Sunday, September 30, 2012

H is for Hawthorn Tree

  • Hawaii and its capital Honolulu
  • H is the symbol for the chemical element hydrogen
  • Heaven and Hell
  • Hug, honey, hobby, haven, harbor, harmony, honesty, health, history, hearth, home, hero
  • Harp, instrument of the angels
  • Humane Society
  • Hearing, healing, hurting
  • 4-H Club.....Head, Heart, Hands, Health (youth organization designed to help kids develop leadership skills and do good works)
  • Tongue Twister:  In Huron, a hewer, Hugh Hughes, hewed yews of unusual hues.  Hugh Hughes used blue yews to build sheds for new ewes.  So his new ewes blue-hued ewe-sheds use.
  • Hydrangea, hibiscus, heather, hollyhocks, and honeysuckle
  • Second only to bone marrow, Hair is the fastest growing tissue in the body.
  • Hemp was the world's largest agricultural crop for 3,000 years up to 1883.  The majority of fabric, soap, paper, medicines, and oils were made from Hemp. 
  • Famous Last Names:  Hanks, Harrison, Hawking, Heston, Hepburn, Hitchcock, Hoffman, Houston, Hudson, and Holly
  • The first letters of the names of the Great Lakes spell HOMES.
  • Himalayas, the great mountain system of Asia, which include the highest mountains in the world.  Himalaya is a Sanskrit name formed from hima (snow) and alaya (abode).  The Himalayas stretch uninterruptedly for about 1,550 miles from west to east.  Their width from south to north varies between 125 and 250 miles.  Their total area amounts to about 230,000 square miles.
  • Hula Hoops, manufactured in 1957.  Approx. 25 million hoops were sold the first two months on the market.

Y is for Yellow Poplar Tree

  • The Y chromosome is one of the two sex-determining chromosomes in most mammals, including humans.
  • The Yo-Yo was first made popular in the 1920s, and yo-yoing remains a popular game in many cultures.  It was first invented in ancient Greece.
  • Yale University of New Haven, Connecticut, founded in 1701, is the third oldest institution of higher education in the USA.
  • Yahoo, the internet corporation, was founded in January, 1994.
  • The Yukon Territory is where 100,000 people traveled in the 1897-99 Klondike Gold Rush.
  • Yaffle is a European Green Woodpecker.
  • Yoko Ono, Yul Brynner, and Yoyo Ma.
  • Y Generation...also known as Millennials, born 1980 to 2000.  Proficient with technology, often called digital Natives.
  • Y-bones in a Northern Pike need to be removed for them to be safely edible.
  • Does Yeti really exist?
  • YMCA and YWCA
  • Yellow ribbons tied around oak trees
  • The currency symbol for the monetary unit of Japan known as the Yen is the yen symbol.  It looks like a capital Y with two horizontal crossbars.
  • The smallest unit of time is a yoctosecond.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Z is for Zelkova Tree, Japanese

  • The 26th, or last, letter of the English alphabet.
  • Zen
  • Zig-zag
  • Zoos and Zebras
  • Zenith and Zero
  • Zesty, zillion, and zip code
  • Zzyzx is a road in the Mohave Desert near Baker, California.
  • Zzzzzzzzzzz's.......symbolizes snoozing.
  • Razzmatazz, Pizzazz, Razzledazzle, Pizza
  • The letter Z is worth 10 points in Scrabble
  • ZEPHYR, a tobacco industry code word for lung cancer
  • Zephyr, a gentle breeze from the west
  • It is often said that New Zealand was the first place in the world to allow women to vote.
  • Zebco closed fishing reels
  • Zodiac - one of the ancient sciences that is practiced today is astrology.  The ancient Egyptians created the zodiac signs by dividing the sky into 12 parts.  The zodiac signs were named after the constellation that resides in each part.
  • Zambezi River in Africa and Zimbabwe 
  • Zanzibar in East Africa produces cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and pepper, and the area is sometimes called the Spice Islands. 
  • Zimbabwe, a land-locked country in southern Africa
  • Zeppelin (the rigid airship)
  • Z - the sign of Zorro 
  • Zuiderzee was a shallow bay on the North sea northwest of the Netherlands.  Its name means "southern sea" in Dutch.  Zuiderzee hosted the 6-meter and 8-meter sailing events for the 1928 summer Olympics that were held in nearby Amsterdam.
  • Zeus, king of the gods, god of the sky, thunder and lightning, and law, order and justice in Greek mythology.  Greek artists portrayed Zeus in one of two poses:  standing, striding forward, holding a thunderbolt in his right hand, or seated in majesty.
  • Zero Tolerance, a form of policing that allows no crime or anti-social behavior to be overlooked.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

