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A Cold Assignment

photoprompt@DaleRogerson

Zing, I want to go back to where the water was warm and the sun was hot,” muttered Zang.  “This is unbearable.  What a strange place is this Earth!”

Zing shivered, too.  His antennae quivered from his shaking. But their assignment had been clear. They must analyze “snow” to see if it could be weaponized and used against them.

“Zang, do you remember the little girl who watched us from her window?  I wonder what she’s doing now.”

“Enjoying the warmth of the sun, of course. Splashing like a fish in the warm water. Not freezing, like us.”

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Abundance

Overwhelming

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt
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I watched a video the other in which the speaker was showing the fallacy of thinking America can stop world poverty through bringing the poorest of the poor into our country. It was pretty impressive.
Fascinated at the pure and simple logic of this man’s presentation, I also thought about how overwhelming the abundance is here in America compared to so many other countries of the world.
We didn’t become this wealthy through socialistic, government-controlled use of our resources.  It was through capitalism, independence, and hard work.
Something to consider.
https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/overwhelming/
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Uninspired

Resist

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.

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I’m going to resist the temptation to go political on this word. So sick of politics.

Honestly, there’s not much in my life that I have to resist right now.  Maybe the biggest struggle I have is just getting out of bed in the morning.  As the day draws closer for my return to work, I find I’m very resistant to that.

Maybe I’m resistant because of this present round of pain.  It’s better than it was on Sunday, but it’s not gone.  I went out to lunch with a friend yesterday, spent about 2 1/2 hours sitting in a chair that was not supportive.  Next time I go there, I’ll take my lumbar pillow with me.  I’m sore this morning.  Again.

That’s about all I have to offer today, folks.  I’m not too inspired by this prompt.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/resist/

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A Map Would Help

Replacement

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.

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Change always seems to cause upheaval, whether it is a minor change or a major change.

When we remodeled our kitchen, a lot of things changed. We completed the replacement of all the old cabinet with brand new, light-colored ones that make our kitchen look much brighter. We took down a wall between the kitchen and dining room and replaced it with a short bar. The bar has storage space and it’s great for serving, as well as sitting down for a quick snack.

Image result for doing demolition of the kitchen

(This is how a remodel starts!)

We moved the refrigerator to a different wall. We replaced the flooring. We even replaced the window over the sink.

All this replacement has created some confusion, though, because now I can’t remember where I put things. I’m slowly learning, and I do tend to be an organized person. I like to store things in the same area where I will use them.  Seems obvious to me that dishcloths and towels should be next to the sink; that ingredients and equipment for baking should be near my work station. It’s the odds and ends that a driving me crazy.

Add to all that the fact that Terry has been cooking for the last four months, and he tends to put things anywhere he can find an empty spot. That makes for some very interesting scavenger hunts.

Replacement can be an excellent thing. I just should have made a map 🙂

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/replacement/

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Think Before You Speak

Filter

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt

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“She has no filter” has become a widely used way to indicate that someone says exactly what she is thinking, with no concern as to who may be hurt, embarrassed, angry, or horrified by her words.

Please don’t be offended by my use of the feminine pronoun. Men are equally guilty. This is a human foible, not a gender problem.

It takes some time to learn to monitor what comes out of one’s mouth. Small children are capable of bringing their parents to blush furiously by their innocent statements.  I will never forget the time my little brother, then three or four years old, stated loudly in a crowded room, “Mr. Smith, my daddy doesn’t like you!”  My dad was completely embarrassed. The gentleman involved, though, found it amusing and took it with good grace. I don’t remember if there was any further communication between him and my father.

Image result for child's words embarrass parent

Growing up in the parsonage was often difficult. There were certain people in the church, in any church, who are willing and able to pump information from the children of the pastor. My parents warned us about this, admonishing us not to tell people things that weren’t any of their business.

One time a particular woman approached me when I was about 14 and asked me a pointed question about the family finances.  I was taken by surprise, had no idea how to respond, and blurted, “I’m not supposed to answer people who pump me for information!”

Again, my memory fails me. I have no idea what happened after that.

There’s a lot of unfiltered speech floating around in our current political atmosphere.  It’s too bad. Once words are written or spoken, they can’t be undone. If one has been injudicious and spoken or written incorrectly,  apologies can be made; the words remain, however, and will not be forgotten.  I’m thinking of the young woman who commented publicly that Barron Trump will be the first home-schooled shooter.  I believe she lost her job on SNL, which she should have, but the words are there.  Maybe that woman will develop a better filter, and not take shots at children.

I believe that anyone who targets specific children, whether their parents are liberal or conservative, should pay some kind of consequence. I’m completely bipartisan on this issue. Adults should just know better. Period.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/filter/

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“Simple” is Relative

Simple

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.

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Emily’s face was a picture of frustration as she pulled books from her locker. Stuffing them into her book bag, she slammed the locker door and stomped toward the exit, making a point to look at no one. She didn’t want to talk.

“It’s simple,” Mr. Leitner had said. “You just have to know the Periodic Table, which we started memorizing months ago. Then you need the basic formulas, and the interactions of one substance with other substances.  It’s not that hard, people. This test covers five chapters, and we’ve gone over them all more than once.”

