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Happy 5th Birthday, Stella!

Saturday, January 26, 2013



When we first got her, she was a little black potato. emoticon



Her silvering started on her face, so she was a little black poodle with a silver face. Cute as can be.











Happy birthday to a fun, sweet, brilliant, wonderful Stella.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PURPLE0906 1/29/2013 7:02AM

    Happy Birthday Stella!!!

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Thank you for sharing the pic's


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OVERWORKEDJANET 1/29/2013 6:03AM

    Happy Birthday, Stella! emoticon

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MCGS62 1/28/2013 8:41AM

    WOW how fast things change !!

Happy birthday Stella !!

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JLITT62 1/27/2013 5:24AM

    OMG, what an adorable puppy! I don't know why I assumed she was older than my crew (they're going on 8) - must be those silver curls!

May you both have many happy returns!

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PONYFARMER 1/26/2013 11:00PM

    Oh Stella, you are so beautiful and what a cute puppy!

HAPPY 5TH BIRTHDAY BIG GIRL!!!!!!

Hoping your day was filled with fun, playing and some good food. Ending with cuddles from your mom.

So happy you have each other to enrich your lives.

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IUHRYTR 1/26/2013 10:30PM

    Our Internet sweetie. Cute pictures of an adorable doggie. emoticon -- Lou

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SCOOTER4263 1/26/2013 9:14PM

    Great pictures! Give her a pat for me. :)

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CATHYGETSFIT 1/26/2013 5:50PM

    Aw, she is so cute! I love the picture of her jumping in the snow! emoticon Stella!

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LMB-ESQ 1/26/2013 5:25PM

    She's still cute as can be! Happy birthday Stella, from Blue, Samantha, Jax and Scout! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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0309COOKIE 1/26/2013 5:17PM

    Aaaawww, Happy Birthday to sweet Stella from Punky and I!

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For the Love of Oatmeal!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Oatmeal is one of my go-to breakfasts; hot in the winter, cold in the summer. It's not that I don't eat other breakfasts, but oatmeal is one of my favorites.

Steel cut oats are delicious and have a great texture, but they take longer to cook; around 30 minutes which can be a problem on work mornings. I solve this problem by cooking up a large batch on Sunday and divide it into five servings in small containers. I heat it up and add my choice of 'enhancers' each morning. It is quicker than cooking rolled oats this way and much tastier.

Here's my morning oatmeal recipe:

1. emoticonPrecooked steel cut oats heated with ~
emoticon take your pick: milk, coconut milk, almond milk, soy milk

2. emoticonAfter heating add fresh fruit ~
emoticon try: blueberries, strawberries, bananas, cranberries

3. emoticon Add nuts
emoticon try: walnuts, almonds, pistachios, pecans

4. emoticon 1 Tablespoon of flaxseed, hempseed, or chia

5. emoticon Sprinkle with cinnamon (or not)

6. emoticon Add 1 Tablespoon of raw honey (or not)

My favorite this week has been steel cut oats cooked in coconut milk with added blueberries, walnuts, hempseed, cinnamon, and honey. Yum!



Do you have a favorite way to eat your oats?



  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MCGS62 1/28/2013 8:45AM

    Good Idea! I was just thinking of a way to cut my morning time down

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MARY1313 1/27/2013 8:11PM

    why yes, thanks for asking! I like them best in my oatmeal raisins!!!!! emoticon

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MERRYMARY42 1/26/2013 5:31PM

    I also love oatmeal, and here lately I have been putting cocoanut oil in it after it is cooked, for sweetness, and it is suppossed to be real good for us, and slice up an apple, and just add it before I start eating, so very good, but your cocoanut milk sounds delish also.

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ROCKMAN6797 1/26/2013 2:43PM

    I love to add a tablespoon of peanut butter to mine!

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KOMAL53 1/26/2013 11:27AM

    I cook these fresh--while these cook I finish other early morning chores of the day--anyway I take Breakfast at 8.30 a.m.!!!Great Ideas of eating these with different accompaniments--I stir in two Egg Whites into these while still hot to add in my morning Protein!!Sometimes it's Almond crushed coarsely with Date Powder and Raisins--another roasted and coarsely ground Flax Seeds.Don't use any Sweetener though.Love this Breakfast--best start to the Day!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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-POOKIE- 1/26/2013 8:46AM

    Cook with a half tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa, top with a tablespoon of peanut butter... its like a hot bowl of Snickers!

