Sunday, July 27, 2008

Make Time for Wine.....

Say cheers to vino. In recent years, there have been many studies published supporting the health benefits of wine, particularly red wine. Moderate drinking of red wine may help preserve mental functioning, reduce the risk of dementia, help in heart disease prevention and promote cardiovascular health.

As with any alcoholic drink, you should watch your consumption. The American Heart Association cautions people NOT to start drinking if they do not already drink alcohol. If you already drink alcohol, do so in moderation. (article source: Ezine Articles, posted April 11, 2006).

Apples & Wine...
Women are like apples on trees. The best ones are at the top of the tree. Most men don't want to reach for the good ones because they are afraid of falling and getting hurt. Instead, they just get the rotten apples from the ground that aren't as good, but easy. So the apples at the top think something is wrong with them, when in reality, they're amazing. They just have to wait for the right man to come along, the one who's brave enough to climb all the way to the top of the tree.

Men are like a fine wine. They start out as grapes, and it's up to women to stomp the stuff out of them until they turn into something acceptable to have dinner with!


Thursday, July 24, 2008

Helping to become a more successful gardener

We all have heard the expression, you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find a prince. That is for sure, I will attest to that and can say for certain that being single, I have been experimenting on finding my prince, but with little success. I have just read an article, in an email newsletter that I receive, which I found really interesting as an amateur "green thumbed Gardener" prompting this post.
Why are toads so happy? They eat whatever bugs them! Maybe there is more meaning there then on the surface.......not a bad philosophy.

So, Build a Toad House....
Believe it or not, toads are one of the best residents you could have in your garden. Building a toad house with your kids is a great way to get them jazzed about the outdoors and understand the important role toads play in nature. Creating a safe haven for them in your garden ensures that they will want to stay a long, long time!

The Toad Abode
“It’s a great house, and the neighbors are nice. Hop on over for a visit!”
Despite their warts, native toads are yard-friendly. They’re mega bug-eaters, and your children will delight in watching these hopping critters make their way through your garden before bedtime. So welcome toads “home” by providing a safe place for them to rest and stay cool during the day – with a toad abode.

As Mom once told you, it’s what’s on the inside that counts. And inside just about any toad you’ll find a beautiful belly full of bugs. In fact, these eating machines can chow down nearly 100 insects every night – and that can add up to more than 10,000 bugs during the gardening season! Toads aren’t picky eaters, either. They’ll eat worms, slugs, crickets, grasshoppers, beetles, flies, gnats, mosquitoes – even mosquito larva. So skip the bug spray and invite nature’s best garden ally to your yard!

So how do you roll out the red carpet for these garden guests? Well, the good news is toads aren’t too demanding, but you’ll have to have certain conditions available in your yard to draw them into your garden and keep them there:

● Moisture: Any consistent water source is an invitation. Shallow bowls or ground-level birdbaths are the easiest options (although sometimes a pet’s water dish does the trick – but check your local species to learn which ones could be toxic to your animals). Even a daily water sprinkling in your garden can provide standing puddles. Of course, ponds are the best attractants because toads need a larger source of water for breeding and laying eggs. Don’t worry much about the toads eating too many of your fish, though. They’re more likely to eat water bugs, and the tadpoles will nibble on the algae on the side of the pond.

● Shade: Toads do their best work during the cool night hours. During the day, they must avoid the sun to keep from becoming dehydrated.

● Shelter: You may have the perfect toad home and not even know it! Woodpiles, rock piles, leaf piles and old-container piles are the perfect hidey-holes for toads. If you want to have some fun, try buying or making a toad house (a toad cave is probably a better description): Dig a shallow depression and lay a board over it, or make a “tent” out of two or three large rocks. Just make sure the home isn’t in a windy spot. (Wind zaps a toad’s moisture.)
Another option is to put a clay pot on its side. Add a layer of dirt to the bottom so the toad isn’t sitting on the clay. Since toads love to burrow, they’ll like it even more if the pot is broken in half so they’re free to dig down into the ground, especially on those extremely hot days. (The best part is you can get two houses out of one pot!) You can always buy some little toad homes, too, but keep in mind the size of the “door” or hole. Many native toads are quite large and can’t fit into the petite houses.
● Some night light: You’ll increase your odds of luring toads into your yard simply by turning on a yard or porch light at night. The light attracts insects by the swarms, providing a veritable toad buffet!

● A chemical-free environment: You can’t have toads and pesticides. All amphibians are highly susceptible to toxins because they breathe and absorb moisture through their skin. Scientists and gardeners alike have seen a sharp decline in toads and frogs as pollution and chemical use increase. Even flicking cigarette butts on the lawn can repel toads. So choose organic fertilizers, and let the toads be your insect control.

