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Tidy Up

     Liz Hays was moved to buy the book the Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo and really applied it to her home. Every time I saw her, she was telling me about a new area that she had de-cluttered. She was following all the directions of the book and only keeping things that sparked joy in her life. Through this transformative experience, she went through a section of her house daily: kitchen, clothing, shoes, papers, etc, and separated into two piles. These two piles were made based on whose life would be positively changed from the new addition. One pile was donations, one pile was for a garage sale!  She had her first garage sale and although she made money, she also felt that it was a way to really improve other people’s lives, and not over charge for the items she sold, items of value. Items she treasured, but no longer needed. It is almost an empty gesture to donate things that are broken, have missing parts, and especially expired food, because donating should be an act of selflessness and giving things that have value. De-cluttering and rein-visioning your home is definitely a hurdle, and undoubtedly one of the hardest to tackle is clothing. Day by day, little by little, things will be sort through with patience and well thought out destinations.

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Guest Liz Hays tackles clutter & triumphs! Episode 49. Click & Listen

 

 

       So, what do you do when you have extra space when you purge? That extra space makes you more open to all the new things that you can add, the space helps you fall in love with your home again, revisit the feelings that brought you there in the first place. Clutter doesn’t do anything positive for anyone’s life. During our session, we actually had this novel idea that when you buy someone a gift, you are actually giving them clutter, so from this moment forward- don’t expect a gift from me! Hey, I’m just saving you from clutter! Ok, just kidding. The best gift you can give is time, give a meal, give a memory, give a lesson. Thank you for tuning into Sincerely, Trish.

 

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Liz and Natalie in May of 2010.

My Top 5 Memories of the Summer of 2016

One question I do not want to ask is “Where did the summer go?” I realized that when I was working and did not plan anything special. Summer would fly by and before you know it you would run right into Fall without feeling refreshed. Summer was always a special season for me as a child and thankfully one for Natalie and our other children Evan and Caroline. We formed new friends, new memories, new talents, went new places, but mostly enjoyed our favorite sport…swimming. Nothing better in my book than an outdoor pool.

The summer of 2016 was too hot. We simply had too many humid days. It was too dry. It was tough on farmers and even keeping our flower pots watered. But, like everything, we have a choice to complain or make the best of it. With the lack of rain, the lawn did not need mowing for 6 weeks! This was the summer that we had central air conditioning installed which was an exceptionally wise move.

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The Hotel Hershey was a real escape and treat.

There are certain things about summer that are tried and true. I know that swimming outdoors is a must do. The Farmers Market, the Canadian beaches right across the boarder, and the inspiration of other peoples gardens are guaranteed to-do’s.  This summer, Caroline and I had a glorious stay at the Hotel Hershey and so enjoyed the gardens, museum and pool. Hershey was a place I visited with Natalie, at her urging, and it is beyond a cherished memory.

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I like to look at other people’s yards and get ideas for flowers and pots each summer. This one belongs to my friends Mary Louise. Love the elephant pot.

I think it’s important to reflect back and celebrate the season that we have just completed before we move onto the next. I choose to make this summer memorable. I choose to not let it go by and regret that I did nothing special. It can be as simple as making strawberry jam.

Here is a list of what made the summer of 2016 special to me

  1. Birthday Dinner. This year for the first time, I gathered together 3 girlfriends who share June birthdays. We had a memorable night in beautiful Lewiston, NY and the laughs we shared and our shared attempt to be brave in a life that has thrown us all deep pains is a tradition I want to continue next June. The thing is, even if you only have a yearly dinner with friends, the year goes by and it’s something to look forward to and it’s better than ever taking the time to be together.

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    A group of friends who share birthdays in June.

  2. New Places. My last entry showed you that we explored Montreal, Quebec City and we also visited the Thousand Islands. Seeing new places and experience different cultures helps us gain new perspective plus it deepens family bonds.

