A Girlfriend Camp Visit to Lily Dale

A Girlfriend Camp Visit to Lily Dale.

This past weekend, a group of girls and I went on our annual “girlfriend camp vacation.”
We’ve gone to various places over the past few years including a beach week at Ocean Isle and having various “camp staycations” at each other’s homes.

One of my BFF’s (who I affectionately named Bubby about 20 years ago when Hubby and I met her and her Hubby on an airplane heading to the same cruise) and I created Girlfriend Camp (or GFC as we have coined it) quite a few years ago for just the two of us to get together.  We would meet up a couple times a year at one or the other’s house or at a destination in between since we live about two hours apart.

Since then, GFC has expanded to some of her friends and some of my friends at different times.  We are now all friends and share a very special GFC bond!

This year, Bubby wanted to visit Lily Dale, NY as part of our vacation.  I had never heard of it, but am always up for an adventure and new experiences.

And that it was!

Lily Dale is a small community  located in southwestern New York.  It has a population of 275, but welcomes approximately 22,000 visitors each year.  The purpose of Lily Dale is to further the science, philosophy, and religion of Spiritualism.

It is a place of pilgrimage for many Spiritualists and others interested in Spiritualism, the paranormal, and New Age topics.  Many medium and Spiritualist healers reside in Lily Dale.

I can’t say that I’ve been convinced to believe that Mediums can communicate with spirits (even though a Medium provided me with the name and spelling of my recently-passed brother), but what I can say is that it is a lovely and loving place.

No matter who we encountered during our visit to Lily Dale – whether they be other guests or Lily Dale residents,  every person was kind and loving.  There is a true sense of peace in this little place on earth.

There are small trails through the woods to walk –  one of which is a “Fairy Trail…”


where lovely little fairy houses and communities are on display,

and room is made for fairies (and visitors) to dance with nature.

Gathering places have been created….

for people to gather, pray, meditate,

and possibly connect with the spirits of their loved ones.

Healing services are held, and ribbons of healing and prayer are tied on a prayer tree in chains to offer continuous remembrances for loved ones.  Guests are offered the opportunity to write a prayer intention or a name on a ribbon.  By the end of each summer, hundreds of ribbons are tied to the prayer tree and sing gently in the breeze. At the end of each summer, healers gather in prayer and respectfully take the ribbons from the tree. They are brought to the closing ceremony, where a final blessing is said over the ribbons for healing and for the world.

Here we are in Lily Dale.  Full of love.  Full of life.  Feeling the peace.  Open to the experience.

And the next day……. in true GFC fashion – we spent the day visiting winerys and breweries and celebrating life and freedom and peace and friendship.


Cheers to girlfriends!  Cheers to friendship!  Cheers to kindness!  Cheers to acceptance!  Cheers to open minds!  Cheers to peace!  Cheers to love!

And finally,

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

Difficult Paths

Scottsdale, AZ - July, 2017

Scottsdale, AZ – July, 2017

Difficult Paths.

Difficult paths
often lead to
beautiful destinations.

 

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

On a recent trip to Arizona, I loved snapping shots of the beautiful desert scenery.  Little did I know how sharp and painful beautiful cactus plants are when you rub up against them too close………. In Steve Erkel voice….. “Did I do that????”  Yep!  Yep I did!

The Magic of Moonlight

Full Moon over Scottsdale, Arizona - July, 2017

Full Moon over Scottsdale, Arizona – July, 2017

The Magic of Moonlight.

The full moon’s smoldering glow
illuminates the evening desert sky

Peeking and hiding amidst billowy clouds
in shades of creamy coral and milky opal.

Palm trees elegantly pirouette
with delicate fronds fluttering fluidly

While the wind whispers a soft lullaby
in hushed tones of serene tranquility.

Good night sweet summer day…
sleep peacefully in contented slumber.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Red Rock Mountains of Sedona

Last week, Hubby and I had the great privilege of traveling approximately 2,000 miles across the U.S. to visit a beautiful area of our country far different from the area we live in – the desert Southwest of Scottsdale and Sedona, Arizona.

A highlight of our trip was sightseeing the beautiful Red Rock Mountains of Sedona.  I took quite a few pics, but haven’t had much time to look at yet since we’ve just returned.  Here is one I really like, but even it doesn’t compare to the enormity, the vastness, and the beauty of experiencing this beautiful corner of the world in person.

The rocks in Sedona are a deep, rich, orange-red like no others around.  Apparently, they are comprised of sediment layers deposited over many millions of years*. The shale foundation is the remainder of ancient swamp lands. Other layers are the remainder of an ancient beachfront, known as the “Schnebly Hill Formation,” that deposited iron about 275 million years ago. The Coconino sandstone layer was formed at a time when Sahara-like dunes covered the majority of the Western US.  The Kaibab limestone layer was deposited when a warm shallow sea covered the area about 250 million years ago.

