The Language of Crystals

I was reading a post from a Google+ friend yesterday who had just acquired a new crystal. It was quite beautiful, and reminded me of the paperweight my husband gave to me when we first began dating. Attached to the paperweight was a poem about the various crystals asociated with birth months. I thought it would be fun to share it with you today.

By her who in this month (January) is born
No gem save garnets should be worn;
They will ensure her constancy,
True friendship, and fidelity.

The February-born shall find
Sincerity and peace of mind,
Freedom from passion and from care,
If they an amethyst will wear.

Who in this world of ours their eyes
In March first open shall be wise,
In days of peril firm and brave,
And wear a bloodstone to their grave.

She who from April dates her years,
Diamonds shall wear, lest bitter tears
For vain repentance flow; this stone,
Emblem of innocence, is known.

Who first beholds the light of day
In spring’s sweet flowery month of May
And wears an emerald all her life
Shall be a loved and happy wife.

Who comes with summer to this earth,
And owes to June her hour of birth,
With ring of agate on her hand
Can health, wealth, and long life command.

The glowing ruby shall adorn,
Those who in July are born;
Then they’ll be exempt and free
From love’s doubts and anxiety.

Wear a sardonyx or for thee,
No conjugal felicity;
The August-born without this stone,
`Tis said, must live unloved and lone.

A maiden born when September leaves
Are rustling in September’s breeze,
A sapphire on her brow should bind
`Twill cure diseases of the mind.

October’s child is born for woe,
And life’s vicissitudes must know,
But lay an opal on her breast,
And hope will lull those woes to rest.

Who first comes to this world below
With drear November’s fog and snow,
Should prize the topaz’s amber hue,
Emblem of friends and lovers true.

If cold December gave you birth,
The month of snow and ice and mirth,
Place on your hand a turquoise blue;
Success will bless whate’er you do.

As we approach Independence Day, I hope we will remember what the day is really all about.

Remember the guy who wouldn’t take the flag down?

You might remember a news story several months ago about a crotchety old man who defied his homeowners association and refused to take down the flagpole on his property and the large flag that flew on it. Now you can find out who, exactly, that old man was.

On June 15, 1919, Van T. Barfoot was born in Edinburg — probably didn’t make much news back then.

Twenty-five years later, on May 23, 1944, near Carano, Italy , Van T. Barfoot, who had enlisted in the US Army in 1940, set out to flank German machine gun positions from which fire was coming down on his fellow soldiers. He advanced through a minefield, took out three enemy machine gun positions and returned with 17 prisoners of war. If that wasn’t enough for a day’s work, he later took on and destroyed three German tanks sent to retake the machine gun positions.

That probably didn’t make much news either, given the scope of the war, but it did earn Van T. Barfoot, who retired as a Colonel after also serving in Korea and Vietnam , a Congressional Medal of Honor.

What did make news was a neighborhood association’s quibble with how the 90-year-old veteran chose to fly the American flag outside his suburban Virginia home. Seems the rules said a flag could be flown on a house-mounted bracket, but, for decorum, items such as Barfoot’s 21-foot flagpole were unsuitable. He had been denied a permit for the pole, erected it anyway and was facing court action if he didn’t take it down.

Since the story made national TV, the neighborhood association has rethought its position and agreed to indulge this old hero who dwells among them.

“In the time I have left I plan to continue to fly the American flag without interference,” Barfoot told The Associated Press.

As well he should.

And if any of his neighbors still takes a notion to contest him, they might want to read his Medal of Honor citation. It indicates he’s not real good at backing down.

 

I don’t remember the last time I laughed, really laughed from deep in the belly until tears rolled down my face.  Do you?

Laugh

Laugh (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I believe we’re missing something nowadays, and the something we are missing is laughter.  Yes, we smile. We might even giggle or chuckle, but we don’t roar with laughter anymore.  Is it because we don’t have anything to laugh about?  Or is it because nothing is funny?

