Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Rainy Day Sunday, NY Botanical Gardens & Train Show, 12/22/2013

Rainy Day Sunday, NY Botanical Gardens & Train Show, 12/22/2013
From left to right: Lane Bryant T3 Straight-Leg Jeans, Hiking Boots, Pink and Blue Tote, eos lip balm, J. Jill Elbow-Sleeve V-neck Tee, J. Jill Denim Shirt, LL Bean H2Off! Trench Coat.  
Color pictures of the New York Botanical Gardens:  The Bridge, The Train Show, The Rock Garden.

Truly, I have been in a post-holiday eating haze, and forgot to write this post!  I am no doubt excommunicated from The Church of Righteous Blogging!

However, I did want to write about visiting my brother's wonderful family when we went to the Train Show at the New York Botanical Gardens this past Sunday, 12/22/2013.

I have some pictures to post, too.

This was at the entrance to the Train Show.  
In the Conservatory:  In my sad attempt to capture everything I wanted in the photo, I had to resort to this bizarre angle.  I told my brother Bud, "It looks like I was on drugs, but I wasn't."  He said, "This is your brain on botanicals, huh?"
A model of the Brooklyn Bridge.  All the models are made of organic materials.  
This is a model of an old mansion on Fifth Avenue.  
This is a model of a building found in Central Park.  I thought it was cute.  
This is a model of the George Washington Bridge, which connects Fort Lee, NJ with Upper Manhattan.  

I went to the NY Botanical Gardens and Train Show with my brother John, his wife Delia, their daughters Anna and Rose, her husband Rob, and their two daughters, my great-nieces.  I think we were there about 2 1/2 hours, but we packed a lot of activity into those 2 1/2 hours.  

I was glad I wore my hiking boots, because we did a lot of walking.  I dressed for the weather, which was warm and rainy.  It went up to 71* Sunday!  I took off my raincoat and left it in my brother John's truck, and I was glad I did, because walking through the Conservatory, which was where the Train Show was located, was a hot and sweaty business.  

To kill time until the next Train Show, we decided to go on the Tram Ride, which I really enjoyed.  I'm a natural history buff, and I love learning about plants, flowers, and trees.  I thought the gardens were beautiful even in December.  The Tram Ride was scenic and informative.  

The Tram let us off at the Conservatory.  The lines for the Train Show were long, but it was worth the wait.  People were pretty decent, and everyone I encountered was polite.  My little great-nieces were very well-behaved, I thought.  

Rather than go straight through to the Train Show, we decided to go off on a side excursion and see the rest of the Conservatory, which was the Rainforest exhibit, the Desert exhibit, and the orchid collection.  It was a good decision, because the exhibits were truly beautiful and interesting.  Plus, they smelled great!  I love that warm, earthy smell, that the earth has after a refreshing rain.  That's what the whole Conservatory smelled like.  They have a great many unusual plants that you won't see anywhere outside of their natural habitat.  

The Train Show was wonderful, and the kids really enjoyed it.  There was something for everyone, adults and kids.  The model structures were amazing.  Most of the important landmarks in the five boroughs of New York City were represented.  

Afterwards, we had dinner at a local Italian place, Patrizio's, where they made pizza in a wood-burning oven.  Not to make any local Staten Island pizza places jealous, but this was the best pizza I have ever had, hands down.  Their Margherita pie was divine, as was everything else we had.  

My great-nieces thoroughly enjoyed their little Hello Kitty dolls!  

Thanks to my niece Rose's driving skills, I made the 5:58 MetroNorth back to Grand Central Terminal, and I was home in less than an hour and a half.  Considering that it took me almost three hours to go 5 miles on Staten Island during rush hour one day last week, that's quite an accomplishment for the Metropolitan Transit Authority.  

So a warm and hearty "THANK YOU!!!"  goes out to my brother John and his family for a really wonderful, memorable day.  It was definitely a "Merry Christmas"!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Sunday, 12/22/2013: Meeting the Nieces!

Sunday, 12/22/2013: Meeting the Nieces!
Top Row:  Lane Bryant Tee Shirt, J. Jill Crinkle Scarf, Lane Bryant T3 Straight-Leg Jeans, LL Bean Trench Coat.
Bottom Row:  Pink and Blue Tote, Gray Hiking Boots, EOS Lip Balm, Hello Kitty Dolls, Godiva Chocolate, Christmas Gift Bag.  

