Bad- Ass Beautiful Wasp in Anza Borrego

Tarantula Hawk http://bugguide.net

Tarantula Hawk
http://bugguide.net

When I saw this big bad boy fly by my head in Anza Borrego, it screamed “Danger, Danger Will Robinson.” I tried to get a picture of it, but it was flying by me and I was doing this crazy dance trying to keep out of its way. I tried to locate it in my Bug Book, but couldn’t find anything that looked quite right. It was a customer that came into the store talking about a Tarantuala Wasp, with one of the most painful stings known, that had me really paying attention. He mentioned bright Orange Wings – Bingo I thought and looked it up online. This wasp lays its eggs inside of the tarantula so they have a little food when they hatch. (Can anyone say Aliens.) The pain of the sting is supposed to last only three or so minutes, but apparently it shuts you down so fast you run around screaming for your Mama. On the Schmidt Sting Index (Schmidt sounds like an idiot, but I guess I have to thank him for taking a sting for the team) the Tarantula Hawk Sting is second to that of  a Bullet ant. I’m just going to take this guys word for it.  So if you head out to areas with tarantualas watch out for this little guy.

Wasp and Tarantula  socalwild.com

Wasp and Tarantula
socalwild.com

Anza Borrego Art

An old "B" Horror Flick Come to life

An old “B” Horror Flick Come to life

These large insects are from the imagination of metal sculptor Ricardo Breceda. The works of art can be found throughout Borrego Springs thanks to Dennis Avery.  You never know what might be around the next corner,  a dragon crossing the road, wild horses or even raptors. We had a blast searching the valley floor to find them. Maps on where to look can be found almost anywhere in town. The Giganitc Scorpian and Grasshopper brought to mind old movies I used to watch in black and white with my older brother Jimmy (he passed away.) I think he would have really appreciated these fighting metal creatures.

From a distance these camels looked alive.

From a distance these camels looked alive.

Anza Borrego Trip

The view from my motel

The view from my motel

Anza Borrego! The largest state park in California is only a short drive away (2 1/2 -3 hours) and has some of the best star-gazing in So. Cal. Inside the park is the city of Borrego Springs. You aren’t going to find a Walmart or Starbucks here, so if that is your thing this is not the place you want to be. We cruised in from the South and all I could think of is that this stuff, rocks and  boulders going straight up, would be impossible to hike on unless you were a mountain goat or a mountain climber. As I made my way into the valley you could sense the stark beauty in the parched earth that was peeking through a few bushes, cacti and flowers . There is a quiet presense to the dessert and Anza Borrego is no slouch in that department. The energy around Indian Head Mountain can be seen and felt from miles away. The motel was something out of a 1960’s Doris Day movie. The Stanlunds is a single level, drive up to your room type of place, but adequate for a short stay in Anza. Some of the rooms have a full kitchen, we had a fridge and microwave in ours. We ate at a place called Carmelita’s Mexican Grill & Cantina. The enchiladas were good, the margaritas were even better and the place was packed. Leaving the restaurant, the stars, one of the best features of the park were putting on a stunning display. We went in late April which is the end of the season for most visitors. It can reach some really high temperatures during the day making it really hard to hike, but the evenings were perfect. You could sit out with no jacket and just enjoy the peace and quiet.

Mountains to the West of Borrego Springs

Mountains to the West of Borrego Springs

Amethyst – The first aid stone

Overall Healer

Overall Healer

Think of purple Amethyst as the one stone you want in your First Aid Kit. It is an “Overall healer.” It heals on all levels, so if you are self-sabotaging (or making yourself physically sick because of emotional issues at work or home) amethyst can help.  It is a meditative & calming stone which works in the emotional, spiritual, & physical planes to provide calm, balance, patience & peace.  In the psychic and spiritual realms, amethyst is an excellent all-purpose stone that can increase spirituality and enhance intuition and psychic powers of all kinds. It does this by making a clear connection between the earth plane and other planes and worlds. Forms a bubble of  peace; where you can find an island of tranquility in the sea of chaos. Protection against bad energy – witchcraft & nasty people. Good in Negotiations. Opens spiritual & psychic centers. Dream & Sleep stone. Encourages flexibility in decisions. Business affairs prosper. Good for all Healers.

