Archive for December, 2013

Don’t Be a Loser Failure in 2014

Posted on December 31, 2013. Filed under: Exercise, Health, Philosophy | Tags: , , , , |

No one wants to talk about resolutions this year.  I think it’s because many people have made them and promptly broken them.  People who work out at clubs can tell you that for 3-4 weeks beginning in January the places are jammed, but then, thankfully, all the newbies go back to their normal inactive lives.

The brink of a new year makes us think about ways to improve our lives.  We imagine a leaner, healthier, more creative, happier new year.  We make goals and begin to follow through on them.  And then we just forget about it until next year.  Why?  Don’t we really want to have that life that we envision for ourselves?  Then why don’t we do it?

I’ll tell you:  all these resolutions are actually activities.  Activities take time.  You cannot just do more without giving up something that presently takes your time.  So, every resolution has to have a positive and a negative; that is, they have to say what you will do more and what you will do less!  Let’s try it out…

In 2014, I resolve to exercise for at least 30 minutes 3x per week AND shop for great deals at TJMaxx not more than 1x per month.

I do think it is unrealistic that you’ll give up entirely something useless that you do enjoy, but you get the idea.  I think the resolution has to have 2 parts and then you probably have to hold yourself accountable with a chart that lives in the car.  Record the date you went to the store for that month so you don’t forget.  Also make a written record of your workouts.  It does reinforce that you are being successful.

Kettle bells

Can you see the cobwebs on my kettlebells? Maybe you can guess what my resolution is about this year?

I also think that when people make too many resolutions they are dooming themselves to failure.  You are not going to quit smoking, lose weight, start exercising, learn to cook healthy, stop yelling at your kids, and clean the house more all at once!  I suggest picking 1 that you’d really like to conquer.  That will be a huge accomplishment when you really incorporate it into your life for good.  Pick the one that you’ve been wanting for the most time.  Once you get that one under control you will have started a snowball to attempt the others one at a time.

I’d be interested to know how your resolutions work out this year, especially if you use any of my suggestions!  Peace and prosperity, health and longevity, love and learning for all in 2014!

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Aliens and Snow Don’t Mix

Posted on December 29, 2013. Filed under: Just Fun | Tags: , , |

Alien SantaNever one to have a sense of humor, our resident alien did not like his first foray into the snow the other day.  He especially didn’t like that I was laughing at him when he came up looking like he had a Santa beard!

He has a lot to learn about earth and he has realized this is not an easy mission.

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Dachshund Satisfaction

Posted on December 26, 2013. Filed under: Just Fun, Poetry | Tags: , , , , |

Tennis Balls

Chase it, whap it, bite down hard to
Sque-ee-ek it.
Pretend to keep it, but let it go
So it gets thrown!
Chase it, chew it, bite little bites to
Squeekity-squeak-squee-eee-eek it.
Sit down and have a good chew to
Remove the cover in long fuzzy strips and
Pull out the squeaker to
Kill it dead.

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Peace on Earth

Posted on December 24, 2013. Filed under: Philosophy, Photography | Tags: , , , |

Photography - Winter SunriseThis Christmas Eve day – what a spectacular sunrise!  Glory to God in the highest and peace to His people on earth.  Merry Christmas everyone!

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Secret Weapon Banlangen!

Posted on December 20, 2013. Filed under: Health | Tags: , , , , , |

Ban Lan Gen

Who has time to be sick?  Who has the will to spend 5-10 days moping around with drippy, yet stuffed-up nose, body aching, can’t sleep but dead on your feet, head banging.  No thank you!

But how to avoid it?  Well, 3 times this past week I pulled out my secret weapon.  My acupuncturist, Angela Parker – Towering Pines Acupuncture, sold me this package of Banlangen which is a small box of little boxes wherein you find small brown sugar cubes to drop into hot water.  The tea tastes good and I have found that getting one into me within 1 hour of feeling a few symptoms knocks it right out of the system!  I have quite a stockpile of these little boxes – never want to be without it!!

Isn’t it great when you find something that works, is cheap, and isn’t full of nasty pharmaceuticals?  I avoid most food products made in China, but I’ll tell you, when it comes to natural medicines, I like to see Product of China on the label because those people know what they are doing!

Much thanks to Angela Parker!

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Robust Health Instead of a Flu Shot!

Posted on December 15, 2013. Filed under: Food Made Simple, Health | Tags: , , , , , |

Food - Juicing

I don’t get a flu shot.  I don’t believe the risk of heavy metal accumulation and immune system interference are worth the small possibility that the drug companies have selected the exact flu viruses that I will be subject to getting.  I also don’t believe I’ll die if I get the flu.

So, what to do to stay healthy in winter when, it seems, everyone is coughing and suffering with some sort of illness?

Well, supporting robust health to be able to fight it all off is the way I choose.  For me this means plenty of sleep, exercise, and super nutrition.  In winter I like to fire up my superb Super Angel 5500 all stainless steel juicer.  What a great machine!

