I’m reblogging this from a couple of years ago. Alas, I’m feeling poorly just now, so will take the easy way.
On Being A Battleground
Being sinus-congested and shivery yesterday evening, I spent the night in the living room recliner medicated and wrapped up in blankets. Being in this position made me fair game a cosy cushion for our cats. I was only dimly aware of the coming and going. I woke up once and Angus was curled up on my lap — then the little guy, Tuffy, came and before long they scrapped and Angus stomped off. Next thing I knew Pookie sprawled out on my chest. Then the little guy came and curled up in the crook of my arm — but before long he and Pookie were scrapping and Pookie stomped off. Tuffy came and went a couple of times by himself.
Today will be a better day, I hope. I started a jigsaw puzzle Sunday afternoon and it must be a bit musty, triggering my allergies. I either have to quit doing puzzles — one of my favorite pastimes — or wear a really good filtering face mask when I do one. This happens too often.
Isn’t it amazing how some small thing can make a huge difference in your day — or even send your life in a completely different direction? Many people can testify how a quick decision, almost by chance, to go here or not to go there has made a huge impact on their lives. A chance meeting with someone gives important information about a friend or an answer to some problem.
The writer Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was delayed by a (Boston?) editor so he had to rush to the dock to catch his boat. To his dismay it was just pulling away from the dock. He might have jumped the gap — about four feet — but the dark ocean below made him think twice. As soon as he’d seen a newspaper the next morning he wired his family to assure them that he was still alive, that he’d missed the ship and so wasn’t on her when she sank in the dark ocean water that night.
My mind goes back to forty years ago, around the end of November, when I found a small lump in one breast. About the size of a walnut — and just as hard. As millions of other women have also experienced, that small chunk of rogue tissue sent my life spinning in a completely different course than I’d ever anticipated.
We could talk about this microscopic Covid virus that has changed the course of all our lives this year. And how long will it take the economic community to recover? What changes and precautions will be permanent?
I found a small thing on our doorstep this morning. Our cat Angus wanted outside and when I opened the door Angus went over and sniffed at the small insulated picnic cooler we’ve used as a winter cat shelter. Two little black ears and a black nose poked out. Angus was not amused! But when the little guy saw the open door, in he came and there was no going back. All of today this half-grown kitten has demonstrated that he was a lap cat in his past home.
He has white mittens, white whiskers, a white chin & tummy, and the black fur on his back appears to have been touched by hoar frost, giving it a charcoal grey color. It appears from all the paw prints outside that he’s been around the yard for a day or so. At present his future is uncertain and how much he’ll impact our lives remains to be seen. He’s sprawled at my feet as I write this. We absolutely do not need another cat at this point in our lives.
He’s very lucky. He could have been killed by a coyote or fox, torn to pieces by a great horned owl, gotten thoroughly beat up by Angus, or been driven off and left to starve and/or freeze. I have no nice words for clueless people who think they can dump a cat off and it will survive.
We had an emergency of sorts this morning that led Bob to emerge from the warmth of our home and enter the world of white and cold.
I noticed yesterday afternoon that our bird feeder was almost empty, but Bob had a supper appointment and didn’t get home until late — and dark. So the bird seed was depleted this morning. The sparrows were clustering hopefully but getting nothing; some of them took to hovering in the caragana hedge a few yards from the living room window. From this vantage they can peer in and provoke guilt in their human suppliers.
Alas! The humans were slow in getting around, being occupied with computers and such. The birds’ urgent need led them to try Plan B: a number of them came and perched on the railing right outside the front door. They were making their needs as clear as cheepy little birds can. I took up their cause and a few minutes later Bob went out with a bag of feed and corrected the problem. As soon as he disappeared around the corner of the house, the cry went forth and sparrows swarmed the feeder.
I think their policy is: Go out into the highways and by-ways and tell all your friends there’s a feast ready to enjoy beside the mobile home. Sometimes I can scarcely believe how many sparrows there are on the feeder and on the ground nearby. A couple of magpies intercepted the call; they’ve showed up to try and grab a few sunflower seeds. Our feeder is awkward for them, but hey! Free food’s worth a few contortions.
“I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord which made heaven and earth.”
Psalm 121: 1-2
Our sparrows know they can look to us when they have a need — and they have their own small way of making their needs known. Likewise we turn to the Lord for our help, knowing how He’s has taken care of us thus far in life. Though we haven’t been able to attend church services much since March, still we’ve been able to listen to some very inspiring messages — including several yesterday — thanks to modern technology.
Sad to say, I feel anything but mighty today. For the past while I’ve felt more like I’m falling apart, with a couple medical issues taking front+centre stage in my thoughts. On Wednesday I had a couple of medical appointments: a blood-flow-to-the-heart test to figure out why I’m so short of breath these days; the other about a hernia I’ve developed. The Dr tells me this calls for me a surgery to repair that issue. And a wait of several months until that can be done.
Fandango’s One-Word Challenge this morning is INTANGIBLE. For some reason this morning I’m feeling an intangible blue fog. Lots to do but don’t feel like doing anything kind of cloud. Maybe I need a long walk. For most of the past week we’ve been afflicted with a howling, chilling wind — even the cats haven’t wanted to set foot outside. No rain or snow, so yesterday the dust was blowing. Thankfully today’s calm and I should take advantage of that.
Now back to the title of this blog post. “Might he” and mighty. This morning I read a thread on GoodReads where a reader was reviewing the query letter of a wannabe author. Reviewer comments on the plot where the “pro-tag” (supposed to be protag, short for protagonist) “looses it” (loses it) when his parents disappear. And she reminds the writer that for his query letter, he must present his summary in “present tenths.” (present tense)
I had to laugh! I won’t be hiring this reviewer to beta read my book. 🙂
Merriam-Webster has been doing a series about this sort of mix-up. They’re calling words and phrases like this EGGCORN words. Explaining that “egg horn” was once the mixed-up version of ACORN. They also use the example of “to all intensive purposes” — which should be all intents and purposes. “All over sudden” instead of all of a sudden. Makes me think of my cousin, who was wont to say, “the whole toot’n taboodle” instead of the whole kit and caboodle. What eggcorn words have you heard lately?