Dream about death leaves me thinking about life – HaliPawz

I don’t always understand my dreams. This morning, I woke up after having a dream about four people who we are thinking about dying. Well, actually three of them were thinking about it, one was already on life-support. One of them, a younger person, was terminally ill. To break it down; Two adult males, that were of older parental age (40-50), one person, female, on life-support, and then a young girl about mid to late 20s who was terminally ill. 

They were all somehow related, but I could not quite remember, or figure out, how the relationships all worked out. I do know, however, that they had decided to all pass away at the same time. It was in such a bizarre way though, the one who was on life-support was going to remain on life-support and they had a note asking whom ever walked in on them to stop her life-support after they were all gone. The other three had decided to lay in shallow pools of ice slowly bringing their core body temperature down until they grew weary and eventually pass away. 

The three all had a normal conversations, talking about other family members, and did not seem to be freezing as they all laid in the ice. As the talking slowly drifted away, and they began to think about their own lives, my dream began focusing on just one of the men. My dream showed him starting to think about some things he didn’t get finished, about someone else in his life he hadn’t seen in a while, and even about one of his pets. As his thoughts continued about all the good things, the happy things, in his life, he realized, he wasn’t ready to die. As he felt his eyelids getting heavy, he said out loud,  “I’m not ready to do this”, and he stood up.  

The other adult male glanced over at him, and asked “why”?  “I don’t know” said the man, it’s just not time. The other man stood as well and decided perhaps he to rethink the decision and reasons.  I know more happened before he rethought it, I just don’t remember the details.  

They glanced over at the terminally ill young lady, realizing she had not said anything throughout their exchange. She had, indeed, already passed away.  The woman on life-support had also quietly passed away. While the men were sad at their passing, they also knew it was the right time for them. 

I woke up completely confused; confused about why I had a dream about death, why I had dreamt about suicide, because that is indeed what it was, and why there were four people in my dream I did not know at all. It started making me think, that because they had chosen something that was so slow and within their control somewhat, is this the message I was supposed to share. If more people who were contemplating suicide had the time to reflect on the good things in their lives, on the things not yet completed, and on the thing that made them happy, would they second-guess their decision? 

Too many times in our society, especially with social media today, we are used to knee-jerk decisions and reactions. I think it is time for us to understand how important it is to not do a knee-jerk reaction, or make a knee-jerk decision. Take time to think about the consequences of your actions and your words before you do or say them.  

Sadly, when someone chooses to take their own lives with suicide, they don’t have the time to reflect, to reconsider their actions. I am not a trained professional, I do not claim to have all of the answers… So if anyone is reading this, and they are considering suicide, please think about reaching out to those who love you, or reaching out for professional help. Think about all of the things that make you happy, the moments in your life where you smiled or laughed, focus on those times until you can have a conversation with someone who can truly help you. 

As I said at the beginning, I don’t always understand my dreams, but this one seemed important enough to share. I can only hope, that if it even helps one person, then there was a reason for the dream and the push to share it. 

I wish everyone reading this many wonderful years of happiness and laughter.  Reach out to those in your lives you love.  Let them know you are there for them. 

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Coke with Lemon, Lemon with Lemon, Lemon with Peppermint…fun with Giambri’s porous candy sticks – HaliPawz

I love social media when used in the right way.  I saw a story on Facebook a few weeks ago about a Baltimore, Maryland treat consisting of a lemon and a peppermint stick.  I had never heard of this!  It sounded interesting.  A social media win, telling us about a local treat I might not have heard of had it not been for Facebook.  I began a search to explore more about this delicious sounding treat.  It seemed pretty simple.  You take a lemon, slice off about a 1/3 from the top, put an x in the center of it, and insert a porous peppermint stick.  Of course, the most difficult thing about the instructions is finding the porous peppermint stick.  This isn’t the same as a candy cane, as they are made differently.

