Thursday, October 31, 2013

A Sleepy Hollow Tale ~ The Conclusion

October felt a scream rise through her throat, but quickly swallowed it down. She wouldn’t cause a panic.

“An actual headless horseman,” she heard Damon gasp before he let go of her and drew his sword. “Men, arm yourselves.”

A vile laugh filled the ballroom. “You think your weak little toothpick swords are a match for me? I will crush you all.” The horseman’s jack head burned brighter.

Damon and his men started to advance.

“Wait!” October called out. Then men stopped.

October looked at the horseman. “Why are you doing this?”

The eyes on the Jack-o-lantern narrowed. “A century ago you took my head and now I’m here for yours.”

October’s mind raced, trying to figure out who had been beheaded. She gasped. “It can’t be.”

The headless horseman laughed again. “That’s right, I’m black sheep of the family, Sir Sheffield of Dottingham. Are you happy to see me again cousin?”

Damon looked at October for an explanation.

October squared her shoulders. “Sir Sheffield could never fully grasp his place in our family. He thought since our fathers are brothers that he should have control over the realm since my father only had girls and he was the only male child. When he was told by my father that women were excellent leaders and we were more than capable, he decided he would kill us, starting with my youngest sister, December. She was only two at the time and barely survived the attack. I came in just in time to stop him and my father put him to death.”

“This land will still be mine. I’ll have all your heads on stakes, starting with yours Miss October.”

Damon raised his sword. “You’ll have to go through me first.”

Sir Sheffield’s jack-o-lantern’s mouth curled into a cruel smile. “Very well then.”

The pumpkin launched toward Damon, like a fiery cannonball. Damon and his men scattered for safety as the jack-o-lantern exploded. A new flaming pumpkin appeared in Sir Sheffield’s hand and he launched another pumpkin bomb into the crowd.

October watched Sir Sheffield throw pumpkin after pumpkin into her ballroom full of guest. Anger filled her body as she remembered seeing this man over her baby sister strangling her. She took off into a run, toward Sir Sheffield, grabbing the punch bowl on her way. Screaming the cry of a warrior she charged the headless horseman throwing the punch onto the current flaming jack-o-lantern distinguishing it.

The Jack’s face turned into a frown, right before it melted into what looked like burnt pumpkin pie. Before the full effect of her actions registered, Damon was thrusting his sword into the body of Sir Sheffield. The body stiffened and fell over, the horse disappeared.

Damon’s men rushed in dragging the limp body of Sir Sheffield out of the ballroom and toward the brig.

October turned toward her crowd. “Sorry, I know that was scary. But please take a moment to steady yourself and then I hope you will continue to enjoy the party.”

Damon pulled her close and kissed her. “I have waited an eternity to be with you and intend to enjoy this party to its fullest and then some.”


Jewelry Show & Book Signing!

Saturday November 2nd from 9:00 am til 6:00 pm and Sunday November 3rd from 11:00 am til 4:00 pm ~  in Guymon, Oklahoma at the 31st Annual Pumpkin Patch Benefit ~ Located at the Texas County Activity Center. We hope to see you there!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Native American Animal Symbol

 Native American Animal Symbol ~
The Snake ~
Oct 23 - Nov 22
Most shamans are born under this Native American animal symbol. The Snake is a natural in all matters of spirit. Easily attuned to the ethereal realm the Snake makes an excellent spiritual leader. Also respected for his/her healing capacities, the Snake also excels in medical professions. The Snake's preoccupation with matters intangible often lead others to view them as mysterious, and sometimes frightening. True, the Snake can be secretive, and a bit dark - he/she is also quite sensitive, and caring. In a supportive relationship the cool Snake can be passionate, inspiring, humorous, and helpful. Left to his/her own devices, the Snake can be despondent, violent, and prone to abnormal mood swings

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A Sleepy Hollow Tale - Part 4

October twirled around in the full length mirror.

“Your costume is fabulous,” squealed Opal. “Going as Katrina von Tassel was a brilliant idea.”

October examined the navy blue gown, with layered bustle, her golden hair curled and pulled back, a few loose curls falling around her face. With a final flip of the hair she smiled at Opal, “Shall we go?”

Opal took flight. “It’s going to be so much fun.”

October and Opal stopped at the top of the stairs as the butler announced their arrival. October looked over the crowd, the costumes were magnificent and smiles filled the room.

“Thank you so much for coming,” she said. “This will be the best Halloween Ball yet. Please enjoy yourself.”

The crowd appalled before turning back to their various conversations. October descended the stairs, as she reached the bottom a hand shot out, helping her down. October gasped as she was meant with Damon’s gaze.

“Why Miss October, you make a ravishing Katrina von Tassel, Ichabod is a lucky man,” he said planting a kiss on her hand. “May I have your first dance?”

