Thursday, June 14, 2012

English Can Be Difficult

English is a very difficult language to learn. I found this amongst some things and thought some of you might enjoy it, particularly those of you for whom English is not your first language. I compliment you on learning English, where often the very same word can be pronounced differently depending on context.

Same Word, Different Pronunciation:

The bandage was wound around the wound.
The farm was used to produce produce.
The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.
We must polish the Polish furniture.
He could lead if he would get the lead out.
The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.
A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.
When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
I did not object to the object.
The insurance waas invalid for the invalid.
There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.
They were too close to the door to close it.
The buck does funny things when the does are present.
A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.
To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.
The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
After a number of injections my jaw got number.
Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.
I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?

Things That Make You Think:

There is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple.
English muffins weren't invented in England or French fries in France.
Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren't sweet, are meat.
We find that quicksand can work slowly; boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.
And why is it that writers write but fingers don't fing, grocers don't groce and hammers don't ham?
If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn't the plural of booth beeth?
One goose, 2 geese. So one moose, 2 meese? One index, 2 indices?
Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend.
If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?
If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught?
If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?

Opposites That Don't Attract:

People recite at a play and play at a recital;
Ship by truck and send cargo by ship;
Have noses that run and feet that smell.
A slim chance and a fat chance are the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites.
Your house can burn up as it burns down; you fill in a form by filling it out; and an alarm goes off by going on.
When the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible.
Buick doesn't rhyme with quick.
We drive on a parkway and park on a driveway.
The English language is clearly out of whack... except what is a whack - and how do we get it IN whack?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Memories, Cardboard and An Inspiring Video

Remember when a cardboard box was your favorite thing to play with? My sister and I were overjoyed to receive a cardboard box to play with. Even better was one big enough to play IN. Cardboard boxes were boats, cars, houses, spaceships... anything we wanted them to be.

We didn’t have a lot of money, but that had nothing to do with our love for cardboard boxes. I remember one day playing with a new friend, a rich friend. She lived in a lovely, big house with beautiful things. She had her own room with lots of expensive toys. But we spent the entire afternoon rolling each other around her back yard in a cardboard box, laughing our heads off, having the time of our lives. When the box finally disintegrated beyond use, we made S’mores in her fireplace.

I had a dollhouse once. My father made it for me. He made it out of a cardboard box. He cut out windows and doors, painted shutters, put cardboard dividers for rooms, and bought tiny dolls and doll furniture to put inside. I was charmed, thrilled, overwhelmed with the delight of having a dollhouse of my very own! I thought it was the most beautiful dollhouse ever.

Another thing I remember from childhood was being entrepreneurial. My sister and I would set up a folding table in the front yard near the street. We’d arrange our toys on it and stand expectantly, waiting for customers, dreaming about the treasures we’d buy with our money. The only thing I ever sold was my Troll doll. I was unhappy with my Troll doll, because upon removing the “pearl” necklace from around her neck, I cut myself with the wire of the “necklace” and got some of the beads stuck in my nose. So I was ecstatic when our Minister, who wanted it for his granddaughter, bought it for a nickel. I never forgot the thrill of selling something and earning money for it.

When our middle son was small, he was very creative. He would often make his own toys out of paper, and he loved to make drawings by the bazillion on little pads of paper. One day, possibly inspired by my own story, he set up a table by the road to try to sell them. He sold exactly one picture, to the mailman, but possibly due to inflation he earned twice as much as I - a whole dime. He was so jazzed! He was sure his career as an artist was launched.

When I saw this charming little video about a young boy building his own arcade with the cardboard boxes in his Dad’s auto shop, memories of my own childhood, and my son’s, came back. The creativity this boy displayed, his attention to detail, his entrepreneurial spirit, was endearing. The kindness of a stranger to make a little boy’s dream come true was inspiring. I absolutely loved this video. Perhaps you will too. Click HERE to see it.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Travels and Treadmills

Well, I went to Indiana to see our new Christmas grandson, and he is adorable. I got to see (and feel!) snow, and play with our toddler granddaughter and I had a great time. When I got back I had a couple of weeks of remarkable energy, and then I crashed with a vengeance. I experienced severe pain in my chest, back, left arm, jaw and even my ear felt as if someone were pinching it really, really hard, the way they did to kids in those old movies. Now I know why the kids always squealed! So another stay in the hospital, another cath, and this time they diagnosed Prinzmetal's Angina, or Coronary Artery Spasm. It basically closes down an artery with a severe spasm, slowing or stopping blood flow. It is probably due to the microvascular disease in the heart. If it does not let up quickly enough it can cause a heart attack and damage to the heart.

