12/30/13

Happy New Year's Eve eve


Like you, it's been a busy holiday season. Before we ring in the new year, we have a birthday to celebrate and a hummingbird cake to bake. Then a larger, joint family birthday to celebrate on January 1.

I wanted to take this time to say "Thank you" and "Bless you" for those who share my internet world. May God/Spirit/Divine continue to lead you through your struggles and help you find more bountiful blessings for you and yours in 2014.

See you soon with more adventure posts and resolution talk. For now, enjoy the winding down of the calendar year with your loved ones.

Sincerely,
Donna, aka GGG

12/21/13

More Solstice Fun

Shortest day = Longest night





How about ...


  • adding a little sexy?

  http://mancave.cbslocal.com/2013/12/20/winter-solstice-the-longest-sexiest-night-of-the-year/


  • Wassailing?
  • Throwing a party?   
  • Kissing under the mistletoe?
  • Snuggle under the sheets



Winter Solstice 2013

Happy 1st Day of Winter, 2013!!


We've wound down to the shortest day of the year in terms of day light. Enjoy the light while you can today.

More info:

I love the last line of this article:  "If you don’t like the cold, the good news is whatever the rest of winter brings, daylight is once again on the upswing."  It makes me :) !
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/wp/2013/12/20/winter-solstice-2013-shortest-day-of-the-year-but-sunset-already-creeping-later/

http://www.almanac.com/content/first-day-winter-winter-solstice




12/20/13

Psychics, Transformation & Light

Hi Readers,

I may have been quiet here--too quiet. I have a tendency to do that when I'm in transition.



How so, you might ask?

Well, I'm still waiting for my memoir and/or movie to be sold. I'm still running a family and household. I'm trying to slow down the days so that we can enjoy the holidays more. I'm trying to exercise more, meditate daily, volunteer when & where called...even if it's totally inconvenient, the urgent stuff gets priority.

Recently, I had a psychic reading by a very gifted clairvoyant. It was amazing to hear about my journey...but more on that in a blog post about that adventure. Beyond the specifics, I know that I am called to be a lightworker, a person to help heal pieces of the world by being/acting/shining light and love. My psychic meditation training is reinforcing that innate belief that my spiritual and psychic gifts are important, even to the point of offending more strict, religious folks.

I have a feeling many of you are also light workers. That you FEEL others, that you're drawn to helping, that you get sucked into situations you want to improve, but that you don't know how to be "in" but "separate".
So while I'm [re]learning how to better handle, use, separate, etc. my gifts, I'm wondering if you're feeling the same?

At the final 5 day countdown before Christmas and the day before winter solstice {"In 2013, winter begins with the solstice at 12:11 P.M. on December 21 (EST). Get more facts about the first day of winter. --http://www.almanac.com/content/first-day-winter-winter-solstice} I hope you'll think about the meanings of light and dark in your life and in the bigger world.
Do you have balance?
Are you longing for more light, lightness, freedom?
Can you be the light for someone else?

Blessings to you all today and always.
XO Donna, aka GGG

12/17/13

Advent Devotional

I wrote this for my new church for an advent devotional. It comes out today. I thought you might like to read it, too.



December 17, 2013 Third Tuesday of Advent 

Ephesians 5:8-14 
8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord. 11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness,but rather expose them. 12 It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13 But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light.

Reflection: During these days leading up to winter and Christmas, it’s no accident our thoughts turn inward. Our ancestors faced long cold months of winter and wondered how they would survive.


 As Christians, we look ahead while thinking of the past. It helps to know that even during the darkest of times—before we had God in our lives—He made a way for us. Whatever may come during this winter and others, we know God has a good plan for us. We can survive anything, thanks to the One who rescued us by sending his son, Jesus. “Praise be to God!” we may say, but is that enough? What about the lost? During these long hours before the official beginning of winter, many people battle family issues, financial hardships and depression. They are hopeless and without faith. While we can give them neither, we can pay God’s love forward by living out the fruits of the Spirit. If we work in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23), we can be a light for all to see. We can demonstrate the good, God-life through our actions, not our affiliations. How much more then will our words become once we’ve demonstrated the good news?
 The process may not be quick or easy. We may be forced to cast light on wicked ways. We may even be called to speak hard truths. As long as we act and speak with love, compassion and biblical truths, we can show the transformation, peace and pardon that only God can provide—the real gift this holiday season.   Question: This Christmas season, will you be a beacon of hope? Will you shine the way to God’s forgiveness and salvation through your actions? Prayer:
 Dear Father, thank you for reaching out to remove us from our dark, dysfunctional places. Thank you for offering us forgiveness and grace sufficient to cover all of our sins. Please help us to walk daily the lighted path so that we can remain your light in a dark world. Amen.    

