blogging

How to Deal with Internet Criticism

Carol Burnett once said:

Words, once they are printed, have a life of their own.

Carol Burnett

Carol’s quote came to mind recently, when I received some strongly-worded criticism in response to a post I’d made, on a social media group. Whether my words were truth or lies, seemed less relevant than the individual opinions of the responders making the comments.

It seemed some people relished an opportunity to vent their spleen, albeit in an anonymous way.

Photo by Markus Winkler on Pexels.com

Normally, I’d be a little rattled by heavy-handed criticism, but I’m no longer surprised by being hammered with a critical counter-argument, at least on social media.

And yet, in distancing myself from reacting to the negative commentary, I began to feel like some kind of stone-hearted internet troll.

Aristotle was unsurprisingly philosophical about criticism:

“There is only one way to avoid criticism: Do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.”

Aristotle

I wondered should we ignore all negative feedback and scroll on, or respond to critical comments? If so, how?

Criticism of others’ opinions via the internet, and indeed, cyber-bullying, itself, has seemingly reached pandemic proportions. Thankfully the blogging world is mostly immune to negativity, but it did make me wonder how others dealt constructively, with heavy-handed criticism.

An American Politician, Sam Rayburn once said,

Any jackass can kick a barn down, but it takes a carpenter to build it.     

www.wiseoldsayings.com

Marc and Angel advocated creating space between hurtful words and feelings.

“Accept that someone else’s opinion is NOT your problem.”

“How you seem to someone and how you actually are, is rarely congruent.

Even if they get the basic gist of who you are, they’re still missing a big piece of the puzzle. What someone thinks of you will rarely contain the whole truth, which is fine.”

Marc and Angel

A measure of acceptance that we are all flawed and that we are all different, is echoed in this anonymous saying from wiseoldsayings.com

Criticism is the disapproval of people, not for having faults, but having faults different from your own.  

Perhaps we can all agree to disagree?

Have you experienced reactive negative criticism on the internet to a post you made?

How did you handle it?

Is there a better way to respond?

bridge effects
blogging, Photography

Friendly Friday Photo Challenge – Smoke and Mirrors

Elise Davies was writing about mirror photography on her blog recently. Apparently it is quite a trend on a nefarious app, that one that imitates a clock! Yes, that one.

Elise likes how using mirrors in her photography:

diverts or reflects something else within the image whilst keeping focus on the models also.

Elise Davies

Mirrors can reveal something different or be a reverse reflection of the chosen subject.

Friendly Friday Challenge Prompt

The challenge this week is to post photo/s of, “Smoke and Mirrors.”

It might be a magic illusion, a symmetrical reflection, an accidental or deliberate set-up shot, or an image within an image.

It is really up to you how to interpret the prompt.

illusion-street performers

Trondheim river
Trondheim, Norway
Credit: pixabay.com

How to Join the Friendly Friday Challenge

To join in add a linkback, (aka a ping-back), and a Friendly Friday tag to a new post or link, addressing the prompt, then return to this post and leave a comment with your published link, as pingbacks are notoriously unreliable.

If this is your first challenge, there are more detailed instructions on how to join the Friendly Friday Photo Challenge.

My Friendly Friday Challenge co-host will provide the prompt next week, at The Sandy Chronicles.

Friendly Friday
blogging

Aromatherapy Products

The use of essential oils for therapeutic and cosmetic use has become popular, in recent times. Many different Aromatherapy products are readily available to the consumer, some that are detrimental to the environment.

So do any aromatherapy products stand out from the ‘crowd‘?

Photo by Breakingpic on Pexels.com

How are Essential Oils Created?

Essential oils are extracted from plant material using steam or water distillation. Selected plant materials are heated with steam, water or both until the essential oil vaporises. The oil then condenses as it cools.

