Tuesday, June 18, 2024

It's been a long week, she said on Tuesday

 Denoxii conlang

 the days this week have added up - headed to bed here in a minute but as my head hit the pillow I thought I could try to make a little drawing, by starting to write something simple in Denoxii, and then seeing what wanted to fill in around the edges.  I put a few more rows on this shawl thing made out of the slightly stretchy fine yarn I had found on clearance a few years ago, and never found a good way to use.  We'll see how it works - I am thinking of switching between the two colors because I only bought one of each skein. (but it's hard, because this skein is so pretty, actually, worked up)

Addition : I have not continued the book I got from the library - I should bring it into work today (Wed, June 19th), and read it before we start the package run.

Monday, June 17, 2024

yarn and thread


So, is it madness or patience?  I tend to think, only based on what others say about it - that you have to perceive time on a different scale to work with yarn, weaving, crocheting, knitting, oh especially spinning then doing one of the above.  I didn't spin this - but I am crocheting it because I have thought about what it might be like when it is done.  It is forever time wise away from being done, so much infinite perhaps that it might not be completed, in fact, the probability (as so many knitters know with unfinished objects) is that it will not be done.  But yet, we begin, and often, we persist.  Is it madness or patience?  

Same with gardening.  Perhaps, with my learning languages without having any useful place to use them.  But I take a 'sense of cadence'? could it be a 'zen'?  from making something -for myself*- that takes a long time, and from checking on plants every day and eeking them along - from learning more again and again on ten different languages round and round and round the spiral.  It is like making hash marks on the stone wall except sometimes, you get to hold the object, or behold the plant, or understand the sentences in a foreign book or movie - and say 'hey, if I hadn't started this - I wouldn't be here now, using/admiring my persistance.'

So yes, a bit of both.  I still recall the (seriously different than me) lady who said I must be so bored to sit and knit an item - don't you have anything else you want to do.  Not that will become this, through me, and I will use literally for years etc...

I put on my little blue bolero thing the other day - one of those things made like this, out of fine blue yarn in a net foundation, with gold thread crocheted along the edges - and it has kept well over the past what.. nine? years, holding together, and being a pretty piece of clothing.  And there are a lot of things like that.  And if I hadn't started them, they wouldn't be something I have to use now.  And yet, we can't guarantee that we will finish things - we can't bank on the persistence part - so much could happen, and yet.. we start. And that depends deeply on who we are, what we value, how we reflect.  All of it.

//We shopped early early and it was already hot when we got back.  I did some watering in the garden and planted more seeds.  We planned to go out to a farmer's market today and get some produce.  It has started to rain a bit now, but we'll see what happens with it.  Mark has some alphabet and language stuff he wants me to look at - I made him a Czech list of 8,000 words, but he wanted 3 million, so he found some spell checker that has every form of every word in it.  I still like my 8,000 word list - it has a lot of useful words I didn't know all of, and could use for myself at the very least.  I did French and Spanish today, and a lot of Czech vocab, and need to finish out my Russian lesson.  Then I work the next two days.

*and yet, I have found that often, for others, I do not persist like this -- art projects, or specifically requested things that I did not want to make (because when I want to make it anyway, or made it and then give it away, it was the journey that was the reason for it, not the end point).. and the difference is in  because perhaps we never know how they will value it, and then when we do not have it later - that time is gone, but when we do have it, and use it, the time is still captured ... planting the orchard of trees that you may never see fruit from for years, means something different on another person's property when the chance to see them even if you live that long reduces nearly to nil by giving it away?  Sometimes though, we still persist on those - and that is why knitted and handmade gifts made with intention are special.//philosophy

Sunday, June 16, 2024

dans bits et morceaux


Yesterday I was on the postal route and two ladies were in the parking lot, one on the ground and the other on their hands and knees, looking up underneath a car - when I had delivered the mail they were coming back in the place, and asked me what I would do to get a kitten out from inside the workings of the car.  I gave a good effort myself but could not see anywhere to pull the kitten through, made a few calls for them to get advice, asked someone to put out a request on FB.  When the lady first asked me I felt that 'time-tug' that I could go on my way, I'm doing things - but there will be a reverse tug later that says 'you didn't even try' and that will be something that will just repeat and repeat in my head - as those things do.  So, I gave it a good try - and I still didn't succeed for them, but there wasn't anything else I could think to do, so finally I continued on with my route.  After finishing the route, two other carriers were having heat stroke symptoms and getting treated by an ambulance - and that made my decision that I would not go back out there again to the place and try again for the kitten - because I hadn't been able to personally get it the first time, and couldn't think of anything else to suggest other than the things I did when I was there.  I would hope someone else would be able to move them a bit further along the line and that they could get the little one out - but I called after I got home and it was still stuck, and they were still trying to get some authority out there to help (they kept getting turned down over the phone which is why they asked me)

But that is a big thing for me - and I realize that is a difference between me and other people --  other people say 'I kept my peace by saying no' and are proud of the statement...  and I'm standing here saying that statement does not make sense in of itself  'just saying 'no' can't possibly be peaceful in general - there are so many variables, don't you keep yourself up at night with all the variables?'  


I'm a classic overthinker - and I've found over the years, a neurodiverse person.  I go through more what-if scenarios in three seconds over minimal things than most people think of all day.  It took me a long time as a kid to realize other people don't do this - and I still have a hard time imagining what actual cognition - thinking would be without it.  So saying 'I said no, so I had peace' is like saying 'I didn't jump, so I kept my foot' There's a big piece of that original statement missing.   For me, there's not enough information there to say what decision was actually made.  But then - was a decision actually made?  Avoidance, not making a decision, is a decision as well, but that goes into some more philosophy.

