August 22, 2009 014 (2)
Sometimes words float about in a circle just barely brushing the periphery of thought. Words that begin with the prefix *para* have been written down in the book of words kept by the lazyboy in the addition, home to the laptop creative core of the Fairegarden blog. Certain words lend themselves to illustration by images captured in the garden recently that will be shared on this Monday*. Let us begin with the prefix itself:


Meaning: by the side of, beside, by, past, to one side, aside from, amiss, beyond, altered, contrary.
No wonder there are so many words with this beginning, this is quite a variety of meanings. For the first image, beyond suits the purpose here. What lies beyond the turn of this garden path?

August 26, 2009 001 (2)

Meaning: pattern, example, model. From the Greek, para- beside + deiknynai- to show. A simplified analogy for paradigm is a habit of reasoning or, the box in the commonly used phrase “thinking outside the box”. Thinking inside the box is analogous with normal science. The box encompasses the thinking of normal science and thus the box is analogous with paradigm.
Stay with me here, this is the box, the wooden ramp leading from the garage deck, shaded from light and water. The garden lives outside this box. You have been warned officially, some of these may be a stretch.

August 26, 2009 023 (2)

Meaning: a general term that describes unusual experiences that supposedly lack a scientific explanation, or phenomena alleged to be outside of science’s current ability to explain or measure.
Like the curvature of my favorite branch is unexplainable, on this often pruned and more often overpruned Japanese maple, Acer palmatum ‘Butterfly’.

August 29, 2009 027 (2)
Paranormal has been used to describe the supposed phenomena of extra-sensory perception, including telepathy, and psychokinesis, ghosts, and hauntings. It is also applied to UFOs, some creatures that fall under the scope of cryptozoology, purported phenomena surrounding the Bermuda Triangle, and other non-psychic subjects.
Like someone with a camera flitting about in a sleeveless dress between rain showers trying to capture certain elusive subjects with mosquitoes riding along on arms as they, the insects enjoy taking sustenance. And taking a picture of such occurences, truly beyond explanation.

August 24, 2009 048 (2)

Meaning: Protection from the sun, from para- defense against (from French verb parere “to ward off”) + sole sun. The Sanskrit epic Mahabharata (about 4th century) relates the following legend: Jamadagni was a skilled bow shooter, and his devoted wife Renuka would always recover each of his arrows immediately. One time however, it took her a whole day to fetch the arrow, and she later blamed the heat of the sun for the delay. The angry Jamadagni shot an arrow at the sun. The sun begged for mercy and offered Renuka a parasol.
Many flowers suggest a parasol, sized for smaller folk, like fairies. The Dahlia ‘Bishop’s Children’ seedling is a beautiful example.

July 30, 2009 011 (2)

Meaning: A seemingly contradictory statement that may nonetheless be true: the paradox that standing is more tiring than walking. One exhibiting inexplicable or contradictory aspects: β€œThe silence of midnight, to speak truly, though apparently a paradox, rung in my ears” (Mary Shelley). An assertion that is essentially self-contradictory, though based on a valid deduction from acceptable premises. A statement contrary to received opinion. Latin paradoxum, from Greek paradoxon, from neuter sing. of paradoxos, conflicting with expectation : para-beyond + doxa- opinion (from dokein, to think).
Another D. ‘Bishop’s Children’ seedling, from the same packet as the example for parasol, cannot decide what color it wants to be.

August 29, 2009 019 (2)

Meaning: A device for slowing the descent of a person or object through the air that consists of a fabric canopy beneath which the person or object is suspended. From the French, para-defense against, like parasol + chute – fall.
The seedhead of the Queen Anne’s Lace, Daucus carota is like a parachute for the wee folk.

August 24, 2009 062 (2)

Meaning: A place or state of bliss, felicity, or delight. Paradise is a place in which existence is positive, harmonious and timeless. It is conceptually a counter-image of the miseries of human civilization, and in paradise there is only peace, prosperity, and happiness. The history of paradise is an extreme example of amelioration, the process by which a word comes to refer to something better than what it used to refer to. … Zoroastrian religion encouraged maintaining arbors, orchards, and gardens, and even the kings of austere Sparta were edified by seeing the Great King of Persia planting and maintaining his own trees in his own garden. Xenophon, a Greek mercenary soldier who spent some time in the Persian army and later wrote histories, recorded the pairidaeza- surrounding the orchard as paradeisos, using it not to refer to the wall itself but to the huge parks that Persian nobles loved to build and hunt in. This Greek word was used in the Septuagint translation of Genesis to refer to the Garden of Eden, whence Old English eventually borrowed it around 1200. Park with animals, walled garden. Compound of pairi- around + diz -to make, form a wall.
The Greek word, originally used for an orchard or hunting park in Persia, was used in Septuagint in New Testament translations of Luke xxiii.43 to mean “heaven”. Meaning “place like or compared to Paradise”.
Amish paste tomatoes come about as close to paradise as anything grown in the Fairegarden.

