Blessed Be my little Witch. To those who came before and those who will come after, know that the Goddess is with you always. Thank you all my dear readers…be blessed. ~GrannyMoon
Dark Moon – Time to Rest
New Moon – Time to Begin New Projects; Birth; Attraction
Waxing Moon – Time to Grow; Increase
Full Moon – Time to be Fulfilled; Abundance
Waning Moon – Time to Banish; Decrease
Last Sliver of Moon – Time to Die; Letting Go
Dark Moon – Time to Rest Again
Light A Candle Today!
In many different traditions lighting a candle is a sacred action. It expresses more than words can express. It has to do with gratefulness. From time immemorial, people have lit candles in sacred places. You may want to begin or end your day by the sacred ritual of lighting a candle on this gratefulness. Or you may want to light a birthday candle for a friend. One single guideline is all you need: Slow down and do it with full attention.
Herb of the Year for 2021: Parsley (Petroselinum crispum, named by the International Herb Association.
Goddess Month of Kerea runs from 7/11 – 8/8
Celtic Tree Calendar: Holly Moon: July 8 – August 4
This evergreen plant reminds us all year long about the immortality of nature. The Holly moon was called Tinne, pronounced chihnn-uh, by the Celts, who knew the potent Holly was a symbol of masculine energy and firmness.
THE CURRENT MOON PHASE: Moon Phase Today: August 01, 2021
The Moon’s current phase for today and tonight is a Waning Crescent phase.
Waning Moon, the period between the Full Moon and the New Moon. This is a time for banishing and rejecting things in our lives that we no longer wish to carry around with us.
High Priestess Training with GrannyMoon
The entire course takes 15 months to complete (four levels). Tuition covers lessons, assignments, and instructor feedback. In addition, students may download guided meditation exercises and be eligible for Sabbats, Esbats, and retreats with the Sisterhood. The entire fee for each level is $120 (payment plan available), sixteen lessons in each level, except the last.
Ceremonial Cords and frame-able Completion Certificates are awarded as members complete each level.
Level I – Initiate of the Sisters of the Burning Branch – White cord
Level II – Adept of the Sisters of the Burning Branch- Red cord
Level III – Priestess of the Sisters of the Burning Branch- Black cord
Level IV – High Priestess of the Sisters of the Burning Branch – Green cord
You May Also Be Interested In:
Learn About Herbs with GrannyMoon!
There are 10 lessons in each level and there is no time limit for completion. You may study at your own pace! There are no texts to purchase.
The cost for Level 1 is $50.00 or the entire Healing Arts Course (1-3) for $150.00, which includes a free Reiki certification course when all three are ordered!
The Goddess School Grimoire
eBook (PDF): $6.25
The Goddess School Grimoire is a collection of recipes, artwork, poetry, prose, prayers, rituals, spells, and practical Goddess wisdom put together by the teachers, students, alumni, and friends of The Sisters of the Burning Branch Goddess School. The sisterhood is dedicated to restoring spiritual balance by returning the Divine Feminine to her rightful place and by assisting women in their personal and spiritual development. Since being founded by Head and High Mother Priestess Grandmother Moon in 2000, The Goddess School (www.Goddessschool.com) has grown into a large and beautiful global community of women.
August 2, 2021 – August 8, 2021
The first week of August starts off with the dark cloud of the Sun opposed to Saturn. This can make you feel isolated, low energy, and critical of the self. So rely on your support system. Take your time with projects and try to find a balance between your wants and your obligations to others. On Tuesday, energies will shift in a more positive direction, if you are willing to shake up your routine and do something new and exciting.
Later in the week, the Sun squares Uranus. Surprising events may shake up your world. Be proactive rather than reactive. On Sunday, the New Moon occurs in Leo (See lunar magic). Make sure you set your intentions for the month ahead.
Recommended: Outa My Way (Dorothy Morrison Wicked Witch Mojo), Muse (Blessing Kit), Stability (Blessed Herbal Candle), New Moon (Astro Magic)
Astrology Forecast brought to you by Storm Cestavani of http://www.stormcestavani.com/
Find Your Destiny with World Magic
What do you want to be when you grow up? This question is as nerve-racking at the age of 5 as it is at the age of 35, and really, who totally grows up? With this month in energetic Leo, discovering your destiny is powered up by your sense of self-worth. Before you can get started creating and anchoring your goals into your daily life you have to figure out who you really want to be! Use this month’s energy to ask and answer tough questions about your desires and inner fears as you manifest your destiny.
Create a New Pathways Beyond Your Personal Challenges
August Astro Magic 2021
I have to admit that I may be a little biased this month being a Leo, but I hope my exuberance over the sign can be a catalyst for inner change, transformation, and some good ole’ magic.
New Moon in Leo on August 8, 2021
Leo brings in the deep desire to be uniquely ourselves. This is another invitation to throw off the masks and personalities we’ve taken in life and try again to be fully self-actualized. For some, it will be a welcome breath of fresh air because being anyone but ourselves is oppressive. For others, fear and hesitation to be that vulnerable still have to be healed. No matter your level of readiness, a Leo New Moon opens the doors. Another way to play with this energy is to open up space for new projects with joy and enthusiasm.
