Hemingway

There is always a story to be told and this one melts the heart. Over a year ago, a big, wild, beautiful yet mean spirited stray cat showed up in my son’s back yard and he brought attitude (or kittitude) with him. He began to bully the neighborhood strays who practically lived there as my son and his wife fed them well. Hemingway was now a menace to the neighborhood and was a threat not only to the other cats but to anyone who tried to be friendly with him.

His aggression was nothing more than a natural display to guard his new territory and that he did. My son, Ron and his wife, Darla are avid cat lovers like myself and they were determined along with a lot of patience to transform the situation and rehabilitate the bully in order to have a peaceful sanctuary for all involved. Now, Hemingway is something of a legend not because he is big and resembles the Lion King, but because he is a polydactyl with a teeny tiny meow. For those who are not sure what a polydactyl cat is, it is one that has been born with more toes than normal on their paws. Hemingway has six therefore landing him with the name “six toe” before becoming Hemingway.

As fate would have it, he soon became knighted into the family and while the other cats whom were not so accepting of the idea soon began to warm up to him. He too began to lighten up and become more friendly, so friendly that he is a father to some very adorable kitties especially one that we’ve all become very fond of and his name is Shakespeare. But a few months ago, Hemingway showed up with both of his ears bleeding badly. We thought he had been attacked and my son tried to coerce him into the house so they could get him to a vet but it did not work he only ran away. Day after day, month after month, he came around and his ears were growing worse and trying to capture him was like trying to pull teeth out of a perfectly good cat, it just wasn’t happening.

They continued to feed him and with all efforts tried to get him into the house until one night, last week, Hemingway showed up looking tired and distressed. He stood at the French door not waiting to be fed but waiting to come inside. It was a defining moment indeed and he was ready. My son let him in and they fed him then made a comfy bed for him in a kennel. His ears were bleeding badly, so badly it looked as if his ears were just barely attached. He refused to allow Darla to medicate him, which she is very good at, so they made him as comfortable as possible until the next morning when without a fight, they put him in a kitty transport and took him to their Vet.

Hemingway’s ears before going to the Vet

After the doctor ran tests and did his examination on Hemingway, the news he gave brought tears to us all. The Vet reiterated that he had never seen a case of ear mites such as that of poor Hemingway. Not only were the ear mites an issue, but he had several infections and his blood count was very low. My son bargained as I knew he would begging for any positive answers to be found in order to save the cat. The doctor then gave the news no one was prepared to hear and said that Hemingway had FIV which is Feline aids then suggested putting Hemingway down. My son came to me asking for advice but I was in tears over the news and was incapable of giving him what he wanted to hear. I told my son that Hemingway did not need to suffer anymore but I think my answer spurred a deep down determination on his part to do research which ultimately led to my son telling the doctor to do what he had to do about the ears, infection and even possibly neutering the cat. The Vet agreed but did not guarantee Hemingway would survive, but he did!

In fact, he ate a big meal after his surgery which indeed was a good sign. He was friendly with the staff and they all fell in love with him. He stayed in the kitty hospital for over a week until today, 09/13/2019. While there, he was shown love and each day was a success as he proved to be the warrior he really was and is. His blood count returned to normal, the infections cleared up and his appetite was that of a very healthy Hemingway. I don’t think the staff were ready for him to leave as he is one of their biggest successes, but they knew he had a loving family ready to bring him home.

Hemingway being greeted by Ember

The above photo was taken this morning when he arrived. His ears look like brand new ones and he still has that appetite that makes us all smile. The other cats welcomed him and it was obvious Hemingway was missed. Of course all the cats are unique and have wonderful personalities and being that Hemingway is FIV positive is no exception he too is very unique and has become a part of this family. He will be able to live a normal healthy life and there is no reason he can’t! That night when he showed up at the door, we all felt that euthanasia of this cat would probably be the outcome. But thankfully, my son proved it was an unnecessary measure and now life with Hemingway will continue.

For information purposes, humans cannot contract Feline aids it can only be spread from cat to cat through bite wounds and scratches. All of the cats here have been immunized and see the Vet regularly as will Hemingway from this point on. What seemed hopeless walked through the front door this morning with a new attitude proving he was indeed a little version of the Lion King. He will be loved and taken good care of and live a perfectly long normal life here and in this household, ALL cat lives matter….

