Saturday, March 31, 2012


Both my father and my mother were born in New Jersey, so several times a year I will make the pilgramage to New Jersey, to visit with my family.  This past weekend I was visiting with my Father's sister, my Aunt Susan.

One of the main staples of our trips is Arthur's tavern in Morris Plains.

My brother and I always used to call it "The Pickle Palace," they always have a ton of yummy pickles on the table.

I love the ambiance of the small tavern.  We had a wonderful lunch there today, and it brought back a lot of happy memories.

I have had an amazing trip, and was able to visit my Aunt Patty's grave before palm sunday mass.  It's hard for me to believe that it has been five years since her death.  Today I thank god for my amazing family.

Love Always,


Friday, March 30, 2012

New Jersey

This weekend I am in New Jersey visiting my Aunt, and it has been fun to see the dogs getting along.

This is my Aunts dog Molly, she has a very regal look about her.

Here is Mr. Winks, Molly, and Marty the chocolate lab running around.  It is not the best picture, but I love how they are all in mid-flight :  )

This was not taken this weekend.  I took this last year at a dog festival in Maryland.  I love basset hounds; if I ever get another dog it will probably be a basset hound.

Love Always,


Thursday, March 29, 2012


Today I took a short drive through Baltimore, I chose two sites I wanted to photograph and I made quick work of getting there.

This is St. Michael the Archangel Ukrainian Catholic Church of Baltimore.  It is right across the street from Patterson Park, so I was able to get a good view of it.

I love the domes!!!!!

I may have over edited this picture, but the main tree really reminds me of the Giving Tree for some reason.

Then I made my way over to Mt. Vernon and took a few pictures of the Washington Monument.

This is the Mt. Vernon Methodist Church, It has such a gothic look.

Today was a success; I just need to continue to explore the city, bit by bit.  :  )

Love Always,


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Shirley Temple

There are many things about the present generation that make me sad.  To think that the youth today will never spend hours listening to the radio, just to record the perfect songs for a mix tape.  To not know to clap twice after someone says, “Down at Fraggle Rock.”  Or not have nightmares narrated by the voice of the speak-and-spell. Hahahah. But it makes me sad that children today do not know the  Shirley Temple who changed the world during the 1930's.

I spent countless hours as a child mesmerized by her films.  I dreamt of having amazing curly hair and tap-dancing my way through life.

I got this Shirley Temple doll when I was in elementry school, and we spent hours watching Bright Eyes, Little Miss Marker, and Captain January together.

I got this Little Miss Marker Doll a few years later.  These dolls held so much magic for me.

 I think I will take some time this weekend to have an oldie but good marathon.  Breakfast at Tiffanys, My Fair Lady, Jane Eyre, and Shriley Temple will be on the list.  Sounds like a good plan to me  :  )

Love Always,


Sunday, March 25, 2012

Serene Sunday

Sicily continued, salt mills and wine tasting.

I spent a week in Sicily, about the same amount of time that I spent in main land Italy, I felt like it was a bit too long.  I love Sicily, but my goodness, I spent half the time in a bus going from one coast to the other.

This salt mill was originally powered by windmill, that is no longer the case, but I really loved the look of this windmill.

This is one of the cogs that would grind the salt.  I love this shot because you can see into the dining area.  I was in a small museum in the back of the old mill.  

This is the salt water being brought into these little locks.  It is hard to see in the pictures, but in the closer lock the water is lighter, this is not an optical illusion.  As the water travels through each lock, the water is filtered out and the salt content becomes higher and higher.

Later the same day I believe we went to a small winery, I loved to rustic look of the exterior.

As this was a school trip, thankfully I was 21 at the time and was allowed to taste the wines.  I remember having such a wonderful time.

Love Always,


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Mr. Winks Wednesday

Well, today was a pretty slow day, but I had to take a few pictures of Mr. Winks  :  )

The little guy is loving the beautiful weather, he gets cold so easily, so this is when he is able to spend the most time outside.

I love this picture, this is his, "I just did something bad and I feel really sorry," look.  He had just made a break for the street and I had to bring him back.  It's like his little eyes are saying "Mea Culpa."

These lovely daffodils that are in my front yard, it's still had to believe that it's still only March.

Love Always,


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Special Objects

I love to read the shutter sister blog, and last week I read a post about a magical sand dollar.  The post questioned the reader, what objects have a special meaning to you?  I really had to think about this, because I am a little bit of a hoarder....not a serious hoarder, but I keep more nick-nacks then I really need to.   I tried to narrow it down to my most special objects.  I narrowed it down to five, which is a lot.

