If we were having coffee

(credit:7 Themes)

If we were having coffee I’d tell you that I can already see the first signs of Fall in the trees. Some of the leaves are changing and they’re getting to that beautiful reddish hue that only maples have. I love fall, but I miss the extra hours of daylight that summer provides.

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If we were having coffee I’d tell you that I’ve been watching a British show (we only get UK channels with our new system) called: Paul O’Grady for the love of dogs.

Not only do they rescue, help and find new homes for the dogs, Paul is hilarious and makes me laugh with every episode. He chats with the dogs and asks them questions and he’s just so funny. It’s hard to stop watching and yesterday, I watched an entire season in one go.

(credit:Church Designer Magazine)

If we were having coffee I’d tell you that River has been itching like crazy lately. I think he might be allergic to something, so we’ve started giving him allergy medication…but, just in case, we’re also going to give him a bath. Since River hates baths, giving him one is akin to trying to wash one of the dragons from Game of Thrones, a herculean and massive task to be avoided at all costs.

Finally, I’d ask you how your week was going, how things are on your end and what news you have to share.

(credit: Natural Health 365)

#Weekend Coffee Share was created by Part Time Monster and is hosted on her site. Check it out and see what other bloggers have to say over coffee.

Where my hubby doesn’t measure

My hubby was determined to have a potted plant. He got a plant and a pot but guess what he forgot?

The blue arrow is for the pot. The red is for our planter.

Yeap.

Wishes for peace

For Barcelona and for Charlottesville and all places where violence lives, I hope against all hope that one day peace will reach all of us and we can find support in our similarities instead of fighting over our differences.

As always, I find myself horrified and saddened by the violence in our world. It’s hard for me to put into words my wishes for peace and harmony. I wish so badly that the beauty that I see in people could shine through. I think it can only appear through peace and understanding.

Others say it so much better.

Hidden Figures – Almost a Review

Really liked this review. A huge thanks to Trent for that wonderful post!

Trent's World (the Blog)

hidden-figures

A few weeks ago, I read the book “Hidden Figures” by Margot Lee Shetterly.  I really liked the book and can’t imagine the movie covering one tenth the ground it did.  There is so much context and background in the book, and yet I know the author was still only scratching the surface.

This is not a review of the book (review = excellent.  Read it).  I just want to say something about the book, something that I thought about as I read it but that is even more relevant after the recent events in Charlottesville.

A lot of this book is about racism at its ugliest, but also how some people were able to rise above it, or perhaps “rise in spite of it” would be a better phrase.  A little background about how hard it was for people of color, and blacks in particular, to get ahead in…

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Where I watch a bunch of documentaries

Thanks to a new TV system-cable-thingy that we got, I now have access to a ton of documentaries. Long story short, I just watched these four.

First, a little on each one:

What the Health is a documentary by Kip Andersen where he finds out just why people are so sick and if it has to do with the food they eat. He also unearths the relationship between some of the US’s biggest health organizations and the food industry giants.
Cowspiracy is another documentary by the same person, Kip Andersen. Here he explains the effects that cattle have on the environment.
I think most people have heard of Supersize Me. I’m one of the few people that hadn’t actually seen it. It’s been out since 2004 and follows Morgan Spurlock’s experiment where he eats only McDonald’s food for a month.

Forks over Knives is a look at changing food rather than going under the knife in an attempt to eliminate or control some of the worst diseases like cancer and diabetes.

Now, a disclaimer. I’m not a doctor or even a scientist and I certainly have no interest in promoting any type of eating plan for anyone. This is just my two cents on these documentaries.

Pros:

The documentaries were informative. I like that about documentaries in general and I love that there is no violence or terrifying parts that make me shudder (like in some movies).

Certainly, there were many voices towards eating plant-based diets and a lot of those were doctors. Some had been adamantly pro-animal meat before and had only changed sides after seeing very clear statistics to the contrary.

The documentaries, in the most part, didn’t seem biased–to my untrained eye. The sight of Morgan Spurlock eating those McDonald burgers was horrifying. I could see him getting sicker and sicker with each day that passed.

I loved how easy-going the advocates for plant-based food were. They didn’t seem to be all set on convincing the watcher that this was the way to go. They simply said it worked for them and that was it. I like that they weren’t pushy.

They had certainly done their research. I have read ‘The China Study’ and it is certainly no easy task to do a research project on an entire country. That’s incredible and we should certainly take a look at the results.

