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!”

Monday, April 30, 2012

Henry David Thoreau- 10 thoughts on life

Who is your favorite philosopher, who has made the biggest impact on your life with their life sayings or teachings and when you do something or something happens, do these pop into your thoughts to help you move along the path of life? I have just such a person and many times his words have entered my life and made it richer and more enlightened.  

My favorite, Henry David Thoreau- I was eight when I was first introduced to his sayings and philosophies- the first being…“Dwell as near as possible to the channel in which your life flows.” I understood exactly what he meant. For my twelfth birthday I received his book “Life in the Woods” a record of his experiment in simple living- I was hooked forever. Here is just a few of my favorite sayings.

Henry DavidThoreau~ (born David Henry Thoreau) was an American author, naturalist, transcendentalist, tax resister, development critic, philosopher, and abolitionist who is best known for Walden, a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings, and his essay, Civil Disobedience, an argument for individual resistance to civil government in moral opposition to an unjust state.

this week's journey

dad and mom "Bean Geese" and their seven little "Beanie" goslings
what's new... click on the link and take a peek at jesse's blog:

berner tails ~ play'n with bear, rabbit, possum, & bunnie

articles this week:
Thoreau- 10 thoughts on life
healthy fats
nuts- about power foods
webcam news~ siku- being a big bear
fun friday~ more T&V babies- so cute

visit new !!  Journey  pages for pics and webcam updates 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

wildlife cam news~ eaglets

as promised last week: all i will say is that these little guys are getting very big and very cute- they have started to eat on their own, so dad and mom simply drop something in the nest and fly off to the "babysitting branch" to keep an eye out. the three are actually one of the quieter nest i've seen before. The Hornby island eaglets were always squawking and fighting with each other for nest position and food. a couple of my friends have scolded me for giving them the link to the site... "it's addicting, and i can't get anything else done." and I reply... "tell me about it and I watch 4 wildlife webcams- ha!" at least my time gets me education points. :) here are some favorite pictures.                                   link to: decorah eagles

mom in the rear, dad in the front
nest view from the ground
 remember how soft and white their down was?
 then it started getting darker as their fledgling feathers came in... 
 then they started growing...and growing
 now twice their hatch size-- still got those big heads and feet...ha!
the lighter one in the front was the last egg to hatch,
 he/she is slightly behind the other two in growth and feathering.
the dark spots are actually their teen-feathers and wing feathers peeking through.
 speaking of's time to start to exercise those flight muscles,
they are good eaglets...yea they are... :)

link to hatch annoucment  wildlife cam news~ we've got eaglets      &   wildlife 2012 link

next week we will 
see how much
Siku has grown

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

meal ideas ~ melons

Melons ~

A dessert straight from nature, melons come in many varieties including watermelon, cantaloupe, muskmelon, honeydew, casaba, crenshaw, Persian, and pepino.

While all provide good nutrients, watermelon is high in vitamins C and B6 and is a good source of the antioxidant lycopene, which may help protect against cancer, says nutritionist Jeannette Jordan. Lycopene is commonly associated with tomatoes and tomato juice, but watermelon is another optimal source. Watermelon is also high in beta-carotene, which the body uses to make vitamin A.

Honeydew is high in vitamin C and a good source of potassium, which can help improve or maintain blood pressure, according to the Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide Online. Check with a health-care professional before increasing potassium intake if you have kidney complications or kidney disease.

Cantaloupe is also high in potassium and the antioxidant beta-carotene, and it's a good source of fiber, vitamin C, and folate. The American Heart Association recommends getting enough folate and other B vitamins in your diet to help lower homocysteine levels, which may help decrease the risk of heart disease.

Tips for choosing the best melon: 
  • Watermelon should be firm and without bruising or dents. Store whole melons at room temperature for up to 10 days. One serving is 1 slice or 1-1/4 cups cubed.
  • Honeydew should feel heavy, have a slight scent, and not have bruising or softness. One serving is 1 slice or 1 cup cubed.
  • Cantaloupe should have well-defined netting, feel heavy, and have a strong smell. Store cantaloupes away from other foods to avoid crossing flavors. One serving is 1/3 of a melon or 1 cup cubed.
Marinated Melon
A splash of white balsamic vinegar in berry-flavor sparkling water turns low-fat, low-calorie melon balls into dessert . 6 servings CARBS: 11

1/2 cup calorie-free sparkling water with berry flavor
3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
4 cups assorted melon balls
Fresh lemon verbena (optional)

1. In a medium bowl, combine sparkling water and white balsamic vinegar; add melon balls. Toss gently to coat. Cover and chill for 2 to 4 hours or until ready to serve.

