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˜‰

Horton heard what?

It’s that day again! πŸ˜‰

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Photo credit : skiptomylou.org

Today is Dr Seuss Day

”Theodor Seuss Geisel, commonly known by his pen name Dr. Seuss, was a writer, poet and cartoonist. Though best known as a children’s author (he released a whopping forty-six books for tykes), his career also saw him work as an illustrator for advertising campaigns and a political cartoonist during the Second World War. He was also a true perfectionist, known to discard 95% of his material before settling on a theme for a new book, sometimes spending up to a year writing a single story, and preferring payment upon completion, rather than in advance.

March 2nd is a celebration of his life and works, as it was on this day in 1904 that he entered the world. Having lived eighty-seven years and made an incredible impact on numerous generations, he died in 1991 at his home in La Jolla, California. His many bizarre, colourful and zany tales are still cherished by young and old alike, and, having been translated into more than twenty languages, are read all across the world every single day.”Β Extract taken from the link provided above.

I owned four of his books as a child (all the others I read came from the library), and I still have them!Β  I read them to my children when they were younger, and they’ve now been packed away for my grandchildren one day (although I think I will be waiting a very long time for that πŸ˜› Not that I’m complaining πŸ˜‰ )

seuss 1

Photo credit : northernnatalcourier.co.za

And as I am reminiscing, and looking through all the quote images, I see a lot of the things that I have a tendency to say in them – perhaps he had a greater influence on me than I thought πŸ˜‰

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Photo credit : earlymoments.com

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So here’s my ‘Dr Seuss inspired’ wish for you :

May you find the strength and wisdom for the mountains that you climb.

May you remember that no one can be a better ‘you’ than you.

May your heart not only be open to caring for others, but may you also find opportunities to be kind.

May you be filled with courage to stand out in the crowd – stick to your values and goals and pursue your dreams… no matter who says what!

AND ….

β€œAnd the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow,
stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled ’till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.”

May you experience the goodness and greatness of love EVERY DAY that can’t be bought.

Vincent Ehindero Blogger Award

blog-awaard

 

I was nominated for the above award by a young lady named Chloe. I visited Chloe’s blog after Vincent Ehindero gave her a stellar recommendation.
What had impressed me most was her age! She’s only eleven years old.
When I was eleven, I loved writing too – but we didn’t have internet in those days. I somehow doubt, even if we did, that I would have had the courage to start a blog though! She describes herself as being a little….. energetic. That made me smile for sure. πŸ˜‰
You should definitely stop by her lovely blog, especially if you enjoy poetry πŸ˜‰

Thank you for the nomination, Chloe πŸ™‚

The Rules:

1. Thank the person that nominated you with a link to their blog

2. Make a post of the award (with photo)

3. Post the rules

4. Ask 5-10 questions of your choice

5. Nominate 10-30 other bloggers (or more) and notify them.

6. Follow Vincent Ehindero @Β vincentehindero.wordpress.comΒ (to qualify for free blog promotion and shoutout) and more blogging opportunities

Here is my Q & A from Chloe :Β 

What’s the best thing you like about blogging? And your advice.

It’s a place to express my thoughts and feelings, and enables me to connect with others all over the world.
I guess my ‘advice’ would be to remember that even in the blogosphere, everyone has a right to their opinion, and that most times, if you don’t have anything nice to say, it may be better to say nothing at all πŸ˜‰

Who is your favorite author?

I have no answer. Because I have so many, for so many different reasons πŸ˜‰ As a child, my answer definitely would have been Enid Blyton πŸ˜‰ (and my adult mind still escapes there sometimes) As I have got older, the world of books has opened up and my list of favourites has definitely grown.

What is that one thing you are very grateful for?

As cheesy as it sounds? My life. All of it. The ups and the downs, the good and the bad circumstances, the successes and the challenges. In the bad moments, I may scream into my pillow, or rant at the bathroom mirror… sometimes I even cry! But I am still VERY grateful for MY life, and the fact that I have it! ❀

Why do you blog?

Well…. why not? πŸ˜‰

What is your favorite fragrance?

