FITFS Judith Baxter

Each Friday I devote a post to someone in my hero group from the Blogosphere.

Heroes are important to our lives, unlike the ‘experts’ I wrote about this week, they are individuals who inspire us and make our lives better and more fulfilling by their very existence and actions.  Real people who make us better by their example.

Judith Baxter lives in Wellington, the capital city of New Zealand.  Originally from England, she and her Dashing Young Scotsman settled in New Zealand.  Her trusty companion is Lotte an adorable Tibetan Spaniel.

Since the passing of her mother and then the premature death of her husband Judith made a decision to ‘choose how I will spend the rest of my life’.

Judith lives with intention and is a certified life coach, mentor, author and facilitator.  What I most admire is that she has defined her values which are Gracious, Generous, Loving, and Radiant.

Family is very important to her, especially her four fine grandsons.  Judith shares her insights with every post and it would be impossible to choose one.

Judith’s very first post on March 1, 2011 was titled, ‘I choose how I will spend the rest of my life and in I she talked about her mother’s last years and her mission “about keeping the mind active….”. She says, “I know our thoughts determine the results we achieve…”

When I think of Judith I think of silk, satin, heart of gold, and soul of goodness.

Today’s post is a recommendation to read Dr. Wayne Dyer‘s book, ‘Change Your Thoughts Change Your Life and the wisdom of Lao-tzu.

So please do stop by and say hi and take a dip in her pool of wisdom.  Bathing suits not required.

FITFS….Judith

FITFS – following in the footsteps…

Yesterday I mentioned the quality of the bloggers I follow and that while I, after more than a year was still looking for my theme, my schtick, my brand, my…well you know – I could at least celebrate my faves, and perhaps through them find myself.  So one of the very first blogs I read this morning was a dear WP friend Judith who resides in New Zealand, where it is mid winter and earthquake season.

I am not sure if Judith Baxter has been Freshly Pressed (and if not should have been) but today her news was even better that FP.  Judith did a review of a book she had read.  Well  not just a book, and the contents kept her reading for an entire day, but an excellent book.  So  good in fact that the author herself, Zoe Sharp commented on her post.  The book Judith read was ‘ First Drop‘.  Now how cool is that????

Now I know I will get the book and others by Sharp, and I suspect that since Judith has had close to 100,000 hits on her site (in just over a year) that many others will do the same thing.  Congratulations to Judith and to Zoe!

Hmmm what is the greatest thing that has ever happened to you since you have been blogging? (aside from all the friends you have made which is of course the number 1 best thing)

That is going to require some serious thought!

It’s a 40 degree day here, G1 has just uttered for the first time since school was out, “I’m bored.”  I expect that sentiment won’t last too long once he gets going with his day.

If the children are going out to play today it will have to early in the day.  Our thoughts are with all who remain without power from the storms…which means also air conditioning and the every day things we take for granted.

Mrs. Sparkly’s Ten Commandments: Tag I’m It For the Moment

Judith Baxter at growingyoungereachday.wordpress.com tagged me for Mrs. Sparkly’s Ten Commandments. Now the Commandments part is interesting as it is 10 questions to be answered by the tagee (or is it taggee?) This is probably the most fun award I have seen yet. Then I tag five other bloggers on behalf of Mrs. Sparkly.

I did a search on google for said Mrs. and came upon at least fifty posts from wordpress.com all with a similar title and more than one had the picture to the left.  So I borrowed it hoping that this indeed is Mrs. S.

Now for the Q&A!

1.  Describe yourself in seven wordsPositive Loving Growing Seeking Creative Thoughtful Gentle

2.  What keeps you up at night?  Thoughts Memories Aspirations Fears Creativity.  Sometimes I think it would be wonderful to be able to be awake 24/7 or one of those genius types who sleeps only 3 0r 4 hours but my I do enjoy a good night’s sleep.

3.  Whom would you like to be? Sometimes I feel like I am so many people I am not sure there is room for another which there would have to be if I had to include someone else I would like to be.  I can’t imagine wanting to be someone else besides what would the motivation be?  More - beauty, wealth, success?  To be rid of my problems?   I guess there is none other I would choose to be like.  Now how unimaginative is that?

