Gary Allan’s Music Inspires me to be a Better Wife

Even though Gary Allan has a ton of hits, I tend to be drawn to his “heartache” music.  Listening to Gary’s music inspires me to be a better wife.  Yes, I know that sounds strange but his music communicates the pain that men feel when they lose their true love, which inspires me to recognize how deep down my husband’s love for me goes. I want to do everything I can to let that love flourish and grow.  With that said I thought I would share some of Gary’s lyrics.

  • Watching Airplanes: “Sitting out here on the hood of this truck looking up at a caramel colored sunset sky.  Checking my watch doing the math in my head, counting back words to when you said good bye.  With those runway lights getting brighter, I’m just sitting out here watching airplanes take off and fly, trying to figure out which one you might be on and why you don’t love me anymore. “
  • It Ain’t the Whiskey:  “I stood there in the middle of the church full of broken people.  Listening to the walking wounded tell their stories. My turn came, I told them my name, said this ain’t my first time, then a man started talking how the devil and the bottle was ruing my life. With last night on my breath, I stood up and said it ain’t the whiskey, it ain’t the cigarettes, it ain’t the stuff I smoke, it’s all these things I can’t forget, and it ain’t the hard times, it ain’t the all nights, it ain’t that easy, it ain’t the whiskey that’s killing me.” …………”I’ve done everything to drown out this hurt inside but I can’t wash you out of my mind.”
  • You Without Me: “Well I’ve seen that look a thousand times and I know that sparkle in your eyes and I know what it means tonight.  That’s the dress you wore when we first met and it always means you want to let your hair down, aw and you just might.  I’ve never seen you look so happy, you’ve never looked so good in love. When I look into your eyes I still get week and when I’m this close to you I just cant speak and its hard to keep my hands to myself when I know I could never love anyone else, your all I want, your all I need and it so damn hard to believe that’s you without me.”

Add in his raspy accent and that southern, country rock and you feel it.

It has been my experience that men have a hard time putting into words how they feel about things and people.  It’s almost as if Gary Allan is speaking on behalf of all men in a heartache situation.

This Blog is dedicated to my hero, my love, my best friend and my soul mate. I love you! 🙂

Catherine Bares

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Everyone has a Story!

Everyone behaves the way they do for a reason.  Everyone has a story. Just because someone is joyful and happy doesn’t mean they haven’t experienced any adversity.  It has been my experience that a person that can be resilient in the face of adversity doesn’t let those moments define them.  Instead, it’s the  resilience that shapes us.

“Everyone is handed adversity in life. No one’s journey is easy. It’s how they handle it that makes people unique”. -Kevin Conroy

Be curious, talk to people, learn their stories.

What’s your story?

Catherine Bares

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Wicked Sister

If you ever find yourself in Sault St. Marie, Michigan you should stop in at a local restaurant grill and bar called “Wicked Sister”.  The name caught my attention but after 2 people recommended this establishment for their food I decided to give it a try.

To my delight the food lived up to its local reputation so I visited their website for their story.  Much to my surprise they offer daily kitchen tours.  What a concept?  My biggest concerns with eating out-how clean is the kitchen and how fresh is the food?  Wow, they are confident! Their story, straight from the website:

  • Located at 716 Ashmun St., The Wicked Sister opened January 6, 2015 and is a family owned business proudly serving quality ingredients and made-from-scratch items. John Graham bid on the former Gin Mill at auction in early 2014, and desiring to leave a legacy to his family, helped is three daughters, Jeanne McCulligh, Nancy Rose, and Laurie Jarvie, purchase the bar.

The building was extensively renovated, including the addition of a full kitchen. New lighting, tables, and custom-built bar top are probably the most noticeable changes when a customer walks into The Wicked Sister. Many have asked where the family came up with the name. “It was a random thought tossed out there in the beginning months, but since it was a joke at [the ladies] expense, it wasn’t too well received. But it must have grew on them over a few months because by August, we had our name,” says Cathy Howell, general manager of The Wicked Sister and daughter/niece to the owners. The question that always follows is, “So who is the ‘wicked sister’?” The husbands are quick to reply that the answer to that question changes daily.

The Wicked Sister’s menu is dominated by homemade and specialty items. “I’m really proud of the food that comes out of the kitchen. We were really choosy about the ingredients and sought out the best we could get while still keeping our food affordable. For example, our chicken breast comes in fresh, and is hormone and antibiotic free.” The bar-restaurant is also taking steps to minimize its impact on the environment by recycling, and later this spring will work with a local gardener to test out a composting program.

And the current menu is just the beginning according to Cathy. “We had to keep it simple to start. I wanted to make sure that what we served, we did very well, even if that was only a handful of items. As our staff becomes more comfortable with the menu, we are definitely going to expand and bring in new ideas.”

