Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year Thoughts

Reflecting upon this year has been tough because it had plenty of ups and downs.  When I look back upon what I wrote last New Year it seems like not much changed and not sure how I feel about that. Obviously I would have liked to seen those wishes come to fruition. Which might be why the word change keeps coming to mind.  Maybe the only way to make those wishes a reality is with change.  Sometimes though it's easier to talk about making changes and much harder to put into action.

Yesterday I read an article on Oprah about a questions everyone should ask themselves to get what they really want.....How is what you're doing working for you? Are you getting what you really want and need?

Obviously what I'm doing is not working because I'm not getting what I really want or need.  But lets face it, it's easier to do what we have always done because moving out of our comfort zones can be scary and uncomfortable, even if the comfort zone we live in now isn't so comfortable.  If one wants something different then they have to do something different. And so keep asking myself do I have the courage to do something different?

While some are recapping their year in detail or month by month, I feel like that would be pouring salt on some wounds that still feel open.  New Years last year involved learning the man was in the midst of a serious painkiller addiction, had no money left, he resigned from work and trust felt non existent. What followed was a lot of ups and downs. He spent months on the couch not wanting to do anything. Though now he is officially 8 months clean a huge accomplishment but getting clean has been half the battle, changing himself, actions, behaviors, habits, much harder. Then the recent seizure, serious injuries from that, followed by being diagnosed with epilepsy came as a huge surprise. The uncertainty of everything has felt stressful and made me realize how fragile and unpredictable life can be.

Meanwhile, I still struggle with the dizzy spells which no one has any answers or cure for, looks like it's just one of those mysteries of life.  Learning to accept that and reinvent my life around it has been difficult at times. Yet I think we are all given our own, unique struggles that somehow teach us the lessons we need to learn.  I have opened a small pet business as animals continue to be a huge love.  And continue to work on my art, actually in the process of redesigning my website. 

Think this year I need to focus on being more positive, passionately pursue my dreams, learn to relax, stop regretting and dwelling on the past, not put up with bs or unkindness from others, focus on creating stronger relationships, learn to focus on the present and live life more fully.  Everything that has happened has taught me so much.  Invaluable lessons and wisdom that wish I had known years ago, yet wasn't quite open to understanding.

There are still desires and dreams I have yet to make a reality.  And I ponder how can I change for the better?  How can I get closer to making those dreams a reality?  How can I bring more happiness into my life?

I want this New Year to involve doing more of the right things for not only myself but those close to me.  To have the courage to make changes, take chances, risks and strength to stand up for what I believe.  To love, laugh and be able to forgive. To find happiness, success and work hard at making  dreams a reality.

This New Years I wish for health, happiness, laughter, love and dreams come true for all!

In the words of Nelson Mandela "In playing small you will never achieve the greatness that's inside of you.  Too often we are afraid of the unknown and so we stick to whats safe, what and who we know and what we are comfortable with. It takes courage to step out of this and challenge ourselves. But surely a bigger risk is a life unlived. There is no passion to be found in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living." 

Happy New Years!


Monday, December 30, 2013

Monday Musings

This holiday season felt a little off, so much happened during December that it was hard to get in the spirit of things.  It's strange but the holidays seem to come with such a mix of emotions, there's feelings of happiness and gratitude, yet also sadness and a sense of missing people and/or certain things.

It was a low key Christmas. We spent Christmas Eve at my family's house.  Had great food, played some games and took a lot of photos!  And my oreo pie was a huge hit, it was so rich though it left little room for any other dessert. My mom's scottie was recuperating from surgery on her leg so we kept her close so she would not jump which got a little tricky as she was excited. My niece was equally excited, tracking Santa as well.  Seeing Christmas through a child's perspective is priceless.

Meanwhile little one has seemed to retire from her playing days which is difficult and sad to watch.  She has always loved playing wiffle ball, it's the one thing that always made her happy.  But over the last few months she has shown little interest in playing.  She opened one gift but gave it little attention. Her focus was on the food.  She just wanted to sit by the oven and wait for dinner. Her best gifts this Christmas involved treats and snuggles. 

Christmas Day was spent at home. My parents dropped by for lunch and with gifts.  Even now they still try to spoil us, feel so appreciative of all they do.  Sometimes it's the little gifts that mean the most. Even a nice card makes me happy.  But by far the best part of the holiday is having family and loved ones to spend it with!

The man and I opted out of exchanging gifts this year for numerous reasons but I was  disappointed he didn't at least get a card, and he heard about it.  In fact, he is in the dog house. Guess after the ups and downs of this year I was just hoping for some nice, loving words.

He is still recovering from his seizure, still not himself, now on medication for it.  Lately he seems to be getting attitude quickly. He even got in an argument with his mother on Christmas Eve they have not spoken since. Though they have a rather odd relationship as they argue, don't talk for a while and then suddenly talk again. It's puzzling but each to their own.  It's sad when people can't be compassionate and understanding of each other differences, at least try to respect each other and lovingly co exist.

Still hard to believe Christmas is over and that the New Year is approaching.  Last year feels like such a blur not sure if I even made any resolutions.  Exactly why blogs come in handy, it's interesting to look back and read thoughts during that time.  Seems to be lots of thoughts going through my mind as we approach the New Year but think I'll save that for another post.

Hope everyone's holidays were spectacular! 

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Soul Sunday

When everything in your life is coming together, you can hold on to the belief that everything happens for a reason with frivolous ease. 

But when everything’s falling apart...your relationships, your health, your finances, your job, etc., it takes tremendous effort to wrap your mind and heart around that belief and hold onto it for dear life. Yet you must. For in that belief lies your hope, your courage, and your strength to move forward.

