CBD Living Energy Shots

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This is a collaboration with CBD Living. All opinions are my own.

I’ve enjoyed and benefitted from CBD Living products. Their bottled living water, infused with CBD, is amazing. (See my review HERE.)

Their product line continues to expand and includes health boosting items for people and pets. From gummies to tinctures to roll on pain relief to lotions and hand sanitizer, CBD Living has you covered.

CBD Living energy shots appeared on their fall line up. I’m excited to share about them after giving the shots a try.

CBD Living Energy Shots title meme

The Benefits of CBD

CBD is not the same as THC, the psychoactive compound known for producing mind altering effects. You don’t get high from CBD. Instead, this component of cannabis acts as an anti-inflammatory, anticonvulsant and antioxidant.

Health benefits of CBD include:

  • Reduces anxiety and may be effective for people with social anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder and post traumatic stress disorder.
  • Helps to fight cancer by inhibiting cancer cell migration and invasion.
  • Treats neurological disorders such as epilepsy. Early studies show that CBD may be promising for treating resistant seizures. Other benefits include increased alertness, better mood and improved sleep.
  • Promotes cardiovascular health and lowers the risk of diabetes.
  • Relieves pain and inflammation, which is the most common reason for CBD use. It is proving especially helpful for chronic pain and inflammation.
CBD Living Energy Shots box
CBD Living Energy Shots – box of 12

The Company

Established in 2013, CBD Living is headquartered in Corona, California. The company uses only 100% organic hemp sourced from state-licensed farms in Oregon and Colorado

The secret to their superior products, according to their website, lies in the use of nanotechnology that reduces CBD into nano-sized droplets, without the use of emulsifiers. This technique allows the CBD to immediately penetrate the body’s cells, giving increased bioavailability at the cellular level with no waiting.

CBD Living pays above market rates to their extractors and manufacturers. Their products are all fair trade and never tested on animals.

CBD Living Energy Shots
CBD Living Energy Shots

CBD Living Energy Shots

These mixed berry shots energize, focus and relax. Made with purified water, each 2 oz shot delivers 200 mg of caffeine and 30 mg of nano CBD.

The shots are sugar free, THC free and contain 100% organic hemp.

And they are easy to use.

Drink half a bottle or a whole one, not to exceed 2 bottles in a 24 hour period.

Refrigeration is not required. Discard any remaining product within 72 hours of opening the container.

Do not use the shots if pregnant, nursing or under the age of 18.

And do not use in combination with other products containing caffeine. Excessive caffeine intake may cause nervousness, anxiety, occasional rapid heartbeat or sleeplessness.

CBD Living Energy Shots glass
CBD Living Energy Shots – in a shot glass

My Experience with CBD Living Energy Shots

I appreciate the energy shots. And I had the perfect opportunity for experiencing their benefits.

My new granddaughter, Finley Grace, arrived last week. I am so grateful for her safe delivery. She is a beautiful, healthy baby girl.

Her delivery process began on Tuesday evening, with the birth taking place Wednesday night. Due to COVID, for the first time I could not wait at the hospital for the arrival of a grandchild. However, I kept vigil from home.

Naturally, I didn’t sleep. I was too excited. When tiredness crept in though, I’d drink half a bottle of the CBD Living energy shot. In all I consumed 1 1/2 of the little bottles in a 24 hour period.

The taste is perfect. Since embracing a plant based, low sugar lifestyle, I don’t like sweet drinks. The shots contain zero sugar. The mixed berry extract creates a delicious juice with a slightly tart flavor that I loved.

And this is how I described the almost immediate effect of the shots, to my daughter. I felt energized and yet calm. I did not experience an increased heart rate or jitteriness or anxiety. My ability to focus increased. And yet I felt very relaxed.

I also did not experience a crash later, which I appreciated very much. In fact, I didn’t feel any lingering after effects at all. And as a bonus, my body stayed pain free, in spite of passing the hours waiting for news hunched over a laptop or cell phone.

CBD Living Energy Shots close up
These shots taste delicious.

Purchasing CBD Living Energy Shots

Purchase your energy shots through the company website.

And do yourself a huge favor. Check out their many, MANY products and give them a try. I’m looking forward to sampling the Orange Grapefruit Sparkling Water and the assortment of loose leaf teas!

Plus I’m excited about the Travel Bundle with travel sized versions of their most popular products. It’s a great way to feel my absolute best while exploring the world.

What product do you want to try?

CBD Living Energy Shots bottle
Energized…and calm.

 

 

 

 

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Fun Irish Phrases and What They Mean

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While visiting Dublin, Ireland in 2017 I enjoyed the people I encountered. From the tour bus drivers to waiters in cafés to people we chatted with in pubs, all were friendly and playful. And what is it, to Americans, that so delights us? Those charming accents and words and phrases common to their language but unique to us.

My mother, sisters and niece accompanied me on this trip, a magnificent girls’ trip across the UK. We agreed that the Irish hold a special place in our hearts. My mother’s family comes from Ireland, so perhaps it’s a familial connection. Or perhaps it’s that they don’t know a stranger. We felt very welcomed and embraced in Dublin.

Check out these fun Irish phrases and what they mean and then try them out on your next trip to the Emerald Isle.

Fun Irish Phrases and What They Mean title meme

Irish Words We’ve Adopted

Some Irish words are common to the English language. We’ve adopted them. Slew, meaning a large number, comes from the Irish word slaugh, which means a host. Trousers comes from the Irish trius. Galore is adapted from go leor, meaning plenty or enough.

The Irish gave us bog, which they pronounce bug. And we get whiskey from the Irish phrase uisce beatha, which means “water of life”.  Buddy came from the Irish bhodaigh, meaning pal. And slogan originated from a word used by Irish clans in the 1670s, sluagh-ghairm, which is a battle shout.

The fun word smithereens is a gift from the Irish, from their word smidrin with the “een” diminutive added. It means a small fragment.

And do you know how we got the word boycott? It comes from Ireland’s history.

In 1880, an uncaring County Mayo land agent named Captain Boycott refused requests to reduce rents after a bad harvest. His aggrieved tenants responded by refusing to bring in the harvests. From that time on, boycott refers to shunning people, organizations or countries that do not respect human rights.

Fun Irish Phrases and What They Mean temple bar area
Fun Irish Phrases and What They Mean – people enjoying the Temple Bar area

Fun Irish Phrases and What They Mean

Pubs truly are the heart and soul of Ireland’s cities, towns and villages. Visit them and enjoy listening to lively stories and discussions. The Irish sprinkle their conversations with sayings that are common to them and play with the English language. Now you’ll know what they mean.

Acting the Maggot

This phrase means you are probably up to no good or getting into mischief.

Oul Fella or Oul Wan

If you hear someone talking about her oul fella or her oul wan, she is referring to her father or her mother, respectively. I think I might start calling my mom oul wan!

Fluthered

When someone is fluthered, he is very, very drunk!

Happy Out

When you are content in your current surroundings, you are happy out.

Fun Phrases and What They Mean shopping
Fun Irish Phrases and What They Mean – Happy out shoppers in Dublin.

Donkey Years

When the phrase donkey years pops up, it refers to a lot of years.

Any Use?

This questions is the equivalent of asking, “Was it good?”

The Jacks

This phrase refers to the bathroom. “Where are the jacks?” “Aye, down the stairs.” In Irish pubs and restaurants, it seems all the jacks are up a flight of stairs or down one.

Arseways

One of my favorites, if something isn’t done the right way, it is arseways. In case you don’t know, arse means ass.

Fun Irish Phrases and What They Mean
Fun Irish Phrases and What They Mean – on our way to the jacks, while visiting a pub

Go Way Outta That

This fun phrase is an expression of disbelief. It can also be used as a refusal to a request.

Sure Look It

This phrase is very common and often attached to the end of a sentence.  It means carry on or let’s get on with it. A similar phrase, sure listen, means the same. It does NOT mean “listen to me”.

Ara

Used more in rural Ireland, ara comes before your name if someone doesn’t believe you or feels surprised or disappointed by you.

The Craic was 90

Heard frequently in pubs, this phrase means the atmosphere and fun were excellent.

Fun Irish Phrases and What They Mean temple bar
Fun Irish Phrases and What They Mean – the craic was 90 in all the pubs we visited!

I Will Yeah

This one makes me laugh. It’s said when a person has no intention of doing what she’s just been asked to do.

A Bag of Tayto

This is a bag of crisps…or what we call chips.

Will You Have a Mineral?

You might get asked this in a pub or café. It means, “Will you have a soft drink?” “And a bag of tayto?” Now you know how to answer!

Great Drying Out

When the weather clears up this phrase means it’s a great day to dry clothes on the line.

Fun Irish Phrases and What They Mean River Liffey
Fun Irish Phrases and What They Mean – all of our days in Dublin were great drying out days, weather wise.

Feck Off or What the Feck

You might easily guess the equivalent of these phrases. Replace the “e” with a “u” in  feck and you’ve got it. We heard feckin’ frequently too, placed before any word!

I’m Going on the Gargle

When you do this, you are headed out for drinks and might not be back…for days.

Dooter

A dooter is a short, or wee, walk.

Aye and Naw

Aye is yes and naw is no for the Irish. Confusingly, the word yes means hello!

Eejit

Used affectionately, an eejit describes someone who isn’t very bright.

Fun Irish Phrases and What They Mean swans
Fun Irish Phrases and What They Mean – we enjoyed a dooter through Stephens Green.

Which Phrase is Your Favorite?

Did you learn new phrases to try out? Which one is your favorite?

I hope, when travel restrictions ease, that you add Ireland to your “must visit list”. While there, listen and join in conversations and get to know the lovely and fun Irish people. Visit pubs and cafés and walk the streets and parks. Ride the hop on/hop off buses and delight in the guides, who speak with such love and passion for their cities.

