Monday, May 31, 2010

Kindred Spirits Sanctuary: Donkeys!

The following is a photo account of my trip to Kindred Spirits Sanctuary in Ocala, Florida.
"Kindred Spirits is a non-profit farm animal sanctuary that helps neglected, abused, unwanted, or displaced farm animals."

This will be a 6-part series broken down by animals because each animal deserves their own spotlight.

Part five includes donkeys (or burro, since they have mules, too)!

Here they come!!

They have the softest noses!!!

Please excuse my goofy faces!

Apparently Mirza is the Donkey whisperer...


Other random photos from the are some doggies that followed us around. These dogs were full of pure joy!
Meet Ditto...gotta love that smile! It looks like he's being tickled to death, "heehehehehe"

She just walked over and sat in the mud puddle. Coolin' off?

And he just walked to this water tub, stepped in, and sat down. hahaha

Want to help a donkey/mule live a happy, free life?

From KSS website: Sponsoring a farm animal through Kindred Spirits Sanctuary is a win-win situation! People who care about these animals and their stories, but don’t have the time or space to adopt a farm animal, can still give a needy farm animal a great life! Sponsorships cover the cost of feed, shelter costs, and routine veterinary care for a particular animal for the duration you choose. You can sponsor an animal for an annual, bi-annual, quarter, or month duration. Each sponsorship is prepaid and does not renew automatically. By sponsoring a Kindred Spirit, you are assisting Kindred Spirits Sanctuary in providing the best care for each animal that makes his or her home here.

One year: $900
Six Months: $450
Three Months: $225
One Month: $75

(As a side note, I was NOT asked by the sanctuary to provide this information on my blog. I'm only doing it because after my visit to the sanctuary, I truly believe in what they're doing, and I know if my blog readers could visit that they would feel the same way. All of the information I've posted here is from my own personal account with visiting the sanctuary, and information from their website.)

If you would like to learn more about Farm Sanctuaries and how they help animals, I highly recommend checking out Gene Baur's book "Farm Sanctuary:  Changing Hearts and Minds About Animals and Food.
I finished reading this book a few weeks ago and it is now one of my favorites. If you do not know Gene Baur, he co-founded Farm Sanctuary in 1986. It now consists of two shelters, one in New York, and one in California.
"Currently, Farm Sanctuary operates two shelters — a 175-acre farm in upstate New York and a 300-acre farm in northern California. Our shelters rescue, rehabilitate and provide lifelong care for hundreds of animals who have been rescued from stockyards, factory farms, and slaughterhouses. Here, the animals are given all the care and love needed to recover from a lifetime of abuse and neglect. All of the animals have nourishing food, spacious, clean barns, and acres of green, sunny pastures in which to roam."

They not only rescue animals, but also help to get laws passed for better animal treatment. The work of this organization is truly amazing. Check it out.

I actually have a secret lifetime goal of opening my own farm sanctuary:)

Sunday, May 30, 2010

20 minute run!


I ran 20 minutes straight today without stopping. I have completed Week 5 of the Couch to 5k. I am proud!


I got out just as the sun was rising.

The run was not as difficult as I thought it would be. Usually, my issue has nothing to do with tired legs or muscles, but lungs/heart. However, I think I am definitely conditioning my cardiovascular system because I felt great during this run. I paced my breathing and I don't think my heart rate got out of control.  Also, I was feeling so accomplished that endorphins probably kept me going, too.

The best part was running over the bridge with the sun rising behind me and  dolphins jumping out of the water. It is during those times that I love Florida. For some reason when I see dolphins, it makes me feel stronger! They are just powerful and beautiful. Maybe I aspire to be a dolphin...out of water?! ha.


Sweaty and red mess. Embrace it!

I came home, showered, and immediately busted out the Vitamix for a Cherry Chocolate Bomb shake, but with the addition of coconut water, some peanut butter, and spinach...

It was rich! I definitely could not finish it all.

Max and I cuddled for a couple of hours before I went to yoga.

Like this photo?? If so, please go to Adopt-a-Human on Facebook and click the "like" button. It's a photo contest! Max would love to win...he will cuddle with you:)

Yoga felt sooooo good after not doing it for practically 5 months! Shameful! 

The only issue I had with yoga today was HUNGER. Obviously, I did not eat enough between work outs. I had more than the smoothie, but I just kept thinking about the taco salad with my name on it. But I still focused, relaxed, and enjoyed the stretch, especially after all of these months.
(recycled photo!)

And there were more chocolate covered raisins made and eaten...