A big thank you to Ron for going to bat for Hemingway!

Put A Little Sun Rise In Your Heart

After turning 58 a few days ago, I took some time to reflect and realized that everything is a mist just swirling around the fact that I am growing old. That thought lingered for a while as that cold hard truth set in that I’m inching my way closer to senior citizenship not to mention the good ole days of Medicare and Social Security benefits. But, that means retirement and the rest of my days spent doing what I darn well please.

A few years ago I spent a lot of early mornings chasing sunrises just before going into work. I remember the times I got lucky catching a perfect picture moment and realized there was always a story for each morning. Even though I was rushed to snap a picture then head off to work, I was always in awe of how the sunrise painted the sky differently each time. I suppose everyone is different but as for me personally, I observed from an emotional level realizing that this time of day was pure and quieter and I loved (and still do) how each morning began with new possibilities, new hope, and sweet hours of tranquility, and that mystery of the coming day.

Taken on Whiskey Road in Aiken, S.C.

Now, that time is fleeting by, I have started to chase the early morning theatrics once again. I cherish these moments and have begged my family to join me but they aren’t into the early morning chase like me. It’s my desire to travel to as many places as possible to capture the sun in her glory. I can say that sunrise gives a sense of euphoria and becomes addictive. I rise early to go out to the patio and wait for that first hint of warmth to hit my face and I suppose that the paradox is that it brings happiness and contentment.

Each sunrise is different as the light draws pictures that are never the same. Not only is there beauty but also benefits that affect various body systems as the sun gives off natural vitamin D kind of like natural Prozac that elevates mood and re-energizes. Also it has been suggested that sunlight regulates production of blood stem cells from bone marrow. I’m sure there are many benefits to be had, but I am still captivated by the first light and it’s beauty.

Photo taken at Lake Murray in Columbia, S.C.

I look forward to capturing more photos and enjoying my alone time with nature and God. It’s time well spent to invest early morning hours into your life just for the calm and serenity. If you suffer depression this is a wonderful way to ease the dread of waking every morning. If you just want to reflect and be alone, go outside and greet the sun first thing in the morning and take note of how the rays bring comfort and how the new light dances and paints beautiful portraits. Never take these things for granted!

A different morning on Whiskey Road, Aiken, S.C.

I look forward to spending the rest of my days enjoying the simple things however, to me, they do bring the most joy and satisfaction and no one can take that away. These are the living years and life is closing in but what I am blessed with for as long as I am blessed with it I shall make the most of it all as I choose to put a little sunrise in my heart…

Drinking Green

Today’s blog isn’t about pouring yourself a strong one, putting on a kilt and doing a jig. But in case you do, please make sure your kilt is long enough to conceal those lucky charms. Instead, it’s about going green and detoxifying your inner being. I braved up and tried a green smoothie only to discover the color is deceiving because inside is a delicious healthy tonic loaded with everything good for you and ever since trying it, I have a green smoothie daily and it is changing my life.

Having my Green Smoothie outside…..

As most of you know, last year I suffered great loss and ended up a slave to depression. As a result, I suffered headaches daily. I lost every ounce of energy and felt exhausted every single day. I suffered chronic body aches, and maintaining a normal schedule was no longer on my agenda. I began packing on the pounds due to my inability to care enough to keep my body moving like I used to. I became a recluse and refused to tell anyone what I was going through because in my mind, no one cared in fact, I refused to be around anyone at all. It became so bad, I entertained the thought of suicide so as not to be a burden to anyone nor my two cats. But how selfish a thing to do, right?

This year, more turn of events kept coming in and I bucked up to those demons and made it clear I was taking back my life and it was going to be better than ever. I started researching healthy food choices that were graced with tons of nutrients but were low-calorie. I wanted something that worked in multiple dimensions as to provide more than one benefit, something that would be my healer and life-long friend. I found such a solution and I have to say, even I am impressed with my findings.

Many years ago after my second son was born, I became a fitness guru. I ate healthy, and worked out on a daily basis and knew the importance of doing the right things and eating right foods for my body in order to stay fit and feel great. I recently talked with my oldest son about drinking smoothies and he went shopping and bought a book by Kristine Miles titled, The Green Smoothie Bible. I got the ingredients needed to make my first green smoothie. It was the beginner’s recipe and very easy to make. Raw spinach, bananas, and water. Blend them together and you have green. The color was not exactly appetizing, but after closing my eyes and forcing a sip, I was hooked.

