Lavender

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Lavender (Lavendula officinalis)

Gender: Masculine. Planet: Mercury. Element: Air.

Protection, Cleansing, Purification, Happiness, Peace
Deities: Cernunnos, Cirse, Hecate, Medea.
Also known as Elf Leaf, Spike, Nardus, Spikenard

Since ancient times, Lavender has been used for its magickal and healing properties. The Greeks called it the Witches herb, and associated it with the goddess Hecate. They used it for insomnia, insanity and aching backs. The Romans used it in public baths, to purify the air and burned it to ease labor pains. Early Egyptians used Lavender in preparation of the linens to wrap their dead.

Lavender has strong antiseptic qualities. It has an analgesic effect on the skin, which helps with pain relief, but it is the antiseptic and stimulant properties which make it very effective for use on wounds and burns. Lavender repels insects. Hang a pouch with some dried Lavender in your closets to keep moths away.

Magickally, Lavender is used in a variety of ways. It can be used in spells for protection, success, cleansing, good luck, attraction, healing, longevity, to communicate with entities, dream magick and protection against the evil eye.

Lavender in the home brings peace, joy and healing. It is used to
balance yin and yang energies. Hang a bunch of Lavender flowers by your front door to repel negativity and fill your home with love.

Some people carry it on them for strength, courage, to attract love or as a charm for protection.
It can be added to purification baths. Run bathwater over fresh sprigs or place a few drops of oil in the bath.
The dried flowers, burned as an incense or a few fresh sprigs placed under your pillow can help induce a peaceful sleep. Meditation with the scent of Lavender can aid in uplifting your spirits and relieving depression.

Lavender has been used for sleep divination.
Think of a wish and place lavender flowers under your pillow. Do this just prior to your sleeping time in the night. By morning, if you dream of anything relating to your wish, you will get what you desire. However, if you do not dream, or if they are not connected with your wish, it will not manifest.

Lavender Mint Tea

1/4 cup fresh lavender petals
1 cup fresh mint leaves
4 cups water

Place lavender petals and mint leaves into a saucepan,
pour water over lavender and mint, and bring to a boil.
Turn heat to low and simmer tea until flavor is your
desired strength, 15 to 20 minutes.
Strain out mint and lavender petals and serve tea hot.
If you prefer, let strained tea cool serve over ice.

☽○☾

Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs by Scott Cunningham
Complete Illustrated Encyclopedia of Magical Plants by Susan Gregg
All Recipes Lavender Mint Tea
http://allrecipes.com/recipe/229352/lavender-mint-tea/

Demon Child

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A teenage girl comes to terms with her abusive childhood by seeking emancipation in order to find her first love and embrace her powers as a witch.

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Odessa was dubbed the Demon Child from the day she was born in the midst of a thunderstorm on Halloween. She is a redhead with a fondness for rattlesnakes that never quite fit in with her father’s Pentecostal church congregation. After her sister runs away to Raleigh with her boyfriend, Odessa is befriended by Carmella, the new girl in town and the daughter of a Haitian Hoodoo practitioner. Their friendship in the late 1950’s shocks the rural costal town in North Carolina.

Disowned by her father amid accusations of witchcraft and associating with coloreds, she is taken in by Carmella’s family and homeschooled by Mama Jubilee and Tante Effie, a white woman blinded and widowed when her black husband was killed in fire Charleston. In her new home Odessa becomes smitten with Derek, Tante’s biracial grandson and a college student at Fayetteville State.

Odessa turns sixteen in 1960 right before John F. Kennedy is elected as president. On this pivotal birthday she casts a love spell, gets her first kiss from Derek, and is given a journal she is to us to help her come to terms with her abusive past. Demon Child chronicles that journey.

To thank our readers for their support for a limited time you can use coupon code NB43G to download a free copy from Smashwords.

Demon Child is live on Kindle Scout

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Please check it out and vote for us!

Turning sixteen less than a month before John F. Kennedy is elected president in 1960, Odessa is on a quest to come into her powers as a witch, seek emancipation from her abusive Pentecostal pastor father, and maybe fall in love for the first time with her best friend’s biracial cousin. All of this takes place in a small Southern coastal town not exactly tolerant of a fair skinned snake handling redhead associating with a family of Haitian ancestry and a lineage of powerful HooDoo practitioners.

The $1500 advance would be used to cover the medical bills for the Harry beast. He is a senior Golden Retriever mix who had to have some expensive surgeries on Friday. We are awaiting the results of a biopsy to find out if the cyst he had removed was cancerous. The surgery was paid for with a credit card that needs to be paid off as soon as possible, and there are going to be more expenses as he currently has 14 stitches in his leg.

When the book goes live you will also get a free review copy. This is my favorite of all of Odessa’s stories and took a long time to write. Your support would be greatly appreciated.

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Demon Child

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A teenage girl comes to terms with her abusive childhood by seeking emancipation in order to find her first love and embrace her powers as a witch.

