Archive for Soul Food Cafe

Six Word Stories’ Halloween Story

Posted in Blogging Memes, Everday Living, Poetry, Scaddy Kiddies, Stuff And Nonsense with tags , , , , , , on 29/09/2010 by gwenguin1

It is time to get geared up for Halloween.  Shiloh and I started with a batch of our six-word stories, on a seasonal theme.  Below are the 13 I wrote, the ones I got my Mum to write, and the link to Shiloh’s posted on her blog.

 

Kiss a frog?  I’ll get warts!

Dancing shadows can excite the imagination.

Looming shadow groans.  Is it Frankenstein?

Stalking the prey.  Carefully placed footsteps.

A gleam of fangs.  Vampyre’s kiss.

To do list- tune up broom.

Blood of flitter-mouse goes in cauldron.

Harvest mandrake root for serious magic.

Tiny princess runs from bogeyman brother.

Trick or treat shout costumed children.

Goblin wants my candy.  Must run! 

Goodie bag stretches, too much candy.

One more story before bed kids.

After I had these 13 I thought of another-

Too much candy?  Take this medicine.

Mum’s are:

Zombies attack.  Flee, flee!  Too late.

Black Cats.  HIgh fence.  Night music.

In her hair, Bat’s beware- Batmobile!

Vampire Picnic.  Midnite tonight.  Blood Bank.

Conjure sleep.  Count spiders, not sheep.

You can find Shiloh’s at:

http://sunnydreamer.net/2010/halloween-6word.shtml

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Read ‘Em and Weep??

Posted in Blogging Memes, Call Me The Seeker, Everday Living, Hestia's Hearth, It's In The Cards, My Inspirations, Photo Phun, Tarot Journey with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 23/09/2010 by gwenguin1

I couldn’t help myself, I had to buy the Stepahnie Pui-Mun Law’s “Shadowscapes” Tarot Deck.  It finally arrived Tuesday evening.  I had to try them out, and decided to video the entire layout

The vidoe comes with a challenge for everyone doing the Tarot Journey.  I have included close-ups of all the cards in the layout, and the measnings of each psotion in the layout.

My challenge is for anyone that is unterested, to read and interpret the layout I have shared.  My question was, “What is going to happen in the next year”.

You can find the video at:

 http://video.fotki.com/GwenGuin/84177/

How The All-Mother Got Her Cloaks

Posted in Call Me The Seeker, Critter Tails, Hestia's Hearth, It's In The Cards, Soul Food Cafe Fun, Tarot Journey, You can do these! with tags , , , , , on 05/05/2010 by gwenguin1

How the All-Mother got Her Cloaks

 

All-Mother was always her happiest when she was with all of the lovely animals She and All-Father had created for our blue-and-green jewel in a far-flung arm of the Galaxy and Universe.  She would walk through the wilds and Her animals would put aside their daily lives and follow her in growing parade; where wolf and deer, bear, Cougar and sheep walked peaceably with small furry things, lizards, snakes, birds and frogs chatting as they scurried in the leaf-mould.

The larger birds all wished to perch on her shoulder in a friendly manner, but she had to remind them frequently to take care with their talons on her bare skin.  All of the animals knew that they could wound All-Mother without meaning to, despite being as careful as they could.

At night, All-Father and All-Mother rested beneath a blanket All-Mother had woven from bits of the animals’ shed fur that was caught on thorns.  She spun it in the evening, singing a wordless lullaby in time to her foot on the pedal of her spinning wheel.

One such night, while All-Father and Mother slumbered, the animals met deep in the forest.

 “All-Mother needs some protection, not just from our claws, but from the weather as well.  In deepest Winter I have watched Her shiver as She scattered food on the snow so we would not starve.”  Bear spoke in his slow, deep-thinking way.

 “What can we do?  Any of us would gladly give Her our skin, but She would not allow us to harm ourselves so.”  Wolf’s yellow eyes were sombre. 

“Some of our hides would do less than nothing for our Dear All-Mother!!”  Chipmunk’s busy little voice was barely audible.

“My hide would not protect our All-Mother from the cold.”  Snake’s words were sibilant and hypnotic. 

“Agreed, my skin will only repel water.”  Salamander ‘s words were mournful.  “That would not keep her warm at all.”

“No it would not work for warmth, but she would appreciate shelter from the rain.”  Owl spoke from his perch on a hollowed oak.  “Perhaps what we should do is this…” He laid out a plan all creatures thought was brilliant, and all agreed joyously to participate in.

