Our Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning is GRACE.

As Martha, today’s prompter, writes, GRACE isn’t the easiest word to define. Still, M-W offers eight different definitions, some with three to five subs.

Grace is a NOUN describing physical grace as shown by APPEARANCE or MOVEMENT; or social grace as in CHARM or the ability to make others feel at ease; or showing FAVOR or APPROVAL–the disposition to or an act or instance of kindness, courtesy, or clemency.

There’s divine or spiritual grace as in the MERCY or PARDON of God. As John Newton, a former slave ship captain and merchant of human lives wrote after his conversion: “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me!”

And then there’s GRACE the verb, meaning to confer dignity or honor on someone(s). The mayor graced us with his presence at our charity function. Also to ADORN or EMBELLISH: The finest bone china graced the dinner table.

When it comes to GRACE as it relates to us mortals, most of us can relate to the butterfly. Grace isn’t something we’re born with.

It takes time to develop. Some children may have natural tendencies to be careful or supple, but mostly grace is learned from the good example of others and by enforced daily practice. “Now say ‘Thank you” to Grandma, Carter.” “No, Sara. We do NOT say things like that in public!”

Grace usually takes serious effort on our part.

We all admire full-fledged graces.

Graceful people bless our lives. People who are kind, who respect your rights and your stuff. Folks who don’t walk on your floor with their muddy feet, who don’t grab the last cookies, who consider your feelings and don’t ask embarrassing questions, friends who don’t blab your secrets, flirt with your spouse, etc

Pixabay images:
Caterpillar: Virginia Costanzo
Cocoon: Kathysg
Chrysalis: Francesco Vignati
Monarch Butterfly: Dawn Howeth

Life’s Little Pests

The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning is MOSQUITO.

When one young Englishman was thinking of coming to Canada, his uncle encouraged him. Uncle had spent a few years in Canada and thought it was a pretty good place. “I’ll tell you all about Canada — except for two things. I won’t tell you about the Canadian winters or mosquitoes.”

Here are a couple of quick haiku on the topic of these pests.

tasting my leukemic blood
will we survive?
fleeing the war zone
even in our sorrow

Bumpy Blue Day

Clicker Free image from Pixabay. My Expression.

Warning: Moan Ahead

On June 27th I mentioned in a text to my daughter that “I still have a sore throat.” Well, I STILL have a sore throat. It has waxed and waned, but persists in paining me, especially in the mornings. In fact when I got up this morning the node on the right side was so swollen I could hardly swallow, so I knew it was time to see a doctor.

This started the morning after I did a jigsaw puzzle from Value Village. The puzzle must have been stored and had a bit of mustiness in it, and I’m VERY sensitive to the faintest trace of must or mould. Though I couldn’t smell anything, I woke up the next morning with a really sore throat. In fact I could barely swallow. Drank a lot of chicken broth, took decongestants and the problem almost cleared up. However, a week later I began working with some fabrics someone had stored away, then donated to charity. I cut squares for a blanket top one day and that night already my throat was raw. If only I’d remember to wear my dust mask for any of these activities I could avoid this!

A seemingly unavoidable woe this summer is that I’m allergic to the bite of mites — mainly bird mites such as the cats bring home. Practically invisible, the bite of these pests produces in me a hive-like reaction that’s gotten so much worse over time. Mosquito bites give me dime-size red bumps, but some mite bites can swell up to about the diameter of a mandarin orange in my sensitive flesh. They itch like crazy for a few days, then slowly subside. A week later there’ll be a red scar about an inch in diameter. Our cats pick up mites from lying around where birds or infested stray cats sit, or when they catch a bird. I even got a few bites one day from refilling the bird feeder.

A few mornings back I brushed against a shrub in passing and later felt something on my face. I brushed off a small blossom or leaf, but it must have hosted a mite because an hour later the characteristic blister showed up on the right side of my cheek close to my ear. It’s grown into a huge hard bump, pink with a reddish center, and it’s blocking my ear canal and swelling the node in my neck underneath. This is why I could barely swallow when I woke up this morning. I’ve a smaller bite on my arm now too, which is really itchy and I showed the doctor all the healing ones on my legs. She has given me prednisone and told me to keep taking my antihistamine as well.

Now I have an over-the-phone visit with my Oncologist on Monday. Had a blood test Thursday in preparation, so I’m eager to hear what those results are. Also, I wonder what that doctor will say about all my swollen lymph nodes. How much is due to allergy and how much to the lymphocytic leukemia that’s starting to show up again this year?

We’re in a mini heat wave here in Sask. Not the 100-108 degree (38 to 42 Celsius) July weeks I recall from back in my teen years, but today it was 34 C (94-95 F) and that’s hot enough for us old fogys. Our cats are outside lying in any shady spot they can find — maybe collecting a few mites? 😦 Need to dose them with anti-parasitic stuff again.

I like to stay upbeat, but sometimes reality hits hard. My energy level is low lately. Forecast is for some cooler days ahead, like 28 C, which may not please seriously devoted heat lovers, but we’re looking forward to the slight drop. Hard to believe July is over half gone! Things outdoors, crops, etc, are looking great right now; the woods are filled with bird songs; harried parent birds are being trailed by open-mouthed offspring. Lovely time of year if it weren’t for bug bites!

Fast Fly

The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning is FOREBODING

And the Merriam-Webster Word of the Day yesterday was EGREGIOUS. Seeing that word, I tend to think of GREGARIOUS, which means sociable, friendly, outgoing,. However, EGREGIOUS means somewhat the opposite: obviously or noticeably bad.

As I sat at my laptop pondering what to write re: FOREBODING, a fly landed near my hand. Before I could terminate his existence he was gone. Suggesting a phrase — the first two lines of a poem, redirected from Joyce Kilmer’s “TREES”? Sure, why not? Bear with me here…

Fast Fly

I think that I shall never see
a fly that’s slow enough for me,
a boldly lingering freebooter
’til I can reach the flyswatter.
One lands, but when I blink my eye
it’s on alert and ready to fly
attuned to my egregious thought
of rendering it a bloody spot.

It seems to feel a faint foreboding
as tiny nibbles it’s uploading;
senses my unkind intention,
anticipates swift intervention
to its dining as I leave my chair
to grab the swatter hanging there.
Yet snails along, as flies are wont,
my sluggishness it seems to taunt.

I lift my swatter, all prepared
to deal with any fly that’s dared
check out my home for food un-grazed.
However, soon as hopes are raised
it will not move ’til I bring down
my swatter – such a crack resounds!
It spooks the cats but, woebegone!
that teasing fly is off and gone.