Friday, January 29, 2010


One of the surnames in my family tree is Bell. My maternal great grandmother was a Bell. I have her Bell line traced back to the early 1700's in Scotland around Edinburgh.
It is said the Bells were border reivers. They lived along the border between Scotland and England. They would rustle the english cattle and reak havock on the the english who bordered them to the south. The english gathered arms against them and eventually drove most of them from Scotland. Many,first went to Ireland before coming to the Americas, Australia and New Zealand.
Above is the Bell Tartan. X.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Fruit Garden

Added more trees last year. Also some blueberry bush's and more blackberries. The blueberries seem to be slow growing plants. Have any of you raised blueberries? Added the strawberry boxes last fall so I can transplant the berries into them this spring.Getting green thumb fever already. X.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Bogaman (Bowman, Archer, Bowmaker)

In the summer of 1995 I took a two week vacation traveling up through the Dakota's into Wyoming and Montana. I lived by myself at the time and the trip was sort of a spiritual journey for me. I had several rewarding experiences in an attempt to get in touch with my self and my inner being. One instance in particular occured at Devils Tower in Wyoming and involved a group of native american dancers. But that story will have to wait for a later post on my blog.

One of the results of that trip was the beginning of a keen interest in primitive archery and the process of making my own bows and arrows. I had been an archer and bowhunter most of my life. Bowhunting was my way of getting closer to the natural world and enjoying all that it had to offer. Especailly in this day and age when everything is becoming high tech and in many ways artificail. Sitting in a tree watching nature was my way of meditating.

I bought every book I could get a hold of on the subject. And found others who had the same passion for working with wood to produce an effecient bow. A group of us became familiar with one another on a traditional archery sight. We had a desire to meet in person and to share our knowlegde as bowyer's. We created a meeting in July which was held at a bow club in Marshal Mo. We called it MO-Jam short for Missouri bow jamboree. It is still held today at the same place around the middle of July. People come form all over the U.S. and other countries some as far as Australia and Germany. Many bring items to sell and trade. The most popular item is wooden staves of all kinds with Osage Orange being the most popular wood. We renew old friendships, share knowlegde and basically have a good time.

The pictures above were taken at a Folk Life Festival that I have attended several times. I have a friend who builds old flintlock rifles. We set up a primitive camp together and share what we know with the people who attend. X

Monday, January 25, 2010

I Get A Little 'Batty' At Times

I've always been fascinated with bats. You don't see them that often because they are nocturnal. And in the areas which have winter, they are in hibrenation during the colder months. They do man a great service by eating a ton of different insects. A bat can eat as many as a thousand mosquitos in an hours time. There lifespan can be as little as 3 years to as many as 30 years. They have their own built in sonar for detecting objects as they zoom around in the dark.

I built this bat house last spring and put it up about 12 feet in the air. It is facing the south so that it gathers more heat during the winter months, while they are in hibrenation. It is made of rough sawn cedar to allow more grip for their little clawed feet. It has two chambers and ventilation holes.

These little guys are dissappearing at an alarming rate. We should do what we can to help them survive because they play a major role in the big picture. X.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Men Do Cook. Really.

I was about 12 when my parents were divorced. I had four other younger siblings, two brothers and two sisters. Mom worked, so we were left to fend for ourselves a lot. Since I wasn't real crazy about doing dishes I wound up cooking a lot. Nothing fancy mind you, just the basics. Most of which wasn't all that healthy. Things like fried potatoes with onions, fried; eggs, bologna, hotdogs, hamburger, sausage etc.
After a while we all spent time at the stove. My sisters were probably more evolved than me and my brothers, but we all could whip up a quick meal when needed. We became pretty good at mixing up a batch of fudge or taffy to help satisfy our sweet tooth.
One of my breakfast favorites was to take a drinking glass and press it into a slice of bread to create a hole. I then buttered the skillet and tossed the bread in, then broke an egg into the center of the bread where the hole was. Instant egg sanwich. Quick way to fix breakfast and save one slice of bread.
After I divorced I found the skills I'd learned as a kid came in pretty handy. I moved on to some more involved recipes. I was more self reliant by being able to cook and not as desperate as some of the males who found themselves in my situation. So, everything considered I think having that experience as a kid has paid off for me.
Picture is of my younger brothers Guy and Chuck cooking breakfast for everyone at my mothers 80th birthday celibration. X.

