Saturday, October 13, 2012

Makes Sense To Me



Saw this in a restaurant recently.  I think it's a great principle!  Just imagine.  No more wars or disharmony.  Just be nice.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Favorite Vacation Spot


What I like best about this spot, other than it is gorgeous, is that it is so deserted!  You really have to want to go here to:

#1.  Find it

#2.  Get there!

It is on the coast of California.....a little place called Shelter Cove.  To arrive you drive DOWN, DOWN, DOWN a tiny, narrow road with no lights...so don't go at night like we did.  It is way off the beaten track!  

That is what makes it special.  Those little buildings that appear to be on the sand, are not.  There are steep steps down to the water.  Some of those buildings are small, old, non-fancy hotels and some are residences. Nothing is new. There are not many places to stay or eat.  

I love it.  It is just amazing and I want to go there again.  Maybe my next trip.  It would be a lovely painting too, don't you think?

What is your favorite vacation spot?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Been Too Long

Oh my poor neglected blog!  It's gone a long time untended.  At least it is still here and hasn't been deleted by Google or the powers that be!

I haven't been in a writing mood for awhile.  Much has been going on in my life.  Enough said about that.  Decided to post some artwork just for fun.  Always a joy for me!

 "Seaside"
Original Oil on 12 x 16
Canvas Board


"Storm Approaching"
Original Oil Framed 23 x 29
Framed Canvas

What do you create?  I'd love to see.  Please share!!!


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Painting Moments: Cowboy Hat on Chair

Painting Moments: Cowboy Hat on Chair

Inspiration!!!

Found this site today and got a fresh dose of inspiration.  I'm working on my first painting with cowboy hats so this inspiration piece is just what I need today.

Nance Danforth is an amazingly realistic contemporary painter.  I just love her work.  Go look!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

My Very First Rodeo


Last night I went to my first rodeo.  The "Pro-Rodeo Circuit" came to my little town!  We put on our jeans and plaid shirts and off we went.  The most popular outfit of  the evening, however, was teeny tiny teeny tiny blue jean shorts, sequin belt, a sexy top, cowboy hat, and cowboy boots.  Adorable really...on a few of them.  The rest would have been better off dressed like me.

Now that my husband has retired we go to more things like this.  We always passed them up in the past because he was always "exhausted" and had "so much work to do".  Now, all of that has gone away and, if I am not caring for mom, we are free.  That's a big if...but last night we were free.

It was a blast.  Part of me has always wanted to be a cowgirl since wearing my fringed cowgirl outfit as a kid and reading Annie Oakley.  Putting a rope around my bike and telling it to "Whoa" and "Giddyup" was about as close as I got to a horse or to being a cowgirl.  

Last week we actually went horseback riding!  On a real horse in the mountains.  And this week the rodeo!  My, oh my, what a treat for me!  So today my creative juices are flowing and I've decided to paint one of the rodeo photos Larry took last night.  I love this one.  It's all about the hats.  I want one too!

I'll show you how it turns out when I finish it.  Today is the drawing.  Maybe I'll start painting it tomorrow.

Below is a totally different simple oil painting that I love.  I know I love it because of the colors.  They are a bit bright but I did that intentionally.  The important thing is I am actually picking up a pencil and a brush again!  


Thanks for sharing this excitement with me. 

Happy Saturday!

Sandra

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Lock Me In A Room

This morning I wish someone would lock me in my favorite room, i.e. my studio, for a week and not let me out except to go to the bathroom and bring me food and water so I would create every minute every day for a week.  And I could if I would but.....I also want to finish reading Fern Michael's Kentucky Rich series, finish my book club book Omnivore's Dilemma, read about painting and making collages, do the laundry, take a bubble bath, go to the gym, see my friends, play with my art supplies, do a crossword puzzle, clean, organize my hundreds of digital photos, read blogs, and check on my mom.

