Sunday, June 25, 2023

The Joy of words

On Wednesday I bought the book "The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows." It has added a good deal of Joy to my week. I wrote about the book in an earlier post so I won't bore you with repetition. Writing lots of words strung together and contemplating individual words give me a lot of Joy.

Fortunately we were spared the snow in Northern Ontario in late June. My heart grieves for all the flowers in bloom that were lost. I have taken more time to enjoy mine this week, as a result.

I handed my 65,500 word novel over to a book evaluator. I will go with her opinion. The price isn't cheap, but it seems fair and she comes recommended from a friend. There is Joy in moving forward.

I had the opportunity to give away one of my shawls again this week. My niece in Scotland is graduating from university July 1. Help, I needed a gift. I know she crochets and I had one crocheted shawl in my collection. I had designed it in a blue laceweight merino and silk yarn using a diamond motif. I'll have to post the picture later, when I've downloaded it from another computer. I somehow remember it in pink - maybe it was a test sample. Anyway, I had told her mother it was in pink, so I included the written pattern and two balls of apricot yarn for her to crochet another, if she likes. I was able to put it altogether and get it mailed off to Scotland on Monday. 

My Joy was in actually finding this shawl in tact; finding the original pattern, being able to squeeze more yarn into the box and getting it all shipped out at least ten days before the event. So glad the stars aligned!!

I booked a week's vacation with family in Collingwood for a few days. I'm hoping that the weather is better than the last time - March 2022. Well, it should at least be warmer. I'll take a jigsaw puzzle just in case and maybe some needlework, if I can fit it all in. John Koenig's word Idlewild "feeling grateful to be stranded in a place where you can't do much of anything" is a perfect description for my time away. OK, our unit comes with a shared swimming pool and there is the resort village and some walks along the Bruce Trail. I'll think about these while I relax with my projects.

Between orders at work, housework, garden work, coffee with friends and a myriad of small chores, life has been joyous!!

Now to select just one for the Joy Jar. I think that it has to be getting my gift off to my niece. There are times when life hands you lemons and there are times when you can just pick apples from a tree (in season). I think that the gift was a realization of the fruits of my labour coming to fruition :)

Have a fruitful day.

Friday, June 23, 2023

Copiadymis or...

 Dynamopia as substitutes for Koenig's word "The Til" meaning "that reservoir of opportunities still available to you at this point in your life."

Yes, we do need a word for what energy remains in our bodies to explore, pursue, develop, create. It must, though, be a dynamic word, something with enough force to stir our limbs crippled with age, our wills beset with inertia, and our minds confused with distractions.


I'm not sure copiadymus is right. It's from the Latin - copia - storehouse and dynamus - dynamic. I like the idea of having a storehouse of energy to draw on, but copiadymus is too long and dynamopia is too negative.

I'm sure I'll think of something to stir my mind to plan a trip to walk The Camino de Santiago or do some house sitting somewhere far away or simply go away for the Winter.

Koenig's "The Til" unfortunately won't get me off the sofa. Now, I love the the concept of the cache or cash. I have worked in retail too long not to love the "money drawer." OK sometimes you need a little cached cash to get you started exploring or pursuing. I follow a FB group of woman travellers over 50 who travel solo. Too many in their 70s are "doing the Camino de Santiago." It has been on my bucket list for a while. I think I have to start pacing it out, as it were. I know I can walk 10ks a day. Is that realistic? Can I push it to 15? How long would it take me? 

What about "thrusteverest"? The push to realize your most challenging dreams. OK, it's not fancy from Latin, Greek or some other exotic academia (contradiction in terms :) ) - but neither is "Til."

"My thrusteverest has brought me to these heights. I hope there's enough left to get me back to base camp!"

The pictures? Hikes I have taken. Trails I have followed. T(h)rust ever in the belief that you can do it and the superlative "est" will fall into place.

Have a challenging day!

Thursday, June 22, 2023


 ...or the soul talking. I'm still completely overwhelmed by "The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows." I can spend half an hour or more contemplating one word. This morning I browsed through a few in the first ten pages and came upon "jouska" from the French "jusqu'a" - until. It's a comment on the interior monologues most of us have from time to time - OK I have them daily.

Here you create the perfect conversation, retort, repartee in your mind. You are always eloquent full of bon mots and perfect quotes. The author compares this verbal jousting to baseball's batting cage. It's the practice run, where you hit the homers, before the big game. Once out on the field of life, though, you often advance through a few bunts, a stolen base, or a ho-hum walk. Those batting cage home runs are rare.