The food coming out of the kitchen is not the only reason to check out The Wicked Sister. The bar menu has over 40 beers, many of which are craft beers brewed in Michigan.

Custom cocktails have been big business for The Wicked Sister, too. With a drink list featuring a bacon Bloody Mary and cocktails rimmed in sprinkles, patrons are able to get drinks that match the quality and uniqueness of the food.

“This has been an amazing experience and working so closely with my family is something I didn’t think I’d ever have the opportunity to do. The positive feedback from customers has been outstanding and rewarding. But, perhaps my favorite part of this entire process was being able to take a building that was essentially a blight on the community and turn it into a spot where everyone wants to come hang out. As someone who is raising a family in the Sault, and has deep ties to the community that is huge for me,” says Cathy.

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Catherine Bares

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What has “being a grandmother” taught me?

What has being a Grandmother taught me?

  • There are extra rooms in my heart 🙂
  • I loved my children with all of my heart but didn’t fully appreciate the joy that brings.
  • As a young parent, I was caught up in chasing my dreams, working and becoming the person that I am today that I overlooked enjoying the little moments on a deeper level.

What did I learn from my first grandchild?

  • I wasn’t too young to be a grandmother.
  • I was in the middle of the “circle” my of life.
  • A greater appreciation of being a mom
  • Heartbreak when he moved away.
  • Joy when he came back.
  • I have a weekend buddy to hang out with that never cancels.

What did I learn from my second grandchild?

  • I can love him as much as the first.
  • This is fun!
  • Mickey Mouse Rocks!
  • How my mom felt when I had my 2nd child.
  • My patience level is still tested.

What have I learned with my 3rd grandchild?

  • My youngest son is having kids; I’m getting old (NOT-I’m still in denial on this one)
  • We are a “boy” producing family. (All boys)
  • The rooms in my heart are getting bigger, not smaller.
  • Mickey Mouse Rocks at 2 months old.
  • Life kicks into high gear and keeps on rolling.
  • I love my Boys!

Advice for my Boys!

  • As George Strait once said, “Hold on to your hats, it’s going to be a wild ride.”
  • Seek the reasons behind their behavior; the behavior  is usually a symptom.
  • Boys will be boys-you were there, remember?
  • They are children.  They will misbehave, do silly things, and get on your nerves-don’t take it too seriously.
  • Hug them; they are boys but, still need hugs.
  • Praise them when they do good.
  • Teach them to say “yes Ma’am”, “no Ma’am”, “yes sir”, “no sir”, “god bless you”, “please” and “thank you”
  • Teach them how to hold a door open for a lady.
  • Never tell them you are tired of them.
  • Last but not least, just listen to them.  Even when they are babbling and making no sense, give them your attention and just listen.

I am sending a special thanks  out to “tutu” Tammy for inspiring conversation and thoughts about being a grandmother. 🙂

Catherine Bares

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Time to Turn On My Internal Furnace

Hello everyone,

Traveling is a part of my job; I love to meet new people and see new places so, it works wells for me.  Occasionally, I arrive to my destination early enough to get out and explore.  I live in the south and today I traveled to Northern Michigan, where it is cold and snowy.  Looking out of the window on the plane I thought, “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas any more.” LOL.

After checking into my hotel I opted to walk around town instead of hitting a cardio machine in the little room downstairs.  Did you know that when you get cold your body has Brown Fat that acts like a furnace and ignites white fat to keep you warm?    Instead of sweating I decided to go get cold.

  • I pulled the following information from www.naturalnews.com (Natural News) Fat gets a bad rap. It’s not only essential to life and human function, but can actually burn calories and trim up the waistline. Brown adipose tissue (AKA brown fat) is a type of fat found in the bodies of mammals that acts as a furnace for the body. Once thought to only be present in newborns and hibernating mammals, research has shown we all have it, more or less. Not only does brown fat work like a furnace to produce heat when the body gets cold, but its fuel source is that of white fat, the kind we hate and want less of.
    Read and Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/038089_brown_adipose_tissue_fat_burning_body_weight.html#ixzz3yITFOyo1

Here’s to getting cold!

Catherine Bares

Turn on Internal Furnace

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Healthy Meals-Not as Difficult as Cracked Up To Be!

Healthy Breakfast

Healthy meals are not as difficult as some make it out to be.  total time 8 Minutes.

  • Soft boiled egg for 5 minutes (you can hard boil if you prefer-I like my yolk a little runny)
  • While the egg was boiling I pulled my bread out of the freezer and lightly toasted (whole sprouted grain with seeds).
  • Melted a little butter (sometimes I use coconut oil) and warmed up a hand full of spinach
  • Spread 1/4 to 1/2 avocado on toasted bread
  • Slice egg
  • Sprinkle with cayenne pepper

Yummy!

