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Friday, May 3, 2024

Animal Lovers Be Aware stories about koalas, horses and disabled pets.

 Animal lovers all over the world will be ready for this weekend with all the awareness activities that are upon the animals. 


First of all, perhaps you have seen the super cute koala bears at your local zoo. how cuddly they appear. Their word Koala means no drink and that may possibly be related to the continent they live on. While Austria is not the hottest area it is definitely one that does not receive a great amount of rain. likewise, the koala bears food is often eucalyptus leaves that are considered toxic and extremely poisonous while, the koala bears have a difficult area to live the WWF organization is trying to draw attention and help the wild koalas before they are extinct. 

koalas are marsupials and are classified as such. They are related closer to the kangaroos than other bears. While wild bears live in social groups often near each other koalas choose not to be social. Their great sense of smell helps them greatly within their habitat. Unlike other bears that hibernate Koala bears sleep 18 plus hours a day and do not hibernate. They can live up to 15 years in the wild under the right habitat but due to statistics the numbers are starting to decline. 


By raising awareness into what is going on where the beautiful koalas live is the place to begin and is fairly easy via social media. Using drones to tract the area where the koalas live will help bring awareness of what is going on. Planning and saving the trees where the koalas live is also very important as it is where they live. Ensuring the animals health is important as well because they are spreading disease in the community. 



The way the world looked at animals, pets include changed when the animal welfare laws of 1972 were created. Disabled pets are still here to love and while like humans are very loveable but need extra care and help. Adaptive equipment, training and support for both the animals and pet owners as well, and groups for support all help disabled pets and their owners. 


This weekend May 3rd and 4th the Kentucky Derby will be hosted in Louisville Kentucky. The race as taken place with the first one being ran in 1874. Three-year-old fillies will take the stage ready to run the best race they can. Owners' spectators and others are all taking bets on which horse will win. The race has taken place at Churchill Downs since Colonel Meriwether Lewis Clark started them all those years ago. The gates opened for all to be welcomed in to watch the races at 9 am and the first race took place shortly after. 


Have a great day with lots of animal love today as you enjoy the rest of the day. 

Thursday, May 2, 2024

Relax your Stress and Anxiety while Gardening

 Anxiety disorders are a group of mental disorders that involve excessive, irrational feelings of anxiety and fear that interfere with daily life. Some of the symptoms that are often seen with these disorders are

  • chronic fears or thoughts
  • panic attacks 
  • fear of attacks
  • physically reactions, trembling, sweating, fainting, rapid heartbeat, trouble breathing, nausea or diarrhea
  • sleep issues
  • worries
  • avoidance or unexplained pains



Anxiety disorders are often related to genetics, environment of the individual, psychological as well as developmental factors. Some of the specific disorder names are anxiety disorder, social phobias, specific phobias, and panic disorders. Treatments for these disorders range from counseling to medication. General anxiety disorder has long action and can not be cured but can be treated. 






One popular treatment is garden meditation. Spending time in nature can help with many illnesses including physical, mental, and emotional Researchers find it a very interesting topic for research. similar to gardening itself garden meditation can be done a few different ways. Meditation can be done while gardening outside in the yard, inside with house plants ,  or even simply being out in nature sitting on a park bench. Perhaps many knew that doing these things helped calm us but did not know that we were self meditating. 

Both gardening and meditation are great ways to relieve stress.  It has been shown that working in the garden has more stress capabilities than many other ways of relaxation. In addition, being outside in nature where the sunlight can shine down helps to increase the hormone known as serotonin. Serotonin helps elevate mood , calm and focus. What a great reason to spend more time outside this spring and summer. 

Take your outside time personal and serious. Take a break from your phone and other distractions.  Listen to the sounds of nature around you and take it all in. Likewise your plants should take a priority during your gardening time.  In the end you will have a beautiful garden and be calmer as well. 





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Saturday, March 2, 2024

International Cat Rescue Day

 International Cat Rescue Day has been celebrated around the globe since 2019 on March 2 of each year. It’s a day to bring awareness about cats in shelters needing loving, forever homes. Approximately 3.4 million cats enter U.S. shelters each year, with roughly 2 million adopted out yearly. There are many reasons these cats are there in the shelters but that is not the point here. What we would like to do is share with all those interested that there are cats out there that can offer love and simply need a place to do that



First if you are looking for a cat to be your pet then please visit your local animal shelter. Shelters set up their own rules and fees so these can differ from place to place. If you are not able to adopt a cat currently but you have extra time, offer to volunteer at the local animal shelter. Thus you will be helping the community and offer all the cats and kittens in the shelter the love that they so want. 