Those are all my excuses for not creating everyday.  I have to go somewhere in 90 minutes and it takes 45 minutes to get ready to go....soooooo I have 45 minutes to create.  I will post it tomorrow...whatever it is.  And that is a promise to myself.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Random Acts Of Kindness vs Senseless Acts Of Violence

Random acts of kindness vs Senseless acts of violence.

Maybe that's what it comes down to.  Two ends of the spectrum present themselves as we hurry through our daily lives.  We choose.  Constantly.

I'm guessing most of us run on automatic.  We've either trained ourselves to see things in a positive light...or not.  To be kind...or maybe not.  Maybe we're just neutral.  Surely we are not violent are we?  I mean we don't shoot people.  We don't even hit people.  We don't even yell at people.  Do we?

We're not even sarcastic throwing violent words and phrases against others.  Are we?  We don't squash bugs when we could put them outside.  Do we?  We don't keep guns under the bed just in case we need to blow someone away.  Do we?

So check it off.  We are not violent.  We are kind.

Hearing my son's voice Thursday morning from Denver and knowing he was safe was the best Thursday morning gift I could have received.  A dozen or so families didn't get that gift.  We can't figure out what happened or make sense of it.  All we can do is respond by living our lives in awareness of those around us.  We can be kind to everyone, to all creatures.

May we grab that random act of kindness phrase that is so over-used and may we put it into action everyday.  Across the breakfast table is a good place to start.  

Peace and Love,

Sandra


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Going Quiet

It just happens to me every now and then.  Something runs it's course.  That's where I am with blogging right now.  Other things are calling my name louder so I am going there.  I'll be painting more and blogging less...for awhile.

Before I go I wanted to share a website with you so you can help share it all over the world.  Really.  Please forward it along.  The site is www.2brokenbroads.com who are anything but broken.  Their art is their joy and their healing and just one of the gifts which has come from their ovarian cancer diagnoses.  If you love color, if you love unique-ness, if you love heart and soul, and big and bold, and original creative artwork, you will love the work they have birthed.  Please go look and share with all your girlfriends...for we are all truly One and their heart is our heart.

I'm going quiet now for awhile.  Will read you, and listen to you, and no doubt comment to you.  Enjoy this lovely spring and the new birth it represents.  I love how the bloggers of the world give birth to so much goodness through writing and photos.  Keep creating and letting the Creative power inside you come forth everyday!

Love ya and I'll be back before too long. 
One of my faves...

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Two Songs In My Head This Morning

Or it could be entitled, The Power of Musical Lyrics...

I woke up this Easter morning 2012 and this song was playing in my head.  The tune, all the lyrics, everything. Really surprised me!  I haven't heard the song in awhile but I learned it as a child and it is,evidently, part of me.  What a loving message to have seered into my DNA.  Sing along.  You probably know it.

I serve a risen Savior, He's in the world today.
I know that He is living, whatever men may say.

I see His hand of mercy, I hear His voice of cheer.
And just the time I need Him, He's always near.

He Lives!  He lives!  Christ Jesus lives today.
She walks with me and talks with me along life's narrow way.
He Lives!  He lives!  Salvation to impart.
You ask me how I know He lives, He lives within my heart!

In all the world around me I see His loving care,
And though my heart grows weary, I never will despair.
The hope of all who seek Him, the help of all who find
None other is so loving, so good and kind.


We all believe differently, even if ever so slightly.  What a beautiful tapestry and offering when all our beliefs are woven together.  And now another song, called Weave,  floods my memory.  Do you know this one?

We are many textures, we are many colors, 
Each one different from the other
But we are entwined with one another in one great tapestry.

Weave, weave, weave us together.  Weave us together in unity and love...

A moment ago still we did not know
our unity, only diversity.
Now the Spirit in me meets the Spirit in you in one great family...

Weave, weave, weave us together.  Weave us together in unity and love...


We celebrated Easter at our house with the family last Sunday so I had been wondering how I would spend today.  Isn't it interesting what your "subconscious" will bring up for you?

Happy Easter!

Easter pictures coming later.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Dr. Oz Says...