C is for Carolina Cherry Laurel Tree

  • Creator, Christianity, Church
  • Commander-in-Chief
  • Cardinal
  • C can sound like the letter K, as in cookie, or like the letter s, as in cinnamon.
  • C looks the same whether it is in Capital Case or lower case.
  • The top 10 sources of Vitamin C are:  oranges,  guava, red sweet pepper,  kiwi, green sweet pepper, grapefruit, vegetable juice cocktail, strawberries, brussels sprouts, and cantalope.
  • Three of our United States start with C....California, Colorado, and Connecticut.
  • Finding Middle C on the keyboard is the first step in learning to play the piano.  The exact middle of the key board is not Middle C, but is the space between E and F, above Middle C.
  • Cape Canaveral, Florida, U.S. spacecraft launch site.
  • C-Span is the acronym for Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network created in 1979 as a public service offering coverage of what's going on in the federal government and other public affairs programming.
  • Cancer and Capricorn are two signs of the Zodiac.
  • C - average grade.
  • C's contributions to grammar:  clause, comma, capitalization, conjunction, conjugation
  • C is the third letter of the English alphabet.
  • C-Section
  • In chemistry C is the symbol for the element carbon.
  • C is the Roman numeral for 100.
  • cc - carbon copy and cubic centimeter
  • C battery, a standard size battery.
  • C cell, one of the five basic sizes of flashlight cells.
  • C stands for Copyright.
  • Remember the cat-eye glasses? 
  • Collywobbles, an upset tummy
  • C-fold is a common type of fold for brochures, letters, and other paper products, such as paper hand towels.
  • The Euro mark looks like a capital C with two horizontal crossbars.  
  • C stands for Celsius and Centigrade.  The Celsius measurement for temperature was named after the Swedish astronomer Anders Celsius (1701-1744).  0 was defined as the freezing point of water, and 100 was the boiling point of water according to the Celsius scale.
  • c is the symbol for the speed of light.
  • In cooking, c stands for a cup measurement.
  • Campbell's Cream of Chicken, Cream of Celery, Cream of Cheddar Cheese Soups
  • Chili and crackers
  • Creeping Charlie, chrysanthemum, carnation, columbine, cone flower, calla lily, clematis, crocus,  cactus 
  • The letter C ranks 12th in frequency of use.
  • Calico Cat, chocolate chip, Christopher Columbus, closed captioning, cookies and cream, credit card, cruise control, and cross-country 
  • CU - means 'see you' in text messaging.
  • Remember the Davy Crockett-inspired coonskin caps?
  • Control-C is a common computer command used to copy highlighted text to the clipboard.
  • Cuba is the largest exporter of sugar.
  • China - where paper originated, where 70% of the world's toys are made, and where the wheelbarrow was invented.
  • Crayons got their name from the wife of one of the founders of Crayola.  She combined the words 'craie' (French for chalk) with the first part of the word 'oleaginous' (the oily paraffin wax) to make the word Crayola.
  • The letter 'c' does not appear anywhere in the spelling of any English number.
  • The Worldwide Web was programmed with Objective C, an object-oriented programming language.
  • The radio station call letter in Canada is C.
  • CoCo Chanel and Chanel No. 5 Perfume
  • Tongue Twister:  All I want is a proper cup of coffee made in a proper copper coffee pot.  You can believe it or not, but I just want a cup of coffee in a proper coffee pot.  Tin coffee pots or iron coffee pots are of no use to me.  If I can't have a proper cup of coffee in a proper copper coffee pot, I'll have a cup of tea!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

V is for Viburnum Plum Tree

  • Vanilla - America's top-selling ice cream
  • Venus, the second planet from the Sun. 
  • V = Roman Numeral 5
  • Vermont and Virginia, the two U.S. States starting with V.
  • Vim, vigor and vitality
  • V-8 juice, venison, and vinegar
  • Velvet - both mom's and my bridesmaid dresses were made of velvet.
  • Virgo - the 6th astrological sign in the Zodiac.  Symbol:  Virgin maiden.
  • VP and VIP
  • Valentine's Day, Vincent van Gogh
  • Veronica, one of the women from Jerusalem who followed Christ on His way to Calvary. 
  • Velveeta Cheese and V-neck
  • Verdant pastures, Vespers, Vestibule
  • Veterans and Victory
  • Vodka-tonic-lime.....voila!
  • Mt. Vesuvius, volcano in Italy that erupted in 79 AD destroying Pompeii.  
  • Virtue, value, volunteer, victory, vivid, vertical, vast
  • Violet and Virginia Bluebell
  • The official state vegetable of Georgia is the Vidalia Onion.
  • Saddle staplers have an inverted "V-shaped" saddle for stapling pre-fold sheets to make booklets.
  • When explorers first arrived in Venezuela, they were reminded of Venice.  They named the country "Little Venice," which translated into Spanish as Venezuela.
  • A vigintillion has 63 zeroes
  • A violin contains 70 separate pieces of wood.
  • V-formation, called a skein, is the V-shaped flight formation of migratory birds.
  • V- sign of peace

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

I is for Ironwood Tree

  • I-Beams are used as major support trusses in the construction industry.
  • I is the most commonly used word in the English Language.
  • The  U.S. states starting with I are:  Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, and Indiana.
  • Indiana's capital Indianapolis also starts with an I
  • Indy 500 -the annual car race held over the Memorial Day weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana.
  • Ivory is no longer used to make piano keys.  They are now made of plastic, referred to as Ivorine.  Keys that are made in one piece are plastic.  If they are in two pieces, a head and a tail piece, they are probably real ivory.  The piano would have to be over 50 years old for it to have real ivory keys, because that's when real ivory keytops were discontinued.
  • IF is a mighty big word.
  • I AM.  The shortest sentence.
  • Icicles, ideal, imagine, invigorate, inlet, imp, informal
  • Italy, IBM and IRA's
  • The dot over an  i  is called a tittle.
  • In 1967, IMAX film system was invented by Canadian Grame Ferguson to premiere at Expo '67.
  • Impatiens, iris, ivy.
  • "skiing" is the only word with a double i.
  • There is a word in the English language with only one vowel, which occurs six times:  Indivisibility.
  • Ides, the 15th day in March, May, July and October; the 13th in the other months.

