Monday, August 31, 2015

Monday Musings

The weather here finally cooled off a little, we were actually able to sleep with the windows open  and enjoy the cool night air.  That my friends is changing as the weather experts say a heat wave is heading this way, talking high humidity and temperatures of 95!   Yet again we have a house with no central air, think the next house not only needs central air but a pool too. Or maybe just an ocean view.  :)

The week was busy.  Had an eye exam because in the middle of all the home renovations expanding spray sealant exploded and hit my glasses.  Interesting because had just been thinking how lucky that my favorite glasses of 5 years were still in such good shape. And then wham they get destroyed just like that.  So I've been wearing back up frames since but they are heavy and not exactly comfortable. 

Finding a pair of glasses to fit my thin face has never been easy.  At least some designers make petite lines but even those tend too be large for my face.  The glasses that got damaged were the first ones I loved, they were both comfortable and cute.  They happened to be kids frames by Vera Bradley, and of course have since been discontinued.  The trend now is big, dark bulky frames which for small people like myself look out of place.

Thursday we went to see Van Halen in Jersey at an outdoor revenue.  Talk about fun, only thing which could have made it better is if they had played my favorite song Love Walks In. The outdoor revenues are much easier on the ears.  Kenny Wayne Shepherd was the opening act, he was great as well.  It's a nice spot along the water between New Jersey and Philadelphia.  You get a great view of Philadelphia's skyline from the location as well. Even if it is located in Camden which isn't exactly known as the safest city.  Then again is any where safe these days?

The man's mother came to visit over the weekend, so was in high gear trying to get house ready.  We also had a family bbq that kept me busy all week preparing and cooking.  The house is coming together but there is still work to do.  Oh yeah did I mention we found a few mice.  Yup walked into kitchen to find one running under stove, and another morning found a mouse walking on top of stove!  Nothing freaks out the man like mice. 

Exterminator said traps would just be a band aid as need to seal up the ways they are coming in.  Given the house is older it needs some filling, even the new renovated kitchen has few large holes....whomever built it didn't do a great job as they drilled too big of holes around pipes and wires.  Mice can fit into any opening 1/4" or larger.

I'm really beginning to think building a tiny home from scratch would be ideal.  There are so many building plans and specs available online makes it easier, finding the land to build on would be the hardest part.  Land around here isn't easy to find and comes with a hefty price tag.

Anyway, Friday we shopped for the bbq,  Saturday we enjoyed the bbq with family, eating lots of good food and playing some backyard games as well.  Sunday we did a little shopping with the man's mother and then spent the day relaxing.  Of course Saturday night at 3am I was awoke by vertigo. It's crazy but some of the worst vertigo attacks come in sleep, it's the worst.  There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to it.  Tried taking some medicine but it took hours to kick in and basically just knocked me out.

Today involves cleaning house, yeah I know exciting.  There is still more work to be done setting up the office room and bedrooms.  Mounds of paperwork await my attention as well.  For now need to cook some dinner and get ready for the American Ninja finals in Vegas. Hoping that some one can complete the course this season!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Soul Sunday

“The essence of all religions is one. Only their approaches are different.” – Mahatma Gandhi

According to an article by the
Washington Times, 84 percent of the world follows some sort of religion. There are approximately 2.2 billion Christians, 1.6 billion Muslims, 1 billion Hindus, 500 million Buddhists, 400 million followers of folk or traditional religions, and 14 million Jews. Recently, many people have become involved in the New Age movement as well, which can still be considered a faith because it requires believing in something.

Even though the world seems divided on what religion it chooses to follow, could our beliefs have more similarities than differences? Could we find some common ground and find a way to coexist while respecting each other’s individual faiths and ideologies? The major world religion speak many of the same messages, and teach a lot of the same lessons, if you look past the variations of each. 

The Major World Religions And Their Main Beliefs


Christians believe Jesus Christ was the Messiah that God promised in the Old Testament. They believe that God embodies three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. However, even though Christians acknowledge the Holy Trinity, they still believe in only one God. Christianity teaches that by giving your life over to Christ, you can be released from your sins and be accepted into Heaven.


People who believe in the Islamic faith are called Muslims, and believe in one almighty God, called Allah. Islam means submission to One God, who created the heavens, Earth and every living being in it. Islam teaches that there have been many prophets, staring with Prophet Adam going down to Prophet Moses, Prophet Jesus, and the last Prophet being Muhammad. By giving up their life to Allah, Muslims hope to enter the kingdom of Paradise upon death. Muslims worship Allah through performing good deeds and taking part in devoted rituals each day.


Though Hindus believe in many manifestations of God, they recognize the supreme being as Brahman, a culmination of all gods and goddesses. They believe steadfastly in the laws of karma, so if you did wrong in a past life, your goal now is to become free from that karma in this life and correct your wrongdoings. All followers of Hinduism seek one ideal way of life, called dharma. All life is sacred according to Hindu teachings, so there is some freedom within the religion in regards to what the believer chooses to worship. What you reincarnate as is determined by your actions and devotion to your faith.


