Merry, Marry, Mary

Did you make merry last night in this politically correct world may be almost as problematic as the question,  did you make Mary last night?  Did you get married last night is a different form of the word and may be less problematic, depending upon who asks the question.

Merry (adjective) – cheerful and lively; season or occasion characterized by festivity and rejoicing; a slightly good-humored drunk


Marry (verb) – to join or enter into marriage; to cause to meet or combine, to splice the ends of a line together without increasing their girth

Mary  (name) – Frequent biblical name, the most famous is Mary, the Mother of Jesus. In Hebrew it means wished for child, rebellion, bitter.

Merry is virtually an onomatopoeia word.  You can almost hear the jingle bells ring when saying the word out loud.  Just think of Carol of the Bells.

“Mary, let’s make merry,”  he said.

“Not until after you marry me,” she replied. “A girl can’t be too careful.”

You should not marry oysters with red wine, they are better with a crisp white like sauvignon blanc.  However, you can marry the mooring lines that you use to tie up the oyster boat.  If you have profitable catch, then you can become merry with your profits.

Colton: How does a sheep say “Merry Christmas”?
Tammi: How?
Colton: “Fleece Navidad!”

What is your favorite thing to ride on the Merry-go-round?merry go round

God Rest You Merry Gentlemen, Let Nothing You Dismay (you would probably be too drunk recognize it anyways…)

merry gentlemen

Merry and Pippin where two of the hobbits in Lord of the Rings

merry and pippin hobbits



Palindrome vs Levidrome

palindromeA palindrome is a word or phrase that is spelled the same way no matter which direction you come from.  Level-level, kayak-kayak, Bob-bob, Madam I’m Adam-Madam I’m Adam.

Levidrome, is a  wannabe word, created by 6 year old Levi  Budd from Victoria, Dessert spelt backwards is stresedCanada.  A levidrome is a word that creates a different word went spelled backwords:  pat-tap, live-evil, pots-stops, etc.  Unlike palindrome, no word exists for this type of pairing.

Levi has approached the Oxford Dictionary about adding his word.  They responded that they will only add words that are used by many people.  Right now, Levidrome is on Oxford’s  Weekly Word Watch.

oxford english dictionary

Levi created a youtube video promoting his word and Oxford sent him a digital message back.  If  several people use this word over the next year, Oxford may add it to the dictionary.

Well bread

omarkhayyam1Is the gluten-free, non-GMO, high fibre loaf,  the new well bred bread, get-well bread, or the latest do-nothing save the world example of hype?  I guess the answer depends upon who you trust and what you read.

bred  – past and participle of breed

bred (adj) – of person or animal, raised in a specific way–well-bred, country-bred

bread (noun) – food made from flour, water, and yeast or some leavening agent, mixed together and baked

bread (informal) – money (Have to get a job, man because I need the bread or would that be knead the bread?)

bread (verb) – coat a food with breadcrumbs before cooking


If bread is the staff of life, does working  a well-bred boss improve the life of staff?  Or is the boss just another loafer?

Mathew 4:4 ” But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.




Do we need bread or knead bread (unless it’s unleavened)?


If you lack bread, are you hungry or poor?  Or both?

Have you ever been sentenced to bread and water?

Breadtopia provides several break quotes.

“There is not a thing that is more positive than bread.” – Fyodor Dostoevsky

“Good bread is the most fundamentally satisfying of all foods; and good bread with fresh butter, the greatest of feasts.” – James Beard

“How can a nation be great if their bread tastes like kleenex?” – Julia Childs

“‘A loaf of bread,’ the Walrus said, ‘is what we chiefly need: Pepper and vinegar besides are very good indeed.’” – Lewis Caroll

Mine, mine, mein

finding nemo.pngIn Finding Nemo, the seagulls were always crying “Mine, Mine, Mine.”  It really did capture the feel of a seagulls cry. seagulls fighting.jpg

What exactly is mine?

Mine (Pronoun) – used to refer to a thing or things belonging to or associated with the speaker.

