Category Archives: Health and Wellness

Dogs in the Hood

I love to take pictures of dogs.  It helps that I have I friendly Labradoodle named Frodo to introduce me to the dogs in the neighborhood as well as others at the dog park.

Frodo and Buddy
Frodo and Buddy

Izzy is never without her tennis ball. 

At the dog park
At the dog park. This guy liked to hide under benches.
Paquita. My son is holding this tiny puppy. Precious.
My son met this cutie in the Dominican.
DR dog
Another dog from the Dominican Republic.
Ella is a yorkie poo. I think Ella and Frodo are married.
Street Performer
Street Performer. We see him regularly at the dog park, ball in tow.
Big Sammy
Frodo’s brother and best friend Sam.





Sam: a watchdog.  He runs down the driveway when we walk by and gives us a good scare, but he stays on his turf.
Kirk and Spock
Kirk and Spock. I saw these two waiting for their owner to return. I couldn’t resist.

I have met some great dogs and made new friends (human and canine) because of my loveable Frodo.  If you are looking to meet people and could use a best friend,  I guarantee a sweet dog will not disappoint…

Amber a sweet girl, watch out though if you are eating: she will stare you down for a taste.


Murphy.  Frodo's first friend.  When Frodo wanders off he is always at Murphy's house.  Vice versa.
Murphy. Frodo’s first friend. When Frodo wanders off he is always at Murphy’s house. Vice versa.


Ruby.  Shy, busy.  Love that tooth.
Buddy is warming up to us humans.  He was skittish when first meeting Frodo.  Now they are buddies.

How to Spot a Liar – 8 Signs

 I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you. Friedrich Nietzsche

We live among liars. They are in our government, our work places, our communities, and unfortunately even in our homes.  Maybe you are the one lying.  If you are, it’s just a matter of time before you are found out.  Stop it now and you may have a chance of repairing the damage.


After a while, the stress of maintaing a lie takes it’s toll and a liar yearns to be found out. If you haven’t seen The Machinist, it’s an unforgettable movie with an outstanding performance by Christian Bale, and an extreme example of the consequences of lying and denial.

How do you know someone is lying?

  • Mechanical gesturing or the sense of rehearsal
  • Inconsistent eye contact: lack of, too much, or eye darting
  • Hands close to body
  • Touches ear or other facial parts
  • Change in voice pitch-higher
  • Repeats your words verbatim
  • Subtle shoulder shrugging
  • Inconsistencies in details

Now that you know you are being lied to, how to handle it can be tricky.

The best way out of a lie is to tell the truth.  As Tolstoy said,

...anything is better than lies and deceit.

do not lie

Saturday Quotes

In joy or sadness flowers are our constant friends. Okakura




There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind. C.S. Lewis




Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and good with ketchup.


I can handle pain until it hurts.

pain dummy

I would always rather be happy than dignified. Charlotte Bronte

fun learningIt is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages. Friedrich Nietzsche





The better you can reason the farther you separate yourself from animals.





If you’re going into a very dark place, then you should take a bright light, and shine it on everything. If you don’t want to see, why in God’s name would you dare the dark at all? Stephen King


You know you’ve read a good book when you turn the last page and feel as if you’ve lost a friend.

the end

Got a Whiner? You’re Not Alone


Next time your child asks you Why do I have to…. I’ve got a fresh supply of witty and unconventional comebacks for you to use. Say them with conviction, and don’t dare laugh – the key is to catch your kids off guard.  Distraction, diversion, and redirection are all great methods to help get your kids to stop whining, and back to what they where supposed to be doing…Read the full post here.


New York: The World’s Best Food and a Surprise

My family and I just got back from a four day getaway in NYC.  We had a phenomenal time, saw Spiderman on broadway, and got soaked from the relentless rain downpour from tropical storm Andrea.  I’ll be blogging about our highlights, which were many. I love Manhattan, the natives were some of the friendliest folks I have met yet.  I may not be from the big city, but New York has always been my home.  Born in Central, live in Western, and can’t wait to get back to the heart of the big apple!

First stop: Mozzarelli’s – my hubby who has celiac disease was lucky to get the last two slices of G/F pizza.  His review: tasted good, crust nothing special.










Next meal: Otarian – A haven for vegans and vegetarians and even carnivores will be satisfied with the flavorful and creative wraps and sandwiches.  Big hit with the whole family, and of course, gluten-free items abound.












Now, for the surprise:  Korean BBQ. Yikes! Octopus tasted like cold, bland, chicken…blaah for me.  Rest of the food: thumbs up.  You can see my son’s face reacting to the octopus.



This the food that makes my gang happy:


The pizza at this restaurant was super, hubby got a delightful salad, and they forgot to put the pepperoni on our pie so they took it off our bill.  We love you Bella Vita!


A trip to NYC  is not complete without a stop on Bleeker Street. Here we are at the award winning Risotteria’s.  What?! Gluten-Free breadsticks, happiness!



Ok, so we just finish late lunch at the risotto bar, and thirty minutes later we see John’s. Best pizza in NYC? We had to find out. John’s is a frequent stop for the locals and celebrities.  I wonder if Johnny Depp sat at our booth?

john's pizza

family eating

We love you too John’s and your pizza gets the Davis Pizza Guru’s (Garrison) stamp of approval!


