Friday, December 25, 2015

Day 150 Merry Christmas on Polish Hill

Immaculate Heart of Mary-Polish Hill 

Merry Christmas to all and blessings into the new year! Hoping that you enjoy this day with people that you love and spread that love to others. As the Pope and other spiritual leaders (oh and Charlie Brown), remind us not to be intoxicated with consumerism and to remember the simple birth of a child who was born to save the world -the greatest gift!  

Spiritual Reflection:
Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord's glory surrounded them. They were terribly frightened, but the angle reassured them. "Don't be afraid! he said, "I bring you good news of great joy for everyone! The Savior-yes, the Messiah, the Lord-has been born tonight in Bethlehem, the city of David! And this is how you will recognize him: You will find a baby lying in a manger, wrapped snugly in strips of cloth!
    Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others-the armies of heaven-praising God:
          "Glory to God in the highest heaven, 
             and peace on earth to all who God favors" (Luke 2:9-14)

Other Sources

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Day 149 Ballet at Phipps Conservatory and Winter Show

I took a month hiatus from my blog, but not from trying new things. I apologize that my December  preparations for the holidays superseded my writing and even resulted in my illness.   I fell into the trap as my blog inspiration book, Everything I Need to Know About Christmas I Learned From A Little Golden Book reminds us:

"Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year and all, but...there is just so much to do... All that baking, endless cycles of cooking and cleaning, cold and flu season and then there's the snarling holiday traffic ..but Christmas is about keeping it simple. It's a time for children, a time of wonder, a time like no other time of year..."  

So  STOP, BREATHE, and absorb the beauty of the season.  A walk though  Phipps Conservatory's flower and garden show is a great way to do this.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Day 147 Riviera Maya,Mexico /Hard Rock

I have not been out of the country in years and I have not been to Mexico since I was 16,  when I spent the summer in Mexico city. My blog inspiration, Little Golden Books reminds us to, “start planning your dream trip and soon you will be on your way.”  It sure was "dreamy"  at the Riviera Maya, Hard Rock all  inclusive resort, where we celebrated a wedding, swam through caves and with dolphins, strengthened relationships and made new friends.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Day 146 Author Lecture/Ruth Reichl

My friends, knowing that I seek new adventures, invited me to “Literary Evenings” a Monday night Lecture series sponsored by the Pittsburgh Arts and Lectures at the Carnegie Music Hall. I do not read that often because  I am so picky about the books that I read. It’s a rare book that grabs  my interest. I often find myself trudging  though to finish a book, hoping that it will get better.  My blog inspiration book,  Everything I Need to Know I Learned From A Little Golden Bookstates, “turn off the TV and read a book,”  so  I thought  that maybe an author lecture would  ignite my interest. Plus, I  just love to hear people's stories.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Day 145 Scare House II

This is the scary season, so last night,  I had  take- out Chinese food,  watched a scary movie, and then  I was off to a haunted house. Not a real one like in (Day 103-Whaley House), but a dramatic “scare” experience –ScareHouse. Because I am chicken by nature,  I have never been a fan of scary movies or the haunted houses  that pop up  everywhere for Halloween  but since last  year it was  so much fun (see Day 78), I thought that I would be brave and give a it try again.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Day 144 Cabaret Theater /Altar Boyz

Altar Boyz is  a  musical comedy, which is perfect for an intimate theater like the Cabaret Theater. I smiled from ear to ear during the entire show because it was just  pure nonstop singing and dancing fun! You don’t have to be a Catholic to enjoy the spreading of “ the love of Jesus with funk.” Move over boy bands, this group had Mark, Matthew, Luke, Juan and Abraham (the Jew). (Review)

Juan , Luke, Abraham, Mark, Matthew
I am not sure why October has been so devoted to cultural experiences like  the symphony, opera, and now musical theater.I am in heaven (no pun intended) when I am experiencing any musical theater. All the arts lift the spirit (again no pun intended) but musical theater has a special part in my soul (pun?)  since performing was one of my passions in high school and college. I was even voted senior  “Most Dramatic” in the year book!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Day 143 Pittsburgh Opera, Nabucco

I have seen a few operas and each were  spectacular, larger than life productions but Nabucco was my first  Italian opera. It was composed by Verdi at the age of 28 years.  Opera is the perfect way to “Get some culture” as recommended by my blog inspiration, “Everything I Need to Know I Learned From a Little Golden Book.”

