Catch-Up Time!

Welcome to everyone and especially to the various people who have just started following my blog. I see it’s been over two weeks since I last posted — and seems like a month — so it’s high time to write at least a few lines and tell you all what’s up in my world.

No, I haven’t had COVID-19 or been sick otherwise. We both have had our first immunization shots and neither of us had serious repercussions, thankfully. I recovered from the minor discomfort of a sore arm after a few days. Earlier this month was in a kind of slump and didn’t feel like doing much of anything.

I did check the writing prompts this month, but nothing inspired me. Actually, don’t you think SLUMP would be a good writing prompt? I think everyone feels rather slump-ish at times. 🙂

Maybe our weather has something to do with my outlook? We all keep looking out for rain clouds, but they all skirt around us here. This has become “a dry and thirsty land where no water is.” (See Psalm 63:1) We have not had rain once this spring, only a few minutes of spitting. The ground was dampened once or twice.

I’ve been setting out basins of water for a couple of weeks now and refilling them several times a day so the birds will have something to drink. It’s a joy to watch robins, blackbirds, grackles, the odd magpie or mourning dove, and misc sparrows drinking and dunking themselves in the shallow basins.

Most of our sloughs are bone dry; one of the largest in this area has only a small puddle of water now. The air is often filled with fine dust, blowing in the wind or raised by vehicles on gravel roads or farmers seeding crops. This year they’re really planting in hope. Trees are greening up as usual and the dandelions are blooming, though they’re short, scrubby things with small flowers.

In view of the scenery before me lately, I decided to change the header on my blog. That bright little chipmunk in a field of lush lavender didn’t at all fit our landscape. Last night I tried to install a new header but for some reason WordPress wouldn’t cooperate so I went with a picture already in the files. Here were two Pixabay images I chose, but WordPress wouldn’t do the CROP & PUBLISH: Not sure what their issue is. I’ll see what Unsplash has to offer.

However, the Word of the Day Challenge today is TWIST. We had a bizarre twist in precipitation, having such heaps of snow last winter and now drought. I can also write about the sudden twist in my month of June.

I’ve been dealing with a health issue — a type of hernia — and it’s been getting more bothersome. I’m finding it harder to be on my feet for any length of time. I called the doctor’s office last week just to check, but the secretary at Surgery Bookings told me an opening probably wouldn’t come up before fall. Groan! However, this morning she called, said they had a cancellation, the opening was for May 25th, and would I take it? Well, YES! She explained that I’ll have to spend a night in hospital and be somewhat laid up for about six weeks, but I’ll sure be glad to have this taken care of.

As it turns out, this spring was a great time to take up painting; hopefully I’ll get lots done while I’ve mostly off my feet for the next weeks. I have so much to learn about the techniques and whatnot.

This concludes my update. I hope you are all enjoying good health and lovely weather. ( And will you folks in the south-eastern US please send us some of that rain you’re being deluged with! 😉 )

The Naughty Mite

An Old-Fashioned Caution

A naughty termite eyed a house
and said, “I’ll make you fall
with a little chomping here and there.”
So it chose a sturdy wall.

The house was made of robust beams
“I’ve stood a century!
Could stand a hundred more,” it bragged,
“Built from the strongest tree.”

Yet the old house shuddered softly;
what a sprightly mite might do!
And wished someone would squash the thing
as it commenced to chew.

The insect chewed both day and night;
the onslaught seemed quite small
yet the termite had colossal dreams
of seeing this house fall.

He chomped with such a fervent haste,
carved tunnels all around,
’til weakened finally, the wall
cracked and came crashing down.

The house, deprived of its support,
groaned sadly, then it buckled
and as the roof on the garden fell
that wicked termite chuckled.

So might some petty jealousy
though minuscule to start,
bring down a home, split dearest friends,
or break a tender heart.

