The Answer is YES–They ALL Can

After a great visit with Derek and Jolene and their animals, we are back.   Great adventures, great food and great fun with the animals.  For those that wondered, the racoon is not very interested in the puppies and they are figuring out how to co-exist, quite nicely!  I tried to post a pic of the 3 of them roaming around the yard together (supervised) but I am technology challenged today.

After seeing Kyle and Nicole and Chase just a couple of weeks ago, and then the Vegas family, we come home feeling very happy, very proud and very grateful.

I absolutely love having Lulz, Chase, Nibbler, Pheebs and Lil Dude in the family.  Animals bring so much into our lives.

If they had cows, pigs, ducks, turkeys–I would feel no differently.  They are all so special and all deserve equal treatment.

As we travel through this Vegan (Feast) Thursday, let’s try to keep in mind the following:

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I am back on schedule today, and plan to be at all scheduled classes and sessions for months to come…

See you there, or here.

Bunnies, BOGOS, and all the Peeps…..

Lots of people will be celebrating Easter, tomorrow, and lots of parents will be out, today, trying to grant their children’s wishes for their very own cuddly bunnies.  Personally, I am all about pets, and bunnies are absolutely adorable.  Just make sure that if you are bringing one into your home (or even more so, the home of another) that you have done your homework.

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Bunny rabbits will live over 10 years.  They need the proper amount of space to get in ample exercise and play.  If they are not given this, they will get bored and boredom ALWAYS leads to trouble.   They need a lot of fiber– probably access to grass and/or hay, all day.  They need to be litter trained.   No two bunnies are the same.  They may be affectionate, but also can be aloof and have a need for alone time.

Rabbits are absolutely adorable.  They are not, however, stuffed animals.  If you do all your homework and still decide this is a great animal for your home, please find one you can rescue.  Every Easter there are a lot of bunnies sold to people who find, soon after, they really can’t care for them and give them to a shelter.  Rescuing one, which will probably already be litter trained, is a fabulous option and a win/win situation.

On a totally different note (but then again, not really)….Gardein products are BOGO at Publix this week, starting Monday.  This is a big celebration in my home where I stock my freezer with breakfast patties, crabless cakes, fishless fillets and chicken(less) tenders.  There is such a big selection and Publix has been doing a great job of making them available to us.   It makes me very happy to hear how many NON-vegans have added Gardein products to their shopping lists.  I stay away from the ones that come with sauces, because of calories, but I bet those are REALLY good.   Additionally, Earth Balance products are also BOGO @ Publix this week.  It’s a good week for stocking up on some animal free products!

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And while I am on the topic of awesome plant-based foods, I tip my hat, once again, to the good people at the Falafel Bistro in Coral Springs/Parkland.  This place consistently makes me happy.  Yes, the prices can be a bit high, but seriously the food makes it all worth it.  I had there food 2 days in a row this week.  Not too many places in town make a vegan tofu scramble with tons of veggies, served piping hot in a cast iron skillet with all kinds of side dishes (hummus, pita, salad)…and the mushroom kabobs (which are really patties) are so good, also served with amazingly delicious sides (many to chose from)…I am pretty excited about the leftovers in the fridge!  Most of their soups are vegan and enjoying a cup helps us to understand how UN-necessary creams are, when making creamy soup!  Last night Mitch and I shared some creamy garlic cauliflower soup that was ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!

Happy shared birthday to two women that are both so special to me, Joy and Lesley.  You both add such a bright light to our world and I am so thankful to have you both in my circle.  Hope you each have a wonderful day celebrating with your families…and have many, many more!

Wherever you are enjoy your Saturday and your Easter weekend.  I am keeping good thoughts for my family in NY this weekend, as I know it will be a tough “first.”  I would like to take this opportunity to once again thank all of my friends and family for all the kind words, cards, thoughts, hugs, love and contributions made to the fund set up for my 13 year old great niece and nephew.  It will certainly help their dad, who is a police officer, provide for them these next few years and is appreciated so greatly.

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And one last thing…beware the sneaky peeps…they start in your mouth but definitely end up on your hips.  They have SOOO much sugar in them, one or two should really satisfy your craving without doing any damage!  Remember–it’s all about balance.

 

All Creatures Big and Small

Deutsch: Fischotter (Lutra lutra) im Wildpark ...
Deutsch: Fischotter (Lutra lutra) im Wildpark Pforzheim (Baden-Württemberg, Deutschland) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Whether they belong to more evolved species like humans, or to simpler ones such as animals, all beings primarily seek peace, comfort, and security.  Life is as dear to the mute animal as it is to any human being.  Even the simplest insect strives for protection from dangers that threaten its life. Just as each one of us wants to live and does not wish to die, so it is with all creatures in the universe.”