Calming & Soothing

Calming & Soothing

Sources for my information:

I have been interacting with crystals since I was a kid. A lot of information comes from experimenting with the stones.

My first Book about Crystals goes back to the 1980’s. It was: “The Crystal Handbook” by Kevin Sullivan (I still have my original copy…yellowed pages and well-loved. I think you can find this used.)

My Second Book about crystals is: “Love is in the Earth” by Melody (We carry all of her books at the store.)

My favorite picture book is: “The Crystal Bible” by Judy Hall (We carry I, 2 & 3 at the store.)

I also love the internet. You can find great information about the crystals online. I like different sites for different reasons.

Also, you should start to keep your own notebook on how your gems and crystals work for you.

Cleansing your space with a Sage Bundle

 

Sage Bundle in Abalone

Sage Bundle in Abalone

When we smudge, we are looking for the smoke, not the flame.

Remember to give thanks to the bountiful earth for giving us the gift of sage.

Burning Instructions:

Use a candle, match or lighter to ignite your bundle of Sage. I use a t-lite candle; it’s easier to get it lit. Hold the stem-end or chunky-end of the bundle in your hand. At an angle, put your sage into the flame.  Move the sage around the flame to really get it lit. Allow to burn for about 30 seconds to 1 minute and then blow out the flame on the sage (if you have one.) Take a fire proof bowl, plate or shell and hold it under the sage. I start at the front door. (Trust yourself to start where you need to.) Open the door and in a clockwise fashion (left, up and around) circle around the door frame, then move in a clockwise fashion around your entire space. (I will do this pretty quickly, but I give a little extra love over mirrors and reflective surfaces.) If the sage goes out, just relight it. You should end at the place you started. If it’s the front door, I open it and say, “Any and all things that are not here for my higher good or the higher good of all those dwelling here must leave now.”  Shut the door, put out your sage, that’s it. How often should you burn it? – When you feel you need it. Trust yourself.  (Always use caution when working with Fire. Make sure your sage is out. I will tamp it out in sand until it goes out. I always leave it in a fireproof container, my abalone shell, and keep it away from any drapes or fabric.)

How often should you use sage? When you feel you need it. At home I can go months without it. At the Z (the Store)  I smudge weekly and sometimes daily. (Gems and crystals can attract and hold a lot of energy.) I smudge when I feel the energy is blocked or negative. All of us have been with a friend and after we left their presence we felt like we got “Slimed.” That would be a good reason to bring out the sage and say a little prayer for them as well.

How do you clean your gems and crystals? – Always with love and good intentions.

Selenite WandI get asked how to clean gemstones and crystals all of the time. And the answer is always with love and good intentions. In many cases this can be enough. If you wish, do more.  Then it depends on the gemstone. I clean all my stones on selenite. (Selenite is a form of gypsum.) It can be used for all stones. I leave them on selenite to charge and they are always ready to go. Also, the moon is a lovely way to cleanse your crystals and your jewelry.  You just let them bask in the light of a full moon and they are ready to go the next morning. Selenite and the Moon are the two methods that can be used for all crystals. Many gems love a good rinse in water with sea salt. This can work beautifully for the quartz family  (Amethyst, Citrine, Clear Quartz, Smokey Quartz, etc…) Other stones, especially copper based stones (Malachite, Azurite which tend to be green do not like to be washed.  Selenite is an evaporate, so it grows in water. Leave it in water and it will disintegrate. (I use a paintbrush to dust it off.) The MoonSmudging with sage, palo santo or incense can work. So you kind of see where I am going with this. It all depends on the crystal. These little beings have their own personalities and the different needs to go along with them.  If you are unsure what kind of crystal you have you can take a photo and e mail it to me. If you know what the crystal is, check online for the best method of cleansing or just ask me at the store.