And for the finale, Rocco’s for fine pastries, hand filled cannoli’s, and gluten free cookies.

roccos roccorest

Couldn’t leave without bringing home some coffee and sweets.

I love New York.

coffee NYC cupcakes


Listen Up: Five Ways to Listen Better

listen upI am impatient. My husband, kids, mother, friends, will back me up on that.  I don’t know the beginnings of my feverish ways. Sometimes it has been a blessing (my work is always done on time and I excel at multitasking), but mostly it is a burden.  I was having coffee the other day with a dear friend and she remarked that I seemed more “hyper”. I blamed it on my triple americano, but after thinking about it, I had to agree.  I am hyper. I don’t like it and I need to slow down.  What must I do?

For starters, I needed to be quiet, and listen.


I know how to listen professionally, but I knew I could be a better listener. And, I wanted to maybe hear God’s voice.  I’ve always believed that God can be heard in stillness. If I am constantly plugged in, working, teaching, full throttle rushing through my days, then I forfeit any hope of hearing the one voice I needed to hear the most.

Mother Teresa said,

In the silence of the heart God speaks. If you face God in prayer and silence, God will speak to you. Then you will know that you are nothing. It is only when you realize your nothingness, your emptiness, that God can fill you with Himself.

I am impatient, but working on it. I am listening to my family, my friends, my God.  It is marvelous to distinguish their voices, and yes, my heart has heard God speak.  Now that I know what I’m listening for it’s so easy to hear. Are you impatient too, or do you struggle with listening?  Start by watching this enlightening TED video by Julian Treasure on five ways to listen better. It’s only seven minutes long. You will be inspired, and will be a much better listener when you are done.

Seriously Man, Is There Any Hope For You?

Then he put forth his hand, and took her, and pulled her in unto him into the ark.
Wearied out with her wanderings, the dove returns at length to the ark as her only resting place. How heavily she flies–she will drop–she will never reach the ark!  But she struggles on. 

Noah has been looking out for his dove all day long, and is ready to receive her. She has just strength to reach the edge of the ark, she can hardly alight upon it, and is ready to drop, when Noah puts forth his hand and pulls her in unto him. Mark that:
pulled her in unto him
She did not fly right in herself, but was too fearful, or too weary to do so. She flew as far as she could, and then he put forth his hand and pulled her in unto him. 

This act of mercy was shown to the wandering dove, and she was not chidden for her wanderings. Just as she was she was pulled into the ark. So you, seeking sinner, with all your sin, will be received.
“Only return.”
Those are God’s two gracious words.
“Only return.”
What! nothing else?
No. “Only return.”

She had no olive branch in her mouth this time, nothing at all but just herself and her wanderings; but it is only return.
And she does return, and Noah pulls her in. 
Fly, you wanderer; fly you fainting one, dove as you are, though you think yourself to be black as the raven with the mire of sin, back, back to the Saviour.

Every moment you wait does but increase your misery.

Your attempts to plume yourself and make yourself fit for Jesus are all vanity.

Come to him just as you are.

“Return, thou backsliding Israel.” He does not say, “Return, thou repenting Israel” (there is such an invitation doubtless), but “thou backsliding one,” as a backslider with all thy backslidings about thee.

Return, return, return!
Jesus is waiting for you!
He will stretch forth his hand and “pull thee in”–in to himself.
Your heart’s true home.
-Charles Spurgeon

Top 12 Quotes of 2012

 Every saint has a past, every sinner has a future. Oscar Wilde



Do what you can, with what you have, where you are. Theodore Roosevelt


Don’t wait.  The time will never be just right. Napoleon Hill



Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars. Khalil Gibran



Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken.  Warren Buffett



Remembering you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart. Steve Jobs



The supreme quality of leadership is integrity. Dwight Eisenhower



Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up. Thomas Edison



Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.  Mother Teresa



Whatever things are true, noble, just, pure, lovely…if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy, think on these things.  Paul the Apostle



Leadership is influence…nothing more…nothing less.  John C. Maxwell



In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life……

It goes on.  Robert Frost

The Man Who Lost His Heart

Rest assured, dear friends, that where your pleasure is, there your heart is. Charles Spurgeon

From the lips of Spurgeon, the man who found his heart.

“I knew a man who lost his heart. His wife had not got it, and his children had not got it, and he did not seem as if he had got it himself. “That is odd,” say you. Well, he used to starve himself. He scarcely had enough to eat. His clothes were threadbare. He starved all who were round him. He did not seem to have a heart.

A poor woman owed him a little rent. Out she went into the street. He had no heart. A person had fallen back a little in the payment of money that he had lent him. The debtor’s little children were crying for bread. The man did not care who cried for hunger, or what became of the children. He would have his money.

He had lost his heart.

I never could make out where it was till I went to his house one day, and I saw a huge chest. I think they called it an iron safe: it stood behind the door of an inner room; and when he unlocked it with a heavy key, and the bolts were shot, and the inside was opened, there was a musty, fusty thing within it, as dry and dead as the kernel of a walnut seven years old.

It was his heart.

If you have locked up your heart in an iron safe, get it out. Get it out as quickly as ever you can. It is a horrible thing to pack up a heart in five-pound notes, or bury it under heaps of silver and gold. Hearts are never healthy when covered up with hard metal. Your gold and silver are cankered if your heart is bound up with them.”