Monday, September 24, 2012

O is for Overcup Oak Tree

  • Orthography is the art of correct spelling.
  • Cheerios and Spaghetti-Os.
  • Obama is the only U.S. President whose name begins and ends with a vowel.
  • Three U.S. states start with O:  Ohio, Oklahoma, and Oregon.
  • The O' in Irish names comes from an old Irish word 'Ua' which meant grandson, grandchild, or descendant of.
  • In 1945, Orchard Field was the site for a new Chicago Airport.  In 1949 it was renamed Chicago-O'Hare International Airport to honor aviator Edward "Butch" O'Hare, a Medal of Honor recipient from Chicago who died in WWII.
  • O is the symbol for oxygen.
  • O is the 4th most used letter in the English alphabet and a vowel.
  • Animals that start with O:  otter, octopus, osprey, orangutan, ocelot, opossum, okapi (elk), oyster, owl, ostrich, ox, oriole, orca.
  • Oscar represents the finest achievements in the motion picture industry.  How the statute got the nickname "Oscar" is debatable.  One theory is that Margaret Herrick, Academy librarian, made the comment that the trophy reminded her of her Uncle Oscar.   
  • Oblong, octagon, oval
  • The letter O is the 4th most used letter in the English alphabet.
  • Oak trees, oranges, opals and olives.
  • Remember Hawaii 5-O?
  • Orchid and oregano
  • Oreo and Jell-O
  • Omega, the last letter of the Greek alphabet.  Often used to denote the end, or the last.
  • O, symbol for hug
  • The oldest letter in our alphabet is O, which has existed in its present form for more than 3,000 years.
  • The name of OZ in the 'Wizard of OZ' was thought up when the creator, Frank Baum, looked at his filing cabinet and saw A-N and O-Z.....hence the name OZ.
  • of the most frequently used words in the world.  It's an odd word that looks like an abbreviation or an acronym.  Almost every language has an O vowel and a K consonant.  So, OK is a distinctive combination of familiar elements.  That's one reason the word OK has been accepted and stands apart.  Even though conversations all over the world use the word OK, there are many areas of language where OK is rarely to be found.  You won't find OK in prepared speeches.  Most speeches and reports are OK free.
  • The pound sign (#) is called an Octothorpe

Saturday, September 22, 2012

J is for Japanese Pagoda Tree

  • The letter J was the last letter to be added to the English alphabet.
  • Jiffy is 1/100th of a second.
  • Jamaica is host to over 100 rivers.  Some are unexplored and not navigable.  
  • A jellyfish is 95% water.
  • Rio de Janeiro translates to River of January.
  • The old English word 'juke' (meaning dancing) lends its name to the juke box.
  • Jack and Jill, Jack Sprat, Jack Be Nimble, Jack and the Beanstalk, Little Jack Horner, The House that Jack Built
  • The Spanish and Portuguese cultures use the name Jesus, using the pronunciation:  heh-SOOS.  Other European Catholic countries do not.  
  • A female ferret is called a "jill."
  • A baby kangaroo is a "joey."
  • Jay Leno
  • Juneau is the capital of Alaska, named after Joe Juneau, a gold prospector.
  • Judas, betrayer of Jesus.
  • Jiminy Cricket, the talking, singing, and fancy-looking cricket who advises Pinocchio's conscience.  Also a term used to swear without swearing.
  • James Cash Penney began his career in retail when he opened the Golden Rule Store in 1902 in Wyoming.  Sam Walton worked at a J. C. Penney store in Des Moines, Iowa, back in 1940, and later went on to found Wal-Mart in 1964.  
  • J. P. Morgan, financial services firm
  • Jellies, jams and Junior Mints
  • Jerusalem, Jericho, Jordan, Jacob, Jeremiah, Jesse, Jonah
  • Patience of Job
  • The name Jeep came from the abbreviation used in the army for the "General Purpose" vehicle, G.P.
  • Jellystone campgrounds
  • Jonquil, jasmine, jade, juniper, 
  • The first letters of the months July, August, September and October, and November spell JASON
  • Johnny-jump-up, with 12 letters, can be typed using only those letters normally typed with the right hand.
  • Japanese Good-bye:  Sayonara (SI-O-NA-RA)

Friday, September 21, 2012

F is for Fig Tree

  • F, failing grade
  • As a loanword from Norwegian, "fjord" is the only word in the English language to start with the letters fj.
  • Top-row F keys on computer keyboard are Function Keys.
  •  F = Farenheit.  Farenheit is the official temperature scale still used in the United States.  It was first proposed by a German physicist named Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit (1686-1736).  Within his proposed scale, the freezing of water into ice is defined at 32 degrees, and the boiling point of water is defined at 212 degrees.  
  • Beautiful F words:  freedom, forgiveness, friendship, fatherhood, facts, future, faith, family, favorite, feast, February, fate, fervent, fishing, flower, forest, fragrance, fragile and forget-me-nots.
  • FAQ = frequently asked questions
  • Fan is short for fanatic
  • Four has 4 letters.  No other number has this property in English such that the number of letters in the name equals the number.  
  • Remember the flat top?
  • Fe, the atomic symbol for iron.  The original name for iron was Ferrie.
  • Florida is the only U.S. state that starts with an F.
  • F = one of the four basic elements, fire.
  • Fact and fiction, fizzle and frenzy, frump, fickle and fantastic
  • French fries, flapjacks, floats, fritos, frosted flakes, and fudgsicles
  • "Feedback" is the shortest word in English that has the letters a, b, c, d, e, and f.
  • Most American car horns honk in the key of F.
  • A fathom, is 6 feet and is used to measure the depth of water.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

N is for Nectarine Tree, "White Glory"

  • Niagara Falls could fill 4,000 bathtubs every second.
  • The U.S. states starting with N:  Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota.
  • Nashville, Tennessee - center of the country music industry.
  • North Star
  • N, the cardinal compass point
  • N, symbol for nitrogen
  • Neapolitan ice cream, a way to explain the Trinity
  • NASA and NATO
  • Narcissus and nasturtium, Nature, November, night, now, nutrition, name and never
  • Noodles, nachos, nutmeg, and nuts
  • Navajo, Navy Seals, Nile River
  • The Nullarbor in Western Australia is a Latin name meaning 'no trees.'
  • Nth Degree - to the utmost, without limit.
  • Necker's Knob - A knob attached to the steering wheel of an automobile, especially before the widespread availability of power steering, helping the driver steer with one arm and leaving the other arm free to provide romantic attention to a companion.
  • Natural, necessary, neighborly, nifty, noble, noteworthy, nurturing, necessary, nostalgic
  • Navigating our way through Life.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

