Those ‘To-Do’ Resolutions

Ragtag Daily Prompt word this morning:  NEW BEGINNINGS
Word of the Day challenge:  RESOLUTION
The Daily Addictions word for today:  STOP

Good morning everyone!

I see we have a fine choice of seasonal prompt words this morning, reminding us of the resolutions we’ve made this week. Good news for my readers: my one resolution this year is to ALWAYS preview my posts before hitting PUBLISH. Maybe I can weed out those devious typos that want to creep in.

START WITH A LIST

I’ve read a couple of different articles recently saying that if people want to work smarter and accomplish their goals, they should make a To-Do list every morning. According to these time-management experts, making a list is the best way to zero in on your priorities. Even if you don’t get through the list, they say, even if your day gets sidetracked, it’s still advisable to set down on paper the things you want to accomplish. And keep it nearby, where you see it often. This help you to sort out and focus on the most important tasks.

I believe it. I’ve been told by some very efficient people that they make a To-do list every day. In fact, some people have their days and weeks regulated FlyLady style. As in, every Monday: one load of laundry; vacuum this room; wash that floor; clean this closet. And so on through the week. (I imagine the rule is: no hobbies, no blogging until these tasks are done.) This system becomes an ingrained habit and you never have to wonder “What am I going to do today?”

I’ve never been a list-maker. Yes, I usually think every morning of a couple of goals for the day, but I tend to waste time on fiddly things. Looking back, I’ve found that on days when I’m preparing for something special like dinner guests or a trip, and make a To-Do list first thing, I have gotten much more accomplished. But usually I tend to meander through my day with only a few vague goals.

So if I want to make a NEW BEGINNING, I can start with the worthy RESOLUTION to make a To-Do list every morning. Join the Fly-Lady and organize my week. STOP wasting time and work at accomplishing some main goals.

Sigh… Like the proverbial “Lose ten pounds,” this resolution has been made different times and abandoned. This system clashes big time with my attention-deficit tendencies and I end up just hoping there’s a place in this world for disorganized, inefficient, and scatter-brained people. 🙂

MY WEEK SO FAR

This week has definitely been a drifting one with no big accomplishments. My sister’s death still seems unreal, for one thing. I keep thinking, “It just can’t be! Surely she’s still there and we’ll see her the next time we go that way.” Also, “Why didn’t we talk a lot more? And talk about the important things of life?”

Also, on Monday I started feeling an infection coming on. I was hopeful for a quick recovery but was feeling so weary when we were shopping in the city Thursday. By evening I knew the infection was winning and I needed to see a doctor, so I went back to the city yesterday. You know how it goes: sit for two hours at a walk-in clinic; spend two minutes with the doctor; he verifies the problem and gives a prescription.

This antibiotic is amazing stuff! Kicked in right away. I hadn’t realized how ‘blah’ I felt until I started getting better and my energy started coming back. So maybe today I can tackle that To-Do list.

PRAY FOR RAIN

My petty worries are trifles when I read what’s happening elsewhere. This week blogger Frank Prem has been posting poems about the fires in Australia, the smoke blanketing his own community. I’ve looked online and seen maps — and was horrified to see they are fighting fires all over the continent. Read one of his verses here.

My heart aches for them — the lives, the homes, and all the flora and fauna being lost in those many blazes. I’m thankful that Canadian fire fighters have been sent to help combat this catastrophe, and praying for rain in Australia is high on my priority list these days.

Today’s Journey

The Ragtag prompt this morning is MIXED FEELINGS, and these we certainly have. We have planned our own family Christmas for tomorrow and were looking forward to that with anticipation. But yesterday we got a call from my niece telling us that my sister’s time on this earth is coming to an end.

Rose went into the hospital Nov 25th with an infection and it’s been roller coaster battle, at times gaining, then getting hit with a second infection. According to my niece, her mom’s body can’t seem to fight it any more and the family has been called together. Barring a miraculous recovery, she’ll be with us only a short time.

So we are preparing to make a journey back to Moose Jaw, our old stomping grounds, as it were. The place my husband and I were married almost fifty years ago and lived some of our first married years. We hope the weather will be favorable for this trip and would appreciate your prayers during these next few days.

Your Daily Word Prompt : JOURNEY
Ragtag Daily Prompt: MIXED FEELINGS

Buoyant isn’t the Word

Hello Everyone,

The Ragtag Daily Prompt yesterday was BUOYANT. Sadly, I wasn’t feeling buoyant enough to write anything — even though it was the prompt word I chose.

I did get some suitable pictures from Pixabay to illustrate the concept, like this cute hot air balloon:
air-balloon-festival-954908_640

Thankfully, I’m feeling much more buoyant today and almost completely recovered from the cold & sinus woes that laid me low for almost two weeks.

But life hasn’t been bubbles of joy this month for other reasons, too, as my sister has been in hospital for over three weeks now. She went in with pneumonia & infection and had a rough time of it, according to her husband. But things were looking up; last week he thought she’d be out by the end of the week. However, when I talked to him last night, he said she’d caught another infection and would remain in hospital until the end of this week for sure, right through Christmas.

