What’s the birthstone for March?

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March has two birthstones – the aquamarine and the bloodstone.

March has two birthstones – aquamarine and bloodstone.

Aquamarine Aquamarines vary in color from deep blue to blue-green of different intensities, caused by traces of iron in the beryl crystal. Naturally occurring deep blue stones are the most prized because they are rare and expensive. However, yellow beryl stones can be heated to change them to blue aquamarines.

The aquamarine – also called the “poor man’s diamond” – is a form of the mineral beryl that also includes other gemstones such as the emerald, morganite, and heliodor. Beryl consists of four elements: beryllium, aluminum, silicon, and oxygen. Beryl occurs as free six-sided crystals in rock veins unaffected by shock and weathering that otherwise destroy gem deposits. It is a relatively hard gem, ranking after the diamond, sapphire, ruby, alexandrite, and topaz.

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The best commercial source of aquamarines is Brazil. High quality stones are also found in Colombia, the Ural Mountains of Russia, the island of Malagasy, and India. In the United States, Colorado, Maine, and North Carolina are the best sources.

The name aquamarine was derived by the Romans, “aqua,” meaning water, and “mare,” meaning sea, because it looked like sea water. Aquamarines were believed to have originated from the jewel caskets of sirens, washed ashore from the depths of the sea. They were considered sacred to Neptune, Roman god of the sea. This association with the sea made it the sailors’ gem, promising prosperous and safe voyages, as well as protection against perils and monsters of the sea. Its first documented use was by the Greeks between 480-300 BC. They wore aquamarine amulets engraved with Poseidon (the Greek god of the sea) on a chariot.

Beginning in the Roman period, the aquamarine was believed to possess medicinal and healing powers, curing ailments of the stomach, liver, jaws, and throat. During the Middle Ages, it was believed to be an effective antidote against poison. Aquamarines were thought to be the source of power for soothsayers, who called it the “magic mirror,” and used it for telling fortunes and answering questions about the future. It is said that Emperor Nero used it as an eyeglass 2,000 years ago. Much later, aquamarines were used as glasses in Germany to correct shortsightedness. In fact, the German name for eyeglasses today is “brille,” derived from the mineral beryl. aqua ff

Bloodstone The second birthstone for March is the bloodstone. Bloodstone – also known as heliotrope – is a form of the abundant mineral quartz. This particular form of quartz, known as cryptocrystalline quartz, exists as a mass of tiny quartz crystals formed together in large lumps that show no external crystal form, yet each of the component crystals that make up the mass is a genuine crystal. This quartz variety is also called chalcedony. Green chalcedony spotted with flecks of red is known as bloodstone. Bloodstone is found embedded in rocks, or as pebbles in riverbeds. The best sources of this stone are India, Brazil, and Australia.

 

Photo credit: Wikimedia

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The bloodstone is a favored material for carving religious subjects, particularly the Crucifixion. One particularly famous carving was done by the Italian Matteo del Nassaro around 1525. In “The Descent from the Cross,” the carving was carefully crafted so that spots of red on the bloodstone represented the wounds of Christ and His drops of blood. According to legend, bloodstone was believed to have formed during the crucifixion of Christ. A Roman soldier-guard thrust his spear into Christ’s side and drops of blood fell on some pieces of dark green jasper lying at the foot of the cross, and the bloodstone was created.

Babylonians used this stone to make seals and amulets, and it was also a favorite with Roman gladiators. In the Middle Ages, bloodstone was believed to hold healing powers, particularly for stopping nosebleeds. Powdered and mixed with honey and white of egg, it was believed to cure tumors and stop all types of hemorrhage. Ancient alchemists used it to treat blood disorders, including blood poisoning and the flow of blood from a wound.

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January Birthstone -Garnet

 

 

Individuals born in January are associated with the garnet, a splendid, intense, vivid and rich semi- precious stone that is believed to bring peace, prosperity and good health to one’s home.