B is for Basswood and Birch Trees

  • B - the first letter of my maiden name
  • B is sometimes the silent letter, like in the words debt and climb.
  • B&Bs offer bed and breakfast.
  • The B in a B-1 fire extinguisher indicates the type of fire that can be extinguished, flammable liquids such as gasoline, grease, oil, diesel fuel, and kerosene.  The number indicates the approximate number of square feet the unit can extinguish, so a B-1 would be a relatively small extinguisher.
  • The bb-gun.
  • If Plan A doesn't work, maybe Plan B will.
  • The letter B ranks 20th in usage frequency.
  • B-Bomber - a U.S. military aircraft designation, as in B-52.
  • B = indicates bold type font
  • Bach, Beethoven and Brahms, the 3-B's of classical music
  • B (Beta) is the 2nd brightest star in a constellation.
  • Hepatitis B is an infectious inflammatory illness of the liver caused by the Hepatitis B virus.
  • B Vitamins are necessary for maintaining good health.
  • Women's medium width shoe is a B.
  • Remember Bobby Socks and Bobby Pins?
  • Bee-line
  • B.A. and B.S. Degrees
  • To Be or not to Be.  That is the question.
  • Bold and Spicy Bloody Marys
  • B movies are low-budget films with cheesy acting and dialogue.
  • B is the second step in a set of instructions.
  • The 3-B's of bass fishing.....the bait, the bottom and the bass.  (1)  Each bait, or lure, has a distinct feel and resistance against the water when worked correctly to properly attract the fish.  (2)  Bass are basically at the bottom.  Just like each bait has its own feel, each type of bottom has its own feel, whether its bushes, stumps, boulders, sand, mud, gravel, ledges, drop-offs, or weeds.  (3)   You need to learn the feel of the bass holding on as being different from the feel of the bait and the feel of the bottom.  The 3-B's of bass fishing are what's called "the presentation," and that often matters more than what lure you use.     
  • B-teams in baseball.  When there are enough players for two teams, they probably would be divided into two...the A team and the B team.
  • Braille...the writing system used by the blind and visually impaired. It was a Frenchman named Louis Braille who went blind after a childhood accident who developed Braille around 1825.
  • The class B motor home came into being back in the 1970s.  It is a full-sized van modified to provide for sleeping, cooking, and other basic creature comforts.
  • B indicates the blackness of a pencil.  BB and BBB for successively softer leads.
  • Spelling bees, bumble bees, and quilting bees.
  • The letter b is not used until the number one billion.
  • Brazil is named after a tree.  
  • Brazil covers 50% of the South American continent, bordering every country in the South American continent, except Chile and Equador.
  • Breaths - we take over 23,000 breaths a day.
  • Boston - first public library and the first subway.
  • The Bible is the best-selling book in history.
  • Do you remember Be-Bop a Lula, She's my Baby?
  • Bluebells, begonia, bachelor buttons, buttercup
  • The word "byte" is a contraction of 'by eight.'
  • A billion has 9 zeroes.
  • Remember the Beatniks?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

S is for Shagbark Hickory Tree

  • SMILES is supposed to be the longest word in the dictionary because there is a "mile" between the S'S.
  • No U.S. President has had a last name starting with S, even though it is the most common name initial in the U.S.
  • The modern-day Seven Seas are:  North Atlantic, South Atlantic, North Pacific, South Pacific, Indian, Antarctic, and Arctic Oceans.
  • Stradivarius Violin.  The name "Stradivarius" is associated with excellence.  To be called 'the Stradivarian of any field is the finest there is.
  • SOS, the standard emergency signal in Morse Code.
  • S-curve
  • Scotland supposedly has the most redheads.
  • South Carolina and South Dakota are the two U.S. states starting with an S.
  • Scorpio is the 8th astrological sign in the Zodiac.  Sign: the Scorpion.  
  • Sagittarius is the 9th astrological sign in the Zodiac.  Sigh:  the Archer.
  • Johnny Carson was a Scorpio.  Hubby is a Scorpio.
  • One of the most difficult tongue twisters:  The sixth sick sheik's sixth sheep's sick.
  • The letter S is the 7th most common letter in English and the third-most common consonant after t and n.
  • The Sahara is the largest and driest desert in the world.  It occupies 10% of the African Continent.
  • Siberia occupies 75% of modern-day Russia.  Siberia is bigger than Canada.  Siberia covers 9 time zones.
  • Switching letters is called spoonerism.  For example, saying jag of Flapan, instead of flag of Japan.
  • Sweet William, sassafras, sunflower, salvia, shamrock, snapdragon
  • Remember sideburns and saddle shoes? 
  • A Sloppy Joe is an American sandwich made of ground beef, onions, tomato sauce or ketchup served on a hamburger bun.  The original Sloppy Joe Sandwich was first made by a cook named Joe at a cafe in Sioux City, Iowa, as a variation of the "loose meat" sandwich. 
  • Supreme Being, Supreme Court, and the Supremes
  • Shepherd and Spirituality
  • S.O.S. pot scrubbing pads were invented in 1917 by Ed Cox from San Francisco.  His wife came up with the name, which stands for "Save Our Saucepans."
  • Another word to refer to old age is Senectitude.
  • Socrates - ancient Greek philosopher who made a clear distinction between true knowledge and opinion.  He defined true knowledge as eternal, unchanging and absolute.  He defined opinion as changing, temporary, and relative.
  • Smoky Mountains - named after the natural fog that often hovers over the range in the morning and after rainfall.  The fog is the result of warm humid air from the Gulf of Mexico cooling in the higher elevations of Southern Appalachia. 
  • Mr. See owned a saw.  And Mr. Soar owned a seesaw.  Now See's saw sawed Soar's seesaw before Soar saw See, which made Soar sore.  Had Soar seen See's saw before See sawed Soar's seesaw, See's saw would not have sawed Soar's seesaw.  So See's saw sawed Soar's seesaw.  But it was sad to see Soar so sore just because See's saw sawed Soar's seesaw.
  • President Harry Truman's middle name was just the letter "S." 

