Tag Archives: learning

More New Words

“Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.” 
― Rudyard Kipling

I have always been mesmerised/entranced/spellbound by words and in this, I am joined by both my sisters.  I suspect this is because our father was similarly mesmerised/entranced/spellbound.

Words

Last week I came across the word multifarious and while I was sure I could guess at its meaning I looked it up.  It means having many varied parts or aspects.  And then a couple of days later, one of my sisters of choice, Chris at Bridges Burning posed a question that asked for one word to describe yourself.   Chris chose Flotsam as her word,  and Celi at the kitchen gardens chose eclectic, and I chose multifarious because I think it absolutely describes me. What word would you choose?

And then, my ever resourceful sister in Los Angeles came up with

I’m now trying to find a sentence in which to use this lovely word.  That is of course if I can work out how to pronounce it.

Note:   According to Stephen King

“Any word you have to hunt for in a thesaurus
is the wrong word.
There are no exceptions to this rule.”

And who am I to argue with the master?

And turning to the Oxford English I find that logophile is the noun to describe a lover of words.

 

 

 

A New Kid on the Block

Today I came across a very new blogger.  Well at this time she has posted two blogs.  Today’s post really resonated with me.

Those of you who know me, know I have a real ‘thing’ about how today’s young are mollycoddled, wrapped in cotton wool and hardly ever left to their own devices outside in the fresh air.  Go over to Heidi’s blog here.  Please do.  Remember when we first started on this blogging journey, writing our posts and wondering if anyone was ever going to read much less follow us.

And this came up because Darlene Foster posted this today.   Darlene was a farm kid from out back Canada (sorry Darlene can’t remember where) and so she particularly liked this and shared it with us.  Thanks, Darlene.  We townie’s love reading such things.

And one of my favourite farmer bloggers is Cecilia.  She is a New Zealander residing in the US and running a small farm.  Currently, she is caring for Waimoana, or Wai for short a pot belly pig rescued from a farmer in Kentucky.  This poor pig has been treated so badly and Ce is doing her best to help him recover.  Here’s the link to the first introduction to Wai.  Each day Ce posts on his recovery.  Oh, it’s so slow but it is happening.  We all have our fingers crossed for Wai.

And another blogger Patricia at Patricia’s Place today mused on being grateful for kindness.  and of course, that took me back to this time last year when I was recovering from my big adventure aka accident and I had to learn to accept the kindness offered by everyone.  It is often easier to give than to receive and one has to learn to receive graciously the kindness offered.

And today, my sister of choice Chris at Bridges Burning caught my attention with the title of her post ““J.K. Rowling thinks of Harry Potter series as an ex-lover.”  She talked about headlines and how they can draw you into an item and how sometimes, they disappoint.

And another of my sisters of choice Dor at  Virginia Views talked about the To Do List and how even though we are retired many items just don’t get done.  Oh, at least she has Bill to cover for her.  How often during those busy, busy years did I think of what I would do when I had the time.

At the start of my blogging journey,  I wrote about the busy years and now, once again life has taken a 360-degree turn and things have changed. It is interesting to look back to June 20, 2011, and see how things have changed.

And so the musing of this elderly woman in far away New Zealand comes to an end for another day.

Waterfall

“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, sister, mother, grandmother
blogger, and friend
1938 –

 

Moving Forward

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Today, I changed the header to my blog. Not because my heart became ready for the Architect to leave but because this is a New Year and time for new adventures (hopefully happier ones than last year).  I shall never forget the Architect.  Along with my Dashing Young Scotsman, he’ll always be part of the rest of my life. but as Mary Oliver says “I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.”

So being a firm believer in the fact that no experience is ever wasted, I ask myself what did I learn from the major accident in 2016.  I learned that

  • One quickly finds out who are your true friends
  • And the real meaning of friendship
  • It’s alright to ask for help
  • How to ask for help and accept it graciously and gratefully
  • People/friends and family are only too willing to do anything they can to help
  • I don’t always have to be in charge
  • Others often have a better way of achieving something
  • It’s a real bonus to have so much time to read

And then a short 7 weeks after  I was proclaimed all healed by the fact that my driving licence was no longer suspended I managed to fracture my shoulder.  I used those things i learned over the next 6 weeks while the shoulder healed.

So now going into this New Year, knowing just how fragile life really is, and armed with a desire to do and achieve more I’m going to be more aware

  • of what I do,
  • of how I can help others
  • of time spent with family and friends

“…there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognised 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 September 1935 –

Dust if you must

Dear-mother-nature-quote

If this is your copyright, I apologise for using it.  Please let me know.

