Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body,
but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming “Wow, What a Ride!”

Thursday, December 30, 2010

10 THOUGHTS ON WHOLE LIVING -- January

1.  Make 2011 the year you follow through!
2.  Invigorate body and mind: exercise until your spirit soars.
3.  Other people may have opinions about where your life is headed, but only you have the power to prove them wrong.
4.  The path to fearless living goes straight through the roadblocks, not around them.
5.  Seek out foods that sustain, nourish, and warm you.
6.  Creativity goes beyond sheer artistry; it take courage to express your ideas.
7.  Disagreements offer invaluable insights. Don’t avoid them- study them.
8.  To truly detoxify your lifestyle, think about what you can add in, not just take out.
9.  The coziest homes aren’t merely filled with stuff; they’re designed to bring people closer.
10. An ending doesn’t have to be sad. It’s the only way to begin something new.

may 2011 be a magical year for everyone, thank you for crossing my path on this journey





(10 Thoughts by Terri Trespicio- Martha’s Stewart’s Whole Living Magazine- Jan/Feb 2011 issue)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Living in balance

 Living in balance can be a challenge in our day-to-day lives, but during the holidays, balance is needed in order to truly experience the spirit of the season all the way through the New Year.

How do you consistently create balance?  The answer is simple but the living of it requires focus and attention.  Here is the “how”—
Being in the present moment But what does that mean, really?

Being in the present moment doesn’t mean that you don’t plan or don’t look at the effects potential actions might bring. In fact, being in the present moment requires both of those things. It also means that you look at what is right in front of you and take it baby step by baby step to make your way to your goals.  When a stressful or urgent situation comes up, look at what is right there in sight—what opportunities are there for you to see in that moment. Being in that present moment will allow you to take action that recreates balance step by step.

For instance, say, you have a big “to do” list, and you are waiting in a long line to finish your holiday shopping. Instead of taking yourself out of the moment and worrying about all that you have to get done (getting more and more stressed and frustrated), take yourself back in the moment and remind yourself that balance is right there, now. You may find that you can then enjoy a couple of children in line laughing and being playful .  Or you might find that the elderly woman in front of you needs assistance and you are able to help her. You might notice that something you have been looking for is in a display right next to you in the checkout line.  Funny, sometimes, how being in the moment can work out, and it does bring more balance to our perceptions and experiences when we see that each moment has those opportunities for balance.

wishing you a balance, peace, and joy as we wrap up this holiday season.
(pun intended, she smiles)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

just a note and something new

Just a little note for all of you who are getting my blog posts via email… be sure and check the site, I make updates to the sections each week. The first post for any week is done after all updates have been made. I hope you are enjoying the blog, it is fun to do.

Let me know anything interesting you have that I could post…anything you would like to see more about.  Also, you can make comments for the posts directly on the site, it can be done anonymously without having to log into any other site or sign up for anything.  Just click the comment icon at the bottom of the post, make your comment and choose “anonymous”.  (Some have written their name at the end of the comment to let me know who it was.)

And… guess what? I have a new site, or actually, Jesse does. It is called BernerTails, and is still in the early stages. It will be simple posts of stories from Jesse and any of his friends I can get to contribute.  With that thought….

I am looking for any stories you have about your friends (canine or cat) I would love to have a picture of your pet(s) to post. Especially if they are one of Jesse’s park or neighborhood buddies.  Just email, snail mail, or hand it over personally.  Jess has two friends posted there now Tosha and Chole.

To access the site and see it you can get there two ways
 
 
click on his picture on the side bar of my blog  www.kyncora.blogspot.com



have a wonderful day and see you soon.

margeaux

If you are seeing this blog for the first time... welcome! all the above goes for you too! would love to have stories for the DogBlog, suggestions for this blog, please join in and have fun.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Seeing your time pass...

