Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Wellness Wednesday: Feeling not so well

sorry - i'm feeling rather under the weather and not particularly bright or well...

i have a skin abscess on my right arm, which is slowly healing, but the strong antibiotics i'm taking are making me feel yuck :o( i am thankful it's on my right arm, though - at least i can change the dressing...

still, i have managed to post and i'm starting a beginners' tarot course run by TABI, so things are not that bad :o}

so even if it's grey and blah outside, i'm warm and cosy and trying to lift my mood...

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Wellness Wednesday: Yes, we did!

(image from The Daily Telegraph)

what a day!!

i watched most of the BBC news coverage yesterday evening - and yes, the kids let me! they found it interesting! which it was - truly historic! with two million people of every creed and colour standing in the mall, which was a slave market, apparently, witnessing an african-american man swear the oath of the presidency, with his wife beside him, herself descended from slaves, and their two girls.
what a beautiful first family, what an inspirational image, what a president!

Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America - they will be met...
Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin the work of remaking America...

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sacred Life Sunday: Mama love

here's my latest artwork purchase - isn't he adorable?! :o)
he's perched pride of place on my mantel - surrounded by images of women...
the artist is sarah kiser and here's her etsy shop and her blog. she's the sweetest person and i think that shows through in her work :o)
he's a little reminder of when my boy was small and wore stripy tees and shorts all year round - he's now 13, 5'8" and will only wear designer jeans!!
as i write, i'm surrounded by testosterone - my girl's away at a sleepover, so sam had two friends sleep over last night - after pizza and a movie, of couse! now they're playing video games and whooping and hollering, and laughing and killing baddies (onscreen!!)
ahhh! where do the years go??
but my boy's healthy and strong, he's thoughtful and kind (most of the time!) and he's growing into a fine young man :o)
and yes, sometimes i indulge in memories - like taking the bus together for the first time, his first tooth, enjoying a tiffin break and the waitresses making a fuss over him - but most of the time, i'm looking forward to all the things he has yet to do and see as his horizons widen, and yes, i'm still the ever-proud mama...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Destructive Creativity

the kids and i have been having THE most fun time with this book!
i love keri smith and i've got all her books, but this is the whackiest!!
first, we had to break the spine - yes, it says just that! - and esther duly stamped on it!! then we spilled juice and tea on it... sprayed perfume on it... tore out a page, crumpled it and stick it back in...
we made a paper aeroplane - the page is marked up for you - we ripped up a page, we wrote as many four letter words we could think of, we picked the journal up without using our hands (yes, those are teeth marks on the front cover!!), we stood on a chair and dropped it, we threw it across the room...
as a devoted bibliophile, when i first read keri's suggestions, i wailed in horror... when the kids started throwing the book around, i though, 'what the heck!!'
we still have to trail it along behind us outside, wear it (!!??), draw in it while in motion, stick fruit stickers, stamps, pocket lint, only white objects in it, make a funnel with a page, doodle while on the phone on a page printed to look like the back of an envelope, seal it, address it and mail it back to us and, quelle horreur - TAKE IT IN THE SHOWER!!!!!!!!!!!
the wild abandon of keri's ideas are such an inspiration, and when you start, you just can't stop...
i've no idea how long the journal will hold up, but the kids and i have had a ball, and we're not halfway through yet!!
it's definitely the best tenner i've spent for a good, long while :o)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Tuesday Thoughts: More art in the park

more images from rufford park...
the first pic is of the piece at the entrance to the sculpture park - i love its sinuous shape, and the stark sycamore behind it - gorgeous!!
as you follow the path in front, adam beckons you... he's a pleasant enough chap, but don't accept any proffered apple!!
the celtic arch leads you into a new play area for littlies - a celtic village for them to run around - assuming they're not too terrified by the fearsome dragons guarding the entrance!!
then the last two pics are of an ancient hawthorn tree - don't you just love how the trunk twists and turns? in the last pic, you can see a glimpse of a concrete sheep on a bench... usually it's joined by the farmer - you can just make out the lighter coloured wood where he was sitting! but he's being repaired -sitting out for 25 years in all weathers have taken their toll - poor chap...

and there you have it - a quick look at a wonderful parkland, where some inspired people are thoughtfully enhancing nature's beauty.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Monday Musings: Art overload

i've a ton of pictures from my trip out yesterday, but blogger will only let me download five at a time, so i'll post more tomorrow...
yesterday, a dear friend took me to rufford park to see this print exhibition by these artists. it was a great exhibition, and in my mind i spent £1000s, but i managed to resist really buying :o)
after a cuppa, we braved the cold to wander around the sculpture garden. as you can tell, i adored this tree!!! the base is metal, stained, or rusted, to look like wood, the rest is a silver vision... i love seeing human-made art placed in a natural setting - it leads to a deeper appreciation of the beauty of both, i think! i especially like the penultimate picture - the way the metal branches seem to absorb the leaden clouds...
rufford is a wonderful place - a cistercian monastery, dissolved by henry VIII - the county council has done a fabulous job of renovating and utilizing the buildings and grounds. it was a favourite destination when the kids were little - entry is free, just paid parking at weekends - all that space to run around in!! we have many happy memories of sunny picnics and brisk autumn walks - and having seen these pics, both kids were even keen to visit again - when it gets warmer :o)
till tomorrow...