Crystal Gazing or Crystal Ball Reading

Image in Crystal Ball

Image in Crystal Ball

I have a Crystal Ball. I admit I am a fan of all the Woo Woo Stuff. I like crystal gazing,  which is also known as crystallism, crystallomancy and more names than I want to remember. It is a form of divination or scrying. Gazing into a crystal ball can lead to seeing visions of the past or future. You may have information download that you need to access for yourself or others. I like to tell people to start gazing at a reflective surface while watching T.V. or doing something else.  Every once in a while gaze at the surface and jot down anything you see or remember. This is a simple method to start gazing and see if you like it or have a proclivity towards it. For me, everything falls away and I see things. Sometimes they have meaning and sometimes I have no clue what it’s about, but I always enjoy it. It’s a form of meditation for me. The picture of the crystal ball above popped up when I was trying for a photo like the one below. I was mesmerized by what came up in the Crysal-Ball-1photo. Both images look like the crystal balls have little universes residing inside them.

Business Been Bad – Try Citrine

Citrine Cluster

Citrine Cluster

Business been bad, want a new job or just want the workplace to feel better? – Put a citrine crystal in your desk, cash register or at the computer where you are writing your resume. Citrine is my go-to stone for any type of business. It is like a Golden Ray of Sunshine coming down and lighting as well as warming every item it touches. Think problem solving, new beginnings, business relationships. This stone brightens even the darkest corner. Because it never needs cleansing, it is always there doing its work. It helps you focus on the job or duty at hand so you feel energized rather than exhausted. Citrine really does make the connection that you need money to buy goods that are necessary for survival and that is O.K. you not only can, you will.

Sources for my information:

I have been interacting with crystals since I was a kid. A lot of information comes from experimenting with the stones.

My first Book about Crystals goes back to the 1980’s. It was: “The Crystal Handbook” by Kevin Sullivan (I still have my original copy…yellowed pages and well-loved. I think you can find this used.)

My Second Book about crystals is: “Love is in the Earth” by Melody (We carry all of her books at the store.)

My favorite picture book is: “The Crystal Bible” by Judy Hall (We carry I, 2 & 3 at the store.)

I also love the internet. You can find great information about the crystals online. I like different sites for different reasons.

Also, you should start to keep your own notebook on how your gems and crystals work for you.

Tumbled Citrine

Tumbled Citrine

Need a little afternoon Pick-Me-Up?

asleep_at_deskSo it’s the end of the work day, and you are staring at the clock watching the seconds tick by, but you still have a few things to get done and after work you have to stop at the store, get gas, deal with pets, spouses and children etc…, just reach for peppermint when you need a little jolt of energy. It can be peppermint candy, peppermint tea and my favorite – peppermint essential oil.  Just inhaling peppermint targets certain areas in the brain that say, “Wake up and take notice.” I like to keep a little plastic bag with a peppermint oil saturated cotton ball inside it. I will open it and take a big whiff. It gives me about an hour to two where I can get things done. It’s better than coffee! So stock up on peppermint tea bags, peppermint candies & peppermint essential oil that can be left in an office drawer or a purse or pocket. It’s a “Mintalicious,” healthy way to go, go, go!peppermint_candy

For Cleaner Air at Work try the Peace Lily Plant

Peace_LilyIf you want cleaner air in your office or home, one plant tops my list. That plant is a “Peace Lily” or Spathiphyllum. This plant can be found at any Florist or Home Improvement Store like Lowes or Home Depot. This shade loving plant cleans the air of benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, toluene & ammonia. I can’t even pronounce some of the stuff it filters out of the air. Many of these chemicals are found when new desks, paint, carpet, etc… outgas. Even old furniture can give off chemicals for years. If you are constantly sick, have headaches at work or sinus problems get this plant. It works beautifully at home as well. One plant can filter 100 square feet of space or a 10’ X 10’ space. It can have pretty white flowers, but most of mine don’t flower often. This plant likes moist soil and thrives with very low light, making it perfect for the office and darker rooms with artificial light.

Check out the original study by NASA.