And if you are going on the gargle, let me know!

Fun Irish Phrases and What They Mean lunch
Fun Irish Phrases and What They Mean – our first meal in Dublin.

Another Fun Post

If you enjoyed this post, check out Fun British Phrases and What They Mean.

 


 

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Ghost Stories from Joplin

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What fun during October, to share ghost stories from some of the most amazing cities in the world. Dublin, Venice, Edinburgh and London, with their long and oft times intense histories, are considered paranormal hot spots.

I’m ending the series with my own hometown. While Joplin, Missouri does not have the ancient history, it certainly has an interesting past. The truth is, of course, that ALL cities, towns, communities and even houses, have histories and stories. And some of those stories veer sharply into the dark side.

The five ghost stories from Joplin are a mere sample of the hauntings in this area. I’ve included these because I have personal experiences with each one.

Ghost Stories from Joplin title meme

Joplin the Mining Town

Tucked into the southwest corner of Missouri, Joplin began as a mining town. After the discovery of lead, prior to the Civil War, mining camps sprang up in the area. By 1871, John C Cox filed a city plan and named the community Joplin after the earliest known settler.

Because the nearest sheriff resided in Carthage, about 15 miles away, lawlessness flourished in Joplin, along with saloons and brothels. In fact, this historic time is referred to as the “Reign of Terror”. Zinc became the primary mineral mined and railroads connected this booming town to other markets, making it a hub for the area and the lead and zinc mining capital of the world.

Construction focused primarily on Main Street with fine homes clustered in surrounding neighborhoods. Stores, bars and hotels lined Main Street. The three story House of Lords became Joplin’s most famous saloon, with a bar and restaurant on the first floor, gambling on the second and a brothel on the top floor. Secret tunnels connected several downtown businesses with the House of Lords, so that Joplin’s wealthy patrons could enter the building discreetly.

Although no longer a mining town, approximately 75% of Joplin is undermined with mine shafts up to 100 feet deep. These tunnels beneath the city are flooded and sealed, however, they contribute, I believe, to Joplin’s paranormal activity.

Ghost Stories from Joplin The Connor Hotel
Ghost Stories from Joplin – The Connor Hotel on Main Street

Ghost Stories from Joplin

Check out these five tales from my hometown.

The Ghosts of the Former Joplin Public Library

This one story building on north Main Street appears ordinary looking. Built in 1980, after outgrowing a prior location, the new library soon developed a reputation as haunted. Staff reported hearing footsteps  of someone walking up behind them, however found no one there when they turned around. They heard the sounds of books dropping from shelves onto the floor, but couldn’t find anything amiss upon investigation. And they heard whistling or music at night, when no one else was in the building.

Another building occupied that lot, before the city built their library there.

The Connor Hotel, built in 1908, was magnificent, even by today’s standards. Nine stories tall, the hotel boasted more than 300 fire proof rooms, parlors, restaurants, a barbershop, a formal ballroom, two nightclubs and a stunning rooftop garden.

The beautiful, luxury hotel welcomed celebrities and also hosted its share of gangsters and criminals. And, the building knew tragedy.

Two construction workers died during the building of the hotel, in separate accidents on site. And two died during the deconstruction of the grand old hotel, after the city purchased it. In 1978 the building suddenly collapsed during high winds, trapping three men inside as they prepared explosive charges to bring it down. Only one survived, rescued three days after the collapse.

Additionally, at least ten people committed suicide in the hotel over the years. Those tragic deaths, combined with people making shady deals in some of those fancy rooms, create some heavy energy that lingers still in that spot.

Paranormal investigators picked up unusual activity there, including a disembodied male voice that spoke to them. They confirmed what the librarians already knew…the library is home to unseen occupants.

My Experiences in the Library

I never saw or heard ghosts during my visits there. However, I always felt a heaviness in the building. Occasionally I passed through inexplicable cold spots. And often, while perusing books among the stacks, I’d glance up to see if the lightbulbs above me had burned out. They shone. But the light seemed dull and the room darker than it should have.

After the May 22, 2011 EF5 tornado tore through Joplin, the library built a new building on the corner of 20th and Connecticut. I LOVE this new library. It feels spacious, light and bright to me. The former library stands dark and perhaps not so silent, awaiting its next transformation as a satellite school to the university.

Ghost Stories from Joplin library
Ghost Stories from Joplin – the former public library

The Haunted Olivia

Another grand historic property in Joplin, The Olivia is a five story red brick building built in 1906. Anton Bendelari named the structure after his mother and when it opened, “nothing more elegant, more stylish, more convenient has yet been erected in Joplin”, said a local newspaper. The building offered 34 luxury apartments for Joplin’s wealthiest citizens and featured a beautiful lobby with pillars, a carriage house and a fifth floor restaurant where residents could dine together.

In 1908 Marvin Reynolds, a desk clerk in the building, went into the basement. He didn’t realize a leak had filled the lower level with gas. When lights didn’t click on, he struck a match, igniting the gas in a huge explosion. Sadly, he died.

Eventually, the luster wore off this building and it became low income apartments. Years later, the building in need of updates and repairs, the last residents moved out. However, those who have owned The Olivia since report someone or something still occupies the apartments. They tell stories of footsteps in the empty halls, the sounds of children running and laughing and various unexplained noises and occurrences.

Paranormal investigators explored this building too, recording distinct ghostly voices, the sounds of phantom furniture moving in empty rooms and other inexplicable noises. The Olivia is vacant still, and currently owned by a development company out of Springfield, Missouri. Future possible plans include apartments for the elderly.

My Experiences in The Olivia

In addition to writing blogs, I’m a realtor with 17+ years of experience in the Joplin area. My first scare at The Olivia happened before I got my realtor’s license however. After dropping someone off there and escorting her to her apartment, I exited the building and walked toward my car. The night seemed very dark. I turned to see several people, dressed head to toe in black, walking behind me. What disturbed me was the silence. I couldn’t hear footsteps. They didn’t talk or laugh or even breathe, it seemed. I kept glancing behind me, watching them. And then suddenly, they just weren’t there. They vanished, without a sound.

At one time, I listed the Olivia and frequently showed the  property. I’ve had numerous paranormal experiences there, including photographing an orb outside, at night, that seemed playfully engaged with a flag and hearing all kinds of unexplained noises inside.

The most curious thing that happened involved the third floor. Whenever I showed the property, that floor creeped me out the most. One apartment in particular puzzled me. Every time I entered the apartment, I’d find French doors leading to a balcony standing open. I’d shut them and continue the tour of the rest of the building. Then, checking everything before I left, I’d enter that apartment to find the doors open, again. Every…single…time. The owner tried securing the doors so that they couldn’t open at all. I’d still find them standing ajar.

I disliked that third floor and the basement the most. Once, I accidently locked myself inside The Olivia. It was all I could do to stay calm. The weight of those five empty floors above me felt oppressive. I pretended not to hear the noises echoing down the grand staircase. And the dark doorway into the basement seemed menacing. How grateful I felt when the owner arrived to let me out!

The Olivia
Ghost Stories from Joplin – The Olivia

Peace Cemetery’s Restless Spirits

You’d think a cemetery called Peace might exude that quality. You’d be wrong. Located north of the city, Peace Cemetery is one of the oldest burial grounds in Joplin, the resting place of early pioneers to the area. Visitors there report mysterious sounds, disembodied voices and strange lights. Some even tell stories about attacks that include scratches and being pelted with sticks or rocks.

And then there is the shadowy figure of a man that’s said to prowl among the tombstones. He is the most infamous person buried in Peace Cemetery.

Billy Cook, a 21 year old Joplin native, began a 22 day killing spree in 1950 – 51. Traveling through six states, Billy murdered six people, including a family of five and their pet dog, and a deputy sheriff in California. He dumped the bodies of the family members in a mine shaft near Joplin. Authorities caught him in Mexico. Billy spent time in San Quentin Prison before dying in the gas chamber.

Because of his crimes, no one wanted to claim his body when it returned to Joplin. Ultimately, he was buried in an unmarked grave, just beyond the edge of the cemetery. Billy’s restless soul cannot find peace.

My Experience in Peace Cemetery

My grandson Dayan and I used to have fun geocaching. One of the caches we tracked down lay hidden in Peace Cemetery. And, of course, it was near the Cook plot. Although Billy’s grave is unmarked, it’s not hard to figure out the general area of its location, even without a headstone.

Creeping toward the tree where the geocaching app indicated the prize lay, Dayan and I felt a strange heaviness in the area. In fact, Dayan, who was a young teen at the time, stopped walking and refused to go any further. In complete disclosure, he doesn’t like spiders and feared one might drop out of the tree. And yet, he also felt a strangeness that he didn’t like.

I located the container, tucked into a hole at the base of a tree, and marked it found. Billy’s grave was nearby. And I felt so disoriented, so dizzy. I stood frozen, staring at Dayan, who also stood very still, staring wide eyed back at me. Some sound broke through the weirdness…I believe it thundered…and everything returned to normal. We did not linger but jumped into the car and drove away.

I visited the cemetery today, to take a few photos. That weird feeling came over me again and stayed with me as I slowly drove down the dirt lane.

Ghost Stories from Joplin Peace Cemetery
Ghost Stories from Joplin – Peace Cemetery

Prosperity School Ghosts

Prosperity is a former mining community just east of Joplin. The big red brick school house, built in 1907, served as a school for children until 1962. After it closed, it sat abandoned for 30 years. Stories began then that the old school house wasn’t as empty as it seemed. Reports of ghost children running in the halls and of a spirit nurse circulated.

Eventually someone purchased the property and turned it into a bed and breakfast. The classrooms became small apartments, available for a weekend or for a longer lease.

