Monday, March 20, 2017

K is for a Kangaroo

ABC Wednesday
March 22, 2017

The letter is K for KANGAROO

The unofficial symbol of Australia

A marsupial animal
whose numbers reach over 
thirty-four million
in the harvest areas of Australia.

There are little kangaroos
who are called 'wallabies'

and even smaller kangaroos
who are called 'wallaroos'

but the regular kangaroo has large powerful hind legs, 
large feet adapted for leaping (tall buildings?)
a long, muscular tail for balancing
and a small head.

Also a pouch
in which the female carries her 'joey'.(baby)

Do you know the definition of a "Kangaroo word"?

It is a playful term for a word that carries within it a synonym of itself
such as regulate (rule) or indolent (idle) or encourage (urge)

it is also known as a marsupial or swallow word, but the term
kangaroo word was popularized by author Ben O'Dell.

here are some other examples
destruction - (ruin)
devilish (evil)
observe (see)
Masculine (male)
plagiarist (liar)

some kangaroo words have multiple "joeys"

perambulate, ramble and amble
container, can and tin
deteriorate, rot and die
routine, rote and rut
chariot, car and cart

can you think of any others....???
a good word game

and here is a nice little poem by Edward Lear
about The Duck and the Kangaroo
to amuse your tired brain.

for more ks visit here at ABC Wednesday
with thanks to those who maintain 
this entertaining meme.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Jelly Beans!!

ABC Wednesdasy
March 15th, 2017

The letter is J for the fabulous Jelly Bean

Love them...

It is generally thought that the Jelly Bean first surfaced when a Boston confectioner, William Schrafft urged people to send jelly beans to soldiers during the American Civil War.

That would be about the time my Loyalist ancestors came to Canada
but I doubt if they brought the Jelly Bean with them.

Today most historians believe that the jelly bean was first linked with the celebration of Easter sometime in the 1930'.  

Who hasn't made a little nest of green confetti paper
to hold these sweet delicacies which they are going
to hide in the garden under the pretext that the Easter Bunny 
left them there for the children in the house?

The Jelly Bean comes in a myriad of colours and flavours.

Even the Harry Potter series is available on the market...
including flavours such as earwax, dirt, and pepper, -
we would hope these are only names, and the actual flavours 
are delicious and fruit based.
But who knows????

The Jelly Bean has also slang connotations.

In the electronics industry a "jelly bean" component is one which is widely
available, used generically in many applications, and has no very unusual
characteristics  (Mr. Google told me this...)

In the United States in the 1910s and 1920s a "Jellybean"
was a young man who dressed stylishly to attract women,
but had little else to recommend him!
Mr. Google told me this, too.......

Jimmie Dupre, Sam Rosen and Joe Verges wrote a song 
"Jelly Bean He's a Curbstone Cutie)
published by Universal Music Publishers
in the 1920s
and made popular in the 1940s by Phil Harris.

F. Scott Fitzgerald and William Faulkner's both wrote about such a character,
a dandy, or a fop....

more Js here at ABC Wednesday
(but none so delicious)
with thanks to all who maintain this great meme.

Enjoy your Jelly Beans!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Sunday Afternoon

March 12th, 2017

The Road that Beckons....

As the Cheshire cat is purported to have said to Alice,          
"if you don't know where you're going, any road will do"

I have been travelling along this dusty trail for the last few years..
the one that admonishes me to use up all my yarns,  - cottons, wools, silks, - and all those silk blouses that I saved to cut into wonderful  rainbow strips.  It has been a heavy load.....and I have stuck to it with Puritan diligence.

I have fashioned scarves and tea towels and mats, all the while contriving to use leftover bits and pieces from projects in my heyday of weaving.  At first it was a challenge, but now the range of yarns is not so inviting and the cotton warp is almost gone....

When yesterday, (as I was scrolling on the internet and as I came across the opportunity to buy the most inviting weaving kits) I had a strange reaction.  A little bit of rebellion mixed with a great longing to scrap all the leftovers and make something brand new and beautiful, - gorgeous tea towels, - lovely silken scarves, - some bamboo yarn and other exotic bits of weaving material.

If, as some of my children attest, there is a possibility (not probability) that I might live to be a hundred, then am I going to follow along the same old trail, using up the leavings of the past?   I was going to say 'dregs' but the past was really quite wonderful and what is left of it cannot be referred to in that manner.

Or am I going to make a right turn at the next leafy tree and follow the path lined with all these exciting new yarns and projects that have caught my eye(s), opened them wide, so that they see clearly a few years of perfectly harmonious activity in the Loom Room and lots of Christmas and Birthday gifts.

Well, what would you do??

Exactly, and that's just what I am going to do too!!!!

Someone at the Bargain Centre is going to love all the yarns I am going to pack in a wicker basket, maybe with some knitting needles and magazines!!!

And I am going to skip down the smiley path!!

Monday, March 06, 2017

An Irish tune

ABC Wednesday
March 8th, 2017

The letter is I for Irish (tune)

When I got married many wonderful things
expanded my views on life

and I got gathered up into a family
rich in Irish tunes

Here is one of the favourites,
sung with melancholy sometimes,
raucously at others,
depending upon the supply of Irish whiskey.

An Irish Comeallya

A "comeallya" is a good old familiar
comfortable shoe kind of Irish song
usually good for a sing-a-long

This is not a sentimental ditty, per se
and one would not expect to cry over it

but memories bring me to tears.

