A blog is like a child

2014-04-07 18.09.35It’s true. A blog is like a child.

You have to care for it, nurture it, love it and help it to grow. And if you neglect it, then it will become sad and empty.

I have to hold my hands up and admit that I have neglected my blog. I have failed to nurture it in recent weeks, indeed I have failed to nurture others’ blogs too and I can see my ‘jungle’ looking back at me with drooping trees and sorry looking plants.

I could provide a whole host of reasons for this – I have been incredibly busy, there is much work to do on the final editing phase of book one, I have been inundated with school related activities etc etc… but whilst that is all true, the real reason for the neglect is very simple.

I have had no idea what to write.

Every day I have logged onto here waiting for inspiration to strike but nothing has been forthcoming. Sometimes I think of things to tell you all and then I decide against it, realising that even though they may be important to me, they will be of little consequence to you, the readers of this jungle. So I have remained silent. For far too long.

At the end of this week we go away for our annual holiday and I fear that with a further two weeks of neglect, my jungle will be all but wilted, but I am determined that that is not going to happen. For the remainder of this week I am going to try to feed it with content, to boost its immunity and then whilst I am away, I am going to catalogue – diary if you will – events that occur. Anything and everything will be noted so that when I return, I can breathe life back into this wonderful place of mine and go about bringing it back to full fruition once more.

And in amongst all of that, I intend to be mounting my four wheel drive jeep and traversing through all of your blogs, popping by and just letting you know that although I have been silent, I have not forgotten you. Any of you.

So here’s to all of you and your fabulous blogs and here’s to Jade’s Jungle – may it recover its beauty and welcome many travellers in.

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When elastic bands carry meaning

2014-07-22 11.24.11If you haven’t heard of ‘loom bands‘ then this post will be a bit alien to you but trust me, this is a worldwide phenomenon.

My awareness of it started about a month ago when my son kept picking up small elastic bands from school and we neither of us had a clue what they were. Fast forward a few weeks and not only do we now know what they are, we have also been bitten by the bug.

What a simple concept and yet how satisfying it is to loop a bag of small bands into anything ranging from a dress which I believe sold for £170,000, right down to the smallest of rings. It would seem that you are limited only by your imagination and as far as recreation activities go, for those of us who already enjoy crafting, this is right up there.

Until yesterday though, I had merely been looping these bands for fun – making small animals for some of the children at my son’s school and just generally messing about with them. That was until I stumbled across this video here where someone had cleverly created a loom band teddy bear to represent Autism Awareness, complete with jigsaw puzzle logo on its tummy. Suddenly, this went from being a bit of fun, to something that actually hit home and had meaning to me – I had to make one.

Sadly I didn’t have enough of the right colour bands so my effort is a bit multi-coloured, however you can get the overall idea. Incidentally, he’s not meant to have sticking up hair, it’s just that the top bands broke and I haven’t worked out what to do with them yet!

The reason that I wanted to post this though was because each time I look at this bear, knowing what he represents, it sends a warm feeling through me. It is like because I have looped these few bands together, I am supporting and flying the flag for Autism Awareness and people like my youngest son everywhere. Rather than just being something that is made for enjoyment, it has meaning and purpose and I have to be honest, when I first came across this craze, I never thought that it would give me that kind of feeling. But it has.

It’s a funny old world‘ so they say and it sure is. Whoever would have thought that a few elastic bands would give me a warm and contented glow?

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The Gift

Jade Reyner:

A beautiful message from a wonderful blogger. Something we should all remember. Thank you Dennis.

Originally posted on Dennis Langley's Blog:

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I recently finished the second part of my summer vacation. A recount of the first 9 days can be viewed here. The second half consisted of various family members visiting the cabin at varying times. The first to visit was my father. The domestic CEO had taken the day off and prepped the cabin for our arrival. Furniture was moved to make it easier for dad to maneuver his walker. little did I know the gift that he would give me over the three days of his visit. Those of you with aging parents and grandparents, pay attention.

At the tender age of 91, dad took the long car ride quite well. I know this because he started talking before we got in the car Friday morning and hardly took a breath until we arrived at the cabin four hours later. This is the same man who said a total of…

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Just a bit of fun… update

I really wish that I had made this into a caption competition – the suggestions as to what was happening in this photo were fantastic and many had me laughing out loud. Thank you so much blogland!

