Introducing Nurturing Thursdays

On her blog On Dragonfly Wings with Buttercup Tea’, artist, poet and animal communicator Becca Givens has started ‘Nurturing Thursdays’. This what she has posted today:

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What is Nurturing Thursday, you ask?

In this amazingly competitive society of ours, how many of us truly feel good about ourselves? How often do we extend to ourselves … the same courtesies, considerations, nurturing, forgiveness and understanding we would a loved one, a friend, or even a stranger?

Our culture tells us we need to be special and above average to feel good about ourselves. Yet, it is not possible for all of us to be above average at the same time. Don’t we usually know of someone richer, more attractive, “more together” or successful than we are? Even if we discount the material aspects and consider the more spiritual facet, don’t we know of those who seem more at peace, more aware or living in the moment. Even when we do manage to feel a strong sense of self-esteem or self-confidence, we are not able to consistently hold on to it. For most, our sense of self-worth bounces around like a ping-pong ball, rising and falling strongly tied with our latest success or failure.

In an effort to eliminate labeling ourselves as “good” or “bad”, and clearly accept ourselves with an open heart … to treat ourselves with the same kindness, caring, and compassion we would show to a good friend … I would like to incorporate more self-compassion and self-kindess in my life.

To “give this planet a much needed shot of fun, support and positive energy” … I am dubbing Thursdays as Nurturing Thursday … a spin-off of Occupy Blogosphere started by Amy of SoulDipper.

If any of my readers are interested in joining the nurturing, I applaud and welcome you to do so … the more the merrier!!’

I agree with Becca and I’ll be following her idea of placing prettily coloured, uplifting notes in jar, where I can see them ~ rather than hiding my gratitude list in a notebook or journal. I wonder what amazing memories they’ll prompt, when I tip them all out, this time next year. And, if I get a little blue in the meantime, randomly picking one or two out to read will get me smiling again! 🙂

If you are interested in joining ‘Nurturing Thursdays’ with Becca or contributing to ‘Occupy Blogosphere’ with Amy, here are the links to their excellent blogs:

On Dragonfly Wings with Buttercup Tea

Soul Dipper

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I missed last week’s Occupy Blogosphere ~ but with good reason.

My daughter~in~law, Tracy, who is a brilliant Mum to Grace and works part~time as an administrator…

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…is also studying to be a chef:

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As part of the course, Tracy’s class has to work in Southampton’s City College restaurant, Aspire. So, last Wednesday evening I rushed home from work, changed into my glad~rags and caught a ferry over to the mainland, arriving just in time to enjoy the first four course meal that she designed and created from scratch, managing the kitchen in her role as Head Chef.

Here is the menu:

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Without a shadow of doubt this was the best meal that I have eaten in any restaurant ~ and I’m not just saying that because the Chef is married to my son and owns a very sharp set of knives. Each dish was a delicate fusion of complimentary flavours, balanced and cooked to perfection.

I chose the smoked salmon pâté….

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…the sea bass (which I’ve never tasted before)…

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…and blueberry and elderflower millefeuille (with which Tracy won Masterchef Live last year ~ before she’d even started her formal training.)

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I also sampled my son’s choices and those of others in our party ~ the only ‘constructive criticism’ that we could come up with was that portion sizes were very generous. Excellent value for diners, not so great for profit margins. As each course was served animated conversation gave way to an appreciative chorus of ‘mmmms’ and ‘wows’ and sighs of ecstasy (not just from me, either!)

Tracy’s meticulous forward planning certainly paid off. When a nervous trainee waiter spilled wine into a diner’s lap, then over all five meals being served to that table, the guests were moved and replacement dishes served within a few minutes. Although Tracy later confessed she’d assumed that the maitre d’ was joking when he asked for the entire order to be plated up again, she didn’t miss a beat and our meals were not delayed by this catastrophe on the other side of the restaurant. And when one good friend jokingly remarked that she didn’t like the apple sorbet palate cleanser, a raspberry one appeared within seconds. Our girl was definitely on the ball, fired up with adrenaline, doing something she loves and has long dreamed about.

