Welcome

Traveling and/or RV-Living with Dogs and Pets

“There is something so inviting, about packing up belongings, while in transport to a vacation or having a new lifestyle of a home on wheels, with a stocked kitchen, accessible bathroom, comfy bed and bringing along family and/or your beloved pet, all while getting to the destination of choice”. C .Star. V

While out Camping or RV-living, caring and concerns for your pet is much the same as when you are living in a house. If you are having to leave your pet for any length of time, you want to make sure to check for or put away anything that your pet could get a hold of or into that would be dangerous or destructive. Living in the RV, we do have to consider that and other issues, such as turning off our gas-propane and water when we leave. We also ensure all food is away and garbage is taken out.

Have a schedule of some type: “Whether you live in a house, an RV (on the road or camping), it is always best in keeping a schedule of some-type, this is a must (whether it be for them to eliminate or a feeding schedule). It is important that your dog (pet) is being taking out to be able to daily eliminate (or for some pets that use litter boxes or other areas and keep those areas cleaned-up). Your pet needs to get a chance to go out often enough and have some-type of consist schedule (so they can learn that they can depend upon and will get to go out and “eliminate” when they are out) and if not, they will go wherever they will, when they can’t hold it anymore. Same goes for feeding your pet, if you don’t have some type of consistency in schedule (as a morning feeding and a dinner-time feeding) of enough and proper nutrition, they may not get what they need and get into other foods they shouldn’t..

**A method we use with our dogs, I call “the transition technique” (in addition to last thing before bed & first thing in the morning for elimination needs), whenever we are going to get ready to go somewhere and have to leave our dogs, we make sure to take them out. This way they can get some fresh air, exercise and eliminate. Then, whenever we get back from being away from our dogs (whether they are with us or if they’re home or in RV waiting for us ) we always take them out promptly, so they don’t have accidents trying to hold it for anymore length of time..

Having a routine, a consistent schedule or a method will ensure that your dog will know they will be going out. Sometimes they’re not feeling well or they have a stomach upset or something else wrong with them and they could have an accident, but it’s not the dogs fault and they should not be punished.

Keep poop bags with you out on walks: You need to make sure to clean up their poop after your dogs go, even if you gotta come back with a doo doo bag to pick it up (not only to be courteous to others), but so dog lovers and owners don’t get a bad name and not welcome to places with their dogs. As well, picking up after you dog helps us to know that our pet went poop and if it has a good consistency or not (if your pet has a upset stomach or any other issue, that they may need something in helping them). As well, when you do take your dog out, watch and make sure they did actually go to the bathroom. One of our dogs goes like clockwork whenever we take her out and our other dog, we usually have to walk a bit more with him or wait, even if he finds a good spot as he will sniff and look around a little bit before he squats and poops!! Many dogs go poop once a day (around the same time-especially if fed on and around a schedule time) some dogs go poop twice or may need to go out because of a possible upset stomach. It all depends and many dogs like to urinate a few times when they get to go out, even if they only out for a short walk. Let them empty those colons and bladders!!

Have your pets needs, food, treats, toys & water: Plan to bring along extra food for your dog (pet), in case the worst should happen and you break down or are away longer than you initially expected and bring plenty of fresh water, along with flea and tick remedies. Keep their water & food bowls clean and accessible at all times (I use white vinegar and water put in spray bottle, spray and wipe after each feeding and clean water bowl too, both get slimy). Pack your dog’s (pets) favorite blankie, toys and treats, to ensure they will be happy and have something to occupy themselves when you are relaxing in the RV. Some dogs will need help in getting in and out of any type of RV, travel trailer or 5th wheel, do there are ramps for assisting them. If there’s several dogs with your travel, create a routine to bring them in last and take them out first or whichever works best , so other dogs can’t trample on them. Make sure to be aware of what safe options of treats and foods are, for you to give your pet. Rawhide should not be given to dogs under 1 yr old and rawhide is not a good option anyway, especially if dog is left alone while eating it, this can be dangerous. I give hard thick bones, once in a great while as a treat. I get them at the grocery store wrapped in plastic. Keep dog safe wipes to clean their paws from coming in when after taking them and outside.

Exercise & mental stimulation is needed: Your dog (pet) may be accustomed to frequent exercise in a backyard or other exercise routines. If you are staying in a campground or Rv resort, you likely will not have a fenced in area for him to play. Some RV parks and campgrounds have fenced-in, off-leash areas or doggie parks. If not you could find a local off-leash dog park or just remember to take your dog for a nice long walk to get them exercise and easier to relax when back inside. Some campgrounds are near beaches, and other bodies of water and may allow pets to go with you to that area. Many people is that all dogs do you know how to swim and that isn’t necessarily true some dogs need to be taught how to swim and some are terrified of water, a dog needs a life vest just like a child and owners must know for sure that their dog knows how to swim and can swim to safely . If not the dog must be taught to.

Keep pet safe & comfortable in travels: Traveling in an RV is most likely entirely new for most dogs and owners may not know what all to expect. Our pets need to have a place for them that they can be comfortable and safe when the Rv is moving from one place to another. Designating a place (such as the couch for some dogs) or others may need to be crated In case they have travel anxiety. Most dogs enjoy riding in a car, but moving along in a motor home can feel a bit different and your pet may need time to adjust. You should have your dog (pet) near where you’ll be riding in the Rv motorhome and possibly encouraged them to relax on a couch or choose a location for your dog (pet) to ride. Create or designate a safe (in traveling) and comfy place for your dog (pet). No matter where you choose for your dog (pet) to ride, be sure that they are comfortable when driving long hours and plan to stop every few hours for bathroom breaks, water and feedings. If you are towing a fifth wheel or travel trailer, your dog will need to ride in your truck with you, as it is never safe for anyone to ride in the trailer while towing. When it’s bedtime, be sure to have a similar routine as you did at home, when it’s time for your pet to sleep. If your pet typically sleeps in your bed, allow the same in the RV. If he has his own dog bed, be sure to bring it along for your trip. This will help your pet and you, to get a good nights sleep.

Have a plan, if you can’t bring your (pets): When having to leave your dog (pet) when you can not bring them or it’s not dog-friendly, is one of the biggest factors when having your dog (pet) along camping or on an RV trip. Especially, when you will have to leave your dog (pet) alone for more than a couple hours at a time. RVs may have room for your dog to walk around and most dogs should be fine with being left behind for a little while. After all, most dog owners leave their dog alone at home whenever they are working or running errands, so this is something your dog should be accustomed to. You should put all the blinds down and play some soothing music or TV show to block out extra light and sound. This will encourage your dog to spend more time snoozing and less time barking while you are away. If you are truly uncomfortable with leaving your dog (pet) alone for a few hours, try to plan and seek out a local pet-sitter or dog-walker to spend time with your dog while you are away. I don’t think I’d ever trust some kind “technology” just yet, in leaving my pet in the RV and going away and just assume the AC will kick in at a certain temperature and keep it running to do so. If pets are left inside a vehicle with windows 1/2 down or an RV with windows open, it can still be too hot for a pet to handle if the weather is hot outside, especially if not parked in the shade (and you also have to think about when it’s too cold and must not leave any propane on). If we have to leave our pets, we always turn off the propane gas. We try to never leave our dogs for more than 2 hours or so without letting someone around, know to check on them and make sure they are ok and that the AC is running. We take our dogs with us, most of the time even if we have to do errands and let them stay in our vehicle with the AC on or windows down sufficiently for air and that we can see readily see them.

Pet Etiquettes & Common Sense: Most campgrounds are pet friendly, some allow pets in all areas and some have restrictions. Some have dog run or dog parks and some have restrictions of bigger dogs (usually rare though). However, pet owners should know what their pet is capable of and of their pets personalities. Pet owners should know what can trigger them into an aggravated or stirred up situation and know how to prevent these or what to do in that event. As campgrounds have become more crowded, campers and RVers must practice social etiquette, pet etiquettes and common sense, with their neighbors. However, most do, yet sometimes you may run into those whom just don’t. Dogs are going to bark, that’s what they do and for the most part that’s their job and protecting and if they see other dogs or commotion going on they may bark and they shouldn’t be punished or hit because of that. I want to believe that they just might not know how to properly deal with some issues and yet, other etiquettes are just common sense. Perhaps they have not trained their dog(s) and some think the portable pen outside of their RV (as their dogs running from side to side) or on a tether line and stake in the ground or in the pen (possibly barking) while the owner(s) are nowhere to be seen, is adequate. This can be dangerous and not to mention, that one’s personal space is important to everyone, pet owners, the pet and those whom no longer or have never owned pets. I have always been an animal lover and really enjoy meeting new dogs, especially if they are well-behaved, but stray dogs can pose risks, as you can NEVER assume all dogs are friendly. We often find a road, areas or path that’s more private or has less campers walking outside in the campgrounds to take our dogs to walk and this helps too. If we happen to see other owners and their dogs coming our way, we usually just turn onto a different way if we can. My one senior dog just goes crazy when she sees another dog approaching and there was even a time where I had to ask another camper, if I could go behind his car and wait till some people and their dogs had passed so my dog didn’t see them and the coast was clear!! Every once in awhile we experienced noisy pets and have witnessed those whom leave their dogs (pets) alone in their tents or Rv’s and take off and are gone the whole day and meanwhile their dog(s) are barking the whole time and I mean for hours. This should not be allowed. I realize that people have things to do, places to go and sometimes they can’t take the dogs, but some type of arrangement should be made (especially for dogs that have separation anxiety or that tend to bark when left alone). Sadly, I’ve watched owners that don’t even seem to talk nicely to, pet gently and show love to their dogs. What I noticed is some dogs will just bark at everyone passing by or if they see another dog and this is a common thing, but some pet owners just ignore the dog completely or yells at the dog(s) to shut up. The better thing to do, is to take action and remove the dogs from sight of seeing each other and they will calm down. Training dogs the “Quite Command” (by being rewarded) is also good and this can be learned how to do this by searching it on google and following carefully the instructions and steps in doing so..

Have a plan in case an emergency : If an emergency situation should arise, it is always good to be prepared. Have the number for a local veterinarian handy just in case the worst should happen. Be careful not to let your dog (pet) slip-out when coming in and going out, from your RV and keep an ID tag on your pet’s collar at all times (put cell phone number, where you can be reached on pet’s tags). This will ensure that someone can find you, if your dog (pet) were to escape. There are also magnetic signs or stickers that can be placed on the outside of one’s RV that states information about your dogs (pets) that are inside and how to reach owners in case of emergency while away from RV. Keep a prepared folder of our dogs (pet) info with Vet information, all legal documents, even current COLOR printout pictures of your with lost dog (pet) info, (hopefully never needed), but readily available for instant handing out to Police, Park Campground Hosts and surrounding areas.

Keeping your dog (pet) safe outside: Dogs (all animals in general) are nosey and that’s what causes a risk. If you are going for their last bathroom walk for the night and it’s beginning to get dark or is dark outside, you must bring a flashlight of some type of lighting to be able to see what’s on you and your dogs pathway. There could be something you don’t want to step on or that your dog could get a hold of or such that needs to be avoided for safety reasons. Our dogs are ALWAYS on a leash when outside and I keep their harnesses on inside just in case I have to grab them from heading out the door, when not supposed to go (I’ll take it off to bath them or occasionally when they go to sleep for the night, but generally their soft harness is always on). My one doggie is an older senior dog, but she’s still quick as a whip, she loves to get outside and if she got loose, she’d run everywhere and would love to get away to explore! We always locate where ours dogs are at, before we open the door and since there’s only one door that we have to come in and out and three large steps to get down and another three steps to get out, it has been fine. Being that we’re full-time RV-ers, it has been a major concerns of ours with our one doggie possibly getting out and escaping, one because there are dangers that are in the woods and campgrounds, as well as cars and even with a gps tracker the fact is, it would be still be dangerous and a stressful strain to try and go after her to try and find her. So, I keep a collar and a harness on her and I have created a method of putting the harness on in a more secure fashion (where the opening of the harness is at the top and clipping the harness loop and the collar loop clipped together with the leash clip). Neither has to be real tight and some harnesses you may have to back your dog into it (to have that clip up top). When out walking with her, if she sees another dog or something that excites her, she cannot easily get out of the harness (not without allowing me to have enough time to pick her up). We travel where there are all kinds of wild life and critters, that can pose potential risks. If we go hiking with our dogs, we keep them short leashed and I always walk with a tall rod or wood staff and use it to tap or move brush or bushes out of way and tap the path in front of us (for anything that could jump out). The staff also could serve me in an emergency, if I had a ankle injury while isolated.

Be patient and if can do trial runs: Give things time to adjust and remember that RV travel is likely brand new for your dog (pet). Some may adjust immediately, but may also need some time to become fully comfortable in the RV or the camping scenarios. If you plan to bring your dog along for a long trip, consider practicing with a few shorter trips first. Perhaps you can plan to spend a few hours in the RV while it is parked in your driveway or? This way, your dog (pet) can get familiarize with the new environment. You could even plan to spend a night in the RV ahead of time, so that your dog knows what to expect. Every dog (pet) can be different and you will recognize and learn to know the best for your pet and create a plan of action that works best for you too. Then, things can become more predictable and enjoyable, just as we have created for our dogs making sure they eliminate, get fresh air and exercise (on somewhat of a consistent schedule). Along with all I have shared here, as it’s been so rewarding to have their companionship and their love, as they enjoy camping and RV-life with us and we love their cuddling, snuggling and sleeping in our bed with us in the RV!!! 😃

RVing with your dog (pet) may seem like a hassle, but it’s worth having them around and many of us have support animals and need them. Most dogs are fairly adventurous and enjoy experiencing new things with their owners. Learn the hazards where you are going. Try to be prepared. This will help make things less anxious during travel. Do research and thoughtful considerations, plan out your trips and lifestyle that both you and your dog (pet) will enjoy together.

Thanks again for taking the time to read this post and safe and smart travels to all !!Any questions about anything mentioned here or about having your pets with you in your travels. Let me know.

C .Star. V

RV-living: What I’ve learned (just in 1st year)

As time goes by, some things may change as in the world of gadgets and technology and as well, so can one’s needs, routines and wants. C .Star. V

Whether you are looking forward in traveling, going camping (with tents, rv or other) taking some time to enjoy the outdoors or even in having to live in your RV as your residence, there’s no set-way to do so, only guidelines. It’s what-ever can work for you and what you need or are trying to accomplish. Learning how to adjust and adapt to living an RV-Life, can be exciting and fun, but also could be overwhelming.

In fact for many, it’s not just “Hey let’s sell most of your possessions, storing some and purchase an RV of some sort and travel all over”. Yeah, that’s not always how it all goes down. There are those (like my husband and I and our 2 dogs), that actually had two other RV’s and never used them because of dealing with family crisis’s. Yet, still had dreamt of someday having an RV-lifestyle, but had to be thrown into it real fast, did what we could to continue to support ourselves and figured it out from there. We live in our RV at local city parks and such, in the same city our last home was in and nearby where our 2 youngest children live. I can give advice on how to do things more efficiently, with a much easier transition, a lot less stress and struggle, but success in doing so, will still be up to the individual. I say this because against all odds, we still managed and made it work.

There are differences from living in our “sticks and bricks” (a nickname for a traditional house), than living in our RV-home, but there’s several things that are similar. I had done some RVing in my younger years and lived on a sailboat (with 2 of my eldest children) for almost 2 years and my husband had parents that were RV-ers, so we both already had some experience in living, travel and outdoor life, but in life you should never stop learning..

After my first year of RV-living and lifestyle, I’ve learned a lot about how to make the process easier and as comfortable as possible (from the home maker’s point of view), even though I do know some mechanical, electrical and physical knowledge about things. I manage what I do, as my husband and I are a team (yet, he has some disabilities), so I have to help-out more. I’ve learned a lot more about RV-ing and it’s community of course, but also learned more about myself, what my needs are, what’s important and how the weather, can tremendously dictate our plans, among several other things.

Here’s some other things I’ve learned just in the 1st year of RV life:

*Having patience, planning, being organized and disciplined, is not only a virtue, but could be a necessity.

*Taking care of yourself (health) is not a selfish act, but mandatory.

*One may not seem to have much, but could have everything.

*Even though we may not always be stationery and have a different destination, it’s not always a vacation…

*I loved my homes that I’ve had and lived in for years, but I like being in the RV better (don’t miss cleaning and fixing the big house nor trying to keep up the lawn).

*Time is truly most precious in life and most importantly, how you spend it, as well as with and around whom. Take time, don’t rush it, but don’t waste it (especially when you’re on the road, take the time to enjoy, do not rush to the next destination).

*Having clean water is crucial as you can’t carry a lot of water with you because it is a heavy load. Having dry-wood is good and needed for making a fire in fire-pits or grills to cook food.

*Being able to estimate how many gallons of water you need or use each day is very helpful (along with battery, electricity & amp usage)!

*There’s many nice people out enjoying camping and all levels of RV-living, not all want company, some just want a friendly chat, hello or get to-gethers. A lot of people have pets with them (many are dogs), some treat their pets like family and really care about them, others will leave their dogs barking in their RV and don’t seem very caring to their dog/pet (which makes me sad). Some bring a plastic bag with them when taking their dog for a walk, clean-up after their dog and some don’t.

*Often we do errands, go exploring, go visiting and do other things away from the RV and campsite. Most of the time, we take our dogs as they love being with us, even if they sit in our truck with the windows down (to get fresh air, but not all the way down for them to jump-out). We don’t like to leave them and if we have to leave them in the RV, we always take them out and make sure they get to go potty, right before we leave. We turn the a/c on and turn gas and water off. We often arrange the timing to be out, usually around their napping time and only if we know, we will only be gone no more than a couple hours or so.

*Campgrounds are not just for weekend warriors (of friends, family) camping in tents and such or part-time or full-time RVers. Campgrounds can be a place where people call their home, for a short time or longer times. It’s a place people go to relax, get away, visit friends and family and have get to-gether’s, enjoy their time and it shouldn’t be a place for those to leave trash, waste or destruction after they visit or leave.

*I mainly wear comfy clothes (and more than once), as you may not get to do laundry or shower as often as you normally would, but still get your things and yourself get washed.

*I’ve learned to appreciate paper towels, paper plates, bamboo utensils, clean water, showers, and having clean clothes.

*The importance of taking off your shoes when coming into the RV and having the right shoes for different terrains. Waterproof shoes to wear for using public showering and during rainy weather. Also, liking to wear socks when in the RV!!

*Living in close quarters, (ours is about 270sqft), you will need to really like the person a lot, that you share that space with…

*Our lifestyle has changed dramatically in that, we live by the weather more, but also by what area we will be at and the ever changing scenario’s and terrain.

*Over the course of life, we seem to collect so much more than we really ever need or may even use. Often having to end-up giving it away or getting rid of it, just to have what we want or really need.

*Collecting things and to think we need all kind of stuff, isn’t necessary. Need to just save your money for something more beneficial. We always seem to have what we need anyways or can make do and if we don’t or can’t, we get it. We have given away over half or more of our things.

*Plants don’t like to travel. They like being stationary (for the most part, maybe moved to sunlight or a window), after all they are plants and unlike humans don’t need, nor desire to venture out or move much.

*Bigger is not always better, neither is having more (that pertains from food to things), happiness is very possible with less, a lot less. Experiencing more pleasant memories, over having things.

*I’ve learned that all my recycling habits, water and energy saving habits, food preparation and healthier eating habits, have all been so useful and helpful. Also, less of a need for buying a lot of foods all at once.

*Rinsing off or cleaning anything in the sink (even hands), can be done just a good with the water running softly (not blasting).

*Living closer to and with nature is much more healthy mentally, physically, spiritually and more natural.

*Occasionally when parked in the woods and surrounded by trees, either sticks or small branches could drop also small animals (birds, raccoons and such), could hop onto the top of your RV and it can sounds like someone knocked on your door. Even though it’s coming from the top it may cause movement to the front door.

*I learned about what products to safely use to keep the bugs and pests out of our RV and to make my own and effective repellents. Also, even if you love the outdoors, camping and nature, there are many bugs that will love you even more!

*Camping & RV living may not be for everyone, but for many it can be rewarding and enjoyable.

We all could be wanting, looking or waiting for something and this is true, but most likely we already have most of what is needed or at least enough to life happier, its just possibly, one is not on or can’t see the road, instead, just spending time thinking of what they think are obstacles”. C .Star. V

I’ll be posting real people and real RV-life, tips and tricks on this blog and on my instagram; http://www.instgram.com/cstarsrvvibes

As always, if there is a question or information I can help with or you want to tell me about your RV or camping experiences, let me know.

C .Star. V

Now is our Someday

“RV-Living, can be for anyone, if you like the outdoors, don’t mind being mobile & likes to travel, respects nature & camping rules, often living by the weather, learn having less can be best, do planning & can be resourceful and can manage yourself wherever you go”. C .Star. V

This picture above was in 2021, we finally started our full-time RV-living journey, as we may never would have had a chance to, unless we just took the jump. We had some experience and know how, but with everything against us, and only a start in plans, it wasn’t exactly the way we had thought we would be (as in having more time, money, travel and options) doing this transition, but finally we had all of our children old enough and able to get on their own (had my last 2 late in life). After raising all the children (having to give-up any career to do so) and after my husband whom had worked the majority of his life, he had progressive disabilities from his past years in the military and injury while at work, which had prevented him from being able to continue his employment. We also had no where else to live, as not only did we have the dream of RV-life, we had to sell our family home and other properties to get out of debts from years of all our family responsibilities, some mismanagement of money, and my husband’s parents had to move-into our home we used to rent out. So with little or no funds or plans we needed to find and purchase our RV months before we ended up selling our home in 2021, due to all of this and various other reasons, we possibly would-never or it would take awhile for us to ever-be-able to purchase an RV and we aren’t in our 30-40’s or 50’s anymore!!

