A to Z Road Trip!


Post A-to-Z Road Trip [2013]I’m still busy as heck but came back to the ol’ blog for the 2015 Post-Challenge Road Trip. I haven’t done this before so I’m not sure if this is an annual ending to the event or new for 2015.


What’s a Post-Challenge Road Trip?

The folks running the annual A to Z Challenge are encouraging people to take a final look at all the blogs participating this year.  The blogs I’ve already visited were fantastic, but with family plans looming I don’t think I’ll have time to stop by all 1509 participant blogs this year. I’ll give it my best as time permits.  If you have yet to see the many marvelous posts put up this year, here’s the A to Z participant link.

To Road Trippers stopping here for the first time, the following was my A to Z line-up. I’ve made links so you won’t have to scroll yourself into a hand cramp. Just right click and open a new tab. The information is unusual and fun and if you like to learn as much as I do, there are links on each post to take the topics further. All have historical perspective and some posts are truly strange.

A for Archaeoastronomy
B for (Linear) B
C for Chladni & Cymatics
D for Dreaded Sweat
E for Echo
F for Frost Fair
G for Ghost Ship
H for Heaven & Hell Clubs
I for Ice Harvesting
J for Jersey Devil
K for Kaleidoscope
L for Legends or Lies

M for Monopoly
N for Necropolis Railway
O for Overtoun “dog suicide” Bridge
P for Prehistoric Pigment
Q for Quills & Pens
R for Rat King
S for Spectacles
T for Tree Circus
U for Ukulele
V for Volkswagen
W for Witching
X for XOXO
Y for Yo-yo
Z for Zildjian cymbals

Thanks for stopping. See you next year Road Trippers!

۞>>>>۞>>>>My Other Blogs & Assorted Happenings<<<<۞<<<<۞

My 4th of the month blog post can still be found at Romance Books ‘4’ Us
http://romancebooks4us.blogspot.com/2015/05/time-for-flowers-by-rose-anderson.html

Weekend Writing Warriors
http://theancillarymuse.blogspot.com/

There’s still time to try my wild foods recipes on my other blog
Scroll back for all ten. Yum!
http://calliopeswritingtablet.blogspot.com/

My Sexy Saturday
http://calliopesotherwritingtablet.blogspot.com/

Snippet Sunday & more
**A promo op for you too!**
http://exquisitequills.blogspot.com/

۞>>>>۞<<<<۞>>>>۞

RB4U purpleFantastic authors & industry representatives all month long. http://romancebooks4us.blogspot.com/

Romance Books ‘4’ Us
http://www.romancebooks4us.com/

Authors~ check out our promo services.
And…Our May contest is on. We’ll have prizes!
http://www.romancebooks4us.com/

۞>>>>۞<<<<۞>>>>۞

Attention Authors~ My Exquisite Quills blog hosts five fun and b1e43-eqpicfree promo opportunities a week. I’m delighted to say it’s a hot spot with great exposure. Come join in!
http://exquisitequills.blogspot.com/


۞>>>>۞<<<<۞>>>>۞

Love Waits in Unexpected Places –
Scorching Samplings of Unusual Love Stories

Download your free chapter sampler today!
all7books-small

۞>>>>۞<<<<۞>>>>۞

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Posted in Past Posts - you'll never know what you'll find | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Buttering that bread


bread“Why, I feel all thin, sort of stretched, if you know what I mean: like butter that has been scraped over too much bread.”
~Bilbo Baggins
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

I’ve just come off the month-long A to Z Challenge, ten days of the Authors in Bloom blog hop, 12 weekend posts, and assorted writing obligations. For the rest of the month, my laptop and I will temporarily part company, but not because I’ve run out of words. I have party plans to see to for my son and soon-to-be daughter-in-law. So much to do!

Until then, do scroll down for the A to Z Challenge posts and follow links to excerpts, wild foods, and more. I hope you enjoy my various posts, there’s a little something for everyone on all my blogs. 