IF you want to help all those cats and kittens but have no extra time considering donating to the local animal shelter. Shelters are always in need of money as well as other items such as blankets, food and beds. Shelters offer cats a place to stay where they are safe but also give all cats their shots that are needed as well. In addition, if you are not an individual that loves that cute kitten stage the shelter also has adult cats to offer. 



If you are all ready a cat owner then on this day please spoil the cat just a bit more. Showing them love, offering a treat can show your cat yoou love them after all they are amazing companions. 

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss

Dr. Seuss was born Theodor Seuss Geisel on March 2nd 1904. Today is his  birthday and also part of Read Across America that attempts to get young people reading. Dr. Seuss is an author and cartoonist that has written over 60 books. There has been  a total of 600 million books sold that has been translated in 20 languages around the world. However, it has not always been easy for Dr. Seuss.


During the life of Dr. Seuss he has worked at advertising for companies such as Standard Oil company. Political Cartoons created by Dr. Seuss would be shared in papers during World War II. The work that went into his first book was met with many denials. The Book And To Think I Saw It On Mulberry Street was rejected a total of 37 times. Finally in 1937 because he was persistant and kept trying and one of his old friends became the editor for a book company the book was made it would be the first of over 60


It all began that day as many more books would follow, In the meantime Dr. Seuss would share political cartoons during World War II. 


The book The Cat in the Hat would be published in 1957 by Random House after Geisel read and responded to an article that was in LIFE magazine. In the article children's reading levels were criticized. Houghton Mifflin and Random House asked if he could write a children's primer that had 220 vocabulary words. 


At about the same time Dr. Seuss would write a book about a cranky, solitary creature that would attempt to steal Christmas from the town of Whoville. Yes, that is right the book How the Grinch stole Christmas book would be published by Random House. In 1966 the book would be adapted into a movie and has been adapted many times since then. 


In 1991 Geisel famed as being Dr. Seuss would pass away. His ashes would be scattered in the Pacific Ocean. Thank you Dr. Seuss for bringing your wisdom and talent to create books and characters that would shine for many years. 

Monday, February 26, 2024

Eating Disorders


This week is a week where many are trying to bring awareness to eating disorders. Eating disorders are not new but often hidden. In face some eating disorders have been around since ancient Romans who would over eat at feasts. Then the other end of that syndrome are Europeans that have starved their selves for religious reasons. England physicians in the 17th century who first diagnosed eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. Furthermore Eating disorders were given their own treatment manual and guide in 1980 in the United States. 



The definition of Anorexia Nervosa is an emotional disorder characterized by an obsessive desire to lose weight by refusing to eat. Symptoms common to anorexia nervosa include: 

  • unhealthy obsession of being thin / underweight
  • denial of being underweight
  • irrational fear of gaining weight
  • extremely restricted eating patterns 

There are more than 6 million Americans that have experienced bulimia during their life. The actions involved in this disorder will see someone eating or binging on large amounts of food then making their self purge it all back up. This is often done by vomiting but can be done through laxative use or excessive exercise. 

Symptoms include

  • Repeated episodes of binge eating
  • Purging after eating 
  • Irrational fear of gaining weight
  • Using enemas, diuretics or laxatives unnecessarily


This week  I wll be sharing more on eating disorders here on Annies HOme. THanks for visiting.


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Chocolate Pistachio Granola

 

Pistachio nuts were not always considered nuts but were once considered kernel of the Anacardates fruit. The plant grew in the mountain range of west Asia and Turkey. It was the dry summer heat and cool winters that would help the pistachio grow. Today pistachios are cultivated in the U.S. Iran, Syria, Turkey, and China. 


Pistachios as a member of the nut family are high in protein. There is 6 grams of protein in one serving equal to  49 pistachio kernels or 1 oz of nuts. The amino acids gathered from breaking down the nuts are used to repair tissues or create new molecules. Vitamin B6 is also gained from pistachio nuts. Vitamin B6 helps protect the body from cardiovascular disease, cancers, and some cognitive functions bad for the body. 

The following recipe is perfect for the campaign Make Chocolate count. This campagin goes til the end of Easter. The best part is this recipe also has pistachio nuts which is the nut of the day. 







