Thursday, November 19, 2009


I don't know about the rest of you, but in our family we get speech ... habits, I guess you could call them. We start to use certain words, and then use them more, and then more, and then too much. It's like vocabulary addiction, you might say; our tolerance for the word increases, leaving us inclined to use it more and more and leaving our brain less able to find a suitable alternative. Unfortunately, as our fondness for that particular word increase, as it seems to serve more of our expressive needs, the tolerance of those around us for the words decreases.

Accordingly, Mathboy increasing use of the word "random" in everyday conversation began to grate on my nerves to such an extent that I recently told him I would fine him 25 cents for every time he said it. My threat actually seems to have worked, as I notice the word coming out of his mouth much less often. He has become less random, so to speak, and I am less annoyed.

In a similar vein, I have noticed that my own word of the month is fantastic. Now, I haven't heard any complaints from my family about my overuse. However, I have noticed that, thanks to the versatility and sheer beauty of the word, as well as my penchant for sarcasm, I have been using it in all sorts of situations, and to mean a variety of things.

So, in keeping with my word of the month, I offer you a few of the Fantastic Things in our house this November. You can judge for yourself what fantastic means by the context.

1. Schools. Mathboy's got his grades this week, and they were fantastic. We were blown away, not only by the grades but by the way the teachers write at least a paragraph of comments. It's fantastic to get such communication from teachers for a change. Mathboy's school is also offering some scholarships for the freshman class next year, which is fantastic news. On the other hand, Catgirl's teachers have been assigning a fantastic amount of homework. This is especially fantastic, when you consider that I also need to reteach the day's math lesson every afternoon, before she can even start on the homework. We had to let her drop flute and the school band, because the idea that she would be able to do the required 30 minutes of practice each night (or gets marked down a grade) is utterly fantastic.

2. Thanksgiving. The week after Halloween, Joann's was putting up all their Christmas stuff. Because of that, I got a fantastic deal on this turkey, and just had to share. I know he's ridiculous, and he doesn't really serve any practical purpose for us, but it tickles me to get seasonal decor in the season in which they are to be used for 80% off. Fantastic.

3. The annual drama over how to celebrate Christmas in my family was fantastic. I hope next year we can avoid this by not expecting too much from each other.

4. Growing lettuce indoors. I will have baby lettuce to eat at Christmas, thanks to my fantastic planter and my recently added growing lightbulbs--fantastically cheap at Home Depot, who knew? This picture is actually a week or so old; the seedlings are a lot bigger already. I have chard coming up, too, and something else at the other end but I can't remember what I planted there. My memory is fantastic.

Snapdragon Tam 1
5. My fantastic Snapdragon Tam, in the fantastically gorgeous Dream in Color Classy yarn in Ruby River. Catgirl wants it. I'm afraid it might be too big for her, but we'll see. If it is too big for her, it will go to someone for Christmas, which means another gift done. Fantastic!

6. Taking Hairy to the guinea pig vet. Two words: Rodent lice. Fantastic.

7. Catgirl made the cheerleading squad at school. This involves sparkly cropped shirts and being thrown up in the air. Fantastic.

...I leave you with this, but I know there have been more. I may have to edit this post later. For now, I have to go to get ready for Mathboy's fantastic 13th birthday party this weekend.

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