According to Dr. Oz, these are the 5 things we all need to get out of our frig and out of our lives!  Maybe you are watching his show too!  Oh, gotta go.  He's getting started and I don't want to miss anything.

1.  Sugars, Syrups, Sodas, Jellies...anything with heavy sugar.  Replace with whole food.  Use strawberries instead of strawberry jelly.
2.  Syrups
3.  White Flour.  To make it white, all the nutrients are taken out.  The nutrients are what make you feel full so you overeat if they are gone.  Replace with 100% whole grain. 
4.  Saturated Fats.  These are fats that come from 4-legged animals.  Like Italian sausage.  Replace with chicken, fish.  You can even find sausage with no saturagted fats.  Read the label.
5.  Trans Fats.  Also called partially hydrogenated oils.  Some cookies and fried food contain trans fat.  Instead eat rice cakes with real peanut butter.







Great morning here! After days and days of rain, much needed I might add, the sun is shining. Just got back from a walk in the park where I met a new friend. His name is Wes, and he has two adorable long hair dachsunds. He walks them both at once until one gets tired. That pup takes a rest in the truck and the other gets 1:1 time with Wes. When Oscar gets tired, he goes to the truck and Joe gets another walk with Wes. Me? I am there trying not only to give my shihtzu a little exercise but to help him get more used to people. I don't like it when he pretends he will eat you up! So I joined Wes in his walk....good for Buddy, and I had somebody to talk to!

As we stared our third lap, Wes stopped and moved a rock from one pile to another on top of a flat post. I had noticed the pile of rocks and wondered why someone had put them there. What Wes does is, every time he completes a lap he removes a rock from the pile and puts it on another post. So....when all the rocks have been moved to the second post, he has finished his 9 laps. Each lap is 1/3 mile so he gets in 3miles! Oh, I forgot to tell you. He does this 3 times a day! Yep....so he is walking 9 miles a day with his dogs and sometimes with friends, new and old.

You know it. He lost 35 pounds the first year he did this with no change in diet. He is the cook at home and he eats very well. You can tell that. :) He gained 25 back after a personal trauma resulted in him sitting at home and eating the house. He just didn't care for awhile. He's back out there now though....and that is the story of the 9 rocks.

I am inspired. I just expect I will be walking with Wes again before long. Such a nice older man enjoying his retirement his way....long walks with his dogs, good food at home, and his sweet wife.

Holy Week: Yours, Mine, and Theirs

As we pass through Holy Week, this feels good to me. 




 Hope it is as beautiful where you are as it is here.

Friday, March 30, 2012

If You Win The Lottery Tonight



There is a BIG Lottery drawing tonight!  Estimated winnings are $640 million!  I mean, really, does anyone need that much?  Of course, it's not about need is it.  Money you need doesn't come from a lottery.  Usually you work for your bread and butter, to cover your bases, to make the rent.  We don't count on winning the lottery to survive.

Everyone is talking about this one.  They're talking about whether or not they are going to buy a ticket,  how much they're going to spend, and what they'll do if they win.  Here are some comments I have heard today.
  • "You can't win if you don't buy a ticket."
  • "You have a 600 times greater chance of getting struck by lightening today than winning tonight." I'm sure it's even more dramatic by now.
  • "I'm going to buy a beach house if I win."
  • "I'm buying a Harley."
  • "I'm making my kids rich."
  • "I'm getting a Corvette."
  • "You have the same chance of winning whether you buy one ticket or 100."  What do you think about that statement?
  • "I'm buying a state of the art health club and everyone can come free."
  • "I'm spending $1000 on tickets."  Ouch.
  • "If God wants me to win, I don't need to buy but one ticket."
  • "If I win, you won't see me again."
And on and on it goes.  What fun, exciting energy all this anticipation is bringing!  It's so much better than news of a shooting by a neighborhood watch guy or gas prices continuing to go up.  It's fun to hear everyone dreaming out loud.  Dreaming big.  "Just what if...?"  I bet you've done it before too.  "If I win, I am going to...."

