Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Years For 2010

I want to wish you all a great year ahead. One that is filled with happiness, prosperity, love, and good health. 2010 will be a new beginning for all of us.
Take care ,

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Frankincense And Myrrh

Frankincense is the luban we use here in Libya as incense and some times chew as gum . Read all about it uses , including as a treatment for the type of brain tumor that Ted Kennedy had ."Boswellic acid in vitro antiproliferative effects on various tumor cell lines (such as melanoma, glioblastomas, liver cancer) are based on induction of apoptosis. A positive effect has been found in the use of incense on the accompanying specimens of brain tumors, although in smaller clinical trials."
It also was used to make kohl eyeliner , used as a treatment for digestive disorders, nerves ,arthritis,and repels mosquitoes when burned.

It was one of the 3 gifts from the Maggi to the new born Jesus. It has been used for centuries to anoint kings and  to mark religious mile stones. To discover more about Frankincense, go here .

Myrrh is used as a medicine and as a incense like Frankincense . It to was one of the gifts from the Maggi to the new born baby Jesus . 

At one time it was valued by it's weight in gold , so great a item it was deemed . It was used as a anointment for sprains , as a antiseptic ,a embalming ointment , an ingredient for perfumes, and to anoint kings and religious leaders. It is also used to lower blood glucose. And can be used as a analgesic. For more on Myrrh , go here .

The Girl Effect

I have said it before and I will say it again , women .... girls are wondrous beings . You wouldn't be here now , reading this, unless a woman , that once was a girl , hadn't given you the ultimate gift , LIFE . Help save the world . You know you want to do something  to help the world , but feel over whelmed, huh ? Watch this video and then see how you feel afterward . It will help you make that important decision of what to do  and how .

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Can We Talk ?

Can we talk ?

A couple of days ago there was another airplane incident involving an attempted terrorist attack on another airliner by a Muslim. This guys own father tried to warn authority's that something was wrong with his son . No one really listened to him .Stricter safe guards are being put into place all around the world due to this newest attack.I have to ask myself WHAT NEXT ?I am sure you are too .I certainly don't want to fly anywhere .But why let a small faction win and restrict my freedom ?

Already you have to take off your shoes . There booths in airports around the world that can see you naked to make sure nothing is on your person that may be used to harm passengers or airplanes . Ironically enough , Amsterdam's Schipol airport that the alleged " Christmas Day Bomber" flew out of to America, has one of these booths . Wonder why it wasn't used ? You may be subjected to random body searches , which can include body cavity searches , with out your permission.Long lines at the airports with missed connections .No water allowed in  long lines .On and on the list goes of things you once took for granted when you traveled are now a thing of the past .

Now there are the NEW RULES too !The Newest of the NEW RULES say you have to remain in your seat on board for one hour before landing or take off .What happens if you have diarrhea and can't hold it ? If your little child has to go to the toilet before the landing ? You will not be allowed a pillow or blanket in your lap during certain times on the flight . These rules are for ALL INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS INTO AMERICA. But I have heard some USA domestic flights were subject to these new rules as well . They are enforced at random .

Ok , here is what I have to say about this ....People , company's , countries all have to do ,what they have to do, to save lives . I think we can all agree on this .What is wrong with this picture is that most of the reasons for all these extreme measures are due to  the actions of some extreme Muslims that do NOT REPRESENT THE  MUSLIM SOCIETY AS A WHOLE . People forget that and want to lump all Muslims in a nice little neat package and label us TERRORIST . well , it won't work .WE AREN'T  ALL TERRORIST . For real , you gotta trust me on this one . We really aren't .

Just as in the 60's and 70's not all Christians were terrorist either when the Baader Meinhof gang was running a muck all over Europe . Anyone old enough to remember them ? No one went around accusing Germans of being terrorist. What about the Japanese Red Brigade ? Remember their terrorist organization ? They were communist .No one said that ALL communist were terrorist , even if they were thinking it , and communist weren't, or that all Japanese were terrorist .Ok ,what about the Irgun, the Zionist terrorist organization of  Israel ?  

Contrary to all and sundry , not all Israelis are terrorist either .So , why is the world labeling the entire  Muslim population terrorists?

Things that are done in the names of freedom , libery , justice ,revolutionary change, and or religion don't make it so just because these words are used to hide dispicable acts of certain people . It doesn't describ the whole . It isn't the whole . Please keep that in mind the next time something horrible is commited useing those words . Remember also, just because something looks like a duck , doesn't mean it is a duck  , even if it does quake.

