Hello again

Well, my goodness. It’s been months since I wrote anything here. Just have been finishing up my book on Grief and Loss. It seemed that each time I was happy with what I had written, I found more to write about. Anyway, I have put THE END in my mind.

So back to blogs.

Way back in October 2014, I was living with The Architect (A huge Frank Lloyd Wright fan) and I was involved in the Writing 101 Challenge. On October 2 the challenge was: –

Pick up the nearest book and flip to page 29. What’s the first word that jumps off the page? Use this word as your springboard for inspiration. If you need a boost, Google the word and see what images appear, and then go from there. 

Today’s twist: write the post in the form of a letter.  Click here to read my response to this challenge.

Loving Frank I opened the book on page 29 and the word Stetson jumped out at me.

After re-reading the post, I thought I would continue with the correspondence between Ezekial Butler and Frank Lloyd Wright. So…

Dear Mr Lloyd Wright,

I received your response to my letter and must say I am surprised at your attitude. My intention in writing to you was to show my concern as to what you and Mrs Cheney are currently involved in. This ignoring of the rules of our society can only bring you much unhappiness: Not to say, what the lifelong effects will be on Mrs Cheney’s children. 

My concern is for your spiritual wellness and that of Mrs Cheney. Please be aware that you are involving not only you two but both families as well. I implore you to desist in cohabitating and send Mrs Cheney back where she belongs.

Yours faithfully,
Ezekial Butler.


Dear Mr Butler,

I was amazed and deeply offended on receiving your letter.  I strongly object to your deciding that you have the right to correspond with me on this subject.

Nothing has changed since our last exchange of letters. Mrs Cheney still lives here with me and will continue to do so for as long as we both deem fit. Do not write to me again on this subject.

Yours faithfully,
Frank Lloyd Wright. 

Having read more of the books about Lloyd Wright, I am sure he would be offended and from what I have read, would put this Ezekial Butler firmly in his place.   I wonder what happens next.








Making and Saving Memories

Family together

Week before David’s wedding – March 1990

Our memories may be happy or sad, joyful or tearful or just plain funny.  Sometimes they are of earth-shattering moment – I clearly remember when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon.  On July 20th, 1969 I was sitting in the Holiday Inn at Dorval in Montreal and I watched spellbound as a man walked onto the moon.

Memories may be of such momentous events, or a special event in our lives; a wedding, birth of first child or grandchild, or even the unimaginable death of a loved one, but mostly our memories are of our everyday life and this is what we need to record and preserve.  What happened to us and how our lives have been changed by what has happened.

My father told me I could be and do anything I wanted.  That has had a profound effect on my life and how I have lived it.  Many memories are of Father and his influence.

And getting back to everyday activities.  A visit to a friend, spending time with a friend’s dog, a walk in the park, meeting new people and making new friends, moving to a new country. or a different part of the country.  All of these are worthy of recording.

I am currently in Tauranga on the East Coast of the North Island dogsitting for a friend while she skis in Canada. You may remember this little dog. Back in 2013 following the death of Miss Lotte, I was given a poodle by an acquaintance, but then I decided to go to Florence so Bella was left with a friend and here she has remained. So we dog- share and whenever I feel the need of some dog time, I come to visit her. So more memories being made of time spent with friends in this lovely part of our country and particularly with this little dog.


And now I should like to share a memory of some 20 years ago.  I wrote this in February 2012 and I still laugh about it.  Funny now but not at the time.  I’m not the only one.

And for my friends in the Northern Hemisphere from a beautiful hot, sunny Tauranga

hands in snow

Inconsequential Consequences

Thanks to Chris for this very thoughtful post.


consequencesThe consideration of consequences is what gives society a leg up on decency, even more so than the aesthetic consideration of what is right.

We not only have abandoned rightful consequence we have suspended the due process of justice.  Guilty on accusation.

Rampant accusation and rampant and often illogical consequences.  People are guilty on accusation.

Matt Damon made a logical statement and was castigated.  Not only is the right to free speech gone (unless you are a white supremacist speaking at some college aimed at creating chaos then all bets are off), individual rights and freedoms have been relegated to the gates of hell.

The President of the United States boldly lies, denigrates humanity, and abuses and disrespects many, not the least being women, without consequence, and has made Alternative Facts and misrepresentations of truth and decency acceptable.

In Canada a political leader of great promise has two accusers come…

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Time for a New Adventure

“…there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do —
determined to save
the only life you could save.”
― Mary Oliver

Once again in this aged adventurer’s life, a new phase is opening up.

I am fortunate that many years of proofreading, copy-editing and/or beta reading for friends and acquaintances has turned into a business opportunity.

Now, for your viewing pleasure, I offer:


I am an established Proofreader/editor with many years’ experience in proofreading and copy-editing fiction and non-fiction novels, short stories, manuscripts, Children’s books, theses, E-books, and more.

