Sunday, May 29, 2011

Memorial Day

For some of us the Memorial Day weekend is just another 3 day weekend and the beginning of summer where we usually have friends and family over for a barbeque.

For others it's a little more than just having a BBQ, it's also honoring and remembering all the men and woman who gave their lives for our country.

Some of these acts of kindness will go a long way:
    30"X50" US Nylon flag with sewn stripes & embroidered stars with 5' wood pole banner Kit with bracket
  • Write a member of the military. There are thousands of men and women currently in harms way in Iraq, Afghanistan and other areas. Visit a Million Thanks  at  to find out how you can write them and brighten their day.
  • Spend your time doing something nice for the community: Volunteer. Whether it's at the local animal shelter, nursing home, or giving blood, volunteering is always appreciated.  Plus,  you will feel better that you did.
  • Attend a morning memorial service at your local cemetery.  There is no better way to start off the day than remembering why it is celebrated in the first place. Your newspaper should have a schedule of start times, but if not, just pick up the phone and call the cemetery.   Place flags and flowers at the grave sites.
  • Fly the US Flag.  
  •  At 3 p.m. local time on each Memorial Day, pause for one minute to remember those who have given their all for us. Participation can be as simple as a moment of silence; ringing a bell or reading the names for each family member who has served in the military and died; or the playing of Taps.
And Most  Important:
  • Take time out of your day to stop and thank someone who has served our country in the military. It's a simple thing to do, yet I've heard from so many veterans, that a simple act of gratitude means more to them than most people realize.

After you have shown your respect you then can get ready for the BBQ:

Memorial Day Recipes:
 Here are a couple of favorite recipes that you can try when you fire up the grill  this coming weekend.
 I've always been a big fan of lamb and the following grilled lamb recipe is one of my favorites

Grilled Lamb Chops with Brown Sugar Glaze
  • 1/4 cub brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons dried tarragon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 lamb chops

  • Mix together all of the seasonings above (the brown sugar, black pepper, garlic powder, ginger, tarragon, cinnamon and salt)
  • Rub the lamp chops with the seasonings and place on a covered plate in the refrigerator for about an hour
  • Preheat the grill on high
  • Brush the grill with oil and place lamb chops on the grill
  • Cook 5 minutes on each side

Grilled Tequila-Lime Shrimp       


  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons tequila
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 pinch garlic salt
  • 1 pinch ground cumin
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 6 (10 inch) wooden skewers
  • 1 large lime, quartered


  1. Whisk together the lime juice, tequila, olive oil, garlic salt, cumin, and black pepper in a bowl until well blended. Pour into a large resealable plastic bag; add the shrimp, seal bag and turn to coat evenly. Refrigerate 1 to 4 hours before grilling.
  2. Soak skewers at least 30 minutes in water to prevent burning.
  3. Preheat outdoor grill for medium-high heat. Lightly oil grill grate, and place about 4 inches from heat source.
  4. Drain and discard marinade from shrimp. Thread shrimp onto prepared skewers, 5 to 6 per skewer.
  5. Cook, uncovered, on preheated grill until shrimp turn pink, turning once, for 5 to 7 minutes. Serve with lime wedges for garnish.

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Friday, May 6, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

Mother’s Day is the right time and a perfect occasion to treat your mom. Though we owe every single day to our mothers, a special day to celebrate mom is Mother’s Day. She cares for us in the best possible manner each day. Happy Mother's Day to all those Mom's out there.

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Sunday, April 3, 2011

What Age Are We Happiest?

Wait a second before you buy that "over the hill" cake for your buddy's 40th birthday: Research shows that satisfaction and optimism actually increase after we reach middle age, and peak as late as our 80s. Why? Responsibilities ease, maturity increases, and we are often able to focus on doing the things we enjoy. Of course, it helps to be in good health, have a stable income, and enjoy good relationships with friends and family when we hit old age, the Telegraph notes.

Most people are "averagely happy" in their teens and twenties, but that declines as they start supporting a family and working at a career, says Lewis Wolpert, who wrote about the research findings in a new book, You're Looking Very Well.

