Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Sandy Schuschu, local DJ: Interview

Discover how local DJ Sandy Schuschu, became a DJ, why she loves spinning at senior centers, and what movie should be re-made into a musical.
--interview by Chelsea Morning

Every time we experience something life-quenchingly amazing, our brain gives us a dopamine reward. The sweet, neurotransmission rush cues the brain to get more of whatever it was that brought on that juicy goodness.  It’s a survival mechanism! For example; Food= Dopamine Reward= Survival! “Hugs and Kisses” = Dopamine Reward= Survival! And for many, like me; Music=Dopamine Reward=Survival!    Therefore, Sandy Schuschu= Dopamine Reward = Survival!

Local DJ, Sandy Schuschu is one cool chick! With a soul as deep down and groovin’ as Motown, she’s got blues in her bones, jazz for a brain, punk rock eyes, a gospel choir wailing in her heart and a sweet rocksteady smile that can get a whole dancehall feeling fine!  
She sets up her vintage 70s turntable as though she’s rigging wires to an input/output plug hidden behind the cosmic veil, her cart of vinyl stacked next to her like ancient scrolls. She has a way of making any place so cozy and intimate, that you might believe you’re sitting on a rug in a dim lit apartment, while she’s playing records just for you. Still, as soon as the needle touches the grooves of the LP, and the first sounds of crackling fiery notes escape, smiles spread on faces as she delivers the Dopamine and helps us all survive another day.

What was your experience with music as a child? Can you remember the first song that you ever loved?
I was surrounded by music my entire life. My Grandfather and my mother both played instruments and we had a piano, growing up. My mother and my 4 older siblings had record collections. So of course, I was exposed to every kind of genre under the sun. To this day, I love everything from Broadway to Metal. I think the first song I remember playing over and over, was my mom's copy of Mashed Potato Time, by Dee Dee Sharp. I love that song. I still play it when I spin records.

People love music--I personally can’t live without it--but most people don’t run out, acquire turntables, and amps, and become a DJ! How and when did you decide that this is something you wanted to pursue?
A few years ago, I started crate digging…picking up records at various thrift stores, yard sales, etc. I was especially drawn to the old soul 45's. There is such a charm to hearing the driving beat and slight crackle of a good old soul record, when it's played on a turntable. One day, while browsing my news feed on Facebook, I saw a post by Matt Texter a local Musician/DJ. He was promoting vinyl night at Bobby's Place. He invited anyone with Soul, Hip Hop, Blues, Funk, etc. to bring their records down and give them a spin. I thought it sounded fun, so I did just that. Matt welcomed me and my little soul collection, showed me the ropes and I was instantly hooked. I loved learning the rhythm and timing of it and letting the records lead you on a journey. Watching the crowd forget life for a while and lose themselves in the music, was pure joy. And it came so naturally to me. He and I went on to co-DJ a string of vinyl dance nights at Scotty's. It wasn't until my friend Christine mentioned the need for female DJs in the area, that I actually thought…”Yes..., I need to do this”! Being a stay-at-home mom and out of the work force for six years, I had been cleaning houses as a side job. This was a chance to do something I love, still take care of my son...and empower myself by getting out there and doing my thing, just like the guys.

I LOVE that you LOVE to DJ at senior centers, tell us the meaning and importance of doing this?
As folks grow older, their lives change in ways that can only be understood through that very experience. The world advances at a fast pace. It can leave many senior folks feeling out of step. Things feel unfamiliar…like technology, cultural changes, social trends, fashion, etc. and simply how they are perceived and treated in society. Playing the music they request is something that helps them connect with themselves in such a pure way. It lets them experience feelings and memories that are not only familiar…but have meaning to them. I feel that allows people to feel at home in a special way.

Music has been known not only to bring patients in nursing homes out of their isolation and help revive memory, but it also helps people experiencing anxiety and depression, military and refugee PTSD, as well as people enduring physical pain. Why do you think the harmony and magic of music is so healing?
Whether it is joy, pain, hope, inspiration, longing, fear, humor, regret or love…Music taps into the deepest part of our souls and allows us to experience these thoughts and feelings in a very natural, organic way. It can help us move through thoughts and emotions, that sometimes awaken, after many years… without speaking a word.

