Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Meet Amanda!

Meet Amanda!
Years ago I got my boys a Pot Belly Pig. She was supposed to be a miniature....300 pounds later, she obviously wasn't! Her name was Morticia, "Tish" or "Ta-Ta" for short. She loved peanuts in the shell. But she didn't eat the shell, she spit them out the side of her mouth after getting the peanuts out of it. The boys loved watching her do that. She lived to be about 12 years old before she passed. By that time she was living with my boys' father, who called me to tell me she'd passed. I hadn't seen her in years, but I was still very saddened to hear the news. She was a real trip to be around.

Well, ever since she had moved in with the first husband I had been wanting another one. My husband thought I was crazy, but he loves animals too and so wasn't against the idea. We didn't go looking for one we just happened to be given one by our neighbors who have been given one by an elderly couple who had to be placed in a nursing home. And of course their baby, their pig, couldn't go with them. We don't know what her name was, they never asked, so we named her "Amanda".

So we gladly moved her up here and began the "new animal in the house" introductions and acclimations. The four dogs weren't too sure what to think, but they've finally gotten used to her. Although Little Man (JuJu) will light into her sometimes with a vengeance. She has a pen outside that she stays in when we're going to be gone for a while. Or she's placed in the bathroom if it's for only a short while.

She "sits" and/or "stands tall" for treats, which she gets every time she goes outside to potty and comes back in without a hassle. Which thankfully isn't as often any more. When she wants to go out to "play" in her pen she heads straight up there and I feed her there instead of in the house. She has a little "house" with a cushion and a blanket so she can enjoy the morning sun. She roots around the pen digging up grass roots and what ever else she finds. Basically, hanging out in the pen is her "being a pig" time. :)

Amanda also loves blankets and cushy bedding. Oh. And she loves to sleep with her head on a pillow! She has also taken to occasionally wanting to be with us when we sit and watch TV. She gets up on the ottoman, lays down, and stays there until we get up to go to bed.

Sows go into heat every 3 weeks, and after that first one, well that was IT. We made an appointment to have her spayed. LOL That was the best decision we ever made! Her humping everything she was attracted to was just too much of a pain in the ass. Never mind trying to keep her heavy ass from humping hubby's leg all the time. Oh, yeah and the old sea trunk that has a goat skin covering it. She really found that thing attractive! Unfortunately she would slide on the wood floors and she would fall all splayed out on the floor, get up and try again - and fall...again! Very noisy, very aggravating. So for her comfort and our peace (and quiet) of mind, she got fixed!

She's now a permanent member of the family and will travel with us when we move to Kansas (that trip should be a real joy! LOL)

So, meet Amanda:

So, that's Amanda, our new house pig and newest member of the family!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Thank You!

I just wanted to send a little

to my wonderful clients! 

I enjoy working with you! 

May your days always be blessed!
Granny Tackett

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Orange Clove Pomander Balls

Orange Clove Pomander Balls
I have always loved the look and smell of these wonderful holiday decorating treats! I must admit I've never taken pictures of mine, but maybe I will this year. In the mean time, the picture below was just too pretty not to show. I have to say I've never seen them done so beautifully! I'd always read that you just "poke the cloves in all over the orange". Nothing was ever said about making pretty designs!

So to get us started, how about some inspiration!

Ooooo! Lemons too!

How about a face for that pomander? Fun & cute!


Before we get started with how to make them, how about a bit of history about them? I'm a bit of a history and "origins" freak. I like to know when something happened as well as why. So here's a bit of info for you:

The word "pomander" is derived from the French pomme d'ambre, meaning "apple of amber". This pomme d'ambre is a ball made from perfume materials such as ambergris (whence the name), musk, or civet. These ingredients were placed into a perforated gold or silver vessel that was hung by a chain around the neck or the waist. One particular formula from 1584 included storax, calamite, labdanum and benzoin resin. These ingredients were powdered, combined together and dissolved in rose water, then cooked down to a paste. This was then molded into an apple shape and rolled in powdered & blended-together cinnamon, sweet sanders, and cloves. After this, several grains of ambergris, deer musk, and civet musk were dissolved in a small amount of rose water. The "apple" (pomme) ball was then rolled in this mixture, blending these ingredients with the first, kneading them altogether. Once they were well combined the pomme was re-formed. This "apple" was then carried in a vessel on the body or placed in a bowl in the home, its scent perfuming the air.

Pomanders were used mainly as protection from disease as well as to counter bad odors.
Nostradamus also had his own formula for making pomanders!

Nostradamus' method and formula was just about the same as listed above, but with a few differences. His method for making pomanders was to make "rose tablets" by gathering a pound of rose petals and 7 ounces of ground benzoin. Soak the rose petals in deer musk water overnight. Then remove the rose petals, thoroughly squeezing out the water. 

