Wednesday, May 17, 2017

In the Land of the Empire State


Do you all remember a few weeks back when I said that I was going to post about my trip to New York?

"Life has been pretty crazy around here lately, but I fully intend to get in at least one post about New York while I'm here.  One.  I have so many ideas floating around in my head right now I just need to find a few minutes to write them down!  Please, bear with me, I think you'll like them :)"~April 26, 2017, Introducing.....

(Yes, I copy and pasted my exact words.  I strive for consistency despite lack of productivity.)

 i said yesterday i would do it tomorrow, when i woke up this morning it was today, i didn't say anything about doing it today.:

Anyway, clearly that is a promise I have not yet fulfilled, and I do so dislike broken promises.  So here we are.  This is my collection of  adventures, misadventures, and observances concerning the grand ol' state of New York. (oh, and be prepared for random facts throughout because facts are just cool.  They are.)


Map of New York 

Let's start with a quick geography lesson, shall we?  

That, that is not New York City. That is in fact New York State.  Let it be cleared up here and now that New York is a state, a state in which NYC just so happens to be located in, but they are not one in the same.  You see up in the Northwest corner by that unlabeled-body-of-water? *Good job whoever said Lake Ontario*  My sister whom I am visiting lives somewhere up there.  So I did not visit the aforementioned city, not even close.  We will not mention that place again.

If I'm going to do this correctly then we have to back up two months to the beginning of the adventure.

 Displaying IMG_4659.JPG
 My adventure by train began here...

 Displaying IMG_4661.JPG
 ...Union Station

Displaying IMG_4670.JPG
Fact: Union Station first opened its doors in 1911, servicing over 10,000 passengers daily, and is known as "the Beautiful Portal to the Heart of the Commonwealth".

The train ride from Worcester was uneventful but not disagreeable by any means.  That is up until...

Albany: a pleasant place?

What was supposed to be a 1-hour stopover in the state capitol quickly turned into more like upwards of 3 hours.  Stuck on a train.  A train that needed to restock its cafe car.  On the upside, it turned out to be a neat experience chatting with fellow stranded passengers and learning their destinations, getting to be a part of their story.  
  
Displaying IMG_4676.JPG
The brochure in front of my seat, I showed this to my dad (who was my traveling companion) and it quickly became our motto.  Well done, Amtrak, truer words have never been spoken.

 Displaying IMG_4671.JPG
Eventually we did get moving again and I got a cool shot of the skyline.  I suppose all-in-all Albany wasn't too bad, considering we made it to our respective destinations before cannibalism became an immediate concern.

Fast forward from the end of March and here we are!  I am still in NY but will be returning home again next week, and I must say, it will be good to be home again!  

Lived: Buffalo, Corning, Elmira (Finger Lakes Region)  Been: Rochester, Syracuse, Oswego, Binghamton, Albany, New York, Adirondack Mountains:

In closing, here are a few observations I've made during my time here.  Wait, allow me to bullet them for you.

  • If I had to describe Syracuse in one word, that word would be rust.  
  •  There are seagulls haunting EVERY McDonald's parking lot. Literally.  It's a rare occurrence to turn onto the highway entrance ramp and not be bidden farewell from a seagull perched on those infamous golden arches!  
 Happier than a Seagull with a French Fry:

  • Friendly people.  They almost make me believe all those cliche lines about "cold, reserved New Englanders "!
  •  Nearly everywhere you look there are daffodils.  Like, absolutely everywhere, especially along the highway.  I was really surprised when I heard they weren't the state flower!
 Buttercup Field. Just like the fields at the family farm. Love you granddaddy.:
Fact: The state flower is the Rose.  (Of which I haven't seen one)

  • The Bagel vs. Bagel (bag-gle) controversy.  I personally subscribe to the former pronunciation and had never heard this strange alternative until recently.  Which do you use, I'm curious?
 Fact: Bagels did not originate in NY despite their popularity therein, the first bagels were made in Jewish communities in Poland as early as the 15th century :)


There, I think I've covered everything!  If you ever have the opportunity, New York is definitely a nice state to visit!  Have you ever been before/lived there?