October swallowed a girlish giggle that threatened to expose her giddiness. “I would love to, Mr. Black.”

Damon led her out to the dance floor and twirled her around into his arms.

“We have a problem,” said Damon.

October furrowed her brow. “We do?”

Damon nodded. “You keep insisting on calling me Mr. Black. It’s very formal and proper and those are two things I pride myself on not being. Please call me Damon, Miss October.”

A smile caressed October’s face. “Only if you drop the ‘Miss’ and just call me October.”

“Sounds like we have a deal then,” said Damon. “But I’m afraid we have another problem.”

October raised an eyebrow. “Do tell.”

“I have a confession to make.”

“Did you spike the punch, like you did last year?” asked October with a wink.

Damon chuckled. “I wasn’t aware you knew about that. But no it’s not that.”

“Mr… I mean… Damon, you really must tell me so I can remedy the situation.”

“I am hopelessly in love with a woman, but I’m afraid she doesn’t feel the same. I’m not sure what to do about that.”

October felt her shoulder’s slump. “You strike me as being very good with the ladies. I’m sure you’ll have no problem with this one.”

“She is different,” he said.

“Well she would be a fool not to love you back,” said October, swallowing the lump in her throat.

“You really think that?” Damon asked slowing their dance.

October nodded. “I do.”

“I’m very pleased to hear that, because it’s you, October. I am hopelessly in love with you. I have been for years,” he confessed.

“Oh my,” October gasped.

Damon leaned in planting a soft, luscious kiss on October. Her heart felt like it would throb out of her chest. He pulled away. “Does this mean you feel the same?”

October nodded. “I do and I have for such a long time.”

As they leaned in for a second kiss, the doors flew open, a gust of wind blowing out every candle leaving the ball in a veil of darkness. A faint orange glow appeared in the doorway. October gasped as the glow grew exposing a lighted jack-o-lantern held by a headless horseman.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Opal History & Lore

Opal History & Lore

Bad Luck?

So, how did opal get its reputation for bringing bad luck?  There are many theories, but most historians point to the 1829 Sir Walter Scott novel, Anne of Geierstein.  According to an article at Opals Down Under, "Having not read the third volume, the public jumped to the conclusion that the heroine has been bewitched, that her magic opal discolours when touched by holy water, and that she dies as a result. On carefully examining the texts, Si Frazier, writing in Lapidary Journal, found all three accusations false. The opal, which actually belonged to Anne's exotic grandmother, turns out to have turned pale as a warning to its owner against poisoning (which was the actual cause of her grandmother's death). Even so, this single work plunged opal prices to half in just one year and crippled the European opal market for decades." 

Brought to you by Anna's Legacy Jewelry

Friday, October 18, 2013

A Sleepy Hollow Tale ~ Part 3

“A headless horseman?” October tried to hide her giggle. “Is this a Halloween prank you’re trying to play on me, Mr. Black?”

Damon’s eyes grew dark and October knew this was no prank made at her expense. She cleared the smile off her face. “I’m sorry, Mr. Black, I didn’t mean to insult. It’s just a very strange coincidence that your man would see a headless horseman before a Halloween Ball. It is the season for tricks after all. Where is your man now? I will have my doctor see to him.”

“We locked him in the grainery for his own good. He was quite disturbed by whatever he saw.” Damon shook his head. “This is no time to dwell on my poor man’s meltdown. I would appreciate your doctor seeing to him. I’m sure he will be in good hands. We mustn’t let this spoil the wonderful party I’m sure you have planned.”

October plastered on a smile. “Of course, Mr. Black. I’ll have my man take you and your men to your rooms.”

Damon kissed October’s hand once again. “Until tonight Miss. October.”

October felt her heart flutter as her smile became genuine.   “Until then, Mr. Black.”

Opal flew to her shoulder as the men left the Great Hall. “A headless horseman? Seems very odd with what we discussed earlier, doesn’t it?”

October bit her lip.

“What is it?” asked Opal. “Every time you bite your lip it means you’re worried. You can’t be worried about a legend. It’s a fairy tale told to kids to keep them in bed at night.”

“Well, it’s just that when we were finishing the tree … “ October hugged herself as she remembered the flash of the cape.

“Go on,” encouraged Opal.

“I’m sure it’s nothing, but I thought I saw a cape disappearing into the night and now this man has seen a ‘headless horseman’.”

Opal giggled. “You’re right, it’s nothing. That cape could’ve been a number of things. There are many messengers and riders during our Halloween festivities.”

October nodded her agreement, but she couldn’t ignore the chills that ran through her body.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

A Sleepy Hollow Tale

Hi everyone!

I'm on vacation so A Sleepy Hollow Tale will continue this Friday, October 18th.