My services focus on making your words look, sound and appear polished. I will check spelling, grammar, syntax, punctuation, etc. If your document is longer than 1000 words (which it most likely is), simply buy additional gigs until the word count is paid for.


Basic gig –  Proofreading  – US$5 for every 1,000 words or part thereof.
Extra gig –  Copy-editing  – add 4 basic gigs for a document of any length.

How to Order:

  • Always purchase enough basic gigs to cover word count. (12K words = 12 basic gigs)
  • Purchase gig extras. (copy edit of 12K words = 4 gig extras for improving readability + 12 basic gigs to cover word count = 16 gigs)
  • Add 4 extra gigs for copy-editing any document, any size
  • Attach a Word doc. I’ll deliver a track changes version and a final clean copy.

And an added bonus if you are in the Northern Hemisphere – I work while you sleep.

What is the difference between proofreading and copy editing?

Proofreading involves catching errors. The copy-editing service includes this, plus improving readability – a sentence may be technically correct, but if it sounds awkward I will fix it with the copy-editing service.  I will format your book to industry standards and will also offer suggestions for overall improvement when necessary.

I particularly enjoy large projects, but no job is too small. Send me a message. I can always provide you with an offer based on your needs.

If your document is over 1000 words, please purchase multiple basic gigs to cover the word count. If you would like extra help with readability, go ahead and choose that gig option, but please note that this is in addition to the basic gigs that need to be purchased to cover word count.

I am happy to help with any project no matter how big or small.  I look forward to working with you.

Feel free to email me – http://judith@judithbaxter.net.nz or send me a private message on Facebook.  Phone – +64 (0)21797400

So, if you or anyone you know would like some help, please don’t hesitate to contact me, in the comments area of this post, by email – judith@judithbaxter.net.nz, by private message on  Facebook or phone.

Note– I have just finished proofreading and editing a 70,000-word manuscript.  The finished product was sent to the author in under 96 hours.


Six Word Saturday

Wow, it’s Saturday again.  Time for Six Word Saturday

Six word Saturday button

You know what to do if you want to get involved.
Click on the above or on the link.  Now you’re all set to join in.

The Day Mother Nature Took Control

Well, today Mother Nature said “Enough is Enough.  I am in control here”.

Wellington at Daybreak Today Photo Courtesy Simon Woolf Photographer

Here in Wellington, we have been enjoying summer weather most days, with no or very occasional rain, while the rest of the country has been battling rain, floods and high winds.  But today MN said “Time to stand up and be counted.  It’s time you got some rain and wind.”

Storm coming into Wellington. Photo courtesy Simon Woolf, Photographer

So late yesterday she acted on her promise(?).  We have been sorely needing rain for the past few weeks and have been confined to using only handheld hoses for our gardens and then only on alternate days.  So we were quite happy to see the rain.

The Interislander battling the seas in the Cook Strait Simon Woolf again

We just got very wet and the wind was very strong at our place.  But now it has moved on.    Other areas of the city were not so fortunate.  Our low lying coastal areas were hammered by rain and huge waves and surface flooding as a strong southerly wind coupled with a high tide.

And then, amongst all of this, there was an Earthquake at 8.12 am.  Quite small, only 4.5 on the Richter Scale.  See how blase we are about earthquakes here.

So another day comes to a close. I have just finished reading The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny.  Watch for my review on my other site in the next day or so.

Oh Yes, More on Writing

“Better to write for yourself and have no public,
than to write for the public and have no self.” ― 
Cyril Connolly, British Author 1903-1984

Way back early in my blogging journey, I discovered this quote from Cyril Connolly.  It really rang a bell for me and I have it printed out and it resides on the inside of my journal as a constant reminder.

In January 2012 I wrote about writing.  At that time I was writing mostly for myself having few followers.  But I felt it was something I had to do and I was learning both from writing and from reading the posts of other writers whose blogs I followed.

Writing has become easier in the months and years since then.  But like all writers, whether well known or like me just writing for the pleasure of writing, we know what it is like to step up to the page aka computer screen to be faced with a blank sheet.  No thoughts on anything.  Blank screen and a blank mind.  But then something comes and the void is filled.

As writers we are vulnerable.  We write about what matters to us and expose ourselves and unveil our deepest feelings.  Our words reveal much about us and our truths.  And sometimes, because of this, writing feels dangerous.  But this is what keeps us (well me at any rate) coming back to the screen/notebook/page.  The need to share my feelings on the page with others (hopefully) or just with myself when necessary.  It is scary and often I am looking for excuses – the dishes must be done, the washing hung out etc, but I keep coming back to the page.

