Bengal Cat Pictures, Introduction, Q-U

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It has now been three months since the birth of Rainbow Hill Meanders (RHM). And The Hill still meanders through the space/time continuum, subject to glorious subject.

TLC, Bengal styleYou may have noticed that the tag line has changed to better reflect the blog’s content. Writer’s A.D.D. more correctly sums up the eclectic nature of the subjects covered.

There is always a bright, new, shiny subject that needs exploring.

We live in a most amazing world and I often say:

“Oh, I can use that in a book!”
“Why is that so?”
“Where did that come from?”

And quite often I add: “Ooh, I want to know more.” That said there are a lot of strong themes that will remain the same.


 I’m passionate about mythology.

Not only will there be a cultural mythology of the month (or months), but also an exploration of the cultural significance of certain common parts of our lives such as cats or roses. The latter being tenuously tied in by a connection to the month in which the subject is posted.

I’m fond of quirky history and why and how we celebrate things.

I feel strongly about the battle against several diseases and will put those forward as millions of people hope for a cure. May none of them be forgotten.

 I have learned that a single or even multiple blog posts can’t do justice to the subjects I cover or even do more than scratch the surface of the wealth of information out there.

With completely random bias, I select what I think are the most salient points. I then tell myself I’ll come back to the subject in future posts. On most of the subjects I cover, it is unlikely that I will ever run out of new material. There’s just so much good stuff out there.

Loki gets a hug

Next month I hope to add widgets and make it easy to search subject by subject through the various posts. It will be all the excitement of new sidebars.

As always send me any comments and questions you have. I love to hear from you.

 May there be a little myth, a little surprise and a lot of joy in everyone’s life.


Other subjects that often catch my eye: The Arts, Bengal cats and Bengal Cat Pictures, Quotes, Names, Writers, Writing, Superstitions, Folklore, Fable, Seattle, Flowers, Gems, Anime, Fonts, Ecosystems, and so forth. Stay tuned.


Mythology, Q-U


“If you enjoy the fragrance of a rose, you must accept the thorns which it bears.” – Isaac Hayes

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Fossils of roses go back to the paleontological Tertiary Period which started about 70 million years ago. Fossil records of roses go back 35-40 million years.

Red rose = “Love”, “Respect”

The Stonerose Fossil Beds in Washington State have some of the earliest known records of the rose family.

Pink rose = “Admiration”, “Joy and Grace”, “Sweetness”, “Gratitude and Appreciation”, “Sympathy”

No ghostly creatures or vampires, may cross the path of a wild rose.

Sadly roses do not grow south of the equator, but they do grow almost everywhere in the Northern Hemisphere.

White rose = “Honor”, “Remembrance”, “Chastity” “Innocence”

It is thought that the earliest planting of roses was along the most travelled roads of nomadic humans. Garden cultivation of roses began some 5,000 years ago, probably in China.

Orange rose = “Togetherness”, “Passion and Energy”, “Enthusiasm”, “Desire”, “Pride”

Seafoam dripping from the body of Aphrodite as she is born turns into white roses or white roses grew from the tears that Venus wept after the loss of her Adonis.

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Yellow rose = “Happiness,” “Friendship”, Exuberance”, “Joy”, “Warmth”

Red roses come from the blood of Venus (Aphrodite) either when she is helping Adonis or when she pricks her foot while walking through her garden.

Cupid was enjoying the aroma of the rose when he was stung by a bee lurking in the petals. To punish the flower, Cupid shot the stem full of his arrows, and the rose forever after was cursed with arrowhead-shaped thorns.

Peach rose = “Anticipation”, “Hope for the future”, “Modesty”, “Gratitude”, “Sympathy”

Roses, images of roses and petrified rose wreaths have been found in ancient Egyptian tombs.

Burgundy rose = “Beauty”

“The fragrance always stays in the hand that gives the rose.” – George William Curtis

The world’s oldest living rose bush is thought to be about 1000 years old. It still blooms at Hildesheim Cathedral in Germany.

“Climbing the apse of the cathedral in the courtyard is Hildesheim’s famous 1000-year-old rose, said to be the oldest in the world. It is a symbol of the city and its prosperity – legend has it that Hildesheim will never decline as long as the rose keeps blooming.”

Light purple rose = “Love at first sight”, “Enchantment”, “Enthrallment”

Some sources say Confucius had a 600 book library specifically on how to care for roses.

