Category Archives: travel

The end is near

…of 2012 that is.

I am sitting here reflecting on how fast this year has flown by and trying to remember all of the things that have happened through the year.  I remember some of the big stuff, such as the birth of my niece, having major eye surgery, getting engaged, getting married, going to the Bahamas and to New York, visiting family, wine tasting, moving yet again, and thats where the remembering stops.  I really wish I could remember more of the little things but I am stuck.  And since I barely spent any time documenting any of those things on my blog, I have little recollection of the rest.

I decided that I don’t want that to happen again next year.  So, thanks to the help of Pinterest, I decided to make a 2013 Memories Jar with my hubby.  This way when something happens that one of us wants to remember, whether a special moment, a trip, etc., we can write it on a slip of paper and put it in our jar. Then on New Years Eve, open the jar and read through all the papers and relive each moment again.

Here are some pictures of our decorated jar (sorry I didn’t do a step by step picture):


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I think we will also include some goals/resolutions in the jar as well.  It will be fun next year to look back to see if we stuck to them or not.

What was your favorite memory(ies) of 2012?  What are you looking forward to in 2013? Any goals/resolutions? Are you going to make your own 2013 memories jar?

Five Question Friday

TGIF!!! and that means another installment of Five Question Friday.  as always, please feel free to answer the questions yourself, either in the comments or in your own blog post.

1. Where do you hide the reeeally good snacks?  Well now that I am back on my exercise/diet/healthy eating kick…my snacks are mostly fruits and veggies….so that would mean mostly in the refrigerator.  But I do have some yummy Ghirardeli chocolates that my man got me sitting in my room near my bed..hmmmm.

2. Do u keep your vehicle clean or am I the only one who has things falling out of their van?  since I got my new car (last March) I am surprised at how clean I have kept it, in the inside.  The outside is desperately in need of wash.  And the truck does need a few things taken out of it.

3. Have you ever been to Vegas?  Yes, I went for the first time a few years ago for my birthday.  Then I went in January 2010 to visit my friend who lived there, and while I was there, I got to meet up with one of my college sorority sister’s for brunch at the Mirage…I hadn’t seen her in 10 years!

View of the Paris Eiffel Towel with the Bellagio water fountain show

4. Warm room light blankets or cold room warm snuggly blanket?  I can NOT sleep if I am too warm, so I sleep with a fan on.

5. What is the worst airplane/flying experience you’ve ever had?  Well this post talks about how TSA tends to think I fit a terrorist profile, so that is never a fun experience.  My last flying experience in October coming back from NY was also an unpleasant trip.  It involved delayed flights, spraining my wrist, in-flight sickness, overcrowded plane with kids crying and kicking the seat, and the car not starting when I got picked up.   But the funny thing is, I prefer to fly rather than drive.

Falling for Fall

Fall is my absolute favorite season, especially in upstate NY.  I know I have blogged about it before, which you can read here  and here.  I am feeling so thankful that I have come to NY right now, as the leaves reached their peak color during the change. It has been such a beautiful and breathtaking site to take in these last 2 weeks, and I have taken tons of pictures to remember it by.  Here are some of my favorites:

I am just in LOVE with the beauty around me…..almost makes me not want to go back to CA…almost.

Amish country

I’m still on my vacation back in NY.  Last weekend, we went to this small Amish country market, called The Windmill, located near Seneca Lake.  We had gone to this market when my sister and I were little, and I guess my mom and her husband still go on occasion.  I don’t really know much about the Amish, except for what I have seen at the market, so I googled and want to share with you some facts about the Amish, found on the website

• The largest Amish settlements are in LaGrange County, Indiana; Holmes County, Ohio; and Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

• The Amish do not draw social security, join the Army, or allow any form of assistance from the government.

• Some Amish communities, and or districts reject education beyond the eighth grade, particularly subjects that have little practical use for farm-life.

• When some Amish children enter adulthood they are expected to make an adult permanent commitment to the church, thus becoming baptized.  If an Amish child chooses not to become baptized, they are going through a period known as Rumspringa.  Rumspringa, to the Amish, is regarded as the period in an adolescences life leading up to serious courtship, which is connected to permanent commitment to the Amish life and church.  During this period is life (months or years) the adolescents are released from the church and its rules.  In some Amish communities those who do not permanently join the church are shunned.  Shunning is the act of deliberately avoiding or staying away from an individual or group.

