Friday, January 30, 2015

John Hopkins Update

So my appointment arrived.  Wednesday morning we were set to drive to Baltimore only the weather had other ideas.  A winter weather advisory was issued for ice and snow.  So Tuesday night I scrambled to book us seats on Amtrak. 

Luckily we booked the train as upon waking Wednesday my car was covered in ice and basically frozen solid. The train basically raised the cost of the trip substantially, between the local train tickets and taxis needed in Maryland as well.

You don't realize how many people have problems until you see the waiting room of such a place.

I watched as all the doctors came to greet their patients, most seemed warm and friendly.  So was hoping mine would be too.  But I get the one specialist who didn't even crack a smile. Throughout the appointment when I talked to the guy he looked at the ground.  A tad stuffy might be a way to describe him. 

He didn't truly listen to what I was saying.  This was evident when I received his report which included the wrong details such as my right fingers experience numbness/tingling when it's my left.  Or that walking brings on the attacks more than anything when I specifically stated numerous times sleep brings the worst attacks on. Back to the appointment....

He sat down at a computer, basically rambled off question after question.  The amount of paperwork I had to fill out before the appointment made me wonder why he even bothered asking all the questions again when the answers were sent to him weeks ago.  I was told my case file would be extensively reviewed beforehand, if they didn't think they could help me they would not even accept my case nor bother having me come all the way there.  Which now looking back seems rather bogus.

Long story short his diagnosis Migraine Spectrum Disorder, turns out there is such a thing as vertiginous migraines which causes vertigo unlike regular migraines associated with pain.  It has also created a chronic subject dizziness also known as space motion disorder.  Basically my brain can't seem to compensate for  damage, a damage that no one is quite sure how to came be the first place.  Was it the migraines that caused the damage, or damage that brought on the migraine disorder. They don't have an exact answer as to what brings on the disorder but was told my past concussions, ear damage, low blood pressure could be contributing factors.

He had no explanation as to why I experience numbness or tingling in my left fingers or feet during dizzy spells.  Nor why I have significant imbalance or why I even failed some of their tests.  And he had no magic pill to offer. So why bring me all the way down there to tell me that. Something they could have easily just decided from reading my huge medical file, no?

It's hard to understand how a migraine disorder could bring on dizzy spells and vertigo when doing such things as using the computer, watching tv, reading a book or even simply trying to sleep.  Even the doctor wasn't able to fully explain the how or why of it.

When asked if I would ever be able to work on the computer or read for long periods of times again, he said maybe with time but he could not say for sure. There are medicines they could try such as anticonvulsants, migraine medicine, diuretics, beta blockers, etc. but nothing is guarantee as some people see good results others don't.  It would involve me basically being a research mouse of sorts. Ironically many of the medicines come with dizziness as a side effect. So some could actually hurt more than help.  Mild exercise was suggested such as Tai Chi or Qi Gong. Suggested trying vestibular physical therapy again even though it made me very sick when I tried it a few years ago.

I asked him if he realized how debilitating this is. Explained to him I needed a better explanation as to how to heal the migraine disorder but he had none. He just kept saying it would take time, even though I've given it time over five years now and it hasn't gotten better. He kind of just looked at me blankly. 

He said he would type up a report, both my primary doctor and I would receive copies.  From there she could handle his suggestions.  My doctor happens to be out of the country until March, but I know she isn't going to be happy about it as she wanted my care to be handle by an expert in that specific area not fall on her. I read the report it offers little insight but as to what I already listed above. And gives her little to work with.

All the cautious optimism I felt beforehand quickly faded.  In some way felt as if I was right back at square one with no concrete solutions. Such is life I suppose.

Ironically in the past two weeks since then I've learned of two women with very similar issues.  Both traveled the country to see the best including Hopkins, Mayo Clinic, etc, all were told they just don't know the origin of it nor how to completely fix it either.  It just makes no sense with all the technology we have these days yet still so much remains a mystery. Honestly just like the specialists I don't know what to do.

After the appointment there was such a sense of hopelessness, felt so defeated.  The train ride home felt incredibly long when all I wanted to do was curl up in bed and have a good cry.  Truth is crying can be so freeing at times as it helps release all the pent up emotions.  It's a cleansing of sorts.  Making way for other energies and emotions. And questions such as....

Where do I go from here?  Since my visit that's what I keep asking.  Yet there is no easy answer, seems as if it's going to be a process of trial and error.  The quick fix I was hoping for is just not available.  At this point my intuition feels it might be time to turn to more eastern philosophies and alternative healing ideas. 

