Thankful Thursday 21 March 2019

I’m feeling better! Although, I still have a cough, but the doctor did say that will last a few weeks even after I’m feeling better. I’m grateful for the better health.

I went back to the library tonight and I had a gift waiting for me. A patron that always comes into the library has some nice bags. I always loved her Grinch bags because I am a Grinch fan, and she always gets a kick out of my comments. Well, she must have had an extra bag because I have my very own Grinch bag now! Next time I see her at the library, I’ll have to thank her. I am very grateful.


What are you grateful for?

New York City Adventures on the Last Day of Winter

Exploring the Big Apple is always an adventure and the last day of winter brought some beautiful weather.
I began my morning with ice skating. I decided to pay for a lesson and I am glad I did because I learned how to skate in circles, change direction, how to prevent myself from falling, and how to stop. Erin was a great instructor and very patient with me. It was a 45 minute lesson, then I had an hour of free-skating. I was really moving on the ice and it was so much fun. I want to share two videos with you:
I did fall once and a nice young lady helped me up, then gave me some other pointers too. I met quite a few nice people on the rink and we all had fun skating. I liked the music they played – oldies and the classics, I found 60s pop and 70s rock was nicer to skate to. It felt more serious than kiddie pop. I felt like the next Nancy Kerrigan. Okay, maybe not, but hopefully one day!  I also loved looking at Prometheus as I glided and spun around. The sun was shining brightly, yet the ice wasn’t melting. The pigeons were also around and I enjoyed feeding them. I love pigeons and always find joy with them.
The session ended at noon and while my stomach was grumbling, I decided that I wanted to explore Rockafeller Plaza some more and take photos. The gardens right near Kate Spade and the other high end stores were gorgeous and fun to explore. There were a lot of photo ops here, but even more photo ops when I walked to 30 Rock, the Rainbow Room, and Radio City Music Hall. I saw a couple of photographers capturing action shots of their friends crossing the street in front of Radio City Music Hall; I asked one of the photographers if she would mind capturing a few photos for me and she did. The action shots were fun and I think in November or December, I might have to catch a show at Radio City… maybe I’ll plan to see the Rockettes. 
Over the winter, I discovered a magazine called Gluten-Free Living at Wegmans and in their spring issue, they published an article about GF eating in NYC. They suggested a place called the Little Beet, which has several restaurants throughout the city. There was a Little Beet restaurant a few blocks away from The Rainbow Row/30 Rock and I decided that I would try it. On my walk, there was a section on the Avenue of America that housed food trucks, and it smelled tempting. However, I know most trucks can’t guarantee GF and I opted to take photos of all the people congregated waiting for their food. 
Apparently, city, restaurant, and subway photography is my specialty! Some call them random shots and maybe they are, but I find these subjects interesting; especially the New York subway system. New York’s MTA and Toronto’s TTC are my favourites. 
Anyway, I found the Little Beet and it was crowded. It took me about twenty minutes to get my food, and the sweet potato chicken bowl I ordered was well worth the wait. It was delicious and 100% guiltin’ free. I love that trademark of their’s (100% guiltin’ free). It also wasn’t expensive, which I appreciated even more. 
After I ate, I walked to the subway and took the B to Brighton Beach. I could have taken the D to Coney Island, but I missed that and Brighton Beach was close to Coney Island. It was an hour ride and I loved looking at the scenery. However, when I arrived to Brighton Beach and waited for the Q to Coney Island, I was amazed with how beautiful Brighton Beach was. The sun shining, the beach in the distance, and the nice homes. My cousin lives in Brooklyn now, so I texted my aunt for his number as I waited for the Q. She replied as I was riding on the Q, but unfortunately, my cousin was at work and couldn’t meet up. We are going to plan for the summer, hopefully.
Coney Island was neat and it looks like a lot of fun. The amusement park was closed and I was tempted to visit the aquarium, but I didn’t want to pay $25 for only a 45 minute tour (I arrived at 2:45, the aquarium closes at 3:30 in the off season, I could easily spend a few hours in an aquarium) and went to the beach. I set up my towel, kicked off my shoes, rolled up my pants, and walked down to the water. I was going to do a polar plunge, but since I am recovered from my acute bronchitis, I only dipped my feet instead. I walked in the water, watched the seagulls, and the few ships sailing. I spent about an hour and a half on the beach, and I loved sitting from the distance to watch people walk their dogs. It was quiet and peaceful.
I also walked the boardwalk and sadly, most things were closed. Nathan’s was also closed, but I was able to take photos. There was a souvenir shop and I found this little glass. I don’t drink anymore, but this was too cute to pass up – I’m going to use it as decoration.
When I spend a few days in Asbury Park over the summer, I want to go back to Coney Island and experience the beach when everything is opened.
I ended my evening at Friedman’s, a deli with many GF options. I love their GF Reuben and ordered that since I don’t eat them often anymore. My mouth was watering and it was well worth the wait. Friedman’s was the perfect way to wrap up my day in NYC.
I added a few photos to my Happiness Box and I am planning on making a scrapbook of the day. I did find a few shells on the beach and unfortunately only one did not break in my purse (that went into my Happiness Box). The two that broke, I’m researching whether or not I can place the broken pieces in a scrapbook. I also found some feathers and might include them too.
I had a great time and it was a great way to say goodbye to Winter 2018-2019. Thank you for reading my stories; I hope that you enjoyed the photos.