Ragtag Daily Prompt: ROBUST
Word of the Day Challenge: SPRIGHTLY
My response is this adaptation of “The Ant and the Rubber Tree Plant.” 🙂

I Can’t Find It

Word of the Day Challenge: MIND

Which brings to my mind an incident my daughter told me about:

I’VE LOST MY MIND

My daughter was doing her cleaning job at a local nursing home when she noticed one of the elderly residents wandering around, obviously looking for something. Every now and then he’d mutter, “I just can’t find it.”

Finally our daughter thought maybe she could help him find it, so she touched his arm and asked him, “What are you looking for, sir?”

“I’m looking for my mind,” he told her. “I’ve lost my mind and I can’t find it.”

She suppressed the urge to laugh, for the Alzheimer patient was quite serious. Right at that moment he had enough sense to realize he couldn’t grasp the information he needed and this was prompting him to search for his missing marbles.

One lady from our church began getting mixed up and forgetting things, when she was in her mid 60s. She realized this and was dismayed because she could see what was coming; Alzheimer’s was in her family genetics. And the disease did come. She lived about ten years without her memory, though a few flashes came through now and then. She lost her power of speech later on; during her last few years she was bed-fast and helpless.

With dementia it seems like the brain connections become loose and the current doesn’t flow through anymore. Once in awhile there will be a spark travel from the eyes or ears to the brain and make connection; they’ll recognize a face or a familiar song will touch a chord. The person who maybe hasn’t spoken for years suddenly joins in and sings along. A moment later they can’t remember where they are, or even who they are.

Last spring a relative, who was fine when her daughter saw her that day, went to bed as usual and died in her sleep. Her daughter thinks death was caused by an aneurysm, but the mom got her wish to go quickly and with no fuss, never a burden to anyone. Which is the way we all want to go: in fairly good health and with a clear mind.

Cheery Thoughts

The Word of the Day Challenge this morning was CHEERY

Earlier today my husband directed me to another blogger’s post, “Last year’s Wisdom” and I enjoyed reading it. Here’s the link. I hope you’ll all take a few minutes to read these wise, cheerful, and inspiring words.

When I was asked if I’d like to play host for the Sunday prompts at Ragtag Daily Prompt, I started a list of interesting possible prompt words. And, being a lover of words, I’ve kept on adding to it until I now have several years’ worth of possible prompts. Now that I’m not doing the prompts anymore, I’ll just toss one of these words into my posts now and then.

One of the words on my list was INEFFECTIVE. Alas, I soon discovered that prompt words should be amenable to photo bloggers as well as poets and storytellers — and it may be hard to illustrate INEFFECTIVE in a photo. But I’ll have a crack at it. (Image from Pixabay.)

George meant well, but his attempts to help on moving day were rather ineffective.

Keep Swimming

Today’s Word of the Day Challenge is GLOOMY.
I wasn’t going to post anything for this but a few minutes ago I happened upon this old poem, so I’ll post it as a response and encouragement to all.

THE OPTIMISTIC FROG

Two frogs fell into a deep cream bowl,
One was an optimistic soul;
But the other took the gloomy view,
“We shall drown,” he cried, without more ado.
So with a last despairing cry,
He flung up his legs and said, “Good-bye.”
Quoth the other frog with a merry grim,
“I can’t get out, but I won’t give in.
I’ll just swim round till my strength is spent,
Then will I die the more content.”
Bravely he swam till it would seem
His struggles began to churn the cream.
On the top of the butter at last he stopped,
And out of the bowl he gaily hopped.
What of the moral? ‘Tis easily found:
If you can’t hop out, keep swimming around.

🙂

This poem has been posted often through the years. some bloggers have given it a title — I will do so, too, but don’t quote me. 🙂 I’ve seen it listed as “Author Unknown” but two posts ascribe it to Walter Knight, from Knight’s Master Book of New Illustrations, which was published by Eerdmans in 1956

Not sure if he wrote the poem or simply compiled the book, as I’ve seen this verse ascribed to T.C. Hamlet as well. In any case, it’s still possible to get copies of Knight’s original book, and reprints have been done through the years.

Frog image by Josch13 at Pixabay