See you soon.
~Rose

۞>>>>۞>>>>My Other Blogs & Assorted Happenings<<<<۞<<<<۞

My 4th of the month blog post is still up at Romance Books ‘4’ Us
http://romancebooks4us.blogspot.com/2015/05/time-for-flowers-by-rose-anderson.html

Weekend Writing Warriors
http://theancillarymuse.blogspot.com/

There’s still time to try my wild foods recipes on my other blog
Scroll back for all ten. Yum!
http://calliopeswritingtablet.blogspot.com/

My Sexy Saturday
http://calliopesotherwritingtablet.blogspot.com/

Snippet Sunday & more
**A promo op for you too!**
http://exquisitequills.blogspot.com/

۞>>>>۞<<<<۞>>>>۞

RB4U purpleFantastic authors & industry representatives all month long. http://romancebooks4us.blogspot.com/

Romance Books ‘4’ Us
http://www.romancebooks4us.com/

Authors~ check out our promo services.
And…Our May contest is on. We’ll have prizes!
http://www.romancebooks4us.com/

۞>>>>۞<<<<۞>>>>۞

Attention Authors~ My Exquisite Quills blog hosts five fun and b1e43-eqpicfree promo opportunities a week. I’m delighted to say it’s a hot spot with great exposure. Come join in!
http://exquisitequills.blogspot.com/


۞>>>>۞<<<<۞>>>>۞

Love Waits in Unexpected Places –
Scorching Samplings of Unusual Love Stories

Download your free chapter sampler today!
all7books-small

۞>>>>۞<<<<۞>>>>۞

trrbanner

Posted in Past Posts - you'll never know what you'll find | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My A to Z Challenge Reflections post


A-to-Z Reflection [2015] - LgWelcome to my A to Z Challenge Reflections post!  First off, thanks so much to the organizers. Well done, folks.
:)
This is my third year sharing my particular interests in history and historical science. I’m disappointed to say this year’s visitor numbers were considerably lower than last year. I had outstanding numbers last year and gained quite a few blog followers from both 2013 and 2014’s challenges.  I didn’t see that this year. I promoted the same so I’m not sure why the results were so much less. Still, I really enjoy mining information, so in that respect I had a blast. I have big plans for all my A to Z posts and every year gives me more to work with.
That said, I’m grateful to the organizers for a reason to write them!

Here’s my month of posts. By far, the most popular was N for Necropolis Railway. The least was P for Prehistoric Pigment. Do scroll down and enjoy. The information is unusual and fun and if you like to learn as much as I do, there are links to take each topic further.

A for Archaeoastronomy
B for (Linear) B
C for Chladni & Cymatics
D for Dreaded Sweat
E for Echo
F for Frost Fair
G for Ghost Ship
H for Heaven & Hell Clubs
I for Ice Harvesting
J for Jersey Devil
K for Kaleidoscope
M for Monopoly
L for Legends & Lies
N for Necropolis Railway
O for Overtoun “dog suicide” Bridge
P for Prehistoric Pigment
Q for Quills & Pens
R for Rat King
S for Spectacles
T for Tree Circus
U for Ukulele
V for Volkswagen
W for Witching
X for XOXO
Y for Yo-yo
Z for Zildjian cymbals

As far as suggestions go, I would love to be on a mailing list that sends a reminder email in March saying the A to Z Challenge sign-up is on. I checked the site several times a month since the first week in January because I just didn’t know when it opened. If the date for sign-up was posted somewhere, I missed that info.

I visited quite a few participant blogs when time permitted and thoroughly enjoyed myself. I hope to do the A to Z Challenge again next year.

Thanks again!


۞>>>>۞>>>>My Other Blogs & Assorted Happenings<<<<۞<<<<۞

It’s my 4th of the month blog day at Romance Books ‘4’ Us
http://www.romancebooks4us.blogspot.com/

Weekend Writing Warriors
http://theancillarymuse.blogspot.com/

There’s still time to try my wild foods recipes on my other blog
Scroll back for all ten. Yum!
http://calliopeswritingtablet.blogspot.com/

My Sexy Saturday
http://calliopesotherwritingtablet.blogspot.com/

Snippet Sunday & more
**A promo op for you too!**
http://exquisitequills.blogspot.com/

۞>>>>۞<<<<۞>>>>۞

RB4U purpleFantastic authors & industry representatives all month long. http://romancebooks4us.blogspot.com/

Romance Books ‘4’ Us
http://www.romancebooks4us.com/

Authors~ check out our promo services.
And…Our May contest is on. We’ll have prizes!
http://www.romancebooks4us.com/

۞>>>>۞<<<<۞>>>>۞

Attention Authors~ My Exquisite Quills blog hosts five fun and b1e43-eqpicfree promo opportunities a week. I’m delighted to say it’s a hot spot with great exposure. Come join in!
http://exquisitequills.blogspot.com/


