auntbijou: (Calcifer)
Okay, so... maybe shouting myself hoarse through two games in an open air stadium while the temperature drops into the forties and only wearing a hoodie because I left my jacket in the car wasn't the smartest thing I could have done.

Lesson learned? Carry the damn jacket and make the Impossible Son carry the blankets.

Oh, and next time I drive by the farmer's stand, buy the big jar of local honey.

I spent the weekend curled up in bed on the Husbandly One's orders, because I woke up Saturday morning with no voice and a nasty, rattling cough. Yeah, I probably had the bug already, and Friday night just made it worse. Fortunately, THO didn't have his usual trouble keeping me in bed because [personal profile] keiramarcos had a lovely new fic up, and it pretty much kept me engrossed for the entire weekend.

When I finished that, there was Netflix and movies.

And when I get back from seeing the doctor, there will probably be more movies and such until it's time to pick up the kids.

I hate being sick. Of course, this is a good opportunity to do things like finishing up crochet projects I've been putting off, or making more jewelry to sell, or ... writing.


Or I could read that book about Julia Child and Avis DeVoto I'd started reading Saturday, but had to quit because they mentioned food and Saturday, me and food... no, not so much.

Did I already warn you guys about the ultimate nastiness of chicken chili? Smells great, but looks like barf. Avoid at all costs. Do. Not. Go. There.

Anyhow, hopefully, I'll be well in time to go sit in the cold and wet on Friday (since tomorrow's game has been canceled, due to the other school's team not having enough players to make up a junior varsity and varsity team, long story) where the long range forecast says, "It ain't getting out of the forties all day plus SNOW FLURRIES, folks!"


Texas, folks. This is Texas. Where the weather can't make up its mind. Ya-hooo.



Sunday, August 22nd, 2010 12:48 am
auntbijou: (Devilish)
So, I'm in the middle of Jasper Fforde's Lost in a Good Book, and I come across this:

I bought a ticket, hurried to the check-in and spent ten minutes listening to a litany of pointless antiterrorist questions.

"I don't have a bag," I explained. She looked at me oddly, so I added, "Well, I
did, but you lost it the last time I traveled. In fact, I don't think I've ever had a bag returned to me after tubing."

She thought about this for a moment and then said, "
If you had a bag, and if you had packed it yourself, and if you had not left it unattended, might it contain any of the following?"

She showed me a list of prohibited items and I shook my head.

"Would you like an in-drop meal?"

"What are my choices?"

"Yes or no."


She looked at the next question on her sheet.

"Who would you prefer to sit next to?"

"Nun or a knitting granny, if that's possible."

"Hmmmm," mused the check-in girl, studying the passenger manifest carefully. "All the nuns, grannies, and intelligent non-amorous males are taken. It's technobore, lawyer, self-pitying drunk, or copiously vomiting baby, I'm afraid."

"Technobore and lawyer, then."

--------- Lost in a Good Book by Jasper Fforde

Char is probably laughing herself silly at me right now, but I am getting seriously hooked. I mean... I actually had to stop reading this book for a short time, because... I got so stressed out when the main character's husband disappeared, and I couldn't help but take it personally!

And I am seriously in love with Pickwick the Dodo, and her "Plock, plock, plock." I want a dodo. I want a herd of dodo's wandering around in the backyard, nibbling on the vegetation and making "plock, plock" noises. Doesn't matter that they're extinct. I want one.

*brief discussion follows with the Husbandly One about the short story, "The Ugly Chickens"*

This is a relief, actually, because I've been in a bit of a reading bind, lately. I had picked up a newish Anne McCaffrey at the library, Catalyst, but... I just couldn't get into it. And the Husbandly One, who is a Vine Voice for Amazon and somewhere in their top 5000 for his reviews, sometimes gets freebies from Amazon if he's willing to review them. So, he gets books, and if he isn't interested, he gets Miss Priss or myself to read them and tell him what we think. Mind, the books we get are galley proofs that still need a lot of editing, and I try to keep that in mind, too, but... this last book THO got me... I couldn't read. It was a Mercedes Lackey book, Much Fall of Blood and I have to say, I had to give up halfway in because, seriously, the last time I was that confused, I was reading a somewhat incoherent fan-fiction. I'm hoping the copy I got was seriously preliminary because the story would leap perspective literally mid-paragraph. One second, I would be reading it from Character A's perspective, and the next, it would skip Characters B, C, D, and J, and leap all the way to Character Q. In the same sentence.


