Saturday, October 28, 2006


Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared. - Buddha

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Mind your own?

Beeswax is a byproduct of honey production. It makes wonderful lip balms, hand lotions, hand creams, moisturizers, in cosmetics, wood finishes, waxes, leather polishes; waterproofing products, and dental molds.

It is impervious to water and unaffected by mildew. It has a melting point of 143 to 148 degrees F. and should only be heated using a double boiler as it is flammable when subjected to fire and flames. It is pliable at 100 degrees F.
Beeswax is produced by the (female) worker honeybees. The wax is secreted from wax glands on the underside of the bee's abdomen and is molded into six-sided cells which are filled with honey, then capped with more wax. When honey is harvested, the top layer of wax that covers the cells, the cappings, must be removed from each hexagon-shaped cell.

Bees use their wax to "glue" together the wooden frames in their hive, and that must be scraped off so the frames can be separated. The beeswax, which contains some honey, bee parts, and other impurities, must be melted and filtered or strained.

Most beeswax is gold or yellow but can also be in shades of orange, brown, etc. The color of the wax is in most part determined by the type of plants the bees collect nectar from. Beeswax has a delightful, light fragrance of honey, flower nectar and pollen.

Beeswax makes superior, slow burning candles. Beeswax burns more beautifully than any other wax. It exudes a faint, natural fragrance of honey and pollen. When candles are made with the proper size of wicking, they are smokeless, dripless, and burn with a bright flame.

If you wonder why beeswax is so expensive, consider this: It has been estimated that bees must fly 150,000 miles to produce one pound of wax. Bees must eat about six pounds of honey to secrete a pound of wax. For every 100 pounds of honey a beekeeper harvests, only one to two pounds of beeswax are produced.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Truth About Xs and Os

Well, of course I had to research this. Here is the answer.

Where did the custom of putting Xs and Os at the bottom of a letter come from?
The first mention in literature of XXX for kisses at the bottom of a letter was in 1901, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. The X itself is very old.

The custom goes back to the early Christian era, when a cross mark or "X" was the same as a sworn oath. The cross referred to the cross of Calvary and the first letter of the Greek word for Christ, Xristos.

Even as little as a hundred and fifty years ago, not many people could read or write. The "X" at the bottom of a document took the place of a signature. They would kiss the "X" as a crucifix or bible was kissed to emphasize the importance of the mark. It was this practice that lead to the "X" representing a kiss.

There isn't much known about the beginnings of the "O". It is a North American custom. The "O" represents the arms in a circle around another person. Arms crossed in front of you do not mean the "X" as a hug! The "O" is the hug.

In "The Joys of Yiddish" by Leo Rosten, it is noted that illiterate immigrants (or those who did not know Roman-English letters) would generally sign entry forms with an "X" but Jews preferred an "O" to avoid making something that looked like a cross. Also, shopkeepers and salesmen would similarly sign receipts with a circle. Could this be the origin of the "O"?

Or could it have developed from the game of tic tac toe, where one player uses the "X" and another the "O", leading people to think that the "O" was the hug, as the "X" is the kiss.

This is my very first blog post EVER!

Jeez. I feel like Dr. Seuss, with a blog SuesNewsViews. It's like the fox in socks. Would you blog it in a jar? Would you blog it in a car? Not in a jar. Not in a car. I would not blog it here or there. I could not blog it anywhere.

So, you are wondering, as am I, what is the point of this blog? Well, time will tell. Perhaps I will write some stunning prose, or inspiring commentary on life. Or, perhaps you, my devoted reader, will add the inspiration.

Blog on, McDuff!