Tag Archives: How to Stay Sane in a Crazy World

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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

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T’is the season

T’is the season for giving thanks and, it seems, for giveaways. Wendy at Quarter Acre Lifestyle and Boomdeeadda had sweetly sneaky ones the other day. Despite the quiet surprise element, their giveaways were a  vocal and  gracious thank-you to their followers.  Now, Heather at Lost in Arles is organising a giveaway. It is her first one. It is her way of thanking her supporters, as well as celebrating four wonderful years of blogging. The giveaway is a beautiful book by Ann Mah, Mastering the Art of French Eating.

As a dedicated follower of Wendy, Boomdeeadda and Heather, guess what I am about to do? Yes, you guessed it. I, too, am going to offer a giveaway. What’s my “excuse”?  ( apart from my wish to try out what  inspiring bloggers do? 😉 )

My excuse is twofold:

a) It’s Thanksgiving season. I want to give thanks to my blogging community;

b) It’s spring cleaning season.  I want to declutter….thoughtfully; as in  by sharing the good fortune of my excess goodies.

You may remember that, owing to the shenanigans of the postal services and various book delivery systems, I ended up with two copies of It’s in His Kiss   by Vickie Lester of Beguiling Hollywood.

One for each handhttps://silkannthreades.wordpress.com/2014/06/27/its-in-his-kiss/ It's In His Kiss by Vickie Lester

One for each hand, It’s in His Kiss  by Vickie Lester

A similar situation arose with Sophia Stuart’s (Teamgloria) , How to Stay Sane in a Crazy World.

Both books are splendid additions to my bookshelf but it’s time for the extra copies to be dispatched for the enjoyment of others. Would you like to be that ‘other’?

If so, leave a like or a comment and I will draw out a winner on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday  27th November ( New Zealand time). There will be two giveaways; one for Sophia’s book and one for Vickie’s.

Sophia’s book is a beautiful, restful way to treat yourself, or someone who is in need of calm and healing. It is a pleasure to read, and a pleasure to hold and behold. ( Little secret….I sometimes pick up my copy and simply hold it, and stroke the cover, because it’s feels so exactly right to my hand and to my eye; in other words, it’s aesthetically pleasing. 😉 )

Vickie’s book comes with a warning!  Beware where this Beguiling Hollywood mystery may take you. I hadn’t read anything Hollywood, or mysterious, for years. I wasn’t sure if I liked mystery and/or murder tales anymore……..hmmmm…..

W.E.L.L  …….apparently I do. I devoured It’s in His Kiss; next stop was  Nola Fran Evie  by Britt Skrabenak,  followed by Let Sleeping Gods Lie by  Australian author/blogger  Dianne Gray.   Did my murder/mystery ‘kick’ end there? No, indeed, not.  I am now reading Wolf Pear by Dianne Gray. Ms Lester, look how far you have led me astray from my old, fusty reading paths.  Those darn Hollywood Kisses! They sweep you off your feet.

Sophia, whose Teamgloria posts I miss most dreadfully, has also led me off the beaten track into new and interesting territory. First it was via the process of publishing her book, and now she is introducing me to the world of the mobile episodic drama. Yes, the mobile episodic drama! What next, you may ask!  This is a style of writing that is completely new to me, but probably old hat to a digital pioneer, like Sophia. Her drama launches this week via Pocket Gems’ Episode Platform and is called Mayfair Brooks. Here’s the story.   I am going to pretend I am 17 again and check it out. Join me, if you dare.

In the meantime, please have fun with my giveaway. I may be decluttering but I am truly thankful for all the support and joy you bring to me with your comments and readership. It’s time to return some of the goodness. T’is the season for giving.

“We give Him thanks for our supporters, who had charge of our harvests.” from The Thanksgivings by  Harriet Maxwell Converse.

Jennie Augusta Brownscombehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jennie_Augusta_Brownscombe, The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth, 1914, Pilgrim Hall Museum, Plymouth, Massachusetts

Jenni Augusta Brownscombe, The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth, 1914, Pilgrim Hall Museum, Plymouth, Massachusetts

ps If you read my blog by email only, you are welcome to send me an email and ask to be included in the giveaway.

© silkannthreades

She’s taking the world by storm…..

The wind changed; the storm roared in, from the deep, antarctic South and, undeterred, like Mary Poppins, she, the Grand Emissary of Sophia Stuart, came; sans umbrella, but rosy-cheeked and just what we were expecting

Only she didn’t land quite as tidily as Mary Poppins, because you can’t without an umbrella, and if you are being delivered by a postman, into a bucket that is posing as a mailbox.

Will this start a new trend?

Will this start a new trend?

Very undignified, especially when the bucket, inverted or not, is being true to form, by behaving as all buckets should during a once in a century  deluge.

