Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Woof Wednesday

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

Feel free to share on social media, as the more their stories get shared the better chance they have of finding family's and homes.

 You may think two dogs are two much, but Wonder (Scottish Terrier) and McCartney (West Highland Terrier) as a pair is much easier to care for than any one dog. They are so in synch with each other; it is like taking care of one dog. Wonder (1-2 yrs old about 20 lbs) and McCartney (4-5 yrs old about 20 lbs) were originally found wandering in the streets together, and they are truly bonded. Their current foster says there are flawless. They are friendly with adults, children and other dogs. They are perfectly potty-trained, and will wait by the door patiently to go out (or give the door a light scratch to let you know). They are extremely affectionate, and get attached very quickly. They are excellent walkers and joggers. They are very well behaved — you can leave them alone and rest assured that your belongings will be just as you left them when you return. They are playful and love toys that they can play with together, like playing tog-a-war. They like to wrestle sometimes too, and they really do keep each other entertained. But, they are not over-energetic. They love to get comfy and nap it out for long periods of time. They know basic commands and respond immediately to tone of voice. Wonder and McCartney are just all around amazing dogs and they will bring tons of love and happiness to your life, with no hassle! Two of them together is a pure joy to be around. If interested please download the Adoption Questionnaire, fill it out and fax it back to us at (310) 362-0321. Please lets find them a loving home!

McCartney and Wonder - Marina Del Ray, CA

Forte Animal Rescue
PO Box 10085
Marina del Rey, CA 90295
(310) 362-0321

 This little West Highland Terrier doesn't even have a name but he longs for a family to give him one.  Please let's find him a great home!

A333044 - Pasadena, CA

Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA
361 South Raymond Avenue
Pasadena, CA 91105
(626) 792-7151

 Can you say personality plus!?  With his Roman nose and short tail, you just know this is a special guy.  Stan is not very interested in toys, but does love to have his butt rubbed.  In fact if you try to scratch his head, he often moves so you can get to his rump easier!  Stan is a pretty easy going guy, but he will not be living with cats or small dogs anytime soon.  Please lets find him a good home!

Stan - Randleman, NC

 Stan: Greyhound, Dog; Randleman, NC
 Project Racing Home, Randleman, NC
(336) 674-5774

 Miracle is a little wire haired gem. This 4-year-old Jack Russell Terrier is a spunky little snuggle bug. She was recently rescued from the kill shelter and probably came from a place where she was not properly cared for, but she's now living the life in a super cool foster home nearby look at that rad peace sign toy. Miracle can be a little slow to warm up to some people that she meets on the street, but she always comes around. And she's a great little guard dog! She barks for a hot minute when someone new comes in, but she quiets down as soon as someone she trusts tells her that the coast is clear. She's on her way to being housebroken, and she loves playtime and adores cuddling. Please lets find her a loving home!

 Miracle - New York, NY

 Miracle: Jack Russell Terrier, Dog; Nyc, NY
 Social Tees Animal Rescue Foundation, New York, NY 

  Sweet little Dolly is a poodle mix who has been an awesome foster pup for the past four months, undergoing healing for a fractured paw, but is finally on the mend and almost ready for a home of her own. She is 1-2 years old, 8 lbs, super-affectionate, and fully housebroken. She loves to lay in your lap and snuggle during quiet times, but will zoom around and play during leash walks and play time. Please email Kristin at if you are interested in meeting this sweet girl.  Please lets find her a great home!

 Dolly Doodle A18845211  - Philadelphia, PA

 Dolly Doodle: Poodle, Dog; Philadelphia, PA
PAWS (Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society), Philadelphia, PA
215-298-9680, ext. 16

Tiger is a Dachshund who has only been in foster care a short time, but here is what we have learned about him so far. Tiger was exposed to large, medium, and small dogs and remained completely neutral around each one, even when a couple of them snapped at him. He did not engage with their aggressive behavior and simply turned his back on them. He was extremely gentle with a 7 year old girl and would run and fetch the ball she threw for him. Tiger loved on all the people he was exposed to, both young and not so young. Tiger has a funny running gate and sometimes holds his back leg up every 3-4 steps, but the vets have examined him and can find nothing wrong, so it might just be a habit from a prior injury as a puppy. Tiger had a couple of seizures, but is now taking a mild anti-seizure medication and is doing great. Tiger is a gentle, loving, non-aggressive dog and someone will be very lucky to have him in their life. Please lets find him a good home!
 Tiger - Austin, TX

 Tiger: Dachshund, Dog; Austin, TX
 Central Texas Dachshund Rescue, Austin, 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!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Monday Musings

Well the heat wave finally broke here and it made way for glorious summer weather.  Sunny skies, temperatures in 80's and low humidity.  Even were able to sleep without the a/c, it was nice to enjoy the sounds of the grasshoppers chirping and locust humming. 

And surprisingly I was able to get the man off the couch and out for a little.  Had dinner with family one night, mini golf another and even got him out a third day to chip n putt.  But by Sunday the man could take it no longer as he reverted back to the couch literally spending the whole day there. 

