Welcome Home To Your Heart

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They say Home Is Where The Heart Is. I never understood how true that was until I opened my heart wide enough to Be A Home for ALL.

I didn’t realize how in my head I had been living these last couple of weeks as I took care of the dogs needs, worked on my crocheting, and took the time to recharge my solo soul energy. The alone time was necessary to reset, but more importantly it remind me that I am a healer with a wealth of energy to spare. If I say or think, “I do not have the energy for this” then it is so. It’s not about whether or not I have the strength to do so. We Always have enough energy, it is a matter of the desire to bring it into existence or not. Energy is a choice. We are so much stronger than we allow ourselves to be at times.

I discovered exactly what I had been doing in the past that made reading Tarot for others so draining to myself. I would soak up loads of energy being gathered and passed around during readings and hold it within me. So much energy trapped within my vessel, ricocheting around within me, left me both supercharged and drastically drained. I didn’t realize what I had been doing until I was able to verbalize it out loud with my Goddess Crystal. (Not an Actual crystal guys…my best Goddesses Name Is Crystal). I thought it was my duty to actively move, purge or direct the energy while reading cards, and while I Can, it’s not my responsibility and will only do me harm in the long run.

(Is this actually true, or is it only true because I created the thought into existence? Do I actually even care about the answer to that? It is so and that is all that matters.)

Bellies filled with grub made from love, I cleared a space, gathered my Goddess close, and we laid out the most intense tarot reading I’ve ever experienced with another person. I am humbled enough by the process to be no longer concerned with where to put the energy, because I realize now that is not my job. That task is reserved for the universe. Let it go and let it flow.

Crystal & I are so insanely connected that I could literally feel the electricity zing between our fingertips from the moment we began shuffling the deck together. I didn’t even ask her if she felt anything physically because I didn’t want to alter the process in anyway. Wee bitty warm electrical shocks, more like vibrations actually, allowed me to brace myself for what was to come. I didn’t warn her, that’s half the fun.

The range of emotions that passes over a Querient’s (Querient is the word used for the person who’s cards are being read) face give me life. The tears make me giggle and I don’t even try to hide it. I don’t find the feels amusing, I mean no disrespect, but I am highly aware that the power play at war between heart, head and ego is coming to fruition right here in front of me. Some meet themselves for the very first time right before my eyes and I am honored and humbled to be a witness to a moment so sacred. That moment when a person discovers that the exact path they are on is in fact exactly where they are supposed to be.

It is not my job to read another’s cards, that is up to them. I am merely a doorway towards understanding. I know nothing about another’s life, desires and fears. Who am I to interpret cards into current situations for another? My purpose here is to help give the cards meanings and allow the querient to discover their own interpretations.

Other than for myself, I have never read the cards of someone I am so completely connected with as I did last night. It was an incredibly powerful feeling. My energy is still shimmering bright from last night. I am A giver of light and grateful to be a part of the process of self discovery.

Welcome home to your heart. I am honored to introduce yourself to yourself.

I would love to connect with other card readers and light givers! Comment below and say hi or send me a private message if you would like!

Full Moon Tarot Spread

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Full Moon Tarot Spread

While the new moon is a time for beginnings, the full moon is a time for reflection rather than starting new things. The August full moon, also known as the Sturgeon Moon or the Red Moon, is a time of balance between hope and fear. We have harvested some things but the remaining crops are still in limbo. We take the steps we can to ensure success in our lives or trusting that the universe will meet us halfway.

I have been in an uncharacteristic limbo this past month without any inkling of why, yet realizing something was majorly off . Two days ago I made a big life decision and was shocked by the intense sense of relief that instantly washed over me because of the decision made firmly in my head and heart. I say shocked because pride myself in knowing myself, and yet I had not recognized before now what had been so obviously bothering me. With firm decision in hand, everything inside and around me clicked right back into peaceful place. My fears eased and I again felt hopeful for whatever was next to come.
Yesterday a good friend reminded me at the full moon was coming up and I was hit with another A-Ha! moment. Well of course I was going through the motions, the moons are always playing with our universal design pushing and pulling us in necessary directions. I have recently become fascinated with reading tarot cards and I figured this would be the perfect opportunity to practice some different spreads.

I tuned into my Buddhist Monk Radio Pandora station, gathered my crystals, and cleared my mind and energy. Focusing hard on the moon, my most recent life decision, and my intentions for the upcoming month, I prepared myself for my Full Moon tarot spread reading. Below I share my reading and interpretations!

Waning Moon
1. Things to let go of
2. Things to keep
3. Things yet to come
Waxing Moon
4. How the world effects you
5. What to give
5. What to receive
Lessons
7. What to learn

