Tuesday, November 26, 2019

I'm Still Around...

Just a quick update to say that I'm still around but life has thrown me more curve balls!

I'm trying to deal with things.  I'm trying to work on myself and my stress, anxiety, and depression.  I have taken a step to work on that.  In the last couple of months - DH had a set back from his surgery and battled an infection.  We lost my step-father-in-law.  My mother had 2 surgeries to take care of her skin cancer.  

My sleep issues aren't really getting better which contributes to even more problems.

Having said that...there are some great things happening and things to be grateful for!  They were able to get my mother's skin cancer in ONE LAYER.  She's healing now.

My niece is keeping things interesting and joyful.  I get a kick out of her.  She really IS my world.  I adore her more than words can express.

This group of ladies has been a real comfort in trying times.  My Zontian Sisters!  This is a bunch of us celebrating Zonta International's 100th Birthday.  We received the traveling flag and signed it.

I'm really feeling YOGA calling my name the last several months to a year but I'm having a hell-of-a-time getting back into it.  I'm trying to at least start with 1-minute breathing/meditations.  I'm not sure that has really helped, to be honest.

My pain has returned but I'm convinced it's stress related.

Sorry to be such a Debbie-Downer.

Hopefully, I will be my crazy blogging self again soon!

Friday, October 18, 2019

Oh Deer & Girl Power!

Yet another bump in the road!  This time around - my mini disappearance had to do with health issues for DH and surgery and re-coop and the last couple of days me fighting an awful mutant head cold or sinus issue.  But...I'm back!

Last month, a few of the Zonta Club Members participated in a 5k Run/1k Fun Walk to benefit CASA.  It was their annual Superohero 5K Fundraiser and dressing up was encouraged.  We had special Zonta T-Shirts and our Pres accessorized with Wonder Woman garb.  Super COOL!

Cricket has been stuck to me like glue the last several weeks.  Sometimes I can get the cutest pictures of her while she's on my lap in the evening!

I'm blanking when it comes to where I found these somewhat recently but I knew I had to grab them!  I'm thinking it was either Tops or Wegmans because those are the places I've been the last several weeks.  Maybe Walmart???

Maybe it WAS Walmart because I remember finding THIS at Walmart the last time I went and was pretty shocked to see several items were new there that were also vegan!

I know I grabbed that at Wegman's!  I've had 2 or 3 other NEW Amy's Wraps, too!  LOVING that Amy's is coming out with more new vegan options!

I've still been doing a lot of traveling with my job and I am sure that will keep up.  Another thing I have been doing more of lately is taking video footage for TV news reports.  Last week I grabbed video at a local festival, 2 area football games, a local apartment fire, and more...and they were all featured somehow!

These last two photos were taken from my car window.  YES...I was completely stopped and I normally wouldn't even THINK about grabbing my phone to take a pic in a situation like this BUT I had been sitting there a while because these 3 deer wouldn't move.  They were in the middle of the road and I was lucky enough to see them and could stop BUT once I stopped they didn't move.  Because of the road I was on I knew someone would hit them so after moments of them not moving I laid on the horn and 2 out of the 3 eventually ran in to the woods.  The 3rd slowly followed.  They were all safe...THANK GOD!

OH!  By the way...I slightly changed the look of the blog...what do you think?

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Havana Shakedown Wrap & Votes For Women Festivities

It's been another rough couple of days but I don't really want to talk about the negatives.  I'm really trying to focus on the positives but it's getting harder and harder.

A few weeks ago what I tried to do to 'get out of my funk' was to stop at a vegetarian place in Jamestown that I had not been to in a while.  Years ago I blogged about it.  The place is called The Labyrinth.  The wrap that you see here is what I had for lunch while I was in town for work.  They call it the Havana Shakedown.  It has beans, avocado, seasoned rice, sun seeds, carrots, spinach, tomato, onion, agave, lime, and hot sauce in it.  YUM!

Not too long ago I found these at ALDI.  They were pretty tasty.

Now on to some photos from the Votes For Women Festivities in our area.  In case you haven't seen my other VOTES FOR WOMEN posts...we have been doing a lot of celebrating and will continue to celebrate thru 2020...for the 100 years of Women's Right To Vote.

