Sunday, March 31, 2013

Soul Sunday

Easter brings with it a spirit of rebirth and new life. Of love and the message of Jesus. No matter ones belief the essence of Easter is profoundly enlightening and beautiful.

Easter reminds us that everyone has a chance for a resurrection of sorts each day. To rise up as a whole person....spirit, soul and body into the consciousness of life and wholeness that Jesus embodies or one's higher power embodies. As people may not always share the same beliefs, or worship the same higher powers but everyone is capable of good. Of being good human beings and souls.

We are capable of changing our lives, though maybe we cannot change certain things we can at least change the way we think of them. What we must remember is today is a new day, mistakes, negative behaviors, sins,etc., they are the past and today is a new day to open ones soul up and be reborn. And Easter is a great reminder of this.

To live in goodness, honesty, truth, compassion, kindness, love, faith, hope, understanding. To truly give our attention, love, help and time to others. To have patience, and look for the lessons in the challenges.

To let go of negative behaviors, thoughts, selfishness, addictions, stubbornness, materialism and most of all to let go of judging others. To find constructive ways to deal with any pain, hurt or negatives. To accept differences and keep the mind always open. To treat others as we want to be treated. To believe in something greater than ourselves.

To find and seek what really matters in life. To be the best we can be.

Lao Tzu once said....

If you want to awaken all of humanity,
Then awaken all of yourself.
If you want to eliminate the suffering in the world,
Then eliminate all that is dark and negative in yourself.
Truly, the greatest gift you have to give is that of your own self transformation.



Saturday, March 30, 2013

Spinach Stuffed Chicken

Spinach Stuffed Chicken

1 (10 ounce) package fresh spinach leaves
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup shredded pepperjack cheese
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - pounded to 1/2 inch thickness
1 pinch ground black pepper
8 slices bacon

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
2. Place spinach in a large glass bowl, and heat in the microwave for 3 minutes, stirring every minute or so, or until wilted. Stir in sour cream, pepperjack cheese, and garlic.
3. Lay the chicken breasts out on a clean surface, and spoon some of the spinach mixture onto each one. Roll up chicken to enclose the spinach, then wrap each chicken breast with two slices of bacon.
4. Secure with toothpicks, and arrange in a shallow baking dish.
5. Bake uncovered for 35 minutes in the preheated oven, then increase heat to 500 degrees F (260 degrees C), or use the oven's broiler to cook for an additional 5 to 10 minutes to brown the bacon.

Note:  I used two large chicken breast and butterflied them in half.  Also instead of pepperjack I used cheddarjack which is more mild in flavor.  For bacon I used an all natural brand Nature's Promise that contains no nitrates or msg.  Cheese may be sprinkled on top of the bacon as well.


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Woof Wednesday

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

Alfie is a puppy terrier mix. She is good with kids, dog and even cats. This little girl just needs to find a good home!

Alfie - Los Angeles

Bark Avenue Foundation
3030 South Hill Street
Los Angeles, CA 90007
(213) 840-0153

Gomez is an adorable Chihuahua mix with a happy, fun-loving personality and terrific ears. Gomez (named after Selena Gomez) loves to play and snuggle and to go on walks. She gets along great with other dogs and seems cat tolerant. Gomez has a beautiful, shiny smooth short hair coat and is an all around great dog. She is not only good looking but young, likely around one year old. Gomez is fostering with a family in Hollywood and is healthy.  Let's find this guy the great home he deserves!
Gomez - Los Angeles

Jennifer Parker
Cell: (323) 893-3584

Jim Mason is a stunning boy who has a personality to match.  He's 3 years old, sweet, friendly and calm.  He has gentle eyes that just take you in.  As a plus, he walks great on leash and is cat tolerant with supervision.  Let's find this sweet boy a loving home!
Jim Mason - Cherry Hill, NJ 

Greyhound Friends of NJ, Inc.
PO BOX 4416
Cherry Hill, NJ 08034-0669
(732) 356-4370

Meet Rina who is a 12 yr old shiba looking for a new forever home. Her previous owner is going into assisted living and was unable to take her. She is a sweet, affectionate girl who loves to give kisses. Her owner said that Rina is great with children. True to her shiba nature, she is an escape artist and one time when she was about 2 yrs old, she was hurt by another dog when she was exploring the neighborhood. The injury required stitches and she has a little muscle weakness in her rear legs but it hasn't caused major problems throughout her life. Rina likes going out for walks, knows basic commands, and loves attention. Shes a cute girl who is waiting for a new home, will it be yours?

