The English Language

My brother-in-law shared this poem on Facebook a couple days ago. At one time I really enjoyed poetry, and I read it a lot. I even tried writing it, but didn’t feel the pull as I do with writing books. I really enjoyed this poem, and it’s so very true when it comes to the English language. Enjoy!

English Pronunciation Poem 


I take it you already know

of tough and bough and cough and dough.

Others may stumble, but not you,

On hiccoughthoroughlough and through.

Well done! And now you wish, perhaps,

To learn of less familiar traps.

Beware of heard, a dreadful word

That looks like beard and sounds like bird.

And dead – it’s said like bed, not bead.

For goodness sake, don’t call it deed!

Watch out for meat and great and threat.

They rhyme with suite and straight and debt.

moth is not a moth in mother,

Nor both in botherbroth in brother,

And here is not a match for there,

Nor dear and fear for pear and bear.

And then there’s dose and rose and lose

Just look them up — and goose and choose.

And cork and work and card and ward.

And font and front and word and sword.

And do and go, then thwart and cart.

Come, come I’ve hardly made a start.

A dreadful language? Man alive,

I’d mastered it when I was five!

Quoted by Vivian Cook and Melvin Bragg 2004, by Richard Krogh, in D Bolinger & D A Sears, Aspects of Language, 1981, and in Spelling Progress Bulletin March 1961, Attributed to T S Watt, 1954. 

I’ve shared the above poem and credits from this site: https://www.speechactive.com/english-pronunciation-poem/

A Little Helper

This post is for animal lovers, and cats in particular.

If you love cats, I’m fairly certain you’ve been exasperated by one as well. They have a way of growing on you, inserting their little personalities into your life…and then have you scratching your head as to why you’re sharing your home with them. That statement right there is part of the problem. It isn’t your home, it’s theirs.

I posted almost four years ago about some kittens that my husband found at the Transfer Station. It’s a neat story, and brings me to tears every time I read it. Happy ending of course!

Two of those three kittens made their home with us. Now they are big cats, with personalities to go with it. The furniture is theirs, the kitchen counters, and my desk. We have some birds that made their home along the eaves of our house, just above the windows where I write. So of course, it was terrible of me to put my desk area in the cat’s space for bird watching. This is my little helper most mornings.

Her name is Callie. She can be a sweetheart, especially with her mother, our youngest daughter, Catherine. But don’t engage her in something she doesn’t want to do. Taking her from my desk when she’s sitting on my keyboard can be dangerous.

Callie is very social, eating meals with us. She’s sits on the long bench at our dining table, usually next to Catherine. Her little head pokes over the top of the table, her eyes blinking, giving us love. Sometimes the paws come up so she can get a better view. If you try to remove her, you could be bitten as my husband experienced a few days ago. She’s quick! She certainly keeps the grandchildren on their toes. They usually give her a wide berth when she’s sitting somewhere giving them the eye.

This is Callie checking the time before her shower.

Feonie is Callie’s sister. Her demeanor is a little better. She loves neck snuggles, and isn’t so quick to strike out. But lately she gets in a bad mood and will give Catherine the eye. This began after Catherine put them on a little diet. Instead of having their dry food out all the time, they now have meals. Neither cat is liking the new routine. It’s making them a bit cranky.

Feonie spends much of her day in the little cat bed at my feet, curled into a tight ball. She appreciates a little petting every now and then. Feonie has taken to playing with the water running down the shower curtain after we take showers. This began about a month ago. Two shower curtains later we are draping it over the faucet. Cat claws and plastic don’t fair well. My light-blocking curtains can attest to that as well!

There are days I regret very much sharing my home with cats. The mornings I get up to find a broken glass and water on the floor from playtime on the counters during the night. The days that the cats choose to fight and chase one another across the counter with my just-out-of-the-oven chocolate chip cookie bars cooling. The times when we’d really like to sit in a certain chair, but it’s taken for a cat nap…by an actual cat.

I prefer cats over dogs. Always have. Someday I vow to not have any animals in the house. We’ll see. There are always pictures such as these that make them hard to resist.

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Our oldest titled her pictures of their Christmas decorating with those words. It reminded me that it always has been for me, and it really is this year.

