January 30, 2009

The Promise

And God said, "This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth." ---Genesis 9:12-16

January 29, 2009

By the River

By the river

By the river I stand
Waves amass together with ease
Along the river banks sand
With little ripples as they please
How fascinating, these waves really tease!
Bestowing upon me a quiet sense of peace
As the tension in my muscles release
Watching with a shiver
I gaze with marvel at the river
For I am an avid believer
There is more than life it delivers
This feeling is mutual
The river signifies something spiritual
Right down below it is factual
Life form continues to mature and grow
And whilst the river flows
Who knows what life holds for us tomorrow
Copyright 2006 - Sylvia Chidi

January 28, 2009

Sea World

Heeelllooo! Doesn't it appear that this is what the fish is saying? Today my daughter and I are off to Sea World. Of course Shamu is always quite the delight but the manatees and penguins get top spots for us. Hopefully we'll be storing up on some mega doses of vitamin D while enjoying the aquatic adventure.

January 26, 2009

View from the Bleachers- My World Tuesday

Why you may ask would basball be displayed as being 'my world'. It goes back about 16 years ago when my son first discovered his passion. I can remember all those brisk and cold Spring days at the beginning of each season followed by some sweltering days later into the season. I've been there all along in the bleachers. Cold metal bleachers, wood chipped and splinter ridden bleachers, and lots of really uncomfortable chairs that got carted all over Pennsylvania and some local states. Those were some really great times. As time went by the passion never dwindled and only grew. Baseball was my ultimate excuse for my first digital SLR the Nikon D-70. The first picture today was taken the very first weekend I owned the camera. It has seved me well ever since. Today I'm still there in the bleachers but it has expanded to New Orleans and beyond. My son is a pitcher for UNO and I even got to sit in the bleachers surrounded by LSU fans in Baton Rouge to witness his first college game that I had the opportunity to travel to. I thought the LSU fans would be intimidating but in turned out they understood I was only a Mom there to see her son and I think most of them wished him well. You can see the picture above that the bleachers were full of a wave of purple and gold. He pitched exceptionally well that evening and I can remember it all over again when I look back on the pictures. So yes, this is really 'my world'. The new season is fast approaching and I'm anxious to get back down South and find my seat in the bleachers. Discover other peoples worlds by clicking HERE.

January 25, 2009

The Bellagio Conservatory and Gardens

Stupendous! These shots are from The Bellagio Conservatory and Gardens in Las Vegas. It's breathtaking to witness what can be done with just a flower or two. The theme when I was there was the Chinese New Year. The most surprising part was the vast number of orchids. They employ 140 horticulturists just to maintain it all. Las Vegas has so many hidden gems but I'm glad I didn't miss this one.

January 23, 2009

Little Bay, St. Marteen

A fine little cozy spot in the world. Little Bay, St. Marteen. I long to go back to the island. If you look closely my son is coming in from a snorkel adventure. I've been to several of the Carribean islands but St. Marteen sparks my interest like no other. There are a few close seconds but this one takes the cake. I've been to a few beaches on the island but my oh my there's so much more to discover. I'm thinking the cold has taken it's toll on me and I need a big shot of vitamin D to cure those winter blues away. Next week I get to visit the Sunshine state and it's most famous occupants Mickey and Shamu so I'll be able to store up a little vitamin D.

January 21, 2009

Camp Jeep!!?

Just a little posterization or solarization and the whole kit and kaboodle. The question swirling around since the new year has come and gone is---Camp Jeep or no Camp Jeep? We are keeping an eye on the web site (click HERE) and so far all signs are appealing. Come on economy make a come back!!!! We've attended Camp Jeep for many years from Branson, Missouri to the Poconos in Pennsylvania and mostly to Nelson County in Virginia. (near Walton's mountain) My daughter has become a Jeep Willy's lover and eyes them up and wants to be driving one. Camp Jeep is a blast for any Jeep owner. There's something for the entire family. Top name concerts, picnics, crafts, sports, kids tent, Tony Hawk, The flying tomato (Shaun White), biking, fishing, scuba diving, rafting, alpine tower, and so much more. Watching fellow jeepers trying to get out of a water filled ditch was a top rated event during the last event. Click HERE to take a glimpse. The trail rides are sellouts and offer the best views and adventures around. Camp Jeep --- Get out there! Comradrie is achevied in these events and if you ever witness two wranglers passing one another on the highway they'll be giving the wave or the nod. Join in all you jeepers!