Next, grind the petals with the powdered benzoin. While grinding, add a quarter of ambergris and another of civet musk. Once ground, you make compress into little tablets and put each one between two rose petals. Then you dry the tablets away from the sun.

The next step is to combine 2 ounces of the purest labdanum, 1 ounce each of Styrax calamites and benzoin, 1/2 ounce of the "rose tablets", 1 ounce of violet powder, and 1/2 dram each of ambergris and musk and grind everything into a powder.

Next, Nostradmus' instructions say to knead it together with the rose-mixture for an hour (or very thoroughly mixed, would be my suggestion) and when finished, you will have "an aromatic ball of the most supreme perfume, and the longest-lasting that can be made anywhere in the world".
Ok, now that we've got some visual and historical inspiration going here, how about some instructions!

How to Make a Pomander Ball
This recipe is a large one so you can coat quite a few oranges, and save the rest in the freezer for another time, if you want.

Needed Materials
Thin-skinned Oranges (how ever many you plan to make)
6 cups Cloves -whole
2 cups Cinnamon powder
4 cups Orris Root powder
1 1/2 cup Allspice powder
1 cup Ground Nutmeg
1 cup Ground Coriander
2 cups Ground Orris Root (preservative)
Toothpick, Skewer or Large Needle (to poke holes in orange)
Electrical Tape (to keep rows straight, if needed)

Mix together all of the spices in a bowl large enough to roll the orange around in it.

Place the electrical tape around the orange in the spaces you want to have only the orange skin showing.

Use the toothpick, skewer or large needle to poke holes into the orange peel in the design you have in mind. Traditionally, the entire orange is covered with the cloves, but designs are beautiful too. And who says you must be traditional? :)

Roll the orange between your hands to warm up the peel to make it easy to poke the cloves into.

Once all of the cloves are in place then roll the clove-covered orange in the spice mix. Coat thoroughly.

Place the orange(s) in a tissue-line box and store in a warm, dry location. Turn the orange(s) at least once a week for 3 - 4 weeks. Once dried they're ready to have their ribbons tied on and placed so their wonderful aroma will scent your home!

To refresh their scent in a few months, just dampen and then roll in the saved spice mix, dust off and set out again to be enjoyed!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Wishing Everyone a Very Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing Everyone
Happy Thanksgiving!

May the Divine bless y'all today and everyday!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

XIV Temperance

XIV Temperance

Keywords: Avoid excess, Balance, Combination, Compromise, Consolidating resources, Cooperation, Equilibrium, Energy,  Flourishing, Reflection, Harmony, Health, Maturation, Middle ground, Moderation, Regeneration, Secure, Self-restraint, Synthesis, Temperance, Vigor

Reinforcing Cards Possibilities:
World – integration, synthesis, combination
Two of Cups – connection, working together
Three of Cups – joining forces, working together
Two of Pentacles – balance, finding the right mix
Three of Pentacles – teamwork, combining

Opposing Cards Possibilities:
Tower – extremes, exploding apart
Five of Wands – disagreement, competition, imbalance
Seven of Cups – excess, overindulgence
Five of Swords – discord, lack of harmony
Five of Pentacles – ill-health

Being temperate!
Finding the middle ground
Showing moderation
Avoiding excess
Mitigating a harsh position
Looking for the golden mean
Reaching a compromise
Offsetting an extreme

Maintaining balance!
Experiencing harmony
Achieving equilibrium
Bringing together opposites
Recognizing all sides
Fostering cooperation
Feeling centered and secure

Experiencing health!
Renewing energy and vigor
Enjoying well-being

Combining forces!
Gathering together what is needed
Joining with others
Finding the right mix
Creating synthesis
Getting it all together

There are certain people who exude a kind of quiet composure. They may not say much, but they go about their business with an air of calm deliberation. Their presence is comforting because they are so centered. For me, this is the energy of Temperance.

To be temperate is to show moderation and self-restraint. In a world full of enticing indulgences, it is often necessary to find the middle ground. Sensible, maybe, but also a bit boring? The energy of Temperance may seem unexciting on the surface, but it is the calm of a hurricane's eye. All around are swirling winds, but in the center is a still point that brings everything into balance.

In readings, Temperance can represent a need for moderation, especially when extreme cards are present (such as the Knights). This card can also indicate a need for balance. In conflict situations, Temperance suggests that compromise and cooperation are vital. Look for any opportunity to bring opposing parties together. In fact, to temper can mean to modify by adding a new component. By combining and recombining, we come up with the ideal mixture or solution. Temperance is the card of good health in all areas - physical, mental and emotional. When illness or disease is a concern, Temperance holds out the promise of vitality and well-being.

