Those Seasonal Sales

Today’s Word of the Day prompt is WRINKLE. Coupled with the inspiration from my recent shopping adventure, I’ve composed this poem. (You may call it a consumer rant if you wish. 😉 )

Seasonal Sales

In the blink of an eye,
the wrinkle of a brow,
another sale—limited time offer!—
kicks off with spectacular
savings you can’t miss.

First New Year’s sales, then Spring
with its end-of-winter-clearance,
followed by ready-for-Easter sales
with prices so low you have to
spend and stock up.

In the blink of an eye,
the wrinkle of a brow,
summer sale are upon us:
holidays, barbecues, cottages;
you need to buy all kinds of stuff!
Suntan lotion, insect repellent
by the gallon, at low, low price!

In the blink of an eye,
the wrinkle of a brow,
the back-to-school sales start
abutting nicely, while you’re there,
with end-of-summer clearances
that lawn mower you wanted
back in spring, now price-reduced
and ready for that fall clean-up.
Yes, you can spend—and save big time—
all in the blink of an eye.

Parents shopping for school books
are greeted by goblins, masks
and shelves of lanterns, because Halloween
is just around the corner. And fall’s the time
to plant those shrubs and bulbs
now on sale at half price.

In the blink of an eye,
the wrinkle of a brow,
Thanksgiving adds pumpkins, pilgrims
Black Friday and pre-Christmas sales
to keep the economy afloat.

Up go the calendar displays,
offering convenient gifts to please
those “impossible-to-buy-for”
bosses, uncles and aunts.
At the Super-Fall-Clearance table,
shoppers eye a book that offers to explain
how to reduce clutter and stress—
“Half price this week” —and sigh.

In the blink of an eye,
the wrinkle of a brow,
Christmas season’s upon us;
trees and lights go up and last year’s
decorations are on sale for a steal
and merchants pray for snow.
“Remember those folks on your lists,”
competes with “Jingle Bells”
to jingle tills, while shoppers
wander the aisles in a daze.

The first week in December
Boxing Day fliers arrive, awash
with after-Christmas bargains on
those gifts not bought, left-over
boxed cards and wrap, 60% off!

Eyes blinking, brows wrinkling,
and wallets seriously depleted,
consumers take a deep breath
and wait for the New Year
and the next onslaught of sales.

‘Tis the Season

Lionello Script

Good morning and welcome to another week.

I looked at the Word of the Day prompt yesterday and saw that it was HUNGER, which I had nothing to write about. I cooked dinner at the seniors’ home and we were all quite well fed. So, unless I wanted to write about my hunger to finish reading my book in the afternoon.

The word prompt this morning at Word of the Day is WADDLE, leading me to think of ducks and sincerely hope there are no ducks waddling around out there this morning. I trust the wild things have some little voice, or inner sense that tells them “It’s time to go.” The sandhill cranes stopped here en route earlier this month, but they didn’t stay as long as they usually do. At least I didn’t see any Saturday. Good thing.

Our next item on the agenda is a major giving of thanks for the fact that we have electricity again. The cats woke me up before 5:30 to let me know the power was off — at least I suppose that was their intent. Power was off for over half an hour in all; I stumbled into the bathroom to check the wall clock. And the cats both decided they absolutely had to go out. And I regretted my last decision before I went to bed: I’d put off charging my cell phone until morning.

Our is not a delightful place today, as October has decided to come in quite lion-like this time around. The snow started yesterday around 1:30 pm while we were at the dinner table and continued….and continued…and is still in the process of continuing. We’ve got about 6″ on the ground now.

The snow came initially on a strong wind from the north, but now there’s just an accompanying light breeze. A good wind would help the trees, sweep them of all this snow. This is heavy, sticky snow, perfect for snowball fights and snowmen. Horrible for driving. Probably brought down a power line or two — or maybe someone on their way to work slid into a power pole?

This weight of snow is crushing for trees and shrubs. Last night I noticed our 3-metre amur maple with its branches hanging very low and feared they’d break down, so I went out with a broom to knock the snow off. I did the nine-bark branches as well; these are our only two really valuable trees near the house. Looks like I’ll have to do it again this morning. The poplars along the west side of the yard, which still have most of their leaves, are really drooping as well.

LIONELLO Stroke

But this can’t stay! It’s not unusual to get flurries in September, but we usually only get our first real snowfall the last week in October. There’s a lot of canola lying in swaths under all this snow, waiting to be combined.

I wish merchants had a bit more of inner sense that would tell them when it’s the proper time to put up seasonal displays. I’d be happy to see Halloween start in October, not August. And when we were in the city on Thursday, two Lowe’s employees had just set up their tall artificial Christmas tree in the entrance. WAY too soon! In Walmart and other stores, Christmas candles and decorations are starting to shove over the Thanksgiving and Halloween stuff on the display shelves.

By the way, the fancy fonts I’ve used for this post are variations of LIONELO from Edric Studio over at 1001fonts.com

Initials

Today’s Word of the Day prompt is INITIAL

My initial reaction was to recall various initials we recognize today. Some are historic, the initials of famous people that most North Americans are familiar with:

Masque Regular and Masque Regular

and organizations like Masque RegularMasque Regular
and the Masque Regular

Here in Canada we have our own popular acronyms, like the

Masque Regular, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. And there are many initials used for sports organizations, like the Masque Regular, the Masque Regular, etc.

I thought of current initials, unheard of when I was a girl, that denote health woes of our day:

Masque Regular and Masque Regular

and my own past health woe, Masque Regular, which stands for chronic lymphocytic leukemia

Then I recalled the most famous initials of all time:
Masque Regular

This is such a well known acronym — if you want to call it that — that various devises and many computer sites routinely ask you, when you’re done and satisfied that the work is complete, to hit OK.

Who was this unknown OK, who jotted his initials on things–or important documents?—so often that they’re so widely used? With it’s common variation, OKAY, this term has become so universal that, hundreds of years later, we’re still using them?

And more importantly, where would we be without them?

Okay, enough said. There are oodles more well known initials, but I think this will suffice as my response to the prompt.

Note: Initials done in the Masque font by Apostrophic Labs, at 1001fonts.com

Habits for Ordinary People

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.

LecturerMore 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.

Note.Open Clip ArtNot 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?
Eggs

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.

Sept Sights & Sounds

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?

Mess.Mrs Brown
MrsBrown – Piixabay

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.

Clean.StockSnap
StockSnap – Pixabay

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.

I hope you’re all having a great day.