Thursday, October 8, 2015

a chatterer

Photo: bzd1


1. Any of various birds, typically having a long tail and black-and-white plumage; also various other birds that resemble a magpie.
2. A chatterer.
3. A person who indiscriminately collect things, especially things of little value. 

From Mag (a nickname for Margaret)* + pie (magpie), from Latin pica (magpie). The use of the name Mag is from the stereotypical association of women with chattering. Magpies have a (rather undeserved) reputation for chattering and hoarding, but they are some of the most intelligent animals. Two other words coined after them are pied and pica. Earliest documented use: 1589.

* this is very interesting because my mother's name was Mary Margaret and she loved to talk and chatter. I miss her long hours of talk and wanting to know my heart. 


Tuesday, October 6, 2015

today's is so cute

Coleridge had his albatross, Poe his raven; Shelley had his skylark, Keats his nightingale. And we have barely begun to explore the literary aviary.

Here at A.Word.A.Day we love all our feathery friends. They have their songs, but we are partial to the words they give us: canard (from duck) tokibitzer (from lapwing) to gossamer (from goose) and beyond.

This week we’ll look at five other words that are derived from birds. Call them bird words.



1. Any of various long-billed birds inhabiting marshy areas.
2. A shot from a concealed position.

Yesterday's word:

Photo: David Eccles


               1. A large seabird known for catching fish by diving from a height.
               2. A greedy person.

“Michael Buerk -- I am afraid there is no delicate way to put this -- is a gannet. He steals the very food from your plate. I recall one meal when he had polished off his own steak while I was eating rather more delicately. ‘Don’t you want the rest of that?’ he asked. And before I could answer, it was gone. -Broadcaster John Humphrys.”
The Things They Say...; The Western Morning News (Plymouth, UK); Dec 8, 2014.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Wangerin's pastoring

I just finished Everlasting is the Past by Walter Wangerin and found that I had heard his voice: the voice of a pastor. He pastored me through his struggles, honesty, stories, and no preaching. Just his life.  

Now I am reading his blog called Between Us.This story is in his book and here it is on his blog:   Fishing , My Friend and I . He remembers his friend Arthur Bias ( who I bet got teased for his last name) who was a cop in the 1940's , 50's , and 60's. I heard my son, who is a cop. say almost these same words ( heard on a text) how much he loves rainy days and sleeping in on his day off and watching movies and he said in those words, Walt's words: 

Thanked God for lazy afternoons.

and this: 
Old man, I miss the benediction of your presence, your life constructed of common things. You desired no more than that. Ah but you were more than contented: You were kind.

and this: 
You took the tough job and turned it to kindness. 

and this: 
Therefore, an afternoon at the edge of a sleepy water was no less than Eden prepared by God especially for you. And for me, whom you invited along in easy company.

and these good questions:
I miss the unspoken conviction that people, despite their differences, are worthy of honor and latitude, if not of downright affection. I miss a lawman given to mercy. I miss the perfect assurance that fishing’s enough, that this after-noon’s sunlight is surely enough. And I wonder what caused the change among us. What did you take away? What did your whole generation take away with you when you died?

great words: 
Oh, Arthur, maybe the world has not changed. Maybe you were, in your ordinariness, extraordinary—a cop who caused harmony! A friend who, in fishing, hooked God at the heart. A man of strength and love together. A man of law but not of condemnation. Law does not require condemnation, does it?
But grace requires kindness, doesn’t it?

Saturday, October 3, 2015

not as bad

as the weather report said it would...

How about where you are?
In the path of the rain and winds?

Hunkering down inside this weekend to get decluttering down and reading 
and chilling.

How about you?

from Autumn Cosy tumblr

Thursday, October 1, 2015

storm brewing on the East Coast and you can feel it in the air after a wet week. The sun did peep out yesterday but not enough to dry out the land. 

We will  hunker down ( although I have a class to teach tomorrow) are inland but we will get rain. It's quite cool this first day of October. Everyone is posting Anne of Green Gable's quote about October. Do see how many posts you see and you will want to read the books again. 

I am thrilled to have Anne White's Poplicola curriculum in a book. See here. It is also available free on Ambleside Online. I am teaching it to two middle school classes and my high school class. I am very pleased and thankful to Anne. All students are growing in their intellectual ruts and imaginations. I wish I had known this when my own children were younger. All grown up now which is what happens, doesn't it.

Into this memoir and reaching deep into my  places of doubt and struggle which I didn't expect from Wangerin but I should have known better. Excellent. 

Monday, September 28, 2015

rain, scrapbook, movies

I spent the weekend with my sister who lives on a lake. A perpetual retreat!
We started a scrapbook of our mother's life 10 years ago. So we were scrapping
and back in time and now can see the light at the end of the tunnel. 
Want to be done. 
You know that feeling.

Saw two movies together with Redbox that I saw when they came out:
Cinderella and Far From the Madding Crowd.
This is what happens when you have Rent ONE, get ONE FREE.
Plus we saw Downton Abbey's first episode of Season 6.

Seemed like a holiday. 
Sister time is like a holiday!

Monday, September 21, 2015 too

I read this( below)  on Instagram last week and keep thinking about the Gospel and friendship and living a life well lived: 


Sometimes I think we forget the walls we put up. We stop noticing how much we have twisted and tangled ourselves to fit into what someone else says we should be. We get so good at curating the perfect image and spinning the perfect caption that we forget what it is to be really, really honest anymore. Because we convince ourselves that if we sat down across from someone and showed them who we really are….that it might not be enough for them. That it wouldn’t be pretty enough or young enough or pinnable enough or double-tap worthy enough. I think sometimes we forget what it is to allow ourselves to exhale. To come alongside someone with a bottle of wine and an over-sized sweatshirt, and lean in closer when they tell you everything that’s going wrong. To listen to really hear, not just to be the first to respond. To look them in the eye and not down at your phone. To nod your head and swirl your glass and let out a blues-y “mmmmm hmmmm.” And then when they’re done, to whisper the only two words in the English language that can really start to help heal people, the only two words that act like a cool salve to a stinging wound: “Me too.” Ohhh have I been there. Ohhh do I know how that feels. And you are NOT alone. So today, wherever you find yourself in the midst of the messy middle you’re currently walking through, I hope you read these words and hear me whispering, Me too, friend. Me too." Today on the blog, I am SO honored to be part of "The Real Me" series that my friend @lwakephoto started!

Mary Marantz ... from  instagram