Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Hodgepodging Awe and Wonder

Winter Past

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She writes the questions;
we write the answers.
Plug them into your own blog
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1.What's something you wish you knew how to do, but feel like it's too late to learn?

I think that unless someone aspires to be a brain surgeon, there probably aren't many things one can't learn to do at just about any point in life, providing one's health is adequate to the task. Recently, I made myself some musical notation flash cards for the notes above and below the staff which I never learned comfortably well, and should have done when I was about 10. I can often guess, but it would be nice, rather than guessing or having to figure out that, oh yes, that's the D above high C, I would know it at a glance. I want to finally get those firmly planted in my brain because I love to sit down and learn a piece of music on the piano, and not have to stop and figure out a note.

I just purchased a wonderful spiral-bound Carol book, titled  "100 Carols for Choirs," edited and arranged by David Willcocks & John Rutter. I love these arrangements and had been hunting for a book that would contain the carols I love from The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols sung at King's College, Cambridge each Christmas Eve.

Pay no attention to the prices on Amazon. I think I got mine for about $19.00 at with free shipping. It's new and spiral-bound. Perfect.

2. Your least favorite thing to shop for? Why?

Clothes. For one thing, they're always overpriced, and not made as well as they should be, and very few items really appeal to me. I know what I like, and it's usually not there, probably because it's at a better shop with higher prices...but also, I dislike shopping for clothes because I hate dragging an armload of clothes into a fitting room, trying them all on, and not finding anything I like anyway. Needless to say, I don't go clothes shopping very almost never.

3. How has the celebration of Thanksgiving today changed from when you were growing up?

When I was growing up, all the cousins would be there, around the table. Today I don't even know where most of my cousins live.

4. What's something that when other people see it, reminds them of you? Explain.

I have no idea what, or if anything, reminds other people of me. Possibly if there's a snowstorm, they might remember me complaining about the snow and cold. If they see a book by Chesterton, Sproul, Lewis, or Wright on bookstore shelves (fat chance that), or if they hear John Rutter music, they might possibly be reminded of me.  OR if they see photos of Yorkshire sheep. Maybe.

 Sheep at Bolton Abbey
Do they get any cuter than this?? 

 Sheep and 'fence' near Hawes, North Yorkshire

5. If you could guest star in a TV show, what would it be and why?

If I could guest star in a TV show, I'd probably overdose on the last of my painkiller to avoid it.

6. Have you ever farmed or spent any time on a farm? Are there farm stands in your little corner of the world and do you make it a point to shop there? If so, what item do you particularly like to buy from a roadside stand or farm shop?

I grew up on a farm and live on a farm now, so I have a lot of experience with farms. We grow vegetables and berries and apples, along with lots of volunteer burdock and crab grass, so I rarely go to a farm stand. When I do go to the farmer's market, it's to walk around and see all the pretty stands of vegetables, fruit, flowers, woodcrafts, handmade items, and get a bison burger for supper.

7. What's something you've experienced recently that made you feel a sense of awe or wonder?

 Sunrise, November 24, 2015

Starting with the gorgeous sunrise, there are so many things which daily make me feel a sense of awe toward God Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth. Not just beautiful trees, rushing rivers, fields of grain, intricate designs in nature, and animals to share this world with us, but also Beauty, Music, Joy, Love, Kindness, Peace. These are all from God, and oddly enough, He allows even those who hate him to experience these wonderful gifts, for the time being. That's grace.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

For an audio and visual treat, here are the boy treble choristers of St. Paul's Cathedral singing, 'For The Beauty of The Earth.' I love this arrangement.

For the Beauty of the Earth
- John Rutter

For the beauty of the earth; For the beauty of the skies, 
For the love which from our birth over and around us lies,
Over and around us lies,
Lord of all, to thee we raise this our joyful hymn of praise.

For the beauty of each hour of the day and of the night, 
Hill and vale and tree and flower, Sun and moon and stars of light,
Sun and moon and stars of light.
 Lord of all, to thee we raise this our joyful hymn of praise.

