Super Bowl Hangover

SuperBowlFoodLike most Americans, I watched the Super Bowl yesterday.

The whole thing was kind of a non-event since my Patriots weren’t in the show, but their absence from the festivities made me realize how most other football fans from the past decade have spent Super Bowl Sunday: having forgotten the fumbles, foibles, and troubles of the past 5 months and already setting sights and pinning hopes on “next year.”

We Patriot fans have been spoiled in this regard, but not this year.

We gathered nonetheless at my neighbor Margo’s house as we have all season long — me and Margo and one of Margo’s friends who still cannot believe she’s gotten sucked into the football vortex so late in life — for one last fix before the post-season doldrums set in.

Stockpiles of food and beer are requisite for a Super Bowl party, as if we were mounting a siege against Margo’s 55” TV screen in an epic battle of wills. But before halftime we already were laughing about the fact that most probably we were noshing on the most healthy Super Bowl buffet in the state of Maine, if not the entire Patriot Nation.

It began with fresh guacamole and corn tortillas … and gluten-free pretzels … and organic carrots and pea pods … and Nut Thin crackers (also gluten-free). After the appetizers came Margo’s homemade vegan broccoli soup accompanied by “chicken salad” from a local health food store. (One can only imagine what ingredients compromised that little delicacy.) The banquet was topped off with a flourless chocolate torte whose primary component was chick peas.

Hey don’t laugh! That stuff has 3 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protein, with only 10 grams of fat per slice. It’s chocolate, it’s good for you, and tastes yummy to boot. I’ll post the recipe if anyone’s interested.

I did maintain the traditional Sunday football custom and had a few beers during the first half of the game. Meanwhile, Suzanne sipped her spring water and Margo eventually made herself a cup of tea.

There were four beers in the fridge but I just couldn’t go there; turns out all that fiber is very filling.

So we hooted and hollered and commented on how nice men’s butts look in those black Raven spandex and wondered how Shannon Sharpe might look if he was somehow caught on camera in the shower — that’s what everyone else does, right?

I’m pretty sure, though, that we feel a lot better today than do most other folks who watched the same game.Super BwlCheese

But there’s always next year.

Jeanne Fiorini TarotWorks http://www.tarotworks.comJeanne Fiorini is a professional Tarot reader and teacher , a personal organizer, and a rabid Patriots fan. Is she “diverse in her interests” or out of whack? You decide.


Two Houses Under One Roof

This is a picture of my house.  I love my house. I like to think of it as “The House That Tarot Built,” but that’s not really true; it’s more a case of “the house that 20 years of equity in other houses built,” but that’s not the point.

The point is, when I moved into this house almost 6 years ago, it was a statement of becoming more visible, of having a larger presence in my community, of being willing to say, “I’m here, I ‘m a Tarot reader, we all need to get used to it.”

Most of the readings that I do and the classes I teach happen here at this house. Currently there’s a “Tarot Reader’s Practice Group” convening here on Thursday evenings, a group which is often divided up into pairs to work on specific methods or layouts, or to practice an exercise that has been set forth for them to test drive.

To keep the “teacher vibe” out of the room, I often go upstairs and sit at the computer for a moment or just putter around up there , giving the students some physical and energetic space in which to practice their  skills. From that perch I can hear the hum of conversation and the buzz of their attention as they work on their assignment.

What a pleasure it is to listen as that and the occasional uproarious laughter fills the rooms. It makes me and the house feel all warm and happy, even when at the end of the evening they each get into their cars and drive off to their respective homes. This house is more than a home, it’s a classroom, a gathering place, a place for learning and sharing.

We Mainers had a very warm spell back in March, as did many folks around the country. During the middle of that month, in the early part of the mornings, I would hear a rhythmic and persistent pecking on the second-story west-facing side of the house. Looking out I could see that it was chickadees who were making the ruckus. Since the house is sided in shingles, I figured the birds were seeking out a breakfast of bugs or small insects of some sort.

My granddaughter and I would watch them flit around the window as they regularly and earnestly returned to that specific part of the house’s exterior. “The eating must be pretty good here at Jeanne’s Bug Café,” I’d say to Vera.

This activity went on for about a month, until this week when it stopped. Suddenly my morning wasn’t being punctuated by the rapping on the side wall as I’d become so accustomed to hearing. So I wrenched myself out from the bathroom window and peered back around to see what there was to see, to understand why the pecking had stopped, to learn what all the fuss had been about.

As you can see, the birds weren’t into breakfast, but had  in mind something of a much greater design.

Looks like I’m going to be a grammie again! And now there will be two families living under this one roof.

My older brother would have a fit about this, sure to tell me all about how detrimental such a thing is the to integrity of the house construction. He’s probably right, but I’ll let the chickadees have their babies and then clear up the space once they’ve left. I’m happy to share the warmth and comfort of my home and am honored that they chose the South Portland Tarot Palace as the place to introduce their little ones to this world.

