From the Editor

“It Was so Fresh”



The bright, red tomato, that I shared with you, In Nature, last month, was actually picked and eaten by my oldest great-niece, much to my delight!

She had finished swimming with her father and siblings, when she came into the kitchen, ready for supper.  I showed her the offerings, none of which appealed to her, and asked her what she might like to eat.  It did not take her a second to ask if I had any cucumbers; much to my chagrin, I did not have any cucumbers.  (I shall however, take a clue from “Monica” and promise to always have cucumbers in the future.) But I remembered the tomato, and asked if she might like a tomato, mind you, this child is six years old.  Her face lit up, yes she would like a tomato!

We walked to the far end of the pool room, it was getting dark, but she could see the tomato, and seemed thrilled to pluck it from the plant.  She then noticed the other green tomatoes, still on the vines, commenting on how many there were, and then asked about a small cluster of porcelain tomatoes, that are staked as a decoration, in the pot.

After a bit, we made our way back to the kitchen, where I washed and quartered her tomato; I remember handing her the plate, her saying thank you, and watching as she made her way to an open seat, on the north side of the crowded dining room table.

The festivities continued, me not giving the tomato a second thought.  As the evening drew to a close, and she and I began to say our goodnights, we talked about her coming back for another swim, and she said: “and for another tomato – it was so fresh.”  Yes, indeed, I said, thinking you may have all of the tomatoes you like!

I was quite taken by that conversation with Miss Annaka, especially given that I had written about that tomato and the hope that gardening can bring.  Being able to share the tomato with such an enthusiastic recipient, more than compensated for whatever effort or expense has gone into caring and nurturing of that plant.  Hearing that she had enjoyed her tomato, so much so that she was looking forward to eating another one, absolutely fed my soul!

The next day, reminiscing about the many wonders of the time shared with my family, on Sunday, I came back to that conversation with Miss Annaka; and found myself smiling.  Yes, her voice, her mannerism, her sincerity, her pure cuteness was absolutely abundant and adorable; but her words:  “It was so fresh” also reminded me of my Mother and her love for gardening, for fresh produce, and most especially for fresh tomatoes, tomatoes that she described eating, as a child, as if they were apples.

This month, my Mother would have been 87 years old.  She has five great-grandchildren, and the sixth will be born this month; Miss Annaka is the oldest, and the great-grandchild that got to meet and associate with my Mother, her great-grandmother.

Miss Lucy, the youngest, until her brother arrives, has started walking and is overflowing with charm and personality.  Occasionally, she will exhibit this look of determination that reminds Kate and me of my Mother, and makes us both smile deeply.

Gathering around the table, sharing a meal, as we celebrate my youngest niece, Mrs. Hannah’s, birthday, it is impossible not to think of my parents.  Preparing for any family gathering always brings traditions to mind, as I select what music I will cook to and what foods I will prepare, and even which decorations we put up.

Kate and I have been putting up our birthday cake lights, since her 21st birthday; I bought the plastic lights at Target on Bellflower Boulevard, in California, in what was a new store to me, at the time.  I paid five dollars for the lights, which was a huge investment,  (I think I was making 3.35 an hour, so I had to work four hours to pay for the indulgence) ; and I bought two strands, both of which I still have!  In thirty one years, we have never skipped putting up the birthday lights; I even took them to Puerto Rico with us, the year we happened to be there for Kate’s birthday.

Now, we put them up not only to celebrate each other’s birthdays, but for my Sisters, Brother-in-law, Nieces, Nephew-in-law, and great Nieces and Nephews; the lights are not a tradition from my childhood, but rather from my adulthood that I get to pass on to the children in my life, whom perhaps too will develop this tradition of plastic cake lights.

Life comes in cycles, and at whatever point we find ourselves, in that every moving and uncontrollable cycle, we need to remember to celebrate the moment and rejoice.

I hate not being able to celebrate my Mother’s birthday, but I can continue to celebrate my Mother, thus I make my way to the laundry room, to take down my garden caddy.  At the very least, I think to myself, I am going to make sure the tomato plants are well staked, and maybe do a bit of top dressing and feeding, as well as give them a drink of water – I am going to need at least one bright red tomato ready to be harvested, when Miss Annaka returns.  That Is All For Now.

Photograph by Caroline Gregan


As Fran Would Say – It is a Shanda

First, let me state that this call to action is not about politics, it is about people. Regardless of ones position, on the Second Amendment and Gun Control, the Parkland Massacre appears to have been the most preventable school shooting, in our nation’s history. We need and must demand accountability!

Normally, I support the police, but as this most avoidable tragedy continues to unfold, repeatedly we see that both the police and the FBI need to step up to the plate and address their massive failures.

Both of these agencies had sufficient information and opportunity to prevent this catastrophe and had either agency done their job, 17 people would not have been murdered, on February, 14, and countless more shot and/or traumatized, and even the perpetrator, of this crime, may have been able to be saved.

