Tag Archives: active mind

Retail Therapy

“Sometimes I need
only to stand
wherever I am
to be blessed.”
Mary Oliver, Evidence: Poems

 

I went into town today to meet a friend for coffee.  Unfortunately for me but fortunately for her, she had promised to take her grandson to the movies, so it was a very short meeting.  After she left, I had another coffee and thought about what I would do until my driver picked me up one hour later.

So here I was out on my own for the first time in 12 weeks.  It seemed like some retail therapy was called for.  I made it to only one department store almost opposite where we had coffee, but I felt pleased with myself for trying this.

I bought some tights, some makeup and a new perfume.  So al in all a good use of an unexpected free hour.  And to finish off,  while I waited for the driver, I bought some handmade chocolates from the chocolate shop.

Then home again with my caring and careful driver.  I’m so lucky that I have access to these women in Driving Miss Daisy.  They are all in their 50s and 60s and really look after me.

A quick lunch and then onto the bed for a nanny nap.

Another milestone reached and overcome.

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Time To Move On, Again

I awoke this morning to a lovely spring day; sun shining; birds singing and this view from the bedroom

IMG_0719

I then picked up my iPad and wrote this as a stream of consciousness.  No editing.  Just saying –

In three weeks
I shall leave this place
So full of happy memories
of love shared
of laughter and friendship.
But now the house sits empty
of those shared things.
What is a house without sharing
It is but an empty shell.
And so now, once again
the wheels of my life have turned
and again, I face the future alone.
Alone, but now even stronger
Strengthened with the memories
of this late love we shared
for such a very short time.
But length of time is irrelevant
You will live in my heart forever my love.

And then I got up and saw this

IMG_0717 IMG_0721

and just knew how I was going to spend this beautiful Saturday.  Isn’t it amazing how much one gathers in a very short time?

And now another quote from Edna St. VincentMillay

“Time does not bring relief; you all have lied
Who told me time would ease me of my pain!
I miss him in the weeping of the rain;
I want him at the shrinking of the tide”.

But enough of melancholy and feeling sorry for myself.  I can still enjoy this lovely day, the warmth of friendship and the knowledge that I have so much more in my life than many others.

And now because I’m English and I drink tea 

Adventure

I shall make a pot and think about where I am, where I’ve been and where I’m going.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

..  

toward the sushine

A Very Strange Old Lady

I have warned you in the past how I shall be when I am old.

“I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.”

I will most definitely be outrageous, difficult and undignified but not until I am old.Cross Old Woman

Imagine my surprise, therefore, when I looked in the mirror and saw this Old Woman looking out at me.   I just had to share this other poem with you.  I don’t know who wrote it or where it’s from but it just says how I felt earlier today.

A very weird thing has happened.
I have no idea who she is, where she came from, or how she got in.
I certainly didn’t invite her.
All I know is that one day she wasn’t here and the next day she was.
She’s very clever. She manages to keep out of sight for the most part;
but whenever I pass a mirror, I catch a glimpse of her there;
and when I look into a mirror directly to check
my appearance, suddenly she’s hogging the whole thing,
completely obliterating my gorgeous face and body.
It’s very disconcerting.
I’ve tried screaming at her to leave but she just screams back, grimacing horribly.
She’s really rather frightening.
If she’s going to hang around, the least she could do is offer to pay rent.
But no. Every once in a while I do find a couple of dollar bills on the kitchen counter,
or some loose change on my bureau or on the floor, but that certainly isn’t enough.

In fact, though I don’t like to jump to conclusions, I think she steals
money from me regularly. I go to the ATM and withdraw a hundred dollars, and a few days later, it’s gone.
I certainly don’t go through it that fast, so I can only conclude that the old lady pilfers it.

old woman

You’d think she’d spend some of it on wrinkle cream.
God knows, she needs it.
And the money isn’t the only thing she’s taking.
Food seems to disappear at an alarming rate.
Especially the good stuff–ice cream, cookies, candy–
I just can’t keep them in the house. She really has a sweet tooth.

