Quote Of The Day

“When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one that has opened for us.”

Alexander Graham Bell

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Angel In The Sky

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If you had the chance to meet Penny you would see how beautiful and loving she was! She was a remarkable sweet angel that I know God sent to me to teach me the beauty of life and how to love unconditionally. I brought her home on December 24th, 2010 and she left this world on February 21, 2013. I will never forget the day we met, her big brown eyes were sparkling when she saw my sister and I approach her kennel at the animal shelter. She got up and stared at us for a while, was she always waiting to meet us? I had never seen that look from any dog before, she communicated through our souls. Maybe she dreamed that she would see us one day and there we were standing right in front of her. I don’t exactly know how a dogs mind works, but I know that they see humans and the world in a very different way than people do. My sister and I saw her information on the fence that she was 10 years old and had been there for two weeks and unclaimed by anyone. We knew she was the one for us and brought her home! Little did I know that as I got to know her more we both had similar personalities and it just made me smile because I felt she was a mini me! She loved my whole family, but she would follow me the most and would sleep in my room. I guess you could say she choose me to be her mother. I felt my maternal instinct kick in, one of the most beautiful things any girl can exeprience. Wherever I walked she would follow no matter if it was up the stairs or down the stairs. She never asked for much, all she wanted was our love and our kisses 🙂 and of course some food 😉 what surprised me was that before I got her, I always wished to have a dog that would follow me around and then Penny came into our lives and that’s exactly what she did! She came into my life when I needed her the most..she made me laugh and smile with her cute personality and there wasn’t a single day when my family and I wouldn’t talk about her. Ever since she passed away, I have never felt so many emotions in me all at once, call it bitter sweet or the saddest thing I have ever gone through in my life, Penny will always be in my heart and let me tell you she holds a big part of my heart that no one will take. I feel better knowing that she is not in pain anymore and that she is happy running around heaven and knowing her, everyone up there is also falling in love with her too.

I dedicate these song to her:

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P.S.

My Sweet Little Baby Girl,

Perfect, that is the first word that comes to my mind when I think of you. Right from the start I knew that we both found a home for our hearts. You showed me how to love myself by seeing how much you showed your love towards me. The sound of your little feet walking behind me, your beautiful big brown eyes watching me, your gentle soft fur snuggling next to me, these precious little moments are my treasured memories of you. We would play dress up and you would let me put you on so many things, you had such an amazing patience that only love can give. The way you looked at me when I would walk away, I would run back and hug you letting you know that I would never leave you. You are and will always be my special little angel that God let me have for a few years. Even though I wish we could of had more time together, your mission in life was complete and God called you back home. Destiny was benevolent to us and brought us together and I thank him for that. I feel you sitting in the gates of heaven waiting for me to come, I’m sorry I cannot be where you are right now. It might seem like a long time, but before you know it, we will be together again and this time it will be forever. Until we meet again my little Penny, I know you will be first one running towards me greeting me in heaven. “Goodbye may seem forever, farewell is like the end, but in my heart is a memory and there you’ll always be.”

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First Double-Arm Transplant

I was really touched when I heard the story about Brendan Marrocco a few days ago and thought I should share it all with you. The video explains more about the first arm transplant, but here is a little information about what happened to Brendan. On Sunday, April 12, 2009, while returning to base after a night mission, Army Specialist Brendan  Marrocco, 2nd Battalion of the 27th Infantry Regiment vehicle sustained a direct hit by an Explosive Fired Projectile (EFP) resulting in one fatality and two injuries. Following the attack, Brendan was kept from bleeding to death by his platoon’s medic and fellow soldiers long enough to be transported to the US Army trauma hospital in Tikrit, Iraq.  At Tikrit he was resuscitated, stabilized and  underwent emergency surgeries. Brendan sustained severe permanent and life changing injuries, he had an amputation on both his arms legs. Brendan is currently recovering and undergoing physical and occupational therapy at Walter Reed Army Medical Center where he is expected to remain for an extended period of time.  His brother Michael has graciously put his life on hold by moving in with Brendan and assisting with his recovery.

Brendan may have lost his arms and legs, but he never lost his will to survive  and has maintained an extremely positive yet realistic attitude about his recovery and life after recovery.  He knows that his recovery will be long, setbacks will occur and that his future will be challenging.  Regardless, he continues to focus and channel his energies on his recovery and is looking forward to the future. His spirit and will to continue to live is a great message to everyone who is going through some tough times right now. Never give up and always continue to fight to live! Life is such a beautiful gift and should not be taken for granted. Brendan is the first quadruple amputee to survive the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Holland in Springtime?

