I regret that I missed doing Crimson’s challenge last week. I even had a good little tale…but may get to use it some other time. And my response this week will be a light verse, as I’m still deep in my ATCUSS project. (A Total Clean-Up of my Sewing Space.)
I’m keeping tract of everything I do so when the end of the month comes I’ll have a record to show for my efforts. So far I’m pleased with what I’ve accomplished. I’ve cleaned up drawers, pieced two blanket tops for our Sewing Circle (which is cheating, as it’s not exactly MY sewing but they’ll be happy), did minor mends on 3 garments, and turned four fraying collars on hubby’s shirts. (Does anyone else do that any more?) Then he decided to catch the flow and bought two more pairs of pants I needed to hem, and now a suit, of which the pants need some adjusting. Today’s project.
It’s been really cold here this week: -20 C this morning and we have a light dusting of snow. Two evenings ago I had a treat: looking out the west window I saw the great horned owl perched in a tree just back of our garage. All puffed up — one HUGE bird! When I see him around I make sure both our cats are inside. I’ve heard rumors…
Today’s Word of the Day prompt is HABIT, a word with a wide range of meanings.
My first thought was : maybe it would be good for my writing if I made it a habit to participate in Word of the Day? Sometimes I can’t think of anything to write about a certain word, but this one really inspires me.
My second flicker went to the book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey. I see it’s been followed by The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness. Have you read either of these books? Did you find them helpful? I recently bought the second e-book in the Small Changes for a Happy Life series: Self-Discipline to Change Your Life by Robert Hensley. I’ll see what this writer suggests for little things I can improve on.
More power to those folks who become Highly Effective People. I’ve past 65 already and abandoned that dream; at this point I’m content to snail along as an Ordinary Person. But one can still pick up a few useful habits.
However, habits take discipline. Do it every day for a month and it will become a habit, but drop it for two or three days and you’re back to square one. So a person has to choose habits they can live with and determine that, come family, friends, or writer’s block, I’m going to do this.
Some lifestyle coaches say that our best way to gain ground is not in huge drastic changes — yesterday’s Word of the Day — but in forming small progressive habits. Like taking a five-minute walk every morning — then expanding the time to ten minutes, and on to half an hour. Thus you work into something rather than thinking, “I’m going to walk half an hour every day,” and finding it too much, so giving up the plan after a few times. Buy a month’s membership at the pool or fitness club for starters, rather than paying for a year’s activity and giving up after a week.
Not long ago I read an article by one Highly Effective Person who says people should make a To-Do list every morning. Write it down. Even if we don’t get everything crossed off, a list helps us set priorities and focus on getting the most important things accomplished. I make lists when I’ve something special going on but have never developed the habit, woe is me. I know some highly effective women who do make daily lists and I have to admire how much they get done in an average week.
Different strokes for different folks?
Apparently the word HABIT entered English via Norman French back in the 1200s and has expanded into the various meanings we have today. S’habiller still carries the same meaning in French as it did in the 1300s: to dress oneself.
According to Merriam-Webster: In its oldest sense, however, habit meant “clothing” and had nothing to do with the things a person does in a regular and repeated way. Today, this meaning is preserved only in phrases like “nun’s habit,” “monk’s habit,” and “riding habit” (clothes worn for horseback riding). In English, habit progressed from meaning “clothing” to “clothing for a particular profession or purpose” to “bearing, conduct, behavior.” The specific development of habit to refer to drug addiction began in the 19th century, with reference to opium.
The sights and sounds I’ve seen so far this month:
Lots of clouds this past week, and periodic sprinkles, if not full-out rain. The ripe grain crops are still in the fields; since we have sunshine today the farmers will likely be tuning up their combines.
I was quite amazed to see a hummingbird visit our feeder a couple of times the day before yesterday. The nights haven’t been very cool, so I guess she felt she could linger at the sweet-shop a little longer. I haven’t seen any yesterday or today, though, so maybe she’s left us.
I heard the first cricket chirping yesterday afternoon. A nice note for fall, but still…
And in the Dept of Wretched Rushing, we’ve seen:
— Halloween costumes displayed in Cosco several weeks ago. Ridiculous, IMO!
— Yesterday we were in Walmart and I saw they’ve started putting their Christmas decorations out for sale already. Mo-o-o-an!
The smell of too much, too long?
I’ve had that “drowning in stuff” feeling again lately, so I pulled out my favorite how-to books: Clutter’s Last Stand, by Don Aslett.* If you haven’t seen this book, you should. Not only is the prose well done and inspiring, but the text is matched with the hilarious illustrations of Judith Holmes Clark. This book is worth looking through just for these! Even people who can’t read English will get the picture — pun intended.
*Writer’s Digest Books, *Copyright 1984 by Don A Aslett, author of Is There Life After Housework?
On the first page is Mr Aslett’s promise: “You’ll immediately lose 100 lbs without dieting.”Now that has serious appeal.
Yesterday I opened a cupboard door and pulled out my quilting magazines to lend to a neighbour, and took out Mom’s old recipe binder as well. Confession: I haven’t used one recipe from this book since we brought it along when we moved her in with us back in 1999. But it was MOM’S! How could I possibly toss it? Alas, its pages are very musty and I had a sore throat after looking through it.
Day One of my 100-pound weight loss plan: This morning I pulled all the old knitting, crochet, craft, and folk-art magazines and books, and Writer’s Digest mags, out of that cupboard and now have a pile to shred, a pile to go to Value Village, and a stack of Grandma’s recipes for my daughter to look over. (She’ll probably toss them, too. You can find so many online these days, with quantities geared to our smaller families.)
At least five pounds lighter now, I can take a little break and blog. My folk-art painting books and a few chosen craft books I’ve set outside to air before storing them again — just in case I ever give up blogging and want to do some knitting, painting, or crochet project. (We’ll visit this issue again in a few years. 🙂 )
I’ll never get to the scene below, but there is a happy medium somewhere.
And that’s where I’m at on this lovely fall day: a slightly stuffy nose, a bit of a sore throat, a pile of paper by the shredder, golden leaves wafting down on our lawn, and Angus asleep in my computer chair — a year-round sight.
If you walk as a friend you will find a friend
wherever you choose to fare,
if you go with mirth to a far, strange land
you will find that mirth is there.
For the strangest part of this queer old world
is that like will join with like,
and who walks with love for his fellow men
an answering love will strike.
Here each of us builds his little world,
and chooses its people, too;
though millions trample the face of earth,
each life touches but the few.
And the joy you’ll find as you venture forth
your fortune or fame to make,
lies not in some stranger’s power to say,
for it’s all in the joy you take.
If you walk in honor then honest men
will meet you along the way,
but if you be false you will find men false,
wherever you chance to stray.
For good breeds good and the bad breeds bad;
we are met by the traits we show.
Love will find a friend at the stranger’s door
where hate would find a foe.
For each of us builds the world he knows,
which only himself can spoil,
and an hour of hate or an hour of shame
can ruin a life of toil.
And though to the farthermost ends of earth
your duty may bid you fare
if you walk with truth in your heart as a friend,
you will find friends waiting there.