      Have you ever wonder where the time went, what did you do with that time you didn’t notice pass you by?
     Well, I do, a lot, actually I use to wonder. Several years ago, I got an idea from my childhood days of my parents putting stickers or marks on a calendar of all my accomplishments and goals. 
      Thus, began my sticker book.
      In a calendar, either a small wall, mini wall, or pocket planner,  I have a series of daily, weekly, monthly, projects and goals in mind and have a sticker for each one. I keep a legend of what each sticker stands for; every time I complete or accomplish one of these I get a sticker on my calendar.  At the end of the week, month, or year you can look back and see what you have done with your time.  I even have stickers for “pajama” days, special days and events. I think this is a great idea for everyone. Little stickers are getting harder to find; so, I have a series of miniature ink stamps that I may have to use one day. However, for now I love those colorful fun stickers.
     There have been many times I have done something that I would have procrastinated…except for wanting to see that sticker on the page.
    You can even have a secret prize for yourself for keeping the calendar going all year.
     If you hang your sticker calendar on the wall at your computer, desk, or anywhere you will see it daily,  you’ll be more likely to keep it going… plus, it also shows everyone just how busy you really are.  :)


     Perhaps you can start a “sticker” chart for the New Year for goals and things you want to accomplish. Have fun with this and if you have any questions, comments, or ideas of your own I would love to hear them and even share with others if you allow.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Earth Pilgrim: Making Your Own Pilgrimage to Transform the World

At this time of year when most are looking inward, preparing to make annual resolutions, just thinking about the world and our lives, I thought I would share a person I recently discovered: Satish Kumar. In his book Earth Pilgrim: Conversations with Satish Kumar, Satish explains that sacred Earth is a gracious host to all pilgrims – and asks if we are prepared to be gracious pilgrim guests, rather than mere tourists.
    The interesting thing about this book is that it doesn’t have a beginning, middle and an end, like most books – but the conversations have a circular nature. Ideas and themes emerge, disappear and return. Through these conversations Satish present a pilgrim’s worldview of ethics, aesthetics,
spirituality, economics and politics.

The following is an excerpt from the first chapter: by Satish Kumar

     What is the difference between ordinary everyday life, and being on a pilgrimage?
For me, there is no difference; life itself is a pilgrimage. To be a pilgrim is to be on the move, physically, mentally and metaphorically. Life is a pilgrimage because life is not static. Life has no ultimate objective. Life is to be lived in every moment. The meaning of life is in the living. As a pilgrim I discover the mystery, the magic, the meaning, the magnificence of life in every step I take, in every sound I hear, in every sight I see.
      To be a pilgrim is to experience life as an endless and eternal process of being. Life is not a product, but an ever unfolding process. The moment I think of the word ‘pilgrim’ I imagine ‘movement’, ‘process’, ‘unfolding’, ‘flying’ and ‘flowing’. To be a pilgrim is just the opposite of being a tourist! As a pilgrim I care less for road-maps and more for the map of the mind. A tourist is travelling to arrive at a place, whereas a pilgrim finds fulfillment in the journey. A pilgrim embraces the unpredictable, the unplanned, the temporary, the ambiguous and the provisional. A pilgrim is an eternal guest.
   Guests do not bind themselves to a place, however joyful, comfortable and nice that place may be. The nature of guests is to love and leave. As William Blake said,

He who binds himself a joy
Does the winged life destroy;
But he who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternity’s sunrise.
                              

