Daily Photos – Catch Up!

What happens when I don’t make time to tend to my blog? I have to cram a lot in to catch up! So…..here are a few of my favorites from my Daily Photo Challenge since the last time I posted any of them……since, like mid-June!!! Oh, I’ve written some blog posts since then and I’ve taken many, many more photos since then…..I just haven’t posted any of the Daily Photo Challenge photos on here since then!!!

WHEW! OK, all caught up……hehehe

Ganondagan 2018

I participated in a Bible Study at the Albion First United Methodist Church led by Kae Wilbert on Native American history and the connection with the United Methodist faith….and Christianity in general. It was a fascinating study and Kae did an amazing job presenting the information. We ended the study with a day trip to the Ganondagan Music and Dance Festival in Victor, NY. I was in awe of everything we learned, saw, and participated in during the study and our day at Ganondagan! Visit the Ganondagan web site by clicking here. Please visit the site and at least read the information on the home page, as it will give much better information than I can, here!

Ganondagan State Historic Site, located in Victor, NY is registered as a National Historic Landmark. Here are some photos from the festival:

Historically, the site was the home of many Long Houses – long bark huts that housed entire families of Seneca Indians. When a Native American man married, he would move into his wife’s family long house and, if he was of a different clan, he would become a member of the wife’s clan. It was a strong matriarch society. There is a full size Seneca Bark Long House on the property that depicts the typical living quarters of a Seneca family in the 1600s.

The welcome message and prayer, explained in English and presented in its entirety in the Seneca language:

We were treated to a very entertaining story telling session – complete with the ancient story of why dogs sniff each other’s butts – by the wonderful Story Teller, Tonia Loran:

And, then there were songs and dances! This was just amazing!!!! The performers of the Iroquois Social Dancing were Bill Crouse and the Allegany River Indian Dancers – most of whom were Bill Crouse’s daughters, grandchildren, and son-in-laws. I absolutely LOVED this part!!!

This 4-year-old (on the right) was incredible…..and so cute!!! He took is participation very seriously and was so good – he also looked like he absolutely loved doing it!

In addition to singing and dancing, they explained the meaning and purpose of their various clothing and regalia.

This dance was performed by the youngest and the oldest in the group!

And…..there was food!!! Attendees could choose from Indian Tacos, Buffalo Burgers, Venison Sausage, Bear Sausage, Corn Soup, and some more typical festival foods…….I chickened out and had a hot dog!

The property is also home to the Seneca Art and Culture Center that was recently built in 2015.

This one is titled: Mother Earth Waking Up After Winter……it was simply stunning!!! My favorite!

There were also craft booths with some of the most beautiful artistry I’ve ever seen! But, as I was taking a photo of something that caught my eye, I was asked politely to not photograph the artists work. I respected that request and assumed the others likely felt similarly, so no photos of the arts and crafts that were for sale.

This is an annual festival……I highly recommend you go, if you ever get the chance! I just may go again in the future!

Movie Review – Mamma Mia, Here We Go Again!

 A couple weeks ago (yeah, I know – better late than never, right?), my friend, Cathy, and I went to the early bird matinee at Tinseltown to see the much anticipated sequel/prequel to the amazing Mamma Mia! Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again!  The first one was so enjoyable, I’ve seen it…..oh, I don’t know…..a zillion times or so! From the first hint of a second one, I was on the edge of my seat waiting for a release date! We waited and waited and waited and the anticipation built higher and higher…….till, finally, we knew when it was going to be out – July 20th – just in time for Cathy’s birthday! Then, the excitement built even further……I was so afraid that I was building it up so high in my expectations that I was going to be disappointed……that happens – I get so worked up anticipating something I know is going to be amazing and then…..let down!!! Oh, it usually is amazing, but my heightened expectations keep me from just sitting back and enjoying it for what it is – not what I expect it to be! But, not this time…..OMG……it was even BETTER than I expected AND, even better than the first one!!! How is that possible? Well, they added Cher, for one! LOL

