Remain Strong

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Photo by me taken with subject’s permission. Edited in Photoshop.

I know that I am no the only one that has said “I just can’t do this any more”. Why do we say this? Do we expect a genie to magically pop out from under the kitchen sink and say “What is your desire? Your wish is my command”? Because it doesn’t matter how many times we actually say this, we are still standing in the same place, surrounded by the same people with the same situation that needs to be dealt with. Continue reading

On awards

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about awards and I’ve come to the conclusion that whilst I love them, I just run out of time to actually do them justice by acknowledging each one as I receive it.

So with this post I am going to acknowledge each award that I have received in the past few weeks and write a bit about the blogger who nominated me in lieu of receiving and passing on each award. Doing awards (although fun) is time consuming and due to the number of awards I receive (and that I am truly grateful for) I’m not sure if I am going to be able to continue to receive them. So without further ado, here are my awards for the past few weeks.

Field of Flowers Award
field-of-flowers-awardIsn’t this just the most beautiful award? The lovely Shaun from Looking for Reasoning to a Complicated World nominated me for this. This award was created by Patty at petitmagique

I have created this new award because there are some people who I would give a field full of flowers if I could. Not just a couple of flowers… No, a field full of them. Because they can use it, to thank someone or because they simply deserve it. Flowers give color, flowers say ‘I Care’ and flowers are nature’s gift to us. You give them to show someone you care or to celebrate something. Just spreading a little love and care.

I am incredibly blessed and flattered to receive this award from Shaun who is a pretty good all round bloke himself. He described me as “Big heart. Good fun. And really cares”. I would say exactly the same thing about Shaun. Please check out his blog.

One Lovely Blog Award
one-lovely-blog-award2Nominated for this award by the most lovely Linda G Hill . What can I say about this lady other than she is such a beautiful soul and writes from her heart. Linda is a devoted mother and is concerned about the world we live in and society itself. Please check out Linda’s blog here.

Dragon’s Loyalty Award
doncharisma-baby-dragon-tabasco-loyalty-awardMy friend Don Charisma has blessed me with this award. Ahhh DC my friend, what other things can I say about you that haven’t already been said a million times? Don loves his photography with his iPhone and takes some awesome photos. He is not afraid to share his opinion but does so with charisma and a certain sense of style. If you haven’t already checked out Don’s blog, you should do so. You can find my friend Don here.

The Inventive Blogger Award
doncharisma-org-the-inventive-blogger-awardThis award was created by Don Charisma (there’s that name again) and this is the second time I have received it. This time I was awarded this by the wonderful Eric from Hunt FOR Truth on WordPress. Eric is a man of great faith who looks to share his discoveries in regard to science and faith on his blog. You can find Eric’s blog here.

Excellence Award
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Awarded this once more, I am overwhelmed to receive it again. This time from Irene at irenedesign. Irene is a wonderful and caring lady who lives in Spain. Although English is not her first language she is always there with an encouraging word on every post. Irene is not only beautiful in spirit but she is also creative and you just have to browse her blog to see her handiwork.

Lighthouse Award
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Shaun has nominated me once again for an award. I’ve already told you what a great guy Shaun is, but I haven’t told you that he lives and breathes football (or soccer for those of us uneducated and living outside of the U.K). Thanks once again my friend for thinking of me with this award. I appreciate your online friendship and your wacky sense of humour.

Inner Peace Award
inner-peace-awardI am truly blessed to once more receive this award. This time I received it from My Ongoing Struggle. This beautiful young lady lives in the U.K. and has been through some rough times in her short time here on earth so far. Going to school and having a disability is something that many of us don’t have to live with but she lives with this each day – and each day she grows and blossoms. 🙂 Please check out her blog here.

Sisterhood of the World Bloggers
sister-hood-awardThe most gorgeous Empathy Queen nominated me for this award. I’m so pleased to be part of the sisterhood of wonderful bloggers out there. (sidenote: Dear Nav – not all sisterhoods are evil 😉 ). As part of my Fellow Blogger series, I had the privilege of interviewing this lovely lady who is kind and beautiful and above all empathetic. You can find her blog here.