In this photo (above) you will see a replica of an old poster and clipped to the bottom left a photo of my niece from the rally we had back in June.  The other ladies in our local Suffrage Centennial Committee surprised me with her photo the one day!

We were able to get 3 downtown businesses to let us use their windows to promote a few upcoming events.  A few of my friends Jane and Barb did the decorating!

Here are some pics of those windows!  As you can see they are promoting the event we had on September 10th which was a portrayal of Susan B. Anthony.  More on that shortly.

I couldn't believe all of the replicas and memorabilia they were able to gather and decorate with!  So exciting!  We have lots of other events planned, too, so I will be sure to update you all!

When we did the Susan B. Anthony event on the 10th - we had a Rally prior to the show.  We had many of our committee members attend but also several from the community dress up as well!  The lady in the yellow hat is Karen and the one with the glasses in front/middle is yet another Karen.  They are both League of Women Voters Members (among other organizations).  Phyllis is pictured on the left and also in the photo below.

My friend Jane is pictured on the left with the yellow/white/purple poster.  She was one of the ladies who decorated the windows!  Phyllis is next to her...she's a local gem and involved in SO MUCH!  Annette is next to Phyllis.  All 3 of those ladies are League of Women Voters Members (as am I).  Then on the end is Carol.  Carol - along with Phyllis - are Zonta Club Members (as am I).  I adore these ladies!  They are wonderful!

Here is a snapshot of the crowd prior to the one-woman-show.  It was a wonderful evening and the portrayal was great!  The Historical Society received a grant from our local Zonta Club to pay for the actress to come to town.  

We are hoping to have an Alice Paul portrayal within the next year but we don't have the funding yet.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

More Travels, Animals, Flora, Photos, Food, and Community!

I've probably posted a photo like this already when I mentioned my recent trip to our Audubon but I can't help but re-post this little guy!  This is Lincoln.  Ever since I met him I have been thinking about him.  He's a resident of the Audubon and was a rescue.  At some point I will be stopping by to make a donation specifically for his care.  I adore this guy!  LOOK!  He's even smiling!

One of the other stops I made while traveling for work not too long ago was one of my favorite places in our county.  This is the road to/from Kinzua Wolf Run Marina, Kinzua Dam, Kinzua Beach, Allegheny National Forest/Rim Rock, Jake's Rocks, etc.

I was thrilled with how this photo turned out considering the car was moving at about 55 mph when I took it.  Below you will see two more photos specifically from the Kinzua Beach location.  I will be revisiting Kinzua Beach this Saturday as I volunteer for a Bicycle Event and helping with registration.  My father will be helping with set-up today and the beer tent on Saturday.

But the last time I stopped at Kinzua Beach I was completely alone.  Well, I was the only human...let's put it that way!  It was a nice brain break.  Here is a photo I took while walking down the hill from the parking area.  There is a building behind me, several large parking lots, restrooms, and a few paths.  The grass you see is a small part of a LARGE grassy area where you can walk, sit, have a picnic, etc.  The bridge you see in the front is the bridge that goes over part of Kinzua and is near Kinzua Wolf Run Marina which is somewhat across the street on the other side of the bridge and Kinzua Dam itself - is not too far away.

That day I walked down to the water.  There were several ducks there.  They were not afraid of me in the least.  They actually came up to me and nibbled on my shoes and jeans.  I talked to them for several minutes.  I posted a video a while back on IG.  I was so surprised they came up to me like that but it totally made my day and I will not forget it!

Another brain break I took this past summer was to Bett's Park.  More specifically the Pollination Garden that Penn State Master Gardeners attends to each year.  These next few photos where some of the beautiful flowers I saw while there this year.

I have blogged about the Pollinator Garden before and I think I even did a walk thru video on YouTube a few years back.

Since I am backlogging these photos I must say most of the flowers and plants have since 'expired' for the season because fall is approaching.

