Archive for July, 2013

Over the years, and through experience, I have learned a lot by observing relations and people. The following are not all-inclusive, or 100%, but they should definitely be looked at when considering being with a person for the long haul, because any negative answers to these questions, can, or might mean character flaws in the person, and problems for you later on. The reality is more often than not, a stable life with success produces a better mate, than an unstable life with chaos and no success. If the person your considering as a life long mate refuses to be open about some questions consider it a red flag.

  1. Does the person come from a broken home/divorce?
  2. Does the person come from a home where alcohol and drugs were used?
  3. Does the person drink heavily or do drugs?
  4. Does the person have a background involving discipline problems?
  5. Does the person have a history of poor school performance?
  6. Does the person come from a home where keeping up with the Jones’s was norm?
  7. Has the person actually supported themselves in the real world, or lived with mommy and daddy waiting for someone to marry to support them?
  8. Does the person save or spend? What is their credit rating?
  9. Does the person like to read, expand their horizons, and enjoy education?
  10. Does the person keep their house clean, cook, and other household duties?
  11. Does the person relate well to others and children in social settings?
  12. Does the person show sensitivity or callousness?
  13. Does the person act domineering, controlling, bombastic, and argumentative?
  14. Does the person have great conflict resolution or are they insecure quitting like babies?
  15. Does the person meet people or spend all their time on internet dating?
  16. Does the person dream and show action, or just dream and do nothing?
  17. Does the person like to laugh and can they take a joke?
  18. Does the person act jealous around friends of opposite sex?
  19. Do they hang around stable or questionable people? Who are their friends?
  20. Does the person have sexual boundaries that align with yours?
  21. Does the person show the ability to lead or expect you to do everything?
  22. Does the person share hobbies and passions with you?
  23. Does the person have a value system that involves integrity?
  24. Does the person want children or not want children?
  25. Does the person believe in God and involve God in their life? Does their belief align with yours?

Today, I created a masterpiece vegan salad. The flavors are balanced and you can just feel the freshness, power, and energy with each bite. Here is the recipe and photo. The little celery stick on top with peanut butter and raisins is called Ants On A Log. This was created by one of my children.

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Bulgar Wheat Vegetable Salad

1 cup of Bulgar wheat

1 onion finely chopped

5 pieces of celery off stalk finely sliced

5 carrots grated

1/2 pound of fresh snow peas

1 can of garbanzo beans

1/3 cup of fresh mint

1/3 cup of fresh Italian parsley

1/2 cup of roasted/salted sunflower seeds

1/4 cup orange juice

1/8 cup olive oil

1/2 teaspoon of salt

Fresh cracked black pepper to taste

Optional: Half moon orange slices for presentation

1. Boil two cups of water with the 1/2 teaspoon of salt. When it starts to boil, remove from heat and add 1 cup bulgur wheat. Allow bulgur wheat to absorb all water which takes about 15 minutes.

2. In a skillet heat the 1/8 cup of olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the onion, celery, and snow peas. Cook these for about four minutes.

3. Add all the vegetables, herbs, juice, seeds, and bulgur wheat to large mixing bowl.

4. Mix everything together thoroughly and enjoy.

This recipe will serve 6-8 people.

 

Lately, I have been experimenting with a lot of vegetarian based dishes. I decided to try Napa Cabbage for the first time and I am hooked. The flavor is so much more milder than traditional cabbage. I gathered ideas from a few websites regarding Napa cabbage, and ultimately created my own recipe and dish off the ideas.

My recipe is as follows:

Orecciette Pasta Salad with Napa Cabbage, tomatoes, Mushrooms, Onions, and Herbs

1lb Orecciette Pasta

1 yellow onion chopped

2 cloves fresh garlic pressed or chopped finely

1 head Napa cabbage

1 8 ounce package of sliced mushrooms

2 fresh tomatoes

3 tablespoons fresh basil

3 tablespoons fresh cilantro

1/2 teaspoon of salt or to your taste

Fresh cracked black pepper to taste

Optional toppings: Crushed Red Pepper and Parmigiano cheese

The first order of business is to saute all of the vegetables with seasons and herbs in olive oil until slightly wilted for cabbage and slightly softened for other vegetables.

Place all the sautéed vegetables in a large mixing bowl.

While you are doing this cook pasta 10 minutes until al dente or follow package instructions.

Mix the pasta, vegetables, and herbs in the large mixing bowl together with a little more olive oil.

Serve and enjoy.

This recipe will easily serve 6 or more people depending on portion size.

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When I travel, I always look for interesting things in a city. Of all the things I have ever seen, I think this Parthenon replica takes the cake. The Parthenon is located in Acropolis, Greece, and the replica in Nashville, Tennessee of all places. The Original was dedicated to the Goddess Athena and the replica was built for a Tennessee centennial. This is why Nashville is known as, “The Athens of the South.”

Here are a few photos of this monster-sized museum. If you’re in Nashville, stop by and check it out along with the other beautiful sights of the Country Music Capitol.

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Thank you to everyone who has been following my blog and to the new people on board. We are such a diverse bunch, but we all share a love for learning, arts, the environment, and a better world for all.

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A lot of times I am asked about my life and how I accomplish things. “Help! I hear.” Sometimes, I am the one asking for,”Help!”