Cons:

There was a point in one of the documentaries where they said to not trust the advice of your doctor because they don’t learn anything about nutrition in medical school and I didn’t like that. I am skeptic when I hear someone tell me not to trust a specialist.

I watched and watched the films completely convinced on their message. Then I was about to start this post and I saw there’s more documentaries on food, with different messages. Some are against sugar, some for local food, some for raw diets and I started to wonder how to make sense of all of them and not end up eating air.

Even though I was pretty convinced that there was a monetary gain for some companies in selling animal-products, I still can’t believe that the entire food industry is in cahoots and trying to kill people–and that was implied in some of the documentaries.

Though they did show some cancer patients who are now cancer-free after going vegan, I can’t believe that’s the cure for cancer. I hope that’s not what the movie implied because that would almost ridicule the struggle people with cancer go through and that’s just horrible.

Conclusions:

I can’t and never will tell anyone what to eat or what to do. It’s just simply not my place.

I can tell you that watching the documentaries was enjoyable because I enjoy learning new things and documentaries are a fun way of doing that.

I can tell you that I’m going to try and eat move vegetables and try to keep my hubby doing the same thing. I really think it’s better for us and our vegan experiment certainly showed results on his cholesterol level. Plus, it’s really the only way I know how to cook.

Besides that, I can’t say that watching these changed my mind or radically opened my eyes. I do believe that what we eat is important but, at the end of the day, we’re all doing the best we can to live our lives as well as we can. Maybe an ice-cream isn’t great for our intestine but it might do wonders for our soul.

 

Where my dogs are confused

I have been pretty honest with my attempt at eating a plant-based diet. I rambled on about what I thought and what I liked and what I struggled with. I thought, if nothing else, it would be a positive influence on me and my eating habits.

I never thought it would affect my dogs.

So, lately, I’ve started to notice changes in our pooches. Like River taking up eating cucumber. He loves tasting what I eat and he is always curious when I’m messing around in the kitchen. It seemed pretty harmless to let him sniff a bit of a cucumber. I thought he’d nose it and leave it. To my surprise, not only did he eat it, he asked for more. Since then, cucumber has sort of become his thing. He loves the stuff. Of course, he still loves peanut butter, apples, chicken, bacon, salmon and other traditional dog treats, but there is no denying cucumber has a special place in his doggie heart.

(credit: RealFoodToronto.com)

Ocean thinks his fascination with the green vegetable is a bit of a joke. She absolutely hates cucumber and simply stares at me when I gave her a slice to try. Instead, her passion are blueberries. Especially if they’re frozen and mixed with her breakfast. She actually jumps onto her back legs and does a little dance when I open their bag. 

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But the most significant change came by only a few days ago. It was early morning (I mean early, these two do not understand the concept of sleeping in), I got up to let them gambol out joyously into the yard and stopped to watch them play. I stared, enjoying the sight of their bounces and runs about when I saw Ocean stopped, sniffed the grass and started to chew it. A moment later, River was following suit.

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What?

It may be a bit early to predict dire trends but I’m pretty certain that, somehow, my eating habits have influenced my dogs and they’re turning…vegetarian. Since that day, I have been watching my fluffy duo and, sure enough, every day they run out there eager to get their first taste of the succulent green strands.

Maybe it’s time I have a little heart-to-heart with my furry doggies and explain that they are supposed to be carnivores. Before we see other changes.

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If we were having coffee

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If we were having coffee I’d tell you that yesterday I had a moment of pure bliss. I was seated on the deck, smiling at the clouds, with my doggies snuggled at my sides. We were sharing an apple and reminiscing over the summer weeks gone by.

River’s highlight was having me home and getting all those extra kisses, Ocean’s was getting all the extra visits from little critters in our yard. While River chewed on his bits of apple, I had to admit that this summer was superb. It hasn’t been too hot and, though I had work to do, I was able to hang out and do plenty of mind-numbing nothing. Delicious.

(credit:Church Designer Magazine)

If we were having coffee I’d tell you that just yesterday my hubby invited a therapist friend of his and we all went out to enjoy some of our favourite hot drinks with decadent brownies. We ate and laughed and chatted about nothing and everything and, even though I’m a complete and dedicated introvert, it was awesome.

(credit: Natural Health 365)

Finally, I’d add my two cents about the show Game of Thrones, which I’m watching with my hubby who is obsessed delighted with it. (spoiler alert) I do have a lot of issues with the violence on that show…especially when animals get hurt, even if I know that it’s all pretend. Not nice.

