Thursday, July 30, 2015


A confession on compiling my word list for each letter:  I come up with a few words on my own, but mostly I have really enjoyed going to the SAT Word List on the internet and seeking out some less common, but positive words from that list.  I usually skip over those with negative connotations….why spend time pondering the negative? 

7.25.15   B is for BRINK….
B:  beautiful; boring; brink; ballad, banter, beckon, befuddle, barren, bemuse, benevolent, billow, blithe, boast, bolster, bountiful, brazen, buoyant, blue, big,

               So I checked out that BIG ol’ moon last night…it is only 5 days from full and looking BRIGHT and BEAUTIFUL in the evening sky.  Pretty enough to write a BALLAD or come up with some prose.  BUT I thought of son Jed tonight.  He has been gazing at and filming the dark side of the moon for nearly 8 years in pursuing his doctorate in astrophysics.  Now he is done and on the BRINK of a new career, the excitement and exhaustion of moving just a bit overwhelming.  He has transferred his BELONGINGS to a new apartment and returned home to relax and recuperate.  Jed will be a visiting professor at Willamette University, teaching physics, and with his usual BANTER and dry wit will BEFUDDLE and BEMUSE his students.  Yet, his calling is clear – he can explain the intricacies of our universe in ways that make sense!  His classes won’t be BORING!  And perhaps, he will be able to take a few select students and turn their eyes to the sky and BEGIN to once again gaze at that BIG, BEAUTIFUL ol’ moon. 

7.29.15  L is for LAVISH LAUGHTER
L:   Love, Laughter, Life, Languid, Latent, Laudable, Lavish, Leisure, Levity, Liaison, Lilacs, Legacy, Limpid (clear and bright), Linger, Lithe, Loquacious, LUNAR, luminary, lustrous, lavendar,

               The L list is LAVISH with LAUDABLE words that LINGER with thoughts of LOVE, LIFE, LEISURE, and yes, the LUMINARIA and LUSTER of our LUNAR satellite.  I LOVE the words that build community LIKE LIAISON and LEGACY; words that are bright and carefree such as LIMPID and LANGUID, LITHE and LEVITY. I am found of LAVENDAR flowers LIKE LUPINE, LARKSPUR, and LILACS covered with green LEAVES.  But when all else fails, one word always comes to the top (ok, besides LOVE!) with the LETTER L:  LAUGHTER!  
               LAUGHTER (wow, the more I type the word the stranger it LOOKS!)  It truly is the best medicine!  I was walking my bike down Main Street the other morning and a man sitting in front of a coffee shop called out to me, “You are the first person this morning on the sidewalk who has had a smile on their face!  Thank you!”  I was glad he had caught me in such a position!  It is a blessing to be able to LAUGH with others and LAUGH at oneself.  A good belly LAUGH is exercise, it strengthens muscles, including those in our brain that make us feel good!  There are friends I recognize by their deep, infectious LAUGH and I am rewarded when people tell me they can hear my LAUGH across the room.  LAUGHTER should come easily and frequently.  Be LAVISH with LAUGHTER!   LAUGH under a full, blue moon!  

8.1.15 U is for UNITY through UNDERSTANDING
U: Understanding, umbrage, umbrella, unbiased, uncanny, unconditional, unconventional, undulate, unfettered, unison, unity, universal, universe, unorthodox, unprecedented, unwavering, uproarious, urban, urchin, utopia, unending, ursina,ulex, ugli fruit.

