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January 22, 2011

Very Superstitious

Very Superstitious

By Brunonia Barry 

House Blessing
Photo by Gilabrand at en.wikipedia

Last week, the Wall Street Journal featured an article about some real estate developments in my hometown, Salem, MA. It seems that some of our local witches have taken to performing house exorcisms. If you want, you can read the article here.

Now before you shake your head and grumble about Salem’s overblown entrepreneurial spirit, let me explain that these witches aren’t making any money on the practice. Cleansing houses of bad energy is something they do pro-bono.

House values are down by about 30 percent in Salem. Add to that the fact that Essex County has one of the highest foreclosure rates in Massachusetts, and it starts to make sense that buyers are requesting that negative energy be banished from their new properties.  It doesn’t mean the house is haunted or possessed or anything so dramatic. It just may be that it wasn’t sold under the best of circumstances. The idea that there might be some residual negative energy (or at least bad feelings) lurking in its corners doesn’t strike me as all that farfetched.  

This is a house cleansing and a house blessing, and, as such, I think it’s a great idea. It’s nothing new. House blessings are traditional in almost every culture and religion. There are only two reasons that this particular Salem practice got publicity from the WSJ: House blessings/cleansings are up by several percentage points in this new economy, and the particular blessings in question are being performed by witches.

Now I have never done such a ceremony on the house we bought in Salem thirteen years ago when the market was pretty damned good. Our house was owned by artists for 37 years. They brought up their family here, and they created some beautiful paintings in what is now my writing room. Before that, the house belonged to a minister. I had no intention of ridding our new home of the residual energy belonging to any of these people. I rather hoped it was clinging to the rafters, waiting to help me out with the book I was trying to write. So we didn’t take advantage of these charitable Salem services. But I do admit to doing a little sage-smudging in a rental unit we owned where a domestic violence incident had taken place. Better sage than sorry, was my thought at the time.

I happen to know the two witches featured in the WSJ article. They are great people, wonderful members of our community. Whether or not we believe in real estate karma, I like to think that we all believe in simple acts of kindness and charity, so I was kind of surprised by some of the comments both on the WSJ website and around town.

The early sentiments seemed to suggest that the WSJ should not have featured such an article. One reader actually nicknamed them The Wall Street Enquirer. There have been some kinder comments in the last week, but the first ones came down pretty hard on their journalistic integrity for featuring an article about what many people consider superstition.

Those comments really got me thinking about the superstitions we all seem to harbor. I have never met a person who didn’t have at least one or two.  

I’m not what anyone would consider a superstitious person. I don't walk under ladders intentionally, but only because something might fall on my head. I love black cats. To me, thirteen is a number just like any other. People know they should never send me chain letters; not only do I find them incredibly annoying, but I will break the chain on purpose, just to mess with the “magic.” That goes double for email chains, the ones that promise great luck if you respond within their time limit and hint at the opposite if you don’t. I like to be contrary. It’s my right (almost my duty) as a New Englander.

But things fall apart for me when it comes to tempting the imps.

“Don’t temp the imps” was an expression my mother used all the time. It was right up there with “Someone’s going to end up crying,” a favorite of hers when we were having just too darned much fun (read manic).  Usually there was sugar involved. There was always wild child energy. When someone inevitably did end up crying, we tended to blame Mom’s warning as if she had brought it down on us. Who knows? Maybe she did. Her superstitious warning never bothered us, though. It didn’t even slow us down.  But I never messed with her when she uttered the words: “Don’t temp the imps.” (Even today, I take this advice so seriously that Mom’s warning has become an integral part of the latest book I’m writing).

My mother would issue her imps warning whenever anyone would say things like: “Gee, this has been a nice, mild winter,” or “I’ve been driving for 30 years, and I haven’t had an accident yet.”  (Remarks that stupid demand immediate imp attention, don't you think?) If you’re smart, you never make remarks like that.  

One of the worst imp-inciting phrases comes in the form of a question. “How hard can it be?” Take my advice, never, ever, under any circumstances, ask that out loud. That question is an immediate call to action for any imp. They cannot resist giving you the answer.

So I’ve told you mine, now tell me yours. Do you have any superstitions you’d like to share?  Any imps you’ve tempted?


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I'm always happy when I happen to see the new moon over my left shoulder. Makes me feel that the lunar month will be a good one.

My husband won't pick up a coin he's found lying on the pavement unless it's face up. He'll even turn it over so the next person will spot it face up.