I went back to Facebook for a minute and a suggested page (based on my search of the lemon stick)  was for Giambri’s Quality Sweets.  I had never heard of them, so I went to look at their page.  They sold the porous peppermint sticks, but in addition to that, they were featuring their porous lemon sticks.  They advertised putting these sticks in a lemon, just like the peppermint sticks, or in iced tea or your favorite summer drink.  It started me thinking…..I LOVE LOVE LOVE a nice cold glass of Coca-Cola with a lemon wedge, I started drinking it this way when I visited Germany and it’s how I’ve ordered it in a restaurant ever since….how would the porous lemon stick taste in the glass of coke?

I emailed Giambri’s and asked them if they would consider sending me a couple lemon sticks as well as a couple of peppermint sticks for me to try and then write about.  I was thrilled when they emailed me back stating they would! After giving them my address, I patiently waited for them to arrive. I liked that Giambri’s uses natural flavors.  It appears to be a candy that works for people allergic to other candies.

The first thing I noticed was how well packaged the product was. The black paper with their company sticker is a nice touch.  It’s like a present waiting to be opened!  In addition, the sticks are wrapped in bubble wrap, packing peanuts fill the box, and there is an single use cooler pack at the bottom to keep them in premium quality condition until they arrive at their destination.  I’m sure it also helps cushion the sticks.

Candy, dry ice

Giambri’s Quality Sweets packaging with label

porous candy

Giambri’s Peppermint and Lemon Stick

The sticks themselves were a little shorter than I envisioned.  The description says they are about 4″ long, but until you see them, you don’t quite know how long that is!  The color on them is vibrant. They looked fun!  I was excited to try them!

The first thing I wanted to try was a glass of Coke with the lemon stick.  As I am at my mom’s house right now, I went on the search for the perfect glass.  I didn’t take the size of the stick into account because I ended up getting a glass too tall.  I think, if I was to have them in the future, I would maybe use a wine glass or champagne glass.  I think it would work better.

Glass of Coca Cola with Giambri's Lemon Stick for a straw

Glass of Coca Cola with Giambri’s Lemon Stick for a straw

When I took the first sip, it was a little difficult to get a sip through.  As I sipped slowly, I noticed the cola started flowing through the stick easier and I could taste the lemon more.  The lemon flavor was very rich, without being overpowering.  As you can see, the glass is tall, so the stick fell down into the soda after a few minutes.  When I pulled it back out to continue using, the stick was pretty sticky!  Since I was at home, I didn’t care; I just re-positioned it, washed my hands, and kept using it.  It made a great straw.  I decided to let it sit in the coke for a few minutes to see what happened.  The stick started to break down.  It broke in my lips when I went to take a sip again.  I ate that part and just pulled the stick up to keep using.  Within minutes, the stick broke up and I wasn’t able to use it anymore.  While the flavor was great and it was a fun way to get my lemon flavor with my coke, I think the acidity in the coke was too much for the candy straw.  Would I do it again?  Yes.  Would I try different beverages?  Of course!  I could imagine using the stick to drink lemonade, pink lemonade, even my favorite alcoholic beverage; Kinky Vodka and Lemonade would taste great with the stick.  I could see using them as straws when hosting a fun, adult summer party.

Next try was the Lemon with the Peppermint stick, also known as “Lemon Sticks”

Giambri

Lemon Stick; Lemon with Peppermint Stick

As I mentioned earlier, it’s pretty easy.  You cut the top 1/3 of the lemon off.  I rolled the lemon on the counter with my palm before cutting, to make the lemon a little juicier.  I cut a small slit in the top of the lemon, right in the middle, then inserted the peppermint stick into the lemon.  I squeezed the lemon just a little bit as I sipped on the stick. Wow was I not ready for that taste!  I am sure glad there was no one with a camera near me.  I tasted the sweetness of the peppermint stick and the tartness of the lemon….but I did not think they blended well at all!  OK, surely I did something wrong. I double checked all of the sources and nope, I did it exactly like it said.  My mom asked me how I liked it and I handed it to her to try.  The face she made said it all!  Perhaps our Midwest palettes are not meant for this famous treat.  I was through the lemon pretty quickly so I decided to try another one.  Maybe it was just the lemon.  Ummm, nope, not the lemon.  It was not good in my opinion.  The funny thing is, I kept trying it!  My mom tried the second lemon and she felt the same way.  They were messy.  The peppermint stick got extremely sticky.  The lemon juice fell down the side.  I had a couple of napkins under it, but I just didn’t feel like it was a fun, tasty treat.