Rina - New York, NY

Rina: Shiba Inu, Dog; New York, NY

NYC Shiba Rescue, Inc., New York, NY

 Meet Winnie and her brother Cooper, two healthy18-month-old Boston Terriers looking to liven up a home. This bonded pair is so grateful for being rescued from the outdoor shelter and promise to bring double the love and kisses with them.Apartment living? House? Sure thing! As long as there is a fenced yard and/or daily walks as Winnie and Cooper like to exercise and play outdoors. The have lots of energy to share. They also love snuggling, chewy treats and toys, nylabones and being with their human. In fact, Winnie gets a wee bit sad when her two-legged love isn’t in the room. Other dogs? Not so much. All these two need is each other they make a serious verbal protest to other canines. How about kids? Bring on the playmates six and over. Would you believe that these two acrobats like to walk on their hind legs and lean onto folks? It’s great fun if everyone is old enough to join in the parade.
Both Winnie and Cooper are intelligent and eager to please. Cooper does know sit while Winnie is trying hard to figure that one out. They are both crate trained and improving everyday with potty training. Winnie weighs in at 17 lbs. and Cooper is very close in size at just under 19 lbs. Let's find these siblings a good home!

Winnie and Cooper - Philadelphia, PA

WInnie & Cooper: Boston Terrier, Dog; Philadelphia, PAWInnie & Cooper: Boston Terrier, Dog; Philadelphia, PA

SNORT (Short Noses Only Rescue Team), Philadelphia, PA
 Alli and Gator and are 3 years and 3 months old.  They are sister and brother and have never been separated so they have to stay together.  Their parents love them a lot but can not keep them because things have changed.   They have been taken very good care of and are very happy Westies.  They love people and children, over the age of 8 please and Gator likes other dogs, right off but  Allie likes them once she get to know them.   They are healthy except Gator has one little problem called Addisons disease.  He takes a pill every day for it and that makes him just fine and dandy.  Because of  Addison he has to drink more water and go potty outside more, so he need someone who will be home with him a lot.  They love to play outside when the weather is nice and just have lots of fun times.  Let's find these two sweeties a loving home!
Alli and Gator - Dallas, TX
 Alli & Gator: West Highland White Terrier Westie, Dog; Dallas, TX

Westie Rescue of North Texas, Dallas, TX
Missy is a Bull Terrier mix looking for a great home!

Missy - Georgetown, TX

Missy: Bull Terrier, Dog; Georgetown, TX

Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter, Georgetown, TX

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, March 25, 2013

Monday Musings

Cupcakes are on the agenda as tomorrow is the man's birthday.  Given the weather it's a good day to bake and hopefully warm up the house a little too. 

The man has been having a rough time lately, since his favorite thing to do is lounge on couch watching tv I felt he deserved a weekend of just that. So we tried to make it a weekend of simply chilling out.  Though Saturday I had quite a lot to do, but Sunday I partook in his lounge day. 

We rented a movie in the morning and being March Madness is in full swing we watched basketball pretty much all day.  One out of the three Philly teams I mentioned the other day won. Felt disappointed over the other games as I felt they played hard.  But hey one is better than nothing! 

Tried a new recipe spinach stuffed chicken with bacon wrapped around it.  It will be posted soon.  Given the weather is still chilly here staying in and lounging felt nice. Though this cold weather is starting to linger a little too long as the winter blahs and lack of motivation are growing strong.

It's supposedly Spring but one would never know it here in the east. Hard to believe but it snowed. And while I long for sunny, warm weather there was still beauty to be found amongst the snow.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Soul Sunday

Everyone wants happiness.
No one wants pain.
But you cannot have a rainbow,
without a little rain.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Easy Irish Stew

Irish Stew

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
½ cup flour
1 pound stew beef (look for precut beef or cube a roast into 1-inch pieces)
2 cloves garlic, minced
5 cups beef broth
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon thyme
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
6 cups potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
1 large onion, chopped
2 cups carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper

Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.

Put flour, beef, salt and pepper in a large plastic bag and shake to cover the meat evenly in flour.

Add beef to hot oil and cook until browned all over.

Stir in garlic and cook, stirring, for about a minute.

Add beef broth, tomato paste, brown sugar, thyme and Worcestershire sauce.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 1 hour.

Add potatoes, onion and carrots and stir well.

Continue cooking for an additional hour, until vegetables and meat are tender.  Serve with warm

Friday, March 22, 2013

Random Tidbits

Usually we do our food shopping together, as we try to shop for five weeks at a time.  Meaning all the basics, leaving quick weekly trips to pick up any fresh produce as needed.  So you can imagine how full our cart gets, sometimes we even just take two.  In fact it gets a little too heavy for me to even push.  Well yesterday I decided to be helpful as the man has been overwhelmed at work.  So I set out to do it myself.