This is my beloved class ring.  I have worn it almost everyday for the last nine years.  I went to boarding school for highschool, as a day student though so I still lived at home.  I love all of the scratches and blemishes, I wasn't too pleased when I got the first one, but it shows how loved my ring is. It reminds me of a warn baby blanket, loved to pieces.  I know this ring will follow me through life.

This necklace is only a few years old, I went to china in 2010 and my father bought me this jade Buddha necklace.  It is always cool to the touch, and when I get stressed I tend to rub its belly.  It is a daily reminder to keep calm and carry on.

This little pouch holds three of my special objects and is always in my purse or close to me.

This is my rosary, and it fits very nicely into my palm.  When I get stressed I love to hold it in my hands and it grounds me.  It lets me know that there is a bigger picture, that I will fail...often...but that everyday I can strive to do better.  I received this rosary in college, and I used to do the rosary most days, now it is a rare occurence to sit down and go through the entire rosary.  As you can see it has broken from overuse, but my mother took a small pearl and grafted it in.  

This is my Japa Mala, they are Hindu prayer beads.  The rosary is more of a contemplative object, you would use them to contemplate the mysteries of our faith.  This japa mala is good if I just want to pray the lords prayer over and over, or with a mantra.  Sometimes I'll just repeat, "if you will it" or "love always" for each bead.

My mother made these prayer beads for me, and with each bead that she attached she said a prayer for me.  All the beads are dark black and metallic, except for her favorite mosaic, pastel bead.  When I look at these beads, I know how much my mother and my family love me.  I'll use these to say my prayers, or to say my mantras quietly throughout my day, as they are small and fit nicely into my palm.

So these are my magical, powerful, favorite objects.  They are usually all with me at all times, and give me great peace.  

Monday, March 19, 2012

Brookside Garden

Yesterday was a beautiful day, so I decided to go back to brookside gardens.

It was a beautiful day.  These beautiful trees are called weeping higan cherry trees.  They look just like cherry blossoms.  All of the trees have bloomed early this year, so it was nice to practice on these trees, before I get up to DC for the Cherry Blossom Festival!!!

These are the blossoms up close, I love this shot.

The trees came in pink and white, and I love the color of the white blossoms against the brown bark.

I am sooo glad I made my way over to the brookside gardens this week, I'll have to make my way back when some more of the flowers start to bloom.

Love Always,


Thursday, March 15, 2012


Today, I went back to my high school.  I hadn't been back since I graduated eight years, and it was really fun to go back and see my alma mater on a nice sunny day.

I was chatting with a friend of mine a few months ago, and she asked me what school I went to.  I looked at her like she was crazy, and said "I went to Oldfields."  Apparently in Baltimore it is typical to name your high school when people ask what school you went to, this may not be the same for everyone, but I guess I unwittingly answered the Baltimore way.  Hahahah.

I crossed this one way bridge everyday on my way to school

I just love spring.  I know it is only March, but when the flowers start to bloom, I get sooo happy.  I remember always wondering what that bridge was for, as long as I was there it never went anywhere.

This is the porch in front of the dining hall, and overlooks the front lawn.  I have fond memories of garden party here, and sitting on the front porch waiting for my parents at the end of the day.

This is right next to where the day student lockers used to be, I could either walk down to Rodney Hall where most of my classes were or turn around want walk up to the top of old house where the rest of my classes were.

This is where morning meeting is held, I walked up these steps every day and we might have heard a senior speech, hear one of the singing groups sing, and hear all of the morning announcements.

I laughed when I saw this picture,  I was standing on the second floor of Rodney hall, and looking at old house.  One year I had a history class on the third floor of old house, then an English class in the bottom floor of Rodney Hall, then study hall on the third floor of old house, and then a math class in the basement of old house.  It felt as if I was always going up and down those stairs.  It must have been freshman year, because I can't imagine picking those classes in that order  :  )

I crossed this bridge for at least two semesters each year, to make my way up to the episcopal church for aerobics or yoga class.

This is the main church, which I probably only entered once.

And this is the building where I took my gym classes, I loved the cross stained glass that would be at the back of the room.

I never got a class ring for college, but I wear my high school class ring every day.  It says "Fortezza-Ed-Umilitade-E-Largo Core, which is italian.  Translated it say, courage, humility and largeness of heart and those are the charactor traits that I try to live my life by.  I loved my time at Oldfields and enjoyed having a little walk down memory lane.

Love Always,