This blog updates at least weekly on any of the days below with the topics as follows:
On a Monday-Maniac Mondays = All Things that are All Things! Generally thoughts, ideas or tools we think can be useful to the personal or professional life.
On a Thursday-Tumultuous Thursdays = All Things Metaphysical
On a Friday-Funtastic Fridays = All Things Fun! (cartoons, stories about the Purple Elephant and the Little mouse...)
Studious Saturdays = All Things about the craft of fiction writing. Also we will give you little snippets about how our fantasy fiction novel in progress is going. Sometimes this can be told as a cartoon. We will be doing nanowrimo this year as well.

Also our Advent calendar will be happening this year as usual! Look for an interesting and new format!

For My Reincarnation Series

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Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Advent Calendar:6th Day of Christmas-The Gift of The New Year!

In the universal sense I figure time is irrelevant but we social humans like to count as I spoke about in my previous post on my Birthday which was also a time for counting...and I guess I can't be counted out of that too cause look at me I have polls up on my blogs! The Santa one I have on Universal Collective Prayer won't close till Christmas closes as in all the days of Christmas are done. And the angels one I will leave it up till the same time it started in 2008 i.e. 365 days. However some of the polls are more or less finished in a few seems as when I set them they were on Pacific Time or something but I'm at -4 GMT officially so the New Year will ring in here in about 4.5 hours. So I figured I'd summarize my polls now before I go off to spend some time with are the summaries:

The Best Chocolate in the World?

I only got 4 votes...less face it my blog is struggling just today I realised Google has down its rank from 3 to 2 :( But hey this was always just my musings and I'm glad whatever fun and participation I get! :) So yep with a total of 4 votes it was tie between Valrhona and Green and Black both with two votes each...on this poll I allowed a person to choose one to all as favs so one person could have voted for one fav or for up to eleven! I voted for 4 favs as I couldn't decide chocoholic am I! :)

Tell me what is your favourite coffee in the whole wide world and why?
Well my Hong Wing Coffee group members on Facebook will be proud although it appeared as if some Blogger techie guy or form of artificial intelligence tried to tamper with that poll today...hmmm....!:)But yep Hong Wing came out on top with a total of four votes! :) This poll was set up where you could vote for one and only one fav. and the total number of votes on this was slightly more than on the choc one with a total of 10 votes! :)

Do you believe in reincarnation?

Although in 2008 I never got around to starting my Reincarnation series I'm quite proud of the participation in and the results of this poll! Voters were only allow to day yes or no on this poll no maybes and I got 9 people saying yes and 3 no. So YES IT IS! And yep I will do the series next year for sure! :)

I'd also like to let you know that the Santa poll is doing fine so far with a total of 10 votes in the short space of time it ran as I only put it up in mid Dec ...will give you the official result when it closes on the Epiphany!

So not much more musings bout me personally on here though...I stopped making New Year's resolution many years ago and not sure if I was ever into them....I mean really polls aside just for fun what's in a number? So I live my life where I do as it may come! So I'm reinventing, redoing, restarting, rebirthing all kinda returning and thinging...all year through as we all are really! So what's the biggy with change of year other than a number?!

But I'm not for being a social outcast so I try to blend in and share the love as much as possible so...I do celebrate and mark the changes with the whole world too so...Here it is 2009!

And from myself and my family and all my three blogs I say to everyone a Bright and Reflective New Year filled with Love and its Pure, Clear Light! :)

I also love the Auld Lang Syne song but I also like this ABBA New Year song that was really sung back in the day in 1979 to ring in the new decade of 1980! :) Imagine all that has changed since then! :) But there are History blogs and sites that will chronicle that much better than I! So here is it HAPPY NEW YEAR 1980...ahmmm...I mean 2009! :) So will leave Auld Lang Syne for Universal Collective Prayer and throw the bash with ABBA here! :)

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Advent Calendar:5th Day of Christmas-Do You Believe in Angels?

On today the 5th day of Christmas I'm asking Do You Believe in Angels? and then talking about them in some way or the other on all three of my blogs. On this blog I ask you if you believe and tell you what my belief is.On Universal Collective Prayer I talk about Guardian Angels and my relationship with them or the Ishq Devatas of Hinduism and on the Books and Films Corner I could have and perhaps some might say should have spoken about a film about Angels and while there are good ones and yes I know it is not a TV blog but I just had I talk about two of my favourite TV shows from a time before that featured Angels! :)

So yep I figured from all this enthusiasm you'd get the answer to my question already... yep I do believe in Angels I do! :) So I've voted on my poll and you feel free to do the same too! :) And I feel they are with me every moment every second in human form or just in the wind helping me out every second and every moment!:)

Beliefs really need not be explained but I could if I wanted to but wont...cause then you'd still not have enough proof beyond a reasonable's just like the Santa Claus question and really the magic would be loss in explaining...but please listen to this wonderful ABBA tune and lot's of people love this tune too cause with over 1 Million hits on YouTube when the person next to you says it is corny or laugh at you for believing or listening to ABBA or Air Supply or Chicago...well tell me this if you are the freak in the room how come those guys are so popular? :) to all you still in the closet ABBA fans out there and Angel believers ...those on the fence...or those who we are yet to convince...listen to the song as it says... 'I believe in Angels...'

Monday, 29 December 2008

Advent Calendar:4th Day of Christmas-The Gift of Hope in Words and Song!

Some people are cynical about 'Hope' and some believe that many of us hang on to 'False Hope' and in so doing waste our mortal lives away. I say while it maybe true that 'False Hope' can indeed result in us wasting our mortal lives away...well we have many lives to live indeed life itself is eternal and never ending so really we have forever to sort it out and so can there really be any such thing or harm in 'False Hope' then? Cause surely we will eventually figure it out after all we do have an eternity in which to do it! :) And really I don't know some also see 'Hope' as a good and positive thing...a virtue. Tonight on this fourth day of Christmas I give you the gift of 'Hope' as a virtue. A few years ago I stumbled upon a quote I can't recall when exactly and no author was attached to it...but it spurred me to write my own quote on hope and the whole tit for tatting went something like this...

