Sunday, February 28, 2010



Some of Dave's (My Year On The Grill) friends have decided to throw him a surprise going away party. You see, Dave has left the snow of Kansas and moved to the British Virgin Islands! Yep, he did what we all threaten to do - he moved to the islands! So as a send off, we've been asked to share a favorite in honor of a wonderful cook who has been so generous sharing his knowledge and recipes.

My favorite cocktail is Ina Garten's Pomegranate Cosmo. It's made ahead, and by the pitcher! Handing your guests one of these lovely drinks as they walk in the door will cement your friendship and get your party off to a great start. So here's to you, Dave! Cheers! (glasses clinking)

Pomegranate Cosmos by Ina Garten:
(2) Cups good vodka (recommended is Stolichnaya or Finlandia)
(1) Cup orange liqueur (recommended Cointreau)
(1) Cup pomegranate juice (recommended Pom Wonderful)
1/2 Cup freshly squeezed lime juice (3 limes)
lime peel strips to garnish

Combine the vodka, orange liqueur, pomegranate juice, and lime juice in a pitcher and refrigerate until ready to use (I do it early in the day.) Pour the mixture into frozen martini glasses, garnish, and serve immediately.

Thank you to Min from Our Krazy Kitchen for inviting me (us) to share in the fun. And to you, Dave, for following your dreams - you're a great example for the rest of us.

Friday, February 26, 2010

My Button

See my new button? Meeko Fabulous designed this little button so that anyone can copy the code underneath and post my button on their blog. He used the picture from Big Sur posted on the right! I thought how fun to have a row of buttons on my sidebar on the left (which I don't have with this template.) So if enough people get buttons, I may have to finally do something with my blog template in order to showcase your buttons. Here's Meeko's button:

Isn't Meeko fabulous?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Precognition, Synchronicity, or Coincidence?

We've had a couple of instances in the last couple of days that were unusual and involved dreams. I thought I would pass them along and see what you think.

Incident No. 1: Snowmobiles
My husband and I driving along the other day, when we came to a sign offering snow mobile treks. For some reason, and I still do not have any idea why, since I really have never cared much for snowmobiling, I said we could always rent a snowmobile and take a tour of the mountains. My husband said he had a dream the night before about when he almost died on a snowmobile in Montana when he was a young boy. He had never talked about this incident in the 30 years we've been married. Evidently he was with a man, along with two others and an additional snowmobile, who took a route that was rarely used by anyone in the winter. The snowmobiles both quit operating. Now this is Montana, where the temps dip way below zero most winter nights. They couldn't walk back to town - too far in deep snow. The sun was starting to set and there was no way to call anyone (before cell phones.) They were getting colder and colder by the second while the men tried to get the snowmobiles running again. Luckily, some other snowmobilers came along and were riding single. They piled everyone on and made it back to town. My husband dislikes snowmobiling to this day. Their lives were in serious danger, and he knew it. But we had never discussed it until I made the comment on the sign we'd passed and he recalled his dream from the night before.

Incident No. 2: Whale Sharks
My daughter has been busy planning a trip to Costa Rica in May. She dreamt that she was in the ocean and was horrified to see a huge whale shark that appeared to be running from a monster of some sort. But what had horrified her was the size of the whale shark. She is not a person that is at ease in the ocean in the first place, and large fish scare the stuffing out of her. So the next day she and her husband are looking for places to stay that will allow for her husband to surf. On one side is the Caribbean, and the other side of the country is the Pacific. She is reading about the Caribbean side when it notes that one of the benefits is that it is a breeding ground for whale sharks and there is opportunity to view them in their natural habitat! (Whale sharks are slow moving, filter feeding sharks.)

So are these instances just coincidences? Are they synchronicities that make a point? Or are they instances of precognition? (Precognition is the direct knowledge or perception of the future, obtained through extrasensory means. Usually the majority of precognitive events happen with 24-48 hours of the future event.) 

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Vortex

I am in the process of learning. I'm reading all sorts of books on a variety of subjects. An ever-evolving education. So I will pass on what I read if I think it might be of value to others. I don't always believe everything I read, just as you probably don't believe everything you read. But sometimes I can extrapolate information that resonates, using it to further my understanding from sources that may seem strange, or out of the ordinary. I try to keep an open mind. This book is different from the science-based books that I've been reading. Believe it or not, many of the practical activities could be collaborative with some prominent psychological theories. Especially using a "wheel" as a device to change negative thinking into positive thinking. I can see how it could work. And it might fit right in with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

This was the first book that I've read by Esther and Jerry Hicks in the popular Law of Attraction series. This book is third in the series, and deals with "The Vortex - where the Law of Attraction assembles all cooperative relationships." The premise being that we are all creators in our lives, but that most of us have no idea how to go about being in control of what we create. This book goes into the steps needed to align ourselves in such a way that we get out of the way of what we want to happen in our lives.