2. Divide melon mixture among six dessert glasses or bowls. If desired, garnish with lemon verbena.

Sunrise Smoothies
Start the day off deliciously with this easy-to-fix melon and yogurt drink for breakfast.  2 servings CARBS: 23
1 1/2 cups seeded, cut-up watermelon
1 cup cut-up cantaloupe
1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1/4 cup orange juice
 Small wedges cantaloupe and/or watermelon (optional)

Place the 1 1/2 cups watermelon in a blender. Cover and blend until smooth. Divide watermelon puree between two 12-ounce glasses; set aside. Rinse out blender. In blender, combine the 1 cup cantaloupe, the yogurt, and orange juice. Cover and blend until smooth. Slowly pour into glasses on top of watermelon puree. If desired, garnish with small wedges cantaloupe and/or watermelon.

Recipe source:  -- also you can print this page by clicking the +  link at the top right of the blog, above my profile. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

healthy living~ skin care regimens

Skin Care Regimens Help You Maintain Healthy Skin and Prevent Signs of Age

I had an aunt that was in her late 80's that looked like she was in her 60's, no jest, and the wisest thing she taught me was to get a regimen for caring for my skin, that was all I needed. Forming a good skin care regimen early is the key to vibrant, clear skin. If you get in the habit of practicing your skin care regimen daily, you will get the best results and avoid skin problems like acne, dryness, and...wrinkles. A basic skin care regimen involves cleansing, exfoliating and moisturizing.

Skin Care Regimen Step 1: Cleansing
The first step in your skin care regimen is making sure your skin is clean. Using a good face cleanser, like a gentle foaming cleanser, will allow pores to breath by ridding the skin’s surface of excess dirt and oil. Having clean skin will also allow you not to have to wear makeup. For that fresh, clear look.

Skin Care Regimen Step 2: Exfoliating
Skin rebuilds itself by adding new layers of cells and shedding old ones. Sometimes the older skin cells can create a dry look on the surface and clog pores. Exfoliating is one step in your skin care regimen that does not need to be done every day in order to achieve good results. If you suffer from dry or sensitive skin, you should exfoliate only two to three times a week. Use a gentle face exfoliator, like a “gentle” skin buff-pad, to help remove dead skin cells.  Don’t use scrubbing/exfoliating cleansers because they usually contain micro pumice or like items that actually can be trapped in a large pore and possibly cause an abscess or boil.

 Skin Care Regimen Step 3: Moisturize
Poor diet, the environment and your genes can all affect how much moisture your skin has at any given time. Keeping your skin hydrated is important in maintaining its appearance and health, and is a crucial step in your daily skin care regimen. Signs of premature aging like fine lines and wrinkles are signs that your skin is not getting enough moisture. Determine your skin’s needs, and then invest in a good simple natural moisturizer to use at night and during the day; or make your own. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

i love aging

I love getting older, yes, you heard me correctly. I love aging. Okay, there are moments when it is not so terrific. Like when you move a certain way and your body says “ouch” or you suddenly forgot just what you were going to do.  I am sure there are a few other complaints that I could find, but I really have to think about them.

Life in general is being rather good to me as I age. My hair color is okay- a mix of dark blonde and silver that kind of creates a platinum look- the gray strands are finely streaked and I get asked many times who my hairdresser is so they can have their hair done with my color and streaking. I say you’ll have to seek out Mother Nature.

Wrinkles… everyone has them, everyone will have them, and I find it really sad that society has caused most of its inhabitants to hate, fear, and be disgusted by the natural occurrences of getting wrinkles as we age.  I firmly believe that the less we do to remove our wrinkles the younger looking we will stay. Often I get comments that I look 10 years younger- I suppose it is just that philosophy that has given me that appearance.  The other day I saw Dolly Parton on a talk show and was dismayed at how horrid she looked- she was at one time beautiful- now, her face is pulled back so tight the corners of her eyes and lips are nearly to her ears and she looks deformed…why? I am sure it is to get rid of those wrinkles…poor thing. 