My mom has lots of superstitions, if we knocked over the salt we have to throw salt over our left shoulder or we would have bad luck. I know there were lots more and obviously I didn't gain her superstitions because I can't remember any more of them.

My cats sometimes seem to be watching things that I can't see. That spooks me a bit, and I pay attention. I know cats have fantastic eyesight, but when my Buffalo and She-She start watching something move about the room and follow it until it appears to leave the house... well I am totally spooked. Steve blames it on my being born in Salem, but I don't think so?

Reine: Having spent my entire adult life in the company of cats I think I’ve figured out their trippy behavior. The naturally secrete LSD. That is why they spend so much time licking themselves. It certainly can’t be because they like hairballs.

As for the house witches, the Chinese are centuries ahead of the curve on this one and have reduced it to an art form with feng shui.

My superstition is I’m always looking for warning signs. If I see an auto accident I’ll avoid that intersection for a while. If I notice someone stumble or fall I’ll grab the handrails tighter for a few weeks.

Interesting! Like you, I'm not overtly superstitious but I do own (and use) voodoo dolls, although that is primarily stress release, ha ha ha.

What's the issue with the WSJ publishing this? As the article points out, Catholics, Hindus and the Chinese have home blessing traditions. I have a crucifix blessed by a priest hanging in my home, a gift from my mother. It's all the same theory, with the same goal of making the house clean and safe.

Although...there is one difference. The witches work for free. My mother had to buy the crucifix, and she had to pay to have the priest bless it.

I must pick up any coin I see on the ground---face up or face down---because I worry some day I'll really need it. If it's face down, I will immeidately give the coin away. (I am always looking for those little jars collecting spare change at check-out counters. A good place to donate a face-down coin.)

"Somebody's going to end up crying!" A phrase I invoked just two weeks ago with my grnadson. Yep, it happened. I don't think I brought it on myself, though.

Ramona blogged for us once about voodoo dolls, but now Ican't find it....

The mezuzot in my house, one for each room, all have kosher scrolls. Mezzuzot is the plural of Mezzuzah. The Mezzuzah is actually a case for the Bible verse inside. There are two kinds of scrolls inside, printed or hand written by a scribe. Kosher scrolls are the latter. Real parchment, real quill. Every house needs a blessing.

I love the hamsa. The princesses have one each with a blessing. Princess one like to make sure it faces her bed each night.

Rod, it took about eight years before I stopped moving my leg away from the car door when cars came close to the driver's side of the car after being hit there. That is where common sense trumps superstition.

Me too - I pick up the face up coins, and although I won't touch them with my hands, I will continue to KICK the face down coins so that the next person to walk by it can safely grab it. Sometimes I'll walk away a few steps and walk back and be that person myself. If I'm feeling like I'm the one that needs the luck.

We too believed in not tempting the imps, but the phrase "how hard can it be?" has been a punch line with my sister and me for years. It could almost be our family motto, and always evokes a laugh, reminding us of all the ridiculous things we've tried over the years, because . . . HHCIB?

And yes, Brunonia -- when I was looking for houses 3 years ago, I always checking out the energy along with the closet space. Nearly every one I looked at was a divorce house, as was mine, but some retained the energy of great pain, built-in stuff ripped from walls, people fleeing the premises without pausing to fix or clean . . . I always wanted to know the story and luckily my realtor was curious, like me, about all the really important things, and usually could tell me the dirt. That's what makes a great realtor -- one who knows where all the bodies are buried.

My mother is very superstitious and growing up, I had a good bit of it ingrained in me. One of the biggest things is "No new shoes on the table". For some reason, it's terrible luck and as I child, I thought this meant someone or something would die tragically. As an adult, I know that's probably not the case, but I still don't put new shoes on the table. My mother passed to me a lot of candle superstitions. For instance, you must always blacken a wick before using a candle. If you have a candle holder that holds multiple candles (name escapes me this morning), you always leave one candle unlit.

For me, the above are the ones that I have been conditioned to follow more than any others.

I've never heard of the coin/face superstitions until now, but it reminds of one of my own, which is that I pick up coins because I'm afraid to give the universe the idea that I'm unappreciative. "Well, hell, she walked right past that nice shiny dime. I guess we won't bother with that $50,000 that was going to come in the mail next week."

