Friday, February 27, 2009

Dreams: A Letter From Your Subconscious

Who isn't fascinated by their own dreams? Maybe you don't remember them all the time, but then there is that one that mystifies you so much so, that the next day it stays in your thoughts through out the day. Maybe you tell someone about it and of course it will remind them of a dream they once had...ahhh dream analysis, it's so interesting!!!

The way I look at it, dreams are like little symbolic letters , waiting for us to open, read and understand them. In the upper photo you can see some of my old dream journals lined up on the shelf next to my favorite dream reference books, mostly they're old spiral note books, nothing fancy. I checked the oldest date, this is when I started writing my dreams in a separate journal from my everyday journal, the ones I have here in the study go back to 1989, before that I wrote them down in my daily journal. I think its important that dream journaling has it's own space. Now-a-days I use a large inexpensive sketch book that I "fancy" up a bit, as I've done with the one shown here.

Once you have your dream journal, to begin your own dream study, it's important to create a space for your dreams. Get your journal and pen all set up next to your bed the night before. Now don't worry if you don't remember your dream the next day, that tends to happens in the beginning...dream drought! First see if you can pull one tiny thread, just a snipit, it doesn't matter how big or how small. If you remember something, write it down. If you can't remember any of your dream, a simple way to break through is to write down an old dream that you do remember. This serves a triple purpose, it shows your subconscious what you're looking for,(I want to remember these dreams of mine.) gives you a dream to analyze and now that perfect journal has been written in, and sometimes that first blank page can be the toughest hurdle. As you begin to analyze your dreams, there are plenty of dream dictionary's out there, but it's really not necessary for you to rush out and buy one, our dreaming mind will choose symbolism that tends to be personally significant. In other words, if you're dreaming about chairs, you could look up chair, to get a generalized overview, but a more accurate definition would the first thought/feeling that comes to you when you think about chairs. The more you look at your own dreams, you and your subconscious will create this wonderful personalized dream vocabulary. The beauty of dreams of course is that they are filled with multiple layers of symbolism, available for even deeper insight if we will only take the time to look closer.

If you are interested in reading more about dreams, here are a few of my favorite books:
  • The Dream Book: Symbols for Self-Understanding, by Betty Bethards
  • Dreams Beyond Dreaming, by Jean Campbell
  • Dreams: Your Magic Mirror, by Edgar Cayce
  • Edgar Cayce on Dreams
  • Where People Fly and Water Runs Uphill, by Jeremy Taylor
  • Our Dreaming Mind, by Robert L. Van De Castle, Ph. D.
Enjoy your week,I hope you'll think about keeping a dream journal if you don't already!

Blessings Friends!

Friday, February 20, 2009

"Old Time Wisdom"

All Purpose Cleaner

1cup Rubbing Alcohol

1/4 cup Ammonia

1 cup Water

Mix together in a spray bottle. This stuff works great and cleans anything! I keep a bottle under the counter in the kitchen and the bathroom. This recipe came to me from my old life long neighbor where I grew up Mrs. Staats. They were great neighbors. The kind of folks who had plenty of time for a wandering little girl who might mosey over to see what was going on in the garden (hopefully raspberrys), or invite her in for a visit and a cool glass of water if she’d been playing too long outdoors.

Garden Party Bug Fog

If you’re getting ready to have a get together out in the yard, earlier in the day when you mow the lawn add a few drops of citronella oil to the gas tank. As the exhaust settles on the grass it permeates the area with a hint citronella, which will help keep the bugs away.

Bread and Milk Poultice

One time I got the tiniest splinter of glass in the bottom of my foot. I tried using a fine sewing needle and tweezers but I just couldn’t get it. It wasn’t the end of the world because it was practically invisible, but I could feel it when I walked on it like a little pin prick, this older lady that I worked with at the time, Clara, informed me that I needed a bread and milk poultice. Of course I was younger and more skeptical back then, but she explained that if I took a small piece of bread and moistened it with milk and used a bandage to hold it in place on the splinter over night, it would draw the splinter out. Really, just to prove her wrong, and also because I couldn’t imagine the possibility of it working and I wanted to see for myself, I went home and tried it. I was STUNNED, STUNNED, I tell you, when I pulled back one side of that bandage the next morning and there next to the piece of bread was the small blue splinter of glass from the candle holder I’d broken a few days before! I pass this on to anyone who has a splinter. My friend even used it on vacation when she got an enormous zit right in the middle of her forehead! It worked, that zit was gone in one day. I wont mention any names but we still talk about that bread and milk poultice and how it got rid of the vacation zit from you know where!

