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, September 28, 2012

fun friday photo ~ got clams???

once again my friend Lois gives me a morning smile with pictures she sends. this came with several others...all adorable, but this one was my favorite---
one can only wonder just what on earth this little guys is doing...and why?

Thursday, September 27, 2012

thursday's garden ~ epsom salts ??

Way back in 2008 my neighbor, Carol, turned me onto using Espom salts for my plants. I was skeptical at first; I had two Japanese maples, one potted and the other in the ground, which was struggling through the summer. She told me to check out the Epsom Salt Council website gardening section. I did and I have been hooked ever since supplementing my plants with the benefits of this terrific product.

Epson salts a tonic for plants:
Epson salt is not a salt as we know it in the kitchen sense, but magnesium sulfate, a form of magnesium and sulfur crystals that is easily dissolved in water and readily used by plants. It is an important mineral missing in many soils because it is depleted quickly. Western soils with high alkalinity are also famously low in magnesium.

Carol in her garden
But all I know, really, is that if you dump a bucket of Epsom salts dissolved in water on your plants, the benefits are virtually immediate. Magnesium-starved plants perk up quickly, set new buds, break out of their winter doldrums, and start to flower. Seeds germinate quickly. It’s also a great tonic to use if you are “pushing” plants to bloom before a big event, as my neighbor does.
Magnesium also helps your plants utilize two other nutrients that you apply frequently, nitrogen and phosphorus.  The Epson Salt Industry Council says, “Don’t worry, it cannot be overused. You can apply it wet or dry, makes no difference.”

They recommend:
  • House plants: 2 tablespoons per gallon of water, once a month
  • Tomatoes and peppers: 1 tablespoon dry per foot of plant height, every two weeks
  • Roses: 1 tablespoon dry per foot of plant eight, every two weeks. And scratch 1.2 cup into the soil per plant at the beginning of the bloom season. Also use a foliar spray of 1 teaspoon of Epsom salts with water weekly to discourage pests.
  • Lawns: Apply 3 pounds per 1,250 square feet (apply dry).
Sage, I have found out, is the only plant that does not respond kindly to magnesium sulfate.

Epsom salts does help Japanese maples struggling through the summer season. Some experts believe that it is not the heat that hinders these plants, but months of watering with salty municipal water. A few tablespoons of Epsom salts to a gallon of water used as a drench helps reduce lime buildup and lower’s alkalinity and the salt levels of our soil.

Whatever you do, be sure to buy the cheap stuff! You can often find Epsom salts in grocery and pharmacy stores. There is no need to buy products packaged specifically for the garden; they are virtually the same product, but with a much higher price.

and… remember to buy a box for yourself. When you are done with a full day of gardening, a hot soak in a tub of Epsom salts might cure much of what ails you, especially those overworked muscles.

Here is that web site where you can read all about Epsom salts:

Epsom Salts Council

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

meal ideas ~ on the rise

          good morning... rise and shine with a breakfast to carry you into the day... remember, if you want to lose weight a healthy breakfast is the foundation.

Provencal Omelet 
Keep the fat low by spraying a cold skillet with cooking spray rather than cooking the vegetables in oil. This easy breakfast or lunch recipe, low in fat
Nonstick cooking spray

2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
3 tablespoons sliced green onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup refrigerated egg product, or 4 eggs
1/4 teaspoon herbes de Provence crushed
1/8 teaspoon salt
Dash ground black pepper
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese (1 ounce)
1 tablespoon finely shredded Asiago or Parmesan cheese
1 medium plum tomato, chopped
Snipped fresh parsley (optional)

1. Lightly coat an unheated 6- to 7-inch nonstick skillet with flared sides with nonstick cooking spray. Preheat skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms, green onion, and garlic to skillet; cook until tender; stirring frequently. Remove mushroom mixture from skillet using a slotted spoon; set aside. If necessary, pour liquid out of skillet; carefully wipe out skillet.