۞>>>>۞<<<<۞>>>>۞

Love Waits in Unexpected Places –
Scorching Samplings of Unusual Love Stories

Download your free chapter sampler today!
all7books-small

۞>>>>۞<<<<۞>>>>۞

trrbanner

Posted in Past Posts - you'll never know what you'll find | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Taking a Breather…


survivor-atoz [2015] - 2Whew! I’ve just completed April’s month-long A to Z Challenge where participants blog the alphabet six out of seven days a week. I hope my visitors found my posts interesting. The A to Z event is always fun for me because I really get into research. There were some great topics this year. As some topics are broader than a single post can cover, all posts have extra links to more information.

If you haven’t been here before, do scroll down and enjoy them.  Some are truly strange.


Z for Zildjian cymbals
Y for Yo-yo
X for XOXO

W for Witching
V for Volkswagen
U for Ukulele
T for Tree Circus
S for Spectacles
R for Rat King
Q for Quills & Pens
P for Pigment
O for Overtoun “dog suicide” Bridge
N for Necropolis Railway
M for MonopolyL for Legends & Lies
K for Kaleidoscope
J for Jersey Devil
I for Ice Harvesting
H for Heaven & Hell Clubs
G for Ghost Ship
F for Frost Fair
E for Echo
D for Dreaded Sweat
C for Chladni & Cymatics
B for (Linear) B
A for Archaeoastronomy

Sometime in the next few days I’ll take part in the participant wrap up and share my thoughts on this year’s event. Until then, I’m going to take a well-deserved blogging break. See you soon!
:D

Read more interesting posts of all kinds. Check out this year’s participant list.


۞>>>>۞>>>>My Other Blogs & Assorted Happenings<<<<۞<<<<۞

Weekend Writing Warriors
http://theancillarymuse.blogspot.com/

There’s still time to try my wild foods recipes on my other blog
Scroll back for all ten. Yum!
http://calliopeswritingtablet.blogspot.com/

My Sexy Saturday
http://calliopesotherwritingtablet.blogspot.com/

Snippet Sunday & more
**A promo op for you too!**
http://exquisitequills.blogspot.com/

۞>>>>۞<<<<۞>>>>۞

RB4U purpleFantastic authors & industry representatives all month long. http://romancebooks4us.blogspot.com/

Romance Books ‘4’ Us
http://www.romancebooks4us.com/

Authors~ check out our promo services.
And…Our May contest is coming up. We’ll have prizes!
http://www.romancebooks4us.com/

۞>>>>۞<<<<۞>>>>۞

Attention Authors~ My Exquisite Quills blog hosts five fun and b1e43-eqpicfree promo opportunities a week. I’m delighted to say it’s a hot spot with great exposure. Come join in!
http://exquisitequills.blogspot.com/


۞>>>>۞<<<<۞>>>>۞

Love Waits in Unexpected Places –
Scorching Samplings of Unusual Love Stories

Download your free chapter sampler today!
all7books-small

۞>>>>۞<<<<۞>>>>۞

trrbanner

Posted in Past Posts - you'll never know what you'll find | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The A to Z Challenge – Z for Zildjian cymbals #atozchallenge


Last day for the A to Z Challenge! Hello and welcome to my main blog. My name is Rose Anderson and I’m a novelist.

I’ve been blogging the alphabet throughout the month of April (It’s not as easy as you might think). This year’s alphabet was about history and historical science– all things that tickled my fancy or captured my imagination when I stumbled upon them. I hope you’ve found them interesting too. If you’re here for the first time, do scroll down to the rest of April’s offerings. I’m a detail person so all my posts have links to more.

۞>>>>۞<<<<۞>>>>۞<<<<۞>>>>۞

ZToday’s Calliope’s Writing Tablet post is brought to you by the letter Z ~ Zildjian cymbals

I was an empathetic kid who always felt the emotions of others. If someone somehow got hurt, I swear I could feel it too. If someone cried because they were sad or happy, my heart ached for their pain or swelled with joy for their happiness. Either way, my tears would fall along with theirs. I’ve always been a softy this way. Given this hypersensitivity of mine, marching bands in parades always make me tear up. I never knew why until recently. I’d be fine watching the parade until the band came marching along. When the blasting horns, pounding drums, and clashing cymbals pass by, I can feel the vibration in the hollow of my chest and it feels like emotion to me–a powerful bombardment of emotion that makes my eyes brim with tears. The odd thing is, I’m not alone. There are other parade criers out there. It’s a matter of sensory overload. This occurs when the brain and nervous system get bombarded by too much sensory input and are unable to process and sort out those sensory messages. Call it a pressure release. That said, I love parades –the blasting horns, the pounding drums, and the clashing cymbals. All of it!