The Meaning Of Joy

Joy [joy]
noun (plural joys)
1. great happiness: feelings of great happiness or pleasure, especially of an elevated or spiritual kind
2. something that brings happiness: a pleasurable aspect of something or source of happiness
Microsoft® Encarta® 2007. © 1993-2006 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

ec·stat·ic [ik státtik, ek státtik]
1. delighted: showing or feeling great pleasure or delight
2. dominated by emotion: completely dominated by an intense emotion
Microsoft® Encarta® 2007. © 1993-2006 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

eu·phor·ic [yoo fáwrik]

ecstatic: extremely happy or excited
  • She'll be euphoric when she hears these results

  • Microsoft® Encarta® 2007. © 1993-2006 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

    These are all words that describe my emotions these last couple of days !! I am tickled PINK ! LOL ! Why ? Oh , because I have talked to my daughters , grand daughters , sons in laws , nieces , and my sister on the phone after I don't know how many years of not being able to hear their voices, due to one reason or another. A true wonder.Yes there was always the chat on line but that just isn't the same as talking on the phone . There was Skype as well , but again , not great .

    To talk to a loved one, some one you thought you might never hear their voice again . Can you imagine that? Try .Now you know how I felt ! A down right miracle, in the season of miracles! All thanks to my daughter, niece and the kind service of one of Moe's nephews . 2010 is gonna be one fantastic year for our family . Wish the same for you and yours .

    The painting is by Ed Watson . The title is "The Phone Call".

    Sunday, December 27, 2009

    Kwanzaa And Ashura

    Yesterday was Kwanzaa . Each candle stands for the following principles:

    Umoja [OO-MO-JAH] ("U-N-I-T-Y"  Queen Latifah) - To strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation, race. (Black Candle) "There is a battle to be fought, there are obstacles to be overcome. There is a world struggle for human dignity to be won. Let us address ourselves seriously to the supreme tasks that lie ahead." Kwame Nkrumah
    Kujichagulia [KOO-GEE-CHA-GOO-LEE-YAH] (Self-Determination) - To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves and speak for ourselves instead of being defined, named, created for and spoken for by others. (Red Candle)
    "Up you mighty race, you can accomplish what you will." Marcus Mosiah Garvey
    Ujima [OO-GEE-MAH] (Creative Work & Responsibility) - To build and maintain our community together and make our sisters' and brothers' problems our problems and solve them together. (Green Candle)
    "I freed thousands of slaves, I could have freed thousands more, if they had known they were slaves." Harriet Ross Tubman
    Ujamaa [OO-JAH-MAH] (Cooperative Economics) - To build and maintain our own stores and other businesses and to profit from them together. (Red Candle)
    "I am not a millionaire, but I hope to be some day, not for the money, but because I could do so much to help my race." Madame C.J. Walker
    Nia [NEE-YAH] (Purpose) - To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness. (Green Candle)
    "Policies change, programs change, according to time. But objectives never changes. You might change your method of achieving the objective, but the objective never changes. Our objective is complete freedom, complete justice, complete equality, by any means necessary." Malcolm X
    Kuumba [KOO-OOM-BAH] (Creativity) - To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it. (Red Candle)
    "Potential powers of creativity are within us and we have the duty to work asssduously to discover these powers." Martin Luther King, Jr.
    Imani [EE-MAH-NEE] (Faith) - To believe with all our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders and the righteousness and victory of our struggle. (Green Candle)
    "Keep the faith, baby." Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.
    Quotes from Pyramid Design Enterprises' KWANZAA MOBILE

    Today is Ashura .  

    Ashura (10 Muharram)

    Find this year's date in the multifaith calendar
    Ashura has been a day of fasting for Sunni Muslims since the days of the early Muslim community. It marks two historical events: the day Nuh (Noah) left the Ark, and the day that Musa (Moses) was saved from the Egyptians by Allah.
    Shi'a Muslim men at the Ashura procession in London in 2002 © Shi'a Muslims in particular use the day to commemorate the martyrdom of Hussein, a grandson of the Prophet, in 680 CE.
    In Shi'ite communities this is a solemn day: plays re-enacting the martyrdom are often staged and many take part in mourning rituals.
    Every year in London Shi'a Muslims gather for a mourning procession and speeches at Marble Arch. The procession attracts up to 3000 men, women and children from many different ethnic backgrounds.  

    The paintings of Moses parting the Red Sea and Noah are by Dr, He Qi .

    Thursday, December 24, 2009

    Track Santa's Moves on Christmas Eve

    Google has published a very helpful blog named "Now, Dasher , Now dancer, Track Santa and his sleigh with NORAD ". It provides different links you can go to on Christmas eve to track Santa's every move . This is a must have if you have small children on Christmas eve.Loads of info. and a brief history of the web sights listed . One good way to get the children into bed early , lol , on Christmas eve .