~Emma



Monday, May 1, 2017

In Honor of St. Catherine

    
     Being one of my favorite saints, I wanted to make sure I got in a quick little post about Saint Catherine of Siena before too much time had gone by her feast day.  Only two days, I don't think I did too bad :)

St. Catherine of Siena. Philosopher, theologian, greatly respected for her spiritual writings and boldness to "speak truth to power," and a Doctor of the Church.:  
St. Catherine of Siena, 14th cen. philosopher and Doctor of the Church


     I apologize in advance because this post is less of me writing about this amazing saint and more my overwhelming you with a gazillion beautiful pictures and quotes.  Sorry about that ;) But I'll let her speak for herself, her writings are simply incredible and her life even more so!

 St. Catherine of Siena:  

 ~~~
  St. Catherine of Siena quotes. Catholic Saints:
How important to remember, yet so easy to forget! 


St. Catherine of Siena Quote:  

~~~

 St. Catherine of Siena / Catholic Saints:
Growth through temptation and trial... 

St. Catherine of Siena | http://www.saintnook.com/saints/catherineofsiena - A Beautiful Mystery: St. Catherine of Siena inspired outfit //:  
When St. Catherine was 14, her mother arranged a betrothal between herself and the son of local merchant.  Catherine, however, had no wish to be married as she had already promised herself to Our Lord as His bride, so she cut off her beautiful long hair with her mother's sewing scissors to make herself undesirable to her suitor.

 St. Catherine of Siena | Monday Morning with the Saints on The Catholic Wife | by Katie Sciba #mmwsTCW:

~~~

 Spend time prayerfully reflecting on these words of St. Catherine of Siena. #ReflectwithMystics:

~~~ 

saint catherine of siena quotes - Google Search:
Fear is understandable and silence is easy but it is only through truth and bravery that one will succeed.

Be who God meant you to be. ~St Catherine of Siena:
I'm sure we've all heard this one... 

     I hope you survived my wordy ramble!  If you still want to know more on the life St. Catherine of Siena, I recommend you take a look here, here, and here.  Enjoy!

 Always,
~Emma

     

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Introducing.....


Anastasia Therese!


     I want to thank you all SO much for your prayers for this little girl!  Believe it or not, she was born naturally at 3:15 am Easter Sunday morning, exactly 9 hours and 10 minutes after my prayer request! 

 And unsurprisingly, she is such a sweetheart!

 So again, thank you all for your prayers, I am so appreciative of them!

      Life has been pretty crazy around here lately, but I fully intend to get in at least one post about New York while I'm here.  One.  I have so many ideas floating around in my head right now I just need to find a few minutes to write them down!  Please, bear with me, I think you'll like them :)

Talk soon!

 Always,
 ~Emma

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Because by Your Holy Cross, You have Redeemed the World


Just a little reflection I wrote last night...


Francesco Hayez, Crucifixion with Mary Magdalene Kneeling and Weeping, 1827 | Museo Diocesano Milano:  

     "Today, my dear Lord, is Good Friday.  It was today so many hundreds of years ago that You died on the Cross for the sins of the world, for my sins.  How awesome is it that as You hung there in the acutest of agonies You thought of each one of us, You even thought of me.  With what have I repaid You for this in my meager little life?  With what can I ever hope to repay You?  I have nothing to offer that You have not already given me, nothing to lighten this great debt I owe!  And so I offer the one thing in my power to give You, I offer You myself and all my imperfections.  Take them and refine these imperfections and turn them into deep sentiments of Faith, Hope, and Love.  I offer these gifts to You and place them at the foot of Your Holy Cross to remain there always.  Accept them, my Jesus, and remember me when You come into Your Kingdom!" 


     I have two prayer requests to ask of you all before I go, the first is for my great-uncle, who passed away early this morning from cancer.  He had been away from the Church and Sacraments for much of his adult life, please pray for the repose of his soul.