This incident should not be forgotten or the massive fails be ignored; there needs to be a public investigation where names are named and consequences are made known to all!

I urge you to find a constructive way to make your opinion known, to those with the power to act and to protect we the people.

Poet’s Corner




I am not entirely certain
at the moment
anyone has anything to say
at least
not something
worth stopping
to listening to
I have turned the volume down
on the world at large
muted all the senseless clatter
in favor of moving forward
instead of standing still
I do not want to continue to be
restrained by the worthless banter
that seeks only to destroy us
through this immobilization
of our body
and soul
I do not want to live out
the rest of my days
permanently attached
to a piece of technology
that seeks to control
my every thought and feeling
I do not care
what they have to say
I do not want someone or something else
to tell me what I should feel or believe
or for that matter
where I should go
and what I should do
I am tired of their attempts
to control me
but it is more than that
I just do not believe them anymore
I am fine
just as I am
in my world
it is time for recess
would you like to play with me
I will let you go first

~ Cristina Jill Mosqueda ~






My thyroid was surgically removed, thus I need Synthroid. I have had the same prescription for years and yet I often procrastinate in going to my primary physician, to get the prescription for the blood work, and then make another appointment, to review the results, to receive the prescription for same dosage of Synthroid. I travel a lot unexpectedly, so it is not easy to make and keep an appointment.

Recently, as I saw my Synthroid dwindling away, day by day. I received a call from the pharmacy, informing me that the doctor would not renew my prescription, unless I came in; I became stressed, thinking I need to make an appointment. And then another work related item came up and the next thing I knew, I was out of my medicine. This has happened to me before, and I have gone to urgent care to get a prescription that will tide me over for 30 days, but I did not have to go to Urgent Care this time!

As I was looking at my health insurance to see where I could go, I noticed a tile box, on the web page, stating: “see a doctor anytime”. I clicked on the box and it took me to additional choices that gave me an option of a virtual visit. I thought, this is just for me!

I had more than one option for my virtual doctor’s visit. I looked at the typical wait times and what was required, and then dove in. I even installed an app, and you know how I feel about apps!

The app prompted me with first question asking what I needed, and the second question asked which pharmacy I go to, and the third put me in with a doctor. The app required a face to face meeting with the doctor. I was happy to comply, and within ten minutes, I had my Synthroid prescription. I could not believe the ease of use.

So what is telemedicine? Telemedicine gives a patient the ability to consult with a doctor via two-way video, text, or email. Telemedicine has been around since before the internet and digital communications, it was used in ancient times, with smoke signals to communicate a dangerous disease, announce births or deaths.

While mail and other methods have been used to receive second opinions or for consultative purposes, it would be the invention of the telephone that would connect doctors directly to every patient, nurse, hospital and other emergency personnel in need of their medical advice. The telephone would truly launch a fast path for telemedicine and in 1968, the first 9-1-1 call would be made from Haleyville, Alabama, using a bright red phone, which is now located in the Haleyville Museum.

While telephones would help connect the doctors so that they could listen and give advice, it would be other technology that would provide a major breakthrough in telemedicine. The 1960’s, would also see the first telemedicine clinic from Massachusetts General Hospital MGH, created by Kenneth Bird for travelers at Boston Logan Airport that used a two way audiovisual microwave circuit. At the same time, NASA also used telemedicine to check the astronaut’s health through physiologic monitors.

Telemedicine which brought about the ability to view images and to discuss results via the phone would give rise to the ability to provide medical care in a war zone, remote scientific stations in the Arctic and Antarctica, and to provide care in rural areas.

The advancements in telemedicine have continued and the results are pushing us farther than we can imagine and may very well keep us all together out of a doctor’s office. Today we have heart monitors, and pace makers which can communicate directly to medical offices. We have insulin pumps that deliver the correct dose of medicine. In fact, over seven million patients today are using remote medical devices for telemedicine and virtual healthcare. Mobile applications, fitness trackers are being incorporated to prevent diseases. Medical information is provided quickly, with real time diagnostic solutions via an app from a digital device.

There is a much needed revolution happening in the healthcare industry. And while I do not like the constant invasion into my privacy, there can be benefits, which if properly configured, can offer a safe and convenient way to stay Connected.


Film’s Recommended by Marcial

This is a trading world and men, women and children, who cannot live on gravity alone, need something to satisfy their gayer, lighter moods and hours, and he who ministers to this want is in a business established by the Author of our nature.  If he worthily fulfills his mission and amuses without corrupting, he need not feel that he has lived in vain.
~ Phineas T. Barnum ~

Eat Drink Man Woman, Taipei, 1994, 124 minutes, Comedy

Bride Flight, Netherlands, 2011, 130 minutes, Drama

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Sweden, 2009, 152 minutes, Thriller

