A bit of a reblog from May last year for #WayBackWednesday… what was everybody else doing this time last year?
A bit of a reblog from May last year for #WayBackWednesday… what was everybody else doing this time last year?
We don’t say thank you enough, nowadays, I feel… for someone opening the door for you, for even just receiving your change at the shop… I need to say some thank yous… Marje of Kyrosmagica has nominated me for the Hidden Gem Blog of the Blogger’s Bash, a very kind thought. Please do go and have a look at her blog – you might find a familiar face there… Lily, doing some promotion work for Marje’s book, out this summer – [Here is the link if you would like to see what the Blogger’s Bash is about, as organised by Sacha Black…]
Also… we need to give thanks in the sense of feeling gratitude for the gifts we have and the world we live in – it’s a beautiful place after all.
As always, I would like to thank anyone who has been kind enough to stop by for a read, a like or a subscribe. Your interest is much appreciated and comments always welcome. xx
Charlie says: “Be nice!”
💕 Cheerio! 💕
A Clear Quartz sphere… excellent for clarity of thought, overall body healing as well as amplifying the effects of other crystals…
Balls. A satisfying word and an equally satisfying crystal shape… The word can be used as a derogatory exclamation of disbelief, mainly because it is used as a slang term for… um…men parts. Or it can be used as a grudging admission of admiration, as in: “I can’t believe she had the balls to do that.”
Either way, a wonderfully satisfying word in the mouth and form in the hand. Not only are the polished crystal spheres extremely tactile but they have an esoteric history behind them that is rich in meaning and symbolism.
Honey Calcite to enhance intellect and memory and ease the challenges of change…
Along with black cats – of which I have two – crystal balls – of which I have many – are traditionally associated with witches and foretelling the future… but they can also be used in Reiki and acupressure, and of course the individual crystal will bring its own healing properties too.
Rose Quartz, my personal favourite crystal, a stone of unconditional love and happiness, promoting positivity while nourishing and comforting…
As a sphere, a ball, the shape symbolises wholeness and infinity, the unity between body and spirit. They can help call forth the integrity within you and encourage clear thinking. As the crystal vibration is contained within this particular shape, the actual energy is emitted gently in all directions when the ball is used.
A Yellow Calcite sphere to boost energy levels, self confidence and hope…
Now… I don’t believe that any animal is ever consciously “bad”… perhaps bad-tempered. Charlie can be hideously grumpy if you catch her at the wrong time of day… my son and I both bear scars as proof of this. Other people may see my cats as being “badly behaved”… like it is a bone of contention as to exactly who has ripped up the carpet in the hallway…
I don’t for one minute think it’s Charlie, even though she is known for being a little free with the old toe knives… this is because I actually witnessed, with my own eyes, innocent Tooty, who wouldn’t say “boo” to a goose, digging her claws in luxuriously and pulling…
Cats are mostly motivated by curiosity and self-preservation, therefore when they do what may be considered “bad” things, like digging up a favourite garden plant, they are merely demonstrating extreme examples of natural behaviour. Cats aren’t naturally, thinkingly bad…
Guest appearance from Ozzy, looking suitably mischievous!
Charlie! Charlie! Stop dragging Alex around by his head! He’s not a prey item you know…
I don’t often do awards or tags now, not because I am ungrateful, or can’t be bothered, but because I am actually quite shy and not great at talking about myself…despite the fact that I have a blog which generally includes some of my mindless witterings!
However, the lovely Gillyflower has nominated me for a Liebster, and although I was touched and pleased to receive the nomination, I had every intention of refusing it.
Until I saw The Question.
That’s right, just the one, and it just so happens it concerns an issue I feel quite strongly about.
“Oatmeal biscuits with raisins? Or without?”
Now. As you may recall from previous posts, biscuits form quite a large part of my diet and in my opinion they should be accorded the dignity of a separate food group in diet classification. To me, they are the ultimate in comfort food, largely responsible for my weight gain since I stopped smoking, and an imminently practical source of energy as they are easily transportable and easily consumed absolutely everywhere from the bus to the shower… I am so skilled in the art of biscuit consumption that I can eat an entire packet in bed whilst remaining completely crumb -free..