As I weeded for hours, cleaned house, ran errands, cooked, etc, he laid on couch so I may have told him that it would not hurt to help around the house. Since he isn't working he has no excuses.  My dad who is 66 works harder. ha  He actually gave me a hard time about having to drive me to medical tests.  He has a MBA but he cannot understand why people need rides when they are given drugs to make them drowsy or have tests that might provoke the vertigo. This is the type of behavior that leave me and others shaking their heads, including his own mother.  It's puzzling.  Let's just say that understanding, even doing the right thing are not exactly his forte at times.ha 

Speaking of tests had to do fasting blood work this morning.  My doctor seemed to go all out as they took a lot more vials than I expected.  Fasting is always interesting as I have the metabolism of a hummingbird. Simply having to wait a hour to eat in the morning can bring on the shakes. One thing that always comes in handy is nutritional high protein shakes such as Boost and Ensure. They can easily be carried in a purse, which I often do.  Back in the day, I'd whip one out say while out for the night, pour into a glass and drink up....people actually thought I was drinking some fancy alcoholic drink. The vanilla ones tend to look like a White Russian drink.

Anyway, this Monday is all about the niece.  She is not only coming over but staying over.  Our neighbor has a little girl her age who she gets along fabulous with, so they can have a play date as well which is something they both get excited for.  Let the playing begin!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Soul Sunday

Make a pact with yourself and do the thing you once thought you couldn’t do. Take another step, even when you feel too worn out or tired. Find a reason to laugh, even when you’re trying not to cry. 
Trust yourself, even when your mind second-guesses your heart. Dance, even when others refuse to hear the music. Dream, even if you’re afraid of what they might bring. Open the door of opportunity in front of you, even when you have no idea what’s behind it.

Every step and experience is what makes you the person you are now. Without this experience, you are an empty page, a blank journal, an unsung lyric. What makes you alive is your willingness to live through today’s challenges and then hold your head up high tomorrow with hope and tenacity.
Your future depends on what you do today. The fear of failure, or whatever, can be daunting, but it’s nowhere near as bad as the realization of looking back on great opportunities you never took. Don’t be satisfied with telling stories others have lived. Write your own story, your way. Hackangel Quote 

Saturday, July 27, 2013

You're Beautiful Link Up

Ellie Coburn // | Courtney Pruitt //  All Things Unpredictable and Chic | Ashley Griffith // After Nine to Five | Kayla Leppelman // Love Sparkle Pretty | Emma // Emma Deer | LaurenVaughan // One Sweet Fairytale | Nina // Nina's Bargain Beauty | Kristine Foley // The Foley Fam | Shane Prather // Whispering Sweet Nothings | Keri-Anne Pink // gingerlilytea | Kara Kieran //  Kieran Honey Bee | Cassie Yielding // Live. Laugh. Love. | Kim Cee // | Ann Michele // Ann Michele's World | Ashlea Durrett // Ashlea with an A | Julie Grimmett // Julie is Coco and Cocoa | Laura Euler //  Storybook Reality Christine Rosko // Life with a side of coffee

Special Thanks to Sarah Moog for her ongoing contributions and tireless efforts towards the Speak Now Movement.
 Speak Now is an empowerment program that exists to create community and inspiration for women globally.   

Each month, Speak Now creates a NEW way to get bloggers, women, and community members involved with our movement to spread  the unique philosophy that we are all beautiful regardless of shape, size, or circumstance. We are so wonderfully excited to reveal,  the 2nd "You're Beautiful" Link-Up.
Wonderful bloggers from all over the web have teamed up once again to help spread the "You're Beautiful" Link-Up and share with women everywhere just how beautiful they are.

Society today shares with us the ever-present challenge of feeling beautiful and worthy in all walks of life.

We're here to tell you that despite trends in fashion, media, and communication-
you are perfectly perfect being you.

Why do you think women are beautiful inside and out?
Tweet us about it. Status about us on Facebook. Or tag us in your instagram photos @womenspeaknow  
Link-Up your blog below to support the Speak Now movement.
 You don't have to write a post about us or advertise us in anyway. We want to see you being your than you so link up your most recent post, link us to your small business, or link us to a past post that makes you feel truer than true about women empowerment. 

So link-up and stay connected with us via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Remember that you're beautiful. & that being you is the best you can be.

Friday, July 26, 2013


Some days life can feel overwhelming, stress may out weigh happiness, everything may seem to go wrong and so on....yet instead of giving in to it, it's in those very moments we need to remind ourselves to hope, even in the moments where hope might seem impossible.  Hope is one of the very things that allows dreams and life to flourish.

Hope lives around every corner, behind every cloud, inside every failure.  We simply need to believe in hope.
Look for it and you'll find it when you need it most.  Hope is like a road in the country; there was never a road, but when many people walk on it, the road comes into existence.  We must learn from yesterday, live for today, yet hope for tomorrow.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Foggy Update

Today gave in and had the cervical spine mri with contrast done.  I say gave in because over the past two years have had many tests done in regards to the dizzy spells/vertigo.  Many of the tests have come back inconclusive with no concrete answers or solutions. 

So when back in May another neurologist said she wanted this mri and also an eeg, my first thoughts were "oh no, more testing" because honestly some of it hasn't been pleasant.  Mri's especially bring on anxiety the loud noise, enclosed space, no movement and not to mention dye injection. I'm the type that doesn't even like to take tylenol. After much contemplation I decided why not, if it could possibly provide some answers.

