Tag Archives: clutter

Hop to it

Four months ago, Nath at  Beautycalypse invited me to join her Blog Hop. I didn’t hop to it immediately because I needed to first complete a similar Blog Hop for  Sheri de Grom.  I completed Sheri’s Blog Hop in October and posted it as Finishing What I Started……then this happened, and that happened, and…w.e.l.l…..skippity hop, hop, here I am, weeks and weeks later, with still no proper response to Nath’s lovely invitation.

So, it’s time to knuckle down, RSVP, and, thus, put my  ‘blogging house’ in order .

Dear Nath, ~explorer of beauty as a philosophy of harmony, creator of BEAUTYCALYPSE, an ad-free blog about ethical excellence~

I accept your invitation to blog hop. Please enjoy my response.

Let’s hope that together we will continue to strive to live wisely and well, and with love, in 2015.

Sincerely Gallivanta

 

WHY DO I WRITE?

Why I write hasn’t changed much since I stated the purpose of this blog on my  About page in 2012.  However, for the next little while, this blog will have an additional purpose;  to keep track of myself, in practical ways, but also in practices of the soul, such as gratitude ~ and love, as epitomized in this quote from St John of the Cross.  “In the evening we shall be examined on love.” ( thanks Clanmother for bringing this quote to my attention  🙂 )

WHAT AM I WORKING ON?

That is the big question! And this is the big answer.

Last time I answered this, I said I was working on growing younger. I still am. It has taken me a long time to reach my numerical age, so it will take a considerable number of days to de-age all my decades. As I work on resetting my spiritual age, I am also, as you are no doubt weary of hearing,

Oh, not that story again. Do I really have to listen? I would rather go outside..... please?

Oh, not that story again. Do I really have to listen? I would rather go outside….. please?

rearranging and sifting and sorting through and decluttering my physical environment.

It’s a huge task, often tedious, and always challenging. Readers’ supportive comments as I intermittently blog my way through the process are wonderfully sustaining.  And Nath, bless her, has offered sterling decluttering inspiration through her  Blog , too.  I am in awe that, in 2014, she managed to achieve her goal of discarding/giving away 5 old items for every new one bought. That’s a high standard to attain and maintain.

I would like to equal it but, currently, this is how the numbers stack up in my abode. In December and January, 22 items came into my home, either as purchases or gifts; some were new and some second-hand. All were delightful, of course, and welcomed with joy.  Here’s a sample of the acquisitions.

During the same period, I dispatched about 25 items to one of our city’s handy  Ecodepots   and to friends/neighbours/strangers. Before the end of this month, I hope to have a few more items, such as our second car, out the door, possibly via NZ’s  Trade Me online auction  site.

Not quite 5 to 1, but not too bad for a start. 🙂

 

HOW DOES IT DIFFER FROM OTHERS IN THIS GENRE?

It doesn’t really, so I am going to recycle the answer I gave on Finishing What I Started.   ( Check the link in my opening paragraph, please. 🙂 )

WHAT IS MY WRITING PROCESS?

Again, I will reuse the answer given in Finishing What I Started.

Is this The End, you ask? Not quite.

I would like to invite Miss Marzipan to join the Blog Hop, but only if she has time in her hectic-creative-working woman-mother of two-marathon runner-schedule. Miss Marzipan, like Nath, cares deeply about sustainable and ethical living. Her choice of giveaway gift of Moonbear make-up bags reflects her commitment to helping the plight of the Moonbears via  Animals Asia. And the product she chose is from the Italian eco, cruelty-free, fashion label  Miomojo.  Miss Marzipan your caring lifestyle  makes a difference to me, as well as to all those creatures who cannot speak for themselves.

"In the evening we shall be examined on love." St John of the Cross.

“In the evening we shall be examined on love.” St John of the Cross.

Right, that’s enough cluttering of the page with my words and photos.  It’s back to work for me, filling up the de-acquisition box.

 

* Final Note

I am deeply grateful to Angela Namoi and  David Bateman Ltd for the heart-flutteringly beautiful Dawn Chorus. If we fail to live as caring eco-citizens of the world, the Dawn Chorus will become a song confined to history and legend.

© silkannthreades

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Advent mysteries

As I make my way through Advent,

What mysteries will manifest this Advent?

What mysteries will manifest this Advent?

an unexpected, personal Advent calendar mysteriously opens up before me.

It is a calendar that comes in the form of box or drawer that daily reveals, from the depths of clutter, long forgotten wonders and joys,

like this poem I wrote, for our church magazine, not long after our arrival in New Zealand.

The Strangers’ Christmas

Dark outside is the winter sky,
a strange, foreshadowing sky
to catch the warmth
of the midnight candles,
tightly held and sheltered,
in our tent of strangers.

Dark outside is the winter sky,
a strange, foreshadowing sky
to hold the guns
of strangers standing,
as black-robed angels,
cornered to our circled light.

