Surrounded By The Sound Festival

There's a pretty cool music festival happening this September in a tiny corner of South Carolina, called Surrounded By The Sound. The lineup consists of reggae/rock bands from all across the country. Headliners include Passafire and The Movement. The festival is located at Chatooga Camp Ground in Long Creek, S.C. and the dates are September 1-4. I will be there with VIP passes and hope that you can join in the festivities. Come prepared to camp with the trippiest campers in the south east.

Join The Fun

Simply Bonnaroo

There's a music festival for every taste and every counter culture in America and Europe. Smaller festivals can average 5000 people while larger festivals attract 100000 or more. I've visited a few festivals but none of them compare to the one and only Bonnaroo. This year I volunteered for a few days on the farm and got to experience the magic first hand.
This year's headliners were great. LCD Soundystem, Pearl Jam, and Dead & Co. I felt butterflys when I found out the lineup, and read through names of great musicians. Some I knew and some I knew I would grow to love. 

I knew that I wanted to volunteer this year so my husband and I signed up as soon as the applications came out. I signed up for Festival Activities Croo so that we would be able to interact with other Bonnaroovians. We were assigned to the Roo Run and Slip N Slide. Both were excellent jobs that I would love to be involved with again next year. Slip N Slide was definitely the most fun, we got to stay cool, play with the Roo kids, and even be close enough to catch artists in The Other Tent. 

Camping at Bonnaroo is amazing no matter if you are in the GA or Volunteer camp grounds. I've been on both sides of the fence, and I can definitely say the volunteers party a lot harder. A lot of volunteers return year after year and it is a close group, even if you are a first timer. I met up with an amazing group from around the country thanks to Facebook and social media. It was such a surreal feeling to automatically be so close to these cool kids. We all came from different corners of the country, even this one beautiful Canadian lass. But we all had music in common and a desire to live life to the fullest. We showed eachother our party techniques, worked to build a camp together, shared our supplies and looked out for eachother when we were down for the count. That's a love you don't get at other festivals. A community only Bonnaroo offers. I'm truly blessed to have met such a great new fest fam. And I can't wait to travel with them again.

Panorama of the field before Dead & Co

But back to the music. My top two showes this year were the headliners Pearl Jam and Dead & Co. I've dreamed of seeing both of them since I was a kid, something only Bonnaroo can deliver. Pearl Jam rocked, they rocked hard. Apparently it was Eddie's daughters birthday. Hubby and I showed up with a few other friends, but they left to see another set, and that gave up the opportunity to dash up toward the center front. Another beautiful thing about Roo and other festivals is that you can get so close to your favorite artists. With a little patience and timing, you can be on the rail for nearly any set. The Dead & Co show was a spiritual experience. I loved the show but the people were producing this vibrating energy of love during it that attracted me more than the performers on stage. I met some beautiful souls in that field that night. And saw some spectacular sights, but what happens at Roo stays at Roo and those stories are only for our fest fam. 

I will return to Bonnaroo again. Maybe in 2017 but I still have to see where my travels take me. While Roo will always feel like a place of peaceful self expression, I know there is more to see and do in this wonderful world. I use Bonnaroo as an inspiration for everything I do in my life now. And it has put a fire in me to travel and meet people and bring as much happiness and peace to this world as I can. I hope you get the chance to experience that magic of Bonnaroo for yourself! 


Culture Appropriation and Embracing Culture

The world is wide and diverse, full of beautiful people with extraordinary characteristics. Groups of people all throughout history have developed their own cultural traits to help define their society. Societies are defined by their different foods, dress, languages and everything in between.
Cultural Appropriation.:
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Often, many cultural trends are assimilated into other societies. America is generally thought to be a "melting-pot" where many cultures have settled and spread. Many sociologists believe that this will eventually happen internationally and is currently in the process. Over time, with the improving transportation system and international marketing, people are moving around the world in record numbers. We are no longer confined to small villages, the world is now at our finger tips. The internet allows us to access any information with the push of a button. With this power comes great responsibility.