Monday, September 17, 2012

P is for Persimmon Tree

  • Pisces, the 12th astrological sign in the Zodiac.  Symbol:  fish.
  • Peru has more pyramids than Egypt.
  • Pea - one of the oldest cultivated crops known to man.
  • The first paperback was printed by Penguin Publishing in 1935.
  • Before 1863, the U.S. Postal Service was free.
  • Pez, invented in 1927.
  • Pennsylvania is the only U.S. state starting with P.
  • Pearl Harbor - 1941 attack
  • Piano, my favorite musical instrument
  • Tongue Twister:  Peter Prangle, the prickly pear picker, picked three perfectly prickly pears.
  • Popcorn, pringles, pretzels, peanuts, potato chips, Pepsi, pounds
  • Polka, pickles, plasma, parsnip
  • Pangrams are sentences using every letter of the alphabet at least one time.  The trophy for the shortest English sentence created using all the letters of the alphabet goes to, "Jackdaws love my big sphinx of quartz."  
  • Pekingese, Polar Bear, Poodle, Puffin, Porcupine
  • Pansy, petunia, phlox, peony, periwinkle, primrose, plumeria, poppy, poinsettia.
  • Is Pluto a planet?
  • About 50% of Americans live within 50 miles of their birthplace.  This is called Propinquity.
  • When two words are combined to form a single word (motor + hotel = motel.....or.....breakfast + lunch = brunch) the new word is called a "portmanteau."
  • Pen Pal and Pay Pal. 
  • Planters Peanut Company mascot, Mr. Peanut, was created during a contest for schoolchildren in 1916.
  • A group of owls is called a Parliament.
  • "Polish" is the only word in the English language that, when capitalized, is changed from a noun or verb to a nationality.
  • The pin that holds a hinge together is called a 'pintle.'
  • Penta (from Greek) means 'five.'
  • Pentagon, the five-sided building in Arlington, Virginia, that houses the headquarters of the US Department of Defense.
  • Pentateuch, the first five books of the Old Testament:  Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Q is for Quince Tree, Chinese

  • The letter Q is usually followed by the letter U, but there are some exceptions.  The majority of those words are loanwords from other languages.  
  • Q is not used in the Czech language.
  • Q is the only letter not used in the name of the United States.
  • Q-Tips were invented by Leo Gerstenzang in the 1920s, after he attached wads of cotton to toothpicks.  The Q stands for quality.
  • Q-Tip is one of Fuzzy One's nicknames.  
  • Q is the second least commonly used letter in the English alphabet.
  • Queen Ann's Lace and the Quaker Lady Iris are two flowers that start with Q.
  • Q is worth 10 points in scrabble.
  • The tail of the lowercase Q curves to the right, to differentiate it from the lowercase g, which has a tail that curves to the left.
  • The Chinese use the letter Q to represent the "ch" sound in English, like in the word cheese.
  • Two widely used legal words that start with Q are quorum and quota.
  • The girl's name Quinn means "fifth born." 
  • Mind your ps and qs, which means mind your manners.
  • Quality and Quantity, queasy and quirky
  • Queueing, the only word with five consecutive vowels.
  • Quid pro quo - this for that.
  • Quartzy, the highest scoring word in the game of  Scrabble
  • There are five years in a Quinquennium
  • The word "queue" is the only word in the English language that is still pronounced the same way when the last four letters are removed.
  • IQ
  • A "quidnunc" is a person who is eager to know the latest news and gossip.
  • The typewriter was invented by Hungarian immigrant Qwert Yuiop, who left his "signature" on the keyboard.  (Not really, I'm just kidding!)

E is for Endangered Elm Tree

  • EEE - ladies comfortably wide shoe width
  • E - most used letter in English, Czech, Danish, Dutch, French, German, Hungarian, Latin, Norwegian, Spanish and Swedish languages.
  • Ernest Vincent Wright wrote the novel, "Gadsby" which contains over 50,000 words...none of them with the letter E.
  • Powerful words that begin with E........Eternity, East, Energy, Evil, E-bay, English, Eucharist, Electricity, Encyclopedia, Embryo, Emotion, Existence, Europe, Enlightenment, Excellence, Ending, Earth, Eating, Eden, Eyesight, Egg, Email.
  • E-Coli (escherichia coli), a bacterium typically passed through food.  If one eats food that is undercooked, or has bacteria in it, the chance of getting E-coli are greater.  
  • ESP - the 6th sense of extrasensory perception.  Intuition or hunch.  
  • E, first letter of daddy's first name.
  • Easter Lily, evening primrose, eucalyptus, elephant ear
  • Enter and Exit
  • E, first letter of fuzzy one's first name
  • ER - hospital Emergency Room
  • The first woman was Eve, two e's
  • When the gas tank is on E, it's Empty
  • One out of every eight letters used in written English is an E.
  • E-Channel is an American basic cable station featuring films and specials related to Entertainment.
  • Earth is the only planet not named after a god.
  • Enamel is the hardest substance in the human body.
  • Eloquence and Elegance, two of the most beautiful words in the English language.
  • E, The Environmental Magazine...
  • The strike note of the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is E-flat
  • 11-year-old Frank Epperson invented the Popsicle in 1905.  He left his drink outside with a stir stick in it and noticed that it had frozen.  He applied for a patent in 1923 and named it the "Epsicle."  The name was later changed to Popsicle.

Friday, September 14, 2012

W is for Weeping Willow Tree

  • WWW - world wide web
  • No two spider webs are the same
  • Wrigley's gum was the first product to have a bar code.
  • Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming are the U.S. states starting with W.
  • The ancient Wonders of the World were objects made by human beings between 3000 BC and 476 AD.  They were considered to be wonders because of their size or unusual quality.  They were:  The Great Pyramid in Giza, Egypt....The Hanging Gardens of Babylon.....The Temple of Zeus in Greece.....The Colossus of Rhodes.....The Lighthouse of Alexandria in Egypt.....The Temple of Artemis in the Greek city of Aphasias.....The Mausoleum of Halicarnassus.
  • The modern Seven Wonders of the World are:  The Empire State Building in NYC.....the Itaipu Dam on the Parana River that represents the amazing accomplishments of Brazil and Paraguay.....The CN Tower in Toronto, Canada.....The Panama Canal.....The Channel Tunnel (aka the Chunnel) built beneath the English Channel connecting England and France.....The North Sea Protection Works, and the Golden Gate Bridge.
  • William Wadsworth Longfellow
  • Remember White Buck Shoes? and making Wheelies? 
  • Wal-Mart, the multi-national retailer corporation
  • Wash-and-wear
  • George Washington, Father of our Country
  • Weaver and whittler, wood, warp and weft
  • Wisteria, water lilies, and wallflowers
  • Weeping willow and Wrens
  • Westerns and Walgreens
  • "W" is the only letter in the alphabet that does not have one syllable.  It has three.
  • Windsor and Water
  • Wine, wisdom, wishbone, witty, wax and wane
  • Worcestershire Sauce was first made in Worcester, England, by two chemists.
  • Tongue Twister:  While we were walking, we were watching window washers wash Washington's windows with warm washing water.  
  • One inch of rain over one square mile is 17,378,700 gallons of Water.
  • The spray WD-40 got its name because there were 40 attempts needed before the creation of the 'water displacing' substance.
  • Williwaw, a sudden violent wind descending from a mountainous coast to the sea.
  • What is a woozie?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