So have fun with it.  Buy a ticket if you're willing to stand in line.  Wish the winner(s) the best.  It's a lot more fun than paying taxes and, of course, the government will get a large chunk of the money.  They must be excited!

Are you buying?  I am.  Just one ticket.....if the line isn't too long.

Saturday, March 24, 2012


I'm off to the Cherry Blossom Festival today.  I grew up in Macon and lived there until I was 21.  My parents lived there all of their married life.  It is a large enough city and is spread out all over rather than concentrated like Manhattan.  Even so, it's hard to go there, especially with my mother, and not see people you know from back in the day.  
One of Macon's finest, Bill Fickling, gave almost 200,000 seedling to the city and had them planted "everywhere".  It's hard to ride around Macon with your eyes open and not to see Cherry trees.  In addition he planted acres and acres of Yoshino Cherry trees on his farm...today a breathtaking view for all who drive past.

So today I am going "home", taking my 92 year old mother with me.  We will see all the old places, eat wherever and whatever she wants and feast our eyes on the blossoms.  The big arts show downtown will be the highlight of my day!

Everything in Macon is pink this week.  Bows, door decorations, and mailbox toppers.  Even French poodles are dyes pink for the week.  Poor things.  

Have fun wherever you are...and just like these Cherry trees, "Bloom where you are planted."

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Quiz: Eat This OR That?

Don't you just love this book?  I do.  Sometimes we think we're making the best choice in foods but then find out  we're not.  A milkshake lover like me learns to choose a low fat chocolate milk at McDonald's and save myself 500 calories over most sugary shakes out there.  Eat the best choice and avoid the other.

But if two options are both good choices, it's even harder to be in the know and choose the best of the best.  I went to a Health Care Screening at the hospital last week.  Things I got checked:  my feet, my bone density, my cholesterol, my blood pressure, and my sugar levels.  All free.  I knew most of them already, but I am really weird and I find informative things like that entertaining.  Anyway, I stole some info from the hospital sponsoring the screening, and they stole it from Runner's World, September 2010.  So here goes.  And I'll spare you the details and make it short.

Which is better? 
Strawberries or Blueberries?
Chicken Breast or Turkey Breast?
Peanut Butter or Almond Butter?
Spinach or Kale?
Cow's Milk or Goat's Milk?
Wheat Bread or Rye Bread?
Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Canola Oil?

Answers
Blueberries, especially wild ones, more antioxidants
Turkey, has more protein, iron, and selenium
Almond Butter, has more calcium and magnesium, better fats
Kale, more Vit C, A, and K
Goat's Milk, more of a lot of things
100% Rye Bread, has more fiber
Olive Oil, has more anti-inflammatories

So there you have it.  I really want to try goat's milk but I'm just not sure I can get there.  Have you tried it?  Do you like it?  Is it good with cereal?  Report in!
Thanks,

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Your Favorite Photos

If you happen to be online and read this today you can take advantage of a fun deal.  Go to the Walgreen's site  and then to their photo section.  You do have to register the first time but it's really quick.  Then pick out your favorite two photos from your computer.  You can order two 8X10s for free...today.  You tell them the store where you'd like to pick them up.  I guess I'm assuming everyone lives near a Walgreen! (they will mail them for .99)

You then place the two orders separately with these two passwords.  FREEONE.   And 1PRINT.  You click on 8x10 of each photo... and they are totally free.  Pop them in a frame you probably already have and surprise someone with a cool little gift.  I just finished ordering mine.  These are the two photos I chose.
My husband and son.  They will love this.  It's good of both of them.

My husband's family minus my two sons and the Connecticut and Chicago groups.  


Walgreens runs great photo specials like this all the time and it's so easy once you're set up.  Today only.  Have fun.
 

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Accidental Bestseller


"The best way to have a friend is to be one."