January Birthstone – Meaning, Significance, Symbolizes

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The January Birthstone, garnet is a deep red crystal, a revered and popular precious stone. The Garnet has long been used as a talisman for protection by tribes and sects. According to legend, possessing or wearing a garnet ensures success and health, for the stone is believed to possess curative powers. The first birthstone of the year is called the ‘Gem of Faith’, a stone that has the power to bestow eternal happiness, health and wealth on the owner, in addition to a powerful shield constructed around the wearer by the stone for protection. Garnets are traditionally a deep, striking red, associated with fire and power in symbology.  The ancient Egyptians hailed the garnet as a symbol of life. The stone was renowned for its properties as far back as the wealthy Bronze age, with remnants of garnet necklaces recently found in the graves of the Czechoslovakians.  Egypt and Sumeria appear to have a fondness for this stone, with jewelry dating as far back as 3100 BC recently discovered in tombs and graves. Garnet jewelry was very popular during the third and fourth century in Rome, the fashion and trade Capital of the age. Warriors from different sects used to wear the stone as a talisman against death and injury. Ironically, the stone is said to bring peace and tranquility to the wearer. Types of Garnet Gems.

Garnet signifies victory, truth, purity, friendship, faith and protection. The January birthstone is said to symbolize happiness, deep and enduring friendships.  The stone has been associated with awareness, commitment, insight and regeneration, countering black magic, negative forces and dark energies.

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Interesting Facts about Garnet

The garnet is said to bring terrible fortune to those indulging in theft and deceit. The stone is said to bring terrible luck upon its wearer unless it is returned to its rightful owner. To the trustworthy, honest, righteous and hardworking, the stone is said to aid their fortunes and bestow harmony and peace in their lives. The green garnet is a symbol of prosperity and success. A garnet that has lost its luster is the harbinger of bad tidings.

Ancient soothsayers, wise and learned men of medicine used to place garnets inside open wounds to stop bleeding and precipitate clotting. Ancient Indian and Persian warriors used to wear the January Birthstone as an amulet to ward off pestilence, plague and the evil eye that sent down bolts of lightening to strike men down. The Garnet – Quality And Cut Of This January Birthstone

Etymology Of The Garnet

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The name “garnet” is derived from the Latin word “Granatum” or “pomegranate”, as the crystals resemble the dark red color fruit. This gemstone is also known as the Arizona Spinel or the Arizona ruby as well as the New Mexico or Montana ruby.
Scientific Make Up – Composition Of The January Birthstone

The garnet belongs to a group of silicate minerals which have been used since the Bronze Age as abrasives and precious stones. The variants of garnet possess similar physical properties but different chemical composition. Pure garnet crystals are used as gemstone

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The light transmission properties of this gemstone can range from the transparent to opaque, with the latter used as abrasives in industries. The mineral has a radiant luster that is categorized either as vitreous, or glass-like or resinous, amber-like. Red garnets are common, but the precious gemstone exhibits a spectrum of colors owing to impurities like iron, manganese and aluminum. A few garnets possess a star pattern at their center, created when tiny metal impurities arrange themselves in this pattern within the garnet.

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Characteristics Of The Garnet

The garnet is a durable stone, one that endures and holds its brilliance for many years. The garnet does not scratch or break easily.

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January Birthstone: A Spectrum Of Colors

The Garnet exhibits an interesting range of colors, the widest spectrum of hue for any stone. The stone however, rarely exhibits blue or tones of blue. The most common color for the Garnet is a rich, fiery red. Few garnets change color to reflect deeper hues in artificial light.  Other colors of the garnet species include orange, green, yellow, brown, black, purple, pink and colorless. The rarest of these is the blue garnet, a precious pursuit of gem lovers. The first blue garnet was discovered in the late 1990s in Bekily, Madagascar. Start the new year with a Garnet.

Origin Of The January Birthstone

Garnets are found in abundance in Scotland, Tanzania, Switzerland, Australia, Argentina, South Africa, Brazil, The United States and Myanmar (Burma). Igneous or metamorphic rock formations with alluvial deposits hold the highest quality gems.