But then, he says, "from the mid-40s, people tend to become ever more cheerful and optimistic." One survey of 341,000 people found that life enjoyment started rising in the late 40s, and peaked at age 85.  Source

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Sunday, January 23, 2011


Once upon a time 
Once upon a time people lived in a different kind of harmony with nature. Except for the aristocracy who lived in castles and lords who collected taxes on land, most people all over the world prayed for rain and sun in the summer in order to grow a bounty of crops.
There were no grocery stores and local farmers markets and in the winter, we can imagine, people learned how to stave off colds and bulk up fat reserves to make it through to the next spring.
Chances are, if you were born any time before the industrial revolution, most of your energy was spent on survival. Imagine... if you weren't busy collecting, growing or storing your food, time was probably used for finding firewood, maintaining your home or shelter and doing tedious chores to maintain life.


In the last hundred years or so, it seems as though we have made our lives a whole lot better by inventing machines that can do our dirty work, allowing us to focus on matters more spiritual in nature (or so we think.) We have dishwashers, cars, computers and communication and bank machines - our society has given birth to a whole new generation of people who don't even need to ever leave the house.
Relying on the tools of computers, digital farmers like me, can even work from the comfort of our living rooms, ordering food and supplies through the phone or Internet. When our food arrives in boxes and packaging, we can nuke it in the microwave and wash it down with an energy drink fortified with all the vitamins we will ever need.

With so many possibilities, and free time for creativity and introspection (we don't even have to cook,) why is it that there is so much unrest and dissatisfaction among people today? And worse, researchers find as a nation becomes more westernized, the incidences of mental illness and other diseases skyrocket.

Was sickness always there and people didn't notice it, or is it possible that disease is related to the earth, nature and the condition of the world in general? These are the kind of questions ecotherapists ask.
In the realm of mental health practitioners, most believe that sickness comes about when a person 'disconnects' between how they act and how they process the impact of their actions. As the person spirals out of connection between what they do and how their actions affect those around them – long-term harm and a serious pathological illness can ensue.
Some proponents of ecotherapy suggest that instead of taking anti-depressants and other pills, we might do ourselves good by going outdoors in nature. This approach acknowledges that people in industrialized and western cultures, are trapped in a cycle of abuse - disconnected from and damaging nature.
The abuse is everywhere: glaciers melting from global warming are harming animals and their habitat; pesticides in produce and on our lawns are causing cancer; factory pollutants are giving people asthma. This list goes on and on.
Taking a down-to-earth approach for teaching the tenets of ecotherapy is ecopsychologist Craig Chalquist from the Sonoma State and John F. Kennedy Universities. He has started a website to collect ecotherapy 'best practices' to help our future survival on the planet.
He says, "With all the urgent talk about peak oil and a post-carbon future, we hear very little addressing the social or psychological implications of living in such a world. And yet what point is survival if we don't survive whole?
"My thought is that rather than waiting around for the empire to fall, or spending a fortune stockpiling bullets and dried apricots, why not see all this as an opportunity to experiment with practices that have been used the world over by people in peaceful communities: conflict resolution, the practice of council, clear communications skills, indigenous ways of knowing, town hall democracy, practical psychology and restorative justice."

Getting out in nature 
  There are two approaches to ecotherapy: one is earth-centered and teaches that being in wild nature will help remind us that we are a part of the world and not its dominators.
When one can actually feel as though the earth is part of oneself, it becomes easier for us to do things that can sustain and heal the earth.
A second path in ecotherapy is a person-centered approach where the ecotherapist recognizes that first the individual needs to be treated.
Using wild nature as a means for reflection, the individual is encouraged to reconnect spiritually, with sustaining earth to be the next step in the healing process.

The proof is in the research
Recent research published in Britain confirms what we might have known all along: country walks can bring startling reductions in depression and raise self-esteem. The University of Essex compared how a 30-minute walk in the country compared to a walk in an indoor shopping centre.
After the country walk, 71 percent of the people reported a decreased feeling of depression and said they felt less tense. This finding was in contrast to 45 percent of the people who felt a decrease in depression after the shopping centre walk, with 22 percent of the people of the shopping center group saying they felt more depressed after the walk.
Cheaper than anti-depressant drugs, walking in the countryside has no side effects and is readily available on most everyone's doorstep.
Some countries in Europe have taken the ecotherapy approach to heart and have started using it in farms to treat mental distress. In Holland, they send mentally ill patients to be 'prescribed' workers on one of 600 nation-wide farms as a bona fide component of the healing process.
The center Mind that helped publish this study describes ecotherapy as "getting outdoors and getting active in a green environment as a way of boosting mental well-being." Although some of the ideas taught by ecotherapy seem obvious, some deeper philosophical aspects deserve reflection.
Paul Farmer, head of the center Mind, says ecotherapy will be an important part of the treatment used by mental health professionals in the future: "It is a credible, clinically-valid treatment option and needs to be prescribed by GPs, especially when for many people access to treatments other than anti-depressants is extremely limited." courtesy of ecoseed

