Good morning wonderful human beings, how are you doing today? I am good, except for having a slight stomachache.

This week my mom has been staying at our house, and I don’t think it’s ever been as clean as it is now. I don’t even know when she’s been cleaning, it’s like magic.

On another note, we have been having fun together. She arrived on Saturday afternoon, so we stayed home the rest of the day. On Sunday we went to early church and then had breakfast with Brandon’s family, and on Monday in snowed so we stayed home painting the living room, because I’ve had that unfinished painting for about a year but it is now almost done.

On Tuesday we went to the Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium, we spent there about three hours and I am sure we would have stayed longer if it wasn’t for hunger. We lost track of time and ended up having lunch at four pm. The good thing is that I had already told Brandon we were going to be late for supper so he could have a snack or something to hold him until eight when we actually ate.

Yesterday we also did something fun. It was Brandon’s day off so we went to Galena to spend the day. Sadly, it was raining so we couldn’t stay and walk around as long as we would have wanted but we did walk for as long as we could and hit a couple of their stores.

The thing I’m most excited about is finding a book from 1881. The Works of Virgil translated by John Dryden, lettered pressed and hand bound, in great condition.

I’m already in love with this book. Not just because I am a book lover in general, but because I know how much work and dedication it takes to letterpress and entire book and then bind it by hand, with handmade cover art as well.

I only have one other antique book, which is a first (?) Edition of Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, which I found at a antique store a few years ago. So now I can actually call it a collection and continue to expand it.

Another thing that I love about this book, and it might sound odd, is that it has someone’s name written on it. I love finding books that have the owners name or a little note for someone, written on the first page. It is a little bit of the history of the book, there forever, for everyone to see. On December 17, 1883 Louise Harford held this book and wrote her name on it. Now it is mine, and though I never met Louise, our lives are now connected, and her story goes on to live on my bookshelf.

I also bought another book, “The Ghost, A Cultural History” by Susan Owens. It is a history and art history book.

This one was not from an antique store, it was from a store that had a lot of things with cultural and popular references, such as sports, Tv shows, famous people, etc. I didn’t even noticed this book because I was too distracted looking at all of the cat related stuff they had and Brandon brought it to me and asked if I wanted it. I’ve never said no to a book. I was excited to see it was about ghosts and more so about cultural history, because I already know a lot about vampires but not that much about ghosts. Then, when I was already excited, Brandon said “that’s not all, it also includes art history” at which point I think I jumped of excitement.

Ghosts and spirits are a big part of many cultures (all, maybe?), and they have influenced our art, our literature and our story telling, our beliefs, and therefore who we are as a culture. Understanding why we believe the things we believe and the traditions that have been past down to us, and knowing where those beliefs and traditions come from, give us an inside scope to understanding our culture as what it was and what it is right now.

Lastly, I also got a pretty crystal. I don’t know if I have ever mentioned this, but I have a small collection of crystals and stones. I think they are gorgeous to look at but I also find it fascinating to learn about the metaphysical properties associated with crystals and stones.

If you know a little bit of physics you might know that one of the Laws of Physics is that energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be transformed. So it is believed that crystals, stones and other loose minerals can aid in the transformation of energy. Some people believe that through the movement and transformation of energy we can heal illnesses.

Now, I want to add a disclaimer because this is a very controversial topic. The people that I’ve met and spoken with, that practice healing through crystals or stones, also believe in modern medicine and do not recommend using crystals/stones to substitute medication or medical treatments, but rather to pair them with that to increase the healing. YOU SHOULDN’T STOP THE COURSE OF MEDICATION AND OR CHANGE YOUR TREATMENT WITHOUT CONSULTING YOUR HEALTH CARE PROVIDER.

Okay, back to being a nerd. The stone that I got is a blue lace agate, which is believed to help you control emotions, balancing energy and harmonizing the Ying and Yang.

According to Crystal Vaults, the history of blue lace agate dates back to Babylon, where it was used for healing amulets and ornaments.

The Fire Mountain Gems and Beads Website, also talks about agate dating back to the Neolithic Era, where the stone was used in healing amulets.

I personally keep them because they are pretty to look at and always seem to have a calming effect on me. I don’t have any empirical evidence that suggest that they do or don’t work in the way that they are metaphysically believed to work. I can’t confirm nor deny said claims, but I have them in my kitchen and sometimes when I’m having a bad day I go look at them and they help me feel better. I also like holding one in my hand when trying to calming down from anxiety or panic attacks, they remind me to take deep breaths and give me comfort. If that’s a placebo effect, I don’t care because it helps, and to me that’s all that matters.

I am sorry if this post turned out being too long, I got carried away.

That’s all for today, until next week, share your love with everyone around you and don’t forget to do something that makes you happy.

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