Tuesday 31 July 2012

Awarded with Love

I have just been awarded the Liebster Blog award by Queen Mimi. The award is described as...
Liebster is a German word which means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing and welcome.

 I am truly delighted, because my dear friend Mimi is such a "liebster" herself. :-)

Okay... so the rules for the award are:
A. Each person must post 11 facts about themselves.
B. Answer 11 questions the tagger has given you.
C. give 11 questions for the people you’ve tagged.
D. Choose 11 people and link them in your post and tell them you’ve tagged them.

Remember, no tag backs.
A. 11 Facts about Me...
I've done one of these before, so I'll try to find some new quirky fun facts. ;-)

1. I like bats, I love watching them fly.
2. I'm clumsy - I'm the one in the room most likely to spill food and drink on herself. 
3. I'm far sighted in one eye and near sighted in the other, so I can never see 3D stuff.
4. I collect stones and pebbles from everywhere I go. I have way too many hidden around the house.
5. I like to sing songs meowing like a cat.
 Yes, this is insane, but it's lots of fun and way easier than trying to remember the lyrics. Try it... I dare you! ;-)
 6. I don't remember numbers - phones, appointments, birthdays... all vanish!
7. I love jigsaw puzzles.
8. The weirdest thing I've ever eaten was pickled shark. It actually tasted nice... until I knew what it was.

9. I click my toes when I'm thinking and I wriggle them when I'm happy. I have emoti-toes! ;-D
10. I read magazines from wherever I open them that looks interesting. I never start at the beginning.
11. When I was 10 I had a pet Guinea Pig I named 'Cavity', because he was constantly hungry.

B. 11 Questions from Mimi that I have to Answer:

1. What is the nearest book to you? Your Kindle does not count.
"Circle of Light" by Emily Ann Roesly :-) 

2.  When is the last time you took a "me" vacation?
Literally? Never. But I do take "me" time off every day. 

3. How many telephone numbers do you have?
One... and I still never remember it! 

4. If you could fix one thing in the public school system, what is the one thing you would do immediately?
Teach respect and self-respect - without that basic foundation all the rest means nothing. 

5. Are you a big tipper?
It depends how far over the edge I lean. 

6. Do you watch any Reality shows?
I watch talent shows, for the magic moments...

 7. Who is your favourite sports team player?
Oh gosh... I'm not one to favour a single player, but if I have to choose it would be Jonty Rhodes from South African Cricket, because he was such a brilliant player, he's a really nice guy, always gave 101% and on top of it all he has epilepsy. A really fantastic role model.

 8. If you could travel in a spaceship to any planet, which planet would you like to visit and why?
Ahh, easy. :-) I'd travel here...

 9. When is the last time you sat in a church?
My mom-in-law's funeral, April 2011. Lovely little church on the banks of the River Ness.

10. Are there any aspects of blogging that annoy you?
The new blogger keeps eating my paragraph spacing and has made posting YouTube videos the correct size a nightmare. 

11. When someone follows you on their blog or subscribes to your Facebook page, do you automatically follow and subscribe back?
I used to, but nowadays I sometimes don't get to check everyone. 

C. 11 Random Questions for You to Answer

1.What is the most recent wild bird you heard or saw?
2. What is the most recent flower or tree you stopped to touch or look at?
3. What colour always makes you smile?
4. What is your favourite wild flower? 
5. What is on your computer desk, or kitchen worktop, right now that is kind of unusual?
6. What was your favourite TV show, or book, when you were young/a kid?
7. Do you ever sing silly songs to make yourself or others laugh?
8. What is your favourite colour for shoes?
9. What baby wild animal do you think is the cutest of all?
10. Which do you prefer - seaside, river or lake?
11. Do you listen to the radio?

I hereby tag my Liebster Blog award choices: 
..and anyone else who would like to play along.

Monday 23 July 2012

Optimistically Plodding Forwards

Well, it has been three weeks since my surgery and things are healing slowly. I've been back to the surgeon and had the stitches removed, but I'm still using one hand to type and do things. Everything is such a plod when you're using your weaker hand only. Eating? I've stabbed myself with a fork twice. And as for brushing your teeth with the wrong hand... let's just say that some days I feel a lot like this!

 Surgery was ok, better than I expected. I don't like being awake, but I had a lovely chatty anaesthetist who kept me talking (and relaxed) all through the surgery. Being awake meant that the surgeon was able to tell me straight away that that my nerves were grey, which isn't a good thing.He'd warned me this was possible, so it wasn't a big shock, but it did make me a little sad.

When I saw the surgeon the day before surgery we discussed my case history and the possible outcomes, so that I could make the best decision for me. My test results from last year are a mix - bits suggest carpel tunnel, but some were more like peripheral nerve damage. The surgeon warned me that there was a 50/50 chance of surgery helping me, but as hubby and my mom said - those are pretty good odds.  Pretty much
 win-win situation - either I'd get it fixed (and need surgery for my other hand) or I'd find out I wouldn't need surgery for the other hand. ;-)

So I had surgery and discovered that I do show signs of nerve damage after all. I did wonder if that was going to be the result as I am having problems with my feet as well as both hands... which is what the word "peripheral" is all about. I'm not sorry I opted for surgery; I had to give it a try. 