Luckily my neighbour saw Sophia’s Emissary floundering; her brown coat, courtesy of Mr Amazon, slowly dragging her down as it soaked up the icy water collected in the depths of the bucket, and he brought her to my door.  She was a pitiful sight; utterly bedraggled. But I helped her out of her coat, gave her a warm hug, a fluffy towel, a cup of tea, and a change of clothes, (and pearls), and she soon revived. Emissaries and world travellers have to be resilient, like that 🙂

A quick chat, and a note dashed off to  teamgloria (*tg*) to let her know that the Envoy of Who-She-is-In-Real-Life had reached her destination, and it was time for the voyager to take to her bed, to recover from jet lag and the general ordeal of arriving on the crest of a storm.

"It's time to rest"

“It’s time to rest” How to Stay Sane in a Crazy World”

Isn’t she lovely?  Nestled next to my welcome sprig of  bay leaves, for sweet dreams and good health.

Sweet dreams and good health

Sweet dreams and good health and victory in all things

Ssshh; softly, softly, we won’t disturb her now, but, maybe, I will come back later when she is fully recovered and we can discuss the dispatches, the  laureate letters, she has brought to me, from Sophia.

What’s that? Someone is not being quiet. You heard a stifled giggle.  Oh dear; it can’t be helped.  It’s *tg*’s fault; for reminding me that being dunked in a bucket has boarding school overtones. We know a lot about boarding school, *tg* and Sophia and I. Sophia has even written a book about it, called  Emerald.  There was no Emerald at my school, (or was there?), but I seem to recall buckets, full of muck, that were used to terrorize the naughty third formers on initiation day, at the end of year. ( Yes, at end of the year, came the dreaded day of Rangi Tangi! ) We all got horribly wet, bucket-dunked or otherwise, and, after the seniors had done their worst, ( which sometimes wasn’t very bad), they got to feast and we got naught. It sounds more ghastly than it was..but I am still very glad we have all grown up to offer the world a kinder experience of life.

How to Stay Sane in a Crazy World

© silkannthreades

It’s all turned to custard….. remix

From Time by Ursula Bethell

“……….

Those that come after me will gather these roses,
And watch, as I do now, the white wistaria
Burst, in the sunshine, from its pale green sheath.

Planned. Planted. Established. Then neglected,
Till at last the loiterer by the gate will wonder
At the old, old cottage, the old wooden cottage,
And say ‘One might build here, the view is glorious;
This must have been a pretty garden once.”

[Warning! Post 301: some maudlin thoughts involved.]

Some months back, Seth of  Sethsnap asked this question, What “sound”(i.e. legacy) do you hope to leave?

It’s an intriguing question but certainly not new, for it belongs to the ages.  It is also not an easy one to answer. One of the hardest, I am guessing. Yet, assuredly, it will call to each of us, at some stage, in our life’s journey.  Will you be ready to reply? I have only the merest tinkle of a response running through my mind.

Here is  what I am hearing ~

For some, like Seth, their legacy may be in their  photography. For others, like   Sophia (teamgloria) or Juliet or  Vickie or  Helen (Tiny), their legacy may reside in their books; in their written/spoken words. Yet others, like Lynley and Kerry, may leave us, and their families, the richness of heirloom garments and quilting. Still others, like Lisa, may bequeath us their creative art and special ‘thank you’ smiles. Legacies exist in a myriad different forms.

Just as each of us has our own instantly recognisable swish of sound ( the one the dog hears, the cat knows and your loved ones sense  as you try to creep upstairs in the dark of night), so, too, do we each have a legacy that is only ours to give. It may be intended and specifically chosen, or it may be accidental and unplanned, but we all have our unique envoys/legacies that will carry us forward into the millennia in some form or other.

Since I am unlikely to leave a legacy of beautiful poems, as did  Ursula Bethell, or a treasured  Writer’s Residency  in my name,  I may have to settle for something more modest  ( though, potentially,  equally valid ); something like Everyday Kindness; the kind espoused by  Stephanie Dowrick , in her book of that name.Everyday Giving

Wouldn’t that be a lovely legacy? ” Here lies Gallivanta~ known for her everyday kindness, (especially to caterpillars 😉 ). “  Mmmmmm…. though carved in stone,  a little ephemeral, perhaps? But I like it.

I also like the slightly more tangible legacy opportunities given to us by archives. In November 2013 Ruth mentioned, in this  post ,  her Deed of Gift to the Canterbury CEISMIC  project.   I thought this was a wonderful idea and, after making some enquiries, discovered that some of my blog posts were suitable for gifting too.  Just prior to Christmas, and after much hard work by CEISMIC staff, my work was uploaded to the digital archives. And I received this letter

Legacy in a letter

Legacy in a letter

from the University of Canterbury CEISMIC Co-ordinator.

To say that I was thrilled barely scratches the surface of my feelings. I was moved to tears, and beyond tears, that my experiences, my life mattered; that someday it might, just possibly might, matter to someone else. And not because I did anything great and famous, but simply because I existed, and I let my existence be heard.

Now, although, I was lachrymose in the extreme, on account of  this one small legacy of mine, I did have to laugh, once I had wiped away my tears.  Because one unintentional legacy from my digital whisper, (not footprint, please, my imprint is  more delicate than that ), is that if,  in years to come, someone looks more closely in to my archives they will find that, of all my posts , the one which receives the most views, on a regular basis, is this one, “It’s all turned to custard”.