12/10/13

Migraine Sabbatical

Okay, not really.

Picture of Art Featured in the UNC Botanical Garden


But a major migraine crashed over me, taking me away from my plans for a few days. I'll be back soon with some good comment.



12/1/13

Advent

Today is the 1st day of Advent.




What is Advent?

Generically, advent means "arrival, emergence, coming."

Religiously, it refers to the 4 weeks leading up to Christmas, when Christians prepare for the coming of Jesus, the light that comes to give hope during the literal darkest season of the year (coinciding with the winter solstice).

When you were little, your parents may have given you an advent calendar to help you count down the days until Christmas.

Simply, the season of Advent is to help us remember why we celebrate Christmas. If you're not religious, it's a way to remember that there's always a light to light your darkest hours.



11/29/13

Fresh Foods & Meatless Mondays

It's the holiday season, no matter where you live or what you believe. If you're in the US, you're probably stuffed from Thanksgiving gorging.
I urge you to enjoy the sights, sounds, smells, textures and tastes of the seasons, without busting the button off your pants. As a Southern girl, born & raised in NC, big eating is required, but doesn't have to be bad for you.

On any given day, I might break out of the ho-hum boring tone of the week with a spectacular, scratch made. My intent is to make the meal using up as many leftovers in the fridge & pantry as possible. With Thanksgiving upon us, refrigerator space is valuable.

I love Meatless Mondays because I'm not a big meat eater. I despise most poultry, the result of having lived too close to a chicken processing plant. The smell...well, it makes it hard to eat chicken ever again.

So Meatless Monday

usually becomes Lucky Leftovers Night.

 "I LOVE leftover night!" my husband says. "You are the Rachel Ray of Leftovers, Hon!" True, some of our best meals are throw-together meals, which makes it impossible to replicate them on purpose. Talk about living in the moment!

Anyway, with the planned anchors of baked potatoes and fresh spinach, I knew I wanted something with a huge flavor profile. I scrounged around for leftovers and any Sam's Club-sized bags of vegetables. (BTW Sam's Club has amazing deals on fresh fruits and vegetables, many of them organic. I prefer their membership to other clubs like Costco because of the quality of their produce.)

I grabbed the big bags of broccoli and carrots, the portabella mushrooms, the dried tomatoes, leftover black beans and corn from Mexican night, & Alouette Garlic & Herbs spread my son promised me he would eat (and usually does).


I roasted the broccoli and carrots in a new favorite garlicky, non-dairy buttery spread pictured below.
Seasoned the portabellas with spices and stuffed them with a mix of rehydrated onions & dried tomatoes with the black beans, corn and garlic cheese spread.

I added 
  • the Autumn Salad from Land O' Lakes (I left out the bacon, cheese & onion, and substituted orange & grapefruit slices for them) 
  • to the broccoli and cheese stuffed baked potatoes 
  • and the southwestern stuffed portabella mushrooms for the most amazing meal in a very long time. (I nailed the egg drop soup this weekend, and couldn't recreate it the next night with the stir-fried leftovers.)

I'll add the pics of the finished meal once my husband gets home. He and our youngest thought the plate was so pretty and yummy that it deserved a picture. 

Until then, I urge you to eat fresh, eat homemade and spend time with your loved ones over a good meal. And consider making your Mondays meatless.

Bon apetit!

(Pictures above belong to the respective brands' sites listed in the post. I'm not paid for mentioning them or affiliated in any way other than being a huge fan of all.)

Did you enjoy my meal post? Would you like to see more occasionally? Please comment below. 

Since I am Southern and I am a health-conscious foodie whose family lived gluten-free for 7 years under a gluten-free diagnosis ( diagnosis dismissed after gene testing at the Celiac Center in Baltimore with Dr. Fasano), I don't feel that you'd really know me if you didn't know those things about me.

Learn more about Meatless Monday here:


11/28/13

Happy Thanksgiving!



You're willingness to be here, reading my thoughts and inspirations, means more to me than you could ever know. My prayers for you and your loved ones on this Thanksgiving Day.

Sincerely,
Donna, aka GodGirlGoth

11/25/13

Y2R Adventure 7: B&B









What I did:  Stay in a bed and breakfast for the first time


When I did it: October 5, 2013, after snorkeling

Notes:   We stayed at Cypress House in Key West after reading all the great reviews on Trip Advisor

The Takeaway/What I learned: I was always scared to stay at a B&B because

  1. I like my privacy.
  2. I was afraid we'd be stuck with nosy, noisy people that we wouldn't be able to avoid. 
  3. It would be less clean than a good hotel.
  4. That I would encounter ghosts or bad energy. (I am GGG, after all. These things do happen to me.)
  5. That I would miss the modern amenities. 