You might ask, Why would I want to bring toads into my yard? Toads are actually helpful garden friends – they can eat nearly 100 insects every night. (Sadly, these creatures are dying at an alarming rate, and some are even facing extinction.) If you take care of your toads, your toads will help take care of your garden. So invite the ugly-but-princely toad into your yard. Earth will thank you, and so will your flowers and vegetables! Once toads find a comfortable home, they’ll move in and stay for years – and they’ll make being in your garden much more enjoyable for you and your whole family.
Information for this post written by Amy Dee Stephens on Learn to Grow in partnership with Lowes.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Girl friends.....

I have just read a statement that has "just stuck with me."I must state first, if you do not know me and have not read my previous posts, I am passionate about my dogs, dog rescue and dog adoption. I am opposed to pet stores selling puppies and kittens and puppy mills in the business of mass producing life as on an assembly line.

The statement that I read is: "The only time we have a vote in who we are related to is when we pick a dog".

There really is some truth in that statement and it would also go for cats, birds or whatever pets is your choice to make part of your family. There is no greater loyalty and devotion then that that comes from our pets.......however this statement got me thinking about my girl friends. Are they not part of our family? We do get to choose!

My girl friends are there for me when they need to be. Sometimes we don't speak or see each other for sometime, sometimes we disagree, sometimes do or say things that we don't like to each other and some girl friends we may never have met personally, but there is a so-special bond that brings us back together as necessary. We as females seem to be able to attract and build friendships and we can always be adding to our family.

I so appreciate and love you all..... my girl friends. We need to all try to remember to tell each other how important they are in our adopted family......we do get to choose.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Zumba makes exercise a party.....

What is Zumba?

I have been doing Zumba now since it was first introduced, a little over 1 1/2 years ago, at my local YMCA where I am a member and work out regularly. Whenever I mention the name Zumba or wear my Zumba t-shirt, people either look at me with the expression "what are you talking about", or immediatly get excited and get into the conversation. Zumba, if you are wondering, is not your typical aerobics class. Even people with two left feet, as myself, can get involved in this upbeat workout that incorporates Salsa and Merengue, because the steps are very repetitive and fairly easy to learn, not to mention incredibly fun. In this upbeat-high energy group exercise class........hips shake, hands clap, shoulders shimmy and feet pivot, step and slide to a Latin beat that really gets you moving, sweating and burning those calories.

I must add, Zumba also seems to involve something else........lots of smiles and laughter! It's fun and addictive.

Zumba is a fitness program inspired by Latin dance. It was founded by Miami-based dancer and choreographer Alberto 'Beto' Perez, a celebrity fitness trainer and choreographer for international pop superstars, who teamed up with two local entrepreneurs: Alberto Perlman and Alberto Aghion. It combines Latin rhythms with cardiovascular exercise to create an aerobic routine that is fun and easy to follow. Zumba utilizes the principles of fitness interval training and resistance training to maximize caloric output, fat burning, and total body toning. I t’s a way of mixing body sculpting movements with easy-to-follow dance steps.

The Master Class

Several months ago, I was fortunate to be able to attend a master class given by Beto himself. Aproximately 250 people were crammed into half a gymnasium to dance with the master. Yes this is a photo taken of me and Beto after the class. Attending this class was a "happening" and an experience that will stay with me for a very long time.

If you have not tried it, and if you have the opportunity to try it! The terrific latin rhythms in the program have taken the ‘work’ out of “working out.”

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


This past week I had out of town company
so the cameras were out much more then usual.
Since I did not have a very recent photo of
myself, I cropped myself out of one of them.

After emailing these photos to my daughters,
this is the comments from my grand-daughter:
"You look like my mom's sister and not her
Mom". Out of the mouths of babes!

I love you Ariana!!

Can you tell which is the Mother and which is the daughter?

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Get it Fixed, Don't Throw It Out....

Have you ever taken a used tea bag and dunked it into a second cup of hot water? I know I have, despite how gross that used bag looks just waiting to be dunked again. I thought of myself when the episode of Sex and The City exposed Charlotte's honey Harry leaving his used tea bags all over the house. Although he was not thinking of re-using them, he was just being a guy and didn't understand from the girl perspective that you just don't do that! None the less there is nothing pretty about an old tea bag........

As the down economy drags on with everything getting so much more expensive, gasoline going over $4.00 per gallon, and most of us making modifications to save some money, I will continue to double dip my tea bags! The idea of making good with what we've got, keeping cars longer then in the past, car pooling, organizing errands to be more productive, and probably bringing the old shoes to the shoe maker for new heels rather then buying new shoes, is most definitely growing in popularity.

I wold love to hear your ideas to squeeze more use out of what we already have. Let's get it fixed.......Don't throw it out!