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I’m Not Superstitious !?

Of course I'm not superstitious!  My fingers are crossed only because my hands are cold.

Of course I’m not superstitious.  My fingers are crossed only because my hands are cold!…

But how about you?

Hello – I’m a black cat.  Do you love me or do you fear me?

1.  BLACK CATS

Superstitions abound all over the world; not just about black cats, but about almost anything you can imagine.  But we will start with the much-maligned black cat.  

  • Edgar Allen Poe owned a black cat.  He was quite devoted to it, and often used a black cat in his writings.
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  • Black cats are are found liberally sprinkled throughout all kinds of literature, from the classics to modern day books, movies, television, blogs, and tweets.  One of my favorites is an old movie with Kim Novak as a witch and a sleek black cat as her familiar.
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  • In many cities, you cannot adopt a cat from a shelter during the month of October to protect the animals from mean or reckless Halloween pranks
  • Black cats are worshipped in India, believed to be good luck.
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  • It is considered good luck to have a black cat in your house as a pet, but if a different black cat crosses your path, it then brings bad luck.
  •  Witches are believed to have black cats as companions or “familiars.”  The cats are used to spy on people and to help cast spells.  Some witches have other animals as their familiars.  Crows and other black birds and fierce black dogs are not uncommon.
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Get me to the church on time!

2.     WEDDINGS “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue” is just one of many superstitions about weddings, as well as the bride tossing the bridal bouquet over her shoulder in the belief that the lucky flower catcher will herself get married within the year. Many others include:

  • Don’t get married in a leap year or on a Saturday.  Sunday marriages are destined for good fortune.
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  • Rain on the wedding day means very good luck pertaining to becoming wealthy in the future. 
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  • Oh, here’s a good one! If the bride looks at the groom through the wedding ring, he will always be faithful to her.  Divorce lawyers would cry into their beers if this were true!  Worth a try, though.
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  • Brides wear white to suggest that they are virgins.  The origin of this superstition comes from “the old days” when the bride BETTER be a virgin or else.  In arranged marriages, the father often “sold” his young daughters to the highest bidders based on their virginity and their attractiveness.  In modern times, the bride wears white in order to stand out from other females in the wedding.  For instance, the bridesmaids might wear the famous seafoam green gowns. It is not necessarily bad luck, but certainly bad taste, for another woman in the wedding party to wear white.  This is the bride’s day.
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  • 3. Funerals:

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  • The silliest one I can think of is “the good die young.” Some idiot made that up, and it stuck.  But obviously, age and good or evil natures do not apply to death.  I kind of wish that the BAD would die young.  Then, we might not have so many murderers and child molesters living to a ripe old age.
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    •  I like this one:  if you hear a clap of thunder just after the funeral, that sound is the deceased entering heaven. There are so many funeral superstitions from all over the world, so I can only mention some of the more interesting ones.
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    • Death comes in threes. This especially applies to celebrities. Whenever a famous person dies, everyone is waiting for the two other shoes to drop. And sure enough, it seems to happen, depending on how liberal your definition of “celebrity” is.
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    • Some people believe that birds are portents of death. For instance, if you see an owl during the daytime or hear an owl hoot, someone you know will die. If a wild bird flies into your house, yes, another portent of death. (Or a need to get window screens and keep the door closed.) If a bird sits on your window sill and looks in, it is looking for the one next to die. But if you keep a bird in the house as a pet, it is thought to bring good luck.
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    • If you are sitting or standing at a gravesite and a butterfly lights on your hands or shoulder, it is the deceased saying goodbye to you. (This actually happened to me, and I did not know what it meant.)
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    • I can’t find a decent picture of a ladder.  Please use your psychic powers to conjure one up. You can do it, see? ,
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  •  4. Ladders, walking under, “Oh, let’s go do that!…Maybe a hammer will fall on our heads or maybe we’ll step on a nail.” Common sense, where art thou? There are many more accidents caused by falling off a ladder than walking under them. And people get hurt all the time while trying to climb the ladder to success.
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    • Climbing the ladder to heaven is what farmers do, while their city cousins climb the famous stairway. Some people try levitation or astral projection to reach heaven without climbing anything. But if they actually got there, how does anybody know? I don’t want to bring politics into this, but I understand a person we all know and lo…,(off subject/lost focus) has a private military jet all pimped up for the job
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5.    Good luck and bad luck portents are too numerous to fit in a book, much less a blog. Here are some of them.

