Take a Break

PHOTO PROMPT © Yvette Prior

The best parts of the conference were the coffee breaks.

The rest of it? Deadening. Boredom that left one’s backside just as numb as one’s brain. The only one enjoying it was the speaker. He never acknowledged a raised hand or suspected anyone  might have a question.

He was the expert. All questions would be answered if  people would just listen!

At the last break, Lorie  had filled a go-cup to the brim,  figuring it was good for at least two trips to the facilities in the next hour or so.

It was the only escape she could think of.


What’s Your Muse?

Wednesday RDP – INSPIRE

Middle English enspire, from Old French inspirer, from Latin inspirare‘breathe or blow into,’ from in- ‘into’ + spirare ‘breathe.’ The word was originally used of a divine or supernatural being, in the sense ‘impart a truth or idea to someone.’

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To breathe into.  In Biblical terms, when we say scripture was inspired by God, we mean it was literally God-breathed, the living Word of God. For me, that means my Bible is the ultimate authority on all matters of faith, behavior, belief, human relationships.  It’s my ultimate counseling textbook. It inspires me every day to live by its precepts, and make each day count for God.

I understand, however, that what I find is inspiring may not be so for everyone else.  So, what inspires you?  The beauty of nature?  The immensity of an ocean? the amazing height of a towering mountain?  Or maybe it’s architecture.  Wonderful, solid old buildings that manage to maintain their grandeur even as they decay?  Or modern architecture, where buildings of glass seem to defy all the laws of nature.

Maybe you’re inspired by a simple cup of good coffee.  Or the fragrant aroma of correctly brewed tea. Either one goes well with chocolate, which I find very inspiring 🙂

Or maybe it’s good, hard physical exercise that inspires you and keeps  your heart pumping even after you’re done with your run.

Maybe you’re inspired to come up with a glorious  gastronomic feast as you browse through a grocery store.  Or perhaps you love flowers, have a green thumb, and you’re inspired to create a beautiful arrangement, enjoying the color, texture, shape and aroma of each bloom.

Is it music?  Is there music running in the back of your mind all day long?  Do you play an instrument  that gives you limitless pleasure as you immerse yourself in your favorite music?

Art?  So many kinds of art.  I’m not an artist in the classical sense–can’t draw a straight line 🙂  But I love textiles, and I knit. Or crochet, or do embroidery.  I enjoy quilting, though I haven’t had much time for it lately.  I used to sew almost all my clothes, and my daughter’s too, but it’s not the money-saver it used to be.  Now, I’ve transferred that love of sewing over to a love of finding a fabulous bargain on the  sale racks.

Well, maybe I haven’t found what particularly inspires you.  Maybe it’s nothing more than a 15-minute power nap.  I hope there’s something, whatever it is, that inspires you to activity or to contemplation.  We need both in our lives, because balance is important, too.

RDP: Inspire

Emigrant or Immigrant?


early 17th century (in the general sense ‘move from one place to another’): from Latin migrat- ‘moved, shifted,’ from the verb migrare .


It’s coming into the season of migration for creatures who are smart enough to get out of the sub-zero temps to a warmer climate.  Including human creatures.  Look out Florida and Phoenix!  The snow birds are coming!

Seriously, I’ve always enjoyed watching the huge flocks of geese, in particular, that arrow their way south in the fall. I’m fascinated by their organization, and the way one will fall back from the front and another takes its place.  Of course, you can always find a rogue or two that don’t want to stay in formation, just like people.

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I think there is gypsy blood in my family. We have certainly done some migrating down through the years. I was born in Colorado, but my parents migrated to Minnesota, then Oregon, then back to Minnesota.  I married a guy from the Upper Peninsula who had migrated from Michigan to Minnesota. Eventually we migrated back to the UP, then to Pennsylvania, then to Minnesota, and finally back to PA again.

My kids?  One’s in Germany, one in England, one in South Dakota.  My daughter is about 30 minutes away from us, the only one who hasn’t migrated to some distant shore;  but she married a guy who grew up in Kenya.  As far as I know, he doesn’t have an itch to go back there.

Why do we move around so much?  I don’t know.  I know I hated being “the new girl” so often, going to school with kids who were born in the same hospital, played together from infancy, and who also had siblings and cousins by the dozens who were all local. It’s not easy being new, and I never wanted to have my kids go through that.  Circumstances intervened, however, and I did repeat my parents’ pattern to a lesser degree.

And just in case you were wondering, to emigrate is to leave one’s own country and go to some other country to live permanently.  An immigrant is one who enters another country to live permanently. Which word you use depends on the point of view of your sentence.

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This young man is emigrating. and his parents aren’t happy.

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These people have immigrated to America and are taking the loyalty oath to become legal citizens.  They have emigrated from many different countries.

