Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

English Pronunciation

If you can pronounce correctly every word in this poem, you will be speaking English better than 90% of the native English speakers in the world. After trying the verses, a Frenchman said he’d prefer six months of hard labour to reading six lines aloud.

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.
Foeffer 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!!!

English Pronunciation by G. Nolst Trenité

Read Full Post »

I Was Born in a Small Town

Lougheed, AB

In honour of my small town, Lougheed, AB which is hosting its homecoming and centennial celebration Aug. 12-14.

You KNOW you were raised in a small town when…

1) You can name everyone you graduated with.

2) You know what 4-H means.

3) You went to parties at a pasture, barn, gravel pit, or in the middle of a dirt road. On Monday, you could always tell who was at the party because of the scratches on their legs from running through the woods when the party was busted. (See #6)

4) You used to “cruise” Main even though it was only 3 blocks long.

5) You said the “F” word and your parents knew within the hour.

6) You scheduled parties around the schedules of different police officers, because you knew which ones would bust you and which ones wouldn’t.

7) You could never buy cigarettes because all the store clerks knew how old you were (and if you were old enough, they’d tell your parents anyhow)

8. When you did find somebody old enough and brave enough to buy cigarettes, you still had to go out into the country and drive on back roads to smoke them.

9) You knew which section of the ditch you would find the beer your buyer dropped off.

10) It was cool to date somebody from the neighboring town.

11) The whole school went to the same party after graduation.

12) You didn’t give directions by street names but rather by references. Turn onto main by Bill’s, turn right at the school, turn left at Wagner’s.

13) The grocery store had 3 aisles.

14) You couldn’t help but date a friend’s ex-boyfriend/girlfriend.

15) Your car stayed filthy because of the dirt roads, and you will never own a dark vehicle for this reason.

16) The town next to you was considered “trashy” or “snooty,” but was actually just like your town.

17) You referred to anyone with a house newer then 1965 as the “rich” people.

18) The people in the “big city” dressed funny, and then you picked up the trend 2 years later.

19) Anyone you wanted could be found at the local gas station or the town bar.

20) You saw at least one friend a week driving a tractor through town or one of your friends driving a grain truck to school occasionally.

21) The gym teacher suggested you haul hay for the summer to get stronger.

22) Directions were given using THE stop light or the Co-Op as a reference (see #12). If you were born in Alberta, it was the UFA.

23) When you decided to walk somewhere for exercise, 5 people would pull over and ask if you wanted a ride.

24) Your teachers called you by your older siblings’ name.

25) Your teachers remembered when they taught your parents.

26) You could charge at any local store or write checks without any ID.

27) The closest McDonalds was 25 miles away (or more).

28) The closest mall was over an hour away.

29) It was normal to see an old man riding through town on a riding lawn mower.

30) You’ve pee’d in a corn/wheat/canola/rye field or behind a pick-up truck so the occupants couldn’t see you, unless the driver pulled ahead while you were doing your business in order to embarrass you.

31) Most people went by a nickname.

32) And the one that’s applicable to *my* hometown…the fire siren went each day at noon and every kid raced home to eat lunch while they watched the Flintstones.

Read Full Post »

Well, the weather here in Comox has been touch and go as far as sunny skies, but summer is trying to materialize. Even if the weather doesn’t always cooperate, there is no denying that it’s time to get together with friends. Fortunately for us, the weather cooperated fully yesterday and we were able to spend a beautiful afternoon with good friends at home for a BBQ and then later, we all attended a backyard concert given by Wil.

You remember Wil, right? I’ve been a groupie since BH and I first saw him perform at the

Happy Birthday!

Waverley in Cumberland last year. Well, last night’s performance was a special treat as it was unplugged with a small crowd and a beautiful setting. There was no denying it was a really down home, feel good performance by a great guy and performer. 🙂

AND it was middle daughter’s birthday, so an extra treat arrived when he performed her favorite song, “Honey Pie,” and dedicated it to her. YAY!

Read Full Post »

From the Alberta 2011 Royal Tour – Public Affairs Bureau (Brookes Merritt)

At just 6-years-old, Diamond Marshall has stalwartly endured more than her share of tragedy. Her vivacity inspires not only her father, step-mother and sister, but also her caregivers at the Alberta Children’s Hospital, and the dream-makers at the Children’s Wish Foundation.

On Thursday, Children’s Wish granted this young Calgary girl her wish of meeting a real ‘‘princess’: as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrived in her city, Diamond -who is named after Princess Diana – will present the Duchess a bouquet of flowers.

Diamond’s challenges began long before she was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer last December, at age 5. When Diamond was just 18-months-old, the life of her mother, Memory, was claimed by the same unforgiving disease.

