Wednesday “Lucky” Hodgepodge

 Here are my answers to this week’s “lucky” hodgepodge (thank you Joyce for hosting!) and if you would like to join in simply click the graphic above and it will take you to the host site. Boing!!

1. Share a favourite song, book, or movie title containing the word green.

Favourite song would have to be “Evergreen” as sung by Barbra Striesand; favourite book is also a movie in that I would nominate “The Green Mile” by Stephen King.

2. Ralph Waldo Emerson is quoted as saying, ‘Shallow men believe in luck. Strong men believe in cause and effect.’ Would you agree? Are you a believer in luck?

Not really, no. I believe that people are either pessimistic or optimistic and it’s that that affects their perception of “luck”. A pessimist will tend to overlook the good things in life because they might think they don’t deserve them, and an optimist will tend to dive on every positive thing and see it as “lucky”.

3. Spring water, Hot Springs, handspring, spring fling, spring break, spring fever, offspring…which ‘spring’ word best applies to something in your day, week, or life right now?

I’m thinking broken spring. Both my mother- and father-in-law are having mental difficulties at the minute and both are in care homes for their specific needs. My father-in-law was admitted as an emergency patient yesterday after a sudden and dramatic deterioration over a couple of days. He seems to have some sort of dementia and is undergoing a period of assessment to see to what extent he has lost his mental capacity, but things are not looking good. Those of you who have followed by blog for a while will know that my mother-in-law suffers with Parkinson’s Disease and has multiple health issues involved with that, and her mental capacity is also severely affected although in a different way from my father-in-law. They both have spells of relative lucidity but neither one of them remember much about the recent past and they don’t recognise members of the family now.

I can’t help thinking about clocks and how the multiple cogs and wheels and springs and other bits of mechanism all interweave to make the machine work, and how like the human mind a clock is. It might still have a face on the outside but the broken springs on the inside mean that it’s not telling the right time. The analogy breaks down there though because even unwound clocks tell the right time twice a day, don’t they?

4. What’s something you do to make yourself look or feel more confident?

I wear blue. You can tell when I’m feeling particularly mard or vulnerable by the amount of blue I’m wearing. It’s not something I consciously do, and I only know that I do it because someone else has told me that I do it. The last time I had a spell of depression and couldn’t leave the house for over a week, I caught myself dressed in my blue dressing gown, blue t-shirt, blue tracksuit bottoms, blue socks and I had a blue bobble holding my hair up. It was at that point I realised that I had to do something about it.

5. It’s National Celery Month…are you a fan? If so, what’s a snack or dish you enjoy that calls for celery?

I am a huge fan of celery! I love to gnaw on it in sticks, on its own with just the rinse-water and a little sprinkle of salt, but I also love to include it in soups and stews too. It satisfies the need for CRUNCH and instead of reaching for biscuits or crisps it usually fills the gap.

6. What’s one thing you wish you’d learned sooner?

Lots of things – like I wish I’d learned the piano as a child rather than struggle now as a 43 year old, or I wish I’d been able to accept who I am much sooner than now because who knows where my life might have been now had I been more confident sooner?

7. Would you like to own a second home? If so, where would you want that home to be?

My first thought was, no, I don’t want a second home. But then I thought about it and we do own a touring caravan, which we look at as a “home on wheels” which we have used up and down the country since the children were small. If we were ever in a position to change that (highly unlikely at the minute) then I think I would like to own a narrow boat and use that to travel around in.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Enjoy every day, people, because you don’t know what’s around the corner. Health can be taken away in an instant and you never know when you might see your nearest and dearest again. Live life and don’t let fear stop you reaching out. One day, it will be too late.

I stand quietly


I am sharing this post to help raise awareness of autism. I have two friends who have children with autism and this post is testament to all their lives.

Originally posted on Dirty, Naked and Happy:

I stand quietly while you do somersaults on the bed as you aren’t being naughty, you are just trying to get your out of sync body under control.

I stand quietly by the toilet door every time you need to go, and come with you around the house, and sometimes even just across the room, because I know you can feel truly frightened when you are not near me.

I stand quietly at the supermarket checkout while everyone stares at you barking like a dog and blowing raspberries on my arms to cope with the buzzing lights.

I stand quietly while you tell the baffled shop owner that you are looking for shoes that feel hard like splintered wood because your skin can’t bear soft things.

I stand quietly when the attendant gives us scornful looks when I ask for the key to the disabled toilet because the hand dryer…

View original 800 more words

The Celtic Rune of Hospitality

celtic rune of hospitality for wp

I saw a stranger yesterday.
I put food in the eating place,
Drink in the drinking place,
Music in the listening place;
And in the sacred name of the Triune God
He blessed myself and my house,
My cattle and my dear ones.
And the lark says often in her song,
Often, often, often
Goes Christ in the stranger’s guise.

