Saturday, December 5, 2009

Not a good day

Today was set aside for looking at new houses to potentially buy. Mind you, my house has been shown now three times and no offers have been received. I was so certain that my lovely, beautiful house would sell at a snap of my fingers. That being said, even if I had received an offer the very first showing, I am now realizing, as earlier today I walked through perfectly adequate houses put on the market by other sellers, just smaller places, just how much I will be giving up if I sell this house, assuming I can sell it for the price I want (that is by no means certain). I have been in tears since I got home shortly after noon. I am in tears right now. This entire process has been infinitely more difficult than I ever imagined, not that I thought much about it before I signed the Listing Contract to try and sell this home. I thought I was a rational, logical person. My Goddess, how wrong I was about myself. I am not rational or logical at all. After viewing five houses today (the cream of the crop, I have to admit, from my list of seven potential), I put in an offer on a lovely one story brick ranch home, closer (much closer) to all the conveniences that I need than this place, and a much more managible yard than what I have now. Yes, it is smaller, but the bedrooms are large and have hardwood floors. The bathroom is acceptable, compared to the others I saw today (my repainted, refloored and re-mirrored bathroom with a quite ceiling vent van and no rotting wooden window over the bathtub now shines as an outstanding fashion icon and has nearly 2x the space of most of the baths I saw earlier today, oh my). The basement appeared buildable if I want to add a "rec" room. The kitchen is large enough to hold my 56" round table and four large chairs. The living room is large enough to host my massive front room furniture and my bookcase/breakfront. I'll just have to get rid of a sleeper sofa, a large wing chair, a large recliner, two large bookcases, a large entertainment center, and a sofa table from my current family room to make everything fit hunky-dory. The stove and fridge are much better than those in this house. It has a 2-car garage. The yard is okay - somewhat smaller than mine (that's what I wanted), but I will have to take out all of the shrubs newly-planted up against the foundation of the house (what were they thinking???) and place them out along the boundary lines to delineate my new yard from the public parkway. Because of the configuration of the house, there is no patio; there is no deck; no part of the yard is truly private. Not at all like my back yard here. That is, of course, if my offer (filled with contingencies, including selling this place), is accepted, and assuming I can sell this place for the price I want, which is by no means certain. So why am I sobbing my head off?


Viewers please note: As of Saturday, Dec. 5/09 Goddesschess may be briefly offline while connecting with a new ISP account. Please be patient while this transfer takes effect. Your current bookmarks and favourites may also need refreshing afterwards, although the address will remain secure. If necessary, further details will be made available here. Many thanks for your continued support! Now I'm off house hunting...

Thursday, December 3, 2009

1st ACP Women World Rapid Cup

Final standings: Rank SNo. Name Rtg FED Pts. SB 1 1 GM Kosteniuk Alexandra 2517 RUS 10 48,50 2 11 IM Cmilyte Viktorija 2480 LTU 8 37,00 3 5 GM Kosintseva Tatiana 2522 RUS 7½ 34,75 4 6 GM Cramling Pia 2525 SWE 7 34,50 5 12 GM Socko Monika 2457 POL 7 27,50 6 4 IM Kosintseva Nadezhda 2518 RUS 6½ 26,25 7 2 WGM Zhukova Natalia 2465 UKR 5½ 20,75 8 8 WIM Yildiz Betul Cemre 2213 TUR 4 16,00 9 7 IM Klinova Masha 2305 ISR 4 15,00 10 10 IM Javakhishvili Lela 2482 GEO 3½ 12,75 11 9 WIM Ozturk Kubra 2177 TUR 3 9,00 12 3 Menzi Nezihe Ezgi 1847 TUR 0 0,00 Congratulations to GM Kosteniuk for her fine performance in this inaugural event. She's been on the road a lot the past couple of months and I'm happy she'll be home for Christmas! The Turkish Chess Federation is to be commended for aggressively seeking to bid on women's events and promote chess for women within Turkey. Intellectual challenge and accomplishment are not limited by one's gender. November 30 - December 4, 2009 Sponsored by the Association of Chess Professionals (ACP) and the Turkish Chess Federation Total prizes: $20,000 Winner USD 5,000 2nd place USD 4,000 3rd place USD 3,000 4th place USD 2,000 5th place USD 1,500 6th place USD 1,000 7th place USD 800 8th place USD 700 9-12 places, each USD 500