Monday, November 29, 2010

ramblings on reflections

Every December I like to reflect on the little goals I have made over the past year, perhaps a way of getting ready for the New Year, bringing the old year to a close. I also like to reflect on what I have to be thankful for, which usually amounts to a great deal.
     From the moment we are born until the day we die, our entire lives consist of endless events and actions, so it is natural to reflect on these times. Reflecting gives us an opportunity to make sense of the chaos, to gain closure, to identify recurring patterns that went past previously unnoticed and to objectively analyze our efforts to gather insights into potential areas of improvement. It sounds easy, and it is, but too often we reflect on past events with a level of self criticism and judgment that is unfounded and unjust. Instead of mastering the art of reflection, we become the masters and living legends of self-induced drama. Inadvertent experts at creating something out of things that were never anything. In other words, we make mountains out of molehills and lions out of kittens.
     Someone told me once that the art of reflection is knowing how to learn from your mistakes without tormenting yourself about them. By making a list of everything you learned and what you would do differently next time, helps to alleviate any stress and concerns you have by creating an avenue for you to intellectually process your thoughts and experiences. Once you have finished objectively reflecting on your experiences, understand what you would do differently, you can take a deep breath, in one mighty swoop accept yourself for being human, and forgive your mistakes (which make you human). Let go of any negative feelings (such as shame and regret) and refocus your attention and efforts on your next immediate projects and your future dreams and aspirations.
     Ultimately, mastering the art of reflection allows us to flow with life in ease. We are able to learn and grow wiser from our experiences without living with the heavy burden of over analytical self-judgment and self-contempt, so as we create and live the life of our dreams, and then we are better equipped to deal with all of life’s inevitable challenges, lessons, and successes.
      What is your definition of success? What does the word mean to you? The word comes from the Latin "succedere" meaning 'to come after.'  Thus success comes after something but what is it?
       The famous salesman, Tom Hopkins defines it as follows:  "Success is the lifelong journey toward predetermined worthwhile goals".
       I like that definition because you can have small successes along the journey as you navigate the roles and worlds of your life but it also reminds you to keep the big picture in sight.  Nevertheless, you also need the right attitude, and sometimes you’re not in control of anything happening in your life except your attitude!
Here’s a favorite quote by Charles Swindoll:
      “Attitude is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than what people do or say.  It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill.  The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past.  We cannot change the fact that people act in a certain way.  We cannot change the inevitable.  The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude.”
     Another quote I always think about when I am doing my year-end reflection is from Oscar Wilde regarding selfishness.
          "Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live; 
                         it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.”

10 THOUGHTS ON WHOLE LIVING - December

1. Don’t mistake predictability for peace:
                                         some of life’s most important moments are born of chaos.
2. Strength is defined not by what you can resist, but by how much you can expand.
3. While prayer may not change a situation, it may change the way you experience it.
4. Eating a warm meal nourishes the body; preparing it nourishes the soul.
5. Try to see your family for who they are, not who they were (or weren’t).
6. Find reasons and ways to give. It’ll make you happier then you expect.
7. The best escape is to let yourself become absorbed from time to time.
8. If you feel hungry, ask yourself what you’re really craving.
9. You’ll gain more by facing up to fear than you ever will by running away.
10.  Creativity isn’t just making something from scratch, but seeing potential in what already exists.

(by Terri Trespicio-from Martha’s Stewart’s Whole Living Magazine- December 2010 issue)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

the Power of Thoughts and Words

Have you ever stopped to think how powerful your thoughts or words  are?
Have you ever thought how your thoughts or words affect other people?
Did you know that other people’s thoughts and words definitely affect you?
If you know all these things, have you tried to send out only good thoughts or say kind words, day after day?

Perhaps all of us have good intention but a little feeling of resentment, jealously, hatred, or envy creeps into our thoughts and words and keeps it there. In addition, just because someone else you know is thinking or speaking negatively don’t go along with them, you could try and help them realize their negativity.

Has anyone ever said this to you: “Don’t be so sensitive. I was only kidding.” If so, did it change the way you felt? Chances are it didn’t because you had already taken the matter to heart, and it had already hurt your feelings.  Needless to say, not every hurt feeling can be avoided, but some can, especially the unnecessary ones. How? By looking for the harmony; i.e., the good intention, behind the act.

Remember: if it is not an act of goodwill, it is just a minor distraction not worthy of being taken to heart. When you choose the matters you take to heart based on their good intentions, you will find that your feelings get hurt a lot less often.

Here’s an easy way, therefore, to avoid prolonged hurt feelings. The next time someone does or says something that initially hurts your feelings ask yourself this question: “Where is the goodwill in what this person did or said?” If you cannot find it, you know it’s NOT a matter worth taking to heart. Let it go without judgment.

