Tag Archives: giving thanks

Friends in Far Flung Places

“Friendship is born at the moment when one man says to another
“What! You too? I thought that no one but myself …
CS Lewis 1898-1963 – Four Loves

We are so lucky to have all the things available to us that weren’t available in our parents’ time.  In particular, I mean Skype.

I have just finished a call of 1 hour and 20 minutes to two of my sisters by choice, Chris at Bridges Burning and Joss at Joss Burnel Author.  And yes, the link to Joss’ blog is all about me.  How’s that!

Anyway, we have this weekly chat and get together.  Three women, who are true friends but who met through the wonderful world of blogging.  Very far apart in miles but so close together in friendship and love.  How I wish Skype had been available when my parents were alive.  How much better it would have been for all of us, especially the children, to have been able to have long family chats whenever we wanted to.

Now back to today.  Unfortunately, Chris is recovering from a bad cold and departed early in the call to lie down and recuperate.  That left just two of us.  I’m particularly interested in Ecuador and what it is like as an expat living there.   Joss and her ‘sweetie’ Gerard have been in Ecuador for about 3 years (I think) and they are thriving.  Joss has a group of friends with whom she shares time and experiences and writing.  And Gerard? Well Gerard does what Gerard does.

Having just finished a successful Writers’ Conference, Joss and her cohorts/friends are just organising another conference for next March and I thought I should like to go.  Oh I know it’s so far away, but we can all dream can’t we?  And I even looked up flights.  Well yes, one can get from Auckland, New Zealand to Quito, Ecuador for about $12,000 return economy fare.  I didn’t even look at Business Class. But I think I shall have to wait until somebody has some specials on flights to Ecuador, or maybe I’ll win Lotto tomorrow. Note to self – buy Lotto ticket.  And Joss, it isn’t a 7 hours flight as you had earlier thought, it’s it’s one day and 4 hours.  Oh yes, we have already laughed when you shared your thoughts on the time of the flight.

So now, having been brightened on this autumn day by speaking with my friends, I shall spend the rest of the day, reading and drinking tea and looking forward to next week’s chat.


I found this on Pinterest. I hope I’m not impinging on anyone copyright.























Bouquets and Thanks


This is is a very short post today.  The furniture arrived safely and two strong young men manhandled it into place.  We were guided by the drawings my friend had left for me. So a good job well done.


garden storage box

On Saturday I complained about a flat pack I had received that proved impossible to put together. I then went on to say that I would have to start the protracted dealing with the supplier to get my money refunded.

I sent off my email and today I was very pleasantly surprised to receive a response. There was an apology because the goods were damaged and a promise to refund my money in full onto the credit card I had used to make the purchase.

The email went on to say that in this instance the company did not require the box to be returned and asked me to dispose of it.

How’s that for service. I’ll certainly continue to use this supplier in the future and will recommend them to all my friends.

“Customers may forget what you said but they’ll never forget how you made them feel” – Unknown

Down to the wire again – 23.50.

Note to self –  must try to get this blog done earlier in the day.

The Streets of London

“So how can you tell me you’re lonely,
And say for you that the sun don’t shine?
Let me take you by the hand and lead you through the streets of London
I’ll show you something to make you change your mind “

This is the chorus from Ralph McTell’s song The Streets of London”.  

This is one of those songs that remind us just how lucky we are.  Oh, we all have something about which to complain but unless one is battling a life-threatening or terminating illness, put alongside those who are homeless and without any hope that things will improve, they really are minor.

If you follow my blog you will know that, until I came to live with my partner (the Architect), Thursday was always Mary Potter Hospice day.  Once a week I volunteered and helped serve lunch to the patients or should we now call them clients?

All these patients were battling terminal illness but in the years that I volunteered there,  I only met one person who was rude and ungrateful for the care he was receiving from the dedicated staff.  Of course, it was understood by everyone why he was like this at the time.  And his charming wife told us that he was never rude before coming into the Hospice.  Apparently, he was a gregarious, lovely fellow who was finding it difficult to come to terms with what was happening to him.

And then recently, I experienced the other side of the service the hospice offers.  My partner, dying from a brain tumour, was transferred to Te Omanga Hospice close to where we live.  And what an amazing place that it.  The love, care and attention showered upon us both was absolutely unbelievable.  Nothing was too much trouble for any of the staff.  Cups of tea in the early hours of the morning; a friendly ear to listen when it all became too much for me; food brought to me even though I didn’t want to eat and in all an outpouring of love to help me when the inevitable time came for the Architect to leave this world. And when that day came, the love was showered on our families.