Mine (determiner) – Used before a noun as my (Mine cup runneth over)

Mine (noun) – pit or excavation in the earth, rich source of ore, ore deposit, or an encased explosive that is placed in the ground or in water and set to explode when disturbed

Mein – German for mine.  Examples include Hitler’ Mein Kampf, and  Cabaret’s Mein Herr


When the claim jumpers stole the deed, did my mine become their mine?

princes di and landminesOne of Princess Diana’s last causes was advocating against land mines. “The fight to ban anti-personnel land mines became a personal crusade, one that would fill the last year of her life. ”

Landmines are the unwelcome gift that keeps on giving.  After the war is over, the land may still be covered with un-exploded land mines.  Even years after the war, the freezing and thawing of the land each may push previously submerged landmines up to the surface.  It was a major problem for U.S. troops stationed in Bosnia-Herzegovina during Operation Joint Guard. Landmines even showed up unexpectedly within the major base at Tuzla.


battle of mobile bayWhen Admiral Farragut said “Damn, the torpedoes, full speed ahead” during the Battle of Mobile Bay on October 5, 1864, he was actually talking about floating mines.


“Minecraft is often described as a ‘sandbox game’. This means that it’s a virtual land where users can create their own worlds and experiences, using building blocks, resources discovered on the site and their own creativity.”

What do you think about mines?  Mine opinion is that mines are dangerous unless you own a valuable ore mine–diamonds, platinum, gold, or silver would all be nice to have. Join in the conversation and add thine opinion to mine.


Pooh on You

From House at Pooh Corner by Kenny Loggins

 Christopher Robin and I walked along
Under branches lit up by the moon
Posing our questions to owl and eeyore
As our days disappeared all too soon
But I’ve wandered much further today than I should
And I can’t seem to find my way back to the wood
So help me if you can I’ve got to get
Back to the house at Pooh corner by one
You’d be surprised there’s so much to be done
Count all the bees in the hive
Chase all the clouds from the sky
Back to the days of Christopher Robin and Pooh


original pooh charactersYesterday I saw the movie “Goodbye Christopher Robin”, which is a look at the impact of A.A. Milne’s Winne the Pooh stories on his son, the real life Christopher Robin.  In the scene, Billy Moon, as Christopher Robin was known within the family, was talking to his father Blue.

“Blue, I want to name that swan swimming on the lake.”

“Billy, he’s a wild animal.”

“I want to name him anyways.”

“Why don’t you call him Pooh?  That way if he doesn’t respond to his name, you can pretend you were just saying Pooh.”

winnie the pooh value of donig nothing

Pooh (exclamation) –Used to express disgust or an unpleasant smell or express contempt or impatience (Brit)

Pooh (noun) – Excrement

Pooh (verb) – Defecate

Winnie was named after a brown bear from Canada (Winnie was short for Winnipeg), who was kept in the London Zoo after World War I.  The original bear was female, not male as implied by the story and the character of Winnie the Pooh.

Wiinie the pooh and christopher robin pulling on boots

If Winnie-the-Pooh were re-written for adults would s/he be called Winnie-the-S**t?

Which is your favorite Pooh character?  Have you seen “Goodbye Christopher Robin”?  Join in the conversation and share your favorite Pooh story or quote?  Vote:  Disney’s Winnie or AA Milne’s Winnie

Nevermore: Edgar Allan Poe and the University of Virginia

Poe history markerI have been studying a great deal in order to be prepared, and dare say I shall come off as well as the rest of them, that is – if I don’t get frightened.–Written to John Allan on September 21, 2826.

Edgar Allan Poe enrolled at UVA in February 1826, one of 177 students registering for the University’s second session. He wrote this line in a letter to John Allan, who’d taken Poe in after he was orphaned in 1812 and financed his education, describing an upcoming exam. In the same letter, Poe describes the ongoing construction of UVA, including the building of the Rotunda, and recounts a fight between fellow students. He’d leave about three months later after Allan cut off his support – which Poe maintained was already insufficient – partially due to gambling debts.–From the Quotable University.

Poe room--UVAWhen Poe was a student in 1826, he was assigned room, 13 West Range.  The Raven Society, which was founded in 1906, was charged with the upkeep of that room in 1907. From the Raven’s Society web page “In 1907, President Alderman and the Board of Visitors charged the Society with the upkeep of Poe’s old room, 13 West Range. In 1924, Professor Edmund S. Campbell, head of the School of Architecture, led efforts to refurnish the room to make it look more like the student rooms of 1826. Then in the 1950s, the room was again renovated to link it even more closely with its former occupant. A mantel and closets that had been added after 1826 were removed, and an alumnus named A. Churchill Young donated Poe’s old bed from the Allan house in Richmond. Today, the room looks much like it did during Poe’s brief stay at the University.”

Poe-reflections of visitors to his room at UVA.jpg

Poe’s room is a popular tourist attraction on the UVA Grounds.

