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.


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.


Let It Go!!!!!!

Steampunk Granny on God's Way TV with Aldolphina and Thomas 10/14/2016


I was invited back to God's Way by the wonderful and gifted hosts, Adolphina Shephard and Thomas Knights Templar. I love going on the show because the topics are so important about what is going on in the physical world and the spiritual world, which we humans are a part of both. Can't have a conversation about one without the other.

I had to rummage through my outfits to pull together a modified Steampunk outfit. This was my third time on the show and I was teasing Adolphina that I need to buy more Steampunk outfits if I keep coming back as a guest. On the show with us was Mary Silvernail who is a Psychic, Astrologer, Shaman and Psychic.

Check out the topic for tonight's show: Nibiru. While Adolphina was a guest on an earlier show with Christine , producer Brian LaPayower showed me what goes on in the control room as the show is filmed. It was very interesting for little ole tech challenged granny. Enjoy both videos. Here is God's Way:

Here is Adolphina and Christine Schiavone on Spiritual Exploration

Monday, October 10, 2016

Andiamo Francesco!

This year I did something that I dreamt of doing my whole life. I took a trip to Italy. Although it was my first time out of the country, I was not alone. I took the two ghosts that hang out in my attic with me. My father and mother never had the chance to return to their home while alive, so I took their spirits with me when I went on the Leisurely Rome and Tuscany tour offered by Globus and Starr Tours.

This was a big step for me, especially because I deal with a compromised immune system, plus and this is more important than my illness, I have a habit of getting lost no matter where I am. My husband, who is well aware of my bad sense of direction, kept reminding me before the trip to stay close to the tour guide. Dan was worried that I'd wind up in some other part of Europe. I was excited and scared to death at the same time because I was going alone, but I needn’t have worried. New friends were waiting to meet me.
                      from the left: Tonya, Me, Mary, Ken and Virginia

The van ride to the Newark airport gave me a chance to chat with the other New Jersey people who would be part of the Leisurely Tour. One of my new friends, Virginia, was interested in writing and most of the ride to the airport was devoted to the opportunities that awaited her. After the long plane ride which included a disgruntled passenger complaining about the food, which I thought was very tasty for air travel, we landed at the Rome airport where we grabbed our luggage and headed over to the first of the hotels our group would be staying at.

The first thing I did as soon as we arrived at the Villa Carpegna was to order a cup of cappuccino. After we were assigned a room, we met with Francesco Nardin, who was to be our tour guide for the entire trip. By this time, Mary and Ken, Virginia, Tonya, Tracy and Sharon and I had become buddies with the other members of our tour group. My fears of being alone were soon gone. I had met the nicest people and the trip had just begun.
                                 Francesco, Me, and Wendy doing a photo bomb

Rome and the Vatican were more beautiful than I had expected and I was so excited about seeing the Colosseum. Our tour guide, Francesco, was so learned in the history of this city, but he also had the help of a local tour guide to answer any questions we had about the St. Peter’s Square and the Colosseum historical events.


I was trying to connect with the spirits attached to the Colosseum, but I didn’t want to freak out my new friends and I had to keep up with the tour group...maybe next time

The next hotel we stayed in was in Montecatini, but first we stopped at the Vicchiomaggio Wine Cellars for a Tuscany lunch. We also got to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Square of Miracles before arriving at the hotel.
At the Astoria Hotel I was happy to discover that my room had a balcony. It also had a female ghost, quite a lovely woman, who wanted me out of bed the first night I slept there because she needed to make the bed. I convinced her to wait until morning. She told me that she had worked at the hotel a long time ago. She loved the place and so she stayed. There was also a ghost in the dining room.

She was also a sweetheart who explained to me that she originally lived in a house on the land the hotel was later built on. She was connected to the land, but loved the comings and goings of the guests. Neither ghost bothered any of the guests. They only came to me because I can see them. When I go back to Italy, I intend to stay at the Astoria Hotel again because of its quaint ambiance and lovely hotel staff.
                    From the left: Me, Virginia, Mary and Tonya                                           

One of the best memories I have of this vacation is when a few of my friends and I played hooky from the main tour to ride the train up to the mountain top to visit Montecatini Alto. Tonya, Mary, Virginia and I spent the loveliest afternoon visiting the old churches and the shops. Our lunch was the highlight of a peaceful day.