Final Sunday of Winterfest 2019 on Film (3 March 2019)

On Thursday, I picked up the film from the final day of the 25th season of Winterfest at the Blue Cross River Rink. You could tell a storm was a brewing on 3 March 2019, a snow storm that didn’t live up it’s hype, however, it did make for some good ice skating!


I absolutely love the River Rink, I always have such a great time and the staff members from Blue Cross are amazing too. I can’t wait to scrapbook these photos. Only two more months until Summerfest!

A Night of Ice Skating | 8 March 2019

Now that the season for outdoor ice skating has come to an end, I transition to indoor ice skating (when money allows) until roller skating in May, for the summer.

Despite the incident I had two years ago where a teenage boy harassed me, I decided to keep going back in 2018 and now this year. I didn’t see him in 2018 and everyone I met through skating have been kind to me.

Well, last night was no different! The photo below is from April 2018, but I ran into this kind young lady last night and she remembered me! She was happy to see me because she hasn’t seen me in a year. She gave me a big hug and said I’m doing great with ice skating! ❤⛸


There are days where I feel like I’m not a great ice skater, but her compliment cheered me up. I said, “Thank you. I still have that photo from last year.” She smiled back and said, “so do I!” I know she’s only a young teenager, but I try to be kind to everyone regardless of their stage in life. Besides, I remember when I was her age, I loved being around adults and was always happy when one of the adults stopped doing what they were doing and paid attention to me. I like to return the favour now that I’m an adult. I hope that doesn’t sound creepy.

Dylan, we chatted for half of the session, he had to leave at 8:30. He was pretty friendly and seemed kind. He was interesting to chat with and we exchanged Instragram usernames to keep in touch. I rather keep in touch that way.



I skated without using the wall as much! I did well and I am proud of myself. I flew and glided, I had so much fun.


Thankful Thursday 7 March 2019

Today is Anna’s 31st birthday! Happy birthday, Anna! I haven’t visited you since your 21st birthday in 2009, and it’s due time for another visit (and I love Greenville, SC). I hope 31 brings you everything you have wished for and more. Thank you for being a friend for the past nineteen years. 🙂

2009 seems like it was so long ago – I’m 19 (4 months shy of 20) in these photos – I look like a baby! Ah, good times! I still keep in touch with Lindsey, the other girl in the photo.

Oh, Anna used to be a professional piercer and worked in a piercing shop. She pierced my cartilage and started my love for piercings. Wow! My ears looked so naked back then!


On Monday, one of my co-workers at my full-time job came back from her two week trip to Mexico. She is first generation American and her grandmother died last year; in Mexican tradition, each year for the first five years after death, living relatives have to travel back to Mexico and spend time with the deceased for a few weeks. It’s almost like Day of the Dead. She surprised me with a beautiful gift, to thank me for my kindness. I was shocked and I placed the beautiful treasure, which both were handmade by local craftsmen, in the makeshift Happiness Box.


