How to find grace in a really bad day

Hi All

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This is spud Murphy (aka “Crazy”Murphy) My daughters bought him for me but he has been highly customised 😉

Don’t worry dear constant readers. Narf7 isn’t at the bottom of the well (yet…). I have been thinking about what life hands you and realised that I have been incredibly lucky. Yes, I have been subject to a few minor inconveniences. I was born into a family that struggled with poverty and was raised as a welfare child. I was a teenage mum and suffered from depression. I got divorced, I spent days wondering who I was, why I was here and where the heck I was going (still wondering about that one) but I consider them to be mild in the scheme of things. I have never  had anything really bad happen to me. The superstitious bones in my neck hairs just “pinged” then “don’t even TALK about bad things like that…the eye of Sauron will swivel in your direction!” Seriously though, I may have had to learn about death up close and personal through my parents reasonably early demise but I have never had my heart torn out of me. I have never had to lose a partner, a child. I have never had to undergo medical treatment for something terminal or stand helpless on the side as someone who I would die for is helpless in the throes of something terrible. I have been incredibly lucky to hit 50 and not have to undergo anything like that.

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Earl watching Steve take his wood futures away

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I forgot to use these next few photos last week so I will share them with you now. This is what you do when you have shoes that have been sitting on the window sill for the better part of 6 months (if you are wise…)

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Make SURE that you leave a good distance between yourself and the spiders that are clinging tenaciously to the inside top of the shoe

But here’s the tricky part…the odds are starting to swing over to the dark side. One day I will lose something more precious to me than myself. One day I am going to have to face something that will drag me backwards through an emotional rollercoaster that I am not going to have any control over. It’s inevitable but how I react to this situation is all down to me. I have been reading Ruby Wax’s amazing book “Sane New World”. The woman is literally a genius. She got in to Oxford on her own merit. She completed a university course and came out the other side just as funny but with some serious meaty understanding about the brain and the science that makes us tick. She learned, in particular, about a concept called “Mindfulness”. I can’t wax (pun FULLY intended 😉 ) lyrical about that at the moment because I just hit page 138 where she is introducing us to the concept. As someone who has spent most of her life twitching and demanding that the status quo remain “just so” I am eager to explore this mindful concept. I would love to know why my brain yells “RUN!” and “ACT TERRIFIED!” at any given time. I would love to know how to motivate myself to step out into places where I would never even sniff around. At 50, I would like to conquer that small negative voice inside me that in no uncertain terms states “you are not good enough…why bother?”. Enter Ms. Wax and her mindfulness…

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Be sure to pay attention to the duster at all times because it’s mortal enemy might be lurking in the wings to take advantage of your lack of attention…

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And it might not want to let go…AND it might say “possession is 9/10ths of the law!”

We can hedge our bets with a lot of things. When my mother died reasonably young of a massive heart attack she followed her own father who died at 61 (10 years older than I turn this year) of the very same thing. It would seem heart attacks and obesity run in my family and I decided that if I was going to die (see…still in denial…) that I would at least have a bit of a choice about how it was going to go down…I lost a fair bit of weight. Shock can do that to you. My family also suffered from arthritis. I suffered from arthritis. Not any more I don’t. You CAN change a lot of things about the way that you live in order to give yourself a better quality of life. I am hoping to avoid the big “C” by choosing to not indulge my aberrant desires to eat entire loaves of fluffy white bread dripping in butter. I am hedging my bets by reducing tomato consumption and limiting potatoes in my diet  to keep arthritis at bay but when it’s your time to have an absolutely terrible really bad day/week/month/year it’s your time.

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The lumberjacks helpers

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The lumberjack himself 🙂

What can we do to stop ourselves breaking in half and spilling our emotional innards all over the place? How can we stop life from burying us in a landslide of depression and fear? We can choose to find grace in the situation that we have been given, that’s how. I don’t know how to do this. I am hoping that “mindfulness” might be a good place to start. When something terrible happens to someone that I would take a bullet for (you know who you are 🙂 ) I don’t want to be a blubbering wreck making things more difficult. I want to be able to help, to share, to give and most importantly to empathise completely. If it’s me, I don’t want to fall apart or spend what is left of my time in a heap on the ground in sackcloth pouring ashes into my hair. Life is already too short for that, I want to go out with a fanfare of narfish acceptance and understanding if not entirely satisfied with the timing

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Eco shower…

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One of the blues brothers

Why am I even talking about this? Why on EARTH has narf7 gone all serious and not funny and even scary? Because life isn’t all funny and benign and easy. Because life deals you cards that you just might not be able to pass along to the next player. Because sometimes life just isn’t fair and you really need to find a way to deal with something that you get handed and because the ubiquitous “Shit Happens” and most of the time we aren’t ready for it. I learned the value of honesty in my “Year of living honestly” and this book that I am reading is completely and utterly honest. Hilariously so in places but interspersed with the most cutting and honest dialogue and it has caused me to think long and hard about finding a better way to deal with stress and bad days. My current way of hiding, ignoring, facing, getting angry and yelling at whatever is happening doesn’t seem to be working all that well. I think I might need a shovelful of Ms Wax’s “Mindfulness” in order to redirect my habitual responses to really bad things (again, not that I have HAD any really bad things, just crossing my t’s and dotting my I’s in advance)

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My latest reads from the library. A most interesting mix

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Can’t…put…it…down!

To balance out Ms Wax I have Tartine Book No 3 out of the library. I have been flicking through buckwheat thins and strange ferments and foments as I flick between mindfulness and strange gustatory explorations. I also have the book Zero Waste Home but to be honest it isn’t doing much for me. The writer is wealthy and has the luxury of being able to implement all kinds of sustainable measures immediately to change the way that she and her family consume. The regular folk (that would be 99.9% of the world) don’t have that luxury and can only read about these measures with a degree of envy, “who cares” or wonderment that someone could spend so very much on trying to simplify things. I am all for simplification and minimising waste. I would just like to know how to do it on a shoestring budget rather than be told “just install solar panels, grey water systems, shop ONLY at the farmers market and invest your savings (savings? What are they?!) in “green” options… err sure lady, whatever you say…

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The beginning of this years hot cross buns

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After adding the fruit

I realise that I got completely off the subject of bad days there. I figured that I had been confrontational enough about where my mind has been tap-dancing for the last few days. My mind is a curious thing. It can be focussing on death and dying and the next moment it is dragging me over to take a look at a picture of a snail or forcing me to listen to a starling warbling its little heart out in a tree just off from the deck. I never know where it is going to go next. At the moment it is saying “why are you tapping on those keys when your buckwheat porridge with apple and dates is going cold?” I think I might listen to it and head off to finish my breakfast. Sometimes those voices are useful 😉

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All yeasted and crossed up and ready to go

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Baked fresh from the oven. Note how HUGE they are. I was supposed to split the batch into 16 small pieces but they looked too titchy when I did so I just formed them into 8 and the recipe knew what it was doing. These buns ended up very large. Oh well, all the more to cram in the toaster! 😉

Porridge downed, a cup of tea downed and a phone call to my youngest daughter Bethany in honour of her 24th birthday (I just added “Methuselah” to my list of middle names) also complete. Don’t you just love the power of social media where you can start a post and a year later can pick it back up seamlessly where you left off? Admittedly it isn’t a year later but just the same, social media feeds our need for instantaneous everything. Right here, right now without the boring mundane stuff in between. Which brings me back to reality. I forgot to put some images taken last week in my previous post. I will be sharing them with you here today. Nothing too challenging, just photos of the reality that is Serendipity Farm at the moment. Steve is still down at the front gate chain sawing for all he is worth and I am still here tapping away. Hardly seems fair but there is a pile of logs just below the deck with my name on it so I can’t get too smug.