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    For the first time, we visited the 1,000 Islands. I had no ides we shared these beautiful islands on the St. Lawrence River with Canada. Here I thought they were all in NY State. Traveling expands our awareness.

  3. Babysitting Clover. Caroline watched a cockapoo for a month and allowing another dog into our home for a month added simple joy. The joy of watching an adorable dog lie on her back for a scratch, jump on your lap for some extra coddling, whip a squeaky toy around the house and simply making friends with your dogs and having a new dog join you on your walk…was a highlight of our July. Dogs are so simple, so childlike, and such reminders of the simple joys available to us all on a daily basis if we just pause to realize it.

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    Here she is far right, our new friend that joined us for a month …Clover. Dogs are a perfect reminder of the simple things in life are the best…cuddling, playing and walking.

  4. Olympics. I’m not sure if anyone watched and tweeted out the stories about the unraveling stories and thrilling performances by the athletes all over the world as much as I did!  I mean, c’mon…what is better than watching the highest level of athleticism, learning about the host city, meeting the athletes unclose and personal, and seeing the human spirit just gets me every time. Thank you to Katie Ledecky, Michael Phelps. Simone Biles, and Usain Bolt. The 100 meter freestyle when Simone Manuel and Penny Oleksiak tied, and watching Kerri Walsh Jenning and April Ross win the bronze like it was a gold will stay in my memory bank.

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    I’m a big fan of the synchro swimmers, here is Anita Alvarez from Kenmore, NY !! and Mariya Koroleva.

  5. Blueberry Pie. Using fresh blueberries, and making a simple pie served warm with vanilla ice cream with your family…ummm baby….that’s good stuff. It’s the pie Natalie always made for us. I am simply continuing her tradition as best I can.IMG_6071

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    Natalie always would prepare homemade meals and treats for her family and friends. I push myself to make and do more for others in honor of her beautiful example.

    Summer doesn’t have to be the only season to make memorable. Let’s set some goals for the Fall now. I think the peach festival is the first on my list. Thank you for reading.

     Sincerely, Trish

Oh Canada! 10 Things I Learned About You Montreal!

Folks, it’s hard for me to admit this but I will…I’ve lived in Buffalo all of my life and have never visited Montreal and Quebec City. What the heck is wrong with me? Why not get the feel of Europe without the going to Europe? There is no time like the present they say…and off we went (my husband Evan and our daughter Caroline) and if you don’t mind, I’d like to share our trip with you. So here is goes…

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Outside the Notre Dame Bascilia

10 Things I Learned

  1. They speak French! Bon jour. Salut. Merci. It’s fantastic! I have gained so much respect for Montreal and Quebec City for preserving the French language. Montreal is the second largest city behind Paris for French speaking. Oui Oui!! What a beautiful language and hearing it spoken so easily and fluently only entices you to buy a Rosetta Stone package. It was so fascinating that you are greeted with a Bon Jour and if you respond with a Hello, you are immediately spoken to in English and visa vera. Imagine a city of bilinguals ! Who doesn’t appreciate a city that sets it self apart and holds onto their culture? The public school system requires French to be their central language,  but they will start teaching both languages in 1st grade. Again,how easy it would be to throw in the towel and make English their primary language. Students are required to attend French speaking schools and the only exception is if you are a temporary resident or attend a private school.Most people in Montreal speak both French and English fluently. This makes feel more cultured and adds some European grace to the city.

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    A little bit of French and a little bit of English. Montreal is the second largest French speaking city in the world behind Paris.