Rose had treatment for lung cancer and reacted to the first chemo, so was in hospital most of December last year. To them and their family this is going to seem like a sad repeat. I’d love to visit her but, being sick as I was, I decided it wouldn’t be a kindness. and this week I have to work more shifts. So I’ll continue to send good wishes through her husband and hope next week will bring a good day to go.

I’ve tried to contact my sister Donna several times in the last few months, but she’s either moved or cancelled her phone service. It’s during seasons of “family visits and goodwill” that I really wish for closer ties with my siblings, but we did grow up apart and live such different lives now, too. Though we always had contact and spent the summers together, I was raised by my Uncle & Aunt Forsyth from the time I was three months old, mostly several hours away from my family.

In case anyone reader is interested: My brother Jim is 11 months older than me; as children we were really close. I come second; Donna is 3 1/2 years younger. We were close, too. Rose is 5 years younger, but lived with my Aunt and Uncle, too, for three of her preschool years because of her health issues. Wilma is 6 years younger than me and Lorraine 11 years younger than me. I’ve had very little contact with the youngest two.

Now back to the present: I’m breathing easier, hacking less, and I have the day to myself. Maybe I can get some things accomplished here at home, including posting something for this morning’s Ragtag daily prompt. Here’s wishing you all vim, vigor, and a buoyant holiday week.

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Jack’s Abstemious Diet

The Word of the Day challenge this morning was JACK.
I thought of various Jacks, some authors like Jack London and Clive Staples Lewis, whose nickname was Jack. There are various Jacks mentioned in poems, like Jack who went up the hill with Jill, and Jack who ate his Christmas pie. Finally I opted to do something with the Jack who could eat no fat — poor fellow!
The Ragtag Daily prompt this morning was HEWN, so I’ll include that in my response, too. They say you should have fun with the writing prompts, so here’s my fun rhyme.

FOR THE GOOD OF HIS HEALTH

Bucking all of the sumptuous trends,
Jack’s diet’s been hewn to abstemious ends,
poor Jack gets all the leanest grub
while his dear little wife…ah there’s the rub!

Jack salts his spuds and peppers his beef
not a lick of gravy to give them relief;
forbidden the butter, denied sour cream.
He’s wasting away on this fat-less regime!

His wife does her part to empty the plates
of anything fatty Jack might want to taste;
she, ever-vigilant, metes out his diet
no oil on the salad — though Jack once did try it.

He watches his missus pour on the cheese sauce;
to moisten his veggies, Jack gets barley broth.
She slathers on gravy, eats ham with the fat,
poor Jack’s turning pale as he takes in all that.

Mrs Spratt finished the whole Christmas cake;
for hubby’s dessert a scone she did bake.
He gnawed on the morsel all afternoon
thinking it must be of ebony hewn.

He rues that sad day when his doc, meaning good,
said Jack mustn’t have so much fat in his food,
for Mrs Spratt took the instructions entire
and now from starvation he may well expire.

Festal Musings

Word of the Day challenge: FESTIVE
Your Daily Word prompt: URGE

Greetings from the snow-white Canadian prairie.

I’m not feeling in a very festive mood today. My main urge upon waking was to get outside in the fresh air so I could breathe properly again. I’ve a head cold and there’s nothing like frigid air to clear the sinuses.

We have an abundance of it this morning, too, with the thermometer reading -25 C. So as soon as our cats were fed — my first priority, they insist — I put on my coat and out I went, to stand on the deck and let my sinuses drain. I’ll probably make quite a few trips outside today to unclog and appreciate this pure country air.

We were festive last night, enjoying a delicious meal at the Villa Christmas Supper, put on annually for the staff, residents, and whoever of the residents’ children can come. We had quite a nice gathering and visit after the meal.

As I read the Word of the Day challenge, the oddest thought crossed my mind: are the words FESTIVE and INFEST related? I pictured of a bunch of beetles gathering to feast together on some tasty organic matter. An in-fest, kind of like a love-in.
Beetles.

I followed the urge to check this out. According to Merriam-Webster, the root word of festive is, FEST, a variation of feast. However, the two words have angled away from each other over the years and a fest now means “a gathering, event, or show having a specified focus,” rather than a meal. Fest came into English via the German FEST, a celebration, originating with the Latin FESTUM.

So are the beetles festive as they gather on the plants? Probably. However, M-W tells us that INFEST originates with the Latin infestare, from infestus, which means hostile. Infest is defined as “to spread or swarm in or over in a troublesome manner.”

Usually when people or things infest, they’re eating you out of house and home, but this is apparently beside the point. A scholar would have to go back to ancient Rome to ferret out whether the two words were ever connected — but who cares? I’m just thankful the two meanings parted company so long ago and relatives will gather to feast with us, rather than infesting the table.

So much for my meandering in the byways of the English language. If you are gathering in a festive manner this Christmas, I urge you to enjoy the good times, cheerful company, and wish you safe travelling.