Come take a tour, and enjoy some of our many beautiful places.
So many though…will need to revisit soon 🙂
Going through the highways and byways, always a pleasure in our beloved TEXAS.
Come check Texas out. The Riverwalk in San Antonio Texas has miles of trails to walk, bike, skate or run. Many of the hotels on the river, have easy access to the walkways. River taxis also pass by routinely.
Getting hungry? Lots of restaurants of all types, and plenty of variety!
We always love to go to El Mercado, a shopping experience downtown San Antonio. Mi Tierra’s Mexican Restaurant is a favorite to take our family and friends as soon as they arrive at San Antonio International Airport. Mi Tierra’s is open 24 hours, and always have strolling Mariachis ready to sing a song for a small price 🙂 Enjoy!
The coastline is easy to reach. Just included Corpus Christi Texas. We always grab a loaf of bread so we can throw chunks of bread in the air – watch out for the seagulls, they are quick, but it’s so fun to see them swoop in for the bread and allow us to take great pictures!
Until next time, may you be blessed in all your travels, and may all your days be joyous! Yolanda
We recreated our own version of the Christmas event that we remembered our grandparents held every year when we were children.
We initiated this as the First Annual Cousins’ (AKA Younger Generations) Las Posadas (Spanish for “The Inns”) 2015.
This is a picture of the Nativity set on loan from cousin Rachel. Oh such a sweet Baby Jesus. You can see some of the new innovations we conceived were the battery-operated candles we all lit and carried until they were laid around the Holy Family. (Safety and beauty).
An original photo by Yolanda at YKP Global Ventures LLC, in our home where we gathered on 12 Dec 2015.
Historical Notes: Remembering back (we tried to remember) – we used to go from house to house with lit candles in hand. (We had candles because Las Posadas was usually held at night and it was a bit cold in December.) We would go in procession following the young men carrying a pallet with statues of the Holy Family.
For this re-enactment to work, a couple other neighbor families would be enlisted ahead of time to be ready at their doors to open and respond to the request for shelter.
At that point (as we remembered it), the leader would knock on their door and ask for shelter. The neighbor had to say something like “No room in the inn“, and close their door. Oh how awful for the Holy Family. It tugged at little one’s hearts. Yes, I know.
Then on to the next house as we sang songs and followed along, only to hear the knock again, and this time the family says “go away, I’m tired”. (… our emotions and memories are bubbling up in our hearts so many years later…)
Finally we would arrive at the host family’s house and the knock is heard, the question asked, and the happy response “we have a simple cave where the animals rest” and the Holy Family of Joseph and a very pregnant Mary happily accept the offer to spend the night there.
Then the Baby Jesus is born and is placed in his niche of straw.
He is lovingly surrounded by his Mother Mary and foster father Joseph. There are many Angels, the Three Wise Men and sheppards, all in adoration, along with their lambs, goats, donkeys, cows and horses whose breathe is giving the newborn Baby some warmth.
In this Modern-Day Version: We gathered around 3pm on a Saturday afternoon with first cousins, 2nd and 3rd cousins. #PureJoy!!
We pre-positioned my husband Kevin at our master bedroom door to be the first Innkeeper. He opened the door with a big smile but said “No room” and closed the door. Then at the laundry room door, our new daughter-in-law Ashley played her part very well, yawning and saying something like “Go away, I’m tired.”
Finally, we came to the place where Baby Jesus and His Mother and St Joseph were already waiting for us. Ever so sweetly, the children and we adults all placed our lit candles around Him.
A potluck was enjoyed by all, with mmmm good hot Tamales, Aroz con Pollo (chicken and rice) and more, plus tea, water and freshly ground organic coffee with ground chocolate from the newlyweds’ Mitch and Ashley’s honeymoon to Dominican Republic. Desserts included the sweet Reindeer pops from our friend Liz at “Popstickels” (see her FB page) 🙂
Sharing just a bit of our memories and the joy of the Season. May your 2016 be blessed, illuminated with the smiles of many friends and family, #pureJoy, #Gratitude, #Legacy and #Traditions. From #MyhometownSanAntonio to yours!
