Posts Tagged With: Health

 
 

Tequila is My Friend

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By Dahni
© 2016, all rights reserved

Tequila as a friend? Yes! A friend not only will say what you want to hear, but they will tell you what you NEED to hear.

Margaritas

Ahh Tequila, You are a Friend of Mine 🙂

Nothing quite says summer like margaritas, freestyle, flavored, frozen or on the rocks! Tequila is my friend because, a regular margarita requires it and is part of its unique taste.

You live your life with the love of your life and you find out things about her after many years that you never knew. Tequila is my friend because, I just found out that it is my wife’s favorite drink. She had been asking me to make these for a while and the other night I made us a couple and posted on my Facebook page that it was, “Margarita 30.”

“Margarita:30,” like “Beer:30, is just a hypothetical time of day uttered in response to the question of “what time is it.” when consumption of said beverage becomes an event that is either inevitable or required to proceed with life as we know it in modern society. 🙂

Well, anyway, as I was saying, it was indeed, “Margarita:30” the other night at, The Gathering Place. I made my wife and I a couple, just as usual. A regular Margarita is pretty simple to make. It has just three ingredients: Tequila (of course), some type of orange liquor as Triple Sec, Cointreau or Grand Marnier. I have used all three and Triple Sec is the least expensive followed by Cointreau and then Grand Marnier. The last two are French in origin and I do personally, prefer Grand Marnier. The kind of Tequila is a personal choice and range in complexity and cost. Whatever works for you, works. I started making these with the once most popular and nearly the only tequila (good tequila) that was available around 40 years ago, Jose Cuervo. Although not the oldest or the best by many standards, it remains the best-selling tequila in the world.

Now the purists, the old-time tequila drinkers licked some salt, bit into a lime and swallowed the tequila. A version of this was the “body shot” and required preferably three attractive women and one male. One female placed the salt at her cleavage. Another lady would have the lime in her mouth. And the last woman had the tequila in hers. If you were the guy that was the recipient of this libation, well?  🙂

Some had tequila drinking parties and contests, most likely inspired by the male-manly-silly-ego of, ‘who can drink the most?’ I was a bouncer or a stabilizer-stand-em-up guy of such a contest where the floors were completely lined with thick painter’s drop cloths. Hmmmmm? The contest had obvious ‘ringers’ of Mexican descent. No, that is not a slur, just a probability that if you were born and raised in Mexico, you just might be able to drink more tequila, than someone that is not. But, ‘The Flying Burritos Brothers Tequila Drinking Team,’ each consumed, a fifth and a half of tequila and were still on their feet. 🙂

Many were intrigued by and dared to get to and swallow the preserved worm, at the bottom of the bottle of some tequila? It was and may well still be, as if there is something magical, spiritual or that the supposed pure tequila in that worm’s guts, would make you special or something. 🙂

Too much tequila has been known to cause temporary (hopefully) nut-ness’ and there was even a song written that was quite popular. Many may still hear it played today or recall it, all too realistically. 🙂

Jose Cuervo, Shelly West, 1983, Vinyl 45 RPM

But getting back to ‘Margaritaville,’ after the proper mixing of the 3 required ingredients, for ‘The Regular,’ usually the rim of the glass is rubbed with lime and the glass is then turned upside down and pressed into a bed of coarse salt. The lime oil holds the salt onto the glass, for the ‘salted rim,’ which many find to be absolutely, a requirement for a real, true, authentic margarita. Prior to serving, the beverage is mixed with ice and pulverized in a blender or ice crusher, to make frozen margaritas. Otherwise, you would place ice cubes (as much as you like) or crushed ice in the glass, then pour the fresh margarita over the ice and Walla — instant summertime (beach not included). 🙂

I had not been able to drink even a 1/3 of my drink, when I suddenly had a horrible headache. I thought maybe it was that the Triple Sec was old so, I left my happy wife to drink hers and the rest of mine, while I tried to make another with Grand Marnier. Ooops, ran out of lime so, I had to use Rose’s lime juice and some of that lime juice concentrate from you know, that lime-looking, plastic squeeze bottle. It did not taste the same as a regular margarita without the fresh lime juice and after a swallow, my headache continued to get worse. Pffft. It is one of my favorite drinks too. But my poor happy honey was soon wasted away, in Margaritaville. 🙂

Margaritaville

Just so it is perfectly clear, we only drink moderately and modestly. We don’t NOT wear clothes, don’t shoot out lights, dance on bar tops, start fights or wake up with partners we have no idea who they are and we’re NOT wearing their shirts. To be clear, clear, we just wake up with each other, NO other bodies next to us, known or unknown! 🙂

Back to tequila.

I remembered that this tequila was newly tried last year and last year, it did the same thing to me. Last year it gave me a horrible headache too. Hmmm, I wondered, perhaps I can just no longer tolerate tequila? OH HOW SAD THAT WOULD BE! 😦

But then again, maybe it’s this PARTICULAR brand of tequila? HOPING SO!

The next day, I went to the liquor store to buy another bottle of tequila, the same brand we had used, for several years previously. But before I made my purchase, I just happened to ask the owner if he had ever heard of anyone else having a reaction to tequila or from the brand I had last purchased from him a year ago that he had personally recommended? “No,” was his quick answer, but it was followed with a “But.” But before I get to that, let’s go back in time.