Promise of change through circumstances that will test you where you are weakest. Grace under pressure. Diligence will help you reach your goal and lead to increased income.

Reflection on one's life.

A couple united/reunited work in harmony in unselfish service. A perfect union.

A time of in-between. The past is over but the future has yet to begin.

Use moderation & compromise.

You're on the right track but still have lessons to be learned.

Try new things, but keep hold on your present security. Maintain balance, don't rush anything right now. Keep your cool. Don't give up your security; you need more time before making any major decisions. Don't overdo things, take life at a moderate pace. Patience will win in the end.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

XIII Death

XIII Death

Keywords: Accept the inevitable, Adrift, Back to basics, Bare minimum, Change, Conclusions, Death, Deepest fears faced, Ending, Excess, Inescapable events, Inexorable forces, Parting ways, Past is behind you, Powerful movement, Remove the unnecessary, Ride your Fate, Transformation, Transition

Reinforcing Cards Possibilities:
Tower – sweeping impact power forces
Eight of Wands – conclusion, ending
Five of Cups- loss, good-byes

Opposing Cards Possibilities:
Fool – beginning
Empress – birth
Judgment – rebirth, fresh start

Closing one door to open another
Bringing something to a close
Completing a chapter
Concluding unfinished business
Putting the past behind you
Having a parting of the ways

Going through transition!
Changing status
Moving from the known to the unknown
Being cast adrift
Waiting in an in-between state
Being in the middle

Eliminating excess!
Cutting out what isn't necessary
Shedding old attitudes
Getting down to bare bones
Concentrating on essentials
Getting back to basics

Experiencing inexorable forces!
Being in the path of sweeping change
Being caught in the inescapable
Going through what cannot be avoided
Being part of a powerful movement
Riding your fate
Accepting the inevitable
A time of transformation through re-birth

Some things must end for new ones to begin. Leave the past behind, or new opportunities will be lost. 

The enlightened welcome the changes, those in the dark fear it.

Fundamental changes are to learn from; be open to these changes.

Experience is the greatest teacher; don't be afraid to begin new ventures.

Do not resist sudden change; the vibratory force around you will provide all the strength needed to accept new situation.

Worry and depression get you nowhere. Face the future with new faith and accept the changes.

The clearing away of negative conditions in order to make way for new, more positive influences.

A new venture. Faced with a new door.

Guard impulsiveness.

Immortality is promised.

Death of selfishness.

Rise above materialism.

Youthful viewpoint.

Energetic mental activity.

End of a situation.

Influence of mechanical gadgets. New creative trends.

Strong competition.

The ending of something, usually followed by loss. Loss of a life is possible but more likely the loss is of a behavior pattern. Don’t be superstitious about the card Death. At its highest level, it refers to the death of false parts of the self and the regeneration of the true. It can represent the flowering or freeing of something new and better within the self. You can learn a lot by observing your own reactions to this card.

XII The Hanged Man

XII The Hanged Man

Keywords: Change of mind, Contemplation, Creative inspiration, Delay, Emotional release, Forgiveness, God's Will accepted, Imagination, Insight, Letting go, Limbo, Martyr, Reversing direction, Sacrifice, Self-evaluation & reflection, Vulnerability, Winning through surrender

Reinforcing Cards Possibilities:
Fool – faith in what is, going with the flow
High Priestess – suspending activity, waiting
Strength – patience, taking time
Four of Swords – rest, suspended activity
Ten of Swords – sacrifice, martyrdom

Opposing Cards Possibilities:
Magician – acting, doing
Chariot – self assertion
Seven of Wands – defiance, struggling against
Ten of Wands – struggle
Four of Pentacles – holding on, control

Letting go!
Having an emotional release
Accepting what is
Surrendering to experience
Ending the struggle
Being vulnerable and open
Giving up control
Accepting God's will

Turning the world around
Changing your mind
Overturning old priorities
Seeing from a new angle
Upending the old order
Doing an about-face

Suspending action!
Pausing to reflect
Feeling outside of time
Taking time to just be
Giving up urgency
Living in the moment
Waiting for the best opportunity

Being a martyr
Renouncing a claim
Putting self-interest aside
Going one step back to go two steps forward
Giving up for a higher cause
Putting others first

The Hanged Man is one of the most mysterious cards in the tarot deck. It is simple, but complex. It attracts, but also disturbs. It contradicts itself in countless ways. The Hanged Man is unsettling because it symbolizes the action of paradox in our lives. A paradox is something that appears contradictory, and yet is true. The Hanged Man presents to us certain truths, but they are hidden in their opposites.

The main lesson of the Hanged Man is that we "control" by letting go - we "win" by surrendering. The figure on Card 12 has made the ultimate surrender - to die on the cross of his own travails - yet he shines with the glory of divine understanding. He has sacrificed himself, but he emerges the victor. The Hanged Man also tells us that we can "move forward" by standing still. By suspending time, we can have all the time in the world.

