J’adore la France, Aussi

I can’t admit how much I love England whilst ignoring its more colo(u)rful, flavo(u)rful relative, France. You see, I once had an ardent affection for all things françaises.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

My obsession began in my twelfth year. We were required to pick a foreign language class in junior high school (ages 12-15). So, I looked over the options:

Spanish? ¡No! Too common!

German? Nein! Too much angry phlegm!

French? Oui! Just right!

Between pain au chocolat and Mont St. Michel; le Tour Eiffel and croissants; 400+ fromages officiels and Versailles; chocolat et chocolat; I fell for France like a pre-teen falling for a boy band.

Photo by Tamas Pap on Unsplash

The language was s-i-l-k. I loved calling a dog un chien, a car une voiture, and a pizza une pizza. I loved slurring words or artistically dropping endings. I loved expanding my lexicon; I could soon exclaim, “Zut alors!” or suggest we go “chez moi.”

I studied the language all through high school (ages 15-18) and into college. The relationship moved from underage crush to fangirl stalking.

If I could go anywhere in the world, it would be to France. Cream puffs were my favorite dessert. I knew to never cut French bread at the table. My 1’s had a serif and my 7’s a strikethrough. My months were janvier à décembre and my days were lundi à dimanche.

Then… we drifted apart. It was primarily communication problems -I simply couldn’t talk to France the way I could to England. I admitted that, all those times I’d promised to visit, I was lying. And, despite a brief fling with Astérix, I didn’t quite understand the French sense of humor.

Alas, we were never meant to be. C’était, peut-être, l’Angleterre. Peut-être…

What of you? Have you ever loved and left? Which country’s heart did you break?

—–

Aaaand, here are the things I wrote since last noting the things I wrote:
Wednesday, May 19: Asked about your favorite desserts.

Friday, May 20: An egg-cellent Friday Photo!

Sunday, May 22: Quoted Stuart Danker.
Declared Not Pam as the winner of the Terrible Poetry Contest!

Monday, May 23: Mormon Monday! Sundays are for taking the Sacrament.

Tuesday, May 24: Expressed my emphatic emotions of England.

Wednesday, May 25: Re-formed D. Wallace Peach‘s words to make a poem.

Thursday, May 26: It’s another Terrible Poetry Contest! YOU SHOULD ALL ENTER since this is the last one before I take a break. It’s a sonnet about soup. What’s not appetizing about that?

Friday, May 27: Yo-Yo-Yo-Toy-Yodahhh!

Saturday, May 28: Wrote a terrible poem that still needs work, to deal with the pain of Uvalde.

Sunday, May 29: Quoted Holly Whitaker.

Monday, May 30: I’m a Mormon, so I keep the Sabbath Day holy.

Tuesday, May 31ish: The Open Book Blogger Award!!

©2022 Chel Owens

Open Book Blogger Award, from John Teal

It’s been awhile (guess I drove some potentials away) but I’ve gotten another blogging award.

Photo by RODNAE Productions on Pexels.com

I’m super proud of this one, because it’s a unique honor bestowed by John Teal. According to his site:

Every now and again in the blogging world, you come across a creator that is an “Open Book” They are open about what they believe, feel or know. These people may have a niche audience, or they may be blogging about everything and anything. Whatever the subject, you just feel that if you were to sit in a room with them, they would be the same person. They are not blogging to gain popularity or likes, they are just laying it out as they see it.
Now that is not to say they would be talkative if you met them, they may be introverts or have imposter syndrome.. But deep down, what you see is what you get… they are without guile. The Open Book blog award is created to recognise just such people.

John Teal, “Open Book Blogger Award

Not only do I need to brush off my formal dining wear, I need to thank John for FINALLY giving me a label for this eclectic blog o’ mine: Open Book.

Enough with the acceptance speech. Let’s get right to fulfilling the requirements, which include answering some questions:

  1. Why do you blog?
    At this stage, for kicks and giggles …and connecting with my friends.
  2. What motivates you to share your thoughts?
    Sometimes, late at night, I have an itch. I …must …write ...a poem making fun of Ed Sheeran. Or, you know, someone nominates me for a blogging award.
  3. Are you disappointed if a post doesn’t reach many people?
    Hm. Yes and no. I was more disappointed before anyone read my stuff at all. Now, I’m more disappointed if people completely misunderstand what I wrote.
  4. Are there posts you have planned but never written – because its just too open?
    Yes! Yes! Yes! Mostly, those are political ones.
  5. How long have you blogged for?
    Years. I’ve a blogiversary coming up on June 24.
  6. Is there a blog post you have written and amazed yourself with?
    Yes. I find I write better toward a challenge. Charli’s prompts at Carrot Ranch are great for this.

