Posts Tagged by Vacation
|January 20, 2015||Posted by Ruth under Inspirational & motivational, Lifestyle, Recipes, Seasonal, Soul food|
So. Let’s take the pulse of your year thus far, shall we?
Resolutions not-so-much? Whining & we’re only weeks into 2015? Right, that’s because you ran that rat race straight into the resolution mousetrap. Have no fear, overwhelmed whiskered-one. There’s a way out – if you’re open to it.
I have a devilishly long 2015 to-do list.
Believe me, I’m the type of gal who would/should, to my mind, accomplish everything by 1/2. Notice I didn’t say “could”. ‘Cuz I can’t…. and neither can you.
Here’s what we can do: Rewrite the rules.
Yep, new rules for the new year. They’re not complicated, they’re cheap & they payoff in spades. Best part: Break ’em & shake ’em if ya wanna!
I’m not a dictator, not even a benevolent one.
I won’t write rules for you. But I will tell you what Rusty & I came up with so far. It’s an evolving list, as it should be. We all evolve (Darwin!): body, mind & soul. To quote Mary Matalin: “Inflexible minds are boring minds.” Boring is not on this list, so flexible we shall be!
Ruth & Rusty’s “Happy Now & Here” Rules:
- No resolutions – ever. See? Easy.
- Always do a twofer. Whenever you can, double up. Buy 2 tickets to a show instead of one. Match a friend to the entertainment & take them. Buy 2 bags of pet food. Donate one to a shelter or give it to a neighbor in need. Make 2 batches of yummies & give one away. (See below for a very shareable recipe!) Buy a sandwich @ the deli, & treat the person behind you to one, too. Bring your trashcan in, and heck, drag the neighbor’s in, too. Got it?
- Take a vacation in your hometown. And talk to people. Learn their names. Take your dog; you’re guaranteed to see things through his nose/eyes you hadn’t noticed before. Convos are randomly uber-easy with Pup nearby, as you know. I find it fascinating how delightfully open folks are around animals. No Fido, & Fluffy just won’t play that? Be a solo tourist; ask people where they like to eat, drink, hike, or hang with art & books. Really listen to their tips and actually go do what they recommend. It’s the best. (Trust me, introverts. You can do it.)
- Purge with purpose. Right, I did it today. I filled & delivered 3 purpose-filled bags: donation, consignment & reuse. In the past, Rusty’s purged unused toys. He doesn’t miss them, but his pals love them. I wholeheartedly believe that less clutter in your space is less clutter in your mind & soul. Besides, Rusty just has too many toys. (Shhh….)
- Choose happiness. If you follow TSP, you know this choice is big. It changed my life. My first week of 2015 was a downer. But I brought it back to happy asap. How? I connect with friends & family I love, who truly love me back. I ask for help. I create beauty. I play with Rusty. (Get on the floor & play with your pet; it’s a whole other world down there!) I exercise, eat well, love with all my heart, sing, dance, bake, sip wine, hug, laugh, & smile with my eyes. I’m curious by nature. I consult Reiki masters, shamans, energy healers, Buddhists & yogis. I read everything. If it lights my soul up, sign me up. What lights your soul up?
Five easy things. Do them simply & sweetly, as often as you like.
Be kind to yourself & others in the process. Do not judge your progress or count how many you’ve done. Do not judge others by their response or count what you receive in return. Just be. Just do. Find yourself & your bliss in the being, doing, giving & receiving of each moment.
Speaking of giveable yummies, try this ridiculously easy recipe.
Each batch is an individual serving that’s frozen. When you’re ready, pop as many servings as you like into the oven and roast away! You can share it with your pets (no garlic or onions, please). Or deliver packaged portions to a friend who’s going through a tough time. Or invite a friend over for an impromptu home-cooked meal.
Ruth’s Rosemary-Mustard Roasted Chicken & Veggies
Ingredients (use organic when you can)
1 lb new potatoes, quartered
2 carrots, peeled & cut into 2-inch sticks
2 medium zucchini, cut into 2-inch sticks
2 fresh rosemary sprigs
course sea salt & pepper
8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
4 1-quart resealable plastic freezer bags
In a large bowl, combine prepped veggies. Stir in 2 Tbs olive oil, 1 1/2 Tbs mustard, 1/2 tsp sea salt & 1/4 tsp pepper. Separately, season the chicken with ground sea salt & pepper, to taste. Divide veggie mix and chicken among the 4 bags. Add 1/2 rosemary sprig to each bag & seal. Freeze, until ready to cook, for up to 3 months. Each bag is one serving. (This cooks best from frozen, so get your chill on!)
To cook: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Empty bag(s) into a baking dish. Roast for 25 minutes. Stir veggies & flip chicken. Roast 20-25 minutes more, occasionally stirring veggies, until chicken is cooked through. Remove the rosemary sprigs & plate up the goodness!
(Rusty chowed on bits of veg & chicken from this dish. If I were making him his own bag, however, I’d leave out the salt & pepper. I’d replace the 1/2 rosemary sprig with 1 Tbs chopped, fresh parsley, mixed into the veggies.)
~Lovingly lifted & tweaked from Real Simple~
Wait…. this just in: Rusty said, “That’s a twofer you can drool fer!” You were expecting Shakespeare? He’s a poodle, peeps. He’s a poodle.
Happy Now & Here! xo ~Ruth & Rusty~
©2015 The Soulful Pet
|December 8, 2013||Posted by Ruth under Inspirational & motivational, Lifestyle, Seasonal|
Listen up. This is big. Ready? Self-ish is beautiful.
