Just because….

Just some of the photos I have taken since last posted for the Daily Photo Challenge and other reasons…..

I posted this one with the parade post, but I especially like it — Festival on Courthouse Square

The topic that day was “Where I Work”…..I’m retired, but I do have a successful LulaRoe business!

I met some new friends……

I added all the what-nots around my gardens, yesterday — flamingos, peacocks, stepping stones, and what-not!

That’s all, folks……

I Love A Parade

It’s that time of year when festivals, carnivals, fairs, and……parades will begin to pop up all across the country! This weekend was Albion’s annual Strawberry Festival and Saturday morning was the parade!

The Hitmen stopped to play “How Much Is That Doggie In The Window” to my brother’s dogs! 😀

Orleans County’s Sheriff, Randy Bower

Parade Royalty

Even the library had a Drill Team, promoting their Summer Reading Program

And, of course, there was Santa and Mrs. Claus!!!

And….the grand finale…..our very own Albion Purple Eagles Marching Band!!!

All The Pretty Colors

I love this time of year……all of nature is waking up from their long winter nap and showing off their amazing colors to prove that there is more to the world than just white!!! Yes, there is a rotating flow of color throughout the summer and autumn months, but spring is the first burst of amazing color, so it definitely is my favorite! My yard has been coming alive – some colors have reached their peak and left, already, while others are just coming into their full beauty, and even more are just starting to perk up!

Before we get to the colorful photos, here are a couple Daily Photos that I particularly liked so far in June:

The first topic in June was “round” and it happened to fall on National Donut Day!!!

My Sunday Morning seat……at Albion First Baptist Church

Now – on with the color:

Aaahhh, Spring…..I do love you so!!!

Fun at the Lake…..

What do you do when you have out of state guests visiting and the weather is amazing? You take them to Lake Ontario……multiple times!!!

We went to Point Breeze to have dinner at the Black North Inn on Friday and watched some swans coming in off Lake Ontario and making their way down the Oak Orchard River:

And, then, today, we took a nice drive to Olcott Beach……we had breakfast and then shopped on the boardwalk, enjoyed the view of Lake Ontario, and stopped at the Winery at Marjim Manor for some wine tasting…..

I love to be near the lake…….it makes me happy and calm!

Hidden Valley Animal Adventure

I went to the most amazing animal park with some friends that were visiting from NC this week!!! Hidden Valley Animal Adventure is located in Varysburg, NY – near Attica – and is a wonderful place to spend a few hours! You take a trolley ride through the park and so many super cool animals come right up to the trolley when it stops to beg for treats…..and they get lots of them!!! ❤ There is also a small animal area where you can pet and feed some and others you can see through a barrier. I very much enjoyed ALL the animals we saw, but I particularly loved the camels – what wonderful, gentle giants they are!!! And…..I was amazed that I went all over the mid-west hoping to see Buffalo / Bison up close, but only saw them off in the distance and here right in my own back yard (so to speak), I was not only able to get up close to some, but I was able to FEED them!!! WOW!!!

Here are some of the photos:

Another wonderful adventure in the history books……this one I will surely repeat over and over and over, again!!! LOVED IT!!!!

 

 

Thursday Photos….

Always so much going on…..here are some photos from the last week or so:

Last Saturday, I joined six other local LulaRoe retailers from my team to do a fundraiser for Albion First United Methodist Church. It was fun……we had a lull in the customers coming through, so we went across the street to St. Joe’s and outside the Christ Church to do a photo shoot of us wearing different outfits to post on our group pages against some awesome backdrops….here are some of the shots:

My 2018 landscaping projects are just about done……each year over the past six summers I have done a little more toward my vision for my yard…..this year, I finally finished by adding the last section!!! We still have a few bushes to add that weren’t available the day the bulk of the work was done…..and, of course, there will be annual upkeep and add a little here and there and replace this and that and touch up now and then for all eternity, but it is essentially done!!! Woo Hoo!!!

The last section is along the east fence line and in front of the shed

Two years ago, a friend gave me a red peony tree in honor of my Mom just after she passed. I was so excited to get that thoughtful gift…..but, it did not survive the horribly hot, dry summer and then the winter we had that year! I was so sad……so, I asked my landscapers to find another one for me and they did!!! They put it in last year and this year it has its first bud!