Usually take Xanax extended release before attempting an mri, only this time the doctor's office called in the wrong prescription something I didn't realize until a few hours before the test.   So my only choice was to take valium.  During a few vertigo attacks the valium didn't exactly help, so I thought how is it ever going to relax me for this test.  Took 2 2mg tablets, after a hour still didn't feel much and was scheduled to go into the mri.  Really thought I was going to chicken out, then half way through the valium kicked in. (took longer than they said it should) and felt competely relaxed which is a rather foreign concept to me!

They said the test was over and I could not believe it.  When I went to stand up felt not only foggy rather loopy. During the vertigo attacks the valium never seemed to work as well as it did for this test. As I write this I still feel it, literally cannot stop laughing. I can understand why some people may get addicted to this stuff. But I don't so much like the feeling after a hour or two it freaks me out to feel this foggy.

So one more test to go.  And if they have no answers after this, well there isn't much anyone can do which is a rather scary thought.  Hopefully a path is made clear and this foggy feeling lifts!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Woof Wednesday

Welcome to Woof Wednesday. Please meet some great dogs from CA, KY, NY, PA and TX  all in need of good homes.
Feel free to share on social media, as the more their stories get shared the better chance they have of finding family's and homes.

This sweetheart Poodle mix doesn't even have a name, let alone a home.  To find out more about him contact the Los Angeles animal control listed below.  Please lets finds him a loving home.

A4559800 - Los Angeles, CA

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

Ginger is an older Chow Chow mix who just wants to find a family to call her own.  Please let's find her a good home!

Ginger -  Leitchfield, KY

Grayson County Humane Society
213 William Thomason Byway
Leitchfield, KY 42754
(270) 230-8839

 Bart is a friendly and affectionate Beagle mix who has a social temperament. This 4 year old weighs 16 pounds. He seems to get along with other dogs but he can get jealous over human attention! Bart seems to be partially housebroken, but his new family will need to continue his house training in his new home. We recommend that Bart goes home with a family with kids over the age of 8. While he dislikes being picked up, he will readily jump up into your lap.  Please lets find him a great home!

Bart - New York, NY


 Bideawee Inc. Manhattan
410 E. 38th St. between 1st Ave. & FDR Dr.
New York, NY 10016
(866) 262-8133
Luke is a Cocker Spaniel/Dachshund mix, 4-6 yrs old and weighs 24 lbs. This dapper guy is a true gentleman. Luke is sweet and enthusiastic and would make a great family pet. He has lived with older children before and could again. Luke's family was moving out of the country and couldn't take him with them, so he's back with PAWS, looking for forever home. Please lets find him a loving home!

Luke A16709807 - Philadelphia, PA

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

 Crickett is Welsh Corgi / West Highland Terrier mix.  He is a sweet,playful six year old boy.  He gets along great with kids and dogs. He is house trained and will ask to be let out. He walks well on a leash and would make a great addition to any family.All of the animals listed by San Antonio Pets Alive were rescued from euthanasia in San Antonio, Texas. Please lets find him a good home!

  Cricket A258680 - San Antonio, TX

 San Antonio Pets Alive!
4710 Hwy 151 (building one)
San Antonio, TX 78227

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, July 23, 2013

Light Within

Today I am sharing a rather thought provoking piece by Jeff Brown author of “Soulshaping: A Journey of Self-Creation,” and “Ascending with Both Feet on the Ground".  It was inspired by a negative friend of his who had lost the ability to see the light in the darkness. And let's be honest, at some point every one experiences such moments. 

Drinking From an Empty Glass

Yes, I know the government is corrupt. Yes, I know there are people conspiring. Yes, I know people can lack integrity. Yes, I know that western culture is materialistic. Yes, I know that corporations are self-serving. Yes, I know that the media is manipulative. Yes, I know it is hard to trust love. Yes, I know that it can be difficult to believe in God. I share many of your concerns.

And I also know that we cannot change the world without acknowledging what is wrong. I know that we must stand against that which shames, oppresses and damages humanity. I know that we should not ignore the injustices and put on a fake smile. I know that we must find our voice and stand our ground.  I know that we must fight for our right to the light. I believe deeply in forward moving criticism.

But something doesn’t feel quite right. You complain all the time. You have made negativity a full time job. You don’t make an effort to find solutions. You blame everything on the world out there. You don’t actually do anything positive to effect change. And you seldom acknowledge the positive steps humanity has made. You seldom acknowledge the beauty around you. You almost never see the light in the darkness.

I know something from my lived experience. I know that the light is always there. It is there, in the breath that keeps you alive, in the smile of a child, in the yet another chance to find your path. It is there in the rise of the feminine, in the therapeutic revolution, in the burgeoning quest for authenticity. If you can’t see it, then the issue is a personal one, for there are signs of progress everywhere.

And I also know from a lifetime of overcoming that is possible to hold it all at once. To fight against injustice while still embodying the light. To see where we are lacking, while rejoicing in our abundance. To express our anger, and to live our gratitude. To feel overwhelmed by an unfair world, while still achieving our goals. To see how far we have yet to travel, while applauding how far we have come.

And so I wonder what lives below your perpetual negativity? Apart from the problems with the world, what happened that darkened your lens? What made the glass empty? Is it really all about the world ‘out there’, or are there also unresolved personal experiences that need to be healed? What are you really trying to express about the lack of love, attention, and satisfaction in your life? What lives below this victim hood?  What is your deeper complaint? What needs to expressed and resolved so that you will see some light shining through again? Please don’t wait until the world is perfect, for it will never be so.