I’m fascinated by this “old time” wisdom, I think everybody has these great old family remedies, wisdom, tips, and advice that we can tune in to, or risk that they may be lost to future generations.

My niece and her family came for a visit from Georgia this last week to show off the new baby. When babies come along, you can’t help but reminisce about the special people, long gone you wish could have met your new baby. Well Alan, my niece’s husband got to telling stories about his Grandma, he said she re-used and recycled everything. She had less trash in a month than he had in one week! The old ways really are the green ways! She had the ability of ridding people of warts. Which sounds funny to say, but it’s kind of a gift, especially if you’re the one who’s got warts! Alan also mentioned his Uncle Howard and all the interesting things he learned from him, we’d be here all day…I love that kind of talk, if I tried to share all of it, but one thing that stands out is that he learned how chimneys naturally pull toward the sun. Now as we were chatting he just kind of threw that out there, so of course I had to find out what that meant because I have only ever seen straight chimneys. So here’s how it works, the mortar on the sunny side will dry faster and have a tendency to pull the chimney toward the sun. To balance this they added salt to the mortar mixture to hold the moisture in longer. The detail with which Uncle Howard built his house and lived his life, and Grandma, through Alan’s stories they are now some of my favorite people too. I wish I could have met them, in a way I kind if feel like I have.

Blessings Friends


Friday, February 13, 2009

I Feel LIke A Spring Chicken (Salad!)

Check out these little cuties!  I love violas!  They bloom all summer long in the garden, and apparently all winter too!!! We had a bit of a thaw the last couple of days and finally got rid of the mounds and mounds of snow, thank goodness. Well I popped around to check on my garden and what do you suppose…these perky little troopers (word of the week) were just flowering along right under the depths of the snow!  How I discovered them was kind of magical.  I ventured out in my tiny little yard at night after a rainy-drizzly day, I think it had warmed up to around the 50’s that day according to the weather report, it felt SO good outside.  That first breath of spring air, ahhh.  So there I was peeking around at my flowerbeds as much as I could by the yard light, when this cheery little gal caught my attention!  I was marveling at the full perfect bloom, imaging it just going along, blooming away like nothing had changed underneath all the snow, with new buds ready to pop too, when I noticed something moving.  Then I really paid attention.  There was all this energy, I’m not kidding you guys, there’s something about spring right?  We’ve all felt it.  I’m probably never going to live this down… but it’s worth saying so I’ll risk it.  I took a closer look at the rustling leaf and it’s been nudged out of the way by the fattest earthworm, who appears to be in a big hurry!  Once my eyes kind of zoned in I see another, and another, and another, there are worms all over the yard!  But the best way to describe it is that they’re in supersonic mode!  I have never seen so many fat worms moving so fast, it was like they had a big party to get to! “Lot’s to do.  Busy, busy, busy, got to get ready for the big Worm Cotillion.  We don’t know how long this thaws going to last, best get crackin.”  You may be thinking, well it was wet, they were coming up for air like worms do when it rains.  Maybe, but there was not one worm on the cement, isn’t that peculiar?  So you can see I give a lot of thought to this kind of thing. It’s curious.  It makes me a part of the mystery of spring and I like that.  Back to the violas, I would really encourage you to get some violas. Wow!  In the summer, they’re the first thing I see when I head out the back door to the yard.  And it’s like there are all these many tiny faces straining to peek over the lawn edging in greeting, “ Hi” “Hi”  “Hello Melis”  Like my own personal cheering section! But now that I see how resilient they truly are, well it’s something I wont forget.  
Last fall I planted some daffodils and I could see that one of the new bulbs is reaching for the sunshine already!   I can hardly wait to see what variety it will be!
And here’s my little army of sunshine left for me by the previous owners.  They were kind enough to plant a sturdy row flanking the east side of my house.  They are already quite well along!
To finish today’s spring theme I thought I’d share my lunch with you!  A spring chicken salad, it’s a very simple salad.  It looked pretty when I was fixing it for lunch and I thought my foodie friends might like it, so I snapped a photo.  The quantity is for one, you could bulk it up quite easily if you have a bigger appetite or are serving more folks.
 Spring Chicken Salad  
  • Baked chicken breast, cooled and sliced thinly on the diagonal. Arrange on salad plate.
  • Peel, core and chunk half a honeycrisp apple and toss over sliced chicken.
  • Cut sugar snap peas into thirds until you have about 1 cup, add this to your salad plate. 
  • Dress salad (about 2TBS more or less to taste) and toss gently, make it look pretty and dig in!