It seriously screwed with Auntie's poor brain. And... I was never sure if we were Viking Werewolves, or Mongol vampires, or Viking Mongol Undead, or WHAT... because... well... like I said, let's hope this was just the extremely un-edited version, because O.O if it wasn't!!!

So, it was a very nice relief to get back in to a Thursday Next book.

And by the way, I recently finished My Life in France by Julia Child with Alex Prud'homme, and it was awesome I absolutely loved that book. It makes me wish very much that the movie "Julie & Julia" had been "Julia Child: My Life in France," instead. It would have been a much better movie, seriously.

And in case you're wondering at my sudden volubility, I have lost my voice (probably thanks to the stress of the last few days), and the Husbandly One has made me a very, very strong hot toddy, so Auntie is pleasantly squiffed. Plus, I am very, very tired after a rough day of shopping for school supplies... on the tax-free weekend.

Prolly should have had the hot toddy before going school supply shopping, because seriously... ugh.

Next year, I'll start buying in July, when the supply lists come out, and save myself the hassle. I don't get the grabby, pushy, shove someone out of the way so you can snatch the one out of the 250 other boxesof the same thing that someone else already has their hand on. I don't do touchy-feely; I do ouchy-bleedy.

Oh, yeah, one man in particular learned a very harsh lesson. Do not grab Auntie's bodacious booty and try to explain that it happened because you were making a grab for the glue-sticks, especially if the glue-sticks in question are at eye-level (and Auntie's bodacious booty isn't). Most especially, don't do this in front of your wife.

I am sure he'll regain hearing in that ear... someday.

And now, my dear ones, I am going to pour myself into bed. Goodnight!
auntbijou: (Dancing Snape)
How many of you have read fics, be they fan-fiction or original, and thought, "Dude, seriously, you need to actually use the spell-check and grammar-check functions on your computer!!"

*stops to count hands*

Okay, so... how many of you have read fics, be they fan-fiction or original, and realized that they not only did use spell-check and grammar-check, but... they either didn't have enough background to choose the appropriate words, or... just picked at random, and still bombed?

*nods as she counts the hands*

Yeah. Me, too. And you know what? It's not any less jarring, is it? You just can't win.

*laughs ruefully and returns to keeping kids from killing each other/blowing up the house/ending life as we know it on Earth*
auntbijou: (Dancing Snape)
Okay, Char, you were right.

You were right, you were right, you were right.

It's totally your fault that I got hooked on the Harry Potter series in the first place, you know that, right?

Now it's totally your fault that I'm apparently getting hooked on Thursday Next.

I'm three fourths of the way through The Eyre Affair, and I'm ... hooked. You're right, it's a slightly rough read, but still good, and since you've assured me that the following books are better, I'm depending on that, and I apologize for taking such a long time to start reading them. Blame it on the fact that I thought they were still in a box in my closet, and instead, the Husbandly One had put them on the bookshelf in the living room where he thought I would be sure to see them.

He really should know me better than that!

Anyhow, I thought you would like to know, and that every time I see you for the next year or so, I'll be bowing my head and muttering, "You were right, you were right, you were right," until you are satisfied that I have suitably humbled myself to your far superior knowledge of my reading habits.

I should have learned my lesson by now, right?


You were right, you were right, you were right...
auntbijou: (Angry Chibi Auntie!!)
Dear Numerous Fiction Writers,

Please do pick up your dictionaries, or go to, and use the damn things!!

Discreet - (adjective) Careful or circumspect in one's speech or actions, especially in order to avoid causing offense or to gain an advantage: We made discreet inquiries.
*Intentionally unobtrusive: A discreet cough...

Discrete - (adjective) Separate and distinct: speech sounds are produced as a continuous sound signal rather than discrete units.

They sound the same, but they do not mean the same thing and thus cannot be used interchangeably.


Taut - (adjective) Stretched or pulled tight; not slack: the fabric stays taut without adhesive.

*(especially of muscles or nerves) tense; not relaxed.