 Dear friend, how can I help you to believe again?


Monday, July 22, 2013

Monday Musings

This Monday after a nice dinner with my parents and browsing through childhood family albums, I was reminded of how simple things seemed as a child.  At least when we were growing up they did.  Such as this heat wave we have been experiencing on the east coast, back in those days we kept cool not by sitting in central air or swimming in fancy pools.  No we ran through sprinklers, sat in baby pools, ate ice pops and slept with windows open to cool off at night.  And simple is sometimes simply perfect.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Soul Sunday

When you focus on problems you'll have more problems,
When you focus on possibilities, you will have more opportunities.

The important thing is not to stop questioning,
curiosity has it's own reason for existing.

Do not dwell on the past, 
do not dream of the future,
concentrate the mind on the present moment.

Life is journey, not a destination.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Pasta Salad

Pasta Salad

- 12 Ounces Tri Color Pasta
- 1 medium zucchini
- 1 medium yellow squash
- 1 medium tomato
- 1 medium cucumber
- 1 cup peas
- 1 cup broccoli
- 1 red pepper
- 3-4 carrots
- small block of monterey cheese
- Italian salad dressing

1.  Cook pasta according to instructions.  Rinse under cold water and drain.
2.  Chop all vegetables and cheese into bite size pieces.
3.  Mix cheese, vegetables, pasta and italian dressing in large bowl.  Serve immediately or chill in
     refrigerator until ready to serve.

Note:  Any vegetables can be used for this recipe so feel free to add, subtract or substitute according to your preferences. Often I roast the broccoli, squash, zucchini, carrots and peppers beforehand.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Woof Wednesday

Welcome to Woof Wednesday. Please meet some great dogs from CA, FL, NY, PA and TX  all in need of good homes.
Feel free to share on social media, as the more their stories get shared the better chance they have of finding family's and homes! 

 This is Sadie.  Sadie is a 7 year old West Highland Terrier.  She came in with her best friend Jake.  Jake is a Schnauzer who is 5 yrs old.  The pair has been together for 5 yrs, since Jake was a pup, and the rescue would like to see them be adopted together.  They are house trained, like to go for walks, are good with other dogs, and are both very friendly with everyone.  Their owner is moving and is unable to take them to their new location. To adopt these two fill out the adoption form at website listed below. Please lets find these two a loving home!

Sadie and Jake -Temecula, CA
 Sadie (& Jake): West Highland White Terrier Westie, Dog; Temecula, CA

Retrievers and Friends of Southern CA, Temecula, CA

 Sami is a yellow Labrador Retriever and she is glad to be out of Animal Services.  Lab Rescue "rescued"  her and now she lives with a foster mom who says she is one of the sweetest girls she’s had and gets along really well with her foster brother and sister…and she usually doesn't like other dogs when she first meets them!  She is nine years young, a little short because she is the English style lab, with a beautiful heavy light yellow coat.  She has those nasty heartworms but they she is going for treatment soon so  and will be good as new.  She loves to play with toys in the house but her favorite pastime is getting petted and loved on.  She hopes you’ll come visit her at Lynne's house in Auburndale very soon so you can get acquainted. If you're interested in adopting me go to website listed below and fill out an application. Please lets find her a good home!

Sami - Tampa, FL
 Sami: Yellow Labrador Retriever, Dog; Tampa, FL

Labrador Retriever Rescue of Florida (LRRoF), Inc., Tampa, FL

Wisdom is a Staffordshire Bull Terrier who was taken into the city shelter after being abandoned by her owner during Hurricane Sandy. The shelter staff at the shelter couldn't get over how gentle and sweet this girl was so the Alliance stepped up to help her find her forever home. Wisdom is a perfect friend for any family looking for a sweet and loving canine. She is easy going and very loyal to the people she knows. She is currently on medicine -a pill once a day that she takes in her food to help prevent her from having any seizures. Other than her potential for seizures she is healthy and ready to go home! If you are interested in meeting Wisdom please email Barbara at the email listed below.  Please lets find her a great home!

Wisdom - New York, NY

Wisdom Our Last Hurricane Sandy Pet: Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Dog; New York, NY
Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals, New York, NY
Butta is a Maltese mix 4-6 years old about 11 lbs. He is social butterfly who is comfortable with other dogs and with children over 8. He's friendly and likes to follow you around to see if you are up to anything interesting. He always looks like he would like to help.  Butta was surrendered by his owner because his landlord would no longer allow him to keep Butta. Please lets find him a loving home!
Butta #A20395039   - Philadelphia, PA

Butta: Maltese, Dog; Philadelphia, PA
PAWS (Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society), Philadelphia, PA
215-238-9901 Ext 30

Sophie & Maggie are Scottish Terrier who came to the rescue after the death of their owner.  These two girls have been together since they were puppies, born late 2007.  In their previous home, Sophie and Maggie received all of the love, attention and medical care they needed.  Currently, Sophie is taking twice daily injections for diabetes and one Trilostane capsule for Cushing's.  She easily tolerates the small injections.  Maggie does not have any known medical conditions.  These two girls are inseparable, and as such, we will only adopt them as a pair. Please let's find them a good home!

