Thankful Thursdays

Hello, December! Welcome to festive stress – – decorations, shopping, party-planning, unwanted extra pounds – – it’s no secret that this month is a source of anxiety for many. Allow me to interrupt your stress for just a second to share a bit of exciting news.

As some of you know, Lauren has been hard at work planning and developing her ecommerce business — COLADA JOE®.  Today, she introduces her brand with the launch of her online coffee shop. We are super excited for her, and incredibly proud of her accomplishment. At the risk of sounding biased, her product is delicious. But, I invite you to be the judge of that. Be sure to visit to learn more and place an order. And stay tuned for news about a pop-up shop coming soon near you.

Please remember to take it easy this month and focus on the meaningful. December will fly along with the holidays, so gather, share time…maybe brew a little more stress-less joy this season. 🎄 As they say in the coffee business, “More espresso less depresso.”  ☕️ 😉

For the opportunity to make a dream a reality, we are so thankful.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“Imagine in vibrant, wonderful detail your heart’s desire—a reality only you can envision, an adventure only you can direct.
Then cradle your creation. Caress it. Mold it. Coddle it until it comes to life.
And when your precious treasure grows so grand as to steal your breath away, set it free for all the world to experience. For that is how you live your dreams.”
-Richelle Goodrich

“The starting point of all achievement is desire.”
-N. Hill

“Supporting small businesses is like that first sip of coffee in the morning…so goooood.”


Thankful Thursdays

Wishing you and your families a very happy, healthy and blessed Thanksgiving Day. Enjoy! 

For the opportunity to share this Thankful Thursday post with you, I am grateful.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

For this new morning with its light, Father, we thank Thee.
For rest and shelter of the night, Father, we thank Thee.
For health and food, for love and friends, for everything
Thy goodness sends, Father in heaven, we thank Thee.
-R.W. Emerson

Thankful Thursdays

Last week we were at a Buc-cee’s in Texas (more on that below) when I spotted a t-shirt that read “This close to flippin’ tables like Jesus.” The shirt made reference to Matthew 21:12-13, which tells of Jesus turning tables in the temple area because he was so fed up with the activity going on there. Let me tell you, if Jesus walked among us today, there would be a lot of table-flipping. And I would totally understand. Ugh! Some days I feel like flipping some myself.

We are surrounded by much ugliness and, on top of that, things are tough right now. This year, our Thanksgiving meals may cost around a million dollars and we may want to carpool to our gatherings to save on gas, and…well, a lot of other craziness. But, with the greatest Thankful Thursday of the year fast-approaching, we should focus on what is most important. This time of year, especially, the last thing I want to feel is disappointment and anger. Nope, instead of flipping tables I want to set a table and surround myself with loved ones.

We have one week to set our minds straight, people – – and to remember it’s not about the turkey on the table, but about the turkeys sitting around it. 😄 😉  So, dale, let’s get in the right mindset for Thanksgiving. We’ll work on Christmas next month.

As for this Thursday, for the fact that Jesus was also as human as they come, I am so thankful.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

Buc-ee's, for those of you who have never experienced one, is a road trip wonderland. It’s a chain of giant convenience stores/gas stations born in Texas, where you’ll find anything from the most delicious chopped brisket sandwich to the wackiest of socks. It’s even famous for the cleanest restrooms in America. If you ever see one on your route, I highly recommend a (long) pit stop.

 “Happiness has to do with your mindset, not with outside circumstance.”
-S. Maraboli

Thankful Thursdays

Howdy, y’all! We’re in Texas, spending time with Danny. ‘Nuff said.

What are YOU thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“I will always need my Son, no matter what age I am. My son has made me laugh, made me proud, made me cry, seen me cry, hugged me tight, seen me frail, cheered me up, kept me on my toes, and at times driven me crazy. But my son is a promise that I will have a friend FOREVER!”
-A. Guzaldo

“And she loved a little boy very, very much—even more than she loved herself.”
-Shel Silverstein, The Giving Tree

“If you would have your son to walk honorably through the world, you must not attempt to clear the stones from his path but teach him to walk firmly over them—not insist upon leading him by the hand, but let him learn to go alone.”-
-A. Brontë

Thankful Thursdays

Vota para que te respeten.”  Do you remember that slogan? You must if you were living in Miami in the early 80’s. It was a public service announcement aired by a local Spanish-language television station to ensure that we hyphenated Americans embraced our American civic responsibilities. Vote, in order to be respected.

I did. As soon as I was eligible. My mother would always tell me, “Tienes que ir a votar.” You must go vote. My parents dreaded history repeating itself for them. Voting became their way of playing a part in the preservation of democracy in their new country. Their voice silenced in Cuba would be heard here loud and clear.

Fifty years after my arrival in the U.S.A., I continue to be grateful for the privilege to have my voice heard.

What are your thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“It is easy to take liberty for granted, when you have never had it taken from you.”
-M. Grundler

“Those who stay away from the election think that one vote will do no good. ‘Tis but one step more to think one vote will do no harm.”
-R.W. Emerson

“Elections belong to the people. It’s their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters.”
-Abraham Lincoln

Thankful Thursdays

Good morning, friends and family! Time for a little quiz.

Don’t bother getting a pen and paper… just read… if you can’t
answer them, just keep going.

1. Name the three wealthiest people in the world.
2. Name the last three Heisman trophy winners.
3. Name the last three winners of the Miss America contest.
4. Name five people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer prize.
5. Name the last three Academy Award winners for Best Actor and Actress.

How did you do?

