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Alphabet Soup
Posted:Aug 26, 2021 1:33 pm
Last Updated:Aug 29, 2021 7:07 pm
6910 Views



Many consider English to be one of the most complicated languages to learn.

This week I have been on a word so thought I would share these interesting facts:

Quick! Try naming five words that start with the letter L:
lemon
lazy
labour
lesson
languid
language

The list goes on and on. What "L" words did you immediately think of?

Now, try naming five words that start with the letter X:
xylophone,
x-ray,
xenia

Not so easy, right? What "X" words did you think of?

The Oxford English Dictionary only contains 400 words that begin with the letter X.

In Noah Webster’s Compendious Dictionary , published in 1806, there was only one word listed under the letter X: xebec, which meant, “a small three-masted vessel in the Mediterranean.” In 1828, when he put together his American Dictionary, that had only risen to . The list of words starting with the letter X continued to rise until it reached the 400 that we have today.

Now, can you guess the most common letter in the English language? Those hours of watching Wheel of Fortune might just off.

The most common letter in the English language is the letter E.

E is everywhere. In an analysis of all 240,000 entries in the Concise Oxford English Dictionary, the letter E appears in approximately % of all words which is about 6,000 more words than the runner-up letter, A. Did you know, E is the most commonly struck letter on your keyboard and the second most popular key after the space bar?

And for my American friends, there’s only one letter that’s not in any U.S. State Name. Can You Guess It? Hmmm, 50 states, only 25 letters. Which one's missing?

The answer is…Q. That’s right. 50 different names, and not one of them contains the letter Q. And, every very other letter shows up at least once.

If you guessed J or Z, though, you were close, and probably don’t live in New Jersey or Arizona, since those are the only states that contain J and Z respectively. There are a couple of other rare letters, too, that only show up twice. No states but Alabama and Nebraska have a B in their name, and California and Florida are the only state names that contain F. If X was your guess, you were also close but it is in New Mexico and Texas.

The only other letter with fewer than five appearances might surprise you: P! It’s only in Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, and Mississippi (the latter’s double-P bumps it up to four appearances, even though it’s only in three state names).
22 Comments
Losing Myself In A Book
Posted:Aug 25, 2021 1:45 pm
Last Updated:Mar 21, 2022 9:16 pm
5904 Views




For as long as I can remember, reading and books have been important to me.
My favourite genres are crime-based fiction, mysteries and biographies

I continue to be a voracious reader. Every twenty-one days (the lending period at our public libraries), I load up my bookbag and head off to return the ten to twelve books that are due back. I also take a binder, with an alphabetized list of authors and their books that I have already read. it helps avert the disappointment o getting home, sitting down to read and after a few pages realizing, ah geez, I have already read this one.

I have passed the love of reading onto my too. She will complete a book in one sitting as she hates to face an unfinished book the next day. War and Peace was a rare exception!

I have tried adapting to an electronic reader but it just isn't the same. I love the feel of a book in my hands and turning the pages, wondering what twists and turns the story may take.
24 Comments
Word Power: Obscure Crossword Puzzle Words
Posted:Aug 24, 2021 1:28 pm
Last Updated:Aug 29, 2021 11:37 am
6897 Views


I have always prided myself on being a good speller and having a strong grasp of the English language. These attributes were developed at a young age through my love of reading and crossword puzzles.

Certain obscure words show up repeatedly in crossword puzzles because they’re short, full of vowels or both.

Here are some interesting ones. Test yourself to see how many you know.

Ilia
A: Bacteria capable of causing sickness
B: Large bones in the upper half of the pelvis
C: Ear-shaped seashell

Pica
A: Tiny fish used to exfoliate feet
B: Craving to eat substances that aren’t foods
C: Hot pepper

Nard
A: Person with an intense interest in a topic
B: Narcotics officer
C: Aromatic Himalayan plant

Stoa
A: Guard who remains immobile so long as there’s no threat
B: Covered walkway supported by evenly spaced columns
C: Unit of 100 soldiers

Etui
A: Accusation of betrayal
B: Musical composition for improving finger dexterity
C: Small ornamental case

Erne
A: Tall vase on a pedestal
B: Sea eagle
C: White fur made from ermine
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Answers


Answer: B—Large bones in the upper half of the pelvis
As in, “Sylvia fractured both her ilia by falling off her motorcycle.”