Sophia and Maggie - Dallas, TX

Sophie & Maggie: Scottish Terrier Scottie, Dog; Dallas, TXSophie & Maggie: Scottish Terrier Scottie, Dog; Dallas, TX
Scottie Kingdom Rescue, Inc., Dallas, 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, July 15, 2013

Monday Musings

Say it isn't so, oh but it is....we are going back into a heat wave here in Philadelphia.  With an average high of 95 and combined with the oppressive humidity that means it's going to feel in the 100's!   This is when one needs an ocean or pool in their backyard. My sister and her family took off for a beach vacation, to say I'm envious is putting it mildly. :)

This Monday think the highlight of the weekend was a mini golf date with the man on Saturday. Watched a movie on Friday called Side Effects which was full of twists but not as entertaining as some of the others we have rented lately.  I really want to see a comedy like Grown Ups Two, as a good laugh is always great.

Had a check up with the cardiologist, who I waited over a hour and half to see.  He pretty much always runs at least a hour late.  Like a kid I usually have to step into the hallway to find out how much longer.  What drives me crazy is doctors can keep people waiting for hours but if people miss their appointment or are late they can be charged a fee. Another interesting aspect of health care is the lack of knowledge available on women's bodies. Much of the research on various ailments is based on a man's body but now experts are discovering that may ailments affect a man and woman's body differently.

So the man is pretty much still laying around, zoning to tv much of the day which has me crazed yet worried at the same time.  I'm getting worried as he only has about six more weeks left under his severance package, so far he has made no real plans as to what he is going to do when it runs out.  They say opposites attract but I say a doer should not live with a procrastinator it's like asking for constant stress. :)  Sometimes I wonder what it was like to live in the era before tv was created.

Oh and the pepper container garden appears to have gotten attacked by birds.  They picked off all the little peppers that were just starting to sprout which is a first.  I'm leaning toward birds because the container is a decent height off the ground and the plants themselves are growing pretty tall.  Could not believe it as was just saying the other day how excited I was because there were so many peppers starting to sprout.  Wonder what I could put in the containers to keep the birds or whatever picked them off from doing it again?

Anyway, after reading what I just wrote think it's time for a trip to the beach. Or at least a blow up pool to pretend I'm floating in the sea with not a care in the world.  Now doesn't that sound nice!

Maldives, Flowers Frangipani Floating In The Sea

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Soul Sunday

Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated failures. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.

The art of love is largely persistence.

Permanence, perseverance and persistence in spite of all obstacles, discouragements, and impossibilities: It is this, that in all things distinguishes the strong soul from the weak.
People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are.  Don't believe in circumstances.  The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can't find them, make them. 

 Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.


Saturday, July 13, 2013

Homemade Yellow Vanilla Cupcakes

2 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup butter
1 1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs (or applesauce egg substitute)
1-2 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 375 degree.
2. Line 24 muffin pans with paper liners or grease pans and sprinkle lightly with flour.
3. Combine flour, salt and baking powder together, set aside.
4. Cream butter. Add sugar, beat until light and fluffy.
5. Beat in eggs or substitute, beating well after each addition, stir in flour mixture, then vanilla.  Add four or
    more tablespoons milk, if needed, to bring batter to correct consistency (this varies with the flour you are
    using as some flours use more water than others)
6. Put in prepared pans, bake about 12-20 minutes (depends upon size of muffin cups used)  If you are
    making 12 large instead of 24 small, reduce over temperature to 350 degree.  Makes 24 cupcakes.
7.  Butter cream icing, with blueberries and strawberries adore the top of the cupcakes.

Butter Cream Icing

3 3/4 cups - (1 lb. box) Domino® Confectioners Sugar
1/2 cup - butter (1 stick), softened
3 to 4 tablespoons - milk 
1 teaspoon - vanilla extract 
1. In a large bowl with electric mixer at low speed, combine sugar, butter, milk and vanilla. Beat at medium speed 1 to 2 minutes until creamy. If desired, add more milk until frostng is spreading consistency
2. Makes enough to fill and frost a 2-layer cake, a 13x9x2-inch sheet cake or 24 cupcakes.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Story of Addiction

When I first shared thoughts on the addiction of a loved one, the question I seemed to get asked most often was "did I have any clue that something was wrong" or "were their signs".  People seemed to want to know, to understand the story.  What I learned with addiction is this could be anyone's story, as it's become such a fast growing problem in our society.

Think on an intuitive level I felt this person had a problem.  Yes there were tell tale signs, and I did grow suspicious but this person had a legal prescription for pain pills so I thought they were being closely monitored by a doctor.  I thought wrong.  It's really scary how easily some doctors/dentists prescribe such addictive medicines.

Some of the being spent but nothing to show for it; substantial financial debt even though person was making good money,  rather extreme moods...nice one moment mean the next,  lying without guilt or remorse, their promises and words became undependable, many times they didn't even recall what they said or even did sometimes, physically not feeling well especially during withdrawal, a more disheveled appearance, not seeming to care about anything or anyone but self.  Denial, defensiveness and excuses!  Addicts have a distinct way of turning everything around projecting on to others instead of addressing their own issues.  Think deep down this person thought they were too smart, too mentally strong to ever get addicted.  They were fond of saying addictions are for weak people.

There are always little signs here and there if we look closely enough, but honestly sometimes family, friends and loved ones aren't ready to see them, sometimes it's easier to ignore or pretend that it can't possibly be true. Truth is people want to believe, want to trust the people in their lives. When people do see signs confronting an addict is not easy as they will simply deny, lie,get defensive, resist help, etc., it can be very difficult and painful for all involved.  Addiction is very mean and selfish. 

