Nurturing Thursday 39

Several years ago my neighbour presented me with what looked like three dead twigs. He told me they came from a plum tree and showed me how to root them with hormone powder. Securing a clear plastic bag over their pot, I stood them in a sheltered corner and forgot all about them.

Two ‘took’ and I transferred them to larger pots, then ~ when we were landscaping the front garden ~ planted one either end of a raised bed. There they thrived, despite our fickle climate ~ but they never came into bud.

One year I noticed that the foliage was gradually disappearing ~ each morning there were fewer leaves. Wondering if they were being attacked by a parasite, I read up about plum trees ~ but nothing seemed to fit the symptoms. I even went out at night with a torch, to see if I could identify the pest before it destroyed the plants. Eventually I took some half~eaten leaves to the garden centre, to see if they could shed some light on the mystery muncher.

‘Pigeons!’ Declared the owner, emphatically. Well, I’d never have thought of that ~ there are several pairs nesting nearby but I’d discounted them as culprits because I thought they were too fat for the slender young branches to support.

I strung a line of sparkly twirlers between the trunks, hung wind chimes and sun catchers on canes at either side and chased loitering birds off the fence. My efforts were rewarded ~ the trees recovered, grew stronger and the following year three or four flowers appeared on one. The single fruit that survived to maturity was delicious ~ golden yellow, (which surprised me,) literally bursting with sweet, dribbly juice. Delicious! Then last year I picked enough from both to make the filling for a crumble.

A couple of weeks ago the branches were still naked, then a few tight buds appeared. Yesterday, after a few days sunshine, I went outside and was astonished to be greeted by this:

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Magnificent! Mother Nature in full bloom!

Isn’t it amazing what a little bit of care and attention (and a bucket or two of horse~poo) can do?

;)

The ‘Nurturing Thursday’ movement 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, (the more, the merrier!) please press this link.

Other ‘Nurturing’ contributors are:

Crowing Crone Joss

Inside the Mind of Isadora

Laurie’s Notes

Pocket Perspectives

Nurturing Thursday 38

I haven’t been up to par of late, (as regular readers may have deduced from the irregularity of my posts.) Winter bugs and chilly weather depleted my energy levels and I’ve tended to stay indoors as much as possible, scurrying back inside whenever I’ve been brave enough to venture out.

Today, however ~ for no particular reason that I can put my finger on ~ the track ‘Feeling Good’, from the 60′s musical The Roar of the Greasepaint – The Smell of the Crowd has been playing in my head. I even found myself singing snatches of the lyrics as The Wonder Pup and I strode through the woods this morning. Thankfully there was no~one else around to hear my enthusiastic (but seriously out of tune) rendition.

Like every great song, there are a ton of cover versions ~ but this is the one which I’ve been ‘hearing’:
Muse – Feeling Good (Official Music Video) – YouTube

Listening to it gives me goosebumps ~ and leaves me Feeling Good!
:)

The ‘Nurturing Thursday’ movement 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, (the more, the merrier!) please press this link.

Other ‘Nurturing’ contributors are:

Crowing Crone Joss

Inside the Mind of Isadora

Laurie’s Notes

Pocket Perspectives

Nurturing Thurs……oops! Friday 37

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This advice was shared on Facebook earlier this week, by Meditation for Women and Girls ~ and I’ve decided to take it.

I should have posted my ‘Nurturing Thursday piece yesterday but, despite several (false) starts and carefully wrought revisions, it just wasn’t coming together and after a couple of hours I realised that I wasn’t enjoying it. So I failed to meet my (self~imposed) deadline.

However…….

After he’d finished his work assignments for the day, The Artist and I took the dog for a long walk up a steep hill. It was dull and cold and I forgot to take a photo ~ but here’s one that I snapped about a year ago, neither of them has changed much:

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When we came home I crocheted some squares together. It felt good to be actually making something useful from my overflowing ~ and random ~ stash of worked~up pieces.

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While I was doing that, Martin worked on a digital painting and later on a physical one, in oils:

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And I just messed about, scribbling and doodling in my art journal and adding layers to my papier~mâché:

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So it turned out to be a Nurturing Thursday after all!

:)

The ‘Nurturing Thursday’ movement 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, (the more, the merrier!) please press this link.

Other ‘Nurturing’ contributors are:

Crowing Crone Joss

Inside the Mind of Isadora

Laurie’s Notes

Pocket Perspectives

Nurturing Thursday 36

Explaining why she started ‘Nurturing Thursday’, Becca Givens writes:
‘Our culture tells us we need to be special and above average to feel good about ourselves. Yet, it is not possible for all of us to be above average at the same time.’

