Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wordsmith Wednesdays

Today's word ranks not only as one of the most overused words in the English language, but it also boasts one of the longest dictionary entries! Except in casual conversation, I make every effort to avoid it in favor of one of its more accurate synonyms.

Get - is the broadest word of application meaning to come into possession of, with or without effort or volition (to get a headache)

obtain - implies effort or desire in the getting (to obtain supplies)

procure - implies forethought, planning and active effort in the getting (to procure salvation)

secure - implies difficulty in the getting and maintaining (to secure aid for the rebels)

acquire - implies a lengthy process in the getting (to acquire a subtantial vocabulary)

gain - implies effort in the getting of something advantageous or profitable (to gain interest)

You know the drill, people!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Leisurely Woman's Daybook 3

Outside my window...a tiny hummingbird and a giant bumblebee are vying for the remaining drops of nectar in the Phlox.

From the kitchen...I purchased a new cookbook which is chock-full of recipes I can't wait to try! Most cookbooks only contain about a dozen recipes that really catch my attention, but this one far exceeds that quota! Can't wait to try many of them...or at least MY VERSION of them!

Blackened Tilapia Po'Boy
Baguette slices with Spiced Jam, Heady Garlic and Cambozola
Coconut Chili Soup
Smoked Salmon Blintz Cups
Lavalicious Chocolate Kisses
Bourbon Chicken Skewers
Leek-Wrapped Ginger Scallops
Parmesan Cones with White Bean Mousse
Lemon Thyme Sorbet

Just a few of the inspirations inside this bargain-table cookbook!

Around the house...I'm still trying to get the male population of my household to empty the kitchen garbage-can without being asked. Everyone will cram and cram and shove and cram until the garbage is piled 6" above the top of the can and the bag can only be removed by excessive force. But here's the kicker. Invariably, as soon as I remove the crammed-full bag, one of the three offers, "Oh, here...I'll get that." And no matter how many times it happens, it infuriates me everytime! "OH! YOU'LL get it, huh? Well, why didn't YOU get it during the last 3 hours or even in the last 5 minutes when you stuffed ONE MORE THING in there?!! Huh?! Huh?!" That's what I think...what I say is, "Nope. Got it." And of course, my voice is thick with contempt.

A favorite thing...raspberries and cream lotion..a daily luxury and a happy smell for me.

I am thinking...that summer is nearly over. The boys and I head to school this Thursday to buy textbooks and gym clothes for the coming year. Where ever did it go?

I am new (smaller!) jeans. There are advantages to losing 40 pounds, you know! Yes...I'm tootin' my own horn, but it's taken a lot of time and work to get here!! Now if I can just keep it off...all of it!

I am hearing...the rap "soundtrack" to my son's Xbox NBA game. Ugh.

I am latest issue of Gourmet and Bon Appetite magazines. That counts as reading, right? Otherwise, I'm still reading Huck Finn and Trinity and Reality.

I am creating...well, I'm not exactly CREATING, but I'm embellishing a book of poetry.

I am thankful

Plans for my week...gather information from local universities. I'm considering returning to school, so I need to explore my options! The ultimate goal? Well...I'll share that in one of my "I Have a Dream" posts. You'll just have to wait!

A photo/video I am sharing...That's me standing behind my siblings. Middle row L-R: Sherre, Pam, Vicki. Richard is on Pam's lap. My Granny bought us these Polly Flinders dresses and we often wore them when we sang in church...yep. We were "performing" trios and quartets from a very early age!

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Joys of VBS

This year, my primary job during VBS is to listen as the children recite their memory work for the week. I love this job, because it allows me to have personal interaction with nearly every one of the 90 children attending. I also love it because I am a huge proponent of heavy Scripture memorization, especially while the mind is young and capable.

Sometimes we ask the little ones to memorize verses with words beyond their understanding or comprehension, trusting that the fuller meaning will penentrate their hearts as they grow older. As I listened to this sweet little five-year-old yesterday, it became very apparent that she didn't quite get the meaning of her verse.

The verse says: "...I would have perished in my affliction." SHE said: "I would have parachuted in my reflection." THEN...the next line of the verse says: "I will not forget your precepts." I wonder what sort of picture was in her mind as she said, "I will not forget your biceps."

Thankfully I had the good sense, and the ability, to stifle my guffaw until she walked back inside the room. I think this might just be the highlight of my week at VBS!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Wordsmith Wednesdays

Believe it or not, I am well aware that not every word in the English language comes from Latin! And I am equally aware that wordsmithing is not entirely about roots and definitions. One of the finer points of vocabulary is understanding connotation and denotation and the fine-tuned nuances of synonyms. For example:

throw - is a general word that means to cause to move through the air by a propulsive motion of the arm.

But if we want to indicate a particular kind of throw and conjure up a more specific image, we might use one of these synonyms:

toss - to throw lightly or carelessly

hurl - to throw forcefully and swiftly for a long distance

fling - to throw sharply or vehemently so that it strikes a surface with considerable impact

pitch - to throw toward a definite aim, target or direction

You know what to do...just try and make me smile. :-/

Monday, July 20, 2009

Leisurely Woman's Daybook 2

Outside my window…the Crape Myrtle is in full bloom!

