Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christ-mas

Merry Christ-mas to each & everyone of you !!  :)  
Wishing you a warm, joyous, happy & relaxing Holiday Season !!  :)

I will be back blogging really soon !!  Soooooooooo much has happened after the two articles about my Feeding the Homeless in the newspapers, soooooooooooo much to share with you !!  :)   In addition I made Christmas for two Native American families living on our local Tohono O'odham reservation.  :)  Life here has been very, very, very busy.  :)

We handed out 50 gift bags this Monday to the homeless & fed 96 people in the two parks that day.  :o

Sending you all lots of Love & big Hugs !! 
Karin

Monday, November 29, 2010

Burritos, Corn Dogs, Hamburgers, Cupcakes, Fresh Fruit & Smoothies

So much Joy to share with all of you !!  :)   And I am running so behind this week for wonderful reasons !!  :)

The article about my work in "The New Southwest" paper called "Angel of Santa Rita Park" was published on November 17th.  If you would like to read it, just click on the link above. 

And three days later the "Arizona Daily Star" published my story about being "Belled".  Click on this link to read it if you like.  :)

I will blog lots more about all this in the coming weeks.  At this point I am catching up for last week.  :o

We fed 98 people the weekend of November 20th & had some wonderful donations due my story in "The New Southwest".  Thank you Mikaela & Jim & more thanks go to you both for posting the Feeding the Homeless story on your website !!  I am very grateful to you both & been telling many people about your wonderful & informative newspaper. Have been giving it to everyone who brings over donations & hasn't seen your great work for the betterment of society yet.  :)

A homeless man came up to me at Santa Rita Park & gave me a Buddhist Prayer Bracelet.  He really wanted me to have it, I couldn't talk him out of it.  I don't know his name but his gift touched me deeply, it was so very sincere & from his Heart.  :)  It means lots to me & I will never forget the kind gesture of this man & his gratitude.

I met David R. & his daughter Carolyn at Bookman's Used Books in the Native American section on November 19th & we started a conversation.  :)  David was visiting his daughter & sister here in Tucson from Maine.  Thank you so much David & Carolyn for your donation & for also coming with me to both parks helping to dish out the food.  It was so much fun to have you both there & to watch you both enjoying yourself by being of service.  :)   I hope that you both will join me again at times.  :)

Thank you Stan L. for donating all those incredible, organic watermelons, cucumbers & tomatoes that you grew yourself in your yard !!  :)   They were so good & tasted like real fruit & real vegetables were supposed to taste like.  Those cucumbers were absolutely delicious, a combination of honeydew melons & cucumbers.  Anytime you have extra please call me.  :)  :)

Buck of Sugar Pies made a big Spice Cake for the homeless people & I still have some left for this weekend.  :)   It was so good & moist & tasteful !!  Jen & I had to have a sample, as you know.  :)  Buck also made a French Chocolate Cake with Buttercream.  Yummmmmm !!  Thank you dearest Buck !!  :)  You are a Treasure !!

My cooking helper, Jen Y., worked really hard again in the kitchen.  I wouldn't know what to do without you Jen !!  :)   Thank you soooo much for your dedication to this cause !!  :)  And I love hanging out in my kitchen with you.  It is always a great time to catch up on the weeks happenings.  :)

Jessie M., the co-owner of  Cycle Tucson, along with her husband Gary M., is my helper with dishing out the food every time we go to the parks.  I am soooo grateful to you for always being there & for giving me the peace of mind to know that I can count on you.  Thank you Jessie, my Co-Angel.  :) 

Pinau thank you for your blanket donations !!  :)  They are with the homeless already keeping some of them warm.  Isn't it a nice feeling to know that ??!!  :)  
It's the same kind of feeling I get when I drive off after feeding everyone & watching them all sitting on the ground eating & looking happy for the meal.  :)

Dede S., thank you for all the warm clothes, blankets, food & money you shared through Jessie with the people in the parks !!  :)  You are quite thoughtful & may you always be blessed for your Kindness !!  :)

David D., you were soooo dear to bring all those fresh vegetables & fruit to the park & you brought a lot !!  :)  It was nice to watch you hand them all out yourself.  :)  At first you were a little shy but eventually you really began enjoying yourself & the experience of sharing took over.  :)  Please join us anytime.  :)  This is on-going. 

A heartfelt thank you go to Dave & Linda M. for donating another cupcake carrier, which makes it all so much easier.  I will share the cupcakes with you anytime you would like some.  :)   Also thank you for continuously donating a big part of the meals every other week !!  You both are Angels !!  :)  I Love You Lots !!

Thank you once more Jennifer of Red Velvet Cupcakery for all those incredibly yummy cupcakes you continue to donate !!  :)  Everyone who reads this blog, please consider supporting the business.  They donate free cupcakes every day to an AIDS Foundation, Casas De Los Ninos, my project, & others. 
And their cupcakes are the very best in Tucson !!  :)  You'll see !!  :)   The red velvet & the lemon are my favorite.  :)

A very dear man by the name of Aries, who works at the L.M. Prince Elementary School Cafeteria donated a lot of wonderful food after reading the article in The New Southwest paper.  I was able to take a lot of extra food to the parks, food that the homeless could eat the next day, like corn dogs, already cooked & wrapped hamburgers, little smoothies, things that would keep a day or so.  Aries also gave me two huge bags of already cooked chicken fingers & I will use half of them to make Chicken Parmigiana.  The other half is in the freezer for another weekends meal to come.  Thank You Aries soooo much !!  :)  And I love your name !!  :)

Oh Holly T., you donated that wonderful 16 quart stock pot, which I really needed for vegetables.  We used it already & I sent many thoughts of gratitude your way while cooking the food in it !!  :)  You are the best.  :)  Thank you also for the styrofoam plates & plastic silverware !!  They are always needed.  I haven't taken the nutrition drinks to the parks yet, but will next weekend, to keep it all interesting & diversified somewhat.  :)  Holly, keep smiling, your beautiful smile is contagious & rubs off on everyone.  :)

Jim W. & Pam W. a big shout-out of gratitude to you for the donation check you sent for food for the homeless.  :)  My thank you goes to you on big Angel wings.  :)

Melany & Chuck R., thank you so much for the check you sent for food & your beautiful card & precious feather !!  :)  I am so glad that we are Friends & I Love You Lots Mel !!  :)

T-bird, you keep sending along some gas money & I so appreciate it.  :)  It always comes at a nick of time when I am on empty.  Thank you my Friend !!  :)

And my dear Catherine P., you sent blankets for the homeless all the way from Illinois, when you can't afford the postage yourself, being a single Mom !!  You make me cry when I think about that.  You are the embodiment of true giving, my Friend !!  :)  Thank you with all my Heart !!  :)  I Love You !!

Now this is the end of the story for last week & weekend & I'm glad that I am caught up a little bit anyway.  :)  In a few days I will blog about this weekend, which we are still in the middle of.  :) 

Have a wonder-filled week everyone & remember to look for Miracles !!  :)  They are everywhere !!  :)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Tortilla Soup, Corn Chips, Dennenkoeken Cookies & Cupcakes


Another week gone by with a lot of incredible happenings to share with you.   :)

We fed a total of 84 people last weekend & surpassed 2,300 fed altogether now.  :o

Jennifer from Red Velvet Cupcakery donated a bunch of wonderful gourmet cupcakes again & the homeless are always begging me for more than one.  I can't blame them, those cupcakes are awesome !!  :)  

My dear friends Dave & Linda M. bought a cupcake carrier for me that holds 36 on 3 tiers.  How thoughtful is that !!  :)  It keeps the cupcakes fresh much longer & is so much easier to carrying than the cardboard boxes.  Thank you Dave & Linda !!  You are The Best !!  :)   Dave is also helping carry all the heavy pots to my car & puts the cases of water into the coolers to take to the parks.  :)  They are pretty heavy for me to carry & I have been needing help. 

Speaking of water ....  Chad of Might Photography loaded 40 cases of water into both of our cars & he then unloaded them all into my garage.  Thank you Chad for all that muscle work, you sure had a work-out that day.  :)  I am very grateful for your help !!  :)   Also, Chad is the gifted photographer who took the above pictures of me in my kitchen.  He is very dedicated to his craft !!  :)

And thank you once more my dear Laurel for paying for all that water for the homeless !!  I So Love You !!  :) 

One of the homeless called me "Cupcake" & said that it is my new nickname.  :)  I laughed & told him that it fits me perfectly, I am chubby & I am short, just like a cupcake.  :)

Thank you Buck of Sugar Pies for all the Dennenkoeken cookies.  Everyone can find the recipe on Buck's blog, just click on the above link.  And thank you Buck for helping chop up 30 lbs. of zucchini for the tortilla soup last Saturday & for shredding some of the chicken.  I would have been very, very late to the park without your loving help.  :) 

Thank you Rosemarie H. for helping us serve the food last Monday & for bringing all those beautiful blankets to the homeless.  :)   Your Heart is very big !!  It is always a Joy when you join Jessie & I at the parks !!  :)

Katie brought over two loaves of bread from "Beyond Bread" for the Estevan Park people.  Thanks Katie Dear !!  :)  The bread was gone pretty quickly, especially with the soup.  :)

Maggie & Brian D. gathered a lot of warm clothes from their friends for the homeless & I will take them there on Monday, once I have the time to go through them all.  Thank you also so much for bringing some of the food for this coming weekends meals !!  :)   You both are great friends to the homeless & me !!