The recipe which I will leave below was very simple and quick and spinach is not expensive nor are bananas. No milk is used and the calories are very minimum but the satisfaction is paramount and leaves you feeling full and energized. Now, don’t worry if you have Irish blood like myself, I promise a nice green detox smoothie will not bring shame to your Irish ancestors they are such forgiving wonderful earthlings. Let me tell you a few of the benefits that cone with this smoothie superfood.

One cup of spinach has only 7 calories and is rich in protein, calcium, magnesium and potassium. Spinach is loaded with Iron which I desperately need as the lack of iron affects how your body uses energy. It’s good for your skin your hair and your bones and it improves blood glucose. It lowers the risk of cancer and can protect against high blood pressure which I have battled and it assists in helping to protect you from heart disease as I also battle. And if you ingest it in a raw form such as a smoothie, the benefits are greater.

If you notice in the photo above, I leave the stems on and after the blending process, you never know they are there.

We all know how delicious bananas are and they are loaded with potassium which also is good for lowering blood pressure. Combine these two together and you’ve got yourself a nice mixed drink guaranteed to get you high. That’s right, Spinach alone is a superstar natural that causes mood-regulating neurotransmitters like those dopamines and serotonins to contribute to well-being and happiness. I must say, I enjoy a tall glass of this miracle before going to the gym. The energy I feel is the kind you can’t explain but can only experience. There are more changes I am making in my life, but I wanted to share this particular addition to my new life with you today. Do something good for you that will benefit you in years to come. This concoction is surprisingly delicious. The recipe is listed below. I have altered my recipe to two bananas and more than a whopping handful of raw spinach with just a little under a half cup of water…

Green Smoothie Recipe

3 to 4 ripe bananas, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 2 cups of water, handful of fresh, clean spinach. This makes a quart which is enough to fill two large glasses. Blend together and enjoy…

My results are astonishing. I’m losing the excess pounds I accrued last year, I feel absolutely like I’m on top of the world. I’ve cut back on my dose of high blood pressure pills and look forward to being completely free from medications. The headaches are gone, my body aches have become very minimum. I feel great and I actually have color back in my skin from the chlorophyll I assume, but life is sweeter when we feed our bodies the good things nature provides for us.

Confessions of a Woolling Freak

Today, I decided to visit my unfinished blogs that have been sitting in the Draft section (my arbitrary junk pile) for quite some time. There are several drafts from my trip to England that I need to complete and add to my repertoire. I especially like this blog for reasons I’m not sure of, but I just do. For 30 days in the UK, I was captivated by the sheep that were plenty and everywhere, which brings me to this blog.

During my stay in England, I had a plethora of questions concerning the beasts of the fields. Everywhere I went there were sheep grazing. I did a little research and learned that just a few years ago there was 23.1 million sheep and 55.62 million citizens in England. I am certain the numbers are much higher now and the sheep aren’t going anywhere. But it gives you a little idea of the sheepizenship there. It did not take me long to fall in love with the woolly wonders.

This photo was taken at a very old lodge I stayed in there in Wales.

Travelling around, I always found myself amazed at the sheep in the moorlands or countryside, I suppose they call those specific sheep, lowland breeds, but the ones that held my attention and left me scratching my head were the ones grazing on the steep mountainside. How did those sheep climb such dangerous and steep terrain and, how did they maintain their stability while grazing? I mean, from a distance it looks as if they have two legs shorter than the others and it made me nervous thinking they were going to fall off the side of the mountain. The photos below were taken in Wales at a hotel I stayed in, Gwesty Tynycornel . You can get an idea how steep those mountians really are.

I was also fascinated at the flock or herd of sheep (I suppose it’s a preference what you call it) that often blocked traffic in some areas. If you asked this American, she would call it a mob of wool with their own road rules perhaps having a flocking good time. But this is when patience becomes a virtue. There is no horn blowing, nor yelling at the little darlings. You just sit and wait for the sheep to get across the road. Sometimes, they hurried along, other times they stop and stare at you and they dare not be unobserved.