He seemed a bit irritated, as if he couldn’t understand why anyone was having any trouble in his “simple” chemistry course. It made Emily furious. She was usually an “A” student, getting a “B” only in gym–which she thought was totally unfair. Being graded on your ability to run fast or make a basket from the free-throw line had nothing to do with studying, and everything to do with natural ability! She was delighted that, as a senior, she didn’t have to take gym any more.

But chemistry?  That was another thing entirely. She had to have it to get her science credits in, and it was driving her crazy. Most of the symbols on the periodic table didn’t seem to have any connection to the element itself. Why, for instance, was antimony denoted as “sb”?  She had memorized it all, but to actually understand it didn’t seem to matter.

Emily liked to understand. She hated memorizing just to pass a test.

So she decided to do some research, probably losing valuable “memorize this” time, but she really needed to understand.

Her first search was “why is antimony identified as sb on the periodic table.” She found out that the word was based on two Greek words:

Origin of name: from the Greek words “anti + monos” meaning “not alone” (the origin of the symbol Sb comes from the Latin word “stibium“).

Okay, things were a bit more clear. Stibium, she learned, rarely showed up alone in nature. It was usually found in a compound.  Emily still had questions, but at least the “sb” made some sense.

The next day, Emily approached Mr. Leitner before class. “Mr. Leitner, I have so much trouble remembering the  letters for each element. They don’t always seem to be connected to the word itself.  Last night I did some research, and I discovered that the letters are based on Greek or Latin words.” She went on to tell him what she’d learned about antimony.
Mr. Leitner listened, but there was a quizzical expression on his face. “Emily, if it helps you, then learning all that is great. But it just seems easier to me to memorize the table. Simple.”
Emily sighed. “Mr. Leitner, it’s NOT simple if it makes no sense!  I need to understand what the words mean. Then, yes, it’s simple. I’ll always remember antimony, stibium, and sb.  I just wish you could teach it to us so that the words make sense!
Mr. Leitner paused, looking thoughtful. “Emily, I think you just created a job for yourself!”
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Sunday Morning Coffee: Update

Well, here I am on my  fourth day of pain pills and muscle relaxers.  Apparently they’re working at night.  I’m sleeping well. But the daytime presents a host of challenges. Walking huts, sitting hurts, and lets not even talk about bending over.

However, my daughter’s birthday gift this year was to take me to Reading to hear Jeanne Robertson.

This shouldn’t be a problem, right?  A friend went with us, and If I couldn’t drive to Deb’s then she could. But the driving was no problem. And Deb drove to Reading. We parked in a parking garage, and that’s where the trouble started. We had to walk from there to the venue.

I have an excellent cane, and both my daughter and our friend know my situation. We walked very slowly, and got there wit no trouble.  When it was over, my friend  Deb went back for the car and picked me up. An usher was even kind enough to bring me a chair while I waited.

I took my meds and crawled into bed. It wasn’t until somewhere around 3:3 a.m. that I knew I was in a lot of trouble. And I’ve been in trouble ever since. No let-up until or unless I go to bed, and I wake up right on time for my next dose.

So, you might ask, was it worth it?  Was it worth risking all this pain just to hear some commediene you can watch on You Tube?”

Oh, you betcha 🙂  Its the same as the difference between watching a sports even on TV or having tickets to see it live.

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God Knew

Test

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt

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The Bible says that there is not test or trial we have to endure that is not common, normal, to mankind; and that He has provided a way to escape, so that we are able to bear it  (l Corinthians 10:13).

Image result for l Corinthians 10:13

In my trial of the moment, I’m thankful for the medication that makes the pain bearable; I’m thankful that I could take the day off work yesterday and that I’m not scheduled back until Tuesday.  I had to cancel my responsibility to speak at a women’s meeting at our church, and that was hard, but God gave me instant peace once my decision was made to cancel. I’m thankful that He provides that kind of peace.

I’m thankful that I’m fairly comfortable in bed. And I’m thankful for a husband who takes care of me when I’m down.

The way to escape?  Does that mean I could get out of this if I pray hard enough?  The He’ll just take away the pain?

When the Apostle Paul wrote those words, he’d already been through some severe trials and he would face more.Three times in the course of his ministry he was tied to a whipping post and beaten within an inch of his life. I’m pretty sure that when he was conscious, he was asking God for a way to escape. God’s answer was not to miraculously remove him from the ordeal, but to give him the grace to endure.

So, what’s this all about?  If you’ve been with me for a while, you know that I have a bunch of things wrong in my lower back. Herniations, stenosis, and degenerative disc disease. All week I’ve been pretty uncomfortable, and Wednesday evening something went bonkers back there, just about putting me on the floor. It was that “takes your breath away” kind of pain, and it came out of the blue. I wasn’t bending or twisting or trying to carry something heavy.  I was walking from one room to another. BAM!