Taunt - (noun) A remark made to anger, wound, or provoke someone.

Provoke or challenge (someone) with insulting remarks: students began taunting her about her weight.

Reproach (someone) with something in a contemptuous way: she had taunted him with going to another man.

These barely sound the same, and definitely do not mean the same thing!!

Also, news writers, telephone POLES are what fall when you have an earthquake. POLLS fall when those questioned don't approve or agree.

You cannot depend on Spell-Check. Please use your brain as well!!!


Extremely annoyed,


I swear, y'all, if I have to read about another "taunt belly" or about a lawyer warning his client to be discrete in revealing his whereabouts, I will scream!!!

*throws up hands in exasperation*


Friday, July 17th, 2009 11:42 am
auntbijou: (icon by <lj user="odyssey">)
Okay, one of the things I like to do is browse crafting sites, because I'm always looking for good ideas. Currently, the Impertinent Daughter has outgrown her bed, and while the Husbandly One and I debate whether to get her a single bed or a double, we also debate what kind.

So, I saw a creative idea for a headboard and clicked it, thought, "Wow, that looks cool, but somewhat labor intensive... and how did they get the books to look so real?"

Then I read the directions, and... was horrified. Because the first thing it said you need was "a large assortment of book covers, carefully cut from the pages using an Xacto knife or something similar..." though it did go on to say they could be found at thrift or used book stores.

She's... defacing books... to make a headboard... because... she loves books????


Okay, call me crazy, but the thought of pretty much destroying a perfectly good book (even one I hated) just to get at the cover... sorry, I can't do it. I just... can't do it. Maybe my mom was too insistent on my keeping my books "nice" but ... jays, that just squicks me something awful!!

Now, maybe making book covers that look real... I could do that, or maybe (and that's a just barely maybe) I could do it if the rest of the book was pretty much moldy, moth-eaten, and unreadable, but then... the cover would be crap, too, right?

I dunno, but it seems to me that, well, doing something like that rates right up there with people buying "books by the yard" to decorate shelves in their homes to make it look like they're big readers... and they never touch the books, except to dust them, maybe. When this particular crafter says she "loves books," maybe she means it in the "they're so pretty to look at" way.

I love books, too, in the "I love to curl up somewhere cozy and read for hours" way. I'm happy as a cricket in bookstores and libraries. In fact, if you're ever with me, and expect me to be sociable, don't ever let me near a bookstore, because you will lose me for hours and hours, and I might not come up for air until closing time. The books I have on my shelves aren't for decoration. They are there because they are friends. Books that I've read over and over, and over again. I grew up living in Oz, and on Pern, and in the Alps with Heidi, on Treasure Island, and under the ocean with Captain Nemo, and on Mars, and in Middle-earth, with the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew, and the Three Investigators, as well as the March sisters. I rode on the Back of the North Wind, and I've been East of the Sun and West of the Moon, I've hung out with both the Little Prince and the Little Lame Prince, gone on adventures with Robin Hood and the Black Arrow... well... you get the picture.

I can't even look at those "turn a book into a treasure box" tutorials. That's just... wrong. Totally wrong!

Maybe I'm wrong, or maybe I'm overly sensitive. I look at books, and I see a potential doorway to something wonderful. Apparently, some people look at books and see... decor.

Excuse me, I'm going to go curl up with some Tolkien and visit Middle-earth for a while. And not use the cover as a ... decoration!!

Moar Caffeine, Plz...

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009 12:16 pm
auntbijou: (Default)
I did not sleep well last night. The poor Husbandly One tossed and turned most of the night, and therefore, I spent a lot of it curled up against his side with my chin digging a hole in his chest, chatting and making him laugh. I know, sounds an odd way of spending a night when someone is restless, but THO needed distraction in a big way, and for once, sex wasn't going to do it.

Why, you ask? Well, he got his hair cut yesterday, very short, and afterwards, he got progressively grumpier, and grumpier, and shorter, until it was bedtime, and I thought he was just tired and cranky, he'll just pass out and wake up tomorrow in a much better mood, right?

Nope. He was... upset about his hair!!