I knew nothing about the subject of this opera but I wanted to hear an Italian one, thinking that my sporadic Italian lessons would help me understand the singing.  It did not- but  with the help of the subtitles across the top of the stage, the summary in the program, and the dramatic facial expressions of the actors, it was not hard to follow the story.  I was surprised that it was the biblical story of the Babylonian conqueror and exile of the  Israelites from  Jerusalem. The story was loosely based on the Bible book of Jeremiah.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Day 142 Pittsburgh Symphony POPS, "Sinatra and Beyond"/Tony Desare

 The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra POPS  is a great way to experience a first class symphony  orchestra with a twist. Last year, I was floored by the sound of Chris Botti’s smooth trumpet  surrounded by the full orchestra (See Day 101). This season kicked off  with “Sinatra and Beyond,” with Tony DeSare singing some Sinatra and  a lot more.  Experiencing the POPS is a great way to continue to “make music a part of (my) life” as recommended by my blog inspiration  book, “Everything I Need to Know I Learned From a Little Golden Book

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Day 141 Phipps Party in the Tropics

Phipps Conservatory   is mysterious and beautiful at night ( see Day 138 ) and  I recently explored a  public evening   event  where you could enjoy  the beauty, eat, drink, and dance. My blog inspiration book, Everything I Need to Know I Learned From a Little Golden Book  reminds us to “Dress up and go dancing…”  and that  is just what I did  at the Party in the Tropics at the Phipps Conservatory.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Day 140 Gallery Crawl

Architectural show

I love to walk on a warm autumn night and I love art so a Gallery Crawl is the perfect combination of both things. The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust sponsors them a few times a year. Even though I was  sidetracked by my Burgatory milk shake (see Day 139), I managed to catch the last few hours of the  latest  Gallery Crawl  last weekend.
Liberty Ave dance party

The city comes alive during a Gallery Crawl.  There were so many people in the city enjoying this free event.  A map directs you to various exhibit destinations. The restaurants  had specials, and there was entertainment throughout.  Part  of  Liberty  Avenue was transformed into a pulsating light flashing  Indi DJ street dance party-what fun!  (Bhangra Dance Group/DJ Rekha)

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Day 139 Burgatory Milk Shakes

Caramel Pretzel Shake

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
I have to admit that  I am an ice cream junkie even though I  don’t have much of sweet tooth.  Plain old vanilla has always been my downfall . Give me a  good vanilla shake  and  I am in heaven.  When I heard that the new chain, “The Burgatory,” had  great milk shakes, I was on a mission to try them.  I am sure that Maslow was not thinking about  ice cream   when he described man’s physiological needs (food and shelter) at the bottom of his ascending pyramid to reach self- actualization but since this is my   blog, milk shakes  are on the path to the top.  

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Day 138 "RADical Days" 2015/Phipps Conservatory at night

Orchard Room
In Maslow’s theory appreciating beauty is a subset of  acquiring self- esteem which is on his pyramid that leads to  self-actualization on the top. There is no better place in Pittsburgh to appreciate natural beauty than at Phipps Conservatory. As I noted in Day 35, I have been to the Phipps many times, however this time was my first time going  at night, going for free during Pittsburgh’s "RADical Days,” and sharing the beauty with my mother.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Day 137 Death Cab For Cutie/Go outside at Stage AE

