The Rain in Spain

Is there rain in Spain this time of year?  I don’t want to complain about the weather we’re having so far this January because I’m pretty sure that as soon as I do it will get infintesimally worse in every possible way.  So I will just describe it to you.  It’s warm (often above freezing), and rather windy.  There is barely any snow on the ground anywhere.  Our driveway had some ice on it a couple of days ago, but now it is completely bare, except for some dead leaves blowing around.  When I take the garbage out I can do so wearing flip flops and no coat.  When I went shopping on the weekend I left my coat and my gloves at home.  If we get precipitation, it’s either wet snow which promptly melts, or it’s rain.  Freezing rain, although not that nice to deal with if you have far to walk or drive, is preferable to snow as far as I’m concerned.  It goes away faster, for one thing. And it’s not white and it doesn’t blow in your face.

We usually put plastic shrink film insulation on all our windows in the winter, whenever it starts to get cold.  Sometime in November if not before is the norm.  We still haven’t put it on anywhere in the house this winter, because there just have not been any cold enough days to inspire or motivate us.  I am not complaining about that either, believe me.  We could do away with this boring cold weather ritual if we had new windows installed, but so far the plastic has remained a much more economical alternative.

It’s supposedly going to get colder mid-month and then we’ll get our January dump of the white stuff.  And no doubt start scrambling to get the windows covered up.  So I’m enjoying this unseasonable mild weather and I will try bravely to tolerate whatever comes next.  Because what the hell else can you do.

English Pronunciation

English Pronunciation by G. Nolst Trenité

Dearest creature in creation, Study English pronunciation.

I will teach you in my verse Sounds like corpse, corps, horse, and worse.

I will keep you, Suzy, busy, Make your head with heat grow dizzy.

Tear in eye, your dress will tear. So shall I! Oh hear my prayer.

Just compare heart, beard, and heard, Dies and diet, lord and word,

Sword and sward, retain and Britain. (Mind the latter, how it’s written.)

Now I surely will not plague you With such words as plaque and ague.

But be careful how you speak: Say break and steak, but bleak and streak;

Cloven, oven, how and low, Script, receipt, show, poem, and toe.

Hear me say, devoid of trickery, Daughter, laughter, and Terpsichore,

Typhoid, measles, topsails, aisles, Exiles, similes, and reviles;

Scholar, vicar, and cigar, Solar, mica, war and far;

One, anemone, Balmoral, Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel;

Gertrude, German, wind and mind, Scene, Melpomene, mankind.

Billet does not rhyme with ballet, Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet.

Blood and flood are not like food, Nor is mould like should and would.

Viscous, viscount, load and broad, Toward, to forward, to reward.

And your pronunciation’s OK When you correctly say croquet,

Rounded, wounded, grieve and sieve, Friend and fiend, alive and live.

Ivy, privy, famous; clamour And enamour rhyme with hammer.

River, rival, tomb, bomb, comb, Doll and roll and some and home.

Stranger does not rhyme with anger, Neither does devour with clangour.

Souls but foul, haunt but aunt, Font, front, wont, want, grand, and grant,

Shoes, goes, does. Now first say finger, And then singer, ginger, linger,

Real, zeal, mauve, gauze, gouge and gauge, Marriage, foliage, mirage, and age.

Query does not rhyme with very, Nor does fury sound like bury.

Dost, lost, post and doth, cloth, loth. Job, nob, bosom, transom, oath.

Though the differences seem little, We say actual but victual.

Refer does not rhyme with deafer. Fe0ffer does, and zephyr, heifer.

Mint, pint, senate and sedate; Dull, bull, and George ate late.

Scenic, Arabic, Pacific, Science, conscience, scientific.

Liberty, library, heave and heaven, Rachel, ache, moustache, eleven.

We say hallowed, but allowed, People, leopard, towed, but vowed.

Mark the differences, moreover, Between mover, cover, clover;

Leeches, breeches, wise, precise, Chalice, but police and lice;

Camel, constable, unstable, Principle, disciple, label.

Petal, panel, and canal, Wait, surprise, plait, promise, pal.

Worm and storm, chaise, chaos, chair, Senator, spectator, mayor.

Tour, but our and succour, four. Gas, alas, and Arkansas.

Sea, idea, Korea, area, Psalm, Maria, but malaria.

Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean. Doctrine, turpentine, marine.

Compare alien with Italian, Dandelion and battalion.

Sally with ally, yea, ye, Eye, I, ay, aye, whey, and key.

Say aver, but ever, fever, Neither, leisure, skein, deceiver.

Heron, granary, canary. Crevice and device and aerie.

Face, but preface, not efface. Phlegm, phlegmatic, ass, glass, bass.

Large, but target, gin, give, verging, Ought, out, joust and scour, scourging.

Ear, but earn and wear and tear Do not rhyme with here but ere.

Seven is right, but so is even, Hyphen, roughen, nephew Stephen,

Monkey, donkey, Turk and jerk, Ask, grasp, wasp, and cork and work.

Pronunciation (think of Psyche!) Is a paling stout and spikey?

Won’t it make you lose your wits, Writing groats and saying grits?

It’s a dark abyss or tunnel: Strewn with stones, stowed, solace, gunwale,

Islington and Isle of Wight, Housewife, verdict and indict.

Finally, which rhymes with enough, Though, through, plough, or dough, or cough?

Hiccough has the sound of cup. My advice is to give up!!!


Dae Ye Ken?

Taurus horoscope for January 9th:

If you’ve got shopping to do, this is definitely the time to do it. You’ll be less than impulsive, and able to dicker successfully with even the most skillful of salespersons. Dress appropriately.

  • Compatibility: Virgo
  • Mood: Lucky
  • Lucky Color: Orchid
  • Lucky Number: 88
  • Lucky Time of Day: 8 p.m.

So, does anyone know how to dress appropriately for dickering?  Maybe in something “orchid” colored?  Whatever that might be, although I’m thinking possibly purple-y.

The Daily Extra suggests a money saving green tip for today – buy used products when possible.  Sources include garage sales, thrift stores, eBay, Craiglist, consignment shops and used furnitures sthores.  All dickering places, to be sure.  Too bad I can’t think of anything I need to shop for at the moment.  Maybe another book shelf, since I’ve decided to include all the photo albums in the same place as the books.  And yesterday I discovered a bunch more books in our storage room.  This project appears to be never ending.

And just to stay faithful to my 365 project, here’s a picture of one of our new bathroom fawcetts.  If you squint and use your imagination, it’s kind of bull shaped.  Taurean taps. I’d love to go on imparting more wisdom and brilliance but that might make me late for work.  I’m sure there’ll be things to dicker over there until my lucky time of 8 p.m. which is when I close up shop and come home.  Lucky me.