Tag Archives: Inspiration

One Giant Leap

 

“Would you like to live in Auckland?” he asked
“Yes! I’ll be able to see my sister”
“Auckland not Oakland” he replied.
New Zealand, one huge step to the other side of world

This is my entry in this weekend’s Trifecta Challenge.  We were told :

Trifecta tricycle“Forty-three years ago today, Neil Armstrong became the first person to ever walk on the moon.  In celebration of Moon Day we want you to write 33 words about someone who took a giant leap.  It can mean whatever you’d like, just make sure you write exactly 33 words.”

If you want to know more about Trifecta or join in the challenges click on the tricycle above.  Good luck, it’s fun to try the challenges.

 

A Lovely New Word and a Challenge

Lotte in bed

Just don’t go on about it. Pleonasm is tiring.

Yesterday at Today I Think Patricia gave us the definition of the word pleonasm: the use of more words than necessary to express an idea, redundancy.

In my comment I said I would now have to find a use for the word and Patricia responded to let her know when and how I could work it into a conversation.  Well, I am not one to shirk a challenge, so here goes.

Prime Minister John Key

Photo credit NZ Herald

“Mr Prime Minister (we don’t have a President here in NZ) I think you should gather all your troops together and give them a lecture on pleonasm.  The speeches are far too long and very boring.”

Pres Obama and Gov Brewer

Can’t find photo credit. It’s on so many sites.

“Madam, can you please just cut to the chase.  Pleonasm is tedious”.

Photo from habitsforahappyhome.wordpress.com/

“Mum, pleonasm is wasted on me.  Just tell me in a few words what I did wrong.”

I now have to ask Patricia “Are these examples OK?”

And everybody else, what could you do with this lovely new word PLEONASM.

And no words are required to describe my rainbow.

Rainbow

My rainbow

Sisters

At the outset of my blogging career I wrote a couple of posts one on famous sisters – And The Best Friends of All Are Sisters and one on My Favourite Women Heroes.

Well staying on the subject of famous sisters, today I read  about Katherine and Marjorie Stinson.  Have you heard of these aviator pioneers?

Katherine Stinson

Katherine Stinson, the nineteen year old girl aviator preparing for her flight from Buffalo to Washington, D.C., in connection with the American Red Cross week

Katherine, the eldest was born in 1891, and had plans to study music in Europe and when she heard about stunt flying she determined that this was the way she could fund this ambition.  Barnstorming was a very dangerous occupation early in the 20th Century, but the best barnstormers could earn a thousand dollars in a good day provided they didn’t kill themselves.

By 1912 she’d located flying pioneer, Max Lillie and asked him to teach her to fly.  His response was – no way.  But she persuaded him to take her for a ride and finally convinced him to teach her.

Katherine at 21 became the only the fourth American woman to hold a pilot’s licence.  Next she took up exhibition flying billing herself as The Flying Schoolgirl.  Even though she was in reality 21 she looked to be about 16. Katherine was the first woman to become an airmail pilot and the first to fly a loop.  She flew in exhibitions not only in the US but was the first woman to fly inn China and Japan.  She was the first woman to fly the mail.

By this time she had given up dreams of being a concert pianist and instead considered herself a pilot.  In this is closely linked to Jean Batten the NZ woman aviator who too gave up her desire to be a concert pianist to become a flyer.

Marjorie Stinson

Marjorie Stinson, "only woman to whom a pilot's license has been granted by Army & Navy Committee of Aeronautics", in WWI"

Katherine‘s younger sister Marjorie, born in 1895 followed her example and also learned to fly.  She was the ninth American woman to hold a pilot’s licence.

Katherine and her mother formed the Stinson Aviation Company and after both her sister Marjorie and her brother gained their licenses the family moved to San Antonio and set up a flying school.   The school had to be closed when the US joined WWI the military banned civilian flying and the school had to be closed.

In 1915,   Marjorie  became the only woman in the U.S. Aviation Reserve Corps.  Then in 1916 she began training cadets from the Royal Canadian Flying Corps for service in WWI.  Her teaching methods earned her the nickname, “The Flying Schoolmarm.”

Katherine  tried to enlist as a pilot in the air force but without success and she eventually went to France as an ambulance driver.

After the war, Katherine went back to flying airmail for a short time,  but she contracted tuberculosis and had to give it up. She married a former WWI pilot  and they both did a little more flying but, in 1930, they both decided to quit.

She became a draftsman for the Army and studied architecture. She won prizes for her designs and she lived to the age of 86.

