The Corvid Clan

Tracy, the blogger over at “Reflections of an Untidy Mind” has just presented the blog-o-sphere with a new once-a-week writing challenge:

magpie-4661322_640Introducing – ta-da! – Corvid – 2020.
You can check out the details here, but basically you’re supposed to post something once a week about modus operandi of the family Corvidae.

Like the Borgia bunch and other nefarious family groups, this is a clan of clever, scheming thieves, including crows, ravens, jays, and magpies. But if you want to say something nice about them, I think that would be okay, too. Even the blackest of families have an occasional white sheep.

Blue Jay.croppedRaven

Recipe for Seasoning Spring

Good morning everyone,

The Word of the Day prompt this morning is ADVICE.

Coincidentally, blogger Bill at The Write Idea has given a bit of advice this morning in his haiku about “releasing the dragon.” READ HERE. I decided to take it, and find a dragon I could release.

I have quite a number penned up (pardon the pun) in notebooks, hoping to someday be set free. Yes, it’s time to open a few gates! I grabbed an old journal full of scribbles, turned to the back page, and found a raw poem I jotted down a few years back. I touched it up with a spritz of polish on the scales, did some filing on a few toenails, dabbed a dash more colour on some spots — and now I have my dragon ready to present to you, dear readers.

RECIPE FOR SPRING DELIGHT

Take the wonder of a blue sky,
add the blessing of warm sunshine,
bar the blasts of bitter wind,
but allow a few warm zephyrs
to tease the icicles to tears
till they splash the winter-killed
grass with a rousing message.

Add a number of misting poplars,
a sprinkling of meadowlark trills
and a path bordered by catkins.
Whisk yourself into this mix
some inviting March morning;
and marinate in the delights of spring.

children balloons

The Car, Harry Potter, or Donald Trump?

I had a fruitful trip to the hearing aid store yesterday; the audiologist upped the volume on my two hearing aids. I can now hear more than I ever wanted to. Shopping in stores was a general roar; our air cleaner sounded like a jet idling beside our window; plastic bag crinkles sounded like icicles crashing onto cement. To save my sanity I soon shut the hearing aids off.

Fortunately I have a little device at home called a Streamer, which I rarely use. It’s the remote volume control for my hearing aids, one that will also turn them to “phone” setting and stream the call into my hearing aids straight from my phone. However, I find it a nuisance for the most part; it’s always bumping against things, which messes up its settings. So the streamer stays in a drawer until urgently needed. We charged it up when we got home yesterday and I turned it on. Oh, joy! I was able to turn the volume in my hearing aids down to a normal level.

My hearing aids are ten years old now, and considered Obsolete — which means not fixable, not replaceable — so I asked the audiologist how much a new set of hearing aids would cost. I told him I need to prepare, decide what to sell so I can afford them. (No one wants your kidney when they find out you’ve had leukemia, so I need to think of other assets.)

He thought a moment, then answered, “Sell the car. A set of hearing aids would cost you about $3400.” He didn’t say “minimum.”

Well, yes, that would be the car. I shook my head. “Maybe I could write a bestseller? I’m a writer…and I understand the Harry Potter books author was broke and made her fortune with that series.”

Then I thought about my own writing. Not enough murder, mayhem, suspense, erotica, etc. “Trouble is, I don’t write bestseller-quality stuff,” I admitted.

“Write a book about Trump,” he said. “That could be a seller. Donald Trump, from a Saskatchewan perspective.”

Mulling the matter over later, I realized I’d easily spend $3400 traveling around the province researching “Donald Trump: A Saskatchewan perspective.” Furthermore, would readers in general, and the folks who make up the Bestseller list, be interested in knowing what we here in Sask think of him?

A Harry Potter-type fantasy, on the other hand, could be dreamed up, researched, and plotted right here at home. Hmm…

Selling the car would be easier.

The Signal Flag

The Ragtag Daily Prompt for today is BEACON

This word makes me think of a short story I could write sometime. The main character will be a young man whose horse stumbles and tosses him, so here he is, following a faint prairie trail one bitterly cold evening. His eyes search the darkness for one glimmer of light, one hope of rescue. He’s very close to giving up and accepting the fate of freezing to death when he sees the far-off glow of a window. A homesteader’s cabin! Shelter and warmth — his only hope! but what kind of people live there? What fate awaits him when he gets there?