And speaking of fall...my indoor/office plants are starting to realize what time of year it is, too!  I've already lost 3 plants and it's bumming me out.  This plant, however, is one of my newer ones.  It's called and Aluminum Plant.

This one is an Elephant Bush Plant.  I fell in LOVE with it but I think it's on its way out, too!  I hope I can save it.

My mother found a few old photos and here is one of them.  It's of my sister and I when we were in our church Kids Choir.  We were 'ewes'.  Oh...to be a kid in the 80s!

Here is a photo from the most recent Bra Shipping Party that our Zonta Club Members did.  If you remember seeing photos like these in the past you might recall we send the bras over to Free The Girls and they go to survivors of trafficking to help them start their own retail business.  Right now there are 3 countries that receive these shipments...Mozambique, Costa Rica, and El Salvador.  In about 9 months we have shipped 2,001 bras to Free The Girls from our rural area.

And now it's time for some vegan food!  Here is one of the items I found from Trader Joe's.  It was yummy and had a nice kick to it.

Right near where I work there is a NY Style Pizza and Deli place and the pizza dough just happens to be vegan.  They will put basically anything you want on a pizza.  I have enjoyed a few of them in the past but recently I decided to re-visit their 'build your own salad' and this is what they made for me.  It was darn hefty and VERY MUCH appreciated!

Greens, Broccoli, Tomato, Avocado, Cucumbers, Onion, Peppers, topped with a nice amount of Hummus, and French-Type Dressing.

Again, one of my side trips while traveling to work - and actually FOR work - I stopped in Kennedy, NY, at the Aber's Acres Produce Stand.  I couldn't pass up these AMAZING Organic Raspberries!

And...Cherry Tomatoes!  A few years ago they got their ORGANIC certification.  It was a 3 year process.  Their stuff is AMAZING, too!

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Cuteness, Cars, Crafts, Veterans Ceremony, Tomato Saltine Salad Recipe, & Fair Week Re-Cap!

I thought I would start this post off with a little CUTENESS!  This photo was taken in Erie near the Bayfront.  These little youth ducklings were all snuggled up and ready for a nap.

It seems I have been spending more time in Erie for several reasons but a few of them have been work related.  As for this 2nd photo - this was taken at our local Courthouse over the summer.  The person on the right in mid-salute is my father.  He was one of over 300 veterans in our county that was recognized for serving during Vietnam.  Our area has more veterans per capita than any other county in Pennsylvania.

In late June - we once again helped with the car and craft show at the fairgrounds.  It was the first time in 7 years of holding the event that we had PERFECT weather!

One of the camping foods I made this past summer that I certainly want to try again is this Tomato Saltine Salad.  For the vegan version I used the following:

2 packages of saltines
1 large tomato, diced
Vegan Mayo to taste/consistency
Garlic, fresh or dried, to taste
Sea Salt and Pepper, to taste

Super easy!  I know it might sound weird but I think it might just qualify as a comfort food!

Finally, I am getting to re-cap Fair Week.  It was the first full week in August and I'm just getting to it now!  YIKES!  In this photo, you will see me, Riley Green, my mom and my dad.  YES...Riley Green is TALL...but...my whole family is also SHORT so that is why he looks like a giant.  BUT...if you look at the next photo...

You will see all of the guys from Home Free are also tall.  Here is a pic of the guys with me, my sister, my dad (squatting and holding my niece), Trinity, and my mom in the back, too!  This was the 2nd time we had Home Free at our Fairgrounds and they are AWESOME!  My niece was dancing the entire time.  Now when she sees the five guys in a photo...she points to each one of them and says..."hot...hot...hot...hot...hot.."  I have to say...she's NOT wrong...they are some good looking guys!

Something I did for the very first time at fair this year was enter a few categories in the domestic buildings.  My original plan was to enter several photographs but when I went to do the prints they were to grainy and I decided not to do it but didn't want to FAIL at a goal so I entered other categories instead.  This first photo didn't place at all.  I decided to enter it into the Mixed Media but there were so many other entries that were much more involved than mine so it's all good!

This one placed 4th!  I entered it for Collage!  It was a project I did several years ago and was thrilled it placed!