• This Amish like to avoid the use of modern technologies such as electricity, but they certainly do not regard technology as evil or sin when such use of a modern technology is seen as a need, rather than vanity.  Each community differs as to which technological items are acceptable.

• Technologies such as the use of 12-volt batteries, electric generators, gas powered farm equipment, the use of chemical pesticides and GM(Genetically modified food crops) can be petitioned for acceptance into Amish lifestyle in many Amish communities.

• The Amish speak an unique High German dialect called Pennsylvania Dutch or Pennsylvania German, in addition to English.  Sometimes there are differences in dialect amongst Amish Communities.

• Each Amish community may have a dress code that the community must follow, which may vary from one community to the next.

• Typically an Amish man will grow a beard after he gets married or after he is baptized in some communities.

• The Amish are affected by various heritable genetic disorders, which are largely due to the combination of the small population of Amish and the risk of inbreeding.

• Most Amish do not use automobiles; as a result, the prominent means of transportation, other than walking, is a horse and buggy. Colors and styles of buggies differ from one Amish community to the next.

• Generally, the Amish go without electricity, electronic entertainment (television, radio, video games, etc.), central heating or air conditioning systems and automobiles.

• The home of an Amish family averages seven children and almost 25% have ten or more children.

• In most Amish communities, the homes are not far apart from each other allowing close personal contact with parents, siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents.

The next facts were taken from Kimberly Ripley at

The Amish frequently refer to themselves as plain. The Plain People, as they’re often called, believe that dressing in anything other than plain modest clothing is prideful, and pride is a sin. Amish families live simple, but hardworking and fulfilling lives.

The Amish are Anabaptists. They believe that a person should make their own decision to become baptized and join the church as adults, rather than through infant baptism as is practiced in some religions. Amish men and women typically commit to baptism around age 18, and many are married shortly thereafter.

Amish teenagers experience a period of time called Rumschpringa (there are a few variations on the spelling of this term), during which many try out forbidden “pleasures” of the outside world. Many drive cars and some even own one; typically housing it out of sight behind a barn or in a non-Amish family’s yard. Some visit other Amish communities to experience their varied ways. Many wear non-Amish clothing when not in the family home. Girls experiment with make-up and fashion. Boys might cut their hair differently from the traditional Amish cut.

As of 2005, more than 80% of Amish teens tired of the fast paced life in the “English” world and returned to be baptized and join the Amish church. More than 90% of that group will remain in the Amish community for life.

Although farming has traditionally been the mainstay of the Amish people, many have turned to trade work like woodworking or metalworking. A higher percentage work outside the family and even outside the Amish community each year. It is not uncommon to find Amish workers in restaurants, small stores, and motels. Many Amish men work in modular home manufacturing plants.

The Amish believe that having their picture taken is the same as bearing a graven image. Since this is forbidden in the Bible, they don’t believe in being the subject of photographs. Some Amish don’t mind being photographed if their faces aren’t featured. Never photograph an Amish person without their permission.

The Amish live by a biblical view that comes from the book of Romans, chapter  12, verse 2.  “Be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

To the Amish, many of our common modern innovations are deemed worldly. Electricity links them to the outside world, so many Old Order Amish communities forbid it. The same goes for telephones. In recent years, however, some communities have opted to allow one phone per every few Amish homes. It is kept in a phone shanty or shack, or even in a barn. It cannot be inside the home.

Cars may be ridden in but not driven by the Old Order Amish, but many New Order Amish communities allow them. Televisions and computers are completely disallowed by the Old Order Amish, but in some New Order Amish communities are allowed for business purposes.

Rules vary from community to community, but all are governed by each Amish community’s individual church, led by a bishop. Everything from manner of dress to bans of excommunication are decided by the bishop and his elders.

Well now that we all know more about the Amish, I have included some pictures that I took from the Windmill market (this was before I knew that they do not like to be photographed).

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Mountains (2)

I couldn’t resist posting another photo for the weekly photo challenge.  This was from March 2010, on our annual weekend get-away to Big Bear mountain.


“Live your life each day as you would climb a mountain. An occasional glance toward the summit keeps the goal in mind, but many beautiful scenes are to be observed from each new vantage point.”
— Harold V Melchert 

Weekly Photo Challenge : WORN

This picture was taken in one of the very poor villages that I had visited during my trip to Zambia, Africa in July 2008.  It is walls to a shelter, built completely out of old newspapers and plastic bags.  Due to climate changes and the effects of time, they have weathered and are freckled with holes, causing it to be a fitting picture for this weeks photo challenge of WORN.