And because I think out-of-the-box from the middle out, to all possible things I can think of at this moment forward and back, that is why I overwhelm some people when they do ask me for help.  This is why when I can't possibly think how to help more I have a hard time tearing myself away, but then when that happens over and over with a certain situation I just remove myself from the whole thing if possible - and then from the outside I know that looks like the above.  Again, variables - it's all variables and no simple answer.  It would feel less like reality, wouldn't it, if it was a simple answer?  That's when things get suspect, when the answer proposed is too cut and dry / black and white.  //philosophy

But because I know this about myself - I do what works for me better.   I keep my peace by saying 'I tried' or 'I thought through all the combinations possible' (until someone invents time travel *ha*) - and it is when I don't do this that I don't have peace.   I am so much more of a looming shadow over myself, way too often, than any other person could be - because of: wherever I go, there I am.


It is also Father's Day today, and I do have to go do some more packages in the heat - but that is a very different thing than having to do the mail AND the packages.  For one thing: you can keep the windows up and the air conditioning on and just drive directly to and get out where you need to put packages out.  With doing the mail you always have the window down and are always in the hot with your arms out to the boxes every few minutes.  I used sunscreen yesterday and brought two forms of drink AND a backup bottle of water - so I didn't have as much of the issue I had on Friday.  I hope I can bring home some bit of candy or other thing for Mark after work today - and then we plan on going out to do a few things tomorrow (Monday).

I was able to water the garden yesterday when I got home - and things are looking pretty good out there.  Not lush, but good for low-maintenance 'I do other things most of the time' garden.  The collards are starting to sprout, and half of the sprouts I was given to put in the deep garden are surviving.  A couple of sunflowers from a random packet Mark had given me a few years ago were making a good effort in a hill in the strawberry patch.  There is a cucumber started, and lots of little cherry tomatoes, and a few peppers that might be big enough to harvest tomorrow.  I need to cut out that rose vine and put it in a pot so I can give it to somebody on Monday - but I don't want to cut back the entire thing because our starts in the other pots were not doing so well.


I did Russian, French and Spanish yesterday but skipped Greek mostly - I took a review on Czech vocab on babadum to help sort out what special characters we need to put in a 3d printed tile set.  Mark wanted me to work out the statistics for how many I would need to be a good 'scrabble' type set for Czech, Greek and Cyrillic characters.  I realized, working with Duolingo vs the vocab on babadum I really don't have as many Czech words as I thought I did, and that some more practice would be good there.

Saturday, June 15, 2024


 I did two postal routes yesterday, and it was very hot, I had only planned for the short one - bought a lemonade, but told myself I should really plan for more than what they tell me each time, so I'm not caught out - bringing extra liquids and sunblock today, as the extra sun exposure catches me later in the day, as well, with almost an allergic type run-down body reaction when it begins to turn bright pink

I was using my regular thin shawl as a blanket last night and even that was too thick - thinking I need to start work on a lace-like knit made out of a thin thread, it would take forever, or find some sort of sheer fabric (I might have something, might not) and just put an edge on it.  I like to have something over my neck and shoulders, even if it is a whisper, or I don't sleep well.

Got up for two hours in the middle of the night this time and drank a lot of fluids while I studied my French, to prepare for today.  Then I slept for two more hours.    It'll be hot out again today, so I watered the garden a bit last night and more this morning, and gave the chickens fresh water.  Yesterday I was nearly too tired to finish everything when I got home (after six extra hours helping on a route I hadn't planned for, but got it done - I used to do that one years ago, and it's not hard, but it is long) so doing that amount of French in the early hours of today gives me one thing ticked off my list for when I get home tonight.  Off we go.

Thursday, June 13, 2024



The first full set of the Scrabble tiles

Charlotte 'helping' me in the garden, rolling around and making sure all the rabbits and deer know this is her place as well as mine.

 There are some fruits starting on the plants here, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers - Mark thinks I put too much fertilizer to water ratio when I put some out to day but I will water more again tomorrow as it will be ninety degrees.  But I have a short postal route to run, as well.

Esme and I went out to get chicken feed today, and then got library cards and books in the town where I work at the post office.  We have cards for the other one in our county, but we haven't gotten over there as often - and it was a good idea to stop.  She said that the young adult section in this library, even though the place was very very small, was really good.  We also stopped and got drinks at a cafe and went to sit in a college student nook for a bit to read our books - there was a grackle coming back and forth feeding a nest of baby birds up high in the rafters there - it was quite cool to watch.  We didn't even know they were there until the parent arrived and suddenly the world was full of chirp.  We had went down to the nook because there as a lawncare company making huge noise by the gazebo in the square we initially tried to sit at.

I also made a pint of blackberry syrup from blackberries up the road.  Mark didn't think they were going to be useful - and I couldn't help myself from picking at least a small amount.  I followed my instincts, although I looked up that it should be apple cider vinegar AND salt (I remember salt always, from my mother's instructions) and clear water and many rinsings to remove the little bugs that like to live in the berries.  And then heat up to boiling with sugar, lemon juice and water and mash it up, then bring to simmer and simmer for a bit, and then strain it to get out as much of the seed and pulp as possible.  Mark wanted me to add even more sugar to it - I doubled the amount I had originally put in it, but then I told him I was going to see what this was like before adding more.  I had a spoonful of it on ice cream, and it was very good.  It could have been thicker, simmered down longer etc.. but it's still quite good the way it is.

Did Greek lesson, Spanish Duolingo, French Duolingo (high grammar), Russian lesson on Busuu, and Lithuanian and French alternating on Babadum and Baltoslav.  I read half of Neil Gaiman's 'Stardust' book that I checked out from the library.  


It is 8 pm and I've been up since 4 am... will try to get some more sleep tonight.



