I choose to believe that all things are possible, not only for some but for all including me.

I believe in faith, strength, courage, wisdom, and being honest and humble.

This coffee mug is one of several that I have that I drink my morning coffee from as I brainstorm and go over in my mind what I am going to write about.

When we BELIEVE, we open doors that once seemed sealed from top to bottom, we develop an inner strength that engulfs us in love as it empowers us to do be, move forward and close old chapters in our lives and not look back.

I choose to BELIEVE in myself, my inner strength, my loving heart and my willingness to continue helping others find their peace!


Dandelions – The Incredible Edible Flower!

dandelion flower

Photo Credit: www.ediblewildfood.com

Gardeners have cursed the dandelion and its pervasive nature. They pop up everywhere in spring and are so hard to get rid of.
Having grown up in a small West Texas town, I am no stranger to the Dandelion; although we pulled them up with our gloved hands or chopped them down with the hoe. We had no idea what we were missing out on and clumped this healthy plant into the weed family.
To be perfectly honest, I always thought they were poisonous. I guess it was because of the white milky sap that oozed from the stems. When I first started reading up on edible plants, I just couldn’t believe Dandelions were on the list. I’m excited about all of the health benefits associated with eating this plant and can’t wait to give it a try!

  • The Normans called this plant “dent de lion”—tooth of the lion—for its jagged leaves. Anglo-Saxons corrupted this name into dandylion.
  • The Vikings brought dandelion seed with them to Iceland and Greenland where the plant still thrives today.
  • The Chinese call it “nail in the earth” for its long taproot which draws nutrients and moisture from deep in the ground.
  • In medieval times, dandelions gathered on St. John’s Eve—June 24—were believed to repel witches. The milky sap, given the name “devil’s milk pail”, was used to cure warts and pimples.


Seeds were brought here by the Puritans to plant in their herb gardens and the plants soon escaped, making their way across the country. Since all parts of the plant are edible and rich in vitamins, that is not a bad thing.

  • Dandelions are more nutritious than spinach, have 25 times the vitamin A of tomato juice, and are a good source of calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, lecithin, and vitamins C, B, and E. For many early settlers, dandelions made a life-saving spring tonic.
  • The dandelion was a standard medicinal plant used by herbalists for generations. Their Latin name—Taraxacum officinale—means a remedy for disorders. The leaves are a powerful diuretic but since they do not flush potassium from the body they are safer than pharmaceutical diuretics. The roots are slightly laxative and a tea made from ground fresh or dried roots is reported to improve digestion.
  • Similar to their cousin chicory, the roots can be roasted until they are dark brown inside and out, ground into a powder, and used as a coffee substitute.
For more health benefits and also recipes, please visit: https://www.almanac.com/news/gardening/garden-journal/dandelion-health-benefits

dandelion drawing

Photo Credit: www.ediblewildfood.com

Remaining Positive in a Negative World!

Photo credit: Bing images

In an ever-changing world filled with such negative news, people, relationships, politics and demanding jobs; it’s easy for people to become more and more depressed. Our thoughts become words, our words become action and if all we do is think negative thoughts, our actions will have negative consequences.

Often, we need to sit back and put our own lives into perspective. Negative energy can wear a person down, physically, spiritually, emotionally & mentally. If we are in the company of negative people daily, it doesn’t help because their energy drains and wears on each person who is trying to remain strong and positive. When you work for a large corporation and are in contact with people all through the day 5 days a week, 8 to 9 hours a day, it can be rough listening to the negativity and actions of others. Negativity is like a poison; it enters the body and breaks down the positive walls we’ve worked hard building for ourselves. It eats away at our sanity as well as our relationships. We should align ourselves with positive people; those who are strong and love lifting their friends up with positivity, those of whom aren’t self-centered and can compliment others on their achievements and accept compliments as well. “Birds of a feather flock together,’ is a phrase I’ve heard for years. It’s true, and therefore if we want to remain positive, do our best to align ourselves with positive people and bring our positive energy to the table as well.