Being a concentrated plant oil, they should be used sparingly and always diluted in some other medium, such as plain massage oil (cold-pressed vegetable oil) or unscented base cream (but not a mineral oil cream, such as most brands of sorbolene or baby oil)…Aromatic plant oils, including essential oils, should never be ingested (taken in by mouth), as they can be toxic.

https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au

Aromatherapy Product Review

About Utama Spice Products

The farming communities in Bali, Indonesia, produce the raw materials for Utama Spice’s natural skincare products and in so doing, support local farmers in organic farming, bee farming and seaweed farming. The company believe: “if you wouldn’t cook with it, you shouldn’t put it on your body.”

Being a graduate of the Environmental Sciences, I like to discover businesses, such as Utama Spice Natural Aromatherapy Products, that can maintain sustainability and a low environmental impact, all whilst working harmoniously and respectfully with humanity and nature, to produce a quality product.

Thus, I was delighted to trial a gift basket of just a few of the many Aromatherapy products, from Utama Spice, based in Bali, Indonesia and found their products to be a beneficial and therapeutic asset in, and around, the home.

N.B. The products contain:

  • No Synthetic Oils
  • No Synthetic Fragrances
  • No Artificial Colours
  • No Synthetic Preservatives
  • No Surfactants

Liquid Soaps and Lip Balm

Being someone with sensitive skin, it was refreshing to find the Utama Spice Aromatherapy lip balms and liquid soaps were highly moisturizing, with no hint of dryness or irritation. Based on natural products like coconut oil and beeswax and infused with essential oils to lock in moisture, the aptly named WellKiss Lip Balm was a standout favourite.

The Tangerine and Peppermint Lip Balms were very much appreciated by my daughter, in the windy Spring weather that we frequently experience, living here, by the coast. I can imagine we will be thankful for that level of protectiveness for the lip areas, come wintertime.

Utama Spice’s range of Liquid Soaps

The Man of the House found Lemongrass Liquid Soap was excellent for showering and bathing and that the fresh scent lingered pleasantly in our bathroom, after use.

Or, if you are looking for something a little stronger to use on tougher cleaning jobs, Utama Spice also has an Antiseptic liquid soap, with the benefit of Neem Oil, as an active ingredient to knock down germs.

Body Butter Moisturizers

For those needing a more intensive moisturizer for ultra-dry skin, you will find an application of the Tropical Flower Body Butter, after showering is excellent on cracked heels, as well as those rough spots on the knees and elbows.

therapy products

Moisturizing Soaps and Lotions

As we have been recently planting lots of lavender at the Home by the Sea, I suppose it is no surprise that the family’s overall favourite Utama Spice Aromatherapy product, was the Lavender Liquid soap and Coconut Moisturizing Lotion with Pure Lavender Oil.

Lavender Liquid soap and Coconut Moisturizing Lotion with Pure Lavender Oil.

Yoga Mat Energizing and Sanitizing Spray

Yoga mats can become notoriously grotty if you’re using them outdoors, so the compact size of the Yoga Mat Energizing Spray, was brilliant, meaning I could keep it in my handbag, for regular use after Yoga and exercise sessions.

The added bonus of knowing the essential Oil of Lemon, Bergamot, and Mint were helpful in sanitizing the mat was most reassuring, especially given the current Covid pandemic.

Three varieties of Yoga Mat Spray
Photo Credit: Utama Spice.com

All the products at Utama Spice are based on traditional Balinese herbal knowledge and comprise 100% natural ingredients.

I was really pleased to read that the company maintain strict procedures to ensure the products and the raw materials are checked at every stage, guaranteeing the highest standard of quality control.

Customer Service

The company maintains a friendly relationship with its customers and conducts prompt shipping, with tracking options for orders, at no extra charge. With a flat rate of $10 shipping, (free for orders over $100-AUD), the location is no barrier to customers worldwide.

Please note that I received no monetary incentive for this review.

It is the unbiased and honest opinion of StPA.

