Thursday, July 30, 2015

Negative Energy

                                                            

Negative energy can come from the living and the dead. Over my lifetime, I’ve met my share of narcissistic and sociopathic personalities. So have you, but you may not have known what you were dealing with. I call these people “Emotional Vampires” because they are capable of sucking the very life from you. Emotional Vampires can be found in all kinds of habitats; work, home and even at church.
                                                                  

They don’t survive on blood, nope if they were simply blood suckers, we would only need a sharp, pointed stake and, a bottle of holy water to rid ourselves of them. Emotional Vampires come in many guises: spouses, friends, bosses and sadly even our children.

How to know if you’re dealing with an Emotional Vampire

1.    You feel the need to protect your personal space.

2.    You feel emotionally and physically drained just spending a small amount of time with this person.

3.    Your happy mood changed to anxious and depressed after spending time with this person.

4.    You begin doubting yourself as worthwhile after being in the presence of this vampire.

We all know someone like this. If it’s someone that we only see occasionally, we can protect ourselves by limiting time spent with this beastie, but what if we can’t escape? What if they live with us? You need to know how to protect yourself.

Types of Emotional Vampires

Hell, yeah! Emotional Vampires can fit into several categories:

Narcissist: Me, me, me. It’s all about me. These vampires lack empathy and emotional growth and if you don’t or can’t do things their way, they become cold, distant and punishing. I bet you’re wondering how to handle this Ass wipe.

You can smack the shit out of them, but that might get you in trouble with the law. You need to remember to keep your expectations realistic. They will never change, so you need to change how you deal with them. Picture yourself in a room with a rattlesnake. If you don’t enter the snake’s territory, it doesn’t feel threatened and won’t strike. Talk to these people like you would to the snake. Tell them nothing that they can use against you. Never make your self-worth dependent on them. You have to trick them into doing something for you by letting them think it will benefit them. While the snake is valuable because it eats rodents that carry diseases, there is nothing valuable about a narcissist.
                                                           

The Victim: The world is always against them. It’s never their fault. When you offer a solution to their sorry lives, they come up with thousands of reasons why they would still be the victim. With this vampire, you need to set limits. Listen briefly, then say, “Unless you are willing to change, there is nothing I can do,” then change the subject or walk away...quickly.

The Controller: It’s my way or the highway! We’ve all met this control freak. Nothing you do is right, if you don’t do it their way. They will pick at your self-worth until you are unable to trust your decisions. I put this vampire on the same level as the narcissist, but more dangerous. Be assertive, be confident. Tell them, “Thank you for your advice, but I have this.” Stick to your guns.

                                                          
The Splitter: This is the ‘Dracula’ of emotional vampires. They are paranoid and may possibly suffer from borderline personality disorders. My siblings and I dealt with this type of personality when dealing with our mother. They try to pit people against each other and will attack if you don’t agree with them. My mother didn’t know she was sick. We didn’t know either as children, but as adults we began to see the signs. How do you protect yourself from this vampire? Don’t let them push your buttons. Don’t take sides. Walk away when their anger rears its ugly head.

I saved the least known emotional vampire for last. There are spirits out there, living in the space between life and death, that can attach themselves to you. These ghosts can literally drain the joy from your very core.

                                                             
Psychic Vampire: Another name for this creature is ‘Energy Vampire’.  When I go on ghost investigations, I make sure to surround myself with spiritual armor. Being an Empath opens me to feeling the emotions of the living and the dead. For the most part, this is helpful in understanding the spirit world and, for knowing when my friends need a hug or an encouraging word. I use my protective armor when I also do spiritual readings for people, but I also make sure to say a prayer after each reading and to cut the cord between the people that I did the reading for. Sometimes, I encounter an energy vampire that I’m not aware of it. This happened recently when I was at a large convention. This past week, I wasn’t myself. I felt drained, angry and unsettled. Where did this come from? Then I remembered.

I had met a psychic at a recent convention who happened to mention that he had many spirits living in his home. Some of those spirits were harmful. I thought I’d sensed a spirit with this man, but I wasn’t sure. I said my prayers, but maybe I hadn’t realized how persistent this spirit was. Now that I’ve identified the cause of my stress, I’ve sent the spirit away with prayers and good intentions to protect me and my home.