My husband served in the Navy for 14yrs, then became employed as an IT and worked on an oil-drilling-ship for many more years. We always talked about, “Someday “ getting an RV and doing some traveling and live in it (after we raise the children). My husband worked all his young adult to senior life. He always went to work and worked hard at his job, supported his large family and paid his bills, but he didn’t always know the most beneficial way to utilize his income (even while he was finally earning better income), but we survived through much drama and turbulent times. Meanwhile, raising a large blended family with 2 sets of aging parents.

During our marriage, at one point I had a chance to start my career and finally earn an income of my own, but chose to be a stay at home mom, “Since I never found any type of employment that ever needed me, more than my family”. Within all those years, I had to learn how to budget. While practicing it, I became pretty good at creating a fulfilling life, with a full house of children and while keeping on a tight budget. People always thought we had a lot more money then we did, but it was just finding how-to’s and being resourceful by being creative, keeping things simple, yet useful and making-do with what I had. I am now implementing my knowledge and know-how’s, in tips towards a simpler, healthier and enjoyable lifestyle.

**Our Rving journey, had been long awaited. Raised last set of children in my 40’s and when they were all (almost), all grown-up, we bought several RV’s (hoping to do some weekend fun or mini trips), but never had a chance to use them and had to sell them both times (family dilemmas with aging parents and children), but didn’t give up the dream. Even though, our income was shrinking, not solid, with a much tighter budget then ever before, with everything else going on within our life, family and right in the middle of Covid, lost our beloved dog and my husband wasn’t able to continue working because of his injury and progressive disabilities. It all changed from being a dream, in feeling more of a total challenge. After deciding to sell our home (had a quick sale), it was out of necessity to live in our RV (for several reasons) and start our someday, if not now, it possibly may be never.

*So, in this month it will be a full year of full-time-RVing for us and our 2 dogs, this was our 3rd RV and 3rd try and the turn of events had us sad at first. Even on our smaller budget, not as young anymore and with my husbands disabilities, we made a go of it. At this point, we had now been able to live in our RV and put it to use, but have to stay a bit stationary (hubby in physical therapy) hoping to one day do more traveling, but grateful for being a part of a super RV-ing community, have met some really great people and made new friends. So, there’s no “one-way” to RV-living and camping. No matter if you are part-timers, weekend warriors or full- timers. “Find-out now, that happiness doesn’t require as much as one may think”.

On this blog I will share some tips and tricks that could be helpful and a glimpse of the things we’ve experienced along the way of our journey so far and as our adventure continues. Also more on my http://www.instagram.com/cstarsrvvibes/

I have always loved scrapbooking, but today we have blogs, Instagram and other platforms that our children, grandchildren and family can see and share.. As well, that possibly could help others, upon their journey or surviving getting to their life goals. Whether they might be thinking about RVing or already in the midst of it.

Meanwhile, keeping our ongoing RV-living and dreams of travel, even with all we’re coping with ..“Aiming to, Send and Receive Good-Vibes Only”.

C .Star. V

RVing

“There are far better things ahead, than something’s we leave behind”.

There is much information out there about RV-ing, camping, travel and more with so many articles, blogs, social media platforms (such as Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook) and sometimes it seems there is such a lot to take in, but it is super to have such access, to all kinds of information. Within all the beautiful and captivating pictures, shown of beautiful people without-a-care-in-the world, traveling and having a beautiful life in a beautiful place, all displayed on these platforms and it may all looks so interesting. Yet, many of the displays and portrayals on the internet of these feelings and lifestyle goals, could be of companies and marketers advertising or selling something. Although! Yes! The experience and the goals for this lifestyle (realistically), may look a little different then some photos or stories we see, but it can be very possible, inviting, very enjoying, relaxing, rewarding and for some very economical.

There are also opportunities as well for bloggers and others on social media platforms (Instagram, YouTube and Facebook) that can suggest and recommend items and earn a small percentage, which can help support them in and on their journeys and that’s great !! Most of us on this planet, needs to earn an income in order to survive and get the needs we need. As well, with all the technology today, it has provided many ways to achieve that.

Yet, just like any other decisions that any of us make in our lives, it’s a choice and how you choose to live it, use it and enjoy it, all can vary. I will be sharing my stories, ideas, & information, about RV-ing from our experience and give realistic-life advice & suggestions, on this blog and my http://www.instagram.com/cstarsrvvibes/

I do enjoy many pleasures from the analog days vs. todays fast pace, as when people told their stories and gave realistic simple advice, before there was a lot of technology and gadgets. Life just was a little less hectic and living simpler, seemed more meaningful and I grew up in those days (tried to keep as much of valuable traditions, as I could in raising my children) and I was very happy to be able to do so. I also enjoy all or any good vibes, coming from today’s world and today’s insights, so I value both as there’s so much information out there to be shared and much to be enjoyed.

So, whether it’s just for a couple of days, for a weekend or Full-time RV-living, there’s no one way that makes it better or it right.. Just read up, make plans and get yourself out there!

C .Star. V

Transitioning to FT-RV-life

“Our FT RV-Life was not fully planned all out, but totally happened! As seniors still wanting to live-the-life we waited for, even on a smaller budget” .

In the Picture above was when we first bought our RV, however we weren’t able to embark and to start any journeys or even live in the RV, at that time because we were still in the midst of selling our house and trying to plan our transition from a large-size home to an RV, just under 300 sqtft.

Although this was our third time buying an RV, (we hadn’t been able to utilize the past two) and we had to sell them. The timing just was not good as we had experienced some crisis with aging parents and our children, but this time we were determined and able to make a go of it and did . More on my Instagram http://www.instagram.com/cstarsrvvibes/

In buying an RV, as in anytime making a large purchasing or a purchase of something that has to be maintained (and in this case lived-in), one must not be in a rush, must research, read reviews and look at many different ones at different places . We did, but had still not found one that we really wanted and could afford. Time was crucial and pressing at this point and it was right in the middle of the Covid pandemic, our income had been drastically cut, my husband now had been dealing with his disabilities progressing and could no longer go to work, we just lost our eldest and beloved dog, and now out of necessity (fortunately something that we always wanted to do) we had to find an RV as we may never get a chance again..

At that time there was also, starting to be a scarce amount of used RV’s, as RV-ing had begun to get very popular again, but we had to make a decision. My husband and I each, may have wanted a different type of RV, but the cost, availability and the timeframe pressed on. We decided on a used class A 31UL Jayco precept. There are so many different types of RVs and any one of them we would’ve been happy with and made it work, as we’ve had different types before, but this specific one met our needs (at that time)..

In choosing a class A motorhome we found comfort and ability since we also have two dogs RV-ing with us. Having the Class A or a Class C, we would be able to take the dogs with us when we travel, opposed to having to hatch on to the back of a truck and pull the RV, wherever you go and be inside your truck to travel (we once had one like that, but it’s just a personal preference any-type can be enjoyed). So, now we all can be in the RV, as we travel from place to place, whether we end up towing our vehicle or not..

The type of vehicle, tent or living component that you’re going to be in, what you can afford to have and keep-up and with, where you’re going to choose to park, camp, live and your ability of and in your income, will have the biggest bearing on what kind of lifestyle you’ll have. Yet, it comes down to your real needs and no matter the budget, everyone can do and see much of the same things… Although, it could be in various ways, as these choices and situations have different needs and requirements, but they also have similar needs and requirements. Since, RV parks, campgrounds, state and city parks offer utilities and amenities and some don’t. So, everyone will adjust and manage in their own way and for what their needs will be.

There are even RV parks that are just like apartment complexes for RVers with a community of its own and many perks such as WiFi, trash pickup, propane refills, a general store, a fitness center and a laundry room. Some places are just available land, that have resources for parking and camping no matter what type of vehicle or tent set-up you have, but some don’t have any various utilities to use. Boondocking usually falls into a category that you will need to be able to be more self -sustainable and Moochdocking could be if you are able to stay at someone’s backyard or land and are able to plug into electricity and maybe use shower or bathroom facilities!!!

For us, I myself, have moved and changed my residence’s many-a-times. For most of us, each and every time we go through a move, it seems that no matter, how much we plan, how much time, money or help we have nor how much or little of stuff we have, it’s never an easy process..

Moving into this Fulltime RV-ing endeavor had been a bit challenging, moving from a 5/5, almost 4,000 sqft house to a 31 ft, 270 sqft. RV. Yet, moving or relocating in itself can be overwhelming, as it is a process when moving and downsizing and that alone is a process within a process.

Here below I’ve listed just a quick general process. I have other posts that go into more depth of downsizing and moving). One should try and go through this process at least 6 months prior to moving. (I started 2 yrs before and I still had a difficult time) so, the sooner the better!

1. First the uncluttering and this can consist of going through each closet, each drawer and each and every space in each room.

2. Evaluating what all you have, which includes your clothes, your shoes and all your stuff, that means even going through paperwork, papers saved, file cabinets and just everything all around your home. Cleaning out things that are garbage, or old and outdated ( such as: food, spices, medicines, beauty products etc.) things that are broken (either fix or repair them or if beyond repairing that you’ll ever find the time to do) and things you don’t really need or won’t be really needing (think in terms of what needs for your end goal and what path you are going onto).

3. Re-organize (re-group) all your things according to what they are, where they need to be, put or stored (for convenient usage or easy accessibility or if not being used that often stored away). Example: kitchen (what goes into kitchen area) and what will go in each room, bedrooms, bathrooms, office, closet, drawers and if you have a garage as well. Also, important documents saved or wanting to save (put in file cabinet or file boxes and with file folders marked of the contents or what it is pertaining to.

4. Once all of your possessions and the clutter is gone through (good time to get rid of things you’re not going to use or not going to take with you to your new residence) getting a storage for things you want to keep and reorganize them for when and if you need them (seasonal clothing , tools etc.).

There are so many different ways, opinions, opportunities and methods to any of our journeys in life.. just as there are parks, places and people that go camping and RVing. No matter whether one is a part time RVer, camper, weekend warrior or fulltime RV-living. Many people are always willing to offer each other advice and information about transitioning or on certain equipment needs, personal needs, lifestyle needs and about the amenities, utilities, campgrounds, camping sites and more..

“There is no one-way or set-ways to Rv-ing, just tips, tricks & helpful guidelines”

C .Star. V

Pets & Allergies

In over 6+ decades of living life and I’ve always being around animals and compassionately raising and lovingly caring for them . I just wanted to share my experience and information in hoping, it will help others on all timeframes or financial budgets that are coping, trying to find methods of managing and curing issues.

On this post, I mainly focusing on dog-pets (fur-babies), but the basic information and tips could apply to other animals, it is just that the products and protocols would have to be “That type of animal-friendly ones”. Such as a products suggested in this book for dogs, may not be suitable for “Other” animals and that would have to be considered and researched first, to make sure of the safety of using them on any other pet, other than a dog. 

PLEAE READ THROUGH TO THE END, rather than just search for an ailment and/or a quick fix or relief.  As there is a specific cycle, timeframe and method in managing, curing and healing issues. There could be a protocol or method that you may have been trying or doing, but something small or significant you could have missed or are doing or not doing a certain way.

So reading through this whole article first, might help you finally find solutions and methods to help your pet combat their issues with ideas and information. (which you can further research). The biggest issue is discovering what the problem or issue is and then using the correct protocol, as in which one, when, how much, how often and why? Most importantly, one must use preventative measures, but also have protocols ready to use and take action before things get out of hand. That is why is very important that you read through this information to get a better basic and logical understanding of the causes and the process of healing for your pet and to apply the appropriate protocol. I am going to bring you through this information and then will list remedies and how to apply them.

Any issue can spread fast and get very unmanageable, so you must consider taking action immediately with proper veterinarian care to halt any issues before it becomes overwhelming and way out-of-hand or cause additional damage. Often some major illnesses or symptoms can get misdiagnosed (getting a second opinion is always good). More common issues have been remedied by various types of allergy medicines or shots offered to help alleviate several allergy issues (especially severe or reoccurring) these can help to take control of the situation, but in most cases the root of the issue will still need to be addressed and managed. Be aware of what the veterinarian is offering or prescribing (look it up if need be, as some medications come with high risks.)

There are even times, when issues can even be resolved for weeks, months or even longer and then may occur again. Much of these cycles, I have learned have to do with what our pets are eating. Difficult is the chore, keeping the outside of your pet from having issues, while feeding them what’s causing it from the inside. Even though I do prefer a more holistic approach, sometimes, once managed and under control, holistic and homeopathic remedies can be of assistance and often needed in additional times of common occurrences. Using managing solutions and healing cures to the skin, while determining what your pet is eating and having the intolerance to (as well as other environmental things) helps cure them on the inside and the outside. I explain and go over usage of homeopathic, holistic and traditional remedies more as you read. I will additionally list every protocol and products, I successfully used.

We need to help our pets because they can’t heal themselves. Yet, some pet owners just give-up as they start to feel they have exhausted all means, trying to help their pets. Yet, we can help our pets feel better, get healthier, even cured and at the least manage their issues, so they can live out their lives healthier, happy and comfortable. It’s just that often, many will look for a quick fix, such as a pill or shot to give to their pets in order to help them get over whatever issue, allergy or symptoms they are having. Some issue are life threatening, but many are not, many-a-times it’s just getting the issue under control, some may require using and repeating protocols daily, weekly or monthly in order to initially start to fully heal.

Lovingly desperate, we try and help our beloved pet. Many of us have relied upon a veterinarians to help diagnosis our pets issues and give us help and advice, so we make trips to the vets office and it can get costly. Often we will take our pets to the same veterinarian regularly, so we feel they should know our pet and be able to help in assisting. Most Veterinarians (just as regular doctors) are “Practicing Medicine(s)” and are governed by using traditional practices, they are able to offer expensive treatments, surgeries and may prescribe many types of medicines (which may be needed). In all fairness, for the most part, they truly are trying to help your pet. Regardless, though you should always be aware of and ask what your veterinarian is offering or prescribing, some are high risk medicines, such as steroids (used only in emergencies) and must be given a specific way and weaned off carefully (some pet owners will resort to these out of desperation).

We want our pets to feel good & be healthy: When they are suffering with an allergy or such, we often seems to be looking for a quick fix, such as a pill or shot to give to our pets to help and get over whatever issue, allergy or symptoms they are having. Some issues can even seem to be resolved for months or even longer and then may occur and again the again an issue happens.. for the most part most importantly, one must have protocols ready to use and take action before things get out of hand. If trying to remedy the symptoms or issue and it is taking to long to heal, one must not hesitate in getting professional advice. Although, certain issues are common and can be dealt with at home with the right care and usage in the correct order to help heal and cure. Some issue are not life threatening, but may require repeating protocols daily or weekly.

However, too many medications, products and practices could possibly be overmedicating your pets and the issues. Trying (using) all the products, medicines and chemicals, all together or one after another can begin to unbalance the natural mantle of the skin (and the system of your pet, All of this will not allowing or give your pets skin a chance or time to renew itself, as it takes time for the skin to shed cell layers and heal. All of this tends to create cycles that seem like an endless battle and the internal system of your pet, trying to process all of it and heal becomes full of built-up extra toxins, that now must be filtered through the pets system and out through the pores.

It can all be an up-and-down roller coaster and exhausting for pet-owner and pet coping with the issue of skin or health. Meanwhile, we must keep our pets from getting to affected areas by having them wear e-collars, caring and watching them, so they don’t break open their healing areas. As we find the solutions, proper protocols and patiently wait for them to heal. I have found successful managing solutions and healing cures, as I will explain in this book.

In any disease or illness; diagnosis, timing and treatment is crucial:   Reading through the information will help you to understand this and why, action is to be taken immediately, not to put off, get the symptoms under control and ultimately find the root and cause of the problem. Which most of the time is linked to what your pet is eating.

#1-Reconizing the symptoms: Food and Environmental allergies can have similar symptoms, it is helpful to be able to recognize the issue as in, is it a rash, flea or bug bite, a hotspot sore, yeast buildup, skin has musty smell, a bump, dandruff, fur loss etc. . Everyday, make a habit of rubbing and petting your pet all over, not just because it feels nice to your pet, but this is one way to feel or take notice of any bumps, sores and such. Often you may only notice one small spot or area, but your pet’s hair could be covering part of or much of the area of the issue and you may not be able to see, just how large it is or how bad
#2-Is it reoccurring, been diagnosed or new issue:  Most of the time, when we notice or recognize something wrong or ailing our pets, we will make an appointment to take them to a professional veterinarian to be examined, checked out and have the issue evaluated. This helps us to find out and know what it is and also be able to recognize it again, if it should happen again (today some may goggle the internet for a quick reference),but it is best to have your pet’s issue evaluated by a professional (you may have even get a second opinion). Once you know what you are dealing with, there are some issues you can remedy and care for by yourself at home, by using the proper protocol. Since there can be many various protocols, knowing the proper ones & in what order to use them, how often and why, can all be crucial.
#3-Taking the appropriate action: Use logic and consider taking action immediately when needed or if the issue is taking to long to remedy or heal, get professional help. If it is something that can be remedied at home, recognize what’s going on from the symptoms and at least get it under control, before it gets out of hand. That’s the tricky part, since it could be from the food your dog is being fed, even from bug-bites, fleas, animal or pet-sibling bites or scratches (from them playing with each other) to the emotions of your pet and any of these can play a large role in causing skin allergy symptoms. Be aware that your pet can scratch an issue on the skin and irritate to the point of bleeding from; a tiny irritations (inside fur) or even an internal issue that goes unnoticed or unseen can start to cause damaged to your pets skin and in turn cause yeast or infections to grow and multiply. Out breaks of hotspots, dermatitis or other skin conditions can occur.  

The culprits and finding remedies can be challenging: Often certain medications, products or specific foods can cause yeast build-up to form and cause the itching, scratching, biting. Even flea bites, bug or insect bites and other outside environments can cause your pets to start the scratching and create bigger issues. Products (such as bug repellants) sprayed upon us or them and around our pets surroundings and even pesticides inside or on the grass can also cause triggers or reactions. As well as, improperly or over washing our pets skin (unbalancing the PH) as normally dogs only need to be bathed (with soaps or shampoos) once every 2-3 months or even just 2-3 times a year depending on dogs living environment unless they roll in dirt or mud and such (but if rolled in grass) they can be rinsed off with clean water, wiped down with dog-safe wipes, others can have added ingredients that may irritate your pet (I have used bath-wipes for dogs by arm and hammer) Brushing your pet more often helps keep their coats clean and removes excess hair and dead skin.

Yeast infection can be blamed for a lot: Yeasty build-up tends to be a common culprit and issue. As in even the healing process of issues, yeast plays a part to some degree. What a pet is fed (and too much of what our dogs are being fed), is causing this imbalance amount of yeast to develop an (naturally some yeast is present, but can get imbalance rather easily) and once within the system (and gut) it’s a cycle that can be difficult to get a grip on as it can cause a host of various issues and symptoms. I’ve had success with using a mixture of 1/2 apple cider vinegar and 1/2 purified water) put into a spray bottle or made enough in cleaning larger areas, such as a body rinse (even after shampooing) to balance skin from cleansing and pat dry. In conjunction with that in conjunction with this, I also apply muricin 2% antibiotic ointment (vitamin E oil) or skin soothing balms (as I will explain more, depending on which is needed in the steps in healing process). Often to completely heal issues, these protocols need to be done a couple times a day, for several days or ever other day, not just applied once and as always use an e-collar, so that your pet can not get to the area needing to heal.

Flea medication and remedies: Of course fleas have always been an issue with our animals scratching and itching and I found most dogs are automatically put on flea, tick and heartworm medicines by their veterinarian (just as my dogs had). This will cut down on bites from the fleas causing these issues and that’s important. Yet, even when they were on the flea, tick and heartworm medications and there were no fleas, the allergy symptoms would still appear. Just be aware, flea and heart-worm medicines can become toxic to many dogs, as the suggested for the weight of the dog is such a large variance (such as 40-60lbs) and that can be a big difference if you dogs weight is on the lesser poundage. However, using with caution, the weight specific monthly flea and heart-worm medications can be essential in keeping your dogs skin from fleas, insects bites and other issues. Flea collars can also be very irritaing and may not be effective or could be harmful to your pet. I have found safe and effective, alternative products that work very well; Wondercide, Coat Defense and the use of a flea comb by holding my dogs skin and comb gently, but all over several times to check for fleas as well as continuing to vacuum to rid them of fleas. If I see an area on my pet that seems to be irritated, I will use the same protocol described mixture above (the diluted apple cider vinegar (I like Braggs brand) and equal parts with purified water). I’ve used this in conjunction with my specific aloe soothing spray on the area as well as the muricin 2% ointment to help healing. If need be I will use an e-collar on my dog so that it is not re-irritating that area more by licking, biting or scratching it (so it will have a chance to heal).

Nutrition is the key in all good health: It is proven that nutrition in humans is utmost important in fighting against illness and disease and improper nutrition can cause weak immune systems and yeast. So, this is also a factor for our pets as well. In researching about the way dry kibble pet food is processed and some with horrible chemicals, many even have problems with mites, as they come in large quantities that sit there for a while and a lot of them are just not that fresh. As well the dry kibbles (canned dog-food too), could be lacking in the nutrition that dogs need; as commercial dog foods are convenient and could just be filling our pets up, but not always giving them the nutritional needs dogs really should have and ingredients in them can cause digestive issues and yeast buildup over time. Plus, dogs (as in any pet), may be needing certain vitamins, proteins or such to help with a deficiency. Many dog foods seem to have Ingredients such as : wheat, meat or meal by-products of (some kind), yeast, some various protein break downs and parts of chicken and other animal meats and fish, among various starches, carbs, fruits, sugars, soy, corn and other types of fillers and these seem to cause a lot of skin issues and digestive issues over time, since it’s not what dogs should be eating (and at the least, not everyday).