Last but definitely not least:

Shine On Award
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Isn’t this just the sweetest award? I received this award from Annie at Experiment in Trying. Annie loves to laugh and to read. I think that is an awesome combination. Annie hasn’t been blogging for very long and would love everyone to check out her blog.

Whew! That was quite a job and a half.I am so grateful to every one of you who bestow awards upon me and as most of these awards request that I give 7 random facts about myself – here they are:

  1. I have heard my phone ping me twice now with a message but I don’t feel like getting up to go and check it just yet
  2. My cat scratched me earlier. She wasn’t happy because the Tween chased her to pick her up.
  3. I got my first job when I was 12 working at McDonalds (can’t get a job these days unless you are 14 years and 9 months now).
  4. I love watching MKR (My Kitchen Rules).
  5. I like eating Weiss Fruito bars when it is hot. (Guess what I am going to eat when I finish this post)?
  6. I have started work on the Tween’s quilt for her bed.
  7. I used to love eating Choo Choo bars when I was a kid

Have a blessed day all 🙂

Tuesday Update

Just a quick one today my friends – Sorry.

I need to get back into my normal posting routine once more but it is slow to happen 🙂
After yesterday’s post about selfies on the Internet, I have changed my post titles and edited the post content and tags on the offending posts. A quick Google search after that and I found plenty of disturbing stuff but nothing linking back to my blog. Phew!
I also did a Google search on my Tween’s name and found only one photo of her that had been taken by me and artistically altered. I did however find that she now has a Picasa account and likes to post comments on You Tube. None of these cause me much concern apart from the fact that I have found a lot of my photos on her Pintrest and Picasa accounts. Must talk to her about that – particularly as they are great photos that need to have my watermark put on them.

So, today I am off to the ENT for the results of my tests. I had the Hearing and Balance test last week and an MRI last night (hence no posting or commenting). My biggest fear is that he is going to say “We can’t find anything wrong”. My eye sight in my left eye has deteriorated in the past two weeks also so if he says he can’t find anything I am going to push for a referral to someone else.

Everyone at home is just fine and dandy and life keeps ticking along. My middle child and his wife left us on the weekend to go to spend time with her parents. My Tween has decided that since the letters are wearing off my computer keyboard and her father (the GG) is having difficulty with this, she would paint the letters in with whiteout. Not a pleasant typing experience at all now.

The Diva (a.k.a. Her Royal Highness Princess Smudge) is happy as long as she is continually fed each evening. She really is a fussy cat and I must blog about her eating habits another time 😉 She is also happy that the Middle Child has gone as she was running out of hiding places and doesn’t like being picked up and petted very much at all.

Well today, is shaping up to be another hot day in paradise although it is overcast this morning. We may get showers or a late storm. Or we may not. The weather forecasters are having a tough time of predicting lately. 😉

Well this was just a check in. Take care all and have a blessed day.

Internet – friend or foe?

I was looking through my stats this morning and decided to check out the search terms that have brought people to my blog. Some of it is very interesting and due to the nature of my blog, most of those terms are harmless e.g. “Nick Vujicic quotes”, “Bethany Hamilton” and even “Don Charisma”. I have blogged about each of these people so it stands to reason. There are search terms relating to the book review that I did last year and some that are outrageously funny that I have no idea why my blog would even come up such as “You suck stinker yahoo”, “vertically challenged” and my all time favourite “If you fail a high school course”.

However this morning, there were three separate search terms that rang alarm bells with me and they were all about tween selfies. I put those terms into google and came up with my blog as the first port of call. That scared me however I’m sure whoever put the term in would have been terribly upset with the photos they found because I’ve purposely chosen unflattering photos of the Tween to share. (Not trying to make light of this but a little humour never goes astray). What scares me is that people out there are looking for the pictures that children are posting of themselves online and I’m here to tell you that some of those pictures are not appropriate.

The internet is a god send in so many ways. It is definitely the ‘Information Super Highway’ but as with any action – there is an equal and opposite reaction. Good versus bad. Whilst the majority of people in the world use it for the purposes of good – continuing education, communication with others, networking and looking for information there are those who use it for reasons of exploitation.

To say that this gave me a fright this morning is an understatement. I am very careful about not sharing too many personal details about my children and partner however I wonder if I should take the further step of removing photos of my daughter from my blog? The subject of her selfies is something that causes amusement within my family however there are obviously people out there who see it as something else.
Or perhaps I am over reacting and the search terms were merely put in by a concerned parent researching things in order to educate their own children or doing research for a university paper … or something like that.
I don’t know.