As the waiters cleared the dessert plates and passed round petit fours, (hand~made to Tracy’s own recipes,) she came out of the kitchen to rousing cheers and applause, even from the lady who’d had wine tipped over her, hugs and kisses from her delighted family and a well~deserved beer from the bar.

By this time it was too late for me to travel back to The Island alone, so I stopped over ~ returning in time for work the following day. Which is why I missed writing a post last week ~ but it was so worth it!

Congratulations, Tracy, my darling daughter~in~law! You light up the culinary world with your passion and talent and I believe that one day soon you’ll set it on fire!

The Occupy Blogosphere movement was started by Amy, author of Souldipper’s Blog, to light up the Blogosphere with a shot of positive energy, each week. To read her most recent post ~ and for more information on how to join in, please click here: Soul Dipper

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I sincerely apologise to all my blogging buddies if I haven’t replied to any of your comments, or if I’ve responded twice, or if I haven’t added my tuppence worth to your comment threads. My version of WordPress is behaving a tad temperamentally lately ~ co~operating one minute and obstinately refusing to the next.

I’d just like to let you know how much I enjoy reading your posts, joining in topical debate, sharing hopes and dreams, frustration and laughter. Your wonderful words and pictures have educated and informed me about 21st Century life in different parts of the world.Your honest sharing has touched and inspired me, prompting me to consider alternate points of view. Your ready wit and wicked senses of humour often get me LOLing. 😉

And I truly appreciate it when you come over to mine and make a lovely remark, or point out something I hadn’t realised I’d said. You’re ideal guests, entertaining me and supporting my every effort ~ and I don’t even have to speed clean the house or bake a cake before you drop by!

No matter where on earth we live, we identify with each other, by writing about similar things. Stuff that is important to us ~ like love and home and family, current affairs, nature, spirituality and memories of the lives we’ve lived.

So, this being Thursday, lets give each other a virtual round of applause for lighting up the blogosphere as often ~ and as thoroughly ~ as we do! 🙂

The Occupy Blogosphere movement was started by Amy, author of Souldipper’s Blog, to light up the Blogosphere with a shot of positive energy, each week. To read her most recent post ~ and for more information on how to join in, please click here: Soul Dipper

Occupying Darker Days

I’ve always found the Winter months difficult. When I was four, my father was killed in a motorbike accident, eleven days before Christmas. And even though my mother married again and we led a comfortable life, she would sink into depression each year, as British Summertime ended.

So, my memories of Halloween, Bonfire Night, Christmas and Hogmany are bittersweet. They became high points of enforced gaiety, which ~ in my naivety ~ I took as signs that she was ‘better’. But as soon as the 8ft pine Christmas tree was taken down and it’s baubles packed in the attic, her mood would descend back into darkness.

Years later my step~father died in Christmas week and December 8th marks the tenth anniversary of my mother’s death. Although I no longer grieve openly for my three lost parents, the sadness and anxiety that accompanies the ‘Happy’ Holidays has been ever~present.

Until now. Last weekend I was directed to Cathy Brown Sykora’s Rock The Holiday – Challenge Yourself! which began on Monday. I’ve decided to take it up ~ defining some important goals for myself and reporting progress to other members of the group. Turning the sorry season on it’s head and creating wholesome, happy memories instead of wishing that I could be wafted away from all the celebrations to some desert island!

I found this quote on Facebook that sums it up quite neatly:

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I’m still working on those personal goals, waiting for the details to crystallise into manageable steps. I do know that, with the rest of my life more or less ordered, I’m going to focus on being kind and gentle with myself, for a change.

I’ll keep you in the loop 🙂

Although I have chosen to link this post to ‘Occupy Blogosphere Thursday’, I plan to compose independent updates from now on. The Occupy Blogosphere movement was started by Amy, author of Souldipper’s Blog, to light up the Blogosphere with a shot of positive energy, each week. To read her most recent post ~ and for more information on how to join in, please click here:
Souldipper

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It was Gandhi’s birthday on Tuesday 2nd October. On that day The Global Awesomeness Report posted this on their Facebook Page:

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I think this quote is particularly good for Occupy Blogosphere Thursday, because that’s what we are doing, each week, with our little shots of light and positivity!

