August 27

Haunted Dolls

With all the hype surrounding Haunted Dolls, I thought I would investigate and see why people are so obsessed with them. When most of us picture dolls, we automatically think of smiling children dressing them up for a tea party, or playing with them in their rooms. It is an innocent and happy thought, but many people are very unnerved by dolls and believe that they are haunted. They think that dolls have somehow come alive, and have caused harm in their home and may be causing harm.  I know there are several movies out now that features haunted dolls, but dolls are their own can be very creepy without any sort of backstory or curse. Dolls have been around since humans, although the reason why the practice of making human replicas has been lost in time. They may have been used as a historic marker, an art project, a way to sooth children, for religious practice, or a varied amount of other reasons. Let’s explore the reasons behind why people believe in haunted dolls.

Image result for dolls made out of bone
Doll made from human bone.

Possibly dolls come across as haunted due to what was used to construct them. Dolls have been made with many different materials throughout the years such as mud, clay, wood, flowers, wax, plastic, and of course, human bone. For example, I have a doll that was my Grandma’s that has human teeth, and human hair. It doesn’t bother me in the least because using that materiel wasn’t sinister or evil. Dentist would make money selling teeth to various places, and many dolls had human teeth. Women sold their hair as well, so doll makers would use real human hair. Using human hair, teeth, and bones has been traced back as far as ancient Egypt and most likely has been going on further back than that. Not everyone uses the practice of making dolls out of human parts is due to using what material that was available. There are some rituals out there that require a doll made out of human bone. They may do this as a tribute to a recent loved one, and use their bones to create a doll. Or, in some practices, using bone and blood of a human to make a doll could be used in a curse, ill intent, or dark magic. If you ever come across any of these dolls in a family  home, or in a museum they could come off as haunted due to what was put into them.

 

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The real Annabel

This leads to the question of why people are so afraid of dolls and think they are haunted? Can a doll actually hold a curse or a human soul? Why does it feel as though some dolls are alive and looking right at you. Maybe they appear as though they are moving, blinking, or speaking, when none of those things are logically possible. Many of these things can easily explained away due to your own fear, a trick of the light, or your hearing was off. However, that doesn’t take away the feeling of knowing something else is around you. I am talking about that feeling that you can’t explain away. It’s like you are being watched when no one else is around. You know with everything in you that there is someone, or something in the room with you even though you can’t see it. Could it be coming from a doll? Could it actually be saying your name, or moving slightly in the dark? I believe that it is entirely possible.

Image result for small granite statues

 

I have a belief that some works of art carry with them a part of the person who created them. You have heard over and over again, how many artists put their blood, sweat, and tears into a project. Some are so very personal, that it is like a child to them. For example, Da Vinci carried around the Mona Lisa with him everywhere he went. It was so precious to him that he needed it with him at all times. It was part of him, and I believe when he left this world, he left part of himself with he Mona Lisa. I also think that some of these artifacts that you see throughout the world have “recorded” what they have witnessed. The fact that some of these works are even existing today is amazing. But looking at the history of some of these pieces, then seeing the work of art can make you feel more than just awe. It can be off putting or even scary. What if they have recorded part of what happened and now it is part of the art, just as much as the name of the artist? There is a lot of debate about this, but there seems to be proof that granite and marble can record sound. Many statues, and even small dolls have been made out of this material, so what if they are just recording their past, and we are feeling or hearing it? This would truly make a person feel afraid, so what if this fear is just a natural occurrence?

Image result for krusty the clown evil doll

However, that will only explain a small portion of dolls since only a percentage is made out of stone. What about the rest of these dolls that seem to be evil? There is another logical reason as to why people may believe in haunted dolls. There is an actual fear of dolls called pediophobia. This fear is actually very common and you will hear many people saying how afraid they are of some dolls. This phobia does state that this is a fear of humanoid figures, so that means that the person may not be afraid of all dolls, but only dolls that look a certain way.  However, this is a very real problem and fear for some people. It is so serious that they need treatment for their fear. The depth of fear ranges from person to person, and should be considered very real, and taken seriously. While some people have a touch of this fear, others have a very hard time living with it. Since this is a common occurrence, this could be a reason why people believe in haunted dolls. In fact, people who make these movies and these stories could just be taking advantage of a very common fear.

While there are many reasons as to why a person is fearful of dolls, it doesn’t prove that there are haunted dolls. It doesn’t disproved it either. There are too many haunted doll stories out there to not take notice. However, people are also trying to make a buck, and are taking advantage of a collective fear. The amount of haunted dolls being sold on Ebay is crazy! There are thousands of them, but there is no way that all of these people have an actual haunted doll. The history of dolls is very creepy and even dark. They can be very innocent, but they can also be very scary! I believe that it is possible for a doll to be haunted but I also think that there is many logical reasons behind the fear. I will be looking into some haunted doll stories later, but I wanted to see the why behind the fear to try to understand what is going on. I am going to leave you with this parting thought from Ken Hoyt who works at Pollack Toy Museum. “Dolls can be made out of anything, and they can be made into anything.”

 

While you are getting ready to hide your dolls, take a moment for a snack and visit my affiliate program here by clicking the banner or following the link: Deep River Snacks Honchos Chips: Free Trial

 

August 22

Deep River Snacks

I am so excited to bring you a review with one of my affiliate programs from Deep River Snacks called Honchos. This is a brand new company that I am working with and I am excited to taste their products and give you my honest feelings. For full disclosure, yes this is a program where I can get paid. Like everyone else, I need to make money to live. Blogging is part of my income, but I would never partner with anyone that I wouldn’t personally use or trust. I will promise to give you my honest thoughts. If I don’t like it, I have no problem letting you know why. It could be a personal taste, or something that doesn’t work for me, but I can see the value in it for other people. For all the legal disclaimers, please take a look at my Shameless Self Promotion page:  http://www.andtheunderdogwins.com/shameless-self-promotion

 

