Salem Dixie Elizabeth

I can finally talk about it.

This dog I loved so much.

Loved with all my heart.

Every single piece of it.

My dear, sweet companion who loved to eat. Who always knew exactly what time dinner was served. Even when daylight savings time tried to trip her up.

Who moved with me from house to house, roommate to roommate, and never complained.

Not one single time.

Her tireless devotion astounded me.

Her soulful eyes moved me.

And time and time again, no matter what happened over the years, she rooted me in goodness.

They just don’t live long enough. No matter how badly I wished she did.

So I said good-bye…

And I know I waited too long…

It’s so very hard to let them go.

Fly high with the Angels, my precious girl, Salem.

Be free to roam.

Be free of pain.

Be free of old hips that don’t move like they are supposed to.

Be free of tired legs and itchy spots you can’t reach anymore.

Run, run, run…over the rainbow bridge.

Back to your youth and fun puppy days.

Heavenly Father, Creator of all things, thank you for having entrusted us with a loyal pet. Thank you for letting her teach us unselfish love. Thank you for the memories that we can recall to brighten our days for the rest of our lives. Finally, in gratitude, we return our pet to you. Amen.

© 2014 Angelia's Photography

After a Dark and Snowy Week…

The sun comes out to blind me to brighten our days.  But the snow, and ice (which is still snow to Texans) was a fun and dramatic change from our sunny 60’s (sometimes 80’s!) winter.

The Dallas metroplex is one of those areas when the weatherman says, “Snow.”

We say, “Yeah, right!”

And when he still says, “SNOW!”

We say, “I’ll believe it when I see it.”

Well, we believed! We believed last week and we believed this week. The magical ice and snow and allllll the blustery cold things happened. We broke out the gloves and scarves. We made chili (well, my sweet hubby made super, yummy, delicious chili). And most of the household had many wonderful snow days away from the office and school.

Except for me…because…I work for a travel agency. Even better, I supervise the EMERGENCY SERVICE Department of said travel agency. And what do you know? Snow storms and flight cancellations seem to top the #1 EMERGENCY of travelers. Huh.

But you know, with the skidding and sliding of planes off runways and such. Yeah, that. It’s kind of important that they CANCEL these precarious flights, lest you end up crashing into a ditch, screaming as you plunge down a blow-up slide while highly flammable jet fuel LEAKS nearby. So not the winter vacation you were hoping for. This is why I am happy to work snow days and keep you extra safe. You’re welcome.

But fingers crossed, someone has snuffed out that darn ground-hog and it WILL FORtheloveofGODplease be Spring real, real soon.

In the meantime, enjoy my lovely (and rare) SNOW photos. It happened. It really did.

On a Dark and Starry Night

On a dark and starry night…

The night of the black supermoon (which we can’t see from here).
© 2015 Angelia's Photography
The night of the Chinese New Year.
© 2015 Angelia's Photography
On this black night, we trekked to the country to see the stars.
© 2015 Angelia's Photography
I wish I could say we camped or built a fire, roasted a marshmallow or two. Slept in a tent and had a nice hike the next day. Preferably around a lake where we could watch the birds catch their breakfast.
© 2015 Angelia's Photography
But no, we just took photos. I took photos. My husband checked my skymap app for planets and maybe hacked a few portals on Ingress. Heh.
© 2015 Angelia's Photography
We drove an hour. We stayed an hour. We drove an hour home.

This is the life of a city dweller and the lengths we have to go to look at more than one or two stars in the sky.

Was it worth it? Was it ever!
© 2015 Angelia's Photography

Leaving behind the city glare. Immersing into the deep dark under the brilliant twinkle of lights.

It was pure bliss.

And I learned that letting go of a normal night schedule. Getting out and being free to roam and adventure. To bask in the glory of the heavenly skies…it is wonderous and magical.

