SYW: Grammar, Genets, Sibs, & Alter Egos

Monday Melanie starts 2022 with the following Share Your World questions:

What frivolous, but annoying thing that people do be considered a sin (crime)?  
And how should violators be made to repent (be punished) for it?   

Confuse possessives with plurals by adding an apostrophe where it does not belong!!This is extremely common these days. Don’t they teach grammar in elementary school anymore or were these people asleep in class? It should be a crime, punishable by having to spend a whole day in a grammar class in which the attendees would write out many examples of both plurals and possessives, using all the rules for making plurals and possessives in the English language.

Cake’s is not a word, although the supermarket would have you think so! What belongs to the cake? Frosting? A message written on the top? No. They mean simply “more than one cake” which is a plural. The rule in this case is to add an “s” to the end of the word, NO APOSTROPHE! I have a dear friend that makes this mistake all the time and it drives me crazy!! But I don’t tell him about it because he would feel I am just lecturing him in my teacher mode! At the very least, he’d be embarrassed and since I only see his writing in emails, I’m letting it slide. There is one common exception to this rule which confuses a lot of people: its and it’s. “Its” is the possessive. (Its paws, its timing, etc.) “It’s” is a contraction of “it is.” If it doesn’t make sense to substitute “it is” where you’ve written “it’s” in a sentence, then correct it by removing the apostrophe.

Imagination IN and impracticality and logic aside, if you could pick one animal to have as an exotic pet based solely on how cute and adorable it is, what would it be?

A genet. I had never heard of this species until I went on a safari trip in Tanzania, and at one of the lodges, the owners had genets (they left food out for them so the genets would hang around) who would crawl out onto the rafters and stare at the people below. They look like cats, which is probably why I like them so much, but they are not cats. However, they are so CUTE!!

A genet looks down on diners at Ndutu Safari Lodge.

Do you have any siblings?  If so, where do you rank in birth order?  And do you think either of these facts contributed to the person you became?

I am the youngest of 5. I have three older sisters and one older brother. I’m sure it contributed to the person I became, because I tended to get away with stuff more often than the others. And I was the rebel, or “black sheep” of the family, so I think I made my mother rethink all of her child-rearing methods that she had developed raising four other children before me. Letting me excuse myself from dinner because “we eat so late” and I wanted to watch a TV show during that time. (Not sitting with the family during dinner was always verboten!) And letting the cat stay with me in bed instead of making him sleep in the garage. Things like that, I was able to get away with. Still, I fought a lot with my mother, but not my dad – he was always calm and hated conflict. Then my siblings, one by one, went away to school, and I ended up with only my brother, or alone, living at home with my parents. I think that had an effect also. I loved one of my sisters the most, and always wanted to stay up until she got home from school so I could see her right away. It was hard when she went away, because she served as a buffer between my brother and me. My brother teased me mercilessly, and I wanted that sister at home to comfort me, to distract me with songs or games.

We all have things that make us happy, but what makes you deliriously, giddily, tail wagging-ly happy?

I wish it were my grandchildren, but I don’t have any. It is my cat that makes me the most happy, although I wouldn’t say “giddy” – I love to watch her antics, to play with her, to hear her purr when I stroke her. Speaking of wagging, did you know that cats wag their tails? People associate wagging with dogs, but my cat does wag her tail by flipping it back and forth when she is content. It’s almost an unconscious gesture, because if I pet her when she is almost asleep, her tail starts flipping.

Who could resist a face like this? This is my adorable fur baby Hazel.

If you had an alter ego, who or what would it be?  Describe some fun or interesting things about them!

I don’t know if my alter ego would be male or female. I guess I would want her/him to have the skills and personality characteristics that are the opposite of mine. My alter ego would be confident, organized, and a risk-taker. (S)he would do things I would never do, such as ziplining, hang gliding, going on archaeological digs, and white water rafting. (S)he would be athletic and agile (unlike me) and be an excellent photographer. (S)he’d have a blog, far more exciting than mine, about traveling all over the world. At home, (s)he would have an awesome job: graphic designing, travel consultant, linguist or anthropologist, famous novelist or painter, architect designing eco-friendly buildings. (S)he would get involved in environmental projects that would really make a difference in preserving species from extinction or mitigating the effects of climate change.

I guess my “alter ego” would be damn near perfect!! 🙂 😀

What are some hopes or accomplishments you’d like to see happen in 2022?
My number one priority is for the federal government to really get serious about mitigating climate change, and that the population in general become more aware so they can pollute less and love our planet more! I have many other hopes, but I’m afraid they are just pipe dreams: Trump and his cronies get convicted for corruption, lying under oath, and deception of the public. Everyone gets vaccinated against Covid-19 so no new variants have a chance to take hold and wreak havoc. And a personal accomplishment would be for me to waste less time, so that I have time for all the things I “don’t have time” to do! And that the exciting trips I have booked for this year don’t get cancelled!!