Maybe that was more information than you wanted.  I can’t help it.  Once an English teacher, always an English teacher 🙂

RDP: Migration

Normal for Them


c. 1200, cointe, “cunning, ingenious; proud,” from Old French cointe “knowledgeable, well-informed; clever; arrogant, proud; elegant, gracious,” from Latin cognitus “known, approved,” past participle of cognoscere “get or come to know well” (see cognizance). Modern spelling is from early 14c.


Interesting how this word has changed over time.  Now,  it’s usually  an adjective meaning “a little old-fashioned,” and is used to describe something which with we’re not familiar because it’s no longer applicable to modern life. An example, here in my corner of Pennsylvania, would be the Amish.

Their manner of dress, for instance is quaint, from our perspective.

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I’m guessing that these  young ladies did not know their picture was being taken. The Old Order Amish consider pictures  to be graven images, and do not allow cameras.

Here’s the typical clothing for Amish men and boys:

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We live about an hour or so from Lancaster County, and it’s a beautiful area. Their farms are lush and productive, worked the old-fashioned way with horse-drawn plows. As you drive through the area, you’ll see horses and buggies; little kids out working in the yard, or someone riding a scooter.


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They can really fly on those scooters!  I’ve seen them riding these things barefoot, too, because that’s how they usually are.  Barefoot. You can see little kids running barefoot down a gravel road.  Ouch.  Doesn’t seem to bother them a bit, though.

Amish cooking is amazing.  There is always a feast if you find a family-owned Amish restaurant.  You will not leave that table still feeling hungry! We enjoy eating at the Bird in Hand Amish Restaurant.  Delicious!Image result for Amish feast on the dinner table

You can even visit an old Amish house, and of course I love looking at the incredible

quilts the women make.

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You will notice no pictures on the wall; there is no electricity used in an Amish house, and it is spotlessly clean.Image result for Amish quilts

This is a traditional Tree of Life quilt pattern.  Amish women can use foot-treadle sewing machines if they have one, but all the quilting and applique is done by hand.  I got to sit at a quilting frame once and do some quilting with Amish women of all ages.Image result for Amish quilting bee

Well, I’ve just scratched the surface of this quaint, to us, way of life. For them, it is normal.  They believe in family, hard work, and clean living.  Not such a bad way to live.

RDP: Quaint


RDP for Sunday= Panoply

late 16th century (in the sense ‘complete protection for spiritual warfare,’ often with biblical allusion to Eph. 6:11, 13): from French panoplie or modern Latin panoplia ‘full armor,’ from Greek, from pan ‘all’ + hopla ‘arms.’

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I love it when I learn something new.  I knew  something of the meaning of today’s word, but I was not aware of its  original meaning  as an array of military arms, as it is used in Ephesians 6.  In that passage,  the Apostle Paul uses the various pieces of armor a Roman centurion would use to describe the way  a Christian should prepare himself to ward off the attacks of Satan.

Perhaps I just lost some of you, if you do not believe Satan exists. Don’t worry, I’m not going to turn this into a sermon.  I’m simply fascinated by the word and its connection to something with which I am very  familiar. Every piece of the centurion’s armor is used as a simile with a spiritual application, and I just never connected all that with the word panoply. 

I tend to associate panoply with a rich, impressive display, such as one sees at the Changing of the Guard in front of Buckingham Palace in London.  I had the privilege of seeing that over 25 years ago.  It’s really quite amazing, and I’m glad I got to see it.


RDP: Panoply

Dandy Dandies

RDP Saturday – POSH

Origin. Early 20th century: perhaps from slang posh, denoting a dandy.

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Two quite posh gentlemen all duded up for dinner and an evening at the opera, the theatre, or perhaps their gentlemen’s club for some gambling  without their wives or female companions getting in the way.

I’ve always associated the word posh with the British.  Not sure why, as most wealthy Americans tried their best, back in the 1920’s to look as British as possible.

It’s even more interesting to go waaaay back and look at painting of posh gentlemen before the term was coined.  I’ve always thought these guys look ridiculous, even  though they all followed the same trends.

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Especially love the guy in pink, don’t you?  I’d love to see Terry all decked out like that, but I really think he’d die first  🙂

RDP:  Posh

Poor Mona Lisa


Old English sme(a)rcian, from a base shared by smile. The early sense was ‘to smile’; it later gained a notion of smugness or silliness.

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I’ve aways thought this woman’s famous smile was more of a smirk.  For centuries now, we’ve been trying to figure out what’s behind  her smile.  Maybe she just had bad teeth and didn’t display them–quite a common problem in her time.

But I really think what was on her mind was, “This is SO boring!  Sitting here for hours and hours without moving a muscle.  Well, I’m going to give them something to think about long after I’m dead and gone.  HA!  Gotcha!”

RDP: Smirk