Answer: B—Craving to eat substances that aren’t foods
As in, “Young aren’t usually diagnosed with pica because it’s normal for them to chew on everything.”


Answer: C—Aromatic Himalayan plant
As in, “Nard is mentioned in the Bible as an erotic scent.”


Answer: B—Covered walkway supported by evenly spaced columns
As in, “The Stoa Poikile (“painted stoa”) of ancient Athens featured illustrations of battles.”


Answer: C—Small ornamental case
As in, “Grandma kept sewing needles and a thimble in an antique silk etui.”


Answer: B—Sea eagle
As in, “An erne snatched a fish from just under the water’s surface.”
12 Comments
The Power of Words
Posted:Aug 23, 2021 1:49 pm
Last Updated:Mar 9, 2022 11:31 am
6144 Views
Sometimes I come across expressions, poems or lyrics that touch me to the core. They instantly evoke a myriad of emotions. And if I tuck them away, the same full-body, emotional response happens whenever I re-visit them.

Here is such an example which I found on the front of a greeting card during my travels. The inside of the card is blank so you can add your own message although I don’t know what could be effectively added when giving it to someone.


20 Comments
Missing You. A Tribute to My Mom
Posted:Jul 26, 2021 8:16 am
Last Updated:Aug 16, 2021 7:10 pm
10529 Views



Today is a day of reflection as I am overwhelmed with memories of my mother. She would have turned 93 years young.

Although she has been gone eighteen years, not a day goes by that I do not think of her.

My mother taught me everything except how to live without her.

She had a way of understanding my problems without even having to tell her.

The beautiful memories of the times we spent together make me smile.

There are days I wish I could have her back for just a little while.

Then we could sit and talk again, just like we used to do.

She meant so much to me, forever and always will too.

I find myself doing a double-take when I see her image in the mirror until I realize it is me, not her, just the way she always knew.


27 Comments
That s Not My Job!
Posted:Jul 19, 2021 12:15 pm
Last Updated:May 13, 2022 9:44 am
12358 Views
A little short story as told by Somebody



I laughed when I saw the above. It reminded me of my days in the corporate world.

Bet You have met people like this.

25 Comments
Your Bad Behaviour Is NOT My Responsibility
Posted:Jul 11, 2021 12:26 pm
Last Updated:Mar 21, 2022 9:16 pm
15414 Views



The phrase “Am I my brother’s keeper?” occurs in the context of the story of Cain and Abel in Genesis. The brothers made sacrifices to God, but God favoured Abel's sacrifice instead of Cain's. Cain then murdered Abel, out of jealousy. And the Lord said to Cain, "Where is Abel your brother?” And he said, "I do not know: am I my brother's keeper?"

Growing up, I was the youngest, with two older brothers; there was less than four years difference in our ages.

The eldest was considered the conservative one who “toed the line.” The other one loved to push boundaries and was more the daredevil.

Occasionally, they would get into scrapes. The eldest would challenge the other one to some outrageous dare. When things went awry, and they got caught, the eldest would exclaim insistently, “It’s not my fault he did it.”

A friend and I have had numerous disagreements on this subject. Of course, I would intervene if I was with him and he was about to put himself or others in harm’s way. I have done the same with strangers. For example, warning someone about to step out into oncoming traffic.

But I can’t stop him from blurting out the first that comes into his head or to ensure he re-reads his email, text or comments before pressing Enter.

I have often reminded him that:
Actions have consequences.
Spoken words cannot be unheard.
Written words cannot be un-seen.


19 Comments
No Relationship Is Ever A Waste of Time
Posted:Jul 8, 2021 1:39 pm
Last Updated:Jul 12, 2021 2:23 pm
15843 Views




Throughout our lifetime we have many different types of relationships. Each one teaches us more about ourselves.

