Mother’s Day

Today is Mother’s Day. The UK celebrates it on a different day, and I often miss that one – and so, today, I will wish my stepmother, even though it’s ‘not applicable’ in their country for today. She became ‘Mum’ the year I turned eighteen. And unlike some horror stories with stepparents, she truly has been an absolute treasure in my life. I am very grateful for Mum, and her unconditional love. It hasn’t always been easy, but it definitely has been worth it.

I often feel that I fall short as a ‘Mum’. And to be entirely honest, I probably do in some ways. But isn’t that just life? We never get it 100% perfect.
When it comes to being human, and being me, I am always striving to be a ‘better me than I was yesterday’. To do things differently, to be more aware of how I react, to be kinder, to be gentler etc. And all these things apply to my parenting skills too. I just keep trying. Trial and error. What works, and what doesn’t – especially with a teenage girl in the house πŸ˜›

My children and I are not a ‘normal family’. Our relationship is a different dynamic in many ways – for example, we pretty much almost never eat a meal together. This is usually due to different timetables that can’t be changed, but it is what it is.

At the end of the day, even though my children are not really children anymore, my commitment to them remains the same in a lot of ways. I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that they will always be open and honest with me (even when my teen daughter knows it might get her into trouble, which it sometimes does πŸ˜› ) and that neither one of them will ever have cause to pause and wonder if I love them. And for me, those are the most important things and worthy of celebration!
We certainly are not a perfect family though, and we fail each other – like would you believe that my kids have never made me a cup of coffee or tea? Shocking, I know πŸ˜›
We bicker about little things, and in all honesty, there have been times where those little things have escalated quickly and we’ve almost gone to war. But we always get through it. And although there may be slight injuries, we heal… and we continue to forge forward, together.

And I love that about us.

So here’s to Mother’s Day, and single parenthood, and our ‘not normal/traditional’ little family.

I hope you all have an exceptional day celebrating!

To end off, if you’d like a laugh, please visit this old blog post… the video is for those who suffer from overprotective dad syndrome, which is rather applicable to me since I am both parents πŸ˜‰

Today’s Day

It would be remiss of me to not write a blog post about what day it is today. For it happens to be…

STAR WARS DAY

I was reminded of this by the above picture in a Facebook post that a friend of mine shared.

Star Wars was not a part of my childhood, Star Trek was – when I was able to sneakily watch episodes with my dad. (And oddly enough, as a little girl, I wanted to marry Captain Pickard and not Riker. πŸ˜› )

My father remarried the year I turned eighteen. I gained a British Mum, and four step siblings. I also gained Star Wars.

My stepbrother was in his teens – the only boy of the four – and I somehow doubt he was very amused by yet another female in the house when I went to visit. His amusement turned to horror when he discovered that his stepsister had never watched Star Wars.
”How did you get to be eighteen and you don’t know anything about it?”

He remedied that. Over and over. And over again.

In the month that I was with them, he and I had five (if I remember correctly) Star Wars movie marathons, because of course he had the VHS box set. And I loved every minute. This time, I chose Yoda (the little dude pictured above) as my husband πŸ˜›

Star Wars, for me, is not just about the movies. It’s about cherished moments spent with a ‘new sibling’ which gave us a common ground. (Our mutual love for Mr. Bean helped too!)

Now, if you haven’t watched Star Wars (and you’re HOW old?? πŸ˜› ) then you may not be familiar with one of the famous lines : May the Force be with you – now you see why ‘May the Fourth’ works so well πŸ˜‰

Interestingly enough though, β€œMay the Fourth be with you” was first used by Margaret Thatcher’s political party to congratulate her on her election on May 4th, 1979.

This morning, I think this was me….

I sure hope my coffee kicks in soon! πŸ˜›

If you want to read some great Star Wars quotes, you can take a gander here.
I’ll end with this quote : β€œMaster Yoda says I should be mindful of the future… but not at the expense of the moment.”
Qui Gon Jinn

May you all see the good in the moments of TODAY… and may the fourth be with you πŸ˜‰

Scrambling For Words

Today is SCRABBLE DAY!

A day I simply had to post about because of the fond memories I have associated with this board game!