4.  What are you wearing now?  Blue jeans, purple sweater, black socks.  Nuts when I first read Judith’s post and I saw this question I told myself to be sure to wear something interesting and or delightful.  Alas I seldom listen to myself and there is little use in creative false description when the fun part of all this is honesty.

5.  What scares you?  Way too much scares me.  I would have thought at this age I would have overcome fear, that I would be so comfortable in my skin and mind and so wonderously philosophical that nothing would scare me.  The biggest thing is fear of failure, fear of not being the best I can be, fear of not grasping the moment.  It is this fear which tries to prevent me from trying new things, from completing some things.  The good news is that it is a fear that grows less and less each day and some days I actually have it on the run!

6.  What are the best and worst things about blogging?  This is sort of two sides of the same coin.  The best is reading all the wonderful blogs out there and so many leave me with a feeling of awe.  The worst is realizing all the talent and fearing I may not measure up and at the same time inspiring me to reach those lofty heights of excellence.

7.  What was the last website you looked at?  Other than googling Mrs. Sparkly it would be the kitchensgarden.wordpress. com.  I feel driven, and yes that is the only word possible to describe this need to read every word Celi has written.  I started with her first post and am about half way through.  I randomly read posts past and present of all my favs but this is different and I can’t quite explain it.  Maybe I will be able to once I finish.

8.  If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?  Well I am sure if you read all of the above you will know my answer to this one.  Why I would be the bravest soul on earth!  No Fear!

9.  Slankets, yes or no?  I’ll bet this is most searched word lately and the answer is a ‘No’

10.  Tell us something about the person who tagged you.  Now that is pure pleasure.  Judith Baxter is an incredible person living in New Zealand who lives truly by her words, ‘I choose how I will spend the rest of my life.’  I don’t think Judith would even recognize the word retirement.  She is active, volunteering with Hospice, consulting, treasuring her family and learning every day.  I have told her previously I see her as the very classy Jessica J.B. Fletcher although she gives no indication of solving multiple murders on a weekly basis.

Now I must tag five others and have chosen people whose answers most interest me.

Celi at thekitchensgarden.wordpress.com      Winsomebella.wordpress.com                      Joss at crowingcrone.wordpress.com              Barbfroman.wordpress.com                     Colleen at bikecolleenbrown.wordpress.com

Oh I just thought of 5 or 50 more!

*thanks to Photobucket for images!

A Timely Post on Political Correctness via Judith Baxter

No political correctness

Image via Wikipedia

 

My blogging friend Judith Baxter at growingyoungereachday.wordpress.com has a way with words and in light of this weeks issue of censorship I am reposting her timely message.

 

                     

 

I believe that political correctness can be a form of linguistic fascism, and it sends shivers down the spine of my generation who went to war against fascism.
P. D. James

 

Is Political Correctness as rampant where you live as it is here in Godzone/Aotearoa? We are constantly worried here in case we step on somebody’s toes or offend somebody in some way, and often it causes us to do nothing. Note – the use of the word “us” here is a generic term for both our politicians and the general hoi polloi.

 

To my mind PC as used by our politicians, the media and those who deem themselves to be in charge of our actions (and maybe even our thoughts), is tyranny. And the rationale of this tyranny? It appears to be to prevent people being offended by what is said or done; to prevent compel each of us to avoid using words that may upset others, including women, fat people, small or tall people,homosexuals, etc etc.

 

Well I would not knowingly offend any of these people but feel that this has gone too far. Political Correctness is in my view, a sophisticated form of censorship that affects all of us and creeps unasked into our lives. The values and rules of my parents’ generation appear to be thrown out with the bath water and what is moving in to take their place? Political Correctness.

 

I decided to investigate the origins or this phenomenon and see if I could find out the reason for its introduction into our lives. I found an explanation on this site. Here I read that “It was developed at the Institute for Social Research in Frankfurt, Germany, which was founded in 1923 and came to be known as the “Frankfurt School.” It was a group of thinkers who pulled together to find a solution to the biggest problem facing the implementers of communism in Russia.

