Thursday, May 31, 2007

Big & Rich Awesomeness

Watch video of Big & Rich performing in the "WalMart Sound Check". Lost in this Moment, Between Raising Hell & Amazing Grace, Save a Horse, 8th of November and Comin' to Your City!

You can watch any of them or all of them. And you don't have to sit through 30 seconds of commercials either (a shorter one LOL)

This is the first time I've heard Between Raising Hell and Amazing Grace and I really like it. I was disappointed in Lost in This Moment (it's a beautiful song, but not ... special). This is better. Their live sound is a little different from their studio sound, so I'll be interested to hear the studio version. I always like their live stuff better though. Except it seems like their kind of slurring over the word "hell". Or else it's not the same word in some places. It's somewhat perplexing.

Somewhere between raising hell and amazing grace
is a place i keep finding myself
Yeah I get a little crazy
trying to have a little fun
then I end up back where I started from
down on my knees I pray
oh Lord let me see another day
Somewhere between raising hell and amazing grace

The album will be in stores next week!!! Target has it for $9.98 next week.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Talk to the Animals

" One thing to remember is to talk to the animals.
If you do, they will talk back to you.
But if you don't talk to the animals,
they won't talk back to you,
then you won't understand,
and when you don't understand you will fear
and when you fear you will destroy the animals,
and if you destroy the animals,
you will destroy yourself."

Chief Dan George, 1899-1981
Native Canadian Indian Tribal Leader

Saturday, May 26, 2007

And A Meadowlark Sang

And A Meadowlark Sang

"The child whispered, 'God, speak to me'
And a meadow lark sang.
The child did not hear.

So the child yelled, 'God, speak to me!'
And the thunder rolled across the sky
But the child did not listen.

The child looked around and said,
'God let me see you' and a star shone brightly
But the child did not notice.

And the child shouted,
'God show me a miracle!'
And a life was born but the child did not know.

So the child cried out in despair,
'Touch me God, and let me know you are here!'
Whereupon God reached down
And touched the child.

But the child brushed the butterfly away
And walked away unknowingly."

© 1999, Ravindra Kumar Karnani

Friday, May 25, 2007

Sooner or later, everyone sits down to a banquet of consequences

Dedicated to my Former Boss

"You always experience the consequences of your own actions.
If your actions are right, you'll get good consequences.
If not, you'll suffer for it.

There are always two choices, two paths to take.
One is easy. And your only reward is that it's easy.
You cannot do wrong without suffering wrong.

Morality may consist solely of the courage of making a choice.
Wickedness is always easier than virtue,
for it takes a short cut to everything.
But over time you learn,
you can't make wrong work.

Work joyfully and peacefully,
knowing that right thoughts and right efforts
will inevitably bring about right results.

You can never lose anything that really belongs to you,
and you can't keep that which belongs to someone else.

Sooner or later, everyone sits down to a banquet of consequences.


(c)2006 by Max Steingart
Reproduce freely but maintain (c) notice

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Holistic Healing: Reflexology, Acupressure and EFT

I have been wanting to learn more about alternative healing, such as reiki and reflexology. I recently bought a reflexology book ("Body Reflexology") and have started to learn some techniques, and I also have been reading up on it online. My book also has acupressure techniques. I hae also been reading up on EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique). It's interesting how all of these work - I think they are all related.

Here are some links:



Reflexology for Beginners

Foot Reflexology Chart

Reflexology Hand Chart

Reflexology & Acupressure for Anxiety and Stress

A Self-Help Reflexology Technique for Allergies, Asthma, and Sinus Problems


Free Online Acupressure Guide

General Acupressure Points to Stay Fit

Facial Acupressure Chart


EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques)

Personal Power at Your Fingertips: Release Emotions With EFT

Heaven on Earth

EFT Tapping Procedure Chart

Dream Interpretation

I am terrible at trying to interpret my dreams. They just always seem so random and meaningless. This article talks about dreams helping us make decisions, with things like maps and signs.

"One of our greatest allies in life is our dreams. Whatever we seek to be, do or accomplish, our dreams can help us in reaching our goals.

Dreams have meaning, and when we pay attention to dreams their meaning bursts upon us in profound insights. Dreams validate the intuition, present solutions to problems, inspire creativity and bring healing. Since ancient times, dreams have been seen literally as a "hotline to God" for divine guidance in all matters of life.

When we are faced with important decisions, such as changes involving home, job and relationship, we often don't know which way to turn. We draw up lists of pros and cons, sit on the fence and second guess ourselves. Our dreams, however, cut straight through confusion with guidance that is crystal clear. Sometimes the dream guidance confirms what we already know and helps to end vacillation. Sometimes the guidance is unexpected--and we are put to a test of faith to follow it."