BNbank Blitz 2009

An extragavanza put on to showcase Carlsen. BNbank Blitz GpA Oslo (NOR), 28 xi 2009 cat. IX (2453) 1. Carlsen, Magnus g NOR 2801 5½/6 2737 2. Cmilyte, Viktorija m LTU 2480 4 2568 3. Socko, Monika g POL 2457 2 2326 4. Hansen, Pal Andreas NOR 2072 ½ 2178 A nice performance by Cmilyte, who is now playing in the First ACP Women's Rapid Cup in Konya, Turkey.

Famous Beauty Dies From Complications of Plastic Surgery

Unbelievable what some women will do to attempt to hold on to their "looks." Nothing else matters except the ever-increasingly desperate battle against the inevitable effects of time. This is a very sad story. December 3, 2009 Former Miss Argentina dies after cosmetic surgery on her bottom The 38 year old Argentine was rushed to hospital a few days ago after developing severe breathing problems following her operation. Solange Magnano had travelled to a private clinic in Buenos Aires from her home in Cordoba to undergo a gluetoplasty; this normally straightforward procedure involves injecting fat, or an implant, into the buttocks to tighten and firm them. After winning Miss Argentina in 1994, Magnano had a highly successful modelling career, but in recent years she was apparently obsessed with retaining her good looks as she got older. The mother of eight-year-old twins, however, died in hospital last Thursday from a blocked lung artery after spending three days in intensive care. Her close friend, fashion designer Robert Piazza, said, 'Solange lived the life of a goddess. But she died because of her obsession with beauty.' Here's a more "tabloid" take on Magnano's death: Miss Argentina Solange Magnano dies pursuing perfect butt December 1, 12:39 PM NY Celebrity Fitness and Health Examiner Samantha Chang Solange Magnano, a former Miss Argentina, died Nov. 30 after undergoing a butt-lift surgery. Magnano, who was Miss Argentina in 1994, was 38, and leaves behind a husband and eight-year-old twins. Solange, a striking dark-haired beauty with long legs, suffered a pulmonary embolism Sunday after having undergone a gluteoplasty in Buenos Aires three days earlier. The liquid that had been injected into Magnano's buttocks "went to her lungs and brain," Magnano's fashion designer friend Roberto Piazza told reporters. "A woman who had everything lost her life to have a slightly firmer behind," he lamented. With the growing popularity of voluptuous celebs such as Jennifer Lopez and Kim Kardashian, there has been a spike in cosmetic butt lifts or augmentation surgeries. Some experts suggest Solange's procedure may not have been performed by a licensed surgeon. In 2008, some 50,000 cosmetic surgeries were performed in Argentina, up 60% from 2003.The increasing number of foreigners heading to the country for inexpensive cosmetic procedures accounted for much of the spike. Some celebs such as Demi Moore deny ever having undergone plastic surgery. "[The plastic surgery rumors are] completely false," Demi, 47, said recently. "I've never had it done. I don't like the idea of having an operation to hold up the aging process. The scalpel won't make you happy." Meanwhile, other celebs such as Playboy model Holly Madison openly admit they owe their entire Hollywood careers to surgical enhancements. "Plastic surgery made it easier for me to get things I wanted in my career," said Madison, 29. "Without it, I wouldn't be where I am today. It made me more confident. And a lot of doors open when you look a certain way." Pathetic, absolutely pathetic.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Northwest China Had Bronze Production Early On

We know the area around the Tarim Basin where the world-famous Urumchi mummies and others were discovered might not always have been a desert, because some of the grave yards were surrounded with wooden stockades, and many of the discovered graves were covered with wood. (See book cover, below, showing one such location).

