Life During Wartime

Most things that I took as normal, have stopped making sense now.  I am usually an upbeat person although I often remain aloof, however I avoid complaining and the last thing that I want are disappointing disasters that are part of a dystopian future.  I would like to think that we will all eventually recover from this pandemic, if we learn how to navigate with caution.  I am certain that everyone has heard enough advice on what they should be doing to protect themselves through these rough times, but it will be hard for all of us to retain our sangfroid while the grocery store shelves are empty and all of the events that are representative of a normal life are being cancelled.

I have always been a big fan of the elbow bump, mostly because I don’t really enjoy touching other people, but if contact must be made, this is the way to go.  My hope is that we will invent a vaccine that will cure all of the infected people, and also become a remedy for all of the jilted nerves and worried minds that need to be cured.  There is a lot of misinformation out there and myths about the coronavirus and people are so confused at this time, so any thread of information has the chance of going viral.

Written for Sheryl’s Daily Word Prompt – Aloof, for the Daily Spur prompt – Recover, for FOWC with Fandango – Jilted, for March Writing Prompts – Disappointing disasters, for Ragtag Community – Sangfroid, for Di’s Three Things Challenge prompt words – Cancelled Rough Thread, for GC and Sue W Weekly Prompt – The elbow bump and for Word of the Day Challenge Prompt – Advice.

Blue Heaven

I live in an Eden prairie, which is like having a slice of heaven here on earth.  What I like best about my home town is that it is meticulously clean and it is also known for having the best authentic Italian pasta.  Spaghetti?  Really?  We do have the coronavirus, but people here are good at practicing social distancing and we smile at others while we try to maintain a safe distance staying at least 5 feet apart, especially since we just heard about the 54 new cases of coronavirus in Limerick, Ireland.  Grace is a real joker and she is the owner of my favorite Italian restaurant and she is keeping her place open, but only for small gatherings.  She placed a bucket on a table near the entrance, which she insists that everyone put their cell phones into, or otherwise they will not be served.

Written for the Daily Spur prompt – Owner, for Maggie’s Innovation Challenge – Number #2 Spaghetti? Really? and Number #3 A rock, a bucket or a broken watch, for March Writing Prompts – Eden prairie, for Ragtag Community – Clean, for Di’s Three Things Challenge prompt words – Smile Grace Joker, and for Word of the Day Challenge Prompt – Limerick.

What is it Good For?

Water is basically a simple molecule, consisting of just two hydrogen atoms attached to a single oxygen atom.  Water is transparent, nearly colorless containing a hint of blue, odorless, tasteless and extremely useful as we drink it, wash ourselves and our clothes with it, we cook with it, we swim in it and go boating and fishing on it.  This extraordinary substance and yet extremely vital resource is ubiquitous and it has shaped our history and human society.  Violent storms and floods can bring water in ferocious abundance causing floods that result in death and disease, and just as quickly drought and desertification can create crippling shortages that cause famine.

When water changes from a gas to liquid this is called condensation.  Evaporation occurs when a liquid object changes into a gas far below its boiling point.  There are always some particles in a liquid that have enough energy to break free from the rest to become a gas.  When ice is heated, it turns from its solid state into a liquid and when water is heated to its boiling point, water will turn into gas which is called steam.  Water, unlike any other solid-liquid, is denser in its liquid form than as a solid, which is why ice floats.

The properties of water make it suitable for organisms to survive in during differing weather conditions.  Ice freezes as it expands, which explains why ice is able to float on liquid water.  During the winter when lakes begin to freeze, the surface of the water freezes and then moves down toward deeper water, thus allowing people to ice skate on or fall through a frozen lake.  If ice was not able to float, the lake would freeze from the bottom up killing all ecosystems living in the lake.  Since ice floats, the fish are able to survive under the surface of the ice during the winter.  The surface of ice above a lake also shields lakes from the cold temperature outside and insulates the water beneath it, allowing the lake under the frozen ice to stay liquid and maintain a temperature adequate for the ecosystems living in the lake to survive.

Many people feel that water is just plain boring, because when you look at water, it is virtually colorless and it has no taste or smell, but this is far from the truth, as water is an extremely exciting substance.  Water consists of two much lighter hydrogen (H) atoms and one heavier atom of oxygen (O) and it has the chemical formula H2O.  This formula does not convey the shape of the molecule, and the shape is crucial to the unique properties of water. When the two hydrogen atoms bond with the oxygen, they attach to the top of the molecule, so rather than being a linear molecule (H-O-H), the molecule is bent into a ‘V’ shape, usually shown with the O at the vertex.  It is sometimes depicted looking a bit like Mickey Mouse.  This V-shape gives water some unique properties, such as a relatively high boiling point, high specific heat, cohesion, adhesion, density, capillary action and evaporative cooling.  Water molecules are constantly in motion, so this diagram is an exaggeration, but it is helpful to let you visualize the water molecule polarity.

