Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A True Ghost Story: Finding Heifer

You may recall that a few months ago my dog, Mardi, went missing. We moved heaven & earth to try to find her and, thankfully, three days later, (on her birthday), we got her back. The whole experience, while devastating, actually showed us how compassionate the human race can be. 

In my quest to find her, I met a lot of interesting people, some of whom contacted me each day to see if I had found her and then followed up to see how she was doing once she was returned to us. I am not talking about friends or even friends of friends, I mean perfect strangers! One such new friend e-mailed me the day we got Mardi back to offer an unconventional method to find her. While I didn’t need any additional help, I was intrigued by her suggestion and wanted to learn more. Please enjoy this very true ghost story that was shared with me. I realize that it may seem a bit whacky but I was completely moved by it. Think what you want but, I hope that you have a lovely ghost encounter someday.

As told to me by my new friend "Amelia" whom I met via e-mail when Mardi was on her little adventure in the country last April. I have permission to share her story but she wanted her identity to remain anonymous.

Dear Jaime,
Have you ever had any contact with animal communicators?  I always worry a little when I tell people about this, but here we go:
About 11 years ago, we lost our Great Dane, Heifer. We live in a very rural area and Heifer had been asleep on the bed when I left for work, but was gone when we got home. She had just lost her front leg to surgery two weeks prior and was feeling better and decided to go out with the other dogs. She had been a stray with an injured paw, and after a few years of various surgeries, the doctor finally decided he needed to take the entire leg.  She was fine with it as she didn't have much use of the leg anyway. She was able to open our front door and though we have thousands of acres of timber land behind our 50 acres of property,  we never "dog fenced" our property until after this event. I searched for her daily in the woods for 4 months and never gave up on finding her; she had my heart! 

At the time, I worked at the Atlanta Humane Society and, one day, a lady who had been searching for her dog for months as well, came to the AHS and mentioned that she had been working with an animal communicator and that I should give her a try.  My husband thought I was crazy, but I desperately wanted to bring Heifer home so, I gave it a shot.  

After a couple of communications with Heifer, the animal communicator, Ilga, let us know that she had passed and that we would be looking for her body.  We were heartbroken but wanted to know more. She told us which direction Heifer traveled, when she left our home and let us know that one person "had moved" her.  As it turns out, that was the person that shot her and placed her against a tree.  As our communications with Ilga where coming to an end and we had not yet found her, she asked us if we could ask Heifer one thing that might help us find her, what would that be. I said to ask her what she sees around her since I knew those woods inside and out by this point. This is what Heifer came back with:

QUESTION: "Amelia" is out looking for your body or your collar. Help me describe exactly where you are and what it looks like around your physical body.
RESPONSE: I am on top of leaves, big ones. Close by is a bridge. Not the quaint, cute type but of slats of boards, weathered, scrappy and old. An old walking bridge across the water. There are dense trees and a clearing. There is an open sky above me where the trees part. A drive is close by, like a small, narrow road that's not used. A funny old shed falling apart where a house used to be. I crossed this narrow road after hitting the big road. It looks like a grass road where you see only tire tracks. I am on land that was once a home but now waits for someone to buy it. The property sits and waits.

Heifer gave the direction from which she left our house and said that she couldnt keep up with the other dogs when they crossed a small pond.  By the time she got to the other side, they were gone so she kept going.  She crossed a small wooden bridge and came across a barn that made her laugh.  She continued down a grassy path that had tire marks and came up on a fenced area that was once prosperous, but now sits and waits to be sold.  She then said that all at once, everything stopped. This was when she was shot.  I knew exactly where she was from her description and went straight to her body.  When we walked down the "grassy path with tire marks" we came up on a land-locked piece of land that had a"For Sale" sign and saw the house, power lines, field, tree and water. It was really an odd experience but we were so happy to have closure for our dear pet. We have since given her number to many other people and she was able to help many of them.

We were so thankful to be able to bring her home and although we had some initial reservations about the methodology. It was a life altering experience! We learned just how deeply animals do think, feel and love!  Heifer was touched by our quest to find her and told Ilga that she didn't know she had been that loved; that bothered me a bit because she was our world!  She also said that she wanted to say her goodbyes the day after she was found on the hilltop where she and I would often just sit and reflect on the beauty around us.  We built our home on that spot a few years later. Ilga actually came to Georgia shortly after working with us to give a class on intuition. She is amazing and you can look her up on-line: http://ilgacimbulis.com/