I was woken up so early this morning by a very strange dream of my mother, and the 'afterlife' / 'between-world' etc.. as the mixed up ways of roads and hallways and bureaucracy and things that make no sense - it is not the first time, not by far, that I have had the same sort of dreams - usually she is 'lost' or has to ask me something again, like what my phone number is - but this time she wanted to talk to me about what I was going to take into the hospital to do a surgery, and I picked out a few bits of clothes out of the car we had come in, saying I didn't need even half of this stuff for a two day stay etc.. and I was trying to figure out how to carry a bag in, if anybody was going to help me, but I grabbed a long-sleeved pink and white gingham shirt that was very specific and said that would be useful for sitting up in bed once I was feeling better, my stepfather (who is still alive, I'm pretty sure) took one of the bags from me, but he set it down on the ground, he was with a few other people I never actually looked at and they asked him and me about the twins (my cousins, his nieces) and I told them I hadn't heard anything about them in years, sorry - we discussed something about what I was going into the hospital for, something I had been ignoring in my stomach (makes no sense) and it had gotten to the point I had more trouble with it and needed to fix it - and my stepfather and the other people went back into the van - but my mother came with me - and then I went up into the hospital and my mom came with me, I was carrying a small bag and the shirt draped on my arm, we passed through all the hallways just fine on the way to the right office, I stopped and looked at a vending machine someone was messing with at a checkpoint desk, while they found out if I was supposed to be there and I waited for them to open the door - it was full of strange packaged foods like a candy machine, but the outlet was some sort of square bucket somebody (an old man, the guard was talking to him, apparently he did this often) was trying to mix stuff up right there like a slop pit - and I decided I didn't want any of that food - and then when I was supposed to check in at the correct time for the surgery (2 pm) a nurse met me in the hallway and looked me up on a list, said they weren't ready, things were just too busy, brought me to a waiting room, where I tried to check in with the secretary on the left who was VERY rude and snappy and wouldn't let me say a word in edgewise even to say who I was - she just wanted me to sit down and wait until spoken to - how long? don't TALK, don't look at me, No No don't EVEN etc.  and another nurse or secretary leaned over while I was going 'sheesh' to my mom and we were sitting down - she told me in a low voice that it was just very busy today, things weren't going right at all, and the other lady was just very upset - the angry lady peered down the row and  snapped at me again for sitting (when she had told me to) - and for talking to the other lady - and I didn't like that at all - went into some room after a few minutes with the clipboard nurse and my mom and somebody else were asking me about what I wanted to know about what they might do, and what might happen - discussed that didn't I know things could go wrong, I said everything would be alright, no matter what, as long as they wrapped me in a clean cloth soaked in clean water, things would turn out okay and I was very lucid in that moment in the dream - with my conviction and knowing I should be afraid of what she was implying but saying 'this is how this is'  This felt like one of those 'tests' in a dream, where they try to make you terrified of what might happen, but you already know it is a dream - but you are also bound to tell them your exact personal truth because you can see it at that moment clearer than you sometimes do when you are awake.  They wanted me to back out?  Have a crisis?  Demand a ton of more info?  But I didn't, because there was nothing I could do personally that was going to affect the outcome, but also, it was a dream and I was awake in the dream.  Usually - lucid dreaming you can do whatever you want, and make things happen because you know it is a dream - but I felt this was more a 'deep questions' thing.  However, we went further into the room and I got onto the hospital bed or exam table? it was hard like a table but sat up like a bed, and I quickly fell asleep - and lost time - then was floating above over the tables in that room it was almost Star Trek looking down at multiple tables set at odd angles to each other, sort of like a pathway or buffet, and there were body parts all over them, very unrealistic heads and legs and arms - and someone was telling me they were mine, but no they weren't (hey, Worf's head made an appearance, and he was definitely not me)- because I was right here and standing up from beside the table whole and clothed just the same as when I came in - and it was all just movie props - I could tell they wanted me to be scared, but I was more creeped out and wondering why they were messing with me (we watched something sort of gory last night, the movie Pitch Black), and I couldn't tell if they did any surgery or not or I had just been asleep and woke up - and I didn't really want anything more to do with the place, so somehow we ended up walking back out of there and getting into what looked like my postal van but with seats instead of the racks - I was driving with my mom alone in the van down roads that doubled back over them (I've been there before - in many dreams, it is so hard to find the right exits, you have to get on the correct highway ramp to begin with, then you have to exit, go back down the other way parallel and opposite to where you were going a second ago, and then turn again onto the right road again), and then we were driving straight along and the road got narrower, and narrower, and we were now in the country, traveling down a less busy road, over some railroad tracks looking down into places where I was sure I had gotten my vehicle stuck before, and places that I maybe had walked before, and forgot where I was going - I had lost mom at the railroad tracks somewhere back there and I was by myself again and even my car wasn't a real car, it was a little electric toy thing I was riding that shouldn't even have been able to go that fast - and when I got to 'work' I was trying to find a parking spot for it, I didn't even want to leave in the parking lot because it was scooter-weight and could just be picked up and carried off - so I carried it under my arm into the building! and tried to find a place to stash it behind some chairs in the breakroom... I was working at the cross/mixup between Michaels and Lowes again trying to figure out what locker to put things in and how to login and what time I should be there on the schedule, and what I needed to do today... eventually woke up because I hate the 'passwords' and 'combination locks' bits - up to then I can navigate the dream but those usually make me just wake up

Wednesday, June 12, 2024


We did those two flea market days in a row, and that was a bit much for us, social introvert wise.  I did some gardening yesterday, and will go out there again in a little bit to look everything over.   And today we did some shopping, and glad to be home.  