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GINNJEN1974 1/26/2013 8:25AM

    Looks good. I like to make oatmeal as well. Its filling and seems to stick with you a bit longer than some of the other breakfast choices.

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OVERWORKEDJANET 1/26/2013 8:20AM

    I also cook them in advance and divy up. I cook with water and add almonds and dried berry mix. Once microwaved at work I add a bit of milk.
I don't like added sweetner, the berries are enough for me.

Just holding the heated cereal while walking back to my cold office is a blessing on a cold morning! emoticon

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JLITT62 1/26/2013 4:55AM

    Oh, I totally love oatmeal, too! And because I have such a sweet tooth, I make reeses cup oatmeal. I use an almond/coconut milk blend. I add in 1 tbsp cocoa before cooking (for a single serving). I add about 5 drops of stevia after - I don't actually sweeten regular oatmeal, but cocoa is very bitter without any sweetener.

Then I top with 1 tbsp dark chocolate chips & 2 tsps PB.

I could totally eat it every day; I have to force myself to eat other things!

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FIFIFRIZZLE 1/25/2013 8:55PM

    Yum, when winter comes I will be cooking steel cUt oats again. I like mine cooked in the slow cooker with cinnamon. Then served with stewed apple all spiced up with cinnamon and nutmeg and allspice, sme stevia to sweeten at the ned of cooking, and a squeeze of lemon.
Mmm better stop thinking about food

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IUHRYTR 1/25/2013 8:06PM

    Thanks for the suggestions. Oatmeal is a good meal anytime. -- Lou

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Such a Goofball!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Perhaps it's because I was coming down with the flu, or because I don't always read things right, or because I'm an alarmist, or because my guitar teacher did not communicate his thoughts effectively, but I was happily relieved at my last guitar class. I had been sulking all week about the thought of being turned loose from my classes because I progressed too far. There is still so much to learn, and I am not at all certain I can sustain that on my own yet.

During the week, I tried to see my glass half full. Think of the money I could save! Think of the 40 minutes each way that it took to get to my lessons! But the truth is, it has been money and time well spent; the highlight of my week. I went through some of the technique that I don't feel is well developed and noted the pages so I could fill that in before my lessons ended at the conclusion of January. When I got to my lesson and asked to review the things I did not feel secure about, he told me that he wished he had more students like me. As it turned out, he hadn't meant that my lessons were done, he had meant that I was ready for some more advanced work. Phew!!!

Back to the flu element of this blog, I feel like I am finally over it! After taking Monday off, I dragged through the rest of the week, which was tiring because it also included bowling and life guarding with my class. On Friday, I only had half my class because of the flu, so I am really glad we are having a 3 day weekend. This should help break the flu cycle a bit and it is giving me the time I need to really rest and get better.

I have been happy to get back into my walking routine. I did get a short (very short) walk in every day while I was sick because a certain poodle insists on it, but got nowhere near meeting my walking goals. Of course I wasn't aiming for that, my main goal this past week was to eat health promoting nutrients and get plenty of rest and water.



  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CLAIREINPARIS 1/25/2013 8:30AM

    I am glad you are much better, and so glad too that you get to continue your beloved guitar lessons!

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IUHRYTR 1/23/2013 11:48PM

    Laughed at the cartoon. Hope you're feeling better. Head rub to Stella. -- Lou

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OVERWORKEDJANET 1/22/2013 5:52AM

    Ya made me snicker at the cartoon.

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CATHYGETSFIT 1/22/2013 2:59AM

    I can understand your feelings about thinking that you didn't have any more guitar lessons. It's something you really enjoyed and like you said, it was "the highlight of your week." I'm glad you are disciplined enough to really stick to something you really like and enjoy.

There are times when I really miss having a dog to walk. I miss my beloved puppy dogs.

Glad you seem to be getting over the flu. I know most of the nation has had or have it. Be sure to take care of yourself and don't overdo it. emoticon

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MCGS62 1/21/2013 8:59AM

    Oh!!! Can I put my kids on that swing set ???

Hey just before I got the flu the german club gave me a new piece of music

I'll video and post it if you post one of the pieces you have been working on,

It's been a while for both of us.

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GUITARWOMAN 1/20/2013 3:58PM

    So glad that your lessons are continuing and that you are feeling better.

The cartoon was hilarious!

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HOBBESIS49 1/20/2013 2:56PM

    Hi liked your blog.. love the cartoon at the end.. What kind of guitar do you play? I play beginning classical guitar. emoticon

This is for you..