'Hope is not a strategy'- Author Unknown.

I in turn wrote back in response to this quote that got me so churned up that I had to respond! :)

'Hope can never be a strategy...for it is the womb in which our ideas are kept warm and nurtured until they are strong enough to be born into a strategy'- by Babita Dubay...I think I wrote that some where in late 2005 to early 2006.

I dunno...Hum Na Jaane...Ram Jaane...God only knows....but I leave you with this beautiful song about Hope by Mandy Moore in the film 'A Walk to Remember'

Sunday, 28 December 2008

Advent Calendar:3rd Day of Christmas-The Gift of Inspiration through Words!

On this the third day of Christmas on all three of my blogs I give you the gift of Inspiration. Inspiration can no doubt come in many forms and many writers will know it can take the form of a muse. I have no doubt experienced this myself in the form of a Manicou! :) You can check out my blogger profile to read more about that!:) But today on Meady's Musings I give you the gift of inspiration by saying it in words...I guess if I had talked about it on my Universal Collective Prayer blog it could then be referred to as Mantras cause this would be chanting words over and over...But on that blog I will instead talk about honouring God by carrying out our purpose in life and I will illustrate this by use of the classic and inspirational film- 'Chariots of Fire' and on my Books and Films Corner blog talk more about that four Academy Awards winning film and show more of it. Hope you enjoy today's Advent gift to you ...INSPIRATION!:)

Friday, 26 December 2008

Advent Calendar:Boxing Day!-The 1st Day of Christmas and My Birthday!

I guess today my Advent gift to you is well me! :) I don't mean it in an egotistical way as in I'm that great so as to be given as a gift. Nor do I mean it that I see myself as a material that can be given. But I give of myself to you all the time when I sit and type and pour my thoughts out to you on here and so I'm always in some small way giving myself to you each day or whenever I blog. Of course you also so graciously give of yourself to me when you take the time to read and appreciate my words! :) And today is the symbolic day of my birth...symbolic cause I was born on this date yes...but...not this year...and so really one's birthday can never be recreated but we social human beings like to symbolically mark it every year and count the years as they pass by...

The way society is structured we count the years and compare ourselves to others in our pool so we know that the average life expectancy of a man or a woman is such and such. If they are overweight or live such and such life style they chop off or add on years to that expectancy...and then like they decided at what ages you can and cannot do such and such...your risk of this increases...this as a female you should try to have all your kids below 30 cause then the risk of down syndrome goes from 1% to I think 10% and then there is menopause...and infertility...and then as you get older...check for cancer also if you did do like they said and had those kids early your risk for cancer now would have been less! Worry bout might get Alzheimer's by this age and Osteoporosis if...But really to me why count the numbers and what does society use these numbers for anyway if only to pretend they can check the odds? Do the math... tally the probabilities for when this and this will or that will not happen! And then compare all of us unique beings that we are to some average Joe and Josephine that the numbers created! One thing's for sure we are a numbers game society!

It is one thing when they try to understand the human body and the natural world it lives in but imagine how bad it gets when society then proceeds to make up it's own laws that tell us by what age we should finish school and by what age we should get married and what age we should have a career by and when it doesn't make sense to change it by and when we should retire...and don't talk bout the financial whizzes who tells us by what age we should save such and such less we want to retire penniless and the list goes on! What a life ...what a life!

Thing is who knows...I like the Hindi saying...Ram Jaane...Ram (God) knows...and I also like to say Hum Na Jaane (Don't know or dunno know...or the famous shrug that has a nice smiley face I find on some applications)Of course we all have to pretend to know...not that we are being incompetent when we pretend to know by the way. I mean when doctors say such and such ...they are saying it based on their training and case histories and same goes for engineers and other professions that deal with natural laws...but of course we can never truly know. Science is faced with bizarre incidents and anomalies all the time! However by and large the numbers do average it that we are more or less as a society right? Or is it if enough people collective believe something it happens...can the mass focus on something happening make it happen? I dunno but I've been focusing a bit more on such things in the last half of this year...taking part in the peace intention experiment....praying globally as part of the candle4tibet effort and then I created Universal Collective Prayer. All in the effort to find out if 'Thinking makes it so? or 'Can our thoughts really shape the world we want to see?'

I dunno...Hum Na Jaane...I know the scientists say that as societies we say Ram Jaane ...God Knows...and toss it up to the great big sky when we can't scientifically hone it down and write an equation explaining some law...but if we can't it doesn't mean it doesn't exist. So shrugging it off and saying Hum Na Jaane or Ram Jaane is certainly to me a better place than saying I know when I don't really know and then saying I know it doesn't exist cause I can't prove it. Also if I can prove how something happens and understand how it repeats itself such that I can develop a law around it and an equation to relate still doesn't tell me why it happened or it still doesn't tell me if I did or did not come from and will return to that great big spirit in the sky! But I'm going with the song and I'd like to think that the one thing I know is....Spirit in the Sky...that's when I die...I'm going up to the Spirit in the Sky! :) But unlike the song I think it doesn't matter who Ram or Jesus or whoever you befriend...and even if you going up may then recycle but you going back up...

So here I am symbolically a child born onto you a day after the symbolic birth of the Christ child. From all accounts I've read Jesus made his big impacts and his big speeches into his 30s so who knows there might be hope for me yet...not that I'm trying to blaspheme and offend anyone by suggesting I am in the same ilk but I do believe the great one did walk a path so that we would emulate it not simply adorn it! And so in that respect we should all attempt to be more Christ like...

Thursday, 25 December 2008

Advent Calendar:Christmas Day!-The Gift of Imagination

Again from Meady's Musings Production and the group of blogs:Meady's Musings, Universal Collective Prayer and Books and Films Corner I'd like to wish all my readers a Happy and Holy Christmas and a Bright and Reflective New Year filled with Musings and Love and its Pure,Clear, Light! :)

This year my gift giving to my nieces and nephews surrounded the gift of imagination. My nieces and nephew who was with me got their gifts last night cause we decided to do it then so they could spend time with me last night exploring the gifts of imagination before the rush of family and eating tomorrow! I think would like to keep that as a new Christmas tradition in the future you can be more peacefully reflective on the gifts then I find...