THE GEMSTONE TSAVORITE (GARNET)

Tsavorite is a trade name for the emerald-green variety of Grossular Garnet that originates in Africa. Tsavorite has become one of the most popular and expensive Garnets, due to its rarity combined with effective marketing tactics. This gemstone was first discovered in Tanzania in 1967. It was subsequently found in the same geological formation across the border in Kenya in 1970 near Tsavo National Park, a wildlife preserve in the African Serengeti, and given its name after the national park. Tsavorite was named by both Campbell Bridges, the discoverer of Tsavorite, and by Henry Platt, the president of Tiffany & Co. (one of the world’s largest jewelry companies).

– See more at: http://www.minerals.net/gemstone/tsavorite_gemstone.aspx#sthash.1lwbXoNE.dpufgarnet.jpg

 

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Why looking good is the best revenge and why looking good is so important

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Looks matter a lot in many situations. If you look good, you feel good. Every person wants to look his best. Physical appearance does affect your overall personality. Those who are fortunate to be born beautiful or handsome have an edge over others in their public dealings.

People all over the world spend millions of dollars to look good. They undergo plastic surgery, visit the beauty parlor regularly and undergo herbal treatments to improve their physical appearance. Why so?

looking 4Why One Needs to Look Good?

  • To impress people in social situations.
  • To look one’s best in work place, where one deals with the public. For example, film stars have to look gorgeous and handsome.
  • One feels good if one looks good.
  • A physically attractive person attracts a lot of people.
  • It helps in building up relationships. A handsome boy attracts a lot of girls. Similarly, even girls, who are beautiful, are much sought after.
  • Physical appearance does matter in a relationship. In a marriage, the partners need to take care of themselves physically in order to sustain their relationship. Many women face marital problems as they go out of shape after having children. Those women who take care of their physical appearance have better rapport with their partner.
  • It boosts self-confidence and self-esteem. One feels very reassured when other people admire them and prefer to associate with them as they find them very attractive. In certain professions looks make a lot of difference. A model has to look his or best. A good looking salesperson can get noticed quickly.
  • A pleasing face is nice to look at. People like to relax in the presence of beautiful things. A pleasant face can relax the mind. Those with an aesthetic sense like to admire beautiful people and things.
  • An attractive physical appearance enhances personality. It is an added advantage.
  • A physically attractive person, who is well-groomed, can impress upon people. A handsome politician can draw the attention of the masses, although, of course, he also has to be man of substance. For example, former president John F. Kennedy was known for his looks, although he was an astute politician as well. Looks enhanced his public image.

Every person desires to look good. He or she spends a lot of time trying to look his or her best. A handsome man or a beautiful woman is much admired in society.

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Sidney B.C Vintage and Retro Collectibles Show and Sale

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JJ Promotions presents ……

CHRISTMAS

Vintage, Retro & COLLECTIBLE

Show/Sale

Sunday, November 22, 2015

OLD IS THE NEW COOL!

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 Come show your kids what they missed!

Lots of Christmas shopping to do and don’t know what to get?

Then come to the Vintage, Retro and Collectible Show/Sale, Sidney: Sunday, November 22.  You are sure to discover treasure that is unique and different!

This major event is a great mix of collectibles; everything from pre and post war jewelry, gold and silver coins, and paper collectibles like stamps and postcards.  Toys: dinky cars,, meccano, mechanical and everything from stuffed to Star Wars!  Tableware, paintings, and an amazing assortment of wonderful books. Textiles – superb textiles.

We are seeing more and more 50’s vintage clothes, bags, shoes and collectibles; original and repurposed furniture and art, lamps and ornaments.  Exotic Thai and Japanese pieces and more local First Nations collectibles.

Come and experience the show at the Mary Winspear Centre, Beacon Ave, Sidney.  9:30 am – 4 pm Entrance $4.

Earlybirds: 8:30 am – $20.

An excellent place to scope out with your family and friends.

 More Info?  Facebook: VintageRetroCollectible

Next Show: https://www.facebook.com/events/1644018515856081/

or email: josiejones@shaw.ca   David/Josie: 250-744-1807.

This is a family event – children free with an adult: Mary Winspear Centre has free parking, and is a proud wheelchair accessible venue.