Bonjour Monsieur Shlomi, Israel, 2003, 94 minutes, Comedy

Ladies in Lavender, UK, 2004, 103 minutes, Drama

Paper Moon, US, 1973, 102 minutes, Classic

Outsourced, US, 2006, 103 minutes, Comedy

Stranger than Fiction, US, 2006, 113 minutes, Comedy

Run Lola Run, Germany, 1998, 80 minutes, Thriller

Frida, US, 2002, 122 minutes, Drama

The Hours, US, 2002, 114 minutes, Drama

Garden State, US, 2004, 103 minutes, Comedy

American Beauty, US, 1999, 122 minutes, Drama

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, US, 2004, 108 minutes, Comedy

The Green Mile, US, 1999, 189 minutes, Drama

Rain Man, US, 1988, 103 minutes, Drama

Chicago, US, 2002, 113 minutes, Musical

The Upside of Anger, US, 2005, 118 minutes, Comedy

Scarface, US, 1983, 170 minutes, Thriller

The Notebook, US, 2004, 123 minutes, Drama

Million Dollar Baby, US, 2004, 133 minutes, Sports drama

Good Bye, Lenin!, Germany, 2003, 121 minutes, Comedy

Finding Neverland, UK, 2004, 101 minutes, Drama

Spanglish, US, 2004, 131 minutes, Comedy

The Aviator, US, 2004, 170 minutes, Drama

The Bridge on the River Kwai, US, 1957, 167 minutes, Action

Pulp Fiction, US, 1994, 154 minutes, Thriller

The Magnificent Seven, US, 1960, 128 minutes, Western

Zorba the Greek, Greek, 1964, 142 minutes, Classic

O Brother, Where Art Thou?, US, 2000, 106 minutes, Comedy

La Strada, Italy, 1954, 108, Drama

In Bruges, UK, 2008, 107 minutes, Thriller-Comedy

Whatever Works, US, 2009, 92 minutes, Comedy

Good Morning Vietnam, US, 1987, 119 minutes, Comedy

Awakenings, US, 1990, 120 minutes, Drama

Patch Adams, US, 1998, 116 minutes, Comedy

Captain Abu Raed, Jordan, 2008, 102 minutes, Drama

Bandits, US, 2001, 123 minutes, Comedy

Lucky Number Slevin, US, 2006, 110 minutes, Thriller

The Chorus, France, 2004, 97 minutes, Drama

Butterfly, Spain, 1999, 97 minutes, Drama

K-Pax, US, 2001, 121 minutes, Science Fiction

Winter in Wartime, Netherlands, 2008, 103, Drama, Suspenseful

Elling, Norway, 2001, 90 minutes, Comedy

Il Postino, Italy, 1995, 108 minutes, Drama

Under the Tuscan Sun, US, 2003, 113 minutes, Comedy

Les Comperes, France, 1983, 88 minutes, Comedy

Midnight in Paris, US, 2011, 94 minutes, Comedy

Moscow, Belgium, 2008, 102 minutes, Romantic Drama

Keeping Mum, UK, 2005, 103 minutes, Comedy

The Help, US, 2011, 146 minutes, Drama

Il Postino, Italy, 1995, 108 minutes, Drama

Mrs. Henderson Presents, UK, 2005, 103 minutes, Comedy/Drama

Memoirs of a Geisha, Japan, 2005, 145 minutes, Drama

Vitus, Switzerland, 2007, 123 minutes, Drama

Children of Heaven, Iran, 1997, 89 minutes, Drama

Volver, Spain, 2006, 121 minutes, Comedy

Rashomon, Japan, 1950, 88 minutes, Drama

Guantanamera, Cuba, 1994, 104 minutes, Comedy

Little Miss Sunshine, US, 2006, 101 minutes, Comedy

Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears, Russia, 1980, 150 minutes, Romantic Comedy.

The Pursuit of Happyness, US, 2006, 117 minutes, Drama

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, France, 2007, 112 minutes, Drama

Thank You for Smoking, US, 2005, 91 minutes, Comedy

Big Fish, US, 2003, 125 minutes, Drama

No Country for Old Men, US, 2007, 122 minutes, Thriller

Dirty Pretty Things, UK, 202, 92 minutes, Drama

The Edge of Heaven, Germany, 2007, 122 minutes, Drama

There Will Be Blood, US, 2007, 158 minutes, Drama

The Wrestler, US, 2008, 105 minutes, Drama

Bottle Shock, US, 2008, 110 minutes, Drama

The Truman Show, US, 1998, 103 minutes, Comedy

Stranger than Fiction, US, 2006, 113 minutes, Comedy

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, US, 2008, 166 minutes, Drama

Public Square

Public Square

Follow President George W. Bush Library One of my warmest memories, about President George W. Bush, does not involve him, but rather my neighbor Phil. I had volunteered for both of the President’s campaigns, a fact that could not be lost on any of my mostly Democrat neighbors, as my yard...

In Nature

In Nature

Follow Nor’easter   I have been battling a cold, grateful it...

~ Aristophanes~

High thoughts must have high language.

My Mother’s Favorite Verse

“Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”~ Jeremiah 33: 3 ~



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