Now,I have read blog after blog this year about the economic crunch and materialism and I do realize there are many who really can't afford the simplest store bought gift but for those of us lucky to have a bit of cash at least momentarily in our hands I find gifts of imagination and thought are the most worth while not just for kids but for all of us. I've been know to buy games for adult friends! And really if we don't buy stuff too what would happen to those who make a living from retailing?

So I contemplated this and cut down on the amount I spent on each gift but still got gifts of imagination...surely if I couldn't afford to buy them I could have created them on my own from scraps of's the thing about the gift of imagination it does not necessarily have to be bought! However I luckily some might say had enough cash on hand to put out a bit so I supported my favourite island book store and got these gifts of imagination as can been seen in set above. Really book kits on:

-Time Travel(really talking bout history)

I found the Time Travel one to the most useful as it is grounded in real proven things that we know for sure actually happened too...I guess imagining responsibly?:) And it came with a little clock that tells the time backward! :)However they all spur the imagination in not only a child but in me! The Egypt one claims to be a remake of a journal of a lady who actually experienced Egypt although it says it can't be proven!:) And immediately my niece who got that wondered if the lady really existed and the reprint of the coffee stain on the book ...if that really happened and the lady really spilt coffee on her real journal! The Wizardology one is surrounded around Merlin and the like although it bigs up the Mystics of India. We being of Indian ancestry and Hindu background aren't as freaked out by mysticism as some but here is where I say sometimes we have to not fall entirely into the imaginary world and is why I saw the Time Travel one might be more useful. But I did have the talk with that niece bout not taking the spells seriously and appreciating the code set that went with it as a way of creating a new language in code. Despite what some might say I know there can be a lot to be learnt from the Way of Wizards if used responsibly.

The idea of the book kits to me gives my nieces and nephew a passport to the imaginary world. It is theirs to hold on to and explore that world through. Yes they can look things up on the web, watch a film and many other things and those will no doubt spur imagination too...but after interacting with them and the gifts I realize just how much this little piece of paper and ink gave then a raft... something to hold on to as their own as they navigated the world of their imaginations. And really if I couldn't afford to buy them ...I could have craftily put together these journals on my own with clippings form newspapers etc. But I had the money and not the time...which is why I said some might call me lucky as I had the cash but really if I had the time to lovingly craft it on my own it may have been even more fulfilling an experience so really who is luckier than who?!

And of course we all know the great things that come out of imagination...if we didn't dare to dream the world would never would always be stuck in the same is on the tail of our dreams that new ideas take flight and then parachute into a new world!:)

It is why my other little nephew much younger at only 3 but not with me this year as he is in the US. He got the gift of Winnie the Pooh on dvd...cause I know how much he loves to look at the bee chase when Winnie pretends to be just a little black rain cloud of course! After he had completed his stoutness exercises :)


Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Advent Calendar:Christmas Eve!-Goonj and Action !(Karam) from the Place of Love's Pure Clear Light

Before on this Christmas Eve I give to you my thoughts I must apologize and it seems I have unfortunately let down the man in the song and 'dagmagaye' in that my steps have indeed faltered and unfortunately yesterday I fell to sleep without doing any entries on my Advent Calendar! :( So I let the man in the song down! :( Check my original post about setting up this Advent Calendar to see which man I'm talking bout! I thought about doing one back dated but Christmas Eve is upon me and I felt I should spend my time soaking it in and sharing it live with you!

I give you an early post today as I go off to enjoy the times...I've just baked two things from a pack nonetheless but still smells nice! Two kinda bread things...Orange something and Blueberry...smells nice...and hopefully when cut will taste nice too! I've helped out my mum cleaning about...a rare experience! :) and so I'm trying to see if can convince her to get about to making what in Trinidad we call 'Hops Bread'...'Hops' for others words home-made bread...what we call 'Hops' in Trini I think roughly translates to dinner rolls. Here in Trini on an evening many a bakery churns them out hot in quarts. Anyway if we get about to putting out a homemade batch and I get a chance to sneak a pic and come here I might just post it up later! :)

On the whole this has been a nice preparation time for me this Christmas as I've achieved so much in terms of cleaning out and organizing my least at home...and between now and the New Year I plan to do the same to my office and really is a lovely feeling. I didn't do it for the Christmas celebs in particular in fact it really all started when my bed fell in and I literally woke up one morning and fell out of bed! :) But luckily didn't hit my head!:) However it meant I had to get a new bed and then I got a new chest of drawers and then I just started was cool to work towards the big cleaning ending up on Christmas Eve and I'm please to say it is complete!

All through my cleanings I kept wishing I could send all the extra cloth I kept coughing up to this cause! Which I learnt about this year on Intent from a friend that represents The Global Oneness Project! Here is the cause's blog

Isn't it so lovely?! :)For sure this guy in India is leading the way and not dagmagaye (ing) :)....pardon my Hinglish! :) But seriously this is a cool cause...wish I could get all the extra cloth I have no space to store out there to those ladies! :) Who knows...perhaps a local drive can be sorted out? You can find out more about this effort at GOONJ.

As you would know I have three blogs- this one, Universal Collective Prayer and Books and Films Corner. So I will leave my talks on the Christ child for the Prayer blog...and on here all the same Wish Everyone A Very Happy, Holy Christmas and A Bright and Reflective New Year filled with Love and It's Pure, Clear Light! :)

And I will leave you with this song I played on my Universal Collective Prayer blog when the Mumbai Terror Attacks occurred cause I find it so inspiring and really is my wishes for us all in this Universe tonight and in the coming New Year! That we won't dagmagaye! :) ...our steps will not falter...So my Advent gift to you to take Action (Karam) from the place of Love's Pure Clear Light! :)and you can take a strip of cloth out of Goonj's heap! :)

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Our Faces...Momentary Pearls of Universe!

This morning on Facebook I accepted a friend request. It got me to comparing...wondering about that person's life in relation to mines...but it was only for a while...cause Facebook tends to do that to us but for years I've asked and realised that there is more to life than the cookie cutter ideal we are sold growing up when we are being molded by said ideal cookie cutters! Anyway I didn't compare or wonder for long but then as I was getting dressed for work and I saw my face in the mirror I got to visualizing and thinking...hard to separate the two nowadays as I tend to more see my thoughts than think them!

