Comparison

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I was sent this today and it is so true. There are so many times when we compare ourselves to others. Sometimes we don’t say it out loud but saying it privately to ourselves can be even more destructive.

It is the last line which has struck me as being very powerful “Gratitude turns what we have into enough”.

Wow, just take a second and think about it…..

 

What is Time Telling You?

 

I certainly am one of those people who over thinks situations.  Does it help?  Like heck it does.  It just sends my mind into a whirlpool of uncertainty.  I thought this was an aspect of my personality I had under control but just like the weeds in the garden I had forgotten to keep a wary eye out for falling back into an old thinking habit.

I suppose it is like everything else in life there is a constant need to keep practising good routines.  Although it is said after 12 weeks of making a new habit it will start to become part of one’s life, when I am changing a habit which has been part of me for sixty years then getting reminders is not just a help but a necessity.

This afternoon an email popped up from a blog I follow and the following is what greeted me.

 

How do you know when it’s time?

Time to go Or time to stop

 

How do you know when it’s time?

Time to fight Or time to give in

 

How do you know when it’s time? Time to listen Or time to speak

How do you know? How?

Only time will tell 

 

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What a brilliant poem.  Time is telling me to stop the second guessing. What is time telling you?

Goals or Dreams

This is my last post with the theme “goals”.  Perhaps the use of the word “dreams” rather than goals maybe more appealing  to some.  However, for me dreams are intangible.  They cannot be touched and so cannot come to fruition.

But when I began to think about the goals I have set for myself I realised that they started when I noted down, without any rules , those funny, impossible, madcapped, and personal dreams in my trusty journal.  They were outlandish, they were trite perhaps to others, they seemed impossible or some were just wishful thinking.  BUT they were my dreams or aspirations.

 

“Keep your heart open to dreams.  For as long as there’s a dream there is hope, and as long as there is hope there is joy in living”.  Author unknown

 

The dreams were personal but once they were there in front of me having been given colour they began to become achievable.  Well, perhaps not all of them.  Yes, I still have those dreams that I will never see come to fruition but hey that’s fine with me.  I still enjoy the dreams.

I will give you an example.  One of my dreams which has become a constant in my journaling is to dance.  Now let me explain, I may have the rhythm in my head, but it never actually reaches my toes.  It is official that I have two left feet.

This doesn’t stop me loving and admiring the beauty and strength of ballet; the rhythm, costumes and history of national dances: imagining myself dancing on Strictly come Dancing or Dancing with the Stars; watching young people performing modern dance with such innovative moves; trying to do the moves from Hairspray on the Wii; or imagining me attending a 1940s themed dance and dancing the jive, the jitterbug  or the swing.

(I am sitting here typing amid tears of laughter as  my dream of dancing the swing ends in me standing on my partners toes, missing the swing totally and bringing everyone around me crashing to the floor.)

I have enjoyed the process of trying to turn those dreams into attainable goals.  Researching how I can do something and through that research perhaps realising that the goal is not something I need or want.  Sometimes the research has led me down a totally different path which has proven to be far more enjoyable and enlightening.

One thing I have learnt is that I agree with the quote from C.S Lewis “You are never too old to set another goal or dream a new dream.”

These dreams or goals do not have to come to fruition; sometimes just starting the journey is enough.

 

Girlfriends

Today is National Girlfriends Day and what a fantastic thing to celebrate. I personally think that friendship among women is something very special.

There are those friends who are only in your life for a short period. Perhaps it is during the school years or perhaps during various stages of one’s working life. They keep us going. When those friendships come to a natural conclusion that is fine. Life intervenes and to be honest I think it would be impossible to keep every friendship going.

There are the friends one meets during difficult times. They support you and then as those difficult times ease you both move on with your lives and again that is ok.

There are those friends which one meets through perhaps pastimes, hobbies, shared interest. Perhaps you only meet them during those shared interests, but they are an integral part of the enjoyment of those interests.

Perhaps you have some friends who are years or decades younger and their perspective on life adds to your knowledge as we are always learning.

I was listening to someone recently who looked on her local librarian as her friend as every two week she knows that there is going to be a new book waiting for her which will stimulate her, intrigue her or even get her riled. These books have been chosen by someone who cares and that is the definition of friendship for her.

Then again there are those friends who you may be privileged enough to have had them for twenty years or more. They have become part of the fabric of your life.  That is such a special blessing.

I have been blessed with so many gifts of friendship that I am humbled. Today I am remembering with great fondness but also with a heavy heart some friends who have died. I still go to the phone to ring them or I am just about to send them a text, or message them and even had a card made for one friend when I realise “No “they are no longer here. However, their legacy of friendship remains within my heart.

I have been privileged to have received the gift of friendship from so many.

Happy Girlfriend Day.

 

 

Friendship

Friendship is everything in life, 
Life without friendship is like life without air…
Life without friendship is like eats without food
And
Life without friendship is like body without soul…

(excerpt from Friendship by Qistina Zani)

Encouragement

A few years ago, I was introduced to machine quilting.  Let me say from the outset it wasn’t something I would have chosen for myself and I will always be indebted to my husband for purchasing the machine for me.

