Friday, July 22, 2016

#Celebratethesmallthings: #Business blessings

Life has kind of been hectic for me this week. I've been busy building my new company's website and social media pages. My greatest blessing came today in that I finally finished the website for Big Bend Productions and the social networks for each business nested underneath Big Bend Productions.

 Happy Dance time!

It's been a long journey but it was all worth. I'm ready for Big Bend Productions to take off. I'm looking forward to see what next week brings me. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

#Ohio #Native #Americans: Life in Ohio's Pleistocene

Life in 
Ohio's Pleistocene

A few weeks ago I had presented to you a blog posting concerning the first inhabitants of Ohio. These Native Americans were known as Paleoindians. The Paleoindian Period of history lasted between 13,000 -7,000 B.C. The earliest evidence of human occupation in Ohio dates to 13,000 B.C. Ohio's Paleoindian period overlaps with the introduction of the Archaic Native Americans arriving in Ohio around 8,000 B.C. Scientist had hypothesis that the Younger Dryas impact may have eliminated the Paleoindians yet this is still being researched. You can read more about it at Whatever the cause may have been for the destruction of the Paleoindians in Ohio there is no archaeological evidence to support their existence in Ohio past 7,000 B.C.

Ohio during the Paleolitic Period was different than the Ohio we know today. Lake Erie and the Ohio
River did not exist before the glaciers came to Ohio. Instead Ohio had one major river, The Teays River. You can learn more about Ohio's Ancient Nile River at

Map of Landscape Before the Paleoindian Period
KET Television

This video is from the Kentucky Educational Television and shows how the glaciers formed the Ohio River.

Thirteen thousand years ago, the northern part of the state was completely covered by a glacier. Only 1/3 of the state was free from ice. It was very cold and moist. This slowly began to change as the glaciers retreated. The glaciers formed the Great Lakes.

Between 10,000 to 9,000 B.C, the northwestern portion of Ohio was covered by clumps of dwarf willow growing along the river banks. There were many small groves of spruce, pine, aspen, and fir trees separated by open ground. Mastodons, mammoths, elk, caribou, deer, giant beaver and caribou lived in this region. The Paleoindian hunters would often hunt in this region in order to provide for their families.  Although several prehistoric animals and Paleoindian points have been found throughout Ohio there has never been a Paleoindian point found with the remains of the animals dated to the Paleoindian Period. The Paleoindians favored hunting Caribou and possibly hunted them using the same methodology that current Eskimo groups in Alaska use today. If we study the Eskimos and their hunting methods we may have a glimpse into how the Paleoindians hunted in Ohio so long ago. You can learn more about the Paleoindian hunting patterns here

Ohio's Paleoindians may have been living in the southeastern portion of Ohio as early as 17,000 B.C. The land above the Southeastern portion of Ohio was slowly exposed as the glaciers retreated throughout the Paleoindian Period. The Ohio River and the Great Lakes never existed before the glaciers came. The Paleoindians lived during a time where the land was being slowly and dramatically changed. Paleoindians had to live on the high ground or in caves in order to avoid the flooded valleys that the glaciers left behind as they retreated. Southeastren Ohio was a safe place for the Paleoindians to live since it had not been exposed to glaciers. Here the land was covered with oak, walnut, and hickory trees along the hillsides. The nuts were gathered by the Paleoindians and used as a supplement to their diets.

Although archeologists have never found the skeletal remains of a Paleoindian they can hypothesis what their life may have been like through archaeological records. The Ohio Paleoindians used flint that they found in river beds to make their points. Archeologists have found Paleoindian quarries and workshops along the Walhonding River in Coshocton County.

You can learn more about Ohio's Paleoindians at

Monday, July 18, 2016

LTW: Child Prodigies #education #gifted

Thinking Outside the Box
The Child Prodigy

What images does that word bring to your mind? Is the child a musician? Actor? Sport star? The word could describe any child who excels at a particular task. The world has always had child prodigies.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is perhaps the best well known prodigy. Mozart began playing the harpsichord when he was three years old. Two years later, he composed and published his first piece of music. He was tested by the lawyer and naturalist, Daines Barrington, when he was ten years old. The result? Barrington found that Wolfgang had a superior skill for sight reading. Wolfgang composed more than 600 pieces of music before his death at the age of 35. 

But what about today? Are there still child prodigies that walk among us? The answer is yes. Child prodigies will never end. While they are admired by society for their ingenuity and creativity at such a young age they are often overlooked when they become adults because they no longer surprise us with their depth of knowledge. Child prodigies can grow up to have meaningful lives if they are encouraged by their parents to actively pursue their creativity.  The impact of parenting a child prodigy can either encourage or stifle their creative abilities. 