She should watch it; she’s really putting on the pounds.
I think she realizes that, and to make herself feel better,
I know she is tampering with my scale so I’ll think that I’m gaining weight, too.
For an old lady, she’s really quite childish.
She also gets into my closets when I’m not home and alters all my clothes. They’re getting tighter and
tighter every day.

Another thing:
I wish she’d stop messing with my files and the papers on my desk. I can’t find a thing any more. This is particularly hard to deal with because I’m extremely neat and organized;
but she manages to jumble everything up so nothing is where it’s supposed to be.

Furthermore, when I program my VCR to tape something important, she fiddles with it after I leave the room so it records  the wrong channel or shuts off completely.
She finds innumerable, imaginative ways to irritate me.
She gets to my newspapers, magazines, and mail before me– and blurs all the print;
and she’s done something sinister with the volume controls on my TV, radio, and phone. Now all I hear are mumbles and whispers.

She’s also made my stairs steeper, my vacuum cleaner heavier, all my knobs and faucets hard to turn
and my bed higher and it’s a real challenge to climb into and out of.
Furthermore, she gets to my groceries as soon as I shelve them and applies super glue to the tops of every jar and bottle so they’re just about impossible to open.
Is this any way to repay my hospitality?

I don’t even get any respite at night. More than once,
her snoring has awakened me.
I don’t know why she can’t do something about that. It’s very unattractive.

As if all this isn’t bad enough, she is no longer confining her malevolence to the house. She’s now found a way to sneak into my car with me and follows me wherever I go.
I see her reflection in store windows as I pass. and she’s taken all the fun out of clothes shopping, because her penchant for monopolizing mirrors has extended to dressing rooms.
When I try something on, she dons and identical outfit- which looks ridiculous on her– and then stands directly in front of me so I can’t see how great it looks on me!

I thought she couldn’t get any meaner than that, but yesterday she proved me wrong. She had the nerve to come with me when I went to have some passport pictures taken, and actually stepped in front of the camera just as the shutter clicked.
Disaster! I have never seen such a horrible picture.
How can I go abroad now? No customs official is ever going to believe that crone scowling from my passport is me.

She’s walking on very thin ice.
If she keeps this up, I swear, I’ll put her in a home.
On second thought, I shouldn’t be too hasty.
First, I think I’ll check with the IRS and see if
I can claim her as a dependent.

Granny on computer

(sigh….. bet that strange old lady is on “her” puter too!) What’s a body to do??????

My Week

After yesterday’s rant I thought I would move onto something less heavy.  But what?  I am having one of those moments when I sit in front of the blank screen and my mind screams “write, write” but nothing comes forth.  So I now shall go back and look at some of my frogs.  But there is a paucity of ideas there.

So what have I done this week?  It’s now Friday here and so there have been five days since Sunday.  How can one get through so many days and not have much to show for them?

  • I have had walks with Lotte each day as recorded in my blog.
  • I went to a movie on Monday evening and saw ‘The Help”.  I strongly recommend this movie.  I had read the book and this is probably a faithful rendition of the story.  In case you haven’t seen this movie, it tells the story of three women who dare to defy convention and get together to tell the stories of the way coloured women servants were treated in the 1960s in the south.  Well worth a trip to your local cinema.  An added bonus for me was that it was showing at our local bijou cinema so we took our wine in with us and had a meal afterwards.  A very pleasant unexpected evening out.
  • Yesterday I was taken out for what was described as high tea.  Being English I know that traditionally, high tea was a working class meal served on a high table at the end of the workday, shortly after five pm. It was a heavy meal of meat or fish dishes, vegetables such as potatoes and baked goods such as crumpets, vegetables  and other  foods such as baked beans and cheesy casseroles.  Afternoon tea What we had yesterday was afternoon tea at Martha’s Pantry.  Beautifully served with a great selection of teas.  I chose the blend called Paris and my partner had Pomegranate.  Mine was delicious a blend not unlike Earl Grey but with subtle undertones of various other blends.  I tried to purchase some as we left but unfortunately, they only had teabags available and being English, I drink real tea.  They did try to get some from their suppliers (they use leaf tea in their shop) but the smallest amount I could buy was apparently 500 grams (about 1lb) so it would be stale long before I used it.  Hard luck!
  • Oh I forgot.  I picked up my new i-Phone on Tuesday and have lots of fun finding my way around that.   But being blonde I have to go to the phone store to have them show me how to connect the Blue Tooth. Watch this space!  Oops, another exclamation mark.