Keep doing what you know in your heart is right for you. Let your dreams be bigger than your fears and your actions louder than your words. Live by choice, not by chance. Make changes, not excuses. Be motivated, not manipulated. Work to excel, not compete. Choose to listen to your inner voice, not the jumbled opinions of everyone else.  

Forget the negative and focus on the positive. Life is too short to be anything but happy. Making mistakes and falling down is a part of life, but getting back up and moving on is what living is all about. Most importantly do, find and live what makes you happy.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Gingerbread Houses

Our family always made cookies for the holidays.  It usually involved all day baking and decorating with family.  But as time evolved we realized no one was indulging in as many cookie, while they were fun to bake so many went to waste.  So my sister came up with the idea to make homemade Gingerbread houses instead.

Honestly wasn't sure if I liked the idea, it just didn't seem as fun as the whole fresh baked cookie thing. As it turns out I was wrong as it was a lot of fun. Baking the gingerbread, making the icing, picking out the candy and then putting it all together was great.

It was simply too. We used a box gingerbread mix, poured it into silicone gingerbread house molds, baked it accordingly to packaged instructions and then let it cool overnight.  It doesn't have to cool overnight but we learned the longer it is allowed to cool the easier it is to put together.  We then used an easy frosting recipe of 2 eggs whites whipped with 2 2/3 cups confectioners sugar.

The sugar has to be applied right away as it hardens quickly. We used baking sheets lined with foil as a base.  Each piece needs to have icing on the bottom so as to stick to the base. Soup cans can be used to hold the pieces up as the foundation is put together. Once a house was put together with icing we decorated it with all kinds of holidays candies, cereal and icing.  We each made one, adding little personal touches. And learned you can never have enough icing.  Making gingerbread houses is fun, it's also a great idea for creating a family tradition at the holidays as well. 

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Woof Wednesday

Merry Christmas! This holiday there are still millions of dogs spending it in a shelter with no presents or family to share it with. Please lets change that and give these special dogs the homes they deserve.  
This week there will be a few dogs from each shelter, many of these shelters are so overwhelmed little is known about the dogs and they stand little chance of finding homes in the time allotted.
Welcome to Woof Wednesday. Please meet some great dogs from CA, NY, PA and TX  all in need of good, loving homes!
Mixed Terrier female without even a name.  Please lets find her a loving home!
 A4663242 - Los Angeles, CA
Ayla is a German Shepard Mix female.  Please lets find her a great home!
Ayla  - Los Angeles, CA
  Los Angeles County Animal Control - Carson
216 West Victoria Street
Gardena, CA 90248
(310) 523-9566
 This sweet and gorgeous girl is Camila.  She is a loving pooch, who is ever so gentle, and she’s seeking an equally patient and easy-going home to call her own.  Camila moves at her own pace, which is very lackadaisical in nature, and needs a family that can accept her for who she is.  She needs a home that will slowly build her confidence, encourage her, and who will let her show her colors at her own pace.  Camila was on her own, outside alone, for a long time and never really had the opportunity to learn “how to be a dog” in the traditional sense.  However, despite that, she is sweet and friendly towards everyone she meets, be it a person, another dog, or even a cat.  She will likely do well around children, too, under supervision.  All she needs is a chance with the right family. Please lets find her a good home!
Camila - New York, NY

 This handsome little Chihuahua mix is named Mackey. He is looking for a gentle family who will go slowly with him and help him feel safe and comfortable, since he is a bit nervous. He only weighs 7 pounds, so of course he is feeling a little overwhelmed! This 4 year old boy will do best with a quiet household with children over the age of 8. Mackey seems to be friendly but shy with other dogs and he might be able to live with cats as well. Please lets find him a loving home!
Mackey - New York, NY
Bideawee Inc. Manhattan
410 E. 38th St. between 1st Ave. & FDR Dr.
New York, NY 10016
(866) 262-8133
 Miley is a Chihuahua mix, around one year old and 15 lbs who was found as a stray.  She looks like a little deer has those big brown eyes that draw you to her. She just wants to be close to you and give you little kisses on the tip of your chin. She's a young dog, so she would benefit from obedience training to help her grow into a great pet. She can be selective with her dog friends, so if you have another dog in the house, they should meet to make sure they are compatible. She also not a fan of cats, but she is a fan of kids over 5. Please lets find her a great home!
Miley - Philadelphia, PA
Snoopy is a Retriver/Poodle mix who is around one year old and 19 lbs.  He is a feisty guy who was originally surrendered because his owner did not have enough time for him. In his next home, he was found to be a little excitable with children, so he has come back to us to find a more suitable home with older children over 16.  He gets along with other dogs, but we don't know about cats yet. Please lets find him a good home!
Snoopy- Philadelphia, PA
PAWS, the Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society
215-298-9680, ext. 16

Tilley is a Cocker Spaniel about 6 years old. Transitioning to house dog, but used to live outside.A little nervous indoors at first; but likes to curl up on sofa. Good on a leash, good with other dogs, and house trained. Please lets find her a loving home!

Tilley - Austin, TX

Griffyn is a sweet senior cockapoo boy who is a great companion and dear friend. Griff loves trotting around his backyard and appreciates a nice belly rub.  Please lets find him a loving home!

Griffyn - Austin, TX
Cocker Spaniel Rescue of Austin/San Antonio
No paw left behind our mission!