Full Moon Tarot Spread Meaning & Interpretation

  1. 4 of Pentacles: stagnation, covetousness, avarice, lack of investments, material fears and uncertainty (I had been procrastinating on an important business decision that has cost me a lot of money this past year. I had been fearful of letting go because I liked the status and reputation that I had and was not allowing myself to make the decision that I knew was necessary. It was time to let go.)
  2. 3 of Pentacles: piece of work, creation, architecture, job, attention to detail, passion for one's own things. (I am incredibly passionate about what I do and attention to detail is very important to me yet I was letting little things slide because I was overwhelmed. This month I will focus on downsizing and simplifying so the I can regain my reputation for paying close attention to detail)
  3. The Emperor: Will, ability to control events and situations, ability to meditate, strength, virility, violent exercise of power (I am strong enough to be in complete control of my universe, good things are coming because I am able to slow my pace down, meditate on what's necessary and trust my intuition to guide me)
  4. Queen of Swords: aridity, repentance, need, sterility (being an empath makes me incredibly vulnerable to the worlds energy, I must be incredibly careful with everything that I do and allow to happen around me)
  5. King of Pentacles: owner, employer, hierarchical figure, funds, experience of success (I am my own Boss, I make my own rules. My financial situation will soon change drastically in a positive way due to the decision that I made)
  6. 4 of Swords: immobility, weight, sleep, concentration (As hard as it is to feel "immobile", sometimes doing nothing is more beneficial than doing something. This is a situation where waiting and being patient will bring greatness my way again very soon)
  7. Hierophant: inspiration, ability to bring conflicts to an end, feelings, relief, advisor, guide, example, serenity of judgment, patience (My year long conflict has finally ended and I feel a great relief and serenity from the decision that I have made. I was and always will exude patience over the need to push the universe in the direction that I think I want it to go in. I Trust Me)

So basically my full Moon Tarot Spread said that I indeed had made the right decision and am on the exact path that I need to be. I love how reading tarot always reconfirms what I already know in my heart and the fiber of my being. I have wanted to learn to read tarot since my early teens and didn't realize that that is why I was never successful at it before. Reading tarot is not something to be learned, it is something to feel and trust. Sure, there is knowledge involved in interpreting the cards but our instincts and intuition plays a far more major role. As soon as I let go of my expectations of reading Tarot and just went with the flow that my energy guided me along, my understanding clicked into place immediately. Tarot Reading is an interpretative art form to be used as a springboard to ignite and fire up all the different levels of consciousness with our hearts and minds so that our lives can be either enhanced or protected. Allow yourself to relax and be open to what feels right for you. It’s this organic, intuitive approach that will make all the difference for your Tarot readings. Do you have a favorite Tarot Spread or preferred deck that you like to use?comment below and share your knowledge! Many blessings my friends!

Tarot de las Sirenas

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Tarot de las Sirenas

When I began struggling to complete my usual morning meditations and affirmations, and I wasn’t able to find my own days direction within myself, I began pulling tarot to help guide and center me. All I had was an adorable Tiny Tarot deck and no knowledge to back anything up that I was doing. I began with three card pulls just to set my intentions and daily affirmations, and used the technique as a calming practice while I was traveling during the last month. My travels took me to New Orleans where I stumbled into Marie Laveau’s House of Voodoo. Without intention, my energy guided me directly to two items that I would never have normally selected to purchase on my own. I didn’t allow for thought, I only let my instincts guide me through the shop and spent more money than I ever do on myself in normal circumstances. My eyes and head wanted a different deck. My energy forced me to select the Tarot of Mermaids. I live on an island so I figured this was an appropriate deck for my surroundings and became curious to learn how the deck would guide me.

I normally love diving straight in to my new findings, but for some reason once purchased, I had no driving desire to even open the deck. I unpacked my entire travel bag and even left the unopened deck all alone in my backpack. I found it odd that I still didn’t want to touch them, but I know better than to question my instincts and knew when it was time I would know. This morning was the time, and the intention of my pull was not even for myself. A friend in need reached out to me with a simple “I feel like I need to see you soon…I’ve been feeling lots of different things lately, I just need to center myself again.”. This was a special woman who deserved a special pull from a special deck. Out came The Mermaid Tarot. I had two other close friends who reached out to me in different ways, but I could feel each of their individual stresses, anxieties, and needs. I made three separate pulls, and sent each of my friends the images and descriptions of what I pulled, allowing them to create their own interpretations.

I can not deny my energy’s strength. Without any knowledge of what I am doing, my pulls are always eerily and freakishly on point. Always. I’ve always known that we are all capable of greatness of different kinds, but I am only recently learning to toes the outer edges of my personal power. The least I can do is honor this process a little more fully by educating myself a little further. I did a little research just for some basic definitions and understanding of the deck that I was using. I didn’t want to much outside guidance to effect my own energy and instincts. Below I show my very first full tarot pull. Mermaids and Tritons show the human side, head and bust, hiding their true nature underwater, the fish shaped appearance. In the first 1-8 list, I listed the card spread diving meaning. In the second set of 1-8 I list my own personal pulls followed by the cards meaning with my own personal interpretations in parenthesis.

  1. Current Situation
  2. Abilities and strong points
  3. Question being examined, which could get out of control
  4. Weaknesses, bad habits. Revealed and submerged stomach
  5. Influences of others, aftermath of old problems
  6. How the situation could develop negatively  without necessary actions
  7. Which “boats” you should rock, what can be done, what must not be done
  8. Summary: sums up the meaning of the other 7 cards, what is obvious, what is hidden, guiding toward the end

 