In a desert, there would have been no wood. The most obvious answer seems to be that the people who became the mummies were there and were buried before the area became a desert. But then, how did they become mummies? As I understand it, the current theory says that the mummies were naturally dessicated by the sere surroundings. It would have been a process akin to what happened to bodies buried in the sand in pre-dynastic Egypt, before elaborate embalming and mummification rituals were created.

But, a climate that would have supported enough trees to supply the wood necessary to construct the graveyards would imply a climate that was not conducive to the formation of dessicated mummies. So, I am at a loss.

You can trace out the ancient northern route of the Silk Road by following the towns: Turpan, Korla, Urumchi, Kuqa, Aksa, Kashgar. Between the northern route and the southern route (which was a killer, with water stops few and far between, but the shorter route), a vast nothingness, quite visible even today on the modern maps.

This article, which presents important information about the early history of bronze smelting in Gansu Province in northwest of China, also indicates that research reveals that the climate once supported trees and farming, and that the people only left after the destruction of all of the trees, when the land turned to desert (I envision a process akin to what caused the Dust Bowl in the 1930's in the USA).

The ancient gateway city of Dunhuang, on the famed Silk Road (c. 200 BCE - 220 CE), which was travelled some 2000 years after the mummies of Urumchi were buried and 3000 years after the Beauty of Loulan was buried, was the last stop for travelers westward to stock up on supplies before venturing forth across the vast horrible stretch of the Taklamakan Desert. It is located on the western border of Ganshu Province.

China had bronze early on
Thursday, 03 December 2009
Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation

ANSTO research has shown that an area of desert in north-western China was once a thriving Bronze Age manufacturing and agricultural site. The new findings may help shed light on the origins and development of the earliest applications of Bronze Age technology.

Dating, using ANSTO’s precision techniques, was used to identify the age of seeds, slag, copper ore and charcoal at two sites. The findings show the material is up to 3700 years old, but that smelting was still being carried out as recently as 1300 years ago.

The research indicates bronze production may have begun as early as 2135 BC and that the modern mine location - Baishantang at Dingxin - was possibly the historical source of copper ore for manufacturing. ANSTO’s Professor John Dodson conducted the research in conjunction with scientists from the State Key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology in China. A photo of the study site is on the November issue of the journal “Quaternary Research”.

“This research takes us a step closer to discovering the origins and development of bronze manufacturing in China,” said Professor Dodson. “Further research will look at whether bronze technology was invented in several places around the world independently, or whether the technology was transferred from a single centre of origin.”

“The aim of the study was to determine possible sources of ore and evidence of bronze production through analysis of artefacts (with copper and arsenic content) including analysing samples of slag and copper ore from two archaeological sites known as Ganggangwa and Huoshiliang in northwestern Gansu Province,“ he said.

The research used lead and strontium isotopic analysis to identify and age ornaments, knives, rings, hemispherical objects and spearheads.

The team discovered substantial areas of woody vegetation around the sites which is now dominated by sand dunes. The Bronze Age people of the Gansu area were farmers who planted cereals such as wheat and practiced animal husbandry. Horse and sheep bones are common. It is believed they may have abandoned the region when wood was exhausted and desertification took over.

Southwest Chess Club: Upcoming Events

Holiday Hootenanny High-Speed Swiss: December 3 & 10 4-Round Swiss in One Section. Two games per night. Game/45 minutes. USCF (dual) Rated. EF: $5. One ½-Point Bye Available for any round (except round four) if requested at least 2-days prior to round). TD is Fogec (; ATDs Becker & Grochowski. Note: The games will start promptly at 7:00 (with the 2nd round starting around 8:30; games will conclude by about 10:15 pm). Follow this tournament on the SWCC blog. Visit the SWCC website for a complete calendar of events. Some upcoming events: CHRISTMAS PARTY, December 17 Casual Chess, food and socializing. No entry fee! Ice on Lake Michigan Swiss: January 7, 14, & 21 3-Round Swiss in Two Sections (Open and U1600).Game/100 minutes. USCF Rated. EF: $5. (One ½-PointBye Available for any round (except round three) if requestedat least 2-days prior to round). TD is Grochowski; ATD isFogec. Ice Storming Swift Swiss: January 28 3-Round Swiss in Two Sections (G/30 Minutes and G/29Minutes). USCF Rated. EF: $5. (½-Point Bye available for only first round if requested prior to round) TD isBecker; ATD is Grochowski. This is a great way to work through our Wisconsin Winter! Spring will be here before we know it. And with the spring comes the Hales Corners Chess Challenge XII! Goddesschess will once again be sponsoring prizes for the chess femmes for this fantastic twice-yearly event that has quickly become a spring and autumn tradition in southeast Wisconsin. We will be implementing an entirely new prize structure that we hope will encourage all of the femmes who have played in the Reserve section in prior HCCC to register and play in the Open. As an additional incentive, Goddesschess will pay the entry fee to HCCC XIII for the top female finisher in each section. Stay tuned for further details as we get closer to the tournament date.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Storm God

