THE THING ABOUT JOANNE IS…..

1 (1)Most bloggers have titles for their blogs that give you an idea of what they’re trying to do with their blog. But not many bloggers actually take it a step further and inspire others to embrace their stated ideals. Recently, I found out that there are bloggers that do just this when I met up with another WP blogger, Joanne Sisco.

The thing about Joanne is……

She’s goal-oriented, organized, and forward thinking. Joanne’s blog is called My Life Lived Full and boy does she! Joanne’s personal goal for herself this year is to try 52 new things. To this end, she created a spreadsheet of possible things to try and even broke them down by category. Many people, myself included, would read that and believe she meant to try one new thing a week for the year.  Not so.  As of February 28, 2015, basically 8 weeks into the year, she had already accomplished 24 new things.

Another thing about Joanne is….

She’s a go-getter.   On Joanne’s list of new things was a trip to Niagara Falls in the winter. One day, she grabbed a friend, jumped in the car, and headed south from Toronto and made this happen. She subsequently posted about it here and made me so jealous with her pictures and get-up-and-go-make-it-happen attitude.

One of my goals when we moved to this area this year was to do that very trek – to see the Falls in winter. We’ve made countless trips to the Falls, past the Falls, under the Falls, and over the Falls in the summers, but I’d yet to see them in the winter. As our son’s passport expired this year and we don’t want to renew it till he turns 16 this summer so he can get the 10-year adult one and not another 5-year child passport, we’re kind of locked into the American side of the Falls right now and that held zero interest for me. Canada is where it’s at….anyone with a brain knows this…or so I thought….

I commented on Joanne’s post that I was insanely jealous and I would’ve loved to have met her up there had I known she would be going. I never thought much about it after I posted it. I knew I’d never actually meet anyone from the Blogosphere….much too scary to contemplate. I’m smart enough to know what creeps troll the Net looking for unwary prey. Nope, not me. Never happen.

So of course, what happened next?

Joanne wrote me and offered to redo her trip down there just to encourage me to go and do this. I was wary; but I admit, excitement overtook me. I so wanted to see the Falls in winter. I really did. I didn’t really even hesitate. Kind of surprising actually that me, always colouring in the lines and following the rules, was now ready to ditch it all to grab this brass ring when it came flying by. 

The only thing was….my husband and son and I envisioned us all doing this together. So I mentioned to Joanne that we were kind of trapped right now with the passport situation and how would she feel about coming to the American side this time. She was all for it saying she’d never done the American side of the Falls either and it could go on her list of 52 new things.

This brings me to my next thing about Joanne……..

She’s brave. Hopping in her car and driving over an international border on her own to meet up with strangers in a foreign country with less than a week’s notice? Not a problem.

And so she did! We met up at Niagara Falls State Park. Joanne posted about it here.

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We must have walked miles that afternoon in the four hours we were together. It was very strange actually that though Joanne and I had never met in person, we talked all day as if it was the most natural thing in the world. After both of us deciding that the other had an accent, we talked while we walked across the bridge to Goat Island to take in those views. 

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 We traipsed the trails in the park still talking.

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We even went up on the overlook and kept right on talking! 

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How did I get a pic from up on this overlook when I’m petrified of heights? It must have been Joanne’s magic!

What we saw in the park though was another total surprise.

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Having very little expectation of anything good on the “lesser” American side of the Falls, we were all totally blown away at sights we encountered. Oh, Canada has the American side beat on amusements, etc. in the surrounding area, but I actually found that the American side is a feast of natural scenery that is a winter extravaganza! I, being the lover of winter and outdoor photography that I am, had hit pay dirt!

What was most interesting from my perspective was that the Falls themselves held very little interest for me once I was there. I was much more interested in the mist – the mist we felt in droplets falling on us as soon as we stepped out of our vehicle – the mist that froze on each and every branch of a tree, the street lamps, fence posts, etc. in the area of the park. You could actually tell which side the Falls were on just by looking at a street lamp or fence post and seeing which side had the thicker covering of ice.

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And, because of the mist, the scenery was incredible!! I took some of the best pix of my life up here. Joanne’s already shown you a good shot of the rainbow, but feast on the rest of this winter buffet of beauty……

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So there you go. The day I chose to live my life full thanks to these THINGS ABOUT JOANNE.  Also, as I told Joanne, I now know, …..

Winter = Niagara Falls, New York!

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142 thoughts on “THE THING ABOUT JOANNE IS…..

    • Funnily enough…though before this I would never have thought I’d meet up with anyone I “knew” from online, I have to say you were THE FIRST person that popped into my head after meeting Joanne and having such a nice day. I got to thinking, ‘Wow, this was easy and worked out just fine. I wonder who else I’d meet given the chance?’ and of course, it had to be you. Thing is…..son out there will graduate next year so we will actually be coming to CA…..this too could happen! 🙂 Thank you for nice comment on the pix! I am pretty impressed by them myself. Would like to be taking the credit, but am almost sure it was just the scenery…….

