Nurturing Thursday 66

In these sophisticated days of electronic wizardry, it’s hard to imagine/remember life before the advent of satellite technology: no internet, emails, mobile phones, FaceTime or Skype.

Recently I was discussing with a friend how I kept in touch with my mother, when I moved away from home in the early seventies. In those days I didn’t even have a landline. To hear her voice I had to walk half a mile to the nearest public telephone ~ which devoured coins at an alarming rate during the daytime. Calls were cheaper in the evening ~ but by then my pre~schooler and baby were tucked up in bed, their sailor father often at sea or on duty.

Mum and I stayed in contact by exchanging regular letters ~ which she expected to be ‘newsy and interesting’. I loved receiving hers ~ scanning them quickly as soon as they arrived, re~reading them later when the children were asleep, and again whenever I felt in need of a hug. And, as I went about my day, I’d make a mental list of things to tell her when I replied. Looking back I can appreciate how these tangible expressions of love nurtured our connection, even though we only met up twice a year.

A few days ago , on her blog Streams of Consciousness, author Brenda Marroy invited her readers to take part in her ‘Heart Medicine’ project. Here’s how she explains it:

In September, 2013, I developed a project I called Heart Medicine. I bought thirty all-purpose, inexpensive greeting cards and every morning during the month I addressed a card to someone I was thinking about. Each of the thirty cards went to a different person and each card had a hand-written personal note from me.

The purpose of the note was to let the person know how special he/she was. If I wasn’t thinking of anyone in particular, I would sit quietly, take a couple of deep breaths, and ask Spirit to please let me know who needed to be remembered.

The results from doing this project were:

I received many cards, phone calls, emails, and messages on Facebook from the recipients of the cards. The messages were all pretty much the same. They were, “Thank you for thinking of me. You made my day.” “I needed to hear what you had to say about me.” ” I did not know I was that special to anyone.”
People’s hearts gladdened by receiving a personal hand-written note. In this age of texting, emails, and all the other impersonal ways we use to communicate, a hand-written note is appreciated.
I felt joy knowing the project helped to gladden people’s’ heart. It truly was medicine for the heart
Upon receiving my impromptu card, many went out and bought a card and sent it to someone they were thinking about.
I am going to repeat this project in 2015 along with the “You Matter Because” project. If you have not yet seen this campaign please check out you matter on internet. It is a worthwhile project and I can only imagine what could happen if we all got involved in sending out these cards. (The “you matter because” cards can be printed for free. )

I am putting out a challenge to my readers to pick one or both of the above projects for 2015. See what happens when you begin to send out heartfelt personal messages to people who are not expecting them. If you need more information on the Heart Medicine project, feel free to contact me.

Remembering my excitement when an envelope bearing that familiar handwriting arrived, I’ve decided to take up Brenda’s challenge in the New Year. I already have a bunch of pretty notecards ~ I knew I was buying them for a good reason, not just because they were ‘two for one’!
:)

Nurturing Thursday is hosted by Becca Givens, author of the inspiring blog ‘On Dragonfly Wings with Buttercup Tea.’ To read more about it, or to find out how you can join in, press this link.

Other ‘Nurturing’ contributors are:

Crowing Crone Joss

Inside the Mind of Isadora

Laurie’s Notes

Pocket Perspectives

Mazeepuran

Tea and Paper

Meg Evans

Bowl of Cherries

Hugmamma

Nurturing Thursday 65

Last month I became entitled to the State Retirement Pension, which I had contributed towards throughout my working life. I also received a concessionary pass, which allows me free bus travel ~ anywhere in the country ~ after 9.30 a.m.

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I’m actually quite pleased with this photo ~ if you could see my passport and driving licence you’d understand why! ;)

I’ve already ‘nipped’ into town, without having to worry about the traffic or finding somewhere to park. And the over~heard conversations of other passengers are intriguing. Great short~story material!

Now that I no longer have to work, I’ve been able to take part in some daytime activities such as ‘Singabout’ classes and a ‘coffee and cake’ afternoon. I’ve also joined a local branch of the Womens Institute ~ where the retiring president is an incredible eighty~five years old.
‘We need young people like you,’ she told me at my first meeting ~ a double boost to my morale, from a lady with more creative energy than many people half her age!