2. In a medium bowl, combine egg product or eggs, herbes de Provence, salt, and pepper. Beat with a whisk or rotary beater until combined. Add 1/2 teaspoon of the oil to clean skillet. Preheat skillet over medium heat.

3. Pour half of the egg mixture into prepared skillet. Cook, without stirring, about 1 minute or until egg mixture begins to set. Run a spatula around edge of skillet, lifting egg mixture so uncooked portion flows underneath.

4. Continue cooking and lifting edges until egg mixture is set but is still glossy and moist. Sprinkle with half of the mozzarella cheese. Top with half of the mushroom mixture. Continue cooking until cheese just begins to melt. Using the spatula, lift and fold an edge of the omelet partially over filling.
Transfer omelet to a warm plate. Prepare another omelet with remaining oil, egg mixture, mozzarella, and mushroom mixture. Top omelets with Asiago or Parmesan cheese, tomato, and, if desired, parsley. 

Scrambled Eggs with Tomatoes and Peppers
Enjoy my savory tomato-and-pepper spin on scrambled eggs Refrigerated or frozen egg product and fat-free milk combine with colorful vegetables for a satisfying egg dish that has only 0.5 carb choices and 4 grams of fat. 4 servings

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped red or green sweet pepper
1/2 cup chopped, seeded tomato
2 cups refrigerated egg product, or 8 eggs
1/3 cup fat-free milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

1. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and sweet pepper; cook for 4 to 6 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in tomato.

2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, beat together eggs, milk, salt, and black pepper. Add egg mixture to onion mixture in skillet. Cook over medium heat, without stirring, until mixture begins to set on the bottom and around edge.

3. With a spatula or a large spoon, lift and fold the partially cooked egg mixture so that the uncooked portion flows underneath. Continue cooking over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes or until egg mixture is cooked through but is still glossy and moist. Remove from heat. Serve immediately. 
remember to feel free to print these and any of the recipes I post. there is a printer icon on the top of my sidebar. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

healthy living~ elbows and knees

   I have always been plagued with dry, cracking elbows- perhaps because I lean on them. I actually got a horrid infection in an elbow a few years back; a more common occurrence than most would realize.

Yep, rough, dark knees and elbows are a very common problem in both men and women, and can be a result of many reasons. They are usually caused by constant rubbing or friction with clothes you wear, excessive pressure from leaning on them, too much sun exposure, and overly dry skin.
In some cases, dark elbows can be a sign of an underlying medical problem such as diabetes, hyperpigmentation, Addison's disease, or an adverse reaction to a medication you're currently taking. Therefore, you should speak with a doctor or dermatologist right away if you suddenly have a problem or if these skin whitening home remedies don't help.

Dark rough skin on elbows and knees can be softened and whitened as long as you're patient and diligent about it – exfoliate, bleach, and moisturize.
And again… putting commercial stuff loaded with chemicals and preservatives can worsen the condition- use something natural as much as possible.

 Home Treatments to Lighten Dark Rough Elbows and Knees Naturally

1. The first thing you have to do is exfoliate your elbows and knees once or twice a week to rejuvenate them. Scrubbing speeds up cell renewal by removing the top layer of dead skin cells that gives your skin a dry and dull appearance while softening rough skin on your elbows and knees.

There are many ways to slough off dead dry skin on your joints. You can use an over-the-counter exfoliating scrub, a loofah sponge, bath gloves, or make your own homemade scrubs for pennies.

Try mixing up a bit of olive oil and brown sugar (or white), or coffee grounds and grapeseed oil. For very dry skin, I'd suggest you use flax seeds and sunflower oil. Flaxseeds are a rich source of Vitamin E, Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, which are beneficial in helping cells repair and prevent damage.