They tell me to walk a lot. But not by myself. And not outside. So I accepted the gracious offer of a treadmill and I'm learning how to use it. I intend to have some adventures related to my new treadmill, which I will share with you later. For now I'll leave you with a picture of my young granddaughter demonstrating the proper use of a treadmill - plenty of pillows to lounge on and something good to drink! (Disclaimer: She was not allowed to play on here as a rule. This was a fluke, and she was closely supervised. The treadmill could not have come on, as there were multiple safety features and careful adults. She's not allowed near it for the most part).

Friday, March 9, 2012


Answers given by 2nd grade school children to the following questions:
Why did God make mothers?
1.  She's the only one who knows where the scotch tape is.
2..  Mostly to clean the house.
3.  To help us out of there when we were getting born.
How did God make mothers?
1.  He used dirt, just like for the rest of us.
2.  Magic plus super powers and a lot of stirring.
3.  God made my mom just the same like he made me.  He just used bigger parts.
What ingredients are mothers made of?
1.  God makes mothers out of clouds and angel hair and everything nice in the world and one dab of mean.
2.  They had to get their start from men's bones.  Then they mostly use string, I think.
Why did God give you your mother and not some other mom?
1.  We're related.
2.  God knew she likes me a lot more than other people's mom like me.
What kind of a little girl was your mom?
1.  My mom has always been my mom and none of that other stuff.
2.  I don't know because I wasn't there, but my guess would be pretty bossy.
3.  They say she used to be nice.
What did mom need to know about dad before she married him?
1.  His last name.
2.  She had to know his background.  Like is he a crook?  Does he get drunk on beer?
3.  Does he make at least $800 a year?  Did he say NO to drugs and YES to chores?
Why did your mom marry your dad?
1..  My dad makes the best spaghetti in the world.  And my mom eats a lot
2.  She got too old to do anything else with him.
3.  My grandma says that mom didn't have her thinking cap on.
Who's the boss at your house?
1.  Mom doesn't want to be boss, but she has to because dad's such a goof ball.
2.  Mom.  You can tell by room inspection.  She sees the stuff under the bed.
3.  I guess mom is, but only because she has a lot more to do than dad.
What's the difference between moms and dads?
1.  Moms work at work and work at home and dads just go to work at work.
2.  Moms know how to talk to teachers without scaring them..
3.  Dads are taller and stronger, but moms have all the real power 'cause that's who you got to ask if you want to sleep over at your friends.
4.  Moms have magic, they make you feel better without medicine.
What does your mom do in her spare time?
1.  Mothers don't do spare time.
2.  To hear her tell it, she pays bills all day long.
What would it take to make your mom perfect?
1.  On the inside she's already perfect.  Outside, I think some kind of plastic surgery.
2.  Diet.  You know, her hair.  I'd diet, maybe blue.
If you could change one thing about your mom, what would it be?
1.  She has this weird thing about me keeping my room clean.  I'd get rid of that.
2.  I'd make my mom smarter..  Then she would know it was my sister who did it not me.
3.  I would like for her to get rid of those invisible eyes on the back of her head.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Three Great New Books by Brand New Authors

What do a Memoir, a Homemade Soup Cookbook, and a Devotional have in common? Each are written by individuals who are writing from the heart, who really live the things they share, and therefore speak with authority things that will help you in your own life. How do I know this? Because they were all written by friends of mine! Yes, I have some incredibly talented friends. “I Love to Tell the Story,” “Kick the Can,” and “Running With The Grasshoppers” are excellent books by talented new authors and I am pleased to share them with you.