One nice aspect of aging for me… is finely realizing that all that does not matter, not one bit. My greatest wish, next to wanting to save nature and the environment, is that humans all around the world will suddenly realize that beauty is inside a person, not the package.  But most everyone looks at that package and poo-poo’s the person if they do not meet the expectations that society has deemed “beautiful.”  There are those who have beauty inside and out- Angelina Jolie- for one. Although, I do wonder if she would be as altruist if she were poor and ugly; I like think she would be. I think it is part of her soul and nature, and being in the limelight and monetarily able is her advantage.
Leaving behind the need to “fit in,” being one of the “Beautiful People,” or “following the road that others have laid” has a freedom that is so far more rewarding than putting yourself and your pocketbook through every “stay young” fad that hits the market will ever give someone. Stay young by eating properly, taking care of yourself naturally, and stop adding stress to your life by trying to meet society’s view of how you should look at a particular time in your life.

The next time you feel you need to pile on the make-up, purchase the newest “stay young” product… stop! Think about it; think how much money you would have if you did not spend it on these products. Think about how much TIME you would have if you didn’t spend it primping and priming yourself each day…and those refresh-up times as well.

 A friend of mine tried it last month, just washed and moisturized her face in the morning and evening. Only applied a small amount of mascara (I do that too), a quick blow dry into a natural look hairstyle-no products- and found that she actually saves herself 4 hours a day….and got complemented at the end of the month of how “glowing” her complexion looked by another friend.

What my friend is doing with her extra time… not late for work anymore (ha!) enjoying her cup of am coffee and a healthy breakfast (not having to rush off because she’s late) and has some personal time in the evening just for herself.  The best perk- the lack of stress in her “rush, rush” life will also contribute to a slow down of her body’s age.

I challenge anyone this week- take the test; see how much time and money you would save if you let nature be your beauty consultant not society. Look at aging as a reward from life, a new phase in the soul’s cycle from beginning to end.

this week's journey

what's new... click on the link and take a peek at jesse's blog:

berner tails ~ green paw print idea and more

articles this week:
i love aging
skin care regimens
more super foods~melons
webcam news~ eaglets, eaglets, and more
fun friday~ it's a secret

visit new !!  Journey  pages for pics and webcam updates 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Di & Chantilly out and about

Di and Chantilly are doing wonderful; they are getting ready for their trip to 
their new home in France. I will miss having Di at the ranch.

pictures posted on april 6th of Chantilly just a few hours old.

Friday, April 20, 2012

fun friday photo~ prince harry the pigmy hippo

A rare pygmy hippopotamus named after Prince Harry is being cared for at a wildlife centre after being rejected by his mother at birth. One of only 16 of his species in South Africa, Harry needs round-the-clock care. There are an estimated 3,000 pygmy hippos in the wild, mainly in western Africa. 1 min video of harry- cute

Thursday, April 19, 2012

wildlife cam news~ everyone out of dens, eaglets growing fast

 The time has arrived and Jewel finally led the cubs away from the den to a wonderful spot.  Now all the news will come from the NABC staff outings and photographs…which in many ways is a lot more fun than watching the cramped activities in the den. Here are some photos taken over the last few days along with a video (adorable I might add) of the cubs playing and learning to be bears.

last sunday the bears were hit with an 8" blizzard, all fared well as Jewel kept them warm and dry- she is a wonderful mom. 

The Decorah eaglets are getting bigger and much of the time is spent eating and growing. Next week I’ll feature activity in their nest. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

meal ideas ~ apples


 I love apples, but… I am slightly picky at which ones I eat. Ambrosia type are my favorites, with the HoneyCrisp next. I am not a fan of sour or tart so the apples I eat need to be on the sweet side. The health benefits of an “apple a day”  is really Mother Nature’s gift to us. The soluble and insoluble fiber in apples can benefit everyone especially people with diabetes. The good news is one medium-sized apple packs 3 grams of fiber--12 percent of the recommended 25 grams per day.