As it got fuller and fuller it got to point I could no longer push it, and me who is usually always cold was actually knew while I made a valant attempt the rest would simply have to wait. ha
Me being skinny has always led people to believe I don't eat much but as you can see we eat a lot! (that isn't even all of the food, just all I could push) ha

For my birthday I really wanted a baby blue beach cruiser, but then I realized the price ($240 includes shipping) of the one I wanted was probably a little steep for anyone to actually buy as a gift.  And a little too steep for my budget right now as well.  So took my old mountain bike that I purchased many years ago in San Diego out of retirement.  My parents having been storing it in their garage, and I wasn't sure what shape it was in. Back then I rode it over all kinds of terrain. Plus the bike place near here said they charge $174 for a complete bike tune up. Um does anyone else think that's expensive? If it didn't work I knew I could not afford that price. (wish I knew how to tune it up myself)  Though it's definitely a  more powerful bike than I need to bike around town, would much prefer a simple, pretty beach cruiser but it's a bike and I am thankful to even have one! So I put air in the tires, tested it out on the driveway and it appears to be okay.  Given the dizzy spells I'm not even sure how my body will react to being on a bike again but it should be interesting. :)

Now this is something crazy. Angel for years has had this usual looking nail, which occasionally splits. The Veterinarians we show it to say they believe it's some kind of fungus but never prescribe anything to try to heal it.  So over the years I have come up with my own treatment of sorts.  Soaking it in Epsom salt, drying it good and then following it with a great tea tree oil spray from Earthbath.  This eventually helps to heal the nail.  This week the nail has flared up again, as this morning she could not put pressure on the paw so I had to hold up her leg to support her while she did her business.  This is what the nail looks like, the very fact that the vets don't have any ideas of what causes it or how to heal it is baffling.

Since she usually goes and curls up in her bed when the paw bothers her, I spoiled her with breakfast in bed!  And she even got some fresh pear slices.

Anyway that's my random tidbits.  This week I have been doing a lot of rather physically demanding tasks around here, so today just trying to catch up on the small things and find a way to relax.  Though not sure about relaxing with all the games on.  Yes March Madness has begun. And the bracket challenge as well. Did I mention Temple, LaSalle and Villanova are all playing today....they are all Philadelphia area schools hence why I'm hoping they all win!  Not sure much is going to get accomplished today given it's hard to watch basketball and concentrate on other tasks. :)

Time to think about dinner!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Woof Wednesday

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

Cookie and Mr Snuggles are a one year old American Water Spaniel Terriers.  They are a bonded pair who will only be placed together. Perfect for a busy family.  Small enough to fit into a pet carrier/purse and transport, you will want to take them everywhere with you and your family. They dance, they play, they love you!  Sleep with you, eat with you, they don't beg, they know how to sit and stay beautifully. Love to go on walks. They are working on liking cats right now and kitty thinks it will be successful in a few weeks. Very trainable, food driven,  sweetest of temperaments.   Let's find these two sweeties a great home!

Cookies and Mr Snuggle - San Diego, CA

Cookie and Mr Snuggles, a bonded pair: American Water Spaniel, Dog; San Diego, CA

Animal Rescue, San Diego, CA
  • (619) 606-4500
  • ___________________________________________________

Kaubie is a Labrador Retreiver and absolute hoot. He is so much fun in groups, and he listens so well. I was able to call him in the middle of a playgroup, he came right to me, and went straight into his room with no problem. He is a sweet heart.
This is one sweet boy. Kaubie is sadly an owner surrender that said, he has a personality that is sure to win you over. He has spent the last 3 months in boarding due to his former family's situation now he is our care and we would love to find him a home. Kaubie is 5 years old, energetic and knows how to sit, lay down and say his prayers too great on the leash and rides wonderfully in the car too.   He is just a beautiful boy looking for his home come and see Kaubie, you won't be disappointed he is a great dog!!  From the former owner, Kaubie is pure bred but not registered. We were told both of his parents were champions. Let's find him a good home!

Kaubie - Atlanta, GA

Kaubie - See His Video!!: Yellow Labrador Retriever, Dog; Atlanta, GA

Atlanta Lab Rescue, Atlanta, GA
  • (404) 261-5227

Gertie is an adorable 5 year old Westie rescued from a puppy mill.  She is shy but sweet and loves other dogs, and is looking for a calmer home with at least one other friendly dog to help her feel more comfortable.  Her little Westie ears are crumpled from years of untreated chronic ear infections they are being treated now but because of the scarring she may have some chronic ear issues that need care.  Please submit an application if you are interested. Please let's find her a loving home!  

