There is a divinity that shapes our ends, rough-hew them how we will-  William Shakespeare

A New Look for 2015

It’s only taken me a month to decide to change my look for the new year.

Don’t judge!

I may be slow, but I’m intentional, and my intention this year is to do more with my blog. I hope you’ll like the new additions/changes as they come.

Some things that I will be adding:

A Music or Meatless Monday. I’m not a big music fan, but I do have a few tunes that make me smile, and a few recipes that have found their way to the table and don’t include meat. We’ll see where this takes us.

More Quotes. I will be doing this mainly to remind myself of the things I’ve heard that have shaped my thinking, and to share them with others who might be equally inspired. I hope they will be useful to you.

More Photos. I will try to add a photo or photo gallery once a week, probably on Tuesday or Wednesday, hopefully full of images that will help you to know me better. The jury is still out on whether anyone will care about this new addition. Time will tell.

So, here is what I’m asking of you:

If you like something you see here in the next few weeks, please say so. If you don’t like something, likewise express yourself, but be nice. If there is something I could add that you think would make the blog more fun, more interesting, or more useful, share away.

I’m excited about the changes that are coming and looking forward to our adventure into 2015. Woohoo, bring it on!

Create a great weekend, everyone! You guys ROCK!!!

Its NOT a Dog’s life, just a way of life

Hubs had to go to town for dog food yesterday. He called me from the store for help.

Let me explain two things before I go further:

1. Our house is at least fifteen minutes away from any signs of recognizable civilization depending on the “trail” you take.   So, when I say hubs had to go to town for dog food, what I really mean is that if folks in our neighborhood want to procure anything other than sticks, stones (which we have aplenty on our property), or farm implements, we all have to travel to get it.  Due to our Pupper’s delicate tummy, we have to travel 45 minutes one-way to get his dog meal.

I know, I know, the things we do for our pets…

2. There has got to be at least six types of dog food flavors associated with our brand of dog food, and at least ten different brands on the store shelves where we shop.  This translates into gratitude on my part that hubs would volunteer for this job, because it is serious work to figure out what to buy when you’re not standing in front of the displays, and/or even harder if you are doing the shopping, but your better half (who usually does this chore), isn’t there with you.

Poor guy, he had to call for help. What else could he do, get the wrong thing?!


Now that I have explained the scenario we are dealing with at our hill top nob home, I will share with you the real reason for my post today.

My dog has to have a special food devoid of grains to be healthy!

There it is!

If Pupper does not have this grain-free food he itches.  He has an allergy to grains, especially cheap grain and/or sub-par grains that often go into dog meal.  When the allergy kicks up, he itches enough to make us crazy and make him sick.  The itching develops into an infection, and soon his hair is being scraped off his back and he is left with unsightly bare spots that look like mange, but are not.  Thankfully, we learned about how these allergies work early in our mini-schnauzer keeping legacy, so that current pup, Pupper No. 3, has not ever had to get to the bare spot place with his allergies and sensitivities.

This is the brand of dog food our dog eats, his favorite flavor is Chicken and Rice

I mention all this today to say that different people have different needs, and to point out how important it has been for me to realize and factor that into my eating program as I’ve worked to get better.

Some foods make me feel great.  Others make me feel lousy. 

Oatmeal in the morning energizes me.

Coffee makes me jittery.

Bagels feed my appetite, but not my body.

Fruit makes me feel virtuous.

Ice cream makes me feel guilty.

Eating beans, I’m reminded of how remarkable is our digestive system.

Don’t tell me feelings and food aren’t closely connected. They are, for this gal!

What does all this mean–this quandary of feelings and foods, and allergies, and itching, and winning and losing, and figuring out all this stuff so that I can see the forest for the trees?

I guess its about me wanting to better understand how food affects my thinking everyday, and to tip my hat to all those out there that are dealing with serious food allergies and sensitivities, and especially those who share my food compulsions and are trying to shut them down however they can.

What I know:  It can be done.

It will take work.

It will take education.

It will take time.

It can be done!!!  Start today.  Trust God, and begin.  You can do it!

Magnesium: Still trying to figure this out

This is part two of my series on Magnesium supplements.  I didn’t mean this to turn into a series, but whatever…

I have a problem.

My problem is:  I don’t know how to use this crazy lotion.


I have been told I need to use it.

I have been told I will benefit from using it.

“Almost everyone has a magnesium deficiency.”

Problem is: I don’t know HOW to use this lotion.

Seriously, there are no instructions on the bottle, ANYWHERE.  I’ve checked.

Is a dab too little?

Is a smear too much?

Can you overdose on this stuff?

Can it be used in conjunction with other medications?

Is it harmless, or not???

I paid $21 for this bottle of lotion, but its no good to me if I can’t figure out how to use it.

Guess I’ll have to do more shopping around on the internet.  This is what amazon.com has to say about it:

  • One teaspoon contains approximately 185mg elemental magnesium.
  • Rich in organic plant moisturizers including coconut oil and shea butter, this lotion soothes and hydrates without leaving your skin feeling waxy or greasy.
  • Formulated for even the most sensitive individuals, Ancient Minerals Magnesium Lotion is designed to deliver magnesium through the skin, direct to the cells.
  • Completely free of Arsenic, Lead, Mercury, and Fluoride.

