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Playing For You From Our Scented Cottage


Take a moment to close your eyes and turn your attention inward. Peace begins when expectations change.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Breakfast Peanut Butter Muffins..

Dinner may be pleasant,
So may social tea;
But yet, me thinks the breakfast
is good enough for me.

I've always believed that starting the day with breakfast was important. Some have a hard time with the thought of eating in the mornings but truth be told, I don't have a problem with eating any time of the day! I recently purchased a Depression Era recipe book. I love recipes from that era as they have simple ingredients and are easy and quick to prepare. Love peanut butter or have a little one who does? Try these for breakfast (or anytime of day!).

2 cups flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1/4 cup peanut butter
2/3 cup milk
1/2 cup water
2 Tbsp butter, melted

Sift together flour, baking powder salt and sugar. Beat eggs and add peanut butter, milk, water and butter. Mix well. Add peanut butter mixture to flour mixture and mix just until blended. Grease muffin tins (or use muffin cup papers) and fill to 2/3 full.
Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes. Serve with jelly or jam if you desire!

The Weather...

Will it be a warm day? Will it rain? Inhale and smell the air. You can sometimes tell what your day will hold just by a few of these indicators.

Plants release their waste in a low pressure atmosphere, generating a smell like compost and indicating an upcoming rain. Swamps will release gasses just before a storm because of the lower pressure, which leads to unpleasant smells, so if you detect unpleasant odors, change is in the air. A proverb says "Flowers smell best just before a rain." Scents are stronger in the moist air that is associated with rainy weather and some flowers fold up their petals to protect their pollen from the rain.

Dew is an indication of fine weather and so is fog. Neither of these two formations occur under an overcast sky, or when there is much wind. One sees fog occasionally rolled away by wind, but seldom or never formed while it is blowing.

Clouds going in different directions means bad weather is coming, probably hail and cumulonimbus clouds early in the day and developing throughout the day mean greater chances of severe weather.

A very old wives tale says if birds feed in a storm it will rain for a long time, if they don't it will clear soon.

What is your weather today? Ours? Sunny and hot!

The Flute...

The flute calms the spirit and penetrates the ear with such sweet sound that it brings peace and an abeyance of motion unto the soul. And should some sorrow dwell in the mind, a care that wine cannot make us forget and banish, it lulls us to sleep and is balm on account of its sweet and gracious sound, provided that it adheres to modest music and does not excite and inflame the soul with too many notes and passages, which would weaken it and could easily come to grief on account of the wine.
--Meylan, in The Flute

Friday, July 22, 2016

Do You Recognize One?

Every now and then I like to repost this post I wrote in 2010. I meet people everyday who are dealing with one of these and perhaps you are too. I'm also reposting with the comments. Feel free to leave one of your own.

They have existed through the centuries and I would bet that almost everyone has fallen prey to one. It may have been a chance encounter that left us temporarily exhausted, or possibly a long term interaction with serious effects on the mind and body. You may live with one or work with one. Some warning signs that may make you aware that you're "under attack" are: tiredness, fatigue, depression, headaches, nausea, dizziness, feeling drained, anxiety, panic attacks and nightmares. If the attacks continue, then you can become very ill, both physically and psychologically, especially if this goes on for a length of time. What am I speaking of? Psychic vampires.

What is a psychic vampire and why am I speaking of them? Because they are consumers of our energy rather than our blood. They are a person who feeds off of our life force, or our joy of life until we feel drained and exhausted. Their goal in their day is to drain others emotionally, either empathically (draining your auric life force) or metaphorically (taking emotionally without giving anything back; a "user"). They are men or women, young or old. They can be children, teens, or adults. Professionals in business suits, business associates, next door neighbors, friends, or even family members. They are energy parasites and we meet one every day in one place or another. I would almost bet you are thinking of a person now whose influence leaves you feeling exhausted, unfocused and depressed. Despite the havoc they wreak, psychic vampires are not evil life suckers, but rather people caught in a debilitating cycle of energy addiction, and no, they do not possess supernatural powers. Deficient in energy, and with their own happiness impaired, they seek other options- like yours. Most often they will not stop until they accomplish their mission of making your life miserable and tired. Misery loves company after all, and to see another person happy and fulfilled is their nightmare. They must feed off of you and "take you down."

