It's Hard To Believe

October 25th, 2006

Way back when...many moons ago, as they say... in my youth and into high school... and, I suppose, for a while beyond... I was quite a Jock-ette.

I loved sports. I swam competetively, took karate lessons, skiing lessons, figure skating lessons, ballet lessons and, in high school... I enjoyed basketball, soccer, lacrosse, rugby, water polo, synchronized swimming, diving, field hockey, swimming, volleyball, gymnastics and numerous other team sports.

Summers were spent sailing (yes, I took lessons), archery, swimming, horseback riding, throwing horseshoes, rowing, card-playing, dirt-biking, climbing, kayaking, snorkelling, bicycling, badminton,canoeing, fishing, croquet and water-skiing.

When I wasn't playing, I was involved in sports in other ways. I studied rules and regulations and became a referee for things like basketball, wrestling and many of the track and field events.

Okay, this wasn't entirely out of love of the sport, it was also a clever strategy: it was kind of about boys! You see, as an "official", I could attend games and meets all over the place- plus, I often got to travel with the teams on their bus! I got time off from school to go hang out with physically fit boys!

I read sports illustrated- not chatelaine. I wore Adidas and while other girls wore those horrible blue bloomers in gym class, I wore a track suit and somehow got away with it... One summer, I worked for the Board of Education, supervising sports for children at a local school.

You might think I was a tomboy, but I really wasn't... in junior high, I did take a basic modelling course to learn how to walk like a "lady" and sit like a "lady" and properly apply cosmetics. Yup, I was in good shape back then... in fact, my hairdresser offered to sponsor me in the Miss Canada Pagent. It didn't appeal to me.

Most of my early boyfriends were Jocks. For many of my high school years, I dated the quarterback... he also played Jr. Hockey. His father had played both professional hockey and professional football. I learned a lot about those sports, too! My own father had been a pretty good baseball player and had tried out for the pros, he organized and coached baseball tournaments for the gals in his offices- baseball was a big part of my life.

At 15, I got a finger in my eye, playing water polo and had to wear an eye-patch for a few weeks and at 17, I fractured verterbrae in my back, tobogganing... those were my only real sports injuries.

In later years, I learned to appreciate other sports, like boxing, table tennis, billiards, aerobic training, curling, bowling, ice-fishing, snowmobiling, 4-wheeling, jet-skiing, weight training, squash, tennis, cycling and golf. I even took fencing lessons. I've re-discovered poker, taken a course on officiating luge and learned a bit more about moto-cross and car racing. For a while, I got into dog shows.

You see, what I learned- way back then- and it stuck with, that sports are social... and it's easier to particpate and enjoy sports when you know what the rules are... when you understand what is happening; you can appreciate the strategy and scoring.


Top Producers

October 15th, 2006

We’ve all heard the term Top Producer… Real Estate Sales Reps love running around, broadcasting that they are #1… what does that really mean?

In spite of the fact that there are stringent rules and guidelines, many Real Estate Registrants either ignore or are ignorant of them. This is no defense… and these people can and should be taken to task over violations.

The Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO) has a website. On that website is a list of Registrants who have been found in violation of regulations.

Frankly, the real estate market has been very active in the last few years and it seems like every Tom, Dick and Harriet is getting licensed. Many, very new Real Estate Reps have been doing a land-office business… (Pardon the play on words)… with very limited skill.

More experienced sales people have been heard grumbling about how these “newbies” are jumping in and skimming the “cream off the top” of the business. Let’s face it; it has been a little like shooting fish in a barrel!

Recent trends indicate a downturn in the real estate industry. This isn’t the best news for the skimmers… but for those of us with a little more experience under their belts, it’s not a bad thing. Even in poor markets, real estate sells. It just takes a little more finesse!
When the market is tough, simply having a license to sell doesn’t mean that you can and will sell.

Sellers may expect to pay a little more for service; when the market is slower… but bear in mind that a good sales rep will earn their fees. Top Producers are well educated, up to date and tend to have made a living in the industry, even in the worst market. There really is a difference between fishing in a stocked pond and going out into the wild.

CSI and Family History

October 14th, 2006

There isn’t a lot on television in the autumn… a lot of crime scene investigation shows… which often prompts Fabian to say something like, “If I’d committed a crime 40 years ago, I’d be freaking out with worry… because of the advances in forensics… some people may have thought they’d gotten away with something….”

