Sunday, December 4, 2016

The Necessity of Truth

                                                          
 
To understand why it’s important to tell the truth, we first need to understand what the word means. Truth: the quality or state of being true; that which is in accordance with fact or reality; a fact or belief that is accepted as true.
When Pilate asked Jesus, “What is truth” the reply from Jesus was, “I have come into this world to testify to the truth.” If we follow the words and actions of Jesus we learn that HIS truth is peaceful, loving, sympathetic, and above all, his truth is constant. But, are the truths of one man the same for another?
                                                                   

When the popular theory was that the Earth was the center of our universe, there were men of science who cried out to dispel that falsehood. Some were martyred for this truth as were those who said that the Earth was not flat. These brave souls stood up to the lies and misconceptions put into place by those in power. Why would church leaders lie? Was it because these men of power lacked the ability to understand the natural workings of our universe, or worse, they continued the lie as a means to control the populace.
When people tell the truth, they don’t have to worry about getting their stories right if questioned later. When people tell the truth, they are not afraid of the backlash of being caught in a lie. Truth speakers are usually truthful in words and actions. Their word is their honor. When I was young, my parents stressed the point of my being honest with them and others, but by the time I was in sixth grade, I understood that they often did not follow their own teachings. So why do we lie, when the truth will set us free?
Lies
Something seriously has happened in the world we live in today. False information bombards us via television, Facebook and the internet. How many times have we heard someone state a falsehood and when questioned, they say, “But it was on the internet, so it has to be true.” Wrong! Just because someone puts misinformation on the internet doesn’t mean you should blindly believe it to be true. With the recent elections, the people of this country were faced with politicians telling bold faced lies.
                                                              

Politicians have forgotten that they are merely our servants and not our masters. We should hold them to the highest standards and when we catch them in a lie, we should tar and feather them and run them out of office. Democrats and Republicans are equally guilty of the “Big Lie” but how do we stop liars and the lies they weave?
Survival Techniques
When it comes to the internet, your neighborhood library is the best source of information for you to come to your own conclusions. You should also listen to foreign news stations like the BBC and you should read newspapers. You should be doing your own research to get to the truth. The Church and Governments are good at telling lies because they know that they will lose control once the people know the truth.
But, how do you deal with liars in your own family or in a work situation? Be aware. When someone lies, you must deal with the situation without emotion. When you are stuck dealing with a compulsive liar, your first instinct is to challenge the lie. If this is a child, then find out why they feel the need to lie. The fault might lay with you being too judgmental or controlling. You might need to change your ways in order for that child to feel safe in telling you the truth.
If you are dealing with an adult member of the family, then you need to decide how important this relationship is before deciding to challenge or ignore. Did the family member tell a little white lie when you asked how your meatloaf tasted? Were they trying to spare your feelings? Some lies are told to avoid hurting people’s feelings. We can understand this.
Some people lie to protect their own emotional turmoil. They say that they are fine, or they lie about their partner’s faults because they can’t face the truth that the failed relationship might actually be their fault.
The most dangerous of liars is the emotional vampire. They will lie to weaken our sense of self-worth. The best way of handling an emotional vampire is to dump them as soon as possible, but if you are unable to do this, then you need to set up boundaries by understanding that everything they tell you is a lie, then check out their story every single time. This seems like too much work, but it will give some protection if there is no way to escape the vampire, especially if they refuse counseling or therapy.
Conclusion
Everyone tells little white lies when they need to protect themselves from a harmful situation or when they really don’t want to offend someone (“This meatloaf tastes horrible”). What is unacceptable is when the lie can turn people against each other, like Trump’s claims that all Mexicans are rapists, or that Obama was not an American citizen. Hillary had her share of lies that upset many voters and allowed Trump to be elected. Our leaders have to be held accountable. When a lie is discovered, they must be made to acknowledge the lie and to apologize to the nation. Nothing less is acceptable.
                                                          
 
How do we get our leaders to tell the truth? Start with ourselves and then demand that they do the same thing. When a politician makes a statement that doesn’t ring true, do your own investigation. Be a man or woman of your word. Be honest. Demand honesty.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

On the Go!

                                                           
                                                            

Question: When is a retirement not retirement?

Answer: When you’re having the time of your life doing what you love.