And Marjorie took to barnstorming around the country performing at county fairs and airports. She retired from flying in 1928 she became a draftsman for the  U.S. Navy’s Aeronautical Division. She retired from her job in 1945 and devoted the rest of her life to researching the history of aviation. She died in 1975 at the age of 80.

So two sisters who were very active in flying in the early days and of whom we have heard very little.  The Stinson Award was created in 1997 by the National Aviation Club (now part of NAA) to honor the accomplishments of these two pioneering women.

Read more about these and other notable women aviators at Women in Aviation

Note – photos via Wikipedia.

When sisters stand shoulder to shoulder,
who stands a chance against us?
Pam Brown

Kangaroos

Kangaroo and joey

Kangaroo and joey

More fun with words today.  Do you know the term kangaroo words?  A kangaroo word carries within its spelling (in normal order) a small word that is a perfect synonym for itself.   The etymology of the phrase kangaroo word is derived from the fact that kangaroos carry their young (known as joeys) in a body pouch; hence kangaroo words carry their joey words within themselves.

An example of this is Blossoms – note that it contains in the right order the synonym Blooms or Respite and Rest.

Here are some others to have fun with:

  1. Evacuate
  2. Encourage
  3. Prosecute
  4. Calumnies
  5. Indolent
  6. Diversified
  7. Rampage
  8. Matches
  9. Joviality
  10. Container.

and the answers –

  1. vacate
  2. urge
  3. sue
  4. lies
  5. idle
  6. divers
  7. rage
  8. mates
  9. joy
  10. can

And if that is not enough, what can you do with –

  1. rapscallion
  2. prattle
  3. perambulate
  4. pinioned
  5. regulates
  6. splotches
  7. slithered
  8. perimeter
  9. curtail
  10. respite.Clapping hands

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.  I am going away for a few days vacation now that the big red Santa boot is off, so I shall not be posting on my blog for a week.  But watch this space – I shall have plenty to share with you when I return.

Oh and I have just had a recollection – Captain Kangaroo when my children were growing up in Montreal.  Whatever happened to him?

Recognising a Sad Passing

Following my recent rant post about Political Correctness I thought I would post this obituary notice that I received this morning.  It has been roaming around the internet for some time, and I have received it at other times, but it really is in the same vein as my earlier post and seems to follow it naturally.

‘Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape.

He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:

  •   Knowing when to come in out of the rain;
  •   Why the early bird gets the worm;
  •    Life isn’t always fair; and
  •    Maybe it was my fault.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don’t spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge).

His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place.

  • Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate;
  • Teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch
  • and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student,

only worsened his condition.

Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children. It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an Elastoplast to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

Common Sense lost the will to live as the Ten Commandments became contraband; churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims.

Common Sense took a beating when you couldn’t defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.

Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents, Truth and Trust; his wife, Discretion; his daughter, Responsibility; and his son, Reason. He is survived by his 4 stepbrothers; I Know My Rights, I Want It Now, Someone Else Is To Blame, and I’m A Victim.

Not many attended his funeral because so few realised he was gone. If you still remember him, pass this on. If not, join the majority and do nothing.’

You know what I encourage you to do.  And here is that rainbow again to cheer you along in the face of all that has changed with the passing of Mr Common Sense.

Rainbow

My rainbow

 
 

 

All I Need To Know

Noah's ark

Many years ago my sister gave me a book entitled “All I really need to know I learned in kindergarten” by Robert Fulghum.

This little book contained all kinds of advice that we can heed.  But for me all I need to know I learned from the story of Noah’s Ark.

  • I learned to listen to the voice within regardless of what others think.
  • I learned to follow my intuition
  • I learned to make preparations well in advance
  • I learned to build my house and my life with strong materials and on a firm footing able to withstand whatever comes along
  • I learned to rescue those people and things that were important to me and to keep them safe
  • I learned to choose my companions and fellow travellers well
  • I learned to love my fellow travellers
  • I learned when it was time to let these travellers (aka my children) go to do so with grace knowing that in setting them free they would return
  • I learned to listen to others opinions but to make my own decisions
  • I learned that there is safety in numbers and that none of us can live entirely alone
  • I learned that time for solitary, quiet reflection is also necessary
  • I learned to go with the flow and embrace each new experience wherever I happened to land
  • I learned to give thanks for rain knowing that water is one of our great life sources
  • I learned to give thanks for the sunshine and the drying wind that came after the rain
  • I learned to give of my time to others – Noah’s Ark was built by volunteers
  • I learned to accept the assistance offered by others
  • I learned that life will not be all sunshine and light and that there will be times of rain and hardship
  • I learned that a sense of humour will take me through the hard times
  • I learned that wo/man is not the only living creature and is not of paramount importance.  Who gave us dominion over the rest of the creatures inhabiting our planet?
  • I learned to nurture an attitude of gratitude for all that I have and the life that I have
  • I learned that one man/woman with a strong belief can overcome and succeed in spite of the odds
  • I learned that fish is good for you!

