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, August 29, 2013

thursday~garden

nature's garden grows with a zeal for life

and the vivaciousness of a soul

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

wednesday~ meal ideas

dreaming of…Italian cream cake

1 stick + 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, soft
2 tablespoons oil (grape seed, olive or canola oil)
2 cups Imperial Sugar Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
5 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/3 cups of all-purpose flour (spoon and sweep method*)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
1 cup pecan pieces
1 1/3 cups (3.5 ounces) sweetened coconut
5 large egg whites, free of egg yolk traces
Cream Cheese Frosting
Pecans and coconut for decoration, as desired
*Using spoon fill measuring cup with flour until required amount is obtained. (Scooping measuring cup directly from flour bag will firmly pack flour resulting in too much flour required for recipe.)

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Butter and flour three 8 or 9 inch pans or use baking spray. Set aside.
  3. Cream butter and oil until light and fluffy. Add sugar and mix further. Add egg yolks one at a time waiting for previous added yolk to be fully incorporated. Scrape bowl often. Whip until mixture is light and fluffy. Add vanilla.
  4. Sift together flour and baking soda. In low speed, add dry ingredients alternately with buttermilk. Once combined add pecan pieces and coconut.
  5. In a separate bowl whip egg whites until stiff. Gently fold egg whites into above batter.
  6. Evenly divide the batter into prepared pans. Place in oven and bake until center of cake bounces back when lightly pressed with a finger or a toothpick comes out clean. About 28 to 35 minutes. Let sit in pan for 15 minutes before removing.
  7. Turn cakes out pans. Let cool. Freeze well wrapped or frost layers now.
  8. Prepare Cream Cheese Frosting. Frost cool cake. Decorate with pecans and coconut if desired.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

~tuesday~ healthy living

it's elementally simple,
healthy living is about making
 your “self” the healthiest ever

Monday, August 26, 2013

~monday...inspiration

when someone told me i live in a fantasy world…
i nearly fell off my unicorn

Friday, August 23, 2013

fun friday ~ so sweet

found this on Pinterest.com; not sure of the original source 
but this truly has to be added to my top five "just too cute" photos.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

meal ideas ~ burgers with a twist

are your taste buds begging for a burger with a twist…give these two wonderful treats a try…you’ll not regret it!

Whiskey Deer Burgers 
If you enjoy new flavor combinations, try this zesty burger. It showcases ground venison dressed up with coffee, cocoa powder, chili powder, and whiskey.  Ground bison or buffalo can be used as well if venison is not available.

2 bulbs garlic
2 teaspoons  olive oil
1 teaspoon  instant coffee crystals
1 teaspoon  unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon  chili powder
1/4 teaspoon  salt
1 tablespoon  whiskey or water
1 pound  ground venison
4 small whole wheat hamburger buns, split and toasted
Lettuce leaves (optional)
Thin slices fresh jalapeno chile peppers (optional)
Tomato slices (optional)
Thin red onion slices (optional)
Dill pickle slices (optional)

1. Cut off the top 1/4 to 1/2 inch of each garlic bulb to expose the cloves. Remove the papery outer skins, leaving the cloves intact. Place each garlic bulb on a 6-inch square of heavy foil; drizzle bulbs with olive oil. Wrap foil up around bulbs; seal. For a charcoal grill, grill garlic on the rack of an uncovered grill directly over medium coals about 25 minutes or until garlic is soft. Remove garlic from grill and cool slightly.

2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine coffee crystals, cocoa powder, chili powder, and salt. Stir in whiskey or water. Add venison; mix well. Shape into four 1/2-inch-thick patties.

3. For a charcoal grill, grill patties on the greased rack of an uncovered grill directly over medium coals for 10 to 13 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into side of each patty registers 160 degrees F, turning once halfway through grilling. (For a gas grill, place patties on grill rack over heat. Cover and grill as above.)

4. Meanwhile, squeeze garlic cloves from the skins into a small bowl. Mash garlic with a fork. Spread garlic on bun bottoms; add lettuce (if using) and grilled patties. If desired, top with chile peppers, tomato, red onion, and/or pickles. Add bun tops.