From the kitchen…Baked Apple Doughnuts, Toffee, Mounds Bars, Rice Krispy Treats - VBS Snack time.

Around the house...we've been clearing a spot in the basement to be used as a weight room. The men of the house have big ambitions of getting in shape. Hm.

A favorite Candle Warmer. Which I don't use for candles at all. Instead, it sits near my computer and functions as a warmer for my coffee or tea cup...splendid idea from my friend, Kimberlee.

I am thinking...that forgiveness can be more difficult to receive than to give.

I am wearing…an oversized (and therefore highly comfortable) gray cotton dress...sort of a moo-moo for fashionistas.

I am creating…a set of handmade notecards.

I am reading…Psalm 136 - His lovingkindness is everlasting!

I am hearing…my 13-year-old blowing his nose.

I am thankful for...pain killers and sleep aids. Hey, life is tough at 44.

Plans for my week...VBS. Nuff said.

A photo/video I'm dream car. ;-) Identify, anyone?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Biker Betty?

One would hope that a gal who can't even walk around the block without falling down, would know better than to engage in more risky riding a Harley. But, hey folks, I never claimed to be the sharpest knife in the drawer, did I? I could easily have added this post to the collection of "Stupid Things I've Done."

You see, I have something to prove. When we were dating and first married, my husband owned a bike...not a Harley, but a nice, clean, unscathed motorcycle. It just so happens that I enjoyed riding with him. And it just so happens that one day while I was waiting for my ride, I decided that I'd sit on the bike by myself. Afterall, I rode dirt bikes growing much different can this be? Little did I know that his bike weighed just a mite more than a dirt bike! I straddled the bike and disengaged the kickstand, simultaneously dropping the bike to the ground and scratching it up. Oh, yeah. Dumb. Humiliating. And not exactly the way to endear myself to my new husband.

I've never lived that incident down and it has been told repeatedly in a variety of social settings. Though I ceased to be embarrassed by it after 10 years, I still felt I had something to prove. So...recently I asked Steve to teach me to ride his Harley which, I was duly warned, is considerably heavier than the previous bike. Trust is.

He gave me the chance anyway, and after successfully stopping and going halfway across the yard, I simply "laid the bike on the ground"...very very gently, I might add! Yet somehow, I ended up with these...

...6 bruises in every shade of blue, green and yellow on my left calf. I get it. Maybe I just wasn't born to ride! But darn it! I will NOT BE DEFEATED BY AN INANIMATE OBJECT!!!! Fortunately, Steve was willing and even encouraging me to try again a couple days later. This time I took a dry run on the grass first, then graduated to the asphalt! Much better! I never dropped the bike :-) and I even got into second gear - woot! woot!

I'll have to seriously consider a cooler helmet and some biker-babe outfit if I'm gonna keep this up, dont'cha think? The hub didn't tell me he was videotaping, or I would've at least TRIED to be a little smoother and cooler!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Wordsmith Wednesdays


clarus - (Latin) adj - clear, bright


clarion - a trumpet producing clear, sharp, shrill tones; to announce clearly or loudly

clarify - to make clear by removing impurities; to make easier to understand

clarity - the quality or condition of being clear

Sentences, please.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Simple, Distracted, or Leisurely?

My blogosphere friend, Angie, hijacked this idea from another site and now I intend to make it my own. Unoriginal? Yes. Do I lack the artistic ability to create my own logo? Yes. Will it give me yet another easy blog day without having to think too much? Yes. Done!

The Woman's Daybook is a sort of journal which utilizes pre-established phrases to record what's happening in her world; therefore, the need to create a topic all on her own is eliminated...just follow the formula. I'm in a good place for following forumulas! I did, however, have to exercise the slightest originality and assign my own name to this process. I'm certainly not simple (as the initial author apparently is), and though I may be distracted (as is Angie!), I chose the word that most accurately characterizes my current lifestyle: The Leisurely Woman's Daybook. Most Mondays I will use this format to tell you more than you ever cared to know about my life. So here goes round 1:

Outside my window…the sky runs around naked in every direction with no shame and no discretion (thanks for that line, Rechelle). For those of you non-poetic hoosiers, that means "ain't no clouds."

From the kitchen…fresh blueberries and raspberries with heavy cream. Simply divine!

Around the's bed-stripping day! Yes, that definitely deserves an exclamation point.

A favorite thing...crawling into a bed with fresh linens. If I were in possession of inordinate wealth, this is one luxury I would allow myself on a daily basis...freshly laundered linens! Ahhhh.......

I am thinking...about life and death...loss and grief. Especially about Justin and Alicia who just lost their first little baby, Esther, after a few days of life and hope. And Jennifer, who lost her sister to cancer this week. May the Lord grant them the comfort of his Holy Spirit.

I am wearing…2 barrettes in my hair, because 1 isn't strong enough to hold this massive mess together! And they don't match...which really bothers me...until I remember that I am a RECOVERING perfectionist, upon which recollection, the angst immediately dissipates!