R is for Redwood Tree

  • 55% of all movies are rated R
  • Rhode Island is the only U.S. state starting with an R
  • Rock 'n Roll - the dance we grew up with
  • Root beer floats, 45 rpm records, hot rods 
  • R and B - combination of blues and jazz.
  • Reuse, recycle, reduce, repair, responsibility
  • Rocky Mountains and Rainbows
  • The word "run" has 175 definitions.
  • Ream, 500 sheets of paper
  • Rule of Thumb, better than a guess
  • Retirement, respect, remote control, rest, relaxation
  • Red Rose and rhododendron
  • Only numbers with three and four in them are spelled with R
  • Rolls Royce
  • Sign of a registered trademark:  R inside a circle written as superscript following a name registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
  • Three R's of fundamental education:  Reading, 'riting, and 'rithmetic.
  • Three R's of marketing:  Reach, repetition, and relevance.
  • Three R's of Franklin D. Roosevelt's efforts to fight the Great Depression were:  Relief, recovery, and reform.
  • Rune - any character from an ancient Germanic alphabet used in Scandinavia from the 3rd century to the Middle Ages.  Each rune had its own magical significance.
  • The winter months between September to April have Rs.  May to August don't.  The phrase is often used in the advice, "Don't eat oysters unless there's an R in the month."  The oyster is unseasonable and unwholesome in all months that have not the letter R in their name.
  • Renaissance, French word meaning 'rebirth.'  A person who is clever at a large number of things is often called a Renaissance Man.  Leonardo da Vinci, the painter, scientist, musician and philosopher, is the most famous Renaissance Man.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

T is for Tupelo Tree

  • Golf tee
  • "Trollied" has letters in reverse alphabetical order.
  • T-bar, T-shirt, T-square, T-intersection, T-bone, T-ball
  • Taurus, 2nd astrological sign in the Zodiac, symbol the bull.
  • TB,  TLC,  TV, and ET
  • Texas, Titanic, Tsunami, Tomorrow
  • Thoreau, Henry David
  • The Trail of Tears, one of the saddest events in American history 1838-1839.  Men, women, and children of the Cherokee Nation were forcefully removed from their homelands in Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee and were herded on foot, horse, wagon, or steamboat to live in Indian Territory, now Oklahoma.  A journey of injustice.
  • Trinity, truth, trust
  • Turtle, toad, trout, tuna, tadpole, tilapia, tortoise 
  • Game of Tic-Tac-Toe, also called Naughts and Crosses, Exy-Ozys
  • The oldest word in the English language is said to be 'town.'
  • TED Talks, 'riveting talks by remarkable people, free to the world.'
  • The tea bag was invented in 1908.
  • Tulip Tree
  • Tennessee and Texas are the two U.S. states starting with a T.
  • Timber to Tree to Toothpick
  • Tongue Twister:  The thirty-three thieves thought that they thrilled the throngs throughout Thursday.
  • The first letter Vanna White ever turned on the game show Wheel of Fortunate was the letter 't.'
  • What's a Toffee Nose?  A:  a snobbish person.
  • A trillion has 12 zeroes.
  • The Model T Ford, known as the Tin Lizzie, was the first mass-produced car.  Went on sale in 1908.
  • Fits To a T, perfect fit
  • T, tablespoon in recipes 
  • T-Rex Dinosaur
  • OT and NT, Old Testament and New Testament
  • The ball on top of a flag pole is called a truck.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

L is for Linden Tree

  • The Lord's Prayer
  • The first letter of my name. 
  • Leo is the fifth astrological sign of the zodiac.  Symbol is the lion.
  • "level" is a palindrome, spelled the same backwards.
  • The word "lethologica" describes the state of not being able to remember the word you want.
  • Louisiana is the only U.S. state starting with an L.
  • Little Lulu, my favorite childhood comic book.
  • Legos
  • L represents Roman Numeral 50.
  • Personal favorite L words.....largo, lake, lunar, lullaby, luau, lei, loyalty, lotus, logic, listen, lobster, life, linden, letters, lesson, lavender, learn, laurel, lime, lamb, lemon, lady, and lace.
  • Labyrinth is an ancient symbol representing a journey to the center of your deepest self and back out into the world with a broadened understanding of who you are.  Labyrinths have long been used as meditation and prayer tools.
  • Lexicography, the art of compiling and editing a dictionary.
  • Lily, lilac, lotus, lavender, lily-of-the-valley, laurel, larkspur.
  • Lollipops, ladybugs and lucky stars.
  • Remember letter sweaters and leisure suits? 