He's featured in the latest issue of Archaeology Magazine - there is an abstract of the article online. Image: Adda 14th Century BCE. Temple of the Storm God Volume 62 Number 6, November/December 2009 by Andrew Lawler A 5,000-year-old sanctuary emerges from beneath Aleppo's medieval citadel Various names were listed for this familiar god: Adda was known variously as Addu, Teshup, Tarhunta, and Hadad. Add Yahweh (Jehovah) to that list, and may as well add the Pharaohs of Egypt too, because the earliest depictions of pre-dynastic kings and the rulers from Dynasty One (Narmer, for instance) assume that same aggressive striding pose - one hand raised (ready to hurl a thunderbolt or a spear, or wield a club to smite the enemy). The Narmer Palette dates to the earliest days of Dynasty One (c. 3100 BCE, although some push that date back to 3400 BCE or 3500 BCE, to c. 2890 BCE). The image of Adda dates to c. 1599 BCE to 1500 BCE, and yet they share many similarities, don't they. The pointed headdress; the pointed beard; the short war apron; the raised right arm. My take: Adda is Dadda - the Big Daddy in the Sky who is everyone's "Daddy."

Does the Punishment Fit the Crime?

From The Durango Herald 2 plead guilty to theft of artifacts Herald Staff Report Article Last Updated; Tuesday, December 01, 2009 12:00AM A Cortez man and a woman from Cañon City have pleaded guilty to illegally collecting archaeological artifacts in Canyon of the Ancients National Monument west of Cortez. Preston Waggoner and Dawn Laate were banned from entering the national monument for a year and each fined $2,500. All but $500 of their fines will be suspended if they comply with the order and write a letter of apology to educate the public about the importance of leaving artifacts where they're found. Each has written the required letter, she on Nov. 18, he on Nov. 27. The Bureau of Land Management, which manages Canyon of the Ancients, was notified Aug. 18 that two people were picking up artifacts on BLM land adjacent to Lowry Pueblo, a complex with standing walls and more than 40 rooms. A BLM ranger, who found Waggoner and Laate with numerous artifacts that they had picked up from the ground, confiscated the pieces for evidence. They were cited for misdemeanors and ordered to appear in U.S. District Court in Durango, where they pleaded guilty to violating the Archaeological Resource Protection Act. They were sentenced Nov. 10. . . . The archaeological protection act dating from 1979 prohibits excavation, removal, damaging, alteration or defacing of artifacts on public land without a permit. A misdemeanor offense can bring a maximum $10,000 fine and up to a year in jail. A felony violation can result in as much as a $20,000 fine and up to two years in prison. A subsequent similar offense can be punished with a fine of up to $100,000 and imprisonment of not more than five years. Anyone who collects archeological artifacts from the ground also can be charged under the Code of Federal Regulations. The violation is punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and one year in jail. Canyon of the Ancients National Monument, part of the BLM's National Landscape Conservation System, contains 6,000 recorded archaeological sites representing ancestral Puebloan, Native American and Anglo cultures.
I believe that it is vitally important, not only for the present, but for our future as a nation of immigrants, to preserve as much as we can of the precious relics of the past (that from 50,000 years ago and that from 50 years ago), to pass on not only to those who come after us but also as a testament for the entire world. We can do better to preserve our collective heritage in the USA.