Lots of thanks goes to Jennifer R. for not giving up & bringing over a bunch of fresh vegetables.  :)  
Jennifer went to Food City & saw a man taking a huge bag of reject vegetables & fruit outside.  She asked him if she could have them for meals for the homeless & he said he couldn't do that.  Well, Jennifer didn't give up & ended up having them in the back of her truck to bring over here.  :)   I am able to use a lot of the vegetables, they were still good, just not good enough to sell anymore.  Thank you nice Food City man for caring !!  :)  I am making burritos this coming weekend & all those peppers, chile's, tomatoes, etc., are perfect & healthy to mix in with the rice & meat.  :) 

Jessie & I went to a Lions Club meeting on Wednesday at 7:00 AM to try to get donations of blankets, sleeping bags & jackets for the homeless.  It was Jessie's idea  :), she has a friend who is a member.  Those of you who know me well, know that I am a night owl & don't go to sleep until about 2:00 or 3:00 AM.  I never got any sleep that night since I needed to get up around 6:00 AM to make it to the meeting.   :)   The Lions gave us a wonderful breakfast & some great coffee, which Jessie & I had lots of, trying to wake up.  Thank you Jessie for talking first, as I was still sort of brain-dead at that early hour.  :)   We really enjoyed ourselves though & it all was very educational.  The Lions do a lot of incredible work to help our community !!   :)

Lion Tim G. gave me a wonderful cash donation for the food fund & I am very grateful for your generosity Tim !!  :)  Lil' Kencie & her Dad also donated & so did Julie K., whose visiting father told some very interesting stories about his career. Thank you each & everyone of you for your caring & sharing!!  :) 
And it looks like we might be getting some used jackets from some of the members & hopefully blankets too.   :)  

Last Monday we were asked for gloves too.  Something else I never thought of, but which now makes total sense to me for during the nights when it is so cold.  All of this is such a learning experience for me & it is good to share it all with each & everyone of you.  :)

I would like to send out another great big shout-out to Dawn in Minnesota.  She has been saving up her pennies to buy brandnew underwear for both men & women, also new t-shirts & socks too.  This amazes me since Dawn does this periodically & then mails it all to Tucson.  She has very limited income, but wants to give & help out.  Many Blessings to you Dawn & I am ever so grateful for your caring Heart !!  :) 
I decided to keep it all to give as Christmas gifts to the homeless & some of it to the Native Americans as part of my "6th Annual Native American Christmas Project".  :)   I hope that I will meet you some day Dawn, so I can give you a great big Hug !!  :)  

There is more incredible news to share, but I will keep it for the next blog.  This one has gotten pretty long, as they mostly are.  :o   It is always great though to share all this wonderful news with everyone !!  :)

Good night now & sleep with the Angels always !!  :)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

American Goulash, Green Beans with Bacon, Cookies


Words at times can't express emotions felt, especially when the emotions are felt really deeply !!  I had a whole week of joyful emotions & will try to express myself the best I can.  And where do I start ??!!

On Monday while feeding the homeless at Santa Rita Park Jeannette Packard walked over to us & presented a Ben's Bell to me.  What a surprise !!  I had heard a little bit about it, but didn't know the whole story.  For those of you who never heard of Ben's Bells here is the link to their website.  The stories are quite remarkable !!  :)

When receiving my bell from Jeannette I couldn't stop crying I was touched so deeply & kept hanging onto dear Jessie, who helps me serve the food every week & who nominated me for this incredible honor.  I'm still crying every time I think about this.  All the homeless people waiting in line to be fed started clapping & cheering & that made me cry even more.  Some even gave me hugs to congratulate me.  :)  Gary, Jessie's husband took pictures & so did Jeannette.  I wish I could bottle all the emotions felt by everyone & then attach them to this blog, as again the words don't do it all justice. 

I was really happy to see Jeannette's son Matthew there too, who is a teenager now, and two of his young friends.  :)  I always felt that we can't teach children early enough to give to & care about others !!  :)   Especially these times when we spoil our children so much with material things.  Matthew, thank you soooo much for coming too & please thank your two friends for me also.  :)  

It is hard for me to hold back my tears of joy as I am writing this.  In the Ben's Bells brochure is says "Each week an individual who has been nominated by others in our community is chosen to receive a Ben's Bell for his or her consistent displays of intentional kindness".  

Thank you Jeannette & Dean & Matthew for all the Joy & Kindness you spread all over Tucson, & I noticed on your website, in many other places in America too now!!   :)   I would love to give you a Ben's Bell too !!  :)  You deserve a huge one !!  :)

Another gift is coming out being a "Bellee".  On Saturday, November 20th, there will be a feature on me in our biggest local daily newspaper called the "Arizona Daily Star".  Hopefully that the exposure will help in getting more donations & more people who help out.  :)   We fed 100 people this past weekend for a total of 2,220 so far.   :)

Now, if Jeannette hasn't done enough already, she even went to the Red Velvet Cupcakery, which is next door to her office & asked what they do with their cupcakes at the end of the day.  The owners gave her four boxes full for the homeless & said that we can pick up cupcakes every Tuesday & Thursday.  :)  What wonderful & generous people & how amazing it all is !!  :)   More tears of joy !!

Karen V., the Executive Director of Amber Lights Retirement Community had asked me to come there & share with her employees about my Feeding the Homeless, which I did.  Karen had put together a raffle for the residents & the employees to raise money for the homeless project & after my talk presented me with the money raised & some food too.  :)   It will almost pay for one week of meals & I am soooo grateful to you Karen for caring so deeply !!  :)  Karen said that she will do a raffle once a month now to continue to help out.  :)   More tears of joy !!   :)

Chad Might of  Might Photography came over & took a bunch of pictures of me in my kitchen for my story in the November issue of  "The New Southwest"  newspaper (formerly called the Green Times), which will be published & everywhere in Tucson on the 15th of this month.  You can find it at many places, like Bookman's, Sunflower Markets, etc.  It is a wonderful little paper full of good information !!  :)  If you click on the link above you will be able to read the paper. 

Rosemarie H., thank you soooo much for the absolutely gorgeous orchid plant you gave to me after I got "Belled" !!  :)  It is now on my dining room table close to the picture of my son Scott, who crossed over into the Spirit World in 1999.  I always have flowers for him & now he also has your beautiful orchid gracing his photo.  More tears of joy.  :)  Rosemarie, you blew me away with your loving & kind gestures, which also included a bunch of tortillas for this coming weekends Tortilla Soup for the homeless.  Thank you also for the boxes of mints & the Maple Leaf Cream Cookies, which per you represent the season of fall.  :)   The people in the parks will love them all, except for a few of the Raspberry Mints, which I sampled.  ;)  Had to make sure they were good.  ;)   Ha, ha !!  :)  I love anything raspberry.  :)

Jen, thank you with all my heart for helping me cook last weekend !!  :)  You are a huge help & I soooo appreciate you !!   :)   We cooked 16 lbs. of elbow macaroni & 20 lbs. of ground beef, used more than 30 cans of tomato soup & 6 lbs. of fresh mushrooms.  And then there were 7 huge cans of green beans with 2 lbs. of bacon. 

Katherine K., my dear friend, thank you for your kind & loving support today & for giving me your special check for food for the people in the city parks !!   :)   Once more it came at the nick of time to help with the Tortilla Soup this weekend.  I soooo love you & am always excited to spend time with you, especially when we are creating jewelry together, which is always play to me.  :)

Another big thank you goes to Judy B., who so dearly ask everyone to bring blankets or comforters to her own birthday party to give to the homeless.  How sweet & caring is that ??!!  :)  Judy ended up with 10 blankets, which Jessie then distributed to the people in the parks.  :)

It is going on 3:00 AM & I am bushed.  So once more ......  Good Night everyone & sleep with the Angels tonight !!  :)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Spaghetti with Mushrooms, Broccoli & Cauliflower, and Chai Spice Sugar Cookies

On Saturday we fed 41 people in the parks & on Monday it was 47.  :)   The total fed is 2,120.  :o

Jessie & I went to Santa Rita Park & afterwards to Estevan Park for the second time on Saturday & the third time on Monday, which is now a regular stop.  When I got to Estevan Park, many homeless people were sitting on the curb lined up like birds on a wire.  :)   As I drove up I rolled down my window & asked if they were waiting for me & in unison they all said "Yes we are".  I am no longer going to DeAnza Park as a lot of the homeless are making their way over to Estevan Park, which is just a city block over to the west, off Main Street, just south of Speedway.  The people there are getting to know my dear helper Jessie & I & it is a nice feeling to see some of the same faces again.  :)   They are spreading the word, as each time we go there are more people waiting for us to feed. 