 2. Once you've finished exfoliating your knees and elbows, rub a cut lemon or lime onto your joints to naturally bleach the dark patches. Leave the juice on your skin for at least 30 minutes and then rinse off with warm water. If possible, leave it overnight for a more potent bleaching action.

Another home remedy to whiten dark elbows and knees is to combine 1 teaspoon virgin coconut oil (or almond oil) with ½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice (or lime juice). Apply mixture to discolored knees and elbows, and wait for 30 minutes before washing.

Like lemon juice, gram flour can be extremely effective in fading dark skin blemishes. Make a paste of gram flour (also known as chickpea flour, or besan) and a few drops of freshly squeezed lemon juice. Gently massage the paste on darkened elbows and knees in circular motions. Wash off using warm water when it dries.

If you don't have lemons in your kitchen, then look for yogurt or milk. Both ingredients work well as natural skin lightener and also add moisture to dry rough skin. Mix a small amount of yogurt with a pinch of turmeric powder, and apply on skin areas that have become dark to lighten them.

You can also whiten dark elbows and knees with a mixture made with equal parts of almond powder and yogurt.

This natural skin whitening remedy is also worth a try. Place 1 teaspoon each of Vitamin E, lemon juice, and glycerin in a small bowl. Add 4 tablespoons milk and mix all ingredients together until well combined. Lightly massage the paste on dark skin patches on your knees and elbows. Leave on for 20 minutes before washing off.

3.  Applying moisturizer every day is a must to heal darkened elbows and knees, and keep them hydrated, soft and smooth. You want to use moisturizers that contain ingredients, such as aloe vera, Vitamin E, jojoba oil, AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids) or shea butter, to help reduce dark skin on your knees and elbows.

If you're looking for a not-so-expensive moisturizing cream or have sensitive skin, I'd recommend Eucerin and Cetaphil. You can also use olive oil, which is proven to have skin lightening properties due to the presence of linoleic acid.

Here's my suggestion – find 2 pairs of old socks, cut off the ends and position them over your elbows and knees after moisturizing before you go to bed. This locks in moisture and prevents it from being rubbed off while you sleep. Or, cover with a plastic wrap for 20 minutes and then remove.

 In addition to the above home treatments to whiten dark knees and elbows, it's also important to apply a sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher when going outdoors. Excessive sun exposure not only accelerates skin aging but can actually worsen the appearance of dark skin patches on your elbows and knees.

Monday, September 24, 2012

end of summer ramblings

You would think that as you age life would get a little smoother, perhaps even say “hey let’s give this one a break for a bit- she’s done pretty good”. Well, not so. Every year I expect it to get smoother, a little less challenging, even quieter, and every year something happens to make that idea or concept disappear. This summer has been a dozy for me, perhaps one of the worst- and I can honestly say that I am not sure what lesson(s) it offered…. except… use a mounting box when dismounting a horse, no climbing trees, and do not eat a 4 pound female lobster in one sitting… ha!

Actually I was forced to take the whole summer off from the normalcy of my daily tasks, due to various happenings:

In June I broke my left hand (dominate) and had to learn to write without a thumb. I still worked, in my cast, how on earth I accomplished that baffles me to this day. I did not realize that at least 80% of my duties involved writing- by hand. I will give kudos to all those that were patient with my lack of penmanship during those six weeks.  Eventually the cast came off and I only had a couple more weeks of painful discomfort before my hand was my own again.

Just after, and I mean just, my cast came off was my birthday and anniversary week, exactly seven days apart. To celebrate I decided to have a seafood/fish fest; eating seafood or fish nearly every day that week ending with a tasty huge 4 pound lobster, home cooked, on our 38th anniversary. Okay, that was a lot, and yes I had my fill of seafood by the end of that meal. And that is a good thing because….   a week later I had what they call a Thyroid Storm from an overdose of iodine! I didn’t know what it was; just that I was beginning to feel the worst I have EVER felt in my entire life.  It did start out slowly, kind of like I was teetering on the edge of getting the flu.  Now, the kicker, I kept working and living life for the next 3 weeks, even though I felt as though I wanted to lie down and die- then everyone kept asking if I was losing weight and congratulating me on it. All I knew was that I felt like *(^% .

