"Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by doing so some people have entertained angels without knowing it." - Hebrews 13:2



Monday, April 30, 2012

Portmanteau Words


In doing some research, I ran across the word: portmanteau. I am familiar with the term, but did some extra reading on it.

According to Wikipedia, the definition of portmanteau (plural portmanteaux or portmanteaus) or portmanteau word is “a combination of two (or more) words or morphemes into one new word. A portmanteau word typically combines both sounds and meanings, as in smog, coined by blending smoke and fog.  More generally, it may refer to any term or phrase that combines two or more meanings. In linguistics, a portmanteau is defined as a single morph which represents two or more morphemes.”

The article went on to talk about the many brand names out there that are a portmanteau word. I guess I didn’t realize there were so many.

Amtrack is the portmanteau of America and track. Comcast is the portmanteau of communication and broadcast, and cinema and maximum is Cinemax. Here are a few more: Verizon is the portmanteau of veritas and horizon. Panera is pan, the Latin word for bread, and era, the Latin word for time. The brand of water softening solution, Calgon, is the portmanteau of the words calcium and gone. That one has been around for a long time! 

Of course, there is the name meshing – Brangelina (Brad and Angelina) Tomkat (Tom and Katie) A new fad? Nah, sixty years ago, Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball created Desilu Productions. Does that mean Eric and I would be: Erilor or Loric?

There are thousands of these words! Here are a few more familiar portmanteau words:
Texarkana – The area including the Texas/Arkansas border near Louisiana.
Turducken – The dish made by inserting a chicken - into a duck - into a turkey and cooking it. I’ve seen this on one of the food channels. Sounds good! Anyone ever had turducken?
Snart - On the TV show, 30 Rock, Tina Fey coined this one. It’s the combination of two bodily functions. I’ll let you figure that one out.  

I love playing with words!

Got any favorite portmanteau words? Invent any?

Would love to hear them!

Between you, me and the gatepost,

Loree

Monday, April 23, 2012

What makes you laugh?

Since I will be guest posting over at Lisa Jordan's blog, Promises of Hope and Happily Ever After, on Friday, I will keep this post short and sweet today. I met Lisa through blogging. I discovered her lovely website after reading awesome reviews on her book, Lakeside Reunion. About a month ago, she contacted me after I left a comment on her blog about empty nesting. She is so sweet! She invited me to do a guest post on – Empty Nesters and Puppy Love. I hope you will stop over to her blog on Friday, April 27th.

I want to take a moment and congratulate all who made the semi-final round in the Genesis contest! A huge WAY TO GO! I’m doing the dance of joy with you! Woo Hoo!

Also, I could use your prayers. I’m having, well, a sort of minor health issue, and I’m hoping it’s not serious. It’s just scary, that’s all. I’m not feeling myself. I thank you in advance for your warm thoughts and cyber hugs.

I just have one question for you.

In your world, what makes you laugh?

I may have shared this with you before. I can't remember. Anyway, I'm sharing what makes me laugh on a daily basis. Below is a picture of my greyhound. Her name is Pickles. Isn’t she sweet? But wait…scroll slowly...


Pickles the retired greyhound.
Photo by Loree Huebner


It is known that some greyhounds actually “smile.” Yep, I was lucky enough to adopt one of those dogs. When we come home, Pickles greets us at the door with a huge, toothy smile. She smiles when you talk mushy to her. Actually, she looks like she’s snarling and showing teeth, but there is no aggression. She is just so excited and expresses the real emotion by “smiling" along with some happy tail. Okay, look below. Yikes! Creepy huh? It just cracks me up! Doesn’t she look vicious? She is actually smiling on command for a treat. They say a smile is contagious…Pickles makes me laugh every time she smiles.


Pickles the greyhound - smiling
Photo by Loree Huebner



Between you, me and the gatepost,

Loree

Monday, April 16, 2012

Writer's Block

A few weeks ago, I had a touch of the <insert deep, echoing voice> dreaded Writer’s Block.

For nearly nine days, I couldn’t write. I had no direction, no ideas, and no desire…not even a plot in my head. Blank! And right in the middle of a chapter to boot. In over ten years of writing, I had experienced one or two minor blocks before, but never one this long.