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  1. Just another reason to love New York 🙂 The American side is still beautiful. Glad you had an adventure. If you ever drive east across my great state, I’ll show you the sights here!

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    • Thank you, Anna. I will say it really was an adventure…..I never thought I’d do that (meet someone from my cyber world). Joanne is definitely inspirational….and a whole lot of other nice things!

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    • Aaaahhh! Anna, I can’t believe you didn’t mention the Me that should’ve been an I! I just found it and I was horrified! I can’t believe I missed that. Had one sentence and changed it and forgot to change the me. Is all fixed now! Ugh. How embarrassing!

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  2. Wow – I’m actually blushing. I thought I was way too old to still blush!

    Such kind words Torrie. Sometimes I wonder if I overwhelm people because I’m kind of all over the place. I’m so glad you thought I was brave instead of batsh*t crazy 😉

    Your pictures are AMAZING!! It really was a wonderland and I’m thrilled I got to experience the American side. Without your suggestion, I would never even have considered it. What a bonus – meeting you and your family … and experiencing a wonderland all at the same time 🙂

    … and yes, you do have an accent 😉

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    • Hah. Two things….
      1. You’re never too old to blush (am glad to hear you are blushing), and
      2. What makes you think I ONLY thought you were brave? I only SAID you were brave…my thoughts now……LOL. Just kidding of course. You are brave, interesting, wonderful and many more things I have yet to discover, I’m sure!

      P.S. My ‘accent’ isn’t nearly as pretty as yours! 🙂

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      • LOL!!! Now I really am laughing … you DO think I’m a nutbar! 🙂

        Speaking of accents, I’m still amazed at all the French people at the Falls. I felt like I was in Quebec instead of New York 😉

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        • No, I was only kidding…you seem perfectly sane to me….though just remember the word sane is a relative term and I’m not sure I’m a good indicator….. 🙂 Oh, so that’s what we’re supposed to do, huh? Reblog? Never did that before. Maybe I should try that too. (How is it I feel like I’m working my way through my own list of 52 new things with you, huh?)

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  3. I’m not one whit surprised that the two of you hit it off. I loved Joanne’s blog about her trip – good heavens that woman is funny, and your exquisite photos tell a story that is pure art and eye candy. It’s a place I’ve yet to visit, but most certainly on the bucket list. I think after reading both your tales and viewing your photos, it has been shoved up a few notches as far as priority.
    Glad it all turned out beautifully, Torrie. Adventure abounds!

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    • It would have been only a thirteen hour drive….oh wait, you’re Canadian, make that an eleven hour drive from upstate NY to VA. A mere observation, not meant to hint at a thing… What a fun day you two had and the photos are truly extraordinary. Great job, Torrie.

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      • Thank you! Unfortunately, I can’t take much credit for the naturally beautiful scenery or the naturally enthusiastic Joanne, but I did get the pix and I did live my life full so I’ll take credit for those! 🙂 I enjoy your comments when I see them all over the blogosphere so I’m glad to have one of my own now to treasure!

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        • Thank you. I popped back over here to comment on St. Michael’s and now I’m wondering where I saw that! Anyway, I love that little town and the whole region of the Eastern shore. And I hope you are enjoying Erie. Friends of ours moved up there from Richmond many years ago and found to their great surprise that they absolutely loved up there (native Southerners!)

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          • Hah! LOL. Am sorry, after you and Joanne started conversing, I thought perhaps I had misread the original comment you made and taken comments you meant for her for myself and over-commented. So I edited my response. You aren’t losing your mind….it was here! 🙂 Yes, I must say, Erie is very much to our liking. Saint Michaels was lovely and filled with lovely people, but just a little too removed for me to thrive there I think!

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  4. Until last winter, I too had only seen the falls in the summer, but of course being Canadian, it was the Canadian side I saw. now I believe I will have to go again so I may see the American side which does looks beautiful.

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    • I live in America and I’ve only ever gone to the Canadian side of the Falls. I truly had no idea of this winter beauty. I think this park would also be gorgeous in spring and fall too though….there are so many trees and flowers everywhere. But for certain, this is definitely a trip worth taking. You’ll have to let me (or Joanne) know when you’re going to do it and we’ll meet up! 🙂

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    • Hah! We’ll probably have started a new trend to the American side now…everyone will be there looking for Joanne! 🙂 Thanks for your kind words and your visit! Very nice to meet you! 🙂

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  5. So is this a sort of Jealousy Pay It Forward thing? ‘Cause it worked. So jealous right now.