How does something like this happen?  Well in the case of this person getting wisdom teeth pulled led to their first introduction of a pain killer years ago, they liked the feeling of it.  Eventually they would use it occasionally after work, or with friends for fun.  Then years later health issues lead to it being prescribed and as usually happens with such drugs people develop tolerances needing more and more of the drug to feel it's effects.

Addictions can develop rather quickly.  Sometimes all it takes is trying something once.  As easy as it is to try something, it is a million times harder to quit something.  Just look at how hard it is for people to even quit smoking.  Anyway back to story....

Little did I know their legal script turned into taking to the streets to purchase pills. And when I finally realized the truth it felt overwhelming and scary.  I hold a degree in clinical psychology and know just how difficult an addiction to anything can be to overcome.  So with everything else I have had to deal with over these past few years this just felt surreal.  

Upon first learning the truth adrenaline set in and all the symptoms associated with the flight or fight reaction seem to flood my body.  Including emotions like anger, disappointment, hurt and sadness.  Though there was also a sense of relief that it was finally out in the open.

Being I'm not good at keeping things in I basically confronted this person first thing the next day. Even though they denied and lied I simply told them I knew the truth.  I explained to them how worried I felt, that I would be there when they were ready to be honest.  They still continued to say they didn't have a problem even when it became obvious they were in withdrawal.  So I researched rehab facilities and tried to analyze the situation to figure out what to do.

Later that night, and in a move that surprised me....they came clean.  Maybe not exactly fully clean at first but what was most important was they admitted to having a problem. (if they had not I was planning on staging an intervention that would involve all family and friends)  But they actually agreed to go to detox, though they would not stay for in patient which turned out to be a mistake. Chances of relapse by just detoxing then going straight back to ones life are high.  And that's what happened even though they continued an outpatient rehab program it was just not enough. They could not handle all the withdrawal symptoms while working so they started popping pills again which eventually escalated to crisis point again.  Changes needed to be made to allow time for proper withdrawal not only from the pills but to take the person out of the high trigger situations. Once again action had to be taken.

It's been hard to witness.  To think they were clean, to have them keep telling everyone they were only to find out they were not came as a huge disappointment.  It hurt to know once again they had been lying to everyone in the family.  And it feels sad to see how much they have lost not only financially but of themselves as well.  In many ways it steals a part of a persons soul.  It feels as if they have no emotion, it's as if the substance robs them of all ability to feel. They seem to become a shell of their former self.  And I think what hurts those closest to addicts the most is they just seem to lie about anything and everything to anyone. Many rehab counselors will warn families lying goes hand in hand with addiction.

While this person has been clean for over two months now, I believe they may still have a ways to go.  There is more to recovery than just giving up whatever one is addicted to.  Recovery needs to also address emotional, physical, spiritual and other such areas of life.  Many times addicts have underlying emotional and mental disorders that need addressing too.  And treatment needs to include family and loved ones as well.  It's a process, a process that many don't understand nor are not willing to commit to or work through.  That might be the hardest thing for family, friends and loved ones to have to deal with all the excuses as to why they don't need help. 

This person close to us still has some denial, inability to understand the actions, behaviors, thoughts, beliefs and other stuff that might have contributed to the addiction that need to be addressed, worked on and changed.  So far this person has a hard time acknowledging they may have even hurt anyone.  And they still seem to have plenty of excuses as to why they don't need help, support or meetings to recover. They feel they tried outpatient rehab and it didn't work. At this point they are not even going to counseling which has everyone worried.  Until denial and excuses can be recognized for what they are and let go of, full recovery could be difficult.

Personally I feel disappointed in how this person has handled certain aspects of it.   They seem to think they can do it themselves with no support and many around them remain rather skeptical of this approach. Many experts feel support is a huge factor in overcoming addictions.

Honestly it's really hard to see someone you love go through something like this.  Even though I have a degree in psychology it becomes completely different when its someone close to you experiencing it.  And as much as you want to help them, they need to want to help themselves first. There is a fine line between helping and enabling.  The selfishness, lies and excuses are probably the hardest to forgive and get past. Only time will hopefully heal those wounds. What really angered me was they acted like everyone should just get over it and move on right away.  What they did went on for years so forgiving and learning to trust are not going to happen overnight.

There are still a bunch of questions that seem to linger.  Can trust be rebuilt after years of such constant dishonesty?  Can a person change those very things within them that lead to the addiction in the first place?  Can they remain clean? What happens if they are ever in severe pain will they have the strength to just take an aspirin and not revert back to their old ways?  Will they ever truly understand the hurt they caused?  And can they essentially become a better version of themselves than they were before? 

What must be done is to focus on the positive.  And each person who has been affected by another's addiction must do what's best for themselves as well.  Truth is until someone is ready to accept, commit and work a recovery program there is nothing anyone can do to help.  Sometimes that even means letting those people go, even family and loved ones until they are willing to get help and change.  It can be a very difficult situation, rather overwhelming and stressful for anyone connected to the person.