Guests and tenants confirmed the stories about ghost children. They claimed the lively little spirits came into their rooms at night, played with toys and rearranged objects or even crawled into bed with them. Lights and other electrical appliances turned themselves on and off. And shadow figures slid down hallways or disappeared through the  walls.

Recently, one of the owners of Prosperity School died. The property went up for sale but no one would buy it. It went into foreclosure and sold. It is a private residence now. I don’t know how the new owners are doing in the school house!

My Experiences in Prosperity School

I joined a paranormal research team one night, in this property. Hearing the stories and creeping through the darkened building is unnerving. However, I got to watch the team work and see how the scientific equipment is used. It was exciting and a big step for me in overcoming my fears of the supernatural.

The team picked up voices using a spirit box. And we caught shadow figures moving in the upstairs hallway. In one of the bedrooms, a child communicated with us by turning lights on and off in answer to questions. I felt cold spots and my scalp and upper back constantly tingled with energy.

I did fine in the property, with other people. It is not a place I’d want to be alone after dark!

Prosperity School east of Joplin
Ghost Stories from Joplin – Prosperity School

The Joplin Spook Light

Joplin’s most famous supernatural phenomenon, people have reported sightings of this ghostly light for more than 100 years. Located south and west of Joplin, just across the Missouri – Oklahoma line, it’s also called the Hornet Spook Light, after the community that existed there long ago.

Most often described as an orangish white sphere, the light bobs up and down the dark country road called The Devil’s Promenade by the locals.

According to legend, the light may have been seen by Native Americans along the infamous Trail of Tears in 1836. However, the first published account of the light appeared in a pamphlet called Ozark Spook Light in 1881.

The sphere of light appears as a single orb that may split into two or more smaller balls. Spinning, rising and hovering, the light may soar above the trees or skim along near the surface of the road. It can be baseball or basketball sized and may suddenly bloom larger before disappearing. People have tried to approach it, by car and on foot, but it is usually elusive. However, some people, and my mother is one, have seen the light approach and bounce over the car or disappear and then reappear on the other side of the vehicle. Others claim it’s come into their car.

Studies of the phenomenon are inconclusive. Theories ranging from swamp gas (Joplin doesn’t have swamps) to headlights from cars on distant I-44 (the light doesn’t look like headlights or move like a car) to a luminescence created by rotting organic material seem to fall short of actually explaining what the spook light is.

Origin stories include a Quapaw maiden looking for her lost love, a miner looking for his missing family and an Osage Chief who was decapitated looking for his head.

Whatever it is, the ghostly phenomenon seems here to stay. The Joplin Spook Light is seen almost nightly.

My Spook Light Sighting

I really intended to visit the spook light before writing this post. That has not happened…yet. However, I did see the spook light myself, many years ago. My son and younger daughter, both in their teens at the time, went with me.

We parked on the dark road and didn’t wait long until the bright light appeared down the road. We watched it for some time. It would move, grow dimmer, grow brighter and disappear for a short time before bouncing back. I have no explanation for what it is.

And, I have no photo of the Joplin Spook Light, however, below is the best video I found. See what you think!

The End of the Stories…or Is It?

This post concludes the October Ghost Story series. Thank you for reading along. I’ve appreciated and enjoyed your comments!

I have a lifetime of paranormal experiences. I could tell so many more ghost stories, especially from the Joplin area. And in fact, I intend to.

I’m currently writing a book, tentatively titled “House H(a)unting: An Intuitive Realtor’s Journey Beyond Fear”. As a realtor, I’ve been in many, many houses. And as an intuitive, I can tell you whether they are haunted…or not…if you really want to know.

I’ll keep you updated on the book. And as always, I’d love to read YOUR stories in the comments below.

House Haunting Book Cover
More Ghost Stories from Joplin – coming soon!

 

Ghost Hunting

Check out this Joplin area paranormal group. They often host investigations and interesting talks. Paranormal Science Lab

And check out these books from Amazon:


 

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The Veggie Table

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As one who lives a plant based lifestyle, I’m always on the hunt for restaurants and cafés that offer vegan options. I’m fortunate that my hometown of Joplin, Missouri has several such restaurants. I regularly patronize those.

And it’s a delight to discover a new place.

Recently, after walking on the Tanyard Creek Nature Trail in Bella Vista, Arkansas, I checked to see if any cafés nearby offered vegan meals. Happily, one popped up a short distance away. Unfortunately, the café was closed on that day. However Bella Vista isn’t far from Joplin. Greg and I made a deliberate trip back to Bella Vista, just to check out The Veggie Table. I’m so glad that we did!

The Veggie Table title meme

The Veggie Table

First of all, I love the clever name of this café. Say it out loud a couple of times…veggie table…veggie-table….vegetable. I adore cleverness!

The Veggie Table is a health focused restaurant and bar. The emphasis is on presenting a variety of dishes that are vegan, gluten free, vegetarian, sustainable and organic. Their desire is to change the world and the way people eat, one meal at a time.

Their mission so resonates with me! This is a restaurant with a higher purpose and I am excited to share about my experience there and support their intentions.

The café is attractive and casual, making it the perfect hangout spot to meet friends, enjoy a delicious meal, have a drink….or all three!

The Veggie Table interior
The Veggie Table’s cute interior. I took this photo AFTER a sizeable group of diners left the restaurant.

Meet the Owner and Chef of The Veggie Table

I enjoyed meeting the owner and chef as we finished our meal.

Abby Milam is an Arkansas girl, born and raised in Fayetteville. She left for a time, to attend culinary school in Switzerland and to travel the world. During her travels she learned about other peoples, places, cultures, and food.

The love of cooking runs in her family. She grew up observing and learning from her grandmother, dad and mom. At some point she realized that the way food is raised, grown and consumed is unhealthy. Those realizations spurred her into action. Abby’s hope and goal is to make healthy food accessible to everyone.

She is doing that, admirably. The Veggie Table planned a spring opening this year. That was postponed slightly until July, due to COVID.

The Veggie Table Ferni with chips
My travel mascot Ferni accompanied us to The Veggie Table. She’s pictured here with veggie chips.

Enjoying an Amazing Vegan and Gluten Free Meal

Greg and I studied the menu. The Veggie Table offers a variety of healthy meals such as salads, with or without protein, bowls such as salmon quinoa or mushroom, and wonderful main dishes.

One can choose from bison burgers or impossible burgers, Waldorf chicken salad on an oat waffle or a mushroom Reuben sandwich with vegan cheese. Try a veggie wrap or a gluten free pizza on a cauliflower crust.

And the sides are just as tantalizing. Add sweet baby carrots with parsley to your meal or enjoy roasted Brussel sprouts or veggie chips. See the full everyday menu HERE.

We started with a bowl of crispy veggie chips to munch on. And we probably should have chosen different meals. However, when we saw the tostados on the menu, we both knew that’s what we wanted. They are the BEST tostados I’ve ever eaten. Greg felt the same way. Baked corn tortillas come topped with lentils, quinoa, shredded cabbage, jalapeno, avocado, cilantro and salsa. Yum!

We did order different desserts. Because yes, The Veggie Table offers vegan and gluten free desserts, served in tea cups! You know I had to have one, just to see it arrive in a tea cup. Greg sampled the banana pudding while I tried the chocolate avocado mousse with berries. Such wonderful desserts in perfectly sized portions. I savored a cup of herbal tea with my treat.

The Veggie Table tostados
The BEST tostados I’ve ever had and they are vegan and gluten free and BIG on taste.
The Veggie Table dessert
Chocolate avocado mousse with berries and a cup of hot tea.

Where to Find The Veggie Table

We so enjoyed our meal. The cozy interior encouraged us to linger and take our time with our food, which is the very best way to eat.

Our attentive waiter, Norm, kept glasses of water filled and offered helpful suggestions. He also answered my questions and directed Abby to our table when she was free.

And I appreciate Abby and the vision she carries. Greg and I plan another visit very soon, to sample more of this café’s tasty meals.

The Veggie Table is located at 1733 Forest Hills Blvd in Bella Vista, Arkansas, just south of the Missouri border. The café is open Wednesday through Saturday, 11:00 am to 9:00 pm. And Sunday they offer brunch from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. I understand that the brunch is incredibly good. I can’t wait to try it.

Currently, masks are required when entering the restaurant and if you leave the table to go to the restroom, in accordance with their state’s regulations. Tables are spaced to maintain social distancing and the whole restaurant is meticulously clean.

If you live in the four state area, or happen to be passing through, treat yourself to the hearty and nourishing meals at The Veggie Table. You won’t regret it. And tell Abby I sent you!

The Veggie Table Ferni
Such cute decor.

 

 

 

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Ghost Stories from London

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As we enter Halloween Week, I bring you Ghost Stories from London. The capital city of England, London boasts a long history that stretches back to Roman times.  That history includes its fair share of darker episodes and notorious people such as Jack the Ripper.

Some of London’s iconic structures such as Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London and Buckingham Palace are famous for reasons that go beyond interesting architecture.

Grab a cup of hot tea and settle into your favorite chair while I tell you five stories from London’s spooky side.

Ghost Stories from London title meme

Ghost Stories from London

This magnificent city, that survived plagues, fires and bombings, stands today as one of the world’s greatest cities. For more than 2000 years it’s been a major settlement for the area and a powerful, influential center for arts, commerce, education and finance.

London’s population of almost 9 million people, as of 2019, makes it the 5th largest metropolitan area in the world. It also boasts a large unseen population of spirits and ghosts who wander the streets after dark or inhabit many of the historical buildings.

Ghost Stories from London Dungeons
I highly recommend The London Dungeon, a fun interactive way to learn more about the city’s dark side.

