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Since it’s summer, I want to say hello to you all from some of my favorite places in Upstate NY, where I feel probably most at home in the US. In the summer we try to travel every weekend. I took so many great pics that it took me some time to decide which of my recent destinations to post first.
I finally decided to go with Little Falls and Erie Canal rock climbing. Most of the Erie Canal highlights will be in next post, together with Herkimer ‘diamond’ mines. l’ll post more of my little explorations on a regular basis and I hope you enjoy this summer series. I will also make this post public after some time, so more people can enjoy it.
SOME CURIOUS HISTORIC BACKGROUND
New England and Upstate NY is where the growth and industrialization of America really began. Erie Canal, which is currently used only for recreation, was one of the 10 historic mega-projects that made the USA into what it is today: a super-wealthy superpower.
Complete article includes nearly 40 pictures I took, plus my travel notes and observations!
Spring is coming… My favorite season is back again. Can’t wait to smell all the wonderful spring flowers, hear the birds sing and inhale the fresh scent of awakening nature.
Let’s talk only about positive and newly exciting things today!
Global relocation trend
So many changes are coming! The global trend of relocation is upon us. More and more people will be moving, or will be thinking about moving, in the following years. Many people will want to relocate to another country or another continent. It’s new, exciting and a little scary. But it is a global trend that can’t be stopped or reversed. It is a harbinger of the monumental changes to come: it is part of the Great Earth Shift in all spheres of our existence and consciousness.
I have begun a new category on FT: Developing Global Trends. All posts in this category can be read as they come up (scroll down to CATEGORIES located on the right hand bar).
In the past year, many of my CONSULTATIONS clients approached me regarding my advice on the timing and place for global relocation. I feel this trend intensifying for all of mankind as we speak, and it will grow and manifest as such on all continents (Earth & Personal Shift Consultations will address this trend on personal level for each of my clients.)
As always, Happy March 8, 2016, dear women (and men, too)!
Happy Birthday and the New Moon Eclipse in Pisces
Happy Birthday, Pisces! As a Pisces myself, I want to wish a very Happy Birthday month to all the beautiful Fishes out there! What would we do without your niceness and kindness. I intend to celebrate – hope you do the same, in joy and style!
The New Moon solar eclipse is coming in to coincide with March 8 holiday. Eclipses always pack a lot more energy than a regular new moon, and their effect is usually felt for months after, and often before, as well. This eclipse is in Pisces and it touches most of the birthday Fishes out there. This particular eclipse is very powerful; it denotes new beginnings and ushers in an era of big changes in all of our lives, whether we are Pisces or not. It especially touches all mutable signs.
Do you feel the change in the air? I do. More on that later…
The Smithsonian National Zoo’s latest panda cub, Bei Bei, had his first taste of climbing a tree. The giant panda cub had some help from his mother, Mei Xiang, after several attempts to climb the tree. The panda made a great effort before getting a helping hand back down to the ground.
A continuation of the tribute series, dedicated to Princess Lila, aka, Lilechka.
Lilechka was my super-familiar, beloved friend and companion of nearly 20 years. She passed on April 29, 2014 at the age of 19 and almost 9 months old.
In her memory, on August 9, 2015 we celebrated her 21 birthday. Lilechka had loved to bask in the sun in our big garden, which she missed terribly after we sold the house and moved to a more urban environment.
Our old garden
On May 9, 2015 we decided to remember Lilechka by visiting one of our favorite spots, Cornell Plantations at Cornell University, NY.
The gardens were fragrant and lush in their generous bloom. What’s especially remarkable is that Cornell Plantations grow many wonderful varieties of lilies. This always reminded us of our Lilechka, who was named Tiger Lily at birth for her lily like coloring.
We have taken lots of pictures of the gorgeous flowers and charming secluded corners.
As we walk you through the garden, please enjoy the views together with us!
This and the following week’s posts are dedicated to my beloved friend and companion of almost 20 years, Princess Lila, known affectionately at home as Lilechka. Today, on August 9, 2015, Lilechka would have turned 21. She passed just a few months short of her 20th birthday, last year.
Lilechka looked young, was active and sharp till almost the very last week. I was stunned and completely unprepared to her passing, and it took me a long time to get over it. I didn’t see it coming – I didn’t want to see… Meanwhile, Lilechka made it as easy for me as possible on so many amazing and unbelievable levels! Throughout my life I have experienced so many of Princess Lila’s gifts, all unique and precious in their own way.