I was married to a cowboy, and they NEVER put hats on a bed. So I was shocked, shocked, shocked when Rock Hudson tossed his cowboy hat on a bed in the movie "Giant." I just couldn't believe it. "Oh, oh," said I to myself, "this can't end well."

The hamsa in the photo holds the following blessing: "Behatzlacha," which means success.

Like Nancy, I had never heard of the coin/face superstition, but I have heard that a woman should never put her purse on the floor because it is disrespectful of money and that the universe will think you unappreciative. I put my purse on the floor once when I first lived in NYC, and it was stolen, so maybe that superstition is right. More likely, someone spotted me as an easy mark.

Carrie: New shoes on the table. I love that one!

Voodoo dolls, Ramona, as a stress release? I love it! I think there's a book in that. Or a new form of therapy. Sign me up!

Re: Feng Shui. Every time I clean out our basement, something in my life changes for the better. If I'm not mistaken, the basement represents the past as well as the subconscious. I highly recommend it. For those of you who don't have a basement, maybe it's just cleaning out the clutter. Funny, it always seems to come back, though.

Carnivals also have a lot of superstitions. Yellow is a jinx color. Never whistle in a tent...or eat peanuts there. Lots more but for some reason my brain is freezing on them.

Oh, and my older female relatives would NEVER wash bed linens between "new' Christmas and "old" (25 December and 6 January) because if you did, you would wash for a corpse before the year was out.

I'm confused as to why one would put any shoes on the table, new or not.

I've heard of the face-down coin thing. Amazingly, considering my Irish mother, I don't have any superstitions that I can think of. However, we very often heard "Someone will end up crying!"

"Somebody's gonna hurt someone. . ."

The old Eagle's song is running through my head now.


We had a lot of trouble when I was doing Cabaret last fall. The Music Director had a heart attack. One of the lead actors got pneumonia and was hospitalized a few days before opening. We all had to go outside the theatre and do this ritual to help cleanse the place. It was weird but it worked.
One never knows do one!

Love the carnival superstitions, Judith.

Xena, maybe Cabaret is the new Scottish play. I hope not. Interesting that it worked, though.

Margaret, I'd never heard the bed linen superstition. I think I'm going to use it. Maybe I'll expand it to all laundry and give myself a break.

Nancy, I love that song.

Laura, from one Irish person to another, consider yourself lucky. Not sure how you got away without them.

I love the phrase "Don't tempt the imps"! And it makes perfect sense to me, so I may have to borrow it on occasion.

I'm also one of those coin-face-up folks, as is our oldest. But I do like the idea of picking up any coins, and giving away the face-down ones. That resonates, somehow.

More and more of my friends talk about cleansing their new homes, using smudge sticks and the like. I know several folks who'd be thrilled if a witch came and performed a cleansing ritual in their houses. I can't say I'd object, honestly. So good on the WSJ for reporting it!

We do the salt over the shoulder thing.

Also verboten - opening an umbrella in doors, breaking a mirror, whistling in the graveyard, and betting against a home town team, no matter how tempting the odds.

Margaret, have you ever used that linen superstition in a book or short story? I should remember, but I don't. "Dirty Laundry" by Margaret Maron.

Never set sail on a neap tide. Never swirl rum widdershins lest you're below the equator. When staunching a wound, let the man cry out, lest the pain fester and his flesh putrefy. Never suck on a golden guinea in candlelight - if cursed it may run molten on your tongue. When taking hostages, chain them in groups of three. When sighting a red ensign at sea, spit in your left hand afore raising the alarm. Never eat plum duff on a new moon -- it will turn to ash in your gullet. If stricken with the gully-wobbles, wake at dusk and sleep at dawn for three days. And never, never look at a man's bones in the gibbet or your fate shall be thus within a fortnight.

Kathy, I'm adopting the home team betting advice.

Worms, I try never to suck on a golden guinea, and I never swirl rum widdershins, no matter where in the world I am. No comment on the hostage advice. You are a very funny man. I mean pirate.

My dad would never walk over those doors in the sidewalk that go to basements, or any kind of grate. Have to say I still avoid them, myself, along with walking under ladders. But that is really more of a safety issue, than anything else. Right?

The first time I was married the clock hands were going downhill, and that marriage ended in disaster (oh, hell, to be honest, it started that way). I made sure the hands were going up this last time, which will soon be 29 years ago. My husband says he avoids any kind of 13, given a choice. Since my mother was born on Friday the 13th, at just under three pounds, and 81 years ago, that particular number has no power to scare me.