Do Again?:   If other B&Bs are anything like Cypress House, absolutely!

Rant:  The LOUD couple sharing the wall behind our headboard that came in arguing after the bars closed at 2am. Since this was a B&B, we endured the circular, repetitive argument. Seriously, when you're drunk, don't go have a shouting match in your room at the B&B and annoy your neighbors. Go to bed! It might save your marriage.

Rave:  Turns out we needn't have suffered. We had a number we could have called to report it to get it stopped. They were fabulous and offered us a room higher up, away from the noisy couple and the street noise. That room was perfect!

Also, B&Bs have special touches, like a hot breakfast, afternoon tea and the evening happy hour. Seriously good food.

And the rumored ghost in the room across the hall never materialized, even though I was sick and vulnerable. So I'm thinking the ghost in Room 8 was a rumor stirred up to feed the tourists who go on the mobile ghost tour.



Words of Wisdom:  Not all B&Bs are alike. Read reviews to find the best fit for you.

11/22/13

Y2R Adventure 6: Snorkel in the Florida Keys







What I did:  Snorkel in the Florida Keys

When I did it: October 5, 2013

Notes:  In spite of my better judgement, two ear infections, sinus infections and a broken toe, I snorkeled. I couldn't help myself. A bad day snorkeling is better than...most other activities on earth! 


The Takeaway/What I learned: 

  • Snorkeling is a small piece of heaven on earth.
  • Snorkeling is an adventure into another world.
  • I should have gotten my degree in oceanography so I'd have an excuse to do it more often and be able to write off all expenses as business expenses.
  • In NO way is snorkeling inferior to scuba diving. 
  • Snorkeling is a good way to overcome your fear of water IF you practice your breathing in a pool before you go.

Do Again?:  Absolutely. Every chance I get. 

Rant:  If everyone could experience life underwater, we would do what it takes to protect the oceans. 
            http://ecosalon.com/10-ocean-conservation-groups-making-a-difference/

Rave:  The colors, textures, wildlife & diversity underwater is stunningly beautiful.
             We saw:

  • fish
  • crab
  • sharks
  • barracuda
  • sea turtles
  • sea turtles eating jellyfish an arm's length away!! (I had a Finding Nemo moment.)
  • rays
  • stingrays (gliding <10 feet from us)

Words of Wisdom: 

  • Buy or rent an underwater video camera.
  • If you're sick, reconsider or reschedule. It's best not to torture yourself. The water pressure is beyond painful when you've got sinus and ear stuff going on. Snorkeling will likely prolong or worsen the agony. I kept having to surface to yell curse words at the pain and pressure threatening to rupture my eardrums.
  • Always stay with your buddy.
  • Look just below water level to keep an eye out for jellyfish and barracuda.
  • If you don't have facemask face when you're done, you probably inhaled some water along the way.
  • You owe it to yourself to try it if you haven't. Plan to go snorkeling soon for a new perspective on life above water. 

11/21/13

40 Book Challenge Progress



1 The Way of Discernment Spiritual Practices for Decision Making
         by Elizabeth Liebert for FOCSCS class 4
2 The Rule of Benedict by Joan Chittister for FOCSCS class 4
3 Good Influence Teaching the Wisdom of Adulthood by Daniel R. Heischman for parenting group at             UCCH
4 Joyce Meyer Devotional
5 There's More To Life Than This by Theresa Caputo FABULOUS!! Read Again, study & blog
6 House of Scorpion C's book club book award winner
7 The Underneath J's book pick from classroom library award winner
8 The Peach Keeper
9      The Book Thief

To connect with me over books, I hope you'll join me on Good Reads at www.goodreads.com/Donna_Reeve

What are you reading? Please post in the comment section below.
Have a great day.


11/20/13

Fail 2: Enter something into the State Fair

from last year's NC State Fair


For the last few years, my youngest and I have poured over the contests at the state fair, looking for the events that we could join. We plan, and test, and taste. Alas, we've still not entered anything into the competition.

Of course I had a really good excuse. (I always do.) All of my plans for October got screwed up by my massive sinus &ear infections. I ended up on 3 different antibiotics for 30 days. #1 wasn't strong enough; I had a massive reaction to either #2 or #2+the Miami sun and heat; #3 lasted for 2 weeks.

It's fall. I'm still congested and phlegmy...

The NC State Fair is was in October. Hence, I didn't have time to hone my skills or get an item into the fair. For the first time in a few years, we didn't even go.

I can't say I miss the noise, the smells, the lights or the people. Together, they're overwhelming for a HSP (highly sensitive person), aka an empath/intuitive.