I'm excited for tomorrow (hopefully not so excited I forget to put my laundry away!) because I'm going to be meeting my nieces.  I'll be seeing them for the first time in three years, so I'm looking forward to it!  I'll be seeing my great-nieces, too, my niece's daughters.  I thought some Hello Kitty merchandise was in order, and of course, chocolate!  Sorry kids, not the Hello Kitty dolls in the picture, and not Godiva chocolate either.  But I'd like them to know I'm thinking of them.  

I'm going to be traveling by public transportation tomorrow, which makes me a little nervous, because it's a long trip on three trains and by ferry, and I'm hoping the trip will be without incident.  No shoving, no pushing, no violence.  I hope it's not too much to ask people to behave civilly.  Ever since being shoved off the bus, I'm super cautious when I'm out in public.  *Fingers crossed* it'll be a good trip, and quick, too!  

Thursday, 12/19 and Friday, 12/20. Therapy and Work Day.

Thursday, 12/19 and Friday, 12/20. Therapy and Work Day.
Top Row:  Lane Bryant Royal Tee Shirt, Lane Bryant T3 Straight Leg Jeans, Lane Bryant Teal Tee Shirt,
Black Scarf.
Bottom Row:  eos lip balm, Pink and Blue Tote, Gray Hiking Boots, LL Bean Trail Model Fleece Anorak in Navy.  

Thursday, 12/19/2013 I had therapy, and it went well.  Friday I worked as a volunteer in the NAMI NYC Staten Island office all day.  It was very busy, which was good, because that keeps me occupied and it means we're helping many people.  

My personal opinion on volunteering is that it's usually a positive experience.  I've only had one problem ever with anyone working as a volunteer, and fortunately, other people in the office stepped in and interceded, which was good.  You don't get paid, but you reap benefits in other ways:  You get to hone your existing skills, learn new skills, and you often find abilities you never knew you had.  Plus, you have the knowledge that you're working to make the world a better place.  One doesn't often get the chance to make a real difference in the world, and volunteering is a great way to do that.  Many people look down on volunteering because it isn't "real work" because you don't get paid.  But any reputable organization knows that they need to treat their volunteers well and treat them respect, and they value their talents, skills and abilities.  The other bonus to working as a volunteer is that you make new connections with people, people get to know you and your work, and that can lead to a new job, possibly better than the one you have, or had, and it's more likely to be more in line with your interests, passions and goals in life.  

I think it's a win-win situation, all around.  The organization benefits from your work, and you benefit from your work with the organization.  

NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness | myNAMI

Please read this young woman's story about her cousin, and consider making a donation to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.  NAMI relies on donations from members.  Thank you very much for reading!

NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness | myNAMI

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Holiday Party, 12/11/2013

Holiday Party, 12/11/2013
Lane Bryant Ponte Knit Jacket, Lane Bryant V-neck Elbow Sleeve Tee, LL Bean Twill Chinos, Red Coral Pendant,  The Body Shop's LOVE ETC. Eau de Parfum, Black Leather Coach Satchel Handbag, Black Doc Martens Boots.  Various holiday ornaments from Polyvore.  

Wednesday night was the NAMI NYC Staten Island Holiday Party.  A good time was had by all, including me.  I hope everyone is enjoying their holiday season!  

Thursday, December 5, 2013

What I Wore, Thursday, 12/5/2013

What I Wore, Thursday, 12/5/2013
Top Row:  J. Jill V-neck Tee, J. Jill Denim Shirt, Rose Quartz Pendant.
Bottom Row: LL Bean Perfect Fit Bootcut Pants, Pink and Black Socks, Mary Jane Sneakers, LL Bean H2Off! Trench Coat.  

It was raining today, and I didn't feel like going anywhere, but I had a therapy appointment, so out I went to brave the elements!  It didn't rain while I was outside, luckily.  I felt that I needed a bit of perking up, so an abundance of pink was called for.  

Update:  I had to edit this post, because I neglected to say yesterday that my friends Diane and Casz responded to a Facebook post I wrote about not wanting to go out and what should I wear?  This is a combo of both their suggestions:  Diane suggested sweatpants, so I went with the LL Bean Perfect Fit Bootcut pants, which are the closest thing to sweatpants that I own, and Casz suggested jeans and a t-shirt, so I went with a denim shirt and a long-sleeve t-shirt from J. Jill. I have similar pink and black socks that have pink and white stripes with black skull-and-crossbones on them (from my Goth phase back in the last decade).  In any case, the outfit lifted my spirits and kept me warm and dry.  Good job, ladies!