But I believe the world must hold out hope that people are capable of real change. Problem is everyone wants to change the world but no one wants to change.  And with things like addictions people need to change to overcome it. Maybe we cannot fully help addicts but we can try to guide them to the help they need.  As in all things it is better to hope than to despair.  There are millions of people in this world who are holding out hope for an addict hoping they can find the light in the midst of their darkness. And many an addict trying to find that light and fight the darkness of their addiction.  Where there is a will there is a way.  But it takes commitment, honesty, patience, work, time but most importantly an open mind and willingness to want to change.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Woof Wednesday

Welcome to Woof Wednesday. Please meet some great dogs from CA, CO, NJ, NY, PA and TX all in need of good homes.
Feel free to share on social media, as the more their stories get shared the better chance they have of finding family's and homes! 

This little guy doesn't even have a name much less a home.  He is a poodle mix who is hoping a loving family saves him soon.  Please let's find him a good home!

 A1399223 - Los Angeles, CA

 South Los Angeles Animal Care and Control Center
3612 11th Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90018
(888) 452-7381
Coffee (male) and Brandy (female), are sibling littermates who are like two sizes of the exact same greyhound -- they look so alike!  They are 9 years young, born within minutes of each other, and have been velcro buddies ever since.    They were adopted together a long time ago, and have never been apart.  To see them running in the yard close together, and lying on adjoining pillows, never more than a small distance between them makes tears come to my eyes.  I say this is what true sibling love is all about.  They were relinquished through no fault of their own, nor their lifelong guardian, who had no choice but to give them up.  FORG promised to find them their next best forever home.  Their foster mom says they are a little shy at this time, but warming up each day.  They get along with all other dogs, even tiny little ones (don't know about cats yet), and show excitement each time they go out into the yard.  It is FORG’s goal to adopt them together and to bring their special kind of affection into your home to enjoy.  Is yours the perfect place for them to enjoy their retirement, and become their next forever family.  Lets find them a great home!
Brandy and Coffee -  Denver, CO

 Friends of Retired Greyhounds
PO BOX 29678
Thorton, CO 80229
Lee  (720) 675-5975

 Sweet little Tommy is wondering why no one wants him. Foster Mom just can't understand why this little doll is still in rescue. He loves a warm lap but has great energy playing with toys and other small dogs but could also be an only dog. Please consider opening your home to this wonderful little doll baby. He will brighten your every day.  Lets find him a loving home!

Tommy - Cinnaminson, NJ

Rescue Me - Yorkie Rescue
Whiting, NJ 08759
(717) 491-1942 

Collin is a friendly Australian Terrier mix who is energetic and playful! He will do well with an active family with children over the age of 12. His new family should have some dog experience, as Collin has a tendency to guard his wet food (he may growl or snap at someone that tries to take it away from him). Collin is a young adult around 2 years old who weighs 13 pounds. He is already housebroken and he gets along with other dogs.  Lets find him a good home!

Collin - New York, NY

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

 Introducing Powder -or Powder Puff Girl as we like to call her....because her superpower is CUTENESS! Powder is a 1-2 year old terrier mix and she weighs 40lbs. She was surrendered by her owner, along with another dog and her doggie sibling has already been adopted so now Powder Puff Girl is all by herself at the shelter. No worries on her end though because to her, every dog she meets is her best friend so she has been happily making new friends, both canine and human, since she arrived. She is absolutely amazing with other dogs and great with people, incredibly gentle and cuddly. She would make a perfect doggie member of any family. Here's even more good news about her - she completely passed her cat test so we think she would be fine living with cats (with proper intros, of course). Powder is great with any kind of handling, she's fine with being picked up and even enjoys (or nicely tolerates lol) bathtime! She is an absolutely amazing dog who deserves a home with people who will love and care for her.

Powder - Philadelphia, PA

 POWDER: Terrier, Dog; Philadelphia, PA
Animal Care and Control Team of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA

 Mac and Bruce are two very sweet gentlemen who are looking for the affectionate family they deserve.  Unfortunately, these two guys are heartworm positive so must undergo treatment before they can settle into their forever home.  The boys will be 10 years old in August and have been together all their lives so they must be adopted together.  They are gentle and affectionate with humans of all ages.  If interested please fill out an adoption application at website listed below.  Let's find them a loving home!
Mac and Bruce - Houston, TX

Siblings - Mac & Bruce (coming soon!): West Highland White Terrier Westie, Dog; Houston, TX
Westie Rescue Houston, Houston, 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!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Rocky Inspiration

Seems like whenever someone visits Philadelphia they want to run the Art Museum steps just as Rocky did in the famous movie many years ago.  Not only tourists but even locals use the steps for workouts. Some how the steps have taken on an inspiration of sorts. So why not share some Rocky words of wisdom.  And if you ever get the chance I suggest trying the steps. As you will see below there is beautiful view of the city from the top of them!
Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It's a very mean and nasty place and I don't care how tough you are 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 about how hard you're hit. It's about how hard you can get it 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 ya gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain't where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody! Cowards do that and that ain't you! You're better than that! - Rocky Balboa
  sunday workout #philly #artmuseum #rockysteps (Taken with Instagram at Art Museum Steps)

Monday, July 8, 2013

Monday Musings

So it's been hot and humid here in Philadelphia.  The weather people say we are in a heat wave, it feels more like a soup bath.  Yesterday the temperature soared to 95 with the humidity it was over a 100.  Even the flowers are wilting.