Maybe next year. Or maybe not. I found out that I don't really care all that much for all things "Fair," except for those funnel cakes ;)

Have you ever entered a fair competition? The category? Did you have fun?

Extras from the NC State Fair can be found here:
http://www.ncstatefair.org/2013/

11/18/13

Readers' Suggestions



Okay, I'm still short on my 100, especially now that I'm encountering some FAILS. I really need your help.

Here's my "To Consider" list suggested by my readers. Please add to it by leaving your thoughts in the comments section.

As always, THANK YOU for your input.

TO CONSIDER:

  1. Do something with your sister, that requires you to stretch the relationship.
  2. Do something unexpected for a stranger.
  3. Volunteer at a soup kitchen/homeless shelter.
  4. Volunteer at a Women's Shelter.

11/15/13

Fail 1: Scuba Diving







Although I'm a little bit claustrophobic and afraid of water, I intended to go scuba diving for the first time during our trip to the Florida Keys. 

There was this one place with the underwater Christ statue I wanted to see at Pennekamp State Park. You can view it here at the Florida Keys Official Tourism Site.


Sadly, my research was clear--scuba diving, because of the pressure of the water and the compacted tank air, is a potentially fatal idea, especially with my unstable asthma symptoms. 

As one person put it, scuba diving with asthma is like trying to snort molasses through a straw. 

No thank you. I'll stick to snorkeling.

11/13/13

Y2R Adventure 5 - The Keys

The View from Islamadora in The Florida Keys
Evening, the first night

First Light

Mid-Morning


What I did:   Visit the Florida Keys

When I did it: October 4 - 6, 2013

Notes:  We added days to the beginining of a business trip so that we could visit & snorkel The Keys. We rented a car in Miami and drove down to Islamadora where we spent the night. The pictures are the view from the hotel.

The Takeaway/What I learned: 

  • Sometimes you have to push yourself past your physical limits, but the older you get, the more you'll pay for it.
  • I'd had an "off" feeling about the trip even as I was making travel arrangements. I trust my intuition, so I wasn't surprised at my sickness, only how sick I'd become from ear and sinus infections, in spite of an antibiotic & other OTC and herbal supplements. 
  • Do the best you can in any situation.
  • Know your limits. I refused to drive. I knew I wasn't cognizant enough to be safe behind the wheel.
  • Admit defeat when necessary.
  • Sleep every chance you can when you're sick.
  • In spite of the pain, I wouldn't have missed my time alone with my hubby or these views in the Florida Keys. 
  • Is there any place better to recuperate than on a tropical island?

Do Again?:  Yes. Next time we'll stay in the Middle Keys, plan our trips around the state park regions, and take the kids. 

Rant:  Ow, ow, ow!  I hadn't felt this sick AND in pain in years. I thought my eyes, head and ears would explode. Why did I have to get sick on our one, long-planned, solo trip?!
Don't expect people to move too fast. They're on island time. But that's okay, it teaches you how to slow down.

Rave: 

  • Beautiful views. 
  • Warm/hot weather in October. 
  • Great food. 
  • Great seafood. 
  • Key lime pie--only the place in Islamadora did it the right way. 
  • Who knew that the snorkeling in the Florida Keys rivaled beat snorkeling in the Hawaiian Islands?!

Words of Wisdom:  I'd suggest going with outfitters if you're visiting for the first time. On later trips, you should be able to do some activities cheaper on your own.


11/11/13

Y2R Adventure #4: New 'Do




What I did:   New Haircut From New Stylist  

When I did it: On the way home from my plane lesson, the day after my birthday (Sept. 25)

Notes:  I was so psyched from flying, I pulled off interstate and into a popular shopping center to decide what to do next. Lunch, shopping, home. When I looked up, there was the salon I'd been researching on the internet. Before I lost my nerve, I looked up the phone number, called to ask about walk-ins, made an appointment for 1 hour later and got my hair cut from whomever was available. I was lucky. She did a great job and understood my thick mass of hair. Even though I gave her carte blanche, she chose to keep my hair shoulder length and work with my waves instead of trying to straighten and shorten it. 

The Takeaway/What I learned:  Use your pumped up adrenaline to fuel other pursuits that you're nervous about

Do Again?:  Absolutely

Rant:  None

Rave:  Very accommodating, knowledgeable and relaxing salon

Words of Wisdom:   Trust your instincts, and when you can't trust those, trust Divine guidance and intervention.

11/9/13

Updated Bucket List

The Official List
The Adventures Began September 24, 2013

By September 24, 2014, I hope to have completed at least 100 items from my Year To Remember (Y2R) list.

My progress so far...

Crossed out items were completed or excluded. Look for a post on either the adventure (Y2R) or the fail.

