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!”

Friday, April 29, 2011

hidden within a caterpillar



Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over....













...it became a butterfly.








Thursday, April 28, 2011

being green~ re-purposing TP rolls :)

I call them “cord cuddlers” others call them something else. For a long time I thought I was the only one to have this brilliant idea, but recently it was mentioned in a book on re-purposing items.

Cord Cuddlers—what are they? Well, they are the leftover part of the toilet paper roll that so many of us flippantly just toss away in the garbage. There are some neat creative things to do with these little guys, but my favorite is the “Cord cuddler” only because it is just so useful.

Everyone has some electrical items that have a cord, which gets in the way, hangs around dangerously, or makes our lives miserable while we try to untangle them. Cord cuddlers prevent all that. You can use them right off the TP holder, or you can decorate them, cover them with stickers for a kids room, used wrapping paper that need repurposing, I even papier-mâchéd some and gave them to friends-who say they lasted for a long-long time.

The most convenient use for them is those beauty elements such as a hair dryer or curling iron that are stored in a drawer…now neatly without the cord becoming tangled.

And you don’t just need to use the TP rolls. I use any roll I come across, (how about that empty tape roll?) smaller ones for smaller items, such as cell phone chargers, land line phone cords, the list goes on.

So, the next time that roll empties, find it a new purpose and give yourself a sunny hug for being creatively green.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

meal ideas ~ Grilled Shrimp Tacos

Grilled Shrimp Tacos

I have posted this before, but you just can't lose with this recipe. You may not ever find a better Shrimp Taco anywhere… it is a little bit of work….but worth every second.

use 2 to 3 shrimp per taco, depending on size. (you can also use your favorite fish)

for the shrimp-
½  cup lime juice
shrimp tacos, refried black beans, guacamole & chips
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp chili powder
1 lb lg shrimp peeled; deveined (24)
8 tortillas **see note
for the chipotle sauce-
1/4 c. mayonnaise
1/4 c. sour cream
1 ½ tsp minced chipotle chilies in adobo sauce
1 ½ tsp honey
1 tsp fresh lime juice
  salt to taste
for the red slaw-
4 cups shredded red cabbage
½ cup sliced scallions
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp distilled white vinegar
     WHISK together lime juice, olive oil, & chili powder for the tacos. Add shrimp, toss and chill until ready to skewer.
     Thoroughly, but gently MIX together mayonnaise-sour cream, chipotles, honey, and lime juice for the sauce. Chill until ready to serve up to 2 days.
     COMBINE cabbage, scallions, cilantro, oil, vinegar for the slaw. Season with salt and chill until ready to serve up to 1 hour.
     WHEN READY -  heat grill on med-high heat  (shrimp  can cook under broiler.) Either skewer shrimp or place on a cooking grill and cook for 1-2 minutes per side.
     DIVIDE the shrimp and slaw among the tortillas and drizzle with the sauce. yum!
     TORTILLAS- use either flour or corn, and heat however you like. Our way…
Use a cast iron skillet or pan swirling the tortilla until warm and lightly toasted.

Note** we have found what I consider the best tasting tortillas around.
La Tortilla Factory’s Hand Made Style Corn or Flour Tortillas
The first tortilla with the taste of corn, but the flexibility of flour tortillas!  They are absolutely the best. They will not crumble or taste dry, and are calorie friendly.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

healthy living~ The HACV Tonic for Life

Apple cider vinegar and honey combine two of the oldest home remedies for a variety of different ailments. What Are the Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar and Honey?


Well, our bodies are prone to a build-up of acid crystals; the fantastic benefits of these ingredients include its ability to flush all those little nasties out of our systems. Because we all tend to eat proteins from meat (unless you are a vegetarian) they unfortunately thicken our blood, however a daily dose of these will help thin your blood allowing much more oxygen to flow freely through our systems.

What is Apple Cider Vinegar and Honey Good For?
Helps with the Function of Insulin- great for diabetics
Helpful in lowering high cholesterol
Helpful in restoring high blood pressure to normal levels
Supports a healthy complexion
Treats sinus infections
Commonly used to relieve sore throats
Relieves constipation
A common flu treatment
Fights symptoms of Candida yeast overgrowth and other Yeast Infections
Helps relieve the symptoms of arthritis (although it will not cure arthritis) and gout
Helpful in treating the symptoms of chronic fatigue
Restores proper pH balance (which guards against disease)
Relieves acid reflux
An effective treatment for dermatitis
Useful in weight loss in the famous “Vinegar and Honey Diet”

All you need for this tonic are three ingredients. Although that sounds simple enough, the three ingredients have to be the right ones.