The Incredible Blooming Geraniums

It's December 1st and here is a photo of the two Martha Washington geraniums still blooming away on my front porch! Forgive the poor quality of the photo - I didn't have it on the right setting to take the photo in the dark and my hands shake so I couldn't keep the camera still even though I thought I was. Oh well. Even with the proper setting, I don't have a tripod to hold the camera steady. Despite the blur, the pic plainly shows geraniums in full-summer mode! In Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on December 1st! I wonder if I have stumbled upon the geranium equivalent of the Lightbulb that Pynchon wrote about years ago in Gravity's Rainbow? There was this lightbulb - in a factory or a storage facility? - who slowly discovered that "he" was immortal! I recall its name as Bernie, but that may be wrong. I still remember that ever-living lightbulb though, more than 30 years after reading Gravity's Rainbow for an English class in college. I don't know how much longer the Marthas will keep going. I have been covering them with a black plastic trash bag at night because it's been dropping below freezing. Today was a respite, it was 53 degrees F when I got out of work at 5 PM! But the temperature soon dropped as the sun disappeared altogether below the western horizon. Tomorrow and the next several days are forecast to be more seasonal. I may have to say goodbye to the Marthas.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Horse and Rider

I came across this tonight while looking for something else entirely. Very suggestive to me of a game piece (knight), but I do not have further details on the item as the website that hosts it was inaccessible. 400 x 300 - 86k - jpg - Image may be subject to copyright. Below is the image at: The Achaemenid Empire, founded by Cyrus the Great, c. 550 - 330 BCE.

