those lovely grandparents. Take the time before its to late and if you can record every conversation you have with them, it will be a treasure for you to pass on to others.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Remembering 1816...LDS Pioneers

1816: A global climate catastrophe

200 years ago, our ancestors experienced what historians call "the last great subsistence crisis in the Western world" - food in both America and Europe became scarce, resulting in widespread famine and economic crises in many areas.
Agriculture struggled because the normally stable summer temperatures of New England, Central Canada and Western Europe were highly abnormal in 1816. Overall, global temperatures fell significantly and the aforementioned areas experienced frost, snow and cold temperatures during the prime crop-growing months of the years.
The world was already in a long period of global cooling since the 1300's, known by climate historians as "The Little Ice Age." This larger period in history was already causing agricultural trouble for humans and in 1816 the issues were exacerbated to an extreme degree.

Mysterious red fog plagues America

In the spring and summer of 1816, many throughout the eastern United States observed a strange "dry fog" that persistently hung around. The fog dimmed sunlight and bathed everything in a strangely red light - it wasn't moist, and couldn't be dispersed by rainfall or wind.
The price for a bushel of wheat increased over 700% from 1815 to 1816
All throughout New England, temperatures dropped below freezing in May, June, July and August. The grounds froze and the fields were as barren as they were in winter. Towns located at high elevations - where farming was difficult even in good conditions - suffered the most.
Early residents of New England struggled to survive even in good years. In 1816, it was nearly impossible.

Corn was hardly worth harvesting, and many wheat crops were devastated, making bread-products very scarce. This resulted in sky-high prices for food and many from the lower classes risked starvation. For instance, a bushel of oats cost the equivalent of $1.55 today in 1815 but increased to the equivalent of $12.83 today in 1816. That's an increase of over 700%!
An estimated 10,000 to 15,000 people emigrated from Vermont, including the family of Joseph Smith.
While the western United States did not suffer, transporting food at this point was very difficult - the country had yet to be linked together by reliable rail transport, forcing most communities to rely on local production for food supplies.

How Joseph Smith and your ancestors were affected

The struggles in New England caused a mass emigration from the area and greatly sped up Westward expansion in the United States. If your family migrated west around this time, it's very possible that they moved due to these agricultural struggles or food shortages.
Western New York and the Northwest Territory (now the Great Lakes region) were very popular destinations for families with ruined land. An estimated 10,000 to 15,000 people emigrated from Vermont, including the family of a young Joseph Smith.
The Smith family moved to Palmyra, New York, to join other members of their family. It was here that Smith began his path to founding the Latter Day Saint church - in a strange way, this climate disaster played an indirect role in initiating Joseph's journey.

Beautiful sunsets and Frankenstein: Cultural positives

Interestingly, in the same way high levels of air-born pollution today can produce some marvelous sunsets, the mysterious dry fog that covered the land did the same thing. English landscape artist J.M.W. Turner likely drew inspiration for some of his work from the sunsets of this year and elevated landscape painting to prominence through his brilliant paintings, paving the way for Americans like Thomas Cole and the Hudson River School.
The amazing sunsets and sunrises of 1816 likely inspired some of Turners most famous paintings, like this one.J.M.W. TURNER, THE 'FIGHTING TEMERAIRE' TUGGED TO HER LAST BERTH TO BE BROKEN UP 1838-39

Elsewhere in Europe, the dreadful weather resulted in the creation of an iconic literary monster. Mary Shelley and her future husband Percy Brysshe Shelley were visiting Lord Byron in Switzerland in the summer of 1816, and the constant rain and cold precipitated a chain of events that led to Shelley writing an initial draft of Frankenstein.

What caused the climate change

Climate historians and climatologists hypothesize that this change was brought on by a massive volcanic eruption in 1815 in the Dutch East Indies (modern day Indonesia). The 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora was the biggest the world had seen for 1,300 years and resulted in between 70,000 and 100,000 deaths in the South Pacific due to the immediate effects.
This enormous eruption brought on a volcanic winter (a reduction in global temperatures due to volcanic ash and sulfuric acid in the atmosphere obscuring sunlight) that resulted in the disaster of 1816. In addition, global weather patterns were affected, ushering in wildly different seasonal temperatures:
A 2014 depiction of the 1816 weather patterns by Dr. Nicholas Klingaman at the University of ReadingDR. NICHOLAS KLINGAMAN, 2014

In tracing your family's journey through time, don't overlook major events like the Year Without a Summer when constructing their story. Understanding this climate phenomenon may give you some explanation for the migration of your ancestors.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Emergency Preparedness...A Much Needed Tool

One important thing we must try to be prepared for is for an unexpected emergency. We never think bad times will happen to us or our country, but think again? may be coming? 

We often get so involved in all that the world has to offer in having a good time, that we rarely think of being prepared for an emergency or to even have a 72 hour emergency grab and go bag in a moment of need.

To help spread the voice concerning emergency preparedness, I will be posting once a month a much needed item to have inside an emergency preparedness bag. For this month of January I want to show you my emergency 8 in one hatchet that I got for $8.00 many years ago through an emergency distributing website called Emergency Essentials here's the link...

Here is my 8 in one hatchet.

On one side there are some needed tools and on the other side there's a few more...check it out.

This is the hatchet on the back end of the handle there is a knob you turn and in it is fish string and hooks for fishing with a compass, sorry I forgot to photograph that part.

On side one there's a bottle opener

a wrench and a hammer on the other end

turn the hatchet over and there's a nail puller

a saw blade 

 and a hatchet

8 tools in one and the hatchet is all made in a light weight iron which is not so heavy in weight.

Just check out the website above and check out many of their store items, especially their clearance area.

Next month I will post another much needed item for your emergency grab and go bag.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

My Cousin Jamie's Wedding


Last Saturday my cousin Jamie married Cedric on a lovely intimate family wedding. Best wishes to the lovely couple.

Mother and son dance...Priceless.

Mr & Mrs Robinson's 

The bride and her nieces

My cousin Landy did a great job with the centerpieces

The greatest thing for me was that everything was gluten free & vegan...all the sweets & food was delightful.

Mac & cheese with cauliflower mash and stir fried B. sprouts.

Her ring is so beautiful

Me and my cousin Margie

It was a lovely family night.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

A Few Christmas Photos from 2015

Christmas Day was wonderful with the four people I adore. My son and his beautiful girls. We had a great dinner and afterwards we had a great time taking picture (over 20 of them) but here are just a few...have a great week.

And you know its good when the girls get goofy.

That's all folks...see you next year.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

New Kitchen Completed...Part 2

Finally after 13 days with an apt. in kayos as my kitchen was being completely redone from top to bottom; I can now rest knowing everything is all put in its place and the apt. has been completely clean. I am so happy this is over, now to enjoy these upcoming holidays.

This is my kitchen before taring it all down.

This is the new kitchen...nice clean cabinets, love the color of the cabinets and handles...the color of the cabinets in this picture looks darker than the original light pine color, which I love.

Yes I am a vegan, for life

Lovely spot in the kitchen

Love the soft color of the cabinets.

new faucet

even the trash can got a new paint color.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Taring Down the Kitchen, For The New Kitchen...Part 1

Well after years of dying to redo my kitchen, my dreams finally came true.
This last Tuesday my old kitchen was torn down to make way for a nicer new kitchen.
This is the ugly kitchen before taring it down...those cabinets have been my nightmare for the past 8 years...yuk!

And the demolishing of those cabinets was a joy for me.

And this is my living room now. Everything that goes in those kitchen cabinets are all in my living room...what a mess.

Can't wait till its all done.