Now, I’m not saying that I believe he is making some sort of cryptic confession- especially since he wasn’t born 40 years ago… but he’s quite right… the advances in DNA testing are phenomenal.

The origins of forensic science became particularly interesting to me, in the past couple of years. During one of my regular “family tree” surname searches, I surfed upon a number of sites that included information on a murder trial, in the mid 1800s, in Cobourg, Ontario… and the first recorded use of science for something other than medicine, in Canada... the early beginnings of forensics.

Since the late 1800s, scientists have known that all living things have a characteristic set of chromosomes in the nucleus of each cell in their body. A different sort of chromosome is found in the mitochondria (organelles found in the cytoplasm of cells). As Human Beings, our genetic information is stored in 23 pairs of chromosomes that vary widely in size and shape. Chromosomes are made of DNA, and genes are special units of chromosomal DNA.

Chromosome 1 contains over 3000 genes and over 240 million base pairs (90% have been determined). Chromosome 2 contains over 2500 genes and over 240 million base pairs (95% have been determined). Chromosome 2 has some 1900 genes and about 200 million base pairs (95% determined). Chromosome 4 has 1500 genes and 190 million base pairs (95% determined). 5 has 1700 genes and approximately 180 million base pairs (95% determined)…. They didn’t tell me anything THAT specific in my high school biology classes.

Let’s just say that Chromosome 1 is the largest and it is over three times bigger than chromosome 22. and the 23rd pair of chromosomes are two special chromosomes, X and Y that determine our gender. Females have a pair of X chromosomes and males have one X and one Y chromosome. THAT, I know, we learned in the primary grades.

So, anyway, in that trial in Cobourg… an XY Doctor, poisoned his XX wife, because he was enchanted with an XX girl… the wife died… he was hung… and the XX girl (who was quite innocent of ANY wrong-doing) … just might have shared some of my more specific DNA.

Blue Stones and Powder White Gold

October 12th, 2006

There is an ancient Hopi Indian prophecy, "When the Blue Star Kachina makes its appearance in the heavens, the Fifth World will emerge". This will be the Day of Purification. The Blue Star Kachina is the Hopi name for the star we know as Sirius.

Some say that reality is a metaphor in which we quest to find answers to the greater truth of who we are and why we are here. They believe that something in our souls tells us that change is happening on a global consciousness level and the blue frequency is part of that.

Sirius is Isis - Return to the feminine of higher frequency energies - Rebirth of Consciousness. Blue links to higher/future frequencies of consciousness as we spiral up through the patterns of Sacred Geometry. Blue - electricity - our reality as an electromagnetic energy grid program.

There are all kinds of beliefs surrounding “blue”: Indigo children, the blue alien lady, Isis, the Pleiades, Sirius, blue galaxies, blue chakra, blue ray and ascended master, and much more will come 'out of the blue'.

On the Isle of Skye near Ireland, is a chapel dedicated to St. Columbus, and on the altar is a round crystalline blue stone held sacred to weather and health. In 1992 a University of Ireland Professor announced that he had located a enormous underground temple at Tara, dating from about 2300 to 2500 BC.

Tara was considered the Mountain of God and from the earliest dawn of Irish folklore, Celtic rites were performed there. The ancient Sumerians called the culture that lived there, Annunaki and the Irish called them, Lords of the Light. There bodies were said to be iridescent, opalescent and shining. The Sumerian god, Enki is said to have brought supernatural blue stones (that opened star-gates and enlightenment) to the area.

Wessex is one of the most significant spiritual and historical places to visit is rich with ancient historical knowledge as well as myth and legend that dates back almost to the beginning of time. The landscape is still considered sacred even to this day. The energy that flows through it brings people from all over the world, to these sacred sites - many with an interest in ancient history, others to just absorb the rich atmosphere.

Probably the most famous henge in the world, Stonehenge continues to amaze and inspire the many thousands of visitors who come to see it for themselves. The stones, as we see them today, were erected some 4000 years ago and they include a circle or semi-circle of blue stones.

Yup! Blue stones crop up everywhere!

The blue stones of the Onondaga Escarpment resist normal weathering. There are said to be blue stones, in shallow water, off the coast of Bimini- some believe to be part of the lost civilization of Atlantis.

We have blue stone called sodalite in Bancroft.