One spends too much time judging others. Remember, you are the only one you have a right to judge, and I say “judge” for want of better word. Most of our judging is not correct because we judge only with our eyes. One has to feel and see deep within another person before we can truly say that we know the other person we are wrongly judging.

Furthermore, you do not consider that other person a close friend, a loved one, or you would not be judging them in the first place. “To love unconditionally, means without judgment.”
Stop and think of the people you have so carelessly judged. What category do they belong in? Is it your resentment, jealously, hatred, or envy that you have for them?

Just ask yourself and be honest about it. You will see they fit in one of these emotions you feel.


Friday, November 12, 2010

A Question of Honesty & Integrity

Honesty and Integrity go hand-in-hand, but in today's world, it seems that people have grown so lax that both of these traits have flown out of the window. In fact, if you ask the majority of people today to give you the truest definition of honesty and integrity, they may be able to tell you that being honest means telling the truth, but they probably won't be able to tell you anymore than that.

Although most people understand what honesty is - telling the truth - but do they understand what telling the truth entails? For example, yes it is wrong to lie, but isn't it also wrong not to tell the whole truth, or the whole story so to speak? Many people believe that withholding portions of the truth is not the same as lying.

And, again, if you ask about integrity, most won't have a clue what you are talking about. They have some small idea of what it pertains to, but they have no real grasp on what it means to have integrity, along with honesty. If you have integrity, it means that you live your life in a moral and ethical way. Honesty covers lying, but integrity seemingly covers everything else in life.

Once we grow up, and are forced to face reality, we learn that the world can be a cold, hard, cruel place. As we work our way through life, often we lose sight of our own values. We are trying to get bills paid, kids educated, care for elderly parents, keep marriages strong, and try to live to see our retirement years. 

With all of this going on - seemingly all of the time - it isn't hard to lose sight of our values, which in turn affects our honesty and integrity, even if we never intended for that to happen.

I believe that before you can live your life with honesty and integrity, you first need to have a good sense of who you are, and what you stand for in life. We all have strong feelings concerning certain issues, such as ecology, abortion, firearms, etc. However, as big as these issues are, these are the easy ones. Here, you are either on one side of the fence, or the other.

But in the small day-to-day things, where do you stand in terms of your values. In order to live a life based on honesty and integrity, you must know who you are and what you stand for, and you must supervise yourself on a daily basis, ensuring that you aren't doing anything that conflict's with your own values or moral code along with adhering to society's rules.

The other question one faces concerning honesty and integrity is when we must associate with others who we have lost trust in their honesty and question their integrity. What if those people are in important places in our lives, such as a supervisor, employer, politician, or even our President, and they do not show strength in honesty? What happens when one loses respect for a key person in their daily lives? And, if one pretends to have respect for these people, even if out of survival, is that not a lie and is not their honesty and integrity then challenged? What happened to a man's word was the only true worth he had? What happened to the days when a handshake and your word was all the we needed? What has happened to us?
I would love to hear anyone's thoughts and comments on this issue.

Take the 24 Hour Truth Challenge by Gary Miller, author of The Power of Truth

    Here's how it works: Starting right now, and for the next 24 hours, you decide to be honest and authentic in everything you do. You don’t lie to yourself and you don’t lie to anyone else on any level of your life. You will start to become acutely aware of your thoughts and words about everything you say and do.
    Once you get past the initial discomfort of being completely honest, you start to feel a sensation of strength. A lightness and energy and freedom arise. You’ll notice a difference in your courage, the way you walk, the way you stand, the tone of your voice, the communication you have with people you love, the depth of connection with those close to you and with people you don’t even know.
    When you speak the truth, feelings might get hurt. That is okay, humans are not weak. You do people no favors by trying to protect them from the truth. If you honor the people around you, be honest with them. You are beginning to shift your consciousness; you are now paying attention.
    After the first 24 hours, take another, then another. Your life, health, and peace of mind will never be the same.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Daily Intents & Goals

Today my Intent is to make everyone I come in contact
 with feel essential and valued in this life, 
no matter the circumstances of our encounter. 

