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Category: Historic Cemeteries

Ghost Hunters: I need your advice!

Understanding Cemetery Symbols has companion workbooks! After a lifetime of exploring historic graveyards and several years of earnest research, I’m finally releasing my cemetery symbols book this summer. Hooray! As you can see from the image above, in addition to Understanding Cemetery Symbols: A Field Guide for Historic Graveyards, I’m releasing two different workbooks.   Paranormal Researchers: I need your input! This is where you come in. Let me know in the comments section at the bottom of this post what you think about the following plan for Ghost Hunters Journal: A Workbook for Paranormal Investigators. What the Ghosthunters Journal is: Ghost Hunters…

M is for Mirror Image

I love encouraging others! Since I love encouraging others so much, I’m sharing Creativity Memes for this year’s A to Z Blog Challenge. The quotes are from all over, but I took each photo with my iPhone. Here’s today’s featured letter: M is for Mirror Image Today’s message is one I should tattoo on my inner eyelids! It’s not a daily thing, but every now and then, I compare myself to another creative person, find myself terribly lacking, and fall into a funk. Why can’t I achieve what they have? Why can’t I be better at what I do? Why haven’t I gotten this…

L is Let Go of Perfectionism #AtoZChallenge

I love encouraging others! Since I love encouraging others so much, I’m sharing Creative Encouragement Memes for this year’s A to Z Blog Challenge. The quotes are from all over, but I took each photo with my iPhone. Here’s today’s featured letter: L is for Let Go of Perfectionism Perfectionism is a sneaky being with claws. It seeps into your creative projects with the best of intentions. I only want you to do your best, it whispers, I’m only here to help you improve. However, perfectionism is more than just doing your best. Perfectionism is an excess. Perfectionism keeps you from moving…

I is for Ideas Are Like Beach Rocks

I love encouraging others! Since I love encouraging others so much, I’m sharing Creative Encouragement Memes for this year’s A to Z Blog Challenge. The quotes are from all over, but I took each photo with my iPhone. Here’s today’s featured letter: Ideas are like Beach Rocks “Ideas are like rocks on a beach: They’re everywhere, but they don’t stack themselves!”- Tui Snider Have you ever met someone who treated their ideas as if they were the final product? I’m talking about folks who cling to an idea as tightly as Gollum held onto “The Precious.” Hey, I’ve done it myself! Sometimes…

H is for Hating Yourself #AtoZChallenge

I love encouraging others! Since I love encouraging others so much, I’m sharing Creative Encouragement Memes for this year’s A to Z Blog Challenge. The quotes are from all over, but I took each photo with my iPhone. Here’s today’s featured letter: H is for Hating Yourself One thing we have ALL got in common: We all have faults! But that’s ok. In fact, sometimes our faults are part of what make us interesting. Case in point: every single movie or TV show you enjoy. If the characters were all flawless, would you even bother watching the story? So quit spending all…

G is for Giving Up vs a Creative Charley Horse

I love encouraging others! Since I love encouraging others so much, I’m sharing Creative Encouragement Memes for this year’s A to Z Blog Challenge. The quotes are from all over, but I took each photo with my iPhone. Here’s today’s featured letter: Is it Time to Give Up? Or is it a Creative Charley Horse? Have you ever had a Charley Horse? That’s the nickname for a terrible cramp that strikes out of the blue, usually affecting your calf muscles. When you get a Charley Horse, every instinct tells you to keep pointing your toes, even though that’s the wrong thing to…

F is for Friends Feed Creativity: Online & Off

I love encouraging others! Since I love encouraging other creatives so much, I’m sharing Homemade Creativity Memes for this year’s A to Z Blog Challenge. By “homemade” I mean that the quotes are from all over, but I took each photo with my iPhone. Here’s the one I made for today: F is for Friends Feed Creativity Online & Off! I can be quite the hermit, it’s true! My creative process for writing, music and even photography often finds me wandering off by myself for hours, even days, at a time. And while I enjoy this time alone, when I finally…

E is for Express versus Impress

I love encouraging others! Since I love encouraging other creatives so much, I’m sharing Homemade Creativity Memes for this year’s A to Z Blog Challenge. By “homemade” I mean that the quotes are from all over, but I took each photo with my iPhone. Here’s the one I made for today: E is for Express versus Impress Have you ever found yourself changing your creative project to try and please someone else? Maybe they made an offhand comment about your work and now you find yourself trying to impress them rather than express yourself. In the end, some people will love…

D is for Doubt Kills Dreams

I love encouraging others! Since I love encouraging other creatives so much, I’m sharing Homemade Creativity Memes for this year’s A to Z Blog Challenge. By “homemade” I mean that the quotes are from all over, but I took each photo with my iPhone. Here’s the one I made for today: D is for Doubt Kills Dreams Have you ever quit working on a creative project because you doubted yourself? I know I have! Who needs trolls when your inner critic can rip you to shreds, right? So let’s have a moment of silence for all those potentially wonderful projects that never saw…

C is for Creative Contagion

I love encouraging others! Since I love encouraging other creatives so much, I’m sharing Homemade Creativity Memes for this year’s A to Z Blog Challenge. By “homemade” I mean that the quotes are from all over, but I took each photo with my iPhone. Here’s the one I made for today: C is for Creative Contagion “Creativity is contagious. Pass it on.” – Albert Einstein This Einstein quote is a new one to me, and I love it! There truly is something contagious about seeing another creative person in action. I think that’s why makeover shows and diy home repair shows…