For the joy of human love, Brother, sister, parent, child, 
friends of earth, and friends above, 
For all gentle thoughts and mild,
For all gentle thoughts and mild.
 Lord of all to thee we raise this our joyful hymn of praise.

For each perfect gift of thine 
to our race so freely given, 
Graces human and divine, Flow'rs of earth and buds of heav'n,
Flow'rs of earth and buds of heav'n.
 Lord of all to thee we raise this our joyful hymn of praise.

Moonrise, November 24, 2015

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, friends!
Counting blessings,


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Note:  I will not be blogging for a week or so. I hope everyone has a wonderful time with family and friends this weekend. Stay safe.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Farm Scenes, Late November, Old Dogs New Tricks

Top:  Jazzie, frosty field
Middle: Harvesting corn, barn at sunset
Front porch at night, porch rail and fence in morning light
(and's only a matter of time...)

I'm telling a tale of Jazzie, because I was very impressed with her yesterday. Here's the story:  She was lying on the window seat, her favorite place to keep an eye on wildlife, including deer, bunnies, UPS, FED EX, USPS, the dumpster man, employees, and Mr. C. coming home. She started barking, just a couple sharp barks, but as I was trying to see what she was barking at, a big deer caught my eye. He was running south, across Neighbor Bill's Triangle and disappeared behind the spruce trees.

 Just off the right edge of the photo is the stand of spruce trees
(photo taken mid October)

 And to the right of the barn is where she was expecting 
to see the deer next

I was amazed when Jazzie suddenly jerked her head to the right, watching for the deer to come out from behind the barn, which it would do, if it continued its track. I knew she was smart, but didn't realize that she had that kind of logic capability. This morning, she showed me again:  She was out in the back yard, near the barn. I was standing out on the front porch, walked to the end to get the photo of the frosty fields (above in collage), and said, 'Hi Jazzie.' Well, she couldn't get to me directly, but she knew enough to go to the back door and pound on it (yes, she does) so that Mr. C. would let her in. She made a beeline to the front door, because she knew that's how I get onto the porch - from the front door. Smart little dog! ('Little' is relative, I realize.)

Anyway, you're all probably thinking, 'yeah, so my dog does that too.' I just didn't know she could THINK like that. Mr. C. then asked me if I thought that she ever thinks about her former life. I told him that I was pretty sure she didn't think about the previous five minutes. But oh well. She really did impress me. That's one smart little grandpuppy!  If she lived in northern England, she would probably have the fun and interesting job of herding sheep. Here, she only has bunnies to occasionally chase, catch, and devour. Poor dog. I'd love to have a flock of sheep (like maybe 8), but you-know-who isn't budging.

Just look at that photo of her in the collage. Don't you think she needs a flock of sheep??

So now I'm going to give you equal time to tell me what smart thing your dog did, because I know they're all remarkable animals. Feel free to brag.  I mean it. You'll notice that I did.  :-)

Wouldn't Jazzie have fun!

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Sunday, November 22, 2015

InSPIREd Sunday, A Thanksgiving Prayer

 Our Lady of Lourdes
Dobie, WI

 Almighty God, Father of all mercies,
we your unworthy servants give you humble thanks
for all your goodness and loving-kindness
to us and to all whom you have made.

We bless you for our creation, preservation,
and all the blessings of this life;
but above all for your immeasurable love
in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ;

For the means of grace, and for the hope of glory.
And, we pray, give us such an awareness of your mercies,
that with truly thankful hearts we may show forth your praise,
not only with our lips, but in our lives,
by giving up our selves to your service,

And by walking before you
in holiness and righteousness all our days;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit,
be honor and glory throughout all ages. Amen


Have a blessed Lord's Day, friends!


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Friday, November 20, 2015

Snickelways, Twitchels, Wynds, etc., Anglophile Friday


I happened upon this photo that I took in Durham last spring, and wanted to make sure to label it correctly. After all, one can't simply call it a 'walkway,' for that's just too easy, it seems, and much less interesting. Evidently, in different parts of Britain, these narrow walkways or alleyways between two buildings have different names. And I'm never certain how to pronounce British words, for the pronunciation is often not at all intuitive and sometimes a total an American, at least. This is why we have Google.


