L. corpulentus, fr. corpus,: cf. F. corpulent,. See Corpse


Corpulent is how we all feel after the holidays.

A person named Leigh Hunt was sent to prison for two years for calling the Prince Regent  corpulent  in print in 1812. He was, very, but I guess you weren’t allowed to say so.

Image result for England's Prince Regent in 1812

No one wants to be called an uncomplimentary name, but it sure is a good thing in America right now that you probably won’t go to jail for doing so.

And I’m wondering who came up with the idea that fat and happy should be used together. I’ll bet it wasn’t a fat person.

There was a time, though, even in America, when corpulence was supposedly a sign of good health. Times were hard, and lots of people had a hard time finding enough food for themselves and their families. So if someone was chubby, it was considered a sign of health and wealth–something to be emulated.

Who was the painter who like to paint rather–umm–well-endowed women? They were considered quite beautiful. Too bad I didn’t live then. Rubens, right? Yes, Peter Paul Rubens. His name has become synonymous with round women—Rubenesque. Sounds a lot nicer than fat, doesn’t it?

Well, whatever word suits your fancy–corpulent, obese, chubby, chunky, heavy, blubbery or worse—be careful to whom you apply it. You could end up in prison. Maybe. Or not.

RDP: Corpulent


Greatness to Goats

PHOTO PROMPT © Randy Mazie

His life, from birth, was planned for him. Born to wealth and power, his education the best, he grew up believing he was invincible.

As a young man, newly married to the state’s most beautiful and elegant young lady, he was already held in high regard by everyone. His stature was indisputable. His wealth, inherited and earned, was legendary. Money paved every path.

His wife closed her eyes to his “indiscretions.” She dutifully produced an heir, and dutifully died thereafter.

Now, he has a huge gravestone and a herd of goats to keep him company.

A Christmas Thought


late Middle English: from Latin resplendent- ‘shining out,’ from the verb resplendere, from re- (expressing intensive force) + splendere ‘to glitter.’


Resplendent   makes me think of Queen Elizabeth I, whose love of fabulously expensive gowns covered with glittering jewels is legendary.

Image result for Elizabeth I in full court dress

She really knew how to put on the ritz, a statement of her power and the reach of her authority.

At Christmas, though, as I think about the birth of Jesus Christ, there was nothing resplendent at all except, of course, for the brilliantly shining angel who announced His birth to the shepherds.

In fact, Jesus left all the glory and splendor of heaven to be born as a human infant, and cradled in a manger on a bed of hay.

He was probably about two when the Magi finally reached Him. They gave Him splendid gifts—gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Expensive, and prophetic of His death.

There was no splendor in His death. It was brutal. Ugly. His suffering was beyond our understanding.

He endured it for our sake, so that we could experience the splendor of heaven with Him, if we accept His death and resurrection as our only way of salvation.

His love was, and is, resplendent. His mercy and grace are resplendent.

Don’t forget why we celebrate Christmas. It’s not all the romantic movies or shopping or lights and other decorations. It is because Jesus came, as wholly man and wholly God, to provide the best gift of all for all mankind who will trust in Him.

Luke 2:11.

“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” 

RDP: Resplendent

A White Blouse

RDP Saturday – White

late Old English hwīt, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch wit and German weiss, also to wheat.


Remember the Ben Casey Blouse? It was very popular for a little while when I was a junior or senior, not sure which.

Image result for Ben Casey Blouse

I’m guessing this was around 1963-4. I remember that all of a sudden every cool girl in school had one, and somehow they all seemed to wear them on the same day.

A white doctor tunic with buttons on the side and a Nehru collar, they were a wildly popular fad. Of course, the guy behind the style was also wildly popular. A broody, dark-haired, dark-eyed Vince Edwards played the role of Ben Casey. He was a rebel with a cause–straighten out the medical process in his hospital.

Image result for Ben Casey

Well, I never got one of those blouses. I didn’t really mind, because they only lasted for a couple of weeks, and then no one was wearing them at all.

I do love a pretty white blouse, though. I have one that I especially like, very lacy and feminine, and made of fabric that isn’t supposed to be starchy, but is crinkly instead. You don’t put it in the dryer, and you never iron it.

