Thursday, June 21, 2007

What Ally Means

A is for Adventurous

L is for Legendary

L is for Luxurious

Y is for Yummy

What type of flower am I?

You Are A Lily

You are a nurturer and all around natural therapist.
People see you as their rock. And they are able to depend on you.
You are a soothing influence. You can make people feel better with a few words.
Your caring has more of an impact than even you realize.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Thinking Blogger Award

Thinking Blogger Award -

You may have been searching around in blogland, and come across the "Thinking Blogger Award" on your travels. Do check out the Thinking Blogger Awards. I was tagged for this award back in April and was sadly not able to respond until now due to computer problems etc...

Basically you choose 5 blogs that you recommend are worth visiting. Below are the guidelines set out for the "Thinking Blogger Award""Should you choose to participate, please make sure you pass this list of rules to the blogs you are tagging. I thought it would be appropriate to include them with the meme.

The participation rules are simple:

1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think,

2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme,

3. Optional: Proudly display the 'Thinking Blogger Award' with a link to the post that you wrote (here is an alternative silver version if gold doesn't fit your blog)."

The blogs I would recommend are:

Eric´s Blog
I have known Eric since I was 14yrs old. He was the Pastor of the church I attended in Guernsey. Eric has been a key person in my life and I owe alot of my spiritual growth and knowledge to him and his integrity. A very gifted communicator and writer, who has a very down to earth approach to life and Christian living. He and his wife are true saints for me and I am proud to count them as my friends.
What can I say about this amazing woman? We are not only related by blood, but also by the blood of Jesus. I am proud to have a cousin who is so gifted in communicating the love and truth of God. She is a very creative and beautiful woman who possesses great depths of wisdom plus tremendous knowledge to back it up! She has a connection to the Throne and a power in prayer that is rare.
I have known Caroline also many years. Since I left Guernsey though we have had little or no contact until recently when we both rediscovered each other in blog land! I love Caroline´s honesty. She is not afraid to face up to her fears or questions that stir her soul and let you in on where she is at. I find her frankness and no messing transparency very inspirational. She is an excellent poet and uses words to paint incredible pictures.
And two new friends I have since met right here in Blog land!
This lady sure has some great things to say....I have been uplifted an encouraged on more than one occasion and appreciate both her humour and her experiences.
Spookie or Brigitte!
I love Brigitte´s on-line Diary. I find it easy to walk with her through her posts and find them to be very encouraging, challenging and real.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

A little funny to help along the way!

To continue on from yesterday´s blog about laughing I would highly recommend this and all other books written by Barbara Johnson as a tool for fighting off the blues!

I was first introduced to her books a good 14 years ago, when the boys were small, and now I have picked them up again and have been equally as uplifted in this season of my life. I guess good advice never gets outdated and we always need to be reminded of some things over and over again. We are so quick to forget, aren´t we!

Any way, the one little dittie I wanted to share to bring a little smile to your face was the following:-

..."Not long ago Bill and I came across the following item on a child´s view of retirement (original source unknown). It seems that following Christmas break, the teacher asked her young pupils how they spent their holidays. One small boy replied as follows:

We always spent Christmas with Grandpa and Grandma. They used to lived here
in a big brick house, but Grandpa got retarded and they
moved to Florida. They live in a place with a lot of retarded
people. They live in tin huts. They ride big three-wheel tricycles. They go to a big building they call a wrecked hall. But if it was wrecked it is fixed now.
They play games there and do exercises,
but they don´t do them very well. There is a swimming
pool, and they go to it and just stand there in the water with their hats on.
I guess they don´t know how to swim. My grandma used to bake cookies and stuff, but I
guess she forgot how. Nobody cooks there,
they all go to fast food restaurants. As you come
in the park there is a doll house with a man sitting in it.
He watches all day, so they can´t get out without
him seeing them.
They wear badges with their names on them. I guess they don´t know
who they are. My Grandma said Grandpa worked hard
all his life and earned his retardment. I wish they would move back home,
but I guess the man in the doll house won´t let
them out."
I read this with DH this morning and we were laughing so hard... Naturally it´s somewhat sad for the poor grandson, but his view was not to far off now was it..... I hope this bought a smile to your face today!!!!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Knowing who you are and knowing your place

Learn to... be what you are, and learn to resign with a good grace all that you are not.
~Henri Frederic Amiel

One group of happy cats!!!!
From left to right: Laila (tortoise shell )- Grandma
Lucy(all black)- Mama
Tigger (brown, black and beige stripy one) - baby
Number One (black & White) - baby

Having various generations of cats at one time, 3 to be exact, it´s interesting to observe the interaction between them. This has been especially so, during important intervals such as pregnancy, delivery and feeding of new babes within our cat clan.