3 1/2 cups quick oats
4 Tbs butter
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup dried cranberries or cherries
1/4 cup shelled pistachios
1/4 cup almonds, roughly chopped
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

In a medium sauce pan melt butter and honey then add in brown sugar and mix until completely combined.
Stir in oats and mix until evenly coated then spread in an even layer on a lined baking sheet.
Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes, stirring halfway through.
Allow to cool and stir in your dried cranberries, pistachios, almonds, and chocolate chips.

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Bacon Wrapped Chicken Legs

 



These chicken drumsticks will please the crowd and they are easy to make as well. The first thing you do is to season your chicken drumsticks use any seasoning you would like but I normally sprinkle on some salt, pepper, garlic powder. Marinade can be used as well if you would like. 


Wrap each leg in a piece of bacon. Take your time this can be done. It may be slippery but when you finally have it be sure to secure the ends of bacon under the leg to secure them in place. When leg is wrapped then go ahead and wrap in plastic wrap.

Place the wrapped legs in a baking dish. Pour 1/2 cup of water into dish and cover with foil. Bake in 250 oven for 50 minutes. Take out of oven but do not unwrap for the next 30 minutes. 



Unwrap the chicken, heat cast iron grill pan over medium heat. Brush a bit of canola oil on the chicken legs. When the pan is heated add the drumsticks and cook each side (4) for 3 minutes each. Lower heat and cook a bit more til done



Well we are getting there but not there yet. We have one final step to complete and that is to make a glaze for the chicken. 



Mix juice of 1/2 lemon, 2 Tbsp brown sugar, pinch of crushed red pepper flakes to make this delicious glaze. Use a brush and brush the glaze on the chicken and cook til they hit perfection


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Saturday, February 24, 2024

Taco Dip for Chips

Tortilla chips are loaded with carbohydrates and fiber. A combination that can give you extra energy to get through the day. They also offer dietary fiber which can help reduce cholesterol in your diet and may reduce risk of heart disease. Packed with essential minerals such as magnesium and phosphorus. Great source of fiber as well. 


                                                 

Taco Dip

8 ounces cream cheese, softened*

1 cup Greek yogurt (or sour cream)

¾ cup salsa

2 teaspoons each cumin and chili powder

¾ teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon each garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper

1 cup Mexican blend cheese

1 cup chopped iceberg lettuce

1 tomato, chopped

¼ cup sliced black olives

Optional toppings: minced red onion, chopped cilantro, pickled jalapeƱos


In a large bowl, whisk the softened cream cheese, Greek yogurt, salsa and spices until it’s fully smooth. The mixture will start out chunky, but keep whisking until the cream cheese is fully smooth. (It takes a few minutes, so be patient!)

Place the cheese mixture in the bottom of a circular glass pie plate or other circular dish. Smooth into an even layer.

Top with the cheese, chopped lettuce, chopped tomato, black olives, and other optional toppings. Serve immediately with tortilla chips, or refrigerate until serving. (Leftovers last up to 3 days refrigerated.)


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Thursday, February 22, 2024

Take your dog for a walk

The one thing that most of us and our 4 legged family member the dog can do together and make you both feel better.  It offers you both to get out and exercise and enjoy fresh air. Walking your dog may or should be a bit more exciting than walking alone. You may even enjoy it so much that it does not seem like exercise but something that you look forward to. In fact the dog may look forward to getting out and spending time with you as well. However, getting the walks to turn into routine will take a bit of work and in this post I would like to share with you a few different tips and tricks for taking your dog on a walk. 

The walks with your dog should benefit both yours and the dogs health. First of all walking will help with your weight control and it will also help control your dogs weight. Before the first walk you will want to find the right collar and leash. Choose so that it is not too tight or too loose for the dog either one of those could hurt the pet. Start on short walks that take 15 to 20 minutes to start this will help the dog get used to taking regular walks. 



Dogs that are simply left at home often can easily get bored leading to destructive patterns. Allowing your dog to go on walks with you gives them something to look forward to and gets them out to see, feel and hear nature. You will want to use firm directions on the walk to let the dog know where to go and what he can and can not do. Heres to taking a walk with your dog may you both enjoy it. 


