September is the height of the hurricane season on the Texas Gulf coast. A month loaded with angst as we watch the weather forecasts. This year in particular it’s a nightmare.
Add the pandemic-induced mess of 2020 and I feel like I’m teetering on the brink of crazy.
Recently, I inserted my Wii Fit DVD into the player to do my exercise. The disc wouldn’t run, I tried to eject said disk. It wouldn’t jump out.
After several failed attempts to get the disc out, I gave up. A short time later, Hubby-Dear asked me what the Wii Fit DVD was doing on the table with the TV remote.
I’d never actually inserted the disc!
Other times, I load clothes in the dryer. Come back later to fold and find I never pushed start.
Attachments don’t make it to emails I’m sending.
Multi-tasking becomes a multi-mess. Stuff ‘s misplaced constantly. Minor things, I know. But, for me it’s frustrating. It makes me crazy.
Maybe, like me, you feel you’re losing your mind while trying to keep it all together and stay focused at the same time.
Well, we’re not crazy because things aren’t normal right now. We’re coping as best we can. Any way we can.
We’re feeling stressed for very real reasons. Who wouldn’t with all the COVID-19 hype? Newscasts filled with horrid visuals of violence and civil unrest. Tropical storms spinning into hurricanes and reeking unfathomable damage. Fires burning unchecked. An ugly presidential election on the horizon.
Any one of which would be troubling alone. We’re got all of the above pounding us daily.
We have “pandemic fatigue,” which means daily stuff may take a little longer to accomplish or may not go as planned.
We’re getting through these weird times. One day at a time. The next months will likely be the toughest yet. We’ll struggle more, but, I’m confident, we will come through.
All we have to do is stop and breathe. Slow, even breaths. In for one-1000, two-1000, three-1000. Out again one-1000, two-1000, three-1000. Repeat.
Seriously, STOP. Take deep breaths then proceed.
It’s helped me. So do M&Ms, but breathing is so much healthier.
Next time you’re feeling crazy and want to pull the covers back over your head, try taking a few deep breaths. I think you’ll find those provide calm in this uncalm world.
A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara
I took this to mean that the newest flock of chicks was ready to go in with the big girls.
So I waited for the duck yard to dry out a little bit. I knew I would be chasing chickens around in the dark and wanted to minimize the mess. I moved them into the big coop at night knowing that is usually the best plan.
The new chicks wake up thinking they had been in their new home forever. They do, after all, have bird brains.
Sure enough, they were not happy about being moved and they expressed their displeasure in a form of “chicken scratch” on both arms. I managed to catch all 13 birds, clip their wings and put them into the big coop without landing in the mud. I did have to take a shower to clean the mud off my arms – especially around the scratches.
They all survived the first night locked in the coop and I was curious what they would do the second night.
I blocked the entrance with an old wire door and told them goodnight.
Now we just have to wait for them to start laying eggs.
The ducks are getting ahead.
A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara
The ducks are now laying up to four eggs a day! This is fantastic news on Miller Farm.
I use duck eggs in cooking and mix them with chicken eggs to be scrambled. Ducks are very messy and sometimes I am not convinced the sheer entertainment value is worth the effort. Having duck eggs is a different story.
Then we had two hard shell eggs in one day.
This week I found a tiny egg – again usually indicating a first egg. I think Lucy is getting nervous about having competition.
Don’t worry, Lucy. You’re still my favorite. That is why you get all the roaches from the water jugs.
Labor Day celebrates our workforce as this vintage postcard suggests. It also signals the end of summer though the fall equinox won’t actually happen for three more weeks on September 21. Still we consider summer gone after Labor Day.
Labor Day celebrations look different this year thanks to COVID-19. No skipping town for faraway places. No firing up the backyard BBQ for gatherings with friends and family.
While pandemic separation may make us miss catching up with cousins and neighbors with hot dogs in hand, it also means less effort preparing for the day. No rushing to cut the grass or clean the pool, or all that other prep that goes into entertaining. That’s kinda a plus.