Delicious refreshments available throughout the day – provided by Island Culinary Services

2405 Beacon Ave.,

Sidney BC   778-35125

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Get Off Your Butt: 16 Ways to Get Motivated When You’re in a Slump

Get Off Your Butt: 16 Ways to Get Motivated When You’re in a Slump

By Leo Babauta

Even the most motivated of us — you, me, Tony Robbins — can feel unmotivated at times. In fact, sometimes we get into such a slump that even thinking about making positive changes seems too difficult.

But it’s not hopeless: with some small steps, baby ones in fact, you can get started down the road to positive change.

Yes, I know, it seems impossible at times. You don’t feel like doing anything. I’ve been there, and in fact I still feel that way from time to time. You’re not alone. But I’ve learned a few ways to break out of a slump, and we’ll take a look at those today.

This post was inspired by reader Roy C. Carlson, who asked:

“I was wondering if you could do a piece on why it can be hard for someone to change direction and start taking control of their life. I have to say I’m in this boat and advice on getting out of my slump would be great.”

Roy is just one of many with a slump like that. Again, I feel that way sometimes myself, and in fact sometimes I struggle to motivate myself to exercise — and I’ll use that as an example of how to break out of the slump.

When I fall out of exercise, due to illness or injury or disruption from things going on in my life, it’s hard to get started again. I don’t even feel like thinking about it, sometimes. But I’ve always found a way to break out of that slump, and here are some things I’ve learned that have helped:

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  1. One Goal. Whenever I’ve been in a slump, I’ve discovered that it’s often because I have too much going on in my life. I’m trying to do too much. And it saps my energy and motivation. It’s probably the most common mistake that people make: they try to take on too much, try to accomplish too many goals at once. You cannot maintain energy and focus (the two most important things in accomplishing a goal) if you are trying to do two or more goals at once. It’s not possible — I’ve tried it many times. You have to choose one goal, for now, and focus on it completely. I know, that’s hard. Still, I speak from experience. You can always do your other goals when you’ve accomplished your One Goal.
  2. Find inspiration. Inspiration, for me, comes from others who have achieved what I want to achieve, or who are currently doing it. I read other blogs, books, magazines. I Google my goal, and read success stories. Zen Habits is just one place for inspiration, not only from me but from many readers who have achieved amazing things.
  3. Get excited. This sounds obvious, but most people don’t think about it much: if you want to break out of a slump, get yourself excited about a goal. But how can you do that when you don’t feel motivated? Well, it starts with inspiration from others (see above), but you have to take that excitement and build on it. For me, I’ve learned that by talking to my wife about it, and to others, and reading as much about it as possible, and visualizing what it would be like to be successful (seeing the benefits of the goal in my head), I get excited about a goal. Once I’ve done that, it’s just a matter of carrying that energy forward and keeping it going.
  4. Build anticipation. This will sound hard, and many people will skip this tip. But it really works. It helped me quit smoking after many failed attempts. If you find inspiration and want to do a goal, don’t start right away. Many of us will get excited and want to start today. That’s a mistake. Set a date in the future — a week or two, or even a month — and make that your Start Date. Mark it on the calendar. Get excited about that date. Make it the most important date in your life. In the meantime, start writing out a plan. And do some of the steps below. Because by delaying your start, you are building anticipation, and increasing your focus and energy for your goal.
  5. Post your goal. Print out your goal in big words. Make your goal just a few words long, like a mantra (“Exercise 15 mins. Daily”), and post it up on your wall or refrigerator. Post it at home and work. Put it on your computer desktop. You want to have big reminders about your goal, to keep your focus and keep your excitement going. A picture of your goal (like a model with sexy abs, for example) also helps.
  6. Commit publicly. None of us likes to look bad in front of others. We will go the extra mile to do something we’ve said publicly. For example, when I wanted to run my first marathon, I started writing a column about it in my local daily newspaper. The entire island of Guam (pop. 160K) knew about my goal. I couldn’t back down, and even though my motivation came and went, I stuck with it and completed it. Now, you don’t have to commit to your goal in your daily newspaper, but you can do it with friends and family and co-workers, and you can do it on your blog if you have one. And hold yourself accountable — don’t just commit once, but commit to giving progress updates to everyone every week or so.
  7. Think about it daily. If you think about your goal every day, it is much more likely to become true. To this end, posting the goal on your wall or computer desktop (as mentioned above) helps a lot. Sending yourself daily reminders also helps. And if you can commit to doing one small thing to further your goal (even just 5 minutes) every single day, your goal will almost certainly come true.
  8. Get support. It’s hard to accomplish something alone. When I decided to run my marathon, I had the help of friends and family, and I had a great running community on Guam who encouraged me at 5K races and did long runs with me. When I decided to quit smoking, I joined an online forum and that helped tremendously. And of course, my wife Eva helped every step of the way. I couldn’t have done these goals without her, or without the others who supported me. Find your support network, either in the real world or online, or both.

