My New Toy

dsc_0127One of my big goals this year is to get back to being serious about my photography. My photography has long been a contemplative practice, connecting me with God. It is also a way for me to help others to see the beauty of God’s creation though my art.
To prepare for some new projects, I decided to upgrade my camera. I’ve been working with an entry level 14MP DLSR from 2007. I’m a firm believer that it’s your eye and your editing skills that make the photo and NOT your camera, BUT I needed something with greater resolutions for print projects.
So… I decided on a Nikon D5600. Continue reading

My Dog Ate My Shoes! – Part I

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people complain or post on Facebook how their beloved family dog ate their shoes, couch, children’s toys, etc. People are always amazed that their darling pets could be so destructive when they leave the house. The dogs are, after all, supposed to be defending the house not tearing it to pieces.
I encounter this so often that what I planned to be a single post turned into three. Many times, it becomes such a problem that the owners end up rehoming the dog, which despite good intentions often goes terribly wrong.  Many people don’t realize that their untrained house pet will be euthanized at the county shelter or that the lovely wife and children they interview are actually picking up bait dogs for their dog fighting husband/father.
So…  Why does this happen?  Why do people end up getting rid of the dog they dreamed of having and just couldn’t wait to get home?
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Finding God in the Natural World

I recently had a conversation with a woman at church, who said that we couldn’t find God in the material world. I think that’s a big part of our problem in America. We don’t make the distinction between the man-made material world and the God-made material world. God is everywhere in the material world, because God made the material world and revealed God’s self in that world.
For so many years, theology has separated the spiritual world from the physical world, but how do we know God? As Christians, we know God through Christ–the physical manifestation of God. If God meets us in the physical world, why would we try so hard NOT to meet God in the physical world? Doesn’t it only make sense that we try to meet God in the world God created, especially this time of year when we’re walking with Christ as he approaches death and resurrection?
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Home Remedies for Dogs

For those of us that are animal lovers, our main expense is often animal care. From high cost solutions to keep away fleas and ticks to yearly vaccinations, pet car has become almost as costly as human healthcare. Richard Adams’s Home Remedies for Dogs offers some low cost, natural remedies for common canine ailments. Below are a few highlights.
Managing Arthritis
Many older dogs suffer from arthritis. The best way to deal with arthritis is to prevent your dogs from developing arthritis by keeping them at a good, healthy weight and having them exercise regularly; however, sometimes arthritis is inevitable with old age. A very good way to help your dog with his or her arthritis is by slowing switching them to a natural diet and removing processed foods from their diet completely. Avoid doing this overnight as it can cause major health problems to drastically change their diet rapidly.
Your dog’s diet should be raw meat (eggs are good too), fruits, and vegetables. Do not include heavy spices, onions, garlic, grapes, or any other food that can be toxic to your dog. Do include fruits and vegetables such as apples and raw carrots to help keep their teeth clean and foods that are naturally high in vitamin E because it is an anti-inflammatory and will help with your dog’s arthritis.
Skin Allergies
Skin allergies are something that can be just as unfun for your dog as it can be for you. The problem for dogs is that much of the time it’s our habits that cause these allergies or make them worse. Just as using harsh chemicals in and around our homes is unhealthy and harmful to us, it is also harmful to our furry family members.
Our skin is the largest organ we have. It is also the only one that is always exposed to the world. The same is true for dogs, but their fur provides an extra layer of protection that can be very helpful in your dog’s fight against skin allergies.
The most common causes of allergies are external irritants, lack of exposure to the sun, insect and flea bites, and an imbalanced diet. The first thing you should in fighting allergies is check your dog’s diet. The next thing to do is look at the environment. Stop using any harsh chemicals around their bedding, kennel, food dishes, etc.. Wash their bedding in mild cleaners. Finally, make sure that you check both your dog and your yard for fleas. Try a natural way to repel or rid your dog or yard of them.
Parasites
There are two categories of parasites that affect your dog:

  1. Outer parasites (fleas, ticks, mites)
  2. Inner parasites (worms)

Since outer parasites feed on dead skin and blood, the best way to keep them away from your dogs is to keep their skin and coat as clean and healthy as possible. Oatmeal is great for your dog’s skin. Place oatmeal in your blender,and run the blender until the oatmeal looks like flour. You can either mix it with a little water to produce a paste, or you can mix it in the bath. If you create a paste, you should let the solution dry onto your dog and then rinse it off or wipe it off with a towel. Also, brush your dog daily.
Buy the kindle version of this for just 99 cents for more great home remedy information!