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New Year thoughts

I am putting off writing my next book review post until I have gathered my thoughts about how I intend to spend my time in 2021. So I am procrastinating already!

Many bloggers are looking back over the past year and forward to the next. It can be a useful exercise. On the More than Writers blog, to which I have been a regular contributor for a few years, there was a post about #myoneword.

I chose a word for 2016 and another for 2017. Since then I have not picked a word, but have aimed to use my time productively. (Is spending time on social media productive?)

This year I have been wondering about picking a word again. Listen was a contender. It occurs in the Bible hundreds of times, a good example being in Proverbs 1:5

I prefer Focus, which could include attentive listening and an element of mindfulness. I tend to be thinking about other things, when I am doing routine tasks. It is not particularly healthy. Sometimes it leads to not remembering what I have done or not done! I also have a bad habit of reading, writing or doing puzzles while the news is on the radio. I can knit (easy things) or colour pictures from a beautiful book (Images of Joy by Jacqui Grace) and listen at the same time.

In the hall of residence of my student days a small Christian Union group used to begin every meeting by singing the chorus, Turn your eyes upon Jesus. That is one way of focussing.

Looking back at how my life has changed over recent years is easier with my hand-written journal and my blog. Occasionally I notice that someone has viewed a blog post I had completely forgotten about. I read it myself and find that my life has moved on in some way from that point. For example, I used to update my journal every few days, trying to remember what had happened. Now I write about the previous day as part of my quiet time every morning. It is easier to remember from one day to the next. I had intended to make this more of a spiritual practice, but I find it very difficult to write my feelings down.

Perhaps that is something I should focus on. It isn’t that I am unable to do it, as I found out in a journaling workshop led by Tracy Williamson and Marilyn Baker on Zoom in September.

My regular readers will know that words fascinate me. My three words (2016, 2017 and 2021)  have a progression of shared letters – ReST – TRuST; TrUSt – FocUS.

Have you chosen a word to help keep you on track in 2021?

Whether or not, Happy New Year!

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Paint chip challenge 51 Baptismal Gowns Upstairs

From Lynda Kruschke’s post, where the whole challenge, colours and her poem may be seen:

…the title, “Baptismal Gowns Upstairs,” is a strange one for a prompt theme.
I suppose you could write about family, which is what this poem is about, at least two members of Brent’s family. Or you could pull a thread from the lines of verse themselves to spin your yarn in poem form.

Now for the paint chip words and phrases: cream of the crop, blue suede shoes, cave, ember, zest for life, sagebrush, and porcelain. I’d like you to use at least five of these words and phrases in your poem.

Zest for Life

The day of our children’s baptism was near.
What were they going to wear?
No baptismal gowns or christening robes here.
In any case our son was a nearly three-year-
Old child – too big to hold or dress in white
Porcelain-coloured clothes.
A surprise gift was just right
For our baby girl – a polite
Thank you letter went to the knitter
Of an off-white woolly dress.
The cream of the crop of sitter-
Knitters had made a garment to fit her.

I do not recall any blue suede shoes
Among the guests. Aunts and uncles
Were the godparents whose
Numbers were three twos.
Three Grandparents were there as well
As a few friends and a cake
With icing in the form of a candle
At the party in a nearby hotel.
It was October not November
No ‘Cave canem’ sign in the bar
No open fire, no glowing ember
It was a happy day, I remember.

For my other paint chip poems please visit Paint Chip Poetry.

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Adventures with gloves

One day when we were returning from a walk, hubby went on ahead while I made a detour to take some photos of wild flowers. (I have been a regular participant in #wildflowerhour on Twitter for a couple of years.)

I found that the sandstone paving outside the church was very slippery. (It has since been cleaned.) I managed to cross it without mishap and found more flowers. Then I found several pavement plants, so I kept stopping and crouching down, putting my phone in my pocket and getting it out again. It had become warmer (or I had with all that exercise) so my gloves were also in a pocket.

I turned a busy corner and was in the next street to home, when I checked my pockets and found I only had one glove. I was tired. I couldn’t remember when I had last had two gloves. Instead of turning back and retracing my steps I went home.

Hubby had bought the leather gloves for me and they were identical to another pair. I looked in a drawer and found that I had one good glove and one which was falling apart. Fortunately the good glove was for the same hand as the lost glove.

I kept quiet about the lost glove until the next day.

When he asked, ‘Where are we going for our walk today?’ I replied, ‘The reverse of yesterday’s walk, because I lost a glove.’

I found my glove on top of a wall not far round the busy corner. We didn’t need to visit the church grounds.

Meanwhile I had realised that I could repair the glove, which was falling apart. I used some adhesive hemming tape as the leather had pulled away from the stitching and there was nothing left to sew. I also used a small piece of fabric on the inside of the double-sided tape. The fabric was some I had kept after I had shortened a skirt. It was a fiddly job. I took photos as I went along and discovered how difficult it is to take snaps of one’s own hand.

It is another example of ‘make do and mend’ rather than throw something out. I have sorted my gloves out into an everyday pair and a better pair.