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If These Kitchen Walls Could Talk…


Do you have any signs on the walls of your kitchen? I've noticed that many people I know have either funny or thought-provoking signs in their kitchens. Being a lover of funny signs, I especially appreciate the ones that are humorous.

Our kitchen has several signs. The first two are pretty ones that a friend gave us knowing our love of French and France. Here they are.

The other sign is great, and I'm hoping most people read it so quickly that they don't notice the misspelled word.
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What Do You Want?


One of the things we struggle with our whole lives is contentment. It seems as if, no matter what we have, we want more of it or something else entirely. From the moment we are born we want something we don't have — food, a clean diaper, warmth, sleep. And so it goes on through life. We people are so seldom satisfied with what we have. What makes us content?

Today's iv is a couple of things our pastor used as sermon illustrations a few years ago. I jotted down enough to help me locate them, and then I squirreled them away. The first is a list of how a toddler views what he or she wants, and the second is a neat poem.

Toddler’s Rules of Possession

1. If I want it, it's mine

2. If it's in my hand, it's mine

3. If I can take it away from you, it's mine

4. If I had it a little while ago, it's mine

5. If it's mine, it must never appear to be yours in any way
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Funny Signs Continue to Come My Way


People know I love funny signs, and readers help keep me supplied with pictures. Today's post should bring a smile to your face at least once.

Since summer vacation often means trips to the zoo, I'll start off with a couple of warning signs from zoos. This first one is simple enough for a child to understand.

The Mogo Zoo in Australia has another warning sign about children.
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Fun with German


Anyone who has tried to learn a foreign language knows that the process is a mixture of excitement and discouragement, fun and frustration, and is ultimately plenty of hard work. I realize that most of my French and German students are a "captive audience" — they have a language requirement for whatever they are actually majoring in. Depending on their major, the requirement is anywhere from one semester to four semesters. My goal is to make the process as enjoyable and rewarding as possible for my students, mixing in enough humor and fun to make the necessary work less tedious, and to make some of the linguistic oddities stick in the students' minds.

When you learn another language, you learn things about your own language — things you probably would never learn any other way. I love to witness a student's realizing he or she finally understands things studied in English classes for years. It's not uncommon for someone to say, "So that is what a direct object is!" or "Oh, yeah, subject-verb agreement!" :-)

This summer I am spending lots of time with German since I'll resume teaching that language this fall. Picking it up again after not using it much in recent years has reminded me of some of the things I enjoy most about German. Today's post pokes fun at several of those things. I've put some fairly technical stuff in this post, but stay with me — I think you'll enjoy it, even if grammar isn't on your top ten list of fun stuff to do.

I'll start off with a joke. If you've studied German, you will get it right away. If you haven't, the explanation follows.

    An American businessman goes into negotiations with a German company. The company sends over a representative, who speaks no English. The American businessman speaks no German. So he hires an interpreter. The conference goes smoothly until, at one point, the interpreter stops translating as the German is still speaking.

    The American gets impatient and asks the interpreter, "Why aren't you translating?"

    The interpreter answers, "I'm waiting for the verb."

Here's the explanation for those who have never studied German:
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Are You Interested in Genealogies?


A few weeks ago when my aunt and I were talking on the phone, she told me she didn't know the first name of her maternal grandmother who had died long before my aunt was born. I looked in my family history folder, found a family tree my uncle had made when he was in school, and sent a copy of it to his sister, my aunt. It was interesting to see some of the names on that family tree. It brought back childhood memories of family reunions on my mom's side of the family with a lot of people I didn't know, but who somehow knew me.

As I looked through that folder, I found all sorts of interesting things I had forgotten about. I found a post card that my Grandpa Loach sent from Paris to my Grandma Loach who was still in Calais, France, right before he came back to the USA on a soldier ship after the end of World War I. The post card was written in English and I'm sure Grandma must have had to get help reading it. She did not come to the USA until some time later on a ship of French war brides. It was here that she began the task of learning English, and of unlearning the English Grandpa's soldier buddies had taught her! In that folder I also found the French document from my grandparents' marriage and some post cards Grandma's mother sent her after she had moved to America. Fascinating stuff, really!

Anyway, I looked in my digital files and found some great one-liners about genealogies, family trees, and family heritage that I'm posting for your amusement today.

Theory of relativity: If you go back far enough, we're all related.

Many a family tree could use a good pruning.

I trace my family history so I will know whom to blame.

Can a first cousin, once removed, return?

I checked out my family tree, and just as I thought ... poison ivy!

I found three good definitions for the word genealogy:
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