Finally, one night I felt so bad at work I made an appointment with my Doctor for the next day. To my surprise… when I hopped on the scale, I was 17 pounds lighter (in 3 weeks) and my heart rate was 130, my blood pressure for once in ages was below normal. Dr Hokoki walked into the room, took one look at me, heard my story of the events up to that moment and had it all nipped in the bud- she said it was my thyroid, however, she needed to send me to the ER to deal with the irregular and rapid heart rate first. The end to this long section…. I was admitted to my hospital and to the floor where I work- how embarrassing is that? Did find out my heart is strong as an ox- I would have thought differently.  All the numbers are coming down; I have stopped losing weight and feel a whole lot better. Moral of this story---- seafood….in moderation!

Now the windup of my massive summer was the move of the hospital where I work to a new one, 3 miles down the road. No, I don’t mean my job moved or a new one—the entire hospital- patients, staff, and equipment- all moved into a new building. It was impressive; the move was smooth and beautifully executed. The new it’s big …

The problem?  I am not sure I have ever seen 1200+ people all stress out at the same time, not during the move…. but every day since. Every day is a challenge due to the newness and changes that this new place has created. Me: I am giving it 21 days (the recommended amount of time to get use to something new) and after that… I can’t say- promises have not been met- expectations have increased- and open doors for discussions have closed for almost everyone but those who made decisions without realizing the purpose, job task, or outcome.

Also, with the injury to the hand I was unable to play my harps. Okay, I was able to live with that. I have many times in the past taken a break from these beautiful friends; the longest being a year and half.  This was only three months- however, in revolt the “guys” all broke a major string- major being the most expensive and hardest to replace. Interestingly, they were all the bass string of “B”. Can harps have conspiracies? hum, one could wonder. Well, being that I could not play them….I let them sit for a while longer before replacing them. Which I did yesterday, and realizing that I had let my fingernails grow a beautiful length- they in the end will get their revenge- the nails will have to be cut down if I am to play again. I know a few moments on those precious strings and I will forget all about my fingernails and be in paradise once more.

And…during these summer events I have not spent one moment on school- the coyotes and the bears are waiting patiently for me and should be about ready to look for a den for the winter. The reading, writing, researching, left undone; I have a lot of catching up to do. I hope life gives me a moment. I am planning to go to Colorado mid October- to close up the ranch and say a wintery goodnight to the animals.

My garden, as mentioned last week, and home are what I would call in dire need of care- I felt so bad and tired I just shrugged those chores off- can't do that any longer. Thankfully my energy level is back, just wish I had more, I need it for the make-up extra chores that need attending.

...and sweet Jesse’s blog hasn’t been touched since the end of June- plans are to do that next week. My apologies for those who follow his adventures…for he hasn’t had any other than taking care of me in making sure I felt loved.

One smart thing I did a while ago was have some postings waiting on the sidelines, they have at least, hopefully, let me keep you entertained.

Thank you all for letting me ramble today- needed a little "pity party"
~ok it's over~

how was your summer?

Saturday, September 22, 2012

a moment for my KP friends, 
for all of us who are facing huge challenges in the recent changes- 
remember~we still have a paddle.... even if it is an AED
added "thrive" so i could place it on my desktop: photo taken of goose at Eisenhower Park

Friday, September 21, 2012

fun friday photo~ jethro

this was sent to me by my wonderful friend, Lois. 
thanks, my friend, for the laugh and smile.

Whether you own a dog or not, you must appreciate the efforts of this owner to sell her dog. Look at the picture, and then read the sales pitch below.
Dog For Sale. Free to good home. Excellent guard dog.

