Fogg, one of the kitties we’ve had for twelve years, passed away Sunday night after a brief illness. He seemed fine, then was off his food for a little bit, and then just gave up and crossed over. As hard as it can be, sometimes we have to say goodbye.
But on the same weekend, we had another arrival–a little eight week old puppy who is just starting out. We don’t have a name for him yet, but he is a cute little thing.
And so in the cycle of life, there are beginnings and endings. One life gives way to another and the cycle continues on.
Mr. Fogg, we will miss you so very much. The front porch where you liked to sun in the afternoon seems much emptier without your presence there. And I miss the little chirp of a sound you made when you said hello.
Little pup, whatever your name will be, you liven up the household with your sunny, happy personality.
In the meantime, I will get back to more regular posts, and back into Gregor Thayne. If I turne my back on him and Caela for too long, there is no telling what they’ll get up to.
From what I have seen in this world, there are a lot of things we can’t explain. Things which seem to defy logic and science.
Coming from a family which converted to a rather fundamentalist approach to life, our leaders taught that most of those things were evil spirits–demons if you like–trying to pull us away from God. And giving them any thought was only inviting evil into your life.
Now, my family has had what we would call psychics today in several generations. On both sides of the family. Some of them have prophetic dreams. Some see things others don’t. Some can feel energy and use their ability to help heal those around them. Some combine all of the above.
Our church leaders told us these were all evil and from the demons.
They also included anything which might possibly deal with astrology, like my grandfather planting his garden according to the moon. Getting ready to plant the garden this year is what sent me down this path today. My grandfather’s practice of watching the moon to plant was considered heretical by our church.
Since that time, science has discovered that energy can be felt and sent from one person to another, such as energy healers do. I don’t know if that church has accepted it, but I’ve seen it done. And my parents were a bit skeptical of the teaching. My father confided to a friend that the people in his family who claimed to have seen things weren’t lying. They were honest, hardworking, God-fearing people. And if they said they’d seen something, they probably did see it.
Could he explain it?
Could those who witnessed it explain it?
Does this mean it didn’t happen?
In this generation, there are people in the family with similar abilities, and I’ve seen them work to help people. I’ve seen prophetic dreams come true, and because of the warning, a dangerous situation was avoided.
Is it magic?
Or something else entirely?
Much of what we take for granted today would have been considered magic to someone from two or three hundred years ago, let alone in the Middle Ages. We would all have been put to death as witches with our modern conveniences. Imagine showing up in medieval Europe with a mobile phone. Yes, I know you wouldn’t have signal, but I think the stored pictures would be enough.
What is magic except something we witness but can’t explain?
Things paranormal fit into this category. Imagine hearing voices in your front room and finding there is nobody there. Or hearing children whisper in the night, only there are no children in the house. Voices which fade away when you ask them to be quiet so you can sleep.
Or what about the sweet scent of the perfume your favorite aunt wore, the one who’s been dead for forty years? A swirl of scent coming into the room, lingering for a moment, and then gone without a trace?
Magic? Not sure how.
Witchcraft? Only if one is actively embracing the practice.
Or something else entirely? Something we don’t understand, can’t explain, but witness?
I’ll let you decide. But I will not quickly condemn someone as consorting with demons and evil spirits simply because they see, hear, or smell something I can’t sense. And I would hope you do the same.
Earlier last year, I managed to pull the muscles and tendons in my foot and calf. There went my nice long walks for a while. But with summer coming on, things got busy.
Then came autumn, with multiple weddings and birthdays, along with the bridal showers, and all that goes with a garden wedding.
So, things were healing up nicely until my husband and I went to lunch. As my foot hit something in the parking lot of the restaurant, my still weak right leg couldn’t recovery sufficiently to keep me from falling.
And fracturing my right patella.
Two months later, just before Christmas, my doctor finally decided everything was healed enough to resume normal activities. But in the meantime, sitting for any length of time was painful, walking wasn’t fun, and the stairs were killer.
I’ve also recently had surgery for cataracts, so my time on the computer has been shortened, since it kind of makes my eyes tired.
Turns out all that research on stress helped me out!
I know. I’m a klutz. But funny!
So this has been my world lately. But I’m recovering nicely from all of the above, doing weight training and stretching to get those muscles back in shape. And watching my diet.
I hope to be back on a more regular schedule soon, so stay tuned!
And if you like to read, head over to my author web for news on my books: melliemiller.com
Of course, it’s raining here in Georgia, so I think the barbecue is off for the afternoon. But at least my guy made it home for the weekend. We can cook indoors and watch a movie with the cats. They are, of course, pointedly ignoring him for being gone.