Even though he complained constantly that it felt like a wet mop on his head, it was heavy, and it's been so damn hot that it was like wearing a blanket on his head, he was more attached to it than he realized. He liked having it, and realized that it made him different, and he liked that, too. It made him rather a standout in this town, and he'd rather enjoyed that. And he liked our little ritual in the mornings of my getting up to put his hair in a ponytail before work.

I told him if I had known that, I would never have encouraged him to go ahead and get it cut. Yes, you read that right, I did. He was so miserable and hot and uncomfortable, well... what would y'all have done?

So... I made the appointment, and he thought he would be happy with it, but he said it didn't sink in how much he had liked it and just enjoyed having long hair until it was gone, and so I hugged him and said, "Well, now you understand how I feel sometimes when I get my hair cut and realized it was the Wrong Thing To Do."

"Yeah," he said sadly.

"Well," I said finally, "we already know your hair grows incredibly fast. In fact, I'm jealous of how fast your hair grows! So, by this time next year, your hair will be where it was today. And what will you be doing?"

"Just getting the dead ends trimmed off!" he said firmly.

*does a happy dance at the thought of long hair on THO again*

In the meantime, I'm getting mine trimmed and evened out today. Yes, I'm going to go ahead and let it grow out. He quivered his chin at me and did the tear-filled eyes thing, saying, "Please don't cut your hair! If I had not cut mine, I could bear you cutting yours short but right now, please don't cut it all off! I'll help you take care of it!"


Okay, I'm back from getting my hair cut. Wanna see it? Do you? Do you really? Okay, here's a really bad Photobooth photo of me...

Yep, pretty much just look the same. Same ol' hair, same ol' freckles, same ol' purple shirt... I really need to get some new clothes, seriously.

In other news, got the results of Monday's blood tests back, and I don't have... mono. Okaaaaay....

Apparently, I just have a pissy little virus that doesn't want to let go, and I just have to let it... run its course.

And don't y'all know I'm just thrilled about that! So, I'm going to curl up in bed and spend some time with Lord Peter Wimsey. Actually, I started Murder Must Advertise at about 3 a.m. I'll probably finish it today and start on Gaudy Night.

Oh, and we rented "Knowing" yesterday. All I can say is... I'm glad we didn't pay full price to see it in the theater!! As it was, we enjoyed making fun of it as we watched it. I am sure the flaming moose is going to make itself a part of family jokes for years to come!!

Okay, off to bed for me!!
auntbijou: (Default)
I read to the Impossible Son at night. We go through books much more slowly than I did with the Impertinent Daughter. He goes to sleep, lulled by the sound of my voice, whereas she wanted very much to know how the chapter ended, and often would beg for more.

I was like the Impossible Son, lulled to sleep by the sound of my mother's or my Uncle James' voices, no matter how interested I was in the story.

This is why we are on Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince and taking our time through it. I feel like I'm letting him down, though. I've been reading to him since he was a baby, just like I did with Miss Priss, and by this time, Miss Priss and I had gotten through The Wizard of Oz, Charlotte's Web, Alice in Wonderland, and Through the Looking Glass, all the Harry Potter books that had been written up to 2004, all of the Narnia books, The Back of the North Wind, many, many fairy tales, The Black Arrow, The Secret Garden, The Light Princess, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach...

Whereas the Impossible Son and I have gotten through from Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone to The Half-Blood Prince.

I think we shall take a break from Harry Potter after we finish this one and maybe start on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory as a change of pace!

Tonight, however, I did something different. I told him a story, a story my mother used to read to me when I was very small, and the cadence of it entranced me so much... that I memorized it. It was the story of The Old Woman and the Pig, and I have told him this story before, as I have told it to his sister many, many times, and I always tell it a little different, though the cadence part remains the same. And as he listened to me go from, "Cat, cat, kill rat, rat won't gnaw rope, rope won't hang butcher, butcher won't kill ox, ox won't drink water, water won't quench fire, fire won't burn stick, stick won't beat dog, dog won't bite pig, pig won't jump over the sty, and I shan't get home tonight," to "The cat began to kill the rat, the rat began to gnaw the rope, the rope began to hang the butcher, the butcher began to kill the ox, the ox began to drink the water, the water began to quench the fire, the fire began to burn the stick, the stick began to beat the dog, the dog began to bite the pig, the pig began to jump the sty and she FINALLY got home..." he blinked and said, "It's like a song, isn't it?"