My first introduction to wine was red wine and it was from France, a Beaujolais. I am told, this is still an excellent ‘first wine’ to introduce people to red wine, due to it’s low tannins and its light body. I loved it and went on to drink many different red wines, which I prefer over white. But something happened to me years ago. Red wines I loved, did not seem to like me anymore. I never even spent much time on WHY, I just tried to find some white wines that we would each other get along with.  🙂

Oh, I could still drink my red, but only a glass if with food for dinner, just NOT sadly, for ‘Happy Hour.’ When I moved to NY, where we live now, near the Finger Lakes Region of Western NY, yes, there is much more to NY than just New York City, NY, I started to wonder again. I decided my lack of tolerating red wine was due to the added sulfites to the wines, for commercial sale. All wines have some sulfites by nature and reds have more, but there seems even more are added, when mass distribution exists? I was excited to test this out, on one of our wine tour trips to a winery in particular that was, small-batch and organic. To my chagrin, the wine was horrible, so I was not able to see if my theory could “hold water” or wine. 🙂

Around three years ago, we moved to the country. We can now almost roll down the hill to a winery, owned by folks that have become dear friends. They have a wine produced and bottled by them, which is not only wonderful and red, but the first red wine, I have been able to drink just for Happy Hour, in over 30 years I’m guessing! WOW, was I happy to be able to drink a red wine again! My only problem is, if they ever run out, which is the situation currently. I could be in trouble. They probably will not have this ready for several more months. I do still have a few left in our basement, so I am not concerned, at least not yet. But, for the most part, I have, for three years, just thought that their red does not have as many sulfites, so I am able to drink it. I think now, I may be wrong about this.

I have consumed scotch in some form for over 40 years. It is not an alcoholic beverage that seems to have a middle ground. People either like it or they don’t, both with perhaps equal passion for or against. I personally had to learn to like it. It started with a beverage that someone I greatly admired enjoyed, called, Drambuie. It is Scottish in its origin and is a sweet liquor with a Scotch base. The name means, “the drink that satisfies.” I liked it. From there, I started drinking, ‘Rusty Nails’ which was, Drambuie with some scotch added. Then I moved to Chivas Regal which is, a blended scotch and this was a particular drink of choice of mine, for many years. I wrote “particular” because, for me, I discovered that if I was going to be out all night drinking (in my youth), I could drink just scotch all night long and never get drunk/inebriated/intoxicated and NEVER have a hangover. My only side-effect if you will, seemed like my skin smelled like an oak barrel, for quite some time until, all the remnants were no longing coming out my pores. 🙂

It was only when I met my wife that she introduced me to single malt scotch. Yes, my wife is a scotch drinker and I have never met another woman in my life that likes scotch. So, this is pretty cool to me! My first single malt is, still her favorite, Glenlivet. Mine later became, Macallan. We keep both as well as, a pretty good assortment of scotches, at The Gathering Place. I used to drink scotch on the rocks. It was my wife’s brother Kevin that taught me the ways of drinking scotch more perfectly.  🙂

Most scotch is bottled and sold at around the four-year old mark. The longer the aging, the higher the demand and price, but less water is left. 8-year-old and older scotch is like drinking finely aged wine with its complex nose, bouquet, start, finish and its subtle tastes. Adding a drop or a few drops ONLY of water, completely transforms the experience and ice just totally waters this down and robs me of the experience. So, for several years now, this is the only way I would drink scotch.

Now if you think I’m a long way away from what the liquor store owner said to me about tequila, and even further from Margaritaville (margaritas) and tequila being my friend, hold on, I’m getting there, it’s all important!

For years, my wife and I would occasionally share a scotch together and the same scotch, her Glenlivet, UNTIL I discovered Macallan. We would still have our scotches together (she her’s and I mine), once in a while. After her bother Kevin, showed me how to properly drink it, I have learned to love drinking it this way. My wife still prefers hers on the rocks and I, with just a drop or a few drops of water. And this does NOT matter what time of the year it is either. Perhaps by this time, you may have discovered what I discovered is, a taste for more expensive single malt scotches. I have had 18-year-old which were from drinks purchased for me by a friend. But my cut-off is, 12-year-old. It’s expensive enough and I really don’t want to get use to anything that might be better and even more expensive. But I also discovered something else. Since I do not drink scotch, I SIP IT and slowly, to maximize the experience and to make it take as long as is possible, we could actually afford more expensive scotch, since we do not drink it like water or need to buy it as often.

Something else happened to me years ago. I learned to enjoy fine cigars. But something was missing— other people. Yes, I was a conversation only, social cigar smoker. I would really never smoke alone. In my mind, a good quality cigar was a social thing, for conversation. I even started having what I called, Cigar-tys. I would have people over and most of the time, I provided the cigars and the beverages. I loved these! And since they were not frequent, I could afford better cigars. It was a win-win for me. Then, I started associating sipping 12-year-old single malt scotch, with fine cigars and conversation. Then, religion interfered. It wasn’t disagreeable politics, but religion. Rather than just agree to disagree, one stormed off and did not speak with me again for a long time. Thankfully, it was not permanent, but this ended my beloved cigar-tys! I would still have a scotch now and then with my wife, but rarely smoked another cigar, for some time.

I knew my brother smoked cigars, but found out he too, not only liked scotch, but my favorite as well. Then he and I got together with our wives, for a week at a cabin in the Ozarks. As far as he and I were concerned, we could have just stayed on the screened-in porch, had conversation, listened to the creek that ran just underneath, watched nature, smoked cigars and drank scotch all week-long! But our ladies had other things in mind so, we did do other things.  🙂

But ever since that time, just a few years ago, I can no longer drink scotch without a cigar and someone to share good conversation with.

Thankfully, I made a new friend a few years ago, that stops by every-now-and-again and we share a scotch and a cigar and good conversation. But last year I noticed, I was not tolerating scotch too well when he was here. I didn’t think too much of it until a few weeks ago, when he was last here. I poured him a scotch, but not one for myself. I just did not want to take a chance. We shared a cigar and great conversation, but I noticed, I wasn’t handling the cigar too well. Then, I got a little angry about that and after he left and to soothe myself somewhat, I poured myself a scotch. Same as last year, I just didn’t feel right. What was going on was soon forgotten. I would not have to think about it again until my friend or someone came by that liked conversation, a good cigar and some great scotch.

So, now finally, we get back to the liquor store owner. This just happened yesterday or one day before I wrote this post. Remember, I went to buy some tequila, like we used to have on hand, before last year.