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Sweet Potato and recipe

 Sweet Potatoes may surprise you as large, starchy, sweet tasting potato part of the morning glory family and often used to make french fries, potato chips as well as casseroles and other dishes. 


sweet potatoes grow underground like other potatoes and store water, energy, starch and carbs. Sweet potatoes are known as tuber plants and work like carrots, beets, parsnips and turnips. The sweet potato plant is native to central and south America. Some may think that sweet Potatoe is another word for yam. This is a totally wrong statement as yams and sweet potatoes are not even related. Yams are related to grasses and lilies native to Africa and Asia and as they grow develop rough dark bark like skin. In addition, some yams com in a variety of colors. However, sweet potatoes develop smooth skins. 



The recipe we are using to salute sweet potatoes is

                                                                    Sweet Potato Balls

1 lb sweet potatoes
½ cup glutinous rice flour
¾ to 1 cup white rice flour
¼ cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
Vegetable oil for deep frying

Peel and cube sweet potatoes. Place in a steamer and steam for 10 minutes until soft. Transfer to a large bowl and mash with a potato masher.
Add glutinous rice flour, white rice flour, granulated sugar, and baking powder to the mashed sweet potatoes. Mix with a spatula until a soft dough forms. If dough is still a little wet, mix in some additional white rice flour. Dough should be soft but not sticky.
Pinch a little dough from the bowl and roll between palms to form a 1-inch diameter ball. Repeat until all dough is used up.
Fill a medium sized saucepan with 1 inch vegetable oil over medium low heat. Gently drop a few sweet potato balls into the hot oil. Fry for 3 to 4 minutes until golden brown. Sweet potato balls should float when cooked. Remove with tongs and drain on a metal strainer. Repeat until all sweet potato balls are cooked.
Serve immediately.

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Tuesday, February 20, 2024

All About Grapefruits

Texas grapefruits were always in our house during part of the year. I had an uncle Bill who would travel to the state of Texas to visit and bring back large sacks of oranges and grapefruits. We had both yellow and pink grapefruits and boy were they tasty. February is national grapefruit month the purpose is to remind individuals to eat and enjoy citrus fruit because they are not only tasty but they offer great nutrients as well. 


Did you know that grapefruits were not always plants that grew wild in the United States?? Barbados was the first place in the 1700s that the grapefruit was found. It was a mix of the pomelo fruit and sweet orange. The grapefruit plant  would travel through the west Indies before making it to the United States in 1800s. 

There are parts of California and Texas that are warm enough to have a year-round season for growing grapefruit. There are parts of Florida and Arizona that also grow grapefruit with shorter seasons. In addition, other warm parts of the world grow grapefruit as well. Since they are growing in so many places it makes it even easier to find a grapefruit to eat. 

Grapefruits help build up a faster metabolism and lowers cholesterol

Helps flush out toxins and leads to better skin. 

There is 73% of needed daily vitamin C in just 1/2 of a grapefruit. 


You should try to have a healthy nutritious grapefruit for part of your breakfast, a snack or serve one up as dessert. Grapefruits are perfect for sharing with their large size they are easy to half then separate the sections with a fork or spoon. In fact, there is a grapefruit spoon designed to enjoy and make eating grapefruits easier. 

Enjoy a healthy and nutritious grapefruit as part of a breakfast meal, for a snack or even as dessert. And, many times, grapefruits are so large that they can be shared with a family member, roommate or some other friend! Cut the grapefruit in half to eat it and enjoy it by separating the sections with a fork or spoon. Some people even appreciate having a special spoon with jagged edges that can be used just for eating this fruit.

When I eat grapefruit, I sprinkle sugar on top to combat against the sour flavor some grapefruits have. Other people though use salt instead of sugar. 


Did You Know:

The individual that came up the name of this fruit was a Jamaican farmer. He offered the name grapefruit as the pieces of fruit grew like a cluster of grapes. Clusters of grapefruits can have as many of 25 pieces of fruit. 

  

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welcome home birds

 Have you seen them yet?? You know are friends with feathers that travel south for winter. Yes our bird friends will be back soon if they have not arrived all ready. This winter was not as cold as some we have had in the past but hopefully spring weather is coming and to me the birds are part of the spring community. February is the time of year when the birds often start arriving back to their homes after their long journey. Our goal should be to welcome them home with food and water as we will be ready to listen to their lovely voices. In fact, National bird feeding month was established in 1994 

While not everyone feeds the birds through a feeder it is clear that some do. In addition, you may want to feed those pesky squirrels as well. 