Every day, our wonderful tour guide, Francesco, would take us by bus to visit a new site. When we would lag behind, we would hear him calling out, “Andiamo! Andiamo!” That’s Italian for get your butts moving. Florence was a treat, although we had to watch out for the gypsies. Francesco also made sure that people, like me, who had special dietary needs, were always served the correct food. I have diverticulitis which means that when I eat the wrong foods, I can wind up in the hospital. I was so touched by this young man’s vigilance in keeping his charges healthy. Thank you, Francesco.

The trip to Lucca and Vinci and then to Assisi were magical and again we were treated to a special guided tour by one of the local guides who knew everything about Leonardo Da Vinci. The streets of most of the towns we visited were steep and I actually lost weight from all the walking even though I was eating and drinking my way through this vacation.

The last night was spent in Rome at the Pineta Palace. There were no ghosts, except for Fred and Lucy. The Farewell dinner was wonderful as were all the dinners and, we did get to walk through Rome one more time before we left. Tonya and I got to share a special Italian treat; roasted chestnuts. When poor Francesco got too weary from losing me, he gave me the flag to lead the tour. I guess he thought he could keep a better eye on me.


I don’t know why I waited so long to go on this trip, but now that I have traveled overseas, the travel bug has been awakened in me.
My father is now pestering me to visit the town of Maratea. This is where his family is from and where our last name comes from.

I'm saving for the next Italy trip, but if I can’t get my husband to go to Maratea, I’ll just do what I did this time. I’ll take Fred and Lucy. I'm sure they'll introduce me to more ghosts when I'm there.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

The Children of Cain

There is too much hate in the world and too many people think it’s just fine and dandy to kill another person. Why do we kill? Did we inherit this curse because of Cain? It’s a strange question considering that I don’t believe in the whole creation story as being based on fact. I believe they were stories that helped early mankind understand our evolutionary process.
While I believe in a GOD; a Creator who stirred the primordial soup to get the show on the road, I believe HE accomplished this task via science. I love the thought of a powerful and loving Spirit who allows miracles to unfold at a methodical pace.
But, because of evolution, we are left with a question that leaves us at a loss to explain. Why do we kill? Is the desire to hurt or kill another living thing inherited? Would we learn the answer from the bible stories? Why did Cain kill Abel?

To understand why the mythical Cain would kill his brother Abel, one needs to travel back to the creation story itself. Adam and Eve had everything they needed to survive without pain or worry. They were given free will and with that gift came the first command. “Don’t eat from the Tree of Knowledge.” According to the creation story, Lucifer was upset that God gave mere humans free will. Only the angels had free will, but maybe Lucifer could use this gift of free will to destroy the man and woman.
Did Lucifer take on the form of Adam to trick Eve into bearing his seed? This is a possibility and would explain why the Creator would not only banish the male and female, but also punish Lucifer. This would not be the first time we would hear of a god or goddess tricking a female or male human to mate with them. The Roman and Greek mythologies are full of this type of trickery.

Eve was faced with bearing and raising a son that did not belong to Adam. Cain had Lucifer’s DNA and also his temperament. Abel, on the other hand was from Adam’s seed? Would this child be more like his human parents? Would Adam favor the younger son who he knew carried his DNA? I can see this happening. The jealousy between the boys would have begun at a young age.

While Cain, according to the bible story, was a farmer; Able was a shepherd. There was enough land for both sons to live peacefully, but according to the story, God favored Abel. Why would God do that unless the sight of Cain was displeasing? Did God see the resemblance of his once beloved angel in Cain’s features? Cain was an outcast with both his family and the Creator. Cain had the blood of Lucifer running through his veins. I could see him looking at Abel and thinking that all his problems would vanish if his brother were dead. With Abel dead, Adam and God would be forced to accept him.
The bible story tells us that Abel was murdered by Cain. We know that Cain was made to roam the Earth after a mark was placed on his forehead as a warning that Cain was not to be harmed. If Cain carried the DNA of Lucifer, did he pass the “kill” gene onto his children; to us? Are we a combination of GOD and Devil? Or, is the act of murder in our genes because of evolution?

Richard Dawkins book, The Selfish Gene explains that a ‘selfish gene’ revolves around savage competition and ruthless exploitation while capable of acts of altruism. We needed that selfish gene to climb out of the swamps, but we also have a soul. Is the soul the counterbalance to the ‘kill’ gene?

