Lovely Bones

According to Yvonne Phillips, author of Feng Shui ABC, “there is no better Feng Shui for your home than having an animal run around spreading positive chi.”  My puppy, Daisy Mae, definitely spreads positive chi wherever she goes; however, similar to most human relationships, some of her “friends” appreciate her for who she is and others would like to change her.  Last night, we made Gingerbread Bones to deliver to her friends, even the ones who aren’t so sure they want to be labeled as such.

Gingerbread Bones

Here’s the recipe I followed (from Dog Treat Kitchen) while Daisy impatiently supervised as she scaled the cabinets…

  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 T ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  1. Preheat oven to 325° F
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, ginger, cinnamon and cloves until combined.
  3. In a small bowl, using a sturdy spoon, stir together the molasses, water and canola oil.
  4. Pour the molasses mixture into the flour and stir until thoroughly combined.
  5. Roll out the dough to about 1/2 inch thickness.
  6. Use your favorite dog cookie cutters to cut shapes.
  7. Lightly spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
  8. Place your cut outs on the baking sheet.
  9. Continue to roll and cut out shapes with the remaining dough.
  10. Bake for 20 minutes.  Cool completely on a wire rack.

This recipe for dog biscuits will keep fresh for several weeks in the refrigerator.  They also freeze really well.  Keep them in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Today we delivered the treats to her favorite playmates – Roxie, Rocket and Abby.  We also delivered bags to those who need some extra Daisy love – Snickers (not always so fond of her CRAZY antics), Talulah (scared to death of her), Max (total hater), Diva (consistent avoider), Sky (love-hate relationship) and Meatball (not fond but stuck living right next door).  While all notes were the same, some should have said “Sorry for attacking you” or “Sorry for nibbling at your only good eye” or “Sorry for stealing your bone” or “I mean well, but I don’t know my own strength…mom says I am barrel-chested” or “Sorry I climb under you every time you pee…is it my fault that I have a strange fetish?”

Gingerbread Bones for all of Daisy's friends...and toys for the ones who like to play.

Gingerbread Bones for all of Daisy’s friends…and toys for the ones who like to play.

Doing Jenerous deeds for God’s creatures can bring amazing joy and improve the positive chi on our lives.  Go ahead and throw them a bone…literally!

According to Yvonne Phillips, author of Feng Shui ABC, "there is no better Feng Shui for your home than having an animal...

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COSTCO rules

There is something spiritual about entering the walls of Costco.  I can almost hear the angels singing Hallelujah each time I arrive.  Considering I work at Feeding America, I may be learning to see the romantic side of warehouses. Costco just seems to have all of the things I like most.  Here is my short list of must-purchase items EVERY time I go: Spanakopita, Goat Cheese, Chandon Brut, Prosciutto and Pistachios.  If I ever leave without one of those items, have me admitted as I have probably lost my mind.  And, since the end of the world was only 13 days away at the time, I splurged on some other sinful delights.  I can’t write about those right now because I am hungry as I type.  Like grocery shopping, I have learned that you should never blog about food while you are hungry or else the fridge ends up getting raided unnecessarily.

Yesterday, I went to the Big Box with my husband, Scott, who enjoys sniffing out deals and finding useless things to appease the hoarder in him.  We made one critical mistake.  We ate before we went and forgot about the free weekend buffet served by lonely senior citizens wearing hairnets and holding scissors.  My husband almost got his hand slapped after he reached BEHIND the plexiglass cover to get a completed sample from the tray one lady was preparing (rather slowly may I add).  “NOT proper tasting etiquette!  Doesn’t he know better? What a Costco rookie,” I thought as I winced.

After sampling crackers, olives, sausages, stinky cheese and coconut water (jealous?), we pushed our TWO carts full of treasures to the check out lane.  As we worked our way up to the front of the line, my husband looked behind us and saw a sweet older gentleman with a small TV and dress shirt in his cart.  Two items compared to our two HUNDRED (give or take)…

Scott offered to have the gentleman go in front of us and he gladly accepted.  He even seemed rather surprised.  The cashier team thanked Scott and said that it is rare that customers offer to let someone go ahead of them in line.  It made me wonder if Scott’s Jenerous act was uncommon because people are in a hurry, or if they are just unaware of other people around them.  Maybe if we are more aware, we would see the opportunities to be more Jenerous all around us?  Sometimes it is less about the act of Jenerosity as much as it is about how wonderful it feels to be noticed and have someone put your needs in front of their own.  Recognition is the first step in that process.

I love my husband.  He has a great heart and seeks out opportunities to recognize the needs of others; I benefit from that frequently.  I was proud to stand next to him yesterday as the cashiers oohed and aahed over what a great guy he is.  I can’t say the same about the sampler lady with the scissors!

There is something spiritual about entering the walls of Costco.  I can almost hear the angels singing Hallelujah each t...

