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 !! :)