Inspired by a Stranger – Make my Day

I was inspired by a stranger today.

She was driving along enjoying a pleasant fall afternoon.🍂🚘

She was singing along with the radio and had a truly happy joyful smile.        🎶🎵🎶😀

She was unaware I was watching her, when I saw that smile I automatically smiled myself, a truly happy joyful smile!😄

I thought to myself “that is a really happy person” and she made me happy too.☺️

She’ll never know how she changed my day from one of dredging through errands to one of enjoying the day for what it was.

I passed her happiness on to several people I met the rest of the day and I hope they passed her happiness on to several people too!😊😀👫😃😄

I never got to thank her.  If you see her will you give her a big smile for me and tell her “thank you”?😉




Kishibojin Oeshiki – Zoshigaya This Weekend

Want to go to Japan for a festival?

Tokyobling's Blog

If you are in Tokyo this weekend and not interested in the massive Kawagoe festival taking place in Saitama Prefecture just north of Tokyo I recommend visiting the far smaller but almost as crowded Oeshiki ceremony at Kishibojin in Zoshigaya, a 10 minute walk south of Ikebukuro station. Kishibojin temple is one of those religious mysteries of which there are so many in Japan. Even the name is unclear as it changes from different maps and signs, and it is a hybrid Shrine/Temple celebrating Oeshiki which is a distinctly buddhist ceremony a week later than all the other Oeshiki ceremonies, it is officially called a shrine but it has no torii gate but a small Inarijinja. I have visited dozens of times but I still haven’t unravelled this one. More studies needed!

Yesterday when I took these photos was the first evening of the three night event. Tonight and tomorrow…

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2014-10-19 Sermon Simpson UMC “Religion and Violence: Does Religion Promote Violence?” Tezenlo Thong

“Religion and Violence:

Does Religion Promote Violence?”

(Micah 4:1-4)

Is religion inherently bad? Does it promote violence? Does it foster hate, fear and conflict? Or does religion make human beings better people? Are human beings better off because of it? Or is religion neither inherently good nor bad?

On one hand, we don’t have to look far to find atrocious examples of violence done in the name of religion. On the other hand, some of the greatest historical figures who have exhibited strong moral leadership are people with deep religious convictions, such as Mother Theresa, Mahatma Gandhi, Dalai Lama, Thích Nhất Hạnh and others.

No religion is immune from violence. All are guilty of perpetrating hatred and division. Religion, including Christianity, can be and has been used as an excuse for violence. However, we must never condone, much less perpetrate, violence in the name of religion or God. On the contrary, we ought to be a people of peace, love and goodwill and treat people of all faiths with respect, love and dignity they deserve.

“Do to others what you would have them do to you.”

Tezenlo Thong, Pastor
Simpson United Methodist Church

(Micah 4:1–4 CEB)

But in the days to come, the mountain of the LORD’s house will be the highest of the mountains; it will be lifted above the hills; peoples will stream to it. Many nations will go and say: “Come, let’s go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of Jacob’s God, so that he may teach us his ways and we may walk in God’s paths!” Instruction will come from Zion and the LORD’s word from Jerusalem. God will judge between the nations and settle disputes of mighty nations, which are far away. They will beat their swords into iron plows and their spears into pruning tools. Nation will not take up sword against nation; they will no longer learn how to make war. All will sit underneath their own grapevines, under their own fig trees. There will be no one to terrify them; for the mouth of the LORD of heavenly forces has spoken.


Recipe for Dog Vomit Stew

This is a real recipe for a meal that was named by my step-children!

I was a new step-mom with picky eaters for new step-children (2 girls and a boy).  One thing they did like was noodles, macaroni and cheese, hamburger helper, etc.  I was working full time and wanted them to have a decent meal when I got home from work.  I needed fastsimple, something I could keep the ingredients on hand and something that would taste okay heated up as left overs…..

Voila!  I tried to call it mock hamburger helper but after they looked at it they unanimously voted to call it “Dog Vomit Stew”.  The only three good things were that 1) they would eat it as often as I made it, 2) they would love to request it screaming they wanted “Dog Vomit Stew” for dinner, and 3) it is really easy!  Here is the recipe:

  • 1 can tomato soup
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • Rotini noodles, the tri-color are nice
  • 1 to 1.5 lbs of ground turkey, beef or chicken
  • Chopped onions
  • Grated mild cheddar cheese, however cheesy you like it

Start some water boiling and cook about 4-5 servings of the noodles (less noodles if using more meat).  At the same time in a deep fry pan, saute the chopped onions in some oil, then add the ground meat and brown it, then add the cans of soup (not diluted) and stir and simmer.  Check the noodles and when they are slightly underdone add them to the mix and simmer a few more minutes until noodles are done.   Here you might need to add a bit of water and it has to look like, sigh, dog vomit consistency.  Add the grated cheese and simmer till cheese melted and incorporated and you have dinner!  Serve with a vegi of choice, these kids loved steamed broccoli and that goes well with this meal.