{Please keep in mind a dog is lifetime commitment. They need attention, love and time just like we do. In addition, adding a pet to the family does cost money in the way of food, health care, training,etc. So before adopting make sure you are willing to make that kind of commitment and have the resources to do so.}

If you want to be a part of Woof Wednesdays email Ann Michele, Lauren or leave a comment. Or simply start posting about dogs in need of a home on your blog or facebook page!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Soul Sunday

For those who find themselves depressed or feeling lost at Christmas time, searching for the true meaning of the holiday amidst the glitz and commercialism of the modern age. Let us rejoice in the meaning of Christmas and the holidays from one of the all time classic Christmas specials A Charlie Brown Christmas.

After getting fed up with the over commercialization of Christmas, Charlie Brown asks “Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?” And it is Linus who steps up and offers the words of wisdom, quoting from the Bible the gospel of Luke (chapter 2: 8-14)

"And there were in the same country shepherds, abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them! And they were sore afraid ... And the angel said unto them, "Fear not! For, behold, I bring you tidings o great joy, which shall be to all my people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ, the Lord."

"And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger." And suddenly, there was with the angel a multitude of the Heavenly Host praising God, and saying, "Glory to God in the Highest, and on Earth peace, and good will toward men."

That's what Christmas is all about.

Let us all take a moment to remember the true reason we celebrate. It is not about the presents, or the cookies or the movies on TV. It is about a baby who came into this world to save us all. 

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas. 


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Woof Wednesday

Welcome to Woof Wednesday. Please meet some great dogs from CA, NY, PA and TX  all in need of good, loving homes!

This little poodle mix not only has no name but no place to call home.  Please lets find her a loving home!

A4657148 - Los Angeles, CA

  Los Angeles County Animal Control - Carson
216 West Victoria Street
Gardena, CA 90248
(310) 523-9566

 Pelusa (tricolor; 1 year old) and Lassie (red; 3 years old) are a sweet little pair of long haired Chihuahua mixes. Both were surrendered to the kill shelter when their owner could no longer care for them, and we rescued them from the euthanasia list! It's impossible to believe these angels ever ended up there in the first place. These fox-like creatures have happy, golden souls and so much love to give! Pelusa is a kiss monster and loves to jump into your lap and burrow under your blankets. Lassie is more of a guardian and prefers to lie at your feet. Both are super playful and working on their housebreaking skills.  If interested in adopting these two  please complete an adoption application at the URL below. It will take 2-5 days for us to get back to you. Thanks! http://socialteesnyc.org/dogapplication  Please lets find them a great home!

Pelusa and Lassie - New York, NY

 Social Tees Animal Rescue
325 East 5th Street
New York, NY 10003

Sheera is Chihuahua mix who is 1-2 years old and 7 lbs. She is not a dog for inexperienced dog owners. She is very fearful and it will take patience and understanding to make her comfortable around new people, but once she is comfortable, she is extremely affectionate. She would do best in a home without kids under the age of 8. Please lets find her a good home!

Sheera - Philadelphia, PA

 Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society
100 N. 2nd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
215-298-9680, ext. 16.

Bear is Labrador Retriever/Terrier mix.  He is a big gorgeous boy ready to meet you.  He's less than a year, friendly and weighs around 70 lbs.  But he's just a big teddy bear.  He gets along with other dogs, is great on a leash and loves to go for rides in the car.  He's the best co pilot!  Bear is playful and sweet and ready to go. Please lets find him a loving home!

 Bear - Dallas, TX

Paws In The City
3824 Cedar Springs #360
Dallas, TX 75219

 No paw left behind our mission!

{Please keep in mind a dog is lifetime commitment. They need attention, love and time just like we do. In addition, adding a pet to the family does cost money in the way of food, health care, training,etc. So before adopting make sure you are willing to make that kind of commitment and have the resources to do so.}

If you want to be a part of Woof Wednesdays email Ann Michele, Lauren or leave a comment. Or simply start posting about dogs in need of a home on your blog or facebook page!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Wake Up Calls

The ups and downs of life can feel difficult sometimes, we might wonder why we are given the struggles we are. Why some people seem to have such perfect lives and we don't.  But fact is no one has a perfect life because humans aren't meant to be perfect.  And what if the valleys of life or not so great things are really wake up calls to become the person we are truly meant to be.  Isn't it true that without the difficult times in life we would never truly appreciate the good?

But it goes deeper than that, is it not possible that things happen to wake us up. To stir our souls into becoming the best they can be, teaching us what we need to learn and finding a sort of purpose along the way.  Essentially to guide us to change the not so good whether it be our actions, behaviors, beliefs, habits, lifestyles, morals, personalities, values, etc., to help us focus on the things that really matter in life. We are all capable of so much, even great things, yet only a small percentage of that people even tap into each day. That's where wake up calls come in.

A wake up call is a message that change is necessary.  Though often by the time it comes, it’s tends to be in the form of a full blown crisis.  A crisis is a turning point for better or worse. It’s the decisive moment.  If it’s not already too late, a crisis is also an opportunity to finally get things right. Wake up calls can happen in any area of ones life.

Life goes along smoothly until something changes. A difficulty comes up, but maybe there is a reason for it. To wake us up in some way. God, life, the universe sends us messages that it is time to become more aware in some way and maybe do something a little better. When one receives a spiritual wake up call it is their job to recognize it and do something about it.

Although in every age, some people have always known that the nature of life and the ability to experience spirituality are one and the same, many wake up calls have been and always will be necessary for us to amply grasp this awareness. All of us are embedded in the natural need to continually wake up to the greater spiritual reality.

The difficult moments, the valleys filled with strife and struggle can be a spiritual wake up call showing one that there are oceans they have not yet explored. Step beyond the world we know. Reach for heights that we never thought possible. Go to places we have deemed off limits. This is the time to take off the shell of our past and step into the rich possibilities of their future. God does not give us dreams that we cannot fulfill. If you want to do something great with your life no matter how big or small, this is the time to begin. Trust yourself.