I have no doubt you have heard of our earthquake.  7.7 on The Richter Scale – yes, it was a big one.  While we celebrate the fact that only one death was directly attributable to the earthquake, that of a man who was killed when a historic homestead collapsed and a woman who died of a heart attack; we mourn for the two lives lost. The man’s 100-year-old mother survived.

And those of us affected by minor damage in our houses try to get back some sense of normalcy into our lives.  Added to the damage caused to roads and buildings, has been the torrential rain that we have experienced since the quake.  Many buildings in Wellington’s Central Business District have been damaged, shops, offices and schools are closed while the result of damage to the properties is evaluated.

But down south at and near the epicentre things are so much worse.  Some places are cut off entirely as roads are impassable.

It is at times such as this when we thank the powers that be for our being unhurt by a disaster of this magnitude that we take stock of our lives once again.

Shirley Conran told us that Life is too Short to Stuff a Mushroom” but this poem by Rose Milligan says it for me:

“Dust if you must, but wouldn’t it be better
to paint a picture ,or write a letter,
Bake a cake, or plant a seed;
Ponder the difference between want and need?

Dust if you must, but there’s not much time,
with rivers to swim and mountains to climb,
Music to hear and books to read,
friends to cherish and life to lead?

Dust if you must, but the world’s out there,
with the sun in your eyes and the wind in your hair,
A flutter of snow, a shower of rain,
this day will not come around again.

Dust if you must, but bear in mind,
old age will come and it’s not kind.
And when you go (and go you must)
You, yourself will make more dust.”

Wikipedia tells me it was originally published in 1998 in “The Lady” Britain’s longest-running weekly women’s magazine. It has been in continuous publication since 1885 and is based in London.

So dust if you must, or stuff a mushroom but for me, this has been yet another wake-up call.  So I’m off to see what other adventures await me.

Godwits en route

 

Another Day in the Life of…

Adventure

It’s now midnight as I finish this post.  I determined to post each day from today when writing my Morning  Pages (a la Julia Cameron) this morning.

So having no idea what to write about, I looked at some of the earlier posts – some 758 published since March 1, 2011 and came across this one from January 16, 2013 – A Day in the Life of..

Well, that brought up some good memories and so I thought I’d do the same today. So Another Day…..

A few days ago I wrote about a book I bought, The Artist’s Way for Retirement  by Julia Cameron.  So I’m now writing three pages each morning.  Just anything that comes to mind, first thing in the morning.  We are told to write these pages by hand not on the computer, and we are advised not to re-read our Morning Page.  And now the honesty bit comes out.  I haven’t managed every day since I started last week, but today is a whole new week and the beginning of the rest of my life.

Today I had an appointment with the Otolaryngologist more commonly known as an ENT Specialist and what a waste of time that was.  15 minutes in his office to be told exactly what I had been told on each of the three visits to the audiologist – the adventure I had earlier this year has affected my hearing.  I’m so very glad that I wasn’t paying for his time.  The Accident Compensation Corporation arranged this visit.  Oh, the ACC is the organisation that administers New Zealand’s compulsory accident compensation scheme for personal accident insurance cover.  So all costs associated with my accident are covered.  Obviously, our taxes pay for the service.

An unorganised Skype call to a friend in Ontario was not successful and so will try again in a day or so;  message with another friend in Sydney who is my buddy while we are doing The Artist’s Way, a walk, some reading and the day was over.

I did read and respond to blog posts from my blogging friends, then I looked back to October last year to see what words of wisdom I was spouting then.

I was still very raw following the death of the Architect.  Trying to find my way back to living without him.

Early in that month I reflected on a post from the year before and made some amendments.  The post was from Writing 101 – Personality on the Page.  The challenge was –
“We all have anxieties, worries, and fears. What are you scared of?
Address one of your worst fears.
Today’s twist: Write this post in a style distinct from your own.

My response to this challenge was:

I have breezed through life with very few fears but

  • I have always been afraid that something bad could happen to one of my loved ones
  • I have been anxious about my aged parents on the other side of the world; both now dead
  • I was afraid of cats until I took a course of EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) or Tapping as it is sometimes known.  Now I am no longer afraid of cats and have even been known to stroke one, but
  • My worst fear was realised at 2.28am on April 22 1998.  My Dashing (not so) Young Scotsman died.

I wondered/ feared :

  • How would I live without him
  • How could I live without him
  • Where would I live without him
  • How could I go through each day knowing he wasn’t waiting for me at home
  • How could I smile and pretend that life was “normal”
  • What was normal anymore
  • When would the “time heals” kick in
  • When would I stop counting the hours, days since he died and move onto the months and years

And I found that while my worst fear had been realised on that ghastly day, I could:

  • Live my life without him though I missed him madly
  • Move house and so find where I could live without him
  • Go through each day with his memories to help me
  • What became normal was different to anything I had expected or experienced
  • Time didn’t heal although the hurt was lessened as time passed
  • Now I say he died 16 years ago.

