May 31, 2009

Middle Age

Blogger Ruralrose said...

You have pigs too - lucky you. It is funny how in age your mind replays the past. At 45 this has been happening to me as well. Only instead of looking at the reruns with sadness, anger or guilt, somehow I can look at the whole situation from an outsiders perspective. This has been like a gift for me allowing for self forgiveness. In other words, how i perceived my reality was only in reaction to larger things that were going on. It totally is weird to still feel like a girl and be an old woman, to long for a life of a girl and relish the peace that comes with age. We are such little characters in such a large story. Thanks for sharing and letting me share, peace for all.

May 29, 2009

A Recipe For Longevity: 33 Of The Healthiest Foods On Earth

This is from an article by David H. Murdock, I hope I have it linked properly the whole article and the accompanying references are just as awesome.

The Healthiest Foods on Earth

PineappleSpeeds post-surgery Promotes joint healthReduces asthma inflammation
BlueberriesRestore antioxidant levels Reverse age-related brain decline Prevent urinary tract infection
SpinachHelps maintain mental sharpness Reduces the risk of cancers of the liver, ovaries, colon and prostate Top nutrient density
Red Bell PepperReduces risk of lung, prostate, ovarian and cervical cancerProtects against sunburnPromotes heart health
BroccoliReduces diabetic damage Lowers risk of prostate, bladder, colon, pancreatic, gastric and breast cancer Protects the brain in event of injury
TomatoReduces inflammation Lowers risk of developing esophageal, stomach, colorectal, lung and pancreatic cancerReduces cardiovascular disease risk
AppleSupports immunityFights lung and prostate cancerLowers Alzheimer’s risk
ArtichokeHelps blood clotting Antioxidant Superfood Lowers “bad” cholesterol
ArugulaLowers birth defect riskReduces fracture risk Protects eye health
AsparagusNourishes good gut bacteriaProtects against birth defects Promotes heart health
AvocadoLimits liver damage Reduces oral cancer risk Lowers cholesterol levels
BlackberriesBuild bone density Suppress appetiteEnhance fat burning
Butternut SquashSupports night vision Combats wrinkles Promotes heart health
CantaloupeBolsters immunity Protects skin against sunburnReduces inflammation
CarrotAntioxidants defend DNA Fights cataracts Protects against some cancers
CauliflowerStimulates detoxification Suppresses breast cancer cell growthDefends against prostate cancer
CherriesAlleviate arthritic pain and gout Lower “bad” cholesterolReduce inflammation
CranberriesAlleviate prostate pain Fight lung, colon and leukemia cancer cells Prevent urinary tract infection
Green CabbagePromotes healthy blood clotting Reduces risk of prostate, colon, breast and ovarian cancers Activates the body’s natural detoxification systems
KaleCounters harmful estrogens that can feed cancer Protects eyes against sun damage and cataracts Increases bone density
KiwiCombats wrinkles Lowers blood clot risk and reduces blood lipids Counters constipation
MangoSupports immunity Lowers “bad” cholesterol Regulates homocysteine to protect arteries
MushroomsPromote natural detoxification Reduce the risk of colon and prostate cancer Lower blood pressure
OrangeReduces levels of “bad” cholesterol Lowers risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, breast and stomach, and childhood leukemia Pectin suppresses appetite
PapayaEnzymes aid digestion Reduces risk of lung cancerEnhances fat burning
Plums & PrunesCounter constipation Antioxidants defend against DNA damage Protects against post-menopausal bone loss
PomegranateEnhances sunscreen protectionLowers “bad” cholesterol Fights prostate cancer
PumpkinProtects joints against polyarthritis Lowers lung and prostate cancer riskReduces inflammation
RaspberriesInhibit growth of oral, breast, colon and prostate cancers Antioxidant DNA defense Lower “bad” cholesterol levels
StrawberriesProtect against Alzheimer’s Reduce “bad” cholesterol Suppress growth of colon, prostate and oral cancer
Sweet PotatoReduces stroke risk Lowers cancer riskProtect against blindness
WatermelonSupports male fertility Reduces risk of several cancers: prostate, ovarian, cervical, oral and pharyngeal Protects skin against sunburn
BananaIncreases Fat BurningLowers risk of colorectal and kidney cancer, leukemiaReduces asthmas symptoms in children