Dreams That Help Us Make Important Decisions

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


[NOTE REGARDING MY RELIGIOUS HOLIDAY POSTS: I do these because I want to learn about religious holidays that I am not familiar with. For that reason, I don't generally include Christian holidays because I am already familiar with them, and I don't include all Jewish holidays for the same reason.]

Today is the Jewish holiday "Shavuot" (also called Feast of Weeks). [Well technically, I think it started at sundown yesterday.]

Shavuot marks the conclusion of the 7-week counting of the Omer (beginning the 2nd day of Passover and ending on the 50th day) and the day the Torah was given at Mount Sinai. It is one of the three Biblical pilgrimage festivals mandated by the Torah.

Agriculturally, Shavuot is connected to the grain harvest and commemorates the time when the first fruits were harvested and brought to the Temple. In ancient times, the grain harvest began with the harvesting of the barley during Passover and ended with the harvesting of the wheat at Shavuot.

Unlike other Jewish holidays, Shavuot does not have prescribed mitzvot (Torah commandments) other than the traditional festival observances of abstention from work, special prayer services and holiday meals. However, it is characterized by many customs including staying up all night the first night and studying the Torah; consuming dairy products like milk and cheese; the reading of the Book of Ruth; and the decoration of homes and synagogues with greenery.

Sources/More Info:

Sunday, May 20, 2007

A new age first lady?

Wouldn't that be interesting?

Dennis Kucinich married a 6 foot tall tongue pierced new age "hippie chick" from England two years ago. In the last election, Kucinich was the candidate who most matched my values. Of course, that meant he didn't have a chance in hell.

He probably still doesn't have a chance, but I'll vote for him in the primary anyway, if he is still in it by the time West Virginia has it (I think last time he had already dropped out by that time).

Mrs. Kucinich was born and raised on the outskirts of London, where her address was "4, Dennis's Cottages, Dennis's Lane." She believes that was a clue that she was destined to marry Mr. Kucinich. I do too.

Her mother has a healing and therapy center of some sort (new age, I presume).

Can he be elected? I don't know. But aren't we supposed to be ushering in a new age about now?

Meet Democrat Dennis Kucinich's Wife: She's a New Age, Tongue-Pierced Brit

Here is his website - I really like what I have seen of him. I don't like politics, but he doesn't seem like the usual politician to me. I don't get involved in politics because of all the negative energy around it. I will not contribute to that.

I will, however, support someone who has the same ideals as I do and who goes about pursuing them in a loving and peaceful way.


“We need to find the courage to say NO to the things and people that are not serving us if we want to rediscover ourselves and live our lives with authenticity.” - Barbara De Angelis

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Mother's Day Trip 2007

Every year my mom, sister, niece and I take a trip together to celebrate Mother's Day. This year we went to Pipestem Resort. Details & photos can be found here:

Pipestem Travelogue

"As we cultivate peace and happiness in ourselves, we also nourish peace and happiness in those we love." - Thich Nhat Hanh

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Native American Burial Mound - South Charleston, WV

Click on pics to see larger version in a new window

Sunday we went to lunch in South Charleston and I decided I wanted to go up on top of the Native American burial mound, because although I probably have gone up there at some time or another, I couldn't remember doing so. And it was a beautiful day for pictures.

The Criel Mound is located in South Charleston, West Virginia. It is a conical burial mound built by the Adena culture sometime between 250 and 150 BC. There is some evidence the site was used by Native Americans as late as 1650. It was the burial ground for an Adena village. It was built between two "sacred circles", each 556 feet in diameter. It was originally 33 feet high and 173 feet in diameter at the base (the 2nd largest burial mound in WV). The mound was originally conical in shape, but the top was leveled in 1840 for the erection of a judges' stand that was used for horse races that were conducted around the base of the mound at the time.

In 1883-1884, the mound was excavated by a professor from the Smithsonian Institute. They dug in from the top. Near the top they found some human bones that they think were uncovered when the judges' stand was built. A little further down were two skeletons lying on their backs, heads facing south and feet near the center. Near the heads lay two celts, two stone hoes, one lance head, and two disks.

Further down, they found numerous other skeletons, including a burial vault containing the remains of 11 Native Americans thought to have been killed in battle. The skeletons at the base consisted of a single large skeleton at the center, surrounded by ten other skeletons arranged in a spoke-like pattern, with their feet pointing toward the central skeleton. The skeletons at the base had been wrapped in elm bark and were lying on a floor of white ash and bark. Several artifacts were found buried with the skeletons, including arrowheads, lanceheads, and shell and pottery fragments. The central skeleton was accompanied by a fish-dart, a lance-head, and a sheet of hammered native copper near the head. Holes found at the base of the mound suggest that the bodies at the base had been enclosed in a wooden vault.