This isn’t exactly it, but it comes close. Comfortable, pretty, and low maintenance. Doesn’t get any better than that 🙂

RDP: White

More Memories

RDP Thursday – POD

late 17th century: back-formation from dialect podwarepodder ‘field crops,’ of unknown origin.


Image result for peapods hanging from vines in a garden

Today’s prompt took me right back to my mom’s garden in southern Minnesota. She was a wonderful gardener, loving the process of preparing the ground, planting, watering, and watching the plants sprout and grow and produce food. Her garden was a legend in the area. One day we were told that the spot she had chosen for her garden used to be a hog pen. No wonder the ground was so fertile.

I loved the smell of peas in the pod. I didn’t mind picking them, and I actually enjoyed the process of shelling the peas. Snap off the end, press on the hump until it splits, and then push out a row of peas with your thumb. Over and over.

One of my favorite things was fresh peas cooked with new potatoes and served with a white sauce. My goodness, I can still remember how delicious that tasted and smelled.

Several years later, I had a garden of my own. I froze, canned, enjoyed my collection of jarred vegetables lined up in rows on my basement shelves. Peas, beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, beets, potatoes. No zucchini, thanks. No eggplant, either.

Food fresh from the garden is nearly a forgotten treasure these days. Sad. It just tastes better.

RDP: Pod

Included into a Family

RDP Wednesday – FAMILY

late Middle English (sense 2 of the noun): from Latin familia ‘household servants, household, family,’ from famulus ‘servant.’


Yet another word whose origin was a surprise to me. Household servants, when Rome was at its best, were considered family; later, as more and more slaves were acquired, their status changed a bit and they were treated with less favor by some.

Of course, family today centers on the core group: Father, mother, children; all related by blood. But that’s not the ONLY way we think of family. Adoption has brought untold numbers of people into the nucleus of the original family, and that’s a wonderful thing.

Sometimes, friendships develop into family. That’s what happened to my family when I was barely three years old. People in the church my mom and dad began to attend invited them for Sunday dinner one day, and then again, and then for holiday gatherings, until I truly thought they were our blood relatives. It was such a shock to me to find out they weren’t!

Image result for family gathering at Christmas

But what a privilege it was to be taken into their family and treated with such love and acceptance. That family was part of the influence that took my dad to Bible college and then into ministry. They lived what they said they believed. They took in strangers and loved us, treated us as if we belonged with them.

Our shared times with our adopted grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins still colors my memories of wonderful times spent together. We were blessed–and they thought we were a blessing to them, too.

It doesn’t get any better than that.

RDP: Family


Copyright – Adam Ickes

He thought most of his clothes were worn out and worthless, just as he was. His boots, however, were almost new. Maybe someone else could get some use out of them.

His watch was cheap. His glasses, broken. His wallet, empty.

He slipped the boots off, lined them up neatly, took a deep breath, and stepped off the high bridge. His body made very little noise as it slipped into the water.

There was no one around to hear, anyway.


RDP Tuesday: bridge

Old English brycg (noun), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch brug and German Brücke .

Image result for Mackinac Bridge

The Mackinac Bridge (pronounced Mackinaw)  connects the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to the lower, much larger part of the state. There is no geographic tie. In fact, the UP actually extends from Wisconsin. I have no idea how it became a part of Michigan.

The bridge was an exciting landmark for our kids when we made the trek from Pennsylvania to the UP to visit Terry’s parents. Terry was born and raised in the UP, which makes him a legitimate Yooper (it’s now in the dictionary!)

The bridge spans Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, which meet right under the bridge. It’s a beautiful sight, both as you approach it and as you cross it. The lakes are so big that you almost feel you’re crossing an ocean. Even if it’s hot outside, the air cools noticeably as you cross the water and arrive on the UP.

Once we crossed, we’d usually find a good place to park along the shore of Lake Michigan and let the kids run off some energy. They loved it up there, and so, of course, did Terry. As a special treat, we’d find some smoked whitefish and fresh pasties, both so delicious they’d melt in your mouth. (By the way, it’s pronounced like “past,” not “paste.” Just so you know.) Then, pack everyone up and head across almost to Wisconsin, and a joyful reunion with the grandparents.