My Personal Pull & Interpretations

  1. VIII Strength : moral strength, courage, ability to interact with others, ability to persuade, aptitude for work (I am currently at the top of my life game when it comes to my own energy and understanding of my capabilites. Others can feel my energy before they are aware of me or why they have the feels and I always try to use that power for good in aiding others)
  2. II High Priestess : mysteries of femininity, unexpected pregnancy, an unforeseen event, feelings sacrificed for reason, the pursuit of power, breaking rules, ability to judge, willingness to study (I was raised surrounded by men and tomboyish females with “male instincts”, only now in my thirties am I discovering the power of my femininity and learning about what it means to Be A Woman. I am learning to put my personal feelings to the back burner when the time calls for a level head. Some minor authority issues, yes, I’ll admit it. I have always loved to learn but have only recently began seeking out extra knowledge of all kinds on my own time)
  3. The Fool : eccentricity, unpredictability, psychological instability, desire to sidestep the rules, to escape from everyday routine, multiple professional skills, tendancy towards sexual freedom and erotic quirks, opportunism, willingness to be the center of attention, ambiguity (Rules are guidelines for those lacking instincts and intuition, life is not black & white, after celibacy throughout my twenties-my thirties are for discovering and owning my sexual freedom. I don’t enjoy being the center of attention, but I am willing to do so for good causes and inspiration for others. I am more than one, more than I, I am So Much in one human form)
  4. IV of Wands : refuge, accord, time to meet with success (the time is now, success of different kinds is coming my way faster than I can process)
  5. IV The Emperor : will, ability to control events and situations, ability to meditate as well as strength, virility, violent exercise of power (I used to let events control me, now I am in control of my universe. At times I forget what I am capable of and unintentionally and excessively exert my power)
  6. VII The Chariot : success, capacity to lead, ability to keep ones head above water, instinct (Whether I want to be or not, I am a leader. Completely comfortable being guided or a part of a group, but the group will always follow me and look to me for guidance. I am a source of calming strength to most that I know. Trusting my instincts has never ever steered me wrong and every time I used my head or heart instead I met disaster)
  7. Knight of Chalices : great passion, emotional turmoil, unfaithful lover, fickleness, whim, inconsistency (Passion in Everything that I do! I am an incredibly sensitive empath and before I was aware of what my energy was capable of used to deal with a lot of undisciplined emotions and feels. I have a unique experience and thought process behind sex/love/lovers/relationships/etc…we are not here to restrict or label each other, we are here to learn from and enjoy each other. I am not an unfaithful lover, I am open and honest with anyone who I chose to share the magic that comes along with sharing my body and energy with)
  8. I The Magician : skill, diplomacy, ability to astonish, capacity to seduce, enchantment (Sums up the meaning of my card pull and my currently life situations perfectly)

 

I am HOOKED. I love the individual magic behind tarot cards. Everyone could pull the same exact cards and come away with different interpretations suited to each individual moment and experience. Every card has a different meaning depending on its position, so you will get a unique and detailed perspective on your current situation. I made the mistake of getting too excited and offered readings to a few friends which I posted in my Instagram Story (Follow me on Instagram @gypsysugarcloud). I was swiftly contacted by others requesting readings and because I was in a learning, practicing, and giving state of mind, I allowed more of my energy to leak away than I had intended. I was not aware of what I was doing. What I was capable of. After four hours of readings I was overcome with an enormous wave of exhaustion. I looked in the mirror to see a wild eyed woman with crazy curls, huge dark circles, bags under my eyes, and an ache that was rapidly spreading through my entire body starting from my temples and reaching down to my ankles. Despite being well rested, taking my Kratom, and drinking my morning coffee, I felt like I had been awake for two days straight and had completed a triathlon. Now I know. I will not make that mistake again. I will never ever completely block my energy from others and vice versa, again because I have learned in the past how much that restricts my energy in other useful ways. I will, however, protect myself better the next time I read tarots for someone else other than myself. Energy is incredible stuff and we are all capable of so very much more than we realize. Proceed with caution anytime you are attempting to give or receive energy work of any kind because whether we are aware of it or not, our energy leaves stains and cords throughout everything that it touches. Blessings!

Hennessy is helping Mama recharge post reading. My dogs always join me during my energy work.

The New Old La Mesa, Ca

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The New Old La Mesa, Ca

I was born and raised in a small town outside of San Diego County, called La Mesa. La Mesa, California, also known as “The Jewel of the Hills” was established in 1912.  Throughout much growth, both in population and industry, La Mesa’s sophisticated yet quaint image has risen over the years. La Mesa is now best-known for its seasonal festivities, as well as for its historical downtown area on La Mesa Blvd. more commonly referred to by the locals as “The Village.” I moved from La Mesa to Puerto Rico about three years ago and always experience a major shock when I return back to my hometown. I can barely keep up with all the changes! I am an old soul and normally struggle with accepting change when there are alterations and new establishments around our town, but this visit found me in a completely different state of mind of acceptance. I was completely overwhelmed by how many new restaurants, bars and shops were lining La Mesa Blvd but there was not one place that didn’t feel like it belonged. The city has been doing an amazing job at what is being allowed to be opened in town and restricting establishments that don’t mesh with the quaint town vibe. Everything felt like it remained true to the original historical design of town as well as integrating just the right amount of newness to draw the right kind of attention.

I am learning to accept the beauty that can come with change. Now when I return to my hometown of La Mesa I look forward to seeing what has altered along the boulevard and what remains the same. There’s very little that could alter my love for this adorable little town that I will always call my original home. This list of restaurants that I have provided below is primarily establishments that are set along The Village Blvd. If I left something out or have placed something on the list that no longer exists please comment below and let me know. Even though I live in Puerto Rico now I love keeping informed about what happens back in my family neighborhood. You can be guided to the websites belonging to every single one of the places listed below simply by clicking on the name. Enjoy!