Dark purple rose = “Splendor”, “Enchantment”, “Enthrallment”

Shakespeare refers to roses more than 50 times throughout his writings.

Eglantine rose = “You inspire poetry”

The War of the Roses (1455-1487) was between the House of York (the white rose) and the House of Lancaster (the red rose). The winner, Henry VII combined the red rose of Lancaster with the white of his bride and created the Tudor Rose, the Rose of England.

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Withered red rose = “Our love is over”
Withered white rose =” I would rather die”
Black rose = “Death”, “Farewell”

In England, the rose stood for death for those who betrayed their word. During the medieval era, people spoke under a white rose to symbolize the confidential nature of the conversation. And the Latin “sub rosa” means something spoken in secret.

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Blue rose = “mystery”, “enchantment”, “Fantasy”, “Impossibility”

The Blue Rose was my favorite flower long before I found out that “fantasy” was one of its meanings. Blue roses do not naturally occur. Roses lack the genes that create blue pigment. Until 2004, the only way to get a blue rose was to dye a white one. In 2004 a genetic modification was used to create a hybrid blue rose.

Green rose = “Best wishes”, “luck”, “blessings”, “good health”

Then there is the Greek myth of Rhodanthe. Rhodanthe fled to the temple of Artemis to escape her three suitors. Her attendants, convinced that Rhodanthe was even more beautiful than Artemis, flung a statue of the goddess from its pedestal and demanded that Rhodanthe be represented there instead. The god Apollo, angered by the insult to his sister turned Rhodanthe into a rose and her attendants into thorns. The three suitors were changed into the three courtiers of the rose: the bee, the worm, and the butterfly.

Turquoise Rose = “Calm”, “fertility”, “Bounty”, “Well-being”

The rose has been a symbol of secrecy. In sixteenth-century England, a rose was sometimes worn behind the ear by servants, tavern workers, and others to indicate that the wearer heard all and told nothing.

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One rose = “love at first sight”

A seventeenth-century German book lists thirty-three diseases that can be cured by rose water or oil.

Three roses = “I love you”

During the eighteenth century, rose petals occasionally were included in English salads, and the essence of roses was used to flavor ice cream.

Nine roses = “Everlasting love”

Rose hips, the fruits of the rose plant, are used to make tea, or as a source of Vitamin C.

10 Roses – You are perfect
12 Roses – Be my sweetheart
15 Roses – I am truly sorry, please forgive me
101 Roses – You are my only love
108 Roses – Marry me
999 Roses – Eternal Love

By the way, Roses have been here much longer than we have. Roses are about 45 million years old – Stone-age people, Homo Habilis, only date back about 2.3 million years.


“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” – William Shakespeare

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The American Rose Society
What the number of roses means
Meaning of Green Roses
Meaning of Blue Roses
Roses in Mythology
Rose Folklore
Meaning of roses by colors and number
Outstanding site on colors and number meanings of roses

“One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our windows today.” – Dale Carnegie


Happy Star Wars Day!

Happy Star Wars Day!

History of May the Fourth


The 1977 film Star Wars Episode IV by George Lucas started the entire Star Wars phenomenon.

This wonderful site traces the timelines within the stories contained in the Star Wars universe.
Star Wars Expanded Universe Timeline

That is all. “May the 4th Be With You.”


And for those of you on Twitter try Darth Vader @DepressedDarth



Cryptozoology, Fonts, Mythology, Q-U

T = Tengu

T is for Times New Roman
Times New Roman by Victor Lardent, 1931. This is the writing industry 12 pt. standard. At least for the time being. That may change:,0,1227267.story?track=rss#axzz2xJumYEQt


After my long digression in yesterday’s Seattle post, I’m going to try to keep this post short and sweet.

Tengu are some of my favorite demons. They are from Japanese folk religion and, for me, endlessly fascinating. Among demon manifestation they are tricksters, sometimes benevolent or helpful and often cruel and dangerous.

It is thought they are a descendent of the Chinese “heavenly dog” demon, Tiangou, but in Japanese folklore are usually identified with birds of prey.

Over the centuries, Tengu have become less evil, and more humanized with very long noses replacing beaks. They are shape-shifters and in more recent literature take human forms and are more mischievous.