                                                          
 Conclusion

Sometimes, we can limit our encounters with people who go out of their way to make our lives miserable. Sometimes, we can’t; they’re family. You can survive these people if you know how to use their tricks against them. Think of this survival mode as mental Aikido or spiritual Kung Fu. It took me a long time to understand the emotional vampire and to avoid them. Be strong and know that you can overcome negativity.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Frailty

                                                         

I was able to take a few hours away from my writing today. I don’t usually like taking breaks my stories to do something as boring as life, but I’m afraid if I don’t take these breaks, I might disappear into the matrix. I made a cup of tea, flopped on the sofa and watched a show that I’d seen a few years back. I’m glad that I did.
                                                         
Frailty is an American thriller that was in theatres in 2002. That’s not where I saw this gem, but home on cable. The film directed and starring Bill Paxton, also featured Matthew McConaughey, Powers Boothe, Matt O’Leary, Jeremy Sumpter and Levi Kries.

Plot

There is a serial killer, known at the God’s Hand killer, on the loose and a FBI Agent on his trail. Agent Wesley Doyle (Booth) gets a visit from a man who claims to be Fenton Meiks (McConaughey). He claims that he knows who is doing the killings. From that moment on, the viewer is taken on a journey of righteous horror.
                                                                
In a series of flashbacks, the man who calls himself Fenton tells Doyle about his father and the messages he received from an angel. Dad (Bill Paxton) wakes up one day to tell his motherless boys that he’s been assigned the job of being God’s Hand; assassin; demon slayer.  Dad tells his young sons that God will show him who to kill. The people, who are marked for death according to dad, are not human. They are demons. While young Adam (Jeremy Sumpter) believes in dad’s message, his older brother, young Fenton (Matt O’Leary) does not. Dad takes the boys on his demon killing trips and, the effect on both children makes one of them a serial killer. Which one of the boys is the God’s Hand killer is the whole plot, and what a plot it is.

Conclusion

There are plots within plots and the viewer is dragged along with little Fenton  and Adam to witness their father’s mission of doing God’s work. Bill Paxton did an outstanding job as director and actor. This is horror at its best. Not because of the killings, but because we have already seen on the news, many examples of maniacal religious fanatics doing God’s work. It makes one question the whole good vs. evil thing.
                                                             
I have to say that this particular film made me a big fan of Matthew McConaughey. In Frailty. Watch the film. It is a good horror story with one hell of a twist.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The Big Apple

                                                           

I have a lot of friends and family who’ve traveled to the bustling city of New York City on many occasions. They all come back praising the city and eager to share their adventures there. I can say honestly say that until this past Sunday, I was unable to give an honest opinion about the place...oh I’ve been there...or close to it...many times, but never dipped my toes, so to speak.
                                                      
                    
The first time I had the chance, ‘had’ being the operative word here, to visit NY was almost forty-seven years ago. I was newly married to husband #1. We decided to join his cousin and his wife one night for dinner and somehow the plan was hatched to take a quick ride to New York and check out the sights. This was before google maps and GPS devices. The car we rode up in was already exhibiting signs of an early death, but when you’re young...you’re adventurous and stupid.
                                                       
Did we take a map? Nope! Did we have enough gas? Yeah, right!  No, we just jumped into the car and headed north. We had been on the road for some time when cousin shouts out, “I think that’s the Brooklyn Bridge.”

Wow, the Brooklyn Bridge! I was so excited to see the bright lights and the fabled Times Square. Did I mention that we didn’t take a map? After the fourth time of driving over the Brooklyn Bridge and not knowing where the hell we were, or why we kept winding up at that stupid bridge, we gave up and headed home.

Big Apple Part 2

My second husband had no desire to visit New York, ever. He was a Philadelphia Fire Fighter until he retired and also had a side job as a truck driver. His experience with traffic, as a truck driver, had turned him off to ever visiting the place. Luckily, I was working at the Academy of Natural Sciences and our volunteers were treated to a yearly outing. One of the outings was to New York’s Museum of Natural Sciences. I had finally made it to the city, but because we were on a schedule, did not get to see the city itself.

