Day 328-Flash Fiction Friday-Hookah Heaven

Smokey tendrils reached the ceiling and the pulsing music pounded in his head as he watched the beautiful belly dancer swaying in front of him and his pals on the dance floor. She was barefoot, curvy, and exotic, filling his head with all kinds of ideas as he puffed away on his hose of the shared hookah. His pals and he were enjoying some Strawberry Margarita flavored tobacco in their hookah at one of the premier hookah spots in the city. This was the favored place for feeling at home, now that he was in America. The Egyptian decor and the sights, smells, and music reminded him so much of his home. The year was 2005 and they had been stateside for about three months. Now that he was twenty two, he was free to hang out with his friends when he wasn’t on he job, so he meant for this to be an epic weekend.

He could barely even nibble at his tabbouleh salad for staring at this goddess in front of him, her golden bracelets and charms jingling as her hips wiggled and her arms undulated, mesmerizing him into a zen-like state. As for her, she had zeroed in on his attraction and was playing him like a fiddle, making sure her eyes were locked on his as she worked her magic on the dance floor. He was a great mark for sure, hopefully he was a superb tipper, she was getting nowhere with his chums next to him. She was not the best belly dancer at Qana Cafe and Hookah, however, she was the most mediterranian looking, even if she had been born and raised stateside. Her name was Zona and from the time she was five, she knew she wanted to be a belly dancer like her mother.

Abbas motioned for her to come over and stuck a five in her belly chain. He asked her to come join them when she was done for a drink and a smoke. She nodded and went back to the floor in a type of movement that could only be described as floating. She felt a rush of confidence that made her finish the dance with a flourish, earning her loud applause and many whistles from the crowd. She indicated to Abbas with some finger pointing that she would be back after checking with the boss. He ususally didn’t mind, as long as she asked him first. As soon as she got his knowing wink, she grabbed a Coke and headed back to Abbas’s table, sitting close enough for him to feel her heat, not touching though. Abbas smiled at her and asked her where she was from, trying to be cool in front of his friends although internally he was shaking like a leaf. God, she was even more beautiful close up.

She explained that she grew up in the states, her Dad moved them first from California to Arizona, winding up in Texas. He was born in Lebanon, came to the states in his mid-thirties for work and met her mother in California. She was Italian beauty and had been dancing in a Navy club in San Diego when he met her. He had gone there with some friends from work and she captivated him with her beautiful smile and smoking hot body. That’s what he told her anyway. She giggled as she related this somewhat truthful story to Abbas, who sat staring into her gorgeous chocolate colored eyes, devouring every word she spoke as the gospel truth. Now it was his turn to tell her where he was from and it took him a few moments to get his brain to engage. What was in this stuff, he wondered, thinking the tobacco might have more in it than advertised.

“Well, I am from Turkey originally, but we moved here recently from Spain when the war with Iraq ended. My parents could not take the violence anymore and wanted a better life for me, they knew I would have the best chance at finding a good job here in Texas, with all of the top notch hospitals in the area.” “Oh, so what do you do?” Zona asked with real interest. Abbas told her he had gone to medical school in Spain and was finishing up studies and working in a laboratory until he graduated next year. He was currently employed at Medical Plaza downtown Ft Worth and went to school at UTA. “Well aren’t you industrious, how is it you have time to party?” she questioned playfully. His friend Zebo butted in, “He is making time this weekend, he needs a break from that slave driver boss of his.” Zona indicated that it was almost time for her to go back, and told Abbas “I want you to enjoy yourself now, drink up and I will see you after my next set.”

As she sashayed away from their table, Zebo elbowed Abbas and grinned. “She has the hots for you my friend, you’d better take advantage of that while you can.” Abbas sat back on the plush couch and sipped his virgin Pina Colada. As he waited for her to float onto the dancefloor again, he decided this must be Heaven and couldn’t wait for her to show him what a good time really was. As Zona changed outfits before her next set she was thinking maybe she wouldn’t play this guy for a fool after all, he might just be her Turkish delight.

