Thursday, April 26, 2007

Ten Things... do not know about me (probably).

I am considering myself tagged by Nancy of Daily Blessings

1. I still have cinders embedded under my skin below my right elbow due to a nasty spill I took with my bike when I was 12 years old.

2. My favorite color when I was five years old was red.

3. I was a lifeguard when I was nineteen years old.

4. I was the first female mail carrier in our post office in the early 80's. It was a part time job.

5. My first childhood friend was a boy named Billy. We used to play Cops and Robbers, Cowboys and Indians, Tarzan and Jane.

6. As a child, I spent a lot of time at my grandmother's house swinging on a swing under a huge mulberry tree and staining my bare feet on fallen mulberries.

7. I learned how to milk a goat when I was in my thirties when my husband and I lived out in the country on our little farm.

8. I won First Place and received the much coveted Blue Ribbon at the county fair one year for my black raspberry jam.

9. I had the female lead in the school play both my junior and senior years in high school. I loved acting.

10. My favorite cereal is oatmeal.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Rye Ting N Yur Mudd Durtung

(Somebody's Mother?)

I know what you're thinking. What kind of wacky language (Rye Ting...) is that? Right? Or maybe you are thinking...Was she typing blindfolded with mittens on?

Well, I wasn't wearing mittens when I typed the title. It is a wacky language of sorts. I learned to write in this language years ago when I was involved in the Seniornet message boards. One entire message board was written in this wacky language.

I thought it might be fun to devote a portion of this post and its comments to this wacky language. So, that means you are going to have to write in this wacky language yourself if you leave a comment...and I sure hope you leave a comment...or two...or three. Come on, give it a whirl.

Now you are probably wondering how you are going to learn to write in this language. It is really rather simple. By the way, have you been able to figure out that title yet? In order to move things along, I'll translate for you. "Rye Ting N Yur Mudd Durtung" translates "Writing in your Mother Tongue."

As I said, it is really rather simple. All you have to do is to rid your mind of rules, rules, rules and unleash your creativity. Forget about spelling! Forget about grammar! You are free to run words together! You are free to separate a word and join a portion of the word with another the way I did with the words "Mother" and "Tongue" in the title.

I lied. There is one rule to this wacky language. Never write the actual word such as "Mother." Instead, improvise (invent). What you are trying to achieve is something that sounds similar to the actual word, or words when read. What you are likely to end up with is something unique, something you wrote in your very own creative Mother Tongue.

And now to begin with a sad (sort of) story......


Eye woe cup thet mourn ning n sud n lee reel eyes die wuzz herein garr bedge ter uks kum n. Weehed jess moove din aphee u daize urlee ur. Eyejumt toutovebedd n sed lowe dilly " O! JEENGITUPP!

Weet ravel led dowe n thest eps ez fess ez hourlit telleggs wood kairree uss. Ween eed ed 2 git argar bedge 2 theecur bonthyme b 4 theeter uks wynta bie.

N are hays tweeslemmed thahdough r 2 are howze b hine dus. Weewur loct tout n nokee 2 gitbakin.

Heerweewurr! Eyewuzz n a skym pee nyetee (ittwuzz code ou 2) n hub beeze fawst eeth wursit n n agg lassups tares n arb eth. Twuzza taws sup ez 2 witchwunofus wuzzgo n 2 anay burr 4 hell pand....a cuppahotcaughee hoe phully. Eye wuzz lukkee. Eyegott toost a bek n syttinakar n cuh earl upp wytha dallblain kit n tr eye toost a wore ma.

Poo ur hubb ee! Hee hed toog oh 2 anay burr 2 thell es lye ka hilb ill ee.

(Translation available upon request...Oh, come on. You guys can figure it out.)
ADDENDUM (added on 4/22): It occurred to me that many of you do not have 15 to 20 hours to spend trying to translate Loct Tout into understandable English. You will find the translation and followup to the story...Here I hope you enjoy it!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Evening Prayers

My little sister and me - 1949

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep;
And if I die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take

A classic children's prayer from the 18th Century, this simple prayer was the first one I learned as a child. My mother taught it to me. I remember kneeling by the side of my bed with Mother kneeling next to me helpng me learn the words.

I am especially fond of the following excerpt from Mother Teresa's book Everything Starts From Prayer:


surrounded and encompassed by God,

swimming in God."


Postscript: I still have that bedroom suite which is in the photo. It is painted white and decked with a blue vintage bedspread that once belonged to my paternal grandmother.

Monday, April 02, 2007

This is your oven speaking...