If the soul is the only remaining connection we have with the Creator, then maybe, we can and will eventually overcome the selfish gene. Will we one day overcome the Cain legacy that was left to us? Will we stop the mindless killing? I hope so because my heart is heavy with all the hate in the world and...all the needless and brutal deaths.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Metaphysical Time Travel

We all have that one special person in our lives that had influenced us by their words and actions to be the best we could be. For me, my siblings and my cousins, it was our maternal grandmother, Maria Grazia Federico Chiusolo. My grandmother was a very spiritual woman and she also had strong psychic abilities that she passed down to all her grandchildren. She has been on my mind recently.
Grandmom was born in Benevento, Italy. She came to America at the start of World War 2 and it was a good thing because her home was bombed during the war. My grandfather was already living in Philadelphia and when Grandmom arrived in New York, she brought along her three children: Anna, Lucia and Mario. This is a photo of them as young children and long before they came to the States.

                           Aunt Anna, Uncle Mario and my mother, Lucy
They moved into a home on 7th and Ellsworth and there she and grandpop lived until her death sometime in the early 1960’s. Grandmom never spoke a word of English, but she understood me and, I understood her. She always had rosary beads in her hand. She was always praying for us...we were mischievous kids who also happened to be accident prone. We needed every single prayer to keep the Angel of Death at bay.

Like I mentioned at the start, Grandmom has been on my mind, lately. Maybe it’s because I am going to Italy this month. It’s the first time I’ve ever been out of the country and although I’ll be with a tour group, I’ll be by myself. That’s okay. I’m not afraid and in a way, I won’t be entirely alone. I have inherited my grandmother’s gift and I can see dead people. In fact, there are two ghosts that live in my house. They are my parents. Their names are Fred and Lucy. I told my parents that I’m bringing them with me on this trip. I also asked my grandmother to come with me. Maybe they can translate for me.
My sister Jane recently sent me copies of some important papers belonging to Grandmom. I studied the papers and the photos and after a few minutes, I was back in time. I must have been around nine years old and I watched as my grandmother sang an Italian song as she cooked the pasta on the stove. The door in her kitchen that led to the yard was open. It was a warm, sunny day. I watched the chickens pecking for food outside in the yard while grandpop cooked a steak on grill that he made from a metal can.  
Time and space are connected and maybe we don’t need a machine to travel back or forth in time. Maybe our minds, because we are connected to the Universal Collective, are able to make that jump. I did that jump today while looking at the old photos my sister Jane had sent me. You can try this technique, too. Find a photo of a special person who has passed away. Sit in a quiet room. Play some meditation music. Light up some incense. Hold the photo in your hand. Take deep breaths...think of your loved back to that moment in time when you were your happiest with them. Let me know if it works for you.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Party at the Cemetery


Yes indeed! You read this blog title right. The cemetery that I speak of is the Laurel Hill Cemetery located at 3822 Ridge Ave in Philadelphia. I’ve been attending the different events at this fabulous historic landmark for years. The events are top class and the staff is awesome. I love this cemetery so much that my friend and I volunteer there. There are lots of events coming up this month and you’ll want to check out the event page as soon as possible.

There is a special event coming up on Saturday, September 10 from 8pm to 12am called Into the Veil.
“Life is eternal. Death is merely a change in condition…" Join Atlas Obscura and Laurel Hill Cemetery for an immersive evening as we explore the liminal world that exists between the land of the living and the realm of the dead. Inspired by the innovative event originated by Atlas Obscura and Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery in 2015, the souls of Laurel Hill invite you to contemplate the veil between life and the afterlife. An evening of hidden art, music, cocktails and entertainment will await under the cover of night as you choose your own path of discovery through the Cemetery’s enchanting hallowed grounds.

In case of rain, the event will be moved to September 11from 8 to 12.
Laurel Hill is America's first National Historic Landmark Cemetery, boasting art, architecture, nature and stunning river views. This final resting place of numerous historic notables is open daily with free admission for self-guided tours or recreation. Joggers, dog walkers, bicyclists and photographers are welcome. Unique public tours and events are offered throughout the year, with all proceeds benefitting the preservation and educational mission of Laurel Hill Cemetery.