We can look at what didn't work & become clear about how we want our next relationship to be.

We can develop new standards as we are more aware of what we will and what we won't accept.

When we start repeating patterns that create arguments, chaos, rejection or abandonment, we can use these lessons to see what we need to change.

When we are in a relationship we can either gain self-respect or lose it depending upon how we allow ourselves to be treated.

Life is a process of beginnings and endings. Whenever a relationship ends, we experience its loss and learn from it.
29 Comments
Making A Difference To Someone
Posted:Jul 6, 2021 11:52 am
Last Updated:Jul 15, 2021 1:42 pm
15621 Views



One of my elderly, widowed neighbours sometimes comes across as aloof, cranky and unfriendly. Other times, she is engaging, cheery and congenial. You just don't know which version you will encounter.

A few days ago, she was standing in her driveway looking pensive. I greeted her as I always do and asked if everything was OK. We chatted for a few minutes and I asked if she needed anything at the store. Initially, she was quite hesitant. She finally admitted she could always use a loaf of bread but didn't want me to make a special trip. Of course, I did in fact make a special trip just for her.

Later, when I delivered that $2.00 loaf of bread, tears glistened in her eyes. She insisted I wait while she got her purse. When she pulled out the money, a $5.00 bill was clutched in her fingers. I told her I didn't want her paying me, it was my pleasure to help. She pulled herself up to her full height, eyes glistening and declared, "I know that. And I know that you really mean it. But I appreciate your help." Now it was my eyes that were glistening as a thanked her and slowly returned home.
21 Comments
I Am Strong
Posted:Jul 5, 2021 12:05 pm
Last Updated:Feb 20, 2022 5:27 am
20246 Views


I learned a long time ago to accept myself for who I am. With one exception.

Like many women, I wasn't ready to accept being grey-haired. It was easy to think it would make me look "old". After all, my Mother had beautiful, thick hair which she coloured until her passing at age seventy-five. On the other hand, I have relatives that turned prematurely grey in their early 20's

With everything else that has happened this past year, it gave me time to reflect and consider what's really important. I decided if someone was going to judge me solely on the colour of my hair, then they aren't the kind of people I want to know.

So, I went to the hairdresser, cut my hair short to get rid of all remnants of the old me. I couldn't be happier. The compliments have been an added delight and my bank account won't take the same hit
49 Comments
Ten Things People Learn Too Late
Posted:Jul 4, 2021 12:40 pm
Last Updated:Jul 7, 2021 12:26 am
16453 Views
35 Comments
Hidden Gems In Canada
Posted:Jul 2, 2021 11:14 am
Last Updated:Jul 16, 2021 1:34 am
17598 Views

From nearly-forgotten natural wonders to one-of-a-kind accommodations, these little-known Canadian attractions are worth adding to your bucket list.

The World’s Smallest Desert
Carcross Desert, Yukon


Yes, Canada has the world’s smallest desert. The dry climate & fierce winds of the Yukon have resulted in the creation of 540 acres of sand dunes in a region that was once the bottom of a large glacial lake.

An Underground Slide Ride
Horne Lake Caves, British Columbia


Vancouver Island has the highest concentration of caves in all of Canada (there are more than 1,400 of them!). One of the most stunning places is at Horne Lake Caves Provincial Park, where you can spelunk through absolute darkness. You’ll also have the chance to barrel down the only underground slide in Canada and rappel through a waterfall!

Medieval Glamping
Good Knights Medieval Encampment, Alberta


Wannabe lords and ladies bed down in a lavish, medieval-style tent kitted out with queen beds, wooden floors & electricity. You’ll even have access to the throne room (AKA, your very own ensuite bathroom with flushing toilet). Lap up the royal treatment with in-tent breakfasts, archery lessons and medieval feasts.

