Sophie The Wonder Dog ~ to have surgery

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Soph on her fav perch, the back of my easy chair

When I first saw Sophie, she was in a cage in the small dog section at the ASPCA in New York City. She was so cute, but so unhappy. Those who wanted to adopt a little dog were drawn to her, especially their children. But as cute as Sophie was, she was also angry. She hated the cage, and she growled at a few people who approached. I thought no matter how appealing she looks, she’s not going to get adopted. So, I asked to hold her. At first the attendant was reluctant. She took Sophie out of the cage, but said she’d hold her. I gave her a “Nike look” and said, “No, I’ll hold her.” How else can I know how she will be? But I already knew, no matter how she was, she was mine.”

As soon as she was in my arms, she burrowed into me, plastered herself to me. I whispered to her, “I’m coming back for you.” Then I had to go downstairs, fill out paperwork, pay the fee, and wait a week for them to check references. When I came back to get her, I whispered, “I told you I’d come back.” That was seven years ago.

Sophie is HIGHLY allergic to flea bites. One bite will cause her to scratch and chew herself to bleeding. We’ve battled this for years. We tried Trifexis for dogs (flea med and heartworm med combined. I’ve heard it works miracles on some dogs, not Sophie. Then we tried Comfortis which is more expensive because you have to purchase the heartworm medication separately. It works better on Sophie, but not perfectly. Summertime is still gruesome for her and for me when I see her bleeding. We’ve tried Apoquel for dogs, a med for atopic dermatitis, that is supposed to stop her from feeling the allergic reaction. Several vets have tried to push this on me, but she doesn’t have atopic dermatitis (allergy to pollen, dust, etc.). Sophie is allergic to flea bites. Boy is she.

What does help is a flea and tick killing spray called Nature Care that Walmart carries. Chewy also carries this line of products. I use that in combination with Comfortis. I have sprayed carpet, upholstered furniture, and of course Sophie before she goes out. It not only kills fleas (which you will see before your eyes if one walks into a sprayed area), it also kills flea eggs. In addition, adult fleas don’t like the peppermint smell and it keeps them off a dog that is walking outside.

She also has had cataracts growing since I got her. They were not a problem, and now they are. She can’t see much any more. We’ve always gone for a 3/4 mile walk twice a day. We went down to a 1/4 mile walk twice a day for a few days. She trusted me completely to see that she didn’t run into anything outside. I’m her seeing-eye-person. But outside noises, such as a loud vehicle, unnerve her. She gets around very well in the house she knows so well. She jumps into my chair, then up onto its back…no problem.

After only a few days as her seeing-eye-person, I knew this would not do. I phoned the Animal Eye Clinic in Orange Park, Florida and Sophie has an appointment for a consultation next week. I’m slightly  concerned about Sophie going under anesthesia for the surgery. She is in excellent health at 11 1/2 years of age. She came  through a dental cleaning last year with her regular veterinarian with flying colors. I’m praying for cataract removal with no problems and that’s what I’m expecting. Please pray for Sophie in the next few weeks. Bless you.

Warm Greek Pasta Salad ~ yum

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The Finish!

I saw this recipe on a food website and the photo looked sooo good, but then the photos usually do. So, I said to myself, “Self, let’s try it”…and of course, I made some changes.

Note: I live alone and cook for one. However, I usually prepare food for two or three and freeze what I don’t eat for another meal. This recipe can be easily doubled.

So, let’s start with the warm part.

Boil water and cook 2 C of whole wheat pasta according to directions.

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Then, in a large skillet (I have a ceramic one I love that’s a semi-wok), liberally spray olive oil pan-spray,  saute 1/2 C roughly chopped red onion, 1 tsp minced garlic (I used the jarred variety), 1/2 tsp ground black pepper. Cook until the onion begins to become translucent.

Add 1/2 a package of frozen chopped spinach (I used organic). When it appears to need more pan spray, I add 1/4 C water and let it steam. Also add 1/2 tsp jarred vegetable bouillon. I use very little salt and the bouillon has enough for me. Taste to see if you need to add salt. When thoroughly cooked, as seen above, add 4 tsp red wine vinegar and stir through. Turn off the burner and let it cool…but it will still be warm. Note: Don’t be afraid to taste as you cook. Professional cooks keep forks and spoons handy for tasting.

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Add the cooked whole wheat pasta to the spinach mixture. If you want to get rid of starch, first rinse the pasta with warm water, then add to skillet. (Note: I placed two portions into plastic containers. One I saved for later in the week, one I froze. Then later, when thawed and warmed, I would add the fresh ingredients.) But, this recipe if for the entire amount.