Juan Vargas, 1795 to 1910, Ancestor, and me “La India”, sixth generation descendant, 19xx-Present.
But before I begin, I offer this. I am a life-long genealogist who sat at my grandfather’s knee and listened to all his stories, heard him play his guitar and sing, and later would read his stories and accounts of his family and their journeys. That amazing grandpa was Santos Salome Lopez, and his son, my father, the awesome Roel Lopez, were my first history teachers by proximity, meaning we lived with my paternal grandparents for the first five years of my life, and after that, always somewhere near, until I went off to high school.
Then there were our visits to my mom’s mother, and her sisters. Actually lots of cousins on both sides and plenty of occasions for fun, games, dancing, singing, seeking, asking, learning, bantering, joking, cooking, making tamales, sewing, dominoes, rollerskating, eating, and even hiding. But one thing came up in those odd moments when someone on my dad’s side would call me “La India“. I always thought it was because my mom braided my hair in pick-tails. Then again, I knew I had that darn cow lick and “widow’s peak” like dad’s mom.
What got me thinking about all this? I am submitting my mother’s ancestor Juan Vargas to the “Handbook of Tejano History Project” under the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), and when I pulled all the notes I have gathered these many years, it got me thinking about those long-ago jabs, almost taunting me by calling me “La India“...the Indian.
It now seems an honor to be recognized for this part of my ancestry. For I am a composite of many DNA strands, and who knows where all the seeds came from to migrate to Texas.
“Here I am Lord”.
Now for Juan Vargas, son of Simon and Maria Jacinta Vargas. He was born January 1, 1795, Oaxaca Mexico, an Aztec Indian, and I am his sixth generation.
Comparing myself to Juan Vargas: In my freshman year I was 14-15 years old. Guess what he was doing? At 14-15 years of age, he joined in service as a soldier under Father Miguel Hidalgo to fight in the Mexican War of Independence (1810)! Later when Father Hidalgo was captured, Juan was also captured. The end result was that he ended up fighting under the person crowned Emperor of Mexico in 1821 – Augustin de Iturbinde. Wow!
During Juan’s military expeditions, he apparently acquired some wealth so that when he came to Texas, he was blessed to purchase a large tract of land in San Antonio. That was in 1830 — six years before the fall of the Alamo.
They have called him Soldier and Alamo Eye Witness, and many call him Defender of the Faith. Being a soldier was part of his military service in Mexico, and then his presence outside the Alamo was later recorded in his interviews in 1910 shortly before his death.
Juan Vargas explained that he volunteered to fight at the Alamo, but they thought he was too old and would not allow him inside. Imagine that – in 1836, he was only 41 years old, and he lived to 115 years old. Wow!
What happened next must have been another one for the records. Juan stood up and faced his new captors. Santa Ana’s troops had taken him and put him into forced servitude to them to clean and to bury the dead. Bless my ancestor, what a man. He must have been a humble man, for all that he did in his life, his death certificate listed his occupation as a grave digger, and in truth, he had done that.
From the newspaper articles and books I have collected, I have read how he gave tips on how to live a long life. He was funny, intelligent, strong, and clear thinking even in his 115th year. Truly amazing.
Part of what was evident was that he saw a need and he took action. Much resentment of Mexicans was caused by the battle at the Alamo. I can only imagine. Still, there was a great need for a place for the Mexicans to gather for worship and prayer. Juan saw this and built a chapel on his property. He named it “Our Lady of Guadalupe”. So many people began coming there that it was soon overflowing. The Claritian priests of San Fernando Cathedral started to come to say mass there. Then when Juan reached 110 years old, he transferred ownership of his little chapel and the property it sat on to the Diocese of San Antonio, for $1.00. That was 14 January 1905. He lived another 5 years to see progress in bringing ministry for his people. Juan passed on to Eternal Life on 19 August 1910.