Death Cab For Cutie/Stage AE
I have a friend (my music consultant) that has challenged my musical experiences by  introducing me to bands that I have never heard of but now really like (See Day 58- Black KeysDay 113-Stage AE).  Death Cab For Cutie is another one of those bands.  My blog book inspiration, reminds us that, "Magic is  something we can make ourselves! Start with a friend,..(and) add music and dancing”(from Everything I Need to Know I Learned From a Disney Golden Book). Thus trying new bands and  trying a new outside venue, especially on a warm night, is a continued empty- nest plan.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Day 136 Water Skiing, revisit past interests

(Since  I am employed in the school system  the first few weeks of school are “crazy busy", thus the blog hiatus)

As summer comes to a close a September warm sunny day is a  day  to savor, especially in Pittsburgh where sunshine is rare.  This  week was filled with a few “Indian summer” days and I had an invitation  to enjoy a day on a boat.  I thought it was just going to be a boat ride so I was surprised when I also had the opportunity  to water ski, something that I have not done in over 8 years.  

Monday, August 24, 2015

Day 135 Shaker Woods Festivel Columbinana,Ohio

I do not go to a lot of  craft festivals because I am practical and I am always thinking that I need to get rid of my stuff not buy more stuff. I was interested in this one because it is really located in the woods! Even though I thought that I would not buy anything, I accepted an invitation,  on another picture perfect day, to explore the woods with friends.   

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Day 134 German Club/Wing Night

Pittsburgh’s industrial  history attracted many immigrants which resulted in the  rich ethnic  mix here. In Deutschtown, on the North Side of Pittsburgh, you can find the German club, Teutonia Mannerchor. I have passed the building and admired the beauty of the flower gardens surrounding  the sign but I have never been to one of their events.  Everthing I Need to Know I Learned From a Little Disney Golden Book reminds us that, "The world is full of magical places …be curious” and therefore, I accepted an invite to wing night with friends who are club members.  

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Day 133 Relax at Deep Creek, MD

As autumn starts to approach, I savor the last days of summer.  Sunny days are ones  to celebrate not only because fall is just around the bend, but because  it seemed like Pittsburgh was a rain forest with endless days of precipitation this summer ( see Day 120, Raining so Classic Movies in HD ). Everything I Need to Know I Learned from a Disney Golden Book reminds us that, “Magic is all around us” and last weekend, relaxing at Deep Creek with good friends was just that-magical.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Day 132 High School Friends/Little Golden Books

Di and I 

When I started this blog I was  inspired by  a book authored by Diane Muldrow, a  friend of mine since high school (See Blog Day 1)!  Her first book, Everything I Need to Know I Learned From a Little Golden Book, is like a flash back to your childhood and reminds us how those little books in so many ways, spoke the truth about life. Her latest book, Everything I Need to know I learned From a Disney Little Golden Book  states, “Magic is something we can make ourselves! Start with a friend, a true-Baloo friend”. That is just what I did when I spent time with Diane and  a few other high school friends.

Di's Books..New York Bestsellers

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Day 131 Beer Fest

I am not much of a beer drinker or even a drinker at all , so  a beer  fest would be the most  unlikely place for me to end up but it turned out to be so much fun and I learned a lot. Now I know you are thinking, “who learns at a beer fest" because it is supposed  to be about drinking a lot of beer, but for me it was about asking questions, taking notes, learning about beer and making new friends.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Day 130 Deck Refurbish With Warranty Use

stain after stripping and cleaning
 Two years after my attempt to stain my deck it looked very grey and shabby. I still had some of the stain. The  4 YEAR WARRANTY  on the can was staring back at me  in big letters. I thought, “ I wonder  if this warranty really works?”  So even though I did not have high expectations, since I am not sure that I  followed all the steps the first time, I called the Behr Company and inquired about the stain warranty.  After  sending  them the receipt and a picture, all the supplies that I needed to refurbish the deck came delivered to my home!  I had no excuse now to not follow all three (3) steps and  even though I am not  a “handy type of girl”- I planned my deck project.    
deck before started

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Day 129 Mt Washington, 2015 Blue Moon