Apple Cider Vinegar. Buying the right Apple Cider Vinegar is extremely important. The mother must be present and you want your vinegar pure. In other words, you want it organic and don't want it pasteurized. You can find this kind of Apple Cider Vinegar in the health food stores, online, or at a local apple orchard, you might also be able to find the right kind in your local supermarket. Make sure it is organic “unfiltered” vinegar.  Bragg’s is my favorite brand.

Honey  You also need to buy the right honey to enjoy the maximum health benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar Tonic. Look for Raw Honey not the processed kind you'll find in that little plastic bear in your super market. Most people will have to go to their local health food store to find this type of honey.
Helpful Tip for Honey : There is no need to worry about buying your honey in large container. Its shelf life is years and if you notice your honey crystallizing just sit the container in hot water (enough to cover the level your honey is at in the container), let sit for about 30 minutes in hot tap water and it will start pouring again.

Water:  best to use spring water (free of chemicals), distilled water, or filtered tap water. Tap water has been treated and then filled with chemicals… opps lost a little of the health benefit there.

The HACV Tonic for Life
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 cup hot or cold water.

Drink one glass daily.
This is a tonic for life because it helps “balance” your body by providing both acid and alkali.

Monday, April 25, 2011

affirmations manifest our destinies

Affirmations are statements that one uses to manifest their own destiny.

Affirmations have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. Being a teenager in the 60’s and having a mother who sought out all forms of spiritual knowledge, allowed me to also explore the different philosophies of “why we exist and our purpose here.” Along with that, I also began to realize that I not only needed to be very careful of what I wished for, but what I told my "self".  Our minds accept as truth the critical statements we tell ourselves, also it can accept our positive or negative affirmations.

The words we speak and think hold great sway over the kind of life that we create for ourselves. Many people live their lives plagued by negative thoughts and never even realize this. They tell themselves and others that they are doomed to fail, not good enough, or not worthy of love, yet they are amazed when their reality starts reflecting these words. Just as the subconscious mind accepts as truth the critical statements we tell ourselves, it is also equipped to instantly accept the veracity of our affirmations.

Affirmations are statements chosen and spoken consciously. Once they enter our realm of consciousness, they also enter our subconscious mind where they have the power to change our lives. The affirmations you create should be specific, not too long, worded positively, formed in complete sentences, and spoken in the present tense as if what you are affirming is already true.

It is a good idea to repeat your affirmations daily. You may want to tell yourself that you deserve to be happy or that you are in control of your destiny. Or, you may want to focus on a particular goal, such as having a better memory. Rather than telling yourself … “I want to remember better.”… say, “I have an excellent memory, my mind is unlimited.”

Your subconscious mind will pick up on these positive messages, and you will begin to live your life as if what you are affirming already has happened. Soon, your reality will begin to reflect your affirmations. If you find that you are thwarting yourself with negative thinking, try repeating your affirmations several times a day. Write your affirmations down and say them aloud or in your mind. Allow your conviction to grow stronger each time you say your affirmations, and your negativity will be overridden by your motivation and positive thoughts.

Affirmations are a powerful tool for creating our desired reality. We consciously and subconsciously invite opportunity into our lives when we say affirmations. Trust in the power of your affirmations and you will very quickly create what you have already stated to be true.

Do I suggest you go out and buy a book of affirmations? Not really, you know what you want. And remember, that affirmations alone are not always the answer- there may be action needed on your part as well.

Here are some tips on making your own affirmations: 
  • Be Exceptionally Clear About the Real Issue
  • Affirm in the Present Tense
  • It is All About You
  • Engage your Emotions
  • Be Positive
  • Be Short and Specific
  • Be Accurate
  • Visualise Vividly
  • Make Use of The Very Best Time of Day

this week's picture & links

The Beauty Of Spring Storms
photographer/artist~ digitalmidge
____________________________________________________________________________________

what's new elsewhere... click on the links and take a peek.