Another question with a multitude of answers. But I shall give you five since I ducked the favourite author question, ha ha ha! πŸ˜‰
Vanilla
Freshly cut grass
Sandalwood
Pine needles
The ocean

Now unfortunately, as most of you will know from previous blog awards, I don’t nominate other blogs. I feel it’s a personal choice to participate, but also don’t want to put pressure on anyone πŸ˜‰
IF you find the questions appealing though, then please DO participate… consider yourself nominated πŸ˜‰Β 

  1. Is music a big part of your life? How/why? (this question inspired by this fantastic post on Letters to Pogue πŸ˜‰ that you really should check out)
  2. Do you have a sweet tooth, or are you more of a savoury lover? (inspired by Granny1947’s love for Lindt dark chocolate πŸ˜‰ Her blogs are amusing and informative – you should visit her too πŸ˜‰ )
  3. What is your favourite way to boost your mood? (Holly’s question on her latest post – a great blog for tips and advice and general inspiration. Definitely worthy of a look see πŸ˜‰ )
  4. What is something new that you would like to try out? (I keep thinking about Evan’s post on outdoor rock climbing! He has some other great blog posts as well, focusing on a motivational mindset, goals, and life in general πŸ˜‰
  5. Do you have a hobby? What is it? Pictures please πŸ˜‰ (This is just me being curious, ha ha ha!)

 

Here’s hoping everyone is well, and happy! Be safe, blogging friends!

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˜‰

Kid memory

I was watching a movie last night and there was a line in it that suddenly made me laugh out loud. It wasn’t funny by any means, and the movie was pretty serious too – but it sparked something in my memory for some odd reason. And I laughed a little too long at that memory – because perhaps that was what I needed.

It isn’t even reallyΒ that funny, when I think about it now. But I thought I’d share it anyway, because it’s quite sweet… and we could all use some sweetness and a smile πŸ˜‰

When I was 9 or 10, my mother owned a day care centre in collaboration with her church. It was open for about three years – until the church decided to do something else with the building in which it was housed.
I would visit there in the afternoons after school – and I loved the little kids. Their age ranges were 2 to 6, and so some of them were not that much younger than me.

But I have always been an old soul, and thinking back now, I feel like I was so much older than them. My brothers were 9 and 11 years older than me, and I sometimes think I grew up as a mini adult. I don’t know.

But I know I was very fond of those little kids, and loved reading to them, and drawing with them, and caring for them.

Duane was one of my favourites – we’re now Facebook friends, ha ha ha!
Back then, he was four years old, and he was the cutest little thing with the chubbiest cheeks I had ever seen. He put those chubby cheeks to good use. Duane loved after lunch nap time. He was always the first one asleep, and the last one to wake up… often needing to be woken. He loved nap time so much that he’d store the last two mouthfuls of food in his cheeks, just so that he could be excused from the table to do his quick bathroom visit and then go to his little mattress and pillow. I think he chewed and swallowed while in the bathroom. But one day, he was so tired, that he seemed to have forgotten. They’d had grapes at the end of the meal, and he kept one in either cheek. He fell asleep like that though! Thankfully, he didn’t choke. Instead, almost as soon as he was asleep, his mouth opened and they popped out onto his pillow. They were discovered as the assistant teacher made her rounds to cover the children with blankets and my mother was called. After that, little Duane’s cheeks were checked before he left the table!

But that’s not the story I wanted to share πŸ˜‰

Ross was three (almost four at the time of the story I want to share) years old, and small for his age. He had big brown eyes, and sandy brown hair that was growing out past his ears, and he also sported a very straight, very thick, floppy fringe (bangs). He was very well behaved and a lot quieter and gentler than the other boys. And he had a lisp, which made him even cuter.
One day, as the assistant teacher, Pam, was tidying the bookshelf, little Rossi (that’s what we called him – no relation to Valentino πŸ˜› ) came sidling up to her. He watched, and then helped with the lower shelf. When all the books were neatly put back in place in that shelf, Rossi stood up, put his hands on his hips and let out an enormous sigh. Pam turned to face him, and smiling down at him she said,
“And now, Rossi? What’s your case?”Β  (the line from the movie)

Rossi’s brown eyes widened and he suddenly look very confused. In his soft little voice he replied,
”But Aunty Pammie, youΒ know my cathe. It’th the one with the red and white thtripeth!”

And his school suitcase was, indeed, the one with the red and white stripes. Pam started laughing, and gathered him up in a hug. Then she sat him down and explained what she had meant, and he laughed too, stating, ”I’m a thilly banana and I’m not even yellow!”

