Good morning sunshine!

Well, it’s not morning anymore, but the a.m. of today was a gorgeous one.  The first of over three hundred more that are not the first of April.  I don’t like pranks and jokes and being fooled.  Even though I am often a great and gullible target.  Or maybe that’s exactly why shenanigans and trickery aggravate me so much.

Anyway, the SUNSHINE!  I thought today we were supposed to go sailing into many degrees on the plus side of zero celsius, but apparently that’s next week.  They say.  I’m beginning to dislike THEY.  Because now they say we’re getting snow showers this afternoon.  Seriously.  They need to keep this information to themselves if they can’t think of anything nice to tell us.

So what does all this have to do with the Daily Prompt: Land of ConfusionWhich subject in school did you find impossible to master? Did math give you hives? Did English make you scream? Do tell!

Well, it has nothing to do with it, really, except to illustrate why I simply don’t have the right character to be good at every subject there is.  I’m much too inattentive and unfocused (and yes, confused) to be messing around and dealing with really important stuff.   No, English did not make me scream. I loved English.  Math gave me a lot of headaches.   But Chemistry made me pull my hair out and wish to die.  I guess it’s good that there are people out there who care about the composition and properties of substances and various elementary forms of matter and their reactions and phenomena.  Without those people we would not have dangerous cleaning products and makeup. 

But who thought putting a bunch of teenagers in a room with substances that react to other substances including fire and water was a good idea?  I have told the story elsewhere of how a grade twelve classmate and I dropped a recently blown out match into a garbage can and blew it up.  It was an accident.  And it was only a small explosion.  It taught me to blow out a match and then hold it under running water before disposing of it amongst flammable materials.  So I guess you could say chemistry was not a complete waste of time for me, but I definitely don’t remember much else about it.  Except maybe for how much I hated the periodic table.

If high school chemistry had dealt with sympathetic understanding, rapport, and the interaction of one personality with another, now that I might have been good at.  Where all the answers weren’t H2O and Bunsen burners.  Okay, those were only my answers, but you know what I mean. 

On second thought, maybe unleashing all that touchy feely stuff in a room full of teenagers isn’t a really smart idea either.

What was your worst subject in school?  What’s the weather like where you are?  If you’re a world famous chemist or if you’re living in one of those places where the grass is green and crocuses are blooming, I take it back – I don’t think I want to hear about it.  Even if it’s just a prank.

What Are We Doing Again?

These words are so simple, and yet….

I can’t get them out of my head.  What does this mean?  The phrase takes me all the way back to high school English and teachers who analyzed poetry in particular,  but also pretty much every other written thing, to death.  I admit I liked trying to impress them with my twisted take on things.  I expect a lot of authors would have been totally baffled by the garbage we came up with that they never meant at all.

Anyway, I want to know what you think.  Please take my poll.

There are no wrong answers.  Probably there are no right answers either.  Thank you class.  No going home for you until you finish this.  I will mail you your marks.



Compositions Circa 1928 (Part Three)

The following are excerpts from a few of my mother’s history essays written when she was eleven years old.  They sound so incredibly familiar to me – not because I learned the same “facts” but because they’re put together with a string of bits and pieces of information to tell stories that basically don’t make a lot of sense.   I think I must have inherited my mother’s defective history gene!  How else do you account for finding history confusing and tedious.  Well, besides poor teaching and biased points of view, and a lot of very subjective thinking which we were expected to accept as the truth.  I always wanted to add my own take on things.  I think my mother might have been into that as well.


Thanksgiving at the Trolls

Thanksgiving at the Trolls (Photo credit: martha_chapa95)

Thanksgiving Day is a very old festival.  The Hebrews kept it as the Feast of the Tabernacle.  The Greeks kept it in memory of their God Demeter.  They brought fruits and little pigs.  The Romans kept it in memory of their God Ceres. The next to celebrate it were the Pilgrims.  After leaving their own country they sailed to Holland.  This was done so they could keep their own religion which the king was persecuting.After reaching the coast of the United States they had to endure many hardships.  Their first building was a log church.  But in a few years they reaped a very bountiful harvest.  Governor Bradford thought they should have at least one day to thank God and have a large feast but the people wanted a week so it was decided they would invite their troublesome neighbors, the Indians.  This was a very busy week.  The men were sent out to hunt while the women baked.  The children gathered fruits such as grapes and wild berries of different varieties.

Then the day came at last, and also the chief and his bravest warriors, all dressed in war paint and feathers.  There were so many people that they spread the table outside under some trees.  The food soon disappeared.  The Indians could stay only three days.  They had a very pleasant time playing games and enjoying themselves in every way possible.  Before leaving they smoked the pipe of peace.  The Indians never disturbed the Pilgrims again.