My picture from Mt. Washington, Pittsburgh
I love the moon especially, when it shines like a big ball as in  August 2014, when we had a “Super Moon” (see Day 39), and when recently we had a “Blue Moon,” which is the second of  two  full moons in the same month.  This does not happen again until 2018! Therefore, I jumped at the invitation to watch the sunset with my friend above the city on Mt Washington.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Day 128 Cancer Survivor Celebration

Photo Booth at Event
My blog inspiration, Everything I Need to Know I Learned From A Little Golden Book, recommends, “celebrate your birthday” and that is just what you do every year that you’re a cancer survivor.  My mother has been a survivor  for over five (5) years! Recently we attended a carnival themed cancer survivor celebration sponsored by UPMC Passavant Cancer Center.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Day 127 Cherry Picker

You never know where I will end up in my quest of trying new things!  I must admit that even I did not expect this one, but recently  I had the opportunity to ride up in a cherry picker used by the utility companies. My blog inspiration book, Everything I Need to Know  I Learned From a Little Golden Book recommends, “Look –up” and that’s  just what I did on this day. 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Day 126 A Day with the Stars, Hollywood Wax Museum, SC

Elves at the dinner

Having an  “unusual sense of humor”  is a characteristic of a self-actualized person according to the psychologist,  Maslow, and that is just what you need to enjoy a silly wax museum. It’s pure “cheesy” fun. My son and my friends did this in South Carolina as we searched the Hollywood Wax Museum for the  most real looking figure and as we took a lot of ridiculous  pictures.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Day 125 South Carolina, Ocean fishing

I have had very little fishing experience. The  few times that I went my son was very little and I only went  if I had someone to put the worm on the hook.  Last year,  I fished  in a  man- made lake behind my girlfriend’s house (see day 46-Fishing ) and she put the worm on the hook.  Looking for a new mother/son experience,   I  was willing to try deep sea fishing though I am plagued with motion sickness.  So I took my motion sickness pill and we chartered a boat in South Carolina,  for a “big fish adventure."

Friday, July 10, 2015

Day 124 Washington DC National Gallery of Art

National Gallery of Art

By far my favorite Museum in Washington DC was the National Gallery of Art. The more art that I experience the more that I discover what kind of art that I enjoy.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Day 123 Washington DC History Museums

Dorthy's ruby slippers
It is a known fact that I  love museums (see blog Day 4 ). So to be in the midst of so many FREE Smithsonian Museums was my heaven on earth!  On our 25,000 step day we perused two (2) history museums; The American History and  Natural History, two (2) art museums; The National Gallery of Art and American Art & National Portrait Gallery and finally, the Air and Space Museum.  Everyone was on museum overload except me. If it wasn’t for my foot cramps, my pounding legs, and my backache, I would have continued  until they closed at 7.30 pm.  This blog is about the two history museums.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Day 122 Washington DC War Memorials

WWII Memorial
As noted in (Day 121-Washington DC quite a few  memorials  have been erected since my last visit to DC. Today was a visit to the Washington  DC War Memorials which was a moving experience when you take the time to reflect  about all the lives that they honor and the history behind each one.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Day 121 Washington DC

Vote for me?
I had a blog hiatus because I was  walking (and I mean 25,000 steps of walking confirmed by my friends'  techie watches), though Washington DC over the 4th of July  weekend. I can’t think of a better way  to “be patriotic,” as my blog inspiration, Everything I Need to Know I Learned From a Little Golden Book, suggests, than to visit DC.  I have not been to DC in over twenty five (25) years so seeing many of the monuments were new experiences  and this  time I went with new friends, thus  experiencing a  British perspective on the federal district.   

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Day 120 Raining so Classic Movies in HD

The Birds

Its been raining and overcast for almost two (2 )weeks in Pittsburgh! Like a leaking  faucet  it just keeps drizzling-ah!!   When there is a  patch of sun I run outside and try to soak it up but then a few hours or  minutes later, gray clouds show up emptying participation on my picnic, walk, or bike ride. So this weekend with the perpetual outside grayness I  gave into the suggestion of  Little Golden Books," to just do nothing"  like in Day 17, but this time I watched classic movies in high definition (HD).