And, yesterday, it popped open!!!!

Mom would have LOVED this!!!

My pink dogwood didn’t have as many blossoms this year as it usually does……maybe because of that ice storm right that happened right when things were starting to bud out!

My crown jewel in my front yard is my weeping Japanese crab apple tree!!!

But, alas…….it doesn’t last long…….the blossoms fell and covered the ground like a snowfall after a hard rain!

And, finally……some of my favorite Daily Photo Challenge photos since the last time I posted some:

These were my very first tap shoes – I was about 4 years old – thought I’d put them to good use, since I’m obviously never going to wear them, again! hahaha I may swap out the succulents cause these are bigger than I thought they’d be in the shoes……but, we’ll see how I like them after looking at them for a few days!

Until next time……..enjoy the season!!!

Lunch, Ghosts, and A Psychic…..

Guess what I did, today……I spent the afternoon with friends having lunch at a haunted asylum with ghosts and a psychic!!! Yep!!!

A friend invited me along to an annual joint county work meeting that was held at Rolling Hills Asylum in East Bethany, NY. Rolling Hills started out as a Poor House and was later an asylum for mentally and physically ill patients. It has been privately owned for some time, now, and is nationally recognized for the paranormal activity within the facility. The current owners hold ghost hunts and other events there – mostly at night. I’m glad I went in the daylight — it was spooky enough as it was……thinking I would be curious about going at night, but likely would not enjoy it – not a fan of being scared! LOL

The event consisted of a brief overview of the history of the property, a guided tour, lunch, a psychic reading (she talked to several in the group about spirits of loved ones around them and then hypnotized a volunteer for past life regression…..very cool), and then we were allowed to wander around on our own to get better photos and a closer look. No ghosts or shadows were sighted while we were there and none of my photos have orbs or shadows in them. BUT……we DID hear “I’m here” twice on a recorder that picks up voices and a set of wands that spirits use to communicate moved to answer questions being asked of them (apparently, there was a spirit that came with someone in the group who wanted to be recognized) and the suit hanging in the morgue moved. Also……when I started to take some photos in the chapel, I saw a tiny white dot float across in front of the lens – but, the photos didn’t capture it. So…..there was some activity around us!

I really did have a great time — it was lots of fun and very interesting…….I especially enjoyed the psychic – she was good and it was an intense experience! I hoped she would pick me, but glad she didn’t – I think I’d like to hear what she has to say privately and am considering booking a session with her.

So……here are some photos from today:

This is the psychic – Ms. Lorna Marie Reynolds (left) and the owner of Rolling Hills

The tour guide told us that some people have felt a hand on their shoulder or the wheels turning (wheel chair moving) when they have sat in this wheel chair and asked for help finding their way. When we wandered around on our own, I sat in it and asked for help, but nothing happened.

This is our tour guide asking the spirits questions and the wands moving in response…..

Our tour guide — everyone who works here is there on a volunteer basis and has ghost hunting experience

The suit that moved…..

Some from the group laid on the table to see if they could feel spirits helping them – I don’t think anyone did

Here is where I saw the “floater” in my camera lens, but it didn’t come out on any of the photos – my friend, Jan on the right side

One of the spookiest things we saw all day……in my opinion!

So…..there you go……if you have an opportunity to tour this place or attend an event there, do it…..just be careful to not allow them to “keep” you!!! hehehe

I Went Lula Diving!

Yes, you read the title correctly……on Monday, May 14th, I went Lula Diving!!! And, oh so much more!!!

So, as a LulaRoe Retailer, we typically order our stock through the warehouse and it is shipped to us via UPS. We order by style and size, but usually have no control over colors and patterns and fabrics! In May, the company turned five years old, so they offered an opportunity for retailers across the country to Shop The Warehouse…..meaning we could travel to either the East Coast or West Coast Distribution Centers (warehouses) and pull our own orders!!! WOW!!! The first round of registrations came and I didn’t sign up…..didn’t think I wanted to spend the money to go to South Caroline (where the East Coast DC is located). But, I was soon sorry I didn’t do it……I started seeing photos and videos of other retailers and local friends who went and they had such a good time and amazing experiences!!! So…..when I got an invitation to the second round, I jumped on it!!! I got my invitation on Wednesday and made all the arrangements and was set to go!!! I flew out Sunday morning, shopped on Monday morning, and flew back later that same day……a drop and run, quickie trip, but I did it!!! And, I am sooooooo glad I did!!! I had a BLAST and it was an experience I’ll never forget and would love to do again, if they ever offer the opportunities again! So……here is how it all went down!