Buddhism was founded by Siddhartha Gautama, the buddha, in 500 B.C. in India. Contrary to popular belief, Buddhists do not worship the Buddha, but rather, look up to him because he achieved what they strive for: spiritual enlightenment. One of the most popular teachings from Buddhism is: “Desire is the root of all suffering.” So, they believe by freeing yourself from desire, you can reach the highest state of enlightenment. They do not believe in any gods, but simply believe that through disciplined meditation, they can reach “nirvana” or the highest state of consciousness. Like Islam, Buddhism teaches that a person will have countless rebirths unless they let go of all attachments and delusions.


Judaism is the oldest religion in the Western world, and followers of this faith believe in the teachings of the Old Testament. Jews believe in a Messiah, but do not recognize or believe in Jesus Christ as the Messiah. They believe that God, or Yahweh, chose them to lead humanity and be an example of God’s way of life. Judaism teaches that God is the true Creator of all life, and transcends both life and death.

New Age

The New Age movement doesn’t have any concrete teachings or practices, but rather, it’s left to each individual to decide what spirituality means to them. Many followers of the New Age movement meditate, do yoga, and otherwise try to increase their own consciousness in order to become more Godlike. They believe in their own power to control and dictate their destiny, and believe God exists in everything and everyone, including themselves. They believe in creating their own reality through the state of their consciousness, and connecting with the Oneness present in all of the universe.

5 Reasons We Need To Take Faith More Seriously

1) Have you ever heard the phrase “believing is seeing?” Essentially, this means that by putting all your faith into some power, whether you believe it exists within you, nature, or a higher being, this energy will begin to manifest what you’ve envisioned right before your eyes. Faith only works if you believe it will, and many people all over the world can attest to the powers that God, Source, Spirit, Allah, or whatever you wish to call it, has enacted in their lives

2) Having some sort of faith allows you to see past this man made world into a reality much greater, without boundaries or fears. No matter your beliefs, much can be learned by opening yourself up to new teachings and letting faith begin to work in your own life.

3) Faith restores a sense of purpose and meaning to life. Many people contemplate our existence and wonder why we came here, but only in silence can you engage with all of Creation and find those answers.

4) Having faith instills that inner peace that we all search for in life. Even if you just believe that you create your own power and destiny, you know that you can always lean on yourself for guidance and wisdom.

5) No matter your beliefs, all the religions mentioned have one overarching thing in common: faith in something, whether that be yourself, a greater being, or simply the abundance of love present in the universe. At the root of all these religions, before any corruption by the media or other sources took place, is peace, love, and compassion.

By remembering this ultimate truth, we can all coexist and learn to thrive as a species, rather than using our egos to defend our faiths and arguing against anyone who believes differently. Oneness is a truth that none of us can escape from, and one that will set us free if we choose to unite in our commonalities instead of letting perceived differences divide us further.
touchdisky: by Rudolf Getel

Wednesday, August 26, 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!
Lilly is an older Terrier mix.  She is just sitting at the local animal control hoping to find a family to spend her remaining years with.  Please lets find her a loving home!
 Lilly - Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles County Animal Control - Carson
216 West Victoria Street
Gardena, CA 90248
(310) 523-9566
Chewy is a Maltese mix who is 6 years old and 6.5 lbs. He's diabetic, but the meds are not expensive. Chewy is very sweet and has lived with young kids and other dogs. He is friendly and housetrained as well. Please lets find him a great home!

Chewy - New York, NY

Rescue Dogs Rock, Inc
74 East 79th Street Apt 12
New York, NY 10075
Wade is Poodle/Terrier mix who is 7 years old and 12 lbs. He was left on his foster family’s doorstep with a note asking them to take care of him. He attaches easily to one person and enjoys cuddling except when pain from recent surgery is bothering him. A remaining crooked tooth adds to his charm. Wade’s got gumption. At first afraid of his foster family’s staircase to the second floor, he challenged himself and soon climbed all the way up. He likes walks and lounging on the patio. He’s house broken and sits on command. He will do best in a home with 1 adult, no children or dogs. A cat is most likely fine. Please lets find him a good home!

Wade - Philadelphia, PA

Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society
100 N. 2nd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
 215-298-9680, ext. 16
Brody is a very timid Beagle mix. He is around 4-6 years old and 21 lbs. Brody's owners were moving and couldn't take him with them. He is very sweet, mellow, likes people and other dogs. He is even good with cats.  Brody is very shy and needs to live in a home with another dog to show him the ropes. He would be suited for a home without young children to help him feel safe. Brody seems to be potty trained and crate trained and doesn't pull on leash. He needs training to give him confidence and bond with his owner. Please lets find him a loving home!
Brody - Philadelphia, PA
Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society
100 N. 2nd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
215-298-9680, ext. 16
Honey is a 1 year old Collie mix. She is sitting at the local county animal control and her face says it all. Please lets find her a great home!