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brushed with a strawberry jam glaze. Not very traditional but all I actually had in the house so strawberry jam hot cross buns it is! The only thing about using strawberry jam is that it sets the toaster on fire…just sayin’…

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This years Arbutus unedo fruits foraged at the Beaconsfield library. I am going to plant a lot of them to see if they grow this year because this particular shrub produces very big and very tasty fruit. Always a good idea to save the seed from the best you can find

I am SO glad that I had this blog post up my sleeve. Steve decided to upgrade our PC to Window’s 8 and then 8.1 to rectify problems that occured with programs like Adobe and it has taken the better part of 2 whole days to do it!!! I just got back from taking the dogs for a visit to my children’s house in the city so that Steve could mask up and spray paint Brunhilda with her debut paint. It’s getting colder here and it is just about time to give her a waltz around the kitchen for the first time this year and we wanted to ensure that she was all painted up and ready to go. I am going to finish up here folks as otherwise I won’t get this post posted today. I am sufficiently knackered after flying out behind Earl on a city walk whilst Bezial was a perfect gentleman with my son. See you all next week when I might just have gotten used to this crazy thing called “Window’s 8″enough to hurl my way around another blog post 🙂

 

 

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83 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. thecontentedcrafter
    Apr 22, 2014 @ 18:00:37

    You are a delight 🙂 xoxo

    Reply

    • narf77
      Apr 23, 2014 @ 04:25:43

      Damned right I am! It’s my one claim to fame and I am milking it for all it is worth till everyone works out that I am a one trick pony and buggers off to the next great exhibit 😉

      Reply

  2. cathyandchucky
    Apr 22, 2014 @ 18:04:05

    Fronkiii, it is time we had us a visitation methinks. Your worrying me sweetie. Shall I come over in June with Sabrina and we can mourn the ending of our half centuries together and shake our gnarly old bony fists at the next half?

    Reply

    • narf77
      Apr 23, 2014 @ 04:28:28

      Don’t feel worried Pinky old bean, I have been conversing with some people about what they are currently going through and have been applying those thoughts to my own particular slant. All fine here aside from a stinking head cold. You know me, I tend to process things through myself (including head colds) and the person that I have been talking to is going through a very rough patch indeed. I was just feeling incredibly lucky about my life and preparing yourself for the inevitable isn’t alarming, it’s wise 🙂 By the way we have at LEAST another half century to go each so I wouldn’t be shaking my bony old fist at anything quite yet 😉

      Reply

      • cathyandchucky
        Apr 23, 2014 @ 09:42:02

        Oh that’s good to hear Fronkiii. I feel for your acquaintances that are suffering as well as you with your head cold. I agree with preparing oneself for the inevitable but the harder bit is preparing your loved ones for your eventual demise. We have been incredibly blessed in our half centuries that seems to counterbalance the godawful start to them. Mind you, without the rough start I don’t think we would have appreciated and truly treasured what we have now.

      • narf77
        Apr 24, 2014 @ 15:23:33

        I think that we were both very lucky to have the start in life that we did. I just wrote a post about soup and remembered dad and his onions fetish and all of the soup that we were fed as kids. Good wholesome nourishing bone broth with lots of veggies. We were SO lucky that mum was a good and inventive cook and was able to turn humble ingredients into something delicious. We were completely spoiled and had dessert after lunch as well as our dinner! Always had cakes and bickies in the house and how many kids could say that even in really wealthy households these days. I feel incredibly blessed. How lucky are we to not have to pay mortgages. To not have huge debt and to be able to choose what we want to do with our lives and not be railroaded by our circumstances. I was just thinking ahead but in all honesty, I am not planning on going anywhere any time soon. I guess none of us are but I am taking out “health insurance” in what I do for my body and my mind. I guess we can only do what we can do and do it the best way that we can living our lives to the fullest in the process 🙂

      • cathyandchucky
        Apr 24, 2014 @ 15:37:10

        That’s so true Fronkiii.

      • narf77
        Apr 24, 2014 @ 16:29:19

        🙂

  3. Florida
    Apr 22, 2014 @ 19:30:38

    Hi there Serendipity! Is your Arubuts unendo fruit also called a “something strawberry tree”? (Himalayan)? I have a massive one in my front yard. I can’t imagine doing any preserving with them as they are full of wee seeds!

    Reply

    • narf77
      Apr 23, 2014 @ 04:33:15

      Hi Florida 🙂 Yup, it is the Irish Strawberry tree and you can cook the fruit up and strain out the seeds and it makes a really good mild sweet base to use with a small amount of fruit that you want to use to make jam. Sort of like using those old fashioned pie melons (that you just can’t buy any more) as a base for jam and adding exciting things like lemon and ginger to make them delicious :). I made a jar of jam out of the fruit that I collected last year. It’s still in the fridge as it’s quite “beige” in flavour but I might just use it to make something with now that I have remembered it is in there ;).

      Reply

  4. gardeningkiwi
    Apr 22, 2014 @ 20:52:02

    Hi Fran. I hope your days get better. There isn’t much point worrying about what could happen because it might never, Although I think it is perfectly acceptable to worry about having potential killers lurking in your shoes!
    This should make you smile – after however long I have been reading your delightful posts, I only just realised in the last one that Narf was Fran backwards! Duh!
    Oh and ‘enjoy’ windows 8 – it still has the ability to drive me crazy from time to time, even after more than 6 months using it! Sometimes I wish it would just sit still!
    Have a lovely week.
    Cheers Sarah : o )

    Reply

    • narf77
      Apr 23, 2014 @ 04:37:25

      You are right about Windows 8 jumping around…did you notice that I posted a day early? I thought it was Wednesday yesterday! Must be a combo of Easter long weekend and this cold that just won’t bugger off. I thought I was pretty clever using narf as my name backwards until I tried to use narf7 for my blog (over 3 years ago) and someone had already pinched it! Nothing like someone else taking your clever idea to bring you down a peg or two in the ego stakes 😉 I love the colours that Window’s 8 gives you and how they are always changing. If you are bored out of your gourd you can just sit here and watch the frame around your notepad or word document change every few minutes ;). I am not worrying, I have just been talking to someone about their problems and processing it through. That’s how I deal with things…I process them through in thought and tend to apply them to myself. My adage is “Be prepared”. I stole it from the scouts. I hope they won’t sue! 😉

      Reply

  5. jmgoyder
    Apr 22, 2014 @ 20:57:32

    Sorry I don’t keep up very well with your blog – but it seems to be that you will be strong enough to deal with anything that comes your way.xxx

    Reply

    • narf77
      Apr 23, 2014 @ 04:39:27

      Thankyou Jenny 🙂 I think I might have alarmed some of my dear constant readers including my sister. I tend to process things in thought and have been talking to someone who is going through some particularly trying times at the moment. It made me think about just how lucky I have been with my life and how one day something will inevitably happen to take the wind out of my sails. I think it’s best to at least peek at things like that so that when they do happen you have a plan of attack or at least someplace to rest while you recover. Cheers for still reading my posts and hugs from Sidmouth Tasmania 🙂