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Place entire amount of warm, cooked ingredients in serving dish large enough to add 1 C of sliced Kalamata olives, 2 chopped fresh plum tomatoes, [Note: You can use 1 1/2 C sliced cherry tomatoes. I think grape tomatoes are too small.] 2 Tbsp virgin olive oil (I used organic), 9 oz of crumbled feta cheese. Gently mix. That might seem like a lot of Feta, but it’s the protein for this dish.

This serves three for dinner, four for lunch. It can be easily doubled. You can serve it with a loaf of rustic bread. I don’t because I eat lowish/lower carb. Of course, if I have guests, I’d serve it with a loaf of bread and olive oil on the side to dunk the bread.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pray for This Dear Lady ~ prayer for the sick

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L to R: Betty Lee and Moi, New Year’s Eve 2017

 

Betty Lee, a wonderful and dear 92-year-old southern belle is going for a procedure to lessen (hopefully to eliminate) the pain in her lower spine. In the last two months, the pain has increased tremendously. Please pray for her full recovery.

 

Betty has cried out in extreme pain.

19) Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble; He saved them out of their distresses. 20) He sent His word and healed them, And delivered them from their destructions. ~ Psalm 107: 19-20 [New American Standard Bible]

 

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L to R: author Dalyn Woods and Betty Lee, New Year’s Eve 2017

 

Lord, I know that all healing is in You and comes from You. Please touch Betty Lee’s doctors and all staff involved in her procedure.  Please guide and use them in Betty Lee’s healing. Lord, I thank you that You love Betty Lee and have her best interests in Your heart. I am so thankful You are a lover and a healer. In fact, Lord, You are Love. I pray for Betty Lee in Jesus name. Amen.

Dental Check Ups ~ for doggie and kitty

 

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Beauty, the Queen of the house, and Sophie The Wonder Dog

Sophie, my 11 year-old Malti-Poo, and Beauty, my 12 year-old tortoise-shell cat, went for a dental cleaning. When I dropped them off, I placed my hand on the building and prayed for success in this surgery and for all the animals there, as well as staff.

The righteous care for the needs of their animals, ~ Proverbs 12:10 [New American Standard Bible]

The vet did blood work to make sure, since they are seniors, that they were healthy enough for the procedure. They were both in excellent health. Although a dental cleaning may not prolong the life of a pet, the lack of one can shorten it. Dental health is important in animals as it is in humans.

Sophie had a minor extraction. That would mean it wasn’t a major tooth like a canine. They both came through the procedure with flying colors. When I got them home, Sophie was thirsty and went straight to the water bowl. It took Beauty half-an-hour to get her land-legs under her due to anesthesia. That was too funny, but I wouldn’t laugh in front of her as she’s the dignified “Queen” of our house. Of course she is.

They both got canned food for dinner and Sophie has to eat canned food for about a week because she has self-dissolving stitches.

These procedures were something I had to budget for. They fall under good stewardship…care of my flock (so to speak).

So, we’re all home now with our other kitties and we’re getting back to normal…whatever that is. In our house normal can be elusive.

Walking the Dog ~ a good thing

 

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Sophie The Wonder Dog

 

I’m not really on a ‘walking the dog weight loss plan,’ but doing just that has bumped-up my metabolism and increased the rate of my weight loss. Four years ago, when I started regularly walking Sophie, I wasn’t thinking of obtaining any health benefits or losing weight, I just thought it would be nice to get out and walk in good weather instead of letting her out in the backyard to do her business. Surprise! Surprise! I’d been stuck on a weight loss plateau, unable to go below a certain weight, and walking the dog busted right through that. The weight started coming off again.

Since then, my ears perked up every time ‘walking’ was mentioned on a lifestyle TV show. Lo, and behold, it’s considered to be one of the best, if not the best exercise for longterm health. I walk three-quarters of a mile twice a day, every day…or a mile and a half. It’s changed and improved my overall physical health.

The Mayo Clinic says a regular, brisk walks can help maintain a healthy weight, prevent or manage various conditions including heart disease and high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes, strengthen bones and muscles, improve mood, improve balance and coordination. I take easy walks, although at times Sophie and I will take a short run. Very short. Trust me. When I first did that, four years ago, I was winded after the sprint. Now I can easily trot along for short distances, and Sophie loves the run.

There is no downside to this. If you have a dog, I urge you to walk your canine friend. It will do you both a world of good. If you don’t have a dog, but have a spouse, child, grandchild, or friend to take along get out and give walking a try…or take a camera and take interesting shots as you go along. 

   Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? ~  1 Corinthians 3:16 [NASB]

 

ELIMINATE THE WHITES ~ talking food here

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White Bread ~ a huge No-No in my life. Converts to sugar, turns to fat, goes straight to my belly.

Killing Belly Fat Is Murder!

First, let me put my disclaimer out. I’m not a doctor, not a nutritionist, not a certified diet counselor, but I did slowly loose 60 lbs over a period of five years and have kept it off. In fact, I’m still slowly loosing weight and my doctor says I’m very healthy. If you are going to begin a diet or new type of eating lifestyle ~ consult with your doctor.