The Tower of London Ghosts

Numerous ghosts haunt the Tower of London. This complex began as a royal palace and eventually became known for its prison. Since 1067, the Tower has experienced many deaths, mostly by executions and the occasional murder.

Supernatural activity in the Tower includes strong, repugnant smells, temperature drops in rooms, mischievous poltergeists and even a death heralding bear!

Among the more famous ghosts are the murdered young princes, Anne Boleyn and the White Woman in the Castle Keep.

Young Princes

In 1483 two young princes, Edward and Richard, came to the Tower. Their father, King Edward IV died, technically making his son Edward the next King of England. At age 12, Edward was too young to rule so his uncle Richard III became Protector of the Throne.

Unfortunately, Edward never became king. The princes disappeared, believed murdered by their ambitious uncle. The murder was never officially solved, however the skeletal remains of two young boys were found buried in a stairwell 200 years later. They are thought to be the princes.

The shadowy figures of the two little lost boys appear often in the White Tower, holding hands as they drift from room to room.

Anne Boleyn

Anne, the 2nd wife of King Henry VIII, was imprisoned in the Tower in 1536, after failing to give the king a son. She was beheaded the same year. Her ghost is spotted in different parts of the Tower, inside buildings and also outside on the Tower Green where she was executed.

Visitors report seeing her headless torso pacing the Tower at night. She’s also seen in the Chapel of St Peter, where she is buried. A captain of the guard, patrolling the Tower at night, saw a flickering light in the chapel and investigated. Peering through the window, the astonished captain watched a procession of lords, ladies and knights in armor. A small woman appeared in the center of the festivities. He identified the woman as Anne Boleyn.

After a few minutes, the light faded and the procession of ghosts disappeared.

The White Woman in the Castle Keep

The White Tower, at the center of the Tower of London, is called the Keep. Amazingly, almost all keeps in England are haunted by a similar ghost…a woman wearing white or black robes.

In The Tower Keep, visitors catch a glimpse of a woman in white, from the corners of their eyes. They then report smelling a pungent, stale perfume. Some feel as if the room closes in around them while others say that chills run down their spines. In recent years, people feel taps on the shoulder. When they turn around, there’s nothing there except a wisp of white that disappears.

Ghost Stories from London Tower of London
Ghost Stories from London – many ghosts haunt the Tower of London

Buckingham Palace Ghosts

Buckingham Palace, the royal home of English monarchy, houses hundreds of people and a host of ghosts. The two most repeated stories involve a monk and the secretary of King Edward VII, who committed suicide in an office on the first floor.

The Ghost Monk

The palace is built on the site of a monastery. A monk died there, chained in his cell. The ghost of the monk appears frequently on the palace’s rear terrace, cloaked in his brown cowl. Others report hearing the rattle of chains and moans from the same terrace at night, when no one is out there.

The King’s Secretary

During King Edward VII’s reign, from 1901 to 1910, his private secretary Major John Gwynne was involved in a scandal. After divorcing his wife, the Major couldn’t handle the rumors that followed his decision. He ultimately shot himself in the head, in a first floor office.

Today staff and employees avoid that office. They report an uneasy feeling in the room. Some claim to hear a single gunshot coming from the empty office.

Ghost Stories from London Buckingham Palace
Ghost Stories from London – Buckingham Palace

Westminster Abbey Ghosts

Buckingham Palace isn’t the only place in London with the ghost of a monk. Westminster Abbey has one as well, along with the ghost of an unknown soldier.

Father Benedictus

For 500 years, a Benedictine Abbey occupied the site of the Westminster Abbey. Edward the Confessor rebuilt it and from 1066 on, the current abbey serves as the place for the coronations of England’s kings and queens.

Over the centuries, during many renovations and additions, the abbey’s floor level lowered. This might explain why the ghost haunting the abbey floats a few feet above the floor. Called Father Benedictus, this spirit is frequently seen bobbing about the cloisters in the early evening.

Father Benedictus appears so solid that visitors often have conversations with him. He once helped a lost couple find their way out of the abbey. And in 1900 he entertained a group of 25 people, who watched him drift around and then disappear into a wall. Two American visitors claim the spirit spoke very politely to them during a long conversation.

The Unknown Soldier

In the abbey is the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior. It is a memorial to soldiers who died during WWI. On November 11, 1920, an unidentified soldier received a royal burial in soil brought in from the battlefields of France. He rests beneath a marble stone quarried in Belgium. When the abbey becomes quiet after dark, the soldier ghost materializes beside the tomb. He stands for several minutes, head bowed, and then slowly fades away.

Ghost Stories from London Westminster Abbey
Ghost Stories from London – Westminster Abbey

The Ghosts in London’s East End

London’s most notorious person, known as Jack the Ripper, terrorized the city in 1888. The serial killer was never caught nor was his identity confirmed. He killed at least five women, all prostitutes in the Whitechapel District in London’s East End.

With the ferocity of the killings, it’s not surprising that several locations and buildings near the murder sites are haunted. The ghosts of some of the victims stalk the streets where they died. However, the Ten Bells Pub is strongly linked to the Jack the Ripper story. Located at the corner of Commercial and Fournier Streets in Spitalfields in the East End of London, this pub is connected to two of Jack’s victims, Annie Chapman and Mary Kelly.

Annie, the second victim, was reportedly seen drinking in the pub shortly before her body was found around the corner. Her ghost appears, sitting in the exact same spot where she sipped her last drink before death. She’s also known to move pints of beer, break glasses and even steal from patrons.

And staff members working at the pub claim to see a ghostly older man dressed in Victorian clothing. They’ve encountered cold spots in the pub and experience feelings of uneasiness. Others who slept upstairs in the building heard footsteps in the hall and faint laugher, when no one else was present, or woke up to find the specter lying next to them in bed!

Ghost Stories from London Jack the Ripper
Ghost Stories from London – a moody street from our Jack the Ripper Tour.

London’s Most Haunted House

Claimed by many as London’s most haunted house, 50 Berkeley Square looks like a normal townhouse from the outside. However, stories of its hauntings became so prevalent that it sat empty for many years.

The ghosts of 50 Berkeley Square include a child wearing a kilt, a young woman who committed suicide and a man who went mad, locked in a room in the attic.

A Young Man Goes Mad

A couple of people occupied the house in its early days, without incident. But when Thomas Myers moved in, in 1859, a shift occurred. Thomas prepared the house for his soon to be bride, however days before the wedding, she jilted him. Despondent, Thomas moved into a room in the attic and did not leave the house again until his death. He supposedly went mad in his seclusion. Passersby saw him moving from room to room by candlelight, late in the night.

After he died, people walking by still saw the flickering candlelight, moving throughout the house.

People who lived in the house after Thomas experienced strange things in that attic room, including seeing a brown mist appear. Several died and at least one went insane.

A maid making up a bed in the attic room for a visiting man screamed in terror. Occupants of the house found her lying on the floor, muttering “Don’t let it touch me.” She died the next day. The visitor, a Captain Kentfield, arrived and decided to sleep in the room anyway. Thirty minutes after going to bed he screamed. The house owners heard a gunshot and found him lying dead on the floor, a horrible expression on his face.

Another man, Lord Lyttelton, spent the night in the attic room, armed with a shotgun. When an apparition approached him, he fired his gun. Although he heard something fall to the floor, he couldn’t find anything beyond cartridge shells.

Shapeless Creature

Another story is the tale of two sailors who, needing a place to sleep, broke into the abandoned house in 1887 and slept in the attic room. They woke to the sound of footsteps climbing the stairs. The door creaked open and a strange shapeless creature with a huge gaping mouth entered the room.

One terrified man squeezed past the apparition and ran for help. He returned with a police officer. They found the second sailor impaled on the iron fence, below a broken window in the attic room.

Other Ghosts

Another ghost associated with 50 Berkeley Square is that of a young woman who jumped from the attic room, after suffering abuse from an uncle. And the child in the kilt is thought to be a young girl killed in the house by a servant.

Eventually the house stood vacant and run down, for many years.

Maggs Bros, antique book dealers, purchased the property and occupy the ground floor. Although staff hear strange noises from the upper floors of the house, no one goes up to check. In fact, no one is allowed to go upstairs. A posted sign warns that the upper rooms are not to be used for any reason.

Ghost Stories from London 50 Berkeley Square
Ghost Stories from London – 50 Berkeley Square, London’s most haunted house.

One More Post in This Series

Next week, just before Halloween, I’ll share the last post in this series, tales from my own hometown. I’ll include a couple of personal stories as well.

Whether you believe in ghosts, or not, I hope you are enjoying this series of scary tales from some of the world’s most amazing cities.

And I’d love to read your ghost stories, in the comments below!

Check out the other posts in this series:

Ghost Stories from Dublin

Ghost Stories from Venice

And…Ghost Stories from Edinburgh

Ghost Stories from London group shot
Group photo in front of Buckingham Palace

Great Reads from Amazon:

 


 

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Ghost Stories from Edinburgh

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

Off to Edinburgh, Scotland for the third installment in the October Ghost Story Series. I decided to hold off for another week on my own hometown spooky tale.

Ah Edinburgh, my favorite city in the world. The capital of Scotland, this magical city offers much to enchant the visitor. With its charming cobblestone streets, medieval castle and historical stone buildings, Old Town delights while it hides a few secrets.

Check out these ghost stories from Edinburgh.

Ghost Stories from Edinburgh title meme

Edinburgh’s Long History

This city, nicknamed Auld Reekie, possesses a long, colorful history full of acts of bravery and the macabre. A center for education, philosophy, arts, literature, science and engineering, Edinburgh typically attracts millions of visitors a year. In fact, it is the second most visited city in the UK, right behind London.

