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Bigger than the Story

        This past weekend I was fortunate to lead tours to both Seneca Falls and Skaneatelas in the Finger Lakes.  One town featured “It’s A Wonderful Life” festival and one featured “Charles Dickens Christmas.” This post is to show appreciation for these festivals and the people who created them and continue the good will. You gotta give credit to the folks who begin festivals to showcase their uniqueness and goodness.  The whole idea of a person finding out what the world would be like if he had never been born offers such food for thought. “It’s a Wonderful Life” is such a realistic movie with struggles and joy. The movie is bigger than a movie, it is a lesson. Everyones life touches so many other lives that we never stop to realize. If we could just imagine how our actions influence others.

        “Charles Dickens Christmas” demonstrates the transformation we all can make in this world. A little child can change your heart even Scrooge! We all have time to change our ways and grow in compassion and tenderness.

         Singing Christmas carols, roasting chestnuts, drinking hot chocolate and going on a horse drawn wagon ride just feels so good. A little child can change your heart even a Scrooge. Thank you for these festivals.  So memorable and so good for your soul.

 

Please enjoy the movie. Sincerely, Trish

 

 

 

Quick Tour of Vermont & New Hampshire

       There are several reasons that I really enjoy being a tour hostess. The obvious of course is to experience new places. You expand your horizons. Your perspective changes. Yet it goes further.

 

*Please enjoy the video of our trip to Vermont and New Hampshire

 

 

1 . You realize you place barriers in your life that prevent you from taking more trip. Maybe it’s your kids sporting events, or money, or just thinking that it’s just out of your realm of thinking. Yet, it does you so much good. Nothing beats connecting with the ones you love on a vacation. Returning home, your appreciation grows.

2.  You learn how to act and realize how much your actions affect others. It’s so easy to spot the “one” who is the complainer. It becomes clear how you want to live your life and how you want to be perceived.

3. You learn about other people’s struggles and realize we are all the same. Yet inside of all of us are limitless possibilities that it is up to us to discover and use them.

4.  You connect with others and learn from them. Perhaps you witness 3 sisters traveling together with their husbands and think “I should organize that” too while we can.

5. Putting others first makes you feel so good inside. Making sure everyone is on the bus, the train, has gotten served first, likes their meal, is pleased with their room. The less focus on yourself opens you up to greater glory of the creation and of this world.

 

Sincerely,

Trish

 

Thanks for coming with me Evan.

 

A pumpkin totem pole. Wow. How cool.

Hello Again Olean

     It seems more and more that grandparents play essential roles in the lives of their grandchildren. Kids need the stability, calmness and a place to escape from the pressures of the busyness of this world. Even in the 1960’s and 1970’s when our family would drive to Olean to visit my mother’s parents there was a special box of paper dolls and farm animals neatly stored for me to play with. They were kept there for me to play with at their house only. I was forbidden to take them home. Crazy how much in turn I valued them.

I remember my grandpa telling me that the Jolly Green Giant lived in the Enchanted Mountains of Olean and I still remember with such sweetness eating dinner at 3pm at carefully prepared table with delicious homemade food mostly from their victory garden.

 

  It has been too long since I have visited Olean to pay respect and pray for them. I went back last week and made a little movie about it.

  You should visit Olean, see the squirrels, be inspired by the beauty of the Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels and eat at the Union Tea Cafe. You’ll enjoy it.

  All so lovely. Keep looking up.

  Sincerely,

  Trish

Let’s Go To Pittsburgh

      Come along and join us as we visit Pittsburgh for two days over Labor Day weekend 2017. The best pancakes I have ever had in my life, and I have had my share- believe me- is at Pamela’s Diner. You gotta try um. Do it while you can. We always have to remind ourselves of how many great places there are to visit so close to any place you live. For us in Buffalo, Pittsburgh is only 3 plus hours away. Get stimulated and motivated but most of all enjoy the food, views and the people. Traveling always makes you appreciate home and the people there.

       Follow along as we visit the Strip District, ride the incline at Duquesne, check into our Kimpton Hotel, eat at pretzel at the rooftop bar, visit Pitt, Saint Paul Cathedral, dine with friends in Sewickley and eat the delicious Pittsburgh Salad topped with french fries. I know we will be back. Thank you Pittsburgh!