January 20, 2009

Kings Gap - My World Tuesday

Today's post is once again of one of my most favorite spots close to home. It's Kings Gap Environmental State Park located close to Newville and Carlisle, Pennsylvania. It sits on top of the mountain over looking Cumberland County. The mansion located here was once a Summer home to a local family. Today it offers many hiking trails over 1400 acres and wildlife watching opportunities by the dozens. Classes of all kinds are offered from 'going green' to how saw-whet owls migrate. Even star gazing and master gardening skills can be conquered here. Several times a year the mansion is opened to the public for tours. Other special buidings on the property that are sometimes overlooked are the carriage house that has a pulley drawn elavator to lift the horse drawn wagons and in the same building is where the horses were kept. Another special place is the water tower that was used for the home. Of course through time modern plumbing and wells were eventually put to use but venturing around the grounds takes you back in time. It's a treasured gem close to home and the spectacular views of the farm laden valley are breathtaking especially at sunset. Each season offers it's own uniqueness but my personal favorite is in the Fall. -- I've blogged many times of this location and probably will return here yet again. Click HERE to go to My World Tuesday and take a trip around the world.

January 19, 2009

Falling softly

The snow is steadily falling but once in awhile the sun does manage to peak through so it may not be falling for long. This pic is straight from the camera. Took a lazy shot from inside my living room with the door open for a quick shutter release. Where was this at Christmas?

January 18, 2009

From Past to Present

Today's post is from 1914. This is my husband's Great-Great Grandfather Thomas Smith from Riverside, New Jersey. Recently this picture was discovered again and reframed. After some investigating and referring to some writing on the back I found out a little more background information. Upon zooming in on the logo I found that this is a 1914 Excelsior 1000 cc V-Twin engine motorcycle -- one of the top notch motorcycles of the day. The position he is pictured here is called the Rollie Free prone position named after a fellow whom made a speed record in his bathing suit! From what I gather my husband's GG-grandfather was quite colorful.
This is how I started tracking the background of the cycle. --The logo.
Fast forward to 2008 - 94 years later. My husband has that same passion for cycles. This is his Harley Davidson but he wouldn't do the Rollie Free prone position for a picture. So do you think some of this is inherited? We do have a fun time when we get a chance in between my children's activities to take a ride around the country side with some neighbors.

January 17, 2009

He is in the building!

Elvis sighting! He may have left the building but he found a cozy home in another building. As always I'm a day (more like 2 weeks) late and probably a dollar short. I forgot Elvis' birthday this month. How is that possible! As we entered an establishment in Las Vegas I had the chance encounter of eyeing Elvis. I had to sneak the picture so of course it isnt' the greatest but I got my shot before he glanced my way. Elvis some 30+ years later! We went to a show at the Las Vegas Hilton which was a favorite of Elvis' during his high times but now he has found contentment helping to hostess and provide us all with a lucky sighting.

January 16, 2009

Fairy Tale or Dedication to the Fallen

"Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou, Romeo? Deny thy father, and refuse thy name"
'Rapunzel, Rapunzel, Let down your golden hair,'
Cinderelly, Cinderelly Night and day it's Cinderelly. Make the fire, fix the breakfast. Wash the dishes, do the mopping.
So which shall it be?
-It's the 44th New York Infantry Monument sitting on top of Little Round Top in Gettysburg, PA.

January 15, 2009

Bring back the colors

It's cold and blustery here in my little corner of Pennsylvania. I miss Fall today. The colors, the warmth, the adventures. I find myself staying in doors and not even grabbing my camera. I was so curious about this water tower and wondered what happens to it when the weather is frightful and freezing. I hope to get myself out and about to find out that answer. It's 'just' a water tower but it's so old and still used. It leaks terribly at the top and who would be brave enough to enter the room below? I'm thinking it may only be used for the magnificint garden that is below it and it's emptied through the Winter months. The colors this year were pristine everywhere I turned. Even those pesky weeds brought about the most vivid colors. This is from Kings Gap that I frequently have posted about. When I'm anxious to get out there I always seem to return to this place.

January 14, 2009

Birthday Greetings!