Grilled Burgers with Curry Mustard
Surprise your palate with the flavor of curry and mustard in every bite of these tasty burgers.

 1/2 cup  finely shredded carrot
1/4 cup  thinly sliced green onions
1/4 cup  soft whole wheat bread crumbs
2 tablespoons  milk
1/4 teaspoon  dried Italian seasoning, crushed
1/4 teaspoon  garlic salt
Dash pepper
3/4 pound lean ground beef or turkey or chicken
4 whole wheat hamburger buns, split and toasted
Shredded zucchini (optional)
Sliced tomato (optional)

Curry Mustard:
1/4 cup  Dijon-style mustard
1/2 teaspoon  curry powder

1. In a medium bowl stir together carrot, green onions, bread crumbs, milk, Italian seasoning, garlic salt, and pepper. Add the ground beef or turkey or chicken; mix well. Shape meat mixture into four 1/2-inch-thick patties.

2. Grill burgers on the rack of an uncovered grill directly over medium coals for 14 to 18 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of burgers registers 160 degrees F; turning once halfway through grilling. (Or, place burgers on unheated rack of a broiler pan. Broil 3 to 4 inches from heat for 12 to 14 minutes or until done, turning once.) To serve, place burgers on buns. If desired, serve burgers with zucchini, tomato, and Curry Mustard. Makes 4 servings.

Curry Mustard:
 In a small bowl stir together Dijon-style mustard and curry powder. Makes 1/4 cup.rise your palate with the flavor of curry and mustard in every bite of these tasty burgers.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

healthy living ~homemade mouthwash and more

this is a from October 2011- I have had many requests to post it again-
most certainly, these are wonderful to make and use. 

Mouthwash is a neat little invention. It’s an easy way to feel like your mouth is totally clean and fresh smelling in a matter of seconds…and you can achieve all of this without a toothbrush on hand. It’s no wonder that mouthwash is so popular.

My only question is this:
 Why should we accept pouring chemicals into our mouths, supporting the production and manufacturing of products that cause pollution, and spending money we don’t have to spend? 

There are natural ways to make mouthwash from items you very well may have around the house. Here are a couple recipes. These  are some of the best homemade mouthwash recipes that will help you to eliminate bad breath, promote overall mouth, and gum health.  Enjoy!

Homemade Rosemary-Mint Mouthwash
Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups distilled or mineral water
1 tsp fresh mint leaves
1tsp rosemary leaves
1 tsp anise seeds
Boil the water, add herbs and seeds, infuse for 20 minutes. Cool, strain and use as a gargle/mouthwash. If you wish to make up a larger quantity, double or triple the recipe then add 1 tsp of tincture of myrrh as a natural preservative.

Homemade Spearmint Mouthwash
Ingredients:
6 ounces water
2 ounces vodka
4 teaspoons liquid glycerine
1 teaspoon aloe vera gel
10-15 drops Spearmint essential oil
Boil water and vodka, add glycerine and aloe vera gel. Remove from the heat, let cool slightly. Add spearmint oil, shake well. Pour into bottle, cap tightly.

A very simple homemade mouthwash
Wash your mouth with half a glass of warm water containing a teaspoon of table salt.

Baking Soda Mouthwash
Mix 2 ounces of Water, 1/4 Teaspoon of baking soda or Sea Salt, 1 drop of Pure Peppermint Oil, and 1 drop of Tea Tree oil. This Homemade mouthwash recipe leaves a great refreshing minty taste in your mouth and helps prevent bad breathe.
   
Also some Breath Freshners
Chew fresh parsley to sweeten the breath.
Chew fennel seeds to freshen the breath.
Chew anise seeds to freshen the breath.
Chew a few peppermint or spearmint leaves or drink a cup of peppermint tea.
Add 1 drop of myrrh oil to 1 cup of cooled, boiled water. Use as gargle/mouthwash.

Homemade Fruit Teeth Cleaners
1. Rub a lemon rind on your teeth to remove brown stains. Rinse your mouth thoroughly afterward.
2. Clean your teeth with a fresh strawberry. Rub it over and between your teeth.