(credit:Game of Thrones Wiki – Fandom)

How about you? How has your summer been? How was your weekend?

#Weekend Coffee Share was created by Part Time Monster and is hosted on her site. Check it out and see what other bloggers have to say over coffee.

Review: Anything for You by Kristan Higgins

Anything for You is the fifth book in the Blue Heron series by Kristan Higgins. It’s the story of the other twin, Connor and the book that I couldn’t wait to read once I read Colleen’s story. Certainly it’s one of a series, but it’s also a fantastic stand alone book, so don’t let that deter you from this fantastic author.

Anything for You is Connor’s story. He’s been in love with a girl forever and then some. The only problem is that she doesn’t think they can work things out. So, Connor waits and hopes and waits.

Jessica met Connor when they were only little and in a terrible accident involving their dog and her little brother who happens to have special needs. Since then, they have both tried to move on and leave things be but couldn’t. Jessica in particular, has been busy trying to give her brother a good home, a supportive environment and a good income. In her mind, her brother, who has very special needs due to nothing he’s ever done, deserves to have things made as easy as she can for him. Since their parents were both alcoholics and completely unreliable, Jessica has taken it upon herself to give him the best future she can.

It’s not an easy situation for Jessica, she works without a break, moves them from a rental home to a more permanent house always, always putting her brother first. When Connor comes along supportive, loving and caring, it’s almost beyond her to push him away. She’s had a life of nothing but sacrifices. It’s almost inhuman to have to push her one love away.

But there are issues to work out and her brother is only one of the problems standing in their way. Their father suddenly reappears in town interested in establishing a relationship with them, there is someone at work creating trouble for Jessica and Connor wants more than a simple relationship from her. He wants forever.

The way these two work things out is yet another triumphantly beautiful story by Kristan Higgins. The town is fast becoming a favourite of mine with those lovely, hilarious secondary characters and their antics made me laugh out loud more than once. Still, they are secondary to this lovely story and finally, Connor and Jessica do get their happy ending.

Absolutely another book I’d recommend from Kristan Higgins. She’s truly a very special writer, one that can weave sadness and humour into her stories without belittling the struggles or dimming the humour. Her books are a great choice and I have yet to read one of hers that’s a dud. Still, this one is truly special, so if you’re looking for a great read, one that will take you in and introduce you to a great set of characters while telling you a beautiful love story, look no further.

(credit:goodreads.com)

(credit:goodreads.com)

Note: Click on cover to go to site.

Where River shocks me

Since we live with two fluffy, spoiled akitas, we try to be responsible dog owners. When we got our home, one of the first things we did was put up a fence. We then build a designed dog-house for our pooches, complete with shingles, doors and raised floor (of course, they refuse to use it). When we walk our trusted doggies, we take them on leashes and bring bags to pick up the unmentionables.

The fence is a big deal for me and so are the leashes. I know we’re not perfect dog-parents, but I could not forgive myself if my dog got run over by a car or bit someone because I didn’t put up a fence or because I let them wonder off-leash.

That’s why it’s so hard for me to understand why other people let their dogs wonder unsupervised.

We do live in the country and things are more relaxed here. Still, the law says that dogs have to be on-leash and behind fences. However, there have been many a time when we’ve been walking that a strange dog has come wondering towards us. Usually, one word from me sends the dog back to their home…Usually.

Yesterday, we were walking our two wonder-dogs when there was a blur and a strange dog was on top of Ocean, growling.

I screamed (terribly useful, I know), my hubby stared in shock and River attacked. He only got to bite the dog once. But it was enough. With a yelp of pain, the strange dog ran off while I was still trying to understand what had happened.

River. Attacked the other dog.

This is the dog that loves kisses, that follows me around everywhere (even to the shower), that loves cheese and cucumbers, that hates shouts and loves to watch animals on TV. He’s more of a fluffy teddy bear than any other dog I have ever had. When I feed him a treat, he takes it with his lips so as to avoid hurting my fingers. He hates it when I leave the house and gives me the saddest look of reproach. He sleeps at my side and would sleep on the bed if I let him.

River, snuggling into his bed

River watching TV

River asking for kisses and snuggles

 

River attacked the strange dog.

I’m still in shock.

No matter what I think of the law or people’s choice of care with their pets, I was concerned that the other dog might have been injured. I suggested trying to follow it home and see if it was okay. My hubby canned that suggestion explaining that taking our two akitas after the strange dog was definitely not a good idea.

Today, River is back to his snuggly, loving self. I’m still trying to process what happened.