Princess Lila (Lilechka) August 9, 1994 — April 29, 2014
But the biggest of them all was the gift she left when she knew she was about to leave us. The love and beauty she poured out those last weeks of her life were incredible. Her practically heroic behavior the last two days before her passing to make it easier for me, is something I will never forget. And the gift she left behind… is the stuff of legends.
It took me a long time to be able to sit down and start putting all this in writing, and it’s still hard. But deep down, I have been thinking about it since last year. The idea of the book was born almost immediately after she passed. I am starting to write this book, whose working title is Princess Lila’s Last Gift. I hope I will be able to release it next year.
Between this and the posts I plan to publish in the following weeks, I am offering you a glimpse of Lilechka’s story.
Princess Lila and I
When Lilechka was about 17, my hubby and I did a Psychic Q&A. This is a session in which I go into Alpha/Theta state and he asks me questions about the future. Psychic Q&A is my invention, and it capitalizes well on my gift of claircognizance, which means ‘clear knowing.’ Responses simply pop up in my head as knowledge. In some ways it’s clearer than clairvoyance, although it includes the elements of clairvoyance and clairaudience.
In that session one of the questions my hubby asked was whether Lilechka would be with us past her 20th birthday. Lilechka was still going strong at the time, but she was getting on with age and sometimes we both secretly wondered how long we had left with our beloved familiar. The three of us were so close that we sometimes jokingly referred to ourselves as the Holy Trinity.
Question: ‘Will Lilechka be with us past her 20th birthday?’
I heard my voice answering: ‘No, she will pass just short of her 20th.’
‘No?’ replied my hubby, taken aback.
‘No,’ I repeated sadly. ‘She won’t live past her 20th.’
This made us both sad and we wrapped up our Psychic Q&A. I thought a few times about that episode, but life went on, Lilechka kept healthy and strong, and with everything else that was happening in life, we forgot all about my prediction.
We only remembered it after Lilechka was no longer with us.
We had a good, long life together, Lilechka and I. We met well before I met my husband.
Lilechka is a Russian American kitty, born August 9, 1994; her striking tortoiseshell, lily flower-like fur caused her at birth to be named Tiger Lily. Her mommy, a Russian kitty called Diana, lived in Massachusetts and had a litter from the local tomcat. All kittens were adorable, but Lilechka was the cutest. Everyone who came to adopt the kittens wanted her. Soon, the hostess was forced to hang the sign:
Tiger Lily is spoken for
(she is a gift for a little girl’s birthday)
Like myself, Lilechka was a traveler, adventurer and explorer. When she was only 3 months old, she was riding a bus. My neighbor, that same nine-year-old girl to whom Lily was promised as a birthday gift, was taking her home in a small holed box lined with a towel. In the middle of a 3-hour trip, Lily got out of the box and decided to explore the bus. When the tearful girl discovered Lily was gone, the whole bus frantically searched for her in every nook and cranny.
The girl’s parents were away and they asked me to meet their daughter and her nanny, who accompanied her on the trip. When I met them at the New York Bus Terminal, the little girl was still shaken and in tears, but Lily was safely back in her box.
Soon after, the family moved away and the little girl quickly forgot the kitty over whom she once cried. And the kitty… became one of the biggest gifts of my life.
It happens sometimes that certain people enter our lives to deliver precious gifts, and after they do, they leave forever. More than once such a thing happened in my life.
The original Tiger Lily name somehow fell by the wayside. I called her Lily Cat, or affectionately, Lilechka. Lilechka always was a small and dainty kitty. Till old age she always kept her model-like girlish figure and excellent health. She weighed on average only 8-9 pounds. But as she grew and developed, behind that small frame, I saw a great spirit emerge.
Lilechka’s favorite place: on my desk, helping me with my work!
Lila’s favorite place – mommy’s desk next to plants and sunshine; beloved pastime – meditating on her favorite pillow
Lila, the Agatha Christie fan: Having worked hard, we both relax to watch 4:50 from Paddington. Well… I watch, while Lilechka enjoys her well-deserved nap on her favorite pillow, on top of her favorite desk, close to her favorite human 😉
Lila, the Cosmic Panther
As Lilechka grew older and wiser, her spirit started manifesting as that of a giant Cosmic Black Panther – the great protectress of the Universe, who travels stealthily and benevolently across the stars. Lila, the Cosmic Panther has a beautiful sparkling crown made of stars, and huge, strikingly shimmering green eyes.
