Tag Archives: Featured

Language Acquisition

We had a lovely time in Brookings visiting our son and his family. Our grandson is 17 months old. His language development really took off within the last week or so. Our daughter in law said that one day he wasn’t really talking, and the next day he was jabbering away. I notice that sometimes boys’ development is choppy, while girls have a smoother and more gradual developmental trajectory.

Our grandson signs, too, and he signed and made animal noises and tried out many new words as he went through the weekend.   I was tickled  as I wheeled him in a cart through the grocery store and he started making snorting noises as he  pointed toward the ceiling.  He had spied a pig balloon, and he  let me know that was what pigs said.  He also has a fine command of the word “No!”  and told us so quite a bit.

What were you told about your early development? What were your first words? What were your favorite first books?

 

 

Reading Mystery

A few years ago, back when a librarian needed to check out your books for you, the older red-haired librarian at the desk (Anna would know her name) said “My, you have a wide set of topics here.” I don’t remember what I was checking out, but I do read across a fairly wide swath.  Science fiction, fiction, mystery, a variety of science, biography, history, philosophy, fantasy, kid lit, thrillers.  About the only thing I don’t read is romance if I can help it.

It was about that time that I started keeping track of how I got the idea to read a particular book. I have several categories for this – my book clubs, BookPage from the library, Writer’s Almanac, my various “lists” (English Monarchs, Presidents, Newbury & Caldecott winners, etc.) and the Trail. By far the biggest category is O&A (Out & About), a catch-all for everything else.

I’m pretty good at remembering where I find a title that I want to read, but every now and then I am surprised when I go to my hold shelf in the library. I knew from looking at my online account that there was an InterLibrary Loan titled Meetings with Remarkable Trees waiting for me.  It had the sound of poetry and many of the poetry books I look for end up coming from other libraries: I assumed it was poetry.  So imagine my surprise it’s a lovely photo book with essays about specific trees.  It’s fascinating but I’m not sure where the idea came from?  It’s not exactly the kind of thing that you find in the mainstream.

So I’ve decided it must be something that was recommended to me on the Trail. It’s about nature, so it might be Clyde (he is usually my go-to for travel books, but it seems like something he might like).  But it has absolutely lovely nature photos, so it might be the kind of thing recommended by Steve or Cynthia or BiR.  It’s a little off the beaten path, which has Bill written all over it.  The author is originally from Ireland, which means that it might have been recommended by PJ, who has a broader range of non-American authors.  I’ve haven’t gone back to the Trail and done a search: for now it’s a nice little mystery.

Do you do well at taking advice? Or do you prefer to GIVE advice?

Getting the Lard Out

I have become wary of telling Husband what I want, or if I like something, because he takes it on himself to make certain I get  it.  Sometimes  I just make an offhand comment about liking something, with no expectation of getting it, and Husband takes it to heart and feels responsible  for it.   I think it has something to do with his being an older brother of a younger sister and feeling responsible for her happiness. My father was the same way with me.  One can only be considered spoiled under these circumstances if one comes to expect such treatment.  I don’t expect it, so I am not spoiled!

Last week I took the last jar of home-rendered lard out of the freezer as I needed it for pie crusts. I told Husband that we would need to render more lard some time. I didn’t mean that I wanted to do it right away, but that was how Husband interpreted it, and he set to work finding some pork fat for me to render.  I came home for lunch to find a disgruntled man who had been unsuccessful in finding any pork fat from our usual sources. He even phoned butcher shops in Fargo, Brookings, and Canby, MN.   I assured him that it wasn’t a crisis, and that it was fine if we didn’t find any.  There are lots of good pie crust recipes that don’t call for lard. Husband was still  fretful. I just hoped he would forget about it and stop ruminating.

Yesterday while I was in my meetings, Husband chanced on a farmers market on Nicollet Avenue, and found a source for leaf lard and pork fat from a guy who raises hogs in New Richmond, WI.  He and Husband talked lard and, after several phone calls back to the farm to check on supplies, he and Husband arranged for us to pick up 10 pounds of leaf lard and other pork fat from him at the Minneapolis Farmers Market on Saturday morning.   Lard crisis averted.  It remains to be seen what Husband will ruminate about next.

What have you gone to extremes to find or accomplish? What is your favorite pie crust?  What do you ruminate about?

Remembrance of Things Past

Today’s post comes from Ben:

I came home and said hello to the dogs. Went out another door and said “Hi” to the dogs again, and then, as one does with dogs, said “Hi Hi Hi”

And then, from the depths of my mind, out of nowhere, sang  “Ayi Yi Yi Yi, I am the Frito Bandito”.
Wow.
I said to myself “Where did that come from??”
Forgotten anything lately? 
Remembered anything lately? 

Surprise!

Husband and I are now safely ensconced at the downtown Minneapolis Marriot. We  arrived at the hotel at about 5:00 PM on Tuesday. I was so surprised that the traffic going into downtown was negligible. The traffic going the other way was horrible. We were grateful.

Last week I was very surprised to learn that the grandmother of one of my fellow Lutheran Church choir members worked for a decade or more as both the Headless Girl and  the Three Legged Woman in the circus. It isn’t often that young woman from Harvey, ND makes the big time like that. You also don’t hear of many Lutherans in the circus. At one time there were 9 headless girls touring the US in circuses. It was all done with mirrors. Look up Olga the Headless Girl.  You will be surprised and amazed.

What has surprised you lately?  Do you have any friends with surprises?

On Your Toes

Today in 1581, the first ballet was performed in Paris. It had been commissioned by Catherine De Medici  and was called “Ballet Comique de la Reine”.  I love ballet, and so do our children. Both studied dance for many years.

The only ballets that  I have seen in live performance were by the Winnipeg Ballet, which is a very fine company.  We saw them perform Giselle and The Firebird.  We sometimes saw dancers from the company wandering the halls of our psychology department as they went to appointments to manage their eating disorders with one of our professors, an unfortunate side effect for some dancers.

What is your favorite ballet? Tell about your experiences with dance.