The saddest part is most people don't even realize what is happening. They "know" the person is negative but yet they endure the nonsense of the "vampire" until one day they reach a breaking point.

I have endured to many an encounter with them in life and recognize one when I happen on them. I avoid this type of person like the plague (and amazingly it leaves few people left to associate with!). It is my mission today to alert the masses to these types of attacks on their well being so that the day is more pleasantly endured and as meaningful as it should be.

If you recognize yourself as a "psychic vampire" after reading this post, please take action to change your course in life. If you do not, you will never experience a day of true happiness.

If you suddenly feel emotionally or mentally depleted be on the alert. The unfortunate effects of prolonged energy loss are damage to the energy system itself and in some instances, serious illness.

Do you recognize any of these types of "vampires" in your life? If so, take action now to remove yourself from them lest you become their next victim. It is nearly impossible to avoid them altogether, we must work and assimilate in to the masses after all. But if you can see what is happening and recognize it, forewarned is forearmed.

Vampire #1: The Narcissist
Their motto is “Me first.” Everything is all about them. With a grandiose sense of self-importance and entitlement, they demand attention, and crave admiration. They're dangerous because they lack empathy and have a limited capacity for unconditional love. If you don't do things their way, they become punishing, withholding, or cold.

When dealing with this type of person keep your expectations realistic. These are emotionally limited people. Try not to fall in love with one or expect them to be selfless or love without strings attached. Never make your self-worth dependent on them or confide your deepest feelings to someone who won't cherish them. To successfully communicate, the hard truth is that you must show how something will be to their benefit. This tedious ego stroking is very tiresome to say the least, but if the relationship is unavoidable use the above strategies to protect yourself.

Vampire #2: The Victim (oh how many times a day do we come across this person??)
These vampires grate on you with their “poor-me' attitude and are allergic to taking responsibility for their actions. The world is always against them, and everything is the reason for their unhappiness. When you offer a solution to their problems they always say, “Yes, but.” Actually that could be their motto. You might end up screening your calls or purposely avoid them. As a friend, you may want to help but their tales of woe overwhelm you. In your quest to "offer help" they drain you of your life force.

With this person you must set firm limits. Listen briefly and tell a friend or relative, “I love you but I can only listen for a few minutes unless you want to discuss solutions. Then I'd be thrilled to brainstorm with you.” With a coworker, listen briefly, sympathize by saying, “I'll keep good thought for things to work out. Then say, I hope you understand, but I'm on deadline and must go back to work. Then use “this isn't a good time” body language such as crossing your arms and breaking eye contact to help set these healthy limits.

Vampire #3: The Controller
These people obsessively try to control you and dictate what you're supposed to be and feel. They have an opinion about everything. They'll attempt to control you by invalidating your emotions if they don't fit into their rulebook. They often start sentences with “You know what you need?” and then proceed to tell you. You end up feeling dominated, demeaned, or put down. (I seem to have a built in force field for this type of person. My ego, stubbornness and "I can do it myself" attitude usually puts this type of person off and I find they avoid me. This is the only type I have been able to "ward off" easily.)

The secret to success with this type of person is to never try and control a controller. (In fact head for the hills if you encounter one or you will be annoyed beyond belief) Be healthily assertive, but don't tell them what to do. You can say, “I value your advice but really need to work through this myself.” Be confident but don't play the victim or sweat the small stuff. Focus on high priority issues rather than on menial issues.

Vampire #4: The Splitter or Borderline Personality
I seem to have encountered many of these in my journeys through life. Do you recognize one? A Splitter sees things as either good or bad and have love/hate relationships. One minute they idealize you, the next you're the enemy if you upset them. They have a sixth sense for knowing how to pit people against each another and will retaliate if they feel you have wronged them. They are people who are fundamentally damaged inwardly and they feel as if they don't exist and become alive when they get angry. They'll keep you on an emotional rollercoaster and you may walk on eggshells to avoid their anger. I have worked with more of these than I can count and I would bet my next dollar that there is one in your workplace as well.