Addendum: This from a reliable source: Incubation lasts 12-13 days. It usually begins the day before the female lays the last egg, so that all eggs will hatch within 24 hours of each other. I’ll keep you posted.


Clothes Swap Follow-Up

I’ll let the pictures do the talking as a follow-up post regarding “Christmas in February” aka The Annual South Portland Clothes Swap.

    (Left) Here we are at the
beginning of the event,
relative calm and decorum
is the tone so far.

(Below) This is my treasure of the day, a beauty which came early on:
a lime green fleece coat with black
faux lambs wool trim, a Maralyce Ferree original.   I love it!

Our host nabbed TWO pairs
of these fabulous shoes as additions to
her massive haul of fine quality items.

Above right:: Our host in a jacket which must have once been owned by either Hugh Hefner or Keith Richard, we’re not sure which one.  In any case, it certainly does work with her not-so demure nature.

(Right) And here’s the aftermath: the pile of
goods that will find a home in less-fortunate
hands. We are truly blessed to have such

In addition to the Six of Pentacles spirit of the day, I must add the Queen of Pentacles to the roster of attendees. We had silk blouses, leather handbags, cashmere sweaters, designer labels, sparkly jewelry, and beautiful fabrics all ’round. That particular Queen was in her glory today. Thanks to all for a wonderful celebration of friendship and abundance.

A Peaceful Woman

I’ll be visiting with my good friend Janice tonight. We met while attending psychosynthesis counselor training together in the early 90’s and have been friends ever since. (Nothin’ like a share value to seal a friendship.)

Janice is embarking on a new venture; I’d call it a business venture but from what I can see, this is the culmination of all she’s learned up to this point in her life. She’s calling the project “A Peaceful Woman,” a service utilizing a comprehensive set of modalities and natural treatments to alleviate anxiety and stress.  (Janice is a Certified Medical Meditation and Stress Management Consultant, so she knows what she’s doing here.)

Can anyone out there relate to anxiety and stress?

My favorite piece of the packaging for this new venture is the tag line on Janice’s emails which says Remember to Love Yourself Today. This phrase encapsulates the Ace of Cups theme which permeates all of what “A Peaceful Woman” is and aims to accomplish: Self-love, gratitude, inner peace,  appreciation for the life we’ve been given, connection to Source, a calm mind and a peaceful heart. Even the writing of those words brings my blood pressure down about 10 points.

When you think about the people in your life, are there those around you whom you’d think of as peaceful women? I know lots of busy women,  introspective women, serious women, creative women, smart women, and sure, a few crazy women; but off the top of my head I’m having trouble naming one who I’d honestly call peaceful.

I think Janice has hit on something here.

The website is currently under construction but you’ll soon be able to visit Janice at I know I’ll enjoy my visit with her tonight, and I hope we don’t stay up until 4AM like last time, which made us decidedly un-peaceful the next day but sure was a good time.

The Clothes Swap and the Six of Pentacles

This Sunday is the annual Clothes Swap gathering at a friend’s house. I look forward to it like I looked forward to Christmas morning at age eight. I come home with a bagful of clothes and a face crooked from laughing so hard, since the Clothes Swap draws together some of the funniest women I know.

The whole thing is Six of Pentacles from start to finish. The invitation calls us to clear our closets of any item “to which we cannot give the love it deserves.” We usually meet in late-February, since February in Maine can be pretty dreary. The invitation taunts us: “What, you’ve got something better to do?”

So we cull the unworn, the unloved, the impulse-purchase that never quite cut it, from our wardrobe in hopes that someone else will find it irresistible. Each person brings their bag — or bags– of discards and we take turns displaying our wares. There is lots of grabbing that goes on as we claim items which catch our eye, and we’ve learned that if we bring a leather handbag to The Swap we’d better be careful of our host’s quick reflexes.

Not limited to just clothes, we’ve expanded The Swap to include jewelry, books, miscellaneous house decor, and anything else we’re finished appreciating. Last year I brought a mostly-full box of tampons. Hey, I wasn’t using them, but someone would.

And that’s the Six of  Pentacles spirit of the day: share the wealth; trade useful goods with others; share a February Sunday with friends; bring home some free duds in a mutually beneficial exchange. Plus, whatever is not snatched up by our eager hands is put aside in a pile, a lump of fabric that by the end of the day looks like a downed buffalo in the corner of the room. These things are donated to the local shelter, where less fortunate folks benefit from our day and our host gets the tax write off.

Win-Win-Win! That’s the nature of the Six of Pentacles.

I’ll post what items came home with in Monday’s blog — I bet I’ll still be grinning.

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