Metaphysical Index::Lapis Lazuli

A couple of weeks ago I had a dream in which I was shown a beautiful blue stone…right before I woke up. That stone was Lapis lazuli. I had NEVER dreamed of a stone or crystal in my entire life. So needless to say, I opened my book on crystals to look it up – noticing that it suggested wearing the stone as a pair of earrings. I needed no more encouragement than that! After my morning routines and rituals I hopped on Etsy and found the perfect pair of sterling silver and lapis lazuli earrings – which I immediately ordered. (See above)

Since they were coming from India, it would take a couple of weeks before I received the earrings. So…we took another day trip to Boulder Creek to visit my new favorite metaphysical store, Air and Fire, where I picked-up a small piece of lapis lazuli to tide me over. (Also above)

The ancient Egyptians crushed lapis lazuli into a fine powder to use as eyeshadow; and rumor has it that Michelangelo used it (also in powder form) to color frescoes in the Sistine Chapel where the color blue was needed.

Lapis lazuli is a stone of protection, recognizing a psychic attack and neutralizing any harmful energies directed at you. Since it is the “Stone of Truth”, having it near you can assist in recognizing other people’s lies and deceptions. (Which can be very helpful these days.) When placed close to amethyst or clear quartz, it’s great at dispelling psychic “debris” (negative energies). All stones need to be cleansed from time to time, and since this particular one must be kept from water AND salt I’ll cleanse it the way I do my Tarot deck: pass it through copal or dragon’s blood smoke.

Charge lapis lazuli by holding in your dominant hand and sending your intention (such as to attract love or wealth) directly into the stone.

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In the summertime when the weather is hot…

What else says “Summer” like taking in a baseball game? Nothing, that’s what. We were right behind home plate yesterday to watch the San Jose Giants beat the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes at Excite Ballpark. (Got some burnt knees to prove it, too. There was absolutely no shade where we were sitting. Next time: sunscreen.)

Sweeeeet.

Tim enjoyed beer and a Polish dog…

while I chose wine (!) and nasty ballpark nachos. (Seriously, that’s what I call them.) One of the very few times I indulge in unhealthy food. The only thing here that wasn’t “suspect” was the pickled jalapeños. LOL

Life’s for living, yeah, that’s our philosophy…
– Mungo Jerry

(Ear worm)

More Sounds of Summer

Boys of Summer (Don Henley)
(For some reason this song reminds me of a scene in the film Suddenly Last Summer)

Summertime Girls (Y&T)
California Girls (David Lee Roth)
Summer in the City (The Lovin’ Spoonful)
Hot in the City (Billy Idol)
Summer Breeze (Seals & Crofts)
Cruel Summer (Bananarama)
Cruel Summer (Blestenation Mix – from the Blue Crush soundtrack)
Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polkadot Bikini (Bryan Hyland)
Summer Nights (from the Grease soundtrack)

(Actually, ANYTHING from the Grease soundtrack…)

Summer Nights (Van Halen)
Margaritaville (Jimmy Buffet)

Just about everything by The Beach Boys
Anything by Dick Dale

and…drum roll, please:
Those Lazy-Hazy-Crazy Days of Summer (Nat King Cole)

Finally, summer means heirloom tomatoes. Today I made a “Deconstructed Caprese sandwich Salad”. Tomatoes, chunks of sourdough & mozzerella, fresh basil, and plenty of EVOO. Yum.

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A Summertime Feast – Courtesy of our California Farmers

Huzzah to California’s Farmers/Growers!!

What we snagged at the Farmers Market.
Everything here was used in our Feast.

Menu
Store-bought hummus with baguette slices
Fresh organic strawberry margaritas
Roasted organic corn-on-the-cob with chipotle mayo and cotija cheese
Roasted veggies (eggplant, red onions, summer squash, sweet peppers, and studded with garlic cloves)
Roasted yellow potatoes with arugula and feta cheese
Mothership Tomato Salad
Sirloin Steak (Yes, I cook for meat eaters. ≋;> )
Espresso served over gelato (vanilla and chocolate)

Some of these photos were taken in haste and turned out a bit blurry. My apologies…


Not included in our Fourth of July Feast but something I’ve whipped up a couple times this summer.

Roast Veggies & Pasta Bake

Any vegetables can be used here. During the colder months I might try this with winter squash, mushrooms, carrots, onions, and perhaps parsnips. Anything goes, really. The key is to roast each vegetable separately in a baking pan. It normally takes about 30 minutes in a 350° oven, but some veggies may take less (or more) time. Just keep an eye on them.

Recipe
4-5 heirloom tomatoes, sliced in chunks or quarters
2-3 onions, sliced in half-moons
2-3 summer squash, sliced in half-moons
1/2# dried penne
A boatload of shredded mozzerella
Grated parmesan (fresh)
EVOO
Salt and pepper

Note: Roasting the vegetables can be done a day ahead and refrigerated until you’re ready to assemble the bake.

Preheat oven to 350°.

I like to roast the tomatoes first so the onions can cook in their juice. Arrange tomatoes in a foil-lined baking pan, drizzle with EVOO, season with salt and pepper, and pop in the oven. Once the tomatoes have roasted to your liking spoon them into a container – but leave the juice! Next up: the onions. Again drizzle with EVOO and season with salt and pepper. Bake these until they soft and golden brown. Spoon them on top of the tomatoes (You’ll be mixing all the veggies together anyway.) Treat the squash the same way: drizzle with EVOO and season. These may take a bit longer than the others depending upon the size of the pieces. The squash should be soft and slightly browned. Add to the tomato/onion mixture along with whatever juice is left in the pan.

Cook the penne in boiling water according to directions on package. Meanwhile, spoon your veggie mixture into a 9×11 greased casserole dish. When the pasta is done, drain and add to the veggies. Toss well. At this point I like to throw in a couple (or three…or four…) good fistfuls of the mozzerella and toss again to thoroughly incorporate. THEN I cover the entire top with more mozzerella and finish off with a layer of parmesan.

Into a 350° oven it goes for about 30 minutes or until the cheese starts bubbling.

Bon Appétit!

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Concrete Jungle: New Fence & Display

‘Kayso after tearing down the old fence and installing the new one, (♫♪ Tearing Down the Walls ♫♪) the wood had to cure for about a week. The painters came in on 7.1.2022 and got the job done! That weekend I was busy breaking down my temporary wall and re-designing the Concrete Jungle.

Of course, Ramses had to put his two cents’ worth in…

The central focal point for the new Concrete Jungle is this birdbath.

I was so happy with the seating area and its half-wall, I left it intact.

In that sunny corner…

I found the perfect spot for my ant family.

This area gets late afternoon sun.

I’m not quite done with the space as I’ve not re-hung the wrought-iron planters on the fence, but then again, when working with living things nothing’s ever truely set-in-stone.

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