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go...” Dr. Seuss

emoticon Jane

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0309COOKIE 1/20/2013 2:31PM

    Glad to hear you are feeling better Chris.

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ROCKMAN6797 1/20/2013 2:19PM

    emoticon

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FIFIFRIZZLE 1/20/2013 12:20PM

    That IS good news about your teacher. Yay for your Thursdays. But not good about the flu. Do rest up as much as possible, these winter illnesses can have a long tail these days. Hope you have upped your vitamin C.
I'm hoping DH doesn't bring any of these bugs home, he is in San Francisco at the moment and of course as it is summer here, no flu shots.
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Comment edited on: 1/20/2013 12:22:03 PM

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MEDDYPEDDY 1/20/2013 11:05AM

    What an accomplishment with the guitarplaying, if you look past the atlantic you will see me green with envy... that I yet have to learn to be disciplined enough to really practice and become excellent at something... but I am really happy for you. I also have a dog who thinks that our walks are really too short, he will have to wait for long ones until winter is over I am afraid. Had planned to meet a friend with a dog today and the two of them could play – but she called from emergency room as she had gone skating and fallen and probably broken her hand... lucky she is not a guitar player....

Take care, the flu seems to weaken the system, people I know have gotten rlapses after the first attack!

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ELLEJAY7 1/20/2013 10:31AM

    Feel better! Love the cartoon. emoticon

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CHUM48 1/20/2013 9:46AM

    Glad you are feeling better, remember to always take care of yourself!

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The Advantages of Being Sick

Sunday, January 13, 2013

I think what we have is the flu; headaches, body aches, nagging sore throat and low energy now for several days. I tend not to get fevers; instead my temperature drops to subnormal which has the same effect of chills and aches.

So far, I have been treating this with all of the flu fighting, immune boosting nutrients I know of plus plenty of fluids and rest. And so far, it has been more annoying than flat out sick. I feel like I'm surfing over the top of a wave and hoping that I stay on the top of it without getting swept under. I hate taking time off of work, but I think I should take Monday off. This is something I am consistently bad about; I tend to keep pushing through things when I should just take the time I need to heal. I hope I am getting smarter as I get older. If there is one lesson I have to keep learning over and over again in my life it is 'Slow Down!'

So what are the advantages to being sick?

Well....... slowing down. emoticon

No errands, not hustling around to get things done, just time at home to rest and focus on getting well.

Naps emoticon

Reading emoticon

Music emoticon

Painting dollhouse pieces emoticon

Poodle cuddling

Knitting

I love quiet time, but often get too busy to relax and enjoy it. Illness insists on rest; it puts the stop on acting on the drive to rush around getting things done. This weekend has been a time to explore the edges of nestling in.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PURPLE0906 1/17/2013 6:46AM

    emoticon


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SIRIRADHA1 1/14/2013 3:07PM

    Sleep and hot baths, chicken soup, and time. Hang in there!

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MCGS62 1/14/2013 8:26AM

    my cold is horrible today you are right in staying home I think I am goin to leave early.


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GINNJEN1974 1/14/2013 7:36AM

    Feel better soon. The flu tha tis going around is quite awful and definately make one slow down. Two of my family have had it and I am hoping to avoid it myself. Cant afford almost a week down.

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OVERWORKEDJANET 1/14/2013 5:40AM

    Argh, feel better! emoticon

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JLITT62 1/14/2013 5:36AM

    I always find it amazing how we long for rest, but when we're sick we get tired of resting! Feel better soon.

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KASEYCOFF 1/14/2013 2:27AM

    Your blog explains exactly why we use the word DIS-ease... hope you're feeling back up to snuff soon, kiddo!
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IUHRYTR 1/13/2013 8:28PM

    Feel better soon, Chris. How can you feel bad with Stella cuddles? emoticon -- Lou

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GUITARWOMAN 1/13/2013 2:58PM

    Hope you are all healed soon!

I think I am the Queen of pushing through...it is a thoroughly bad habit, I know...good for you for looking after yourself!

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LMB-ESQ 1/13/2013 10:47AM

    emoticon emoticon

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0309COOKIE 1/13/2013 10:34AM

    Hope you feel better soon.

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ROCKMAN6797 1/13/2013 8:37AM

    It certainly does. I was recently ill and took the weekend off. While I certainly was antsy the rest did me good. I hope that you feel better soon!