Music is an ingrained part of every culture, tribe, and society. Though humans like to take credit for almost everything, music began in nature; the babbling brook, the songs of birds, whales, crickets, the crackle of fire. Would you say that music is also our contribution to the spiritual conversation of the universe?
Absolutely…it transcends all of the things that tend to separate us…sex, race, religion, culture, politics, and AGE!

15 Little Questions (because the little things mean so much)

What’s your favorite noise? A nice thunderstorm.
What smell do you love? Campfire.
Who are you most like in the Muppet Band, Dr. Teeth & the Electric Mayhem? Well, I’m not sure that I'm cool enough to be in that band…but if I was… I think I might be Zoot.
What movie should be re-made into a musical? The Man with Two Brains.
What’s your plan to survive the apocalypse? Offering my cleaning services in exchange for room and board in someone’s underground bunker.
Ziggy Stardust was David Bowie’s alter ego, what’s the name of your alter ego? My name would be Celeste Summers…and I would run a cafĂ© in a small sea port.
People make money with careers as Elvis impersonators, who would you be best at impersonating? Oooh…I do impersonations…but none of them are good. Hahaha!
Fraggle Rock or The Dark Crystal? Fraggle Rock.
Rhett or Link? Can’t pick just one…no way.
Carpe Diem or Carpe Noctem? Carpe Diem!
What always sounds like a good idea, but hardly ever is? Ice cream.
What’s your favorite herb? SWEET BASIL.
What’s your favorite essential oil? Sandalwood.
What’s your favorite gemstone? I don’t have one.
What is the universe trying to tell us? Love and care for one another.
To request Sandy for any upcoming events, she can be messaged via Facebook @ Sandra Schuschu

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

DUMORTIERITE: Gemstone of the Month

"Dumortierite opens the doors of insight, activating the third eye chakra and assisting one in making the mental leaps necessary for transcending intractable difficulties or seemingly hopeless situations. It enhances all mental abilities- linguistic, mathematical, abstract, etc.- as well as what is termed 'emotional intelligence.' It activates the latent psychic abilities and stimulates clairvoyance, clairaudience and clairsentience. In gifted individuals, it can instill the gift of prophetic vision. It can even facilitate the building of skills in psychometry and psychokinesis. The simplest way to work with Dumortierite for these purposes is to meditate or sleep with one of the stones. In addition, wearing a piece of Dumortierite in jewelry allows one to be immersed in its energetic pattern all day long, speeding the process of vibrational assimilation.
Dumortierite is a strong stone of mental discipline and is capable of enhancing one's 'will power' in regards to learning. It is excellent for students, especially those required to take in large amounts of information in short periods of time. It aids in memory retention, as well as in the mental manipulation of concepts necessary to bring forward a new synthesis of ideas.
Because of its stimulation of mental and psychic powers, Dumortierite is ideal for those who work in areas such as astrology and tarot. In both cases, one must master a complex symbolic system and then use one's intuitive abilities to derive the most accurate interpretation from the data at hand. This type of task is tailor-made for the properties of Dumortierite." -The Book of Stones

WHITE SPRUCE: Essential Oil of the Month

White Spruce is an evergreen tree that is native to North America. The essential oil is uplifting and calming at the same time. It relaxes and restores energy and emotions. The scent is very fresh and piney. Because it is antimicrobial, using it in a diffuser to help clear the air is a wonderful use of this oil around the holidays. White Spruce oil supports general wellness and promotes healthy respiratory systems. Many use it for pain and inflammation, as well as to ease joint and muscle tension. Try blending it with peppermint oil and diluting in a carrier oil for a sore muscle rub!

by Kristy Baird

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Chill Out This Holiday Season: Stress-Less Remedies