List of New Establishments in La Mesa Village

 

Newbie’s Still Holding Ground

Some Good Ole Classics

A Few of My Favorites That I Grew Up With Still Standing Strong (a wee bit off the Blvd)

 

My last visit home was filled with fun, family and lots and lots of food. I added a restaurant review about my visit to the new Farmer’s Table La Mesa and you can read it here in my Restaurant Reviews Page . I can’t wait to see what changes will be in store for me on my next visit back to La Mesa!

 

I Never Give Up, I Give In

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I Never Give Up, I Give In

Nothing has gone “right” or as expected these past three weeks, luckily I let go of the wheel and allowed the universe take over 17 days ago so it’s been nothing more than a beautiful ride. The universe has a completely different design in mind for me right now and that’s fine by me, I trust the energy taken and given will be put to good use. I create everything and anything into existence and I truly believe that it is my positive thought process that makes me so blessed and successful in life.

Each day I go to sleep with closure meditations and reawaken to the clean slate of a completely new day full of brand new possibilities being created into existence. Last night I knew I would have to wake up with the sun with so much to get done so I set my intentions before bed and slept peacefully, charging up as much energy as possible.  I woke minutes before my alarm, my brain cranking long before my feet hit the floor. So much happening so fast that I can barely hang on – so I don’t – I let go and trust. I counted my spoons (The Spoon Theory), grabbed my list of lists, kissed my fur kids (the count is currently at three), cranked the car stereo and hit the road to the old Bumble Bee Tuna Factory (Check out a previous blog post I had written about exploring this cool abandoned factory: Isla Adventure Squad: Bumble Bee Tuna Factory) to take my best buddy David to work. The Clean Ocean Initiative Project is full systems a-go so there are new rules involving security all around the factory. I signed in and walked up to the main office to shoot the shit with the boys a bit before everyone got into their work flow and I had to rush off to tend to my own day. New baby goats were born at the factory about an hour before we arrived on the scene, which happens almost monthly now it seems like and I’m pretty positive they are all family in every way.

The two new babies still had the umbilical cords dragging as the little ones tested their knees and elbows weeble wooble so I snapped a few pictures, oohed and ahhed a bit and then hit the road.

I had to schedule special time this morning to call my Papa and give him updates on all the things happening with and around me.  My father is my best friend and our energy is always and forever connected, our blessing and our curse. When he is happy, I am happier, so in a way, my forever desire to make my Papa happy is slightly selfish. Full grown grateful Daddy’s Girl. I left myself exactly half an hour for the phone call, multi tasking with making myself a proper breakfast to fuel me up for the day. Our phone call lasted longer than intended as we gossiped like a couple of high school girls. His happy energy lifted my spirits even higher than I thought was possible for this day though and I was left literally pacing around my living room as energy and thoughts ricocheted all around and through me.

By noon I had handled my morning inversion and yogance workout, made all personal calls and returned all business emails, arranged an elopement for my Airbnb guests, bought my neighbors bicycle to add to my Airbnb stash of guest toys, returned a dog crate to the store, dropped off loads of clothes to donate, prepped lunch smoothies, drank too much coffee, walked fed and cleaned up after all three dogs and contemplated bathing them all but instead bathed myself because I needed it just as bad as they did and can not excuse my stench as adorably as my cuddly squad can. I was avoiding making commitments with three different friends who wanted me to step away for three different fun activities, until I could take a moment to rewrite up my days must do list, re count my spoons and be honest with myself about what I could handle for the rest of the day. Things are constantly and forever altering throughout my days and life so I have learned to be entirely flexible in every way. By the time I received the fourth call from the fourth friend requesting a fourth activity I threw my hands up, kicked my feet back, shredded my list and yelled out Fine Universe You WIN! For all my intents and purposes of remaining business minded today, everything around me is screaming go out and play. Such is island life, it’s super cute that I still try to act like I’m mainland minded from time to time though.

So, the laundry is drying, the guests have all been tended to, my casita is tidy, my calendars are in order, my belly is full, and I am sitting here recharging and recollecting some extra spoons for the remainder of this day that could go anyway. Right this second my biggest concern is whether I’m going to go swimming with Rafa, drink wine and laugh/cry about how much we missed each other with Crystal, go Playuela camping with Natalie and crew, or vibe out on the beach with Kris & Ari while burning palo santo and catching up on our time apart. I don’t feel one bit rushed anymore even though I want to do all the things. I am sitting here completely grounded and centered knowing that my people are all out there waiting to give me hugs and help me relax even deeper. I trust that all will get done and I will be exactly where I need to be when each moment is right. My body is at a stand still right this second but my heart is fluttering around with so much happiness I could burst from the feels. I never give up but will always give in to the universes design.

 

(The Very Second that I finished typing up this blog post, Kris & Ari magically appeared unexpectedly at my door and I jumped up with a shriek to give them sweaty island hugs and kisses!! My bro babes are here and it’s time to play, catch you all on the flip side!)