  • Good Luck:
  • Baseball: spit on your bat and you will make a home run.
  • See three butterflies in a row – good luck
  • Always wear new clothes on Easter for good luck all year.
  • If you go to a casino, put a nickel in your shoe and play the nickel slots before you do anything else.
  • It’s good luck to see a cow lift its right rear leg. Okay, let’s all go out and look for cows now. There should be some nearby. 
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  • Bad Luck:
  • When you move to a new home, buy a new broom. Bringing an old broom to a new place is bad luck. I think you need to leave your old dirt behind so you can create new dirt.
  • Don’t put hats on a bed.
  • Don’t open umbrellas inside the house. (unless it’s raining in there) Bad luck to hear a dog howling at night (especially if it’s your dog.
  • Get out of bed on the same side you got in or you will have bad luck.
  • Bad luck to give a pair of socks to your boyfriend or girlfriend – They will walk away from you.
  • If you see rings on any wood surface, you will get married within 6 months. (I’m not sure if that’s good luck or bad luck).
  • No singing and dancing, hear? If you sing before seven, you’ll cry at eleven.

  • 6. Triskaidekaphobes are those of us who fear Friday the 13th. I don’t, of course, and I’m sure that you don’t, either. Oh, but what fun it is to observe reactions to this unique day.  And this is one superstition where actual facts abound. Some are quite startling. Here are 13 such facts.
  • Many office buildings, high-rise apartment buildings and hotels have no 13th floor. They just skip from the 12th floor to 14th floor. Too many people would refuse to pay rent for anything on the 13th floor.
  • Lots of hospitals do not have any Room 13s. If you travel a lot, you may have noticed that most airports lack a Gate 13, and airplanes have no 13th row.
  • Many large shipping lines and cruise ships will not leave port on Friday the 13th. Friday the 13th is avoided for weddings, funerals, grand openings, and any large public event. It is blamed for floods, earthquakes, and other disasters. Consider Apollo 13.
  • Even large cities try not to have a 13th Street, and in many cases, house numbers will skip from12A, for example, to 14A. It is said that one city in Italy has a street denoted as 12 ½ th Street, but I have not been able to verify this.
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  • I must end this article, as I am yawning, and yawning is a sign of bad luck! However, I would like to thank http://www.corsinet.com-trivia for some of the information used in this post. It’s a great site with lots of unusual topics that are fun to explore.
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  • Bye for now from Sweet Nan (zzzz)

Postscript:

On a serious note, I have mentioned Brother Jim in the introduction and several subsequent posts.  Brother Jim is my real brother, and he has passed away.  His memorial service will be tomorrow at a church in Texas, and his funeral will be on December 9th, one day before his birthday would have been.  He was possibly the kindest man that ever lived. My Jimmy was a true prophet. He had a pipeline to heaven.  He knew and told me many things that I cannot share with anyone.  It is my hope that he will continue to communicate with me and provide the grace and guidance that he has given me for many years,  He was a Christian minister, and his congregation consisted of hundreds of devoted followers.  His ministry, The Steppingstones, will be carried on in his name.  My dear brother Jimmy, I will miss you terribly.

Pushing Yourself Too Hard

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If you are on any social media platform (I choose Twitter so I can be silly), you are constantly bombarded with suggestions on how to be more successful; how to do everything better, “Be yourself,” and above all, DON’T FAIL!

It seems that everything we do must be perfect. We are being driven to perfection! It has gotten to the point that when we sense we about to fail at something, we must immediately: (1) read a lot of inspirational quotes; (2) buy some kind of product or service that will guarantee our success, or (3) If you have been a creature that has been low enough to fail at something, you must get up at once and try again! And again! And apparently ad infinitum!

I can understand why a person might be driven to earn a good living and support his family, but even that is not satisfactory to some. If he is a janitor, he must strive to be a maintenance supervisor. If he is a paperback romance writer, he must try to climb to the rank of best selling author. If he is a musician, he must be either the best or the worst, depending on the fan base he is trying to reach.

I fail all the time, and I have learned to enjoy it. Sometimes I am pretty sure I will fail even before I start a project, but I go right ahead and do it anyway if I want to.

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I wanted a little ceramic cat for my patio, but after searching all the thrift stores, I decided to make one. I purchased some childrens’ clay from the 99 Cent Store, and proceeded to model a little cat, but more resembling the Pillsbury Doughboy. Undetered, I gave it some rhinestones for eyes, and a little piece of shiny chain for a collar. I arranged its little tail in a curled position, and sat back to admire it. That’s when its head fell off and wouldn’t go back on.