There is a trial snack package of Honchos that you can try for free. I was given one by the company for my opinion on the chips. I will make sure to put links down below so you can get yours for free as well! The package came in a few days in a sturdy box, containing three, 1.5 oz bags of chips. Honchos are certified organic, contain no MSG and has no dye! As much as I love snacks, this is something that I should be eating instead of the other stuff. If you don’t know me, I love me some chips! They also give 10% of their proceeds to different charities. Their stories appear on the back of the bags so you can also check those out as you try out your free trial. The chip to air ratio is average. Meaning when you open the bag, you will get about the same amount of chips in the bag as you would expect in another other snack package of chips. The flavors that I got were Ranch, Peach habanero, and Nacho Cheese.  Let’s break down each of my reactions

 

Ranch Flavor Honchos :

 

I have not been known to be the biggest ranch flavor chip fan. I picked up the bag, which feels thicker than the average chip bag. I do the smell test right as I open the bag, and a deep breath. I was delightfully surprised by how pleasant the smell was that filled my nostrils. My first reaction was, fresh! The second was that there was a lot of flavor. If you read the bag, it says, “Exploding with Ranch Flavor.” It also smells like the fresh tortilla chips flavor so I was a bit excited to see what it tasted like. The taste was amazing! The Ranch flavor was rich and not overwhelming. I immediately starting planning to make this part of my taco salad later on. Although I am not a huge fan of the ranch flavor, this wasn’t bad at all. I would get this again. One a scale from 1 to 5, which is the highest, I will give this a 4 out of a 5. I was pretty surprised that the ranch tasted as good as it did!

 

 

Peach Habanero Honchos:

Now, I was pretty nervous about trying out these chips. I am not good with heat at all. I try to avoid it at most costs because I have acid reflex. The combination of the peach flavor really intrigued me so I decided to try one chip and see how it went. The smell was very peachy, and I couldn’t detect any spicy smell. This means that either it is going to be milder than I thought, or much worse. The package said it was medium heat which also scared me. But this is for you, Underdogs, and I am going to give you my honest review! After staring at the chip for several moments, I went ahead and took a tiny bite. First, I was hit with a wonderful peach flavor. It actually didn’t taste fake or chemical at all. It wasn’t overly sweet either. Then, the heat came! It snuck up on me and I thought I had somehow gotten to avoid it. I ate the rest of the chip to see what would happen. I felt the heat on my tongue and on the inside of my cheeks. The peach flavor did help tame it down, but that heat was still there! I give this a 3.5 out of 5. The reason is because I don’t like the heat. If you do enjoy heat, you will like this chip. I really, really enjoyed the peach flavor and hope that it might be in another flavor combo.

 

Nacho Cheese Honchos:

 

The last bag of Honchos chips in the package was Nacho Cheese. I was super excited and nervous to try these. My favorite flavors have to do with cheese so the stakes here high with this chip! The smell was very light. I took a bite and my immediate reaction was, “YUMMY!” This was so good! It tasted so good, and I wanted more! The taste seemed like there was more than one type of cheese at work. It was very fresh, and very good. This, by far, is my favorite out of the three flavors that I was able to try. I give it a 5 out of 5!

 

 

 

 

All in all, I think these chips are pretty good. I would get them again. I know what you are thinking, Underdogs, aren’t you getting paid to say this? No, I am not. I got the chance to get paid for this, but these thoughts of mine are given in an honest fashion. I won’t steer you wrong, and I don’t like the product, I will let you know. I wasn’t a huge fan of the Peach Habanero chips. If I came across them in a store, I wouldn’t get them because I have such a hard time with spicy things. Even though I enjoyed the peach flavor, it is not enough to make me want it again. I can see how many would enjoy this, especially if you like salsa with fruit. I loved the Nacho Cheese Honchos, and the Ranch was very good. I would make these part of my regular chip rotation. Because, I love chips a whole lot! I encourage you to try out the free trail.

Are you asking what the catch is, because nothing is free? You will need to put in a credit card number. If you cancel before the end of the free trail, you will not have any sort of charge on your card at all. You will need to pay attention to the date you place your order, and how long the trial is, which is a week, I believe. What I do when I want to try a free trial is the following. I look at the information about the promo. I then look to see how easy it is to cancel if I want. That is available in the FAQ section. I don’t like a whole lot of work to stop a service if I don’t want it. Deep River Honchos makes it very easy. In fact, they even send you an email reminding you that your trial is almost up if you want to continue, or cancel. I still count the number of days between the start of the trial, and when it will be up. I then put a reminder in my phone one day before the very last day of the trial. This is a reminder that if I want to continue of my service, then I might want to update my card information. If I decide that I no longer want this service, I will then cancel my trial and move on.

 

Are you ready to give these chips a try for yourself? Follow the link below and get started here:

Try a Free Trial of Honchos from Deep River Snacks!

August 21

Myths about the Sun and Moon

In honor of the eclipse, I thought we would honor the Sun and Moon by telling some of their myths. The universe is an amazing place, Underdogs, and we understand very little about it. We don’t have the power and technology to really see into the deep depths of space, or be able to test the contents of the Sun and Moon. We can study them, and sometimes, if we are very lucky, we can observe some wonders of nature such as today’s eclipse. Many cultures still believe in the power of the Sun and the Moon and there isn’t anything wrong with that. Nature is awe inspiring and something that we can never replicate in a lab, or in a big budget movie. Here are some interesting myths about two of our sky favorites.

Sun and Moon kid myths:

Image result for moon made out of cheese orgins free images

Who doesn’t love a good hunk of cheese once in awhile. If that means you are eating it by itself, or are putting it on a grilled cheese sandwich, cheese is out of this world! Why would someone think that the moon is made out of cheese? This is something that most of us have heard since we were children, and it makes many of us laugh. The simple explanation is that when  you look at the Moon, you will see dark spots which are craters. This resembles holes in a cheese wheel.  There has been references to the Moon being made out of cheese since the 16th century and continues up until present day, with many of these myths appearing in children’s story books. Many people say the Moon is made of green cheese which can be traced back to seeing the reflection of the moon in the water and the color appearing to be green. As far as a children’s sun myth, there are not many famous ones. However, many believed that the Sun and the Moon were married. When the Sun went to bed, the Moon would go to work. When the Moon went to bed, the Sun would go to work. That is how you can explain the differences between night and day.