Full Moon in Aquarius on August 22, 2021
We are doing it again, we’ve got a Full Moon in Aquarius. Just like last month the energy is excellent for breaking through stagnant situations, developing better friendships, expanding your social circle, and opening yourself up to new experiences. Maybe this is the universe’s way of telling us, there is more work to do. For your convenience we have provided our July candle ritual here so you can go for round two and really dig deep into what’s blocking you from breaking out of those stubborn patterns.
SCCC Dream Job Spell
It’s time for a new you and a new job. As the past year has taught us, don’t stay somewhere you can’t be appreciated or grow. Use this spell to find and keep a job that will be beneficial for your employer, but most importantly, be beneficial for you.
August’s Spells Caster Club card is directed at supporting your professional aspirations. It works by drawing the divine connection of Lakshmi and all her business acumen to work your network and open up your professional life to better serve you. This spell will connect you with your dream job and your future.
Dazzle your friends by being a Coventry Creations magic maker!
Follow our blogs on coventrycreations.com.
Find us on Facebook @coventrycreationscandles.
Lammas Song by Lisa Thiel
Give thanks for the blessings, give thanks for the lessons
Give thanks for all that the Goddess Provides
Give thanks for this showing our dreams are now growing
Give thanks for the presence of the Goddess in our lives
Thank You, Thank you, O Great Mother Thank You…
With the first Green Corn, our dreams are now taking form
We ask for the strength to see the true harvest born
Mother of the Corn, of Hoof, and of Horn
We thank you for the Bounty you’ve brought to our door
Thank You, Thank you, O Great Mother Thank You…
Thank You, Thank you, O Great Mother Thank You…
Mother of the Grain, of the Sun and of the Rain
We pray for an abundant Harvest again
We give thanks for the Blessings, give thanks for the lessons
We give thanks for all that the Goddess Provides.
Thank You, Thank you, O Great Mother Thank You…
Celebrate Lammas with Bread Magic
When Lammas, or Lughnasadh, rolls around, many modern Pagans celebrate the harvest of the grain crops. This is nothing new – for our ancestors, the grain harvest was a cause for great celebration. A successful harvest meant families would be able to bake and store bread through the winter – and that could mean the difference between life and death for many. The word “Lammas” comes from the Old English phrase hlaf-maesse, which translates to “loaf mass.” Today, it’s not uncommon to find a celebration of bread at a Pagan festival during the Lammas season.
There are a number of different ways that bread itself can be incorporated into a ritual or magical setting. Let’s look at some of the magical folklore surrounding bread in different cultures and societies.
Bread and the Divine
Grain has held a place of importance in civilization back nearly to the beginning of time. Grain became associated with the cycle of death and rebirth. The Sumerian god Tammuz was slain and his lover Ishtar grieved so heartily that nature stopped producing. Ishtar mourned Tammuz, and followed him to the Underworld to bring him back, similar to the story of Demeter and Persephone.
In Greek legend, the grain god was Adonis. Two goddesses, Aphrodite and Persephone, battled for his love. To end the fighting, Zeus ordered Adonis to spend six months with Persephone in the Underworld, and the rest with Aphrodite.
Spirits of the Grain
In European cultures, a corn doll was often used to represent the spirit of the harvested crops. However, Europe didn’t have a monopoly on this at all.
In South American countries, some tribes took the largest portion of the crops — typically maize — and dressed it in clothing as an effigy.
Folklorist Sir James Frazer makes mention in The Golden Bough of the global phenomenon of the honoring of the spirit of the grain. He says that the mere fact that underdeveloped, primitive cultures honor a “corn mother” archetype indicates that this has been going on for thousands of years. In other words, because these cultures are “unspoiled” by modern society, their worship of such an embodiment of the grain is probably very close to the original ritual and ceremony.
The Final Sheaf
In many societies, the cutting of the final sheaf of grain was indeed cause for celebration. People celebrated by making corn dolls, which represented the spirit of the grain. Sometimes these dolls were full-sized, made of the last stalks of corn to be harvested, and decorated with ribbons, streamers and even articles of clothing.
Bread Magic and Superstitions
In Yorkshire, it was believed that if a loaf of bread failed to rise, it meant there was an undiscovered corpse nearby.
One English tradition revolves around hot cross buns. If you bake yours on Good Friday, they will not spoil or grow mold. Another custom says that sailors should take a hot cross buns on their travels to prevent shipwreck. The cross on the bun comes from a superstition that marking the bun so would prevent the Devil from getting into the baked goods.
In parts of Appalachia, it’s important to watch when you slice a loaf of bread for the first time — if you slice through a hole in the bread, it means someone is going to die. It is also well-known that if you put a slice of bread into a cradle, it will protect the infant from disease.
For many cultures, the breaking of bread is symbolic of peace and hospitality. Once you have welcomed someone into your home and you have eaten bread together, you’re far less likely to kill one another.
In parts of Norway, boys and girls who share bread from the same loaf are destined to fall in love and marry.
