The Great Pumpkin Patch (or not)

Last October I decided to plant my pumpkin seeds from my little cheeky pumpkin, Sweetie Pie, that was given to me to carve. I do not have a farm therefore I planted them in a small 4 x 2 area in the backyard. It was my first pumpkin planting and I had no clue what I was doing or what to expect. My first mistake was planting them too closely together but after discovering the huge foliage that appeared back in March, I was certain I had scored big and would soon be running an orange globe with plenty of pumpkin spice lattes enough to put Starbucks out of business

As my beautiful, healthy, glorious pumpkin vines began to grow it somehow motivated my thoughts to enlarge my territory for my new pumpkin business that would soon make me the envy of all farmers especially when they put my face on Forbes after becoming the Pumpkin Capital of the world. Don’t laugh just yet because little becomes much for those who believe. However, my little has become too much to the point it’s overgrowing on my patio and needs some serious pruning and it doesn’t look like I’ll be transforming one of my pumpkins into Cinderella’s coach anytime soon. But I am digging (not literally) the blossoms I found early this morning in my teeny tiny patch. The male blooms resembled little happy stars that only lasted for a few hours of which I found quite interesting and very lovely yet sad because the need of bees at this point was a let-down for the blooms

Then shortly after revisiting my patch, I discovered a teeny tiny gourd, the first fruit of my labor to be harvested later this fall. The little green nugget brought a smile from ear to shining ear but being that my vines are almost completely devoid of fruit, I figure the problem to be pollination or the lack of it. I need bees! The blooms need bees to come and do their business while the male blooms are calling and females are waiting. The bees help by moving pollen from male to female thus beginning the growth of many sweetie pies as I like to call them. Did you know these flowers are edible?

The little green round swelling in the photo above is my miniature, immature pumpkin. One day soon, it will be the delight of my backyard and bring some much needed color to the patch and let’s don’t forget all those wonderful pumpkin flavored everything recipes we all love. But if you’re me, you enjoy pumpkin pies and shakes all year round and pay no attention to those who tell you it’s too early for those pumpkin pleasures. We certainly don’t need that kind of negativity in our lives. I love my little pumpkin patch and can’t wait to blog about the harvest…

After finishing my blog, I went outside to pull weeds and prune and found a little gem hiding beneath the greenery. It’s actually an older pumpkin I didn’t know was growing and I didn’t want to leave him out. So this is my edit to this post….Be blessed

Scarborough Fair

I have a set of twins named Optimus Prime and Rodimus Prime. They are adorable Japanese Li’s cats and being that they share in the same genetic component, they do have similarities, but have many differences as well. They are my pride and joy and a reprieve from the worries of everyday life. Did I mention they assisted me in writing my novel, Secret Hostage? I’ll save that story for another day. But I do want to share a few cute photos of my boys.

I understand you’re wondering what two cats have to do with Scarborough Fair. Actually, two cats don’t it’s just one, and he’s Optimus Prime. He’s no more special than his brother, but Rodimus is more solitary and aloof and prefers it that way while Optimus bonds with me more so to the point its become a ritual especially during thunder storms. This week, we have had our share of these storms and Optimus has spent most of his time staying close to me and his preference of bonding is head bunting. They say when cats bunt they are creating a communal scent, and this also means he has accepted me into his cat colony and I have been anointed with his special colony scent. I smile!

During these storms, Optimus climbs onto my lap and I begin the ritual that only he and I understand and that’s singing to him Scarborough Fair. I have no clue why I chose this song when he was a baby, but it has been sung to him seemingly a thousand times and no other song will do. If I try to sing another tune, he bunts my head but its the understanding between the two of us that this particular song must be sung or he becomes finicky. Just two days ago, the storm outside was vicious and Scarborough Fair was in action for several hours. While I sang this over and over, I thought of the lyrics. I’ve heard this song since the late 60’s but never really it gave it thought until now.

“Are you going to Scarborough Fair? Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. Remember me to one who lives there, for once she was a true love of mine……” The rendition I’m more familiar with is from Simon and Garfunkel and is referred to as Canticle which derives from another song, which was actually two songs down the list written by Paul Simon. Canticle is a psalm, an anthem, a hymn perhaps, a very spiritual term, but Scarborough Fair was done by British folk singer Martin Carthy when Simon first heard it back in 1965 while visiting London. Art Garfunkel adopted this arrangement by Carthy and integrated it with Canticle which was adapted from The Side Of A Hill. It was unfortunate that neither Simon nor Garfunkel gave any credit to Carthy when they recorded the arrangement of this folk song. Carthy accused Simon of stealing his work but according to Simon, he never realized that adopting the arrangement was stealing being that the song dates back to Medieval times.

