Daily Prompt: Zoo ~~ The City is a ZOO!

via Daily Prompt: Zoo

New York City -  I lost 23 POUNDS here! http://www.facebook.com/events/163842343745817/ #products #fitness

Ah, New York City.  Some may call it the largest melting pot, others call it a zoo.

I never got to go when I lived in NYC. I love going to zoos.

When you think of New York City, you naturally think of skyscrapers, traffic, and thousands of people, right?  Well, yeah, that is true.  However, it also holds some of the most beautiful, scenic parks and zoos.

The Bronx Zoo is the largest metropolitan zoo in North America, priding itself on wildlife conservation and the goal to connect people to wild nature. The logos represent this by meshing wildlife silhouettes with the city skyline of New York. The use of negative space nicely incorporates together the wild life zoo residing within the concrete jungle of NYC.This baby Snow Leopard at the Bronx Zoo practices her pouncing skills, with her mom K2 as the target. See VIDEO of the cub at play and learn how zoos are saving rare animals on ZooBorns.com and at http://www.zooborns.com/zooborns/2017/10/attack-of-the-snow-leopard-cub.html

Everything you need to know about visiting the Bronx Zoo (2300 Southern Blvd, Bronx, NY 10458). Located in the Bronx, NY, this massive attraction is the larges

The Bronx Zoo is such a fun place to visit and educational as well.  Families and Schools alike take children there all throughout the year.  There are always new activities and even wild animal shows.

Visiting Chihuly at the New York Botanical Garden // Brittany from Boston

A hop, skip, and a jump away from the zoo, is the New York Botanical Gardens.

Visit the Central Park Zoo and other amazing sites in New York City on your next vacation! Contact Eva Greenwald to help plan your next trip at 203-221-3171, 800-499-7245, egreenwald@cruiseplanners.com

Smack dab in the middle of the New York City is Central Park and the Central Park Zoo.
central park zoo pictures - Bing Images  Personally, my favorite place to visit there is where the penguins play.  I seriously could watch them all day.  🙂

Central Park Zoo - Central Park, NYC

Pinterest: laurenntthor

Ah, yes…  NYC can be a jungle that is for sure, but it’s Zoos are a fun and exciting place to visit the real animals.  (Hahaahaaa!)  🙂

