WHOOPS! Late!!

Well, today I am like the rabbit in Alice in Wonderland. Late, late, late for the important date.  I did the same thing I always do and thought I was set for Wednesday – but bad girl that I am, I forgot that I have the FIRST Wednesday and the THIRD Monday. Someone get me a personal assistant, please.

We’re at that time of year when I’m pretty frazzled. Most people only have Christmas or the other holiday they celebrate on their agenda but I also have year-end stuff that must be done by the 31st for my job and so I am swamped, swamped with tasks day and night.

I am going to indulge in a mid-week trip to New Orleans with two girlfriends though since part of our Christmas tradition each  year is to see a Trans-Siberian Orchestra concert.  Now, this is not your mamma’s orchestra here, people. It’s basically a metal  band playing a holiday rock opera for the first half and then just some awesome music based on the classics (like Beethoven) with a twist.

Al Pitrelli is the lead guitarist and musical director. He’s an amazing, amazing artist. He almost becomes a part of the instrument (that’s him below). I have a favorite song called Dream Child - the lyrics are so powerful.

You probably have heard the one called Christmas in Sarajevo. I’ve linked to them both in case you want to hear. click here to read the lyrics.

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Christmas and New Year’s

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I can’t believe that Christmas and New Years is right around the corner.  It seems like it was just yesterday I was celebrating. Here in the Pacific Northwest, we’ve been having some very strange weather. Early snowfall with freezing temps … Continue reading

Putting the Christmas tree up

image-9I put the tree up last week. One of the things I like about not having a live tree is that I can put it up early without having to worry about it drying out. And of course, no fir or pine or whatever needles.

When I moved to Jubilee and downsized one of things I gave up was the big tree. It was just too heavy to drag in and set up. At first I thought about leaving the decorating, especially the tree to the kids but in the end couldn’t do it. So bought a pre-decorated small one. It’s about six feet in it’s container but not big.

While it’s pre-decorated with lights and pine cones I put on extra ornaments. It’s a slow process because although I don’t put on a lot I reminisce over each one. We got the Jack Russel angel in Branson. We laughed a lot about how Abby was no angel. Putting it on the tree brought her back to me. Memories.

There is a bell we picked up on our China trip and an egg from both St. Petersburg and Budapest. All different trips with memories not only of the trips but of the people we shared it with.

We tried to pass this wonderful annual event on to the kids. When our first grandchild was born we got the Baby’s First Christmas Hallmark ornament. It started a tradition of getting an ornament for each of the grandkids. We did that until they were 18. When they got their own places we gave the set to them starting their tree’s with a dozen and a half ornaments from their childhoods. Our daughter is now doing it with her grandsons. So many memories of decorating those tree’s with the kids.

So for me it’s not just putting up a Christmas tree, it’s bringing life into the house with memories of Christmas’s past and trust in building new ones over this season.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

14 more days to go and counting. ☺ ☺

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To Wait or Weight

Over the years, I’ve tried to lose weight in various ways. I’ve dieted, Weight-Watched, Boot-camped, dieted some more, even did a 60 mile, 3-Day walk for charity that took 6 months of training to prepare for. Nothing has worked. Well, … Continue reading

Florida, Weather and Fires- Guest Author- Hobbes

Hobbes here- sneaking around Jillian’s back again. I noticed she’s been posting some pretty dull things over here and decided she needed a little help. We live in Florida but you’d never know it these last few weeks. Now, today, as my paws are hammering out this post, it’s 73 degrees and sunny, sunny. A perfectly perfect day. A couple of weeks ago, it got down to 24 degrees a couple of days with a high only in the 40s. For you Celsius people that 73 Fahrenheit today would be 23 Celsius. BUT the 24 Fahrenheit we had those days would be something like negative 4 Celsius. That is pretty cold, people. Even those of us with permanent fur coats get a mite chilled then. Sometimes we get air that cold here but not normally in November. It usually comes in February.

Luckily, Jillian knows how to make fire. What a handy skill that is even though she doesn’t get to use it often. This is me digging the heck out of the fire she made the other day. hobbes fire hog

That contraption they call a Christmas tree should be arriving soon. I always appreciate it when they bring the outdoors inside since I love being out there so much. In fact, every day when Jillian comes home from work, she has to let me out on the screened-porch for a minute so I can make sure outside is still there. She finally caught on to that trick, though and leaves the door open. I thought I was being all slick going out and as soon as she closed the door, asking to come back in but I was not a clever puss after all. She’s on to me and my tricks.

Shhh. Did you hear that? No? Well, I did, and here she comes. *closes laptop and meows nonchalantly.*

Romancing The Stones

Along with two friends, I recently attended a Mind, Body & Spirit show that offered everything from scented candles to palmistry, chakra dancing to eyebrow waxing. Perfectly happy with my eyebrows, I went because I’ve always had a longing to have my palm read or a tarot reading, having an interest in the world of spirit (and not just the alcoholic sort!). That frisson of curiosity. A fascination with the unexplained. Yes, there are charlatans and forgers. Yes, astrology and star charts can be interpreted any which way to make them fit. But there are other psychics and clairvoyants who are so convincing, there has to be something in it. I am a great fan of Colin Fry and watch his shows on TV, however, until I personally get “a message”, there is always that niggle of doubt. I wouldn’t say I’m a sceptic, far from it – there has to be something in it else millions of people worldwide for millennia wouldn’t have believed in it. And, as I am very much the character my star sign says I’m supposed to be, I’m forever searching for the “truth”.