      Reply

    • narf77
      Apr 23, 2014 @ 04:39:47

      OOPS Julie!!! 😉

      Reply

  6. teddyandtottie
    Apr 22, 2014 @ 23:54:50

    Gosh! Thank goodness for Sarah! Sometimes I really think I did come down in the last shower – Narf is Fran backwards – goodness me – I’m quick, there’s no doubt about it! You, on the other hand Narf, are very clever – and clever people tend to be deep thinkers. For what it’s worth, I think it’s great that you are who you are! And, on an unrelated note, I wondered if you would be happy to contact me through my “The Contact” page on my blog. I have something to run past you – but no worries at all if you can’t. Take care. Dani xoxoxoxoxoxoxox

    Reply

    • narf77
      Apr 23, 2014 @ 04:42:36

      I just contacted you and am most interested to hear about your proposition :). I thought I was pretty clever with the narf thing till I tried to register my WordPress blog (over 3 years ago now) with narf7 and found out that someone else had already pinched that moniker. You can imagine how crestfallen I was :(. I wish I was clever. I am a magpie who catches and keeps information and some of that information tends to stick in the old brain box. As for clever, that’s a bit much for me. That involves using all kinds of synapses between brain halves and I tend to harvest other people’s cleverness to my advantage. Luckily, there isn’t any shortage of truly clever people, you just have to head out there and look 🙂

      Reply

  7. Littlesundog
    Apr 23, 2014 @ 00:11:22

    Ah, sweet Fran… this seems to be the point in life where we analyze so much of our lives and seek something better, or perhaps more substantial for ourselves. Mindfulness is something I have been cognizant of for a few years now. It is a shift that took place when Daisy deer came into my life, and I suddenly became mindful of nature and wildlife on this little 10 acres. Mindfulness helped me to heal. It brought contentment and peace. I quit seeking happiness, because I found it here awaiting me to notice. It has been here always – I just didn’t see it. Yes, we may refer to some days as dark and unusual. These periods seem to drone on and on at times, but there is a gift nestled in the experience. It isn’t always apparent, but it will be at some point. If we are mindful and open to receiving the gift.

    I consider you one of my greatest “life” friends Fran. Regardless that you are experiencing, you are an inspiration to me. I connect with what you express in your writing, and I don’t feel so alone. You bring laughter when I need it. You remind me of something I’d long forgotten or suggested some little thing I never thought of… and you’re full of ideas. Best of all, you express from the soul – from the gut. You are real.

    I hope you don’t mind i stole that photo of Earl with the dust wand for my Pinterest. I think I just fell in love all over again…

    I love you! Keep indulging in that book! I’ve got to order it… sounds like good medicine to me!

    Reply

    • narf77
      Apr 23, 2014 @ 04:51:07

      I think I might have alarmed a few of my dear constant readers (including Pinky my sister) unnecessarily with this post. Aside from it being a day early and me being bunged up with a head cold there is nothing going on at chez Serendipity at the moment. I have been talking with someone who is going through some particularly hard times at the moment and as is usual for me, I tend to process these things through the old brain box by applying “how would I feel if this happened to me?” It enables me to empathise better and as I have been reading a lot of blog posts lately about this very same thing I decided to weigh in with my ideas on the subject. I, too, consider you to be one of my greatest “life” friends Lori 🙂 You might smile if you knew how many of your blog posts hit home and deliver just at the right time for me 🙂 I don’t think that anyone has given me a compliment like you just did Lori. What an amazing thing to be able to connect with someone who is so very far away and to be called “real”. I am most humbled and chuffed my that 🙂 That’s all I ever want to be in this life to myself and to everyone else. “Real” :). I don’t know if you can begin to imagine how difficult it was to get that duster (now a bit more battered and bruised) off Earl. He figured that as it was in his mouth, it was HIS! He has been trying to kill that duster for about a year now. The same thing happens whenever I use the vacuum cleaner. He used to be like that with the broom but soon learned not to mess with Fran when she is armed with a large broom! 😉 The duster was a prize and was like him winning the lottery and be buggered if he was going to give it up easily ;). That book IS good medicine. I am going to wring the last vestiges of coinage out of the moth eaten sock under the bed and am going to buy it myself. Ruby Wax is hilarious, bright, funny, clever and completely tenacious. I love the woman, always loved her comedy but now she is worth SO much more for sharing this simple technique. I am actually starting to practice “mindfulness” in my own life and am hoping to tame my own demons by using it :). Good medicine for the soul without having to open a bottle of pills is ALWAYS going to be the best thing in my eyes 🙂

      Reply

  8. quarteracrelifestyle
    Apr 23, 2014 @ 04:51:38

    Hi Fran 🙂 You sound so much like me here. I always had a really bad reaction to stress and had suffered depression for most of my life. When my first husband died suddenly from a heart attack when I was 46 I thought I would never cope. But we do, when we need to we manage to pull something out of ourselves and for me it was maturity. I had to cope because our kids needed me to cope, full stop.

    It was a great time of reassessment for me but it actually started a journey of self awareness that was very difficult. Becoming aware of your dysfunctions is a sad time, you see where your patterns of behaviour and attitudes are (in my case) AWFUL!!!! They come from a shit childhood and we never know any different so we continue to use them until we recognise boy, do we have issues!! Mindfulness makes you acutely aware of them but it’s all needed for healing. You say you haven’t had things particularly tough but your childhood was, I fostered my niece and nephew who had been welfare kids…it was tough for them. You know where I am if you want to talk Fran xx

    Reply

    • narf77
      Apr 23, 2014 @ 05:05:25

      Cheers Wendy 🙂 I fear I might have given some of you the impression that I am going through a long dark teatime of the soul at the moment. I’m actually just processing second hand stuff from someone else who is really doing it tough at the moment. I have read a few other blog posts about similar things at the moment and was just sharing my thoughts on the matter. I was a welfare kid but never knew it truly till I reached my teenage years. Mum shielded us from the worst of it and we didn’t have much but I think she must have gone through a terrible time trying to make sure that we had “enough”. I have some bad habits that I am hoping I can at least tame the arse out of with mindfulness. I have quite high hopes for it actually and love that it’s something that is easy to do, that just takes a bit of practice and that I am willing and able to try. No mumbo jumbo incense waving and chanting and standing on one leg with the other one stuffed someplace painful in order to practice. My kind of meditation ;). Did you notice that I posted a day early? I am clogged up with a bad cold and the long Easter weekend threw me ;). Still getting used to Window’s 8 as it keeps changing the colours of the frames around documents and pages! If I ever get bored I am just going to open a page and sit here watching the rainbow colours…could even be part of mindfulness 😉

      Reply

      • quarteracrelifestyle
        Apr 23, 2014 @ 05:11:55

        Well that’s ok then 🙂 Lol, I am not into Mumbo Jumbo either but do manage some yoga …my version of it in order to stay mobile.

        I still have to get this book by Ruby (I love that name!) it interests me greatly, you have sold it well! As for the other you mention I won’t be reading that, like you I don’t have the luxury of heaps of money required for their version of “doing our bit” 🙂
        By the way, what is that fruit you showed, that looks very interesting?!