I had my pain meds and my muscle relaxer refilled about a week ago, and I’m so thankful they were readily available.  I didn’t have to call the doctor, wait for the scripts to be refilled. I didn’t waste any time getting my first dose, and the meds have been helping a great deal. I have an appointment with my chiropractor this morning.

Tonight, my daughter is taking a mutual friend and me to hear commedienne Jeannie Robertson.  I’ve been looking forward to this, a belated birthday gift, for three months. I’m not going to miss it. So I’m thankful my back went kablooey on Wednesday instead of yesterday, because if it had been yesterday I wouldn’t have been able to do it. Partly because of the meds, I’ve had a good night’s sleep.  I’ll be moving kind of slow, but I’ll be able to do it.

See?  Even in this really kind of nasty pain, God timed everything just right.

He always makes a way, and He always goes ahead of me.  I’m not thankful for the pain, but I surely am thankful for God’s presence and help in my time of trouble.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/test/

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What Should I Do Today?

Dilemma

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.

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Answering KJV Onlyism | hipandthigh:

This little guy has been all over Facebook in a variety of memes, and I love his face.  It’s so easy to wonder what his dilemma might be.  Let’s see, should he. . . .play with his toes? Throw a tantrum just for the fun of it? Spit his cereal back at his longsuffering mommy?  Fill his diaper that she JUST finished changing?  Hmmmm.  Life has so many interesting options.

I suspect that the parents of this child are in for quite a ride.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/dilemma/

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Pain

Nerve

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.

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Hoo boy.  No fiction this morning. If we were playing a word association game, and you said nerve, my immediate response?  PAIN.  

I have a couple of herniated lumbar discs.  I had pain treatment not quite a year ago that  relieved the pain almost completely.  A little achiness now and then, but nothing an over-the-counter medication couldn’t deal with.

Three weeks ago, is started kicking up again.

I also have stenosis and degenerative disc disease.  That’s quite a cocktail of misery.

Stenosis comes from a Greek word meaning to choke.  There are little holes in the bones for the nerves to pass through.  When the bone around those holes begins to crumble, the nerves are pinched.  And they react.  They don’t like being pinched, so they pinch right back.

Yesterday I was going to go to work, but as I was getting into the car, my hip/leg/lower back all said, “No, you’re not!”  So appropriate calls were made to cancel my clients, get an appointment with the pain doctor, get a script for the medications to get me through until I can get the shots that will relieve the pain long-term.

Getting old does have its downside.

So when I saw this morning’s prompt, Nerve, this post pretty much wrote itself.  I’m well aware of my nerves right now!

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/nerve/

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Cross-Country

Sink or Swim

Tell us about a time when you were left on your own, to fend for yourself in an overwhelming situation — on the job, at home, at school. What was the outcome?

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It was 1973, late August.  We were moving from northern Michigan (Terry is a Yooper)  to southeastern Pennsylvania.  We had two little boys, aged 4 and 2.

Terry was driving the big U-Haul, and he led the way.  I was in the car, a fairly new and inexperienced driver, with the little boys in the back seat. This was years before our nanny government made us strap little ones into seats that kept them immobile.  I can’t imagine how they would have survived the trip back then.  We had build up the back seat with suitcases and put a mattress over that, covered with blankets and pillows.  They slept, played, and kept themselves pretty well occupied.

In the front seat, I white-knuckled it all the way. I was terrified.  I’d never driven in heavy traffic, or used cloverleaf interchanges.  I’d certainly never been tasked with keeping the vehicle in front of me in plain view while I coped with all the other things I had to deal with.  One child was still in diapers.  The older one was fully  potty-trained, but needed to stop every now and then.  We didn’t have cell phones back then, so communicating was pretty tricky.  I’d do my best to get in front of Terry, letting him know we needed to pull over.  Sometimes there was a handy rest stop.  Other times it was just make do with whatever shelter we could find.

I’d never had to do anything like that before, and I still don’t like to drive in heavy city traffic.  By the time we finally arrived, I was a wreck.  My nerves were shot, and I was barely holding on to my temper.  When I’m stressed, I don’t cry and whimper.  I get mad.  Poor Terry.  He didn’t have a clue how terrified I’d been.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/sink-or-swim/

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Just Shut Up!

Break the Silence

When was the last time you really wanted (or needed) to say something, but kept quiet? Write a post about what you should’ve said.

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It would be easier to write a post about the things I’m glad I didn’t say. As a person who finds it fairly easy to have foot-in-mouth disease, I’ve had to learn to just shut up.It’s an ongoing process. And it doesn’t come easy.  I have pretty good radar, and I usually can spot a phony, or just a plain old-fashioned creep, pretty quickly.  That’s when it’s a good idea for me to button the lip.

When I was in college, way back in the Dark Ages, there was an individual of the male species who felt that because he had testosterone, he was automatically entitled to the respect and awe of anyone from the female species. 

This person was bloviating, in a psych class, about the superiority of the male race. I was unimpressed. I finally couldn’t stand it any more, and I raised my hand, got the professor’s nod, and said, “Does he get to have the floor for the entire class period?”

Mr. Bloviator got all up on his dignity and informed me that the Bible says that women are to respect men, and I’d better watch my step.