I've studied a little less of the Lithuanian the past day or so, give myself some time to see how much I've soaked in.  I did a bit more today than yesterday, and found myself getting about 1 in 8? of the 'non-super-easy' ones wrong - I wasn't counting the ones like 'galaktikus' for galaxy, but more the ones that are very specific to the language, like 'pamesti' (to drop/lose)  - not obviously borrowed words.  That is still pretty good for a week on it.  (and hundreds and hundreds of words)


I've added some Greek review the past few days, and continued with the Russian site (Busuu) and Spanish and French on my Duolingo profiles (with the Greek there, and on Greekpod101).  I dropped the Bulgarian except for a word or two here and there because I tried to join their site as a birthday gift and it wouldn't let me pay for less than 6 months.. and I didn't want to commit to that much money on it yet.  Instead, I'll buy myself a longer garden hose closer to my birthday.  We've also still got to pay for what the mail truck is in the shop for, and fix the kitchen faucet that has sprung a leak, but not a major one.

Today at the supermarket Esme brought me this little cooler thing that Mark wanted to use in the greenhouse for cold-stratifying seeds - and I didn't know what in the world they wanted it for when she came up to me carrying it.  I asked her 'Apparata se quoi?' loud enough that people turned heads next to me.  She knew what it meant (fairly easy - what is this apparatus? in pseudo-latin-french which my brain seems to operate in).  Then : I kept myself from saying the next thing that was not quite-English 'ya apres nostri a seguir' (it follows after us) and instead said the English translation from my brain of 'I guess it's coming with us then', with a note of resigned sarcasm.  That last bit isn't Latin, it isn't Catalan, it isn't French - but it has elements of all three.  

I really don't know what language my brain 'speaks' in before it translates to English - at one time I thought it had to be only French, because that was what was present in my childhood - but the answer lies somewhere between several languages - so I must have picked up more from reading, dictionaries and encyclopedias, (my dad had a set of language books from Simply Teach Yourself ...something in red leather-bound volumes, there were also math, accounting and other books in that series but I adored the multiple languages), other television? and so forth.  And the more languages I learn, the better I am at interpreting that what comes 'pre-installed'  isn't just nonsense, it actually does have roots in somewhere, and that it's grammar, of course, is absolutely horrid.

note : a friend looked at what I had written and said 'you were speaking a patois' - a pidgin, especially of French, that includes regional dialectical differences and/or adaptations to nearby languages, sometimes called a creole in other countries, but also referring to the 'country speak', 'colloquial' or 'rough way of saying things (what patois means)' vs. the refined correct grammar forms.  I like that, I'll take it.  

 I don't know what form of French my grandmother spoke, as she was French and Indian (Ojibwa from Rolla, ND, her parents did not live on the reservation, her mother was half or full Indian, from what I was told and remember (I was five when she died, and my mother told me some of it - so this is how I remember what I was told:) my great-grandmother's name was Bessie Gannon on my grandmother's birth certificate, and a gravestone I've seen - but didn't have any birth record for Bessie that we could find - and her father was many nationalities, in-and-out moving around, gambling and doing odd and long-haul type jobs - Grandma was third or fourth youngest out of ten children, several of the girls had already gotten married and moved away - so after Grandma was seven years old (and her younger sister four, and maybe another younger boy, and then the baby girl) their mom got sick and their father had been away for a long time, and all the children at home, right down to the 18 month old baby, were sent to an orphanage near Owatonna, Minnesota, very far away from their home.  The boys and the girls got split up.  The baby was adopted out (Grandma's sister, when I was a kid, found her and met with her).  

In the orphanage it is possible they learned Latin from the nuns? but she did tell me they were nuns, and they definitely spoke some German, and that she and her sister were in a German speaking household for a while but the lady gave them back because Grandma was stubborn and talked back, she said the lady called them 'dumkoff' (dumbhead) all the time, and that Grandma wouldn't stand for them beating her littler sister who still wet the bed, she made them beat her instead and she told me that once when she fought back the lady locked her in a closet and she screamed and hollered and beat on the door and after that I guess the lady decided Grandma was too spirited for her and both girls went back to the orphanage).  

Grandma's name was Vera, and her little sister was Inez, and the youngest I think was Priscilla by birth? perhaps Patricia.  The older girls were Nora and Eva and Ava and another name that sounded like Eva... and then there were several boys Arthur and Clyde.. Claude? and I can't remember the other maybe a William?  What I did find out I had written down in a notebook for Esme for the future - but I can't find it now.. it's somewhere around here with a bright turquoise cover and has all of my father's family's info  and my mother's father's family's info in it as well (which I found much more of).

On Baltoslav tools - I am playing the pictures game in multiple languages - it goes very quick and gives me a good random selection of words to test - and in Bulgarian, I am getting today maybe a score of 5 or 7 before I lose the three lives over 4 times, in Latvian, about 40, in Lithuanian also about 40 - both of those about 4 times played, Catalan 55 (high score, 2 times), in French 280 (one time played)!  I find it really interesting what French words I have not learned, like wild boar, or trace (it left no trace, not to trace something) etc..  they tend to be high tier ones you would only get in certain circumtances.  In Catalan I'm still getting some of the next tier down wrong - faucet, sparrow etc.

After that, did a comparison with babadum on the French and went to score 125 - with probably about ten mistakes in there on again (it doesn't show you how many mistakes, and there are no 'lives lost' there.  Again, it was mostly high level words that I had not heard and/or positively identified before - even in all the time I've studied French - but I felt the mistakes harder, and also felt the 'I can figure that out from it's parts' stronger, as well - on words that I had an idea about, but had not heard the combination before.  I also like that I knew a lot of the 'abstract' words in French that I have learned the Lithuanian word for on the same system, but how that feels different in my head now because I know the French from a different level, and understand that picture better now (since it is all pictures there, and no explanations).

Monday, June 10, 2024

Community Scrabble Game at the flea market


We were out at our local flea market and showing off the 3D printed things, the magnetic Scrabble game, and our greenhouse plants.


Sunday, June 09, 2024

language learning vocabulary

So this is the fifth or sixth day I've done comparative Latvian<->Lithuanian vocabulary and Russian and Spanish lessons on the same day.  And my brain is in the 'drawing connections, remembering patterns' stage.  I just have to keep it up.