      • narf77
        Apr 23, 2014 @ 05:33:41

        I am just about to embark on a “stretching” routine (adding it to my habits) as I have been reading about the benefits of maintaining (in my case “gaining” ) flexibility is incredibly important. Flexible mind, flexible body 🙂 I can then bend my way out of any situation 😉

        Ruby Wax (and that is really her name!) is an hilarious American comedienne who has worked on U.K. TV for quite some time now. She worked with Jennifer Saunders and Dawn French a lot in the past and had her own (hilarious) series where she interviewed people who really didn’t know what she was talking about (shallow fools) and she dragged them backwards and through her mental hedges 😉

        That Tartine book is the bomb by the way if you like to make your own bread. LOTS of buckwheat alternatives and sourdough thingo’s and just thinking about the recipes is making me twitch with delight. I am going to copy out heaps of the recipes as I can’t justify buying that one! Ruby though, she is well worth it 🙂 that’s an Irish Strawberry tree (Arbutus unedo) by the way. They grow really well, have pretty cream bottle (like heather) shaped flowers that attract bees, are hardy as stick (we have one on the property) and produce edible fruit. The fruit isn’t something to write home about as it contains a lot of small seeds (like cornus mas and capitata) BUT in saying that, it is sweet, mild and makes a great background for if you haven’t quite got enough fruit to make jam. Sort of like those pie melons but this fruit is actually sweet so less need for “sugar” in your jam.

  9. Chica Andaluza
    Apr 23, 2014 @ 07:21:57

    Life certainly isn’ always funny and benign and easy and you had me worried too but I’ve read the other comments and your responses and I can see that you seem to have just been thinking out loud and that’s good. And I love that you tackle life head on and deal with it in a positive way, making changes that work for you to make the most of everything that comes your way…good and bad. So I’ve stopped worrying and am now going to look up that outrageously odd fruit!

    Reply

  10. missmaudy
    Apr 23, 2014 @ 09:54:36

    I first discovered the concept of mindfulness when I was going through a particularly tumultuous time with the Wee Ferals. Being a late bloomer, and a bit of a control freak, having children in my late thirties was a bit of a shock to the system. I was spending more time screaming my head off and/or rocking in the corner because – well, children, really. Discovering mindfulness and being in the moment helped me to regain my centre and be a less shouty parent at least, even if there was still a degree of rocking in corners humming to myself.

    Your post came with excellent timing – after a rather fraught weekend where the smallest feral was vile from sun up to sun down for four days in a row; and the slightly bigger one was exercising his proto-teen muscles. Generally in retaliation.

    The next six months or so are going to be Interesting at ours for a variety of reasons, so time to take a step back and take up being mindful on a conscious level again.

    Reply

    • narf77
      Apr 24, 2014 @ 15:48:24

      I only just discovered mindfulness through reading Ruby Wax’s amazing book. I love her comedy and just decided to take out her autobiography and this latest book as I thought that they would be a fun read. I was right BUT they were also incredibly enlightening. I was the opposite of your situation. I had my first when I was 18 and had all of them by the time I was 27 (6 year gap between number 1 and number 2 the terror wore off 😉 ). The hard thing about waiting is that you have settled in to your life routines and when kids turn up NO-ONE has routine for the duration and till all of them head off from home. If anyone says that raising kids is a breeze, they are either lying through their teeth or they have multiple nannies and hired help! Kids can push your buttons like no-one else can. They are part of you and can read you like a book. They can also drive you to the brink of insanity. What they do is akin to what the intelligence agencies do to torture people. Sleep deprivation, the water torture (wet beds anyone?) and anything else that they can think of to make you slowly go insane ;). The good thing about mindfulness is that you can zone out on the stress and start living in the moment, just like Caeser Millan and his dogs with optional peeing on shrubbery (that certainly stops your kids in their tracks if you start peeing on the shrubbery 😉 ). Hugs from someone who has been to the brink and managed to come back somewhat sane and altogether ready to re-engage with her kids as adults (and now the fun starts 😉 )

      Reply

  11. foodnstuff
    Apr 23, 2014 @ 12:38:58

    Great post! The problem is that most people are mind-LESS. I love meeting people who are mind-FUL (doesn’t happen very often). Hadn’t heard of Ruby Wax (secluded lifestyle, I suppose), so am off to Google her. That book sounds worth reading.

    Also didn’t know you could eat Irish Strawberry Tree fruit. We had one at home when I was a kid. The fruits were great ammo for a slingshot. Off to Google that one as well.

    Reply

    • narf77
      Apr 24, 2014 @ 15:54:26

      I am with you on the general population being mindless. They just go through the motions in a sort of autopilot and never really think about anything that they are doing or the consequences of their actions. Ruby Wax ended up with serious depression and decided to head off to find out how to tackle it herself via learning all about the brain. She was hilarious as a comedienne but she is incredibly bright and manages to share very complex ideas in an everyday way. I have started using mindfulness to quell my inner rage. It’s working! There have been a lot of scientific studies that revolve around mindfulness and the results and there is a chapter in the book that shares the facts. Huge benefits to be gained for something that takes minutes of your day. Seems like a win-win situation. I am also going to be hunting out some stretch exercises as I may as well be doing my body some good at the same time 😉 Maybe I can combine the 2 practices and stretch my brain? 😉 Glad you liked the post and Irish Strawberry tree fruit is, indeed, edible. I doubt you would want to eat a whole bowl of them but they can be cooked and sieved and make a really great mildly sweet fruity base for lots of recipes. I actually like eating them and don’t mind the seeds but they are easy to sieve out. I made a jar of jam with some last year and it tastes lovely 🙂

      Reply

  12. Born To Organize
    Apr 23, 2014 @ 14:09:36

    I really enjoyed this introspective, thoughtful post.There is much to think about as we head into our sixties and beyond. I turned 54 on my last birthday, the same age as my dad when he died from lung cancer. I was only 9 at the time, and always worry (needlessly but hey, so sue me) that I would die before raising my young boys. They are now 13 and 16. Old, worrying habits die hard.

    I took a Mindfulness Based Mediation workshop a few years ago. It was wonderful while I continued the practice, then got lazy and drifted away. I try every day to practice a little. Even simply focusing on my breathing or looking at things with the beginner’s mind is helpful.

    We have all the tools we need inside of ourselves. Unfortunately, we also have all those ancient ‘enemies’ lying in wait, trying to sabotage our good work.

    In my next life, I want to be the Dalai Lama. Actually…scratch that. I want to be centered like the Dalai Lama *right now*.

    Oh…I guess it doesn’t work that way.

    Reply

    • narf77
      Apr 24, 2014 @ 16:02:39

      I bet even the Dalai Lama gets stressed out. It’s our common human condition to be in a constant state of flux BUT mindfulness seems to give us a bit of distance between what we would usually immediately react to and gives us a bit of time before we have to respond and by the time you have taken your focus off the emotional and onto one of your senses you give yourself a breather in order to get a better and more real viewpoint of what the situation really is. I love the idea. I am trying to practice a bit every day. Whenever I find myself getting stressed or angry (my 2 main problems) I try to focus on my feet touching the ground. I was lucky to have both of my parents until I was almost middle aged and I can only begin to imagine how hard it would be on you to lose your parent/s young. It would certainly affect your mindset and how you see things. I think that fear is endemic. We are all looking around ourselves wondering if we are doing things right, if we are up with everyone else and if we are fitting in and the media etc. certainly add to that stress. I think we need to talk to each other about these sort of things because we aren’t the only ones going through it. We all are and it’s often really good to know that. It gives you a bit of perspective on your own problems, knowing that someone else is going through the very same thing. I will put my vote in for you to come back as the Dalai Lama. I want to come back as Earl 😉

      Reply

      • Born To Organize
        Apr 26, 2014 @ 10:53:54

        I’m sure you’re right, but certainly not to the extent that the rest of us do. He’s always smiling, that man. I love that.