"Old Europe" Cultures on Display in New York

I've written about some of these cultures before: Varna, Cucuteni and perhaps Hamangia. Overall, it's a good overview article and the images it presents are excellent. I wish I could see this exhibit! Image: Architectural Model With Seven Figurines Fired Clay Cucuteni, Ghelăieşti, 3700-3500 BC Neamţ County Museum Complex, Piatra Neamţ: 12550-12552, 13209-13213 Photo: Marius Amarie Do these look like dudes to you??? One comment I dispute in the article at The New York Times - that the ancient pre-dynatic Egyptians did not have pottery equivalent with thast discovered in Varna and Cuceteni. I have seen with my own eyes at the Met in NYC. I have pictures too - unfortunately stored on my desktop which at the moment is bounced off my wireless network and not connected to the internet, so I cannot download a few examples of that pottery here for comparison. Working on restoring that connection is somewhat low on the list of things to do around here at present! As a general observation, I've also seen excellent examples of the same types of decorations on pottery from the Iranian Plateau that date back c. 6500 years ago on exhibit at the Oriental Institute Museum in Chicago. In addition, I have seen practically pristine examples of carved Egyptian alabaster bowls and vessels so thin that light glows through them that date from late Naqada to Dynasty "Zero." I have yet to see the like of technical excellence and design sophistication replicated by other cultures in the other museums I have visited. So the authorities quoted in the article should not be so quick to dismiss the artisans of pre-dynastic Egypt (and other cultures with which they may not be familiar). I suppose I could make a better case by doing some searches online for images and downloading them, but frankly my time is at a premium these days and I don't want to devote the time right now. Image: Zoomorphic Figures, possibly bulls Gold Varna, Varna, Grave 36, 4400-4200 BC Varna Regional Museum of History: 1633, 1634 Photo: Rumyana Kostadinova Ivanova If these are bulls, where are their testicles and penises? These are cows - females! Reminds me of Het-Hert (Hathor), the horned cow goddess of the pre-dynastic Egyptians. I also take exception to the pot shots taken at Gimbutas' research back in the 1970s. She shed an entirely new light on discovered objects that brought females to the fore - or at least to equality - with males in pre-civilization and early civilizations. It was controversial back then - but much needed - and it remains controversial in some quarters yet today. NOW naysayers are fond of saying "in light of recent discoveries..." and they thus pooh-pooh Gimbutas' interpretations of her findings and her theories, but I also note that these critics rarely actually cite to others' work that contradicts Gimbutas. A lot of sound and fury on their part, signifying nothing, but you know, it's like that old politcal saw - if you throw enough mud for long enough and hard enough, eventually some of it will stick even if it shouldn't. To my mind, that's what these dudes (they are mostly dudes) have attempted to do with Gimbutas' body of work for the past 30 plus years. It seems some people want to turn back the clock to the bad old days. I think Gimbutas' research speaks for itself. One picture, as they say, is worth a thousand words. And she had perhaps thousands of photos of objects in the many books published under her name during the ensuing years - all identified as female or votives to females. It's pretty difficult to say that most of these objects are NOT female or female votives - but hey, some folks keep on giving it the good ol' college try. Anyway - this article demonstrates to me that the folks in charge of our "higher" educational system seriously need to introduce more cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary exposure in what we are teaching the people who will be our future archaeologists, historians and anthropologists. Geez! We still ain't there yet and it's rather sad to say as we are about to begin the second decade in the 21st century! A Lost European Culture, Pulled From Obscurity [not exactly, if you've been reading my blog!] By JOHN NOBLE WILFORD Published: November 30, 2009 Before the glory that was Greece and Rome, even before the first cities of Mesopotamia or temples along the Nile, there lived in the Lower Danube Valley and the Balkan foothills people who were ahead of their time in art, technology and long-distance trade. For 1,500 years, starting earlier than 5000 B.C., they farmed and built sizable towns, a few with as many as 2,000 dwellings. They mastered large-scale copper smelting, the new technology of the age. Their graves held an impressive array of exquisite headdresses and necklaces and, in one cemetery, the earliest major assemblage of gold artifacts to be found anywhere in the world. The striking designs of their pottery speak of the refinement of the culture’s visual language. Until recent discoveries, the most intriguing artifacts were the ubiquitous terracotta “goddess” figurines, originally interpreted as evidence of the spiritual and political power of women in society. [Parallel developments: Indus Valley, Pakistan/northern India; Naqada I, II and III along Nile River; Iranian Plateau settlements] New research, archaeologists and historians say, has broadened understanding of this long overlooked culture, which seemed to have approached the threshold of “civilization” status. Writing had yet to be invented, and so no one knows what the people called themselves. To some scholars, the people and the region are simply Old Europe. Image: Set of Twenty-one Figurines and Thirteen Chairs Fired Clay Cucuteni, Poduri-Dealul Ghindaru, 4900-4750 BC Neamţ County Museum Complex, Piatra Neamţ: 10095-10128, 10703 Photo: Elena-Roxana Munteanu According to the article, these are just "representations" of people (who just happen to be mostly female, perhaps all female). Hmmmm. 21 figures and 13 chairs - sounds like a game to me! The little-known culture is being rescued from obscurity in an exhibition, “The Lost World of Old Europe: the Danube Valley, 5000-3500 B.C.,” which opened last month at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World at New York University. More than 250 artifacts from museums in Bulgaria, Moldova and Romania are on display for the first time in the United States. The show will run through April 25. At its peak, around 4500 B.C., said David W. Anthony, the exhibition’s guest curator, “Old Europe was among the most sophisticated and technologically advanced places in the world” and was developing “many of the political, technological and ideological signs of civilization.” Dr. Anthony is a professor of anthropology at Hartwick College in Oneonta, N.Y., and author of “The Horse, the Wheel, and Language: How Bronze-Age Riders from the Eurasian Steppes Shaped the Modern World.” Historians suggest that the arrival in southeastern Europe of people from the steppes may have contributed to the collapse of the Old Europe culture by 3500 B.C. At the exhibition preview, Roger S. Bagnall, director of the institute, confessed that until now “a great many archaeologists had not heard of these Old Europe cultures.” Admiring the colorful ceramics, Dr. Bagnall, a specialist in Egyptian archaeology, remarked that at the time “Egyptians were certainly not making pottery like this.” [Not correct] The striking designs of their pottery speak of the refinement of the culture’s visual language. Until recent discoveries, the most intriguing artifacts were the ubiquitous terracotta “goddess” figurines, originally interpreted as evidence of the spiritual and political power of women in society. New research, archaeologists and historians say, has broadened understanding of this long overlooked culture, which seemed to have approached the threshold of “civilization” status. Writing had yet to be invented, and so no one knows what the people called themselves. To some scholars, the people and the region are simply Old Europe. [How arrogant to assume that because a culture did not have writing - at least - not that we have discovered or could understand if we did -- see Indus discussions! -- that the people of these cultures were not "civilized." Nineteenth century baloney still being served up to the general public and future generations of our scholars today.] Rest of article.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Dove in Symbolism

