NYR: Sort out WP!

Good morning everyone. It’s Boxing Day here in Canada and we’re snug and warm after an “Alberta clipper” blew through Saturday night and dumped snow on us. We couldn’t make it to church yesterday because of the snow drifts on our driveway — our son-in-law came with his little Takeuchi skid-steer and plowed so we could join them for Christmas dinner. However, we’re very thankful for “streaming” so we could listen to the service.

I just read the post on Boxing Day that Brian over at Writing from the Heart with Brian and I wrote a nice long comment in response. Saturday when I tried to subscribe to his blog, I couldn’t. In the end I went into my Reader and typed out his URL. But today when I tried to post my comment, I couldn’t. No way. If you read this, Brian, my efforts likely landed in your SPAM queue.

So here’s my take on Boxing Day in Canada. Folks from the UK can add their traditions as comments.
Boxing Day has been a long-standing tradition in England and most of her one-time dominions. I’m not sure if boxing up gifts for others carried over very long after the wars. I never saw anyone doing this here in Sask but I have heard of it being done — maybe by some church-going people?
People could not shop on Boxing Day. It was — in fact is still is in our province — a legal holiday with stores and banks shut. When I was a girl nothing was open on Sundays, Good Friday, Dec 25+26, etc., until Walmart came along and got special exemptions from Sunday + holiday store-closing laws. Now a lot of stores here are open–shorter hours–on Sundays. there will be some parts of Canada with laxer laws on store-opening hours.

Thinking of SPAM queues for a moment, has anyone else noticed that there’s no EMPTY SPAM button anymore. I didn’t realize this until I chanced to click on my SPAM comments queue — something I do every blue moon. I found over 250 messages and was dismayed to find they needed to be individually clicked on. I used bulk edit to delete a page of spam, but still must click each message box separately.

Saturday I made my first New Year’s Resolution in a long time: Sort out this issue with WordPress, whose artificial intelligence steadfastly refuses to recognize my current e-mail address. Are you making any New Year’s Resolutions or have you abandoned the practice? anyway, here’s to new beginnings!

Stream image by Jonny Gios — Pixabay

No, This Year

Here’s my response to the Ragtag Daily Prompt. Today’s word was CREDIT and in this tale I’m carrying over the thought of Sammi’s Weekend Prompt word, YEAR, but going way over the given word limit.

The Anniversary Surprise

“You know, Will, we’re often talked of visiting England someday,” she said. “Wouldn’t that be a great way to celebrate our twentieth anniversary this fall?”

Will shrugged. “I dunno. Life’s so busy. Maybe some other year.” He drained his coffee mug and buttered another piece of toast.

“But life won’t stop being so busy until we’re too old to travel anymore.”

“Hmm… Hope not.”

“Anyway, I’ve booked our tickets. We leave August 20th; come back Sept 3rd.”

He leaned back in shock, then eyed her suspiciously. “That’s two weeks! Have you maxed out our credit card?”

“Not at all. I’ve been squirreling funds away for years, thinking of this trip. I even paid cash for our airfare.”

“Clever you! All right then. This will be our “Once in a lifetime” anniversary binge. Don’t ask for Paris in five years.”

“Okay. Not Paris.” She smiled serenely.

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.

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.

Beware the Christmas Bird

One day a few of the women folk in a certain family were preparing their festive bird. They sat the raw turkey on the counter ready for its stuffing, a big bowl of which had already been prepared. One sister began shoving the seasoned stuffing into back end of the large bird, though she thought she had made lots, the cavity didn’t get full.

“This isn’t quite enough,” she squealed to her two sisters. “Quick! Make some more.”

The other two threw more bread crumbs, onions, and seasonings into a pan and stirred it up with butter and water to moisten. “Here,” one of them said, handing her the bowl. She grabbed it and stuffed in more, but it still wasn’t enough.

“This turkey must have had an enormous set of innards,” she grumbled. “It still isn’t enough!”

One of her sisters walked around to the other side of the counter. “Don’t look now, but…”

The others hurried around and groaned as they saw dressing poking through the neck hole. A little pile on the floor bore evidence to the sister’s energetic thrust.

“Lesson 1 in Turkey Stuffing,” one sister quipped. “Be sure there’s a Stop at the end.”