 

 

Rincon Rabbit Hole

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Rincon Rabbit Hole

It took me an embarrassing amount of time to finish this blog post. It’s so much more difficult to write about the Rincon Rabbit Hole while you’re currently spiraling through it yourself. It happens to the best of us here about twice a year. We live where you vacation. No Es Facil. It’s not easy living here in paradise, but someone has got to do it. Unless you have had the experience of living full time on an island in a seasonal tourist town it might sound like we are being cocky or rude with that phrase, but that is not the case at all. It truly is not easy living in paradise, there is much to distract you and draw you towards the debaucherous dark side.

Beach BBQs, bonfires, parties in abandoned buildings, fire dancing, mini music festivals, island adventures, surf contests, sweaty surfer boys and bikini clad babes every where you look. No real rules of the road so please proceed with caution. Bring your cold brew with you or a cooler for the car bar. Nobody knows what day of the week is it because every day is Sunday Funday. No shoes-no-shirt clothing optional type of town. We are Lords of the Flies governing ourselves with sometimes disastrous results. This is the Land of  The Lost Boys claiming Neverland as our very own. Bienvenido a Rincon.

Some of the town residents chase the Summer and live here in this sleepy little surf town only six months out of the year and the remainder of us take a deep breath of relief as the population swiftly declines leaving the year round residents behind. We form amazing bonds with brothers from other mothers and soul sisters that challenge us look at ourselves and our lives differently. Star aligned soul mates that will either return to us in six months with stories to tell or will fade from our lives never to be seen or heard from again but always to be remembered for the memories and moments shared on this sacred island paradise. March and April is dedicated to non stop Going Away Parties and drunken half assed goodbyes. I have the added excuse of March being my birthday month, so I am extra guilty of tossing all my regular routines and self restrictions out the window to romp around with the rest of my island clan like a wild wolf woman on the hunt.

I give in to it and slide down the Rincon Rabbit Hole willingly.  Bands, bonfires, and debauchery that you absolutely can’t miss out on, followed swiftly by “I’m never drinking again” “why on Earth did I do that” and “it never happened if we never speak of it”. We thrive off of an interesting small town bubbled balance of best kept secrets and grapevine gossip. Tourist population dwindles and the two months of Going Away parties slowly blurs into the year round American “locals” trickling out of hibernation and reclaiming their bars and beaches in a more mellow fashion. Paces slow down, businesses alter their hours of availability and responsibilities dwindle down to the bare minimum for some. You climb out of the Rincon Rabbit Hole, take stock of your injuries, brush yourself off and like a flip has been switched, island life is low key again.

It can be a vicious cycle if you are not prepared for it, but a beautiful one if you have learned to trust yourself and your surroundings and go with the island flow. It’s not easy living in paradise, but someone’s got to do it. Only the strong survive.

 

 

If you are ever visiting Puerto Rico and find yourself gravitating towards the Best Coast, pardon, I mean the West Coast 😉 then please look me up! I run several vacation rentals and provide a full concierge service to anyone in need of a little guidance while visiting Rincon. I have a groovy crew of adventurous souls and we love sharing our passions for this beautiful island! Follow the links below to be guided to my Instagram and Facebook and see what kind of island shenanigans I get into!

Personal Instagram: GypsySugarCloud

Airbnb Instagram: BeachGoddessAirbnb

Follow on Facebook: Surf Town Beach Casitas 

Adventure with Cloud and stay at her Surf Town Beach Casitas

 

 

Doggy Diet Danger

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Doggy Diet Danger

Yes yes, I am one of those freakish Dog-People who puts her fur kids first above all else. My dogs are not my whole life, but they truly do make my life whole and complete, not to sound completely cliche. After 14yrs of life with my Pomeranian-Schipperke, Osita, we made the family decision together to get a new dog friend. The first month with our new Sato (stray island mutt), Hennessy went beautifully smooth, way to smooth in fact. I should have known better.

I wanted life to be easy on all parties involved and had the best of intentions of instilling fairness on all levels within my two girls lives. I made my first mistake by assuming these two very different dogs would need exactly the same things. I so very badly wanted them to love each other like true sisters so I enforced the same rules and gave the same privileges to both Osita & Hennessy. I attempted to merge my two dogs lives into one without considering each of their individual needs. Looking back now I can see exactly what I did wrong. I made a mistake similar to a new mother who already has a teenager in the household, instilling sameness in areas that so obviously needed individual attention for each (fur)kid’s needs. I did not show respect for Osita’s 14 year old body needs and then further disrespected her by taking away almost every freedom and priviledge that she had been used to as I attempted to teach Henny about our household rules and train her. No more couches or beds, locked doors and fenced in gated areas, no more free roaming and coming back as she pleased, no freedom and less of Mama’s time. I inadvertently knocked Osita off her much deserved Alpha still wouldn’t eat and post and in doing so gave Henny the impression that she was Alpha over us all.

All of a sudden anything that Henny wanted she bullied into taking from us and would snap at me if I tried to discipline her at all. When Henny began showing signs of food aggression that became violent I realized we had to nip that in the butt immediately. When she attacked me in my sleep for rolling over and accidentally touching her while she had a treat in her mouth I realized what a severe problem we had on our hands. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.

We are working on establishing new ground rules every day but this one is the most important ever for her own safety and the safety of all others that visit our home. I learned a lot from watching a dog walker/handler that I stayed with back in San Fransisco handle her own, her clients, and my dog and things I watched her do and say was stored away in my memory banks. Back then I didn’t understand why she had set certain ground rules of hierarchy during feeding time but after being attacked by my own dog I understood immediately.