In 1913 the Bishop of San Antonio (Shaw) gave the chapel and the property to the Redemptorists at nearby St Gerard’s and asked them to minister to the Mexicans on the east side.
In 1914 the Redemptorists moved the chapel a few blocks from the original property and changed its name to Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church.
Of interest, one of Juan and Perfecta Vargas’ children – their daughter Geronima Vargas, lived nearly as long as Juan. She was 113 years (1822-1935) and was later featured in one of the local news articles celebrating Juan Vargas’ legacy.
In January 2005, Monsignor Gilbert Enderle was pastor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, San Antonio Texas, and I had attended mass with a cousin. Afterwards we spoke with him and let him know we were visiting and there for my cousin’s mother’s mass, and that we were Juan Vargas descendants. He asked us to go to the rectory and there he gave us copies of the Redemptorist’s book “Working for Plentiful Redemption: A History of the New Orleans Vice-Province” by Gerald Bass. There is so much history recorded on the works of the Redemptorists and those who worked for the Faith, along side them. What struck me was how they recorded the struggles to establish places of worship for the Mexicans. Chapter 13 goes into great detail on the parish that began well before its establishment because of what Juan Vargas accomplished before his death in 1910.
Here is a beautiful quote from this book, a treasure indeed:
“Thus, the Aztec Indian, Juan Vargas, born in 1796 , laid the foundation for the establishment of a Redemptorist mission to the Spanish-speaking on the east side of San Antonio.” (“Working for Plentiful Redemption: A History of the New Orleans Vice-Province”, page 268, by Gerald Bass)
I leave you now with some references that may help your search. For me, they are my legacy to my sons and their children, and to whom they may wish to share. Blessings and Gratitude, “La India”.
1. “The Alamo Remembered–Tejano Accounts and Perspectives” by Timothy M. Matovina, pages 99-101 “Juan Vargas, San Antonio Light, 3 April 1910”, and a copy of new article from San Antonio Light and Gazette, dated 3 April 1910, “This Man was old when Santa Ana Spilled Blood in Alamo and built Texans’ funeral pyre”.
2. “Working for Plentiful Redemption: A History of the New Orleans Vice-Province” by Gerald Bass, Chapter 13, pages 267-329. “San Antonio II – Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish”.
3. San Antonio Light and Gazette, interview of Juan Vargas, 3 April 1910.
4. San Antonio Express, Story of Juan Vargas, 14 September 1930.
5. “The Alamo Reader-A Study in History” by Todd Handsen, Editor, page 536-538, “3.7.6. Juan Vargas, interview, 1910. San Antonio Light, April 3, 1910, 34, by Louis De Nette.”
6. Juan Vargas, Death Certificate, 19 August 1910, San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas.
7. St Mary’s Cemetery, Juan Vargas memorial, 1795-1910. http://historichouston1836.com/san-antonio-historic-cemeteries/
8. US Census 1900. Juan Vargas.
9. San Antonio Express News, Juan Vargas, September 1980.
10. Mayor Lila Cockrell’s Proclamation of Juan Vargas day, 14 September 1980.
11. Daughters of the Republic of Texas, see Ancestors Index for Juan Vargas and wife Perfecta DeLa Cruz, at www.drtinfo.org/ancestor-v.
THE JOURNEY CONTINUES AND HOW IT LEADS TO THE HOUSTON INTERVIEWS – DIVINE APPOINTMENTS AND PURE JOY.
Back to the beginning. Shortly before my mother’s final journey, I attended a seminar by ALLONE at The Woodlands TX with my little sister on the 25th of February. The next day, we decided to make a side trip to Louisiana to prospect and check out holistic shops…but found little information on such short notice. As we headed back to Texas, we stopped at Spirit Quest in Old Town Spring, Spring TX, to connect with owners Chris and Ginger Pennell for possible interviews at a later date. I also wanted an appointment on the color light therapy bed. It turned out it was too short of notice to get a treatment then but we were excited to see their store’s amazing crystals and to sign up for their Old Town Spring Ghost tour that night. That day was a true Divine Appointment as my little sister found a very special crystal skull that Chris and Ginger had brought from Colorado. He was sitting on a top shelf, sunning himself.