Happy Birthday to my sister-in-law Terri. Of course I won't mention her age since she's a lady but she is quite young. She came into my family's life at a young age of 17 and has been just one of us for many years now. She's a proud Mother of three great kids and a terrific Granddaughter. She makes a mean ice cream cake and the very best pumpkin rolls deemed by my daughter. She's a kind individual and is always willing to help anyone in any way she can. AND she puts up with my brother to boot! Wishing you the very best Terri and many more 'Happy' Birthdays to follow!

January 13, 2009

Arc de Triomphe- Las Vegas

On our trip to Las Vegas we stopped and marveled at the Arc de Triomphe at the Paris Hotel and Casinos. Yeah I know it may not be the real thing but it's pretty darn impressive. It's amazing the extemes that are taken to replicate details. The Arc is to be 322 ft. high. On New Year's Eve Robbie Maddison decided to jump to the top of this with his motorcycle then turn around and jump off the top of it back down to the street. Does anyone else think - crazy? Check this out on youtube by clicking on Robbie's name. Unbelievable.

January 12, 2009


Is it a wish machine? Oh Zoltar I wish I were on some remote tropical island.... The Winter wish. Mr. Weatherman is predicticting some of the coldest weather we've had for some time by the end of the week. No wonder I want to wish for something warm and adventurous. The older I get the more I think about moving south. Wait! I don't like humidity either! Oh no let me rethink. Maybe I'm right where I'm supposed to be. I know one wish I wouldn't wish from Zoltar...to be BIG. Remember the movie where Tom Hanks wished he was big. I'll just dream of that remote tropical isle..... What would your wish be?

January 11, 2009

As I was organizing some of those old photos that pop up all around the house I came across today's picture. My Mother gave me a copy of this a little while back. I believe my Uncle gave her a copy. These pictures are practically non-existant so thanks to whomever is was that passed it along and shared with us all. This is my Grandparents and their eight children. Oh my! Grace, Charles, Edgar, Virginia, Maryann, Kenny, Vivian and Judy. It is more than likely one of the last or maybe only pictures of all of them together. My Grandmother passed away within a year or two of this photo. Can you imagine being a single Father with eight children!! Well you know it all worked out. He done well keeping everyone together in some pretty tough times in the world. Then along came eight in-laws and then 22 grandchildren and now countless great-grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren and still growing. We all still merge together on Christmas Eve and sadly at funerals or happily at a few weddings. Thanks to Pap and Grandma Nehf we are still going strong! We all have great memories and stories to pass along to many generations.

January 10, 2009

San Diego Wrap-up

I ventured a different path this week by blogging about a past experience. I enjoyed reminicing and hope someone says to theirselves hey I'd like to see San Diego. I love to go new places even if it's just down the street. I like to experience the things that sometimes are considered boring by others. Just enjoying the nature around in any form is intriguing. ( to me) So back to San Diego. Did I only go to beaches and Mexico and a conference? We did get to go to the offices of some customers from the conference out in suburbia near Serra Mesa that provided even more charming scenery. Another fun time was planning and choosing where to eat what to eat and what time to eat. Food! The other ultimate traveling experience. We ate by the bay, we ate at a movie set, we ate Mexican, we ate steak, we ate at a cool diner. We covered the grand scope of top notch and pretty seedy joints. Some memorable spots were the Corvette Diner downtown in the Gaslamp Quarter and Kansas City Barbeque Diner which is where the movie Top Gun was filmed. We went to Anthony's Fish Grotto by the bay and another day had authentic Mexican food at Olde Towne. Planning where, when and what our meals would be was just another adventure. We stayed at a place called Hotel Circle called The Red Lion Hanalei Resort but I do believe it is now the Crowne Plaza. Of course there was a fabulous shopping nearby called The Fashion Valley Mall in Mission Valley and Seaport Village downtown. Shopping is another adventure to be found and scoped out! Maybe a new pair of shoes! One of the simpliest and most funniest encounters we had was while just taking a drive and checking things out one late evening. We came to a four way stop sign and across the intersection was another stop sign facing us. We pondered and then discoverd.... When we went straight and the street suddenly became a 70 degree angle straight down with a huge warning to check your brakes before proceeding. I don't know why this was hilarious but then again I do find pleasure in the simple life. I've made it sound like my week in San Diego was fabulous which it was because it was the first time I was there but I can tell there is so much we missed seeing and doing (like a boat ride in the bay or whale watching or Balboa Park) so I'll just dream someday of going back and until then the anticipation will be it's own little adventure. I work for the Navy and am drawn to those massive ships and subs we support and San Diego sure delivered. Thanks to all those in the active military and to all those that help make their lives better.

