Books in Vending Machines… thanks to JetBlue and Random House

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Photo from ABC News story (Sept. 12, 2016) by Danielle Genet, “JetBlue’s Soar with Reading Book Vending Machine Program Expands to Florida.”

Like many people, I love books! As a child, books changed my life. They allowed me to escape from school, chores (when I convinced my Mom I was actually studying), dream, explore, learn — BOOKS were wonderful!

My Italian mother read books constantly. She insisted that her children read and learn about the world. One of the first really interesting books she gave me was an historical novel by Mika Waltari called, “The Egyptian.” I was glued to that book and next was ALL of Pearl S. Buck’s books about China. That’s how I fell in love with China.

Today I was reading through the latest Publisher’s Weekly newsletter and they had this exciting story about JetBlue and Random House teaming up to offer summer books to children in underserved communities through vending machines. I was thrilled about this. The photo I have above is from an ABC News 2016 “news clip.” You can see these are beautiful vending machines with a variety of books.

Jetblue Vending Machine 2Summer 2016 this book program was in Detroit. This summer they are in Florida. The program called, “Soar with Reading” was created to offer summer reading to children in communities where there are no books, which they call “book deserts.”  The program has been successful in Washington, D.C. and Detroit. Children have started book clubs and parents/teachers say children have increased their vocabulary too.

If you believe ALL children should have a book, then CAST YOUR VOTE!

Go to Soar with Reading and PLACE YOUR VOTE for the next city where JetBlue should donate books. Your options are Boston, San Francisco, New York or Los Angeles.

Right now, Boston is winning!

Come on San Francisco, let’s help OUR city!

VOTE TODAY — Spread the word about this great program!

Do you believe in LUCK?

FullSizeRenderToday I was taking a walk and something shiny caught my attention in the grass. I looked down and THERE I saw a LUCKY PENNY!  It’s ALWAYS a good day when we find a Lucky Penny!

I smiled super big. This was such an odd place to find a penny next to the sidewalk in the grass. For those of you who might not know, in America if you find a penny and usually it should be “heads up” it means “Good Luck!”  Also, as you see on the penny it says, “In God We Trust.” So, if you have been going through challenges in life, it is a reminder to Trust in God, he is watching over you. Or I’d like to think my Guardian Angel wanted me to know he/she is working hard on making dreams/wishes come true, have FAITH and do “my share” to make things HAPPEN!

I do feel that LUCK is when OPPORTUNITY meets PREPARATION! We help create our own luck along with the Universe sending us a few miracles/surprises along the way.

Not far from the penny this FUNNY BUNNY appeared. How is that for a rhyme and he didn’t dash off, he just stood there.

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Years ago, I read a very interesting book called, “There Are No Accidents: Synchronicity and the Stories of Our Lives,” by Robert H. Hopcke. I was reminded of that book today. If you have a chance try and read it. Hopcke interviewed different people who had curious events happen in there lives certainly synchronicity was at play.

LUCK seems to be on my mind lately. Recently, while in Ireland, I came across this Fairy Dust in the Tourist Shop. After I shook the jar, made a few wishes… WELL, I had to buy it. It just seemed like FUN!

So, I am sharing my WISHING JAR with YOU!

Make a WISH and SHAKE THE JAR in your mind. Let’s give the Leprechauns and Fairies something to do.

GOOD LUCK with your wishes!

 

 

Live Art – What is wrong with second photo?

IMG_4270Not long ago I went to an art show. It was one of those shows where you walk around town stopping at different shops to see art galleries, clothing, antiques, furniture, etc.

When I got to a shop for picture framing, I was looking in the window and was suddenly startled when I realized there was LIVE ART going on. I was staring into the faces of these young artists who were standing as mannequins as if in a picture.  Really nice.

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NOW, here is a second photo. I’m curious to see who can tell me what is wrong with this LIVE ART?  If I could play the Jeapordy game show music for you right now, I would.

I’m waiting…

Milan/Linate Airport: When you need to pray…

IMG_1445Today is Sunday, a perfect day for a post about praying.  Most of us know that airports have chapels, but how many of us have actually stopped in one. I confess that when I have been in an airport, even with a long lay over, I have never sought out a chapel. In fact, never even gave it a thought. My main goal was making sure I made my connecting flight.

IMG_1444So, it was a complete surprise to come across the “Cappella Madonna di Loreto,” chapel in the Milan/Linate airport recently.

It was one of those days where YOU KNOW you were meant to stop in the church and pray.  WHY?  Because when I reached the Aer Lingus counter it was closed. The Italian security guard told me that the counter would be opening in an hour. So, what was I to do, but “wait!”

I thought… OK, might as well sit down. As I went to find a seat, I looked to my right and immediately saw the “Virgin Mary” statue and my mind said, “Wow, you’ve found a chapel, but not any chapel, an Italian airport chapel.”