I confess, I rolled down my window and tried to have a conversation with a sheep in the road and it seemed by her stare that she was not best pleased by my American southern accent and her snuffling snort was proof of that matter. As I cowered back into my seat, I noticed the fluffy beast continued to stare at me until the rest of her gang came baa-ing past her not giving a second thought to my presence in their midst but simply ignoring me in their hurried task of getting to the other side. She decided to follow suit and I was thrilled she did.

However, among these woolIy wonders I took notice that many sheep had marks on their fleeces and I learned later that those painted smit marks were to identify the sheep and who they belonged to whether it be the one herding or his neighbor. Now don’t get bent out of shape thinking the farmers are using harmful paints or chemicals, it is a mixture of pigment and the grease from whale oil that helps make the mixture stick to the fleece. I enjoyed watching these beautiful creatures grazing and stopping traffic on a whim. It’s funny how they just sit there and stare at you with a quirky smile across their cute little faces, and it’s knee-slapping funny when they deposit a fresh load of sheep doo-doo still keeping eye contact as if to be offering a unique souvenir.

If you ever visit the UK you too will find yourself amazed by the nature of these adorable beasts and I bet you too will pull the car over to the side of the road to snap some photos. Of course we have sheep here in the States, but for some odd reason, you notice them more in another country as if you have never seen them before.

Smile, Say cheese

It’s okay if I can’t find myself today. Somewhere along the way I’m sure I’ll be around and just maybe then I can join up with myself and get things done. Yes it’s true, I’m having a moment. Vicious hair wars, online classes and two cats who demand my attention especially when I begin to write. But there is one thing that has me puzzled and seemingly everyone is making fun of it, I have a lisp!

Do you see anything abnormal about my smile other than my uneven and crooked teeth? This photo was taken yesterday evening right after fitting my invisible aligners on my teeth. Can’t see them can you?

You see, I have committed six months of my life to wearing invisible aligners. I’m all in and confined to all the joys that come with wearing these wonderful trays that feel like plastic vampire teeth. However, I just started my journey yesterday evening and have already faced a challenge of commitment, stamina and self confidence. Self confidence because of the lisp. According to the instructions, the lisp will disappear in a few days. I am almost certain, that this journey is going to seem like a hundred years but I keep reminding myself the payoff is huge and perfectly straight teeth is my goal.

This is a customized program and you wear these aligners for a prescribed time. What really sold me on this plan is the fact there is no hassle of an orthodontist’s office visit every month or the reality of extremely high prices. When I was younger in my early thirties, I wore braces. I suffered with raw gums and had to wear wax quite often to help keep the pain at bay. I had to put up with the dreaded call naming such as, train tracks and metal mouth. I had worn my braces for three years when the Orthodontist just disappeared. My family dentist who referred him, had no idea what happened. But as fate would have it, and over four thousand dollars later, I had to have them removed because no other orthodontist worked with those particular bands of metal. I had another year and a half to go to finish out my term but because of the disappearing orthodontist I had to find one who worked with the types of metal in my mouth. I was fortunate to have found an orthodontist who could take them off with a hefty price tag of $300.00 not to mention that I would have to start over if I wanted to continue straightening my teeth. To me, it was all about the money with these professionals and there was no way I was going to start over and still to this day, no one has a clue as to what happened to my orthodontist who vanished from the face of this planet.

One bright sunny morning upon awakening, I decided on a whim to call and inquire about those invisible aligners that so many are raving about. I made an appointment for a free consultation which was really what got me in that office and I was impressed with the staff and their ability to get to know me as a person rather than a patient. After being called back, they explained in thorough detail what my visit would entail. They took photos of my teeth then asked me what my goal was to achieve what I wanted to achieve for a better smile. Then they took my impressions by having me bite down on a pliable mouth piece rather than that messy gook they put in your mouth for the metal braces. They then explained how I could pay for my investment which there were two options. Pay $250.00 down and $85.00 a month or pay the full price of $2,280.00 which is very reasonable considering I had paid over $4,000.00 for braces that I didn’t get to wear full term.

After choosing my payment plan which was the monthly payments, they gave me a cute little carry-all bag with dental floss, lip balm that is absolutely the best in my opinion for dry lips. Then there was a nice treat, a complete whitening system with an LED light and lightening gel to whiten your teeth. Needless to say, I came home and did my first whitening session. I noticed a difference right afterwards. My whitening kit also included USB cables to fit a tablet, iPad and cell phone which is what you plug the LED light into and you only use for five minutes per session.