What are some of your favorite memories of your father? My dad died over ten years ago at the age of 93. When I was growing up, we lived on a farm in Ohio, so summer was always a busy time. But come winter, times were a little slack, so we went for walks in the woods, cut and split firewood, and he talked about growing up in the early 1900’s on a farm in Tennessee.
Thanksgiving was one of my favorite times. He and I would get up early and go pheasant hunting. The air was crisp and cold, with snow on the ground crunching under our feet. We hardly ever actually shot anything, but we had some good slolid father and daughter time, for about three hours. Coming home to a nice warm fire was always wonderful, thawing out cold fingers and toes and sipping hot coffee laced with something tasty.
Hope you’re all having a wonderful Father’s Day. Feel free to share your memories with me. Give that guy a hug while you have him here. You never know when his time on earth will be over.
Face it. Modern life is stressful. Everything moves so quickly and with instant communication constantly demanding our attention, it can be difficult to catch a break. If you try to leave your phone behind while you take a walk, or go to the gym, somebody panics because you’re out of touch.
Everywhere you go there is a TV, or music of some sort playing, and announcements at the grocery store, all demanding your attention. After a while, it feels like you’re carrying the world on your shoulders.
Many of us have families at home in the evening, and while it’s nice to have your family around you, it can add to your stress loads after a full day at work. Children need attention, and we understand this. What they can’t yet understand is our need for a few minutes of calm.
So in this day and age, how do you de-stress?
Find a time when it would be best for you to take a little time for yourself. Maybe it’s after work, before you get home to all the stresses there. Or maybe it’s after dinner, when everyone is watching TV or playing games. Whenever it is, let everyone know that this time is private time for you. Your phone will be off, not to worry.
Now, figure out what you’re going to do.
I like to take a walk out in nature, but sometimes that isn’t possible due to the weather. Seriously who wants to go walk in a downpour? And we’ve had quite a bit of that here lately. As an alternative, I might put on some music and just move to the sound.
But there is one thing that helps me find that inner peace we all seek. And I know you’ve heard it before.
You’ll say you don’t have time. You can’t relax long enough. Your mind won’t turn off so you can get there.
As one of my martial arts instructors used to say, you didn’t sign on a black belt your first day in class. Give yourself some time.
Here is one easy way to get started. It is the short meditation we did before every martial arts class to help us shift our minds off of the troubles of the day and focus on class. Our instructor called it the Circle of Life meditation.
Sit comfortably. Anyplace is fine. If you want to sit cross-legged on the floor, do it. If you prefer a nice comfortable chair, have a seat.
Take your thumb and middle finger on each hand and form a circle. Place the backs of your hands on your knees.
Now close your eyes. Picture your thumbs and fingers making a perfect circle.
Breath in through your nose. Imagine the air travelling up over the top of your head, down your spine, and then back up the front of your body and up into your lungs.
Hold that breath for a moment, and then slowly let it out through your mouth.
Now pause and repeat the sequence for a total of three times.
The fourth breath is a cleansing breath. Breathe in deeply and blow the air back out quickly before you begin the sequence again.
Concentrating on your breath, imagining it moving around your body, and holding your fingers in a perfect circle, gives you a focus. Sure you may have random thoughts pop up, but acknowledge them, let them go, and return your concentration to your breathing.
You don’t have to keep to a timetable–thirty minutes or else. But if you have a limited amount of time, set an alarm for however long you want to meditate. Don’t try to start off for with a lengthy period of time. A few minutes to get the feel of it is fine.
Maybe you would prefer a guided meditation, something you can listen to and follow along.
One of my favorites is The Daisy Pond, one of Burt Goldman’s guided meditations. In it, he guides you into a relaxed state, and then takes you on an imaginary trip to the daisy pond.
The Daisy Pond is available for anyone to use on YouTube. You can find several of Mr. Goldman’s meditations there. Just do a search and find one you like.
Make that time for yourself. Teach your family to make quiet time for themselves as well. The world is a stressful place. We all need to learn a healthy, safe way to de-stress at the end of our day. Help them make it a habit which will help them throughout their lives.
With the temperatures rising, the rain tapering off, and the garden beginning to bloom, I’d say summer is right around the corner.
Are you ready for summer? Your skin and hair can take a beating out in the heat. And after the cool weather we had late into spring, this sudden heat is a killer here in the Southeast.
If you’ve known me for any length of time, you know that one of my favorite product lins is L’Bri. With safer and more natural offerings, they give me the moisture and protection I need while giving me the more pure and natural ingredients I want.