I love Koenig's comparison of our inner thoughts to Baseball. It's one of the few sports I like. I'm not sure why he chose the term "jouska," though. It's close to jousting, however, it's from the French word for "until." Perhaps it means that you can be great alone, in your mind, until you have to face the real world, where all your glory is significantly diminished. Jouska is also close to "jest" or "jesting." Some of those monologues can be really funny!

I prefer the term "sermanimus" from the Latin sermocinatio - talk or conversation and animus - soul. It's more of your mind or soul speaking. Maybe you are saying what you really feel - often something you can't say in public. It has the overtones of a sermon, a mental oration to yourself. What it's missing is the actual public performance of the speech - maybe best left unsaid.

Yes, sermanimus is a murmur, something to enjoy in your head, while venting your soul, but kept to yourself unless you have a soulmate.

"My first sermanimus today was a mental discussion with the bank that cancelled a joint credit card. I pointed out their lack of customer service, could lose a customer." In reality, when I went to the bank, they couldn't have cared less. You need a whole lot of money in this world to make a difference.

This treatment of nondescript, unmoneyed beings begs another word. Something that crystallizes the feeling of being left out, ignored, even insulted for being a pain in the batt(l)ing cage to authorities.

The picture? The baseball patch for my daughter's quilt.

Have a thoughtful day!

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Words, words and more words.....

 Today I bought "The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows" by John Koenig. I have mentioned this book before in an earlier post. It's a must read for anyone interested in words. Basically, it is a lexicon of terms the author has coined to deal with those feelings we all have, but are unable to express because there aren't words for them.

The "sorrow" in the title is partly because our common language - English - is missing so many words to describe complex emotions and partly because struggling through life might not seem so lonely, if we had the words to share our common experiences.

The author's words, though uncommon, are offered to create a common understanding among us. For example, the word "trumspringa" was coined to describe the concept of our thoughts wandering off from our career path or current occupation to dream of owning a small farm, living off the grid, being a shepherd in the mountains......etc.

I'm not a fan of the actual word, but I am guilty of daydreaming almost constantly. I dream of creating a new Giverny (Monet's garden) somewhere in Southern Ontario or living out the Winter writing in some warm, secluded place.

Koenig created the word from a "mash-up" of the German word for city centre "stadtzentrum" and the Pennsylvania Dutch (German) word "rumspringa" - to hop around, presumably out of the city or out of our confined life style. I think that I might go with a word like "somnity" from the Latin, somnium, for dreams or nonsense. The word has that sense of drifting, floating to places in your mind that may never be realized. These daydreams or nonsensical notions take us from the tasks at hand, making life a little more bearable perhaps.

"Today my somnity took me to a small cottage in Devon, where I gathered roses."

Have a sominous day!

Saturday, June 17, 2023

The Joy of Plenty

This week it rained. I have been praying for rain for weeks now. Well my prayers have been answered. I have also been praying for a lot of other "things;" I guess rain was the easiest to deliver.  :)

The garden needed rain. This is the Yin Yang of gardening. We need rain. It comes (in torrents) and destroys the garden. The peonies drop, as do the roses and the more delicate ornamentals. I had to restake a Rose of Sharon too many times.

Still, it's better to see them hydrated, than parched. In fact, it has been a week not just of plenty of rain. It has been a week of plenty - period.

1. Plenty of rain!! OK I have repeated this, but then it did rain ALL week!

2. Plenty of connections!! Last Sunday I chatted to a friend for an hour, while I worked out a strategy to connect with my sister-in-law, who had missed our Sunday call. This is why we stay "connected" because if someone doesn't respond, we have to know why. We had a plan, however, we didn't have to use it!! It was simply a case of being involved and distracted. She called two hours later.....whew


3. Plenty of connections (part 2). Shortly after I chatted with my sister-in-law, my friend from England rang. This is 5:00pm our time and 11:00pm UK time. We go back a long time, (yes time tends to repeat itself. :) ) We met in our twenties. She will be 80 this month. Where has the time gone....and how can we get it back!!

4. Plenty of connections (part 3). I met with another friend for tea. I have followed her family connections for almost 20 years now. It's always so enriching to share our stories.

5. Finally, on Friday, I met with another friend, I haven't seen in 4 or 5 years. We go back to elementary school. It's one of those relationships where we pick up where we left off. Plenty of time spent reviewing the past and discussing the future!!

6. I spent "plenty of time" going over my novel. A friend gave me the connection to a person who evaluates books, before you spend the time and money to edit them. This is an invaluable connection.