As I started clearly seeing Lily as the Cosmic Panther, her name naturally morphed into Princess Lila. Lila means Divine Cosmos (Divine Creation) in Sanscrit, so it’s very fitting.
After she passed, Lila started appearing to me as the Cosmic Panther that she really was. It’s amazing that such a small, 8-pound kitty could embody such great spirit and leave such an indelible trace in one’s life.
In memoriam: Celebrating her life!
4/30/2014, one day after Lilechka left us. My desk. Lights and computer off. Her favorite pillows where she loved to sleep; flowers and golden orgone pyramid in her honor…
4/30/2014. Flowers for Lilechka, overlooking the blossoming garden where she loved to be in the last days of her life
I wish I took more pictures and did more videos of Lilechka.
Still, she did star as the Halloween Cat, in my video
The video isn’t spooky at all. It’s humorous and funny. Check it out!
She also appeared in the role of a sassy, smart and heroic cat Princess Lily in my first mystery STEPFORD USA (Accidental Spy Small Town Adventure)– ebook now happens to be on big sale on Amazon for only $1.49. It’s an easy read, great for cat and dog lovers, and lovers of light mysteries with happy endings and humor.
This weekend is dedicated to my beloved friend and companion of almost 20 years, Princess Lila, aka, Lilechka. Lilechka would have turned 21 on August 9 this year. She passed just a few months short of her 20th birthday, last year.
This weekend I will have more posts dedicated to Lilechka.
Lilechka, I miss you. Eternal love and blessings always!
For a huge animal lover, and especially cat lover such as myself, this is terrible to hear!
I recently fostered an abandoned cat, whom I called Lola and her 5 kittens, until we were able to find nice homes for all of them. This is a beautiful story. I will eventually have it in print, together with lots of pics!
Please sign the petition and spread the word. Thanks so much!
Goal: Don’t unnecessarily murder two million feral cats.
Australia recently announced a plan to kill two million feral cats in the country because they are “harmful,” despite the fact that animal rights groups say this won’t do much to help.
The Australian Environment Minister claims the cats will be killed humanely, but is there really a way to murder innocent animals who are just trying to survive? French actress Brigitte Bardot condemned the minister’s plan in an open letter, saying, “This animal genocide is inhumane and ridiculous. In addition to being cruel, killing these cats is absolutely useless since the rest of them will keep breeding.”
Bardot said the money set to murder innocent animals would be better used to sterilize them and decrease the population in that nonviolent way. The government plans to shoot and poison…
There are lots of beautiful holidays in the world. March 8 is one of my personal favorites. To me it’s associated with spring, smiles, and the intoxicating fragrance of tulips, delicate bells of the lily of the valley and sweetness of the mimosa flowers.
On March 8 the world celebrates the International Women’s Day. This holiday started over 100 years ago in Russia as a celebration of women’s rights and anti-war movement. Years later it became popular the world over as a holiday for women of all ages, when mothers, wives and daughters can kick back and allow themselves to be treated as pampered goddesses, letting men do the chores, bring them flowers, lavish them with massages and tickets to sold-out shows.
Find out how this holiday is celebrated in Russia and beyond from my eternally popular piece on Lada Ray Blog, combining history, reflections, memories and rare images: March 8, Happy International Women’s Day!(Note, as the International Women’s Day has been maligned and misinterpreted terribly in the US and some other Western countries, I highly recommend you read the above piece. It will put lots of things in perspective. Also read comments, in which people from various countries relay their experiences.)
To me, March 8 is the contemporary way of honoring the sacred feminine. But first and foremost, this is the holiday of the awakening of spring and the celebration of beauty and peace.
I don’t know about you, but on March 8, my house will be full of my favorite tulips, despite the dreary cold and snow piles outside. Too bad lily of the valley isn’t available in North America. But who is to say we can’t have a virtual March 8 celebration right here, on my blog!
I am wishing you lots of joy and flowers, love and beauty, and happy smiles this spring and always.
More than anything, I wish you PEACE. I wish you inner peace and strength to be yourself in all that life presents to you. Shine your light, love and understanding – today, the world needs it more than ever.
I also wish peace to your home, especially, if you live in an area stricken by a gruesome war.
Dear women, please enjoy all the flowers in the world!
