Thursday, December 30, 2010
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Thursday, November 25, 2010
As we all know, today is Thanksgiving Day in the United States of America. No surprise, right?
Well, in my not-so-humble opinion, a lot of you reading this would be surprised to find out how many people living in this country view Thanksgiving, myself included. You see, today is one single day that has been appointed as something special by a people that didn’t seem to have understood the very simplest thing about being Thankful. To even think that one, single day has to be appointed in order to remind folks that we should be thankful is, to me at least, an insult.
It all began, in this country, a very long time ago. It all began with one race of people thinking they were superior to another. It all began with a group of people giving thanks in a way that I will never understand.
When the Pilgrims came aground in the “New Land” in 1620 they seemed to have overlooked the fact that the land on which they wanted to settle was already inhabited. But never the less, these men, women and children stayed in makeshift shelters that they hastily built to protect themselves from the harsh winter in what is now New England.
In order to survive the first few weeks, they explored and found “artificial mounds” in which they began to dig. You would think that once they discovered these “mounds” were actually graves of the Native People of the area they would have stopped, but the Pilgrims continued to dig and finally exhumed the offerings of Maize (corn) that had been left behind. They also found several Native built structures from which the inhabitants had run away; from those houses they STOLE more corn and various types of beans.
Then they gave thanks to God for the food that they had "found". (To me this is hypocrisy. To steal from others, be they dead or alive, and then give thanks to God for "blessing" you with the very things that you stole is beyond my comprehension.)
Thus it all began. The White People stepped foot on this land and one of the very first things they did was steal from the Peoples that were already here, both the living and the dead. Do I see a theme developing??
Anyway, shortly thereafter the Pilgrims became ill and more than half of them died that first winter. There were several encounters with Native Peoples during this time. Several times the Pilgrims were fired upon by Natives who had already had some bad experiences with the White People.
(History fact unknown to many: The local people were already familiar with the English, who had intermittently visited the area for fishing and trade before the Mayflower arrived. In the Cape Cod area, relations were poor following a visit several years earlier by Thomas Hunt. Hunt kidnapped twenty people from Patuxet (the place that would become New Plymouth) and another seven from Nausett, and he attempted to sell them as slaves in Europe. Source : Wikipedia)
An ally among the Native People came forward. A Patuxet Native by the name of Tisquantum, now known as Squanto, helped the Pilgrims recover from the bitter and deadly winter they had just survived. Although Tisquantum had been kidnapped by Thomas Hunt for the purpose of being sold into slavery, then rescued by the Monks, thus learning the English language, and had, upon his return to his homeland, found that his People had been wiped out by disease that had been spread by the English, he still found it in his heart to help the settlers. (This very fact makes him a better person than I will ever be.)
Because of his assistance, the Pilgrims were able to not only survive, but to prosper. In 1621 the Pilgrims held a three day feast to celebrate their first successful harvest in the “New World” and to give thanks to God for all of their blessings.
Without the help of Tisquantum, who became the guide and translator for the settlers, the Pilgrims would never have survived. Tisquantum helped them not only learn how to plant, fertilize and harvest the foods that allowed to to feed themselves, but he was also the main reason for the peace between the settlers and the Wampanoag People that lasted for 50 years after his death.
Now, the fact that there was, historically, peace between the two groups for 50 or so years does NOT mean that there were no problems between the settlers and the Native Peoples of the “New World.” There were.
Now that I have given you a brief (or maybe not so brief) history lesson, let me point out a few things.
In return for the assistance the Pilgrims received from the Peoples of this land, their descendants gave assistance in return. They assisted the Peoples by giving them blankets that had been used by victims of smallpox, thus “assisting” the Natives in decreasing their population. They assisted by taking “unsettled” land, thus forcing the Native Peoples to either flee or fight. They assisted by destroying, raping and burning. They assisted by lying, stealing, cheating and murdering. They assisted by destroying the very land they “settled”. All the while, they observed a “day” of Thanksgiving each year.