Notes on learning language method - when I begin to point at pictures and say the word, instead of just hear it and choose it - I know I'm actually taking it in at a deeper level, the way children learn vocabulary.  This is also the stage where I begin to ask myself later - what WAS that word, do I remember it?  What is the word for this?  For that?  Hey, those four similar words all have *x* sequence in them, or something very similar to them - maybe, they all share the same root or have the same 'form' (like fireman - runner - mechanic - garbage man, all have the 'is a person who does something' added to the end of them) - or that the other suffix actually means 'thing that <--' etc.  Lots of verbs, but not all of them, end in i 


And my brain begins to ask : Hey, do we know all the numbers yet?  How about the colors?  We know *x,x,x,x* body part words, but do you know what X is?  This is because I'm using that babadum and baltoslav tools sites which randomly give you words and pictures in your target language - so you are learning it more realistically, bit of everything all mixed up, then repetition at random intervals.  What I am finding the most intriguing is the way the brain wants to fill in the gaps and begins running 'discovery' 'fill in the blanks' and 'if this, then ?'

Notes : (don't take these as firm meanings, this is me poking holes and trying to work out the language as a non-native learner)

niekas - nekta - nothing

kazkas - something

kas - what (perhaps who?)

atidaryti - to open pradėti - to start / begin

uždaryti - to close to finish / end : užbaigti

skaityti - to read

žiūrėti - to see, view  (also : matyi - to see, witness)

mokykla - school, mokyk - to teach mokytis - to learn

rašy - to do with writing (parašyti)

----rašytojas : a writer   parašas : a signature 

--- laikraštis (time+write?) newspaper  laišką (a letter)

piesti - to do with drawing (pieštukas = pencil) 

tapyti - to paint (teptukas = paint)

sokti - to do with jumping

šaukštas - a spoon

šepetys - a brush  šluota : a broom

ilgas - to be lengthy, to be long

trumpas - to be short, not having length 

spinta - closet, spintele - cupboard  (Latvian  : skapis)

stala - table (Latvian : galds)

kėdė - chair (Latvian : krēsls)

suolas - bench / desk 

kilimas : rug  also uzklotas (a cover, duvet?) Latvian : paklājs

blanket : antklode, antklodas

grindys - the floor

aukštas - weird word?, meaning 'great / grand / tall' but also, sometimes, the floor?

dangus - the sky / heavens / above

aukščiau - above  virš - over   ant - onto, on top of

laba - generally meaning 'good'

blogas - generally meaning 'bad' / evil, wicked

zalingas - harmful, dangerous

zeme - having to do with the ground Zeme means 'Earth'

gėlių  / gėlės : flowers

gyvūnai - animals, gyvūlai  : cattle  gyva (alive)

daržovės - vegetables, greenstuffs 

ūkis  : farm  daržinė : barn  tvartas : barn / stable

višti : chicken  vištiena (chicken to eat)

kiaušinis - egg (Latvian : olu)

virti - to cook, to boil  garai - to steam (garas : steam)

kniga / knyga : books  (this is the same word in Czech)

žvaigždė - stars žvaigždynas (constellation)  -dynas ?  system / pattern?

tinklas - net, also to do with netlike things 

tvora, tvorė- a fence, and fence like things 

----a hedge is : gyvatvorė where gyva means : alive

virvė - a rope, and rope-like things  

lyna / lynus - a line like thing  pynė : string

saltys - having to do with cold

ledo - having to do with ice

maistas - mitalas - food, maitinti - to feed / nourish 

---laistyti - to give water to  

---gerti - to drink

-ninkis? - a person who does something

---aha! 'karininkas' means official, officer, someone appointed to do something

augalas - having to do with plants

ugnis - having to do with fire

jūra - the sea  jūre, jūro- having to do with the sea, from the sea

saule - having to do with the sun

karsta - hot

lenta - having to do with a board / shelf

langas - having to do with a window

siūlas - having to do with sewing,  thread  siūti : to sew

zve- prefix: - having to do with fish   žuvis : fish

upė - river,  upelis -  stream, creek, brook

udens / vandens - water

lašas - droplet, a drop of water, a small glob dew, tear

ašara - a teardrop 

būda - a house, a hut 

----however,  namas : a house, dwelling (in Lithuanian) and mājas : a house (in Latvian) 

urvas - a cave, cavern, burrow  also : ola, ala (Latvian)

anga - a hole also urvas, pramusa

mediena / medis - having to do with wood, sometimes, (not medved, that is bear) 

kirtys - having to do with cutting (medkirtys = woodcutter)

vanikis - karuna, crown

spyna - a lock,  raktas - a key 

burnas - the mouth

akis - the eye

vilk - having to do with wolf

avis - the sheep

stačia : stable, upright

kampis : angle   stačiakampis : rectangle trikampis: triangle 

senas, senia - old, aged  senelis - grandfather 

jaunas - young  jaunamis : young person, jaunikis : bridegroom??

vyras - man, male  vyriškis - a gentleman

kudikis - baby,  vaikas - young children  jauniklis - offspring, younglings

pirst - having to do with a finger (antpirstis - thimble) (pirstina - glove) 

delnas - the palm of the hand

ranka - the hand

galva - the head

laik, laikas - having to do with time? maybe?

arbata - having to do with tea

puoda - a pot, puodelis - a cup (a little pot?)