Yes, someday I’ll write that tale. 🙂

However, today I’m going to give you another quick story. I read this years ago in the 1972 Friendship Book of Francis Gay and am retelling here in my own words. This doesn’t involve a beacon — at least the rector never intended to display one…

Years ago the rector in a small English town took a notion that it’d make a nice touch for his church if they had a flag — something they could hoist for on special occasions. He shared his idea with his flock one Sunday morning and different ones nodded in agreement.

One elderly woman had a flash of recall: wasn’t there one around her house somewhere? She went home and rummaged through her attic, thinking she may have seen the flag in her father’s old trunk. Ah! Here it was.

She took it to the rector, who laid it out and studied it awhile. The design was nothing he’d ever seen before, but it had a unique, pleasing placement of colours. Sure, why not use it as their banner for special-occasions?

Calling a number of folks to come and see, he attached it to the rope and ran it up the flagpole. Folks nodded. It looked attractive enough…and would be a nice touch for the Feast of Saint Somebody a few weeks hence.

The rector decided to leave the flag up for the day and went in to tea. Early that evening someone knocked at the manse door; the rector opened it and saw a sailor standing there grinning.

“Excuse me, sir,” the sailor began, giving the rector a hearty salute. “I come to see if I could be of some help, seeing you have an emergency.”

The rector was startled. “Emergency? We have no emergency here that I know of.”

“But I’ve just read the signal flag on your church tower, sir. It’s saying that you are in great difficulties and urgently need a pilot.”

A New Blog for Word Fans

As you will all realize by now, I enjoy poetry…and quotes…and idioms…and WORDS in general. When I was invited to join the Ragtag Community and provide the Sunday morning prompt, I was delighted. “Over the moon,” as they say in England.

I immediately began to collect a list of words, some ordinary, some obscure, from various quotes, poems, and writings. my list grew until I realized it would take several years of Sundays to post all these words. So I’ve decided to re-purpose my dormant poetry blog and dedicate it to the exploration of words that intrigue me.

Fr.Title.Sleeping Cat

I’ve given it a new name, WORD BUDS and a new tag line,“A choice blend of fine words and phrases to inspire you.”

For the rest of this year I’ll post words along with the brief verse or quote I’ve taken it from and maybe something about the word’s origins. Sundays I’ll post the Ragtag Daily Prompt there as well. I’m doing this for my own enjoyment, but if you love words like I do, you may want to check it out.

Since I’ve reworked Swallow in the Wind, a blog once dedicated to Quotes, Anecdotes, and Nature Notes, you’ll find a lot of these in the ARCHIVES from June 2012 to Jan 2015. As time goes on, I’ll probably post a few more now and then.

As I’m doing now with the RAGTAG DAILY PROMPT, I plan to cross-post the word only, with the link, here as well. (Did you know cross-post is actually a dictionary word?)

Click here to view the site. I’m making this a temporary venture; at the end of the year I’ll decide whether to continue. Life is full of changes, but I think I have enough words to post for a good while. 🙂

Celebrating 2600

Hi everyone! I’m starting out this morning with a celebration in honor of the fact that 2600 people have clicked the FOLLOW button on this blog. That number surely calls for some revelry!

Celebrate.HilkeFromm
                   Photo credit:  Hilke Fromm —  Pixabay

I was planning to do something big for 2500, but that milestone somehow slipped by, so I’ll throw the party for this one.

Does this number mean that 2600 people are reading my blog? I doubt it. Some folks seem to do a FOLLOW as a way of advertising their own product or service. They click the button once, but I get no indication that they ever visit again. However, I am thankful for all of you who READ, LIKE, COMMENT on my posts and generally interact.

Here’s a quote I found on GoodReads that inspires me today:

“Make a pact with yourself today to not be defined by your past. Sometimes the greatest thing to come out of all your hard work isn’t what you get for it, but what you become for it. Shake things up today! Be You…Be Free…Share.”

Steve Maraboli, from his book
Life, the Truth, and Being Free