Tequila

Two different Tequila brands— amber and clear

The amber-colored tequila on the left in the picture above is the one I have reacted to, twice now. The silver or clear one on the right is the one we used to use, for several years previously and the one I purchased yesterday. Remember, before I made my purchase, I asked the owner if he ever heard of anyone reacting to one or both types of tequila? After he said, “No,” he went on to say, “…but what you are describing to me sounds like you might have celiac disease.” He informed me that the only reason he knew anything about this was because his wife was having some issues with cancer and was referred to a gastrointestinal specialist. After proper testing, his diagnosis was that she did indeed, have celiac disease.

I have never heard of this disease before. Now, before you or I freak out with that dreaded word “cancer,” let’s not jump to conclusions. Celiac disease can happen at a young age or at any age and can vary with symptoms per individual and/or be gradual over the years. There is a test, for this and rest assured, I will be bringing this up with my doctor at a regular scheduled visit, in the next couple of weeks. But most often the disease is usually associated with the body developing antigens, for things it believes do not belong in the body of the individual as, me perhaps? It is usually associated with not tolerating gluten from wheat, rye and barley.

To my knowledge, I don’t seem to have any issue with rye or barley. I often feel uncomfortable after eating granola and sandwiches etc from whole wheat or gluten rich foods. There is a nine grain bread we have been buying for some time, which I love and gives me no problems. Pizza does not. But too much of anything would bother anyone eventually, but I try not to do that. Ice cream does not (especially Ben & Jerry’s). Yes, some ice cream contains gluten.Pie crust does not bother me. So, over the years, I have become aware of these things and have limited or weaned myself from those things which do bother me.

OK, so what has this to do with wine, scotch, cigars and at least one brand of tequila? In a word, wood. To be more specific, oak. All of these things can be aged, cured or stored in oak and as cigars, in a humidor made with oak. So yes, celiac disease can be triggered by oak and even some plastics (not that I eat plastic). The skin can absorb plastic and it can be inhaled in sufficient amounts to irritate those with celiac disease. OK, do I have this? I don’t know and won’t, before I am tested and properly diagnosed by my physician, within the next couple of weeks. But do I have any possible proof?

The liquor store owner told me that both tequilas are fermented in stainless steel tanks. But the amber-colored one is then aged to produce what some believe is a smoother tequila with the characteristic amber color. Would you like to know how it gets that color and whatever else becomes a part of the finished product? Well, it’s OAK! OK, now what?

I bought the new silver tequila untouched by OAK. I made us another pitcher of margaritas with it and slowly tasted and waited. Nothing happened. I had no reaction at all. I drank two and still, nothing. Nothing but pure delight that I could drink one of my favorite drinks again! So, tequila is my friend!

A friend tells you what you want to hear. Yay, I can still drink tequila (un-oaked) and continue to enjoy margaritas.

A friend tells you what you may not like, but need to know. I may or may not have Celiac disease. But now, I know it’s a possibility and what to do about it – check with my Doctor and take the test for this and just avoid things that may cause me discomfort.

And you Dear reader, tequila may be your friend too? If you have similar experiences as I have, check with your doctor. But rest assured, if you’ve no issue with any of these things, we will keep the stuff you like, for whenever you stop by, The Gathering Place! 🙂

Categories: Beverages, Celiac Disease, Health, Inspiration, Tequila, The Gathering Place, Toast this Life, Uncategorized, Wine | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Ha Ha Game

By Dahni
© 2016, all rights reserved

HaHaGame

ROTTALTOTAYBO Rolling on the tummy and laughing to tears your belly off

Good Morning. It has come to my attention (incredible as it seems) that there may be some that have never heard of, have never experienced and have never enjoyed the MANY benefits of, The HA HA Game!

Brief Description:

Each person places his or her head on another person’s tummy, so that everyone is connected. The 1st person says “Ha”, then the 2nd person “Ha-ha” and so on. The goal is to get all the way through the group without anyone laughing. Right, like that will ever happen! It’s infectious, contagious and hilarious! See how long it takes for everyone to roar and literally stream tears of joyous nearly uncontrollable (dare I write belly) laughter!!!

Now the best way is to form a circle. Obviously the first person would have to rest two heads on their belly, the second and the last person’s heads. I volunteer as I can easily accommodate 2 heads on my present belly! 🙂

BENNIES (Benefits):

As an icebreaker. What a Great way to meet people! Right, try this at a party or at work! Maybe a political rally? Sure, put the DEM’s, GOP’s and INDY’s together doing this and we just might become, the UNITED States of America again! Caution, people that laugh together might just not only get-along, get things done and etc., but they might actually learn to like each other!

For those that seem to have no sense of humor or have forgotten theirs, they just might discover or uncover what has been there all aong!

As a stress reliever. “Do I need to explain how this would be possible,” said the person whose head is bouncing off another’s tummy and someone’s head is bouncing off of yours? It’s kind of hard to be depressed too, if you are LYAATO (laughing your ass and tummy off)! 🙂

Good medicine! OMG, YES! Laughter is good medicine. It increases “endorphin rushes,.” like exercising and other activities which produce euphoric highs!

Increase of dopamine. Dopamine functions as a neurotransmitter—a chemical released by neurons (nerve cells) to send signals to other nerve cells. The brain includes several distinct dopamine pathways, one of which plays a major role in reward-motivated behavior. Increase of serotonin includes the regulation of mood, appetite, and sleep. Serotonin also has some cognitive functions, including memory and learning. Increase of circulation. Increase of oxygen intake. Do this long enough and maybe it will become your new favorite weight-loss program! WHAT? All this from the HA HA Game? YEP and more! It’s Good Medicne!

“A merry heart doeth good like a medicine…”

Proverbs 17:22a King James Version (KJV)

Well, what are you waiting for? Ha. Ha, Ha. Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha. HaHaHaHaHaHa!!! 🙂

Categories: Entertainment, Family & Friends, Freedom, Fun, God, Health, Ideas, Inspiration | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment
 
 

My Pillow

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Today marks Day 3 of my experience with ‘My Pillow.’