Heartwings Love Notes 993: Seeing is Believing, Perhaps
Heartwings says, “What you see clearly is what is true for you.”
As a child, once I learned to read, I pored over my father’s books of myths, fairy tales, and Bible stories. I had no interest in any reading that talked about reality. My own favorite books were the Raggedy Ann stories by Johnny Gruelle and poetry books by Robert Louis Stevenson and A.A.Milne. Being an only child until the age of eight, I had plenty of time to read and did so voraciously, especially as I grew older.
The Raggedy Ann books featured fanciful stories about the adventures of a little girl’s stuffed toys, characters who lived in the child’s room. There was a wonderful “deep, deep” wood where trees produced frankfurters and pancakes, strawberry soda springs bubbled up and cups grew nearby. They were peaceful books where little danger lurked, and happy adventures were the norm.
There was no TV to show images of violence or sorrow. Children, as I experienced it, were to be protected from anything to do with real world terror, death, or dangerous situations. Whether this was good or bad I cannot say. What it did do was create in me a mindset oriented toward a worldview that was essentially positive and willing to believe in fairies, Santa Claus, and stuffed animals that were in some sense alive.
Of course, I am on some level aware that this worldview is unrealistic. However, reality takes many forms and miracles do occur with regularity. Who is to say that this or that is “nonsense,” or that such and such is impossible? I am fully aware that there is room for all kinds of beliefs. For instance, I have read that very young children see the colors of an aura around people, and that when they are told “no, you don’t see that,” by those who are worried their child will be thought weird or worse, lose the ability.
Often people are afraid of what seems too outside the norm. Not that long ago women, and occasionally men were burnt or otherwise murdered because they were thought to be witches. Still, it may be that not everything can be seen unless we know about it first. Native Americans apparently could not see the ships that brought Columbus because they had no experience of them. I have had things happen I could not explain and been told by others of the same. Keeping an open mind is best, or so it seems to me, and it does make life interesting.
May you discover new wonders to enlighten you.
Blessings and Best Regards, Tasha
I am always so happy to hear from readers, please write me at email@example.com, and visit my web pages at www.heartwingsandfriends.com for more Love notes and other interesting viewing.
Llewellyn’s Spell A Day
Magical Blemish Removal
JULY 27, 2021 BY MICHAEL FURIE
A classic technique for getting rid of things such as warts and pimples is to rub each one with a small piece of meat, a bean, or a slice of potato and bury the pieces in the ground during a waning moon. This method can still be used today, and with the sun in the beauty-conscious sign of Leo and the moon waning in Pisces, it is an ideal time.
To begin, gather as many bits of the food options as you need, and rub one on each blemish, setting the bits in a bowl afterward. Once finished, go to a spot outdoors and bury them in the earth. As the pieces are buried, say the following three times:
As these portions rot and decay,
So blemishes shall dissolve
and fade away.
Then walk away from the burial spot without looking back.
JULY 26, 2021 BY ESTHA MCNEVIN
The last half of summer really is a powerhouse of life and fertility. Capturing that energy for our wallet and purse magick is as simple as sprouting clover seeds.
In a large glass loaf pan, soak a half cup of clover seeds and three onedollar bills in a half cup of water. Poke holes in the money or tear the edges to give the plants something to hold onto. Nestle this in a warm and sunny location and watch the life grow!
For twelve days, carefully drain the old water while holding back the seeds and dollar bills. Each day, replace it with fresh water until the seeds sprout. Once full leaves begin to form, plant this cluster of clovers in a container or out in the garden to generate greater wealth within and all around your home. Add coins and precious stones to create places where these buried treasures can help improve and generate auspicious vibrations.
House Naming and Altar
JULY 28, 2021 BY BLAKE OCTAVIAN BLAIR
To animists, everything is alive. This includes our homes. Your home is your sacred space, so take a moment today to recognize that it has a spirit all its own.
If you have not already done so, come up with a fitting name for your home, then create a simple altar to the spirit of your home. This can be as simple as a candle upon the mantel or a rock from your yard in the corner of a kitchen counter that you keep an offering bowl upon. It need not be elaborate. I like to keep a bell in this sacred space as well. Ring the bell, light a candle, and declare aloud your home’s new name—and use it often! Be sure to extinguish the candle.
Puddle Banishing Spell
JULY 29, 2021 BY KATE FREULER
Sometimes the most ordinary things are magical. For example, the fact that puddles of rainwater evaporate and change form after a storm, rising back into the sky as invisible vapor, is pretty amazing. A natural phenomenon like this is a perfect tool in magic.
For this spell you will need a pinch of salt, an ice cube tray and some water, and a puddle of rainwater that you know will dry up eventually.
When a problem is weighing heavy on your mind, hold the pinch of salt in your hand. Send your negative thoughts into the salt, visualizing it becoming gray and murky with unwanted energy. Now place the salt in one square of the ice cube tray. Fill the square with water and freeze.
Next time it rains and puddles form outdoors, retrieve your ice cube. Choose a puddle and place the ice cube in it. Imagine how, over the next few days, the ice cube will melt into water and then the water will transform into vapor, disappearing into the air. As the puddle dries up in the sun, so should your problem be resolved.