Odessa was dubbed the Demon Child from the day she was born in the midst of a thunderstorm on Halloween. She is a redhead with a fondness for rattlesnakes and she’s never quite fit in with her father’s Pentecostal church congregation. After her sister runs away to Raleigh with her boyfriend, Odessa is befriended by Carmella, the new girl in town and the daughter of a Haitian Hoodoo practitioner. Their friendship in the late 1950’s shocks the rural costal town in North Carolina.

Disowned by her father amid accusations of witchcraft and associating with coloreds, she is taken in by Carmella’s family and homeschooled by Mama Jubilee and Tante Effie, a white woman blinded and widowed when her black husband was killed in fire Charleston. In her new home Odessa becomes smitten with Derek, Tante’s biracial grandson and a college student at Fayetteville State.

Odessa turns sixteen in 1960 right before John F. Kennedy is elected as president. On this pivotal birthday she casts a love spell, gets her first kiss from Derek, and is given a journal she is to us to help her come to terms with her abusive past.

Then there is Roger Rohde, the blond and bronzed pro wrestling champion that Odessa first spots on the cover of a magazine. She develops a crush on the superstar wrestler until she learns he is married and has a young daughter. Still, every time she does any type of magick to test her love interests, she always gets the letter R. All of those reoccurring R’s have her wondering if Derek really is her Mr. Right.

Dirty Little Secret

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I found some of my earlier musings in a notebook while the human was doing some cleaning, so I thought I’d share…

 

I never knew the real you

You never let me inside your cold dark heart

I loved you once

But not anymore

That door has slammed shut

and shall never be unlocked again

Once upon a time

you were the sun to my moon

Together we dazzled the galaxy

more brilliant than an starry night

You were my white knight

My savior

My redeemer

You gave me the world

until you took my life away

I never wanted to be your possession

not some Barbie to put on a shelf

Take me down and play with me

then disappear with someone else

All I did was love him

when I couldn’t have you as my own

You preyed upon my bleeding heart

building yourself up by tearing us down

never giving up until my body went into the cold ground

You used us

We were all your pawns

in your sick

twisted

perverted

universe

Now that the last piece of the puzzle has been placed

We are once again united

Never to be torn apart

The truth will come out

Your dirty little secret

shall be revealed

Sit back and watch this all unfold

As we tell why

we shall never grow old.

 

 

#ShoutYourAbortion

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Yep… we’re jumping on the bandwagon for a good cause… defending Planned Parenthood.

Here is a little FYI for the ignorant Republicans who want to take away the rights of women in this country. Abortions account for only 3% of the services provided by Planned Parenthood. In the days before Obama Care most women fresh out of high school or college didn’t have insurance. Doctor appointments without insurance are expensive. I know I wasn’t alone in the late ’80’s in not being able to afford healthcare when I was in college, or when I first graduated. In fact, I didn’t have a job where I elected to have benefits until the late ’90’s. During that span of 10 years or so I went to Planned Parenthood for yearly exams and for affordable birth control pills. Those birth control pills purchased for $10 a pop at Planned Parenthood probably kept me from having an unplanned pregnancy and the need to have an abortion.

In my previous incarnation Katie wasn’t fortunate enough to have a place like Planned Parenthood or birth control pills or the legal right to have an abortion. In 1948 29 year old Katie found herself pregnant and unmarried. Two huge social taboos against her in that day and age. Her job as a dancer paid well, but it also demanded a lot from her body and it wasn’t something she could do while pregnant. She also happened to be dating her boss who already had a wife and 2 sons. Yes, she was the mistress of a man who had plenty of money and lots of clout, along with the ability to make or break her career aspirations to someday own a burlesque club of her own.

When Saul, her powerful and married lover, said he’d arranged for everything to be taken care of, it wasn’t like Katie had a whole lot of options. She took a train by herself from Philadelphia to New York City carrying only an overnight bag and a purse with a few extra bills stashed in the lining. Saul took her out for a nice dinner that snowy evening and wooed her with a night of love making in an elegant hotel and promises of a shopping spree in the city once she’d taken care of their little problem.

The next morning Saul drove Katie in his Rolls Royce to a not quite as nice hotel in Yonkers, just a short drive from where he lived with his family in a Scarsdale mansion. He provided the fee for the procedure and left before the doctor arrived, promising to return as soon as it was over to take her back to the nice hotel in the city.

Katie downed half a bottle of vodka and as soon as the doctor arrived she swallowed the sedatives he provided after counting the bills Saul had left on the nightstand in an envelop. The vodka and the pills did the trick and Katie was out of it before the doctor even lifted up her nightgown. Saul came back to the hotel room and found Katie unconscious and the bed covered in blood. The doctor accidentally perforated Katie’s uterus and fearful of an encounter with a man the likes of Saul, he’d left her there alone to bleed out. Katie awoke fifteen days later in a hospital. What should have been a simple and safe procedure in the right conditions had almost cost her life. The perforated uterus caused an infection that spread throughout her body, causing her to have to have a hysterectomy that left her scarred both physically as well as mentally.