7. I have plenty of roses in my garden. So much better than last year. I gave them plenty of manure in the Fall and the Spring. In turn they are giving me plenty of Joy right now.

Thank you so much for putting up with my harvest of plenty(s). I promise to chose another word next time..." :)

It's hard to pick just one of these for the Joy Jar this week, bit I think that it has to be "rain." It is the elixir to enhance all the other Joys!!

The plentiful garden.

Sunday, June 11, 2023

Joy is a week of "many splendoured" things.....

 .....From several weeks of trying to "frack" Joy from the slate of "nothing interesting to report," there comes the motherload of refinable Joys.

1. My son has spent five splendid days with us. He was out East (from Calgary) for a wedding and stayed with us for a whole week before going back home!! Totally awesome!!

2. His purchase of 80 acres in Northern Ontario finally closed - nothing is ever simple. He and his partner plan to take possession in the Spring of 2024 to homestead there. It is an exciting time!

3. My sister is recovering from very complicated surgery. It went well, but had more steps than were anticipated. The Joy is in knowing she will make a full recovery and that I don't have to go to Hamilton, meet my nephew, who has vertigo, and try to get us both up "The Mountain" to see her. There is a Go-bus from Guelph that leaves every hour and is the price of parking a car at the hospital. He will take that. I will go later to see her in Guelph.

4. My roses are in bloom. More Joy from the garden!!

5. Joined a FB group of solo women travellers over 50!! It has given me itchy feet. Many people in the group are in their 80s and still travelling solo!!

6. Solved Wordle on the second try. Bought a lottery ticket....didn't win. The yin and yang of Joy.

7. Made pizza on the BBQ from scratch. Everyone loved it!!

8. It was also a Joyous week of friends. Between cell-phone and landline, I had conversations with 3 friends within an hour - two at the same time, while my youngest was asking how much of the apple tree should he cut down for the new patio umbrella. Joy in its most concentrated form - just add water (or wine) to spread it out!!

Now to select just one for my Joy Jar. Of course, it has to be that my son stayed with us for five days. It was a wonderful visit!!

Monday, June 05, 2023

The Joy of Spring 2024....

 ...OK, I keep a gardening journal to remind me of what I need to do next Spring. Rearranging a garden is a little like rearranging a room, except that it's usually done in Spring and can take 2 or 3 years to see the results. The picture below is the result of an entry in my journal for Spring 2023. I needed to change the location of the Hosta and the Rudbeckia in a back bed. The Hosta is low growing and the Rudbeckia, when in flower, is well above the Hosta, although, it doesn't appear this way in the picture, (it's early for Rudbeckia). So one mild April day, I swapped their places. I like the results.

Now, of course, I see that the peony needs to be moved and I have to fill in the empty space with Bleeding Heart, Astilbe and Lady's Mantle. I'm remaking what was once a flourishing vegetable garden into a shade garden. New neighbours planted trees, now tall enough to block out my sun to the south. Did I mention that they have three screaming kids, as well  - gardening in the city is a challenge and enjoying one's garden in peace is an even a greater challenge.

There were a few other chores to be completed from my journal for "Spring 2023." One was another "swap" of Hosta and Daylilies, which I have done. I didn't manage to "remove a large Hosta" - actually two, so they will go back into the journal for 2024, unless, I get really frustrated one day and decide to just take an axe to them.

I was also planning to redo a back "patio" next year. It's an area largely used for storage. But, we had robbed it of it's "good" stones to extend the patio near the house, so "something" had to be done with the remaining space. Well, as fate would have it (must have a word with the three sisters), I needed a place to replant some Rudbeckia from a ratty area in front of a back bench and also some Hosta dug up from the front.

Enter, the storage area of missing stones!! - half flagstone, half dirt and the most forlorn bit of Earth I have ever seen - well at least in my garden. Yes, forlorn pieces of earth exist almost everywhere. It breaks my heart!

Once I'm on a mission, little can stop me. So, after the remaining stones were lifted, I planted the Hosta and Rudbekia. I then dumped the stones, some were quite heavy, in an area that will be repurposed for storage near the compost bins and "bob's your uncle" or maybe "Nick's your son" because I'm hoping that he will relay the stones in the new area.

 Now, what to add to the Joy Jar for this week. I think it has to be my planting and replanting, as well as my garden journal. Also it's the fulfillment of the notes, I had made last year and knowing that the entries, I made this week, will bring me Joy in 2024.

Have a joyous week!!