–More great Insight from the Dalai Lama

And on Vegan Feast Thursday, Still More…

Having decided to dedicate this week’s entries to quotes from the Art of Racing in The Rain AND this being Vegan Feast Thursday, I thought I would share with those that have not read the book an important fact.  This book was written not in first “person,” but instead in first “dog.”  I found it amazingly comforting and thought provoking to read things from a dog’s perspective.  If you have been reading all week, you already know that it was my dear friend Fredda, who turned me on to this fabulous book, and sadly, along with the rest of the world, I lost Fredda this week when she lost her UNBELIEVABLY courageous battle with AML (leukemia).  This week I am paying tribute to her life, through quotes from the book.

In this story, the main character, Enzo (the dog) teaches us all incredible life lessons.  This morning I want to share a quote that will give us all pause to think about how we converse.  I know that rereading this quote, and sharing it, I am going to commit to work extra hard on being a better listener.  I think we can all relate to what Enzo expresses.  If you haven’t read the book, there is a thread that runs through it that suggests really good dogs come back as people.  I know I will always stop and look a little longer every time I see a Harley…I may or may not ever see my beautiful Blaze upon one, but I will smile every time I see (and hear) one and know he is always in my heart, as is my special friend, Fredda.

would be totally lost, and only because you had to tell me all about Pele. Learn to listen”
ENZO  via Garth Stein, The Art of Racing in the Rain

To all my animal loving friends, if you haven’t read this book, I highly recommend it.  As for Fredda, she was a cat lady.  She had several of her own and spent a lot of time volunteering at a local, no kill, cat rescue.  For those that knew her and want to send a donation, her family has asked that you send it to FELINE FRIENDS at 165 NE 2nd Ave, Deerfield Beach, FL 33441.  If you are reading this blog via FaceBook and want more info about Fredda, or anything peace, fitness, and vegan living, please log in @ peaceandfitness.com to find my full site.

Though I lost a friend, I find myself reconnecting with some old ones, and that is quite a gift.  Additionally, seeing  new babies born into the world reminds me of the circle of life.

Tonight I am off with my special friend, Rita, to see Deepak Chopra.  So excited and certain I will have much to share after listening to his incredible wisdom.

As I do every Thursday, I ask you to consider swapping out some animal protein at a meal or 2 today, and remembering that what’s good for the planet and the animals, is also really good for you!

Teddy the Talking Porcupine

This one is too cute to miss.  Sharing for all my animal loving friends and family.  Teddy the talking porcupine.  Enjoy and have a wonderful weekend.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UGz8jcbJjRw

Thanks to everyone who came out to the luncheon yesterday.   I know I had a great afternoon.  Thanks for joining us, Mitch.  And thanks to my students for their generous token of appreciation.  Love you ALL!

Always Thankful for Thursday!

Cat Conspiracy
Cat Conspiracy (Photo credit: Tjflex2)

Some have asked why I am not blogging more often.  I have to say, one of the beautiful side effects of practicing daily meditation (at least for me) is that I have much less desire to “talk” and much more desire to listen and do.  Always thinking my purpose in life is to learn and to teach, I am feeling like I have moved into a definite learning stage, and much of that learning is simply getting to know myself a little better, which I hope results in making me a better teacher–and a better human being.  On a side note, it’s really incredible to see my cat, Roxburry, come running into my office when I say “I am going to meditate…do you want to come?”  It just reinforces how important it is to have quiet time–and a routine.  Just like kids, animals respond so well to a routine.  And I am sure I hear her chanting her own mantra which goes “purr, purr, purr.”

To those that have asked for a Dillon update, I have just looked at his Facebook page (Team Dillon) and see that the doctors are pleased with the way the surgery went and treatment will begin next week.  His parents appear to be holding up and no doubt all the support and positivity going there way, can only be a good thing.

It is Vegan (Feast) Thursday and I hope you will consider swapping out some animal protein  at a meal or two today.  You don’t have to replace your animal protein with a non-animal protein as most people eating way more protein than they need.  Now that I am running 7 or so miles a week, I have introduced a once-a-week “noodle night,” for dinner.  I buy the Publix brand broad noodles as they are egg free and eat them with some Earth Balance and nutritional yeast.   Mitch has his with some butter and grated cheese.  Hey, it’s not something I recommend daily, but once a week it’s easy, comforting and a great way to have an almost free meal.   If you watch your portion control, the calories won’t even kill you.  Conversely, too much animal protein, actually can….

Like my little friend Natey, make good choices!  Know that your choices don’t only effect you.  We are just tiny insignificant specs in a great big world…and we are all connected.  Much love.