Quilting will always go hand in hand with the concept of encouragement. In fact, it is not the concept but the reality of encouragement.  Firstly, my husband, getting the proper advice for the sewing machine; secondly the encouragement from two friends to book quilting rather than sewing classes; and finally finding the right location for those classes.

Four, two-hour classes and I had a lap quilt, having learnt how to cut with a rotary cutter, to thread, sew, change bobbins and importantly not to be afraid to make mistakes.  Since then the most important tool I have is a Jemima.  Jemima is a ripper so as this ripper has a name it just shows how often I use it!!!

I have begun to understand how friends have been so absorbed in occupations and hobbies fabric related.  It is so tactile.  From choosing the fabric, treads batting to the actual making of the quilt top each step is tactile.

However, I have digressed here from writing about quilting and encouragement.  Every step along the way I have been encouraged. Roisin telling me get a piece of old fabric and sew.  “Put the foot to the pedal and sew”.

Then there was the utter magic of those four quilting classes with three ladies whom I am telling you have the patience of Job.  Honestly it amazes me when looking back how they survived me and kept their cool.

So, who were these angels?  They inhabit Appletree Crafts in Newtownmountkennedy in County Wicklow.  Their names? Marie, Sinead and Trina.  Now neither their halos nor wings are visible but believe me they are quilting angels who constantly encourage.  Their shop is a veritable Aladdin’s cave of fabric.  So, if you are visiting the garden of Ireland drop in, even if quilting is not your thing. Or, on the web http://www.appletreecrafts.ie

I have continued to try new adventures in this my 60th year.  I am writing this overlooking the Aughrim river on a sos beag (small break) from a Quilting Retreat.  Yes, I am attending my first Quilting Retreat.  It is an absolute blast.  A retreat led by Trina, Sinead and Marie from Appletree Crafts and attended by ladies who have offered nothing but support to each other .  The tips and generosity of spirit has been so special and uplifting.

Friendship

 

Friendship can mean many things.

Friendship can be transient as our life develops.  Sometimes friendships fade as our lives take us apart.  That is ok.  Those people came into our lives for a short period and gave the gift of friendship when it was needed.

Friendship can be a gradual process.  Sometimes it flows and ebbs like the tide but there is the knowledge that with a letter, card phone call even a text that friendship will still be there.

Some friendships have lasted decades and have seen us though happy, ordinary and devastating times of our lives.  It is as if, those friends have been a part of our lives since forever.

Some friendships have developed when we least expected them to.  Perhaps through the joining of a group perhaps from a shared interest. Perhaps going through a difficult time. Perhaps at a time of happiness.

Some friendships develop despite age differences.  It is the age difference which adds to the friendship and gives a different perspective on life.

Some friendships developed in the time of pen pals

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while some friendships have developed in the digital age.

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Each friendship adds to our lives.  Each friendship is unique.  Each friendship is special.  Each friendship is unique because of what we put into it.

This poem was written by Robert Frost, has always reminded me that time with friends is special.

 

 Time to Talk

When a friend calls to me from the road
And slows his horse to a meaning walk,
I don’t stand still and look around
On all the hills I haven’t hoed,
And shout from where I am, ‘What is it?’
No, not as there is a time to talk.
I thrust my hoe in the mellow ground,
Blade-end up and five feet tall,
And plod: I go up to the stone wall
For a friendly visit.

Keeping Warm

 

Tea is a universal beverage which warms the body, heart and mind.  It is strange how in the winter a cup of tea can warm a person and during a hot day it seems to cool a person.

 

Then there are the different methods of making tea.  The strength of the tea is very personal.  The variety of tea perhaps depends on the time of day.  Now one can have an infusions of fruit teas. In Ireland, some people have their preferred brand of tea.

Tea is such a personal taste. In the morning my preferred tea is an Irish Breakfast Tea. It has a strong definite taste and I have a preferred brand – “Lyons Breakfast Tea”. Much of the tea would be grown in plantations in Kenya and Indonesia for this particular brand.

There are many ways, to make tea but it all starts with boiling hot water.  It is so essential that the water is boiled and the tea infused immediately to allow the flavour to develop.

But how to keep the tea warm for that second or third cup?  At home I have a tea cosy which surrounds the teapot leaving the handle and spout free for pouring.  It was one of my earliest quilting projects long before tea became part of my every day.

My sister prefers a tea cosy which covers the entire pot and is lifted off to pour the tea.   A friend prefers a knitted tea cosy as she firmly believes that it is the only way of keeping the tea at the correct temperature.

Now my friend Christl, who lives in Wurzburg,  Franconia in Germany uses a totally different method.  Once the tea has been made in the tea kettle, it is placed on a trivet containing a tea light.  This keeps the tea at the perfect temperature.  It is an amazing utensil and so very practical.

It is called “Stovchen” in German.

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Perhaps this will be my new method for keeping tea at just the correct temperature? Thank you Christl.