And now after so long, my whole life has changed as I have a new partner and we are making a new life together.

Then last October I answered the same questions following the Architect’s death. 

And once again,  I found that 

  • I could live my life without him although I missed him madly
  • I moved house again and found somewhere I could live without him
  • I could get through each day without him but have the memories to help me
  • And normal changed yet again
  • And time doesn’t heal, the hurt lessens somewhat as time passes
  • And he has now been dead for 14 months.

Also that month I wrote about 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 me just how lucky I am.  We all have something about which to gripe and complain but unless one is battling a life threatening or terminating illness, they mostly are minor when put alongside those who are homeless , jobless and without any hope that things will improve.

If you have been following me for a while, you will know that for years I volunteered at a local hospice and saw first hand how those terminally ill folk dealt with the end of their lives.  And then later, I saw the hospice movement from the other side, when the Architect spent the last 10 days of his life there.

And recently I following my April adventure, I spent time in rehab where I saw how others were dealing with brain injury and once again I was so very grateful that what could have been an absolute disaster for me and my family turned into a lesser disaster. I saw others who were so much worse off than me; some of whom had done pretty well the same as I had but who had suffered much worse.

My Attitude of Gratitude is set on high  at present.

Last October I wrote about moving on and also about the way in which the Architect proposed that I live with him.

In all, a harrowing month but a year later, all is changed again and I am moving on.

The posts referred to are –

Writing 101: Personality on the Page
The Streets of London
Time to Move on Again
You are Beautiful

I don’t know if that is really a day in my life, but it’s what I’ve been thinking of today as I went about the daily chores, walking, writing and enjoying my life.

 

 

 

More Walking

“One must always be careful of books,” said Tessa, 
“and what is inside them,
for words have the power to change us.”
― Cassandra Clare, American author of young adult fiction,
1973 –

Many years ago I discovered Julia Cameron and her book The Artist’s Way.  Through this book, her suggestions and in particular, her Morning Pages, I found that what I really wanted was be a life coach.  I then discovered a special Life Coach, Cary Volmer in Minnesota, and found out first hand what a life coach does.  She encouraged me and subsequently I took a Life Coach course in Australia  and became certified.

So why am I telling you this today, many years after the event?  Well, today I purchased Julia’s next book – The Artist’s Way for Retirement.

As usual, I’m spending the weekend with my son and his family.  Today my son was asleep as he works as Night Manager at a Wellington Hotel, my grandsons and their mother were all working and so I took myself off for my walk and ended up in the local mall.  The bookshop, as always, drew me to it and I saw this book.  I picked it up just to look at it, you understand.  The book fell open and the first thing that jumped out at me was the paragraph that included:

Walking makes” a quilt out of the silken patches of our experience.
So yes, it’s important that we walk.”

For me, walking has broadened my life, making me more independent than I have been for several months -4 or 5 kms a day makes all the difference to my life.  So of course, I had to buy the book.

As I’m almost completely recovered I now have to decide what to do with this life of mine and so I’m starting the 12-week course covered in this book to find out where I’m going next and what I am going to do.  So as we say,and if you’re interested, watch this space.

Butterflies

Another Year On

“Even the smallest act of service, the simplest act of kindness,
is a way to honor those we lost,
a way to reclaim that spirit of unity that followed 9/11.”
President Obama in a 2011 radio address

On the eve of 9/11 many of us here in New Zealand are thinking of that tragic day in 2001 when so many lives were lost, so many lives were changed and the world as we knew it changed suddenly and forever.

Even though we are told that there was some indication that a major action was about to unfold, nobody could really have imagined the extent or the effect that it would have.

Here in New Zealand we watched in disbelief as the drama unfolded.  Having heard the news on the radio we switched to the television and saw the events as they happened. We saw the unforgettable images of the planes flying into the tower, the bodies falling onto the ground and the faces of the rescuers, working against all odds to rescue anybody at all. These images and words spoken by the firemen, the policemen and other volunteers will stay with us forever.

And in the 15 years since that attack what has happened?  Horror mounts almost daily with reports of innocent people being killed or forced to flee their homes, people living in daily fear of what will happen next.  We hear of young girls being kidnapped by Boko Haraam, many of whom are still missing years later.  Journalists and Peace workers are being murdered and video reports of this are sent around the world.  Fear and belief that all Muslims are evil is escalating and we see evidence of this all around the world.  Where will it end?  And how can it be ended?  Not with more violence and hatred because we know that this only feeds itself.