When Lucy (daughter of Laila)went into labour I was surprised to observe how Laila jumped into the box with Lucy somehow trying to offer comfort and support. I would have expected Lucy to just want to be left in peace, but it was quite to the contrary! She desperately wanted company and affection and looked for it from me and Johnny, as well as from her own mother Laila. It is nice to see that even in the cat kingdom, mum´s are needed in these pillar moments of life!

Seeing the kittens being born was very beautiful. I had never experienced any pet having little ones, so it was a first for me. It is amazing how instinct takes over and Lucy knew exactly what to do! Once she started delivering the kittens, all I had to do was observe.... and enjoy!!

However, once kittens had arrived, Laila was no longer around. She had no interest in seeing what was going on and when one time she did approach the box, Lucy snarled as only cats know how, and let Laila know firmly she had no place in this new situation. I was impressed by the fact that Laila didn´t insist on being "boss"or resuming her mum knows best stand, she knew when to step back and resume a new role. So much so, that she almost became invisible.

Now almost 10 weeks down the road Laila has resumed yet another new role. She is now more involved and they even end up all sleeping together on the same bed. It is true that there seems to be a certain natural hierarchy established and no-one interferes with the each others roles.

The kittens have a strong respect for grandma Laila, and don´t have this playful, jump all over you thing going on like they do with their mum Lucy.

I noticed one day how little Number one (she was the first born..hence the very creative name!!!)saw Laila laying on the couch and gingerly jumped up looking for a cuddle and company to sleep as mum was busy elsewhere. Laila looked up and obviously noticed little number one, but wanted to appear detached. She then looked at the new arrival as if to say, "You can come, but I don´t want to be understand? You are here to sleep and no messin!" She held up her paw as if you affirm the sentiments. You could almost feel Number one lying there in fear, hoping she did not push grandma´s wrong buttons!!!!!!

It was a candid moment that´s for sure... kinda of reminded me of my childhood a little when back in those days, children were meant to be seen and not heard. Especially amongst the grandparents and non relatives. A true Victorian Age doctrine that sadly lingered around while I was growing up.

It seems that in the animal Kingdom the roles are pretty well established and very matter of fact. This is definitely not so clear for us humans. In fact our identity and role in life is a very complex issue and sadly many of us can take years to establish who we are and what we are here for. Others may never truly discover who they are and become lost in the intent.

Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else. ~Judy Garland

On our road to discovering who we are, there are so many factors involved.: Family, culture, society, friends, our opinion of God and the world, experience: the list is endless. It would take a real scholar here to present the whole picture, and I know I´m not that!

Naturally, one must consider who one isn´t in this ratio, to help define who one is. The process is anything but easy and is not without pain.

Personally, I believe a key to self discovery lies in who God is. If I believe God to be loving and good in who He is and in all He does, as the bible says, then I have true grounds to be at peace and accept that His being God gives me value. This is because He has chose to give me the value of the life of His own son. Having value, gives me purpose and a secure basis on which to discover the intricacies of myself, my personality. I exist because God existed first. He loved me first and has made me with design. I am not an accident or mistake.

Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind. ~Dr. Seuss

I discover the colours and patterns of my personality as I grow and experience life. I realize what I enjoy, what I am good at and where that can take me. Yes, for the mere fact that God is God I find peace in who I am and I let God´s opinion of me define me.

Sadly, I often succumb to wanting to be what others expect/want me to be. This is what Proverbs talks about in the verse, "The fear of man, brings a snare." That being, when I am so interested in pleasing others and walk in fear of what others might think about me, I am definitely in a snare. A trap. A prison.