So……this is the story, told through the use of ABBA songs, of Sophie – played by Amanda Seyfried – who is continuing on her mother, Donna’s legacy. In the first one, we learn that Donna – played by Meryl Streep – ended up on a remote island in a broken down building that she dreamed of turning into a hotel. Donna was a free spirit who raised Sophie alone……but, there was a twist – Sophie finds out while preparing for her wedding that she has THREE possible “Dads”!!! Now……as we go into the new one, we find Sophie missing her mother, who has passed away, as she prepares to open the newly and beautifully renovated hotel! This sequel/prequel does an awesome job of going back and forth between Sophie’s struggles to open the hotel and the past to tell the story of how Donna got there from graduating from college and going off to explore an island she read about to how she met the three “Dads” and many other interesting characters who became life long friends along her journey! And, though both journeys, viewers are treated to the wonderful music of ABBA!

The cast is STELLAR……..Besides Amanda Seyfried, we have Andy Garcia – Fernando, Lily James – young Donna, Julie Walters – Rosie, Christine Baranski – Tanya……the “Dads”: Pierce Brosnan – Sam, Colin Firth – Harry, and Stellan Skarsgard……..and that only scratches the surface! Then…….the icing on the cake was CHER!!! I am not at all dissing the actors who played the younger versions of all of these characters and the many, many supporting roles……everyone who had any part whatsoever was amazing!!! And, what about Meryl Streep??? I wondered how they could do a sequel without Meryl Streep……well, let’s not have any spoilers, here……I’ll just say that they handled it PERFECTLY!!!!

AND, THE FINALE!!! OMG……BEST FINALE EVER!!!!

This is a fun, entertaining, and joyful movie! One that will leave you singing ABBA songs in your head for days (heck, I’m STILL singing them in my head and out loud as I dance around the house)! Take tissues, though……I sobbed during several scenes!!!

GO SEE IT!!! But…..if you haven’t seen the first one, yet, be sure to stream it and watch it before you go — the whole “three Dads” thing and some other back stories are not explained in the second one, so you may find yourself a bit confused……besides, it is just plain fun to see! I rate this one so far off the scale that I’m not even going to attempt a rating! Just go……I probably don’t have to say that I highly recommend it…….but, I will anyway – I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS MOVIE!!! LOL

Here’s the trailer:

Witnessing History

On Friday, my friend, Cathy, and I made a day trip to Old Fort Niagara – located in Youngstown, NY on the bank of the Niagara River where it meets Lake Ontario. The fort was originally built by the French in 1726 to protect the interests of New France (Canada) in North America. It served various troops during the French and Indian Ware, the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, and the Civil War, as well as various other uses and historic events between wars. It was known as the “Portal to the West”, “Gateway of the Five Nations”, and “Guardhouse of the Great Lakes”. Some of the oldest buildings still in use anywhere along the Great Lakes are located in Fort Niagara.

This weekend, there was a French and Indian War Encampment and Friday was the first day of the three day event. We saw a re-enactment, a military music demonstration, a French Castle, a lighthouse, and various participants in period dress doing the things that would be common place in the days of that war inside the fort.

The particular reenactment we witnessed recreates the historic siege of 1759 when British and New York troops, along with Native American allies, captured Fort Niagara from the French after a 19 day siege. Part of the reenactment includes three major battles over the three days (we saw only one of them) and British Captain Walter Rutherford being escorted into the Fort by French troops – he is there to demand the French – under the leadership of Captain Pierre Pouchot – surrender. I wasn’t clear why he was blindfolded and escorted into the Fort to make his demands, but that is what occurred.

If you’re interested, there will be a War of 1812 Encampment the weekend of July 28-29.

Here are some links that may be of interest to you:

The History of Fort Niagara

The Official Web Site of Fort Niagara

Fort Niagara Wikipedia Page

And….of course, I took photos! I only had my iPhone and the sun made it difficult to see what I was getting in the shots, but they came out pretty good…..considering!

It was a very interesting day……I was happy we went and learned a lot!

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!!!