Here's an informative and reader-friendly article on the meaning of the dove, a very ancient symbol for the Mother Goddess, in ancient cultures in the Middle East from Biblical Archaeology online. Image: Walters Art Museum, Baltimore In addition to its symbolism for the Holy Spirit, the dove was a popular Christian symbol before the cross rose to prominence in the fourth century. The dove continued to be used for various church implements throughout the Byzantine and medieval period, including the form of oil lamps and this 13th-century altar piece for holding the Eucharistic bread. The Enduring Symbolism of Doves From Ancient Icon to Biblical Mainstay by Dorothy D. Resig Few symbols have a tradition as long and as rich as the dove. A particular favorite in art and iconography, the dove often represents some aspect of the divine, and its use has been shared, adapted and reinterpreted across cultures and millennia to suit changing belief systems. From the ancient world to modern times, this simple bird developed layer upon layer of meaning and interpretive significance, making it a complex and powerful addition to religious texts and visual representations. Image: Naos, Ardon Bar Hama. A dove and two bird-like female figures perch atop this clay house shrine from the Iron Age. The dove was widely recognized throughout the Ancient Near Eastern world as a symbol of the mother goddess Asherah and her counterparts Astarte and Tanit. In the Ancient Near East and Mediterranean world, the dove became an iconic symbol of the mother goddess. Small clay shrines from the Iron Age Levant depict doves perched atop the doorways of these mini-temples. On one example from Cyprus, the entire exterior of the goddess’s shrine is covered with dovecotes. The doves represented feminine fertility and procreation, and came to be well-recognized symbols of the Canaanite goddess Asherah and her counterpart Astarte, as well as her Phoenician and later Punic embodiment, Tanit. First-century B.C. coins from Ashkelon bore a dove, which represented both the goddess Tyche-Astarte and the city mint. In Rome and throughout the Empire, goddesses such as Venus and Fortunata could be seen depicted in statues with a dove resting in their hand or on their head. Rest of article.

Worn Out!