I found an interesting article on a website associated with the Oxford English Dictionary (which sadly gave us 'Buttdial,' 'Awesomesauce,' etc. - check Wednesday's Hodgepodge. Right. I never thought the Oxford English Dictionary would stoop so low, butt...).

**Oxford Dictionaries Blog is the source for the article, which I've copied here, but the bold is mine - to make it easier to find the most relevant bits, for those of you in a hurry.




"It is striking just how many words seem to exist to denote this single, relatively specific, concept. A few (like alleyway, passage, and path) are used nationwide, but a plethora of more unusual words also seem to fit this slot in speakers’ vocabulary, and many of them have a distinctively regional distribution. Informants from the north west of England speak up in favour of the snicket, a noun of uncertain origin first recorded by the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) in a Victorian glossary of the dialect of the Lake District. Another term, ginnel, is also widely used in Greater Manchester and parts of Yorkshire.

Some speakers use both ginnel and snicket, but for different kinds of passageway, reserving one term for a short, narrow covered passage between two houses and the other for a typically longer, wider, walkway running between two streets; although even here, there is disagreement about which is which. To confuse matters further, in 1983, Mark W. Jones ingeniously blended the two in the title of his book A Walk Around the Snickelways of York, and though the city’s tourist industry has been quick to take advantage of the marketing potential of his picturesque portmanteau, it has yet to make significant inroads into the speech of locals.

And all this time I thought it was a snickelway.

The Abominable Snowman


"Even for a single item of vocabulary, it is surprising how much variation can exist. In parts of Manchester and Derbyshire the variant gennel is preferred to ginnel, and while some prescribe a pronunciation with hard G (as in get) and a spelling guinnel, others insist on an initial affricate (as in jet), and a spelling jennell. In Warwickshire, Coventry, and parts of Leicestershire, an alleyway was often called a jetty or jitty: the word is reflected in the name of several streets in Rugby and Northampton. Around this area and further to the north-west, the term entry is also used, especially of the covered passageway in a row of terraced houses used to access the back yard (the Scouse word ennog seems to be a playful alteration of this). And so it goes on across the country. From the jiggers of Liverpool to the pends of Dundee, the ten-foots of Hull to the lanes and closes of Edinburgh, diversity is the order of the day.

"In parts of Scotland and Ireland, a narrow alley is not a gennel but a vennel, a word which was also once used in Northumberland for a conduit or open sewer: this seems to be a 15th-century borrowing of a medieval French word for an alley, venelle (or venele), ultimately a diminutive of the Latin word for “vein”. Similar semantic motivation seems to lie behind the use of gully (or gulley) as a word for a passageway in parts of the Black Country and Wales. Wherever you live, it seems, an alley can be a damp and smelly place.


"The east Midlands was the heartland of the twitchel: the word’s connection with this area seems to go back at least to the 15th century, when it is recorded in Nottingham. Twitchel seems ultimately to be a variant (with a different suffix) of the Old English word twicen, a word used in Anglo-Saxon charters for a place where two roads meet which may be related to twitten, the local word for an alleyway in Sussex.


"In County Durham and Newcastle-on-Tyne, a narrow passageway is often called a chare—the word survives in the names of a number of streets in the area and is first recorded in the 13th century in the name of Potter’s Chare, a former street in Gateshead. This term is thought to derive from the Old English word cierr “turning”, and so has a semantic parallel in another alleyway word, wynd, used in the same area and in Scotland."


 Much Wenlock

And now that you're thoroughly confused, there're also the nouns (yes, nouns, not verbs) 'close' and 'shut,' which also seem to mean the passageway between two streets or buildings.

Okay, friends, I better wynd this up.
Hope you have a wonderful weekend!


And I couldn't resist sharing this one with you:

The wee granddaughter
Left: Dressed up for the wedding
Right: Enjoying cranberry sauce


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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Hodgepodging Light and Heavy

Good Fences 
Drystone Walls, my favorite
South of Kettlewell
in the Yorkshire Dales

Join Joyce and the Gang

She writes the questions;
we write the answers.
Plug them into your own blog
and join up!