May 27, 2009

One year we got 50 turkey chicks, lost most of them, got 50 more. The constant beeping of chicks without a mother can certainly play on anyone's nerves. One beautiful sunny morning I thought to myself how blissfully quiet it was for a change. Oh no!!! I ran out to the greenhouse, but it was too late. My beautiful dog, who never ever killed a chicken in her life lay cowering in wait for my eminent arrival. All over the yard was 50 chicks with their heads pulled off, a bloody sad mess. She looked at me with doe eyes pleading for my mercy - I could just hear her say "I just could not stand the noise one moment longer, do what you want to me at least it will be quiet". In her defense, she had just had a litter of puppies. We ordered a new batch of chicks and she dutifully protected them like she had always done in the past, with this brief exception of course.

May 26, 2009

Success is a moment in time.
Satisfaction is available in every moment.


Desire rules lives. 
Too many desires consumes lives.
Too few desires can disintegrate a life.

In that moment when you are begging for your desires consider this:

Is this desire only to conform with the delusions of cultural conformity?
Can I be satisfied with what is now in this moment?
What is is.
Acceptance or hatred of it is changes it nothing.

                                    -Ruth Trowbridge

The picture is of a high bush cranberry.  It has beautiful large flower clusters in the spring, red and amber foliage in the fall and pretty red berries all winter.  Peace

May 21, 2009

Food Security GMO

Doctors Warn: Avoid Genetically Modified Food

By Jeffrey M. Smith

On May 19th, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) called on "Physicians to educate their patients, the medical community, and the public to avoid GM (genetically modified) foods when possible and provide educational materials concerning GM foods and health risks."[1] They called for a moratorium on GM foods, long-term independent studies, and labeling. AAEM's position paper stated, "Several animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with GM food," including infertility, immune problems, accelerated aging, insulin regulation, and changes in major organs and the gastrointestinal system. They conclude, "There is more than a casual association between GM foods and adverse health effects. There is causation," as defined by recognized scientific criteria. "The strength of association and consistency between GM foods and disease is confirmed in several animal studies."

More and more doctors are already prescribing GM-free diets. Dr. Amy Dean, a Michigan internal medicine specialist, and board member of AAEM says, "I strongly recommend patients eat strictly non-genetically modified foods." Ohio allergist Dr. John Boyles says "I used to test for soy allergies all the time, but now that soy is genetically engineered, it is so dangerous that I tell people never to eat it."

Dr. Jennifer Armstrong, President of AAEM, says, "Physicians are probably seeing the effects in their patients, but need to know how to ask the right questions." World renowned biologist Pushpa M. Bhargava goes one step further. After reviewing more than 600 scientific journals, he concludes that genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are a major contributor to the sharply deteriorating health of Americans.

Pregnant women and babies at great risk

Among the population, biologist David Schubert of the Salk Institute warns that "children are the most likely to be adversely effected by toxins and other dietary problems" related to GM foods. He says without adequate studies, the children become "the experimental animals."[2]

The experience of actual GM-fed experimental animals is scary. When GM soy was fed to female rats, most of their babies died within three weeks—compared to a 10% death rate among the control group fed natural soy.[3] The GM-fed babies were also smaller, and later had problems getting pregnant.[4]

When male rats were fed GM soy, their testicles actually changed color—from the normal pink to dark blue.[5] Mice fed GM soy had altered young sperm.[6] Even the embryos of GM fed parent mice had significant changes in their DNA.[7] Mice fed GM corn in an Austrian government study had fewer babies, which were also smaller than normal.[8]

Reproductive problems also plague livestock. Investigations in the state of Haryana, India revealed that most buffalo that ate GM cottonseed had complications such as premature deliveries, abortions, infertility, and prolapsed uteruses. Many calves died. In the US, about two dozen farmers reported thousands of pigs became sterile after consuming certain GM corn varieties. Some had false pregnancies; others gave birth to bags of water. Cows and bulls also became infertile when fed the same corn.[9]

In the US population, the incidence of low birth weight babies, infertility, and infant mortality are all escalating.