Parents and educators who work with a child prodigy oftentimes can feel it is a challenge. These children are very curious about the world. They have their own ideas that may not agree with the rules of society. Yet, if encouraged and gently guided by the adults in their lives they can live a productive, meaningful life. If we allow them to contribute to the world they may just change it for the better.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

What'sUpWithAllison: Righting What Went So Wrong #publishing

It's been another busy week for me. I'm in the process of preparing to launch my new publishing house, Marfa House, and my photography company, Castolon Studios. The opening of Marfa House has given me the opportunity to revisit my book, Calico. Calico was my first book. It went through several independent publishing houses. I endured a rough start to my writing career with publishing houses who didn't know what they were doing. I even had a house who published Calico without the formatting and they lost five chapters of the book! Needless to say, I was grateful when I had the opportunity to establish my own publishing house. I brought Calico over to Mountain Springs House but I ran into some trouble with the editor and formatter I had hired. Calico was re-released but I still wasn't satisfied.

This time I've learned from my publishing and business experiences. I spent two and half days, editing and reformatting Calico. It has a new cover, updated ending, and new chapter headings.

I did all the graphics, editing and formatting myself. I wanted only the best for my books.

In the end, it really helped me to center on what needed to be done with the second book. Some things just didn't make sense as I wrote them. That's because my timeline was off.

I'm back to writing the sequel to Calico. I'll post the links to the updated versions of Calico available in print and ebook when I have it. Have a great week!

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Dear Diary: Jakob Novak of Schoenbrunn Village

Dear Diary:

In the words of Jakob Novak

(Children of the Shawnee: Lies and Deceit)

My heart is heavy with concern for my best friend, Henry "Hank" Wagner. His Shawnee name was Hawk Song Watching from the Sky. He came to us over a year ago with his dead wife's body. Brother David had married the Christian Delaware, Sarah Light, to Hawk Song with hope that she would be able to convert the Shawnee to Christianity. We had heard the rumors about the brutality of the Shawnee people. They are a vicious, militaristic people. Some of us believed Sarah's life was in jeopardy the day she married Hawk Song. Others, mainly the natives, believed the Shawnee would protect her because they honor the Delaware. When Hank brought her body to Schoenbrunn, many of us believed the Shawnee had murdered her. Yet, Hank had been shot in the hip. Our physician, Betsy Schmitt, tended to his wounds. While he was recovering he informed us of the massacre and how he had tried to save his wife and unborn child. 

Hank was so heartbroken he didn't want to return to the Shawnee. He had declared he wanted to learn more about being a Christian. I was charged with being his mentor. I taught Hank how to become a blacksmith, read in German, and act with Christian morals. He even gave us his bear shaped totem that was supposed to keep him healthy. He was baptized Henry Wagner but likes to use the name Hank. Hank married Betsy. He has a new life with her and among the Moravians. Yet, now his brother, mother and stepfather have appeared at Schroenbrunn. I don't know what to think. His brother is very ill with an infection. Betsy has been attending to him but Hank doesn't want to visit upon his younger sibling. Brother David says we have to be gracious to Hank's brother because he is a Shawnee chief. I only hope whatever stands between the two men can be overcome so we might be able to Christianize the Shawnee.

Jakob Novak

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

#Ohio Native History: The First #NativeAmericans

The Shawnee nation are perhaps the most famous of all Ohio tribes but they weren't the only Native American tribal group in the area. The Great Lakes region were home to many small and large tribal groups with their own dialects and cultures. Each of the tribes had their own creation stories of how their ancestors had arrived in the region in which they lived. Oral stories were passed down from generation to generation. Cultural groups have come and gone in Ohio but they left behind archeaological and cultural evidence of their existence. In order to understand the Native American cultural heritage of Ohio we must go back in time and visit upon the tribes who once dwelt within the Buckeye State. We begin our journey during the Paleoindian Period.

The Paleoindian Period lasted from 13,000 -7,000 B.C, which was towards the end of the Late Pleistocene Period. Paleoindian life revolved around the hunting of the great animals and was greatly affected by the Ice Age. The glaciers killed the plant life which meant the herbivores had to migrate elsewhere. Thus humans and the carnivores had to move with the herds into previously unknown territories. Paleoindian groups were highly mobile. Any given band could consist of anywhere between 20-60 members, all of whom were extended family. Hunting and gathering were done during the spring and summer months when smaller hunting parties left the group. These hunting parties would return during the fall and stay throughout the winter. Their diets varied depending on how successful the hunt was. Their clothes and the covers for their shelters were made of animal skins.