I arrived in Columbia, SC about noon-ish on Sunday. I had a few hours to kill before I could check in at my hotel in Blythewood, SC – about 15 minutes away. So, I decided to go to the zoo! It was HOT – 92 degrees – a huge shock to my Western NY system, so I didn’t stay too long, but loved what I saw! If you ever get a chance to go to the Riverbanks Zoo and Botanical Garden in Columbia, SC, DO IT!!! It is a lovely zoo – not huge, but a nice size and wonderful exhibits and activities!

One of the exhibits is a Kangaroo Walk-about where you get to walk through the Kangaroo enclosure and see then up close and personal! Cool!

I loved the Koala Bears!!!

I have a “thing” for pink flamingos – I just LOVE them!!! I was so excited that I finally got to see some in person!!! They are gorgeous birds – so regal and graceful and the colors are just amazing!!!

So……I left the zoo and checked into my hotel. I cooled off and freshened up and went out to be sure I could find the warehouse – I was going early in the morning and didn’t want to get lost. The warehouse is in Blythewood, SC and a little less than 10 minutes from the hotel. I found it easily and was so excited to see the signs! Of course, it was Sunday evening, so no one was around and I couldn’t get past the signs at the front gate, but it was still a thrill to finally be there!

I found a nice BBQ place right by the hotel for dinner and then settled in for the night. I got up in the morning and got myself ready for my shopping adventure!!!

I was told by others to dress comfortably and be prepared to get dirty! The gloves didn’t last long — I found that I wanted to touch the Lula and that hands are washable……so, they didn’t get used, but the apron was a good choice!!!

The previous round of events had about 50 retailers per hour each day…….the day I went, there were about 66 ALL DAY…….thinking that not many were able to drop and run to make it to the first day of the second round! So, I lucked out! Also – my time slot was 7:00 am, so it was still only about 65 degrees (forecast for that day was 98 degrees), so it was still cool in the tents!!! Since there were so few of us, they let us start a little early and stay longer into the next hour……I think I was in there about an hour and 45 minutes!

Because of safety reasons and because the warehouse couldn’t stop operations for our shopping, they brought the Lula out to a huge tent and replenished it throughout the day. We were told there was about 1/2 million pieces to shop from in gaylords (bins) labeled by style and size! It was an overwhelming experience…..so much to dig through to find what I thought my customers would love!!! I went for quality vs quantity — I had a budget in mind and the plan was to not pick any duplicates and avoid any patterns that I’ve had in my inventory before…..so, I was looking for new, fresh, and different!!! And, it was a success!!! Then, when done shopping, we could choose to either take our bounty with us or have it shipped — I had it shipped because I was flying back! I had a tracking # that night and it was in-transit the next morning and was delivered to my house on Thursday!!!

Some had their pictures taken actually diving in the bins with their legs in the air or sitting in the bins! This 61 year old body was happy just leaning in and hugging an armload of Lula! hahaha

THEN — then we were all done shopping and checked out, we went to a refreshments tent to wait for the next tour of the actual warehouse! WOW — that was so awesome!!! What a thrill…..that place is HUGE!!! And, very efficient — the people were so friendly and happy to see us and the operation was extremely impressive – the technology was amazing!!!

This was our tour guide, Harry……he explained the process from start to finish and was very entertaining!!!

Where the magic happens!!!

The packing and shipping process is incredible……the boxes all have a bar code that includes everything that should be picked and added to that box…..for instance, say a retailer put in an order for 2 large Carly’s, 4 medium Classics, and 10 one size leggings…..the bar code contains that detail. So, then the box is put on these conveyor belts and starts its journey through the stations. Each station is dedicated to a style and size. The box stops at every station and the bar code reader scans it, if there is no product on the bar code that matches that station, the box moves on……when it gets to the station for large Carly’s, it stops and a light comes on that station and a digital display reads “2” – the worker manning that station will pick 2 large Carly’s and hit the button so the box is released to the next station…..the box then, goes on and until it reaches the station for medium Classics…..and so on!!! Amazing!!! This line is the length of a football field and there are (I believe he said) 12 or so of them!!! Very impressive!!!