Daily Prompt: Knit ~ Dedication To My Great Aunt Ruthie ~

via Daily Prompt: Knit

It was the beginning of the Summer, 1977, after my grandparents sold their home to my family, and moved their way to Sarasota, FL., a good 3000 miles away.  My Mom and I were completely heartbroken after saying our ‘goodbyes’.   It would never be the same again, visits so far and in-between and writing lots of letters.
Being uprooted from a home I truly loved, all my friends and losing my best pal ‘Rags’, my furry friend, I was not the happiest kid in a new part of the town.  In retrospect, I guess the timing could not have been better, at least the following September I would be starting a new middle school, where a lot of the students didn’t know one another, and we would all be making new friends together.  
The Summer started off with feelings of loneliness, heart filled with sorrow and sudden case of boredom.  Too much had changed in such a short period of time, and I was bummed out all of the time.  It was suggested, that I visit with my Great Aunt Ruthie who lived rather close to us.   I’d roll my eyes at the thought, “What was I to do there for crying out loud?”  My parents reiterated by coaxing me along, “Beck, she has an in-ground pool.  You would have fun over there.”  –  “Yeah, right”‘  I exclaimed, marching off to my bedroom that I now had to share with my little rambunctious sister.  ‘Oh, the humanity!!!’
One day, my Mom drove me over to my Great Aunt Ruthie’s home.  She welcomed me in and tried to cheer me up, but my eleven years old attitude was not falling for it.  So, she sat down in her chair and turned on the TV, probably trying to figure me out.  “Do you have a favorite show?”,   she asked ever so sweetly, peering over her glasses that sat on the tip of her nose.  “Nah”, was all that I could reply, as I scrunched down on her sofa.  “Well, how about this, we will watch the ‘Price is Right”, and then I’ll make you some lunch?  does that sound okay?”, she merrily said.  “Sure”, as I dismissed her.  Thinking to myself,   ‘Oh, yeah, this was a great idea Mom and Dad!  This Summer’s gonna suck!’
As Bob Barker closed the show, Aunt Ruthie lead me to her kitchen and had me sit in this little nook facing old New Market Road.  “What do you like to eat Beckie?”, as she searched in her refrigerator, then cabinets.  Exasperated from boredom, I replied in a drawling tone.  “I don’t care, anything I guess.  Thank you.”   (Although I was a pissy little thing, it didn’t mean I couldn’t be polite).    “Well, do you like tuna fish?”,  as she pulled down a can.  “Yeah, that sounds good.”  As I watched kids riding their bikes past the window, wishing I was them.  “Tuna it is then!”, she sounded so excited.  “Has your mother ever made you a tuna melt before?”, as she mixed the tuna and mayonnaise in a bowl.  “I don’t think so?”, I thought to myself.  “Well, I’m going to introduce you to one of my favorite’s, I’m sure you will just love it.”  She gleefully stated, as yet another group of kids rode past her kitchen window.
 Get Food Network Kitchen's Tuna Melt Recipe from Food Network  A few moments later she placed a dish in front of me oozing of melted cheese over tuna on an English Muffin.  I then thought, ‘This looks pretty darn good, I definitely never had this before.’  As we sat there in the little kitchen nook looking out over the street, and passerby’s, we shared a lovely talk about the things that she had made her children eat when they were little. She and I cleaned up together, and I complimented the chef.  It was one of the best things I’d ever had for lunch.
“How about you go upstairs and change into your bathing suit, and I’ll meet you out back?  It’s a beautiful day, and we shouldn’t let it waste.” , as she gathered a towel from her bathroom, and out the back door she went.  I scurried up the stairs,  changed my clothes as quickly as  I could, I hurried out the back door, and followed the long path to her pool just beyond the gated fence.  I just stood there in amazement as I looked at this amazing in-ground pool.  It was enormous to me, something that of Olympic size.  (Of course it wasn’t that big, but heck, I was eleven.  What the heck did I know?)  Aunt Ruthie guided me down at the shallow end and said she would teach me how to swim. Believe it or not, I learned how to swim in just one afternoon.  I still couldn’t swim without holding my nose, but I was at least swimming and not drowning in the deeper end.
Aunt Ruthie removed herself from the pool and dried herself off.  She kept a watchful eye on me while still giving advice on how to keep my self afloat.  ‘Wholly crap, I’m swimming!’ I thought to myself.  ‘This Summer might not suck after all’.  Every day that week, I would ride my bike to her house.  We’d watch the “Price is Right”, have our lunch together, and I’d jump in her pool.  
One day, as I was swimming around pretending to be a mermaid, I noticed my Aunt Ruthie was working on something in her lap.  Being the curious thing I always was, I slowly got out of the pool, dried myself off, and wandered over to where she was sitting.  “What are knitting, Aunt Ruthie?”  I inquired.  “Oh, honey, I don’t knit, this is called crocheting.  You use two needles to knit, and I use one.  Here, sit alongside me, I’ll show you”, as she pointed to a chair.  It was right at that moment, I was hooked (No pun intended), I was so fascinated how fast she was working on a scarf for the upcoming Autumn season.  I silently watched her soft hands pull at the yarn, and create such intricate stitches.  I guess she realized I was so drawn in because she asked me, “Would you like to learn how to do this?  I could teach you.”  I answered immediately with excitement, “Yes, I want to learn how to do this Cro, Cro…”, “Crocheting, dear”, she quickly corrected me.
 Master the Single Crochet Stitch with This Helpful Tutorial ✿⊱╮Teresa Restegui http://www.pinterest.com/teretegui/✿⊱╮
 The following day, she leads me into her basement that had shelves filled with yarn, every color imaginable.  I was completely awestruck.  She told me to pick out some colors that I liked, and she grabbed a few different size needles.  We went back upstairs and sat down in her living room.  
My Aunt Ruthie, patiently sat with me each day teaching me new stitches and techniques.  She never went used a pattern, she simply made things her own way.  She took me to “Bradlees” a department store back then and took me to the craft section to pick out yarn for the very first project.  I wanted to make my Mom an afghan.  My Aunt thought I was a bit too ambitious to work on such a large project from the start, but she guided me every step of the way until I had it down to a science.
For what seemed to be the worst Summer ever, was filled with lessons and new experiences.  After a few months of making the afghan for my Mom, it was finally completed.  My Mom loved it, and to this day, has it laying on top of her hope chest down in Florida.
My Great Aunt Ruthie was such a kind and warm woman.  She took the time to teach me many things that Summer, that I will never forget.  I make tuna melts just the way she showed me, I still swim, and I have continued to crochet for 40 years.  I have made hundreds of scarfs, pillows, afghans and Christmas stockings.  That Summer of 1977 was one that I will always cherish until the day I die.  God Bless her for all the gifts she taught me.



The first picture is the afghan I am currently working on.
The second & third picture courtesy of Pinterest.

November 23, 2017: ~ Thanksgiving a Day to Reflect ~

Love this thankful printable with the quote, "There is always something to be thankful for." Such a great Thanksgiving reminder. livelaughrowe.com

Happy Thanksgiving to those of you who celebrate, and for those of you that don’t.