Gertie - Oak Ridge, NJ

Gertie-LOVES DOGS: West Highland White Terrier Westie, Dog; Oak Ridge, NJ

Second Chance Pet Adoption League, Oak Ridge, NJ
  • 973-208-1054


Mac and Mabel are two bonded 8 year old male and female beagles from the same litter and they must be adopted as a pair.  Mac is a loving mush and likes to give kisses and Mabel is totally sweet and very girly.  They like to talk to each other when out in the yard playing.  These dogs will be shown by their owner who can no longer keep them and potential homes will be screened by senior pets nyc.  If you want an instant canine family of two loving sweet fully vetted dogs. They are great with kids from babies up to teens.  Please lets find this pair a great home!
Mac and Mabel - New York, NY

Mac: Beagle, Dog; New York, NY

Senior Pets NYC, New York, NY

Honey is a sweet dog.  She knows all the basic commands and is house trained.  She is basically just the perfect dog.  Honey is extremely happy and loves attention, her favorite thing to do is cuddle on the couch.  She also enjoys going for walks.  Gets along well with small dogs, however cats and large dogs are a bit scary to her so she would prefer a home as an only pet or maybe with a buddy her size.  Please let's find this little girl a good home!

Honey - Philadelphia, PA

Honey URGENT: Chihuahua, Dog; Philadelphia, PA

Cares4pets, Philadelphia, PA

Mia is a 2 ½ year old female Great Pyrenees a rescue dog in the truest sense. Mia was impounded by the police department after they received several complaints regarding Mia's care or lack of it. When the police arrived they found this beautiful dog chained to a post without food, water or shelter. Needless to say, Mia is enjoying her new lifestyle and thinks that a warm and safe place to sleep, exercise, companionship and lots of love suits her just fine! Since her arrival we have learned that Mia enjoys her walks on a leash, tolerates grooming, and loves to ride in the car.  Please lets find this girl a loving home!

Mia - Neshkoro, WI

Mia: Great Pyrenees, Dog; Neshkoro, WI

Great Pyrenees Rescue of WI. Inc, Neshkoro, WI

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, March 18, 2013

Monday Musings

The day started off rather busy....started two paintings, did a little food shopping, filled up on gas, threw a few loads of laundry in, cooked some meals and so come afternoon I felt a less motivated.  That feeling of missing the weekend set in.

Our weekend consisted of a family party, Walmart, basketball games and a little wii.  The man is so competitive he actually keeps score on a piece a paper as we play.  I'm not as competitive play more for fun.  He on the other hand sometimes even resorts to trash talking. haha 

March Madness has begun.  We were happy Villanova, Temple and LaSalle all got in.  It's always fun when more than one Philadelphia schools gets in.  They have some tough games ahead of them so we are hoping for the best. Now comes the hard task of filling out the bracket.  Anyone have theirs completed yet?  A few years ago I actually won my bracket at work, have to admit it felt great beating all the men in the office. :)

For Saint Patrick's day we tried out a new homemade Irish stew. It was so good we decided it should be the official holiday food.  Though the dishes were overwhelming literally emptied the dish rack twice just to make room for more.  It's those kind of dish moments in which I miss having a dishwasher.  Anyway.....

As usual I wish the weekend could have been extended just never seems like enough time with the people we love.

Since we all have some Irish in us we were sporting the green.  Though just about every photo of me lately seems sans any makeup.  Not that I wear a lot to begin with but I prefer a little lip gloss and eyeliner to spice things up especially during the pale month of winter.  Did I mention it still feels like winter here?  Philadelphia is anything but Spring like yet, in fact as I write this it is sleeting! 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Soul Sunday

God is life. God is life in action. The best way to say, "I love you, God" is to live your life doing your best. The best way to say, "Thank you, God" is by letting go of the past and living in the present moment, right here and now. Whatever life takes away from you, let it go. When you surrender and let go of the past, you allow yourself to be fully alive in the moment. Letting go of the past means you can enjoy the dream that is happening right now.”  
~ Don Miguel Ruiz
Ruiz wrote a book called The Four Agreements.  The book is based on four principles. 
Be Impeccable With Your Word: Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.
Don't Take Anything Personally: Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won't be the victim of needless suffering.

Don't Make Assumptions: Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness, and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

Always Do Your Best: Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret. 
Reading the agreements is one thing, incorporating them into our worlds another. Think about each agreement, how it could be integrated into each of our own lives and the profound difference it could make. Simply open the soul to the positive possibility within each agreement. 
Amazing Nature Photography by Zsolt Zsigmond | Professional Photography Blog


Saturday, March 16, 2013

Homemade Italian Bread

Homemade Italian Bread
4 Loaves                                             2 Loaves
5 c. warm water (110 to 115°F)             2.5  c.warm water
2 pkgs. active dry yeast                         1    pkg active dry yeast
1/4 c. olive oil                                       2    Tbsp  olive oil
5 lbs. (10 cups) flour                            2.5  lbs (5 cups)  Flour
5 tsp. salt                                             2.5  Tsp                  
Sprinkle yeast on warm water, stir to dissolve; let stand 5 minutes and add olive oil.
In separate bowl, mix flour and salt, making a well in the center; stir yeast mixture and pour into flour well. Mix well with hands. Turn onto a floured surface and knead until smooth, about 15 minutes. Cover and set in a warm place to rise about 1 1/2 hours.

