Monday, February 10, 2020

7 Things About February

1. Until 450 BC February was the last month of the Roman calendar.

2. The name Februarius comes from februum, Latin for purification. 

3. February has extra day quadrennially, known as leap year. 2020's a leap year.

4. The Anglo-Saxon name for February was Solmonath. Sol refers to both cake and mud. Cake month. Mud month. Mud cake month?

CAdams Photo©
5. February's full moon is a snow moon.
 Emma Magrath photo

6. February's an excellent month to visit Antarctica.

7. Like brewery, February has two "r"s, neither of which is silent. [feb-rew-ary]

February's flowers are violet and primrose. Indigo bunting is February's bird. Learn more by clicking the labels below.

Saturday, February 01, 2020

February's Other Flower


Primrose is associated with youth, young love and expressions of beauty within. The centre of the five simple rounded petals is called the yellow eye. Primroses without yellow centres have been hybridized.

Petal colours have different meanings:
  • Blue • trust
  • Purple • glory
  • Lilac • confidence
  • Red • merit
  • Pink • love
  • Orange • emotion
  • Yellow • energy

February's FlowerJanuary's FlowerJanuary's Other Flower

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

7 Things About January

Head of Two-Faced Janus 2nd century BC
Museo Nazionale Etrusco di Villa Giulia, Rome
1. January is named for Janus, a two-faced Roman god of transitions and beginnings, doorkeeper of the firmament.

2. About 2700 years ago January replaced March as the first month on the Roman calendar.

3. Called Wulf-monath and Wintarmanoth in 7th century Europe, those names are easily recognizable in today's English as wolf month and cold month.
Quechua Market CAdams Photo©

4. A January full moon is a wolf moon.

5. Tammikuu is the Finnish name for this northern hemisphere heart of winter month. 

6. Qhulla puquy killa is Quechua for January.

7. January is a great month to watch aurora borealis.
CAdams Photo©

January's flowers are carnation and snowdrop. Owl is January's bird. 

Click the labels below to learn more.

Saturday, January 11, 2020

The Insect of Capricorn

Photo C Chalmers

Somewhat graceful and somewhat gross, the agile mantis, recognizable by its triangular head, is Capricorn's insect. 

Found worldwide, these five-eyed masters of disguise are carnivorous.

Have look at Capricorn's Colour.

Friday, January 03, 2020

January's Other Flower


Indicative of transformation and hope, these dainty blooms express optimism and purity.

The Latin name nivalis means snowlike and the Greek is Galanthus — gala=milk+anthus=flower.

Click the link to watch snowdrops emerging from snow.

Galantamine, found in snowdrop flowers and bulbs, is used to treat dementia and mild Alzheimers disease. 

Snowdrops fresh, sweet pleasant scent used in perfumery, is an ingredient of Estée Lauder's Pure White Linen.

Although seeding is rare, ants will take the white seeds into their tunnels. Snowdrops are pollinated by bees.
Photo Gavin Ramsay

Photo Shelley Chambers
January's Flower

Thursday, December 05, 2019

Check In

Since launching Listen to My Silence almost three years ago, I've posted my memoir Spirochete about living with Lyme disease for 40 years and had fun writing and illustrating Tock. That title arose from my rambling thoughts and talk about ticks. 

Today I have 43,416 readers. 

Most of the hundreds of images on this blog are my own art creations and photos. They've been shared around the planet.
Dawn from my window still captivates me.
While compiling info about colours and insects for …Of The Zodiac and birds and flowers for …Of The Month I learned a huge amount of interesting facts. Randomly deciding on 7 Things… was an excellent adventure. 

Spirochete posted since 2016 is still here, but I've deleted the text except where it relates to Lyme disease. 

Sunday, May 06, 2018

The Hand 11

Continuum, the final card in the hand I've been dealt. Our journeys move onward in sequential progression of being and place in a continuum of wholeness.

My spiralling, unconventional path has wound around the Americas, became knotted during a foray into a foreign faith, was smoothed for a while by a bank robber, all the while twisted with Lyme.