  2. Montreal and Toronto are rivals. I was not aware of this intense rivalry. Montreal had many of it’s companies move their headquarters to Toronto which has 6 million people and Montreal has 4 million. Montreal has the philosophy of work to live and in Toronto it is live to work. Montreal is home to a beautiful park system including Mount Royal Park is located on the mountain and was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the same person that designed New York’s Central Park and our very own Delaware Park. Montreal citizens love being outdoors, flowers, patio dining, parks and recreation, anything to enjoy life! They enjoy having extra money to enjoy life so much that they all prefer renting apartments and housing there, instead of owning, as owning has extra expenses such as insurance, updating, etc. They would rather rent and use whatever is leftover for enjoying their lives rather than being stuck in one place. They all move on the same day too- July 1st! Keep this in mind when traveling, for either a draw back, or free entertainment if you are there..haha! Disclaimer, I did hear the differences between the 2 cities from a Montrealer.IMG_5847

  3. Churches. Notre Dame Basilica, Saint Patrick Basilica, Mary Queen of the World Cathedral, and St Joseph Oratory of Mont Royal. I’m just naming a few, honestly, they are basically on every street corner. Destinations for pilgrims!! Strong Catholic Influence which still remains their number one religion. 67% of the populations are Christians and the majority of those are Roman Catholics. But, rates of regular religious attendance has reduced dramatically since the 1960’s. If you want to see impressive and jaw dropping splendor do not miss these magnificent churches.

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    Inside the glorious Notre Dame Basilica…over 2 million people a year visit.

  4. Montreal will be celebrating it’s 375 birthday in 2017. Yes, it was founded in 1642 and they are planning a big celebrations, they are redoing just about every road and fixing bridges, making the city even more beautiful than it is already.  As history has it, Samuel de Champlain set about creating a fur trading post, in 1642 the first real colony named Ville Marie was established. It became known as Montreal because of the tallest peak on the Island known as Mont Royal.  DSC_0850

  5. The Underground City. One of the largest underground networks in the world, Montreal’s underground city is a series of shops and tunnels which offer citizens cool shortcuts and safety from the cold in winter months. You can literally live underground if you wanted to. Only problem is, there is no map of the underground, the only people who generally know all ways around are tour guides and engineers, although most Montreal residents may be more well versed than you think.

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    Underground shopping

  6. Montreal was home to the 1976 Summer Olympics, you know, the Olympics where  Nadia Comăneci received the first perfect 10 in gymnastics’ history and Bruce Jenner won the decathlon. They were the first Olympics ever held in Canada, and it helped put Montreal on the map world wide. You can see the Olympic Stadium, pool, arena, village are all being utilized today, which is so much better than seeing pictures of venues falling into disrepair in cities where the Olympics were once held. Great job Montreal to keep using the venues.

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    Off in the distance you can see the 1972 Olympic stadium still in use today. It is covered now. It needs to be open air for the Olympics because the Greek Gods needed to be able to watch from up above.

  7. Montreal is actually an island.  I did not know this before I went there, but it is surrounded by water, and after this trip my family and I grew in your appreciation for the Saint Lawrence River and all it’s fresh water glory.DSC_0437

  8. Beautiful architecture gems built of stone and brick were required materials as opposed to wood. You see, past fires forced lawmakers to completely outlaw this scenario. It makes for darling walks in Old Montreal, cobblestone streets, ornate details each more unique than the next, all beautiful and well preserved. DSC_0846

  9. Maple Syrup.  85% of the world’s maple syrup comes from Quebec, Montreal’s Provence. The maple sap collected used to make maple syrup is also used to make all kinds of maple goodies including maple butter, maple candy, maple water, marinades and even maple syrup on ice where it is rolled up on a popsicle stick. I will admit it, we tried maple and pepper homemade potato chips, oh my maple! Those exceeded our expectations.

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    Yummy maple syrup products

  10. No big high risers. nothing can be built higher than Mont Royal. A reason for the city’s namesake, Mount Royal is a defining feature of Montreal. The mountain stands above the entire city, offering a great view of the skyline, and will stay that way due to building height restrictions which limit any construction from being higher than Mount Royal.

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    Bon Travail Montreal!