JULY 30, 2021 BY ELIZABETH BARRETTE
Today is International Day of Friendship. Devote some time to your relationships. Each relationship is like a bank account. When you do nice things for a friend, you deposit energy in the account. When you ask for favors or make mistakes, you withdraw energy from the account. A healthy relationship should have a well-balanced give-and-take of energy.
Gather together some polished rose quartz pebbles, a stone of friendship. Name each stone for someone special in your life. Meditate on your relationship with each person as you hold their stone. How balanced is your relationship? Have you done too much for it, or too little?
Most relationships can benefit from investing more energy in them. To improve the balance, choose several small actions or one larger action to perform. Carry the stone(s) with you until you feel that you have balanced that relationship. You may give the stones to your friends or cleanse the stones and put them back in your working tools.
Stones of Protection
JULY 31, 2021 BY STORM FAERYWOLF
* Several medium to large-size rocks
* A lemon
* A large bowl of water
* Some sea salt
* A towel
* Acrylic paint
* A paintbrush
Collect several medium to large-size rocks. These can be collected on your walks or even purchased from a garden store. Gather them, along with the other materials. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice of one half into the bowl of water, then sprinkle in some salt. Wash each stone lovingly in the water while continuously chanting this verse:
Stone of protection,
Stone of defense.
Towel the stones dry and then paint upon each one a symbol of power while continuing the same chant the whole time. These symbols can be common ones, like a pentagram, triquetra, or hamsa, or they may be sigils of your own creation.
Once all have been painted, place each stone outside your home to create a protective circle.
AUGUST 01, 2021 BY EMBER GRANT
Lughnasadh has roots in Irish mythology and legend as a festival in honor of the god Lugh. This day has come to be celebrated in many ways, including acknowledging the first harvest. Create your own First Fruits blessing by buying some local produce today or, even better, harvest from your own garden if you can. Any type of food item can be used for the blessing—fruit, vegetable, grain, or herb. After you’ve selected your item to symbolize the harvest, decorate your altar with seasonal items and candles. Place your “first fruit” in the center and chant this blessing for abundance:
Bless this harvest, Earth sustain us,
flower, fruit, and grain.
Bring abundance, Earth maintain us,
blessed be our gain.
Ghost Hunting Theories
Haunted Caves, Scary Caves!
Caves are more than the sites of mines and ancient hieroglyphs, the burial places of giants, and homes for bats. They can also be haunted. And, why not? In desperate times, caves were utilized for sanctuary and sometimes standoffs and, given the geology, they seem like ideal vessels in a feng shui sort of way, to retain and hold a kind of amplified haunting that is held captive in a cul-du-sac formation. I am utterly fascinated with the haunted cave phenomena. I cannot think of a better spirit vessel.
Let’s have a look at some more infamous haunted caves…
Bell Witch Cave
The Bell Witch Cave in Adams, Tennessee is a very popularly known cave apparently haunted by the Bell Witch. The cave is supposedly beneath a burial mound and there is even the remains of a previously robbed Native grave, though this is rather unusual for a Native burial, but not at all unusual for a giant burial in a stone sarcophagus.
There are vague reports of sounds, giggling, talking, laughter and more within the cave, as well as belief that the Bell Witch monitors the occupants or a woman is seen sometimes within the caverns. There has been a lot of hype around this site. There could be some genuine haunting going on, but the source of the haunting may not be a supposed Bell Witch, but something perhaps more ancient, as the robbed grave might provide.
Mammoth Cave in Kentucky is called the largest haunted cave. Interestingly, both Tennessee and Kentucky have amazing geology and an ancient history of giant races, as well as having great histories of Native Tribes and Civil War hardships. These are perfect places for caves to be haunted. In fact, it’s generally assumed there are lots more giant finds to be made in these caves, as well as perhaps even having active races of “little people” or “giants” and even “reptoids” existing within deep caverns today.
This seriously mammoth cave has seen a lot of history for thousands of years and that leaves a certain mystique, but it also has reason to be supposedly haunted. As far back as 4000 years ago, “Natives” were mining deep inside it.
Is the cave haunted by spirits or simply a very lengthy history for thousands of years? That is hard to tell, but some have had unusual experiences, seen things, heard things, felt things within.
In 1797, a man chased a bear into the entrance of the cave. He was said to be the first white man to enter it. In 1798, a man who owned the land the cave was on, sold it to some brothers who wanted to mine saltpeter. By 1810, the brothers sold it to a bigger business who could mine for saltpeter on a bigger scale. The War of 1812 made saltpeter much sought after. The new owner had slaves working the cave to mine the saltpeter for eventual gunpowder production. After the war, however, saltpeter needs fell and the business went under.
The cave then became known for the “mummies” found in it. This brought in the first tourists to see the cave. In 1842, the cave was used as an experiment to house people with TB. And patients died there.