When our children were small, the Saturday after Thanksgiving was our day to decorate. I wanted the most time possible to have decorations up and displayed. Some of you may recall that in Christmases past, many people did not decorate until Christmas Eve. Some even set up their tree that night as a way to surprise children in the morning. Talk about no sleep the night before! But, it would be rather magical to be a child and get up, seeing all the decorations and presents. In our house, Santa Claus was a fun concept. We visited him at the malls, our second oldest absolutely terrified on one video we have. But our children knew that he did not bring the presents, even if we joked about it on Christmas Eve as a way to get them to bed and sleep. We were more diligent about teaching them the act of giving to others, and buying gifts for others. At least I hope that was the end result!

This is the first year in a couple that we actually have our decorations up! It was on Sunday, but we are enjoying them now. And that makes me happy! We even have lights outside this year. We have an entire month to enjoy the sparkle, color, and coziness of the Christmas season. And I’m looking forward to it!

Here are a few pictures to share.

Christmas at our house, 2020

 

Now for some cold weather and snow to really set the mood! Have a great day, and a Blessed Christmas Season!

What Child is This

Classical guitar has always been one of my favorite to listen to. This arrangement reminds me of a place called The Carrot Barn in Schoharie, New York. They always had beautiful music such as this playing while you browsed the antiques, clothing, and even sampled a few goodies. It has grown a lot since we were regular visitors back in the 1980’s. You may visit Schoharie Valley Farms right here: http://www.schoharievalleyfarms.com/index.php

I love classical guitar so much, that my husband gave me one for my birthday about 25 years ago. No, I never did learn to play it. After a few times of trying, I gave up and decided to really appreciate those that could play! It is an art form, and I really enjoyed this arrangement for that reason.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qPRFk8sLIPw

The Hill Country

For a few years, we lived in Texas. Our two girls were small, under five years old at the time. We started out in San Antonio, and then moved north to Round Rock. By the time our son was born in San Marcos, we were living just outside of Lockhart, Texas. And this was our view across the road from our house, in the springtime.

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My husband didn’t take this picture, but it is so similar to ones he did take, right down to the barbed wire fence. Around April, the fields would be covered in rolling waves of bluebonnets…and they were gorgeous!

There were so many things that I really enjoyed about Texas. Our time in San Antonio taught us to love Tex-Mex. One of our favorite places to eat was Taco Cabana. At the time they had a fantastic deal on fajitas, and we enjoyed them…a lot. Our little girls weren’t big eaters then. So those fajitas went a long way for our little family.

We spent time on the River Walk. It was beautiful to see during the Christmas season! Lights sparkling around every little turn. The music, the people, and general joy of the season was invigorating and addictive. Check out this little preview of this special place:  https://www.thesanantonioriverwalk.com/

Of course you can’t go to San Antonio and not visit The Alamo, which it is commonly called.  It was originally known as the Misión San Antonio de Valero.  I was shocked to see it located in the middle of everything. The pictures you normally see make it seem as though it’s in the country. San Antonio has several missions that are worth your time to check out. There is just something about walking around a place that has been such a scene, and vital part of history. For me, walking into The Alamo for the first time was pretty emotional. The walls seem to breathe all that had happened within them. There was a general hush as I know many of the visitors were experiencing the same feeling.

When we lived in Round Rock, we traveled every day to Austin on I-35. Our apartment was very close to that interstate. My husband worked in Austin and we attended church there several times a week. The interstate was busy, and the drivers a bit on the wild side, but nothing like what I have heard of today. In the early ’90’s, there was still a bit of country between Austin and Round Rock, with little places like Pflugerville along the way. I was curious about the census for Pflugerville during the time we lived in the area. It was 4,444 in 1990. The 2018 Census estimate is 64,431. Wow! That’s a lot of growth!

For us, even in the early ’90’s the Austin/Round Rock area was a little expensive and busy. So we moved to the Lockhart area, living a bit on the outskirts. I have fond memories of our time there as well. Our son was born there, our two oldest daughters began their school years there, and we learned about fire ants in the yard. Not a great place to leave your children unattended! Lockhart has a gorgeous courthouse.  I don’t know why, but I was never inside the courthouse, and I wish I had taken the time to see it. http://www.caldwellcountyhistoricalcommission.org/ We were very surprised that many, many movies have been filmed in that area.  We first realized this when we were watching, Where the Heart Is.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HbzcodGsaRs. We recognized some of the buildings and the landscape. Lockhart is also known for barbecue. This website has some fantastic information on the area, and says it much better than I. https://austinot.com/lockhart-texas-day-trip.