As I was leaving to head back to the airport, I found this street sign for a back truck entrance!

It was a wonderful trip……so much fun……both days…….amazing experience!!! So glad I did it!!! My return flights were plagued with delays and missed connections – I was supposed to get home about 5:30 and didn’t get here till after 11:30, but I made the best of it and didn’t let it spoil the trip!

Looking forward to my next adventure!!!

Tuesday Thoughts and Images

OK, so, I’ve been a bad blogger……but, I’m writing, today! 😀 Lots going on around here, lately…..the spring weather has everyone out and about and enjoying the great outdoors! I love seeing people out getting their yards spruced up, walking, sitting on porches…..and the motorcycles are out and convertibles are down and life is just amazing! I’m planning to mow my lawn for the second time of the season as soon as the dew dries in the bright sun! Today will be an amazing day to get out and take a spin on the ole Cub Cadet…..my weather app predicts it will actually be “delightful”!

I had the best surprise on Friday! A friend who I haven’t seen in a long time flew into Buffalo and was going to be there a few hours, so called to see if I wanted to meet up for a bite to eat! Um…..YEAH!!! So, I drove in to Buffalo and we had the nicest time catching up!

But……on the way home I was reminded of a pet peeve of mine! I wish they would require ALL drivers to take a refresher course annually on what “Yield” means!!! Whenever I bring this up with others, I get the same response – “it DOESN’T mean STOP!”! Yes, that is true – sort of – but what irks me is the majority of drivers seem to think it means “speed up and force your way in with no regard to the oncoming traffic”!!! Please remember that “Yield” means that you don’t necessarily have to “Stop”, but it DOES mean you have to “yield to the car with the right of way”, which is the oncoming traffic that you are attempting to merge into….so, unfortunately, it does sometimes mean you might need to stop or drive slower until you can safely merge in! Most drivers will be kind enough to let you merge in, but sometimes traffic makes it so that is just not possible OR, yeah, maybe you get some jerk drivers who just won’t let you in…..but, if you hit one or get hit while forcing your way in while merging into oncoming traffic – it will be YOUR fault, not their’s, because THEY have the right of way! OK – soap box safely returned to the closet! On with all things delightful!!! 😀

I got to sit out on my patio a few times this week…..LOVED IT!!! I also finally put out my hummingbird feeders and the trays with peanuts and meal worms…the regular feeders were already out cause they stay out year round. I had planned to put the others out earlier, but it was so VERY windy, that I didn’t think they would last or get many visitors! So, I was sitting on the patio with the intention of finishing the book I was reading, but I ended up doing more bird watching than reading!

By the way……if you’re looking for a good book to read, I highly recommend the one I just finished (yes, I did end up finishing it, but not the day I chose to bird watch, instead). It is called “Before We Were Yours” by Lisa Wingate. It is inspired by a true story and is one of the best books I’ve read in a while!

Everything in my yard is starting to wake up……some are in full bloom and some are just starting to bud out and some are later bloomers, so are still in their winter sleep….for now!

And…..to close out today’s post: Here are some of my favorite Daily Photos since my last post:

Hope you all have a DELIGHTFUL day!!! 😀

Thanks for the pose……

I love it when a great photo just “happens”……no major planning or staging needed…….just snap away and bam – there it is!

That happened, today…….the Daily Photo Topics I chose for today were “A Parking Lot” and “Birds”……I pulled into the Peebles parking lot in Albion cause it was FULL of seagulls……I enjoy taking bird photos, especially seagulls cause they are so funny to watch! Anyway, I pulled right up close to a few at one end of the parking lot, opened my car window, and started snapping some shots. Just as I got started, these two…..who were standing just a few feet away from my car looking right at me – watching me taking the photos……decided to “work” the photo shoot! The one faced the other and started squawking and the other one tried to ignore her (I assume “her” cause, well, she was obviously nagging) until he finally squawked back……they had quite the little argument for the camera and this was the result……the best shot……the moment when he finally decided he’d had enough and without looking her in the eye, just let out a controlled “mind your own business” squawk….to which she just kept right on yelling at him…….love it!!!