Poe is said to have scratched a brief poem in the glass of his room. A pane of glass from that room is on display in the University Rotunda.  It has been rumored that some underclassmen broke into the room in the early 1970s.

O Thou timid one, do not let thy

Form slumber within these

Unhallowed walls,

For herein lies

The ghost of an awful crime.

Poe signature

From Poe as a student:

Poe portrait.pngHis enduring influence is evident in the number of visitors drawn each year to the University of Virginia just to get a glimpse of Poe’s Room and hear the stories of his early days. Although his stay at the University was regrettably brief, it is natural to wonder how his time here helped shape his later life and works. He wrote “Tamerlane” while still a student, and in both this poem and “A Tale of the Ragged Mountains”, he refers explicitly to his experiences in Charlottesville. President Alderman, in an address during the Poe Centenary celebrations, surmised that the youthful promise of the place could not have failed to help inspire him. Many scholars have long suggested that two lines of his classic poem, “To Helen”, may reflect his feelings about the University of Virginia’s historic Lawn. Published in the Poems of 1831, “To Helen” was probably written soon after he left the University and may contain an allusion to the Greek and Roman architecture of the Lawn.

Poe quote

When/Where Laughter May Be the Best Answer

Laughter in friendshipWhat happened when Madame walked backwards into the fan?   Disaster

How did those spots get on the ceiling?  Mister Completely

Knock knock.   Who’s there?  Banana.  Banana who?  Knock knock. Who’s there?  Banana.  Banana who?  Knock knock.  Who’s there?  Orange.  Orange who?  Orange you glad I didn’t say banana again?

There are a number of ways to benefit from Humor.  Work, school,  your own health, in public, in private, in the government just to name a few.

“Remember laughing? Laughter enhances the blood flow to the body’s extremities and improves cardiovascular function. Laughter releases endorphins and other natural mood elevating and pain-killing chemicals, improves the transfer of oxygen and nutrients to internal organs.
Laughter boosts the immune system and helps the body fight off disease, cancer cells as well as viral, bacterial and other infections. Being happy is the best cure of all diseases!”

Lady Bug, Lady Bug Fly Away Home

About 10-20 years ago, we would see swarms of lady bugs on the glass doors of the indoor/outdoor seating area at Linden winery.  As helpful and cute as lady bugs are, they can ruin a barrel of wine if they get crushed with the grapes.  This year we saw the odd ladybug, but saw more stinkbugs crawling around on the glass. Stink bugs are not good either when caught in the crusher.


Ladybugs are beetles and despite their name are not considered true bugs (insects of the order  Hemiptera.)  Instead they belong to the order Coleoptera.  Lady refers to the Virgin Mary.  According to legend, during the Middle Ages, when 7-Spotted Ladybug - Coccinella septempunctatathe peasants saw their fields being consumed by pests, they prayed to the Virgin Mary.  When the red and black beetles began eating the pests, the peasants named them after her.  The 7 spotted lady beetle is said to be red in honor of the Virgin’s cloak and the seven black spots represent her sorrows.

Although we think of ladybugs as being red and black, they actually come in a variety of shades:  red, orange, yellow and even pink.  The colors are used to warn predators that lady bugs can be toxic if eaten.

Ladybugs are good to have in a garden because they eat pests. Ladybugs love to eat scale insects, white flies, mites, and aphids. As larvae, ladybugs eat pests by the hundreds. A hungry ladybug adult can devour about 50 aphids a day.  If you want go buy ladybugs for your garden, you can get them on Amazon, where prices can range fro $9.99 to $19.99 for 1500 live ladybugs.  They are available elsewhere too.

Ladybugs hibernate in the winter and if food gets scarce, they will resort to cannibalism.  This cannibalistic habit begins when eggs are laid.  The female ladybug lays both fertile and infertile eggs.  It is believed that the infertile eggs provide food for the newly hatched larvae.

Ladybugs are beloved by children.  If a ladybug lands on a child’s hand, the child may gently blow it away while chanting: “Ladybug, Ladybug fly away home.  Your house is on fire and your children will burn.”  There are many myths about the origin of this saying.  They include when houses were burnt during the Black Plague in hopes of stopping the Plague from spreading and farmers burning their fields after the harvest to help stop the spread of pests.  Another interpretation is that it was used as an innocuous  warning (since ladybugs refer to the Virgin Mary) during the years of Catholic persecution in England.  It was also believed to be use as a warning for pagans to blend in with the population, while Christianity was on the raise because the ladybug was a symbol of the goddess worship.