July 31, 2009 030 (2)

Meaning: A short tale that illustrates universal truth, one of the simplest of narratives. It sketches a setting, describes an action, and shows the results. It often involves a character facing a moral dilemma, or making a questionable decision and then suffering the consequences. From Greek parabole “a comparison, parable,” literally “a throwing beside,” from para- “alongside” + bole “a throwing, casting, beam, ray,” related to ballein “to throw.”
This connection has not yet been decided upon. Any suggestions?

August 29, 2009 006 (2)

Meaning: Personal belongings. The articles used in a particular activity; equipment: a photographer’s paraphernalia. A married woman’s personal property exclusive of her dowry, according to common law.
Medieval Latin paraphernlia, neuter plural of paraphernlis, pertaining to the parapherna, a married woman’s property exclusive of her dowry, from the Greek : para beyond + phern-dowry.
The cup and saucer vine, Cobaea scandens fits this one to perfection. A married woman would most assuredly own a lovely personal cup and saucer for tea and other essential beverages.

August 22, 2009 037 (2)

Meaning: A pattern of drumbeats characterized by four basic beats and alternating left-handed and right-handed strokes on the successive primary beats. The paradiddle is another important snare drum rudiment that will help one get a handle on the sticks. The basic paradiddle is played by the hands with the following repeating pattern:
R L R R L R L L …
Or if one starts with the left hand the paradiddle looks like this:
L R L L R L R R …
Both patterns are the same, and only differ in their starting point.
Early 20th century. An imitation of the sound.
Click here to see drumming by legendary John Henry Bonham, RIP, of Led Zeppelin. There are many videos of his solo performance in the song Moby Dick during the filming of The Song Remains The Same. You know how to find them on youtube. This little taste might whet your appetite to hear more.
This purple pot filled with California poppies, Eschscholzia californica ‘Fruit Crush’ reminds one of a drum.

August 29, 2009 037 (2)

Meaning: Pair of pants. The Financier volunteered this last *Para* word. This is just the kind of helpful information he is always offering to the writer. Well, we will show his special parapants to the world, the famous ( in our family) Nittany Lion Pants. For those of you who do not know the significance of the symbol embroidered on these corduroy pants, it is the mountain lion mascot from nearby Mount Nittany of the Pennsylvania State University, beloved alma mater of The Financier. College football season begins next saturday with the kickoff at noon. The lazyboys will be positioned in front of the larger television in the main living room with whatever chip dip is decided upon that will bring the most luck to the team. One year it was rotel and velveeta cheese. After having that every week for twelve weeks and the big bowl game at the end of the season, it would be nice to have something more healthful this season. If when they win, the exact same snacks must be served every game. The same clothes, the same routine must be followed. The Wii Fit yoga regimen has allowed the parapants to once again be worn, after over twenty five years of closet hanging.



*We wish to thank the wonderful Garden Faerie herself, Monica for dreaming up the idea of Mish Mash Monday.

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29 Responses to ParaMonday

  1. Joy says:

    Frances girl .. my favorites are “Paradiddle” and “Parapants” .. that was too funny !
    Paradise .. the evolution of my garden which will always be continual .. there for my paradise will be as well … who could ask for more (other than winning the lottery, buying a home ON the waterfront and having a team of garden designers and workers create what I have imagined in my head ) aside from that .. I’m good thanks ! πŸ˜‰

    Hi Joy, thanks. Your paradise is in the making, hooray, and a big hooray for fall too. Having the staff to help bring our visions to fruition, that does sound like paradise. πŸ™‚

  2. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Perfectly pleasant “P”s to ponder this Monday morning. Good luck to Penn State. I always like to see the overall shots of your garden. It is almost as nice as being there. Almost I say. Have a good week.