The journey for healing continues, where it will take me is any one's guess.  Faith, hope and love will hopefully guide me along the way.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Woof Wednesday

Welcome to Woof Wednesday. Please meet some great dogs from CA,GA, NJ NY, PA and TX all in need of good, loving homes!
 This sweet Labrador puppy mix is hoping to find a best friend to love.  A county animal control shelter is no place for any dog let alone a puppy.  Please lets find her a loving home!
 A4795155 - Gardena, CA
 Los Angeles County Animal Control - Carson
216 West Victoria Street
Gardena, CA 90248
(310) 523-9566
Adorable little 11 week old females.  Very sweet girl who loves to cuddle.  Going to be maybe 15 pounds max.  Please lets find her a great home! 
Sally - Pembroke, GA
 Georgia Animal Rescue & Defence, Inc.
100 Dichroic Dragon Dr.
Pembroke, GA 31321
(912) 271-4749
Meet puppy boy Beckham. He is such a cutie who is about 10 weeks old and is a collie mix. Beckham was dumped at the shelter along with his 2 sisters. His 2 sisters were adopted and now Beckham is waiting for his turn to find his forever home. Beckham gets along great with other dogs of all types and sizes. He also loves cats and kids! Beckham loves laying on the dog bed and playing with his toys and enjoys chewing a nice bone. Please lets find him a good home!
Beckham - Willingboro, NJ
 Burlington County Animal Alliance
7 Pioneer Way
Willingboro, NJ 08046
(609) 880-1235
Rusty Wallace is an approximately 3 year old basset mix, born and raised with his brother Kenny in Georgia before moving North to join the ranks of many a Badass lowrider who's come before him. At just over 50 pounds, he is short and sturdy and an absolute riot. Rusty can be wary of strangers initially, but he can make new friends quickly with a trustworthy leader and will love you forever once he gets to know you. (Especially if you happen to be a bear-er of sausage!). He's gotten great training at B&B Dogworks and thrives with some basic structure, as long as there's time for fun and belly rubs. Rusty is cratetrained, housebroken, gets along with other dogs, and has lived successfully with dog savvy cats in the past. He's always looking for lovin' from the people he trusts and makes such a great buddy. Badass got Rusty ACL surgery earlier this year, and he's worked hard rehabbing from that, as well as on training. He's ready and deserves his own forever family! He is neutered, UTD on vaccinations, and microchipped. Please lets find him a loving home!
Rusty Wallace - New York, NY
 Badass Animal Rescue
Brooklyn, NY 11232
Emily is an adult Poodle mix.  She is just sitting at a local rescue waiting for some one to love.  Please lets find her a great home!
Emily - Philadelphia, PA
Saved Me
858 North 3rd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19123
 Kash is a Labrador Retriever/Australian Shepard mix. He is 1 year old and 40 lbs. Kash is a happy, playful young pup and full of wonder about the world around me.  He loves to play with other dogs, and loves his squeaky toys, too.  He also like to play a funny game where he trys to stop you from putting on socks and shoes if he doesn't want to you go.  His foster mom says he's the most wonderful companion you could dream of having.  He is a total lovebug.  He is alsovery calm on my walks and doesn't try to pull.  When he's tired, he will go put himself to sleep in his kennel. It's his quiet place. Please lets find him a good home!
 Kash - Houston, TX
 Red Collar Rescue
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, January 26, 2015

Monday Musings

Today winter storm warnings have been issued for the Philadelphia area.  It's been snowing this morning, but the experts say the heaviest won't arrive until late tonight.  Predictions range from 8-16 inches so it should be interesting to see how it all plays out.  Really hoping we don't lose electricity but with the high winds predicted it's a possibility they are warning of.  Given lows in the teens not including wind chill that would not be good. Philadelphia, Jersey and New York are basically preparing to shut down, that includes transportation.  Basically it's time to batten down the hatches.

Feel a little apprehensive as that amount of snow seems daunting to dig out of, and Cooper already has issues trying to do his business with the small amount already covering the ground.  Not to mention the temperatures have dropped creating way for another arctic air system to move in.  Last year may have been the warmest on record for the world but it was not so for our area.  In fact, we have had cooler than normal temperatures.  It's cold!

Meanwhile the week was busy, and felt exhausting.  Wednesday the appointment I waited so long for at John Hopkins finally happened, something I will devote a whole other post to.  It was interesting, and disappointing to say the least.  I've been trying to make the best of things, even on the dizzy days which isn't easy.  But honestly I realize now there isn't much choice in the matter this is the hand I've been dealt so just have to try to live life the best I can with it. 

We had some major board game competition going this weekend.  While I got pummeled in Risk the man got crushed in Uno. ha  We had some good laughs, and that felt really nice.  Sunday we spent the day with my niece.  Watching her basketball game, hanging out for a little at her house after the game.  Seeing her world is always so great.  To hear about her life, see what she's been up and just be around her is awesome.

Of course getting to catch up with my sister is equally as nice because I feel like we don't get to hang out and talk enough. Even though we live within a half hour of each other still wish we lived a little closer.  It would be nice to live close enough where my niece could come over and hang out with us often.  Honestly any day spent with family is a good one.

Given the dizziness I've got limited time on the computer so just have to type and run.  Think I'm going to go take in the snow.  There is something magical about watching snow fall, the quietness it brings and how it covers the ground with it's sparkling beauty.  Mother nature is unpredictable so who knows how much snow awaits us, nor how bad it may be get but we expect to be snowed in.  Cooper is hoping he can find a place to do his business!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Monday Musings

This Monday I'm still in disbelief the Packers lost that nail biting game.  Disappointed because the thought of Seattle and New England in the Superbowl  just doesn't excite me in the least.  Seattle just won it last year, and New England has enough wins.  Also on a sports note I'd like a big name coach for Penn State now that Ohio State has Meyer and Michigan has Harbaugh just feels like we need one too if we are ever going to get back to winning championships.  :)

On another completely different note. Quotes are something I find inspirational.  And the desk top calendar I received as a gift for Christmas is filled with make you think type quotes such as this "adversity is the first path to truth". 

