Phyllis Tarlow Fine Art - Hudson From Bear Mt
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Finding & Believing In A Purpose

What’s my purpose?  I think at some point everyone has wondered what’s their purpose in this journey called life right, well, me too, especially now.

We’ve all heard about those “aha moments” that so many people have that defined their purpose, helped them gain insight into their purpose, well for me, I was waiting for my “aha moment” before living this life #paralyzed and now I’m really waiting on it.

I’m beyond blessed to have a WONDERFUL man by my side for nearly 14 years!  Since becoming paralyzed 2.5 years ago my honey has had to do all the things I use to do (cook [although I didn’t cook much, I believe in supporting the local businesses, i.e. local restaurants, LOL], clean, laundry, etc.) all while holding down a full time job while I sit in this #wheelchair all day in our living room.   So now I’m left wondering not only what is my overall purpose in life but what do I bring to our relationship.

Now, without a doubt, my honey continues to tell me, every day, 5x a day, he loves me, he will do absolutely anything for me, he’s always making me smile & laugh and he tells me I’m a valuable part of “us.”
If I am honest with myself, before becoming paralyzed it was me that wrote out the checks & paid the bills, it was me that wrote out holiday/birthday cards, it was me that picked out and shopped, mostly online, for our household goods, it was me that remembered dates of events or appointments, it was me that reminded him of when cars needed to be inspected, if we were doing a vacation, it was me that researched the location, booked the activities, booked our lodging, etc. all this to say that for many years our motto was, and still is, “I’m the brains, he’s the brawn” so if that’s still the same, I wish I could get past feeling so useless. It’s a slow process for sure, but I’m thankful to have my honey, always loving, always encouraging, always here!

As always, I wish you days filled with wonder – take a minute to wonder what it is that made you smile today!

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When Friends Become Acquaintances

Sadly we tend to lose “friends” at different stages of our lives.  Some may lose school friends due to college or marriage, some may loose friends due to careers and/or moves and yes, some may lose friends due to a tragic accident or unforeseen life altering situation.

I get it, it doesn’t make it easier but I get it.  I’m no longer able to jump in my car and have a girls night out, or go to lunch with my friends, I’m not longer able meet the girls for a shopping spree, etc.

When I first became #paralyzed I was overwhelmed and grateful with the many well wishes and very generous financial assistant from previous co-works, friends, family & neighbors.  Now, 2.5 years post tragedy, many of my friends have faded into the background.

Heck, because I have a stranger (a.k.a. aide) in my house M -F 6 hours a day I don’t like people to stop in unexpectedly because we (maybe more me) don’t feel comfortable or relaxed talking as we normally would.  As a result, no one stops in to visit.  And, sadly, for the same reason, not many call either. Lack of privacy in my own home has now isolated me even more than being #paralyzed.

For me, my weekends are my heaven, no aide = somewhat normalcy.  Being able to visit my parents, because my honey can pick me up and transfer me to the car and drive me there enables me to help them in the small way I can of helping with their mail, riding around doing a few errands for them and just being able to spend time with them warms my heart and of course it goes without saying, spending time with my honey, who always make me smile, laughing together makes the week bearable.

As always, I wish you days filled with wonder – take a minute to wonder what it is that made you smile today!

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It’s Okay to Not be Okay…

I’m not okay, or at least, I’m not who I was before, before losing my joy, my energy, my zest for life, my love of the changing seasons, my enjoyment in decorating, before losing me, Read More

The Benefits & Cost$ of #Accessible #Independence

The benefits & costs of accessible independence can be out of reach for some people.  For me, I’m lucky & thankful that my honey is very handy Read the rest of this entry »

“Wondering” What Defines #Disabled…

“Wondering” what defines disabled? The word #disabled, in my opinion, is, in part, a mindset. According to Merriam-Webster, Definition of disabled: 1a : impaired or limited by a physical, mental, cognitive, or developmental condition: affected by disability. Read More

Taking A Chance & Road Trips

If you followed me in the past than you know how much my honey and I use to  our road trips and long weekends driving around the #HudsonValley, the #Catskills and sometimes even the #Adirondacks, but my medical issues the last few years have completely put the brakes on our road trips. Read More

It’s Been A Long Time….I’ve Missed You

It’s been a long time, 5 years in fact, wow,….I’ve Missed You!  Originally Wonderful Wonders was a place to highlight and feature the many wonderful people, places & things in and around the Hudson Valley, NY.

After a life altering situation a few years ago (which I’m sure I’ll get around to sharing more about in a future post), I now find myself wondering, wondering what’s it all about. Read More

NORTH MEETS SOUTH WHEN NYC WELCOMED THE NEELY’S!