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Sunday, January 2, 2011

Declutter- Get Ready for 2011

Happy New Year! If you're like most of us, by now you've written your New Year's resolutions, which could include anything from losing weight to changing jobs, finding a mate, saving more, spending less or finding a few extra minutes every day for yourself.

Before you even think about embarking on any of them, consider this fundamental truth: you can't move forward if you're stuck where you are. 

It's time to move forward, to blast your way out of the past, clear out whats clogging the hallways, hearts and memories of your life.

Get ready for 2011, declutter.

Throw out 20 things from your home and your mind.

1. Magazines more than 3 months old, they are fire hazards
2. Old receipts clogging the kitchen drawer, you know which drawer I mean !
3. Keys that seem to have no locks that match, They haven't had for years, maybe decades!
4. The belief that you are alone
5. Trying to please everyone
6. Stale spices & ingredients
7. Medicines for conditions you no longer have or that are expired
8. A single sock, glove or earring, it's mate is not going to be coming back !
9. Thinking that if you let go of the memorabilia, you'll lose the memories
10. The times you messed up
11. Thinking you have to have all the answers
12. T-shirts from the company outing you grudgingly attended two weeks before you were laid off
13. Thinking you are always right
14. The belief that your best days are behind you
15. Clothes that no longer fit
16. The need for everyone to like you
17. Make-up in shades you no longer wear or can't be found in nature !
18. Twisty ties, random paper clips and safety pins
19. Wire clothes hangers
20. Books that you will get to someday

Take control of your life, declutter.
Tossing things we don't need can free up more than closet space.
The stress in your face and body will ease and your confidence will return.
Things start to fall into place in every area of your life when you declutter ...
Have fun while you declutter, you will be glad you did !

So, about those New Year's Resolutions...
Once you have a clear picture of what your future will be and you systematically get rid of the clutter that's keeping you from getting there, you'll be ready for just about anything.
Lose the clutter, find your life.

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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Returning To The Workforce

Can't believe I haven't written a blog article in almost a month but there has been good reason for that.

After being unemployed for a little over 21 months I am glad to say that I have returned to the workforce.

Regardless of your length away from the workforce returning to the workforce after long-term unemployment can be daunting to say the least.

You may not know what to expect and wonder if you can accomplish what you had previously.

After being back at work for four weeks now I would like to share some tips that I feel would be very helpful to anyone returning back to work after long term unemployment.

  • Let others help you. You may feel a little frustrated to have someone younger or less experienced than you "showing you the ropes," but you may need some refreshers. 
  • Leave your pride at the door.
  • Do not expect too much from yourself.
You cannot expect that you will just be able to jump right back into your field as if you had never left. It may take you a little while to get acclimated again, and that is okay.  You may be even in a new field. Expecting too much may make you frustrated. It is natural that you may need a little time to return to your previous output.

  • Make sure that you are mentally and physically prepared
Make sure that you get enough sleep because you do not want to be tired. Even if you are used to staying up late, you may need to adjust your hours if you have to get up early to go to work. Also, you will not be able to eat any time you want so be sure that you have a good meal before work.

  • Try to be organized
Many who are returning to the workforce still have other responsibilities at home and with kids. You may now have to juggle. Try to be as organized as possible in order to accomplish this. Also, try to separate your work from your home life so that you do not feel overwhelmed. When you are at work, focus on that and do not get stressed about home.

Returning to the workforce after long-term unemployment can be challenging, but it is a wonderful thing. Let yourself feel a sense of accomplishment. As time passes, you will get accustomed to it, and it should become easier.

Returning to work after long-term unemployment is a big adjustment but it is the beginning of a new chapter in your life. Hopefully, your new job turns out to be the one you have always wanted, I know mine has.
Happy Holidays.......

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