1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Even rusty gears get an artist’s touch!

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Would you sign up for a lesson in campanology?

My glamping friends are no doubt whooping “YES!” with cabin-fevered fervor.

We’re all chomping at the bit in anticipation of our first spring camping trip,

but campanology really has nothing at all to do with tents or teardrop trailers.

Speaking of which …


Photo by Don Stucke via Wikimedia Commons


Trailer envy!

Wait—what am I saying?

Ah, yeah, back to the point:

Does “campanology” ring a bell with anyone?

(Hint: that was an intentional pun.)

The term campanology refers to the study of REALLY BIG bells, like these:


Photo by Brian Webster via Wikimedia Commons


By study, I mean all facets of bell construction and tuning to the art of ringing these behemoths, an age-old practice that doesn’t command a lot of attention these days, especially here in the U.S.

Derived from the Latin word for bell, campana, campanology was coined in the Campania region of Italy, which is known for the mining of bronze that was used to cast bells.

These days, though, much of the talk of campanology resounds from the hallowed halls of English churches, and I was surprised at how many young people are chiming in.

Take, for instance, Becky Dunnet. She’s the teen star of this fun bit of campanology promotion:

I never would have guessed that campanology is considered cool.

Now, about that camping trip … have you made any plans yet?

  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    My first introduction to the world of bell ringing was in a Dorothy Sayers murder mystery. There is an entire musical art build around the proper ringing of the church bells and there is even musical scores to read. Imagine! Speaking of camping plans, I read on the MJF connection about an upcoming camping opportunity in Arizona this late March! The plans are hatching and people are counting down the days!

  2. Karlyne says:

    The Nine Tailors, Winnie!

    And camping! With sunshine! Ahhhhh….

  3. CJ Armstrong says:

    Actually, I’ve found learning about bells to be interesting . . thank you!

    Glamping/camping trips? Yup . . Backyard Glamper Party & Sleepover at my daughter’s house in Arizona in March. GLAMPER-IFIC GATHERING TWO in Southwest Colorado “Mesa Verde Country” JUNE 13-15.
    And, whatever we can manage the rest of the summer!

  4. Melody Larson says:

    My Grandfather, Ted Berry was a famous Church Bell Ringer in the town of Orfino, Idaho for many years, and a friend of his wrote a wonderful poem about him ringing the bell! I am so proud of him in so many ways, and this special distinction only made me prouder of the man he was!!

    • MaryJane says:

      Orofino is a lovely town. Now it’s even more lovely knowing it has church bells that ring! I hope someone still rings them????

  5. Peggy Richmod says:

    My father-in-law used to Bell Ring with his church group, it was lovely. Camping plans, you bet! First one is March 1-4 Chuckwagon cookoff with SOTF in Pigeon Forge TN, March 29-April 1, Lazy and laid Back with SOTF in Sweetwater, TN, April 12-15 Moonshine Creek with SOTF in NC, April 20-22, Country Living Fair in Lebanon TN, camping with SOTF, June 7-10 Synchronized Fireflies, Elkmont, TN Smokey Mountains, August 2-5 Longest Yard Sale, Fall Creek Falls State Park, TN, September 5-9, Flying Dragons Racing, Pensacola, FL (actually this is staying with Sisters in a beach house but its like glamping) Sept 14-16, Henry Horton State Park, TN, October 25-28Country Living Fair, Stone Mountain Campground, GA and that is as far as I have gotten planning this year.

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speaking of dialects …

Howdy, you ‘uns!

Last Cabbage Night,


Photo by JR Conlin via Wikimedia Commons

Farmer Jane was sitting out on the veranda


Photo by Carl Tashian via Wikimedia Commons


chewing on a homemade grinder


Photo by jeffreyw via Wikimedia Commons

when she heard the spine-tingling scream of a catamount


Photo by Art G via Wikimedia Commons


tearing through the timber.


Photo by IvoShandor via Wikimedia Commons


The sound caused her chickens to pile up in a real gawk block.


Photo by Katie Brady via Wikimedia Commons

Feathers ruffled as the girls gathered to gabble about the clear and present danger.

Jane fled to get her faithful old flintlock


Photo by Andrzej Barabasz via Wikimedia Commons


in case she would need to defend her flock.

But when she returned, all was quiet.

Still prickled with goose bumps,


Photo by turtlemom4bacon via Wikimedia Commons


Jane decided to stand guard a while longer.

She tucked her hair into a horsetail,


Photo by Evil Erin via Wikimedia Commons


popped a PEEcan

(peCON?) into her mouth,


Photo by Judy Baxter, USDA, via Wikimedia Commons


and counted the peenie wallies


Photo by Daniel Schwen via Wikimedia Commons


as they began to flash in the shadows.

Just another night on the farm!

Jest dabblin’ in the dialects that pepper various regions of the country. Even though we all speak the same language, nuances abound!!!

To pin down your own dialect, take this fun quiz, published recently in the New York Times.

Were you surprised at your results?


  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Well, I am definitely located in the deep South along with Alabama, Georgia Mississippi and Tennessee. Those expressions you listed are all new to me EXCEPT for Peecan! I was raised saying Pecan but most everyone here uses the double vowel e in the word. I am in love with the photo of the pumpkin patch!!

