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!!

Looking Up in 2021!

Becky has a new Square challenge – square photos of something that contains the word UP!

With the turnover of midnight on January 1, a new year – and hopefully a better one – begins and I like to think that things are looking up! So here are my first contributions for this monthlong challenge, with the theme looking up!

Tuesday Photo Challenge & CFFC: Eye Candy

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week begins a series exploring the five senses. This week is sight. She says: As the saying goes, a picture worth a thousand words. Think of photos you can take or have already taken that remind you of a fabulous sight. I like to call it “Eye Candy”. Several of the photos I picked out are of animals, which is conveniently the topic of Dutch Goes the Photo’s Tuesday Photo Challenge.

A romantic couple: Swans make a “heart” after mating, in one of our community ponds.
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Cheetah mom and cub frolic in Tanzania:
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After watching these two gamboling for about half an hour, I decided the cheetah is now my favorite wild animal!SONY DSC
In a close second place are these adorable genets, who reside at Ndutu Safari Lodge.  They looked down at us with such curious faces, and sat up there so quietly observing the humans down below.
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My youngest “grandcat” Freddie – how can I help falling in love with this guy??
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Here is my own beautiful cat, Hazel! This is an early photo of her, but it has always been my favorite.
This is a beautiful picture of Hazel!
This is a more recent photo of her, taken in our new house.
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I guess it’s clear that I just love cats in general! (Genets are not cats, but they sort of look like cats.)

More eye candy is to be found in the beauty of nature.

A sunset in Tanzania
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Cathedral Rock as seen from the campus of Verde Valley School, Sedona, Arizona DSCF2997
Flowers: at Chicago Botanic Gardens
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Dahlia at Point Defiance Park, Tacoma, WADSC02442
I love to look at beautiful works of humankind as well.

In St. Matthias Church, Budapest
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If I had to lose either my sight or my hearing, I think I would choose being deaf than missing out on the beauties of our world.

October Squares: Animals of Tanzania

For,  Becky’s October Squares challenge: Squares & Lines, here is a rear view of a zebra in Tanzania…DSC03835 (2).JPG
the lines that ring a genet’s tail,
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lines on a lizard,
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lines that encircle an owl’s face,
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wrinkled lines on elephant trunks and bodies,
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ridge lines on impala horns and black markings on their rears and tails,
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markings and horns of a male gazelle,
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and stripes and fringe on the necks of wildebeest.
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And all these photos are square!

All photos taken in Tanzania in February 2018. Check my archives for more photos and stories of these and other marvelous animals!

 

Flora & Fauna of Ndutu Safari Lodge

Feb. 8-10, 2018 we stayed at Ndutu Safari Lodge in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area in the Southern Serengeti. The woman who runs the lodge is British and a long-time friend of our guide. This was the only place we stayed three nights and it was my favorite of all the lodgings we had, primarily because of the genets.

Our first evening at the lodge, we had just sat down for dinner (which was about 7:30 or 8:00 p.m.), when suddenly everyone got up from the table and left the dining room into the lounge, where we first saw the resident genets.
2-8 genet at Ndutu Safari Lodge
Although they resemble cats in many ways, they are not related to cats at all. In fact, they are cousins to the mongoose. Genets are carnivores that hunt mice and other small prey and are primarily nocturnal. 2-8 genet at Ndutu Safari Lodge4
The genet has become the symbol of Ndutu Safari Lodge, because several of them live in the rafters and are fed by the staff, which is why they stay around. They crawl out onto the beams in the evening and gaze down with curiosity at the guests below.2-10 genets at Ndutu Safari Lodge
I never got tired of watching them. Such beautiful and inquisitive creatures, I couldn’t help but fall in love with them! In fact, I confess, I cried the day we left because I would no longer see the genets!

Here is the logo for Ndutu Safari Lodge, imprinted/embroidered on the hats, t-shirts, etc. that they sell in the gift shop.
Ndutu Safari Lodge logoThere were also plentiful birds and small mammals & reptiles at Ndutu, including superb starlings,…

lovebirds and another, light-colored bird (a female superb starling, perhaps),…
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and finally, the ring-necked dove. I didn’t actually get a picture of this annoying bird (the photo below was downloaded from Google Images) but it made itself known every morning and evening with its incessant calls that sounded to me like “No Problem,” “Like Father” to Dale, and “Drink Lager” to our guide, David, who also said the name of the bird is appropriate: ring-necked dove, because you want to wring its neck after hearing its constant call (in fact, I still hear it in my mind two months later!).
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So this is the sound we woke up to every morning and heard in the afternoons while we were at the lodge.

Among the flora at Ndutu was aloe…
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and its flowers, many just beginning to bloom…

these small yellow hibiscus flowers…2-11 hibiscus flower at Ndutu Safari Lodgeand the usual acacia trees and a variety of other plants that grow on the semi-arid plains of Africa.