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blogging

Defining You, Yourself and Your Worth

The promises of this world are, for the most part, vain phantoms; and to confide in one’s self, and become something of worth and value is the best and safest course.

Michelangelo

That was enough for Michelangelo who had exceptional talent.

For most of us, we judge ourselves more harshly.

You are so much more than your thoughts, your past mistakes, your age or appearance or some character trait.

You are completely unique and really, that is enough in this world.

Self is the only prison that can ever bind the soul.

Henry Van Dyke

Charlotte Joko Beck said, “To enjoy the world without judgement is what a realized life is like.”

Our media is constantly judging everything around us and in so doing, influences our own judgements in how facts are presented.

Can you imagine a day without judging any one person or any one thing?

Pure acceptance on all levels? A healthy, open mind.

I will leave the final word this week for Sunday Sayings to a Zen proverb:

“You are already complete.

You just don’t know it.”

Something worth pondering about

Australia, Food

As Aussie as Meat Pie

It is 1996 and I’m a young mum with two small sons. They’re two demanding boys, with big ideas and fertile minds. They want to play, but it’s time to prepare dinner for the family.

The oldest boy turns back to set up electrical circuits with batteries and LED light bulbs, whilst the smaller son, Master Three, gathers soft toys, from his prodigious collection, that would be the envy of any Sesame Street cast member and sets up a puppet show singing tunes of Thomas the Tank Engine. I turn back to the stove.

Besides the two boys and the Moth, there is a third child in the house.

Typical Danish country Church

I have a daughter I am about to lose. She is not mine, but one I am caring for and have grown so fond of. In less than a week from this night, she will return home to Denmark and we will miss her dreadfully.

Over the eleven months she lived in our family as a Danish Exchange student, we learnt things about Danish life and travelled to a gazillion Aussie places to show her as much of Australia as one can do, with two small boys in tow.

For her last meal on Australian soil, she asks if I can serve her an Aussie Meat Pie. Nothing fancy, just a Meat pie.

She tells me that there are no Meat pies served in Denmark and laments that she will miss those piping hot, oh-so-tender meaty chunks, steeped in rich gravy and covered with a rather messy, get-it-all-over-your-lap, flaky style pastry. Later that week, she eats that pie topped with blood-red squirts of tomato sauce. Yes, that means ‘ketchup,’ but it’s never called that here.

Meat Pie Etiquette

There are unwritten rules about how one should eat a meat pie, especially at the footy.

  1. Take off the pie top and eat.
  2. Squirt tomato sauce on top of meat.
  3. Eat tomato-sauce topped meat from inside the pie
  4. Eat the meatless pie crust last

When our dear “exchange daughter,” returns to visit us in a few years, her first request is:

“Can we have Meat pie for dinner?”

Origins of the Australian Meat Pie

An Australian meat pie was produced in 1947 by L. T. McClure in a small bakery in Bendigo and became the famous Four’ n Twenty pie. … Other manufacturers predate this, and the pie manufacturer Sargent can trace their pie-making back to 1891.

Wiki

Whatever its origin, Meat pie is as Aussie as a “snag” on the Barbie, as Kangaroos, AFL, (Australian Football), and Holden ‘utes.’ Which reminds me of a song, one that Bushboy might recognize?

Making a Meat Pie

I’ve not made a meat pie myself, so I have no special recipe to share. (Sorry to disappoint you, Sandy). For many years, I was vegetarian and I completely lost the taste for eating any kind of meat. But then the Geebung bakers came along and ruined my meat-free diet.

Trying to emulate the lofty cooking skills of The Bun ‘n Oven bakery, (in the very iconically named suburb of Geebung, in Queensland), or the highly acclaimed piemakers of The Yatala Pie Company, would be doomed to failure. These bakers are Kings in creating a flaky, melt-in-your-mouth pie pastry with top quality ingredients. [And no, this is not a paid advertisement.]