It’s these devastating experiences that make the realization of Diamond’s wish even more significant.

“We realize she may not have the chance to go to Disneyland where she wants to lunch with Princess Aurora of the fabled story Sleeping Beauty,” Lyall wrote in May, in a letter to the Children’s Wish Foundation.

Dream Come True

“Should the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge just happen to swing by for a little visit, it would go a long way for helping her spirits, her surrounding family and friends. She is in awe of Princess Kate’s fairytale-like story,” he wrote.

Diamond also wrote a letter – to the Duchess, from her hospital bed.

“I was named after Princess Diana. My mommy memory is in heaven with her,” she wrote. “I watched you get married from my bed. My favourite princess is Aurora, who is yours? I would really like to meet you. Do you want to meet me too?”

Lyall’s letter tells of the shock, sadness and anger that followed his daughter’s diagnosis of undifferentiated sarcoma last December. He and his wife Danielle had become worried after noticing Diamond’s belly distended. They took her to hospital where an aggressive abdominal tumour was detected, along with several cancerous masses in her lungs.

Before treatment could commence, the tumors began to bleed. Diamond’s life was in immediate danger. She underwent two back-to-back angioplasty surgeries and spent several weeks in hospital recovering, re-learning how to talk, walk and eat all over again.

In the time since, Diamond has returned to school, eager to pick-up a badminton racquet in gym class and show off her favourite outfit – a pink princess dress and cowboy boots. She continues to receive cancer treatment and is scheduled for surgery to have the tumour removed from her abdomen later this summer.

The Children’s Wish Foundation has granted exceptional wishes to more than 17,000 children with life-threatening illnesses since 1984. The AB & NWT Chapter grants 125 wishes a year; granting one wish every three days to a local child.

UPDATE on Diamond…

Further UPDATE

Read Full Post »

Newspaper Ads…

8 years old.
Hateful little bastard.

1/2 Cocker Spaniel,
1/2 sneaky neighbour’s dog.

FREE PUPPIES.                    
Mother is a Kennel Club registered German Shepherd.
Father is a Super Dog, able to leap tall fences in a single bound.

Must sell washer and dryer £100.

Worn once by mistake.
Call Stephanie.

Complete set of Encyclopaedia
Britannica, 45 volumes.
Excellent condition, £200 or best offer.
No longer needed, got married, wife knows everything.

Read Full Post »


Some informational tidbits to share…

Remy at rest - RARE!

1. Our house is officially sold! This is a load of stress off our minds…now we only need to secure a dream house on the other end and all will be well on that front. Not only are we looking for something with lots of light, 4 bedrooms, and 3 bathrooms, there must be space for the baby grand, as well. Oh, and a fenced backyard for Remy as he spends 75% of his day outside. What a great little dog he’s turned out to be. 🙂

2. The girls’ Royal Conservatory of Music examination results for their piano are in…BDs all passed with either Honours or First Class Honours and the eldest has earned her first 4 high school credits by taking the examination for Grade Seven Piano.

3. The official swim year with the Sharks has nearly ended. The banquet was on Sunday and eldest daughter received “Most Improved” in her age category while the youngest received the

Coach's Award with Coach Brian. Absent is Coach Tove who is currently coaching the Dawson Creek Seals.

“Coach’s Award” for her dedication, commitment, attitude and excellence. Go Sharks!

4. Though there is still snow on the mountains which makes for a cool breeze, it seems that summer is finally thinking about sticking around. Happy Days!

Will keep you posted on our comings and goings, I promise. Until then, wear your sunscreen!

Read Full Post »

Another school year is officially done! Wow. The time has flown and not just this year, but all the years past. I can hardly believe that my eldest is entering grade nine next year. Where did the time go?

At any rate, the greatest beauty of homeschooling is picking our own curriculum, so over the next week or two, BDs and I will be scouring though websites and catalogues looking for items and topics of interest. The second greatest beauty of homeschooling is that we can learn year round. This has always worked well for us in that the girls don’t have the opportunity to become bored over the summer.

Q: How does a homeschooler change a light bulb?

A: First, mom checks out three books on electricity out of the library, then the kids make models of light bulbs, read a biography of Thomas Edison and do a skit based on his life.

Next, everyone studies the history of lighting methods, wrapping up with dipping their own candles.

Next, everyone takes a trip to the store where they compare types of bulbs as well as prices and figure out how much change they’ll get if they buy two bulbs for $1.99 and pay with a five dollar bill.

On the way home, a discussion develops over the history of money and also Wilfred Laurier, as his picture is on the five dollar bill.

Finally, after building a homemade ladder out of branches dragged from the woods during a nature walk, the light bulb is installed.

And then…there is light!

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »