Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Oh, The Difference A Little Color Makes!

As a newbie Tarot enthusiast, of course I bought a tried and true Rider-Waite deck. I figured that it would be good to have the original to refer to when learning all the different meanings of the cards. I disliked them the minute I opened the deck and looked through them. :/ They just fell flat for me. I was really disappointed (mostly in myself, I think) with them. They just didn't speak to me like some of my other decks.

I put it down to them being old fashioned, or something. Figured I was a 'New Age' kinda gal and just couldn't connect to them for that reason. LOL! Not true. Turns out that it was simply their lack of color that was limiting my inspiration from them. My son and I were at Borders looking for a book for him, when I came across the Radiant Rider-Waite Deck. Oh, what a difference. These images popped out at me almost immediately. My son and I sat in the coffee shop and shuffled through them with growing excitement at each card.

I pulled out the 5 of Swords and pushed it across the table at my son. I asked him what he thought he was going on in that card. He nailed it right away! He said, "He won the sword fight and he's laughing at them." LOL! Children are so in touch with their intuition. He didn't even hesitate or think about it. Just blurted out what he felt about the image. :D

Here is the original 5 of Swords:

And the 5 of Swords from the Radiant Deck:

Sunday, October 18, 2009

What Tarot Card Are You?

You are the World

Completion, Good Reward.

The World is the final card of the Major Arcana, and as such represents saturnian energies, time, and completion.

The World card pictures a dancer in a Yoni (sometimes made of laurel leaves). The Yoni symbolizes the great Mother, the cervix through which everything is born, and also the doorway to the next life after death. It is indicative of a complete circle. Everything is finally coming together, successfully and at last. You will get that Ph.D. you've been working for years to complete, graduate at long last, marry after a long engagement, or finish that huge project. This card is not for little ends, but for big ones, important ones, ones that come with well earned cheers and acknowledgements. Your hard work, knowledge, wisdom, patience, etc, will absolutely pay-off; you've done everything right.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Chariot

I think this card is my favorite Major Arcana card. First off it's the card of my personal number, which is seven. To get your personal number, you add up all the numbers in your birth date. For me it's: 1+8+1969=1978, 1+9+7+8=25, 2+5=7. To me, this card is all about mastering the powers of opposites, and getting them to work together as a driving force. These opposing forces are enemies, but you have control over both of them... within yourself.

The card above is from the Legacy of the Divine deck. The woman driving the Chariot in this card seems to be driving to victory through rough waters. The light she shines directly in front of her from her staff, appears to be pointing the opposing forces in the direction she wants to go. To me, this card is somewhat telling in the fact that the white horse looks like it's starting to head towards the direction of the light, while the dark horse is trying to go off to the left. lol! The dark horse is always the difficult one, no?

The Chariot card corresponds to the astrological sign of Cancer, which just happens to be my rising sign. :) There's so much to like about this card! It's so balanced and 'in control'. It must have taken a lot of discipline, hard work, trial and error and determination to get those two harnessed and able to work together.

I think the song 'Chariot' by Gavin DeGraw could actually be about this card. :D AND it even mentions the Ace of Cups! See if you can spot where. ;)

Staring at a maple leaf
Leaning on the mother tree
I said to myself we all lost touch
Your favorite fruit is chocolate covered cherries
And seedless watermelon ohhhh
Nothing from the ground is good enough
Body rise
look what's over me

Oh chariot, your golden waves
Are walking down upon this face
Oh chariot, I'm singing out loud
To guide me
Give me your

Remember seeking moons rebirth
Rains made mirrors of the earth
The sun was just yellow energy
It is a living promise land
Even over fields of sand
Since it's filled my body, covered me
Bringing back
More than a memory


You'll be my vacation away from this place
You know what I want
Holding that cup,
It's pouring over the sides
You make me wanna spread my arms and fly


Give me your strength (Chariot)
Give me your strength (Chariot)
Give me your strength (Chariot)
Give me your strength (Chariot)

Give me your strength,
Give it to me (Chariot)
Give me your strength,
Give it to me (Chariot)
Give me your strength,
Give it to me (Chariot)
Give me your strength,
Oh chariot

Monday, August 10, 2009

LOL! Mark Slaughter.

