Nurturing Thursday 99

‘Over every mountain there is a path, athough it may not always be seen from the valley.’ ~ Theodore Roethke


Martin King : Watercolour and Wax Resist

This painting ~ by my husband Martin ~ illustrates how I’ve been feeling about the current situation in the UK. Enough has been said and written about last Thursday’s EU referendum, so I’m not going to add to the confusion ~ I’ll let this emotive picture speak for me!

The quote above it (shared on Facebook by Serendipity Corner) reminded me that there is usually a solution to the most challenging of situations, even if we aren’t able to see that at the time.

So I’m focusing on the welcoming light in the little cottage and trusting that we will be guided safely over the mountain of chaos facing our country right now. May you be guided on your path too!


โ€œNurturing Thursdayโ€™ is hosted by Becca Givens, author of the inspiring blog On Dragonfly Wings with Buttercup Tea. If you would like to learn more about it please visit her site.

N.B. Due to the expiration of my Premium WordPress Subscription ย my other blogย Tao of Scrumble might not be available after Monday 4th July 2016. If so I hope you’ll come and visit here.

Nurturing Thursday 14

Each morning for the past ten days I’ve been following a guided healing meditation, emailed to me by The Barefoot Doctor (Stephen Russell.)

I’ve been following ‘the Doc’ for nearly twenty years now, since I first discovered his web address (and quirky description of the contents) on the labels of a bath product line he’d developed, (bearing names like ‘Chi/Qi Orgasmic Shower Mousse’ and ‘Heavenly Massage Gel’. Sadly I the range is no longer available.)

Stephen teaches what he calls ‘Wayward Taoism’ and has written several books about how to survive the stress of modern living by embracing these ancient Oriental methods of enlightenment and practicing the simple exercises he’s devised based on T’ai Chi and Chi Gong.

I bought his first book, ‘Handbook for The Urban Warrior’, at a time when life as I knew it had fallen apart. The cheeky, upbeat style amused me and I couldn’t put it down. I read it from cover to cover, then started all over again ~ taking time to absorb the instructions, one chapter at a time. (The longest journey… and all that.)

Over the years I’ve read many of Stephen’s books (not all ~ some have not seemed relevant at the time); listened to his Audio Motivator CD’s, (bluetoothing them to my new mobile phone as I type), followed the website and signed up for emailed news and freebies, (including the meditation pod I’m using.) Following a recent webinar broadcast, which answered some pressing questions, I pulled ‘Return of the Urban Warrior’ from my bookshelf and am working my way through that.


I understand that BD’s irreverent approach to spiritual matters may not please purists. But it works for me ~ and that’s all it has to do! ๐Ÿ™‚

May you nurture yourself with whatever suits you best, this Thursday! ๐Ÿ™‚

Nurturing Thursday is the idea of Becca Givens, author of ‘On Dragonfly Wings with Buttercup Tea.’ To read more about this, or to join in, please click here.

Nurturing Thursday 12

Sometimes I nurture myself with a treat ~ luxuriating in a relaxing bath, (with Epsom salts and lavender oil.) Or taking time~out to read just for fun, not as research or in a quest for self~improvement.

On other occasions I nurture body and mind by taking foster~dog Indie for a walk through the nearby forest. And I greet each day with meditation, before brewing my morning coffee.

But there are times, when I have to do something I really don’t wish to. Like going to the dentist. That’s how I’ve been nurturing myself today ~ attending a scheduled check~up. Since I’ve had a somewhat chequered (and painful) dental history, this is a breakthrough for me.

My hygienist, sweet lady, complimented me on my lovely clean teeth and the dentist is ‘very happy’ with the healthy condition of my gums. I left the surgery feeling like I imagine my grandchildren do, when I tell them I’m proud of their baby achievements.

It was s glorious day and ~ even though I’d rather have spent time in the garden than driving across the Island ~ I didn’t cancel. And The Artist wasn’t able to come with, so I conquered my nerves and went on my own.

A baby achievement, for sure.

But I’m proud of myself.

And that’s not only liberating, it’s nurturing! ๐Ÿ™‚

Nurturing Thursday is the idea of Becca Givens, author of ‘On Dragonfly Wings with Buttercup Tea.’ To read more about this, or to join in, please click here.

Nurturing Thursday 11 ~ Me and my shadow!

The weather has been lamentable this year, with temperatures so close to zero that I began to think we were entering another Ice Age.

Until today.

The sun has been out since daybreak and, at 7.36 pm it’s brilliance is just fading. The wind’s still strong but bearable, even without thermal clothing. Lets hope this warmer trend continues ~ kick~starting the growing season and thawing our frozen spirits.

