Monday, October 17, 2016

Going Going...Wait...

I wrote this a  while ago on a blog I keep private.  At least I think I do.  I suppose not much is private anymore.  Feeling strongly about the subject matter, I decided to move it here.  It isn't about any of the topics listed above but I strayed from that list long ago.  The person who makes adjustments for me is willing to change that list but that requires my making decisions I'm not ready to make. 

About this, I am ready.  I am watching the beauty of our English language die a slow and painful death. 

Text speak is horrifying to a linguaphile. I didn’t know that word until I googled looking for a word to express my passion for the English language.  Linguaphile  means ‘a lover of words’. As it happens there seem to be two other words that mean pretty much the same. Lexophile and logophile. All three show up and are defined on Google.   New words are being hastily added to our lexicons at a speed which denies authenticity.  Usage seems to be the only requirement and we watch as good English is scrambled and mutilated with horrendous frequency at the mercy of an iPhone?

Lately, I’ve been thinking of words I miss.

Risqué. When have you heard that word used? I have a feeling it has fallen into oblivion because nothing is considered so these days. A bawdy revue, in another time, might have been described as risqué. These days, the same show can be found on any of the major TV channels.  My little mama would be appalled at the hip gyrating and the outrageous costumes on Dancing With The Stars. 

Finesse.  What a lovely word. It means to do something in a ‘subtle or delicate manner’. Maybe the term is still used in bridge.  There doesn't seem to be much of it going on in society. 

Eloquent.  When have you heard a speaker described as eloquent?  "Fluent or persuasive".  These days we get sound bites.  No fluency required.

Obsolescent.  What is happening to the beauty of our language. 


Sunday, September 11, 2016

Those who forget history...

"Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it". The quote is often attributed to Winston Churchill but it was actually George Santayana.  "Today is a day that will live in infamy."  That was Roosevelt on the occasion of the bombing of Pearl Harbor.  Both are hugely relative to how I deal with today, September 11, 2016.

It is my birthday.  I posted this on my Facebook page:

It seems a landmark time for everyone to remember where they were on the morning of September 11, 2001. I have no trouble remembering. I was in my favorite chat room on Ebay and we were celebrating my birthday. The TV was on behind me. When the first tower was hit all hell broke loose on the chat. I left there and gave my full attention to the television. As broadcasters began to report and speculate I was terror struck when they suggested that it could be an all out attack and one of the next cities would be LA. Sarah (my daughter) was in LA. I began to try and locate her and it was some time before we could get through. By then the city was in lock down. She knew virtually no one in LA and was dependent on public transportation. Three days later her Dad met her in Memphis at the bus station and they finished the trip together. We remember that day from our own misery but we know there are others for whom the loss was much greater. I kept some resentment for a while over losing my birthday to a national tragedy. Then, one night, I was watching a show that played some tape of the families of survivors and there was a little boy, about four years old, crying his heart out because he had lost his father. That was when I realized what losses were worth grieving. Let us not forget.

Friends have responded with their own stories of where they were and their feelings.  One was in a lighthouse on the coast of North Carolina when someone came screaming that America was under attack.  She felt terror.  Another was in a plane circling an airport in NYC.  She knows the feeling of terror and gratitude.  She turns off her TV for days during this period of time.  Another lived near an airport and the total quiet in her area was foreboding.  Her words are moving.  "it got so quiet with all aircraft grounded, never again will I kid my husband for having the weapons and supplies he has stored, they are not coming, they are here among us. The enemies of our religion, people and way of life, brought in by our present government and allowed to spread., be afraid, be very afraid." 
We began with the quote about forgetting history.  As it is, Winston Churchill is often credited with those words.  Churchill was a statesman who was highly respected by my father from whom I learned my allegiance to this country.  These are words spoken by Churchill on May 2, 1935.  “When the situation was manageable it was neglected, and now that it is thoroughly out of hand we apply too late the remedies which then might have effected a cure. There is nothing new in the story. It is as old as the sibylline books. It falls into that long, dismal catalogue of the fruitlessness of experience and the confirmed unteachability of mankind. Want of foresight, unwillingness to act when action would be simple and effective, lack of clear thinking, confusion of counsel until the emergency comes, until self-preservation strikes its jarring gong–these are the features which constitute the endless repetition of history.”

"Never forget".  Have we?  I will celebrate my birthday with friends on a mountaintop this evening but I, personally, cannot forget.  Neither can the little boy who lost his father. 

God bless America. 

Friday, January 8, 2016

Wrapping Up The New Year

I forgot to throw the bucket of water out the door so that may be why I'm back to finish the discussion of New Year's traditions. 

We had a little crisis here in my neighborhood on New Year's Eve that had me off kilter for a couple of days but this week I did pull off a family tech night dinner* that went well.  I had kept the ham bone from Christmas in the freezer so I pulled it out and boiled it most of the morning.  Sometime after lunch, I took it out of the broth and pulled off all the meat.  There was quite a bit since I had tired of eating ham long before it was clean.  I let the pot cool until the fat gathered on top and I skimmed that off.  I had picked up a package of 15 bean soup mix which I planned to use without the flavor packet.  My broth was fantastic without help.  Having forgotten to soak the beans overnight, I followed the directions on the package for a Quick Soak Method.  Wash the beans and place them in 6 - 8 cups of water, bring to a rapid boil for 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and let stand for 1 hour.  Drain and rinse. 

Then it was time for the marriage.  I brought the broth to a low boil and added the ham and beans and let it simmer for about two hours.  Sometime toward the end of the cooking time I added a few twists from the Himalayan pink salt grinder and some freshly ground pepper.  Both were placed on the table for those who wanted more.  I served the soup in pottery bowls.  There were chopped tomatoes and chopped purple onions on the table for a garnish. 

The 'piece de resistance' was that I made cornbread for the first time in probably twenty years.  It isn't that I haven't had cornbread.  A local restaurant made good homemade cornbread and if I needed it I picked it up there.  They closed recently after fifty plus years.  So I must master the skill again. 

I started reading a book before Christmas which I abandoned after a few chapters but a description of a female character hit home with me.  She was considered, by her friends, as the consummate hostess of takeout.  I haven't entertained much in recent years but when I do I know where the best cakes and pies are, where to get a fabulous quiche, great southern barbecue, pot roast for's a good list.  Toss together a salad and open a bottle of wine.

*Family tech night is something we will do once a month.  My daughter is a degreed nerd.  She spends her working days in front of a computer maintaining the inventory of a manufacturing plant in Asheville.  Her father chooses not to try and master the skills necessary to manage his own electronic devices and is in constant need of her help.  To ease tension between them with his demands and her lack of free time, we will get together specifically once a month for tech night.  Regular readers will remember that this is my ex-husband for almost twenty years. 

So, was there anything worth reading here?  Maybe the shortcut on the bean soak. 

How is it going with the your resolutions?  I read over mine last night and four out of seven were good. 

                                                         HAPPY NEW YEAR!!