Much to my husband's dismay, he used to look like Mark Slaughter when we first met back in 1990. Slaughter was a heavy metal band back in the 90's. He INSISTS that he didn't, but he surely did. lol!

Here's Dave shortly after we started dating.

Mark Slaughter about the same time.

LOL! See?

Friday, July 10, 2009

Bubblegum Crisis 4 - Revenge Road

Heart and Soul - T'Pau

Something in the moonlight catches my eye
The shadow of a lover goes dancing by
Looking for a little bit of love to grow, so
Give me love, give me heart and soul
You never let me cross to the other side now
I'm tied to the hope that you will somehow
Hard on the heels of something more
But I lost your love, heart and soul

The tear in my heart as you walk on by
(more than an ocean)
I feel so low and your head is high
Everything you do convinces me more
(keeps us apart)
Please, give me love, give me heart and soul
Looking to the day when I saw your face
(I feel a tearing in half of my heart)
I wasn't in the running, I wasn't in the race
You move in a way that I've known before
Now I want your love, heart and soul

Tired eyes, tears that dried
(leaving you ain't easy now)
On the bed, on the pillow, where the love has died
(loving you's the harder part)
A turn of the key, through the door you go
(you never want me for myself)
Don't look back, to hurt me more
(now I've needed you right from the very start)
Everything you said was to the point
Can't you try to
(oh won't you even try to)

Give a little bit of heart and soul
(give a little bit of heart and soul)
Give a little bit of love to grow
Give a little bit of heart and soul
(give a little bit of heart and soul)
And don't you make me beg for more
(must I beg you)
Give a sign, I need to know
A little bit of heart and soul

Walking on the water, walking on the air
(a walk on the water)
That was the heart of the love we shared
Do you keep secret left untold
(is all that I need)
Can't give love, heart or soul
I used to have a lover with a Midas touch
(but miracles are not happening)
I turned to gold but he turned to dust
Left me for another, I turned to stone
Now give me love, heart and soul

Tired eyes, tears that dried
(living in a fantasy)
On the bed, on the pillow, where you told your lies
(there's never any room to breathe)
A turn of the key, my blood runs cold
(hoping every waking hour)
Don't look back to hurt me more
(you'll turn around and say that we can start)
Everything you did just said it all
Can't you try to
(oh won't you even try to)


Somehow, I lost my way
Looking to see something in your eyes
But love will never compromise
Now this is the politics of life, yeah!


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Art Nouveau Tarot Deck

I got myself a beautiful, new Tarot deck!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Run through the fire, not from it!

After reading some of the stories about all the terrible bush fires in Australia, I suddenly remembered an article that I read a while back. Thought I would share. :D

Running Through the Fire ~by Emily Eldredge

Recently, my mother shared with me an astounding tidbit she saw on National Geographic.

"Would you believe," she said, "that the animals in Africa mostly likely to survive a fire are not the ones who run from it - they're the ones who run through it? Those who run away get tired, collapse, and are engulfed by the flames. Zebras, on the other hand, are especially great survivors because, rather than running away from the fire, they run through the fire."

"What a powerful analogy for the healing process," she continued. "The fire is fear. If we run away from fear, we die. However, if we simply turn around, face it, and run through it, we survive. And discover that on the other side is simply scorched earth, fresh for rebirth. And the fire is no longer moving towards us but away from us, no longer a threat to our survival."

Wow. Who would have thought that actually running through the source of one's fear would be the way to survive... and even thrive?

Diane Rehm (drshow.org) recently featured a gentleman who wrote a book called The Science of Fear: Why We Fear Things We Shouldn't and Put Ourselves in Greater Danger. He comments on a phenomenon that occurred post-911: "A lot of Americans were afraid to fly... So we got into our cars and drove.... But flying is far safer than driving. It's so much safer that, even if there had been a wave of fatal terrorist hijackings, flying still would have been far, far, far safer than driving.... Researchers found that the switch from flying to driving lasted for about one year. And during this time there was a spike in auto fatalities.... The estimated number of Americans who were killed because of the irrational decision to drive rather than fly: 1,595."

3,000 people killed in New York, and 1,600 more killed on the road.... because of an unreasoned fear.