For more Is visit here at ABC Wednesday
with thanks to all who maintain
this lovely meme

p.s.  traces of Ivan Skavinsky Skavar in this tune
you may find yourself humming it..
another "I"

Monday, February 27, 2017

H is for Happiness

ABC Wednesday
March 1st, 2017

The letter is H for Happiness

My home is awash with wicker baskets!

Some of them are stuffed with balls of wool
Or skeins of cotton,
Awaiting the loom

But many of them are full of cards.....

Birthday cards, anniversary cards, Valentine's...
All too precious to be thrown away
(by me, anyway)

Occasionally I have a lovely reflective time digging through them.

The other day I found this little book

The best things in life begin with "H"

Some dear soul gave it to me, and I pass some of the pages on to you....

May you find happiness, peace and contentment

More Hs here at ABC Wednesday
with thanks to all who work to bring us ABC

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Sunday again......

The sun shone yesterday and I pooh-poohed the weatherman's sly allusion to "maybe a small skiff of snow overnight", but when I woke and opened the door for Bruce's early morning foray in the garden I was dismayed to see a brand new white coverlet snugged up in the garden, and up and down the apron to the garage (which, alas, contained no car - it was out the front all frosted up).

A few years ago I would have thought nothing of this situation, but today it caused a little stir - car cleaned of snow, or a walk with cane!!!!  Only a half a block to church.....

I walked.  It was delightful.  Not cold, nice conversation with neighbours cleaning their walkways.  And by the time I came home the sun was shining again!

We are just a Worshipping Community here in what was once a thriving parish, and we rely on visiting and often retired clergy.  Our minister today was an old, old friend.  He came to our parish in the early 1950s when he was just graduating from seminary, and when I was young and involved with the Sunday School.  After a few years he went on with his career in other places, and Charles and I stayed here and farmed and continued at St. John's.  But when we all grew older and retired he came back to help us in our hour of need!!!  And he is so comfortable and his services so familiar and enduring....

We are on the cusp of Lent - Ash Wednesday on the 1st of March.  The gospel for today was from Matthew, and the Psalm a small Stone of Wisdom.

I still my soul and keep it quiet, like a child upon its mother's breast
O Lord, I am not proud; I have no haughty looks.
I do not occupy myself with great matters, or with things that are too hard for me,
But I still my soul and make it quiet, like a child upon its mother's breast; my soul is quiet within me.

And the Matthew gospel was all about the lilies of the field and the birds of the air 

and the faith that we require to avoid the anxiety and the worry about what we will drink, what we will eat, what we will wear, what will be our place, here on earth, tomorrow and in the future."so do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own.  Today's trouble is enough for today" 

Did  you know that anxiety and worry affect our longevity, and that faith and trust will add days and months and years to this wonderful experience of being alive on this earth????

Day by day, - one day at a time!

I am reminded that the stillness, the faith and the trust, - and the humility - are all part of this struggle I have with the Ego!!!

Oh, this getting old is so complex.  I have a book called "Lasting Words" - A guide to finding meaning toward the close of life".  When I first dipped into it I was too active to absorb the admonishment to relax and meditate, but now I think I am more resigned to making room for a little stillness.  

Today I am flying low and I'm
not saying a word.
I'm letting all the voodoos of ambition sleep.

The world goes on, as it must,
the bees in the garden rumbling a little,
the fish leaping, the gnats getting eaten.
And so forth.

But I am taking the day off.
Quiet as a feather.
I hardly move though really I'm traveling
a terrific distance.

Stillness.  One of the doors
into the temple.

Mary Oliver  TODAY

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

G is for Grooks

ABC Wednesday
February 22nd, 2017

The letter is G for GROOKS

The first book (and there are many)

The Author

Piet Hein (1905-1996)

One of the most original Danes of the 20th century he was a many-sided man in the best sense.

An author, philosopher, mathematician, designer, scientist, game inventor, as well as the creator
of a new form of poetry he called "Grook".

In his philosophical writings he asserted that the great cultural divide in society was not between the haves and the have-nots, but between the knows and the know-nots - and to myself I whispered "yes, yes, yes".

"Piet Hein wrote over 10,000 grooks, most in Danish or English and published in more than sixty books....His grooks first started to appear in the daily newspaper "Politiken' in April 1940 - shortly after the Nazi occupation and under the Old Norse pseudonum "Kumbel" meaning "tombstone"

Grooks are small aphoristic verses characterized by irony, paradox, brevity, precise use of the language, sophisticated rhythms and rhymes, revealing in a minimum of words and with a minimum of lines some basic truth about the human condition."

Here are a few examples to wet your appetite.......

T.T.T.                                                                           The Road to Wisdom

Put up in a place                                                         The road to wisdom?                              
where it's easy to see                                                   Well it's plain to see
the cryptic admonishment                                            and simple to express
T.T.T.                                                                            err
                                                                                      and err
When you feel how depressingly                                 and err again
slowly you climb                                                          but less
it's well to remember that                                             and less
Things Take Time                                                         and less

On Problems

Our choicest plans
have fallen through,
our airiest castles
tumbled over,
because of lines
we neatly drew
and later neatly
stumbled over.

Today I really like this one, the February sun being loathe to appear......

PRAYER (to the sun above the clouds)

Sun that givest all things birth
shine on everything on earth.

If that's too much to demand
shine at least on this our land

If even that's too much for thee
shine at any rate on me.

More interesting Gs here at ABC Wednesday
with thanks to all who have, are and will maintain
this lovely meme.