As a world drummer, percussion sounds of all sorts works their way into my music. I even have a Zildjian cymbal and what an impressive sound it makes.  And that leads me to this last post for the A to Z Challenge.

That ol’ parade standard ~ The cymbal

Humans are drawn to cause and effect and because of this we like to hit things for sound. Music began the first time someone clapped their hands together rhythmically. From clapping hands and slapping thighs it’s a safe to assume percussion instruments followed. If clapping hands made this sound, what sound do two sticks or bones make when you strike them together? If sticks and bones make that sound, what happens when you strike a stretched hide or a skull? You can see how it may have progressed.  When bronze came on the scene in approximately 3,000 B.C. E., a whole new world of sound experience began with the cymbal.

As far as anyone can tell, cymbals originated in either India or Turkey and have been around a while. Cymbals were also used in Greece to honor Dionysus (The god of wine and ecstasy. Yeah I can see that). They were discovered buried in Pompeii and depicted in ancient mosaics. They were also found in the tombs of ancient Egyptians.

It’s hard to imagine the famed Zildjian cymbal has its roots in alchemy but it does. Sometime in the early 1600s, an alchemist by the name of Avedis was looking for a way to make gold by combing tin, copper, and silver. What he got instead was a metal alloy that could make musical sounds without shattering. From there, inspiration followed.

At the time, cymbals were used for daily calls to prayer, religious feasts and royal weddings, and by the Ottoman army who used the clashing sounds to intimidate their enemies in battle. But Avedis’ newfangled metal cymbal had more going for it than other cymbals of their day. His metal made his not only more pleasant to the ear, the auditory reach went farther. Sultan Osman II, who reigned in this time, was so impressed by the new cymbals, he give the alchemist eighty pieces of gold and bestowed a distinctive name upon Avedis. From that day forward Zildjian was the family name — literally cymbal maker.

Zildjian cymbals have been played by some of the biggest names in music for centuries and are known for their distinctive “bright” sound. They would eventually make their way into the orchestral music of Europe to be used by such composers as Mozart, Haydn, Wagner, and Beethoven. Even Ringo played Zildjians on the Ed Sullivan Show when the Beatles made their American debut.

Since that wayward quest to turn base metals into gold, fifteen generations of Zildjians later, the family now resides in Massachusetts and controls 65% of the world’s cymbal market. Their formula for making their cymbals is a guarded family secret.

More~
5,000 Years In 3,000 Words: Cymbal History

Coming soon ~ The A to Z Wrap-up!

My Other Happenings~

Weekend Writing Warriors
http://theancillarymuse.blogspot.com/

There’s still time to try my wild foods recipes on my other blog
Scroll back for all ten. Yum!
http://calliopeswritingtablet.blogspot.com/

My Sexy Saturday
http://calliopesotherwritingtablet.blogspot.com/

Snippet Sunday & more
**A promo op for you too!**
http://exquisitequills.blogspot.com/

۞>>>>۞<<<<۞>>>>۞<<<<۞>>>>۞

RB4U purpleFantastic authors & industry representatives all month long. http://romancebooks4us.blogspot.com/

Romance Books ‘4’ Us
http://www.romancebooks4us.com/

Authors~
check out our promo services.
And…Our May contest is coming. We’ll have prizes!
http://www.romancebooks4us.com/

۞>>>>۞<<<<۞>>>>۞<<<<۞>>>>۞

Attention Authors~ My Exquisite Quills blog hosts five fun and free b1e43-eqpicpromo opportunities a week. I’m delighted to say it’s a hot spot with great exposure. Come join in!

http://exquisitequills.blogspot.com/

۞>>>>۞<<<<۞

Love Waits in Unexpected Places –
Scorching Samplings of Unusual Love Stories

Download your free chapter sampler today!
all7books-small

۞>>>>۞<<<<۞>>>>۞<<<<۞>>>>۞

trrbanner

Posted in Past Posts - you'll never know what you'll find | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The A to Z Challenge – Y for Yo-yo #atozchallenge


It’s time for the A to Z Challenge! Hello and welcome to my main blog. My name is Rose Anderson and I’m a novelist. Join me and nearly 2000 bloggers and authors as we blog the alphabet throughout the month of April. It’s not as easy as you might think. There’s a reason Q and Z are worth 10 points in Scrabble!