This cave in Derbyshire and an EVP session-
Swallow Cave near Nahant, Massachusetts is not a particularly big cave, but it has a reputation of being haunted by a witch. The story goes back to the 1700s when Natives were fighting with settlers in Lynn, Massachusetts and they hid up in the cave. A local witch helped out the settlers to find the Natives, but then begged them to not fire upon the Natives. She somehow managed to convince the Natives to go back to the Cape Cod area and there was peace. Later, when she died, the people supposedly buried her above the cave in memory for what she had done and her spirit was said to still haunt the cave.
Dungeon Rock Cave
Dungeon Rock in Lynn, Massachusetts, has a reputation of a potential pirate treasure within. A spiritualist of the times, Hiram Marble, thought he could find the pirate treasure and use spiritualist movement tools to do so. It was his ultimate goal to prove that spiritualists’ tools were credible. Unfortunately, he went decades searching and died without making his goal.
Wabasha Street Caves
This interesting place has a sorted history. The Wabasha Street Caves in Saint Paul, Minnesota, is a building that leads back into caverns where they once mined silica. At different times, it was used for everything from gangster hideout to mushroom farming. An apparition of a man wearing a panama hat has been seen inside and a female apparition at the bar. Three gangsters in the 1930s were said to be shot down within the caves and they all have been seen at various times haunting the place.
Now, this may be a “haunted cave” you are more likely to visit – the infamous “Haunted Cave” in Lewisburg, Ohio; a popular attraction!
As Above, So Below
World’s Largest Cave
And then, there’s always the world’s largest cave in Vietnam – At more than 200m high, 150m wide and 5km long, the Hang Son Doong cave in Vietnam is so big it has its own river, jungle and climate.
Bizarre Cave Creatures
What about the creatures you might encounter? There are some very unusually adapted critters crawling and scampering around the caves –
And, then, there are cave mummies found all around the world. Outside of Manila, at Kabayan Cave, loggers found these coffins and mummies showing signs of advanced embalming techniques like the Egyptians.
Incan Child Sacrifices were discovered in caves and showed that they were drugged and left as sacrifices. The conditions in the caves made these poor children turn to mummies.
Spirit Cave Mummy – the oldest in the US, found in Nevada.
The Spirit Cave mummy is part of an ongoing dispute between the Paiutes who say it is their ancestor (although the find is 9000 years old, way before they came to those lands and bears no resemblance to their appearance or technology). If there is some justice, a DNA survey will be done – as they have already dated it and further analysis of hair or tooth or other material is of little consequence. The fact is, once this is proven to be of the First Migration to the Americas, we will have to rethink what we consider Native, as most anthropologists recognize three migrations to this continent.
The same could be said for the finds in Lovelock Cave which do not resemble in looks or technology what the local tribes can attribute to their ancestors. Even the Natives in Wisconsin admitted to another race of people being here when their people arrived, that race being the one that did the mining of copper there very long ago.
Horrifying Cave Events
What about horrifying things that occurred in caves?
Catawba Murder Cave
Marian McConnell wrote the book “Murder Hole”
This Virginia cave has a lot of local legends including a farmer who killed a tinker and threw him into the hole, a couple who couldn’t marry, so they drove a cart into the hole, a man in a caving club whose rope broke, sending him falling to his death. Since then, dozens of people have gotten trapped, but no more deaths. All in all, it’s a good idea to avoid this cave nicknaked “Murder Hole.”
Dead Man’s Hole
Discovered in 1821 in Texas, it was a crazy sinkhole, but nothing special until the Civil War Era when Unionist sympathizers were thrown down it by Confederates. The bones of 17 people were found. In 1951, with gas masks (poisonous gas below), men descended into it to look around. A commemorative plaque was left behind for those who died there.
This cave in the Niagara Gorge in New York has had a reputation way back starting with the Iroquois. They believed there to be a demonic serpent in the cave called “Evil One.” People were said to not come out of the cave and, if they did, their hair was white.
It doesn’t end there. In 1763, the Seneca ambushed an English wagon train and threw the bodies into the hole. Many dozens were killed there.
Phonom Sampeau Cave
This cave in Cambodia is referred to as the “Killing Cave.” The Khmer Rouge in the 1970s used it as a torturing and killing place. The bones, clothing, electrical devices for torture are still there on display.
Skeleton Cave, Arizona: Site of a horrible massacre of Native Americans.
Hellfire Caves, UK: A curious and fabled site of potential secret rituals.
Lovelock Cave, Nevada: Believed site of ancient red-haired giants massacre
I hope this has gotten you interested in learning more about what goes on in caves – in the past, the present, and in caves we have yet to find with treasures of science and history!
GILBERTO Rides Again
By Stephen Halpert
“What he did, kicking my prize soccer ball into into two trays full of dishes and glass wear was unforgivable,” Ramon fumed, “What does she see in that jerk?”
“His shoulders,” Gilberto said.
“What?” disbelief masked his face.
“His shoulders,” Gilberto repeated. Sophia has always gone for big brawny guys like her daddy. Been that way all her life.”
Ramon half smiled but then punched his fist into his palm. “So I’m supposed to make nice in this rented tux while my oldest daughter ruins her life?”
