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Stress Busters

 

There is little doubt that most humans have positive reactions to animals. There appears to be a kind of bonding between the human species and the animal kingdom. About a year ago I wrote a post on recent research that Pets Help Alleviate Stress.

That is why I call animals Stress Busters because research has proven that animals and pets do reduce stress in humans.

Well today I have a lot of stress alleviation I want to share with you.

This first video is just such a charming, feel good video. It is of a baby duck feeding carp.

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Isn’t that just too cute? Isn’t that just the feel good video of the day? I can feel the stress just melt away.

This next animal story shows the loyalty that dogs are capable of.

The United Kingdom Mail Online headline read: “Blind man keeps his old guide dog after it loses its sight… and then gets a new one who now leads them both around.

After six years of loyal service, Graham Waspe was devastated when his guide dog Edward was left blind after developing cataracts.

But his devastation turned to joy when his replacement Opal turned out to be a real gem.

Mr Waspe’s new dog is not just aiding his owner to carry out everyday tasks, but [is] also helping Edward to get around.

You can read the entire touching story with pictures by clicking the following link: Blind Man Keeps Old Guide Dog.

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“Dolphins save Doberman Pinscher” blared the Orlando, Florida FOX News ‘My News’ webpage.

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A Pennsylvania woman on vacation in Florida took a tip from two dolphins to save a lost Doberman Pinscher that got stranded on a sandbar.

When Audrey D’Alessandro and her husband, Sam, walked out of their home on Marco Island, near Naples, Fla., to go fishing, “we saw these two dolphins, and they were splashing and making this big commotion” in a canal behind their vacation home, she said.

Although it is not uncommon to see dolphins swimming through the canal on their way to the Gulf of Mexico, Audrey D’Alessandro said that this time, “they were just there, in one place, splashing water against the canal wall.”

Mrs. D’Alessandro investigated further and saw a dog stranded on a sandbar half-submerged in water.

The dog, which disappeared from a nearby home some 12 hours before, was too weak to bark, she added, and could not get back onto land because of a several-foot-high canal wall.

You can read the rest of the story of this amazing rescue by clicking the following link: Dolphin Saves Doberman.

Thank heaven for intelligent dolphins and people with heart! There has to be a special place in heaven for people like Mrs. D’Alessandro.

This last story is also about dolphins.

Dolphin Bubbles: An Amazing Behavior

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Yes, animals enrich our lives and make the world more beautiful, safe, and entertaining. From the plain cute, to the why do they do that?, to the heroic, animals surely bless our lives.

Do you have any pet or animal stories you would like to share?  We would love to hear them. Leave a comment below.

Featured Recipe    Pork Chow Mein

Leftovers get a bad rap. Why I don’t know. I like food. Period. Doesn’t bother me if it was yesterday’s food. If I like the food and it tastes good I’ll eat it.

If you did not know I was using leftovers you would think this meal was wonderful Scroll down to the last picture on the page.   Go ahead……..I’ll wait for you…….Hmmmmmmm………………………………………………………………………………..Now does the food on that plate look like leftovers? I don’t think so. Looks like a great dinner.

Yet today I am using up most of what is leftover from the Roast Pork I made last Friday.

There are many different ways to use up pork. One of the easiest is to make a Hot Shot. It is called different things in different parts of America. A hot shot is where  you put some meat like pork or beef between two pieces of bread and cut it in half. Then you place each half on different sides of a plate and put mashed potatoes between them. Then you pour gravy over all of it. A hearty meal indeed. High in carbs, but filling.

About a year ago I shared a great recipe that you can make with left over pork. Following is the link for Pork Fried Rice.

Today I am going to give you another recipe that is great for leftovers. If you don’t have leftovers you can still make it. Just cook up a couple of pork chops, bone in or out, and cut the meat off/up to use in this recipe.

By the way, you can use beef or chicken in this recipe as well as pork. You could also go Meatless Monday and just make a Vegetarian Chow Mein. If you went this route you could add other veggies as well, like broccoli or asparagus. This recipe is endlessly adaptable.

This is what you will need for 4 people:

About 1-1 ½ cups pork, beef or chicken cubed or cut up

1-2 teaspoons vegetable oil

2-3 stalks celery*

1 small onion diced

1 can straw mushrooms,** drained reserve liquid

1 can bamboo shoots with liquid

1 can water chestnuts with liquid

1 can or fresh*** bean sprouts (if canned with liquid)

2 teaspoons beef or chicken instant granules

1 tablespoon soy sauce

2 tablespoons corn starch

You will also need some rice and if you like chow mien or rice noodles.

NOTES: See that red thing sticking out on the right in the ingredient picture? It is not on the list of ingredients. I found half a red pepper in the vegetable bin of my fridge. So I decided to use it up in this dish. This is a great dish to use up left over veggies.

*After cutting the three stalks of celery on the diagonal I decided three stalks were not enough in relation to the other two vegetables. So I used a fourth stalk.

** You could save money by using regular canned mushrooms. I like straw mushrooms because I think it looks more like Asian dish with them. But they are expensive.

**** Sometimes I can find fresh bean sprouts, some times I cannot.

Here is what you do:

If using regular rice start it now following package directions. If using instant rice you can wait and start about half way through the recipe.

Cube the pork. I had 2 cups of pork and still had a small piece of meat left.

Clean and prep the vegetables. Dice onion and pepper if using. Slice the celery on a diagonal.

Heat the oil over medium high heat.

Add the veggies and sauté in the oil till crisp tender. Reduce heat.

 Add cubed pork and mix into the vegetables.

While the pork is heating up open all your cans of vegetables. Drain mushrooms; reserve liquid in a measuring cup.

Now add the mushrooms to skillet. Also add the chestnuts with liquid, bamboo shoots with liquid, and bean sprouts at this time. Mix gently but well with a spatula.

Now make a little well in center of the vegetables and add the beef granules. Mix well into the warm liquid and then gently mix into the vegetables.

Cook the vegetables until warmed through.

While the veggies are warming, add enough water to the reserved mushroom liquid to make 1 cup. Then add 1 tablespoon soy sauce and the cornstarch to the mushroom liquid……………….

 

……………..and mix well.

Add to the skillet, mix in and cook ……….

…………….until mixture begins to boil and thickens. When this happens lower the heat and cook 1-2 minutes more.

Serve with the rice and/or Chinese noodles

Bon Appetit!!!!

Cost

About 1-1 ½ cups left over pork                  $0.00 left overs, remember.

1-2 teaspoons vegetable oil                         $0.02

4 stalks celery                                            $0.56

1 small onion diced                                     $0.60

1 can straw mushrooms                              $2.85

1 can bamboo shoots with liquid                  $0.79

1 can water chestnuts with liquid                 $0.99

1 can or fresh** bean sprouts                     $1.29

2 teaspoons beef granules                           $0.24

1 tablespoon soy sauce                               $0.13

2 tablespoons corn starch                           $0.32

Total cost = $7.79
Cost per person = $1.95

The rice and/or the noodles will add about $1.00 total or $0.25 per person to the cost of this meal.

Quote of the Day

A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book. 

Irish Proverb

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