The Legacy of Women

Me with (L to R) Marisol, my mom, and Ivelisse

Me with (L to R) Marisol, my mom, and Ivelisse

You can be around people and not even realize how much power they hold…all the stories of their lives, the love and tragedies, the overcoming and enjoying. I got to spend an amazing weekend and more with three amazing women. Now that we are all off to our own parts of the world, I am realizing the amazing legacy I am a part of because of them and what a gift I have in each of them. This female counter-part to the three musketeers are my mother, Angelines Del Riego, and her two best friends from high school, Alma Olalla (known as Marisol), and Ivelisse de la Cruz. All three are Dominican women, born and raised in the mountains of the Dominican Republic. Today, they each live in different parts of the world, yet…I recently enjoyed their company and even now, weeks later, am still feeling their powerfully, loving presence.  Continue reading

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Wise Words from Carmen

Carmen is the one sitting up in the window sill :)

Carmen is the one sitting up in the window sill 🙂

Dear Carmen…she is the small, little lady who has been with my mother’s family long before I was alive. She is from the Dominican Republic and lives there now. I am staying with her while visiting my family. Her stature is short and she is older and grey now, but her personality exudes a big energy and when she speaks, there’s no chance of not hearing her…that little voice of her’s is loud, just as her generous heart is so big. Her faith is Catholic and she is one of the most accepting, loving people I know in my life. On the same hand, she’s the one I learned all the Spanish curse words I know! When she makes a point to speak something to me, I make sure to listen. That is the confidence and energy with which she speaks, sometimes relating what she shares to something God spoke to her, a message she heard from her church, or more often than not, from one of the many heart-touching experiences her life has been filled with.

Today, she came to me in the kitchen and told me this… Continue reading

A Beautiful Start to the Day

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Here are some photos I have taken recently. They remind me of the pure, simplicity of the beauty found in everyday nature that is around us. Since I am in the Dominican Republic right now, I am surrounded by lush green jungles of trees and flowers, gloriously beautiful beaches with stunning sunsets and awakening sunrises, […]

Omens on the Beach

This morning I am sitting out on the beach in the Dominican Republic. There is an area called Samana that has my favorite beaches on the whole island. One of my favorite ways to start the day is to have coffee while I write and journal. It’s that quiet time of the morning before anybody else seems to be awake. I had the entire beach to myself and the sun was rising in the east from behind mountains of lush green foliage and towering coconut palm trees that roll gently down to ocean shore. Continue reading

Coffee – My Kind of Art

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In the past I’ve written about my favorite coffee pub, Rooster and Moon. This time though, I just want to write about experiencing coffee – good ‘ol delicious brain awakening coffee….hmmmm. I’ve come to believe that coffee is a type of art. I mean, why not? The taste is of course the first priority but it definitely enhances the experience when it’s done well, such as the gorgeous and delicious latte featured here from R&M. What if we used coffee images, like the one showing here, as inkblot tests? Can you imagine….you’re on a coffee date with someone and you lean over with your latte to ask “So, what do you see in my coffee inkblot?”. Could be very interesting…

Coffee and I go way back. My mother is from the Dominican Republic, home of some of the best coffee in the world in my opinion. And I would like to think that my opinion counts since I’ve been drinking coffee since the age of elementary school. Cafe con leche was my introduction to the coffee world. It’s Spanish for coffee with milk. What they don’t specify in the name is that it’s chock full of sugar as well. If you think that was not enough of a sugar high for kids, don’t worry…we also had it with frosted flakes for breakfast! Whew! Of course this dietary habit would take place when I was actually visiting the Dominican, not so much when I was in the US. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve really enjoyed the Dominican coffee, Cafe Monte Alto from the Ramirez Coffee plantation in my mother’s hometown, Jarabacoa. Check it out and stop by for a visit if you’re ever in that beautiful part of the world.

According to Wikipedia, coffee is one of the most-consumed beverages in the world. Studies have shown that it has health benefits, such as antioxidants and the caffeine is not harmful as other forms of caffeine tend to be. It’s woven into multiple cultures as well, with significant meaning to people.

Think of how you enjoy coffee? Or if you don’t enjoy it for yourself, how do you see other’s enjoy the beverage? There’s a comfort to it that, as my Italian friends like to remind me, should be enjoyed sitting down and relaxing, versus  in a to-go cup as you rush to work.

I hope you savor a lovely cup of coffee today and that you take the time to learn something new about yourself by looking into the inkblot of your coffee art.