What?! Bear with this self-ish chick for a sec. Let’s take that word back right now. Self-ish = self caring. Self caring = a happier, more fulfilled you who can genuinely give to & care for loved ones. Therefore, self-ish = loving. Read on….
So how are your holidays going so far? What’s your stress-o-meter reading? Full-tilt yet?
I just spoke with a dear friend who’s had no time to breathe between major life events: dog death; marriage & honeymoon; another dog death; adopting 2 sibling pups (Nixon & Lola); & then being all-things-to-all-people for 2 straight days over Thanksgiving. She wondered why she found herself stuck on the couch for the rest of Thanksgiving weekend, watching stupid TV, covered in blankets & puppies. I’m quoting her shock: “I felt gross. I never do that!” My loving reply: “Yes you do, girl. When you’re running on empty you do. Couch time is self-ish time. Recharge. Don’t judge yourself. Who cares, really? Of course, I would ask hubs to brew up some mulled wine, girlfriend. Once you’re under blankets & puppies, it’s full-on DND (do not disturb) mode.”
I could go on about friends’ current depleted states.
(All women, so far. I’m not sexist, but ladies, do you sense a theme here?) One spunky-smart gal posted her cringe-worthy, must-do list on Facebook recently. With her permission, here’s her mid-holiday agenda from hell:
“This house looks like:
* A tornado went through it.
* WalMart’s Christmas department exploded in my kitchen & living room.
* Tree is half decorated.
* The floor looks like the floor in a forest.
* The dogs need a bath.
* AND- if [hubby] takes nap I will have to do all quietly & not go into our room.
* Packages from OCTOBER need to be shipped.
* Patio being tiled – need to move all the furniture.
* New counter tops being installed – all cupboards need to be emptied.
* No water to kitchen for at least the weekend.”
This is all hot on the heels of her recovering from illness; adopting & housetraining Presto, a papillon puppy (dog #2); & caring for a cold-addled hubby. Yep, he’s a snotty, chicken soup guzzling, whiny baby right now. We all wish him good health, asap. Lord, girl…. breathe.
My turn. A Christmas-past taught me endless unforgettable life lessons. I’ll share one with you….
Visiting family spent a few days in the city near us, while I single-handedly elfed-out my house. I stayed home to do it because I also had to watch over Gumbo, our epileptic boxer who only seized @ night. Boarding him while I enjoyed the city with family wasn’t an option. So my sweet boxer boy and I happily & manically decked the halls. He was blissfully naked except for doggie antlers, and I didn’t shower for days. I told you: a manic hot mess. Finally, family arrived. I had barely cleaned myself up by then, & my pup was SO over the antlers. But the house was lovely. Yet no one thanked me.
That Christmas eve, Gumbo had a seizure @ 2 am.
I stayed up with him, relaxing him as he came to. While everyone slept, he & I spooned on his dog bed under the warm glow of the tree’s lights. I cherish that memory. That’s when I should have stopped. But I kept elfing & it wasn’t pretty. Ultimately, I ended up in bed for hours once the house was empty, unable to move because I, too, was empty. I was beyond benefiting from the blanket-and-puppy therapy that helped my friend. Forget the mulled wine. I was beyond vodka’s help. And that’s something.
If you do this to yourself, do it for yourself. Don’t do it for gratitude or to impress. Be a self-ish elf. Get high on bad Christmas music, spiked eggnog & cookies you didn’t bake. Get naked, decorate & dance with your grinning, bare-butt, antler-wearing dog. Trust me. Do it. Who cares? Your dog won’t tell. And he won’t put it up on YouTube. (Well, your border collie might.)
Yesterday, my mom & I had a good laugh.
We both confessed that we have to clean our houses before the wonderful folks who occasionally clean our houses arrive. That’s insane. (I blame it on genetics.) Yes, it’s a first-world “problem” – I know. But you get the point. Stop the perfectionist circus. Be self-ish, not elfish. Set up boundaries: get really good @ saying “no”. Practice in the mirror if you need to. (Don’t practice on your dog; you’ll confuse her.) People who matter will understand & respect you for it. Others (haters, narcissists & users) don’t matter. You know who they are in your life. They will use you until you’re empty. Just say no to them. Walk away; you’ll be happier. No one sane will notice if you don’t OCD-clean the house. People are not thinking about you as much as you think they are. Do your holiday shopping in a pony tail, sweats & no makeup, girl. Call it cozy-chic couture & have a mimosa before storming the mall. We’re all on the same carousel with crazed carnival clowns this time of year. But this is not your circus & those are not your monkeys. Breathe. Laugh. Love. Be a self-ish bitch, I dare you. Elves are ridiculous.
I took my own advice this year.
I spent Thanksgiving in Kaua’i with my brother’s family. I faced fears and did things that I never thought I’d do: 1st solo plane ride, a helicopter tour, bikini-ed beaching, and zip lining. Yep, I was a bikini-wearing, screaming zip-lining fool. There’s no better cure for elfdom than risking life, limb & dignity with loving family members. Sometimes a girl just needs to jump off a cliff – a dozen times or so – to get her head on straight. I’m grateful to my bro’s family for the invite. I’m grateful that my pushy girlfriends all said, “Just GO!!”. I’m happier & Rusty’s happier. This loving, self-ish bitch is back. Elves drool!
Now it’s your turn. Had any foolish elf moments? How did you recover?
What self-ish self care gets you through the holidays? Big or small, every recharging moment counts. Do tell. C’mon, it’s cathartic! We wish you truly happy, elf-free holidays! xxoo ~Ruth & Rusty~
©2013 The Soulful Pet