Sincerely, Trish

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Cincinnati Experience

        Somehow I was granted the privilege of being a chaperone for 10 Nardin High School young ladies along with Stephanie Malinowski and Rosalie Sperrazza.  In two mini vans we headed to Cincinnati, Ohio to give a week of service to others.

 

           I cannot tell you the amount of people who said to me, why Cincinnati? We have so many opportunities to help people right here in Buffalo. True enough. But staying in your own city fills you with distractions, and you stay in the safe zone, and the unknown tends to bond with the group together.

 

           The best reason to go on a service retreat is that you see the world differently and you see each other differently too. You really grow in admiration of each other. New friends. New perspectives. And you become so grateful for what you have waiting for you back home. A family, a home, a comfortable bed, a dog, a school you are proud to attend, and the list goes on and on.

 

Please watch the movie to better understand.

 

        Our world was expanded in the city of Cincinnati. Driving over the Ohio River into Kentucky a few times, all the hills, all the stairs, the trains, and the historic row houses. We over came fear and we had a boost in our confidence that we can return home and paint a deck for someone too. We discovered the positive difference you can make in someones life. You witness immediate results and see the smiles on their faces. The young ladies saw the good in their own city of Buffalo too. Little things that they took for granted like our beautiful view of Lake Erie, walking along Canalside and the cooler temperatures. No matter where you go, you always stay loyal to your hometown and getting out of town just reinforces that.

 

 

 

 

          We lived in simple housing, cell phones were restricted, mirrors were hard to find in the house, and meals were prepared together.Each day began and ended in the chapel for reflection and prayer. What a peaceful way to live.

 

 

         We all have opportunities to mentor, to share our talents, to influence for the good , to life people up, to love and encourage each other, to believe and help others. I hope that Ava, Amelia, Adrianna, Caroline, Isabella, Leah, McKenzie, Melanie, Shannon, and Tori all realize how much I care about them and see their goodness and light shine so bright.

 

           Thank you to the City of Cincinnati who opened our eyes to the amount of non profit agencies that we don’t have to help people along when they need it most. The generosity of it’s residents is so impressive.

 

 

          See the world differently. Leave our distractions behind and go on a service trip. You will return home in a new light.

 

Sincerely, Trish

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://franforthepoor.org/

The Pug Story

          It doesn’t matter if you adopt a rescue dog, a mutt, or a pedigree pup from a top breeder.  Dogs benefit mankind immeasurably.

 

I was so excited to follow along.  You know I am a dog lover and it also involves my sister and Instagram!  Home run!  I love taking pictures, I love my sisters, and I love dogs.

Sit back relax and enjoy “The Pug Movie” The story of Hank.

 

My sister Anne who lives in California in the LA area called me a month ago to say one of her best friends is flying to Buffalo (Tonawanda to be exact) to pick up the pug puppy she had reserved. They are both fabulous friends and complete and utter dog lovers. It’s fun to hang around these two ladies. They share many stories of their dogs together and Noreen recently went with Anne to pick up her new pair of puppies at a local animal shelter where she scored 2 adorable litter mate puppies. Follow Beatrix and Butters on Instagram at beatrixandbutters. So, of course Anne had to be with Noreen as she met her new puppy.

 

 

 

 

Noreen fell in love with the Pug breed after one mysteriously appeared at her house one day, and that was 18 years ago. Every since then, this family of 5 has been hooked on pugs. They found the breeder by following different Instagram accounts featuring pugs. They really liked the looks of the pug in one account and contacted the owner who gave them the name of the breeder named Kelly in Tonawanda, NY.

 

I’m so happy that I went along on the exciting journey of Noreen meeting her new puppy “Hank.”

These little stories help you see the good in this world. Lessons from dogs are countless but one I will leave you with today is the ability to love and invite others in your life. A dog simply wants you to love him/her but a dog also wants to be loved. Savor those lessons. Love and be loved. Dogs don’t live a long life yet we keep going back and buying a new puppy. They are unforgettable and steal our hearts.

Stay tuned to find out Hank’s Instagram account. It’s coming.

