Posts tagged postaday20113

Daily Post – The Little Things..

It’s the little things that mean so much. I love that statement because it is those little things that have touched my life more than anything else. It’s a smile, a touch, an image, a beautiful piece of music, a song, a word, a kind act… those things that make everything ok. I don’t wish take anything away from these moments they are the moments that make life worth living. I crave them, yearn them, notice life around me, look and listen for them. It’s all about being positive and I like to think I have a positive and loving heart but there are so many little things that have plagued me, taunted me, haunted me and …. eat my garden!

I went out to water the shoots, plants and flowers that are responding to the beautiful warm weather. The roses so far look amazing and healthy, marigolds that the children planted last year are in bloom. Along the border the blue of grape hyacynths is a joy to behold and the herbs are in flower, mint strong and green, oregano, chives, sage and rosemary and thyme nearly ready to use, ferns unfurling their fluffy fronds, hostas uncurling their pointed spikes,lily of the valley leaves cupping their tiny buds and the miniature narcissus …. bare; nothing but stem and leaves, my primrose is flowerless and the primula – little clutches of miserable leaves and bloomless cups holding onto life with desperation. It’s the little things, those tiny little buggy things that are the negative influence around me.

On my walls, minute snails nestle in the crevices, under leaves small green caterpillars seem immune to the cold winter weather, in the soil grubs waiting to grow into weevils and each one doing its best to destroy all my efforts at growing strawberries and a little piece of country in my garden. I watch them as they creep nearer and nearer my goji berry and blueberry bushes and wonder .. why they don’t eat weeds. I mean that I wouldn’t mind. Overrun with cats there aren’t any birds to help rid my garden of pests and it is only a matter of time before I put my hands up and either let them chomp their way through everything or get out the bug sprays against all my efforts at being green.

Hmm sometimes it is the little things that have biggest effect for sure and I know which kind I prefer…

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Postaday2011: What do I want to accomplish with my blog?

What a brilliant title for a blog entry and one that gives me so many ideas for writing. You know, at first I got caught up in the draw to be noticed, a bit like good old Facebook. Your success was the number of friends you have, never mind that half of them were so obscure as to be insignificant in your life, if they are on your friends list, they count. I think not! A friend, to me, is someone who is touchable, reachable, at least knows something about you that you can’t read on Facebook and someone you can call on for a night out, a meaningful chat, a hug, a friendly word, someone who knows you personally, I could go on and give you a million definitions of a friend but at the end of the day they are more than a name on an internet list…

I began much the same, other bloggers were boasting large numbers of readers and ‘like’ clicks, I wanted to be like that and when my readers rose from four or five to seventy odd once I was so excited and wanted to write more and more. Then I noticed other bloggers were getting hundreds of hits and it suddenly hit me, I would have to be amazing and work really hard at achieving that. My computer life is far less than is necessary to read and reply to that many readers, in fact it is a miniscule part of life for me because my family and real people that I know and love are extremely important to me. Besides, if someone dropped by my blog I would consider it so rude not to reply, I could be all day on my computer! No, I decided there and then that my blog was for many reasons but none of them to achieve popularity in cyber space with people I shall never meet.

I don’t want to sound at all ungrateful to all the lovely people that I have ‘met’ through my blog, those wonderful people who share similar lives or journeys, that it is a pleasure to share with are so important to me. I love to read their blogs and read their comments and would miss them but to me those few are far more precious to me because I can spend time getting to know them through my blogging and theirs, whereas, if there were’ hundreds’ would any of them be as special? I think not.

Mainly I write my blog for me, my children and friends who like to keep tabs on me. I keep a copy of it all and this postaday challenge will give me a year of thoughts, tipsy ramblings, actual events and well, my life and me daily for a whole year. I am notoriously hopeless at keeping a journal but I have always kept everything I ever wrote, even if it was just a few days of a holiday. It is fantastic to look back and see what I was up to, what I was feeling and best of all remember the moments when I was actually writing them. They serve as a strong memory link for me. I wrote some of my first poetry as a child and I have them still, every time I read them I am whisked back to that time and remember exactly what I was thinking when I wrote them. A bit like certain smells or perfumes that trigger a thought or memory from the past, my writing does the same, only better.