When double in size, cut dough into 4 equal pieces. Roll into loaves, place on lightly greased baking sheets sprinkled with cornmeal, and "put to bed" (cover and place in warm place to rise).

When doubled in size, bake in a preheated oven at 425°F for 10 minutes; reduce temperature to 350°F and bake 25 minutes more until nicely browned and the loaves sound hollow when tapped on the bottom with your fingers. Makes 4 loaves.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Woof Wednesday

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

Lola is a great dog. Her family can no longer keep her and they have had her since she was a puppy.She is good with other dogs and older kids. She loves to go on walks and to just be with her family. She is crate trained and loves to sleep in her crate. She is a little protective of her crate and food so older children would be better.  Lola is a poodle mix. Please let's find this sweet girl a good home!

Lola - Valley Center, CA

Dogz In Need
Valley Center, CA 92082

Miriam (979) 583-3825

Meet Sally, a better dog you could not hope to find. She is friendly, playful, companionable, well behaved and loving. She's a big beautiful dog who deserves a home, a yard, and the love of a family. She's 7 years old and a 69 pound Labrador Retriever.  Please let's find this girl a great home!

Sally - West Palm Beach, FL

Humane Society of the Palm Beaches
3200 North Military Trail
West Palm Beach, FL 33409
(561) 686-3663


Rex is a Norwich Terrier who is sitting in the New York Animal Control. This little guy need our help.  Please let's find him a good home!

Rex - New York, NY

Animal Care and Control of New York City - Manhattan
326 East 110 Street
New York, NY 10029
(212) 788-4000


George is a cautious guy ,after all his family moved and didn't take him with them. So he wants to give you the once over before he decides that you are trustworthy. George doesn't want to get too attached to you in case you don't take him home with you. He's just now adjusting to being in the shelter with all the excitement, but he would be better in a home with a family.   He is a westie mix/Please let's find this special guy a loving home. 

George Jetson - Philadelphia, PA

Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society
100 N. 2nd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 238-9901

Ella is a beautiful, sweet girl. She is a Dachshund. Super friendly and really good with kids.  Ella's temperament would make her a good candidate for a therapy dog.  She is soft and gentle and wags her tail constantly. Come meet her you'll love her!

Ella - Austin, TX

Austin Dog Alliance
12129 RR 620, Suite 401
Austin, TX 78750
(512) 335-7100

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, March 12, 2013


Meditation has always been something I would like to master, or at least reach the point where I feel the benefits.  As there are numerous studies touting all its positive benefits.  My issue has always been I tend to lose focus and have trouble sitting still.  But honestly that sounds like excuses, I know I just need to give more effort, have more patience and not rush the process of learning the art of meditation. 

So I created a room free of tv, filled with candles, soft lighting, plants and soothing colors.  While I am no expert at meditation just yet and have a hard time sitting still I thought creating a relaxing room free of distractions might help.  A place to focus not only on meditating but prayer.  Even a place to simply read.  Creating time has been an issue as well.  But I may have figured that out.

You see most mornings the first thing the man does upon waking is turn on the tv.  Since I am usually still sleeping it tends to be annoying.  But it's more than that, there is something about being woke up by a violent movie, crazy reality show or negative news first thing in the morning that can feel too overwhelming or stressful.  While I do like to tune into the news to be aware of what's going on in the world, I also realize the need to limit the amount. Just think of Dog the Bounty Hunter, movies like Goodfellas or Boyz n Hood, or news filled with crime stories blaring in background first thing in morning?  That negativity energy affects the body both mentally and physically. 

While I would much prefer some nice conversation in the morning, or maybe some relaxing music.... tv is the mans sanctuary as he finds it relaxing before work.  Tv always has to be on when he's home.  He would much rather zone to tv than have to chat. haha

So I try to remain calm instead of getting annoyed, figure I have to be up shortly anyway. Instead I try to head to the little meditation room I created.  Its tough because the desire to linger in bed is strong especially those mornings I still feel sleepy or during winter.  Winter is just an overall hard season to get motivated. ha

Some mornings my thoughts can be all over the place, thinking about what needs to be accomplished that day but I try to let those thoughts flow until they eventually wear out their welcome. It's even helpful to just make a list of those things, or even any stressors as a way of releasing it.  That way the mind is able to get in a more focused meditative or as I like to call it zoned out state.  It usually helps to focus my thoughts on an image of the ocean or nature, even the candles in the room and then just stay centered on that. 