 

 

 

 

Day 327-Thursday Doors Around My Neighborhood

Afternoon, my lovely peeps and how are you doing on this warm, almost end of the month day? Today I thought I would do my own rendition of Thursday Doors as I was noticing all of the beautiful doors we have right here in my own neighborhood.

This first one I like because of the sweet, summery wreath and the cute little trellis with some kind of climbing plant on it.

The next one is one of my favorites in the neighborhood because of the way it faces the street and because they always have the beautiful planters with flowers or something gorgeous coming out of them. Of course, the door itself is also a beauty with it’s matching side panels and decorative archway window.

On top of all that, they are ready for the 4th of July as is the next house on my list.

 

The last door is another favorite, but I should have got a better picture. A car was coming and I had to hurry up. This sweet little porch has matching planters and the patio furniture makes you want to sit right down and share a drink with the home’s owners. Most of the people in my neighborhood take great pride in their homes and lawns and I have personally seen these owners out working hard on theirs. I will try to take a better one and include it later.

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This is the better of the two, so in light of the fact I’m having technical difficulties tonight, I only put this one in.

To see the originator of Thursday’s Doors, aka Norm, go here and click on the blue frog.

Day 326-Wellness Wednesday-How Do You Use Cedarwood Essential Oil?

Did you know that cedar trees were mentioned in the Bible as a source of wisdom and protection? Neither did I, or I had forgotten. Anyway, I used some of my own this morning and its powerful aroma is still with me. I decided to explore more of the uses and benefits of this amazing essential oil. Let’s discover them together,  shall we?

Photo credit: Pixabay

The health benefits of cedarwood oil come from these major components, alpha-cedrene, beta-cedrene, cedrol, widdrol, thujopsene, and a bunch of sesquiterpenes…have you ever even heard of these before? Well, essential oils are made up of many chemical constituents that can be subdivided into two groups: hydrocarbons, which are made up of mostly terpenes (monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes, and diterpenes) and oxygenated compounds, which are mainly esters (aldehydes, ketones, alcohols, phenols,  and oxides). Whew! That is just some of the science that describes what make essential oils so darn beneficial to the body, yet we would be here all day if I described what each and every one of these things does. The best thing for you to do if you are interested in learning more about the science is to check out this website Abundant Health who break down each constituent and explain how they help clean toxins from the body and more. I can tell you that terpenes are responsible for removing toxins from the kidneys and liver and esters are antifungal, calming, and relaxing.

I noticed that after inhaling the pungent, woodsy scent this morning, my focus became sharper and I knew exactly what I wanted to talk about today. That just happens to be one of the many benefits of this EO which makes it great for people with ADD and other problems one might have with focus. Let me tell you some more benefits that Dr. Axe let me in on, and he would be happy to give you all a free book and grocery shopping list if you check his website out. Just click on his name and it will take you to his very informative website. Anyhoo, here goes:

  • cures fungal infections
  • promotes hair growth
  • repels bugs
  • cures acne
  • improves focus
  • is anti-inflammatory
  • relieves spasms
  • reduces coughs
  • cleans out toxins

…and so much more!

Now let me tell you some of the many uses for cedarwood essential oil:

By adding it to soap, lotion or your bath, cedarwood oil can cure the inflammation of the common skin disorder, eczema. It reduces the peeling of the skin and treats the infection with its anti-fungal properties.

Studies also show that by combining cedarwood with other essential oils like rosemary, lavender, and thyme and applying them to the scalp, they contribute to hair growth and slow the loss of hair. Well! I have three of those oils, so maybe I ought to give this a try. All you have to do is add a few drops of each to your shampoo or just massage it into your scalp and let it sit 30 minutes before rinsing it out. Shoot, it’s worth a shot and better than buying a wig, which I was just on the verge of doing!

Do you suffer from dry scalp? Then mix a couple of drops of cedarwood into a little coconut oil and massage into your scalp. Let it sit on your scalp for 30 minutes and shampoo out.

The same mixture can be applied to wounds as an antiseptic. 

Taking a bath with 10 drops will help relieve arthritis and stiff joints by reducing inflammation. Inhaling the oil will work as well.