Night after night, every animal in the wilds passed by Owl’s tree to contribute to the gifts for their All-Mother.  Every animal gave a piece of hide; each allowed their own choice of where the hide came from.  Almost unanimously the animals chose a place closest to their hearts to show how much they loved All-Mother and Father.

 Pride after pride of Lions strode to the secluded glade; those noble kings donated two kinds of hide.  The males shared their glorious manes, and the females shared their bellies, warm and golden. That is why to this day Mother Animals will have bare places on their bellies.

The Zebras all offered either white or black stripes, so that their stripes could be reproduced.  On the soft ground their hooves made no sound as the herds deposited their gifts

Bears all shared their shaggy hide, whether it be black, white or any colour in between, they took the hide from nearest their hearts, to show their love for All-Mother.

 The wee rodents also offered their hides; tiny bits could be added together to make a section of squirrel, or chipmunk.  There were also small pieces that fit a place too small for a large animals’ hide.

Other great cats, the leopard and cheetah, jaguar and tiger also gave of themselves happily for All-Mother’s comfort. 

 The wee housecats also gifted their fur, and stayed to encourage others when they came, as well as guard the glade from All-Mother during the day.  Their defence consisted of racing through the trees until they met up with All-Mother, and then they tripped her up ecstatic snugglings, silken head-butts and purred cries for attention.

Wolves, by the pack, or the Lone Wolves who forsook their solitary ways to give their coats to All-Mother, even the cubs added their baby fluff to the Wolves’ donation.

 Dogs trotted in with their tails wagging and tongues lolling, as happy as could be to be serving the All-Mother.  The ones with the greatest hearts remained to soothe the tender places left after the bit of hide was gifted.  They also set themselves to lead All-Mother astray from the glade; they would easily inveigle Her into a game of tug-of war or chase-the-stick

The horses trotted through, gifting from their long, graceful manes to trim the fronts of the cloaks, they studied the growing pile of gifts and nodded their heads approvingly.  They also offered to carry the hide from animals that could not travel on land.

 The seals, sea lions and Walruses gave their waterproof hides to go around the face of All-Mother to keep ice from forming.  Their barks of happiness could be heard in the faraway glade.

When the parts for the gifts were all together the insects took every little piece and cleaned off any mess on the skin, and then combed them with their legs.  When everything was perfect spiders took their turn, as did the silkworms.

 Slowly, four magnificent cloaks began to take shape; all of them held a small piece of every animals’ hides.  The spiders and silkworms sewed them together, with all of their eyes focussed on how prettily the pieces were fitted, and how the patterns and colours complemented one another.

Often the spiders and silkworms would stop to exclaim in delight at how well certain pieces of fur would match.  ‘Look here, how the mane of the lions looks with the coat of the panthers next to it’, or, ‘Doesn’t the red of Foxes’ coat look even more striking next to Zebras’ stripes.’

Two cloaks were all of fur, warm and comfortable; and would fit All-Father and All-Mother perfectly.  The second pair was of the skins of snakes and reptiles, and rubbed to a soft gloss with the oils donated by otters, beavers, and other water mammals.

The birds were unhappy about being unable to contribute to the cloaks, until Owl told them what they could do for All-Mother’s comfort and pleasure.  Bird after bird perched next to Owl and pulled soft down from nearest their hearts. 

The Spiders and Silkworms wove soft grasses, and then they were stuffed with the down to form a soft bed for All-Mother and All-Father.  There was enough of the soft grasses and down to make small cushions for them to rest their heads on as they slept.

Finally all of the gifts were ready.  The animals were all in a swivet awaiting All-Mother’s response to their generosity.  The next day as All Mother visited Her creations the animals began to slowly lead her in the direction of the cloaks.

 The flowers scattered petals on All-Mother’s path, as they always did, as the leaves on the trees danced for joy when All-Mother came their way.  She would pause to smell a flower here, and embrace a stout tree as She was led by the parade of animals closer to the Glade of Gifts as it became known.

The All-Mother entered the Glade and stopped with Her mouth open; from sturdy branches hung two cloaks in a patchwork of all of Her animals’ fur, more branches held the cloaks of reptile skins; before this was the soft cushions full of down.

“Oh!  My dear Creations, such love is in these gifts!”  She turned to the animals with tears in Her eyes, now She could see the small patches where they had donated their hides for Her comfort. Overflowing with love and reverence All-Mother healed all of the small patches, leaving them bare.

 And that my loves, is why all of the animals will have a bare patch somewhere on their body.  So now, when you see your animal’s bare spot you will know that the All-Father and All-Mother do exist and that they love us very much indeed.