MyPillow_wBkg

My Pillow logo

For months now, I have not slept well. Sometimes I sleep in a recliner with straight wooden arms. I usually wake up and my arms are numb. Sometimes, I try to sleep in bed and cannot. If I do fall asleep, I wake up with my right arm extended over the side of the bed and it’s stiff and hurts like hell. And I have a horrible headache. I move to the couch, fall asleep and still wake up with a horrible headache, un-rested and certainly NOT refreshed. I was willing to try almost anything! I heard about ‘My Pillow,’ checked it out and saw great reviews and bad reviews. I delved deeper and found most of those complaining, had not followed simple instructions. I was convinced to give it try when I read the following, from the inventor of ‘My Pillow’:

“Years ago, like you, I found myself extremely frustrated, because every pillow I used went flat. Most pillows are designed to break down. I would wake up in the morning with a sore arm, my neck would hurt, my fingers would be numb, and I would toss and turn all night long not knowing why.”

Inventor, Michael J. Lindell

I mean, I could have written the above myself! Just add in horrible headaches! Well, I was convinced and decided to try it. After all, they promised a 60 day (night) trial or your money back. I thought they were expensive, but they did have a 10 year warranty. Ten year warranty on a pillow? That’s unheard of! As an extra incentive, it was a 2 for 1 deal. I ordered. When the FedEx guy brought to me the package, I thought it was so small that not even the pillow cases (that I also ordered), would fit? Where’s the rest of my order? Well, that was it.

I opened the package and inside was one package with the pillowcases and the other one had both of the ‘My Pillows’ ordered. Unbelievable! Now what? I opened them and pulled out the pillows. The instructions said to place these into the dryer on the Tumble setting HIGH heat, for 15 minutes. This removes most (if not all the off gases from the new foam material and fluffs the pillows to their normally intended size.

So, I placed the pillows and the pillow cases into our dryer. We have dryer balls that are made out of 100% wool that do a fantastic job of drying our clothes and without chemicals usually found in dryer sheets and fabric softeners etc. These woolen balls help dry, cut down on static cling and help make your clothing soft, naturally. Click on my wife’s name— Susan, on how to get these.

I added a drop of pure lavender oil to one of the wool balls. Lavender has a relaxing/calming effect. Right, I sure needed that!

Well, after 15 minutes of  drying, the two queen sized pillows were all nice and fluffy. They and the pillow cases had a nice calming/relaxing and subtle scent of lavender. But these pillows inside their pillow cases weighed like, nothing! How in the world could they ever provide enough support? Only sleep or another lack thereof, would tell right?

Night 1

I miss my bed and my poor wife misses me being beside her, so I decided to try out ‘My Pillow’ in our bed. “Yay,” said wife! There were two more instructions. I was to fluff the pillow then tuck it under my neck to where it seemed the most comfortable to me. I am a side sleeper so, this is how I started out on my first night.

The following morning, my right arm was still sore, but I slept through the night, my wife said I did NOT snore and I did not have a headache!!!!!!! YAY!!!

Night 2

After ‘fluff and tuck,’ I started out on my back and tried the couch. The next morning, no sore arm or headache, but I had a stiff neck. I believe this was due to the fact that the pillow was too close to the arm of the couch and was more elevated than it should have been for me. I had no dry scratchy throat so, I assume I did not snore.

Night 3

After ‘fluff and tuck,’ ‘Fluff and Tuck’? Are you getting the point that this is a new habit I need to make each night? Yep, ‘Fluff and Tuck.’ The other nice thing is that these pillows are completely washable. It is recommended that they are to be washed and dried and re-fluffed about every four months. Like mentioned before, they have an unbelievable 10 year warranty and it even includes laundering every four months!

I tried sleeping on my side again in our bed only this time, I put another pillow under my knees. I slept great. I awoke with no sore arms, headache or stiff neck and my honey said I did not snore. So far so good!

I have also tried taking a nap on my back after a ‘fluff and tuck’ of ‘My Pillow’ and this seems to work for me.

So far, ‘My Pillow’ is working for me. I just need to tweak it for me and get used to sleeping normally I guess. 🙂

Personally, if I did not have to EVER sleep, I probably WOULDN’T. I have a lot of energy and would prefer doing other things, instead of, sleeping. But I do need sleep, for me, about 4-6 hours. But it needs to be consistent, deep and rejuvenating sleep. With ‘My Pillow’ I have been getting more of it.

If this continues and I decide to somewhere between tonight (day 4) and anywhere from 4-56 more days (nights) to keep it, I will definitely look into more of their products and try them as well.

They have pillows— standard, queen, king, a body pillow (for you pregnant ladies), pillows for children 3-8, pillows for even our pets, pillow cases, round pillows for your knees and even travel pillows. I don’t know about you, but my wife and I always take our pillows when we travel, so we might try out their travel size.

I sleep hot. Before we bought a new bed that is much better in keeping me cooler, it was not uncommon for me to wake up drenched in sweat underneath my whole body and under my head from the pillow. I’ve not had this issue with, ‘My Pillow.’ Yay!!! I do believe their 100% high thread count cotton pillow cases is most of the reason along with the cover over the crushed foam. I still find myself kicking off the covers in the night due to the warmth our bed seems to absorb and hold. And maybe part of the reason that I am a side sleeper is because, I’m hot and my wife is like a heat seeking missile. 🙂 Maybe I sleep on the side on the edge of the bed to stay cooler, just in case she rolls towards me or draws towards my heat like a magnet? Also, I can stick out some appendage from under the covers to help ventilate. 🙂

But anyway, My Pillow’ also, makes a mattress topper that supposedly keeps one warmer or cooler as needed by the occupant. As soon as and IF I’ve decided to keep ‘My Pillow,’ I would sure be interested in trying their ‘topper.’