*It all made sense, since the kibble dry dog foods, fillers, by-products, (animal-meal) chemicals, wheat, corn, chicken, (carbs), certain grains, starchy vegetables and whatever else, in the dog or human foods that was given to my dogs in which may additionally contain carbs or starch (bread, chips, bagels etc. and even peas and potatoes, dairy, fruits and sugars) and these seem to trigger and contribute to the build-up of yeast and allergies symptoms. Plus, where the commercial dog food is made; there could be other products that are manufactured out of that same factory your pet may have allergies too. As well, what is fed by the farmers that raise the animals used for protein in the pet foods, could be things that your dog may be allergic to. This can cause such confusion because the a product you could be feeding your pet may not be suitable, then you try another, but you still won’t get any better results. (I had also read that changing your pets food after several years to one similar that agrees with them and rotate back to original (if it agreed with them) just to give variety and tolerance). So their system doesn’t create an allergy from too much of one thing all the time and become intolerant to it, but not sure if all that is totally true. One must also be cautious of ingredients in the dog cookies and treats, that can cause issues.

Allergy & Antibiotic shots often help: I had tried everything traditional from all the advice of several veterinarians to other dog owners, but nothing was actually curing them. There was relief from the allergy symptoms (itching, scratching and sores), with some holistic remedies and other sufficient products and there are several different types of allergy shots that are given to dogs to help relieve the symptoms and they’re not all very safe to use, but many pet owners will end-up using any of them for their dogs, out of desperation. My vet used a shot called Cytopoint (a protein not a steroid) and a shot called Convenia or Cefovecin (antibiotic) when things got to out of control and unmanageable (where it may have caused wounds or raw skin). Even though it had been recommended to be given to my pet on a weekly or monthly basis, I would only use the Cytopoint shots when needed, usually every 3-6 months or even just once a year (while managing in between) or when and if there was an actual outbreak of a flare-up. Allergy shots such as Cytopoint, helps with managing the symptoms, yet, “it does not preventing the culprits that are triggering them”.

*One must understand that when using allergy shots or allergy remedies, it can help, and the symptoms will seem to be gone. Your pet may be good and they may not need another allergy shot for months. This will all depend upon if still feeding foods that is building yeast or re-visiting a grassy area that could have pesticides or pollen and beginning of new allergy seasons or possibly if pet is being feed some other treats or being bit by fleas, having a yeast issue already or in contact with what triggers the flare-ups once again. Anything of those, could be triggering the allergy. Therefore, the protocol can be deceiving and frustrating, as you may have seen results and there can be flare-ups again. Don’t rule out fleas, just because your pet may not have had an issue with fleas, they could pick-some-up outside or at some other area or place or even an insect bite (ant or mosquito) and  this can prompt them to scratch and itch to cause skin irruptions and these can trigger the flare-ups once again.  The biggest dilemma in healing any issue is to know what to be using as the correct protocol and in which one, when, how much, how often and why?

Patients, Protocols and Diligence are needed:  Knowing whether the symptoms or allergies are being flared-up by food or environmental elements. This can be difficult because even if you had your pet’s food-allergies under control, environmental elements could possibly trigger allergies again, and vice-versa. However, whether you are using proper protocols or making an assessment (in choosing them), if the issue or allergies symptoms are not healing or are already unmanageable, it is important to get assistance from a professional veterinarian (traditional, holistic or homeopathic) that will help in managing and halting the issues. Meanwhile, in trying to help manage your pets symptoms; it often takes a pet having to consistently wearing an E-collar, even when using healing protocols. Especially if you are not able or going to be around your pet, to keep them from getting to their irritated or healing skin. The E-collar can be taken off when your dog is going to eat or go out on walks to go potty or when they go to sleep (unless you are able to watch or listen for them getting at their affected area), but it may be needed while you sleep, so they won’t be getting at the affected areas. 

*I did have success with managing the symptoms and to help heal the rashes and breakouts with some Holistic remedies (all of what I used listed below). I will clean off their paws, when they came in from the outside, when around swampy or grassy areas that may also have been sprayed with pesticides or with environmental allergies especially during pollen season (spray bottle of purified water and a clean rag or safe wipes for dogs) and if sensitive to pollen, avoid going outside in the early morning and late afternoon when pollen levels are at their peak. As well, I also always pick up my dogs poop after they went, even if it was in our own backyard as the dogs run through the backyard, so not for them to get some of it on their paws and cause more bacteria to be brought into the house from on their paws and sweaty-dirty paws also causing them to be excessively licking their dirty paws, that can keep the paws moist and growing yeast issues.

Lack of Exercise Boredom and Emotional & Stress Issues:  When dogs are bored, their needs not met or have emotional or anxiety stress, they will do what comes natural to entertain themselves (chewing, digging, licking) or just seems to be annoying or misbehaving (it’s not their fault). They can not do the things they need by themselves and they must rely upon us to provide and help them. Dogs (like any other animal) has basic needs that must be met, such as; of attention and care, to be fed, some treats, getting out to eliminate to go potty and getting enough exercise and rest. Besides getting what I just listed as basic pet needs, if your dog gets enough attention and exercise (based on breed, size, activity & age) they usually will be more likely to enjoy resting and being more calm and content. Yet, when a pet don’t feel well (for all different reasons), they tend to self-soothe themselves. If your pet is already having allergy symptoms or is feeling stress or bored, this can be a cycle that may create issues for them and their skin. To help boredom, anxiety or stress there are various ways and things pet owners can get or do. Practice a routine each day that you will do for your pet, that helps your pet to know and be able to depend upon. Such as; a schedule or routine, to take them out to potty and making sure they go (watch for their clues that the need to go) and a feeding schedule 2x’s a day and going out to potty may be 2-3 or 4x’s a day) regardless, doing these at a specific time each day, so they know they can depend upon it.  There are also many dog items such as, snuffle mats, interactive dog toys, dog puzzles and many other items. Pets may also suffer from aches and pains in joints and other areas from various reasons and there are supplements for those (such as dasuquin with MSM). CBD or dog calming chews can also help calm a distressed or pet with or having anxieties.

Getting to the root of the problem:  I already knew some of the common culprits of causing allergies and other health issues, as they were: kibbles dry food and many of the ingredients in them, corn, wheat, grains, soy and certain animal proteins due to intolerance (obesity and lack of exercise) and some environmental elements. I also realized that whenever in the past, my dogs ate food with any wheat and chicken, they seemed to develop a skin issue (honestly at first, I was in denial of this). I just did not understand, why my dogs could not eat chicken, while other dogs could without an issue. So, I was making an effort finding dog food, dog cookies and treats with no wheat or chicken (as I was battling to heal my dogs). It was one thing to find grain-free and even corn and soy-free, but chicken and wheat-free as well, that was difficult to find and healthy pet-food toppers started becoming available, companies realizing the pet foods had not been sufficient. As many pet foods will even say; beef or salmon as their main ingredient, but in reading the ingredients, chicken, wheat, yeast or starch is in there and in some kind of form and that also goes for every dog cookie or dog treat out there. You may find an all-beef-bully-sticks for treats and bone chews, as they have a large selection at many of the pet stores, but they can get pricey. I did finally find some suitable dog cookie, treats and healthy crunchy bone treats and with some of them, I use a garden plant-pruner cutting tool, to cut them in half or so, to divide them up and last more days. 

In the the Elimination of specific foods given: In using an elimination diet, I eliminated chicken, wheat, and most grains from my dogs diets and now I was going to additionally avoid giving them any starches, soy, yeast, carbs, grains, fruits, sugar, dairy and other fillers (boy are they going to miss those pieces of bagels I used to give them!) I also gave them probiotics after they eat their meals, as I tried this protocol to clear their gut and where, I felt all the issues may coincide. The elimination diet supported my own suspicions that in order to clear up digestive issues, skin conditions, allergy symptoms and breakouts that the dogs were having; it was going to have to be cleared and healed not only in battling it from the outside of the dog (with the protocols to heal and clean the skin issues), but also with combating it from the inside (as we-humans also do this to help ourselves), from inside the gut. Whereas, I had already seen and had success with healing the wounds on the outside with certain healing products and now to heal the inside gut. As, obesity, malnourished or imbalanced gut and a week or compromised immune system can also cause toxins that come out through the skin.

*NOTE* Now there’s a tricky part to all of this because there are different situations that have to be understood and realized, while trying to figure-out what is causing issues with your pet (whether food or environment), especially when your pet already has an allergy or flare-up. So, unless the allergy symptoms or issue was already in the process of healing or cleared-up, it will make it difficult to distinguish what’s causing it or the true tolerance  of what you fed them.  This is where I feel it may become most frustrating, so with this in mind; if your pet is healing while on the elimination (restrictive diet as described above and below), then keep on the same foods that seem to be healing them. If not healing try another single animal protein and repeat.

The main feeding protocol when using Elimination Diet: I only fed my dogs cooked animal proteins, beef (med to med rare) preferably steak-meat cut up and cooked lamb and cooked fish, salmon is a good one (fresh fish is always better than canned), but I keep on hand canned (the lowest sodium ones) salmon, mackerel, sardines plain in water and occasionally give them cooked shrimp, cooked ground beef or pork. So, whatever meat protein, I knew they weren’t allergic to by trying each one individually and then added a little amount of some non-starchy veggies; such as chopped up carrots, green beans or kale (stems removed). I only give broccoli (florets-tops not stem part) once in awhile, as it can be gassy for their digestion (I had to mix in the veggies and cover it with the meat or fish protein for my picky dog). I did this for 2 weeks faithfully (may need to do this process 4-6 weeks) as I would feed 1 type of animal or fish protein at a time) and I saw good results . I had to still be aware of any bug bites, as this causes flare-ups all over again (and living in an RV and camping out in woods there’s much opportunity for that).

*NOTE*- After fully getting it under control and their skin had all cleared up, kept doing this for a couple more weeks and they had not been excessively scratching, itching, licking or biting. I kept giving them the meat protein and occasionally a non-starch veggies and as I added a dog food (I found, called “Solid Gold” brand canned beef dog as I tried this one, staying away from dry-food kibbles, but there are several grain-free food, few ingredient dog food choices (just be careful to check ingredients). I adjusted the portions appropriately and kept giving them the fresh cooked meats or fresh fish and rotating the cooked meats and fish and once in awhile tuna fish, salmon or mackerel in the can and non-starchy veggies (re-proportioned) as toppers to the canned dog food.

*In the event that I did not have fresh made meats or fish to cook and add to my dogs food as toppers, I would always keep on hand, (Nulo brand freeze dried meat organs) to add to their canned solid gold dog food. Eventually, I gave (as a treat once in awhile), some Greek plain yogurt (just as a treat only now and then), but there’s only 1 brand I found around here that was safe enough called FAGE 2% Greek yogurt. I found that this one was okay to give to dogs, it has no sugar or sugar substitutes that are dangerous to dogs or bad stuff added. Once in awhile I would give blueberries and strawberries too (you can grind them up in a blender and then mix it into their foods if they won’t eat it alone. I also would mix tumeric herb powder and coconut oil. I make a paste and I would add it to their food once in awhile, but not everyday. Turmeric helps reduces inflammation and helps in healing and coconut oil (can be used on them as well, just not everyday) . I have also given supplement-vitamins of fish oil or a fatty acid such as omega-3 or omega-6 oil , they can also get these vitamins from feeding fresh or canned salmon, sardines or other canned fish. Pure canned pumpkin ( plain) can also help if stools are runny or diarrhea, give until better. I have also given my dogs a safe and pure Aloe Vera that I list below in protocols. Yet, if diarrhea is not better within 2 days, get your dog to the doctors to have checked.

*So if they had flareups as I added things , I knew which was causing it and I eliminated that to totally (that’s how I figured out the chicken and wheat was causing some of it), but eventually found flea bites, really made havoc on my senior doggie.. Even just if I only found one on her!!

*I can say, after these protocols, it has been more manageable and my dogs have clear skin, shiny coats and are not excessively itching, scratching or licking at all (only to groom themselves or an occasional self-soothing when trying to calm themselves). Not that my dogs (or any pet) will ever not scratch, lick or itch themselves, they do. As my dogs themselves are subjected to insects and such many times, as we do a lot of outside living. So, If I notice an area here and there that could have been a reaction to a bug bite or whatever and was irritated by my dogs scratching, I quickly clean the area and use whichever protocol needed to help soothe and heal it and it goes away. “So there may be an irritation or skin upset again, even after your pet is healed, but learning to manage these skin upsets if and when they occur with a proper protocol immediately, is to keep it from becoming unmanageable and constantly frustrating or aggravating, to either my pet or myself”

Keeping up hope and following through: Once I knew what foods now to feed my dogs and what to avoid giving them (and stuck to it), and to just stay away from things dog just shouldn’t eat, regardless of what is offered, advertised and out on the shelves or online for us to buy. Our dogs ancestors may have been wolves, but our pets are domesticated and it gets a little trickier because their systems, emotions, environments, owners behaviors and surroundings can all vary and all have specific needs, and they are not the same as a wild dog outside.. For each dog may have different levels of activity, grooming needs, sensitivities, triggers of allergies and the owners availability of funds and time.

*I had come to the conclusion, that the elimination diet did help me figure out what foods my dogs were having issues with, but I also learned dogs, just should not be eating things that dogs, just should not be eating, regardless (whether the social media internet, google, veterinarian or others say it’s “safe for dogs to eat”). As, I find some of those things “safe for dogs to eat” as in potatoes, cheese, yogurt, certain fruits etc..to be only given may be, as a treat once in awhile or even not at all and only if your pet has a very clean gut and healthy system.. I also realize that some dogs can develop seasonal allergies and could be more sensitive to certain foods and environmental things then other dogs. Some dogs also like to groom themselves more than others and it may appear that they are reacting from allergies, but could be just cleaning themselves and Most often dogs get a bug bite or an irritation from some thing, but it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s an allergy and it may go away within a day or week or so and may call for the dog to have some kind of protocol, as mentioned in above protocols.

*Also discovering that, there are seasonal blooms in certain months, different areas and variety of household or laundry cleaners, chemicals, dust and other environmental things that may trigger allergies again, even if you had their food allergies under control. If your dog seems to be sensitive to pollen season, avoid going outside in the early morning and late afternoon when pollen levels are at their peak. Cleaning out AC vents is beneficial because pollen, dust mites and dander are allergens known to stick and get trapped in them as well. For all and any-dogs walking in dirty or wet roads, grass (swampy) and grass that pesticides may be on, make sure to clean and wipe their paws coming in from the outside.  Keep lawns mowed and keep pets out of high grown fields. The same mixture and remedy (in above chapters) of “Apple Cider Vinegar”, which must  ALWAYS BE DILUTED with equal parts of purified water, can be used also on your pet for flare-ups from food, pollen, seasonal and environmental allergies.

One fix does not fit all or any issue: It’s not one fix or one thing that fixes all, but it’s been much better for my dogs and it has cleared up the constant issues they were having. Remember when using homeopathic, holistic remedies and even with traditional methods, it’s not always going to be a quick fix, as it takes time to see results and you may have to repeat the use of some homeopathic or holistic remedies a couple times a day to ensure the consistency for healing.

***Here’s the Protocols; that I saw successful results with.****

1. Yeast issues cause fungus, bacteria and issues can grow fast, “Apple Cider Vinegar also known as ACV (I use Braggs) any brand must be DILUTED with equal parts of purified water and I put the mixture in a spray bottle and rub it into the affected area and you can also make enough mixture up to use as a whole body skin and fur rinse (careful not to get it into their eyes), just apply, rub it in, then rinse and towel pat dry or you can apply with square cosmetic cotton pads where needed. I also use the mixture put into a spray bottle and can spray it on areas on their skin, in tops of inner ears and such (if their skin or outbreak is very raw or bleeding, wait a day or two) and use a skin soothing balm by natural dog company, or muricin ointment 2%, aloe-vera and vitamin E oil depending what the need calls for), until it calms down. Use an E-collar in the meantime. This way your pet does not get to it and irritate area even more and gives a chance for skin to heal. This solution (along with using the e-collar), seems to really work well on yeast issues on the skin, outbreaks, paws and yeastie-ear issues. The Apple cider vinegar (must be diluted with purified water 50/50) as it could have a burning or stinging effect, but diluted as a cleanser for the skin it can balance the pH of the skin, so it help to heal the skin (be careful around eyes, if needing to use in that area, use q-tips on precise areas, but do not use a q-tip down in dogs ear) and in cleaning the ears, (there is a proper way to do so), the dogs ear canals are “L”-shaped and I use cotton cosmetic squares pads and apply that solution (not too saturated), but enough to clean down inside, using a new cotton pad until clean (my one dog seems to need his ears kept clean more often than my other dog). So, I always keep a check on them and when I see build-up I clean them. Remembering to comfort your pet as you apply any types of medicines or healing products. After using any skin protocols and the outbreaks start to heal, I will often put vitamin-e oil and massage that into the drying scab or dry skin and that helps to relive that and heal, to also help grow hair back (has to be done a couple times a day as healing and even while the hair is growing back.

2.“Skin Soother” is a balm in a tin, by natural dog company and it works really well for rashes and other skin issues (clean area then gently, rub in well). I’ve used it on their paws in between their paws, carefully around eyes and I’ve used it on different rashes on their bodies it’s been very healing.. They have a Facebook page as well and they have other products as well and they are not only for their paws and noses!! For flea and mosquito control I use Coat Defense, it is a powder that you just sprinkle a little at a time on your pet (a little goes a long way) and rub into their fur and skin, it works real well, I only have to apply it once in awhile or whenever I know my dogs are going to be out where they will be outside for awhile and mosquitoes and flying bugs may bother them. Coat Defense Company also makes a Paste for the skin issues (as with ANY PRODUCT used, I always take a clean utensil to remove product from container) and with this “paste product” it is tricky to use, I add a little water to it before well for some skin irritations, but it has to be applied thin and removed with a clean warm water towel or rag gently after it dries as it creates a hard substance and must use with caution. I only use this paste product to calm down an area and then after it dries and heals the sores, I just gently use a warm water towel or rag to remove it. As mentioned I also keep on hand Muricin ointment 2% (it is an antibiotic ointment for dogs (and humans).

3. I use specific Aloe Vera products (one is a spray called aloe-first vet formula, another is the aloe gelly, the aloe moisturizing lotion and the aloe juice drink called Aloe Vera gel-juice for dogs only the one in yellow bottle ), these products I have been using myself and for my pets since the 80’s, it’s the only Aloe Vera product that has been successful in help with healing my pets with many ailments (including my own, my friends and family’s), over the years. I had given these products to anyone that needed it. I am a fulltime RV-er now on the road, it is not as easy to do that anymore, so I made a link to purchase and get products mailed out. If interested in them; the link to website and to get a discount as well is https://myhealingaloevera.flp.com

4. Clearing the gut and regeneration of new cells, I think this worked so well, by avoiding any chicken (and any other meat protein your dog may be allergic to), wheat, starches, soy, yeast, carbs, grains, fruits, sugar and dairy. Doing this faithfully for at least 2 weeks or longer until you see results. Once you see successful results, start incorporating dog food (I use solid gold brand, beef canned trying this one), I mix the fresh cooked (not over-cooked) meat protein (preferably steak pieces or fish (and keep portions correct for size of animal) and the non-starchy vegetables (optional), that I would mix in and I continued to give a probiotic treat after their meals. Some treats I’ve found that did not cause issues are made by (the hive company bee treats, nature gnaw company bones, great choice company beef and sweet potato wraps) and As a treat only once in a while, I gave them some yogurt (now and then), the brand I found is called FAGE 2% plain Greek yogurt, I found that was okay to give them, as it has no sugar, dangerous sugar substitute or bad stuff added. In the event that I did not have fresh made meats or fish bought to add to my dogs food, I would always keep on hand, (Nulo brand freeze dried meat organs) to add to their canned solid gold dog food . After keeping our pet on an eliminating diet and see good results, you can add foods as I did, you will then make a note of what was given, in case of any new flare-ups. So you’ll know if it’s something to avoid. If I could just feed my dog (and knew exactly the amount of what) fresh cooked proteins, veggies and such that they could eat daily and appropriate vitamins, minerals needed, I would do that and not even give them any commercially made food at all. As the few weeks I had done just that, they seemed to be the most cleared from their skin issues. So, I may re-investigate that notion in the near future!! I am always trying to learn better nutrition for dogs and on the lookout for healthy dog foods, one I may try is called “Sundays”. Let me know if any of you tried that for your dogs?

**Yet, once removing, not using or cutting out, all the things that seemed to be giving them outbreaks, keeping their meals stricter and no human snacks-sharing, that dogs could eat (because of those sad eyes begging), having them eat only what dogs should be eating, it can became more manageable. I noticed much improvement from limiting taking my dogs in lawn-grassy, swampy, moldy, yeast or pollen possible areas . My one doggie has to still wear her e-collar (now and then) when I have to leave her if she is having a flareups that needs tending to and I’m not there to watch her or if she gets a bug bite or has anxieties . She also likes to groom herself a bit. I will use an E-collar, but take it off if I take her outside for a walk and to rub her to sleep at night. If she happens to get what may be a bug bite and if I see her staring to gnaw or she has an occasional flare-up, I use my protocols of ACV diluted with purified water, healing balms, aloe Vera and remedies of such and the E-collar is back on, just in case to keep her from getting to any area they may need to heal.