For the Native Peoples of this land, Thanksgiving is not a noun. It is a verb. Thanksgiving is not a day, it is a concept. The Peoples of this land hold the idea of giving Thanks as a sacred ideal. Every day is a reason for Thanksgiving.
So, as you enjoy your football games, as you complain about how stuffed you are from the turkey, stuffing and gravy, as you enjoy the warmth and comfort of your family and friends, please find time to try one new thing. Try to realize that today is nothing special. It is a LEGAL Holiday, it is a day off of work, a day for friends and family. Thanksgiving, however, is what each and every one of us should do as soon as we wake in the morning. It is something that we should do whenever we see our children, our friends, our family.
Thanksgiving is a way of life. It is NOT a single day to stuff our faces with food and our heads with some mindless game.
Have a blessed day. And remember, I am thankful for each one of you. I am thankful that you allow me to share my opinions with you, that you allow me to rant and rave. I am especially thankful that each and every one of you are alive and well on this not-so-special holiday.
Dodadagohvi (Cherokee (when speaking to many) meaning "Let's see one another again, soon")
Friday, November 5, 2010
Okay, enough of that. I am in a reflective mood today and I was starting to sound like a stoned philosophy student. Sorry about that, it’s just the way Autumn affects me. I am one of those people that truly understand why they call it Fall…..I fall into a funk every year at this time and I never seem to climb out until after Thanksgiving. Thank God I’m not a Turkey, I’d really be screwed then.
So, it’s obviously turning colder. The days still seem to hold the promise of warmth and sunshine, but the nights show the true bitter heart of Autumn. I do admit that I find the first frost of the year to be beautiful, the way it makes everything shimmer and shine. But that beauty wears off almost as quickly as the frost melts, because I know that one morning soon I will look outside and instead of frost I’ll see snow.
Yes Folks, that awful four-letter word has been uttered. Now I realize that there are those of you who, for whatever reason, really enjoy the Winter and all that comes with it. But I am not one of you. Personally I believe that anyone that professes to enjoy Winter should have their heads “shrunk” by the best Psychiatrist available, but to each their own I guess. The only thing I’m sure of is that I hate the prospect of the coming snow and all the bitter cold dampness that comes with it. Not to mention the ice storms, lack of electricity, colds, flu and just general “brrrrrr” things that are lurking just around the corner.
I will admit that some years Autumn proves to be the most beautiful of our West Virginia seasons, although I don’t think this has proven to be one of those years. Mother Nature dresses her lovely mountains in jewels of maple red and oak gold with trim of dark cedar and pine. Then the vindictive bitch sends cold northern winds to rip and tear the glorious colors away until there is nothing left but dull gray trees that moan and cry in the wind. Let’s hear it for Mother Nature.
Well, I guess I’m done bitching and whining about the change of season and weather. So here are a few pictures for you to enjoy and maybe find some beauty in.
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Right now I have a favorite subject as well as a favorite effect. I'm sort of stuck on nature photos, namely the woods that surround those of us that are lucky (cursed?) enough to live in Calhoun County WV. I'm also loving taking photos of any water that shows reflections of it's surroundings.
Anyway, here are a few of the many photos that I have taken recently. Hope you enjoy looking at them, and please, if you get some pleasure from viewing these photos, leave me a comment and let me know. (It gets really depressing when I go to all of the trouble of posting this stuff and no one seems to notice.)
The following pictures were taken in a hollow close to my friend Esther's home. We went for a walk and I saw some things that I thought were beautiful, so I took the pictures.
The first picture in each set is the original picture. The second picture is the one that I have added the effects. I personally like the "soft" look of these pictures, I find them much more interesting than the originals.
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Anyway, it's almost 5 am and I haven't been asleep yet. Why? Well, something has been eating at me for a few days now and the more I think about it the worse I feel, so I decided to sit here and vent for a little bit. So be warned, it's going to be one of those post. (If you read this blog very often you know what I mean)
So, there is this person that I've known for a while, and I like this person (I'm going to refer to this person as "friend 1" for this rant, and I'm going to refer to them as her or she, but that doesn't necessarily mean it really is a woman). I had a lot of respect for her, even though I don't always agree with her thoughts or ideas. But something happened here lately that has caused me to loose bunches of respect for her, and actually question whether or not I really know this person.