Anyway it seemed to me that our faces however they are made up are really just momentary manifestations of the universe...and the universe is this fluid thing and we are just flowing forward and for a brief second we are this face and then we mix up into the universal fluid again till we ooze out and manifest again as our face grows out and takes form like a a ripe fruit hanging at the end of a vine...That's the visualization I saw...I've tried my best to scribble it to this effect...and you will have to deal with that until I perhaps sign up for the Art class that Daniel Pink of 'A Whole New Mind' fame took! :):

Over the last six months I less and less think that things are coincidences and just when I was driving out my garage I thought to myself that I really just have to do what I came here to do after all I'm in this face manifestation only just momentarily and I'm made exactly like this and things happen exactly as they do so that I can carry out what I came here in this manifestation to do! So I should not think about what my peers are doing despite of Facebook...and really it was a much needed reminder to myself after just coming off Facebook...then I realized that however my life is currently it is how it is cause I was meant to be this way to exactly fulfill the role I came here to carry out...I was just the expression...of course not just my face but my body too...but my face I thought is just like the fruit on a tree or a pearl being formed and I thought of the universe as this big flowing growing shrub or bubbling liquid and at the end of each limb a face would bud or flow forward and harden...and to me the face is what looks in at the world and it is the divine's connection to the material I saw it as my being part of a bigger universal spirit looking in with my face as the window to that brief spot or perspective of the earth was my job to give the feedback to the whole and experience this face...this perspective fully...explore it so the whole could see what it was about. So really only I could uniquely do it well!

Also I saw it too that I was fluid so I'd easily dissolve back into the tree or mother liquid and get mixed up again with it... no doubt a massive fluid mixing or brainstorming exercise would go on and then I'd bud again one day as another face...another expression at the end of a right now I was just in my brief expression as this face...made exactly right now along with the rest of my body to carry out just exactly what I was meant to...!

So I kept thinking bout that and that visualization in my head and to be honest I thought about this guy on Intent called Aaron Ross who does these scribblings...and wished I was a good enough artist to draw exactly what I was seeing...and then(and I've instead tried that scribbling too like him above but it can't do justice to the artwork I saw in my visualization of course!) as I'm pulling out the driveway I put on the radio and the segment that is on...I've heard is a part from Deepak Chopra's audio series where he is talking about the seven laws I think and he is on the law of Dharam(ma) and again he is talking about how we are just a soul having momentary human experiences...and about how he always told his kids to do whatever they wanted and he'd take care of them if they didnt make money...not everyone gets told that or have that luxury but...the main thing that stuck out for me was the soul having a momentary human experience...yes I've heard it said before but I reflected on it to is easier said than done...I think most of us including me more see it the other way around where we have moments of soul realizations but mostly view ourselves as human beings...the whole society is set up that fact the majority of society perhaps never even connects to the soul experience seriously for very long...let alone all the time!

And even the people who say it I think are caught up in doing differently cause really society is just not set up for souls having experiences here, some of which are momentarily human, but really the other way around or infact entirely about the human being as a body that is born young, develops, procreates other young bodies, takes care of them and then grows old and die. And society sets up structures around that not the spiritual really?!

Then later on in the day...I went on Intent and saw Aaron Ross... the same scribblings guy was talking about following your passion in the workplace and finding 'What is your Unique Genius' so as I say less and less these days I believe things are just mere coincidences too but intricately woven to happen and unfold just as they are suppose to...perhaps an outflowing of the mother liquid! :)

Monday, 22 December 2008

Advent Calendar:Mon 22 Dec- Do You Give the Gift of Gratitude?

During Christmas time many people exchange gifts. Some of us will exchange gifts with our immediate family, some with our extended family too while others with friends as well and some of us will even receive the good ole corporate gifts. Cause even if it is a time of global recession a mug and a calendar won't stretch the company budget too far perhaps?! However how many of us will give or receive the gift of gratitude?

When I decided to ask you if you would be giving the gift of gratitude as my Advent gift to you gift being to spur you to reflect on this...I decided to look up 'the gift of gratitude' on the web as it is the first thing that came to my head when I thought of it as a gift...and in doing so I found this site The Gift of Gratitude where it seems a couple of ladies have made the whole thing into a creative business...and good for them! :)

But really you can't go to a website to give the gift of gratitude...true, honest to goodness gratitude can only be found in one place within...the heart. True gratitude can only be given and received from there. Luckily today in the mail I got a letter and Christmas card from a friend...I would have liked to say hand written but suffice to say she couldn't go so far but I still felt the gratitude. What she did I realized after calling her up on the phone when I received the mail is...she typed up these templates to friends and then personalized them and printed out letters and posted them to various was one notch short of the hand written letter but the thought behind it was very lovely...and the point here isn't to argue for or against the snail mail letter, the email, the handwritten or the printer inked letter...but to talk about the gratitude shown. I knew my friend's gesture and words however they were displayed before me did come from a place of true gratitude and it made me feel made me feel good to receive it along with my other mail of bills...and it so happened two cards came on the same from a friend sending just a card but she usually buys a card that helps some charity or cause so that in its own way is already something wonderful and this one that was a normal card with a letter of gratitude...

What made the letter of gratitude feel even more wonderful is that I knew the things she was being grateful to me for when they were given from me to her over the last year they were also given truly and from the heart...

It made me think today about gratitude...and really how many times over my lifetime thus far I have also give the occasional gift or card for show gratitude for something that person did for me in the year that had project supervisor for my research project...people who helped me in industry when I was doing my first research project whilst still at uni. The kind people who transported me to and from my workstations when I yet did not own a car. I remembered today how about ten years ago when I now started off in the world of industry I used to buy those cards and attached tiny Santa chocolates and things like that! :) Now I receive corporate gifts and swim in so many things...Surely some of these gifts when given are by people who are truly grateful for my assistance and good workmanship with them all year true since apart from the working relationships I've grown to be friends with many of them. But let's face it the majority of them are just given me the necessary... And what have I been giving?...and what have I to be grateful for? And have I been losing Grace or fallen out of Grace?