  1. New haircut from new stylist  #4 http://godgirlgoth.blogspot.com/2013/11/y2r-adventure-4-new-do.html?m=1
  2. Facial             #2    http://godgirlgoth.blogspot.com/2013/10/y2r-adventure-2-facial.html
  3. Massage         #1    http://godgirlgoth.blogspot.com/2013/09/y2r-adventure-1-massage.html
  4. Flight instruction lesson       #3     http://godgirlgoth.blogspot.com/2013/10/y2r-adventure-3-flying-lessons.html   
  5. New hair color      Bought. Waiting until after a business meeting function :)
  6. Permanent tattoo? no. Any alternatives other than henna?
  7. Host Attend an Adults-Only Halloween Party
  8. Miami trip               
  9. Hang out in the Venus Williams' Royal Palm Presidential sans kids for a few days          
  10. Snorkel in the Florida Keys                 
  11. Salsa dance in Miami
  12. Go to a reunion.       I've never been to a high school or college reunion. Read my upcoming memoir, then you'll understand.
  13. Get my first psychic reading.
  14. Take improv or standup comedy class.
  15. Go on a ghost hunting tour.
  16. My 1st professional bikini wax            (ouch!http://hairremoval.about.com/od/waxing/a/bikini-styles.htm)
  17. Be an extra in a local movie or series
  18. Finish my memoir
  19. Sell memoir in an auction :)
  20. Go scuba diving  **Sadly, initial research is making this look like a bad/potentially fatal idea with my unstable asthma symptoms.**
  21. Go skydiving with my husband.  **IF my memoir proposal goes to auction, I'll skydive for sure. :)
  22. Enter something into the State Fair
  23. Sell my first piece of art
  24. Create Zentangle gifts
  25. Enter scarecrow into local competition.
  26. Singing Lessons (my family will thank me :) )  (Thnx to @7SacredPools 4 suggestion.)
  27. Try out for a part in a play. (Thnx to @7SacredPools 4 suggestion.)
  28. Take a cooking class.
  29. Make a video short.
  30. Go swimming with the dolphins. (suggested by my sis-in-law. I'm torn btw the experience and the potential harm to the dolphins.)
  31. Collect $ for Trick or Treat for UNICEF or other charity. 
  32. Let youngest son try out for Cub Scouts (I had said "NO!" after his brother's stint.) If he joins, I'll be the one doing the activities with him as a "scout mom".)
  33. Sign up for running training program.
  34. Finish a 5k.
  35. Meditate for 15 minutes a day most days. (Reinstate practice.)
  36. Do 10 perfect pushups.
  37. Camp out under the starry skies. (@7SacredPools suggestion, modified.)
  38. Visit one of the great national parks.
  39. Join Toastmasters.
  40. Visit Georgia's Aquarium.
  41. Pitch/Interview with a TV producer.
  42. Read 40 books. (Reading is a luxury in my busy life.)
  43. See The Story-A Christmas Celebration.http://www.premierproductions.com/tour/story-tour-christmas-celebration
  44. Take up an instrument & get decent at playing it.
  45. Girls' weekend away.
  46. Take a pottery/ceramics class.
  47. Carve pumpkins with kids.
  48. Zip line.
  49. Be part of a flash mob.
  50. Draw funny faces on the eggs in my refrigerator.
  51. Tithe 10% of my advance to some of my favorite causes. :)
  52. Wear a bikini out in public.
  53. Girls weekend. (Thanks to @lettygarced )
  54. Read 50 Shades of Grey to see what all the hoopla's about, or something racy from Ellora's Cave.
  55. Tour a winery
  56. Go to one of the big parades: Mardi Gras, Macy's Thanksgiving, NY Eve in Times Square etc. (@7SacredPools suggestion) Does the CH/Carr City parade count ;) 
  57. Visit Biltmore House at Christmas.
  58. Drive a race car (Thanks to @lettygarced).
  59. Sit on a sandy beach reading a book and drinking a "big giant head" drink. (Us not having an adventure vacation is a BIG deal.)
  60. Couples massage.
  61. Try out for a game show (like Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune, etc.).
  62. Go camping with family.
  63. Ride/drive jet skis.
  64. Be in the audience of one of my favorite tv shows.
  65. Hire a stylist/wardrobe consultant.
  66. Throw an Unexpected 20th anniversary party (that hubby doesn't want) OR my parents a 50th wedding anniversary party next year.
  67. Las Vegas trip with shows.
  68. Watch a Broadway show.
  69. Watch a Burlesque show. 
  70. Swim with sea turtles, shark and sting ray.
  71. Visit the Florida Keys.  #5 http://godgirlgoth.blogspot.com/2013/11/y2r-adventure-5-keys.html?m=1
  72. Stay in a bed and breakfast for the first time.
  73. Go kayaking at night on an illuminated kayak.
  74. Support a child on an angel tree. (It's been on my to-do list for soooo long.)
  75. Make a Vegetarian Turducken! http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/15/veggieducken-vegetarian-turducken_n_2133160.html  (On the whole, I don't like poultry, but poor piggies! I love me some NC BBQ --eastern or western--and bacon.
  76. Enter a cooking contest.