Food designed to produce toxin

GM corn and cotton are engineered to produce their own built-in pesticide in every cell. When bugs bite the plant, the poison splits open their stomach and kills them. Biotech companies claim that the pesticide, called Bt—produced from soil bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis—has a history of safe use, since organic farmers and others use Bt bacteria spray for natural insect control. Genetic engineers insert Bt genes into corn and cotton, so the plants do the killing.

The Bt-toxin produced in GM plants, however, is thousands of times more concentrated than natural Bt spray, is designed to be more toxic,[10] has properties of an allergen, and unlike the spray, cannot be washed off the plant.

Moreover, studies confirm that even the less toxic natural bacterial spray is harmful. When dispersed by plane to kill gypsy moths in the Pacific Northwest, about 500 people reported allergy or flu-like symptoms. Some had to go to the emergency room.[11],[12]

The exact same symptoms are now being reported by farm workers throughout India, from handling Bt cotton.[13] In 2008, based on medical records, the Sunday India reported, "Victims of itching have increased massively this year . . . related to BT cotton farming."[14]

GMOs provoke immune reactions

AAEM states, "Multiple animal studies show significant immune dysregulation," including increase in cytokines, which are "associated with asthma, allergy, and inflammation"—all on the rise in the US.

According to GM food safety expert Dr. Arpad Pusztai, changes in the immune status of GM animals are "a consistent feature of all the studies."[15] Even Monsanto's own research showed significant immune system changes in rats fed Bt corn.[16] A November 2008 by the Italian government also found that mice have an immune reaction to Bt corn.[17]

GM soy and corn each contain two new proteins with allergenic properties,[18] GM soy has up to seven times more trypsin inhibitor—a known soy allergen,[19] and skin prick tests show some people react to GM, but not to non-GM soy.[20] Soon after GM soy was introduced to the UK, soy allergies skyrocketed by 50%. Perhaps the US epidemic of food allergies and asthma is a casualty of genetic manipulation.

Animals dying in large numbers

In India, animals graze on cotton plants after harvest. But when shepherds let sheep graze on Bt cotton plants, thousands died. Post mortems showed severe irritation and black patches in both intestines and liver (as well as enlarged bile ducts). Investigators said preliminary evidence "strongly suggests that the sheep mortality was due to a toxin. . . . most probably Bt-toxin."[21] In a small follow-up feeding study by the Deccan Development Society, all sheep fed Bt cotton plants died within 30 days; those that grazed on natural cotton plants remained healthy.

In a small village in Andhra Pradesh, buffalo grazed on cotton plants for eight years without incident. On January 3rd, 2008, the buffalo grazed on Bt cotton plants for the first time. All 13 were sick the next day; all died within 3 days.[22]

Bt corn was also implicated in the deaths of cows in Germany, and horses, water buffaloes, and chickens in The Philippines.[23]

In lab studies, twice the number of chickens fed Liberty Link corn died; 7 of 20 rats fed a GM tomato developed bleeding stomachs; another 7 of 40 died within two weeks.[24] Monsanto's own study showed evidence of poisoning in major organs of rats fed Bt corn, according to top French toxicologist G. E. Seralini.[25]

Worst finding of all—GMOs remain inside of us

The only published human feeding study revealed what may be the most dangerous problem from GM foods. The gene inserted into GM soy transfers into the DNA of bacteria living inside our intestines and continues to function.[26] This means that long after we stop eating GMOs, we may still have potentially harmful GM proteins produced continuously inside of us. Put more plainly, eating a corn chip produced from Bt corn might transform our intestinal bacteria into living pesticide factories, possibly for the rest of our lives.

When evidence of gene transfer is reported at medical conferences around the US, doctors often respond by citing the huge increase of gastrointestinal problems among their patients over the last decade. GM foods might be colonizing the gut flora of North Americans.

Warnings by government scientists ignored and denied

Scientists at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had warned about all these problems even in the early 1990s. According to documents released from a lawsuit, the scientific consensus at the agency was that GM foods were inherently dangerous, and might create hard-to-detect allergies, poisons, gene transfer to gut bacteria, new diseases, and nutritional problems. They urged their superiors to require rigorous long-term tests.[27] But the White House had ordered the agency to promote biotechnology and the FDA responded by recruiting Michael Taylor, Monsanto's former attorney, to head up the formation of GMO policy. That policy, which is in effect today, denies knowledge of scientists' concerns and declares that no safety studies on GMOs are required. It is up to Monsanto and the other biotech companies to determine if their foods are safe. Mr. Taylor later became Monsanto's vice president.

