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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/

What’s Not to Love?

Ragtag Daily Prompt #21: ITALIAN

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My son and his wife recently spent  a week in Rome.  They loved the food; they enjoyed the ancient ruins; and they loved the countryside full of wildflowers. Someday I’d like to go!

When I think of Italy, so many things come to mind. Food.  Who doesn’t love Italian food?

Image result for Italian food

Music.  Who doesn’t love Andrea Bocelli’s wonderful tenor?

Ruins.  Who doesn’t love all the incredible architecture?  You saw some of that in the Bocelli video, so I won’t repeat it.

The gorgeous countryside. Who doesn’t love the beauty?

Image result for Italian countryside

The sea!  Who doesn’t love the seaside?Image result for Italian seaside

And the faces of the people.  How can you not love this face?Image result for Italian faces

 

 What’s Not to Love?

Let me Count the Ways

RDP #20 – CHECK (daily prompt)

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This is one of those words that has  SO many meanings. . . .

My luggage was opened and checked on our flight to South Dakota.  All they found was  the tiny little pocket knife I knew I shouldn’t carry in my purse.  They let me keep it.  Good of them.

My husband is trying to check the proliferation of the lantern fly in our raspberry patch.  To make matters worse, he also found a Japanese beetle yesterday.  Nasty bugs.

I remember having to check and recheck my answers in long division homework in sixth grade. Drove me crazy.  I have something called dyscalcula, which is like dyslexia only with numbers.  I used to erase holes into my papers.

Sometimes we say Check! when we approve of something.  Or we use the same expression when we’re ticking things off of a checklist. 

We write checks to pay bills.  I’m showing my age, though, right?  Most of my bills are paid online these days.Image result for checkers

Checkers is a favorite game for all ages.

When we play chess, we use check and checkmate to indicate the opponent’s king has been stopped or the queen is unable to move.  I’m not a good chess player.  Strategy games are not my favorites.

On fabric, a pattern of different-colored squares is called checked or checkered. 

Someone of dubious character may be said to have a checkered past.

And there’s more, but I think that’s enough for now.  I need to check my time:)

Let me Count the Ways

A Narrow Life

PHOTO PROMPT © Fatima Fakier Deria

He was born in a tiny room that faced the canal.  He grew up with the smell of the rancid water as a normal part of his life. No one ever went swimming in the canal, or dipped a cup into the oil-scummed surface to take a drink. It was for transport, nothing else. Everything got dumped into the canal–sewage, food garbage, dead pets, and the occasional human body.

He was helping on a canal boat by the time he was three. It was his whole life. His wife and children would do the same.

A Bible Passage

RDP #19 – SHAKEN  (daily prompt)

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The first thing that came to mind for me is a favorite Bible passage:

 

Luke 6:36-42:
Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful. “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”

Sometimes,  this passage is used as a promise that when we are generous with our financial giving, God will reward us accordingly–that is, with material gain.

(I did not quote the entire passage here, but only the salient verses for my point. The rest of the passage is similar in its meaning, and money and material wealth are not mentioned.)

If we look at the context, however, it is clear that there is no money involved here.  What is to be given is mercy; not judgment, not condemnation, but forgiveness.  When we forgive, then we will receive forgiveness in good measure.  When we fail to forgive, holding grudges and offering judgment, condemnation, and lack of mercy, then we cannot expect to receive forgiveness ourselves when we hurt others.

This world could use a lot less judgment, criticism and condemnation, and a lot more forgiveness, mercy, and compassion. No doubt.

A Bible Passage

A Beautiful Night Sky

RDP # 18: Stellar (daily prompt)

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If you’ve always lived in a big city where there are lights all over, day and night, you’ve never really seen what’s up in the sky—an amazing, stellar array that you can only imagine unless you get out into the country, especially in the northern climates, where there is no artificial light at all.

Related image

There’s even a shooting star in there.  Almost looks like a snowstorm, doesn’t it?

Terry grew up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  He’s a Yooper, for those of you who know the term.  He was so excited to take me up there for the first time, to see his home country and meet his parents.  He told me that one of the things he missed the most was the clear, star-filled skies he enjoyed as a kid.

I have to admit, they were pretty impressive.  Even in the middle of their short summer, the air had a nice nip to it after dark. We sat one night on the shores of Ice Lake just watching the reflection of the stars on the still water.  Quiet, peaceful, a great way to relax—-

IF you had remembered to use the Deep Woods OFF! spray.  Otherwise, the mosquitoes and deer flies would carry you away to be eaten at leisure in their horrible, dark, dirty dungeons.

What, you don’t believe me?  Go up there without any bug protection.  You’ll learn.

A Beautiful Night Sky

 

Perfect Shot

RDP#16:  Target (one-word daily prompt)

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He waited. Patient, calm, enjoying the serenity of the woods. Once he’d settled in, the birdsong resumed; the small critters went back to scurrying here and there.  A squirrel whose tree he was sharing even chittered to him now and then. His blind was as comfortable as such things can be. The day was pleasantly cool, partly cloudy, breezy. He was sure he was downwind, having observed the trails for weeks before he set up his blind.

He was locked, loaded, and ready.  Now, just to enjoy the wait.

Toward evening, with the sun low in the sky, he jerked out of his near-sleep when a small tree nearby rattled its branches. Moving slowly, he raised his weapon.  It took just a moment to adjust the focus.  Ah, beautiful.  Perfect. His target’s nose was twitching, but not on alert. Majestic antlers  announced his age and rank.

Image result for majestic buck deer in the woods

The light was perfect. The breeze was perfect, Unbelievable that it was going to be so easy.

