Nurturing Thursday 51

It’s the start of another glorious day, here on the Isle of Wight and it’s going to be a busy one ~ clearing up after our recent building work, so that I can post pictures of what we’ve had done. But before I roll up my sleeves and get stuck in, I’m waking up gently, with a large mug of coconut oil coffee:

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Mmmmm…..

I’ve just read a wonderful post by author Brenda Marroy, on her blog Streams of Consciousness. Entitled ‘Kindness is my Religion’, it echoes my own beliefs so eloquently and is perfect for Nurturing Thursday. I can’t improve on Brenda’s wise words ~ you read them for yourself here.

‘Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible’ Dalai Lama XIV

With grateful thanks to Becca Givens, author of the inspiring blog ‘On Dragonfly Wings with Buttercup Tea’, for hosting The ‘Nurturing Thursday’ movement. To read more about it, or to find out how you can join in, (the more, the merrier!) please press this link.

Other regular ‘Nurturing’ contributors are:

Crowing Crone Joss

Inside the Mind of Isadora

Laurie’s Notes

Pocket Perspectives

Nurturing Thursday 50

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This quote was recently shared on Facebook by The Chopra Center. I think its an excellent philosophy, so I’m passing it on!
:)

With grateful thanks to Becca Givens, author of the inspiring blog ‘On Dragonfly Wings with Buttercup Tea’, for hosting The ‘Nurturing Thursday’ movement. To read more about it, or to find out how you can join in, (the more, the merrier!) please press this link.

Other regular ‘Nurturing’ contributors are:

Crowing Crone Joss

Inside the Mind of Isadora

Laurie’s Notes

Pocket Perspectives

Glazing Over? Not Quite!

I’d hoped to be revealing our exciting renovation project today. But there’s been an irritating hold~up.

On Friday morning, expecting to have some double~glazing installed, we were raring to go by 8.30. When the clock struck eleven and there was still no sign of them, we called the company ~ to be told we weren’t booked in until after mid~day. News to me ~ it’s a straightforward job and I’d definitely asked for it to be carried out as early as possible, because another workman was on standby to finish off the carpentry.

Ten minutes later the van pulled up outside.
‘Come to fit your door, mate’ said the Cheeky Chappie in charge, to The Artist.
‘And a window…..’
‘Window?’ Puzzled frown.
Hmmm…not a great start.

While CC went off to track down the missing unit, the other two members of his team set about installing the door ~ or rather one of them did, while the other settled on a sunlit patch of decking, sipping coffee and arranging his social life on his mobile. Maybe I’m being overly judgemental here ~ what do I know about fitting doors?

After a disproportionate length time, given that the factory is only about five miles from our home, CC returned with the goods. Looking flustered, he stood muttering with his colleagues, fuelling my suspicions that all was not as it should be.

It may be a widely observed tradition, but The Artist does not believe in plying contractors with refreshments ~ in his opinion they’re getting paid to work, not to sit around swigging tea and dunking biscuits. (Or playing with their phones, for that matter!) But figuring that another shot of caffeine might speed things up I filled the kettle, asking them to gather up their cups for a re~fill.

‘I’ve been a naughty boy,’ CC confessed, holding up a mug minus handle ….and the handle. ‘I’m sooooo sorry I broke it, I’ll buy you another.’
In spite of my mounting disquiet, his hang~dog expression made me laugh. ‘You’re lucky it isn’t a Harley Davidson one ~ you’d have to travel to the mainland to replace that. And I’d much rather you stayed here and got on with this job.’

When I carried out the drinks (in cheap pottery mugs), they’d removed the old window and were offering up the new one. It fitted fine…. widthways. But there was a gap of at least three inches at the top, (don’t ask me to convert that into millimetres ~ I’m old school when it comes to quantities.)

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It’s this much.

‘Surely that can’t be right?’ I asked, fully expecting to be patronised and told not to worry my ‘pretty little head’ about it, that it would be fine by the time they’d finished.
‘No.’
‘Oh.’
‘Yeah, whoever calculated this must have used his elastic tape~measure ~ but to be fair, I’m just as bad, I checked it and I got it wrong too!’

?

When I enquired if the problem would definitely be resolved before the end of the day, CC looked at his watch and assured me that it could still be be managed, as long as the boss arrived soon to make a decision.

But the team didn’t stick around to wait for him ~ after tying the frame to the gap with a couple of metal struts they snuck off, while I was upstairs. Unaware of the situation, Martin thanked them as he waved them goodbye!