It took me awhile to figure out the things that were causing my dogs flare-ups and to find solutions in coping and managing my dogs allergy issues. In using successful protocols, food & treats that my dogs could eat and not cause issues and learning to be aware of other possible things that could be causing them to have flare-ups or trigger allergies symptoms, it’s been much better!

I pray this information will help others. Please don’t hesitate to ask me any questions on what to use and of how much or the process in which protocol in what order to do so, for what issue..

Please let me know what you are going through with your pet, what you have tried and what has not helped or has helped your pet. Thank You!

Feel free to ask me any question you may have about any of the protocols, products or how to use them, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

C .Star. V

Upon Aging Well

“All of what our lives have to offer us, sadly some may never get an opportunity to experience, enjoy or even know of. In choosing to be grateful, experience living, loving, giving and appreciate one’s “Life”, in itself” . C .Star. V

I was the youngest child growing up and even as I got older, I continued to be surrounded by those much older than myself. I did have friends that were my age, but majority of the people around me, were much older than me. In my 20’s and 30’s, I was still surrounded by many friends about or near 10 years older than myself. Then, at one point (which seemed so sudden), I was the oldest within my new friends and others around me. This was definitely an awaking part of my life.

I recall in my 40’s , I visited my 70-year-old auntie, she once had recovered from breaking her hip when she was younger and had just survived cancer for the second time. You could say, she was, what was called (an unsinkable “Molly Brown” type women). On my visit with her, I had asked her, “What is it like being 70 years old and aging? She began to tell me her daily routine..

One of the things that she told me, that stuck in my memory was, when she first gets up in the morning there are days she has a lot of aches and pains, but she heads to a warm shower and lets the warm water therapeutically ease those pains away and then, she feels quite better and starts her day. She told me she enjoys her cup of coffee in the morning and looks forward to a swim in the ocean every day, as water seemed to be her life therapy and she always lived near or on the beach. If she couldn’t get time to go down to the ocean, she would make time to at least go for a swim in the pool (she sure did have a good tan). She ended up having surgery in her late 80’s (due to a old pacemaker, it needed updating sooner as it was older technology),but she did survive it and then passed away not too long afterwards and lived to 90 yrs old!!

I also observed both my grandmothers and my mother upon their aging, as well. One of my grandma’s, had a faithful routine every day, when she woke-up, she got dressed-up, put on her jewelry, did her hair and make-up and put on her high heels, she did this ‘till the day she passed away, which was close to 90 years old as well. My other grandma, was more of a free spirit, she lived life with such a good sense of humor, she had an infectious laugh and was quite a spontaneous lady. She was always ready to have fun, travel and had such a carefree manner about her, she lived until around 97. My mom was and still is a gracious and cheerful person, even though she was a very strict parent and had been more of an introvert type personality. She worked with the public until she was 78, but then my sibling and I had to tell her she had to stop driving and working (it was for her own safety) she was not too happy about it and she actually worked with a woman that was very active and in her 80’s.

I may not feel as though, I had the type of life or personalities of any of these women in my life, but I had been fortunate to witness such strong and gracious woman figures, in my life. Even though all of them were different, they seem to have had the same mindset. I think that’s what made a difference in the way they aged and why they ended-up seemingly happy, as they lived their lives out. Even though, they grew older and looked different than their younger years, that’s not what came across.. As, they were happy with themselves, with life and living..

With decades behind me now, I thought about what I would say to someone, if they asked me; “What it is like to be getting older and be your age”? Well, I’d have to say, there’s a couple of changes I’ve noticed. One, is in the motivation factor. Whether, I am felling well, in good physical shape and well mental health, “The wanting to do-things-mode” is a bit more relaxed. Not that I don’t want to do things or be active, I’ve never been one to relax (writing helps).

I notice that as you get older it seems as though you can get tired more
easier (especially if you are not kept active or if bored). For myself and
others over a certain age, even if they’ve always been active
or not and if they are still active or may still want-to or can and
able to-get-to-do many things,
the pace and the ‘wanting-to’ may have
changed a bit. As well as, the tolerating of everyday repeated or
excess stress
. When younger the stress level that was once able to be
tolerated, can no longer be tolerated without much toil and possible damage
faster to effect ones health.

The one bothersome thing for me is, “The Greying Hair”. It’s not so much that greying hair can make you look older (that’s one thing), but it’s just the having-to-deal with it and eventually it feels like a chore. So, as I started more greying and even white hair, I decided to color it lighter. I know that graying and white hair is just another part of aging and looks good on so many people, but I wasn’t ready just yet, to have that look.. I had been in the beauty business for years (when I was younger) I changed the color of my hair all the time, yet it doesn’t feel the same when you’re (having to) color it to cover the grey. However, I am grateful and have surely earned those “Grey-Hairs”.

Most people as they age or begin to get older, may complain about aging, in what they can’t do or didn’t get to do. This is common, but when it’s in excess (as complaining) about getting older and not being able to be enjoying their life, they seem to get in a mindset of feeling too old and speaking negatively can start to make one feel sick. This most likely, is done out of fear, regrets and uncertainty. In addition to, not adhering to their health or accepting and coping beneficially with changes in themselves and their lives. As I said above, people get older, but they still may want to do more (to check off that bucket list), but just as when younger, there are factors that take place. Some factors could be, getting injured or hurt, sometimes it take longer to heal as people age, for others it’s finding their-own-time because they may care for aging parents and have young adult children with grandchildren that they want to spend time with (which can be a good thing) and others may have health issues, financial issues etc.. these can also determine, how much one is able to or can do.

As well, when we compare our lives and ourselves to other people (especially as we age) it can cause deception and inaccuracies of reality. People cope in all different ways to aging, in how they do things and how they look. I personally have never had any enhancements, augmentation’s or any alterations (well I color my hair). I always felt, clean water and the foods we eat (getting proper nutrition) is most vital. Yet, not everyone has access to some things nor are willing to do some things. “Aging is a process within nature, one in which you don’t necessarily need to fight it and yet, not totally be accepting of it”. Sure it’s nice to have a little help and looking better, but you know the sayings “You don’t want to mess with Mother Nature” and “If it’s not broke, then don’t try and fix it” (well a little maybe), but not much or too much.

However, one must be able to pleasantly go with the flow of aging and realize ones limits. As we age our bodies can change physically and mentally, but for some people it’s not as noticeable. We can learn from aging people with a healthy aging mindset and knowing of our limitations. One must be understanding about the aging process and it may take having to re-invent oneself (or ones lifestyle) just as in any other situation in life. Prevention of illness (healthier food & weight), medications needed for treatment, along with extra stressful situations removed, calculations of home safety (to ensure less falling and harmful mishaps) within ones preparations in their life-cycles, habits and routines.

At one point or another we all fear aging, but it is a natural process and it doesn’t have to be a scary, sad or a negative thing. Being more conscientious and keeping careful and healthy in ones, younger years will help with the flow as one ages, into a graceful-ager. Regardless, I think it’s important to learn how to have a positive outlook upon aging (read different articles, blogs and opinions, about aging well). One must have the want-to-gracefully-age, have a mindset to live and enjoy life, along with the appreciation of even ‘being able’, to become a senior person. One must keep finding or creating meaning, joy and purpose in one’s life (accept those things you can’t change & change the things one needs to) and a good sense of humor often helps a lot.

Just keep in wanting to live-out your life, to the very-end, no matter what, while practicing a mindset of being happy and healthy as you go through the decades. No need to have a perfect diet or body, but keep closer to healthier foods, purified water and keeping your body active with stretching and walking, those are a must (adding some free-weights for muscle toning & building), these helps to keep you on the right path. Worry less, by enjoying more, have a hobby that’s fun to you, interact with people that have the same attitude about accepting and enjoying life, while being older. Have some younger, but mature friends, keep your communication with family and friends as this is important (do some traveling) and surround yourself with people that are loving and caring. Teach children to do the same…

As stated, a common factor in aging, is realizing your limits, coping and adapting to what is needed, at whatever age you are.. “What we think we can do and what we want to do, as these may not all coincide”. This seems to happen, even in the best of us humans, whether or not we are healthy, fit and have a healthy lifestyle. Even if, our bodies can still look good and if we can have positive attitudes. To be happy and feel good at any level of our lives, it is important to understand the value of knowing one’s limits (physically and mentally). We may not be able to keep up the same pace of doing things, as we did when we were younger and that’s okay, being able to (only) do some thing’s is better than doing nothing, but this often is the most difficult notion to accept.

This notion has been the most difficult one for me, but I had begun to understand and recognize more of my limits and still, know what I want and can do. An extremely helpful thing to learn is planning out life goal strategies, your finances way in advance, be skilled at something and learn to be resourceful. This helps even when things don’t turn-out as well financially or as planned (I know first-hand). As a stay-at-home-mom, doing my best to raise all our children, while on a budget and later living on even smaller budget, but thank goodness for Plan B and C!! There is no “One thing, fits all” in life. Just learn to make wiser choices! I myself and others I know, could have made a few more wiser choices, but most beneficial in life is about how you end-up to view it all.. So just flow with it and proceed on….

I learned these tactics and to use the strong, gracious and humorous attitudes of my aunt’s, grandma’s, mother, other female and male members of my family, and friends that surrounded me. I’ve lived in many scenarios, had experienced various lifestyles, hobbies, employments and my appearance has varied over the years. I also had a wonderful family doctor growing up (he was an older gentleman) and was retiring when I was in my late teens. In one of the last times that I had seen him, he was saying goodbye to me and told me these three things; 1. Please don’t rely just on vitamin supplements in getting proper nutrition, eat your vitamins within real food. 2. Exercise is a must of some type, it will be needed (wear a watch and start by walking 15 mins. straight), then no matter where we are at walk back and that’s 30 mins! (If you need to start less then do 10 mins and build up from there) and he said it’s not how fast your walk, it’s how far you go! 3. If you, a loved one, your pet or a friend is ever takes ill, has a condition or is diagnosed with something, always promise me to get a second opinion! Those things he told me, were priceless and I shall hope to never forget them!!

I seemed to always keep that thought of myself, as that younger me, the surfer, hippie-ish, beach loving gal (I think my soul relates to that well). I’ve learned to get up early, not only get things done, but to enjoy the earlier hours of the day for myself. “No matter how I feel, I don’t let it take over, how I want to feel” and I may have accepted some of the aging process, but I’m not totally give in…

“In this aging process, the absolute most important thing I’ve learned, within aging and living happier is that one needs to love, make ‘friends with’ and be the ‘strongest supporter’, to that person one sees in the reflection of the mirror”.

C .Star. V

How do you feel about aging? Leave a comment below!!

Some Handy & Purposeful Tips

1. Think Always the End-First….When making a choice or decision, give thought to what the “End” results, events, occurrences and what the needs could be or will be. Also, write down these thoughts and what may be needed to resolve issue or dilemmas to are accomplish them. Think of what can happen, whether an experience (good or bad), fun, joy, even the needs or responsibilities it may create (one must be willing to make efforts to uphold their responsibilities it may take), not only for themselves, but for others as well.

2. Always Check The Weather….Either before your day starts or the night before (or for the week) check weather channel or use local weather apps. to help plan your days, traffic driving routes or in planning before a trip (check the weather of that destination), so to know what to expect. It is important to know what the weather will be like, to better plan days for your activities and clothing (cold or hot). Keep a jacket, sweater, extra pair of shoes and a small pop up umbrella (or any type you like) in your car and another umbrella at your home.

3. Prepare Your Days Ahead of Time….Whatever you can get done the night before, can always help with time management for the next day or week. Figure out clothing and/or food or needs for the next day, for yourself, your child, your pet, etc. Whether it’s the laundry, meals planned-out for 4-5 days, planning out what’s needed to get done through the week (month if any events, holidays or birthdays) or projects wanting to finish or get done. Have an area or place you can put your projects to get done aside and that is easy to recall and get to, to get done. **Get and Use calendars and each start of each new month take a moment to write plans, events, birthdays, shopping and how much you spent, laundry, date of paying due bills on-time and such (whatever you need to recall, reminded of or remember). Put them up in areas you frequently can check (like on your bathroom wall or kitchen). So, you can check it often and write on it conveniently.

4. When Making Appointments….Whether making a doctor, dentist, salon reservations or other appointments, coordinate setting up your appt. and in case you have to cancel or change the date, don’t let it be at the last minute. Always try to get in contact or call at the least a 24 hours before or as soon as possible. Being considerate of the schedule and time of the professional and those on a waiting list, someone like yourself may be in need for that time-space. Always keep appt. Reminders on your calendar to help you remember appointments, errands and chores, that need to get done or any event, birthdays or activities (dates and times).

5. Go Through Refrigerator Each Day….Clean out your refrigerator  (check expiration dates), get rid of old or spoiling food. Wipe clean the insides daily or weekly, so it doesn’t become a hugh job later. Arrange food closer to the front on the shelves to be eaten first, so you can use them up and to help you recall what you have, so to remember what you have or need at the store to buy what you need to make meals. These are ways foods get eaten and doesn’t spoil, just sitting in there and be wasted. Try and keep food organized, where you can see them all, don’t buy so much food at one time (things go bad and have expiration dates). Buy what you will eat within 3-5 days (even with sealed saved left-over’s), that way you’ll be buying and eating fresh. Remember to also, periodically check expiration dates on spices, packaged and can goods etc.

6. Write Contents & Dates on Foods…. Use painters tape (it sticks, but comes off easy, area must be completely dry to stick), write on the ‘painters-tape’ to place upon container of food or other items of what the contents are, date made or write “eat by” a specify date. It can be used on various surfaces without ruining them when removing, so it is good to be able to write on with a pen or marker, to leave a message as well. This way you can remember something about an item on the refrigerator or to help relay something and communicate with other’s you may live with.

7. Reuse Plastic baggies, all sizes….Rinse by swishing-out with warm water, a tiny bit of soap (if need be use a clean bottle brush), clean-out and wipe dry with clean towel or paper towel. Place over a bottle or something to dry and reuse plastic baggies. Do not try and rewash ones that had onion, garlic, strong odors or oily substances in them (or raw meat of any kind, throw those out after using ). If the plastic baggies had been only used for bread, fruit, cookies such like that or anything that, it can be rinsed-clean, dried and used a couple times before throwing out.

8. Water Pitcher to Collect Unused Water….Find a water pitcher or container that you can leave-out on the counter as you collect glasses of un-finished water (or plastic bottles of un-finished purified water), dump the water into pitcher as you find them or round them up, before dumping out or throwing away and soon you will be able to re-use that water to water plants, to cleaning or (preferably purified water) for pets. Keep a habit of turning-off running water at sinks, hoses and etc. when washing hands and such. Just amazing how much water we waste.

9. Must Have a Clean Mop & Water….You’d be surprised how dirty the mop is that you are using, to clean your floor with. Floors get clean and stay clean, when the mop being used, is clean before using it and when the pail of water is kept clean, as you clean. Floors should be swept thoroughly first, don’t use large amounts of cleaner and use clean hot water to wash and clean cool water to rinse when done. “YOU can’t clean a floor or area with dirty buckets of water or a dirty mop”, you MUST dump the water out (preferably in the toilet or outside) as you clean (possibly several times, even for one area), fill up bucket again with clean water (after dumping dirty water). Use the clean water in the bucket to rinse mop out (dump that water out), then repeat the process of filling bucket up with a little cleanser, then mop and dump. The floors will stay cleaner longer because you won’t be just moving dirt around and letting it dry. If ever using bleach to clean, hot water to clean (opens up surface pores) and then do a cold rinse, to close and seal surface, this keeps the surface from being so porous and gathering dirt faster. Hot water and white vinegar can clean tile floors nicely, but use only cleaning solutions recommended for specific type of flooring.

10.  Waiting for Foods to Cook….Never start to prepare a meal when you are tired (especially at night close to or before bedtime). Always cook when you will have time to appropriately be able to watch your food and never walk-away from cooking food (in oven or on stove). You can use that time (as food cooks), to clean-up the kitchen and around where you are cooking. You’ll be ready to eat and have minimal time cleaning up and putting things away. If you are waiting for food in the oven or to be delivered, also use this time to clean, organize around the oven area and be ready to eat and clean-up after. Use parchment paper when cooking or baking in the oven, makes it easy for food removal and minimal clean-up. Put some parchment paper down on pan, bake or cook food in over, when done, remove your cooked food and just roll up the used parchment paper near the trash and throw it out. When dealing with hot grease or oil after cooking, let cool a bit, pour in a can (coffee can or such, that won’t melt), if you don’t have anything to pour the excess oil or grease in, let grease cool and use plastic bag (like the ones you get from grocery store), place the plastic bag in garbage and carefully pour cooled grease into it, then wipe whatever had the grease or oil in it out with paper towels . If letting the oil or grease oil to completely cool into a more solidified consistency, then wipe out (with paper towels) and remove all the rest of the oil or grease, in the pan, pot, microwave-able bowl (or whatever used  and has grease in it, get most or all of it off and then wash item with soap and water, doing this there will be no big greasy mess to clean on item, in sink or transfer to dishes or water. Also cuts down on attracting bugs from all that food, grease and waste in drains.

11. Laundry, Dish Soap (Using Way too much)….I have found that most of us use the wrong amount or use too much laundry detergent, dish soap, liquid hand or body soap and even shampoo. Laundry detergent is used as directed and for smaller load use less. Whatever is left in the detergent plastic container (when empty), fill container with some hot water, shake and pour in sink, in toilet to scrub with to clean or to clean hand washing of clothing etc.. Liquid-dish soap, hand soap and shampoo can be a bit trickier, as we squirt or pour those into our hands, try using less at a time because it still will work.

12. Line Small Garbage Pails (Bathroom or any) and cleaning floor-mats. Using plastic grocery bags or from stores (it would be great if all plastic bags were bio-degradable), but nevertheless it will help keep your garbage pails cleaner, easier to just grab the bag and throw out in trash and you can wash or disinfect the pail out easier as well. Also, another tip is to use a sneaker or thick sturdy rubber-bottom-type-shoe to easily remove fuzz , pet hair and such, off outside/inside mats or rugs. This type of shoe-bottom seems to work (it can also work on rugs in house, on stairs to get excess hair and debris, then vacuum), for cleaning rug or mats; place hand in shoe and brush shoe bottom along one direction and it will pull off the hair and such, then remove all the debris, shake off outside/inside mats or rugs and then hose to wash-clean.

14. Make Efforts to Save Some Money…. Even if you can only put aside a small amount from your paycheck or earnings. Each week put it into a safe, a savings account, safety deposit box, (somewhere not easily taken or stolen) and wherever it will be safe and you won’t be inclined to easily take it out (only for an emergency, but then build up again). Let it be saved and build to larger amounts, even if it is difficult to do, it will add up. Don’t buy a lot of inexpensive little things, if you have your goal set on a bigger more useful item. Find ways to be able to save, go without something or learn more to earn more.

13. Finish Your Sentence  with Children….Don’t constantly get upset at children, lose patients and scold them. Don’t get frustrated or just yell at them for not doing the right things. Tell them and show them (in a calm manner), what it is that they need to be doing and what they should be doing (age appropriate). Keep them busy and feeling like they are accomplishing something, by showing them how to play with toys and using their  imagination, giving them something to do (age appropriate). Yet, don’t substitute keeping them busy or watching shows all the time, instead of giving them some of your time and attention. Get outdoors with your children (students, nieces, nephews etc.), look for items in nature (as in a tree, a flower, an insect, a rock), whatever there may or could be around and ask them to find it or point it out.

15. Clean Out Pets Bowls….As days goes by, it is easy to forget to clean-out your pets eating and drinking bowls. Their bowls build-up bacteria in them and get slimy films upon them. Remember to clean-out with hot water, soap and rinse and fully wipe out with paper towel and clean once at least 2 times a month (or more depending upon pet and bowls), it can get gross, unhealthy and cause various harmful and health issues for your pet. “A quick tip is that you can clean all out your pets bowl (in between fully washing), with a paper towel and then, use a spray bottle filled with 1/2 water and white vinegar . Spray this into the bowls and wipe clean in between feedings or cleanings, keeps them from building up slime”.

16. Cut Dog Treat Bones….My dogs get allergic reactions to most dog treats or dog bones on the market, no chicken or wheat ones are difficult to find. Rawhide can be damaging  to their insides and the good-ones are very expensive. So I use a strong small garden clippers or larger ones (depending on the size and thickness of bone treats) I cut them up into 1/2 the size (not too small) just smaller portions, so they last longer and have more to give to them, for more days.

17. Think & Remember About Animals and Pets….Our pets (whatever they are dogs, cats, all animals), look at us for direction and for help. They may not be able to speak in the same manner we do, but they have much emotions, expression, much and feelings. In fact, they have similar emotions as; they get scared, often worry, have anxiety, they want to help, they get angry, they are sad, they can get depressed, they get lonely and they like having fun, can get thirsty, hungry, cold and hot and etc.. and we can see this, in observing them. They need to be shown and taught things too. Many a times they are punished or yelled at, when they are just trying to relay what their needs are, they may have to go to the bathroom or are thirsty or hungry etc. Keeping them on some type of schedule in feeding them and being able to go out and go to the bathroom and eliminate. That way they’ll know they will get food and get to go out to the bathroom.. They may claw at you, bark or mis-behave or do something, anything to get you attention, so that you can help them.

Every Action, may cause a Reaction, may it be positive and purposeful”.

