Jul 17, 2008

"Sea Shell" by Amy Lowell

Sea Shell, Sea Shell,
Sing me a song, O Please!
A song of ships, and sailor men,
And parrots, and tropical trees,

Of islands lost in the Spanish Main
Which no man ever may find again,
Of fishes and corals under the waves,
And seahorses stabled in great green caves.

Sea Shell, Sea Shell,
Sing of the things you know so well.

-Amy Lowell (1874-1925)

Photos by Elena Elisseeva of Canada -

The Ants Are My Friends

Do you remember these wacky words from earlier posts?

• paronamasia   • Feghoots   • shaggy dogs  
• Spoonerisms   • haplology

My dad mailed a comic strip to me called "One Big Happy," by Rick Detorie, which illustrates a great example of Feghoots and shaggy dogs. It could have been written about my dad: okay, and maybe about me, too. Here's the dialog...

MOM: Oh, your father!
SON: What now?
MOM: We were at Moe Larkin's funeral and, of course, Marge and Tina were there. Well, your father began singing...
DAD: Nobody could hear me.
MOM: I could, and it wasn't funny!
DAD: [Breaking into song.] Don't cry for Moe, Marge and Tina...

Have you done this?

Neologism is a term for new words that have been added to our language due to trends, patterns, and/or necessity. A mondegreen is a prime example. Author Gavin Edwards has written several books on the subject. He explains the origin of a mondegreen in an online article titled, "Mondegreens: A Short Guide."

He writes: "The term 'mondegreen' was coined by Sylvia Wright in a 1954 Atlantic article. As a child, young Sylvia had listened to a folk song that included the lines 'They had slain the Earl of Moray/And Lady Mondegreen.' As is customary with misheard lyrics, she didn't realize her mistake for years. The song was not about the tragic fate of Lady Mondegreen, but rather, the continuing plight of the good earl: 'They had slain the Earl of Moray/And laid him on the green.'"

Mondegreens occur more frequently with lyrics. Singers like Frank Sinatra were rarely misheard because of clear enunciation. However, the advent of Rock and Roll ushered in a more relaxed era of singing. Jimi Hendrix sang, "excuse me while I kiss the sky," and many misheard it as "excuse me while I kiss this guy."

Contrary to the title of this post, ants are not my friends (especially when they turn up uninvited in my pantry). Nevertheless, people have unwittingly sung their praises by replacing "The answer my friends, is blowin' in the wind," with "The ants are my friends..." Or, have you ever hear the old hymn, "Gladly The Cross I'd Bear," referred to as "Gladly, the cross-eyed bear"? These are pure mondegreens.

More on Mondegreens:

Jul 16, 2008

S. M. I. L. E.

This isn't a dental advertisement... No, this has to do with the vast amount of dull facial expressions that I observe through the coarse of a day. I understand that when we're alone with our thoughts—even in a crowd—our minds are peregrine by nature. I certainly don’t expect jubilation or cartwheels, but I often see no hint of a happy life.

Put a smile on your face.
It wouldn’t look good anywhere else.

Recently, I was particularly cheerful and I did not realize how much I was smiling. My smile became a distraction. As I met the gazes of the people around me, their demeanor shifted from meaningless to memorable. We easily exchanged smiles and warm greetings.

As an experiment, I began to purposely smile more. To avoid any form of pretense, I took the Philippians 4:8 approach. I love The Message Bible’s version

"Philippians 4:8,9 (The Message) — Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.”

Not only did this meditation immediately elevate my own spirits but it continued to be contagious throughout the day.

So "your mission should you choose to accept it" is to cultivate smiles! Choose a day this week to place a pre-meditated smile on your face. Wear it wherever you go and watch what happens. I’m anxious to hear your reports.


Hi Y'all!

In the tradition of my Southern pals, "Hi y'all!" The performance season at Catch the Vision Performing Arts is now behind me. I've had 3 months of spectacular memories! Much like an expired helium balloon, I am slowly returning to earth! You should be experiencing my landing at any moment since I'm not equipped with hydraulics!

I'll post later today. Time to resume my sheep inventory. (My milkman husband woke me up getting ready for work.)

Jul 15, 2008

Today's Bouquets

During my first year of blogging, the feature called "Today's Bouquets" has come to represent the goodness and faithfulness of God. I began blogging shortly after my family's lifestyle had gone topsy-turvy. Through events that can only be explained as 11th hour miracles, we have resided at our current address for over 14 months! Circumstances screamed that we would be homeless and placing our possessions in storage. God had the last word...

The miracles continue as we have seen our IRS debt paid off; another bill anonymously reduced by $300.00; $2000.00 of debt forgiven; and provision made for costly dental work at a time when we are without medical insurance. We have made substantial progress and we are believing, through faith in God, that we will be current before 2008 is up.

Smith Wigglesworth, a tremendous soldier of God, once said, "Faith laughs at the impossible." I know what he meant. Laughter has brought liberty to me in the most ridiculous of times!

This last weekend marked the conclusion of my performance season at Catch the Vision Performing Arts.
I helped to direct the drama for "The Potter's Touch" and for the first time in years I watched the show in the audience. It was powerful! The show illustrated—through the arts—just how God designs and shapes our lives. The performances were driven by an intense energy and zeal for God, and the fruit was evidenced at the show's conclusion when many people stood to their feet during an invitation for prayer.

I also recently wrote and directed a play for my fabulous Junior Drama Team. I think this was my strongest team ever. It is so satisfying to conceive an idea, tailor it for the strengths of the children, and then watch them bring it to life!

You may read previous installments of "Today's Bouquets" by clicking HERE.

Photo by Serghei Starus from Moldova -