Sunday, March 29, 2009

Animal Instructors

Everything at it's own pace.

Much of what I have learned (and continue to learn) about living has come from observing animals. Some of these instructors have been constant companions, and some I have just crossed paths with, such as the snail above. They all seemed to have a purpose in my life at the time and I am appreciative of what they have shared. A lot of what I have gained from them is the simplicity and joyfulness of how life can and should be. They have shown me daily the importance of living in the moment and through simple actions have made such profound statements. One new blog site that uses dogs in a photo essay format for such lessons is The Charlie Project. Journey on over, it's a quick visit that will leave you with much to ponder.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Last Saturday was part three of the beginnings of our little philanthropy group. Kelly overdid herself creating wonderful authentic dishes made with fresh ingredients. I learned a lot of new foods such as chorizo, which is a Mexican sausage that was used in the New Mexican chicken dish shown below. I also learned of a new root vegetable called jicama that she used in a salad called Guaymas Salad. I loved this one, it also had avocados, oranges and olives with a homemade avocado dressing. There was of course real tacos and for dessert she made Flan, which is something else I'd never had before. Now these foods might not be new to many of you, but I don't get out much. Oh, and I can't leave out the best Margarita ever. (We were good and only had one each.)
Our groups central focus is children and nutrition. With this in mind, Kelly invited a professor, Dr. Arunas Juska, from East Carolina University to join us. Besides information he shared with us in our dinner conversation, he also brought with him a documentary. Through this we learned how commercial farming is not only running independent farmers out of business, but is also affecting the nutritional quality of our food and the health of the environment. The film we watched dealt with the hog farming industry. While it was a bit disconcerting, it was also very enlightening. I will share this in another post, if I can handle rehashing the memory of what I saw. Arunas, being from Lithuania, also brought a traditional Lithuanian poppy seed cake. Hmmm, two desserts. What else could I do but have both :) .
For more on Dr. Juska see the following sites:
For our next gathering we are trying to get our act together and start the community garden we've planned to be the foundation for our educational program (we are pushing it time wise for NC weather). To be better prepared, Pam and I have been taking a horticulture class since February. Most of the other ladies know more about vegetable gardens than me, but I'm learning. I hopefully will get around to sharing some information and pictures from our class in an upcoming post.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Ingredients For Fun

A dog, a stick, a pond .... is there need for anymore


maybe add

a little boy

Sunday, March 22, 2009


Agapios and the boys had some visitors on Sunday. My friend Pam came by with her five year old nephew Nathan and her dog Jack. Gapi took immediately to Nathan. In the photo above you can see him sharing some love and making sure he is the center of attention. Gapi then proceeded to chase Jack around the pasture until Jack tried to hide behind his mom.

Can you just imagine what Jack is thinking?
Even though Nathan had no problem working C C from the ground, he thought the horses were too BIG to ride, (maybe another day). From his point of view there was just too much distance from their back to the ground. He still looks like a cowboy in the making.

Nathan said, "the donkey is more my size", so .....

Just look at the enthusiasm on Gapi's face.

Wedding Bells

This is a picture I took this weekend in Wilmington, NC. I thought it was just a perfect spring scene. Downtown Wilmington will just take you away to days of sipping mint tea on a veranda or under a grove of Live Oaks dripping in Spanish Moss. It has cobblestone streets, southern historic mansions and churches, lots of churches. It is just so much grander than my little fishing village. The architecture of the churches alone will take your breath away, or it at least it does mine, with steeples that seem to reach into the heavens. Below is but one example and you can also see one of the homes to the right of the church.

I was there on business of sorts, looking at venues for my daughters wedding. The grooms family is from Ohio, so they want to have it in a larger city with an airport and more access to hotels etc. Since she is presently living in Texas, I will be busy traveling back and forth to set up details. They became engaged just a few weeks ago, but notified me this week they wanted the wedding to be this November, so I had to get busy. I will try to share some of the beauty and history of this town with you as I can, and as best I can. It is turning out to be a very busy 2009 for me, many things coming to fruition that have been in the works, which is a good thing, but did it all have to happen at once :) I will tell you of some of the other activities I am involved with in future post, if I don't become to overwhelmed :)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

March Winds

March winds, much like life, can be handled in one of two ways. You can sit around and complain; or you can embrace it and go fly a kite.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Nutritional Research - Update

Update for clarity purposes :)

I think this is one of those you have to know us to get it kind of jokes. We are Steven Wright kind of people if you have ever seen that comedian. First, I confused you with the pictures, they have nothing to do with the joke, I just wanted to post some pictures as well. Second, that is the end of the e-mail. If you will notice the time sent (which I had wrong if you read it last night) it shows that it had been exactly 5 hours and then it wore off abruptly. Now, he probably never actually took any, he is just entertaining his little sister. If anyone did get it let me know, if you didn't sorry to have baffled you today. I didn't set it up well and you do have to know the family dynamics. I guess inside jokes don't work well on the blogosphere.

My brother always brightens my day by sending quirky off the wall notes. Here is an e-mail I received this morning in its entirety.

Subject: Nutritional Research
Date: Mar 17, 2009 10:48 AM
There is a nutritional product called 5 Hour Energy. Lots of B vitamins,
amino acids, etc.
Gets good press. I wondered if it could substitute for coffee so I
took some this morning.
I took it around 5:45 and

The pictures are some I took last fall as I spent the morning just being with my dad and brothers. It was such a great day full of gorgeous weather and very fond memories.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


Well, as predicted, it did turn cold here again. I am back to being stifled beneath layers of sweaters, coats, socks and boots. It was a nice reprieve though, and a glimpse of what lies shortly ahead. Speaking of glimpses, here's a brief glimpse of the historic fishing village / tourist shopping and dining destination where I live.The photograph in my last post is one I took of a sunset over the intracoastal waterway. In that picture you can see two of the commercial fishing boats in operation today.

