Fun Words, Serious Words, and Everything in Between

Words are singularly the most powerful force available to humanity. We can choose to use this force constructively with words of encouragement, or destructively using words of despair. Words have energy and power with the ability to help, to heal, to hinder, to hurt, to harm, to humiliate and to humble.

Yehuda Berg

Hi there! Hope you are enjoying the season’s festivities. Today’s prompt about words has my mind circling many random topics today. A few nights ago, I played some fun virtual holiday games over Zoom with some friends. Trivia, a scavenger hunt, guess the language, I spy… One was an A to Z holiday word game. I ended up with a lot of foodie words. 🙂

Bloggers here have whipped up some creative posts with words that have enriched my life. It’s obvious that how we construct phrases can leave an impact. I’ll never forget the day I looked at the first page in my dad’s English learning book from the refugee center. His instructor wrote an encouraging note saying how important it was to learn these words and phrases as it can help you navigate life in a new country.

Fun Words to Say

About the Author from the Back Flap:
Seth Lerer was born in Brooklyn, New York, and was educated at Wesleyan University, Oxford University, and the University of Chicago. He taught at Princeton before moving to Stanford University, where he is the Avalon Foundation Professor in the Humanities. The author of many books and articles on medieval and Renaissance literature, he is known nationally for his audio and videotape series, The History of the English Language, for the teaching company.

A few years ago, I really enjoyed a book about the development of the English language by Seth Lerer. I wrote a fun research paper as well as conducted some surveys about the invention of words and how technology has affected its development by interviewing people in the park. Most people were open to chatting with me about their favorite words. From Pig Latin to Spanglish, it was fun to listen to their varied responses.

Do you ever have words in which you like how it rolls off your tongue? I remembered how my friend and I were discussing how we enjoyed words with the “ch” sound. Charity, Chelsea, Chill, Charisma. For me it brings back memories of the Chia Pet commercials! Ch- Ch- Ch- Chia!

This morning I was reading from Katrina’s list of “10 Words that are Fun To Say” I enjoy 1, 3, 5, 6, and 10!

1) Pandemonium 2) Cabal, 3) Shenanigans 4) Perfidious 5) Mustachioed 6) Fandango 7) Pusillanimous 8) Pantaloons 9) Drosophila Melanogaster 10) Bourgeois

Rue de Francs – Bourgeois, Paris Storefront
Image by edmondlafoto from Pixabay

Inspirational Word-Finds

I also found a word search book as I was de-cluttering my room. It was quite a treat since it’s been ages since I’ve done a word search! I really enjoyed doing this one because Chicken Soup for the Soul compiled a set a quotes in each puzzle to find. It made me commit to memorizing “uplifting quotes to brighten your day” in order to find them. 😉 The reward center in my brain was happy from the dopamine kick. I’ve finished three so far:

No one lives long enough to learn everything they need to learn starting from scratch. To be successful, we absolutely, positively have to find people who have already paid the price to learn the things that we need to learn to achieve our goals.”

Brian Tracy

He enjoys true leisure who has time to improve his soul’s estate.
Thought is the sculptor who can create the person you want to be.
Silence is when we hear inwardly; sound when we hear outwardly.

Henry David Thoreau

It is the duty of men to judge men only by their actions. Our faculties furnish us with no means of arriving at the motive, the character, the secret self. We call the tree good from its fruits, and the man, from his works.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

I also discovered a compilation of thoughts on colored note cards called “Leaves of Wisdom” from The Ladies Bible Class at the University Avenue Church of Christ. Today’s succinct thought:

Behold, I bring you good news. You are loved.

A. M. Chadwick

Winter is Feeling Different

The first day of winter was a few days ago, and I’m shocked that I can walk outside in shorts and a T-shirt in the middle of December this year! Granted, I don’t live in Australia where it’s probably summer right now. Normally, there’s sleet or snow and cold, bracing winds to match where I’m at. Am I going to complain about this pleasant surprise? No…but it makes me think about global warming.

This past Sunday I was reading news of the nation’s new climate team in the local newspaper. I’m grateful to learn that this diverse group has the background and experience to tackle these issues head on. Below are some galvanizing words from the president elect. Looking forward to see how actions pan out in time.

“This brilliant, tested, trailblazing team will be ready on day one to confront the existential threat of climate change with a unified national response rooted in science and equity.