Tengu live in trees in mountainous areas. Besides being known for their arrogance they are also renowned swordsmen (swords-beasts? swords-demons?). There are also lesser tengu (koppa or leaflet tengu) who act as messengers for the greater tengu.

In Japan the tengu are vain and prideful and to this day conceited people are still described as “becoming tengu”.

The first recorded mention of Japanese tengu is in Nihon Shoki in 720 where the tengu is described as canine monster and harbinger of war. Somehow over the centuries the tengu meta-morphed into a vicious bird-demon and then into a more humanized trickster.

Today the tengu is making a resurgence especially in video games. It is ripe for many different interpretations.

This shape-shifter with a wide range of personalities is one of my favorites as a jumping off point for writing. I have created my own version for my stories. or

Fonts, Q-U, Seattle

S = Seattle

S = Symbol

Symbol contains an unaccented Greek alphabet and some common mathematical symbols. It is mostly used for mathematical expressions, but is still really cool to look at.


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The city of Seattle stretches on a north-south line between Puget Sound and Lake Washington on the northwestern side of the state. Look for these two large bodies of water and you will find Seattle nestled between them.

For the purposes of this blog I’m going to talk about the greater Seattle metropolitan area which has a population of about three and half million. I’m somewhere in those statistics. 080803 -  - medium-4

The greater metropolitan area spills in all directions. Interstate 5 connects the north-south corridors and runs directly through the city. East and west are connected by ferries, floating bridges, and round-about routes north and south of the lake.

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I may, perhaps, someday post about the various Native American tribes that existed for thousands of years before the first white settlers arrived in 1851 and someday, perhaps, go over the history of the city, but not today.

One of the joys of living in the Pacific Northwest is how accessible so many different ecosystems are. An hour or two in any direction can take you to beaches (Lakes, Puget Sound, the Pacific Ocean), mountains, bogs, farmland, a Mt. Everest training ground (Mt. Rainier), volcanoes (Mt. St. Helens + dormant volcanoes including Mt. Rainier), the Olympic Rainforest, islands, and even more than the few things I have listed above.

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Seattle is also located on the east side of the Pacific Ring of Fire and is thus listed as a major earthquake zone. Unlike hurricanes and tornadoes that plague other parts of the country, our earthquakes don’t come every year. Seattle’s last significant earthquake was the magnitude 6.8 Nisqually quake in 2001.

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Seattle’s industries make it fairly well-known across the world. What started as a logging town has, in the greater metropolitan area, been the birthplace of Starbucks, Amazon, Nordstroms, Costco, Microsoft, Weyerhouser, Boeing and so many more. Once again far too many to list.

Seattle also houses many museums and performing arts centers and is well-known for its productions by Pacific Northwest Ballet , Seattle Symphony Orchestra , and Seattle Opera

There is an endless array of incredible arts also far too numerous to list. The music scene, the poetry scene, the rich array of writers, conventions, pow-wows, zoos, aquariums, sports, and architecture are all worthy of multitude of one or more posts per subject matter.

Obviously, I love where I live and I love that no matter how hard you try, you never run out of things to do and explore.

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I have not even touched upon such little things as the iconic Space Needle, or the Experience Music Project or the relatively new Seattle Great Wheel

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As I have written this blog, it has occurred to me that future posts (after the April A-Z challenge) should all contain some tidbit of knowledge about Seattle.

My absolute favorite part of Seattle is that you can use it as a setting or ecosystem for an endless array of stories or, in my case, for an urban fantasy book not bound by any one setting. In my own imaginary worlds, the lure of Seattle is not limited to the human element.

I am collecting Seattle anecdotes, favorite Seattle area  histories, favorite sights, greatest Seattle event and places.  Send me your votes and I will include them in a future post.

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Fonts, Mythology, Q-U

R = Rainbows


R stands for Rockwell

R=Rockwell extra bold is modeled on a 1910 font that was originally called Litho Antique. It was revived in the 1920’s and then re-published under its current name in 1934 by Monotype (Frank Hinman Pierpont)


The true harvest of my life is intangible – a little star dust caught, a portion of the rainbow I have clutched.” – Henry David Thoreau

Life on Rainbow Hill is almost always suffused with rainbows. This seems like the most natural subject for today’s “R” post in the A-Z challenge.  This post was going to be in all the colors of the rainbow, but yellow does not read very well so I’ve settled for a more random spectrum sampling.