Bonus: we didn’t have to deal with Cousin Will’s ultra-conservative (or ultra-liberal) political outbursts or the next-door neighbor’s comparisons of yards.
Labor Day does offer a break, a change from daily routines. No school. No Zoom meetings. A day to relax. To slow our pace.
And, trust me, relaxation of any kind for any length is more important than ever in these times of increased stresses.
I like what Brian Basset suggests in a recent Sunday funnies.
As we head into days with all the back-to-school uncertainties and pre-election day chatter and other things that are sure to increase our stress levels. Let’s take Red & Rover’s advice to heart and embrace the fact that slowing down can lower stress.
Turn off the news.
Skip social media.
Sit on the porch and
Focus on the little things like cooler temperatures, changing leaves, and sitting by the lake with a fishing pool.
Happy Labor Day 2020!
- Nouns: a person, place, thing, or idea.
- Pronoun: a word used in place of a noun.
- Verb: words that express action or being.
- Adjectives: words to describe nouns or pronouns.
- Adverbs: words to describe a verb, an adjective, or another adverb.
- Prepositions: words placed before a noun or pronoun to form a phrase modifying another word in the sentence.
- Conjunctions: that join words, phrases, or clauses.
- Interjections: words used to express emotion.
And we thought that covered all the word groups. Well, we were wrong. I’ve discovered there are many more words to describe the words we use.
Retronym: a modifier added to describe what was once its default meaning, i.e. cloth diaper since most diapers now are disposable, snail mail because, you know, email, whole milk because almond milk and other flavors, regular coffee, plain M&Ms also because of the additional flavors now. Get the idea?
But be cautious, a retronym is not always merely adjective/noun combinations. It’s a word with a qualifier to refer to the original meaning of the word. Thus, chocolate chip is not a retronym, neither is cellular phone.
Tmesis: a new word formed by placing one word in the middle of another.
Not a new concept, Shakespeare used one in “Richard II”—How-heinous-ever. So did George Bernard Shaw in “Pygmalion”: Fan-bloody-tastic or abso-blooming-lutely.
Capitonym: word that changes meaning, and sometimes pronunciation, when capitalize, i.e. mobile meaning moving or Mobile meaning the city in Alabama. Others include August, the month, or august the adjective meaning respected and important.
Bahuvrihi: just saying this correctly should earn you points. If you want help, try here. The word is Sanskrit and a bahuvrihi itself. The word means “much rice” but refers to a rich man. Examples would be barefoot, graybeard, redhead or blue-collar/white-collar or old money.
Embolalia: words or sounds added into speech. It’s stammered speech as we arrange our thoughts. Examples: well, but, I guess, um, you know.
Metonym or Metonymy: using the name of one object or concept for that of another to which it is related, or of which it is a part, i.e. the bottle for strong drink, count heads (or noses) for count people, hoops for basketball, Capitol Hill for US. Congress.
Mondegreen: is a mishearing or misinterpretation of a phrase in a way that gives it a new meaning. Mondegreens are generally understood not to be intentional.
Around our family the song “Elvira” is forever called It’ll fire up. Other examples dawnzer lee light for the mishearing of “dawn’s early light” lyric of the “Star- Spangled Banner” or The ants are my friends for “The answer, my friend” in “Blowing in the Wind” by Bob Dylan.
Portmanteau: two or more words are joined to coin a new word, which refers to a single concept, i.e. education + entertainment = edutainment, fan + magazine = fanzine, motor + hotel = motel, spoon + fork= spork
Slurvian: basically, this is a portmanteau that is slurred together. Examples d’ja slurred form of did you, wanna for want to, and the ubiquitous y’all for you all. Of course, that last example of a slurvian is standard English where I live. 😊
I’m a wordsmith and a word game player. I love learning new words.
Now you, too, know a few new words in case you want to wow your next Zoom meeting and drop one in. I’m not sure they’ll appreciate them as much as I do, though.