To address the second part of The Question: “Or without?”
Without raisins! Of course! And always!
This is akin to the Jaffa cake/biscuit classification row of last year that raged throughout our county… The actual word “biscuit” is derived via mediaeval French – “bescuit” and Latin “bis” and “coquere” , roughly meaning “twice cooked”, because of the process of making it. No mention of any fruit, raisin or otherwise…
The traditional definition of a biscuit is: “A small baked unleavened cake, typically crisp, flat and sweet.” Still no mention of any raisins… and it wasn’t until about the 18th century variations like bourbons and garibaldis were introduced, the latter containing examples of the aforementioned dried fruit…
So then. Biscuits with raisins are relatively new additions in the timeline of Man’s diet… and in my opinion, a betrayal of the old times when we would crouch over our smoking hut fires and slap a bit of left-over bread dough on the embers.
My answer, then, my friends, is:
BISCUITS ARE BISCUITS.
The addition of anything other than perhaps chocolate (in chip or coating form) would render a biscuit into something else altogether, a hard porridge, perhaps.
And biscuits are of course, best consumed with tea (never dunked) … a subject worthy of a post all to itself. Anyway…do excuse me…
“More tea, Vicar?”
“Oh yes please, and perhaps a nice biscuit with raisins…”
Seriously, thanks to the lovely Gillyflower, please do go and check out her blog – I know she’d love to see you! Feel free to take up the Liebster nomination to help spread the word about other blogs! Also, I feel we must give her the credit for the creation of a new tag, born of the Liebster but very much her own…please pick it up, people as I nominate you all for the “With? Or Without?” tag…
I’ve never had the best of relationships with food… I was a fussy eater when I was little, and even now, I have particular quirks that can irritate anyone who is nice enough to prepare food for me, yet seem perfectly logical to me.
For example, I have mixed feelings about stew… No matter what you call it, casserole, stew, cassoulet, ragout – to me it is a dish to be regarded with great suspicion as it appears an excuse to cover a variety of items that I might not like with a coloured sauce in an attempt to disguise them.
Like mushrooms. I can appreciate them for their … aesthetic value, but whenever my mother puts mushrooms in a dish, I will systematically pick them out and lay them on the side of my plate like a row of slimy brown corpses…
I don’t like all my food items to be touching. If I have something like baked beans, chips (fries) and sausage, there has to be a clearly delineated zone between the said items. This makes perfect sense to me – who wants to eat chips soggy with bean juice?
And yet, I love reading recipe books, I am fascinated by cookery programmes, follow various food blogs and can eat out once in a while without too much mental trauma…
Dinner out with my son and a rare exception to my general rule of no sneaky sauces or intrusive ingredients… a lovely risotto
My mother is of the generation where food equates to love; for her, you demonstrate you care by cooking for someone, pressing extra portions on them, piling their plate high. Every food shopping trip is planned with military precision … and yet we still end up going back for an ingredient that she can’t possibly do without… much to my exasperation.
I go “off” items with, to her annoying unpredictability, refusing to eat things that my mother considers a delicacy and that I will have nightmares about… lobster equals luxury food item to my mother; to me… it’s basically a giant bug that belongs in the realms of horror. Or at least in the sea where it lives.
My younger son is vegetarian, which is beginning to appeal to me quite strongly. It seems cleaner, somehow, and kinder. I’m not condemning meat eaters at all – who am I to judge? Indeed, as long as you eat meat with appreciation and gratitude for the animals’ sacrifice, then fair enough.
I would NEVER attempt to impose eating regulations on my cats, they are obligate carnivores after all and need a protein based diet, so I will (mostly) hunt far and wide for the perfect of catfood that will satisfy my girls’ delicate palates…
As for me? Well, I know I don’t have to go too far to hunt down my next packet of biscuits… or watermelon!