Everyday I wake and try to make a single goal or intent for that day. I don’t always succeed in accomplishing the intent. I have found a wonderful website started by Mallika Chopra, the daughter of Depak Chopra, where one can go, make and post a goal or intent. Her thought was that if you made your intent public then you might do better if you had to be accountable.  As well, you can support others in their intents; help them see that others are there with the same thoughts, issues, or goals.  I have had fun, as most know I am not an Online Community type of person, but this place is fun and helps me remain accountable for my goals. I highly suggest that you peek and check it out. You too, may find it has a lot to offer.

Welcome to Intent.com!
Intent is a community where members can share their dreams and aspirations, and receive support from others to turn those dreams and aspirations into reality. This is your online destination for turning your intention into tangible action, and inspiring others to do the same.
Why Share An Intent?
We truly believe in the power of intentions. After all, every action starts with an intention. When we share an intention with others, we make ourselves feel more accountable for the mission we want to complete. When you know what your intention is AND you can state it to others, then you are more likely to make the initiative to make your aspiration come true.

Monday, November 1, 2010

How to recycle, give gifts, and enjoy the up coming Holiday Season

With the holidays, gift giving coming upon us, and this economy, I have been looking for ways to keep my goals of "getting rid of stuff" and "being as green as possible." I overheard someone at the local craft store (she was purchasing glue for her glue gun) mention that she was not only going to make their gifts this year, but make them from products the she was going to throw away or recycle. VaVaVoom! that hit me as absolutely perfect. Here the four books (oh-oh more books) that I found that are perfect for ideas and how-to's; and of course had to share. Clicking on the title should take you to Amazon.com and the book. Have a happy, fun, and creative holiday.


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Nothing is better than playing crafting with things you were going to throw away. Trash to treasure baby!
Some folks refer to the Big Green Book of Recycled Crafts ( Leisure Arts #4802) as the bible of recycled craft books. Leisure Arts was one of the first to publish books in this genre and many of us loved the old favorite Trash to Treasure. This book will not disappoint. It contains many crafts made from everyday materials like glass, paper, plastic bags and what-have-you. How about the bird bungalows made from plastic laundry soap bottles? Or a recycled bag keeper made from the sleeve of an old shirt?
$15.56 at Amazon

recyclecrafts



Recycled Crafts Box is great for beginner crafters. Each project features step-by-step illustrated instructions, and a full-color photo of the finished art-work. Recycled yogurt cups and spoons become collectible dolls and your old shoes become eye-catching planters.
$8.76 at Amazon



gorgeousgifts



Gorgeous Gifts: Use recycled materials to make cool crafts (Ecocrafts) is a great book for all ages. Some of the projects include: tea light candleholders, plant pots, bookmarks, bracelets, hand puppets, puppet theater, refrigerator magnets, model airplanes, stained-glass windows, and computer mousepads. Not overwhelming at aprox. 50 pages.
$7.62 at Amazon


craftcycle




Craftcycle: 100+ Earth-Friendly Projects and Ideas for Everyday Living is one of the new books on the scene and it is worth it! Fun hip projects include felting old sweaters to make mittens and upcycling old records and CDs. Full of color and step by step instructions.
$15.63 at Amazon


Friday, October 29, 2010

Why Talking to Yourself Might be The Highest Form of Intelligence

Have you ever found yourself asking someone a question you’ve been puzzling over for a long time, only to come up with the answer half way through asking the question?

At its core, when you ask someone something you consciously articulate it. You explain it and frame the issue for the person. Most importantly however, you explain it and (re)frame it for yourself. You give direction to your other-than-conscious very clearly. Now you may question why actually articulating something gives any different result to just sitting there unspeakingly struggling with the question.