We ventured out of our normal playground of the Hudson Valley and traveled into the world famous New York City to have dinner at the     Neely’s Barbecue  Parlor Manhattan’s Upper East Side on First Avenue.  Funny, I’ve grown up just about an hour outside of NYC and have never had an overwhelming desire to go into the city unless for a specific adventure/event or show and dinner and yet people travel from all over the world to visit the famous “Big Apple.” -Not that I don’t enjoy an evening in the city every now and then because I do, I just don’t know that I would make that my vacation destination of choice, perhaps that is because I have such easy access and can visit anytime….

Well, back to the Neely’s! My mother (Mama D as my honey calls her) LOVES to watch the cooking shows on the Food Network– including Down Home with the Neely’s.  So when my mother told me that the Neely’s recently opened a new restaurant in the city and suggested we go for dinner one night, we agreed. 

So we booked our table via Open Table and off we went.  Arriving a bit early, we enjoyed sitting at the bar looking around at the various dining rooms that surrounded the bar and chatting with Nicki.  Nicki and her friend “Wilbur” filled us in on the how and when Pat & Gina Neely came to be part of the Merchants and how warm and friendly they really are.  Each dining room is uniquely decorated each with its own ambiance and flare. 

As we normally do, we decided on two different dishes that we would share/sample.  First we started with the Candied Thick Cut Slab Bacon which is bacon strip coated with brown sugar & slow baked until it’s crispy and it was definitely crispy!   We then settled on the Pork Sampler Platter of Spare ribs, baby back ribs & pulled pork     and the famous “Blue Ribbon” Chicken (Aka Pat’s beer can chicken)    a free range chicken cooked with a pabst blue ribbon beer can in its belly!  The chicken came with 2 side dishes and the pork sampler came with one side so we had the delicious corn bread, the southern creamed corn and the sweet potato fries!   The chicken was great1 It was moist and juicy and I added the Neely’s Spicy sauce and all I can say is hmm hmm good!  The corn bread was delicious (which actually isn’t considered a side we just made it one of our sides) as were the sweet potato fries!  For me the southern creamed corn wasn’t all that creamy but, none-the-less it was good.

 Then of course there is desert, our favorite! Now, for those of you that follow WonderfulWonders, you know my honey and I always split a dessert, well, this time we didn’t . . .shocking right! We thought we probably wouldn’t be back to the Neely’s so we should be fair to them and experience as much as we could (LOL).  We did of course share; so together we shared the Red Velvet Cake with cream cheese icing, which honesty was a bit dry for my taste and the Blackberry Cobbler with vanilla ice cream which was my favorite of the two.

 A small selection of merchandise  is available in a small curio cabinet in the foyer and on their store page of the website.

 So, for all you southern folk livin here in the north, we would say the Neely’s Barbecue Parlor is a “must-do” the next time you visit Manhattan!

As always, I wish you days filled with wonder – take a minute to wonder what it is that made you smile today!

Please feel free to “SHARE” this post with your family/friends! And don’t forget to leave your comments below, we love hearing from you!

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Local Events Close to Home in Westchester County, NY

Hi everyone. . .wow we have missed being able to take our famous “day-trips” in and around the Hudson Valley this summer!  Between all the rain and our busy schedules this year we were not been out ‘n about as much as we normally are, but, the  few places we went were wonderful!

In between the many many rain filled weekends we enjoyed activities much closer to home than we normally do including:

The 14th Annual Peekskill Celebration the first weekend in August.  We rushed  to Peekskill’s Riverfront Green Park to watch the Dragons on the Hudson dragon boat races which started early in the morning on Saturday (before the rain).  This was my first time seeing these boats first hand.  The workmanship in the design/ construction of these boats is wonderful; not to mention the much needed strength/stamina it takes to actually paddle one of these boats.  These boats are rich in history and a treat to watch!

   

Because it was yet another cool/over-cast day, the crowds seemed to hold off in the morning when we were there but as the day went on more people arrived to take part in the Peekskill Celebration, enjoy good food and visit the many booths.

  

  

Once again the sun was finally shining on Sept. 10th, we took advantage of the great day and attend the 6th Annual Cortlandt Family Fun Day in Montrose, NY.  This was a cute / fun day for the families in Cortlandt.  And, with the record breaking rain fall during August, the sunshine and a day of games, food and entertainment was just was area families needed.