 

The Sun and Moon and Behavior:

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Have you ever gone outside and howled at the Moon? What about feeling energized after spending some time in the Sun? Have you heard the tales of how Emergency Rooms are filled during the full Moon, or have heard of the term Moonstruck? People from all over believe that the cycles of the Sun and the Moon can cause human’s to act or behave in a certain fashion. In fact, the female menstrual cycle has been refereed to as her moon for years. There have even been Presidents, such as Ronald Reagan, who have looked to the skies to plan big events and speeches. We aren’t really sure why, but the Sun and the Moon seem to be related to how humans act. It can be tied to how animals act, so it’s not too far of to believe that humans might be enchanted as well. While it is hard to explain the why of this, you are far more likely to get into an accident when the Moon is full, and the Sun is at it’s greatest point in the sky. Researchers can connect a spike in crime during a Full Moon. Interestingly enough, there is an actual phenomena called Photic Sneeze which happens to a small percentage of people who sneeze after looking at the Sun.  The Sun and Moon make the world a more amazing place for more than one reason!

The Sun and Moon in the cards:

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In Tarot Cards, which many people are familiar with or have read them before, the Sun and the Moon have cards that are very meaningful. For instance, the Moon card can represent fear, anxiety, unhappiness, or confusion. It can represent the unconscious mind. There are some who say that if you draw a Moon card as your very first card, replace the cared and put it away for at least 24 hours. While this might seem like a negative thing, this of course, matters on the subject at hand, and the other cards that have been drawn. Getting a Moon card could mean that you need to dive deeper into your untapped self. The Sun is very opposite of the Moon card. It can mean warmth, fun, happiness, and brightness in the future. When you see the Sun, your are either getting a message of strength and encouragement, or you are being shown that the path you are on is a good one. If you get this card and have asked a yes and no question, the answer is saying yes! Tarot cards may be controversial to some, entertainment to others, and deeply meaningful to many. It is a way for some to get insight by using tools.

Those are just some fun myths about the Sun and the Moon. I am very grateful to be able to have been able to witness the solar eclipse. The world is amazing, and sometimes you take for granted the little gifts it gives us. Such as a bright and sunny day, or a night filled with light from the moon. We tend to get to the point where we ignore it, but deep down inside, we all hear the call from nature. That might mean we act a certain way when the Moon is full, or we feel our happiest when the Sun is shining over our heads. I hope you got to enjoy the eclipse today. If not, it is online for viewing!

In the meantime, how about a snack from Deep River Honchos Chips. Follow this link to get your free trial.

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August 20

Supernatural Sunday: Solar Eclipse

The Solar Eclipse is coming, Underdogs! We need to be prepared either for the end of the world, or just seeing something really cool! While a solar eclipse is something that happens about every 18 months, the one coming up on August 21st, 2017, is rare for the Untied States because we will be in the direct path to see a total eclipse. It will depend on where you live in the country if you will be able to see the full or a partial eclipse. This makes the eclipse rare for many of us who may not get many chances to see this in our life time. If you are not sure what a solar eclipse, it is when the Moon passes between the Sun and the Earth. This means that for a temporary time, the Sun will be blocked out by the Moon and it will be dark. The Sun will slowly reappear as they Moon goes on it’s merry way. There are many strange things that will happen during the eclipse, and there is a lot of amazing myths that are associated with them.  An eclipse can be very amazing or terrifying depending on what you believe.

Image result for Gabe from the Office: Sun

Of course, I want to take a moment to give a stern warning. I know this may be annoying to some, but you only have your eye sight to protect!  Do not look directly at the solar eclipse! It is always dangerous to look at the sun, and even more so during an eclipse. Regular sunglasses are not strong enough to help you out, so if you want to watch you will need NASA approved glasses.  You can also get wielder’s glasses, or use the pin hole method. You can’t use your cell phone to take a video because it will not only damage your eyes, but it could fry your phone as well! Here is a link to some ways that you can safely observe the eclipse. https://www.nytimes.com/guides/science/how-to-watch-a-solar-eclipse

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Now that is taken care of, let’s talk about the real life strange things that can happen during a total eclipse of the sun. First, since there will be total or very close to total darkness, animals will be confused. The temperature will drop slightly and it will be dark, which will make the animals believe that it is actually night time. This means that many animals will be agitated because they feel “off.” They could start acting like they do before night time including eating, chirping, and going to sleep. Don’t be surprised if you hear roosters crowing when the eclipse is over and the sun is visible again. This could also cause a lot of mass confusion for animals because it’s only been a short amount of time. They may act aggressive due to their confusion. One of the coolest things is like I stated above, that in some places it will be so dark that it will appear to be night. In those spots, you will be able to see the stars and other planets. This is very cool because how many times can you see such a wonderful things during the day? You may also be able to see rainbow spots due to so many natural prisms. There will be shadows going across the ground as the Moon moves and there might be a ring around the Sun.

Of course, when it comes to something as this event has many legends attached to it. Not that long ago, in 1995, a solar eclipse happened where Japan had the total darkness. Some soldiers grew very fearful, thinking that the blackout was due to a dragon. They then fired several rounds of gunfire into the air, killing several innocent people.  This goes back to several cultures believing that the sun is being eaten by a huge being such as a dragon. Other cultures believe that the Sun and the Moon are fighting and it’s result is the eclipse. People also believe that if they go outside and bang pots and pans, it will scare away all the monsters away who are trying to steal the sun. They have had a 100% success rate, and the sun has always come back.

Some of the more supernatural aspects of a solar eclipse are very different. There is a legend that women who are pregnant are in some danger. People are afraid that there is danger to the unborn child because of radiation spikes. (This is not true so don’t worry.) The flip side is that if you are born during a solar eclipse it is an Oman. You might be a very spiritual being, or even evil. The total darkness during the day can be very unnerving to many. This means that some will take this as a sign of unbalance. It can be taken as a message of impending doom or a warning of bad things to come. Other’s take a more positive approach such as Buddhist who believe that this is a very powerful time and you should do more good deeds. The sun and the moment of the planets are very powerful, so it is best to do good things because the ripple effect will be very powerful and positive.