    This is an exert from the blog:
    To track Santa, visit starting at 2am ET on Christmas Eve. There, you'll see a Google Map that will display Santa's location over the course of the day. To visualize Santa in Google Earth, just click "Track Santa in Google Earth" and you'll see St. Nick flying through Google Earth in your browser. If you don't have the Earth plug-in, click here — it will be installed automatically when you download Google Earth 5.1.

    Merry Christams to all !

    Wednesday, December 23, 2009

    A Childs Dream Come True

    Well , it is getting to look a lot like a white Christmas for many . What are the odds for that ? I can imagine all over northern Europe and parts of  the northern US little kids are astounded that their prayers have been answered for a white Christmas .
    From a childs point of veiw , this has to be divine intervention , all this snow , but to an adult , I am sure they are thinking it is just a pain in the posterior end . Which ever way you look at it ,it must make many a little child very happy . And isn't that wonderful. Years from now they will be telling their childern all about the white Christmas they had back in 09 . What a fabulous memory to have from childhood . 
    Merry Christmas to all ! OTE

    Christmas Cheer


    Posted by Picasa

    10 Reasons We KNOW Santa Is A Man

    Monday, December 21, 2009

    Weather And Winter Solstice

    I don't know where to begin .... um , of course , the weather's continuing saga here in Tripoli .Yesterday I was complaining that it was hot , windy and extremely dusty . This evening we had a change in the "Joe" for the better . At sunset the winds change , blowing from the north . That was good , since it meant cooler winds . Then a very fine , light misty rain began . It turned into a rain like you would have when a hurricane is approaching , but hasn't hit yet , fine but dense .Love it like that . A soaking misty velvet veil of water .That's the good news , the bad , it won't stay that way for long . By tomorrow it should be miserable again. Such a sad , sad thing to have hot dusty weather for Christmas .

    The other thing is today is the Winter Solstice . The shortest day of the year ,the day with the least sun lite hours .There are all sorts of things that have been written about it . It's history , how it was celebrated and still is in places around the world .So , I just thought I would let you read what the National Geographic wrote on the subject . You know they are really far more qualified to tell you all about it than me .So .... Happy Solstice Day ! Enjoy the below National Geographic article.

    National Geographic News: NATIONALGEOGRAPHIC.COM/NEWS


    Solstice a Cause for Celebration Since Ancient Times

    Brian Handwerk
    for National Geographic News
    December 20, 2002
    The winter solstice is again upon the Northern Hemisphere, and though
    the year's shortest day heralds the onset of winter it also promises the
    gradual return of the sun after a prolonged period of darkness.

    That there are holidays at the time of this astronomical event is no coincidence. Since ancient times, people have celebrated the solstice and observed it with many different cultural and religious traditions. Some of them survive to the present day—though not always in the form you might expect.

    In the Northern Hemisphere, the winter solstice always occurs on or about December 21 and marks the beginning of the winter season. As many people notice, it's the shortest day of the year, featuring the least amount of daylight between sunrise and sunset.

    In the Southern Hemisphere, this is the time of the summer solstice and the longest day of the year. From now on, as the northern days grow longer so do the southern days get shorter.

    The term solstice means "sun stands still." On the year's two solstices (winter and summer) the sun appears to halt in its incremental journey across the sky and change little in position during this time. Of course, contrary to appearances from Earth, the sun's "changing position" throughout the year is actually caused by the rotation of the Earth on its tilted axis as it circles the sun each year.

    The solstice occurs twice a year (around December 22nd and June 21st) when the sun is farthest from the tilting planet's celestial equator.

    For half of each year the North Pole is tilted toward the sun, and for half of the year the South Pole enjoys that privilege. This phenomenon creates our changing seasons, because the hemisphere facing the sun receives longer and more powerful exposure to sunlight.

    In the Northern Hemisphere, the winter solstice occurs in December when the tilting of the earth makes the sun appear to be furthest to the south and furthest away. In the Southern Hemisphere, both the seasons and solstices are reversed.

    Winter Solstice Has Been Celebrated Since Ancient Times

    The holiday timing of the winter solstice is rooted in ancient religions. Throughout history, humans have observed this seasonal milestone and created spiritual and cultural traditions to celebrate the rebirth of sunlight after the darkest period of the year.

    Modern pagans attempt to observe the solstice in the traditional manner of the ancients. "There is a resurgent interest in more traditional religious groups that is often driven by ecological motives," said Harry Yeide, a professor of religion at George Washington University. "These people do celebrate the solstice itself."

    Many more people observe the solstice while participating in modern holidays—even if they do not always realize the connection.