The Red Rocks we see today were formed several million years ago when the uplifting of the Colorado Plateau that created the Grand Canyon also caused water to carve out Sedona’s red rock, cake-like layers. Currently, Sedona is considered to be a part of the Colorado Plateau and is in the process of making mountains, raising an average of one inch every 60-80 years!

The temperatures during our one-week visit ranged between a  low of 102 to a high of 117 degrees Fahrenheit!  Whoooowheee it was hot!  It was a different kind of hot than we are used to in the Eastern part of the U.S., however, as the humidity levels were only around 10% as compared to our typical 50-100%, so it was much more pleasant.  (Especially when in the pool with a frozen margarita!)

This is a place in the U.S. that anyone who can, should experience!

Thanks for the memories Sedona!
I look forward to creating some paintings from your beautiful inspiration!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

P.S. Thanks Jayme and Ryan for being our gracious tour guides!  ❤

* https://redrockscenicbyway.com/

Blossom through the Darkness

Orange Begonia - July, 2017 - Mars, PA

Orange Begonia – July, 2017 – Mars, PA

We don’t always grow when things are easy,
We don’t always blossom when the sun is bright.

Grow through the challenges.
Blossom through the darkness.

Life your life as fully and courageously and boldly as you can.
It’s your opportunity to bloom!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

PS  Thanks, Jan, for these beautiful flowers, they are still vibrantly blossoming!

Chilling White Wine

Frozen Grapes in Pinot Grigio

Frozen Grapes in Pinot Grigio

Chilling White Wine.

I recently learned about this great tip for keeping your white wine chilled without watering it down.

Freeze a bag of grapes, and use them as “ice cubes.”

At the end of your drink, you have a wonderful treat of wine soaked grapes to enjoy!  And your wine stays full flavored to the very end.

I am definitely more of a red wine girl, but I sometimes enjoy a light Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc or a crisp, buttery Chardonnay in the summer.

Dropping in a few frozen grapes makes it even more of a treat.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Amber Waves of Grain

Amber Waves of Grain - America the Beautiful

Amber Waves of Grain – America the Beautiful


O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America! God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

America the Beautiful.

Independence Day, also referred to as the Fourth of July or July Fourth, is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence 241 years ago on July 4, 1776. The Continental Congress declared that the thirteen American colonies regarded themselves as a new nation, the United States of America, and were no longer part of the British Empire.

Happy Birthday America!  Happy Independence Day to my fellow Americans!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

On our way home from dinner out one evening a week or so ago, I convinced Hubby to pull over when we drove by fields of grain growing as far as the eyes could see as the sun was setting.   Amber waves of grain glowing in the sunset caused me to pause and rejoice in the beauty of the country we live in.

And lest you be fooled by the gloriousness of the moment… To get the right angle, I tried squatting in the field when my leg decided to cramp up, so I ended up on the ground with muddy knees and bum, and Hubby asking if I fell as he saw me rolling on the ground.  Thank goodness nobody else saw!  Just keeping it real here….. at life in between.

 

Impatience

Impatiens Flowers - June 2017 - Mars, PA

Impatiens Flowers – June 2017 – Mars, PA

Impatience.

It is hard to be patient,
when you are impatiently waiting…

For the sun to rise,
or for the sun to set.

For the next season to begin,
or for the former to end.

For the pot to boil,
or for the bread to rise.

For the punch line of a joke,
or the ending of a sad movie.

To start a new book,
or to reach the ending.

For the child to grow,
or for the child to remain small.

For the love of your life,
or for the ability to love life.

For that amazingly great moment,
or for each one in between.

Cheers and hugs,
Jodi

 

Morning is Worth Waking up to

 Early Morning Front Yard - Mars, PA - June, 2017

Early Morning Front Yard – Mars, PA – June, 2017

Morning is worth waking up to…

When the warmth of the sun casts its golden magic,
and the shadows of the awakening trees begin dancing.

The cool dew is refreshingly invigorating on bare feet in the grass,
and the light breeze of the night still lingers.

The chirping birds are rejoicing, drenched with enthusiasm,
soaring and fluttering with the butterflies and the bees.

Steaming dark roast coffee is poured and inhaled,
lightened with Italian sweet cream, and then sipped with pleasure.

Sleepy, swollen eyes begrudgingly awaken and brighten.
It’s time to embrace the unending number of possibilities of a brand new day.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

If being in the second half of life means Sunday mornings are even more glorious than Saturday nights, I’ll take it!