Bloganuary, Day 4 (But I Never Got 1-3!): A Childhood Passion

Today’s Bloganuary prompt is What was your favorite toy as a child?

I have come to believe that whatever your interest or passion as a child, even if you don’t follow that passion for many years, will come back to you sometime in adulthood, and you will have a chance to pursue it once again and hone your skill.

My favorite toy, although not really a toy, was reams of paper that my dad picked up at the local newspaper’s office. It was left over from what the newspaper used to print each edition of the paper. My dad knew I would be happy to put it to good use. Along with pencils and crayons, this paper was the material I used to create my drawings and writings. I wrote little books, usually about my family or an experience I had, such as a basketball game, and illustrated them.

This image was downloaded from Google Images.

A few years ago, going through some of my mother’s stuff, I found several of these little books, which my mom had had stiff covers put on to preserve them. I haven’t been able to throw them out! I guess I will leave that to my kids to sort out after I’m dead. At that point, I will no longer care!

As I got older, my stories were longer and usually fictional. I wrote a “book” of several chapters when I was in junior high – I typed it and illustrated it. It was about a girl who meets a boy when visiting California and they are separated when she has to go back home to Wisconsin. Did he love her as she loved him? That was for her to find out (typical young teenage preoccupation!).

I have always loved drawing and writing. I kept a diary for many years when I was a kid, and I still journal, although not nearly as often as I would like to. I also have started writing projects which I keep meaning to get back to. Some day they will all be stored on flash drives and my kids can either read them or discard them. Maybe they will entertain or enlighten someone. Anyway, I enjoyed doing them! Currently I spend more time drawing and painting than writing. I am not very good at painting yet, but have done several watercolors, such as the one below.

Watercolor, finished in July 2021

SYW: HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Melanie has holiday-related questions this week for Share Your World.

  1. What is your least favorite holiday side dish?  (for any holiday)
    Anything with raisins. Also, I am not fond of peas and pearl onions. I like onions, but it’s a dish that’s not worth putting on my plate with so many other more delicious choices!
  2. What is the ugliest or most tasteless decoration you’ve ever seen?
    Those over-the-top decorations with a million lights that light up the entire neighborhood! Also, it’s kind of incongruous to see Santa Claus flying down to the Holy Family in a manger!
This house in Rolling Meadows, IL won the annual Daily Herald (local newspaper) holiday decoration contest in 2020.
Partial view of the same house
  • What is a cherished or unusual (either or both) family tradition from your childhood?   
    Watching the black-and-white 1950s version of the operetta Amahl and the Night Visitors. My siblings & I watched it so many times that we practically memorized it! (You can find the 1951 version, the 1963 version and a newer version on You Tube.)
  • You’re walking down the street, feeling great — what holiday song would be playing in the background? All I Want for Christmas Is You.

GRATITUDE SECTION    (Always optional)

 Feel Free To Share Anything That You’d Like Today!   Wish Someone A Happy Holiday!  Our Moorings choir sang this to end our concert this year for the residents of our community. Of course, the video is not of us!! But it’s the same version we did. It’s a nice, upbeat song, so I wish you…and you, and you, and you, happy, happy, happy holidays!!

MERRY CHRISTMAS (or whatever you celebrate this season) AND HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!!

SYW: Colors, Back to the Future, Holiday Parties

UNVARNISHED QUESTIONS from Melanie’s weekly Share Your World!

If you had the power to strike one person in your life permanently speechless, who would it be? (Real names aren’t necessary, vague descriptions are fine… and yes, this is being asked in fun and not to be mean). Donald Trump


If you could relive your childhood over again, what’s one thing from this modern world world today you’d want to take back with you?
My computer/word processor. Writing would have been so much easier!

Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple are the standard colors of the rainbow.
Name something you love (or greatly admire/appreciate) for all six major colors of the rainbow! (Sorry indigo, you’re just blue-purple.  Hot pink?  You’re too flashy!)

Red: apples and tomatoes – because they are delicious to eat!
Orange: Zinnias and Dahlias – they are pretty and bright!
Yellow: bananas – I eat one every morning! Also daffodils – because they are the harbingers of spring.
Green: trees & grass – the primary color of nature
Blue: sky – because it means the sun is shining!
Purple: my parka which used to be my sister’s but she passed away and I got many of her clothes – it still reminds me of her!
All 6: M&Ms (except purple, which is brown instead). I love to sort them by color and eat them one by one.

If you were to open the world’s most accurate fortune cookie, what would your fortune inside it read?
You will lead a good life and travel a lot, but also bear the consequences of many of your decisions.