Today was chosen as the day to celebrate the game, because it is also the day that the game creator was born! His name was Alfred Mosher Butts and he invented this board game during The Great Depression in the 1930’s.

At the time that he created the game, many were out of work, starving for food, depressed. Including Alfred himself. He was an Architect – an out of work Architect.

I’d like to think that it wasn’t just boredom that caused him to create it. But that’s me and my positive spin on life, I guess πŸ˜› I’d like to think that as he looked around him, and saw people struggling, that he wanted to provide them with something that would not only stimulate their brains, but possibly also distract them from the misery of their circumstances.

The game was originally called LEXICO, later changed to Criss Cross Words, and of course it is now Scrabble, as we know it.

Alfred teaches us a lesson in tenacity – in the reward that comes with never giving up. Because initially his game was rejected by most board game manufacturers. He eventually encountered a man by the name of James Brunot, who purchased the rights to the game, made a few minor adjustments and renamed it…. making Scrabble (and Alfred) a household name.

The fond memories I mentioned? I can still see my Granny and Grampie now, huddled over their Scrabble board, trying to outdo each other and achieve maximum points so as to ultimately be declared the winner. It makes me smile. They played every night – early evening, straight after supper. And I looked forward to sleepovers at their house, so that I could be a part of the action!

As soon as I was able to begin spelling, there was always a ‘pre-game’ game – Grampie would take me on, and Granny was allowed to help me, but only a little bit. For a few years, I found myself scrambling for words! And then I started to get better at it, and Granny no longer needed to assist. I never did beat Grampie though – he remains ‘our champion’, in more ways than one ❀

I found this image on Pinterest, and it made me smile even more, as it is a picture of the original game, and the box looks identical to my grandparents box – well used πŸ˜‰

It was amusing to see my brother (the middle child in our family – nine years my senior) proudly unpack his very own Scrabble game when he was eighteen, and right up until the moment he moved out (when he was about 24, I think it was) I would regularly find him playing against himself, either on his bed, or next to the swimming pool while he was ‘tanning’.

No one in my family has ever participated in any formal Scrabble championships (that I know of) – playing against each other was apparently challenging enough! πŸ˜› The only time I have ever won a game, was when I played against myself πŸ˜› But that has never caused me to turn down the opportunity to play – I have definitely always played for the enjoyment of it πŸ˜‰

Interestingly enough, even worldwide Scrabble championships have scandals attached to them! What next?!?! Ha ha ha!

Happy Scrabble Day, everyone! Please go and have some fun with words today πŸ˜‰

habitually grumpy

The title of this blog post is very much NOT me. But I’ve certainly had my moments of grouchiness! This image is from Amazon, and it made me giggle :

They say that today may have been created by good old Big Bird from Sesame Street…
You guessed it! Today is…..

Do a Grouch a Favour Day

Grumpy people are all over the place. If you haven’t encountered one, then you need to get out more πŸ˜›
And I am not meaning those who are perhaps overtired, or stressed, and having a grumpy moment.
I am talking about those who go through life constantly complaining and seemingly always dissatisfied!

But guess what? Even those people are deserving of love! Even more so than others! Because more often than not, the lack of love is the very reason they are the way they are!

We should be like this every day… but today in particular please…. if you encounter someone who seems to have forgotten how to smile, or is grumbling a lot, let’s try to :

Be kind with our words, and try to remove any impatience from our tone.
Respond, react and treat them as if you swallowed a cup of sunshine instead of coffee this morning πŸ˜‰
Don’t take their response to you personally – remember how you feel when you’re grouchy… it’s definitely a ‘you’ thing and not anyone else…. it’s possibly the same way for them πŸ˜‰

There was a little song I learnt, and used to sing (and still sometimes sing to myself) which apparently even Google is unaware of! I learned it at about age 6, and still vaguely remember the words. I think I have shared it before… but I am going to share it again on this day where you CAN make a difference (even when the grouchy person may pretend that you haven’t)!

”Crossness is catchy like the fever,
Crossness is catchy like the flu…
So send a loving smile,
Spreading mile by mile,
For friendliness is catchy too, thank goodness!
Friendliness is catchy too!”