Where did you learn the things you need to know to live life?  And are you living your life true to yourself or are you living somebody else’s dreams and decisions?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Better to write

“Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.” ― Cyril Connolly

I came across this quote the other day and thought how much I agreed with it.  Just as some people, particularly children, like to sing I like to write.

I have many notebooks filled with my writing and often it is work that has never been seen by anybody else.  The joy in much of this writing was just to get it down on a page.

Notebook and pen

Of course, with the advent of at least one computer in every home, writing has become easier.  Well the physical act of writing.  No more putting pen to paper but instead sitting at a keyboard and letting the words pour forth.  On a good day that is.

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 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.”

But I do love it that people are following my blog and commenting.  Thank you for caring.

“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.”

Waterfall

New words

“I like good strong words that mean something.”
– Louisa May Alcott, Little Women

I love it when I find new words.  Today’s new word is ACROSTIC.  I had no idea what this meant when I read Vivinfrance’s blog today.  So to my trusty dictionary and there it was :

“Acrostic n.  A number of lines of writing, such as a poem, certain letters of which form a word, proverb etc.  A single acrostic is formed by the initial letter of the lines; a double acrostic by the initial letter and final letters and a triple acrostic by the initial, middle and final letters”  Collins 1998 edition

I guess it’s close relative is mnemonic – we all use this as a memory jogger.  But to write a poem in this style absolutely floors me.  I am amazed and delighted at the skills some of our fellow bloggers display.

And of course, this is one of the forms used by our old friend Edgar Allan Poe .  I found this one in a book today (more research after finding the word):

Elizabeth it is in vain you say
Love not” — thou sayest it in so sweet a way:
In vain those words from thee or L. E. L.
Zantippe’s talents had enforced so well:
Ah! if that language from thy heart arise,
Breathe it less gently forth — and veil thine eyes.
Endymion, recollect, when Luna tried
To cure his love — was cured of all beside —
His folly — pride — and passion — for he died.

And the one mnemonic that we all learned in school to remember the colours of the rainbow:

Richard – red
Of – orange
York – yellow
Gave – green
Battle – blue
In – indigo
Vain – violet

And this segues beautifully into my rainbow.  So here it is once again.  Enjoy!

Rainbow

My rainbow

Oh and thanks to my blogging buddy Viv for this new word to add to my vocabulary – but that supposes I shall ever use the word in a sentence when speaking to my friends.  “Have you read any good acrostics recently?”  Well maybe not.

“You think that I don’t even mean
A single word I say
It’s only words, and words are all
I have …”
From “Words” by the BeeGees

Oh For An Original Thought

“All intelligent thoughts have already been thought;
what is necessary is only to try to think them again”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German Playwright, Poet, Novelist and Dramatist.  1749-1832

Sitting in front of a blank screen once again, I try to conjure up an original thought.  I read blogs from others and of course, get inspiration from them but an original thought of my own…..

I have read Val Erde’s post on what she plans to do with the rest of her life and that set me thinking.  In her poem The Summer Day Mary Oliver asks

Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life? “

Perhaps I could write a blog on that subject too.

Chris at Bridges Burning posted about the date November 22 and what it means to many of us.  She also introduced us to a book by Stephen King (one of my favourite authors) 22/11/63  11/22/63 (I have just had this error pointed out to me.  Thank you Sharon) and I have now reserved it from the library.  Reminded me of draft I started ages ago about where we I was on certain historic days during my long life.

Susan at Coming East wrote about what triggers memories.  I read this a couple of days ago and just this morning when opening a fresh container of milk I remember how my sister used to open the top for my father who was blind.  That took me back to the last time I saw him.  About 92, legally blind and living in his own apartment on his own.  What a great mentor and father he had been to me and my sisters throughout his life.

So..today…  Do you know Mary Oliver’s poetry?  One of my favourites is The Journey :

“One day you finally knew what you had to do,
and began, though the voices around you
kept shouting their bad advice–“

Read the rest of this poem here and the poem “The Summer Day” here.

So still without an original thought, or even an independent thought, I am bowing out of today’s post.

Waterfall

Dreamstime.com Free images

And now
As the water cascades and tumbles
over the rocks in it’s rush
down to join the river
so my thoughts tumble around my brain
looking for an outlet
or a safe place to stop

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.