     And the second is for my sister who is several days overdue expecting my first niece.  It was revealed on an ultrasound this past week that the baby has shifted to a breech position (head up feet down) and unless she shifts into the correct position within the next few days, she may need to be delivered via C-section, emergency C-section if she hasn't shifted prior to the onset of labor.  Please pray for a safe delivery of both mama and baby!  St. Gerard, pray for us!

     Thank you all in advance for your prayers, you have no idea how much we appreciate them!

Always,
~Emma

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Leaving On A Jet Plane

Well.... not exactly.  It's more like:


My most favourite movie quote in the world.❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️:  

On a train though, not a jet plane ;)  I'm going to visit my sister!!!! And wonderful brother-in-law, too, of course!!!!  (I couldn't forget you, Big Brother ;) )  I've been looking forward to this trip for months now but I still can't believe that I'll actually be in the throws of it in just a few days!  Crazy how time flies, huh?

Anyway, so now I'm to the point in travel preparations where seats are booked, arrangements made, and everything appears pretty well set!  Well, with the exception of that one, tiny little detail, so minor it almost isn't worth mentioning.  Which detail? 

 Packing. Joy.

16 Women Problems, The Struggle Is Real:

 Granted, I usually don't have an issue with this.  I am usually a pretty light packer, but I don't know exactly how long I will be staying with my dear family this trip, possibly a month or there abouts, so I kinda feel like this:

"Me normally: "That's ok I'll wear the same shirt for 5 days" Me packing for vacation: "I'll probably change 7 times a day so I'll need 42 shirts" ":

Ugh.

Okay, so maybe not quite like that, but still!  

I have this continual back and forth going on in my head that looks something like this:

    "Well, it's supposed to be pretty cold in New York still, I should probably bring some layers so I'm nice and toasty."  
"Oh, but it's Spring now! I might get too warm in long sleeves, better pack a couple t-shirts, just to be safe."  
"Good idea!  Better not forget that ballgown, though, I need something to wear if the Queen invites me to tea!"

Sound accurate?


 #letyourcolorout "I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I ~ I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference." ~ Robert Frost:

 Regardless of all these little worries and stresses involved in traveling though, they aren't the important things.  Nope.  The destination is well worth the journey, and the journey is just the beginning of the adventure!

I just hope I can convince my animals of that...

Funny Animal Pictures Of The Day – 26 Pics:

Always,

~Emma

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The blizzard o' '17

If you are at all in tune with the national news, you may have seen a report of a "huge killer blizzard sweeping across the Northeast" in the last few days.  Well I just so happen to live around that dear lovely part of good old America and amply partook of Winter's vengeful wrath!

Displaying IMG_4603.JPG

Nah, it wasn't all that bad ;)  It was still coming down quite wet and heavy at the time of this photo, but I don't think we got much more than 16" total.  Definitely manageable, I've seen a whole lot more come down a whole lot faster!

Displaying IMG_4604.JPG 

 And I don't mind the snow too much, which is more than I can say for these poor little girls!  Chickens are generally pretty cold hardy, but the entire time I was out clearing around the coop, I could hear a powerful lot of complaining going on!  Oh well, it is only their first winter, maybe they'll learn to just deal with it.  Oh not... ;)

Displaying IMG_4611.JPG
 Yeah, you saw right, that's a vanilla car freshener. Believe it or not, they're great for keeping away flies in summer! And I was just too lazy to take them inside.

I still can't really see what they have to complain about, though, inside the coop it was a nice toasty 36 degrees!  I mean, who would complain about that?

Displaying IMG_4610.JPG

 The girls were being a bit chicken cowardly about getting their feet wet, however.  Louisa and Elsbeth were taking turns sticking their heads out the guillotine like, "Is it still there? Eww! It's still there!"

Displaying IMG_4614.JPG

 Despite their apparent disapprobation for the unusual weather conditions, they did give me 11 eggs, so I suppose I shouldn't complain!

Did any of you get snow the last few days?  Did your pets/livestock have an opinion of the weather?