But the heat was not going to ruin the holiday.  We celebrated it with a few picnics. Had a pool party with friends over the weekend, though even the water felt more like a warm bath that's how hot it is.  For the fourth we celebrated with family.  This year there were no kids except my niece as the others had plans but it turned our great as the adults got to play.  Bocce, Croquet, Bean Bag Toss, you name it we played it.  It was good, simple fun!

And then what felt like icing on the cake we got to spend yesterday with the niece. So we played some more. When it comes to my niece there is no sitting back watching as she likes everyone to be involved in what she is doing.  So we put on our bathing suits and spend the day running through the sprinkler with her.  Honestly there is nothing like playing.  All too often as adults we get caught up in the routines, stress and whatever else of life forgetting what it's like to just let go and play! 
Even my parents played, in fact my mother won a round of Bocce.  And was spotted climbing the swing set.  My sister's mother in law won a match of Bean Bag Toss beating even the men.  The men played rounds and rounds of rather competitive Bean Bag toss until it got so dark they could no longer see the holes. Of course what would a picnic be without good food and there was plenty of that too. 

My thoughts this Monday....well growing old is a given, growing up is optional, playing is a necessity.  And being able to ride on a kids motorized bike priceless!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Soul Sunday

Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world. 
You have to believe that hope is stronger than fear. That imagination is more influential than public opinion. That dreams are more powerful than today’s reality. That determination always triumphs over experience. That laughter is the best cure for grief. And above all, you have to believe that love is stronger than any negativity in the world.,550x550,075,f.jpg

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Fourth!

Our greatest happiness does not depend on the condition of life in which chance has placed us, but is always the result of a good conscience, good health, occupation and freedom in all just pursuits.
Freedom is the oxygen of the soul.  Our country is not the only thing to which we owe our allegiance.  It is also owed to justice and to humanity.  Patriotism consists in not only waving the flag, but in striving that our country shall be righteous as well as strong.

May freedom live for all of humanity!  

Friendly reminder from Angel to keep the animals indoors and safely protected.  Fireworks can really scare animals causing them to bolt even through screen doors.  The holiday actually happens to be when the most dogs are lost. Though she says a little piece of hamburger, or her favorite grilled corn, would be a great way to celebrate.

Happy Fourth of July!  


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Woof Wednesday

Welcome to Woof Wednesday.  Please meet a great dog from PA in need of a good home.  While I usually feature a bunch of dogs this week I chose to simply feature one.  A lab who has spent most of her life caged.  

We are about to celebrate Independence Day, in which we celebrate freedom.  Freedom, imagine life without it?  Millions of dogs will never know what it feels like to be free nor for that matter loved.

They are caged up in puppy mills or made to breed in despicable conditions.  There are many dogs who even though they have homes are caged, chained up, abused, neglected, used in dog fighting and will never understand what it means to live a free life.  

Casey who is being featured today is one of those dogs.  In honor of her and all the other dogs like her around the world lets all try to do something to see that dogs and all animals obtain the freedom and love they deserve.  

The ASPCA and Humane Society are two great organizations that can provide information on how to help but there are many others as well.  And such organizations and rescues can of course always use volunteers and donations to help as well.  Both those two sites are filled with animals in desperate need of homes, as are most local animal controls shelters.  Please there are so many animals who need us to stand up for them, they simply need our help.  Whatever you can do to help, in whatever way or means possible will make a difference.

And thank you so much to all those who take the time to read Woof Wednesday posts.  Thank you for sharing the posts on social media as well.  Your help, support and kind words mean the world!

 Casey is a 8 year old lab who was born a little yellow Lab puppy fur ball, full of joy.   The rescue is unsure if she was born and raised by the kennel owner who surrendered her or if she was purchased.  She grew up and at some point in her young life, perhaps during her first heat cycle; she was assigned her first and only job in life:  reproduction.  And so it began; she whelped litter after litter, year after year, for eight years of her life.  She was housed in a small enclosure, isolated and cut off from the rest of the world.  She received minimal human interaction; after all, she was provided a self feeder capable of holding many days supply of food.  It is unlikely that she ever received any chew toys that could have provided much needed mental stimulation. She was provided very minimal medical care, only enough to maintain compliance with Pennsylvania Dog Law. This was her life, a life of forced reproduction for profit. 

Finally it happened; the day arrived when she could no longer produce. She was done, her body tired and worn out from years of whelping litter after litter.  She was of little economic value since she did not or could not produce and it was decided she had to “go”.  It was at this time she would be granted the biggest opportunity of her short life.  To the credit of the kennel owner, Brookline Labrador Retriever Rescue was contacted with a request for assistance.  Casey’s life was about to change. Brookline sent volunteers to evaluate and transport four breeding females the kennel was interested in surrendering. The evaluations went well and soon Casey was on her way to a Brookline foster home in Southern Lancaster County.

Casey makes progress every day. Her signature is her constantly wagging Lab tail.  She is one of the kindest, most willing dogs I have ever had the pleasure to foster.  She will do well in any home and is up to date on her vaccines and preventatives.  Casey is a low energy dog that is content to have leisurely strolls with her humans. Casey loves dogs, so a gentle, low to medium energy, companion would be a plus for her. She will continue to require benevolent leadership and encouragement to work through her fears. Please lets find her a loving home!

More about Casey can be seen on the ASPCA website.

Casey - Warrington, PA

Brookline Labrador Retriever Rescue
P.O. Box 638
Warrington, PA 18976
(215) 343-6087

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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