My husband is always telling me that he sees me less now that I am retired than he did when I worked at the Academy of Natural Sciences. He is absolutely right so I can’t argue with him, but I am finally getting to do what I love to do. This past week, I had three big events to participate in. The first event was the 2016 Women’s Expo that was hosted by the Queen of Events, Tobi Schwartz Cassell.  This is one of many events that Tobi plans for the year.
                                                        

The Expo was held at the Cherry Hill Health & Racquet Club and the list of vendors was long. There was something for everyone there. Tobi also had a Keynote Speaker, Sheila Weller. Sheila is the author of “Girls like Us,” “The News Sorority” and “Raging Heart.”  The event benefitted Cantor Scott’s Animal Rescue in Cherry Hill. I was there selling my Roof Oasis Sci-fi series and my wonderful editor, Patti O’Brien was my helper.
                                                                

Tobi is hosting another event on December 1, 2016 from 6 PM-9:30PM at Aenigma Jewelry on 6 Powell Lane, The Shoppes at the Lumberyard where Haddon Ave. meets Powell Lane. She will have Elsie Kerns and little ole me doing intuitive and psychic readings. Check out Tobi’s event page here and make plans to shop and get a reading. Check Tobi’s Franks and Beans site for all her events.
                                                          

My second event was at the First Baptist Church of Pitman located at 30 N. Broadway Pitman, NJ. I was there for the Holiday Bazaar. This was such a great event and the church is so beautiful. Pastor Randy Van Osten was there greeting all the vendors as we entered the meeting hall. I met a lot of nice people and very talented vendors: Laura McDevitt of LuLaRoe, Joy of Crafty Roots, Reflexology with Nancy Schroeck and Maryi Sunshine.  I was very happy to have sold so many books.
                                                       

On Sunday, I was at Tracy Farquhar’s Spirit Light Center at 916 White Horse Pike, Oaklyn NJ with two fellow psychic/mediums Diane Lopresti and Jean Ramalho it was a great day to do psychic readings using our angel cards. Check Tracy’s site for upcoming events
                                                                

My husband is right that I’m always on the go, but I’m having a ball and looking forward to getting into more adventures. You can check my other blog Gilbert Speaks for my reviews on television, film and books. If you happen to see me out and about, make sure to say hi.
                                                        

Thursday, November 10, 2016

A Message to Mr. Trump

                                                              


Dear Sir:

We live in a country where we are allowed to protest. This is a great thing and it should never be discouraged or looked down upon. We the people protested against the Crown of England to gain our independence and we won. We protested against the Vietnam War that sent our brave young men and women to fight and, lose their lives for the benefit of old rich men, and we won. We protested against slavery, and we won. We protested for a woman’s right to vote, and we won. We protested against child laborers in unsafe factory conditions; we protested against unfair conditions for American workers; we protested for a decent living wage and a sensible work week, and we won those too. We, as a nation, were built on the ashes of revolution. Protesting is in our blood.
We are America and because we are the land of the free, we should encourage people to speak out. We will speak out and, our government officials should fear us. The constitution was set up to ensure that people and not corporations or churches had the last word. America is great and it was always great. I am standing with all the people who are not happy with your whiney and hateful messages. You are not my president. You do not represent me or my daughter and granddaughters. I will not acknowledge you as my leader of this great country until you speak out for the weakest of us: the poor, the children, the homeless, and the elderly.
You do not exist in my world and you have no power over my life. I will not acknowledge your existence until you publically apologize to every woman in this country for your sexist behavior. No woman should ever be called a pussy! This hateful name and your actions is an affront to every grandmother, mother, daughter, any sister living in this country and, it demeans the men who love them. Shame on you! Did you foolishly assume that your words would not have consequence or that you could just chalk it off to locker room babble? Your words and anything that you say from this day forward are captured for eternity on film. I will not forget and neither will future generations.
You are not my president until you stand with the Native Americans against the Dakota pipeline, or stand against the Koch Empire and Big Oil and especially the foreign banks that have the audacity to invest in destroying our drinking water…America’s drinking water! You are not my president, Mr. Trump until you dismantle Citizens United. You are not my president until you admit publically to being a bigot and change your hateful ways. In my America, all people are equal and everyone has a voice no matter what their sex, race or religion is. Shame on you, Mr. Trump!
You are not my president! You do not represent me until you immediately guarantee affordable healthcare to every American citizen. How dare you and the people in Congress enjoy the best and most expensive health benefits while we TAX Payers are left to die because you buckle under the pressure of greedy insurance companies and the pharmaceutical gangsters? Why should I worry about scraping money together from my measly social security check (that I’ve paid into for over 50 years) to pay for my medication when my tax money goes to the very people in congress who continuously get free healthcare while simultaneously trying to take away the people’s safety nets?
I am not a pussy and, you are not my president until you earn my respect. You need to apologize to me right now!

Marie Gilbert, An American Citizen and your boss come this January.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

True Tales from the Tombs

                                                      

When I mention cemeteries, what is your first thought? Did you know that cemeteries are for the living as much as they are for the dead? I’ve been posting about my favorite cemetery, Laurel Hill, over the years and there is a reason that I love this place. This cemetery is a good place for me to communicate with the souls on the other side of the veil. I love learning about their history and the history of Philadelphia. But, there is so much more to like at the cemetery because of their kick-ass events.