Yikes. Complete perversion of what the Bible says. Complete misapplication. I really couldn’t stand this dude, and I said, “You show me a real man, and I’ll respect him. In the meantime, you need to sit down and listen to the Professor. We’re not in this class to be ‘educated’ by you!”

There was utter silence, during which I’m sure my face flamed bright red, but then someone started clapping, and soon the whole room was applauding. That was really embarrassing, too.

Mr. Bloviator sat down. Needless to say, he never deigned to notice my existence after that, which I’m sure you know absolutely broke my heart.

Am I sorry I spouted off?  No, not really, but I could have found a less offensive way to say what Blovy needed to hear. And that’s what I’ve worked on over the years.

Sometimes it’s better to say nothing. That’s hard for me, ’cause I always have something to say 🙂

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/break-the-silence/

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So Different!

Long Exposure

Among the people you’ve known for a long time, who is the person who’s changed the most over the years? Was the change for the better?

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Dad was born in 1923. A product of his era and environment,  he was a tough, get-it-done, suck-it-up kind of a guy.  When the market crashed in 1929, his dad lost just about everything. He moved them from California to the Arizona Strip, a place in the Utah desert where he built them a dugout to live in. Life was hard. The Great Depression was settling down over the country. People’s lives were changed, often overnight, from relative security to no security at all.

As is often the case with young kids, Dad really didn’t pay much attention to how poor they were. He loved the desert, and he loved the freedom he had to roam wherever the itch took him. He had a dog, a gun, and it seems I remember him talking about a pony, too. His mom made the dugout into a home, but he spent as much time as he could outdoors.

My grandfather was old-school German. He taught my dad to be racist, really, and it was a strongly ingrained belief in my dad’s mind and heart that there were flaws in every other race, but not in his own.  He wasn’t hateful about it, that I remember.  It was more just a matter of fact. He knew, and used, all the epithets that can be applied to those of a race not his own. It wasn’t unusual in his day.

He also grew up under the autocratic dominance of his father, whose word was law, and often enforced on his two oldest sons with what we would look at today as physical abuse.  My aunts don’t remember that. They and my youngest uncle were treated differently. It’s always fascinating to me how children reared in the same family often seem to have been reared by totally different parents.

In any case, Dad was indeed a man of his time, of his environment, of his background. And it wasn’t all bad. He was part of the Great Generation, the ones who endured and survived the Great Depression because of their strength of character, their determination, and often their faith in God.  They were the ones who went off to war and died by the hundreds and thousands for their love of country, family, home, and the American way of life.  I have infinite respect for them. Without their strength, we would have lost our freedoms sooner than we are now. I don’t think the Great Generation would have stood silently by while government exploded into what it has become today, although the seeds were sown back during the Depression and even before that.

Fast forward now. Dad had accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior when he was a boy of 12 or 14, but he never grew in his faith. At age 19, only a month after he married my mom, he went off to do his part in World War II, having joined the Navy and been assigned as a torpedoman in a submarine.  He came home from the war filled with hatred for the Axis enemies. And then God began to work, and my dad’s world tilted to a different angle.

Fast forwarding again, Dad went to Bible college and became a pastor. It would never have been his prediction for his life, or even his choice. His real dream was to teach history on the college level, and he would have been good at it. He was a great teacher. But he knew that God was leading, and he couldn’t resist that call. And it changed him.

Keep up now. We’re moving ahead many, many years. Dad got a call from a little church in the South, where he pastored for about 25 years. Living in the South was a revelation for him, and yet another change was taking place. He was learning that people of color, whatever the shade, were no different than he was.

The last ten years of his life, his heart changed him physically. His first heart event was when he was only 60, and for the next ten years he was in and out of hospitals, in and out of surgeries that saved his life but weakened him physically.And with his physical debility came a dependence on the care and kindness of the Black doctors and nurses who took care of him time and time again. It changed his already altered belief in the inferiority of other races. DAD

I’ve read that people who undergo open-heart surgery are often emotionally affected by it. Dad was. He grew softer and gentler as he progressed through his illnesses.  I was especially touched by his tenderness toward my niece and nephew, my brother’s kids, who loved their Papa as much as he loved them.  They were the only grandkids who lived nearby, and he saw them nearly every day.

One day, to my great amazement, as I was talking with my dad on the phone he became clearly emotional, and ended the conversation with “I love you, Linda.”

Could have knocked me over with a feather. He just didn’t say things like that. I knew he loved me, although there was more than one time when I was almost sure he didn’t, but I can’t remember ever hearing him say it before. The closest I can remember being keenly aware of his strictly hidden emotion was the day he walked me down the aisle, and then switched places with a pastor friend who helped with the wedding. As he turned to face Terry and me, I saw the twitch of his eyebrow and the tightening of his lips and jaw that was a dead giveaway of his effort to control his emotions.