Do I regret this little failure? Absoulutely not. I had spent a couple of hours relaxing my mind, using my hands, making kind of a mess, and having a little fun.Dancer

I like to do all kinds of things, build shelves, paint, draw, make curtains, write stuff. I’m really not very good at any of them, as evidenced by the flame red frog hopping around the yard. (He got within range when I was painting flower pots.)toilet flower

 

There’s nothing wrong with success, but we shouldn’t be so afraid of failure. We need to relax a little and do what we like to do, even if we are not very good at it. Just because my little pottery cat was a failure, it does not mean I am a failure in life.

I hope we can all relax a little and stop driving ourselves so hard. I guess that’s my inspirational quote today for my Twitter followers.

Tip Number 3 on how to enhance your psychic abilities will be coming up shortly.  Stay tuned!

Bye for now from Sweet Nan yellow_bird

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Confessions of a Telephone Psychic

1c2d580c4ac14c3c87fd1ace869722f3I used to sit by my window looking out at the world, with a deck of Tarot Cards on the table beside me.  I was waiting for the phone to ring so I could give a psychic reading.

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You’ve seen them in the newspapers, and on late night television. Madame Zora, Sees All! Free Psychic Reading with Gifted Maria. Lady Luna will help you with your career goals. Your personal guide will help you keep your lover. Psychic Reading, first five minutes absolutely free!

Have you ever succumbed to curiosity and called one of these all-knowing seers? If you did, I’ll bet (Number 1) You had a heck of a telephone bill, and (Number 2) I’ll bet you enjoyed the reading, and it left you feeling better and looking forward to good things in your future.

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This is exactly how your psychic guide wants you to feel so you will call back again. If your caller does call back, and if they ask for you by name, said psychic reader will receive a whopper of a bonus! I recall receiving a $100 bonus each time a customer called back and asked for me.

I guess they don’t realize that a real psychic would not be doing any kind of telephone work at all.  Wonder why they’re not at Santa Anita betting 100 large on Charlie Horse?

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And well deserved, too. This job sounds so easy – just sit at home and take calls according to your own schedule. You can sign in and out as you please. Sometimes you will sit there for hours waiting for a call, and other times, you just get one call after another, until you are exhausted.

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It’s more of a nervous exhaustion I am speaking of. You know your instructor/boss may be on the line at any time monitoring your work.

I began by calling about part-time work, and was signed up to become a Certified Tarot Card Reader. I attended classes for a couple of weeks, ostensibly to learn how to read Tarot Cards. This sounds like a scam right up front, but I was not asked to pay for classes or anything else. They did require that I buy a deck of Tarot Cards, but I could have purchased them anywhere. They were not trying to get money from the Psychics-in-Training; they knew we didn’t have any money. They were teaching us to make money for them.  I did have to get a dedicated telephone line to be used only for readings.

I graduated from class with a Certified Tarot Card Reader Certificate and a very foggy notion of how the Tarot Cards worked.

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The first time I logged in to receive calls, I sat for 5 hours without a call.  Finally, when I decided to try again another day, I received four or five calls, one after another. I was very nervous, but I got most people past the five minutes free time.  I soon figured out that the deck of cards were simply in the way.  I found out that I could just listen and pick up signals from people.  Love, work, or money.  Is he cheating on me?  Am I going to get a good job?  I began to ask small questions:  “Did you hear a funny noise in your car lately?”  Yes or no, I would advise them to have the brakes or blinker fluid or something checked.

Young women liked to hear that they would be married soon to a person they do or do not know at this time, with a description of the gentleman forthcoming.  I would give little flags, “He dresses nicely and likes to wear a lot of red.”   Or, “Pay more attention to smells.  He uses a distinctive cologne, and when you smell it, you will know.”

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Some people had health concerns.  You don’t tell anyone that they or anyone they know is going to die.  Never, never.  You try to say something consoling and get off the subject quickly.   “That’s a nice TV set in your living room.  Is it new?”  Or, “Do you knit or sew?  I’m picking up a great sense of detail and patience.”

Sometimes you have to reach pretty far out.  “I see a crack in the sidewalk near you, and somebody is going to trip on it and fall.”  Or, “I feel that you are tired. You might be a little anemic.  Do you take iron or anything?”  People love to be told they are tired or not feeling up to par or that they are working too hard.  They love to be told they take care of everyone else and neglect themselves.  I might throw in a flag like, “You haven’t had any new clothes in a long time!  You need to go shopping for yourself.  Your colors are blue and pale yellow, and you need to wear them to keep your energy up.”

To worried moms whose children are playing sports:  Yes, they will get hurt, but not seriously.  Kids are kids.  They are going to get bumps and bruises, and they may even break an arm.  But that’s all in the process of growing up.  Try to stop worrying and just enjoy your happy and healthy children.