Isle of Wight miles are longer than those on the mainland ~ visitors are always surprised by how long it takes to travel what look like short distances on the map. But even accounting for Friday afternoon traffic, we were expecting the main man to arrive at any moment.

It took him three days ~ clearly IOW time is elongated too. ;)

He turned up yesterday afternoon ~ apologising for the mis~calculation and the poor communication and offering an adjustment on the bill, as a ‘good will gesture’. He measured up again, saying that the guys will be back later today, with a new window ~ hopefully one that fits. (Although he did check whether I’d be at home tomorrow……and the next day ‘just in case’…..)

They haven’t arrived yet, but I’m ready ~ with lowered expectations, to avoid further disappointment. If it all goes ahead smoothly, that will be a bonus. But we’re not writing the cheque until we’re entirely happy.

So, sadly, no ‘Tah~Dah!’ moment just yet. But ~ when it eventually happens ~ I’m sure it will be worth it.
:)

Nurturing Thursday 49

we must bring
our own light
to the
darkness.

nobody is going
to do it
for us.

Charles Bukowski

Whilst looking for a suitable intro to this week’s ‘Nurturing Thursday’ post, I came across the above quote, which fits perfectly ~ both philosophically and literally.

When we viewed this house it was painted ice white throughout ~ clean but clinical. To remedy this, I chose warm terracotta and raspberry tones for the open~plan living/dining area. Even though a friend declared it a ‘courageous’ colour choice, we loved it so much that we’ve lived with it for nearly a decade.

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We moved the furniture round recently ~ and noticed that the walls were way overdue for a make~over. So yesterday we flashed our Diamond Club discount card at B+Q, (one of the many advantages of growing older) choosing Dutch Gold 3 for the chimney breasts and Dutch Gold 5 for the walls.

I didn’t peek until The Artist had finished:

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Stunning! I hadn’t noticed how dark the room used to be; how ‘warm and cosy’ had morphed into ‘dismal and depressing’ over time. Now it’s bursting with fresh energy ~ even the Secret Courtyard appears more vibrant, now it’s no longer competing against the dingy orange walls that once framed it:

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Our re~vamped living space is bright and uplifting, if a little untidy ~ but that can be easily remedied. And there’s half a tin of paint left over, so we can follow Bukowski’s advice and bring light to other dark corners too!
:)

With grateful thanks to Becca Givens, author of the inspiring blog ‘On Dragonfly Wings with Buttercup Tea’, for hosting The ‘Nurturing Thursday’ movement. To read more about it, or to find out how you can join in, (the more, the merrier!) please press this link.

Other regular ‘Nurturing’ contributors are:

Crowing Crone Joss

Inside the Mind of Isadora

Laurie’s Notes

Pocket Perspectives

Having Fun with Photos

Until now The Artist has manipulated my images for me ~ he has the Digital Art qualification and the iMac, after all!

But it’s not always convenient for him to drop what he’s doing to add some text to one of my snapshots, or combine elements of three separate photographs to create the effect I’m aiming for. When I get an idea which requires photo~editing it’s frustrating that I can’t just get on with it myself ~ but there’s no way I’m touching his computer when he’s not around. So I wait patiently, hoping that the ‘moment’ doesn’t pass.

Then on Saturday my blog buddy, Lord David Prosser, posted some photos which he’d edited to look like sketches. He’d used an app called Pho.to Lab, which I downloaded onto my iPad ~ and started ‘playing’ straight away:

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‘crayon’

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‘pastel’

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‘under water’ with added text.

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‘bubbles in the air’ (me surrounded by my grandchildren and the dog)
And finally….

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‘magic valley’ (amazing frames)

Compared with Martin’s amazing digital artwork, this is pretty juvenile, I know. But I’m having so much fun that I don’t care!

(((Hugs))) and thank you for the heads~up Lord David
:)

Nurturing Thursday 48

We’re in the throes of some exciting renovation work at the moment, (I’ll reveal what and why in due course. :)) Over the past few weeks, my Kitchen Courtyard has become less a haven of tranquility, more of a building site:

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With ‘men at work’ in my garden, the pots and raised beds are increasingly hard to reach, so ~ apart from regular watering and the odd sprinkling of Epsom salts ~ my plants have been pretty much left to their own devices. And It doesn’t seem to have done them any harm:

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In fact, despite dust and disruption they are positively thriving, as you can see:

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One again Mother Nature has it covered ~ like she did with our plum trees and the young family of blackbirds. who nested in our ivy.