If we could then ‘Above Average’ would be the average ~ and I can’t even work out where the logical progression of that ideology is leading. The thought is ~ literally ~ depressing. But I don’t mean to spread despondency ~ after all this is ‘Nurturing Thursday’, designed to inject weekly shots of positivity into the blogosphere.

As every doting grandparent will tell you ~ each child is different and special. For instance, I am blessed with twin super~heroes and a princess:

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(Yeah, I know the boys are toting weapons ~ but that’s a different debate. And I encourage them to aim at crochet cushion targets, rather than at each other’s heads. I’m not entirely successful ~ it’s a ‘man~thing’, so I’m told and I can’t argue with that. Trust me, I’ve tried.)

So how do we root this innocent wonder, where the cardboard tube from an empty toilet roll is transformed into a cuff which shoots imaginary webs at invisible ‘baddies’? Or a beeee~oootiful bracelet, encrusted with crayoned~on jewels.

Is it possible to inspire our young to attain their full potential as adults, without imposing artificially constructed standards, moving goal~posts, meaningless comparisons, which ~ we know from our own experience ~ won’t make them feel good about themselves……or others? Quite the opposite, in fact.

Clearly the current system is flawed ~ but maybe we can turn it around. In the words of William Martin :

‘Do not ask your children
to strive for extraordinary lives.
Such striving may seem admirable,
but it is the way of foolishness.
Help them instead to find the wonder
and the marvel of an ordinary life.
Show them the joy of tasting
tomatoes, apples and pears.
Show them how to cry
when pets and people die.
Show them the infinite pleasure
in the touch of a hand.
And make the ordinary come alive for them.
The extraordinary will take care of itself.’

and……
‘If you teach them to achieve
they will never be content.
If you teach them contentment
they will naturally achieve everything.’

(William Martin, The Parent’s Tao Te Ching: Ancient Advice for Modern Parents)

:)

The ‘Nurturing Thursday’ movement 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, (the more, the merrier!) please press this link.

Other ‘Nurturing’ contributors are:

Crowing Crone Joss

Inside the Mind of Isadora

Laurie’s Notes

Pocket Perspectives

Nurturing Thursday 35

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The ‘artwork’ in the picture above isn’t ‘perfect’.

It isn’t meant to be, that’s the point.

This is a page from my first Art Journal, recently started in an old sketchbook, the first one that came to hand. I’ve no idea whether I’m doing it ‘properly’, and I’ve no particular theme in mind. It’s simply a device to unlock my creative flow, so it has to be spontaneous ~ unplanned and messy.

I can’t remember where I found the quote ~ probably somewhere on Facebook. (My news feed is mostly inspirational updates from the pages I follow.) It resonated with me and at the time I had no intention of ever making it public, so I scribbled down the words and doodled the flowers around them without censure.

This morning, seeking inspiration for my Nurturing Thursday contribution, I flicked through my journal, (which didn’t take long as I haven’t actually done very much!) I considered typing out the message and composing a ‘perfect’ post to accompany it.

But that isn’t the point.

So, in the end I simply photographed the page. ‘Imperfect’ as it might appear, it is, in fact, perfect. Much like life.

Now all I have to do is ignore my inner critic, who is insisting that this is rubbish…. embarrassing ….naive but not in a good way.

And press the ‘publish’ button anyway. :)

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.

Becca has also written three posts on her own Art Journalling experiences, in which she calls herself a ‘perfectionist~in~rehab.’ As you can clearly see, I definitely align with that!

Other ‘Nurturing’ contributors are:

Crowing Crone Joss

Inside the Mind of Isadora

Laurie’s Notes

Pocket Perspectives

And…..finally….to read my earlier ‘Nurturing Thursday’ posts (all 14 of them!) please visit Wightrabbit’s Blog

Nurturing Thursday 34

#Heartbeats

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Aaron Paquette, Canadian First Nation artist and writer, posted this sound advice on Facebook yesterday, requesting that we share it. So I am! :)

To read Aaron’s compelling article, which accompanies this Métis painting, and to learn more about his work, please click here.

Other ‘Nurturing’ contributors are:

Crowing Crone Joss

Inside the Mind of Isadora

Laurie’s Notes

Pocket Perspectives

And…..finally….to read my earlier ‘Nurturing Thursday’ posts (all 14 of them!) please visit Wightrabbit’s Blog

Nuturing Thursday 33

As regular readers may have noticed, I’ve been absent from the blogosphere for a while.

I’ve been suffering from a mystery malaise ~ not ‘flu exactly, although it exhibited some of the symptoms. Extreme body temperatures left me weak and wobbly. I’ve hardly left the house and have spent most of the last fortnight in bed. Thank Heaven for the onesie ~ I’ve now got three. When I was so cold that I couldn’t imagine what warm felt like, I wore one inside another. And yes, I pulled both hoods over my head. It was comforting and before long I was ‘snug as a bug in a rug,’ as my mother used to say.

Indie dog instantly understood that I wasn’t on top form, making do with short walks, when The Artist returned from his Age UK assignments. The rest of the day she spent snuggled by my side, smiling sympathetically and treating me to the odd lick. She’s not really allowed on our bed but we made an exception, for my benefit:

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When I wasn’t dozing or meditating, I managed to read a couple of novels ~ ‘Until I Met You’, by Lisa Jewel in paperback and Patricia Sands’ ‘The Promise of Provence’ on Kindle. (In my mind there is no debate about whether one format is superior to the other ~ they are equally valid. Whilst I agree that it is nice to hold an actual book in my hands, physically turning the pages, I also find backlit text invaluable, especially when energy saving dim bulbs render the printed word into a grey~on~grey blur.)

Although I’m generally an out~doorsy person, I was wise to stay inside, protected from the elements. Weather conditions across the UK are extreme at the moment. 70 mph gusts of wind, stormy skies and unusually high tides have often prevented ferries from sailing, thus randomly isolating us from the mainland. Ah, well. That’s the price we pay for the privilege of living on The Island, I guess.

But it’s not relentlessly grim, not here anyway ~ although other parts of the country have been devastated by floods and are threatened with more.
Every now and then, sharp winter sunshine pierces clouds heavy with rain ~ and the contrast is literally awe~some. And, although the buffeting wind is chilly, there are intervals of clear blue skies too ~ a portent of a long hot summer, according to long~range forecasts. We’ll see.

Feeling a little better and clad from head to bike~booted toe in thermal layers, I ventured out this morning, accompanied by my faithful companion. I noticed how bright everything looked: pavements, houses and evergreen hedges washed and blow~dried by elemental forces. And, as Indie and I sauntered along a well~worn foot path, I passed catkins swaying on hazel branches and heard birds tweeting merrily, as they gathered material for their nests. Signs that Spring is in the ~ somewhat turbulent ~ air. Unconcerned about global crises, the organic world just goes with the natural flow.

Sounds like a plan to me.
:)

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

And…..finally….to read my earlier ‘Nurturing Thursday’ posts (all 14 of them!) please visit Wightrabbit’s Blog

Nurturing Thursday 32

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‘Connect with those who remind you who you are.’ ~ Ralph Smart

This delightful photograph, with the accompanying quote by Ralph Smart, was posted on Facebook yesterday, by ‘Earthschool harmony‘.

For me the last year has been particularly challenging and I’ve been dealing with several life~changing events, one on top of the other. Coping with the unusual stresses that 2013 threw across my path consumed my attention, diminishing my natural joie de vivre. For a while fear and uncertainty meant that I didn’t dare dream or plan.

Yet, even in the midst of the maelstrom, it felt like a clearing process and I’ve drawn heavily on past experience to make my way through. Now ~ older and wiser, with the future looking much brighter ~ I’m ready to reclaim my life.

So, when I spotted this uplifting post I had to share it ~ first on Facebook and now as my Nurturing Thursday contribution this week. Who could fail to be gladdened by the joy and exhilaration on the faces of these beautiful young girls?

:)

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

And…..finally….to read my earlier ‘Nurturing Thursday’ posts (all 14 of them!) please visit Wightrabbit’s Blog

Programmed to Survive

In Nurturing Thursday 30 I sang the praises of Mother Nature. To prove my point, here are some photos I snapped in my garden this week:

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A potted miniature rose ~ blooming out of season, despite severe north winds and lashing rain.

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The red geranium and stone lion, bravely standing guard beside our front door.

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A clay head, with messy ‘hair’…..

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…….made from carrot tops. I planted the seeds months ago, strictly for ornamental purposes, never expecting the roots to mature into vegetables.

If casual neglect can yield these delightful surprises, imagine what bounteous crops I could produce with just a little more care and attention!

Looking forward to Spring already :)