One of the men over at Santa Rita Park had me almost lose it.  He came over to get a plate of food & as he walked away he turned around & said "You always take such good care of us".  He then continued to walk a few more steps, turned around again & said "I Love You".  I had trouble keeping myself together, as he continued to walk away to eat.  Moments like that are soooo precious & will forever stay in my Heart.  :)

Gary, thank you soooo much for jumping right in & helping to cook last weekends meal.  :)   It was fun to share my kitchen with you !!  I hope I didn't talk your ears off.  :)   It was great to have you load up the car with the heavy water & the even heavier pots filled with food.  That part is getting harder & harder for me on my knee & my arms too.  I am 67 years old & at times like that I do feel my age, even though most of the time I feel like so much younger.  :)  

Jessie, thank you again for helping to serve the food & for being my buddy in this adventure.  :)  It is fun to see how much you enjoy doing this & how the homeless people are responding to your kindness !! 

Thank you for all the blankets you, Jessie, & Dede S. rounded up for the people in the parks.  We still need many more & sleeping bags too, if anyone is interested in helping out in that way.  :)

Thank you Dede also for your donation to the Homeless Food Fund.  :)   It was so needed. 

Also a great big Thank You goes to you my special friend Mary Helen for your continued donations, which help so very much each month.  :)  I Love You !! 

Dear Buck of Sugar Pies thank you for all the really tasteful Chai Spice Sugar Cookies you baked for the homeless.  They were really delicious tasting with the spices you put into them & of course all your Love too !!   :)   The recipe for these is on Buck's blog, just click on the link above.  :)

Rachel, thank you for your check, you are an Angel too !!   :)  I Love You lots too !! 

Stephen R., you amaze me with your donations every month & your kind support in that way !!  :)        Thank You !! 

Good Night everyone & Sweet Dreams to you all !!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Shredded Beef, Rice, Refried Beans, Corn Tortillas, Candy Corn Cookies

Armed with 30 lbs. of Mexican style shredded beef, a huge amount of refried beans & an even bigger amount of rice we fed 42 people on Saturday & on Monday the biggest number ever of 59 people.  The weekend ended up with 101 people fed, a record so far, for a total of 2032.  :)   Wow !!  :)

It was amazing to see all the people lined up for hot food, especially at Santa Rita Park.  Later on we also ended up at Estevan Park for the first time, which is near DeAnza Park, around Main Street & Speedway, to feed some more people there.  :)   I had a few blankets in my car & they were taken away pretty quickly.  I can always use a lot more to hand out, as it is getting colder during the nights here now. 

Jen Y., thank you for helping me cook all that food & for helping me with all the seasoning of the meat & with putting so much of your Love into it too.  I love cooking with you, we are a great team.  :)   I enjoy & treasure the Friendship we are developing.  :)   And Bobbie Y., thank you for helping me along with advise on the buying & cooking of the meat.  It was my first time ever making shredded beef.  My expertise is in German food, but I am learning to cook Mexican food too & I love eating it as often as possible.  Not so much the beans though, but everything else is awesome.  :)   My Tortilla Soup is always a big hit in the parks & with my friends too.  I make a pretty good Mexican Cheese Soup too & actually have been craving it myself a lot lately, since the weather is cooling off some now. 

Jessie M. thank you serving all that food on Saturday & on Monday too.  Rosemarie H., it was great to meet you & I am grateful too for your help with dishing out the food on Monday.  It is wonderful to get to know you both, you definitely are to each other what I call "Sisters of the Heart".  :)   Often we are closer to our heart family than we are to our birth family.  Welcome to my Feeding the Homeless Family.  :)  

Rosemarie you blew me away with all the food, plates & forks you donated !!  I am still in awe.  You are incredible & I am so grateful for your caring heart for the homeless people !!   :)   It all is so much needed, especially with the large amount of people we are now feeding.  Word is getting around with the homeless about the real food that is available on Saturdays & Mondays. 

Since I am still within my first year of doing this, I don't quite know the trends yet.  Everything is always so unpredictable still.  Right now it looks like there will be more people in the winter time since our weather is so good here & we hardly ever get snow.  I did realize that we always feed more people on Mondays than on Saturdays.  Occasionally other people will take food to the city parks & it is often on Saturdays, so by the time I get there everyone has eaten already, which is great !!  :) 

Thank you T-bird for sending money for gasoline, which is always welcome & much needed too.  :)   I do a lot of driving to & from the different parks & to buy all the groceries every week.  I always look for the biggest bargains & the best deals around.  :)  

Charlotte, from Amber Lights Retirement Home, thank you for your precious check !!  :)  It all helps so much.  I was able to buy lots of cauliflower & fresh mushrooms for this coming weekends meals. Today someone in the grocery store stopped me to find out what I was going to do with all those mushrooms. 
so I told him & it looks like he & his 13 year old son will help out in some way.  :)   As I mentioned before in this blog, I love it when the young ones are taught early to give back & to share.  Todd N., you are a great Dad !!   :)

Holly T., Vicki L., and Magdalena S., a thank you goes out to each of you also for chipping into the Homeless Food Fund.  :)  You are very much appreciated !!   :)

Thank you Buck of Sugar Pies for all the Candy Corn Cookies you baked for everyone in the parks.  They looked really fun & everyone oohed & aahed over them.  :)   You can find the recipe on Buck's blog.

My prayer is that all of you receive many, many Blessings for your sharing & caring for the people in our city parks !!  :)   I always hear many "God Bless Yous" when handing out the food & water & I want to share that with each & everyone of you !!  Together we are making a difference in people's lives.  :)

With a full heart I will go to sleep now, it is almost 2:30 AM, so I can wake up rested & cook about 15 or so pounds of spaghetti pasta & huge pots of spaghetti sauce later on today.   :)

Good night now !!  Everyone, sleep with the Angels tonight !!  :)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Chili, Corn Muffins & Crybaby Cookies

Running somewhat behind this week.  :o   Served this weekends meal today & haven't even blogged about last weeks meal yet.  So here it goes for last weekend ....................

Made three huge pots of Chili for everyone in the parks & dear Buck from Sugar Pies made corn muffins for everyone to go with it & he also baked some really wonderful cookies, which are called Crybaby Cookies, because they would make children stop crying.  :)   I love those cookies & must confess that I ate more than the usual one.  :o   The recipes are on Buck's blog.  Just click on the link above & it will get you to his blog.  Thank you Buck for always making such wonderful treats.  You are The Best & I am one of your biggest fans, besides Michael of course !!  :)

Thank you Jen Y. for all your caring help cooking with me last Saturday & for putting so much Love into the Chili.   :)  It was so good because it had both of our Love stirred into it.  The Chili was a great big hit with all the people in the park.  On Monday there were 44 people at Santa Rita park waiting for the food, because word had gotten around about the good Chili.  On Saturday we only fed 28 people.  On Monday I ran out of food at the first park & only had crackers, blueberry muffins & water left for the second park, DeAnza Park.  I felt really bad to have run out of food after just one park, it was the first time this ever happened.  And I had a lot of Chili to start with.  So I will cook Chili again soon, since it was such a success.  :)  It is getting colder here now towards dinner time, so it is nice to bring comfort food again for the homeless.  I got kind of tired of making all those cold pasta or potato salads every weekend.  It's like wanting to wear warm clothes again around here after our long hot summers.  :)

Jennifer R. thank you for stopping by on Monday & helping dish out the food & for your support in being there with us !!  :)  I always enjoy when you show up at the park, even though you are very busy.  :) 

Sean & Brandie S. thank you for bringing over some blankets for the homeless & for caring so much about these people.  :)   I am so grateful that I "accidentally" met you at the bank the other day & that you eavesdropped my conversation with a friend there.  :)

The homeless still need lots of blankets & sleeping bags, since it is getting colder now during the nights. 
Used ones are great, but I am grateful if they are clean, so I can just take them there.  :)

Thank you Gary Mc...., your donation saved the day !!  :)   I only had $2.20 left in the Homeless Food Fund & wondered how I was going to feed all the people this coming weekend on that.  Now I have $22.20 & everything looks a little brighter.  :)  Every penny helps & altogether it adds up.  :)  Gary, I'm glad to know that you read my blog & that I can thank you this way, which is very important to me.  :)  I like it when the homeless people acknowledge what we do for them & I like to do the same for everyone who lovingly helps out with this whole heart project.  I am "paying forward" the gratitude to everyone that way.  :)  These people are always so grateful for the food, the sweet treats & the water & I hear many "God Bless Yous" every time I go.  :)

Jan, a writer for "The New Southwest" newspaper (formerly called the "Tucson Green Times") came over last week to interview me for a story in the upcoming November 15th issue.  I feel very honored to be in this wonderful & free newspaper.  It is all over Tucson & if you have a chance, please pick one up & find out for yourself how great & educational about the environment this paper is.  :) 

Have a wonderful week everyone & be safe & happy !!   :) 

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Tuna Pasta Salad with Peas, Apple Cider Cake & Dixie Cream Cookies

My computer keeps booting me off today, so I hope that I am able to finish the whole blog today for this past weekend.  I am running late this week to start with, it has been quite busy around here.