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If you are thinking of taking a little trip during spring, you should really think about visiting Holland! I have only been in the summer, but I can imagine how beautiful it must be in the spring time! Take to the waterways of the Netherlands aboard the newly renovated canal barge the M.S. Magnifique, and discover medieval towns and landscapes with spring’s bright blossoms. Stroll through a patchwork of flowers at the Keukenhof gardens, or ride a bike past the windmills of Kinderdijk. Explore The Hague, Haarlem, and the picturesque canals and markets of Amsterdam. Trace the footsteps of Anne Frank and view the artworks of the Dutch masters, from Rembrandt and Vermeer to Vincent van Gogh! Spend the morning amid a riot of colors and fragrances at the breathtaking Keukenhof gardens, where more than seven million vibrant tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, and other flowers display their bright hues. Stroll acre after acre of the world’s largest flower garden, taking in a beauty that lasts just a short time each spring. If you love flowers then you should go see the the world’s largest flower auction in Aalsmeer, where more than five billion flowers are sold every year! Witness the haggling and deal-making among flower vendors, and get a taste of life behind the scenes of the tulip trade.

Some great things you can do there are:

  • Bike through the green heart” of the Netherlands and discover the verdant countryside
  • Immerse yourself in the excitement of the world’s largest flower auction in Aalsmeer
  • Visit the cheese weighing house in Gouda and a working porcelain factory in Delft

A truly beautiful place to visit one day if you have the chance 🙂

Destination Of The Week: Colmar, France

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Described as “one of the most attractive towns in Alsace,” Colmar is situated in east-central France, in a border region that was once disputed between France and Germany. It serves as something of a gateway for those seeking to travel overland from France to the Rhine Valley. Colmar is 273 miles from Paris and 73 miles from Strasbourg, France. Colmar’s main draw is its well-preserved and colorful old town. This district is a good reminder of Colmar’s place in a border region, as its half-timbered architecture is noticeably more German than French. Two highlights of a walking tour of the old part of Colmar are the Maison des Tetes (“House of Heads”), so-named because it is decorated with faces; the ancient wooden Pfister House; and the pink St. Martin Church. The Unterlinden Museum is home to a fine collection of old armor, furniture and other items, but its main point of interest is the Isenheim Altarpiece, with its striking paintings of scenes such as the Crucifixion and the temptation of St. Antony. According to Fodor’s, the low rainfall and distinct seasons of Alsace make pretty much anytime a good time to go to Colmar. The city enjoys a snowy, Christmas-postcard atmosphere in winter and golden colors in autumn. The summers are warm and mild, and in spring the vineyards of the surrounding countryside come alive with grape blossoms.

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Disney Announces Infinity Game Toy Box!

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Disney executives just took the stage at the El Capitan Theatre in Los Angeles, where they just announced Disney Infinity, a game platform that’s set to launch in June.

The details of the platform are still emerging, but Co-President of Disney Interactive John Pleasants has already shared the big ideas. Infinity will “bring together the best of Disney IP, past, present, and future.” It won’t just be a single game, but rather a “new, interactive gaming platform” — more like a toy box allowing consumers to create the environments and stories that they want. It will be cross-platform, available on consoles, mobile devices, and online, and it will also incorporate physical figurines.

Pleasants said the “play sets” launching in June will incorporate three different Disney franchises: Monsters University, The Incredibles, and Pirates of the Caribbean. The launch will include other, yet-to-be-announced characters, he added.

Disney Chief Creative Officer John lasseter took the stage after Pleasants, where he emphasized the idea of Infinity as a toy box. He said he initially resisted the idea of throwing all of Disney’s characters into in one game, but he warmed up to it when he thought of it as kids playing with different toys.

John Blackburn (yes, there were a lot of John’s on-stage today), CEO of Disney’s game studio Avalanche, offered more details about how it will work. There are two big components to the platform, he said. There are the physical figurines, which you can place on a pad to determine which characters get “teleported” into the game. Then there’s the software, which includes play sets — gaming experiences based on specific franchises. Each play set features game mechanics specifically designed for that universe. The Pirates of the Caribbean set, for example, focuses on sailing between different islands. The environments and characters are still customizable, but they’re meant to be “true to property,” so you won’t see Mr. Incredible showing up in the Pirates set.

Then there’s the “toy box,” an environment for “mashing up” different franchises. In demonstrating the toy box, Blackburn showed off an adventure mode, which introduces players to the basic mechanics, plus a simple logic editor that allows them to modify how the game works using a point-and-click interface. Naturally, both the play sets and the toy box will support multiplayer mode.