Mysteries Embedded in Manitoba’s Legislature
Manitoba Legislative Building, Winnipeg, Manitoba


Hieroglyphic inscriptions, numerological codes and Masonic symbols have been concealed so expertly within the building’s imposing architecture, their presence went unnoticed by historians and visitors for nearly a century. From April to October, weekly Hermetic Code Tours led by Dr. Frank Albo, a local architectural historian, shed light on the cryptic symbols throughout the building.

A Bunker Built To Withstand A Nuclear War
Diefenbunker, Ontario


During the Cold War, an underground bunker was built for senior members of government in case there was a nuclear attack. Although former Prime Minister John Diefenbaker never visited his “Diefenbuker,” you can. Considered Canada’s Cold War museum, it is located in the small town of Carp, just west of Ottawa. In the 100,000 square foot labyrinth, you’ll find the Prime Minister’s personal suite, a massive bank vault, as well as the world’s largest escape room experience.

The Chance To Sleep With A Pack of Wolves
Parc Oméga, Quebec


In Quebec’s Outaouais region, at Parc Oméga, wildlife enthusiasts can actually spend the night in a luxurious lodge while the wolf pack stands guard in the grounds outside. Peep through the cabin’s panoramic windows to see what they’re up to, or head to the observation lookout to get a bird’s eye view of the wolves in their natural habitat.

A Safari For Caviar Connoisseurs
Carters Point, New Brunswick


Premium caviar is now being produced in Carters Point, New Brunswick. You also have the chance to sample it firsthand on a “caviar safari.” Each July, scientists with Acadian Sturgeon & Caviar take guests on a tour of the region. In addition to multi-course caviar tastings, you’ll see sturgeon harvesting, assist in research and enjoy a sturgeon barbecue on the beach.

The Oldest Lighthouse In North America
Sambro Island, Nova Scotia


No, the oldest lighthouse in North America is not to be found in Maine; nor is it in the Caribbean, where Columbus made landfall. Although the historic red-and-white-striped beacon can be reached by sailboat, nothing beats a helicopter expedition with Heli-Picnic Island Escape. Lifting off from Halifax Harbour, you’ll take in the striking jagged coastline before enjoying a champagne picnic near the lighthouse with your own personal sommelier

North America’s Largest Reconstruction
Louisbourg, Nova Scotia


Once one of the busiest harbours in North America (and a strategic French outpost in the New World), a visit to the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site is like stepping back in time. North America’s largest reconstruction began in 1961; today, a quarter of the original town, including its fortifications, streets, homes and gardens have been painstakingly recreated. Throw in character reenactments, and the Louisbourg experience takes you to the 1740s.

A Bird’s Eye View of Icebergs
Iceberg Nest, Quirpon Island, Newfoundland


It’s one thing to go on a boat excursion to view Newfoundland’s famed icebergs. It’s quite another to see them float underneath you. The Iceberg Nest on Quirpon Island looks like a glass box with transparent walls, ceilings and floors. In addition to marvelling at the frozen skyscrapers gliding down Iceberg Alley, you’re also likely to spot whales and dolphins (22 species migrate here each year) swimming a dizzying 100 feet below.
38 Comments
CANADA DAY
Posted:Jul 1, 2021 11:02 am
Last Updated:Jul 4, 2021 6:25 pm
16362 Views


Today is Canada Day. It is a federal statutory holiday celebrating the anniversary of the July 1, 1867 , enactment of the British North America Act, which united three colonies into a single country called Canada within the British Empire.

This year's celebrations are sombre, with the recent discovery of the remains of hundreds of Indigenous at former residential schools. Many cities and towns have scaled back or cancelled Canada Day celebrations outright to make space for those grieving the lost and forgotten.

Canadian Heritage is still holding its virtual Canada Day events, including an online concert featuring French, English and Indigenous musicians. However, as those events kick off, the flag on the Peace Tower in Ottawa will sit at half-mast.

As our Prime Minister stated, " We must reflect on our country’s historical failures and the injustices that still exist for Indigenous peoples and many others in Canada."

I will never deny that this is my home. I will be honest about our past and do my best and what is necessary to help build a better Canada.


19 Comments

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