I remember watching old Disney movies. Not the cartoons but the live-action movies. Good old movies such as With Six You Get Eggroll, The North Avenue Irregulars, Hot Lead, Cold Feet, and The Apple Dumpling Gang. I remember laughing throughout all of these, from beginning to end.  Laughing out loud until I cried.

Do we laugh at anything anymore?

Not too long ago, I was reading a book while waiting at a restaurant.  There was one scene where a single guy was babysitting three little boys.  The situation wasn’t necessarily funny, but the writer’s gift for description was hilarious.  I couldn’t help but laugh while trying to keep quiet and not make a spectacle of myself. A woman at the next table asked what I was reading because she wanted to read something that would make her laugh, too.

There are so few good

humorous stories being written.  Why not?  In this day and age, don’t we need laughter more than ever?

What do you think? Inquiring minds want to know.

Father’s Day Tribute

Pass this along to as many people as you can in honor of all our brave military who are making a difference and who must spend another Father’s Day apart from their families.

This statue currently stands outside the Iraqi palace, now home to the 4th Infantry Division.   It will eventually be shipped home and put in the memorial museum in Fort Hood, Texas. It was created by an Iraqi artist named Kalat, who for years was forced by Saddam Hussein to make the many hundreds of bronze busts of Saddam that dotted Baghdad. He was so grateful for America’s liberation of his country that he melted 3 of the heads of the fallen Saddam and made the statue as a memorial to the American soldiers. Kalat worked on this memorial night and day for several months.

To the left of the kneeling soldier is a small Iraqi girl giving the soldier comfort as he mourns the loss of his comrade in arms.

May this statue always be a tribute to all our fathers, with us or gone.

After having spent her entire lifetime pining away for all things Russian, Kate Barnes finally gets the chance to visit the storied land of her dreams. While on vacation in Moscow, Kate runs into the wealthy, distinguished Viktor Cherkasov – and much to the surprise of both of them, they soon fall deeply in love; however, with only ten days before Kate returns home – and Viktor’s son, Alexei, determined to keep them apart – can the two fated lovers overcome the obstacles threatening to sever their burgeoning bond…?

Available now in paperback and e-book at Amazon and Barnes&Noble.

Road Trip!

The Great American Road Trip

The Great American Road Trip (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Now that summer is almost upon us, the hubs and I are planning our annual road trip to Ocean City (NJ not MD).  It’s only a few hours from where we live but it is a world away.  Quiet beaches, quiet dinners, quiet afternoon walks.  You get the idea. It wasn’t so long ago, though, that our road trips took days instead of hours.

One of our favorite trips was to New Orleans for Mardi Gras.  We decided to drive instead of fly so we could enjoy the scenery along the way.  BIG mistake. That year had record cold temperatures and the snow storms followed us all the way to the Louisiana border.  It’s a wonder we made it there and back in our old Chevy.

The longest road trip we ever took was to the Grand Canyon.  It was the year after we got married and we were both between jobs.  In no rush, we visited ten states as we meandered our way to Arizona. It was then that we knew our marriage would last forever – after eight weeks crammed in a car and eating fast food without killing each other, how could it not last!

What are your fondest memories of a road trip you’ve taken? Inquiring minds want to know.

Perchance to Dream

You wake up in the middle of the night, cold and shaking.  What’s going on here?

You have just awakened from a dream, in this case a scary one.  Did you know that most people have up to five different dreams per night.  Some dreams last only a few seconds while others last up to twenty minutes, and they tend to get longer the more hours you are asleep.

Dreams have been seen as a connection to the unconscious. They range from normal and ordinary to overly surreal and bizarre. Dreams can have varying natures, such as frightening, magical, or adventurous. The events in dreams are generally outside the control of the dreamer, and can at times make a creative thought occur to the person or give a sense of inspiration.

Dreams are oftentimes where I get the inspiration for my fantasy short stories.  Where else but my wildly vivid subconscious could I create far away worlds and situations?

Fellow witers, do you remember your dreams? Are they at the core of your stories? Inquiring minds want to know.

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