So quite a busy week for a retiree almost retiree.  (almost  to yet another exclamation mark here but stopped just in time.  Have things to do this afternoon with and for my Real Estate friend.  and looking forward to tomorrow’s brunch with my French conversation new friends.

“If a man does not make new acquaintances as he advances through life, he will soon find himself alone.  A man should keep his friendships in constant repair.”
Samuel Johnson

And no bells ring..

I like my new telephone, my computer works just fine, my calculator is perfect, but Lord, I miss my mind!  ~Author Unknown

Cellphone

9 months old and defunct

How quickly we have all become dependent on the trappings of modern day living.  Particularly our mobile phones that we take with us everywhere.

I can still remember the original mobile phone I had.  It was as large as a brick and had its own carry case that I slung over my shoulder.  I wish I had a photo of that one.  We also both had car-phones – tres chic and frightfully avant-garde.

On Friday I dropped my latest phone into a deep puddle of water as I was getting out of the car.  It didn’t seem to do it much harm.  I dried it and it appeared to work just fine.  However, on Saturday afternoon when driving it gave a strange popping noise and died.  I don’t really know how well it was working up until then because several people told me they called me during the time  I thought it was still working.

Anyway, the upshot is that even though this phone is only 9 months old, if it gets wet it isn’t covered under warranty.  So off to buy a replacement.

I have shied away from these smart phones saying I only needed mine to make and receive calls and texts to and from grandsons, to use as a phone book and very occasionally to take photos.

iphone

Several hours later the deed is done and I am back home.  In a couple of days I shall be the proud possessor of a new iphone with all the bells and whistles, most of which I will probably never use.  Oh how we are all seduced by modern technology.

And from a particular favourite of my children when they were growing up:

“Two old chairs, and half a candle,
One old jug without a handle
These were all his worldly goods
In the middle of the woods,
These were all the worldly goods
Of the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò,
Of the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò.”
From Edward Lear‘s
‘The Courtship of the Yonghy-Bongy-Bo.

The Yongy Bongy Bo

From my book published in 1966 - the original published in 1894

Related articles

Kiss Your Frogs

“When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you until it seems that you cannot hold on for a minute longer, never give up then, for that  is just the place and time that the tide will turn.” Harriet Beecher Stowe, 1811 – 1896  American abolitionist and author.


Frog

I call my sloppy, rambling, unintelligible, boring writing my frogs.
These are the posts that go nowhere.  They are way to the left of no good; they are lopsided and they croak like an army of frogs on the lily pad.  Did you know a group of frogs is called an army?

This is the awful stuff.  It’s swampy and mucky and holds little promise for a good outcome.  I put these things aside and move on hopefully to something I can use.

And then sometimes when I go back to them days, weeks or even months later, a phrase or a sentence springs out at me and gains a life of its own.  Then I have the catalyst for a new post.

So today I encourage you to kiss those frogs. Don’t rubbish them or discard them.  You may be surprised if one or more does turn into a handsome prince and reward you with a great post.

Frog prince

Note – pictures from Microsoft free clipart.

“Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action arrives, stop thinking and go in”
Andrew Jackson, 1767 – 1845
the seventh President of the United States

A visit to the Doctor

“Never go to a doctor whose office plants have died”
Erma Bombeck, 1927-1996

After a disturbed night of coughing, tossing and turning I give in.  As I have been urged to,  I call the doctor’s office to make an appointment.

I turn up at the appointed time, 11.45 am and am told to take a seat.  I am in a  house in the village converted to a health centre.  It is an old house, well old by our standards, with polished wood floors, a central passage and doors leading off both sides.

I take a seat and for the next 45 minutes, I sit idly thumbing through an out of date magazine and looking at the others waiting.  There is an older couple, he with a walking cane and she obviously taking care of him.  They seem to know the only other person in the room, a woman probably mid-thirties.  She doesn’t seem to be waiting to see a doctor and indeed, when the man’s name is called she tells the couple she will wait until they come out.