11/8/13

10 Things I've Learned From Joyce Meyer

Picture from joycemeyer.org


1.   No matter how bad your background/history, you can overcome.
2.   God/Spirit is with you, always.
3.   Evil happens because [wo]mankind has the free will to choose & because we have a real enemy who is out to destroy us.
4.   It's never too late to start again.
5.   "God is Not Mad at You"  (also the title of her new book)
6.   Love is the answer.
7.   Make your passion your life's work.
8.   Don't be afraid to fail.
9.   Speak and act for those without a voice.
10. Have faith. - You never know how many beings are working on your behalf or how close you are to your deepest dreams.


11/4/13

Candle Magic

Whether you're Catholic, Protestant, Pagan, Wiccan, agnostic or atheist, I bet you feel drawn to candles and fires. It's in our ancestral shared memories, fashioned since caveman/woman days.




Fire in any way draws us in.

At its most basic, fire symbolizes warmth, protection, community.  Its power is subject to the whims of user. If tended and respected, its powers can be harnessed; if not, it can cause great harm. It is one of the four basic elements:  Earth, water, air & fire.

Through the flame in candles, everyone can harness the energy in fire. I never pass up an opportunity to say a wish or prayer. If you're of the nature-based and Wiccan religions, you probably say a simple spell. Either way, those flames, warmth and smoke create "magic" for everyone who takes time to shine a light in a dark place.

Why not go further and align your intent with the correct color to double the effects?
Intrigued? Find out more, start at What's Your Sign. They do a beautiful job of explaining, so I won't go into details here. Check out all the meanings and the fire symbols as depicted at
http://www.whats-your-sign.com/fire-symbols-and-meanings.html . They represent people, religions and cultures from all over the world. Quite interesting. Then pursue and experiment on your own.

For Christians, you might want to repeat my religious education's teachers invocation:  "With the lighting of this candle, we invite the Holy Spirit in."

Blessings to you and yours!

11/1/13

All Saints' Day



Today is All Saints' Day, a feast day to celebrate saints who may not have their own feast day.

Yesterday was Halloween, or

So Hallow's Eve = Halloween=Hallow+eve is the day before All Hallows, or the All Holies Day.

That makes today All Hallows' Day.  To Hallow means to make holy; to set aside for holy use. Specifically saints are those honored by the Catholic church, but more generally, saints are all Christians.

So All Saints' Day is part of Hallowmas= Halloween, All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day = [October 31 - November 2]. It is a 3-day period to celebrate the dead, especially " martyrssaints, and all faithful departed Christians," according to Wikipedia.

If you are Catholic, you know about the liturgical calendar, the saints and the feast days way more than I do. I have acquired only a working knowledge through my Christian spirituality. To delve deeper into these categories, start here

Whatever you do, you may want to think fondly of those loved ones who have gone on before.







Top Scary Movies, According to Scientists




According to a report by ABC News here, scientists set out to find the scariest movies of all time using heart rate and breathing monitors.

According to scientists, the top the movies, in order, are:


  1. The Shining
  2. The Exorcist
  3. Nightmare on Elm Street


They make my top 5, too. I'd add Nightmare on Elm Street, Psycho, Scream and Amityville Horror to my scary collection.

Your thoughts now that the scientists are involved? Please comment below.

10/31/13

Pagan Christian Holidays

Happy Halloween!!



Why do so many holidays have religious and secular meanings?



Because the Church knew that to break a "bad" habit you must replace it with a "good" one. (See Joyce Meyer's book, Making Good Habits, Breaking Bad Habits)

Religious holidays were laid over the pagan="evil"=secular holidays. To wean them off, the Church couldn't ignore them. Most of the festivals were a romping good time.

Halloween & All Hallow's Eve  --->  October 31
Samhain & All Saint's Day --->   November 1
(For more details, read this example at belief.net's pagan/earth-based religion's page and wikipedia's page)


What to do?

CONVERT people to a new system of thinking & believing by using what they know, and tweaking it into something "better". By doing so, you have a greater chance of success.

Did they succeed? Yes, mostly. Their strategy was brilliant.

To see the Global Religious breakdown by country, check out the Pew Research Center. Christians occupy a major chunk of the people with religious affiliations.