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  1. Realize that there’s an ebb and flow. Motivation is not a constant thing that is always there for you. It comes and goes, and comes and goes again, like the tide. But realize that while it may go away, it doesn’t do so permanently. It will come back. Just stick it out and wait for that motivation to come back. In the meantime, read about your goal (see below), ask for help (see below), and do some of the other things listed here until your motivation comes back.
  2. Stick with it. Whatever you do, don’t give up. Even if you aren’t feeling any motivation today, or this week, don’t give up. Again, that motivation will come back. Think of your goal as a long journey, and your slump is just a little bump in the road. You can’t give up with every little bump. Stay with it for the long term, ride out the ebbs and surf on the flows, and you’ll get there.
  3. Start small. Really small. If you are having a hard time getting started, it may be because you’re thinking too big. If you want to exercise, for example, you may be thinking that you have to do these intense workouts 5 days a week. No — instead, do small, tiny, baby steps. Just do 2 minutes of exercise. I know, that sounds wimpy. But it works. Commit to 2 minutes of exercise for one week. You may want to do more, but just stick to 2 minutes. It’s so easy, you can’t fail. Do it at the same time, every day. Just some crunches, 2 pushups, and some jogging in place. Once you’ve done 2 minutes a day for a week, increase it to 5, and stick with that for a week. In a month, you’ll be doing 15-20. Want to wake up early? Don’t think about waking at 5 a.m. Instead, think about waking 10 minutes earlier for a week. That’s all. Once you’ve done that, wake 10 minutes earlier than that. Baby steps.
  4. Build on small successes. Again, if you start small for a week, you’re going to be successful. You can’t fail if you start with something ridiculously easy. Who can’t exercise for 2 minutes? (If that’s you, I apologize.) And you’ll feel successful, and good about yourself. Take that successful feeling and build on it, with another baby step. Add 2-3 minutes to your exercise routine, for example. With each step (and each step should last about a week), you will feel even more successful. Make each step really, really small, and you won’t fail. After a couple of months, your tiny steps will add up to a lot of progress and a lot of success.
  5. Read about it daily. When I lose motivation, I just read a book or blog about my goal. It inspires me and reinvigorates me. For some reason, reading helps motivate and focus you on whatever you’re reading about. So read about your goal every day, if you can, especially when you’re not feeling motivated.
  6. Call for help when your motivation ebbs. Having trouble? Ask for help. Email me. Join an online forum. Get a partner to join you. Call your mom. It doesn’t matter who, just tell them your problems, and talking about it will help. Ask them for advice. Ask them to help you overcome your slump. It works.
  7. Think about the benefits, not the difficulties. One common problem is that we think about how hard something is. Exercise sounds so hard! Just thinking about it makes you tired. But instead of thinking about how hard something is, think about what you will get out of it. For example, instead of thinking about how tiring exercise can be, focus on how good you’ll feel when you’re done, and how you’ll be healthier and slimmer over the long run. The benefits of something will help energize you.
  8. Squash negative thoughts; replace them with positive ones. Along those lines, it’s important to start monitoring your thoughts. Recognize negative self-talk, which is really what’s causing your slump. Just spend a few days becoming aware of every negative thought. Then, after a few days, try squashing those negative thoughts like a bug, and then replacing them with a corresponding positive thought. Squash, “This is too hard!” and replace it with, “I can do this! If that wimp Leo can do it, so can I!” It sounds corny, but it works. Really.
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