garden, Uncategorized

Why Gratitude is a Good Thing

I sometimes do a week of thanking Nature, and the world, for the good things in my life. Things like gentle breezes, flowers, trees, the lovely night sky (I live in the country), yummy fruit and vegetables. Feeling grateful for the good things in life is a fine meditative thing to do, much healthier for your mind than focusing on the bad things.

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Missy, our dog, is another thing I will usually put on my list of things, although some of the things she does certainly don’t get on my ‘gratitude’ list. If you’ve ever had a sight hound, you may have an idea about the unlovely things our lovely dog sometimes does. There’s no need for me to go into that here.

 

I am grateful for her though, and I’m especially grateful for all of the lovely birds that love around where I live. We have ones that most Australians would have, Magpipes, Sparrows, Starlings. We also have two different kinds of Honeyeaters, Crows, Murray Magpies, two kinds of Miners, and many others.

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I have a list of the different kinds of birds that I have seen at my place. I’ve been working on this list for around twenty years, and I currently have around 45 different birds on the list. I live in country South Australia, about sixty kilometers north of Adelaide. We in a little townette, called Redbanks, on one and three quarter acres of land, with farmland on all sides of the town.

On our property we have around fifty trees and bushes over 2 metres tall, eucalypt trees, pine trees, a couple of citrus trees, and lots of others I don’t know the names of. There are different flowers at different times of the year, for birds to feed on, or for insects which also provide food for the birds. In am grateful for the trees, the flowers, even the insects because the birds can feast on them.

Feeling grateful for things, is so much healthier for a person than feeling angry about things, or despondent, or annoyed. There are things that annoy me, or otherwise are not things to be grateful for, but thinking too much about those things is a bad thing, not a good thing. It has been proven that positive thinking has good effects on a person’s health. I’m a believer in following good scientific studies, and I feel I am proof of the benefits on focusing on the positive in life.

As I have talked about on another of my blogs, where I talk about my life with Multiple Sclerosis. Talking about these things, and sharing the good things about my life with MS can help to remind me about how well I’m doing with this disease, and it can also give other people inspiration to find ways to be grateful about the good in their own lives too.

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dogs

Books & Bugs

Books take up much of my time, the reading of them (a little, I will endeavour to read more), the writing of them (a novel slowly coming into existence), and promoting them (I have mobile office full of them, my little car would probably run better if they weren’t loading her up!). Yes books. I look around this room and can so so many books, some mine, some my husbands, some ours, some just seen to have been there forever, with no-one to call them their own. But whoever’s books they are, they’re important in the household.

Bugs though, neither husband nor I claim ownership of any bugs that come into the house. If he sees them, they’ll be sprayed to death, if I see them, well, I’ll encourage them outside if I can, and just ignore them otherwise. Huntsman spiders, them I’ll actually take outside before they’re killed inside. I don’t mind having these useful spiders in the house, but hubby still has a bit of a thing about spiders, and he gets rid of them forever, dead and gone. I don’t like mosquitoes, but they like me, although I don’t remember too many problems from these pests in the summer just gone. Lower rainfall perhaps?

Yes, I’ve just gone away and checked. http://www.weatherzone.com.au/news/south-australias-dry-start-to-2018/527728 There has been very little rain so far for 2018, and low rainfall means fewer mosquitoes. I try to be kind to all of Nature’s creatures, but those pesky mosquitoes … They make it hard to like them, that’s for sure. I love the amazing ability given to those of us who have decent internet, to be able to wander off to easily find records and information, without having to do more than key in some words, and click on some keys.

Anyway, bugs … The big black bugs that are on my blog, along the top of the page, we certainly have plenty of those around still.  and here it is again:

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I saw one near the front door yesterday, that fortunately was heading away from, not towards the door. I don’t mind these bugs either, but again, I put them outside, to both keep them out of the way, and also to keep them safe from the possibility of insect spraying from the one with the trigger finger … I wonder, does he resent these freeloaders coming into our home, uninvited? After all, the mortgage is paid for with his money, so I suppose that’s fair enough, in a way. I’m the one trying to be Zen about creatures in my life that want to share with me, not him.