    Funnily enough, I’ve only seen the Falls in winter but I don’t remember them looking this spectacular. Fabulous photography would help, of course. (Actually, I lie. I have seen the Falls out of winter but I was all of, I’m not sure, maybe one? Can’t quite recall what they looked like for some reason…)

    Great post, Torrie. Been waiting for it. 🙂

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    • Thank you MOSY. Am glad you enjoyed. And yes, I have to say, if I’d been the one to see these photos and not done the visit myself, I’d be mighty jealous….kind of surprised by you though…..didn’t think winter was quite your thing! 🙂 Wonder what a MOSY was like at age 1……probably just beginning with all the YOUS and too busy to remember what the Falls looked like out of winter. 🙂

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      • When you live on the bottom of the world and it costs the earth to travel anywhere, you learn to travel out of season. 🙂
        I love winter, actually. Especially if I get to spend it somewhere with that rare commodity – snow. When I did the trek in Peru and we got snow, while others whinged and grizzled I was on a mantra of “Awesome!” 😀
        By family accounts, I was quite the celebrity at age one. Not many people travelled with babies in tow in the 1960s so I tended to attract a lot of attention.

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  6. Joanne IS brave to drive all that way herself, AND, across the border as well. Read her post about your meeting earlier today. Exciting day and stunning pictures. Thank you both for sharing. What marvelous photos and memories. ❤ ❤

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    • Joanne is probably the Canadian Braveheart in my head at this point! I think she’s amazing. Certainly she has more guts than me! I’m really glad you popped over..I’ve been a fan of your blog for a while now…I pop over and check you out here and there and find you most amusing!

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  7. Thank you so much for sharing your day with Joanne. I thoroughly enjoyed accompanying you both from my armchair. I did have to add a jumper though, and a rug. ❤

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    • Hah! You’re funny. Thank YOU for popping over. We were glad to have you along for the adventure! (Could’ve used that rug myself…it was quite windy and wet up there on that overlook!) 🙂

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  8. Oh my goodness – – two wonderful bloggers (and I’m lucky to be acquainted with you both) meeting up and seeing such WONDERS! Wow….it doesn’t get any better than that. I am really impressed, happy and envious! And I won’t reiterate what everyone has already said about those photos…yes, changed my mind, I will….STUNNING!!

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    • Ahhh, thank you LMM. Such sweet words. You’re also absolutely right….it doesn’t get any better than that…meeting Joanne was really something….surrounded by the icy wonderland just crystallised the experience!

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  9. Mrs. P says:

    Beautiful winter wonderland pictures…after your rave revues about Joanne’s 52 new things to do, I might just work up my own list…at least I won’t be bored doing it. 😉

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    • Hello, Mrs. P! Very happy to “meet” you today! Am very glad you enjoyed the pix. I know what you mean about that list….the thing about Joanne is….I seem to already be working my way through my own list and I didn’t even know I had one….I’ve met a blogger, gone to the American Falls, and done a post in-tandem on here with her! So that’s 3 on my list in just a couple days! LOL. If you start hanging around Joanne, it just seems to happen! 🙂

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  10. Oh, I have an accent alright! And the Falls in winter are definitely more fantastic than in summer as those gorgeous pics show. it’s when the spray hits the trees and freezes there in that lovely frosting that the area really does come alive.

    The Canadian side is better, still! 🙂

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  11. I have been following Joanne for a long time. Although I have not met in person her positive attitude and go after it attitude are inspiring. Your time together looked fabulous!

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  12. Fabulous shots and wow very interesting meet up A! Happy this became a wonderful outing and introduction to a fellow blogger. Loved reading your post this morning.

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  13. I have been following Jo for some time, I love her energy and love of life, she is a great example to all of us but especially those of us above a certain age… cough, cough. And I have been amused this week by your comments on another blogger we both know – Carol, so it was funny to see that the person Jo met at the Falls is YOU! I shall have to have a look around your blog now that I am visiting 🙂

    Love ❤ the photos – what a marvellous winter wonderland! All that WHITE stuff and BLUE skies and SUNSHINE and just a hint here and there of that powerful water.

    I met up with a couple of bloggers (separately) at the end of last year during my visit to Australia. It was like meeting two very old and dear friends. We talked non-stop too! And although I was a bit nervous and wondered what on earth I was doing meeting a stranger something told me that these two were genuine. And they were.
    Jude xx

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    • Hah! How funny my comments have been amusing you as well. I enjoy teasing Carol so much because her responses are generally things that make me burst out laughing! Also must agree that Joanne is such a great example to everyone…I’d be hard put to come up with someone more inspirational than her at this point. I’m so glad I got to meet her. That was such a gift.

      Wow, I’m most impressed to know that it seems to be par for the course when bloggers meet up that the talking just picks up like it did with Joanne and me. It really is such a unique experience meeting other bloggers……almost like you’ve been shopping online for friends and they come ready-made and perfectly-fitting to your interests. Love that.