Meat pies are found on offer at most Bakeries in Australia, along with the Lamington, another iconic Aussie food. Although you may find dubious imitations of meat pies, in the frozen section of any supermarket, you might need a cast-iron stomach to tolerate those of lesser quality.

Meat Pie Accompaniments

Some Australians prefer their Meat pies served with Mushy Peas atop, something that is more English than Australian, or a cottage pie, with potato and a sprinkle of cheese.

Classic.

Boringly, a Meat pie in our family NEEDS to be served with lashings of mashed potatoes and green peas. It’s essential, (according to the Moth), and he refuses to eat one without these mundane accompaniments.

In a modern world, where kale and chia seeds might reign supreme, this humble dish, with its high cholesterol reputation and high-fat content, is fast becoming less popular with Australians.

Readers brave enough to take on the Geebung Bakers could try this Meat pie recipe.

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Australia, Community

Something to Smile About

If you want to find other blogs of interest and read fun, uplifting and positive things that are happening in the world, head on other to Trent‘s collection of Weekly Smiles.

Because…….

We all need good news stories at the moment. Right?

This week I joined in on a free Qi Gong Exercise class on the beach at sunrise. This group practises every day at the same time, and the best part is that it is totally free. No strings attached, no hidden agenda, just a wish to have a community activity that would include and welcome all.

It started with a few ladies who were going through Breast Cancer rehabilitation and has grown to include a dedicated group of instructors and attendees. The oldest is 88 years old and is an instructor on the weekend. She pulls in the bigger crowds. She is inspirational and takes me to task, in a gentle way, if I am not doing the exercise correctly.

And although it is gentle – meditative almost, I feel it in my gluteal muscles the next day! So it has to be doing something.

And I am still smiling.

The other surprise I had was to receive a generous gift of aromatherapy lotions and creams from Utama Spice in Bali. This is the first free gift I have ever received as a blogger so it certainly made me smile. It was the perfect timing as I was just writing about lavender at the Home by the Sea, recently.

blogging

Creating a Successful Blog

So you have time to read blogs? Why? Don’t you know what you want in life?

Said a philosopher who had no concept of having to battle with a financial position.

Benefits of Writing a Blog

Most of us aren’t completely aimless in life, we have some kind of plan and guess what, we do like to read blogs, because we like to write blogs. It is as simple and as complicated as that.

Why do we write a blog?

  • To Spread Awareness
  • To Inform or Educate
  • To Meet others
  • To hear Independent Perspectives
  • To Promote something or someone (not discussed in this blog post)

There are more similarities between people from diverse cultures than there are differences. We can learn so much from each other if we keep an open mind.

Choosing Topics for Blog Posts

Develop your own personal voice and blogging style by writing quality content that might be useful to others.

Perhaps the best way to stand out from the crowd and make an impression upon people is to produce content that impacts them in some way. Write something that matters, that helps people, that solves a problem, that enriches people’s lives, and you increase the chances of them coming back again and again.

artofblogging.net

Write Interesting Blog Content

Blog posts are interesting to readers if you:

  • Write about topics that you know well or in which you have some expertise
  • Write about something that is dear to your heart
  • Post about subjects you are passionate about
  • Ask questions of your readers to engage the audience and build your own blogging community.
  • Keep posts short and succinct as much as you can! Long posts tend to bore the reader. Everyone is time poor.

Tips on Increasing Blog Traffic via the WordPress Reader

  • Research your topic to see what others have written previously and how this blog topic performed. Google can also give you an idea of the most popular questions the public has about any given subject. This can help you structure a post to answer those questions.
  • If you reset the publication date on a post multiple times, WordPress will drop your posts from the WordPress reader for a while.
  • Too many re-blogs of other sites will also result in your blog not appearing in the reader which means less new people coming across your blog.
  • WordPress does not want to have lots of duplicate content in their reader. New bloggers often make this mistake in an attempt to gain new readers. Unfortunately, it has the opposite effect.
  • Visit other bloggers who are writing about a similar subject.
  • Share your post via a Hyperlink in Pinterest and social media