The earliest known Native American group to inhabit Ohio was the Clovis Culture. The Clovis Culture appeared around 11,500 B.C. but didn't inhabit Ohio until between 9500 - 8000 B.C.  The northern glaciers retracted, exposing new land for exploration and settlement between 17,500 to 14,500 years ago. The animals and Clovis culture took advantage of the new Ohio lands. During the late 20th century, the predominant theory of human colonization of the Americas had been Clovis First, meaning the Clovis Culture were the first group to inhabit the Americas. But scientists and historians are beginning to question the Clovis First theory.

In 2011, archaeologists at the Buttermilk Creek Complex close to Salado, Texas unearthed an occupation that was proven to be older than Clovis. The Buttermilk Creek Complex isn't the only archaeological site that predates the Clovis Culture.   The following are a list of sites that predate the Clovis Culture.

Pedra Furada, Piauí, Brazil (55,000 yr BP ABOX)
Topper, (at least 22,900 yr BP; possibly 50,000 yr BP but this is disputed) South Carolina, US
Meadowcroft, Pennsylvania, US (16,000 yr BP)
Cactus Hill, Virginia, US (15,070 14C yr BP)
Monte Verde, Chile (14,800 14C yr BP)
Saltville, Virginia, US (14,510 14C yr BP)
Taima-Taima, Venezuela (14,000 yr BP)
Connley Caves, Oregon, US (13,000 yr BP)
Page-Ladson prehistory site, Florida, US (12,425 ± 32 14C yr BP [15,405–14,146 cal yr BP])
Lapa do Boquete, Brazil (12,070 ±170 14C yr BP)
Paisley Caves, Oregon, US (14,300 cal yr BP)
Tanana Valley, Alaska, US (13,000–14,000 cal yr BP)
Nenana valley, Alaska, US (12,000 yr BP)
Tibit√≥, Colombia (11,740 ±110 14C yr BP)
Tagua-Tagua, Chile (11,380 ±380 14C yr BP)

New archeological discoveries and research is starting to shed light on an earlier group of people to inhabit North American known as the Solutreans. The Solutreans were Caucasians tribes that inhabited the Americas. Ohio does not have evidence of this group because at the time of their existence Ohio was under sheets of ice. 

Monday, July 11, 2016

LTW: Child #Abuse in American Camps? #education

This week I am handing my blog over to Krystol Diggs. Mrs. Diggs wrote an interesting article in 2014 for CNN. The article was titled, Nate Orlowek: Do Not Touch!! The New Child Abuse. As an educator the topic of this article made stop and think. What do you think about this article? Post your comments below.