God knew that the work He gave my dad to do was going to be hard, and that it would take a strong man to do it. He also knew that Dad’s heart needed to be softened and changed. And it was. People still talk about how Preacher said or did this or that; how something he taught them changed their lives. The changes he experienced made him better. The little boy who loved being alone in the desert became a man who was loved by the people he pastored.  He was loved by his family.  He’s been gone 21 years now, and I still miss him.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/long-exposure/

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Fearless Fantasies

Fearless Fantasies
How would your life be different if you were incapable of feeling fear? Would your life be better or worse than it is now?

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I googled “fearless,” looking for a good illustration, and I came up with dozens of shots of Taylor Swift with her hair blowing all over her head. I guess she sings a song by the name of Fearless. Shows you how out-of-the-loop I am when it comes to pop culture.  The only reason I even know who she is?  She’s a native of a city near where I live. That’s it.

Anyway.  I saw this prompt two hours ago. Had an appointment, needed to do a couple of other things, so I’ve had some time to think it over, and I’m still not sure what I want to say. So pardon me for thinking out loud. This could be a bit of a ramble.

I would love to be fearless about a lot of things.  I’m terrified of snakes. It would be nice not to have such a visceral reaction if one of the scaly creatures shows up in a TV program or photograph. I would love to be fearless about hiking through a snaky place like the Appalachian trail, or maybe the desert where diamondbacks and sidewinders sun themselves.

I have a fear of high places that drop straight down from where I’m standing, with no guardrails to stop my fall.  When we were in Sioux Falls with my son and his family, we went to a theater like an IMax. We entered at the very top level. I got a feeling of vertigo, and it’s terrifying.  I had to grab rails and turn my back, facing the chairs until I could sit down. It’s horrible.  I’d love for that to go away.

There’s really not much else that gives me such a  ghastly sense of fear and helplessness. Wait!  Aha moment!  Helplessness!  Yes!  Okay, enough exclamation points already, but I do think I’ve stumbled onto something.  It’s the helplessness, isn’t it?  I mean, I don’t like centipedes, but I’m not helpless with them. I can smack’em. Gone. Same with spiders. I hate the way the skitter, but I can always catch them and send them to spiderly heaven. Gross.  But snakes and steep drops?  Helpless.  I’d be a great subject for one of those big dudes that hypnotize their prey.  Here I am, just look into my eyes and hiss, and I’m done for. Kaput.

Well, I’m generally of a pretty practical frame of mind, so I’ve been thinking about  how fear can be, and often is, a very helpful thing.  The fear of sudden and painful death keeps me from playing in the traffic. The fear of extremely painful death keeps me from tasting bleach or inhaling a combination of ammonia and bleach. The fear of losing a limb keeps this granny off the ski slopes. That doesn’t seem like a negative thing to me; it’s just good sense. If I weren’t afraid of ending up in prison, there may be a trail of seriously maimed or comatose people in my backtrail. It is often fear of consequences that keeps of from doing something foolish, harmful to ourselves or others.

Other side of the coin?  I love the way the kid in the picture is just standing there calmly facing down the wolf that’s about to make lunch out of him. That kind of fearlessness I admire. Standing up to bullies, standing up to difficult things we can’t avoid, standing up to fear itself.

I have a client I’ve been working with for over a year. She was having serious PTSD symptoms due to an accident she had witnessed. I can’t go into detail, obviously, but this poor woman hadn’t slept well in three years, and is still struggling with some fears that have changed her life.  One of her problems is the inability to speak up in her own defense. I’ve helped her find her voice, and grow a backbone. She was afraid she didn’t have the right to speak up. Now she knows she does. Not only is it a right, it’s an obligation to stand up to the bullies, to back them down, to let them know you are NOT afraid.

I love my work.

And I’m not afraid to do it.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/fearless-fantasies/

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NOOOOOooooooo!

Can’t Stand Me
What do you find more unbearable: watching a video of yourself, or listening to a recording of your voice? Why?

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I watched the video in absolute disbelief.  See, over the years I’ve trained my eyes to see me as I wish I were, not as I am.  The video playing so heartlessly before me was bringing all my years of denial crashing around my feet.

No denying what is on the screen. No denying what is on the scale. No denying the size tags on the clothes in my closet.  Well, on the clothes I can presently wear, at least.  I have several wardrobes that I’m going to get back into. Someday.

I hate seeing pictures of myself.  I’m always twice as wide as I should be, and cameras add ten pound. So they say, whoever “they” is.

Making jokes about my size is one of the ways I deal with it, but don’t ever believe  that old “fat and happy” nonsense. No one is happy about being fat.  I’m happy about a lot of things in my life, but fat is not one of them.

The good news is, I’m making just a little progress right now.  I’ve learned, over the years, not to talk about it if I’m making a serious effort to lose weight.  Seems as if I no sooner say it, than it comes to a screeching halt. So I’m really taking a chance here today, folks.

The thing is, my numbers were ALL too high on my last doctor visit a couple of months ago, including my A1C, which got me started on taking Metformin, Diabetes is a really nasty way to die. I don’t want to go there, and I don’t want to take pills, so I HAVE to get back on track with eating and exercise, and I am. For now.