I started juicing again a few days ago.  This is today’s version:  6 big fat carrots, 2 apples, 2 inches of fresh ginger, 1 small beet – all organic, of course, and this makes 2 servings.  I drink mine immediately and my husband’s goes into 2 small stainless steel thermos containers in the freezer.  They don’t freeze the juice, they are just super cold and hold the juice with minimal nutrient loss until he is home to drink it.   This juice tastes great and I can just feel my cells soaking up all that nutrition.  My body definitely functions better when it has nutrients to accomplish its needs.  A strong, well-fed body will be better able to fend off any bug floating nearby!

Please note:  I am not giving advice to anyone else here.  I am tell you what has worked for me.  And I do believe in shots for things that kill you.  I do keep my tetanus shot up-to-date and my dogs both have current rabies shots.

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Morning Visitors

Posted on December 13, 2013. Filed under: Just Fun, Photography | Tags: , , , |


This girl and her friends have been making appearances in our woods behind the house for several days now.  They have just awoken to falling snow which has put a dusting over their bodies.  That fur must be very insulating that their body heat doesn’t melt the snow.

What joy to watch them grazing on dry grasses and frolicking a bit to get the blood moving!  It’s a bit dark, but its the best I could do in the early morning dim.

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Stay Home if You Are an Ugly American

Posted on December 9, 2013. Filed under: Philosophy, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Travel - Bill at Cinque Terre

Hiking in the Cinque Terre

As we travel around we find many fellow travelers who are friendly and enjoying their trips as much as we do.  We also occasionally come upon what we term the Ugly American who makes us ashamed to come from the same place.

I think you are an Ugly American traveler if:

1.   You expect to be able to have everything just as you like it at home.  (“We insist on American-style coffee, not this espresso-stuff they drink here.”)  If you even try unusual local food/drink you expect it to be unpalatable, or something that will make you sick.

2.  You get angry that there are other people trying to travel too.  You are surprised and irritated when you have to wait in line, share a table, or tolerate a crowd at an important attraction.

3.  You look at people’s customs, dress, and language with disdain.   You see nothing but inferiority everywhere you look.

4.  You expect everything to go perfectly smoothly.  When the inevitable disruption to your plans happens, you wallow in self-pity instead of finding a way to make lemonade out of lemons.

5.  You are frightful of local people, expecting them to rob you when they have the first chance.

6.  You are actually happy when you see McDonald’s, Starbucks, and the like in foreign countries.

When we run across Ugly Americans we try to slink away.  They want co-conspirators, though, so there have been times we’ve tried to show them the bright side.  Aren’t the differences in culture they are experiencing interesting?  Haven’t locals been friendly and helpful considering how many tourists traipse through their area every season?  Isn’t it amazing to see such wonderful, world-famous art/mountains/historical sites?

Trust me, there is no arguing Ugly Americans out of their mindset.  Next time I might just say, “You should stay home.”  That is the truth.  If you can’t enjoy the differences between your destination and your home, then you should stay there, at home.  If the food, drink, accommodation, weather, sights, people and transportation are irritating to you, why have you come at all?!  You are not enjoying it and your fellow travelers are ashamed of you.

Travel - Atop the Duomo

Atop the Duomo in Florence

Travel - Chestnut seller

Chestnut seller in Florence

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Oven Roasted Veggie Soup

Posted on December 8, 2013. Filed under: Food Made Simple, Health, Soup Made Simple | Tags: , , , , , , |

Food - Roasted Vegetable SoupThis is the easiest soup to make!  I was amazed at how delicious it was and truly a snap to put together.

This is for a day you are hanging out at home.  Roasting the vegetables in the oven is not hard, but it helps to have time to do it without pressure because you want them to be completely soft.

Food - Roasted Vegetables 1

Oven Roasted Veggie Soup

1.  Scrub and chop off ends of winter vegetables:  turnips, sweet potatoes, carrots, rutabagas, onion.  Put in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil and salt.  Toss with big spoon and then lay out on a pan.

2.  Do the same with squash and beets and put on a separate pan.  Peel the squash if you want to make it easier later, otherwise you can scoop out the flesh later.

Food - Roasted Vegetables 23.  Bake at 350º for about an hour or until soft.  You may need to stir them up once or twice.

4.  Put in a big soup pot with some chicken or vegetable stock (I used turkey stock I found in the freezer).  Heat through.   Blend with an immersion blender to make a smooth, creamy soup.

5.  Add 1 whole can of coconut milk and blend  together.

6.  Here are some spices I used but make it your own:  thyme, Penzey’s Berbere Seasoning, aleppo Pepper, fresh rosemary minced, roasted garlic (I threw some cleaned cloves into the oven with the veggies), S+P.

7.  For a garnish I put a fresh chopped honey crisp apple on top.  This was a perfect hearty dinner for a very cold winter’s night.

Thanks to Glenda for her inspiration on this recipe!

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Alien Friday

Posted on December 6, 2013. Filed under: Just Fun | Tags: , , , |

Alien 4

Look who’s turned up again for his usual Friday appearance.  Charlie and Hudson easily dismissed him so now he’s working on me.  Nice try, Mr. Alien, I have work to do!  You are going to have to entertain yourself today.

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