Saturday, May 2, 2009

A Holy Cottage in the Mountains near Ephesus, My Sunday Favorite and Shopping with Anita!

Shopping Sunday Secrets is hosted by Anita of Visit her blog and check out what everybody brought home from the shops this past week. As if I do not have enough plates, LOL! If you have been following my blog, you probably know that we were in Chicago a few days ago. And when I am out of town, I SHOP! I shop when I am in town too but more so when I am away. Anyway, I discovered a Marshall's store 1 day before going back home. I am sure my wallet was happy about that cause that did not leave me much time to shop anymore. I saw these plates which were marked originally at $19.95 for 4 (and if you shop at Marshall's, you probably know that their original price is already a bargain compared to other stores.) And they had them marked down to $7, for all 4 of them. So I grabbed 3 boxes for a total of 12 plates. Do you know how heavy they were? Luckily the store was only 2 blocks away from the hotel cause when I went there, I have already been to Crate and Barrel so I already had a bag of purchases from there. That means I had to struggle carrying 2 heavy shopping bags walking back to the hotel room. The following day (our flight was not until 6:55 PM so we had more time to shop), John and I went back there because we had to buy another luggage. By then I had boug ht so many things: bag, shirts and jackets because it got cold and I did not bring heavy jackets). While there, I saw these plates. I have dishes with this same Italian design but none of them are square, so I grabbed 2 plates and 2 bowls. I couldn't resist, ok? They were on clearance, $3 each.

When we got home, packages were ouside the front door and more packages were in front of the garage doors. This coffee set was in one of the boxes. I won them on ebay for $50, a coffee pot, 6 cups and saucers, creamer and sugar server. I thought they kinda match my Vogue dinnerware set.
I moved some of the cups away so you can see the pot better.
In another box were 6 of these wooden plate chargers I bought from Horchow.
And in another box were a set of 4 glass chargers. I really like these. I am debating whether or not I should buy 4 more. I need them, right? LOL!
Last but not least, I received this set of Homer Laughlin eggshell Cavalier designed dinnerware today.
I won them from Ebay. Unfortunately, the platter came broken but I think the money I paid is still worth the set and I can file an insurance claim. The others are in perfect condition. The girl I bought them from said they belonged to her mother who hardly used them and she was very sad to let them go. I told her not to worry because I will take good care of them. I bought the whole service for 8 set for $89 plus a veg. bowl, sugar and cream servers and the broken platter.
I hope you enjoyed the items I bought this week. Actually I bought more but I do not want to overwhelm you. Thank you Anita for hosting an event that I know I can participate in regularly. For as you know, I am a shopaholic!
It is also time for Sunday Favorites meme, hosted by sweet Chari.
You can check out "Oldies but Goodies" posts by visiting her at Chari's blog is so much fun to read. She has the most amazing stuff and she is so witty and the combination will definitely entertain you.

For my contribution, I would like to repost our trip to see the Blessed Virgin Mary's house in Turkey near Ephesus. I posted it on my early Sightseeing Saturday posts and it's one of the unforgettable places that I have ever visited. I hope you enjoy reading about it again if you have seen it before.
Welcome to Sightseeing Saturday! Our trip today is very special because we will visit the house of our Blessed Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary in Turkey, near Ephesus.
But before we start our journey, let me first acknowledge my acceptance of 2 wonderful awards, the Sisterhood Award, presented to me by an amazing courageous woman, Ann at . You need to visit Ann's blog and you will see her home and family treasures. Thank you , Ann!
The rules for this award are:

1. Put the logo on your blog or post.2. Nominate at least 10 blogs which show great Attitude and/or Gratitude!3. Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.4. Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.5. Share the love and link to this post and to the person from whom you received your award

I also received the Best Blog Daily Thinker Award.presented to me by a very talented Marty of I just discovered recently how talented Marty is in spotting bargain treasures. Go visit her blog and check out her precious finds. Thank you, Marty!

The rules are to post it on your blog and pass it on to 10 other deserving bloggers.

Now this is the most difficult part of these awards because I think all of you deserve them and I cannot limit giving them to just 10.