As I've gone through my share of adversity over the years, and even now battling this ongoing lingering dizziness again makes it feels like adversity can pile up too much at times. Truth is adversity sucks, but I don't doubt that the truths it can open up can be enlightening. Though it would be great to have more non adversity moments to be able to put those truths we learn into action too. 

Today we had to grocery shop, honestly it sounds like just another thing to do. But after a week of pretty much not being able to do much, I felt grateful for being able to do it.  That's one thing adversity appreciate the smallest moments, and bask in the good days.  It opens the mind and even the soul if one lets it.  

It made me wonder, how many of us take for granted the small moments, or good days?  Or for that matter what is a good day, and how does it feel?  We were given all kinds of senses to enjoy life with but do we truly use them every day?  Just something to think about....

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Woof Wednesday

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

Molly is a puppy Maltese Terrier mix who is very friendly, easygoing, submissive, warm, and loves to make new friends whether two or four legged. Molly enchanted passing hikers with her friendly approach and greeted everyone with her tail happily wagging. This is a pooch who will fit in well in virtually any environment.  Good with other dogs and house trained.  Molly has a soft white curly coat that appears to be hypoallergenic, which should make life easier on allergy sufferers. She has big brown beautiful eyes and We believe Molly is just around six months old, and even though she is still young and vivacious, she is almost past her riotous puppy phase. She is house trained. Weighing just 7 pounds, Molly is perfect for any type of living situation.  Please lets find her a a loving home!

Molly - Gardena, CA

 Miracle Dog Rescue
Bell Gardens, CA 90201
(323) 383-8883

 Dublin is ridiculously cute miniature Poodle. This little man is 8 years old and about 12 lbs. He just wants to be your super smart, super adoring title companion. He's good with most people he meets and other dogs, but too much action stresses him out and he would do best in a low key, grownups only home. He prefers women, and he just wants to be your loyal little companion! He adores rubbing himself against your legs and cozying up for some cuddle time. Go to Social Tees Animal Rescue website below to fill out adoption application. Please lets find him a great home!

Dublin - New York, NY

 Social Tees Animal Rescue
325 East 5th Street
New York, NY 10003
(212) 614-9653
 Salt & Pepper are Chihuahua Terrier mixes who are two peas in a pod. This bonded pair is completely in love and must stay together. Salt is a girl, Pepper a boy. They're three years old now (and about 15 pounds each) and have never been separated. They have perfect manners, walk great on a leash, are very quiet and low energy, and are completely housebroken! They get along very well with other dogs, cats, and everyone they meet.  If interested in adoption they prefer you please go to website below to fill out application.  Please lets find them a good home!
Salt and Pepper - New York, NY
 Salt & Pepper
Social Tees Animal Rescue
325 East 5th Street
New York, NY 10003
(212) 614-9653

Adrian and her brother Rocky are two 10 year old Yellow Labs who were brought to the Philadelphia animal control shelter after their beloved owner passed away. Because the shelter was so full, they needed out immediately or would face euthanasia. Luckily, City of Elderly Love stepped in to save their lives. While we're not sure if they are siblings or not, these two have lived together for their entire lives and are very close. We would love to find them a retirement home where they can stay together. Adrian and Rocky have lived with children and cats in their previous home. They've both tested well with other dogs, but are over their rough and tumble days so would prefer to spend their time with other low key, friendly dogs like themselves. Besides both being a bit overweight, they appear healthy and happy. They love spending time with each other and meeting new people. They would make great companions for someone looking for easy going, friendly dogs who don't ask for much.  Please lets find them a loving home they can go to together.

Adrian and Rocky - Philadelphia, PA

  City of Elderly Love
Philadelphia, PA

Cinnamon is a female Cocker estimated to be about 4 years of age. Her elderly owner passed away, and the owner's children could not be bothered with her care, so they dumped her at a local area shelter. This was only after they'd let her condition decline to the point that she had extreme matting all over, with cable wires stuck in the middle of the mats. The shelter vet noticed the cloudiness in her eyes, feared she may be blind, and sent out a plea to rescues to help.  She's been vaccinated and will soon be spayed. We are also working to get her into the eye specialist as soon as possible to find out the extent of her vision loss and to see if there's anything we can do to help her. We will share more information as we receive it, but so far Cinnamon has been described as an absolute sweetheart, thankful to be out of the shelter and into a home who cares for her. While Cinnamon doesn't mind the other dogs in the household, she hasn't displayed the best manners with initial greetings and does not appreciate unfamiliar things thrust into her face due to her vision issues. We expect these things will correct themselves as she becomes accustomed to her new home.  Please lets find her a great home!

Cinnamon - Houston, TX

Gulf Coast Cocker Spaniel Rescue
P.O. Box 42170
Houston, TX 77242

 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, January 13, 2015

Do You Believe In Signs?