I saw the doctor for a check up this Friday. He thinks that I'll need to stay on the pain-numbing medication for life. Peripheral nerve damage causes pain as well as tingling-numbness. At first that upset me, but then I figured I needed to be more optimistic. So I have a health issue - it's not life-threatening and I can still use my hand. Tablets for life? So many people need to take medication daily to live, like diabetics. I joked to hubby that I was feeling trapped at the thought I need to take tablets every day, but I don't feel trapped at the thought that I need water every day to stay alive.  I'd changed feeling bad to laughing and feeling good - all with positive thought!

But when I got home my mom said something that made me wonder about my 'positive thought' ... was I as positive as I thought? She said that I should be more positive about not needing so many tablets (I'm on the maximum dose), because there was no proof I needed such a strong dose. She pointed out how my test results were mixed and inconsistent. She reminded me about how the doctors had told dad he'd be dead within weeks and he not only survived... he recovered! 

Was I really being optimistic after all? What is optimism anyway? The dictionary says:

a disposition or tendency to look on the more favourable side of events or conditions and to expect the most favourable outcome.

The old joke goes that the optimist sees the glass half full and the pessimist sees the glass half empty... but is that really what true optimism is about? Is being happy that the glass is only half full "expecting the most favourable outcome"?

 Maybe the true optimist is the one who is happy that the glass is half empty...
I think a real optimist would be thrilled that the glass is half empty because that means:
there's still room in the glass for luck/God/Life to add more good things and exciting surprises,
and/or there's still room in the glass for them to create and add good things themselves.

My glass is half empty. :-) I have test results that make no sense, surgery that it still healing and a family history of surprising doctors. That's a lot of empty space yet to be filled! Maybe I'll fill it with surprising doctors and recovering completely... or maybe my ill-ness will bring unexpected joys and blessings my way. Whatever the case... I'm going to be happy about my glass still waiting to be filled from now on. No more being happy with 'half full' thoughts for me - I want to always have room for more! ;-)

Friday 20 July 2012

Wild Mountainside

Beauty is within grasp
Hear the islands call
The last mile is upon us
I'll carry you if you fall
I know the armour's heavy now
I know the heart is tired
It's beautiful just over
The wild mountainside

Snow is falling all over
Out of clear blue sky
Crow is flying high over
You and I are going to wander
High up where the air is rare
Wild horses ride
It's beautiful, let's go over
The wild mountainside

Wild and free we roam
Only a mile to go
Wild and free we roam
Only a mile to go

Beauty is within grasp
Hear the highlands call
The last mile is upon us
I'll carry you if you fall
I know the armour's heavy now
I know the heart inside
It's beautiful let's go over
The wild mountainside
It's beautiful just roaming
The wild mountainside

Thursday 19 July 2012


As you go the way of life,
you will see a great chasm:


It is not as wide as you think.

Joseph Campbell

Friday 6 July 2012

Starry Starry Dreaming

One of my favourite songs played on one of my most loved instruments... the dulcimer. 

enjoy :-)

Thursday 5 July 2012

Life goes on Oblivious to Tragedy.

There's a painting by Bruegel the Elder titled "The Fall of Icarus". It was painted somewhere between 1590-95. 

In case you don't know the legend... Icarus and his father were captives on the isle of Crete who escaped when they made wings from sea bird feathers, wood and wax. But Icarus was so entranced with flying that he flying, higher.. higher.. till the sun melted the wax holding the feathers on his wings and they tore apart.. and Icarus fell to the Earth and drowned in the sea.

Here's the painting...

Can you see Icarus? The farmers certainly haven't noticed him and maybe you haven't either.If you look bottom right, just below the man in white.. you'll see the scattered white feathers on the sea and two legs disappearing into the water. Not even the ships have noticed... life goes on oblivious to tragedy.

That's what makes this painting so clever and painfully sad... because everyday life goes on oblivious to tragedy.

Earlier this week it was such a lovely sunny day that at lunchtime my dad and I went to sit outside to drink our coffee in the summer sunshine. We chatted, the birds sang... and out at sea, just beyond where we sat looking at the view, two RAF Tornadoes crashed into the sea. We only found out hours later on the TV news.

life goes on oblivious to tragedy.

Two pilots were rescued from the sea, but the other two have not been found and are presumed dead. At this stage one of the rescued men has died and the other is still in hospital.

I kept seeing that painting by Bruegel yesterday... thinking how everyone on shore went about their lives as Icarus died. The similarities haunt me... how we sat here in the garden as other families had their lives torn apart by this terrible tragedy.

For all four pilots and their families...


Monday 2 July 2012

I am Here

I am here reading and pottering, but typing is hard so i will be quiet ahile longer. typing with one hand i'm not managing too well.

surgery went fine and i will be able to use my hand again in a week or two.


Magic for Monday

Smashing Art and lovely music... enjoy!