I find that very funny. And, as a legacy, even funnier; ” Here lies Gallivanta whose life all turned to custard.”  Considering how much I love custard that could be a good thing. Or not. But to return to  Seth’s question, “What sound (i.e. legacy ) do you hope to leave?”. Perhaps part of the answer, in my case, will have to be  ‘Custard’.[ Just for fun…google “It’s all turned to custard” and see what you find…..bet I am near the top of the page! ]

By the way, what sound does custard make? ;).

creamy

Favourite creamy custard

Envoy
Vitae summa brevis spem nos vetat incohare longam 

They are not long, the weeping and the laughter,  
    Love and desire and hate:  
I think they have no portion in us after  
    We pass the gate.  

They are not long, the days of wine and roses:  
    Out of a misty dream  
Our path emerges for a while, then closes  
    Within a dream.  

[The title translates, from the Latin, as  
'The brief sum of life forbids us the hope of enduring long' 
and is from a work by Horace] 
Ernest Dowson 1867 -1900 http://worlds-poetry.com/ernest_dowson/vitae_summa_brevis_spem_nos_vetat_in
```````

© silkannthreades

Life is full of surprises

I wasn’t intending to write another post so soon but life is full of surprises, and what could be more surprising than stepping out your front door on a sleepy Sunday morning and finding that your letterbox has suffered a great indignity. Like so…..

Smithereens

Smithereens

Oh, what rage and/or drunkenness, or druggedness, was a-foot in our mild-mannered neighbourhood, last night? For it was not only MY letterbox that was abused. Several neighbours found a similar scene of destruction,

Toppled

Toppled

but our letterbox seemed to be the most severely damaged. To smash our brick letterbox to smithereens would have required significant force……and I expect, by the time the persons had done their *work*, they were out of energy to do much else.

Now, our letterbox was not in the best of condition prior to this assault. It was damaged in the severe earthquakes of 2010 and 2011, but it was still standing, and it was still usable, until some time in the dark of last night. Imagine! …that letterbox stood up to more than 12,500 earthquakes, yet, came to an inglorious end by the hands of stupid mankind. Oh, the irony 😦

My good neighbour, who shares the mailbox with us, cleaned up the mess and, don’t tell this to the vandals, but I rather liked the way the litter   letter free area temporarily opened up, to give our property more ‘street appeal’.

 New Street Appeal

New Street Appeal

And, also in their favour, the vandals,  unwittingly, worked faster than the insurance  company on my earthquake insurance  rebuild for external property damage….and  have, thereby,  saved us a few hundred dollars on demolition costs. Oh, the irony! I am sure that would surprise them; vandals and the insurance company, I mean.

The postie is going to be surprised tomorrow, when he tries to deliver mail on our street. He will  be most surprised of all when he finds the trendy, new letterbox that my helpful neighbour has cobbled together.

Will this start a new trend?

Will this start a new trend?

Isn’t life witty, and surprising, and ever so slightly crazy?

© silkannthreades

Confession!

Confession! In common with many of us, these days, I am activity rich and resource poor~ which is simply a fun way to say that I have too much  to do, and/or want to do, and not enough time to do it all. Sound familiar ? And this imbalance is beginning to make  me feel a teeny, little bit crazeeeee!

So, I was very  pleased, this week, to receive a notification from Amazon about a book I pre-ordered last August. The notice said:

“The items listed below will actually be dispatched sooner than we had originally expected based on the new release date:

Stuart, Sophia “How to Stay Sane in a Crazy World: A Modern Book of Hours to Soothe the Soul””

How to Stay Sane in a Crazy World ~Sophia Stuart

How to Stay Sane in a Crazy World ~Sophia Stuart

Aaahh, a message that is music to my ears. How soothing ;). I adore a Book of Hours.
I have made three of them, myself…….

and, thanks to a helpful tip from dadirridreaming , and production help from  Blurb , a fourth book is on its way to me right now

Silkannthreades~ A Book of Days and Hours

Silkannthreades~ A Book of Days and Hours

But these are just little books, like  chapbooks , not real books, with a real International Standard Book Number ISBN, like the one Sophia/teamgloria has…sigh!

Some of you may have noticed that I have mentioned Sophia and teamgloria more than once on my blog, as in  here and  here , and that’s because I think she is glorious, and because I share her love of blue-blue sky and Rumer Godden and labyrinths and, most of all, John O’Donohue;

Which is why I have reserved a special place for Sophia’s book when it arrives next month. It will sit, book cover to book cover, with John O’ Donohue, on the small tower of quiet, gentle reading, which I keep close at hand, on my (blue 🙂 ) bedside chair.  How lovely; how very lovely that will be.

Books by my Side

Books by my Side

And now, here’s something for a giggle… can anyone see, in this photo, how, in my subconscious arrangement of these books for their photo shoot, I made a statement about the imbalance of  my life, at the moment? And, for more smiles, check out the video clip in my sidebar, featuring the book promo for How to Stay Sane in a Crazy World.

© silkannthreades