Monday, September 10, 2012

G is for Golden Chain Tree

The first letter of our last name
  • Gemini, third astrological sign in the Zodiac. Symbol:  twins.
  • Googol is a 1 followed by 100 zeroes.
  • G-string and Gee-Whiz
  • Germany borders 9 other countries
  • Grasshoppers have white blood.
  • G-force, force of gravity
  • The most common Spanish name is Garcia.
  • Georgia is the only state that starts with a G.
  • Grand Canyon, Great Lakes and Great Plains
  • Google, an American multinational corporation that provides Internet-related services.  Google is estimated to process over one billion search requests and approximately 24 petabytes of user-generated data every day.  (1,024 gigabytes is one terabyte, and 1,024 terabytes is one petabyte.  A petabyte is about one million gigabytes.) -- that's clear as mud, isn't it?
  • Geek Squad - a subsidiary of Best Buy with agents available 24/7 for technology service and repair.     
  • GPS - Global Positioning System.
  • Gypsy
  • Two of my childhood sayings were greasy grimy gopher guts and goody goody gumdrops.
  • Grand, or g's, slang for one thousand dollars
  • In medieval times, G stood for 400.  Today G is not recognized as an important Roman numeral and, therefore, is no longer used.
  • GTO, Pontiac's muscle car of the 60s and 70s
  • The origin of the soldier term G.I. is an abbreviation for Government Issue, which was stamped on all government kits supplied to recruits in the US Army during world War II.
  • Gardenia, gladiola, geranium, goldenrod
  • G, trademark used for movie rating indicating that admission will be granted to persons of all ages.
  • The prefix Great is added for each new generation.
  • Good morning, good-bye, and gratias. 

Sunday, September 09, 2012

D is for Dogwood Tree

  • D is the first letter of hubby's first name. 
  • 3 D's in Daddy.
  • Dynamic D names were Doris Day, Walt Disney, and Lady Diana.
  • D = 500 in Roman Numerals
  •  : D   is an emoticon meaning happy toothy smile.
  • Vitamin D is the sunshine vitamin.
  • Delaware and its capital Dover both start with D.
  • D is next to a failing grade.
  • D in the food packaging industry stands for Dairy.
  • D is the 4th letter of the alphabet.
  • D-Day was June 6, 1944, the day the troops landed in Normandy, initiating the Western Allied efforts to liberate mainland Europe from Nazi occupation during WWII.  Since then, D-Day designates the day when some significant event will take place.  
  • Dwight David Eisenhower was President of the U.S. when I was a little girl.  He was one of the highest U.S. military officers, and his codename was Duckpin.
  • Do you remember Doo-Wah-Ditty-Ditty-Dum-Ditty-Doo, I'm so happy I don't know what to do!
  • 3-D, three dimensional
  • Remember the DA haircut? 
  • If your DNA was laid end to end, it would reach from the Earth to the Sun a hundred times.
  • Do's and Don'ts
  • Delaware was the first state to ratify the U.S. Constitution on December 7, 1787.
  • Dominoes
  • Dutchman's Breeches, daffodils, daisies, dahlias, dandelions, delphinium 
  • Tongue Twister:  If one doctor doctors another doctor, does the doctor who doctors the doctor doctor the doctor the way the doctor he is doctoring doctors?  Or, does he doctor the doctor the way the doctor who doctors doctors?
  • The triangular mouth of the Nile River was called a "delta" because, like all rivers leading into the sea, it is shaped like the fourth Greek letter....Delta.  Every delta in the world took its name from the Nile.
  • The word 'dexter,' which refers to the right hand, is typed with only the left hand.

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Tribute to the Alphabet In Words, Phrases, Trivia and Sign Language

  • Every book ever written in English is a unique arrangement of 26 letters :  A B C D E F G  H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z.  Every book, in every library, home and museum is an individual scramble of them.
  • The musical alphabet includes the notes A, B, C, D, E, F and G, and is the same for all instruments.
  • The word 'trivia' comes from the Latin tri + via, meaning three streets.  In ancient Italy, at intersections of three streets they had a type of kiosk.  On it was listed extra information you might be interested in or might not.  Therefore, it was trivia.
  • The sentence, "Pack my box with five dozen liquor jugs" uses every letter of the alphabet..
  • In English, one spelling can have different pronunciations.  "Ough" can be pronounced 8 ways.  The following sentence contains all of them:  A rough-coated, dough-faced ploughman strode through the streets of Scarborough, coughing, and hiccoughing thoughtfully.
  • "Second string," meaning 'replacement or backup,' comes from the Middle Ages.  An archer always carried a second string in case the one on his bow broke.
  • The expletive, "Holy Toledo," refers to Toledo, Spain, which became an outstanding Christian cultural center in 1085.
  • The term "devil's advocate" comes from the Roman Catholic Church.  When deciding if someone should be sainted, a devil's advocate is appointed to give an alternate view.
  • The term "the whole 9 yards" came from WWII fighter pilots in the South Pacific.  When arming their airplanes on the ground, the .50 caliber machine gun ammo belts measured exactly 27 feet, before being loaded into the fuselage.  If the pilots fired all their ammo at a target, it got "the whole 9 yards."
  • The word "news" came from the first letters of the words North, East, West and South.  This was because information was being gathered from all directions.
  • The letters H, I, O, and X are the only letters that look the same if you flip them upside down or view them from behind.
  • There are more than 40 distinct sounds in English.  Because there are 26 letters to represent these sounds, most letters stand for more than one sound.
  • The American Television Network ABC is sometimes referred to as the "Alphabet Network," because its letters are the first three letters of the English alphabet.
  • WXYZ-TV, channel 7, in Detroit, Michigan, is an ABC-affiliated television station that uses the last four letters in its call letters.
  • "Deeded" is the only word that is made using only two different letters, each used three times.  And, it is typed with one finger.
  •  "Usher" contains four personal pronouns (us, she, he, her).  If you make the word plural, it has (hers) too.
  • A survey conducted in 2004 by the British Council which asked over 40,000 people around the world to rank the most beautiful words among a list of 70 words, found MOTHER first, followed by PASSION, SMILE, LOVE, AND ETERNITY.
  • If you try to say the alphabet without moving your lips or tongue, every letter will sound the same.
  • The Roman numerals, in order from smallest to largest, are I-one, V-5 , X-10,  L-50, C-100, D-500, and M-1000.
  • Games in alphabetical order:  Acquire, Backgammon, Checkers, Dungeons & Dragons, Euchre, Fish, Gin Rummy, Hangman, I'm the Boss, Jeopardy,  Mah Jongg, Nab-It, Old Maid, Pictionary, Rook, Scrabble, Trivial Pursuit, Uno, War, Yahtzee.
"Actions prove who someone is.
 Words prove who someone wants to be."