Big Apple Part 3

Would I ever get to see the city? I had another opportunity to go to New York a couple of years ago, when my granddaughter, Allie Gilbert, was attending Moore College of Art and Design. She was part of their big yearly fashion show and needed some swatches. She wanted me to keep her company. I was so excited to be asked to go with her, but while on the Mega Bus, it began to rain...let me rephrase this...it was a monsoon! Luckily I had an umbrella, but that was lost quickly in the crowd. My velour jumpsuit was soaking wet and hanging from my body as my granddaughter dragged me from one fabric store to another.
                                 Camden Comic Con                             

We were on a tight schedule as the bus did not wait for anyone and Allie had to be back in time for a class. At one point, I asked, “Allie, are we near Time’s Square?”
Her reply, “It’s that way, Grandmom, but we don’t have the time to visit.” She took hold of my hand and continued pulling me from one street to the next. Big sigh...I arrived back in Philly, soggy, cold, and doomed, so I thought, to never enjoy New York.

Big Apple Part 4
My friend, Jean, and her husband Rich travel to New York all the time. Rich was born and raised there and, Jean had worked and lived in the city for many years. Traffic did not bother them; they were experts at dodging crazy drivers. Jean needed to visit two big beads shops in order to make charms for dog and cat collars. This is something she is planning on selling. I'll let you know when.
                                                                 
Jean asked me if I would like to come spend the day with them. “Will we actually be able to walk around and visit some of the tourist spots,” I asked, as flashbacks of the ‘swatch’ collecting debacle flashed through my mind.
                                     Jean & Marie at the Grand Central Station                     

Jean’s assurance that we would see as much as possible sealed the deal and I went with her. I had a ball! We did visit the two stores and then visited Grand Central Station, Rockefeller Plaza, St. Patrick’s Cathedral and finally had drinks at the Tavern on the Green in Grand Central Park. We even met the very hospitable Proprietor of the Tavern, Jim Caiola.
                                                             

                          
I finally got to see the Big Apple in style and, I’m going back with Jean to visit even more places once this heat wave passes. I loved New York City, but guess what? NYC reminded me a lot of my own home town, Philadelphia. The City of Brotherly Love has pretty much all the razzle and dazzle that the Big Apple offers, only smaller and less congested.
                                                                 
 
I’m going to visit the Big Apple again, but you can bet that I’ll be encouraging the people of New York to come visit our Little Apple.
                                                           
                    

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

A Day Spent at the Fisherman's Wharf

                                                             

I love visiting my sister Jane, who lives in Napa California. The weather is always perfect: no humidity and at night we sleep with the windows open and covered in blankets. It gets pretty chilly at night.

Jane usually does the wine tour with us and we usually stop at a winery for lunch and to do some testing. I don't use the little spittoons that the wine connoisseurs use. That grosses me out. I drink every drop down. Love the wine tasting, but after the fifth sample, I usually don't remember what the hell I was drinking.

                                                               

Jane always takes us on the ferry to San Francisco for a day trip. I love the city and would live there if it wasn't so expensive. This year, my daughter and two of my grandsons came out with me. It was a celebration for Joshua's graduation and before he joins the Navy. He had three requests: see Muir Woods, see the Golden Gate Bridge; eat Bubba Shrimp. We did all three and more.

                                                                   

While we were on Pier 39, there was a magic/juggling show about to begin. The boys had their carry out shrimp from Bubba and we decided to sit and watch the show while they ate. I didn't expect the act to be that much fun, but it was. It was a lot of fun because of Daniel Davinci.  This is one talented and funny man. You can check out his site here.

video
                                                               

Not only is Daniel Davinci an excellent juggler, he is a great stand-up comic that had the audience laughing their heads off. My grandsons loved him. I was even chosen as part of his act, which was a lot of fun. So if you're ever in San Francisco, make sure you catch this act.

Friday, July 10, 2015

A Diploma to the Wine Country

                                                               
 
This June, I had two more of my nine grandchildren graduate from high school: Katrina Janco who is going to the University of Pennsylvania; Joshua Reid who is going into the Navy. This leaves me with two more grandkids to go; Kadin Gilbert and Nathan Reid. I’m getting old.

                                                             
I usually try to visit my sister Jane Lemmons, who lives in the beautiful Napa Valley every year, and since Joshua was graduating high school; I combined the events into one trip. This was the first time that Joshua or Nathan had ever been to California. Their older brother Jimmy had gone several years ago on vacation with me and Grandpop. My daughter ReRe, Josh, Nathan and I stayed at my sister’s house and I have to say that we had an absolute ball.