This one I entered into the Scrapbooking Page category.  I placed 3rd!  I was pretty shocked!

And check this out!  I got a 1st place!!!!!!  I was completely surprised and didn't believe it at first.  I entered this Veggie Recipe Book in the Rubber Stamp Project category!

Here's another look at it next to the actual ribbon.  I had more photos of the inside on my IG, too!

And here is my FIRST PLACE Project with all 3 Ribbons!  I was so thrilled yet surprised that I placed at all let alone with 3 projects in my first year of trying!

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

More Regional Stops & Snapshots AND Even More Vegan Finds

Strange question right off the bat?  I'm a little OCD and can't stand it when I have a post that has zero comments LOL.  I posted later yesterday and earlier today and at the time of writing this yesterday's post didn't have any comments so if you can help me out by commenting on both of the posts I would appreciate it.  Does anyone else have this OCD issue when it comes to blogging?

Anyways...more photos from the last couple of months including this vegan find!  I believe I found this at Giant Eagle in Erie.  It was pretty good.  I see they are coming out with more breakfast options, however, I have found that I am eating them for dinner!

These lil gems I found at Wegmans and I have to say I'm a fan!  I see they have other products that are vegan, too, so if I see them again I will have to try them! 

I also spotted these at Wegmans.  I had been seeing other people post other flavors on IG and when I saw them FINALLY I just about jumped for joy!  I have yet to make them but one of these days I will get to it!

I've already downed this bottle of Goddess Dressing from Trader Joe's!

These I bought at Lakewood Apothecary.  They have some neat vegan snacks there.  I tried these and like them but find it to be an occasional snack and not one where I would eat an entire bag at one sitting.

I also found this Detox Toothpaste at Lakewood Apothecary!  Has anyone else located this yet by chance?  I have used it a few times and it's ok so far.

I consider myself to be somewhat techie but there are certain things I still like to have to physically write in and to have in front of me instead of using an app or device.  A daily planner is one of those things.  I have been on the search for one for what seems to be EVER and a few weeks ago I finally found one that I really like.  This was the quote that was on the front.

While in my travels for work I enjoyed the time I spent on one block of Jamestown where there were a few shops within that block.  This was one of the shops.  It's the Bio Dome Project and they had a co-op/vendor feel to it and carried some interesting items.  I loved their window store front and snapped this pic for my co-worker since she's our resident 'plant lady' and has gotten a few of us started with office plants!

Right next door was The Sprinkle Cone.  I really LOVED the look of this place!  Artsy!  They even have about 3 vegan options daily.

The space is opened via garage door but they converted the inside for this space.

It's seasonal but super cool decor where you can scribble on their chalk board walls!

While in Jamestown I also stopped over at Full Moon Rising Bakery.  They had a nice space, as well, and carry at least 1 vegan option daily.

This is the outside of the Roger Tory Peterson Institute in Jamestown, NY.  Jamestown is the home of Roger Tory Peterson who was a naturalist, educator, artist, and environmental advocate before environmentalism was 'a thing'.  His specialty was birds.

The Roger Tory Peterson Institute is right down the street from SUNY JCC - Jamestown Community College.  That's where I went to college and it's been a while since I have stopped over and spent time in that neighborhood.  Down the other side of the street is this park I used to spend time at while in college.  It's called College Park and before that it was called "Hundred Acre Lot".  The history behind it is that it was SAVED by fundraising efforts by area teachers and students and was one of the first School Parks in the nation.

Oh!  I almost forgot to post about this Vegetable Panang Curry I found at Trader Joe's!  I figured it was time for another food break in this post before moving on to more travel and regional photos and tidbits!

These two photos were taken at the foot of Bett's Park in Warren, PA.  I've featured other photos from this park before but I don't think I have posted about the water side of things.

It was a bit on the dry side when I took them.  Sometimes the water is higher.  These trees will be changing colors for fall soon.  I will try and get more fall photos this year and post them soon!

And one last photo for today.  This is another park.  This one is on the other side of Jamestown and is called McCrea Point Park.  It's a nice little park in the middle of old factory buildings and a bit of hustle and bustle.