Gilberto felt genuine sympathy. He patted Ramon’s shoulder. “I hope Rosa makes him pay for the broken dishes and glassware.”
“Oh believe me she will,” Ramone said. “That stuff was all rented.” He frowned. “Shoulders huh! I’d like to break his arm.”
“Be nice,” Gilberto said. “Your future son in law, after all.” He took him by the arm and led him outside before he could do his daughter’s fiancé bodily harm.
Maria followed them outside. “Just checking in,” she put her arm around Ramon. “Personally I hope this wedding never happens.”
Ramon nodded. “That makes two of us. That soccer ball is my greatest treasure! Do you have any idea how many consecutive games we had to win to qualify for the finals that year? I scored the winning goal. Such disrespect, my treasured keepsake kicked into trays of dirty dishes.”
Just then a sedate black Jaguar coupe pulled into the condo lot. From it emerged an older couple. “Hello there,” the gentleman said. He wore a three-piece dark suit, his immaculately pressed trousers brushed against his polished black wingtips. Gold cufflinks winked from his jacket sleeves.
“I think we’re at the right address?” He nodded. I’m Benjamin Blackstone. Millie and I are here to attend our son’s, Bradley’s engagement party.”
Millie eyed Ramon and looked dubious. She wore a sheer layer of silk over a loose, colorful gown. The gentleman peered at Ramon. He held out his keys. “Please, park this as close as you can. I’d appreciate it.”
“Oh dear,” Marias smiled politely and pointed at Ramon. “He’s Ramon
Gomez, father of the bride.”
Hearing that caught their attention. “Oh I see. Well, I’m Benjamin Blackstone, he repeated. He pointed to the sheathed mountain of a woman. “My wife Millie. We’re Bradley Blackstone’s parents.”
“How wonderful to meet you,” Maria replied cordially. “I’m Maria Santiago. “This is my husband, Gilberto.”
Millie Blackstone gave him her perfect smile. She looked at Ramon. “You’re so fortunate to have our Bradley as your son in law.”
Ramon was momentarily speechless. Gilberto intervened. “Unfortunately you son kicked a soccer ball that landed in the kitchen toppling two trays ladened with stacked dishes and glasses.”
“That’s our Bradley!” Benjamin Blackstone chortled. “He’s always had a penchant for accidents. When he was fourteen, he’d ride his bike around Concord using his slingshot to put out streetlights.”
“No tales out of school now,” Millie Blackstone urged. “Our Bradley is a fine boy, excelling in his studies at Dartmouth.”
“Of course,” Benjamin Blackstone smiled. “Certainly we take care of things. Donated a new gymnasium and hockey rink to the town. But they did take away his slingshot.” He paused. “Of course we’ll cover tonight’s damages.” He took a slim black leather wallet from his inside suit jacket pocket, riffed out a number of bills and handed them to Ramon.
Ramon nodded. He’d never been mistaken as a parking attendant. His voice was parched. “Thank you.”
“Let us go upstairs and rejoin the party,” Maria smiled.
“I’ll park your car,” Gilberto volunteered. He took the keys and pulled the Jaguar into a nearby space.
A flustered Brad rushed over to his parents. He hugged his mom and stammered. “She wants to call the whole thing off.”
Millie’s eyebrows flew upward. “How can she? That sort of thing,” she paused, “and considering her condition, could cause a terrible scandal.”
Rosa smiled politely and greeted the Blackstone’s. “I’m sorry but my daughter Sophia is indisposed. Let’s give her a few minutes and I’m sure she’ll join us.”
“What happened?” Benjamin Blackstone said.
“I’m not sure,” Rosa said. “But apparently they had a terrible row.” She looked at Brad. “Perhaps he can explain.”
“All I did was tell her to help me in the kitchen. You’d have thought I was
asking for the end of the world.”
“Perhaps it seemed that way to Sophia,” Rosa said.
Brad frowned. “What about all that sickness and in health stuff?” Isn’t a wife supposed to support her husband? Do as he tells her to do. But all she kept saying was that it would ruin her manicure. Like I care about her manicure.”
Benjamin Blackstone nodded sympathetically. Millie looked troubled; her makeup couldn’t hide a trembling lip. She took Bradley’s hand. Her voice softened. “Have you apologized?”
Brad’s voice raised. “What for? She should be damned glad I even offered to marry her. Her being that way.”
Rosa and Maria both stiffened, looked at each other, turned and glared at Brad.
“In which case it’s just as well she’s calling it off,” Rosa said.
“Bradley this is not the way people like us behave” Benjamin Blackstone turned to Rosa. “I’m sorry. My son’s manners are sadly lacking. I fear that at this stage of his life he is too immature to marry anyone. We will of course help to support our grandchild. Once the child is born, we will set up a college education fund.”
Millie Blackstone glared at her husband and then at her son. “What are we supposed to say to our friends at the Club?”
“You’ll think of something,” Benjamin said off handedly.
Sophia came back into the room. Her cheeks were flush and her eyes were red from crying. She took a deep beath and straightened her shoulders. Her fists were clenched. “I’m sorry Brad but this marriage would never work. It wouldn’t be fair to anyone, especially our child.” She opened her palm and tried handing him her engagement ring.