Looking for a book to get lost in?  This one is about women's dreams and goals, women's issues, and women's secrets.  The characters are everyday women leading everyday lives and pursuing their common interest of writing.  Then the bottom falls out and one of the women sees her life fall apart.  As her three friends rush to her side they all eventually "get real" with each other, and secrets, long hidden, flow from each of them.

Kendall
Tiffany
Faye
Mallory

Are you and I so fortunate to have our BFFs come to our aide, make us food, hold our hand, pull us back to life?  Would we even let them know if we needed them???  Remember people cannot help us if they don't know we need help.   Even the main character of this book retreated and tried to hide away. Would we drop everything and show up for a friend in monumental ways?  

Although people may have hundreds of Facebook or Twitter friends, they say we are "lucky" if we have 5 real friends in the world.  Do you?

This is a fun book to read. You can probably find it at your library if you enjoy reading women's fiction and stories about friendship. 

Friday, March 9, 2012

What I Love About The Queen

I don't know too much about Queen Elizabeth II except she has been Queen for my entire lifetime.

When I saw "The King's Speech" and saw little Elizabeth, daughter of the King, playing on the floor with her sister, she was just like other little girls... except maybe even then, a little more proper.  Her destiny was already cast.  She would be Queen and she has been for over 60 years....always staid and proper.  The movie "The Queen" let us in on her love of Nature and how she likes driving herself around the property in a bumpy old truck...which I am sure isn't old.

But she knows how to dress up.  She should, she's had a lot of practice.  What I really love about her is how she wears color.  Even though I love color, I hold back when I comes to my clothes. I might wear a touch of color, maybe a jacket or scarf as an accent, but never all over like she does.  Always head to toe in blazing color.

Love these looks!






Some even say her decor subtly flatters her as well.  I wouldn't doubt that was well thought out.




Enough of our stylish black and grey fashions.  Next time we go clothes shopping, let's not hold back.  Remember the Queen!  Long live the Queen!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

America Has Changed


Lately many people are concerned that America is no longer the country it once was.  And I say, of course it isn't.

When America was first born it was a place of survival.  As we approached and inhabited this new land, we encountered the Indians (who were here first),  illness, extreme weather, and shortage of food. That's how "America was" in the beginning.  Immigration had begun, I guess you could say, and the land began to be populated.

War came and went.  War with Indians, war with Spain, war with the Redcoats, and finally war with each other.  

Time passed, America entered the Industrial Revolution and the days were ripe with discovery.  Think it up, build it, produce it.  Anyone could invent something. This new world was wide open.

We finally let women vote, decided alcohol was not totally evil after all, and fought a couple more really big wars.  When they were over, our soldiers came home, built homes, and had families.  Moms all stayed home, cooked family dinners, raised children, and most everyone went to church on Sundays and Wednesday nights.  But eventually birth control pills changed the world, sexuality loosened up, moms went to work, found their voice and their rights.  

And sexuality continued to loosen up more and more and more and more.  Church changed from two days a week to 24/7 streaming on laptops and cable TV.  Fewer family dinners, more eating out and latchkey kids.  The Information Age bombarded us with more than we ever needed to know...but isn't it fun.....and maybe more bizarreness and images than we ever needed  to see.

No doubt you like some of the changes but not all of them.  The "bad changes" are no one person's fault.  Not President Obama, not President Bush, not President Clinton either.  No one gets all the blame or all the praise. 

So yes, America has changed.  Yes, America will never be the same.  It never has stayed the same.  Why would we think we could put our kickstands down now...and just keep it the same because we "like it this way".   It's up to each of us to make our little sphere as good as we can make it.  To deal with the changes and help each other along the way.  But let's not think that blaming and shaming will help.  It won't.  We live in a dynamic country, a dynamic world.   The only constant, they say, is change. Change what is around you for the better.  Teach your children to do the same.  And don't lament change.  Work with it and know it is as normal as breathing.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

4 Ways To Sleep Better

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...
If you watched Dr. Oz last week, you don't need to read this.  He is always telling us about strange sounding supplements and natural remedies to make us better.  They probably work, but if you bought all of them, your cabinets would bulge with a scramble of solutions.  