Plus, the soluble fiber in an apple may help slow digestion. According to the Cleveland Clinic, some research has indicated this slowing-down process may help regulate cholesterol and stabilize blood glucose.

Eating apples, especially with the skin, not only increases your fiber intake but provides vitamin C and flavonoids, a disease-fighting antioxidant. The pectin in an apple has astounding abilities to increase metabolism also increasing your weight loss.

Savory Pea Pods and Apples
MAKES: 8 to 10 servings CARBS: 11

2 teaspoons cooking oil
3 slices turkey bacon, cut crosswise into thin strips
2 medium leeks, chopped (2/3 cup)
3 tart red cooking apples (such as Jonathan),
       cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
4 cups fresh pea pods, trimmed and strings removed
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cracked black pepper

1. In a 12-inch skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add turkey bacon; cook for 2 to 3 minutes or just until crisp, stirring occasionally. Add leeks and apples to bacon. Cook and stir for 3 to 4 minutes or just until apples are tender. Add pea pods. Cover and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more or until pea pods are crisp-tender. Sprinkle with the salt and cracked black pepper.

Apple Crisp
There's nothing like this old-fashioned apple dessert recipe to top off a good dinner. It's low in calories and can be made even lower if prepared with sugar substitute.
MAKES: 8 servings: 1/2 cup CARBS: 24

5 cups sliced peeled cooking apple
2 tablespoons sugar or sugar substitute*
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon apple pie spice
1/2 cup regular rolled oats
1/4 cup sugar or sugar substitute* 
        equal to 1/4 cup sugar 
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon apple pie spice
3 tablespoons butter

For filling: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a large bowl combine apples, 2 tablespoons sugar or sugar substitute, lemon juice, and 1/2 teaspoon of the apple pie spice. Transfer apple mixture to a 2-quart square baking dish.

For topping: In medium bowl, combine oats, 1/4 cup sugar or sugar substitute, flour, and 1/4 teaspoon apple pie spice. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle topping over filling.

3. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until apple is tender and topping is golden brown. Serve warm. 

Tip* Sugar Substitutes: I use Stevia- the others are chemical based and in my opinion you would be better off with real sugar over these chemicals.

Recipe source:  -- also you can print this page by clicking the +  link at the top right of the blog, above my profile. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

a wonderful story

Pet Blogs United: Lemon The Duck, Guest Post: I admit it. A duck runs my life---and I love it! Lemon the Duck...
visit her website: Lemon the Duck

healthy living~ stop and breathe

When was the last time you sat down and just noticed your breathing? If you travel through life at warp speed, with more on your plate than time allows, pausing to tune in to your breath might seem like a luxury you just can’t afford.

But the act of simply noticing your breathing is a powerful state of being. And it can actually save you time and shift your energy to a place of personal power and grace.

Consciously noticing your breathing helps you develop the skill of being more present and aware in the moment. Stopping to notice your breathing creates conscious pauses in your day that allow you to be more connected on all levels: body, mind, and spirit. It can help you access your own inner compass when you make decisions…and to learn the difference between ego, fear, and inner guidance.

Going through life on autopilot diminishes your personal power, whereas conscious attention nurtures and expands it. We make better choices that match who we really are — rather than being pushed along by the whims of others, who may not have our best interests at heart. Pausing to breathe consciously helps us have greater clarity, energy, and present mind. Plus, being conscious in the moment is a state where we can articulate more clearly what we truly need — and ask for help to get it done.

So when is the best time to practice conscious breathing? Anytime. You’re building that habit over time so it’s something you will go to when you need it most. Those times include when you’re overtired, feel confused, or overwhelmed. When you are on a deadline and feel like you just can’t get it all done…that’s another great time to tune in to your breathing. Or when you need to find your center in a difficult emotional situation. 

Our breathing and emotions are deeply connected. When you are anxious, you will not breathe in the same way as when you are calm. Conscious breathing helps you be more connected and present so that all parts of you work together more gracefully as a balanced whole. And it helps you to be more aware of what is going on around you. Slowing down and getting off that merry-go-round for a few minutes can often be enough to shift your reality in a profound way.