The artifacts and skeleton remains are at the Smithsonian. There area where the mound is has been turned into a park, and various community activities are held there.

The mound is near the entrance to downtown South Charleston.

There are steps that wind around the mound to the top on each side.

Dave decided to take the fast way up.

At the top is a bench

The views aren't much to write home about, though. A car lot and a chemical plant

At least you can also see the downtown too

On this side of the mound is a park, that includes a fountain, some trees (including one planted by a boy scout troop in 1932) and a sculpture.

The sculpture is called "Burial Attendants", by Cubert Smith, 1979 {Smith was also one of the sculptors of a sculpture I photographed at Harris Riverfront Park and posted here recently}

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Cabin Creek Mine Wars; Mother Jones; and My Family

Yesterday I spent some time up Cabin Creek, West Virginia, with my Dad, the area where he was born and lived until he was six, and where my grandmother and grandfather grew up. And aunts and uncles, etc. My father was born in Acme. My grandmother was from Red Warrior.

Cabin Creek was a coal mining area and the West Virginia Mine Wars started right around there (Paint Creek and Cabin Creek, which are very close to one another). My grandfather is buried up Red Warrior Hollow, and we were in Red Warrior yesterday, an old coal mine camp. I knew my grandmother had lived in a tent city for a time but I thought it was during the depression. I found out yesterday that it was during the mine wars, after the miners were driven out of their homes. At night, the mine people would come by on the train and shoot at the tents. Where my grandmother slept! I didn't even realize that her father was a coal miner.

Mother Jones was involved in the labor organizing in that area and I was searching for info on Cabin Creek and the mine wars and came across a section of her biography that mentions Red Warrior.

"One day a group of men came down to Elksdale from Red Warrior Camp to ask me to come up there and speak to them. Thirty-six men came down in their shirt sleeves. They brought a mule and a buggy for me to drive in with a little miner's lad for a driver. I was to drive in the creek bed as that was the only public road and I could be arrested for trespass if I took any other. The men took the shorter and easier way along the C. and O. tracks which paralleled the creek a little way above it.

Suddenly as we were bumping along I heard a wild scream. I looked up at the tracks along which the miners were walking. I saw the men running, screaming as they went. I heard the whistle of bullets. I jumped out of the buggy and started to run up to the track. One of the boys screamed, "God! God! Mother, don't come. They'll kill …"

"Stand still," I called. "Stand where you are. I'm coming!"

When I climbed up onto the tracks I saw the boys huddled together, and around a little bend of the tracks, a machine gun and a group of gunmen.

"Oh Mother, don't come," they cried. "'let them kill us; not you!"

"I'm coming and no one is going to get killed," said I.

I walked up to the gunmen and put my hand over the muzzle of the gun. Then I just looked at those gunmen, very quiet, and said nothing. I nodded my head for the miners to pass.

"Take your hands off that gun, you hellcat !" yelled a fellow called Mayfield, crouching like a tiger to spring at me.

I kept my hand on the muzzle of the gun. "Sir," said I, "my class goes into the mines. They bring out the metal that makes this gun. This is my gun! My class melts the minerals in furnaces and roll the steel. They dig the coal that feeds furnaces. My class is not fighting you, not you. They are fighting with bare fists and empty stomachs the men who rob them and deprive their children of childhood. It is the hard-earned pay of the working class that your pay comes from. They aren't fighting you."

Several of the gunmen dropped their eyes but one fellow, this Mayfield, said, "I don't care a damn! I'm going to kill every one of them and you, too!"

I looked him full in the face. "Young man, said I, "I want to tell you that if you shoot one bullet out of this gun at those men, if you touch one of my white hairs, that creek will run with blood, and yours will be the first to crimson it. I do not want to hear the screams of these men nor to see the tears, nor feel the heartache of wives and little children. These boys have no guns! Let them pass!"

"So our blood is going to crimson the creek is it!" snarled this Mayfield.

I pointed to the high hills. "Up there in the mountain I have five hundred miners. They are marching armed to the meeting I am going to address. If you start the shooting, they will finish the game."

Mayfield's lips quivered like a tiger's deprived of its flesh.

"Advance!" he said to the miners. They came forward. I kept my hand on the gun. The miners were searched. There were no guns On them. They were allowed to pass.

I went down the side of the hill to my buggy.

The mule was chewing grass and the little lad was making a willow whistle. I drove on. That night I held my meeting.

But there weren't any five hundred armed men in the mountains. Just a few jack rabbits, perhaps, but I had scared that gang of cold blooded, hired murderers and Red Warrior camp was organized."

