Go You Chicken Fat – #JusJoJan 2023

Welcome to day twenty-nine of Just Jot It January for 2023. Today’s word is exercise.

When I saw the prompt, I wondered when I first heard the word exercise. In grade school we always had recess, but not really formal exercise classes.

I thought it might have been on either Romper Room or Captain Kangaroo I first heard the ‘Chicken Fat” song. That could easily be a skewed memory. Regardless, I still hear Robert Preston’s voice singing the “Chicken Fat” song with small children exercising to the song much like the following video. Leave me a comment if you remember this song.

Somewhere in the early sixties, we all became aware of The President’s Council on Physical Fitness. I seem to remember forms that explained all the exercises like pull-ups, push-ups, 50-yard dash, and others.

In later grade school years we always had a field day or two. It was a full day spent outside competing in races, broad jump, relays, etc. They awarded ribbons for first, second, and third place, but back in our day we did not all get ribbons just for participating.

Then somewhere along the way, isometric exercise became a thing. I have vague memories of it somehow being related to the Canadian military, but I don’t trust my memory on this one.

I remember going to the gym with my aunt when I was 13 or so. They had those vibrating exercise belts and the wooden roller bar machines, both of which you can see in the video below.

In high school we had organized Phys-ed classes. In our school we did so many different activities: Gymnastics, tumbling, archery, dance, swimming, basketball, track and field, and straight-up exercise.

I was also in the band and all summer we either practiced (which included duck-walking the football field when we messed up a routine) or competing in parades and competitions all over the east coast.

Meanwhile at home we had a machine similar to the flex-a-lounge you can see here near the bottom of the page. It wasn’t called that but I remember using it frequently. But honestly, most of the time we played flag football or badminton in the front or side yard.

With television and VCR came exercise videos and television programming. Everything from Jane Fonda to Susan Powter to Richard Simmons and Billy Blanks. I did them all!

Now most of my exercise is physical therapy or going to my local gym whenever my doctor allows it. My how things have changed!

Written as part of Linda Hill’s JusJoJan.

Prompt word today (exercise) submitted by Wendy from Wendy’s Waffle.


Amenities – #JusJoJan 2023

Welcome to day twenty-seven of Just Jot It January for 2023. Today’s word is amenities.

Welcome to our place of abode.

It is a comfy mid-century modern home with a wall of windows that look out into nature.

Our guests enjoy a bedroom with a queen-sized bed, comfy bedding, and an easy chair for quiet reading. A private bath is just outside your bedroom door.

We have an extensive library with titles sure to appeal to every reader. Don’t get tempted to take one home with you, though!

Winter visitors will have a view of the mountains through the winter-barren trees. Amenities include warm afghans in every room and a warm cup of tea or hot cocoa as desired. On really cold nights, you can enjoy a seat by the fire.

Spring and summer visitors will enjoy fresh herbs and vegetables from the garden, clean mountain air, and an opportunity for crisp early-morning walks. You might even experience a bear sighting or two!

Our concierge can provide you with maps of local hiking trails, perfect mountain vistas, and superb restaurants to satisfy any culinary palate.

We do have one caveat, however. If you are extended an invitation to our home we expect you to treat you like family. We want you to feel at home. We do not wait on family – If you want a snack or a beverage, you must feel free to help yourself.

Most of all, enjoy your stay with us!

Written as part of Linda Hill’s JusJoJan.

Prompt word today (amenities) submitted by Kim Smyth from Twisted Trunk Travels.


Scenes from a Family – #JusJoJan 2023

Welcome to day twenty-six of Just Jot It January for 2023. Today’s word is family.

Scenes from a family

Everyone reads in silence.
The only sound is the crackling fire where tiny sparks fly onto the hearth and turn to ash.
The old upright piano sits silently on a slightly warped wooden floor.
Granddaddy’s handmade rockers fill the room. I choose the one with the rockers that make me fearful I will tip over backwards.
I never do.

My grandmother sits in the red leather recliner.
Her dress reveals the edge of her stockings rolled at the base of her knee.
An old pie tin rests crooked on her apron-covered lap.
She pares the apple, the peel in one long red ribbon that never breaks.
We sit around her feet, each waiting for our slice.

Mom and Dad laugh and show us how beatniks dance.
Dad changes the album.
Chubby Checker’s voice emanates from the small blue record player.
We all do the Peppermint Twist.
Round and Round and Up and Down

My brother and I squat on the dusty gravel lot.
Cardboard from an old Mallo Cup wrapper makes a great road.
Little metal cars with bent axles
Navigate the bumpy twists and turns.
There are miles and miles yet to go.

Written as part of Linda Hill’s JusJoJan.

Prompt word today (family) submitted by J-Dub from J-Dub’s Grin and Bear It.


What are Ideals? – #JusJoJan 2023

Welcome to day twenty-four of Just Jot It January for 2023. Today’s word is ideal.

I was not sure how I would address the word for today’s writing. I had a cute kitschy poem bouncing around in my head, but I could not get it to gel.

I thought I could write about all the things that were not ideal in my life or those that were. I was uninspired.

If all else fails, look up the dictionary definition! The definitions center around perfection or our idea of perfection. Still not inspired.

This made me realize I did not use the word often. It certainly is not a go-to word for me (and I do have quite a few of those!) That thought did inspire me to head to my WordPress dashboard and see how many times I used that word.

Well, folks, this blog is five years old (I have been blogging for 10+). In those five years I used the word ‘ideal’ only 17 times. Most of those uses were just as Webster had predicted — some idea of perfection.

There was one interesting paragraph I would like to share.

“This past week was my mother’s birthday. I spent the day relaxing in the quiet and just remembering. I have been missing the strong wise women in my life. Thinking back to a post I wrote earlier in the week they are a huge part of my ideological construct. They are the voice that helps truth ring through when the world would have me believe something different.”

That paragraph begs the question: Who helped formulate your ideological construct?

Have you ever searched your blog to see how often you use certain words or phrases?

Written as part of Linda Hill’s JusJoJan.

Prompt word today (ideal) submitted by Astrid from A Multitude of Musings.