Friday, October 10, 2008

Whistle While You Work

Today's Wonder of the World is... Whistling!

Flickr photo by kenrickmr
Do you whistle when you're happy? When you hear joyful people whistling, does it make you want to join in merrily? Or pop a cork in their mouths?

I've wanted to be a whistling dervish ever since I watched that Globetrotter cartoon video in yesterday's post on globes.

I love those guys and their amazing talents. And that song!
I've always wished I could whistle along, but alas I am deficient in the whistling department.

When I was small, how I longed to whistle along with my favorite cardigan wearing neighbor.

Even though Mr. Rogers said he liked me just the way I was, I wanted so badly to whistle with him. Why couldn't I do it?

For years people tried to teach me to whistle, but I've finally come to accept the fact that I'm just not a whistler. I can only whistle by sucking in, which produces a wimpy, pitiful sound, a whistle which makes people give me the puppy face, and then they roll up their sleeves, determined to turn me into a whistler. They're always sure that they can teach me, train me up in the way I should go, whistling wise. They sit me down and show me the inner workings of their mouths. But it's no use.

I shall never whistle the Andy Griffith Show theme song all the way to Mayberry. But that's okay. He does a fine job without me.

Hey! There he is in his sheriff's uniform. I wonder if he has a police whistle?
That gives me a great idea...I could buy my own whistle!

Look at the whistles I found! Loran Scruggs makes them and sells them in her etsy shop,, along with all sorts of fun things made from tin cans and bottle caps.

Photo by
Isn't that cute?
And for Halloween, here's a bat one.

Photo by
Whistling with recycled whistles is a great way to go green.

Another way to go green is to whistle with an acorn.

Flickr photo by Brice Daniels

Or have grandma show you how to whistle with a blade of grass.

Flickr photo by LaLoux
Now that I can do!

Speaking of grandmas, my in-laws are coming to our house today. They're going to spend the night with us, and then scoot on down to Sumter to see Stuart, Todd's brother, get off the plane from his tour in Iraq! Finally Stu is coming home! He's been in Iraq since May, so I'm sure my sister in law Swanee and his four girls are whistling away right now, happy as larks.
I know we are. (Even if I have to whistle sucking in.)

I'm also whistling because my house is covered in dog hair, and I have some tidying up to do before my in-laws arrive. I need to...

Flickr photo by Atomic Village
I hate--I mean I do not really enjoy cleaning, but sometimes it has to be done.
I'll motivate myself with the reward of a hot tea and a good book when I'm done.
I know the perfect book!

Guess how I'll know that the water is ready...

Flickr photo by Five eyes
It'll give a little whistle!

Have a wonder-full Friday and a great weekend y'all!
Love, Becky

If Jiminy Cricket makes your teeth hurt from sweetness and you'd like to whistle along with something weirder, try this! I have to admit, I can't stop watching it!


Linda Crispell said...

I could whistle a happy tune right now! What a wonderful blog. Thanks for stopping by and leaving such a lovely comment. It looks like I'm heading to the book store to pick up French By Heart.


I have to suck in to whistle too. Did you ever whistle through a thich blade of grass? I remembered doing that along with the acorn whistles. The acorns were easier, though. Jill

Attic Rat said...

My parents whistle, but it makes my lips itch! I prefer to sing. I'm not sure that those around me prefer it, but TOO BAD! - Teresa

JaxPop said...

So glad your brother-in-law is back safe. Y'all must be chirpin' away.

I can't whistle, but Deb can (& it's loud!) - especially at concerts or sporting events. It's funny - otherwise she's always so quiet, & easy going. You would like her.

It's a little known fact that women invented the practice (probably to make the time pass more pleasantly while following behind shedding retrievers) which is the real reason that 'Whistler's Mother' is so famous. Yup! Old WM started it all & the 7 dwarfs perfected it. And that's the uhmm... truth...maybe.

Rosemary said...

I'm not a whistler either. Never could get it too well. Love that Halloween whistle!!!
Hope you have a wonderful weekend!!

a Tonggu Momma said...

I. Can't. Whistle.


The husband can whistle entire songs.

Double Sigh.

Suzie said...

IM not much of a whistler these days.
have fun with your family.

LW said...

I wish I could whistle, I have a monotone noise that comes from puckering lips.
I remember my father always whistled, which he often did while he worked.
Love the video, thanks for the smile…


TattingChic said...

Remember Jiminy Cricket? He used to sing "Give a little whistle...and always let your conscience be your guide!" When I was about 4 my sister asked me to whistle and when I couldn't I started to cry. When she asked me what was wrong I replied, "I don't have a conscience!" LOL! Well, thank heavens, I do have a conscience.