Ask yourself, are you living life the way you want to be living it? Set aside financial factors for the time being and start simple. Is your job what you want?  Is you lifestyle ideal?  Do you spend enough time with the people you love? Do you make time for fun in your life? What makes you happy? Do you have dreams and aspirations you are looking to explore? Finally, why are you not doing these things right now? 
One of the greatest regrets we hear from older people is that they did not live life to the fullest when they had the chance. They took life too seriously and always pushed their dreams aside to continue building their career or “ideal” life even though it wasn’t what they truly wanted. It’s not always our fault though, we are told that early in our lives that we must go to school, get a good education, get a good job, get married, buy a house, start a family and live happily ever after. But is this truly what life is all about? Does this path automatically lead to happiness? Are we drastically limiting our life by chasing this path? I of course cannot answer this question for you and nor would I attempt to, but I can encourage you to reflect on it and that is the purpose of these questions.
When we take a look at the idea of school, job, marriage, house, retire = happy, we recognize some very interesting factors that can easily promote a very limited lifestyle. The moment we carry on with this lifestyle we begin to create large amounts of debt. That debt then traps us in our current jobs/situation and doesn’t leave us much room for sudden changes to follow our dreams. I’m not saying it’s impossible, just that there is a clear limitation set the moment we start living life under this mentality. Now I am not saying having kids and a family is a bad thing, I’m just asking if it is a rush? Do we need to follow a timeline and do what society expects of us? Is it the ultimate goal of life? Ultimately, are we living our own dreams? Or are we pursuing someone else’s dreams considering we follow what we were told to follow?

Don’t Wait For a Major Wake Up Call

The purpose of this reflection is to encourage each of us to start living NOW. Why do we keep putting what we want to do off? “I’m just not ready.” “I don’t have enough money.” “I am too busy.” “The right thing hasn’t presented yet.” Sometimes these are valid answers, but a lot of times they are simply excuses the mind comes up with to sidetrack us. It can be hard, but imagine yourself with a serious illness and a few months to live, would you be living life exactly how you are? No. So why does it take a big wake up call to change? It doesn’t. We simply have to kick the fear aside and start taking steps to make things happen. You will think of all the excuses in the world as to why you should not begin now, but it is likely that there is a solution to every single one.
Do something you love today. Tell someone close to you how you feel about them. Look into that one thing you’ve always wanted to do, and begin exploring it.

Living Examples

Think it’s not possible? Look at all of the people in the world who currently live a lifestyle similar to the idea presented. They follow their dreams, aspirations and desires even though it represents a different path. They are fluid with their choices and open to change as it presents. We commonly judge, envy or categorize these people as being unrealistic but are they really? In my own life, I was told heavily that I needed to follow a specific path when growing up. I was presented with all the fears that are normally put on people “You won’t have any money.” “You can’t just do what you want.” “You need to wake up to the real world.” When I decided to leave college for the last time I worked a job for a few years before finally leaving that to follow my desire to be more fluid and start this website. 4 years later I am having a great time and at a point where I can follow my inner most desires. Along the way there were always answers, a solution and a means to keep me going. I learned to trust and understood that when I followed my hearts desires things would be taken care of. I, along with others, are living proof that we can all follow our dreams and begin living life now. I could have made the choice to wait, to listen to what everyone else told me and to simply hope that one day I could do what I wanted, but what would the waiting have done? Just provided me with the experience of waiting, that’s it. If I was able to take the leap of faith, so can you, cause we are no different. I’m not saying you can’t plan and wait as that plan unfolds, but you are at least taking action during that time to make it happen.


Write down all of the things you want to do in life; call it a bucket list if you must. Be sure to tap into YOUR dreams and not the dreams and aspirations of others that you think might make you feel happy if you had them. It’s important to dig into our deepest desires and not simply chase things we THINK we want. When you begin writing, don’t worry if you are unsure of what you want to do right away. Start by writing anything that comes to mind, whether it’s traveling to a certain place, an ideal job, relationship or starting a new hobby; just write it down. Once you are done, look back and begin thinking about how each one feels to you. What does it represent? Do you really want it? For the ones that truly hit home, leave them as is and cross off the rest. Now you will have a list of things you truly want to experience. Next thing to do is start small with each one, what will it take to get the ball rolling for each? Write that down if you need to and then start taking the steps. You will notice how amazing this feels and that when you are in alignment with your deepest desires, things will flow and fall into place quite effortlessly.
Don’t wait any longer to start living, it is entirely possible now, so start being!

- See more at: http://www.collective-evolution.com/2013/08/15/dont-wait-for-a-wake-up-call-to-start-living-your-life-start-now/#sthash.6sSmspOz.dpuf

Life is all we have in the present moment, so appreciate it every single day. When you wake up in the morning, you need to realize that today is all you have. You don't have eventually. You don't have a series of eventually. The beauty of life is today. How are you going to make the most of it? Also, who are you?

So many of us are constantly pushing ourselves to the max so that our eventually is an amazing place. We're pushing ourselves all the time, trying to make our life magical and wondrous. Some of us are chronic workaholics and don't know how to enjoy the present moment, yet some of us are the exact opposite lazy, never start anything or build things for long term use.  Yet there needs to be a happy medium, a balance of sorts.

We need to appreciate everything in the now. We need to be so present in the now that we are inspired every day to be the most amazing person we can be. Life tries to change our perspective, teach us lessons and in a way force our spirit to grow.