When I asked to hold him, everyone said they saw rainbows, but I saw his head filled with what looked like columns of pink quartz, one of my favorite stones, because it is good for the Heart. We left the store, still talking about the crystal skull, and half way down the street I asked my sister to turn back. I felt I had been given a clear sign. Yes, I brought him back to my sister’s house, and we then went back for the Ghost Tour (www.springghosttourcom)… The next day March 1st, I returned to Spirit Quest to talk with Chris and Ginger, and promised to return with my crystal skull. I took their picture and felt they would miss him.
So much happened with our little mother going into the hospital in late March, then hospice and her passing on the 24th of March. Just before we got the call about mom going into the hospital on the 19th of March, I had made arrangements to go to Austin TX to meet the famous Max Crystal Skull and his keeper JoAnn Parks at Fran Tatu’s Tree of Life Sanctuary. That was cancelled as we began the final goodbyes with our mother, bless her. By this time, my little sister and I had communicated with my new crystal skull and found that he was his own consciousness, and he liked “Parker”. Perhaps he liked the similarity to JoAnn Parks, and as still giving him his own identity as our child. Kevin’s favorite show at the time featured “Parker”, the strong young man mining diamonds in Alaska. So after all the life events for mom were done, my nerves were on end, I took myself to see “Heaven is For Real” at theatre, and then made some calls to ask about doing interviews in Houston.
On the 6th of May, I drove to Houston, and by the next day, 7 May, we were having lunch with Diane Gremmel, famous Houston psychic and medical intuitive, and a wonderful friend to my little sister Helena Abbassi and me. Diane is such a generous soul, she treated us with such love and joy. True joy. When you watch our interview video, you will see what I mean. I loved working with her.
Diane even helped me get a second interview with Autumn Downing, who is in music ministry, and who helped videotape Diane and me there at the Edgar Cayce Houston Association for Research and Enlightenment (ARE) Center, downtown Houston TX. We experienced so much more joy as my sister and I also stayed for Diane’s class at the ARE Center. Parker Crystal Skull became the focus at his first outing with a group. He loved the attention. Autumn is a student of Diane’s and she sang her new song. I want to include it with her interview, so for now, we will let you see her picture holding Parker Crystal Skull…and promise to update soon with her interview.
On the 8th of May, we returned to Spirit Quest with Parker the Crystal Skull to see his “surrogate parents”. We videotaped the color and sound therapy with Reiki by Ginger Pennell, and Parker Crystal Skull added his energy to our therapeutic sessions. Chris and Ginger also told us more of his history – coming from Brazil to Colorado to Texas through them! More Joy and Blessings!
On the 10th, I interviewed Ginger McCord, Houston Astrologer and Indigo Sun Magazine owner, editor and publisher of more than 22 years. We met her at Lucia’s Garden in downtown Houston TX, and my little sister was again the golden link who connected Ginger and me. A happy reunion for Ginger and Helena, and a Divine Appointment for all of us. <iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”//www.youtube.com/embed/HZTqDgNtH2w?list=PLWpJhEgBGve68bEWHmvD-4kEhkxIhYjtl” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe> While we were at Lucia’s Garden, we had tea from the shop next door that is brought over by the owner, and dessert. Joel Miles introduced his Arthur the Crystal Skull to Parker Crystal Skull, and I talked to him about doing an interview next time. Lucia was away, so on my next trip, I hope to connect with Ginger for a follow-up, and with Joel and Lucia for new interviews! Stay tuned!! http://www.youtube.com/embed/HZTqDgNtH2w?list=PLWpJhEgBGve68bEWHmvD-4kEhkxIhYjtl” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen>
What an adventure! My spirit was lifted and all I can do is sing their praises. When we go outside ourselves, we truly are opening ourselves to beauty of divine inspiration.