My mom had the great idea to try to add just a little sugar to the lemon.  What did it hurt?  I went and took a teaspoon of sugar and placed it around the peppermint stick, letting it fall down into the lemon.  It was actually better!  Is it still a treat I would seek out and pay for?  No.  It just didn’t work for me like it does for so many others.

Next I’m on to the Lemon Stick with the Lemon.  I’m pretty sure I’ll have to try it first without sugar and then with sugar because I’m anticipating a similar reaction.

Lemon with the Lemon Stick 

I was prepared for this one.  I had a few ideas and some trepidation.  I wanted to love it because of how much I love lemonade, especially carnival style lemonade, but I was concerned I wouldn’t be overwhelmed.  I had my lemon ready, preparing it the same way, for maximum juiciness, cut the slit, inserted the lemon stick, and prepared to drink.  It was good.  Not the “dance around the room” good, but the two tastes mixed ok. Adding my Plan B, I had another lemon with just a drizzle of sugar over it ready and waiting.  I inserted the stick in that one one really liked the flavor.  It was the best of all the worlds.  It had the grittiness of the carnival lemonade, the tartness from the lemon, and the sweetness from the candy stick.  

Lemon with Lemon Stick

  I was very happy with the result as far as taste but, again, it was messy.  It was difficult to get the juice out. If you squeezed it slightly, then the juice ran all down your hand. The stick doesn’t stay in place after a while or you find yourself swishing it around like a straw to get more juice, which results in a sticky mess or breakage. 

Once I was frustrated with the running lemon juice and the sticky candy, I quickly made a glass of carnival style lemonade with ice, sugar, water, and the two lemons I had been trying to drink, put the candy stick in it, and drank it that way. YUM!!! If only those sticks were a little longer, I could have had a nice tall glass of lemonade using it as a straw! Instead, I used a wine glass. It worked! 

Now, to talk about the candy separate from the lemons. My favorite, by far, was the lemon stick.  It has such a rich lemony flavor that is authentic.  Too many lemon candies leave you feeling like you are eating candy. With Giambri’s Lemon Stick, you get a smooth lemon flavor; how is that even possible??? It is! I can honestly say I will order these again just to have as candy and probably more Coca Cola straws! I just wish they were longer for that! 

The peppermint stick is good.  It we hadn’t been in such a crazy heat wave here in Missouri I probably would have made a cup of hot chocolate and sipped it through the stick. I love peppermint hot chocolate.  I have not jumped on the iced hot chocolate bandwagon so I may purchase some peppermint sticks in the winter to try.  The peppermint flavor was bold. It was a nice flavor. I was disappointed I didn’t like it with the lemon, but it’s not for everyone.  I’m not a peppermint alone type person too much, so I don’t know if I would go out of my way to purchase them. If you like peppermint candies, I highly recommend trying these. 

My favorite, between the two, is clearly the lemon. What I can say based on my experience with them and the quality I tasted is they ARE quality! I would guess any flavor purchased would be true to the flavor, would hold up well, and would be a fun treat for all ages. 

I would love to hear anyone’s thoughts on their experience with Giambri’s or the lemon stick phenomenon. Leave me a comment. 

Thank you again to Giambri’s for letting me try your delicious candies! I will be ordering more lemon ones soon! 

If you like this and want to stay up to date with my posts, follow me on Twitter @HaliPawz  or Like me on Facebook.com/HaliPawz 

Protect the SHARE button; keep the hate bandwagon in the station-HaliPawz

I should be asleep right now. I fell asleep downstairs watching tv, woke up around 2:30am, headed up to bed with the thought I would listen to the latest Randomocity podcast and then go to bed. These guys crack me up and I am so excited about getting the opportunity to work with them. That’s a story for later!

