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,


Homemade Spiced Pear Liqueur

Spiced Pear Liquer

Have you seen Chef Mimi’s Blog?  Oh My My!   Talk about mouth-watering photos and unbelievably talented cooking skills!

When I saw a post where Chef Mimi shared this recipe for Spiced Pear Liqueur, I had to try it.

I have never tried making anything like this before (with the exception of the ever-popular and classic Apple Pie Moonshine 🙂 that didn’t turn out too shabby!), so I am excited to see how it goes and what other wonderful libations I may want to try concocting…

Here is the recipe as Chef Mimi shares:

Spiced Pear Liqueur

1/2 cup sugar
Small handful whole cloves
Small handful whole allspice (I did not have allspice, so did not use)
2 cinnamon sticks
1 ripe pear, I used red D’anjou
Few pieces of orange peel
Vodka, approximately 3 cups

Place the sugar, cloves, allspice and cinnamon sticks in a large, clean bottling jar with a lid. Slice up the pear, avoiding the core, and place wedges into the jar. Add the orange peel.

Pour vodka until it reaches the top. I used approximately 3 cups. Shake well until the sugar dissolves. Then store away for 4-6 weeks.

spiced pear liquer 2

I love all the wonderful colors and aromas of the ingredients that went into this, and after almost a week, it has achieved this beautiful amber color below.

Can’t wait to try taste-testing in a few more weeks!

spiced pear liquer 3

Spiced Pear Cheers & Warm Hugs,



Cheers! It’s Friday!

happy hour cheers

CHEERS!  It’s Friday!  Another week flew by, and it’s the Yippee Skippee Weekend again!

I’m sure hoping it’s a summertime weather weekend.  These silly Fall-like temperatures need to go away and come back another day – much later in the year.

For my Friday card this week, I had fun with StampinUp’s Happy Hour Stamp Set making fun looking cocktails and thinking festively of celebrating time with family and friends.  The “Cheers” is embossed in silver, and I thought the silver ribbon added just what it needed.

Hope your weekend brings lots of things to cheer or “cheers” about!

Cheers & Hugs,


Cheers! (or in our case John’s Bar!) – There ARE good people in this world!


This past Thursday evening, Marty and I went on our regular weekly “date” to John’s Bar.
John’s Bar is our CHEERS.
It’s our “where everybody knows your name.”
It’s an everyone-gets-a-hug-when-you-leave kinda place.
It’s NOT classy.
It’s NOT fancy.
Dare I say it is a bit of a “dive” (in the most flattering way you can call something a dive).

Don’t ask for a Cosmo at John’s Bar.
Brad (the bartender) laughed when I asked for Bombay Gin instead of Tangueray.
No frozen fru fru drinks.
Appetizers are packs of saltine crackers (if you’re lucky!)
The menu never changes – as many times as I ask to look at it – and even when I try writing something different on the menu pad, like Belgium waffles with fresh strawberries and whipped cream or a chicken quesadilla.
But you can always count on a grilled chicken salad (with French fries),
Or a bowl of cheeseburger mac soup,
Or some pretty darn good wings.

Our bill for the evening rarely exceeds $30 – for dinner and drinks!
And we have made lifetime friends we would have never known if not for our regular Thursday evenings at John’s bar.
We get invited to pig roasts and picnics and parties.
We celebrate birthdays and weddings and anniversaries.
We laugh – and laugh – and laugh.
Sometimes we talk politics… and even though my views are a bit more liberal than most at John’s on Thursday nights – they love me anyway.

Well – When we got home this past Thursday evening from our “date,” I realized I had lost my debit card.

(Dang that Marty for having me pay this week!)

Nick said I looked distraught…
I felt like I lost my left arm (I’m a leftie – so right arm does ME NO good!)…
I called our friends that were still there.
They checked the bar, the bathroom, the parking lot….
No luck.

So Friday morning I called the bank, cancelled the debit card, and ordered a new one.
What a long 5-7 days it will be waiting!  (seriously Mars Bank!?)

Then about an hour later, the bank called me.
Someone had returned my debit card TO THE BANK!
They told the nice lady on the phone that called me that they found it in a – ahem – bar (or maybe restaurant she said kindly) parking lot.

So see! There are good, kind people in the world!
Doing kind little random things every day.
If you just pay attention.

Thank you to whoever was so kind to return my debit card to the bank! I appreciate you!
(even though the bank doesn’t – ahem – trust – and said they have to destroy it since “someone else touched it!” and issue me a new one)

YOU tried, and I love ya!

pink hello doiley victorian thank you

Hello Doily SU Stamp on Distressed Victorian Thank You Note

Cheers and Hugs,