Family matters

I have been busy, offline:

learning about a network of family in New Zealand, Canada, and Scotland that was previously unknown to me; reveling in the new-found solidarity of knowing where I come from; knowing where I stand in the world.

David Millar, my great, great-uncle, born in Scotland, settled in Mangawhai.

David Millar, my great, great-uncle, born in Scotland, settled in Mangawhai.

I have been busy, offline:

celebrating the birthday of one our longest lived family members, my father; he turned 95 in early May.

I have been busy, in real life:

helping my sister put together a creative activity programme for our 92-year-old mother; it is already producing wonderful results,

Painted Lady inspired by Pauline King's art, painted by Mother

Painted  Collage Lady, inspired by Pauline King’s art,  by Mother

including an increase in my own desire to explore painting,

Playing with Paint by Gallivanta, inspired by Pauline King

Playing with Paint by Gallivanta, inspired by Pauline King

and to play.

In moments of down time, I have played with Facebook and WordPress,  and the camera on my mobile phone.  Using the WordPress app was interesting, but not particularly satisfying. I am happy to be back on my laptop, where reading, commenting, and writing are all so much easier. I am happy to have access to my usual camera again.

These recent days, offline, have been enriching. But were mostly made so because of  the wonderful inspiration I gain from my WordPress family. In particular I would like to thank Ellen Grace Olinger for encouraging my interest in colouring and colouring pages, and Pauline King,  The Contented Crafter , for her artistic support and guidance.

Family matters, in real life, in digital life, in history, and in the here and now. Bless you all.

ps: Having written this post, I went to read the newspaper and found this in my horoscope ~”Family matters are favoured today.”  Indeed! For once the horoscope and I are in agreement. 🙂

© silkannthreades



192 thoughts on “Family matters

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you JAA. His birthday was well celebrated. In February this year he was in hospital with double pneumonia and so ill we didn’t expect him to last another day, let alone to his 95th birthday.

  1. Kate Johnston

    I like the idea of your creative activity program for your mother. My mom is 86 and she has been in the hospital twice in the past 2 months. I believe part of the problem is her lack of activity and connection to the arts. She used to paint lovely watercolors, but hasn’t in years. Your mother’s work is truly wonderful. I bet she felt a great sense of achievement.

    It’s nice to explore the world off-line. Sometimes, I don’t think we do it enough!

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      My mother surprised herself, and us. We all lose confidence in our abilities sometimes. If you are able to be with your mother, you may be able to convince her that she can still paint, even if it is not quite to the standard she was used to. It’s worth a try, if there is a chance it will improve quality of life. I would love to do more with my mother but we live thousands of miles from each other.

  2. Britt Skrabanek

    It’s amazing the things we have time for when we step offline, isn’t it? I’m looking forward to my annual hiatus at the end of summer, so I can reset and explore my creativity at my own pace.

    Such wonderful paintings, Gallivanta doll! You certainly have a knack for it. More talents you can add to your artistic belt! 😉

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Being online, and particularly being part of the WordPress community, is very beneficial to my creativity, but just as we need to sleep and dream, we also need that hiatus to process everything we’ve absorbed and read and learned.

      1. Britt Skrabanek

        Absolutely! The WordPress community has been an incredible part of my life. I’d be lost without it. Definitely important to step away and appreciate everything that we have.

  3. Clanmother

    I am siting in my favourite coffee shop reading this post for the third time! Thank you for reminding me that ART must be a constant in our lives. We must be willing participants rather than be passive onlookers.

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Ah, nice to know you are home again. At least I assume you are. You could be in your favourite coffee shop in Edinburgh. 😀 Clanmother, I tend to be an onlooker, so this post reminds me to participate in art, too.

  4. daniellajoe

    hats off to you! it is such a nice thing to find family you did not know you had. Your parents are still alive that is a blessing too …lovely post as always 🙂

  5. sheridegrom - From the literary and legislative trenches.