And I said, "Yes, yes, it is, it's very like a song!"

He said, "That's what helps you remember it all, right? Because it's like a song, it has a rhythm and a flow, and you tell it like a song, just... not singing it?"

"Yes, that's it exactly!" I said, very pleased. "A lot of the old fairy tales are like that. Like the Three Little Pigs tale, you know, little pig, little pig, let me in, not by the hair of my chinny, chin, chin, then I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll blow your house in?"

"Yeah!" he said sleepily. "Just like that! Are there any more like that?"

"Oh, lots and lots," I said with a smile. "Want me to tell them to you?"

"Sure, but not now. For now, I just want to know what happens to Harry on his first day back at Hogwarts."

It's not like he hasn't seen the movies. But, he knows the books are different, and has learned to appreciate that.

Meanwhile, my head is filled with the stories and rhymes my mother and sisters and uncles and aunts read to me. And I can hear my mother softly saying...

Wind, wind, gently sway
Blow Curdken's hat away
Let him chase o'er field and wold
Till my locks of ruddy gold
Now astray and hanging down
Be combed and plaited in a crown...

*goes off to bed with visions of goose-girls, talking horses, ravens and swans flying, and glass mountains in her head*

Lost in Olympus..

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009 03:51 pm
auntbijou: (Default)
This morning...

*curled up on bed, nose buried in book, cat at feet, cup of tea on table slowly growing cold*

Later this morning...

*curled up on chair, nose buried in book, cat trying to get in lap, glass of ice tea with melting ice slowly dripping on desk*


*sitting at table, nose buried in book, forkful of salad suspended in air and dripping salad dressing on jeans and bare foot, unnoticed until cat starts licking foot*

After lunch...

*nose buried in book, curled on couch on porch, until sense of vague disquiet and the thought that something is being forgotten stirs in occupied brain*

Yes, I remembered to pick up my kids before it was time to pick them up. And in a few minutes, I'm going straight back to Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian. And I'm reading slowly because I want to savour it!! And y'all might actually get some fanart out of this one... maybe...

*curls up on bed again and is lost in book once again*


Wednesday, May 13th, 2009 10:45 pm
auntbijou: (Default)
Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian is in my hands, at last....

....... and I'm too damned tired and sleepy to read it!!!! Lack of sleep has caught up with me, and the Wall of Fatigue is looming ever closer, ready to slam into me and knock me completely...

auntbijou: (Default)
So, I'm tucking the Impertinent Daughter into bed, and Calcifer is lying on her arm and side, purring to her as he tries to get comfortable. This makes the tucking-in part more difficult, and I'm tugging at quilts, comforters, sheets that are under at least fifteen or so pounds of cats, plus or minus a few pounds, and Miss Priss says, "Hey, my foot is cold!" and lifts her right foot to waggle at me.

"Great," I said, and started tugging at her covers again, which have become a sort of Gordian Knot of covers, thanks to how she tosses around at night, and then how she retangles them at night when she's reading or drawing before bed, no matter how I straighten them during the day. I fuss at the cat, sending him to the foot of the bed and tug again at the quilt.

My daughter suddenly turns over and says, "My shoe is off, my foot is cold, I have a bird I like to hold!"

I blink a few times as I stare at her and then I said, "Um... ooookaaaay..." and then the memory hits me and I start laughing.

She's almost hysterical as she rolls in the bed laughing, and I said, "That was totally random! What was that, One Fish, Two Fish..."

"Yeah, One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish," she said, still laughing heartily. "I don't know why, but that just popped into my head!! My tooth is gold, my hat is old, I have a bird I like to hold, my shoe is off, my foot is cold."

I shook my head. "Dr. Seuss warped your tiny little brain," I said, and then wondered why it didn't warp mine. I mean, I read those books to her, and oh, geez, I had to do the voices, too! Green Eggs and Ham, The Foot Book, Mr. Brown Can Moo...

I must have had The Foot Book memorized, because we used to read that over, and over, and over again. I never complained, though, because I remembered the stupid books that were around when I was small. I never had to deal with them, because I learned to read at a very early age, but everyone in my first grade class had to suffer through, "See Jane run. Run, Jane, run!! See Dick walk. Walk, Dick, walk!" Dr. Seuss was a relief!! So, I didn't mind doing all the funny noises for Mr. Brown Can Moo, or for Horton Hears a Who, and It was fun to listen to Miss Priss chirp in to correct me when I would deliberately read parts wrong.