Here’s hoping that you all encounter some kindness today, whether you’re feeling grouchy or not! πŸ˜‰

Old Rock Day

So amongst many other days being celebrated today all over the world (like the precious little boy who lives across from me who turns a whole eight years old today!!!) today is also Old Rock Day!

I was excited because I love listening to some good old Rock ‘n Roll…. BUT….

Wrong Rock!

They meant all things fossilised and stony! So I am guessing Geologists and amateur rock enthusiasts will be cracking the champagne this evening in celebration πŸ˜‰ (Unless they live in South Africa, where alcohol is still banned as part of ‘disaster management protocol for Covid πŸ˜› )

So here are some great rock ‘life’ quotes for you – minus the guitar πŸ˜‰ (I got them from Pinterest)

And I really loved this one…. it made me laugh…. so let’s keep on going into our 2021 year and….

πŸ˜‰

Disney

I’m sure you’ve guessed by the title…. this post is about Disney…. or more specifically, today is apparently

WALT DISNEY DAY!

So in celebration, here are some memes….
(Yes, I am still a sucker for a good Disney movie πŸ˜› πŸ˜‰ )

Photo Credit : media.bookbub.com

Photo credit : mamasgeeky.com

And some lessons I have learned πŸ˜›

Cinderella taught me that we should always get mice and birds to make our clothing…. (hellogiggles.com) and that a new pair of shoes can change your life πŸ˜›

My favourite scene from the Lion King is so applicable, always…
”The past can hurt… but we can either run from it, or learn from it!”

Snow White not only reminds me to not take food from strangers… but that apples are not necessarily good for me either. πŸ˜›
(Interestingly enough, I used to work for three doctors. There is the saying that ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’… well, I ate plenty of apples and they still came to work! πŸ˜› )

Monsters, Inc keeps reminding me that exercise is an important way to start your day… and equally as important is to make sure my paperwork is always up to date πŸ˜›

And then I checked out this page which was telling me the things I should NOT learn from Disney. Some of them really made me giggle, so here are my favourites πŸ˜› (Warning : the page contains some that are NOT so great… and some bad language… so you might not want to go there if you are sensitive to that type of stuff πŸ˜‰ )

Ratatouille – if I want gourmet meals in my kitchen, I must find some friendly rats πŸ˜›

101 Dalmations – it’s okay to have 101 dogs in my yard πŸ˜› πŸ˜‰

Aladdin – you will have a very bruised knee if you attempt cracking a melon on it… this is NOT a real easy thing to achieve πŸ˜›

I’ll end with some great life lessons :

Toy Story – Set your goals high (”Aim for the moon. If you miss, you may hit a star.” ~ W.Clement Stone)

The Princess and the Frog – Hard work is the key to success! (Even when you want to be successful at the things that truly matter – growth and heart change are very hard work!)

Tangled – Step outside your comfort zone. (You just never know which opportunities may appear!)

Up – It’s never too late!

Ratatouille – You are your own limit! ( β€œYou must not let anyone define your limits because of where you come from. Your only limit is your soul.” — Gusteau)

HAPPY WALT DISNEY DAY, EVERYONE!

Bring Your Manners To Work Day

Yes, apparently that is the day that is being celebrated today.

But as with all these days that have their own specific celebratory day, we should be practising them every day! Today is a good day to acknowledge the importance of manners though πŸ˜‰

My teen and young adult STILL sometimes forget their ‘please and thank you’s’ with me – and it frustrates me to no end.
But I have been told on numerous occasions that they are very well-mannered. And I was reminded of something someone once said to me when I complained about my then four year old’s behaviour.

”Would you rather have them misbehave at home, or in public? Because in public, she is an absolute gem, and you can be proud!”

Naturally my answer was that I was glad she wasn’t that way ‘out in the world’, ha ha ha!

But something I tell my kids regularly is this : it’s just as important ‘at home’, and when you’re alone, to be consistent in your behaviour – and that includes remembering your manners πŸ˜‰

Because what you keep doing, and thinking, and saying will eventually spill over into all spheres in your life.

Saying please and thank you are basic etiquette, and cost nothing. Such simple words that we sometimes seem to forget.

