Old-Age Dropsy

RDP Thursday – FUMBLE

ate Middle English: from Low German fommeln or Dutch fommelen .


Image result for old woman's hands

One of the most frustrating things that is happening as I grow older is that I can’t depend on my fingers to do what I tell them. I drop stuff ALL the time.  I joke that I have the dropsy, although I know dropsy is something else entirely. 

I’m not accurate on the piano.  I’m slower than I used to be.  I love to knit and crochet, but my hands tire easily. 

But the worst thing is that I just can’t seem to hold on to things.  I’m learning to handle small items, like my daily pills, over a bowl so that when I drop one–and I will–it won’t end up rolling all the way to the other end of the house. 


My hands don’t tremble yet, but I’m sure that’s coming.  Terry gets the shakes if, for instance, he’s bringing me a cup of coffee and sets it down on the tray next to my chair. It frustrates him terribly.  I understand.  He’s always worked with his hands, and done so incredibly well.  Now, he’s having the same problems I do with dropping things. 

And I don’t seem to have the same ability to see where, for instance, a glass of water is in relation to my hand if I’m reaching for something near the glass. Over it goes, and water spreads like wildfire.  I’m making accommodations for this.  I keep a glass of water near my chair but I’m learning to turn and LOOK before I reach for something; I don’t move my hand until I’m sure I won’t touch my water glass. 

Well, I can still type.  And I’m told that typing is great for keeping stiff fingers more flexible. 

And I can still work. I can do almost everything I’ve always done, just have to modify things here and there.  So I’m really working on being thankful instead of annoyed when I drop things.  It could be a whole lot worse. 

By the way, and this has nothing to do with today’s prompt, one of my sons introduced me to a vocal a cappella group called Voctave.  They have several albums, but if you’re looking for some new Christmas music, you should check them out.  Beautiful, classy, fun.  I have Amazon prime, so I can stream their music.  I use my Alexa.  It’s a treat. If you love music, you should check them out. 

RDP: Fumble



Copyright –Douglas M. MacIlroy

He felt the tension release the minute he closed the door. She’d never understand it.  She didn’t need to. 

He loved his mess.  A male sanctuary requires no explanation, no organization, no routine cleaning.  No worry about shavings, little pieces of electrical wiring. No reason for the variety of “kept things.”  The frisbee game. The  tool chest. The wire netting. The garden tools he never used. 

His computer let him travel , using his “globe” to dream of far-away places where his pants didn’t need to be patched, or buttons sewn back on his shirts. 


Those Feudal Days

RDP Wednesday – COTERIE

early 18th century: from French, earlier denoting an association of tenants, based on Middle Low German kote ‘cote.’


You just never stop learning.  I didn’t know that originally, the word referred to a group of peasant tenant farmers who worked land owned by a feudal lord.  

Image result for peasant farmers and their feudal lord

Notice the joy on the faces of those laboring peasants. 

Now we tend to think of it in terms of social groups, like a coterie of fashionably dressed ladies enjoying lunch together in a pricey restaurant 

Actually, what I think of is pigeons.  Messenger pigeons were kept in a cote  where they were tended, fed, groomed, and trained. You don’t hear much about these birds any more, but at one time they were an invaluable aid to communications, especially in wartime. 

RDP: Coterie

One Flesh

RDP Tuesday: Connect


late Middle English (in the sense ‘be united physically’; rare before the 18th century): from Latin connectere, from con- ‘together’ + nectere ‘bind.’

As so often happens, once I look at the history behind a word, my original idea for the post is quickly replaced. 

I didn’t know that the word connect had a sense of “being united physically.” 

Image result for bride and groom

In our wedding ceremony, my dad was the officiating pastor as well as the one who, of course, walked me down the aisle to Terry.  He read from the passage including Genesis 2:24, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”

I understand it a lot better now, after nearly 50 years.  In a good marriage, the couple becomes so closely united that they operate as if they were one body, one mind, one heart, one soul.  One flesh. That is not to say there is never a disagreement.  Nobody’s perfect.  But the overall relationship is one of unity. 

I had a friend some years ago who was in his 80’s when I met him.  His wife had died of leukemia, and he was still grieving.  He said to me one time, “Linda, I never understood the one flesh principle the way I did the day my wife died.  I felt like half my body had been cut off.” 

I heard him, of course, but I was still in my late 30’s then, and I didn’t really hear his heart the way I do now, in my memory.  It is a wonderful thing to have that sort of marriage. 

I have it.  

Is it worth the the pain when one partner leaves before the other? 

Oh yes.  Even though it hasn’t happened to us yet, I will grieve, and I will miss him terribly.  But I will not for one moment regret all the years we had together just because never having that relationship would have spared me the pain of loss. 

All relationships come packaged with possible loss.  That’s life.  If we cut ourselves off from relationships in order to avoid pain, we may as well go live in a cave in the desert and contemplate our toenails until we die. 

No, thank you.  My life is rich with family, friends,  people I work with and people I haven’t even met yet.  

Connection with a faithful spouse is the picture of that wonderful one-flesh principle.  I wouldn’t trade it for anything. 