Perhaps it’s naive to consider that we should or could give peace a chance as John and Yoko Lennon suggested in 1969. But how could this be achieved?  Are any of the “Powers that be” putting any thoughts in this direction, because somebody with some authority has to have the intestinal fortitude (read guts) to begin.  I fear that there is nobody brave enough or committed enough to be the first.

“Imagine there’s no countries, it isn’t hard to do
No need to kill or die for and no religions too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace
You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one”
From the song Imagine by John Lennon and Yoko Ono

So on this day each year we will remember the folks who died on that tragic day and remember all those who are still suffering because of it.

May I share my rainbow with you in honour of those people?

Rainbow

My rainbow

Note – First paragraph changed – see Erratum

 

 

Welcome Spring

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Today I noticed daffodils in bloom in my very small garden so spring is here.

images

Yes really today is September 1 recognised as the first day of Spring here in New Zealand.  Well, we have had a really good winter this year and so are hoping it will run over into spring.

And Spring brings a new start for everyone.  Here the daffodils are bursting through cheering everyone with their bobbing yellow heads. Wordsworth had the words that I don’t

When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
and

Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance”

And for me this is the beginning of the next 12 months of my life.  The past 12 were not great; The Architect died and then I had my accident.  But that is all behind me and I’m looking forward again.

I have so much for which to be grateful

  • A loving and helpful family
  • Kindly, caring friends including my blogosphere friends
  • A good and comfortable home
  • My good health
  • Able to afford to do most of what I want
  • And of course, I’M ALIVE to share in all that this wonderful and enjoy all that is on offer.

And just so I know how far I have come in the past 12 months, here’s the post from September 2 2015 –  Missing you.

 

So if you’re in our side of the world enjoy Spring and if not enjoy autumn/fall because we know that each Season brings us much to be thankful for.

 

 

 

Me – pedantic?

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Pedantic n: excessively concerned with minor details or rules;
overscrupulous.

I have realised that as I’m ageing I am becoming pedantic.  I find myself correcting the newscasters – who instead of whom; less instead of fewer, have two choices instead of a choice, split infinitives, etc etc.

While at the hospital recently I saw a message on the wall that said if you are a woman and between the ages of 17 to 65 – or some such ages, I drew my daughter’s attention to the mistaken use of to instead of and.  She responded with the question did I understand what was being transmitted.  Of course I answered yes but it still worried me. Well that’s what it’s all about isn’t it?

Then later in the week, when just thinking about nothing in particular, it came to me that I was becoming pedantic.  The English language and the way it was used was very important in our lives growing up.  Both parents, but my Father in particular, were very aware of the way we used English and because of this I guess i have continued to be very aware of language.

So now I am making a definite move to change.  I know it won’t be easy but ….

Change is the law of life.
And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.
John F. Kennedy

 

And for no other reason than because I love it. –

Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world“.
Marilyn Monroe

Red ShoesIf only I were able to wear those heels!

Can you believe it?

Do you ever do something and wonder what you were thinking of?  And even though you know what you were thinking of it doesn’t make it any better.

Shortly after I moved in with The Architect I changed from using Microsoft to Apple.  My Christmas present from him was a top of the range,  very large Apple iMac desktop.  I had an iPhone for manny years then a month after that  Christmas I bought an iPad.  So there I was with three Apples all communicating via Blue Tooth and so it seemed sensible to invest in an Apple laptop.  So a couple of weeks ago I decided to bite the bullet and buy one.

Apple laptop

Over the past many months, even  before I thought of buying a new laptop, I had been copying files from the old laptop to the Apple iMac.  So when my son suggested that he put the Toshiba on Trade Me (our version of E- Bay) I agreed.

At the weekend he picked it up and checked that I had copied everything I needed off it and proceeded to clear the hard drive.  Oh yes, you have guessed.  Today when I was looking for something on the computer I realised that I hadn’t saved any of the work from my years as a Life Coach.  All the programmes I devised  and the courses I had run are now whiling away the time in the ether.

Well I have nobody to blame but me – and as I have spent years advising my clients that what we say to ourselves is what we believe.  So no – I’m not stupid .  I really believed that everything on that Toshiba .was backed up.  Well we all make mistakes and what is the expression about crying over spilt milk.

I’ll probably never need any of that material again but wouldn’t it have been nice to look at occasionally, just to see what I had achieved.  Oh well – back to the drawing board.

“Mistakes are part of the dues one pays for a full life.”
Sophia Loren, Italian Actress, 1934-