Meditation can be done anytime, anywhere but carving a place and creating a moment when it's quiet helps.  I'm sensitive to sound so find it nice to meditate in quietness or with gentle, soothing music playing.  There is a transcendental meditation place near by but it is rather expensive, though it's something I would like to try as it would be nice to get some tips from a true master of meditation too.  Of course there are many cds, dvds and books on meditation available as well.  Think for a beginner it's good to simply start off slowly, work ones way into the process and try various different meditative techniques. 

Here is what our little room looks like.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Monday Musings

Today is one of those days where I spent a whole lot of time doing research but felt like I did not accomplish nearly as much as I wanted.  Some days are just like that I suppose.

I'm feeling strong house envy at the moment.  No seriously anytime I find out someone we know has bought a house the feeling overcomes me. ha  Want a house of our own so much that I simply cannot help but feel that way.  I love our little cottage house, just wish the owners would let us eventually buy it.  There are both pros and cons to renting for sure and the major con is where you live always feels rather temporary.  And of course we cannot make any permanent renovations to it either.  Some how I need to get over this intense desire to buy a home until we can officially afford to do it.  In the meantime I seriously may go insane with house envy!  :)

This morning I also made the mistake of browsing our dvr while eating breakfast.  Well I saw a new Revenge listed and knew I had to watch it!  One of the few shows I consider a must watch.  But of course that seemed to set me behind as well.  Not sure why but if I start watching tv in the morning I feel it depletes me of motivation.  It's better to just do what needs to be done and save the tv for later. ha  But little one was happy as it meant more snuggling for her. And revenge was great as usual. 

Got the man to take a ride to Kohls this weekend, they were having big sales and I happen to have a great discount coupon.  When we get there they had nothing of what I saw online so I came away with nothing.  The man on the other hand did well for himself he got a few things including some nice ties that were on sale for $7. For a tie that is a steal.  Plus the weather warmed up into the 60's, the sun actually came out and we were able to take little one on a walk.  I might have warm weather envy at the moment too. Where is Spring?

Somewhere at the moment it is 80 degrees and sunny.  Considering it has been an overall cloudy winter here the sun cannot come out enough.  Poor little one seems to step in mud every time she needs to tinkle.  No seriously between the clouds, rain, snow showers the ground hasn't had ample time to dry out and it's a muddy mess.  It's getting harder and harder to find spots for little one so I just keep a cup filled with water by the door to rinse her little paws off.

On that note I just realized what time it is, dinner.  Enough about house and weather envy this girls got to eat!   Check out little one strutting down the street with her wiffle ball in tow this weekend.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Soul Sunday

Sometimes life can seem like a battle but you have to try to get through it and not give up. Never let one dark cloud cover the entire sky, as the sun is shining in some part of life. Think positive, focus on what is truly important. 

Fact is happiness is not the absence of problems but the strength to deal with them. Strength doesn't come from what you can do, it comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn't. We can let problems burden us or we can let them enlighten us.

Challenges are what make life interesting, and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful. Many of history’s greatest accomplishments were responses to difficult challenges. Many of your own greatest advances have been in response to challenging circumstances. 

Be strong, hold on, focus on the good no matter how small it may seem and face those challenges head on. Use these words of wisdom from people who have rose above adversity to inspire you.

Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.
Helen Keller 

In times of great stress or adversity, it's always best to keep busy, to plow your anger and your energy into something positive.
Lee Iacocca

If you don't like something change it; if you can't change it, change the way you think about it.  
Mary Engelbreit

Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors.

Opposition is a natural part of life. Just as we develop our physical muscles through overcoming opposition ,such as lifting weights, we develop our character muscles by overcoming challenges and adversity.
Stephen R. Covey

Where there is no struggle, there is no strength. Turn your wounds into wisdom.
Oprah Winfrey

Nobody is going to blindside you and hit you as hard as life will. Sometimes life will beat you to the ground, and keep you there if you let it. But it’s not about how hard life can hit you; it’s about how hard you can be hit while continuing to move forward. That’s what true strength is. And that’s what winning the game of life is all about.
Marc Angel


Saturday, March 9, 2013

Spaghetti with Spinach and Garlic

Spaghetti with Spinach and Garlic

½ lb. spaghetti
3 tbsp. olive oil
4-5 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
coarse salt to taste
1½ tbsp. parsley, minced
½ tbsp. lemon juice
red pepper flakes to taste
1 lb. spinach
Parmesan for garnish

