When black bears invade houses in Florida, you should start building upward. Our basic instinct is to kill this very real danger reintroduced to our lives, but as humans we have the ability to stop and think a moment about why we face this danger. One of two things is highly likely here, black bear numbers are climbing or their habitat is being destroyed. In South West Florida, the later is most certainly the case. So the logical decision should be to build amazing towers that blend green space, stores, and homes rather than to issue a license to kill.
One of the questions I get asked a lot is “What do I do with the stones?” The first thing you do, I reply, is cleanse them.
Well that’s the first thing I have to do as well. After traveling up the east coast to select and purchase the inventory for next season, I bring all the boxes home, and Doug and I sit on the floor and unwrap everything. At this point we sit back for a day or two and admire the huge collection, while shooing the dogs away from the delicate specimens.
Then the cleaning begins. The tumbled stones that can soak in salt water go first, and in stages I fill glass bowls with a few different types and let them soak for about 12 hours. After a few days of this it’s time to cleanse the stones that can’t soak in water for various reasons. These need to sit in the sun for around an hour, but first I have to clean the dust and dirt still left from the earth or collected during shipping or in the warehouse. A quick rinse under water removes the dirt and is too brief to cause any harm.
The Florida sun is quite hot so many of the stones have to sit in the shade before and after the sunning to avoid cracking due to fast temperature change with the A/C running inside. Other stones are coated in an oil or wax that I don’t like to leave on for sale, so these get a soap bath before joining other in the sun.
After about 5 days I’m almost done getting everything cleansed and put away so they can be priced for sale, just a few more fossils that need individual attention, preferring a sponge bath to a shower. The process will start all over again when the stones arrive from South Africa in just a couple months!
Both Doug and I are always super busy, but I love taking a day to just BE at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary! Just wanted to share one of my favorite photos from a recent trip!
I have been so busy selling my jewelry and healing crystals the time has simply escaped me! I have been up to so much though! I have plenty of Corkscrew Adventures to share, and Doug has been doing very well with his new job at Bone Fish Grill in Naples, but I simply have not had the time to post about it. Of course I tried a couple times but am having trouble sharing media, not sure if I’ve fixed that problem yet.
I have also been contemplated much of the things going on in the world these days. I constantly go back and forth between sharing my point of view on the chaos or just ignoring it. I’ll probably just ignore it.
I’ve been aware for some time of the ignorance surrounding most holidays we celebrate in American culture. Many people have no idea when they celebrate the “Christian” holidays that many of the traditions associated with them, and most certainly their timing, are actually related to ancient pagan holidays. That has certainly become more common knowledge as many people pull away from organized religion, especially when hypocrisy is a reason, but many people still blindly adhere to them, even when they know it is just a ruse to keep them under Church authority.
That, however, is not the issue that has come to my attention. In America values have become extremely materialistic. In many ways I am not outside of this, but I will constantly call for a return to a time when craftsmanship was valued over newness. Our holidays are reflecting this even stronger than ever these days! We have just recently come off of Halloween. The original holiday there is called Samhain, and The Church adopted it as All Saints Day or All Hallows Day. I don’t know its prevalence in Central America, but if you are familiar with The Day of the Dead, that is what the holiday is supposed to look like. It is a day for showing respect for those who have passed, and The Church adopted it as a day to show respect to “all saints”. These days Halloween is a day to dress in costume, and if you are a female post puberty an acceptable time to get your super slutty sexy on, and a time to splurge on candy. Lurking underneath- it’s a time to spend your money.
So what holiday comes next? Thanksgiving right? Not this year! You don’t have anything to be thankful for! You don’t have the new iPhone! No, Thanksgiving simply isn’t profitable. Sure William-Sonoma has been gearing up for thanksgiving for a couple months now, but that’s about the only place you’ll find the holiday prevalent, ’cause it’s all about the food right? Some of you may have been noticing this trend for some time, I have actually been missing the dissappearance of Thanksgiving, but this year it became glaringly obvious when I started hearing news about department stores opening their Christmas sales ON Thanksgiving.
it is up to us to regain Thanksgiving traditions. Nevermind that it is really just another historically inaccurate celebration, it is an opportunity for us to take a moment to ONLY recognize what we HAVE. I often shirk at this practice because it is often presented as a way to relieve depression (but only by those who have never actually been depressed), but I still recognize it as a valid and important practice. When you take a moment to recognize what you have, it puts what you want and need into perspective (which is another reason marketing plans need to skip over the holiday). You might realize that feeling of need is unfounded, which will allow you to go into the next year feeling refreshed and on top of things, rather than bogged down by that feeling of needing to catch up.
So please, everyone, don’t forget about Thanksgiving. Resist the urge to skip over it and go straight to Christmas. The bright lights are tempting, I know, but be in this moment, those lights will be there whenever you chose to be there too.
Take the Time to chew your Food.
As someone that suffers from depression, anxiety, sleeplessness and fatigue, I am constantly searching for a cure for what ails me. I am also obsessed with food since I can never seem to get full for more than 30 minutes without making myself sick by over eating. (You would think I would get fat from the way I eat, but at this time it still proves impossible). So my diet has been the focus of my treatment for some time. I also used to suffer from a chronic yeast infection, which led me to the low carb, gluten free, dairy free diet. Over the past couple years I have moved from vegetarian, to low carb, to paleo diet.
