Spring is on its way.

Seed catalogs!  Flowering shrubbery, hydroponically grown tomatoes with tender skins, silver maples fluttering their praises to a giving God.  I am ready for spring!

I’m ready to mow the yard, plant the garden, and I hope my apple tree will put on apples this year–even though it is barely taller than me.

But for now, all the promise of life outside lies hidden under the guise of death awaiting spring.  Plant corn when oak leaves are the length of the end joint on your thumb.  Plant your potatoes on March 17.  Plant peas on or near Valentine’s Day.  Wait a couple of weeks after planting peas to plant green beans.   Transplant your tomatoes outside on or after Tax Day (April 15.)  If there are any gardeners out there who disagree, please comment.  If I’m wrong, I need to change!

This week’s words are ingratiating, carapace, swarthy, smarmy, and swarmy.  I don’t remember where I saw swarmy, and was hard pressed to find a suitable definition for it.

  1. Swarmy:  creepy but not gruesome, sleazy.  He’s a swarmy jerk.
  2. Swarthy:  very dark, brown, olive skinned, rarely black or African, frequently Middle Eastern and especially Greek, usually refers to men not women, does not imply muscularity.  The man who stopped and helped me change my flat tire was tall and swarthy.  (No, I didn’t have a flat.  No, I don’t need help changing flats, but I do appreciate it.)
  3. Smarmy:  extremely polite or helpful, showing respect to such an extreme degree that it looks and feels insincere.  Those smarmy seventh graders are only looking for an easy A.  (No, it doesn’t help their grades, but I’d rather they act smarmy than threatening.)
  4. Ingratiating:  kind of a smarmy word, intending to gain favor or approval.  His ingratiating behavior made me think he was a seventh grader.
  5. Carapace:  the upper shell of a turtle or crustacean.  I made a rattle from the carapaces of two box turtles.  (No, I didn’t, but it’s a good sentence.)

I will be working on my entries (should have done it weeks ago) for the OWFI Contest!  Good luck to all the entrants!


Isaiah 40:31


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