The Pro

Ragtag Daily Prompt: PROCRASTINATE
M-W’s Word of the Day: IDIOPATHIC
Fandango’s One-Word Challenge: ADROIT

We have some really interesting prompt words today! Yes, that P word. One of my worst flaws. That little moth that eats holes in the fabric of our lives.

Procrastination stems from a misjudgement or mismanagement of time, I suppose. A person entertains the perception that there will be more time later to do a thorough job. You use up precious minutes doing insignificant things, but then one day you wake up and realize you missed the opportune boat. It’s sailed and you weren’t on it — and there may never be one with “more time” leaving from this dock.

Idiopathic, according to Merriam-Webster, means “arising spontaneously or from an obscure or unknown cause.” Like when you have every good intention to get at something as soon as you have a bit more time, but delays arise from an obscure source, and while you’re coping with them, someone pushes the hands of the clock ahead. Sometimes years ahead.

Idiopathic also means “peculiar to the individual.” I don’t think procrastination is peculiar to me, though I’m quite adroit at procrastinating under normal circumstances. And later chiding myself because of the thing not yet done.

And this past week hasn’t been a normal one for me, as I’ve been feeling “under the weather.” Sinus and bronchial congestion, limp-noodle energy, napping often. Procrastinating in regard to posting on my blog, too, you may have noticed. I believe I’m on the road to recovery now, but it’s been a long spell of the blahs.

“I write to be remembered…”

The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning is WRITE
And maybe if I WRITE fast enough, I can be the first to respond!

All because I’m up in the wee hours — sinus problems just wouldn’t let me rest in peace — so thought I’d see what’s going on in the world. So here’s a little verse that came to mind when I saw the prompt and no responses yet:

By hook or by crook;
I’ll be the first to write in this book.”
This is a slight adaptation of a verse someone wrote in an autograph book of mine years ago. It actually went like this:
“By hook or by crook
I’ll be the last one to write in this book.”
The girl who wrote it signed on the inside back cover, so no one could beat that. 🙂

I wonder how many of you can remember those old autograph books we handed around to our family and friends, asking them to write a verse so we’d have a memory of them for our old age? I’m pretty sure I still have one of mine, dating from about 1963-65. My husband also had one and collected some interesting verses of his own.

The idea was to write some sort of good wishes, a verse, an inspiring quote, a bit of song, and then sign and date your entry. This poem was written by one of Mom’s siblings:

“How nice it is to have a friend
who always plays the game,
knows all the faults that you possess
and loves you just the same.” 

This bit of wisdom, maybe a forerunner of the “How to eat an elephant” line, was given to Bob by his Dad. It’s often encouraged me when I feel overwhelmed by many To-Dos:
“Little and often makes a heap in time.”

Here’s another encouragement my third-grade teacher wrote for me:
“May your life be like a snowflake;
leave a mark, but not a stain.”

Verses could be silly, like these written by two of my friends:
“I saw you in the ocean; I saw you in the sea;
I saw you in the bath-tub. Oops, pardon me!”

And here’s a last, very humble verse to end my post with — and by now I may not even be the first in the queue. 🙂

“Some people write for money,
some people write for fame;
I write to be remembered
so here I’ll sign my name.”

Have a great weekend, everyone!

This is MY Chair

Ragtag Prompt Word today: SURRENDER
Word of the Day challenge: QUICK

Things are going slower than usual this morning, since I surrendered to an extra two hours of sleep. I let the cats in at 5:30 am, but decided it was just too early and went back to bed. So it does.

I got to thinking of de- words, like delight, deform, debase, etc., and wrote a post over at Word Buds on the word DESULTORY. This has quite an interesting root, salire meaning TO LEAP. You can read my post HERE.

As I was typing merrily away, posted my work, and went out to the kitchen for something. Came back and found my cat Angus — always quick to seize an opportunity of this nature — was curled up in my desk chair, prepared to nap for a few hours. Too bad for him! I wanted to do more on the computer and would not surrender my chair. “I’m going to sit here,” I informed him as I pulled him off and dumped him on the floor. His disgruntled look expressed his displeasure.

Cat.Angus.Alina Kuptsova
Alina Kuptsova —  Pixabay

But another opportunity afforded itself; he headed for Bob’s vacant chair and with one quick leap he’d claimed that. It looks like he may even catch forty winks before the owner thereof returns to demand it back. And by then I’ll be occupied with other things and my chair will be empty.

The Jibber Jabber with Sue prompt word for today is SILENCE, and I guess that apart from her scheduled writing prompt words, there is silence over at her blog as she takes a writing break.

There may be silence at our house — especially since I haven’t put in  my hearing aids yet — but there’s no silence outdoors. The birds start expressing their views at dawn and twitter until the daylight fades. We had a real treat yesterday afternoon, looking out the dining room window and seeing goldfinches at our niger-seed feeder. First ones we’ve seen this spring. Friends say they saw some, too, so the flock must have just arrived from the sunny south.

