Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Tuesday ramblings #2

It’s Tuesday again, so welcome to another edition of my Tuesday ramblings! By the time this post is published, Mrs. Rhymeswith-plague and I will have bid a temporary adieu to our hearth and home and comfy surroundings in North Georgia and gone on a little “mini” three-day vacation in beautiful western North Carolina. We are joining our oldest son’s family for a short visit during their longer stay at Lake Lure. I wrote this week’s ramblings in advance and scheduled them for Tuesday publication (first time I have done this) because I didn't know whether I’d have access to a computer while we were away. My home computer is a desktop, not a laptop, and not easily transported.

This morning I saw a bright yellow and black male goldfinch in my backyard; it was on the topmost branch of a Leland (or Leyland, apparently either is correct) cypress tree. It has been nearly five years since I last saw a goldfinch. We used to see lots of them at our feeders before we moved away from our woods and creek to where we live now, Little House By A Strip Mine. I’m kidding; I’m kidding (about the strip mine, not the goldfinches). We used to see cardinals and rock doves and bluejays and rufous-sided towhees and brown-headed cowbirds and red-winged blackbirds and brown thrashers (Georgia’s state bird) and Carolina chickadees and even an indigo bunting once. Now we see mostly mockingbirds and crows and an occasional passing flock of Canada geese (honking, of course). I miss the songbirds.

Speaking of Leland (or Leyland) cypresses, one of the ten that we planted five years ago along our back property line has died. It was about eight feet tall, not as tall as the others, and just lost the will to live, apparently. It went very fast. The other nine all appear to be just fine. The one on the far left is almost twice as tall as the others. We’ve treated them all the same; I can’t explain the difference in their growth. Someone suggested on one website that the drought in the Southeast has caused dehydration among the cypresses and the dehydration has caused (or allowed) canker disease in some trees.

Which brings me to foreign coins (don’t ask me how). I saw “D. G. Regina” on a Canadian coin and figured out all by myself that it was Latin for “Queen by the grace of God,” Dei Gratia being the phrase for which “D. G.” is the abbreviation and Regina meaning, of course, Queen. Then I saw a British (United Kingdom) coin with the abbreviation “Elizabeth II D. G. Reg. F. D.” on it, which threw me for a minute...

...until I remembered that the British monarch is also head of the Church of England (Anglican) and therefore is automatically fidei defensor, the defender of the faith. (It didn’t mean Fire Department after all.)

And speaking of Latin abbreviations, most of us know etc. (the abbreviation of et cetera, “and so forth”). And we know a couple of others like i.e. (the abbreviation of id est, “that is”) and e.g. (the abbreviation of exempli gratia, “for the sake of example”) that we usually manage to get confused. The first means something like “specifically” or “this is what I’m talking about.” The second means something like “here's one example out of many from which I might choose.” Please keep this in mind in your future writing! If you had to write research papers in the dear, dead days beyond recall you may also remember et al., ibid., op. cit., loc. cit., and q.v.. One that was used frequently in those bygone days that no one seems to use any more is D. V., the abbreviation of Deo volento, God willing.

As in next Tuesday, D.V., these ramblings will continue.


  1. Enjoyed your ramblings. Hope you're having a great time with family.

    I've not blogged much lately due to other activities -- which seem to have sapped my brain cells -- but hope to be back soon, D.V.

  2. Free association blogging.Now that is fun. I've tried it a time or two myself. I highly recommend it We have a huge feeder in our front window and our bird population has grown by leaps and bounds as they love to go to the easiest place to eat. We get tons of goldfinch, cardinals, chickadees, juncos, sparrows, flickers, two types of woodpecker, indigo bunting, orioles, hmmmm and the occasional dove. The jays stop by occasionally and we have a couple new ones grosbeaks and a gray headed black bodied fairly large bird that likes fruit. Haven't a clue what it is. Can't find it in our bird book.

  3. Well, I looked to see if you had an email address listed so I could send this bizarre comment there, but you don't and that's OK.

    Honestly, I didn't read this "Tuesday ramblings" post until Wednesday morning, after waking up from a dream that you were in!!

    I was with a bunch of other people in a house and we were excitedly awaiting your family's arrival. Then you arrived, and your wife, and a daughter and grandchild. Everyone in the dream was smiling and happy. I shook your hand; I was so glad to meet you! I have no idea what you look like in real life, having seen only the profile photo of you from a few years back. Anyhow, in the dream, you resembled an actor I've seen many times on TV or movies, but I have no idea what his name is or what shows/movies he's been in. Am going to keep racking my brain to try and figure it out. I'd be very curious to know if how you looked in the dream is at all accurate!

    Sorry for this rambling Wednesday comment to a rambling Tuesday post!

    Enjoy your outing! Am sorry to hear about the songbirds in your area. Is that due to the drought? I'm glad you saw the goldfinch......its the Iowa state bird!

  4. Thanks, Pat and Afeather, for your comments. I have missed seeing new posts on your blog, Pat, and I hope you'll be back soon too. Afeather, today I saw a hummingbird!

    And thanks, Jeannelle, for your "late" comment. (I just left an even later one on your blog, a belated thanks for your award.) As for your dream, I of course look (depending on the reader's age) like the young Cary Grant, the young Tom Cruise, or the young Brad Pitt. (NOT!!!) People used to say I looked a bit like Engelbert Humperdinck, but when I got older they began telling me I looked like the bass in the Statler Brothers quartet. Hey, you can't win 'em all. Nowadays, I don't seem to remind anyone of anyone, which may be a distinct improvement.

  5. P. S. to Afeatheradrift: I believe you have spotted the rare Gray-headed Black-bodied Fruit Filcher, a real find!

  6. Hm-m......the guy in the dream didn't resemble Engelbert or the Statler Brother. It annoys me that I can't recall his name or the show he's on. Oh, well. You were wearing a gray sport jacket......do you own one?

  7. Hi, again, Jeannelle! These comments have taken on a rambling aspect of their own.

    I have never owned a gray sport jacket that I can recall, but when I was young and dapper I did once wear a white sport coat and a pink carnation! I also had a maroon blazer that went well with gray wool slacks. I felt very spiffy wearing that outfit, but I probably looked like a bellhop at some fleabag hotel.

  8. Aw-w.....did you wear the white sport coat and pink carnation because of the song, or did you inspire the song?

    Hey.....thanks for mentioning the Statler Brothers. I once saw them in concert and I have a couple of their record albums....their sound is one-of-a-kind! I added two of their songs to my Playlist song player.....thanks!