Tuesday, August 28, 2007

What a guy!

On one of my email groups, the ladies have been complaining about their husbands' picky eating habits. One woman said her husband won't eat eggs, pasta, anything with sauce of ANY kind...another won't eat a meal unless it has a substantial amount of meat...another won't eat any vegetable other than corn and peas. Not even spaghetti sauce -- because tomatoes are vegetables.




Well, if nothing else this has made me very, very thankful for my husband! I've been slowly converting to vegetarianism and he has been more than supportive of my efforts. He's eaten every weird bean/tofu/noodle dish I've put before him, he's really encouraging the kids to try new things, and he really believes that the health benefits outweigh the temporary strangeness of our new menus. Don't get me wrong -- he'll still choose a Quarter Pounder over a salad at IckDonalds any day! But he's really adventurous and not the least bit picky (ok, so he's not crazy about asparagus, but he eats a Thank-You Bite just like the kids do!), and he's really cool about it. I think the best thing is that at the table, he's always very appreciative of anything I make. After supper he might pull me aside and give me a gentle "that can go to the back of the recipe box" comment, but in front of the kids he'll try anything and be really enthusiastic and grateful about it. He always says our grace and ends with "please bless the hands that have prepared this food for us" (mine!) and that makes me feel really appreciated, too. All in all, I just feel very blessed.

I would go NUTS with some of these women's husbands!

...No, not really. They'd just be very, very hungry at my house.

Friday, August 24, 2007

First Week of School


...and 2007

This was Juliana's first week of 2nd grade. Monday found us dodging raindrops in the front yard, trying to get the "First Day of School" photo taken. I'm posting last year's and this year's photos together so it's apparent how much the girls have both changed -- it's amazing. Time goes by so quickly.

A clerihew in honor of Juliana:

Second-grader Juli
Has never been the slightest bit unruly.
She's studying great works of literature
In hopes of becoming less immature.

And the decoration on our front door:

Monday, August 20, 2007


I grew sprouts. What fun. And very much a nearly-instantly gratifying experience -- from seed...

to edible crunchy bits...

in just three days. I'm sure my salad will be extra-tasty today.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Why me? Why now?

I am an anti-blogger. My husband is forever coming home from work with stories from this person's or that person's blog (which of course leads me to wonder what he actually does at work all day). I really have little interest in the random thoughts and complaints of other people. Published works don't always hold my attention -- gray literature seems even less likely to do so.

So imagine my surprise when I decided that blogging was a sensible thing for me to do. I have thoughts that I'd like to journal, although I doubt there will be anyone (besides my husband -- only on his lunch break, of course! -- and perhaps my mom) who will care to read them. It will also be a repository for annoyingly cute photos of my family; again, of little interest to anyone besides the people in the photos themselves, and their aunts and uncles. I might read a book and spout off about it. I will probably post recipes. I will doubtless complain about endless piles of laundry and cleaning up dog vomit and why, oh why, can we only ever find one shoe? It will be redundant and ridiculous and a little bit bombastic.

Thankfully there's nothing that entitles a person to blog, so it is with relief that I can begin this venture with no pressure. This will not be a "good" blog. It's not the kind that will make you question the deeper meaning of your existence. It will probably not get you riled about politics or religion. It may offend you, but that will be due simply to its pretentious awfulness.

It will, however, have lots of big words.

Because my husband asked...

Codswallop: nonsense.

The origin of the term codswallop is unclear. The most widely quoted story has it that of Hiram Codd, an English soft drinks maker during the 1870s, who developed a technique for bottling lemonade. This process involved the insertion of a glass marble as a stopper into the neck of the bottle. When the bottle was shaken the resulting pressure from the fizzy pop forced the marble against the neck to form a seal. The device was called, not unreasonably, the Codd Bottle. Wallop is a slang term for beer, and beer drinkers would certainly be disdainful of bottled soft drinks. It's not difficult to see how a soft drink in a Codd Bottle could have come to be called codswallop.

There's no actual evidence for that derivation though. In fact neat plausibility without evidence is often the mark of the linguistic urban mythology known as folk etymology.

The most likely explanation is that it is a made up word that just sounds right for its meaning.

- from http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/235250.html

HP fans will tell you that Hagrid often uses this word. I am not a HP fan, and yet I know this useless fact. I know many such useless facts. More to come.

Because my husband asked (Pt. ll)...

Clerihew: A form of whimsically biographical comic verse.

G K Chesterton called it a “severe and stately form of free verse”, but then he had been a close friend from schooldays of the man who invented it, Edmund Bentley. Indeed, Chesterton illustrated the first book of whimsical verses, Biography for Beginners, which Bentley published in 1905 under the name of E. Clerihew.

The form is slight but not slighting, conventionally consisting of a quatrain with the name of the biographee as the first line. The lines are of unequal lengths, rhymed AABB, often written in a flat-footed or mangled way more reminiscent of prose than verse. The first, which Edmund Bentley is said to have composed during a boring science class at St Paul’s School, was:

Sir Humphry Davy
Abominated gravy.
He lived in the odium
Of having discovered sodium.

Clerihew was Bentley’s middle name, which was given him (and which he in turn passed to his son Nicholas) to mark his mother’s maiden name, Margaret Richardson Clerihew, Clerihew being an old Scottish surname. It was applied to the verse form by others and seems to have first surfaced in its own right as the name in 1928.

- from http://www.worldwidewords.org/weirdwords/ww-cle1.htm