At the show, I walked around, looking at the many stalls, listening in to conversations, judging and gauging who would be best for me to approach, before I was drawn back to a particular gentleman, Les Cross, whose eye I caught. We struck up a conversation, mainly about ghosts and my interpretation of them. At the same time, I was very cautious not to give him any information about myself. He suggested I might like to try an Astrogem Geomancy reading. I’d never heard of this, so Les took great pains to explain what it was and how it worked. So who was I to resist?

Geomancy itself is not new; is one of the oldest known oracles. Making predictions based on the signs and symbols of Earth can be traced back some 3,000 years and was widely employed to tell fortunes and answer questions of almost every kind. Indeed, many great leaders and generals have used geomancy, consulting the “Oracle” etc before great battles, but it has largely fallen from use. Geomancy was once classified as one of the seven “forbidden arts”, along with necromancy, hydromancy, aeromancy, pyromancy, chiromancy (palmistry) and spatulamancy (scapulimancy).

Les has devised Astrogem Geomancy as a new a method of divination combining geomancy (written in the sand; or bones, or entrails or tea leaves etc) and astrology (written in the stars) into a single oracle using gemstones to represent both the geomantic figures and the astrological planets.  I later found out Les has written a book about this system and is actively seeking others to learn his discipline by giving free tutorials on the Internet. He seems a very honest, open and genuine chap, and others in the fortune-telling field give him much credence.

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Among the gemstones used are obsidian, hematite, amethyst, lapis lazuli, bloodstone, orange calcite, red jasper, malachite and howlite, each representing one of the 16 geomes, for example: health, family, friends, disposition, work and their position relative to the planets. The gemstones are “cast” on to a chart which allows the diviner to provide a reading or prediction.

Les asked if I wanted a 3-month, 6-month, a year or a lifetime prediction. I went for the 12-month option. It was interesting in that having cast my gems, Les picked up immediately on three issues that affect my life: constant poor and disturbed sleep, giving too much of my time to others without taking enough “me” time, and that I often agree to do something without thinking the whole thing through first, jumping straight in with both feet. Okay, that could go for many people and could have been a lucky guess.

The Prediction: There were several; the main ones being I would be given and should accept the opportunity to work with or teach youngsters which would involve a short journey. That I will be asked to act as an executor for a will or on a legal matter by a distinguished gentleman and should listen to his advice but be cautious, to follow any intuitive warnings and act on them. That I will be travelling abroad next year, not for leisure purposes but to learn or something involved with learning. That there would be a major opportunity to grow my career/public visibility and that I should make myself available when this opportunity arises. Lastly, came a warning ­– that I should make myself less available to a younger female “friend” who calls on my time a lot, that she is exceedingly jealous of me and will use any occasion to make mischief or cause trouble. Scary!

It’s going to be an interesting year to see how this all progresses and what, if anything, comes of Les’s forecast. Watch this space…

An Unwanted Passenger

I was happily chatting to Kit at our writers’ meeting on Wednesday, when she reminded me it was my turn to blog today. Yikes. Where did November go? I didn’t have a clue what to write about. It’s been a mish-mash sort of month – happy things and some not so happy – but I thought I’d blog about an incident that happened on my way to the writers meeting and which I’m still having nightmares about, well perhaps not nightmares, but pretty close.

It was foggy here that morning, but with the radio playing, the heat booming out, and my trusty little car running like a dream, all well with my world. Until I happened to glance across to the passenger dashboard. A huge spider was happily crawling its way across the board and heading in my direction. My scream was likely heard by the occupants of the cars travelling behind me, but luckily I held it together long enough to safely find a convenient place to stop.

Keeping a weather-eye on my unwanted travelling companion, I found a slip road ahead and pulled off the main road. I popped the hazard lights on and escaped from the hellish confines of my car. By which time the spider, of course, was nowhere to be seen. Five panicked minutes later, I still hadn’t located the offender. I pictured him tucked safely away somewhere, buggy little eyes eyeing me with devious delight as I continued the search.

There was no way I could get back in that car until I’d found him, but I wasn’t sure what to do. I virtually had the passenger door off its bracket and all manner of paraphernalia lying on the road, but all to no avail. Of course, AJ was away for the day, and friends who live locally were at work, so it was just little old me left alone to face what for me has been a lifelong demon. I thought to simply abandon my car and walk to the nearest bus stop, but as we live in the country the buses aren’t exactly frequent.

I gave myself a strong talking too. All the usual cliches came to mind. You’re bigger than he is, what harm can a little spider do a big girl like you? (likely nothing more than heart attack), He’s more frightened of you, than you are of him (something I seriously doubt), they are very useful insects and do a lot of good (not while terrorising unsuspecting scaredy-cat motorists, they don’t). Nothing worked, and as I stood there deliberating, I caught a movement along the central panel…and there he was. Brazen as you like, happily heading toward the driver’s seat. I grabbed the rolled up newspaper I had at the ready, scooped him onto the mat, and seconds later he was airborne, winging his way across the ether in the direction of a neighbouring village.

After putting the inside of my car back together, I was on my way. Not entirely happily, as I kept remembering someone once telling me that where there’s one spider there’s always another. Apparently they always travel in pairs, although I’m not sure if that’s true. When I told my hubby about my ordeal, all he said was, “I hope you didn’t hurt him by throwing him like that”. Men!