Friday, January 22, 2010

An Old Biker Vet

When I went on the "Run For The Wall" in 2004 we stopped at a veterans home in one of the states on the way. They had a big celebration for us and we met a lot of the vets who were in the home. This old guy was 104 years old and had been a biker in his earlier days. A couple of us picked him up and put him on one our bikes. He started smiling ear to ear. I got a couple of great pictures of him. It made his day and ours. One of the highlights of the trip for me. X.

Dragons, Fact or Fiction?

Ancient history is full of stories of dragons. So, what do you believe? Is it possible they were real. The european version is of a winged fire breathing creature. While the chinese version is of a wingless dragon. To me the chinese have some giant lizards alive today that would sort of ad some validaty to thier dragon.

When you consider other mythic creatures like the abomidable snow man. Our country has versions of that. Even in my home state of Missouri. In the 70's there were a number of sightings along the Mississippi river and the creature was given the name of MOMo.

I am usually the skeptic, and tend to over analyze things at times. There was probably a creature that resembled the dragon at some time in the past. Perhaps, the ancient people stumbled on to it's fossils and thus began the legend. X.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

For The Lazy Gardener

I don't think I've mentioned this, but I have a lazy streak in me. I usually say that in jest, however there is some truth in it. I'm always looking for an easier way to do things. I probably would have been good as a cost cutting analyst.

I dreamed this up last summer. I thought to myself, "why should I have to bend over to plant and harvest stuff. So, I made this as an experiment. At first just started my watermelons and squash in it then transplanted them to the garden. Next I planted green beans in half then turnips in the other. They did good. I used a potting soil mix instead of dirt to cut down on the weight.

I think this spring I'll build a plexiglass cover and start a bunch of seedlings in it. I believe this would be just the ticket for the elderly or people with back issues who still wanted to garden but lacked the mobility to do so otherwise.

I took the top picture yesterday. X.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Has the World Gotten Smaller?

Have you visited some place that you had been as a child, and thought, man I sure remember this place being bigger. Or taken a trip that you hadn't been on since childhood and thought to yourself that it took much longer as a kid.
Someone is playing tricks on us, right?
I recently visited my grandparents old homeplace and found that the stairs in this photo would barely accomadate me. So, how did all those kids get on there? We must have been part of a Pixie tribe!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Hail Mary/ Hell? No! Part One of How I See It

Although the title of this post may look confusing, It makes a lot of sense to me. Hopefully I will be able to explain it as I go along. It has alot to do with my beliefs over this lifetime.

As a young child growing up in mid america I would have these strange dreams. At the time I excused them as bad dreams. I dreamed about being in a different time and place. They were usually dreams about battle and being killed. Some were about being a slave in ancient europe. When I was about 11 or so the dreams stopped. Today I tend to believe they were dreams of former lives that I have lived. No way to prove it, just a conclusion of mine. Part of the reason I have come to believe in reincarnation.

I was raised a catholic as a young man. Went to cathechism every saturday and became indoctrinated into the catholic beliefs. In my mind I rebelled against a lot of thier teachings. The parts about going to hell if you didn't follow the catholic way. And the guilt they tried to put on you for even having certain thoughts.

The prayer "Hail Mary" was one you usually had to repeat a certain number of times depending on how grevious your sin, after going to confession. Sort of a mantra.
I can see how the catholic church used Mary as a Goddess substitute when they tried converting the pagan peoples of europe and the british isles. It helped making the transition in beliefs.

I never did buy into the catholic teachings of hell and the devil. Just felt it was another one of thier ways of using fear to motivate. However, today I can see where there might be negative forces at work in the natural world just as there are positive forces.

Today I can accept all beliefs that have a positive effect on the one who believes it as long as it has no negative effect on others. All religions and beliefs have faults, after all they were created by humans,not Gods as some profess.

