The Fish or the Flop?

The Ragtag Daily Prompt for today is FLOUNDER

Which brings to mind that old question, “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” Was the fish named because of its flopping, or was the flopping named after the flounder that flopped around when caught?

Inquiring from wise old Mr Webster, I learned that there was a FLOUNDER – the fish – before there was a floundering of anything else. However, the verb FLOUNDER is believed to have been a twist of the much older word, FOUNDER, or possibly a blend between FOUNDER and BLUNDER.

Your Daily Word prompt is SWAMPED
The Word of the Day challenge is NOTHING
These prompt words bring to mind one trial in my life, so I’ll share something about that.

FLOUNDER is a good word for me: I often feel like I’m floundering. As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve all these “someday” sewing and writing projects that need finishing. My “Bucket List,” if you will. Most of the time I can keep my heard above water, but some days I feel SWAMPED by the need to deal with said mess. All these notebooks full of scribbled poem bits, now tossed in a tub awaiting future attention — to say NOTHING of the tubs awaiting attention in my sewing room.

It’s all about perspective, right? “Just pick one thing and get started,” several friends have told me. So, do I have a full-blown case of OCD or ADD that keeps me from sticking with a task, or is it all just a lack of self-discipline? Scatterbrained, the old folks used to say.

Have you noticed that some thinking can put you on a real teeter-totter? When I’m feeling down about this mess, the philosopher in me rises up and asks accusingly, “Which came first, the mind-set or the mess? What major changes need to happen in your personality in order to avoid this situation?”

Oh, help! I think I’ll go read a good book.

Then along comes another Monday. I’m so thankful for Mondays; for me each one is a new start, a chance to get my head above the waves again and start paddling.

cropped-cake-3163117_1280.jpgTogether with the grandchildren, I worked on some sewing projects last Friday and today I plan to continue that good work. And once I get my sewing space all cleaned up, I’ll throw one mega-celebration. Chocolate cake and ice cream and… 😉

Ah! Incentive, that’s the key. Or does the answer lie in just accepting the mess as is? What do you think?

Smoother Spelling

Good morning everyone,

Today’s Ragtag Daily Prompt word is SMOOTH — an excellent, versatile word.

My dictionary claims this comes from the Old English smōth. Correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems English is the only language with a unique TH sound. And yet more, we’re blessed with two. Consider the SMOOTH TOOTH, for example. Do you have ny idea how much anguish these two sounds give ESL students?

It may have been much handier for learners — and certainly for spellers — had the ancients decided on separate spellings. FTH or THF for the one blown out and TH for the other — as in “this, that and the other” — which would make ‘tooth’ spelled toofth. Youngsters and people with missing teeth are apt to say “toof” anyway, and “fink” instead of think.

Back to things that are SMOOTH:
Once upon a time I took up the hobby of painting on rocks. Just bugs and such, as I don’t have access to the huge, smooth stones such as people by the ocean can find. With less than perfect stones you can use putty to fill in the dips and bumps, but rocks need to be tumbled in water for years, maybe even centuries, to polish them to a smooth roundness.

Beech & stone.Wokandapix
Art by Wokandapix  —  Pixabay

Along the Saskatchewan River, not so very far from us, there are rocks embedded in the soil on the hillsides, but the ones I see are chunky. Right here where we live the soil is classed as dune sand, a once-upon-a-time flood plain. You can dig down ten meters and rarely find a stone of any size. All this sand is great for purifying the rain-water that soaks in.

The water table is high, only about two metres down; the original settlers in this area dug their wells with a shovel. Now one enterprising young man has a high pressure water “drill” and drills holes for posts by washing out the sand and dirt mix. Talk about a smooth operation.

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.

That Elusive Picture

Today’s Ragtag Daily Prompt is PAREIDIOLIA, the gift of picturing some design in ink squiggles, random dots, wallpaper flowers, clouds and such.

Or, as the Oxford Dictionary says:
The perception of apparently significant patterns or recognizable images, especially faces, in random or accidental arrangements of shapes and lines.

This word comes from the German Pareidolien, descended from the Greek combo of para, beside or adjacent to, plus eidōlon, an image.

Here’s my little Paint3D-crafted example. However, if you’re one of those who can’t see the colour green, this will make no sense. (Image by JeonSang-O — Pixabay.) What picture can you imagine in this field of clover?

Clover.JeanSan-O
Clover.JeanSan-O

Waiting

The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning is WAITING.

Like Punam, the RDP prompter this morning, I am waiting for spring. We’re in a bit of a roller coaster: -29 C two days ago, up to -5 yesterday afternoon, now -24 this morning. Thankfully the sun has power and makes the daytime cheery!

I’m going to respond to the prompt with these two haiku — maybe they’ll give you a smile this morning.

patient magpies
watch our picnic progress
hot dogs this time

still waiting
no ship on the horizon
treasures still at sea

Over at Word Buds I examine the long roots of the word CARROT.