We see it time and time again, people go on living life in a state that could be described as robotic until suddenly something major happens in their life that kicks them into LIVING. - See more at: http://www.collective-evolution.com/2013/08/15/dont-wait-for-a-wake-up-call-to-start-living-your-life-start-now/#sthash.6sSmspOz.dpuf
Life always offers a second chance it’s called tomorrow.  But this second chance doesn’t mean anything if one has not learned from the events of the past or today.  We have to acknowledge our troubles but gather strength from them and laugh at our mistakes but learn from them.  Getting a second chance in life is about giving ourselves the opportunity to grow beyond our past failures.  It’s about learning as we go and positively adjusting our attitude and efforts toward future possibilities. That's what wake up calls are all about.


Monday, December 16, 2013

Monday Musings

After the craziness of last week exhaustion seemed to set in.  It's amazing the affects adrenaline has on the body.  Combine that with the cold weather and it's much harder to get motivated.  Feeling more like a bear who wants to hibernate. 

Throughout the week ran errands, grocery shopped and did some holiday stuff which allowed the weekend to be all about hibernating. ha

We had snow with arctic temperatures pretty much all week.  Saturday brought a sleet storm and everything turned into a sheet of ice, even little one was slipping as she tried to do her business. It hasn't warmed up much so the ice seems to be sticking around.

The man is slowly recovering.  He is still extremely sore, bruised and the fractured arm is causing a significant amount of pain.  He has appointments this week to see both an orthopedic for the arm and neurologist for the seizure.  Hopefully they will be able to provide further insight into both.

It's not like the man did a lot before it happened unless watching tv is a sport but in all seriousness it has severely limited him.  At least he could run errands or help lift heavy stuff but not now.  And not being able to drive might really affect his chances for work which could have a significant impact.  The man seems rather laid back about it all compared to me who is feeling stressed.  I know life is full of uncertainty but ours feels even more so.  It's hard to put into words.

So I mentioned being indecisive about putting up holiday decorations this season but eventually gave in.  Instead of multi colored lights did the tree in all white which gives the room a nice glow.  Even though we decided not to exchange gifts this year the decorations and snow have made it feel more like the holidays.

Little one's bed had to be moved slightly to make room for the tree but it doesn't seem to bother her as she likes laying by the tree.  Of course she is hoping for some treats from Santa to appear.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Soul Sunday

The soul needs quiet, think time. It can be as simple as a walk in the woods, a long soak in the bathtub, or a ride in the country. No matter how stressed or busy or overwhelmed we feel, we all need to create a physical and emotional quiet and calm space to reflect and recharge. 

The harder it is to carve out a time and place, the more important it is to do. And if it seems impossible, then it's absolutely essential. You don't need to pretend it's a priority; it actually is one.

Today offers a new beginning. No matter how you are feeling, and no matter what your obstacles are, today you can stand up for yourself, your dreams and take a small step forward. And one small step is about as important as it gets.

Serenity is not freedom from the storm, but peace amid the storm.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Chicken and Biscuits

Chicken and Biscuits
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1-1/4 pounds), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 can (about 14 ounces) chicken broth, divided
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 package (10 ounces) frozen peas and carrots
1 can (12 ounces) refrigerated biscuits

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add chicken, onion,
    thyme, paprika and pepper. Cook 5 minutes or until chicken is browned.
2. Combine 1/4 cup chicken broth with flour in small bowl; stir until smooth. Set aside.
3. Add remaining chicken broth to skillet; bring to a boil. Gradually add flour mixture, stirring
    constantly to prevent lumps from forming. Simmer 5 minutes. Add peas and carrots; continue
    cooking 2 minutes.
4. Transfer mixture to 1-1/2-quart casserole; top with biscuits. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until    
    biscuits are golden brown.

Note: Cook the chicken in an ovenproof skillet, instead of the 1-1/2-quart casserole. Place the biscuits directly on the chicken and vegetable mixture, then bake as directed.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Woof Wednesday

Welcome to Woof Wednesday. Please meet some great dogs from CA, CO, NY, PA and TX  all in need of good, loving homes!

This little male Chihuahua/Dachshund mix doesn't even have a name let alone a home.  Please lets find him a loving home!

A4654548 - Gardena, CA

Los Angeles County Animal Control - Carson
216 West Victoria Street
Gardena, CA 90248
(310) 523-9566

 We are thinking part Papillon with those sweet ears.  Chikis is 1 year old and ten lbs. She has a warm, mellow, sweet, calm personality; and is well behaved.  She is also house trained.  Chikis gets along extremely well with other dogs and great with children. Chikis is alert, graceful, affectionate and eager to please you.  She will enjoy exercise with you going for a walk and romping in an fenced-in yard.  Chikis will make an outstanding family pet who will brighten anyone's home.  She really needs a forever home. Come see her.  She is hoping you will.  In the canine heart there is always hope.  Please lets find her a great home!

Chikis - Bells Garden, CA

Miracle Dog Rescue
Bell Gardens, CA 90201
(323) 383-8883
Bathsheba is an Australian Kelpie/ Labrador Retriever mix. This great mama dog was left in a backyard alone to care for her babies and when they were old enough, she was surrendered to the shelter and forgotten. She is so sweet and displays no aggression with dogs or people, has a laid back attitude. Because she was not cared for, she is positive for heart worms, but the rescue will supply all of the meds needed to clear her condition and the rescue will pay for the retest until she is negative. She is affectionate, friendly, respectful and playful. Good with other dogs and children. This sweet girl deserves a loving home, could that be with you. Please lets find her a good home.