Two things- First, in giving words to (or writing onto paper) an issue and adding the clarity and clarifications required to make something understandable to someone else has the same impact on your other-than-conscious. You may think that you’re being clear about an issue in your head, but you rarely are. You’re more likely to be half articulating the issue and then immediately looping into the same consciously derived result you keep on getting which is failing to remove the problem or blocker.

And this is the second point. By talking to yourself (again, words or paper is good – words may be better because of how unusual you may experience the sensation), your conscious brain gives a clear set of instructions to your other-than-conscious brain. You ask yourself the question and often answer it very quickly yourself because the totality of your resources (conscious and unconscious) is now engaged to a common endeavour (and in most cases, you knew the answer to the problem: it just needed unlocking by you being clear with yourself)]

 Brain scientist Jill Bolte Taylor takes the essence of this a big step further in her book, My Stroke of Insight, when she says ‘From my perspective, the focused human mind is the most powerful instrument in the universe, and through the use of language, our left brain is capable of directing (or impeding) our physical healing and recovery

So, the next time you are talking to yourself, someone overhears and asks if you are talking to yourself, just say:      “No I was talking to a higher intelligence.” 


an added note: you may have received this via email. You have been added to my "new post" email list. I usually publish once a week. (page updates are not emailed you will have to check these on your own) If you wish not to received these, please let me know. thanks - margeaux

Monday, October 25, 2010

October's 10 Thoughts on Whole Living

1. Technology isn’t the enemy: It’s the tool. Let it bring you closer not drive you apart.
2. You don’t heal from loss in an instant, but breath by breath, step by step.
3. The best place meditation can take you is here and now.
4. Write a letter by hand. It’s a gift to the recipient—and to yourself.
5. Think of food not as calories but as energy. You can only put out what you take in.
6. If you're in pain, trust that there’s a healthy way to find relief.
7. Try seeing exercise as freedom, as opposed to obligation
8. The secret to getting unstuck might be locked in a dream. LOOK FOR THE KEY
9. Feed your creativity: Expose yourself to more beauty, more art, more excellence.
10. Everybody has a story, ask the people you love to share theirs.

10 Thoughts on Whole Living,
 from the November issue of Whole Living Magazine; a Martha Stewart publication.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

political rambling

   Just a couple political ramblings that I need to get off my chest, good as place as any I believe. With the upcoming elections, the first thing I think of is how I cringe every time my phone rings. I am not a phone talker to begin with; add having to talk to someone just to tell them they shouldn’t be calling me is an egregious event.
   A couple of times I have picked up the phone, not relying on the recorder to kick in and had a live body on the other side. After I get them to shut up their diarrhea of the vocal cords, I have told them that:
   “This number is private and does not accept unauthorized calls. And you are unauthorized, I did not give you my number. Please put it in your records not to call me again or I will make sure that I vote for whatever the opposite candidate/measure/etc. that you are representing on my ballot regardless of what I would have done intelligently.”  Not that I would, but do they know that?
    Guess what? The live person calls have nearly stopped, especially from my local Party.  Nevertheless, the recorded stuff continues to bombard my ears.
  • Is there anyone out there that likes these calls?
  • Am I to tolerate having to listen to my phone ringing day and night?
  • Is it fair that I have to consider turning off my ringer so I do not have to listen?
  • What if I miss an extremely important call?
  • Who is responsible for the outcome or consequence of the missed call? 
Inquiring minds needs to know… Stop, stop, stop! How do we do that, any suggestions?

  The other matter I would like to rant about is this “raising the age of social security.” I think not!! Raise it for those who are beginning to work now. Not those who years ago started working, paying into SS, and did it with the understanding that by a certain age they would be able to get that back. Okay, Government, we had a contract: I pay into your fund, and I may start collecting it back by the age of XX, if I want it earlier, I take a lesser amount. Now, if the Government says I can’t, because we mismanaged your money, have it when I was promised, isn’t that a breach of contract by the Government? Boy would I love to be a Contract Attorney right now. I think I might just be angry enough to spend my life savings on trying to sue if they raise the Social Security age.
Okay I feel better, thanks for listening.
AND… if you have any comments I would live to hear them. 