To people on the outside, I often look like I am susceptible to the whims of others, but it is actually that I do some research, discover that I already agree with some of the ideas I am presented with, then immerse myself fully into that way of thought to see if it fits. After about 1-3 months I come out on the other side often with a better understanding of life, but not convinced that the lifestyle is right for me. Interestingly the Paleo Diet lifestyle seems to fit the most, unfortunately I neither have access nor the funds to eat only happy animals, so I often wish I could go back to being vegetarian.
Of course with any fad people constantly disparage certain aspects of it, recently the idea of gluten intolerance. While I encourage people to try a gluten free diet, I have to agree with the critics when I hear stories of people passing out when they walk past the bakery in the grocery store – I’m pretty sure that’s all in their head. However these diets have helped me, most importantly I no longer have that chronic yeast infection.
So here is what I feel is important for people’s diets. First as a bit of a side note, but for me the most important takeaway from the diet aspect of the Paleo lifestyle, is the balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Grain fed meats contain mostly omega-6, and those omega-3 fatty acids are extremely important, particularly for the vital organ called the brain. Also along these same lines is the importance of probiotics which aid in comfortable digestion. These however are what needs to be put into the diet, and the critiques are often about what people take out.
I encourage what I like to call an “Allergen Detox Diet.” By allergen I mean anything that causes an inflammatory reaction. The most popular these days (outside of well known, and potentially more dangerous, things like peanuts) tend to be diary, wheat, and processed food. I also like to include in the detox things that rank high on the glycemic index. While the body’s reaction to those things is not exactly inflammatory, it can often lead to more dire health problems, aka diabetes. I am not a doctor, but any doctor would agree with this suggestion. If you are one if those people that thinks gluten-free is silly, take a look at the glycemic index for wheat products, and you might change your tune a bit. (For those of you who don’t know about the glycemic index anything over 50 should be avoided.)
The first phase of this diet requires two weeks of keeping your meals incredibly simple – protein and veggies with minimum seasonings. It can be really tough, but it is only two weeks. If you have absolutely no health concerns then you may be able to move on to phase two – discovering hidden allergies. This involves a bit of research on your part to get the list, but it includes things like nightshade family (tomatoes and bell peppers) and eggs. Pick one item on the list and avoid it for four days then reintroduce it. If nothing happens you are not allergic; however, if you have a reaction, then that item should be avoided forever. Continue to go through the list until you feel comfortable that you have identified the items that cause an inflammatory reaction.
So when you think about your health, remember the importance of your diet, and make sure you are considerate about what you put in. Some people tolerate diary fine, and that is great for them, but remember things over 50 on the glycemic index should be avoided (and not just because of diabetes, constant insulin spikes lead to all sorts of health issues including cholesterol and high blood pressure), and when it comes to wheat (and all grains for that matter), you simply won’t find it below 50.
Recently I have been repeatedly been made to feel a little crazy in my beliefs on magic and the healing energy of crystals. In a world that is becoming increasingly obsessed with science and “facts” there is little room for interpretation and personal experience. So from science based sites to popular culture, the things I am passionate about are constantly insulted.
I believe that magic is real as I have experienced the power of manifestation and the universe; however, I am willing to admit that this may simply be a creation of my mind, but that does not invalidate the ideas! If I am looking to manifest something and the opportunity that will see it come to fruition arises, I am much less likely to let it pass me by. Whether I brought that opportunity into existence or I simply noticed it more is irrelevant, the result is the same.
Crystal healing works in the same vein. While I personally believe that there is an energy that runs through us and everything, and putting specific things together create specific energies that cause transformation, crystal healing can still be effective if you don’t look at the world this way. When many people agree that something holds a certain value, that thing will hold that value, even if only in our minds. So by bringing a crystal into your life that has been determined to have a specific power, it will be more effective at transforming your life than something arbitrary. By having this power item near you, it is more likely that you can heal yourself.
At this point I would like to note that I do not encourage the use of crystals for physical healing. Carrying a crystal will not heal you physically; however, working with the crystal can transform your mind, which may actually be causing the illness or at least stopping you from getting better.
So crystal healing is not complete nonsense, it just may not be magic.
A little blurry in close up to get a good look at this orchid, but its still something special. This is the “Super” Ghost orchid of Corkscrew Sanctuary! Usually these orchids only produce a couple blossoms, but this one has more than 10! The flowers sure are beautiful with their long tails. It was pretty far away from the path, hard to even see without the scope they had set up, or the major zoom lens I was using, but the amount of blossoms made it easy to pick out the spot on the tree.
As we continued on the path, trying to make it back before the storm, we paused for a couple pictures, and when I turned back around, I saw this bizarre creature staring at me. Having never seen one in the wild, it took me a second to realize I was looking at a black bear! Luckily it was pretty far away, and just took off down the board walk then jumped into the trees, eventually splashing into the swamp. Its somewhere in these woods:
These wet foot prints are the only evidence I managed to get, as I was quite surprised by its presence.
So between the giant ghost orchid and what Doug assures me was also a giant black bear, it was probably the most exciting adventure to corkscrew sanctuary yet! Though the last visit where I caught a barred owl in what is probably my favorite picture I have taken was fun too.