At the memorial, I had set up posters I’d made of my mother’s life.
On June 12, I retired from my working life (See my Ode to My Ex-Work Day posted on June 11), the last 14 having been in the teaching profession. Here I am on my last day of work (I’m on the right, with my co-worker Elia Pimentel on the left):
The picture above and the following picture were taken at a last-day luncheon in the cafeteria. There was a cake for those staff members who would be leaving:
Of course, it was a transition for the students too, who would now transition to the next grade level. In our 1st/2nd grade classroom, the students prepare for summer vacation.
My last view of the primary wing of the school, where I had worked my last two years:
Also in June, my family sold the summer home in Wisconsin that we had owned for 50 years. June 13-15 were my last days there, as we prepared for the transition to a new owner:
The beautiful transition from summer to autumn, with the fall’s brilliant colors, reminded me that life constantly changes, that our world is always in transition.
Some transitions are joyous occasions, while others are bittersweet.
This week’s word is portmanteau. It has two meanings. The first comes from combining two French words: porter, which means “to carry” and manteau, which means “mantle” or “cloak” – in other words, clothes. So the first definition of portmanteau is a large suitcase to carry your clothes in.
Notice that the end of “porter” was cut off when combining it with manteau. This may serve as an example of the second definition, which is “to combine two words to make a new, related word.”
Examples in English:
smoke + fog = smog breakfast + lunch = brunch It’s different from a compound word, which combines two words together in their entirety, e.g. sunflower, raindrop.
Two more examples: information + commercial = infomercial
situation + comedy = sitcom
Can you think of any others?
You can make up your own portmanteau words – maybe they’ll go mainstream!!
The web site dictionary.com says that the second definition of portmanteau was created by Lewis Carroll (real name Charles L. Dodgson, born 1832, died 1898) for the kind of words he invented for “Jabberwocky”(1872): (noun) “two meanings packed up into one word.”
Cee’s Fun Photo Challenge: Nov. 17, 2015 – orange and green
There are so many possibilities for this topic because this has been one of the most beautiful autumns here in Midwestern USA that I can remember. I took many walks on which I took lots of pictures, and my husband and I also took a road trip to southwestern Michigan in October. Here are some of the orange and green highlights:
I chose this short word, “swot”, because I came to know of its existence while playing Classic Words Free, a version of Scrabble, on my android this week. My opponent is the computer and it tells me if a word is invalid. When I have letters that don’t quite make a word I know, I make up a word that sounds like it could be a real word, and let the computer tell me if it’s legit or not.
So it was with the word “swot”: I was building off a “T” in the top line, three spaces away from a triple word score. I tried various combinations of the letters I had, making sure one of my tiles covered that red square (so I couldn’t use the words STOW or TOWS). And if I was going to get a triple word score, I wanted to use my “W”, my only tile worth more than 1 point. SWOT seemed like a word, although I’d never heard of it. The computer accepted it!
Definition 2: (verb) To study or work hard (used without object; swotted, swotting) Definition 3: (noun) a student who studies diligently, especially to the exclusion of other activities; grind. Definition 4: hard study or hard work; strong effort
Origin: (1840-50) variation of “sweat”
(The origin of the word “swat”, however, is older: 1790s – a variation of “squat”.)
The first thing that immediately comes to my mind when I think of the word “ornate” is Catherine’s Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia. Like many royal palaces, this is a showcase of luxury, with room after room of walls decorated with gold. This style was particularly fashionable during the Baroque period, during which the majority of Catherine’s Palace was constructed.
These pictures are just representative of the many ornate Baroque decorations found in this palace. The outside of the palace was also done in ornate Baroque style.
With this display of luxury, I could see why the Russians had a revolution!
One of the rooms of Catherine’s Palace is “The Amber Room”, where photography was not allowed. This room is decorated from floor to ceiling using pieces of amber in various colors. This is a beautiful example of ornate at Catherine’s Palace. (Note: I downloaded these pictures from Google, since we were not allowed to take pictures in the Amber Room.)
On the other hand, ornate does not have to mean “ostentatious”. When I was in Spain in 2010, our group of students visited Granada in the south, particularly the Moorish palace La Alhambra. This palace has been preserved for centuries due to European cultural sensibility, recognizing that such beauty should be preserved for future generations. The Muslims believe that nothing endures forever, except Allah. For this reason, their palaces were not made to be preserved for posterity. Furthermore, they did not “show off” their wealth like the European royals, such as the Russian czars. The outside of the palace of La Alhambra was not ornately decorated – it was stately and formidable, but the walls were plain, completely free of decoration. It was only when you were invited in that you would see the beauty of design.
Below are some pictures I took inside La Alhambra, exquisite examples of ornate.
The Throne Hall was the most important part of the palace, in which important meetings were held and important visitors were received. On the lower part of the walls are beautiful ceramic mosaics. Each mosaic is made up of smaller cut pieces, each one a solid color. In the middle of the wall are messages in Arabic, from the Koran. One of them says ¨”There is no other victor than Allah” which is repeated over 5000 times in the Alhambra. The Throne Hall is the most original part of the palace, that is, it contains more of the original designs and architecture than anywhere else at the Alhambra.
Ornate is a totally human concept, I think. In nature you do not find examples of ornate. Nature’s beauty is in its majesty, color and simplicity. In fact, it is in nature that I find the the most wondrous beauty of all.