Monday, October 26, 2015

Monday Musings

This weekend was all about pumpkin picking and family.  Since my mother's birthday falls before Halloween it's become sort of a tradition to get together to celebrate it and also go to the local pumpkin patch.  Lots of laughs would be the best way to describe the day!

Those kinds of days are my favorite.  Not that I don't enjoy snuggling on the couch with the man come weekends, but unlike the man I also like to do things.  We differ in a few ways, that happens to be one of them.  I like to go to local events, spend time outdoors, travel and feel as if I'm actually living life as opposed to watching it on tv or reading it on social media as he loves to do.  Spending time outdoors is especially revitalizing!

Lately I find myself trying to explain to the man how he could benefit from more fun and relaxation.  He spends most of his days analyzing numbers and staring at a computer.  Come weekends it's much the same as he works on his sportboss stuff.  And as the saying goes, all work and no play....

Everyone needs to play, time to unwind away from work, technology and gadgets.  This Monday I'm trying to figure out how to incorporate more of it into our lives.  Literally the man can't go two minutes without having to check his phone and twitter.  In our day and age it's hard to convince any one to put down their phones to simply enjoy the moment and savor who they are with.

Meanwhile, we have a lot going on.  Cooper had to have an ultrasound done, it showed inflammation in his stomach, small intestine and pancreas.  So now they are recommending he have an endoscopy.  He will need to follow a special diet, can't even have his favorite treats and for that we feel sad.  We want him to be able to eat what he loves.  No one is quite sure why but they are hoping further tests might make it more clear.  Vet even said the new house could be affecting him as well.

The house situation hasn't improved either.  The landlord fixed a few small things but refuses to fix some of the bigger issues. Like cleaning the heating ducts that smell overwhelming of a musty odor. Or hiring a professional to take care of the flooding crawl space and mice issue.  They said they just don't have the money to put into the house, so then why did they ever buy a older house and decide to become landlords, oh make money.  They offered that if we don't like it we are free to find another place.  They make it sound easy, forgetting that moving costs money and we already put a lot of our own work into this place. 

It's crazy, and at this point it's in God's hand.  Honestly I don't have the answers, nor why we didn't get the townhouse we really loved back in April.  I prayed a lot before even finding this place that we would be guided to the right place for us, so all these issues feel so confusing as to why this happened as it did. So just going to put it in a higher powers hand and hope to be guided in the right direction.

My fantasy football team isn't even playing well.  The most frustrating thing about fantasy is when there aren't any great available players to even pick up.  Trying to find a diamond in the rough to pick up is everyone's goal but few to be had.  Though it is fun trying to predict who will have a good game. Seems like everytime I pick up a quarterback they get hurt, trust me you don't want me picking up the quarterback of your team. ha

Honestly haven't felt much like blogging. Ever since moving just not feeling all that inspired.  In fact, I could use some inspiring things to read. Feel free to share links to your favorites. Sometimes just feeling like I repeat myself like that ground hog  day movie.  ; )

 For now all I want is another day outside in the beautiful pumpkin patch with the ones I love!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Soul Sunday

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” – Lao Tzu

 There seems to be a greater focus on being happy in today’s world. While happiness is a worthwhile goal, many people tackle happiness like they tackle buying a house. They start focusing on the final destination instead of focusing on what they can do today to achieve the ultimate goal.

One might argue that you will never achieve the ultimate happiest life because there is always room to be even happier. What makes you happier will continue to change as you evolve, so focusing on the end goal is a short-sided approach. Want to be happier? Start now.

Here are 10 ways to change your life in 10 minutes or less – beginning today.

Learn Something New

The need to learn something doesn’t stop when we stop going to school. Learning for the sake of learning is what makes us human and what allows us to continue to grow and evolve into our best selves.

A world of interesting information and knowledge awaits and it has never been easier to learn something new. You can start to enhance your life by watching a Ted talk, listening to a podcast or subscribe to feeds like
Did You Know? and Tell Me Why?. Whatever it is, learn something new today.