 What has this to do with our Tarot Journey?  The High Priestess is the one that teaches us how to honour the All-Father and All-Mother in everything that we do.

Mysteries are not communicable

Save to those who know.

In Response to Heather’s post

Posted in Call Me The Seeker, Everday Living, It's In The Cards, Soul Food Cafe Fun, Tarot Journey with tags , , , , , , , on 10/03/2010 by gwenguin1

Heather’s most recent post:

http://hestiahearth.wordpress.com/2010/03/11/insight/

Awakened one of my most enduring alter egos-T he Universal Mommath: She has never been called by her ‘proper’ name, she simply is. Powerful, generous, enduring, She’s a tad chubby, with Her hair in a soft knot wearing an old red apron with magnets, and other fascinating toys in the capacious pockets of said apron.

She awakened as I read Heather’s post and She immediately wanted to fly to the rescue of a girlchild in need of mothering and comfort. She went so far as to ready her lap, have jasmine tea steeping, and tuck a few sweets into her pocket. Her couch is soft and comfy with handmade afghans and fluffy pillows.

The fireplace glows with a cosy fire, and there are cats and dogs all over, even birds and fish have been sent to Her for loving and teaching. You can hear other children’s voices, joyous shouts from upstairs and outside.

Everywhere are plants flourishing, small trees, ivies wandering across ceilings and walls, the walls are covered in photos and artwork; everything from a toddler’s scribblings to well-practised paintings full of talent and promise.

There are baskets with yarn, embroidery floss, fabric, and sewing projects in various stages of doneness.

A cedar chest is propped open and full of toys that delight children of all ages, Tonka Toys, Matchbox Cars, Dolls, Green Plastic Army Men, Lincoln Logs, Legos, Colorforms sets, Barbie clothes and accessories. A low bookshelf is full of books, board games, and puzzles, there are child-sized chairs and a table. In boxes over the shelf are coloured pencils, crayons, markers, colouring books and blank paper.

There is music playing softly from upstairs, guitar, piano, violin and drums, it doesn’t take long to recognise that it is practice exercises, and the players are growing bored, The Universal Mommath simply smiles and shakes her head in response to off-key flourishes and extra-hard cymbal clashes.

The door to this wondrous place of love and healing is inside all of us. We learn to be our own Mommath from the times we wished we had a Mommath nearby so we could lean on them and just rest for a while.

What does this have to do with the Tarot, and our Journey?

Everything! The Universal Mommath is The Empress of the Major Arcana.

The Universal Mommath personified

Woman is a ray of Divine Light.

“Woman is a ray of the Divine Light.” What a powerful though to ponder, we, the washers of dishes, the blowers of noses, the finders of all lost things, the keepers of all dates and times, the keeper of life-souveniers large and small.

How many Moms save all of their children’s school pictures, and report cards? How many Moms always keep specific medicines on hand because they know they will need them on Sunday night after all the stores are closed?

And so to you, my Sisters, Mommaths, and good ol’ Mommas, I offer up the gift of Divinity. We are all Goddesses in our own right.

Steve and the Neighbours

Posted in Critter Tails, Everday Living, Family History, Misspent Youth, Photo Phun, Playin' with my PSP XI with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 09/03/2010 by gwenguin1

 

This post has two ‘prologues’:

The first is over 20 years ago, when we were living in mid-Mesa, AZ.  We had a trio of cats.  The first was Kliban, the result of a shameful mesalliance between a noble Siamese Queen and a charming rogue of an Alley Cat.  Kliban was a lovely light red and cream tabby cat, with the delicate face of a Siamese, oh, and the voice.  Well to be honest, he was all Siamese, except for the markings.  To anyone that didn’t know Kliban he was an utter terror, to the fortunate few who were accepted into Kliban’s ‘family’ he was utterly devoted, adoring, and protective. 

When our niece, Kryssi, was born we were concerned about how Kliban would react.  He stared for the longest time at the tiny, blanket-wrapped bundle before he moved close enough to smell.  He finally crept close enough to identify the bundle as a human kitten, and not just any kitten, one of ‘his’ human’s kittens!

From that moment on he was the human kitten’s knight-errant.  He defended, groomed, and listened to the baby, when he heard the hungry or dirty cries he would run in search of the nearest member of his family to take care of the baby.

At the same time, Kliban had a couple of cat buddies that lived with us, Boynton and Steve.  Boynton was a long-coated grey tabby that had appeared at the door one day, and moved in as soon as the door was opened.