Commenting and Blog Etiquette

  • Be kind to those who take the time to comment on your blog and visit their blog.
  • Reading and commenting on other blogs can only help to build your community and increase your readership.
  • Find a blogging challenge that interests you and join in. There are many types and it is a good way to build a blogger community of like-minded folk.
  • Long comments are interesting. Bloggers love long comments. It is hard to begin a conversation if you receive a comment that merely says, “Great Post.” It could even be a spammer as it is not specific enough. Think about what you liked about the post? I usually try to keep the conversation going by asking something further about the topic which leads to a deeper, more fulfilling conversation.
  • No one has time to read every post of every blogger that you might follow. Liking posts is no ongoing substitute for a real comment.

Tips on Formatting a Blog

Themes and WordPress bugs

  • Some WordPress themes do not present all that clearly on every device. I was using a Twenty Twenty theme that did not show allow a comment option and did not format well on some devices. Check how your post and blog presents on various devices.
  • Customize the chosen theme with a colour or featured post to stand out from the crowd
  • Add a featured image to each post where possible. This creates interest in the WP Reader.

Tips on Formatting Blog Posts

Use Headings and Subheadings

  • This is good for SEO. It also aids in making your post organized and flow.

Useful Widgets for a Blog

  • Include a translation option for speakers of a language other than English
  • Add a Follow option for Email and WordPress Readers – this is ESSENTIAL
  • Link other Social media Accounts
business workplace
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Media

  • Free blog plans have a limit to how much media storage you have. Resize your photos for faster loading of your site and efficient utilization of storage limits or purchase a paid blog plan.
  • I use Imgur or Flickr to add images by linking a URL (saves downloads and uploads). Copy the image location in google, (Right-click), if you don’t have a photo of your own to illustrate the point you wish to make by adding media.
  • If your google photos don’t show to other readers, it could be due to your privacy settings in Google photos.

Adding Tags to your Blog Post

  • Adding Tags and Categories are useful for helping other readers discover your blog.
  • It can also help if you want to check back on a previous post, on your own blog.
  • Use up to 15 categories and tags in total.
  • Using more than 15, or adding irrelevant or inappropriate tags, will result in your post being bumped from the WordPress reader. The more tags you use, the less likely your post will be featured in the Reader. And that means less new readers and followers.
  • Delete old tags that have a count of zero (posts>tags>count)

Do you have some blogging tips for New Bloggers?

Recently I posted about maintaining a blog, which led to some really productive comments and conversations.

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Australia, Gardening

Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers

If you have stopped here for information on the Carnival, you may be disappointed. I missed the Carnival of Flowers itself, so there are no pictures of the annual parade, but what I did see is stunning floral displays that are the dominant feature of this event in Toowoomba, a large country town, about an hour’s drive west of Brisbane, Australia. I arrived two days after the festival officially concluded. By the looks of the displays, the flowers are quite oblivious of the carnival’s end date.

The city of Toowoomba sits atop a mountain range and is blessed with cooler temperatures and rich volcanic soil, perfect for horticulture. The major horticultural event, The Carnival of Flowers, draws thousands of visitors to the city’s generous parks and gardens.

Whilst the historically wealthy country town has monolithic bluestone churches, funky alleys and quirky street art, it is the stunning floral display in late September that draws most of the region’s visitors.

Laurel Bank Park

Amongst neat and tidy lawns and prolific flower beds at Laurel Bank Park, on Hill Street, you will find plenty of seating for those who need a rest from taking a multitude of floral camera shots that one is apt to do given the spectacular displays.

Displays of Tulips, Poppies, Foxgloves and Hollyhocks take me back to memories of Denmark or The Netherlands, albeit without the rainy weather.

This is Australia, remember. The continent where it forgot how to rain!