Meantime, staff come and go; people come and go.  The receptionist leaves for lunch and her place is taken by a nurse.  She is the one who removed the stitches after I tried to cut off my thumb.  That’s another story for another time.

A staff member (because she was wearing a name tag) appears in the waiting room and walks over to the young woman and they enter into a discussion as to who should pick up the girls from school and take them to practice.  It’s agreed that the staff member will pick them up and they will all meet later after practice.

A couple of young girls arrive and only one stays.  It is spring here but not warm although they don’t notice that they are barely dressed for the weather.   The one who stays is called into the doctor’s consulting room and still I wait.

A mother and her young child come out of a consulting room; have a brief conversation with the nurse/receptionist and after saying they will be back tomorrow, leave.

A child is crying in one of the consulting rooms, a young man comes out with his arm bandaged and the elderly couple appear.  They meet up with the young woman who has waited for them, and all leave together.

If I had been feeling better I would have played my usual waiting game.  When waiting in airports, grocery checkout lines or waiting for friends, I make up stories about the people I am watching.  People-watching is one of my favourite games.  But this is an opportunity missed today.

And at last it is my turn.  A charming young man appears.  Well he certainly doesn’t look old enough to be a doctor and leads me through to his consulting room.  Because I have been sitting in his waiting room for 45 minutes loudly coughing and choking, he doesn’t have to ask why I am there.  He proceeds to tell me that it is the flu.  How can that be I ask when I had the flu injection at the beginning of the winter.  This is a strain that they knew nothing about,  It is rife and resistant to the shot I had earlier.  Great.

He is only just getting over this flu himself.  He tells me the cough will last for about 3 weeks.  How long have I had it – one week?  OK, then I should expect it to be around for another two.

We talk about the operas that I saw last week.  A double billing by the NZ Opera Company and billed Cav &Pag (Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci).  A truly magnificent show during which I managed not to cough too often and too loudly.  And then he told me about WOW (the World of Wearable Arts show) that he had seen last week.  Only then, does he decide to take my temperature, listen to my lungs etc etc.

He writes me a prescription for a steroid, an antibiotic and some linctus to ease the throat and help the cough.  Then I am out of there.  45 minutes waiting and 15 minutes consultation.

But I know why the wait was so long.  He is really a charming young man and he likes to talk with his patients and get to know them.  His comment to me was that looking at my file he saw that I didn’t go to the doctor often.  And over the past three years had been twice with broken bones.  Can’t fool that nice guy.

Then off to the pharmacy where I had another 20 minutes wait.  I just couldn’t wait to get back home.  I was exhausted after my morning doing nothing.

I started with Erma Bombeck and will finish this post with a quote that bears no relation to the theme of this post.  Put it down to a hard day achieving nothing.

“Give a girl the correct footwear and she can conquer the world”
Bette Midler

Red Shoes

If only I was still able to wear those heels!

It’s all English – isn’t it?

You think that I don’t even mean
A single word I say
It’s only words, and words are all
I have to take your heart away.”
So sung the Bee Gees way back in 1997.

I started to write my blog today feeling absolutely ghastly.  The cold that I have been nursing for 8 days has now morphed into an awful cough and all I wanted to do today was lie down with my book.  Waking up several times during the night didn’t make me bright eyed and bushy tailed this morning.  Fortunately, I only had to attend one of the open homes being run by my Real Estate friend.

But I made a commitment to myself some six months ago to post a blog every day so here goes.

Some time ago I read a blog from Robin entitled Shenks Ferry Wildflower Preserve that started me off on a different tack altogether.  Robin’s blog made me think of the different words in the English language that can have two definite and different meanings.  They often sound the same but may have different spellings.