        I agree that mindfulness is a wonderful thing to partake in. It’s amazing to me how I can gain clarity on things when I calm down, breath and reflect.

        I like the idea of you focusing on your feet touching the ground. That’s a good one.

        It is helpful to know others are going through the same thing. It’s easy to feel alone in your own head. I used to spend far too much time there. What a waste of energy.

        Coming back as Earl is a lovely idea. I like it!

      • narf77
        Apr 26, 2014 @ 21:40:26

        Earl says that we have to get in line, he hasn’t quite finished yet 😉

      • Born To Organize
        Apr 27, 2014 @ 01:47:01

        Atta boy, Earl!

  13. rabidlittlehippy
    Apr 23, 2014 @ 18:29:55

    Drown that cold in booch. Great post and it’s surprisingly left me out of words. I know! Never happens. Good post. 🙂
    Love the look in Earl’s eyes with that duster too. ” You and who’s army”. 😉

    Reply

    • narf77
      Apr 24, 2014 @ 16:05:15

      😉 Greetings fellow snot vessel. Earl didn’t get to eat that duster. It was summarily removed from his protesting snout and is back in the cupboard where it might be a little bit less fluffy but it is still able to be utilised to remove spiders from shoes (which probably isn’t it’s intended use but whatchagonnadoeh? 😉 ) Swilling kefir as I type. Got to drink it before it turns into vodka and knocks my socks off 😉

      Reply

  14. brymnsons
    Apr 23, 2014 @ 21:01:09

    So there you go scaring all those poor constant readers lol. I just thought you were ruminating so I’m glad that was what it was! I’m not always on the ball… sigh. It takes a kick in the butt, like losing someone, to really make you say thanks for what you have. I feel blessed too Fran, (touch wood), I have lost people I loved but nothing too terrible. I can feel myself mentally touching wood all over the place lol. Don’t speak it and you will be safe!! Ahhh such is the power of thought 🙂 I hope you recover from that cold quickly x

    Reply

    • narf77
      Apr 24, 2014 @ 16:07:21

      Forget “touch wood” I am laying prostrate on the wooden floor ;). Seriously though, I think that you and I are both optimists. I think that’s why we are able to ride through storms and come out the other side feeling grateful that we made it. We have both lost people incredibly important to us but after the grieving there are memories and no-one can take that away from us :). I really like this mindfulness concept. No mumbo-jumbo and all science. My kind of mental practice 😉

      Reply

  15. Marysol
    Apr 24, 2014 @ 04:13:23

    Well, you didn’t scare this new reader. Even the devil refuses to make eye contact 🙂
    I haven’t internalize death, because I’ve already decided I’m not going anywhere. Also helps to have a sweet-faced pup, like Earl, around. Fresh hot-cross buns can’t hurt either.

    Reply

    • narf77
      Apr 24, 2014 @ 16:10:29

      Lol I don’t plan on going anywhere just yet either. Earl might have a sweet face but he is a very naughty boy just like Brian from Money Python and I didn’t get to eat any of those hot cross buns because I am vegan and they had egg and milk in them. I am going to work on a veganised recipe soon but needless to say the people that I gave them to were happy to scoff them. Glad I didn’t scare you and thats not my usual kind of post (as you can see by the concern generated in my dear constant readers). I tend to try to bluff my way through everything. I am getting some really good life lessons from Earl ;). Cheers for the comment and really glad you decided to visit and stay on Serendipity Farm 🙂

      Reply

  16. christiglover
    Apr 24, 2014 @ 06:55:41

    Dearest Fran, my heart goes out to you. Hugs all over from Hawaii!! You describe the affliction so well. Personal little scenarios and dramas, internal theatre, that I “entertain” myself with, which just make me anxious and snappy. So far, my understanding of escaping it is recognizing it when it’s happening, calling it off, and then going to the B.O. to be held for a bit. Then I can love again.

    I loved Lori’s comment above, too.:)

    Your baking looks delish. I miss having a real kitchen (we’re essentially camping for the month), and baking is what I miss the most. But I can wait. I bought some wonderful banana bread at the farmer’s market on Sunday. Kisses, Christi

    Reply

    • narf77
      Apr 24, 2014 @ 16:13:39

      Your life is starting to look amazing Christi. I LOVED that chook in your kitchen laying you an egg every day :). I haven’t gotten around to replying to your post but will do so tomorrow. I slept in this morning and it was delightful :). It’s when you need a hug that those bolshie bearded men come into their own isn’t it? They can be driving you insane one moment and that hug suddenly makes everything right all over again :). SO looking forward to getting stuck into that latest blog post. Your new life looks completely delicious AND you got that hippy house!!! SOOO happy for you girl and can’t wait to see how the BO goes about turning into Farmlet Hawaii style. Steve says take the pig and that chook when you go 😉

      Reply

  17. Linne
    Apr 24, 2014 @ 12:17:57

    This is going to be an odd response, Narfie7! First of all, being that ‘intellectual/philosophical thinker’ is my top strength, I do exactly what you are doing, often! So it never occurred to me that you might really be in distress . . . ’til I saw other people’s responses and then berated myself for assuming that you were doing what I do . . . hope that makes sense . . .

    In the middle of reading the comments, I heard loud banging on the door and someone calling my name (I’m up at Mum’s so I can be on the computer for a short bit and she had just gone down with my Aunty for a visit). I thought it was my Aunty come back for something Mum needed, so off to the door. Nope, it was a former neighbour of Mum’s who now lives on another floor. She said my Mum was ‘sitting in the elevator’, so at first I thought she meant Mum was sitting on her walker seat. Nope, apparently Mum was sitting on the FLOOR in the elevator! Remember, this is right after reading your thought-filled post . . . 🙂

    In case Mum’s hip has dislocated again, which means a trip to the hospital ER for 8 hours or more, I grabbed my purse (forgot my phone in the bedroom by the PC, not to mention Mum’s purse with her health card, etc.) and the neighbour and I walked down two flights to where Mum was on the seventh floor. My Aunty had been trying to help her up, but of course is way too tiny. But she held the ‘open door’ button and the neighbour and I each took an arm and Mum was up in a flash. She was fine and has now gone on to my Aunty’s for that visit . . . and I am back at the computer, with no idea what just happened, but glad all is ok . . . so weird, reading all that and then a short bit of excitement . . . 🙂

    Now, having written a blog-length ‘comment’ which doesn’t really mention anything you wrote, I’ll leave commenting for tomorrow, I think. But it’s a great post, Narfie; I do think that once we pass 50, most thinking people begin to examine all the life issues and look a bit differently at the future. It’s one way of preparing, I think . . .