Ghost hunters considered it a hot spot for paranormal activity. That’s not surprising considering its history that spans thousands of years and the labyrinth of passageways and rooms hidden beneath the streets and bridges of Old Town. I find the energy of Edinburgh electrifying and interesting, rather than frightening or dark.

“Scotland incorporates magic so thoroughly into its everyday life that the official national animal is the unicorn and its capital city, Edinburgh, counts “being haunted” among its local industries.” Unknown

Check out these five tales. And as a three time visitor to Edinburgh, I’ll share a couple of my own ghostly encounters.

Ghost Stories from Edinburgh unicorn
Magical Scotland claims the unicorn as its national animal so you know anything can happen here!

Greyfriars Kirkyard

This kirkyard, Scottish for churchyard or cemetery, is known to house a number of ghosts. Among the most famous, and on opposite ends of the scary spectrum, are Greyfriars Bobby and Bloody MacKenzie.

Greyfriars Bobby

Greyfriars Bobby is the small Skye Terrier dog that loyally remained at his owner’s grave, long after the man passed away. For 14 years the pup stayed nearby, surviving due to the kindness of the fine people of Edinburgh, until he too died and was buried in the kirkyard. Today visitors wandering in the kirkyard tell of hearing a small dog barking, near Bobby’s grave, when no dog is present. It seems that Bobby guards his owner’s resting place still.

Bloody MacKenzie

And then there is the more frightening ghost of the man called Bloody MacKenzie. A wealthy lord and lawyer, George MacKenzie punished thousands of Scots in the late 1600s, who refused to change their religion to the national one. It’s believed he’s personally responsible for more than 18,000 gruesome deaths, earning him the name Bloody MacKenzie.

MacKenzie rests in his mausoleum in Greyfriars Kirkyard. Or at least, he did until his tomb was disturbed by a homeless man who broke in late one night. The frightened man fell through the floor of the mausoleum, into a mass grave filled with plague victims from centuries before.

Since that night, MacKenzie prowls the graveyard. And although his mausoleum is closed to the public, ghost tours routinely take people inside. More than 450 people claim vicious attacks occurred, from an invisible assailant, while they were inside the building. Injuries include bruises, burns, scratches, lacerations and even broken bones. One woman passed out when unseen hands strangled her.

Others report hearing strange noises near the mausoleum or feeling nauseated as they walk by it. An exorcism was attempted at the mausoleum, in 2000, by minister Colin Grant. He claimed he felt the torment of hundreds of souls and the presence of evil. He left Greyfriars Kirkyard, distressed, and died a few weeks later of a heart attack.

Ghost Stories from Edinburgh MacKenzie Mausoleum
Ghost stories from Edinburgh – Bloody MacKenzie’s mausoleum

Grassmarket

Every medieval town used a square for public executions. This is true for Edinburgh as well. Nestled in the heart of Old Town, with fine views of nearby Edinburgh Castle, Grassmarket’s history includes a dark side.

Hundreds of criminals and people accused of witchcraft died there, up until 1886.

As you might imagine, especially for those labeled as witches, many people were innocent of their supposed crimes. Women thought to practice witchcraft suffered sleep deprivation until they finally confessed to crimes they did not do. As a result, the punishment was hanging or worse, burning alive.

Those innocents now haunt the Grassmarket area, sighing and sobbing over their unjust deaths.

Additionally, the White Hart Inn, located in Grassmarket, is one of Edinburgh’s oldest, and most haunted pubs. Parts of the pub date back to 1516. Paranormal activity there includes accounts of hair pulling, bottle throwing and apparitions captured in photos. Staff often hear footsteps upstairs, after the bar closes, and ghost hunters recorded a voice in that space saying “help me”.

Pub visitors also report seeing a pair of detached legs walking about and a ghost that hovers in the center of the cellar.

Historically, the murdering duo Burke and Hare lured victims away from the pub and killed them nearby. And a prostitute died in the pub in the 1800s.

Ghost Stories from Edinburgh Grassmarket
Ghost stories from Edinburgh – Grassmarket

Haunted Tolbooth Tavern

On the Royal Mile, Edinburgh’s Canongate area is home to one of the city’s iconic buildings, the Tolbooth. Dating back to 1591, tolls were collected here, from people traveling into the city.

The building housed an administrative center, courthouse and a prison before transforming into a pub in 1820.

Several ghosts, possibly the spirits of former prisoners, create havoc in the Tolbooth Tavern. Their antics include knocking pictures off the walls, flinging drinks from the tables and making banging and knocking noises.

Pub visitors report seeing ghosts dressed in old fashioned military uniforms. Historians speculate they are the departed spirits of jailer James Park and his assistant, who found themselves incarcerated in their own prison after helping prisoners escape.

Ghost Stories from Edinburgh Canongate Tolbooth
Ghost stories from Edinburgh – Tolbooth Tavern

Mary King’s Close

In Edinburgh, closes are narrow covered alleyways that branch off the Royal Mile. Mary King’s Close is named after a merchant burgess who resided on the close in the 17th century. Many people shared the close with Mary, packed into tall buildings. With no proper sewer system in the city, residents dumped waste into the streets, which attracted rats.

Those rats carried diseases such as the bubonic plague to the inhabitants, bringing death to Mary King’s Close. Legend says that the close was walled up, leaving the tenants to die horribly. In reality, the people were cared for as well as they could be, for those times. Many people died in the close, regardless of which story is true. The last occupant of Mary King’s Close moved out in 1902 and the area was sealed up.

The close lay abandoned and inaccessible for many years, buried beneath the Royal Exchange. Stories of hauntings began after workers reopened the area when they drilled down into the close accidently. The site is a popular tourist attraction today.

Annie’s Room

One of the most famous ghosts in the close is Annie. In 1992 a Japanese psychic picked up on feelings of hunger, sadness and pain inside a room. The psychic spoke to the ghost of a young girl named Annie, who claimed she was abandoned during the plague and died in the room. She said she couldn’t find her doll.

Feeling sad for Annie, the psychic purchased a new doll for the girl. Since that day, visitors from around the world honor Annie and try to make her happy by bringing her dolls, toys and jewelry. First responders such as police officers and firemen leave their badges as a sign of respect.

People that enter Annie’s Room report feeling inexplicable cold spots and claim a little hand grabs theirs.

Ghost Stories from Edinburgh Mary Kings Close
Ghost stories from Edinburgh – Mary King’s Close and Annie’s Room

Edinburgh Castle

High atop a volcanic rock, Edinburgh Castle perches majestically above the city. Surrounded by tall granite walls that shield 900 years of history, many ghosts supposedly haunt the castle grounds.

There’s the young piper who, two hundred years ago, set off to explore the castle’s hidden passageways that lead to the Royal Mile. He played his bagpipes so that people above ground knew his location. The music suddenly stopped and the boy disappeared without a trace. His body was never found but the haunting sounds of his bagpipe echo beneath the castle.

In the dungeons, a headless drummer boy wanders about. And a group of French soldiers, captured during the  Seven Years War, often make appearances in the dungeons as well.

Other activity includes shadowy figures walking around, sudden temperature drops and unseen hands tugging on shirt sleeves and trousers.

Ghost Stories from Edinburgh castle
Ghost stories from Edinburgh – the castle

My Own Ghost Stories from Edinburgh

I visited Edinburgh in 2014, 2017 and 2019. On two of those three visits, I experienced my own supernatural encounters.

Haunted Vaults

In 2014, two of my cousins and I explored Edinburgh’s underground on the Haunted Vaults Tour. Experienced primarily in the dark, with only the guide’s lantern for illumination, the vaults are extremely creepy. After leaving one of the vaults, the tour guide stopped talking as we all heard a loud crash from the dark room we’d just left. We all crept back into the room where she shone her light around, looking for the source of the sound. Nothing appeared out of order and no explanation for the noise was discovered. As I stood in the deep shadows at the back of the room, I felt a small cold hand take my right one. Surprised I turned to look. No one stood next to me on my right. I continued to feel that hand holding mine until we left the next room.

Shadow Figure in the Apartment

And in 2019, my sister and I shared a cute renovated apartment for the duration of our stay in Edinburgh. The building, hundreds of years old, formerly housed offices.

We experienced several instances of electrical things turning off on their own but we shrugged them off. However, one night, after a long day of walking in the city, I struggled to fall asleep. Restlessness overtook me. I began to hear popping noises in the kitchen and then the dining area and finally the living room. For me, restlessness and popping sounds are signs that spirit is with me.

Peering into the dimly lit living room, through the bedroom door, I saw the dark figure of a man walk by. He headed toward the window on the far side of the room, then suddenly changed directions and walked to the bedroom door. As I watched, the shadowy figure stopped at the door and looked around before turning away and disappearing. We slept with a light on in the living room, after that, so I could see better if the shadow man returned. He didn’t appear again.

However, I woke up a couple of mornings later, with two small burns on my left forearm, that weren’t there when I went to bed. I have no explanation for how I received those burns.

Will I visit Edinburgh again? Absolutely! I love this city with all my heart and I’d happily stay in the same apartment. For me, the veil between this world and the spirit world is thin. That fact no longer stops me from exploring and experiencing the world.

Ghost Stories from Edinburgh - burns
Unexplainable burns while in Edinburgh

More Ghost Stories

Check out these stories from Ireland and Italy:

Ghost Stories from Dublin

Ghost Stories from Venice

Do you have a ghost story to share? Add it to the comments below!

Ghosts Stories from Edinburgh group photo
Group photo in Greyfriars Kirkyard

 


 

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Decorating for Halloween with Decocrated

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

This is a paid affiliate partnership with Decocrated. All opinions are my own.