Hennessy is a rescued island sato, so her food aggression comes from fear and anxiety, not alpha dominance. We are working fast to establish consistent routines that make her feel safe and at the same time let’s her know who the Alpha in her family is.
Our new routine flows as followed:
– Exercise before mealtime to reduce hunter mentality
– I enjoy my breakfast first in front of the girls (I always felt so rude for doing this before but I respect the importance of it now)
– Osita eats her meal while Hennessy sits and waits patiently outside
– Hennessy eats last and she eats small portions at a time from my hand until she learns my hands near her food means rewards and love

I apologize for not making myself perfectly clear before you stepped paws into our household baby Henny girl. You will always get good consistent meals, you will never be touched forcefully, and you will Always get love. BUT…..I am Alpha, don’t forget it young lady. 💪🏾

Just as we nipped the food agression in the butt I began noticing a severe change in Osita’s mood and behavior. After 14 years of life together, I am just as in tune with her as she is with me and my moods. She stopped playing, wouldn’t react when I asked her to come or go for a walk, refused to eat, and got sick several times a day. I could literally feel my little girl wasting away by the day so we backtracked super fast. I began to watch everything super closely and pulled everything in her life out for individual review. She would bounce back to her regular spunky attitude as soon as she was out of the house alone with me and Henny was left behind. Osita is an incredibly sensative dog so at first I considered that maybe she was more than a little sad about the severe changes in her lifestyle. She would immediately regain her ultra dramatic depressed attitude when we returned to Henny and I still couldn’t get her to eat.

My next step was putting all her raw diet and old kibble food elements in separate bowls and watching to see what she selected. I was honestly shocked when given the option she kept selecting her dog kibbles over the meat, sweet potatoes, eggs and rice she had loved so much last month. Trust and have faith. I trusted that she knew what she needed and for the next week I proceeded to give her every option available and allowed her to essentially make up her own meals this way. I checked in with our vet and they assured me that backing off on Osita’s raw diet was the right move. Since she had never before in her life eaten a completely raw diet it was wrong of me to attempt to alter her what her body had been accustomed to. We have since found a balance of a little bit of everything and I swiftly noticed Osita’s energy levels increase.

Today I looked up from my crocheting to see both my girls enjoying their separate and completely different meals at their own separate paces and my heart exploded in happiness. As I was sitting there beaming with pride for my little ladies, Osita finished her entire meal and went over to Hennessy and began their usual post meal nuzzle & tussle routine. We did it! With far less effort than I had realized, all it truly took from me was consistency and patience, the girls both learned and relearned super fast. We have regained balance within our household and I am still learning lots everyday about how to handle Osita & Hennessey’s individual needs. I read lots of websites, books and got advice from vets and friends before we began the raw diet transition. There is so much to consider that we humans might not be aware of when it comes to our fur kids needs. I loved this article found online

How To Make Raw Dog Food: A Primer 

I am still learning and I would love to know Anything & Everything that does and doesn’t work for other people’s dogs during the raw diet transition. It takes a tribe to raise a youngster and I appreciate the knowledge gained from others. Please comment below with any suggestions and advice that you may have.

If you live in the Oakland/Bay Area, have fur kids that you love dearly and want the best possible care for them, contact Claire who owns Ruffin’ Around and can be found on DogVacay. She has more than 10 years of experience, provides a wide range of Dog Services such as Dog Walking & Boarding, and can help with a lot of different types of behavioral patterns while your fur kids are in her care.

Ruffin’ Around

 

Restaurant Review: Copas in Aguadilla, PR

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Restaurant Review: Copas in Aguadilla, PR

I don’t have my own vehicle and I don’t eat pasta very much anymore, but my friends and I were hunting for fun places outside of Rincon to enjoy so we thought we would give Copas a try. They had been advertising a Whiskey Tasting & Bossa Nova on Facebook so I couldn’t think of a better night to go. Copas had been on my Puerto Rico Restaurants Bucket List for quite some time now so I was very excited to finally visit. My buddy was in desperate need of a fun and relaxing evening and I was really pleased to be able to take him to a new spot instead of our Rincon Regular haunts.

As we approached the establishment there was an air of nothingness all around us. No noise, no people, tons of cars and blacked out windows. It’s always a sign of good things to come when the windows are blacked out, in my opinion. I love the sense of mystery. It’s going to be empty, Crystal said. Or we will open the door and get hit with a wave of food smells and noise, I replied hopefully. I cracked the door and peeked inside to hear….nothing. I peered around the corner and saw that I was in a small dimly lit dining room with a bar featuring a bottle lined wall at the far end. There were only two tables with couples at them and nothing that looked like a whiskey tasting or a Bossa Nova band. We were running an hour late so I didn’t let myself get disappointed because I came with no expectations and was more interested in checking out a new spot that I had never been to. A waiter came to seat us and we learned that in fact we were not too late to join, if we would please just follow him right along this way Ma’am’s and Sir. From the outside the restaurant looked small, I had no idea where he was taking us but I was incredibly intrigued when I turned the first corner and saw a gondola sitting in the middle of the room, umbrella lighting fixtures dangling from the ceiling, and silhouettes of Italian architecture along the walls. I still heard no music and show no people other than the two couples when we had first entered but I followed along the corridors curiously. How big IS this place?! I lost count of how many corners we turned down, but I gasped out loud when we finally made one last turn and I saw the dining room. I stood still for half a step with my mouth gaping open resisting the urge to whip my iphone out and photograph everything. We were standing in a room that looked like a creepy cool Italian dollhouse! The entire room was done up to look like an Italian city courtyard complete with tiny little houses, doorways, windows, scones, awnings, twinkle lights and more. Am I stoned or did I eat the cookie and fall down the rabbit hole? Maybe a little of both.