Monday, January 18, 2010


Hasn't been that may days ago I posted about our problem child,Reba. About noon this past saturday I noticed she wasn't her usuall self. She was shaking, kind of ruffled up and acting listless. Checked some of the symptoms with our bird book. Looked like maybe some type of respiratory problem. Parrots don't usually show any signs they are ill until it is almost to late.
Not that many Avian vets in our area and we spent 2-3 hours calling St. Louis and Kansas City, trying to find a vet or clinic we could take her to. Finally found one in Columbia who would meet us at her clinic. She was not set up to keep her there but gave us antibiotics and a soft food for administrating with a syringe. We got home about 10pm saturday night. Yesterday she finally perked up about 5 in the evening and ate a little. Today she is slightly better but still not eating enough, so we had to start feeding her with a syringe. She's not exactly user freindly. It's been a battle getting the medicine and food into her. Have to keep her warm using a heat light. Hopefully tommorow she will be better. X.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Ladies Love The Guitar Man

I've always been amazed at the way women swoon over guitar pickers. I can understand Elvis and some of the better looking ones. But some of these guys are not what most 'men' would consider to be attractive to women, but they are. Why is that? Does the guitar have something to do with it?
I asked GiGi why. She said it was probably because they were usually the main part of the act and were the lead singer.
Picture is of my two middle siblings. Charlene aka Twisted Sister #2 and Guy Patrick aka GP. X.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Better Than Sex Cake

1 box Butter or Yellow cake mix
1 pkg. (3 3/4 oz.) Instant Vanilla Pudding
8 oz. sour cream
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup water
3 eggs
1-6oz. package chocolate chips
1-4oz. package German Chocolate, grated
1/2 cup chopped nuts

Mix all ingredients except chocolate chips, grated chocolate and nuts. Add these last and Fold ino batter. Pour batter into greased and floured Bundt pan. Bake ar 350degrees for 1 hour. Cool cake about 45 minutes and remove from pan. Invert on wire rack and cool completely. Sprinkle or sift powdered sugar over top.

This is another recipe from Tip Top Cookbook. Submitted by my sister Cynthia,(twisted sister #1). Picture is of sis in earlier years. X.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


I was born with the middle name Xavier in Hannibal Missouri many moons ago. I've mentioned before that I was raised in the Catholic religion as a young man. For that reason I assumed that my middle name was given to me in respect of St. Francis Xavier. The subject never came up amoungst my family members. That's just the way I thought it was.

It seems I've spent my entire life explaining the X. I wish I had a dollar for every time someone asked me about the X.

My dad was not catholic. He went to the Christian church. I suspect that the difference in religion contributed to my parents divorce when I was 12 years old. A few years back my dad and I were traveling to Columbia Missouri for a doctors visit together. And he brought up my middle name. He said,"You know how you got that name don't you". I told him I wasn't sure but that I had always assumed it was a catholic name. He said, "No that's not where it came from". And he went on to explain that his best friend while he was in the Pacific during WWII was named Xavier. And that he had named me in honor of his friend. Talk about a surprise. Even today I think about it and am amazed that I went all that time not knowing. Just glad dad and I had that talk.

Above, myself and my Uncle Sam just being young boys! X.

Yesterdays Roadtrip

Made the trip to Iowa with the bike in good shape. You get a lot of strange looks when you travel on a bike with the landscape covered in snow and the temps hanging right at the freezing mark. Probably looked like the Michelen Man the way I was bundled up in my wool and coverals. Had to switch to my full facemask style helmut instead of the half helmut I usually wear.
People who ride bikes are much more aware of wind chill than the ones that don't. Not sure what the wind chill would be with the temperature in the 30's as your flying down the road at 60-70 miles an hour, but I'm sure it's down there in the zero range somewhere.
Stopped in Kirksville for lunch on the way. Gave me a chance to warm the body. My hands usually bother me the most, the fingers mainly. Need to add a pair of heated gloves or heated grips to my wish list for next year. Any way I got my fix in for this month and should be good to go for a few more weeks.
While at the Harley dealership, found another cap that I just had to have. I'm as bad as my grandma Buck and her collection of shoes. Baseball caps and assorted western hats are an adddiction of mine. X.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

In the wind, again!