                Wow.  U is a tough letter!  So many of the words begin with UN- which is a prefix for not or less, etc.    I take UMBRAGE at using those frequently negative words!   So perhaps that is why as I read through the SAT word list, when I came to UNISON and UNITY I felt  positive vibes begin to UNDULATE and I wanted to be UNORTHODOX or maybe a little UNCONVENTIONAL (UN- words that I feel are good when you go against the crowd!) and discover the U words that will build us up rather than break us down.  I am seeking the UTOPIAN UNIVERSE!  (Right!  That will happen ‘once in a blue moon’!)
               UNDERSTANDING doesn’t necessarily mean agreement.    UNDERSTANDING is tolerance, empathy, and a willingness to seek mutual ground.  When we love one another UNCONDITIONALLY, we are able to be UNIFIED in our goals for all.  A UNITED world doesn’t mean everyone is exactly alike; the choir won’t sing in UNISON, but the harmonies of race, culture, and faith will blend in an UNPRECEDENTED song of UNITY.  To UNDERSTAND one another in such a way, we must be UNWAVERING in our efforts to reach out and meet, learn, and develop relationships with those who are different from ourselves. We must be UNENDING in our love. 
               Pretty heady stuff for the letter U.  Maybe ‘once in a blue moon’ is a good time to get started.  
P.S.   I learned something new today as well!  With a fondness for flowers, I looked up plants that begin with the letter U.  The list is pretty short, but it included UGLI FRUIT (the orange like ball), URSINIA (which is similar to a sunflower) and ULEX!  ULEX is another term for gorse, the plant that grows rampant at my Mom's in Bandon!  I thought those little yellow flowers looked familiar (if I had seen the thorns in the picture there would have been no doubt!)  I shall call it ULEX from now on, just to be UNORTHODOX!  

8.2.15   E is for EFFULGENT!
E: Exciting, equal, excellent, education, ebullient, eclectic, edify, effervescent, effulgent (radiating light), elation, epiphany, epitome, euphoria, expatiate (further explain), expectation, exuberant, exalt, edelweiss, epimedium

               With the letter U I learned a few new flower terms, and today I am further EDUCATED!  My morning devotion focused on light and I now am EBULLIENT and EXCITED to find the word EFFULGENT!  The word looks somewhat ‘dirty’, perhaps because it reminds me of EFFLUENCE, a EUPHEMISM for sewage.  But let me EXPATIATE further:  EFFULGENT means to radiate light, or in the case of an effulgent person, to radiate goodness and joy.  What a compliment to be told you are an effulgent person!  And…what big, bright, object is the EPITOME of light in the night sky?  Our blue moon of course! 

               And now I am ELATED to bring you new E flowers!  EDELWEISS and EPIMEDIUM (looks like hostas), EASTER LILIES, and EUPHORBIA!  (And way too many plants that begin with Eastern or English!) EUPHORBIA is a huge genus with all sorts of varying species, but I was delighted to find out that it is the mystery plant that grows in my back flower garden.  It reseeds itself, ‘blooms’ with yellow blossom/leaves in the spring, and then remains a solid green plant throughout the summer.  I have a name for it!!  I think I may just be EUPHORIC about EUPHORBIA!  

8.4.15 M is for MISSION MINIONS
Word List: M: Moon, monkey, marriage, majesty,  magnanimous, maritime, maternal, mature, maverick, maxim, meager, meditate, memorabilia, metamorphosis, minion, mirth, momentous, moniker, monotheism, motif, myriad, mullein, monkeyflower, morning glory,  mystery, mission 
          I am thinking back to several months ago to the first of the ABC Quick Writes and the word BLOOM.  I wrote of mountains and Montana and mitres and metrics as we began a Habitat build.  My list of words today seems very different!  There are some great words here!  The MINIONS MOVIE is MOMENTOUS right now, I enjoy MOMENTS for MEDITATION, designing MOTIFS and witnessing God's MAJESTY in the MOUNTAINS. And I can't forget my flowers! MONKEYFLOWERS, MULLEIN, MORNING GLORY, and MISTLETOE!   But the words that speak to me most are MISSION, MYSTERY, and MINION. 
           When I think of MISSION, I think of the job that God has given us to do.  MISSION means reaching out and acting in God's name.  But sometimes that MISSION is and should be a MYSTERY.  We should not act for display or overt attention.  Our works for God should be 'undercover' in a sense.  Moreover,  we each have different talents and gifts that should be used for MISSION, but we don't always realize what they are.  They remain a MYSTERY to us. 
           And then there are MINIONS!  MINION can be a negative term in that the servant has no real worth individually other than service to a greater being.  If we consider ourselves MINIONS for God, our MISSION is to serve God!  The only difference is that we are beloved MINIONS!   Perhaps what we need to be are MISSION MINIONS!  We all have gifts, tasks to perform.  May they not remain a MYSTERY and may we get started on our MISSION road to servanthood!  