Slow pressure on the trigger. Count two-three-four CLICK!  The buck never knew what hit him as he wandered away, but the photographer knew it was his best shot ever.

Perfect Shot

Cloudy Vision

CATARACT:  a medical condition in which the lens of the eye becomes progressively opaque, resulting in blurred vision.

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A cataract can also be a waterfall, or a rush of water.  The word comes from late Middle English: from Latin cataracta ‘waterfall, floodgate,’ also ‘portcullis’ (medical sense 2 probably being a figurative use of this), from Greek kataraktēs ‘down-rushing,’ from katarassein, from kata- ‘down’ + arassein ‘strike, smash.’

I have one, on my right eye.  The doctor said it’s the hard kind, and will probably need to be surgically removed in another  year or so. He said if it bothers me, to let him know.  I did, right there on the spot.  I constantly want to wipe that eye, feeling as if there’s a film on it, something in the way. But my vision is still clear, so he wasn’t in any hurry.

If a cataract is not removed, here is what the eye will eventually look like:

Image result for cataract images

Kind of creepy, right?  From what I’m reading, mine is probably an inherited tendency. My mom had one removed–maybe it was both eyes eventually, I can’t remember for sure.

It’s amazing how different this procedure is today compared to 50 years ago.  Back then, I remember people having to lie perfectly still for a long period of time; no light, so the eye was covered with a black patch.  Now, it’s a simple thing with a very short recovery period, and clear vision restored almost immediately.

I guess I’m glad I don’t live back in the good old days 🙂

Cloudy Vision

How it Really Started

RDP #14 – JULIENNE

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So I figured out that the earlier post I wrote today on smorgasbord was actually yesterday’s post. Sigh.  This old granny seems to be having a hard time catching up.

Anyway, I’ve always wondered why it’s call julienne, but never looked it up.  So today’s the day. Annnnd, I found that the word comes from a soup of the same name, which is prepared with thin strips of vegetables garnishing it — in French a potage julienne.

Okay, but I still don’t know why it’s called julienne.  Keep searching. I find this:

Early 18th century (originally as an adjective designating soup made of chopped vegetables, especially carrots): French, from the male given names Jules or Julien, of obscure development.

So here’s the story:

“Hey, Jules!  Get over here and slice these carrots  to toss into the soup!  You’ve been on break long enough!”

Jules sauntered to his work station, irritated at being made to do such menial work when he was so talented. He should be head chef, he’s just that good.

He scrubbed his carrots, topped them, skinned them, and cut them into manageable lengths. The, WHACK! in half, and WHACK in quarters.  He liked the looks of that so much better than the coin-shaped pieces they usually added to the soup.

He looked again, realized the pieces could be even thinner for faster cooking. WHACK!  went his knife, and he signaled to the chef that he was finished.

The chef, seeing what Jules had done, was at first thoughtful, then beaming with pleasure. “Exquisite! They will cook quickly, and give the soup a unique appearance.  Good job, Jules!”  He clapped Jules on the back as he beckoned another worker to carry the carrots to the soup pot.

And, to Jules’ endless delight, potage julienne had been born; a soup that would carry his name to all kitchens of distinction for ages to come.

 

 

 

 

Welcome to the Table!

RDP #13 – SMORGASBORD

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Swedish, from smörgås ‘(slice of) bread and butter’ (from smör ‘butter’ + gås ‘goose, lump of butter’) + bord ‘table.’

Interesting how the meaning of a word changes over time. From a simple piece of bread and butter to a whole array of delectable foods,  a smorgasbord today offers hundreds of choices.

The first time I remember hearing this word was when I was somewhere between the ages of 10-12. We had moved from Minnesota to Portland, Oregon, and some new friends had invited our family to a smorgasbord.  My word, what a feast!  I don’t remember specifics; just that there were so many choices, and they all looked and smelled so good! I took tiny portions, but still ate my stomach full.

Now I live in Pennsylvania.  In our part of the state, the most well-known smorgasbord restaurant is the Shady Maple  in Lancaster. It’s ginormous. You could go there every day of the week and never sample everything that is offered.

Image result for Shady Maple Restaurant  It is a favorite stop for people visiting Amish country. The food features many Pennsylvania Dutch  dishes. You can eat there all day, but I doubt your stomach would survive 🙂

They offer a special every day, which can range from freshly roasted turkey to grilled-to-order steaks.
Image result for Shady Maple Restaurant

And the dessert section–not just a table, but a whole section–is a very dangerous place for a diabetic. Cakes, pies, puddings, sweet rolls, cookies, ice cream–it’s  all there, in plenteous array.

Image result for Shady Maple Restaurant

There’s a farm market, too, which is delightful just to wander around in.

So if you’re ever in the neighborhood, do stop in.  You won’t regret it 🙂

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2018/06/13/rdp-13-smorgasbord/

The Partridge

I want to write a second story. It’s been percolating away while I worked today, and now I think it’s brewed and ready to serve 🙂

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“Daddy, what’s the difference between a partridge and a quail?”

“I’m not sure, Love, but I think they’re both related to the pheasant family.  Partridges are a bit larger, it seems to me. ”

“Can they fly?””

“Partridges?  I believe they can.  What’s this all about?”

“Well—are they good to eat?”

“Some people like them very much.  I suspect they’re a bit like chicken.”

“I hope nobody catches this one. It would be sad—oh, look!  Daddy, look!”

“What, Love? What do you see?”

“Look there!  That partridge just flew up into our pear tree!”Image result for a partridge in a pear tree