So it’s just a quick share…. but I felt it worthy πŸ˜‰ Here’s hoping you at least smiled πŸ˜‰

Be safe everyone!

 

Liebster Award

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I was nominated πŸ˜‰ Big thanks to johnranjit for the nomination. He has a blog called Managing Yourself, some great soul food in there to go and have a look at. πŸ˜‰

Rules To The Liebster Blogger Award:

1.Thank the blogger who nominated you and give a link to their blog.
2. Answer the 11 questions given to you. (I only got 10 – promise I didn’t leave one out πŸ˜‰ )
3.Share 11 facts about yourself
4. Nominate between 5-11 other bloggers
5. Ask your nominees 11 questions
6. Notify your nominees once you’ve uploaded your post.

The Q and A for me is as follows :

Q1 When and how did you start blogging?
Goodness! I think my first ever blog post was back in 2006, but it wasn’t on the WordPress community. Blogging was almost an unknown in my country back then – very few people blogged those days. A computer whizz who knew I loved to write, and knew my bubbly personality, introduced me to the world of blogging. And so it began πŸ˜‰

Q2 What is your favorite quote?
I generally don’t like being asked to mention favourites…. simply because I have so many of everything. πŸ˜›
And each day is different, and sometimes it changes during the day, depending on circumstances and little reminders. For this morning though, the following quote pretty much describes how I felt.. so I’ll share it πŸ˜‰
“Fear less, hope more, eat less, chew more, whine less, breathe more, talk less, say more, hate less, love more, and good things will be yours.”β€” Swedish Proverb

Q3 Beaches or mountains?
There’s just no question here, and it’s something that never changes πŸ˜›
MOUNTAINS for sure πŸ˜‰

Q4 If you had an extra hour in the day, what will you be doing?
This is such a tough one, because there are just too many things to mention.
So I’ll pick one and go with it πŸ˜‰
Daydreaming πŸ˜‰ I mean, who doesn’t need an extra hour for that, right?

Q5 What is your all-time advice to my blog page?
To be honest, I don’t have any. You are you, and your blog is uniquely you. I enjoy reading what you put out there, and wouldn’t change a thing.

Q6 Would you rather read a book or watch a movie?
Definitely read a book.

Q7 How do you deal with stress?
I breathe. Yes, it sounds silly. But I actually physically and mentally stop myself, and just keep repeating, ‘breathe. in and out. there you go. just breathe.’ And admittedly sometimes I cry – I find that it is a welcome relief and is beneficial to releasing the negative emotions.

Q8 What appeals to you most, soul or appearance of a person?
Definitely the soul! Admittedly, there needs to be an attraction to the physical appearance in a romantic relationship… but for me the physical attraction is often related to the soul. It’s a little strange, I know. Personally though, I have experienced it a good few times. I’ll see an incredibly good looking man, but discover he’s self absorbed, and superficial – and honestly, he loses his appeal for me. I just don’t ‘see’ his outward good looks anymore. Strange, but true.

Q9 What message would you like to give to your future self?
Just eat the darn cake πŸ˜‰

Q10 What are you most thankful for in your life?

Life. In it’s entirety. With it’s ups and downs, and all arounds. I am just thankful that I have it, and everything that goes with it. Even the things that hurt and the lessons that suck. I grow. So they have purpose. I have purpose. Life has purpose.
It’s not always easy… but it’s worth it.
And the opportunities are endless.
So I guess the thing I am most thankful for in my life, is that I HAVE life πŸ˜‰ πŸ™‚

I’m also supposed to share 11 facts about me. That’s even more difficult than answering questions πŸ˜› Mostly because as you all know I am quite open here, so there’s not much mystery left to share πŸ˜›Β  I’ll try anyway….