    Hi Lisa, thanks. It is so hard to get decent long shots, it has something to do with the light, but I don’t know what it is. The first two were taken with the new camera. It does a better job with the long shots, but the light still has to be a certain way. You too have a good week. Loved the cars! πŸ™‚

  3. Gail says:

    Dear Frances~~Be prepared for every imaginable para word to come your way! I’ve already found a few! Your paragraphs are filled with deliciousness… Forget the paras~~ this post is fantastic! It’s clever, the photos of the garden are lovely and my dear friend, the path photo is wonderful! Must get the visit date set. Good luck with the football team and let’s hope another dip recipe is offered up today! gail

    Good morning Gail, paragraph is a good one! Thanks. As Matrona blooms and fades the leaves will begin to turn and fall. Funny about that, it happens every year. HA Please people, do offer some better dip recipes. If I have to eat one more chip with rotel and velveeta on it, there may be a mess to clean up! πŸ™‚

  4. tina says:

    That first shot is so stunning of your garden. Very magical and I can’t believe how well the ‘Matrona’ shows up. It is paraperfect! The pants-too cute! Good luck to your team!

    Thanks Tina, for getting into the right mood for this post! HA Matrona is the best sedum out of many that we grow. πŸ™‚

  5. Dave says:

    I am very familiar with the paradiddle after having taught many beginning percussionsists how to play one! Quite a few interesting para’s. Is the Financier from PA? I have a lot of family still up there.

    Hi Dave, how interesting, you know much more about paradiddles than what has been offered here I’ll wager. ! Yes, The Financier is a PA native, as are all my offspring, all born there during our eleven years of living there after marriage. Berwick was the town. πŸ™‚

  6. So to paraphrase, you have a parade of para thoughts? Your garden looks like a botanical garden, by the way!

    HA Monica, those are all good ones! Thanks for the kind words too, for you should now be an expert on botanical gardens after all that traveling! πŸ™‚

  7. Janet says:

    I read this with great attention. What an interesting study in ligustics. (and fun) Parable – along side + beam or ray— casting a light on a hidden meaning or moral. Maybe?
    Mine is a Mizzou fan– likes football, LOVES basketball. I went to Shippensburg (!) and my sister is a Nittany.
    Also, paradiddle– head and shoulders above patting one’s head and rubbing one’s stomach. Both my girls are percussionists—I am lucky to be able to chew gum and walk.
    Great post.

    Hi Janet, thanks. I love your parable explanation too, much better than what I found. How interesting about your family, way cool female drummers too. I cannot do that either, single minded some call it. πŸ™‚

  8. Sunita says:

    Aaah! The paranormal seems to be perfectly normal in my garden. Our monsoons are gone but the mosquitoes are still very much here! One? You have just one measly little suck-bug on your arm? Frances, every time I step out into my garden, there are so many of these all over me that they could easily fly off with me! Much like para-sailing, I think!

    Hi Sunita, thanks for playing along. Oh there were so many riders on my arms, they just didn’t get the best photo taken of their masses. I am sorry about your mosquito problem, that we share. 😦

  9. ourfriendben says:

    OMG, Frances, this is just too classic! Rob—who has a BA and MA from Penn State and is a huge Nittany Lions fan—is counting down the hours. I suggest that you try the sour cream/mayo/garlic dip I posted about for this season’s games, because it’s so good it’s beyond good (and if you use low-fat sour cream and mayo, maybe you can forgive yourself for making it, especially if you serve celery, carrot, and pepper strips to dip as well as chips). Too, too funny!!!

    Thanks for that, OFB. I told The Financier you would definitely pick up on the Penn State reference. Counting the hours, that’s a perfect way to put it. And the veggies rather than chips is a wonderful suggestion. We always gain weight during football season, maybe this year we can fend off those extra pounds. I will check out your recipe! πŸ™‚

  10. Rose says:

    I’m a lover of words, too, Frances, so this post was simply a delight! I almost forgot to look at the photos:) That first shot is absolutely beautiful; your garden really is a paradise! Thanks for all the interesting info on the word origins; I always wondered why Penn State was the “Nittany” lion–thought it had something to do with Greek mythology; now I know. Good luck to your team…except when they play the Illini, of course. We have high hopes for our team this year!

    Thanks Rose, I knew you would have something to say about the words. Nittany Mountain comes from the indian princess, Nit-an-nee who flung herself off a cliff when her lover died. Almost Greek mythology in a tragic way. They did love their tragedies. Good luck to the Illini too, fellow big tenners! πŸ™‚

  11. Susie says:

    I love the paranormal….seems to be the status quo around here! Your photo of the backside of the dahlia is beautiful as is the bloodgrass with the echinacea seed heads.

    Hi Susie, thanks. Paranormal was the initial word that began that list and as I was looking up the meaning the others popped up and the post was born. HA No one has suggested a story for the echinacea and bloodgrass shot, and I couldn’t think of one either. Guess it doesn’t matter! πŸ™‚

  12. Pam/Digging says:

    You forgot Parasite for that mosquito shot, Frances. Great photos as always.