Most "fears" and defense mechanisms are simply energies within us that we create or are taught to create during childhood. At the mercy of our environment and dependent on others for survival, we unconsciously devise strategies for getting our needs met and walls for protecting ourselves from those who may be violating our boundaries. Internally, we all have multiple personalities, reacting in different ways to different situations, depending on what served us best as children. These personalities are not to be feared or fought - they are simply trying to help. They are doing exactly what they were designed to do - to protect us from a perceived or actual threat.

As we grow older and more independent, these outdated and unnecessary personalities continue to operate. However, that's like running an updated computer on an outdated operating system. The old programs need to be removed, allowing the higher versions to be installed, opening the space for us to be who we truly are...

I frequently venture inside myself to unpack this concept of fear. It's one thing to tell myself, "Fear is an illusion", but when I'm swimming in that fear, the experience is truly intoxicating, like a poison warping my perception of what is truly worthy of fear. For example, if you've had a few glasses of wine but tell yourself, "No, I'm not drunk! This is all just an illusion!", it won't negate the fact that your tongue feels like lead and the room is spinning around you! Best to simply wait and allow the body to release the toxin.

This, too, will pass.

Sometimes I won't even realize that a fear is operating within me. I may be in a situation, reacting a certain way, and it isn't until I stop, take a breath, and become aware of my body that I sense the resistance to an uncomfortable energy within me. "Oh! I didn't realize that was there!" I relax the space around it, accept that it's there and that it's okay, and - POOF! - it usually disappears.

Sometimes, though, fear can be so intoxicating that my only choice is to surrender to it. Surrender: what a magnificent gift. Because, when I finally do, all resistances dissolve, and the "fear" floods in. I surrender by lying down, breathing into my body, and simply telling myself, "I surrender", "I accept that I feel afraid", or whatever feels right to say, whatever feels the most freeing.

And, in that moment, as my muscles release, my breathing deepens, and the fear floods in, the most spectacular awakening occurs. It finally dawns on me that:

1. It isn't "fear". It is just energy. I'm the only one who is feeling and labeling it as "fear". Energy comes and energy goes. As Einstein says, it is neither created nor destroyed - just transformed. Also, energy follows thought, so the only qualities and powers given to energy are the ones I give it.

2. The "fear" is almost always irrational - never a life-or-death situation, though I may have given it that power. It is typically the fear of experiencing more fear or some other uncomfortable emotion that I'd rather not feel, like anger. And what is anger? A message that something internal or external is not in alignment with our truth, with our love of self. Worth listening to.

3. My resistance to feeling it is what has given it power over me... which is always more power than it deserves. When I let go of my resistance to it, I allow it return to its natural flow of the Universe... to love. And I discover that it really, truly was just an illusion. And that I will survive whatever it is that I think I fear.

I often compare this process of awakening to what happens when your foot falls asleep and then wakes up. As the blood starts to flow again and the vessels stretch and the muscles twitch, it experiences the pain of awakening before it can walk again. Only, in this context, it is the heart that is waking up... thawing out from years of contraction and denial.

In A New Earth, Eckhart Tolle beautifully describes what happens when we allow this fear and pain inside us to melt: "The energy that was trapped in the pain-body then changes into vibrational frequency and is transmuted into Presence. In this way, the pain-body becomes fuel for consciousness. This is why many of the wisest, most enlightened men and women on our planet once had a heavy pain-body."

My God, if that isn't ever a brilliant and inspiring statement. You mean, this pain is useful for something? You mean, Buddha and Jesus and all of these enlightened teachers went through this, too? You mean, all of this pain that I am feeling can miraculously transform into exuberant love and indescribable joy? You mean I can actually be free of fear?

Yes! It's just energy that wants to flow again - that's all! It wants to be loved and returned to the current of universal love that flows through us all. It's the welcome sigh after holding your breath, the flood through a dam that electrifies a city, the relief we feel after a long cry, the spark of flame negating all darkness. It is the essence of our being - altered by the intentions of a fearful mind. Nothing more, nothing less. Fear is nothing to fear.

"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself," and even that we don't have to fear!