 

The problem? Why wasn’t communism spreading? Their answer? Because Western Civilization was in its way.” It went on to say

 

“What was the problem with Western Civilization? Its belief in the individual, that an individual could develop valid ideas. At the root of communism was the theory that all valid ideas come from the effect of the social group of the masses. The individual is nothing.”

 

And so Political Correctness was introduced to undermine Western Civilisations’ foundations by incessantly and insidiously attacking the rights of the individuals. Well, that explains it then.

 

And today after receiving this email from a friend, I decided to air my concernsobjections about and to this trend. See what you think?

 

“There’s an annual contest at the University of Arkansas calling for the most appropriate definition of a contemporary term. This year’s term was: “Political Correctness.” The winning student wrote:

 

“Political correctness is a doctrine — fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rapidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media — which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a piece of shit by the clean end.”

 

Well that says it all for me anyway. What do you think?

 

“All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.”
Thomas Jefferson

 

 

 

Genuine or Versatile Many of Us are Both

When it comes to awards I have been blessed many times.  When it comes to blogging awards I have also been blessed.

Linda Cassidy Lewis at lindacassidylewis.com has awarded me the Liebster Award..meaning loved or beloved

And how can I not love that?  Regardless of stats there are always a favorite few who are loyal in comments and sharing their own kind of wisdom.  When I get an award I always graciously pass it on to those loyal few who comment regularly.  There are so many more I regularly read and love and Lord knows there will be more..insatiable appetite I have..and I would like to share all of them with you..but then you could not possibly read them all without abandoning your own loyal following.

In addition there are a couple of new blogs I have been following with great pleasure written by twins Autumn and Gabrielle who passed on another award to me.  They can be found at http://autumnsunshineandgabrielleangel.wordpress.com/2012/01/17/genuine-blogger-award/ These gals are the coolest twins ever so please visit and enjoy.

I have to apologize to others who have passed awards on to me.  I went through a period of totally being overwhelmed so know I missed someone.  (today I cleared out almost 4,000 emails from posts and bloggers that came in in the last month or so).  Do let me know so I can credit you.

I can’t possibly give you a list of things you don’t know about me…damn my transparency but I can give you a list of folk to follow in addition to the addys above:  (Many have already received awards and may want to pass. For the others I send you blessings and thank you for making my day that much brighter!)

Both awards are passed to:

Judith Baxter at growingyoungereachday.wordpress.com who has won award on award..but I am sorry darlin you just keep deserving.

Barb who is sweet and writes a heck of a blog that will warm the cockles of your heart..passionateaboutpets.wordpress.com

Kathy who really knows and who I look forward to hearing from and reading every  day.. reinventingtheeventhorizon.wordpress.com

Colleen Brown at http://bikecolleenbrown.wordpress.com/ who has been a buddy since the beginning and who does enough exercise for the two of us..so I can take it easy.

Lois who is also a fairly new friend and who makes me wish I looked that good and who you will enjoy visiting at lroelofs.wordpress.com

Cecilia who if you haven’t met yet must do so Right Now! at thekitchensgarden.wordpress.com

Tori who you also MUST visit..I swear!! at torinelson.wordpress.com

My Bulgarian Buddy Patrecia who will make you laugh and cry probably all at the same time with her honesty at misswhiplash.wordpress.com

Also Words from Australia wordsfallfrommyeyes.wordpress.com who is a new friend I am looking forward to learning more about.

Jackie Paulson who has been near and dear to my heart for a long time now… postadaychallenge2011.wordpress.com

Darlene who is a new friend also at darlenefoster.wordpress.com

Winsome who delights me every time winsomebella.wordpress.com

Okay now the exit music is playing at the OscarsMeryl Streep and I are trying to get in a few last words…

This dear dear soul must be here also..souldipper.wordpress.com/

OH OH dear Georgette.. georgettesullins.wordpress.com  good grief I cannot forget Georgette!