It took four weeks for my impressions to be made and shipped to me. They came packaged in a nice case with enough trays to last me six months. Each individually wrapped set of trays is marked and stored nice and neat inside the box. you do not pull out all of your aligners, just the next set in line that’s already organized for you. I love the system used here. It’s very convenient without a fuss or stress and I get to change out my trays myself rather than having to make appointment with an orthodontist. How great is that?

Inside this wonderful purple case is a lifetime supply of confidence and once you start the system, you begin transforming your smile.

Also inside this purple case are a few other items that you will need throughout your journey. You get more lip balm that looks like a little rubber ball that is not too bulky to fit inside your purse or pocket. You get a smile stretcher that you will use to take photos for your 90-day check-ins with your Smile Direct doctor. Everything is done digitally without leaving your home. There are aligner tools such as an outie tool that helps you pull your trays off for brushing and flossing your teeth, eating and drinking fluids other than cool water. You can drink cool water with your aligners in but hot drinks can mess up your aligners. There are the Chewies. These things are very helpful for biting down on and pushing your aligners in further for a better fit. However, for me, they gag me and I do wish that Smile Direct would work on the Chewies to make them a little more tolerable. You get the bright on which is free premium whitening that will help you achieve your brightest smile and this stuff works great. Can you tell the difference below? The photo on left was made before I started whitening, the second one was made yesterday with the clear aligners on.

Take a look at my case…

If you are interested in upgrading your smile, contact me and I’ll hook you up. I will get a discount for referring you and you will also get a nice hefty discount and a few prizes if you decide to join as well. I love the convenience of doing everything right here in the comfort of my home after my consultation which is the only time I will need to visit my Smile Direct doctor. The rest of my journey is done digitally with a cell phone. After my six months and perfect smile, I will need to purchase a retainer to wear at night while sleeping to maintain my smile. It’s not free and I really think Smile Direct needs to change that and include the retainer in the set price. Other than that, I am on day two of wearing aligners and I had no problems last night sleeping in them and they feel a little more comfortable than yesterday. The lisp is improving and should be gone in a couple of days and another perk to wearing these aligners is you don’t eat much or snack. I will blog my progress once a month until the end. So smile and say cheese!

Ode To Taco Bell

My family and I travel a lot and there are times when a drive-thru is necessary especially late at night when those munchy cravings begin. In the past six months we have chosen Taco Bell on three different occasions to keep those belly rumblings to a minimum.

Photo from internet

Now I realize there has been a ton of scandalous history with their ingredients including salmonella outbreaks that affected 10 states. Then there was the recall of taco shells that had been processed with a genetically-altered corn seed. I’m not sure about you, but contaminated genetically modified anything should be enough to completely shut down a food business. Have you taken a look at the ingredients that goes into their delicious foods? I must confess, I have not until recently. After checking out their bean burrito ingredients, I realized that in their burrito the TBHQ is a carcinogenic gas. It is an additive with a reputation. I suppose you want the real name which is one I cannot and refuse to try to pronounce, but here you go. Tertiary butylhydroquinone. Enjoy yourself on this one.

Found on the internet

But this ingredient is also found in snack crackers, noodles fast and frozen foods but you will also find this same ingredient in paints and varnishes and some skin care products which raises my eyebrows. However, this blog isn’t about TBHQ or other additive ingredients, I just happened to think about it and decided to throw it in there and I will also make mention that this particular ingredient has landed on the DO NOT CONSUME list in a lot of diets.

There is another issue that Taco Bell needs to tackle. Usually, there are five or six of us in the same vehicle when going through the drive-thru. Each one orders their preference or whatever their tummies are craving. When ordering from the menu, the orders are combo’s and are suppose to come in a box or a bag of their own. Instead, Taco Bell employees puts everything unmarked in one big bag making it impossible to distribute among the family. We have to open each item and physically touch the food to open up a taco or something to make sure the special ordered item is going to the correct person such as someone who doesn’t want tomatoes. Three different times this has happened. I always get the same thing, two hard tacos and a chalupa. My food has been handled by someone sitting in the front seat trying to get the right food to each family member. This is a problem!