Water molecules are called polar molecules, because they attract one another.  Each water molecule has a slight positive charge on one end and a slight negative charge on the other, so the attraction of the opposite charges, (electro-static charges) creates what is called surface tension, the weak attraction is called a hydrogen bond.  This molecular structure gives water a lopsided electrical charge that attracts other atoms.  The end of the molecule with the two hydrogen atoms is positively charged.  The other end, with the oxygen, is negatively charged.  Just like in a magnet, where north poles are attracted to south poles (opposites attract), the positive end of the water molecule will connect with the negative end of other molecules.

Water polarity is responsible for several important properties of water, including ‘High specific heat’ allowing water to resists changes in temperature, as it must absorb a large amount of heat energy to increase in temperature which is better understood by knowing that not all substances are able to warm up at the same rate, hence you will notice different temperatures between the sand and water when you walk on the beach.  Water also has a high heat of vaporization, which means that it can take a lot of heat without its temperature rising much.  This plays a huge part in the climate, because it means that oceans take a long time to warm up.

‘Cohesion’ which makes water molecules “stick” together and ‘Adhesion’ which allows water molecules “stick” to many other materials because of hydrogen bonds.  Adhesion and cohesion are water properties that affect every water molecule on Earth and also the interaction of water molecules with molecules of other substances.  These properties make water kind of sticky, so that it is able to clump together into drops.  Cohesion refers to the fact that water sticks to itself very easily. Adhesion means that water also sticks very well to other things, which is why it spreads out

Cohesion refers to the attraction of molecules for other molecules of the same kind, and water molecules have strong cohesive forces thanks to their ability to form hydrogen bonds with one another.  Cohesive forces are responsible for surface tension, the tendency of a liquid’s surface to resist rupture when placed under tension or stress.  The cohesion between water molecules is so strong that when they come in contact with another substance, such as air, the water molecules just below the air create a sticky surface skin, which is known as surface tension.  Cohesion creates surface tension which is why if you fill a spoon with water, drop by drop, the water volume will actually be bigger than the spoon’s surface before the water falls off.  Surface tension can also be seen if you fill a glass of water to the very top and then slowly add a few more drops, as before it overflows, the water forms a dome-like shape above the rim of the glass.

Water has a high surface tension and these bonds are so strong that they can support the weight of certain insects without sinking.  The molecules on the surface of the water are not surrounded by similar molecules on all sides, so they’re being pulled only by cohesion from other molecules deep inside.  These molecules cohere to each other strongly but adhere to the other medium weakly.  One example of this is the way that water beads up on waxy surfaces.  Surface tension makes these water drops round so they cover the smallest possible surface area.

Adhesion is the attraction of molecules of one kind for molecules of a different kind, and this adhesion property enables water to “climb” upwards through thin glass tubes (called capillary tubes) placed in a beaker of water.  This upward motion against gravity, known as capillary action, depends on the attraction between water molecules and the glass walls of the tube (adhesion), as well as on interactions between water molecules (cohesion).  The tendency of water molecules to stick to other molecules also allows water to dissolve substances, thus adhesive forces pull the water toward other molecules.  Plants will suck up water, because the water adheres to the inside of the plant’s tubes, but the surface tension attempts to flatten it out.  This makes the water rise and cohere to itself again, a process that continues until enough water builds up to make gravity begin pulling it back down.

We dipped our toes in to test the water and this captivating substance goes through stages of precipitation, evaporation, convection, condensation, it forms clouds, rain, snow, hail, fog, storms, vapor, moisture and rainbows.  The water cycle describes how water evaporates from the surface of the earth, rises into the atmosphere, cools and condenses into rain or snow in clouds, and falls again to the surface as precipitation.  Water is called a universal solvent because it dissolves more substances than any other liquid, and now this is all just water under the bridge.

Written for Ragtag Community – Water.

Femininity

She was afraid that her top would come undone, so she tested out her bathing suit under a torrent of water and to her surprise it held up.  She was not sure if she should embrace or conceal her feminine traits.  She loved the way her new bathing suit looked on her, but it was so revealing and she was basically a shy girl.  She wore it because it was in style, and girls all across the country started wearing bikinis.  She thought about wearing it as a mutiny against her parents, as her mom preferred her to wear more subdued clothing, which always made her feel as though her body was something to be ashamed of, and this caused her a lot of humiliation.  The suit would work out great for being in the water, but it did not hide an inch of her body, instead it exposed so much of her, all of those girly parts that she never wanted anyone to see.