 

More Fun Facts

The french language was actually preserved because of the Americans. It was during the stages before the American Revolution when Britain first outlawed the French language in Montreal, Americans wanted to gain followers and a larger army against the British, and asked the citizens of Montreal to join their revolution. The people of Montreal at this time, did not know how the Americans would succeed, so they told Britain they were considering it. Through this action, Britain negotiated with them, saying they could continue to speak French if they did not join the revolution, which made the decision easy. Better to go with the evil you know than the evil you are unsure of, right? We won’t know, history has a beautiful way of influencing future, and as I mentioned earlier, I love how well preserved their language is.

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All stone and brick buildings…streets in Quebec City

Eat like the locals…poutine (think macaroni and cheese with french fries and gravy), ketchup chips, croissants, Molsons, Carlsberg, maple leaf maple sandwich cookie. Wait, they eat and drink all that in Canada yet they look so fit? Hmm, oh, yes, lots of waking and lots of it hilly. But they get offended when you say that “h” word (hill), they prefer everyone use the term mountain, as Mount Royal is the focal point of their city…the mountain!

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You guessed it…poutine

You know, we can all grumble, and in Montreal people grumble about their politicians, debts, construction, high rent, high taxes and cold winters….but as an outsider coming in you see the beauty with a pair of fresh eyes. You hear the tour guide say that the Catholic church is dropping in numbers yet the pilgrims come in the millions and there is not a single candle to light in Notre Dame Basilica. Look at what was done by those who came before us. So many looked for the greater good and put their hard work and talent into building these astonishing works of beauty in the churches, who set aside acres for parks, and built so much for the hosting of the Olympics and World Fair for all to enjoy today.

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The Holy Door of St. Anne De Beaupre

Keep your eye on the good that surrounds us. Stay amazed at the workmanship and sacrifices that were made for us and future generations to see and appreciate. Such beauty.

Thank you all for reading,

Sincerely Trish

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Montreal in the background.

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Montmorency Falls

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Look! It’s Samuel de Champlain…a fur trader who founded Quebec in 1608. Feels so good to remember all who have gone before us and given us all so much.

 

 

 

Learn about Ancestry.com

      Every year, the second week of August, you can count on the annual family picnic for our family. It’s held at a park outside Buffalo, NY. You know how it goes, you go when you are a little kid, take some years off during college and living on your own, then return again when it hits you…this family picnic thing that is so corny is really incredibly meaningful. This is the first year I learned the history of the picnic. I just felt this immense gratitude to a great uncle who took it upon himself to start the tradition of a family picnic over 50 years ago. If you don’t have one, don’t wait for the perfect time, the perfect family, that does not exist. Start with yourself, and watch it grow one by one.

EPISODE 48. Ancestry.com Guest Rozanne Hakala.

 

 

     Our family is fortunate to have a priest in the family (Fr. Jack Mattimore, SJ) who leads us in mass each year. This year, do to an assignment in Microneseia (Yes, I had to google it) he was not able to be there. We were at a loss. We gathered together and held a talent show. Our opening song was “Now Thank We All Our God” followed by poetry, reading of old letters, impersonations, comedy, but mostly singing and more singing. Cousin Jen and Joe lead us No, Nay, Never rendition of The Wild Rover! How blessed we are to have such talent! Of course, we clapped at everything!

      Our guest today is my first cousin Rozanne Hakala who is deep into family history with the help of ancestry.com. You need to listen to her insight and why this is so satisfying and fills her heart with such gratitude.

 

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The generation where it all began. Thank you for preserving the love and importance of the family.

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How’s that for a family picnic turn out? I’m wearing orange if you can find me.

2012 Family picnic the elders

Memories of my dad, Uncle Dan, Aunt Joan and Uncle Gordie fill your heart with gratitude for the life they lead and the appreciation for the life we have now.

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The priest in the family! Father Jack Mattimore, SJ is out of the country this year and we needed to improvise and come up with a talent show. We sure did miss mass but seeing your cousins come up and let their light shine was a great memory.