Owner cannot afford to feed Jethro anymore, as there are no more drug
pushers, thieves, murderers, or molesters left in the neighborhood for
him to eat. 
Most of them knew Jethro only by his Chinese street name...Ho Lee Schitt.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

thursday's garden~ life in a hot garden

      This summer has been looooooog and hot, especially for California. And, with me being injured or ill most of July, August, and September, I felt that my poor garden had suffered as well. Yesterday, feeling a little more like living I decided to go out and see just how much damaged had been done to my little private paradise of fauna and flora. Giving everything a good watering (beyond what the sprinklers had been doing) filling the bird feeders, water bowls and baths I began to notice there was some life busily attending to their tasks. I shot some photos and promised everything I will soon venture out and do a little garden primping. 

 This one is kinda of creepy, but a fun shot all the same.
I can remember being petrified of earwigs as a child, 
think it was what the name implied

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

meal ideas ~ breakfast yummies

Breakfast is absolutely the most important meal of the day (especially if you are diabetic or prediabetic) - you’ve heard it before and will hear it again. However, it is the hardest meal for people to add into their daily health regime.  The reasons are many and you all know what they are- think of how many excuses you make every day to avoid this meal. STOP! I am not going to rattle on about the importance of this meal; I will try and give you some healthy, tasty, and quick ideas to try.  Most of all….stay away from the “toy-food premade or packaged” breakfasts, - I call them coffin-nail meals… and they are.

Scrambled Eggs with Sausage
2 serving: 1 English muffin half and 1-1/2 cups egg mixture CARBS: 16
Nonstick cooking spray
2 eggs
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium chicken broth
Pinch ground black pepper
1 ounce cooked turkey sausage, sliced
1/4 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
2 tablespoons finely shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
1 whole grain English muffin, halved and toasted

1. Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Preheat skillet over medium heat.

2. In a medium bowl, use a whisk or rotary beater to beat together eggs, broth, and black pepper; stir in sliced sausage.

3. Pour egg mixture into hot skillet. Cook over medium heat, without stirring, until mixture begins to set on the bottom and around edges.

4. With a spatula or a large spoon, lift and fold the partially cooked egg mixture so the uncooked portion flows underneath. Continue cooking over medium heat until almost set; add tomatoes and cheese. Cook about 1 minute more or until egg mixture is cooked through but is still glossy and moist.

5. Serve over toasted English muffin halves. Makes 2 servings (1 English muffin half and 1-1/4 cups egg mixture per serving)

Asparagus-Cheese Omelet
Give a healthy boost to your day with this low-carb breakfast recipe that boasts 15 grams of protein and less than 120 calories per serving. 1 serving CARBS: 4

3 - 5 thin spears asparagus
3 egg whites, or 2 egg whites and 1 whole egg, or 1/2 cup refrigerated or frozen egg product, thawed –your choice
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
1 ounce desired flavor individually foil-wrapped spreadable cheese wedge, cut up
1 tablespoon red sweet pepper slivers
1 teaspoon snipped fresh parsley or basil

1. Lightly coat an unheated large nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Add asparagus to skillet and pan-roast over medium-high heat for 7 minutes or until browned and crisp-tender, turning occasionally. Set aside.

2. In a medium bowl combine egg whites and pepper. Using a fork, beat until combined but not frothy. In an 8-inch nonstick skillet heat oil over medium-high heat. Add egg whites to skillet. Reduce heat to medium. As eggs start to set, use a heatproof silicone spatula to gently lift edges of set egg white, tilting pan to allow liquid egg white to run under set egg. Continue until egg is set but still shiny.

3. Arrange the asparagus spears on half of the eggs in skillet. Top evenly with cheese. Fold the unfilled half of the eggs over the asparagus and cheese. Gently slide the omelet out of the skillet onto a serving plate. Sprinkle omelet with red sweet pepper slivers and parsley.