Actor Will Smith has said he's driven by fear. "All it takes is just one person telling me I can't do it, and I'll use the fear of failure as fuel. I keep going because I doubt myself... It drives me to be better. I've learned that the mastery of self-doubt is the key to success."

He has learned to recognize that the feeling of fear is not something to fear. He feels the fear and does it anyway, thereby disempowering the feeling altogether and invigorating his trust and faith in himself.

For me, I take a more measured approach. I know that if I do something from a place of fear, then that is the energy I will attract in return. So I tend to face the fear internally first, recognize that it's just an illusion based on an old belief from childhood or my environment, which then clears enough Presence space within me to know what it is that I have to do and then do it.

I recently had an extraordinary epiphany when I made a choice I had long feared doing yet knew I had to do. I said to myself, "I'm going to do this. I don't know what will happen as a result of doing this. I just know that, in this moment right now, this is what I have to do."

I ran through the fire.... And came out glowing on the other side.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Blood Oranges

Another delicious addition to my diet! Mmmmm... I know, the name's kinda creepy, but WOW are they good! They are smaller than the average orange with a mottled red and orange skin, and the juice really is a blood red. They start out with a tart burst followed by an intense orange flavor with a hint of raspberry to it. Yes, raspberry. Two yummy things in one! What's not to like? I love working at the grocery store! So many new things to learn about. I've had blood orange tea before, but never the real deal. When a lady came through my checkout line with them, I was overjoyed. LOL! As soon as my shift was done, I clocked out and made a beeline for the produce section.

The reason for the bloody red pigmentation on the inside of the fruit is due to a pigment called anthocyanin, which is uncommon in citrus fruits. Anthocyanin is an antioxidant that reduces the risks associated with many ailments, including age-related illnesses. Blood oranges diminish the risk of heart disease, some types of cancer and "bad" cholesterol build-up. They may also reduce the risk of cataracts, and aid in the body's healing process. They are high in Vitamin C and potassium,so enjoy them often! :D The variety I got at the grocery store is known as Moro. Grown in California, not Florida, like I first thought. The blood orange tree needs cool nights that Florida can't provide. I'm thinking.... blood orange sorbet! The most nutritional benefits are achieved by juicing them or eating them natural though. ;D

Let's have a drink, shall we?

Blood Orange Cocktail

For one cocktail:

* 1 to 2 blood oranges
* 2 T fresh mint
* 1 t raw sugar
* 1 shot dark rum
* Champagne or soda water to top
* ice

Juice 3/4 of an orange, reserving 1/4 for *muddling. *Muddle 1/4 of the orange in a cocktail shaker along with the mint and the sugar. Shake with the rum, juice and some ice.

Strain into a champagne glass, with more ice if desired. Top with champagne or the soda water. Garnish with mint or a slice of orange.


To muddle is to combine ingredients, usually in the bottom of a mixing glass, by pressing them with a muddler before adding the majority of the liquid ingredients.

A muddler is a small wooden pestle shaped like a baseball bat. One end is large and rounded and it used to mash the ingredients. While the other end is skinnier and flat and is used to mix ingredients.

Monday, February 2, 2009


I love them. Never had one in my entire life up until about three months ago. They have the consistency of butter and a very mild flavor.

I put them on my salads, slice them and top a chicken sandwich. Of course, there's always guacamole dip too.

The following is from whfoods.org.

Health Benefits

Promote Heart Health

Avocados contain oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat that may help to lower cholesterol. In one study of people with moderately high cholesterol levels, individuals who ate a diet high in avocados showed clear health improvements. After seven days on the diet that included avocados, they had significant decreases in total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol, along with an 11% increase in health promoting HDL cholesterol.

Avocados are a good source of potassium, a mineral that helps regulate blood pressure. Adequate intake of potassium can help to guard against circulatory diseases, like high blood pressure, heart disease or stroke. In fact, the U.S. Food and Drug Association has authorized a health claim that states: "Diets containing foods that are good sources of potassium and low in sodium may reduce the risk of high blood pressure and stroke."

One cup of avocado has 23% of the Daily Value for folate, a nutrient important for heart health. To determine the relationship between folate intake and heart disease, researchers followed over 80,000 women for 14 years using dietary questionnaires. They found that women who had higher intakes of dietary folate had a 55% lower risk of having heart attacks or fatal heart disease. Another study showed that individuals who consume folate-rich diets have a much lower risk of cardiovascular disease or stroke than those who do not consume as much of this vital nutrient.

