Alone

Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning:  MOVIE
Word of the Day prompt:  RIFF

Like a boring old movie
the neighbors are at it again
that weary riff of picking
at past gripes and hurts,
festering wounds.

If only they could peek
into the dark years to come,
get a glimpse of “future me.”
If they could feel how lonely
life can be when you’re
left. Forgotten. Alone.

Having worked in seniors’ and nursing homes myself, I think everyone should have to spend six months working in one. Here’s where you clearly see the truth of “What goes around, comes around” and “You reap what you sow.”

The Climate and the Bee

Good morning everyone.

The Ragtag Daily Prompt for today is the word EXTINCT.

I pondered this for a moment, wondering what I could write on this topic. Lots of things have become, or are becoming, extinct. My thoughts went to a another blogger’s article I read recently, titled SAVE THE BEES. Click here to read.

They say one good way of writing poetry, especially haiku, is to contrast the very great with the very small. The universe versus one point of starlight. The person who’s just lost everything in a house fire holding the melted frame from their family photo.

This morning I thought of the major issue being discussed these days — climate change — versus the poor endangered bee. I see a certain irony in the fact that while folks are worried about our extinction due to global climate changes, the loss of this little insect will pose a grave danger to our planet, if the research that prompted Sue’s article is correct.

Yes, it’s sadly ironic that, in order to produce more food, many growers are inadvertently poisoning the very thing that helps them produce the food.

Wonderland

The Ragtag Daily Prompt  this morning is WONDERLAND.

I encountered this word several different ways during my childhood, the first being through the well known song, “Walking in a Winter Wonderland.” I’m happy to say the a warming trend has kicked in here on the prairies and the temp has risen ten degrees. It’s now -21 C here, with almost no wind —and next week is supposed to be warmer yet. Wonderful! Snow tends to lose its wonderland sense after the middle of January.

I also recall an old 45rpm record my cousin’s wife owned. The song, instrumental only with a trumpet lead, was called “Wonderland by Night.”  (Blessings on the ever helpful Wiki, who tells me this tune was recorded in July 1959.) As a girl I often wondered whether there was a real place called Wonderland and where it was. I assumed this would be somewhere in California, where all wonderlands are located, right?

Or was the song a takeoff from the popular children’s story, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland? The writer Lewis Carroll—in reality Charles Lutwidge Dodgson—delighted not only the real Alice, but millions of other girls and boys since, with his delightful tale of adventure.

I was curious to know if Dodgson invented the place name, but it seems he only made use of the word. His book was published in 1865, whereas the word wonderland made its debut in English in 1790, according to Merriam-Webster, who defines it as a place that is filled with things that are beautiful, impressive, or surprising.

And that ends my knowledge of the subject. You’re welcome to pop over to the RAGTAG Community and read what other bloggers have written. Better yet do a post yourself and share your impressions of WONDERLAND.

Replacing Clichés

The Ragtag Daily Prompt today is NOTHING.

When it comes to clichés, I feel there’s nothing that can successfully replace some of these one-bite-wisdom quotes, like “Least said, soonest mended.” Yet editors want us to get rid of them, which is what led to the following writing exercise.

At a writing conference, each person was to think of an old gem of wisdom and write it on a sheet of paper. These were handed around and others in the group were to suggest more modern replacements for the given clichés. Yesterday as I was working through my stash of papers, I found one of these sheets. The saying:

“A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.”

Bird.shutterbug75
Image: Shutterbug at Pixabay

In other words, you may get lucky and find that second bird in the bush. Or, while you’re chasing that one, this one you have may escape and you’ll have none.

Like the gambler who’s just won fifty dollars. If he puts it in his pocket, he has $50. If he bets it again, he may end up with $100, or he may lose it all.

This can get into even higher stakes, as when employees go on strike for higher wages. They may win the dollar per hour increase — or the boss may close down the shop, which will put them all out of work. Or they may get their pay increase after weeks on strike, but lose three or four thousand dollars in wages in the interim. When put to a vote, they may rather opt for “the bird in hand” and be content with their current wage.

But it’s a challenge to put this in a nutshell like the original saying did, and still get the meaning across. (Oh, dear! “Put it in a nutshell” is probably another cliché to avoid.)

Here are some responses people gave:
— What we actually have is better than what we wish we had.
— She went with a sure thing.
— She made the safe choice instead of stretching for more.

And this practical example:
She didn’t love Harry, but she figured he was better than nothing.
(Poor Harry!)

Here are my suggestions:
—Best grab the first bus. The next one might be full.
Better one eye seeing something than two eyes seeing nothing.

How would you replace this old cliché? Put your thinking cap on.

Not Moving Much

The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning is STATIONARY and I found the perfect photo on Pixabay to illustrate this concept. Where do you think these fellows were going when they were turned to stone?

Statues.Meatle
Meatle  —  Pixabay

As the prompter mentions, STATIONARY is one of those words easily misspelled. Many a time I’ve see writers mistakenly use this spelling when they really meant the STATIONERY you write on, or vice versa.

Not quite as glaring, or open to misinterpretation as when someone writes “The hunter bagged a dear,” when they mean, “The hunter bagged a deer.” English is like that — you gotta watch out.

This morning I’ll start with a cup of hot coffee as I check the weather. Likely the school children will remain stationary in their beds for an extra hour this morning, too, as school is often called off when the temp goes below -40̊. And Environment Canada tells me that it’s -30̊ C with a wind chill factor of -43̊ – for US readers that’s -21̊ F with a wind chill factor cooling us down to -45̊ if we happen to venture outdoors. Here on the prairies we call that COLD.

We don’t have an attached, heated garage, so at this temp our automatic garage door won’t work — which means we tend to stay home whenever possible. If we must go somewhere Bob has to disconnect it from the mechanism and operate it manually with the cord and muscles to lift the door.

The temp is supposed to hit -27 C̊or -17 F̊ by this afternoon, a negligible difference. If we didn’t have warm houses on days like this we may well be as frozen as the fellows in the photo – but picture about 20 cm/ 8″ of snow everywhere to give the true impression.

Wishing you all a lovely, sunny day and a good cup of coffee.