1. What's surprised you most about your life, or about life in general?

When I was a kid, I expected that I would die in my 30s (as an elderly person) before a firing squad.  I'm not sure why that was, but maybe too much TV and espionage movies. Anyway...but here I am, still alive. Another thing that's surprised me about life in general is how long it took to get the point where life seems short.

The Man From...

And here's an interesting tidbit about the name of the show (from Wikipedia):

"Concerns by the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer legal department about using "U.N." for commercial purposes resulted in the producers' clarification that U.N.C.L.E. was an acronym for the United Network Command for Law and Enforcement. Each episode had an "acknowledgement" to the U.N.C.L.E. in the end titles." 

2. Among others, these ten words were added to the Oxford English Dictionary this year...awesomesauce, beer o'clock, brain fart, buttdial, cat cafe (apparently this is a real thing), fatberg (gross-read the definition here), fat shame, hangry, Mx (gender neutral), and skippable. 

Your thoughts? In looking over the list, which word do you find most ridiculous? Which word would you never in a million years say out loud? Which word would you be most likely to use in conversation?

Shudder.  If you ever hear me use the words 'awesomesauce,' 'beer o'clock,' 'brain fart,' 'buttdial,' 'fatberg,' 'fat shame,' 'hangry,' or 'Mx,' you might as well bring out the firing squad. 

My cat told me she loves the idea of a cat cafe. But now that I've told her what the actual definition is, she's not so pleased. She doesn't want anyone touching her, thank you, or having to feign friendliness to perfect strangers.

 Tuppence, in one of her less ladylike poses
'Back off.'

'Skippable,' on the other hand, is the perfect word to use in many situations. And the rest of my thoughts on this are propa skippable, like.

Knowing that those other words have been added to The Oxford English Dictionary, and that it was published by Oxford University Press, makes me reconsider the trustworthiness of my Oxford Book of Carols.

3. Do you like gravy? Is there a food you'd rather not eat unless it comes with gravy? Do you make your own or buy the canned or store-made variety? Turkey and gravy, sausage gravy, mashed potatoes and gravy, country ham and red eye gravy, biscuits and chocolate gravy, pot roast and gravy...which one on the list is your favorite?

Mr. C., just yesterday, showed me a newspaper ad that told of canned gravy on sale, 10 cans for $1.00. You couldn't give me canned gravy! Ewww.  The only gravy I like (or trust) at all is the gravy I occasionally make after simmering the giblets in water, along with a bay leaf and peppercorns, and using that stock with the turkey 'drippings,' (I'm sure that's what my mom called it) to make a nice, tasty gravy. About once a year.

Turkey 'drippings' sounds pretty disgusting, when you think about it. 

Turkey Drippings?

4. Do you have a plan? Do you need a plan? Have you ever had a plan fall into a trillion pieces? Explain.

Yes, I like a plan. (ISTJ, remember.) Right now I don't have a plan and feel a bit like floating, which is an uneasy feeling for me. I don't remember having a plan fall in a trillion pieces. It helps not to have unrealistic expectations. They usually work out, and I'm a pretty careful planner, but one should be prepared for interruptions and derailments.

Names blacked out to protect the less guilty

5. November 19 is National Play Monopoly Day. Do you own the original or some version of the game? Do you enjoy playing Monopoly? How likely is it you'll play a game of Monopoly on November 19th? Ever been to Atlantic City? Ever taken a ride on a railroad? Is parking in your town free? Last thing you took a chance on?

It took me a sec to realize that all of these questions were related! I do have the original Monopoly plus a London version plus a kids' version. I doubt that I'll be playing Monopoly on the 19th. I've never been to Atlantic City, the parking in our town is free (and believe me, no one has to hunt for a parking space), and I have been on a train. Someday I want to travel on the Settle-Carlisle RR, but that won't be for a bit.  The last thing I took a chance on was parking directly across from W.A. Frost on the night of the wedding reception. It was a 2-hour parking spot, but it all worked out.