In the picture above you can see some of the other boats at the local marina standing ready to hit the water.

Many of the old anchors no longer go to sea, but some have found a home as yard ornaments. While most of the houses are still used as residences, many of them have become shops or businesses such as the one below.

I will try to show a little more of this area throughout the summer and give you more of its history. It is a growing area, but still maintains its quaint little charm.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Beauty In This Moment

"To the attentive eye, each moment of the year has its own beauty, and in the same field, it beholds, every hour, a picture which was never seen before, and which shall never be seen again."

Monday, March 9, 2009

Warning, Pretty Day Post Ahead

I almost feel guilty doing this, but we had another gorgeous day today. You can get me back this summer when I'm sweltering, but for now, after record lows and snow last week, I'm just soaking it all up. It was so nice I went over to the beach access for my lunch break and decided to eat under this great Live Oak. I had complete solitude here as the beach was filling with sun seekers. After I ate I just had to climb up on a limb. Well maybe climb is an exaggeration, more like hop up. Oh look, happy toes again.

After this I did wander to the beach to see what was happening. Lots of people out as expected, enjoying the weather before it cools again this weekend.

There were even a few nuts venturing into the surf. Now the air may be warm, but that water is still only about 50 degrees. Wishing you all warm weather soon if you are not already there.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Changing of the Guard

As I drive around town I am intrigued to see the pansies and daffodils growing together. It seems to symbolize the changing of the guard, one season blending in and giving way to the next. The pansies, beginning to look tired and ready to rest, and the daffodils glowing brightly in the sun.

It reminds me of this quote from

"Seasons come and go. The sun rises and sets. We breathe in and out. Rhythm is at the core of all existence."

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Happy Toes

What do you see in this picture (besides how pasty my feet are)? I see happy toes, so utterly glad to be out in the fresh air and sunshine! It was so beautiful here today I eventually had to come out of these jeans. You don't want to see a picture of that. There are not many things uglier than bare skin the first time it's seen daylight after a long cold winter. That look is even worse when you add in a lack of routine shaving. Since I brought that up I have to ask all the ladies, who keeps their legs shaved in the winter? As for you men, if you keep yours shaved I don't want to know about it. Now, getting back to the original topic, here's to more happy toe days to come.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Men In My Life

This post is to give a shout out to my dad and the other top men in my life. My dad is venturing into the world of web logs and has started following my blog, everyone say hello. In true daddy fashion he says it's fantastic and he loves it. I have two older brothers; the oldest is one of my first followers, and the other I don't think has ever seen a blog, yet. Of course my husband has no choice but to hear my thoughts on a daily basis and I am quite sure he is happy I have this additional outlet. My family ties in well to recent thoughts about how I came to this point of focusing on mindfulness. I don't remember it being a sudden realization such as many people have after suffering from an illness or tragedy. One of the conclusions I have come to is that it has always been in me. My dad was a wildlife officer and pilot for the state of NC and both of my parents came from farming families. We were taught to appreciate wildlife and nature, respect the balance of things, and have gratitude for the blessings in our life. We also learned from our parents example to be caring, compassionate, and thoughtful. This was a pretty good foundation to start life with. All of this has carried into the life I now share with my husband and hopefully have passed on to our daughters.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

This Is Your Life

"It's your movie, write the scene just as you'd like it and ENJOY!"

Upon needing to make a decision, I ask my friend Rosie for her opinion. This was her response.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Freezing (Update)

I awoke to a light dusting of snow this morning. I thought we had missed out on the snow that blew through the south this week, but I guess it had just a little left. This gives us two snows this winter, and although I am not overly fond of snow it has been nice to see. Somehow the snow makes the cold seem not so miserable.

Well now I have some pictures to post. We will be warm again by the end of the week and I can quit whining. I will be thinking of all of you in colder climates, and wishing you sunshine and warmth.

It is freezing here right now. With the wind chill I think it's the coldest I have been this winter, and yes, I know I am a wuss. The weatherman said that it is air dipping down from Canada. I had to post this because I follow a lot of blogs from Canada and a few actually follow me, so thank you very much guys. I have two questions for you. One - how do you survive up there and two - can you take it back now? I do not have a picture to post because I am huddled in a corner with my little space heater.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Ladies Night

We had another fun and insightful evening last night! This was a continuation of what we started in January with the addition of three more friends. Last nights dinner was at my friend Pam's house, a superb hostess and even better cook. The theme was Asian, the food was incredible and fun, the Saki ... not so sure about. We also started a fund to contribute toward needs within our community and discussed what needs we wanted to address. After dinner Rosie led us in a guided Qi Gong session. Our next dinner will be at Kelly's and my mouth is already watering. She is a native of New Mexico and makes delicious Mexican dishes and the best Margaritas. Kelly will be inviting a speaker and we plan to settle on a mission statement to pull all our thoughts together into a structured plan. We are all excited about having lots of fun together and giving back to our community. To date we all seem to be focused on children, nutrition and mindful awareness. Would love to hear about other similar groups already existing out there, or if anyone else is interested in starting such a group. It would be fantastic to see a multitude of small community awareness groups having fun, sharing, learning and growing together. For your comical amusement, this is me doing my best Jethro Bodine impression. This was the left overs after we made Korean Beef Lettuce Wraps, YUM! Pam also had Sashimi Tuna and Chicken Stir Fry with Basmati Rice.
Oh, and of course there was wine.