Tonight I took photos of my Happiness Box Project display with my DSLR camera; much better photos! For the past week, everyone I work with has complimented my display, my artistic vision, and the project is such a great idea. Even the public has liked it and I am thankful that I have the opportunity to not only display my projects year after year, but I am allowed to showcase my vision. This is the first year for the Happiness Box Project and I do hope it inspires others.


Last night I heard from my Irish cousin and we have shared what’s been happening in our worlds. I am grateful she still keeps in touch and I’m grateful that I’m getting to know my Irish family more. It was wonderful hearing from her last night!

Yesterday, mom dropped me off at the train and dad continues to drop me off in the morning. I am grateful for my parents and all that they do for me. Mom also bought me a GF cake from the flower show on Monday. It was delicious!

What are you grateful for?

A Word As We Move Toward Spring

I have summer SAD and usually get very depressed as the temperatures climb, the days get longer, and I inch towards my birthday. Winter is the opposite and I come alive in the cold, dark days because I can catch up on sleep and enjoy outdoor festivities more so than in the summer. However, this year was an anomaly, or at least I hope it was: I felt depressed and anxious and angry this winter.

I’ll be turning 30 in four months and I’m anxious. There are days where I don’t feel like I have my life together and I want to accomplish things before I turn 35. I want to move to Canada and I get the maximum number of points as an individual under 34. I hate my full-time job, I don’t have a career and some days I feel like I will never get a job around here that will allow me to attempt Canada again and get invited to live in Canada again, also a profession that would guarantee permanent residency.

I’ve been all over the place of trying to find my what’s next. I don’t want to go into medical or insurance, I work in insurance now full-time and it’s not me. I’ve grown tired of people suggesting insurance places because that’s what matches my full-time experience, but I don’t want to continue doing things that make me unhappy. I’ve annoyed my friends and after some thinking, I really don’t know what my next will be. I guess I will have to try everything until something sticks. I have library experience, I have writing experience, tech experience, I have a lot of other experiences other than insurance. I don’t really want to teach English overseas, but honestly, I can’t knock out things if they will get me to point B.

I think successful people have more than plans A,B,C, I think they keep trying until something sticks. Also, patience is a virtue and sometimes time truly is the greatest gift. In due time, everything will make sense.

I’m going to continue to meditate, pray, and work on my Happiness Box. I can’t turn back the clock, but I can continue to keep present and focus on what I have in the here and now.


The Happiness Box Project Display at the Upper Merion Township Library

After two weeks of putting heart and soul, dedication, and hard work into my projects, I put up the display for my Happiness Box Project at the Upper Merion Township Library. I had the right amount of mementos and stories. I’m quite proud of how the display turned out.

When I first put my display up. However, as I was working and really looking at it from a distance, I wanted to change it a little. I wanted to put the spiritual story under the books because the story tells the importance of the books and pictures. I wanted it at eye level. I also moved the Rumi quote above the framed photos because I thought it went better with the spiritual theme.

This week I want to bring my DSLR to work and get better photos… I think I want to start including my photos of all the displays I’ve done into a portfolio. The photo Terry took of me in front of my masterpiece, I’m printing out for my makeshift Happiness Box for March 2019, since I am displaying the box in the display.

I am using an old box that Nan gave me for the makeshift Happiness Box. I used to collect treasures in it and some of the “treasures” are still there, but I relocated them to a junk drawer. The treasure box really works!


Thankful Thursday 28 February 2019

Wow! I can’t believe tomorrow c’est premier Marz, or the First of March, and it’ll be two years since I was invited for permanent residency in Canada (to be turned down seven months later, but still working towards it) and I was attempting to learn some French. Anyway, the week flew by since I was busy working on my display project for the library.

I am thankful for the library giving me permission to use their resources – they did say since I am an employee, I can help myself to whatever I need for the display and I can put the display up during my shift on Saturday. This helps me out a lot and I am thankful. Here is another little teaser for my display:

Mom has been travelling for business this week and I’m thankful for the evenings bonding with dad. Before he went to bed and before I worked on my display project, we would eat dinner and watch TV together. It was peaceful and I’m grateful.

This morning, someone I work with at my full-time job gave me some of her smoothie. The Simply Lemonade brand now has a “Simply Smoothie,” and she couldn’t get over how good it was. She asked if I would like to try some and she gave me half of the bottle. It was delicious and I’m very grateful.

What are you thankful for?