The latest kittens from next door. Barbara has been featured in this blog before…she is a rough and tumble lady that appeared from thin air long ago; she lived in the now defunct greenhouse across the road. Not sure where she lives now, she is very illusive.
[all photos ©Sometimes, 2018}
The Oxford English Dictionary remains THE word bible of the English language. The OED is available online, with a Word-of-the-Day feature to which one can subscribe without cost. A full subscription is beyond my budget, and I do respect the OED’s the prohibition against re-posting in its entirety. Anyone can subscribe to the daily word post through the OED web site at http://www.oed.com/ to receive the without-cost daily.
Often these selected words grab my attention for various reasons, not only to find out what they mean, but also as discussion topics.
A recent word that intrigued me especially is — dis-candy — which means literally liquifying or melting candy (lemon drops, or life savers for example,) from its candied/solid state to the sticky gooey mess that sticks to everything when melted.
Shakespeare used the word to good advantage, with a metaphorical meaning, as taking the overly-sweet or romantic useage of cleaning up “purple prose” or misplaced or just overstated descriptions in a line of poetry or speech. English teachers often like to “dis-candy” students’ writing.
My wonder isn’t really the word itself, but the prefix (DIS -candy. ) Some substance that starts out as a sticky-sweet solid that deteriorates into a liquid, or disappears; or a cringe-worthy saccharine sweetness in speech or prose. Upon consideration I suppose that (DE-candy) would have a different connotation, perhaps meaning some of the ingredients or adjectives of said substance (i.e. lollypop,) or line of spoken words would be present originally, but removed from the final product never having existed.
Beside the point, neither of my two little desk go-to-dictionaries: The New Oxford Spelling Dictionary, 2014; nor The Merriam Webster Dictionary New Edition, 2004 include the word dis-candy. My criteria for go-to-dictionaries is that they are small paperbacks that sit on a shelf above my computer and can be retrieved with one hand.
In a previous poem I wrote about a gift I received for Christmas, which my mother had concealed in an Oxydol Soap box…a book which our teacher had read out loud to the class. That book, is called Snow Treasure, by author Marie McSwigan, was first published in 1942.
At age eight or nine I was very impressed with this book about Norwegian children who smuggled their town’s gold down mountain, past occupying German troops, to a fiord, where an uncle waited with his ship to whisk the treasure away to safety. The story is said to really have happened.
About 70 years later I obtained a copy of the book that had been discarded by a public library, and available at a book sale. Marveling at my luck, I quickly paid the pittance asked and left with this great treasure of my own.
I spent most of three days watching the clearing of a 1.8 acre lot which I sold recently. The operation was both sad and fascinating. The company that did this work was efficient, the crews worked magnificently together, and the huge trees fell precisely as intended…where they had stood for a hundred years. (All photos are my own.)
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Once my youngest son commented that there were tasks that definitely fell under the rubric “Housewife Work.” That immediately got my attention, and the phrase has become part of our family lingo.
One of the things I have always enjoyed about moving household was that it involved clean cupboards, drawers, closets, having been cleared of collections and extra belongings that did not and never did belong to anyone who ever lived in the house. Although I admit there is the occasional “junk drawer,” that defies sorting out and/or disposal of its contents, that arrives intact at the new location.
We have arranged to have a flooring company come in and install vinyl planking in our main living, kitchen and dining room areas. What that entails is packing up the things from the china cabinets, moving all the small furniture like tables and chairs, and moving out the refrigerator, which really moves pretty easily on wheels…and the stove, which has never been moved since it was installed about 17 years ago.
The problem is that all those things removed from the affected areas have to go someplace temporarily.
I do have a lot of stuff, but the bulk of it is books, as I’ve written before. I sell books exclusively online now, but my inventory is housed here, in addition to my personal book collection and thousands of unlisted (that is not in the inventory) titles in the process of being listed. A few years ago I had two bookshops, one at the indoor flea market, the other at an antique mall.
So my dilemma is that before I can accomplish A I need to complete B; and so on from room to room. Sigh. A bit of organization goes a long way, that’s true…so I better get to work.
Writing about it helps to solidify my thought process…such as it is.
Q 1 —Why do we hear so little about countries in Central and South America?
Q 2 — Do citizens of all Latin American nations speak Spanish?
Q 3 — What was the Treaty of Tordesillas?
Q. Why do we hear so little about Latin American countries?
For one thing, we Americans tend to get our news from a relative few sources, including local television as the most personal news…about our neighborhood, the city, county and state. Local news bring us details about local sports teams, schools with leaky roofs, who is being arrested or has excelled in something.
The other major news source is cable news like CNN, MSNBC, FOX. These news networks follow major events around the world—almost always from a standpoint of the United States involvement with the current “newsworthy nation.” Friends or foes get the news coverage in order of their relative importance to Washington.
Mexico and Canada tend to get the most news coverage, being our immediate neighbors to the north and south. Other nations, notably Venezuela, which usually has an adversary position with the United States—as one of the chief “bad boys” that are not on the favorites list. Cuba held that position as thorn-in-the-side for more than half a century, and was rewarded with punative embargoes that tried to crush the island’s fortunes.