Bathsheba - Aurora, CO

 4 Paws 4 Life Rescue
Aurora, Co 80014

Junior is the happiest, sweetest little Schnauzer you can imagine. He loves to curl up at the end of the bed at night, he adores being held and snuggled, and he'll cuddle in your lap when you sit with him on the couch. He was recently rescued from a kill shelter in LA, and his foster mom fell head over heels the minute she got him home. He chills under her desk while she works and gives her kisses at break time. Junior is about 9 pounds full grown and gets along well with all animals and people he meets. If you want to apply to adopt this dog please complete an adoption application here: http://socialteesnyc.org/dogapplication  Please lets find him a loving home! 

 Junior - New York, NY
   Social Tees Animal Rescue
325 East 5th Street
New York, NY 10003
(212) 614-9653

Tator Tot is a Pit Bull mix who is around 1 year old and 40 lbs. She is a sweet girl who is social to people and full of puppy energy. Tator Tot was surrendered by her owner because he was moving and couldn't take her with him. She is comfortable with other dogs and in fact should live with another dog to show her the ropes on how to behave. She could live in a home with kids over 5. She is very interested in playing with cats, so should only live with cats who can handle an energetic dog. Please lets find her a great home!

Tater Tot - Philadelphia, PA

 Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society
100 N. 2nd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
215-298-9680, ext. 16

Chandler is a Scottish Terrier and victim of our bad economy. His home was lost to foreclosure, his family forced to move, and instead of taking him with them, they left him locked inside, with a small amount of food and water. After several days of hearing his cries for help, neighbors broke in to the house, to save Chandler, and give him food and water. Afterwards, they continued to feed him however, his life was delegated to a yard that he continuously got out of probably looking for his family that abandoned him. After several days of research, his previous family was located and gave us permission to place Chandler in our rescue program. As you can see from the photos Chandler didn't have a great life, even when his family was with him. He was constantly tied up outside, left for days at a time and his coat and skin suffered for it. The tether he was attached to tightened around his neck wearing down the hair and causing a rash and skin burns. These photos were taken after his matted, filthy coat was shaved off. There was no other way to properly groom him. Interestingly, after we rescued this wonderful Scottie, all of his fears went away, and he has become a true Scot! No more worries about where his next meal will come from and no concerns for fresh water. His medical needs have now been met, and he is ready to find his new home. Feeding Chandler a high quality food helped his coat immensely, however it may never completely return. Nevertheless Chandler adores attention and being held and petted. So much so he has some jealousy issues with other dogs. Come visit this wonderful Scottie boy and consider giving him a home that he can call his own. Please lets find him a good home!

Chandler - Dallas, TX

Scottie Kingdom Rescue, Inc.
PO Box 551265
Dallas, TX 75355-1265

No paw left behind our mission!

{Please keep in mind a dog is lifetime commitment. They need attention, love and time just like we do. In addition, adding a pet to the family does cost money in the way of food, health care, training,etc. So before adopting make sure you are willing to make that kind of commitment and have the resources to do so.}

If you want to be a part of Woof Wednesdays email Ann Michele, Lauren or leave a comment. Or simply start posting about dogs in need of a home on your blog or facebook page!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Winter Wonderland

It is a winter wonderland in Pennsylvania. Beautiful white snowflakes are blanketing everything.

Little one got stuck in it, though her bright pink coat prevents her from disappearing amongst all the white.  When the snow gets too deep we make paths in the snow for her.

Since the man has a fractured shoulder shoveling has fallen upon me, it's a wet snow and rather heavy. So made sure to go outside often to shovel in increments. Luckily it was a quick moving storm and the sun is already peaking out from behind the clouds.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Monday Musings

The forecast in Philadelphia was for little to no accumulation of snow, so of course we had 6 inches of snow. It looked like a white out at times at the Eagles game.  Just as life is unpredictable, weather is too. While snow is beautiful driving and shoveling it are not.

Though it motivated me to hang the Christmas lights, which looked pretty against the snow.

Overall the week has seemed like a blur. 

Tuesday started off with me having a deep cavity filled, not an easy task for someone who fears the dentist/numbing of Novocaine.  The dentist isn't sure if it will work due to it's deepness he mentioned the possibility of root canal.  Words of terror to a dental phobic. Given the deepness the pain has been strong and throbbing.  If the pain doesn't subside that will confirm a root canal is needed. 

The man took me to the appointment.  He really stepped up and helped that day even cooking dinner.  The next day though he started feeling lightheaded, nausea and overall not well.  Little did anyone know that it was leading up to a major seizure the next day.  Which I wrote about here

He spent three days in the hospital while they ran tests.  Most of the tests looked okay including all blood work and toxicology screens, but the EEG came back with abnormal findings in the temporal lobe.  The force of the seizure dislocated his humerus bone, they theorize it fractured upon re entry.   His memory has been some what affected as well.  The left eye has some drooping.  He is extremely sore all over, bruised a little and cannot move his left arm. The seizure lasted over 4 minutes, which is considered long and in the Grand Mal category. 

They said because he had a seizure as a kid, even though it was caused by overheating back then, that it could predispose him to seizures.  Usually after one seizure they don't put people on medication but because his EEG came back abnormal, the force of the seizure and fracture of his humerus bone they feel medication is important at this stage.  In addition after a seizure in Pennsylvania they take people's license for 6 months, requiring a person to remain seizure free during that time to get their license back. 

This year has been tough and with this happening not sure how we are going to stay financially afloat.  The man has been in the process of looking for a job but now without being able to drive it's going to be really difficult.  And all the medical insurance stuff is now going to begin to stack up as well.  The man has a lot on his plate yet I'm not sure he is prepared to deal with it all.  It's a scary feeling.