Terry still misses the UP. Me? Not so much. We lived up there for a couple of years. Biggest mosquitos in the world, deer flies who aren’t particular about whether or not you’re a deer. Two seasons: Winter and a few minutes in July. One year, it snowed on my daffodils. In MAY! Ugh.

So there you have it. That’s the first thing I thought of for today’s prompt.

RDP: Bridge

A Myth


late Middle English (in the mythological sense): via Latin from Greek alkuōn ‘kingfisher’ (also halkuōn, by association with hals ‘sea’ and kuōn ‘conceiving’).


Isn’t that an interesting history for this word?  I was having trouble making the connection with the etymology to today’s usage, which is a serene, peaceful, beautiful sense of time and place—the halcyon  days of our youth, for example. 

So here’s the story, from Wiktionary: 

halcyon days


From Latin Alcyone, daughter of Aeolus and wife of Ceyx. When her husband died in a shipwreck, Alcyone threw herself into the sea whereupon the gods transformed them both into halcyon birds (kingfishers). When Alcyone made her nest on the beachwaves threatened to destroy it. Aeolus restrained his winds and kept them calm during seven days in each year, so she could lay her eggs. These became known as the “halcyon days,” when storms do not occur. Today, the term is used to denote a past period that is being remembered for being happy and/or successful.

Image result for halcyon myth

And there you have it.  Once again, I’ve started my day learning something I didn’t know before 🙂

RDP:  Halcyon

Long-ago Saturdays

RDP Saturday – PLAY

Old English pleg(i)an ‘to exercise,’ plega ‘brisk movement,’ related to Middle Dutch pleien ‘leap for joy, dance.’


Image result for children running and playing

I’m always surprised and delighted to see kids outdoors, just running and playing and having a good time. We don’t have many young kids in our neighborhood, but every now and then I hear a skateboard, or the thump of a basketball.  It makes me want to go out and play with them, but they’d be terrified I’d hurt myself 🙂

I think it would be a great gift idea for Christmas to take your kids outdoors and teach them to play Red Rover, or Mother May I, or hide-and-seek, or tetherball, work-up, jump rope, hula hoop, roller skating—well, you get the idea. Maybe you’d need to enlist the help of a grandparent who remembers those games. 

Saturdays were chore days. Mom worked full time, so on Saturdays my sister and I did the housecleaning while she did laundry. We had a carpet sweeper, dust mop, rags, dusting spray, gritty cleanser for the tub and sinks, a brush and cleaning solution for the toilet. We stripped beds, remade them with fresh sheets; we took rugs outside and shook them; emptied trash, cleaned mirrors.  We were about 8 and 10 at that point, and we didn’t feel put-upon.  The goal was to get it done so we could spend the rest of the day outside.

I can’t say I enjoyed housecleaning.  Boring then, boring now.  But it sure felt good when everything was clean and fresh.  It never crossed our minds to whine or complain about having to do the work.  That wouldn’t have ended well.  Besides, both Mom and Dad worked hard all week, and after all, we lived there too.  Some of the dust and mess was ours.  We never thought it was “unfair” to be expected to pitch in.  That, by the way, is what helps build the much vaunted self-esteem in a child–to be a working, helping part of the family. Anyway, nobody was worried about our self-esteem back in the 1950’s.  We worked, and then we played. And by the way, there were no organized sports. We made our own rules, and usually followed them. 

We lived in a great neighborhood.  Lots of kids around our age, so getting up some kind of game was easy.  We could go down to the school playground and play baseball, basketball, or, if it was set up, tetherball. We roller skated on those old-fashioned skates that clamped onto your shoes, using a skate key we kept on a string around our necks. 

As evening approached, it was time for hide-and-seek. Base was usually a tree, and the goal was to run to base without getting tagged by whoever was “It.” Great fun, great exercise. There weren’t many overweight kids back then, because we didn’t sit in front of screens all day, nor did we snack on chips and soda pop–those things were for special events, not every-day living. 

Does it seem like I’m painting a rosy-colored kind of memory?  Well, it was wonderful, and it was real, and it was how we lived. We were poor, although I don’t remember knowing that.  It didn’t matter. We had a wonderful time growing up, and I’ll always treasure the memories. 

RDP:  Play