They share my belief that we have no time to waste to confront the climate crisis, protect our air and drinking water, and deliver justice to communities that have long shouldered the burdens of environmental harms.

Together, on behalf of all Americans, they will meet this moment with the urgency it demands — and seize the opportunity to build back better with good-paying union jobs, climate-resilient infrastructure, and a clean energy future that benefits every single community.”

President Elect Joe Biden

Our Next-Door Neighbor

Heartwarming stories from “Chicken Soup for the Soul” books are considered timeless literature for me. I can pick any story from any of these series at any time in my life and feel wonderful and uplifted. There’s a quote that reminds me of an event that happened during Christmas time many years ago.

We once had a neighbor who moved from New York into the house next to ours. She was a friendly and attractive lady who my siblings and I always waved to her and wished her a good morning. At the time, my siblings and I were all young children.

She had some mannerisms that were unfamiliar to us in the suburbs. She also had a habit of gardening in the front yard in her bathing suit catching the attention of any males who happened to walk their dogs into our cul-de-sac. My visiting cousins made fun of her, but I came to her defense saying that she never caused us any harm and looked out for us. I suspected that even if she heard my cousins speaking behind her back, she wouldn’t have cared what they thought because she was confident in who she was.

One Christmas day, we heard our doorbell ring. My siblings and I ran to the front door and looked outside the window. There was a wrapped package outside our door. I saw the back of a blond woman’s head and she herself was dressed in a lush red Christmas coat like Mrs. Clause. It was our neighbor, but she didn’t stay to chat probably due to any language barriers.

During a time when we didn’t have to be weary of potential bomb packages outside residential homes, we naturally brought the box inside and opened it since it was from our non-malicious neighbor. Inside our neighbor packed all sorts of goodies for us. We were amazed all all the snacks, toys, and refrigerator holiday magnets she packed for us.

I think back on this memory and feel that it’s a special moment when a neighbor wants to keep the spirit of Christmas alive in spite of the increasing cynicism and all things that go on in the world. I’m grateful that we had such a great neighbor while growing up!

In response to :

A Golden Age

Gazing upon her most cherished possession resting upon her porch, her radio sparked an occasion to revisit yesteryear. She flicked the switch for her electric candles and stared the lit bulbs which lighted a path for her to access her memory.

World War II was over and new, exciting things were on the horizon. The crackling fireplace kept her family warm during Christmas time as they listened to Nat King Cole sing.

YouTube: Nat King Cole – The Christmas Song

As a little girl, she relished in a comedy-mystery radio program, the Abbott Mysteries, which led her to explore her now life-long career as detective. One of her favorite memories though was when her father found a marvelous tree topper that seem to symbolize better things for the new year.

Image Credit: Etsy

In response to:

Presents at Krispy Kreme

New mysteries. New day. Fresh doughnuts.

David Lynch

Hello! I woke up from quite a mysterious dream last night, and got a start on the day. My friend and I finished my mile long walk this morning, and the Krispy Kreme store was along the way! I enjoyed the decorations the employees put up for the holidays. I noticed a creme-filled doughnut called “Present” 🎁 which I avoided due the sheer calories and sugar 😜, but my friend got it instead.

There are also some fun knick-knacks for sale! Probably a good stress reliever to squish and smell!

I walked over to the corner to take a seat and enjoyed the colorful decorations on this tree.

By the checkout area, this light pink tree also had some presents underneath.

On the walk back, I noticed these large wooden decorative presents on the field.

Overall, it was an enjoyable walk!😊

It’s simple. Eat well, exercise and get lots of sleep but make sure you indulge occasionally. At my age , I think , what the hell , and eat a Krispy Kreme doughnut !

Michelle Pfeiffer

Christmas Lights

Season Greetings! Took a selfie with our snowman from the countryside! How we found him is a quaint story. He was abandoned by his original owners. Mom and I were going for a walk in the neighborhood, when we noticed a series of wired sculptures getting ready to be tossed in the trash. We decided to give them a new home at our place and picked up some deer and other fixtures. I wrapped some new lights around them to renew its lease on life.

This year I enjoyed various holiday light shows on YouTube. There are some incredibly talented artists out there! One of my favorites is the song, Blinding Lights, by The Weeknd.

Seeing him go live this past September on a skyscraper was a fantastic view despite not having an audience.