According to The Free Dictionary 'Grace is defined as follows:
1. Seemingly effortless beauty or charm of movement, form, or proportion.
2. A characteristic or quality pleasing for its charm or refinement.
3. A sense of fitness or propriety.
a. A disposition to be generous or helpful; goodwill.
b. Mercy; clemency.
5. A favor rendered by one who need not do so; indulgence.
6. A temporary immunity or exemption; a reprieve.
7. Graces Greek & Roman Mythology Three sister goddesses, known in Greek mythology as Aglaia, Euphrosyne, and Thalia, who dispense charm and beauty.
a. Divine love and protection bestowed freely on people.
b. The state of being protected or sanctified by the favor of God.
c. An excellence or power granted by God.
9. A short prayer of blessing or thanksgiving said before or after a meal.
10. Grace Used with His, Her, or Your as a title and form of address for a duke, duchess, or archbishop.
11. Music An appoggiatura, trill, or other musical ornanment in the music of 16th and 17th century England.
tr.v. graced, grac·ing, grac·es
1. To honor or favor: You grace our table with your presence.
2. To give beauty, elegance, or charm to.
3. Music To embellish with grace notes.
in the bad graces of
Out of favor with.
in the good graces of
In favor with.
with bad grace
In a grudging manner.
with good grace
In a willing manner.'

As much as the idea of me losing Grace or falling out of it is subjective and dependent on who is the judge and who my Grace is in relation to...I'd say and large I've luckily managed to save Grace and hopefully remain in Good Graces with the Universe thus far...

I do however think I and many others perhaps have been forgetting at times or even losing the ability to show true Gratitude ...true Thankful and say Thank You! With all the hype this past year with US President elect only saying Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! I look within and not on a pulpit or stage but yes a blog and so a public place but from my heart anyways when I say Thank You!

I know Americans had their Thanksgiving a couple weeks ago but perhaps for many it is now just a Turkey I call it and so if True Thanks was not given then it can be given now...

And I guess I will again post the Alanis song (but a different performance of it)which I shared a few weeks ago in relation to the Mumbai Attacks since she thanked India and I found the song was a bit prophetic especially as on top of it the attacks happened on the eve of Thanksgiving in the US....but it is also about what this blog post is about ....saying Thank You! from a place or honesty...Thank You Alanis for it! And THANK YOU! THIS IS TODAY'S ADVENT GIFT TO YOU!

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Advent Calendar:Sun 21 Dec-Twinings Voyage, Indian Chai

On this day of Advent I give you Twinings Voyage Indian Chai. Chai is tea in Hindi and masala chai is usually chai made with a mix of spices. I've always enjoyed it and tea as a whole but yep masala chai has always been one of my favs. In the Western English speaking world especially North America masala chai i.e. tea made with a mix of spices is usually called chai so I guess masala chai = chai and is one of the newest cross over words from India and Hindi to English with their own special meanings joining words like pundit and chutney. So usually in the Western English speaking world if they say chai they mean masala chai and so it is tea made with a blend of spices. I often make my own version of masala chai from scratch i.e. throwing in my own cardamon, cloves and cinnamon things like that...but since I've discovered Twinings Vogage India Chai...well I find the need to make it from scratch less urgent...course it doesn't quite stack up but it does come in a good second and I often find myself swirling up a bag into a cup. So on this day of Advent I give to you Twinings Voyage Indian Chai! I still like to add a dash of cinnamon at the top ... I guess I like cinnamon as much as I like chocs! :)

Now you know I can't relax and treat myself for too long without wondering something or the other...and so now I'm all on this fair trade business so I had to check... Twinings is not fair trade but the company has this to say about ethical and fair trade practices on their website:
'Ethical & Fair Trade Policy

Twinings is committed to the ethical sourcing of tea and we do this through our membership of a growing international organisation called the Ethical Tea Partnership.

The Ethical Tea Partnership works to monitor conditions of tea production around the world to ensure that tea estates comply with the relevant laws and union agreements of their country in the areas of employment (including minimum age and wage levels); education; maternity; health and safety; housing and basic rights. The Ethical Tea Partnership strives to work in close partnership with tea producers and other stake holders to encourage open dialogue to ensure appropriate living and working conditions of tea estate workers and seek improvements where needed.

Full details of the Partnership and its work can be found on'

And here is what the site ethical tea partnership says:
'Drinking tea is a global pleasure. Behind each cup of tea lies a much bigger picture: growing and producing tea provides a livelihood for millions of people around the world.

The Ethical Tea Partnership works to make this picture transparent – to monitor living and working conditions on tea estates, with the aim of making sure that the tea you buy from the members of our Partnership has been produced in a socially responsible way.

The following pages explain how we work and the progress we are making. Our initiative has grown successfully because it doesn’t stand still. We’re always learning and to continue to develop we need to share what we have learned and benefit from other people’s experiences. That’s why we are also committed to communicating with others about what we do.

Many consumers are increasingly curious about the quality of the products they buy and the ethical practices adopted to produce goods in overseas countries, particularly in emerging nations. We welcome this interest in what we do and hope this site provides you with the information you require.'

Now Twinings as a company is a member of the Ethical Tea Partnership but Twinings Voyage line and the Indian Chai part of that line that I so love is not a brand that is under the Ethical Tea Partnership agreement so far...but I'd like to think it will get there...You can check out the tea brands that are currently part of the partnership at this link and the fairtrade tea brands at this one.

All pics copyright of Meady's Musings Production

Saturday, 20 December 2008

Advent Calendar:Sat 20 Dec-The Maya Gold Story

Yesterday I gifted you with Fairtrade products in particular fairtrade coffee, cocoa and chocolate. One of those products featured was Green and Black's Maya Gold which was the first product to be awarded the UK Fairtrade mark in 1994. So today I wanted to find out more behind the story of Maya Gold and I thought I'd share my search into this with you. So today I gift you with The Maya Gold Story which means following the story of Green and Black's and the people behind it- Craig Sams and Jo Fairley. Here is their story as it appears on the Green and Black's site:
'It all started back in 1991 when Craig Sams, founder of Whole Earth – the UK's pioneering organic food company – was sent a sample of dark 70% chocolate made from organic cocoa beans.