Did you ever stop to think about how many of our household appliances and gadgets today talk to us in beeps, buzzes, dings, and dongs? A lot, in case you have never stopped to think about how many.

Thanks to all these signals, we know when the pizza is done, when the coffee is brewed, when the clothes are dry, when someone is at the door, when someone is calling us on the phone, and when it is time to get up in the morning. The problem with all of these "talking" appliances is that many of them sound alike.

Unless you have trained your ear to tell the difference between the beep of the dryer, the beep of the coffee maker, and the beep of the oven timer, you can get confused like my husband does constantly. "Something is beeping in the kitchen." He'll call out to me if I am in another room. Or he might ask, "What's that buzzing sound?"

Even though I have a well-trained ear when it comes to our appliances, I found myself in a state of confusion one morning about a month ago when things started beeping. That particular morning our collie Max decided he wanted to get me up early so that he could go outside. Half in and half out of sleep, I slipped into some jeans, threw on a hooded sweatshirt with one of those front pockets for your hands, and I slid into my sneakers. Then I grabbed my handset phone, tucked it in the pocket of my sweatshirt and I headed downstairs. In my rush, I neglected to shut off the alarm by my bedside which was scheduled to go off in another 30 minutes or so.

After a few yawns and some serious head scratching, I began my morning ritual. Put on a pot of coffee. Started the oatmeal. Checked my emails. Let the dog back in. Drank my first cup of coffee. It was during my second cup of coffee that a faint "beep-beep-beep" sound caught my attention. It was coming from upstairs. "Oh, my alarm clock!" I said to myself. "I forgot to shut it off."

The dog and I hustled up the steps as fast as we could. I didn't want my alarm to wake my husband who was sleeping in another bedroom close to mine. We sleep in separate bedrooms these days due to our snoring problems. We manage to keep each other awake when we try to sleep in the same room. Such is life at our age.

In order to shut off my alarm I had to bend down so that I could see where the little buttons are located. They're so small. Why do they make these buttons so small? I managed to shut it off, and, thinking everything was okay, I headed to the bathroom to brush my teeth. I was in the midst of brushing when all of a sudden I noticed this faint "beep-beep-beep" sound coming from somewhere. I didn't know where. Was it my alarm clock again, I asked myself. I double checked and, sure enough, it was off.

"Where in the heck is that coming from!" I said to my dog Max who seemed to understand but couldn't give me an answer. "And what in the heck is it?" Max's ears perked for a moment as if to tell me he was thinking too. Is it another alarm clock, I asked myself. The sump pump maybe? A smoke detector? Some peculiar contraption my husband bought and didn't tell me about?

We began our hunt for the phantom appliance/gadget/contraption thingie that was going "beep-beep-beep." I went from room to room, upstairs, downstairs, and in the basement, looking for the source of the beeps with my faithful companion trailing close behind just as confused as I was. Ah, I'm getting close, I would think. No sooner would that thought come to mind than I would realize I was exactly the same distance from the beep-beep-beep as I had been before. No matter where I went in the house I encountered the same level of volume. In fact the faint beep-beep-beep seemed to be following me around the house as I went from room to room. Not only could I not find it, I could not escape it. Rather than me pursuing it, the beep-beep-beep seemed to be pursuing ME of all things like some kind of ghost. It was downright spooky!

I don't remember how long I was in this state of confusion before I finally realized that the beep-beep-beep was coming from the pocket of my sweatshirt where I had tucked my handset phone. Apparently, I had accidentally hit the talk button on it somehow when I bent over to turn off my alarm clock that morning. All that time, my phone was trying to let me know that I needed to disconnect it. If only it could have said something like, "This is your phone speaking....."

Due to my harrowing beep-beep-beep experience, I believe it is high time our household appliances started identifying themselves when they have something to say. It would save some of us a lot of confusion.

But would we just be asking for trouble? I wonder. Talking appliances? Could our household appliances get so adept at communicating with us that other problems erupt? Imagine a household with talking appliances that end up getting into heated arguments with each other over things like who had the floor first.

OVEN: "This is your oven speaking and the biscuits are done. In fact, they are a little overdone. You might want to hurry up and...."

COFFEE MAKER: "Excuse me. I was talking first and you interrupted."

OVEN: "Listen, all you do is brew coffee and you are done. You don't have to worry about things like biscuits burning."

CLOTHES DRYER: "Yoo-hoo in there. Isn't anyone going to pay attention to ME? While you two are arguing about who was talking first and whose work is more important, I am sitting here in the laundry room with a load of dry clothes on the verge of doing some serious wrinkling. And I can't get anyone's attention."


Now wouldn't that make for a fun story. Talking appliances!