From the astrology side of things, there are people who think that the effects of the solar eclipse happen a few weeks before, and up to a few weeks after. Some describe this time when people are feeling a lot of anxiety and they can’t pin point why. The anxiety may not be because of any impending doom or anything negative. However, it might be due to change. According to some in astrology, a solar eclipse brings new possibility, and change can cause anxiety. They also think that this is the time where the world of the living and the world of the dead are connected for a few moments. You should take this time to reach out to lost loved ones and let them know how much they are missed, or just  listen for the messages you might receive.

People think this is a very magical time that many possibilities are born. It might be good or bad, but you can take the chance and make it your own. These myths and legends are just a small example of many in the world. It is very interesting to read about and I encourage you to do your own research.  No matter what you think or you believe that will happen during an eclipse, it is truly amazing part of nature. We are lucky to be able to experience things in nature every single day, and we don’t always appreciate how awe inspiring it can be. We are so immersed in the wonders of technology that we fail to see the real wonders of the world that are right in front of us every single day. Take a moment every single day to observe the sun, the stars, the trees, and all of the animals. True wonder can never be matched with technology. Take time to smell the roses, or take a walk in nature

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August 17

Theory Thursday: Dream Man

Hello Underdogs, have you ever had a dream man? That one man that you find in the middle of your dream that sticks out to you. Can you describe him? Is he someone that you have seen in your real life? Would you be surprised that thousands of people may be dreaming of the the exact same person, yet they have no clue the identity of the man. For the last several years, people have been reporting a man that appears in their dreams. It has become so big that the world is taking notice. So, who is this man that is the star of so many people’s dreams? Is he real, or just imagined, or is the truth much more sinister?

Image result for This Man from dreams

The background of the story is a psychiatrist was listening to one particular patient talk about a man that she had been having vivid dreams about. The Doctor decided to sketch the man, but didn’t do much more than leave it on her desk in a pile of papers. A separate patient told the Doctor after spying on the paper that he too, had seen this man in his dreams. He had also spoken to him on many occasions. It wasn’t an unpleasant experience, but it was unnerving that the Doctor had also seen this man, and so had others. The Doctor decided to show other patients and it snowballed  from there with many saying they have also seen this man. In fact, the person in the drawing started being referred to as This Man. (Insert this land joke from Firefly here) A website was set up with the original drawing to get feedback. http://www.thisman.org Strangely enough, people from all over the world have reported seeing This Man in their dreams. You can see many of these stories on a Facebook page and see for yourself how far this has gone, and the wide variety of dreams. https://www.facebook.com/thisman.org/

 

The most logical reason behind so many people having the dream about the same man is that the face is recognizable. This Man could be anyone. He has the features of a person that almost anyone has seen before in their life. They may have come across someone who looks very similar in their real life and had a dream about him. This Man may just be a compilation of many people seen on a daily basis. The flip side of this is pictures and new stories have been going around about This Man for awhile. People see his face in the background or even paid attention to what they were seeing and then had a dream about him later on. There is nothing sinister in this at all, but it’s like dreaming of a movie that you keep seeing advertisements for over and over again. Or it could be suddenly wanting a pizza and not knowing why when you have been bombarded with commercials all day that you were not really paying attention to.

Other people think that This Man is a lot more than just a recognizable face. They believe that This Man may actually be God, or some sort of protector, who comes to you in dreams to offer words of advice and wisdom. People have more of an open mind while they are dreaming and that may be the only way that a higher being can communicate with you. What an interesting way to get some advice and help than a strong presence in your dreams. Many people have said that This Man has come to them in dreams when they had a rough spot in their life, or were at points of great stress. He was able to offer advice, a smile, or just a general feeling of warmth and peace to the dreamer. There are several religions who have recorded stories of visions in dreams. A little more creepy notion is that This Man is actually a real person who can travel in dreams. That means that someone can enter into another person’s dreams and walk among them. This may be to be helpful, or it could be to manipulate the dreamer and get information that they may want. While this might be creepy to some, this is actually called Dream Walking which is something many traditions believe in, and it’s not evil at all. If This Man is a dream walker, then he is most likely trying to heal and communicate with others.

The other theories about This Man includes a real person who is using his abilities to spy on people for the government and get information. There are people out there who believe that This Man has something to do with the Mandela Effect. He is proof that this world is just a simulation and his presence is actually a glitch in the matrix. I have read dreams where people dream about This Man and soon after something very tragic happens to them. They aren’t sure if he appearing to warn the dreamer, or if he is causing the havoc. Or, This Man could be something that governments are testing out as a form of mind control and the whole thing is an experiment.

What is the truth? No one knows for sure, but it is hard to not question the origins of this story. The whole thing is actually pretty vague. This could easily be anyone making this story up and using a Doctor as a point of reference to make the story look more legit. There is little other information out there about this Doctor besides what is posted on their own website. Why would someone make this up? For starters it could all be a product campaign for something like a new movie or TV show. This has been done many times in the past, such as The Blair Witch Project and The Charlie Charlie game which seemed like real things, but were just hype for movies. Another reason is to profit form this hoax. How many books and papers could be written about This Man if it’s real at all? This could lead to the potential of lots of money. It could a be a story that someone has made up just for their own entertainment.

Dreams are a mystery, and Doctors and Researchers can’t agree on why we dream, or even how we dream. There is a lot of unknown which leave a lot of room for theories. We have studied dreams, but we have little to no results except what happens to the body while a dream is going on. Could there be a person out there visiting us all in our dreams? It is possible. I have never seen him in my dreams, but maybe some of you have. I like to try to keep an open mind about these things because the dream world may be like the ocean, undiscovered gems that we can’t begin to process.  We don’t know much, as humans. We understand so little of the world and how it works so I think anything is possible. I just find this a little hard for me to swallow, but if I dream of This Man, I may change my tune.