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BABYSOX 1/13/2013 8:25AM

    Another advantage is having more time to spark...get well soon.

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WHISKERS17013 1/13/2013 7:37AM

    Hope you stay on top of the wave... I've had the sinus thing for over a month now... keep getting dragged back down...

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Promoted but Ouch.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

I suppose I should feel accomplished, but I can't help feeling a bit at a loss.

I have really been enjoying my flamenco lessons for the past year and a half. I was so happy to have found a teacher who grew up playing flamenco, and who turned out to be a perfect match for my learning style. At my last lesson, he told me that I have learned all of the technique he knows to teach me and that I am playing very well. I, on the other hand, feel like a perpetual beginner and possibly always will.

Where this is going is that I am at the end of my formal flamenco lessons. It is time to fly on my own and keep applying what I know to new pieces and start composing my own. I have been promoted, I guess, and should feel grateful that at the end of this month, I will no longer be paying for lessons and driving 45 minutes each way on Thursday nights to get the expert instruction I have been getting. Still, I can't help but feel a loss. Thursday evenings have been the sweet focus of my week; a time to iron out challenges while having really good discussions about music. It has been a break from teaching and a time for learning.

I teach a three year grade span and at the end of the school year, I always have at least one student who cries. I'm feeling kind of like that myself as I look toward the closure of a well matched student/teacher relationship with my flamenco teacher. Transitions can be positive experiences, and I expect this one will be too, but right now it's a bummer.

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

OVERWORKEDJANET 1/13/2013 7:15AM

    Sometimes the best way to improve skills is to teach them.
Ever consider teaching beginners what you have accomplished?

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JSTETSER 1/13/2013 6:07AM

    Remember that change is good. I'm also a teacher, and know how much I'd miss my class. Enjoy your time of learning and growing!
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KASEYCOFF 1/13/2013 3:16AM

    Change, even change that signals progress and improvement, is hard. How we respond to it is the real challenge, ain't?

And part of that challenge is - what is the next step?

Love your comment about the students who cry. What came to mind is - we're all students of Life.
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FEMISLIM 1/13/2013 12:19AM

    Great going dear friend. It is a mixed grill but you will be ok.

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SHERYLP461 1/12/2013 10:18PM

    congratulations


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IUHRYTR 1/12/2013 8:42PM

    I'm sure you'll see him now and then for a tuneup but ending any solid relationship causes distress. It has fun following your progress and I look forward to reading of your continued learning. emoticon -- Lou

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GUITARWOMAN 1/12/2013 8:13PM

    Wow, you do have (had?) an honest teacher, one who let you know he taught you all he could.

Maybe he can suggest other learning opportunities...

meanwhile, bonus for you!

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FIFIFRIZZLE 1/12/2013 6:53PM

    Wow, big congratulations! I know you will miss your teacher but you will soon find new enjoyment in pursuing your music on your own or with others.
So have you had your last lesson? That WOULD be a wrench.

On the bright side, this means 90 more minutes on a Thursday to play music!
Protect your Thursday at all costs, Pudle!

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LMB-ESQ 1/12/2013 5:48PM

    Ahhh... graduation. I have some trepidation about that myself! But congratulations! Composing sounds like the next logical step and I for one will look forward to that video someone suggested of you playing your own original music!

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WATERMELLEN 1/12/2013 5:37PM

    I like Mary's suggestion . . . or could your teacher suggest another teacher? Who is HIS teacher??

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ROCKMAN6797 1/12/2013 2:17PM

    Congratulations on your promotion!
Change can certainly be hard but take comfort in that you can move on to the next chapter in your journey.

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CHALLENGER15 1/12/2013 1:40PM

    Oh my, that's good and bad news, isn't it?

My piano lessons are at a standstill right now; my piano teacher fell and broke her hip! emoticon I am more concerned for her, than I am about the lessons; she is such a sweetheart and I have learned so much from her, not just piano.



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JLITT62 1/12/2013 1:25PM

    Transitions are never easy; you're right. Hugs!

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MARY1313 1/12/2013 1:23PM

    Oh no! I'm so sorry about the loss Chris, but I'm so excited that you are so good now! Why don't you start a group of people who play and ya'll learn new pieces together? I'll bet your teacher could help you find some new friends! that would be a good thing, I'm always motivated if there are other people involved. emoticon

I hope you will make us a video sometime when you get the time. I would love to hear you play!!

Mary emoticon

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