Weeks away from the next major holiday, I did something I’ve never done before. I decorated for Halloween. While I always switch my front porch and house decor to fall in early September, I typically don’t add in Halloween decorations. That’s a bit surprising, since Halloween is big in my family and I even have a grandchild who shares her birthday with the holiday.

However, this year I received an add on box from Decocrated, full of cute Halloween pieces. What fun! I’m decorating for Halloween with Decocrated and loving the mix of holiday and fall decor.

Check out how I freshened up my home for Halloween.

Decorating for Halloween with Decocrated title meme

Decocrated Add On Boxes

Decocrated Curated Home is a home decor subscription box company. Their boxes ship out four times a year. Each box contains seven to eight curated seasonal items. Check out my fall box review.

I’ve now completed a full year of Decocrated boxes, as I started with the winter box last year. It’s like Christmas four times a year! I love receiving the boxes, which come right to my front door, and discovering what’s inside.

As a bonus, those who subscribe with a seasonal box or a yearly subscription have the opportunity to purchase add on boxes for $39.00. What a bargain! The Halloween box is my first add on and I love it. See how I included the fun pieces in my fall decor.

Decorating for Halloween with Decocrated small bookshelf
Decorating for Halloween with Decocrated – the small bookshelf

Decorating for Halloween with Decocrated

I incorporated the Decocrated Halloween pieces in three areas of my home, expanding on the fall decor already there or swapping out items. Since I leave fall decorations up until right after Thanksgiving, I can either remove the Halloween pieces after the holiday or simply leave them up until I switch to Christmas in late November.

The Small Bookcase

I decorated the top of this small bookcase for fall, featuring pieces from Decocrated.  Leaving that shelf as is, I focused on decorating the rest of the bookcase, in a mix of fall and Halloween pieces.

On the second shelf I added the rustic wood and wire shelf, tucking in a tiny fall pillow, a pumpkin and the additional wooden sign from the Decocrated fall box. Greg attached two small screws to the back of the sign to act as hangers. A candle with a metal shade and a fabric pillow, all resting on a buffalo plaid cloth, complete shelf two.

I filled the third shelf with a cute fabric basket and a plump pillow. The basket, a gift from my grandchildren, holds pumpkins and a string of wooden beads. The pillow cover, with the words “I PUT A SPELL ON YOU”, comes from  the Decocrated Halloween box.

Decorating for Halloween with Decocrated spell
Decorating for Halloween with Decocrated – I Put a Spell on You pillow cover
Decorating for Halloween with Decocrated tall bookshelf
Decorating for Halloween with Decocrated – tall bookcase

Tall Bookcase

Typically, this bookcase receives a makeover twice a year…for Christmas and after that holiday, an everyday look. I had fun decorating it for fall and Halloween, thanks to Decocrated!

Top Shelf

The top shelf shows off a collection of potion bottles from the Halloween box, partnered up with the teal and orange pumpkins from the fall box. On the other end, a wire cloche holds orange, gray and white mini pumpkins. The Halloween tabletop art is from the Halloween box. And the white jar candle and striped linen both came from Target.

I left the postcard art from Italy on the wall, after considering whether to remove it or not. I decided the postcard colors work well with the fall and Halloween decor.

Decorating for Halloween with Decocrated potions
These resin potion bottles are so cute!
Decorating for Halloween with Decocrated boo
I love the small tabletop art. Boo!

Second Shelf

While the top shelf features a mix of fall colors, the second shelf uses typical Halloween colors of orange and black.

The black metal lanterns are my favorite items from the Halloween box. They look so pretty with tea light candles glowing from within. Plus they will work well during other seasons. I’m using a lot of black and white buffalo plaid for Christmas this year so these lanterns will stay out. The “haunted” sign comes from Michael’s while the black and orange linen is a bandana from Target. I used a small box beneath the cloth, as a riser for the large lantern.

On the other end of the shelf, the art print in the frame is from the fall box. I found the trio of cardboard books at Target and the small black vase is a Hobby Lobby find. The black key, a nod to my symbol for this year, is from Michael’s. I snipped off strands from a garland of orange beads to tuck into the vase.

Decorating for Halloween with Decocrated haunted
Love these metal lanterns!
Decorating for Halloween with Decocrated art print
Double Double Toil and Trouble art print is from the fall box.

Third Shelf

A vintage looking teal tray holds an assortment of items, from a stack of Celtic books to cinnamon scented pods to fall candle holders. All of these items are from my stash of decor. I love how the Decocrated items easily mix with what I already own.

The black lantern on the other end is from the spring Decocrated box. That’s the other thing I appreciate. Decocrated items from different seasons mix together well. A stack of pumpkins rests on a fall candle ring in the lantern.

Not shown…the fourth shelf holds a shadow box with tickets and a print from a Dracula Ballet performance and candles in a long metal holder.

Decorating for Halloween with Decocrated 3rd shelf
A mix of items decorate the third shelf.

Dining Room Table

And for my feature spot, on the round dining room table, I swapped out fall decor for similar items with more of a Halloween feel.

The wooden crate, from the fall box, gets refreshed with white and black and white buffalo plaid mini pumpkins. Decorating tip: rather than fill the whole crate with pumpkins, I stuffed the bottom of the crate with wadded up plastic shopping bags, covered those with a black and white plaid cloth and THEN added the mini pumpkins.

Decorating for Halloween with Decocrated moon
Decorating for Halloween with Decocrated – wooden crate gets refreshed

I replaced the colorful felt garland around the black metal candle ring, also from the fall box, with a burlap and black and white fabric garland. White tapers went into the candle ring, replacing the orange ones from fall. The Hocus Pocus tabletop sign in the middle of the ring is from Target and it’s perfect!

The little photo holder gets a new double sided art print, from the Halloween box. One side says “It’s Just a Bunch of Hocus Pocus” while the other side says “Trick or Treat”. I like both sides, so I switch it around every few days.

The black and white table runner is from the fall box and the orange jar candle comes from Target.

Decorating for Halloween with Decocrated candle ring
Decorating for Halloween with Decocrated – candle ring from the fall box

I really love the black and white Halloween theme on the table. The photo holder, one side of the art print and the jar candle bring in pops of orange. With the lights off and candles lit, this whole vignette seems to glow in the dark.

Decorating for Halloween with Decocrated dining table decor
Dining room table vignette

Decocrated Subscription Boxes

Isn’t the Halloween decor fun? I loved mixing it in with the fall pieces for a fresh holiday look. Granddaughter Aubrey, my Halloween birthday girl, walked through my house over the weekend, looking at my decor. She gave it a thumbs up.

Would you like to receive these amazing boxes to your front door? You can!

The fall box AND the Halloween box are sold out, and no surprise. The quality is excellent and the items work well with all styles of decor. Each person can tell their own unique decorating story, with a little help from Decocrated.

The WINTER box is on sale NOW. And with the purchase of the winter box, or a yearly subscription, the Easter add on box becomes available. Don’t miss out!

Use this link, DECOCRATED, and type in my codes for a discount. Use CINDYLAUDERDALEMOORE10 to save $10 off a seasonal box. OR use CINDYLAUDERDALEMOORE30 to get $30 off a yearly subscription. Then watch for an email about purchasing an add on box, if you want one.

I’ve received so much joy from this company’s subscription boxes. Opening up these boxes immediately fires up my creativity and my playful side happily takes over.

I look forward to creating with the winter and Christmas boxes.

Decorating for Halloween with Decocrated trick or treat
The dining room vignette with the Trick or Treat side of the art print.

 

Cindy Goes Beyond is an affiliate with Decocrated Curated Home. I may earn a commission for items purchased through my links, all at no extra cost to you.

 

 

 

Practicing Self Gratitude

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Gratitude is the quality of thankfulness and the readiness to show appreciation for kindness. Expressing gratitude on a daily basis can shift life in powerful ways. I know. I’ve experienced how life changing gratitude is.

About ten years ago, during the process of facing lifelong fears and moving beyond them, I recognized the role gratitude plays in raising quality of life. What I learned is just like there is a connection between loving oneself and loving others, there is a similar connection between expressing gratitude for self and feeling gratitude for other things.

We find it difficult to love others, unconditionally and without expectations, if we can’t love ourselves first. And equally difficult, feeling genuine gratitude for others and for life challenges us if we can’t feel gratitude first for who we are.

In fact, I’ve found that practicing self gratitude helps us to more easily love ourselves, raise our vibrational energy and then love and appreciate others.

Signs That Self Gratitude is Lacking

How do we know if self gratitude is an issue? We experience the following:

  • discouragement, frustration, anger
  • negative thoughts and emotions about ourselves and others
  • refusal to look into a mirror
  • dislike of being in photos
  • criticism of self
  • dislike or hate of self
  • putting self down or making negative jokes about self
  • difficulty coming up with anything to express gratitude for
  • criticism of others, especially when they remind us of ourselves

A common  gratitude practice involves listing things we feel thankful for. When the page remains blank because nothing comes to mind or only a few items make the list, then a deeper issue needs attention. It truly is hard to feel grateful for others or for blessings when we can’t summon gratitude for who we are and what we offer.

I discovered, while working through issues with fear, that the biggest fear I had was fully accepting and appreciating myself, gifts, quirks and all. Fear of shining as my true self kept me small, especially since I’d worked my whole life to keep parts of myself hidden away.

I found a natural progression of acceptance of self, gratitude for self and finally love for self. That inner work changed my life and created a different outer world. Creativity ramped up. Opportunities presented themselves. Doors opened.

Practicing Self Gratitude art
One of the results of practicing self gratitude is an increase in creativity. Book art that I created, about my journey.

Self Acceptance and Self Gratitude Go Together

It’s difficult to experience self gratitude before completely accepting self first. And look, that doesn’t mean we can’t change. In fact, I thrive brilliantly on that delicate tension between accepting who I am at this moment and constantly shifting and changing who I am as I grow.