Meditation, exercising, listing to music, reading good books, eating healthy and drinking plenty of water will assist us with our journey to remaining positive. I have found that listening to the sound of waterfalls, rain and nature videos have helped me when I am feeling a little stressed. I also love fishing and being out in nature, which is a great way to get away from negativity.

“Sometimes we must Boldly remove all people, places and things from your life that do not add to our growth!”



Photo credit: Bing images

While sitting in the school cafeteria eating lunch all alone;

The laughter around her grows louder.

The girls at the next table stare harder;

Eye contact becomes too much to bear.

Whispering to one another as they give her the smirk grin;

as they lower their eyebrows as a sign of dominance.

As one mean girl leaves the table to go whisper into the

Ear of a boy sitting at another table.

At that moment, the boy begins to laugh;

while whispering to the other guys at his table.

They all laugh and look over at the girl sitting alone.

At that moment the fight or flight feeling sets in and she must leave.

She must get out of the cafeteria and find a safe place.

There is no safe place when you’re the “Odd Girl Out!”

Her heart beating faster & faster, feels as though it will jump out of her chest.

Why is there such joy & laughter behind the dark mistreatment of another?

What is it about the girl who’s become the chosen one?

Why must she be subjected to harassment & bullying?

Why does that make the bully feel dominant, free and in control?

Is the self-esteem of her peers so low, that they demand some sort of abnormal attention?

They are all old enough to know that this cowardly act is not a game!

What runs through the minds of those who bully others?

Such behavior is often too incomprehensible to imagine;

For the school, parents and especially for the Odd Girl Out!


Who’s Ready for Fall?

See the source image

Photo Credit: Bing photos

On the hottest days of summer, it feels great to relax with a good book, ice cold glass of water, lemonade or tea, or whatever your beverage of preference may be. Summertime is a great time to spend with family and friends, having a cook outs, swimming, camping, fishing or just hanging out and having fun!

I hope each and everyone of you are having a great summer and playing safe as you enjoy your time off from work, and every single minute with your family & friends!

For many people, hanging out in the sun is something they wait all year to do; and the hotter, the better.  For many others, such as myself, we long for Fall & Winter, but have as much fun during the summer months as the temperature will allow.  We all know that natural sunlight is the best source of Vitamin D; but when you can’t tolerate much of the sun and it’s beautiful but scorching rays, it makes it difficult to enjoy too many hours out doors.  The Dog Days of Summer are upon us right now, and for those of us who are hot natured, we truly feel it!

The Dog Days – 

The Dog days, a name for the most sultry period of summer, from about July 3rd to August 11th. Named in early times by observers in countries bordering the Mediterranean, the period was reckoned as extending from 20 days before to 20 days after the conjunction of Sirius (the dog star) and the sun. In the latitude of the Mediterranean region, this period coincided with hot days that were plagued with disease and discomfort. The time of conjunction varies with difference in latitude, and because of the precession of the equinoxes it changes gradually over long periods in all latitudes.

Due to a very slow wobble of Earth’s axis, the Dog Star now seems to rise later than it did in ancient times. Its ascension no longer coincides with the start of the Nile flood (which does not occur anyway, because the river is now controlled by the Aswan Dam), but Sirius still makes its appearance during hot summer days.

Old-timers believed that rainfall on the dog days was a bad omen, as foretold in this verse:
Dog Days bright and clear
Indicate a happy year;
But when accompanied by rain,
For better times, our hopes are vain.

Dog Days are approaching; you must, therefore, make both hay and haste while the Sun shines, for when old Sirius takes command of the weather, he is such an unsteady, crazy dog, there is no dependence upon him.

The Old Farmer’s Almanac, 1817



Photo credit: Bing photos

Thanatophobia is a Real Phobia Suffered by Many Individuals

While reading up on this phobia, I found this article on Wikipedia.