Like many parts of Australia, Toowoomba has experienced, for many years, a severe water shortage. This has resulted in the Gardeners, at Laurel Bank Park, adopting stringent water-saving strategies and switching to growing more water-tolerant plants in order to maintain the floral displays to the expected standard. It seems that they have succeeded in their quest.

Topiary elephants, seals and the Leaning Tower of Pisa add a fantasy element to the gardens. Can you guess what this topiary represents? It is rather Australian and Danish!

Toowoomba Botanic Gardens

Cherry Blossoms line the Toowoomba Botanic Garden’s at Queens Park. The entry path offers the visitor a visual explosion of multi-coloured Ranunculus, inviting you to explore more of the gardens. The pathway then opens to rows and rows of flowering beds with daisies, violets and pansies.

It seems one lonely tulip bulb missed the memo.

Snapped at the right, or perhaps, the wrong moment. Street photography in Toowoomba can be surprising.

I have so many questions about the man’s pickle. Not a sign of a picnic basket or lunch box anywhere. Where was he keeping it? So random and fun!

There is so much our country towns can offer us. We only have to look closer, before lamenting we can not travel outside our own borders. This is another of the country towns that offer unique experiences, similar to Amandine Lavender farm at Bargara, near Bundaberg, which I posted about recently.

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Rosemaling art
blogging

Friendly Friday Photo Challenge – Practice

cold fish
Guitarists often practise daily out of sheer joy

Developing Muscle Memory for Photography

Who would have thought muscle memory had anything to do with photography? Scott Bourne explains that, just like musical ability, practising with one’s camera is vital in aiming for that perfect shot, or lots more perfect shots! Scott explains:

During the pandemic, I am practising my modal scales on the guitar every day and I am handling my camera every day. I see the benefits right in front of me. Both my musical ability and my photographic ability have improved. If you do not use them, you will lose them.

So give this a try. Grab your camera and your camera manual. Open any random page in the manual and then whatever it describes, do that with the camera. Not only will your muscle memory improve, your knowledge of your specific camera will improve and then all that stuff will simply go away and drift into the background while you use all your brain’s conscious processing power to SEE and compose the next great image.

https://picturemethods.com/

What do you practise?

For me, I practise my art techniques – that is: painting and drawing and blogging, of course.

I can never produce anything of substance, if I do it once every three months or so. If I do it daily, or as often as I can, – I notice a HUGE improvement in my skills. I paint in a particular form of traditional Norwegian and Dutch art, called Rosemaling and Hindeloopen style. I have been practising this for many years, on and off.

I transfer the painted articles to custom print on demand fabrics and merchandise as a hobby.

Lately, I have also experimented with a Japanese/Chinese technique painting bamboo forms with a soft brush.

Norwegian rosemaling art
Norwegian Tine or Lunch box in Rosemaling

Don’t let your skills languish. Keep them sharp with practice, either in or out of home.

rosemaling tutorial
Painting Telemark scrolls with a flat brush

Weekly Photo Theme – Practice

This week for Friendly Friday, I challenge you to show me your interpretation of the theme “Practice,” in photographs.

Dutch Traditional Art Called Hindeloopen

Photographs in mobile, SLR, or point and shoot are all acceptable formats.

What are you practising with your camera’s eye?

Composition, Exposure, Shutter Speed, Subjects?

Perhaps it was something you practised in your past?

Music, Sports, Art or Public Speaking? Post something from your photographic archives, perhaps?

Experimenting with Japanese Bamboo painting

Instructions for Joining the Friendly Friday Challenge

Friendly Friday Instructions in detail

Do include a pingback and leave a comment here with a link, so all readers can find your post! I look forward to seeing what posts you come up with for this week’s prompt.

Sandy will post the next weekly prompt. Stop by and see what she comes up with next Friday.

blogging

Lavender

Farming and rural communities are doing it tough in these times. Most of us recognize that.

You will be be delighted and surprised at the hidden gems found in many country towns and rural areas that were formerly overlooked by the overseas obsessed traveling public. Amandine Lavender is one such gem near the central Queensland coastal town of Bargara.