My friend and fellow ghost investigator, Rita, and I began volunteering at the cemetery because of the many events offered during the year. One of our favorite is the one offered during Halloween. Last night Rita and I manned the refreshment table along with three other volunteers. The event was True Tales from the Tombs presented by the “Not Ready for Afterlife Players & Friends of Laurel Hill Cemetery.
                                                           


After visitors stopped at our refreshment table for their hot cider, cookies and candy, they were led by guides to visit several grave sites where the actors portraying the spirits of notable people like: Benjamin Hodgson, Maurice Fagan, Martha Drinnan, Margaret and Elisha Kent, Anne W. Penfield, Singleton Mercer, Margaret Fox, Nathan Dunn, and Mahlon H. Heberton talked about their life and unexpected deaths. Isn’t any death unexpected when the Grim Reaper points at us?

Under the skilled supervision of Nick McAllister, Beth Savastana, Emma Stern, Carol Yaster, Suhee You, Casey Cappello, Bill Doran, David Gurmai, and Shawn Jacobsen, the event ran smoothly and all the guests, both living and dead enjoyed a fabulous show in the crisp fall night.
                                                               


Check out the event page for Laurel Hill Cemetery to see the upcoming events and say hello to the spirits for me.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Eating With the Spirits

                                                           

I didn’t actually have a sit down meal with the spirits, but they were there with me and my friends. This week I had the opportunity to do two ghost investigations; one scheduled and one by accident. On Sunday night, Marti Haines and Marcia Moore, the owners of “On Angels’Wings” took a group of professional investigators to a beautiful café in Bordentown, NJ.
Under the Moon Cafe is owned by the mother and son team, Estela and Santiago Orosco and what they offer their customers is a warm and welcoming atmosphere with good home cooked meals which consist of Italian, Spanish/Basque and Tapas bars.
                                                                
While waiting for the rest of the group to arrive at the café, Rita and I ordered dessert and it was absolutely heavenly. As soon as the Café had closed, Santiago and his staff reported what they and their customers had experienced on many occasions. The investigation began soon after.
                                                         

While Marcia and Marti are still reviewing all the results collected that night, I will say this; the café is very active and the spirits friendly. I’m looking forward to returning to Under the Moon Café, but this time before we do the investigation I intend to have the Carne Con Ajos.
Unplanned Investigation
 
On Tuesday, Diane, Jean and I went to visit a fellow investigator at NE Philly hospital. It was late in the afternoon and we were hungry. Diane told us about the very old historical King George II Inn. She said the food was great and that it was haunted. The mention of ghosts convinced us to head on down to the river for what turned out to be a very interesting lunch.
                                                              
The story of the Inn starts in 1681 when Samuel Clift established a ferry service between Bristol, PA and Burlington, NJ. Ferries were the only form of transportation between these two towns until the opening of the Burlington-Bristol Bridge in 1929.
Over the years, the Inn, which is located at 102 Radcliffe Street in Bristol, Pa, passed through many owners and went by many names and the Inn boasts many famous people sleeping there. I often wonder how George Washington ever had enough time to even fight the Revolutionary War because this guy seemed to spend a lot of time sleeping at inns.
                                                             
As soon as we entered the building, all three of us sensed the spirits. Our psychic abilities so strong and the spirits so eager to interact with us that we didn’t need to use our equipment. We were able to get more information about the building from the owners and their amazing staff.
                                                         

After eating an exceptionally delicious lunch, Diane, Jean and I were given a private tour of the entire building; from basement to attic. We will definitely be returning to the Inn for the food, but this time we want to take our equipment and document what we saw and felt.
Conclusion
I see dead people, and so do my friends. Most of the time, we’re not purposely looking for spirits, but it doesn’t matter. The spirits know that we can see them and they want to tell us their stories. We like to listen.
                                                               

Almost all homes have a spirit. It doesn’t matter what the age of the building is because even if the house is not haunted, the land itself usually is. It seems that when the three of us girls are together, our vibrations are much higher and the contact with the spirit world is easier. What made these two investigations even more enjoyable were the fine food, great service and historic ambiance. Sometimes a haunting can be downright fun.

Monday, October 17, 2016

The Journey So Far on "The Walking Dead"


                                                         


There aren’t many shows that earn my undying loyalty. I love aliens so the X-Files filled that niche for me, but it was always the possibility of a zombie apocalypse that kept me awake nights. When Robert Kirkman’s graphic novel became a television series, I was hooked and so were all my friends and family. The talk at the office water cooler went from Fox and Scully to Rick Grimes and “Walkers.”
                                                              

I’ve been writing the weekly reviews of “The Walking Dead” for several seasons on Biff Bam Pop, and it is my favorite show. With the highly anticipated, but nerve wracking Season 7 premiere of “The Walking Dead” set for October 23rd on AMC, it was time to touch base in a personal way with Andrew Lincoln’s Rick Grimes and his merry band of survivors.