They're calling for 42 as a high today. Almost a heat wave. I'll be headed for Chariton Iowa this morning on my bike. About a 3 hour trip one way. Need to get it in for some service work and soup the motor up. Have been having withdrawal symptoms. This should give me my midwinter Fix. X.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Angels, Fairies and Guardian Spirits

My mother is a huge Angel fan. Strongly believes in them. Has a large collection of angel statues and figures. So many that is getting harder for me to find one she doesn't have when I'm gift shopping for her.
Many different present day religions hold to the belief in Angels. Most of the earth based religions believe in Fairies and Guardian Spirits.
So, do they actually exist? If you had asked me that question thirty years ago I would have looked at you with disdain and walked off. Pissed off to boot. I didn't believe in much of anything except the law of the jungle at that time in my life. You see, they had lied to me about Santa Claus, they had lied to me about the Easter Bunny, and worst of all they had lied to me about God. I was a full blown atheist and would get angry if someone mentioned God.
What then changed my mind? A progression of events occured in my journey that caused me to believe that there is a positive loving source in our universe. For lack of a better word, for now I will call it God. Some things I read helped. One statement that said, "If you are searching for God, you have already found him". Another that said,"Who are you to say there is no God".
I have tread a very dangerous path in this life. I could not even attempt to count the times that death was just a breath away from me. Waiting to wisp me off to the otherworld.
A few years back it suddenly dawned on me. Something or someone has been protecting me. There is no other way to explain it. Call it an Angel, Fairie or Guardian Spirit or what you wish. Today I believe.
The picture above is a tattoo I have on my shoulder blade. It's a personal joke between me and my Guardian. The joke being that the tattoo is female and that my Guardian might possibly be a male or neither. Xavier

Monday, January 11, 2010

Chicken Tractor

I heard about these from a friend and looked them up on the internet. There were lots of different plans. So I made up my own drawing from some of the ideas i liked best. Started out with 6 chicks at first but cut it back to 4 once they were grown. If you like chickens but don't want a lot or don't have the space, these things work great. X.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

It's ALL relative

About the time that I became interested in geneology, National Geographics had a show on tv about 'Eve'. The mother of all the people who are alive today. They used the human gnome to show how we are all related to this one women who lived thousands of years ago in Africa. I have always leaned towards a belief in evolution. I believe that if a God can produce a world in the snap of a finger he can do it any number of ways. So why not the natural way. That makes more since to me.

Back to this 'relative' thing. Our genes hold a record of where our ancestors have been on this earth. Everytime a mutation occurs it leaves a mark on our gene code. Thus the scientists can trace our lineage by testing people who are alive today. Our genes hold a history of our particular tree.

National Geographics has a gnome project to build this worldwide tree. I joined it several years ago and had my Y Chromosomes and my Mtdna Chromosomes checked. The Y is the paternal lineage and the Mtdna is the maternal lineage. Of course I was interested in how my lineage fit into the big picture. But my main purpose was to have the dna available to check against possible connections to people who might be related to me.

As i became interested in my Celtic heritage I found through my dna, that it backs up my connection to the Celtic race. It allows me to time travel in a vague way. Hopefully it will become more concrete as more people have thier dna checked and recorded.

My interest in my Celtic Heritage led to gathering information about the customs and beliefs of these people. There is very little written history available. And a lot of information that is out there is false. But in looking at some of the symbols we know about and what beliefs that can be verified. It appears to me that a lot of the earth based beliefs and religions were formed about 40 thousand years ago, amongst the people who inhabited the land in central asia near the country of Kasakhstan. The Gnome project has shown that these people spread out to populate all of Europe, Russia, Asia, and North and South America. What brings me to this conclusion are some of the symbols and beliefs that all of these groups have in common. One would be the all seeing hand symbol which has been used by jewish people, muslim people and native americans to mention a few. Another would be the four quartered circle which carries very similar beliefs among early European,Asian and Native American cultures.

One thing is very evident to me. The earth based beliefs and 'religions' are thousands of years older than all of the modern day religions by a long shot.