Jen Y. helped me cook last Saturday & we ended up cooking 14 lbs. of pasta, along with 36 eggs, chopped 2 huge jars of pickles & added a whole slew of cans of green peas.  We ran out of mayonnaise & had to run & get more, which Jen volunteered to do.  :)  When she came back from Walmart with the mayonnaise she had also purchased a Gift Card for the Homeless Fund.  :) 

Earlier last week I ended up buying a very big 14 quart stainless steel pot with a solid bottom that wouldn't burn the pasta that was cooking in water even.  I felt really guilty about spending the money from the Homeless Fund, but also kept thinking about how I needed another pot just like it.  Jen knew this.  And I could use a third one actually.  Plus we struggled with the cheap can opener I had which just didn't want to open all those green pea cans.  When I discovered the Gift Card I started crying & Jen told me to go & get the other pot & a can opener & not feel guilty anymore.  How sweet is that  ??!!  :)  I went to Walmart right after Jen left & grabbed that other pot & a good can opener.  We will be testing it tomorrow when we need to open 16 great big cans of kidney beans for this coming weekends American Chili meals. 

Thank you Jen, you touched me so deeply with your kindness & your incredible generosity !!  You are awesome !!  :)

Dearest Buck brought over a whole Apple Cider Cake  & 86 Dixie Cream Cookies for the Homeless to enjoy & enjoying they did & of course I had to sample them too.  ;)   Ahhhhh, they were totally delicious, as all of Buck's treats are !!  :)  For all the delicious recipes please go to Buck's  Sugar Pies  blog. 
Buck also donated a whole bunch of Granola Bars for the Homeless.  Thank you Buck !!  :)

My special friends Brian & Maggie donated three huge boxes of Minute Rice, two jars of Spaghetti Sauce, cooking Oil, & two blankets.  :)   Thank you my dear & sweet Friends !!  :)

Laurel sent a check for the bottled water for another month & whatever is left over I use to pay for the gas to go back & forth to the parks & for all the grocery store trips every week.  Thank you my very special Laurel !!  :)  You are soooo appreciated & I Love You So !!

Dave & Linda M. donated some blankets for the homeless & a good portion of the food for this coming weekend.  Thank you with all my Heart you two for your unending support & for being so genuine !!  :)
I feel honored to be your Friend !!  :)

A.W. sent a donation check & I appreciate your caring support with this project.  I used a lot of it already to buy the ingredients for last weeks meal.  Thank you soooo much !!  :)

Now to some sad news.  In an earlier blog I talked about the old black man who used to live in his old white Cadillac in the parking lot of the Santa Rita Park.  Some of you might remember, he had edema & his feet & legs were about three or four times as big as normal & I would always take the food to him, so he wouldn't have to leave his car.  I just learned that he died about two weeks after his family all chipped in & got him a small apartment to get him out of the heat of this summer.  He once told me that his job once upon a time was to find homes for the homeless.  Have fun on the Other Side & watch over all your buddies in the parks !!  :)

The total homeless people fed so far is 1,859 in less than 9 months.   :)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Cheeseburger Stoup & Tortillas

On Saturday we didn't feed very many people.  It was raining so heavily all over Tucson, that most of the homeless people were seeking out dry places to shelter under.  The grass was utterly soaked with rain. There were only 16 people at Santa Rita Park & not one soul at the DeAnza Park. 

I was really disappointed, as Jennifer & I had cooked a lot of extra Cheeseburger Stoup (a combination of Soup & Stew) after all the requests I had received for it.  It all worked  out great though as there were 43 people on Monday & the stoup was all eaten up.   :)  There was just a little bit left over & Carlos got to take it home for left-overs.  :)

Thank you for coming over Jennifer R. & cooking with me for almost 4 hours, even though you really didn't feel good !!  :)   You are such a trooper & I soooo appreciate your "showing up" & helping out anyway !!  :)

Carlos, thank you for coming all the way down to the park now to help me serve & to watch over me every time we feed everyone !!   :)   I am so glad that you have a roof over your head now !!  :)   Hopefully it will be permanent !!

Thank you Stephen R. for another kind donation !!  :)  The homeless & I are very grateful for your continues support !!  :) 

And thank you also my dear friend Mary Helen for your check !!  :)   You & Stephen R. are making a difference every month & I couldn't do this without your caring help !!  :)

Very much thanks also go to my special heart-sister Gerda B. in Switzerland for your dear donation !!  :)
You are wonderful !!  :)

Kathy & Larry O. a big shout-out goes to you two for providing a lot of the ingredients for the next meal !!  Your thoughtfulness is wonderful & it is amazing how far you had to drive to bring your previous food donation to me. You are very caring & much appreciated !!  :)

This rounds up another week & the next Meal in the Parks is just around the corner once more.  :)

Friday, October 1, 2010

Sausage & Vegetable Stoup, Cantaloupe, Amish Church Cookies

This week has been more busy than usual for me as it is my 67th birthday week. It was wonderful to be taken out to dinner a few times by some of my dear friends. :) Now that I am cooking so much for the Homeless, I don't want to cook for myself so much anymore & it feels good to be spoiled by other's cooking. :) I got to go to two of my favorite restaurants & last Sunday to the Arizona Inn for Brunch, which was soooo elegant & the food was ever so good too. :)

We feed only 30 people on Saturday, as some organizations pulled together & cooked steaks for the Homeless at Santa Rita Park. That is exciting & the people loved to get freshly barbecued steaks for a change. :) On Monday though we fed 44 people. Buck has added the running total for everyone to see on my blog in the upper right corner. We are at 1,734 as of last weekend. :o

There is still a need for blankets & sleeping bags for the Homeless, but we don't need any pillows, as I learned that they use the blankets rolled up as pillows. Thank you so much Sue & Bob B. for donating the two blankets & the two pillows !! :) Also for your cash donation for the food !! You are wonderful & much appreciated !! :)

Buck, your cookies were soooo good, as usual !! Thank you Dear !! :)
On Saturday some of the people came over & said that they were full of steak but wondered if they "could have a cookie anyway please". :) I thought you would enjoy knowing this. The orange & cream cheese frosting was so great & the cookies actually were more like a cake, so soft & moist. I am rooting for you to be the Grand Winner in the Food Blogging Contest !! :) You soooo deserve it, my special Friend !!  To read the very interesting & fun story of Amish Church Cookies please go to Buck's blog http://www.sugarpiesfood.com/.

Will Ferguson, who took the photo for the article on me in the Tucson Weekly paper came over on Saturday to help me cook. He chopped up 12 lbs. of Kielbasa sausage, which was quite a job. :) He couldn't wait to tell his Mom that he was helping out with the cooking, which is very new for Will. He goes to the University of Arizona & he also works for the Arizona Daily Star newspaper now. Will interviewed me while we were cooking for a project that he wants to present to the Arizona Daily Star. The kitchen is always a great time for telling life stories or current ones too. :)

My friend Christina C. in Maine had this idea of me contacting some farms to get fresh fruit & vegetables donated. She only found one farm in this area, in the town of Catalina & sent me the information. I called them, but they told me that they already donate to some organizations like the Food Bank, Salvation Army, etc. It was a great idea Christina !! :)
I have to be careful with the fruit I take to the Homeless, many don't have teeth, so for instance apples are not good at all. I have been taking fruit salads that I make, like the cantaloupe this week, or fresh cucumbers & tomatoes. Things that are easy to chew.

Bill Y. met me at Costco today & paid for some of the ingredients for next weeks meals. Thank you Bill, that was really kind of you & I pray that the Blessings will come back to you many fold !!

Gary Mc. sent some money in the mail & I always so appreciate you doing that !! Every little bit helps & it adds up to make a whole. Gary, I hope that you are reading this blog, as it is the only way I can communicate with you. It seems like you want to stay anonymous.

And, oh my goodness, Hugh & Polly M., from Amber Light Retirement Community, thank you soooo much for your generous check that came through your Terri earlier this week !! :) You touched me deeply & again I was crying, just like when I was up there with you all giving my talk about Feeding the Homeless. Hugh, keep smiling, you spread a lot of sunshine all around with that smile of yours !! :)

Thank you all for walking this path with me & supporting my dream of no more hunger in Tucson's City Parks. :) I am very, very grateful to you all !! :)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Blankets for the Homeless Needed

Three of my homeless people's blankets & sleeping bags were stolen a couple of days ago from their camp. :(
If anyone has extra blankets & sleeping bags to donate, please let me know & if possible drop them off at my home. :) Or you could meet me at the parks today or on Saturday. Some of these blankets are always used as pillows too by the homeless.
You can call me at (520)326-2236 from Noon until 10:00 PM.
Thank you for being there for these people !! :)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Spaghetti, Dinner Rolls, Cucumber Salad & Dinner Rolls

The most exciting news I have today is that Buck from Sugar Pies yesterday spent many hours sprucing up my blog & hooking it up to Facebook & Twitter.
Please check out the "new" blog & let me know what you think. It was really fun being creative together & so rewarding to see the end results. :) Thank you soooo much Buck !! :) Your Angel Wings are growing so. :)

Buck also hand-made 82 yeast dinner rolls to go with the Spaghetti dinner I made for the homeless people last weekend. Those rolls were so yummie & the guys in the parks just loved them :), although they normally don't want any more bread. People donate bread, like bologna sandwiches or peanut butter & jelly sandwiches. I have heard so many times already that they love my cooking, because I bring real food, not soup or sandwiches. It's nice to be appreciated. :) I also made their favorite cucumber salad with the sweet & sour cream sauce. I still had a few of Buck's cookies left from last weekend, so some of the people got those too. :)

Jen Y. was going to help me cook, but she hurt her hand coring apples on Friday, so I was on my own cooking the whole meal (for 100 people) on Saturday. :o I was over an hour late getting to the parks & a lot of guys left for their "camps" where they spend the nights. We only fed 27 people on Saturday, but on Monday there were 45. :) They were waiting for me.
:)

Today I called Pima College's Culinary Arts Department to see if some of their students would want to volunteer helping me cook. I am hoping that the students would get credit for the time they'd spend cooking with me. :) I was told to send an email to the college, which I will do this weekend.