  • 1/3 cup honey, warmed for about 30 second in microwave
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1 Tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbs Dijon mustard
  • Salt, pepper, seasonings to taste.

Place all ingredients in small canning jar or other jar with a good tight lid and shake well to blend.  Store in refrigerator.

Baked Chicken Breast

  • Preheat oven to 350
  • Pat dry 4 boneless skinless chicken breast and place breast side down on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper.  I also used Penzeys, Sunny Paris Seasoning and a tiny bit of Cayenne, but if you don’t have those no worries, use your own favorite seasonings.
  • Flip the chicken over and season the other side.
  • Sprinkle lightly with bread crumbs, just a scant dusting for texture and a little bit of flavor, it also helps seal in the moisture.
  • Place a little slim pat of butter on each chicken breast. 
Bake at 350 for about 35 minutes or until done on the inside.

If you haven't already, check out Penzys Spices, they have the best spices and their prices are pretty amazing.

Ok all you spring chickens, in parting this week, lets take our queue from the viola, no matter how humongous the “snowdrift” bloom on my friends!

 Blessings Friends!


Friday, February 6, 2009

Professor Melissa-stammers-a-lot

I called to have tech support help with my wireless router.  When I was connected to someone a very thick Indian accent, I was a little worried.  I was privately wondering if I would be able to understand the heady combination of techno-babble wrapped up in the musical bubbling of the thick Indian accent.  As it turns out I had nothing to worry about.  I was given a reference number and connected to the next available tech support.

My tech, I wish I knew his name, this gentleman's English, was fascinating.  The best way to describe it is that it sounded like someone who was Asian had learned to speak English from someone whose native tongue was German.  So he spoke English with a German-Asian accent.  Even more delightful (To be clear this isn’t sarcasm, I really found the whole experience delightful.) was his choice of words.  After I had explained my situation in what can only be described as a stammer.  He responded, “Excellent!  I understand completely.  You have explained it perfectly, just like you are a professor.”

Wow, how flattering! Professor Melissa-stammers-a-lot at your service!

He walked me through all the corrections and adjustments, which took about 15 minutes. When we were finished he told me,  “ We have successfully fixed your problem and I couldn’t have done it without you!  You are a champion!

He’s right of course, I am a CHAMPION!  PROFESSOR CHAMPION!  I feel like I should be wearing a cape and have special super powers. Now the router is properly adjusted and in a stroke of genius that only Professor Champion could have come up with (HA HA HA), I went back and did a print screen of all the settings so that if in the future things get out of tweak, Professor Champion (teehe) has something to refer to!  Because quite frankly, all those serial number, abbreviations and settings….well you really do need super powers to understand them.

Have a great weekend!

Blessings Friends!


Sunday, February 1, 2009

Happy Birthday!

I was listening to NPR yesterday they did a nice story about Langston Hughes, in honor of his birthday today, February 1.  He penned one of my all time favorite poems, so I thought I’d celebrate one of our great literary figures by sharing that poem today on the anniversary of his birth.


Gather out of star-dust



And splinters of hail,

One handful of dream-dust

Not for sale.

                                                                  ~Langston Hughes

Enjoy your week, catch up with you on Friday.

Blessings Friends,



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I'm a crafter, knitter, tinkerer, who always seems to have a project or two on the launch pad. I love to share what I'm working on and I love to see what other folks are working on too, so please comment and let me know where I can see your latest creation!