C .STAR. V

Driving Defensively and Traffic Etiquette Guide

Defensive driving, is understanding that other drivers might not be paying attention or they could make mistakes and engage in aggressive driving that , result in crashes. In avoiding accidents, you have to be prepared to handle the other drivers’ mistakes and bad habits, as well as keeping aware of your own driving and keeping control of your own vehicle. Whether you are a Non-Experienced driver or been driving for decades, one can be uncomfortable or even get too comfortable about driving. Yet, we never loose the need to be cautious and mindful when behind-the-wheel.

Here are some Driving tips on being cautious, courteous and avoiding accidents. I cover some basic and some not-so-basic tips, but feel free to comment and add whatever else you may want to mention. Share this page and pass it along to anyone you feel may need or could use this information.

When driving, we are always susceptible to the actions of other drivers. The biggest error is trusting other drivers to be careful on the roads. Scenario’s and circumstances are ever-changing, each time we get out on the road. That’s what makes each time on the road so unpredictable. The biggest factors that will keep you safely driving on the road is being alert and aware (watching and (keeping an eye on reading the road) and not to be in a rush and speeding (give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination). Knowing ahead of time where exactly you are going, which route to take and keeping enough space between you and the car in front of you helps tremendously!!

Driving is a Privilege, be courteous to other drivers, take consideration that we are all human and can get into situations. We may be in different lanes, but we are here to share the road and help each other while on it! Just keep alert and aware and don’t jump into becoming upset at other drivers.

Driving is dangerous enough on the roads, one must watch for or stop habits of being a Distracted Driver (texting or in someway not paying attention to the roads) and other risky behaviors are being a Jumper (out-of nowhere, without warning, pulls in front of another vehicles ) or a Weaver (goes from one lane to another) and Speeders (driving in a hurry or as if they are on a racetrack game).

Some basic aspects of Defensive Driving are:

Keep a Safe Distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you. Allowing reaction time and reduce your risk of colliding into cars in front of you or other cars. In bad weather, always keep a safe distance between other cars. Also, keep your eyes moving, look around, especially on long drives so you don’t go into a trance. Keep Alert!

Having Visibility when you need to change your lanes, not only using your mirrors to check for oncoming cars, but checking blind spots to make sure another car isn’t approaching beside you (that may be hidden from sight). Communicate with other drivers to get into another lane. Also be careful of driving in another drivers’ blind spot, to help them avoid crashing into you.

Always use Proper Communication to make sure other cars can see you and knows what you are doing or needing, by using your turn signals to communicate your intent, to merge, change lanes or etc. Also use hand signals to other drivers for assistance if need be, to get over into another lane or to let another driver know of something (maybe they forgot their gas cap or their tire looks flat). Have respect for other drivers when they signal and allow them to turn, change lanes and merge safely.

Before You leave and start driving your car, always check the weather and the time you are leaving to go out on roads, there are time-frames (during the day and late afternoon), that are called rush-hours, where a lot of vehicles will be on the road. Often, just leaving a little bit earlier before rush-hour times or leaving a little bit later, when rush-hour is just getting over (commonly 4:00pm-6:30pm), this can be so much safer. Specific Holidays can also cause the roads to be full of traffic and certain areas, such as state or city parks or campgrounds etc. Busy roads filled with traffic are most hectic and dangerous.

Before driving, (even if you are already in your car and ready to go), first check the best route to where you are heading, look over the map (whether the map is on your phone or physical one), to fully see exactly where you are heading (use the written route on your phone map as well, which can give you a read-out of the whole route) sometimes there’s even a better route than one the GPS suggests, especially if you can identify that on the map or you’re familiar with the area. You should always have a pen, a pad or paper to write on, in your car just in case you need to write a route or something down.

Reading the roads, is being aware of what’s happening in the road ahead of you and all around you. Be aware of where you would go in case you had to pull over and get out of the way of other cars or if something is in the road and you may have to get around it. Keep alert and watch what other cars could be doing, some cars may suddenly put on their brakes or stop to pick-up someone, there could be a car broken down or an accident . You may need to go around an approaching area, get into another lane over or get off that road and take another route. This is way no one should be looking at their phone while driving on the road, WATCH THE ROAD!!

Other common driving tips:

Speeding can kill and is harmful to everyone on the road. Speeding is one of the major causes of road accidents. There’s a reason for speed limits and to obey them for a reason, it will save lives. Speed limits vary on highways, it is essential to make sure you’re traveling within the posted speed limit. Slower speed limits are through roads of neighborhoods, stores, where people congregate or where wildlife tend to be crossing. Remember to adjust speed slower, when also driving through adverse weather conditions like rain and snow, as well as in bumper-to-bumper traffic.

Move into the lane you need to make your turn-off in non-highway road or to exit off highway, ahead of time. Don’t wait too long or at the last minute panic to get over into the lane you need to.. Use you signals and gradually get over and into the lane you will be taking your turn off or exiting the highway and doing this will give you plenty of time to get over to turn off (even if you have to end up being behind someone that’s going slower, as you approach your turn of , it’s better than trying to rush past cars to try and get over). If for any reason you miss your exit, don’t panic, jut go to the next one and turn off there.

Remember to put your lights on when it’s starting to get dark. You can also signal others by using your lights (turn them on and off at another car to remind them to turn on their lights, if they had not and it’s getting dark). Another common time drivers use the blinking of headlights; is when communicating to another person in a vehicle that is trying to get into the lane you are in and you are telling them, you acknowledge them and it is okay to come into the lane in front of you or that it is okay to go, in other instances.

Don’t assume the car waiting at the light in front is going to take off when the light turns green. Keep a bit of a distance, just in case they don’t go or if they hesitate, that way you won’t collide into them . Just because the car in front of you indicates it’s going to be turning right, does not mean that they will actually turn right. Unless you can physically see the vehicle turning, do not presume. Also, drivers are sometimes unaware their indicators are on.

Even when you have the green-light to go through an intersection, always make sure to take a look first, don’t automatically go, there might be a car still coming through the light and it could cause an accident.

Use Seat belts, they are your best self-defense against a vehicle crash and they can help keep you secure and safe, inside your car. Not putting your seat belt on is putting you at risk, without it on, it can’t save you. With them on, it can not only lesson injuries, but will save lives.

Don’t go into a vehicle to Drive if you are upset, have been drinking alcoholic beverages, taken drugs or anything that can alter your judgment. Even an over-the-counter flu medication can impair your judgment and increase your response time. All of these can make a person impaired and lose the capability to function, even when a person thinks it won’t and this risks getting into an accident. In addition to this, persons driving under the influence can be made to pay a massive fine, even end up going to jail and having their license suspended. Protect yourself and fellow drivers, by avoiding altering your ability to drive and if tired or under the influence of anything that could impair you, get someone else to drive you, please just stay away from behind the wheel.

• If your tires suddenly blow out: Do not slam on the brakes. Take a deep breath and don’t panic. Hold steering wheel and gain control over yourself and the vehicle, step off the gas pedal slowly. gently apply the brakes. Do your best to keep the vehicle going straight, Once your speed drops below 30 mph, gently step on the breaks. When you’ve slowed down to a safe speed, 20 mph or so, you can turn the steering wheel slowly to guide your vehicle off the road. When you are safely out of traffic, take another deep breath and call for help.

More Driving, courteous and cautious tips :

You are ALLOWED to do whatever you have to, TO AVOID an accident. Even if you have to miss your exit, so miss it and go to the next one and if you have to veer off the highway unto the shoulder pavement of the road, then do so, (just don’t ever get out of your vehicle and be standing on the side of the road or shoulder side of traffic) and keep away from traffic side of road. If a vehicle in front of you stops short and you have to quickly veer off to the side of road or into a parking lot or such, than do so or if you can, safely go into another lane. If a vehicles coming head on at you then, Brake, look for room to safely go into and get out of the way!

If you do have to drive off the road, to keep or get you out of harms way to avoid any accident, you will have to make a quick decision, especially if you are on the edge of a steep drop and what might look like a nice soft exit, as a grassy ditch could actually have a hidden drop and culvert. Slow down, keep control of your car, as will get the most braking power on a road rather than driving on the verge where grass or gravel, as they will not offer as much friction. If you have no other option, but to hit something to slow you down or avoid hitting another car, think to choose something softer!! Look and choose a large bushes and shrubs to take impact and slow you down more gently, help direct vehicle back into the road. Instead of a stiff tree(s) or hard object (which will do more damage to you and your car). There could be guard to hit in case there is no other better option and hit it on an angle or sideways as they are made to help the vehicle do a sliding to stop. In having no other choice, but to run into or hit something, try not to panic, think and choose wisely. It may damage your vehicle and hurt you some, but you may avoid a worse accident and it will save lives. .Regardless, steer away from EVER hitting anything HEAD-ON-STRAIGHT with your vehicle, go to steer sideways or at an angle.

• Remember, If ever you are going to hit or run into something steer sideways before making impact and hitting something will cause the airbags to go off, so taking your hands off the steering wheel at the last minute, before the impact will help prevent broken wrists and powder burns on your arms. If your arms are crossed when the airbag goes off, the airbag will hit your forearms while you are gripping the steering wheel. This can easily break your wrist. Your arm will be flung backwards into your face which can break your nose and knock out teeth, as well as break your forearm.

When Feeling Unsafe, Unsure, need to text safely , JUST PULL OVER!! Whenever, you encounter any situation that may interfere in anyway, with your ability to keep your focus upon the road; NEVER PUT YOURSELF in a risky circumstance because on the road, seconds count. If another driver is angry or has road rage, don’t engage in it or even look at them, keep eyes on road and let them pass or just keep away from them and safely drive on.

When traveling on the highway always Read the road ahead . If cars are coming into or merging onto the highway from an exit, look to see the adjacent lane that you can move over to (if you can), so the cars can merge onto the highway and you can avoid panic or accidents and then you can change back into you lane after .

When approaching unto or merging into the highway if there’s ever a big truck coming past in traffic within a short distance away, let the truck pass then get unto the highway. It takes a lot to slow a big truck down . Don’t ever try and get in front of a big truck, unless you have plenty of room and time to speed up way ahead of the oncoming truck. Trucks and big rigs carrying things need more warning and time to slowdown. Be courteous to truck drivers and big rigs. It is very difficult for them to maneuver around other cars in traffic and extremely difficult to stop. Let trucks just get on their way down the road and pass on. Best to just get into and use the next lane over instead, to avoid ever needing to pass a truck. When on the highway, if there happens to be a big truck (or any vehicle) going a bit slower in front of you, if in the right lane and you either are going to get off an exit to the right, just wait and get off your exist. If in the right lane and there is an immediate need to pass a big truck (or any vehicle) safely move into the middle lane, gradually speed-up and get several car lengths ahead of the truck, make sure you have your turn signal on to let the trucker (or person in any vehicle) know you are needing to pass and then pass them safely into the lane. If in the middle behind a big truck and need to pass them, get into the far left (fast lane) trucks are usually not allowed in fast lane) and same applies; get several car lengths ahead of the truck (or any vehicle), make sure you have your turn signal on to let the trucker (or person in any vehicle) know you are needing to pass and then pass them safely into the lane. Sometimes you may be behind a slower truck or vehicle and they are in the exit lane and you need to get off the exit approaching, just lower your speed, be patient and get off to your exit. PATIENTS PAYS OFF ON THE ROAD and just keep out of the way of trucks and big rigs !!

“Look Twice, Save a Life”, Keep a lookout for motorcyclist, whether you’re on the highway or neighborhood street. Be aware of motorcyclists and let them be aware of you. Give motorcyclist room to maneuver. Let the motorcyclist be aware you are going to change lanes, by giving enough time ahead, using your turn signal and when passing, make sure you have lengths ahead of the motorcycle before you pass and then return to your lane. Often using hand signals out your window for motorcyclist to see, also can help.

When driving through an intersection or anywhere you see pedestrians, Don’t assume they will see you coming and that they will stop, they may get distracted or be looking at their phones, make sure to slow down (use your horn, if need be to let them know you are approaching). Use eye contact or hand gestures (to go) in letting the Pedestrians know they can safely cross to other side or cross, being aware of each other’s intent. When approaching an area like a mall, parking lot, movie theater, convenient store, neighborhood or anywhere there is or could be people, always drive in there with a very slow speed, never chance going fast even if you’re in a hurry, those minutes can wait because it’s crucial in saving lives.

NEVER-EVER-BACK-UP IN A HURRY or back out fast, always go slowly backing out of anywhere, Check all sides of vehicle several times, people, children and animals can pop out at any minute and not seen coming around cars. You never know when a child or animal could break free and run into the road or pass the back of your car. Take a breath, Stop the Rushing!

• When coming back to your parked car or while still in your vehicle and a car next to you is backing out, getting ready to back out or coming into the space next to you, wait until they fully back out or pull in, to get in or out of your vehicle.

When there’s a hold up in traffic and there’s several cars trying to get into traffic where you had stopped at, let one car in as you go and then the next person can let the next car in and so on or if a total traffic jam, an accident and traffic is stopped or it turns into one lane (before reaching the area police controlled) the courteous thing to do, as each car goes, is to let ‘one’ car in . Another words, for the traffic to move faster and more fair, it shouldn’t be everybody passing cars up while everyone’s going ahead and everyone trying to get ahead of each other. Work together in a traffic jam, accident or such. It will move things along more quickly..

Keep your vehicle maintenance and inspections up to date. Not only will this prevent sudden stalls, but to avoid vehicle failure by checking tires, car lights, brakes and engines regularly. Make sure you have a first aid kit in the car and have sufficient insurance coverage to protect you, if you are involved in an accident.

Your safety is your responsibility, the less you assume, the safer you will be when getting behind the wheel.

Any activity that diverts your attention from driving– whether it’s texting or talking on your phone, eating, drinking, talking to fellow passengers or children in your car, fiddling with the music or navigation system, loud music playing in your vehicle, vehicle mis-function or being tired or under the influence of some substance… THESE ARE DISTRACTIONS !!!

Commit to driving defensively and use common sense safety rules and tips, to protect yourself and others from mishaps that can happen on the roads.

There are certified defensive driving course to learn about more safe driving practices in detail.

If anyone has any other tip or rule to share, leave the comment below.

Safety First and safe traveling on the roads, out there to All!!

C .Star. V

Happiness and Well-Being

Remember You’re A B C’s

By C. Star V.

Avoid negative people, places, things, resources and habits

Believe in yourself or no one else will.

Consider things from every point of view

Don’t give up and don’t give into the demons that can take hold, just keep focused, stay calm and pray

Enjoy your life, in whatever it is today, yesterday is gone and tomorrow may never come

Family and Friends are hidden treasures, love them, enjoy them as riches

Give more of your time and money to things that will assist you, not hurt or hinder you

Hang on to your good memories, dreams and healthy habits

Ignore those who discourage you, expect you to do wrong things, and all haters or jealous people

Just, keep on the right track, it will lead you to better days and the right things

Keep trying the right path, no matter how hard it seems, eventually it gets easier

Learn to Love, work on and accept yourself, before you try to love and accept another

Make it happen, don’t keep wasting time that you could be using, ask for help or stop waiting for others to help

Never lie, cheat or steal it will only come-back and set you back, make fair deals

Open you’re your eyes, you may miss how things really are, don’t just judge

Practice and teach good judgment, reliability, responsibility and good manners, it will make a difference

Quitters never win and winners never quit

Read More, learn about more and how to do things, this is how the mind grows, it’s important in your life

Stop procrastinating, start wherever you are, with whatever you have and do whatever you can

Take control of your own destiny, you’ll have a better chance at where it will end-up

Understand, what efforts it really takes and what others have gone through, to get along better with others in life

Visualize being happy and healthy and visualize whatever you are trying to achieve

Want it, then make more efforts, make better priorities and choices

X-out upsetting memories that make you feel bad and replace, with good new ones

You are unique, nothing can replace you, yet you are not alone, we are all in this together

Zap evil by being able to better recognizing it around you, manage anger with coping skills and prayers

*~Happiness & Well-being are for those whom chose to make the efforts and believe in it~*

C .Star. V

Recycling, It’s Honorable!

Recycle, Reuse, Rescue, Reduce

Recycling is still very important because most trash is not trash at all. We must keep realizing a very large percentage of our waste materials, items and things that we may not think can be recycled and repurposed actually can. This is monumental in reducing the waste, the pollution problem and saving lives.

I have recycled and repurposed alot over the years. I learned there’s a lot more we can do then we think.

• I recycle plastic baggies in all sizes, as long as it had not been previously used for anything with raw animal meat or something with a strong pungent odor ; such as an onion or garlic . I clean them with a bottle brush, warm water and soap, rinse well, shake excess water out, clean rag or paper towel to wipe dry and then air over a water bottle or such and reuse again. At least a couple more times!

• I recycle Glass or (some) Plastic Jars, from products that I buy from drinks, coffee, sauces or jellies and such. I will put them in a pot of water and soak off the labels. Then scrub the excess glue off (if need be), with some steel wool or some lighter fluid on a cotton pad and re-clean them. You wouldn’t believe the lovely glass jars that you can reuse to put other items or foods in or use as drinking glasses (That way if one breaks, it’s no biggie and not to risk using and breaking any of my good drinking glasses), saved me in those years of raising teens.

• As we were filling up our garbage can to the brim before the regular pick up days. Then found out from my local county recycling, that they took a lot more items, than I originally thought. So, we don’t have to take garbage out to our regular garbage can but every couple of days or more, it had . really cut down on the garbage especially if we empty food stuff (not seeds or pits) down the sink garbage disposals as well! Recycling has become more beneficial and a little more fun! I even put a smaller makeshift recycling bin at the corner of our counter in the kitchen it was a decorative bin and I lined it with a plastic bag and used it for daily recycling. Then, I would just bring the plastic bag to the big recycling garbage can (in the garage) dump it out and throw away the plastic garbage bag in regular garbage unfortunately, those weren’t recyclable. Oh how I wish they were!!

• Over the years, I have furnished my homes with items from thrift stores and kept recycling them. I also have pets that I have adopted and rescued from shelters and even from off the street (that no one claimed after advertising). Renewing a life..

There is much of garbage of bottles, plastic, paper, boxes, glass and aluminum (cans) that can be used again or put into recycling bins and then there is recycled (repurposed) household items, clothes, furniture, sporting goods, hobby materials and more. There are even animals that are rescued from shelters and given new homes, new lives and some are even trained to help wounded soldiers or people with needs and conditions. There are thrift stores and goodwill stores, that we can buy things from that were donated and used again, we also can donate to these and to animal shelters as well. So, there is a fair share of ways we all should be recycling; in reusing, repurposing, rescuing, and reducing all kinds of issues around the world, in our land, waterways, homes, lives and nature .

As, recycling is much more than a way to reduce the amount of trash that ends up in landfills, it is a proven method of reclaiming valuable items, materials and even lives.. What we discard can be recycled and utilized into new products or new usage. Whether it’s paper, plastic, metals, glass, aluminum, e-waste or a life from a rescue shelter or off street; they are all , far from worthless.

In recycling our waste products, it also helps us to reduce the need to use natural resources and fossil fuels, among many other benefits globally. As the recycling of organics, such as Composting, (this practice has been around for thousands of years) and It is one of the most efficient forms of recycling in use today; relying on a purely natural processes to breakdown waste which is then used as compost or fertilizer.

Yet, we know all of this, so why wouldn’t everyone doing their part in recycling?

I suppose, it is all in the way we think about our trash, garbage, our waste and the lives of others, as well as other living things; such as plants, animals and nature.

It is in what, we are throwing out, can’t use or don’t want anymore and we need to see through the idea that it is just all being garbage or useless, as it could be a much needed item or another way of being a valuable resource.

Hey! Please Recycle, Reuse, Reduce and Rescue Away!!

Our attitudes about our waste consumption and recycling must continue to change and this goes for all individuals, as well as in big and small companies.

What are ways that you have recycled?

C .Star. V

More Tips Downsizing, Moving or Selling Home.

I have moved and changed residences many-a-times and for most of us, the progress is not something we look forward to. It seems as though each and every time we go through a move, no matter how much we plan and how much time, money or help we have nor how much or little of stuff we have, it’s never an easy process..

Moving or relocating itself can be soo overwhelming, a process because moving and downsizing, is a process within a process.

Here below : I’ve listed additional and more (then my last post) of general tips of the process, even though it’s kindly lengthy, but wanted to cover some-things, before one decides to move as it gets hectic during a move. Whether you are moving local, out of state into another residence or selling your home and moving, (if been at a residence for more than a couple years or already have a lot of stuff), the sooner you start your researching, the plan of uncluttering and downsizing process, the easier it will be to go through, the whole process.

1. First the uncluttering, this can consist of going through each closet, each drawer and each and every space in each room. Evaluating what all you have and what you can rid of, which includes all of what’s in all junk drawers, kitchen drawers, your clothes, your shoes and all your stuff, that means even going through your bathroom toiletries, any papers saved, important paperwork or documents saved, contents of file cabinets and everything all around your home. Cleaning out things that are garbage, or (old and outdated such as: food, spices, medical supplies, medicines, beauty products etc.) also things that are broken (either fix or repair them or if beyond repairing that you’ll ever find the time to do) and things you don’t really need or won’t be really needing (think in terms of what needs for your end goal and what path you are going onto). Separate things into groups, such as, garbage to throw away, items to be donated or given to others or things you could possibly sell.

2. As you start the process, re-organize all things according to what they are, where they need to be, put them or store them (for convenient usage or easy accessibility or if not being used that often, then store away). Example: kitchen (what goes into kitchen area) and what will go in each room, bedrooms, bathrooms, office, closet, drawers and if you have a garage as well. Also, any important documents saved or wanting to save (put in file cabinet or file boxes and on each file folder label the contents or what it is pertaining to.

