Tag Archives: musing

A Different Day

Driving home after coffee with a friend today, I passed the cemetery. This is where the ashes of my late husband were put so many years ago.

I am not in the habit of visiting the cemetery. I don’t need to go there to feel near my DYS; he is here with me all the time. But today I was attracted to the place.

As it is so long since I have been there, I had to find out from the staff where he was. Once before when I went there, I told the woman I had lost my husband – but before I could explain she took me into the office and offered tea and tissues.

So today, I was very clear, explaining that it was a while since I had visited. So with map in hand, I found him.

 

it was a lovely day and a beautiful place to sit in quiet contemplation, thinking of all the years we had together, and the years I have spent without him.

It will probably be several years before I go back, but it was a lovely way to spend an hour on a sunny, autumn afternoon.

Circumstances or people can take away your material possessions,
they can take away your money, and they can take away your health.
But no one can ever take away your precious memories.”
Judith Baxter, Mother, ‘Grandmother, Sister,
Aunt and Friend

 

 

 

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Another week in the life of..

It has been a week of mixed emotions.

Sunday dawned bright and sunny and as it was Mothers’ Day I was awakened by a visit from my son. A great start to a good day.

On Monday I wrote about a new life, the death of one friend and another friend who was spending time in the local hospice.

Wednesday was another mixed day. My grandson’s graduation and my friend’s Memorial service. A new life beginning and another one ending.

Vic

It’s at such times that I stop and think about all that is good in my life (I hope you do too). How lucky am I to have these four fine, upstanding young men whom I am pleased to call my Grandsons. And how lucky that I have a supportive son and daughter, and daughter-in-law.

Wendy’s life is now over, Drew’s new life is just beginning and I will continue to choose how I will spend the rest of my life – filled with gratitude, adventures, and love.

   Drew Graduation
My grandsons are all so tall – I look like a midget beside Drew.

And of course, no post would be complete without Mary Oliver

“Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
With your one wild and precious life?” 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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On This Day

“If you don’t like the news, go out and make some of your own.”
Wes Nisker author, radio commentator, comedian,
and Buddhist meditation instructor.
1942 –

On this day in 2012, as a reasonably new blogger, I wrote a Post on a woman who gave a kidney to her immediate supervisor and then shortly afterward was dismissed from her job.  This should be a lesson to all those selfless people out there who are considering offering a body part to an employer or supervisor.  Your generosity will not be appreciated and may even be thrown back in your face, as in this case where the recipient of the kidney said to the donor “Don’t expect to be treated special because of what you did for me”. A strange way to say thanks.

On this day in 1773, The British Parliament passed the Tea Act.  This Act forced Colonists to buy tea from the East India Company that controlled all tea imported into the colonies.  Direct action by a group calling itself the Sons of Liberty in Boston resulted in the tea contained in three trading ships being destroyed.  We are told by Wikipedia that “this was a key event in the growth of the American Revolution”.

On this day in 1937, the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco opened.  The American Society of Civil Engineers declared it one of the modern Wonders of the World and  Frommers travel guide considers the Golden Gate Bridge “possibly the most beautiful, certainly the most photographed, bridge in the world.

On this day in 1989, Beijing students took over Tiananmen Square in China.  In case you are too young to know about this thousands of students and other citizens started gathering in groups large and small, protesting many issues, centered on a desire for freedom and democratic reform.  By mid-May, hundreds of thousands of people occupied the Square.  Chinese authorities responded with a declaration of martial law, and on June 3rd  tanks and armored personnel carriers rolled into the square, killing and wounding many, mostly civilians – estimates vary widely, from several hundred to several thousand dead.

On this day in 2011, a lashing string of tornadoes tore through Alabama smashing buildings, snapping trees and ending at least 58 lives.

On this day in 2013, eight people are killed and dozens are injured after Taliban attacks on election officials in Pakistan.

On this day in  2014, two tornadoes from a powerful storm system killed at least 17 people in Arkansas and Oklahoma on Sunday. Authorities in Arkansas said the twister there killed 16. It touched down about 10 miles west of Little Rock and stretched a half-mile wide.