I wonder whether I could write a book about these things? Zen and the Art of Insect Acceptance … What would the Buddha do with these tiny invaders? I doubt very much he’d spray them with toxic chemicals. Am I really going to start thinking about writing a new book about these things? No, I don’t think so. I suspect there would be research required, and research is certainly not my strong point. I know enough about good research, to know that a one minute Google search, and then a five minute reading of one of the results, that is not research, it’s flaffing around, a method much more appropriate for a totally non-serious blog, such as this one. If you want top class research, you’ll have to go and look somewhere else …

So, on with books. I am a writer and poet. I even have a book out, a poetry collection “Tense & Still”, where insects, including mosquitoes and spiders are mentioned, as well as some warm-blooded creatures. It’s a book published by an actual publisher, and if you’re interested, it’s available here: http://www.ginninderrapress.com.au/store.php?product/page/405/%2A+Carolyn+Cordon+%2F+Tense+%26+Still

I have some other books that are self published. If you want these books, you don’t go to a fancy website and order and pay for them online. I have three self-published books that I wrote with Buster the Dog (not a real dog). I also have a blog I started when I wrote the first of these books The first of these was “Dig it! Gardening Tips for Dogs”, the second one was “Doggone it – Mindfulness from a Dog’s Point of View” and the third was “Dog Buddha’s Thoughts”. These books are illustrated by Allyson Hean, she’s a friend of mine, and we decided to self-publish these books way back when our sons were at Primary School, a long, long time ago. In between these three books, I wrote and had published the “Tense & Still” book, and another one, a memoir about my diagnosis with Multiple Sclerosis. This book has its own blog too.

If you want these books, you have to let me know, and we can organise things by email or but comments on this blog, or any of my other blogs … email is probably best, I check my emails regularly – kittycordo@gmail.com that is my email address.

I think that enough for now, Missy, our dog, is sounding a bit restless, and it’s time for us both to go outside to get some of the lovely sunshine I can see outside, it would be a shame to waste all of it and not get some myself! I’ll see how many bugs I can find out there!

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poetry, Uncategorized

Ants on My Mind

Yes I have ants on my mind at the moment. And no, of course I don’t have real ants inside my head! I have been thinking about ants a lot though, and further thinking about writing a picture book about the ants I’ve been thinking about.

These antsy thoughts were prompted by all of the ants that go past me when I’m outside sitting on the sofa we have on the back veranda. If I look down on the veranda, there are lots of ants, going to the left and the right, with some heading off in other random directions. Most of them seem to be going either toward or away from wherever their home is, which I think is to the left of me, away from the backyard, further away, but still on our property.

I see ants carrying dead things, and these are always heading to the lift, so I assume they’re taking food back to their home. I don’t really know a lot about how ants live, whether it’s mainly one gender who do the work, or if they all do. I think I’ll have to look further into this, I could get ideas for the picture book. If I’m writing for children, I want to get the facts correct, that’s important.

The ants I’m watching are mid-sized ants, not the little ones, and certainly not inch ants. These ants could bite, if I got in their way, I guess, but they’re not troublesome to us in any way. I suspect we’re more troublesome to them. Sometimes I see ants trying to pick up one of their comrades who’s been trodden on by people or dogs. I feel sorry for those poor dead ants, but I can only try to not tread on them, no guarantees I won’t do it, and I can’t prevent others here from doing it, the dogs and my husband wouldn’t care …

I have this idea of being a secular Buddhist, and while there is much I don’t know about Buddhism, I think not killing other creatures is a relevant concept. I don’t like killing things anyway, and I try not to, if I’m paying proper attention. I don’t massively swerve around things on the road when I’m driving at high speed though, killing myself wouldn’t be a good thing to do … and I have this silly fear that if I drove over a brown snake on purpose, trying to kill it, it could somehow get inside the car with me, and bite me …

Anyway, these ants … I need to write some more pages, at the moment I have potentially 18 pages done, if the set up of the book is to have one line to a two page spread. I need more than that. And I need something whizz bang clever/funny/amazing to wrap the whole book up. I don’t have any ideas on that part yet. I think I’ll get the research done first, so I don’t waste my time, when actually knowing more could actually hand me the perfect ending … Sitting and watching ants is fine, but understanding more on what they’re doing would be better.

I’ve written a little bit about ants, poetry, one of the poems in my poetry collection about creatures in my life has a funny poem, where an ant provides the punch line. This is the poem, I think I may read this one at a funny poetry event I’m attending Thursday night.

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A lesson learnt

 

The little boy pulls down his pants

with no regard for decency

or any good reason, I can see;

he aims a stream at toiling ants.

 

Panic disrupts the ordered dance

and causes much unbridled glee

at such confusion caused by pee.

But one small ant sees a chance,

 

it latches on to one small toe.

Giggles then rise high to screams.

Boy shakes his foot to make it go,

ending all his urine schemes

of treating insects thus, and so

a needed lesson’s learnt, it seems.

 

No actually, I need a poem that will take up to two minutes to read, and a practise reading just them only went for one minute, which is nowhere near enough time. I’ll have to go back to my original thoughts on which funny poem to read … I hope I can find it …

Do you like rhyming poetry? I find I write rhyming poetry more when I’m trying to be amusing, and write non-rhyming with more serious poetry. I’d love to know how others feel about these things … Please leave a comment!

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