However, I do know that whilst the internet is wonderful  – there is a much darker side.

A question for my U.S Friends

ImageMany of you know that I really want to travel and had in mind a trip through Europe and on to Budapest. So, I’ve been talking with the GG and it is one of his dreams to drive Route 66 the whole length. The Tween (being the avid Dance Moms fan that she is) wishes to visit Pittsburgh and Idaho as well.

So we have been discussing it all this afternoon and the GG asked the question “When would be the best time of year”? Now I’m thinking that Spring for you guys would be peak season and since I really, really would love to see the Autumn (Fall) colours as well, I was thinking October. Being inexperienced overseas travellers I need to know whether you think that October would be a good time of year to drive across the U.S from New York to L.A with side trips to the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas and San Francisco.

So hit me with your suggestions and advice. I’m all ears 😀

Journal Prompt #6

What can you find at home that you can find nowhere else?

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Very old photo at our old home

It’s time to get writing again so I’ve broken out the journal prompts once more. Whilst I was scanning the list of prompts I have, this one jumped out and grabbed me by the shoulders and shook me until my head hurt. Not really, but it did get my attention although my head does hurt 😉
Home – merely uttering that word conjures different images and emotions for us all. What does it conjure up for you?

When I ask myself what I can find at home that I can’t find anywhere else, I need to break it up into sections.

Physical

  • My own bed and pillow.
    Regular readers know just how much I love my bed and I am certain my bed loves me. It has molded itself to the shape of my body so that my rest is more restful and my sleep filled with dreams. My pillow cradles my head like no other pillow can. It has become my old friend.
  • My craft/computer room.
    Whilst other places have computers or craft areas, they are not mine. I have my computer set up how I like it. I know where everything is in this room, even if my family believe I don’t. I have a place for everything – my brushes, fabrics, books, magazines, canvases and other assorted items all have their own little niche and although this room looks disorganised and messy I still know where everything is.
  • My kitchen.
    No other kitchen is like mine. I know which knife is the best to use for different things and which saucepans suit whatever meal I am cooking. I know that my oven is hot and tends to cook things quicker than they should so make allowances for this. I know what herbs, spices and sauces I have in my pantry and just how long those leftovers have been in the fridge. It is set up in the way that is best for me.
  • My water features.
    Okay, technically they are the domain of the Garden Gnome but he put one just outside the window I am currently sitting beside, because he knows how much I love the sound of running water.
  • My garden.
    Another technicality – this area is also the domain of the Garden Gnome but there is no other garden anywhere in the world that has the Frangipani tree grown from the cutting from the one in my grandmother’s back garden or the rose bush given to us when the Tween was born. No other garden has the Buddha statues that were given to me by the First Born or the lantern I bought from a garage sale. And no other garden gives me the same kind of peace and satisfaction that I have when sitting outside in it.
  • My photos and knick knacks.
    We all have them – photos of our loved ones in frames around the house. Prints and wall hangings on the walls. Trinkets that have been given as gifts or purchased from stores. These are the little things that make my home reflective of who I am.

Emotional & Spiritual

  • Peace.
    Nothing can describe or match the feeling of peace I enjoy when I am in my own home.
  • Safety and security.
    I’m not talking about physical safety, although that is also true. When I am within the four walls of my home, I am safe. The outside world cannot intrude unless I allow it to do so. I know that those who love me are there for me. I am secure in their love.
  • Acceptance.
    When I am home, I am accepted for who I am. I have no need to put on a face to the world. Those I love see me ‘warts and all’.
  • Relief.
    As I walk through the front door after returning from anywhere, a sense of relief washes over me. I have returned to where my life is mine and not shared with others who are not loved ones.

I love to travel and be out in the world. I love to explore new places and open my eyes to new things but one of the constants I have in my world (and I know that I am so very lucky to have this) is my home. Although it is sad to return home after a holiday (vacation), a realisation of how wonderful home is returns with each arrival.
They say that ‘Home is where the Heart is’ and that is true. Although many places may feel like home – they never really are unless that heart is there.