The root of this block was stress. As we know, stress can kill anything.

As I came out on the other side, I realized that the stress - Stress? Me? Nah, I'm not stressed!!! - was strangling my creative juices. The pressure wasn’t from one big thing. It was several small anxieties building up and was combined with a minor health issue—none of which had anything to do with my writing life.

Writer’s lives take on many forms, but we still deal with the everyday issues involving family, health, work, finances, and so on.

Prayer, meditation, and exercise, brought me out of the stress cave. It’s funny because when I finally sat down to write, I plunked down nearly 1 K in a very short time. Woot! I’m back! It felt good.

Have you ever experienced writer’s block? What did you do to find your way back?

Between you, me and the gatepost,

Loree



Monday, April 9, 2012

SORROW, JOY, AND SHILOH


The American Civil War brought many emotions. None stood out more than sorrow. Sorrow lurked around every corner and touched every soul during the War Between the States ~ civilian, soldier, slave, young, and old. Sorrow could be found on a battle list of wounded, dead, and missing. Sorrow rained from the sky in the form of tears from God on a battlefield…after the fighting was over.

So much was lost, but so much was gained during this difficult 4 years in our country’s history. When I stand on a battlefield, here on our home soil, I feel sorrow for those who sacrificed everything, but I also feel the joy of freedom that walks hand in hand from what their sacrifices and lessons left us—and future generations. These two feelings entwine in my heart as read about each war our country engaged—today and yesterday. We must remember the hard lessons we’ve learned from this particularly devastating war, and every war…or sorrow will flow like blood throughout the land once more.  

Between you, me and the gatepost,

Loree Huebner

CIVIL WAR MOVIE TRIVIA!
Most people have seen a movie with the Civil War as a back drop, or as the main story. At the bottom of this post, there are some Civil War Movie Trivia questions. Have fun! Test your knowledge! Some of them are from old time movies. Let me know how you did.

Now let’s drift back in time 150 years for this month’s Civil War Bivouac on Shiloh:



The Battle of Shiloh



In the first quarter of 1862, Federal victories at Mill Springs, Fort Henry, Fort Donelson, and Pea Ridge had restored most of Kentucky, Missouri, and Tennessee to the Union. Confederate forces were demoralized, while Union fortunes were inversely triumphant. To many, it seemed that one more, hard blow would crush the Confederacy. New and greater combinations were being prepared by the Union to end the rebellion.


Ulysses S Grant and his Army of the Tennessee were camped near Pittsburg Landing, just above the great bend of the Tennessee River. Don Carlos Buell was marching his Army of the Ohio from Nashville to join Grant. Their combined force would no doubt be able to take the vital rail junction at Corinth, turn west and take Memphis, or strike east toward Chattanooga.

CSA General Albert Sydney Johnston and his second in command, P. G. T. Beauregard saw the situation clearly enough. The one hope was to strike Grant’s army a devastating blow before it could be reinforced by Buell’s army. Rebel forces were rushed to Corinth from the Pensacola, New Orleans, and the Trans-Mississippi to reinforce the remnants of Johnston’s army from Kentucky and Tennessee. The combined force would give the Southerners numerical parity, if not an advantage over Grant’s army. The plan was to launch a surprise attack and destroy Grant’s army by driving it into the Tennessee River or Owl Creek.

Both armies were raw. Some of the men barely knew how to fire their muskets. The march from Corinth to Pittsburg Landing took so long that many of the Confederates had consumed all of their rations. The eager young rebels fired their weapons and made such a racket that Beauregard wanted to call off the attack. Johnston was indomitable, saying “I would fight them if they were a million.”

At dawn April 6, 1862 the Rebels attacked, catching the Federals unprepared. Sledgehammer attacks captured the Union camps and the raw soldiers of both armies stood to their work with obstinacy. Ordinary places on that field took on names terrible to remember, The Hornet’s Nest, the Peach Orchard, Bloody Pond, and Shiloh Church. 