In readings, the Hanged Man reminds us that the best approach to a problem is not always the most obvious. When we most want to force our will on someone, that is when we should release. When we most want to have our own way, that is when we should sacrifice. When we most want to act, that is when we should wait. The irony is that by making these contradictory moves, we find what we are looking for.
Suspended activity; a period of delay. Wasted effort.

Reflection brings enlightened insight. A time of limbo which allows reflection on the situation.

Sacrifice needed in order to gain enlightenment. Giving without thought of recompense.

Change and let go of fundamental beliefs by turning yourself upside down. Worry tears down results.

Don't let your ego get in the way. Forgive your enemies.

Reversal of situation. Adopting a different perspective.

A stirring of creative urges and applying the imagination.

Feeling as though you're in Limbo - at a standstill. Consider if it is a self-induced state or from external influences. Personal sacrifice to gain what is needed. Your own beliefs may need to change, which will turn you upside down in self-evaluation. Foresight & stamina are needed. New & innovative ideas come with enlightenment. Complete and possibly unexpected changes at home and/or at work. An unexpected viewpoint or decision is coming your way.

XI Justice

XI Justice

Keywords: Accountability, Balance, Cause & effect, Ethical, Fairness, Force, Fortitude, Harmony, Impartiality, Justice, Karma, Personal responsibility, Principled, Right actions, Spiritual power, Truth

Reinforcing Cards Possibilities:
Emperor – justice, regulations, legal issues
Judgment – deciding, accepting past actions/mistakes
Ten of Wands – accepting responsibility, being accountable
Nine of Swords – guilt over the past, acknowledging mistakes
Seven of Pentacles – assessing where you are, deciding a future course

Opposing Cards Possibilities:
Two of Swords – avoiding the truth, disavowing your role
Five of Swords – lack of integrity, not doing what is right
Seven of Swords – shirking responsibility

Respecting justice!
Insisting on fairness
Acting on ethical principles
Being involved in legal concerns
Committing to honesty
Seeking equality
Being impartial
Trying to do what is right

Assuming responsibility!
Settling old accounts and debts
Being accountable
Acknowledging the truth
Admitting involvement
Handling the situation
Doing what has to be done

Preparing for a decision!
Weighing all sides of an issue
Setting a course for the future
Balancing all factors
Determining right action
Choosing with full awareness

Understanding cause and effect!
Accepting the results you created
Seeing how you chose your situation
Recognizing the action of karma
Knowing that what is makes sense
Making connections between events

On Card 11 we see the familiar figure of Justice. She has the scales of equality and impartial judgment in one hand, and the sword of decision in the other. In the tarot, Justice represents the understanding that life is ultimately fair and just. Even though the vagaries of day-to-day life tend to make us doubt this fact, Justice reminds us that there is divine balance. Notice the similarity between the Emperor and Justice. Both cards stand for universal order; the Emperor in its underlying structure, Justice, in the action of karma - cause and effect.

There is a serious feel to Card 11 - the tone of the courtroom. This card refers to legal matters of all kinds, but is not restricted to them. The courts are where judgments are made and decisions rendered. Our legal system is the official arena in which we explore the principles of Justice - fairness, impartiality and the quest for truth.

In readings, Justice often appears when you are concerned with doing what is right or making sure you receive your due. This card can also appear when you are feeling the impact of a past mistake or good deed. The cause you set in motion at one time is now returning to you as an effect.

Sometimes Justice is a signal to do what needs to be done. A time comes when responsibilities must be accepted, and accounts settled. The past will continue to haunt you if you do not recognize your mistakes and make amends for them. You will need to weigh matters carefully and perhaps make important decisions about your future course.

Don’t be judgmental. Look to the evidence in the situation so there will be no bias when making your decision.

Take personal responsibility for yourself and your Path.

Let others follow their own path without interference from you.
Achieving a new sense of balance; harmony.
Taking responsibility for one’s own actions. Develop and follow your intuition. Advance with faith, accomplishing your duties without hesitation.

Hidden forces are at work, although obstacles are more imaginary than real.

Reject temptations, overcoming evil with good. Fear defeats purpose, but success demands organization.

Justice represents the law of “work”, “action” or karma. It is a symbolic picture of the process of learning and changing through experience. The scales are weighted down on one side or the other by actions performed within the wheel of life. The figure of Justice is another aspect of the Priestess, this time in dark robes as an agent of correction. The sword brings upon us forces from which we can learn, often painfully, but always justly. The veils behind Justice, which cover the light, may be lifted, one by one, only through personal willingness to accept the lessons of life.

Your present position is one you have earned; there is a lesson for you within it that may help you “lift a veil”.