It was a pretty quiet week, except for all the new blog design excitement. :)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Tortilla Soup & Asst. Sweet Treats

Another eventful week, but let's start with last weekend.  :)

Armed with 2 huge pot fulls of Tortilla "Stoup" (it's more like stew than soup), plus individual plastic baggies of tortilla chips I put together & a bunch of fresh, still warm sliced French bread I headed to the parks.  On Saturday after feeding 36 people I ran out of soup.  Thank God I had two more, although smaller pots at home for Monday, which I knew would not be enough.  So on Sunday I bought more chicken, more zucchini, chicken broth & cilantro & started to stretch for Monday what I had left.  I had plenty of salsa on hand.  :)   Monday we fed 35 people & the grand total stands now at 1,588.  Drum roll please.  :)

Marzipan Bars from Sugar Pies
Buck from Sugar Pies brought over a variety of sweet treats on Thursday & of course I had to try out one each too.  :)   He made these incredible "Marzipan Bars"  & I am still drooling over those today, just thinking about them.  :)   Buck also made some "Honey Bars" which were just as yummy   :)   & he brought over two containers of Spice Cookies called "Pepparkakor", one container for each day.  :)   What I love best about Buck's sweet treats are that they are not overly sweet & therefore one is able to taste all the ingredients, not just sugar.  And you don't get that sugar overload.  The recipes for all the above special treats are all on Buck's blog. :)   Thank you soooo much Buck for sharing your Love with the homeless people.  :)

You've been reading about Marci, my incredible cooking helper every weekend.  :)   She called me a few days ago to let me know that she fell & had dislocated her elbow.  :o   Her arm is in a sling now & she won't be able to help cook for a while.  Both of us were quite sad, as we are a really great team in the kitchen.  We always did this dance of cooking together.  :)   Please everyone pray for Marci to heal quickly, as she is going to college herself & also taking care of two exchange-students from China.  She has a full schedule.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Ground Beef & Rice Burritos & Pin Wheel Cookies

Some organization had a big cook-out of hot dogs, hamburgers & chicken for the homeless at the DeAnza Park last Monday, Labor Day, so we only fed about three people there that day.  Since I had lots of the rice dish left over I made burritos with the rice, went back on Wednesday & ended up feeding 107 people altogether during the three days.  :o   The total fed so far is 1,517 now.  :o

After helping me cook three huge boxes of rice for hours, my dear "helping hands" Marci brought her two students fresh from China to Santa Rita Park last Saturday, to show both what Americans do to help each other.  Both young men ate with us & looked like they enjoyed the rice.  :)   They weren't interested in the beans though, which are foreign to them.  :)   It was really nice to have these two young people with us !!  :)

Jennifer R. cooked the big batch of beans & also donated a bunch of chopped up jalapenos to go with the rice dish.  Thank you Jennifer, you are great !!  :)

Buck baked some wonderful tasting Pin Wheel Cookies last weekend as the sweet treat for the people in the parks.  With lots of Love he had put them in two containers, one for each day.  And he also baked his Mom's Pound Cake with Lemon Frosting (yummmm) as a treat for Marci & I.   Buck is the sweetest man I know !!  :)  Thank you soooo much Buck Dear !!  :)  

Speaking of Buck's cookies......... When Carlos & I first set up the back of my SUV each week with the food it always takes us a few minutes to get our flow going to serve it smoothly.  Well, this past weekend I forgot to give some of the homeless their cookies along with their food.  So I got asked a few times "where's my cookie ??"   :)   I got a big laugh out of that one.  :)   Buck, you are spoiling the people in the parks with your sweet treats of Love.  :)

I met Bill, the man who called me last week, at DeAnza Park last Saturday & he realized that I am not a crook. Bill decided to meet me at CostCo in a week or so to buy some of the food that I will need for that weekends meals.  :)  

This is a shout-out to anyone who has a large (14 cup) Food Processor they would be open to donating to this cause.  Marci & I are constantly chopping food to get the meals done & since we are cooking such huge quantities a large one would be really helpful.  :)   It would make things a bit easier & quicker for us. 

Shane & Nicole H. from Sierra Vista saw the report about Feeding the Homeless on Channel 4 News last week & sent a wonderful donation to help out.  It will feed the people for about 1 1/2 weeks.  :)  Thank you both, you made me cry tears of joy.  :)  Thank you also for your beautiful & thoughtful card !! 

Thank you Jen Y. for meeting Carlos & I at the DeAnza Park & for your kind donation !!  It was really fun to meet you !!  :)   Hope to see you again & maybe you can eat with us at the park one day.  I am making my famous Tortilla Soup this weekend.  ;)

Mary Helen, thank you once more for your on-going & caring donations to help out with the food costs. You are my biggest fan & I Love you so !!   :)  

Many Blessings to all of you for opening your Hearts to this cause.  I pray that some day we won't have any more homeless people in this world !!  :)

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Potato Salad with Ham & Double Frosting Brownies

Time to catch up on this & last weeks happenings before another weekend comes & goes & a very busy & great two weeks it has been.  :)

This Monday Emily Guggenmos from Channel 4 News (NBC) came to the parks to report a segment on me & on Feeding the Homeless for their series called "Making A Difference".  It showed on the 4:00 PM News on Tuesday & then again on the morning news the next day.  Emily did a wonderful job, even though I was really nervous to be standing in front of a news camera.  :)   Thank you Emily for being patient with me !!  :)

If you would like to watch the report, here is the link to click on:


 http://www.KVOA.com/news/tucson-woman-making-a-difference-for-the-hungry/

I received a number of calls & a few donations so far from the news report.  Thank you Lupita for your call shortly after the story aired & your very kind donation !!  :)   My friend Denise was at my house when you called & after you & I hung up, she was so excited & said "I am soooooooooo glad I was here to see this".  It was a very precious moment.  I even received a call from a former customer from my Rainbow Moods days of many years ago.  How fun !!  :)

And thank you Steve of Royal Automotive for your donation after you saw the News !!  :)  You are very much appreciated for your caring.  I would like to ask everyone to support Steve, especially the women.  He is very, very honest & will repair your vehicle without taking advantage of anyone.  Here is the link to his garage   http://royalautomotiveservice.com/   & his phone number is 628-1885.  I have been taking my vehicle to Steve for years & I was referred to him by another woman. 

Here is a funny story to share with you.  :)   On Wednesday I received a call from an older man who wanted to know how he could help out.  I mentioned to him that donating food is great & so would a monetary donation be, which is easier for me, because then I can buy the foods I need for the coming weekends feeding.  I don't have much room to store lots of food, since I do this out of my home.  He said that "a donation would be fine, but there are so many crooks out there", so he "wants to meet me to make sure that I am not a "crook".  :)  He will be coming to the park this Saturday.  If you look at the TV news report you will see that the hungry homeless people are lined up behind my car to get fed.  You also see me handing out plates of food & then you see the people eating in the park, many sitting on the ground.  So I got a big chuckle out of being told that I might be a crook.   :)   I look forward to meeting this man tomorrow.  :)  

Now to track back to last weekend.  We fed 39 people on Saturday & 55 on Monday for a total of 94 altogether.  That is the most I ever fed in one weekend.  At one point I got really panicky because I realized that I didn't have enough food for everyone.  I normally fed around 70 people each weekend.  So this is growing bigger as we go along & I am preparing to cook extra for this coming weekend.  So far the grand total fed is 1,410 people.  :)  Wow !!  

I was so glad that Jennifer R. came both days to help Carlos & I dish out the food.  She also brought a dish of chopped jalapenos for everyone to add to the potato salad with lots of chunks of ham in it that Marci & I made together.  I also got creative & put together 10 lbs. of chopped tomatoes & a huge can of corn with a lemon-olive-oil dressing.  The jalapenos mixed great in that too.  :)  Jennifer is planning on joining us whenever her jobs allows.  I really enjoy her, she is a lot of fun to be around.  :)   She is definitely a Blessing. 

And so is Buck from  http://www.sugarpiesfood.com/  who made two huge sheets of Double Fudge Brownies with Praline Frosting, which were a huge success, as usual.  :)  Please take a peek at Buck's blog for some really incredible recipes & fun pointers.  Buck has been such a positive support of Feeding the Homeless & I know that I always can count on him to donate sweet treats for the people in the parks.  His treats are just soooooooooooo good !!  :)   I like to nibble on one each time too.  :)  The Brownie recipe is on his blog if you got the craving after reading this.  :)

I would like to shout out a great big Thank You to Irina for donating a brand-new SaladShooter to the cause !!  :)   It was so helpful in chopping the 36 eggs & 2 big jars of pickles for the potato salad last weekend.  :) 

And I would like to send my Gratitude to Rachel R. for her thoughtful donation to help out with the increasing cost of the utilities from all the cooking. 