Honey - Pasadena, TX

 The City of Pasadena, Texas
5150 Burke
Pasadena, TX 77504
(281) 991-0602
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, August 24, 2015

Monday Musings

"When Heaven is about to confer a great office on any man, it first exercises his mind with suffering and his sinews and bones with toil."  ~Mencius

Today as I continued to unpack stuff found this quote packed away with office stuff.  It's amazing how random wisdom seems to pop up when we need it most.  Life has a way of sending us signs this I believe, yet how often do they go unnoticed.  How many of us are even open enough to understand them. And of course there are plenty of moments in life where fear, stubbornness, laziness or other such things prevent or keep us from listening to the signs we know to be true.

This Monday my thoughts seem to be in a deeper reflection state. The past months have been so busy with trying to find a new place to live, negotiations, packing, moving and now unpacking that I haven't had time to think all that much.  Well think in the way I do anyway.

The whole move is starting to set in.  I'm deeply missing our old home and all the neighborhood friends. Life feels lonely without those friends to talk and socialize with each day.  Think Cooper is missing his doggie friends as well.  I miss our little covered porch that we used to sit outside and enjoy nature on each morning.  And it's making me wonder why do things happen as they do.  Do things really happen for a reason?  If so what is the purpose of this move?  And what about the dizziness....

The whole dizziness thing has really taken a toll, as I've mentioned before it keeps me from doing things I want to do.  Not to many people can understand how hard it is to deal or live with. (including the man which makes it even harder)  It's one of those invisible illnesses where from the outside I look fine but on the inside can really be suffering. What possibly could be the reason for anyone having to physically or mentally suffer?  In my opinion, that's one of the biggest mysteries of life.

It was a very busy week, running errands, unpacking and setting up house is consuming all my time right now.  Friday I got a little break from it all as my niece had a jump rope performance.  She goes to a jump rope camp where they learn all kinds of cool jump roping techniques and tricks.  Few of the instructors who ran it were even on American's Got Talent.  The last day of camp involves a performance by all campers and the staff. 

So glad my sister asked me to go as it was spectacular. Had so much but I have to admit between all the movement, crowds and loud music it wasn't easy on the dizziness.  But that's my life now and accepting it is hard, yet I'm tired of it preventing me from doing what I want.  Feel grateful for even being able to be there and be part of something so fun. Afterwards we went out to a great lunch and spent time hanging out at our house.

The man and I followed the great day by walking over to the local mall that is now two minutes from our house.(not good for a shopper addict like myself) ha  We grabbed some dinner, walked around the mall and then got some delicious frozen yogurt to take home.  Walking around the mall wasn't easy after such a busy, high stimulus day as the dizziness stuff had my balance all messed up but I grabbed the man's hand and tried to enjoy every minute of being out together!

Saturday my sister brought over an extra bed that they no longer needed.  So now we have a nice queen bed for our guest bedroom.  Feel free friends to come visit us now.  :)   I felt awful in the morning had a lot of dizziness issues, even a headache so basically just took it easy.  We had a handyman working here later on.  So we just ordered in and caught up on some tv.

Sunday we had a doggie play day with Cooper's friend MacTavish.  It's a little bit of a drive but worth it as MacTavish has a lovely house and it's always fun to watch them run around.  MacTavish's pool was open, it was first time Cooper's seen it uncovered.  Well he basically spent most of the afternoon barking at the water.  The way he stretched his body cautiously to smell the water was so cute. We dipped him in a few times but each time he doggie paddled to steps and hopped out.  But he kept coming right back to the water's edge. 

Cooper had a crazy moment as well that surprised us all. MacTavish was chasing Cooper through the house when all of a sudden then came racing towards us and next thing you know Cooper was air born flying through screen door!  Everyone sat stunned just looking at the screen flapping in the wind as even Cooper seemed stunned.  Guess they were running so hard and in the moment forget there was a screen there.  At least it was a screen and not the glass part.  It was one of those moments that was both funny and scary.  By the time we got home everyone was exhausted and spent the afternoon napping.

Today it's back to setting up things, the office is the main focus.  The other day I bought brackets to hang curtains at Home Depot, well two ended up being defective.  And today another set of shelf brackets were as well.  It's really been a pain as I have to stop and go return the items, then hope the new ones aren't defective as well.  Wasted a lot of time due to faulty products, there is no such thing as quality control these days.  Especially given that everything is outsourced. No two items are every the same it seems.  It's crazy!

Need to go prepare dinner then settle in for some American Ninja Warrior. We enjoy the show and I would love to know how those athletes do what they do.  Those obstacles are tough and it's amazing to watch how people maneuver through the course.  I would love to be able to train for something like that.  Can't even imagine the grueling workouts it requires to obtain such stamina and strength. But I find it extremely entertaining, not to mention that kind of athleticism is hot!

Anyway a highlight of the weekend.  :)

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Soul Sunday

Do you know that you have the power to create that in which you desire, and how you want to feel?

Some people use daily mantras to aid in the process of shifting your mindset, creating a sacred space in order for manifestation to occur, and to silence the inner, and outer chatter that fosters in negative energy. Daily mantras are usually written and then repeated daily as a means to build confidence, create momentum, and begin to build from the depths of your soul. These habits are not easy to continue regularly if you’re not dedicated and haven’t made it a part of your daily ritual such as bathing, brushing your teeth, or eating. To ensure that you are keeping up with the mantras, you can post them on your bathroom mirror, on your journal, or in the flap of your wallet just to ensure consistency.

