Wishing

Genie

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

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“I wish I had a genie in a lamp,” sighed Allie. “I have too much to do, not enough time to do it.”

“Let ME help!”  came a deep, resonant voice.  “We don’t all live in lamps, you know!”

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“What?  Who are you?  Where are you?  Oh dear, this must be a dream!”

“It’s no dream. My name is whatever you wish it to be, and I have come in answer to your wish.  How can I help?”

“Uhhhhhh,  well–do you clean house?  I mean, really deep clean?  Behind the furniture, air vents, move the appliances?”

“Of course!  Simple!”  The genie snapped his fingers, and the house instantly sparkled in every corner.  Windows, walls, dusty furniture all became pristine.

“Wow!  That’s amazing!  What else can you do?”

“Whatever you desire.  You have two wishes left.  Use them wisely.”

“Okay, let me think.  Two more.  Well, can I wish for my house to stay clean like this forever, or would it be smarter to wish that I had the strength and energy to do the work myself?”

“Those are very good questions.  I cannot tell you what to wish for, only that you must choose wisely.”

“Huh.  Not much help, are you?  Oh, well, of course you are. Sorry.  Okay, I wish for the strength and energy I had in my 20’s to last me the rest of my life.”

“It is done.  One more.”

“I wish my husband could be free from pain.  Can you do that?”

“It is done.  You have chosen well.”  And the genie disappeared in a puff of smoke.

A few hours later, Allie’s husband came home looking astonished and confused. “You’ll never believe what happened, Allie.  I was working on fixing a lawnmower, and all of a sudden the pain just vanished!  It hasn’t come back!  It’s almost as if someone made a wish to a genie!”

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What’s Fun?

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Zing, Zang, and Zinnia (oh, yes–Peony had told them her Zekonian name) got settled into the ramshackle old house. Assuming the form of human children, they explored outdoors.

“It’s pleasant,” commented Zing. “I like grass. But what is that  piece of equipment with the chains?”

“Zing, you’re too curious!”  Zang was cranky.

“It’s a game humans play,” said Zinnia. “See those plastic discs in the basket? They toss the discs into the chains and get a score when the discs drop into the basket.”

“But why?” asked Zing.

“Just for fun, Zing. It’s called Frisbee.”

“Fun?”  Zang grumped. “What’s that?”

 

Music and Hands and Stuff

Fret

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

The fret is the space between the fret wires.  The placing of the fingers determines the note or chord one plays.  Why is it called a fret, or a fret board? Well, I’m not sure, and a quick search didn’t help much.  One archaic use I found of this word is that it is a repeating ornamental design of interlaced vertical and horizontal lines, such as the Greek key pattern. So maybe that’s why it’s called a fretboard on a guitar.

I always wanted to play the guitar, but then I wanted to know how to play any and all musical instruments.  I had a cheap guitar for a while, and I did manage to teach myself a few chords.  But here’s my problem:  my pinky finger is very short. It doesn’t even reach the first knuckle of my ring finger.  So it’s really hard to wrap that stumpy pinky far enough around the fret board to reach some strings.

Same with the violin, which I did play for several years.   I really had to strain for some positions, moving my entire hand in order for my pinky to reach the right position.

I never realized I had an unusually short pinky until I started learning instruments that required a normal-length finger. 3412533c2c6c8f319954506944d2b391_800_420

 

My hand looks like the first one in this picture.  According to the theory that goes with this illustration, the size of your pinky says something about your personality.

When your little finger reaches the first line of your ring finger you belong to the first kind of personality. This means that you have a personality which inclines towards balance. You are inherently inclined towards order and peace. You are organized, not to the extent of OCD, but you need your things to be in their proper place. You instinctively move away from chaos and if there’s something that gets on your nerves, it’s the disequilibrium in life.

(I tried to copy and paste the link where I found this.  Wouldn’t work. I’ll try again later)

 

And that really isn’t too far off base for me.  I’ve taken that right-brain/left-brain test a few times over the years, and I always, always end up right smack in the center.  Surprises me, since my skills tend to me language- and word-oriented, but I guess that’s not all that counts.  True creatives are more right-brained, while those with logical and mathematical skills are more left-brained.  Then there’s me, plop in the middle.  Huh.