My children are scattered all over the world and although we keep in touch regularly, they all tell me they feel more in touch because they read my blog and know how I am feeling. How much more of a reason would I need for writing a blog? Hearing that made me feel so emotional, I never thought of that. When you live with someone you know the little idiosyncrasies, moods, silly stuff we do and how they are feeling but once we all scatter and have families of our own, we lose that intimacy. That is my second best reason for writing my blog.

Thirdly, I have friends who say the same and query when I miss my blog. I find this so really touching and it makes me realise just how many people out there actually do think about me and care. It’s a warm feeling and I love it.

Lastly, but not at all least, are the people I have never met who pop by and comment on my blog. The biggest compliments I have had was like the one I had yesterday.  When I have finished a day’s work and I need to relax I can read your blog and either escape or be inspired. This is something several people have written to me. I love that so much, not the just compliments but the fact that the mindless meanderings through my butterfly mind can actually be useful to somebody else. Can help them to forget a stressful day, can inspire them to rethink their own thoughts and take a breath or unwind. My blog can actually be meaningful in a positive way! That is awesome!

So, I am glad I gave up on being popular to many and am absolutely thrilled to be comforting to my children, inspiring to other bloggers, offer an escape for a few moments from the busyness of life and most of all give myself a book full of happy memories that I can recall at the turn of a page. I thank everyone who reads my blogs and who take away something from them for themselves, that is precious, that is what life should be like. Letting me know that is like returning the gift tenfold. The pebble in the pool or the smile to a stranger syndrome? It all helps to make the joy and love of life go round. Thank you all.

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Postaday2011: The nest is not so empty!

Eeek! late again and not making the bewitching hour in UK time! Still at least I am posting. Today we invited Thomas, who is Julia’s father, for dinner with us. After all it seems silly if he is staying in the UK and we don’t get to meet him. I was a little nervous at first but I then thought that of how many times I had been for a meal with people I didn’t know and began to relax. I needn’t have worried because he was such a lovely man. What I also noticed that he must have been as nervous as I was because his hand trembled a little as we ate dinner.

The meal was good and he seemed to enjoy it, it was really lovely to meet the father of our young guest. It was funny to see the difference in the two girls. Before, Amanda seemed to be the stronger one, taking responsibility for her friend, not always to her agreement. We said nothing, well Harry did, bless him, to the point and caring as he is, was doing a great job of being a grandparent, again. There have been times of silence between the two girls which must have been so difficult for Julia, who is basically more the guest than Amanda, then tonight the tables turned and Julia was more confident and Manda the quiet one.

As we chatted over the meal, I was able to totally reconnect with having Tabby at home, my last fledgling. How absolutely lovely it was to hear music, maybe not my type, coming from the upstairs room. And when they went from being silent with each other one minute, the next they were giggling and laughing like nothing had happened. It was so really lovely to have young people in the house again. I was concerned at first that Harry wouldn’t cope with it because he hasn’t really ever been there for his own family, not that they mean any the less to him than mine do, but he was a Navy man and not always there for them. He missed a great deal of special stuff and it is interesting how my family has seen him realise how much he missed and how much more loving he feels toward his own.

It really is so wonderful seeing him blossom and realising just how much his lovely daughters mean to him and at the same time have my empty nest filled, even for such a short while.

I have always been so really proud of the artistic and dramatic achievements of my own children. Those precious recordings, songs written by the artist, dramatic events that record a cast iron memory forever in my heart mean so much and have made up a really special part of my life. From the oldest to the youngest, each of them have excelled or achieved something that I look back on with eyes full of tears and a heart bursting with pride, wanting to capture each moment as a lasting gift to myself. That pride is something so really special to me, a gratitude and a gift that surpasses no other.

Today I heard my granddaughter sing for the first time. It brought back every one of the memories of my own children. She sings with the same confidence as her Daddy and uses similar techniques. I wanted to post the recording on here but it wouldn’t accept the format. I will have to find a way to change the formatting of her song and those of my own children to post. I am always saying how talented they are, I just want to show everyone else too.

I think this week is going to go too fast for me, not that I haven’t got my little grandchildren to enjoy which is a pleasure immeasurable, but it is so nice to spend time with and have our house filled with teenagers again.

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Postaday2011: A day to ourselves.