Extras:

Comparison Chart for Wicca & Christianity here
Interesting facts on world religions here
Pagan/Religious Holiday comps here
Some interesting links on Christian and Pagan here


10/30/13

Scariest Halloween Movie

Paranormal Activity?
The Shining?
When A Stranger Calls?
Carrie?
Halloween?
Elvira, Mistress of the Dark? ;)
The Seventh Sign? (My must-watch Easter movie)
Poltergeist?
Nightmare on Elm Street?
Amityville Horror?
The Exorcist?
***Note: I'm not including slasher films in this list. They're gory, a separate category in my book.***




I think I'll have to go with [drumroll please http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=itAOGRiYRLI]...

Poltergeist!

I watched so many movies during my insomniac teens, in the heyday of horror movies. I've seen more B movies than hits because the horror flicks weren't so popular then (1980s). The ONLY film I asked my dad to stay up so I could finish watching it was Polgergeist (1982). Maybe it was the timing (junior high & my "gifts" were coming on full-blast; maybe I was still young enough (14) to believe in the possibility of the plot line; maybe I'd witnessed enough for the special effects to hit home. Who knows? I only know that I needed some accompaniment to get through it. Thanks, Dad!

A close second was Pet Cemetery.

So, you've heard my answer.  What's yours?




Food for thought:


10/29/13

New GGGs

Additions to my Famous GGG List:


  • Tim Burton
  • Leah Remini @leahremini
  • Sharon Osbourne @MrsSOsbourne
  • Tyler Blackburn  @tylerblackburn
  • Chris Sarandon
  • Colin Farrell
  • Michael Keaton
  • Winona Ryder
  • Katy Perry
  • Geena Davis
  • Johnny Depp
  • Christian Slater
  • Wynonna Judd
  • Brett Eldredge, country singer. Debut album out. See Oct. 28th's episode of The Chew to figure out why I added him. ;-) @bretteldredge 
  • Jamie Lee Curtis @

Who would you nominate & why?
Please comment.

10/28/13

Best Goth/Paranormal Movie of all Time -- Beetlejuice

Beetlejuice (1998)

Pic rights are property of Beetlejuice & Warner Bros.



stars

Sequel Rumors:  Tim Burton in talks to make Beetlejuice 2!  http://www.rollingstone.com/movies/news/tim-burton-to-direct-beetlejuice-2-report-20131021

The news made the morning talk shows the week before Halloween 2013.

Fans who love Beetlejuice are excited because this moview was a zany mix of goth, horror, slapstick & silly. Think of it as the "country mice," albeit the dead country mice, meet the "city mice," goth/horror style. The timeless Winona Ryder does what she does best--play the dark underdog--so well in this movie. Alec Baldwin & Geena Davis expand their comedic roots. But it's Michael Keaton, far far removed from his Batman alter ego, who steals the show.

Tim Burton, please please bring us a Beetlejuice version that's not above the humor of the first. Make the story as oddly interesting as the first, and age it as much as your main audience. We'd love to see an older version the characters as a comparison/contrast to our own lives.

Did you know...

  • that Beetlejuice turned 25 this year?
  • that the black & white striped suit was originally a winged demon, one variation among many planned variations? Source
  • that Betelgeuse is the 2nd brightest star in the Orion constellation and the 9th brightest star in the night sky? wikipedia
  • there are 5 things you probably don't know about Beetlejuice, as The Playlist outlines. Sammy Davis, Jr. really?
  • people are obsessed with this movie? Talk about a built-in audience for movie #2. Here's one guy who asks all the questions you might have about Beetlejuice here.

10/26/13

Best Funny Scary Vampire Movie -- Fright Night (The 1985 Original)

Fright Night (1985)

All Rights Owned by the makers of FN.



Starring Chris Sarandon in his sexy, powerful prime. He's the new vampire neighbor next door to Charlie, an obsessed horror buff. Yes, he's the ex of actress Susan Sarandon, and that's all you might know. More importantly, he's also the voice of Jack Skellington of Nightmare Before Christmas fame.

Warning:  Make sure you see the original, not the bloodbath, barf-worthy version Colin Farrell did in 2011. Since Colin Farrell claimed to be as big a fan of the original as I am, I'd like to slap his face for making it unwatchable; I'd slap Chris Sarandon for cameo-ing in that remake as well. Dude, don't belittle what you did in the original by lending any part of your name to that horrible, horrible remake.

(...stepping off my soapbox)

Poor Charlie Brewster (William Ragsdale). No one believes him when he claims to be witness to the gruesome doings of his undead neighbor.

Some of the best lines from the movie:


  • "You have to have faith for that thing (a cross) to work on me!" True dat.
  • "You're so cool, Brewster."
  • "Welcome to Fright. Night. For real."
Buy it at Amazon.com's Instant Video here. Or see if it's showing for Halloween. 