  Settle-Carlisle RR, Ribblehead Viaduct

6. A song you like that has the word (or some form of the word) thanks in the title, lyrics, or meaning?

'Now Thank We All Our God'  I can still remember the German words of the first couple lines, from when our high school choir sang that in concert! Here is the first verse:

Now thank we all our God,
with heart and hands and voices,
who wondrous things has done,
in whom this world rejoices;
who from our mothers' arms
has blessed us on our way
with countless gifts of love,
and still is ours today. 

A bit more about that hymn, 'Now Thank We All Our God,' or, in German, 'Nun Danket Alle Gott,' which I found interesting, and thought you might too:

From Wikipedia:

"Now thank we all our God" is a popular Christian hymn. It is a translation from the German "Nun danket alle Gott", written c. 1636 by Martin Rinkart, which in turn was inspired by Sirach, chapter 50 verses 22–24, from the praises of Simon the high priest. It was translated into English in the 19th Century by Catherine Winkworth.

"Martin Rinkart was a Lutheran minister who came to Eilenburg, Saxony at the beginning of the Thirty Years' War. The walled city of Eilenburg became the refuge for political and military fugitives, but the result was overcrowding, and deadly pestilence and famine. Armies overran it three times. The Rinkart home was a refuge for the victims, even though he was often hard-pressed to provide for his own family. During the height of a severe plague in 1637, Rinkart was the only surviving pastor in Eilenburg, conducting as many as 50 funerals in a day. He performed more than 4000 funerals in that year, including that of his wife."

7. In keeping with this month's theme of gratitude....what is something you're taking for granted that when you stop and think about it, you're grateful for?

The ability to breathe easily, and having fresh, clean air to breathe. One of the advantages of beautiful, clean NW Wisconsin. Admittedly, during the months of November through March it's fresh and clean and COLD, but still...

Wisconsin - Fresh, Clean Air

8. Insert your own random thought here.

God grant our nation a generous heart,
To accept those who are truly refugees fleeing persecution,
Courage to refuse those who are intent upon destroying our country,
And wisdom to insist that our officials understand the difference.

In case you're not yet convinced that we're up against a culture of death, check out these two Frontline programs that were on PBS last night. They're definitely an eye opener. The links below will take you to the videos of the two Frontline programs. Each is about 20 minutes.  In three weeks, Frontline will be airing the program, 'The Rise of ISIS.'


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and Eileen's Saturday's Critters


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Monday, November 16, 2015

The Wedding

Landmark Center, St. Paul, MN

 The new Mr. and Mrs.

As some of you may know, our first grandchild was married to her beloved a little over a week ago. I'm finally putting together a handful of collages for my own blog journal and family, and if you feel like looking at them, you're more than welcome to do so.

Her dad, our oldest son, officiated at the wedding, which was held at Landmark Center, St. Paul. It was a beautiful venue and a beautiful wedding ceremony. Before anyone asks, no, he's not an ordained minister, but he is licensed to marry and bury in the state of Minnesota. (I hope he doesn't have any plans for my near future - although he'd have to drag me across the state line, so perhaps not.) One of our daughters played piano, and the bride's sisters and her best friend were her attendants.

Some snaps before the wedding
Two grandsons, like waiting men everywhere, 
entertaining themselves by playing cards and smoking pretzels.
Mom and dad of the bride, lower right.

I didn't take photos during the ceremony, but some in the Landmark Center beforehand and others at W.A. Frost in St. Paul, where the reception was held. Sorry that I've got a couple repeats.

 Bride's cousins, our grandkids

Upper left: The happy couple who seem so very suited to one another. I got a kick out of this bottom left photo of the bride. She has her cellphone in her hand. This was not at the wedding, but at the reception, and I think she was going to snap a few photos herself. But still, it made me chuckle. Are our cellphones ever far from us??

Upper middle and right: Our daughters and granddaughter, sweet little Lucy.
That little snuggle bug up on the left with me, is one of our five year old grandsons and is a real charmer!  I get a hug without the slightest bribe. I love it. Another grandson dancing with his mom, mother of the bride, and our oldest son and Mr. C. visiting (politics even at a wedding? I'd put money on it.)

 At the motel where we were staying:
Grandpa playing 'Thumb War' with the wee ones.
That has got to be a universal grandpa game!


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