Let me sit the situation up for you, it will make it easier to explain that way. We have a good friend in common, actually we have quite a few friends in common but that is neither here nor there. The mutual friend that I'm referring to here is someone that we both love and respect, or at least I thought both of us respected her. Anyway, the mutual friend may be in a situation that could get messy, but that's neither here nor there, and I'm not about to explain any farther because it's none of my business, let alone business of anyone who may be reading this.
Now, before I go on, let me explain a few things about our mutual friend. She is a kind, loving person who is one of the most empathetic people that I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. She will go out of her way to help anyone that needs help, be that by feeding them, giving them something they need or simply listening to their problems. She has the biggest, softest heart of anyone I know and it's impossible not to love her if you ever get the privilege of meeting her. She is also one of the toughest people I've ever met. She would face down a rabid bear in order to protect someone (or something) that she cares for. She has defended "friend 1" time and time again.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
You may have noticed that the title of this post is "Music, Mean and Mean People".....odd correct? Definitely NOT my usual stuff, but shit happens and we must all learn to make fertilizer at one point or another.
So onward my twisted little buddies, lets see what dark, angry things we can meet on the way.
MUSIC.....awwww, the music makes MY life worth living! If I DON'T listen to or play something every day I become a real grump. I don't like to go through a day without music, and I WILL NOT go more than a couple of days without it. I enjoy music more than food, and you all know how I feel about food!!! But today I'm listening to some songs that seem to all have the same theme running through them......what theme is that you ask? Well, it's sort of a F*ck off and Die thing going on! Songs like Takin' off this Pain, Let's try Goodbye, and Pain seem to be the ones that reach me the best. Of course, Takin' Off This Pain is about a woman ready to leave her marriage (the pain is her wedding ring) and I'm not married, and I don't believe I'm going to lose my mind and enter into "wedding bliss" (read HELL) anytime soon. But I'm sure y'all understand what I mean, the songs that are appealing to me are all songs that pretty much say "This isn't working out and I'm going to find something else to do". WHAT isn't working out you may ask.....well, quite frankly it's not anyone's damn business what isn't working out and I'm not here to discuss what, I'm here to discuss the ins and outs of....oh who cares?? It's my blog and I'll talk about whatever I feel like talking about!! Yes, this is me working myself up to a real temper tamtrum, and folks, before it's all over with it won't be pretty!!
But enough of that...back to the music thing, I've been listening to a BUNCH of music today and I've noticed that there aren't many "Love has gone right and it's all hearts and flowers" songs coming out anymore! Is that because we have all become cynical or do we just not give a crap anymore? For myself, I'm cynical, I've been handed enough crap in the recent past to put Solar Environmental Corp out of business. (For those of you that DON'T know, Solar Eviromental Corp sells "organic" fertilizer aka feces!) Now, unlike the old saying "When life hands you lemons, make lemonade" which leaves you smelling fresh and clean like lemons, when life hands you (throws at you, shoots at you, drops on your head) enough crap and you try to make fertilizer there's only one thing you end up smelling like, and believe me it's NOT lemons! And it's DEFINITELY NOT a clean smell! Hence, crap = cynasism! I AM CYNICAL!
I DON'T BELIEVE IN LOVE....well, not love between two people that will ALWAYS be there! If you are with someone there will be times you definetly DON'T love him....there will be times when you don't even LIKE him. And I'm sure it's the same for you men, but I'm NOT one of you so I can't begin to pretend to know what goes on in your empty (opps did I say that)heads let alone what goes on in your little black hearts! Now before any of you male readers shut down because of the last statement, let me explain something to you...I KNOW there are good men out there, I KNOW that men love just like women do, I KNOW that not every man is an asshole......I ALSO KNOW I HAVEN'T MET MANY OF THOSE MEN!