For me, this year’s alphabet will be about history and historical science– things that tickle my fancy or capture my imagination. I hope you will find them interesting too.

Keep the topic rolling! If you’ve enjoyed the today’s offering and have comments or questions, add them at the end of the post in the comment section. And…if you enjoy romances with unique twists, a good deal of steam, facts, and characters full of personality and depth, scroll down for a free chapter sampler. I love to make the impossible sound plausible. Suffice to say, I have an unusual mind.
:)

۞>>>>۞<<<<۞>>>>۞<<<<۞>>>>۞

YToday’s Calliope’s Writing Tablet post is brought to you by the letter Y ~ Yo-yo

When you were a child, did you ever see another kid do something and wished you could too? There were several things like that for me. Alas, I wasn’t a very coordinated child. For instance, some of my childhood chums could play paddle ball. Not me. I’d hit myself with the ball or miss the paddle completely.  Twirl a baton? Nope. Jump double dutch jump rope? Not a chance. I could barely handle one rope let alone two. Another one was the yo-yo. I recall having only three good drops before the yo-yo stalled at the end of the string. But I had friends who could do tricks with their yo-yo’s, cool tricks like walk the dog where the yo-yo spins on the floor and actually comes back to your hand with a flick of the wrist. “It’s all in the wrist”, they said. Ha. It was all in their wrist.

The yo-yo ~ not just another toy

Early_Yo-yo_playerBelieve it or not, the yo-yo has been around a long time. Some consider it to be the second oldest toy in history (the doll being older) but there isn’t concrete proof of that opinion. That the yo-yo shows up in many cultures around the world does suggest the yo-yo is a very old invention. A version of the yo-yo (what we’d call the diablo today) shows up in China nearly 4000 years ago. They also show up on Egyptian temple walls

Yo-yo’s used as toys in ancient Greece around 500 B.C.E. were discovered in archeological digs, and were made of metal, wood, and terra cotta and decorated with images of the gods. Though some historians argue these findings could simply be spools of thread, artwork on Grecian urns depict children doing yo-yo tricks such as walk the dog.

What’s in a name?

The word yo-yo is from Tagalog, the native language of the Philippines. Translated it means come come. I’ve found conflicting opinion on what the native people there actually using the yo-yo for. Some say it was just a toy. Others say it was a weapon and point to yo-yo artifacts at least 400 years old with knife-sharp edges and studs attached to 20-foot ropes for flinging at enemies. Hmm…why not? Bolas and slings were used as weapons. If you could fling a spinning blade at an enemy 20 feet away, you’d certainly have an edge. No pun intended. lol 

The yo-yo arrived in France in the 1700s and became all the 1791-Yo-Yo-Bandalorerage among high society. Even future King Louis XVII’s portrait was painted with him with a yo-yo in his hand. Later, the toy would be called l’emigrette, (the émigré), named for the aristocrats who fled France when the revolution began. To the English aristocrats, the toy was the bandalore or quiz. Illustrations from this time clearly show the yo-yo’s common appeal. From soldiers to kings, everyone played with the yo-yo. There are even paintings and sketches of Napoleon playing with his.

yo-yo-kitchenerThe yo-yo as we know it begins in the 1920s with Pedro Flores, a young Filipino émigré. While yo-yo’s were  a common toy for passing the time in the Philippines it was virtually unknown in 1920s America. Pedro worked as a bellhop at a Santa Monica hotel and played with his wooden yo-yo on his breaks. He soon found himself drawing crowds of interested people. Seeing opportunity, he carved wooden yo-yo’s by hand and sold them. Before long, he had his own company– the Flores Yo-Yo Company.

Donald F. Duncan, inventor and entrepreneur, discovered Pedro’s yo-yo during a business trip to California and was intrigued. He bought the Flores Yo-Yo Company along with the yo-yo name in 1929. After tinkering with the toy, Duncan added the looped slip-string that allowed players to make their advanced yo-yo tricks.

Whatever their age, origin, or use, since the 1930s, over half a billion yo-yos have been made and sold.