      Thanks for popping over to my blog today. I really enjoyed your visit and your comments. Glad to meet you and now I’ll return the favour and have a look at your blog! Carol seems to think you’re amazing, so that’s a pretty good recommendation for me!

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    • Yes, both of us admitted we were quite nervous before the meeting happened. But, suffice it to say, it was a smashing success (at least as far as I’m concerned…Joanne may have other ideas! LOL!) Thank you for kind comment on the photos. I was pretty happy for managing to catch what Joanne kept calling that “impossibly blue sky!”

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    • Ahh, thank you GSM! I wish you had been there. You are another one of my want-to-meet blogger buddies. Wouldn’t that be awesome….just nipping out for a spot of shopping and tea or something? Wish I would’ve been on here sooner. I just did UK trip in 2013 so probably won’t happen again for quite a while……maybe you’ll have to come over this way!

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      • That would be AWESOME!!! A) because I’ve not seen enough of the States. B) because meeting people in real life is great. And C) just to see Teflon Man’s face as I check in all the Mum Points I’ve amassed thanks to his football trips and leave on a plane!

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    • Thank you, Mark. It was perfect scenery to be sure!

      You know, this is very strange, but I woke up and saw your comment on my e-mail and I thought certain I knew your name from somewhere else. I wonder why that is……

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  14. Seriously stunning scenery! You took some awesome shots, what a beautiful blue sky to set off all that sparkly white. I’ve been to the Canadian Falls (the surrounds are a little Vegassy? no bad thing!) But the wilderness on the US side is fantastic. I wasn’t expecting that at all. Congrats.

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    • My reaction exactly! Total surprise. Thank you for your kind words. I feel very lucky that the pix came out so well! And yes, Canadian side definitely Vegassy (love that word!) and lots of fun to explore…just very different from all this!

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  15. Your post has inspired me to take a trip to the “american side” of the Falls…I am from Ontario, so I will for sure put that on my list…winter is so beautiful…not nice to shovel, but amazing to look at.

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  16. Oh, great pictures. I’ve been to the American side of the falls just the one time, in July, so there wasn’t any of that photogenic ice to see around. On the other hand it was so nicely warm, shorts-and-sandals weather, which was at least as grand.

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    • Thanks Joseph! I can’t imagine that American side not in the throes of such wonderful winter…..but I bet you could walk alot further than we could since the paths would be cleared and the tours and things would be open so there would be things to do we couldn’t have done this time either. Sounds like a winning trip anytime you make it! Thanks so much for popping over!

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  17. Those are AMAZING pictures. And I totally identify with you about meeting new bloggers. I don’t know why we go into it thinking something bad could happen– because it just can’t. The people we know and love enblog (I made that up, do you like it?) are exactly the same in person. I met Pieter from Ah Dad in person when he came over from SA on business, and it was like meeting an old friend– Neither of us could stop talking. There was so much that neither of us knew we needed to say. It was amazing.
    I’ve got to get my kids up to the falls. It’s far, but worth it. We’ll just keep K away from the edge…

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  18. oh my is this a wonderful post – I actually need to come back and soak it up again – but wanted to say thanks for dropping by my blog today because I was actually thinking about you earlier this month and then again the other night when I was scrolling the reader – wondering about ya!! ❤ – and well, now I see this March post and whew – this post is fantastic – the photos and the inspiring words – and later on i will be checking out Joanne – but right now I just have it in my head…. the thing about Joanne is…. thing about Joanne is…. ha

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  19. Wow! Now I wish I was with you and Joanne. The American Falls, believe it or not, was where I was finally relaxing to photograph (from the Canadian side) when hubby’s fingers so frozen and hurting, finished the shoot. Your images are fantastic and puts a huge longing in my Heart wishing just wishing I had been there too. I am SO glad you enjoyed my posts from the Canadian side. Perhaps next year I will shoot from the American side. I am in awe of Joanne going through Customs all by herself. You read about my experience … LOL. To know there are now two photographers here within my locality excites me to no end. Perhaps one day we shall meet as well. (((HUGS))) Amy

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    • We would’ve loved to have had you along! Your husband could’ve commiserated with my men while the three of us lopped all over the place taking pix! Am quite excited as well to know you are close by…whereabouts are you….from the sounds of your border crossing, I’m guessing you’re from the American side of the Falls?

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          • HUGE SMILE! My life is truly not mine, in other words I do not have a lot of freedom, so I must really plan out my bigger shoots. Hubby and I care for 14 special needs cats who require regular feeding times and some who are medications that must be given at certain times. That and there is the fact I have a disability with my back, so driving long distances is iffy. Once I am involved in the actual shoot my back issues seem to disappear. I’ve done it so many times, yet there too, I have days where the pain cannot be ignored. Now that you know, hopefully in the near future we can plan on meeting and shooting together. I would really LOVE that!!! (((HUGS))) Amy

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