Okay… now I’m to nominate others who are open. Thing is, most of my blogging friends are open book. We bond at that level. Specifically, I’ll say to check out Pete Springer and Bossy Babe. If you two want to answer the questions and keep the nominations rolling, go for it.

And here’s the badge:

©2022 Chel Owens

I’m a Mormon, So…

I’m a Mormon, so I don’t shop on Sundays.

Photo by Gustavo Fring on Pexels.com

Sunday, our Sabbath day, is set aside for honoring our heavenly father. We Latter-day Saints attend church, spend time with family, keep activities low-key, and avoid causing others to work. So, no shopping, eating out, remodeling a bathroom, visiting the local aquatic center, or skipping church to walk around the mall.

It’s “a day of rest.”

The Sabbath is the Lord’s day, set apart each week for rest and worship. In Old Testament times, God’s covenant people observed the Sabbath on the seventh day of the week because God rested on the seventh day when He had created the earth (see Genesis 2:2). After the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, which occurred on the first day of the week (see Mark 16:2), the Lord’s disciples began observing the Sabbath on the first day of the week, Sunday (see Acts 20:7).

LDS Student Manual, “Sabbath Day

Online retailers and 24-hour shopping marts can make adherence to this commandment tricky, but I aim for no browsing or impulse-buying when within midnight to midnight of a Sunday.

And, in case you wondered, those who need to work (like, doctors) or those who need to spend money (like, discovering there’s no food) are fine to do so.

©2022 Chel Owens

……

We Mormons are officially members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and are to drop any name but that. Since many recognize the nickname of ‘Mormon’ and it works with the alliteration so well, however, I will use the term.

My other note is that I will keep to official doctrinal practices. I will add my own application of them, especially in response to comments.

My final note is that I LOVE discussing anything I write. Don’t be rude, obviously, but any and all queries or responses are welcome.

My final note beyond the final note is that I do not seek to convert anyone. I am motivated by forming connections, answering curiosity, and straightening pictures. So, you’re safe.

A Mother’s Promise, in memory of Uvalde

I’ll see you soon,
I tell the sunshine behind your smile –
I promise your eyes; trusting, beautiful, brown.
Have fun at school. I’ll see you soon;
You say, I’ll see you soon.

what why
I ask I beg I cry
shadows block me
I’LL SEE YOU SOON
I scream at them
at nightmare sounds
and
crying crying crying
they stop me
hold me
stop

I’ll see you soon, I whisper
to what’s left
what’s left of you
my girl my
sunshine my
future my
promise

to empty eyes

and dead. dark. face.

©2022 Chel Owens

Not quite there, but that’s what I’ve got; a tribute to the parents of those killed at Uvalde, Texas.

The Terrible Poetry Contest 5/26/22

Welcome to the LAST biweekly Terrible Poetry Contest before summertime (here in the Northern Hemisphere)!

If you still aren’t sure what terrible poetry is or how to write it, read here. Now; on with the show:

  1. Last time, Not Pam‘s poem won! As such, she’s chosen the Theme and Form of this go-around to be a sonnet about soup.
    A sonnet is a fourteen-line poem written in iambic pentameter, with a rhyming pattern.
    Soup is the liquid version of solid food.
  2. Need to know the Length? It couldn’t be fourteen lines….
    (But if you go half that, we’ll count it as bonus points toward being terrible.)
  3. To Rhyme is what tradition says to.
  4. So, Terrible is what we all need. A soup or stew are what we all feed.
  5. Rating: PG or cleaner. What’s in your bowl?

You have till 8:00 a.m. MDT on Thursday, June 9 to submit a poem.

Use the form below if you want to be anonymous for a week. It hasn’t gone through unless you see a message saying it has.

For a more social experience, include your poem or a link to it in the comments. Please alert me if your pingback or poem does not show up within a day.

The winner gains bragging rights, a badge, and a grand prize I’m willing to mail if s/he is willing to be mailed*.

—–

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

©2022 Chel Owens

*Don’t worry. I never save addresses for nefarious purposes.

Reasons to read your work aloud, a re-form of D. Wallace Peach

I have an irksome sensitivity
to the sounds of words
and
the rhythm of phrases and sentences.
When I search for the right word,
it’s not just the meaning
I’m chasing.
I’m looking
for the right number of syllables,
the sharpness
or softness
of the consonants.
As I nestle a word into a sentence,
I listen for the subtlety
of alliteration,
a rhythm
in
the
flow
of
the
words
that form phrases,
phrases into paragraphs.

