La La Land…

Welcome to Daytona Beach!I always thought living in a highly haunted town would be fun, and for the most part it was. Highly stimulating, Saint Augustine has a world of charm. But, after a few years the constant bombardment of spirit activity bouncing off of one’s psyche and id can become tiring, overwhelming, exhausting. Add to that the never ending stream of tourists and strangers coming and going, one can find themselves feeling just a little bit displaced, a ship drifting along a distant but familiar shore.

Chatting with folks that have been born and raised in the Oldest City lends another side of the story. Not many who can claim the sea side town their birth place still reside there, the lion’s share of them having already relocated, pushed out or moving on for one reason or another. But most of them sing the same old song…their beloved Saint Augustine is not what it once was. Gone are the days of quaint and relaxed community, replaced by what the City Commissioners have created in a profit making sort of Disneyland for tourists. There is that same old familiar right side of the tracks where the city will support the community, but only if there is money to be had in it for them. Then there is the other side of the tracks which is anything not belonging to the right side. I even saw a story written up in the infamous “Old City Life” magazine that opined anything north and west of the Old City was ghetto slums where the undesirables live. A stern letter to the editor of said rag went without consideration nor reply. I’m sure other property owners like myself were not at all appreciative of the stigma the city had put upon them and were just as irate as I was at hearing that my tax dollars and residency was considered valuable not at all.

In essence, what had once been a sweet seaside community with caring neighbors and a sense of belonging, where artistic folks could let their paints flow free with the sea breezes had been transformed over a very short period of years into a money pot for those with vested interests. Add to that the energy of oh so many angry dead and you’ve got yourself a reason to move on. Oh yes…angry. Anger built up over centuries of war and bloodshed, slavery and abuse, disease and poverty. Chatting with a retired tour guide of the oldest streets, I was told that only about 11% of the “oldest” buildings within the Oldest City were really original in one way or another. All the rest were replaced and fashioned to resemble the oldest things. What used to be a flourishing artist community has now been discouraged and dismantled, laws forbidding artists to ply their trade abound within the city limits.  But the homeless bums can enjoy unlimited loitering, threatening passers by and pan handling to their heart’s content. And when Lincolnville was “just another slum”, the only place that many of the locals and artists could afford to live, the area went virtually ignored and left blighted until by chance some enterprising chap thought to capitalize on the authenticity of the area when the trend seemed to catch on and now, with most of the locals pushed out, it has become one of the most lucrative and desirable parts of town to reside in. (Move over South Park…)

Tolomato Cemetery. Joke. About twice per year the City opens the old rusty gates of one of the country’s oldest cemeteries to allow tours conducted to raise money for upkeep to the grounds. Chatting up a docent on that sunny fall afternoon brought confirmation of something I already sensed…mainly that there was no one still buried in the old hallowed grounds. They had all been moved some decades before to other cemeteries far and wide. Fake. Like the rest of the poor old town. This is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. :/

That’s fine. I am grateful that I was able to reside in that place for six years, enjoying my favourite landmarks, the Bridge of Lions and the Firehouse Beach. Yearning for something different, I moved on…

Now we find ourselves immersed within a new adventure which I will share with you, dear friends, as the adventure unfolds! Daytona Beach is a most fun town! The choice of food and restaurants can not be beat and the friendly atmosphere of the town is contagious! I didn’t realize just how invaded with negative spirit energy I was in Saint Augustine until I left that place. Like a breath of fresh air, I now have my wits back! Yes, there is still the occasional wandering spirit looking for peace and someone to validate him or her, but not like the constant stream of souls that move through the Oldest City’s space. Yes, it is still one of the most active spirit sites on the planet, so I urge anyone who wants to experience it to most definitely make the trip. But for me…I like to call Daytona Beach home…for now. 🙂

The Shop is Moving!

…and it is a good thing!