Disagree with my choice? Who's the contender for Fright Night?


10/25/13

Friday Freebies 4 Halloween

Halloween is less than 1 week away!

from #1 


Here's some cool stuff/sites to get you in the mood over this weekend.


  1. Awesome, cool Halloween wallpapers http://www.wall321.com/Holidays/Halloween_111/page_1/latest
  2. Free Jack-O-Lantern Patterns/Templates
    3. Fun Halloween drinks. I dare you to try one and report back here. I might have to try Muddy Swamp Water :)
        http://www.bhg.com/halloween/recipes/sweet-halloween-drinks/
   

10/24/13

Best Animation/Claymation Halloween Movie -- Nightmare Before Christmas

Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

Property of Disney


From the ever-intriguing mind of Tim Burton comes the painstaking production of the fabulous claymation movie, Nightmare Before Christmas.

Wouldn't you know that even I found out something new about it on the Nightmare Before Christmas on imdb.com website?

  • Chris Sarandon, yes Susan Sarandon's ex, but more importantly the vampire in my favorite funny vampire movie ever,the original Fright Night, is the voice of Jack Skellington. How did I not know that?! Chris, Chris, more of this from you, please.
  • Catherine O'Hara, who voices Sally, Jack's love interest, also plays Delia Deetz, Winona Ryder's mom in Beetlejuice
  • Who knew?!


But I digress.

NBC is the greatest animated Halloween movie of all time.
Disagree? Then who are its contenders? Please comment, but only after you've seen the movie.

Extras:


  1. Buy something to celebrate the 20th Anniversary (on October 15, 2013) of NBC at Disney
  2. Watch NBC. See if you can catch it again this Halloween season. It was the 1st of ABC Family's 13 Movies of Halloween, but I bet someone is running it again. Or stream it from amazon. 
  3. Listen to the brilliant music of Danny Elfman and others. You know you're humming it already. Buy the soundtrack on amazon and listen/watch this a capella video of This is Halloween on YouTube.
  4. Visit Disneyland's Halloween Time at the Disney Resorts & stop in to see Jack at the Haunted Mansion
  5. Make something in honor of the movie. My eldest made a drawing of the cover scene from memory after watching the movie (again) last week. It finally resonated with him as it does with me. If you're a foodie, there are several package mixes (I found one at Ross yesterday when I picked up my costume) and websites. This one's for Jack Skellington Cookie Pops. 
  6. Dress as Jack or Sally. Lots of ideas on Pinterest for those DIYers or packaged costumes available widely on the internet and in stores. (I tried to convince my hubby yet again, but with no success.)
  7. Wikipedia's facts.
  8. Forbes' Magazine's look at Disney's uncertainty about this "little movie" here . 
  9. ***And last but NOT least...The original poem by Tim Burton! Read by no other than vampire actor/horror legend, Christopher Lee. Watch it here! Be still my heart. I may love its simplicity even more.






10/23/13

Symbols & Meanings - Celtic

I saw something that looked like a white dog outside our house this morning. My dog went around it; it slowly walked out of sight.

Image Property of  Third Coast artist, Cathey Henley Osborne. Go to http://www.thirdcoastrs.com/celtic_symbol_custom_stamps.htm to buy her amazing coasters.



This isn't the first time I've spied unusual things when I watch after letting the dog out, but this one surprised me. I felt it was a symbol.

So what'd I do? I looked it up. Here's the answer, via a link from Dawn on Yahoo! Answers:

It seems that a "white hound" is an important Celtic symbol of "companionship / protection / enduring loyalty / guidance / protection" pertaining to the Celtic zodiac. Associated dates are [either] Sept. 2 - 29 and/or Oct. 28 - Nov. 24. 

Dogs were always held in high esteem by the Celts, as a friend and protector. "The Fearsome Battle Hound" is featured in many Celtic myths. In general, hounds were representative of tracking skills, the ability to scent a trail and companionship. The White Hound was a title of honor for Celtic chieftains and representative of the dogs which guarded the lunar mysteries. Dogs were sacred to the fairies of Ireland and Scotland, probably because they were held in high regard by the Tuatha de Danann. Many Celtic myths involve dogs or dog familiars, which belonged to heroic figures or deities, and wars were often fought for and over them. They are also an archetypal symbol of shapeshifters.

Thanks to  Third Coast artist, Cathey Henley Osborne for her lovely Celtic symbol drawings and interpretations. She sells her interpreation of Celtic symbols as coasters at http://www.thirdcoastrs.com/celtic_symbol_custom_stamps.htm . I must buy a set.

Check out her site & let me know which Celtic Symbol calls to you and why.