The whiskey tasting event was posted to start at 7pm but when we arrived around 8pm people were seating and waiting for missing members to arrive so we didn’t miss out on anything (thank you heavens for “island time” mentality). Our tasting host for the evening, Robert, and the rest of the staff were incredibly friendly and had laid back and fun vibes. Robert has been hosting wine tastings for a little while at Copas and the events were so successful that he turned it into a regular weekly event. I’m not sure if he had ever hosted a whiskey tasting before but he did a great job with the selections for the evening. Mi español no es bueno pero necesito practicar (my Spanish is not good but I need to practice), so I was very pleased that Robert’s English was good enough to fluctuate between English and Spanish enough for me to understand everything that was being said throughout the evening. We arrived hungry and knew the whiskey would hit us quick so we ordered a bunch of appetizers and a couple main dishes to pair with our tastings. My two friends and & shared a Caprese Salad, Risotto Balls, and two pasta dishes. Everything was beautifully displayed and the portions were generous. Our pastas contained clams and mussels, which I am not a fan of, but nothing about the dish tasted fishy at all so I was able to enjoy it. I am not sure if they make their pasta from scratch or not but I Am In LOVE! Nice thin, flat noodles that soaked up the sauces so beautifully that I ate more than my fill and had me regretting my sexy little skin tight dress decision.

Robert had six single malt whiskeys waiting for us all to sample with a warning that we would all be feeling very relaxed and silly half way through the tasting. My friends and & gave each other Bring-It-On smirks and took a quick “Pre Whiskey” picture for laughs later. I have no idea why I was so confident in my abilities to handle a whiskey tasting on a semi empty tummy but Robert predicted the evening perfectly. While some connoisseurs might enjoy all the background information about their tastings, I much preferred Robert’s casual flow and easy banter. I tried really hard to keep track of our tastings and I have listed them below.

  1. The Glenrothes 1879: Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whiskey
  2. Aberlour 12: Double Cask Matured Scotch Whiskey
  3. The Glenlivet: Founder’s Reserve 1824
  4. The Glenrothes 2001: Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whiskey

Here’s where things begin to get a little foggy. Robert warned us this would happen.

5 & 6. I’m trying SO hard to remember the last two but I’ve got nothing guys sorry. Next time I will bring a little notebook and keep proper track of notes tasted and my favorite selections.

I had absolutely no room for dessert, but plenty of room for more whiskey so we wandered back through the Italian maze rooms to check out the Bossa Nova band in the main bar/dining room. Crystal & I made a scene of posing ourselves along the gondala and having our pictures taken before we meandered back to the first dining room we originally entered to hear the band, Spirale d’Bossa, perform.

 

The members of Spirale d’Bossa were not only beautiful but incredibly talented. We recognized the saxophone player from Rincon where he performs regularly, he is a big bearded man with eyes of an angel and lungs of the north wind. The vocalist, Alexandria, had me swooning the moment she lifted one beautifully tattooed hand up to her vintage microphone, and I was a complete goner by the time her voice added to the sax music. I tried my hardest to not post myself directly in front of her like a groupie and sucked back a little too much whiskey to calm my nerves when she came over to introduce herself. My buddy David’s laughter filled the room, Crystal had all the male servers clustered around her hanging on her every word as she chattered away non stop, and my belly and heart were incredibly full. Just as I had the thought, “I wish my father were here right now he would love everything about this moment”, the band began playing one of our favorite Sade songs and I took it as a sign. I don’t drunk dial often, but when I do, its always to call my father and share my immediate moments with him and to tell him how much I love him while trying to not slur my words. I held the phone right up to the stage and let him have a listen for a few moments and then stepped to the side to give him a super quick recap of our evening.

By the end of the evening Robert had been inspired by my request for tequila tastings and my complaint of not being able to find many Mezcals on the island and has now planned for a Cinco de Mayo Mezcal & Tequila tasting. I gave a little shriek of delight when he told me of his plan and immediately started sending my friends invites to join me. I can’t wait to share this place with not only my papa, but with all of my Airbnb guests and local friends as well. I have listed their next scheduled events as well as all the links to the Facebook pages below so you can give them a follow and be notified of later tastings and other fun events that they host such as comedy shows and movie nights!

Copas Restaurant in Aguadilla, PR

April 8 – Viva Espana

April 9 – Noche de Vino y Cine Memoria

April 21 – Wine Tasting: Hungary

April 28 – Cata de Vinos: Hungary

April 29 – Carlos Ramirez y Su Stand Up

May 5 – Desgutacion de Tequila

 

Spirale d’Bossa

 

Are you visiting, traveling or living in Puerto Rico? Come stay with me and play with me in Rincon! I am not your average Airbnb Hostess and time spent in my spaces are unlike any experience you have enjoyed before while traveling. Follow my island adventures on Facebook or Instagram and check my calendar for availability!