Are you ready to uplift yourself?

Words have the ability to soothe the savage beast, so why not use the rhythm in your voice and the most beautiful fulfilling words to uplift you in a way that fosters in a lifestyle that oozes blissfulness. Your words hold energy that can shift the way in which your life is traveling at the present time. Bring all of you to your mantras and become aware of how you are feeling. Clarity sets in as you craft that in which you desire and get laser focused on what you do want.

Here are 8 mantras that are helpful to repeat daily

In gratitude lies my blessing- In the heart of thankfulness is a host of blessings waiting for you to seize. Stay filled with a heart of gratitude.

My greatest challenges created my resilience– Challenges have a way of making us aware and teaches us things that we need to learn. I found my resilience in my greatest challenge.

I release the need to control the outcome– too much time is spent on controlling a situations outcome release the need and affirm that all is as it should be and always works in your favor.

I share my happiness with those around me– Happiness should be shared, you never know you may be saving someone’s life.

I will watch my words– words are like sweet honey, or venom. Choose your words wisely and let them be supportive, uplifting, and alluring.

My body is my vehicle– your body is to be well kept and filled with all things good. Practice the art of self- love and care.

I am enough– Just as I am there is so much value in me. I am more than meets the eye.

I am filled with love and compassion– Love is the key to heal our world, and compassion is its sister. The more love and compassion I have the more I am creating an impact in my world.

Today begin to create your personal mantras and learn them, breathe them, and recite them. You are creating a new and improved reality that is filled with all that you desire.
Devon, England

Wednesday, August 19, 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!
Angel is Maltese/Poodle mix who is around 7 years old.  She is sitting at the local animal control hoping to find a family.  Please lets find her a loving home!
Angel - Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles County Animal Control - Carson
216 West Victoria Street
Gardena, CA 90248
(310) 523-9566
Tammi is a sublime 3 months old Labrador Retriever mix puppy. She weighs 13 pounds and might become a medium to large sized adult. With her timid appearance and her teddy bear look she wins over everyone’s heart! Tammi loves cuddling; she is so adorable and affectionate. This beloved girl is very friendly with other dogs and she could probably live with cats as well. Her home would also need to continue the usual puppy housebreaking and obedience training - we recommend group puppy classes for the whole family. Tammi is an absolute love bug, she would bring so much happiness into your household! Please lets find her a great home!
Tammi - Manhattan, NY
Tammi (Manhattan)
Bideawee Inc. Manhattan
410 E. 38th St. between 1st Ave. & FDR Dr.
New York, NY 10016
(866) 262-8133
 Brita is a hound mix who is a 1 1/2 years old and 45 lbs.  She just got saved from a shelter that was overflowing with dogs and her time was almost up.  Luckily for her, an Almost Home foster mom offered to take Brita in.  Her temporary foster mom told us that Brita is a sweet, friendly, happy girl who gets along fine with everyone, and does well with other dogs, too. Please lets find her a good home!
Brita - Doylestown, PA
Almost Home Dog Rescue
PO Box 132
Doylestown, pa 18901
Ozzie is a Dachshund /Cairn Terrier puppy mix.  He is friendly, good with dogs and people.  Please lets find him a loving home!
Ozzie - Houston, TX
Adopt A Rescued Friend, Inc
P. O. Box 62736
Houston, TX 77205
(832) 539-4004

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, August 18, 2015

My Dog

He is my other eyes that can see above the clouds,
my other ears that listen on the winds.
He is the part of me that extends to the sea.
As he leans on my legs,
at the slightest smile wags its tail,
his pain is when I go out without him,
tells me a thousand times that I am the reason for his being.
When I am wrong, he is delighted to forgive.
When I am angry, he brings me to laugh.
When I am happy, he is joy unbounded.
When I am a fool, he ignores it.
When I succeed, he brags.
Without him, I am just another person.
With him, I am strong. He is loyalty itself.
He teaches me the meaning of love.
Through him I experience a secret comfort and inner peace.
He teaches me to understand where before I ignorant.
His head on my knee heals my human hurts.
In his presence, I am not afraid of the dark
and the unknown.
He has promised to wait for me ... whenever and wherever ...
I might need him.
And I need him - as I always have.
He is just my dog.
Oh but he is really so much more.


Monday, August 17, 2015

Monday Musings

The heat is back, and it's hot!  The ac window unit is so loud even on low that it makes for restless sleep probably why I was awake at 5am this morning. My brain dislikes loud noises, in fact it makes the dizziness worse.  Of course once awaken my mind starts pondering the deepest things in those wee hours of the morning, making it even harder to get back to sleep

The new house does not have central air, hat's the downside to many older homes. But I'm learning it's an essential with summers that seem to get only more hot and humid.  Think it's a must have in the next house.  This house has some odd windows and lacks electrical sockets making even window units difficult.  So I'm sweating it out at the moment.  Our other house stayed a lot cooler probably because of the wrap around porch and it had more windows. This one seems to heat up quickly which is making me who usually loves summer's heat hoping it cools down soon.