Spring is in the air, so my midday walk with Indie was a total pleasure. Swaddled in multiple layers and sporting appropriate footwear, I always enjoy the experience, once I’m out there. But it’s so much more uplifting when the skies are blue and passers~by are smiling. ๐Ÿ™‚

For the first time this year I noticed positive signs that Nature is awakening ~ forget~me~nots beside the path…..vibrant butterflies…..and sunlight bright enough to cast my shadow!


Nurturing Thursday is the idea of Becca Givens, author of ‘On Dragonfly Wings with Buttercup Tea.’ To read more about this, or to join in, please click here.

Nurturing Thursday 10

Our Easter Break is coming to an end. The Artist and I return to work tomorrow afternoon, to make sure the school is clean and tidy when the new term starts on Monday.

The weather over the past few weeks has not been Spring~like. We’ve suffered heavy rainfall, gale force winds and even the odd flurry of snow. Actual temperatures have remained in single figures, with the ‘real feel’ being way too cold for comfort. So, apart from a daily dog~walk, I’ve spent most of my time indoors, crocheting squares and knitting strips, which I’m making into throws.


For a while now I’ve been using my late mother’s hooks and needles. Working with them reminded me how talented she was ~ although her style was more traditional than mine, she excelled at everything she turned her hand to.

On Monday, unable to find two matching English size 3 knitting pins, I was forced to settle for an odd ‘pair’, one much longer than the other. Disaster! The short one is slightly bent with age. The other kept getting caught ~ either up my sleeve or against the armchair. It played havoc with my tension, (in every sense of the word) and drove me crazy.

Martin believes it makes life easier to have the right tools for the job and he’s right. So instead of struggling with hand~me~down equipment, I decided to start a collection of my own. Chosen specifically to suit me:


Even though I’ve loved using Mum’s equipment, it no longer serves my purpose. It’s time to stash it in the attic and move on. She would heartily approve.
‘Treat yourself, Jacqueline,’ she would say, ‘because you’re worth it.’

Nurturing Thursday is the idea of Becca Givens, author of ‘On Dragonfly Wings with Buttercup Tea.’ To read more about this, or to join in, please click here.

Nurturing Thursday 9


We’ve finished our last shift as cleaners at the local college. And now we’re at home and looking forward to the Easter Holiday. Two weeks off work. Whooohooo!

Time to relax and replenish my energy and ~ if the weather perks up ~ do a little work in the garden. It’s been a bitterly cold, wet Winter, so there’s much nurturing to be done. I’m hoping to clear the weeds and prepare the ground ~ and maybe plant some vegetable seeds, (indoors, at least, if not out.)

But even if it rains I intend to make the most of it.

I’ll cosy up with some knitting or crochet.

Or Martin.

And I’ll most likely eat some chocolate ๐Ÿ˜‰


Nurturing Thursday is the idea of Becca Givens, author of ‘On Dragonfly Wings with Buttercup Tea.’ To read more about this, or to join in, please click here.

Nurturing Thursday 8

I nurture a passion for notebooks, in all shapes and sizes. Covers with exciting patterns and textures attract me; The unrealized potential of the blank pages inside allures. If I track down one I desire I find it irresistible, even when I don’t know what I’m going to use it for . If they’re on sale, I’ll grab half a dozen.


I hand write in my books, with pens in different colours depending on my mood. Morning pages…sketchy poetry…half~outlined plots for novels. Rants about things that bug me. Scribbled telephone messages…website addresses…doodles of cats and flowers. Lists of potential characters and place names and of books that I really ought to read. (But probably never will.)

One of my special favourites is clad in raspberry silk, embellished with opalescent sequins. I’m filling it with inspirational quotes, which are meaningful to me. A few of the leaves have come loose and. the edges are stained with purple ink. But this random compilation of wise words, across the ages, is the most nurturing book that I own. : )

Nurturing Thursday is the idea of Becca Givens, author of ‘On Dragonfly Wings with Buttercup Tea.’ To read more about this, or to join in, please click here.

Nurturing Thursday 5

On her blog On Dragonfly Wings with Buttercup Tea, poet and artist Becca Givens often writes about her fur~family. She believes that there’s a portal in her yard, through which animals in need come to her, knowing that they’ll find a loving home for as long as they wish to remain. I’m beginning to think that we have one too.

In addition to The Cat Who Isn’t Our Cat, we now have a Dog Who’s Not Our Dog!