I dont´believe that there is anything worse that this kind of emotional turmoil or anguish. Only when I attempt to please God, am I truly free. Really free to be myself with all that I am, both good and bad. God made me and you and said that it was GOOD! That reminds me of the little kid saying, that I am good because God´don't make no junk! REMEMBER:

You were born an original. Don't die a copy. ~John Mason

Enjoy being who YOU are today!

A photo gallery of my visit to Guernsey- May 2007

Next to people and cows... there is a high population of very well educated seagulls! As you can see here they stand to attention and follow proceedures to the letter! I love it... The foto is taken at the slip way at Cobo Bay on the eastern coastline.

Guernsey is...what can I say??? ... beautiful. Here you see me in this sunny but windy scene which overlooks Fontenelle Bay on the northern tip of the island. It actually isn´t as cold as it looks, but the wind surely takes your breath away...

This is my sis taking a pic of me taking a pic of her... you know those kind of corny things you do when your a teenager!!! Well, I still haven´t grown up yet!!!! This is taken in a very small lane that didn´t even have a name on it.... My sister (being the classic first born and into details like this )would know the old name.... but I don´t! It´s in town.... and it´s very steep!

This is the view overlooking Cornet street and the castle pier/harbour. In the back ground are the islands Herm and Jehou which can be reached by boat..

Sunset at Cobo Bay.Ooh isn´t just soooooooo romantic?

This is one of those typical Guernsey roads that has stood the test of time and still looks like it did when I was a little girl.....Does anyone know what the steps are for?? (I know..let´s see if you do!!!)

The best and most wonderful bro and sis in the whole world.....having a pub lunch in the Rockmount overlooking the sea... of course!

Delancey park... overlooking the Easterly coast.

A beautiful Guernsey cliff path where I went for a walk with my bro and his dog!

One of the highlights of my trip.... a suprize flight organized by my wonderful brother in a private plane to Alderney and back!!!!!

The Cherry on the cake..... the Liberation Dance.
It was like going back in time to celebrate Guernsey being liberated from the German occupation during WW2 on May 9th, 1945. The pilot fellow ws just a fellow idea who he was or even his name... but his outfit was so cool he deserved having a pic taken!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

What not to do when EMILY arrives!

This is an imagine of Hurricane Emily.... and maybe this is the first thing that springs to mind when you hear the word Emily.... But that is not the one I am talking about today....
The first time I became acquainted with "Emily" was when I was 18 and freshly arrived in Spain. We are talking about 1983 and yes, now you can guess how old I am!

The phrase that my new American friend shared with me back then was, "Oh dear, Emily is coming for next week for a visit. I better get prepared!!!!"

Now not having been exposed to the Big Wide World (I had just left the island!) and being the unsuspected Brit that I was, I had absolutely NO IDEA who Emily was, why she was coming to visit or what exactly my dear friend had to prepare!!!!

Needless to say, it didn´t take too long for the proverbial penny to drop and all you women out there will recognize this visitor intimately! She comes once a month to us females and one simply MUST be prepared!!!

Emily, naturally was a code name. This was of course of great importance working in mixed company. One had to be able to discuss these things without the "other party" cottoning on to it! Just the mention of her name and the feminine crew will stand together as one in understanding and in support!

Yes, Emily brings a great big hormonal upheaval with her. Even though we know she is coming, somehow she always seems to catch us unawares.... I don´t know how that happens.

(now what would he know????)

I mean, I consider myself somewhat of a logical creature so why does this phenomenon always seem to catch me unprepared if it is so regular?
Well, as the years go by, I can only say that when the weepy feelings come accompanied with that mighty urge to bite some undeserving soul´s head off or having to resort to the "fat" clothes in your wardrobe... you just learn to not let these feelings get the better of you as opposed to being dominated by them....
It´s kind of like walking by faith and not by sight. You don´t allow that tainted vision to distract you from what you know is real and you learn to recognize that these feelings too shall pass.............

For a bit of fun I thought you would like to know what my years have taught me not to do just before and/or during a visit from a dear friend we all know and love.... Emily.....!!!!

1. Don´t decide to change your hair style.

Funnily enough I have had this urge happen to me several times over the years. Sadly on more than once occasion I have succumbed to it and consequently left the hairdresser in tears.