šalmas - a helmet

-tukas - implement / object ??  

greitas : to be fast, rapid, quick

-siukas / liukas, having to do with offspring?   a small thing?

plakti, pliekti - to beat, lash, whip, also to clap : plaktukas : a hammer,  

--ploti, suploti, paploti  : to flatten plojimai : to clap hands, applause

-plauti - to wash / rinse,  to clean : valyti

kauliukai kauliukas is dice, and kaul is a stone

but also kumeliukas is colt, and versiukas is calf  avenelis is a lamb

gaudyti, sugauti, pagauti : to catch

rinkinys rinkimas : a set or collection

įrankiai  / rykai: tools  (see above : rankinis - by hand, manual)

maišas - a bag 

du- dvi - / sometimes to do with the number two (dvinia - twins) dvigubai - double

pienu / pieno - milk   (I've seen this before, but can't remember what language)

geležies : having to do with iron (ferrous) 

---geležinkelis (railway (tracks)) 

duoti - to give, rodyti : to show off   davona : gift 

petnešos : suspenders, braces   nešos (will carry)

stiklas, bokalas : glasses, mugs etc.  stiklainis : jar

skalbinai - laundry   to wash : skalbimas (washing machine : Skalbimo mašina)

vaista - drugs, medicines   vaistine - apothercary, pharmacy

parduotuvė : shop, magasin, store   parduoti : to sell (verb)

vėje : the wind, but I see it in several words that mean to carry, to have, to dispense 

vaisių sodas : orchard   vaisių meaning fruits,  sodas meaning garden

liesti - to touch

for later :

also : https://www.spokenlithuanian.com/how-to-make-a-question-in-lithuanian-language

The work weekend has finished out - and the mail truck is back at the mechanic getting it's gas leaking issue looked at.  We have the other vehicle back, and Mark wants to get our groceries bought and go try the other flea market in the afternoon tomorrow.

I'll be looking forward to sleeping in just a little - and of course, continuing with this language learning stage.

Made Pad thai from the package for Esme and I again tonight - I really like that and it was fairly quick when we just made it with eggs.  She was really into some online game today.  I did about four and a half hours of packages today, took a nap, helped Mark make peanut butter fudge, then immediately made dinner, and then the mechanic called.

Friday, June 07, 2024

work weekend

Last night I dreamt it was raining, three times or so, and it wasn't.. so I started out the day a little tired.  But when I laid down to sleep last night, I couldn't get my brain to stop moving - so it is six of one, half a dozen of the other.  Heading deeper into the work weekend, did the route today, got home, bathed dogs, lots of laundry, made dinner - and headed off to bed soon....

Also : quite a bit of Spanish on both Duo profiles, then Russian on Busuu, and Latvian on three programs, and round about with more Spanish on the other app

The banana pancake recipe :

one banana with brown spots, peeled, mashed into a bowl

three eggs or so, mix with the mashed banana

add salt, and about 1/4 cup of sugar or less (depending on quantity of banana)

Put some baking powder into some flour, and add to the mixture until it is the proper consisitency

Heat butter on a pan, use a measuring cup to add a large pancake blob to hot butter - flip, put on plate

serve with maple syrup, or fruit (we had ours split in half beside a rice dish, with peaches and another plain omelet, also split between the plates)

Mark says every time I make this he thinks of the movie Noises Off - and the four plates of mashed banana (instead of sardines).. but he says he hasn't said that out loud to me before last night.  We watched the movie, because I couldn't remember the line - but yes it is there.  The tired guy goes off to make the plates at one point during that rehearsal - I wonder if he ever made them?  The sardines make so many points of being slipped on and thrown around and mashed into people's hair/faces in the movie, that it is hard to imagine the role being taken over by banana.

Mark will have his letter set ready in a few more days - he is making tweaks and adjustments, and one of the filaments didn't work out well so he is making it with another.

Thursday, June 06, 2024

letters for you letters for me


Latvian words

I have this old set of Bananagrams tiles from when Esme was small - and I found them in a box of mosaics I was looking through.  I've been pulling them out on my desk and saying 'what words do I see'.. and then trying to figure out which language they have come from.  And when I do my Latvian vocabulary site I sometimes spell out what words I can from the tiles to help reinforce.

Mark is making a set of fridge magnet holders and tiles, and also considering putting foreign language letters common to Czech, Latvian and Romana for me - and publishing different sets like that on his 3D printer site.

The knee is much better today, still stings but not purple and is healing.  I went and got some more groceries to hold us through the weekend.  We're still waiting on the other truck to finish being repaired.  I'm working on Latvian/Lithuanian (they are different languages but the words are somewhat similar in some areas, and interesting where they aren't - like frog is varde / varlė (Latvian / Lithuanian) and water is ūdens / vandens and cave is ala / urvas.  I'm getting much better at recognizing all of the words in the picture games (one is only Lithuanian on their site, baba dum, and the other baltoslav has both)

Gave Esme another French lesson out of the little book we are working on - and I am hoping she is getting something out of it.  She says she is - and that she likes it when I compare the Spanish words like Comment / Como to their French equivalent to emphasize the similarities.  I then did the Spanish vocabulary site (spanishdict) - still amazed how much I can mix that up with French - even when I'm trying hard, but I can remember a few more than I used to on the verbs, so it is working some.   Worked on Spanish on DuoLingo as well, and it always takes longer and loses all my hearts.  I've got my Russian lesson to take a little later, it will take about ten minutes, and then decide which language to continue on in my mobile DL.  


I should have grabbed more butter at the store and then made some more madeleines today.  We are going to decide on something for dinner here in a little while.

Wednesday, June 05, 2024




I made and drew a nice little accordion card for someone, and sent it off in the mail.  I had planned to do a bit more today, but then upon mailing said letter out early in the morning, I did this - rubber ankle again, but I was wearing shorts, and this time I did not come out with just bruises - but it is already looking a bit better after cleaning and putting salve on - less purple, at least, for now.  I was walking fine on a normal surface in normal shoes - and my left ankle bent double outward... it happened so quickly I wasn't even sure I was on the ground - it's something I tell myself I need to be more careful sometimes but really, how?  I could wear a brace, but even then, it has happened in the knee instead of the ankle or still at the ankle and just bruised around the brace.

 It rained so heavily in the night - all the animals were okay.  I get to looking around the house and knowing I still have a lot I could attend to, but on the days I go to the post office I don't see it as much.  And, I know, I have bad habits of going overboard and feeling much worse for it - either by physically getting myself injured again or just throwing away too much for the sake of it looking cleaner - I have to ask myself am I actually cleaning to have it cleaner or just to feel better about it, and evaluate what both the question and the answer mean.  My inner philosopher doesn't quit.

Someone else had posted this as now I have to learn three languages

I fixed that to fit myself better

really : My Hindi is only at the alphabet stage - I hardly even know any words.. my Latvian though, that counts - I am picture-book level in that and know a lot more words when presented with them.

I've done a little bit here and there in the house, swept and washed a few of the places in the concrete floors where it gets all humid - towels and laundry and such - helped Mark with some of the greenhouse items, but probably not as much as he wanted me to.  Hanging lights over the begonia terrariums was a bit of a stretch for my shoulder (but I got it there) and I knelt on the knee on the stool and broke it open a little further.  I did several language programs, but nothing very deeply - and felt that I was procrastinating again. 

The blackberries are ripening outside.

poem :

The Winged Elm

I spoke to you of

perhaps, of all, that I would

be the winged-elm tree

and today, returning from the road

upon mailing a letter to a friend

I passed the tree and said

perhaps with irreverence

and not enough introduction

that very same thing

of all that are here

I would, perhaps, be you

and then the fault of gravity

and tendons too soft for their work

took me down to the ground

blood and stones brushing from my skin

a few blackberries in my hand

themselves uncrushed

oh no, I did not mean today

we’ll leave this topic for later

while I go and clean my wounds

Tuesday, June 04, 2024

the norm

 just thoughts...

'the norm' amount of language learning I do per day seems like a lot on a day when I'm running a full mail route - and like 'ok, now what' on a day off... but that is a pretty good balance

except that I sit here and don't want to go to the garden, or to any big project, not even to crocheting on my project, or to cooking... there are things I could do, oh yes - but when I think of them they seem like huge tangles of yarn that would take forever to do something with and I do not want to start... yet I know when I start, it will feel different.  And there are things I could worry about, waiting for the mechanic to call etc.. and again, tangles, with just as much acceleration once I begin so I hold my handbrake hard and stare at the chess board waiting for something to leap up and scream it has to be done

but I got myself out today and got the animal feeds for the week, and a few groceries, and gas in that same vehicle that is having the issue - while we wait for the other one to come back, and then all of the chess moves that were required for the day (and still hard to start, because yes, I had left the tail lights on the other night for two hours (it is a spring mechanism in the mail truck), and I feared I would have to charge the battery, but I didn't.. so with that threshold jumped over, I went and did the things).  The tail lights are a minor minor issue, the leaking fuel injector - only during certain moments, not all the time - is what needs to be looked at next.


Then, I sit down and stare at the computer again... sent a little French to Esme over the server, even opened up Stardew valley for the first time since before last Christmas... and I feel like I'm wasting time but I don't want to start anything big, again.  It's a strange feeling.  I've done dishes and laundry, ran errands, studied French, and Spanish, and Russian and Latvian today, and still, I feel like I didn't do much because I avoided scrubbing the floor or sorting out everything in the world that needs to be sorted out etc etc.. I take a step back, and look at it all, and say : There's still dinner to be made.  But I did get something for that when I was out.


I did finally attain level 25 in Welsh on Duolingo, did that all before 6 am.. before 'real time', time other things are open and other people are awake - feels different.  And I also know I could be sleeping during that.. but when I'm up, sometimes, I'm just up.

did a Spanish test that put me at A2 (I'm B1 in French, and it goes A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2), better than nothing, but I do know I need to practice a lot more, and that my B1 could be even better in French if I would just buckle down on grammar


Walking Up and Down


I go out to the world

to the garden, to the road

allay little fears here, and there

check on this plant, these details

do the chickens have fresh water?

did I leave the tail-lights on again?

are the lettuce plants being eaten?

is there any fluid leaking under the car? 

and are those windows rolled up as well?

is the rain pooling inside the garage again?

was the mail delivered today after I came by?

have all of our animals come in from the rain now? 

I am walking through the little pathways of my mind

trying to tell it that it does not need to jump up and down

perhaps, the hours of the clock will slip by

perhaps, dinnertime will sort itself

perhaps, fear can take a rest

perhaps, I can enjoy calm

for a moment


 sigh, no, not I

and I climb the stairs again

Monday, June 03, 2024

faire le ménage ou apprendre quelque chose?

One small layer of my brain says I should be cleaning - I'm doing some laundry - I should be baking more madeleines because I'll eat them, but there are no eggs (except under chickens) as they were all boiled and fed to dogs.   Instead I'm practicing my French to Spanish, because I keep reaching 'through' the French to get the Spanish from the English... and that is just how my brain is set up.  I will be doing my Russian lessons later, as well, but for now, this seemed to be the rubber-band effect I needed in my brain.

Spanishdict.com : using that for 'blind' retrieval of Spanish words from English - and that is hard - spelling them and not grabbing the French word.  When I consistently keep reaching for the French, I've been writing it down on a list of things to practice, to connect the three angles of the triangle (French--English--Spanish) a bit better.

Mark made me the extra colors of the pushpin magnets I was asking for - the red for French a week or so ago, and now the blue for Spanish - and I've been putting them to use this morning putting up the words I have a hard time grabbing the Spanish word (blue) for from the French (red).  And as I was reaching through this brain network I sat down and drew a little map of some of what it feels like where languages are stored.  Of course, the more I work with a language recently, the more it takes up more space and connects in with other things.  That 'pool' of blue for Spanish isn't completely a good thing - because it is pooled there half isolated and hard to retrieve.  But there is always the base of French, ASL And English that were there in my infancy.. wrapped and flowing through everything - and everything else gets connected and shoved in and around it like a big squishy purse or drawer where the files are not well organized.