How did I achieve this weight loss feat? I wish I could take the credit, but I can’t…entirely. A major factor was my young adult daughters moved out and with them, so did the junk food. One got married. The other two decided they’d live with friends because they were now “adults.” I can’t take credit for the Twinkies, chips, boxed mac ‘n cheese, Chinese noodle packets, microwave popcorn, and sour gummie worms moving out with them.

The other issue I can only partially take credit for. I started walking my dog instead of letting her out in the backyard to do her business. Simply taking a half to three-quarters of a mile walk twice a day did wonders for me. It jump started my metabolism. I believe walking is the best exercise there is for most people. Still, I have to give honor and credit where it’s due. It was my relationship with God that got me walking. I heard Him say (in my inner being) that I should walk the dog and I obeyed. Then I heard Him tell me to change my diet and I obeyed again. So, these are my diet and lifestyle creds. If you are going to make changes in your diet and exercise routine, consult your doctor, and definitely enquirer of God first.

1 Corinthians 10: 31 [NASB] ~ Whether then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

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My Harlequin Sweet Potato Salad with tons of veggies (celery, carrot, onion, green pepper)

I began a food research campaign. I read articles on WebMD, listened to Christian broadcasts featuring Dr. Don Colbert, and began listening to healthy cooking shows and health-conscious chefs on TV. I became serious about this and developed a very simple lifestyle/eating plan for myself. Basically, I eliminated (or nearly so) all white foods and processed foods. This include white breads, white potatoes, white pasta, white rice, sugar and artificial sugar substitutes, and salt. I eliminated (or nearly so) all white beans. My first choice in beans overwhelmingly is black beans, followed by dark  red kidney beans. My choice in potatoes is a sweet potato or yam, followed at a distance by new red-potatoes with the skins left on. My choice in rice is brown rice. However, I make sure I do not eat carb loaded foods at every meal (bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, beans). I don’t eliminate carbs because many of them are healthy, but I never-ever eat them at three meals a day, seldom at two.

There are whites in dairy. I eat dairy, including white milk, mostly low-fat. NO, I do NOT stir in chocolate syrup to make milk non-white. LOL Aside from it being an excellent source of protein, I’ve been diagnosed with hypo-thyroidism which has added to my difficulty in losing weight over the years. In America, dairy products have iodine in them and the thyroid needs iodine to function properly. Salt also contains iodine. It’s my choice for me to cut way down on salt, because I also in recent years have had a tendency toward high blood pressure. Since I changed my diet and have lost so much weight, I was able to come off high cholesterol statin meds, which have negative side effects but do prevent heart attacks and strokes. It’s my goal, as I continue to loose weight, that I’ll get off my high blood pressure meds.

Various conditions require the elimination of certain foods that might be healthy for everyone else. Thyroid is one of those conditions and there are others. I find Dr. Colbert is very good in explaining this, so is Dr. Oz.

Never say never! I’m addicted to and drink un-sweetened iced tea with LOTS of lemon slices squeezed in and seltzer water with unsweetened flavor added (lemon/lime, berry, and the like). I keep my house well stocked with these. I was addicted to Diet Coke, and will on occasion order that in a restaurant, despite it being loaded with the dreaded aspartame. I don’t purchase Diet Coke in the grocery or keep it in my house. That’s the key, don’t keep it in your house. If you have others living with you, you need to enlist their support. Have a family meeting, get everyone to pray over healthy eating issues.

I’m not a killjoy. After church on Sunday I often go to lunch with a friend. I attempt to choose wisely, but have been known to order a burger with fries. On my birthday, I indulge in a slice of birthday cake. At another’s birthday party, I’ll also have a slice of cake. Ditto for rich foods and dessert on major holidays. Did you know January 22nd is National Blonde Brownie Day? No, I do not eat blonde brownies on Jan 22. Nor do I indulge on National Chocolate Cake Day. I’m also not diabetic and can recuperate from an occasional unhealthy sugar and starch laden meal.

1 Corinthians 5:8 [KJV] ~ Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

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If I have bread, it’s 12 or 15 grain whole wheat bread

Applesauce In My Oatmeal ~ killing belly fat is murder

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It’s 38 degrees in Jacksonville this morning, but they say the ‘real feel’ is 28. So, Sophie and I decided to huddle under the covers and sleep in a bit. We got a late start to our walk, but postponing didn’t make it any warmer.

When we got inside, both of us were hungry. I fed Sophie and decided to make hot oatmeal for myself. I often add raisins to the oatmeal, but this time thought I’d seen an oatmeal cookie recipe that had applesauce as an ingredient, so I threw in 2 heaping tablespoons of unsweetened applesauce to my cereal. It was quite good too and healthy.

Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. [NASB]

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