Do Not Touch!! The New Child Abuse

Many know him as a degreed historian and leader of the John Wilkes Booth DNA project. But Nate Orlowek’s professional career of 35 years has been as a religious educator and camp head counselor. He’s one of the few camp professionals left who remembers when camp was done the “old-fashioned” way.
“There has been a drastic change in childcare, and it’s causing great harm to our children. An out-of-control hysteria called ‘risk management’ has taken over. The new way, under the guise of protecting children from abuse, is in fact causing a far more damaging kind of child abuse that is being inflicted on our children in camps and childcare settings,” Orlowek says.
Many camps are outlawing positive and innocent practices that are depriving children of the feeling of being loved and cared about that is essential to their well-being. These extreme rules are having a serious negative side effect. “The consequences of touch-deprivation are quite severe,” writes biophysicist Dr. Daniel Russell. “Since the consequences are so severe, it seems to me that we should recognize the deliberate withholding of touch as a form of abuse.”
Dr. David Cross, associate director of the Institute of Child Development declares that “just as damaging as physical abuse or sexual abuse is being deprived of normal, human healthy contact, interaction and touch.”
In the last few years, Orlowek has seen the devastating effects of these hysteria-driven edicts. At one prominent New England Jewish camp Orlowek worked at, he saw a series of incidents that shocked him. One nine-year-old boy was totally turned off to religion and proclaimed, “I don’t like any of this dumb Jewish stuff, and I’m not going to do any of it.”
When Orlowek engaged the boy in conversation, he saw that the boy simply needed someone who cared about him and was willing to interact with him. Orlowek offered to teach him all the Hebrew words to the Grace After Meals and sat next to the boy during the whole ceremony. To his astonishment, the director reprimanded him for “spending too much time with one child,” which, he was told, is frowned upon because “we live nowadays in a litigious society” and “we must not do anything that looks ‘suspicious’.”
“Is this really what it has come to?” Orlowek had thought. It’s now “suspicious” for a Jewish teacher to inspire a student to love being Jewish and for the two of them to sit together and sing their hearts out to God? The next morning the same boy announced to his prayer group that “it’s so cool to be Jewish!” All he needed,” Orlowek explains, “is someone who cared about him and made him feel important by spending time and effort to help him.”
An even more astounding incident was triggered when a camper Orlowek had counseled when the boy was in his former day camp in Maryland was at the same overnight camp and away from home for the first time.
The child was feeling homesick, and during prayer services he snuggled up to Nate for reassurance. “I was trained to respond to the emotional needs of my campers. This boy was homesick and in distress. I reassured him that everything would be okay by placing my arm around him.”
Another homesick child saw this and came over to sit on Nate’s other side. “After being in this profession for over thirty years, I knew that this other child also wanted some kind of affection and reassurance. So I placed my arm around him as well, and sure enough the director said to me, ‘You are good with kids, but you can’t do this anymore. You are a relic of the past.’” Since the rest of the staff was directed to withhold all affection, the kids became desperate for anyone who would give them what they so clearly needed. “You are the only adult in this camp who truly cares about us kids,” one of the campers told Orlowek.
The final blowup occurred a few days later when another homesick camper ran over and sat next to Orlowek at the camp’s July 4 celebration and, in a desperate attempt to receive “normal, human healthy contact, interaction and touch” picked up Orlowek’s arm and draped it around his little shoulders. Orlowek realized that he would be fired on the spot if the director would see this, but he was sick and tired of having to deprive children of something so critical to their well-being.
The boy looked up pleadingly into Orlowek’s eyes—the same look he had seen thousands of times in the past from campers expressing the desire to be allowed to sit on his lap. But that was during the “old-fashioned” times, when allowing a camper to sit on a counselor’s lap was not only permitted but encouraged.
Orlowek felt frozen into place by fear of the hysterical director and our “litigious society” and wasn’t sure what to do. Then, the boy climbed onto Nate’s lap and gave him a big hug. “I knew I had reached a defining moment. Do I violate my conscience and shatter this poor child’s feelings and sell out to the hysteria, or do I do what I’ve done my whole life—stand on the side of caring and kindness and Jewish values?
“It was no contest. I was raised to stand up for what is right. Just as my dad once faced down a racist mob to protect an innocent black man being threatened with harm, I knew on whose side I must be on. He didn’t back down or sell out. I could hear his voice saying to me: ‘Don’t break that little boy’s heart.’ But unfortunately, the advocates of the ‘new way’ don’t mind breaking little kids’ hearts.”
Within 30 seconds an angry supervisor swooped in, dragged the boy away and scolded him so fiercely that the child staggered back to the table literally unable to speak. 
In a recent blog essay titled “Camp Counselors Should Be Allowed to Hug Kids” famed child advocate Lenore Skenazy wrote: “And so we have sexualized and criminalized and crazy-ized a lovely thing that, as it turns out, is pretty darn innocent and even good for kids.
Many distressed parents wrote in and shared their reactions:
“Of course children need affection and (appropriate) physical contact. I cannot believe it's come down to such ridiculous rules. The fear-mongering media is turning our world into a paranoid, sterile and disconnected place. Children are missing out on such wonderful connections with important adults in their lives.”
“What a sad, small person it must take to deny children innocent physical contact from those who care for them. At our camp kids were hugged, sat on laps. One kid said ‘It is hard not to have fun here.’
“Perhaps the camp directors should present kids with legal documents explaining why a simple hug or sitting on their counselor’s lap is a legal offense. Maybe we should all gather ‘round the camp fire and read the documents. I'm sure the legalese would be a perfect substitute for genuine caring. “I fail to see how any of these things could possibly be detrimental; honestly, I think the level of interaction and affection (obviously non-sexual, though it seems some people are too weird to understand that) the kids at my camp get are more beneficial to them than 99% of the actual stuff we do at camp.”
“How do we tell a young camper that these natural incidents of innocent contacts aren't allowed because of 'out-of-control' fear? How do we erase the sadness in a child’s eyes when he jumps on your lap or begs for a hug and is rejected? How will we ever heal the pain in his heart?”
Being a citizen of the United States, I never knew about this new form of child abuse. I have read many stories, but this story, in particular, really peaked my interest because I used to be an educator. I thank Nate Orlowek for sharing these painful stories with me. This form of child abuse shouldn’t be tolerated. We must free ourselves from this insanity and return to providing love and warmth that all our children deserve.
To contact Nate Orlowek:
Nate Orlowek: