Friday, May 25, 2012

Words Words Words

Words are a big part of my business, but I’m always amazed at when certain words came into use. Since I primarily write historical fiction, I don’t want to have my characters saying a word that hasn’t even been invented. To help me with this I use a variety of dictionaries.
Merriam Webster is a favorite because it gives years of first use. It’s really fascinating to explore. For instance did you know that “sabotage” wasn’t in use until around 1910? And if you called someone a “nerd” prior to 1951, you were probably time travelling.
It’s thought that “nerd” came from a character in the Dr. Seuss book IF I RAN THE ZOO, circa 1950.
Words like “input” and “cholesterol” sound more modern, but have actually been around since 1888 and 1894 respectively.
Thankfully “chocolate” has been in use since 1604. But you couldn’t “rip off” things until 1967. You could “strong-arm” someone in 1897, but you couldn’t “discombobulate” anything until 1916. You could make a “goof” in 1915, but you wouldn’t call someone a “goofball” until 1950. Amazingly enough a person could “compute” in 1616 and be “animated” in 1534, but you couldn’t “pinpoint” until 1849.
There were “rattletraps” as early as 1822, but not a single “fuselage” until 1909. Words are so much fun and as an author I cherish learning new ones. I encourage you to have fun with words today and if you find something particularly surprising – share it here. God Bless You!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Climbing the M

I think I've mentioned before that in my weight loss, get healthier plans, I have a goal to climb the M.
You can see a bit of M in the upper left corner. To the north of Bozeman, is the giant white rocked M that remains a popular hike for the locals and tourists alike. Put together by the folks at Montana State University back in 1915, the hike up the M is 1.6 miles one way and goes from around 5,000 ft. in elevation to nearly 6,000 ft.
There are a couple of trails - a rocky and difficult one that is super steep and one that is a little more manageable. So which did we choose? The rocky, steep one of course. About a month ago, we decided to do a little piece of the climb. We made it only a little ways. The altitude and trail were definitely a challenge for me. The views, however were awesome.
This week we went back for another hike. The views and the vegetation were awesome to see and the weather, although overcast and chilly, was perfect for a hike.
I knew I wouldn't be able to do the whole trail, but I wanted to make it farther than before. Did I ever! I had to rest ever so often and the altitude was definitely a challenge.
My sweet husband Jim went with me and was so patient. He has some back disabilities that often keep him from being able to walk very far, much less mountain climb. But we both took it slow and easy and helped each other. It was an awesome thing for a couple who've been married for almost 33 years.
We figure we did about 1/2 the 1.6 mile trail. I could see the white rocks of the M closer than ever, but they were still out of reach. The muscles (if you can call them that) in my legs were pushed as far as they could go and I knew I still had the arduous task of getting back down. So we congratulated ourselves on having made it 1/2 way and started back.
For the fun of it, I've included a video from youtube of someone else's hike, but it will give you a better idea of the trail. One of these days I'll make it to the top. I know I will. It will take time and more weight loss, but that's the plan. I'll keep you posted and if you ever get over this way, make time to climb the M. God Bless You!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Old Photos

I love to see glimpses of the past. My cousin often shares old family pictures and I've included a few of them here, as well as a couple of old photos that I've found in research. The expressions aren't always that great as people had to sit very still to keep from blurring the photo and weren't encouraged to smile lest they weary before the picture could take. I love this picture of my grandfather and great uncle. Note that both are wearing dresses - made changing them and going to the "necessary" a whole lot easier.
Although the sun is keeping everyone squinting in this one, I love it. This is a photograph of my great grandparents with my Auntie Madeline (who's just as cute now as she was then) and her little brother Gerald. Gerald died a couple of years after this from meningitis. It was in the 1930's and before penicillin was available. My Grandma Williams used to talk about him from time to time and would always break into tear, even 50+ years after the fact. Losing a child is never easy
This is one of my very favorites of my Grandma Williams. She looks so happy here. She was a master gardener and a great storyteller. I'm sure part of my love of story is from her, as well as my mom.
When Judy and I toured a home in Georgia, this neat photo was on the wall. I love the way this Southern belle looks. I can't help but wonder what was going on in her life when this was taken.
I love this photo of Frederic and Ida Magnenats on Corpus Christi's shoreline in 1905. I found it when I was researching and fervently wish I could have had this as a book cover. Isn't it charming?
Last but not least, I thought I'd share a little bit of the not so distant past. This is me in the arms of my step-dad, alongside my mother. The picture was taken when I was not quite 3 and shortly after they wed. People thought I looked just like my step-dad because we both had red hair. Photographs are such wondrous keepers of time. God Bless You!
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