Promote Optimal Health

Not only are avocados a rich source of monounsaturated fatty acids including oleic acid, which has recently been shown to offer significant protection against breast cancer, but it is also a very concentrated dietary source of the carotenoid lutein; it also contains measurable amounts of related carotenoids (zeaxanthin, alpha-carotene and beta-carotene) plus significant quantities of tocopherols (vitamin E).

In a laboratory study published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, an extract of avocado containing these carotenoids and tocopherols inhibited the growth of both androgen-dependent and androgen-independent prostate cancer cells.

But when researchers tried exposing the prostate cancer cells to lutein alone, the single carotenoid did not prevent cancer cell growth and replication. Not only was the whole matrix of carotenoids and tocopherols in avocado necessary for its ability to kill prostate cancer cells, but the researchers also noted that the significant amount of monounsaturated fat in avocado plays an important role. Carotenoids are lipid (fat)-soluble, which means fat must be present to ensure that these bioactive carotenoids will be absorbed into the bloodstream. Just as Nature intends, avocado delivers the whole heath-promoting package.

Increase Your Absorption of Carotenoids from Vegetables

Enjoying a few slices of avocado in your tossed salad, or mixing some chopped avocado into your favorite salsa will not only add a rich, creamy flavor, but will greatly increase your body's ability to absorb the health-promoting carotenoids that vegetables provide.

A study published in the March 2005 issue of the Journal of Nutrition tested the hypothesis that since carotenoids are lipophilic (literally, fat-loving, which means they are soluble in fat, not water), consuming carotenoid-rich foods along with monounsaturated-fat-rich avocado might enhance their bioavailability.

Not only did adding avocado to a salad of carrot, lettuce and baby spinach or to salsa greatly increase study participants' absorption of carotenoids from these foods, but the improvement in carotenoid availability occurred even when a very small amount-as little as 2 ounces-of avocado was added.

Adding avocado to salad increased absorption of alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and lutein 7.2, 15.3, and 5.1 times higher, respectively, than the average amount of these carotenoids absorbed when avocado-free salad was eaten.

Adding avocado to salsa increased lycopene and beta-carotene absorption 4.4 and 2.6 times higher, respectively, than the average amount of these nutrients absorbed from avocado-free salsa. Since avocados contain a large variety of nutrients including vitamins, minerals, as well as heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, eating a little avocado along with carotenoid-rich vegetables and fruits is an excellent way to improve your body's ability to absorb carotenoids while also receiving other nutritional-and taste-benefits.

Avocado Phytonutrients Combat Oral Cancer

Oral cancer is even more likely to result in death than breast, skin, or cervical cancer, with a mortality rate of about 50% due to late detection, according to Great Britain's Mouth Cancer Foundation. Avocados may offer a delicious dietary strategy for the prevention of oral cancer. Phytonutrients in Hass avocados, the most readily available of the more than 500 varieties of avocados grown worldwide, target multiple signaling pathways, increasing the amount of free radicals (reactive oxygen species) within pre-cancerous and cancerous human oral cell lines, that leads to their death, but cause no harm to normal cells. ? Semin Cancer Biol. 2007 May 17. Earlier research by UCLA scientists also indicates that Hass avocados may inhibit the growth of prostate cancer as well. When analyzed, Hass avocados were found to contain the highest content of lutein among commonly eaten fruits as well as measurable amounts of related carotenoids (zeaxanthin, alpha-carotene, and beta-carotene). Lutein accounted for 70% of the measured carotenoids, and the avocado also contained significant quantities of vitamin E. J Nutr Biochem. 2005 Jan;16(1):23-30.


The avocado is colloquially known as the Alligator Pear, reflecting its shape and the leather-like appearance of its skin. Avocado is derived from the Aztec word "ahuacatl."

