Decided to start oil painting again!  It has always been a good release in my life but I don’t think I’ve really finished a painting in over 5 years.  Almost 10.  I missed the feeling of mixing the paints; the blending of colors.  The best way for others to see from your point of view; or how you see the world.

A month and a half into my new job in the cardiac cath lab, this picture was an appropriate outlet for my stressful transition and need to share the underlying beauty of the human heart.

Let’s Discuss: Amygdala


Just something that I saw somewhere and had on some scrap paper.  Not a very in depth post, but I still think it is useful information for anyone interested.  Feel free to keep a discussion open in the comments.

Stress increases right frontal lobe activity.

A calm and harmonious state of mind will increase left frontal lobe activity.

By meditating often, left brain will grow stronger and remain that way at times when not meditating.

The Amygdala is active when stressed or processing negative emotions (anger, rage, fear).

Amygdala activity decreases when meditating regularly.

Cortisol also decreases when using mindfulness.  Such as, meditating or actively putting full attention into a task at hand.

Gardening Tips!

Tip #1  – Moles

Moles have been mowing through my garden for two years now.  Last year they ate little rows in all of my cucumbers and this year they chewed my lettuce down to the nubs.  So, I bought a few pinwheels on Memorial Day for a couple dollars and placed them throughout; especially near the veggies they seem to enjoy the most.  At this point there has been no damage since installation!  The vibrations apparently scare them away.  Try it and save your garden from these pesky critters.


Tip #2 – Cage

Want to have more space for plants?  Grow your cucumbers up a cage/fence/lattice.  Whatever you choose, the cucs will climb up and still produce a healthy harvest.


Tip #3 – Grow grapes along your garden fence


Epsom Salt and Its Many Uses

IMG_0569Click the image to read on!

  1. Add to olive oil to exfoliate skin and add to shampoo for rejuvenating the scalp. Let  the mixture absorb for a few minutes and then rinse.
  2. For blackheads, boil ½ cup of water, 3 drops of iodine, and 1 tsp. of Epsom salt.  Let the solution cool enough to touch and bottle; use with a cotton ball and apply to  blackheads. Reheat and cool if solution separates.

Evolution of a Garden – Before and After


When we purchased this house a year and a half ago I was so excited to have a nice spot for my garden.  Little did I know just how overgrown this 24 x 12 foot plot of land was.  Okay, yes it looks overgrown but I assumed it would be a quick clean up job.  I later found out that this garden hadn’t been used in many, many years and it took weeks to pull out the bushes, grass, weeds, and rocks.  A garden was planted in a hurry so that I could make the most out of the upstate New York growing season.  It was not my best harvest and this year I was determined to make the most out of my garden.


This picture is post winter frost and mid build of the lattice border.  When raking leaves during the fall season we threw some into the soil for composting along with fertilizer pebbles.  The soil was healthy and dark when it came to tilling.

In April, seeds were planted indoors and the process of tearing up the old wood lining the bed began.  The lattice that you see now is not only for aesthetics but also to keep our three dogs from getting inside and digging everything up.

Early May I tilled the dirt and mixed in twelve 2 cubic ft. bags of fertilized dirt.  Eggs shells and used coffee grounds will also be mixed into the soil for more nutrients and keeping pests away.  The foil pan seen in the photo is one of many that we used to start our seeds in.  They can be purchased at the dollar store with lids and by cutting holes in the top make a wonderful early greenhouse.  They are also cheap and can be saved for next year.

You might wonder why I have so many bottles in the garden?  Well, May weather in New York keeps you on your toes.  It can be 90 one day and the next day we get sleet and have a week of frosty nights.  Today is Memorial Day and this is precisely what happened the past week.  The bottles are mini greenhouses to protect from frost and also increase growing time for my baby plants.  Using a utility knife, cut of the bottoms of the bottles and work them into the soil around the vegetation.  You can increase warmth by mounding the soil around the sides of the bottle.  Also, save the caps which can be screwed on at night to offer further protection.  After a week of unpredictable weather, my plants look healthy and are growing beautifully!  I will probably leave the bottles on for another week or two until the plants either outgrow their tiny homes or the weather gets too hot.