Learning makes us confident, feeds our creative soul and broadens our perspective. It doesn’t have to be a formal process; you can start by devoting just ten minutes a day to learning something new.

Deep and purposeful breathing is our best tool against anxiety, frustration and overall negative feelings. When you start to feel tension in your neck or butterflies in your stomach, take a minute and breathe deeply.

Close your eyes and focus on your breath. Breathe in deeply through your nose and visualize your entire body filling up with your breath. Then slowly exhale through your mouth and watch the breath leave.

Do this five times and feel the incredibly relaxing effects it has on your body and mind.


Virginia Satir, a family therapist, contends, “We need four hugs a day for survival. We need eight hugs a day for maintenance. We need twelve hugs a day for growth.”

This relatively simple practice can help reduce stress, improve our mood and make us feel good about ourselves. Believe it or not,
research shows that hugs can be effective in healing sickness too. Now, Go out and hug someone or twelve someones today – it will certainly change your life.
10 Minutes of Yoga

benefits of yoga are pretty well-known including stress release, an increase in fitness, improved immunity, and inner peace. Even so, plenty of people are reluctant to start practicing it because they think they can’t do the poses they see.

 Well, what better way to start a yoga practice than in your home with a simple 5 minute
yoga sequence. This will help you start each day with added flexibility and calm and watch how your perspective will change.


Spend a few minutes visualizing your perfect day and watch what happens. Visualize making good choices, doing great work, laughing with good friends and having a good day and a better day will magically happen.

When we bring our intention to doing things that make us feel good, we respond by making it a reality through our actions. Visualize and expect the day to be a great day, exactly the way you want to be and enjoy it as it happens.

Eat for a positive mood.

The foods we eat affect our mood and if you want to change your life, then choose
foods that affect your mood for the positive. Foods affect people in different ways so when you eat something, listen to your body and see how you feel.

If you feel good, keep eating it and if you don’t then stop. This doesn’t mean you have to give up the foods you love because they don’t agree with you, but understanding how they affect you will help you make better food choices.

Go Outside

Nothing feeds the soul like some fresh air, and a good boost of vitamin D. Make it a point to go outside when you are feeling “blah” or need a quick break. Doing so will increase your mood, make you more productive and bring out your creative mind.


Clutter can rob you of the vital energy you need to live your best life. Spending just a few minutes decluttering the spaces you live and work in can have a huge impact on enhancing your life.

Make a conscious choice to declutter. This will free you up to appreciate what you have and focus your attention on the things that matter most. Start small with a shelf or a drawer. You will be surprised how far you can get with just ten minutes of decluttering.

Compliment Others

Complimenting others helps you as much as them. It can build trust, spark creativity and make you and the other person feel good. The best benefit of all? It takes the focus off of you.

The next time you are feeling down or stuck, start complimenting others and watch your self esteem increase.

10 Minutes of Gratitude

Focusing on the things that we are grateful for every day brings the good in our life into focus. What better way to change your life for the better than to remind ourselves daily why our life is already so awesome?

Spend a few minutes every day reflecting on all the things that make you happy and make you feel good. There is no better way to live a great life than to realize how great a life it is.

Tennessee home.:

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Monday Musings

The weather has warmed up, though they say a cold front is moving in.  But we won't even mention that for now.

What a week it's been! 

Thursday we had plans to go to Armin Van Buuren concert.  Which if you aren't familiar with is a Trance music producer and top DJ.  He happens to be a favorite of the man, who could not wait to see him in concert.   He was totally psyched, so was I and was hoping to dance the night away.  But things don't always go as planned, think I should know this by now. ;)

It had been warm all day so nixed my plan to dress in a warm puffy vest figuring I'd be overdressed.  So wore a light t shirt with flannel shirt....huge mistake for someone always cold and for a concert by the water.  Within a half hour of being there I felt cold, to the point my body started shaking. (talk about embarrassing when I get cold literally cannot stop shaking)   It gets better....the plan to eat beforehand fell apart so we decided to grab some hotdogs at concert.  Well the hotdogs ended up upsetting my stomach.  Yup at an outdoor concert with nothing but dark portie pots and upset tummy!