B is for Beautiful Being

I love encouraging others! Since I love encouraging other creatives so much, I’m sharing Homemade Creativity Memes for this year’s A to Z Blog Challenge. By “homemade” I mean that the quotes are from all over, but I took each photo with my iPhone. Here’s the one I made for today: B is for Beautiful Being “Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself.” – Coco Chanel I know, I know! You’ve been told to “be yourself” so many times that it’s become a meaningless phrase. But I love this quote from the fashion icon, Coco Chanel. Her words apply just…

A is for Afraid to Begin

I love encouraging others! Since I love encouraging other creatives so much, I’m sharing Homemade Creativity Memes for this year’s A to Z Blog Challenge. By “homemade” I mean that the quotes are from all over, but I took each photo with my iPhone. Here’s the one I made for today: A is for Afraid to Begin? Do you ever get the urge to create something, but chicken out because you’re not an expert? I’ve done that so many times! Didn’t pick up the paint brush because I’m not Picasso. Didn’t touch the piano because I’m not Chopin. But in the…

Win Tickets to the 2017 Aurora Alien Encounter #Texas #UFO #con

September 16, 2017: Aurora Alien Encounter UFO Conference Did You know a UFO crashed in Aurora, TX in 1897?  The City of Aurora and Vortexas invite you to come and celebrate the 120th anniversary of this bizarre event  on Saturday, September 16, 2017 for the second annual AURORA ALIEN ENCOUNTER! ( PLEASE NOTE: This event was originally scheduled for April 22th, 2017, but the date has been bumped ahead)   What is the Aurora Alien Encounter? This exciting UFO Conference commemorates a strange event which occurred on April 17, 1897 when a UFO crashed in Aurora, a small town north of Fort…

What Does a Sunrise or Sunset Symbolize on Headstones?

This week’s cemetery symbols topic: Just like several other cemetery symbols posts on my site, this one was inspired by graves I saw in Aurora, Texas. Today I’ll be answering the question: “What does a sunrise or sunset symbolize on a headstone?” Is it a Sunrise or a Sunset? When you see a sun on a headstone, the first thing you might wonder is, “Is this a sunrise? Or is this a sunset?” The answer is yes! And by ‘yes’ I”m not just being a wiseacre. What I mean is that this is a dual symbol. It actually represents both a sunrise…

Historic Graveyards: What Does a Cube Symbolize on a Headstone?

Cubes are not merely decorative It’s easy to overlook the meaning behind simple shapes on historic headstones, and even to assume they are merely decorative. Sometimes, of course, that is the case. After all, a cube is not all that complex or particularly exciting to look at. Even so, when featured at a gravesite, there is often a symbolic meaning behind it. I recently came across this particular cube while exploring the historic graveyard up in Aurora, Texas and decided this week’s cemetery symbols post would answer the question, “What does a cube symbolize on a headstone?” What does a…

The Quirky Grave of Anthony Bascilli in Thurber, Texas

Anthony Bascilli was a quirky guy! One of the most mysterious burial sites in historic Thurber Cemetery is the grave of Anthony Bascilli (1855 – 1932.)  Even in life, Anthony Bascilli had his quirks. According to Jeff Walker at the Texas Tabernacle blog, this Hungarian immigrant sometimes amused himself by getting drunk and tossing off half-sticks of dynamite while strolling the back roads of Thurber, Texas. Bascilli worked in Thurber’s coal mines, so I suppose access to dynamite was easy. And you’ve got to get your jollies somehow, right?   Anthony Bascilli’s elaborate burial plans What really sets Anthony Bascilli apart from other…

Historic Texas Graveyard: Thurber Cemetery 

This week’s feature: Thurber Cemetery The following is an adapted excerpt from Unexpected Texas, my quirky travel guide to offbeat and overlooked day trips near Dallas and Fort Worth: This week’s featured graveyard is Thurber Cemetery. Part of what makes it such an interesting place to explore is the unique history of the area, so here’s a brief overview:   More than a Smokestack These days, Thurber’s 128-foot brick smokestack is the only thing most people notice as they whiz through this ghost town on their way to Abilene. It’s all that remains of the power plant which, in 1895,…

Memorial Day’s Surprising Origins

Memorial Day’s Surprising Origins Did you know that Memorial Day began as a remembrance for Union soldiers who lost their lives in the American Civil War (1861-1865)? After World War I, this federal holiday was changed to honor all men and women who lost their lives in any US military conflict. Before that, Memorial Day was all about the north. Decoration Day Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day. The word “decoration” refers to flags and bouquets with which citizens decorated the graves of fallen soldiers.  This name wasn’t changed until after World War II. Why is Memorial Day in…

Barefoot Mailmen of Florida

Join me for an A to Z Road Trip! I’m taking you on a road trip with me by sharing travel photos for this year’s A to Z Blog Challenge. So come along as we explore some of my favorite offbeat, overlooked and just plain interesting places in Texas… and beyond! Today is letter B: Barefoot Mailmen of Florida Florida’s treacherous terrain One reason southern Florida remained sparsely populated for so long is because of its dense undergrowth. Even today, most public parks feature raised wooden boardwalks through the woods for visitors rather than mere trails. Boating, walking and swimming mailmen…

Cemetery Roundup: Quirky Graves, Headstones & Epitaphs

FREE Cemetery Symbols Guide: Would you like a FREE guide to historic cemetery symbolism? If so, click the image below: April Fool’s Day fun… at the cemetery? Since it’s April Fool’s Day, thought I’d share a round up of some of the more playful interments I have come across while researching my upcoming book, Messages from the Dead: A Field Guide to Cemetery Symbols. In fact, this afternoon on the Para Mysteries show, Teal Gray and I will be chatting about these quirky graves, as well as recent archeological finds pertaining to Hell Hounds lore. Tune in or catch the…