On this day in 2018,  Bill Gates announced he is giving $12 million for influenza research. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will partner with Larry Page, the CEO of Google’s parent company Alphabet, to create a fund of $12 million to support research into  a universal flu vaccine.

So there you have it! And is it tea time yet?

Books - Baldacci

 

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year

“You are never too old to set another goal or
to dream a new dream.”
C S Lewis

 

New Year

New Year Celebrations, Wellington, NZ – Photo Courtesy Simon Woolf Photography,

New Year’s Day is coming to an end here in New Zealand where it is 9.30 pm, and I know that many of you are just starting the day. To my sisters, one in London, where it is 8.30, am another in Los Angeles where it is 12.30 am, my sisters of choice, one in Kitchener, Ontario and one in Virginia where it is 3.30 am. To you and to all my friends in the blogosphere, enjoy New Year’s Day when it reaches you.

Not only is it New Year’s Day but I have a particular celebration to make today. This is the day that the number of my followers reached 1,00. Whoever would have thought way back in 2011 when I first started blogging, that this number would ever be achieved.  Thank you to those who have followed me for a while and those new followers. I really appreciate your tenacity. Sometimes my blog posts have been difficult to write and I expect equally difficult to read. But your comments and likes are really appreciated.

And now as we move into yet another year, our thoughts go to those friends and family who are no longer here to share our joys and happiness, and yes, sometimes our tears in this new year. We remember them with love and thankfulness that for a time they were part of our lives.

And because for me, it is always time for a Mary Oliver quote, once again I share with you one of my favourites –

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do 
with your one wild and precious life?” 
― Mary Oliver.

If you have been following for any length of time, you will know that I love quotations. I particularly like this quote for New Year from another favourite,  Alfred Lord Tennyson

“Hope
Smiles from the threshold of the year to come, 
Whispering ‘it will be happier’…” 
― Alfred Lord Tennyson

 

 

 

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 –

 

One Day

This is where it all begins.
Everything starts here, today.”

David Nicholls, One Day 

Have you said to yourself One Day I shall

  • Start to exercise and lose this excess weight
  • Read a book of fiction rather than for a reason – self-help, weight loss or whatever
  • Reconnect with that friend to whom I haven’t spoken since we had that disagreement
  • Go to the sea
  • Take a trip
  • Talk to my neighbour
  • Begin my walks
  • Finish my …..?

Well, today is that One Day.

  • We can start by leaving the car behind and taking the walk to the store.  This can also be your exercise for the day.
  • Or take a trip to the library.  The librarian will be happy to discuss recent books with you and help you choose just the right one for you.
  • Pick up the phone and call that friend.  Someone has to make the first move and someday that person may no longer be with us.
  • Call the neighbour and ask her/him over for a cup of coffee.

Today the sun is shining, or at least it will have risen even if it is hiding behind the clouds.  Celebrate today it will never come again.  And at the end of the day, how I hate that expression but here I mean it literally, when you look at your To Do List and see what you have accomplished you will be glad you decided this was to be the One Day.

Butterflies

And of course, my favourite Mary Oliver quote (are you bored with this one yet?)

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

Thinking of Moving?

Several years ago – well 5 actually – I wrote a couple of posts about houses/homes with a difference.  The Water Tower was one such and subsequently, I received an email from the woman who bought the tower and was making her home there.  Unfortunately, she didn’t respond to my request for photos of the finish.  And another time I wrote about Castles for sale.

Well during a cold autumn day, while reading the newspaper I came across an article on ancient Italian buildings for sale.  From ancient castles, monasteries, convents, and towers to old farmhouses, schools and inns, over 100 properties are being given away for free by the State Property Agency which has joined with the Ministry of Cultural Heritage to carry out the new scheme, under which the country’s majestic yet dilapidated properties are handed over free of charge to entrepreneurs who commit to restoring  them to their original splendour and open them to the public as restaurants, hotels or spas.

Successful bidders will be given a 9-year lease with the possibility to extend it for a further 9-years.