It's been said that we receive signs from above, whether it be from angels or loved ones who have passed.  Frequently those signs come through such things as seeing rainbows, repetitive number sequences, finding coins or feathers, hearing meaningful songs or things that have special meaning to us.

While part of me has always wanted to believe this is true, the skeptic in me has tried to rationalize those things. Logically trying to explain them.  But I have to admit sometimes there are things that just can't quite be explained.

Throughout life in moments of adversity where I wasn't sure how to cope I've practically begged for signs.  Wanting some kind of proof that God was with me, or that loved ones passed were still accessible some how. There were some disappointing moments when I felt nothing.  And times where I believed signs had been given, but still the skeptic in me wondered.

Then Angel passed in May, felt myself wanting signs more than ever.  So many unanswered questions....does life go on, would I see her again, was she okay, did she know how much I loved and missed her.  So many overwhelming emotions and thoughts. Yet still didn't seem to receive a recognizable sign.

On occasion I began to notice beautiful white feathers outside.  Especially on the path I walked our new little puppy.  Again I maybe it's her but of course more times than not chalked it up to logical things.  Then shortly after she passed I received news John Hopkins was interested in my dizziness case.  Right away people said to me it's Angel she had a hand in this. As you helped her she is returning the favor from above. Just the thought still brings tears. Again I wanted to quiet the skeptic, to simply believe and a part of me could not deny the timing.

Then recently I began finding small white feathers around the house.  On my sweater, in Coopers water, on the night stand, even the kitchen counter.  Of course I logically tried to explain this by searching the house for items that might contain feathers, even looking into our pillows but nothing contained feathers. Truthfully I feel in my heart that she is here.  That these little white feathers may just be the sign I prayed for.  But they aren't the only sign.

A plant the man gave me from Angel for taking such good care of her, and given a few weeks before she passed bloomed this winter.  It feels like a miracle as it's a annual plant, that I brought in after summer because I could not bare to part with it.  In the past this particular type of plant barely made it through the summer here. I know because had bought one the previous year that didn't make it through spring.  But this one from her I put in the window and it seemed to slowly flourish until it bloomed around the holidays. In fact it's still blooming.

I'm sure there are those who will say it's probably coincidental, and that there must be an explanation. Trust me I am all too familiar with that way of thinking.  But I'm also learning that maybe everything can't be explained.  Maybe they truly are signs from above.  Signs that miracles are all around us if we just look and listen closely. What do you think....

Monday, January 12, 2015

Monday Musings

The weather here has been filled with arctic air, snow, wind, clouds, rain and occasionally sun. With so much rain, and little sun our lawn has begun to look like a small lake. Every where you look seems muddy.  Grateful for rain boots.  We also go through wipes for puppy quickly.

Summer cannot come soon enough.  As I get older I'm finding winter less and less enjoyable, and more something to be endured.  It's just odd how this time of year always brings with it a loss of motivation, winter blues, the desire to hibernate to spring and dreams of living in tropical destinations. Same feeling every winter season.

Of course the man got to escape the arctic air last week when he went to visit his father in Florida.  Everything always works out for the man, even in the worst situations he has the best of luck.  Maybe it's because he seems to worry about little.  Which is something I would love to be able to do.  Him being gone didn't feel all that different, as in reality whether he's home or away I still do pretty much everything around here.ha  Though to give him some credit he does run errands to the store when we need stuff which is nice.  Since he was on a mini vacation I decided to use the week to take a home one. While I did a little work, also tried to take it slow.  Though with the dizziness I didn't have much of a choice. Even caught up on a movie and some shows. 

The man's inability to get Cooper to do his business has become rather comical.  I watched in amusement as he tried the other day.  He just kind of stands there getting upset when he doesn't do anything, The man expects him to pee and poo immediately. Where as I walk Cooper around the yard.  Telling him to tinkle or poo, guiding him when he gets distracted and giving him more than a few minutes.  Even pointed out to the man that it often takes him 10 minutes of sitting in the bathroom to complete his business.  But he just doesn't seem to get that some dogs need to walk around a little before doing their business. 

Overall the week felt less stressful, but the dizziness is beginning to take a serious toll.  As I mentioned the other day never had it linger this long day after day.  Feel worn out mentally and physically.  Yesterday felt some what better, even became hopeful maybe it was passing. In fact, last night was the first night I had decent sleep in a while then I went to get out of bed and felt spinning. Ugh, that's all I can muster.  Wish I could spend more time on the computer researching the dizziness, as sometimes the internet can be helpful to find out more information, answers or even people experiencing similar symptoms.

While I still miss Angel so much, Cooper has won my heart.  He brings a comfort that is hard to put into words.  Though he still has his puppy moments, especially his obsession with biting feet, the love he brings is amazing.  That's the thing there are so many great dogs that are living in shelters hoping and waiting to bring that kind of love to others, if only people realize how great shelter dogs can be.

And if only we humans could give each other that kind of unconditional love.  Seriously imagine if every one in the world simply showed each other unconditional love.  We need more genuine love in this world.