Six weeks ago my darling daughter suffered a shocking bereavement and is now adjusting to raising my twin grandsons without their beloved Daddy. Of course we’re on hand, to help with whatever we can and I’m drawing on my own experience of losing my father, when I was little older than the boys, (they’ll be four in April.) But much as I wish I could erase their pain, I know that I can’t ~ I’m only able ease it, wherever possible.

So The Artist (a committed cat~person) and I are fostering their seven year old fox~terrier cross, until Rachael is in a better position to have the family pet back. Indie’s only been with us six days and it’s working out even better than I expected, (and I’m an eternal optimist!)

Summer, the stray cat, wasn’t too impressed initially ~ scratching my arm deeply, as she struggled to flee from the inquisitive little canine. So we’ve given her the run of upstairs, feeding her in the studio and letting her in and out via the front door. Indie remains downstairs, is allowed into the kitchen garden and Secret Courtyard and gets walked around the neighbourhood twice a day. We’ve met a couple of other dog~owners, who’ve given me the heads~up on more open spaces and ~ when we’re confident she’ll come back to us ~ we can allow her off the lead in these.

Yesterday morning Martin suggested we drive to one of the Island’s beaches, where she could trot along the shore in safety. The tide was high, (must check the tables in future) so we romped with her in an empty field alongside the cliff path instead.



Despite the fact that I feed her and have the enviable role of poop~scooper, she regards the Artist as leader~of~the~pack and is already devoted to him. Typical! It’s exactly the same with the cat, who miaows at me plaintively until I fill her bowl then ~ when she’s replete ~ sits on his lap, purring loudly!

But, as Becca will readily confirm, this is not a one~way exchange. As we nurture this unlikely duo they reward us with uncomplicated affection, complete trust and tons of fun. And I’m certain that very soon they’ll make friends and happily share the same spaces. (Did I mention that I’m an optimist? ;))

As the step~daughter of a veterinary surgeon and the mother of two children, I’ve looked after many different animals in my time. And, although I appreciate those experiences, I’d never have chosen to have more. Then Summer turned up and now Indie is in need of temporary accommodation. But they’re not our pets, we don’t own them ~ we’re just borrowing them for a while. ๐Ÿ™‚

Nurturing Thursday is the idea of Becca Givens, author of ‘On Dragonfly Wings with Buttercup Tea.’ To read more about this, or to join in, please click here.

Nurturing Thursday 4

After putting up with a dwindling Internet connection and buzzing land line reception for some time, we’re finally being beamed a strong signal, via the magic of fibre~optics. Who knew that those frondy, colour~changing lamps ~ so ‘space age’ in the ’70’s ~ would one day open a portal to the World Wide Web?

So we’re up and running again, with a new telephone number, faster broadband and a more stable link to the XBox 360 downstairs. Which means we can surf the super~highway in confidence and watch on~demand TV, catching up on missed programmes at our leisure, free from ‘buffering’. Which is great ~ we don’t view much and the most interesting~looking programmes are broadcast at inconvenient times. Like when we’re at work, or wishing to sleep or when the sun is blazing hot and we’d rather be basking in it, outside. (OK, I made that last one up.)

Our new number is unlisted, which should drastically cut down on annoying nuisance calls. As an additional precaution the installers advised us not to give out our real number if we use online comparison sites, for insurance quotations and the like, as this is how marketing companies obtain contact details. We never realised that and, as a result, have been plagued seven or eight times a day.

There are no longer wires and cables trailing across the top of the stairs ~ I’d cobbled together a precarious connection between a vintage MacBook, plugged into the mains and our faltering router, by means of an Ethernet cable. Sporadic, but better than nothing at all in this age of instant communication with every corner of the planet ~ and my family, who live in the next county.

This messy arrangement reminded us of the old ‘dail~up’ method of accessing the Internet, when it took all night to scan in one of Martin’s paintings, jamming the printer when we attempted to print it out. We thought we’d broken our spanking new (and expensive) devices until the help desk reassured us that we’d bought enough technology to send a man to the moon and that our learning curve would be vertical. Nevertheless, we didn’t attempt to copy artwork again, until software programmes could meet our ambitious expectations!

So, on this Nurturing Thursday, I’m extremely grateful that a whole bunch of niggling irritations has been dealt with in one easy move. And I’m indulging myself, messing around on my iPad and making good use of the ‘Excellent’ Wi-Fi signal showing up in my settings.

Yay! Thirteen years post~Millenium and we’ve just arrived in the 21st Century! ๐Ÿ™‚

Nurturing Thursday is the idea of Becca Givens, author of ‘On Dragonfly Wings with Buttercup Tea’
To read more about this, or to join in, please click here.