So if today in your travels, you come across an abrupt, grumpy person, give them a smile.  We don’t know what demons they are battling in their lives and maybe a smile will help them.

“If you’re reading this…
Congratulations, you’re alive.
If that’s not something to smile about,
then I don’t know what is.”
Chad Sugg, –  Monsters Under Your Head

Celebrating a Milestone

This was yesterday’s blog but for whatever reason WordPress didn’t publish it so there will be two posts today.

Posted – January 11, 2012

Today I had no hesitation when I sat down at the computer to write my blog. No problem with water aka thoughts rushing to find a safe place. I knew exactly what I was going to write about.

When I started on my blogging journey way back on March 1, 2011 I didn’t know how much fun I would have in writing every day or how many friends I would make in this blogging world.

Milestone celebration

Well today, I have reached 100 followers and I would like to thank you all for reading and following and commenting from time to time. I really appreciate all of you. Many of the blogs I follow have a greater number of subscriptions but I am very excited at reaching this milestone.

Over the months I have read blogs from people whose lives are so different to mine. Most live in other countries and are of a different age group (well how many have reached my VAST age?). Many have young children and their days are taken up with all the busyness that accompanies families. Some are looking at retirement and how they will fill in their time once they do retire. Some are battling demons either within themselves or from actions of others, and others are living their daily lives with vigour and excitement greeting each day with enthusiasm. I do know that some have health problems and in one case in particular, these problems are the basis of his daily (and sometimes more than once daily) blog posts.

There are a number of writers that I follow and some of whom follow me. Some are writers of fiction and some of fact, and in a couple of cases have had books published this year. Congratulations to each of them.

So to all of you who follow my blogs and those of you whose blogs I follow thank you for the support offered unconditionally over the past months. Here I have to say that in receiving over 3,000 comments on the posts I have only ever received one that I didn’t want to publish – apart that is from all the spam.


And today I received another award – thank you Linda Cassidy Lewis for the nomination. Have you read Linda’s book “The Brevity of Roses”? It’s a great read and should be on your reading list.

Liebster blog award

In accepting an award I am called upon to nominate others to receive it and also to tell some things about myself. Well I have so many wonderful blogs that I follow that I will once again, just direct you to my blog roll. If any of these are new to you please do visit them. I always find something new in their blogs. And as for me, I have told you about myself in my posts and on my page Meet Judith Baxter, so I really think there is nothing more to add.

And because it’s a lovely day of celebration and sunshine. And because I have only 2 more weeks tomorrow to wear my big red Santa boot, I offer you once again, my special rainbow. Please accept it and make it yours. And if anybody wants to use it in a blog post, please feel free to do so.


My rainbow

Thank You and Goodnight

Cross Old Woman

Over the past couple of weeks I have been thinking about how much easier it is to offer and give help than it is to receive it.

I have been brought up to believe that it is my duty to help others whenever I can, giving whatever is required.  Sometimes it is time, working on a committee or fund-raising for a charity; maybe it is giving a helping hand, a lift or a smile to a friend or neighbour.  But how much harder it is to ask for and accept help.

When I first broke the bone in my foot I was almost completely helpless.  I could move around but with great difficulty so I was reliant on somebody else for the simplest things.  I hadn’t realised how many cups of tea and coffee I drink during the day until I had to ask somebody else to make them for me.  And not only to make them but to carry them to wherever I was sitting.  A simple lunchtime sandwich was beyond me.  A shower needed the help of a friend.  All these things we take for granted suddenly were totally beyond me.

Of course, things are improving since I can now put some weight on the injured ankle but this has made me more aware of the problems some of my friends live with.  One friend has multiple sclerosis and walks with the aid of a stick.  Recently she slipped in the shower and broke her good foot making her totally incapacitated.  This then necessitated a short stay in a rest home while she recuperated.  She was totally dependent on others for everything.  She did recover from the broken foot but will never recover from MS.

Another friend has problems with hip joints while yet another has to rely on somebody to push her around in a wheelchair when shopping.  Neither of these will get back to the way they used to be and will always be dependent on others to a certain extent.

So now I am working on graciously accepting the help offered, not trying to be my usual independent self and gratefully acknowledging   the help offered.