Meanwhile we continue to try to stay warm.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Soul Sunday

Sometimes we have the desire to live fuller lives to not just feel like we are existing, but often the how seems to elude us.  Here is some great ways for living a more soul inspired life.

 “To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” ~ Oscar Wilde
In life, we all have the same hierarchical needs : love, food, shelter, water, companionship, and a chance for self-realization and fulfillment. At the end of the day though, most people live on auto pilot, thinking they have no control, and only experience what they need for basic survival, such as food, water and shelter.

But what about the dreams, passions, love, and companionship? Those aspects of life make us actually feel alive.  They give us a reason to wake up each morning and live life with intention, direction, and drive to accomplish something bigger than ourselves. If tomorrow turned out to be your last day here on Earth, wouldn’t you want to look back and say you lived life to the fullest? If you want to fill your life with happiness, abundance and freedom now, these tips can help you create that life you have always dreamed of and leave behind the habit of merely existing.

11 Ways to LIVE (Not Just Exist)

1. Conquer Your Fears
“Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” – Jack Canfield
What does this quote mean exactly? Well, nearly everything people want in life involves a certain level of uncertainty and fear. Let’s say you want to travel the world, and you have never left the country before. You have no idea what to expect about other cultures, the laws in other countries, and a whole new way of life. You dream everyday of just leaving your life behind and starting a new chapter full of adventure, but you let your fears stop you. You say “I might run out of money. Someone might hurt me. I might not find a place to stay.” You let your mind take over and come up with every possible worst case scenario.

The best way to get over your fear is to do what you’re most afraid of. You’ll feel more accomplished, fulfilled, happy, peaceful, and ultimately, more alive. Let your fears fuel your passion instead of allowing them to stunt your progress. If more people allowed their hearts rather than minds to serve as their compass, this whole world would explode with passion and people following their dreams. Leave fear behind and embrace the courage within you! All of us have it, and you are no different. You are capable of accomplishing anything you set your mind to, if you just believe in the power within.

2. Allow Yourself to Shine
Being your unique self gives you the freedom to move through life in a state of “flow,” not worrying what others think or say about you.  Acknowledge your highest self and allow it to flourish! There’s only one of you, and no one possesses all the same amazing qualities as you, so own them. Let your most authentic nature come to life and run free; most people go through life being afraid of who they really are, not allowing their true selves to come to life.

3. Surround Yourself With Uplifting People
In order to really feel alive, you must find others who love living just as much (or more!) In general, you should try to find people on the same mission as you, who value following their dreams and actively work toward fulfilling them every day. Some people believe that you become who you surround yourself with, so keep that in mind as you choose your friends and romantic relationships. When you surround yourself with happy, positive and inspiring people, you choose life. You choose to keep the company of those who allow their true selves to shine, and those who welcome abundance and happiness into their lives. If your current friends or partner make you feel down, uninspired, or discontent with life, consider finding new people to hang around. 

You deserve to feel excited about life, and who you surround yourself with can either help or hurt you along your journey. While every relationship can teach us something, you have to discern which relationships are worth keeping from those that are best left in the past. Negative people can hold you back, while positive people can encourage you to become the best version of yourself. Positive energy naturally vibrates at a higher frequency than negative energy, so you naturally will feel more alive by choosing more positive people in your life.

4. Adopt an Attitude of Gratitude
It’s important to acknowledge the abundance present in all our lives and give thanks for what we have every single day. When you practice gratitude each day, instead of just chosen holidays during the year, you’ll find out that you have even more to be thankful for. The Universe responds positively to anyone expressing their thanks, and provides even more to be thankful for as a result.

If you have been feeling down lately, try waking up each day and reminding yourself what you love about your life. You may have pets you absolutely adore, loving friends and family, and a job you look forward to going to each day. When you express gratitude to the Universe, it listens. The energy you put out into the world comes back to you, so by reminding yourself of your blessings, you will find yourself being blessed with even more!

5. Follow Your Heart
When you give in to your heart’s deepest desires, you begin to see life in a different way. Everything seems to look more vibrant and alive, reflecting your inner state of being. You might feel pressured to follow a certain path to please your parents, friends, or spouse, but that might not necessarily be the path you want to take. Part of embracing your true self is in listening to your inner voice, not the voice of others telling you how to live your life. Only you can walk your path and make your dreams come true.  Make sure you live life based on your ideals rather than everyone else’s. No one can tell you how to live your life except for you, because it is only yours to live.

When you follow your heart, you unlock parts of yourself that have been dormant for years. You can transform your life from complacency to unbelievable exuberance by choosing to listen to the power of your own inner voice.

6. Practice Unconditional Love
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
When we perpetuate a hateful attitude toward others, we invite that same energy onto ourselves. Hate is easy, but doesn’t feel nearly as good as love does. By giving your love to others no matter their actions towards you, you learn how to love without conditions. How others treat you is a reflection of them, not you, just as how you treat others mirrors your own character. Responding to life in a hateful manner makes you more inclined to feel stressed, negative, and ungrateful. It also discourages others from wanting to spend time with you, and blocks positive energy from coming your way.