Jennifer McMurrain

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Opal History & Lore

 Opal History & Lore ~

Pliny the Elder in his writings tells of a Roman senator called Nonius who, in 35 BC, owned a ring set with a particularly beautiful opal the size of a hazelnut and valued at 2,000,000 sesterces.  Roman General Mark Antony decided he must have Nonius' opal, but when Nonius refused to sell, the enraged Antony banished him.  Nonius fled Rome, leaving behind all his possesions, save the opal ring which was the cause of his exile.

Opal has been thought to have healing powers in many world cultures, and in the middle ages, it became known as the Opthalmius, or Eye Stone, and was thought to strenghten eyesight.  Blonde maidens wore opals to protect their hair from fading or darkening.

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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

A Sleepy Hollow Tale - Part 2

October hid around the corner and watched as Damon Black and clan entered the castle. It was to no surprise that Damon arrived two days before the party, most of the out of town guests did. He looked dashing in his white shirt and black pants, a thick hooded cape lined with blood red, hung on his shoulders. He ran his hands through his messy black hair as his dark eyes darted around the room.

Opal perched on her shoulder. “You should greet them.”

“I always get so flustered when he’s here, it’s like my brain is exchanged for my foot,” explained October.

“Regardless, you are the hostess.”

“You’re right. It would be rude not to greet them.” October squared her shoulders and straightened her long blonde hair. “He’s just another guest.”

“Of course he is,” teased Opal as October rounded the corner to greet her guests.

“Mr. Black, so glad you could make it.”

October held out her hand, which Mr. Black took while bowing slightly. “Miss. October, so lovely to see you again. Thank you for your invitation, your Halloween Ball is the highlight of my year.” Mr. Black held onto her hand a little longer than expected, planting a short, but sweet kiss on it.

Butterflies cartwheeled in October’s belly as he released her hand. “I trust your pleasant was journey?”

“Excuse me?”

October’s face turned crimson. “Your journey, I hope it was a good one.”

“Actually.” Damon glanced at his second in command. “I’m afraid we lost a solider.”

October gasped as her hand flew to her mouth. “What on earth happened?”

Damon shook his head. “He lost his mind.”

“I don’t understand,” said October.

“I’m not sure I do either,” said Damon. “We were camped in the Skellywood Forest. We’ve camped there every time we’ve made this journey and never had a problem. But this time, one of my men thought he saw … “

Damon shook his head.

“What?” asked October, her eyes wide. “What did he see?”

“It’s impossible, but … “ Damon rubbed his neck, looking uncertain. “He said he saw a headless horseman.”

Friday, October 4, 2013

Opal History & Lore ~

Opal History and Lore

Opal is thought to have been discovered as long as 4,000 years ago, and myths and lore abound in practically all cultures.  The ancient Greeks thought opal to be the tears of Zeus and prised it as highly as diamonds.  They believed opal gave the gift of foresight and prophecy, which would ensure the owner success in war, business and life. The ancient Romans wore opal as a symbol of hope and purity and believed it could cure illness.  In ancient India, opal was referred to as the Goddess of the Rainbow, turned to stone.  Ancient Arab cultures believed opal had fallen from the sky and that the play of colour was trapped lightning.  According to Arab lore, opal could make the wearer invisible.  The ancient Australian aborigines, however, envisaged a more sinister origin.  They thought opal to be half serpent and half devil, and that the brightly coloured fire within was an attempt to lure them into the devil's lair.

Brought to you by Anna's Legacy Jewelry

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

A Sleepy Hollow Tale ~ Part 1

October hung the last jack-o-lantern on her Halloween tree and stepped back to admire her work. A small black bat landed on her shoulder.

“What do you think, Opal?” asked October. “Will it do?”

“The best tree yet, October,” answered Opal. “It’s going to be a lovely Halloween.”

“Oh yes.” October smiled. “I can’t wait for the costume ball.”

“What are you going as?” asked Opal.

“I was thinking this year I’d go as the headless horseman,” said October, a smile curled on her lips.

Opal made a face. “Well that’s not very romantic.”

“Halloween is not about being romantic, it’s about being spooky.”

“But you’d have to wear a jack-o-lantern on your head the entire night. Your hair will smell like pumpkin for a month,” said Opal.

“I can think of worst things.”

“You can’t go as him, October, you know who will be there.”

October knew exactly who Opal was talking about, Mr. Damon Black from Transylvania.  “Well in that case maybe I should go as Ichabod’s love interest, Katrina von Tassel instead.”

“I believe that is a wise choice.” Opal giggled.

The wind grew cold and October shivered. “That was weird.”

“I know,” said Opal. “We don’t usually get that cold until November.”

Something tingled at October’s senses, her eyes darted around the forest, just catching the flicker of a cape disappearing in the darkness.