Occasionally people will stereotype cultures based on the meager amount of information they think they know about them. They pick apart a specific culture and will focus on the "exotic" aspects of it. This idea is called "culture appropriation" and is a growing problem world wide. With so many different cultures, it is easy to understand the mystery tied to each history. We want to explore and be a part of something different from our norm. We must be cautious when incorporating foreign cultural traits into our own lives, careful not to offend the original culture.

This especially becomes a problem when the stolen culture come from oppressed or marginalized groups. Dominant cultures do not fully respect the cultural significance of the item they are appropriating. They turn it into something fashionable, in turn wiping out the historical meaning of the item. Laverne Cox recently discussed her view of cultural appropriation by saying "We live in a multi-cultural society where being influenced by cultures different from ours is inevitable. But when the traditions and practices of marginalized communities are used by those in power and the material conditions of those who are marginalized are not changed individually and systemically this is when cultural appropriation is deeply problematic and even potentially exploitative." 

The problem as I see it is that we are ignoring history and consuming everything in typical American tradition. We are a melting pot, so much so that we overlook and under value the original individual histories that are the reason we have these great relics. It's disrespectful and show's a lack of empathetic reverence for different cultures.


The best advice I can offer you is to enjoy different cultures at arms length. Do not adorn yourself in spiritual or ritual style clothing or accessories. Enjoy a Thai cooking class, go see a foreign film, explore Native American reservations and learn from them. They are not ours to do with as we please. We can enjoy culture without stripping it away from its origin and pretend we are appreciating it by exploiting it. 

Political Expression And Evolving As A Planet

Our nation has evolved in so many ways over the course of the last few hundred years. In history class we learned vague, pre-approved, lessons about what made our country great. We were told that America was founded for everyone (a great melting pot) and then slavery was legalized and allowed to take place. We are told that we have strong military, capable of defending us from every "insurgent" in the Middle East, but we would only do that if we felt "threatened". Yet time and time again we've been the aggressors without cause. And of course, only biased news and information is reported. All insinuations that America is less than perfect are quickly swept under the rug and we are force fed and idealistic picture of how we are the great hero's of the world.

We all have our opinions. We are constantly gauging partial truths and trying to somehow tie them into our own experiences and morals. We want things to be clear cut (black and white) but experiences are different for everyone. We can't possibly judge truth on our own experiences and it still remain true for anyone other than ourselves. To me, that's why laws never seem quite right, there is no satisfying the masses because there is no correct way to satisfy everyone. Everyone wants something a little different. 

Now, there are some clear winners and clear losers when we acknowledge the handful of things that truly binds all human beings. Pain, Love, Respect, Hunger, and Humanity. If we are not striving to improve (or at least not to worsen) the current situation, then something is not right. We shouldn't make things worse for others. The current ideals of racism (or any -ism) come from the same fears and generalizations of racists centuries ago. For example, take "Mexican" out of any anti-Mexican rhetoric and insert it with "African" or "African-American" and our modern eyes and hearts would quickly identify racism.That, to me, is where I draw the line of political expression. Opposing views on the economy, abortion, the environment, etc are fair game. As long as we are pushing for the positive evolution of all people around the globe, and not devaluing human lives based off fear or misconceptions (aka racism), then by all means feel passionate about your opinion. 

For the past twenty years we have seen a push towards a more accepting country. We are working together, in unity, to fight back against oppressors (politicians and civilians alike). To finally be free to be who we are without persecution. I want the world to realize that every group has extremists who think violence and manipulation are effective tools to gain attention to their cause. But these extremists are the vocal minority.

The majority of people are realizing that we have a standard to uphold. If we want to be this unique melting pot of cultures we have to work together and embrace our differences. We should learn from one another. Not dismiss cultural or social differences because we do not think they apply to us. We are one race, the human race. Let's express ourselves in ways that promotes the good of all humanity and evolve as a planet. 