    Thanks a lot and I hope you don’t mind this over-long excuse for a comment.
    Wet hugs from up north ~ Linne

    Reply

    • narf77
      Apr 24, 2014 @ 16:19:04

      I am SO glad that your mum is alright! Keep an eye on her in case she may be a bit stiff and sore in the morning. My mum used to try doing things like getting on the roof to get the leaves out of the guttering herself and spending way too long outside shredding things in her shredder to put on her garden and we all worried about her enormously but she was very independent and when she passed away it was just after being out in the garden watering her plants and she never had to go to a nursing home or leave her world behind her which is a blessing. You worry about your kids and then you worry about your parents. A better time to learn mindfulness I can’t think of! 🙂 HUGE hugs from Sunny but cold Sidmouth. I am really enjoying this weather and once I shake this cold I will be out there getting stuck into all of those autumn chores. Should be over it by tomorrow hopefully :). Who cares if you addressed the blog post or not. That’s not what Serendipity Farm is about. Any time you just want to chew the fat feel free to drop by. I am always here 🙂

      Reply

  18. Jo
    Apr 25, 2014 @ 08:51:59

    The really excellent part about dealing with terrible, horrible no-good things is that when they come, we also dredge up the strength to deal with them. So that our day-to-day dealing with small and irritating problems is really all about building up mental and emotional muscle for one day dealing with the big stuff. Not that any of us want to do either..

    Reply

  19. Linne
    Apr 25, 2014 @ 08:53:47

    Well . . . since you invited it . . . 🙂 . . . Mum’s fine and not sore at all; like me (or rather, I am like her), she uses her body well. What happened, I found out later last night, was that she was backing into the elevator, pulling her walker behind her in case the door shut suddenly (which it does) so my Aunty wouldn’t get caught. It’s an old elevator (60s) and doesn’t have a sensor, so only stops moving after it hits you (hard!). So the door slammed on her walker and she lost her balance a bit, backed up to the wall and then slid carefully down into the corner. There are no handrails, either, to hang onto. We’ve mentioned things like that, but the condo management company is focused on appearances and not on safety. Oh, well . . . at least all was ok and Mum’s hip stayed where it should be . . . could have been much worse.

    I just thought it was funny that it all happened in the middle of my reading your post and comments . . . I’ll be back to comment properly, anyway. If I’m not filling up your FeedReader. I have to give you something, right? 😉 Hugs to you. ~ Linne

    Reply

    • narf77
      Apr 25, 2014 @ 09:14:36

      Glad she wasn’t hurt and you should tell the condo management company about it and say that if something bad had have happened that they would be completely liable. Stress the word “liable” someone has to! See you when you get sorted. I have over 200 blog posts backed up in my RSS Feed Reader and NEED to get them out of the way. Lucky I have a cold and can sit here doing just that 😉

      Reply

  20. teawithhazel
    Apr 25, 2014 @ 09:19:45

    your hot cross buns look fabulous..i made my first batch of sourdough buns this year..they were a success but they need a bit of tweaking which is what happens when you make up the recipe on the spot..hope you recover from your cold soon fran..x

    Reply

    • narf77
      Apr 25, 2014 @ 11:23:40

      Cheers Jane, I am almost over it now and those hot cross buns didn’t last long. They were more like a light delicious brioche to be honest. I will make them again 🙂 I plan on perfecting my sourdough bread making this cold season when we light Brunhilda 🙂

      Reply

  21. Boomdeeadda
    Apr 26, 2014 @ 09:33:38

    I admit I haven’t been around for too long but I always feel like I’ve been a house guest for a week after reading your posts. It’s just the most fun, hanging at Serendipity Farms and hearing about all the goings on. I laughed at Earl and the duster. Looks quite convinced that it shall be his forever. The Ruby Wax book sounds interesting, I’ll have to look for that next time I’m at the library. I love when a book is so good you can’t put it down. The fruit you’ve brought home is out of this world wild looking. They look like spiky oranges. What do they look like inside? How fantastic to just pick them off a local tree.

    I have had two tragic things in my life, one of which I sometimes feel like I will never recover from. It was the loss of my dad after his long illness. Dad was afraid to die, and who could blame him. He was only 65. I’m 53 already so not too much older than I am now. He was the most important person in my life and very kind and everyone adored him. I miss him a lot and still get teary if I think about missing him. I’d like to just remember the good moments but human nature is, I think, prone to go over things that are not in our control, looking for answers. I’m not religious in any way, neither was dad. If there’s an abyss I’m destined for, I know dad will be there if he could, so I don’t worry about it at all.

    On a happy note, I’m getting taken out for dinner presently. Yippy, no kitchen for me tonight. Have a good one Narf!

    Reply

    • narf77
      Apr 26, 2014 @ 09:56:49

      That fruit is actually not a native and isn’t very big. I just used my macro to show the lovely colour a bit better. They are about the size of a strawberry and are actually called Irish Strawberry’s. They have a lot of woody seeds inside them but you can sieve out the seeds and use them for a really good sweet fruity base for chutneys etc. I don’t mind eating them out of hand but then again I eat strange things 😉 . Ruby Wax is an amazing woman. I loved her manic brash comedy but then she had a mental breakdown and admitted that she suffers from clinical depression and rather than just pay someone to feed her pills and listen to her complain (whilst eating a beef, mustard and rye sandwich at her expense 😉 ) she took herself off to Oxford university to learn all about the brain so that she could fix it herself. My kind of comedienne!

      We all have things happen to us that break us apart. It’s the nature of the beast that we call living. I have been incredibly lucky so far. I guess this post was written as an accompaniment to other people’s losses and my growing awareness that someday… a bit like everyone living on the San Andreas Fault line…not much you can do about it but hang on tight!

      Sorry to hear about your dad. I didn’t have a very good relationship with my dad so when he died it wasn’t like what you have had to deal with. The worst thing is when people aren’t ready to go and terrible fear sets in. I am with you on human nature being what it is. Who knows what is over that bridge? I certainly don’t but I would like to think that it is pretty peaceful and quiet so that, in itself, can’t be all that bad

      You lucky minx! My dear Stevie-boy headed in to the city to do our fortnightly shop in the middle of a rainy wild day and phoned me up to tell me that he was having breakfast at Subway! I guess he took himself out for a meal ;). Hope you had a gorgeous meal and that dessert was MASSIVE, completely decadent and so full of calories that your eyeballs threatened to pop. The only kind of dessert worth eating in my mind 😉

      By the way, I feel sorry for anyone attempting to be a house guest at chez Serendipity as the dogs LOVE visitors and tend to want to sleep with them…all night…spread out…doona hogs 😉

      Reply

  22. brymnsons
    Apr 26, 2014 @ 20:03:50

    I don’t mind Chez Serendipity. You get force fed some yummy food, filled to the brim with wine and get to share some laughs to boot. The dogs are pretty damn cute too, once they pound you into the ground and lick you all over 😀

    Reply

  23. Hannah (BitterSweet)
    Apr 27, 2014 @ 11:19:44

    It takes such strength and bravery to bear your soul in this incredibly candid way… And with humor always in ready supply. I’m constantly inspired by your words!

    Moreover, I must admit that I’m completely in love with Spud Murphy. Way better than your average potato head, and so much more clever. 😉

    Reply

    • narf77
      Apr 27, 2014 @ 16:17:58

      Spud Murphy is like Mr potato head on (grouchy) steroids ;). He is a composite of all of the poor stuffed toys that have met their maker at the hands of the fluffy toy serial killer tag team of Bezial and Earl with “spare parts” being generated faster than he can assemble his latest ensemble 😉

      Reply

  24. Linne
    Apr 29, 2014 @ 07:41:38

    Hi, Narfie7! I am nominating you for the techno challenge:

    Here are the ten easy questions. If you don’t want to answer them, maybe SuperSteve will take it on. I hear he’s pretty techie . . . I’d say just copy them into a new post and then answer. But you may have better ideas . . .