So today, I decided to do a post about the things that benefit me, and I know can benefit others. These ten things can change your life.

Help! It’s right here.

1. Banks- Banks have a main goal that is to make money and earn interest off their assets. Their goal is really not the customer even though they must pretend that they love      you to death. Banks have high priority for those who are ultra-wealthy and low priority for most of society. They often see the lower-income earners as burdens even though they are glad to have what little money you own to help their bottom line, which is to make money. So with that said, don’t pay the banks! Pay yourself! How do you pay yourself? Invest in stocks, mutual funds, and bonds that pay you interest(money). Avoid credit cards and borrowing! If you don’t have the money, then don’t buy it! Do not give the banks extra money, so that you can have a depreciating (losing money) asset. Think assets (what pads or lines your pocket), not liabilities (things that take away from your money).

2. Insurers- Insurers protect you from liability(responsibility to pay for loss) and protect the things your own(assets). Many times, we do not have the necessary cash flow to pay for huge losses. With that said, buy insurance on everything of value, that you cannot replace with the cash you have on hand. I believe in insuring everything possible.Insurance can be expensive, but the price is small when you have a disaster.

3. Retail purchases and autos- Purchasing anything new is like throwing money away in the trash. Why? Almost anything new loses extreme cash value. Purchase clothes, shoes, goods, and autos used so that someone else can lose the cash value and take the big depreciation hit for you. In return, you are benefiting your assets and helping the environment by recycling. The money saved can be invested so that you are paying yourself.

4. Groceries- Purchase fruits and vegetables that are in season so that you get the best value. Buy dry goods and other items in bulk if you have storage capacity to save money. Buy organic foods when possible to avoid chemically laden food products. Natural foods will save your retirement money for you and not prescription drugs to maintain your health. Avoid most cleaning products because they often do not work as stated and they are hazardous. One can clean and disinfect almost everything with bleach, lemon juice, vinegar, and soap.

5. Entertainment-  Always look for early season bargains on passes to museums, zoos, water parks, amusement parks, etc. The passes allow you to go to a place as much as you want without paying for a ticket every visit. The passes usually pay for themselves within one or two visits. For movies, hit the matinees and save up to 25% per ticket. If you want to take it further, pack your own food. This is always healthier and a huge savings.

6. Health- Avoid all drugs (prescription and illegal) as much as possible. The body hates drugs especially your stomach, liver, and kidneys. Avoid alcohol as much as possible and limit to no more than one drink a day maximum. Eat as many plant-based foods as you want, love and use fresh garlic, and limit consumption of animal products. Diets high in vegetables, grains, and fruits help you to have the power to enjoy life in your senior years and save your retirement money for trips and not prescription pills. At my age, I am watching friends far apart and break down, because they never took the lifestyle choice of being healthy serious. Protect your skin from the sun with sunscreen and clothing for that beautiful youthful look. Drink plenty of water and limit sugary drinks. I would say to avoid all man-made food additives as much as possible especially monosodium glutamate (makes you gain weight)  and high fructose corn syrup (diabetes link).

7. Donate- Donate what you do not need to charity organizations or others. Donate time to help make a difference in the environment or someones life. Donating time, money, and goods are great for the soul and health of the body. Another added benefit is the government recognizes the importance of donating and often many things can be used as a tax write off.

8. Religion- Prescribe to a faith and stick to its teachings as much as possible. I say as much as possible, because it is unreal to expect perfection. Of course, I am bias to Jesus Christ and Christianity, because Jesus washes me clean even though I am a sinner. Many religions base salvation on good works, but you can never have enough good works. It is impossible! We can never be perfect and Jesus knows this. A benefit of religion is added years to your life which is backed by research. It also gives one and improved state of mind and greater outlook on life.

9. Human relations- Listen and watch a person to know their heart and state of mind. Know who they hang around. Unfortunately, not everyone is nice or good. If something is great and another tells you it is bad, then you must realize that person is bad. If committing a certain act is bad and another tries to convince you it is o.k. that person is bad. Great people work to bring you up, help you, and show you good things. Bad people are the opposite because they tear you down, do not help you or your life, and they will show you in the worst way how not to be successful. A rattlesnake has a pattern and rattle for a reason. To warn you of it’s danger! Humans also have patterns and characteristics.

10. Education- I cannot state it enough! Read, study, and learn all that you can about as many topics as you can. Be a renaissance man/woman!

I took these Sam Houston statue photos while visiting Huntsville, Texas.  The statue is over 70 feet tall and can be seen for miles while driving along Interstate 45.

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For a fast, wet, fun ride, there is nothing better than The Boardwalk Beast during the summer. The Boardwalk Beast is located in Kemah, Texas.

I took this photo while hanging at the Boardwalk.

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With all the crazy news, I decided that I had to get away from it, and get to something that brings me more pleasure, which is posting photos. I took this at Seaworld San Antonio. I kind of wished I was swimming around with this fellow.

The Love of a Sea Lion

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The Blue Ridge Parkway is a quiet road with a speed of 45 m.p.h. that traverses 469 miles of the east coast from North Carolina to Virginia. It is a scenic marvel!

Here are a few photos I took along the way. I hope they inspire you to make a trip down this wonderful road.

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