 

 

What about you, Underdogs? Have you dreamed of This Man before? If so, post a comment below and tell us about it!

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August 15

Try it Tuesday: German Village

Hello Underdogs! Have you ever been to German Village before? It is located in Columbus, Ohio. German Village is a  neighborhood that is filled with cobble streets, and several German eateries, bakeries, and lore. Most of these places are run by people who with German heritage, many times they are people who are third or forth generations. German Village is located just south of the downtown area of Columbus, Ohio.  It started sometime in the 19th century due to the large influx of German immigrants settling in the area. They made this place a slice of home which is wonderful for them to keep their traditions, and wonderful for everyone else to get a taste of their heritage and learn more about their way of life.

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One thing that you need to keep in mind when making your travel plans, is this is a historic area. This means that many of these locations withing German Village are as close to their original structure as possible with very little updates. They may not have air conditioning and no wheelchair ramps. This is not true for all locations, but if you need to worry about this like I do, you definitely need to do your research first. I don’t have an issue with keeping things as they were, but it can be difficult for those who have certain needs. For example, there is one place I went into that had a bathroom in the basement. There were many stairs so it was rather difficult to get there when you have a bad leg. They do have a website for German Village with lots of helpful information. I would suggest going there and maybe even calling some of these places ahead of the time if you need to find out this type of information. https://germanvillage.com/

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The first place we stopped was a cute little place called Juergens German Village Restaurant and Kaffee. http://www.juergensbakery.com/ When you walk in, there is a case filled with breads and pastries. This includes pretzels, cakes, and so much more. There is also a few shelves full of German food for sale like mustard, teas,and yogurt. There are several tables, a small bar and a wonderful smell of baking bread! The menu was very simple with a good amount of choices. We all ended up ordering the same thing, however, which was pretty funny! We ordered the bratwursts platter which came with 2 brats, German potato salad, and sauerkraut. They also provided us with a bread basket. If you like to get soda with your dinner, it is available in cans.

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It was very busy, and there was only one girl who was working. We are pretty laid back, so that wasn’t an issue for us. My group can entertain themselves, and we were not in a hurry. However, this did bother other people there who had less patients. I did see that you can get orders to go, or you can come in and just buy items in the bakery case. The brats were wonderful. I have spent time in Germany before, and this food was authentic! I loved the potato salad and even enjoyed the sauerkraut. I am not a big fan of sauerkraut, so if I didn’t mind it, then that means it must be really good for those who enjoy it. We all cleaned our plates because the brats were mild, yet flavorful. They had a nice snap when you cut into them. The potato salad was light and had a cherry tomato severed on top. I cut up that tomato and mixed it into the potato salad which made a great combination. The bread basket had several choices of bread but I wasn’t sure which was which. They served it with as side of German butter, which is amazing and rich! I loved this place, and would go back again! If you ever have a chance to get there, I would definitely take it!

Image may contain: food

 

After walking around for awhile, we decided to try out a place for desert. We came across a place called Katzinger’s Delicatessen. http://www.katzingers.com/  When you walk in, there is an entire section filled with bread. Most of it is self serve, so you can grab your bread and then go pick out more items. Next to that is a full deli with several different kinds of meats. It smelled really, really good!  Next to that is where you can order food ranging from several different kinds of salads to sandwiches and other items. They also have a huge selection of deserts, and coffee. Besides all of these things, they have a wine selection where you can purchase bottles to take home, as well as many other items that you can buy to take home. They also have a big barrel of pickles that are free to people who are dining in who ordered a sandwich. We ordered slices of cherry cheesecake, and two orders of potato latka severed with applesauce and sour cream.  I have never had latka before, but it is like a potato pancake. This was very thickly cut and had hints of onion flavor. I was told these are abnormally thick compared to what most are used to. I really liked using applesauce as the dip, and the sour cream was just okay. The cheesecake was amazing! It was creamy, rich and fresh! I loved the cherry taste mixed with the creamy cheesecake. It was so good! I wish that I would have brought a cooler so I could have bought some of the deli items back home with me. When I go back, I will make sure to keep that in mind!

I would highly suggest going to visit the German Village. We went on a Saturday and I see that many of the places are closed on Sunday, and even on Monday. I urge you to check out the websites posted above before you make your plans to go, because it would be very sad to miss out on these wonderful places. I would love to go for October fest and spend more time in the area when I didn’t have so many other things going on over the weekend. I love seeing other cultures. When you can’t travel overseas, you can travel to a place like German Village to get a taste of the experience. It is important for us to learn from other cultures and traditions. The world is an amazing place and we all have so much that we can learn from one another. This is a great way to start, and I encourage you to go to your local Villages in your area, and travel when you can! There is so much to learn and so many things to try. Might as well get started!

 

 

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August 14

Mystery Monday: Outback Steakhouse

Hello Underdogs, have you ever eaten at Outback Steakhouse? It’s the restaurant that has the famous Blooming Onion that is out of this world. (Outback is not a sponsor, I just really like the Blooming Onion. But if you want to partner, I will talk. ltebrinke@andtheunderdogwins.com) Recently, a very interesting conspiracy theory has popped up involving this restaurant. I know what you are thinking. You are asking why I didn’t save this for Theory Thursday. This is because it is kind of far and it’s more a mystery than a conspiracy.  Earlier this year, someone decided to connect the locations of Outback Steakhouses in their city. It formed a pentagram. It wasn’t just one city. City after city had their Outback Steakhouses located in the shape of a pentagram.

Image result for outback steakhouse pentagram

So what exactly is a pentagram? It is a symbol that has been used for many years. It is a star with five points which has been associated with the devil, or witchcraft. While it is greatly debated, the pentagram is not a symbol of evil, but a symbol representing the elements. Those are Earth, Air, Fire, Water and Spirit.  It is a protection against evil and has origins going back to Greek and Roman life. Since there is so much confusion about this symbol, people are taking this whole Outback thing as evil. This whole conspiracy started from a guy on Twitter called @eatmyaesthetics who connected the dots and let people come up with their own thoughts on the matter.