Picture above is little x and twisted sister #1. The one above that is picture of a rock carving found in Alabama from prehistoric Native American site. X.

A Mindset

The only people who fear death are those with regrets.

Remember, growing old is madantory, growing up is optional.

We make a living by what we 'get'.
We make a life by what we 'give'. Anonymous


Friday, January 8, 2010

The Red Nose Institute

The Red Nose Institute is a project designed to send red foam clown noses to troops deployed anywhere overseas. The noses are meant to be shared with others who might need a smile! A note will be included in each package of noses telling who we are, what we do, why we are sending them, and especailly that we care about them!

I know what it feels like to be a young soldier half way around the world in a combat zone. The group above is trying to spread some humor to our young men overseas. Humor helps in all situations. Especailly where lives are at stake.

If you would like to help write the following address or visit their website.

The Red Nose Institute
Box 11069
Kansas City, Mo. 64119


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Boots, the chicken guardian

I shot this photo last summer as Boots was perched atop one end of the "chicken tractor". Boots showed up in the front yard last spring in terrible shape. Someone had apparently abandoned her. She was skinny with open sores over her body and was infested with the worst case of fleas I have ever seen. After several trips to the vet she slowly recovered and has become healthy again.
I built the "chicken tractor" last spring. It has wheels on one end so we can move it every day. The chickens provide fresh fertilizer to the yard and they love the fresh grass everyday. Also gave up two to three eggs every day which was a plus. X.

More Snow

Woke up this morning with 4 inches of fresh snow, 5 above zero, 20 to 30 mph winds blowing the snow into drifts. Makes you wonder how the wild critters make it through this kind of weather. X.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Black Cat/Cauldron

This black cat was perched on the overturned kettle waiting to pounce on some songbirds. But before I could get my camera, the birds flew and the cat tagged along in their direction. She showed up in our neiborhood several weeks ago. I noticed her creeping up to the patio in back several times after dark to finish off any food that Boots has left in her bowl. May have to start putting more food out to keep her from going after the songbirds. X.

A Good Day For Soup

White Chili

1 lb. Great Northern White Beans
2 Whole chicken breasts
Olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic
8 oz. chopped green chiles
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1-1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
5 cups chicken broth
1 cup white cooking wine
12 oz. grated Monterey Jack cheese
Sour cream, green onions, and black olives for garnish

Cover beans with water and 1 teaspoon baking soda; soak overnight.
Heat olive oil, saute onions and garlic until clear. Add chiles, spices and onion/garlic mixture to chicken stock, wine and beans. Simmer, covered, about 2 hours. Cover chicken with water, add a little cooking wine and boil 15-20 minutes. Cool debone and dice. Add chicken to bean mixture and simmer, adding cheese last, just to melt, not to cook. Add garnishments and serve. Hits the spot on a cold winter day. From Tip Top cookbook #1.

Picture is from grandparents wedding. Xavier

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Do your 'Bucket List' now

If you haven't seen the movie "Bucket List" with Nicholson and Morgan Freeman, I would recommend it. It is both amusing and sad. The main plot is about two men who are battling terminal cancer. They befriend each other and set out to do the things they have put off doing in life.

My Uncle Sam was only 1 year older than me. I grew up on my grandparents farm and Sam was more like an older brother than my uncle. We did everything together. As the years rolled by we went our seperate ways, but that bond was always there between us.

About two years ago he found out he had cancer. At first the prognosis was hopeful. But as time passed it became apparent that the cancer was winning it's quest to end Sam's life. We talked and he shared some of his wishes to me about a few things he wanted to do before he died. So, he began to check a few things off his "Bucket List". One was another trip through the western states. Myself and Sam and his best friend Charlie left in August of this year and traveled thru about a dozen states in an 11 day period. I'm glad we went because by October he begain to fail fast and on the sixteenth he passed to the next world.

One of the things he tried to impress on me and anyone who would listen is to do those things you desire before it gets to the stage that he was in. Something that should be on any list is to let the people, who you care about, know how much they mean to you. You might not get the chance to tell them. X.