When you learn to look at everything from a loving perspective, and realize that everyone deserves love despite their words or actions, you say yes to life and no to anything less.

7. Enjoy the Simple Things
”Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it.” – Ferris
When you take note of the little things in life, you actually become more alive. You allow yourself to slow down and embrace the simple beauty behind everything in the Universe, and embrace what is rather than what isn’t. Before work each morning, make it a point to watch the sun rise. Spend some time with your kids before they go off to school. Make the most of each moment and realize what a beautiful universe we live in. If you stop and look around, you will notice that life in itself is a gift, and should not be taken for granted.

8. Give Without Expectations
One of the easiest ways to feel alive comes from giving. When you give clothes to the less fortunate, give presents to family and friends around the holidays, or give your time to volunteer for a good cause, you will start feeling more vibrant because others will benefit from your actions. Every day is a new opportunity to give, and we all have something valuable to offer. And when you give without expecting anything in return, you represent who you are in the purest form, which is Love. Love doesn’t expect or demand to be given back, it just is.

So, embrace who you are and give what you can to help others in need. Giving to others is the best gift you could possibly give to yourself.

9. Embrace Your Inner Child
We all are just kids in adult bodies, after all, so do something your inner child would love. Go to the amusement park, play arcade games, or race go-karts. Part of growing up means taking on adult responsibilities, and we often lose ourselves in them.

Take time to nourish your soul and do something that makes you laugh; you may get behind on your errands or chores for the day, but it’s worth it sometimes to forget the real world for a while and get lost in an endless land of imagination and wonder.
“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” – Pablo Picasso

10. Go Somewhere New
Have you always dreamt of going camping, but never had the chance to try it? Pack up your gear and go to your favorite spot in the wilderness for a few hours or days. Variety is the spice of life, as they say, so give your eyes something new to look at on a weekend when you can get away.

Your soul will feel rejuvenated when you put a new experience under your belt, and you will feel more thankful for life by getting out of your usual environment for even a short time.

11. Live in the Now
One of Eckhart Tolle’s most celebrated books, The Power of Now, explains the power of the present moment, and why no other moment matters but this one. The now is all we’ve got, so we might as well make the most of it and realize that we can create the future we envision by simply doing what we want in the present. This life is short, so don’t worry about the problems of the past or the uncertainty of the future. When you find yourself looking too far back or forward, center yourself in what is happening now, and remember that life occurs when you create it. You can’t create in the past or the future ....only in the now.

Simply embracing the now will make you feel more peaceful and allow you to let go and experience the joy in every moment.
 Inspiration from Power of Positive Thinking

Friday, January 9, 2015

Whirling World

Whirling is how I would describe my life with dizzy spells and vertigo.  The sensation that everything is spinning has got to be one of the worst.  Not being able to move some days without feeling like my world is spinning feels like torture. Even closing my eyes to try to sleep it off can make the sensation worse. Other days it's swaying sensation like the feeling of being on a boat during rough seas.  The nausea that can sometimes occupies it is comparable to seasickness.

Truth is the longer it lingers the more it disrupts other areas of the body.  Which makes sense because think about it, if your brain feels like it is on a merry go round it's going to set off other systems as well.

While I know things like using the computer should be avoided the boredom of not being able to do anything has pushes me to write.  Probably as a way to release all the pent up feelings. I've grown so tired of feeling this way, of some days not being able to even remember what it feels like to just feel normal.  The not being able to watch tv, use computer, read a book, do yoga, exercise, sit in the sun, move my head, walk a straight line, take a shower or even simply sleep some days is wearing me down.  Not to mention I can avoid all the things that seem to bring it on and still get an attack any way.  It's such a helpless feeling. And the whirling well it's just plain dreadful. 

Its frustrating, especially when the doctors have no answers.  While I look forward to this approaching appointment at John Hopkins, there is a part of me that feels apprehensive and scared.  What if some of the best experts on dizziness and vertigo have no answers either?  What then....

There were moments over the summer where I thought the dizziness was getting better, I felt so hopeful that it was all behind me.  That some how it had magically healed itself.  But then I had some vertigo episodes come fall followed by dizzy spells once again.  Leading to what currently seems like a never ending pattern of dizziness.  Any hope I felt about it getting better have all but disappeared.  My faith being tested as I struggle to understand why, or if there is even a why or purpose to it.  At this point, if there is a lesson to be learned within these dizzy spells I'm too overwhelmed and failing to understand it.

I don't think anyone gets used to feeling this way. This seems like the longest the spells have stuck around in a while. They would come and go before but for weeks now they have seemingly lingered.  Boredom and restlessness are setting in.  Along with a host of other emotions I won't even go into detail about. 

All I know is it keeps me from doing the things I desire and love, it holds me back in so many ways.  Essentially it keeps me from living life to the fullest. No matter how hard I try to accept it or even fight it, it refuses to simply go away. And yes even had a few pity parties along the way too. ha

It's one of the reasons why I get frustrated with the man when he lays on the couch for days at a time doing nothing, because I would give anything not to have to lay on the couch.   To be able to do anything I desired.  We all take so much for granted, that's something I realize now more than ever.  If you have your health that is the real wealth in life because you can do anything. And I mean anything. If you can do anything than why not appreciate every moment of that and do everything.
Life can be so unpredictable.  Never in a million years would I have imagined being stuck with this dizziness and whirling sensations as long as I have. That's the thing though none of us know what awaits us each day but the most important thing we can ever do is to simply live each day to the fullest while we can.