All I have to do is lend her a hand and be patient, then sit back amongst the rubble and (literally) enjoy the fruits of her labours:

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Home~grown Summer berry smoothie, mmmmmm, divine ~ and Nurturing on so many levels. Cheers!
:)

With grateful thanks to Becca Givens, author of the inspiring blog ‘On Stunning! I hadn’t noticed how dark the room used to be; how ‘warm and cosy’ had morphed into ‘dismal and depressing’ over time. Wings with Buttercup Tea’, for hosting The ‘Nurturing Thursday’ movement. To read more about it, or to find out how you can join in, (the more, the merrier!) please press this link.

Other regular ‘Nurturing’ contributors are:

Crowing Crone Joss

Inside the Mind of Isadora

Laurie’s Notes

Pocket Perspectives

Nurturing Thursday 47

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I’m posting this to myself.

Now that I’m retired and free from external pressures, I’ve noticed that I’m my harshest critic ~ becoming disillusioned when I can’t meet my self~imposed ‘concept of perfection’.

I’m guessing I’m not the only one beating myself up for not doing something I haven’t not done yet! ;)

This is not a very nurturing habit. So, from now on, I’m breaking my own rules and being perfectly happy with the way that I am.

And, d’you know what?

Everything that has to be done always gets done!
:)

With grateful thanks to Becca Givens, author of the inspiring blog ‘On Dragonfly Wings with Buttercup Tea’, for hosting The ‘Nurturing Thursday’ movement. To read more about it, or to find out how you can join in, (the more, the merrier!) please press this link.

Other regular ‘Nurturing’ contributors are:

Crowing Crone Joss

Inside the Mind of Isadora

Laurie’s Notes

Pocket Perspectives

Nurturing Thursday 46

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This message appeared on my Facebook newsfeed three times on Tuesday morning, each post in slightly different format and shared by friends with no connection to each other, (except me, obviously!)

So I’m reflecting on this. And I thought I’d pass it on!
:)

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With grateful thanks to Becca Givens, author of the inspiring blog ‘On Dragonfly Wings with Buttercup Tea’, for hosting The ‘Nurturing Thursday’ movement. To read more about it, or to find out how you can join in, (the more, the merrier!) please press this link.

Other regular ‘Nurturing’ contributors are:

Crowing Crone Joss

Inside the Mind of Isadora

Laurie’s Notes

Pocket Perspectives

Up…..and down….and Away!

Our babies have left home:

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The nest looks big and empty and it’s so quiet round here now, without them.

But, fascinating though it was observing wildlife close at hand, it became quite stressful too ~ particularly for Indie. Whenever she was allowed into the courtyard, (and sometimes when she wasn’t!) she stationed herself on watch beneath the nest.

It was amazing how quickly the adult pair adapted to her presence. With complete faith in their own ability, they swooped out within inches of her head. Loaded with grubs, they’d sneak back home via a plum tree at the rear. When she became too inquisitive, they’d bob along the top of a nearby arch, cheeping impatiently until I shooed the pesky mutt inside.

When we first discovered that a Blackbird Family had moved into the ivy on our fence, we could only hear the hatchlings chirping from the depths of their twiggy crib. A few days later three hungry beaks poked up over the rim, like their nursery~rhyme namesakes~in~a~pie, crying ‘Feed me NOW!’

On Wednesday morning, while Mum and Dad were out worm~hunting, I took a sneaky peek and it was shocking. In just over a week the delicate chicks had grown enormous Their combined weight had tipped the nest forward, so I could see them clearly, squabbling for space like cranky teenagers, ever hungry for more food. And there was I worrying that they’d be too traumatised by Indie’s avid interest to survive!

By that afternoon Mama Bird had clearly had enough. Deciding that it was time the kids moved out, she landed on the arch, a tempting morsel dangling from her beak and called, ‘Dinner’s ready, come and get it!’ But the lazy teens refused to budge out of their comfort zone ~ and they were never going to with eager canine eyes fixed on their every move. So I dragged Indie away from ‘Fledgling Watch’, keeping her indoors with us, to allow them privacy.

That must have done the trick. When I looked again the following morning only one fat chick remained nest~bound. And, as soon as it spotted my giant face peering at it through the ivy, it launched itself from the furthest edge, onto the ground beyond the fence:

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I hurried though the gate to offer a helping hand but Mother Nature had it covered. The parents landed on the porch roof and pattered back and forth, keeping lookout and cooing encouragement. ‘C’mon buddy, you can do this. Spread your wings and fly….we’re birds, that’s what we do!’

So I left them to it.

When I checked back later, junior had taken flight and Papa Bird was wheeling up above, as if in victory:

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And that’s the last we saw of them.

Now Indie can reclaim her favourite spot for basking in the sun:

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And we can all relax.
:)