In a couple of hours I’m being picked up and taken to Christmas Lunch at a posh hotel on the seafront. So I must don my glad rags, slap on some lippy and make sure that I have enough cash to treat myself to whatever takes my fancy.

I’m looking forward to an interesting afternoon, having fun getting to know other W.I. members and nurturing new friendships within this active group of women.

I’m happy to report that you’re wrong, Mick Jagger ~ from my experience, so far anyway, getting old is not a drag at all!
:)

Nurturing Thursday is hosted by Becca Givens, author of the inspiring blog ‘On Dragonfly Wings with Buttercup Tea.’ To read more about it, or to find out how you can join in, press this link.

Other ‘Nurturing’ contributors are:

Crowing Crone Joss

Inside the Mind of Isadora

Laurie’s Notes

Pocket Perspectives

Mazeepuran

Tea and Paper

Meg Evans

Bowl of Cherries

Hugmamma

Nurturing Thursday 64

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(Shared on Facebook by The Mind Unleashed)

This morning I have woken up suffering from a very nasty cold. So, whilst I crawl back under the duvet and nurture myself, I leave you with the above thought.

Have fun! :)

Nurturing Thursday is hosted by Becca Givens, author of the inspiring blog ‘On Dragonfly Wings with Buttercup Tea.’ To read more about it, or to find out how you can join in, press this link.

Other ‘Nurturing’ contributors are:

Crowing Crone Joss

Inside the Mind of Isadora

Laurie’s Notes

Pocket Perspectives

Mazeepuran

Tea and Paper

Meg Evans

Bowl of Cherries

Hugmamma

11.11 Why I Choose to Wear a White Poppy

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Earlier this year I wrote about taking part in the Global Peace Meditation, along with over 100,000 other people on~line. When he read it, Lord David Prosser asked me if I would write a ‘peace piece’ for his blog The Buthidars.

It’s been a while now since David’s request and ~ although I’ve made several false starts ~ I haven’t quite managed to get it together, until now. He wondered why I became a pacifist at an early age and that question immediately brought up memories of my stepfather. A ‘gentle giant’ in every sense of the word, who instilled in my young mind a healthy respect for all living creatures.

As a veterinary surgeon in the Ministry of Agriculture, his was a reserved occupation ~ he carried out vital work on the Home Front during Second World War. But three of his brothers enlisted in the army and ~ although, thankfully, none of them were killed or injured ~ he expressed deep sadness that they’d had to put their lives on the line in the first place.

As I was growing up he would read me a few verses of poetry, in lieu of a bed~time story ~ discussing and explaining what they meant. (Might sound boring but I loved it!)

I particularly remember a couple of the poems we studied together. The first is Longfellow’s ‘Song of Hiawatha’ ~ about a Native American hero, whose arrival was prophesied by a ‘mighty’ peace~bringing leader.

The second is ‘The Charge of the Light Brigade’, by Tennyson, in which ~ due to miscommunication in the chain of command ~ 600 British light cavalrymen were sent:
into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell’

with very few of them returning.

Theirs not to reason why, theirs but to do and die‘.

(from the poem, ‘The Charge of the Light Brigade’ by Alfred Lord Tennyson, 1854)

With the help of these comparisons my Dad taught me to love and honour nature ~ and to question the rationale for conflict. He also explained the concept of conscientious objection in sympathetic terms, fostering an embryonic pacifist conviction in me.

My first husband was a medic in the Royal Navy and in 1982 the ship he was serving on was engaged in a short but very dirty conflict, in the South Atlantic. Many of our friends were also part of that British Naval Task Force and although everyone I knew returned safely to joyous welcome parties, it was only later that the full extent of their trauma became evident.

This was a terrible time, made worse for the families at home by the on~board presence of the media, who reported back in gory and graphic detail. The experience brought home to me ~ quite literally ~ that It’s not just members of the armed forces who fall under the shadow of war. Wives, children, parents and siblings suffer as well.

Ordinary people are caught in the crossfire ~ of the three civilian women accidentally killed by British forces ‘liberating’ the Falklands Islands, one had attended my secondary school in Wales. Although she was a couple of years ahead of me, I knew her ~ she was the only daughter of our local greengrocer. I was shocked to the core by the ironic and senseless waste of her young life and it reinforced my belief that warfare is savage and immoral.