 I hope you have enjoyed this unorthodox "ghost story". "Amelia" sent me many transcripts from Ilga's communication with Heifer but there was one particular communication that touched my heart:
QUESTION: Heifer, what would you like to tell your family?
RESPONSE: That my body was always week and now I have sacrificed it so others can be strong. The cows, the elk, the birds and even a cat have received a meal. I am sorry I died suddenly but I had purpose in my death. I am embarrassed that I was weak and couldn't return home. Tell the young one to keep my picture close and try not to be sad. Tell her to continue to help other animals. thank you for everything I had.
NOTE FROM ILGA: When I connect with Heifer I see a big smile. She is at peace. She tells me that in spirit she is stronger and freer than ever before. She wants you to know that she wasn't away from home long before she was shot. She was enjoying the day and was not fearful. She has lingered close by so that all could say their goodbyes, including your other dogs, who have come by to take a sniff. It has been a week and she says that tomorrow she would like to be fully released......
In case you missed the whole saga of Mardi going missing, here is a link to that original blog:

An Un-funny Tale of a Funny Tale Wager

Friday, October 18, 2013

Have Your "Me Time" and Eat it Too!

About once a year, my husband will go to a SEC football game without me. While I playfully protest, I am secretly excited for a little “me time”. I don’t know about you, but when my honey is out of town, I take that opportunity to eat all the girly things that he refuses to eat. Most items involve the word “salad”, (think broccoli salad, egg salad, etc.) and they all contain mayo, which he hates. That being said, it is probably a good thing that he hates these items so I don’t go through a jar of mayo a week. It is delicious, I don’t care what anyone says. Since I am one of those weird people that loves Greek yogurt, I decided to switch out the mayo in some of my favorite “me time” dishes to see how it compared. I have always heard that it is a great way to save on calories & fat while adding in protein. I was not disappointed!

I love Cobani or Fage plain Greek yogurt. Please do not confuse this with vanilla yogurt. For some reason so many people think vanilla is plain and I just don’t think these recipes swaps would work with a vanilla flavor.  ;)

Rating 6/10: The great thing about pasta salad is that you can throw in whatever is in your fridge, mix it up with noodles, seasonings & mayo & it will be delicious. This swap was a really good choice. When the noodles were warm, the yogurt was smooth, tangy & the perfect compliment to the veggies. However, when I refrigerated it, it congealed in a really bad way. I couldn’t get the noodles to spoon out of the container without breaking apart. So, going forward, I will either use ½ mayo & ½ yogurt or I will only use yogurt when I intend to serve the pasta salad immediately

Rating 8/10: This one is a no-brainer. Delicious, creamy & for some reason held up in the fridge so much better than the pasta salad. It was a tiny bit thick but I would definitely prepare it this way again. I think if I add just a spoonful of mayo, I will be in good shape.

(this is how we decided to grow lettuce this fall...so far so good....and "hi" to Marlin in the background)


Rating 10/10: I have literally watched the Bethany show a sum total of one time for a sum total of about 15 minutes. I guess I went for quality over quantity because the tip that she gave is wonderful! She suggested mixing a small amount of ranch dressing with a vinaigrette. I only had fig-infused balsamic vinaigrette on hand so that is what I used. It was out of this world! I do love my ranch dressing, probably a bit too much so this is going to be my go-to when I am craving a salad with regular ranch dressing.
ENJOY and Happy "Me Time" to you!!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Trick AND Treat- Happy Halloween!

What is it about crisp air & the smell of apple cider that makes me want to decorate my house tip to toe in Halloween d├ęcor? I just love this holiday so much! I truly love answering the door for hours handing out candy, seeing all of your little cuties in their costumes. I already have my door-answering outfit planned & it is majorly cute! I saw a lot of great ideas of how to paint pumpkins and had a nice little plan in place, until I saw glow in the dark paint. Oh my, I couldn’t resist!

P.S. Glow in the dark paint comes in a spray paint version. You know how passionately I feel about spray paint but I resisted this time. Just thought I would mention it for your project needs though.

I kept it very simple with one live pumpkin

I ordered this off of Amazon & thought I was getting one bottle but
I actually bought a package of three...anyone want a bottle?

I generously painted two coats onto my pumpkin

Once it dries, it adds a very nice sheen.

What it doesn't do, however, is make your pumpkin glow.......

Do you feel like we were playing trick or treat & I tricked you? Yeah, sorry about that. I always love sharing when my projects go awry so you don't make the same mistakes that I do but I was pretty disappointed in this one. Luckily, since I accidentally over-ordered, I moved on to Plan B.

I have a nice stock of mason jars on hands so I decided to give them a try.
I really like how these turned out and at least I can re-use them next year.

The paint needs to cure in bright light in order to be activated. 

After a full day of bright sunlight, tada!

This project is cute, fun, easy & cheap....just don't paint a pumpkin ;)

I would be remiss if I didn't mention my dear friend Shannon's company, Preppy & Co.:
She has the cutest Halloween (and Christmas & tailgating) items. You will love them!


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