January 8, 2009

Bienvenidos a Mexico --- Tijuana

From the best to the not so good or rather the worst. We found a couple of hours but didn't have the time to go to anything really exciting like the zoo or legoland or a casino so we had the not so bright idea to go to Mexico. What contrasts from La Jolla the day before. We drove to the border and luckily decided to stop at a market on the way to grab a bottle of water to take with us. We parked at the border and walked into Tijuana instead of driving. I do believe that was the only one wise choice we made this day. Immediately walking away from the customs building and heading to downtown Tijuana we we were awe struck 180 degrees from the La Jolla awe struck. Extreme poverty would be the truest description. Very young children approached us several times through the walk begging for money. We could see their Mothers telling them to go to us. As we entered downtown we were hounded by literally every shop keeper to enter their store that they would give us the best buy. Keep in mind we weren't sure what 'it' was they were going to give us the best buy on. One burly guy wanted us to shop in his store but when we peered into the building that was dark we didn't see any merchandise....hmmmmm??? I do know we could've entered about 30 places offering just about any medical procedure known. We walked out on the edge of the sidewalks or down the street itself so not to be led into any buildings. At each corner we could've had the grand opportunity to get our pictures taken with a donkey painted to look like a zebra with a huge sombrero on its head. We kindly declined. (or rather ignored the requests over and over and over....) We finally did stop in one half-respectable store and bought pure vanilla. I kinda question the pure part but I was just being the terrified tourist. We walked into Tijuana bought some vanilla and promptly walked back to the border. We moved quickly non-stop for about 90 minutes and thankfully got back through customs without incident and sped back up the highway to San Diego. Many at the conference questioned why we ladies would venture down Tijuana way alone and told us not to do anything like that again. Where were they before we left? Not a pleasant experience but you know if I wouldn't have went I would be here today saying to myself why didn't I go when I had the opportunity. Life is like that -- some things you just have to experience for yourself and learn some lessons the hard way.

January 5, 2009

California - La Jolla

Wa la~! The Ultimate, the superior, the coolest, the snappiest, the hang 10 beach of all! La Jolla! It was like a postcard every where I turned. For the first half hour I think all we did was stare and try to take it all in. The weather was magnificent especially since at home we heard it was like 32 degrees. The palm trees were swaying the ocean was knocking out that rhythem that lulled you into the stare. We got to witness a beutiful wedding in that perfect setting. Of course we 'had' to venture down to the water. It was the coldest water I've ever felt! We were told the Pacific is much colder than the Atlantic (on U.S. boundries) because of how the Pacific has a northerly current from Alaska. I'm not a scientist so hey I'll believe that!

All that mesmermizing didn't stop there. We rounded the bend in the ocean and came across this picture. Unbelievable! Seals seals everywhere seals! It was called The Children's Pool. It would've been a great little inlet for children but guess who has taken over!? We walked out on the pier to watch the seals coming in from the ocean to the cove then back out again. Many would rest and sun bathe just like us humans upon the beach. We witnessed lots of barking and fighting for the 'best' spot and lots of frockling on the rocks at the bottom of the pier.

We couldn't pull ourselves from this spot. It was like we were in another time watching the seals.

Remembering this picture I had recently saw my cousin's blog where he got to witness an Atlantic seal on the beach in Chincateague, VA. How lucky is that! That got me reminicing about this trip. Thanks Haney for sending me in a different direction on blogger land!

I hate to say again that none of my pictures do La Jolla justice but if you come across anyone who has been lucky enough to have been here I'm willing to guess that you won't hear anything negative. Of course I couldn't afford to live in the most run down shack here but it didn't keep me from appreciating one of natures best! Click here on Dream La Jolla to watch a great photo video of better pics with some soothing music. >>>enjoy!

This is probably the best shot I got all week. I can hear it calling my name........

January 4, 2009

Torrey Pines Park

On another day and another adventure we went for a drive on the Pacific Coast highway. I saw a million places I'd like to go back and visit but of course there were beaches to see. This first picture was different than most in it was completely covered in pebbles. It was a surfers beach and it was extremely windy. I suppose that had something to do with the surfers liking it so much. I regret that I don't know the name of this beach but an acquantiance that took us here just wanted us to see another kind of California beach. Surf on dude!!