Anyway, I think it’s an interesting word, fret.  It applies in other ways besides musically, such as being inclined to worry and fret.  I used to do more of that when I was young.  I’ve learned that it’s a waste of time and energy.  Maybe one just becomes more balanced with age 🙂

 

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Don’t be a Crank :)

Crank

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

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This is a versatile word.  You have to turn the crankshaft of an internal combustion machine in order to get it started–crank the engine, in other words.

Used to be, you cranked the engine manually.

crank can also be an eccentric; odd,  unusual, or just an old grouch. Although not all cranky people are old, by any means.  Some are just born that way. They come out squalling and never stop 🙂

Crank is also the street name for the drug methamphetamine. the user, during the crash after a high,  can become violent and aggressive:  cranky. 

There are more, obsolete  and archaic, uses of the word.  I had no idea.

I love words.

 

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Exit Laughing

Disrupt

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

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I know this word.  I was a teacher.  All teachers know what it is for a student to at least try to disrupt a classroom. Sometimes they succeed. Usually they at least get something stirring for a few seconds, but a seasoned teacher knows how to squelch the trouble before it takes over.

How?  Well, it’s hard to explain.  There is no hard-and-fast formula.

Having a sense of humor helps. If the teacher can laugh when some kid pulls a prank, then it won’t take the class long to settle down.

I had a kid who was a senior when I had him in class for the first time.  I knew he had a reputation for pulling silly stunts, but he seemed fairly quiet and subdued in my class–until, one morning, we were standing to say the pledge to the flag. I turned to the flag and started to say,  “I pledge. . . . . Vincent?  Take them down.  Now.”  I was laughing. It was funny.

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There was a beverage distributor on the property next to the school, and Vincent had gone and asked for a couple of tap handles. He’d put the m over the end of the sticks that held the flags.

Come on.  It was funny.  And because I laughed, so did everyone else. We got past it, he took them down, and nothing more was said.

There was another boy, maybe a sophomore, who loved to tease me about being short.  I walked into my classroom after lunch one day and found him on his hands and knees.  !  He had taken wide masking tape and created a highway on the floor.  It must have taken him the entire lunch period. He’d made a dividing line on his road with  an ink pen, and he’d brought Matchbox cars that he’d distributed  along the road.  When I came in, he was yelling, “No, no!  Look out, Mrs. K. There’s a truck coming!  Stop!   STOP!!  Oh,  NOOOOOoooooo!”

I could always count on him to be entertaining, for sure.  Those kinds of disruptions are not meant to be rebellious.  They’re just normal kids having fun, and it’s important to remember that people don’t tease you if they don’t like you.

Then there was the kid who always ate two bean burritos at lunch, then went out and played football or soccer.  By the time he settled into his desk, his digestive system was working overtime. The odor was horrible, but he seemed to be completely oblivious.

After a couple of days of putting up with this incredibly rude and obnoxious behavior, I decided to hit it openly.  I said, “If any of you know who is creating this nasty stink, I want you to take him out behind the maintenance shed and smack him around for a while. I certainly won’t tell on you.”

They were astonished, because fighting was a BIG no-no.   Must have scared the offender, because he came to me after class and told me he was the culprit, but that he couldn’t help it—besides, in his home, everyone did it. It was just normal.

There were eight kids in the family.  Minnesota has very cold winters.  You don’t open your windows.  I’m glad they never invited me to dinner.  I think I would have fainted.

Well,  I let him know quite succinctly that if he didn’t find a way to deal with his problem outdoors, I would get the other boys to hang his behind out an open window until he was gas-free.  It seemed to cure him, because there was never another odor in that classroom.

Sometimes peer pressure is the perfect tool to use to stop disruption.  That, and a sense of humor.

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Crema

Froth

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

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Crema, I learned recently from my coffee-loving son-in-law, is the froth that develops on the top of a freshly made cup of espresso. He has an espresso machine, and he’s become quite adept at turning out a most pleasing cup of coffee.ristretto

I finally broke down and got myself a French press, before I found the one my son left in my pantry before he moved to the UK.  So now I have two.  One, his, is a one-cupper.  Mine is a little bigger, and could probably make three small cups or two big ones.