Her autobiography is online free here:

The part I copied is from Part II and there's more about Paint Creek and Cabin Creek on that page too in a chapter called "Victory in West Virginia"

I am going to go back and read the whole thing when I can. She was something else. I used to subscribe to Mother Jones magazine and I didn't even realize that her history intersected with my family's until now.

More on the Paint Creek/Cabin Creek mine wars:

Friday, May 04, 2007

Spring Vacation: Boone, North Carolina

Last week we traveled to Boone, North Carolina for some rest and relaxation. A travelogue with photos can be found here:

Included in the trip: Boone, Blue Ridge Parkway, Grandfather Mountain, Blowing Rock, Western North Carolina Nature Center, Asheville, North Carolina

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Wesak (Vesak)

Today is the Buddhist holiday of WESAK or VESAK. It is also called Visakah Puja; Vaishaka; Buddha Purnima; Visakha Bucha; Saga Dawa; and Buddha's Birthday or Buddha Day. It is celebrated during the first full moon of the Taurus.

Wesak is the most important of the Buddhist festivals and is celebrated on the full moon in May. It commemorates events of significance to Buddhists of all traditions: The birth, enlightenment and the passing away of Gautama Buddha. As Buddhism spread from India it was assimilated into many foreign cultures, and consequently is celebrated in many different ways all over the world.

The celebration of Wesak is a chance to remember the story of how the Buddha gained Enlightenment, and to reflect on what it might mean for individual Buddhists to move towards Enlightenment themselves. The Buddha himself instructed his followers on how to pay him homage: by truly and sincerely striving to follow his teachings.

The festival is celebrated with color and gaiety. Homes may be cleaned and decorated. Buddhists will visit their local temple for services and teaching, give offerings to the monks of food, candles and flowers, chant and pray.

The 'Bathing the Buddha' ceremony is also often included. Water is poured over the shoulders of the Buddha and serves as a reminder to purify the mind from greed, hatred and ignorance.

Gifts are taken to an altar to be offered to the Buddha statues. This shows respect and gratitude to the Buddha for his life and teachings.

Devotees are enjoined to make a special effort to refrain from killing of any kind. They are encouraged to partake of vegetarian food for the day. Birds, insects and animals are released by the thousands in what is known as a 'symbolic act to liberation'; of giving freedom to those who are in captivity, imprisoned, or tortured against their will.

Celebrating Vesak also means making special efforts to bring happiness to the unfortunate like the aged, the handicapped and the sick.


See also:


Yesterday (5/1/07) was BELTANE, a Celtic/Pagan/Wiccan holiday. Beltane marks the midpoint between the vernal equinox and summer solstice.

In modern Irish, the month of May is called Mí na Bealtaine ('month of Bealtaine'). For the Celts, Beltane marked the beginning of the pastoral summer season when livestock were driven out to the summer pastures and mountain grazing lands.

The festival began on Beltane Eve ("Oidhche Bhealtaine") with two bonfires started from 9 different woods. Domestic animals and people pass between the bonfires to eliminate disease and misfortune. In the days before electricity, the bonfire was used to light torches used to rekindle lights throughout the village. Ancient festivals customarily included sexuality, dancing around the maypole, and singing.

May Boughs may be hung on the doors and windows. May Bushes might be erected in farmyardsand decorated with flowers, ribbons, garlands and colored egg shells. Like the festival of Samhain, Beltane was seen as a time when the Otherworld was particularly close at hand.

Wiccans and Wiccan-inspired Neopagans celebrate a variation of Beltane as a sabbat, one of the 8 solar holidays the last of the 3 spring fertility festivals. Although the holiday may use features of the Gaelic Bealtaine, such as the bonfire, it bears more relation to the Germanic May Day festival, both in its significance (focusing on fertility) and its rituals (such as maypole dancing). Some Wiccans celebrate 'High Beltaine' by enacting a ritual union of the May Lord and Lady.


this one in particular has a LOT of information about the history, rituals and celebrations connected with Beltane:

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Big & Rich album teaser

"Big & Rich's upcoming album, Between Raising Hell and Amazing Grace, includes a guest appearance by rapper Wyclef Jean and a cover version of AC/DC's "You Shook Me All Night Long." The Fugees member is featured on "Please Man," a John Rich song that contains mentions of Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Kenny Rogers, Charlie Daniels and Reba McEntire. Big & Rich's album will be released June 5. "

Weekly Quote from my email sig

"There are no mistakes. The events we bring upon ourselves, no matter how unpleasant, are necessary in order to learn what we need to learn; whatever steps we take, they're necessary to reach the places we've chosen to go."

- Richard Bach