BTW, I CAN whistle now, LOL! :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Becky...I'm enjoying your blog!
As you know my brother, Nathan, I have to comment on this particular, being his baby sister, it was the ONLY thing I could do that HE could NOT do! (I bet it's still true...just ask him to whistle for you!) Hey! You could do a "non-whistler's duet"!
Meanwhile, I'm whistling because I'm on vacation! Yay! - Liz

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I always think of Peter Pan's great whistle. Mr. B could whistle when he turned 3 which I thought was rare for a kid that young.

Dadadreams' Curious Collage Creations said...

Great post! Have an awesome weekend :)

adrienne said...

I love Whistling Jack! Thanks for the laugh - I have to show that to my kids!

I can't whistle, either, but used to be good at the acorn and the blade of grass thing.

lotusloq said...

I can whistle in and out and even get two tones out at the same time, but I have never done the acorn thing and I could never get the hang of that grass blade business.

My dad whistles a lot, so it was a staple at my house growing up. He had perfected the whistle with 2 fingers in his mouth. It is so loud he used it to call us home for supper (or whenever he needed us home) from where ever we were--in the woods, at the lake, or at friends. I could even hear it at my friend's that was at least 1/2 a mile away.

I wanted to learn how to do it so bad. I tried and tried and could never get it. I still can't do it. Waaa! Oh well. Everyone has their own talents! Right!?!

Have a great weekend!


Rebecca Ramsey said...

Great comments, y'all. I love to hear the whistling stories.
Welcome, new friends!
Linda, I'm glad to have you drop by! After stopping by your blog I had to look you up in that Home Companion issue. I'm so impressed!

And rdulgw! Baby sisters should have talents to call their own. I've heard my wonderful agent is quiet the pianist. Did you whistle along while he practiced? For fun or just to drive him crazy?

I'm hoping to catch up on my blog hopping this weekend. I've missed dropping in on you guys as often as usual. I'll see you there!

Jamie @ Baldwin Bungalow said...

You're right - that last video is REALLY weird! That guy is a little crazy, I think!

I can only whistle by sucking in, too. Sometimes I can get a little measley sound when I blow out, but it doesn't last long :)

Randy and Linda said...

I can't do the 2-finger super loud whistle. But I can do the acorn whistle extremely loud, in fact it's practically deafening even to me. If you can do the acorn, you can do the bottle whistle, which I do. Also, the blade of grass is a bit more difficult, but once you find the right thickness and hold it tightly, you can get it to make noise - until the grass blade breaks, which is usually shortly after you get it sounding right! The lip whistle comes easily to me, either inhale or exhale. Now the hand whistle is also very cool - you cup your hands together to form a closed hollow cavity - then do your thumbs like for the acorn or bottle, and it's sounds great. It sounds like one of those Indian calls from TV like on Dan'l Boone. Then if you raise and lower a few fingers simultaneously, and repeat you now have the wonderful two-tone sound sequence.

I only whistle when I work if the work can be done on auto-pilot, otherwise I can't concentrate.

Out of all of these types the only one that is really different is the grass-blade because it's using the vibration of the blade to produce it's sound - and actually I would pull that one out of the whistle category, plus it doesn't sound so great either - kind of a whiney/buzzy sound.

Oh, one other I do is the hum/whistle which if you can hum and you can whistle, you simply combine the two and it makes an eerie sci-fi whistle. It will freak-out your pets, too - if you want some fun with it. I don't know if anybody else does this one other than me - anybody else out there? Try it, it's really pretty easy. Nice topic Becky!


Linda Crispell said...

I dashed to Borders and bought your book. I am looking forward to reading it. You are too cool.

Susan Sandmore said...

I can whistle! Finally! Something I can do.

I had to look that last video up, Becky. I found this:

Maybe too much info, but I found it interesting. That clip was so strange. Right down to the medals on his uniform.

May Vanderbilt said...

Just put your lips together and blow.

I can barely whistle either. It's a lonely existence, I tell you. Good luck hosting your in laws. I tell you what I always stress about that for some reason.

Life on Bonnie Lane said...

I have to admit that I love whistling, and I think I do a pretty good job of it, but I still cannot do the attention getting whistle! Wish I could with these boys of mine in the house.

I loved the Andy Griffith show theme "song" with the whistling!

Have to say I loved the Whistling Jack Smith video! Where do you find these?


Silicon Valley Diva said...

Hey, you know what? I cannot, for the life of me, whistle either! Never have and as a child I still recall the frustration. My 8 year old daughter can whistle better than I.

P.S., after such a shaky week what a spirit lifter, coming to your blog--always gives me goosebumps lol.

Alex said...

Hey...can I have Mr. Rogers??? :P



Pamela Terry and Edward said...

No matter how hard I try...I cannot whistle! Sad, but true.