I couldn’t sleep. My brain is racing. So many things happening right now. I go where everyone who can’t sleep goes; social media. Amongst the latest YouTube mash-ups, the puppy memes, and friend updates, I come across the following picture

IMG_1921

with the poster encouraging others to stop supporting the brand.

My first thought was something doesn’t seem right about it. The wording in the article was off. Michael Kors is a business man. I am in no way saying a business man cannot be racist, but the actual wording did not seem legit. I am not naive to the fact racism exists. I’m not a Michael Kors fan per se but if he was truly, openly, racist, I would be an advocate of sharing the information with everyone I know so they had the knowledge to do with it what they chose. On the flip side, I hate a business being boycotted or deemed racist due to the rapid “social media hate spread” that exists in our world today.

My investigative mind wasn’t going to stop until I dug into this. So much for my light, happy, puppy pic sharing mood…I needed to know. Within 30 seconds, I had my confirmation. It was fake. In my defense, if it had been a link on the post I saw, I would have known quicker, but since it was just a picture, I had to dig further. The article was written on a site where they have the disclaimer “all of the articles published on the site are “complete fiction.” Question answered. I felt obliged to go and post in the comments, knowing it doesn’t always change opinions. Once it’s out there and spread throughout social media, it will be believed by many as fact. The damage is done. Will it affect Michael Kors business? Maybe, maybe not. I won’t speculate.

This leads me to a few other concerns. The first is WHY these sites can continue to post very untrue statements about people, make them appear legit, and because of a hidden disclaimer, they can not be held responsible for any damage to a reputation or business?

Why do people continue to SHARE & COMMENT on things without either viewing the source (I try to make a mental note of the fictional sites so when I see a link back to them, I know it isn’t true) or taking the minute to just look into it further if the information you’re seeing / reading sounds a little far-fetched. Why have we reached the point in our society where we are so quick to accept a person is bad, a person is secretly racist, the person(s) involved did a bad thing. We assume the worst a lot quicker than assuming the best anymore. I admit I am guilty of it sometimes. Is there so much wrong today it is easy to accept it? That saddens me a little.

My last thought….and this is probably the one troubling me even more; is SOMEONE wrote the words Michael Kors assumably said. The article stated:

“Just for the sake of a sale I have to deal with women like Nicki Minaj? I’d rather not. After all my fans made me money, It’s only fair I be honest and let them know how I really feel,” said [the] CEO of Michael Kors on his twitter account.

The fashion industry is shocked from Michael Kor’s Ceo offensive statement when he said “I’m tired of pretending to like blacks.”

Early Tuesday morning Michael Kors took to his twitter page to express his true feelings about blacks. Considering every black person either has or knows someone with a MK watch, MK Purse or MK key chain this might affect Michael Kors sales.

“I can’t stomach the thought of my Michael Kors purses being stuffed with synthetic hair, weave or what ever else my fans are into.” Said Michael Kors.

Is it just me or is there a lot of HATE in those words? It made me wonder just how full of racism is the person who wrote it? Someone used the power of a fictional accusation to write how they felt. The last part about synthetic hair, weaves, etc really hit me. It just seemed to ooze with hatred.

Someone who hides their racism behind fictional writing to the extent this writer did is someone I would be more concerned about than the person who shows their ignorance or racism openly.

I have said it so many times and I will continue to say it. If our country would just learn to RESPECT other people, we wouldn’t have so many issues. You don’t have to like everyone if you don’t want to, but be respectful of one another. Have a respect for self. Have a respect for life. So many problems would be solved with respect.

Be mindful of what you share on social media. Take a minute to verify. Look to see where the source is. Here is a good article with the list of fake news websites.

Remember, just because it looks legit, doesn’t always MEAN it is legit. Use caution. Use thought. Most of all, protect the share button like you would want someone to do for you.