Oh yes and Joss…if you read me you know all about Joss… my hero..or heroine… at crowingcrone.wordpress.com

Okay I know time to stop…. if I could I would send blogger love to so many…Mark are you listening..even though I don’t think you do the Award thing..how can you with millions of us…

THANK YOU!

200+10,066=Amazing!

200+10,066=Amazing

It was a day of no specific consequence other than the business of daily living, laughing and just plain old surviving until it dawned that revelatory stats on WordPress.com …uh…revealed an opportunity to match 2 milestones; post number 200 coinciding with my site’s 10,000th hit.  I had control of the number of posts but none over the number of hits.

Most of you will not believe this or will at least look askance at this next bit of information but I am a pretty shy person…okay two minutes to ROFLAO but that’s it…now really it’s a well kept secret because I pretend not to be shy. I know, I know…I have been admittedly brazen and / or brash on occasion but but but….

Anyway regardless of my natural nature I just had to reach 10,000 views so I cautiously stepped out of my shy pod to send out a request to everyone I could reach so….I posted my plea on Facebook and then sent an email to as many contacts I had, which given my shy nature (remember) is not a long list but is a valuable list.

Now here is the Amazing Part:
I posted that I needed 77 hits and received 153 which by the way is an all time new one day total.

What took it from a day in November to an early Christmas or Birthday gift?  The numbers..yes and ..the comments!

The very first comment came minutes after posting from my friend Mary on Facebook.  The Delightful Divine Ms. M. has come to my rescue more than once, (once having driven to a little berg in the middle night to pick myself and belongings following the breakup with one of those kissing frogs and giving me tea and sympathy and a roof over my head!…ooo so long ago…yikes).  The point is..we may not see each other often but my friend Mary saves me and was the first to respond!

Mark, who is not, but who writes under the moniker ‘TheIdiotSpeaketh’ at redriverpak.wordpress.com  was most kind.
“Congrats Chris! I see you have raced past the 10,000 views mark….. I undoubtedly was, in fact, the 10,000th visitor, without a doubt…… what did I win? Is there a prize?….or cake? I was told there would be cake….. where’s the dang cake?…….come on now….cough up the cake Chris! ……. Seriously, congrats and wishing you continued blogging success”

This Texas gent who has my upmost respect for his work and readership actually was enthusiastic about my small achievement.(To put it in perspective he hits 100,000 or so a month..yup all those zeros are accurate…it’s sort of like some big star encouraging a protégée forward. )  NOW all you age thinkers who know our true age disparity and who would prefer to think of Mr. Pakulak helping an old lady across the road instead of protogeeing just step back.

Judith, my New Zealand blogging friend and often inspiration at “growingyoungereachday.wordpress.com” is also being kind.  We have been blogging about the same time and she is a beacon I follow.
‘Greetings lovely princess and congratulations on 10,000 hits.’

Crowing Crone Joss is my cohort and an amazing blogging and author and poet!
crowingcrone.wordpress.com 
“congrats oh magnificent princess!”

Souldipper is a west coast delight who so makes me want to move to The Island and share her experiences.
souldipper.wordpress.com
‘Congrats, Your Royal Highness. May your realm continue to grow in leaps and bounds. Or…is that what you want the frog to do? Whatever…progress, not perfection! ‘

Cecilia has an amazing site who makes me feel…yes it can be done!
thekitchensgarden.wordpress.com 
“Awesome! and so many hits, you must be doing something right, Princess! 

Katherine Gordy Levine at emotfit.wordpress.com is always informative and supportive and very complimentary although the envy is often reversed.
“Step by step, hour by hour, keep moving forward. You always turn my skin frog green with envy when I read your posts. You write girl as they would say on the streets of Harlem.”

Sister Act
What can I say?  She is my sister and my best friend! 
“You always make me pause to think Thank you”

sister act
“excellent I always enjoy your writing”

sister act
“you are so right all them frogs one must be a prince. youd think. Thank you for a nice thought”

So thank you all who read and all who commented..you sure made this one nice day!