(separate thought : perhaps Latvian shouldn't be such a tiny dot, I recognize and can insert words on Clozemaster far better than I do many of the others - although I get 10/10 on French there, and 9/10 on Spanish, getting 7/10 on Latvian, which I've barely studied, is nothing to sneeze at, and I do a pretty good job on BaltoSlav languages on Latvian words and Ba ba dum has Lithuanian that is closest, flag striped yellow/green/red : I have played a bit more on Bern Istaba as well, the children's site for Latvian similar to the English site Starfall Esme used to play on)

But I have swept and put the rugs in the laundry - I'm afraid perhaps the valve is leaking again, but we have to pull everything out to look at it, take the screws out of the wall and shut off the water - I've cleaned the floors in several places, looked in the fridge for anything to chuck out and so forth... with the truck not easy to get to town in, I don't want to get into a plumbing job or other major project.  If the valve is leaking, it is a tiny trickle that I have only barely noticed from a low spot in the garage floor that holds the water there if it gets there...  So many more things need to be dusted and cleaned, it is neverending.  And this is my first day off that didn't automatically come with 'ten other things' planned for me to do, so I've been sort of drifting from one thing to another and not held fast onto any one big thing I have to do today.  I haven't done a shred of art in a long time, well maybe a sketch or two, and the language map above probably counts in some way.

I did go look at the garden - everything has been very wet and is wanting warmth and sunshine, maybe even some fertilizer.  I pulled some weeds, fed the chickens, gave them fresh water - and Mark and Esme are doing things with the greenhouse plants.

Sunday, June 02, 2024


 My little Tacoma mail truck had a strange issue today, I went over a bigger-than-I-thought dip in a parking lot and hit the pavement at a bad angle - and the whole truck jumped quite a bit - and then the gas pedal went to the floor and there was no vroom... but everything else was working and I couldn't figure it out.  The vehicle moved forward very very slowly, and did not accelerate - but braked fine, turned off and on fine, changed gears (same in Reverse - very very slowly, no acceleration possible, but braked fine).  Called my mechanic and sent him this picture and we worked out over the phone that the cable to the pedal had slipped out of it's harness bracket and thus, had no tension to be pulled back and forth by the pedal.  He instructed me to place the cable back in the harness and tighten up the nuts so that it held in place again - and all worked out good.  She still needs to go back to him for the fuel injectors are not sealed entirely... but I've been working all week and he's had the other vehicle so I've just been trying to limp to the moment we can exchange and get this hopefully small adjustment made, so she can go back on a longer route.  I went on a longer route with the company vehicle the other day because I didn't think she was safe to take out on that - and got a bunch of wire wrapped up around the drive train underneath in a you stay on the side-of-the-highway or be wiped by a semi-truck sort of thing... mailbox to mailbox etc, but the postmaster was able to cut it all out with wirecutters and then the vehicle worked ok for the rest of the trip.

So, vehicle excitements - let's not have any more, please?

I got some more seeds in the mail, some for our greenhouse operations, and some for the gardens.  I would like to use some time out there tomorrow.  I've been working on French and Spanish on my two Duolingo apps, and Russian - and backing that up with the Russian lessons on Busuu and Bulgarian and French on Clozemaster.  I got the little reading book in the mail for French, but it is a bit higher level than I had hoped to go over with my daughter - still good for me, but I will have to stick to the children's primers with her over our family chat line for a bit.  I realized a few months ago that I had been avoiding Chinese and Russian and a few other languages simply because well, those were the "growing up during the Cold War" type languages that why would you learn those unless you needed them for some reason?  But also, that I was missing some essential knowledge as a linguist-wanna-be by avoiding them, and how much Russian was similar to Czech and Bulgarian - which are some of my target languages... and encountering it in movies and a few animal videos I'm watching.  Then I found the course on Busuu and it is really really good - presenting things in a very understandable manner and also very different than on Duolingo (much more focus on spelling and understanding the grammar reasoning).. so, wow, I didn't think I'd be learning that this year, but I am.

Languages : (PROGRESS)

French :      L 25         XP 50804 20804 XP beyond Level 25
Welsh    :     L 24         XP 29792 +208 XP to next level
Spanish :     L 23         XP 24646 +1354 XP to next level
Japanese :     L 19        XP 14335 +665 XP to next level
Czech :         L 19        XP 13649 +1351 XP to next level
Romanian :   L 17        XP 11143 +857 XP to next level
Portuguese :  L 16       XP 9632 +868 XP to next level
Italian  :         L 15       XP 7625 +1375 XP to next level
Greek :           L 14       XP 6955 +545 XP to next level
German :        L 14       XP 6041 +1459 XP to next level
Finnish :         L 13       XP 5515 +485 XP to next level
Catalan (es) :  L 12       XP 4052 +848 XP to next level
Swedish  :       L 11       XP 3689 +211 XP to next level
Norwegian :    L 11       XP 3097 +803 XP to next level
Spanish (fr):    L 11       XP 3025 +875 XP to next level
Russian           L 11       XP 3007 +893 XP to next level
Hungarian :    L 10       XP 2438 +562 XP to next level
Ukrainian :     L 10       XP 2288 +712 XP to next level
Irish :             L 9          XP 2174 +76 XP to next level
Turkish :        L 9         XP 2044 +206 XP to next level
Polish :          L 9          XP 1798 +452 XP to next level
Chinese:        L 8         XP 1446 +204 XP to next level
Dutch :         L 7         XP 998 +127 XP to next level
Hindi :         L 7          XP 977 +148 XP to next level
Zulu :         L 7            XP 789 +336 XP to next level