3. Once de-cluttering is done, (you still may have to decide what you will need to get rid of or keep, if it’s going to your new residence, (always a good idea to take photos or measurements, when viewing or deciding on a new residence even in order to put furniture through doorways to see what would fit), then you’ll know what you’ll be bringing to your new residence. * While de-cluttering, you may also need to get a storage and figure out how large of a storage you will need for the things you want to keep in storage, until you move or for things that you may want to keep, but will not be taking to your new residence (maybe not right away) or you may need to clear out your storage if moving out of state and figure out what you will do with all of those items. You may also need to return anything you borrowed from a neighbor.

4. Get a calendar (especially ones that have large enough square boxes on it, so that you can write things on it. This way you can write down on the calendar the things you have to do and people, contacts or companies you need to tell you are moving. Also, block time off that you will be moving and this helps give you a time frame, keeps you organized and aware of all the things you have to do, get done and when..

5. When planning and before deciding on where to move, always investigate the area in which you’re moving to, the neighborhood itself, the nearby surroundings, including what and who is next-door to you. Going to the closest food store and shopping center at dinner time or whom is out walking after hours, can give you an idea of who visits or lives in the area you may want to move too. Think of safety factors for you and your family.

6. Once you make plans to move (you may need to clean or repair some things in your present residence before you move-out, (a more throughout cleaning can be done once all of your belongings are out). If renting, often security deposits are given back only, if things are clean and in order when you leave or if you are selling your home, you may need to get repairs, painting and things fixed that will be under inspection and take care of those. * When moving, or deciding to move there are all kinds of checklists you can make or find, here are some things to consider, months and weeks before you move. (other things to consider, during and after your move as you scroll down)

A. You may need to review your present lease and (within the terms of lease)plan to notify your current landlord and let them know the date you will be moving-out and coordinate it with the date your new residence will be ready to move-in. As well, you will need a plan if you are selling your home, de-cluttering it, staging it and anticipating a closing date. * You will need to plan ahead of what you will need to set aside before packing up, such as tools, necessities for yourself, children and pets. “Some right-away essential items” to keep in a separate area, later packed up and kept with you (more on that as you scroll down).

B. There will be several contacts you will need to coordinate with at least a week or 2 before you move, making sure to have transferred to your new residence and ready, when you get there.

1. You will need to fill out a change of address form at your local post office, but (now-a-days) it can be done online (you put the date to stop present mail and when to start forwarding your mail) done at the USPS website (united states postal service) you will need your debit card or your credit card and a valid email address to verify it is you.

2. Insurance’s for home residence’s may need to be changed.

3. Services to stop, start and be transferred, such as electric, gas, water (utilities), pest control, phone, internet, pool or lawn services, cable and (You may need to return the cable box to get refund or left with a charge for the box).

4. Let your employer know of when you will be at your new address, to update information so any important mail or tax documents go to correct address. Also let your employer know you need to schedule time to take off work to move, if need be.

C. Moving can have different costs:

1. You will need boxes to put all your things into, packaging paper (for breakable items and the proper packaging tape) grocery stores and liquor packaging stores offer free boxes, just ask them if they have any boxes.

2. You may need to hire movers, check for local reputable ones and get an estimate of the costs and ask questions. Get a folder or plastic bag to save all moving receipts in.

3. If moving by yourself, make arrangements for family or friends that can help you and decide what size rental or uhaul truck you may need and figure out the best driving route from your present address to your new address.

4. If you are moving out of state, you may need to research moving and shipping companies to help you. Make sure they have insurance and check your own auto insurance policy that might cover moving truck insurance and shipping assistance.

5. Make sure to also take your own vehicle in to update any services needed before your move (especially if you’re going to be moving out of state), you will want to have a thorough check of your vehicle, tires, oil changed to make sure your vehicle is going to be running well.

D. If moving with children, you’ll need to talk to your children about moving and having to move. You may need to research childcare and schools in your new community and register them for school and finalize any plans for childcare on moving day. If moving with pets, make sure to take your pet to the vet for a check-up before you move, get all medicines and updated vaccinations if they are necessary and ask for copies of their vet records, get new ID tags and update address on your pets microchip (if they have one).

E. Once you start collecting up boxes, get or purchase boxes that are sturdy and make sure not to pack each box too heavy, and tape them up well. Keep package tape, tools, scissors and some plastic baggies handy, for small items, such as screws, door knobs, keys, brackets and such, this will help find them when you need them or to put things back together.

1. Remember to pack up (in clear boxes so you can see in it or an Essential Bag), things you may need for yourself, any children and one for any pets with at least your first several days of being moved into your new place getting and settled. * For instance : pack up in that essentials bag, phone chargers, paper plates, plastic utensils, a set of beddings, towels and daily necessities or toiletries. When you first arrive at your new residence make your beds, so you’re not having to scramble looking for bedding and having to make it and find things, when you’re already exhausted from your hectic day. If traveling out of state you will need an essential bag and additional traveling needs-essential bag with things for the trip or ride.

2. If renting a uhaul or truck to move yourself: Pack-up the inside of the truck with the heaviest and largest items first in the back of the uhaul truck, then items such a night stands, lighter and smaller items as you pack truck up and work towards the front of truck’s back opening and don’t put anything that is fragile in the top upper cab space (if it has one), that could fall out and break. * Pack up heavier items in smaller boxes, such as books and for fragile things you may need just a little bigger box to make sure you have blankets, towels or bubble wrap, and packaging paper around the items, so they don’t get broken. Pack-up (in your vehicle, rental truck or in your storage) heavier boxes on bottom then lighter ones on top, make sure all boxes with fragile things in them are secured.

3. If you have smaller valuable items (jewelry and such) you should pack them to travel and kept personally with you.

F. When packing, try to pack up things that go in the same area or room (kitchen things, office things, etc.), use a marker to boldly write on each box, what room or area the boxes will be going into.

1. Specific color-masking-tape can be used on boxes, for each room or different colored labels can also be used, (in addition to the sturdy package tape used) this can help to differentiate the different areas the boxes will need to go.

2. Set aside a broom, mop, dustpan, duster, sponge, cleaning products, paper towels, and old rags for cleaning up when done packing and to have easy locating when you move-into your new residence to clean before putting all your things away.

3. Make sure to back-up all your files on your computer on the cloud or to an external hard drive and take pictures of your electronics (as where it is hooked-up) before you pack them up, so you’ll know how to hook them back up. Make copies of important documents and put them in a folder to take personally with you.

4. If there’s something specific in a box you want to remember, write what that item is inside the box, on the box. This will also help to locate it easier, later on. You may want to number each box as you finish packing them up (1st box # 1. and so on) and writing the contents as well, this way you’ll know how many boxes you have and could also differentiate specific numbers with what rooms or where they go. If shipping items, you may need to print off some moving box labels.

5. With in the last 2 weeks before you move out, re-evaluate what is in your refrigerator and freezer (eat-up, give away or get rid of what you can) and buy only last essentials that you’ll need so that you can clean everything out before you leave (so not to have a lot of food left and wasted). If moving local and there are refrigerated food you want to take with you, you can use some bagged ice and a cooler if need be.

G. You may want to research your new community that you are moving to and update your memberships to community organizations, subscription services, gyms, and clubs and you may also need to update your new address for any health insurance’s or if you receive social security. You may need to locate a new doctor, dentist or pharmacy and you may need to have medical records and prescriptions forwarded. Remember to make sure to say goodbye to your present doctor, dentist and pharmacist.

1. Important contacts to update once you get settled into your new residence or a few days before you move to your new address (depending on if you, will be needing to be ordering things right away or paying bills online) such as paypal, amazon, pet food company or any accounts that deliver things to you.

2. If you update information on bank accounts (make sure your debit and all credit cards match your address and zip codes as they have to match to be valid if using them to purchase online). You may want to go paperless and use online for bills-to pay. * My last move, we were such in a rush and had a little time left during the crunch time of moving, we hadn’t changed over or updated any of our bank information, debit cards, credit cards, none of our accounts online and we waited to the last minute to change your address online. It was a bit of a fiasco, we were lucky to be able to retrieve any important mail (as we had met the people that moved in to our residence after we left), but as far as our online accounts we had to just use our old address for a while to pay our bills online and until we can finish ordering the stuff that we needed to, from our credit cards and debit card and then just change the address it was going to so that we would get the items delivered to our new address.

H. Once you are all packed up and ready to move out: Everything should be cleaned up, the refrigerator and freezer should be cleared and cleaned out, take the garbage and the recycling out for the last time. Keep your phones charged. Have some cash on hand. Keep calm and organized as possible.

1. Once in your new residence, do a walk-through before putting things in place and setting up, making sure there’s no issues that need to be addressed. It may take a couple days to get acclimated to the new space, your new routine and where things should go. If you have small children or pets keep things childproof (such as sharp tools, cleaning chemicals etc.).

2. Locate the fuse box and water shut-off valves. The fuse box and water valve are two things that you don’t want to end up looking for when you really need them.

3. If needed, clean your new residence before putting things away.

4. Test the smoke detectors and A/C unit.

5. Change locks, if need be and get key copies.

6. Meet your neighbors

7. Re-locate local restaurants, eateries, gas stations etc. and learn roads and driving routes.

8. Settle in and enjoy your new residence!

C .Star. V

Downsizing to Uncluttering

I have had to unclutter and downsize many-a-times (lots of stuff, lots of children, big family, sentimental collector) and as anyone that has gone through this process can tell you, it is not an easy task. Yet, if you simply start with uncluttering, then cleaning, then rearranging and begin there, it may make the chore a little easier.

Now, uncluttering takes a bit of organizing in itself and ultimately some of the goals could be ; to actually know what you have, to know where your stuff is or locate all your stuff, to save you time and money from having to acquire or purchase more things that you already have, also to free up space in your home (and yourself) and to get rid of unwanted, unused, unneeded, broken, and otherwise useless stuff (even if they are liked by you) as things take up space and possibly restricting your freedoms.

We can often make the mistake in feeling as though, if we don’t have all of our stuff, not enough stuff or able to get more stuff, that we are not complete or not finished, but “The little kettle can boil the water just as good as the big kettle, yet the little kettle can fit in more places”. After or even during this process, many feel by “Downsizing and uncluttering often creates an upsize in their lifestyle, their potential, their freedom and their mobility”!

So, we will find that by re-organizing our things, we realize just how much we have and may not really need. Then, being faced with deciding what to keep around and what not to. The next decision is whether to keep the excess of things and where to put or store them. Some people choose a closet or room in their home (if large enough), others use a storage facility to store their excess and additional items. Often, we just need to get rid of a lot of stuff and that can be the most difficult (which has many putting off this process) and even though there are plenty of people with suggestions on how to figure out and decide what to keep and what to get rid of (and many good suggestions), honestly; it will all come down to your own needs and your own decision.

Uncluttering can be done once a week, everyday, a little bit here and there or every month or so. It just depends on each individual, as some people have began making a habit or routine of uncluttering their life and make efforts to keep it uncluttered (often by not buying more and more stuff) as less buying means less spending on things you don’t really need and being able to save to do or have more of what you really need or want.

Some of us, begin uncluttering because we are attempting to sell our home and must begin the process (not only to help in reducing the chore of packing later, but also to unclutter and clean-up all around for better pictures of the home). There can be a variety or reasons.

One of the best ways I have found, to help me organize everything and keep it that way; is to place anything and everything in its own spot or which I like to call, “its own home”. In other words, if I have or find around my residence things such as pencils, pens, sharpener, paper clips, scotch tape or such, these would all go in a desk or in an office area (a drawer in the kitchen may also have a few of these items for quick finding and use), but basically the bulk of different types of things collected or that I have, I organize them within their own place.

All Holiday decor, can be separated by holiday and put into plastic bins and can be put in a storage area, attic or storage facility for next use. As you find things or pick up things, take a moment and put it back into its ‘home area’ and so on and so on..(that way, when you may be looking for something or wanting something you’ll know where to find it). . It’ll also save you time later, if you put things you find (or come across each day or so) in a ‘catchall basket’ (big and small one) or in a specific area and then put it all away when or as you can…Then of course, sometimes you won’t have time or (you may find or collect something and you might not be home) to put the item back in the right place, you may have to hold onto it (put it in a bag or something) until you can get it into its proper place.

Often when we move from one resident to another, there seems to always be that daunting chore of going through all of our things (once again) deciding what we’re going to take, what we’re not, what is trash, what we could sell, may give to family members and friends or donate. Of course if you have been downsizing or uncluttering here and there, it will be a lot easier upon you. Yet, it’s one chore that never seems to get easier, no many how many times we do it and it never fails, no matter how much we can organize and unclutter we never seem to realize how much stuff we have or have collected.

Make the time to take time and start going through the things you have and have collected. You may find some-things you had forgotten you had and could use right now. You are living your life right now, so why not choose to use or do something with them right now? After all, you have wanted, collected and kept them for a reason! Choose to use them or if need to save something (as items kept to be given to family or friends), then give them as a gifts. You possibly could sell some things and you can always donate them; as someone else may really want it or have use for it (they may not have been able to ever acquire some-things) and that would make them smile or make their day to find an item of need or want. If you have ever went thrift shopping you’d know what I mean..

I have other tips and tricks on coping with the process of downsizing and uncluttering that I will post later, but for now I recall a saying that suggested we stop waiting to use and enjoy the things we have…

So yeah, Start downsizing to upsize your life and while you are at it, Go Ahead…Use the good-stuff and enjoy them now, there.. I gave you permission!

C .Star. V

It’s 2021 !

We are now past the year of 2020 and I feel many people have a changed perspective about their lives and how to go about living them in this new year . Several things have changed in my life, how about yours?

As we leave 2020 and have learned to despise a virus, having to wear masks and be fearful, had left many without proper food, water or shelter nor the ability to earn a living; this has had many people tense, upset, confused and in despair. However, now there’s a vaccine to fight the virus, food being shared and other needs being taken care of and many new remote options for learning a skill and earning money.

As we come into a new year, this moment calls for a brief reflection. To recall all the hurdles and struggles we all overcame. It has been one of the most unsure and unstable year for most of us, with all the drama, trauma, obstacles and tough times. We have all went through something, that has either left us sad, scarred or bruised. Yet, we may have gotten a new insight about ourselves and in how to be more patient, resourceful and resilient.

We had experienced a social tragedy which questioned our humanity and morality, degraded decency, victimized many vulnerable people and made us more concerned with our own mortality. As we gather our thoughts, recalling our experiences and all of what is good, just and right; 2021 has begun.

Now calling out for us to be more conscientious socially, spiritually, culturally, caring more about our health and to respond to the past and future issues that may jeopardize many things in our world. As we can use this time now, to see more clear, in the need to take care of our world and the needs as they arise and to be aware of; what really is the real importance and what matters most to us, the process and paths we must take to protect it all and the opportunities to use to put it in action.

We all have our lists and ideas of how and what needs are to be addressed:

Some could be about our climate or the air and waterways in cleaning them up and keeping them clean. Others have concerns about farmers and slaughter houses, over breeding, inhumane treatment and killing of animals, chemicals and unhealthy substances and additives to our foods and what we ingest. There has been concerns about our healthcare industries, our government, our laws and rights, our law enforcement and the handling of any political or racial disputes in general. The more remotely active things became there has been concerns with children getting proper education and even children being bullied online because of their appearance. Many essential workers without jobs and may have became Ubers, Lyft, Doordash and Eat-street drivers (tipping is essential). There’s also concerns with Native Americans that live on reservations in having food, water, proper sanitizers and of those whom live in countries that don’t have proper facilities to refrigerate the Covid 19 vaccine. These are just a highlighted few….

To wrap it up, We took a pause in our lives, we re-defined our values and our priorities, we re-evaluated our definition of success, we took advantage of technology and made it work for us and we realized that planning is important, but kindness, compassion, empathy, spirituality, immunity and resilience are crucial.

Let’s all have a great New Year!

C .Star. V

Pet Ownership Guide, from Decades of learning.

“Having a pet has it’s joys & it’s struggles, but the exchange can be so worth it.”

This post may seem a bit long, but wanted to share as much as I could try and cover. Please enjoy the information and share this article so others can be aware as well.

In the past decades I’ve had all kinds of pets from A-Z and I could say, I love all kinds of animals and I am an animal advocate. However, those whom have loved, cared for and had many pets, just like me can still question what to do and how to do it in the best way, with the least amount of stress. Trying to figure out, the proper food to the proper care in knowing and learning the best ways in handling our pets, (at least the most efficient). The take away here in this post is that, there are things to consider before, during and after wanting and having a pet, that will make the journey of pet ownership (no matter what type of pet) more worth it and much happier for both pet and pet owner. Even an avid pet owner will still have hurdles now and then to endure. We all can learn and educate ourselves as there is always more things to know.

As in everything, people have different views and this can cause much conflict. Subsequently, there is a lot of useful, valuable and good information out there, but it takes time to read, review and find answers and it can be overwhelming and get confusing.

“Using Common Sense” in all of our choices and decisions in life would help, but often obvious notions or prioritizing may not be well thought-out. Even in acquiring or owning, the right type and number of pets for which you can provide appropriately care for. There are basic, standard, and necessary things needed for pet ownership, as in any type of responsibility.

There’s countless information in books and on the internet in helping us, but where do we start? *Here are some basic things that should be considered in preparing for a better journey in pet ownership:

Choosing a pet: There are different needs, for different types of people and pets….Where you live, the climate, such as do you live by the water (for safety reason, as most people tend to believe all dogs know how to swim and they don’t, some need to be taught how to swim and stagnant lakes and ponds cause possible places for mosquitoes), your housing size (for the size of pet), whom lives with you (how will they and your new pet get along), what kind of plants, trees or bushes are around where you live (could they harm your pet if they ingest them), do you or will you have a fence enclosure to keep your pet safe and contained and other animals and strangers out, what are the laws and ordinances where you live (pertaining having your pet and where you can bring them), what kind of food will your pet require, will you be able to lift your pet by yourself if needed and to help them if they are hurt or need to be transported. As well as being able to handle your choice of pet’s temperament and personality. Are you willing and able to fit your pets needs into your budget, transporting (if need emergency care) and including your time required for the daily care and attention of the pet. If these things are considered carefully and are addressed properly, there is less frustration later. Issues may arise, but most of the time it is a matter of learning more about the proper needs and care of the pet.

Cost of a pet The cost in purchasing a pet may vary, some are gifts, some have a price to purchase….Yet, whether you are given a pet as a gift or pay to own a pet, it will be of your responsibility to their lifelong commitment in you giving care and relationship of your pets needs. There’s the cost of nutritional needs in feeding your pet, accessories you will need such as cages, tanks, leashes, harness, bowls, crates, bedding, blankets, toys, training pads and other possible accessories needed depending on the type of pet and if the pet requires and has special needs. Crates are for helping your pet have a place of their own and for keeping them safe (Crates should never to be used for any type of punishment it’s their safe-haven)! All pets should have their own special area or place. There may also be costs for additional medicines, supplements and treating illness. Having pet insurance and/or a (care-credit card) can come in handy for pets vet visits (check and see which veterinarian offices are participating ones to honor care-credit , many do). Also, If your pet for one reason or another doesn’t work out, you must know or consider what you will do to ensure the safety and ongoing love and care of the pet, even if it did not work out with you or you are no longer able to care for the pet..

Pets Emotions and Feelings: Pets genuinely have feelings and emotions, just as humans do and can be effected and affected the same way a child can be, in such ways in which they are treated, handled and cared for as in crating their trust and personality. All they really want is to please us, be praised and properly cared for…..Your pet may have an issue that is undetectable, by just looking at them. Your pet may not be feeling well, they may need or want something and they may be trying to tell you (since they are unable to talk) they often will-act out, they may keep bothering you and won’t rest or calm down or they may act different then they usually do or they may not want to do much and they may do something annoying or even behave badly. Subsequently, 99% of the time your pet is trying to communicate with you, it may be something that (you as the pet owner), had done or had not done, need to do for them or may need for you to assist them or help with resolving, whatever it is that caused the incident. There may be something that you will need to figure out and take care of (especially in the way of miscommunication or misunderstanding your pet). Your pet may be trying to alert you to something; it could also be that the pet owner is not doing something efficiently, incorrectly or just out of sync with the pets needs.

*Luckily today, if we are having an issue or problem with our pets we can reach out upon the internet to others that have (the same type of pet or issues) and ask for advice. Pets can get excited, sick, scared, be fearful, feel pain, be sad, depressed, bored, lonely, hungry, thirsty, need to go to the bathroom, need to feel being loved, want to play, need exercise and need to be happy, etc..

*Pets should always be and are needed to be treated Humanely, with Compassion, Proper Care and Love. All over the world, abuse and cruelty towards animals has been recognized and it is now a felony crime to mistreat an animal.Pets can be similar to children, but age much quicker”. Pets emotions and feelings can also be helpful because they can often sense our needs and some are trained to do specific things to help us. As well, it can be heartbreaking to go through the sadness of caring for a pet that has become ill, is aging or has a terminal illness. Yet, this is a crucial and utmost important time to understand the need to be considerate to your pet. In recognizing their needs, quality of their life and appropriate end-of-life-care palliative care hospice or peaceful passing’s, euthanasia. Don’t abandoned them at these times. Even if it’s to much for you to bear, think about them and please, if you going through this don’t let them die or take their last breath alone.