Dark outside is the winter sky,
a strange, foreshadowing sky
to loose the star
of the warm, sweet babe,
delivered to Mary, carefully cradled,
in the stable of strangers.

Dark outside is the winter sky,
a strange, foreshadowing sky
to gather the ages
of then and now,
and the light that is the warmth,
within the lives of strangers.

The poem is a reflection on a Christmas Eve service in Maadi, Cairo,  in the late 1990s, during a time of terrorism and tension.  I am trying to capture the peculiarity of the lovely warmth of a service celebrating the “The Prince of Peace”, yet taking place under the protection of armed soldiers and police. Like Mary, we, too, were all strangers far from home, full of joy, but also anxious about the world to come.

The service, organised by the Maadi Community Church was held in a tent attached to the St John the Baptist church in Maadi.

Both churches continue to offer fellowship, a home away from home,  and solace to strangers, to this day, and seem to be thriving.  St John’s was established in 1931. Throughout the Second World War it served troops from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

Paton, Harold Gear, 1919-2010. Brigadier Kenneth MacCormick and Mrs MacCormick leaving the church after the marriage ceremony, Egypt. New Zealand. Department of Internal Affairs. War History Branch :Photographs relating to World War 1914-1918, World War 1939-1945, occupation of Japan, Korean War, and Malayan Emergency. Ref: DA-02075-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/23112562

Paton, Harold Gear, 1919-2010. Brigadier Kenneth MacCormick and Mrs MacCormick leaving the church after the marriage ceremony, Egypt. New Zealand. Department of Internal Affairs. War History Branch :Photographs relating to World War 1914-1918, World War 1939-1945, occupation of Japan, Korean War, and Malayan Emergency. Ref: DA-02075-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/23112562

These days St John’s (Anglican/Episcopal) serves a diverse English-speaking congregation from many different backgrounds, ( Presbyterians, Methodists, Lutherans and Catholics ), and provides worship space to the Maadi Community Church, and Korean, Sudanese, West African, French Reformed, Scandinavian and Egyptian congregations.

In 2006, to commemorate its 75th anniversary, St John’s commissioned artist Debra Balchen to design/make nine stained glass windows focusing on the role of Egypt in the Bible.

Windows by Debra Balchen, commissioned by St John's Church, Maadi, Cairo.

Windows by Debra Balchen, commissioned by St John’s Church, Maadi, Cairo.

I would love to see these special windows in situ. Maybe that is an Advent-ure (thanks for the word, Linda 😉 ) that awaits me.

© silkannthreades

 

 

 

 

Results

Am I returning to my blog so soon?  Sigh!  No.

I am just temporarily turning a deaf ear to the clamour of clutter

Clutter in transition

Clutter in transition

to wish you a Happy St Andrew’s Day on this first Sunday in Advent,

Flowers for St Andrew on the first Sunday of Advent

Flowers for St Andrew on the first Sunday of Advent

and to bring you the results of my  T’is the Season Giveaway, which, as promised, I drew on Thanksgiving Day.

The winners are April at  Finding Beauty in Spite of Myself  and Iris at  Wandering Iris.

April wins  How to Stay Sane in a Crazy World by Sophia Stuart; a beautiful and most suitable book for a blogger who writes about finding beauty everyday. And, Iris, who loves to travel  will hopefully be inspired to visit Hollywood (if she hasn’t been there yet) when she reads her giveaway prize, It’s In His Kiss, by Vickie Lester.

Congratulations April and Iris and thank you for your readership of my blog. Would you please send your postal addresses to me at kaahend@gmail.com ?  As it is getting close to Christmas mail rush time, I can’t promise you will receive your books before the New Year, but I will do what I can to speed them on their way. In the meantime, enjoy some of the flowers that were in my house  on the day I closed my eyes and picked your names out of a bowl.

Flowers for Thanksgiving

Flowers for Thanksgiving

Other results:

I plod on with my de-cluttering exercise. It is slow, tedious work but there are small signs of progress, like this tidy drawer,

Disorganised but definitely de-cluttered.

An odd assortment  but definitely de-cluttered.

and there is the occasional merry moment as when I uncovered a wee newspaper snippet sent by my mother, many years ago, about a Cat’s 12 Days of Christmas: ” On the 12th day of Christmas my human gave to me: 12 bags of catnip, 11 tarter pounce treats, 10 ornaments hanging, nine wads of Kleenex, eight peacock feathers, seven stolen Q-tips, six feathered balls, five milk jug rings, four munchy house plants, three running faucets, two fuzzy mousies and a hamste-e-er in a plastic ball.” Ah, mothers and cats, every bit as good as saints when it comes to encouraging us.

And, you, too, my readers are good, saintly friends and encouragers, (like St Andrew), for keeping me company on my clean-up and clean-out, and for being patient with my inability to read your blogs as much as I would like to.  Never fear; in the words of the sign in my grandparents’ incredibly cluttered wash house/outhouse,  ‘Don’t be sad, don’t be glum, better days are sure to come.”  (After all it is the Advent season. 😉 ) See you soon- ish.