His wife, Josephine Fairley, environment columnist for The London Times and confirmed chocoholic, found the half eaten bar on Craig's desk and sampled some herself. The bold, rich flavor was unlike anything Jo had tasted before, and she was convinced other chocolate lovers would appreciate it in the same way.

Jo and Craig set out to bring to the masses the world's first organic chocolate. The result was a high-quality, bittersweet dark chocolate bar, packed with 70% cocoa solids - enough to make chocolate fans sit up and take notice.

Not surprisingly, the brand began to build a loyal following. Then in 1994, while Jo and Craig were vacationing in Belize, they discovered how local cocoa farmers were being harmed by decreasing cocoa prices. They agreed to pay the farmers a fair price for their crops and created the flavor of Maya Gold®, which was inspired by the ancient Kukuh drink traditionally enjoyed by the Mayan farmers.

This way of doing business didn't seem different to them - it just seemed right and came naturally – and in the process, the Maya Gold brand earned the UK's first Fairtrade mark.'

In my search I also found that Craig Sams carrys out his own site- and there is also this book out behind the Green and Blacks story-Sweet Dreams: The Story of Green & Blacks

Friday, 19 December 2008

Advent Calendar:Fri 19 Dec = Fairtrade Products!

On this day of Advent I give you Fairtrade products! The thing that kicked off this blog is coffee and later on chocolate and cocoa was often discussed on this blog for this year. So it is fitting that my gift to you on this day is to discuss fairtrade products and in particular fairtrade coffee, cocoa and chocolate.

First of all to discuss it we should first of all define it...I often find that a good place to start and puts everyone on the same page especially those lurking in the corner afraid to admit they don't know what the thing means and ashamed for some silly reason to simply ask - "What does fair-trade mean?".

If they did ask it though some lovely person would have then said to them according to the official Fair Trade Foundation's website :
'Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world. By requiring companies to pay sustainable prices (which must never fall lower than the market price), Fairtrade addresses the injustices of conventional trade, which traditionally discriminates against the poorest, weakest producers. It enables them to improve their position and have more control over their lives. '

And today I plan to share with you The Fairtrade Foundation's site honour roll of fairtrade coffee, cocoa, chocolate and hot chocolate. And here they are:

-Hot Chocolate

Interesting to note that Cadbury whose Cocoa I offered to you on Wed is not on the honour roll. However they recently this year broached their own sort of agreement. Many a blogger and news columnist out there have been going on about how they did it just cause it secured their economic interest and their long term financial viability plans. You know not cause they really cared about the poor farmers and all! But I say...SO WHAT?! I mean yea it would be lovely if they really did care but what if the future way to do business means it has to be fair... What if it is how the world is getting when there will be no business but good ethical business it would be the only business we know!? :) Cause to me that is what the future will bring if all the consumers become conscious and say it is how it has to be! Social entrepreneurship will soon become what all entrepreneurship is! Either way if two hands are clapping so what if Cadbury didn't broker this agreement from the bottom of their heart but to secure survival and long term profitability? Cause what is important is both them and the farmers and us the consumers or the eaters are all happy ?! :)

And according to Cadbury's main corporate site. Here's Cadbury's approach:
'The Cadbury Approach

In 2008 we announced the establishment of the Cadbury Cocoa Partnership, to secure the economic, social and environmental sustainability of around a million cocoa farmers and their communities in Ghana, India, Indonesia and the Caribbean. This ground-breaking initiative, which will be carried out in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and other partners, marks 100 years since the Cadbury brothers first began trading in Ghana and aims to support the development of sustainable cocoa growing communities. Cadbury is initially investing £1m in 2008 as a seed fund to establish the Cadbury Cocoa Partnership, with annual funding levels rising to a steady rate of £5m over the next several years.

The majority of the Partnership funds (70%) will be invested into farming villages in Ghana. Ghanaian cocoa trades at 10% above the global market price due to the quality of beans. Cadbury recently funded research by the Institute of Development Studies and the University of Accra into "Sustainable Cocoa Production in Ghana" which showed that the production of some cocoa farms is only 4-6 sacks a year, and so it is an improvement in productivity that is critical to improving incomes of farmers.
The Cadbury Cocoa Partnership aims to:

1. Improve cocoa farmer incomes: by helping farmers increase their yields and produce top quality beans
2. Introduce new sources of rural income: through microfinance and business support to kick start new rural businesses and introduce additional income streams such as growing other crops
3. Invest in community led development: to improve life in cocoa communities e.g. supporting education through schools and libraries, supporting the environment through biodiversity projects, and building wells for clean, safe water
4. Work in partnership: developing a pioneering model which will be led from the grass roots. Farmers, governments, NGOs and international agencies will work together to decide how the funding is spent and work with local organisations to turn plans into action

In summary, we are trying to reach a huge number of farmers with the principles of Fairtrade - such as collaboration and community engagement - and we're working with a range of partners. We hope that this partnership way of working will inform development work in the future.'

Hey! Sounds good to me on paper or Web 2.0! So let's not complain about the approach let's follow up and see if the approach is followed...and if they don't...take action by getting involved on here.But hey it's Christmas and this is my Advent calendar gift to you and since for sure we know that the company that Cadbury gobbled up Green&Black has the chocolate bar that was the first ever FairTrade product in the UK 14 years ago- Green and Black's Maya Gold Dark Chocolate Bar I also gift it to you! I've eaten it a couple times and it is absolutely divine by the way!You can check it out and US readers can buy it here.