When I was a little girl I went through a phase when I would only eat strawberry jam sandwiches -white bread, crusts cut off – and fishfingers. Not together, obviously…
I don’t like fishfingers now, but I am still quite fond of jam, so I was delighted when my son’s lovely crystal lady Lizian identified this piece of quartz as Strawberry Quartz. It reminds me of a spoonful of good quality jam and brings with it the same sense of simple happiness I get when spreading jam on hot buttered toast…
Metaphysically, then, I was pleased to learn that Strawberry Quartz does bring joy and awareness to life. It’s a happy, uncomplicated stone that shows you the humour in life and how to live every aspect of it with this sense of light and love.
It works with the heart chakra to gift your life with love and positivity, so you can shed old, negative thought patterns, pinpointing the causes and transform them into new and more hopeful ways of living. A sugar boost for the soul, a burst of sparkling energy and joy…
“Sparkling” can be used in various descriptive ways; it may seem a harder-edged word than something like the softer “glowing”, but I enjoy it as it brings crystalline qualities to mind.
I love to see the play of sunlight in my black cats’ fur, Lily and Tooty, as the light touches each hair with sparkle and bestows a rainbow radiance…
I love Ting’s blue eyes, that sparkle with adoration as she looks at me… slightly cross-eyed.
And of course, there is Charlie. My little princess is possessed of a sparkling intellect. Seriously. She’s the most intelligent cat I’ve ever known.
Two summers ago, I made up a song about Charlie…as you do… and I used to sing it to her, quite a lot. It had a particular name in it, which I called her, so imagine my surprise when last year, the same name was used in the lyrics of a song for a soft drink… then this year, the song was released as part of a compilation album.
My little cat has demonstrated a sensitivity to music that I was not aware felines had. Unless it’s just my singing… but the first time she heard the song for the drink, she looked at me with interest, obviously recognising the words. Then, as the advert was played… again… and again…she grew visibly weary of it and slightly irritated by it.
I heard the advert for the compilation advert for the first time the other day and thought:
“Oh no! She’ll think I’ve done it on purpose…!!”
Then it just so happened, I was in bed, Charlie was lying at the end of the bed and my son popped in to say goodnight. The advert played. I said:
“Uh-oh! Watch her!”
When Charlie heard her special song, she turned around to look at me and her face said, clear as day,
“I suppose you think that’s funny. It’s just plain childish!”
She gave me such a contemptuous look, I shrank back into my duvet, while my son started to laugh…
Just one example of Madame La Princesse’s sparkling intellect …. and ability to make me, a not inconsiderably-sized human, feel about two inches tall…The song? No! I’m not telling you! Oh…all right then…enjoy!
What’s the first thing you look at when you meet someone? For me, it has to be the eyes… you can read a lot about a person – or an animal – from their eyes. It’s obviously a very significant body part as look how many moths and butterflies adopt the eye pattern to give the impression of being big and scary…
My mother’s puppy, Rocky, has a habit of putting his head on my knee and slow blinking. As any cat lover knows, I am aware that in cats this is the feline equivalent of a kiss… sort of … but I’d never seen a dog do it.
So, I Googled it and was enchanted to learn that it means the dog has no aggressive intentions towards you, it’s making friendly eye contact and is relaxed in its environment. It just so happened that I was eating my dinner when Rocky sweetly laid his head on my knee and slow-blinked his eyes lovingly… and demonstratively… displaying non-threatening intentions towards my salad!