Salmon-Dill Omelet: Prepare omelet as directed, except omit the asparagus, cheese, parsley, and red sweet pepper. Fill omelet with 3/4 ounce smoked salmon (lox-style) and 2 teaspoons finely chopped red onion. Top with 1 tablespoon plain nonfat yogurt and 1/2 teaspoon snipped fresh dill. Or, if desired, omit the fresh dill and stir a dash of dried dillweed into the yogurt and then spoon on top of the omelet.

****here is a link the Diabetic Living’s Best Breakfast recipes- very good ideas- and remember you do not have to be diabetic to eat like a diabetic should--- it will only make you healthier, I promise!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

healthy living~ naturally beautiful nail tips

White nail tips look youthful and healthy, but many of the things we touch every day stain and dirty our fingernails. When cleaning with a nail brush alone is not enough to produce the results you want, use commonly available ingredients to whiten underneath your nails. Most methods of nail whitening require several uses to produce results and regular use to maintain results. The last one, my favorite, has quick results and easy to use. Follow the first three natural whitening methods with hand lotion to avoid any dryness.

Hydrogen Peroxide
Marie Claire magazine reports that "Beautiful Hands and Nails Naturally" author Fran Manos recommends using a paste made from 1 part 3 percent hydrogen peroxide, available at most pharmacies, and 2 1/2 parts baking soda. Apply the paste under the nails and rinse after three minutes.

Lemon Juice
Soaking your nails in lemon juice can whiten them. You can pour lemon juice in a small dish, or just apply lemons to your fingers. You can also use a paste made from baking soda and lemon juice to whiten nails. Allow the lemon juice to soak into your nails for several minutes before rinsing and drying your hands.

Toothpastes typically contain gentle abrasives to help remove surface stains on your teeth. Those same gentle abrasives can help remove surface stains on your nails. Use a separate toothbrush for your nails and brush gently to avoid irritating your skin.

and now my favorite……

Ever Use A Nail Whitener Pencil?
Last but not least—the simplest way to get that manicured look with beautiful white nail tips is to use a Nail Whitener Pencil- They are easy to find, Sally Hansen has one in her arsenal of nail care products.

How to use one?  You all must know about regular eye-liners. A nail whitener pencil is like an eye liner pencil. It is used to make the edges of the nail look white, giving the nails a French manicure look. Nail polish sometimes leaves yellow spots on the nails on removal. Household works and daily activities also make the nails appear yellowish and dull. Such conditions demand the use of nail whiteners. The steps to apply the nail whitening pencils are mentioned below: 
  • Remove dirt or previously applied nail polish using a nail polish remover.
  • Wait until your fingers and nails are clean and dry.
  • Take a nail whitening pencil and make the tip of the pencil wet.
  • Apply this wet tip under all edges of your nails.
  • Cover the entire tip with white color.
  • Apply this to all fingers in the same manner.

 Any split nails, ridges, or spots will be hidden with the application of this pencil. If you want to make your fingers look gorgeous and enhance the look of your hands, then using nail whitening pencil is the most desired option. The major advantage is the affordable cost and easy application, which is easily available and can be done anywhere at any time.

Monday, September 17, 2012

my cuddly dreamweaver

 Nearly every night this past week my dreams have included a koala bear- dream interpretation is a tricky business and I truly believe that one cannot put a single meaning to something that applies to all. The reasons are as individual as are our own souls. So, I decided to study the koala a little to see what I can determine the cause of his appearance in my nightly dreams.

If ever there was a creature made to cuddle, it is the koala with its soft, fuzzy fur, cute, rubbery nose, big, fluffy ears, and gentle nature. The arboreal marsupial is a native of Australia, but it is adored all over the world.

Koalas remind us to savor life, slowly and sweetly as they do, spending much of their time sleeping and eating. Since they feed almost exclusively on the leaves of select eucalyptus trees, they have a sweet, medicinal, cough drop smell (like a favorite elderly aunt). The koalas' diet is so complete; they seldom need to drink, obtaining enough water from the leaves alone. Perhaps I should be as selective in my choice of foods, eating only what nourishes me.