And rest assured, IF ‘My Pillow’ becomes my pillow, our pillows, we will be getting additional pillows for our guest room and etc. just for YOU, whenever you come for a visit at, The Gathering Place! Nothing but the best for the best (you) right!

Heres the link to their website, should you be interested in more information.

http://www.mypillow.com/

Well, sleep is to, sleep well. Sleep well! 🙂

Donnie

MyAussieHatwBkg_sm

 

 

 

 

P.S. This review has neither been solicited or compensated! 🙂

 

Categories: Family & Friends, Gift Ideas, Inspiration, My Pillow®, Sleep, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

On: The Blue Mountains

by Donnie Hayden

© 2014, all rights reserved

Guhday Mates, from Dahni your Blue Mountain guide

Guhday Mates, from Donnie The Blue Mountains guide (yours). 🙂

Australian late Fall – April 12th, 2014

Today, we journey into and through the Blue Mountains near Katoomba, New South Wales, Australia. It is an awe inspiring journey into some of the finest, picturesque and photographic adventures, I have ever experienced. But our adventure is for more than just the area’s calling card which is, The Three Sisters Rock formations. For more on the Three Sisters, their lengends, The Three Exploers and etc. from this blog, click The Three Somethings

Our trip begins at Echo Point and The Three Sisters, then we will hike around the mountains and through the forest to Katoomba Falls. The trek is quite rigorous, but I am sixty years old and if I can do it, so can you! My Keene sandals are more than up to the task. Wear warm clothing (long pants, a nice wool shirt and an undershirt, a hat and some sunglasses if you like, but we will be passing through the forest floor of shade and shadows). Grab some water and a camera and prepare yourself to transcend into an incredible state of mind as we ascend the mountains and descend towards the falls. The air is crisp and clear. The sun is full and the clouds are gorgeous. We may even see some bird of prey, soar the thermals above the mountains.

Caution: There will be times that you feel as if you are all alone. You may be able to hear yourself think? You may at times be so at peace within the quiet that the only sound you may hear if you stop moving is, the sound of your own heartbeat. That my friends and companions, is the sound of exuberant joy! 🙂

Glad not alone, for you are not alone. We are all pilgrims here, just passing through. It is a gift to us and to all. The Blue Mountains was made for all to enjoy. For joy, get en (in) to it, all of it and all of your all – en-joy!

Our trip below Echo Point along the mountain side to the falls, will take about 2 hours in and back another way. It is a well made path, but there may be some water from many small mountain streams that may trickle over it sometimes. This will be some good exercise, but well worth it. I do highly recommend this trip to most anyone of fair to good health. Take it slowly if you must, as they say here down under, “No worries!” Catch every breath from every moment that leaves you breathless from such breathtaking views! 🙂

Immerse yourself in this, perhaps a once in a lifetime experience. So, this ends and your vicarious adventure begins with photographs and captions. Enjoy!

Dahni

The Boomerang Bench at Echo Point

The Boomerang Bench at Echo Point

The Three Sisters at Echo Point

The Three Sisters at Echo Point

Bird of Prey Over The Blue Mountains

Bird of Prey Over The Blue Mountains

Note: The Haze over the mountains from which it derives its name is from the oils released from the thousands of many varieties of eucalyptus trees that cover the mountains.

Another View

Another View

The Sunlit Bluffs

The Sunlit Bluffs

Blues, Greens and Purples

Blues, Greens and Purples

Another View II

Another View II

One of My Favorite Views

One of My Favorite Views

Subdued & Blued

Subdued & Blued

My Favorite View

My Favorite View

At Cliff's Edge

At Cliff’s Edge

The Three Sisters from another point of view

The Three Sisters from another point of view

Moving through the forest

Moving through the forest

Majestic

Majestic

Sunlight on The Cliffs II

Sunlight on The Cliffs II

Inside the Living Forest

Inside the Living Forest

The Mysterious Eucalyptus

The Mysterious Eucalyptus

Katoomba Falls

Katoomba Falls

Our journey ends here as close to the falls as we could reach as the lower path was closed. We will just have to return for more views and closer views sometime in the future or in our dreams. My sincerest thanks for allowing me to be with you in this place of beauty. You are beautiful and Donnie Luvs Yah!

Donnie

P.S. WE THANK YOU AUSTRALIA, FOR SHARING YOUR TREASURE!!! 🙂

D.

All Photography by Dahni
© 2014 by Dahni & I-Magine, all rights reserved
any photos you would like either as enlarged  prints  to purchase or to share for FREE, by purchase or permission ONLY
contact me for more information: Dahni1@gmail.com
Categories: Australia, Australian Life, Blue Mountains, Family & Friends, Harmony, Inspiration, Japan, Katoomba, Missing You, Perfection, Photography, Spiritual, The Gathering Place, The Land Down Under, Travel, Uncategorized, Visual Poetry, Walkabout | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

On: A Familiar Sight

Barber pole

Barber pole

A familiar and common sight perhaps throughout the world is the spining; blue and red striped pole. Yes, the barber pole where one can get s haircut and a shave and a whole lot more in Japan. This an unforgettable and most enjoyable experience! 🙂

Barber shop in Japan

Barber shop in Japan

From the moment you walk in to a Japanese barber shop, you are greeted and everyone inside that works there, bow out of respect.

The shop, chair, ever person working there and everything is neat and tidy.

After being escorted from the waiting area and directed to a chair by a barber, you are seated and prepared.

You then communicate with the barber or though an interpreter (as I did) exactly how I wanted my hair cut, how much off, that I wanted a shave and a shampoo.

Next, I was given a hot towel to refresh myself. Hot towels are offered almost everywhere in Japan for nearly every experience. They are much appreciated to wipe your face and hands. Much of this and many practices of Japanese culture center around personal comfort, cleanliness and respect.

