Welcome my friends to our weekly issue of Journey with Friends. This is a time that we come together for support, for encouragement, for fellowship – all with one single goal in mind – to live better. Welcome to our journey to share our goals and our accomplishments and our disappointments and frustrations.
Together we can do this!
Hey sweet friends! How did you do last week? We are moving right along here at the Hotel Thompson. I’m actually doing good. I’ve been working a lot of different hours but I’ve also been watching what I’m eating. It’s meshing the two half way these days. Complicated but it’s working. I no way got my walking in because of work. But I can say that the weather is getting cooler. Most days it’s still hotter than you can imagine but every couple of days, Fall tries to kick in and make an appearance. And another thing about fall – pumpkin. Oh my! I just can’t get enough of pumpkin. I actually found a recipe for pumpkin muffins with cream cheese. I’m going to see if I can tweak the recipe to get rid of some of the sugar and try it maybe this coming up weekend. It sounds so marvelous. I’ll keep you posted and try to take pics. How are you with pumpkin – yay or nay?
So my friends – how was YOUR week? Hugs to a great week.
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Let’s talk about something that is really scary – the fear of heat. Do you think you can withstand this fear? Let’s see when i tell you what I’ve found.
First up – the Jalapeño. I’m sure you have heard of this lovely creature. On the heat scale, it’s three out of four peppers being hot. It’s origin is Mexico and these days they are grown everywhere. You can find them in cheese dips, wrapped with bacon and stuffed with cream cheese, in salsa, in chili – it’s unlimited. Most peeps can withstand the heat on this one… most.
Then we move up to the fierce red Habanero. The Habanero is a variety of chili pepper. On the heat scale, it’s five out of five peppers being exceptionally hot. A ripe Habanero is bright red where a unripened Habanero is green. So you see, they color as they mature into their full potential. They can also come in different colors – look for the beautiful orange. The Habanero comes from the Amazonas region and from there spread throughout Mexico.
Whereas you might enter a contest to be dared to eat a Jalapeño and survive the contest, you might want to think twice about a contest eating a Habanero. Mom has said once that she believes the Habanero was made by the devil himself because he thought all other peppers were ‘tame’.
I’m sure you have heard about these two famous peppers. But let’s go deeper my friends. Are you ready for the fear? How about wrapping your lips around a Ghost Pepper? Maybe your lips shouldn’t touch this pepper. The Ghost Pepper originates in India. On the heat scale, the Ghost Pepper is also five peppers out of five peppers being exceptionally hot. In 2007, the Guinness World Records certified that the Ghost Pepper was the world’s hottest chili pepper – 400 times hotter than Tabasco sauce. Can you wrap your lips around that?
And you probably thought I could stop right there with the fear of heat in peppers. But I can’t. I found one more for you to fear. Are you shaking yet? Let me introduce you to the hottest pepper these days – The Carolina Reaper Pepper. Okay it’s called the Reaper – does that not tell you anything? You are certain for death eating this bad boy – fear it! The Reaper is officially the world’s hottest pepper by the Guinness World Records. It is a cross between a Pakastani Naga pepper and a Red Habanero. Can you just feel the heat over your lips, down your throat to the deep pits of your stomach?
Is today’s post scary enough for you my friends or do I need to start making some brownies for you… of course with these peppers? Happy eats my friends.
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Squeals with piggy delight. My friends I have scored the ultimate story for your today to officially start my 31 Days of Spook. Mommy has helped me to get in touch with Mr. Dave Schrader. If you know anything about the paranormal field, you will recognize the name. Dave Schrader does a talk show where he is the host and producer of Darkness Radio. If you haven’t heard of his show, you *must* check it out for chills and thrills. Dave Schrader has also been seen on television with Zak Bagans on Ghost Adventures, co-hosted the show Paranormal Challenge with Zak Bagans and has made contributions to Ghost Hunters TAPS ParaMagazine. Dave Schrader currently lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
We are VERY excited to present a story from Dave Schrader today. Now, settle back and enjoy my friends!