One of the things I enjoy is that there always some frothy foam at the top of my cup when I pour the coffee  from the press.  I like it.  It makes better coffee than my old drip appliance, richer and more full-bodied.61dfw0rjvxl-_sl1500_

I’ve always enjoyed the foam on a root beer float; or a cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows melting on top.   Somehow, a drink or a treat like a root beer float is just better when it’s frothy on the top.

Why is that?

 

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A Hideout

PHOTO PROMPT © Yarnspinnerr

“This is. . . . . .sad,” remarked Zing. “It has been neglected.  Why do you want us to stay here?”

Peony was patient. “Because it’s neglected. No one knows who owns it. No one does any upkeep.  The yard is overgrown, the house needs painting, and the windows are so dirty no one can see  what’s going on inside.  It’s perfect.”

“But, Peony, you can see there is no power for lights, or cooking. Or heat. What about that?”

“You two are going to need to learn to trust me.  If you’ll cooperate, I promise I’ll tell you my Zekonian name. Follow me.”

Magic

Luminescent

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

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Shanna had read the scientific explanation of the blue luminescence that seemed like magic to her.  Cold radiation.  Right.

She knew better.  Some people thought it was just the reflection of starlight in certain conditions.  They were wrong, too.

All her life, Shanna had been intrigued.  She would often slip down to the shore at night to watch the lovely blue glow, and listen to the barely discernible whispers of the ocean fairies as they dance up and down the edges of the water.

She would sit so still that the blue fairies didn’t even know she was there. Entranced by the middle-of-the-night performance, Shanna watched in wonder as they sparkled and fluttered, sometimes dipping back into the small breakers that lapped the sand.

She lived in her own world during the blue fairy season.  She never spoke, but she communicated with them, admiring their grace and joy as they danced the night away. And once, just one time, one of the tiny creatures flew up and kissed her cheek.

Scientists would never understand or appreciate the wonder of the blue ocean fairies. They had no imagination at all, poor things.

 

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What’s the Rush?

Rush

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

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This is one of those words that has so many different meanings and usages.

There’s Rush Limbaugh–a name.  I’ve never heard of anyone else with that name, so of course I looked it up.  Turns out he was named for his grandfather, whose name was chosen to honor the maiden name of a family member, Edna Rush.

Moving on:  Rush hour traffic.  We all know what this is about. Friday, around 4:30, we were driving from Quakertown to Gilbertsville.  The main highway is really the fastest way to go, even during rush hour, but it did take us longer than usual.  Traffic was lined up for what seemed like miles. That’s nothing, however, compared to rush hour in Philadelphia, or from New Jersey to points west like Allentown.  Just crazy.  Glad I don’t have to be a part of it.

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A meaning we don’t use very often is a marsh or waterside plant with slender stemlike pith-filled leaves, widely distributed in temperate areas. Some kinds are used for matting, chair seats, and baskets, and some were formerly used for strewing on floors.

It’s also something to do with football, I think.  I’d better look that one up.  I’m not a football fan, so my knowledge is quite limited. Yup.  I don’t know why I know this, but here it is:  a rapid advance by a defensive player or players, especially toward the quarterback.

  • an act of running from scrimmage with the ball to gain yardage.

We can get an adrenaline rush if we’re very frightened, excited, or stressed.

Or, if you go to college, you can become part of rush week.  This is a period of time when the various sororities and fraternities try to convince you to join their group, and you get treated to all kinds of fun stuff.  Then you join one, and sometimes things go very wrong after that.

Rushes are also the first prints made of a movie after a period of shooting.

Or a rush can be a sudden surge or flood of water.

Or you can rush to get dressed because you overslept your alarm, and you don’t want to lose your job.

A rush can be a sudden strong demand for a commodity, such as when a new e-device makes its debut.

Or it can be a strong surge of emotion, as when you see the man or woman of your dreams and your heart starts to speed up, your breathing rate increases, you get flushed, and your hands get all cold and clammy.  Sometimes, that rush is quickly crushed when the object of your affections rushes away in terror.

Okay, that’s enough.  As always, I’m amazed at the English language and all the different meanings one word can have.

Are other languages like that?

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