    The treasurers you’ve discovered are priceless. As always, ‘coming home’ to your blog is heart warming and I find pleasure satisfying to my heart and all of the five senses writers so often talk about. I well understand how researching one’s family history can become all involving. I keep thinking I’ll write more stories but other things call out to me with much louder sounds.
    I always think of you as I step into the multiple gardens I’m working on when I have time. I remember so well the many photos you’ve passed on to us and how they are always so eloquent and appealing to the eye.
    I believe I must have misspelled the name of the little blue flower I asked you about last year. You had it in a vase and so pretty. Mine ramble all over the garden. I believe you said they were ‘borst’ or something similiar to that. As I haven’t been able to find the reference again and yet, it reappeared in my front door garden again this year. I laughed with glee when I saw the first shoot and then the 2nd and 3rd. I had no idea it would even be back this year. It’s not supposed to grow here!
    Often when I’m in the garden, I say to myself, “I wish my expert from so far away were here to tell me what I have that’s popped up from wildflower seeds.” Often the 2nd year with seeds is more exciting than the first.
    It’s so nice to see you again and read one of your posts.

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Dear Sheri, It has taken me forever to answer your comment. My apologies. Isn’t it interesting that the second year seeds are often more exciting than the first, just as the second and third harvests of a fruit tree can be better than the first harvest. A lesson here, perhaps? It takes time to reap the benefit of what we sow? So glad the borage has come to life again for you. Birds and bees love it. I am still learning lots more about my family. Many of the family were closely associated with farms and made livings from the land. They would have known a lot more about gardening than I do. 🙂 Hope you have some time to be in your garden each day.

      1. sheridegrom - From the literary and legislative trenches.

        Please, never apologize for responding to me. We all get caught up in life and the days seem to fly by. Often I recognize I haven’t checked in on my favorite bloggers [including you, for weeks at a time]. I’m writing down the name of the Borage plant in my garden book. I didn’t know how to treat it last year to maximize the blooms for the benefit of both the multiple plants and show off the exquisite flowers. I so fell in love with the flower when you had it in a vase you photographed last year.
        I hope to be able to take pictures soon and will send you some of the borge’s take-over of my front walk-way garden this year. I’d read they are to be an annual here if they are to survive here at all but these are indeed from last years seed crop. You are so right, it is one surprise after the other and I adore it.
        On days Tom doesn’t have appointments in Little Rock [large city about an hour from us] I do my best to spend at least 2 hours in the garden and yesterday I was able to stretch it into 4 hours. Tom was having a god day and it was wonderful. He was able to come outside and spend time with me there wile I worked. He has such an artistic eye I often love to ask for his advise on design aspects. The heavy air is hard for him to breath.

        1. Gallivanta Post author

          I am enjoying your account of your garden time by yourself, and with Tom. It’s so good to hear of these moments of wonder and well-being.

        2. Gallivanta Post author

          Excellent Sheri, absolutely excellent. In your latest post I mentioned Fall Prevention Programmes. I didn’t name any particular one, but your mention of Tom’s breathing reminded me of a programme called Sit and Be Fit which is very popular in NZ, and which I have been trying to introduce to my mother. Do you know it at all? This is a US version of one of the exercises. Something to think about if you and Tom don't already do something like this.

        3. Gallivanta Post author

          Sheri, last night my bedtime reading included a passage from a famous book The White Witch by Elizabeth Goudge. I smiled when I read this ( I have no idea if it is a true remedy), “To ease pain she had a bottle of borage flowers steeped in the oil of sweet almonds.” Borage is supposed to have many other health benefits. If all are true, I think the borage has found a place in your garden for a purpose. It is a healing plant even if you only look at it. 🙂

        4. sheridegrom - From the literary and legislative trenches.

          I love this! I passed along both cut flowers and a piece of root that I accidentally broke off near the ground while working in my walkway garden near the front door. I learned last year that I have to be oh so careful with the actual structure of this plant as it does not like to be moved. We’ve had so much rain, I was trying to help it and of course, it didn’t want any help. I still have many plants in the garden blooming but I never remove a blooming plant on purpose.
          I believe I’ve talked about the nerve pain in my right hand and arm. I’m going to give the borage flowers and sweet almonds a chance [I refuse to go the pain doctor route]. I’m also going to check out the other healing powers of what has become one of my favorite flowers [but then I love them all].
          I agree, looking at the borage flowers or any lovely grouping of flowers is enough to lift the heart and soul.

        5. Gallivanta Post author

          Borage is really hard to transplant and move. It likes to grow where IT likes to grow. The herbal remedies using borage are worth investigating, that’s for sure.

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