Sigh.

 http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/cant-stand-me/

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Frame of Mind

(If you could paint your current mood onto a canvas, what would that painting look like? What would it depict?)

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Mansion Over the Hilltop

(Reviving Bricks
You just inherited a dilapidated, crumbling-down grand mansion in the countryside. Assuming money is no issue, what do you do with it?)

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I’ve always loved that old house, and I can’t believe it’s mine! I’m old enough to remember how it looked 50 years ago, but not too old to enjoy restoring it. My aunt knew I loved it, and no one else in the family would want to be saddled with it. They would just sell it off to the highest bidder.

Not me. Aunt Roberta was eccentric, but she wasn’t dumb. She took good care of her fortune, and I’m shocked at how much money there is. This is like the dream of a lifetime for me, and I’m going to enjoy every minute. I don’t have to work now. I can spend all day, every day, re-dreaming my childhood pleasures.

 

First, I need an architect. It has to be someone who loves old houses the way I do, because  I won’t have the place torn apart and changed. I want it restored to the same floor plan, the same materials, as much as possible.  Of course, we’ll modernize the kitchen and the bathrooms and whatever else can be brought up to date without losing the enchantment of the old place.

I used to imagine I was Rapunzel, way up high in the turret, letting down my long, long hair so my handsome prince could climb and to visit me.

Or I’d dream that I was Sleeping Beauty, dozing my life away because of the spell of the wicked witch. One day I’d be Cinderella, banished to the top of the house where the mice and birds watched over me; the next I’d be Snow White,  looking for a way to escape from my Wicked Stepmother.

Hours and hours I’d spend roaming the house, poking into the attics, going through trunks of fabulous old clothes. Boxes of books, pictures, toys, keepsakes were all my playthings. Aunt Roberta didn’t forbid me anything, and I was like a shopaholic on Black Friday. No child ever had a more interesting place to play than I did. Sometimes I would take my treasures down to show Aunt Roberta, and she would spin stories of the past that circled around me like the warm arms of a lover.

I’m going to recreate all that, except of course for Aunt Roberta. But I have nieces, nephews, and grandchildren of my own now who are full of questions.  I can’t wait to turn them loose to discover all the things that are still preserved in that old house.

Work first, though. Everything has to be moved out, cleaned up, and stored while the renovations are done.  It’s going to be a labor of love. I can’t wait!

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/reviving-bricks/

 

Featured

Laugh Until You Cry

Roaring Laughter
What was the last thing that gave you a real, authentic, tearful, hearty belly laugh? Why was it so funny?)

My dad was a very serious man. He enjoyed a good laugh, but he was not funny, and he could never figure out the art of telling a good joke.  When I think back at some of the things he did that made us all laugh, it was never because he did it on purpose, poor man.

There was the time we were having our family devotions, reading a passage from the Bible together. He suddenly roared out a sneeze, and his upper plate went flying out of his mouth and skidded all the way across the livingroom floor.  Very funny.achoo!

Then there was the rocking chair. We had an easy chair that he loved. It was a swivel rocker, very popular in the 1950’s. He could turn it to look out the window, or to watch TV, or however he wanted it.  He had a habit of leaning back in his chair. He was a big man. Yup. Over it went one day, and all we could see was the bottom of the chair with Dad’s feet waving at us over the edge of the seat. Roared with laughter. Took us a few minutes to get ourselves together to help him up.tipping chair

My favorite, though, is one I didn’t get to see.  Dad was having some back problems, and finally agreed to see a chiropractor. The good doctor needed an x-ray, and directed Dad to stand against the wall with his back to the screen. “Now, Preacher, take a good deep breath,” the doctor said.  Dad took a good deep breath, and his pants came tumbling down.  Right down around his ankles.  My mom nearly fainted, she laughed so hard.pants-downWish I had been there, glad I wasn’t. 

Why is it so funny when a serious person has these hilarious things happen?  I don’t know. I’m just glad they do.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/roaring-laughter/

Good or Bad?

Compromise

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt. 

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We tend to look at compromise as a negative thing, weak, backing down on your principles. But it doesn’t have to be weakness.  When used properly, compromise can solve difficult situations  that are not easily solved.

For example, our Congress is the result of a very smart compromise. There was a valid concern on the part of less-populated states that every decision in  government, based on popular vote, would be won by the larger, more populated states. Put in today’s terms, that would mean that New York and California would be running the rest of the country, based on the number of representatives they could send to Congress.  There are those today who think that would be just peachy, but I can’t agree. I do not wish to be governed by either New York or California.  Seems to me they aren’t doing a terribly good job of governing themselves.

Anyway, our founding fathers came up with the idea of a bicameral congress.  The  Senate would be comprised of two Senators from each state, giving equal representation no matter what the population of each state was.  The House of Representatives, on the other hand, would be populated according to the number of people in each state.  Right now, that’s about 700,000 people represented by each popularly-elected Representative in the House.  Originally, Senators were elected by each state’s legislature.

It’s been a good compromise, for the most part.  Nothing is perfect.