Fact is I'm really missing our old home and neighborhood.  Not even just a little, a lot!  Our previous neighborhood was very friendly and active, everyone was outside.  Here it seems like no one is ever around which feels rather lonely.  In this new neighborhood there seems like a lot more elderly. Right now I'm trying to convince myself to try to stick it out for at least a year.  Meanwhile I need to ask and will the universe to send me a winning lottery ticket this year!  ; )

My sister and her family just got back from a week at the beach.  I'm jealous as we haven't been on a  vacation in awhile,besides an occasional day at the beach and every year I crave it more.  The man doesn't have the same love for the beach.  He has to vacation at fancy Caribbean beaches but me I prefer any small beach town. In fact, I enjoy the local beach towns of New Jersey just as much the exotic ones of other countries.

After she learned of my first love the blonde lifeguard/surfer guy from when I was younger, they decided it would be funny to send me photos of the blonde lifeguards at the beach. Got to love my niece and sister. Took me back to my twenties for sure.  Oh heck who am I kidding still a sucker for a blue eyed, blonde surfer type with a body that looks like Kelly Slater's.  That may just be one of my weaknesses. haha

My niece had her first surf lesson, which my sister taped.  She is seriously a natural born surfer. So I'm trying to convince them we all need to move to a small beach town.  She's not content to just sit on the beach she loves to be in the water as well. 

There are some nice beach towns only 1-2 hours from here. Granted they might not have the perfect weather like my former beach town of San Diego.  Honestly would still be living in San Diego had I been able to convince family too join me.  Hence why I'm working hard to convince family we need to all move to a beach town together now. 

The east coast is filled with little beach towns, though the prices of houses in some of them may be a little high depending on location.  Not as many people live year round in such towns so makes good jobs harder to come by in such places. Anyway....

The dizziness has been flaring up the past few days, probably a combination of stress, hormones, weather, looking at my phone too much and going off the migraine diet a little. That combination will do it for sure. 

It was a busy week filled with unpacking everything and even putting together furniture.  I bought a console type table to match our kitchen table.  After putting it 80% together realized it was damaged and missing piecing.  Had to take the thing apart, rebox it and prepare it for fedex to pick up. Given that it weighs 75 lbs it was no easy fete. Lets remember I'm only 98 lbs.  They shipped me
out another one but after putting it together I'm pretty sure it's too small for the room.  Like the look of it but compared to the table it looks small.  But the thought of taking it apart make think it might just have to do for now.

This weekend was another low key one, dare I say boring at points.  Just cannot convince the man to leave the couch lately.  He insists nothing is wrong that he is just feeling tired.  Like I say he is a lot more low energy to begin with.  Combine that with his quietness and it's enough to drive me crazy.  I'm learning to just create my own fun without him. If he doesn't get it together soon though
he may find I've run off into the sunset in my fun quest. Truly laughing out loud now.  ; )

Saturday my mother and I went shopping then out for a nice lunch.  She is
more fun than the man.  We usually have at least a few good laughs and stories to tell on our adventures together!

Today was a bit of a clean up day, followed by bath for Cooper, errands and even a doctors appointment. So now on this very hot, steamy day think it's time to relax a little. And here's Sea Girt the beach town where I plan on buying a house when I win the lottery or sell one of my paintings for a million. It's the first beach I took Angel to, so a part of her will always be there too.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Soul Sunday

If you want to be happy, you have to be happy on purpose. When you wake up, you can't just wait to see what kind of day you will have. You have to decide what kind of day you will have.
Even more important surround yourself with people who illuminate your path.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Seven Year Switch and Relationships

Recently came across a show that intrigued me on fyi channel called  The Seven Year Switch.  My first thought was "not another reality show", but the concept is actually kind of interesting. Basic premise is couples who have been married switch partners, partners that are more like them.  The traits they wish their partner would have are given in the new match ups.  Kind of like a wife swamp but more psychologically planned out for compatibility.

It raises some interesting ideas and questions about relationships.  Are couples who share more similarities on all levels more likely to sustain lasting relationships than couples who share more differences?  What is at the core of good relationships?   Better yet can couples at odds turn around their relationships for the better? 

I've seen neighbors divorce, friends separate and wonder how does anyone keep a relationship strong, interesting, fun, deep and full of love.  How can relationships keep that initial spark alive, not let the daily grind of life get in the way and create an even stronger bond?   How is love best sustained?

In many ways the man and I are yin and yang. I'm high energy/he's low energy, I'm talkative/he's quiet, I'm a good communicator/he's a poor communicator, I'm very affectionate/ he's not, I like to do things/he's likes the couch, I'm a doer/he's a procrastinator, I'm type a/he's type b and the list goes on.  Those differences seem more noticeable after almost a decade together.  There are moments where they do concern me.  Hence why I found watching the show to be rather interesting.

While at times differences can teach us things, and enlighten our worlds it can also cause unnecessary conflict, boredom or unhappiness to set in.  Differences can eventually result in couples living two different lives as they do what makes them happy but necessarily the other person.  On the other hand they can get people out of their comfort zones and trying new things.