Death anxiety is anxiety which is caused by thoughts of death. One source defines death anxiety as a “feeling of dread, apprehension or solicitude (anxiety) when one thinks of the process of dying, or ceasing to ‘be'”. It is also referred to as Thanatophobia (fear of death), and is distinguished from Necrophobia, which is a specific fear of death or dying persons and/or things (i.e. others who are dead or dying, not one’s own death or dying).

Additionally, there is anxiety caused by death-related thought-content, which might be classified within a clinical setting by a psychiatrist as morbid and/or abnormal, which for classification pre-necessitates a degree of anxiety which is persistent and interferes with everyday functioning. Lower ego integrity, more physical problems, and more psychological problems are predictive of higher levels of death anxiety in elderly people because of how close to death they are to dying.

Predatory death anxiety

Predatory death anxiety arises from the fear of being harmed. It is the most basic and oldest form of death anxiety, with its origins in the first unicellular organisms’ set of adaptive resources. Unicellular organisms have receptors that have evolved to react to external dangers, along with self-protective, responsive mechanisms made to guarantee survival in the face of chemical and physical forms of attack or danger. In humans, predatory death anxiety is evoked by a variety of dangerous situations that put one at risk or threaten one’s survival. These traumas may be physical, psychological, or both. Predatory death anxiety mobilizes an individual’s adaptive resources and leads to a fight-or-flight response: active efforts to combat the danger of attempts to escape the threatening situation.

Predation or predator death anxiety

Predation or predator death anxiety is a form that arises when an individual harms another, physically and/or mentally. This form of death anxiety is often accompanied by unconscious guilt. This guilt, in turn, motivates and encourages a variety of self-made decisions and actions by the perpetrator of harm to others.

Existential death anxiety

Existential death anxiety stems from the basic knowledge that human life must end. Existential death anxiety is known to be the most powerful form.It is said that language has created the basis for existential death anxiety through communicative and behavioral changes.[11] Other factors include an awareness of the distinction between self and others, a full sense of personal identity, and the ability to anticipate the future.

Awareness of human mortality arose some 150,000 years ago. In that extremely short span of evolutionary time, humans have fashioned a single basic mechanism through which they deal with the existential death anxieties this awareness has evoked—denial. Denial is effected through a wide range of mental mechanisms and physical actions, many of which go unrecognized. While denial can be adaptive in limited use, excessive use is more common and is emotionally costly. Denial is the root of such diverse actions as breaking rules, violating frames and boundaries, manic celebrations, directing violence against others, attempting to gain extraordinary wealth and power—and more. These pursuits are often activated by a death-related trauma, and while they may lead to constructive actions, more often than not, they lead to actions that are damaging to self and others.


Sigmund Freud hypothesized that people express a fear of death, called Thanatophobia. He saw this as a disguise for a deeper source of concern. It was not actually death that people feared because in Freud’s view nobody believes in their own death. The unconscious does not deal with the passage of time or with negations, which does not calculate the amount of time left in one’s life. Furthermore, that which one does fear cannot be death itself, because one has never died. People who express death-related fears, actually are trying to deal with unresolved childhood conflicts that they cannot come to terms with or express emotion towards. The name Thanatophobia is made from the Greek figure of death known as Thanatos.

Wisdom: Ego integrity vs. despair

A developmental psychologist, Erik Erikson, formulated the psycho-social theory that explained that people progress through a series of crises as they grow older. The theory also envelops the concept that once an individual reaches the latest stages of life, they reach the level he titled as “ego integrity“. Ego Integrity is when one comes to terms with their life and accepts it. It was also suggested that when a person reaches the stage of late adulthood they become involved in a thorough overview of their life to date. When one can find meaning or purpose in their life, they have reached the integrity stage. In opposition, when individual views their life as a series of failed and missed opportunities, then they do not reach the ego integrity stage. Elders that have attained this stage of ego integrity are believed to exhibit less of an influence from death anxiety.

Terror management theory

Ernest Becker based this theory on existential views which turned death anxiety theories towards a new dimension. It said that death anxiety is not only real but also it is people’s most profound source of concern. He explained the anxiety as so intense that it can generate fears and phobias of everyday life—Fears of being alone or in a confined space. Based on the theory, many of people’s daily behavior consists of attempts to deny death and to keep their anxiety under strict regulation.

