Thursday, September 27, 2007

Peace Day Los Angeles-Thich Nhat Hanh Mindfulness walk!!

Check out this awesome post over at The Tattler about the peace walk and about Julian's personal experience walking with Thich Nhat Hanh.... I really wish I was there!!

I've wanted to meet Thich Nhat Hanh, but every time he is in my area, I miss him for one reason or another. I am really a big fan of his. I've read many of his wonderful books on peace, Buddhism and mindfulness and meditation .

Gypsy Girl

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Break Out Blogger Award

Gartenfische at De Die In Diem has honored me with the Break Out Blogger Award
The award is meant to “cast a spotlight on bloggers who are just beginning to draw lotsa attention — the equivalent of a song with a bullet on Billboard’s Top 100 chart. Lotsa good posts. Lotsa good buzz. These bloggers are going places in a hurry.”

Thank you Gartenfische, for the BOB Award. Coming from you makes it special. I am inspired and moved by your deeply spiritual, thought provoking blog. Keep those great post coming!!

Now, I’ll pass it along a young woman whom I admire, respect and love a great deal.

Brittany Mae is a “baby blogger” who is definitely “going places in a hurry”, not just with her blogging but in her life as well.

A college Freshman, who is a study abroad student. She dares to live her dreams. She is finding her wings as she travels this beautiful world we live in and finding her “voice” in her new blog.

She is an inspiration to her family, especially her 3 younger sisters. I am proud to count her not only as my granddaughter, but as one of my very best friends.

Gypsy Girl

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Apple Pciking Time

In New England, we are very lucky to have such a beautiful fall season when colors turn vibrant, the sky is bright blue, the air is cool and crisp, and the harvest is abundant.

For my family, our annual apple picking day is a very special event that marks the beginning of this beautiful season.

We are fortunate to have Cider Hill Farm close by(in a neighboring town). Our first stop is to make a visit to the huge barn full of delightful things to buy from fresh fruits and vegetables to homemade jams and jellies, fresh bread and pies and our favorite….hot off the press…fresh cider donuts.
The kids love to watch them roll off the press into the cinnamon sugar.

We buy them hot and steamy by the bagful. An irresistible treat for both kids and adults.

Then we are off for our walk through the orchards. Picking apples of so many different varieties, it’s hard to count them all. We sample them all as we move along up the hill to our favorite picnic spot, in the shade, right next to the peach orchards.
On the way back the kids usually opt to take the hayride down to the barn while the adults walk.

The farm also has a play are for the kids along with animal pens with chickens, goats and sheep that keeps the kids entertained.

Each year it is different. Our group can be more than 20 family members and friends or sometimes like today just a handful. But no matter how many or how few of us are there it is always a delightful, satisfying day.
May all your days be so beautiful
Gypsy girl

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Meditation and Mindfulness for Well Being

I just read a wonderful article about meditation and mindfulness in the Huffington Post that is worth a read. The article pointed out many health benefits from practicing meditation and mindfulness that I was not aware of, along with some benefits that I have already experienced.

I have been practicing meditation and mindfulness as part of my daily yoga practice for quite some time.

After sitting and meditating for just 20 minutes after my regular yoga practice, I find myself enjoying an inner calmness and sense of well being. And the feeling lasts throughout the day.

I also practice mindfulness or present moment awareness throughout the day(as often as I can remember to do so). It can be an instant de-stresser in even the most tense moments.

But more than that, when I stay in the present moment I enjoy life NOW at it’s fullest. I see things that normally will pass me by unnoticed when I am going at a hurried pace or worrying about something in the past or future which I have no control over.

Meditation and mindfulness are the part of my inner journey whose rewards bring a joyful presence to every moment of my day.

Gypsy girl

Monday, September 17, 2007

The Gift of Travel

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than the ones you do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Mark Twain

I have a Gypsy soul that loves to wander and a never endless desire to explore every corner of this beautiful earth we live on.

My husband and I travel as often as we can, just the two of us and sometimes with our family.

But I think my favorite vacations are when we take each of our grandchildren on a one-on-one vacation when they complete the eighth grade and again when they graduate from High School.

We love to instill in them the joy of traveling, an appreciation for the wonders of the world and the beauty of all the world’s people.

Today I received a letter from my granddaughter who is in a study abroad program in Limerick Ireland. She thanked us for inspiring her to travel and said if it wasn’t for us and the trips to Mexico and Spain that we took her on that she probably wouldn’t be studying abroad right now.

It warms my heart to see that she is experiencing the world with a great sense of wonder and delight…. Exploring…Dreaming…Discovering.