Saturday, May 05, 2018

The Hand 10

"… there is no reason why I should be here rather than there, now, 
rather than then." — PenséesBlaise Pascal (1623-1662)

Reason or not, we are here, now. Yet the past forms us, carries us forward with perspective and wisdom. In my past the vessel of flesh and bone that is me became unbalanced with the heaviness of some of the cards in my hand.  

Negatives over-occupied inner spaces that should have been light and lovely. I felt the wrongness of the imbalance. That was intuition. I'd been dealt an intuition card but lost it somewhere when I let its significance diminish amidst human made, human-directed beliefs and priorities. I set out to revitalize it.

Silently, in the only way I knew how, I began to create a new life combination for myself. That meant, and still means, exploring what I sensed, contemplating and then writing, journalling, drawing or painting my self-perceptions. 
In so doing I lightened the density and opaqueness of some of my past experiences by applying transparent filters to them, through my thoughts and through my voice as I described or illustrated them, whether abstractedly or intentionally. 

And I arrived here, now. This is my present, shaped by the hand I was dealt.

Friday, May 04, 2018

7 More Things About Lyme Disease

1. Although it was defined as Lyme in the 1970s, some cases of the disease were reported in Europe in the late 1800s.

2. Ticks feed on birds, lizards and mammals.

3. After they've hatched ticks feed on different hosts at different times in their three stages of life: larva, nymph and adult. 

4. The nymph stage, when they're about the size of a poppy seed—the same size as the period at 
the end of this sentence—is the highest disease transmission phase. This small.   .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .

5. Similar in structure to peer-to-peer networking and distribution, tick borne disease is host-to-host.

6. As discussion about Lyme disease being used as a binary bioweapon continues, modification of wild animal DNA to prevent them from contaminating ticks is being proposed as a radical intervention. 

7. While pesticide application is being considered as a public health strategy for targeted areas, immunization of at-risk humans is being investigated.
Gary Nafis photo via Pinterest.
Here's a link to research that is helping to improve testing and treatment. 

42 Years Living With Lyme Disease

This month marks my 42nd anniversary with Lyme Disease. At the time I was bitten by a tick, no one I knew or was attended by was aware of the vector born illness. Untreated it became chronic. Make yourself aware. Don't get it.

This is what it feels like…
…and so is this.


Thursday, May 03, 2018

34 Years to Diagnose

This is a repost from  Spirochete page 146.
It had taken dozens of medical professionals more than thirty four-years to diagnose the disease spiralling and cycling beneath my skin. For over four hundred months generations of parasitic bacteria mutated and hid from my immune system in scar tissue, in my eyes, in my joints and central nervous system all the while breeding, reproducing, infecting, persisting until Dr. Shaun detected their sophisticated stealth.

Diet was the first line of defence. Dozens of foods, including all raw vegetables, were immediately eliminated, as were items containing corn, sugar, oats, soy, or gluten, anything made with cow’s milk, pork, shellfish, eggs, mint and raw nuts. I was to add coffee, but caffeinated tea, especially green tea, a drink I’d never liked, was forbidden. I’d already discovered intolerances to many of these foods years earlier, but it was interesting to see them listed together on a chart from Dr. Shaun. Gradually the list would be modified as some items were reintroduced after six months, carefully monitoring the outcomes of their addition.

The second defence was a five session round of hour-long laser treatments to blast and immobilize the parasitic bacteria. I sat across the room from a machine that pulsed and shot light, aimed at my gut. I learned that the procedure had been developed to fight malaria in armed forces personnel returning from duty after contracting that disease. As the spirochete died off and released toxins into my system, herxing commenced. I’d herxed for years, it felt like a gallbladder attack, but I never knew what it was. I’d even had ultrasounds to see if something had gone awry with my liver or pancreas. In the past, my Lyme-illiterate doctors shook their heads when nothing was found, insultingly suggesting I had a phantom gallbladder.

Dr. Shaun explained what was happening. Called a Jarisch-Herxheimer Reaction, after European dermatologists credited with discovering the manifestation, herxing is a debilitating response to the release of dead cell walls into the immune system, stimulating it and causing the liver to overwork. I herxed for weeks both during and after the laser sessions, enduring without aide until the pain subsided. Over the years herxing had come and gone spontaneously as generations of spirochete cycled, but the laser attacks killed off colonies of them sparking a more intense reaction.