Plus with my dizzy spells driving is already limited, so now with him not being able to drive I become sole driver.  Yet I have come to rely on him for the distance driving stuff.  So it's going to be interesting to see how we weather it all.  Things just keep getting thrown at us, some days the weight of it all feels overwhelming and exhausting.  The uncertainty of everything is taking it's toll.

Meanwhile they are forecasting more snow and frigid temperatures.  Trying so hard to get in the holiday spirit but still not feeling it yet.  Thought maybe the snow would help but not really.  Just find myself wanting to skip winter and jump to summer.  Little one was surprised to find snow when she stepped outside yesterday.  She used to love it as a puppy but has grown less fond of it over the years. So instead of trying to play in it she stands there looking at me as if to say take me inside pronto.

The thought that comes to mind this Monday is this quote "Sometimes life is unpredictable. It dictates things that you do not want to pursue, nor do you wish to listen to. But no matter how we resists life, it wont allow itself to lay unappreciated and devalued for a long time. For each day we live on this planet, each breath we took when were awake and each silent breath when we are asleep, life is already in its existence. For life is within us, it envelops us in everything that we do. It is there, silent and yet overbearing, when we took our own paths, when we mold our own destiny, and when we choose wise and unwise decisions. Decisions that might or might not affect the way our life will be. For no matter what path we choose, life is always there. Life is the essence of life. Life is a God given gift bestowed upon mankind. Life is our life. Without life, humanity would not have existed, I would not have existed. Life gives us the freedom to choose, to see things in its pure goodness, but above all, life gives us the ability to live on this planet. For it is life that we found each other. For it is in life that we are one. We are not only citizens in our own countries but we are citizens of the world. We are here because of life, and we are here because we have life. Live life to its fullest form. Thank God for bestowing upon us life. Life is life."


Sunday, December 8, 2013

Soul Sunday

Life is unpredictable and difficult. That is the fundamental truth we all must learn to accept. In that acceptance, lies strength. If it wasn't difficult, it wouldn't be worth living. The moment you think you've got a hang of how it all works, the very instant you have figured it all out, life changes. The strength to overcome the challenges posed by life lies within you.

In the silent chambers of your soul lies the quiet confidence that no matter what, you will overcome this and rise again as a wiser and stronger being. Greater the difficulty, sweeter and grander the victory. Every insult, every disappointment, every pain and hurt that breaks your heart is fuel for the inner fire. It only serves to make you stronger in the long run.

Inspirational quotes can be life changing in hard times. Sometimes, when you are feeling down and out, one thought, one idea can turn it all around for you. Writing such thoughts down and keeping them in front of you all the time helps. Make them your inspirational mantras. They are testimony to humankind's indomitable spirit. And come from the depths of experience and wisdom of people who have been there and done that.

When the spiraling chaos of confusion plagues your mind, repeat these mantras like nothing else matters. Drown out the chaos and listen to your soul's calling from within.

Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time. Thomas Edison
It always seems impossible until it's done. Nelson Mandela
 What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly. Richard Bach

Obstacles don't have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don't turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.  Michael Jordan
Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right. Ralph Waldo Emerson
Everything is possible for him who believes. Jesus

No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path. Buddha
 The big secret in life is that there is no big secret. Whatever your goal, you can get there if you're willing to work. Oprah Winfrey

Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It is a very mean and nasty place and it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't how hard you hit; it's about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward. How much you can take, and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done. Now, if you know what you're worth, then go out and get what you're worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hit, and not pointing fingers saying you ain't where you are because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain't you. You're better than that.  Rocky Balboa

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Hope and Pray

As if my painful dental procedure wasn't already enough this week, the man has fallen ill. 

Early this morning I heard the most insane shrill come from upstairs.  The shrill scared me so much that instinct overcame me and I started dialing 911 on my way up. Well turns out it was the right thing to do because I found the man in a major seizure.  It lasted for over 4 minutes.  Details are something I won't even go into as it was very scary.

As it started to slow down he still wasn't conscious.  Luckily the paramedics arrived within 6 minutes.  But even then he didn't know where he was, who we all were or what was going on.  The steps to our cottage bedroom are very hard to navigate so it wasn't easy for them to get him down either.

We spent the day in the er as they did test after test.  His left eye isn't quite right, his left shoulder got injured during the seizure and he is having problems remembering things. So they are keeping him for observation and to run more extensive tests.  They are trying to figure it out.  

Yesterday he started feeling light headed and nausea, a headache came on later.  He wasn't himself but we figured it might just be a migraine type headache that he sometimes experiences.  Just didn't expect something like this to happen.  It's such a helpless feeling to see someone suffering knowing there is nothing you can do to help them.

I'm so grateful for my neighbors who came right over today to offer their help.  Who gave a ride to the hospital, who watched little one all day, for my family who kept calling.....in the midst of a tough day I'm thankful for their help, love and support.

Right now it's all about waiting for more tests and observing him.  Hopefully they will know more tomorrow.  For now all we can do is pray.

Biggest lesson in all this life is unpredictable. So tell the special people in your life how much they mean to you. Don't take people for granted. Call, hug, kiss, do whatever it takes to get across your feelings and love!

Meanwhile I'm hoping and praying that things get better soon!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Woof Wednesday

Welcome to Woof Wednesday. Please meet some great dogs from CA, NY, PA and TX  all in need of good, loving homes!
Shorty is a sweet, little guy. He is about 2 - 3 years old. Shorty is a West Highland Terrier/Dachshund mix. He is friendly with everyone he meets. Shorty greets you with a tail wag and it's not just a wag, he is so happy, his tail goes in a circle. He walks nice on a leash. Shorty rides good in the car also. He is good with other dogs and cats. He is good for the groomer. Shorty is not a barker. He wants to please. Shorty is about 25 lb. He came to use from Mexico where he lived on the streets until a kind person rescued him. Shorty will be a wonderful companion.If you'd like to be considered for one of our dogs, please go to our web site and complete an adoption application.  Please lets find him a loving home!