At times we feel the need to judge, to edit our writing.  We strive for perfectionism but we know, unless we are one of the great writers, that perfectionism is out of reach.  Lord Marks of Marks & Spencer fame said “The price of perfection is too great.  Close enough is good enough.” We acknowledge that if we are writing for publication, we need an editor and a few Beta readers who will, hopefully, pick up grammatical errors, typos and make suggestions to improve the story.   But for those of us writing our blogs and sharing our thoughts and feelings with our friends, writing the post is more important than it being judged perfect.

So it’s back to the keyboard for me.

And as C S Lewis says “You can make anything by writing.”




Moving Into 2018

“Instructions for living a life. 
Pay attention. 
Be astonished. 
Tell about it.”
Mary Oliver

About this time of the year, I look back on what has gone before and set some goals for the next 12 months.   Not Resolutions as I know that for me they don’t last through the first two months and are usually dead before the end of January.

I use as my guide what I learned from the story of Noah and the Ark.  I first wrote about this in January 2012 and then used it again in December 2014.  The following year, 2015 was not great, my Late Love the Architect died and 2016 was hardly any better.  I had my misadventure in April and then my contretemps with a chair and a rug in December, so I was glad to see the back of that year.

And now it’s 2018 and I am looking back on 2017.  So what dd I learn?

  • I did listen to the voice within when deciding to remain in my little apartment in my daughter’s house.
  • I followed my intuition that I would be safe here
  • I hadn’t made my preparations in advance as originally, this was to be a  stop gap while I found somewhere else to live.
  • My life was built on strong foundations and those foundations are my two very supportive children and daughter-in-law, and the four large grandsons who are growing into fine young men.
  • My possessions were brought from storage and some fitted well into my new little abode.  The rest found new homes via the Salvation Army.  A win-win situation.
  • Once again, I chose my companions well and cut the few toxic people out of my life
  • I still love my companions and fellow travellers.
  • And some of these travellers aka my children I set free once again to return as and when they wish or if they are needed.
  • Yes, I did listen to other people’s opinions but always made my own decisions.
  • I learned that living in a house with two teenage Grandsons is never boring.
  • I make time for quiet meditation which nurtures my soul.
  • I embraced many new experiences since writing the original posts.
  • I was brought up in England and have always loved the feel of the gentle rain on my face.
  • And I also love the sunshine and notice how differently people behave when the sun is shining.
  • I volunteered at another Hospice; the one where my Late Love died and continue to believe I got more from the experience than anyone at the Hospice does.
  • I have learned to accept the assistance offered by others – I hope this acceptance has been gracious.
  • I know that there will be hard times interspersed with the sunshine and light.
  • I have known for a long time that we share this planet with a myriad of other creatures both large and small, and we don’t must share the bounties with them
  • I continue to nurture an attitude of gratitude.  I am very aware of how very lucky I have been all my life.
  • I know that one woman with a strong belief in herself can overcome just about anything life can throw at her.

So with a cheerful heart and a desire to see what this New Year will bring this aged adventurer, I am ready for 2018.

“I think of life itself now as a wonderful play that I’ve written for myself,
and so my purpose is to have the utmost fun playing my part.” 

― Shirley Maclaine



Talking into the Future

My heart is warm with the friends I make
And better friends I’ll not be knowing.”
Edna St Vincent Millay, American Poet and Playright.

I found this post in the draft section and have no recollection of why I didn’t publish it.  No, it wasn’t because I had a something else to talk about, it just got put into the wrong box.  It was written on October 14, 2017, and find it just as appropriate today.

October 14, 2017

We had our usual weekly Skype meeting.  Three friends, far removed from each other by physical distance but so very close in friendship.  Chris at Bridges Burning lives in Kitchener, Ontario, Joss at Depth of a Woman, lives in Cuenca and I live in Wellington, New Zealand.Could three friends live any further apart?

We met in the blogosphere.  We all started blogging around the same time, 2011, and soon found we had much in common.  We all write, we all read and we all love finding new friends.

On This week’s  chat, we discussed among other things, the webinar from Hay House that I had just listened to.  And then Joss, as the published author answered some of our questions on publishing.  Thanks, Joss.  As I said I learned more from you than from the webinar.

My book, Suddenly Single was self-published some years ago and was given to clients and friends who found themselves alone. So that didn’t count as it was a first attempt and copies were given away.  We talked about my plan to broaden the book to cover bereavement and grieving in all its forms.

We talked about our plans for the coming weekend – my weekend was very close as our talks are on my Friday their Thursday.  Chris has all her family coming for dinner so has some organizing to do.   We talked about last weekend.  Chris went to visit her son and his family.  She went with one of the boys to a Meet the Teacher event and was surprised and pleased to learn the teacher knew about her.  I took my eldest grandson for his gliding experience.  I bought this for his 21st birthday last year but because of my misadventure 4 weeks later, we’ve never got around to using the voucher.  However,  when we arrived at the field some 2 hours away we were told there could be no gliding that day. A disappointment but we had a great day together nonetheless.  And we now have another date to look forward to.