Avocados are the fruit from the Persea Americana, a tall evergreen tree that can grow up to 65 feet in height. There are dozens of varieties of avocadoes, which fall into three main categories-Mexican, Guatemalean, and West Indian-which differ in their size, appearance, quality and susceptibility to cold. The most popular type of avocado in the United States is the Hass variety, which has rugged, pebbly brown-black skin. Another common type of avocado is the Fuerte, which is larger than the Hass and has smooth, dark green skin and a more defined pear shape.

Avocados vary in weight from 8 ounces to 3 pounds depending upon the variety. The edible portion of the avocado is its yellow-green flesh, which has a luscious, buttery consistency and a subtle nutty flavor. The skin and pit are inedible.


Avocados are native to Central and South America and have been cultivated in these regions since 8,000 B.C. In the mid-17th century, they were introduced to Jamaica and spread through the Asian tropical regions in the mid-1800s. Cultivation in United States, specifically in Florida and California, began in the early 20th century. While avocados are now grown in most tropical and subtropical countries, the major commercial producers include the United States (Florida and California), Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Brazil and Colombia.

How to Select and Store

A ripe, ready to eat avocado is slightly soft but should have no dark sunken spots or cracks. If the avocado has a slight neck, rather than being rounded on top, it was probably tree ripened and will have better flavor. A firmer, less mature fruit can be ripened at home and will be less likely to have bruises. The Hass avocado weighs about 8 ounces on average and has a pebbled dark green or black skin, while the Fuerte avocado has smoother, brighter green skin. Avoid Fuertes with skin that is too light and bright. Florida avocados, which can be as large as 5 pounds, have less fat and calories, but their taste is not as rich as California varieties.

A firm avocado will ripen in a paper bag or in a fruit basket at room temperature within a few days. As the fruit ripens, the skin will turn darker. Avocados should not be refrigerated until they are ripe. Once ripe, they can be kept refrigerated for up to a week. If you are refrigerating a whole avocado, it is best to keep it whole and not slice it in order to avoid browning that occurs when the flesh is exposed to air.

If you have used a portion of a ripe avocado, it is best to store the remainder in the refrigerator. Store in a plastic bag, wrap with plastic wrap, or place on a plate and cover with plastic wrap. Sprinkling the exposed surface(s) with lemon juice will help to prevent the browning that can occur when the flesh comes in contact with oxygen in the air.

How to Enjoy

For some of our favorite recipes, click Recipes

Tips for preparing avocados:

Use a stainless steel knife to cut the avocado in half lengthwise. Gently twist the two halves in opposite direction if you find the flesh clinging to the pit. Remove the pit, either with a spoon or by spearing with the tip of a knife. Place the halves face down, then peel and slice. If the flesh is too soft to be sliced, just slide a spoon along the inside of the skin and scoop it out. You can prevent the natural darkening of the avocado flesh that occurs with exposure to air by sprinkling with a little lemon juice or vinegar.

A few quick serving ideas:

Use chopped avocados as a garnish for black bean soup.

Add avocado to your favorite creamy tofu-based dressing recipe to give it an extra richness and beautiful green color.

Mix chopped avocados, onions, tomatoes, cilantro, lime juice and seasonings for a rich-tasting twist on traditional guacamole.

Spread ripe avocados on bread as a healthy replacement for mayonnaise when making a sandwich.

For an exceptional salad, combine sliced avocado with fennel, oranges and fresh mint.

For a beautiful accompaniment to your favorite Mexican dish, top quartered avocado slices with corn relish and serve with a wedge of lime.


Avocados and Latex Allergy

Like bananas and chestnuts, avocados contain substances called chitinases that are associated with the latex-fruit allergy syndrome. There is strong evidence of the cross-reaction between latex and these foods. If you have a latex allergy, you may very likely be allergic to these foods as well. Processing the fruit with ethylene gas increases these enzymes; organic produce not treated with gas will have fewer allergy-causing compounds. In addition, cooking the food may deactivate the enzymes.

Nutritional Profile

Avocados are a good source of vitamin K, dietary fiber, vitamin B6, vitamin C, folate and copper. Avocados are also a good source of potassium: they are higher in potassium than a medium banana.

Although they are fruits, avocados have a high fat content of between 71 to 88% of their total calories - about 20 times the average for other fruits. A typical avocado contains 30 grams of fat, but 20 of these fat grams are health-promoting monounsaturated fats, especially oleic acid.