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 !!