I often wanted to dress this up a bit with some spices, maybe some oregano or something but the picky eaters voted no!


Ikebukuro Matsuri – Biggest Festival in Toshima Ward

An amazing story from Tokyobling!!

Tokyobling's Blog

Two weekends ago I visited the annual Ikebukuro Matsuri, which is the biggest festival in Toshima Ward, one of the biggest of the 23 central Tokyo special wards. At one time Ikebukuro was famous for being the spot in the world with more square feet department store than anywhere else, but the recent death of department stores have lead to there being of these. The number of visitors to the festival keeps increasing however, with this year’s festival the busiest ever. I arrived very late to the West exit area of Ikebukuro but saw my favorite omikoshi in Tokyo – the death defying balls of steel no fear omikoshi (as I call it). They stop regularly on their route and tip the omikoshi violently and rapidly back and forth, urging each other to go deeper and deeper. I can not imagine anything that would bring me more mortal fear than…

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Thank you to fellow tadpoles!

Part of my journey is thanking the people who supported me during my recent life changing events.

A very important group is my fellow tadpoles, affectionately named by my husband.

Thank you ladies for keeping the group going while I was struggling.

Thank you for being there when I needed you!

Thank you for making me laugh every time we get together (which for non-tadpoles is twice a week for deep water aerobics)!

Thank you for sticking by me and being there to listen to me these last 10 months.

We will persevere and get that synchronized swimming routine down!

We will not be cold this winter and it is okay to leave the building with wet hair!

We will continue to be there for each other!

Thank you again, it is amazing to have such a supportive group that knows my whole life and is just there for me.  What a comfort that I know I get to see you twice a week (unless it is snowing or someone is eating, tee-hee).

Love to you all!  Splish Splash!







Making homemade dog food and bird food tonight! dog food recipe

My very first veterinarian was a vet during WWII for our K-9 troops.  I am truly blessed to have had him in my life.

He once told me that adding fresh food to my dogs’ diet would only be beneficial.

Feeding them dog kibble was like feeding them dry cereal they could survive on that but it wasn’t the best diet.

I feed half home made and half good quality kibble.  I rotate kibble.  Brands, protein sources and grain sources sometimes no grains.

I have three big dogs and right now don’t really have time to cook for them 100% of their meals.

Please research toxic foods that your dog should not eat such as: chocolate, grapes, salt, sugar, onions.

If you cook hundred percent for your dog research “healthy powder” and other nutrition facts to make sure your dog gets the necessary nutrients.

I start with the whole chicken.  I pressure cook it until the bones are soft which means an hour and a half for small chicken or longer for a larger chicken.  Lots of good stuff in those bones and in the bone marrow try to get organic chickens if you can.  Other proteins sources I use in place of the chicken or in addition to the chicken are salmon, beef, pork, ground turkey, eggs, cottage cheese.  I have an older dog and another dog with digestion problems they really can’t digest raw meat so all meat is cooked. Do not feed raw pork.

I then use a blender to dice in water approximately two fruit sources and three vegetable sources.   I usually use what is in season.  My dogs have been eating this way since pups and they have no problem with the variety.  I don’t like doggy toots so I steer clear of too much broccoli cabbage and similar toot creating foods they get just a small small amount.

For example in the fall I stock up on cranberries and freeze them as this is a good addition to the mix.  Earlier this year when organic raspberries blueberries and strawberries were on sale I stocked up and put them in the freezer.

I add the fruit and veggie mixture to my protein mixture and some scrambled eggs if I decide to add that as a protein source (warning warning this might be a toot source) and cook for a bit as my old guy digest better with cooked veggies.  Then add my grains.  This might be a brown rice and wild rice grain mix that I’ve cooked for myself or oatmeal.  I sometimes use exotic grains here if I have time.  I just started with a grain quinoa and they seem to like it.  It was about 1/3 of the grains to that batch.  Here you can add other cooked protein such as the beef pork or ground or beef turkey (or add some appropriate raw protein – no pork if your dogs can handle it) or scrambled eggs or some cottage cheese for extra protein.

Last I add some herbs like a small amount of parsley or a little mint or if my dogs request Italian, oregano or Rosemary. My dogs like different herbs so I add a small amount of different ones each time.  Sometimes even a little cinnamon which they like.  Or carob which is a little like chocolate but is reported to be safe for dogs and my dogs request when they crave a  Mexican flavor as they say it makes the food have a mole flavor!

Another thing you can add is pumpkin which is a good source of fiber and antioxidants.  Another starch is yams or sweet potatoes.

You can be creative the more variety the better. I read once to try to eat 40 different things each day for the best nutrition.

The last couple of things I like to add to my dogs meal which is added right before they eat it and not cooked is yogurt or kieffer.   Plain with no sugar.  And a digestive powder made for dogs.

Experiment to find out what is optimal for your dog please share if you have time is I am interested in anything I can learn to make my dogs healthier!