    These are from Tom of the TechnoTeam blog. http://technoteamblog.wordpress.com/

    Here are the new questions:
    1. What is Google and Yahoo?
    2. What company is Tim Cook currently the CEO of?
    3. What’s the difference between WordPress.org and WordPress.com?
    4. Is Google Chrome a web browser?
    5. What does RAM stand for with computers?
    6. WWW is an abbreviation of what?
    7. Is CPU and a processor the same thing?
    8. What technology company is Bill Gates currently the chairman of?
    9. Who designs the PlayStation range of gaming consoles?
    10. Who designs the Lumia range of smartphones?

    Some of the questions have yes or no answers and some don’t.

    Enjoy Blogging and taking part in The Computing Challenge!

    Reply

    • narf77
      Apr 29, 2014 @ 08:56:14

      Narf7’s Answers…
      1. Yahoo is a form of Australian yobbo that drives around lobbing beer cans out of the car window and Google is what the lesser spotted Yahoo does whenever a “beaut Aussie Sheila in a low cut top walks past”
      2. Tim cook…wasn’t he the one that dressed in a black corset and sang “Sweet Transvestite?”
      3. WordPress.org is aces and WordPress.com is akin to the gulag archipelago in Russia (or wherever the gulag archipelago is, geography was never my strong subject at school…)
      4. Google Chrome is actually those shiny aviator sunglasses that the lesser spotted Yahoo wears in order to “impress the sheilas” they cost “a bomb” (and as sheila attractors they don’t work)
      5. RAM is a male sheep. When it comes to computers a RAM is probably better with technology than I am although we both affect a similar method of getting bolshie technology to work only the RAM uses it’s horns and I use my fist
      6. WWW eh? I know what WTF is, Ok, I am just going to have to guess it. “WWW is an abbreviation for What? Where? When? And is used (see I wasn’t asked for how it was used, I am giving extra information here so do I get a credit?) whenever a luddite has been asked to follow the instructions of a techie and managed to get past “turn on the computer” but not as far as “next…”
      7. CPU is the New Zealand abbreviation for “Consumer Price Undex” it is NOT the same as a processor. I reckon this was a trick question. A processor is something that you make peanut butter and grate coleslaw in
      HA easy peasy this quiz thingo…bring forth the next question!
      8. Bill Gates is currently the chairman of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and if he isn’t he should be as that’s the ONLY thing that he has ever done that was worth it…(even if it is just a HUGE way to guarantee that you will never have to pay taxes ever again…)
      9. I think the answer to the Playstation thing as for who designs the gaming consoles must be my youngest daughter Bethany. I worked this out because she is apparently the ONLY one that knows exactly how to play the games and if anyone else has a different opinion they are idiots. This backs up my theory nicely. It’s MY theory and I am sticking with it…
      10 Hmmm…”Lumia’s” eh? Sound like some kind of bug that has a fiery derrière, my guess is aliens. That’s my stock standard response to any technology that I have NO idea who designed or developed or invented it. So my answer for this question is “Aliens”.

      Do I win? Did I get a free “thing”?

      Reply

    • narf77
      Apr 29, 2014 @ 17:17:27

      Steve just got home and said (and I quote) “you are pretty much on the right track with your answers there” He did say that I might be wrong on the CPU question as he is quite sure that CPU was in Star Wars with R2D2 😉

      Reply

  25. Linne
    May 01, 2014 @ 07:06:34

    Ok, I love your answers (anything for a laugh, eh?) and your ability to follow instructions to the letter. HA! Well, I guess I left myself open by saying “but you may have better ideas” . . . so the laugh is on me . . . still good for me, though.
    Steve doesnt’ know his Star Wars from his Obi-Wan; R2D2’s sidekick was C3P0. (but I’m sure Steve knows that and was just steering you astray). Of course, he might equally have told you that one of your colour swatches was CPah . . . 🙂
    Thanks for taking part; I do know you’re busy. Now you get to nominate someone and copy the questions to their blog. Tom and Will want this to go viral on WordPress and techies rule (just ask ’em) . . .

    Reply

    • narf77
      May 01, 2014 @ 08:18:38

      Sorry ma’am I don’t do quizzles but I hope that Tom and Jerry get their techie goodies out to the wider community (just not here…this is ludditeville remember! 😉 )

      Reply

      • Tom
        May 02, 2014 @ 01:46:30

        That’s fine. Thank you for taking part in the challenge! I enjoyed reading your answers.

        Would you like a score for your answers?

        Thanks again,
        Tom

      • narf77
        May 02, 2014 @ 03:10:52

        Yes please Tom I would love a score 🙂 I think as techies that you would love people like me. My idea of sorting out my PC is to give it a bit of a whack if it isn’t performing and then STRAIGHT to the techies for assistance thus forming good community 😉

      • Tom
        May 02, 2014 @ 03:41:02

        Here are the answers to the questions:
        1. Yahoo is classed as being a search engine.
        2. Tim Cook is currently the CEO of Apple.
        3. The .com is a hosted service and the .org is self hosted. That basically means that you use the .com and people who buy their own hosting and domain with out the .com use .org (if that makes any sense).
        4. Google Chrome is classed as being a web browser (great answer though).
        5. Correct! I’ve done my research and found that a RAM is in fact a male sheep so I’ll give you that one.
        6. Correct! The answer I was thinking of was World Wide Web but I’ll give you this one because it may well be the abbreviation for what, where and when.
        7. Correct! The CPU I was thinking of is the same as a processor but I’ll give you this one as it may well be what you said in New Zealand.
        9. Correct! The answer I was thinking of was Sony but I’ll give you this one.
        10. Nokia designs the actual phone and Microsoft develops the operating system and some software for it.

        Overall, that’s 4/10. I’ll get your virtual badge for taking part in the challenge ready and send you a link to it soon.

        Enjoy Blogging and thank you for taking part in The Computing Challenge!

      • narf77
        May 02, 2014 @ 03:56:23

        Yahoo might be classed as a search engine for the rest of the world but here in Australia it is the last bastion of the quintessential Aussie male… I am both a luddite and am Apple-phobic. Apple smacks of elitism and as a card carrying bolshie and a tall poppy snipping Aussie in a classless system I feel the need to support the masses on this one ;). Tim Cook…I am SURE he used to do a comedy routine with Dudley Moore ;)…I must admit at this time that I was having a little joke with Ms Linnie. I don’t “do” blog quizzes and she knows that. I am not as techno-illiterate as my answers would have you believe. Indeed I spent last year immersing myself in media studies where early on in the picture we were educated in the basics. I am studying Print Pre-Press this year. Just about to immerse myself in InDesign
        WWW also symbolises the wrestling confraternity…
        I live in Tassie, not New Zulund, that is why I was allowed to take the mick out of them with impunity…it’s our quintessential cross Tasman war of “wuds” (in their case…”words” in ours 😉 ) that we maintain as both countries are too lazy to make anything more of it…
        My daughter assures me that she is a Sony tester of great esteem and as such I should NEVER question her when it comes to squabbles about how she is manoeuvring her mafia squad car around the block…
        As a Nokia owner and a most steadfast supporter I may just have known the answer to that last one but again, can’t let an opportunity to make Linnie laugh pass by can I? ;).
        I class 4 out of 10 as a winning score. Do I get a banana? I see you are following the blog! You will get to see first-hand my battles with technology and Stevie-the-wonder-boys clever ability to extract the goodness out of technology where I can usually only find grief. He has just assured that all of my time spent watching the crime channel will amount to nothing as he has most assuredly cemented him a place on Serendipity Farm for the term of his natural life 😉
        Hopefully you find something to chuckle about in reading future blog posts. I like to enjoy life and share how much fun it is so here’s to some communal laughter into the future 🙂

      • Tom
        May 02, 2014 @ 04:08:13

        I’m sure that I will find something to chuckle about in your future post. You’re past posts are quite entertaining and it looks like you have a good sense of humour.