Springy Hodgepodge


Thanks to Joyce at “From This Side of the Pond” for hosting another Wednesday Hodgepodge! Here’s my answers but if you’d like to join in, click the graphic above and it will take you to the host site and you can follow the instructions.

1. What’s the first image that comes to mind when you hear the word ‘spring’? Which phrase best describes the season of spring where you live right now (today)-sprung!, almost there, or still waiting?

When I think of Spring I think “yellow”. My favourite flowers – daffodils – are yellow; Spring means Easter, which means chicks, which are yellow; we begin to see the sun again, which is (obviously) yellow. Yeah. Spring to me is YELLOW!

2. Bed, couch, stapler, garage door, computer mouse, recliner, flashlight, door knob…which household item containing springs most needs replacing in your home? Speaking of springs…did you ever own a slinky?

Oh my bed. I love it, don’t get me wrong, but it is beginning to show signs that it has had about 8 or 9 years of being slept in now and will need to be replaced in the next year or so. The base squeaks whenever we sit on the bed and the memory foam topper appears to be in the early stages of Alzheimers. It seems to have forgotten that it needs to be flat when there’s nobody lying on it and there are parallel dips where we sleep.

And yes, I have had several slinkies and loved them all.

3. March is Women’s History Month. Share a favourite quote by a woman.

“Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.” ―Nora Ephron

4. What’s a question that looms large in your mind right now?

I am contemplating my calling in the church and I am trying to discern what I am being called to do. The questions I have run along the lines of: Do I put myself forward for ordination training, or do I wait and see what the church looks like in a couple of years? Do I think I can make it as a parish priest, or ought I to stay local and serve my own community? Do I stay unpaid, or do I opt for stipendiary? If I stay unpaid (and un-ordained) how am I going to support myself? There will be expenses to be paid and we are barely managing on my husband’s wages as it is so, yeah, questions are looming large right now!

5. Are you a sugar freak? By that I mean how much do you love sugar? With all the bad press sugar gets these days, have you made any efforts to reduce the amount of sugar you consume?

I am not a huge sugar fan and I would rather snack on savoury things than sweet ones. That said, I do crave chocolate now and again but that is easily satisfied by a single Twix finger or a Milky Way or something.

6. Would you rather have less work to do or more work you enjoy doing?

I am a natural grafter and will work and work and work so no, I would not rather have less thank you. But, here’s a question for you, if you enjoy doing it and would like to do more of it, is it really “work”? I don’t think so. My feeling is if it feels like “work” then do less of it and find something else to occupy your time.

7. Ever been to Texas? Of the top ten Texas tourist attractionswhich would you most like to see-The Alamo, The San Antonio River Walk, The State Capital, Dallas World Aquarium, Padre Island National Seashore, Houston Space Center, Schlitterbahn Waterpark in New Braunfels, Six Flags Fiesta Texas, Moody Gardens, or Galveston Island?

I have never been to Texas and can’t ever see me going, but if I did I would like to see Padre Island National Seashore. Anything where there is sea and a shoreline interests me.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I’m feeling really restless at the minute and I can’t pin down why that is. I am coming to the end of both my courses and just have a couple more assignments to do before a final assessment for each but I don’t think that’s it. I have got plenty to keep my busy, with church things to do, my assignments and coursework as well as things for the house so I don’t think that’s it either. I don’t feel confined to the house which sometimes happens, so it’s not that. So what is it??!

I think the answer may lie in the projects I want to do but can’t justify the time spending on just now. I want to break out my paints and get arty, and I have a couple of sewing projects lined up but with so much else going on I can’t really devote time to them just yet. I think the answer may also lie in the fact that Spring is threatening to burst and that means things NEW and CLEAN and FRESH, such as a big house clean, or garden tidy up etc. But it hasn’t quite sprung yet…and it’s making me impatient to get cracking!


You Are My Rock…

rockWe have been doing a Lent course of study at church and we have been looking at different episodes in Jesus’ 40 days in the wildnerness. Last night we looked at the time when Satan tempted him to turn rocks into bread, and we looked in a bit more detail what it meant to “be a rock”, and having rocky places in our lives we would like to change amongst other things.

It struck me that there is a lot to the phrase “you are my rock”, or “he was my rock through that”. On the face of it, being a “rock” in times of trouble is a positive thing: steadfast, sure, true, unwavering, unchangeable, secure etc. But what if those qualities exist when there isn’t trouble as such, could they be interpreted as perhaps stubborn, unchangeable in its negative sense or even as a blockage?

If you think about it, rocks come in many shapes and sizes – just like people. They can be big towering places of strength, or they can be small, solid or full of holes, be round and smooth or have jagged, hard edges. Rocks can be multi-layered and can be formed under huge pressure. They can also be flaky and brittle, breaking apart under the smallest of stresses.