Blue stones are used to work on the “throat chakra”. Blue stones, including aquamarine, azurite, blue lace agate, sodalite, lapis lazuli, sapphire, topaz, zircon, boulder opal, chalcedony are said to enhance independence, sooth emotions, promote truth, devotion, sincerity. They are calming; promote peace, faith, and creativity. As the element of water, pacifying, healing, patience, happiness.

The Ancient Egyptians are said to have pulverized lapis lazuli (a blue mineral) to make a poultice which, when applied to the crown of the head, drew out spiritual impurities.

Although blue pigment appears on their paintings, the Egyptian language had no basic colour term in Old Egyptian for "blue." Blue, or irtiu and khshdj, could represent the heavens as well as the primeval flood and it functioned as a symbol of life and rebirth. Blue could also represent the Nile, crops and fertility. The phoenix, (benu-heron), was often painted in bright blue and the sacred baboon was also depicted as being blue.

Blue pigment was introduced at about 2550 BCE, based on grinding lapis lazuli, a deep blue stone flecked with golden impurities. Lapis lazuli was the blue stone that figures prominently in jewelry. The stone and the color were associated with the night sky and the primordial waters. The rising sun was sometimes called the "child of lapis lazuli."

Actually, it wasn’t until the 19th century when scientists began to measure colour on the basis of wavelengths of light.

According to the those versed in the Talmud, the tables of law that Moses received from God on Mount Sinai where made of sapphire. In the Bible, (Exodus & Ezekiel) there are references to God’s throne resting on the dark blue firmament which some translate into sapphires.

There are liturgical uses of blue found in the Bible, including ‘...thou shall make the robe of the ephod all of blue” (Exodus, 28:31). The Hebrew original uses the word ‘tchelet’, which means hyacinth blue.

To the ancient Jews, blue was a chief religious color - the High Priest has a blue robe, and one of the veils in the tabernacle was of a blue color (implying perfection). It is said that in ancient days the most solemn oaths were sworn on blue altars.

Numerous legends in the area of Wu Tai Shan, (in the Shanxi Province) China, speak of apparitions of the Bodhisattva riding a blue lion in the high mountains above the monasteries. Masjid al-Haram is a sacred mosque in the city of Mecca. The whole building is constructed out of layers of gray-blue stone from the hills.

The shade of blue to be used by Masonic Grand Lodge officers has been described as ‘Garter Blue’.

Southwestern Minnesota’s Indian history is marked by arrow-scratched and sacred rocks and stone. A 400-year-old quarry serves as a sacred source for ceremonial pipestone. There, a slope of exposed quartzite holds 2,000 carved and chiseled images dating back 5,000 years. A mysterious quarter-mile trail of hand-laid stone lines up with the sun on the equinoxes.

The 1,800-acre Blue Mounds State Park is edged on the eastern end by its namesake, a mile-long, 90-foot-high outcropping of Sioux quartzite which appears blue.

Standing proud and tall in Australia, overlooking Melbourne, are the spires of St. Patrick's Cathedral (also known as the blue stone basilica). A great blue-stone Irish Catholic Cathedral; St Patrick's is said to typify the type of sacred place that anchored immigrant communities in new lands.

I am beginning to think that the real meaning of blue stones is one of life’s enigmas, much like Monatomic Gold and Alchemical Formulas.

Behind Blue Eyes

October 10th, 2006

For Thanksgiving, I tried out a new recipe with yams and apples- it was called “scalloped yams”. Every time I hear or think of the word “scallop” I can’t help but think of the bivalve mollusks that live at various depths, on the ocean floor, worldwide, feeding on microorganisms that they filter from sea water.

There are over 300 species of scallops. They are fascinating creatures. The thing that I can’t get past, is the image of about sixty-four primitive tiny bright blue eyes that a scallop has along its mantle edge… and the fact that a scallop can easily regrow any lost or injured eyes.

Also, scallops can swim although most other bivalves lack the ability. They can propel themselves forwards, move backwards, make turns, right themselves or escape from danger by contracting their powerful muscles and opening & closing their shells, forcing water out through openings on both sides of their hinges.

It’s adductor muscles that give scallops the ability to swim- these are, also, the very part of scallop meat we are served in North America- apparently, the Europeans eat the entire creature…

At any rate, these mollusks really have absolutely nothing at all to do with the Scalloped Yams with Apple dish that I made for Thanksgiving… which was deemed delicious by all and sundry... I'm sure to make them again.