“I Love to Tell the Story” is Susan Barnett Braun’s touching, funny personal story of “growing up  blessed and Baptist in small town Indiana.” But her accounts of growing up in the church in the 1970s was so familiar that at times I felt she was writing my own memories! From the trials of singing in church programs, mean girls in Sunday School and overcoming glasses, braces and chubbiness to the joys of prizes for learning Bible verses, VBS crafts and learning to bloom in Rosebuds, Susan shows how an ordinary girl can grow to become more like Christ through a Biblical upbringing in church and family. Woven through are hymns that anchor the stories as well as Susan’s life. This book is absolutely delightful, whether you grew up in the church and wax nostalgic, or whether you didn’t and are curious about what such an upbringing entails.

“I Love to Tell the Story” can be purchased through Amazon. Paperback is $9.35, or you can purchase the book on Kindle for $2.99. Susan has another book out for Kindle as well. “Sophie, Pay Attention (Rhoda, You Too),” is available at Amazon for $2.99.

I love soup but most of the canned stuff has waaaayyy too much sodium. The lower sodium doesn’t taste all that good, though. But in Christy Ellington’s new book, “Kick the Can!” there are 16 recipes for homemade soups that are low-sodium and mouth-watering at the same time! There are even two breakfast soups. Most are also low-fat, some are suitable for vegans or vegetarians, and all use fairly common, easily acquired ingredients. Christy really knows her stuff, too. Christy, who suffers from Meniere’s Disease, has been laboring on a low-sodium blog, The Daily Dish, for years, just to share what she’s learned about low-sodium, delicious cooking. Recently she won a grant, and has put the money to good use by publishing this beautifully photographed, carefully researched, and kid-tested cookbook.

“Kick the Can!” can be purchased at Blurb, by following the link, for $15.95. This small, soup-only cookbook packs a healthy, flavorful punch.

“Running With The Grasshoppers” is a 298-page Devotional suited for Christians, men or women, who desire to grow bolder, and to stand firm, in their walk with Christ. Written by R. Mark Webb, a man who lives a Christian life as well as writes about it, “Running With The Grasshoppers” is divided in to chapters that share a Bible story, expound upon it, and then list thought-provoking questions. The questions can be used for personal reflection, or in a class setting to spark discussion. Through Bible stories of ordinary people, “Running With Grasshoppers” inspires us to realize we have an extraordinary God.

“Running With The Grasshoppers” can be purchased in ebook form for Kindle from Amazon for $8.49, or in paperback or hardcover at Xulon Press for $16.99 and $26.99 respectively.

If you want to be inspired and challenged to grow more like Christ, eat healthier, more delicious and wholesome foods, and stand firm in your walk with God, “I Love to Tell the Story,” “Kick the Can!” and “Running With The Grasshoppers” are just the books to help, while entertaining at the same time. To check them out further or purchase them, follow the built-in links.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

There and Back Again

Yesterday was spent at the beach on Sanibel Island. What a gorgeous day! Hit 80 degrees, sunny with a gentle breeze, puffy white clouds, and the company of my favorite person - my husband. Everyone was taking advantage of the beautiful day. At one point I counted 19 boats: Speedboats and fishing boats, boats of every size and description, and one ethereal sailboat. There were parasailers, too, and kayakers. The smell of the salt spray, the warmth of the sun and coolness of the breeze, the beauty, were all so peaceful and relaxing.

Tomorrow I'm flying up to Indiana. Gonna be cold, might snow. I'll have grandbabies to play with and a whole new type of beauty to absorb in the landscape around me. Life is good!

The title There and Back Again seems descriptive of what I'm doing. But it also reminds me of how much I am looking forward to the film coming out at the end of the year, around Christmastime 2012 - The Hobbit!!! I enjoyed The Lord of the Rings films, and I read the trilogy, but The Hobbit has always been my favorite. My uncle introduced me to Bilbo Baggins when I was 13 years old; he sent me the book, wrapped in a soft, rainbow-hued paper and accompanied by a lovely little drawing he did of the circular door of the hobbit house. I was transported in to another world! I can't wait to see what the film is like and fervently hope I will not be disappointed.

What are you looking forward to this year?
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