Music Monday: Walk The Moon "Anna Sun"


Walk The Moon. These guys are AMAZING live. Love them

Screen falling off the door door hanging off the hinges my
Feet are still sore my back is on the fringes
We tore up the walls we slept on couches
We lifted this house we lifted this house

Fire-crackers in the east my car parked south
Your hands on my cheeks your shoulder in my mouth
I was up against the wall on the west mezzanine
We rattle this town, we rattle this scene

O, Anna Sun
O, Anna Sun

What do you know? this house is falling apart
What can I say? this house is falling apart
We got no money, but we got heart
We're gonna rattle this ghost town
This house is falling apart

Screen falling off the door door hanging off the hinges
My feet are still sore my back is on the fringes
We were up against the wall on the west mezzanine
We rattle this town we rattle this scene

O, Anna Sun
O, Anna Sun

What do you know? this house is falling apart
What can I say? this house is falling apart
We got no money, but we got heart
We're gonna rattle this ghost town

What do you know? this house is falling apart
What can I say? this house is falling apart
We got no money, but we got heart
We're gonna rattle this ghost town
This house is falling apart
This house is falling apart

Live my life without
Station wagon rides
Fumbling around the back
Not one seat belt on
Wait for summertime
Coming up for air
Now it's all a wash
Now it's all a wash

Live my life without
Coming up for air
Now it's all a wash
I want everyone
Racing down the hill
I am faster than you
Wait for summertime
Wait for summertime

O, Anna Sun
O, Anna Sun, sun

What do you know? this house is falling apart
What can I say? this house is falling apart
We got no money, but we got heart
We're gonna rattle this ghost town

What do you know? this house is falling apart
What can I say? this house is falling apart
We got no money, but we got heart
We're gonna rattle this ghost town
This house is falling apart
This house is falling apart
This house is falling apart

We're gonna rattle this ghost town
This house is falling apart
This house is falling apart


Creating A Raised Garden

My Garden
Raised Garden
I've been wanting to try my hand at growing a vegetable garden in a raised bed but didn't have the slightest clue where to start. There are many prefabricated beds and even more tutorials on how to build you own. I got lucky when my dad brought home a large wooden shipping crate that will be sufficient for a few growing seasons. I estimate the dimensions of the crate to be roughly 5'x3'x2'. It's premade and the perfect size for a kitchen vegetable garden.


I filled the bottom half of the bed with a foot of native soil. Living in South Carolina, the majority of our soil is red clay, which is not the most nourishing growing medium. While it will still yield many vegetables, it is a great idea to add a different type of soil for drainage. The top half of the crate is filled with a mixture of 1 bag mushroom compost, 3 large bags of Evergreen top soil, and red clay. I intend on adding more mushroom compost and cow manure as needed throughout the season as fertilizer.

The vegetables I planted to begin with include 2 tomato plants, a cucumber, and a squash. I also planted a patch of rosemary and plan to add more herbs in a few days.

Gardening is a labor of love and always a work in progress. Follow me on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with my garden's growth!

Music Monday: Delta Rae "Bottom of the River"


Hold my hand
Ooh, baby, it’s a long way down to the bottom of the river
Hold my hand,
Ooh, baby, it’s a long way down, a long way down

If you get sleep or if you get none
The cock’s gonna call in the morning, baby
Check the cupboard for your daddy’s gun
Red sun rises like an early warning
The Lord’s gonna come for your first born son
His hair’s on fire and his heart is burning
Go to the river where the water runs
Wash him deep where the tides are turning

And if you fall

Hold my hand
Ooh, baby, it’s a long way down to the bottom of the river
Hold my hand,
Ooh, baby, it’s a long way down, a long way down

The wolves will chase you by the pale moonlight
Drunk and driven by a devil’s hunger
Drive your son like a railroad spike
Into the water, let it pull him under
Don’t you lift him, let him drown alive
The good Lord speaks like a rolling thunder
Let that fever make the water rise
And let the river run dry

And I said

Hold my hand
Ooh, baby, it’s a long way down to the bottom of the river
Hold my hand,
Ooh, baby, it’s a long way down, a long way down



Lava Lamps

Lava lamps are beautiful. When art meets lighting, we find lava lamps. Half mood lighting apparatus, half molten psychedelic experience. Lava lamps are popular hippie adornments. Growing in popularity and even seeing a surge in demand in the 1990's

Lava lamps (or Astro lamps) were invented by British accountant, Edward Walker, in 1963. They consist of a glob of wax inside a translucent liquid. The wax is heated by a light bulb and bubbles up forming spheres of lava.


 

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