So I'm shaking due to the cold air, the hot dog makes my stomach sick and all I really want to do is dance the night away with the man!  The trance music and light show was insane the bass was so loud one could hear it miles away. But eventually I could take no more and retreated to car leaving the man to enjoy the rest of concert himself.  Though I felt terrible physically, felt more terrible having to leave him and the concert I was so excited about.  Though our photo did end up on the local radio station website who hosted it.  :)

Friday the man was off.  We had the handy man here in morning fixing things.  Come afternoon I was busy tidying house and preparing food for a couple friend of ours who came over for dinner.  Even had a thunderstorm roll through. 

Saturday was all about chilling, well until we found mouse poo on the sofa! Our house is meticulously clean that's one thing I'm rather obsessive about. So the germ phobic in me went nuts, we both were upset.  Tore the main room apart, cleaned with Lysol and vacuumed entire room including sofa.  Our new landlords don't understand why we feel so upset seeing mice feces on the kitchen counter let alone sofa. Instead of hiring the professionals we got quotes from they chose to use their shady handyman and do things the cheap way.

It's not good, I made the wrong choice when it came to places to rent. Beneath the surface there is a lot wrong with the house.  Including a crawl space under the house that is filled with water.  And now it's going to be a battle to get them to do the right thing.  We were in such a time constraint trying to find something that crucial things got overlooked by the sheer stress of it all.

We even wonder if the mice stuff has something to do with Cooper's stomach issues as well.  He is slowly tapering off his bland diet but his tummy still is not hundred percent just yet.  Not being able to give him his normal treats has been the hardest part as he is used to getting them every day.  Now he looks at us in a puzzled way trying to figure out why he can't have the regular treats yet.

Sunday we actually got to chill.  Spend most of the afternoon snuggled in a blanket watching NFL football, even ordered in food. 

Monday the man took off for work he needed one of those recharging type days.  We took Cooper to the park, a small run around and he was exhausted.  Think we all were. ha

Anyway, never a dull moment that's for sure.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Soul Sunday

Have you ever wondered what it means to live in the present? Aren’t we all here, now, in the present?

Technically, yes, but for so many of us, we are only ten percent here.

We are really living in our minds. We exist from day to day in a dream like state where we’re not really connected to the world around us, nor centered in our own body or being. Instead, we’re preoccupied with memories of the past, churning thoughts and worries about the future, and judgments and reactions to the few things we do see.

We’re literally missing out on most our own lives, which leaves us feeling shallow, empty and deeply unsettled.

The great news is you can learn to be more present and mindful. Here are 10 easy ways you can practice mindfulness in your daily life.

1. Eat mindfully.

When you scoff down your meal on autopilot while distracted by the television, computer, or constant conversation, you miss out on the delicious taste and smell of your food. You’re also less likely to feel satisfied and nourished, because you ‘missed out’ on the fact that you ate.

How To Use Your Coffee Break At Work To Meditate

It can be helpful to remember this phrase: When you eat, eat. When you drink, drink.

In other words, don’t attempt to do fifty other things when you sit down to a meal, coffee or green juice. Simply focus all of your attention on what is in front of you.

2. Walk mindfully.

Take a beautiful tip from spiritual leader Thich Nhat Hanh and “walk as if you are kissing the earth with your feet.”

Give Your Ideas Some Legs: Study Finds Walking Improves Creativity

In others words, when you are out and about, pay attention occasionally to the movement of your body and your surroundings.

Notice as your feet connect with and leave the ground. Feel your muscles moving and supporting you.

Observe what is going on around you — the sights, sounds and life unfolding. You may be amazed to find a whole new world you hadn’t even noticed before.

 3. Observe your breathing.

Echkart Tolle once said, a single breath in and out is a meditation.

Your breathing occurs naturally and rhythmically. When you pay attention to it, it takes you out of your mind and into your body.

You momentarily free yourself from your churning thoughts, worries and fears, and you remind yourself of who you really are — your inner spirit, not your thoughts.