Great Truths About life That Adults Have Learned

1. Raising teenagers is like nailing jello to a tree.

2. There is always a lot to be thankful for if you take the time to look for it. For example, I am sitting here thinking how nice it is that wrinkles don't hurt.

3. The best way to keep kids at home is to make the home a more pleasant atmosphere...and be sure to let the air out of their tires.

4. Car sickness is the feeling you get when the monthly car payment is due.

5. Families are like fudge...mostly sweet with a few nuts thrown in.

6, Todays mighty oak is just yesterday's nut that held it's ground.

7. Laughing helps. It's like jogging on the inside.

8. Middle age is when you choose your cereal for the fiber, not the toy.

9. My mind not only wanders, sometimes it leaves completley.

10. If you remain calm, it's because you don't know all the facts.

More from the Tip Top Cookbook. X.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Anyone up for a meeting in the grove?

It's been from 5 to 10 below zero for the last 3 nights here. One of my thoughts has been about beliefs that the druids would gather in the woods for thier meetings and ceremonies. Right about now the part of my brain that thinks logically and uses common sense is thinking that can't be how it was. Especailly in weather like this. Maybe when weather would permit, but it would be fatal with temperatures like this. So I'm thinking they probably had some sort of shelter in the woods for thier gatherings. What do you think? X. Just throwing out some of my random thoughts.

Problem Child

Reba is a blue and gold macaw. She is about 6 years old now. I bought her when she was 3 years old from a couple in Illinois who had raised her from a baby chick. Thier jobs had changed causing them to be away from home more. So they wanted to find her a home where she wasn't moved back and forth so much. That's where I came into her life. She wasn't to happy about it at first and it took her a while to accept her new companions. My girlfriend had two parrots of her own, an african grey and an amazon. The macaws have a powerful bite and can inflict a lot of damage when they feel threatened. I can attest to this from experience. We are good friends now however.

Reba is rather talkative and acts much like a small child at times. She will scold the other birds when they are makeing to much noice by saying "quiet, knock it off, bad bad". She greets us every morning by saying "good morning" and "hello" and " goodbye" when we come and go. Her favorite thing to do is mess with Greta, our boxer. She will say "hey greta". She usually does this when someone comes to the door or passes by outside. Greta usually becomes guard dog greta and growls and runs from the front to the back of the house. Reba has realized she can do this any time she wants whether someone is coming or not. So she messes with Greta to get her riled up. On the other hand she is very defensive of Greta and will start screaming if she thinks we are doing anything to harm Greta, such as give her medicine or check her ears. She has a good vocabulary and a lot of times will say something in context to what is happening. She almost seems like a human at times.

Parrots have a long lifespan when kept in captivity. Some live to be 50 to 60 years thus they outlive thier owners quite often. She has been a joy. However she reminds me that she is a wild animal ever so often by letting out a blood curdleing scream. X.

Sunday, January 3, 2010


Ok, who left the door to the Arctic open?

Part Pict I Be

One of my great grandparents surname was Craig. We have thier line traced back to the 1500's in northern Scotland. It is said that the Craigs were decended from the Pictish tribes of Scotland. I tend to believe this might be true as the Craigs normally have coal black hair and a dark complexion and this is how most Picts are described by historians. Not a lot is known about them. They were good artesans and left many carved stones in Scotland. They were such fierce warriors that the Romans were unable to conquer them while in the British Ilse. They usually went into battle nude with thier bodies covered in blue colored markings and tattoos. Some historians think that they came from the area of Spain originally.

Above is the pattern for the Craig Tartan. And above that is a Pictish symbol, the z rod over the double disc. Some say the z rod is a broken arrow which is a sign for death. There are several thoughts on what the double disc means. Possibly the afterlife or the moon and sun. X.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Preserved Children

1 Large field
1/2 dozen children
2 small dogs
Splash of brook
Bunch of pebbles

Mix chidren and dogs and place in field, stirring constantly. Pour the brook over the pebbles, sprinkle the field with flowers; spread over all a deep blue sky and bake in the sun. When brown, set away to cool in the bathtub. X.