Also to the dear lady with the three children at DeAnza Park last weekend, who told me she read about me in the Tucson Weekly & then squeezed a donation into my hand.  I wish I had your name & email address, so I could thank you in that way. 

Thank you also Steve R. for your second donation & for keeping your word on continuing to help out. :)

Thank you goes to Gary Mc.... for also helping out & your really dear words & your card was very pretty.  :)   If you are reading this, please send me your email address. 

Liz G., thank you so much for your check & your caring !!  :) 

Thank you everyone for helping to make this possible & for opening your Hearts to the people in the parks who at least spend two less days being hungry.  They are so grateful to you all for the wholesome & nurturing food we together are able to give them.  Maybe as time goes we can add another day & another day after that.  It is in God's hands. 

Not too long ago there lived a Lakota Holy Man & Spiritual Leader by the name of Fools Crow who performed many Miracles & healed many people during his time long on earth.  He always called himself a "Hollow Little Bone" for Creator to work through.  He used to say that it was his job to keep his Hollow Little Bone clean, so Creator could use him each & every day.  He had this exercise he did cleaning himself out each morning, taking out the bad & filling himself with the good.  :)

All of us are Hollow Little Bones helping together to make this Feeding the Homeless project possible.  Thank you soooo much each & everyone of you !!  :)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Schedule of Feedings in the Parks

I just love it when things ripple out.  :)  

Mara from Peaceful Spirit told me today that her daughter Tara's U.S. Government Class teacher at the Catalina Foothills High School read my story from the Tucson Weekly "Meals in the Park" to the class this week.  I need to talk with Tara still to see what the teachers purpose was in using my story.  How exciting is this though ??  It is wonderful & so important that we teach our kids early on to help others in need & to make a difference in others lives.  :)

Buck, those 70 Honey Spice Cookies you baked & brought over were incredible !!  :)   The combination of the sugar, salt & molasses was so perfectly balanced & I ended up with none left, as I fed exactly 70 people this past weekend.  I got to try one cookie though, since someone didn't want one, probably a diabetic person.  And again, many of the people ate their cookie first, just like last week's muffins.  Thank you for your kind dedication to this cause !!  :)  I Love You !!

Carlos & I went over to the DeAnza Park again both on Saturday & again on Monday.  We found lots of homeless people there & I will continue to go there too now every time, as long as I have food left.  :)   

If you read the early entries in this blog you will remember that Feeding The Homeless for me began with a homeless Navajo man who came to my door in early January of this year.  He wanted to call his sister up on the Reservation.  I also blogged then that I tried to find him the next weekend to give him food, but never did find him & still hadn't until now.  Well, Darryl showed up on Monday at the DeAnza Park & I was quite surprised to see him.  I was able to tell him that all of this began seven months ago because of him. 

Thank You Laurel for another monthly check for water for the people in the parks !!  :)  Your love is spreading all over Tucson !!   :)

Thank You also to Mike (m&M) for donating a case of water & some plastic cutlery, which I use a lot of every week, especially the spoons & folks (not knives).  :)  I am very grateful for your thoughtfulness !!

I received the dearest & very touching email from Jennifer R. a couple of days ago.  She wants to help cook & is planning on donating fresh vegetables that her & her house mates grow themselves in their backyard, as soon as they are ripe.  :)   Jennifer is also volunteering to provide some healthcare to the Homeless, if or when needed.  She is a nurse.  Isn't that awesome ??!!  :)   Again, things are rippling out !!  :)

Jennifer also suggested that I blog about what days I cook & might need help & what days & times I go to the parks, so people can find me there.  Here it goes:

When I make food that needs to be served cold, like potato salads, pasta salads, or Gazpacho soup, I need to cook on Friday, so it can chill over night.  If meals are served hot, then I cook on Saturday afternoon, so I can take the food while it is still hot.  Right now in the summer I make a lot of cold salads with meats in them or tuna, etc.

Normally I arrive at the Santa Rita Park on the corner of 22nd Street & 3rd Ave. on Saturdays & Mondays around 5:15 PM.  Depending on how many people I feed I am there anywhere between 15 - 30 minutes. 

From there I go to the Santa Rosa Park, which is off 22nd Street & 10th Ave., north of the intersection on 10th Ave.  I am there not very long, as there are just a few people to feed.

After that I head over to DeAnza Park, which is on the southeast corner of Speedway & Stone & arrive there around 6:00 PM.  There, Carlos & I sit & eat after everyone is fed & most of the food is gone. 

These are just guidelines & are not cast in stone.  It always depends on how many people are at each park & how long it takes to feed everyone.  :)

I won't be in the parks this coming weekend.  I am going to the White Mountain Apache Reservation to participate in a traditional Puberty Ceremony there.  :)   I am really jazzed already about it all !!  :)

Bye for now !!  :)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

American Goulash, Beans, Corn & Sugar Donut Muffins

Time is sure flying by. I can't believe another week has past already & it is time to catch you all up again on all the happenings.  :)

Buck from "Sugar Pies" brought over 35 Sugar Donut Muffins last week (thank you so very much Buck) & at the end of Saturday I only had 3 left.  I gave those to a special family in the Park on Monday, who weren't there on Saturday & didn't get any then.  The muffins were soooo good & the homeless people loved them so much !!  :)  I saw some of them eat the muffins first, before even eating their meals.  :)  And a big meal we had this time, thanks to more donations that come in !!   

Marci, my wonderful new helper, helped me cook American Goulash last Saturday & we had beans & corn with bacon in it to go along.  Also I had left-over cucumbers in that yummy sauce, German tomato salad (about 10 lbs. of it), & to top it all off there was some really great fresh Italian Pugliese bread.  Carlos & I had quite some time dishing it all out, but eventually we developed a good rhythm. 

There was food left on Monday after we had fed everyone in the two Parks, so we went to a third Park on Speedway & Stone for the first time & fed another slew of people there.  :)   It started getting dark already as people were lining up for food.  Many hungry people there too.  :o

Altogether we fed 67 people during this past weekend & a total of 1,246 people in less than 7 months.  :)   It is really fun for me to see that number grow every week, it feeds my Spirit. 

Thank you Marci for being such an incredible helper & for knowing what to do in the kitchen to get things done !!  It was really fun to whip up this huge meal with you & all the laughs were great too !!  I soooo appreciate you & my right wrist & arm feel a little better too.  I'm looking forward to cooking with you again this Friday.  :)  

A lot of THANKS also goes to my special 82 year young friend Katherine K. for your donation check for food, you are so appreciated & I Love You Dearest !!  :)  

Rachel & Mike thank you once more for another donation, you have become a constant supporter in this adventure of feeding the homeless & I thank you with all my heart for your steadfastness !!  :)  I Love You two lots & am glad that we are connected from the Heart. 

Thank yous also go out to Kathy for your wonderful donation, you really surprised me with your generous check !!   :)    And also to Barb for helping out with your kind donation !!  :)   

Due to everyones help I was able to stock up on some food that was on sale, like Safeway had lean ground beef for $1.29 per lb. & I now have about 17 lbs. in the freezer.  I was also able to get a whole bunch of Kraft mayonnaise at Food City for 99 cents & some for $1.49 each for a big jar, which is at least half-price or better.  Since I am making a lot of cold pasta or potato salads these days, the mayonnaise will be used up quickly & the price was just a perfect deal.  It is nice to have a little bit of a financial reserve, so I can stock up on these bargains when they become available. 

Thank you each & everyone of you & may you be Blessed Always & in All Ways !!   :)

More to come next week.  :)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Potato Salad with Chunks of Ham, Creamy Cucumber Salad

This has been another most exciting week, so where do I begin to share it with you ?? :)

Many of the following happenings are the results of the heartfelt story Mari Herreras wrote for the Tucson Weekly.

Thank you so much Steve for sending the donation check you promised in your email & the same to Blanche, the dear lady who found me in the park serving food while she walked her cute lil' puppie !! Thank you dear Blanche !! It is always incredible when people keep their word & really come through !! :) Both of you are very, very appreciated & together you are providing the meals for two weekends. :)

I received many emails from kind people offering their helping hands, wanting to help cook & serve & it looks like I am making some new friends through this. :)

Debby, the massage therapist, & I finally connected, she left a most touching message on my machine. She will start massaging my wrists & arms for free next week to help them heal & get stronger, so I can chop & stir & blog easier again. :) I can't wait to meet you in person Debby. :)

Buck is another incredible human being I connected with through Mari's story. He has his own blog called "Sugar Pies" & shares a wonderful recipe each week. Please look up Buck's blog on Google, his skills are amazing. :) Buck has heard my prayer about wanting to take sweet treats along with the meals to the homeless. He is going to donate the first goodies for this weekend & these are all treats that he made himself for the homeless. Buck had been helping the homeless before, while nursing & living in South Carolina. His Heart is wide open & beautiful. :)

Thank you Buck also for adding my story to your blog & for adding your own kind comments to it !! :)

Buck, the homeless loved the cucumbers you gave me the recipe for & so did I. The juice from the ingredients & the cucumbers mixed so well with the potato salad & made everything much juicier & a little bit sweet. It was great even without the onion. ;) Although I added onion powder. :)

Of course there were people that saw the story in the Tucson Weekly & had their own agendas of trying to exploit the situation. Oh well !! Life happens in all sorts of different ways & I had lots of experiences like that throughout my years of having my own business. I see them coming now from miles away.