 

My attempt at making a pentagram.

Why in the world would a chain steakhouse go so far to set up their restaurants like this? The most obvious answer is that they didn’t. It’s all just a coincidence. I am guessing that you can pretty much do this with anything, and make up any sort of shape if you really want to. In fact, you could probably make a cat face, or if you are like me, you can’t make anything out of it. I tried to connected the dots going from location number one, to location number 4 and got the photo on the side. I guess if you work it, you can come up with a pentagram. However, there are 4 locations, not 5, and that really wouldn’t make up the shape without some creative art work.

Another reason that Outback may actually have a pact with the devil is because of the Illuminati. It’s always the Illuminati or the Freemasons that get blamed for all the strange things in the world. That’s right, Outback Steakhouse was a struggling business once upon a time. The heads of the company decided to sell their soul in exchange of bringing affordable steaks, terrible Australian stereotypes, and fried onions to the masses. In order to make this happen, Outback had to obey what the Illuminati wants, including building their locations in the shape of a pentagram. That very settle truth will get into the minds of people who frequent their restaurants. It’s so simple that it’s maddening! It’s mind control at the most basic. You are controlling people in such a settle way that they don’t even know it! I know they are using mind control by making that Blooming Onion so tasty that I am willing to go spend way too much money on it, so this isn’t far fetched at all.

I honestly don’t know any other reason that Outback would make their locations in the shape of a pentagram. The whole thing is a mystery, not a conspiracy. I think it’s just plain funny! You can make up almost any shape if you are artistic. You could also do this is you are bored. I am not trying to be really rude, but this whole thing just seems so far fetched that even me, a known conspiracy theorist, is not impressed by this. It is kind of a mystery in a way because I can see why people think that there is a pentagram. I can also see some very creative people who decided to see how far this could go. Obviously it got my attention several months later, so it worked! I wouldn’t keep away from Outback out of fear that you will lose your soul to the devil. I would stay away if you aren’t willing to pay their prices without a coupon. ( or a sponsorship, right Outback?) Go at your own risk, but don’t forget the Blooming Onions!

 

What do you think? Is there a real mystery here, or is Outback just a victim of someone who was having a bit of fun?

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August 13

Supernatural Sunday: My Top 3 Ghost Stories

Do you believe in ghosts, Underdogs? Have you ever had that prickly feeling go down the back of your neck and down your arms, causing the little hairs on your body to stand up? Have you seen something out of the corner of your eye, or things randomly fall in your house? What about actually seeing a ghost in front of you and speaking to it? Ghost stories are everywhere. They have been around since there since the start of time, yet know one knows if ghost are real or not. The best we can arrive at is a belief. People present proof of ghosts all of the time, but they are hardly ever taken seriously. So many things can be faked that it is difficult to be in a position to believe the evidence. When there is “real” evidence, it is normally not caught by camera, or video, but is just a personal story. We can choose to trust the stories or not, but there must be a reason that so many people believe that they have had an encounter with a ghost.

I like to call myself a healthy skeptic. I love ghost stories and all things paranormal, as you can tell by this blog! I am a story teller and a writer, so when I hear a ghost story, I listen with a story teller’s ear. This means that I try to find all logical explanations to the story that I am hearing while also trying to keep an open mind. I know there are always bits of fluff when you tell any sort of story, but that isn’t a bad thing at all! If we didn’t add some fluff to a story, then we wouldn’t hear the message. We all crave a good story even if it is all true! I just try to listen and see what I can logically try to explain away. Just like Sherlock Holmes says, “when you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth,” source “The Sign of Four.” This means when I hear a ghost story, I try to come up with all logical explanations and see what is left.What is left is the truth, and if you can’t explain that way, then you are left with evidence.  I have my own ghost stories, and I am even weary of putting it out there because maybe there is a logical explanation. However, one thing you can’t convey when you tell a story is your personal experience. Your own thoughts and feelings at the moment can’t be replicated, and sometimes what you feel is enough truth for you even if there are other explanations. Here are my top 3 ghost stories that have happened to me!

 

*The Ghost in the hospital:

Image result for retro nurses
This is very similar to what the nurse was wearing.

A few years ago, I was very sick. My gallbladder had ruptured and was leaking. I had two emergency surgeries in less than 24 hours to save my life. It worked, and I am not a ghost! I was brought back into my room and I had a nurse and two family members with me. I heard them discussing what was going to happen next, but I was in so much pain that I wasn’t listening. I was also distracted by a nurse dressed in a very old fashion outfit.  She had a white hat covering her very red hair was sitting in a chair and lecturing me. In fact, she wouldn’t stop chattering. Her voice sounded like a high pitch, angry bird, who was not happy with me at all. She kept telling me that I needed to take care of myself better. She also had some other things to say about her job, which was hard for me to understand because the sound of her voice was nails on chalkboard to me! I didn’t know this, but no one else in the room could see the red haired nurse. I was talking right back to her, but the people in the room thought I was trying to talk with them. The sound of her voice was really upsetting me so I told her to shut up. The real nurse in the room got upset because she thought I was talking to her. I tried to tell her I wasn’t talking to her, but to the red haired nurse sitting in the chair next to me. I saw the exchange of looks between my family and the nurse. They told me there wasn’t anyone else in the room. I said, “tell that to her because she won’t stop talking.” And the red hair nurse got more annoyed with me. My cousin finally came over and sat in the chair where the ghost nurse was, and she went away. I was finally able to get some peace because the nurse shut up, and was gone. My cousin later told me that she heard some voices, and when she sat in the chair, she felt a cold spot. Was there a red hair nurse talking with me from the past, or was it just the drugs from the surgery? I can still close my eyes and see her clearly so who knows what happened.