“Keep the damn thing,” Brad said.
“No, you take it now.” Rosa spoke emphatically. Seeing her expression, he did. She embraced Sophia and smiled softly and lovingly. “You made the right decision. I’m so proud of your honesty.”
(to be continued)
Kitty Kat’s Korner
Why You Should Keep Lilies Far Away From Your Cat
Keep lilies far away from your feline friend.
By Grace Haynes May 27, 2021
Cats have a reputation for being naturally curious. They’re quirky creatures who love sitting in boxes and instinctively eat grass when their diets need a little more fiber. It seems like these beloved pets get into just about anything and everything around the house—chasing toys, climbing onto countertops, and chewing whatever they can get their paws on. You’d probably be hard-pressed to find a Southern home without houseplants—we love them for the natural beauty and fragrance they bring to our interiors, and our pets love to investigate anything new that comes through the front door. That’s why it’s especially important to know which houseplants are safe and which are toxic to cats. Dr. Callie Harris, DVM, a veterinarian at Purina, urges pet owners not to bring home lilies because they are dangerous to cats. Read on her for advice.
Why are some lilies dangerous to cats?
“Cat and kitten owners should be mindful about the type of plants they keep in their home. Cats are curious animals and just tasting certain plants, especially lilies that are toxic, can be deadly. Many pet owners aren’t aware of how dangerous certain lilies are to cats, and it’s difficult to identify the lilies that are toxic versus the ones that aren’t, so it’s advised to avoid having any lilies in your house if you have a cat,” explains Dr. Harris. “The exact toxic dose and the precise toxins responsible for damage are currently unknown. Toxins in certain lilies can cause severe kidney damage in your cat or kitten and some species are cardiotoxic,” she says.
Which species of lilies should cat owners avoid?
“There are several types of lilies that cat owners should steer clear of to avoid putting their pet at risk of toxicosis, a pathological condition caused by the action of the poison. Some species include daylily, Asiatic lily, Easter lily, Japanese show lily, Oriental lily, Rubrum lily, tiger lily, Wood lily, and Stargazer lily, but the toxic principle is unknown and it has been shown that cats may develop toxicity even from the pollen,” Dr. Harris says. Unsure which selection of lily you’ve picked up at the garden center? Dr. Harris recommends avoiding these plants altogether out of an abundance of caution for your cat.
What should you do if your cat ingests a lily?
“If you find that your cat has ingested any part of a lily, you should react fast and seek help from your veterinarian immediately. Because the toxic dose of lilies is unknown, your veterinarian will likely want to hospitalize and treat supportively with intravenous fluids. Depending on how much of the flower your cat has consumed and how severe the damage is, they may need more aggressive treatment for their kidneys, like dialysis,” says Dr. Harris.
Georgia Weekly Horoscope: Sunday, August 01, 2021
The planet Uranus was discovered on March 13, 1781. It represents earthquakes, explosions, burnt toast and jokes that fall flat. In other words, unpredictable surprises from the horrific to the absurd. It portends accidents and arguments as well as a lottery win, an unexpected invitation, or a surprise gift. Uranus takes 84 years to go through all 12 signs, being in one sign for 11 years. Right now, Uranus is in Taurus. This month the Sun is in Leo, which is at odds with Taurus, which explains bizarre events, accidents, family rebellions and sudden changes. But we will survive! By the way, I use the British pronunciation of Uranus: (UR-anus instead of the American one: Ur- ANUS (and if you had to say it as much as I do – you would, too.)
Aries (March 21-April 19)
This continues to be a great time for Aries because both the Sun and Mercury are supporting your sign. In fact, they will generate opportunities for you to enjoy parties, social occasions, the arts, attendance or participation in sports events plus, playful activities with children. This same influence urges you to take a vacation; and it also pumps possibilities for romance! Nevertheless, this week, the same areas might hold some unexpected surprises and moments of rebellion. (Aries parents will notice this with their kids.) Fortunately, matters related to your job, your health and even your pet are supportive in a pleasant way. (Very nice.)
Taurus (April 20-May 20)
Your focus continues to be on home and family this week. Many of you will be more involved than usual with a parent. Family discussions will definitely take place, perhaps addressing the need for home repairs? However, this is also when you might encounter some rebellion or surprises and mishaps due to domestic arguments or something that impacts your home. A small appliance might break down or minor accident could occur. Fortunately, the opportunities for you to enjoy vacations, fun occasions, the arts, sports romance and playful activities with kids will abound. A solid week. Get ready for good times ahead!
Gemini (May 21-June 20)
You’re happy with your fast pace because you like life to be interesting! (You don’t do boring.) Short trips, discussions, appointments and errands are just some reasons you’re on the go this week. Admittedly, it behooves you to pay attention to everything you say and do because stressful aspects could encourage a few speed bumps to your plans. Pay attention to everything you say and do to reduce the possibility of accidents or goofy mistakes. Give yourself extra time (when you do anything) so that you have wiggle room to deal with the unexpected. Meanwhile, spontaneous entertaining at home will delight you. You might also buy something beautiful for where you live?