Shorty - Temecula, CA
 Retrievers and Friends of Southern California
P.O. Box 1822
Temecula, CA 92593 

Tabby and Toby are two adorable Shepherd mix puppies who came to Bideawee after they were rescued in Puerto Rico.  It would be great if these super sweet juveniles can be adopted together . Tabby weighs 25 and Toby weighs about 26 pounds now and he will probably be a medium sized adult. This beautiful girl and handsome boy will do well with a gentle yet active family with children over the age of 5. Their new family will need to continue their housebreaking and obedience training. They both like to play with other dogs and he could probably live with cats as well.  Please lets find these two a great home!

Tabby and Tobby - New York, NY

 Bideawee Inc. Manhattan
410 E. 38th St. between 1st Ave. & FDR Dr.
New York, NY 10016
(866) 262-8133

 Rocky Rhodes is a Fox Terrier mix who weighs 25 lbs and is around 6-10 yrs old.  He is a sensitive and independent boy who has lived in a home before. Rocky was surrendered because his owner "could no longer keep him." He has been fearful and nervous in the shelter and we need to give him a little time to settle down before we test him with other dogs and cats. He's a low energy kind of guy with mild food possessiveness. Please lets find him a good home!

Rockey Rhodes - Philadelphia, PA

  Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society
100 N. 2nd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
215-298-9680, ext. 16.

 Mouse is a beautiful yellow Labrador Retriever who was rescued from the San Antonio Animal Care Services. She's great with other dogs and children, although it's not recommended she be around cats at this time. She was given her name for her talent at catching mice at the pound! She's a very intelligent dog, just needs some training- she picks up commands quite easily and she aims to please. Mouse also loves to play fetch, she just needs a loving family to play with her.  Please lets find her a loving home!

 Mouse - San Antonio, TX

  Spay-Neuter-Inject-Protect San Antonio
6338 N New Braunfels #185
San Antonio, TX 78209
(210) 237-9400

No paw left behind our mission!

{Please keep in mind a dog is lifetime commitment. They need attention, love and time just like we do. In addition, adding a pet to the family does cost money in the way of food, health care, training,etc. So before adopting make sure you are willing to make that kind of commitment and have the resources to do so.}

If you want to be a part of Woof Wednesdays email Ann Michele, Lauren or leave a comment. Or simply start posting about dogs in need of a home on your blog or facebook page!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Monday Musings

There is nothing like the food on Thanksgiving. Turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, vegetables are all so good that it makes it easy to go back for thirds, which is exactly what I did.  Hey it's only one day out of the year, think everyone needs to splurge a little.  Even better than the food is getting to spend Thanksgiving with my family something I'm always grateful for

This year my sister and niece went to her husband's family for Thanksgiving, they try to alternate each year but it always feels quiet without them. Of course the man could not leave the house for Thanksgiving until he watched the first half of a college basketball game, which actually caused a  senseless exchange of words. And left me wanting to throw all tv's and excuses out the window. :)

It's hard to believe the holidays are upon us. Just cleaned up the summer flowers as the cold weather had finally caused them to wilt. It's always hard letting the summer flowers go. Still trying to decide whether to put up a tree this season. The holidays last year were not exactly the happiest of ones. The year had a lot of ups and downs which felt exhausting at times. So the thought of putting up the tree, holiday decorations,etc, coupled with the thought of having to eventually take it all down does just not sound appealing.

While the neighborhood men have been outside stringing lights and decorating their houses the man has been on the couch watching tv.  Those are the moments I wish the man would step up, surprise me by putting up the tree and lights, in some way try to make the holidays special.  But truth is think the man would rather forget holidays exist.  In all honesty there isn't money this year for gifts.  The man is still searching for work.  I'm in the process of trying to get a small business off the ground. Even though I know gifts aren't the true essence of the holiday anyway.  There is just stuff weighing the whole holiday thing down.

Then again maybe the holidays decorations are just what we need, maybe they would help get us in the festive spirit? 

Of course as I ponder it all, came across these words. Again it's amazing when just the right words seem to appear "A bad day is just a bad day. Choose not to make it anything more. You will find that it’s necessary to let some things go simply for the reason that they’re heavy on your heart and soul. Let go of them. Don’t clamp shackles to your own ankles. It’s incredibly easy to enjoy more of your life right now, no matter what the situation. It’s just a matter of letting go of the layers of nonsense that are weighing you down."  And so couldn't the same hold true for a bad year?

If I could only find a way to let go of all those layers of nonsense from throughout the year. It's funny how everything can seem to build up until it eventually wears you down.  That's how I feel  worn down and wiped out.  Like a princess in a Disney movie, wish with the flick of a sparkly wand everything could be made right.  That an abundance of happiness, health, kindness, unconditional love, financial security and spirituality would just fill our lives.  Okay maybe I'm watching too many Christmas specials or something but I really want to feel that magical feeling associated with the holidays. That feeling like anything is possible!

Maybe just need to listen to some holiday music.  Maybe I should try to put aside the worn feeling, force myself and the man to put up the holiday decorations. Or maybe watch a Charlie Brown Christmas special, love snoopy at the holidays. Who knows we'll see.

For now I'm curious....what do you do to get yourself and family in the holiday spirit?


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