I DO believe that a person can love another person, I just DON'T believe that it's all sugar and spice and everything nice that we've been brainwashed into believing! I believe that LOVE, real love, the thing that can and does keep people together for 50 years or more, that LOVE is a JOB!! It doesn't just happen, it's work. That thing that we confuse with LOVE, that "just happens" crap, that's attraction, and attraction CAN and DOES lead to LOVE, but kiddies, it's NOT Love! The songs on the radio, the sitcoms and the movies on TV, they teach us that it's something that happens...that you just LOVE someone, but that's bullshit!
So all of the above explain why I'm attracted to the F-off and die music! LOL Twisted, right?
Now for subject number two......MEN! I suppose I could just say read the above and you'll understand, but there is soooooo much more than that to it! I'm not actually down on men, I LIKE men, honest, I do. I like to talk to them, I like to look at them, I even like to touch one now and again. What I DON'T like to do is excuse their behavior just BECAUSE they are men! That's a cop-out and it sucks! It devalues men.
Look ladies (and I'm using that term loosely) men are people too! Yes, that's what I said, MEN ARE PEOPLE TOO, they are human, they make mistakes, they get confused, they get angry, sad, horny, hungry.....JUST LIKE WE WOMEN DO!!! Hell, most men don't know what they want anymore than we women do!!! To tell you the truth, with only a few exceptions, I like men BETTER THAN I LIKE MOST WOMEN!! Women can be hateful, cold, abusive creatures that make a badger look like a hamster. But that's another subject.........
Most of the hurts in my life can be traced back to a man.....not the same man, but a male none the less. And did you notice I said MOST of the hurts in my life??? Believe me, I have been hurt by women as well, it's just a different type of hurt. Men seem to be able to do things that leave me bewildered, confused, hurt and really, REALLY, REALLY pissed off!
And what pisses me off worse is that IF I complain to another female I hear things like "What do you expect, he's a man" or "They are ALL like that"!!!!
BULLSHIT, BULLSHIT, BULLSHIT!!!! That's just an excuse!!
The reason men do what they do and act like they act is simple.....WE WOMEN ALLOW AND EVEN ENCOURAGE IT!!!!!
Yes, I said that! I said it's OUR FAULT!! We raise our sons to think a certain way, act a certain way. We expect things from them that we don't expect from our daughters, we tell them "Act like a man"!!
We complain about men and then we tell our young sons to ACT LIKE A MAN????? That's like hitting a dog with a rolled up newspaper because he piddled on the floor and then teaching him to piddle on the floor! IT MAKES NO SENSE!!!
I raised two sons. Both of them can be assholes.....but it's not because they are male, it's because I'm their mother and was their role model.....and NOT always a good one!! They are just like me, they have a temper, they are sarcastic, they can and are mouthy a lot of the time.....THEY ARE HUMANS!! And as humans they have faults and things that drive their wives crazy....but so what?? It's not just because they are MEN!!
I will admit though that men and women think differently. They process things differently and they look at things differently. JUST LIKE GOD CREATED US TO DO!! But none of that is the same as saying "He's a man what do you expect?"
Okay, enough of that! I'm tired of MEN....yes I said it, I'm TIRED of men!
Have you seen any angry, scary creatures on our journey yet?? No?? Just wait, it's not over!
Now for the final subject of the day....MEAN PEOPLE!
It's pretty easy to state my feelings on the subject....I HATE MEAN PEOPLE AND THINK THAT THEY SHOULD ALL BE PUT IN STOCKS AND ROTTEN FRUIT (and maybe a few stones) THROWN AT THEM!!
By mean people I mean those of you who sit around and purposely tell lies about other people to ruin their good name (you know who you are.....and so do I), and the ones that just don't give a shit if they cause you harm, and the ones that will abuse a defenseless animal, and most especially the ones of you that are physically, mentally and sexually abusive to other human beings, be they your husband, your wife, your girlfriend, your boyfriend, your child, or someone else's child. I HATE ABUSIVE PEOPLE THE MOST!
Abusive people aren't strong, they are little, weak, scared idiots that don't have enough sense to stand up and act like an adult. They are too lazy to actually work at a relationship, they would rather try to force someone to love them.
ABUSIVE PEOPLE SUCK!! Mean people in general suck, but abusive people suck harder, and not in a good way!