If you can take the material from this book and suspend disbelief about where it is coming from - Abraham, a group of Beings (collective consciousness) and just listen to the teachings, you can gain much from reading this book. The main point is that we are not aligned with "who we really are - an extension of source energy (God?), when we are feeling bad. We feel bad because we dwell on bad, or negative thoughts. Thoughts that are thought over and over until they are beliefs. Changing these thoughts is a process, but one that can open up our lives to manifesting the things that we want to happen.

This book would appeal to those individuals who believe energy creates, and we are the creators. It might also appeal to people who are looking for a way to bring their thinking into alignment with how they want to feel. In other words, how to concentrate on the good things in life until it becomes habit, or a part of our belief system. Whether or not you believe any of the ideas relating to the Law of Attraction, it behooves each individual to understand how our thoughts affect our bodies, our relationships, our happiness.

So in the spirit of passing on what I've read that might be of value to someone out there, here is my mini review of The Vortex.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Cha Cha Cha Chia!

Most people know what a Chia Pet is, but did you know that chia seeds are good for you to eat? (Not the ones used for Chia Pets, however.) Yes, in fact the chia seeds were used as a high energy endurance food by the ancient Aztec warriors who subsisted on the Chia seed during conquests. The Indians of the Southwest and Mexico would eat as little as a teaspoon full when going on a 24-hr forced march, or when running from the Colorado River to California to trade turquoise for seashells. It is said to have tremendous nutritional and medicinal properties, and only one tablespoon could sustain an individual for 24-hours.

Dr. Weil has noted that "Chia is very rich in omega-3 fatty acids, even more so than flax seeds. And it has another advantage over flax: chia is so rich in antioxidants that the seeds don't deteriorate and can be stored for long periods without becoming rancid. And, unlike flax, they do not have to be ground to make their nutrients available to the body. Chia seeds also provide fiber (25 grams give you 6.9 grams of fiber) as well as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, molybdenum, niacin, and zinc."

Dr. Oz also likes the chia seed, discussing it in his bestselling book "YOU, Staying Young" and  Oprah.Com  has a wonderful recipe for a Pumpkin and Chia Seed Muffin.

You can sprinkle them on salads, fruit, just about anything. Add them to bread flower, put them in your oatmeal, or drink them in a glass of water with lemon. They have no flavor or their own, which makes them nice to sprinkle on foods. Since my husband ordered two pounds, (yes, you heard that right), from Amazon, we have plenty of chia seeds for the next couple of years! Thank goodness they keep well. For those looking for smaller quantities, we also found them at Whole Foods.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I have dog fever!

How can you watch the Westminster Dog Show and not want a dog? Or in my case, another dog? The Pembroke Corgi is one I've had my eye on for quite some time. A dog that's easier to handle (our lab is very strong) on a leash. One with short legs - and happy not to go ten miles, but maybe two or three. My husband loves running with Lucy, but I've wanted a dog more my speed. One that likes to take walks but is not big enough to jerk my arm out of the socket when she sees a squirrel or another dog. The Pembroke Welsh Corgis was bred to be a companion and family dog, as well as to herd sheep and cattle. Intelligent, sensitive, and easily trained. Sounds good to me.

(And you notice no tail - that's because Lucy's is lethal. We literally have to grab her tail sometimes so that she doesn't do damage to herself or others, especially around our grandson).

Of course, I'm just dreaming.

(I think.)

What about you? What's your favorite dog?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Frosty Update

Unfortunately Frosty (Ch Marionhill Morning Frost) lost in the Best of Breed part of the competition amid 30 contenders. A beautiful Siberian Husky by the name of  Ch Paragon's Red Wine won the title and the opportunity to go on in the competition. Here is her picture:

We are so excited that my cousin and Frosty had the opportunity to compete in the Olympics of dog shows and I suspect we may hear more about Frosty in the future. Thanks for all of your well wishes and congratulations to the beautiful dog that won. Now we can see how she does in the Best In Show.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


Here is my cousin's dog, Frosty, who will be competing in the Westminster Dog Show in NYC this week!