Photo by olia danilevich on Pexels.com

© D. Wallace Peach

From “16 Reasons to read your work aloud,” by D. Wallace Peach. Re-formed by Chel Owens.

Oh, England; I Love You So.

I can’t say precisely when I first loved England. Perhaps my raging anglophilia began with my mother’s choice of bedtime readings: Ten in the Bed, The Water-Babies, “Bessie’s Boil,” or James Herriot. Perhaps it began with television: The Chronicles of Narnia or The Scarlet Pimpernel or (my somewhat confused) late-night sneakings downstairs to catch Red Dwarf or Doctor Who -Oh! or Keeping Up Appearances!

Whether begun there or in some unknown infancy, I can admit to my affection’s growing through a guilty pleasure: BBC broadcasts. I remember paying rapt attention whenever they interrupted my listening to KBYU, the local LDS University’s classical music station.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

There was class! There was distinction! There was the most correct, proper way to pronounce …anything. I harbored a secret dream to one day be able to speak in as refined a manner as the BBC radio announcers.

I even practiced.

Erm… practised.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I read a lot as a child, my preferred genre being fantasy and adventure. My preferred period was the Any-time of Probably-England or its nearby Kingdoms. From Narnia I found Prydain; from thence, Cornwall; then the moors; Darrowby; Wonderland. England and its surrounds became synonymous with the romantic locales of magic and imagination.

My infatuation grew. Was it my heritage, being mostly of British descent? Was it my love of beef and potatoes? My odd sense of humo(u)r? My name?

Do I think I’m unique in this adoration? No. Look at the British Empire’s reach or at the popularity of The Beatles or Harry Potter.

I believe most of the world reserves a tender spot for that soggy land. Whether most of the world wishes to enter England’s sogginess through a magic wardrobe is another story -but the tenderness is there. Right?

©2022 Chel Owens

I’m a Mormon, So…

I’m a Mormon, so I take the Sacrament each week at church -if I’m worthy to do so*.

LDS Media Library
(And it’s my favorite Sacrament picture, since this is clearly how a family of boys behaves at church.
)

A Latter-day Saint sacrament meeting follows exactly the same format no matter which building you’re attending anywhere in the world, as I noted when I talked about Sunday worship.

First, the service opens with a congregational hymn, followed by the invocation (opening prayer). A member of the bishopric welcomes everyone and outlines the program. He’ll invite the attendees to prepare for the Sacrament by singing a sacramental hymn.

During the singing, at least one man who holds the Aaronic Priesthood at the level of priest (or higher) will prepare little trays with little cups of water and little trays with bits of broken bread. At the conclusion of the hymn, one priest will say the prayer for bread; the deacons and/or teachers will then distribute a bread piece to the highest order of priesthood in attendance (usually the bishop) and then to everyone else. They repeat this process of prayer and distribution with the water.

The bread is a symbol of Jesus Christ’s body. The water is a symbol of His blood. He suffered for the sins of all mankind and sacrificed himself for us.

Taking the Sacrament is a reaffirming of a member’s covenants s/he made at baptism:

When you were baptized, you entered into a covenant with God. You promised to take upon yourself the name of Jesus Christ, keep His commandments, and serve Him to the end (see Mosiah 18:8–10D&C 20:37). You renew this covenant each time you partake of the sacrament (see 20:77, 79).

LDS Study Manual, True to the Faith, “Baptism

We LDS are encouraged to prepare for sacrament meeting leading up to Sunday, repent of any sins needing repentance, and pray for forgiveness as we take the bread and water. The end result will be the same as when we were baptized: fresh, clean, and ready for a new week!

After the Sacrament service follows a varied program that usually involves members talking from the pulpit about an assigned gospel topic. The meeting ends with another hymn and the benediction (closing prayer).

See Wikipedia for a fairly decent, somewhat-more-expounded version.

©2022 Chel Owens

*Worthiness to take the Sacrament comes into question when a member has been asked not to as part of his/her repentance process or if s/he does not feel worthy. If a person does not feel worthy, s/he is recommended to speak to a member of the bishopric.

……

We Mormons are officially members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and are to drop any name but that. Since many still run with the nickname of ‘Mormon,’ however, I will keep pace.

My other note is that I will keep to official doctrinal practices. I will add my own application of them, especially in response to comments.

My final note is that I LOVE discussing anything I write. Don’t be rude, obviously, but any and all queries or responses are welcome.

My final note beyond the final note is that I do not seek to convert anyone. I ought to, but am motivated by forming connections, answering curiosity, and straightening pictures. So, you’re safe.