I've been having some unwanted experience with mean people, and I know someone else that is having some unwanted experience with abusive people. Neither of us deserve what we are expected to put up with.
The difference is I am NOT AFRAID to tell the liars and sneaks that I don't care what they think, and that maybe they should look in the mirror before they start talking about others, because there is plenty in their life that could be a tat embarrassing!! I'm not afraid to tell em to kiss my ass, AFTER they sterelize their lips!!
The other person just hasn't reached the point where they can stand up. They haven't reached the point where they can take control of their own life. And the fact that they are going through what they are going through is enough to piss off the best of us and make us want to kick her ass, but the fact of the matter is. WE CAN'T FIX IT!
We can ONLY fix ourselves.
Okay, I'm done. Have a good evening kiddies, and remember, keep the night light on because the monster under the bed is real and he is getting REALLY PISSED OFF about all the noise you make in your sleep!!
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
But today I'm going to DO something! LOL Well, I have PLANS to do something, whether or not it gets done is a totally different story, but I DO have good intentions. (yeah, I know, the road to Hell is paved with good intentions.....well, it HAS been hot, just not that hot!)
I'm going to clean and re-arrange my kitchen today. There I said it! Now I just need to DO it! You see, I have an ant problem. I have had an ant problem since the ground thawed out and the little buggers began crawling around. I have tried EVERYTHING, well, everything except an Anteater, and that's ONLY because I don't know where to get an Anteater, (if any of you out there happen to have one laying around gathering dust, please send it my way!!) and nothing has worked. I mean NOTHING!!
It's not those big black ants that are driving me to distraction.....it's those little biting things that have invaded my home. They are not only in the kitchen, the computer room and the bathroom, they are now trooping towards the bedroom. I just don't get it, I mean, I can understand them being interested in the kitchen, there are all kinds of goodies in there, but the bedroom???? There is nothing, and I repeat NOTHING, in my bedroom that any self-respecting ant would have even a glimmer of interest in! At this point in my life there isn't anything in my bedroom that I'M interested in! So I don't understand the ants sudden interest in my bedroom. (Maybe they know something I don't know? It's either that or they figure since I'm not using it to it's fullest extent they should step in and take over???)
Anyway, for whatever reason, the ants are taking over my house and I AM going to do something about it. (Maybe move?) I hate to use poisons, I have WAY too many little furry creatures to risk too much of that crap. And the Boric acid around the windows etc. hasn't worked. Even the outside sprinkle around the foundation stuff hasn't stopped these little invaders. I'm just not sure what else to do, but I'll try any suggestions that y'all may have.
I just don't want to wake up one morning tied up and staked out like Gulliver with thousands of little ants pacing around me trying to figure out exactly what I am and what they should do about me.
Maybe I should just plant a white flag in the middle of the house and try to get them to sign a truce??
Thursday, July 8, 2010
So, Summer is OFFICIALLY here!! LOL
It was awfully hot yesterday.....hazy and muggy. But I was lucky enough to get to fulfill a dream I've had for over 10 years!! I got to go to the MOUNTAINS!!!!!
I've wanted to go up there for years and I've had people promise to take me, but until yesterday I was repeatedly disappointed. When I first got a glimpse of the hazy, blue mountains in the distance I actually cried. (How silly is that?? But it reminds me of HOME so much that I was almost paralyzed with joy!)
We tried to do as much as we could for a day trip, and believe me I think we did very well!
First off, after the crying jag that is, we stopped at Bowden Fish Hatchery. There were so many trout in every size you could imagine!! I know it doesn't sound like something most people would enjoy, but I LOVED it!!
It's not that easy to get pictures under those conditions using my little old camera, but I don't think I did too bad.
The GOLDEN TROUT are my favorite! The are sooooo beautiful (for fish) and they don't seem as shy as the Rainbow or Brook trout!
It was so much fun to watch these fish. I know that sounds weird, but it was relaxing and invigorating at the same time. The little ones, especially the Goldens, were jumping out of the water and acting, well like children! LOL Some of the little Rainbows would actually skim across the water, it almost looked like someone skipping a stone across the surface of the water. I loved it, I could go back every day and I don't believe I'd get tired of it.