So, I decided to give them to all to you? If you read my blog, please collect the awards because I know you all deserve them.

Ok, now we're ready to go. Let's go to the mountains between Ephesus and Seljuk via Izmir, Turkey.
After the Resurrection of Christ, St. John the Apostle brought the Blessed Virgin Mary to Ephesus in Turkey to live in a little cottage on the moutains between Ephesus and Seljuk. This is the cottage where our Blessed Mother spent her last years. In 1812, Sr. Ann Catherine Emmerich, a German nun who never traveled away from her home, visualized it. She is an invalid who one day, woke up in a trance with the stigmata and visions that included St. John traveling with the Virgin Mary from Jerusalem to Ephesus. Her detailed description of it was recorded from her bed by a writer named Bentrano. Sr. Emmerich said that the Virgin Mary died at the age of 64 and was buried in a cave near her house. When her coffin was opened soon after, both coffin and burial shroud were both empty. For the nun who had never traveled anywhere to be able to describe it so vividly, is a miracle. She described the location and the shape of the house so perfectly. The site is sacred to both Christians and Muslims.
Archeologists believe that the building dates back all the way to the 6th or 7th century but the foundation is much older and may date back from 1st century AD, which is the time of Mary. The house was turned into a chapel and people flock from all over the world to visit and pray.
The interior of the cottage which is now the chapel is the picture above with Virgin Mary's statue.
I traveled with my granddaughter, AJ, my youngest daughter, Tina (not AJ's mom but her aunt) and daughter's hubby, Scott. Tina was 5 months pregnant with Brendan then and was very sick and miserable with high fever, cold and coughing. She did not even want to come to the tour with us but I forced her because I did not want her to miss a probable once in a lifetime experience. I told her we can pray for her there and the Blessed Mother will surely make her feel better. And our ever loving and caring Blessed Mother certainly heard our prayers because Tina felt so much better afterwards. Here's AJ, posing with our Blessed Mother's house in the background.
Here's my son in law! Thank God he was with us because traveling with a sick 5 month old pregnant daughter and an 8 year old granddaughter and 8 total heavy and bulky luggage wasn't easy. Scott and I did all the lifting.
Of course, I wanted a picture of me with the Virgin Mary's home in the background too.
There's the couple, with Tina still looking miserable. Poor baby!
I thought this tree was interesting with little plants growing where the limb was cut. You can click and enlarge, of course, to see the details.
Women insert tissue paper on this prayer wall and pray to the Blessed Mother for them to get pregnant. I inserted a tissue paper but not with an intention of getting pregnant. Oh Lordy, no! That will truly be a miracle! LOL!...just my personal intentions.
I should hope that AJ did not ask to get pregnant either..LOL!
Do you see how high we were on the mountain?
After visiting the home of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we went to St. John's Basilica, only left now are ruins of it. But you can tell from what's left that it must have been a huge and beautiful place. The basilica is on the slopes of Ayasoluk Hill near the center of Selcuk, just below the fortress and about 3.5 km (2 miles) from Ephesus. We are not talking about St. John the Baptist here, but rather, St. John the Apostle, evangelist and author of the fourth gospel which he wrote in Ephesus, a prophet, the author of Revelation. St. John became one of Christ's closest desciples and was present on various significant events such as the Crucifixion and Transfiguration.
The building was destroyed by Tamerlane's Mongol army in 1402 and later was hit by a major earthquake. The brick foundation and marble walls were partially reconstructed but the building was never fully restored, in fact if it was, it will be the 7th largest in the world.

Oh Look! There is Santa Cristina!
AJ offered flowers on St. John's grave and prayed. She just picked up weeds from the grounds but isn't that sweet?
What a beautiful view!
Can you imagine how huge and grand it used to be?
I took this picture hoping to do an oil painting of it.
And I did! How do you like it? Does it resemble the photo?
That was a lot of walking up and down hills and I am tired. Good thing I wore my comfy walking shoes. I hope you enjoyed our tour for today and not too tired to take another trip next Saturday again. Don't forget to wear your walking shoes. I am so proud of you. You are all getting to be experienced travelers!

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