8.5.15 O is for ODYSSEY
Word List: Obvious, overwhelm, obscure, ordinary, outside, oasis, obligation, odyssey, olfactory, omnipotent, omniscient, onomatopoeia, opalescent, opaque, optimist, orientation, otiose (no practical purpose), ovation, oxymoron, orchid, oriental lily, oxeye daisy, oxalis (sorrel)
               Rick and I live a rather ORDERED life.  Our trips are planned for the most part.  We ORIENT ourselves in one direction and go.  When I made my list of O words, ODYSSEY struck me.  ODYSSEYS, OBVIOUSLY are not ORDERED….they just happen as one event leads to another. ODYSSEYS OCCUR OUTSIDE the day-to-day ORDINARY of our lives. The definition is a string of adventures on a wandering path.  That makes me OPTIMISTIC about an ODYSSEY of service.  What would happen if we just took off and discovered OPPORTUNITIES to volunteer in random places, staying as long as needed.  Standing OVATION for such an un-ORDERED idea! 

               Considering the OTHER O’s?  I needed flowers to OBSCURE the ORDINARY of the O drawing and to create an OASIS of green, so I found ORCHIDS and OXALIS (somewhat like four leaf clovers – also called sorrel.  I used to find OXALIS OFTEN while hiking in the Mt. Hood area).  OBVIOUSLY in this blue moon ABC write, the OPALESCENT vision of our lunar neighbor must appear, and I felt an OBLIGATION to include our OLFACTORY facial feature, the nose.  Goodness!  I may have OVERWHELMED my brain for O’s today….what about the next O tomorrow??

8.7.15 O is for OCTET 
Word List: O: Only, oriental lily, oxeye daisy, obelia, oblong, obtuse, obsess, occupy, octave, ocular, oddity, office, ogdoad, omega, optima, ocean, onyx, okra, orzo,  ovis (sheep), octet   
      I went beyond the SAT word list today and just searched for some lesser-known or four to six letter O words that are OPPORTUNE. I have OPTED for an OCTET of O’s, making my letter an OGDOAD (something with eight parts).   The floral O’s include OXEYE DAISY and OBELIA (a type of moss that grows on piers and rocks in the OCEAN).  ORZO is a type of pasta/grain and I cooked OKRA for the first time this summer.  (That was interesting!)  Can you imagine the ONYX OVIS of the family??  (That would be the black sheep!)  I shall now OMEGA  my summer at the OCEAN!  That makes an OCTET, I do OPINE!  

WORD LIST:  nadir (low point), naïve (unaffected simplicity), nascent, nautical, narrative, nebulous, necessity, nectar, negate, negotiate, neglect, neophyte, nether (lower), nestle, neurotic, network, nexus, niche, niggle (worry excessively), nirvana, nocturnal, nonchalant, nomadic, nonsensical, nostalgia, notion, nourish, nurture, nasturtium, narcissus  
        I am feeling a bit NEBULOUS about my choice of a key N word, but perhaps I shouldn't NIGGLE about that too much.  I am NESTLED in my father's old recliner watching the NAUTICAL parade of boats patrol the western skyline, NOURISHING my body with the sweet NECTAR of honeydew melon, NOSTALGIA of my family background giving me a sense of NIRVANA. Rick is acting as a NEXUS at the moment, NETWORKING on his cell between the hikers on the Elkhorn Trail and a possible relief truck, the NECESSITY to give a hiker a way out at mid-point apparent.  I don't want to be NAIVE or NONCHALANT in this NARRATIVE, but what word??  
     Later.  I haven't NEGLECTED my writing, but NOW Jed has left for home and two words are coming to the forefront:  NURTURE and NEGOTIATION.  NURTURE is defined as caring for or encouraging the growth of something.  We NURTURE our children, but we also NURTURE our spiritual life.  NEGOTIATION is working to reach agreement or mutual support.  It seems to me that we should be attempting to NURTURE NEGOTIATION!  We should be striving to facilitate all NASCENT attempts to build bridges and mend fences. We must work to NEGATE NEGATIVE emotions and actions that tear people apart.  Let's figure it out, folks, and get along with each other!  

        And that concludes our BLUE MOON ABC'S.  The moon is nearing the new moon phase and it is time to be done!   I have an OCTET of key words here (well, eight letters!) to consider in the days ahead!  

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