Now that we have returned from our trips to Houston TX area, Austin TX, Louisiana, Iowa and Illinois, here are our Houston interviews and our story line through pictures and YouTube Interviews. Please enjoy, and let us know your thoughts and impressions. Thank you. Yolanda@musiclovehealing.com.
Dear friends, sharing my passion for music, as in last post, took on a deeper meaning in these last couple months. Here’s my thought: Music Takes Our Soul to Fanciful Places – Even “Knocking on Heaven’s Door.”
Yes, I was excited about bringing Spring into our lives, both metaphorically and atmospherically, but today I see it more as Music bringing us into the spring-time of our lives.
In March, I pursued business leads for new interviews for this blog and our YouTube channel. I travelled to Houston TX and Lake Charles LA. Made contacts and planted seeds for bringing new guests on line soon. I also became a New Member of the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA) and then attended the TSHA meeting in San Antonio TX. I was thrilled by the amazing speakers and historical resources, and I truly meant to share more in another blog because I found a way to tell our family history and preserve it as their lasting legacy.
As I watched the growth in our gardens, and the quick once-a-year blooming of the wisteria, it seemed that everything seemed to be resurrected from their wintry sleep. Then it reminded me of my dear dad who was born in the spring of 1923. We believe in the Resurrection and we know we will see him again.
So here I happily posed with a birthday gift my son gave me. Let’s call it the Traveling metal guitar. My husband Kevin and I had bought it at Farmer’s Market in Rockport TX. I loved it but it was my son Mitch’s birthday, so I gave it to him. He is a drummer and guitarist so thought how appropriate. Now he brought it back. Hence, it may become one of those gifts that travels periodically. Fun. Laughter. Music. Memories.
Then things turned around as they do in life. In March, our beloved mother went to the hospital for the last time, then hospice back at the home where she had been these last several years.
Mom seemed to be in a long slow lingering decline. Her breathing was labored and we cried because we love her. Yet, we all felt blessed to say our farewells and spend time with her. We were also very grateful that a special room had been prepared for her and us to gather round her.
She and dad had always loved their music, and had gifted us with all their love and memories.
Now we brought music for mom. So many of their favorite songs and music flooded our memories.
Glenn Miller’s Big Band Music, Harry James’ “You Made Me Love You”, “Las Mananitas” by Vicente Fernandez, Patsy Cline’s “I Fall to Pieces”, and more. Then were more recent tunes that we had introduced to them – A duet of “Waiting on a Woman” by Brad Paisley and Andy Griffith, “Believe” by Brooks & Dunn. Thank God for YouTube and electronic technologies on our cell phones. What a blessing!
The last song eluded my memory until I remembered. I found it on YouTube and played it – Brad Paisley and Dolly Parton’s “When I Get Where I’m Going.”
Mom seemed to be slipping away with no words, but after that song, she had a few tears and she gently took her last breathe.
We’ll love you forever mom. You and dad are together again, and there’s no more pain or suffering. We could almost hear the hugs and laughter you must have been enjoying. Love eternal and a big family reunion. Until we see you later mom and dad. We’ll love you always. Music takes us places – even to heaven’s door. Amen.
2014 is turning out to be a stimulating year for the Passionate!
In January, we said Farewell to 2013, and toasted in the New Year.
Happy New Year to you, and many more 🙂
(Thanks to Ted Francis who published this Jan 1, 2014 on YouTube. Video By: Carlos Pena https://vimeo.com/user9045087 Category: Travel & Events; License: Standard YouTube License. Please click on Info button at top right for video details.)
February felt the call to see and hear Andrea Bocelli on the special “Love in Portofino”. There was a “cinema trailer” that caught my attention and fascination. It was announcing a special airing for Valentine’s Day. I do so hope you’ll take a couple minutes and view this beautiful video. It is so magnificant. Need I say more? Watch now, then we’ll talk some more! Thank you.
Then as I made a date with my husband for Valentine’s day to see this, I realized that it was a re-post from 2013!