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Natalie never missed the family picnic and was enthusiastic and participated in all the games.

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Pictured here in the baseball hat, flanked by my sister Carolyn and my cousin Tom, is Rozanne who is the guest today and an ancestry.com master!

 

      You appreciate what is behind you, because when you look back at your ancestry, you realize that all of your past is also your present; Surrounding you with culture, livelihood, stories, and memories. Without the past there is no present, and without the present there is no future. It is important to respect ancestry and the history of our families, as we are weaving our own paths into the tree and hopefully someday 100 years from now, someone will take an interest in ours too.

 

          To all my beautiful cousins, aunts and uncles who are not shown in pictures here, that only means you will be featured in an upcoming episode of….

Sincerely, Trish

 

Summer Reading

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Katie and Natalie loved to read and learn.

The Joy of Summer Reading. Guest Katie Sieben.

         I was thinking how much I use to enjoy the summers when Natalie was in high school because we would relax and read her summer reading list together….Pride & Prejudice, Jane Eyre, Girl With the Pearl Earring, Ethan Frome, are a few very memorable books. Summer was such an active time and she was always racing off to morning and afternoon swim practice, but then there was summer reading. The time to unwind and read a good book ended up being a chance for us to relax and take turns reading to each other. Oh, how I loved scratching her arm and feeling her beautiful soft skin while she’d read to me. It was a chance for me to re-read the classics or read something for the first time as well as uninterrupted time together and something to share. When Natalie lived in Richmond she was influenced by the zest for reading that her dear teammate had. The good things you do rub off on those around you. Katie Sieben certainly influenced Natalie to not only keep up on the reading, but to taking it to the next level. When I asked Katie what books Natalie was reading she knew immediately. “She was reading two books by Candice Millard: The River of Doubt and Destiny of the Republic …the first is about Teddy Roosevelt’s journey along the Amazon River and the second is about James A. Garfield and his presidency/assassination. “

      I use to read to Natalie and she use to read to me. It was so comforting. And I take such comfort in knowing how much she enjoyed Katie reading out loud to her. How amused Natalie was that Katie had a list of 150 books on her TO-READ list.  They may have been the only 2 people who thought the Lincoln movie was too short. They were thirsty for more information and used to joke that they would have facts for days on any topic!

       Katie introduced us, and Natalie, to an organization called Room to Read, and its website can be found @ roomtoread.org  an organization that helps change the young children of the world through education, and has already helped over 10 million! Simple donations through monetary funds, or literature donations are always helpful. Katie is aware of a program where you can donate a certain amount of money, and have a school built for children. It’s just one way to contribute to this world.

My hope for you is that you all find a book that helps you escape, increase your vocabulary, teach you new facts and make you never want the book to end. And I hope you find a buddy who helps you engage in life, reading, and interests to develop an impactful friendship, all through reading.

          Remember the words of Katie…..you can never know enough!

Sincerely, Trish

Natalie and Michael Titanic

Natalie was a huge fan of any historical facts and especially enjoyed Titanic information. Here Michael plays along with the movie reinactment.

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How wonderful to find a friend who enjoys reading out loud to you.

 

Yes, You Make A Difference

 

Recently I was visited by one of my oldest and dearest friends growing up. You know the type, you can go years without speaking and pick things up in one sentence. I guess there is a reason for that. These are the precious few friendships we have that have deep seeded roots. We go back. We know our history and our families. We know where they came from…

I find these treasured friendships worth more and more to me. I know these friends stand by me and feel the deepness of our sadness over our unspeakable tragedy of losing Natalie so suddenly and unexpectedly.

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I love that my children including Natalie learned to swim and enjoy summers at the same club that we did as children. Natalie was always filled with joy.