I do subscribe to the tenets of feng shui, though. Cluttered space = cluttered mind.

"When staunching a wound, let the man cry out, lest the pain fester and his flesh putrefy."

I love this so much. And there is surely at least one book title in it, though it's probably not: "Lest His Flesh Putrify."

I am glad my mom doesn't read blogs or this would add to her list of superstitions! She also would freak with shoes on any table. I think that superstition was just to keep dirt off of surfaces someone might eat from.

Did anyone else's mother tell you not to eat off the table, or you'd get worms? (Speaking of...) I could never understand that one, especially since my mother is fanatical about cleaning. No self-respecting worm could survive her onslaught.

What a fun topic.
I never thought about face-up or face-down coins, but I feel better about picking up any coin than I did when I found a $20 bill lying on the ground in a large outdoor commons area at USC late one evening. I needed the money, as it turned out, but I felt badly that someone else had lost it.
I don't fear creatures unless it is prudent to do so (messing with a wild lion is not usually prudent), but I do believe in and enjoy communication with critters. The local birds and I seem to have worked out a pretty decent system: if a bird of any kind swoops down in front of my car when I'm driving, I slow down and/or pay closer attention, because that's warning that a child or animal or other vehicle will enter the street suddenly, or another car will cut suddenly into the lane ahead of me. Invariably, this happens, but, forewarned, I'm able to avoid the problems that might otherwise have ensued.

If I drop or break something, I try to pay attention to what it was and to being generally more careful through the day.
One day my favorite white glass container of an expensive moisturizer somehow flipped out of my hand and smashed. Later that day, a tow truck driver failed to properly secure my white VW Passat wagon, and it slipped out of the repair bay, rolled down an incline and smashed into the tow truck, which broke the Passat's porcelain light fixture surrounds and glass, among other things.
Love the pirate lore, and the wisdom of the witches.

About purses on the floor? Years ago, when I was too ill to work for several months, I finally realized I had to have someone else clean my house, or I'd be living in squalor. A friend recommended her wonderful housekeeper, who came over and blazed through my apartment in a whirlwind of skill and efficiency. She discovered my purse on the floor next to the couch and summoned the full extent of her emotional expression to warn me that THIS was why I was experiencing the poverty of not being able to work just then: 'when you put your purse on the floor, all your wealth spills out!!!'

Chastened, and warned, I have not willingly placed my purse on any floor since then . . . .

I usually think of it as tempting fate or demons. Imps seem like a way better to parse that, even not out loud. Thank you!

I love Salem. Just on principle.

Laraine, I love your relationship with birds. I think there are signs everywhere, if we pay attention.

I love Salem, too, Cornelia. Salem has been very, very good to me.

Karen, I had never heard about the clock hands going downhill. That's a great one.

I believe deaths come in threes -- or maybe that's when I quit counting them.
And the year that Don had cancer, my series was cancelled and our savings were wiped out in the stock market, I was stupid enough to ask, "What else can go wrong?"
We were promptly audited by the IRS.

Cleansing the space has a place in many traditions. I have a charm against the evil eye I was given in Greece, and a feather from a Native American friend (who also helped organize a smudging ceremony with sage), and a buckeye from somewhere, and one of those red envelopes our travel agent gave us for luck. . . but those are more important as mementos than anything else.
I do follow Kathryn Tucker's admonitions about eating pie from the crust to the point and not passing salt from hand to hand (put it down on the table instead), but again, it's mostly to think about her stories of the south.
I have given thought to a friend's opinions on the side effects of language, such as when we tell people to "break a leg" or that something is "to die for" or "I would kill for . . ." I think the book she recommended was _Your Body Believes Everything You Say_ or something like that.
Rod Pennington's _Fourth Awakening_ has insights into asking for what we really want and releasing negative feelings.
Remembering now a time when I was searching for my car alone in the dark after an event at the Touhill, having come out on the wrong side of the building. I pushed away all worrying thoughts, visualized myself finding the car and driving safely home, even after I realized I didn't have my cell phone. My little keychain flashlight only showed me a little circle of ground as I ran out of sidewalk, climbed a hill, kept walking -- I heard music! Then over the next hill, there was my car, all alone under a light. Music stopped, drove home safely -- thanking the Universe!

Elaine, I've always heard that bad things happen in threes, but, like you, I usually stop counting. "What else can go wrong?" is even worse than "how hard can it be?"