 

*The Helpful Ghost:

Image result for casper the friendly ghost free image

Back in 2001, I was in a horrible car accident that left me with permanent disabilities. To say that this time of my life was a challenge is an understatement. I was graduating from one college and starting another. I was also moving from a dorm into a real life apartment. The accident slowed me down, but just like in all things, life does not wait for you to heal. I had help to move, but I still needed to get groceries and other things for my new home. After a big shopping trip to Aldi, I was sitting in the car with my roommate, who was also in the same car accident and more hurt than me. We were  trying to figure out how to get everything inside without getting hurt. After several minutes of putting it off, we finally got out of the car and started gathering up the food to take in the house. I was hurting, badly, and I wasn’t sure how I was going to get this done. I gave myself a pep talk and picked up a box full of can goods. That’s when I looked up and saw a man walking towards me. He was probably in his forties and wearing a plain white hat. He was not super tall, and had brown curly hair under his cap. He looked like his was wearing white or gray sweat pants and sweat shirt, but inside out because I could see the tag. He was quickly walking towards me and hand his hands were outstretched as if he wanted to take the box I had in my arms and carry it inside for me.  I actually had my hand up to stop him and say it was okay, and my roommate had actually said, “oh, thank you but we are okay.” That’s when he got a few feet from me and it was like a gust of hot wind took him away. He literally evaporated in front of me, leaving a blast of very warm heat. My roommate and I looked at each other, and quickly walked into the house and locked the door. My roommate didn’t see the man as clearly as I did, but we both saw a man coming towards us to help us out. I felt bad later on, because he was obviously trying to help, but we were both startled. I never saw this ghost, or person again even though I lived at the location for a few years.

 

*The Girl in my Apartment:

Image result for little girl friendly ghost free image

After living in the previous apartment, my roommate and I moved to a bigger one closer to the college. It was with the same company, and to this day, this is still my favorite place that I have ever lived. I actually had some friends who lived in this same apartment right before we moved in. It was two girls and a guy, and the girls loved it. The guy didn’t say much about it, but he said we would love it and it was a great location. For some reason, the apartment felt very girly. There was no reason for it because it had hard wood floors, and was painted white, so it didn’t look girly. Every male who came into the apartment made the same comment on how it felt so girly there. I would also see randomly strange things in the bathroom. For example, the door would open even thought it was locked. The window would be open even though no one had opened up. The worst part was I would randomly see blood on the floor and in the toilet. Now, I know what you are thinking, blood in a bathroom can easily be explained. While this is true, the amount of blood that I saw would have been enough to call 911. It would also be there and gone just as fast as I saw it. After seeing strange things, and other things happened, I ended up asking the landlord if anything strange happened in the apartment. Turns out, years ago there was a single mother and her daughter who was 5 or 6 living there. They had decorated the apartment with pink and other girly things. Turns out, the little girl had an accident in the bathroom and had died. Many people reported seeing her.  When we were moving out, we took a break to get dinner. When we came back we all were walking through the house to see if we had forgotten anything. The hairs on my neck stood up when I saw a box with the tape gun sitting on top of it. It looked like an arrow pointing to the closet. I called my Aunt over who also saw it and got creeped out. I made her go look inside the closet. Inside of the closet were some board games that we would have left if that arrow hadn’t directed us to the closet. I was the last person out of the apartment and the first in when we came back, so no one could have set that up without me seeing. As we left the apartment for the final time, I saw a little girl in the window waving goodbye.

 

Are there other explanations to what I experienced? Of course there is, but I can’t deny what I saw, or what I felt. In those moments, everything was so real. These 3 instances are so real to me that I can recall exactly how I felt,  what I was wearing, and what was going on around me. I am open to the fact that there is another explanation, but it will be very hard to convince me otherwise. There is a reason that we are attracted to ghost stories so much. It’s because on some level, we all hope that there is more to life beyond what we know.  Not one person knows for sure what happens to us after we die. We all have our own beliefs and theories but there is no proof. It is natural to want to see past this veil into the next one. That hope is what keeps me going, that there is something more and something that we as humans don’t understand. We all have someone that we love that has passed, so it is natural to want to see more than what our world shows us. I will keep being a skeptical believer, who is trying to find the truth.

 

What do you think? Do you have a ghost story? Share yours in the comments, or if you want, email it to me at :

ltebrinke@andtheunderdogwins.com for your chance to have your story featured on Supernatural Sunday.

 

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August 11

Where is Bruno Borges?

Hello Underdogs!Image Do you know where Bruno Borges is, because no one else does! He seems to have disappeared off the face of the Earth without a trace, leaving nothing but riddles behind. Bruno Borges is a young UFO researcher from Brazil who had dinner with his family, and then vanished. There was no note, no demand of ransom, no clues as to what happen to Bruno. It is a very sad fact that people go missing every single day. It is heartbreaking and every single one of those people deserve for their stories to be told, and their families deserve to have hope and attention drawn to their missing loved ones. The thing that makes this case so strange is what was found in the apartment of Bruno Borges and all the the hundreds of questions that were raised.

The story of Bruno is not a simple one. Right before he disappeared, Bruno was doing research for 20 days which he spent mostly in his home.  He had asked his family for help with money to back his research and the time it would take him to write some books. It wasn’t just any old novel that Bruno was writing. According to his cousin who backed him on the books, Bruno was writing a series of 14 books that would change mankind for the better. He did write the books within a month’s time, but they were filled with signs and symbols that were confusing to anyone but Bruno. Bruno had also been very busy with other art. His room was filled with writings, paintings and a statue. This was unnerving to his friends and family and baffled investigators.

 

After he disappeared, his apartment was searched Image result for bruno borgesand they found either a map into madness, or information that could change the world. All over the walls were strange writings, photos and art. There were several hand-written volumes of books. This is Bruno’s research throughout his life that he coded into vast and complicated system that people are still trying to figure out. In the middle of his room, Bruno had a statue of a philosopher Giordana Bruno, who was a philosopher who did research on extra-terrestrial life.  It is a huge life size statue that dominates the room. Bruno’s entire apartment can be unnerving, but it could also hold the key as to what really happened to him. No one believes for a moment that he just ran away.