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Kindness Day 2012

Time…Talent…Treasure.  These are the three ways we can all GIVE to make the world a better place.  Circumstances often shape which method is more challenging at any given time.  For example, a single mom who is working night shifts at the hospital may find Time and Treasure the most challenging, but she coordinates having four surgeons attend Career Day at her children’s school.  It is likely that we can all give in at least one of the the three ways if we put the excuses aside.

Now that we have the Jenerosity smackdown out of the way, I want to share my experience on Friday. I was humbled to see the Jenerosity of so many people who showed up at Tampa’s WFLA News Channel 8′s Kindness Day event.  Thousands of people came out to donate food, teddy bears, toys and blood for those in need.  One man was carrying toys and food as he navigated through the parking lot on crutches.  Another woman came out to donate blood for the first time since she has the rarest blood type, which is always in high demand.  Everyone had a story centered around either Time, Talent or Treasure.

These two girls delivered three large boxes of food to Feeding America Tampa Bay during WFLA’s Kindness Day in Tampa. Those boxes were HEAVY!

Sacrifice is a key component of generosity.  It is one thing for Donald Trump to offer to stroke a $5 million check to President Obama’s favorite charity, but it is something different when somebody driving a vehicle being partially held together by tape donates a trunkload of canned goods.

“Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need.”           —  Kahlil Gibran

The Donald should have also offered to shave his mane since he can’t part with that odd, yet signature tress.  Now that would have been a real sacrifice which may have yielded a different result!  But leaving his eyebrows “au-naturale”  against a bald head would be way too Groucho Marx for me!  Let’s just stick to the $5 million, even though it is only a drop in the bucket for Mr. Trump.

Time...Talent...Treasure.  These are the three ways we can all GIVE to make the world a better place.  Circumstances oft...

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Over the Lips and Thru the Gums…

When you want to make people feel welcome, sometimes all it takes is some good ol’ comfort food.  My uncle Jerry is visiting from California and he happens to be a big fan of my cooking.  His “life partner” Doug (no, they are not gay) is staying at a nearby resort, so Jerry asked if we could invite Doug over for dinner.  I think “life partner” is code for two single guys who play golf together and one is always responsible for footing the bill.  If any of you know my uncle Jerry, then you know who is who.

First, whipped up a tender pot roast, creamy mashed potatoes and sauteed asparagus.  Then, opened a bottle of Showket Vineyards Sangiovese.  Next, put “White Christmas” on the sound system.  Finally, dimmed the dining room lights.  Call me ‘Norma Freakin’ Rockwell!’  Doug groaned and grunted as he put each bite of food in his mouth.  If I had closed my eyes, I may have thought I was watching an adult film.  He began to share how much he misses his ex-wife’s cooking.  So glad I could help him yearn for his prior life.  Culinary experience is clearly big on his list of “ideal mate” qualities.

I enjoy cooking for people.  Preparing a meal that matches their style and preferences is a great way to show you care. It is always so much more enjoyable to sit around a comfortable table and eat food that you know hasn’t been dropped on the floor and prepared by hands that have been washed.  More importantly, ending the meal with a relaxing glass of port rather than an obscene balance due and a husband whose eyes are bugging out in sticker shock is always my preference.

So…if you come and visit and all I serve is Sloppy Joes, BEWARE!  But if I serve them with a bottle of Opus One, then you know my retro soul cares.  Anything with Opus One…now that’s Jenerous!

When you want to make people feel welcome, sometimes all it takes is some good ol' comfort food.  My uncle Jerry is visi...

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A Ruff Rescue

There are three types of people in the world: cat people, dog people and those who can’t decide.  I am a dog person.  My only daughter, Daisy Mae, is a 5 month old Valley Bulldog.  Since she came into my life, I can’t imagine it without her.  She is such a blessing!

I believe that dog people attract other dog people.  Most of my friends have dogs.  One of my friends even rescues them in the most unusual way.  Like Superman, he flies in and saves the day.  Meet John Gray, pilot extraordinaire and puppy savior.

17 dogs were piled into John Gray’s plane to get them safely to Florida to start a new life.

John is a volunteer pilot for Pilots N Paws, a non-profit organization that provides an environment for pilots to learn about opportunities to transport animals that need to be rescued, sheltered or fostered.  Last week, John picked up the second leg of a rescue effort at a North Carolina kill shelter.  In NC, it is still legal to use the gas chamber to kill unwanted animals.  John picked up 17 puppies that were spared death and transported them from St. Augustine to St. Petersburg, where they were finally sent to Suncoast Animal League to receive necessary medical attention prior to being adopted.  Many of the puppies were emaciated or infected with Parvo.  Thanks to the Jenerosity of John and other pilots, they will have a chance to bring new joy to families during the holidays.  They will still be small enough to fit under the Christmas tree.

There are three types of people in the world: cat people, dog people and those who can’t decide.  I am a dog person.  My...

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