Becoming Jessica Fletcher

Becoming Jessica Fletcher
 
I want to be Jessica Fletcher.
Between 1984 and 1986 Murder, She Wrote was a highly successful TV Series starring Angela Lansbury. But it is not Angela I am interested in, although she had a hugely successful career on the big screen, the big stage as well as television, it is Jessica B. Fletcher.
 

Angela aka Jessica Fletcher

In those years as I raised a family, worked, studied and dreamed I looked to her character as the person I wanted to become. J. B. Fletcher was a retired school teacher, widowed, living in a small town in Maine called Cabot Cove who turned to writing murder mysteries, and who gained world wide fame as a best selling author.
 
She apparently got up bright and early every morning, perfectly coiffed, dressed in casual but classy clothing, make up perfect, puttered in her garden, went for healthy walks and kept an immaculate house. In addition she had a delightful circle of friends, including Dr. Seth Hazlitt, and Sheriff Amos Tupper who popped around for dinners and were often the portal to her murder mysteries.
 
My new BFF Wikipedia tells me ‘Murder rears its ugly head with great regularity in her vicinity (so improbably often that the mystery term “Cabot Cove syndrome” was eventually coined to describe the constant appearance of dead bodies in remote locations).’
 
All those years of thinking that when my circumstances changed, children grown, time on my hands that I would become Jessica Fletcher (well not become because that would be just too weird, but become like.)
 
I actually have a blogging buddy who in my mind comes closest to this character.
She is Judithb who writes from growingyoungereachday.wordpress.com.

In my mind she lives this gracious existence. You may want to check her out.
 
So now I have that circumstance; not widowed but alone, time to do, to be. But for five months now I have tried to figure out what my life is, what my schedule is – unsuccessfully. I am not getting the best bang for my buck. I have tried rising early, rising late, promising myself daily exercise, cooking real meals, oh and writing successfully like there is no tomorrow.
 
So I think I may try the J. B. Fletcher way. That means getting myself out of bed and putting all the pieces in place. It is 11:15 a.m. and here I sit in bed where I read and write my blogs first thing in the morning. Would Jessica sit in bed – NO!
 
I look around my apartment or suite as it is apparently called – if you pay enough for it it becomes a suite. Clothing piled in laundry stacks, dust bunnies mating and reproducing everywhere, dishes in the sink even though there is a dishwasher which still has clean dishes in it. Papers and books and notes oh my.
 
So I think for today I will be J. B. and since I have a late start I may try for tomorrow too. WWJBD?

Versatile Blogger Award..Thanks Kieran!

The Versatile Blogger Award! Thanks to Kieran!
The VBA is an opportunity to recognize fellow bloggers who we admire and enjoy.

Kieran Hamilton has included me on his list of fifteen to pass it on. Kieran is a very talented photographer in Edinburgh Scotland, my fav city in the world.
If I had to choose one blog of his to recommend it would be: http://sumpix.wordpress.com/#!/entry/607

Now the idea in spreading the good word to others is:
Link back to the blogger that gave me the award (check!).
Tell you 7 things about myself.
Choose 15 other blogs to pass the award to.
Inform the other bloggers that I’m passing the award to them.
So

7 Things about me:
1) I started blogging to find my voice. What I found instead is a wealth of talent, humor and education which has created a tremendous hunger within me to learn more.
2) Since joining postaday2011 I cannot sleep until I post.
3) I am still trying to figure out how to use all of WordPress doojibbies to make my site more attractive..functional..fun. It comes under techie stuff, one of my many Achilles Heels.
4) I am the world’s coolest Grandma and my two wee boys are still young enough to buy that when I tell them.
5) I have two budgies I rescued from an evil witch..no she is okay, but she was sending them to certain death. Dead Birds Walking. Max and Ruby.
6) I have good friends who are family, and family who are good friends and it never ceases to amaze me that they love me in-spite of it all.
7) I love my iPad even though it is the antiquated version of the one just released.

And the Award goes to: *Note to recipients: I hope you continue to participate, but if you are unable to for any reason please send me funds in the six digit range and remember you are still special. I have tried to list a fav blog but it is difficult!

