ivman's blague rotating header image loading ... please wait....

ivman’s “swan song”

You may not have even noticed that it has been almost 2 years since my last blog post. Life has become so busy that blogging was bumped to the bottom of my priority list.

Becka and I have kept our blogs "out there" for archival purposes, but since neither of us has a desire to continue posting, we have decided to stop paying to keep the ivman.com domain on the internet.

The domain will simply go away when the next payment is due sometime in October. If there is anything that you want to snag (pictures, favorite jokes or stories, etc.), now's the time to do it. I have recently learned from a longtime reader of my blog that when you hear, "what you put on the internet never goes away," that really is the case. There's a site called the WayBack Machine that archives anything put out on the internet. Therefore you should probably bookmark the following website:


One of the big changes that we are going through in our lives is my retirement from BJU at the end of this school year. I'm already beyond full-retirement age. But instead of actually doing a "retire" I'm planning to do a "retread." We plan to move to Michigan where I hope to help out in the Christian day school where our daughter teaches 1st grade and our son-in-law is the principal. I'm not sure at this point what that looks like, but I'm eager to help in whatever way helps them most. This upcoming move helps me understand better why the Lord allowed me to get "continuing certification" when I taught in Michigan over 35 years ago. Continuing means that it has no expiration!

Needless to say, we will miss our many friends here in Greenville, and especially our son Mark and his family. This departure will not be easy for any of us, and yet we are excited to see what the Lord plans to write in this next chapter of His chronicle of our lives.

Becka did her "swan song" blog post several days ago. She did some updates on our family. If you'd like to read that, her post is


I'll update you on other aspects of our lives in the past two years. Last summer (2018) I went on a medical mission team with MMO - Medical Missions Outreach - to Ivory Coast. My role was that of an interpreter between the patients and the providers since the official language of Côte d'Ivoire is French. It was such a wonderful experience with so many results, both temporal and eternal, that I was eager to go on one of their teams this summer also. I was hoping and praying that Becka would be able to go also, and the Lord answered that prayer. In Kenya it was different needing an interpreter instead of being one, since Swahili is one of the main languages! Becka and I were the first ones that patients encountered when they came into the vision clinic. I tested their ability to see letters from far away and and up close, and Becka wrote down the numbers from those tests.

There was one man who could not see our faces or any letters on either chart when he came in. We were fortunate enough to encounter him again before he left. He was thrilled to have glasses that allowed him to see our faces! I'm glad he could see Becka's face, but I was kind of sorry he was able to see what I look like.

This blog began in 2005, right before Becka and I went to teach in China. Someone told us it would be a great way to share pictures and stories of what we did there. I guess after that long, I'm allowed to lose my steam for blogging.

Thanks to those who read "my stuff" all along the way! You deserve a medal!

God bless you all!


It’s as French as…

Each year many of my students are surprised, disappointed, or even shocked that things that we call “French” in English are not really French at all — or their “Frenchness” is questionable at best. I decided that it was time for me to do a blog post about some of these things. Prepare to be at least a little surprised.

Here are 12 expressions in English where we use the word “French” for things that are not French.

French toast
What we call “French toast” (pictured above) is a not typically eaten in France. Its French name is pain perdu (meaning “lost bread” because the bread gets lost in all the goodness of the coating, I guess). So if you go to France, don’t expect to find a pile of French toast waiting for you for breakfast. You can’t order it in restaurants. The recipe for “French toast” can be traced all the way back to 4th century Rome where it was made just as it is today.

French vanilla
Vanilla is a bean from a tropical plant not grown in France. “French vanilla” is not a type of vanilla, but rather a type of vanilla ice cream, one made using a French technique that starts with an eggy, custard base.

French dressing
Somehow during the early 20th century “French dressing” came to be the name for a sauce made pinkish-red by adding ketchup, but it’s totally American. The French usually just mix up a simple vinaigrette out of oil, vinegar, and mustard. I don’t blame people for deciding to call it “French dressing” — naming anything “French” does make it sound a lot better. 🙂
Click here to continue reading this post →

The Signs Are Everywhere

A long-time favorite of readers of this blog is funny signs. Today's post is ten signs that have accumulated in my sign folder. Some funny signs are obviously planned or contrived, but others are deliciously accidental, totally due to human error.

I will post most of the signs without comment, letting the signs speak poorly for themselves.

Click here to continue reading this post →

Making the Bland More Palletable

As a change from humorous posts, I thought I would share one of my recent home projects with you. We have a storage building behind our house. I really don't know what we would do without it since it houses so many things. But the side of the building facing the house is rather bland (read: blah!).

Becka has been looking for an old window to hang on that side of the building to make that space look a little better, something like what's in the picture below:
Click here to continue reading this post →

Catching up a little

During the interval when I wasn't posting to my blog, I was still collecting funny odds and ends. Today's post is some of the funny pictures and comics that came my way. There's no real theme to it, other than being things I find humorous.

I'll start off with several things for you cat lovers/haters.

This next one is not so much about dogs as it is about a fail in the placement of a price tag.
Click here to continue reading this post →