4. Connect with your senses.

Your senses — touch, smell, taste, sound and sight — are your gateway into the present moment.

But when you are lost in thought, you don’t experience what your senses are picking up.

Pause to soak up the beautiful aroma of your
coffee. The salty ocean air. The beauty and diversity of flowers in your neighborhood. The mouth watering waft of wood fire pizza coming from your local Italian restaurant as you pass it.

Notice how your clothing feels against your body. The soft clean bed sheets on your skin in the morning. The comforting warmth of your lover’s kiss. The grass under your feet. The sensation of water and suds on your hands as you do the washing up.

Put love and attention into the simple tasks of your day, and you will be amazed how much joy and peace they can bring you.

5. Pause between action.

Pause and listen to the sound of the phone ringing before answering it.

Pause and feel the weight of your body in your chair before beginning your work for the day.

Pause and feel the door handle of your home before you open it at the end of the day.

Putting mini pauses between actions in your day can ground you in your inner being, clear your mind, and provide you with fresh energy for the new task ahead.

Think of it like putting energetic bookends at the start and end of each activity.

6. Listen wholeheartedly.

Most of us never truly listen to people when they are speaking to us, because we’re too busy planning what to say next, judging what they are saying, or getting lost in daydreams altogether.

Next time you’re in a conversation, make it your goal to fully listen to what the other person is saying to you, without getting lost in your thoughts.

Trust that you will intuitvely know the right thing to say next when it’s your turn to speak.

7. Get lost in the flow of doing things you love.

We all have certain activities we love doing — they connect us with our inner spirit and bring us fully alive.

For you it could be cooking, dancing, singing, gardening, writing, painting, bushwalking, swimming, or building Ikea furniture.

We love doing these things so much that we often lose ourselves in them. That is, we lose our smaller self — our churning thoughts and worries – because we are pouring all of our love and attention into the present moment.

Incorporate more flow activities in your weekly routine, and your happiness will skyrocket.

8. Mediate daily.

There’s no getting around it — meditation has huge benefits and increases your levels of energy, happiness, inspiration and inner peace.

It doesn’t have to take long. Even 10 minutes a day can have a positive impact on your life. It will also strengthen your
mindfulness muscles, so you’ll find it much easier to become present throughout the day.

9. Travel or mix up your routine.

There’s more than one reason you feel amazing on holidays. When you’re in a new place, you automatically become more present and mindful — simply because there are so many new sights, sounds and smells to soak up.

Your senses take over for a short while and it frees you from your mind.

No travel plans? That’s fine. Mix up your routine — it will have the same effect.

Take a different route, stop at a new coffee shop, visit a new place locally or try something you’ve done done before like paddle boarding, cooking a new recipe or writing calligraphy.

10. Observe your thoughts and emotions.

You are not your thoughts — you are the observer of your thoughts. The fact that you can listen to them shows that they are not you. You are something higher and separate.

By simply becoming aware of your thoughts and non-judgmentally observing them as they come and go — like clouds passing in the sky — you are being more present. You are not getting caught up in your thoughts and forgetting that they are not you.

As you observe, resist the temptation to get carried away by a particular thought down a tunnel into the past or future. Picture your thoughts like trains at the station – you’re on the platform watching them come and go, but you’re not going to jump on and go for a ride.

Take a moment to pause, take a deep breath, and sense what it’s like to be alive in this very moment. This moment is your life.

Wednesday, October 7, 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!

Meet the 3 month old Terrier puppy without a name.  He is adorable and just wants to be loved.  He doesn't understand why he is sitting in a cold shelter without no one to play or snuggle with.  Please lets find him a loving home!

A4885228 - Los Angeles, CA

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

Charlie is a Terrier mix around 3 years old.  He simply wants to find a family to share his love with.  Please lets find him a great home!