It is now a hundred years on from the start of the ‘war to end all wars’ ~ that worked out well didn’t it? Still ~ ever the optimist ~ I’ll continue to hold out hope for World Peace, for as long as I live.

Which is why ~ on this anniversary of Armistice Day 1918 ~ I’m choosing to wear a white ‘peace’ poppy. As a mark of respect to the millions of victims of senseless war ~ and in loving memory of the wise man who taught me to think for myself.

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Nurturing Thursday 63

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Last week I wrote that I’ve recently joined a ‘singing for well~being’ class. So when this quote was shared by the pop duo Karmin on Facebook, it really resonated with me.

On Tuesday afternoon I attended my fourth session and ~ now that I’m losing my self~consciousness ~ I’m beginning to notice the positive effects.

This morning I awoke with one of the wartime favourites in our repertoire going round in my head and this warm~up ditty on the tip of my tongue:
‘My dog can do the can~can better than my cat can but my goldfish finds it difficult!’
(Or words to that effect. sung to the tune of the Can~Can, seated and with appropriate foot movements.)

The leader, Sandy, also runs classes in the local hospital, for people with breathing difficulties and in a couple of weeks time we are going to make a DVD of the exercises she teaches ~ plus a few songs ~ to be given to them, so they can practice at home. There is also an upcoming opportunity for us to sing carols at a local Supermarket, to publicise Breathe Easy, the British Lung Foundation’s support network ~ a cause that I’m interested in, as both my son and grandson suffer from asthma.

I can vouch that the above message is absolutely true. But don’t take my word for it ~ give it a go. You don’t have to join a choir or attend classes; you don’t even have to have a good singing voice, (I’m no Prima Donna, trust me!)

Simply load up your favourite music, open your mouth and let rip. Go on, you know you wanna!
:)

Nurturing Thursday is hosted by Becca Givens, author of the inspiring blog ‘On Dragonfly Wings with Buttercup Tea.’ To read more about it, or to find out how you can join in, press this link.

Other ‘Nurturing’ contributors are:

Crowing Crone Joss

Inside the Mind of Isadora

Laurie’s Notes

Pocket Perspectives

Mazeepuran

Tea and Paper

Meg Evans

Bowl of Cherries

Hugmamma

Wightrabbit Luck

A few days ago The Artist and I took Indie out to the West Wight. Although it’s only a few miles from the Island’s main town, the terrain is rugged and wild, with little habitation and tons of new smells for an excited terrier to investigate.

As we pulled into the remotest car park, I noticed this:

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I thought it looked like a cat, who’d strayed too far from home and was probably lost. My practical husband insisted that I had an over~active imagination and that it was simply an abandoned plastic bag.

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Although he didn’t think we stood a ‘cat in hell’s chance’ of rescuing whatever the mystery object might be, Mr Cynic slid out of the car and crept towards it. When he was close enough he took this snap on his phone:

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It was a rabbit!

When Martin took one step too close for comfort, the animal darted off into the undergrowth. But as soon as he backed off, it hopped casually back into view and resumed it’s interrupted brunch, oblivious of the fact that it was clearly visible to any predator:

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Now it’s a common British superstition to say, ‘rabbits, rabbits, white rabbits’ or variations thereof, on the first day of every month. Apparently it brings good luck.

So, as it’s the first of November, let me be the first (and quite probably the only person ever) to wish you:

‘Rabbits, rabbits, Wight white rabbits! From Wightrabbit!’
;)
p.s. ‘Wightrabbit’ is the pseudonym I chose when I first started blogging.

Mixed Messages and Drunken Sailors

I’ve been having some trouble with my email.

I suspect it has something to do with updating this iPad to the latest Apple Operating System. For a while my shopping lists and the content of old messages appeared as the subject matter of new ones (??) Then, before my very eyes, they all blinked out of existence. Pft! just like that.