  1. I think I am addicted to caffeine – I am at a stage where IΒ have to have two cups after waking for my brain to fully functional πŸ˜›
  2. I am a water baby – not a swimmer. I drink copious amounts of water. Too much, actually. Although it doesn’t seem to affect me, other than seemingly having a constantly full bladder, ha ha ha! (I drink about 3.5l a day – and that’s not including the coffee or tea consumed during the day.)
  3. As much as I love my coffee, there is a time in the day where my body seems to crave my cup of green tea with mint – no milk, no sugar.
  4. I don’t take sugar in my coffee either.
  5. I don’t play on my phone if I wake in the middle of the night/early hours of the morning. I may only touch it in order to see the time. I don’t check messages or scroll through social media. Even if I am struggling to go back to sleep. Ha ha ha!
  6. I don’t eat sushi. And yes, I have tried it. All of it. Even wasabi. But sushi just doesn’t seem to be built into my taste buds.
  7. As chatty and vivacious as my personality is, I am still able to just ‘be’. There are plenty of times where quietΒ is actually just quiet. I once had a friend over, and we were both sitting in my lounge with our knitting, and just kind of lapsed into silence. For an hour. But weΒ are women, so we got to talking again πŸ˜›
  8. I still love to dance – even though I am not very good πŸ˜›
  9. Although I don’t seem to give music enough credit, I cannot imagine my life without it.
  10. I took a kids quiz on a magazine website yesterday, ha ha ha ha! Because who wouldn’t want to know which Beatrix Potter character they were???
    I’m Squirrel Nutkin, in case you’re wondering πŸ˜›
  11. I am totally and utterly terrified of a dentist!

 

I’m not going to nominate anyone as such. Because you’re all awesome. So if you’re reading this, consider yourself nominated πŸ˜‰

BUT, I’d also like to share links to some pretty great blogs (this is off the top of my head, and please don’t be offended if I don’t mention you by name), and give them the award… but there is NO pressure to do a blog post about it if you don’t want to. πŸ˜‰
If you DO choose to participate, please answer my ten questions that I was asked, and for your eleventh, I’d like to know : ”What would you say is your strong point?”

Letters to Pogue is an extremely thought provoking blog, with a lot of humour thrown in. You should definitely pay him a visit πŸ™‚ He’s not limited by language or terminology (his words, not mine) and it shows. I love how when I read, I can continue to think ‘outside the box’. I am often encouraged and inspired πŸ™‚

Evan is not only a talented writer, helping us grow our minds – he is also a talented hobby-photographer. The pictures he shares with each blog post are just as good as his writing πŸ˜‰ You should visit him too πŸ™‚

Holly writes the most beautifully thought out posts that are of such great encouragement to me. Her blog also often contains great tips on ‘whole’ living – natural alternatives and the like. She has a truly beautiful soul and it shows in her writing.

Robin writes some pretty awesome poetry – and he has a great sense of humour. A lot of his stuff is related to mental health, and anxiety – but you definitely won’t be left feeling like you’re struggling with either one. Because even on days when he openly struggles? There’s sunshine in the clouds πŸ˜‰ I enjoy his Tornado of Chaos πŸ˜‰

Will’s Wisdom offers inspiration and motivation for life. There’s always a story. And a question. That gives you cause to pause and think. I kind of like that, you know πŸ˜‰

Vincent is a family man… a WordPress family man. He sees us all as family, and is just great about letting us know that we have value πŸ˜‰ His posts often bring a smile to my face – he truly is making a positive impact on lives.

So now you all have lots of reading to do. And I have a morning exercise routine (a quick one πŸ˜› 10 minute cardio – it’s a start, don’t knock it πŸ˜› ) to get through, because, well, I promised myself I would πŸ˜›

Stay safe ❀

 

Arts and Crafts

The other day I shared my hobby of painting.

I am sort of an Arts and Crafts kind of girl. Sometimes. πŸ˜‰

In my early twenties, a girl friend who shares my love for creating stuff, gifted me an afternoon craft class. It was a voucher for both of us to attend, and we got wine and snacks! πŸ˜‰ I remember it as being loads of fun – but somewhat frustrating too – and it wasn’t the wine πŸ˜›

It was a class in ‘serviette glass decoupage’.

Now back in those days, I was nowhere near as patient as I am now. And it showed in that class (hence the frustrating part of it).

We arrived twenty minutes early, and were greeted with a variety of wines to choose from. The studio the class was being held at had a beautiful garden, and I remember sitting on the grass with our wine, next to a small rock fountain, just sunning ourselves. No words passed between us, we just were. It was bliss.