Monday, October 18, 2010

Fall into the Holidays

As I was looking at Journey this morning wondering what I could post, the rain is drizzling outside, leaves turning colors, reminding me it is fall; I am also reminded about the upcoming holiday season.

Yes, the holiday season…she shivers. 

October- Halloween. I remember Halloween when I was younger, many years ago. It was fun to dress up in costumes, laugh with your friends, and have a parade. In the small town where I grew the Saturday before Halloween all the kids would gather and march down our main street in their costumes, ending at the local (and only) school and have a small party with a contest on the best costumes. My mother, an artist and avid seamstress, would design and make some of the most wonderful costumes I could have ever hoped for. One of my favorites was a little skunk, uncomfortable displaying a huge and beautiful tail. I never won any of the contests because the judges always felt my costumes were professionally made, and they in a sense were; by my professional artist mother, and that didn’t matter, it was fun.
      What happened to those days? Things became dangerous, even going out and gathering the “treats” a parent has to be so careful because of all the LOONS out there, and there are a lot! We use to see tons of kids running around on the street, now they gather in their private places and party with those they know and feel safe. What a shame.  Many of my friends have heard this… “I am so glad to be in the last half of my life and not young and growing in this society.”

November - Thanksgiving: a time when families gather, a time to remember why you didn’t like being around half your relatives, a time to make peace with many of those unliked & unacknowledged members of your particular gene pool. On the other hand, it is a simple time when you gather with your immediate family and friends to be thankful for another year. There is always something to be thankful for, always! It is a wise person who can find the petunia in the onion patch. I like thanksgiving because I really like Turkey! Next to duck, it is my favorite, the thighs in particular. I have an excellent cranberry recipe that I will put on the meals page a little closer to “T-day”. It is simple and delicious.

December - Christmas: The biggest problem with Christmas is how it has gone from celebrating someone special to being commercial, material, and gruesome.  I do not shop for gifts, put myself in debt buying “stuff” people do not need. I have been in stores, out of necessity, during this Thanksgiving to Christmas battle and heard people complaining about having to shop, buy things, how much this and that…not at all enjoying themselves. I usually look at them and say “then why?” they look back at me as if I just asked the most stupid question ever. The true spirit of Christmas, I think, is a thing of the past, and more importantly, I believe that most have forgotten the true reason for the celebration of this particular day. . . and that it is NOT all about them.

January – New Years: Oh, this is the holiday Steve and I celebrate, and our only tradition. Not so much the “new years” stay up all night waiting for the clock to turn. In truth we usually go to bed early, sleep through to morning, unless a neighbor is willing to make a ruckus to remind us, which we usually fall right back into our dreams. Our celebration starts a couple of days before Jan.1 when we begin to prepare our traditional meal. Beef Willington with a sauce Madera, gingered carrots, Caesar salad, and best, Steve’s famous Crème Brullie.  The meal has changed very little over the years, we do change this or that to make it more challenging. Challenging?  you ask. Yep, you see the main part of this meal is that not only is it scrumptious, but also acts as our harbinger for the upcoming year. How well our meal turns out, denotes how good the year ahead will be for us.  The pastry shell decorations of the Wellington, I put symbols for things we are concentrating on for the year. Such as, a dollar sign for prosperity, as well, I put a symbol that represents either Steve or myself. (mainly to distinguish whose is whose) So, when it gets too easy, we add a challenge to the meal.

and thus our new year begins…

[Disclaimer: I have not mentioned Holiday Sports because I boycott everything to do with professional sports until…the players make a decent wage! ]

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Have you heard of Zwaggle?