Sign for WORD

Friday, September 07, 2012

THE NORTHWOODS by Charles Johnson.....

Not far to the north, where your soul is free,
Remote and aloof in its majesty,
Lies a spot where God has taken a hand
To create a beautiful wonderland.
He sent dew and rain from heaven above
To form crystal lakes we dearly love.
Seed and pollen were borne on the breeze
To produce a forest of lovely trees.

Then animals and birds of every hue
Were added that we might listen, too.
The wild melody of the northwoods in tune,
The eerie cry of the mating loon,
The chirp of the spring frogs in swampland near,
The call of the eagle sharp and clear.

The approach of the graceful doe and fawn
Watch in awed silence, for soon they are gone.
See the sunset glory of purple and gold
As the arms of twilight the earth enfold.
Watch the heavens bloom with countless stars,
Then fade as northern lights sweep in bars.

It gives you a feeling pure and clear;
Surely God is very near.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Vincent van Gogh, The Tortured Artist

Vincent van Gogh, born in 1853, grew up in Holland.  He was raised in a religious family, his father a minister.  After finishing school, he followed in his uncle's footsteps and became an art dealer.  Even though he was successful, he got tired of it and lost interest.  Vincent then studied theology, but failed a couple of entrance exams despite his intelligence and ability to speak multiple languages.  His next undertaking was working in the coal mines with hard-working common people.  He became interested in the people around him, and that's when his life as an artist started.

In 1880, at age 27, Van Gogh entered art school in Belgium.  The following winter he fell in love, had his heart broken, and began painting.  He lived frugally, and studied color theory.  Vincent moved to Paris, discussing art with the most influential artists of his time, like Gauguin.  He began using more color, applying paint with thick bold brushstrokes, and painted all that was around him.  For a time, Van Gogh  painted Sunflowers.  At the same time, he began having mental and physical health problems, that eventually earned him the title of "the tortured artist."

Red Vineyard at Arles
Vincent produced 900 paintings in ten years, none of which were fully appreciated during his lifetime.  The only painting Vincent van Gogh sold during his lifetime was Red Vineyard at Arles, now on display in the Pushkin Museum, one of the oldest and largest literary museums in Russia.

At age 37, Vincent took his life.  The world lost a genius.  It is said about Van Gogh....."he was completely absorbed in the effort to explain either his struggle against madness or his comprehension of the  spiritual essence of man and nature."

After Van Gogh's death, it was his sister-in-law who established a market for his paintings.  Vincent also wrote over 800 letters during his short lifetime, many of which were to his brother, Theo.  She delayed the publication of the letters, though, because she wanted the public to get to know the paintings before the man.  "It would have been unfair to the dead artist to arouse interest in his person before the work, (for which he had sacrificed his life), was recognized and appreciated as it deserved to be."

Words spoken by Van Gogh 
"One may have a blazing hearth in one's soul and yet no one ever came to sit by it.  Passers-by see only a wisp of smoke from the chimney and continue on their way."
"When I have a terrible need of....shall I say the word....religion.  Then I go out and paint the stars."
"But I always think that the best way to know God is to love many things."
"I wish they would only take me as I am." 

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Bridge or Barricade?

Barricade people are those who prevent us from doing what we truly want to do.  They discourage and shove us in the direction of their personal wishes, fearing our actions will make them look bad.  Has there been a barricade in your life?

Bridge people are those who encourage and support our decisions and efforts.  These people make life easier for us, and, because of them, we're more apt to reach our goals and achieve personal satisfaction.  Has there been a bridge in your life?

Then there are the bridge-barricade people who keep us in suspense, and we never know if they're going to be a bridge or a barricade.  I can say first hand that dealing with this type of person adds an extra layer of ridiculous drama to absolutely every situation.  Eventually one learns how to play the game and stands ready to accept defeat.  Has there been a bridge-barricade in your life?

Wouldn't it be interesting to know, over the course of history, how many personal ambitions have been wrongfully barricaded and how many inborn talents were never tapped. There's an underlying tone of sadness in that thought, and it makes me wonder what part of me lies buried and unfulfilled.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Pass the Bread, Please

Oooooh, I'm drooling over the memory of Mom's fresh bread baking in the oven.  When the bread was still warm, she'd slice it and let us smear on the butter and honey.  One loaf didn't last long at our house.

Bread is one of the oldest prepared foods.  It all started when man first mixed water with grain and created a better-tasting porridge.  Somewhere along the line man figured out that baking the porridge on hot stones in a fire tasted better yet.  Around the year 3000 B.C.E., the closed brick or clay oven made possible the baking of different types of breads.  The ancient Egyptians were the first to jazz up the process with yeast to leaven their bread.

The ancient Greeks came up with a variety of doughs and ways of shaping the loaves, which actually turned bread-making into an art. The Romans came up with the idea of grinding grain by rubbing it between two stones.  They invented white bread by sifting the grains through linen, which raised the price of bread.  The poor people then ate dark whole-grain bread, and the wealthy ate the specially-sifted white bread.  Knowing what we know today, the wealthy were chowing down the bread with the least essential nutrients, while the poor were getting all the nutrition.

Today we have an abundant choice of white breads, dark breads, crusty breads, the bagels, baguettes, biscuits, bread stix, buns, croissants, English muffins, French breads, Irish soda breads, nut breads, pitas, pretzels, rolls, sour dough breads, tortillas, and wraps.  It seems most cultures claim a signature bread to pass around the global table.

The next time I open the cupboard and see that partial loaf of bread, or the leftover buns, I'm gonna whisper a thank you to Our Creator for providing us with the physical, and the spiritual, nutrition needed to make it through the challenges of our days.  We Christians use bread in the Eucharistic ritual, but we can also have our private ceremonies in our kitchens when we make a sandwich or slather butter on a roll.  Bread sustains us in more ways than one.  We can show our gratitude in more ways than one.