This case is so complex that they have brought in top coders to try to figure out what Bruno had written. One computer as able to crack one sentence. One, out of hundreds, and this is what he had written. It is easy to accept what you have been taught since childhood and what is wrong. “It is difficult, as an adult, to understand that you were wrongly taught what you suspected was correct since you were a child. In other words, if you fit into the system, your behavior will be determined, making you at the mercy of beliefs already provided and well established in dogmas and rituals, with the masses.” Source: https://everipedia.org/wiki/bruno-borges/#ixzz4pSk6FwZy

Image result for bruno borges

While all of this is strange, it still doesn’t explain what happened to Bruno. But it could be the reason that he is missing. Bruno has been gone since May, 2017, so just a few months. Could Bruno have actually uncovered something very important? If he had, then why was his room untouched? Or was it? Is his room filled with pictures and codes just a distraction from what he really found? Was this given to the public so they would waste their time looking in one direction when they should be looking at another? If he had found something damaging, then wouldn’t that be silenced along with Bruno? I think there is lots of misdirects to lead a person in the wrong way, which is farther from the truth of what happened to  Bruno and the real knowledge that he had. So, what really happened to Bruno? Did he run away, or did he know too much?

We need to consider all of the possibilities including the most obvious. What if Bruno just ran away? He was a young man who was broke and living off money from his friends and family. What if he became embarrassed that the fruits of his labor got him no where and he ran away instead of telling people who believed in him that he failed? I don’t think this is very likely since he had so much that he created, and had supportive and loving people around him. I think if his adventure didn’t pan out, he would just tell them. There is no indication that any of this happened. The second is what if Bruno was a random abduction or crime? He was in the wrong place at the wrong time and was he was a victim. People are taken and hurt all of the time, so could Bruno have had this happen to him? Yes, it is plausible that he was a random victim.

Of course, the biggest theory is that Bruno was silenced. This means that he was taken and possibly killed for what he uncovered. This could be by his government, the church, or even aliens who want to keep their secrets in the shadows. Bruno obviously is very intelligent. What he wrote is coded so well that it is taken experts to try to crack them. He is very organized and has volumes of books that he wrote that is beyond research. He took great measures to protect his work and it was important enough to him to organize it in such a way that it was not easy for just anyone to understand what he was doing. Why would someone go to such lengths? They either found something huge or they are just really into codes. We may never know the answer as to what happened to Bruno, but even worse, we may never know what he was trying to tell the world. I still wonder if what was found in his room wasn’t everything. If it were me, I would carry the most important information with me at all times. Maybe that is why he is missing, and why no one knows what happened to him.

This is a very strange case indeed, but this is about a real person, who has a real family who misses him. Bruno may have had some strange things in his room, and some odd hobbies according to some people, but his story needs to be told. It seems too likely that he was silenced for things he uncovered. If he was, the public will never know. However, his poor family deserves to know the truth of what happened to their loved one! I hope his truth discovered, and I hope that we are able to find what he was so desperately trying to tell everyone through his books, writing, and his art. He may have paid to spread the word with his life.

 

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August 8

Try it Tuesday: Snacks

Hello Underdogs, this Try it Tuesday features on of my favorite kinds of snacks in the world, chips! If you know me, you know how much I love potatoes! I love mashed, baked, raw, and friend potatoes. I love chips and french fries so much that I am pretty sure they will be the death of me! I also needed something to wash down my salty snack, so I tried the brand new Cherry Sprite. I love this time of year when you find all sorts of new and fun chip flavors, so I am sure this will be the first of many snack Try it Tuesdays featuring chips!

Image result for BLT Lays

These chips are from Lays and costs $1.99 on sale. They are BLT flavor and the bag does say that this is a limited edition flavor on the bag. When I first opened the bag, the smell was not awful. However, it smelled like the fake bacon flavor, and also pretty smoky. When I say fake bacon, I mean the soy based crumbles that you traditionally find for bacon bits that you buy in the store, or get in a restaurant. I couldn’t smell anything beyond that fake bacon smell. so I wasn’t sure if there would be any taste with the tomato  and lettuces.

I went ahead and tried the first chip. I was pleasantly surprised. Even though the smell of the chip was pretty fake, the taste was good. It was a rich, smoked bacon flavor with a small hint of tomato. If you eat several, you lose the tomato flavor, but the bacon taste remains pretty strong. I wouldn’t eat a lot of these chips in one setting because they can get overwhelming. It’s better to eat a handful or less because the flavor is good, but you can have too much of a good thing. I have slowly eaten this bag, and the chips have remained pretty crispy even after some time has passed since I opened the bag.  I needed something good to wash that flavor down with.

While I was at a gas station over the weekend, I saw a Cherry Sprite next to the regular Sprite in the fridge section. I was also pretty excited about this product because I love Sprite, and I get Cherry Sprite when I can. For those who don’t know a Cherry Sprite is also called a Shirley Temple. This is normally made with cherry syrup and a lemon and lime soda, which is traditionally Sprite. I was worried that it wouldn’t taste good because many of these pre-made flavored sodas are not good.

Image result for Cherry Sprite

The smell instantly took me back to childhood. Specifically, the horrible medicine flavors that they used to give us a kids to mask the taste of the medication that we had to take for colds and flu. This is what I was concerned about, and my gut made a little bubble thinking about that memory of having to take that cherry flavored medicine. The first sip was not just a reminder, but a revisit of that taste. This Cherry Sprite does not taste like something I have made myself, or have gotten in those Coke machines with 100’s of flavors. This was no where near a real cherry taste. I get that all of these cherry flavors are fake, but this is a specific type of fake taste that tasted like it was masking a chemical, but not doing a very good job about it.  I tried it cold, then I stopped drinking the Cherry Sprite all together and went back to it the next day and tried it warm. It was not good. Nothing improved this taste. I will not be trying this soda again.

My final thoughts for these two snacks are these. I give the BLT Lays chips a 3 out of 5. The only reason that I didn’t give it a better score is because you couldn’t taste much tomato, or any lettuces at all. The bacon flavor seems like it could be awful, but it really isn’t that bad. I would try it again.  I give the Cherry Sprite a 1 out 5. It was too chemical and too gross for me to even finish the drink. I would not go back and try it again.

What do you think? Have you tried either of these before? What are your thoughts?

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