I am creating…the memorization booklet for this year's VBS program. All the verses are chosen and typeset, now if I can just adorn it appropriately and finish adding some extras, I'll be satisfied.

I am reading…Trinity & Reality by Ralph Smith - he is fleshing out the implications of the Trinity for Christian belief and practice. Thought-provoking and challenging stuff.

I am hearing…Cantorion Teifi's glorious rendition of Mendelsshon's Psalm 121: Lift Thine Eyes. A much-needed Psalm of Confidence.

I am thankful son, Eric, who turned 13 yesterday and who gives me about 10 hugs everyday. He is an encouragement to his momma.

Plans for my week...driving son #1 to and from school, where he is helping to put on a basketball clinic for 3rd-6th graders...everything else is day by day, moment by moment this week.

A photo/video I'm sharing...this is my paternal grandmother, Shirley Ann Waggoner. Isn't she darling?

So there you have it. Come back next week for more. That is, if you're into this sort of thing...

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Psalm 121

I will lift up my eyes to the mountains;
From whence shall my help come?
My help comes from Yahweh,
Who made heaven and earth.
He will not allow your foot to slip,
He who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, He who keeps Israel
Will neither slumber nor sleep.
Yahweh is your keeper;
Yahweh is your shade on your right hand.
The sun will not smite you by day,
Nor the moon by night.
Yahweh will protect you from all evil;
He will keep your soul.
Yahweh will guard your going out and your coming in
From this time forth and forever.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Wordsmith Wednesdays


cedo - (Latin) v. - to move; to yield; to give way


All words with: "cede" "ceed" or "cess" - no definitions this time! YOU get to think through the way each of these words originates from "cedo"!

accede, access, accessible, inaccessibility


incessant, incessantly

intercede, intercession, intercessor

concede, concession

precede, precedent, precedence

proceed, procession, process, processional

recede, recess, recessive, recession, recessionary

secede, secession, secessionism


Monday, July 6, 2009

I Have a Dream 5

Is there no end to my dreaming? There is...I promise. Just not yet.

Can you envision this house as a luxurious bed and breakfast? I certainly can! The stone and brick facade is gorgeous and the structure appears to have good "bones" as well as beautiful floors and classic woodwork inside.

A few cans of paint and some well-appointed furniture...and wah-lah! Magical. (the rooms pictured above are tastefully painted and decorated, but not every room is!) The house sits on about 18 acres and includes a beautiful old barn and silo. I can see that barn transformed into a place where the B&B guests, as well as dozens of town-folk, could gather on Friday nights for a festival of food, drink, music and dancing.

For those guests fortunate enough to secure a night's stay in the B&B, here's a sample Spring/Summer menu:
Bacon, spinach and avacado omelet
Fresh Fruit Cup
Caramel Cinnamon Roll

Spring Greens w/ Blackened Salmon
Mango-Lime-Cilantro Dressing
Sister Schubert's Roll w/ Honey Butter
Lemon Sorbet w/ Shortbread

Starter: Anaheim Shrimp, Cold Asparagus, Gewurstraminer
Soup: Cream of Leek
Salad: Campari Tomatoes w/ Fresh Mozarella & Basil; Balsamic Viniagrette
Entree: Ginger-soy Kebabs - Filet, Red Peppers, Onion, Portabellos, Zucchini - and Saffron Rice, Red Zinfandel
Dessert: Fresh Blueberry Pie w/ Vanilla Ice, Lemon-drop Martini

Other desirable amenities would include heated towel racks, plush robes and slippers, jacuzzi tubs, large screen TV's, as well as a stash of good books, music and movies, and a hearty dose of warm hospitality.
Wanna come?

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Prayer for Mercy in Time of Trouble

O Yahweh, do not rebuke me in Thine anger,
Nor chasten me in Thy wrath.
Be gracious to me, O Yahweh, for I am pining away;
Heal me, O Yahweh, for my bones are dismayed.
And my soul is greatly dismayed;
But Thou, O Yahweh - how long?

Return, O Yahweh, rescue my soul;
Save me because of Thy lovingkindness.
For there is no mention of Thee in death;
In Sheol who will give Thee thanks?

I am weary with my sighing;

Every night I make my bed swim,
I dissolve my couch with my tears.
My eye has wasted away with grief;
It has become old because of all my adversaries.

Depart from me, all you who do iniquity,
For Yahweh has heard the voice of my weeping.
Yahweh has heard my supplication,
Yahweh receives my prayer.
All my enemies shall be ashamed and greatly dismayed;
They shall turn back, they shall suddenly be ashamed.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Wordsmith Wednesdays


bene - (Latin) adv. - well; good; properly


benediction - a good word; a blessing

benevolent and beneficent- inclined to do good; charitable; kind

benefit - a kindly charitable act; a favorable circumstance, condition, or result

beneficiary - one on whom a kindness or help is bestowed

benefactor - one who bestows a kindness or help

benign - kindly; not malignant

Submit your sentences!