Sunday, May 9, 2010

Hot Roses Carnelian Set

These red Carnelian roses are some of my all-time favorite stones. They remind me of Double Delight roses. If you're not familiar with Double Delight roses, check out this link with pictures: Double Delight Roses

Each rose is red and white, and colored differently, depending on soil, sunlight, humidity and other environmental conditions. They also smell wonderful!

Double Delight roses have bittersweet associations for me - mainly sweet. This story is about cats & flowers, not jewelry, but these beads remind me of a particular winter a few years back....

I used to have rose bushes, that I carefully mulched in and covered every year. About 8 years ago, we had a mild winter in Minnesota. It was highly unusual, but my heating bills were so low, it was great! And then, at the end of January, we had sub-zero temperatures. We had no snow cover, so the ground froze deeper than it had for something like 15-20 years. Lots of people had septic problems, pipes freezing, etc. We had none of that, but all of my roses had their roots frozen beyond repair, and all of them died. It was probably as expensive to replace as what I'd saved in fuel bills. But... I didn't replace them. I'd planted them before my son was born, and when faced with the choice, the time I'd spent taking care of the roses could be spent on other things. So my roses went away, but I've got pics somewhere.

This is not a sad story, tho! At this same time, there was a beautiful, part Siamese cat living outside, who traipsed through our yard pretty regularly. She had a pure black companion, who was a bit larger and a bit more timid - I assumed it was her brother. I've always loved Siamese cats, and I watched these cats from my windows as they chased squirrels, rabbits, and birds throughout the neighborhood. When the weather got colder, I snuck cat food out to them. We already had two cats, and money was tight, so I didn't really want another cat. I couldn't sit by and watch these two starve, tho. The weather got even colder, and we left the garage door open a crack, and rigged up a box with an old blanket and a 40 watt bulb to keep it warm. The cats found their way in there. Wildlife was getting very sparse in the yard, and I discovered that my husband was also sneaking food out to the cats! The weatherman predicted that it would get to 40 below zero windchill, and we had a serious discussion about trying to get the cats inside. We decided that, yes, we'd bring them inside for the cold, and if they wanted back out afterward, we'd let them go back. Well... we went out to the garage, and the black cat slithered quickly away. No amount of coaxing would get him to come to either one of us. The Siamese-looking cat came to us immediately, cuddled on my husband's shoulder and came into the house with us.

We went back out numerous times to get the black cat, but he was determined to stay away from people, no matter how friendly or what kind of food we had. My son named the Siamese-looking cat "Sasha2" after my Siamese who had died 3 years before. She had the absolute worst gas emissions I have ever smelled before or since! It was a good thing that it was so cold, or I would have booted her back outside! We brought her to the vet, who proclaimed her in OK shape, about 8 months old, and 4-1/2 pounds. He said she probably would have starved in a few days if we hadn't brought her in (or if she froze to death first). She'd been surviving on rodents in the garage - mice & chipmunks, who'd been ingesting insulation & who knows what else, which accounted for the bad gas. After she was on cat food for a while, she was fine.

Sasha2 tried to make friends with our 2 cats, but neither one wanted to be friendly - but they left her alone & didn't attack her, either. At the time, Sheena, our calico, was about 18-1/2 years old. We'd gotten Angel, a blue-eyed pure white with a cranky disposition, from a family who'd gotten her from the pound, so we didn't really know how old she was, but somewhere around 3 or 4 years old. Eventually, they let Sasha2 lay with them...facing away! Sheena died about a year later, and recently, Angel has gotten much more friendly. Perhaps the effects of catnip or senility, I'm not sure which!

Sasha2 has been the sweetest cat I've ever known. Gentle and affectionate, but with personality and playfulness. And she doesn't really like to go outside! Considering her experience out there, who can blame her? She looks Siamese, and the one time she went into heat, she proved she could vocalize like a Siamese! But generally, she doesn't say much. An occasional "Peep!" when she is lonely, or her routine is disrupted. But she purrs very loudly, and is a wonderful companion. Right now, she's tucked up against my leg as I type, with that look of pure satisfaction on her face, that only cats can express.

So that year, I lost my roses, but gained an animal friend who is irreplaceable. I think I got the best part of that deal!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

May Birthstones

The traditional birthstone for the month of May is the Emerald. Necklaces above have rough Emerald faceted chunks, faceted aventurine, fluorite, Moonstone, and Swarovski crystals. Emeralds are associated with the personal traits of loyalty, friendship and faithfulness. Metaphysically, Emeralds are thought to strengthen memory and expand mental capabilities leading to "right" choices for the emerald user. It is also thought to eliminate negative influences affecting the user. Emerald can open, activate and stimulate the heart chakra, and allow for the calmness and centering needed for deep meditation. It can bring harmony and allow for sharply focusing the users energies to a particular project. It is thought to attract beneficial outcomes in legal matters.

Emerald has been called the stone of "successful love." It is thought to instill sensitivity and loyalty in the wearer and others around them. The green color also indicates that Emeralds also promote creativity and growth.

Although Emeralds are beautiful and have some wonderful correspondences, there are other stones that can be used as May birthstones. Sapphire, Agate, Carnelian, Aventurine and Chalcedony are also May birthstones. Flowers for May are Lily of the Valley and Lily. Plant for May is Hawthorne. The Guardian Angel of May is Ambriel, the Angel of Communication. Ambriel can aid in clear communication, and to guide people to their inner truth. As a Guardian Angel, Ambriel is also considered protective. Ametrine is associated with Ambriel, and can be used as an alternate birthstone for someone preferring a not-so-green stone. I love Ametrines and Agates, so May stones are awesome, as far as I'm concerned!

There are also "power stones" for people born in May (I never knew until I started researching!). These are: Rose Quartz, Carnelian, Lapis Lazuli, Azurite, Cat's Eye, Chrysocolla, Diamond, Emerald, Jade, Lapis Lazuli, Yellow Topaz.

May spans the Zodiac signs of Taurus and Gemini.
Taurus (Apr. 20-May 20)
Birthstone: Sapphire, Turquoise, Amber, Blood Coral, Emerald
Planetary Stone: Emerald, Aventurine
Lucky Charms: Sapphire, Diamond
Gemini (May 21-Jun. 20)
Birthstone: Agate, Chrysoprase, Pearl
Planetary Stone: Tiger Eye
Lucky Charms: Agate, Emerald

All of these give quite a range of colors, textures and price ranges for May birthstones!