Make Eco-Friendly Tooth Whitener with Lemon and Salt

Did you know that a DIY rinse of lemon juice and salt solution can work wonders for whitening your teeth at home? With this simple, homemade tooth whitener recipe, you can avoid the potential problems from chemical exposure to commercial whitening kits, strips, gels, and systems. Studies show that the surface-bleaching agents in commercial whiteners may be detrimental to teeth's nanomechanical properties.

To whiten with lemon and salt, just stir up a solution of 75 percent lemon juice and 25 percent salt, and swish.

TIPS
Be careful not to swallow the solution, especially if you are on a low sodium or low acid diet.
If you have sensitive teeth, this rinse may be too strong for you. Pay attention and use your own best judgment.

Monday, August 19, 2013

my special place

My soul is tired…
It’s a kind of world weariness that is fed up with the violence, suffering, political games, and wastefulness all around. There is a lack of simply being considerate to others; selfishness is the main practice of the majority of the human race, those who cannot see beyond their personal space. People just don’t get it… you would think after all this time we would finally move beyond the “I” and material wants to the “We” and inner spiritual growth. When I get tired of life… I take a mental vacation to my own world full of serene peace. Sadly, the reality of life is still there when I return; nevertheless, my special place within my soul can never be taken away or invaded by humans. That in itself is encouraging.

Friday, August 16, 2013

fun friday photo ~ look long and laugh hard

it's so true, take a long look and laugh hard
sent to me by my friend angie w. ~ a great big thank you for the laughs !!!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Hope gets weaned, Babe returns to AWR

CO has been getting a lot of rain..yippee. well, it was a hurrah for us on the west side of Pike's Peak but not so wonderful for those on the east side in Manitou Springs where the devastating floods were a couple of week ago.
Aspen Willow, however, is green and the pastures are filled with scrumptious grass, as is T&V Stables where the little ones are getting ready to be weaned from their mamas. This is usually done at six weeks, but... our sweet little Hope is so big and healthy that Eileen decided to wean her from Babe early. To make the transition easier for mom and foal Jim took Babe over to our ranch to be with the others. 

Babe is hopefully pregnant again this year! fingers crossed. Babe was glad to be back in her summer stomping grounds and took charge immediately- letting Breeze, Whisper, and Glady know she was in charge and which stall would now be hers...she's such a monarch.

Hope is so beautiful, I cannot wait until I see her again in september.

Jim getting Babe ready to walk to our ranch
"hey mama? where are you going?"
Jim taking Babe down the long road between our ranches
Whisper, Glady & Breeze see Babe coming
and give a cheerful "Hello" at least until Babe starts bossing them around HA~
a few bribing treats to soothe the ruffled manes :)

Monday, August 12, 2013

connect to the natural world~

For me… life is in nature, you can have your shopping centers, malls, and places of mass human gatherings~ i'll take a forest full of trees, fauna, and wonderment.

Being in the midst of a forest, gazing up at stars, pondering the vastness of a desert, all these naturescapes (and many more) move me to a place of reverence. I connect with nature on a spiritual level. There is sacredness in wild places and I can be transformed simply by being there.

Beyond human beings, we are nature beings, created from the same source as animals, plants, even rocks. The earth calls for us to connect so that we can feel balanced and whole; a part of the universe. All jokes aside, hugging a tree feels good. The strength of wood is a comfort in its solidness and we feel supported when we lean against a tree. It feels natural to wrap our arms around the trunk, as if the tree is hugging us back. The leaves sing to us on a breeze, reminding us that we are loved.

Being outdoors awakens all our senses. We breathe more deeply, taking in scents of salt air, pine needles, fragrant flowers, even the pungent odor of dirt. Our feet are cooled, sometimes numbed by an icy cold mountain stream, our bodies meld into warm sand at the beach, and a soft rain feels like a thousand wet kisses. Outdoors we can hear a symphony of natural sounds from bees buzzing to the roar of wind, or we can bask in the incredible peace of silence.

Connecting with nature evokes a sense of awe and wonderment about the universe. We are humbled by the magnitude of a mountain range and delighted by the colors of a rainbow. At the same time, we experience a oneness with the natural world which encourages us to appreciate and respect all of life. Nature calls us to be present and in the moment, so that we don't miss the intricate design of a spider web or the flash of a hummingbird.