Right. Most of us don’t remember the headliners of yesterday. These are no second-rate achievers. They’re the best in their fields. But the applause dies. Awards tarnish. Achievements are forgotten. Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.

Now here’s another quiz. See how you do on this one:

1. Name three teachers who aided your journey through school.
2. Name three friends who helped you through a difficult time.
3. Name five people who have taught you something worth while.
4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special.
5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.

Easier? Yes. The people who make a difference in your life aren’t the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards. They’re the ones who care.

For the ones in my life who make a difference – – the ones who care for me and about me – – I am so very grateful.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“In a world full of people who couldn’t care less, be someone who couldn’t care more.”
-Author unknown

“The adventure of life is to learn. The purpose of life is to grow. The nature of life is to change. The challenge of life is to overcome. The essence of life is to care. The opportunity of life is to serve. The secret of life is to dare. The spice of life is to befriend. The beauty of life is to give. The joy of life is to love.”
-W.A. Ward

Cheers to the first ones to care for and about me — my parents.

El Soto Restaurant, Madrid, Spain, 1978.

Thankful Thursdays

Last night we had the opportunity to spend time at home with the kids. After dinner, we watched a YouTube video of this beautiful home in this amazing setting, and imagined what it would be like to live in it. As we dissected every inch of the house, we made fun of the fact that our homes combined would probably fit inside one of its wings. You can imagine the price tag.

After much daydreaming and architectural and design discussion, we all agreed that our “real” homes are very nice. That they are great, actually, and that we are blessed. Our home, for instance, may not have double digit bedrooms and bathrooms, queen-size bunk beds, a bowling alley or double pizza ovens but, last night, it had all of us, including Danny who is in town. Last night, our home was furnished with love, laughter and hugs. And the price tag on that, my friends, reads “priceless.”

Never miss the opportunity to gather. For family time, I am eternally grateful.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“When you love what you have, you have everything you need.”

Thankful Thursdays

Can you see God?  Wait, no????…..Yeah, me neither. But, here’s some food for thought for both you and me:

A small boy once approached his older sister with a question about God. “Susie, can anybody ever really see God?” he asked.

Busy with other things, Susie curtly replied: “No, of course
not silly. God is so far up in heaven that nobody can see him.”

Time passed, but his question still lingered so he approached his mom: “Mom, can anybody ever really see God?” “No, not really,” she gently said. “God is a spirit and he dwells in our hearts, but we can never really see Him.”

Somewhat satisfied but still wondering, the youngster went on his way. Not long afterwards, his old grandfather took the little boy on a fishing trip.

They were having a great time together. The sun was beginning to set with unusual splendor and the grandfather stared silently at the exquisite beauty unfolding before them.

On seeing the face of his grandfather reflecting such deep peace and contentment, the little boy thought for a moment and finally spoke hesitatingly:

“Granddad, I–I– wasn’t going to ask anybody else, but I wonder if you can tell me the answer to something I’ve been wondering about a long time. Can anybody – can anybody ever really see God?”.

The old man did not even turn his head. A long moment slipped by before he finally answered. “Son,” he quietly said. “It’s getting so I can’t see anything else.”

Wow. That’s the wisdom of the aged speaking. I don’t want to wait until I’m old (older) to be that wise. May God enlighten me, and you, and help us see Him all around us. For every glimpse of Him I see in this sometimes unkind but beautiful world, I am thankful.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“Wisdom belongs to the aged, and understanding to the old.”
-Job 12:12

“If you don’t find God in the next person you meet, it is a waste of time looking for him further.”
-Mahatma Gandhi

“I sought my soul,
But my soul I could not see.
I sought my God,
But my God eluded me.
I sought my sisters and my brothers,
And here I found all three.”
-W. Blake

My favorite Captiva Island shell, found August 12, 2011


Thankful Thursdays

Be this rock for someone.

A good support system is EVERYTHING. For mine, I am so very grateful.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

“For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.”
-R. Kipling

“The real point is that we all need help somewhere along life’s path whether we think we will or not. And, if you are the one giving and helping, just remember this: no matter what happens later, you will always be secure in the fact knowing that you have remained strong and true to assist those that need your help.”
-C. Pulsifer

“Be strong, be fearless, be beautiful. And believe that anything is possible when you have the right people there to support you.”
-M. Copeland

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, CO, October 8, 2019

Thankful Thursdays

The year I was born, a Category 3 hurricane packing winds of 125 mph made landfall in Cuba and meandered over the island and its coastal waters for 4 days. I was a baby, so all I know about Flora are the stories I’ve been told. Six years later, however, I experienced Camille, and recollect images of its impact when it hit the island as a Cat 3 storm. It later crashed ashore in Mississippi as a devastating Cat 5 and, because of the devastation, its name was retired from the Atlantic Ocean hurricane list after the 1969 season.

In the 1960’s, forecasts were issued only two to three days into the future. Imagine the scrambling to secure some level of safety for you and your family on that short notice. Today, we have ample time to prepare and to ready emergency response teams. On this Thankful Thursday, for that, and for them, I am so grateful. But still, ready or not, there is nothing we can do to weaken the power of these storms. Ian, like Camille, like Andrew, will be stricken from the list of hurricane names, no doubt.

I hope you fared well through Ian. I pray for those devastated by it and those still in this storm’s path.

What are you thankful for today?

Until next Thursday’s post…si Dios quiere.

Tidbit:  The first hurricane warning service was set up in the early 1870s from Cuba with the work of Father Benito Vines, who served as director of the Meteorological Observatory of the Royal College of Belén.

“There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm.”
-W. Cather