But it all comes back to love, and the question remains....

Can love last forever? What makes some relationships last a life time and others fall apart?  Is it a choice we make or destiny?  Do couples who are similar stand a better chance than opposites?  Does a persons family experience factor into it as well?  What are the things that help to sustain and create loving relationships that last lifetimes?

Let's face it there are all kinds of common factors that play into relationships demise such as poor communication, financial issues/differences, infidelity, different expectations, addictions, incompatibility, careers, kids, dreams, etc.

So what helps keep marriages and relationships together. Experts say things like common goals, shared values and interests, do you want the same thing out of life, do you communicate well.  Similarity is said to breed more success than opposites.  Communication, honesty, understanding, commitment, loyalty, mutual respect, team effort and compromise also said to be very important.

And another key to a lasting relationship is not an absence of disagreement. Instead, relationship experts observe that lasting couples tend to disagree using two very particular strategies: a delicate, non blaming approach when bringing up issues, and expressions of gratitude afterward.  Silent treatment it turns out can be very destructive.

With good communication topping the list of importance what should be we talking about?  Here are Twenty Questions that couples can use to get the conversation flowing. Or better yet Twenty Questions to ask before getting married. Of course then there are the famous 36 Questions that claim you can fall in love with anyone simply by asking those particular questions. The idea is that mutual vulnerability fosters closeness. Either way open communication, really taking the time to ask and listen can go long ways to fostering a great relationship.

Think there will always be a little magic involved in love as well, a factor you can't exactly define but that some how sustains a relationship and connects two souls.

Personally I think couples should ask themselves....are you happy, is your partner? Do you feel happy when with your partner?  Do you have fun together?  Do they make your life better?  Do they make you want to be a better person?  Can you openly and honestly talk to your partner about anything, can they to you?  Do they listen, do you?  If everything in your life disappeared tomorrow would they be the one person you would want in your life?  Do you feel loved, or genuinely connected with your partner?  Are you and your partner willing to compromise and devote time to nurturing the relationship?  

Truth is relationships require two people to grow up and become better humans.  To learn as they go, to be open to change and compromise, to simply give love without expecting anything in return is at the heart of all love.

Occasionally as the people on the show The Seven Year Switch I wonder what it would be like to be with someone more like myself. There are some ways in which I think life would be easier and go smoother with a more similar natured soul. But lets face it the grass can appear greener on the other side but it doesn't necessarily mean it is.  Suppose in many ways love will probably always remain a mystery of sorts. 

Here are some interesting facts as well.

The Secrets Of Happy Couples (Infographic) -

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Woof Wednesday

Welcome to Woof Wednesday. Please meet some great dogs from CA, NJ, NY, PA and TX all in need of good, loving homes!
Lilly is a Chihuahua mix who is around 7 years old.  She is sitting at a local Los Angeles animal control hoping to find a family to love.  Please lets find her a loving home!
Lilly -  Gardena, CA
Los Angeles County Animal Control - Carson
216 West Victoria Street
Gardena, CA 90248
(310) 523-9566
Hank Williams is an approximately 5 year old hound mix who weighs around 70 pounds. Originally from Alabama (naturally), he'll happily sing you a country song and steal your heart. Hank lost his former home due to unfortunate health circumstances, but he's picking up the pieces and moving on down the road. He knows all of the basics - sit, stay, place, is housetrained, and good on a leash and has lived harmoniously with dogs, cats, and horses. Now all he needs are some Badass people! Hank is neutered, UTD on vaccinations, and microchipped. Please lets find him a great home!
Hank Williams - Brooklyn, NY

 Hank Williams
Badass Animal Rescue
Brooklyn, NY 11249
Benjamin is a Terrier mix.  He little pal was adopted but he's still waiting.  Please lets find him a good home!
Benjamin - Brooklyn, NY
Benjamin Button
Badass Animal Rescue
Brooklyn, NY 11249
Murdock is a Bulldog who is 58 lbs.  He is a powerful bundle of energy. He loves running around, wrestling with our dogs, and playing with toys. He's friendly but protective of his yard and he loves to go for rides in the car. He's food motivated and loves treats. He'll sit for his dinner and for rewards. He's still learning manners and would benefit from training, but he's sweet, adorable, and will make the right owner extremely happy. Please lets find him a loving home!
 Murdock - Newtown, PA
American Bulldog Rescue
4 Terry Drive, Suite 1D
Newtown, PA 18940
Nicholas is Great Pyrenees / Labrador Retriever mix. He is a very handsome boy just waiting to steal your heart! He is very athletic, very social, very sweet, and very happy! He loves to play with his friend Natasha. He gets so excited when he sees us that his whole body wiggles from head to tail. He would do very well in obedience training because he loves to please. He is learning the leash and the crate. Nothing would make this boy happier than to have his own family to take care of and show off for. He is awesome!  All our dogs require secure visible fencing. Please lets find him a great home!
Nicholas - Houston, TX
Great Pyrenees Rescue Society
Spring, TX 77388

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, August 10, 2015

Monday Musings

So it's official we are moved into new house.  For the past three weeks I've been physically working my ass off. Though I don't have much of one to begin with so all this work may just shrink it even more. ha Very thankful for the help of my family too, as they went above and beyond.