Wide-mouth Mason jar and band

Crafting wire (or strong ribbon)
Spoon with a fairly flat handle
Secure the band on the jar
With the Mason jar upright, hold the spoon against it. The spoon’s handle should be pressed against the side, and its bowl should be up above the top of the jar. This will create a little ledge for the squirrels to stand on
Wrap wire around the jar and spoon handle to secure them together
Find a fence or tree for your feeder. Use more wire to attach it and hold it in place

Squirrel FoodSquirrels love walnuts, hickory nuts, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds and peanuts with the shells on. Make sure you only give them raw, unsalted varieties.

Tip: Make sure you place your feeder where you can see it from a window. Watching the squirrels — and other animals — stop in and feast will be so much fun for the whole family. Meanwhile, your birds will be enjoying their own yummy treats!



Earlier in the month individuals were watching for doves and cupids when love was in the air but there are more feathered friends coming in the shape of wild birds. A mixture of one part of vinegar and nine parts water is a good solution to clean out the bird feeders. Bird baths are great for the birds to get water for drinking and bathing. In addition, bird baths will help birds maintain their healthy feathers to help them in flight. 

While you are getting ready for the birds to come why not make up some easy feeders that the entire family can help with. 

c
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Hot Breakfast Recipe

 


Breakfast is the first thing in the morning and several people believe that it is the most important meal of the day. Some may consider cereal a delicious meal that hits the spot or perhaps it is a bagel with cream cheese. A protein bar on the run is what some may consider breakfast as well. However, are those breakfasts good enough?? Let me ask you have you ever took the time to enjoy a hot breakfast. 


Breakfast is often said to be the most important meal of the day, and that’s why so many of us make a point of getting up in the morning and pouring ourselves a bowl of our favorite cereal. If not cereal, than a cold bagel smeared with cream cheese, and if we’re in a particular hurry, then we’ll have a protein bar or one of the many breakfast bars on the market to see us through the day.


National Hot Breakfast Month encourages us to break this cycle of coldness and start the day off HOT! Here is a great recipe that will fill you up but not take a lot of time to make. 


1/2 pound bulk lean turkey breakfast sausage

3 large eggs

4 large egg whites

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cups chopped fresh spinach

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2 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

1/4 teaspoon pepper

6 whole wheat tortillas (8 inches), warmed

Salsa, optional


In a large nonstick skillet, cook sausage over medium heat until no longer pink, breaking into crumbles, 4-6 minutes. Remove from pan.

In a small bowl, whisk eggs and egg whites until blended. In same pan, add eggs; cook and stir over medium heat until eggs are thickened and no liquid egg remains. Remove from pan; wipe skillet clean if necessary.

In skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add spinach, tomatoes and garlic; cook and stir until spinach is wilted, 2-3 minutes. Stir in sausage and eggs; heat through. Sprinkle with pepper.

To serve, spoon 2/3 cup filling across center each tortilla. Fold bottom and sides of tortilla over filling and roll up. If desired, serve with salsa.

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Quick and easy Cherry Twinkie Dessert

 

Cherry Twinkie Dessert 

 Because of time restraints I love to find easy to make desserts that the whole gang will love. Yes, I love desserts that take more time, but these easy ones are the ones that the kids can get in the kitchen with me to bake and we still have enough time to enjoy each other's company and go anywhere we need to be. 

 

  • 14 Hostess Twinkies 
  • 2 pkgs of cherry gelatin
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 2 pkgs instant vanilla pudding
  • 1 cup cold milk
  • 1 container of whipped topping
  • 1 jar maraschino cherries
  • Place 14 Twinkie in a 9x 13 pan.
  • Dissolve the cherry gelatin in the hot water and pour evenly over the Twinkies.
  • Sprinkle on some chopped cherries.
  • Mix the milk with the pudding.
  • The mixture will be thick.
  • Carefully spread pudding over the Twinkies.
  • Spread the whipped topping over the pudding.
  • Garnish with more chopped cherries. Chill overnight then cut into pieces.
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Freezer Mini Meatloaves

 


This recipe is freezer friendly as you can make it and freeze or eat it right away. Compact in size to give you that great little bite that we all deserve. 


FREEZER MINI MEATLOAVES
3 lb hamburger
2 stuffing mixes
2 c water
2 t Italian seasoning
1 c pasta sauce
1 c mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix the first 3 ingredients with seasoning. Press into 24 muffin cups. In each cup make a small well place sauce into the wells. Bake 30 minutes or til done. Top with the cheese and bake 5 more minutes Cool.
Flash Freeze individually on cookie sheet til firm and then you can transfer them to a large baggies.
To serve: warm in microwave or oven

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