 

Yes, Say Yes, Yes You Can…Guest Alison Wylegala

 

Alison Wylegala is the name of the friend I am referring to; but to me she will always be Bink. I love nicknames and will take full credit for giving her that one when we were kids. Not only did she come from NYC to be with our family for the funeral she was also changed. The homily at Natalie’s funeral given by Father Joe Rogliano spoke of saying YES to God’s plan for us. Fr. Joe said that Natalie had said Yes to God in the way she lived her life. It stirred inside Allison’s heart. She returned to NYC and said Yes to teaching.

How ofter do teachers ponder if they are making a difference when you ask the students to be quiet for the tenth time while speaking? How often as parents do we wonder of we are instilling the proper lessons to our own children to guide them through life? The days are long. The years are short. And even as friends, do we think we matter in the lives of our friends by showing up and taking the time for a phone call or visit.

Yes, you make a difference. And it is profound. And it will stay with those touched forever. I don’t think that grandparents realize how much their influence is needed in today’s world. A homemade dinner, the lack of electronic gadgets, a slower pace, a well kept home, all add to a much needed relaxed calmness in our lives.

Today, Alison tells us about the joy and frustrations to teaching. Today, I simply want to remind you to say Yes to God’s will for us and to remind you what an incredible difference you make by being and giving to this world.

Sincerely, Trish

 

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Back when we were 15 and 16 years old and were known only as our nicknames…Poncho and Bink

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Here we are today ….Poncho and Bink in our 50’s….Thank you Bink for returning to the classroom and saying YES

 

Leaving Behind Love & Lessons

 Jesus left nothing behind but love and examples of how to lives our lives.  Jesus never left behind a building or a sculpture or anything in His name. He left behind only the message of love and forgiveness. He was our savior and had a close circle of disciples who He loved and they loved Him. His disciples begged Him not to go but Jesus reassured them He taught them everything they need to know.

Who has gone before you that you can learn from because you admired the way they lived? I’m certain we all have someone who left a lasting impression on us. I am sure you have a parent or grandparent, sibling, friend or child or someone who has touched you in how they chose to live their life. I’m sure at times you think that you are not strong enough to go on without them. Yet, if you can incorporate lessons you learned from their lives, in many ways they continue to live inside of you. There will always be moments that make you pause not to take it for granted because someone you miss is not here with you.

Living Like Natalie Showed Me. Eleanor Clay. Thanks for listening.

 

 

N & E

Eleanor and Natalie enjoying a summer day at the Chautauqua Institute

Today I introduce you to Eleanor. Natalie and Eleanor were best of friends growing up. Eleanor has moved out to the LA area of California and works at the exciting FOX studios. She is a certified public accountant and was an outstanding competitive swimmer in high school (Nardin Academy) and college (American University). Natalie and Eleanor also swam together on their club team, the Tonawanda Titans, and bonded over practice, car pools, away swim meets, pool decks, and post practice showers and laughter in the locker room. But, that’s just the surface. It’s been almost two years since we have seen each other, so when she recently walked into our house where she has spent so many days and nights with Natalie, without any warning the tears just flowed.

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Julie, Eleanor and Natalie. The 2 childhood friends that Natalie always made time to see when home from college.

 

Engagement N E M

The last picture taken of Natalie and Eleanor taken on Saturday, April 19, 2014. She is pictured here with Michael at their engagement party. Eleanor said she took a train, a plane and an automobile to get here..but nothing would stop her from being here for Natalie and Michael.

Eleanor keeps her love of Natalie alive by incorporating 3 of her memorable traits to show others.

1. Natalie’s competitive spirit that included support and nurturing. She saw how Natalie wanted everyone to reach their full potential and that hard work turned into joy when you succeeded.

2. Natalie’s love of learning. She took flawless notes, did not care that other’s thought it was not cool to be so eager to learn and to be front and center in a tour. Natalie took in everything the world had to offer.

3. Natalie’s faith was her anchor for giving to other’s. Natalie had so many inspiring ways that she serviced others and always was thinking “how can I make someone’s day better?”