My advice: always wait a couple of days before you make this decision...sometimes things look better after a few days... and if not... you can still be radical and go for that super short cut that looks really good on famous people like Demi Moore!!!!!(not very often on REAL people!!)

2. Don´t go and try on clothes in your favourite shop

I honestly believe that even on non Emily days, the mirrors in clothing shop changing rooms do nothing for one´s self esteem. (You think they would cotton on to this and make mirrors offering a better reflection than reality consequently generating greater sales as people would buy more stuff) Anyway back to the point. ...

When you have Emily visiting, this experience seems to be multiplied out of all proportion and you body gains bulges and kilos before your very eyes. If you weren´t feeling bad before you went into the changing room, chances are you will feel very fat by the time you leave.... And this all happens before you even take the desired piece of clothing off the hanger to try it on...

I think there must exist some biological explanation for this, and that the hormones somehow play havoc on your retina, leaving your eyesight somewhat out of whack for a few days. My advice: leave well alone until hormone levels have been stabilized and normal eyesight is restored!!!!

3. Don´t go shopping for a speedo bathing cap!

Have you ever noticed that even the most beautiful woman can look horrendous as soon as she has one of those sleeky Lycra or plastic swimming caps on? This process of metamorphosis can happen to any unsuspecting female who attempts to do a few lengths in her local indoor pool to keep off the extra pounds by putting one of these deadly caps on.

It never ceases to amaze me that as soon as I put one of those endearing caps on my head, I become instantly ugly. My advice: avoid all contact with this vinyl head wear unless it´s absolutely necessary.

4. Never trust a mirror

For the same reason as mention above in point 2.

D.V. D. T. H. H. I.

(defective vision due to high hormonal influence)

Mirrors can not be trusted at this time for confirmation of beauty. One must rely solely on husband or best girl friends opinion to ride out this temporary deficiency.... My advice: a good dose of biblical truth never goes a miss . Great verse, "you are fearfully and wonderfully made!!!!" will help to keep this insecurity at bay.

5.Don´t do a meditation on all your defects, your spouses and kids defects, the worlds problems etc!

A tremendous temptation during Emily´s visit is to want to try and put the world to rights or focus in on everything that is going wrong in your life. This is a particularly difficult hormonal power to deal with at this time is called: focusing on husband´s faults hormone.

This hormone then triggers off another hormone that controls the mouth and voice box, consequently producing the following monologue:
"I mean it´s about time he knew what I go through and started to appreciate me more... I work around the house, fix his meals, take care of the kids... and he doesn´t even notice.... arg.... "
These words are usually followed by the incredible urge to run least for a couple of days.... just long enough for the whole family to realize what a wonderful woman you are!!! This temporary dysfunction is an override of the basic well being system that is safely established on non Emily visits that often rights itself after a couple of days.

My advice: Tape your mouth with Duct tape or any other such adhesive to avoid verbal explosion or hysteria, bite your tongue or and re read your diary the 101 reasons why I love my husband/children/life written during a non Emily transition and this will work like an antidote...pretty much guaranteed!!!
I´m sure you can come up with more such ditties... but I didn't want to end this post on that note....
I wanted to say that my main antidote to survive Emily´s visits and other stresses and strains in life is: LAUGHTER!!!

Of course it goes without saying that once I leave my cares with the Lord and trust Him with what concerns me and mine, a whole hearted laugh is Nº 1 on my to do list. Yes I would put it right up there with a good cup of tea! Find something that you enjoy or find funny and tuck in.
I love watching "I love Lucy" or "Home Improvement". Both sitcoms always manage to break me into a smile and lift me up.
I have always liked a good laugh... humour was a staple in my home growing up and it seems that now, scientists have finally got the message and are declaring it "healthy" (the bible has said that for centuries...laughter does good like a medicine...)
There are even laughter therapies out there.... so ladies... don´t let Emily get you down.... turn your frown upside down.... and go on...have a good laugh.
Other "endorphin" freeing activities include singing (as if no one can hear know...right from the heart....) and dancing (as if know one can see you... like really boogie to your favorite CD...whoa yeah..go girl!!!)
Oh yeah...before I forget... chocolate is beneficial to this hormonal state... so a few squares with a good dose of laughter and/or romantic movie is just what the doctor ordered.... REALLY!