New Beginnings Mark an End ~ Poem

 

The time has come
To start again

New beginnings
Mark an end

A past that grows
The future waits

It’s the hear and now
That makes life great

~Michelle Istanish

 

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Glass Art by Jason Gamrath at Phipps Conservatory ~ Pittsburgh, PA

Phipps Conservatory ~ Jason Gamrath Glass Art

Phipps Conservatory ~ Glass Art by Jason Gamrath ~ Photo by Michelle Istanish

Whenever I’m living in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area I visit Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, at least once every season.  This has been my tradition since attending the University of Pittsburgh, beginning in 1993.

This summer, in addition to all the amazing greenery, flowers and butterflies, Phipps presented SUPER. NATURAL. Glass Art by Jason Gamrath.  In the past, there have been other glass exhibits at Phipps and some of these pieces are still on display.  The glass art by Dale Chahuly can be seen in the image below…

Phipps Conservatory and Dale Chahuly Glass Art
Phipps Conservatory ~ Glass Art by Dale Chahuly ~ Photo by Michelle Istanish

While I enjoyed the Dale Chahuly exhibit, The Jason Gamrath Glass Flower experience is currently my favorite.  His glass pieces are brilliant and larger than life.  It was an absolutely tripping flowers experience for sure…

Phipps Conservatory ~ Jason Gamrath Glass Art

Phipps Conservatory ~ Jason Gamrath Glass Art

Phipps Conservatory ~ Jason Gamrath Glass Art

Phipps Conservatory ~ Jason Gamrath Glass Art

Phipps Conservatory ~ Jason Gamrath Glass Art

Of course, there were all the usual amazing displays as well…

Summer 2017 at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens

Summer 2017 ~ Phipps Conservatory Pittsburgh

Summer 2017 at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens

Summer 2017 at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens

 

Living a Dream…

Living a Dream of Love and Laughter
Living a Life of Happily Ever After…

~Michelle Istanish

Love Always…

Love Always Enchanted Moon, Lights, Tree and Deer Poster
Love Always Enchanted Moon, Lights, Tree and Deer Poster

Love Always
and Forever be
Enchanted…

~Michelle Istanish

Magical Full Moon Music

Magical Full Moon Music

I have had many Full Moon adventures; riding my horse through the forest, enchanting walks, visiting cemeteries and other various activities.  No matter what I do to celebrate the Full Moon, at some point there is always music.  Since discovering Peter Gundry, my Full Moon celebrations have been filled with his enchanting compositions.  The following is my current Magical Full Moon Music playlist.

Amunet, his latest creation, has become my current music obsession

 

This heady Celtic arrangement will always be a Full Moon favorite…

 

Invocation | The Witch’s Breath is another must have…

Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall

The Sailor

My daughter both graduated high school and joined the United States Navy last month, June 2017.  One of our many celebrations of these momentous events was attending the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (PSO) “In Honor of Service” concert at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall.  It was a fabulous event, in a magnificent location and PSO was outstanding.

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra has been in existence since 1896.  It has rich history full of recognition and awards for their performances, both in Pittsburgh and abroad.

Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum has been honoring veterans since 1910.  It, currently, is the only military memorial dedicated to honoring all branches of the services, from all generations and conflicts since the Civil War through today.   There also is the stately 2300 seat concert auditorium where we enjoyed the PSO.

We ended the evening adventuring about the city of Pittsburgh eating, some of us drinking and all being merry…

The Best Work Around the World Site

The Best Work Around the World Site

I’m in love with the Workaway.info site.  It’s a work, volunteer and cultural exchange site for both volunteers and hosts.  I’ve spent hours, for the past few days, reading about amazing working opportunities and reviews from both volunteers and hosts.  This site is going to my make plan of working and traveling around the world possible, exciting and so enjoyable.

My desire is to experience the locations that I’m visiting.  I don’t want to travel as if on vacation and Workaway is just what I needed.  I found olive harvesting in Italy, conservation projects around the world, gardening projects in unique settings, Bed and Breakfasts everywhere, hostels on beautiful beaches, horse farms in the most amazing locations and so much more.  These are the experiences that I was looking for and they include room and board.

I’m continuing to look for the best starting location and experience combination.  I have set a start my traveling date of no later than January 2018.  Until then I will be enjoying the experiences that my current location has to offer, ramping up my online businesses, continuing to improve my financial situation and completing all of my pre-travel preparations.  It’s going to be a busy and exciting second half of 2017.

~Michelle

Thank You for Your Kindness

 

My inspiration for this thank you card design came from all of the people who have helped me during very difficult times in my life.  Sometimes my daily adventures take a bit of a wild, extreme turn.  Often this results in very exiting and fun times.  Then there are the times when they disintegrate into less than desirable situations.  No matter how bad my situation, there has always been a least one person who has helped me.

These people are family, friends and, many times, complete strangers.  When I reflect back on those moments in my life, I don’t think of the trauma or horror but of these people.  People who were kind enough to take time out of their day to save me from mine.  People who held my hand, distracted me with simple conversation, were kind, rescued me, spent hours and days by my hospital bed side.  I will never forget these people.  To all of those who have helped me, Thank You.  Thank you for your kindness.  It touched my heart and fed my soul.

~Michelle

Nightmare turned Fantasy, now a Reality

In the darkness
A nightmare
Then light
Now a daydream

Things once feared
A dream
Unbounded potential
Now a fantasy

An open mind
A possibility
Curious excitement
Now a reality

~Michelle Istanish

Choosing to Volunteer Around the World

Deciding to Volunteer Abroad

After setting my Short Term Pre-Travel Goals in my last post, I began reviewing my finances.  What I found was, I don’t feel comfortable traveling about with my current financial situation.  However, after reading many sites about budget traveling, I believe that I don’t need to delay my adventures.  There are many amazing volunteer programs I would be honored to be a part of and that would be of interest to me.

So far, my favorite source of information is A Little Adrift’s Grassroots Volunteering Database.  I was happy to find many different types of opportunities, in very desirable locations.   There are animal sanctuaries, coffee farms and teaching opportunities, just to name a few.   I’m also considering World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF) after reading Nomadic Matt’s post, How to Travel and Work Around the World with WWOOF.

My next move seems to be narrow down my choices and create a Curriculum Vitae (CV) or two.  I have an impressive engineering resume but It’s NOT what I need for my new adventures.  My time as an engineer at Lockheed Martin was very exciting and enjoyable.  However, I’m so happy not to be returning to that lifestyle.  I’m loving where my future is headed and now it’s time to start those CVs.

~Michelle