It is a glow I missed seeing. A midnight blanket I needed to snuggle under. A tremendously soothing space for my soul.
© 2015 Angelia's Photography

Night, the beloved. Night, when words fade and things come alive. When the destructive analysis of day is done, and all that is truly important becomes whole and sound again. When man reassembles his fragmentary self and grows with the calm of a tree. ~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

It’s Called a Meal Plan

My husband and I started this…

Not a diet.

Not a fast.

Not a fad.

Not a resolution.

Not even a lifestyle change.

Nope, not even that.

It’s a MEAL PLAN.

That means, we figure out what we will eat for the week, and then buy what we need from store. And the last step in this process is…making it.

Sticking to the plan. Making it work.

And while that is not easy…it’s a better start than just making up meals as you go along. And well, that is pretty much what we have done for YEARS.

Actually, one time, we made a meal plan. A week’s worth. It was AWESOME. We had a plan. We would eat at home. We knew what we would fix and shop for. We’d save TONS of money from not eating out. YEAH!

Then?

Disaster. That week four of our five family members were in a roll-over car accident. Outright creamed and knocked over by a giant Chevy Silverado as they happily headed home from ice cream.

Worst day of my life. Probably because, I was the one member NOT in the car.

From that day on, meal planning was cursed, and strictly forbidden. Because. Hello? Accident from Hell.

So as this year begins, we have thrown caution to the wind and created a MEAL PLAN.

Oh, God.

But so far, no accidents. No near disasters. No bad mojo.

It’s a just a meal plan, dammit.

And a damn good one at that.
© 2015 Angelia's Photography

Well, except for the nuts. One cup is a trillion calories. A handful is a good guide. And eat as many carrots as you want. Crunch. Crunch.

So Day 3 of the “plan” and all is well. I have even danced like no one is watching in my old Zumba class.

So take that, doomsday plan! In your face!

As you can see by our fancy meal planning board, part of our plan involves GREEN juice.

© 2015 Angelia's Photography

Yes, GREEN.

© 2015 Angelia's Photography

As in, all veggies, and no fruit syrup.

My sweet tooth cried.

But that is okay. It’s good for you! And do you know what I discovered? I feel a heck of a lot happier when I am on the GREEN juice plan.

© 2015 Angelia's Photography

Maybe, my body is getting all the nutrients it needs and so it concentrates on sending me feel-good hormones.

© 2015 Angelia's Photography

I don’t know if that is what it is. But, I’ll take a another cup of whatever it is!

© 2015 Angelia's Photography

Oh yeah, GREEN juice!

My husband has a special recipe. He takes spinach, cucumbers, zucchini, a pear, a few mango chunks, and a bit of lime.

So yes, a bit of sweet (the pear and mangos) and sour (the lime) to offset the taste of pure boatloads of spinach.

© 2015 Angelia's Photography

We actually didn’t have all these ingredients last night. My juice connoisseur husband was having a fit. He had to use Apple instead of pear. And NO LIME at all. The shame.

© 2015 Angelia's Photography

But I thought it was fantastic!

© 2015 Angelia's Photography

Guess I don’t have the juice palate. Because I honestly can’t tell what from what. I just chug-a-lug and be happy.

So happy!

If you want to know more about green juice and other benefits. You can check out the video we watched before we started Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead. And keep in mind, I don’t take everything I see or read to heart. It’s a guide. It’s one movie’s opinion. Believe me, there are plenty more where that came from.

Our good friends recommended the movie and they juiced with their meals. It looked like they discovered the fountain of youth or something. They look absolutely amazing! We tried the Whole Foods juice (they have a juicer on-site). And liked it enough to invest in our nifty juicer.

Isn’t she a beaut?

© 2015 Angelia's Photography

Cheers to you who are trying something new this year. Cheers to you for doing something that makes you feel better and feel happier.

Wishing you much success!

And for those without New Year Resolutions? Cheers to you too.

I dislike resolutions and that is why I have a MEAL PLAN.