More~

Yo-yo Ninja Part 2

A brief history of the yo-yo

How to be a yo-yo player

The Duncan Yo-yo Youtube Channel — more awe-inspiring yo-yo champs here. Warning: Turn your volume down!

More~

Tomorrow is the last ~ letter Z!!

My Other Happenings~

Weekend Writing Warriors
http://theancillarymuse.blogspot.com/

There’s still time to try my wild foods recipes on my other blog
Scroll back for all ten. Yum!
http://calliopeswritingtablet.blogspot.com/

My Sexy Saturday
http://calliopesotherwritingtablet.blogspot.com/

Snippet Sunday
**A promo op for you too!**
http://exquisitequills.blogspot.com/

۞>>>>۞<<<<۞>>>>۞<<<<۞>>>>۞

RB4U purpleFantastic authors & industry representatives all month long. http://romancebooks4us.blogspot.com/

Romance Books ‘4’ Us
http://www.romancebooks4us.com/

Authors~
check out our promo services.
And…Our April contest is on. We have prizes!
http://www.romancebooks4us.com/

۞>>>>۞<<<<۞>>>>۞<<<<۞>>>>۞

Attention Authors~ My Exquisite Quills blog hosts five fun and free b1e43-eqpicpromo opportunities a week. I’m delighted to say it’s a hot spot with great exposure. Come join in!

http://exquisitequills.blogspot.com/

۞>>>>۞<<<<۞

Love Waits in Unexpected Places –
Scorching Samplings of Unusual Love Stories

Download your free chapter sampler today!
all7books-small

۞>>>>۞<<<<۞>>>>۞<<<<۞>>>>۞

trrbanner

 

Posted in Past Posts - you'll never know what you'll find | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The A to Z Challenge – X for XOXO #atozchallenge


It’s time for the A to Z Challenge! Hello and welcome to my main blog. My name is Rose Anderson and I’m a novelist. Join me and nearly 2000 bloggers and authors as we blog the alphabet throughout the month of April. It’s not as easy as you might think. There’s a reason Q and Z are worth 10 points in Scrabble!

For me, this year’s alphabet will be about history and historical science– things that tickle my fancy or capture my imagination. I hope you will find them interesting too.

Keep the topic rolling! If you’ve enjoyed the today’s offering and have comments or questions, add them at the end of the post in the comment section. And…if you enjoy romances with unique twists, a good deal of steam, facts, and characters full of personality and depth, scroll down for a free chapter sampler. I love to make the impossible sound plausible. Suffice to say, I have an unusual mind.
:)

۞>>>>۞<<<<۞>>>>۞<<<<۞>>>>۞

XToday’s Calliope’s Writing Tablet post is brought to you by the letter X ~ XOXO

I love to know the hows, whys, and wherefores of things. I suppose that’s the main reason I get into history and the sciences. I read once that the computer owes it’s origin to the potato. When potatoes came on the scene in Europe it was embraced with open arms. The yield for the labor involved in the planting was much better than wheat and potatoes stored better too. This switch from one crop that needed milling to one that didn’t freed up water mills for other things, one of which was the water-powered Jacquard loom. The Jacquard loom’s punched card used to arrange a pattern in the weave was the forerunner to computing at Ellis Island and later for voting. Those room-sized early computers used punch cards to arrange data (My computer class in high school still used punched cards to arrange data and I’m not that old). And there you get the connection. But we can go further back. Potatoes were native plants from the new world. To get there required centuries of navigation breakthroughs and ship building skills. The hows, whys, and wherefores of things always grab my attention. Take the XOXO — the kiss and hug…

Give me a thousand kisses, then a hundred, then another thousand, then a second hundred.
~Catulllus 

Humans kiss. Yes we do, it’s a part of a eGhxd20xMTI=_o_kissing-on-the-beachlarger scheme. Kisses are mini acts of love and affection. I once wrote a guest post for another blog about kisses and I’ll share a bit here. We see pair bonding all across the animal kingdom. Just about every species has some sort of dance as part of courtship. Humans do this dance too. We give unconscious come-hither signals we don’t even know we make such as licking our lips, flipping our hair, or swinging our leg. We also get lust-dilated pupils and desire-warmed skin. If emotions get serious, we work out a way to keep this feeling forever  through forms of bonding like formal commitment and marriage. (The romances I write are all about this happy-ever-after dance.)

