Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Words I've Learned Today

When I first wrote this, it sounded like a book review and then the bottom part was really out of place.  I haven't really ever done a book review on this site and this isn't one.  It's just to illustrate why I had to go searching online for 3 words in the same book today.

I'm reading a really good book called 1000 White Women: The Journals of May Dodd by Jim Fergus. It's fiction, but written so well, I keep forgetting it didn't happen.

In a nutshell:  May Dodd is a woman who has been sent to an asylum by her family because she was "promiscuous" and in 1875 that meant you were crazy.  Her family took her children from her and her unwed husband and she suspects that her non husband may have been paid by her father to give her to the asylum.  At this time in history, Ulysses S. Grant was having talks with the natives and various suggestions were made for peace keeping.  Someone suggested that to make the "savages" become more "civilized", the American people should give 1000 white women to the natives in exchange for 1000 horses for the American military.  The theory was that these white mothers and native fathers would have offspring that was less wild and could assimilate to the American people as they took over the world.

Obviously that never happened.

That we know of.

In this book, Fergus takes that crazy idea and writes a story as though it happened.  In the book, the government goes to women in prisons, asylums or anywhere else they may want to escape from and makes a big "uncle Sam wants YOU" type of plea.  May is one of the women who thinks that anything would be better than a life stuck in a loony bin, so she signs up and writes journals to her children and her sister and that's what we read.

I'm not quite done, but I love the way it's written.

And there has been some vocabulary I've never heard of, so I looked them up and now I'll share with you!  I should put links and pictures and everything else, but then that would mean you would leave my blog and get all distracted.

Then you might forget to come back.

And I can't have that.

snipe- a bird they hunt often in the book
pronghorn- a type of antelope
coulee- basically a valley where there is a riverbed that often dries up in different seasons; the definitions were vague and pictures just look like any old valley I've ever seen!

In addition to this enriching vocabulary day, my sister used a word that I was sure she had confused with something else.

She said she had just finished making the "stuffies" for supper.

Last I knew, she was making stuffed quahogs**.  Which I've only ever heard called "stuffed quahogs".  Sure that she had just lost her mind, I asked what she was talking about and I had to go look up what a stuffie is.

Lo and behold, it's a stuffed quahog.

But I swear I've never heard that word.  EVER.

She claims my mother says it and she remembers people talking about stuffies all growing up.

So I emailed my mother.

And of course she knows what stuffies are, she has made them.

They've all lost their minds.

Or have secretly decided on this word.  I swear.

**For those non New Englanders or people who have never seen that dreaded show Family Guy, a quahog is a type of clam.  It's pronounced CO, like Sears Roebuck and Co. and HOG like, hog.  Cohog.  Personally, I am not a fan of the quahog or the awful "chowder" we ate when we were younger called quahog chowder.  Aunt Mildred made it and it was thin broth with chunks of clams and maybe potatoes.

A-ster's stuffed quahogs were just like I've had before.  Good,  but not something I crave very often.  I think they are too salty.  Imagine that, a sea creature being too salty.


  1. I've never heard of quahogs! And that book sounds reeaaally interesting!

    1. When I was finished with that book, I was sad that it was over. It was THAT good. So well written and if the author really was a man, he did a great job thinking like a woman. The details were amazing. I can't recommend this book enough and I don't know why it didn't get on someone's top 5 list.


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