Mr. Manzie doesn't let me do funny voices so much, but that's because he's got my hearing glitch, and it dawned on me that the funny voices make it worse. That reminds me, I need to introduce him to Horton Hears a Who. The book, I mean, not the movie.

I'm glad my kids like to read. It's nice to know I've raised the next generation of bookworms!

*snickering to herself* "My tooth is gold, my hat is old, I have a bird I like to hold..."


*sniffles and dabs at laugh tears* Oh, GEEZ!! that's funny!!

Le sigh...

Saturday, January 17th, 2009 10:07 am
auntbijou: (Default)
The house sure feels empty since [personal profile] chanteur_dombre and her husband Markle-Sparkle left yesterday.


I mean, they had a hotel room (because there just isn't room here unless you want to bunk in with us or the kids) but they spent their days here, and it's so... QUIET!!


It was a good visit, and I thoroughly enjoyed having them here. In fact, the Impossible Son has already asked when we're going to Australia to see them! "Next week, right?" he said hopefully. "Or... next month! Let's go next month!!"

Yesterday was Mr. Manzie's birthday, and we had a private, just us party for him, and he was most thrilled when he opened his present. We got him his very own iPod shuffle, a blue one (which is his favorite color), which I had to immediately load up with his favorite songs. This is to keep him from continually asking to listen to mine, and then complaining about the music I have on it. Hey... sometimes I like to listen to Mozart, sometimes I like to listen to Dir En Grey, and sometimes I like to listen to Nickel Creek. It's MY iPod!!

He wanted me to be sure to tell Chan and Markle-Sparkle that he has his own iPod, so I'll be emailing her later to let her know. I just wish y'all could hear him singing, "I know whoooooo I waaaant to take me home..." over and over again. *snorts with laughter*

This is a rather disjointed post, but I am feeling a little scattered this morning. Mostly because what I really want to do right now is curl up in a cozy corner and read, instead of scrounging up snackage for my constantly hungry offspring. Inkheart is calling my name very softly, and very insistently.

*sneaks off to get in a little more reading before the kids notice she's gone*

Bookworm Alert

Friday, January 9th, 2009 08:38 am
auntbijou: (Default)
Nicked from [personal profile] brumeux77...

What Kind of Reader Are You?
Your Result: Dedicated Reader

You are always trying to find the time to get back to your book. You are convinced that the world would be a much better place if only everyone read more.

Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm
Literate Good Citizen
Book Snob
Fad Reader
What Kind of Reader Are You?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

*laughs* Well, this was interesting! If I haven't mentioned it before, I am a total bookworm. I am always reading, and it's not always fiction. I will read whatever I can get my hands on. When I was a kid, it was as likely to be an encyclopedia or dictionary as much as fiction. And I learned to speed read as a kid, because I never knew how long I was going to be allowed to read. My mother was as much of a bookworm as I was, and my dad, too, but... my dad could never stand to see someone curled comfortably in a chair reading. He figured if you had time to read, then you had time for chores, so... I would read as fast as I could to get as much of the story in my head to savor when he'd catch me and send me to weed the garden or scrub out the bathtub or wash dishes, etc.

I also learned to climb trees to support my reading habit. Well, I climbed trees anyway, being such a tomboy, but you see, there was this tallow tree that grew up right next to the house, and I soon realized that during the summer, when that tree was full of leaves, if I climbed up there and sat in a particular spot, it was very hard for anyone on the ground to spot me. So whenever I felt the need to read, I would grab whichever book I was reading at the time and an apple, climb up to the roof, curl up in my spot and read for several blissful hours until my mother's or my sister's voices got frantic, and then I'd climb down and come reluctantly back into the house.

It would take a while for me to hear them though, because I'm the type of reader who gets so completely involved in the book that the entire house could fall down around me, and I would never notice... unless maybe a bit of the roof knocked the book out of my hands, and even then, I'm likely to pick the book back up with a grumble of irritation and go right back to reading without ever noticing the destruction around me. Had to work really, really hard not to sink that deep into a book after I had kids, because... well... that's BAD. Especially when they're little!