And talking into the future was Joss’ comment.  She loves the fact that she can talk to me 18 hours in her future.  One question she raised today was what happens to the lost day when you cross the equator and don’t return?  Well, what does happen to that day?  Is it lost forever?  My response, perhaps that’s in the parallel universe we often hear about.

And now it’s Saturday here and another weekend is about to start,  I hope your weekend, when it arrives will be a good one.  We are promised a wet, windy Wellington day, so I shall be working on my book and reading one of the many on my To Read pile on the bedside table, accompanied of course, by copious cups of tea.

So there you have it.  Talking to friends one has never met physically  but who are true friends nonetheless.  And these two women are among my Sisters of Choice.  Different mothers, but sisters.

And now, here’s my waterfall.  I shall see it again next month when I go back to Tauranga for a few weeks.


“And as the water continues in its downhill rush over rocks
and the thoughts continue to tumble around in my brain
with no defined pattern or path,
they eventually find and settle into a safe place
and the void is suddenly filled
and my mind is active once again.”
Judith Baxter, Mother, grandmother, sister,
friend and blogger 1938 –



When everything goes wrong…

This really started the second day of 2018 in the right way for me. I had to share.

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

“Just let me know when you’ve arrived…” Those words are spoken, in the most casual manner possible, by every parent when one of their offspring goes off on an adventure. The apparent nonchalance masks all sorts of worry, panic, imagined scenarios and disasters, even though you know they are no more than chimera.

He’d booked everything at budget prices, so there was no direct flight. At stopover of five hours in Muscat would not allow him to see anything of the place and just added to the fatigue of the journey.  But, when you know they have landed in foreign climes, (because you are watching the live flight updates, and they are now running nearly a further six hours late) and the phone remains silent for an eternity, the real panic sets in. Especially when said offspring is travelling with a wheelchair.

By the time you actually hear from…

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Being happy doesn’t mean everything is perfect.  
It means that you look beyond the imperfections 
and smile.” 
Judith Baxter 1938-



As you know,  here in New Zealand we greet the New Year before anyone else in the world.  I remember the excitement when 1999 became 2000 and we had an influx of visitors from around the world rushing to the East Coast to be the first to welcome in the New Century,  Now though, we are safely ensconced in the century and we greet 2018 as any other New Year.

I am not going to tell you of my Resolutions – they never last the month of January and my Goals?  Well, they are written down and will be looked at no doubt, from time to time as we move through the year.  Instead, I should like to look back on 2017 as a year that was good for me and my family.  No major illnesses, few visits to the doctor and four very strong young men making their way in this world, to a grandmother’s joy. Unfortunately, a couple of friends didn’t make it to December 31st and others are battling life-challenging illnesses.

So I consider my family to be among the lucky people of this world.  But many others have not been so lucky.  Today we heard of several motor accidents, boating accidents and a light plane that fell out of the sky, in this our time for celebrations and fun.

Terrorists were active from Manchester and London, to Paris, Barcelona and several cities in the USA.  These attacks appear to have been carried out by disenfranchised young men who have bought into the story told by ISIS and their supporters.

Hurricanes, heatwaves, earthquakes, below freezing weather, tsunamis, droughts and forest fires have all plagued our world this year.

Homeless people inhabit our capital and other cities and so many children go to school poorly dressed and hungry.

And wars are waged constantly.  Why has nobody woken up to the fact that if you continue to do things in the same way, you will get the same results?  Why can’t we Give Peace a Chance?

Here in New Zealand,  we have a new Government led by a vocal and energetic young woman.   She has already stood up to Donald Trump.  This Government is determined to ease the lot of our poorer people and already in the first 100 days appears to be making a change.

We read and watch in amazement the antics of Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong Un,  Theresa May among others and thank our lucky stars that we live here in our corner of Paradise on the other side of the world.

So what am I looking forward to in 2018?  My family always say that I am like Pollyanna.  But I look forward to

  • Peace being declared among the fighting factions.
  • Safe housing for the homeless
  • Sufficient food for everyone and a
  • Happy and joyous year to you all.

And now to change the tone of this post I share this with you from Bridget Jones’ Diary:

“Resolution number one: Obviously will lose twenty pounds.
Number two: Always put last night’s panties in the laundry basket.
Equally important will find a sensible boyfriend to go out with
and not continue to form romantic attachments
to any of the following: alcoholics, workaholics, commitment phobic’s,
peeping toms, megalomaniacs, emotional fuckwits or perverts.

And especially will not fantasise about a particular person
who embodies all these things”