My cousin, a colonel and Marine fighter pilot, and is now retired from Continental Airlines. Having trained as a Top Gun on more than one occasion, flying F-4's and F-18's, he's a competitor at heart. He will be in the ring with her! When not training, she and her five Siberian Husky family members take turns sleeping with my cousin and his wife. They are dearly loved, and are also working sled dogs.

We're hoping Frosty takes "Best In Show!"

Saturday, February 13, 2010

What constitutes a happy home?

When we think of "happy home" we often think mom, dad, children, dog and maybe a cat. But a happy home can have only one inhabitant, and can be different things to different people. There is no one way to have a happy home. That being said, I do have a few ideas on achieving a happy home, regardless of how many live in the home, or where it resides. I'm sure you can add a few of your own, and I hope that you will.

I think your physical home should reflect what you love most in life. Little physical representations of people, places, moments. A rock may represent a peaceful moment in a special place. A pine cone from that favorite pine tree in your backyard, or a shell from the beach you walk by and admire each day. It can be anything. But what is important about the object is that it has meaning to you. 

I think your physical home should be kept fairly clean. I think when our homes are really dirty it says that something is wrong, and adds to a sense of feeling out of control. That doesn't mean a spotless, sterile environment. Simply run a dust cloth under that stack of books on occasion. And while you're at it, ask yourself whether or not the objects that you are dusting really speak to who you are right now. How many of us keep things because it was meaningful to someone else? After all, that lava lamp that is gathering dust in the corner could be just the item a young teen is looking for to round out their "home." Keep stuff moving - give to charitable organizations those things that no longer represent you, or bring you pleasure. I've begun to cleanse my environment from the objects I really don't like, or have any attachment to. It's freeing.

Bring the outside in. Maybe a few plants, a bowl of fruit, a bouquet of flowers. I really think living things in our home are important. Plants clean the air and look pretty. If you don't have enough light where you live, how about a single flower in a small vase next to your bed?

Cook in your home if possible. I believe the most meaningful thing about a home is that it's nurturing, and what better way to nurture than to cook for yourself and others? We live in transitory times. The economic downfall in this country, and others, requires some adjustment. Going back to the basics can be fulfilling.  Good smells emanating from your kitchen will make you, and others, feel treasured. The price for an at-home meal is so much less than going out, and the atmosphere isn't rushed or full of other people's voices.

And last, but not least, be aware of the thoughts that you harbor. If you are thinking bad thoughts about your housemates, sooner or later you will say something that is hurtful that will make your home unhappy. There is nothing worse than living in a home full of tension. You cannot change the behavior of others, but you can accept responsibility for your own thoughts and behavior.

So here are a couple of my ideas on how to have a happy home. Care to share a few of your own? 

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Amma or "Mother" is a what some would call a modern-day Saint. "The Hugging Saint". Although she laughs at that suggestion. She says there is no difference between creation and God. Like the waves the ocean forms are different but they are one and the same. She does not adhere to a particular religion, and her room at her Ashram has a picture of Jesus Christ, a Menorah, and a verse from the Koran. But she has been known to cure leprosy and turn butter into pudding. Although she is quick to note that we all have the same power, we just don't know it. She does not like to perform miracles, like tricks to entertain, preferring to pass her love to people individually, thru the power of  human touch. She has been known to hug 50,0000 people in one day, in 20-hour stints, without benefit of food, water, or bathroom breaks. It is estimated that she has hugged 26 million people in the last 36 years. She's been asked to speak to organizations the world over, and her charitable organization has provided for orphanages, hospitals, schools, giving 46 million dollars to the tsunami victims in Malaysia alone. She has never sought to convert anyone, and states her religion is love and service.

Born in a poor fishing village 56 years ago, her mother claims there was no pain with her birth. She was known as an "odd" child because she would give the family's food away, touched lepers, and would often stop what she was doing and go into "trance-like" states with her lips moving, a smile playing on her face. She says they were silent prayers and "when one beholds the entire universe as a play of consciousness, what else can one do but smile?"

Whether you believe Amma is a Saint, or just a person who has managed to collect a following of millions, her message is simple and worth noting:

The mission of every human being is to realize his true Self or "know who we really are."

"Love is the foundation of a happy life. Knowingly or unknowingly we are forgetting this truth. It is important to feel love but also to express it. After all, love is our true nature. When we do not express love in our words and actions it is like honey hidden in a rock - it's of no use to anyone."