Those seeking a safer alternative to traveling overseas can not only support farming communities by making a day trip but also include rural towns, as holiday destinations.

Amandine Lavender Farm, Seaview Road, Bargara.

Around four hours drive north of Brisbane, Australia, or five minutes from the famous Turtle Rookery at Mon Repos, you will find Amandine Lavender farm, along Seaview Road at Bargara. See how the lavender is grown and utilized into a vast array of therapeutic and beauty products on sale at Amandine’s gift shop. Online ordering is coming soon.

Formerly a family sugarcane farm dating back 3 generations, the falling price of sugar encouraged the owners to diversify into growing lavender and developing a new business venture. The owners have transformed a pretty potting shed and garden into a flowering lavender paradise.

Amandine Lavender Products

The lavender product range includes soaps or oils, sprays and creams as well as soothing lavender sleep and relaxation balm, excellent for tension headaches, which I carry in my handbag at all times. Old favorites like sachets of dried lavender for pillows, wheat packs, or to hang in the wardrobe to keep pesky moths away from one’s clothes, are also on offer.

At Amandine farm, you are encouraged to pick as much lavender as you can carry in your hands, to take home with you. Enjoy the relaxing scent of freshly cut lavender in your own home for days after your visit.

Then when the flowers started to droop, cut them and hang them upside down to dry out. They can them be used as dried flowers or sprinkled in sachets for the wardrobe or undies drawer. Lavender foliage can be trimmed and used for propagating new lavender plants.

How to Grow Your Own Lavender

Amandine has self-guided propagation activities in their garden potting shed but you can always grab an information leaflet and try cultivating lavender, at home.

When to Pick and Trim Lavender

Spring flowering lavender should be cut in Spring whilst the winter flowering forms should be picked in autumn in order to take advantage of the best time to grow lavender from existing plants.

Cultivation of Lavender

Cut a leaf tip of lavender, about two inches, or 5 -8 cms long, dip the end in a rooting powder (available from nurseries or larger supermarkets), and place in a good quality potting mix. Water it in, then cover and seal with a plastic bag, setting it aside for a few months.

After several months, you will be delighted to find you have created new lavender plants of your own, at no cost.

Lavender plants do prefer a dry soil; they don’t like to moist ground for too long. That is why they prefer coastal climates and have not problem tolerating windy conditions.

Conveniently, these are the conditions we have at the home by the sea. I will be potting out some more of these hardy and highly perfumed beauties soon.

Lavender is the plant the keeps on giving.

Amandinelavender.com.au

Opening hours may vary due to Covid. Ring ahead to check.

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Community

Worldly Wisdom

 No one can climb a tree with no branches

– Finnish proverb

Helsinki
Birch Trees in Helsinki, Finland

What do you think the underlying message says. Does it refer to the support of friends and family that folk find so essential to personal growth and development?

Or, could it refer to the many divergent paths one might consider, or does take throughout life, before we reach our ultimate destination or end goal?

proverbial-thurs

I often find there is profound wisdom in proverbs, sayings and quotes and I marvel at the way they are so succinct in communicating messages, to the reader. Mostly anonymous, they come to us from past generations and from across cultures. They speak of the experiences of lives lived and lessons learned. Quotes, like proverbs, make us think more deeply about something.

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Nothing is more beautiful and powerful than a smile that has struggled through the tears

~ Demi Lovato (Actress and Singer Song-writer)

smile www.cuded.com
Source Credit: http://www.cuded.com

This theme of this week’s  quotes is power, not raw power, but rather that power of the self, as an entity, that power we find within ourselves.

The less effort, the faster and more powerful

you will be

~ Bruce Lee

Bruce lee

We have nothing to lose by trusting the infinite power

of the Self, except the bondage of our own ignorance

~ Mata Amritanandamayi Devi

smartphone
First World Problems

And finally there are these words:

“You have it easily in your power to increase the sum total of this world’s happiness now.