As most families and friends gather for a feast today, sharing good times, watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and the Football games…  
I would like to actually focus on the less fortunate ones that don’t have this luxury.  This is a very difficult time for me to be giddy, and joyful.  As with most people that suffer from mental illness/disorders do, we tend to become a bit more subdued when the holiday seasons come around.  Not everyone, mind you, but for some, this time may trigger memories in which you just don’t want to remember.
Last night as I lay in bed, I reflected on Thanksgivings in the past.  Some of which were when the family was close and we all loved one another deeply, others filled with sorrow because of the family breaking apart.  My family, in particular, is dysfunctional as can be.  
Here is just one fine example of how dysfunctional it truly is…  My mom is staying at my sister’s house in Jensen Beach, FL., an hour away from where my mom lives (West Palm Beach).  I sent my mother a text this morning and told her to call me when she woke up.  I received a text back from her, indicating that she would talk with me tomorrow, which in turn meant… “Can’t speak to you around your sister.” , but, Have a Happy Thanksgiving with your friends & her family.
Since I became mentally ill, my younger sister looks down on me.  Considers me overly sensitive and weak.  She shows me nothing but disdain and thinks I’m basically useless.  ‘Nice, huh?’  The most communication we have is a text on birthdays and holidays.  “Can’t you feel the love?”  
What hurts the most is that my mom won’t speak to me when she is in her company.  


I also reflected on the last 2 years.  I was homeless.  The people that resided in temporary housing truly had to make the best of a lousy situation.  Because most of us only collected general assistance and food stamps, money was tighter than a girdle around an elephant.  We would gather our resources, and make a meal together, and to be honest… There was a lot of laughter to be shared.  All of the residences had some form of mental illness/disorders and were there due to circumstances.  Most of which, because our families had given up on us.  We each felt disconnected from the happiness outside the walls of that place, but we tried to make things cheerful for one another because we were there for one another.


Okay, I’m rambling here, and I apologize for that.  I guess what I am trying to get to is this…  Since I was formally diagnosed with mental illness I have attempted to break the Stigma that surrounds all things mental health.  I have read more and more blog sites pertaining to how other’s cope with their families, friends during the holiday season, and some of the stories that I have read, have broken my heart.  We don’t deserve to be discarded in any way, shape or form.  We are still human beings with a great deal to offer.  We fight this every day of our lives.  I still share a kindred spirit with friends that are still homeless who suffer from mental illness and let me tell you something…  They are more family to me than my real family is.  (No disrespect towards my mother), but to feel that she is not able to speak to me because my sister is closed minded, is beyond me.
Here are the things I am most Thankful for on this Thanksgiving Day:
The relationship I do have with my mother on a one on one basis.  She will always be my best friend.
The friendships I have developed since 2015.  To “JK”, “LG, and “JK”…  You are my True Family.
The acquaintances here in the blogosphere that I hold very dear to my heart.
I am eternally grateful for all the bumps and bruises, and the lessons I have learned to make me a better version of myself.  To face each and every day, with air in my lungs, and a new lease on life.
I am proud of myself and for others that fight daily to overcome obstacles in their way.  To know we have each other backs, and support one another is such a gift.  


I wish each and every one of you a Happy Thanksgiving, count your blessings and find something to be grateful for, even if it’s the tiniest little thing.
Take Care & God Bless You,

~ Thanksgiving ~ ~ “This & That”~

Vintage Postcard

From Me to You, I’d like to Wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving!
At least once a week, I like to lighten things up in the middles of the week.  This week is no different.  🙂  
~Here’s a little of “This & That” for the Thanksgiving Holiday~

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We should all be thankful every day, and not just one day out of the year.  Have a safe, fun, no drama Thanksgiving Day Everyone!!!  Take Care & God Bless,   Beckie

Strummin’ Along To A Good Ole’ Song

via Daily Prompt: Riff


I played one that was solid cedar. The best sounding guitar I ever had. Just didn't have the 4 grand to buy it.

Fourth of July, 1976;   Our country celebrates our independence.
I was ten years old back then.
Family and friends alike had been invited to my Uncle Bob’s for a Barbeque, games, and some good ole’ tunes.
As memory serves me, just about every house on his block was throwing a party to celebrate our nation’s freedom.
The scent of hamburgers, hot dogs, and BBQ chicken wafted in the Summers hot, humid air.
Homemade potato salad, macaroni salad, baked beans, and deviled eggs began to fill all our plates.
Playing lawn darts, horseshoes, and tossing water balloons were just a few games we played.
Off in the distance, we heard the marching band in the parade.
All in all, it was a perfect day.
As the sun began to set, firecrackers popped all down the street, as lightning bugs twinkled around.
A makeshift fire pit was lit ablaze.
Toasted marshmallows tasted heavenly between the graham crackers & chocolate.
One by one, all the guest were all invited to sit around the fire on the corner of my Uncle’s property.
My Uncle and his buddy broke out their guitars and began a stummin’ and hummin’
Thier guitars played a brilliant riff to John Denver’s “Country Road.” While we all sang along.
Fireworks were blowing up above, while we all sang to the songs we loved.
I’ll never ever forget that 4th of July, the year 1976.
Time was much simpler back then as we celebrated in listening to my Uncle and buddy play their acoustic guitars.