It also amused me that he regarded me of sufficient importance in the “pack” to be appeased thus… I think Erin, Mum’s German Shepherd, regards me as an equal (perhaps), maybe a rather annoying sister, as she rolls her eyes expressively at my mother when I want to hold her paw, or her tail… or touch her nose…or look at her teeth…
My four cats all have different colour eyes which amuses me. Lily’s are emerald green, which show up beautifully against her black fur, as do Tooty’s – her eyes are a striking shade of yellow. Ting’s, of course, are as blue as a summer sky, the show up purple in some light; and Madame La Princesse, Charlie, has a special shade of greenish gold, uniquely all her own to reflect her feline intelligence… I wish I could my eye make up like hers…
Human eye colour is a funny old thing too… some people even going to the extent of wearing contact lenses to change their eye colour. If eyes are supposed to be the mirrors of the soul… isn’t that a little deceptive? Like wearing sunglasses… faces can be hard to read, then, without making direct eye contact.
Eye colour can form part of an accepted image too – look at James Bond. There was an outcry when Daniel Craig got the part of OO7 – blond haired? Blue eyed? This couldn’t be… but why? Why did having blue eyes make him less suitable, or visually pleasing to the eye, as James Bond? Why had so many fans identified the fictional agent with a dark hired, dark eyed suave man…
The lovely Ciaran Hinds (http://www.ciaranhinds.eu/chblog/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/ciaran-hinds-in-gothenburg.jpg)
Women are apparently attracted to men with dark eyes, according to scientific research, as men blessed with dark eyes are more likely to be confident and successful… is it the strongest caveman thing? Now, blue eyes can all be traced back to one common ancestor, who was a mutation; so perhaps the subconscious yearning for a man with dark eyes does indeed hark back to neolithic times when dark eyes were most prevalent and therefore most successful.
Nathaniel Parker ~ in Inspector Lynley (http://images5.fanpop.com/image/photos/26700000/Nathaniel-Parker-nathaniel-parker-26797804-446-594.jpg)
Men with dark eyes feature as the “hero” or “lost one” in my little pieces of creative writing, and these dashing, dark-eyed heroes wander nonchalantly through my dreams…
The lovely Mr. Jeffrey Dean Morgan of ‘Supernatural’, ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ and ‘The Walking Dead’ fame
And yet, both my sons have blue eyes… My own are (of course) a somewhat uninteresting shade of green, ironically enough, similar to the new shade chosen for cigarette packets. “Opaque Couché” – the ugliest colour in the world, so Australian researchers say… Oh well. At least “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes”… and I am blonde. Sort of.
1. First remove all traces in bathroom of previous occupant (wet towels, empty shampoo bottles, muddy pawprints and the like) and clean, so it is wonderful and fresh, ready and waiting for you to enjoy some quality time alone, just for you.
2. Jump and shriek in fright as black cat leaps silently onto toilet seat and stares… meaningfully.
3. Turn back to bath to begin running a lovely hot bath, after first removing small black cat that has somehow appeared in bath.
4. Clean bath again, as small black cat has obviously been digging in the garden and has left muddy pawprints all over the previously gleaming bath.
5. Open bathroom door to persuade cats to leave only to have Siamese cat dart in and jump onto shelf behind bath knocking all the toiletries over.
6. Remove Siamese, ignoring her howls of protest and shut door.
7. Remove small black cat and larger black cat from bath and clean…
8. Start to undress, while bath is running, ignoring howls and thuds from other side of the door as previously removed cats attempt to regain entry.
9. Discover tabby cat has removed plug from bath, pulling it out by the chain, thus allowing the water to escape, and said cat is now staring at your half-naked body… judgementally.
10. Give up and have shower.
The very first stone that I can remember being actively drawn to and picking up was actually a piece of Flint. I felt it had some sort of story to tell me… Not surprisingly, Flint and humans have a long-standing connection.
It was one of the first stones to work for Man in the creation of fire and tool making, both means of fending off fear for the early Man. Thus Flint manages both male and female energies, and perhaps harking back to its earliest connection with humans as tools, can be used to spiritually sever negative thought patterns, sharpening thought and response to any challenges that Life may put in your path.