As an individual develops mortality salience, i.e. becomes more aware of the inevitability of death, they will instinctively try to suppress it out of fear. The method of suppression usually leads to mainstreaming towards cultural beliefs, leaning for external support rather than treading alone. This behavior may range from simply thinking about death to severe phobias and desperate actions.

Death and adjustment hypotheses

Main article: Death and adjustment hypotheses

Mohammad Samir Hossain postulated the Death and adjustment hypotheses. With the declaration of the hypotheses, two things were postulated. The first part of the hypotheses theorizes that death should not be considered the end of existence. The next segment states the belief that the immortal pattern of human existence can only be adopted in a morally rich life with the attitude towards morality and materialism balanced mutually.

Martin Heidegger, the German philosopher, on the one hand, showed death as something conclusively determined, in the sense that it is inevitable for every human being, while on the other hand, it unmasks its indeterminate nature via the truth that one never knows when or how death is going to come. Heidegger does not engage in speculation about whether being after death is possible. He argues that all human existence is embedded in time: past, present, future, and when considering the future, we encounter the notion of death. This then creates angst. Angst can create a clear understanding in one that death is a possible mode of existence, which Heidegger described as “clearing”. Thus, angst can lead to a freedom of existence, but only if we can stop denying our mortality (as expressed in Heidegger’s terminology as “stop denying being-for-death”).

Meaning management theory

Paul T. P. Wong‘s work on the meaning management theory indicates that human reactions to death are complex, multifaceted and dynamic. His “Death Attitude Profile” identifies three types of death acceptances as Neutral, Approach, and Escape acceptances. Apart from acceptances, his work also represents different aspects of the meaning of death fear that is rooted in the bases of death anxiety. The ten meanings he proposes are finality, uncertainty, annihilation, ultimate loss, life flow disruption, leaving the loved ones, pain, and loneliness, prematurity, and violence of death, failure of life work completion, judgment and retribution centered.

Other theories

Other theories on death anxiety were introduced in the late part of the twentieth century.The existential approach, with theorists such as Rollo May and Viktor Frankl, views an individual’s personality as being governed by the continuous choices and decisions in relation to the realities of life and death. Another approach is the regret theory which was introduced by Adrian Tomer and Grafton Eliason. The main focus of the theory is to target the way people evaluate the quality and/or worth of their lives. The possibility of death usually makes people more anxious if they feel that they have not and cannot accomplish any positive task in the life that they are living. Research has tried to unveil the factors that might influence the number of anxiety people to experience in life.

Personal meanings of death

See also: Meaning-making

Humans develop meanings and associate them with objects and events in their environment, provoking certain emotions within an individual. People tend to develop personal meanings of death which could accordingly be negative or positive for the individual. If they are positive, then the consequences of those meanings can be comforting (for example, ideas of a rippling effect left on those still alive). If negative they can cause emotional turmoil. Depending on the certain meaning one has associated with death, the consequences will vary accordingly whether they are negative or positive meanings.

Religiosity’s effect

The thought of death causes a different degree of anxiety for different individuals, depending on many factors.

Other studies have found a strong sense of religion in a person’s life can be related to a lower sense of anxiety towards death. Although there has been no association discovered between religiosity and death anxiety, it has also been shown that death anxiety tends to be lower in individuals who regularly attend religious meetings or gatherings. On a recent study, one hundred and sixty-five church participants have been asked to fill out the “Intrinsic Religious Motivation Scale, the Revised Death Anxiety Scale” and the results were analyzed using factor analyses, Pearson correlation, and linear and quadratic regression. All found an inverse relationship between intrinsic religious motivation and death anxiety. In short, the more religious you are, the less anxious you are about death because you may associate death with another beginning that is promised through many religions. The study also found that gender did not have an effect on religiosity and total death anxiety. A 2013 study involving people from the US, Turkey, and Malaysia found that religiosity is positively correlated with increased fear of death, meaning more religious individuals fear death more.