Airbnb: Surf Town Beach Casita

Facebook: Surf Town Beach Goddess Casita

Instagram: @beachgoddessairbnb

Looking At Love Through New Eyes

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Looking At Love Through New Eyes

Before my thirties, I had met very few people to look towards as an example of what the sacred love shared between only two people should be like. Just before my 31st birthday I met a couple who changed not only my entire perspective, but their loving influence changed my entire life from that point forward.

I met Derek in 2014 when he came to vacation in Rincon, Puerto Rico to visit his family with his best friend Maty. I vibed out instantly with the guys and we all stayed in contact after they left. One year later Derek returned with his new girlfriend, Jade. I have always been “one of the boys” and am used to a variety of reactions that occur when a woman involved with one of my friends meets me for the first time. As soon as someone says, She doesn’t really get along with other girls, I know we will vibe out. Not that I don’t get along with other girls, but I am more likely to find common interests among groups of women who display more male characteristics (which also feels wrong to say because what truly determines “male” vs “female” characteristics except for our own individual opinions?). Derek & I have so much respect for each other and our friendship that we were both nervous of me meeting Jade for the first time. We both wanted everything to go perfectly.

Derek & Jade knew each other growing up through their school years and only began dating each other later in life. They watched each other make mistakes and grow from them. They already knew each other’s past, understood each other’s mood fluctuations, and honored each other’s energy in a way that I had never witnessed before. Derek & Jade were not perfect by any means. They bickered in their sarcastic New York way, spouted out You Never’s & You Always’, and experienced arguments and disagreements that would have sent most couples stomping off in opposite directions. Even their arguments are beautiful to me. There is so much love shown in every action that they take, individually and as a partnership. The lines of Her, Him, and Them are clearly defined. Derek & Jade are so very much their each individual people, and yet also very much one great combined unstoppable force each complimenting the other in such naturally effortless ways.

I quickly became in love with their love and in love with being their “third wheel”. Every visit they make to la isla we cram in as many adventures as possible, swap music until the sun comes up, talk until our voices are raw and laugh so hard our forehead veins pop. For the first time in my life I witnessed a passionate romance and love that made me want to scream out loud “I Want That!”.  Every emotion that they displayed between them is done with honesty, love and respect. I want everything that they have, the love, the laughter, the gentle disagreements, the honest opinions, and the complete partnership that they share.

I was waiting oh so patiently for the event that I knew was coming…..the announcement of their engagement! As if that was not enough to shed happy celebratory tears, I learned that they intended to have their wedding here in Puerto Rico instead of New York where they are from and I completely lost my head. But wait it gets better…..the wedding falls on the week of my birthday AND Maty (Derek’s best friend who I met a year before Jade) will be their officiant. I have not seen Maty since we all originally met back in 2014, and I have never gotten the pleasure of enjoying all their company at once. I’m so over the moon happy as can be you would think this wedding was for me!

Since meeting Derek, Maty, and Jade, my eyes have been opened to the endless definitions of love and soul mates. We are raised with the mainstream belief that our life’s purpose is to find our one true love soulmate and live happily ever after. I have loved so many people in so many different ways, for so many different reasons and each experience has brought something necessary into my life. The love that I speak of has nothing to do with sex, but everything to do with passion and connection. I now understand that being loved is just as powerful and necessary as giving love.

I will forever have the biggest couple crush in history for the two people that opened my eyes to a new way of loving and living. This upcoming weekend we will all join together to celebrate Derek & Jade’s wedding in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico. Stay tuned because this will be the first wedding in my life that I have ever looked forward to so I will all full of love and will have beautiful pictures to share later.

I adore this article from Elephant Journal on the Five Types of Soulmates We’ll Meet & Love In Our Lifetimes. Give the article a read if you would like and leave a comment below about any type of love that lifts you up!

 

“Important encounters are planned by the souls long before the bodies meet each other.” ~ Paul Coelho

Crochet: Educational Easter

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Crochet: Educational Easter

My friends like to say “Cloud can crochet Anything”. I always put a disclaimer on that statement: I can crochet anything….that I am in the mood to crochet. If it doesn’t vibe with me, I won’t create it. That doesn’t mean that I am unable to, it just means that I don’t wanna. Fiber Art is just as much a creative art form as painting, sculpting, and any other art form. That means that if I am not inspired, I can not create. Luckily I’m completely head over heels in love with my craft, and I find inspiration in EVERYTHING.

I began crocheting children’s toys as a way to round out my Etsy Shop selections and quickly discovered that I have a passion for creating functional and educational children’s toys. I started by recreating Play-School type toys in crochet form, specifically kitchen type toys. Since I am also food obsessed this only seemed natural to me. I have sandwich sets, pizza packs, sushi sets, fruit salad sets, and more available for sale in my Etsy Shop.

I also like to please the masses by adding at least one fun “holiday” item for each season. This year for Easter I have combined my educational with my holiday and food to create these fun color matching egg sets!

Check out my Etsy Shop to purchase these adorable Color Matching Egg Sets and to see the rest of my crochet items. I love getting more ideas from my surroundings and suggestions from followers, please comment below about some things that you would like to see me crochet!

Gypsy Sugar Crochet (Etsy Shop)

Gypsy Sugar Crochet (Facebook)

Gypsy Sugar Crochet (Instagram)