However, these four  tips of his are just easy stuff anyone can do, ... and sleep better.  Better sleep=better mood=safer driving=better metabolism=easier weight loss and on and on.  If you sleep better, everything is better.



(copied directly from his website 3-3-2012)


Tip #1: Place a Dinner Curfew: No Eating 2 Hours Before Bedtime
Eat dinner at least 2 hours before bedtime since a late meal will keep your body busy digesting, making it harder to fall asleep. Also, avoid highly acidic and processed foods that can lead to indigestion or reflux and cause you to wake up in the middle of the night.
  • Note from me:  I am working on this one.  As a natural night eater, this is difficult for me.  I am no longer eating (very much) after 8:00-8:30.  Want to join me? 
Tip #2: Limit Time Spent on Your Cell Phone
Electric magnetic radiation from cell phones has been shown to make it harder to enter a deep sleep. Try using a land line in the bedroom if you like to talk to friends or family before you fall asleep, and also keep the phone at least 5 feet away from your bed.
  • Note from me:  If someone calls me late at night, I just ask them to call me back on the land line.  I am still antiquated enough to have one. I know people who sleep with their cell phone in the bed with them!  Don't do this!
Tip #3: Turn Down the Temperature and Put On Socks
A cool environment will help you sleep better, so turn down the thermostat to about 68 degrees. Also wear socks to bed, which will trick your body into thinking it’s hot, which forces your body’s core temperature to go down so you can sleep better.
  • Note from me:  Our thermostat goes down to 65 at night.  I like sleeping chilly so I'm glad it's "good for you".  I do start off with socks sometimes. 
Tip #4: Soak in a Salt and Soda Bath
A hot bath reduces muscle tension to help you sleep better. To create the perfect sleep-inducing bath, add 1 cup of Epsom salts, rich in muscle-soothing magnesium, and 1 cup of baking soda, which has alkaline balancing effects to soothe the skin.
  • Note from me:  I plan to try this sometimes.  I have both ingredients already...and I love baths.  
And also from me:  Melatonin works great!  All natural too.  Sleep well, friend.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Do You Have A Mind Toy?

I used to be a worrier.  I've experienced various stages of worrying during my lifetime ranging from all- consuming  worries to nagging worries that just camp out in the back of your mind.  As I progressed deep into adulthood, my worry patterns changed drastically.  Here is what I've learned about this subject.

1.  Worrying doesn't help.  It makes things worse.  How?  Well, it makes you a basket case, doesn't it.  Then wherever you go, you take that awfully negative energy with you.  Your friends sense it and wish it would go away.  Your family doesn't want to see it either.  They love you, and seeing you "a mess" makes them sad.  So now we have two unhappy, upset people.

2.  The more you worry, the more you have to worry about.  Ever realized that?  You've heard, "like attracts like".  And you've heard, "what you put out there is what you get back."  We all know about "cause and effect" too.    So however you look at it, the more worry you carry in your mind, the more negativity will find it's way into your day.

3.  Worrying can make things worse.  This is a lot like #1 except it involves other people's worry.  For instance, I've had times in my life when I knew my mother was worrying about me.  I was perfectly fine (in my mind's eye), but in hers I wasn't.  So, did I want to be with my mother during that time?  "No!".  Her worry made me want to go away.  It made me want to be secretive and not share.  

4.  Worrying keeps you from sleeping and ruins your day.  If you don't sleep, the next day certainly isn't your best.  If you start on the "what ifs" list during the night, you have to deal with this monster you've now created all by yourself.  Everyone else is blissfully asleep and they don't want to be bothered.

We all have to find our own way out of the worry-maze and change the habit for ourselves.  I'll share two techniques that have transformed me into an ex-worrier.

If I really have a major problem, then I deal with it.  I don't play games.  I dissect it, research it, get opinions about it from experts, see how my sister, my husband, and my friends feel about it, and take whatever action steps I can to solve it.  When I am complete, I rely on two techniques.  With little worries, I just go straight to the tools below.