Just an update about the store. Last weekend was our final weekend at the St. Augustine Market Place. We had a good run there for six long wonderful years! But as we are relocating to Daytona Beach, Florida, we will also be bringing the store with us! If all goes to plan, we will be reopening  around Christmas time, sometime thereabouts. Or at the latest right after the first of the year 2016. We are so excited! I cannot tell you how much!

In the meantime, I wish to thank all of the wonderful clients and customers who have been with us throughout these first years and hope that they will continue to be our patrons. It has been a beautiful surprise to have all the phone calls and messages of support and approval come flooding in at the news of our advancement up and onward to the next level of success! The whole journey has been truly an inspiration!

As the time draws nearer, I will be sending emails, postcards and phone calls to every client and customer with contact information and news. As always, you can drop me a line, respond right here to this post, or call at anytime for further information. I will also be posting our progress right here to share with all of my dear friends, clients and customers so that no one will miss a thing! This really is a most exciting time!

Thank you again, everyone! We love you all! <3

Vardo Kids...

St. Augustine…

The Victorian Flower Oracle
The Victorian Flower Oracle

At long last and after much, much planning and effort, I have finally made the move to my favourite place on this whole planet…St. Augustine, Florida!

My partner and I vacationed here last fall upon hearing that it was a lovely, enchanted and very spiritually active – among other things, it also has a very active spirit presence. A walk down in the historic district, or at any of the major land marks – light house and Castillo de San Marcos among the most prominent – will touch even the casual sensitive. Even the drive into this magical town is an experience, with the greenery and tropical old deep south feel present around every corner.
The weather is great here. I used to be able to shrug off the Michigan winters in my youth, but of late the chill was not so fun anymore. And so we started looking for a warmer place to call our home. And after all the hard work and dedication to this life changing project, I am here to say that I am still as enchanted with this place as I have ever been from the start of this great adventure and next chapter in this current life of mine.
There are so many trees here in Florida. The only other place I have ever been that has this many trees is maybe the Ozarks, where my family hails from by way of Kentucky and Tennessee. The south is in my blood, I guess. Add to that the many varieties of tropical flowers and other forms of unique vegetation – palm trees, cactus, succulents and Spanish moss galore! – and you begin to feel transported and gone with the wind! Scarlett O’Hara was one smart cookie! 😉
We found the cutest little Florida shot gun style bungalow joust north of town in a quiet little rural neighborhood. I am proud to say that we are the proud owners of the brightest coloured house around! Add to that the trees and the gardens that cuddle this cute little house and I dare say I might have died and gone to heaven…I just could not be happier with the choices and the move!
Last, but not least…the folks around here are friendly and adorable! The happiest and most helpful and kindest caring people I have ever been fortunate to mingle with! Folks in the north are just plain grumpy, especially Michigan, and with good reason. I feel badly for the people who are “trapped” there by financial situations that really want to move on and get a better life. To the ones who love the state, more power to them…I admire there stubbornness, But I for one have thrown in m blanket and have traded it in for a beach towel and flip flops! To each his own and God/dess bless ’em all. But this southern gal could care less if she ever never laid eyes on an icicle, a snow drift or a plow truck again.
We all have control of our lives and free will to move about and make our lives our own. Even if it seems hard and impossible to attain, never lose site of your dreams and goals. Which leads me to my next great adventures right here in good ol’ St. Augustine. In the very near future, I will be opening up an online shop for my creations to be offered up for purchase and at great prices! Watch the web page for this! Free readings will still be going on, with added opportunity to purchase more extensive readings at very affordable prices through PayPal. Again, watch for the links! And, hopefully by the end of this year, my partner and I will hope to have opened up a little esoteric shop right here in the Ancient City…details will be announced and updates will be forth coming. We are so very excited and optimistic about all these new and exciting challenges and adventures! Please stay tuned for all the latest right here…
I want to thank all my clients for their patience with me during this move and relocation. The computers are up as of this morning, and I will be sending your reading out to you in the next day or two. Thank you so much for your understanding! I love you all dearly…
Ok everybody…the last one out of Michigan…please turn out the lights…
Until next time…