Here’s another example of compromise:  The much-debated Electoral College.  It’s based on the same premise as Congress is.  The heavily- populated states would carry every single election if the count were by popular vote only. The big cities on each coast would rule the entire country.  I don’t know about you, but that seems like a very bad idea to me. It certainly would not represent all the people in the “fly-over” area between the East and West Coasts.

Here’s an interesting explanation of the College, how it works, and why the popular vote in each state IS important:

 

https://www.archives.gov/federal-register/electoral-college/about.html

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All savvy politicians know that winning depends on getting 270 Electoral  College votes, and that’s why they put so much time and effort into winning the so-called “swing states.” If you’re pretty sure you’re not going to win the states with the biggest populations, then you have to go after all the ones in between in order to get that electoral college vote you need to win the day.

Compromise. Done right, it’s a great tool.  Just don’t compromise on your ethics, morals, faith, or any other principles that are based in the truth of the Word of God.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/compromise/

 

Good Grief!

Present

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt. 

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Did you mean present, as in “I’m here”?  Or, as in the present time, being right now?  Or are we talking about a gift, as in a Christmas present?  Or is the emphasis on the second syllable, as in “I’m going to present you with this award”?

 

Good grief.

No wonder people who didn’t grow up speaking English think English is the hardest language in the world to learn.

Even some native English speakers get confused.

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An unknown presenter presents a present to someone else who is also present at the present time.

What’s in a Name

Rube

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt. 

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I had to do a quick search to remind myself  who Rube Goldberg was.  I discovered that we share a birthdate–July 4.  Only he was born in 1883.  I’m not quite that old.

He was brilliant, a gifted and creative genius.  Engineer, inventor, cartoonist,  he carved a name for himself in the history of zany inventions.  None of that explains why someone who is rather doltish and naive is sometimes referred to as a Rube, so back to Google I went.

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Aha.  It derives from the name Reuben, and denotes a country bumpkin.  No connection to Rube Goldberg.  And, I think, a rather unkind  derivative of a perfectly good name.  Reuben must have been a popular name amongst country folks for a while there.

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And then, of course, I was reminded of this old song:

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/rube/

Schmaltz Never Hurt Anyone

Costume

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.

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I could see early on that this Valentine’s Day was going to be just another day in our house.  DH is kind of hit-and-miss on those things, and it’s a good thing I’m not a person who needs flowers and candy to know she is loved 🙂

So.  I’m still not feeling very good, and I pretty much crashed when I got home.  And, to my pleasure, found that the Hallmark Channel was running back-to-back Valentine romances last night 🙂

Danica McKellar

So I watched two.  I know, some of you are thinking “Yeesh!  Corny, predictable,  formula stories.”  Yes.  Yes, they are.  One of the predictable things is that someone, at some point, is going to say, “What are you doing here?”

But you know, that’s okay.  I enjoy the movies because they have no bedroom scenes, no tonsil hockey, no face-sucking.  They reflect the human experience, the desire for love, and all the pitfalls that can happen along the way.

I’d a lot rather watch that than to fill my head with rape, abuse of all sorts, drugs, violence, and dead bodies. I don’t want to watch anyone getting beaten up or tortured.  I don’t want to watch horror and geysers of blood splatting my TV screen.

So I had a lovely time last night, nursing my sore throat, napping now and then, and getting saturated with schmaltz.

Oh, and I enjoyed the costumes at the masquerade ball, too 🙂

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/costume/

Chemistry? Groan.

Lecture

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt

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Lectures can be a real drag.  Especially if the topic at hand is of no interest to the listener, lectures can make one hour seem like infinity.   I remember physics and chemistry lectures only for their length, not their content.  I tried.  I really did.  I was a good student, and I wanted to do well.  But my brain got short-circuited in that area, as well as in any mechanical interest in what makes engines work.  I could spit back the basics for a test, but the minute the test was over, so was my understanding.

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History, on the other hand, always captured my imagination.  As did literature, grammar, or any other word-related subject.  I even enjoyed reading the stuff other kids thought was dull.  And then, later, in college and in my master’s work, I couldn’t get enough of reading about human behavior, psychology, the brain, and related issues.  THAT kind of lecture always lit up my receptors 🙂

Sometimes a history teacher can drone, and I’m sure I did my share of that.  But I really tried hard to make my classes event-related  and not just timeline-related.  Memorizing lists of dates and names is meaningless unless they are tied to what happened. This, for instance, is a depiction of the Battle of Bunker Hill.  Who was fighting whom?  What war? What time period?  Who won?  You should recognize the painting.  It’s quite famous. And its details should fill in some blanks for you.

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I remember memorizing the lists of all the kings of Judah and Israel, and the dates of their reigns.  I never, ever imposed that kind of thing on my classes.  It was busywork, and all it really accomplished was to make test-writing an easy task for the professor.  However, by telling a compelling story about a major historical figure, I tried to associate the human experience with certain names, times and places that would stay in the minds of my science/math whiz kids who hated the subjects I taught.

Sometimes a lecture is necessary, the only way to drive home an important concept; but it doesn’t have to be dry, dull, and boring.

 

 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/lecture/

Etymology is Great Fun!