If you want to make Auntie really happy? Take her to a bookstore or a library and just let her go. You might find her later, sitting on the floor between bookshelves with about fourteen books piled around her, several of them open, as she skims through them trying to decide which ones she has to have right now, and which ones she can put aside and add to her mental list of "Books to Get Later."

Hmmmm... one of these days, I'll get a bookworm icon. Or maybe one that's predominantly an open book with a pair of hands visible on each side, and a tuft of hair showing at the top, with a murmured, "Mmmm-hmmmm... do it later... reading now..." across the bottom.

*hears the siren call of Fellowship of the Ring even now*
auntbijou: (Default)
After school yesterday, the Impossible Son and I were sitting at the table while he did his homework. One of his assignments was to read out loud to me, so he read a story called, "Owl and Moon." Mr. Manzie is a "kinesthetic learner," which means he can't really sit still while he's working. He's rocking, or kicking his feet, or tapping his leg, the table, his chair, all in rhythm while he reads. Of course, it's not quite as enthusiastic as it was when he was in kindergarten; he's learned to tame it somewhat, so mostly, you see slight head-bobbing, or his hand moving, legs kicking a little, but when he's really excited, well... he is only 7!

Anyway, it occurred to me as I corrected pronunciation, or encouraged him to slowly sound out his words, that English is a pretty difficult language to learn, even if you're a native speaker! It sounds one way, but looks another when you look at it on paper. And for every rule you teach your kids to help them learn to read it, there's a whole bagful of words out there that break it, and that they'll come across right after you teach them that stupid rule.

"When two vowels go walking, the first one does the talking and says its name," you tell your kid, and they happily read, "bead, braid, dial..." and then you come across, "dead, bread, tough..."

"I before E, except after C" you say, and read "piece, sieve," and "receipt." Then "weird," pops up.

"GH sounds like F" you say, and "laugh, draught, cough," behave appropriately... until it's "night."

"AAAAAUGH!!!" shouts my son. "I'm so confused!!"

It's funny how you don't think how much of the language you've learned is taught, not by learning all the rules in school, but by simply having your parents read with you, their finger moving under the words as you pronounce them, and having them correct you when you flub it. And how you store that nugget of info in your memory so the next time you see that word, you remember that it's a rule-breaker.

It's even crazier when your parents are from two different parts of the country, and don't pronounce everything the same way. The Husbandly One was born in Texas, but both of his parents are from Connecticut and New York. So his accent is a mix of East Texas Piney Woods, and a Northern mix. He pronounces some words so completely differently from me, and both of our kids do not sound like they're from around here as a result. Well, heck, sometimes, I don't sound like I'm from around here, but that's because my parents are from Mississippi and Louisiana, and their accents cancelled each other out. But I still sound mostly Southern, so there are many times when the kids frown, stare between us, and say, "Okay, but how do you really say it? Which one is right?"

THO still boggles at some of the things I say. Like when he gets home, and I say, "What you know good?" Though it comes out more like, "Whatchu know good?" And what it basically translates to is, "How was your day, anything interesting happen, or anything that made you happy/sad/angry, tell me everything!" And basically, it's just saying, "You got a good story to tell today or what?"

Regional differences do not make learning to read any easier, I guess. Or speak.

I have explained to Little Man that English is a mish-mash of different languages, with Teutonic under-roots, and that is why it breaks its own rules on a regular basis. That it is a fluid, and flexible language, constantly evolving and adapting, because people are always evolving and adapting, so one should never really be all that surprised in what shows up from day to day. And that half the fun of learning it is spotting all the changes. And that, of course, his parents and his grumpy big sister will always help him when he finds a word that he just can't twist his tongue around.

And in case y'all are wondering, the title of this post is from a book called, "Imogene's Antlers" by David Small, which is a hilarious book, and one that I highly recommend to those of you with small people in your homes. It's one of those books you can really ham up when you read it out loud. Great illustrations, too.

Yep, that's one of the ones we read on a regular basis. Along with "Skippyjon Jones."

As for me, I'm going to take a bit of a break and bury my own nose in a book for the next hour. If anyone wants me, I'm revisiting Dragonflight.

September 2015

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