1. Cook the spaghetti, reserving the pasta cooking water when draining.
2. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-low heat.
3. Add the garlic and coarse salt, and saute, stirring frequently, until the garlic turns and starts to foam, about 10 minutes.
4. Add the spinach to the pan and saute, stirring, until it wilts, about 1 minute.
5. Toss the garlic-spinach mixture with the cooked spaghetti plus the additional olive oil, lemon juice, parsley, red pepper flakes and enough reserved cooking water to help everything stick together (about 2-3 tablespoons).
6. Garnish with freshly grated Parmesan to serve.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Dental Panic

Like anyone else I have fears, and one of those happens to be a huge dental phobia.   It formed when I was a child after a bad reaction to nitrous gas, combined with numb feeling and pretty much intensified as I got older. 

What I'm most scared of is the numbness the novacaine produces.  The sensation of numbness in the the tongue, throat and lips literally sends me over the top!  We are talking major freak out.

After over 15 years of no dentist, a few years ago I got up the courage to go.  Actually who am I kidding I had no choice my gums were bleeding to the point it became hard to ignore.  That appointment uncovered no cavities which was a huge relief, but I had gum disease....which I pretty much had already surmised with a little help from the internet.

The treatment plan involved planing and scaling the gums. Which basically consists of that taking those sharp silver instruments they pick around your mouth with during examinations and using them to scrap under and on my gums.  The gums are broken down into four quadrants and only one can be done at a time. (left upper, right upper,left upper, right lower)  Each quadrant needs time to heal before they work on the next. 

Most people have their gums numbed when doing it but my fear of numbness stood in the way.  They tried but I freaked out so much when my tongue became a little numb that is wasn't worth it.  So I did all four quadrants without any form of numbing or pain medicine.  If that doesn't tell you how much I fear the numbing sensation I don't know what does as it was painful.  Though I did take a xanax to help relax the body.  At the time I actually thought if this is the worse I have to endure I would just do it.  Shortly after having all quadrants done I lost my dental insurance and could not afford to go back.

Fast forward to now.....

For a dental phobic yesterday was a bad day.  Pain has been plaguing my upper molar for a while but I put off going to the dentist  not only out of fear but because I have no dental insurance.  I found a deal that allowed me to have a basic check up to determine the problem for $25.  What came next was an overwhelming feeling of fear.  I was informed that while my gums are okay, the pain is coming from two decayed teeth that would both need root canals and crowns! (how could this happen to someone who barely eats any sugar and has become religious about brushing)

A true dental phobics worst nightmare....seriously.   All kinds of thoughts overwhelmed will I handle being able to have the work done when the numbing alone will set me in such a freak out they may decide to commit me.  Let's face it when one has xanax in them and still freaks out in fear there isn't much that can be done.  Did I mention I gag quite easily too.  And given some other health factors being completely asleep for it might not be the best option either, plus it would cost even more.  Oh yeah, the price.....$5500!!!!!   And that price doesn't even include the cleanings or yearly xrays that  regular basis as well, those will total at least $300.

Hearing the price is what basically sent me into sobs.  When one is on a limited income, has so many other bills and is told they need the money upfront....well that will do it. Think I pretty much kept mumbling the same thing over and over in between sobs....I can't afford it, what will I do and I'm scared. ha  Sounds silly to some, but between the fear of being numbed and the realization of the price it overwhelmed me.  Of course I'm sure the dentist thought I was a nut case, though she did say she felt bad but there are no long term payment options....not in this economy. Great.

Talked to a friend who happens to be an orthodontist he suggested I could try a dental clinic run by one of the universities in Philadelphia.  But that it would be a substantial wait as the demand is high and it would take a lot longer to fix such an issue.  He suggested a root canal specialist but usually cost more money.  And even if I tried to buy insurance at this point there would be a waiting period of 6-12 months. So I'm out of ideas and my dental phobia is now at least a 20 on a scale of 1-10! 

Though I did try a few dental clinics who informed me they are not even taking any new patients at this point because they are overwhelmed.  Can you imagine? Sounds like I'm not the only one without dental insurance. Anyway....going to have to think about this more, do more research and hopefully find a way to finance it and get over my fear as well.  

Lesson learned while one might thing their teeth look and feel fine, one should always still have regular cleanings and visits with the dentist as a preventive measure.  How to get over intense dental fear or pay for dental visits when one doesn't have insurance I simply have no clue.