Dangerously few studies, untraceable diseases

AAEM states, "GM foods have not been properly tested" and "pose a serious health risk." Not a single human clinical trial on GMOs has been published. A 2007 review of published scientific literature on the "potential toxic effects/health risks of GM plants" revealed "that experimental data are very scarce." The author concludes his review by asking, "Where is the scientific evidence showing that GM plants/food are toxicologically safe, as assumed by the biotechnology companies?"[28]

Famed Canadian geneticist David Suzuki answers, "The experiments simply haven't been done and we now have become the guinea pigs." He adds, "Anyone that says, 'Oh, we know that this is perfectly safe,' I say is either unbelievably stupid or deliberately lying."[29]

Dr. Schubert points out, "If there are problems, we will probably never know because the cause will not be traceable and many diseases take a very long time to develop." If GMOs happen to cause immediate and acute symptoms with a unique signature, perhaps then we might have a chance to trace the cause.

This is precisely what happened during a US epidemic in the late 1980s. The disease was fast acting, deadly, and caused a unique measurable change in the blood—but it still took more than four years to identify that an epidemic was even occurring. By then it had killed about 100 Americans and caused 5,000-10,000 people to fall sick or become permanently disabled. It was caused by a genetically engineered brand of a food supplement called L-tryptophan.

If other GM foods are contributing to the rise of autism, obesity, diabetes, asthma, cancer, heart disease, allergies, reproductive problems, or any other common health problem now plaguing Americans, we may never know. In fact, since animals fed GMOs had such a wide variety of problems, susceptible people may react to GM food with multiple symptoms. It is therefore telling that in the first nine years after the large scale introduction of GM crops in 1996, the incidence of people with three or more chronic diseases nearly doubled, from 7% to 13%.[30]

To help identify if GMOs are causing harm, the AAEM asks their "members, the medical community, and the independent scientific community to gather case studies potentially related to GM food consumption and health effects, begin epidemiological research to investigate the role of GM foods on human health, and conduct safe methods of determining the effect of GM foods on human health."

Citizens need not wait for the results before taking the doctors advice to avoid GM foods. People can stay away from anything with soy or corn derivatives, cottonseed and canola oil, and sugar from GM sugar beets—unless it says organic or "non-GMO." There is a pocket Non-GMO Shopping Guide, co-produced by the Institute for Responsible Technology and the Center for Food Safety, which is available as a download, as well as in natural food stores and in many doctors' offices.

If even a small percentage of people choose non-GMO brands, the food industry will likely respond as they did in Europe—by removing all GM ingredients. Thus, AAEM's non-GMO prescription may be a watershed for the US food supply.

May 11, 2009

Herbs for Women

12 Best Herbs for Women's Health: Cure Bloating and Acne, Naturally
by Stephanie Rogers
Friday, May 08, 2009
News Archives

Cramps, bloating, irregular cycles, stress, hot flashes, headaches, poor circulation. There is a veritable laundry list of symptoms that women will experience throughout their lifetimes, from the onset of menstruation as a preteen to the years after menopause. But, you don’t have to just accept these ailments as a fact of life.

A range of herbal remedies tailored to the different phases in a woman’s life can help ease menstrual difficulties, promote fertility, lessen the side effects of menopause and keep our hearts and bones strong – and some of them may already be growing in your own back yard. As always, talk to your health care provider before beginning any herbal treatment.


During the teen years and well into adulthood, menstruation is frequently accompanied by cramps, bloating and breakouts – but it doesn’t have to be that way.

Dandelion helps eliminate excess water weight associated with PMS and relieves that uncomfortable balloon feeling. It contains lots of potassium, and many natural health practitioners believe that its detoxifying effects on the liver can help treat the root of the bloating rather than just masking symptoms. Drink a cup of dandelion tea 2-3 times daily or as needed.