Steve, like Kliban, belonged to a neighbour to start with, but he chose us over his first home.  Steve was a snow-white short-coated cat with slanted yellow eyes; he was also about half the size as a normal cat.  Boynton was normal-sized and Kliban, well Kliban weighed about 35 pounds (2 stone plus!).

Steve first met us when his human, Y____, brought him over when he visited, Steve found our home so relaxing that he would go home as a limp scrap of white fur, draped over Y___’s arm like a towel over the arm of a waiter in a fine restaurant.  Y___ would look down at his kitten and say, “Steve!  What will the neighbours think??”

The second one is much more recent, last Christmas as a matter of fact.  Mum was given a 2010 Kitten-A-Day Calendar, and she has torn the pages off one-by-one.  I found one of the pages on the floor and it looked like Steve, and was draped over a roll on a cat tree.  I picked it up, began to laugh, and ran for Matt’s room.

I was so excited that I dropped the picture facedown on the floor.  Matt was leery so I picked it up, got it set right, and proudly displayed it while chanting, “Steve!  What will the neighbours think??”

Matt was completely delighted, with it, so I scanned the pic, and started playing with it in PSP.

I added the mask below…

 

 So I then had this image to work with.

 

 At which time, I reduced the size of the image, and renamed the image.  I also added the words I wanted to be a part of the finished product.  I used the font ‘Magneto’ and matched the colours to the colours I had used for the backgrounds I wanted to use.

  

 I made my first background layer by opening a blank page in PSP, flood filling with the yellow from Steve’s eyes.  I then added another mask to the 1st background.

 

 

 For the base I used the background below:

The second layer was another blank image, this one was flood filled with a green from the background of the Steve image.

 I then added a third mask to the green layer.

 

 

 I resized it to fit the composition I had in mind.

 

 I then assembled all the images into the composition I wanted, the font provided some needed motion to what was otherwise a rather static image.

 

I resized the entire image to a more manageable size.

 

And what was the first name I added to the tag??

 The fully finished project.

A Very Hestia Hobby

Posted in Everday Living, Family History, Hestia's Hearth, Munchable Memories, Old Deep Roots, Soul Food Cafe Fun with tags , , , , , , on 07/03/2010 by gwenguin1

Not too long ago, Christmas 2009 to be exact; my family made our infamous Rice and Tomato soup.

 No need to shudder, it isn’t a cream soup!!

We sent these as Christmas gifts to family members, since a kettle of soup really doesn’t work as a gift, we also canned the soup and gave the cans as gifts.

In a perfect world I would have sent the jars of soup through the pressure canner for 2 hours at 25 p.s.i., this world is far from perfect so we didn’t trek down to the storage unit and dig until we found the pressure canner, drag it back to the house, wash it inside and out, and then set it up.

RICE AND TOMATO SOUP

 1-2 quart bottles of V-8 vegetable juice

2 or 3 large cans of petite diced tomatoes

1 large onion, finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

2 ham steaks, cut in 1-1/2 inch cubes

1 pound of carrots, thinly sliced

3-4 bay leaves

Water

Lemon Pepper to taste

2-3 cups of instant rice

In a large kettle combine all the ingredients except the rice, use 2-3 inches of water in an empty bottle of the V-8 to rinse the last of the liquid from the juice and tomatoes into the soup. Simmer for 4-6 hours, or until the carrots are tender.

Add equal amounts of water and instant rice, and simmer for 1-2 hours or until the rice pops. Serve with fresh baked bread and cheese, or good ol’ grilled cheese sandwiches.

The soup, when all the cooking is done.

Soup, ready to be et.

 

To can the soup, fill clean, hot quart-size jars to within 1 inch of the top. Remove any air bubbles and wipe off the jar before placing the lid and ring on and tightening the ring. When you have a canner load ready re-tighten the rings and fill the canner.

Cover the jars in boiling water.

Jars in hot water. (Iwonder what they did?)

 

Special tool, vital to job.

This is Special Tool # such-and-such.

 

Does a great job I tell ya.

Does a great job I tell ya.

 

Fill to within 1 inch oh the top.

I think this one may be a... just a tad... overfull.

 

Jar, ready for the pressure canner.

I'm almost ready for the jacuzzi guys.

 

Cleaned up and ready to can.

Just a quick wash before the jacuzzi.

 

Set the canner for 25 pounds per square inch, once the pressure canner has sealed itself keep a constant temperature and p.s.i. for 2 hours. Allow the canner to cool naturally( do not run cold water over it), once it has unsealed itself carefully remove the jars and set them in a cool, dry place for 24 hours.