We were ushered inside a while later by the hostess – an elderly woman with long gray hair, dressed in a brightly coloured kaftan, sporting a glass of wine twice the size of ours! (A couple of months ago, I watched the series Grace and Frankie.When I saw Frankie, I was instantly reminded of the teacher we had that day πŸ˜‰ Frankie is the lady on the right, pictured below)

gf

Photo credit : tvline.com
gf2
Photo credit : deadline.com

I’m struggling to remember what our hostesses name was, so for the purposes of my story, I shall refer to her as Frankie πŸ˜‰

My friend, Tish, and I took our seats, and I was excited to see the box of supplies in front of me. Frankie took her place at the front of the room and rather dramatically announced,
”Ladies, today we are going to test our patience!”
I wasn’t the only one who wore a horrified expression, promise.
She laughed, and added, ”We’re going to create something beautiful that you can be proud of.”
We all relaxed – but we should have known that she was an honest woman (she gave us wine, after all) and wasn’t actually kidding about the first part despite her laughing after she said it.

As we unpacked our items, I got more excited, while she talked us through a brief explanation.
”First we will tear the mulberry paper into small pieces, and you will use the normal paintbrush to ‘glue’ the pieces to your jar with the glaze I have provided. (It’s a water based glaze type varnish, thin and colourless, and after this class I preferred working with it to working with the traditional modge podge that is usually used in decoupage.)
When you have finished, while your jar is drying – it will take about fifteen minutes to dry, you may come and select a serviette from the box. Then you will cut out your picture and gently apply it with the softer paintbrush to your bottle, using fine strokes to pretty much paint it on.”

It didn’t sound too difficult.

There was a lot of chatter as we got busy with our jars (we’re women, after all πŸ˜› ), and Frankie made her rounds to check on us and top up our wine. Such a good woman πŸ˜‰

What she had failed to tell us was exactly what our serviette time would entail.

I don’t remember who waited for who, but when Tish and I were both done, we went to the serviette box together. Tish selected a serviette with bright flowers, I went with something softer – pale seashells.

Seeing us returning to our work stations with our serviettes, Frankie came over, with prestik?!?!?! What followed was a true test of patience. And I blame my youth back then for my lack thereof πŸ˜›

The serviettes had three layers, which made them ‘firm’. We were to only work with one very delicate and easy-to-tear layer. The prestik was to assist in separating the layers. Once we had the final thin layer, we could pick up our scissors, andΒ very gently begin to cut out our chosen sections.
Now, I need to tell you, for some reason I struggle a little with ‘gentle’. I am not a bull in a china shop by any means, but I am also not a very soft and gentle worker with my hands. I’ve improved… but back then it was an almost disaster.

I went through three serviettes before I had my few shells! The more intricate the cutting pattern (Tish learnt the hard way with her petals) the easier it is to tear the serviette while cutting. By the time we were done, I am pretty sure our sighs of relief could be heard in other countries. We high-fived each other, because, well, the bad part was over.

And then Frankie reappeared, her sample in hand. She showed us how to very carefully apply the serviette with the soft brush. As with most things when people do them who know what they are doing, she made it look easy.

I can assure you, it’s not. A single delicate layer of serviette that becomes wet tears really easily at the slightest amount of ‘too much pressure’. And so we were back to square one, fetching another serviette and holding scissors.

It took FIVE HOURS to make one jar! Some ladies gave up, and Frankie did theirs for them in the end, showing them how as she went along – for future use. I wonder if they ever tried again?

Tish and I were part of the determined group. And weΒ finally succeeded!

So this was my very first jar, made with serviette decoupage…

Shell Bottle

I have since, after many years of practice, managed to hone my skill so that it’s a lot less frustrating… and I don’t tear as many serviettes anymore either πŸ˜‰ It helps that I am older now, I think – so my ‘patience skill’ has been honed too πŸ˜›

In fact, I actually now enjoy working with the serviettes, and even use them for decoupage on wooden items. πŸ˜‰ I made butterfly coasters for a friend for her birthday, I made a flower fairy tissue box for someone else. And I’ve done a few bottles as gifts, with some form of something in the neck to add to the decor – a fake flower, or greenery etc.

So without further ado, I’ll share more pictures with you πŸ˜‰

Butterfly CoastersCello BottleExamplesFairies tissue box coverSunflower bottle

Here’s hoping you’re all keeping safe, and keeping well.

And if your patience isn’t already being tested, you might want to try some serviette decoupage to get it started πŸ˜› πŸ˜‰

 

What are one of your hobbies?