  2. Acrroding to the quiz, I am the Richmond VA and Baltimore dialect which is not surprising as I grew up in Maryland ( mostly eastern MD ) and Virginia ( mostly Norfolk and also the DC area). It took me 13 years to stop saying y’all !! I sound most southern though if I am back down south, with relatives or drink any alcohol. Its always in there no matter how much you might want to change.

  3. Oh and I still say a “passel” ( sp?) of this and ” whole slew” of that. No one local can understand me, needless to say. Lots of other old time sayings like ” screaming bloody blue murder” and such date from my grandmother’s time I think. She was from TN. The locals here in Lancaster County use PA “Dutch” phrases and pronunciation, like a w for a v, hence my cats’ doctor is a ” wetinary”. The local VFW is the ” wee-eff”. And my elderly friend’s house is covered in ” wines”. I love local speech patterns which in this day of TV , internet and such is fast being lost. I have a friend ( the one who gave me the wonderful Sourwood Honey) who is an Appalachian food historian and her website is full of taped interviews and short videos of her locals remembering their foodways :

    I am southern and even I have a difficult time understanding the words. Appalachian dialect is really fascinating and many phrases date back to early English/Scotch/Irish settlers. They still say yonder for instance. Listen to them tell their stories for a taste of the past.

    • MaryJane says:

      Those are common phrases to me also: passel, whole slew, and screaming bloody murder. How about gag a maggot?! Love the food story bank. Taste of the past!

      • Nope, never heard of ” gag a maggot”. Glad you like her food story bank, shes an amazing and dedicated young woman (along with her helpers.) She’s working on documenting the Lancaster County Saffron story from her visit here last summer with my Mennonite friends, identical twins, Marion and Martha, the “Saffron Twins”.

  4. Karlyne says:

    I’m with you on most of them, but “peenie wallies” are nowhere to be found in my brain! What are they?!?

  5. Marga Ayers says:

    Well this had me pegged. It showed that the two cities with dialects most like mine are Salt Lake and Boise which is appropriate since I was born and raised in Salt Lake. I’m like you MaryJane, I still use passel, slew and gag a maggot! Even though we are as far as could be from the Deep South my Southern Utah grandparents still used words like “fixin” and “pertnear” as in “we are FIXIN to leave and we are PERTNEAR there” and a man you might not know well was a “feller” as in “That there FELLER did a fine job.” So funny and sweet. I agree that with internet and TV I hope we don’t loose the small things that make us unique.

  6. Pingback: Dialectible | Raising Jane Journal

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  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Cute birdhouse! Do birds really nest in it for you? I love how it is made from rustic pieces.

    • MaryJane says:

      They do next in this bird house. We have about 40 of these around the farm. It’s adorable when you walk by and a little head pokes out.

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Quiz Time!

Quiz time, girls!

This is a fun one.

We’re all familiar with common collective nouns that describe groups of animals.

Examples: pride of lions, herd of horses, flock of birds.


Photo by Kumon via Wikimedia Commons


But, there are dozens more descriptors out there that most of us have never heard.

A congress of baboons?

Well, now …

if the shoe fits!


Animated image by Edward James Muggeridge via Wikimedia Commons


Seriously, though, I wonder how many of the following you can match up. I’ll list the group names first and the animals below. In some cases, you’ll find that the group name stems from a species’ behavior; in others, alliteration is at work. Of course, some seem to make no sense at all.


Photo by Steven Straiton via Wikimedia Commons

The answers are at the bottom of this post, so don’t peek until you’re sufficiently stumped!

Group Names:

  1. ambush
  2. charm
  3. clowder
  4. crash
  5. descent
  6. grist
  7. hurtle
  8. implausibility
  9. kine (hint: you may have seen this in a previous entry)
  10. knot
  11. memory
  12. mischief
  13. ostentation
  14. rabble
  15. shiver
  16. shrewdness
  17. sleuth
  18. sneak
  19. storytelling
  20. zeal

Continue reading

  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    These are great and I have never heard the terms used before. My favorites are a sneak of weasels and a knot of toads! This was fun to try and figure out and quite interesting to learn for an early morning lesson over coffee.

  2. Karlyne says:

    Too funny! The only one I was positive about was the kine of cattle!

  3. Daniele says:

    That’s pretty cool- I’ve never half of those before now…

  4. CATHY L ROHLOFF says:

    I thought I had a good grasp of the English language until this quiz!

  5. Adrienne Kristine says:

    My favorite is a raft of otters. I adopt a sea otter every year to support the Marine Mammal Center in northern California.

  6. Deborah Brazil says:

    I had never heard of most of these however, my history told me it was a “murder of crows” instead of a ‘storytelling’. I did know a congress of baboons though. As you say, If the shoe fits.

  7. J Bailey says:

    I give ! And I thought I was smart. Haha thanks for making me more humble. Grr, it hurts to say it.

  8. Brenda Wheeler says:

    I never would have figured this one out. Thanks for increasing our knowledge!

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