So once again, here is my rainbow because while I have always believed it I now know for a fact that something good comes out of even the least likely event aka an accident.


My rainbow

And yes, Pollyanna is alive and well and living in
Wellington, New Zealand.

Unaccustomed as I am and thanks anyway

Versatile blogger

Thanks to Susan at Coming East I received my second Versatile Blogger Award.  What do they say?  You can fool all the people some of the time….

Seriously though, I would like to thank Susan and those other bloggers who follow my ramblings each day.  You are the reason I keep to this self-imposed discipline.  Yesterday I eventually posted at 11.45 pm – had to get it in before midnight.  That was quite a feat having been to the movies and the dinner, before coming back here for coffee.


I have posted seven things about me in my thank you blog on April 30 – see here – so I won’t bore you with those things again.

But I need to nominate 15 more bloggers – see the earlier post for the original 15.  So in no particular order:

  1. L’Idiot Speaketh – http://redriverpak.wordpress.com – He doesn’t need my vote because he has had over 1million hits but I do so enjoy the humor.
  2. Sunshineinlondon – She keeps us amused about daily life in my home town
  3. bluebeachsong – Martie writes beautiful music and her haunting voice can be heard on her blog.
  4. Monicastangledweb – this is another of our very clever bloggers.  Thanks for the daily posts.
  5. Herdingcatsinhammondriver – though much younger than me, Wendy keeps me entertained with her wit
  6. Fribnitsworld – I really enjoy this guy and hope you will too
  7. Linda Atkins at http://rickandlindafamily.wordpress.com.  Always an upbeat post that I really enjoy reading
  8. Paul on the Goodgreatsby – This one makes me think
  9. the Docent Dog at http://pointcabrillolightstation.wordpress.com.  A clever blog using the dog as the spokesperson
  10. Duke at http://1959duke.wordpress.com.  Another clever blogger who also makes me think about all manner of things
  11. Life in the bogs – Robin writes and posts her photographs that fill me with joy and a little envy.  I wish I was a photographer and/or could write as well as she does
  12. Linda  at http://lindacassidylewis.com/ writes about writing.
  13. Debbie at http://dbdazedomain.wordpress.com/ has kept us amused with tales of downsizing and moving.  Enjoy Costa Rica Debbie.
  14. and 15 are all those whom I have yet to discover but already know that I will love.

So if I have left you out please accept my apologies.

Have to go and make soup for the family now –

Bowl of soup

Mulligatawny Soup – via Wikipedia

As I have said before, according to my son his “Mummy’s” soup is the best (that is according to him).

“There is nothing like soup. It is by nature eccentric: no two are ever alike, unless of course you get your soup in a can.”
Laurie Colwin, ‘Home Cooking’ (1988)

Alone But Not Lonely

Well the gremlins have been at work and all the writing has disappeared.  The blog was written this morning complete with words and photos, but where did it go?

Today I wanted to talk about being alone but not lonely.  I am often alone but rarely do I feel lonely.  When Bob first died I was very lonely although my family and friends did their best to make it not so.  Often, in the midst of a group of people having fun I would feel so lonely.  But this passed and I learned how to live alone.

For me loneliness is looking for somebody or something else to fill the empty spaces and alone is when I am content with my own company not needing anyone of anything else.

The Collins dictionary definition of lonely is “unhappy as a result of being without companions, isolated, solitary’ and Mother Teresa said “ Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty.”. The dictionary defines alone as “apart from another or others”.

As I have said, I have many supportive friends but they each respect my desire to be alone at times; whether this is to take in a movie, have coffee or lunch at a cafe or just to stay home and read a book.  This quiet time being alone, feeds my soul and keeps me grounded.  It is too easy to fill our lives with busyness and other people.

When I was first on my own I wrote a small book that explained how I had brought myself out of the grief and sorrow to being able to take my place in the world again.  If you are going through the grieving process, or are too much alone and lonely I would be happy to send you a pdf of my book.  Just email me at jbaxter@clear.net.nz with Suddenly Single in the subject line.  And take a look at the website.

My advice to anyone who is lonely, take the first step.  Go out of the house and talk to people.  There are clubs and groups to join and even if you only go to the library and talk to the librarian he or she will put you in touch with others.  As human beings we know we need contact with others.  So make the effort – it becomes easier as time goes on.