Cramp Bark is a smooth muscle relaxant that specifically targets the pelvic area, so it soothes cramps by relaxing muscle tension and spasms. It seems to be processed most quickly in tincture form; take 2-3 droppersful in water until symptoms subside.

Calendula a pretty orange flower that reduces inflammation, gently kills germs and helps the skin heal, so it’s great for treating breakouts. Look for natural skin care products containing calendula, or make a toner yourself by steeping one teaspoon of the dried flower petals in a cup of boiling water for fifteen minutes. Strain and store in a jar; it keeps for about a week.


Throughout the childbearing years, herbal treatment for women’s health issues primarily focus on fertility. Even if you don’t plan to have children, these herbs can help regulate your cycles and keep your reproductive system healthy.

Red Clover is the single most useful herb for establishing fertility, according to master herbalist Susun Weed. It’s packed with easily absorbable nutrients including magnesium, calcium and B-vitamins which help restore and balance hormonal function. Women who are trying to get pregnant can use red clover for its alkalinizing effects, as it balances vaginal pH in favor of conception. It’s available in many forms including tea, tinctures and capsules.

Chaste tree berry also known as Vitex Agnus Castus, is a popular herbal treatment for irregular menstrual cycles. It stimulates and normalizes pituitary gland functions, particularly the progesterone function, helping your body regulate itself. Clinical studies have shown it to be a powerful treatment for infertility, hormonal imbalance, PMS, ovulatory irregularity, lack of menstruation and painful menstruation.

Dong Quai has been used for millennia by the Chinese to promote fertility. It contains iron, vitamin B12 and Vitamin E, which help build a healthy uterine lining, and also balances estrogen in the body. It should be taken in tincture form in conjunction with other herbs like Chaste tree berry.

Red Raspberry Leaf is an extremely effective uterine tonic that can help relieve cramps in women who aren’t pregnant, and prepare a pregnant woman for labor during the third trimester. Some health practitioners also recommend it in early pregnancy to ease morning sickness. It strengthens the uterine muscles and is rich in vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, calcium, magnesium and iron. Take it in a tea or tonic alone or in conjunction with Red Clover or Nettle.

Perimenopause - Menopause:

Menopause is a big transition, and it’s viewed with no small amount of trepidation by many women. But, it doesn’t have to be scary. Herbal therapies can help ease the symptoms that come along with “the change”.

Black Cohosh is an estrogenic herb that can reduce cramps, relieve hot flashes and muscular pain and help maintain healthy cholesterol and blood pressure. It’s one of the most widely studied herbal remedies for menopausal symptoms, and has been used by Native Americans for women’s health for hundreds of years. Women who have had breast cancer should avoid it. It’s usually take in tablet form.

Licorice also contains estrogenic compounds and is useful in small quantities for menopausal ailments. It can help fight depression and reduce stress levels by preventing the breakdown of adrenal hormones such as cortisol, the body’s main stress-fighting hormone, making them more available to the body. A safe dosage is less than a quarter-ounce of true licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra, not anise) daily.

Sage is a helpful herbal ally against those pesky night sweats, reducing excessive sweating and hot flashes. The fresh or dried leaves can be eaten in meals, or you can take ½ teaspoon of sage tincture three times daily.

Post Menopause:

After menopause, most of the ill effects of the transition are over – but along come a whole new set of challenges. Herbs that nourish the body, protect the heart and bones, and strengthen the bladder will help you live longer and enjoy your time as a ‘wise woman’.

Horsetail increases mass and flexibility in the bones, and has been said to actually reverse osteoporosis. It stimulates bone repair, stabilizes chronic periodontal disease, strengthens blood vessels and prevents clogged arteries. It also nourishes the hair and nails. Just drink a cup of the dried tea once or twice a day.

Oatstraw helps lower cholesterol, stabilize blood sugar levels, relieve depression and improve circulation. It also strengthens vaginal, bladder and urethral tissues, helps prevent incontinence and treats vaginal dryness. Drink an infusion of the dried herb 1-4 times


I had a hard day yesterday. Call it a midlife crisis. My mind was tight and hard, full of endless negative thoughts or what has to be done or could have been or should have been. I went outside to sit, it was the first time this year it was warm enough to sit and relax.