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Day 119 Luminari-Inspiring Others

Having a vision and seeing it through are definitely in line with Maslow's theory  of reaching the pinnacle of self development or self-actualization. My friend, Hilda Pang Fu, started a non-profit called Luminari with the idea of making Pittsburgh a better place by fostering “activities that broaden minds, inspire innovation, and promote community engagement.” Wow what a creative altruistic vision, girlfriend!  Today’s new experience, was to witness  the results of one of the  Luminari’s teen camps by attending the closing ceremonies  of  the camp -I want to be an Ambassador.

I witnessed a vision (Luminari’s vision) giving  birth to a youth camp that produced such inspiring results in teens.  This camp encompassed  an  introduction of different languages and writing systems, foods, religions,

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Day 118 Build a Puzzle with Dad

Today is Father’s Day, a day to let your parents know that you love and appreciate them. My father passed away when I was four (4) but I was lucky enough to have a stepfather at a young age. For Father’s Day, my  son and I brought my dad the "infamous blog  Jell-0 cake (see Day 3) and we built a puzzle.
Now I do not have the brain for puzzles. I have not tried to build one since my son was very young and back then I only attempted the ones with only 20 or so pieces. This one had 1000 pieces! My dad is naturally intelligent, and I guess my son has the same talent for puzzles because they found five(5) pieces to my  one (1). Some may say that it’s relaxing

Friday, June 19, 2015

Day 117 Spinning Vinyl at The Brew Gentleman Brewery

The Brew Gentleman Beer Company

A friend of mine, who DJs records and  yes I said good old records, was spinning the vinyl sound of the Rolling Stones at a new microbrewery, The Brew Gentleman Beer Company.  The  music was the catalyst for my venture across town to Braddock, an area that I would not normally visit and to a place that I would would not normally  put on my to do list since I am not a  beer drinker or  even a drinker at all. I must admit however,  that this  place was really fun and had  the most unique beer  flavors that I had ever seen or sampled. 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Day 116 Buyers & Cellar-Pittsburgh Public Theater

Pittsburgh Public Theather (PPT) is a great place to see a play because it feels like you are part of the action with  the audience  on all three sides of the stage.  I have always loved going to musicals as in Day 105- My Fair Lady, but  seeing  a “one man show” is a new experience that I tried with  PPT’s  Buyers & Cellar which runs through June 28th. 

This fictional play was  inspired by Barbra Streisand’s Malibu estate’s basement where supposedly she has rooms set up like shops displaying things that she has collected. She referenced  her  basement  in her book, My Passion for Design which fueled this comedic play (more about the play). The actor is  hilarious as a Barbra Streisand star struck fan  hired to work as a clerk in the  basement  whose only customer is Barbra.  It reminded me of the Hoarders TV show but for  the rich and famous  with really nice stuff  and with Type A personality organization.  I could relate to this concept  because, I hate to throw  anything away. Imagine if you could keep everything  you love and have a place where  you could visit it, but who does that! The concept is stand alone funny. 

Monday, June 15, 2015

Day 115 Cooking with Blue Apron

Everything I Need to Know I Learned From A Little Golden Book, recommends that we “learn to cook.” I am not a confident cook. In fact, every Thanksgiving I am on the phone getting steps from my girlfriend who is  a gourmet cook. Every year she reminds me not to thaw the turkey in warm water or in the microwave both of which I tried to do  my first Thanksgiving!  No worries, no one got salmonella. So when I heard about Blue Apron, a food service where once a week they send you all the food and directions, I thought –“This could me my answer.” Taking a weakness (or a least a perceived  weakness), and making it a strength is definitely  a way to reach  Maslow’s theory of Self Actualization or being the best you can be.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Day 114 Blue Grass, Pgh Arts Festival