It wasn’t broke ’til they fixed it. :(

Although I’ve given it my best shot, I may not have been successful in answering my readers’ lovely comments ~ or commenting on other blogs myself. Which is sad, because I enjoy being part of this thriving on~line community and I appreciate every word of encouragement I receive. So please bear with me until the techno~gremlins get over their hissy fit. :)

On a lighter note, it’s the start of yet another month and I’ve promised’ Susan Jane Jones a contribution to her ‘Giggle Blog’ series. Apparently I inspired her to create it in the first place, because I commented (those were the days) that her good natured posts make me laugh! :)

So here goes:

I’ve recently joined a local group called ‘Singabout’, the membership of which includes several people in their seventies and eighties ~ some with age~related illnesses and conditions, accompanied by their carers. We sing a wide range of music, play percussion instruments and we even have our own banjo band. It’s a hoot ~ when I’m there I feel as if I’m back at school!

On my first week the leader, Sandy, asked what we’d like to sing and the little old lady next to me requested ‘the one with the trollops, please.’
‘”What Shall We Do With The Drunken Sailor”?’ said Sandy, ‘that’s a good one, Millie, we can sing all the different parts.’
Turning to me she said, ‘I know you’re new and I promised you wouldn’t have to do anything complicated ~ but how do you fancy being a trollop?’
‘I don’t know,’ I replied, laughing, ‘I’ve never been asked that before.’
Beside me Millie piped up:
‘Well you have to start somewhere, dear!’

That’s me put firmly in my place, LOL!

trollop noun ~ a disreputable girl or woman.

Kaboodle Doodle No. 4

Today, as promised, I’m going to show you some actual doodles!

Drawing is not my favourite art form ~ as you can see, it doesn’t come naturally to me:

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But I am working on developing the skill, with practical advice from The Artist:

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Here are some of the exercises he suggested, to help me draw basic shapes:

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And straight lines:

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Oh dear ~ epic fail! I’d better do that one again, (and again…..and again!) :(

Martin’s input has definitely helped me to improve, though:

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And I’m satisfied with my progress so far.

My next challenge will be to sketch more complex subject matter ~ I’ll let you know how that works out!
:)

Nurturing Thursday 62

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The Chopra Center

I’ve recently been made redundant, diagnosed with a chronic illness and currently have very little income.

Life may not be a bed of roses ~ but I have woken to another glorious day, filled with endless possibility and I know for certain that I am dearly loved.

I can’t think of a single ‘thing’ that I could buy, which would make me happier. I am truly ‘rich beyond my wildest dreams’!

How cool is that?

:)

Nurturing Thursday is hosted by Becca Givens, author of the inspiring blog ‘On Dragonfly Wings with Buttercup Tea.’ To read more about it, or to find out how you can join in, press this link.

Other ‘Nurturing’ contributors are:

Crowing Crone Joss

Inside the Mind of Isadora

Laurie’s Notes

Pocket Perspectives

Mazeepuran

Tea and Paper

Meg Evans

Bowl of Cherries

Hugmamma

Kaboodle Doodle Number Three

Until I saw what could be done with them on Pinterest, I’d never even heard of ‘Sharpie’ pens. Old hippie that I am, I was particularly attracted to the idea of using them to tie~dye some old T~shirts.

The instructions required the use of ‘rubbing alcohol’, which I was unable to source on the Island. So I substituted surgical spirit ~ the lovely lady in the chemist’s shop assured me it was almost the same, except with added camphor.

Rather than tackling an entire garment straight away, I decided to test it out on a small square of ‘waste’ material, (why follow the tried and tested methods when you can make up a totally new one?)

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Surprisingly (or maybe not) it didn’t turn out the way that I expected. But I liked the effect so much ~ particularly in reverse ~ that I pasted it into my journal anyway.

Then I used them on paper:

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front

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back
And, no. I never did get around to tie~dyeing those well worn T’s! ;)

Once I’d discovered that ‘Scratchies’ would be a more accurate name than ‘Sharpies’, I began to investigate other brands of alcohol ink markers. Before long I’d acquired quite a collection:

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I didn’t really get the hang of them until I’d watched some YouTube videos ~ a rich vein of inspiration, handy hints and tips. I still haven’t used them ‘properly’ ~ but here are some early attempts at blending:

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And this is a very simple picture that I doodled:

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~ unable to decide which side I prefer, I stuck it in my Art Journal with masking tape, so that it can be flipped over:

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That’s all for now, folks! Next time I plan to show how my sketching practice is progressing, so I’m off to sharpen my pencils (and tidy up those markers.)

:)