From My Back Door

The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning is:  LOOKING OUT MY BACKDOOR.

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Clarence Peters — Pixabay

We don’t have the new dusting of snow and hoar frost this morning, but our scenes are as above, all winterish white and gray. The odd magpie and crow visits or flies over now and then to add its own shades to the scene.

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TheOtherKev — Pixabay

However, the other day when I drove out of my yard a huge bird took flight from a tall old tree at the edge of our yard; a second look told me the bird was a bald eagle. As it circled over the field just south of the road I was on, I got a good view of this regal bird.

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skeeze — Pixabay

If you haven’t already, why don’t you pop over and see how various bloggers have responded to this prompt. All bloggers are welcome to write and share their own posts on the topic. LOOKING OUT MY BACKDOOR

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.”

Can’t Find Her Purse

The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning is CAN’T.

This is such a bendable word. CAN’T may means “I’m not able to…” CAN’T may mean “I’m not allowed to….” (Remember teachers of years gone by pointing out CAN NOT versus MAY NOT?)
CAN’T may be stretched to mean “I won’t, so drop it!” or we may use CAN’T as a brush off because I don’t want to bother. And there’s the temporary kind of CAN’T that affects us all from time to time.
Since this humorous verse by Edgar Guest echoes one of my theme songs at this point in my life, “I can’t remember,” it will be my response to the prompt.

THE LOST PURSE

I remember the excitement and the terrible alarm
that worried everybody when William broke his arm
and how frantic Pa and Ma got only just the other day
when they couldn’t find the baby ‘cause he’d up and walked away,
but I’m sure there’s no excitement that our house has ever shook
like the times Ma can’t remember where she’s put her pocketbook.

When the laundry man is standing at the door and wants his pay
Ma hurries in to get it, and the fun starts right away.
She hustles to the sideboard, cause she knows exactly where
she can put her hand right on it — but alas! It isn’t there.
She tried the parlor table and she goes upstairs to look
and once more she can’t remember where she put her pocketbook.

She tells us that she had it just a half an hour ago,
and now she cannot find it though she’s hunted high and low;
she’s searched the kitchen cupboard and the bureau drawers upstairs,
and it’s not behind the sofa nor beneath the parlor chairs.
She makes us kids get busy searching every little nook,
and this time says she’s certain that she’s lost her pocketbook.

She calls Pa at the office and he laughs, I guess, for then
she always mumbles something ‘bout the heartlessness of men.
She calls to mind a peddler who came to the kitchen door
and she’s certain from his whiskers and the shabby clothes he wore
and his dirty shirt and collar that he must have been a crook,
and she’s positive that fellow came and got her pocketbook.

But at last she always finds it in some queer and funny spot,
where she’d put it in a hurry and had somehow clean forgot;
and she heaves a sigh of gladness and she says, “Well, I declare,
I would take an oath this minute that I never put it there.”
And we’re peaceable and quiet till next time Ma goes to look
and finds she can’t remember where she put her pocketbook.

From his book, Collected Verse of Edgar A Guest
© 1934 by The Reilly & Lee Company

 

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.”

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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.

Those ‘To-Do’ Resolutions

Ragtag Daily Prompt word this morning:  NEW BEGINNINGS
Word of the Day challenge:  RESOLUTION
The Daily Addictions word for today:  STOP

Good morning everyone!

I see we have a fine choice of seasonal prompt words this morning, reminding us of the resolutions we’ve made this week. Good news for my readers: my one resolution this year is to ALWAYS preview my posts before hitting PUBLISH. Maybe I can weed out those devious typos that want to creep in.

START WITH A LIST

I’ve read a couple of different articles recently saying that if people want to work smarter and accomplish their goals, they should make a To-Do list every morning. According to these time-management experts, making a list is the best way to zero in on your priorities. Even if you don’t get through the list, they say, even if your day gets sidetracked, it’s still advisable to set down on paper the things you want to accomplish. And keep it nearby, where you see it often. This help you to sort out and focus on the most important tasks.

I believe it. I’ve been told by some very efficient people that they make a To-do list every day. In fact, some people have their days and weeks regulated FlyLady style. As in, every Monday: one load of laundry; vacuum this room; wash that floor; clean this closet. And so on through the week. (I imagine the rule is: no hobbies, no blogging until these tasks are done.) This system becomes an ingrained habit and you never have to wonder “What am I going to do today?”

I’ve never been a list-maker. Yes, I usually think every morning of a couple of goals for the day, but I tend to waste time on fiddly things. Looking back, I’ve found that on days when I’m preparing for something special like dinner guests or a trip, and make a To-Do list first thing, I have gotten much more accomplished. But usually I tend to meander through my day with only a few vague goals.

So if I want to make a NEW BEGINNING, I can start with the worthy RESOLUTION to make a To-Do list every morning. Join the Fly-Lady and organize my week. STOP wasting time and work at accomplishing some main goals.

Sigh… Like the proverbial “Lose ten pounds,” this resolution has been made different times and abandoned. This system clashes big time with my attention-deficit tendencies and I end up just hoping there’s a place in this world for disorganized, inefficient, and scatter-brained people. 🙂

MY WEEK SO FAR

This week has definitely been a drifting one with no big accomplishments. My sister’s death still seems unreal, for one thing. I keep thinking, “It just can’t be! Surely she’s still there and we’ll see her the next time we go that way.” Also, “Why didn’t we talk a lot more? And talk about the important things of life?”

Also, on Monday I started feeling an infection coming on. I was hopeful for a quick recovery but was feeling so weary when we were shopping in the city Thursday. By evening I knew the infection was winning and I needed to see a doctor, so I went back to the city yesterday. You know how it goes: sit for two hours at a walk-in clinic; spend two minutes with the doctor; he verifies the problem and gives a prescription.

This antibiotic is amazing stuff! Kicked in right away. I hadn’t realized how ‘blah’ I felt until I started getting better and my energy started coming back. So maybe today I can tackle that To-Do list.

PRAY FOR RAIN

My petty worries are trifles when I read what’s happening elsewhere. This week blogger Frank Prem has been posting poems about the fires in Australia, the smoke blanketing his own community. I’ve looked online and seen maps — and was horrified to see they are fighting fires all over the continent. Read one of his verses here.

My heart aches for them — the lives, the homes, and all the flora and fauna being lost in those many blazes. I’m thankful that Canadian fire fighters have been sent to help combat this catastrophe, and praying for rain in Australia is high on my priority list these days.