~Emma


Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Sunshine Blogger Award





Hello! *waves excitedly*  So last week I was tagged by Sarah at "Life of a Homeschooler" (you really should check out her blog, its adorable and I love it), with the Sunshine Award!  In the past, as you are all well aware, I usually put off writing these tag post thingies for weeks a long, long, long, long time.  But this one looked so cheery and springy and happy that I simply couldn't put it off more than a few days!

Abandoned Yellow House in Nova Scotia. Photo by Matt Madden & Kim Vallis. [12001920].:
This house looks like sunshine, doesn't it?  It looks like a good place to begin an adventure!


Sarah's questions:

1.) Do you like primary, pastel, or neon colors best?
Okay, so I'm not really a huge fan of primary colors.  I suppose I'd lean more towards pastels, but I like bright, vibrant colors, too, so probably a mixture of those together.   


 :  

 Like this gorgeous bouquet, actually!  That's perfect!


2.) What was the last movie you watched in the movie theater?
Ugh.  Despicable Me 2.  I did not enjoy that movie, sorry if you loved it!  I saw it, hmmm....3 years ago?  I was visiting my "city" aunt with a couple of my cousins and apparently that was the only movie worth viewing at the time.  Oh well, it could've been worse.  As a general rule, though, I'm not a huge fan of theater movies. I actually kind of go into panic-mode! Between the huge, bright screen in a dark place, strange people, and the incredible volume, I would much prefer to watch a movie from my living room couch!


3.) What is your favorite kind of weather, sunny, rainy, cloudy, etc.?
That is a tough question.  Ordinarily, I would say rainy, although I have a tendency of being fickle about my favorite weather ;)  If I wake up and the sky is brightest blue, the sun is shining and the birds are singing, I'm all like, "I love days like this!".  Then the next day it's dark and cloudy, maybe spitting an occasional sprinkle, I've got a good book, cup o' tea and a blanket, and I'm like, "I love days like this!".  So yeah, don't ask, it all depends ;)
Emma in the rain, Romola Garai, 2009:
 I'd say this is me in a rain shower, except I wouldn't use the umbrella.  It is common knowledge that dancing with an umbrella is cumbersome and probably dangerous, too ;)


4.)  Who is your favorite Disney princess?  Do they have a live-action movie?  If so, do you like the cartoon or live-action better?
You had to go and ask me this question!  I have three favorites, how can I possibly choose between them!?  Fine, since you're forcing me, my favorites are Rapunzel, Aurora, and Cinderella!  


aurora sleeping beauty prince philip princess couple woods:
 "But don't you know me? Why, We've met before!"
"We have?"
"Yes! You said so yourself, 'once upon a dream'!"

 As to the second part of your question, only Cinderella has a live-action movie and I thought it was AWESOME!  Such amazing colors and visual presentation!  It was splendid!

 Oh yes I did find THAT scene!

But as far as my favorite animated movie, that goes to Tangled!  That is one of my favorite movies of all time ever!  And that's saying a lot.

*FLYNN & RAPUNZEL ~ Tangled, 2010 Today was a fairytale:
Aww


5.)  Are you a morning person or do you like to sleep in?
 Uhhhhhhh.... No, no I am not a morning person, at least not on purpose.  Then again, though, I don't really like to sleep in late, either, at least not really late.  Really late for me is like, 9 o'clock!
6.)  What social media site do you use most often?
Pinterest.  Pinterest is social media, right?  I don't know, maybe it isn't.  I don't really use anything else remotely social media related!
7.)  Is there a fictional character who you wish had a blog?
I.....don't think so, no.
8.)  Coffee or tea?
Tea, all the way!!!  Tea is the best.  I do drink coffee on occasion, more often when my sister is around, but not by habit, ordinarily.  I like it, though, especially iced!
 Feel the love at the boutique Chic&Seek 98 PortLand Road W11 4LQ Free Manicures every Tues through Jan & Feb 2015:
 And I do so love my hugs <3


9.)  Do you have a favorite teenager post?
I can't say that I have a specific favorite, but I've seen a few I thought were funny.  Like these ones:


YESYESYESYESYES!    Google Image Result for <a href="http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lu8p059zmj1qiaqpmo1_500.png" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">25.media.tumblr.c...</a>i love that but then people think i am crazy and look at me strange, oh well there choice:

10.)  Can you think of a favorite song of yours that has the word "Sunshine" in it?
The first that came to mind was John Denver's "Sunshine On My Shoulder".  It's pretty and I like to sing it, but not my favorite!