 

Enjoy the true story,

Sincerely, Trish

 

 

 

 

 

http://marketplace.akc.org/puppies/pug

Skaneateles Lake

My thought today is to take a look around and notice all the splendor of this beautiful world. Just 2 and a half hours from Buffalo, outside Syracuse, is a quaint little lake town called Skaneateles. If you enjoy dining (with so many delightful options), shopping, boating, fishing, swimming, and simply experiencing a lovely place to visit, please visit Skaneateles.

Skaneateles Lake itself is 16 miles long. It is smaller than the biggest Finger Lakes which are Seneca Lake and Cayuga Lake at 37 miles long. The waters are so clean and pristine. People just drink from the water!

 

Follow along in my video and see why this place is so special. Take the time to look around.

Sincerely,

Trish

MacKenzie Childs Barn Sale

On a 85 degree, no clouds, no shade kinda day in the thick of the summer, with 15,000 of your closest friends, there’s nowhere you’d rather be than the MacKenzie Childs’ Barn Sale. Holy Checkers!  For Buffalo people, this is Aurora, NY on Cayuga Lake about 2 hours and 20 minutes away. It can be confusing because Buffalonians have East Aurora as a suburb and the Town of Aurora. To repeat, this is Aurora, NY. In the Finger Lakes. Plan your road trip accordingly. It’s not 20 minutes away!!

 

 MacKenzie Childs is located on a 65 acre farm as peaceful and picturesque as any fairy tale. They started selling their unique and whimsical handcrafted ceramics in 1983. It’s pricey. Sticker shock is real. But so is the desire for something unique, a couple treasured objects, the sport of hunting for a bargain and a lasting memory. As crazy as this seems, this is an annual tradition for so many. The vast majority of the crowd was female but there are always the guys that are really into decorating or the helpful husbands who run back and forth to the car with bags, chairs and coolers. It’s crazy because the wait to get in is a couple hours or more. The lines are insanely long. This is in the heat of the summer. So yes, pack water. But yes, also enjoy meeting others in line, discussing the past sales, what you are looking for this year and time passes quickly. Everyone has a story. Everyone traveled here. People will pull out lists and lists of presents they are buying for Christmas, and you realize the joy and excitement people are feeling in that moment, transpires to different holidays and homes across the country.  Soon the paper bracelet of the day is applied to your wrist, the specials of the day are announced, you are given brown paper bags with handles, the music plays and in you are on your way to tent 1, 2, 3 4, and more. It’s impressive the vast amounts of merchandise there is and also the large amount of easily identifiable staff working the sale in the turquoise Tshirts.

This is our first experience and I have a few tips.

Timing is Everything – we decided to go first thing on day 2 of the sale. I have heard that Day 1 is a mob scene but quite frankly, so was day 2. I think the absolute worst time to show up is at 10 or 11 am because you will have your longest wait. Go early and later. I also think that the last day Sunday is a good choice. There are further mark downs and maybe a little less people.

Stamina – you will need it. You will be standing, hunting, talking, and many people coming up to you and admiring something in your shopping cart and saying “where did you find that?” You will need water if it’s hot out (another reason we chose the morning hours). Also, on the topic of shopping carts, don’t grab one until you are in the barn sale- they will take it from you while you are in line. I’d bring a wagon if you want your own caddy.

 

Please watch the video. It will make you feel as though you were there.

 

Goal- People come with a goal or a list and many get all their Christmas gifts at this sale. People go through catalogs and have long plotted out their plan. Also, have a budget. You could really go crazy and blow a lot of money. People tend to over load their shopping carts and thought out the tent sale there are restocking shelves for you to place if you decided not to purchase something you grabbed. There’s a lot of stimulation. It’s easy to over grab, so make a list and stay focused, but also have fun.

There are not that many things that are unique experiences anymore. So many friends do this annually. They make a memory of it. If something asked me right now..what was the best memory for you in the summer of 2017 ? I would hands down say….The Mackenzie Childs Barn Sale. It was because I was with my daughter Caroline. It was because we made a trip out of it. It was because we stayed in Seneca Falls and enjoyed our stay there. We swam, we visited a winery, and we discovered such delicious dining places. The Finger Lakes are God’s fingers on earth. Just taking a couple days to be together to laugh and escape is invaluable. It was a new and exciting experience. It’s easy to criticize and say “look at all those suburban women with money buying more stuff,” but it’s so much better to see the greater vision of this small town with artists who inspire and make you feel like you can create anything by mixing patterns and crazy designs. I can’t help but admire these artists who created this pottery and made this town famous for the black and white checkerboard design.

