The 33rd Annual Spiedie Festival & Balloon Rally held at Otsiningo Park, Binghamton, NY was held on August 4 – 6, 2017. With countless vendors, amusement park rides, face painting, music, volleyball, 5K run and balloon rides just to name a few of the festivities, this event has grown tremendously throughout the years. For those of you who are not familiar with the word ‘spiedie,’ it is cubed chicken, pork, lamb, veal, venison or beef marinated in a spiedie sauce then placed on metal skewers over a charcoal pit. Once cooked, they are eaten on a fresh piece of Italian bread. Developed by Camillo Iacovelli, Agostino Iacovelli and Peter Sharak from the Southern Tier of New York State from 1939 on, their popularity has expanded nation-wide. Today there are countless deviations to the original recipe at the annual spiedie cook-off held at the festival every year. There are several spiedie marinate companies available for purchasing spiedie marinade sauce online. For those of you who do eat meat (I am a vegetarian), here are a few local distributors. Enjoy!
“Self-discipline is an act of cultivation. It requires you to connect today’s actions to tomorrow’s results. There’s a season for sowing a season for reaping. Self-discipline helps you know which is which.”
Gary Ryan Blair
“By constant self-discipline and self-control you can develop greatness of character.”
“In order to carry a positive action we must develop here a positive vision.”
“The distance between dreams and reality is called discipline.”
“We know that God is everywhere; but certainly we feel His presence most when His works are on the grandest scale spread before us; and it is in the unclouded night-sky, where His worlds wheel their silent course, that we read clearest His infinitude, His omnipotence, His omnipresence.”
“I avoid looking forward or backward, and try to keep looking upward.”
“You know full well as I do the value of sisters’ affections: There is nothing like it in the world.”
“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.”
“Life is so constructed that an event does not, cannot, will not, match the expectation.”
“I believe in some blending of hope and sunshine sweetening the worst lots. I believe that this life is not all; neither the beginning nor the end. I believe while I tremble; I trust while I weep.”
“Better to be without logic than without feeling.”
“Cheerfulness, it would appear, is a matter which depends fully as much on the state of things within, as on the state of things without and around us.”
“Men judge us by the success of our efforts. God looks at the efforts themselves.”
“If you are cast in a different mold to the majority, it is no merit of yours; nature did it.”
“Novelists should never allow themselves to weary of the study of real life.”
“I would always rather be happy than dignified.”
“Crying does not indicate that you are weak. Since birth, it has always been a sign that you are alive!”
“I would always rather be happy than dignified.”
“Enjoy the blessings Heaven bestows, Assist his friends, forgive his foes; Trust God, and keep his statutes still, Upright and firm, through good and ill; Thankful for all that God has given, Fixing his firmest hopes on heaven; Knowing that earthly joys decay, But hoping through the darkest day.”
“Suddenly an angel appeared among them, and the landscape shone bright with the glory of the Lord.”
“I bring you the most joyful news ever announced! The Savior – yes, the Messiah, the Lord – has been born tonight in Bethlehem!”
Luke 2: 10
“The Candy Cane”
The hard candy is shaped like a “J” to represent that Jesus is our rock of all ages. The candy was made white to stand for the pureness of Jesus. The red represents the blood that Jesus shed to save us from our sins.
Ben Fambrough (lead vocals, guitar); Chuck Kozlowski (drums, back-up vocals); Chris Carlsen (bass, vocals); Lori D. Marchell Carlsen (keyboards); with guest musicians Rich Kennicutt (keyboards) and James Michael Thompson (guitar, vocals).
“And when the storm comes, and the mighty wind shakes the forest, and thunder and lightning proclaim the majesty of the sky – then let your heart say in awe, “God moves in passion.”
Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet
A remarkable storm came through during the night which produced a brilliant lightning and thunder orchestrated display. Mother Gaia marvels us continually through her ever-changing display of colorful radiance and rumbling staccato statements of empowerment. She is to be honored for her magnitude of infinite manifesting and creative abilities, extraordinary resilience and timeless moments of grandeur!
“Every shower and dew, bless the Lord; praise and exalt Him above all forever. Dew and rain, bless the Lord; praise and exalt Him above all forever. Light and darkness, bless the Lord; praise and exalt Him above all forever. Lightning and clouds, bless the Lord; praise and exalt Him above all forever.”
Daniel 3:64; 68; 72-73
And so it is with our lives, we experience moments of great joy and depths of painful sorrow. Two emotions on opposite ends of the same vibrant spectrum. By facing tragedies in our lives head-on, this produces courage and integrity of character. Through this deep inner work, it allows for the heights of joyous rapture to be experienced soaring us to new heights. Maybe that is why we are so drawn to the beauty of nature in all of its wonder and glory, for it reflects back to us our own inner journey of the heart.
“Therefore let your soul exalt your reason to the height of passion, that it may sing.”
Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet
It is during these times of sublime lucidity while observing an incoming storm, that the creative spirit within is ignited with ecstasy; just as that surreal mesmerizing gaze into a fire which seems to transport you to another place and time. There are these uncanny connections which appear to bring serendipity into our lives, similar to the weather in their arrival; on their own time, in their own way and on their own terms – as if these magical moments were actually cued to appear in our lives when least expected. Such then our lives are like the weather, to be embraced in the present moment of awareness or relinquished forever. Therefore, be mindful and fully, consciously aware to experience the great vastness and expansiveness of the infinite drenching of the soul.
In Memory of Prince
In thankfulness, appreciation and gratitude to Tofino Photography for providing the extraordinary photography! Follow Tofino Photography
“All you birds of the air, Bless the Lord; Praise and exalt Him forever.”
On this Mother’s Day, Grandma Marge will be flying around as a hummingbird in her angelic realm for certain! The above painting of a hummingbird in acrylic I painted on one of her party dresses and used the beaded hemline to create a border around it. She was so thrilled when I brought it for her to see, and am so very thankful for the time I spent with her throughout my life! But especially during the time from when my Mom passed and I moved back to New York from California. Our relationship merged into that of Grandmother/Mother and Granddaughter/Daughter. It is these memories that are cherished in my heart for always!!!
I was with her a few hours before she passed. It was the Feast Day of The Blessed Mother’s Assumption. During that most sacred time, she emphatically asked me to put her “poppuchies” on now (slippers in Slovak), put a hat on her head now and she wanted to sit in her chair as if to wait for the angels to come to carry her home! When she had spoken with Father Tim earlier that week, she said that she just wanted to go home and be with Jesus, her best friend! I recall the gathering of birds that flew by me that evening, their haunting calls were not of common birds. As some of you have read from my previous postings, Grandma gave me a gift of spiritual stigmata on my left hand the following day of her passing and it disappeared when I brought her rose embellished urn vase to her resting place at Calvary Cemetery seven days later.
In memory of her unconditional love and forgiveness, I am posting a short video of her singing at United Methodist Homes accompanied by Ralph with his harmonica. She sings “You Belong to Me, Now and For Always.” Ya Ti Muc Muc Muc Lubiem Starinka!!!