It was August of 2005 and our radio show was entering its 8th month on the air when I received an invitation to be a part of a psychic and shamanic exploration at Thayer’s Bed and Breakfast in Annandale, MN. Since I have no psychic bones in my body, I thought I would check it out and see if I could learn something new and tap into some psy experience for myself. I would be surrounded in a peaceful environment with mediums, psychics and shamans at a well known haunted location. This might be my best chance yet to witness some interesting phenomena.
I say quietly watching people mill about, discussing what they were picking up on, what spirits they sensed and generally soaking in the atmosphere. During my observation, the resident cat – a large fluffy white beastie – decided I was its new friend and would not leave my side, lap or feet. It stuck to me like I was made of tuna. I stroked the cat like an evil Bond villain as I sat and watched a fascinating scene unfold before me of shared experiences, giddy claims of ghostly presence and some chilling moments as part of the group relayed a story about the creepy man on the top floor that leapt to the wall and skittered up and across the ceiling like a Victorian Spider-Man.
Next came an extraordinary experiment. We were all going to tap into ourselves, meet our spirit guides and do a Shamanic journey. We laid upon the ground, spread eagle and not touching ourselves or others nearby while Hanakia Zedek gently beat a drum to some soothing music and in his deep voice guided us to a meditative trance. By this time, the room lights had been dimmed and the room had been cleared of all cats, kids and other distractions. We were to just BE in the moment and experience the darkness, the music and open ourselves to contact with our totem, spirit guides or loved ones.
As I lay trying to quiet my mind and the senseless chatter that usually clutters it, I found myself getting more restless, unable to attain the nirvana our leader wanted us to achieve. That was when my furry friend found his way back to my side. He would nuzzle my hip and flop on my hand seeking affection and attention. I would pet him for a few seconds than push him away so I could try to slip into a deep meditation, but my kitty companion wasn’t having it. He kept purring, nuzzling and pushing against me.
After 20 minutes or so all with my eyes closed, I finally relented and began giving him the love he craved. My hands scratching the deep fur bringing about even more purrs and nuzzles. I began to wonder how much longer this foray into futility would continue with our Shamanic leader. Obviously I was not going to become more enlightened or have a profound moment. I opened my eyes and glanced down to see which cat was so desperately in need of my attention. My eyes widened, my hand stopped mid scratch and I froze. I could feel the cat purring, pushing against my leg and hand simultaneously but to my utter amazement, there was no cat there.
I paused assuming my eyes were playing tricks on me and that they had just not adjusted properly to the low light setting. I closed them tightly, drew in a deep breath and began digging deep into the fur of phantom friend once more. I opened my eyes a second time and there was my hand, hovering mid-air, stroking….emptiness. There was no cat to bee seen, but I could feel and hear it. Within moments, the drumming stopped and the lights began to lift as they adjusted the dimmer switch, our journey to the ether-world was at an end yet here I was stroking an imaginary cat.
The crowd milled about in a semi comatose state. My brain raced trying to make sense of what had just happened to me. I was afraid to speak up for fear of looking like a fool despite the wild claims I had heard from other experiencers all night long. Then I heard the group begin to discuss their personal reflections of the drumming and meditation when one of the people spoke up and said, “How about the ghost cat?” Many in the group admitted to seeing a ghostly cat all night long checking us out and stalking the room. Still I stood silent.
“He was sure curious about what we were doing. I heard the owner say her favorite cat passed away a few weeks back, its nice to know he still calls this home.:” I was astounded, did I just spend 30 minutes petting a specter? I don’t even like cats I thought to myself, why did he mess with me?
The crowd dispersed and a few days later I got an email from a girl that also attended the event. She had laid to my immediate right and she informed me she knew I had an experience and she had been petting that same cat all night. We had been ping ponging the cat between us for the evening when we would try to focus on the guided meditation and brush it off, it would move to the other one of us.
That was one of the first truly amazing experiences I ever had that was more than a fleeting moment that could easily be explained away and I will cherish that forever.
– Dave Schrader
Friends – we hope you enjoyed our special guest today. We would also like to throw a great huge THANK YOU to Dave Schrader for taking time to share his story. You rock!!
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