The house is a cape cod style with a kitchen three times the size of our other house.  The house needs some touch ups here and there.  Gave the rooms a new fresh color of paint, patched up some holes and have a little outdoor work as well.  Older homes tend to come with a bit more work so there's no time to rest just yet.

Meanwhile the man took off three days to help but he really only needed one. The first day he seemed to do more (probably because his main concern was getting the TV hooked up....imagine that) but after TV was set up he pretty much assumed his couch ways. 

Friday while I'm doing a variety of different things, and my dad is helping finish up painting, the man scheduled a two hour sports call. Then spent another two hrs on phone with Comcast. Think every time I walked by he was either watching tv or staring at phone. After pretty much the same on Saturday I was ready to toss him and the phone out with the boxes. ha

Relationships are a lot like accounting you have to maintain healthy balances to sustain. When negatives start to outweigh positives something has to give.  Simple things like turning off tv, ungluing from phone and being present help.  Beginning to believe that there are 80 year olds who are more fun and energetic then him. Sorry but true.  Think phones and social media have destroyed real social interaction for many.  Anyway....

Moving has consumed so much of my time these past few weeks that my routine has really gotten thrown off.  And living amongst an unorganized mess is driving me crazy.  Haven't done yoga either, which is interesting because I really notice a difference and miss it.  But when there's a million things that need to get done I would rather tackle them first. Maybe that's my type A personality but I simply cannot relax knowing things need to get done.

Right now I have quite a growing list too!  And feeling tired just trying to write this so I'm calling it a night for now.


Sunday, August 9, 2015

Soul Sunday

Change may very well be one of the harder aspects of life.  Yet in many ways its necessary though that doesn't make it any easier.  It's easier to cling to the familiar than make serious changes.  Here are some beautiful quotes of inspiration about change....
Be the change you want to see in the world.
- Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi
When one door closes, another opens.
But often we look so long, so regretfully,
upon the closed door,
that we fail to see the one that is opened for us.
- Helen Keller
You change your life by changing your heart.
- Max Lucado
The world is perfect. It's a mess.
It has always been a mess.
We are not going to change it.
Our job is to straighten out our own lives.
- Joseph Campbell
Change what you see,
by changing how you see.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie
Progress is impossible without change,
and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.
- George Bernard Shaw
If you don't like something, change it,
If you can't change it, change your attitude
- Maya Angelou
Change your thoughts, change your life.
- James Allen
Never believe that a few caring people can't change the world.
For, indeed, that's all who ever have.
- Margaret Mead
Just stop it. Seriously.
Whatever it is. Just stop it.
If only for an hour, a day, a week.
Stop doing it long enough to get a glimpse
of what the change would actually look like.
- Mary Anne Radmacher
We must be the change we wish to see.
- Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi
If nothing ever changed there would be no butterflies.
Absolutely stunning capture of butterfly and light!  Beautiful photography by Serkiz Oleg!  "Waking Dream" Melanargia galathea. pin by Malu Santos on Shallow DOF Nature

Monday, August 3, 2015

Monday Musings

Hot and sometimes humid describes the weather here.  This summer has been warmer than last year.

So I'm feeling just plain exhausted.  Between packing, painting, moving, unpacking.... it felt like a very long week.  And another one ahead. 

I'm thankful for my family who stepped right up to help.  My sister came over Friday, her and I loaded a trailer full of all the boxes I had packed, smaller furniture and clothing.  Then her and my brother law, plus my parents came back over Saturday to unpack it all at the house.  Sunday me, the man and my dad painted walls while my mother wiped and lined closets for us. 

Moving, packing, painting....they are rather strenuous work.  If your not in shape they quickly make you realize just how out of shape you are.  There is nothing on me that doesn't feel sore right now.  And there are still so many boxes that need to be unpacked and a bedroom that needs to be painted.  The thought of painting another room has me thinking a tiny house might just be the way to go.  There is just no way around it moving sucks.

We have movers coming to move the heavy furniture.  But I'd like to hire people to pack/unpack all the other stuff.  As I'm completely spent and can't imagine having to do this again in a few years.

The most surprisingly aspect of it all, the man picked up a roller and painted.  Hold on people there may be a massive worldwide earthquake or blizzard.  He admits he would much prefer to lounge on the couch than do such work, but he did it.  Yes he complained about a few things here and there but overall he did what needed to be done. 

Meanwhile I'm too busy and tired to feel sad, but the emotions are there.  A few neighbors have stopped by to wish us well, few tearing up which really brought the emotions out in me as well.  Good neighbors can be hard to find and we have some great ones.  Going to miss them all so much.  Cooper is going to miss all his doggie friends too.  I made doggie treat bags up which included our new information plus photos of Cooper and each friend. We really hope they can come over for doggie playdates.