My maternal Granny was an artist. Apart from also being an amazing piano player, knitting and crocheting beautiful blankets and jerseys for us grandchildren, baking the best cheese scones I have ever tasted, a Scrabble Queen, and a poet – she wrote some amazing poetry!
She was an extremely talented individual. πŸ˜‰
Her paintings were often shown at local art exhibitions, and she even managed to sell quite a few. She was brilliant with both watercolours, and oils.

I often think that my small abilities/talents in all these areas (nowhere near as great as hers were!) have a lot to do with her. Because Granny was the one who taught me to knit. When I expressed such love for her scones, she taught me to make them – but mine have never tasted as good as hers did πŸ˜‰ She included me in her and Grampie’s games of Scrabble – I eventually beat my much older brothers. When she was typing on her old typewriter, I would be sitting reading her poems – and sometimes she would take a break and explain to me the things I didn’t quite understand.
The smell of oil paints was a favourite for me as a child….because I would be sitting at a table not far from her, with a small easel of my own, having been allowed to play with her older watercolours.

I spent a lot of time as a child at my grandparents home. And I know I am speaking about Granny here… but I spent more time with Grampie πŸ˜› πŸ˜‰ But the point of telling you about Granny today, is to share a hobby of mine with you.

I am nowhere near as good as Granny, but I love to paint and create πŸ˜‰ I do a lot of homemade gifts for friends and family… and sometimes even take requests from them to make gifts that they want to pass along to someone else. So I thought that today I would show you some of my stuff, just for fun πŸ˜‰

Please share with me one hobby that you have πŸ˜‰

One of my favourite items that I painted is my Cracked Pot. I bought him as a plain old ceramic, and handpainted him. He reminds me of the saying, ”We are all broken – that’s how the light gets in.” I smile every time I look at him πŸ˜‰

 

For Christmas, I painted these plain wooden boxes and filled them with treats, and a bottle of wine, as gifts for friends πŸ˜‰ (handpainted writing – not so great, but it was cherished πŸ˜‰ )

box hamper 1box hamper 2box hamper 2bbox hamper2

box hamper1

And there’s my frog in my garden… (it’s Autumn here now, and everything is a lot drier than it should be because we have water restrictions too… but he really shines in Spring and Summer when I plant a bunch of purple petunias around him πŸ˜‰ )

frog

So I’m no great painter.. but it’s something I enjoy πŸ˜‰
Please remember to share one of your hobbies with me πŸ™‚

Be safe, and be well ❀

4 things

I saw this little game on my Facebook timeline, and decided to share it with all of you… just for fun. Because we all need some fun in our lives πŸ˜‰

4 names I go by :

Meg
Megs
Megster
Meggie Pegs

4 series that I like to watch :

(Hmmm… so it’s really tough to choose 4… and these are not my top 4… but I like them πŸ˜‰ )

Criminal Minds
Law and Order – all of them
NCIS
Forensic Files

4 places I have visited :

Morgan Bay
St Fagan’s outdoor National Museum of History (My favourite international place so far! πŸ˜‰ )
Hogsback (my favourite place in my country πŸ˜‰ )
Cambridge

4 things I love to eat :

Salty biscuits/crackers with a variety of cheeses
Vegetable Spring Rolls
Beef curry Samoosas
Cheesecake πŸ˜‰

4 things I love to drink :

Water
Coffee
Water
Tea
πŸ˜› πŸ˜‰

4 things I like to do :

Make a braai (similar to a BBQ).. but not for the purpose of cooking meat. More to just sit and watch the flames, and enjoy the warmth and peace I feel in doing so.
(Although the kids get super excited, and I wind up cooking meat on it in the end πŸ˜‰ )
(One day I am hoping to have a house with a fireplace – I just know I’d sit there for hours though πŸ˜‰ )

Read, read, and read some more πŸ˜‰

Writing. I love to write. πŸ™‚

Spread love and kindness in practical ways, offer encouragement, help others to feel hopeful when it seems like all is lost.

4 things I don’t like to do :

Iron. I just don’t like ironing.

Washing/Mopping floors – it’s endless with two dogs and tiles! πŸ˜›

Cooking liver, kidneys – basically all those types of delicacies! :/

Watching someone chew gum with their mouth open! πŸ˜›

 

If you want to make a list for me in the comments on just one or two of these, or even all of them, please feel free πŸ˜‰
If you decide to do the same on your blog, please let me know so that I can go and read! πŸ˜‰

Be safe, be well… and remember to laugh πŸ˜‰