Mary, I do think we have to be careful with language. I don't like the expression "to die for," at all.

"Don't tempt the imps!" I LOVE that! Have never heard it before and now can't wait to use it.

I'm a firm believer in those awful things happening in threes.

I'm also a firm believer in that saying about when I door closes a window opens (or is it the other way around?).

Brunonia, my basement is so empty that many good things should come to me, but there is that second bedroom, full to capacity, which we have now named the "Room of Requirement" . . .
Meanwhile, in the "ask for and receive" category -- disgusted by the filter folding down in the Gevalia coffee maker (usually used for tea because of this problem), I posted (in response to my great-niece wishing her hair drier would work): I'm wishing the same thing about my old reliable coffee maker. My drier is still usable, won't turn off, but I can unplug it; I wish the coffee maker were stuck at "on" so I could do the same thing." I brought that little Melita 4-cupper in from the garage, fiddled with that switch, laid it down and tried again, and I'm drinking the success right now. I don't mind having to unplug it, as I do that all the time anyway. Seems a trivial thing to ask the Universe for, but it is keeping one thing out of the landfill . . .

While in medical school, I enjoyed hearing from the faculty and senior clinical docs about their experience, and all agreed that things tend to come in threes, such as seeing three patients for shoulder pain amidst a day of other concerns, or three for rashes, or three newly-pregnant moms. This has often been the case in my own practice, so I happily pass it along to the interns that I supervise.
Imps are critters from, where? Europe? Ireland? I wasn't very familiar with them, growing up in Texas, but I sure wouldn't want to tempt any mischievous small critter.

I think we're all interconnected with one another and nature in ways we seldom even partially perceive. When I used to write on deadline (mostly in the past now), I invariably found that my computer or monitor would go haywire on the day I was to print out or e-mail the manuscript in. But, I also discovered that this was simultaneous with my being very tense and anxious--heart rate up, breathing rapid, teeth clenched, etc. So, I would calm my inner state, relax my jaw, slow and deepen my breathing, turn off monitor, leave the room, come back and quietly turn monitor back on, finding that things worked just fine. This happened several times before I read an article from HeartMath Institute about the electromagnetic field of the heart (about 30" sphere radiating out from the heart), and realized there was probably scientific basis for what I was observing.

Language has power (including language that incites riot). I would never, ever allow my children to call themselves, or anyone else, "stupid". We need to respect ourselves, because only when we do will others do so.

Setting a purse on the floor is also a good way to carry home bedbugs. (I know, ick.) In very fine restaurants in Europe, my friend says, Madame is invited to set her bag--perhaps costing as much as a small car--on a stool set next to her chair, meant specifically to keep the bag off the floor.

In lieu of that level of luxury, find one of these little babies to keep in your purse for keeping your bag off the icky floors:


Mary, I have several "Rooms of Requirement," I think.

Kaye, I've heard "when God closes a door, he opens a window." I have a friend who once said: "When you close a door, a car drives through the side of your house, opening a really, really big window." She lived in the "old town" district of Marblehead, MA where the houses sit right on the sidewalks. One Saturday night, a drunk driver drove into her living room.

Brunonia, old town Marblehead is perilous. That's where I learned most of my superstitions... and the angst when the tiny Mary A. Alley Hospital was going to close in the sixties. What... no more Marbleheaders - OMG - everyone would have to be born in... S-A-L-E-M! I'll tell you it was a real social crisis. All kinds of freaky goings on and song singing and everything to keep the little hospital open. And it worked.

Ramona, you have a priest hanging in your home?

So many! Never move a broom from one house to another is one. Giving away a coin I find. Blue jay feathers as answers to prayers. My ex was fanatical about not "burning bread", saying something bad aloud.

I do sage spaces , too, and have drummed them sometimes, too.

Reine, I grew up in Marblehead, one of eight generations of Old Marbleheaders (not enough to really quality for that title, btw). Most of my superstitions come from there.I was born in Salem Hospital, and my father had to "petition" to make me a "Header."

Laraine, I've had the same experience with electronics. If I'm in a wild state, everything breaks. Electromagnetic fields are quite sensitive.

BEDBUGS?!!! Karen, you have just plugged into my biggest fear. Thanks for the URL.

Living here in Salem I had no idea these "exorcisms" were occurring. Having bought a foreclosure myself perhaps I'll give a local witch a jingle.

Barbara, I have been known to move brooms from one house to another, but I'll never do it again.