Does this mean one dose = 1 tsp?  I can’t tell.

A quick look at WebMD advises that magnesium supplements may be a problem with some medications.  I think the wise thing to do before I use this lotion is to consult my MD.  I’ll get back to you on what he says.

Working my way DOWN

Today is Tuesday, after the visit, and I’m working my way down.

Down the scale, after gaining a few pounds.

Down from the emotional high of seeing family.

Hugs are great, but when we have to go home…such regrets at having to leave.  I wish we lived closer.

I didn’t sleep well while away.

Hubs snoring.  Shifting positions all night.  Grinding his teeth.

That orange tabby, yowling!  Can’t they hear her?  Sooo loud!

Long, soulful yowls…loud. Loud enough to wake the dead.

This is why we no longer keep Siamese, but this one is not Siamese.

Still, the yowl is the same.  Mind numbing at 5:30 am.

We are now home, but the sleep deprivation continues.

Last night, I prayed:

“Lord, please, help me not to hurt.

Help me to find a position in this bed that will eliminate the pressure points.

Help me sleep.”

Soon, I was curled up in a ball, sleeping in a weird position, snoring.

Finally!  Blissful sleep.

The whole world looks different through restful eyes.

Now, if I can just get my food straightened out, I will be happy.

Working on it.

Anyone else have problems getting enough sleep? 


Water is my friend

Today, I’m back at the office after a weekend trip to Rochacha. We stopped at the store to pick up some “good eats” on our way home, knowing I wouldn’t have time to do that today. Mondays are my busy day of the week. After laying in supplies, we ate a quick supper with too many carbs and headed off to bed.

It felt good to sleep in my own digs last night.

I am always sleep deprived when I return from traveling. I don’t sleep well at home on a normal basis, but I really don’t sleep well on the road. Still, it was fun seeing the kiddos.

I always eat the wrong kind of foods when I am at the kids place.  Lots of carbs, too much sugar, not enough veggies.  They don’t have the same issues with food that I do, but I will tell you that I have learned over the last three years that they like their sugar.  Who doesn’t?  It’s like crack…Just like crack!

I gained 2 lbs while I was away.  Ugh!

Today, water is my best friend, and I’m watching what I eat.  Watching the sodium…watching the calories.  I will be eating lots of veggies today and tonight, and drinking, drinking, drinking water.

That’s all for now.

Happy Monday, everyone!

Corn Bags and Owls

During the Christmas holiday my son invited friends over to the house. What an experience!  Six children and seven adults in our lil ranch on the hill–the children’s ages ranging 2-11 yrs old.  We have rarely hosted an event of this type when we couldn’t do it outside.  Amazingly, nothing got broke, including the children.  😉

They were squirming, wormy, loud, and rambunctious! 

When it was time to say good-bye, everyone was sad, except me.  Me, I was glad, because I got a parting hostess gift.

This sweet mom–the mom of four running, screaming, tearing, racing, totally blissful and healthy children, made me a rice bag. An owl shaped, one-of-a-kind, homemade rice bag.  I love it!

Here’s a picture of the lil guy, perched on the bed, waiting to be useful.

Rice Bag by Beth

Rice Bag by Beth

You’ve heard me whine on here before about the sub zero temperatures in NEPA during January and February, and all the ice we have, and how I can’t wait for spring to come. I try not to do that too much, because truth be told, we live in a beautiful part of the country where we are allowed to enjoy the turning seasons, and I love that.  I will confess, however, to talking to the trees the other day and and saying: Listen, I know you guys need your rest sometimes. We all do, but I am really glad that its light out at 4pm now, and I hope you’re about ready to wake up, cuz I’m sick of all this cold. 

Okay, so maybe I didn’t say it in those words, exactly, but you get the gist.

Anyway, back to my whining…

I have a warm heart and cold feet.  So cold.  Extremely cold. Like, I-can’t-get-to-sleep-at-night-because-my-feet-are-so-cold, cold feet.  Or should I say HAD.  Not anymore.

Ya know what owl shaped corn bags are good for?  Warming the foot of my bed on a cold winter’s night, and warm it, I do.  DSC_0369

(Don’t you love the rough edging on this treasure?  I can’t resist something so obviously hand made.  A.D.O.R.A.B.L.E!!)

Three minutes in the microwave and this baby is toasty   One hour at the bottom of my bed before bedtime and my feet are warm, warm, warm all night long.

Owl shaped corn bag, where have you been all my life?!


If you don’t have one of these babies, you need to get it.  If you can’t find someone who will make you one, maybe I can hook you up.  If you’ve never tried a corn bag, oh, my, goodness, you have GOT to try one.


This is my answer to cold feet this winter, and what a wonderful answer it is. Thank you, Beth, for my owl-y bag of warmth.  It was worth every minute of chaos those kids brought to experience this kinda comfort this winter.  Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!