Rainbows are the sun’s rays refracted or reflected by rain or mist into an arc of color. These rainbow arcs always have their colors in the same sequence: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet.


A well-known English Mnemonic is “Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain” and the less interesting American English of “ROY G BIV”.

Languages all around the world have their own mnemonics for remembering the order of colors in the rainbow.

I recommend this site not only for its great information on all aspects of rainbows, but also for the best exploration of the global range of mnemonics for remembering rainbow color order.

See for a more scientific explanation of the continuum of rainbow colors.

Rainbows come many different guises under many different names:
Twinned Rainbow, Double Rainbow, Primary Rainbow, Secondary Rainbow, Tertiary Rainbow, Quaternary rainbows, Alexander’s Band, Higher-order Rainbows, A Supernumerary Rainbow—also known as a Stacker Rainbow, Reflected Rainbow, Reflection Rainbow, Monochrome Rainbow, Moonbows, Fogbow, Spraybow, and Glory, etc.

Now on to the mythology which is rich and replete with more stories than I can incorporate into in one post. I will eventually get to all of them in future posts.

There are very few cultures that do not have a rainbow in their mythology. I’m still looking to see if I can find one that has a mythology lacking in some sort of rainbow. Please tell me, which mythologies do not have rainbows?

Due to the popularity of the Marvel Thor movies, the Norse Bifrost (Rainbow Bridge) is probably the third most-known rainbow mythology after that of Noah and the Ark and the Irish tales of a leprechauns and pots of gold.

Some translations of the “The Epic of Gilgamesh” describe the rainbow’s mass of colors as a divine sanction for war and a rainbow crown was worn by the Sumerian god Ninurta.

Persian mythology uses rainbows for divination.

In Greek Mythology, Iris who is a messenger of the gods who dresses in rainbow hues.

Australian Aboriginal mythology focuses on the Rainbow Serpent. In Japan the rainbow also represents snakes.

In Arabian mythology the rainbow is a bow for Quzah, an Arabian god of weather And the Hindu god Indra also uses the rainbow as a bow.

In Bhuddism the rainbow is just one step below Nirvana.

For the Karens in Burma, the rainbow is a demon that eats children. The Karens are a most interesting people with a very rich background. The Karens have long been engaged in a civil war and have been the subject of ethnic cleansing. This is one of the most neutral accounts I’ve found of the conflict.

For the romantics in the crowd, Chinese folklore has star-crossed lovers that are colors of the rainbow waiting for it to shine so they can be together.

My favorite so far is that in Bulgarian legends you will change genders if you walk under a rainbow. I think that may be worthy of a story or two.

140418 -  - mediumSo many rainbow sites.

Here is a small sampling to choose from:

Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.” – Maya Angelou


Fonts, Q-U, Writing

Q = Quotes

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Quotes for me are like poetry, I collect both.

Quotations may will be a repetition of someone else’s statement or thoughts, but quotes can speak to you across ages, and while some may or may not resonate, all have ideas worth exploring.

I think quotes can be one of the fastest ways out of writer’s block. Take a quote, any quote, and write around it. Delve in and agree or disagree. Make it a part of what happens to your character. Make it important to your story. There’s no telling where it will take you.

However “If you are going through hell, keep going.” (Winston Churchill). On your way out remember “There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.” (Nelson Mandela)

Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any one thing.” (Abraham Lincoln) and “To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.” (Anatole France)

“It takes half your life before you discover life is a do-it-yourself project.” (Napoleon Hill)
“Don’t falter. “You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.” (Winston Churchill)

“A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.” (Herm Albright) and on the same vein, “Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.” (Oscar Wilde)

“When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on.” (Franklin D. Roosevelt) for remember “you can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do.” (Henry Ford), and “life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” (Anais Nin) “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” (Bernard M. Baruch) and, according to Oscar Wilde, “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”

Not a quote, but a “Q” will worth reading and following: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain  You can also find Susan on Ted Talks

Finally for all the writers in the crowd:

Language exerts hidden power, like a moon on the tides.” (Rita Mae Brown)

“Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.” (John Steinbeck)

Along the track of a mythic circles. Always remember that this is where your character starts out their journey: “All the world’s a cage.” (Jeanne Phillips)

These are just a few of the many great sites where you can find quotes, and if these fail you can always consult a book. 

“I’m an idealist. I don’t know where I’m going, but I’m on my way.” (Carl Sandburg).

Send me your favorite quotes.