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You all spotted the cat and the bird and of course you were absolutely right – however….

The bird is not the prey.

I probably have the only cat on the planet that is scared of birds and if this pigeon had deigned to fly down from its perch, she would not have been seen for dust. She is a right wuss. All brave when she thinks that the bird is out of reach, but as soon as it gets any nearer than this then that’s it, she runs indoors.

So, like I said, just a bit of fun and thank you all so much for your amazing comments and for making me laugh. You are all wonderful. Thank you. :-) x

If you don’t like feet – look away…

Image courtesy of david castillo via freedigitalphotos.net

Image courtesy of david castillo via freedigitalphotos.net

Let me tell you about one of my most physically painful experiences – aside from childbirth. (Those of a weak constitution, may wish to look away now.)

I was about 16 yrs old and was suffering with recurring verrucae’s on both feet which were comfortable and happy, digging mercilessly into my feet. After several failed attempts to persuade them to leave, I was left with little option but to have them cut out – sorry, I did warn you. As a result I got taken to the chiropodist who agreed to remove them, however the process involved injecting anesthetic directly into each of the verruca. Let’s just say it hurt and leave it at that.

The reason for sharing this story is that my husband is currently suffering from a sore toe – of his doing I may add – however whenever I even try to go near it, he runs (ok, hobbles) for the hills. Now call me a sadist, but my cure-all for his particular affliction is to get a needle, have a good dig around and relieve him of his pain, yet for some reason he is not particularly keen on this method. I have quoted childbirth to him and even reminded him of my verruca experience but he has pleaded the fifth (ie. man flu) and is planning to go to the doctor instead.

I have decided that by rejecting my offer he is ‘wimping out’. I am also stung by the betrayal –  that he wishes to replace my good old home remedy with a professional who knows what they are doing. The cheek of it. I think that I need some solidarity here blogland.

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How do you cope with stress?

Blank For sale sign close upStress is one of those words isn’t it? One that we all use frequently and that we blame for vast majority of our ills, but I am thinking that ‘stress’ means different things to different people. For me, when I get ‘stressed’, it usually means that I find it difficult to focus on anything meaningful, which is precisely what has happened just recently.

In terms of my writing career I am at an amazing point. I have book three (draft one) finished, done and dusted and I have my editor working feverishly on the tightening up of book one. A plan is in place for submission to agents and all I have to do is work through the schedule to get to that point. Up until a couple of weeks ago, it all seemed idyllic, things were falling into place and life was good. That was until we decided to try to sell our house. Suddenly everything of any sense has gone out of the window and my brain is consumed with never ending thoughts of what I can do to make sure that we sell our house in the time limit that we have (this has been imposed due to the property that we wish to buy).

So far I have cleaned until there is nothing left to clean, painted windows, door frames and steps, painted gates and benches and mowed the lawn. I have emailed the estate agent to ask for advice and generally paced around with no real purpose, becoming more and more fidgety as each day passes. This, I recognise, is completely pointless because I can no more control the outcome of this procedure than I can perform brain surgery, however the ‘stress’ that I am feeling with this situation, is not allowing me to let go. Every day I wake up grinding my teeth and the first thing I think about is the house and what else I can do to get someone to buy it. It was suggested to me jokingly that I should walk around town with a sandwich board… hmm… perhaps not…

Original image courtesy of stockimages via freedigitalphotos.net

Original image courtesy of stockimages via freedigitalphotos.net

The fact remains though that this has effectively taken over my life. I am still working on my edits but I know that I am not committing to them as much as I should be, because I am spending so much time cleaning and pacing.

A wise person has pointed out to me that I need to just relax and let life take its course, again reiterating that all of this stressing is not helping the situation at all – and I get that, truly I do. But for some reason, my brain just won’t let go. If I go for a walk to distract myself for example, I find myself looking at all the properties that have SOLD and wondering what they have that I don’t. If I stay home, I look for things that need to be done and become super critical about every little thing – the carpets, the curtains, the paintwork. In short, this is driving me mad and is resulting in me being less than productive, not to mention the number of spiders that are currently spinning their webs on my blog.

So my question to all of you out there is simple.

How do you cope with stress?

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