1.  Find a Mind Toy.  A Mind Toy is something that brings you great joy.  Choose to think about that.  For me it seems memories work best.  That way I just enjoy wallowing in sweeter times and pleasant details.  It might be wandering the rooms of the house I grew up in and remembering the furnishings, the floor plan.  It might be my first job, or a first love, or a delightful conversation.  But it must be something I love and want to revisit.  I let it consume me ad nauseum.  

2.  Use your faith.  I can't explain this one.  I've had faith all my life.  I just haven't always "used" it as a tool.  I do now.  When worry begins to descend, I say, "God is working in my life."  Or "God is working in Tom's life."   Or whoever I happen to be slipping into concern about.  Why that simple sentence works so well now, I'm not totally sure.  Except to say that I truly believe it. I'm not saying, "Really?".  I don't need to convince myself.   I just need to remind myself. 

So, worrying begone.  It is gone.  I enjoy these tools that fly me away into forays of fantasy or blissful creation, or whatever you want to call it.  It's fun and it transports me almost instantly from potential despair into pleasure.

Are you a worrier?  How do you deal with worry it?  

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

February Is Heart Month And It's Almost Over

Before we say goodbye to February, let's take a moment to remember our hearts.  You can take that however you'd like.  For example, my little doggie is my heart.

 My children are my heart.  Hubby is my heart.  And so is my sister, my friends, my family, my home....and even my art is my heart.  But the heart that beats in your chest is really why we have Heart Month in February...to teach us how to take care of it.

Last week I heard a cardiologist speak about prevention.  He enjoyed it, he said, "because by the time a patient gets to a cardiologist, it's not about prevention.  It's already a problem."  That's what he said.

He talked a long time, fed us a heart-healthy snack, and showed us how to make it from scratch.  It was delicious!  So here is the bottom line if you're interested.

  • Every minute a woman dies in the USA due to some cardio event.  That's over 525,000 a year.  Breast cancer claims 40,000 lives in the same year.
  • Men still die younger than women, BUT if a man makes it to the hospital with a heart attack, 70% of them will live.  For women, only 30% will survive.
  • Men usually get a crushing pain in the chest.  Women may, but are more likely to have shortness of breath and gastro discomfort in the pit of the stomach or reflex type symptoms, and light-headednes.
  • "Time is muscle", he said.  Once you lose heart muscle, you never get it back.  So don't wait if you're concerned.
  • Exercise is the best thing you can do for your heart health according to ALL studies.  How much?  Hold on!  He says, "One hour, 3-4 times a week."  He wants that exercise to make you breathless for most of the hour...not just a casual stroll but an intense one.
  • Someone, me, asked about red wine because my husband loves it so.  The Doc loves it too.  Says it's so good for you, but, you men gotta stop at 8 ounces, and we women must stop at 4.  That's not a lot.  Excessive alcohol causes an enzyme in your heart to "uncouple" when it needs to "couple".  
  • Blood Pressure is important.  Again, exercise, he says.  Same to lower cholesterol.
  • Diabetes is HUGE to this heart doctor.  He says it always affects the heart, and not in a good way.
So, you probably knew all of that already.  Sorry I can't share the snack.  It was homemade hummus, spread on pita bread and drizzled with romesco sauce.  I had seconds.  Really good.

Other good heart things to do.  Love yourself, love your friends, heck, just love.  And play.  And laugh.  And enjoy every day.  Interesting that "God is love", isn't it.  Does a body good.  (I John 4:8)  





Saturday, February 25, 2012

Want A Virgin Margarita Today For Only 33 Calories?.

Source Unknown

Just in case you'd like a cool and refreshing  margarita out on your back deck after a long day in the fields, but you'd rather not have the alcohol or the calories, here is a recipe to try.  And limes are sooooooooo good for you too.