Start with fully accepting who you are. Do a “this is me” list of all of your characteristics, your abilities and your gifts. Then add those quirky things about yourself that others may not understand. Finally add the things that you’ve been taught are too much or not enough. These are the characteristics that make you unique, even if others don’t appreciate them. And don’t forget physical characteristics…those you like and those you don’t.

My list included a wide array of qualities such as “loves people” and yet, equally true, “distrusts individuals”. And “loyal” and “stubborn” both made the list as did “tends to follow the rules” and “longs for freedom to make my own rules”. For me, the most difficult part of myself to appreciate was my intuitive side. I’m sensitive to energy, empathic, psychic and I experience those who have passed on. Yes, I know when dead people are around and my spider sense brings me all kinds of information that I don’t always want.

I came to accept and appreciate all aspects of myself. You can too. Go back through your list and genuinely accept everything about who you are…your appearance, your abilities, your strengths and your weaknesses. Tell yourself, “This is me. This is who I am.”

Practicing Self Gratitude journal
A gratitude journal is a wonderful part of practicing self gratitude.

Discovering Self Gratitude

It may take days, weeks, months of work to fully accept yourself. However, it’s worth the effort and time. YOU are worth the effort and time. The healing that it brings to the heart is powerful. After living with a divided and fractured heart for so long, creating a whole heart felt unbelievably healthy. And, I found that I needed a whole heart…what I considered my “normal” side and my “weird side”…to fully live as the person I am meant to be. It’s that important.

Now go back through your extensive list and express gratitude for all those things about yourself that you accept. Start each sentence with “I am grateful for…” and fill in the blank. “I am grateful for…my courage to do hard things…my green eyes…my love of plants.”

If you get stuck on a characteristic, back up and remind yourself that “this is me” and go deeper into acceptance.

I could physically feel my heart changing as I practiced self gratitude for the first time. Tears came to my eyes and it felt like I could finally take a deep, deep breath.

At the time of this work, I’d suffered for more than ten years with constant pain due to sciatica. I especially struggled with my left leg. Accepting what was, at that time, and feeling gratitude and appreciation for all that leg did to walk and move in pain, helped. Eventually I discovered freedom from pain through a plant based lifestyle. However, I expressed gratitude often for my body and left leg, even through the most challenging times. Did that stop me from seeking healing? No. I could express gratitude for my wayward leg and still desire healing and make the changes that delivered it.

Practicing Self Gratitude quote

Practicing Self Gratitude

Practicing self gratitude is an ongoing journey. It’s not a do it once and you are done thing.

Include these self gratitude practices in your life:

  • begin the day with gratitude for self “I am grateful for my strength…the opportunity to work today…my creative ideas.”
  • express gratitude throughout the day
  • shift negative thoughts immediately and express gratitude. Turn “I am stupid!” into “I am grateful I realized that I made a mistake. I’ll change it.”
  • pause several times a day and simply say, “I am grateful.”
  • create a vision board, full of things about yourself that you feel grateful for
  • reward your accomplishments (not with food, please, unless it’s healthy) with something you enjoy and express gratitude for what you did
  • end the day with gratitude…write a gratitude list or speak your gratitudes aloud

Truly, practicing self gratitude transforms the life. And gratitude then flows outward to others, to all things, to life itself, to God. It becomes easier to appreciate others. Kindness from others is received and rejoiced over and passed on. Blessings multiply. And I’ve found that I can shift anxiety by finding things about the situation to express gratitude for.

My journey in practicing gratitude continues. I learn and grow through the experiences and find that my trust deepens. My gratitude extends to the Divine and throughout each day, during continual conversations with God, my simple prayer is “I am grateful.”

And, I am.

Practicing Self Gratitude cup of tea
I am grateful.

Posts About Fear

Letting Go of What I Fear to Lose

Inviting Fear to Pull Up a Chair

Gratitude Journals from Amazon:

 


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Ghost Stories from Dublin

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Beautiful Dublin is an enchanting and magical city.  The capital of Ireland, Dublin contains many historic buildings, including a 13th century castle and the stately St. Patrick’s Cathedral, founded in 1191.

So it’s no surprise that the ancient city offers up more than a few ghost stories and haunted places. Some of those quaint stone buildings on cobblestone streets have darker stories to tell.

During the month of October, when spookiness abounds, I’m excited to present a series of Friday travel posts featuring ghost stories from five different countries. Read along each week, if you dare!

Ghost Stories from Dublin title meme

Bram Stoker

Besides being a city of haunts and ghosts, Dublin gave the world a master of horror, Bram Stoker. Best known for his 1897 gothic novel, Dracula, Stoker drew inspiration from a cemetery near his childhood home. A sickly child, Stoker spent hours on his own, wandering in Ballybough Cemetery. In this graveyard reserved for criminals and suicides, people drove wooden stakes through the victims’ hearts, to make sure they were dead and stayed that way. That grim custom became the origin for killing vampires in Stoker’s famous story.

Bram Stoker’s family owned a crypt in St. Michan’s Church and as a boy, Stoker often visited the below ground vault. Today it houses a collection of mummified bodies that fell out of their coffins as the wood disintegrated. As you might imagine, this vault beneath the church is labeled as haunted.

The next time you visit Dublin, check out these famous, spooky places.

Dublin Castle

This 13th century castle served for centuries as the headquarters for the British administration in Dublin. The castle was the center for invasions, battles, military strategies and countless persecutions. As a result, many people met untimely and often horrific deaths there.

During its early years, under King John of England, the heads of would be invaders were spiked upon the outer wall as a deterrent to enemies. The headless bodies rotted on the ground below. People claim to hear the moans and cries of the victims.

And in the dark dungeons many suffered torture and death for their crimes or their faith. Stories tell of convicted thief Roger de Fynglas and a poor widow who refused to renounce her faith, both left to starve within cells in the dungeon. De Fynglas’ spirit supposedly remains in his cell to this day. And the widow, whose own son imprisoned her, weeps in the dungeon, brokenhearted.

Ghost Stories from Dublin castle
Ghost Stories from Dublin – Dublin Castle

The Green Lady

Considered Dublin’s most famous ghost, the Green Lady haunts the grounds near St. Audoen’s Church, built in 1190. Many people claim to have seen the specter. She is believed to be Dorcas Kelly, executed as a witch for the murder of her unborn child.

The Sheriff of Dublin, Simon Luttrell, put her to death. He was a member of a secret occult group called the Hellfire Club, and supposedly fathered Kelly’s child. Allegedly, Kelly threatened to out Luttrell as a member of the club. The accused woman publicly burned to death at St. Stephen’s Green in 1746.

The Green Lady haunts the area near the bottom of the 40 steps leading to the church. She appears dressed all in green.

Ghost Stories from Dublin St Audoens tower
Ghost Stories from Dublin – The Green Lady haunts St Audoen’s grounds. This is St Audeon’s tower.

Ghost Girl in the Shelbourne Hotel

On St. Stephen’s Green, the famous Shelbourne Hotel welcomes guests from around the world. However, one uninvited guest refuses to leave. Built in 1824, the elegant hotel replaced townhouses built along the edge of the Green.

A seven year old girl, Mary Masters, apparently died of cholera. She lived in one of those townhouses. Staff report seeing Mary in the basement while they do laundry or stock the wine cellar. Hotel guests share chilling tales of encountering the ghost girl in their rooms.

One recent guest, an actress working in Dublin on a film, reported a presence in her room, when she awoke in the dark. She heard a giggle and then felt an unexplained breeze across her body, followed by slamming doors. Not finding anyone in her room, she shared her story with staff the next morning and learned about Mary.

Other guests tell of a presence sitting on the bed, the sounds of a small girl crying and invisible touches on the cheek or arms.

Ghost Stories from Dublin St Stephens Green
St Stephen’s Green is surrounded by haunted buildings, including the Shelbourne Hotel.

Rubrics Building, Trinity College

Trinity College houses some of Ireland’s precious historical artifacts. It’s also the site for a haunting.

Former college lecturer Edward Ford lived in the Rubrics Building on campus, in 1734. Considered an ill tempered man, he did not appreciate it when a group of rowdy students threw stones at his window. He sought to scatter the students by firing a pistol at them.

The students did disperse, however they sought revenge. The drunken young men returned to their rooms, picked up firearms of their own, and decided to teach Edward Ford a lesson. Although it’s thought they didn’t intend to kill Ford, they fired through his window, mortally wounding him.

Students and staff report seeing a sad man in a powdered wig and Georgian attire wandering around the Rubrics Building.

Ghost Stories from Dublin Trinity College
Ghost Stories from Dublin – Trinity College

St. Patrick’s Cathedral

Jonathan Swift, known for his book “Gulliver’s Travels”, was appointed Dean of St. Patrick’s in 1713. He died October 19, 1743 and he’s buried beneath the floor. The cathedral displays Swift’s chair, table and bookcases and two of his death masks.

Swift supposedly haunts two areas, the cathedral itself and the deanery beside the church, where he lived until his death.

The story goes that any worshipper who dares to fall asleep during a sermon might wake up to find an angry Swift looming over him.

And tenants living in the deanery after Swift’s death, up to the present day, tell of sensing a benevolent presence in the house. Some have reported seeing the ghost of an older man slowly climb the stairs to the dean’s bedroom above. At least one later occupant of the house, feeling sure an intruder broke in when he saw the older man, searched the house thoroughly and found no one there.

Ghost Stories from Dublin St Patricks Cathedral
Ghost Stories from Dublin – St. Patrick’s Cathedral

Do You Believe in Ghosts?