In preparation for that guest post, I did a little reading up on our courtship rituals we take for granted but whose origins go back to when we were first becoming human. There are interesting things like the correlation between male sweat and a woman’s reproductive cycles getting in sync with his higher testosterone days when she smells it. Then there’s the fact we possess scent-driven desire. The mouth and nose are loaded with receptors for that very thing. Test yourself. Moisten your upper lip and sniff something. You just enhanced your sense of smell didn’t you? Moist lips catch scent and send it to the nose. That’s one of the reasons we kiss. There are hidden mating scents on a lover’s face. Kissing fosters pair bonding and that ties it to survival of the species.

tiffany-s-wallpaper-breakfast-at-tiffanys-2573898-1024-768A good kiss, the kind that leaves you light-headed with longing, actually works on the brain the same way parachuting and bungee-jumping do. No kidding. The brain finds a good kiss every bit as exhilarating because it experiences a surge in chemicals, specifically the happy chemicals called dopamine, norepinephrine, and phenylethylamine. These neurotransmitters attach to pleasure receptors in the brain to create giddy feelings like euphoria and elation. And, because the brain gets high on these happy chemicals, kisses can be very addicting —seriously addicting  to people who are susceptible to other addictions like alcohol, gambling, or drugs.  The bottom line? A kiss is a serious thing.

Kiss me once and kiss me twice and kiss me once again…

From everything I’ve read on the subject I think is safe to say before Christianity came into being everyone kissed everyone and not every peck on the lips carried a sexual connotation. But the early heads of the new church feared kisses might lead there. Though religious kisses were allowed (they were in the Bible after all), by 397 A.D. the church was practically undone by the idea that even religious kissing would lead to sinful thoughts so the Council of Carthage sought to ban kisses outright. This fanaticism also saw kisses leave the lips for more permissible locations such as the ring on the hand, the toe of the shoe, and the hem of the robe. Instead of being banned as sin altogether, kisses were shunted to the private realm existing between one man and one woman and even then they shouldn’t be done too much.  You see remnants of old kissing practice in other cultures today where men still kiss one another in greeting.

Sealed with a Kiss

xoX for XOXO –a kiss and a hug. It’s here where today’s X topic begins.

There is no clear beginning on how an X came to mean a kiss, but it’s believed to have evolved along with writing. The symbol X is the letter chi in Greek and tau in early Hebrew.  The earliest meaning attributed to X as both chi and tau was life and life force. From there you can certainly see how X became a promise, as in, I swear by my life. Christianity co-opted the X but no one knows exactly how it happened. One story says the Roman Emperor Constantine saw the chi-rho (X combined with P) in a dream in which god explained, “in this sign you will conquer.” Thus Christianity became associated with X.

Later on, feudal lords and vassals shared kisses of fealty and despite church objections to kisses, the Middle Ages continued to view kisses as a legal way to seal contracts and business agreements. A kiss on the lips is a very personal thing after all. Before long, the co-opted X became swearing an oath by your faith. During this time few people knew how to read and write, so the X was penned on contracts and then kissed to make it legal. The familiar first kiss between a bride and groom was seen as marking the legal business contract of marriage. All fingers point to this as the origin of X symbolizing affection.

X’s and O’s

It’s interesting to add here that while X’s were common signatures for the illiterate, the O might be too. I found a single reference to O’s used as signatures. Until I find original sources that say for a fact, take it with a grain of salt.  A single reference does not a fact make.

When Jewish immigrants who could not write in Latin script arrived at Ellis Island, they refused to sign entry forms with the customary “x,” which they interpreted as a crucifix and a symbol of oppression. Instead they drew an “o,” leading immigration inspectors to call anyone who signed with an “o” “a kikel [circle in Yiddish] or kikeleh [little circle], which was shortened to kike.”

This eventually became a derogatory meaning. Scholars are doubtful of this kikel explanation and point to the Ancient Egyptian game of tic tac toe as the origin of X and O being together. This game, also called noughts (O’s) and crosses, spread across Europe with the Romans and visually paired the X with the O. XO became a duo like salt and pepper. You usually don’t see one without the other.

By the time X shows up on friendly correspondence in 1763, it’s no longer crystallizing business deals or swearing fealty. It’s about counting blessings. A century later it’s all about love and affection. The X kiss comes full circle.  Throw a hug O in there for good measure.

XOXO
~Rose

More~
The Romans had pretty clear views on the meaning of various kisses.

Tomorrow ~ letter Y!

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