Friday, April 22, 2011

Friday Fun Day~ Colorado sweethearts

Our Ranch in Colorado boarders a championship stable, you've seen pictures of a couple of their horses grazing in our paddock. Well, with spring there are always births and the T&V Stables is not exempt. All of these little guys are perfect and will soon become champions in their own rights. I just wish I could be there to cuddle them.







London - 2 hours old, 
Hiding in the hay









London - 2 weeks old
mom- Abbi





Durham - 6 day old
mom- High Spirit








Derby - 5 days old
mom - Whisper

(I wonder if Derby will keep that 
brilliant silver coat or become black
like mom. I will have to ask Eileen.)





Chelsa - 36 hours old
mom  Zilla



(wow, look at those long legs!) 



you should be able to double click on the picture to enlarge.
have a wonderful Easter weekend, don't forget Earth Day today, and see you on Monday.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Being Green~ Nature's survival is in Our Hands

tomorrow is Earth Day's 40th anniversary...

Times have changed since the first Earth Day, when a U.S. senator from Wisconsin managed to funnel the era’s activism into the historic gathering that put the rising challenges of the environment on the nation’s agenda.


As the 40th anniversary of Earth Day approaches this Friday, April 22, the Earth Day legacy is more important than ever. It has inspired and mobilized individuals and organizations worldwide to demonstrate their commitment to environmental protection and sustainability.

Each year, Earth Day falls on April 22. In 2011, Earth Day occurs on a Friday, though many schools, businesses and communities will be celebrating Earth Day all week long and into the weekend.

This year it also falls on Good Friday, I know that for many their focus will be on this Easter Season, and I send wishes for a joyous weekend. 

What I am asking of you is to also make this day be a reminder that throughout the year, each and every day of our lives, should be Earth Day. Think about your actions and what effect they have on the environment, nature, and our beloved Earth. Take a moment tomorrow, sit down with your families or yourself, and make a list of all the changes you can make to help our Mother Earth and then make a commitment to follow through with those changes.

peace be with you and your families- margeaux

Nature's survival is in Our Hands

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Meal Ideas~ make ahead Easter coffee cake

One of the nice things about this dish is that it is prepared up to 12 hours before you bake it, leaving you time to do any last minute Easter preparations; then enjoy a nice cup of coffee and this tasty treat.

Coffee Cake:
2 c. all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
2/3 c. butter
2 eggs
1 c. plain yogurt (or buttermilk)
1 tsp. vanilla

Topping:
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 c. chopped walnuts

Cake:
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. In a medium bowl, combine flour, salt, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and 1 cup granulated sugar. Mix well. Stir in brown sugar and mix well. Melt butter, allow to cool and stir in yogurt. Add the butter and yogurt mixture alternately with the flour mixture to the large bowl (with the butter, sugar and eggs). Stir in vanilla; turn batter out into a greased 9x13-inch pan.

Topping:
Combine ingredients for topping and sprinkle over the top of batter.
Refrigerate for up to 12 hours before baking. Batter may thicken slightly; stir in a small amount of milk if needed to thin batter.

Bake in a preheated 350°F oven until a wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean (about 35 minutes).

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Healthy Living ~ Olive Oil

The other day for our 3:30 snack someone brought in a parmesan-basil-olive oil dip and some toasted French bread. It was tasty! However, when another friend questioned just how healthy all that “oil” was I tried to explain the health value of Olive Oil. Needless to say, I didn’t do a very good job, so I decided this would be a great subject for this weeks… Healthy Living.

If olive oil is high in fat, why is it considered healthy?

The main type of fat found in all kinds of olive oil is monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs). MUFAs are actually considered a healthy dietary fat. If your diet emphasizes unsaturated fats, such as MUFAs and polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs), instead of saturated fats and trans fats, you may gain certain health benefits.

MUFAs and PUFAs may help lower your risk of heart disease by improving related risk factors. For instance, MUFAs may lower your total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels. MUFAs may also help normalize blood clotting. And some research shows that MUFAs may also benefit insulin levels and blood sugar control, which can be especially helpful if you have type 2 diabetes.

But even healthier fats like olive oil are high in calories, so use them only in moderation. Choose MUFA-rich foods such as olive oil instead of other fatty foods — particularly butter and stick margarine — not in addition to them. And remember that you can't make unhealthy foods healthier simply by adding olive oil to them.