And, the more we become one with nature, the more it offers us. In the wilderness we transcend time and space; we are renewed. Hikes in the woods, body surfing in the ocean, even walks around the block become moving meditations, enhancing our intuition. Look for signs and messages in the great outdoors, the symbolism of leaves falling in your path, the pattern of birds in flight.

Or, simply enjoy the bliss of connecting to the natural world.

Friday, August 9, 2013

fun friday photo ~ this is my tree

this my tree
there are many like it in the forest
but this one is mine!

_________________________________________
surprise: SarahBear has a boyfriend...
we have named him "Beau" for SarahBear's beau.
he is big, beautiful, and hang'n around the little lady. will there be cubs next spring?- due to her history the "bear biologists" say 2% chance. Me... if she can lactate as she did with her foster boys...I think she can become pregnant... we wait with hopeful breaths. 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

thursday's garden ~ special surprise




second to a ladybug, my favorite garden "faerie" is a praying mantis ~ outstanding creatures and your garden is truly blessed if you spot one taking up residence. at least once a year we happen upon one, usually full grown. this little guy, and I mean little, was just a flash of movement among some leaves as I was watering. both Steve and I are amazed that I spotted him. we welcomed him into our garden for a long and happy mantis life.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

meal ideas ~ summer fruit treats

Here are some interesting desserts, some with ingredient combos you may not have thought of...all very delicious. Summer fruit is sweet and ready to refreshingly tantalize your taste buds. These are healthy, low calorie and all are diabetic friendly.

Bing Cherry Fool
Bursting with antioxidants and natural sweet-tartness, cherries are perfect in a cool, rich fool -- an English dessert made from pureed fruit and whipped cream. Enjoy a 1/2-cup serving for fewer than 150 calories and only 3 grams of fat.

1/4 cup  sugar or sugar substitute
1 tablespoon  cornstarch
12 ounces fresh dark cherries, halved, and pitted
1/2 cup dry red wine or pomegranate juice
1 tablespoon finely shredded orange peel
1 8 ounce frozen light whipped topping, thawed
1 6 ounce plain fat-free or low-fat Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla
8 fresh dark sweet cherries with stems

1. In a medium saucepan stir together sugar and cornstarch. Add the halved cherries and the wine, stirring until combined. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 2 minutes more. Transfer cherry mixture to a medium bowl. Stir in orange peel. Cover and chill 2 hours.
2. In a large bowl whisk together whipped topping, yogurt, and vanilla. Add 1 1/2 cups of the chilled cherry mixture to the whipped topping mixture and fold gently to marble. Spoon into eight 6-ounce dessert dishes. Spoon the remaining cherry mixture evenly over desserts. Cover and chill up to 4 hours. If desired, top each dessert with a cherry with a stem before serving.

Grilled Plums with Thyme-Infused Honey, Blue Cheese, and Walnuts
Five easy ingredients are all you need for this gourmet-style dessert. Whip up this sweet and savory recipe in no time, and grill it to perfection in less than five minutes.

1/3 cup  honey
1 sprig fresh thyme
6 ripe, yet firm, large black or red plums, halved
6 tablespoons  crumbled blue cheese
6 tablespoons  walnut pieces, toasted

1. In a small saucepan combine honey and thyme; bring to boiling over medium heat. Remove from heat. Set aside to steep 10 minutes.
2. Brush cut sides of plum halves with some of the honey-thyme mixture. For a charcoal or gas grill, grill plums, cut sides down, on the rack of a covered grill directly over medium-high heat 3 to 5 minutes or until warm and marked. Transfer plums to a serving platter, cut sides up.
3. Sprinkle warm plums with blue cheese and walnuts. Drizzle with the remaining honey-thyme mixture. Serve warm.

Frozen Mango-Ginger Cups
Incredibly easy to make, these low-carb dessert cups are sure to be a family favorite all summer long. Featuring mango, ginger, creamy yogurt, and cream cheese, each serving has only 81 calories and 3 grams of fat.
 