    The Solstice Christmas Connection

    Scholars don't agree about the exact origins of Christmas. "In the early years of the Christian church, the calendar was centered around Easter," said Yeide. "Nobody knows exactly where and when (perhaps in Egypt) they began to think it suitable to celebrate Christ's birth as well as the passion cycle (the crucifixion and resurrection)."

    Eastern churches traditionally celebrate Christmas on January 6, a date known as Epiphany in the West. The Gospels do not specify when Christ was born, so the date may have been originally chosen because of the belief that the season of Christ's conception would be that same as that of his death and resurrection.

    But the new celebration soon became co-mingled with traditional observances of the solstice.

    "As the Christmas celebration moved west," Yeide said "the date that had traditionally been used to celebrate the winter solstice became sort of available for conversion to the observance of Christmas. In the Western church, the December date became the date for Christmas."

    Traditional solstice celebrations existed in many cultures. The Roman feast of Saturnalia, honoring the God Saturn, was a week long December feast that included the observance of the winter solstice. Romans also celebrated the lengthening of days following the solstice by paying homage to Mithra—an ancient Persian god of light.

    Christian leaders of the time endeavored to attract pagans to their faith by adding Christian meaning to these existing festivals.

    "This gave rise to an interesting play on words," said Yeide. "In several languages, not just in English, people have traditionally compared the rebirth of the sun with the birth of the son of God."

    While religious observance of the winter solstice is not as common as it once was, many in the Northern Hemisphere will surely give thanks for the slow but steady return of the sun.

    © 1996-2008 National Geographic Society. All rights reserved.

    Saturday, December 19, 2009

    Sand Dunes & Snowmen

    It is a wonderful 81degrees outside with winds at 20+ mph( that's 27 degrees with winds of 34.5km/h) blowing sand dunes into the Condo . Worse is predicted for tomorrow. This is the weather in Tripoli for a week now , more or less, and I am so fed up with it all ! I keep having to dig the living room out from under a rapidly growing sand dune. Where is the cold weather the rest of the world is experiencing ? It December for goodness sakes!ARGH !!!! Well , in hopes that this will prim the the Libyan "JOE" toward cooler weather , here are a few Snowmen to give it a hint or two . Is it snowing with you ?



    Friday, December 18, 2009

    Islamic New Years

    It is the Islamic New Years today, Dec.18th, 2009; or in the Muslim calendar ... Muharram 1,1431 A.H.. It is not really celebrated as the other Islamic holidays, such as the two Eids .

    As stated in the  web site...  "The Islamic New Year:
    The month of Muharram marks the beginning of the Islamic liturgical year. The Islamic year begins on the first day of Muharram, and is counted from the year of the Hegira (anno Hegirae) the year in which Muhammad emigrated from Mecca to Medina (A.D. July 16, 622).
    The Islamic new year is celebrated relatively quietly, with prayers and readings and reflection upon the hegira."
    Here is what Wikpedi has to say about the New Year of the Islamic calendar .In Libya it isn't an official holiday , therefore it passes quietly . Some family's have a dinner together , others pray at the mosque .

    The Day Of Ashura is another important Islamic day . This year it will come on December 27, 2009 . Ashura falls on the 10th of Muharram, the first month of the Islamic calendar. For Sunnis, Ashura commemorates the exodus of Moses from Egypt, and is usually observed by completing an optional fast as practiced by the Prophet Muhammad. For Shias it marks the tragic anniversary of the death of the Prophet's grandson, Husain at the hands of Ummayyad ruler, Yazid. The day is marked with mourning and even enactments of the tragic event and fasting .

    Thursday, December 17, 2009

    Extreme Sheep Herding

    Here is some fun .... sheep herding as an extreme sport . LOL , just watch it . You're gonna love it ! It may take a few seconds for the video to load .

    Wednesday, December 16, 2009

    Got The Christmas Blues

    There are like 8 more days until Christmas and I am sooo home sick for all the festivities my family in the US are enjoying  .I am  DYING because I keep thinking about all the bargin sales that can be had in every store right now.I want to shop til I drop . I want to by a Christmas tree and decorate it. I want to drink eggnog , and I don't particularly like eggnog , lol .I want to go looking at Christmas lights at night with my kids and grandaughters for their 1st time .I want to go to parties too . And have Christmas dinner with all the trimmings !I want to eat stupid nasty fruit cake that no one ever likes, but eats, because that's what you do at Christmas .I want the whole thing !Oh well , there is always tomorrow Scarlet !

    Things that make me think of Christmas.


    Merry Christmas !
    All paintings seen here may be found at the original paintings for sale / Daily Painters web site .