Happy Travels
Gypsy Girl

Friday, September 14, 2007

New Arrival

Meet Helene. She is the newest member of our extended family. She was born August 22 to our friends Janna and Sven in a small village in central Germany.

It just so happened I was in Germany at the time, planning to meet with her grandparents while in port on my Baltic Capital Cruise. But Helene had her own agenda and our dear friends Harald and Gudrun were gifted with a much more satisfying meeting….their first precious grandchild.

We became friends with the Rohde family when their other daughter Grit was Au Pair to our twin granddaughters. We’ve enjoyed several years of vacations and many happy times together.

The twins, now 11 years old, wanted to do something special for the new arrival so we started months ago, making this baby afghan.

It’s a great project for children or beginning knitters/crocheters. It is so much easier for them to finish small squares than one large blanket. And the kids like the competition of seeing who finishes their square first, which helps the project move along.

So as a joint effort the twins (with a little help from their Mom) knitted all the colorful squares, then I crocheted them together and added a lacey border and it's ready to send to our new friend.

Gyspy Girl

Monday, September 10, 2007

University Life

My oldest granddaughter started her first day of college today. She is taking the first semester of her Freshman year at the University of Limerick in Limerick, Ireland. Check out her blog

At Freshman orientation which I attended with her, I heard that less than 2% of students study abroad. I was amazed at such a very low figure, so I checked into it a bit and found that some studies (related article) say it is closer to 1%.

The speaker said that these young adults were part of a unique and special group of people. But I didn't need a college professor to tell me that. I knew from the minute I set eyes on her just 18 short years ago that she was very unique and special.

She just sent me this great photo of her "dorm". This University doesn't have dormitories as we know them here in the States. None of those little cramped "cells" with 2 or 3 students crammed in and bathrooms down the hall.

The students live on campus in apartments. Each apartment has 6 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a kitchen and living room. 3 female and 3 male students share the apartment. The guys share one bathroom, the girls share the other, and they all share the kitchen and living room.

The apartments are shared by international students from all over the world.

Sounds like quite an independent and interesting college lifestyle to me. What a wonderful way to get a young adult off and running to be an adventurous, independent citizen of this beautiful global community that we live in.

Gypsy Girl

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Matryoshka Dolls

My favorite souvenir that I brought home from my recent trip is the Matryoshka Doll. I brought home arm loads of them for all the little girls in the family and also for the not so little girls including myself.

The Matryoshka doll, sometimes called nesting or stacking dolls or Babushka dolls, happens to be the most popular souvenir from Russia.

Variations of the name Matryoshka, Matryona and Matriosha was a very common female name in Russia. The name comes from the Latin root mater and means mother.

The image of a Matryoshka doll is that of a portly and robust “mother” of a big peasant family. It is considered to be a symbol of motherhood and fertility. Hence, the “mother” doll with numerous “children” perfectly expresses the oldest symbol of human culture, Mother and Child.

The brightly painted wooden dolls with progressively smaller dolls nested inside one another are not only a delight to look at, but are fun to play with for kids of all ages.

And I did enjoy spending time playing with all the Matryoshkas that I brought home, before passing them out to the other little girls in the family.

Gypsy Girl

Friday, September 7, 2007

"There's No Place Like Home"

I’ve just returned from another phenomenal trip.

I must have been a gypsy in another lifetime or lived some kind of a nomad life, because I love traveling. I am constantly either on vacation or planning for the next travel adventure.

I am ready to pack up and go at a moments notice. Someone once joked that I should carry my toothbrush and passport with me at all times, just in case I might be passing an airport and get the urge to take a trip.

I love the excitement of meeting new people and learning about different cultures. I can walk for miles and miles just soaking up the architecture, museums, churches and landscapes that surrounds me.

I love to venture off the beaten path, savoring areas that most travelers never see. And sampling the foods of the world is always a delight. I don’t mean those fancy touristy restaurants. I’d much rather eat with the locals.

But no matter how delightful and fulfilling traveling can be, there is something special about coming home.

In The Wizard of Oz Dorothy sure had it right, because when I get home, the first thing I do is drop my bags and say “There‘s no place like home”.

I love that feeling of peace and tranquility that envelopes me like a warm blanket as I enter my home. When I walk into my kitchen, I love the faint lingering smell of herbs that I don’t notice when I am here every day.

And God do I love my own bed. What a joy! I can’t wait for my first night’s sleep in my bed. I am in dreamland as soon as I hit the pillow…..dreaming and scheming for my next vacation.

Happy Travels
Gypsy Girl