Such simple words that actually mean more than we sometimes realise, because they show kindness and respect, which are things of great value.

And if we really think about it? When we neglect the small things we start to form poor habits, and the consequences of that can be quite overwhelming.

So for today, PLEASE remember to say please πŸ˜‰
And don’t forget that a simple thank you can go a long way.

THANK YOU πŸ˜‰

What Day Is It?

This seems to be the question on many people’s lips these days, with our lock down here still being somewhat ridiculous and the vast majority still being unable to work. The days just sort of melt into each other, and there are times where, unless I check the calendar, I am unsure where we’re at.
But that’s not the reason for the question today πŸ˜‰

Today is another of my ‘What Day of the Year‘ is it posts….

I got a little bit too excited when I found it that it’s Dracula Day πŸ˜›

Growing up, I was never allowed to watch anything monster like – and so of course, vampires were a criminal offense in our house. And my mother held true to this right into my late teens. It was NOT allowed.
(In fact, nothing was – rolling my eyes. Even a romantic comedy with an age restriction of 13 was vetoed – and I was 16 at the time. Yeah, strict control was the order of the day.)

I smiled broadly this morning when I chose Dracula Day

Because it took me back to my sneaky self. πŸ˜‰

When my parents were still together, our home had a large lounge and dining area, that was separated by large french doors. At age 6, my brothers were already 15 and 17, and so they would sit with my dad in the lounge and watch things like the A-Team, Airwolf and MacGyver. Naturally this wasΒ not allowed for the little girl in the house, under any circumstances. But sometimes my mother was out at a church meeting – or busy in the kitchen.
I’d check to see if the french doors were open, and if they were I would run to my room and fetch my dolls. I’d position myself with my babies in the armchair in the far corner of the lounge (my excuse being that my babies and I were visiting my friend for tea if anyone asked πŸ˜‰ ), giving me full view of the TV screen. And sometimes I’d even make it through an entire episode without getting caught πŸ˜‰

By my early teens, my folks were long divorced, my oldest brother had left the house. But the younger of the two was still around, and he had a TV and video machine in his room πŸ˜‰ The bedrooms in the house were on the opposite side to my mothers study/office, and when my brother was out (which was most of the time) and my mother was busy, I’d sneak in there, close the door, and watch his TV, or one of his videos. Thankfully, my mother very seldom caught me… and my brother had a car that had a distinctive sound when he drove in. Plus, in those days, I was young, and fast. πŸ˜‰ He only ever caught me once πŸ˜›
If it wasn’t for his TV I would have had NO friends in high school, ha ha ha – at least I could keep up with them in conversation about Wings, and The Hogan Family. I’ll admit that I even tried to keep up with Beverley Hills 90210… but sometimes understood why I had no business watching that πŸ˜›
(My mother ONLY watched the Christian television network – she had a special aerial and the main television in our house was not tuned in to any other channel.)

And yes, this all led to complete rebellion… some of it harmful… when it came to what I watched behind my mothers back. (Which is why, even though I censor a lot of what my daughter watches now, I also give her a lot more freedom… she never watches anything now without asking first, not even sneakily. And I am always open to discuss my reasons and hear her out when she asks to watch something. Sometimes I am not entirely happy about giving in… but I’ve heard her out, and we’ve discussed it enough that I know she has heard me out regarding my reasons. And so far, so good.)
Side note : Yes, it is my duty and responsibility to protect her – but there are ways and means, and so long as she is as open and honest with me as she is now, and so long as we have good communication, I think I am doing okay. πŸ˜‰

But back to Dracula, because that’s where the excitement of this day lies πŸ˜‰

My introduction to the vampire world had nothing to do with the Count himself. It was during my sneaky sessions in my brothers room (although sometimes he was home, and I had to miss an episode because he was in a bad mood – every now and then, he’d let me watch with him, but only if I gave him any chocolate/sweet stash that I had as payment πŸ˜› )… I got to watch the series Third Watch. In there was a few episodes about a group that decided they were vampires. I’ll admit, it scared me a little. And removed any desire I felt to watch Dracula – even though my brother actually offered.