        Here’s a link to your virtual badge for the challenge: http://technoteamblog.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/computing-challenge-badge-3rd-version.png

        You can put this badge onto your blog sidebar if you like. We’ve decided to award you with the Great Answers Award as well.

        Are there any blogs that you’d like me to nominate for the challenge on behalf of yourself?

      • narf77
        May 02, 2014 @ 04:45:20

        I think all of the blogs that I follow would have a fit if I did. Nothing personal but blog quizzes tend to give most people the heebie-jeebies. It’s all of that nominating and passing on and answering etc. Glad you like the blog. I went to yours and it scared the pants off me! 😉

      • Tom
        May 02, 2014 @ 05:19:59

        -;

      • Tom
        May 02, 2014 @ 05:20:38

        Did you get the virtual badge?

      • narf77
        May 02, 2014 @ 07:21:45

        Yup, cheers for that…still waiting for my banana… I guess because we live so very far apart (I am assuming you are in the U.S. and I am in Tasmania) that it might take a while to get here…I will be watching my mailbox avidly…

      • Tom
        May 03, 2014 @ 01:09:50

        I’m afraid a banana isn’t one of the prizes.

      • narf77
        May 03, 2014 @ 04:01:23

        NO! Oh now I am depressed…

      • Tom
        May 03, 2014 @ 04:45:54

        Have you received the link to the virtual badge we’ve sent you?

      • narf77
        May 03, 2014 @ 08:47:23

        Yes…indeed I have sir. Thanks for sending it (but I am still depressed about my banana 😦 )

  26. Linne
    May 01, 2014 @ 07:12:54

    Narfie,, I just left a link to this page for Tom, Will et al;

    You can see my comment here:

    http://technoteamblog.wordpress.com/about/?contact-form-id=86&contact-form-sent=3673&_wpnonce=30a60cd510#contact-form-86

    🙂

    Reply

  27. Robbie
    May 03, 2014 @ 11:01:26

    I enjoy reading your posts, but the past few weeks I have not been reading too many blog posts since I was outside most of the time and then got the flu from my little 10 month grandson. You just turned 50 and that is a milestone in your life. I turned 50 5 yrs ago and it was a “reflective” time. When I read your posts, I enjoy them so much that when I get to the end I can’t remember all the things I wanted to comment on in your post! You write with such “heart” and you are just like the “skin” horse in the velveteen rabbit…you are real now + there is something about turning 50 that makes us real…..I am enjoying this stage of my life, but there are times I can’t seem to figure out what I want to be when I grow up..does anyone really? Well, I am sure there are those that knew when they were like 5 yrs old, but not me…..life is an adventure and I agree “shit happens” …remember the bumper sticker everyone use to have on their car…”shit happens”…well, everyones shit is not same…lol. We are given what we can handle and I figure that is correct becasue I look at some of my friends and can’t figure out how they deal with what they have going on in their life, and they often feel the same with me…we just live + make the best…..thank you for sharing and it is okay to share feelings that are not all warm and fuzzy:-) shoot, every time I hit the send button with my comment for your post, I remember something you said that I wanted to comment on…oh well, just will move on and another day will be another comment…I love blogging because it connects us with the soul of others and we build communities:-)

    Reply

    • narf77
      May 03, 2014 @ 11:21:47

      I have never read the velveteen rabbit but just Googled the part about where he is talking to the skin horse and its incredibly beautiful and very relevant to hitting 50. I often feel like most of my hair has been loved off and my eyes are starting to remind me that it might be time to get “that” checkup (so far they haven’t dropped out…) and I am stiff in the joints occasionally and very shabby. The other day when I was heading out to take Earl for a walk and was pulling a beanie onto my head against the cold I looked in the mirror and saw shabby without the chic but you know what? I am so comfortable with my own face and my wrinkles and myself now at the moment, right here, right now that I smiled at that strange apparition in the mirror and headed out the door even though that beanie wearing woman may just have resembled a bag lady ;). Real is accepting yourself right here…right now. Not punishing yourself because you wasted your youth, you lost your looks or you only just became real at 50. Real is about taking every single day from right now on-wards and making it real right along with you.

      I love blogging too. I am addicted to that heady mix of honesty that we can pull out of ourselves when we share without boundaries online. There isn’t anything that interferes with what is inside us, no preconceived ideas because of what we look like, where we live, our cultural differences or our crazy accents etc. Just us, here being real :). That’s communities, that’s finding kindred spirits. I am going to have to hunt out a copy of The Velveteen Rabbit now as that was probably the most beautiful thing that I have read in a long time 🙂

      Reply

      • Robbie
        May 03, 2014 @ 13:58:01

        aww..I always read that book to my kids. I have it in my front room on the end table to read to my grandson Sam( he is 10 months, so it will be a while-lol). It really is where I am,too. I got cancer in 2000 and decided at that point to not dye my hair anymore + at first it really did not get too light,but the past few years it is white-lol. I really don’t mind it and it is sort of fun having white hair. I don’t have to worry about hair dye anymore and I am very content in living with white hair. It bothered me at first ,but I just have learned it is “me” or ” I am real”….I agree with everything you have said + you say it better than most people. Words just flow out of you like water-tee hee….I admire that + you just know how to be “real” with all sorts of people.
        I can really be myself with my blogger friends and no one judges me on all the “criteria” you mentioned above…it is a wonderful place when you are comfortable in your own skin…oh I wish I would of felt this way when I was 16!
        Read this post by Carol in her blog that she posted this week it is about getting older + I really felt she expressed how one feels about this aging process etc..
        http://carolahand.wordpress.com/2014/04/25/looking-beneath-the-surface/

        I really enjoyed this post she wrote:-)

      • narf77
        May 03, 2014 @ 14:16:41

        Words aren’t the only thing that flow out of me like water lately, too many cups (buckets) of tea methinks ;). I think, as an Aussie who hasn’t been subject to any kind of class system, we don’t think that anyone is worth any more, or any less than anyone else. We are all here together. You respect me, I respect you, we form community 🙂 I don’t know where my words come from. I think I was blessed with all of Oscar Wildes muses when they got tired of inhabiting whoever they were dwelling in prior to making their nest in me. I just type how I see things. The old “Youth is wasted on the young” is SO true! They are terrified of any and everything and are all trying to be someone else. By the time you are comfortable with yourself and have accepted yourself as being “an alright sort of shiela” your knees are too sore to do cartwheels, your back would go out if you stood on your head and hanging upside down by your legs bent over a tree branch would result in a trip to the nearest medical facility…wasted I tells ya! 😉

        A blogging friend sent me a link to this post that I loved so much I copied and kept. I would like to share it with you 🙂

        http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2014/02/17/140217fa_fact_angell?currentPage=all

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