Sunday’s Gem — Agate

Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better. ~Albert Einstein

A variety of polished Agates (courtesy of http://www.geology.com)

First found in a river in Sicily between the 4th and 3rd centuries BC, Agate is a banded Chalcedony, a mineral of the Quartz family. Known as the “earth rainbow,” it’s found throughout the world, and there are perhaps thousands of types, typically appearing in stripes, “eye” markings, colored specks, fossilized inclusions, or no color at all.

Ancient Islamic and Babylonian peoples thought Agate could ward off evil. Long ago Egyptians and Persians prized it as protection against natural disasters. Ancient Chinese expected it to cleanse their minds, making room for good fortune. Medieval peoples tied it to the horns of oxen to bring about a plentiful harvest. It’s believed to be the middle stone in the third row in the breastplate of the High Priest in early Israel.

Agate is a translucent, semi-precious stone whose color is caused by embedded minerals, typically iron oxides and hydroxides. A seven on the Mohs scale of hardness (ranging from 1-10), Agate is a relatively inexpensive gemstone which, when cut and polished, becomes cabochons, beads, cameos, statuary, knife handles, and other ornaments. Children’s marbles — “aggies” — once were made from polished agate.

The healing properties of Agate are slow, steady, and gentle. Agate fosters self-confidence, helps us multi-task, and lessens our desires for things we don’t need. Agate promotes marital fidelity, protects against traffic accidents, and helps writers espress their ideas in marketable form (okay, I’m convinced — I’ll take a wagon-load!!)

Chinese Rain Flower Agates — thanks to http://www.agatelady.com for this photo

The zodiac stone for Gemini (May 22-June 21) and the mystical birthstone for September, Agate’s Chakra healing energy depends upon the color of the stone. For example, Blue Lace Agate clears the throat Chakra; Fire Agate stimulates the base Chakra; green Agate is beneficial for the heart Chakra. Likewise, Feng Shui experts believe the different varieties of Agate resonate to different purposes.

Agate is said to be helpful for digestion, headaches, arthritis, fever reduction, throat conditions, and physical strength. It’s believed to help you overcome addictive behaviors, heal bitterness of the heart, improve communication, banish fear, and improve longevity.

Clean your Agate with warm soapy water and a soft brush. Avoid exposure to heat and harsh chemicals.

Note: The claims here aren’t meant to take the place of medical advice. They’re based on folklore and other sources, and likely “work” best if one’s belief is strong enough!

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Flowers and Trust

When you have only two pennies left in the world, buy a loaf of bread with one, and a lily with the other. ~Chinese Proverb

Why is it that we labor extensively over choosing flowers, planting them, locating them in what should be ideal spots, watering and fertilizing them, and even talking to them, only to have this happen:

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R and R for the Soul

The mark of a successful man is one that has spent an entire day on the bank of a river without feeling guilty about it.  ~Author Unknown

Outdoors the clouds roll overhead
Racing one another to a destination unknown.
Trees bow; wildlife seeks shelter against the tempest.

Inside, one’s emotions toss about
Like a dinghy caught in a blustery sea.
As our to-do list swells, the hours of daylight shrink.

We know we must rest, debrief, kick back
If we’re to have strength for the tasks ahead.
Why, then, are we so reluctant to do as we ought?

From youth, we’re ingrained in busyness.
Productivity, activity, restlessness.
An idle mind is the devil’s workshop and all that.

We race about trying to prove we’re accomplishing something,
Warding off the evils of idleness and sloth,
While tempting Fate to substitute ill health and exhaustion.

Maybe more of us need a river bank or park bench,
A place of solitude and rest for mind and body.
Stolen time to recharge, energize, restore, renew.

I crowded far too many tasks into Yesterday. Today is now demanding music, chocolate truffles, and sporadic dancing, as compensation. ~Dr. SunWolf

Note: Along with the good doctor above, I’m going to take a few days’ break. Maybe even a week! It’s time for Fourth of July, a visit with Domer, and some much-needed “Debbie-time.” I’ll be back (don’t forget me!)

Don’t Forget Your Passengers

To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work. ~Mary Oliver, American poet

[wait, don’t leave]

Gotta unload these groceries. Start dinner. Get Sissy to her friend’s house and Bubba to the ball game.

[wait, it’s hot]

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Stirring Sounds

Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life. ~Berthold Auerbach, German-Jewish poet and author

The Thunderer (Concert March) by John Philip Sousa

We’re midway through the season for Community Band now, and I find myself pondering its attraction.

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Sunday’s Gem — Dalmatian Stone

Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better. ~Albert Einstein

Looking like the coat of a “fire engine dog,” Dalmatian Stone is comprised of feldspar and quartz and presents in shades of pale gray, cream, or beige-brown with black or brown spots of iron oxide, tourmaline, or other minerals.

Thanks to http://www.healingcrystals.com for this photo of tumbled Dalmation Stones

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Farewell (of sorts)

Where is the good in goodbye? ~Meredith Willson, The Music Man

WordPress has decided to end its weekly Photo Challenge. It’s been running this feature since 2011, though I just joined the fun at the beginning of this year.

I imagine those of us who enjoyed a dare are sad to see it come to an end.

The final challenge is “All-Time Favorites” and asks us to share our favorite photos. Nope, not gonna happen — there are too many photos to wade through, too little time in which to do so, and I’d have far too much trouble choosing just one.

So here’s my interpretation of goodbye instead.

Farewell, my pretty

You served me admirably

Rest in peace, okay?

 

Note: It’s been almost two years since an accident totaled my car. My scrapes have healed, but my heart remains heavy for the car that gave its life for me. During the summer months, there are more of us on the roads and some are driving distracted. Please be mindful!

Mangled Again

Careless lawn service

Twisted metal spout again

Might need new glasses.

Note: This is my interpretation of Twisted, the WordPress Photo Challenge for the week. The exact opposite of a straight line, I suppose. Anyway, I took this one this morning, after the lawn guys ran over the gutter downspout yet again. Sign.