At age 19, I think it was, I finally watched Interview with a Vampire – I mean, come on… Brad Pitt AND Tom Cruise in one movie???? A heavenly delight for me at that age πŸ˜› How could I not watch?
And I survived it, without fear. (Maybe they helped πŸ˜› )
Thing is that as I got older, I think I became desensitised to a large degree. I can watch almost anything now – although I am not a fan of the occult type movies at all – no interest in watching 95% of them – they just disturb my spirit too much.

I decided to tackle Dracula differently to everyone else that I knew though – I read the book first after eventually getting my hands on it. Because I am a reader for the most part, and so that’s what I do. πŸ˜› πŸ˜‰
Then I watched the movie… so I got the full Count experience πŸ˜‰

And… I’ll admit it… I’ve read the entire Twilight collection (twice – shaking my head here, ha ha ha!), after which I have watched the movie collection more than ten times. πŸ˜› My daughter tried it out – reading first as per her mother πŸ˜› – when she was 13… and every now and then we still have a Twilight movie marathon together πŸ˜‰

So that’s my contribution to Dracula Day. If you want to read more about the actual day, as opposed to my nonsense πŸ˜› you can go here.

Stay safe everyone. And don’t forget to smile πŸ˜‰

Eat What You Want

As you may have noticed, there are blog posts where I refer to the Days of the Year site, and choose to celebrate along with them. There are a few ‘days’ being celebrated today, but of course the one that I’ve chosen absolutely appeals to me πŸ˜› πŸ˜› πŸ˜›

Apparently, today is Eat What You Want Day. Do you understand now why I couldn’t resist? πŸ˜‰

I see that this holiday was created by Thomas and Ruth Roy. So of course I wanted to see who these wonderful people were πŸ˜‰ and I popped off to Google. My goodness, then the fun really started.

Their business is called Wellcat – and according to their site :
Wellcat HerbsΒ features fine herbal products and informative commentary on the medicinal, culinary & mystical uses of herbs & spices.

But they also appear to have the copyright, and have published, somewhere in the region of about 80 different ‘holidays’. And I laughed my through the list because there are some really fun ones in there.

Now please don’t misunderstand.
EVERY day is a gift, no matter what. Every day is a day worthy of celebration. I definitely do know that, and I am grateful that I can wake up each morning to a new day, filled with possibilities and potential.

But here’s something I also know, and I’ve been made even more aware of it the past 8 weeks : sometimes circumstances (even those beyond our control) distract us. We still keep our chins up and try to remain positive and hopeful, but sometimes we forget to ‘celebrate’ life.Β 

And for me personally? Having that little push and reminder of ‘something in particular’ to celebrate can actually make a huge difference to my day.Β 

(Just as a side note : I had a good giggle when I saw that my birthday is actually one of those copyrighted days, and it’s so applicable to me. Of course, the days are different here because my seasons are the complete opposite, but it was so funny to see my birthday listed as ‘Stay Out Of The Sun’ day. I’m not a Summer person, I am a Winter gal through and through. I also don’t spend hours in the sunshine, ever! The sun makes me lazy and then I am completely unproductive, ha ha! I’ve always preferred night time and the mystery in the darkness/moonlight. So it’s rather appropriate that THAT day is listed for my birthday, don’t you think πŸ˜‰ I feel quite honoured πŸ˜‰ )

But back to today and eating what you want πŸ˜‰

Here’s the thing : thereΒ are limitations for me because there are some things that I really am not allowed to eat – not because of allergies, but because of a mild case of IBS coupled with some stomach ulcers due to a bacterial infection from three years ago that reappeared in January this year. Β So I do still need to be really careful about what I eat. Especially since I absolutely refuse to give up my coffee πŸ˜›

I’ve decided though, that for today, I am going to eat an 80g slab of wholenut chocolate for lunch πŸ˜‰ I simply have to celebrate this day somehow πŸ˜‰ And just the thought of lunchtime is making me smile, making my heart feel lighter – although I know it won’t make my body feel lighter πŸ˜›
But right now, my heart is more important πŸ˜‰

 

Reading IS doing!

Someone very dear to me reminded me yesterday that ‘nature abhors a vacuum, and something will fill it and it’s not always the best stuff’.