There are many other haunts in Dublin and a wealth of ghost stories. These five are among the most famous. Currently, with COVID travel restrictions, most of the city’s ghost tours are temporarily closed. However, someday, perhaps by next October, visitors will once again walk the narrow streets of Dublin, seeking the paranormal…and finding it.

If you want to experience Dublin’s darker side, in a fun way, try the Gravedigger Ghost Tour.

Do you believe in ghosts? I do. I’ve experienced the supernatural since birth. I’d love to read your spooky stories in the comments below. And watch this space next week, where I’ll offer ghost stories from Italy.

Ghost Stories from Dublin St Patricks clock tower
Ghost Stories from Dublin – St. Patrick’s clock tower.

More Tales from Ireland:

St. Stephen’s Green Dublin

Explore Dublin’s Temple Bar Area


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The Momentary

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

This month’s Friday road trip took Greg, Ferni and me to NW Arkansas. An advantage to living in Joplin, Missouri is that Oklahoma and Kansas are literally minutes away and Arkansas lies 30 minutes to the south.

Thus far, my road trips include jaunts into Oklahoma and Arkansas plus a road trip in Missouri and a weekend getaway in Joplin. I’m looking at you now, Kansas! Next road trip I’ll find something to explore there.

Bentonville, Arkansas offers many fun attractions.  A new contemporary art museum/gathering place, The Momentary, drew our interest and curiosity this trip.

Come explore The Momentary with me and tour the fascinating Nick Cave exhibit, Until.

The Momentary title meme

The Momentary Museum

A former cheese factory, The Momentary repurposed the existing 63,000 square foot space to create a contemporary museum and social gathering place. The multidisciplinary building houses space for visual and performing arts, culinary experiences, festivals, artists in residence and more.

Architects left most of the building intact, minimizing the carbon footprint and the use of new materials while preserving a piece of Bentonville history.

Founded by the Walton Family, The Momentary’s mission is to champion contemporary art’s role in everyday life.

Admission is free. The Momentary is open Tuesday – Sunday, 10:00 – 7:00, closed Monday. During this time, masks that cover the nose and mouth are required at all times, while inside the building and on the grounds. Social distancing and the limitation of guests is in effect as well.

The Momentary boiler room
Original boiler room, inside The Momentary.

The building offers distinctive spaces.

Galleries

The large, open galleries and attached smaller rooms feature art and exhibits that change throughout the year. The current exhibit, Nick Cave’s Until, remains at The Momentary through January 3, 2021.

The Tower

The 70 foot tall Tower contains multiple mezzanines for visual arts, performances and social events. It’s capped by Tower Bar, a social space offering drinks, bar-type food and spectacular views.

Seating is currently limited to 40 guests and parties limited to 10 people.

Tower Bar hours are Tuesday – Thursday, 5:00 – 10:00, Friday – Saturday 5:00 – midnight, closed Sunday – Monday.

The Momentary tower
The Tower

Rode House

In Rode House enjoy films, performances and gatherings in a customizable space with an adjustable floor system. The Rode Bar, located off of Rode House, offers patio seating for drinks and snacks.

Rode House hours, Wednesday – Thursday 5:00 – 9:00, Friday 4:00 – 11:00, Saturday 11:00 – 11:00, closed Sunday – Tuesday.

The Momentary courtyard
The Rode Bar with outdoor seating.

The Breakroom

Located in the original breakroom of the cheese factory, The Breakroom offers lunch and dinner in a space overlooking the galleries. Due to following COVID guidelines, The Breakroom is temporarily closed.

Onyx Coffee Lab

Located to the right of the main entrance, on the lower level, Onyx Coffee Lab provides a fun place to rest and grab a coffee and a snack. Sit inside or on the outdoor patio.

Hours, Tuesday – Sunday 10:00 – 7:00. Closed Monday.

Momentary Shop

The Momentary Shop offers prints and books by featured artists and wonderfully unique gifts.

Momentary Green

Outdoors Momentary Green provides room for activities, picnics, gatherings, music, art exhibits and special events.

The Momentary tent and sculptures
Momentary Green

 

Artist Nick Cave: Until

For Nick Cave, a dancer, fabric sculptor and performance artist based out of Chicago, Until is his largest, most ambitious project yet. The exhibit occupies 24,000 square feet of gallery space at The Momentary.

The title Until comes from the phrase, “innocent until proven guilty”. For some in the US, black men in particular, Nick explains that the words “guilty until proven innocent” ring more true. Until is the word that changes everything, the hinge into the unknown.

Nick’s new exhibit is, partly, a response to the killing of black men across the US.

He hopes that the immersive nature of his art invites the viewer to “step in”. Because once you step in, you are no longer an outside observer, you are implicated, involved.

Step into the different elements of the exhibit with me.

The Momentary wall art
The Momentary – art projected upon the walls and floor

Wind Ornament Forest

Walking into the Until Exhibit, the first large room features thousands of colorful spinners and pinwheels. Strung from ceiling to floor, the initial effect is dizzying, joyful and playful. A path winds through the forest of spinners that do indeed rotate, reflecting flashes light.

On closer inspection, I realize many of the spinners contain silhouettes of guns, bullets and targets. Those silhouettes powerfully change the whole feel of the room. The images within the twirling spinners brought to mind the words “moving targets”. It unsettled me and made me reflective, which is Nick’s intention I believe.

The Momentary pinwheels
The Momentary – the first room in the Until Exhibit, spinners and pinwheels
The Momentary Nick Cave Until
The Momentary – thousands of spinners fill the room. This is a small segment.

Crystal Cloud

Leaving the spinners, we enter a room divided into distinct areas.

I veer to the right, my attention captivated by the sparkling crystal cloud suspended above me. Thousands of crystals dangle from wires and chandeliers mounted on a cloud shaped structure.

As Nick worked on the spinners project, a question arose.

“Is there racism in heaven?”

The question birthed the crystal cloud. Beneath it, the chandeliers dazzle. Looking up through a large chandelier, I glimpsed a floor above, covered with found objects. Peering up reminds me of the song, “Holes in the Floor of Heaven”. The lyrics tell us that loved ones who pass on watch us and watch over us, through the holes in the floor of heaven.

Four yellow ladders give access to small platforms, which in turn offer views of heaven above the cloud. Nick collects found objects and heaven contains a wild assortment of ceramic birds and animals, gold statues, flowers, fruit, an old phonograph and, disturbing to me initially, those small lawn jockeys that used to be popular years ago. I never liked those statues.

They depict seated black boys holding out a lantern, a fishing pole or a ring through which horse reins could be tied. Nick rescues these statues, from flea markets and yard sales, and places dream catchers in their hands, symbolizing a new life where anything is possible.

We climb stairs to the mezzanine, to view the top of the cloud and other massive works of art better seen from above.

The Momentary crystal heaven
The Momentary – Crystal Cloud below
The Momentary - heaven
The Momentary – heaven above – Nick Cave Exhibit

Beaded Wall Art

After studying the top of the cloud, and allowing feelings to surface, I turn to examine the magnificent beaded wall art. Millions of glass and plastic beads, strung on netting, create waterfalls of color. These massive works of art boggle the mind, hanging in a three story space.

How long did it take to create these?

The security guard below told us to look for the hidden messages. They aren’t hard to find. On one wall hanging a peace sign and a happy face peer at us. On the other, the word POWER stands out.

Nick drew inspiration from graffiti marred cliffs he saw, as he traveled on the train from Penn Station in New York City. In that graffiti, words of hate caught his attention. Nick re-framed his experience, creating instead colorful art that offers hope and optimism.

The Momentary - hanging installation
The Momentary – beaded wall art
The Momentary inside hanging installation
Standing inside one of the wall hangings, looking up.

The Flow

The last room we visit contains a moving, visual work of art titled Flow Blow.

Fans on scaffolding continually blow shiny blue and silver mylar strands into the room, creating a soothing waterfall effect. The hum of the fans and the mesmerizing movement of the mylar strands work their magic.

Nick intends for this room to provide a peaceful environment to process thoughts and emotions. He hopes people walk away, back through the exhibit, changed by their experience.

The Momentary flow
The Momentary – Flow Blow

My Thoughts About Until

This is a unique and moving exhibit, by a talented artist.

I read that in 1992, Nick sat in a Chicago park, stunned by the news of the beating of Rodney King and the LA riots. Feeling vulnerable, as an African American man, and targeted, he gathered sticks off of the ground.

In his studio, he turned the sticks into his first soundsuit, a wearable sculpture with a defensive shell. Nick’s soundsuits effectively mask the entire body, erasing identity. This man’s art continues to provide a platform for civil discourse, debate, change and ultimately, hope.

I felt the contrast between the bright, colorful works of art and the deeper, sometimes darker messages they contain. I love that the exhibit is so large. It allows time to process images and feel the emotions as I slowly wander.

The mental image of Nick sitting on a park bench, wondering what might happen next, troubled me. I’ve never had a gun pointed at me. I’ve never been afraid that I am a target. The closest I can come to knowing that level of vulnerability and fear was when the EF5 tornado ripped through my Joplin neighborhood in 2011. Crouching in a closet, hearing the sounds of destruction around me, I didn’t know what was going to happen next. I didn’t know if I would survive.

That is a tiny fraction of what others feel, especially in the black community. And that hurts my heart.

Momentary

I deeply appreciate the art of Nick Cave. My heart stirred, I feel inspired to create change. I want to listen and learn and discover how I can be that change.

Momentary is defined as “lasting for a short time”. It’s the perfect name for a place that frequently changes what they offer. My time at The Momentary was brief however the impact is lasting. I look forward to more experiences there. And I look forward to seeing what continues to unfold in my life as a result of my visit.

The Momentary Ferni
Ferni’s photo, at The Momentary.

Learn more about Nick Cave HERE.

 


 

 

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