We are so proud of Eleanor in her career and life choices. It’s living out the messages that a she has learned from Natalie that she keeps her alive in all of us. We are not too busy for a post-it note or a word of encouragement. Thank you for striving to “do good things” and be our best version. As long as one baby is born today, we witness another miracle here on earth.

Sincerely, Trish

Let’s Talk Flowers

We like all like flowers in our garden. Today I am going to introduce you to the green thumb behind the beautiful window boxes and gardens on our street. Beth McKee is here to offer insight into the world of flowers that we may not know. Beth truly finds joy in making her yard so beautiful. A funny thing about landscaping, once one neighbor starts improving their yard, it becomes contagious and next thing you know the whole neighborhood is looking great!

Add Beauty To This World By Planting Flowers. Guest Beth McKee Episode 43

 

Beth shares with us some tips about her favorite perennials, annuals, and gardening tips.

She wants us all to know that perennial flowers are easy to grow. How can you beat flowers that come back year after year. Here are 3 recommended perennials that are low maintenance and beautiful at the same time.

1. Astilbe
2. Black eyed Susans
3. Coneflowers

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The Black Eyed Susans is a low maintenance perennial flower.

Here are Beth’s 3 favorite perennials at this moment because after all the favorites change all the time…
1. Clematis-beautiful climbers.
2. Primrose-first to bloom, all colors; also pink evening primrose-spread/multiply and bloom forever.
3. Astilbe -come in light pink, dark pink and white

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From Beth’s garden, healthy and happy astilbe.

Annuals are bright and colorful and are perfect for our potted plants.
3 favorite annuals for Beth are:
1. Geranium
2. Petunias
3. Snapdragons

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Petunias look great in pots and are such a colorful and beautiful annual flower.

Tips:
1. Add new fresh soil and peat moss every couple years at least and Lay 1-2 inches of mulch black or brown Mulch in early summer after the helicopter seeds drop and before the plants get too big to get in and do that. Keeps moisture in and weeds out I don’t like the red mulch- I don’t think the red mulch highlights the colors of the flowers, as well.
2. Plants perennials, not annuals. Less expensive in the long run; easier
3. You can’t just walk away after you plant- must weed on a regular basis are the next thing you know your garden is completely out of control. Mulch helps suppress the weeds but it’s not a foolproof barrier.

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Beth enjoys the ease and beauty of mostly perennials at her home.

Flowers add to the beauty of this world. Thank you to our friend Beth McKee for helping to make this world more beautiful and for being such a wonderful neighbor and friend.

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Here she is…my gardening expert Beth McKee trying to figure out what is growing in my pot!!

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Geraniums make a great impact when clustered together. Here are the pots on Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo that I mention in the podcast that offer such beauty it stops traffic.

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Eye catching garden on the corner of Potomac and Chapin in Buffalo.

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Added bonus..a glimpse of the Hershey rose garden.

You cannot help but feel such gratitude for the contributions that Milton Hershey made to our world when you visit Hershey, PA.

Stay Open

Every morning when we begin a new day, no matter how well we have our day scheduled, no matter how lock tight our plans are, we really have no idea what the day will bring us. The best way to face each day is to “put on the armor of God” and to be open to whatever we face as we go about our day.

Today, Robert Agbo, a seminarian for the Buffalo Diocese from Nigeria, speaks to us about keeping out heart open.

 

Episode 43. Be Open. Guest Robert Agbo

 

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Robert Agbo with Caoline and Katie celebrating a birthday.

 

In addition to what Robert has inspired us with, I reflected on the importance of being open and have come up with three reasons to always stay open:

Being judgmental comes from a place of fear. with an open heart you keep your mind open to new experiences, new ideas, new inspiration. With that comes change, and most people do not like change of some sort. Fear of change can grow inside us and manifest as judgement toward other’s actions, when, in the truest form of reality, it feels so good to be open and try a new experience. Sometimes you love them, sometimes you..don’t, but you will never learn what makes you heart happy unless you try. And you might come out with a funny sitcom-like story if it’s not for you!!