Next we went to Seneca Rock. It was getting hotter by then and it was still so hazy. But I got to look at the Rocks through the binoculars and I did get a few pictures (although they aren't the best, but you can see the outline of the rocks.)
I didn't know that the U.S. Army used the rocks to train some of our soldiers! If it had been me, I would still be locked up in a stockade somewhere....there is NO WAY you could get me to climb those rocks!
While we were at Seneca Rocks, we walked down to the river. There hasn't been much rain in good old West Virginia this year, so the water was low. We walked a little ways down stream and I got some pretty pictures. We also seen some native Brook Trout in a deeper hole of water, but I didn't get a picture of them.
A view of the walk bridge that shows how low the water is this year.
While at Seneca Rocks discovery center, we decided to visit the Sites Homestead and Heritage Garden. Unfortunately they weren't open, but we walked around the area, looking at the gardens and even looking through the windows of the house. It was cool! I want to go back so that we can go through the house because if it's anything like what we were able to see it will be awesome!
The Sites Homestead was built in 1839 by James Sites. It was a typical of the homes built by German Settlers in the North Fork Valley. As the family prospered the house grew, expanding to a two-story frame building in sometime in the 1860's or 70's. Four generations of the Sites family called this house their home. It was abandoned around 1950 and used to store hay. In 1968 the Forest Service bought the property. By the early 1980's the house had been vandalized and was falling to ruin, the decision was made to demolish the structure. But the community and family members rallied around a proposal to restore the old home. It was rehabilitated and opened to the public in 1991.
Anyway.....once we left Seneca Rocks, we decided to go to Smoke Hole Caverns. Believe me, the cool damp air in the caverns was a wonderful break from the hot, humid weather. I got some good pictures!
The entrance to the caverns. Boy could you ever feel the cool air coming out of there!!
We enjoyed the caverns, it takes 45 minutes to take the tour, it's 2/3 of a mile underground. It was nice and cool in there, and it felt really hot when we got out of the cavern into the blazing sun!
HISTORY LESSON: (from http://theintermountain.com/page/content.detail/id/504979.html)
"Smoke Hole Caverns formed more than 200 million years ago being carved out by an underground stream. It served as a place for the Seneca Indians to cure meat in the early days, which is how the caverns got its name. Passing settlers frequently saw the smoke billowing out of the top of the mountain, giving rise to the name of Smoke Hole. During the Civil War, the caverns served as a shelter for Union or Confederate soldiers. It gave weary soldiers a protected resting stop and a perfect place to store ammunition. While the cave was being prepared for commercial use during the 1930s, an old ammunition chest was discovered. Moonshiners hid their stills in the cavern’s darkness during the Prohibition era, and one that was abandoned prior to the arrival by Revenue Agents still greets visitors at the entrance to the cavern tour today. The caverns opened to commercial visitors in May 1942."
After the caverns we decided to go to Blackstone Falls. It was a wonderful sight to see all of that water drop 57 feet to the pool underneath! Although the water level is low, it was still a sight!
My last view of the falls.
After leaving Blackwater we had one more stop to make. Just outside of Thomas, WV, on 219 about 5 miles out, just where you cross the top of Backbone Mountain, sits huge wind turbines. These turbines produce electricity for the surrounding area. There are some people that have a problem with them, but once we had stopped and got out, walking around for a better view and hearing the sound they make, I realized that this is one of the smarter things West Virginia has done. No black coal smoke, no polluted streams.....just some windmills (I believe that there are 9 or 10 of them) sitting on the ridge turning gently in the breeze and sounding like the wind.
Anyway...that's just my outlook.
Here's a few pictures of the wind turbines.
A view of most of the wind turbines.
Here are a few random pictures to give you an idea of how hazy it was all day and to show you some of the beauty of West Virginia.
All in all it was the MOST amazing day in my recent memory!! I'll never forget my first trip to the mountains of West Virginia!!
Well y'all, I'm out of here!!
Have a wonderful week!!