2 mangoes, seeded, peeled, and cut up
1   8 ounce tub light cream cheese
1   6 ounce carton low-fat peach yogurt
1/2 teaspoon  ground ginger
12 gingersnaps, crushed
3/4 cup frozen light whipped dessert topping, thawed
1/2 of a medium mango, cut into thin bite-size slivers

1. In a food processor or blender, combine cut-up mango, cream cheese, yogurt, and ground ginger. Cover and process or blend until very smooth. Divide crushed gingersnaps evenly among sixteen 2-ounce disposable shot glasses or regular shot glasses. Carefully spoon in mango mixture.
2. Freeze about 1 hour or just until firm. (Or freeze overnight. For longer storage, place glasses in an airtight container and freeze for up to 2 weeks.) Before serving, let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes (or 30 minutes if frozen overnight or longer).  
3. To serve, spoon dessert topping on top of the mango mixture in glasses. Top with mango slivers. 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

healthy living~ healthy food & exercise= graceful aging

Proper care of muscles, joints and bones now helps ensure strength and mobility as we age, and may mean the difference in growing old gracefully…or not. 

     As we age, our bones lose density, muscles lose flexibility, and joints become worn over time.  Mobility can become limited and balance can be affected, making us more at risk for falling and fracturing bones.  Seniors are especially prone to falling, and also to diseases such as osteoporosis and arthritis, which can impose limitations in the most basic activities of life.
   
 Even without the affliction of disease, the older our joints, bones and muscles become, the more important it is to know how to maintain these parts in order to preserve our basic bodily movement.  Studies show healthy eating habits and moderate exercise can improve and maintain joint mobility, muscle mass and also strengthen bones – even after the onset of osteoporosis or arthritis.

What to eat and why.
Diets rich in calcium and vitamin D help maintain bone density.  Vitamin D can also act as an anti-inflammatory in regards to joint pain, while omega 3 fatty acids found in fish such as tuna and salmon can reduce joint swelling and pain, as well.  Maintaining a healthy weight decreases the pressure on your joints and can prevent inflammation of joint tissue as it degrades over time. Limiting fat intake from other sources will not only aid in maintaining a healthy weight, but also keeps fatty tissues from developing in your muscles, which can weaken them.

Exercise and why it helps.
Talking with a doctor about exercise is the first step to help strengthen bones. He or she may recommend strength training, which can help bones retain density and strength and builds muscle mass that improves flexibility, which can have a direct effect on balance and posture.  Strength training can prevent osteoporosis, and also keeps the disease from getting worse if you already have it.  Strength training consists of weight-bearing activities such as walking, jogging, lifting weights, using a stair climber or another activity that moves your body against gravity.  Moderate aerobic exercise can help ease the pain of arthritis and includes bicycling at less than ten miles per hour, water aerobics and brisk walking.  Yoga, Pilates, and Tai Chi are exercises that stretch your muscles and keep them flexible.  Always consult with your physician before undertaking a physical activity that is new to you to make sure the activity meets your level of ability.
     
No matter how old you are, changing your eating and exercise habits for the better will have a direct effect on the quality of life you lead as you age.  As intimidating as it may seem at first, incorporating healthy food and exercise into your daily routine now will help you properly care for your muscles, joints and bones so that they can continue to function…and take care of you, as well.

Monday, August 5, 2013

10 Thoughts on Life ~ august

 ~~~empowerment~~~ 
  1.  Just as a seed contains all it needs to sprout, so are you already equipped to thrive.
  2.  You cannot grow without pushing your limits.
  3.  See your mistakes not as personal flaws, but as the source of your most valuable life lessons.
  4.  Think of money as energy; use it to empower, not control, your life.
  5.  Every moment of suffering brings an opportunity to build resilience.
  6.  With each challenge comes new growth. Engage in rewarding efforts.
  7.  Missteps are part of any process. Stay focused on where you're headed.
  8.  Find your direction in life by looking where you want to go, not where you don't.
  9.  Know your worth -- and accept nothing less.
 10. Make this the day you turn your dreams into doing.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Thursday, August 1, 2013

thursday's garden ~ the best of whose, where's & what's

 whose the best gardener of all? 
Why Mother Nature of course
where's the best place to spend your birthday?
In Mama's garden.....
what's the best birthday dessert? 
oh yeah! 
toasted crunchy outside, gooey inside
....yum....