Rocks can be used to build shelters, or they can be used to build dams. They can be hewn into shape to make smaller ones that fit together in a wall, or they can be sculpted by the artist to reveal the beauty within.

When we got home, and thinking about the times when I have needed a rock in my life, or when perhaps I might have been a rock to someone else, I talked to my son Ethan about it. He’s 16 years old, and in many ways a typical teenager, but he offered a piece of insight that I hadn’t thought of before. He pointed out that rocks can also weigh things down. It made me think that perhaps being a “rock” to someone in times of trouble isn’t always the safety, security and surety that I think I’m offering and maybe I have weighed the down with my attitude or response to their crisis. He also made me think that possibly, quite possibly, my own troubles have been a millstone round someone else’s neck and have weighed them down too.

So how do you see it? Are you a “rock” to someone, offering security and steadfastness in the midst of a crisis, or are you the other type of rock, the porous type that lets water run through you? Are you the type of rock that offers shelter from the storm, or are you the rock that weighs someone down and stops them moving on? Or are you the rock upon which foundations can be built? Where people can depend on you to be firm even when the storm comes and the floods rise up?

You might be the rock that has been sculpted with brutal tools to reveal the beauty inside. Or you may be like me and are still a work in progress in our creator’s hands.

Who do you depend on? Who is your rock?

Please listen to this, it’s a lovely song and I’m sure you can guess my answers to those questions when you’ve heard it.


Daybook Entry – 3rd March

021114_2314_DaybookEntr1.jpgFOR TODAY

Outside my window… Spring is trying desperately to break through the stranglehold Winter has had on us, and it has been partially successful today. We have had bright sunshine and bright blue skies but it has been interrupted by black clouds, gale force winds and sleety showers.

I am thinking… about how it is always darkest just after the light goes out.

I am thankful… that I managed to get my latest OU music assignment finished ahead of time and I hit my other deadlines today despite struggling with pain in the last few days. Trying to string a coherent sentence together under the influence of tramadol is not easy!

In the kitchen… Kevin made pasta Bolognese for tea which was absolutely delicious, and he made a batch of leek and potato soup for the freezer to use up some vegetables that were going soft in the fridge. Yay Kev!

I am wearing… myself out worrying about hitting deadlines under the influence of drugs. Prescribed ones, but drugs nonetheless.

I am creating... a blanket in sunshine colours for my friend at church. It’s a lovely project to work on in between my other tasks because the colours are really lifting my mood and it gives my eyes a rest from the screen.

I am going… to Church House for a meeting tomorrow afternoon.

I am praying… for my mother in law and her deteriorating condition; for my husband and the blessings he brings to my life daily; for my daughter as she faces the end of her degree in the coming weeks; for my son who is in the middle of another round of mock exams.

I am wondering… if I will have my writing assignment returned to me tomorrow. And I am wondering what mark I will get….eek!

I am reading… “Circles of Stone” by Joan Dahr Lambert. It is set in eastern Africa a million years ago and even though I am only a couple of chapters in, it is proving to be a great read. I have just read the first two books in the Chronos Files series which is a Young Adult series about time travel. Who says I don’t have an eclectic taste in literature?!

From the boardroom…  this is my Messy Church board where I collect craft ideas to do with the kids at Messy Church or Sunday School. It’s a bit busy! Click the link if you want to have a look at the kind of thing we like to try.

I am hoping… my workload is going to stay manageable for the rest of this week.

I am looking forward to… a Prayer Morning which I am helping to organise for after Easter. It looks like it is going to be a fantastic experience for people and I hope we manage to give them chance to experience prayer in different ways adequately enough.

I am learning… that I do have the gifts I need to get through this life after all.

Around the house… things are getting messy again and I need to do some serious housework.

I am pondering… on a couple of writing projects I want to pursue and whether I can use them for my OU work or if they will be suitable for submission for publication.

A favourite quote for today…

when life is rough

One of my favourite things… is getting to the bottom of a “to do” list

A few plans for the rest of the week: meeting tomorrow afternoon, Lent study Thursday night, band practice Friday night, Living Stones training on Saturday.

A peek into my day…


To explain this, my day today has revolved around prayer in one way or another and this sums up a lot of what’s going on in my life at the minute. I produced the graphic under “quote for today” this morning for the Prayer Morning literature I am working on, and when things are going particularly badly for me in terms of my pain and sickness I find myself praying more. Not just for deliverance and healing for myself but also with thanks for the things that are going well or that I am blessed with and for healing for others. There’s something about darkness that makes you appreciate the light, and for me, praying my thanks is as important to me as asking for things. I like the idea of being a “prayer warrior”. It’s empowering on so many levels, and praying for others takes the emphasis away from myself and my own problems.