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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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.
Moby was completely black in color, here in his advanced age (17 or so) he has some graying that shows up light in the sunlight. These photos were taken in September 2017. He died in January of 2018. (©Sometimes, 2018)
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.
We were at the greenhouse today, the first day they were open for the season. Few plants are ready to show off yet, although there are early bloomers rarin’ to go. Captivated with these little plants which were still sparkling with water drops after sprinkling. Sorry I can’t do a retake, this was a once-only shot and I’m disappointed in my photography skills. The little water drops are visible, but not as charming as they were in person. Maybe I shouldn’t have used flash?
Sorry for not identifying these plants, I was so taken with the water drops that I forgot to ask what they are.
Our first visit to our favorite greenhouse today. We ordered some red Million Bells, and some Lantana…for a couple of weeks from now. Meanwhile, some other plants are blooming…Rhododendron, and some Azaleas. Daffodils are done, Tulips still around but ready to make their exit shortly. So here are some Pansy Photos…
(all photos on this post are © Sometimes, 2018)
(All photos on this post ©Sometimes, 2018)
Nature keeps busy all right, ever creating whimsical and intriguing things.
(all photos ©Sometimes, 2018.)
… and yet again with an oldie from “back in the day.”
I’ll never write another word
–ever– I think, maybe a bit longer.
The Muse has left me, alone and mute
singing quietly inside…but it isn’t writing
not bringing forth words of rhyme
or golden thoughts or phrases that soar
with the uplifting quality that speaks of fulfillment
of the annunciation of the soul
(if that is even the right word.)
What does that mean? My Muse does not respond.
Silence echoes across the lines, across the fields,
rich and full, and absence of sensation…or character.
There is no solution, no evolution…no rhythmic flow
of syllables, or stanzas, flights of fancy…
clever ways to express a notion
…or just to form a simple phrase–
no silver tinged sunsets,
no tales from the depths of despair…
no soaring ecstasy of the bliss of a kiss.
Words which once were at the edges of my
repertoire –within easy reach of the empty…
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