Catherine Bares

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Watching Fish to Treat Hyper Active Children & Alzheimer’s Patients?

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania report that quietly watching fish swimming in an aquarium eases stress, and may offer a means of treating high blood pressure.

Researchers say that the fish are the key . People who watch fish tanks with bubbles, pebbles and plants – but no fish – don’t benefit nearly as much.

“There is a sharp difference,” says ecologist Alan Beck, director of the university’s Center for the Interaction of Animals and Society. “Blood pressure drops with fishless fish tanks, but it doesn’t drop as much and it creeps back up faster. With fish in the tanks, you truly get relaxation.”

I found this on www.abouthomes.com

Do you have a stressful life, high blood pressure, insomnia? Keeping an aquarium may be good therapy for you. Studies going back as far as the late 80’s have shown that gazing at aquarium fish reduces stress and subsequently lowers blood pressure.

Multitude of Benefits-Seniors who were provided with an aquarium filled with fish had significant blood pressure reduction. Watching fish has been shown to calm children who suffer from hyperactivity disorder. Dental patients who were subjected to hypnosis vs. an aquarium experienced the same or greater benefit from the aquarium. Other studies have shown that dental patients required less pain medication after having watched fish in the office. It’s little wonder that physician offices, dental clinics, and even waiting rooms for counselors have traditionally kept an aquarium in the waiting room.

Aquarium Effect on Alzheimer’s-Studies have shown that seniors who have Alzheimer’s experience a variety of health benefits from watching an aquarium. Alzheimer patients ate more, and required fewer supplements after an aquarium was placed in the dining room. They also exhibited less physically aggressive behaviors.

 

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The More Natural the Better

When it comes to eating healthier there are a great deal of pitfalls.

  • False claims on packaging
  • Word play to hide true ingredients
  • Consumer belief systems on what is “natural”
  • The convenient factor
  • Busy lifestyles

Tips on how to take steps to eat and live healthier:

  • Carry water everywhere you go. Even the slightest dehydration can sabotage eating habits.  For me I carry a sports bottle with water from my home.  Bottled water has been proven to have poison that seeps into the water from the plastic under certain conditions. I choose to stay clear of bottled water as much as I can.
  • Keep boiled eggs in the fridge for an easy grab on the go snack.  I boil them, peel them and store them in an air tight container.  That way all I have to do is grab it when in a pinch for time.
  • Pre plan meals.  I am a crock pot queen and cook just about anything in my crock pot.  If in need of recipes, Google slow cooker recipes. There are some good recipes out that there; some may even surprise you.  I came across one that cooks a 3 course meal at once.  Steaks, potatoes and corn on the cob. What a concept?
  • Road trip?  Pack a small ice chest with fresh fruit, Greek yogurt, sandwiches, cheese, etc.  Saves time while traveling and is much easier on the pocket book, not to mention lighter on the calorie consumption by cutting out fast food.
  • Bring lunch to work everyday.  Prepare it the night before; often times my lunch would be left overs from supper so I would pack up my lunch while cleaning the kitchen in the evenings.
  • Eating out?  Go easy on the lagniappe chips and bread. Split the entrée with your dinner guest or ask for a to go plate when your food arrives.  Don’t start eating until you put half of the meal in the to go plate. Portion sizes at restaurants have gotten out of control. Another good tip is to pull up a restaurants menu online before arrival so you can prepare what to order.
  • Limit alcohol consumption by ordering a glass of water with your drink.  Try to drink a glass of water for every glass of alcohol.  Limits calories and helps prevent hangovers.
  • Don’t use microwave popcorn.  Buy the kernels, use virgin coconut oil and sea salt to taste.  The trick to not over stuffing a pot is to put enough kernels to cover the bottom of the pot with a single layer of kernels.
  • Cook Brown rice instead of white rice. Minute rice has a good brown rice.
  • Mash up 1/2 an avocado and put in beans instead of rice.  Large white Lima’s are my favorite to add avocado but it works with any beans.
  • Limit sugar and stay away from artificial sweeteners.  Regardless of the product claims, recent studies have shown artificial sweeteners are harmful to your health.  Do the research and decide for yourself.
  • When buying packaged products the less ingredients listed the better.  Remember to read the nutritional information and the ingredient lists.  The ingredients are listed by the most content it contains to the least content.  The more ingredients listed the more skeptical you should be.
  • Stay active: take the stairs, walk the dog, dance, play tag with the kids, perform squats while folding clothes out of the drier, park further out in parking lots, stand more than you sit.