Charlie - Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles County Animal Control - Carson
216 West Victoria Street
Gardena, CA 90248
(310) 523-9566
Please won't you think about adopting as there are close to 3,000 dogs in Los Angeles shelters that need homes.  And these dogs have limited time to find homes.
Dutch is mix though the rescue isn't quite sure what yet and is around 8 years old.  He was in a shelter and close to the end when we got a call.  He's in a foster home with a small dog and is doing just great. He is friendly, happy and just wants to please and to be your best friend.  Won't you consider this sweet boy to add to your family he would be so happy.  He is cat tolerant with supervision. Please lets find him a good home!
Dutch - Cherry Hill, NJ
Greyhound Friends of NJ, Inc.
PO BOX 4416
Cherry Hill, NJ 08034
Linda (732) 356-4370
Sawyer is a handsome Yorkie mix that is about 3 years old. Sawyer loves to play and be with his favorite people, which just might be you.  Please lets find him a loving home!
Sawyer - New York, NY
Best Friends Animal Society New York
New York City, NY 10011
(435) 644-2001
Alan Alda is a smart, funny terrier mix, who's about 1 to 2 years old and 20 pounds.  He's come all the way from Georgia and is hoping to find a family to call his own.  Please lets find him a great home!

Alan Alda - Brooklyn, NY
Alan Alda
Badass Animal Rescue
Brooklyn, NY 11249
 Oscar is a very sweet 4 month old, 35 lb Red Tick Coonhound mix puppy who loves to cuddle.  His foster mom says Oscar is great with other dogs and he loves to play with squeak toys.  He is very friendly with new people.  He'll go right up to the new person and introduce himself.  Oscar is going to be a larger dog who is very much a love bug.  He loves to take naps.  His ideal home would be one with room for a larger dog, one where he is allowed on the furniture. Oscar is neutered and up to date on age appropriate vaccines.  Puppy training is recommended for all puppies.  Please lets find him a good home!
Oscar - Point Pleasant, PA
Lulu's Rescue
P.O. Box 46
Point Pleasant, PA 18950
Tom is a young Jack Russell Terrier mix.  He needs a family to love, play and snuggle with.  Please lets find him a loving home!
Tom - Spring, TX
Schnauzer & Friends Rescue, Inc. dba Schnauzer Rescue of Texas
P. O Box 8583
Spring, TX 77387

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, October 5, 2015

Monday Musings

Monday has arrived with a vengeance.

Woke up to Cooper throwing up what appears to be more liquid bile.  Even though he is still on a home cooked diet, probiotic and Pepcid twice a day.  Fast forward a hour, while intensely squirrel watching from the couch he jumped onto window sill knocking down house plants, including my precious one from Angel. 

Oh it gets better....upon the vacuum being brought out to clean mess Cooper panics. The little guy doesn't like the vacuum so he went and let out a small poo under my desk.  Not before leaving a small piece on the couch which while vacuuming I thought was dirt but really it was squishy poo.   Had to take the whole vacuum apart and soak pieces in antibacterial solution in tub. 

Ah the joys of life.  :)

The week was filled with lots of craziness. Another vet visit for Cooper but they can't seem to figure out why his stomach continues to get upset.  Food allergies could be it but no one is for sure.  There is talk about putting him on an even more restricted food prescription diet but we just aren't sure how we feel about that. It's costly and he won't be able to eat anything but it.  For now we have to cancel canine manners class as well because it involves too many treats.

Meanwhile I've been dealing with frequent dizzy spells again, they are so unnerving.  In fact had one the other day where I literally had to try to get attention of guy next to me, so I could pull in front of him to get to shoulder of road.  But that's what makes them dangerous.  Colder weather only seems to aggravate it as well, is there anything that doesn't? ha   And it's been getting cold here, we had a wind chill of 43 on Saturday!

Friday the man and I just stayed in having some what of a Oz marathon.  It's an older HBO series that we are suddenly hooked on and was able to find On Demand. Up until almost 2am Friday night watching it. haha  It might be the only cable series where one sees frequent male nudity, including full frontal. It's nut's but the reality that goes along with the storylines.  Besides women have had to deal with female nudity in tv and movies since the beginning of tv, so about time we see men too!