1. The Good Greatsby. He’s is so addictive you may need an intervention. http://thegoodgreatsby.com/2011/04/18/how-to-outflank-a-firing-tips-for-preventing-your-impending-dismissal/

2. Colleen’s Chatter Blog I can’t get through my day without a dose of her any more than she can without coffee. http://bikecolleenbrown.wordpress.com/2011/03/22/wobbly/

3. Merrilymarylee who takes me back to my roots in the south..well if I had any she would take me back there. http://merrilymarylee.wordpress.com/2011/04/23/sweet-nothing/

4. Mature Landscaping is a newer subscribed site and I am just getting to know her and her site but am loving it. http://www.maturelandscaping.com/2011/04/weathering-denial.html

5. Officeoddities is also a newer site for me and I am learning she has weird friends and TMI on shoe size.
http://officeoddities.wordpress.com/2011/04/24/sandwich-texts/

6. Ihaveabackbone is cool and funny and forgetful..or so she says. http://ihaveabackbone.wordpress.com/#!/entry/3251

7. Bended Spoon who has won this before I think but is too good to pass up.
http://bendedspoon.wordpress.com/2011/04/07/f-is-for-floccinaucinihilipilification/

8. Jackie Paulson with facts and wisdom. http://postadaychallenge2011.com/2011/04/21/amazing-facts-2/

9. Accidentalstepmom whose crew entertain me as much as they do her. http://accidentalstepmom.wordpress.com/#!/entry/1140

10. Joss Crowingcrone who is humor, poetry and photography and priceless.http://crowingcrone.wordpress.com/2011/04/18/ranting/

11. Penny at LifesaBeachjournal is another new find I am enjoying. http://lifesabeachjournal.com/2011/04/20/grumpy/

12). Val at Absurd Old Bird whose talents I am still discovering. http://absurdoldbird.wordpress.com/2011/04/27/writing-for-wombats-of-a-challenged-intelligence/

13) Judith at growingyoungereachday who shares her life experiences with us..and an interesting life it is.
http://growingyoungereachday.wordpress.com/

14). Elizabeth who truly is Mirth and Motivation. http://eof737.wordpress.com/

15). Fribnitsworld who challenges my beliefs and may inspire you to argument but I cannot miss a post.
http://fribnitsworld.wordpress.com/2011/04/08/wish-to-wander/

I can’t believe I have run out of numbers. My fifteen minutes is up. Nuts. So many more are worthy. Nuts.

Some Swim with the Fishes

Fishes

Some Swim with The Fishes

I swim with a small group of elderly folk. Now before some of you youngsters out there start to roll your eyes and chuckle, these guys are like twenty and thirty years older than I.

I am fortunate to live in a lovely building that has a large indoor pool, gym, sauna, hot tub..well you get the idea. And every morning I swim. Okay, okay..since I have come to love y’all I’ll tell the truth. I swim four or five times a week. But in my mind I swim every day.

When I started the morning thing I met a couple in their eighties who ARE there every morning. He swims leisurely and she walks around the pool. (they also hit the gym in the afternoon.)  Then comes an even older lady who exercises in the water doing stretches. The topper is a gal in her nineties who comes in with her walker. She is amazing. She does LAPS! And not just one or two but again and again. They are all an inspiration to me. And an education.

I find out when Asparagus is on sale, what market has the best sales, who is running for local government, what is making our country great and who not to vote for. I also find out an amazing amount of local gossip.

I have been in this building for four years and barely know my neighbors. This quiet little group tell me every time there has been a plumbing problem, exactly how a robbery took place, who is getting married, who is getting unmarried, well everything imaginable.

They also give me advice. I’m a kid to them. And I lap it up. They have raised families, fought in wars, immigrated, and survived cancer, death of loved ones and aging.

They are truly inspiring and it is an honor to be welcomed into their group.

Their knowledge is a little spooky though. They never ask me personal questions and I never say much but I just have this feeling they know everything.

Judith at growingyoungereachday.wordpress.com did a nice piece on
Chronology vs Biology. She is fairly new having just started her blog in March. If you get a chance please stop by and welcome her!

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