Over 2,000 Federal soldiers were captured en masse after a bitter struggle for the Hornet’s Nest. At a crucial point in the battle, CSA commanding General A. S. Johnston was mortally wounded and afterward the offensive became less effective. As night fell, the Federal received heavy reinforcements as Lew Wallace’s division and Buell’s army began to arrive. On Sunday, April 7 the Union forces recaptured the lost ground and the Rebels retreated to Corinth.

The battle of Shiloh was a shock to the nation as 23,000 men were killed wounded, or missing. In 2 days of fighting there had been more casualties than the United States had suffered in all of its wars up to that point COMBINED. Strangely the battle was named for a church—Shiloh, which means “place of peace.” General Grant wrote that after this battle he was sure that the war would only be won through the subjugation of the South. It was said that the South “never smiled again” after Shiloh.

Until we meet again,

Eric J Huebner

Civil War Movie Trivia ~ questions written by Eric and Loree Huebner

1 Name the 1956 movie, set in Indiana, starring Gary Cooper and Dorothy McGuire, about a Quaker family struggling with duty, love, and faith in the face of a looming Rebel cavalry raid.

2 Name the actress who won “Best Actress in a Supporting Role” for her brilliant portrayal of, Mammy, in Gone With The Wind.

3 Who directed the 1951 version of The Red Badge of Courage?

4 Name the 1989, four-star, Civil War movie that won Denzel Washington an Oscar for “Best Supporting Actor.”

5 Name the 1959 cavalry movie, directed by John Ford, staring John Wayne and William Holden. It would be Ford’s only feature set during the Civil War, and roughly based on actual accounts.

6 Kevin Costner won “Best Director” for Dances With Wolves. He also starred in the film as a Civil War soldier. Name his Character.

7 Name the actor who played General Stonewall Jackson in 2003’s Civil War epic, God’s and Generals.

8 Name the 1941 cavalry classic, starring Errol Flynn and Olivia De Havilland, about the flamboyant, General George Custer.

9 Who directed the 2002 Civil War era film, The Gangs of New York, starring Leonardo De Caprio, Daniel Day-Lewis, and Cameron Diaz?

10 What 1957 film largely set in Indiana, starring Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift, was a MGM attempt to create a blockbuster, northern, Gone With The Wind?

STOP – THE ANSWERS ARE BELOW THE FOLLOWING PICTURE!




Shiloh's Opposing Generals
General U. S. Grant and General A. S. Johnston




1 Friendly Persuasion
2 Hattie McDaniel  ~ she was 44 when she won the Oscar, and she was also the first African American to win an Oscar.
3 John Huston
4 Glory  ~  one of my favorite CW movies!
5 The Horse Soldiers  ~  my favorite John Wayne movie!
6 Lt. John Dunbar
7 Actor, Stephan Lang  ~  he also played General George Pickett in the 1993 movie, Gettysburg…the first movie in the series.
8 They Died With Their Boots On
9 Martin Socrsese
10 Raintree County 

Monday, April 2, 2012

Spring Break!

This week, I’m taking a blogging break. I’ll still be out and about the blogosphere, visiting my favorite places.

I will return next Monday with my regular post along with - The Civil War Bivouac .

I wish you all a Happy Easter and a Joyful Passover!

I leave you with some words of love and humility this holy week…

Philippians 2

1 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

6 Who, being in very nature God,
   did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing
   by taking the very nature of a servant,
   being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
   he humbled himself
   by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!
 9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
   and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
   in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
   to the glory of God the Father.

Such a wonderful passage...


Just some news to share: 

I wanted to shout-out a big congrats and a WOO HOO to Sandra Orchard! She writes inspirational romantic suspense for Harlequin's, Love Inspired Suspense. Last week, she announced that Revell Publishing has given her a three-book contract for a romantic suspense/mystery trade-length series. Sandra says, "DON'T GIVE UP HOPE!" This is a series for which the proposal was submitted back in June 2010! WOW! The first book in the series with come out in June 2013. 

Also, next week, Jeanette Leveillie's debut humor devotional book, Two Scoops of Grace with Chuckles on Top, releases April 10! Congrats, Jeanette!

I wish you all much love and peace in your heart this special week. Doing anything special for the holiday?

Between you, me and the gatepost,

Loree