Discussing what is needed and wanted

Discussing what is needed and wanted

As the barber skillfully and quickly cuts your hair as you desire, thrir movements are so precise and with such a light touch, it is as if they were not there and you can hardly feel a thing. I did mean “their” a plural personal pronoun meaning more than just one. Indeed, there are more than just one barber involved in serving you. My first experience, there were no less than six people that served me. There was the hot-towel person that constantly brought hot towels or covered your face as needed. There was what I call ‘Cut Barbers 1, 2 and 3. The first one started, the second one fished and the third checked to insure that 1 and 2 did all that was required and perform in touch-ups necessary. The last two would be involved with the shaving and shampooing.

Well, sitting in the chair yo are so impressed with their skill and that leads to confidence in their abilities. So this of course is part of the relation therapy. It is not uncommon to fall asleep or doze because, yo are so relaxed and almost unaware of their presence. In my experience, I could not tell when the first barber left and the second took over. The Japanese are very particular about touch. Once contact is made they keep it even when transferring to another person, Well, my eyes were closed and I only opened when the ‘touch’ changed from my heard to my face. And when I did, I was surprised to find another person starting the process of shaving me. I was surprised to find that this was a woman as it is uncommon to find female barbers.

Shave

Shave

Note: The barbers in these pictures are wearing masks for their own protection because of, the pollution they believe is coming from China and has nothing to do with allergies or fear of the flu bug coming to them from foreigners.

Back to the shave. Again your face is covered with hot towels, it is rubbed with an emollient of some kind to reduce friction and then it is hand-lathered with shaving cream skillfully applied with a natural bristle brush. The shaving was so light and precise it was as if it could not possibly be close enough or the the blades used were very sharp. They were! And like almost any normal person, when someone is holding a blade at your throat, you have a tendency to be awake and have your eyes open! 🙂 No worries, Japanese barbers are incredible!

After shaving your face, it is hot-toweled again and a fragrant astringent is applied to tighten the pores and freshen your face. Facial hair is very important to the Japanese. Not a single hair can be missed or out of place. This means on the forehead (even the peach fuzz is shaved), eyebrows, the back of your neck mustache or beard, on, inside of and outside of your nose and ears and etc. Nothing get missed! It is by far the best shaves and the closest shaves that I have ever had. How close? Close enough that I did not have to shave myself for two days. How close? Baby’s butt smooth, close! 🙂

Shampoo/Massage

Shampoo/Massage

After the shave, I went for a shampoo. Instead of leaning back in my chair to the shampoo sink as with my barber in NY, I leaned forward towards the shampoo sink. Your hair is lathered and massaged through yor scalp like a million fingers dancing through your happy!! 🙂

The shampoo is incredible and warm water gently washes away the shampoo and your every care. Then your head, neck and shoulders are rubbed/massaged to release any last remaining negative energy and release you to peace and tranquility and whew, don’t I just feel like a million bucks!!!

The final thing is to blow-dry and hand sculpt every hair in place on your face. You get out of the chair and you feel like you look and you feel like a millions bucks! And how much did all this first-class pampering cost? About the same price with tip that I pay for just a trim by my barber at home – $18.00. And no tip is allowed in Japan, but I would have more than been willing to do for this kind of service.

If I can’t be handsome or handy, at least every hair on my face can be perfectly placed, and my skin as soft as a baby’s butt or face. Susan watched and she was pretty amazed. She gave me the kissable face seal of approval.

Every hair in place and skin baby's butt soft!

Every hair in place and  face is, baby’s butt soft!

I would love to have a Japanese barber where we live! I would love to import some Japanese barbers! Do yourself a favor. If you ever have the opportunity to have your hair cut, a shave and a shampoo by a Japanese barber, Carpe bar-be-um SEIZE the BARBER!!!  🙂

By the way, I am told that the experience of cutting your hair for women. In Japan, is 10 times better than for a man!

Categories: Australia, Beauty, Family & Friends, Fun, Health, Inspiration, Japan, Japanese culture, The Gathering Place, Travel, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

On: Missing

by Donnie Hayden © 2014, all rights reserved

Surely by now, the planes have landed?

The planes have landed, as scheduled and on time.

Have not heard a word from you! Not a single word, a message, note, picture, NOTHING!

I should not be so anxious. I’m not anxious, am I?

Should not worry. I am not a worrier. Am I worrying?

Be patient. It’s still early or is it?

It’s day here and night there. I’m not sure if it is day or night here?

Isn’t it obvious that something is…

...missing!

…missing!

What could possibly be missing? Everything is as right as rain here!? Except for the fact it’s snow-blowing!

I’m sure you are fine and having a great time.

Anyway, I’m writing here about allergies, the cat’s and mine.

Distracted, not sleeping well, not eating well. Pacing the floor, whining and pining, poor little cat!

Bella at the window

Bella at the window

OK, so what I wrote above, the same goes for me, but it must be, because of my allergies that I probably get from Bella? And my eyes are all watery and leaky too!

Must be my allergies?

Must be an allergic reaction?

Sorry about messing up the note you left. It is your note right? Surely I did not write it. Did I?

It’s quiet here. So quiet, I can’t even hear myself think. I’m not even talking to myselves (me, myself and i). Don’t ask, we had a disagreement, but we are fine. We’ll be fine.

It’s cold here. Can’t get warm. Temps are UP on the furnace. Fireplace is blazing. Wind is howling. Two pair of socks. Double shirted. Covered in blankets. Nothing helps!

It's Frrrrrrrreezing Here!

It’s Frr, Frr, Frrrrrrreezing Here!

Took a hot bath, had some wine and stared at the picture on the wall. But as I looked at this…

...what I looked at

…picture on the wall…

what I saw

…this what I saw!

Must have been the steam, my allergy-related eye-wetness, the wine or all of these together that made my vision all askew? Rinsed off in the shower and yes, I did squeegee the shower door, just like I’m supposed to do, sort of.

Missing7

I did squeegee the shower door, sort of!

Real men don’t eat quiche. It was pretty tasty. I did not know it was quiche until after. Maybe it was a pot pie?

Real men don’t cry. I’m not crying! My eyes are leaking that’s all!! 