A Beautiful Sight

When I walk in the morning sunlight, the brisk air feels fantastic. I’m grateful that it’s only 51 degrees Fahrenheit where I’m located and not -8 degrees where some of my friends are located. However, it feels like 37 degrees. No snow just yet. Refreshing, not unbearable.

I’m sitting indoors marveling a beautiful sight. My Christmas cards.

Simple ornaments with colorful geometric designs and patterns. They’re certainly not Papyrus, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I feel good about my Christmas cards this year because I was able to help protect 160 kids from polio through the Rotary Club’s Polio Plus card program.

If you would like to learn more, you may visit: www.endpolio.org

Most of the time I generally listen to soft, slow Christmas music. The classics. This year I’m leaning into flashy, fast paced, sparkling numbers. Currently jamming out to Meghan Trainor and Lindsey Sterling!

Jojo is adorable in her dance number and dazzling outfits! Her energy

Micro Gift Wrap Stories

Featured Photo: Greta Penny, owner of The Design Craft Etsy store, has such a lovely green malachite wrapping paper for sale. It looks like a emerald geode!

I love gift wrapping! I just finished wrapping my gifts for my friends. Looking at my gifts now, you would have never guessed that I came from humble beginnings in the gift wrapping world.

I used to wrap my gifts in newspaper and cut letters and images from magazines to make cards back in the days when I thought buying a Hallmark greeting card was expensive. It eventually dawned on me that I needed to stop making cards that looked like it belongs to a criminal! 😀

Ransom Note Generator – I suppose you can make less creepy ransom notes with these color themes!

Unlikely Gift Wrap Solutions

Homemade cards run in the family. 😉 My brother once took a Cheese It box and refashioned it into a birthday card. He wrote with a permanent black marker, “Have a cheesy birthday!” Upon receiving it, his best friend roared with laughter! He absolutely LOVED it!

My dad used to wrap clothing gifts for his nieces in former Budweiser boxes. I remember us all laughing together at what seems to be a gag gift. My cousin smiled when she opened the box to find a pair of cute overalls and a striped yellow shirt from Old Navy. No alcohol for minors! We have an odd sense of humor and love to recycle and reuse our resources as much as possible.

I’ll never forget the day when mom asked for my help to wrap a gift up for a birthday. It was my first project. I reused some pretty yellow paper from an old gift and made some beautiful curly bows. The family looked at it with a bit of admiration, and from that day forward, my parents left me in charge of the gift wrapping.

Discovering the Art of Japanese Gift Wrapping

Over the years I’ve been inspired by various artists and cultural wrapping techniques. Jane wrote a wonderful post about International Gift Wrapping to Suit All Cultures. I really enjoy the elegant folds in Japanese gift wrapping. They’re beautiful!

Shiho Masuda has a lovely YouTube channel for all sorts of gift wrapping ideas! ❤ Time to up my game!

Fresh Beginnings & Letting Go

Greetings! Happy belated Thanksgiving and happy December!

Image by 이룬 봉 from Pixabay
Feeling in the mood for a Stream of Consciousness today.

Just got back from spending time with family after not visiting them for this past year. It was a joyous occasion. It felt so good. I’m grateful to have seen them in person.

Instead of taking the bus like I normally do, I decided to avoid the station, a hotspot for the virus. My brother and dad picked me up to head back to my home town. My dad, ever the story teller, shared a few tales along the way home: How the cat found happiness, the one-eyed woman, Roses on Mother’s day … He also cracked open philosophical questions that had me thinking about what’s important.

I helped my parents de-clutter their home to help them prepare for retirement. Channeling my inner “Marie Kondo”, I used her Konmari method to clean out my parent’s home. Sorting through years of memories, donating books & clothes, throwing away broken items was a cathartic experience. My mom and siblings were happy, and Dad …adapted to the new Feng Shui of his home. 😉

I also loved organizing my mother’s beauty products with the lovely drawer from Sorbus Beauty for my mom’s present. That’s typically been my trademark. Organizing my mom’s little messes.

We celebrated my mom’s and sister’s birthday with delicious cake from Mozart Cafe Bakery. My sister showed me her chickens that she has been raising with her boyfriend. My brothers chatted to me about their latest investments. Mom enjoyed giving all of us a new hair-do. We took some family photos in a beautiful park.

A joyous reunion indeed.

Image by Business Yab

Featured Photo by James Besser on Unsplash