Hola! I continue to work to exhaustion preparing the house for sale. Hopefully the last of Kevin the Handyman's tasks will be finished on Monday (we'll see). He added another coat of drywall mud to the various drywall repairs and patches he did and on Monday, hopefully, he'll be able to sand what needs to be sanded and prime with "sand" texture primer. Mr. Don doesn't know it yet, but when he arrives for Christmas I'll be putting him to work painting! Kevin also has to finish the fence repair work. He has straightened out and stablized all of the leaning posts with metal reinforcing bars and has stripped off the broken and/or worn pickets. Now he has to put on the new pickets and also replace several post tops that have seen better days. He has to rehang a repaired corner door on one of my kitchen cabinets and then, the only thing left is to install a new range hood. Alas, I haven't purchased the replacement yet. But I will get to it soon - After Kevin left on Friday, about 2:30 in the afternoon I succumbed to temporary insanity and decided to put my bedroom from the north bedroom back to the much larger and freshly painted south bedroom, which was my original room that had been painted pink for 19 plus years until Kevin came to my rescue and did the job for me that I never got around to doing, with paint that I had purchased more than a year ago! The plan was to moved my mirrored six-drawer dresser from the north bedroom and the bed from the middle bedroom (which had been serving as the guest room) back to the south bedroom, where those pieces would join the orphaned night stand and chest of drawers; all would be en suite once again! Part 2 of the plan was to move the "new" dresser from the middle bedroom into the north bedroom, which would become the guest room (which it used to be before I switched everything around in preparation for painting that I never got around to doing). A swap-out of art work on the walls, window treatments and rugs would take place. Part 3 was to move the computer and three overflowing bookcases from the south bedroom back to their original home, the middle bedroom, and work on getting the wireless connection on my PC going again. I was happily huffing and puffing along, taking my time and getting a good work-out. I'd managed to wrestle the mattresses off the beds and the box springs too. I'd got the bedframe and headboard for my bed moved into the south bedroom. My dresser had been emptied of its drawers and had been shoved all the way from the north bedroom into the hall, turned and shoved into the south bedroom and then shoved into place along the wall. And then the phone rang. It was my broker. Could they do a showing on Saturday between 12 and 1 p.m.? I should have screamed NO - NO MORE SHOWINGS UNTIL AFTER JANUARY 1. But I was temporarily insane and so I said sure, I'll the rooms swapped out and ready by then. And so, what had begun as a leisurely way to get a good workout turned into a frantic rush to get the rooms switched around and presentable before noon the next day. I worked in 15 minute bursts with 2-3 minute rest periods in-between and got all major furniture pieces moved. There were important exceptions. First, I decided to pack up several of my old paperback books and clear shelf space for future purchases of research tomes. I packed three medium-size boxes and hauled them down to the garage. The rest of the stuff residing on those bookcases were stacked in piles on the bedroom floor and then I heaved each of the three bookcases into the middle bedroom. Second, although I emptied the new dresser of its drawers, I could not move it without removing the mirror (that had almost killed me when I'd moved it the last time as its weight came crashing down on me after I'd removed the last of four bolts fastening it to the back of the dresser) - given my prior experience I was not about to attempt that feat again, even while temporarily insane! But Kevin was coming the next day (Saturday), and I was going to draft him for assistance. I collapsed into my newly-located bed about 11:00 p.m. I awoke about 3:30 a.m. experiencing symptoms of what I can only describe as an anxiety attack. NOT pleasant. I took a blood pressure pill about 3 hours early and stretched out in the recliner in the family room (a favorite relaxing spot) and engaged in various mental exercises to calm my poor body down. It worked - sort of. I fell asleep with heartbeat still above normal but not frantically racing as it had been. I awoke about 7:15 a.m. - EEK! I was late! I'd meant to get up at 6 a.m. - but my clock radio alarm didn't reach my ears downstairs. I hit the ground running and didn't stop until my friend Ann picked me up shortly before noon, right after Kevin left the house (he arrived shortly after 10:00 a.m.) The rearranging of bedrooms and den/library was mostly finished! Kevin made short work of taking the mirror off of the new dresser, manhandling it into the north bedroom along the south wall and reattaching the mirror with a nifty little ratchet wrench (I've got to get me a set of those). I made up the bed, hung curtains, scoured out toilets and sinks, swept and vacuumed the ever-present drywall dust. I had time to change my shirt, brush my hair and slap some foundation on in a fruitless attempt to tone down my beet-red face, and then Ann and I were off to check out several hours I had on my list of prospects. Fortunately, the rest of the day was much more relaxing and fun. It is a blessing to have good friends. So - two viewings and no offers. I have received zero feedback from my broker. I don't care. I'm sure in this buyer's market there is a long list of what "potential" buyers don't like about Maison Newton (yard too big, too many trees too close to the house, mechanicals too old, appliances ready for the junk heap, roof too old, kitchen/dinette flooring too old, carpeting too old), etc. etc. I have no intention of buying new appliances, installing new flooring (other than the upstairs bathroom, which was all of 46 square feet, and replacement was planned before the house went on the market), new carpeting, new roof, and a new furnace and AC unit. I do not have to sell, and if this place doesn't go on my terms, I will happily go back to Plan A. And THEN, I will get new appliances, new flooring, new carpeting, top-notch rather than cut-rate and efficient "new" mechanicals and a new 25-year architectral style shingled roof! And I'll get quotes from Kevin the Handyman about doing crown moldings in some of the rooms and built-in shelving/bookcases! I'll post pics tomorrow. I took several of the new bathroom, only to discover that I did not have the memory card installed, and I'm too tired to re-take them tonight.
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