Zwaggle is a FREE social marketplace for parents to share their kids’ used gear with other parents. You earn points (we call them Zoints) for the items you share with another Zwaggle family and then use those Zoints to get something you need!
Check out "On Being Green" page for more information. Great idea!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Lily and Hope, still treking

Remember Lily & Hope? Well, after a 6 week separation in June they have been running all over the woods, Hope learning how to be a big bear. They are in the process of finding a new den for the winter. News Flash... Lily may have gotten pregnant again during her separation from Hope. It is not unheard of, but unusual, and this will give the research team an unprecedented view of what goes on in the den in these cases. Everyone is praying they den in an area where we can get a live webcam going. 
Lily & Hope in June just before the 6 week separation 
April, just after leaving their winter den.
October-- Look how much Hope has grown
mama, mama wake up, Dr Lynn is here and he has some nuts!
 For a more pictures, story, and videos of these two miraculous bears go to http://www.bear.org 
or checkout Lily's Facebook page.  Lily's Facebook page    ( fyi: 114,360 fans)

Monday, October 4, 2010

rain


I love drizzling days
I love the fresh fragrance of clean air.
I love the muted sun, a moment of tranquility
I love hearing the plants sigh with pleasure at the moisture.
I love the quiet pitter-patter of the droplets, one of nature’s songs.
I love seeing the birds playing in the puddles in the garden.
I love the vibrant colors of dampened foliage
I love the coolness against my cheeks
I love to be in the rain


Monday, September 27, 2010

Lion Cub and Meerkat Best Friends

   One of the most memorable friendships from Disney's "The Lion King" is now being acted out at a game park near Sun City, South Africa.

    Zinzi, the tiny lioness, was brought into Predator World Zoo and Game Farm at just a day old; her mother refused to feed her, according to the (U.K.) Telegraph. Marcell Tournier, owner of Predator World, took the little cub in, much to the delight of Bob, a 2-year-old meerkat who, Tournier told Telegraph, "likes having anything cuddly and cute around." Sounds like Bob is our kind of people. Erm, meerkat.

    The pair barely leave each other's sides. We can just picture them frolicking in the fields until, exhausted, they hunker down for the world's cutest nap, as evidenced above. Now what do we need to do to bring a friendly, if slightly gassy, warthog into the mix?

(article from AOL's PawNation)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

books, books, and more books...oh my!

just one of many walls for our books
Some people buy shoes, some purses, some just knick-knacks, nevertheless, my financial downfall is books, books and more books. A chuckle always escapes whenever a Moving Company comes to estimate packing and moving… releasing a small gasp when they see all the books; and let me tell you, books are expensive to pack and move.   

I had been getting rid of many of the books I acquired over a few years when writing a series of an historical-fantasy, a Saga actually, consisting of five novels, and they have yet to be refined and published, got no time.  Let me tell you, can this person go to the library for research information? Nope, I gotta have the books to touch, smell, and see. Therefore, a couple of years ago I started donating, selling, and trading some of these not needed items (that was before we bought the ranch…which has a library for all those books.)

I do not regret giving them up; would I even use them again? Perhaps, but when I started those novels I used a typewriter because… there were no computers then, and now with the world wide internet, I can find information I would need for research; no the books will not be missed.

Now, back to my original purpose, I had downsized my library and promised that for every new book I purchased I would give up one or two I had in possession. THEN, the Kindle came on scene and oh-oh I didn’t have to get rid of any, because no matter how many I bought, my Kindle still only took up the space of one book. “I love my Kindle!”

Then another thing happened, we bought the Ranch and now I need more books, not Kindle books, but books that we can see, touch, and smell…ha! Books about having wildlife webcams, raising Alpacas, weaving Alpaca stuff, making soap, raising burros, bees, honey, ducks, books about Aspen trees, solar whatever’s, building greenhouses, having a root cellar, growing a greenhouse garden, growing at high altitudes, growing in snow, just plan damn growing…. OMG… in the last year I have purchased over 25 books, lost count and really not sure I want to tally the total. Moreover, have I gotten rid of any others?…of course not.

If you happen to see me sitting quietly; my head hung... in shame….?
no, probably just reading about my newest interest or obsession, and BTW: the Kindle is now designated for fun fiction books…which I have no problem finding either.
^..^