I found the most comfortable place, grumbled about how it was not perfectly comfortable, and sat. My mind continued to race, then I heard it. Total silence, Where i live, no cars, no people, no barking dogs, silence. Long exhale, tears, relief. I knew the magic was about to happen, and it did.

The more I listened to the silence the quieter my mind became. All things that had been noisy in my head vanished without a trace. The more I listened to the silence the louder it got. First the breeze in the trees, then the frogs chirping, then the singing of the creek and its laughing waterfall. A symphony of love just for me. My dog at my feet, my cat at my side. Finally, in bliss again, it has been a long winter.

Ain't nature grand? Peace for all

May 07, 2009

Easy Vegetables

10 Easy to Grow Edibles: Get More Veggie Bang for Your Buck!
by Stephanie Rogers
Tuesday, May 05, 2009
News Archives

Few meals are more satisfying than those made with ingredients that you grew and harvested yourself. Growing your own edibles will save you lots of money, and many require less care than you might think.

These 10 edibles, including herbs, flowers, fruits and vegetables, are easy to grow from seed so you get the most bang for your buck – plus, they’re very conducive to growing organically, so you can feed yourself and your family the freshest food ever!


In the spring and fall, when temperatures are still relatively cool, lettuce is an easy and rewarding plant to grow – and there are so many delicious varieties. Plant the seeds directly in the ground under less than ½ inch of soil, keep them watered and watch the seedlings sprout. Once they’re a few inches tall, the fun begins – you can thin your plantings by making salads of baby greens. Once the weather starts getting hot, dig up what remains of the lettuce and plant a warm-season crop in its place.


You haven’t had peas until you’ve had them fresh from the garden. Pea plants, including shelling, snap, snow and sugar pod peas, are a cool-season vegetable that will climb up a trellis and produce charming little flowers before the pods start to appear. They attract very few pests, so they’re easy for beginners or those with little time to maintain.


Once warm weather moves in, place four cucumber seeds into little mounds of soil 3-4 feet apart and add plenty of organic compost. The vines grow quickly and can take over a lot of garden space, though bush varieties are more compact. They’ll be ready to harvest in just about 60 days. Make sure to pick these delicious, juicy veggies before they get too big – harvest frequently for better quality.


These edible flowers add a pop of color and a peppery bite of flavor to salads, and make a beautiful garnish for all kinds of savory and sweet dishes. Why grow flowers that are just ornamental when you can have nasturtiums, which look lovely and can be eaten, too? Nasturtiums are incredibly easy to grow, and will also help keep aphids away from nearby plants. Plant the seeds 8-12 inches apart in the springtime in full sun and keep them well watered, and you’ll have cheerful edible blooms that require very little care.

5.Zucchini/Summer Squash

Zucchini and yellow summer squash are very prolific producers; so much so, that you may need to give baskets away to family and friends by mid-summer! Plant four seeds one inch deep in small hills of soil and water the first day. They’ll germinate really quickly, and you’ll be eating zucchini and squash within 45-55 days. Pick while still young, 4-5 inches long, for best flavor.


All strawberry plants need to produce lots of sweet, succulent fruit is a sunny spot and some water. They do very well in hanging baskets and in strawberry pots, so they’re a great choice for gardeners with limited space. Start from seed in early spring, or get a few small plants at your local nursery. Pests and diseases rarely plague strawberries, so they’re practically a worry-free crop.


Carrots need very little attention and they don’t attract pests. The feathery foliage adds a touch of ornamental greenery to your garden beds, and since they take up so little space, they can be squeezed in practically anywhere. Work the soil so it’s loose and well-draining and plant seeds 3/8 inch into the soil. They take just about two weeks to germinate, and are ready in 60 to 80 days depending on the variety.

8.Culinary Herbs

Basil, parsley, oregano, rosemary, chives and other culinary herbs are a great way for a beginner to get started with edibles, whether you have a garden space outdoors or a pot in the window. Most herbs like plenty of sun and well-drained soil, but other than that, they aren’t too picky. Most herbs do best when started indoors 4-6 weeks before the last frost, but many will do just fine when sown directly into the garden during warm weather.