Meanwhile I will keep trying, hoping and praying to feel better soon.  I'm always open to any suggestions as well.  For anyone that might come across this post I have one request though, if you don't mind.  Given I have tried the medical route with little success, I'd like to try prayer.  If you believe in the power of prayer, and even if you don't, could you pray for me.  Maybe just a simple prayer for overall healing?  I'd be so grateful.

Now go do something you love because if you can, you should.,+wisdom+cannot+reveal+itself,+art+cannot+manifest,+strength+cannot+fight,+wealth+becomes+useless,+and+intelligence+cannot+be+applied.+-Herophilus.jpg

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Woof Wednesday

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

This young female terrier mix doesn't even have a name let alone a home.   She may look scruffy but cleaned up sure she is very pretty.  Please lets find her a loving home!

A4788890 - Gardena, CA

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

 Morgan is an adorable Hound mix puppy who is very loving and sweet.  This cutie pie weighs 17 pound and she will be medium to large adult. She gets along with other dogs and she will do well with an active family without very young kids. She’ll need some extra confidence building because she is a little shy. Her new family will need to continue her housebreaking and obedience training; we recommend group puppy classes for the whole family.  Please lets find her a great home!  

Morgan - Manhattan, NY

Morgan (Manhattan)
 Bideawee Inc. Manhattan
410 E. 38th St. between 1st Ave. & FDR Dr.
New York, NY 10016
(866) 262-8133
Jasper is a 14 year old blind Boston Terrier/Pug mix. In December he was found wandering the streets by the animal police. He was cold and scared, but so grateful to be picked up and brought into S.N.O.R.T.'s care. Once he was warm, dry and secure, he showed his foster mom his appreciation by always wanting to be with her. He particularly likes to be warm and snuggly with people on the couch. He gets as close as he possibly can to his favorite people this way. He really does have a lot of love to give the right person or family. Toys are also one of his favorite things, and how he seeks comfort. He really is young at heart. If you work and need to leave him home alone part of the day, he doesn't mind being in his crate. If you prefer to take him along to your job he's content to hang out with you there and just rest in his bed. He is just fine with wearing the belly band to help him avoid any accidents.  He is also ok with other dogs or cats, as long as they don't fuss if he bumps into them. He would really prefer to have a laid back dog buddy and would love it if you have a fenced yard where he can explore safely. A fenced yard is his number one wish for his new home. Due to his bad experience on the streets, he doesn't care for leash walks. As for children, due to his vision problems, younger children tend to stress him out. Older, patient kids and adults are best for him. Let's face it...nobody's perfect. He may not have great vision but he certainly has a lot of charisma.  He has had a bit of a rough past, and could use a change in luck.  Please lets find him a good home!

Jasper - Philadelphia, PA

SNORT Short Noses Only Rescue Team
Philadelphia, PA19099
 (347) 766-7812
Langston is a Rat Terrier mix, 6 years old and 22 lbs.  He have a few gray hairs, but is totally a puppy at heart.  He is always smiling these days, but not very long ago, I was found in a ditch...bloody, hungry, and at death's door. That is when my foster dad took me in from the cold and rainy night. After being hit by a car he is now healthy and happy.  Though he still has some problems due to my injuries. He can be a little unsteady and fall down sometimes but he doesn't let that stop him. He doesn't see so well out of one of his eyes but it doesn't bother him a bit.  He has a big heart and is very loving and loyal. He is very gentle and likes to be near his foster mom all the time. He needs a family who will be patient with him as he can be a little shy.  He gets along great with other dogs, not sure about cats and children though since he hasn't been around either.  Please lets find him a loving home!
Langston - Houston, TX

 Red Collar Rescue
 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, January 5, 2015

Monday Musings

We rang in the New Year quietly at home, with a filet mignon dinner and a game of risk.  Which honestly is  more fun than going to a crowded, over priced meal at some fancy restaurant. 

The man basically spent the week laying on the couch watching tv. On those feel awful days of mine I would give anything to not have to lay on the couch, and he would give anything to lay on it.

We had plans for a shopping date on Friday which he cancelled for the couch.  Then Saturday he cancelled plans to run errands.  Definitely not reliable, never sure if he will keep his word or not. It can feel frustrating.  But I got bigger worries right now.

Not even going to sugar coat here as health wise things have been rough. This summer I was beginning to think maybe the dizzy spells were getting better, unfortunately the past few months have shown that not to be true.  They have come back with a vengeance.  Lately just closing my eyes trying to sleep makes me dizzy.  There is only so much one can take before feeling exhausted, hopeless, annoyed, desperate for answers and questioning why. 