This song is a traditional English ballad and the lyrics are predated around 1300 and was sung by Medieval bards throughout the English countryside. Because of the nature of this song, no one has been credited as the author with the song’s inception. Many have tried to give an opinion of the real meaning of this tune and I’ll admit, I’m not so sure I have an opinion other than the lyrics are complex and so is the music of Simon and Garfunkel. The only understanding I come to, is that perhaps maybe it’s a ghost trying to convince his lover not to commit suicide in hopes of joining him on the other side because he gives specific riddles that would have been impossible for her to complete. That’s just my theory on it and I’m more than likely so far from the truth.

However, I do find it intriguing that the song includes herbs. I studied these herbs and learned why they may have been used in these lyrics. “Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme which may seem meaningless, but to the folks in Medieval times these herbs were like roses to them. A lot of people believe that the herbs were nothing more than a placeholder because the original line had been forgotten in the song which is what happens to traditional folk music being passed down through oral tradition which is why there are so many versions of many old songs. So, what are the meanings of these herbs?

Parsley was used for comfort and to remove bitterness. Sage for strength, rosemary for love and thyme for courage and it has been said that these herbs were used in a special tonic to remove curses. In our times, parsley is nothing more than a food decoration, which by the way, I love on pasta. Parsley is also good for treating indigestion. I won’t go into detail about these herbs as most of us already know their purpose in our modern lives and yes, in my cabinet you will find all four sitting in their proper place.

Is there a place called Scarborough? You bet there is and it’s located on the North sea Coast of North Yorkshire in England and there is a Scarborough Fair that still continues today. It was a place to go for an open-air trading market where merchants and tradesmen would gather from all over the country to sell their wares. From August 15th to September 29, it became England’s place to be. Many would come around to this auspicious event and participate. Today, folks come for jousting, archery and other traditional fair activities and there are also beach activities on the South Bay not to leave out the surfing contest on North Bay. Big differences between the Medieval expo and today’s modern activities. Is it on my bucket list to visit? It is now.

Scarborough

Today, another storm is coming through and Optimus is already gearing up for his Scarborough Fair affair. I love thunderstorms and the bonding of Optimus Prime and thanks to him, I am a little more educated about Scarborough and the infamous song Scarborough Fair…

The Thief Of Love

Martin Luther King Jr. said it fervently, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

Have you noticed that hating others seems to be the norm in our society? There has always been hate, history has the stories, but it has come to the place where hatred is socially accepted. There are those who cannot get through a day of their life without sitting behind the keyboard being the warrior they swear God called them to be, presenting their skill of trying to prove others wrong or making others an example because they think differently and their belief is different. I see it on a daily basis in my newsfeed on Facebook.

It seems to me people love to create the fight. They need to always be right and proving that point in front of their little community social group, or band of followers fuels the fire within giving them authority and making them feel powerful. Some people live to disarm your opinion publicly they simply cannot handle objective truths. These internet warriors feel superior and they love for a disruption to show up so they can show out. But what I find disturbing is the fact that the one bullying so-to-speak is the very one who claims to be called of God to carry out such attacks on others.

Photo found on the internet

It is my understanding that in 1 John chapter 4 verse 20, it talks about if a man claims to love God yet hates his brother, he is a liar. That’s a simple truth that needs no explanation. If you are causing dissention among others, you my friend are not of God. You are not called of God to bring others to the front line and destroy them with your harsh words. If you claim to have love for God yet demonstrate hatred for others, your words are purely false! The greatest commandment ever to be uttered centuries ago by Christ himself, is the all embracing commandment to LOVE ONE ANOTHER. When we truly demonstrate love and love from the heart not just in word but also in deed and truth, we are being what we were called to be and the Spirit Himself will bear witness that we are indeed children of God. We need to be that presentation of Christ.

If someone is trying to bring you down, remember they are already below you. Don’t fall into their arena and play their hate games, don’t allow someone to narrow your thinking and try to force you to think like them or else. If your opinions are different and someone tries to make you their prey by forcing you into a situation where you are either with them or against them, get out of there. Its a toxic place to be. There are those who want to destroy you in the open forum it scores them a huge victory in the eyes of their beloved followers. Some people are wired to be on a pedestal and if they aren’t, they are not functioning sanely.

Did you know haters love to be hated back? If they can’t bring that hatred out of you they are on a constant search to find other enemies to play their pathetic games. Avoidance is your power against them. Haters are always using social media to post outrageous posts stirring up hatred with the intent of starting a war. They purposely post things knowing it’s going to cause others to become upset. They live for it and what is destructive to their testimony is the fact they do it in the name of our Father God, Almighty. They are out to cause injustice simply because they embrace hatred and by bringing God into their lethal, venomous world, they feel they are justifying the very thing God hates. These people are emotionally incompetent.