It is another highly protective stone and will shield you from curses and ill wishes; and again, has the dual purpose of both helping to keep you grounded, yet acknowledge and come tot terms with your own spirituality… A stone of comfort and ability, a metaphysical pacifier, if you will…
Despite the common usage of the term “scaredy cat”, I wouldn’t say that my cats are particularly fearful… unlike me. I’m afraid of loud noises… the dentist… spiders… deep water. Well. I could go on. But my feline family demonstrate what I prefer to think of as a healthy sense of self-preservation… apart from Charlie (of course) who has the soul of a tiger captured within her small furry body.
She terrified a fox once… it was passing through the garden, minding its vulpine business, and stopped to have a look in the pond. Our landing window overlooks that part of the garden so I am able to bear witness to Charlie’s fearlessness.
My little cat spied the hapless fox and at once began walking menacingly down the path towards it. And as she walked… she fluffed…. Until by the time the fox looked up, it was being pummelled by a tabby tiger striped fur bomb…. It fled. Rapidly… leaving a rather large tuft of its fur behind on the hedge as it forced its way through in panic.
I went rushing downstairs to comfort my little cat, but she was:
“No worries. I had that. Got rid of the large, stinky squirelly looking thing…”
However, fear, no matter how irrational it may seem, is there to serve a purpose. This response is part of the human psyche, deep-rooted, for self-preservation where the primary response to a threat is flight, fight or freeze. As mankind evolved, progressed, adapted, our fears became more complex… fear of failure, of not fitting in or matching up to expectations.
Sometimes, we may feel that these fears will overwhelm us, that we are alone. Sometimes, the first step to overcoming these fears is to reach out, hold out your hand, feel the warmth and the love and know that you are not alone.
Regular readers will know that like a fair proportion of the population , I am afraid of the dentist. Not my actual dentist per se, as she is super-model beautiful, softly spoken and blessed with a silken touch on her instruments.
I had a tooth out yesterday… no Tooth Fairy for me; mind you, I don’t really think she would have wanted this tooth, although I did not lose it through lack of care. I am extremely conscientious when it comes to looking after my teeth, precisely because I am so afraid of the dentist.
For years, though, this particular tooth has bothered me. I’ve tried all the sensitive toothpastes on the market, it’s had various fillings – even a root canal or something – I didn’t listen too much to the gory details about that…
My previous dentist dismissed my complaints of it not feeling right, too hot, as being perfectly normal, as it was a gold filling which does obviously retain heat. He reprimanded me for not flossing the area: “But it HURTS!” He replied: “No pain, no gain.” Yeah right.
Then, last year, I changed dentists. As a matter of course, on my first routine check up there, x-rays were taken, and when I went back to receive the results, I was horrified to find that the previous dentist had slapped a filling and root canal on top of an underlying abscess that was already present. The actual bone in my jaw was losing density… as my current dentist pointed out to me, showing me a cloudy grey blotch in a whole sea of blotches, that I eventually made out was my head. Eugh.
The tooth was granted a period of grace to see if it would somehow magically right itself. It didn’t. It throbbed and buzzed like a wasp in a bottle… it was the sort of thing that you would scratch until it bled if you could. So, yeserday, the tooth’s time was up.
Palms sweating, nervously clutching clear Fluorite (good for teeth) and Amber (natural analgesic) I lay back in the dentist’s chair as she tenderly rubbed the special numbing cream into my gum before injecting the anaesthetic. Lots of it. I am hyper-sensitive to pain, an actual recognised medical condition – I’m not just being a big wuss – and moments later, the tooth popped out as easily as an apple falling off a tree.
“It’s all over,” my lovely dentist soothed in dulcet tones , “just rinse and then you can go…”
I leapt to my feet and shot out, pausing only to mutter “’ank ‘oo!” and glance back disbelievingly at the sweaty outline I left behind on her pristine dentist’s chair. I suppose that’s one less tooth to worry about in the future, and to be honest, I’m glad it’s gone, rather like when the annoying neighbour whose car alarm goes off all the time at 4.00 a.m. moves away…
And I leave you with this cautionary tale from the poet Pam Ayres that my father found amusing… and I, quite frankly, find terrifying…
Fluorite and Amber… very useful for dentist trips…