Edith Cavell

Edith Cavell (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Edith Cavell came from London over to Belgium to be a nurse in the year 1900.  When the great war broke out the officers thought perhaps she would be of some use and they were not mistaken for she became a great help in the hospital.  After the capture of Mons and Namur many of the Germans became fugitives.  She had many of the enemy in her hospital too.  Now she would help the fugitives escape.  If they did not get away the enemy would kill them.  Many of these fugitives tried to escape to another country or hide.  Many of the farms contained a number of these fugitives who were hiding.  Edith Cavell was an earnest worker in this work and many fugitives escaped death with the help of her.The enemy saw many of their prisoners were escaping so they sent a spy over to the hospital.  The spy was supposed to be a fugitive.  Edith very fondly offered the spy (not knowing that he was a spy) a place of safety.  The spy went back and told all this.

She was arrested on August 15th, 1915.  She was not allowed to see any of her friends.  Her trial came off on the 7th of October.  She was allowed to have a lawyer to speak for her but as he had never seen her before he gave little assistance.  They condemned her for helping many fugitives escape.  She owned up, but said “If I did not, they all would have been killed.”  But no one would help her.  She was shot the following morning.

This gave many countries who had not taken an active part in the great war new courage.  They fought and won.  She was a very good woman because she gave her life for the life of other people.  The people thought so much of her that they called one of their mountains Edith Cavell.


In 1763 the Treaty of Paris was signed and this meant all the land except two islands were to be handed over to England.  So Canada fell into the hands of the English after the seven years war.  The people in England were paying for the damage done so they thought they would make the people in Canada pay for the damage so they put a tax on mail and letters.  The thirteen colonies south of the Great Lakes said they would not pay it.  Then they put it on the exports and again they said that they would not pay it.  They expressed themselves independant and became the United States.  But why did not the 14th colony, Quebec, join with them? 

English: British General Guy Carleton
English: British General Guy Carleton (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A governor was sent out to govern Canada.  He was Guy Carleton.  He thought since the people in Canada were French they ought to have laws to suit the French so he made some.  The boundaries of Canada were to be Michigan, Ohio, Labrador, Iowa, Wisconsin and Illinois.  The French used the feudal system of holding land.  But they used the British Criminal Law because it was not so cruel as the French.  The French were of the R.C. faith.  One mistake they made was they had no legislative assembly which gave the people a hand in the government.  They sent their laws to England where they were read and found alright.  When these laws were put into force the French were very much contented and had no desire to leave Canada.  This was all due to Guy Carleton’s good knowledge.

So there you go.  Thanksgiving, Edith Cavell and the Treaty of Paris, in a nutshell.  Any questions?

(Not even about the boundaries of Canada??)  (Or how the French became once again discontented and the Indians reverted back to being a tad troublesome?)  I guess those are lessons for another day.

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!!!



What I know about my family’s ancestry is all on my blog; that was the original reason for writing it. It’s branched out into a lot of strange stuff since then.

In a nutshell:

my maternal grandmother had ancestors from Germany and England

her husband was Irish through and through

paternal grandparents were both of Scottish ancestry.

my husbands mother’s roots are Swedish

his father’s English, Metis, and predominantly French

just for fun and after no one in particular, we gave our daughter a Danish and a French name; our son got Swedish and Scottish.

which makes our children

really and truly



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Canada: 243,000 km of Coastline! (and other things to love)

Never heard of Canada, eh? Pity. It’s BIG and BEAUTIFUL and FREE. A multicultural, peaceful democracy, often stunned by its own success. (think Winter Olympics, for an example) A land of equal opportunity, diversity, and a strange obsession with regionalism, although hockey can bind us all together. Normally just a quietly magnificent nation. But once in a while we’re LOUD and proud.



I’m not a lumberjack, or a fur trader,

and I don’t live in an igloo,

or eat blubber

or own a dogsled.

And I don’t know Jimmy, Sally or Suzy from Canada,

although I’m certain they’re really, really nice.

I have a prime minister… not a president,

I speak English and French, not American

and I pronounce it About, not A-boot.

I can proudly sew my country’s flag on my backpack,

I believe in peacekeeping, not policing,

diversity not assimilation,

and that the beaver is a truly proud and noble animal.

A toque is a hat,

a Chesterfield is a couch,

and it IS pronounced Zed,

not Zee… ZED!!

Canada is the 2nd largest land mass,

the 1st nation of hockey,

and the best part of North America.

My name is Joe…


Thank you.

I’ve often thought we should put that to music and make it our national anthem. It’s also a pretty good beer.

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