Conjure

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt. 

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I know what the word can mean today, from conjuring up a delicious meal to conjuring a good story (or lie), or doing magic tricks. But of course, as always, I’m curious about the original meanings of words and how they came to mean to us what they do today.  So, of course, I looked it up 🙂

Middle English (also in the sense ‘oblige by oath’): from Old French conjurer‘to plot or exorcize,’ from Latin conjurare ‘band together by an oath, conspire’ (in medieval Latin ‘invoke’), from con- ‘together’ + jurare ‘swear.’
Isn’t that interesting?  We often think of the prefix con as being against something. But it can also mean together, as in congregate, or Congress, or convene.  Combined with jurare, to swear or make an oath,  the word became to come together to make an oath, to conspire, to plot or exorcise, or to oblige by oath. 
Now the question is, how did all that come to be associated with magic?  The answer lies around 1300 a.d  when the magical sense came to be  “constraining by spell” a demon to do one’s bidding.
Well, that  certainly doesn’t go along with pulling rabbits out of hats and making flowers out of silks, does it?  Who among us would hire a person who constrains a demon to do his bidding at a children’s birthday party?
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It often surprises me how words that had rather dark origins can come to mean something so lighthearted as doing simple “magic” tricks for entertainment. Sleight of hand requires hours and hours of practice to perfect, and I have a lot of admiration for people who can make quarters appear out of their thumbs 🙂
I have wondered, though, about those who put on elaborate shows that truly don’t have any discernible logical explanation but are vastly entertaining.
Right now, I need to conjure up the energy to go do some laundry.  Nothing magical about that!

Hoarding

Simplify

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.

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It’s something I think about.  Something I even plan to do.  But somehow, other things–life–always seem to get in the way, and simplifying  gets put off until. . . .someday. . . .when I have time.

When we remodeled the kitchen, I did get rid of a lot of stuff I hadn’t used since we moved in 20+ years ago.  So hard to decide to dispose of things I used to use a lot, but since the kids are all grown and gone, and I developed Type II diabetes, I just don’t bake any more.  Mind you, I didn’t get rid of the basics, because there are still holidays and special events when I want to bake a pie or make a cake. But it’s rare.  Some of my things moved to higher shelves in the new kitchen because I don’t use them, but just couldn’t throw them out.  Cookie cutters, little jello molds–things that hold sentimental value for me but that I’m not likely to use again.  My kids used to love helping me cut out the Christmas cookies.  Some things are just hard to part with.

Clothes.  That’s my biggest problem.  I have about four different sizes all together, and I keep hoping, wishing, that when I bring up the warm season clothing from the basement, I’ll be able to give away the biggest size and use the next size down.  Sigh.  Maybe this spring.  I have dropped a few pounds while I’ve been sick. The trick is going to be keeping them off if/when my health ever returns.

Then there’s our filing cabinet.  That one’s not my fault.  DH tends to throw things in a file folder and promptly forget about them, but when I suggest we need to clear things out, he gets all  possessive.  And we just won’t talk about the computer desk, which is my fault.  Mostly.

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You know, I remember my mom’s hoarding tendencies, and always chalked them up to the fact that Depression-era people did tend to hold on to things.  All sorts of things, like every letter she ever received. She never looked at them, mind you, but she simply couldn’t stand to throw them out.

To my own dismay, I’m finding that I have the same instincts. Yikes. I keep thinking about the mess we’re leaving for our kids, and I really don’t want to do that. Terry’s hoard is far worse than mine.  Tools, buckets of various metals, wires, multiple tool chests, all full.  Jars of screws, nuts, bolts, and washers.  Bins of –I don’t know–just STUFF. Our garage, the attic, his part of the basement, our shed, a truck body, another sort of shed. All crammed full.

Oy.  It makes me tired just thinking about clearing all that out.

We need to get started.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/simplify/

A Watcher

PHOTO PROMPT © JS Brand

Way up at the top of the rickety house,  a little girl lay belly-down on her bed. She watched, fascinated, as Zing and Zang seemed to float in the air around the houseboat  drifting on the glassy water.

“A boat for a house?” questioned Zing.  “Who would want to live that way?  Earth people are so strange.”

Zang agreed, He’d much rather live on solid ground.

The girl watched and listened.  The two odd creatures seemed to vanish and then reappear, depending on the sunlight or shadow.  Her name was Peony. She wanted to know more, but she was afraid.

Join the Club!

Enroll

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt. 

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I think I’ll start a new club.  You can enroll if you’ve been sick this winter with the flu or any other of the nasty gunkies that have been overstaying their welcome.  There are no dues, no benefits, no meetings, no officers in my club. All you need is to be sick for at least two weeks, and you’re in!  Aren’t you excited?

ill

I’m going on week three, and I’m sick of being sick. This is just wrong. My own personal cocktail of misery includes sinusitis with tons of post-nasal drip, sore throat, laryngitis, ear and throat infections, coughcoughcoughcoughcough. Can’t work without my voice, and I don’t have the energy anyway,

What a lousy way to end a wonderful vacation.

Blah.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/enroll/