Thank you dearest Vicky & my dear Mary Helen for your donations once more !! :) My gratitude is big & I am sending many good thoughts your way. May all that you share so freely always return to you in many, many wonderful ways !! :)

A big thank you also goes to Carlos for helping me by chopping a seemingly unending amount of 36 eggs, many pickles, cutting up a 10 lb. ham, & for stirring it all up so well, so well so that a very strong plastic stirring spoon broke. :) I love watching you stir things, you do it so eloquently with one spoon. :) I can only do it with two.

Thank you Merri for chopping a jar of pickles for the potato salad.

Katie, the cooler you donated is coming in very handy to be able to take more water to the parks. Thank you for your continued thoughtfulness & your caring !! :)

Maureen, thanks to you & all the cookies you donated I was able to take treats on Monday & Tuesday along with the food to the homeless. :) And I still have some cookies left for whenever I need some treats next.

Yes, I went three times this week to the parks. I had food left over from Saturday & Monday, so I went back on Tuesday & fed some more people. :)
We are inching towards having fed 1,200 people in 6 1/2 months. :o
That number amazes me. :)

Right now there are less people in the parks than previously & I think it is because it so hot in Tucson these days. We have been & still are in the triple digits. Some of the homeless might be staying in areas of Arizona where it is cooler during these summer months. Since it is my first year of doing this, I am still learning the trends & the ropes.

Emily Guggenmos from Ch4 NBC News called & she will come to the park at the end of this month to do a story on my feeding the homeless for their news series called "Making A Difference". All the exposure hopefully will help me to continue to get the donations necessary to keep feeding everyone in the parks. I don't want fame from this, I just need the exposure to get the support of everyone who is inclined to help out to keep this going as long as I physically can do it. I will be 67 at the end of next month & at times my body lets me know my age. :) But my Spirit is young & I soooo enjoy doing this !! :)  

Aging has its own set of lessons, but to me the gifts of earned wisdom totally outweigh the hurdles of the aging body.  :)   As I get older I get happier & more contend & things that used to be so important aren't important anymore.  It's like a trade-off, although a really good trade-off !!  I wouldn't want to be a single day younger.  Yes I would like to have a body that is much is more agile, but I love my life the way it is & all the wisdom that comes with it.  :)

My next prayer is to be able to take fresh fruit & fresh vegetables along with the meals each time I go. It was great to be able to take the cucumbers last weekend & the homeless all were really excited about the new addition to the meals. :)

This brings another very exciting weekly report to an end. Life is wonderful & filled with so many magical moments each day. :)
Again thank you each & everyone of you who is helping to make this possible !! :)

It is an incredible experience when people pull together to make a difference in other people's lives & with an open & loving Heart !! :)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Address & Information for Donations and/or Helping Hands

The the response to the article in the Tucson Weekly called "Meals in the Park" is just amazing. :) Many wonderful people have asked for my address to send donations to & some are wanting to help with the work part. :) This will make everything much easier for me, as the fund raising part of this endeavor is very time consuming for me. And I always need help with the chopping, peeling, slicing, cooking, etc.

Here is the information for donations or any other helping hands:

L. Karin Elliott
3364 E. Popinac Loop
Tucson, AZ 85716
520-326-2236 (Noon to 10 P.M.)
email: LKarinElliott@aol.com

I am not set up for charge cards, as this is not a business, just gifts from the heart for people in need.

Also, I received an email from the Newsroom of our local Channel 4 (NBC). They would like to come to the park & do a live report for the news on this. Wow !! :)

I am trying to integrate back into Tucson, which is not so easy after being on the Hopi Reservation for almost 3 days. The life there is much slower & peaceful than in the city. And the Kachina Ceremonies are always mind altering in a wonderful way.

Irina donated 6 large pizzas today & together we then took them to fed a bunch of homeless people in the two parks. We tried to make up a little bit for my not bringing any food this past weekend for the first time because of my being out of town. They all LOVED the pizza, it was a huge TREAT for everyone. :) Thank you sweet Irina for your generosity & kindness !! :) You are so precious to me, dear Sister of my Heart !!

While delivering the pizzas a woman & her cute lil' dog walked up to me & said that she recognized me from the article in the Tucson Weekly & could she have my address, she wants to send a donation check to help out. :) It is incredible how it all ripples out & gets bigger & more fun. The MIRACLES are just amazing !! :) And all of you are amazing too with your loving kindness in supporting me with this !! :)

A great big "Thank You" also goes to my dearest friend Laurel in Oregon for sending another check this month for food, in addition to her buying all the water for the homeless each month !!  Laurel, you are an Angel !!   :)

It is 4:00 in the morning & I need to get some sleep now. Good Night to you all & may you sleep with the Angels !! :)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Tucson Weekly "Meals in the Park" Article

ah pek

If you click on the link right above here (ah pek) you will be able to read the story written in the "Tucson Weekly" newspaper about my feeding the homeless. :) It is called "Meals in the Park".

Chicken & Zucchini Alfredo Pasta Salad

Another week & more excitement to share !! :)

Today the "Tucson Weekly" newspaper published the wonderful story Mari Herreras wrote about my feeding the homeless called "Meals in the Park". It is lovely & I wish you could read it. I just don't know yet how to attach links to this blog. The article went out to many of you via email & some I mailed using "snail mail". Of course I don't like the photo of myself, but isn't that normal ?? Aren't we always critical of the photos of ourselves ??!! Thank you Will Ferguson for taking the picture, you did a great job !! :) This is not a reflection of your talent, it is just me being self-critical & human, I guess. :) I am hoping that the story will generate donations for more food & maybe even the treat of a cookie once in a while. :) As of this Monday together we all have fed 1,100 homeless people. :) How incredible is that number ??!!

Thank you so very, very much Mari for putting your Heart into my story !! :) I hope that you & Will will come to join us for some of the meals in the Parks at times. We all enjoyed having you there with us & you are always welcome !! :)

A great big Thank You goes to Jean & Leesa in Canyon, Texas, for the huge box of clothes & especially all the T-shirts from Leesa that were donated. The ladies clothes I will either take up to the Reservation or incorporate into the Sixth Annual Native American Christmas Project this year. On Monday I took all those new T-shirts with me for the homeless to go through. They all were gone within 5 minutes, except a few of the smaller (medium) ones. You should have seen the excitement & it impressed me that most everyone only took one shirt, so everyone else could have one too. :) Again, the comradery there is phenomenal.

Thank you also Jean for the check you snuck into the clothes package. :)
You have no idea how much it was needed & how you rescued me. :) I had borrowed from the homeless drinking water fund to be able to feed everyone last weekend. With your generous help I was able to pay the water fund back (which I had planned to do somehow) & I even have homeless food money left over for the next weekends meals. :) I am sending you a great big gratitude hug & I hope that I will meet you someday !! :)

We are having triple digit temperatures still here in Tucson & are waiting for the Monsoons to arrive, so it will cool off a little. I have learned that some of the homeless people "hang-out" inside the Libraries during the day to read & to use the computers there. And it is cool inside. :) A clever way to stay comfortable while reading & learning. :) It amazes me how creative people can be to survive.

This coming weekend I am taking a dear friend from Ohio up to the Hopi Reservation for a Kachina Dance in the village of Hotevilla. Those who know me well know that I was very close to Dan Evehema, who was one of the Hopi Eldest Elders in Hotevilla, who were holding the world together with their prayers. This will be the first weekend in six months that I have not cooked or taken food to the homeless. It will feel strange, but it also will be nice to have a little break from cooking. I'll be cooking for my "Hopi Family" though, but a much smaller amount. :)

Will be back to blogging weekend after this coming one. Bye for now.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Tortilla Soup

A funny thing happened at the Park last Saturday. :) For many months now I have been feeding this Native American man there, but he never really spoke to me. I always saw him sitting & reading a lot, so many times I offered him books that friends had donated. Last weekend he approached me & wanted to know why I feed all these people & why I come back week after week. What is my motive he wanted to know. I told him that this is a gift from my heart to the people there & that I have no reason to do this, other than to make a difference in this world. He proceeded to tell my that the heart is a muscle & that is all it is. It has nothing to do with Love. He kept at me & ended up challenging my Native American spiritual believes. It was all pretty harmless, but it is amazing how a couple of beers can change a persons personality so much !! It was the first time in all these months that I saw him not sober. I always thought that he doesn't drink. Native American people's metabolism doesn't absorb alcohol like our bodies do, so it doesn't take much for them to be intoxicated.

Thank you Becky for bailing me out with your donation for food at the last minute last Friday !! :) Because of your kindness I was able to buy all the salsa that went into the tortilla soup. You are wonderful !! :)

And thank you Rachel Dear, you also bailed me out with your monthly donation last week. Because of you I was able to buy the zucchini that went into the three big pots of soup. I so appreciate what you do every month for the Homeless !! :) And I love the beautiful card with all the purple pansies on it you sent !!

Very much thanks goes also to Laurel-Angel for providing another month of water for our Homeless, especially in this heat. :) It is supposed to be 109 degrees this coming Thursday. :o Today it was 103. Laurel, thank you for your lovely words in your card !!