Here’s to a happier, healthier life!

Catherine Bares

 

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Just so Happens-Look what I came across today.

Sugar is slipped into everything

And boy, do we mean everything. Ketchup, salad dressings, protein bars, and numerous “healthy” snacks are loaded with the sweet stuff. When manufacturers dump it into our food supply, It’s often labeled under the guise of high fructose corn syrup, dehydrated cane syrup, sucrose, turbinado, malodextrin, dextrose and more. People tend to think of desserts as a sign that they’re in for a dose of the addictive ingredient, but one look at these 23 Restaurant Foods With Crazy-High Amounts of Sugar will make you realize how it’s hiding everywhere.

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“Sugar is the Devil”

Sugar is addictive; according to all of the studies and research that I have read over the past couple of years, there are no buts about it.  Guess what, I fight sugar addiction daily, it’s like a drug for me.  The more I get the more I want.

I read a book called “Belly Fat Free” by Josh Bezoni.  While there are many “Obesity Additives” that Josh discusses in his book, “sugar is public enemy number one”.  He calculates that an average American eats 140 pounds of sugar per year, about 173 grams per day.

Let’s take a look at soft drinks, energy drinks, Frappuccino, and fruit juices to name a few.  A 12 ounce portion that shows 40 grams of sugar in the nutritional content is equivalent to 10 teaspoons of sugar. (10 TEASPOONS)   (A very popular brand of Frappuccino has 31 grams of sugar in a 9.5 ounce bottle.  They proudly claim on the front of the bottle, 200 calories per bottle.  What they don’t say, is that all of those calories are pure sugar.)

The American Heart Association recommends limiting sugar intake to no more than half of your daily “discretionary calories” (added sugars and solid fats in food, drinks and alcoholic beverages): No more than 100 calories per day for women (about 6 teaspoons per day) and no more than 150 calories per day for men (9 teaspoons per day).  One 12 ounce drink has more than the recommended daily allowance.  I don’t know about you but, I can name  people in my life that consume several energy drinks per day.  Keep in mind this is discretionary calories. According to Josh Bezoni’s Belly Fat Free research, most women should consume no more than a total of 25 grams of sugar per day and men, no more than a total of 37.5 grams of sugar per day.
 
High intake of added sugar is linked to many poor health conditions:
    • Obesity
    • High blood pressure
    • Diabetes
    • Higher risk for heart disease
    • Higher risk for Stroke
    • Depression
  •  


Advice:

  • Seek out the nutritional information.  Read the sugar content in everything you eat and drink.  Sugar is hiding in everything. “Low Fat” products are stuffed with sugar; read the labels. I was shocked to learn that the skim milk I was drinking had 12 grams of sugar.  MILK? Really? 
  • Start cutting back-with addictions comes withdrawal side effects.  When I made the decision to cut back on sugar I dropped down to 5 grams of sugar per serving in any processed food, however, I don’t limit sugar in whole fruits, veggies and honey. And yes, this was an extreme drop in sugar for me but when I consume anymore than 5 grams per serving I was still craving and wanting sugar. I did  suffer mood swings, cravings, headaches and nausea. BE SURE TO SEE A DOCTOR OR LICENSED NUTRITIONISTS BEFORE  MAKING DRASTIC CHANGES.  IT’S PROBABLY BEST TO START  TAPERING DOWN SLOWLY TO AVOID HEALTH CONCERNS. THIS IS NOT A JOKE. 
  • BEFORE DRASTICALLY CUTTING BACK, SEE A DOCTOR.  Have a blood test performed and seek advice on how to cut back safely.  There may be some underlying health concerns from chronic sugar abuse that may need some medical attention.
  • Chase the Devil out of your pantry-throw away processed food with high sugar content.  The more natural the food source the better.

The Best Side Affect

The best side effect you will experience while cutting back on sugar (my favorite) is loss of belly fat and total weight. Yeehaa!

I had a friend that made the decision to improve his health after a scare from a routine physical.  He hired a personal trainer and started eating better which yielded fast results.  Then, he hit a plateau and was getting terribly frustrated.  So I asked him what are you eating?  He replied, “I feel like I am starving myself. I drink nothing but smoothies.”  While he thought he was being healthy in drinking smoothies, he was actually sabotaging his efforts.  Do you know how much sugar is in those smoothies?  So I encouraged him to eat real, natural food.  Whole fruit, veggies, meat, etc.  He then successfully went on to lose his goal weight and impressed the heck out of his personal trainer.

Are you ready to rid the Devil from your nutrition?  Stay tuned tomorrow for suggestions on improving your eating habits.

Remember: follow me, share me, talk about me

Catherine Bares 


 

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