Santa’s tired of people leaving him out cookies and milk on Christmas Eve night!  If you really wanted to get on Santa’s good side, what would you leave out for him to eat/drink instead? (This question applies whether you celebrate Christmas or not.  It’s just for fun, so imagination?  Welcome!  )

A good, cold glass of beer (Santa seems to be more of a beer person than a wine person), hot tomato vegetable soup, steak dinner, and a cup of hot chocolate!

GRATITUDE SECTION (Still optional)

What plans do you have for the upcoming holiday/celebration/festival season?    
Socializing in a party atmosphere with co-residents, even if we still need to wear masks! Also, going to plays and concerts again!

A friend’s holiday party two years ago!

SYW: Pillow Talk, Piñatas, Summer Night Irritations, & Being Free as a Bird

Here are Melanie’s Share Your World questions for the week:

QUESTIONS

How many pillows do you sleep with?  If over one or two, is it because you sleep better ‘propped up’ a little?
I have a chronic mucus build-up in my sinuses and throat which no meds totally work for. It is often, inconveniently, worse at night. I like to read in bed before I go to sleep, so I prop myself with two pillows. When I go to sleep, I use mainly the “My Pillow” I bought at Costco years ago (before I knew the CEO’s politics!). It creates a depression for my neck and poofs up around each side of my face. I’m a back sleeper, so I mostly use that pillow plus a foam wedge to stay a bit elevated. I also use a small pillow under my knees, and if I turn onto my side, I put that pillow between my knees. On my side, I tend to also use a firmer pillow to reduce strain on my neck and shoulders. So, in total, not counting the wedge, I use three pillows. (If one ends up on the floor, I shake it out before using because a person is never more than 18″ from a spider.)

What would be the worst thing you could put in a piñata?
Olives. Also raisins. But olives would be worse, because they’d be messier! If raisins weren’t picked up by the greedy kids, at least birds would eat them. I don’t think birds eat olives, though, so uncollected olives would litter the ground.

What noise annoys you the most?
A mosquito buzzing in my ear. I remember many summer nights at our cottage up north, when mosquitoes would sometimes get in, because people were constantly opening doors to come in or go out. The mosquito would always find its way to my ear and face. As soon as it started buzzing, I would sit up with a start. Sometimes I would have to actually get up and turn on the light, and try to find the offending insect in order to kill it. Mostly, though, I would put my head completely under the sheet, which also made me lose sleep because I like fresh air when I sleep.

Was a mosquito this big in May (2020) a sign of a season of overly robust mosquitoes?

If cartoon physics suddenly replaced real physics, what are some things you would want to try?
Floating or flying in the air, with no fear of falling. I would like to experience what it would be like to be a bird. I would be able to take the direct routes to places I would like to visit, saving me airport and airplane hassles!

GRATITUDE SECTION (as always, OPTIONAL)

Please share something good that has happened to you over the past month.
The weather has been unseasonably warm in late Oct.-early Nov. (which I know is a sign of climate change, but I liked it anyway!)

My son has been clean & sober nearly five months and recently got a job as a production assistant for a studio. As he says, it’s entry-level, but it’s a foot in the door of the field he wants to work in, and hopefully it means no more dead-end retail and food service jobs!

SYW: Graveyards, Scary Books, Black Cats, and Multiple Dimensions

Here it is, the end of the week, and I am only now getting around to participating in Melanie’s Share Your World!

Here are her Halloween-themed questions:’

Name something you wouldn’t want to run into in a dark forest or in an abandoned building  (yeah it’s a retread.  But there are new participants to SYW too who probably never answered it)
Anyone with a gun, knife, or other weapon. On the other hand, I wouldn’t go into a dark forest or abandoned building by myself for fear of running into such a person.

Do you believe in multiple dimensions or worlds?
Yes. There are definitely other “worlds” (planets) outside our solar system – several have already been discovered. With the number of stars just in our galaxy alone, I think it is highly probable that life exists on many of these planets. As for multiple dimensions, some scientists are exploring the idea of multiple universes or life mimicking our own in some other dimension. Don’t we already have at least four dimensions? And I remember the rock band The 5th Dimension. That’s enough proof for me!

Would you ever go to a graveyard at night?
I don’t know why I would do that, although I do enjoy exploring graveyards & cemeteries in the daytime. There are so many stories of past lives to contemplate there.

Graveyard in France

What is the most frightening book you’ve ever read?
I tend not to read really scary books. I’ve seen a few very scary movies, but they only last a couple of hours while typically I take at least a week to read a book – and I like to read before I go to bed!! I once decided to join a Halloween book group which was reading Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill. I think I had read 20 pages or so and had to stop because it was too creepy and scary for me! I have never tried to participate in a scary book group again!

BONUS QUESTION (just for silliness’ sake!)

 If you could have a spooky Halloween pet (black cat, owl, bat, rat, wolf), which would you pick out of the five choices? No contest – a black cat. I love cats!

GRATITUDE SECTION (As always, optional)
What are you grateful for?  
My “tortie” cat, Hazel, who is mostly black!