What are my favorites?
Right at the top of the list would have to be the Aloe Vera Barbadensis Jelly. It is a marvelous moisturizer and is wonderful for sunburn or irritated skin.
And then there is the body butter in a variety of scents, or with no scent at all!
Do you carry lotion in your purse? Check out the 2 oz. offering, which is perfect for taking along. Also available in a variety of scents and scent free.
Like to co-ordinate your skincare? They have body wash in scents to match the body butter and lotion. Wonderful smooth and creamy, it doesn’t dry out your skin as it cleanses.
My favorite scent is the warm and sensuous Mandarin Fig, if I’m going to be home. When I’m going out where there may be people with reactions to scents, I use the fragrance free.
So are you ready for the summer sun? If not, L’Bri has you covered!
Check out their summer sale items. And if you hurry, you may still be in time for the Father’s Day specials!
Yes, L’Brihas a men‘s line of products as well, so you can pamper your guy as much as you pamper yourself.
Check out the L’Bri sales and get ready for summer fun!
L‘Bri Pure and Natural, with products you’ll love.
Sometimes we just need a break. Maybe a nice walk to get in touch with the nature. I know you can’t actually slip into my world just now, but…
...come walk with me. A virtual walk if you will.
Out the front door, we close the heavy iron gate behind us. The trees arching over the sidewalk invite us forward as we begin our stroll. Turning toward the little country road, we walk in the shade of the trees, cooling us from summer’s sun.
The scent of the earth after a rain surrounds us, as a cool breeze rustles the leaves. The crunching of our footsteps along the dirt and gravel lane provide a percussive note to the birdsong from the woods alongside.
Though it’s mid-day, the shade from the trees cools us as we walk along. Reaching a branch in the path, we turn downhill toward a little stream. The shade is deeper here, and the breeze coming up off the stream is wonderfully refreshing.
Before long, we hear the splashing of the stream as it tumbles over the rocky ledge. Turning off the path, we go down to the water’s edge, feeling the refreshing mist rising from the stream.
The interplay of light and shadow here under the trees, beside the stream, along with the woodland sounds, is soothing, relaxing. It feels as if all your troubles could float away, like fallen leaves on the water.
Stop for a moment.
Close your eyes and breathe deeply of the woodland scent. The smell of moist earth warmed by the sun, mingling with the wildflowers growing along the stream teases your senses. On the breeze, you catch a hint of newly mown hay from further down the path.
Take another deep breath. Hold it in for a few seconds before you slowly exhale, releasing your cares into the vastness of the universe. Listen as the sounds of nature speak to you soul.
I could spend all afternoon here by the water, but I need to go home. So we turn away from the water, taking a last look at the ferns growing there in the shade, and wishing we had time to climb out and sit on the log bridging the stream.
I fell lighter of spirit, somehow, as if a weight has been lifted. Back up the path to the turn, and then up the road toward the drive, we look out across a meadow filled with tiny yellow flowers.
Back to the sidewalk, we slip under the living arch, stroke the cat who is waiting there for us, and open the heavy gate back into the house.
I feel refreshed and ready to face the rest of the day now. I know, it’s time to say goodbye. But thanks for coming with me. I had a wonderful time.
I am not a doctor or any kind of medical professional, so do not take this as medical advice of any kind. As always, check things out for yourself or ask someone who is a professional before making any drastic changes in your diet.
How much sugar do you eat in a day? Sugar on your cereal, in your coffee, and in the yogourt you’re eating. You know, the kind with the fruit in the bottom. Maybe you have a quick snack during the afternoon as a pick-me-up, like an energy bar or candy bar. Of course, there’s the cappuccino on the way home and some sort of dessert or snack before bedtime.
Maybe you’re thinking, “I don’t do any of those things. I’m fine.”
But are you?
How much sugar is there in the other foods you eat?
I’m not talking about natural sugars in the raw food itself, like the fructose in an apple or banana. I’m talking about processed sugars added to your food, sometimes in places you would never suspect.
If you’ve done any label checking at all, you will know bread of most kinds has sugar in it, not to mention quickly converted refined flour. And of course there is brown sugar, honey, dextrose, sucrose, and all those other -oses.
Why did I begin thinking about this?
A couple years ago, I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. My doctor put me on what I thought was a radical diet until my blood sugar normalized. For the first year and a half, I went completely vegetarian, eating mostly fresh, raw foods. During the colder weather, though, I wanted something warm, some sort of comfort food. Vegetable soups of various styles came to mind. Surely those would be fine. Right?