The problem is the continued stress of the dizziness on my body seems to be taking a real toll on other systems. My heart and muscles seem to be more affected by it now too.  To say the doctor are puzzled is an understatement.  I fail their tests, they can see something isn't right but they don't know what is causing it nor how to treat it.  I hold out hope that the specialists at John Hopkins will be able to help, a part of me feels worried what if they have no answers?  What then. It has me scared.

I shouldn't even be using the computer, as I know it will only make me feel worse.  But what is one suppose to do when they can't read, watch tv, use computer, read phone or do anything that seems to involve focus or movement.  I'm fed up with everything.  It's not exactly how I wanted to be starting off the new year. And surely not complaining about it one here but yet feel the need to express myself as well.

Even this blog suffers because of my dizziness as I can't give it my all, or devote the effort I would like to it. My photography has even gone down hill because of having to limit my time on the computer. Something has to give.  I need answers, faith, hope, love, solutions, healing.   And less stress, more relaxation.  

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Soul Sunday

Change is inevitable. Growth is intentional.

We know that calendar time is really artificial, for true time is simply an infinite and continuous cycle of day and night, seasons, birth and death, and change.

 Change turns the wheel of time and life. Without change, life is static, stale, and limited. Without change, there isn’t growth. Like everything in nature, a flower doesn’t remain forever regardless of how beautiful it is.

In line with embarking into a new year, here are some suggestions for setting your purest intentions for moving forward into the sea of change. Incidentally, they are contained in the acronym CHANGE.



At every point in time, and especially when confronted with imminent change, you have a choice of whether to embrace or to resist.

Embracing change requires courage and trust because it’s always unnerving to step outside your comfort zone. But when you trust and embrace, change can bring you excitement, growth, and infinite new possibilities.



Step into the New Year with the intention of choosing happiness for yourself and those around you.
Happiness is a choice that comes from within. Regardless of your external circumstances, your perception determines your emotions.

Choose to look on the bright side of everything; for example, ask yourself, “What can I learn from this?” Or, count your blessings with heart filled gratitude, and happiness will abound.



Continue to anchor in your higher reality and wisdom, for there’s more to you than just this physical and transient existence.

This brief life, with all its ups and downs, is merely a myriad of experiences for the growth of your soul. Staying anchored, you will ride and surf the storms and waves of life with skill and ease.



Time and change involve flow and movement. Along with these are borne new experiences, people, places, and ideas. Be open to receiving and bringing forth the new and nourishing, and let go of the old if they no longer serve you.



When you flow with the movement of time and change, and embrace the new while anchoring and trusting in the greater you, growth is the natural result. Like the sun enables a plant to sprout from a seed, the happiness that you soak in and project will allow you to grow and thrive.



Out of that strength and solidly grounded foundation, new creations will emerge.

You will find yourself forging new fulfilling, relationships, successes, and joys. New ideas will emerge into manifestations. Imagination and dreams will become a reality. A new phase will continue and take you forward with the flow.

What are your intentions for this New Year ahead? May you flow with the energies of change and embrace this wondrous gift of life, along with its mystery and excitement, into the unknown.

Change is a nature of life,  but challenge is the aim of always challenge the changes, not change the challenges. 

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Loaded Chicken and Potatoes

Loaded Chicken and Potatoes

    1 lb boneless chicken breasts, cubed (1″)
    6-8 medium skin on red potatoes, cut in 1/2″ cubes
    1/3 c olive oil
    1 1/2 tsp salt
    1 tsp black pepper
    1 Tbsp paprika
    2 Tbsp garlic powder
    2 c cheddar jack blend cheese
    1 c crumbled bacon
How to Make

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 9X13″ baking dish with cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the olive oil, salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, and hot sauce. Add the cubed potatoes and chicken and stir to coat. Carefully scoop the potatoes and chicken into the prepared baking dish..
3. Bake the potatoes and chicken for 55-60 minutes, stirring every 20 minutes, until cooked through, crispy, and browned on the outside. While the potatoes are cooking, fry your bacon (about half a pound).
4. Once the potatoes and chicken are fully cooked, remove from the oven. Top the cooked potatoes with the the cheese, bacon, and green onion. Return the casserole to the oven and bake for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

 Loaded Baked Potato & Chicken Casserole

Friday, January 2, 2015

New Year

Last New Year I wrote about finding purpose and pondered how to make dreams a reality.  Looking back I had great ideas but some how didn't make more of them.  Overall felt rather stuck when it came to circumstances that felt beyond my control.  Maybe that's one of the tricky aspects of life....knowing what we truly desire yet not knowing exactly how to get it.

This year I've decided to create a vision board.  On this board will be images of my dreams and desires, maybe seeing them every day will some how inspire real change.  Books like The Secret which is based on the law of attraction claim that positive thinking can create life changing results such as increased wealth, health, and happiness. It involves a three step creative process for manifesting dreams Ask or Visualize, Believe and Receive. Maybe it works, maybe not but it can't help trying. Gotta have faith right?

Think it's also a good time to simply reflect on what we are grateful for in the year gone, even if we think there is nothing to feel that way about, usually there is at least something small.  Then focus on setting intentions for the year to come. 

Some things I want to focus more on this new year.....happiness, health, love, faith, fun and dreams.  Need to feed my soul, think a little less and live a little more!

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