It's crazy but over the years I fell in love with this cute cottage house of ours, it truly felt home.  Now leaving it feels like a bad breakup and so hard to let go of.  But they say things happen for reasons so maybe there is a reason? 

I've moved so many times, including long hauls across cross country. While I enjoy the adventure of it all, I long for a more permanent place to call home.  Maybe that's what makes this move so very hard because I know in a few more years we will have to move again.  Hoping by then we can finally just buy something and make permanent roots somewhere.

Anyway I'm so exhausted think the words are going to turn into babbling soon, so time to try to relax.  Even though I don't think relax is in the forecast just yet.  Photos will have to wait until later.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Soul Sunday

“Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.” – J.K. Rowling

At some point in life, we all end up in the deepest trenches for some amount of time, wondering how we will dig ourselves out and when we will see the light of day again. Let’s face it; this planet is a tough teacher, and sometimes, things just don’t unfold how we expected them to. In fact, sometimes things seem to go in the complete opposite direction, and when one unfavorable thing after another happens, we feel like we can’t catch a break. However, even if you feel buried beneath life’s circumstances and don’t see any way out of the hole you’re in, don’t worry.

The universe always seeks to guide you in a direction that will benefit you the most, and you can change the currents and swim back upstream by following these tips:

1. Figure out what in your life is causing you the most unhappiness.

In order to move forward, you need to stop and think about what sends you backwards. You need to figure out what brings you down so you can lift yourself up once again. Make a list if you have to of the things or people that make you feel drained or depressed. Then, you need to decide if you would rather totally eliminate these things from your life, or just put them on the back burner while you focus on getting back on your feet again.

Also, sometimes our own mindset is the culprit, so listen to your thoughts and feelings and figure out what they’re telling you. If your predominant thoughts seem negative, try to transform them into positives by looking at the silver lining in each situation. Often, the hardest lessons are the greatest teachers, and we can either take them in stride and learn from them, or dwell on the pain and unfairness of the situation.

2. Start doing small things each day to cultivate more happiness in your life.

A lot of times, we can get caught up in the big picture, not seeing that we can start changing our life by cultivating better habits or rituals. Each day when you wake up, do something that makes you feel unbelievably good, whether that be meditating for five or ten minutes, doing your favorite workout routine, or simply going outside to smell the flowers in your garden.

You will soon see that these
small positive changes will bring about big differences in your life, and allow you to climb out of those trenches and shine brightly as the beautiful being that you are.

3. Turn to supportive friends and family for help.

Sometimes, the weight of our problems seems too much to bear alone, so don’t hesitate to reach out to the people who love and care about you. They will happily lend you a helping hand a shoulder to cry on if you need it, because they want to see you thriving once again. Remember, we are all a part of the same whole, so we all have an obligation to help each other when we need it the most.

4. Eliminate the things in your life that cause you stress.

One by one, go down the list of everything that makes you feel stressed, and start getting rid of the things that cause you the most anxiety. Even if it’s something small, like throwing your keys down after getting home when you could hang them up to make them easier to find, those bad habits can really create a lot of turmoil when you look at them cumulatively. In order to create better habits and live a more stress-free life, you have to first look at all the unfavorable habits you’ve picked up on over the years.

Or, maybe they aren’t habits, but just people or situations that cause you a lot of distress. Make sure to hone in on what gets your heart racing and your mind in a frenzy and try to either get rid of or modify these things so you can live a more peaceful existence.

5. Repeat the affirmation I own my life!

When you have a fearless, confident attitude about life, you become untouchable and unstoppable. You become a relentless and courageous machine that can tackle anything life throws at you in stride, and you won’t feel threatened or burdened by anything you might face. Life can only win if you let it, so don’t allow it to get the best of you. You totally own your life and can transform it into a beautiful masterpiece if you so choose, so make sure to adjust your attitude and follow up with the affirmation above to help bring about the life that you wish to see before you.

6. Follow your passions unabashedly.

Don’t allow life to get in the way of your true passions and desires; work toward your dreams and goals every day, and you will start to see the reality you want unfold before you. Dreams don’t work unless you do, so instead of coming home after work to watch TV, get to work on your true passions. Take a small step each day toward what lights that fire within your soul, and never stop until you have achieved your dreams.

No one can tell you what kind of life to lead except yourself, and your actions determine what type of reality you will experience. Align your actions with what you want to see more of in your life, and you’ve set yourself up for a world of universal abundance and happiness.

7. Get into a state of flow where your mind won’t have a chance to ruminate on your misfortunes.
Many people who feel they’ve hit rock bottom simply don’t allow themselves to switch off from their problems. They sit and mull over everything wrong in their lives, when they would benefit themselves much more by turning their brains off for a while and simply living. Just because you have encountered a roadblock doesn’t mean you can’t take a detour and find something even more beautiful on the new path you’ve taken. In a similar fashion, just because you feel burdened by life doesn’t mean you can’t still do things that make you smile and take your mind off the situation.

Do yoga, exercise, make your favorite dish, or anything else that puts you into a state of action so you don’t fall into the trap of reaction. You won’t have a chance to react to your thoughts if you redirect that energy and give them some place else to go.
The Woodland Path!
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