Try it now. Simply stop and sit quietly for a few minutes. Just breathe normally and notice your breathing. Notice how your breath goes in and out. Notice the speed and depth of your breathing and what you are feeling. Just notice.

And then, try this, a trick I learn from Dr. Andrew Weil – “conscious breathing”.
Reverse your breathing pattern- start with the “exhaled” breath through the mouth, mentally counting to 1 to 5 and immediately “inhale” through the nose and counting from 6 to 10. Your next exhale… is again 1-5 and so forth.  

tip: substantially lower a high blood pressure reading by simply doing this for 3 minutes.

Monday, April 16, 2012

making-breaking habits- which is harder?

Which is harder… making something a habit or breaking a habit?

I asked myself that last week while I was looking at my life outside my personal space and I noticed that I had restarted a couple of bad habits and left behind a couple that were good.  "Oh-oh" --my mind said—"gotta nip these in the bud now."

Do you have something you want to change in your life?  Then do it. It takes time and focus but you can begin a new habit or break an old annoying one. No one really knows how long it takes to make or break a habit.  Some say two weeks and some say 21 days, some say three months. It is quite variable since it depends on the person, their determination, their focus, and the habit in question.

Here is a biological fact about learning. When you learn something new, the brain creates new synapses or neural pathways. I call them a crevice.  It is as if a new road has been laid to reach a physical destination. Once that road is established, it can be used numerous times. Over time, the more it is traveled, the easier it gets to follow, much like a well-worn habit, thus the crevice is made.

On the other hand, breaking a habit resembles tearing up that roadway so you will not reach that destination anymore or filling in the crevice. However, in the brain, that roadway is not completely demolished but now in its place there is a roadblock sign.  But in a moment of desperation or a stressful situation, you can roll right over that sign and use the road again….
….Therefore, I believe breaking a habit is harder than forming one, but not impossible.

Here are a few steps that I follow that for me help make or break a habit. There is no way to know if it will take you two weeks or three to accomplish your goal, but over time you can affect a change if you keep at it.

  • Identify the habit –Know what you are working towards clearly, before you get started. It will increase your chances of success.
  • Do the research – Know what you are up against. How hard is it to let’s say to start exercising or stop smoking? What are the resources available to assist you? If you want to be more assertive, learn the traits of an assertive person.
  • Create a positive replacement habit for bad ones -Positive replacement habits might be something such as exercise or meditation to stop overeating or biting your fingernails.
  • Prepare – Think ahead of time how you are going to consciously insert your new plan into your schedule. What are you going to do to start you on a different pattern?
  • Keep at it – If you forget one day, be sure to do it again the next day. Foster building that new pathway. The more you do something, the more it will become second nature and create a new crevice for yourself. As for breaking a habit, practice using daily affirmations where you tell yourself you can quit whatever habit you wish to conquer or keep whatever you wish to start. Say things out loud like I love to experiment and have so much fun doing it.  List the reasons why you can do it to boost your confidence too.
  • Start simple- if you have more than one, like me, that you want to start/stop then start with the simplest and easiest- one that guarantees success, it will start you on a "roll" to accomplish the next slightly harder task.
  • lastly--Get help – if you need! -this can be a friend, a couch, behavior therapist, or hire a Life Coach who can hold you accountable for what you are about to do. Therapy can also help with breaking habits as it can teach you to create an alternate way of thinking to avoid returning to old habits instead of just focusing on not doing something.

 There are a ton of people on the internet with all sorts of suggestions of how to develop and break habits…but the best suggestion I have… is just do it. If you’re trying to make a change in your life, try the steps above. Soon, you will be moving on the right track. And if you slip back…grab the seat of your britches, pull yourself forward, and go at it again. Remember, you are an unlimited person, your mind serves you well! 

my goals- 
1. get back into the habit of daily exercising - 
2. stop the "unhealthy after work" snacks.

this week's journey

sampling spring
what's new... click on the link and take a peek at jesse's blog:

berner tails ~ new stomp'n grounds, M's favorite pic, PB yum

articles this week:
making- breaking habits, which is harder?
stop and breathe
webcam news~ everyone is out of their dens- eaglets growing 
fun friday photo~ prince harry the pygmy hippo

visit new !!  Journey  pages for pics and webcam updates