Elephant Revival
In my quest of new adventures, I  thoroughly enjoyed two Blue Grass Bands, Elephant Revival and Railroad  Earth at the Pittsburgh Three Rivers Arts Festival. I am now really expanding my music experiences. As  in Day 113 -Stage AE,  I continue to “make music apart of my life” – a life recommendation  from my blog inspiration, Everything I Learned I Learned From a Little Golden Book.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Day 113 Stage AE

My Blog inspiration book,  Everything I Need to Know I learned From A Little Golden Book,  says that we should “make music a part of [our] life”. This is something that I have always tried to do as in: Day 56- Banjo Night, Day 15-Change It Up Jazz,  Day 58-Black Keys, and Day 101-Pittsburgh Pops, Chris Botti. However, for this new challenge, I tried tried a new  music venue, Stage AE on the Pittsburgh North Shore.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Day 112 Tea Time

 I have loved the idea of  having a "tea party" ever since I got my first tea cup at a garage sale for a dollar. Since then I have managed to collect over 20 tea cups.  I am not sure why, but the tea taste better in them. I don't really know much about the etiquette for an English afternoon tea but it  seems like a good excuse to "Just hang out" with friends as my blog inspiration,  Everything I Learned I Learned from a Little Golden Book, recommends. So I dusted off the cups, found some lacy linens, picked some flowers from my yard, searched my boxes for a three tiered dish,  and invited five dear friends to an afternoon tea.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Day 111 Full Circle

(I had a month blogging hiatus in May and reflected )
Blogging started out as way to fill the void left after a sudden empty relationship and an empty home after  my only son ventured to college. Two very  different events colliding simultaneously  resulting in feelings of loss.  
Cactus flower/ sharp yet beautiful

Almost a year ago, in July of 2014, I started to use this  blog   to strive for  self-actualization, fun,  and spiritual growth. Thus turning potential sadness into a positive time of  personal adventure and  I accomplished  110 days of newness!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Day 110 Pirates Spring Training Baseball

Spring Training Game- Pirates vs Orioles
Pittsburgh is a sports town and  although I usually am  not a big sports fan (see Day 95),  I love going to  baseball games because they  remind me that summer  is on it’s way. I   especially  enjoy  the nostalgia of a baseball game. I have  many childhood  memories  of going to the game and  memories of taking my son to  every Pirate home opener .  Today   is a  winning  Pirate’s Home Opener day! Thinking about those days, I decided to share my recent first  experience - going to a spring training  game in Sarasota, Florida. 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Day 109 Sunshine-Florida

Florida Sunshine

In Pennsylvania, it seems like clouds and rain trump over sun.  The result is green foliage but the lack of sun can give rise to the “blues” and for some, the fight against “seasonal affective disorder .”  So I thought that I would speed up my exposure to sunshine by   going south to Florida this spring. I haven’t   done this since   my college crazy spring break days but I had an invitation and with nothing holding me back, off I went. 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Day 108 St. Anthony's Chapel- Stations of the Cross

life sized Station of the Cross

During  this  Easter season, I thought that I would venture to the little chapel in Troy Hill that I discovered last summer in blog Day 35   to experience the Stations of the Cross. I have been to the stations of the cross, (the telling of the story to Calvary),  but it was a new experience at St. Anthony's Chapel  with life sized sculptures.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Day 107 Enjoy a Parade-St. Patrick's Day

Got to love little green men
There is something so festive about a parade. They are especially fun for children but as my blog inspiration Maslow reminds us, enjoying life like a child is a characteristic of a self- actualized individual, Since  Pittsburgh was also   ranked #1   for the best St. Patrick’s day celebration,  I put on a Mickey Mouse poncho and ventured out on a rainy day.

Monday, March 9, 2015

106 Facial/A Fresh Start

I thought a  facial would bring a feeling of a fresh start as I say goodbye to February  and start looking  forward toward the new season of spring. One of my blog inspiration books, Everything I Need To Know About Love I Learned From A Little Golden Book talks about fresh starts stating, “The day finally comes when you look in the mirror and see that you’re ready to start anew.”   I've  been on a path of many new beginnings  following  my life changes and so a facial was my new experience.