Sometimes you just don’t know HOW MUCH you miss someone until,…

…someone is missing!

…someone is missing!

P.S. Not lonely, just looking for that first drop of wetness shed. The Dermatologist needs THAT ONE, as it contains more allergens than the rest, so he can analyze it to determine if I’m allergic to our cat or if it’s something else? But it’s in this ocean of my own making, along with all the rest of my allergic-drops. Please help me find it, before I drown! Do you possibly, think it possible that I may possibly be, allergic to, missing you????

Categories: Allergies, Australia, Family & Friends, Health, Inspiration, Japan, Love, Missing You, The Gathering Place, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

On Doing the Right Thing

by Donnie Hayden © 2014, all rights reserved

What exactly is the “thing” on doing the right thing? To be naked-honest and glass-clear truthful, we should NEVER need any other reason to do the right thing, other than it’s just the right thing to do! But alas and alak and yak, yak, yak, we all are, after all, emotional creatures. All of us are faced with having to do things we don’t want to do. And how do we handle it? What do we do? Do we ‘put if off’ until whenever/never (my apparently most favorite and most common practice?) and take a page out of the script from ‘Gone With the Wind?’ Do you remember Scarlet O’Hara? She was a character in ‘Gone with the Wind,’ a 1936 epic historical romance, set during the American Civil War. It was a Pulitzer-winning novel by Margaret Mitchell that was adapted to film in 1939. Scarlett O’Hara (played by Viven Leigh), was a manipulative Southern belle that carried on a turbulent affair with a blockade runner named Rhett Butler (played by Clark Gable). How did Scarlet handle doing things she did not want to do?

“I’ll think about it tomorrow…”

Well, experience has shown me that putting off until tomorrow hardly NEVER, if EVER, works out for me. Oh, there’s some stuff I loathe to do (like taxes) that  I would put off forever if possible. But I will put off and put off until, usually the last moment. And then the ‘dreads’ overtake me, lack of sleep leaves me drained, caffeine turns me into a freaking fiend, I get cranky and quite frankly, like Rhett said to Scarlet, “…I don’t give a damn!” When I get this way, I don’t even want to be around myself! Why in the name of dumb-ass’ do I, DO this to myself, over and over again? Oh surely I expect some different result like Scarlet did for “tomorrow?” Well, isn’t doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting a different result, a definition of insanity? I’m not insane! I may be ‘nutty’ and do crazy things sometimes, but I’m pretty well-grounded in reality, I think? I am at least, acting like a child. And I am aware that some believe I never grew up anyway. 🙂

But maybe if I can remember being a child, MAYBE I can get a clue as to how a kid does the things that they don’t want to do? So, I went and played some mental videos made when I was a little kid that are now stored in my head. Our parents and care keepers knew that we would not long survive if all we ever ate was mac-N-cheese and ice cream (not necessarily in that order). They tried their best to give us a balanced diet. Most of us kids might think that the only thing in common between the words delicious and nutritious is, they just rhyme. But colors and textures are a BIG deal to children. Some, we like and some, not so much. Still, we were given food for colors and textures because, we need vitamins, minerals, etc., variety, fiber and good-wholesome-healthy food. So, I’m sitting there at the dinner table, after having been plucked up and away (rudely I might add), from my personal play. And what did I see? There was no mac-N-cheese and no ice cream. Are you kidding me? What is this stuff, I wondered? And what did I hear?

DoWhatsRight1

But I Don’t Want it!

“Now you sit there and eat your dinner young man or you can’t get up until you do!”

Well, I have sat at the dinner table for a long time, many times. And sometimes, I did not eat my dinner. So, I went to bed hungry. It was my choice, but the worst part was that my stubbornness cost me my play time. It did not take my mom or I very long to figure out that this was not an effective way, to get me to eat what was good for me or to do what I didn’t want to do. It was all a waste of time and energy. Oh, and by the way, the ‘push-away’ and the, “That’s ucky,” look, didn’t work for me either.

DoWhatsRight2

Geez Mom, Stop Watching Me!

Like this little guy, I tried to eat the stuff set before me. I didn’t like it. I watched mom watching me. OK, it’s in my mouth and crammed into my cheeks like a chipmunk’s cheeks full of nuts, now what? I’m not about to swallow it. But do I spit it out when mom’s not looking and where do I spit? Do I hide some in my other hand, put it into my pockets, throw it on the floor or kick it under the rug when she’s not looking? When if ever, will she ever stop looking at me? What else can be done? Strategy is required, especially when Brussels sprouts were on the menu. Let’s try ‘The Face,’ perhaps it will work?

DoWhatsRight3

Noooooooooo!

Just saying “No,” didn’t work for me.

Neither of the following worked for me either: “I don’t wana,” or “But I don’t like it!”

DoWhatsRight4

“This is Freaking Me Out!”

The look of horror or this really creeps me out look, did not work for me. The sad, ‘Puppy Dog Face,’ didn’t work for me and maybe it was because, I never learned how to effectively make this face, since we didn’t have a dog?

Boo Hoo!  "Pleeze don't make me!"

Boo Hoo!
“Pleeze don’t make me!”

My Mom was not too impressed with my, ‘If Looks Could Kill,’ look either.’

You Can't Make Me!

You Can’t Make Me!

             What else could be done?

DoWhatsRight7_ani

Like I said before, this couldn’t work for me because, we didn’t have a dog. And it does not appear to have worked out for this kid either, IF he thought his dog was going to get rid of all the evidence! How about, “Geeze Mom, the dog won’t even eat it, why should I?” I never tried this technique, but maybe it could work?

And the empty plate is a happy plate did not work for me. I could have cared less if the stupid plate was happy or not because, I was NOT happy!

DoWhatsRight8_clr

I Don’t Care if the Plate is Happy!

“Oh, alright, if I have to, I guess?” This MAY get me to eat my dinner, but I still wouldn’t like it. The little boy below looks all happy about eating his food, yes or no? At least he and I would be moving in the right direction, but still not there yet!