The Occupy Blogosphere movement was started by Amy, author of Souldipper’s Blog, to light up the Blogosphere with a shot of positive energy, each week. To read her most recent post ~ and for more information on how to join in, please click here: http:souldipper.wordpress.com

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The Equinox brought squally weather to the Isle of Wight this week ~ high winds, heavy downpours, thunder and dark skies. But yesterday, as the storm clouds moved away, two very special people came to visit, bringing the Autumn sunshine with them.

My three and a half year old grandsons, Ruan and Myles (known to everyone but Daddy and Grandad as ‘Mylo’) are twins, born two minutes apart:

Non~identical, they look completely different: Little Mylo’s hair is blond, while Ruan, who is taller, sports glorious ginger curls. But they have that twin connection and seem to work in sync.

From early on they’ve shared a private language ~ babbling away and giggling when alone, then falling silent as soon as anyone else appeared. Later, chatty Ruan spoke for both of them, entertaining the adults with his genius, while Mylo, who walked first, loved to figure things out ~ clicking train tracks together, building teetering towers and raiding the snack store in the kitchen cupboard. Working together, with Mylo giving his brother directions in ‘twin speak’, they managed to unlock the child~proof gate at nursery!

When they were fourteen months old, my daughter returned to work part time. I looked after them on Wednesday mornings, taking them to baby signing classes for a while. It made life so much easier, that they could communicate their needs: food, drink, more, change nappy, milk and bed. They also played practical jokes in sign language ~ Mylo famously reported, complete with astonished expression, that an elephant was walking down the street outside their house! How they both laughed when Mummy came to look!


Here they are, last year, on Grandad’s motorbike.

We had such fun when they came yesterday: drawing and colouring, blowing bubbles, hiding in the secret courtyard, scooting up the drive. And, before they left to catch the ferry back to the mainland, they planted some bulbs in my newly~fenced garden, ready for next spring.

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These gorgeous little beings bring happiness and light into my universe and long may that continue! Every day I bless them both ~ and their hardworking Mum! 🙂

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The Occupy Blogosphere movement was started by Amy, author of Souldipper’s Blog, to light up the Blogosphere with a shot of positive energy, each week. To read her most recent post ~ and for more information on how to join in, please click here: http:souldipper.wordpress.com

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A wise friend once told me that my children wouldn’t care if their pyjamas had been ironed, (or not!) But memories of the fun times that we’d shared together would remain with them forever.

So, for my shot of positivity this Thursday, I’m passing on that sound advice, with a little help from Growing A Jeweled Rose’s Facebook page.

Whether you’re a parent, grandparent, or nurturing you own inner child, make time in your busy life for play. 🙂

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The Occupy Blogosphere movement was started by Amy, author of Souldipper’s Blog, to light up the Blogosphere with a shot of positive energy, each week. To read her most recent post ~ and for more information on how to join in, please click here: http:souldipper.wordpress.com

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This week Souldipper has chosen ‘Time’ as her theme for Occupy Blogosphere Thursday. It’s an such an excellent subject that I’ve decided to follow her lead.

Even though Martin and I are ‘time~rich’, I can still pressurise myself into meeting self~imposed deadlines. But recently severe headaches and problems with my vision forced me to take ‘time out’ from using my computer, reading, watching television and doing any close work, like crochet. I found it odd, not being able to do anything but sit ~ in my garden when the weather was warm enough, or in my big yellow chair, looking out of my studio window at the Silver Birch opposite my house.

At first, of course, I was frustrated with this inactivity. But, as I relaxed, I began taking more notice of the world around me ~ the sights and sounds of nature, that would have otherwise passed me by. And I learned an important lesson ~ these words, by Welsh poet, W. H. Evans, say it all:

Leisure

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.

No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

William Henry Evans (3rd July 1871 ~ 26th September 1940)
Source: Wikipedia.

The Occupy Blogosphere movement was started by Amy, author of Souldipper’s Blog, to light up the Blogosphere with a shot of positive energy, each week. To read her most recent post ~ and for more information on how to join in ~ please click here: http:souldipper.wordpress.com