Monday, November 30, 2009

Dictionary Moment: Horripilant

I love dictionaries.  I can never look up just one word, unless I really concentrate.  One word leads to another.  I often get lost in vocabulary before I find the answer to my first question.  Dandelionslayer shares this love of language with me.  Early in our marriage we purchased a copy of the 1979 Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, with the red cover, from Deseret Industries for $.75.  Considering use per cost, this is undoubtably the best bargain we've bought.  We still use the red dictionary, when we can find it.  It is not so red anymore, and hides among the other books.  But more recently, Dandelionslayer invested in the 2002 Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, which contains even more treasures.  The two-volume format dampens my wanderings, but does not discourage me completely.

I found today's treasure last week, while checking my spelling of "hors d'oeuvres" (I was almost right).  On the same page, I found the adjective "horripilant," which describes things which cause "horripilation," which means . . . goose bumps. 

Trying to think of an example sentence, I've realized that horripilation is a sensation which I do not often experience.  I live a pretty calm life.  But now I am almost looking forward to the next time, so I can say, "Ooo, that is so horripilant!"

What gives you horripilation?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Visitors from Afar

After Scoot's soiree, we enjoyed some more tranquil guests, Grandma and Grandpa G.
D2 and I took them to the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, where there was a perfect child-sized exhibit of child-designed art glass.

Grandma G used a real telephone switchboard to call D2, at the Kitsap Historical Museum in Bremerton.

And Grandpa G taught the Caterpillar about online records indexing.
We enjoyed their visit!

Scoot's Birthday Week

Due to Dandelionslayer's unusual schedule at work, we got to celebrate Scoot's 9th birthday for over a week! 
B-1:  Special dinner of Japanese chicken curry sauce with rice.

Birthday: Opened gifts from family,

including a small white Totoro, to go with the blue one I crocheted for D2.  You can find the patterns here.
B+4: Free ice cream at Cold Stone Creamery.  Scoot chose Oreos mixed into mint ice cream.  And it was pretty small, so the Caterpillar and Rollo chose strawberry ice cream with cherries, and Dandelionslayer and I shared a featured brownie-peanut butter creation that was just perfect.

B+8:  The birthday party, with Black Forest Cherry Cake, and

a total of 9 boys to play Capture the Flag, Murder in the Dark, and, everyone's favorite, Pile on Dad.
And they stayed all night.  I think they went to sleep eventually, but by the time I got up the next day, they were already playing a board game.  After the five guests had left, the usual four boys' hijinks seemed very calm and quiet.
And Scoot was happy.  After being celebrated for 9 days, who wouldn't be?

Sunday, November 8, 2009

'Tis the Season

Last Monday evening, November 2nd, I took a short drive.  On the way, the large windows of one store clearly showcased the holiday displays, already in place, and I could see the employees stringing up Christmas lights.  A few years ago, I would have scoffed.  But now, as Ward Choir Pianist, I know that this is already the season to practice Christmas songs.  This will be my 4th Christmas as choir pianist, supporting the 5th choir director of my tenure.  One director missed Christmas, but otherwise, we've had one a year.  Is it a jinxed calling?  Well, three of the choir directors moved out of apartments and into their own homes outside the ward.  The other was transferred to a climate she prefers.  I don't know the new director well enough to know whether there is anywhere else she'd rather be, but I'm sure she'll receive her reward.  She's had me start on three pieces: "Shine for Me Again: Star of Bethlehem," "Little Baby Jesus, All the World Will Love You," and a cool setting of "The First Noel" (which we practiced last year, but didn't perform).  So I've been plunking away at them, hoping to be fairly steady when the choir begins practicing.  And when I heard holiday strains wafting through the fabric store on Friday, it didn't faze me.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween Superstars

Drumroll, please:

the Caterpillar as the Mad Scientist,
Scoot as the Mysterious Man in Black,
D2 as the Dragon,
and Rollo as the Incredible Dash.
(Some typecasting was involved, but they took it upon themselves.)

Dash heroically keeps the Dragon's tail from draggin'.
(No, it isn't snowing.  The typical Pacific Northwest mist caught the camera's eye.)

Dash employs his prodigious strength to display the pumpkins he grew from seeds. 
He planted those seeds in a paper cup in kindergarten last spring,
the most successful pumpkin seeds this family has ever sown.

So, considering next year, what should a gardening superhero's outfit look like?