DoWhatsRight9

OK, But I’m Not Happy About it!

But our mom was brilliant when she came up with the following concept!

“As soon as you finish eating, you can go play!”

DoWhatsRight10

The Original ‘Plug N’ Play
(or Eat to Play)!

DoWhatsRight11

Over the Teeth & Gums
Play Time Here Ize’ Comes!

“Well Mom, why didn’t you say that before?!! Now we’re on to something! So I tore into that food so fast and ate every bite. I was a blinding-blur as if I had somehow discovered a way to speed up time! I don’t recall the food even hitting my stomach, before I was out the door! It didn’t make the food taste any better then and it still doesn’t now! But it sure got me to eat it then and it still can today!

I could not recall, each and every bite
I was focused upon my next delight
 
This trip down memory lane is a public service announcement and has been brought to you by – Doing the Right Thing
 
Do the right thing, even eating a Brussels sprout
Don’t waste your energy and shout
Don’t waste your time and pout
Kid’s Have Got It figured Out-

Do the things you have to do, so you can do the things you Love!!!  

P.S. This post was written before the date it was first posted online. I am currently involved in, endeavoring to, to do the right thing and in trying to take my own advice here in doing the things I have to do, in order to do the things I love. 🙂

Categories: Doing the Right Thing, Entertainment, Family & Friends, Fun, Health, Ideas, The Gathering Place, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Our Card

OurMall_busCard_lg

Our Card

Click the image or Scan the QR code

Categories: Family & Friends, Fun, Get Paid to Shop, Health, Ideas, Inspiration, Saving Money, Shopping, The Gathering Place, Wealth Building/ | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Announcement

Dear Family, Friends and Friends we have not met yet,

To those of you you that know Susan and I already, we wanted you to hear this from us first and not somehow find out about it, years later and maybe wonder WHY, we never told you or offered to help You!

Susan and I now have five grandchildren and four sons near and far and two are right now, in two other countries. At this time in our lives, we are thinking about building a legacy, particularly for the kids. We wanted not just to leave them a lump sum, but something that will continue to build for them and their future families and on, year after year.

Along the way, we want to continue to expand ‘The Gathering Place,’ our home, and make it better for all that may come here.

OK, so you now know our WHY, but what does this mean to you? That’s a great question! The answer follows.

Just this last Christmas, with very, very few exceptions, Susan shopped online for everything! This is becoming the norm’ everywhere today. Most of us are connected with multiple devices and on social networks. The weird weather we all seem to be having this winter makes it difficult or undesirable to shop at the brick and mortar stores. Besides that, most of us have little time to shop. Many of us are not particularly fond of shopping and especially when we get there and the store does not have what we are looking for. I do not know about you, but I don’t like waiting in long lines and dealing with stupid, rude, impatient and obnoxious people. What if there was a better way? THERE IS!

Just I-Magine  not only SAVING money, but getting PAID to shop for the the things you are going to purchase anyway. Just I-Magine that not only would you be helping yourself, Susan and I, our children and grandchildren, but many others too! Well, this is exactly what it is and what it can do for you! What’s the catch? NONE!!

So this is all you need to do and all Susan and I are asking you for –  just click on the following link or scan the colored design (the QR code Quick Response code) with your smartphone. Both of these actions will take you to our shopping mall – Dahni’s & Susan’s Mall. Once you are in the Mall, have fun! Look around, just browse or shop from the comfort of your favorite chair in your own home. Use our mall to order for pickup at many of your favorite stores. Just I-Magine walking into a crowded store where the lines are full. Your order has been paid for, pulled, ready and is waiting for you. On your way out, turn around and look at all the faces in those long lines, staring at you! Or, have your orders all shipped directly to your home or business with many things qualifying for FREE shipping. We even offer you many exclusive items that you cannot get anywhere else.

Think of Susan and I as your personal concierges, because we are your personal consultants. We are available to help you, any way that we can. If you cannot find what you are looking for or if you have ANY questions, when you get to your mall just look for my name, Dahni Hayden. Either Susan or I or both of us will help you. That’s it!

We will not bug you or beg you to do anything! You do not have to purchase anything! But do not say we did not tell you what we are doing, WHY we’re doing it and what it could mean to you! It’s up to you to click or scan below. It’s up to you if you ever save money or get paid to buy anything from us! If you have any questions, it’s up to you to get them answered to your satisfaction!

But if you are going to shop anyway, why not save time, get paid to shop, have a personal shopper (or two), help yourself, help us and help others while you shop? Oh, and when your friends and family sign up as customers and list you as the referral, we’ll pay you on their qualified purchases! This all seems like a ‘no-brain-er’ to us! It’s all too good, not to be true!

In the simplest terms this is, what it is:

“We are like a huge product brokerage company. We pool our buying power and buy online through a system that we own. We get discounts on products that we normally buy anyway and commissions on the backside and we all share those commissions with other people,  just like you. Why not you?”

Let’s gather together at Your mall!

Happy Saving-Making-Money-Shopping,

Donnie & Susan Hayden

Varoooom!

Varoooom!

just scan the QR code Arrow_clr

or click the following link:

DahniAndSusansMall.com

Categories: Beauty, Entertainment, Family & Friends, Fun, Get Paid to Shop, Health, Ideas, Inspiration, Saving Money, Shopping, The Gathering Place, Travel, Uncategorized, Wealth Building/ | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Health & Beauty Tip:

by Donnie Hayden © 2014, all rights reserved

CONVERSATION

As a science, it makes all the recipients stronger! As an art form, it makes all recipients more beautiful!

Each of us has something the rest of us want and need! Even if we only agree to disagree, we leave at our parting a better person (stronger & more beautiful) than at our meeting! Order yours today!

Conversation

Strength & Beauty Builder!

Categories: Beauty, Family & Friends, Health, Ideas, Inspiration, The Gathering Place | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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