Olive oil is very well tolerated by the stomach. In fact, olive oil's protective function has a beneficial effect on ulcers and gastritis. Olive oil activates the secretion of bile and pancreatic hormones much more naturally than prescribed drugs. Consequently, it lowers the incidence of gallstone formation.

Also, be aware that heat, light and air can affect the taste of olive oil and possibly its health-promoting nutrients. Store olive oil in a dark, room-temperature cupboard, or even in the refrigerator. The fats and healthy phytonutrients in olive oil — as well as the taste — can slowly degrade over time, so it's probably best to use it within a year or within six months once opened.

Now, one other thing--- Canola Oil—isn’t it as good?

Yes, Canola Oil is also good for your heart

Olive oil and canola oil are both marketed as heart healthy oils for cooking and baking. However, while both oils are healthy, the two oils are very different. Olive oil is an oil that is made by pressing ripe olives and collecting their juices; canola oil is made from a hybrid of the rapeseed plant, and is a vegetable oil.  Canola oil doesn't contain the many beneficial nutrients found in olive oil, it is still good for your heart. Canola oil is generally low in saturated fats, and high in the omega-3 fatty acids and other monounsaturated fats that help to promote healthy cardiovascular function.

When to Choose Canola Oil over Olive Oil

While olive oil is considered the healthier oil, it's sometimes appropriate to choose canola oil instead. Extra virgin and virgin olive oils retain much of the flavor of the olives from which they're pressed, so while they might make a tasty dip or dressing, they often aren't appropriate for cooking or baking. Since most types of olive oils are more expensive than canola oil, you might want to consider reserving olive oil for toppings and using canola oil for cooking and baking.

Information compiled from the Mayo Clinic & Joslin Diabetes Center.

Monday, April 18, 2011

this week's picture & links

what's new elsewhere you ask?... just click on the links to peek.

things i will miss blog ~ #91 ~ full service gas stations


picture of the week~~ look closely, can you find the frog?

.... happy Earth Day, happy Easter, and happy Life....

12 critical things your family needs to know

In this day and age think about all the information and possessions that one gathers over their lifetime. Does anyone other than you know what you have, where you have it, and what your wishes are? You can either invest a few hours of time getting your affairs together now, or your loved ones can spend thirty, forty or even hundreds hours trying to figure it all out later. And don’t forget the $5,000 to $75,000 in legal, accounting and probate fees they’ll have to pay.
  
I found a workbook that is wonderful, it has absolutely everything in it you will need to gather that information and then place it all together in a safe place until the need arises.The purpose of the book is to help you document your personal wishes and all the essential pieces of information your family would likely need in a crisis. 

"12 Critical Things…” (ISBN 978-0-9800056-2-2) is for people who aren’t inclined to cover much detail. It’s quick, covering the most essential information about your personal & financial affairs.  A downloadable/writeable PDF is-$13.00 or a spiral-bound fill-in the pages book @ $15.00. The price is the same regardless ordering from the author's website or Amazon. The website has a money back guarantee if it is not what you were looking for; but trust me this book is every bit worth the money.   

The book’s title refers to the twelve major areas of critical decisions and information the book guides you to provide for your family: 

Personal & Family Information
Family Medical History
Advance Health Care Directives
Organ+ Donation Choices
Final Arrangements
Wills, Trusts & Estate Plans
Insurance
Investments, Bank Accounts & Other Financial Assets
Retirement Plans & Annuities
Real Estate: Your Primary Residence
Debts & Liabilities
Advisors
Other important information is mixed into these pages that doesn’t fit neatly into these categories.

EXAMPLES 
Here are a few examples of information the book prompts for that your family might really need to know in a crisis:

Where is the safe/safe deposit box/storage unit? What’s in there and how can it be accessed?
Should you be cremated? (this assumes you are dead, otherwise cremation can be quite uncomfortable)
What is your blood type?
What is your passport number?
How can the alarm system or water supply be shut-off in your home?
Where are your financial assets (firms, account numbers, contacts, etc)?
Do you have any allergies?
Are there any old life insurance policies or retirement plans from the military or jobs you left long ago?
Who should get your stuff when you die? (Or would you prefer your family fight it out at your funeral?)
And on and on.  The book organizes these and hundreds of other important & useful pieces of information.