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Warm cocoa + wonderful words = Wellness Wednesday

what else can you do when it's icy outside and you're just starting to get a bit stir-crazy? - i haven't dared venture outside since saturday, the last thing i want to do is topple over !*&%!
why, you make hot chocolate in your favourite cup and saucer and read something fun - three issues of my new favourite zine and a wonderful collection of poems

************** BLISS **************

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Tuesday Thoughts...

silence... solitude...

the kids are back to school today, nick's at work, and the house is still.

it was -5C last night, and it's bitterly cold outside, the perfect conditions for cranking up the gas fire, curling under a blanket, and reading :o)

i've been itching to read this - julia briggs was one of the english tutors at oxford when i was there, and once i sat in on a friend's seminar with julia - a treasured highlight of my time there, and a glimpse of what my studies might have been if i hadn't chosen theology over english...

sadly julia died last august, and for once, every word of the guardian's glowing obituary was justified.

so i shall sit here, on this coldest of days, warming my soul and igniting my mind with the words of one brilliant woman about another.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Sacred Life Sunday: Gratitude

i discovered a most lovely website recently, for the sophia center. they sell some beautiful things *sigh* i just love their hearthstones and would love a set for my hallway, but sadly they only ship to the US :o(
however, you can choose a hearthstone virtually... and today i 'chose' gratitude - this is what it said:
When you choose the Hearthstone: gratitude you are invited to see everything as a gift for you. A gift that Someone has carefully wrapped and left at your front door. It is your response to all the ways that you realize you are the One you have been waiting for and that you are worthy of all the abundant outpouring the Universe has been offering you each moment you enter. Even the seemingly difficult challenges are beautifully wrapped packages for you to open today. Let your only response be a happy heart that you are the one who gets all the surpises today, and a wonder at what will this mysterious gift really turn out to be...

i do indeed endeavour to cultivate gratitude in my heart - i have kept a gratitude journal for several years now, where i record at least 5 things i'm grateful for at the end of each day. the second pic shows my 2009 journal. i purchased it from meg at bindingbee, originally for a friend's birthday present! but i thought it was the perfect size and shape for a gratitude journal, so i kept it :o)

i've had no trouble listing 5 things a day so far - 2009's started brilliantly, as you can see from the posts here! yesterday we travelled to cambridge to spend a wonderful day with an old schoolfriend and her family - her two girls are roughly the same age as my two - the hours just flew by!! at one point, as we watched the four kids playing rapidough, i turned to jo marvelling at how these beautiful teen and pre-teen kids can be ours!! i mean, we're still only 25!!! and, of course, we look as we've always looked!! at such moments my heart is full and my body is lithe and supple, and my life's an adventure just beginning to unfold...

sadly, the reality today is a little harsher - i've slept most of the day, and everything aches :o(

however, my heart is still full of gratitude for everything i am experiencing!! of course, i'll never be 25 again, but i do have precious family and friends with whom i can remember the past, enjoy the present, and make plans for the future, what more could i need???

Friday, January 02, 2009

Friday Fun!!

Aren't these gorgeous??

i bought them last week from Deepa at the Lazy Giraffe, and i was wearing them yesterday...

they will be my official writer's earrings :o)
well, even solitary writers have to have pretty ear-jewels!!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

New Year's Day 2009

well, i'm starting as i mean to go on this year - making the most of nick being home to keep an eye on the kids, i've been holed up in our bedroom for most of this afternoon, reading and writing...
i'm working through this book at the moment - it's a writer's course that comes with a couple of CDs, so i actually feel i'm on a writer's retreat :o)
while reading, i was suddenly inspired to pen this poem! it's only a first draft, so please critique it kindly :o)
New Year’s Day
The alder is grey-white
Against the white-grey sky.
All is still, silent, windless, cold.
Not even a solitary bird
Ruffles the window scene.

Inside is warmth and colour:
Blue ink across a yellow page,
Steam rising over a crimson cup.
Words tumble, images form,
But still the silence remains.

The writer reaches for the cup,
Casting a smiling eye on the alder.
It’s good to be alive, she thinks,
On the first day of a new year,
As the gypsies enflame the room
With their timeless dance.

In response to the chapter ‘The Gypsy Dances’
in Emily Hanlon, The Art of Fiction Writing