 

Movie Review – I Can Only Imagine

Mondays at the matinee are becoming a treasured tradition for my best Adventure Buddy and me…..we don’t go every Monday, but when we find a movie we both want to see, Monday is our chosen day! And we LOVE Tinseltown in Gates – it has the best prices, a great location, and is clean and comfortable! What more can you ask for?

This Monday, we went to see “I Can Only Imagine“. We had been looking forward to seeing this movie – heard lots of friends had been and loved and recommended it! With our recent adventures, this is the first chance we’ve had to go, so we did! All I can say is WOW! What an inspirational story!

I Can Only Imagine is based on the true story of Bart Millard – lead singer of the Christian musical group, Mercy Me. Bart is played brilliantly by J. Michael Finley, who made his screen acting debut in this film – his previous acting credits were on the Broadway stage. Finley did an amazing job of portraying Bart – a young man who left an abusive home life to follow his dream of becoming a singer and song writer. His childhood was tragic – an abusive father who was, in Bart’s words, a monster, a mother who escaped the abuse but left her young son behind, and a sports injury that ended a promising future in football. With all that against him, you’d think young Bart would have chosen a different path for his life. But, he had some amazing positive influences in his life that helped put him on the right path – his grandmother, played by the amazing Cloris Leachman, who supported him and loved him; his Glee Club teacher, played by Priscilla Shirer who took a struggling teen and helped him find his voice; his childhood sweetheart, played by Madeline Carroll, who was his anchor as a child and shared his spirituality; and, finally, the manager of his musical group, played by country music star Trace Adkins, who convinced the group they could be great if they focused on music that came from their heart, instead of the rock and roll they were playing at gigs. All these people believed in him, prayed for him, and gave him roots and a solid foundation to build his life on. And, of course, there was God — despite all the torment and disappointment in his life, Bart still went to church and kept touch with his spirituality. It was through God and His influence on Bart and his father that the popular Christian song, I Can Only Imagine, was born. Bart wrote the song from his heart and with the help of his manager and Amy Grant, his group Mercy Me recorded the song and the rest is history!

I deliberately didn’t mention that Bart’s father – Arthur Millard – was portrayed by Dennis Quaid because I wanted to talk about him separately. I adore Dennis Quaid — such a sweetheart – that smile – those dimples……I was really worried about seeing him in a role as an abusive father! But, he did an incredible job. And, in a final scene, I saw the face of the Dennis Quaid I love, so it was all good!!! 😀

I was also very impressed with Trace Adkins’ performance of Brickell – the manager – I have loved his music for years and his deep voice will melt me instantly whenever i hear it, but seeing him in an acting role was a real treat.

To be honest, I had never heard the song before – or if I had, I don’t remember it. I listened to it on YouTube prior to going to the movie at Cathy’s urging, but I didn’t really listen to it. Now that I’ve seen Bart’s story and heard the song in the context of his life and what the words meant to him, I am sad that I didn’t pay attention to it over the years since it was released. It is an amazing song…..and an amazing story!

I rate this one a solid A+ and highly recommend it! Take extra napkins or tissues in with you…..you’re going to need them!!! It is a truly amazing movie and I am so glad I went to see it!

Lunch, on the other hand, was a bit of a let down. We always go for lunch after the movies – this time we chose the Irish Pub in Spencerport and I had my very first Spiedie – I’ve heard of them, of course, but never had one before. Neither of us were terribly hungry, so we split the sandwich and sweet potato wedges – good thing we did cause I would not have wanted a whole one. The sweet potato wedges were very good – they were seasoned nicely – I wish I was hungrier so I could have eaten more. The sandwich was not bad – don’t get me wrong — I am DEFINITELY NOT knocking the restaurant OR the sandwich…….I’ve just never really been a fan of vinegar based BBQ – I do, however, like to marinade my chicken in Italian dressing, so I was hopeful that I would enjoy the sandwich — like I said, it was good – just not going to be a “go to” sandwich for me…..I’m glad I tried one, but I probably won’t ever have another. So……nothing against the restaurant or the sandwich, if you like Spiedies – that wasn’t the reason for the let down – it is a cute little Irish Pub with Irish music playing – nice! I just, personally, wasn’t as impressed with the area’s famous Spiedie sandwich as I thought I would be – I’ll stick with the other WNY claim to fame – the ever popular Beef on Weck!!! But……I can now say I’ve had a Spiedie!!! There is that!!! 😀