Maybe someone reading this might have experienced something similar?  Might know what to do?  Or even have advice?  And those with dental insurance count yourself lucky, as I'm learning it's not a given that everyone has it or can afford it!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Woof Wednesday

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

Cedar is a 2.5 month old terrier mix. He is the biggest in his litter and looks like a mini lab with a wire coat. He has lots of energy like a typical puppy. He is neutered, micro chipped and up to date on shots. Let's find this puppy the good home he deserves!

Cedar - San Diego, CA

Second Chance Dog Rescue
2435 C Street #5
San Diego, CA 92102
(619) 721-3647

Serena is a cute Labrador Retriever puppy in who is simply looking for a good home.  While the rescue group did not provide much information about her you can find more about her in the information links below.  Let's find this sweetie a home!

Serena - Royal Palm Beach - FL

A Second Chance Puppies and Kittens Rescue
P.O. Box 211924
Royal Palm Beach, FL 33421-1924
(561) 333-1100

Susie Snuggles is a little love.  She is a West Highland Terrier Mix who adores affection and will be a loyal companion for her person.  Susie was surrendered because her owner could no longer afford her care.  Like a true terrier, Susie will protect her home from strangers.  She will need someone who has terrier experience and can work with her to make her comfortable around other people.  Susie is housetrained, spayed, up to date on vaccines,  negative for heartworm disease and parasites and does well with other dogs.  A reference check and home visit is required prior to placement.  Make Susie Snuggles your very own special little girl.  Lets find this sweetie a loving home!

Susie - Westminster, MD

Reach Out Rescue & Resources
P.O. Box 542
Westminster, MD 21158 

Benny is a very affectionate and soft hearted little boy.  He wants everyone to love him and will give everyone kisses if they will let him.  Benny loves to sit on laps, and he loves to play too.  He, of course, always wants the toy June has. June is a tiny, very sweet little girl.  She has been through so much in her puppy life, but she is such a little fighter. June loves to be held. She plays and plays with Benny. June loves to run in the yard and loves the sunshine.  We call her June Bug. Benny and June have quickly found a place in our hearts. They came to the rescue in February of 2012.  They discovered the puppies have Primary Ciliary Dyskenesis or PCD. For more about PCD, especially the long-term needs and care of a dachsies like Benny and June with PCD, please click on the link Through the love and support of SO many people, but especially their foster mom and dad, Benny and June have grown into amazing little dachshunds who are adoptable! These two little loves have finally reached that milestone. While we know it will take a very special family to care for them and keep them healthy (as Benny and June require daily nebulizer treatments 3 to 4 times a day and will be on medication the rest of their lives, we also know their forever family is out there. Benny and June are a bonded pair that must stay together.  More importantly, they are also happy, playful dachsies who love to give kisses, and be held, and do all the things other dachshunds do, they just need a little something special to help keep them that way.  Maybe that's you.  Please lets find these remarkable dogs a great home!

Benny and June -  Sioux Falls, SD

Dakota Dachshund Rescue
Post Office Box 2771
Sioux Falls, SD 57101-2771
(605) 332-5774

4y, 20 pound Samantha is a cutie patootie and very photogenic! As photogenic as she is, she is so much prettier than her picture. She is quite small and elegant - not barrel shaped. Actually, she is shaped rather delicately. Samantha is extremely bright, lively and intelligent. She may have some food guarding issues. She is the very image of what a beagle should be. Short haired, she has a shiny cost with impeccable markings.  Calm and quiet at home, she is eager and full of curiosity on walks.  She's friendly and affectionate and will make someone a wonderful companion. Please let's find her a good home!

Samantha - New York, NY


Sweetie had a rough start in life no one spayed her and she became pregnant while still a pup. She was very malnourished when found as a stray in WV.   In foster care, she is a much happier girl.  She is learning many new things and making lots of friends. Her things to do are to cuddle and play.  She loves all dogs, people, and belly rubs.   She also enjoy nylabones, car rides, and playing with toys.  When she sleeps she crawls inside her bed and burrows under a blanket, because she likes to be fully covered and cozy.  No one really knows what her breed mix is, but her foster mom calls her a serendipitous mix and says that she is very comical and well behaved girl who really deserves a loving forever home.  If you are looking for a new best friend she may be your girl.  She would love to have a new family of her own so her foster mom can continue saving last chance dogs from the scary gassing shelters.  Please lets find this little girl a great home!

Sweetie - Philadelphia, PA

Thunder's Angels Dog Rescue
Kulpsville, PA 19443

Mr. Scruff is a Cocker/Terrier mix. He was rescued by a veterinarian at San Antonio Animal Care Services just as he was about to be euthanize.  She just could not bear to see this sweet little guy be put down. Mr. Scruff can be a little shy at first but warms up quickly. He loves kids, likes to walk on trails and is housebroken. Let's find this great guy a loving home!

Mr Scruff -  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!
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