The devil comes to steal, kill and destroy and he uses people as his weapon of attacks. Don’t be afraid to voice your opinion. Use your voice to make things better, bring truth to an untruthful environment. Don’t express your opinions to hurt others nor to silence opposite thoughts. Stay away from posts that cause hatred, you are the one who holds the power to disarm. These people want the battle. They want to lure you in so they can try and belittle you. They are powerless cowards! They are thieves of the love you possess in your soul. They are thieves of your joy. Use your voice to make things better, not to destroy and bring division. These same people who are thieves are the very ones who carry the spirit of the antichrist in their own hearts. We are chosen to spread love, cause love, do it on purpose. This is the will of our Heavenly Father. So when you run across some hate posts, use your power to stay away and disarm the hatemonger who is lurking around the next corner throwing out the bait to entice you to come into their web. You are the hunted among the hunters and social media is the hunters playground. Disarm the thieves!

Photo found on the internet

Picturesque Fairy Tale

There once was a girl named Jane who escaped the clutches of everyday life and found herself in a faraway land where her deepest longings were waiting for her there….

The Old Rectory On The Lake (photo not mine)

While in Wales, my dream came true. There was a place I had seen on the internet called The Old Rectory On The Lake nestled in the southern part of the Snowdonia National Park. After viewing hundreds of photos, I knew I had to be a part and see for myself this beautiful piece of earth. My friend and I traveled there in January of 2019 and met with the owners, John and Ricky who were fabulous hosts and allowed us to tour the entire property on our own. You see, I had fallen in love with this gem and was considering to purchase it with a settlement that never happened but the funds at the moment are the only thing holding me back.

While walking the entire property inside and out, I felt the world of cares lifted from my shoulder as you may have read an earlier blog about my misfortune back in 2017-2018, and peace settled instead. Outside, the sounds of birds and maybe an otter playing around in the lake along with the fresh air, not to mention those breath-taking panoramic views surrounded me with an unexplainable feeling that you can only experience to understand the depth of my meaning. I knew in my heart that I could spend the rest of my life waking up to spectacular views every morning and taking my time walking around the lake every day that the weather permitted. I was even amped up about hiking the Cader-Idris that surround this beautiful place. If you know me, you know hiking is one of my favorite past-times.

It was cold and rainy on this day, so my photos does this place no justice, but even in the dreariness of Wales’s infamous, unpredictable weather, the beauty is unmatched and magnificent. I fell in love with how the mountains and valleys come together in a lush verdant landscape. A few of these photos were taken from the detached chattel with Sauna and shower, and a hot tub built on an elevated decking area. I can imagine sipping on good ole southern sweet iced tea as I am used to, or the hot tea English style while taking in the stars at night soaking in that outdoor prominence while the bubbles sooth away all of my yesterdays. I would definitely lose time here trying to endure this grand lap of luxury with its rhythm of peace.

As I walked the property in the drizzling rain, I thought about what I would change if I owned the place and there was not much I would change nor would want to, but I do have my American style that will never die and adding a few touches here and there would definitely make it home for me. It’s warm and welcoming, a place I want to be but there are a few things I would add if given the opportunity. I would change the small house down by the lake that is used to house extra guest and make the front all glass where the lake would be your view at all times. I would also change the kitchen to the main house as it is an industrial kitchen for the five star award winning B&B that it is currently being used for and make it into my dream kitchen area and maybe, just maybe bring down a wall downstairs separating the main living space from the dining area and make it all open. But that idea is not set in stone because I do like the exposed stone wall with the A-frame ceiling with exposed beams and oak flooring and nothing but perfect views on your left and right spilling in those big huge windows.

There are ten rooms in this house including the Vicar’s study downstairs and two garages that have been converted into a retreat, an open plan self-contained unit with a small kitchen, but I would definitely make this my writing and music studio. Each bedroom has its own full bath and is perfect for entertaining guest who come for a get-a-way. My favorite part of the house is the entrance with its huge gothic front door and the curved window that was designed and put in by John, the owner himself. He has fabulous taste, I must say! Did I mention there was an under stairs wine cellar?

It’s my understanding that the house has been taken off the market, but I do remember chatting with John and Ricky while sipping hot tea, and he was very clear about not selling the house to just anyone because he didn’t want others to come in and change it into a hotel or something similar, rather he wanted someone to buy it to leave it as the house that it is which was my plan all alone. I had no desires to run a hotel nor a B&B and I even shared with the owners what I would do to the place if I chose to buy it which was make it my home and add some personal changes which I mentioned above which both John and Ricky fell in love with. But other buyers wanted to change the very thing John was hoping would not happen which is why I think the house was taken off the market. If someday soon, a miracle happens and the money comes my way, I will go to Wales and have another sit-down with the owners and sign papers if they would indeed agree. Oh I do pray this real-life fairy tale will become reality for me some day….