Feeding your Pet: Feeding the correct amount and the most nutritious type of food to your pet, will be extremely important and the costs will vary depending upon the pet…..As in humans, the best nutrition is not always readily available and many-a-times, pets don’t receive or may also need additional and nutritional, “Add-In’s” into their daily foods to ensure a balanced diet. When choosing your pets food, you need to consider, the amount needed (according to size, activity level daily and healthy weight of pet), the ongoing availability in the foods being stocked in stores or having it delivered, the time for preparation and the overall cost. Just as in humans, it seems the most nutritious foods are usually more expensive, there are some foods that ‘both humans and their pets can both eat’ and that can be cost efficient (lots of articles on what foods can be safely given to your type of pet). Pets like treats as well, either after their meals, as rewards or just as a treats. You can find many healthy treats for your pet (always read the label’s before you buy or give anything to your pet to ensure there is nothing in the ingredients that could get your pet sick, “just cause it’s out there to buy, doesn’t mean we should”). The food and nutritional needs can also change as the pet gets older, as so can the care for your pet. Pets should never be fed food that is outdated, highly fatty, left over and possibly spoiled foods (some people think it’s okay to feed food a human won’t eat, if its old, moldy, fatty or etc) and this is wrong. Pets can get a hold of something bad for them, if they get into the garbage can, out on a walk or by others (someone living with you), the wrong things ingested by your pet could cause a blockage or cause kidney, liver and digestion problems to your pet and can end-up causing costly surgery or pancreatitis and become fatal.

*Pets health is just as fragile as anyone else in your family and what you would consider not good, too fatty or spoiled food, is also not good to give to your pet. Clean Fresh (preferable purified and some fluoridated water, once in awhile for their teeth) water needs to be accessible at all times and keep your pets water and food bowls clean, designate towels and dish cleaning brushes just used for your pet (their food and water bowls can get slimy and cause bacteria and germs can spread to your pet and make them sick).

*I have spend many years and many dollars, learning a method of creating balanced life and proper diet for all types of pets (even on a tight budget). I have been fortunate that my pets have all lived a longer than average lifespan, even if they had become old or sick, I researched, learned and experienced the best possible care to give to them.

Pet Care Costs: If your pet is getting proper nutrition and good care, there will likely be less costs in veterinarian bills. One must also consider having a dog or cat spayed/neutered, so not to contribute to our nation’s pet overpopulation problem. Also Just as humans, all pets need a reputable doctor that you can take them to. All pets, just like humans can get sick and may need medical attention…Pets need check-ups and as your pet grows and becomes older they may need supplements, vitamins or medicines. Some pets require supplements, vitamins and medicines even throughout their life, for a more quality life. Some pets need more grooming than others; this can be done by teaching yourself how to properly groom your pet or taking your pet to have them groomed. Some pets need their nails trimmed, some types of pets may need their teeth filed and some have lots of hair and need that taken care of. All pets need to be cleaned and washed, some will need to be cleaned more often if they get dirty more often, most require washing every month or every 2-3 month, according to the weather, lifestyle or their needs (It will vary from pet to pet). Some pets live in cages, some pets live in water, some pets have bedding of their own and all of these need to be cleaned on a regular basis (just as we need to clean our own bedding and home).

*There can be additional costs if you need to board you pet, if you cannot take them with you on a trip, vacationing or if having company and may need to board them just for the day or so, to help things be less hectic. When boarding your pet, often they will need to be up-to-date on some vaccinations and medicines if need be (dogs and cats are usually required to be on some type of flea and tick medicine as well). Many counties we live in require dogs to have update rabies shots (laws now; senior dogs 7-8yrs and up can be exempt as it can be hard on their health) . Make sure to keep a folder of all records of your pets vaccinations and any medicines given, etc.. and do not “over vaccinate or over medicate” your pet. Today there is countless information about what our pet’s really need as far as vaccinations (according to their lifestyles, size, weight and type of pet). More and More these days pet owners are and have been dealing with a lot of issues with allergies in their pets, diseases and cancers. I feel (just as in humans), it has been the overly processed food (out of convenience), may have been what we have fed our pets and not enough fresh foods or proper nutritional foods for the type of pet we have. Along with giving our pets (that are told by veterinarians to administer dosages of monthly flea, tick and heart worm medicine) given monthly for years at a time and possibly, over medicating and over vaccinating (it all just depends). There are many available and good products that are less dangerous to use to combat fleas and other pests. It will all depend on the area you take your pets or situation.

*Pets can live longer than ever today, with proper nutrition, cleanliness, being educated on their balanced nutrition and vaccinations. As well as any monthly supplements, vitamins and medicines given if needed. Always look for danger (awaiting to happen), check to make sure danger is away from your pet and anything that they could get into that could harm them; as in chemicals on lawns, poisonous plant, things left on the floor or in garbage cans and in-their reach where they can accidentally get to it and ingest something that could harm them.

Making Time, Getting a Routine and Exercise: Another necessary consideration, is making adequate time for your pet….This will include (one of the most important factors besides your pets nutrition) “a daily consistent routine” (consistent as possible). The more consistent in your routine daily with your pet, the better flow it will create between you and your pet you. Figuring out a schedule or routine will be very important because if you just try and fit in the pets needs as your day goes by, things will tend to get out of sync and this will make it difficult for your pet to know what to do and when. Then, it will get stressful in dealing with your pet and accidents could happen, things may not flow as well, nor in building your pet’s trust in you or creating a good close bond healthy relationship with you. Take notice, when you have a routine of feeding your dog at around the same times everyday they will usually eliminate (go poop and pee) around the same time each day.

*For instance, if you need to leave early for work, you’ll get up, then take them out to pee, make them their food, they eat and before you leave for work, take them to poop (bring a doo-doo bag of some sort) or you may have another routine similar that works out for you and your pet. I have never had any of my dogs have accidents (unless they were not feeling well or my fault off schedule) I take them out 1st thing in the morning after I get up and moving, I take my dogs out separately (because one is much older than the other). If and when I have to leave to go somewhere, whether I am taking them with me or not, I take them out and make sure they go to the bathroom before we or (I) leave. When coming back from anywhere and whether they came with me or not, I take them out and make sure they go 1st thing, before I get too involved with other things. Then always, before we all go to bed, I take them out once more (bring a flashlight of some sort if it’s getting dark outside) to make sure of you and your dogs path, don’t want your dog to get a hold of or into something they shouldn’t. This gives them several different times to eliminate. Besides the elimination routine walks long enough for your pet to go. They can also benefit and need greatly, additional longer walks for some exercise ( at least once or twice a week as it helps us get some exercise as well).

*Another important concern in time and care of your pet care, is handling their elimination process (going to the bathroom). Some pets will require your assistance in getting them outside and directing them to when and where to go to the bathroom (and you will need to clean up their poop), whether they go out and use someone else’s yard (on a walk) or even if they use your backyard, you will need to consider picking up their poop, so they don’t run or step in it each time you let them out and then bring the residue of germs back into your home and try and lick themselves to clean it off (you may even need to clean and wipe their paws off as they come back into the house, so the bacteria and germs aren’t carried around with them) . Other pets will require you to keep an area with a designate box or such for them to go to the bathroom, which you will need to keep clean and other pets (such as a fish, gerbil, hamster, rat or etc.) their cage or tank will be required to be cleaned and/ or change their cage stuffing and all of their dropping and keep their cage and all that’s in it clean, so not for it to be building up and them living in their own waste.

*Often pet owners get angry at their pet for having accidents (such as, going to the bathroom in the house), but just think for a moment, if you had to go to the bathroom really bad and were not properly told or did not know when you’d be able to go, you’d probably just find a place to go eliminate because you needed too. This is what happens much too often and pet owner’s blame the pet or they punish the pet, when actually it was the mere fact that their pet just needed more guidance and training (time) until both pet and owner had a routine of some kind figured out. Generally, pets usually get into a routine of eating meals and eliminating around same time every day (especially their pooping) and they may need time to find a scent to help trigger their bowl movements. Meanwhile, if pet owners either put their pets needs last, wait too long to take them out to go to the bathroom, don’t allow them enough time to go when they take them out, don’t take notice if their pet did go when taken out, mishaps can occur. One must be considerate of their pets needs. Pets are living, breathing, active and loving creatures and their needs and feelings need to be considered, they are not a disposable items.

*If your pet requires you to take them on a walk or let them out to go to the bathroom, you should take notice when and if, your pet does go to the bathroom (just to be sure your pet did go, before letting them back in the house). Especially if you are going to have to leave them for any length of time, (no more than 6-8 hours for an adult dog) and generally dogs need to eliminate at least several times a day (3 times to pee and usually 1 for poop), it depends on what their needs are (some dogs poop 2 days a day), just make sure they relieve themselves of (urine) and they may need to go pee a couple times while they are outside(usually male dogs, but females can too), this helps to ensure they had a chance to go and empty their bladders and went.

*Just as Humans need exercise is the same reason, pets need exercise. Even if you have a large backyard or a fenced in yard that you let your dog out, so they can go to the bathroom, run about and get some exercise; there still will be a need to walk your dog on the sidewalk for a nice walk together, at least whenever you can (more the better). Dogs can become bored and this can cause may issues, even obsessive licking, scratching and chewing on themselves (and other things). In order to get enough or proper exercise and your pet may need additional equipment in their cage (if your pet is kept in a cage such as a hamster, gerbil etc), other pets will need leashes or harnesses. As, dogs seem to need more exercise than other pets and can end-up lacking it the most yet, their owners may not exercise much or don’t make much time for exercising or just don’t feel like taking the dog out for a regular walk and get exercise, but it is a health oriented requirement. However, as dogs get older (senior dogs are 7-8yrs and up) may need their exercise limited or adjusted (depending on the dog), in what they are capable of and may need more rest on a walk or less time out on a walk, but still should get out in the fresh air and get some exercise. The fact that humans need exercise, gives a great opportunity to get out and do it together.

Basic Commands and Additional Training: Take the time, practice , consistency and focus on mastering, one at a time….Training a Pet takes time in practicing, patience and consistency . If your pet is a dog, it will be very important to teach them basic commands, as these will be needed to help communication and used for safety as well. Some basic ones for them to learn and obey are; “Sit, Stay, Shake, High-Five, Kiss, Lay Down, Get Down, Roll over etc. and phone apps, such as “Puppr and GoodPup” you can use. “Work on mastering one command at a time, once mastered, go onto the next. Any pet can learn a command, some will be able to learn more, some can learn many commands and tricks, just depends on the time, patients one takes in and with the training.

*As in anything else, especially with our pets, the more compassionate, caring and understanding you are to your pet, the more positive experience you will have with your pet. I have had much success in talking sweetly to my pets (and plants!) I think they positively respond to those vibrations.

*I hope this can help others with pet ownership. If you know someone with a pet or thinking about getting one, share this article with them. Also I have another post-page about Pets and dealing with their allergies.

I have had many people ask me about reliable information from products to illnesses (pet owners of all kinds of pets, with many issues and concerns with their pet) and I have helped them. If you would like to tell me something or ask me a question concerning a pet or pet ownership, you can do so by leaving a response and I will send back a response. Let others know of my blog ..

Thank You for reading, there was a lot to tell and I have another article on what I feed my dogs and coping with and curing : click on menu “pets with allergies”.

C .Star. V

Before Covid-19

Looking back now, how we all lived before the pandemic hit us.

We used to go outside without thinking about wearing protection from catching a disease or even if we need to disinfect everything that we may get in contact with while being out.. We didn’t have to worry about getting too close to others or to even think about being near others at all. We freely made reservations for dinner at restaurants, events, concerts, travel and went to state parks, public pools, the beach, social gatherings, family get-together’s, and more.

We just went about our day to day living and going to our jobs, attended our schools, colleges, dr. appointments, therapies or treatments for ourselves or our pets, without having to worry about having a mask to put on or having to have our temperature taken before we are allowed inside. Also, we didn’t worry about if we were going to even have a job available to go to or if the schools or colleges were going to stay open for our children or us to attend.

If we had gotten sick or injured, we didn’t think twice about going into a hospital. We weren’t afraid of being at risk for catching a pandemic disease or being subjected to the chaos during a pandemic or being used as a statistic.

Many people weren’t as hygiene conscious and many didn’t think about germs too much or even if they remembered to wash their hands not only daily, but even before and after they ate, went to the bathroom, touched their face, got out of their car, brought things home from a store, grocery store or from getting packages ordered through the mail.

All of our lives have been affected and effected somehow and we are still feeling the aftermath of the 2020 Pandemic first hitting us all. So, as we continue through the tail end of this pandemic’s the strict procedures and as vaccinations are being produced for it, we can only pray and hope that soon it will be fully over.

For now, we are living in a changed world and for most of us, we are making our way back to the lives we remember before the Covid-19. Yet, there still will be a need to continue to be aware, kind, yet cautious and hopefully conscientious of the new standards for cleanliness and hygiene..

Well, until we reach a resolution to this crazy, restricting pandemic, build your immune system, keep your hands clean and stay alert and safe out there!!!

C .Star. V

 

Have You Started Yet?

It’s seems as though each year we all have more and more we do, want to get done and are kept so busy, at least for most of us..

Time passes by so quickly and often it feels as though, there’s never enough time to do ‘all’ the things we would like to or even need to each day. We can’t seem to get everything done, since it feels as though there’s so much to cram into one day. Then as time passes and if we didn’t get everything we wanted to get done, we may not have properly prioritized or didn’t use time wisely.

Even though we may not want to waste time as, “Time is like money, money is like time” and when we seem to have less of either one, our options start running out”.

Sometimes it’s like a funneling effect as time escapes us. We could start losing our optimism, our positiveness, our outlook and we may start to become very pessimistic. We may even start disliking things around us, even people around us …We begin to lose our focus, our gratitude, our purpose, we start to second-guess ourselves and all of what we may want or wanted.

This can happen, even if you have been doing okay all along. Why?

Mainly because we go through some events or happenings several times. Possibly, until we learn how to get through them and past them, even if they were paths to keep on or not go through again. Although, we may have even got over them, moved on and have been successful or accomplished something (maybe not as much as we wanted to as of yet), but we at least made it through, as we keep looking forward to the next day, next event, next encounter, next experience as it will all be valuable and worth something.

Though we still may find ourselves struggling over again…..struggling with ourselves, our ideas, thoughts and etc. If this happens and when it does, don’t get upset or sad, it is a just a re-check. Re-checking to make sure you keep in control of your life..Making sure you are not repeating your mistakes or having misunderstandings about something and may need another view of it or a second opinion. Seek positive-purposeful advice.

So keep Working ‘at’ something, ‘on’ something or ‘at’ somewhere, in order to get other plans to take flight . Greatness can take time (even learning happiness, takes time) think of all the things that get better  only within time) good opportunities, good careers, expensive beverages..you get the picture!!

Just make sure you come up for air while you are grinding away, take notice where you are going, make sure you have a plan of some kind to keep focused on, even if it has to change a bit. Often, one plan will led us into another one, but that’s ok , as long as it is working out and keeps you going towards your goals and purpose. Get involved with others that have positive-purposeful attitudes and the same goals and interests.

Not all of us will become doctor’s, lawyers, teachers, celebrities and etc.. there is a reason and purpose for all of that and a purpose and reason for each one of us.

Learn a skill, possibly one in helping others. Which can be something that, will even help you have income. No matter how insignificant it might seem to you, there is a greatness in everything..

“Those whom can see ahead of themselves while on the bumpy road, have a better chance of making it through”. Be kind and cheerful no matter what you are working at or working for, good attitudes are terrific virtues and are eventually noticed, rewarded and then duplicated. Our health, mental attitude and coping skills, are concerns we need to continually work upon, for without these we compromise all the quality in our lives….

“Give yourself more Reasons, less Excuses”.

C .Star. V

Any New Year, Starting Out

It’s a new year, let’s realize about starting out…

One of the single most important aspects of enjoying life, is of course making better choices and using our energies in an efficient way. It’s also in not having to be overly worried about things that will either, stress us out all the time or in keep us all, in such a rush.

So how do we keep from being overly worried, stressed out and in a rush?

Well, along with learning to prioritize, using time management tips and focusing on being purposeful, living within ones means and making the most out of the time given, is a start.

Most successful people will tell you these few words : “Well, when I started out”

Yes they all “Started Out”, they started somewhere, by doing things they were willing to do; even if they may not have liked it or doing it. However, they also didn’t just wake up and were placed in the place that made them great or successful .. Even those whom have inherited great things, have to be willing to do and learn what they need to do and do it well, otherwise they risk losing it all.

“Things don’t go well and stay well if not taken the time and efforts to keep them going well”. It’s in the efforts, in the interest of purposeful, in the information required and learned and in the actions. As in the saying; with great power comes great responsibility .

Those who feel the need for much, will often need to handle much. Those who can be happy with less, will feel less burdened.

The best thing to do, is make efforts in starting out, it can be the “Starting Out” of anything or at any level (keep it positive) and for youths (as everyone should already) start, figuring out the stability and security in your life, in what you are going to do or ‘learn to do’ to make an income and create a supportive purposeful-self . So, you’ll be able to pay for the roof over your head, transportation to get you around and healthy foods to keep you feeling good. Once those are in place, you will have less to worry about and can concentrate on the next things needed and then, other things wanted

I did say less worry, but not less work or less things to worry about. Although keeping ones priorities straight, boundaries set and proper attitudes in place will help.

If you don’t start to figure out your income, manage your finances, your shelter, and your lifestyle for yourself , while you’re young or ‘get these things started’ for yourself, by the time you are middle aged it will be a lingering plight and then you will have created more stress and worry…

“No one has the ability to turn back time, so don’t waste more time trying to.” Just start to learn things and do things for yourself that will give you a purpose and will be useful to you, even for later (this goes for any age). Your future self , will thank you.

… Use Your Time Wisely…

Happy New Year!!!

C . Star V.

The Effect and Affect of our Lives.

I have written previously on this blog about the choices we make, as well as the good’s, bad’s, right and wrongs. Yet, when speaking about the outcomes from our choices and decisions, whether it turns out good, right, wrong or bad; it is only ‘us’ that will be truly able to determine this for ourselves. We have the ability ‘to put or place’ the experience, the moments or the what-evers, ‘wherever-or-however’s-the way we-choose’ (ahh again another choice).

Ya’ see, we can allow it to consume us or not to consume us and as well , how we relate it to us in whichever way chosen. We can adjust it within ourselves, even the levels in which we will let it upset us or not. This will be, all in how we convey it, within and to ourselves (and to others). This all will be determined by us.

Yes, in how we allow it to ‘effect us’ and ‘affect us’. That is why, sometimes we will run across people that may have experienced some of the same things as ourselves and some will feel the same way as we do and others may choose to feel differently. Now, I did say ‘they choose to feel differently’ because well, we can choose.

Think for a moment of something that you have experienced, whether it was either good or bad. If it was good, will you want to remember it? How will you use this experience? How has it helped you? Will you share it to help others?

If it was not so good or bad, will you want to remember it? How will you use this experience? How has it effected or affected you?  Will you use the experience, share the lesson or forgive to forget it? or will you harbor it like a collection of something you have no use for and allow it to use up time and space (in your life and in this case, your mind). Will you allow it to be added to your collective negative thoughts, just waiting to explode, make you feel like a victim at every situation in your life and hinder you from enjoyment and progress?

Time waits for no one, (very famous saying) and a true statement because it’s time consuming and useless to harbor negative feelings. There’s no period of time in your life that will wait and stand-still as you hold onto sad thoughts, bad feelings, or anything of the such. You have the power, for it to ‘not have a negative effect or affect upon you’. It may take some key lessons, such as forgiveness, courage, integrity and possibly a bit of prayers and education, but you are the gatekeeper with the keys, use those keys…

C .Star. V

Really No Good or Bad

Some of my past posts have been about choices, the wrongs, rights, goods and bad’s and well, morally or lawfully ; yes there is a wrong and a right..

However, basically there is no good or bad, when it involves our choices, but only choices we will deal with. You see, when we choose things and it put us in paths of being around, involved in/with or doing things and if it ends up being a bad thing (even ingesting wrong things), then we just are are dealing with what we have chosen..

If things begin to really go haywire, it’s not that we have to accept our choices and drown in our mistakes..we can right the wrongs.. Unfortunately, this may be easier said than done. However the first step is to realize our wrongdoings or the wrongdoings of others and forgive ourselves and others. Then, coming to an understanding of why we may have made that choice in the first place and it’s OK if we might’ve made a wrong decision or wrong choice and it may be possible to be corrected or have things be turned around.

However, sometimes it’s just not right to continue on with those choices because in some instances, trying to make things right is not always going to be right or work-out the way you want, (unless being forgiven or an apology, is all that is needed). For the times where things just won’t be turned around .. the key here is realizing for starters; is it morally or lawfully right or wrong and what makes it so..and why it will or will not be turned around into something good. Which, this now will turn into another choice-often called ‘a decision’ and these types of choices are usually made from what efforts we are willing to put forth from there.

Yet, it isn’t always right to try to keep in a wrong situation, trying to make it right either, it just depends (on what it actually is) and before making a major decision, we should reach out and talk about it (to those who really care about us or get professional opinion or advice) because sometimes, it’s just learning how to cope or make a better choice and what we should and should not do or we may have to just forgive ourselves and any others involved and move on from it and cope with it the best we can.

C .Star. V

The “Right” Flow ?

One major lesson that I’ve learned in life is when things are right (or shall I say, when there’s a positive energy flow) it seems to feel right and everything flows. There may be ups, downs and struggles, but they may just be in the course of getting through or they are usually figured out and there’s a pleasant outcome.. ..but when things are wrong they are just that.. wrong..

Now I’m not speaking here about morally right or morally wrong because we should all find that easy to recognize, (but it could apply to those). I’m speaking in terms of basic daily living experiences and situations. For, as we all make efforts in our lives, we could be using our energy on the wrong things, in the wrong way. This is not always easy to recognize because often we just pursue something we want, no matter if whether the signs are there or not. Why do we do this?