What I found out, and what you may not realize, is that several types of canned vegetables contain added sugars. Like kidney beans. I’ve found only one or two brands of kidney beans which don’t have sugar in them.
How about peas and carrots? They’re good in soup.
On their own, most of them are fine, if you can handle the starches in them. But canned together, a lot of them contain added sugar. I can’t imagine why, since both of them are sweet to begin with.
What good would soup be without tomatoes?
Reaching for the canned tomatoes, I accidentally grabbed stewed instead. But they should be fine. They’re tomatoes!
Nope. Added sugar! Again, why? None of the other types of tomatoes, from whole and diced to crushed, have sugar added. But most, if not all, the stewed tomatoes I’ve checked have sugar in them.
What good is soup without some sort of broth or stock? Now hesitant about trying anything without checking it first, I looked at the label.
You’re kidding me! Most of the chicken broth or stock has some sort of sugar in it, and I think I’ve only found one of the brands of beef stock which is sugar free.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve never put sugar in the pot with either chicken or beef. Not in the oven, crock pot, stew pot, or anything else. Once in a while, I would add a little something sweet for a glaze, but not to make broth.
Like to barbecue? My husband is the grillmeister extraordinaire around our place. Try finding hot dogs or sausage without sugar in them. BBQ sauce is right out.
Just when I thought I was doing well, I checked my seasoning blends.
Almost all of the seasoning salt type things have sugar in them, and a lot of the other seasoning blends as well. Garlic pepper and various types of rubs are things to check for hidden sugar.
Same thing with salad dressings, mayonnaise, ketchup, soy sauce, oriental sauces of all kinds… Even some of the hot sauces, picante, and salsa have added sugar.
So, if you make a sandwich, with bread, mayonnaise, ketchup, with a meat seasoned with seasoning salt, how much hidden sugar are you eating?
I haven’t done the math, but I was appalled by all sugar we unknowingly eat in a day.
Don’t believe me?
Check it out yourself! Next time you go to the grocery store, start reading labels. Watch not only for sugar, but for honey, molasses, sucrose, glucose, dextrose, lactose–if it ends in -ose, it’s probably a sugar of some sort.
Now if you’re diabetic, you need to watch out for starches as well, as they are easily converted into sugar in your body. In my case, I need to watch for corn starch, any kind of added flour, potato starch, tapioca, maltodextrin, or anything else normally used as a thickener. Any sort of sauce which is thick and clingy–the dreaded BBQ sauce for example–will have one of these in it.
If you’re trying to quit sugar, good luck to you. It can be done, but check, check, check your labels. Or go fresh whole foods only. Frozen food tends to be better. It will take a while to get the hang of it, and to get used to the taste of real food again.
I know, I know. I’ve been away for a while. But I’m back now! How have you been?
A while back, I had a page on another site which sort of shared some of the information I would write about here. And it was too much to keep up with. Besides that, I am a writer of romance novels, and the writing for that has been eating into my other activities.
I discovered this online and decided to give it a try. Due to my diabetic condition, I have a restricted diet and eat a lot of fresh green vegetables. And I prefer to eat organic foods when possible and affordable. Since my first shipment, I’ve been buying my produce from them.
How does it work?
Once you sign up, you can order online from their featured products that week. There is a minimum purchase price and once you reach that, you’re all set for the week. Since I buy a lot of fresh foods, I have no trouble meeting the minimum.
What do I order?
I usually get tomatoes of some sort, curly kale, salad greens, cauliflower and broccoli. blueberries, and strawberries. And then whatever else suits my my fancy, be it potatoes, eggplant for Baba Ganoush, apples, or avocados
How much do you get?
One order is usually enough for one serving for two people. But you can order more than one! Since my husband loves broccoli and kale, I can order enough for us to have two meals with no problem.
For a discount, use this code when you order! COOKWME-FM5GAPNSBAC
As you may know, a friend of mine introduced me to the L’Bri company several years ago. And I love their products! They have taken the alcohol out and replaced it with aloe vera! And it does wonders for my skin. They have a full line of face and body products, hair products, and cleaning products for your home. All of them with more natural ingredients than the run of the mill types you buy over the counter at your local store.
Aloe Vera Gel, the minty rejuvenating foot cream, body butter, and their muscle rub.
Do you need fragrance free? They have it!
Love to experiment with different scents?
You can do that, too! I particularly love the Mandarin Fig.
So check out L’Bri for their Pure and Natural products! There is a monthly special each month, and right now they are having a 2 day sale. So if you hurry over, you can take advantage of this sale for some of my faves!