And just like anything in life, you need to experience it for yourself. Someone can give you a checkerboard MacKenzie Childs piece and you’ll be happy, but it is just so satisfying to wait the two hours to get into the sale and find your own checkerboard piece…now there is a story behind it. It’s just like money, someone can hand you money, but when you earn it yourself it simply means more and is more valued.

Keep making memories.

Sincerely,

Trish

Family Reunion Time

If your family is fortunate enough to have an annual family picnic or reunion, it’s easy to roll your eyes and think of other things you would rather do. It’s probably that little voice inside you that says…no one cares about me, i’m not doing anything exciting, and maybe even thinking you don’t matter. Don’t listen to that voice. Listen to the voice to appreciation that someone even rallies to make the effort to organize a reunion. Listen to the voice to makes you want to bond, make memories, and learn more about your families past and set goals for the future. There are always so many little known facts about someone. There’s always a cool cousin you always admired. There’s always an aunt that gives you a big hug, there’s always an uncle you need to learn more about. The great thing about reunions is sitting down and talking and suddenly and idea pops in your head from your conversations. You have new chances to learn. New chances to excite each other, and gaining a new perspective.

This year we made it a point to attend my husbands family picnic. It made me fill up with thoughts and reflections about how important it is to gather together and connect with your family. My husbands uncle and his wife were celebrating 67 years of marriage. Think about that. Think about the message that sends loud and clear to the family members…to be the example, to commit to marriage, to give and and to take, that the benefits of staying together far outweigh any little annoyance we all have on others.

 

Please watch the video below. You will appreciate the gardens planted from past generations. A family reunion has a higher purpose than you might imagine.

 

 

Marriage is a union between  a man and a wife and I use to think of that in the flesh only. Yes, children are an immeasurable gift of marriage but it’s much more than that. It’s uniting ancestors and his family becomes yours and yours becomes his. It’s has a much higher calling to unite under God, this earth, this society, and your family to give of yourself for the sake of this world. It’s seeing the good, it’s seeing the benefits, it’s praying for the souls of those who planted the seeds for us. It’s not only learning about ancestors and what they did on earth but asking their help so we can contribute positively while we are here on earth.

 

Chances are you will pick up a new recipe at your reunion, and you’ll share some laughs, but hopefully you’ll pick up a new purpose to carry on in life with more meaning and accountability to one another.

 

Sincerely, Trish

 

 

 

Sincerely, Trish

Scratch the Surface

We stayed at the beautiful Dearborn Inn that Henry Ford built. I’d drive 5 hours to swim in the outdoor pool again.

 

This past weekend, we ventured to the Detroit, Michigan. Detroit sure has a lot of nicknames…The Motor City, Motown, Hockeytown, The Comeback City, and the list goes on.  Don’t you find that people and places with a lot of nicknames tend to be colorful and likable and are distinguishable in certain ways? I almost didn’t mention to some people that we were invited to Detroit because the reputation is not of a vacation destination. Crime, poverty, unemployment, just a bleak place is an unfair reputation that is cast upon Detroit. We need to be reminded that reputations can be unfair.

 

Scratch the Surface. Visiting Detroit. Wanting More. from Poodlewalker on Vimeo.

What kept popping into my mind was the simple thought…I have just scratched the surface of this city. We think of beaches for vacations, but why not great American cities with roots and history? We only scratched the surface. The Henry Ford museum went far beyond my expectations. It was simply a celebration of America. Seeing all the old Ford plants and the turnstiles you could close your eyes and see and feel the many thousands of former plant workers piling into work.

There was so much more we wanted to learn and discover about Detroit. Again, I kept thinking how much more meaningful and impactful are life is when we deep deeper and not just scratch the surface.

Nothing matters more than our relationship with Our Creator. If you want more substance, spend more time in prayer, refection, reading, and of course in church. No matter where you go, He is there with us waiting and wanting us to enter into a deeper relationship with Him. Thank you Abe and Clare for inviting us to Detroit. It’s an amazing place and you guys are a big reason. It’s so apparent that together you are making people around you better by your example.

 

You know I like to capture life now with little movies. I hope you’ll give it a viewing.

 

Sincerely, Trish