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Advent Calendar:Thurs 18 Dec-'Chocolatier' (the game)

Earlier this year I downloaded and became addicted to (for weeks only thankfully) the game 'Chocolatier'. What happened to me I'd not like to see happen again but really it is that a lovely game I think for it to happen in the first place! One night one thing led to the other on the web and I downloaded the game on Yahoo! Games and next thing you know I started playing the game early Sunday night and didn't realize it was almost 6 AM and I was late for getting dressed for work! Now I understand how some people resign their jobs and from real life to play video games! So this Christmas I share with you this treat but ask you if you do choose to get it that like with all treats you use it in moderation. The thing about Chocolatier though is once you finish the story mode the first time it's not as fun to just get a higher score at least not for me. For me the game was more about the story and opening up the new sites in different parts of the world as you go. Meeting new people as the story unraveled. Being an entrepreneur and caught up in a lovely story all in the 19th century but with the open thinking of in the game has nothing about race, slavery and imperialism in its feel.Although of course in the real world 19th century things would not have exactly been that way...

The game really had me smiling. It starts off in 19th century San Francisco and has this charming soundtrack and sites and what really had me was it represents a time when my island was a major hub for cocoa! And it features places like The Queen's Park Savannah and Chaguanas where the lady selling at the market has the last name Naipaul! :) And below is the screen in the game for Trinidad!:

It's just pure fun...perhaps while tucked in this holidays you can download and play it and check out what I'm talking about! The game is not new or anything just my pick and gift for you today. The game is made by a company called Big Splash Games.

Here's the official description on Yahoo Games and it can be found at this link Chocolatier:
Average Rating: (2,528 ratings)
4.5 stars
Game Features:

* Over 130 different quests through 14 cities throughout the world!
* Exciting mini-game to set your level of factory production for every recipe you obtain!
* 60 recipes to acquire and 6 factories to purchase!
* Delightful art and music that transport you to the turn of the century!

Game Description:

Oh the gloriously rich and delectable life of a chocolatier! Constantly surrounded by mounds of chocolate bars and boxes of mouth-…

Oh the gloriously rich and delectable life of a chocolatier! Constantly surrounded by mounds of chocolate bars and boxes of mouth-watering truffles! Build your empire one ingredient at a time as you travel the world to find the best prices and buy factories to maximize production! Manage your output and please your customers... but don't forget about those conniving competitors who wish you poorly! Do you have what it takes to conquer the world through chocolate?

Note one frustration that might result in playing this game is when you can't find and source to eat the lovely chocs you are creating in the game in the real world! :)
Hmm....maybe a box of real chocs should come with the game...any ideas Yahoo! Games or Big Splash?:)

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Advent Calendar:Wed 17 Dec-A Cup of Cadbury's Cocoa

On this day I give to you a cup of Cadbury's Cocoa! I don't wait for Christmas to have cocoa and anyway there would not be much point to saving it for then since I live in the Tropics and so for Christmas there is no wintery wonderland. Although it is the rainy season and the average daily temperature generally is a few degrees lower especially at night. But I've been watching my thermometer and it hasn't so far gone below 20 deg C however in past years I've seen it as low as 18 deg C but that's usually very late at night or in the wee hours of the morning. Anyway so here's my delight which I'm sure warms many a heart up especially where there might be a cold winter's night! Here's how I make mines although I'm not much of a recipe person I tend to just toss things up depending on how I'm feeling at the time. In the case of the cocoa I tend to vary a bit depending on the size of the cup I pull out of the cupboard. Tonight it was this Oxford souvenir cup a friend had gifted me so you might see a bit of Radcliffe Camera there on the cup.:) So cause I was making my cup tonight to share with you my readers I decided to lock down a recipe to share with it was:

3 tsps of Cadbury's Cocoa
3 tsps of Sweetened Condensed Milk
4 ozs of boiling water
2 ozs of Low Fat Evaporated Milk
1 dash of cinnamon powder

I mix in the cocoa powder and condensed milk together till it is a paste. You have to make sure and break up any clumps of powder at this stage and make the powder and condensed milk mix in well else you wont get proper mixing with the water. I usually microwave the water in a measuring cup while I'm mixing the paste. Then I stir in the 4 ozs of boiling water. If the mix is not hot enough...this happens with me at times cause I keep the condensed milk in a container in the fridge (the tropics remember) may need to re-heat. If I think I've lost too much heat I warm for a few secs in the microwave but you have to make sure it is not for too long or too filled up in the cup else it will spill over.

Then I add the 2 ozs of evaporated milk. Again I have that in the fridge so if you want your cocoa steaming it might mean more heat. To remove all this semantics of backing and forthing to the microwave you can really just do all of this in a pot on the stove if you so desire. But I've gotten this whole making it in the cup thing down for some time. And I'm speaking from experience when I talk about it can and will end up too cold or spill over in the microwave etc. etc. I'm not always spot on at making it although there are my really good days. And perhaps cause I was making it to share with my readers tonight I have to say it came out just right! :) I mix it all up and I top it off with a dash of cinnamon powder! And there you have it! Hope you enjoy it!

One thing about Cadbury's Cocoa although made under appointment of Her Majesty the Queen it is still catching up with the North Americans when it comes to nutritional value. Cause no where says how many calories are in it. To be honest I've always thought I might be piling them on in this cup and not know think it's about 100 when it's more like 400! So I did some checks on the web and to me it looks like my cup is just about 130 calories. Again not bad for a decadent treat! :) And really it feels as delicious as 400! :)
My basis for the rough estimate was as below:

3 tsp cocoa powder = 30 calories
3 tsp condensed milk = 60 calories
2 ozs evaporated milk = 40 calories
4 ozs of water = calorie free! Oh water lovely water! :)
I consider the cinnamon dash near free too of course.

Hope you try a cup sometime and look forward to sharing tomorrow's treat with ya! :)

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

My Own Special Kinda Advent Calendar for My Readers!

I’m launching my own kinda Advent calendar on all three of my blogs today! I know it’s half way into the Advent month of December and less than 10 days away from Christmas but as I said it’s my own kinda Advent calendar and as such I start it and end it in my own way…I’ve decided to start it today and to let it run into the 12 days of Christmas instead of on Christmas day. So the calendar starts today and ends on the day of the Epiphany or in places where the Epiphany is not celebrated- 6th Jan which normally marks the end of the Christmas season.