The holidays can be a wonderful time with friends and family. It's a time to remember the past or make memories for the future. I love the traditions our family has developed over the years, but it can also be a time of great stress. You get caught in traffic jams. When shopping for a special gift, you find every store is currently out of the one thing you wanted. You need time for baking and decorating. It's during these times your adrenal alarm goes off in response to stress, excitement or anxiety. Your adrenal glands are controlled by your nervous system and respond quickly to your emotions. Extra stress overworks these glands and they become exhausted. You get sluggish and seem tired all the time (not exactly what you need at this time of year).
Make sure you are getting a sufficient supply of the "anti-stress" B vitamins. Also consider nervous system sedatives such as Valerian, Scullcap, Chamomile and California Poppy to help keep you calm and to repair damage that may already have been done (heart disease, ulcers, allergies, high blood pressure, headaches, need I go on?).
The versatile herb Valerian calms people who are agitated, but stimulates those who feel fatigued. (To get the full picture of just what Valerian can do, read Valerian: The Relaxing and Sleep Herb, by Christopher Hobbs).
American Ginseng and Siberian Ginseng can help you handle stress by sedating or stimulating your central nervous system, according to your body's needs. Ginseng also increases your brain's utilization of amino acids, which is important because when you are under stress, your body uses more protein than usual. (Proteins are composed of amino acids).
Schizandra also has a regulating effect on the central nervous system. This herb quickens responses and makes you more alert. It relieves headaches, insomnia, dizziness and calms a racing heart. It also has been reported to control anger and aggression.
Kava tea is used to induce relaxation, restful sleep and a sense of mild euphoria. Kava is not a true sedative, however. Instead, it is a muscle relaxant. It is used to treat nervous tension, muscle spasms, tension headaches, insomnia from stress or tight muscles. I have found that Kava lives up to its reputation of promoting peace and harmony among people. This is a pretty amazing feat for an herb, but I am convinced that all the world's leaders should sit down to cups of Kava before their meetings.
You can make a tincture to use in emergencies.

"Chill Out Tincture"
Combine 1 tsp. each tinctures of Valerian, Licorice Root, Siberian Ginseng Root, Kava Root and California Poppy.
 Take as needed up to 1 tsp. per hour (in emergencies). Otherwise, take 1/2-1 dropperful per day, as a general aid.

If the tincture isn't your style, and if you're a person who enjoys hot baths, combining herbs with heat is one way to combine stress-relieving methods. Add herbs or essential oils to warm compresses or baths. There is evidence that at least 20 minutes of heat in a sauna or hot tub or half an hour of deep massage changes brain chemistry for the better. Some of the most relaxing essential oils to try include lavender, chamomile, sandalwood, orange, petitgrain and ylang ylang.

by Judy Burger

ELECAMPANE: Herb of the Month

Elecampane is named after Helen of Troy, who was said to carry the flowers with her as she was abducted from Sparta. It is also called Elfwort. This lovely plant ally has vibrant yellow flowers and downy leaves and is in the same family as sunflowers and ragweed (if you're allergic to chamomile, feverfew or echinacea, she may not be for you).
Elecampane is a bitter, spicy, aromatic and warming antimicrobial herb. It is great for helping to dispel that cold, damp early winter malaise. Typically, it is taken in a tea, capsule or tincture.
Most commonly, Elecampane is associated with lung issues. This makes sense, as it is a great expectorant and can help with chronic bronchitis and pertussis, bronchial asthma, emphysema and tuberculosis. It helps to relax cold, wet lung issues by warming, loosening and drawing forth stuck phlegm.
Elecampane is also a great helper for digestive issues, such as bloating and gas. It helps to stimulate digestion and can be candied or given as a syrup. It is a wonderful herb to reach for when treating children and the elderly, as it is sweet and stimulating and helps to combat invading illness. Its high inulin content can help to stabilize blood sugar and it can be taken as a general tonic for the pancreas.
Elecampane is also said to enhance psychic abilities. It is one part of a medieval nine herb bath blend that is said to impart protection from witchcraft. The root can be burned as a protective incense or worn as an amulet.

by Kristy Baird

Book Spotlight: Sidewalk Oracles by Robert Moss

Synchronicity is when the universe gets personal. Through this book of games and enchanting stories, you’ll learn how to monitor the play of coincidence and the symbolic resonance of incidents in daily life in order to tap into the deeper logic of events, receive extraordinary counsel, and have wonderful fun.

You will be invited to become a kairomancer: someone who is poised to catch the messages in special moments when synchronicity is in play — and to take action to seize the opportunities those moments present. To be a kairomancer, you need to trust your feelings as you walk the roads of this world, to develop your personal science of shivers, and to recognize in your gut and your skin that you know far more than you hold on the surface of consciousness.

This is a way of real magic, which is the art of bringing gifts from a deeper world into this one. Follow it, and you will put a champagne fizz of enchantment into your everyday life.