Boot Straps & Brass Tacks

I’m getting a strong sense that it’s time for the tough (me?) to get going, to pull oneself up by the boot straps and get down to brass tacks. Time to get back on the front lines and keep going. Time to clean up this joint (house/studio) and back to the business of making art and living life. To both, follow the examples set for me and to be an example for those coming up, after me.

My mom was a strong believer in old sayings and recognized their significance. She often referred to them and passed them on. Both my mom and dad would be telling us now, ” don’t give up, keep going.” Their generation truly was the “great generation!” I miss them. I miss their encouragement.

I like to research these oldies but goodies, interesting & remarkably, they hold true:

Get down to brass tacks – Deal with basic realities, hard facts or details of immediate practical importance.

The origin perhaps refers to fabric shops a strip of metal, a yard in length, is ofter set along the edge of the corner so that material can easily be measured. An alternative to this used to be and sometimes still is, two brass nails set a certain distance apart. After a customer had selected a fabric, the sales assistant would suggest getting down to the brass tacks to work out the practical details of measurement and price.

Boot Straps –Improve your situation by your own efforts.

The origin of this descriptive phrase isn’t known. It refers of course to boots and their straps (laces) and to the imagined feat of a lifting oneself off the ground by pulling on one’s bootstraps. This impossible task is supposed to exemplify the achievement in getting out of a difficult situation by one’s own efforts.

The past few months have been tough going.

When the going gets tough, the tough get going. – When a situation is difficult or dangerous, strong people work harder to resolve the problem. This saying relies on a difficult play on words; it could be rephrased word-for-word as: “When the situation becomes hard, strong people start working.”

Origin, this saying is attributed both to Joseph P. Kennedy (1888-1969), father of the USA President John F. Kennedy, and to Norwegian-born American football player and coach Knute Rockne (1888-1931).

The Armor of God – “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God,…   Eph. 6:10-11

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5 thoughts on “Boot Straps & Brass Tacks

  1. well, you can only get to this point when you are ready…and it sounds like you are! Happy day after your birthday.

    1. Yes, that’s true. And I think, in my mind at least, I’m ready, now trying to get my body to follow will be a good trick. Life can be tough , eh. Thank you Suz

  2. Little did I know how much suffering was going to take place by others that I know personally and others (as you) I know virtually since my own husband passed away Nov. 1st. Your comments and kindness gave me strength then as my close friends. Now, in looking back it has been six months and depending on my perspecitve any given day it either seems like so long ago and other days like it was yesterday. I have begun to create again, I have returned to the 9 to 5 job as well and it has gotten easier weekly. You are sensative and you can feel when the time is right, so trust YOU. I love your “old sayings” research. I am a firm believer in the truth of “old sayings!”

  3. Really enjoyed reading this. My mother (lost her to cancer in 2006) used a lot of these old sayings too. They were a generation that truly did “pull itself up by the boot straps”.

    Thanks for the look back. I pray you gain strength each day.

  4. LOVE the posture of this brave boy. Determination is his clear body language. I love your art, love love love it. Love the details you include and the perspective you bring. Keep on keeping on, as MY mother used to say!

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