Here is the song video and the movie trailer:

Playing Catch Up

In case you hadn’t noticed…….I love Adventure Season – the months where the weather is cooperative enough to enjoy getting out and doing things and going places! And, I kicked this year’s Adventure Season off with a BANG – two, yes TWO, trips in two weeks! And, I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of both of them! But…..now, I’m so far behind on everything that I find myself in the position of having to play catch up in between all the normal stuff going on! Yes, I did a lot up ahead of time so I wouldn’t be TOO far behind, but you can only do so much! But – I’m not complaining and certainly have no regrets…….I just need to knuckle down and get stuff done!

That is not as easy as it sounds……take yesterday, for example: We are in the middle of a pretty nasty ice storm that was predicted to start yesterday late afternoon or early evening, depending on where you were. I didn’t have anywhere I needed to go, so I decided to just stay home and get some things done! And, I did – stay home, that is…….and, I did get a few things done……but, I also took a lengthy nap and watched 4 or 5 programs I had on my DVR from when I was gone and got distracted with Facebook (although, in my defense, here, I work my business via Facebook, so most of my time online was work related). So, you can see that I am easily distracted……today is Sunday and the icy conditions continue – church services around town (including mine) have been canceled and I have nowhere pressing to worry about getting to……I wonder how much “catch up” will get done…….after all, it is Sunday – the day of rest……

So…..I mentioned TWO trips, but only posted about ONE of them! Let’s fix that right now!

The week after going to Washington DC, my best Adventure Buddy and I and a few more friends went to Lancaster, PA area with the local Busy Buddies and Eastern Star groups on a two day bus tour. The tour included attending the current production at the Sight and Sound Theater in Lancaster – “Jesus”! This is an amazing place – if you’ve never been to one of these theaters and their productions (there is also one in Branson, MO), you really should treat yourself! This is my second time – the first was to see “Moses” a few years ago with another bus tour group – and it was just as fabulous as the first time! The theater alone is amazing, but the production is breathtaking and inspiring and emotional and just…….there are no words!!!

We had lunch going down at the Country Cupboard buffet restaurant and gift shop — love that place! And, we had dinner the first night and lunch the second day at the Amish Experience in Bird-In-Hand, PA – they serve amazing comfort food family style – and we ate WAY too much!!! We also saw another smaller production in an experiential theater at the Amish Experience called “Jacob’s Choice” – the story of a teen-aged Amish boy who is at the age where he must choose to stay in the Amish community or leave for the English world. In an attempt to help his struggle, his grandfather tells him the story of how the Amish were persecuted in their home land and had to flee to America to start new communities. It was very enlightening and emotional. And, of course, there was shopping time! It is a LONG bus ride down, but worth it……

But, here’s the shocker…….I didn’t take any photos – except for the two each day for my Daily Photo Challenge! It wasn’t really a photo focused kind of a trip.

And…..the sad news is that I went ALL winter long without so much as a sniffle or sore throat – no colds, no flu, nothing – and it was a bad season for all of that, but I escaped it……till now! I think I’m starting to get a cold – coughing, nose blowing, wheezing in the chest kinda cold! I probably picked it up on the bus trip – the heater wasn’t working past the first few seats, so it was cold and drafty and we were in extremely close quarters! I hope I can nip it in the bud cause……well……if you read the first couple of paragraphs of this post, I ain’t got no time to be sick!!!

Here are the four photos I took on the trip…..

“Trees growing out of rock”

Something Weird – Things List

“Statue of Liberty in PA”

Someplace Weird – Places List

It is in Dauphin County, PA and has quite a story behind it…….Google it!

“Shopping”

A Stranger – Things List

“Purple Chairs!!!!!”

Someplace Peaceful – Places List

And…..here is my annual photo of the lake that is my back yard every Spring……UGH!!!

So…..thinking I should probably get off here and get dressed and decide what I’m going to do today to put a dent in my “Catch Up” list……cause, tomorrow is not going to be a “Catch Up” day – I have plans to go to the movies and probably lunch and maybe some shopping with a friend……I got my priorities, you know!!!