She always heard people say that there was no need to have breasts any bigger than a mouthful, but at sixteen, she was still flat as a post.  The truth often hurts and she was tired of wearing A-cup size bras, but she knew there was no method available for her to flex her chest muscles to increase her breast size, as this could only be done by improving her posture, and pushing her breasts further forward to make them appear to be firmer and fuller.  She would never win a beauty pageant title and she was OK with that, but she had to get off this merry-go-round of hiding her body in public.

Written for Sheryl’s Daily Word Prompt – Mutiny, for the Daily Spur prompt – Post, for FOWC with Fandango – Top, for March Writing Prompts – The truth often hurts, for Ragtag Community – Afraid, for Reena’s Exploration Challenge #125 prompt – Women and womanhood, for Di’s Three Things Challenge prompt words – Flex Title Merry-Go-Round, for Sue Vincent’s Thursday photo prompt – Torrent and for Word of the Day Challenge Prompt – Country.

All Was Revealed

On the surface my memory was fine, although sometimes I did forget things.  To my chagrin, I lost count of how many carbohydrates I had consumed in those deli market delights and that raised my blood sugar, which in turn altered my perception.  The pastries were free, but I should not have consumed so many of them.  I saw this tulip and I suddenly had a profound understanding that it was not good to get mud in your eye, so you might call this an epiphany of sorts.

Written for Sheryl’s Daily Word Prompt – Chagrin, for the Daily Spur prompt – Count, for FOWC with Fandango – Epiphany, for February Writing Prompts – Deli market delights, for Ragtag Community – Perception, for Di’s Three Things Challenge prompt words – Tulip Free Mud, for GC and Sue W Weekly Prompt – Surface and for Word of the Day Challenge Prompt – Forget.

Pragmatic Panda

Rollee Pollee had an easy life, spending most of his time eating tender stems, shoots and leaves of bamboo and he was always well fed.  Rollee did not seem to mind being in a zoo instead of the bamboo forest where he was born.  He would always take a long nap after ever meal, but when he was awake, he was known to muddle around and he was not very tidy.  He was adroit at climbing, but he always moved at his own pace and it never seemed like he was making any progress.  Seeing a vulture land near his crib was very annoying, so he made a bleat sound like a goat to call attention to this potential problem.  It was getting close to mating season and that being only a few months long, he did not want to miss out on any of the action.

Written for Sheryl’s Daily Word Prompt – Adroit, for the Daily Spur prompt – Seeing, for FOWC with Fandango – Progress, for February Writing Prompts – The bamboo forest, for Ragtag Community – Annoying, for Di’s Three Things Challenge prompt words – Muddle Crib Tidy and for Word of the Day Challenge Prompt – Vulture.

Doubly Isolated

The life of a farmer is a difficult one, mixed with perpetual toil in good weather all through the busy season. and perpetual loneliness sets in when bad weather and winter comes along.  The work done by the farmer’s spouse is especially challenging, as she is condemned to a life of hard work from early morning to night, day after day, and year after year.  If a farmer leads an isolated life, the life which his wife leads is doubly isolated, as it is unfathomable how much time and effort is involved in running a farm.

The farmer’s wife is often frustrated and overwhelmed handling the paperwork and farm finances, running errands, researching new farming techniques, figuring out what they should plant and when it was time to harvest.  Raising the chickens and other livestock always seems to be the wife’s job and that is very time-consuming, and tiring.  Most times it is just easier for her to do the work herself, instead of getting into a debate of whose task it is.  It is despicable that the farmer always finds time to smoke his tobacco and strum his banjo, while his wife stays busy doing laundry and sewing, as a woman’s work is never done.  Somehow this does not seem fair!

The threat of droughts always has them praying for rain, floods have them praying it will stop, there are always weeds, and insect damage that they must contend with.  A farm is a wonderful environment to raise kids, as they learn proper work ethic and the values of hard work.  The day came when the kids left for college and the wife was waiting to sell all of the chickens, so they could have a long overdue celebration.  With the children gone and the work load being less, her husband said, “All I need is you, so tell me what you want.”  The farmer’s wife replied, “It would be nice to be pampered and I love eating chocolate.”

Written for Sheryl’s Daily Word Prompt – Isolated, for the Daily Spur prompt – Despicable, for FOWC with Fandango – Debate, for February Writing Prompts – All I need is you, for Ragtag Community – Waiting, for Di’s Three Things Challenge prompt words – Chocolate Isolated Spouse, for GC and Sue W Weekly Prompt – Celebration and for Word of the Day Challenge Prompt – Pampered.