To an elderly lady missing her recently deceased husband:  “He’s always near you, dear.  Didn’t you just feel a little light touch on you shoulder?  He’s there, smiling down at you.  He wants you to be happy.”  She became one of my regular callers.  She always said how much better she felt after talking with me.  Is that bad?  I don’t think so.  She was lonesome and could afford to pay for my company.

Men are more likely to ask about jobs, careers, or money.  I advised one young man that he would have to work at his low-level job in a retail store for some time to come, but to be patient and plan for the future.  I told him I felt he would have his own business with three years, and that he should work towards that goal. He wanted to know what kind of business, so I told him what men like to hear; that he was strong and athletic, and I thought his business would have something to do with his physical strength.  He was overjoyed!  He wanted to own his own martial arts studio, and kept asking me how I knew.

It’s very difficult when you have a caller who is obviously watching the five free minutes tick by, and refuse to give any hints.  I had several things I would do here, give them their lucky numbers and lucky colors, and their lucky day of the week if they are still there.  Sometimes it works.  One caller said, “What about my poker game this Friday?  You said Monday is my lucky day, not Friday.”  I told him that the poker game would likely be called off anyway for some reason, probably bad weather.

I see this is running along at length, so I better close it up.  It’s fun to write about, so if anyone is interested, I might do a Part Two in the near future.  Wear your good colors, now, to keep your energy up, and don’t forget to wash behind your ears.

Bye for now from

Sweet Nan

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The Naming Ceremony

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The Naming Ceremony

Twilight painted the small forest clearing. The Chief, who was also the Spirit Guide of the tribe, stood tall and majestic in his ceremonial garb.

 

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Three young women knelt before him. Having just become women, they were excited at the thought of becoming adults with official tribal names. They knew their new names would be communicated throughout the whole tribal network, and all the young braves would become aware of them as they competed for the most desirable mates.

The youngest one watched intently as her two companions received their names. Each of them smiled looked pleased as the feather dipped.

The feather dipped for the third time. “Your name is Ugly Woman.” She glanced at Spotted Fawn and Gray Dove through downcast eyes. Unbidden, a tear fell. “Thank you, father.” She murmured meekly.
He found her later where she hid, weeping with shame, by the woodbine. “Our women look much alike,” he said; “Their faces are broad and round. They are thick and chunky when young and fat when old.”

She looked at him miserably.

“You are different,” he went on. “You are slimmer and you have aquiline features. You are not pretty yet, but you will be.”

“But why….

“You know the Great Spirit dwells within me, my daughter. You must trust me and be at peace. There are dozens of Fawns and Doves and Robins. Your name will draw attention. You will not be just another squaw in the tribes. When the braves hear your name they will be curious and seek you out, at first for sport. Then when they see you, they will be pleasantly surprised. They will talk about you and compete for your hand. You will have a fine mate, a new married name, many children, and a good life.

Ugly Woman smiled wanly, and her face brightened up a little. She could not know, as her father did, that in the future during another naming ceremony, she would be given her marriage name, “Beautiful Treasure.”
imagesOSUXMM9CNote from author:

My own spirit guide, David, gave me this story about American Indian spirit beliefs and customs. David says he knows many Indian chiefs, maidens, braves, and their tribal rites. I have not attempted to research, lest I ruin the little story captured by my own guide.

In this touchy-feely world, many might take offense at words like “squaw,” even is in a term like squaw bread. The stereotypes are rampant, I know, but must we throw away all forms of art to conform to facts and realism, and current beliefs of social “rights and wrongs?” If so, I am lost.

Hope you take it lightly and enjoy it for what it is. Bye for now from Sweet Nan and her co-conspirator, David.

Eat Your Words!

Food for thought is often cited.  Sometimes when one is deeply involved in writing, or worse, editing, one tends to nibble.  Snacks are not a bad idea at all, but there is a vast difference between celery sticks (ugh) and Cheetos.  As we concentrate on whether or not our hero will marry that sweet little girl in Dullsville or ride off into the sunset with the fem fatale who lives in the fast lane, we should take a moment to notice what else we are doing.

If you want food for thought, take a break from writing and read something somebody else wrote.  No matter how good or bad the writing is, it will provide you with something to think about.  A writer’s creative mind can interpret anything into something magical.  So, if you want to feed your mind rather than your waistline, reflect for a moment.  If not, well, go back to your Cheetos.  –Don’t get crumbs in the keyboard, now.

Bye for now, from Sweet Nan