    Oh good one, Pam! Thanks. πŸ™‚

  13. I love linguistics (and Led Zeppelin)! What a great post! And I wish Penn State a good season (who doesn’t root for Joe Pa?), but my Big 10 team is Wisconsin. Go Badgers!

    Hi Rose, thanks. The Financier was interested in the other Big 10 comments received on this post. He rarely pays any attention to my blog at all. Wisconsin is a fine school! πŸ™‚

  14. ourfriendben says:

    Geez, Frances, I didn’t even remember to scream for John Bonham and Led Zep! The Song Remains the Same forever as far as I’m concerned. Jimmy Page lives!!!!

    Thanks OFB, same for me. At one point in my life, the mantra was: I want to have Jimmy Page’s baby! HA I never tire of listening to them, and thanks for the link love too. πŸ™‚

  15. Les says:

    I can tell you really had fun with this post. The first photo gives me a really good impression of what your garden must look like. Very nice!

    Thanks Les. It is so hard to take a representative long shot of the garden, it always looks so flat. I wish you could see it for real. It was fun to think up these words and then research them, until parapants was thrown out for consideration. He is so funny sometimes. πŸ™‚

  16. Love this posting – great pictures, but outstanding words.

    And thanks for adding my little blog to your “blogs you follow” list – I just saw it there. I’m having such fun with it.

    Thanks Heather. I love your blog and am happy to add it to the blogroll. Blogging should always be fun!:-)

  17. Racquel says:

    This was a fun post Frances, loved how you used the photos as examples. Keep them coming…lol πŸ™‚

    Thanks Racquel. It was fun to see if there could be a point made that was relevant to the word. Some of them were a little off, but it was just a lark. πŸ™‚

  18. Semi says:

    We are Penn State!! That was very clever with the parapants. This was like your pregame warmup. I love the blood grass photo. Rock on led zep!

    Dear Semi, thanks for the echo! Did LTB join in too? The Financier is very excited, we must find a good dip to serve. Veggies as the dippers is an excellent idea, no matter what dip we use, anything but rotel and velveeta though. Bump bump, The Song Remains The Same! πŸ™‚
    Love, Frances

  19. Frances, you definitely forgot to add one (or too modest)so I will add it for you.
    You are a paragon of excellence in garden beauty.

    Gosh thanks, Deborah! You make me blush. Paragon is a fantastic word, and your own words are music to my ears. πŸ™‚

  20. Frances, I forgot to thank you for adding me to your blogroll. I will be adding your amazing one to mine.

    Hi Deborah, the pleasure is mine. Thank you for adding me as well. πŸ™‚

  21. Sweet Bay says:

    I really like your new header photo. What are the rosy purple flowers next to the path on the right.

    The seedhead of the Queen Anne’s Lace is beautiful, and does indeed look like a very fancy parachute!

    Hi Sweetbay, thanks. It took me a minute to figure out which flowers you were referring to. If it is the first photo in this post, of the path, the short flowers are Sedum ‘Vera Jameson’ on the right. Vera is short and floppy, but sweet. πŸ™‚

  22. Brilliant and enjoyable post! Your photos are stunning…the pants are hilarious! Kim

    Thanks so much, Kim. Glad you liked this little bit of fun. πŸ™‚

  23. TC says:

    Para-puh-lease, but this periphrasis was most beneficial to my lexicon. ;~)

    Thanks TC, good retort! Glad you got some useful info here. What, nothing about Penn State? Oh I forgot, Kentucky blue blood. HA πŸ™‚

  24. nancybond says:

    Love this post, Frances! (Especially as I worked as a PARAmedic. Hee!) Your examples are perfect.

    Hoo boy, Nancy, I didn’t even think of that one! Thanks. πŸ™‚

  25. Joanne says:

    Frances you really excelled with those first two photos and the garden looks beautiful.A lot of effort on the para bits but the photos are quite something.

    Thanks Joanne. Those first two shots were taken with the new camera, I think. The light was playing nice that day. A rare thing. πŸ™‚

  26. marmee says:

    frances, your garden is beautiful with that photo of the pathway giving a real sense of what it feels like to be there. lovely really lovely. so many para words…who knew.

  27. commonweeder says:

    Frances – what a beautiful vocabulary lesson. Great fun.

    Thanks, Pat. Glad you liked it. It was fun to put together too. πŸ™‚

  28. Martyn&Jill says:

    Hi, you have a fantastic garden, has a real cottage feel to it.

    Hi Martyn and Jill, thanks so much and welcome. The garden is very cottagey, I like that loose style of planting. I love your butterflies and hedgehog! πŸ™‚

  29. Urban Green says:

    Nice blog, Frances. I really liked the picture in the header. See you around.

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