  

On Sept. 24th we went to the 3rd Hudson Valley Irish Fest  at the Riverfront Green in Peekskill, NY.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Irish culture and especially Irish music.  My Dad’s family hales from Ireland with my father’s great uncle being Daniel O’Connell, the famed “Liberator” of Ireland.  We sat and enjoyed music by Celtic Cross, a wonderful pop/folk band with a traditional Celtic Irish influence.  Led by lead vocalist  Kathleen Lee (I’m actually named after/for the song “I’ll Take You Home Again Kathleen“) is outstanding and amazing to listen to!

  Okay, so we all know how very much I love traveling to the Catskills, I’ve been going their since I was a child with my family for Sunday afternoon drives and now I enjoy spending long weekends traipsing around the Catskills.  While I have not yet had the pleasure of staying at Gavin’s, it is without a doubt on our list of places to stay.    At the festival I bought the most amazing celtic cross garden statue! I love it! And, the amazing thing was the designer of the piece Bill Bywater of Bywater.com is the brother of someone my honey used to work with in Poughkeepsie, NY – which made purchasing this handmade piece even more special!

Also on Sept. 24th we attended the  1st Buchanan Family Day at the Buchanan Pavilion in Buchanan, NY.  Like the Cortlandt Family Fun Day, this event was intended to give the families of Buchanan an opportunity to get together as a community, enjoy each other’s company, meet neighbors perhaps they hadn’t met and provide a fun filled environment for the children complete with face painting, pumpkin panting, a DJ providing live music and great food provided by  Buchanan Fire Department and Two Brother’s Pizzeria,!  Buchanan’s newest eatery Taste was also there meeting and greeting their neighbors!   From pumpkin painting to face painting, fun, food and entertainment, who could ask for more. . .the event was well attended and enjoyed by all!

  

  

As always, I wish you days filled with wonder – take a minute to wonder what it is that made you smile today!

Please feel free to “SHARE” this post with your family/friends! And don’t forget to leave your comments below, we love hearing from you!

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“Festa Italiana Peekskill” Festival 2011

The summer is winding down and the evening temperatures are starting to cool down here in the Hudson Valley. Of course for all of you that follow WonderfulWonders you already know how very important it is to my honey & I to support local businesses, vendors and events. This weekend we did just that by attending the 2nd year for the new “Festa Italiana Peekskill” festival.

What began with general conversation at Ciro’s Restaurant on South Street in Peekskill (in Westchester County NY) has turned into “Festa Italiana Peekskill” thanks to organizer/director Frank Cimino.  Apparently after doing some research it was discovered that 20% of Peekskill’s population is made up of Italian/Americans. With that, Mr. Cimino was on a quest, a quest to bring an Italian festival to Peekskill. Last year Mr. Cimino and a group/army of volunteers got together to bring what was a childhood memory of the great smells of good food, good conversation with family & friends to life in Peekskill.

Similar to their neighbors in Verplanck NY, who has proudly hosted the Italian Feast presented by The Society of Our Lady of Mt Carmel for the past 89years, Peekskill now proudly celebrates their “Festa Italiana Peekskill” Festival during the Feast of the Assumption. The “Festa Italiana Peekskill” features genuine native cuisine and bona fide Italian entertainers.

  

2011 is the 2nd year for the new “Festa Italiana Peekskill” festival and the Paramount Center for the Arts kicked off this year’s celebration with a benefit concert featuring Michael Amante. The benefit concert was for the Assumption Church and School in Peekskill. Michael Amante is one of the few tenors in the United States that is highly regarded and has been in a number of shows.

Friday night the crowd was entertained by Peekskill’s very own Internationally Acclaimed Vocal Artist Mary Mancini and World Renowned Accordion Virtuoso Mario Tacca and Doug Ferony Big Band. After the traditional Italian “salute!” (even though it may have been only water for our performing friends) everyone enjoyed themselves as they were clapping in their seats, singing along & even dancing in the streets!

     

The very beautiful Ave Maria performed by Mary Mancini was among the shows highlights

As with most festivals, along with the entertainment & food is a unique blend of vendors ~ many of which are local offering a unique blend of local flare and in many case homemade items featuring locally grown or manufactured materials.

   

  What I love most about attending these festivals is the opportunity to meet these local businesses/vendors and chat a bit with them. I simply love unique items and to meet the owner of the business and learn how they make the products is truly a pleasure for us. In return for their time & effort, we like to give them a little recognition and showcase a few of the more unique products and we have to save the trivets from Botanical Trivets are not only unique but they are exquisite! And yes, of course I had to have one for myself and I bought one as a gift!

 

As always, I wish you days filled with wonder – take a minute to wonder what it is that made you smile today!

Please feel free to “SHARE” this post with your family/friends! And don’t forget to leave your comments below, we love hearing from you!


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