Why is it called Latin America? Because it was dubbed with that name at various times in History, including by Napoleon and Jose Martí (a Cuban writer) and others for various conversational purposes. The collection of nations included in the designation Latin America were originally settled by the European countries speaking Latin-based (Romance) languages: Spain, England, Portugal, France. Some of the islands in the Caribbean were originally romance-language speakers after colonialization, although others speak Dutch or English..
The Spanish settled all of the South American continent except Brazil, which was and is Portuguese speaking.
The Treaty of Tordesillas, signed at Tordesillas on June 7, 1494, and authenticated at Setúbal, Portugal, divided the newly discovered lands outside Europe between Portugal and the Crown of Castile, along a meridian 370 leagues west of the Cape Verde islands, off the west coast of Africa. Following is an excellent Wikipedia.org article about the Treaty of Tordesillas and its lasting influence on the division of the world between the Spanish and Portuguese. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Tordesillas
Here is an excellent site that I found while researching the above material. http://www.dosmanosnederland.com/en/index.php The succinct but thorough History of Latin America contained here is highly recommended for the casual interest in the region, and provides a good review and timeline.
Here are some shots from my walk to the back of our property. The flowers and trees are glorious this time of year, but as is obvious from some of these pictures the church clean-up crew did not seem to notice. They wanted to trim the foliage along the highway fence so traffic could see their church. We refused them access from our side of the fence, but the highway side was pretty well vulnerable to attack…the fence cut and some kind of heavy destruction equipment used to “trim” the trees. Reminds me for all the world of a small scale Mt. St. Helens after the volcano.
I posted this interesting post last year, and enjoyed it again just now. We read so much about flight attendants being mean or combative with passengers….so its refreshing to read this thoughtful and fascinating article written by a flight attendant who is also a blogger.
FAQ: Some of the Questions I get asked the most as a Fight Attendant
Passenger: “Do you get to sleep on these long flights?” and “Where do you sleep?”
YES! In fact for most flight attendants a shift onboard revolves around the times we get off. A lot of the time crew will say “Let’s finish this service so we can start breaks!”. Our breaks are formulated around time to eat and time to sleep, usually ranging from 20 minutes (an eating break however I have seen crew take power naps on this break) all the way to the longest break I’ve ever had onboard 3 hours and 45 minutes (when you can really have a good snooze!). I’m sure all crew experience this, because it often gets spoken about, having to limit our water intake before our long breaks, because the most annoying thing is having to leave…
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More about me and my Muse…
OH! Where do the great ideas go…
those flashes of brilliance
that should have better resilience
and remain in the Brain Cabinet
long enough for establishment
to take hold in the Eureka! compartment.
How many times in the course of the day
does the lightbulb flash in the idea flow
and tug at coat-tails for attention;
hoping and praying that no intervention
takes precedence over the outstanding thought
that begs to be recorded–NOT discarded!
That’s it! Hurry–get to the tablet or pad
and hope there’s a pencil or pen nearby
Scribble or print in quick succession
the words piling together inside…
One after another the poignant confession
or ground-breaking thought to abide
ensconced forever in handwriting or symbol,
keywords or brilliant asides.
The Muse is waiting and prompting the prose
or rhymes that are aching to flow ever forth,
to leap from the pen to the pristine page–
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Here’s a re-run of a blogging commentary I published here on Sometimes a while back….
One of the things I love about blogging is the great bloggers…all kinds of people, all over the world, young and old (is that politically correct?) and all political and religious persuasions. I like that. How boring life would be if we never got out of our particular little niche. I DO care about all my … uh…blogging acquaintances…and their opinions and points of view…even the ones that don’t think like I do. That’s OK, feel free to say what ya want and I’ll deal with it. My best friends usually don’t agree with me on everything…some don’t agree on anything…
Blogging is fun because there aren’t many rules, and when it isn’t fun there is always the unfollow button.
This post is supposed to be about My Muse. She stays out of the way, mostly, and pops out with a brainstorm of an idea, or nags me to comment…
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The Tryin’ of Speaker Ryan
I have to hand it to Paul Ryan
the man just doesn’t quit trying!
Caught in a den of experts at lying,
and vying for votes by begging or buying.
Speaking loudly above all the jeering and swearing,
off this way or that…slipping and veering.
Poor Speaker Ryan, his smile running thin
against all the prying and querying…
wearying, not crying, he’s plying his wiles
and biding his time…working at herding his cats…
while trying to stay INSIDE the frying pan!
© Sometimes, 2016
Here is another of my early poems from back in the day (Oct. 2015 in this case…
The Moon, far away as it is bright
dims the brighter light of the stars
My eye sight follows the path of that light
passing the light-years between
Knowing full well the facts of the Moonlight
reflecting the light of the Sun,
it nevertheless leads me to imagine
that the Moon makes its own light from within.
Even if Galileo himself, who charted the Sun,
were to explain with patience and tact
I still would ignore him and blissfully say:
“Please don’t confuse me with facts.”