When they're not eating, koalas are usually resting, sleeping up to 18 hours a day! Nocturnal by nature, they snooze in the fork of their beloved eucalyptus by day, becoming most active after sunset. Those of you who are not "morning" people can relate. Perhaps I need to get more than my normal 5 to 6 hours of sleep.

Koalas are sometimes active during the day, meandering slowly through eucalyptus, even jumping from one tree to the next in a burst of energy. With an excellent sense of balance, long, muscular limbs, and sharp claws, they are well suited to trees. On the rare occasions when they do come down to the ground, they are vulnerable to predators. Perhaps I would be wise to follow such an example, being more aware of my strengths and weaknesses.

Solitary creatures, koalas often have their own tree, content to live alone. During mating season though koalas socialize, calling to each other over long distances with bellows. Mothers and babies make soft clicking, squeaking sounds and gentle humming or murmuring sounds to one another, as well as gentle grunts to signal displeasure or annoyance.  Not sure of this one, I am extremely solitary …. however, my dream koala was very friendly and playful.

What have I learned from the koala –?
              to slow down, spend time alone, and chew food for thought thoroughly.

Friday, September 14, 2012

fun friday photo~ baby tortoise hatching

Kimberly, one of my coworkers, has tortoises and turtles as pets.....LOTS of them, all different types. one of her tortoises has laid eggs and now the babies are beginning to hatch, here is a picture she sent me of one working its way out of his shell.... sooooo cute.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

thursday's garden~ autumn's glow

Autumn’s Glow

There is something about autumn
That brings out such earthiness
Gold leaves adorn bushes and trees
Like an artist with a brilliant brush

Once the leaves dry on the trees
Then the wind begins to blow
It’s a special time of year for me
Because I love autumn so

The cold dry air it seems
Prepare the leaves to fall
Mother Nature’s special time
Yes, it’s the best of all

What a dazzling way to end
The year as winter nears
The way leaves let loose
And dropp like nature’s tears

Oh yes, I love those golden days
Dreamy with autumn’s glow
It makes me smile because I do
Love the season of autumn so!

Marilyn Lott

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

meal ideas ~ yum-nummy basil & tomato pasta salad

Basil and Tomato Pasta Salad

Capers, kalamata olives, red onion, and garlic pack this simple pasta salad with tons of flavor. I use spiral gemelli (short twist) noodles, but the recipe works well with any pasta. And… this Italian inspired side salad recipe is delicious served with any grilled meats or chicken at a cookout.  SERVING SIZE: 3/4 cup CARBS: 23

1 pound dried gemelli
1 pound red and/or yellow tomatoes, chopped
1 cup shredded reduced-fat mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/2 cup quartered pitted kalamata or ripe olives
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil or
2 tablespoons snipped fresh oregano
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil

1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain; rinse under cold water until cool. Drain again.

2. In a large bowl, combine cooked pasta, tomatoes, cheese, red onion, olives, basil, oregano, capers, garlic, salt, and pepper. Add olive oil; toss gently to mix. Cover and chill for 2 to 4 hours. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

healthy living~ ginger


 I cannot say enough about the benefits of ginger. I love ginger whether it is fresh, powdered, crystallized, it packs a whollop of health and goodness.  Ginger has been used as a natural remedy for many ailments for centuries.  Now, science is catching up and researchers around the world are finding that ginger works wonders in the treatment of everything from cancer to migraines.

Ginger is classified as a herb which have been widely used as traditional medicine or spice in many cultures throughout the world.  Ginger is often referred to as a root, but it is actually an underground stem (called rhizome). The rhizome is branched with small "limbs".  It has brown skin that is thin if harvested when young, or becomes thick when harvested when it matures.  The color of the flesh varies from pale yellow to white or pink, or even red, depending on the variety. Young ginger is fragrant, pungent, fleshy and juicy with a mild spicy taste.  Whereas mature ginger is fibrous and almost dry and tends to be spicier than its young counterpart.