  • Preserve – for me as I have said means a preserve or jam of fruits or vegetables. For Robin it meant a wildflower park.
  • Conserve – to prevent injury or waste or to make a conserve such as jams, pickles or chutney.
  • Bow – to bow down in homage or the bough of a tree.
  • Left as in direction and left as in ‘he left the store’
  • Address – where one lives and address as in making an address to the assembled people.
  • Close as near and close to shut
  • Permit – allow and permit as license
  • Incline – a small hill and incline towards something
  • Anchor – used to secure a boat or alternatively the shops that anchor a shopping mall ie a large variety or department store at each end of the mall or the newscaster.
  • Rebel – as in resisting authority and rebel the person resisting

And then of course we could open the can of worms of how the same words have different meanings to American and British people.

  • Purse – American handbag, British change purse
  • Vest – American sleeveless garment worn over clothes, British undergarment
  • Jelly – American jam and British equivalent of Jello

And different names for certain things.  For example, in a car

  • Gas in America = Petrol in Britain, New Zealand and Australia
  • Hood in America = Bonnet in Britain, New Zealand and Australia
  • Trunk in America = Boot in Britain, New Zealand and Australia

This didn’t set out to be a lesson in English grammar a subject in which I have always been interested.  But can you tell the difference between  homonyms – words that share the same spelling and the same pronunciation but have different meanings, eg bore and boar; homophones – words that sound the same however they are spelled eg whole and hole; and homographs – words that share the same spelling however they are pronounced eg content – happy or satisfied/all that is contained inside something.

As I don’t know where this is going I think I shall end there.  Hopefully my head will be in a better place tomorrow and the blog will make more sense.

But for now, please share my rainbow

Rainbow

My rainbow

Who Put You In the Driver’s Seat?

The reason we left Scotland and started our nomadic life (of sorts) is because my late husband worked for an international car rental company whose tagline was”Let Hertz put you in the driver’s seat.”  Are you old enough to remember this?  Click here for an ad of the times.

And when thinking of this it came to me that the men in our family Always want to be in the driver’s seat when driving the car.  When my husband was alive he always picked up the car keys when we were leaving the house – even if the keys were to my car.  Once he had his licence, my son assumed that he would drive us if his father were not around.

My son and son-in-law do the same thing still.  And this week, my grandson picked up my car keys.  But he didn’t get to drive as my car isn’t insured for anybody under 25.

I wondered whether this was a male thing generally or just peculiar to our family.

When I queried several friends they agreed that this was what happens in their families.  So why I have to ask myself.  And have no answer.

  • Do men think nobody else capable of driving?
  • Do they think we can’t find our way, with or without a map/satnav?
  • Does it give them a feeling of power?

Perhaps you have an answer.

If everything comes your way
You are in the wrong lane”  Unknown.

 

Ten Mindset Perspectives

“Now is the time to start living the life you’ve always wanted.”  Judith Baxter

Sunrise

Today is the first day of the rest of your life

When tidying my computer, and it was long overdue, I came across this page that was a handout I gave to those attending one of my Self Confidence courses.  See if it rings any bells with you.

  1. What we think is Always anchored by a belief, value or life experience that causes you to think as you do.
  2. We all view life through a ‘lens’ and that lens is a reflection of our beliefs, values and life experiences, including old wounds.
  3. How we view our possibilities is based on our beliefs.  These beliefs can be challenged and changed and challenged and we have the right to do so.
  4. When words like ‘can’t’, ‘have to’, ‘should’ and ‘shouldn’t’ are used there is a strong belief being expressed.
  5. Most of our beliefs were formed when we were children and often reflect the beliefs of adults in our lives.  Therefore, a good question to ask yourself about one of your beliefs is “Does this serve me and help me create the life I want?” and “Is this belief truth or merely someone’s opinion”.
  6. You do have the right to your own beliefs.
  7. Confusion, worry, anxiety, anger and frustration are often signs your inner wisdom is being blocked from coming through.
  8. Freedom comes as a result of stepping into your fears as opposed to stepping away from them.
  9. Let more than your mindset run your life.  Your inner wisdom knows what to do – listen to it.
  10. The way to readjusting your mindset is to become conscious of these beliefs and values.  the way to change them is to step into the unknown and dissect your beliefs.

I am now taking off my Life Coach hat and will return to the normal rambling posts on memories, nostalgia, family etc tomorrow.

Chinese character for Contentment

Contentment

“Becoming more and more aware of all that is possible moves your whole life into greater balance.” Author unknown.