Koala to Putin: Vladimir, don’t mind Tony, his communication skills are zero and vocabulary is a bit limited. He meant ‘the cuddly koala group hug,’ but it came out as ‘shirtfront.’
(Shirtfronting: rough tackling to the ground of an opponent in Australian slang – move considered illegal in Australian football. Australian PM Tony Abbott infamously repeatedly announced he would shirtfront Putin. Honestly, Putin’s nerves are made of steel and his patience is infinite after a comment like that. Link to reference)
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Tony Abbott with cute and cuddly koalas at G20 in Brisbane, Australia
Koala to Putin: Vladimir, now I see what all those dogs and others animals have been raving about!
This kind of tackling is welcome, as long as none of these dogs is called Tony😉
Putin and the gorgeous Caucasus snow leopard, one of the mascots of the Sochi Olympics
Forgot to add this picture! Putin swimming with the dolphins:
The Natural Resources Defense Council is suing the US government for allowing the Navy to train off the California coast, imperiling vast amounts of marine life. High intensity sonar used by ships and submarines frequently result in the deaths of dolphins, whales, and many endangered animals, yet the armed forces have been granted vast authority in how they train.
Many dolphins and whales get beached with painfully burst auditory canals! Disruptions of behavior, disorientation, abandoning of feeding of their young and death are also the result!
As usual, US Army/Navy turn the blind eye and deaf ear on the carnage their wargames leave behind!
This video makes me smile, while tickling my heart with the softest down of true love! This little orphan foxy has so much love and he shows it in the sweetest way! We need all the love we can get in our world today! Blessings to the little fox and people who care for him! May his life be always filled with much love. Blessings to all!
I am continuing my series on America’s cool and off-beat spots.
I live in a beautiful part of New York State, the Catskill Mountains. Renowned for its skiing in the winter and hiking in the warmer seasons, it is also home to various colleges, artist and New Age communities, as well as monasteries and spiritual retreats.
There are many other fascinating places to visit in the Catskills, including the New Age town of New Paltz, Russian Orthodox Monastery and the Peace Village. I am planning some posts about those in the near future.
But today’s post is all about the nature of the Catskills.
Many New Yorkers buy secondary homes in the Catskills because of its gorgeous mountains and unspoiled nature. Overpopulation, overconstruction and incessant traffic are a problem in most of the USA.
But the Catskills remain one of the few relatively pristine corners of the country, still preserving the beauty and charm of a long by-gone era.
Stamford, New York, known as the Queen of the Catskills, is located in the heart of the area.
In the olden days, when a railroad ran through town, well-to-do New Yorkers would vacation at the local summer and winter resorts. Some built grand summer homes. However, with the advent of automobiles, the rail road became defunct, and as fewer people came to Stamford, the town lost its luster, falling on hard times. But in the past twenty years, as buying of secondary homes became popular again, New Yorkers flocked here once more to destress and be with nature.
The defunct railroad has been turned into a nature trail, presently running for miles and miles to the neighboring towns. Dubbed the rail trail, it is my favorite place to hike, do photography and meditate.
I hear that the long-term plan is to revive the defunct rail road and bring big city traffic and commerce back to town. It would be a pity. The rail trail is a way for humans to interact with nature in a peaceful and unobtrusive way, and without creating unnecessary disruption of wild life habitats.
My hope is that the unique natural ecological system that so many people, animals, birds and other creatures can enjoy now won’t be destroyed, as humans attempt to re-assert their dominion over the area.
In Stamford, beautiful nature starts right at my doorstep.
Wild flowers on the rail trail.
Colors of the rail trail.
As I walk, scents of various blooms are intoxicating.
The mighty Delaware River starts right here, in Stamford, as a tiny trickle. It runs through the entire town and along the rail trail.
A cute pink frog from the river, whom I met on the rail trail and who graciously agreed to a photo op.
My favorite pond and its inhabitants.
I was lucky enough to capture him in flight!
My friends, Mr. and Mrs. Goose.
The Catskill Mountains are lovely any time of the year.
Today, I am simply sharing some beautiful images of one of my favorite flowers – lotus. I’ve collected them overtime from different sources and thought it wonderful to feast the eye on them this weekend. The lotus is so pure and healing…
In the East, it is a symbol of wisdom and enlightenment. And because it is considered an embodiment of harmony, lotus is a truly wonderful feng shui!
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