Finally, Mirza finished studying and we made our way to the beach for a little blogger meet up with Shannon of Tropical Eats at a bar. However, once we got there, it was packed, no parking, and we did not have $5 to pay the parking. Also, there were people being arrested, etc and it just did not seem like a place I'd be comfortable. That, and we don't even drink, haha!Well, I tried, right? Hopefully we'll be able to meet up some other time.

We then drove to Lake Seminole.

I think it's going to be a lazy night. What are your plans for the Monday holiday? I have the day off, but nothing really planned besides a possible bike ride. I don't work until Thursday, woo!

Oh, here is a cute picture of a kitten who lives outside my apartment. He comes from a feral mommy cat and she is MEAN, but I still feed them.

Saturday, May 29, 2010 and Blogiversary!

I got to leave work early today because the unit was emptying out! Cross your fingers that it stays that way because I am first to be called off tomorrow and want the day off to go for a run, bike, or swim!:)

Happy 4 year anniversary to my blog!!! If you go back that far (or if you've followed me that long), it didn't start as "Raspberry Stethoscope." Nope, it was, "Student Nurse Nicole..." or was it, "Nicole, Student Nurse"? HA. I honestly do not remember.
Either way, HAPPY 4 YEAR BLOGIVERSARY TO ME! My blog may be small, and may not get a lot of hits or have a lot of followers, but I still love it!

I was excited to make dinner tonight from one of my cookbooks: Mixed Vegetable Curry ...

Mr. Cow watched on...

I cannot decide if this meal was a fail or what because FIRST, I burnt the freakin' garlic and ruined the sauce and I thought all of the veggies because it was going in the bitter direction. Then I just decided to dump all of the sauce and cleaned off the veggies. At this point, I was kind of bummed. I really do not want to waste food (money), and I hate when meals do not work out.
I started over and it seemed alright...

By the time it was finished, I was just aggravated.
Honestly, I couldn't taste a freakin' thing. Does that ever happen to you?? You cook something and just smelling it for so long either loses the appeal or you literally cannot taste it?

Mirza literally went back for seconds and said it was GOOD. 
I don't know.
I added tofu towards the end! It was my first time "cooking" with tofu.Perhaps I will like it better tomorrow?

Time to relax and maybe do some yoga.

Friday, May 28, 2010


This morning I had to take a renewal Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers course. Great, right? No! I do not understand why I need to take BLS over and over and over when I have my ACLS. I guess BLS does go over what to do outside of the hospital setting, so I'll stop complaining now.

I spent the rest of my day planning my meals for the week and grocery shopping. I spent $75 on food. My goal was $60, but that's okay. Live and learn! I am just happy that I have meals planned for seven days and they are all nutritious, delicious, and of course, vegetarian...some even vegan!:)

After shopping, I decided to make Angela's Three Ingredient Chocolate Covered Raisins! aaaah. Why is Angela such a genius??
ooooey goooey chocolately-coconuteyyyy goodness
I love how they glistened.
Resist the urge to lick the bowl clean.
ha, yeah right
out of the freezer they came
and into my belly they went

Thank you, Angela. You have made my life complete;)

I decided today was going to be a rest day....but then I changed my mind! At around 5pm, I geared up for week 5, day 2 of the couch to 5k.
Longest run yet...of 8 minutes run! with 5 minute walk, and another 8 minute run.

I took my run to Lake Seminole Park because they have a nice, shaded 2 mile trail.

Before my run, I walked over to the lake for some photos.

Enough playing around, it was time to get down to running-business!!!

I'm not going to lie. I was nervous. Could I handle an 8 minute run without stopping?? Would I freakin' pass out from the heat?! aaah. But dudes, I did it. And it was NO WHERE NEAR as difficult as I thought. By no means was it easy, but it was completely doable and I pushed myself. Also, I ran with water this time because
I went 2 and a half miles!

I don't know about anyone else, but after a run in this heat, I am BEAT RED. 


I feel incredibly accomplished.  I know for many people, running 8 minutes straight (times 2) is not a big deal, but for me, it is!!!
The next run is 20 minutes straight, NO WALKING!! I would say it sounds impossible, but I think that today proves I am wrong.
Dinner was a vegetarian taco salad
 Mirza said it was "#3 on the list of top things I have ever made." He likes to rank my meals, ha!!

It had pinto beans, long grain brown jasmine rice, organic corn, organic romaine, tomatoes, salsa, and crushed tortilla chips. You can click the link above to see how it is made, and I highly recommend it!

Dessert was definitely more chocolate covered raisins.
I feel so great!
What is one thing you did today to feel accomplished?

Announcement: Tomorrow is the FOUR YEAR ANNIVERSARY of this blog!:)