And I know this.

Isn’t it funny how sometimes weΒ know something and yet still become its prey?Β 

The vacuum was there, created by frustration, I’m guessing. And then along came the proverbial cherry to top it all off. When I have these cherry experiences, they usually reduce me to tears…

But then the healing begins.

And I come back stronger – because I choose to force myself to empty out the bad stuff and fill the vacuum with the good. It really can go either way though – but it’s about choice.
When you have come through the things I have, there is no way that you want to choose the latter. I have learned through some very difficult and painful experiences that I truly WANT the good…always. That growth is not always easy… but it’s necessary to become the best version of me that I can be. And perhaps all of this is part of that journey?

So… moving on…

The UK truly is one of my favourite places in the world. Of course, the fact that my daddy lives there probably plays a big part in that πŸ˜‰
But I also had the opportunity to visit the UK for a few months, and Dad did it proud as far as being my tour guide was concerned. We didn’t see many shopping centres… instead, I sat on steps in his little town and fed the swans – I seldom see swans here. I took in the most amazing scenery, and had long walks in forests. I finally got to see real castles… and walk in their ruins πŸ™‚Β  And we visited almost every charity shop we could find… for books!

Today (or rather later today) is World Book Night.

Apparently it started in the UK (told you it’s a great place πŸ˜› ) and Ireland in 2011 – World Book Day existed for children, and so World Book Night was created as a ‘day’ for adults to read more books.
In 2012 and 2013, the holiday was celebrated in the United States. Over 50,000 people gave books to others on this day.

They talk about celebrating it by giving books away to others, or reading a book late into the night to relax. That we should share our favourite books with one another, in an effort to encourage reading.

As an adult, I completely understand when someone tells me that they just don’t seem to find the time to read. Life gets busy, and there is always something else that needs doing.
My problem is that no matter how much still needs to be done, I will still squeeze in an hour to read. But, you see, I am something of a book worm πŸ˜‰

I was ‘quite offended’ (not really offended as such, just a little bit amazed at the thought) when someone asked me the other day what I was doing. So I replied with, ‘Reading πŸ™‚ ‘
And the response was, ‘So you’re not actually doing anything.’ This person felt the same way about me with my writing.
But this person is not a person who reads or writes – for them, ‘doing’ is physically doing/working with their hands. In their eyes, reading and writing makes me a very lazy person.
We’re still friends πŸ˜‰
Because this world is made up of a variety of people with so many different strengths and talents and abilities… and that’s what makes the world work. This person repairs motorcycles locally, and without him, our local bikers would be in a fix and paying way too much for ‘out of town’ services. He has value. So do I.
But the things people value about us are different πŸ˜‰

So if you enjoy reading, and struggle to find the time, then today is a good day to put everything else aside and curl up with your book. You have an excuse πŸ˜‰

And if you’ve read anything really good lately, feel free to share it in the comments. It may not be my preferred genre, but someone else may decide it’s for them πŸ˜‰
And knowing me, I will probably give it a read anyway πŸ˜‰

This week I read Have You Seen Her, by Karen Rose.

have
Photo credit : bookdepository.com

”Special Agent Steven Thatcher has sworn to find the serial killer preying on this small town.Β  As the investigation pulls him one way, his family pulls him in another.Β A widower haunted by loss, he now worries about his son Brad slipping away.Β 

I was actually very surprised by this book! It was ‘full’ of everything. The fear and intrigue of the serial killer as we go on the hunt; the emotion and pain of a family being torn apart (there were parts there that made me cry!); and adult desires that carry you into a romance.
When I say full – it’s like it was three different stories that could have each been books on their own… but were edited to make the ‘story’ shorter… without losing your emotional connection to every aspect. Interwoven to make for a heck of a read.

This type of book isn’t everyone’s cup of tea… but it ‘had something’ and I’m really glad I read it. When I finished it, I was filled with a lot of admiration for this author, because for me it truly was skillfully brought together. A little predictable in parts? Sure. But I’m a book lover and not a very good book critic πŸ˜› πŸ˜‰

Happy World Book Night, adults πŸ˜‰