Oh well, it was fabulous every time we listened and watched the YouTube. It was so much fun and boosted my spirit with sublime feelings just to imagine being there in the audience, and then to create excitement for others to have this experience. Andrea Bocelli has the most beautiful tenor voice. I do hope you’ll watch this YouTube to get a glimpse into his talent to stir the soul and heart through the power of his voice and presence. Then, imagine yourself being in the amazingly romantic setting in Italy by the ocean. Woah, it must be incredible.
It’s such a joy to be filled with the music of his voice, the fabulous orchestra and accompanists, and seeing the faces of those sitting in the outdoor fresco by the sea so mesmerized by the performance.
(Thanks to publisher and singer Andrea Bocelli for this great YouTube video. Studio album, Passione. Category: Music. License: Standard YouTube License. Please click on Info button at top right for more video details.)
***Andrea Bocelli DVD, CDs available at our Product Categories page “Music and Movies” aStore or at link: http://www.musiclovehealing.com/music/ ***
Have you ever lived somewhere and longed to return?
During my youth, I lived 80 miles from San Francisco. I remember well the walks to Coyt Tower, the parks and churches, and playing the big organ in church. I can see clearly the Golden Gate bridge and remember driving it to cross the bay to the most beautiful place called Sausalito CA. Driving through the forest there was like being in heaven. It was so cool and so green.
I recently found this old Polaroid photo and posted it on my Pinterest board of places I have been. I recalled flying to Los Angeles CA to see my cousins. It was Apr 1975, and I had just turned 23. My cousin Mary took me to a Pink Floyd concert at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena. I remember being a bit “terrified” because they were searching handbags for drugs. Lots of unfamiliar things going on, but the concert was amazing and I survived joyfully! Then I went on to San Francisco CA. So this one picture brought me back to another time and place, and for this I am grateful and happy. Thank You God!
Do you remember all those places, near and far, short or long visits or stays? As I approach my birthday this month, I reflect back on all the wonderful graces and blessings that my parents gave me and my sisters. Just remembering the life and love we shared brings up a mega surge of Love and Gratitude.
I Thank God for my wonderful parents, grandparents, ancestors, my spouse, my children, my grandchildren, my family and friends. God is an Awesome God. Have you heard that song lately? How I love that song of long ago sung by the Statler Brothers “MY GOD IS AN AWESOME GOD!” AMEN, and Thank You for Gospel Music!
Herein is the joy and inspiration of music that fills the soul with delight. For me, that includes the many facets of life that seem to dance in a procession of interactions – faith, love, joy, family, humanity, integrity, honor, service, gratitude, learning, seeking, legacy, commitment, loyalty, and friendship.
What stirs your soul? Where do your travels take you and what are your most prized memories? Please share your thoughts. Blessings!
What joy to be called to the Dance of Life.
As a child, I was always dancing. I wanted to be a Ballerina. So at every opportunity I had my arms up and moving my legs, twirling and smiling. My father soon determined that I should be captured by his 8mm video camera at every chance. Happy am I that my beloved father did this, for we have a treasure preserved in those 8mm videos that I had transferred to VHS, then recently I rediscovered the old VHS tapes and thought, oh no, we have no VHS player. I gathered the tapes up and sent them with a prayer to a photography company to transfer them to DVD. Happily they arrived back safely to us in a little over a month.
Life seemed to take me away for a while, but when the time came, and it always does in “God’s Perfect Timing”, I was back to dancing by way of a chance meeting – a Divine Appointment, for sure, with the Dancing Parkers (no relation in the familial way, but true friends–they soon became), and I began the Country Line Dancing classes being taught by them. What joy. Then the day came that I met my dancing partner, my Kevin, and as they say, “the rest is history.”
Check out Tom Cassella’s video as he sits at piano and demonstrates music written by student groups by class based on his Cassella’s Flower of Music theory and formula. Please let Tom you “LIKE” and feel free to “SUBSCRIBE” to follow Tom.