Jars, after being canned.

Brrrrrr!! Anyone gotta towel?

 

Remove all of the bands and check the seals on the jars by lifting them about an inch off the counter by the metal lids. Wash the outside of the jars, label with contents and the date.

I Have Found My Way In!

Posted in Blogging Memes, Bookworm Tales, Call Me The Seeker, Hestia's Hearth, It's In The Cards, My Inspirations, Reviews and Previews, Soul Food Cafe Fun, You can do these! with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 06/03/2010 by gwenguin1

Having learned from previous Journeys with Mme. La Enchanteur that doorways to Lemuria lie somewhere between the subconscious mind and the imagination (shades of “The Twilight Zone”!) I closed my eyes to find my doorway. I fell asleep and my doorway opened wide, to a High-Def, Wide screen vista of Lemuria and her history.

I dreamt of a small village, a few talented, hardy individuals carving out a niche in Cyberspace for themselves. The first tenuous strands attached to the World Wide Web, and sent out more tendrils. Other, like-minded adventurers follower the connexions to their source, and the village grew.

More Webs stretched ‘round the globe, and now connected hearts, minds and Spirits. The village planted Dream Seeds, and grew Secret Gardens to rival the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. The villagers each built their own Castles in the Air and saw their dreams gain substance. Soon the village began to have a tourist trade, with people from the world over coming to see the wonders in the village and carry the word of the village further.

I came to join this village and wondered what my place in this magick should be. No sooner had I thought this than I saw a place, from deep within the fertile earth of my imagination, a place of birth and immortality. The village gathered round this place of sunlight, constant blossoms, and the smell of ripening fruit. Each member had their own time of labouring, and giving birth to children of great beauty. As each new life was begun, so many members of the village cheered and exclaimed with joy, that soon the village was a bustling city and still growing.

My place in the village, and one purpose of the village was that, to be a nursery to talent, ideas, and growth, not only of mind and imagination, but also of Spirit and ideals. The village is also a place of great change, new members would stagger in, sore wounded and weary of Spirit and discovered that there would be support and guidance through every step they would make from now forward.

How we each make the journey along our healing road is different for every person, as it ought to be; yet we all know that others have been there and others will follow behind us. We have been gifted with the most precious knowledge of all. We are not alone!!

I hold the bag Mme. La Enchanteur has gifted me with, it has such weight, and the energy contained in such a wee package, pulsing with the life of creativity. In it are so many tiny tools to use in my travels. And a deck of Tarot Cards, unlike any other deck I had in my collection.  The Packet of Dream Seeds I return to Mme. La Enchanteur, I have been in the village long enough to have my own Dream Seeds to carry with me.

“The Rumi Tarot” created by Nigel Jackson, based upon the teachings of the Sufi scholar Rumi, full of mysticism, deep wisdom and ageless beauty. The Fool is, of course the beginning, and he is an innocent young man, unprepared for, and unaware of the dangers ahead of him on his journey.

At The Baginning

"Be foolish, so that your heart may know peace."

The inscription at the bottom intrigued me, “Be foolish, so that your heart may know peace.” Foolish, the word has so many negative connotations. Someone that is stupid, naive, unaware of what greases the wheels of the world.

Having done the Tarot for over 35 years (O My Gods!!) I know that none of those are what the Tarot’s Fool is made of. In the Tarot the Fool is someone who is innocent, and does not look either backwards or forwards, someone overflowing with trust and optimism.

Here a leopard accompanies the Fool. Instead of asking why not a dog, like so many other Fool Cards in the Tarot, I asked why a leopard. My first thought came from the Queen of Wands in the Thoth-Crowley Tarot Deck.

The Queen wears flowing locks of reddish brown hair and is accompanied by a leopard. Legend has it that once upon a time the Queen wore long shining black hair and her companion was a panther. They were purified by their troubles and travels and the queen had flowing golden locks and her panther became a lioness.

The Queen looked back over the path she had travelled and her heart was so moved by those people that were still struggling that she chose to remain where she was instead of continuing on her path, so!  her hair became reddish brown and her constant companion wore the dark spots of a leopard as it too chose to stay and help.

Perhaps this is why the leopard instead of the dog is by the side of the Fool, to be a helper and guide to the Fool.  Or perhaps the Leopard is A Fool from a Previous Journey, who joyously partners the fool.  Together they may symbolise that we are at once The Fool and The World. 

Hrmmmnnnnhhhhh… that sounds like a whole ‘nother post, for another day, perhaps even an author other than myself!!