In your attempts to ward off this vampire try to stay calm. Don't react when your buttons get pushed. (Yes I know, this is much easier said than done) Splitters feed off of anger. They respond best to structure and limit setting. If one goes into a rage, tell the person, “I'm leaving until you get calmer. Then we can talk.” Refuse to take sides when he or she tries to turn you against someone else. With family members, it's best to show a united front and not let a splitter's venomous opinions poison your relationships.

Am I correct in assuming you know or work with one or more of these suckers of our energy? How do I deal with them you ask?

Simply refuse to accept that the person can harm you and actually believe this to be true. Their efforts will either dissipate or, having nowhere else to go, will return to them the sender - the psychic vampire.

This may seem to simple, but it works and the rebound can cause considerable problems for the person who will find themselves beset by the troubles they have tried to cause for others. However, it takes a strong mind to adopt this sort of attitude. If you feel you are particularly vulnerable to the thoughts or actions of another then it is very important for you to act in your own defense. This is something the psychic vampire rarely comes across or considers (that you will be able to defend yourself) so your actions in reversing their influence over you will be even that more strongly and rapidly manifested.

You must acknowledge that you play a role in the experience, and you are no longer willing to do so. Say firmly and clearly aloud or think it to yourself, "No one else can have my energy. My need to give is fulfilled through healthy means." Visualize severing those ties in whatever way comes to you. Do this clearing, affirming, meditating and severing until you feel you mean it and it is complete. Relief and new energy will follow within a few days.

If you feel you need a little more protection than just words, there are crystals you can wear or carry to help empower yourself. They can be very effective and below you will find a list of the most popular crystals and stones used for this purpose. Wear one around your neck, wrist or on your finger or just put one in your pocket. Take back control of your life.

Amethyst: Protective against dark energy.

Banded/Zebra Agate: Good for general psychic protection and to prevent you from absorbing another's negativity.

Black Moonstone: Good for general psychic protection.

Black Obsidian: Good for basic psychic defense.

Black Onyx: A good aid to grounding.

Blue Aventurine: Protective against psychic vampires.

Blue Tiger Eye: Protective against negative energy for healers.

Brown Tiger Eye: Helps protect against unwanted spirits.

Brachiated Jasper: A good psychic shield that returns negative energy to the sender.

Calcopyrite: It is generally protective against psychic attack.

Carnelian: Protective against psychic intrusion.

Chiastolite: One of the best for all-round psychic protection.

Clear Quartz: Protective against negative energy and will transmute it to positive energy.

Garnet: Good for general protection.

Green Moss Agate: It will protect your aura from negativity.

Hematite: Good for grounding and general protection.

Howlite (Natural): Protective against unwanted ghosts and phantoms.

Kyanite: It is THE anti-negativity stone. It doesn't just repel it, it destroys it.

Lapis Lazuli: An all-round protective shield.

Mookaite: It is protective against negativity.

Red Jasper: A good psychic shield that returns negative energy to the sender.

Red Tiger Eye: Protective against the evil eye.

Rhodonite: It can be used to ward off negativity and psychic attacks.

Rose Quartz: Another good stone to help with grounding.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Scenting Your Cottage...

Make your own air freshener sprays this summer and your home will smell fresh and inviting! It's so easy and you may already have the ingredients on hand.

The refreshing scent of lemon is commonly used to eliminate anxiety and stress. While it does have some energizing properties, it can calm anyone who is in distress. It also has a cleansing effect on the environment and will make your home smell clean and fresh.

Lemon Air Freshener Spray
2 cups hot water
1/8 cup baking soda
1/2 cup lemon juice

Dissolve the baking soda in hot water and then add the lemon juice. You can use ReaLemon juice for this (and expired is fine so a good way to use it up). Put in a spray bottle and enjoy the scent!

Most people find the scent of vanilla both relaxing and comforting. It elicits thoughts of favorite foods and happy memories of home and childhood. Vanilla is a subtle fragrance and is often combined with other fragrances in pleasing ways. Clove is a powerful, spicy-fruity, warm, sweet aroma. This spray denotes a comforting and warm environment.

Vanilla & Cloves Air Freshener Spray
1 cup water
1 cup household vinegar (white)
1 TBS vanilla extract
1 tsp cloves

Bring all ingredients to a boil then simmer over medium heat for two minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Strain cloves and then pour liquid into spray bottle, shake and use as needed.
Note: You can increase/decrease the vanilla & cloves amounts to your preference.