The Journey

We know what’s coming on October 23rd. We’re not stupid and we know that Lucille, Negan’s barbwire baseball bat, will be used to kill one of our favorite characters. I don’t care which character it is, their loss will be felt because “The Walking Dead” isn’t really a tale about zombies. It’s a story about people. Rick and his team have become more like family to us. They come to visit every Sunday night after dinner. We, their extended family, ask them every week, “What’s new?” Like regular family members, the news they deliver isn’t always pleasant, but they know that we can handle the good and the bad. That’s what families do.
                                                            
 
This past Sunday, we were taken down memory lane by the cast starting with the first season when Rick awakes from a coma to learn that the world he knew no longer existed. It was fun to hear from several cast members who have died on the show and, it was fun to get their input into their characters. I discovered that there was so much that I didn’t know about these apocalyptic family members. Their revelations only made me love them more. I was surprised to find that I even harbored fond memories of The Governor (David Morrissey). Thanks to the Governor, I’ll never look at fish tanks the same way again.
                                                        
                                                     
Every family is led by the patriarch and TWD’s father figure is, and always will be, Rick Grimes. The story is really about him. I wrote an article on my observations on Rick Grimes growth through the seasons and you can check it out here. Rick has made some wise choices and he’s made some bad ones, but his heart was always in the right place and his main objective was keeping his people safe.

Conclusion

We’ve stood behind Rick Grimes and his people for six seasons and we’ll most likely stick with him to the bitter end. I don’t know how I’m supposed to prepare for Sunday’s show. It will probably be similar to watching a car crash happening in slow motion. We know someone we love is going to die, but there isn’t a blessed thing we can do to stop it. I can imagine the Tweets and Facebook messages that will take place during and after the show. I did hear there will be an eighth season.
                                                              
 
The Walking Dead has done what no other series has ever accomplished. It has taught us to survive in the face of overwhelming challenges. It has taught us loyalty. It has shown us how an abused and mousey housewife, Carol (Melissa McBride), became a kick-ass superhero and, it has shown how a gentle giant, Tyreese (Chad Coleman) was able to protect three children after everyone else ran for the hills. The most important lesson we’ve learned is that the dead can’t hurt us as much as the living and, when the dog doo hits the fan; we’re on our own.

See you next Sunday and check out my review on Biff Bam Pop.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Letting Go

                                                            
                                                                
When we think of letting go, we normally think that we are losing or giving something away. We may fight that urge to just let happen because we assume that to let go is to lose control of the situation. But, and this is something that I’ve been learning this past year, sometimes to let go is in reality an act of power. When you release your fears, anger, and pain; you become strong.
                                                                     
I was having tea with friends recently and the subject of forgiveness came up. It is hard to forgive someone who has caused great harm to you. Forgiveness is something that GOD preaches, but for us mortals, it is a yoke that is hard to bear. Maybe it’s because we didn’t understand what GOD was really saying when he said, “Forgive as I have forgiven you.” Maybe what GOD meant was for us to “Let It Go!”

We don’t have to allow the abuser back into our lives to forgive. We can forgive and send them GOD’s love without ever speaking to the abuser. We are in essence saying, “You were a rotten snake in the grass and you made my life a living hell...but, you are a child of GOD and I am forgiving you from the safety of my home. I am sending GOD’s love to you even though I don’t ever want to see your face again.”
                                                                       
Once we send this message and let go of the bad memories, our life changes because we are no longer carrying the pain within. WE Let Go! We are finally at peace with ourselves because our mind can concentrate on the positive. We don’t need to play the scene over and over in our minds. The yoke has been lifted. By sending out GOD’s love to our enemy instead of bad karma, we are sending out positive vibes and this means that positive vibes will return to us.

GOD doesn’t hold grudges. HE abides our constant transgressions. HE forgives and HE lets go. He accepts our confessions and promises of doing better, knowing that we are human and flawed. I want to be more like GOD. I have been forgiving my enemies and sending them GOD’s love.
                                                               

I’ve even done this with the two candidates that are running for President. I found this to be a bit harder than I expected, but I did it. I sent out a ball of love towards both candidates. I have to be honest and tell you that I was really tempted to send a bolt of lightning to one of the candidates but I behaved myself.
                                                         
 
Let’s try something different for the next few weeks. Why don’t we all let it go and not put any political nasty stuff on social media? We can talk about our kids, the weather, sports, the holidays...anything but the political circus. I’m starting now.

Ready?

Let It Go!!!!!!