I suggest you check out the website and see what I am talking about; you will not regret this decision.

 link to site:   12CriticalThings.com

 Also, for those who are in close contact with me can see a copy, just let me know.

Friday, April 15, 2011

nature has a course- Lily update

This is a sad update I am making for Lily's family.

Jason -
Lily teaching Jason to climb
I pondered whether to do this update, but there are those of you who follow this wonderful family and it will eventually be known. Tues, April 12th, little Jason passed away. A necropsy is being done. The Bear Center Research Team was able to be there when he took his last breath. It was becoming apparent that Jason was having a hard time keeping up with Lily and his sisters as they began their spring movement and foraging.  It was a hard decision for them not to scoop him up and rush him to a facility to be saved at the last second. There are many factors that were involved.  However, it is not their position to interfere with nature, only study what happens.


Faith, curiously cautious
Little Faith appears to be strong, healthy, and happy.  If you wish more information, here is a link to the Bear Center’s Update post.


here is another link, of Faith playing with Lily- it is absolutely adorable!!! My heart tightens with love for these bears.



Monday, April 11, 2011

Decoupage Eggs- fun spring/Easter project

As if I don’t have enough to do... but when spring comes around, my creative side needs to be fulfilled. In keeping with my reuse, repurpose, recycle theme for life, I decided to recycle magazines, gift paper, and my breakfasts, making use of the eggshells; it will mean scramble eggs and omelets for a short while.

My project this spring… Decoupaged, hand-blown eggs … which are delicate, truly recycled art objects that are beautiful for Easter and spring decor. They look lovely nesting in a crystal bowl, on a small silver platter, in a faux bird's nest, in a small basket sitting on a coffee table. Mine I re-purposed some fabric into an cute little shoe container.

Get the eggs ready
      Cover your workspace with wax paper, because you will be working with glue. Allow the eggs to sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
      Wash the eggs with warm, soapy water and then use a large needle or an oversized safety pin to poke a small hole in each end of the egg. Do this gently.
      Push in the needle and twist and move it around to break the yoke inside the egg.
      Hold the egg over a bowl and blow hard through the top hole. The inside of the egg will emerge from the other end and fall into the bowl. Continue blowing until the shell is empty. Handle the egg as gently as you can to keep it from cracking.
      When the eggs are emptied, wash them with soapy water and then rinse; try to get the water to run through the egg. Let the eggs dry for a few hours.
      You can use a natural dye process to give the eggs a little color or just leave them white (because the decoupage will be the main color and decoration to the eggs). If you want a subtle, base hue, think about putting carrots, blueberries, grass or coffee into boiling water and then straining the contents to tint the eggs. I personally will keep the eggs white or brown so that there is contrast with the images that I apply.

Decoupage the eggs
      Decide what images you want on your eggs. Look for small images in magazines. For a seasonal look, choose bunnies, chicks and other spring images. Cut the images out with nicely trimmed edges.
      Next, pour four tablespoons of white glue into a bowl and add about a teaspoon of hot water to thin the glue a little. Use as much glue as you need depending on how many eggs you want to make.
      Dredge the paper image through the glue, making sure that it is coated on both sides and then apply it to the egg. While it is wet, you can move it around to make sure it is in the right place. Add other images to make a collage on the egg. Because of the shape of the egg, you will have some creases in the image. That's OK. It gives the egg collage some character and texture, I think. Just add more glue and press lightly until it is as flat as it can be.
     Composing the collage and pressing down the images will take some patience and time. When you have achieved the look you want, set the egg down on wax paper. While you are working on another egg, keep coming back to the first ones that you made, adding a little more glue and pressing some more. This gets all of the air bubbles that will pop up and coats the egg thoroughly with glue.
      When the eggs are covered in images, let them air-dry overnight, turning them from time to time, if possible.

Add some blown-egg bling
      To give your eggs some sparkle, spread a little more glue on the entire egg and shake on very fine glitter. You can also buy clear glue that has clear fine glitter in it. I would use only clear, white, very pale pink or very light blue glitter so that you don't overpower the images on the eggs. You also could add some tiny rhinestones here and there for extra egg bling. Use craft glue to adhere them onto the egg. A friend of mine has had some eggs she made over 20 years ago, she says they will last a lifetime of holiday decorations.