Well, because we can..We all, have a free-will to do so..(and of course, if we react upon “Emotion, instead of Logic”).

Let’s not get this confused, with the difficulties and persistence, while pursuing an education, getting help, counseling or persevering through, to achieve something..As the outcomes from our efforts are good. Even becoming employed in a new position or job may feel challenging or daunting. However, often it is just until the duties of the job are learned that it flows better, but trying to choose the right or wrong type of job to begin with can be an issue. Yet, employment can be compared to educating oneself because there is always a benefit in learning something at the end of the takeaway.

Many people give up on learning something or working on something because they start to spend their efforts and then it may feel wrong because it is a bit difficult or too much effort. That can also be true, when people are trying to eat healthier or lose weight .. the key here is to realize the end results.

Yet, there’s another right and wrong situation, which many have found to be upsetting, it is when we (or someone we know) gets involved with others that turns out to be wrong and not going in a good direction. Now getting into the wrong relationships with others (whether just friendships or intimate ones) or just following a path, a direction or social gathering, that could have a bad or have repeatedly bad outcomes, these all can be a bit tricky to deal with.

Sadly, in these situations we take upon the responsibility of making efforts and spending our energy upon something, even if it might not be the best choice. Then we often feel very obligated and committed because we put so much effort in already. Then it can be very difficult to steer away from it or try to change it .. this is where we have to make a decision upon the worth of the situation and the parallel of the intentions of ourselves and of what we are putting the efforts into..

When it comes to relationships, it will also depend on the other person and how they behave and if they are able to improve or take steps in working to correct the wrongs..

The key here is recognizing what the benefits are in being in this relationship  or situation and what kind of repeated unfavorable behavior is being coped with..

Sometimes I hear people say that things were once wrong , but it turned out right and that could be so, depending on what the issues and behaviors were in the first place and what efforts were made. So, things may end up good and turned around for the better , but that’s a whole other story.. For now being more selective with our choices and along with, not getting into a serious or permanent relationship without recognizing what the end results of our live could be for ourselves (and for others) ; as we could end-up dealing with a situation that may turn out wrong.

So, a way to recognize the flow of right from wrong is to consider what the end results could be, what total efforts are being made and the intent to begin with.. Most importantly, don’t make choices, upon emotions or wants. Think first what the outcomes may be and not just for yourself, but for others around you, (such as your family, friends, children and even your pet) all of these will be effected as well.

C .Star. V

A Simple Credo

Here’s a simple credo:  From the Token Soul

 1. Recognize the need for less chaos yet, more function in our lives.

 2. Realize, there is an action needed to accomplish this by taking responsibility for our own life, thoughts, choices and actions. Be accountable for ourselves, take more charge of our own lives and cooperate with others.

3. Realize the ‘intent’ of our actions. As well as becoming aware of what the outcomes may be and what we may need to learn. This can help to better cope with what we may also, already have in our lives and stop the self-sabotaging of our own purpose and could clear up many issues.

4. Keep the past, in the past through forgiveness and being involved in the present and future aspects of our lives. Set small goals, then bigger ones.

5. Believe that, an energy-source greater than ourselves can and will help us. Only if we believe in it, call upon it to do so and be sincere when we are asking for help. We must be sincere in accepting the terms of  resolving our issues as well. Understand, that this “Ultimate” power-level of energy (that is greater than our own) is also effected by many things we choose in our world now and beyond. We are also able to connect (bond) with this energy for guidance, protection and help. (whew! this should take some weight off our shoulders).      

6. Accept the fact that we may not ‘always’ enjoy or like, our destiny at ‘all times’, in or along our journey(s). *~For even though, a “Destiny” can be viewed as a  journey’s end, it may also be a path we are on, not just a destination to reach~*. If we governor over, ourselves and our destiny(s) in a more positive way and we may feel more at ease, yet not that it may become less difficult on the path, but that it will ‘seem less stressful’ in getting to where we are destined to go.

7. Remember that what happens to us in our lives (even on a daily basis) is what we put into it and what we perceive it as or to be. It is the reflecting of our own opinions, choices and decisions and it is okay if everything isn’t perfect or run smoothly every minuet.

8. Learn how to remove the negative energy and make room in our mind/brains and our lives, for good things by removing and keeping out the bad things. Learn also to Forgive ourselves as well as others, but set personal boundaries (so not to repeat upsets) and take the time to meditate and unwind (in a healthy manner).

9. Help others do all of this too.

10. Understand that, there is no need to be overly-worried about the how’s and why’s, of all of us being here on earth in the first place or be overly-obsessed about it. There is a Greater-Power than us, that does, will and can help us! Everything takes place, will take place and infinitely the cycle keeps going to help us all with our enjoying, learning, sacrifices, pain and suffering, (now go back to #1).

C .Star. V

Our Brain and Thinking

The human animal once had smaller brains, but over time the brain developed and became much larger and with this, humans were able to be deeper thinkers and ones to make better judgment and decisions. The fact that the human diet had something to do with the evolution of our ‘bigger brains’, has us believing that eating healthier has its benefits.

As well, it is important what we input into our minds and the things we expose ourselves to, what we choose to watch, read and think. Most of us humans, have similar choices and decisions to make in our lives. However, there are many factors that are different, such as, age, monetary factor , environment and experiences.  The ‘Generation Gap’ of yester-years used to signify the overall differences in people of different ages and often this has and can cause misunderstanding, confusing and otherwise disagreements upon issues and topics among those of different age generations..

Such as, of a person in their 40’s and a person whom may be only 19 years old. If asked both, the same question about something (random nothing even specific) their answers will only reflect what they may ‘only’ really know within that point of their life and this can also be applied to their behavior and actions. Since the 2 different minds/brains will not only comprehend and perceive things in which they know and this could be quite different and view even the same things much differently. So, these differences can have us, constantly misunderstanding each other.

At one part of our lives and in developing, we may think and feel a certain way and then at another time or part of our life we may feel and view things differently and often we use the term “Mature” when a person copes well or understands more for their age. Yet, we will only know, what it is that we either have learned, experienced or can envision and of course, what we have evolved up to . Which many a times, may not be reflected or used (by a mature person) when they are handling a situation and become angered, frustrated and even disappointed. Whether it be the person coping with themself or helping another person in need of coping with themself.

We can also witness a sad partaking in inconsideration of others in people of all ages and this can make anyone feel upset and could cause additional harassment, ridicule, bulling and abuse of a person, child or animal; for someone if any age just ‘not knowing’, not understanding or not comprehending something that should not “Automatically be expected to know”.

Yet, most of us humans should already be aware that “Not one of us inhabiting on this planet can possibly know everything about everything” and should not take offensive towards others (even their pets), for not knowing something or how to do something and cause hurt and abuse to others (even innocent animals). As this can become a dilemma if not dealt with correctly.

One simple example of the ‘not knowing’ could be a parent bringing a child or children to doctors office, it’s usually a long wait. If they do not think to prepare to bring a bag with books, crayons, drawing pads or age appropriate toys, games and other needs such as, snacks, diapers bottles what ever they may need to cope, handle and take care of child while they wait, dilemmas can arise. Another example is, going into a store with a child or any place, where if the child is not told ahead of time what is expected of them and how to behave and what will be the reward or consequence, then what do parents expect?

None of us come born with instructions and surely none of us are born knowing everything . “Especially everything we will need to know, for every instance in our lives”. It will need to be taught, shown or experienced before we do. That’s why Parents and pet owners especially need to understand this because pets and children are great responsibilities and it takes much effort, care and learning the know how’s, plus coping skills, to create a more pleasant experience. Being aware that if it isn’t shown ‘how to’ and ‘not to ‘and ‘what to do’, then don’t expect it to be known and then punish unjustly, if not. Using our brain capacity and development is much needed here. We not only need to fill our minds with the appropriate things, but use them more appropriately and beneficially ( for the sake of our own self and others).

Although, most humans lack appropriate coping skills and these are well needed, but often must be learned and unless we have been properly shown or taught some valued lessons and some of these coping skills, many dilemmas can arise. Subsequently, people of all ages may have learned how to do many things and even to to cope well, but don’t necessarily use their knowledge to the best of their ability either, because they just don’t want to or don’t always have the energy to. There is massive amounts of information on how to get help, learn to cope with others and in educating oneself . Plus we are typically social beings and there are people (chose wisely) all around us that are willing to help others.

Meanwhile use your energy wisely, ask questions, learn all you can about coping and preparing yourself for the events and happenings and be learn interested in doing and knowing better for ourselves, one another, our children, the animals and nature inhabitants of our planet and our planet itself…

C .Star. V

A Life, is a Journey

As we all continue in our life’s journey, we will need to learn better coping skills, have more awareness of ourselves and our surroundings. Realize there’s more to our physical living that completes us, stop to take deep breaths, make your daily life less chaotic and slow it down bit. Within this, begin to take notice of insights and messages, be more careful and caring, eat food for nutrition not just taste, make time to enjoy more and stress less.

In doing so, we can create pleasant memories and more efficiently utilize our energies. Sadly many of us are convinced that Happiness and Goodness can not be easily created by themselves (especially, if they have ill feelings and traumatic past experiences) or they feel these realities are beyond their abilities.

The only difference between those who are able to achieve this and make better choices and decisions, are those whom make the choice to think outside the normal boundaries and understand that the key to achieving happiness , insight and enjoyment, is only believing …You can. 

 C .Star. V

Out of Under a Grey Cloud

As the Choices we make will be bring us on different paths in our life, some will bring us into the light of positive outcomes and some may end-up leading us into the dark. While in this process (of our thoughts and intuitions of making choices and decisions), we often hear others express to us; that we may use our heart, head or gut when making choices and decisions.

However, most of it will depend upon our intent and purpose for choosing, but in doing so it all goes back to what we are making our choice or decision upon and how we will carry it out, deal with it and how we will allow it to relate to us.

Many-a-times, we then spend our lives trying to make decisions in changing or correcting them and this can have us feeling overwhelmed. Our lives can seem to become all-encompassing and trying constantly, to get out from under a grey cloud. Especially, when we have chaos, confusion, disappointment, defeat, turmoil, unhappiness or stress that sets-in and we often use our energies up; just trying to correct or change things. All this begins to create an imbalance.

In this imbalanced state can lead into being a not so good-thing. Since, living day-to-day is a multifaceted act and trying continuously to get past our troubles (that have already been created), can cause our perceptions of things begin to shift and this often creates even more chaos, fear an imbalance.

All of this is governed by our will (free-will), which creates a force of energy that becomes an unstoppable action, which produces results. Either way, the result is a force that could allow us to attain our goals, our deepest desires or to just choose what we are going to wear or eat on a daily basis or choosing things we may regret.

As humans, we often can be very stubborn, arrogant and persistent upon thinking, we know more than anyone else about what’s best for ourselves and therefore we do everything we can to try to force our-will into existence. Yet, when we are not on the right track and don’t find the sufficient way to balance the energies out, the universe will be right there to balance it all out for us ( one example, is karma).

Most of us will just ignore this fact, which is why most people struggle in/with life so much. “Meanwhile, we can get so busy trying to live a life we think we want, instead of being responsible for the one we already have chosen”. Yet, whatever it is that has or has not worked out for us, we must realize, all of us have been given a task here on earth and we could be creating additional chores that need to be finished, all in order to keep us balanced. If it has not had the outcomes the way we wanted, it may never unless we take steps to change our attitudes in what we are doing and in what we are having to do to change it and finish our tasks.

This way, not to be destined to what we have chosen insufficiently. In order to do this and steer ourselves out of the darkness, we need to only see that all of us, must keep a balance (of Physical and Spiritual) and need to take positive actions in order to move past our past, away from the negative and direct ourselves accordingly. Some of the best forms of this positive action (or energy) comes from, forgiveness, random acts of kindness, better judgment and educating oneself. So to be creating a force more powerful than you can imagine.

C .Star. V

Good vs Bad Choices

How are we really supposed to decipher between good and bad choices? Besides the obvious of knowing right from wrong and of what we have been taught or witnessed out of outcomes and observations. We can also use the 10 commandments as a set of 10 good ‘common sense rules’ and we can use our own senses. Some people call it using our heads, hearts or gut feelings. Others may call it being mindful or being aware. It doesn’t matter what we call it, but using it properly when we need to, is what counts.

At one time or another, we envision how we want things in our life to be or how we imagine them, in our own minds to be. I say imagine because often we have an unrealistic perception of what it is or how things really need to be. Even in the efforts it takes, in order to have what it is that we desire or want in our lives. This can disappoint, frustrate and cause chaos in many of our lives. How many times, do we want something, such as, a relationship, marriage, a pet, raising children, a certain job or lifestyle or even just good health, but our lives don’t seem to turn out how we envisioned or imagined it to be? We hear of many people, children and pets abused, neglected and others stricken with illnesses and diseased.

It seems as though our society rushes to make choices or decisions without really understanding, preparing or realizing the whole picture. Many people make choices because of what others do or what others say to do, or what they feel they should do. Once a choice is made, it is often too late to undo it. However, there really isn’t a bad choice (well, unless it’s one that is against those 10 common sense rules, stated above) and depending on which one, will depend upon the Karma we will deal with in coping with it. However, making good choices vs making bad choices starts with learning to have good intent that runs parallel with it’s purpose.

The good news is, if our choices (doesn’t happen to turn out good), were made with good intent; we will be able to adjust the purpose to end-up parallel with the intent. *Example, we wanted a pet, choose to get one, the intent was to have a furry-friend, to have fun with, and to love and one that will love us back. Yet, the pet isn’t obedient, feels like too much of a responsibility, causes chaos, stress and unpleasantness.

So instead of the happy and pleasant outcome, the purpose is not seeming to run parallel with the intent. However, in taking the steps to learn tips and get advice on putting the pet and yourself upon a schedule, along with being patient with and understanding the pets feelings these efforts help . As well as, realizing what the pets needs are and making the efforts to make things right. From this, it will end-up with a successful purpose, which will now be parallel with the intent; which was to have a furry-friend, to have fun with and to love and one that will love us back.

In choosing and making good decisions, (in any situation) we must first research, evaluate and prepare ourselves for the true whole picture and responsibilities, not just the one imagined in our minds or to fill our time or the needs only felt in our hearts.

C . Star V.

We all have a story

We all have a story of our lives, as all of us are trying in our life to get everything done, something done, or nothing done. Getting through each day of what we experience and what we don’t, meanwhile juggling it all.

We may tell each other about doing the things we want to do in our lives and all the things we don’t like about our lives.. . Days run into nights, nights into days and what are we exactly doing?

Many of us, know what we are doing and of what purpose we serve, many of us are trying to find a purpose or trying to figure it out. Yet, we are all entitled to our lives and living them out. Whatever the situation may be, we are all here for a reason and are allowed to enjoy our lives, do the best we can and experience Joy!

Could there be things that are stealing our efforts and joy? Could we live a better life? Are we using our energy in the wrong way and on the wrong things? In the big picture, of how we can better live or be living through our lives, it may not be, as many of us may think it is. . There is so much good and wonderful things to feel, to experience and to know of. Yet, many of us often magnify the negative things, put the wrong emphasis on things and view life in a negative way or from a burdened view.

Some of us keep on paths that don’t serve us well. Some just, do what is needed and others do whatever they can. Most of us have a plan, others may not have come up with one yet. Many need to shift their focus from the burdens to the blessing and from what’s wrong, to what’s right and from what you don’t have to what you do have, (often even as a starting point).

So, regardless of what we may feel is or has been absent or needed in our lives, it can be and ‘will be full of other things’ . This can and will often fill that absence or need and whether it turns-out good or bad (to us), will ultimately be our choice. Realizing this can help get a clearer view and steer us on making better choices and onto better paths…

1. “Outcomes” usually determines our reasoning’s and our opinions of if something is good or bad..so we need to make better choices for ourselves and put ourselves on better paths and purposes.

2. We need to respect mother nature and father time, nature is our truth and our secret to balance . Time is also to be respected, used with caution and used as efficient as we can (time often goes along with space).

3. We are not built to physically last forever…yet, our energy may….in ways we may not thought of..

Stop to think about the stories of your life that you will tell, don’t rush, make better decisions and choices. Even if things don’t always turn out the way you would’ve wanted it to or thought it would have, it has value; for in the end it’s what you-make out of the outcomes that really matter and that will take-up space ( time) in your life and mind..

4. Spend your time and energy on what’s going to count later on (your health, your children, your family, your good friends, your pet, meeting good people etc..) and keep some free-space for those good stories you want to be able to tell..

C .Star. V

UnClutter Yourself

 It seems as though if we have a lot of choices, it can get more difficult to choose the correct ones.  Yet, if we don’t have many choices, it seems as though we can end up making bad ones.

This all plays out, each day in our lives and we have to first grasp the concept that there really is no good or bad choice.. Well the results might end up good or bad in our opinion and of our thinking of what is good(right) or bad(wrong) to us; of course there is obviously the reality of right and wrong.

However, even though we all should have a good idea of what is actually ‘right and wrong’ (morally and legally), it may differ from each other since, we may not have been taught or learned in the same way . As there are different views and different opinions on what is good or bad . This can cause confusion as we use those aspects of good and bad before we make choice.

Subsequently, if we already live in a life with much chaos, clutter and distraction, we can be blindsided and easily steered into making choices that are not so good and that we may even regret.

All of us seem to live in a world of ‘have-to’s’ and ‘need-to’s’, meanwhile constantly trying to find a way of the ‘getting to’s’ with the ‘want-to’s’.

A good way to start setting up an atmosphere of creating a series of better choices and success is to start with uncluttering and re-organizing (some people call it regrouping) because doing this clears the mind, soul and space! The art of uncluttering, is not just limited to only material things we have around us, but also of the uncluttering of our minds. We all have different methods and ideas in doing so and again, there isn’t any good or bad way of doing it, but possibly a more efficient and successful way.

The 1st step could be to begin to get rid of excessive material things around ourselves and in our living space (at the least to go through, clean up, reorganize and put away or store), especially things that are just literally taking up space and not necessarily something that you will be readily using or needing for awhile. This will get you going in the right direction, then create (a go-to or place) for things ‘as a home to put items in where it goes’ and this also begins to help.

From there, we can begin to see some clarity, what’s really important to us, focusing on what we next need to in creating more actions that will begin to steer us in the right directions. All this will begin to help us achieve the things we want to, instead of spending time purchasing more things, collecting stuff we don’t need and spending time trying to keep things cleaned-up and less chaotic.

This will make it easy to figure out, more of what it is we really need.                 

One of the biggest dilemma’s I find in many people, is that they are constantly worried about not having something or not having enough of something. This is not only a common issue, but it is a very sensitive and personal one and it brings us into such a monumental cause in worrying, stressing- over and even hoarding. Yet, so much time and energy is spent purchasing, worrying, stressing-over and hoarding ; sadly most of ‘these things’ we won’t even ever use, many of the things will expire or go bad (by the time we use them) and other these things we will really, never need.

I suppose it all stems from the fear of not having or not being able to get them, but it would only seem logical to use the energy and time in doing something more positive, that will ensure you won’t have to fear about that anymore.. Such as surrounding yourself with positive, caring and loving people, making friends and groups to socialize with (maybe even to barter things with) and spend more time learning skills, having fun and enjoying your life, instead of worrying about things you may not have.

This may even include relocating yourself and moving to an area that’s accessible for things that you feel you’re going to need.       

Most importantly, nothing is guaranteed even if you were saving something or hoarding some things that you think you’re going to need or that you feel is going to save or help you in one way or another, it may not end up that way. Since by the time you need it, there might have to be another solution, in fact …one that you should’ve already been working on.

C .Star. V

Our Choices Have Value

“Our choices make up our world”

How do we learn right from wrong? How are we all suppose to know exactly what to do, when to do it, where to do it at and with whom? Our lives seem to bring us confusion, disappointment, hurt, pain, struggles and stress, as we figure it all out. Meanwhile, we wonder what we are here for in this world as we are trying to just survive.

There really is no one answer that fits it all, but we all need to understand just how important and monumental our choices in life can be and more importantly, is how we allow them to affect us.

Our lives start as infants, then toddlers, then pre-teens, teens, young adults, then older adults, as seniors and then as an elder. Our world has been filled with more and more people, this means more and more opinions, views and choices. Often we, misinterpret one another because of the lack of, ‘wanting to understand’ or care about one another’s feelings, struggles or needs.  Along with, living in a society that doesn’t realizes the need to teach our children coping and ‘every-day’ living skills. We then are left dealing with a society of adults, whom already don’t know how to cope well with every-day life, either.

We may be steered into a way of life that may not be realistic, nor have allowed us to have learned how to cope with the basics in life. Then, we may end-up being mistreated or misunderstood and with each passing day we may not be as grateful and happy as we could be.

We all continue to use our free-will to choose and do what we feel that we want to or can do. Yet, there’s so much more then just the physical aspect of our lives and what we can only see, that controls our outcomes and our choices. 

It is the energies put forth in our choices and decisions we make, that create our life and this, creates our world.  So, until we learn how to become more aware of the spiritual factors, we as humans will make our share of blunders, uh-oh’s and mistakes.

Yet, by finding solutions to educate ourselves so not to be misunderstood and in taking the responsibility of wrong choices, we can be creating good outcomes, regardless. Meanwhile, asking for forgiveness, forgiving ourselves and others and then moving on from whatever it is bothering us. This will give value to our lives.

Now that might sound a bit strange “To value our mistakes”, but after all those were our choices. In doing so, it will bring forth growth, strength and the ability to make better choices in our lives.

C .Star. V