Beat The Heat...

With this refreshing tea punch! This makes quite a bit so is perfect for summer picnics and potlucks. Enjoy!

1 cup white sugar
1 cup strong brewed black tea
4 cups orange juice
4 cups pineapple juice
4 cups prepared lemonade
1 (2 liter) bottle ginger ale, chilled

In a pitcher, combine sugar and tea. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Stir in orange juice, pineapple juice and lemonade. Chill in refrigerator for 4 hours.
Just before serving, pour chilled juice mixture into a punch bowl and stir in ginger ale.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

If You Were Born Between July 23-August 21...

Your flower is the gorgeous Sunflower. It's meaning is "I will brighten your darkness."

Sunflower signs are warm, open, and natural leaders. You rise to any occasion with confidence and assurance and you have no doubt that you are the perfect person for any challenge. You know how to reach to the top and you tend to be the center of attention. Others look to you for advice and mentoring. You are a loving, faithful and tenderhearted friend, generous and enjoying a wide range of intellectual gifts.

In mythology Clytie was so transfixed by her love of Helios the Greek Sun god that she watched him travel the sky all day long. She became rooted to the earth and transformed into a sunflower.

Honey, Lemon, Oat Scones

These scones are delicious on their own, with a bit of butter, or with the homemade blueberry jam I make to go with them. You will not be disappointed!

2 cups All Purpose flour (bleached or unbleached is fine)
1 and 1/2 cups rolled oats (I used quick)
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter, very cold, and cut into small chunks
2 tsp. fresh lemon zest
1 large egg, beaten
1/4 cup honey (I used organic orange blossom honey)
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, and salt with a whisk. Add in the lemon zest and stir it in with a fork.

Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter chunks well, until there are no large pieces left.

In a small bowl, whisk together the beaten egg, honey, buttermilk, lemon juice, and vanilla.

Make a well in the center of flour mixture. Pour the liquid mixture into the well, and mix together with a spoon just enough to evenly moisten the dry ingredients and form a soft dough.

With floured hands, gather the dough into a clump and place it onto a lightly floured surface. Pat the dough into a circle roughly 9" in circumference.Using a sharp knife or a pizza wheel, cut the pieces into 12 triangles (I cut mine in to 6), like you would a pie.

Place each piece about an inch apart on the lined cookie sheet. Sprinkle a pinch of sugar on top of each scone if desired. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until just lightly browned on the top and bottom. They bake quickly, so check on them early.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Homemade Gingerale

Although I look forward to summer, it's not the season for this fair skinned Celtic gal. I'm more of a cool weather lover with Fall being the season I look forward to most. The trick to surviving the heat for me is drinking alot of fluids and I love gingerale, especially in the summer. What could be better than making it for yourself and being sure the ingredients are fresh?

To make Ginger Water:
1 cup peeled, finely chopped ginger
2 cups water

To make Simple Syrup:
1 cup sugar
1 cup water

You will also need:
Club soda
Lime juice
Lime wedges

1) Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a saucepan. Add ginger. Reduce heat to medium low and let ginger sit in the simmering water for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for 20 minutes. Strain liquid through a fine mesh strainer. Discard ginger pieces.

2)In a separate saucepan, make the Simple Syrup by dissolving 1 cup granulated sugar into 1 cup of boiling water. Set aside.

3) Make individual (tall) glasses of ginger ale by mixing 1/2 cup of ginger water with 1/3 cup of Simple Syrup and 1/2 cup of club soda. Add a few drops of fresh lime juice and a lime wedge to each glass.

Makes four servings.

Rabbits In Your Garden?

Have you planted your garden and peeked out every morning to see if the little plants are reaching up from the ground? I know I do! If you've ever gone out to check your seedlings only to find a furry little rabbit nibbling on your tender sprouts, here is the way to stop it. Put cotton balls soaked in white distilled vinegar in a 35mm film container, empty aspirin bottles, or any small plastic container. Poke a hole in the tops and place in the garden. The rabbits are repulsed by the aroma and will leave your plants alone.

Stop by again soon!