Virgin Margarita

1/4 cup lime juice (about 1 lime)
2 T agave nectar (
or other sweetener, maybe honey)
Crushed Ice
1/2 cup club soda or Sprite
Lime wedge for garnish

In a small glass, combine lime juice and agave nectar.
Stir.  May make ahead and refrigerate.
When ready to serve, fill a 12-ounce glass with crushed ice.  Add lime juice mixture and top off with club soda or Sprite.  Garnish with lime/orange slices to make yourself feel special...cause you are.

This is from the AJC, Feb 2012.  Recipe from Verdi's Restaurant in Atlanta, GA

33 calories 

Updated July 21, 2014

From:  http://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/fruit/health-benefits-of-lime.html

Not only does lime make this delicious drink, it is loaded with health benefits and weight loss properties.  Read more at Organic Facts and you may be convinced to find ways to add lime to your daily life.  If you find another way to make it really tasty and easy, please share.   I especially like the Readers' Comments on this Organic Facts article.


Enjoy!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Are You Psychic?

Do you know anyone who is psychic?  Do you think anyone is?

Right now I am listening to Mary Higgins Clark's bestseller, Before I Say Goodbye, on tape.  Nell, the main character in the story,  loses her husband the very day after they have a big fight.  Her sorrow and grief is compounded with guilt, which leads her to a medium who communicates with "the dead".  It brings Nell much comfort when her husband, Adam, relays that he is fine and  wants her to go on with her life guilt-free.  Whew!  Good man.

But in real life, do you believe?  Have you had any quirky things happen that could lead you to believe, or at least wonder, or maybe to know beyond a shadow of a doubt, that those who go before us send messages back to us?

I would guess that most of us believe that life is eternal, that death is nothing to dread in itself, and that the best is yet to come.  That doesn't lessen the sadness we feel when loved ones leave this plane.  We are still here.  They are not.  We cannot hug them and be hugged back.  We cannot look upon their face.  We miss them.

And, yet, maybe their energy and their love is still here for us.  Maybe there are those among us who can communicate and share their messages with us.

Tomorrow I'll be taking a little trip in my car and I'll find out what happens next in this mystery.  I'll eventually know "who dun it" and why and all the twists and turns.  But I won't find out if Adam's message to Nell is really from him or merely comfort bestowed upon her by the psychic.

What do I think?  I think it's really Adam.  I think it's real.  What do you think?


Monday, February 20, 2012

Hope And Life Abound

"Photo Journal Mid Winter"

A Flash of Red Berries Still Around

Southern White Camellias Refuse To Go Away

Sweet Old Fashioned Candytuft Comes Back Every Year

And Brilliant Pansies Bloom On and On

Just when we think that life is only cold and grey, stop, and look.  Peer deeply in and around your life and you will find the spots of color.  Cling to those no matter how small.  And know the best is yet to come for you.  The hope and new life of Spring will be here soon.  Hang on.


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A Favorite Quote

"Give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way."


Native American Proverb

Don't you just love knowing there are good things on their way to you?  Wonder what they are?  Hold the thought.  Be patient and know that good is ahead.


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Looking For A Book To Read?

My Book Club just finished reading Minding Frankie by Irish writer Maeve Binchy.  This is her latest in a string of novels and takes place in her native land of Ireland.

Unlike some of my friends, I don't really read to learn something new.  If I am interested in learning something, I will read non-fiction.  But fiction, to me, is just for fun and I thought this novel was fun.  It's very light and easy to pick up and put down reading 15 minutes at a time or in a couple afternoons....once you get all the characters down.

I'll just say it is a sweet story with a little romance, betrayal, psychology, friendship, loss, and  familial love set in a contemporary time with a small town village feel.  Everyone knows everyone and soon you feel like you do too.  If you've been looking for an easy, fun read, you can probably find this one at your library.

What kind of books do you like to read?  I have found that even though there are run away best sellers, I was completely wrong in assuming most of us like the same kinds of books.  This club of my peers has picked books I would NEVER have read on my own.  What one loves, another finds totally unlikable.

And, you probably knew this was coming, "you surely can't tell a book by it's cover!"