So here’s how my Advent calendar is gonna run…first of all for once I’m gonna be posting daily…now this is not my day job and so if I falter be meek and mild with me…but at least I plan to post everyday…and hopefully I won’t falter. And won’t let down the guy singing to the kids on this post! :)

So here is how the calendar goes…on each of my blogs I’m gonna put something up about Christmas but from focusing on different aspects of the celebrations. So on my Meady’s Musings Blog….this one….I’m gonna talk about some favourite treat associated with the holidays. However the treat will not be utilizing any of ‘The Little Ones’ in ‘em and I defined what ‘The Little Ones’ are on my Universal Collective Prayer blog a couple days ago here in this post. But to put it simply it means it will be vegetarian meals but using dairy since as far as I can tell locally here the milk obtained isn’t from mega farms by and large and so the cows aren’t suffered for the milk. The cheese is available in animal rennet free versions and supposedly the cows that make ‘em stroll the lovely country sides of New Zealand. And the ones that give the butter play in the pristine Irish meadows. So for now like how the Verizon guy makes everyone say- Good!-I’m good cause I checked it out! Anyway by and large I feel I will be following in the tradition of putting a chocolate on each date in the actual Advent calendars so I will be symbolically giving you a new chocolate everyday by reviewing something with chocolate in it! Mmmmm…yum!

My semi-raw thing didn’t work out for many reasons this time and I had to curtail it. One of the reasons I had to was of the hectic schedules these days and so not much time to make right choice less write about the wrong ones! I’ve been posting on Universal Collective Prayer but that just flows as it is prayers you know….So just letting you know in case you are wondering how I’m eating the chocs when I was suppose to be all healthy till Christmas day…next year for sure though! :) No seriously I plan to approach it again when I’m more settled.

So now, back to the Advent calendar…On my Universal Collective Prayer blog I will be including a favourite quotation, tune or writing about Christmas and the Nativity and sometimes a film clip although it is not a film blog. While on my less known and rarely updated The Books and Films Corner blog I will be talking about well…a book or film relevant to the holidays. I still owe my blog on V.S. Naipaul on that blog and my blog series on Reincarnation on this Meady’s Musings blog so in between you might see posts on those too but there will be two posts on that day if that happens-one for the Advent calendar and one for the normal postings. My blogs don’t close for the Holidays and so we still have normal posts to churn out there as well! And if you want to see more of my blogs in the New Year well you might just have to be clicking away on those Google Ad Sense ads so you can pay me enough pennies to plug on!:)Merry Christmas and a Bright and Prosperous New Year Everybody! with love and compassion from Meady's Musings Production:)Advent calendar here we come!

Your Advent Calendar: Tue 16 Dec 08-Nestle's After Eight

Today I’m gonna talk about the delightful treat that is Nestle’s After Eight. It’s a thin dark chocolate strip with a strong minty filling. It's really lovely and every Christmas I like to get myself a box. Now Nestle seems to like it so much as a seller over the decades they have even given it its own site! So I'm not gonna mouth off much about it here. Only to let you know that if you like strong minty dark chocolate it's the one! And I hope you enjoy on this day of Advent! I tend to eat two in one go. Each dark choc mint is really exquisitely wrapped too and I tend to get the 300 g box as shown above on Nestle's site for it- I'm sure they won't mind me re-publishing the pic here cause it's all good publicity for their brand.

I've also attached for your healthy or not info its nutrional info. And really if you do like me and have two a day well you are really only putting just about 80kcal not bad for a decadent treat! :)And as the name says-After really is good to have that time just after's a nice alternative to a plain gives you a nice feel like you have chocolate but at the same time the mint cuts off your taste buds for the night so you don't crave...So you see not all things decadent are that bad! You can have fun and not be totally madly unhealthy at the same time! You think?

Typical Values Per 4 sweets (7g) Per 100g
Energy 657KJ 1912KJ
157kcal 456kcal
Protein 1.4g 3.6g
Carbohydrate 22.2g 66.2g
of which sugars: 19.2g 55.4g
Fat 6.9g 19.6g
of which saturates: 3.7g 11.9g
Fibre 0.3g 0.8g
Sodium Trace 0.1g
Salt Equivalent 0.1g 0.2g

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

My First Difficult Trek into The Shoes of the Other!

The trek took the form that it fits into my Universal Collective Prayer blog but I wanted to let those of you on here to know about it. So please come follow the link and check it out here! I'll warn you it wasn't an easy walk!

Monday, 1 December 2008

To Walk in the Shoes of Another...

By now anyone following my blogs or who have read one or two might have read that I hang out on this online community call Intent. One of the things on there is you can set an Intent for yourself and have others support you in 'mind' and discuss things to help you go about achieving them.

Today I set mine as follows:
"To Walk in the Shoes of Others Who are Very Different from Me"

I came to this realization after the recent Mumbai Terror Attacks and base on some of my interactions with co-workers too...but for now the main things I want to explore are more spurred on by the terror attacks and on a more general level. Later on I will try to tackle more specific things for instance with co-workers etc. Although I may not be able to share them in detail on here without it being too personal for the others involved...on the off chance they read my blog and realise its bout them! And in that there is the realization that not everyone is like me and as open and would be horrified of having a blog in their true identity for all the world to see in the first place! These different they can be!

Anyway for now I will be exploring on this blog and wherever/whenever more applicable on my Universal Collective Prayer blog this walking in other people's shoes business...And here is what I want to explore in the first instance:

-the Islamic mind (cause it is one of the religions that I know little bout or according to their believers I understand wrongly and didn't hit me how important a religion it is to understand till Deepak Chopra said it is 25% of the world's population!)

-the terrorist mind (cause I know not all terrorist are Muslim)

-the Islamic terrorist mind (but many terrorist are Muslim)

The closest I've come to understanding it is from these books and my own perception of things on the earth otherwise:

-Among the Believers- V.S. Naipaul (fellow Trinidadian by birth and for first 18yrs of life at least not matter what is said)

-Shalimar's Clown- Salman Rushdie (of fatwah on head fame!)

So I'm not sure how I'm going to further explore these shoes of others but I'm hoping others on the Intent community will be of help perhaps in particular Gotham Chopra whose work in the past has taken him into investigative reporting of some of these global issues.

Anyway let me try on these shoes...