Saturday we snuggled, watched college football,  made a delicious home cooked dinner because our plans to go to octoberfest got cancelled by all the wind, rain and colder temperatures. Neither of our stomachs were feeling that great over the weekend either.  My fantasy football team is struggling need my players to step it up.  Sunday we went out later in the day to watch NFL games and eat dinner.  The food was great and overall had a great day!

Today, well it didn't start off as planned and it's been anything but what I imagined but trying to learn to go with the flow more.  It's not always easy, in fact some days it's down right tough, but it's better than stressing over everything I can't control.  Learning to breath in the moment and appreciate it for what it is may be the least overlooked aspect of every day life.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Soul Sunday

Buddhism is a very peaceful religion that centers around releasing oneself from attachments and feelings of dissatisfaction, and embracing liberation through following simple truths and a regular meditation practice.

At the core of Buddhism is the development of mindfulness; Buddhists believe that by becoming more mindful and present in everything you do, say and think, you will eventually enter a state of what’s known as “Nirvana,” or the ultimate liberation and awakening of the soul.

In studying Buddhist teachings, we can learn many important life lessons that will help all of us along this sometimes difficult but rewarding journey on Earth.

Here are 10 life lessons we can learn from Buddhist teachings:

1. Give generously to others

“If you knew what I know about the power of giving you would not let a single meal pass without sharing it in some way.”

“Give, even if you only have a little.”

“If you light a lamp for somebody, it will also brighten your path.”

“In separateness lies the world’s greatest misery; in compassion lies the world’s true strength.”

“Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.”

2. Free yourself from attachments

“See them, floundering in their sense of mine, like fish in the puddles of a dried-up stream — and, seeing this, live with no mine, not forming attachment for states of becoming.”

“Whatever precious jewel there is in the heavenly worlds, there is nothing comparable to one who is Awakened.”

“Pain is certain, suffering is optional.”

“The root of all suffering is desire.”

“All conditioned things are impermanent’ — when one sees this with wisdom, one turns away from suffering.”

3. Take the journey within to find answers

“No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.”

“There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting.”

“It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you.”


4. Walk a humble path

“Know from the rivers in clefts and in crevices: those in small channels flow noisily, the great flow silent. Whatever’s not full makes noise. Whatever is full is quiet.”

“Even as a solid rock is unshaken by the wind, so are the wise unshaken by praise or blame.”

“Imagine that every person in the world is enlightened but you. They are all your teachers, each doing just the right things to help you.”

5. Conquer the ego (mind) and free the soul

“To conquer oneself is a greater task than conquering others.”

“Wear your ego like a loose fitting garment.”

“A mind unruffled by the vagaries of fortune, from sorrow freed, from defilements cleansed, from fear liberated — this is the greatest blessing.”

“There is no path to happiness. Happiness is the path.”

6. Release feelings of hate, resentment, and fear

“Radiate boundless love towards the entire world — above, below, and across — unhindered, without ill will, without enmity.”

“It is in the nature of things that joy arises in a person free from remorse.”

“You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger.”

“If the problem can be solved why worry? If the problem cannot be solved worrying will do you no good.”

“Let none find fault with others; let none see the omissions and commissions of others. But let one see one’s own acts, done and undone.”

“Remembering a wrong is like carrying a burden on the mind.”

7. Be here now

“If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change.”

“The past is already gone, the future is not yet here. There’s only one moment for you to live.”

“As you walk and eat and travel, be where you are. Otherwise you will miss most of your life.”

“Every morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most.”

8. You are the writer of your own destiny

“Purity or impurity depends on oneself. No one can purify another.”

“You yourself must strive, The Buddhas only point the way.”

9. Nourish your body with the right foods

“Every human being is the author of his own health or disease.”

10. Don’t resist reality

“The world is afflicted by death and decay. But the wise do not grieve, having realized the nature of the world.”

“Happiness or sorrow, whatever befalls you, walk on untouched, unattached.”

“You only lose what you cling to.”

The color is amazing in this photo. Sampaloc Lake Laguna, Philippines #AmazingPhotography:
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