We are told, “Successful applicants will be given an ‘Art Bonus’, available through a government scheme launched in 2015 which grants tax breaks on art-related charitable donations, such as for the maintenance and restoration of historic buildings.”

italy-Puglia_Barletta_Villa Bonelli_Via Francigena-large

Abandoned Castle in Puglia

 

italy-Puglia_Barletta_Scuola rurale_via Francigena-large

Abandoned Rural School in Puglia

So if the idea of living in a castle, monastery or old school appeals, you have until June 26 to make an offer.

More information from The Telegraph here.

“I’ve got the key to my castle in the air, but whether I
can unlock the door remains to be seen.”
From Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, 1832-1888

Note photos courtesy of The Telegraph.

 

 

I’m English; I drink Tea; I ask.

A couple of months ago I mentioned my strawberry tea set. And today we had tea but not in my tea set, rather in delightful Rosenthal cups.

teaset1

Can anyone tell me why tea tastes so much better when drunk from a thin, bone china cup?  Even a bone china mug is not as good. This is just one of several problems on my mind today.

And why does it seem OK to have a “toes up” in the afternoon when you are away from home but not when you are at home?

Can anyone tell me why tidying dishes etc around someone else’s kitchen seems less onerous than when doing the same chores at home?

And why when you are away from home, do the shops have a better choice of things than your local shops?

And why is the sky bluer, the sun warmer, the air clearer, the waves better and the sea more inviting, when you are away?

Vintage?

 

 

 

vinage-car

Downloaded from Pinterest

Are you lucky enough to own a car like this?  I have never owned one that was more than 5 years old but can appreciate the beauty in this one and others like it.  Close to where we live is the world renowned Southwards Car Museum and I often used to take my son and later the grandsons there when they were younger.

Owners of these beauties really care for them.  They are certainly pampered.  Kept in a warm dry garage away from the vagaries of the weather; they are regularly cleaned and polished, their motors serviced; primped and polished they are very well cared for.

Well now, I’ve become vintage.  I too am kept in a warm dry house (rather than a garage) away from the vagaries of the weather.  I’m cleaned, polished and primped.  I have regular services, hairdressers, facials, manicures, pedicures, dentists and the occasional visit to the GP.

We all know that with regular servicing and maintenance, cars can perform well for many years after their manufacture and so I plan to keep up the servicing and maintenance of me.

Looking on Google for a quote as I have nothing in my many books, I came across this.

“Recent generations seem to consider ‘old-fashioned’ thinking
as out-dated
and without place in the modern world.
I beg to differ. After all, who has greater faith?
He who looks to and learns from the past,
or the man who cares not for consequence?”
― Fennel HudsonA Meaningful Life – Fennel’s Journal – No. 1

Now off to find out some more about this author.

Wet, Windy, Wellington Wednesday

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

Today I have read several posts on August in the Northern Hemisphere.  Picnics, walks, swims and holidays seem to be on the minds of most of you.  But it’s winter here.

weather2

And how easily we are fooled.  Having been lulled into a false sense of security with days of mild, almost windless weather we woke up this morning to a typical winter’s day here in Wellington.

The rain fell out of the sky and the wind moaned and shook trees and roofs around our Capital City.

We know that Wellington is the most Windy City in the world.  Yes, it even beats Chicago.  We regularly (how often?) have gale force winds but hey, this all adds to the wind power that generates the turbines around the city.

According to The Telegraph reporter Karl Mathieson on October 15, 2015 “Judging which is the world’s windiest city is tricky, as no global database for cities exists and measurement techniques are not standardised. Other contenders include Rio Gallegos and Punta Arenas in Argentina and Chile’s windswept southern Patagonia. St John’s in Canada is North America’s windiest city,”

Wellington’s Acting Mayor Justin Lester waxes effusive over the benefits of Wellington’s windy record.  “Sailors, windsurfers and kite-surfers come from afar to ride the vortex. Air pollution is non-existent as any fumes are whipped away and wind power is harnessed for electricity.

Perhaps the best thing of all, it breeds a bunch of sturdy, resilient Wellingtonians who aren’t fazed by a little bit of wind.” he says

And we are told by those who know, that this weather is set to continue for the rest of the week.  So what shall I be doing?

Drink tea

Looking forward to it.

And from Percy Bysshe Shelley in Ode to the West Wind –

“If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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