Jane Lemmons Bed and Breakfast

Staying at my sister Jane’s house is like staying at the Four Seasons five star hotel. I’m not kidding. She has everything ready for her guests. My daughter and I were given our own caddy of beauty supplies to carry into the bathroom each morning for our daily showers. Our clothes were washed each day. The coffee made fresh each morning. Jane even rented a 12 seat van to transport her son, his wife, and her grandson along with my family all over the Napa and Winery area.

                                  Me, daughter ReRe, and sister Jane                              


I wanted Joshua, the middle child in his family, to have a special graduation gift, especially because he will be enlisting into the Navy. Our agenda for the four days there was designed for him. Here are a few photos of our activities.
                                                       

Joshua and Nathan wanted to do some wall climbing at Rockzilla. My nephew Chris and his son, Joshua joined us.
                                                         
 
Here we are at the beautiful Muir Woods
 
 
My nephew, Chris and his wife, Solannge with son
 
 
 
On the ferry to San Francisco
 
 
Josh and Nathan
 
 
Eating Crabs at the Pompeii Grotto on Fisherman's Wharf
 
 
And we can't forget the wines of Napa Valley.
 
 
All in all, it was one of the best vacations I've had and maybe it was because of my grandkids being there and sharing in the adventure. Nathan has reminded me that he will be graduating in a few years and he’s looking to return to Aunt Jane’s Bed and Breakfast.

Steampunk Granny Talks Serial Mom VS. Tomatoes

                                                           

Two of my nine grandchildren graduated this June, Katrina Janco and Joshua Reid, but when I was at my grandson’s graduation ceremony, the storm of the summer hit Washington Township along with many other areas. I posted my experience here. My daughter and her family, along with many other families, went without power for several days.

It was late at night when I got the call from my youngest grandson, Nathan.  “Grandmom, can Josh and I sleep over your house tonight? It’s too hot to sleep.”

I love having the kids over and quickly replied, “Come on down.”

 
Once they arrived, I got them settled down with a snack because no one is allowed to go to bed hungry at my house. They were busy telling me about the damage surrounding their neighborhood and they were too keyed up to fall asleep. I went through the television guide and found a film for us to watch until they were able to fall asleep. It was an older film and one they’d never seen.

Serial Mom

This is a 1994 American “dark comedy” that was written and directed by the awesomely talented John Waters. It stars Kathleen Turner, Sam Waterston, Ricki Lake and Matthew Lillard, Patty Hearst, Suzanne Somers, Joan Rivers, Traci Lords.

Plot

Kathleen Turner plays the part of Beverly Sutphin, a typical suburban soccer mom. But, there is nothing typical about her. She is a serial killer who murders people over the most trivial mistakes. She secretly harasses her neighbors, going as far as making crank calls.
                                                                           


One by one, people in the suburb of Baltimore start turning up deader than a doorknob, starting with her son’s math teacher because criticizes her son, Chip. The police finally get involved, but Beverly is an expert at appearing angelic.

                                                                          
You can catch this film on demand. Serial Mom was just as funny as the first time I saw it, and my grandsons also enjoyed the film. Somehow, we got on the topic of old movies and I mentioned that I had a DVD of Attack of the Killer Tomatoes. They wanted to watch it that night, but I talked them into waiting until morning.

Attack of the Killer Tomatoes

                                                                     
This is a 1978 comedy/horror film directed, produced, edited, scored and co-written by John DeBello. The film starred David Miller, George Wilson, Sharon Taylor, and Costa Dillon.  Attack of the Killer Tomatoes is a spoof of B movies.

Plot

The opening scroll claims that when Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 The Birds was released, audiences laughed at the notion of birds revolting against humanity, but when an attack by birds happened in 1975, no one laughed. The film shows a series of attacks committed by tomatoes against humans. The sound effects of the tomatoes are hilarious, as is the scene of tomatoes attacking swimmers via a Jaws parody.

 
It’s a stupid movie, but I love it. From the disguise expert that infiltrates the tomatoes’ hideout to the secret weapon (a song) that can kill the tomatoes.



The next afternoon, the power came back on at my daughter's house and the boys went home, but they plan to spend another overnight with me because I have lots of fun DVD's to watch.

 

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Little Turk

                                                            



Little Turk was purposely  run over and injured, but he is doing better.