Nutritional Benefits 
Ginger is known to have more than twelve types of anti-oxidants, making it useful for treatment of many disorders.  Like other spices, it has aphrodisiac properties and is used widely for medicinal purposes.

This herb contains essential oils, protein, calcium, phosphorus, iron, vitamin C, choline, folic acid, inositol, manganese, panthotenic acid, silicon, and a small amount of vitamin B3.

Health Benefits 
The medicinal uses of ginger is almost endless.  If you can stomach the spiciness, it does wonders in treating many disorders.

Anticoagulant:  Add ginger in most of your cooking or add a teaspoonful of fresh ginger juice in your beverages to enjoy the anticoagulant properties of ginger.  It helps make blood platelets less sticky which in turn reduces your risk of atherosclerosis.

Aphrodisiac effect:  A natural aphrodisiac, this might be the better substitute to viagra!  Drink hot ginger tea (by mixing ginger juice, hot water and raw honey) after a not-too-heavy meal and see it work!

Cold: Cut up a small piece of ginger and boil it with a small cup of pure drinking water.  Add some green tea leaves if you wish.  Strain and drink when hot.  Effective if you also have fever resulting from the cold. You may also drink this concoction if you feel a cold coming.

Cough:  Drink ginger juice with raw honey three to four times a day for a bad throat.  It is soothing and helps clear up phlegm.

Digestive disorder:  Mix a teaspoonful of fresh ginger juice with one teaspoonful each of fresh lime juice and fresh mint juice with some honey to taste in a glass of water.  Drink to relieve heartburn, indigestion, nausea and vomiting.  Especially helpful after a big meaty meal.

Fatigue:  Slice a piece of ginger into disks and boil it with a big glass of water.  Add a piece of cinnamon bark, bring to boil and then cover it for about half an hour till it turns to golden color.  Drink it to relieve fatigue when recovering from fever.  It also relieves muscle pain and soreness.

Flatulence:  Pound a piece of fresh ginger and boil with a cup of water and add a little honey to taste.  Drink it twice a day to let off the wind trapped in the intestinal tract.

Impotency:  Believe it or not!  Mix a teaspoonful of fresh ginger juice to a half-boiled egg and a teaspoonful of honey. Take this concoction on an empty stomach, every night for a month.  It is supposed to cure impotency, premature ejaculation and increase sperm count.  (Not proven but worth trying!)

Inflammations:  The anti-inflammatory (gingerols) and anti-oxidant properties in ginger help relieve various inflammatory disorders like gout, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis.  It provides substantial relief in pain caused by inflammation and help decrease swelling and morning stiffness.

Menstruation disorders: Pound a piece of fresh ginger and boil with a cup of water and add a little honey to taste.  Drink it hot two or three times a day for a month.  The pain-relieving and anti-cramping compounds in ginger effectively help relieve painful menstruation cramps (dysmenorrhoea).  In the absence of menstruation in women in the reproductive age (amenorrhoea), this concoction can also help induce menstruation.

Morning sickness: A teaspoonful of fresh ginger juice with some honey will also help alleviate morning sickness, sea or motion sickness, dizziness and even nausea caused by chemotherapy or anesthesia.

Pain killer: Ginger juice makes an excellent pain killer, even when applied externally.  In headache, apply ginger juice to the forehead.  With toothache, apply it to the external area either on the cheek or jaw area.

my favorite ginger products- especially the chews...

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As America's foremost supplier of all natural ginger ingredients and home to the most award-winning ginger brand, The Ginger People® are passionate about all things ginger and committed to its virtues. With state-of-the-art ginger factories in both California and Australia, we take pride in being the most quality-oriented and environmentally conscious ginger producer in the world.