These things should start in the home - only then will there be peace and harmony at home and in society.

The last sentence really hit home for me. Having studied the family for so many years, I truly believe our home is the microcosm of everything else. Having a happy home changes everything.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

My husband's new shoes arrived...

He can't understand my reluctance in going out to dinner with him and his new shoes.

A friend said her CEO came to work the other day in a similar pair - in his suit.

P.S. Thank you to Hilary for POTW "mention"!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Heal Your Life

One of the things that I think is very important regarding good mental health is starting your day in a positive manner. Rather than reading news sites, or newspapers, or turning on the television, start your day off with positive reinforcement. Some may want to meditate, pray, do Tai Chi, Yoga, run or walk. But beginning your day with positive thinking will draw positive energy to you throughout the day.

I always read the news first thing in the morning. Bad idea. It left me worrying and thinking about all of the horrible things going on in the world and not focusing on the good.  The news programs count on manipulation. We are all in control of having a life well-lived. What we concentrate on becomes who we are. Isn't it just as important to work on a healthy mind as it is to work on a healthy body?

Here is a new website I recently found: Heal Your Life has a variety of good information, regardless of your religious or political views. Instead of the news, I begin my day with life-affirming information. There is plenty of time later in the day to read the stuff that makes me feel bad.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Lunch in Big Sur

Here was our view while having lunch in Big Sur last week. It certainly made the tuna fish sandwich. The California coast is really incredible this time of year. You can see why California cows are so happy!

Our next trip will be from Big Sur to Cambria. I can't wait.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

New Synchronicity Wesbsite

Trish & Rob MacGregor started a new website for their soon-to-be published book "Seven Secrets of Synchronicity." I've spent some time clicking around on the site and found it to be very interesting and informative. If you are puzzled about what synchronicity is all about, or you have a story to share with them, by all means - pay this site a visit.

I had the good fortune to meet the MacGregors while they vacationed in Hood River, Oregon, and we were visiting family in Portland. Since they live on the other side of the country - it was synchronicity that brought us together for lunch. They had placed a "Google alert" for "synchronicity" while working on their book, (yes, you can have Google work for you), and my blog post just happened to come up. Again, synchronicity. They were just the people I needed to meet at that time of my life. Trust me, they are very knowledgeable.

This has happened more than once. Issues that I may be working on just happen to come up in another person's blog post. Sidebars will show websites or other blogs that turn out to be just what I'm looking for. I've read a ton of books that inspire and facilitate my writing because someone recommended them to me in their comments, or better yet, in comments to another person. Some bloggers have become email friends, and we exchange thoughts on a variety of subjects. People with lives so different from mine, so far away from me, but sharing common interests. They often show up encouraging, or offering advice, just when I need it the most. The more that I'm aware of synchronicity in my life, the more alive I feel.

What about you - have you experienced synchronicity lately?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Jeff Foxworthy & Nevadans

Limestone cliffs. Great Basin National Park, Nevada, USA. 

I have lived in Nevada all of my life. I'm a fourth generation native, and my children are fifth. In this state that is unusual. It was the fastest growing state in the US for many of the last 20 years. My sister sent me this the other day and I laughed out loud. Jeff Foxworthy knows Nevadans. Here's a peek at a state most only think of as either desert or casinos:


If someone in a Home Depot store offers you assistance and they don't work there, you live in Nevada .

If you've worn shorts and a parka at the same time, you live in Nevada .

If you've had a lengthy telephone conversation with someone who dialed the wrong number, you live in Nevada .

If "vacation" means going anywhere south of Salt Lake City for the weekend, you live in Nevada .

If you measure distance in hours, you live in Nevada .

If you have switched from "heat" to "A/C" and back again in the same day, you live in Nevada .

If you install security lights on your house and garage but leave both unlocked, you live in Nevada .

If you can drive 75 mph through 2 feet of snow during a raging blizzard without flinching, you live in Nevada .

If you design your kid's Halloween costume to fit over a snowsuit, you live in Nevada .

If the speed limit on the highway is 75 mph -- you're going 80, and everyone is still passing you, you live in Nevada .

If driving is better in the winter because the potholes are filled with snow, you live in Nevada .

If you know all 4 seasons: almost winter, winter, still winter, and road construction, you live in Nevada .

If you find 10 degrees "a little chilly" you live in Nevada .

Of course we just legalized the first male prostitute in the United States this last week. Never say we're not progressive. Geeze.