The earliest documentation of the fear of death has been found in children as young as age 5. Psychological measures and reaction times were used to measure fear of death in young children. Recent studies that assess fear of death in children use questionnaire rating scales. There are many tests to study this including The Death Anxiety Scale for Children (DASC) developed by Schell and Seefeldt. However, the most common version of this test is the Revised Fear Survey Schedule for Children (FSSC-R). The FSSC-R describes specific fearful stimuli and children are asked to rate the degree to which the scenario/item makes them anxious or fearful. The most recent version of the FSSC-R presents the scenarios in a pictorial form to children as young as 4. It is called the Koala Fear Questionnaire (KFQ). The fear studies show that children’s fears can be grouped into five categories. One of these categories is death and danger. This response was found amongst children age 4 to 6 on the KFQ, and from age 7 to 10. Death is the most commonly feared item and remains the most commonly feared item throughout adolescence.

A study of 90 children, aged 4–8, done by Virginia Slaughter and Maya Griffiths showed that a more mature understanding of the biological concept of death was correlated to a decreased fear of death. This may suggest that it is helpful to teach children about death (in a biological sense), in order to alleviate the fear.

Relationship between adult attachment and death anxiety

There has been much literature that supports the existence of a correlation between one’s state of coping skills, mental health, emotions and cognitive reactions to stressful events, and one’s ability to regulate affect concerning one’s death anxiety. A series of tests determined that significantly high levels of death anxiety tend to occur in close relationships with an intimate partner (more so amongst females than males).


The connection between death anxiety and one’s sex appears to be strong. Studies show that females tend to have more death anxiety than males. Thorson and Powell (1984) did a study to investigate this connection, and they sampled men and women from 16 years of age to over 60. The Death Anxiety Scale showed higher mean scores for women than for men. Moreover, researchers believe that age and culture could be major influences in why women score higher on death anxiety scales than men.

Through the evolutionary period, a basic method was created to deal with death anxiety and also as a means of dealing with loss. Denial is used when memories or feelings are too painful to accept and are often rejected. By maintaining that the event never happened, rather than accepting it, allows an individual more time to work through the inevitable pain. When a loved one dies in a family, denial is often implemented as a means to come to grips with the reality that the person is gone. Closer families often deal with death better than when coping individually. As society and families drift apart so does the time spent bereaving those who have died, which in turn leads to negative emotion and negativity towards death. Women, who are the child bearers and are often the ones who look after children hold greater concerns about death due to their caring role within the family. It is this common role of women that leads to greater death anxiety as it emphasizes the ‘importance to live’ for her offspring. Although it is common knowledge that all living creatures die, many people do not accept their own mortality, preferring not to accept that death is inevitable and that they will one day die.


It is during the years of young adulthood (20 to 40 years of age) that death anxiety most often begins to become prevalent. However, during the next phase of life, the middle age adult years (40–64 years of age), death anxiety peaks at its highest levels when in comparison to all other age ranges throughout the lifespan. Surprisingly, levels of death anxiety then slump off in the old age years of adulthood (65 years of age and older). This is in contrast with most people’s expectations, especially regarding all of the negative connotations younger adults have about the elderly and the aging process (Kurlychek & Trenner, 1982).

Measuring death anxiety

There are many ways to measure death anxiety and fear. Katenbaum and Aeinsberg (1972) devised three propositions for this measurement. From this start, the ideologies about death anxiety have been able to be recorded and their attributes listed. Methods such as imagery tasks to simple questionnaires and apperception tests such as the Stroop test enable psychologists to adequately determine if a person is under stress due to death anxiety or suffering from a post-traumatic stress disorder. The Lester attitude death scale was developed in 1966 but not published until 1991 until its validity was proven. By measuring the general attitude towards death and also the inconsistencies with death attitudes, participants are scaled to their favorable value towards death.