Along our drive we went high onto the cliffs of Torrey Pines State Park. Did you know that Torrey Pine is the most rarest pine in the world? Some may recall Torrey Pines being known as a golf mecca. We were fortunate that as we drove through Torrey Pines it was the weekend of the PGA Buick Open. We were on the lookout for Tiger Woods and Jim Furyk! Although we couldn't enjoy the golf tournament we did thourghly enjoy hiking around the Park. We had to leave one of the non-adventurers sit on a bench because you just can't hike in high heels! If it wouldv'e been me though I sure would have given it a try!
Looking out over the cliffs to the ocean was breathtaking. The hiking trails went on for miles and the beach at the bottom was beautiful. The trails zigged and zagged beyond belief. There were deep creaveses to avoid. I do believe they have trouble with those infamous California mud slides here that we hear about on the news from time to time.

We were so busy enjoying the scenery and little critters and ocean, and pine, and rocks that I didn't take alot of pictures. Of course this was before we were into the digital way of life. I'd like to go back and capture some more of this rare beauty. We surely have been blessed here in the United States with such wide and varied landscapes that you could travel a lifetime and not be able to see it all.

My most favorite is still yet to come..

California - Ocean Beach Pier

Another sunset spot we made it to by San Diego was Ocean Beach Pier. (click for more info) It's the longest pier on the West coast and forms a 'T' waaaay out in the ocean. (There are many piers still waiting to be visited by me in California) We had a little more time on this day and enjoyed walking out to the end to see the sunset. It's always an adventure finding our way to the places we've picked out. The adventure takes many twists, wrong turns, dead ends, and the infamous 'U' turn. I can say though that it always winds up being well worth it. This pier had a small restrauant and bait stand about half way out if you got tired from the hike. The roll of the ocean made you ponder for a second if you wanted to make this trek...

Being that we were from Pennsylvania we were happy to see that they proudly sold Hershey's Ice Cream. Eventually we ventured back to the car after being mesmerized by the rolling ocean. These pictures do not do the pier justice in showing how long it is. It's hard to believe it can withstand a mighty Pacific storm. The town of Ocean Beach was also worth looking around. It was a 'California' surfin town and had the normal beach scene that I could've settled down in for let's say a month or two. The best was yet to come though as on another day we moved further north but still within San Diego county. You may wonder did I get anything done at the conference? I guess the answer would be yes that I got to meet many of our customers from Pearl Harbor, San Diego, Yokuska, Japan, and Puget Sound, WA. Putting a face to a name that you deal with makes my job more meaningful. I had to work but my mind was always one tick off of wondering where we'd go next and what would we see.....

California Dreamin

I'm always dreaming of where I want to go and what I want to see and do and forget the great places I've been. I have opportunities to see some of the United States through traveling on my job. I don't always have the time to 'see it all' but I have made the most of every free minute no matter where I've been. These pics are from Coronado, California just across the bridge from San Diego. By in large this has been the best sunset beach I've encountered. You can see North Island just to the right.

Each day after the conference we had literally moments to get to a new point each day for the sunset. We'd plan the event over breakfast or lunch and I'd pan the maps to find the quickest way to get to the edge of the water. Here on Coronado there's a weeks worth of sight seeing to do. There's Coronado Hotel which we scanned through but why oh why didn't I take pictures!? The bridge to get to Coronado is an adventure itself. The next few days I'll rummage through my memory and go do some California dreamin about San Diego. It left quite an impression on me and I long to go back except this time slow down and enjoy even more of the area. My first view of San Diego was from the airplane. What a landing! You need a great pilot to put the plane down here but thankfully there weren't any deterrants! We got around by bumming others rental cars and we took off and saw all we could see. What great adventures! We stayed at a resort on Hotel Circle and that alone could've been a vacation. Thankfully we didn't get to witness any earthquakes but I do wonder what it would be like..... to be continued....

January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

Another year! So much to look forward to and so much to remember. We can't change the past but we sure can have an impact on our future. I wish you all love, happiness and contentment.

May peace fill all the empty spaces around you
And in you, may contentment answer all your wishes.
May comfort be yours, warm and soft like a sigh.
And may the coming year
show you that every day is really a first day,a new year.
Let abundance be your constant companion,
so that you have much to share.
May mirth be near you always,
like a lamp shining brightly
on the many paths you travel.
May you be true love.
~Author Unknown~