9.Sweet Bell Peppers

Garden-fresh bell peppers are so satisfyingly crunchy and sweet. Heat-loving pepper plants are an ideal veggie to grow in the summertime. Seeds should be started indoors 6-8 weeks before last frost, or you can buy small starts at a nursery. Add lots of compost and manure to the garden soil and water regularly.


Last but never least, tomatoes are perhaps the most enjoyable plant you can grow in your garden. The taste of a store-bought tomato can never compare to the fresh, juicy taste of a vine-ripened home-grown tomato. Since they’re so popular, it’s fairly easy to find organic and even heirloom varieties at nurseries if you don’t want to start them from seed. Roma or plum tomatoes make delicious sauces, while bigger slicing tomatoes are best eaten raw.

Mouse Problems

Is this dirty?

May 06, 2009

Dog Love is . . .

Mary and her husband Jim had a dog named 'Lucky.'

Lucky was a real character. Whenever Mary and Jim had company come for a weekend visit they would warn their friends to not leave their luggage open because Lucky would help himself to whatever struck his fancy. Inevitably, someone would forget and something would come up missing.

Mary or Jim would go to Lucky's toy box in the basement and there the treasure would be, amid all of Lucky's other favorite toys Lucky always stashed his finds in his toy box and he was very particular that his toys stay in the box.

It happened that Mary found out she had breast cancer. Something told her she was going to die of this fact; she was just sure it was fatal.

She scheduled the double mastectomy, fear riding her shoulders. The night before she was to go to the hospital she cuddled with Lucky. A thought struck her...what would happen to Lucky? Although the three-year-old dog liked Jim, he was Mary's dog through and through. If I die, Lucky will be abandoned, Mary thought. He won't understand that I didn't want to leave him! The thought made her sadder than thinking of her own death.

The double mastectomy was harder on Mary than her doctors had anticipated and Mary was hospitalized for over two weeks. Jim took Lucky for his evening walk faithfully, but the little dog just drooped, whining and miserable.

Finally the day came for Mary to leave the hospital. When she arrived home, Mary was so exhausted she couldn't even make it up the steps to her bedroom. Jim made his wife comfortable on the couch and left her to nap.

Lucky stood watching Mary but he didn't come to her when she called. It made Mary sad but sleep soon overcame her and she dozed.

When Mary woke for a second she couldn't understand what was wrong. She couldn't move her head and her body felt heavy and hot. But panic soon gave way to laughter when Mary realized the problem. She was covered, literally blanketed, with every treasure Lucky owned! While she had slept, the sorrowing dog had made trip after trip to the basement bringing his beloved mistress all his favorite things in life.
He had covered her with his love.

Mary forgot about dying. Instead she and Lucky began living again, walking further and further together every day. It's been 12 years now and Mary is still cancer-free. Lucky He still steals treasures and stashes them in his toy box but Mary remains his greatest treasure. every day to the fullest. Each minute is a blessing from God. And never forget....the people who make a difference in our lives are not the ones with the most Credentials, the most money, or the most awards. They are the ones that care for us.

If you see someone without a smile today give them one of yours! Live simply. Love seriously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God

A small request
All you are asked to do is keep this circulating.

Dear God, I pray for the cure of cancer.


21 Suggestions for Success By H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

1. 1. Marry the right person. This one decision will determine 90% of your happiness or misery.
2. Work at something you enjoy and that's worthy of your time and talent.
3. Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.
4. Become the most positive and enthusiastic person you know.
5. Be forgiving of yourself and others.
6. Be generous.
7. Have a grateful heart.
8. Persistence, persistence, persistence.
9. Discipline yourself to save money on even the most modest salary.
10. Treat everyone you meet like you want to be treated.
11. Commit yourself to constant improvement.
12. Commit yourself to quality.
13. Understand that happiness is not based on possessions, power or prestige, but on relationships with people you love and respect.
14. Be loyal.
15. Be honest.
16. Be a self-starter.
17. Be decisive even if it means you'll sometimes be wrong.
18. Stop blaming others. Take responsibility for every area of your life.
19. Be bold and courageous. When you look back on your life, you'll regret the things you didn't do more than the ones you did.
20. Take good care of those you love.
21. Don't do anything that wouldn't make your Mom proud."