Photo from the internet

We have called corporate office three times complaining of the horrible service and inability to pack each order separately. Each time we have gone through the drive through, there was always food missing and its a battle trying to explain to the employees they left out orders. They make you feel like you’re dishonest trying to get more food. My family and I have made a vow to stop eating at Taco Bell or going through the drive-thru. We will make our own food and bypass the risk of their contaminants. Time to wake up to the reality of fast food dangers anyway and get back to healthy eating even when travelling. It may not be convenient, but it is the convenience that has made us sick….

Your Highness, How May I Assist Your Drama Today?

Is there an Actors Union that is responsible for people who live to be dramatic? I have met some drama queens and kings through the years, but a year ago, I met the mother of all crown holders and she lives and breathes drama as if it is her life mission. Being dramatic is something you would expect from young school-aged kids not adults. There is never a notice of her outbreak except the minute she walks in the room and starts with, “so apparently.” Not only do those two words alert you of a headache to come, but her tone raises 100 decimals with determination that the entire block is going to hear her over-the-top, over-rated, over-emotional acute drama breaking news. I find it quite humorous of the capability she has to create drama out of pretty much anything and absolutely nothing and keeping my rolled eyes to myself is impossible. Sometimes I just want to scream out loudly, “sell the crown and use the money to get some counseling.”

As for me, when I hear, “so apparently,” I instantly try to gain immunity and grab my earbuds and quickly insert them finding anything on my phone to listen to other than words spewing through the atmosphere with no substance especially the very uclassy language suitable for toilet flushing. Not only is she loud and obnoxious, but entirely animated in a very comical, theatrical way. Her eyes move from one person to the next making sure they are listening and if there is one who isn’t which is usually me, then she gets louder and more obtrusive demanding my ears. Her hands are constantly flailing through the air as if she were swatting flies or thrashing about swimming through thick clouds. This is where I take a deep breath slowly exhaling simply because I am worn out from the busyness of her tales. I understand she has difficulty “letting go” of the negative thoughts and emotions but the complaints of her stress and headaches? I want to write her a prescription for a very powerful “shut-the -heck-up” medication and call it a day, better yet I would really love to de-throne her and call it check-mate! But after catching my breath and observing her act, I have come to my own conclusions of what makes an individual worthy of wearing a drama queen crown.

I have learned my silence is key and you know the saying, “sometimes the most powerful thing you can say is nothing at all.” Oh how I wish those with a little more expression of every emotion under the sun would adhere to that mantra and keep their drama to a minimum. But you can’t have drama with just a whimper now can you? You go big! During yesterday’s drama session, the mother queen raged about her stalker who is an employee and every now and then he pops up out of nowhere, maybe just doing his job but to hear her tell the story you would think this guy was a hard core criminal and on America’s Most Wanted. I kept the buds out of my ears to hear this particular story because I did have a stalker a few years ago who broke into my house and put a red rose on my bed, so I wanted to offer her advice but I think it was more less a guy infatuated with her and was not stalking her at all. I broke my silence.

As she was telling the entire room of people how he was dangerous and harassing her on the job I asked why didn’t she report him to upper management? She didn’t answer but shook her head as if frustrated I asked the question. Then she belted out he was blowing her phone up, I questioned again asking how did he get her number? She claimed he didn’t have her number that they were friends on Facebook and they were messaging in messenger. I asked her why hasn’t she blocked him from Facebook. Again, she did not answer the question but became very angry. I’m not sure if her anger was directed at me or herself. But I was holding the mirror to her face so-to-speak to reflect a reality check on her end more less tying to dial down the drama.

To be in the presence of the mother queen and all her theatrics and drama fueled energy while over playing every situation is entirely draining in every sense of the word. By debunking her tales and holding the mirror to her face in hopes of shining some light on being responsible for her life and accountable for the problems she overly creates, it would seem she would take the refection for what it’s worth and turn her theatrics into action and go shine her crown and put it away. Instead, she has an entitlement to attention and carries around a permanent megaphone and she’s not afraid to use it. Oh well, rather than knocking off her crown which is how most of us feel here, we will just continue to try to insert “responsibility for behavior” in hopes she will finally realize just because she’s the drama queen doesn’t mean she will be treated like royalty…

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