IMG_1443I say this, because my mother was a born and raised in Florence. So, my next thought was that my Italian grandmother who is in Heaven (well, I am sure she is there and not Hell) was drawing me to the chapel, so we could have a sweet moment together. I admit I got a bit teary-eyed, because I miss my grandmother. She didn’t speak English, but when I visited her we got by. I quickly learned Italian and we sure used our hands a lot to communicate.  She was a TREASURE!

As I lit a candle, I saw this Italian prayer.  There is a similar one in English, see this website for candle lighting and its meaning.

I sat for a few peaceful minutes and began to reminisce about my Nonna. She taught me how to knit. Think about that!! There was the language barrier as she tried to instruct me, but I focused, watched and made my first stitch.

IMG_1448My Nonina LOVED to play the game Bingo. She would go every Wednesday night. We always laughed when she came home, because if she had won, she would have either some olive oil or a big roll of salami under her arm.

Food, she made the BEST bolognese sauce, OF COURSE, she was my grandmother. It was a treat when she would fry small artichokes and we always had biscotti at breakfast, dipping it in our coffee.

Oh, when I would arrive, if I went on the balcony, she would proudly brag to her neighbors that her Italian grandchild was visiting from America!  Then the neighbors would say how I looked like my mother. We all smiled.

IMG_1449For once, I was not irritated for the delay with flight check in. My little Guardian Angel had a surprise for me, the message was “slow down,” take a moment to appreciate my Italian heritage, sit, give thanks and send LOVE up to my Nonina! WHICH I DID!

TODAY is Father’s Day!  I wish all Father’s and Grandfather’s a special day!

 

Milan / Linate Airport: Book Fly Zone

IMG_1440For those of you who travel, you know it is hectic and after a long flight ALL we want to do is get our luggage and head to the hotel. When I landed in Milan//Linate Airport I went to Baggage Claim. It seemed like we were waiting forever for luggage to come out. That is when I thought, maybe I should find a place to sit. As I looked over to the bench area I saw what appeared to be a “book shelf.”

IMG_1441Suddenly, I wasn’t in a rush for the luggage, because I was in “exploring mode.” I love books and was pleasantly surprised to see that this airport had a “book sharing” post.

What a “brilliant idea!” I had just finished a book on the plane and was wondering who I could give it to. My plan was to leave it at the hotel, but THIS was even better! I started browsing through the books. Unfortunately, the selection was disappointing. The books were ALL in Italian (of course), but they were high level academia type books, which I found interesting. Not one novel to read or any children’s books.

IMG_1478Sadly, this meant two things. First, the airport has not promoted the “Book Fly Zone” area enough. Second, maybe with most of us being able to read ebooks, people are not traveling with hard cover books anymore, so there is nothing to share or donate (hard to believe). What a shame!  I would have LOVED a book from a different country/author to read while on my trip.

I did add my one book. I hope someone snatched it up.

Let’s make this work. If you travel through Milan/Linate airport, plan to donate a book. I know I will again!

 

Irish Hat Designer: Jennifer Wrynne

image2IMG_1452While exploring Dublin, I came across “Powerscourt Centre,” off of Grafton Street, which was a very charming looking house that had been converted into a shopping center.

You can see an inside view of the building. It appears this must have been a courtyard and they added a window covering above.

Walking up the stairs the first thing I saw was the tall ceiling, staircase, open eating restaurant below AND this beautiful display of hats by Irish Hat Designer, Jennifer Wrynne.

The British and the Irish take their hats seriously. In the U.S. I think we only wear special hats to the Kentucky Derby, maybe I am wrong, but it is not as common for us to wear hats.

As I continued along in this building they had another small cafe on the second floor where we ate. They had wonderful pastries and a view into the courtyard.

Of course, my phone was malfunctioning while I was trying to take more photos with a message, “storage full;” otherwise, I would have had a few more photos for you. I would highly recommend visiting this place. They also had antique shops, a yarn shop, jewelry, flowers, a shop with housewares and wedding dresses too.

Learn more about Powerscourt Centre online.

 

 

Statue in honor of Firemen and Policemen

FullSizeRender 6I was walking in Indiana and came across this statue of a young girl with a Fireman to the left and a Policeman to the right. Apolgies that I could not get a clearer picture of the faces in the statue, but the sun was not cooperating that day.

I was moved by this sweet statue, but I didn’t realize it’s complete importance until I read the two plaques next to the statue. The first one I share with you is the “Fireman’s Prayer.” The second plaque is the “Policeman’s Prayer.”

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Fireman and Policeman do not have an easy job. These prayers I read were a reminder to appreciate their efforts and that they put their lives on the line for us every day. If you have not read these prayers before, I hope you find them moving too.