The doctor didn’t fare so well either. Saul made sure that that doctor paid with his life for hurting his mistress. The doctor was killed in a head on collision when his brakes failed on an icy road. There were some accusations that those brakes didn’t exactly fail on their own. Saul was confronted by his wife and she soon met with her own untimely death by motor vehicle.

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Two people died and Katie came damn close to losing her life all because she didn’t have the right to have a legal abortion in a doctor’s office with proper equipment in place to prevent an accident such as a perforated uterus. She would have died if Saul didn’t have the means to pay for her to have the best hospital care. How many other improvised women weren’t quite as lucky? Trying to make abortions illegal won’t prevent abortions from happening.

I will close this story by stating: If you are against Planned Parenthood, you are against a woman’s right to affordable healthcare.

Aloha

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I was in for a shock when I stepped on the scales this morning. I’ve gained back about 6 lbs. That is NOT good. So, what’s a girl to do? Reboot. Recharge. Reclaim my health.

After walking my dog I popped in a DVD and did the Beginner Burn At The Barre workout. It’s a nice starter to getting back in shape. Katie was right at home with getting back to her ballet roots. I have a feeling this is one of those workouts I will feel in my thighs tomorrow. Isn’t it funny how when I took ballet as a child I did it because it was fun. Now it’s an awesome workout.

The the workout completed I made a chocolate Aloha protein shake with cashew milk. I had ordered the two samples of chocolate and vanilla for $2.50 thinking I’d cancel, but I was so impressed by the shake that I decided to keep the subscription. It was rich and creamy and more like drinking a milk shake for pleasure than scarfing down a protein shake. I highly recommend you check out the $2.50 sample and you can use promo code: Renee176 for $20 off your first order. It is really hard to find a tasty vegan and gluten free protein powder so I am a huge fan of this product.

I also ordered The Physique 57(R) Solution: The Groundbreaking 2-Week Plan for a Lean, Beautiful Body. That should be a nice 2 week reboot and kick up my metabolism with a fresh new workout. I’ll let y’all know how that one goes…

Wimbledon: The Championships

It’s the most wonderful time of the year… Wimbledon, and to get in the mood I thought I’d share my favorite Wimbledon matches over the years.

1.  Without a doubt is the second live Breakfast At Wimbledon from 1980 – Bjorn Borg defeated John McEnroe in five epic sets: 1-6 7-5 6-3 6-7 (16-18 tiebreaker) 8-6.

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Back in the days of bootylicious short shorts and wooden racquets I was 13 years old and madly in love with Bjorn Borg. I still vividly remember watching this match. I burned a pizza in the oven during the 20 some minute tie breaker where Borg had seven chances to win the match. The fifth set was amazing. Borg cranked up his serve and only lost six of thirty-one points on serve. He charged the net and played brilliant composed tennis. Check out a New York Times article on the match.

2.  Goran Ivanisevic defeated Patrick Rafter in a rain delayed Monday final in 2001 – 6-3 3-6 6-3 2-6 9-7.

Goran was also one of my all time favorite players and was a wild card entry that year. This final wasn’t shown live and I remember running downstairs on changeovers to check the live score on dial up internet. I was so happy when Goran finally won his only Wimbledon title.

3.  Rafa Nadal defeated Roger Federer – 6-4 6-7 6-7 6-4 9-7 in a four hour forty-minute final in 2008.

Thanks to a rain delay (no roof back then) I had to go to work at Dell during the final set. My niece was texting me the score updates as I followed along on the internet. There were a lot of Vamos Rafa’s that day!

4.  Roger Federer defeated Andy Roddick – 5-7 7-6 7-6 3-6 16-14 in 2009.

The was an emotional roller coaster of a match. Federer served 50 aces. Andy Roddick played the match of his life in the end and still lost. Here is an ESPN account of the match.

5.  2001 4th Round – Roger Federer beats Pete Sampras – 7-6, 5-7, 6-4, 6-7, 7-5.

This was Federer’s break thru match and the first time I’d watched him live. I remember thinking that Federer kid is going to be good some day. I believe his 17 Grand Slams have proved me right.

Honorable Mention – Roger Federer destroys Andy Murray 4-6 7-5 6-3 6-4 in the 2012 finals.

I didn’t watch most of this match live because I HATE Murray and turn off the TV when he is playing. I did watch several replays of the match because I totally enjoyed watching Roger make old Snaggle Tooth cry.

Weight Loss Update

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I haven’t posted in awhile because I’ve been busy with starting a new job and transitioning to a new schedule. I’ve also not been very good about maintaining my hormone reset lifestyle changes. I was a little scared to step on the scales this morning, but it wasn’t as bad as I’d expected. I seemed to have plateaued at a current weight loss of between 21-23 lbs.

I guess I should be glad the scale is sticking there despite my lack of workouts and overindulgence in Angry Orchard and sushi. That seems to be my go to cheat meal at the moment.

Hopefully by the end of the summer I will be down another 10 lbs and have the scale stuck in that range.

On a bright note: Mercury is now direct, the moon is waxing, and I like my new job.

So… let’s hope that I can finish the second book in Odessa’s story soon.

Toodles…

Jez