Great Truths About Life That Little Children Have Learned

1. No matter how hard you try, you can't baptize cats.

2. When your mom is mad at your dad, don't let her brush your hair.

3. If your sister hits you, don't hit her back. They always catch the second person.

4. Never ask a 3 year old brother to hold a tomatoe.

5. You can't trust dogs to watch your food.

6. Puppies still have bad breath even after having a Tic Tac.

7. Never hold a dust buster and a cat at the same time.

8. You can't hide a piece of broccoli in a glass of milk.

9. Don't wear polka-dot underwear under white shorts.

10.The best place to be when you are sad is in Grandma' lap.


Friday, January 1, 2010

Superstition, Wives Tales, Folklore, Omens, Lucky and Unlucky Things

The picture above was taken new years day at our company basecamp near Dai Loc Vietnam. If you look close you will see a rosary around my neck along with my dog tags. The rosary was given to me by my grandmother, before I left for Nam. She was a devote catholic and very religious person. I was raised a catholic but did not use the rosary as it was intended. I wore it as a good luck charm, to ward off harm or injury in battle. At that time it was as important to me as my helmut and flak jacket. Warriors are very superstitious. Some of my friends had certain rituals they would go through every day. There were a number of catholics in my platoon. We would go to Mass every time we had an oppurtunity. The day after we attended a Mass one of my friends was killed in an ambush. Myself and my other catholic friends decided we wouldn't attend Mass any more and we didn't. We basically established a new superstition by not going to Mass.

I am usually skepticle about things at first, especailly if it is something new or if it has to do with someone else's experience or belief. But, more so today than in the past, I am a seeker of the truth. And try to do so with an open mind. That is why I approach this subject.

Here are but a few of the many things I came up with after doing a search on Google.
I will make a comment on some as I go along.

ACORN-To carry one brings good luck
(This probably comes from Celtic beliefs which venerate the mighty oak)
BELL-The sound is said to drive away evil spirits
(Bikers hang a spirit bell on the underside of thier motorcyle to ward off evil spirits. I have a steel plate in my leg that disputes this one. Although someone said I should have had my bell blessed.)
BIRD- If a bird comes into your house it is a sign of death.
BROOM- You should immediatly sweep out the room of an unwelcome guest to prevent thier return
CHILL-A chill up your back or goosebumps means someone is walking on your grave
(Ok, this one reinforces my belief in Reincarnation. I haven't been buried yet in this life.)
CIRCLE-If you stand inside a circle evil spirits can't harm you
(This ties into Wiccan beliefs. But there are other groups that follow this thinking also. Native Americans hold this belief. The circle is a powerful symbol and has many meanings to the earth based religions of ancient peoples.)
COWS-If a cow raises it's tail it's a sign of rain
(For us country folk it's usually a sign of something a little more fowl.)
FISH- A fish should be eaten from the head toward the tail/A fish should be eaten from the tail toward the head
(Ok, you notice this is written in opposing versions. So what do I do? I'll probably just eat the darn fish.)
GARLIC-Keeps evil spirits and vampires away
(Will probably keep friends away as well)
HORSESHOE-Should be hung with the ends pointing up, so it will catch luck
KNITTING-Knit one of your hairs into a garment to bind the person who recieves it to you
LEAF-Catch a falling leaf on the 1st day of autum and it will prevent a cold that year
MISTLETOE-Protects your house from lightning and thunder
OPALS-Should only be worn by people born in October
SCISSORS-If you drop a pair a loved one is being unfaithful
SHOES-Bad luck to leave upside down
SPARROWS-They carry the souls of the dead,unlucky to kill one
(I am in deep do-do on this one. As a child, me and my daisy air gun dispatched many a soul packin sparrow.)
VEILS-A brides veil protects her form evil spirits, who are jealous of happy people
WATERMELON-Swallow a seed and it will grow in your stomach
(Now I have a perfectly good excuse for my big belly)
WEATHER-Red sky at night, sailors delight/Red sky at morning, sailors warning
( This one you can count on, just tells it like it is.)

I think if a superstition has a positive effect on your mental well being that it is ok. However, if it is negative in nature it should be disregarded. Because negative sayings are based on fear and discrimination. X.