 

Being open means loving yourself. By being open, we are not just being open to new experiences, we are being open to teaching others. By loving ourselves, we can share ourselves, teach others, and learn from others. How many of us have moments in our life where maybe they did not change the course of our life, but we always think back to a statement or comment or bible verse that becomes engrained in us? And that person who said it, probably has no idea the impact they have left on you. You never know who you will inspire today; Love yourself, love who you are, love your teachings,  and change the world.

 

Being open helps you grow. Without openness, we are denying a wonderful gift that God has given us, the ability to grow outside of our body. The mind we have been given,  gives us the opportunity to challenge ourselves and expand our ideas. Without this gift, we never would use the term “word of mouth” or Pinterest would never have taken off so well, just futile examples of how little things in our everyday life can show that we are open to new ideas.

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Robert enjoying a visit over to our home with Evan Jr.

 

 

Stay open. Sometime life begins outside of our plans. Open to God’s will for us. Open to others. Thank you for reading and listening.

Sincerely, Trish

If I Could Talk To The Animals, Just Imagine It

 

I’m not sure of you can remember the song from the original Dr. Doolittle movie by Bobby Darn..If I Could Talk To The Animal. Just Imagine it! Chattin’ with a chimp in chimpanzee. I just couldn’t help but sing it after speaking with a high school friend of Natalie’s Tyler Carver. Tyler graduated from Canisius High School and then Canisius College with an Animal Behavior degree and has gone on to passionately pursue many creatures on earth. From Bamboos to leopards, from pronghorns to bobcats, Tyler is making a difference with animals that is deepening his appreciation for all things created under heaven.

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Natalie meeting our new puppy. Natalie named our puppies..Friendly, then Misty and this one Rory.

All humans seem to share a universal love for dolphins. Here is Natalie petting a beauty.

Episode 42. Guest Tyler Carver. Lessons learned.

 

 

Interestingly, Tyler finds the Killer Whale to be his ultimate favorite animal for several reasons. The Orca, another name for the killer whale is so incredible social and lives within a pod of family members. The brain of the orca is more developed than humans and are very advanced socially. Plus, they are real talkers. Different regions of this world produce various whale heritages, languages, cultures and even genes. The pods are usually headed up by the grandmother and can live to be 100 years old in the wild. There is a documentary out now called Blackfish which exposed the dangers to both killer whales and humans when kept in captivity. It brings to light that killer whales should not be kept in captivity, they never really settle down, they never really will be happy, they are separated from their pod and they never were meant to be kept in close corridors. The sadness the family of pod feels when they are separated or captured will break your heart.

There is no reason to keep killer whales in captivity. Collapsed dorsal fins are not seen in the wild. Limited space and unnatural diet are two suspected reason why the dorsal fin bends.

Tyler has applied the friendship and observations of Natalie’s life to inspire him in 3 big ways.

  1. Live With Passion – No matter what you are doing, no matter how simple, be excited and live in the moment.

  2. Be true to yourself. Do not care what others think. Be completely comfortable with yourself and lead your life loving and knowing what is in your heart.

  3. You only get one life so live everyday to the fullest. If there is something you want to do, someplace you want to go, book the flight and waste no time. Things and situations can change in an instant.

    Natalie and Tyler were friends! They went out for milkshakes and walks. It did not matter to Natalie that Tyler was 2 years younger. Open your heart to others. They shared their love of swimming, laughter, animals and innocence.

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    Tyler, Natalie and David called this day…snow cone day..they simply went out for snow cones.

I know that all who knew Natalie Lewis will certainly nod in agreement over those 3 lessons from her life.

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Tyler today! He is making a difference out there as an animal specialist making the world better for future generations.

Love this world and all it’s creation. Thank you Tyler and thank you for joining me this week.

Sincerely,

Trish