Farmers have been seeding in hope. They are brave souls who seldom surrender to the elements, but it’s been quite dry. We’ve been promised an inch of rain Wed and we sure hope it comes. I remember back about thirty years ago environmentalists being concerned for the survival of migratory birds because so many sloughs and small lakes — their breeding grounds — had dried up. We may be back to that before long.

The old farmers talk about weather cycles, about ten years of wet followed by about ten years of dry — and we’ve seen this played out since we came back to SK. Back then the prairie was in the grip of a very dry spell, then the wet cycle started and we had 8-10 years of plenty. Sloughs hereabouts were as full as any of the old-times could remember and gravel roads needed to be built up higher. Now we’re into a dry cycle again; the huge sloughs beside us are dry.

Maybe our focus is very small, but prairie folks don’t soon get panicked about climate change — especially those who’ve lived through the 1930s. But drought is something we understand too well; all of us older ones have been through a number of these cycles. Our young teens haven’t seen a real drought.

Please pardon my ramblings. Stay safe and have a great week, everyone.
Stores here open tomorrow. 🙂

Party.OCArt

Sunday Prompt

Good morning everyone — or at least it will be when you read this, as I’m scheduling it for 8am. I want to set this up tonight because I’m not certain we’ll have an internet connection in the morning.

In reality it’s just past midnight here and I’m up late having a hot drink, watching the snow blow over the garage roof, hearing our windows and the internet dish on the roof rattling. Yes, our spring-like weather from this afternoon has vanished and March is coming in with a lion-like howling blizzard here.

The Ragtag Daily Prompt for March 1st is STENTORIAN. I’ve chosen this word and hope bloggers will respond favorably to it. Here’s my tale, which I’ve written as a response to this prompt.

Takes All Kinds to Make a World

Though they were only thirteen months apart in age and could easily pass for twins, Royal and his brother Abner were two completely different natures. Folks who knew the family claimed that when the boys were growing up, young Roy, as everyone called him, talked and his younger brother listened. And when Roy was done voicing his opinion, Ab would put in a few sensible words at the end.

Roy’s stentorian voice is the talk of the town. He only has one volume, folks say, and that’s the loudest. Folks say when the family comes to town they can often hear Roy a mile away, giving orders to his youngsters. And if one of them misbehaves the whole town knows it. And you sure don’t want to be in the same room as him when he gets to discussing politics!

Livery stable owner Frank Tompkins says his horses get so nervous they started kicking in their stalls whenever they hear Roy’s angry tones roll across town. That might be an exaggeration, but Widow Smith maintains that he made Duke, her old horse, bolt one day. She claims she was driving by Roy’s farm when Roy came out of the barn and started roaring at one of his boys for some misdeed. Old Duke jerked his head back and ran like the wolves were after it. She barely managed to get him slowed down again. It’s a wonder she didn’t have a wreck!

Pete Brown said he sure hoped Roy never came around his barn at milking time. “My cows won’t let down their milk if they hear that trumpet of his.” Someone wondered how Roy got any milk from his own cows and another farmer explained that Roy left the milking to his wife and girls. They were all good with the dairy. “He wants his cream check, so he stays away from the barn when the women are milking.”

Opposites attract, you know, and Mrs Royal is a quiet, shy woman. Folks who get to know her say she’s rather hard of hearing. Maybe that helps. We wonder, though, if listening to him has made her deaf.

Mrs Abner, on the other hand, is never reluctant to speak her mind. Sometimes she seems a little impatient to have Ab hurry up and say his piece, but you can’t rush him. If you take the time to sit and wait while he mulls the matter over, he will come out with some pretty wise words.

“Takes all kinds to make a world,” they say. You just don’t think that two boys so opposite could come out of one family.

The Elephant

Crimson’s Creative Challenge #64

Plus this morning’s Word of the Day: ASTONISHMENT
and Your Daily Word prompt: DEFINE

THE ELEPHANT

“And what’s this?”Amy walked toward the metal sculpture.

Carl studied the thing. “Rather hard to define.”

“You said it!”

“Perhaps it represents some animal,” Carl suggested. “Yes! It’s meant to be an elephant.”

“A six-legged elephant?”

“One prong’s the trunk and one’s the tail.”

Amy sniffed. “But no body.”

“Sculptor ran out of metal?”

Just then the curator joined them. “I see you’ve discovered our war memorial.”

“War memorial?” Carl eyed the sculpture. “Not an elephant, then?”

Her eyes opened in astonishment. “Elephant! My good man…”

“A war memorial,” Amy repeated.

“Quite right. Commemorates British-Danish joint efforts in the Battle of Copenhagen. Isn’t it brilliant?”

Some other tourists were beckoning so the woman left them to ponder the curious representation.

“I was right about animals,” Carl declared. “It must represent Mark Anthony’s “loosing the dogs of war.”

“But one’s missing two legs,” Amy protested.

“War does that.”

“True.”