 

© silkannthreades

Searching

Timaru Lighthouse http://www.newzealandlighthouses.com/timaru_harbour.htmat Benvenue Cliffs

SEARCHING : Timaru Lighthouse http://www.newzealandlighthouses.com/timaru_harbour.htm  at Benvenue Cliffs

Dear Friends

I may be away for a while. I am on a mission; to declutter, and to regroup.

Yesterday, I realized, to my horror, that I had mislaid/lost some very important personal papers. The last time I clearly remember seeing them was before I left for Cairns in late September. Vigorous searching in the past 24 hours has failed to reveal their whereabouts. In the process of turning cupboards inside out and drawers upside down, I have been confronted by clutter anarchy on an unacceptable scale.

It is time for action! Concentrated action.

I find the work of clearing out and cleaning up very tiring ( which is why I procrastinate about it till it can be ignored no longer). So, at the end of each day, for however long my tidy-up takes , I am planning to recoup my energy by reading, (not blogging!). I want to finish Wolf Pear by blogger  Dianne Gray, and find time to read  Mary Mageau’s trilogy: The Trousseau, An Antique Brooch  and The Rose and the Thistle.

And whilst I read, and/or relax, I hope to listen to some of Mary’s beautiful compositions. How about Sleepy Koala to start with? 🙂

A friend of mine says that if we lose something we should ask St Anthony of Padua for help. I very rarely lose things, so I have only ever sent up a quick ‘St Anthony, could you help me out?’ type prayer. ( He did, eventually. ; ) )

Here is part of a more proper version of a prayer to St Anthony:

Saint Anthony, perfect imitator of Jesus, who received from God the special power of restoring lost things, grant that I may find (mention your petition) which has been lost. As least restore to me peace and tranquility of mind, the loss of which has afflicted me even more than my material loss.

Does it work? Thousands upon thousands believe so. I am going to give it another try, for, more than anything, I am searching for the recovery  of my peace of mind.

See you later!

ps. I will, of course, do a brief post later in the month with the results of my Thanksgiving giveaway. And I will answer all comments you may like to make on this post.

 

 

© silkannthreades

Make your comments count!

I dislike clutter, INTENSELY. I create it inadvertently, I put up with it sullenly, and I do try to reduce it, but its advance is relentless. It  INVADES, stealthily, despite my best efforts at prevention.

Here’s my kitchen on a clutter day. Some will laugh at my concept of clutter but I have a very low clutter- tolerance; my children will attest to that.Help! I need Clutter ControlBecause of my distaste for my own clutter, I try to keep my blog page as simple as possible. This is mostly why you won’t find stats on my page, with one exception. I have a spam counter. I include the spam counter because a)  I want to see how bad the spam problem is and b) I want to make a little, daily protest (however feeble and futile) about the scourge of spam.

So, how bad is the spam problem on my blog? Pretty bad, I’d say, but unlikely to be much worse than that experienced by other bloggers.  Am I right or am I right? (Please tell me I am right. It would be too embarrassing to find out that I am the only one subjected to spam! ) Since I began blogging last year I have had 2455   real comments and  4098 blocked spam comments. I think that’s not only bad but sad, too. Sad, that spammers, with their illiterate nonsensical blither, out number all the wonderful, genuine people who do comment and communicate on my  blog.

But, with spam being cheerily filtered by numerous spam filters, and out of sight most of the time, is there any point in stressing about it, or grizzling about it, or even making a faint little protest about it? Why, yes, I believe there is a point; just a tiny one.

Here’s why: how would you feel if every day, hour after hour, persons unknown, went along your street throwing pamphlets and paper onto the ground and every which way. You could sweep up a few and maybe city street cleaners would sweep up a few more. But, in a very short time, your street would be impassable, unusable, ugly, unbearable and eventually unlivable. And none of those scenarios includes the tremendous waste of resources, natural and human, that would be  involved in such an inconsiderate and random pamphlet distribution. Although we can’t see spam in this literal way, this, as I understand it,  is what spam does to the internet. It fills up a lovely open internet highway with rubbish; it wastes space and time and deprives us of speed and our ability to use the internet to its full potential.  Put another way, spam on the internet is something like dirty oil in your car engine ,or contaminated fuel in your gas tank. It mucks up the works.

How much it can muck up the works was evident earlier this year when a cyber war, related to spam, nearly brought the internet to its knees. Remember this? http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/science/jan-june13/cyberattacks_03-27.html

So, what can we do to mitigate the consequences of spam. Not a lot, l would suggest, but, at the very least, we folk on WordPress can activate our spam counters and out comment, those scummy scammers till they have to hide fearfully on the fringes of the WordPress world.  LOL, as if! But, surely, worth a try?

© silkannthreades