How?

By giving a few words of sincere appreciation to someone who is lonely or discouraged.   Perhaps you will forget tomorrow the kind words you say today, but the recipient may cherish them over a lifetime.”

–Dale Carnegie

Linking to Friendly Friday’s Smiles Challenge

Sharing one’s perspective increases understanding.

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blogging

Overcoming Frustration

“Patience is a Virtue and I need more of it – NOW!”

Have you heard anyone say that recently?

  • Did you ever feel frustrated when someone pushed ahead of you in a queue?
  • How do you feel when someone takes longer than expected to do a simple task at work, or doesn’t complete it in a timely manner despite repeated requests?
  • What if your kids or partner refuse the food you have laboriously prepared and cooked all afternoon, only to raid the cookie jar later that evening?
  • Has someone walked all over your newly mopped floor in muddy boots?
  • Has your final attempt at resolving a bureaucratic problem been quashed by uncaring authorities?
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Frustration

Frustration is an intense emotion we feel:

  • when our needs aren’t being met at the time we expect them to be.
  • when we feel trapped.
  • when we are not listened to.
  • when our efforts are not respected or appreciated.

The Instant Gratification Society

How do you react when you waiting for an answer to an urgent email?

Are you someone who responds by sending a follow-up SMS text asking for an update? If they still don’t answer immediately, do you call them directly?

We have come to expect a fast resolution to our needs and experience frustration if that or some other achievable goal is thwarted.

Do you want to know a fact you have forgotten? Google will end our frustrations quickly and efficiently. There’s no need to rack our brains anymore. What does that teach us? That we can quickly solve our own problems?

Society has groomed our vulnerabilities and we now expect a rapid response to our wants and needs.

If we invest more time and effort than we think justified in reaching a goal, the resulting emotion is often frustration and impatience.

Patience is a coping skill we need to navigate a world where gratification is instantly demanded.

How Does Developing Patience Help?

Developing more patience in frustrating situations can improve health and free us from feelings of stress and anger.

However, patience doesn’t mean you will become a people-pleaser or dishonour your personal boundaries, which I posted about last week, but rather it gives you the power of waiting, watching and knowing when and how to act, in order to build compassion between individuals.

  • Patience helps you to be kind and compassionate.
  • Patience improves your health and wellbeing
  • Patience lowers your stress
  • Patience frees you from feeling angry emotions
  • Patience enhances self-respect by staying centred no matter what
  • Patience develops an eye for details

Showing patience offers us extra moments of time in which we can choose how and when to respond to a given event. This may avoid that detrimental knee-jerk emotional reaction. Challenging situations can be dealt with more flexibly.

Practising Patience in Everyday Life

Start out small and practise patience regularly. The following ideas may help:

  1. Practise letting someone go ahead of you in a queue.
  2. Deliberately choose a long supermarket queue. Use that time to practise long slow breaths in your busy day.
  3. Drive the long way home and listen to a podcast or relaxing music.
  4. Actively listen to exactly what is being said/requested by others. Rephrase their request back to them to double-check for understanding. This helps to put your frustrations aside in order to focus on solutions to the problem you are trying to solve.
  5. Let a provocative or controversial comment slide.
  6. Know your weaknesses and avoid letting them become your hot buttons or triggers.
  7. Build your self-discipline by creating new habits and leading a less complicated life. Studies show that people with self-discipline are generally happier people.
  8. Challenge your perception about willpower. Recognize that it is normal to feel frustrated, but believe in your ability to choose to direct your energy in a different way.
  9. Turn your attention inward until your needs are met. This is a good way of practising a form of meditation until you receive the gratification you are searching for.

“Like everything else that brings progress, the greatest struggle is always within ourselves.”

Entrepeneur.com

Go through your life practising patience with grace, and avoid pent up anger or frustrations.

Something to Ponder About