 "Loch Lomond", now that is one of my favorites, and there is a line towards the middle about "sunshine".  This is actually the song that got me into Celtic music!  I know pretty much the whole thing from memory, it's so pretty!  Have a listen and let me know if you like it :)



 And that concludes this extraordinarily loooooong post!  Thanks, Sarah, those were super fun questions!  If anyone else wants to have a go at answering any or all of them, consider yourself tagged ;)  If you do, leave a comment or link to your own post, I'd love to hear your answers!


~Emma ♥


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Ramblings of Mischief and Preferences

I know I've been away for a bit and I've been thinking of all sorts of wonderful posts while I was gone that will come soon, but right now, I just feel like giving you a life update!  Not sure why, but answering a bunch of made-up questions sounded like fun to me tonight.  I hope you don't mind!


(Isn't this sweet? I wonder what they could be saying...)


My current mood:

Contented.  I'm not feeling happy or unhappy, really, just a comfortable, contented sort of gratitude for life.



What I'm thinking about:

Lot's of things are going through my busy mind right now, but my favorite recurring thought is that in just a few months I will be an auntie!  



Projects I'm working on:
(Or rather, "Projects on which I am working" ;)

Regardless, my biggest project this/last month was organizing a baby shower for my sister, but that's more or less under control now.  My next project will be all of the girly, ruffly little trifles I get to make for my impending niece!

(I mean, c'mon, aren't these two just undeniably cute?)

Things I've been watching lately:

Oh, that dreadfully wonderful BBC!!!  Isn't it just the greatest most terrible thing, my dears?  Ugh.  But I love it!  

I've recently finished watching Dickens' "Little Dorrit".  To those of you who've seen it, isn't it awesome?!?  I know it was long (14 episooooodes!) but it was great!  A tad dark at times, I had no idea how dark Charles Dickens could be, yikes!  Still one of my new favorites, though!

To whoever made this, this is gorgeous

And just this weekend I watched the 2004 BBC version of Elizabeth Gaskell's "North and South".   I thought it was lovley!  Granted, not the "cute" romance like Little Dorrit, but the story was pretty intense at times, which I thought was quite well done, even though I'm still not over the shock that Richard Armitage is Thorin Oakenshield.



Books I've been reading (or pretending to):

Ooh, ooh!  That one! ^ ^ ^  It is so good!  I thought Saint Catherine was a pretty interesting saint when I began this book (part of the reason for my picking it up), but it is turning out to be an even better read than I expected!  I'm a third of the way through and I can say right now I'd already recommend it.

I'm also reading "The Fellowship of the Ring" to Matthew, and "Flee to the Fields: The faith and works of the Catholic land movement", compiled by nine different men whom I don't have the patience to name.  The preface is written by Hilaire Belloc, if that rings a bell!


What I'm writing:

A short story I thought up, not sure where it'll go, but we'll see.


Listening to:

At this precise moment I have Pandora set to my "Humble and Kind" station playing "Middle Of A Memory" by Cole Swindell.  It's kind of sad, but not too sad to skip ;)

My current favorites to sing that are subject to change periodically weekly,  include:

And those are this week's "happy-songs" :)



And finally, my favorite things right now:

TEA! Raspberry, honey-peach, sugar cookie, all warm and wintry and lovely!  Dreary days.  Chicken keeping.  Singing!!!  Snow flurries.  My Favorite Person. The smell of wood smoke.  Chartreuse, coral, and turquoise.


And that concludes my ramble for the evening, I hope you made it to this point!  But if you did, let me know how you liked the style of this post. I found it quite relaxing and I'd be interested in your opinion :)

Always,

~Emma