Disney is about to give reporters a more hands-on demo of the platform, and I’m also scheduled to interview Blackburn in a few minutes, so I’ll write up my initial impressions in a separate post.

Will The Violence Ever End?

It seems that every time we turn on the news or read the newspaper, we see a lot of violence, and no one could have imagined what we would see yesterday morning. I don’t think their wasn’t anyone who wasn’t affected by this horrible event. To take the lives of 26 people especially 20 innocent beautiful children who just starting to live their lives..you have no heart you have no soul.

All of the victims families are going through one of the most terrible experiences in their lives, my prayers go out to them. Heaven now has 20 beautiful angels watching over their families.

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Best Places to See Holiday Lights

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Vienna, Austria: Advent brings out Vienna’s romantic side: Garlands of bulbs glisten over thoroughfares and shops are decorated with pine branches and silk ribbons (November 26-December 31). Giant chandeliers lead to St. Stephen’s Cathedral, and daily Advent concerts take place at Schönbrunn Palace.

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Winter Morning, Yosemite National Park: All that is required to surprise and delight is to go out early on a winter morning in Yosemite and keep your eyes open wide.

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Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen: The Japanese Pagoda, a popular restaurant on Tivoli Lake, is among the  many structures dressed up with holiday lights at Denmark’s 1843  amusement park and  “pleasure garden,” the dreamy vision of a Tiffany design director. In  addition to touring the Asian area, located near the concert hall,  visitors can zoom through the sparkling skies on the 1914 roller  coaster, and warm up with glogg (mulled wine) and apple dumplings. November 11-December 30.

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Hallstatt, Austria: When the dark falls and tourists rest, the town of Hallstatt comes back to peacefulness. As fog winds around the spire of the famous Parish Church, and the blue tint of the rainy night is decorated by warm light, the town really looks like a fairyland.

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Gothenburg, Sweden: The aroma of toasted almonds and glogg heralds the arrival of Saint Lucia to this charming river town illuminated all season long. Five million lights glitter on the buildings and on the 700 Christmas trees at Liseberg Amusement Park’s Christmas Market (Scandinavia’s largest, open November 18).

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Kobe, Japan: Following the Kobe earthquake of 1995, Italy loaned thousands of hand-painted bulbs to be built into intricate luminarie light-strung, Gothic-style structures. The tradition continues: Four million revelers celebrate Japan’s enduring resilience near Higashi-Yuenchi Park. December 1-12.

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Brussels, Belgium: During Plaisirs d’Hiver, dramatically lit buildings and music lift spirits in the historic Grand Place. At the Christmas market, 240 chalets serve Belgian waffles and conical cuberdon candies. November 25-January 11

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Hong Kong, China: It’s an over-the-top Christmas in Hong Kong, where lights twinkle along Main Street in Disneyland, the city’s malls try to outdo each other in awesomeness (Roppongi Hills Galleria created a ground-level Milky Way galaxy of lights one year), and the downtown skyline dances with colorful lights and music. The city center, crowned by a giant Swarovski crystal tree,  and Victoria Harbour is fantastically illuminated. Stick around for Chinese New Year festivities for more fireworks and action. November 25–January 1.

Monterey, California

Here are a few pictures that I took while visiting Monterey, California. The City of Monterey is located on the southern edge of Monterey Bay, on Central California’s Pacific coast. There are so many unique attractions in Monterey that it can be hard to pick just one. There is the Monterey Bay Aquarium, 17-Mile Drive which is widely recognized as one of the most scenic drives in the world, this famous coastal landmark runs from Pacific Grove to Pebble Beach, featuring awe-beautiful sites perfect for a day of exploration. Marvel at some of nature’s treasures including The Lone Cypress, Spanish Bay and Stillwater Cove, as well as the world-renowned Pebble Beach Golf Links.

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Miami!

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Miami was beyond incredible! Being there for a week made it harder to leave! Now I know why the city is so popular~ the people, the food, the environment, it is a party every day. The Atlantic Ocean was beautiful as always with its rich blue water. Ever since my trip to the Bahamas four years ago, I have never felt so in love with the ocean. I guess you could say I felt like a mermaid. I took so many pictures, but these were some of my favorite ones, I will post some more later on. So I decided that I would like to try to take a trip every year to visit the Caribbean Islands 🙂 The Virgin Islands is my next tropical destination!! What was great about this trip is that we were there the same time the Power Ball Jackpot was playing. I bought myself a ticket 😉

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