Rick, all best with that new house. Let me know how it goes if you decide to use the witches to cleanse it.

Our family was ver superstitious about the shoes on the table=a fight. When I was in my 20s, I was in a rush to get to the airport. Two pairs of shoes I ordered were at my front door and in haste, I set them on the dining room table then left. My entire life changed during that trip! Fights, disorder, disruption. You won't catch me putting shoes on ANY table. Or a purse on the floor, a hat on the bed.

When the energy in my home lags, you'll find me with a sage stick clearing out the gloom.

I do love your 'don't tempt the imps.' The version I use is "don't challenge the universe."

Fun post!

I am not a superstitious person but I must admit I am superstitious about renaming a boat. I am a sailor and many tales have been told of vessels which were lost after such a change. I have never changed the name of any boat that I have had. I also keep a string of turkish evil eyes inside my back door. The "evil eye" superstition is that one person can cast a spell on another. Turks have created blue glass eyes that look straight back at the spell-caster to guard against evil associated with envious or covetous eyes. They work!

Yes, yes, being careful with the language. I'm uncomfortable with "to die for," too--I thought it was just me. Kind of--Faustian.

The imp phrases--what a wonderful way to describe it--I dont even want to say any of them! Sheesh.

And I would never put a hat on a bed. Or shoes on a table. Or pick up a face-down penny. But I do have a lovely black statue of a raven in my livingroom. IS that okay?

Barbara, what about blue jay feathers?

Barbara, I brought a beautiful, hand-crafted broom (purchased from an artist in such things) from Wisconsin to Los Angeles with me: it has now moved through two previous L.A. residences to my current apartment. I never ever thought of it as bringing bad energy, since I use it only sparingly to sweep things up in the house, or, occasionally, to sweep the front stoop and steps. But, what would it be causing, as a result of my having kept it through these various moves? Yikes?!

I have had the same broom for over 25 years and at least 6 moves . . .

I have a turkish evil eye over my stove, I rarely burn anything or even cook anything that tastes bad! Maybe it keeps evil spirits out of my food. Mind you the woman who bought it for me in Turkey, a few years later she committed suicide.

Someone brought me a Turkish evil eye a couple of years ago and I'd nearly forgotten what it was, until reading the various comments here. Guess I should put it to use!!

Hah! Brunonia, that is such a Header thing. Wow. I was born in Salem Hospital, too. When my photo was in the Messenger one day proclaiming that, "Another Header Makes Good," the writer was politely reminded that I had been born in Salem." :) Marblehead Forever.

PS: Brunonia, you mean you're not a Doliber?

My parents had their house cleansed when we moved in. Instead of a house warming, we had a house cleansing. Our Unitarian Universalist minister performed the ceremony. The family who had lived in our home had gone through a rather nasty divorce. To cleanse the home, we walked through each room with smudge sticks and said a small prayer. As a teenager, I had thought the whole thing to be rather unnecessary. But truly, in hindsight, it made a difference.

If and when I purchase my first piece of property, I also plan on having a house cleansing, so that I can fill my home with my own love and good feelings before the messiness of life sets in and clutters everything up.

Such an interesting blog - I'm loving all of the comments. I'm constantly knocking on wood when I utter something aloud that I think might tempt the fates -- constantly. I don't even know why knocking on wood is the thing to do... but you better believe I do it every time.

After reading this blog I realize I follow more superstition than I thought - never walk under a ladder, never open an umbrella in the house, toss spilled salt over the shoulder, never go to bed angry, trust your gut, never pick up a coin that is face down, don't under estimate the wisdom of a child, never a beggar or borrower be..I love don't temp imps..similar to don't mess with faeries.

I tempt the traffic imps all the time! Especially when I am headed over the George Washington Bridge from NYC to Jersey. It's a terrible habit. On the other hand, if I've brought my umbrella with me, it's guaranteed not to rain even though the weatherman might have predicted otherwise. I like to think that's the weather imps rewarding me of taking care of my hairdo.

Burying the St. Joseph statue to bring good luck when selling a house is one of my favorites. When we moved here over a year ago, I found one buried in our garden w/a note that the prior owner had written asking for a new family to buy their home (us!). Warmed my heart that we answered her prayer! Now, on to clean the basement!

One of the phrases most imp call came in the form of a question. "How hard can it be?" Believe me, never, under any circumstances require a high level. This issue is an immediate call to action for imp. They can not resist to give you the answer.

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