Mari from the "Tucson Weekly" also chipped into the Food Fund & that really touched me deeply too. Thank you Mari for your caring & for being a part of all this by joining us again while we ate at the Park :) & for writing about this in the "Weekly", which will be in next Thursday's edition on July 22nd. A young man also sat with us & ate, his name is Will & he took the photos of the Homeless & I for Mari's article. Thank you Will, you are very special. :)

It is really difficult most of the time to get enough money together to buy the food & things needed to serve the food on. Sometimes I have to juggle things & borrow from other funds, or even my own bills. I really appreciate everyones help & always send prayers of Gratitude your way !!
Please keep supporting this great cause, so together we can make a small difference in a bunch of people's lives. :)
Good Night now.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Potato Salad with Kielbasa, Fruit Salad

1,022 Homeless people have been fed as of this past Monday, July 5th, in the 5 1/2 months I have been doing this !! :) Wow, this number blows me away.

I would like to thank each & everyone of you once more for helping to make this possible !! :) It is amazing what can be achieved when caring people pull together to make a difference !! :) Thank You All !! :)

Last week I received an email from a woman by the name of Mari who works for the local free newspaper called the "Tucson Weekly". Someone had sent her my blog & suggested that she would do a story on me. She wondered if she could come by to do an interview. Mari came over last Friday to interview & to help peel & cut up a lot of potatoes for the salad I was making for that weekends meals. :) And then on Saturday she came along to help with the meals in the parks. :) Mari even sat at the second park & ate with us there. We all ended talking until about 8 P.M., it was really fun. Mari is such a lovely woman & I am honored to know here. She has a very big & open Heart !! :) Thank you Mari for helping out with the cooking too. This coming Saturday Mari will come to the parks again with me, this time with a photographer to take pictures for her story.
Hopefully the exposure will help to bring in more donations, so I can take lots of fresh fruit & vegetables along every weekend. Right now there is no money for that.

Lizzy also came over last Friday to help with the chopping, peeling & cutting up of things. :) Thank you Lizzy, you helped give my sore wrists a huge break. :) And our little 3 year old Naomi kept all of us entertained. She helped in her own special way. ;)

Delmar (one of my homeless friends), thank you for all the cans of green beans you donated to the cause !! :) Everyone loved them to go along with their potato salad, Kielbasa, fruit salad & chips.

E-Z (aka Carlos, another homeless friend), thank you with all my heart for watching over me at the parks lately & for being there every week now, helping me so very much with dishing out the food & handing out water to everyone !! I very much appreciate your caring help !! :) Keep open your heart, keep smiling, & life will bless you in so many unexpected ways !! :) You'll see !! :)

My friend Katie came over last Sunday with an enourmous bowl of fresh cut-up fruit of watermelon, cantelope & honey-dew melon left over after a political gathering. She also brought over a bunch of huge bags of tortilla chips, some of which I took to the parks last Monday. Thank You Katie, the Homeless loved all the fruit & it was gone pretty quickly, especially in this heat. It was so thoughtful of you to donate all this wonderful food to the cause !! :) This coming weekend I am cooking Tortilla Soup, since you brought over all those tortilla chips, which will work out perfectly. :)

I also wanted to thank Dawn in Massachussetts, for all the clothes she mailed to help. :) You are incredibly kind & you are one of the Blessings in all of this !! The clothes most likely will go to the Native American Christmas Project this year, since it is for women & children. I will go through it & see what I can take to the parks, where there are mostly men though. Dawn is on a limited income & she goes out & buys new clothes to make a difference !! :) What an Angel you are !! :)

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Burritos

Made burritos with rice, chorizo, corn, beans, cheese & salsa for the Homeless this weekend. They are always popular & I've made a lot this time, so it looks like I will be going back to the parks on Monday & maybe even on Tuesday this coming week. :) Yeay !! :)

As of yesterday together we have fed 903 people. :) This number just amazes me. After this coming Monday & Tuesday we will be very close to 1000 people. :o

Thank you Maggie & Brian for donating a lot of the food for next weekends meals & for donating a lot of odds & ends, so to speak !! Three different men got socks each & were really happy to have them. The backpack went to a Tohono O'odham Indian homeless woman, who was excited to have one of her own now. Many of the cloth bags went to the other people in the two parks. And I found two people needing laundry soap who were grateful to receive what you donated. The blanket I will hang onto for now until it gets colder again. I have my ears open for the people who need pillows. Brian's shoes also found some happy feet yesterday. :)

Thank you Mary Helen for another donation for the Homeless Food Fund !! You are soooo appreciated & I soooo appreciate you being a true constant in this wonderful adventure !! :)

Also a great big thank you goes to Mike & Eric for donating books, which are always welcome. :) The novels & "who done it" books are always really popular with the homeless. I take the books with me every week & little by little they all are getting taken.

Thank you dear Vicky for helping with the Food Fund !! :) You are awesome, especially since you are a single Mom of three !! I Love You lots my Spirit Daughter. :)

Yesterday I spoke on the phone with one of the wholesale suppliers of my store. Kathy makes truly inspirational key tags & she suggested that I listen to a song called "Moments" by the group Emerson Drive. She said that it was about a homeless man & that the song makes her cry every time she listens to it. I went onto the Emerson Drive website, listened to the song & ended up crying too. It is so touching & so true for many of the people that live in the parks. It will touch your Hearts too. :)

Thank you also to everyone in the parks for being my friends & for being my protectors when needed, which is not very often. I get an adverse person on an average of about once a month. I feel that I am protected from what I call "Upstairs" & I have a lot of Faith in that. :) Faith is so important in these times we live in & it will help carry us through, along with us all pulling together & helping each other. :) I hope that this blog will inspire you & I pray that it all will ripple out to get bigger & bigger & all over this country.

More in a few days ........................

Monday, June 21, 2010

Potato Salad with Ham

Happy Father's Day to all you wonderful Dad's out there !! :)

More good news to report, which always is fun to do. :)
On 5-8-10 I shared with you about "Big" who lives in this old Cadillac in the parking lot of one of the Parks I go to. I was told last weekend that his family helped him out & he now lives in a very small, air-conditioned place (something like a studio apartment) & is no longer Homeless. :) I was so happy to hear that & to realize that he can now put up his legs & has cool air surrounding him. "Big", if you recall, has Edema & his legs & feet were so swollen that he couldn't fit into any shoes.

Last weekend I fed 58 people & this Saturday another 31. The total fed so far is 850 in 5 months. :) I am going back tomorrow with two pots of potato salad with some really delicious spiral-cut ham chunks & lots of pickles & eggs in it too. That ham is really wonderful, I found it at CostCo & got a good deal on it with a discount coupon they sent out this month. :)

I would like to send a great big Thank You out to Irina for her kind donation to the Homeless Food Fund !! :) It came in the nick of time. I was down to $2.89 when I got your donation & was wondering what am I going to cook from that amount this next weekend. May you always be blessed Irina & may Sundance give you all the Blessings you soooo deserve !! :) I am glad that we are becoming friends !!

Much thanks also goes to T-bird, who donated $8.00 to the gasoline fund, which is also always very much needed. I go through a lot of gas going to the Parks & shopping for the food & now water too. :) It all adds up & it all helps lots. :)

Speaking of water .... the Homeless People are so grateful for the cold water I bring now every time. :) It is very hot & dry here these days & will stay so for quite a while to come. Thank You again dearest Angel Laurel for helping out in that way !! :)

I would like to mention to everyone who reads my Blog, to please feel free & pass it on to everyone you know. :) It would so wonderful to have many people reading it & maybe even give me feed-back, or share their experiences with me. I feel we all are together in this & we need each others support. Makes life so much easier & fun that way. :) I would love to see comments sent to me directly to my Blog. Most of you have sent them to me to my email address. So please "pass this forward". :)
Thank You !!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Water

Today another prayer was answered. :) Thank you Creator & thank you my dearest Laurel !!

Every time I feed the Homeless people I get asked if I have anything to drink & every time this happens it breaks my heart when I have to say "no, it isn't in the budget yet". Right now our temperatures here are between 104 & 109 degrees & the body needs lots of water to sustain itself in this heat.

My dear friend Laurel from Oregon (& Arizona) called this evening & during the conversation she asks me if the Homeless are getting enough water to drink. I shared with her that I couldn't afford it at this point (see my blog from 5-31-10), so my sweet Laurel committed to providing bottled water with each meal every time from now on. :)

Laurel, thank you for your beautiful & caring Heart & for being soooo supportive of this !! :) And thank you for being a "Hollow Little Bone for Creator to work through" (to quote the Lakota Holy Man Fools Crow) by listening to His guidance !! :) I Love You So !!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Christmas in June

"Christmas in June!!!" Mary & Gale of Four Winds Trading Co. wrote on a packing list, which included a huge stack of children's books that came in the mail today & are for me to give to needy & Native American children. :) What a surprise that was & it put a big smile on my face & then tears of joy. :) Mary & Gale helped me out last Christmas too with lots of books for the Native American children & families I made Christmas for the fifth year in a row.

Thank you so very, very much you two Dear Ones !! :) Your surprise really worked. Christmas in June is awesome !! :)

And thank you so much once more my very kind neighbors Dave & Linda for donating most of the food today for this coming weekends meals !! :) I don't know what I would do without you !! It is wonderful that I can always rely on you to be there for this !! :)