We hadn’t planned a day to ourselves because each time we do something always changes and we end up so busy. There was a list of things to achieve and we did some of them and added an impromptu visit to a friend as well. I put dinner in the oven, well a joint of beef anyway, and we went out knowing we had two hours before the meat would be cooked. We visited an Art and Craft fair in a nearby village. The sun was shining and it was the first time I had really been out this year apart from a bit of shopping, which I consider a necessity.

The art was fantastic, such a huge selection of pictures using so many different mediums. The quality of each picture was amazing and I could have wandered around all day just admiring them. The craft was also brilliant, there were so many beautiful crafts there from spinning, lace making, mosaic work, weaving, wood-turning, wood carving, cards, jewellery, stitch crafts and painted ceramics, so, so many clever people. It was a joy to see their work and to get ideas for both painting and craft stuff, it certainly inspired both Harry and myself.

A friend of mine was supposed to have been on the door and we assumed we had missed her. Which is the reason we popped by her home to say a very quick hi, not forgetting our time limit and the fact we also wanted to go into a store for a picture frame on the way home and before our Sunday joint was burned to a frazzle. I hadn’t seen her and her husband for months and we were persuaded to have a cuppa with them. As she is also an artist and a writer, there was so much to talk about and I just love their huge country garden with all the birds and wildlife. Somewhere I could spend forever in.

My friend’s husband was a horticulturist and I remembered as we were leaving to ask about the caterpillars and bugs. He tells me they might not be caterpillars as such rather saw fly larvae instead. My poor daughter will be disappointed. I spoke to her but a lot of them have escaped so maybe it will be ok. Anyway, I digress, I was given the name of a good product that would help to remove them from my garden. Tomorrow I will attack .  I shall be relentless as tonight another bunch of flowers from my primulas were eradicated..

My poor little violas are looking sadder and sadder but I did see a lot of ants nipping around. I bleached the patio area and sprayed for weeds and I suspect they moved house under cover of darkness, maybe to beneath the violas.. another path for attack! I do hate doing this but I feel I have no choice. Everything is being eaten and destroyed apart from the weeds, it is heartbreaking for me, especially when I try so hard.

One good thing though. I grew sweet peas and morning-glory at the side where usually little grows and I left the plants in to seed, along with the frame to support them. Since the sunny weather the bed is full of morning-glory seedlings, so many that I have to thin them out and in between them are little sweet pea plants popping out of the ground too. I will make sure there are enough supporting canes and twine and let nature take over that piece of garden. I feel sure she does a better job than I do.

We left the store visit to after lunch but I didn’t get my photo frame because they were out of stock, apart from that I achieved everything I wanted to. Moving the furniture in my studio can wait and as we had the day to ourselves we just relaxed. I read some of my book and did what was necessary for the morning then chilled, very lazily, in front of the tv this evening. Perfect! What a lovely day!

Oh, and despite being home half an hour later than I had planned, our Sunday joint was cooked perfectly. A little over medium roast. It should have been 77c and was 78, how good was that?

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Postaday2011: escape to the sea…

Bit of a fib there, not really so much an escape to the sea as escape into my painting. I am about halfway through my panoramic seascape and already I am as amazed as I always am when I paint a picture. I get to some bits and struggle, get fed up and leave it to have a cuppa, when I go back to it I am completely thrilled with the way it looks and wonder who snuck in and made it good for me. I will never stop appreciating the wonderful gift I have. OK it will never make me rich but I love the thought that after I am gone from this earth I will have left something lovely behind that some, somewhere enjoys owning.

Rather than a long blog today I am posting the painting so far… this is just half of it and it still needs a bit of work, and two of the original photographs I am trying to copy.

The following picture is of the first two photographs in a set of four. If anyone has any constructive criticism, I shall be really glad to hear it. There is always room for improvement.

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Postaday2011: hidden talents

Well this is the first time I have been able to blog for three days. We have had a virus on the computers and although mine has been ok, we’ve not taken any chances. Thankfully we found a guy who could fix Harry’s computer and check mine for a reasonable price. So now I have some blogs to catch up.

Apart from computer problems the last few days has been absolutely manic. H has had a couple of days off and we have just been whisked off our feet with things to catch up with, family and household stuff like carpet cleaning and furniture moving and organising. Oh and my daughter’s scan. We are having another little grand daughter in the summer. Such a joy to spend time with Maica, trying to keep her amused and avoiding a tantrum while at the hospital, plus a long car journey for her. Her thoughts on telling Grampy that she was having a baby sister and what she was going to be called? ‘ I think it is Pinga!’ Ok so we are having a penguin….