RDP: Connect

The New Editor


ripple (v.) early 15c., “to crease;” 1660s, “to present a ruffled surface,” of unknown origin, perhaps a frequentative of rip (v.)


Image result for ripple image

I suppose this is what most of us think of when we imagine a ripple.

I also think of, for instance, a ripple of laughter going through a classroom or audience, perhaps a church congregation.  And in the church setting, I’ve heard it many times as news of a death, an accident, a serious illness or, on the other side, the birth of a baby, an engagement announcement or other good news is shared. That’s what family is about in a good church where the people are part of each other’s lives. It’s a wonderful thing. 

A ripple of sound, a ripple of a breeze, a ripple of cold air coming through an open window or doorway in winter; the ripple of a gifted musician’s running scales on a piano, or a singer’s effortless climb to the high note–these are all pleasant things. 

Oh, by the way, I took the dive this morning on my other blog and used the new editor.  It’s really not much different once you take the plunge.  You may have to look for things you’re used to seeing, like the tool bar.  And the link thingy isn’t the same as you’re used to, but it’s easy–you just have to click an arrow to apply it. Everything is still there, they’ve just made it so you have to go on a hunt for some of it.  I’m sure there’s lots to learn, and now that I’ve used it I’m not afraid of it any more 🙂

RDP:  Ripple

Odd Word

RDP Saturday – SQUAT

Middle English (in the sense ‘thrust down with force’): from Old French esquatir ‘flatten,’ based on Latin coactus, past participle of cogere ‘compel’ (see cogent). The current sense of the adjective dates from the mid 17th century.


Image result for squat etymology

(Yesterday was a loss for me.  Some sort of stomach bug. Better today, but still not right. Anyway, onward and upward 🙂

Words are never boring. So much change in this one over the centuries.  Today, we use it in two primary ways:  Squats, as you see in the picture above.  And as in “You don’t know squat!”  meaning you’re ignorant.  I should research when that usage became popular.  I remember some of my students using  it, only they added “diddley”– you don’t know diddley-squat.

Okay, so I just did a quick check, and now I know more, but I’m not sharing it here.  If you’re interested, just google the term. I probably won’t use it again.


I think of a circle of little kids squatting on their heels, playing jacks.  Or marbles.

Or of a cowboy hunkered down by the campfire, enjoying his hot beans and hot coffee.

It’s not a comfortable position for me these days.  Old joints don’t do so well in that position.

It’s a good exercise, though, tightening and strengthening glutes and probably quads.

And that’s all, folks 🙂

RDP: Squat

That Stinks!


mid 18th century: from Latin putrescent- ‘beginning to go rotten,’ inceptive of putrere ‘to rot’ (see putrid).


Have you ever put your hand in a bag of potatoes to start  supper, and come up with a handful of stinking, rotting, putrid  goo that made your stomach turn? Image result for a rotten potato

Or have you bitten into a rotten tomato and nearly lost the contents of your stomach?

Ever found yourself gagging over the stench of a really bad baby diaper?  Holding your breath so you could clean up the poor child?

Or had to deal with stinking, slimy vomit? For me that’s the worst. I can deal with just about anything else, but that one?  First I see it, then I do it.

Putrescent is a colorful, useful word for describing  the worst kind of rottenness you can imagine.  I’ve never smelled a dead human body as it decomposes, but I’m told there’s nothing much worse, and once you’ve smelled it you won’t forget it.

That’s all physical stuff, though.  Sometimes, in my work, I have to hear putrescent stories of things people have gone through that make me want to hurl. The way one human being can abase another always, even after all these years, leaves me shocked and wondering why God allows us to continue breathing.

Physical torture is horrendous. Inexcusable. Unforgivable. Putrescent. Stinking, rotten, filthy.  But so is verbal torture; emotional torture; sexual abuse, passive-aggressive manipulation, narcissistic satisfaction in keeping other people off balance ALL the time.  People who have no conscience are capable of unthinkable, unbelievable cruelty in their efforts to control everyone and everything in their sphere of influence. There is no wrong deed that they commit–it’s always someone else who forced them to do it.This person is a great blame shifter.  Example:  “You really hurt me when you said that.”  “Well, what about YOU?  You aren’t always exactly nice to me, you know.”

It saddens me that often, marital counseling is a dismal failure because of the absolute certainty of one partner that he/she is ALWAYS on the moral high ground, always right, always must win.  That means the other partner is NEVER on the moral high ground, never right, always must lose. There is no hope of success in counseling that kind of situation unless the narcissistic partner can be persuaded to change his approach. And that’s rare.

Such behavior, to me, is just rotten. Putrescent.  Stinks to high heaven.

And then I have to turn the mirror back on myself.  I do so love to win.  To be right. To be proven superior.  I’m just nicer about it.  I’ve learned to cover it better than someone who just doesn’t seem to care if everyone knows how rotten he is, as long as he gets his way.

Don’t worry,  I’m not a felon just waiting for my opportunity to commit murder most foul 🙂 I’m just an ordinary human being who sometimes needs to do some self-examination  and ask God to show me what needs to change.

Surprising, isn’t it, how easily these one-word prompts can lead us to so many different places.  A little philosophical meandering for me today.  Looking forward to reading all of yours–no time to do that yesterday.

RDP:  Putrescent