Cancer (June 21-July 22)
Money, earnings and cash flow continue to be your primary focus this week. You might even have some excellent moneymaking ideas. Many of you will attract money to you as well! Nevertheless, something to do with money, cash flow, earnings and your possessions might encounter obstacles this week or something surprising or unexpected. Therefore, be mindful. Take care of what you own. Double check anything to do with your money and assets. Stay top of things to guard against the possibility of loss. Fortunately, you will be delighted to meet new faces, new places and new ideas, which are definitely coming your way!
Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)
This is a strong time for you because the Sun and Mercury are in Leo! Oh yes, it’s still your chance to recharge your batteries for the rest of year because the entire world is having a Leo hit. That’s why everyone is making reservations for dinner, enjoying the arts, and watching sports as well as engaging in some saucy flirting. (Wink!) Nevertheless, unpredictable Uranus is at odds with your sign, especially this week. This might trigger feisty conversations with bosses and authority figures. You might be at odds with a parent or the police. You feel independent and ready to go out on your own. Fortunately, a sweet money surprise might come your way. (Perhaps a new job?)
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
This week you might feel vaguely unsettled. This is because the Sun and Mercury are “hiding” in your chart, and they’re at odds with unpredictable Uranus. On the upside, you might have some brilliant ideas or an epiphany about something. “Eureka!” But you might also feel like you’re waiting for the other shoe to drop – something like that. Don’t worry because this is a temporary feeling that will be gone by next week. On the upside, fiery Mars is in your sign, boosting your energy and making you proactive and eager to tackle anything in life. Meanwhile, fair Venus is also in your sign, making you charming and diplomatic with everyone. You might meet a new friend?
Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
This is a popular week! Expect to enjoy the company of younger people. It’s an excellent time to define future goals so that you have a better grasp of what is ahead. Goals keep you on track and make future decision-making easier. However, Uranus might trigger some surprises – like a sudden difficulty with a friend or a member of a group? You might want to quit a group or avoid a friend? Or perhaps, someone feels this way toward you? Be patient and don’t jump to conclusions. Get your facts straight in case there is a confusion or misunderstanding that needs to be cleared up. Meanwhile, an unexpected love affair might take place. All of you will have a secret surprise that delights.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
You look fabulous in the eyes of everyone else because the Sun is still at the top of your chart casting you in a flattering spotlight. (Your bathroom mirror is covered in kisses.) With Mercury up there as well, you will be skilled and proficient talking to people in authority – bosses, parents, teachers, VIPs and the police. They will listen to you. Having said this, these of the very areas that will be interrupted for some reason because of the influence of Uranus. You might feel rebellious and want to quit your job or give your two cents worth to your boss. Worse yet, they might suddenly print out something from on high that you least expected to hear. Whatever happens, stay cool. You still look wonderful to everyone. You might meet a new friend this week, someone unusual or different. Help from an unexpected source is at hand.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
Your desire to travel and do something different is super strong this week. You need a change of scenery! You also want a chance to learn something new, which makes this a marvellous time to study. You might also be more focused on legal matters or something to do with medicine, publishing and the media. Nevertheless, these same areas are where you will encounter a surprise or an unexpected glitch. Travel plans might suddenly change or be cancelled. Anything could happen. Fortunately, fair Venus and Mars are at the top of your chart. Mars will arouse your ambition and encourage you to go after what you want; while Venus will grease the wheels with authority figures and render unto you all things that are due. (One hopes!)
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
You are concerned with practical matters, especially the wealth and assets of your partner, shared property, inheritances, banking matters and taxes – all this red-tape stuff. Generally, your sign is very good at dealing with this because Capricorn rules the government. Oh yes, we can take you anywhere. However, the sudden and unpredictable influence of Uranus will create some kind of upset in these same areas. You might receive news from the government that surprises you. Or something about banking or inheritances that require your attention. Just be aware of this. The good news is that you might get a sudden chance to travel somewhere – travel for pleasure! If so, act quickly because this window of opportunity will be brief.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
This week he Sun and Mercury continue to be directly opposite your sign drawing your attention to your closest relationships – marriage partners, professional partners and close friends. This polarized position offers you the best opportunity all year to objectively view how you relate to others. Use this to learn something important. However, with Uranus at odds with the Sun this week, something unexpected might occur with your partner or close friend. They might demand more freedom in the relationship? They might have a surprising suggestion? You could have an argument? Fortunately, money, gifts and goodies will unexpectedly come your way that will surely soothe any ruffled feathers.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
Your ambition to get better organized is still strong. In fact, not only do you want to work harder and smarter, you also want to improve your health as well because you are setting the bar high. And why not? Unfortunately, these are the very same areas where Uranus will trigger a few problems and surprises. Computer glitches, staff shortages, interruptions to your job as well as unexpected news that is health-related might occur. Note: Something surprising might also relate to your pet? Therefore, keep your eyes open! Fortunately, this is a fabulous week to relate to partners and close friends. You might meet someone new and unusual?
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