As for hidden talents, that is one of those things that every single one of us could put our hand up to. Most of us have gifts we can talk about like writing, art, sewing and things like that but for me the hidden talents are those that are rarely spoken of. How many of us are happy to sit and chat to an elderly person at the bus stop or in a supermarket queue? That is such a talent and gives such a priceless gift to someone who might be lonely… How many of us support a charity or school, hospital or a cause that is close to our heart? For me those things that are done quietly and with love and sincerity are talents. Gifts that we are prepared to share, gifts that include love, caring, generosity, thoughtfulness and so on, are often hidden talents that are so very precious.

I guess my hidden talents have long gone, health problems have robbed me of many of my senses, like hearing and taste and smell but some time ago I used to sing. I sang at school, oh a million years ago, and as I got older I sang in the church choir. I have sung a wedding solo and at a christening, solo in churches but mostly I have loved choral singing. My most treasured moments were singing with the ‘Big Chorus’ at the Albert Hall in London. Verdi’s Requiem and Handell’s Messiah. I have also sung at parties and really enjoyed myself but these days my voice is not what it was and my hearing loss doesn’t help but many people do not know that I was once a singer. I class this as my hidden talent because it was one that I took the most joy in and one that I miss so very much. I sing at home some days when I am on my own and really enjoy it but I think my other talent, my favourite one, is the way I have all my memories stored neatly in little boxes. There for me when I need them, for me or to share, so that I can relive some of the most happy times of my life… but even my most treasured talents will never compare to those that give the little things in life, those priceless little gifts that make the sun shine for someone who needs it. That is real hidden talent!

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Postaday2011: favourite activities outside blogging.

Where do I begin on this one? I am using this prompt which was for Reading week, merely because it relates to me more than the blogaday one.  It is a hard thing to write about because I just have so many activities and hobbies. As much as I love reading other blogs and writing my own, my day is full with so many other things. I used to sit on Facebook and chat to friends but it got to the point that it became trivial, if there was no one on there I was playing games and was slipping on the other things I liked to do. I’d check for messages, maybe reply to a few but I soon realised that actually nobody missed me if I wasn’t on there. Where is the connection with blogging? I can hear you ask. Well, it’s simple, none! There is little connection between Facebook and blogging apart from me learning to balance out my time.

I love writing, always have, I even have poems I wrote as a child, and at school I remember helping out other members of our English class when homework involved poetry, so writing has always been there in my life. I also love blogging. I have mentioned before  about just how dreadful I am at keeping a diary. My entries might last for a few weeks and then I would start slipping and miss some so I always ended up with a few entries in the front and one apologetic one at the end of the year. Silly thing is I would love to go back and see what I was thinking and feeling when I wrote them. I still do but it doesn’t help me become any good at journal keeping, so blogging and particularly ‘Blogaday’ has really encouraged me. Having other writers out there encouraging me has been brilliant and reading other blogs and admiring the tremendous talent out there is really fantastic. I could spend all day on here but I have to limit my time because I like to join my family in various activities too. So for me, although participating as much as I can, blogging isn’t a priority to me. As I have arthritis, everything I do takes a lot more time than it used to, so even sitting at my computer takes its toll on me.

My other activities include, painting, writing, housework, knitting, gardening, reading, music, crochet, all sewing and dressmaking, cooking, entertaining, did I mention housework? haahha I have so many hobbies and loads that I have trouble doing. Nature and nature walks used to be a big thing in my life so did my dog, but life moves on and now I stick to those I can do easily. Having such a large family, I am always busy. So I guess my other favourite activities and blog writing have to fight for time. I do my best always and keeping up with a blog every day has become so motivating for me so I guess my answer would be, I don’t have a favourite activity I just like being busy.

Here are a few pictures from today when I had Maica to entertain me while her Mummy did a photoshoot.

Having finished baking some delicious chocolate chip cookies, Maica insisted on washing up. I reckon she did a great job.

I think she liked the cookies so much she preferred them to her lunch..

Teddy had to watch while she did her painting too.

I only spent around 6 hours with her but I look back and wonder how I managed with eight children!! I am exhausted, but we had a really wonderful day. Maybe I am getting old and maybe I should be sticking to reading and writing on WordPress.

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