Thanatophobia: The One Fear Everyone Has


The Lighthouse By the Sea


At the lowest of moments;

and when times feel rough.

When we feel all hope is gone;

what we have is not enough.

Our spirit has been broken;

family and friends no longer there.

As the rough tides of the ocean;

seem to wash us out to sea;

and we feel no one cares.

When we feel there is no life-line;

and the problems are knee deep.

When faith in everything is gone;

and depression weakens our bones.

Just when we feel there is no hope;

we’re tired inside and out;

hurting deep within our soul.

There is still love on this earth;

people who cherish us and all

we have to offer this world.

Someone somewhere is the

beacon of light that shines

true, gracefully and bright.

If we take a look around us;

there is someone out there;

who is our strong lighthouse

standing by the sea, waiting to

guide us in from the tides that

bind and the troubled waters.

As we look up and around us;

we behold that light,  grasp it;

allow it to guide us in to shore.

and we began to stand strong;

as we see our dry bones come alive!


Jasmine D. Parker ©

Five Foods We Should Avoid Eating Raw



Growing up in a small town in West Texas, it was quite normal for my siblings and I to gather in the kitchen when our mother was baking and ask if we could lick the mixer beaters or the cake mix bowl.  This was always something we looked forward to and back then, it was no big deal!

 Either due to cross-contamination or poisonous quality, there are many foods and ingredients that we are better off avoiding in their raw or undercooked states.

 Here are five of them you should know about:        

1. Cookie dough

One reason, of course, is that the recipe may involve the use of eggs which carries the risk of salmonella in the uncooked state. But the flour itself may also contain harmful strains of bacteria such as E. coli. The contamination is likely due to the exposure to animal feces which are present in and around wheat fields.

 The cookie dough concerns me due to my sons and grandchildren have always loved eating it raw.  I myself have even raw cookie dough.  

2. Potatoes

Raw potatoes, particularly the ones that are green or sprouted, are said to produce solanine. The toxic alkaloid can lead to diarrhea, nausea, cramping, headaches, and in rare cases, even lead to life-threatening effects. In fact, you should always skip consuming green potatoes even if they are cooked.

Even putting solanine aside, raw potatoes “contain starches that are resistant to being digested,” Dr. Lisa Davis, the chief nutrition officer at Terra’s Kitchen, told Reader’s Digest. So, you may end up with serious gastrointestinal problems.


3. Cassava

Cassava is dangerous when consumed raw or undercooked as it contains compounds that are converted into hydrogen cyanide in the body. This can cause a long list of extreme symptoms such as rapid respiration, drop in blood pressure, dizziness, vomiting, diarrhea, confusion, and convulsions.

Food Standards Australia & New Zealand advises people to “first peel and slice the cassava and then cook it thoroughly either by baking, frying, boiling or roasting,” to reduce the risk of poisoning.


4. Pork

Thanks to better pork production laws, the risks associated with undercooked pork have reduced in recent years. Nevertheless, it is possible to find parasites like Trichinella spiralis. If transmitted, the person may experience illness and various side effects ranging in severity.

“The most common symptoms include fever, abdominal pain [and] nausea. And, in later stages of infection, it can cause myalgia, swelling of the face or around the eyes, as well.” stated Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse, a Mayo Clinic pediatric infectious diseases specialist.

Follow the recommended temperatures provided by the Department of Agriculture when cooking pork. The meat should be allowed to rest for at least three minutes before carving or consuming.


5. Kidney beans

“Eating raw red kidney beans can cause extreme nausea, severe vomiting, and diarrhea from a naturally occurring lectin, phytohemagglutinin.” 

In order to get rid of the toxin, she explains how the beans need to be soaked for 5 hours. Next, you should drain the water and boil the soaked beans in fresh water for at least 30 minutes. Keep in mind that this does not apply to canned kidney beans which only need to be reheated.

Soaking beans and rinsing well is a practice I picked up from my mother and grandmother.

I found this to be pretty informative as I am always willing to learn better ways of keeping my family safe.