This post has been a little different for me. I don’t usually do a travel brochure-type of post. But it has been fun to check out the sites I’ve shared with you all here. It’s brought back some great memories, and made me want a road trip to Texas sometime in the near future!

Another take-away I have of Texas in the early ’90’s was the pride of the Texans for their state, and the hospitality of the people there. After living in upstate New York and the Hudson Valley area of that state, Texas was a culture shock. I wasn’t use to strangers coming up to me in the grocery store and wanting to know what I was fixing for dinner that night. This seriously happened a couple times. I had never just chatted in the grocery store aisles about recipes. And when you think about it…what better place to do it? Not to mention that Texas drawl just kind of glides over you like maple syrup on a hot day!

And all of the above because I was thinking about Texas bluebonnets! Have a great weekend!

 

 

 

 

Tiny Houses…

Intrigue me. Anything miniature has always given me a thrill. I find them adorable. For a while, it was mice. No, I don’t particularly like a mouse running through my domain. But cute pictures of them, and their babies are pretty special.

The little toad house in the picture above makes me smile. For a couple of years, I had a fairy garden. No, I don’t believe that fairies come to live there, but it is fun to imagine. I have several resin houses that I repainted that I set up in the garden. There were white picket fences, little table and chairs. Even little cakes and plates to eat on. I built a little pond with a lighthouse and boat. Miniature frogs sat at the edge. From this pond trickled a little brook. I absolutely loved this little oasis! But, alas, the English ivy and periwinkle have made the area a jungle, and I don’t have the heart to pull it all out. So, the houses and necessities for fairy living are packed in the garage, waiting for a new home.

So of course I love the idea of a tiny house! I’ve always wanted a little place to go and write. I would make it very girly… shades of pink and white with roses everywhere. Rather like an English cottage. Chintz would be the fabric of choice. White shutters over the windows…on the inside, to close out the hot, afternoon sun, and a comfy chair to snuggle in. I would enjoy a little white stove for cold or rainy days. Building it myself would be rather fun, and decorating would be pure joy!

I’ve shared Luke’s videos here before. I support people and their talents whenever I’m able. And I certainly think Luke should be supported with his talents! He builds his tiny houses, and this video takes you on a tour of one in a very engaging, fun way. He has lots of energy! So enjoy the tour…I think it will put a smile on your face! Have a terrific Thursday!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0GUiZtvNFvc&feature=em-subs_digest

I Was Where?

At one time in my life, I spent literally hours at shopping malls. I kept up this habit until we had two small children. By then it was a great way to get out of the house for a few hours and incorporate some much-needed walking into my day. I never really spent much money, but I recall the people-watching and the store windows. At Christmas time, I loved the decorations and the music, the shoppers with the common goal of locating that perfect gift.

Then, for many years, the thought of entering that brightly-lit fray had the power to make me feel as though an elephant was sitting on my chest. The mall was the last place I wanted to be, and during the Christmas season I really wanted to avoid it. My comfy office chair guided me through many years of birthday and Christmas shopping.

I’ve noticed that life seems to travel in full circles. I’m also the person that would always do the opposite of others, not wanting to follow the crowds. If hair was to be short, mine was long, and if curls were the go-to style, I wouldn’t fuss so much to have that bounce. I haven’t told my family this, but the other day when I was contemplating the painting of our house, two sides one color and two sides of another color flashed through my head. After all, people don’t normally decide to do this to their homes. (And, if you live in a neighborhood with rules, you may not be allowed to do this!) I just know that our house has been the same color for over ten years now, and I want something different and unique, but all in good taste…of course!

So maybe that is the greater reason that I found enjoyment in not one, but two days at two malls…all in the same week! That, or the company I was with. It was also an excellent way to get that walking in! Because I was having such a good time, I even had my picture taken a few times…also a rarity. Thank you to my husband and our youngest for two fun days. It reminded me of why I once spent many hours at the mall, and shopping. The picture below is actually at Home Depot. I’ve never looked so good in red!

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I think this is one of my favorite pictures of my husband and me. It just makes me smile. Merry Christmas! May your Christmas shopping be peaceful, enjoyable and those gifts right at your fingertips.

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