Cedarwood is also a natural deodorizer and it provides a comforting, reassuring wood-like scent. Believe it or not, it has the power to change your perspective and by diffusing it, you will have long lasting therapeutic effects. It is commonly used in perfumes to add a warm tone and it has been known to bring people together.

Using cedarwood in your massage oil will help tighten loose muscles and create a feeling of firmness and youth. It can also tighten the muscles of the digestive system and aid with issues like diarrhea. Just rub a few drops in your hands and massage your abs, arms, chest, and legs for a soothing and fresh sensation. What a versatile oil this is, right?There are so many other uses for this oil which is sometimes derived from waste wood chips which help people benefit from repurposed wood.

There are some side effects to discuss: this is too strong of an oil to be ingested, Additionally, pregnant women should not use it. Do not use in high concentrations or it can cause skin irritations. Ingestion can cause nausea, vomiting and extensive damage to the digestive system.

Now, I am not getting any kind of kickback or incentive to direct you to Dr. Axe but he has a great website, and if you visit right now and look up cedarwood oil, there are some DIY cologne and vapor rub recipes, along with all the other info I talked about here today. He has always been my go-to for excellent instruction on essential oil use, recipes and more.

 

Day 325-Met-I'm No Angel, I Fight Temptation Too

When I went Paleo two or three years ago, (has it really been that long?) I was totally gung-ho, everyone was proud of the willpower I had and I was proud of myself for sticking to it. Fast forward to today and I have to admit, I’m struggling just a bit.

Is it because it’s summertime and I just can’t stay away from the chips, salsa, and margaritas? Maybe. If that was all, I wouldn’t be worried as much, yet I have noticed that other sneaks have become more frequent and they aren’t just alcohol. Sometimes, my body just wants a carb and instead of making a healthy choice, I grab the easy thing like a bowl of cereal instead of fixing myself an egg, or God forbid, dipping into that left behind bag of Chex mix!

I know how to snack healthy, I have just gotten lazy. I need some motivation like I had when I started this whole journey. Back then it was my first cruise that motivated me, plus the desire to get the sugar and other toxins out of my body. I quit smoking and started vaping, now I’m not even vaping nicotine anymore. I have added CBD oil to my routine and I’m sleeping better. Maybe it is also increasing my appetite? Hmm.

Well, I simply have to fight back. I need to dig deep and remember the reason I started getting healthy in the first place. Yes, I am going on another cruise in September, yet I am not worried about that. I’m worried that I have let the Devil back in and he is reeking havoc on my body. (The Devil being sugar!) For instance, I snuck a brownie bite the other night when I was finally alone. Now, why did I do that?? I’m not fooling anyone and I’m only hurting myself. Why am I not motivated to exercise and take care of myself?

Sugar is as strong as heroin to kick once you introduce it back into your system. It causes a plethora of problems, one being candida. I don’t want that again!! It took me forever to get that out of my system, it had become systemic and that is a nightmare I don’t want to go through again. Yeast infections, constant pain in my joints, skin problems…no! Ok, that is my motivation, I will get back on track, start trying to find a way to get more exercise in and go back to no sugar in my diet.

It is really tough, that means no chips, cereal, bread (I don’t eat bread anymore EVER) ok, that’s a lie, sometimes here lately, I have even had a bite of my hubby’s bread. Yikes! How has this happened?? It starts with being honest with myself, and how can I teach others how to live a healthy lifestyle if I have fallen off the wagon myself? I have a pool, I have been doing some legwork but not every day. Since my knee has been hurting, I stopped walking, but since I started taking some new supplements, I noticed that the pain has lessened significantly and the inflammation has gone down. Maybe I could start walking again! I can also do some exercises on this big round ball I’m sitting on, ha!

I need to get strict with the “diet” again, nothing from a bag or a box, eating only whole foods like meat, eggs, salads, fruit, and nuts. Like I said, I know what to do, I just need to “do it”!  I weighed myself and I haven’t gained that much, it isn’t about that though. It’s about the flab, it’s about the danger of candida and other issues developing again. I want to be proud of myself again. I want to help others do the same and live healthy lives. Ok, self. This has been a great talk, now get out there and make a difference.