Looking Back At 2010 & One Word-Encourage

New Year's Eve - December 31, 2009

In January of 2010, I wrote a post where I revealed that my word for that year would be Encourage.” You can read why I chose it by clicking on the highlighted word, encourage.

Following the lead of several bloggers I had long admired, I chose a word that I thought might help me be more mindful of those who by word or action had a positive effect on my life or the lives of others.

Whenever the opportunity presented, I included links and names so my readers might also enjoy the gifts that some of the people I noted here brought to my life.

During the year, I never bothered to keep track of how many times I used the word encourage or the category, ” One Word – Encourage.” Looking back earlier today, I discovered 33 posts with stories and links to people who inspired me and in their way provided a bit of encouragement without even knowing it.

As 2010 moves aside for 2011, I wanted to share a link to those 33 posts in case you need a bit a light in your life right now and if there is someone who has been an encouraging presence in your life, please feel free to leave a comment about them below. If it is a place or an experience rather than a person, I hope you will share that with us as well.

Warmest wishes to each of you for a Happy New Year and many thanks for stopping by to read or comment.

33 Posts meant to Encourage:

1) I began the year with a walk in the snow and shared a bit of my neighborhood and the people who live there.

2) John helped me provide a special image for you when I wrote about ” The Dance Of Life.”

3) ” Seeing The Boundary Stones ” was a thank you of sorts for some encouraging comments from my readers when I was feeling kind of blue.

4) Only a few months after taking what would turn out to be our last walk with a dear friend, I wrote about her in ” The Last Walk – Measured Steps.”

5) ” The Light Of Friendship,” does not need an explaination … just thanks.

6) A clear example of how ” Believing Can Make It So.”

7) In ” Reaching For More, “ I encourage you to stop by my friend Mariellen’s place after sharing another one of my stories first.

8 )  ” Hanging On When It Looks Hopeless “ is about a gift I learned from my darling husband John.

9) More words of gratitude for my readers and their kind comments in what followed after a difficult time while Cleaning Out The Attic.”

10) This one addresses some heavy mother-daughter stuff and links to a few people in, ” I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends.”

11)  After the death of actress Dixie Carter, I wrote a little something that included a significant woman in my life in ” Dixie Carter – A Strong Southern Woman.”

12)  A joyful story of how a group of women brought about something close to a miracle with hope, hard work, and belief. It is way more uplifting than the title, ” Bringing It to The Masses – No More Twitter Bashing. “

13)  This has to be read … I can’t explain ” When Grief Comes Without Warning “ without crying.

14)  ” A Leaping Ginger Cat Takes Flight “ helped me share a course designed to help creative types become airborne.

15)  I linked outrageously in this post where I gushed about my new blog crush. Penelope Trunk is a woman who continually shocks me with a fair amount of what she has to say and while I don’t always agree with her, I always leave thinking something new.

16)  ” Mister Rogers & Me – A Nantucket Film Festival “ shares the film success of couple of brothers who tell the story of Fred Rogers and his impact on the life of one of the brothers.

17)  I take you on a little ” Walk In The Park With Mariellen Romer “ in this post. It’s a sweet trip about reaching for your dreams.

18) ” Chewing On A Dreamy Idea ” is about inspiration and some of the places it came from for me last year.

19)  Letters from friends and how RSS feeds are like a modern-day mail box are only part of the story in ” RSS Feeds – Like Getting A Letter From A Friend. “

20) I wrote, ” Building A Home One Mouthful At A Time “ while considering how others accomplish difficult tasks.

21)  More special stories and moments from my past in ” Sharing A Story – My Teary Moment With Kenny Loggins. “

22)  I talked a bit more about the process and linked to some inspiration in ” Kelly Rae Roberts – Taking Control With Flying Lessons. “

23) ” Missing The Good Stuff “ has a link you really ought to see.

24)  This post was all about asking for what you want in ” Someone From Evansville Indiana Has The Ability To Change My Life.”

25)  I was a lady in waiting holding my breath here when I wrote, ” No Word From Evansville But Gifts Of Another Kind Instead.”

26)  Remember what I said about asking for what you want … this was a gift of enormous proportions for me as I was able to heal in part a bad memory when my Evansville reader responded to post 24. I shared her message in ” Welcoming Rita From Evansville Indiana.” Thanks again Rita!

27)  A post about being saved as a child and drowning is part of this post in ” When Drowning – Remember – Hope Floats. “

28)  Carolyn and Kim always inspire through their own blogs or by the things they say in comments. I had a chance to meet up with Kim on a trip to Paris and I talk about our meeting and her in ” To Carolyn From Paris. “

29)  In these tough financial times I found Donna Freedman a great person to check in with for consumer tips and she shows up in a Paris post titled ” Shakespeare And Company – Surviving And Thriving. “

30)  This mega cool post is where I make my music video début courtesy of my friend Benjamin Wagner’s ‘Forever Young video.

31) ” Special Delivery – First Giveaway Produces A Winner ” documented my first giveaway when I gifted a copy the music CD ‘ Forever Young’ to one of my readers.

32)  I was grateful for reader support in ” One Step At A Time “ where I talked about receiving a rejection for a job involving writing.

33)  ” Mother Love – Quietly Sharing The Wisdom “ shares a story of how I met a blogging friend in New Zealand and the impact of her words.

Whew! 33 links is a lot of work … I hope you enjoy a look back as much as I did. Feel free to pass all or some of this post on to someone you think might need a little encouragement and I’ll be back with more in 2011.

Counting Sheep On Christmas Eve

It is late here and everyone but me is tucked in bed resting up for tomorrow and all the excitement and activity that comes when family and friends gather to celebrate Christmas. It’s no surprise to me that I am still awake. I usually am on nights like this.

This week has been a whirl of going and doing right from the time we arrived late last Sunday and sleep has been even more scarce for me than normal. I think I will rest when we are finally home again in Cornwall next week.

For now spending time with the people I love is well worth missing a bit of sleep and with a little South Island sheep like the one on the Christmas tree above, I can imagine I am counting them in the field of New Zealand buttercups below.

For all who celebrate during this Christmas season, I hope you have the company of those you love around you now. Have a safe and Happy Christmas and I will be back in a few days.

Dinner For Two At Lake Tekapo

Okay … so it wasn’t really dinner for two. We had dinner lakeside at Lake Tekapo last night with a large group of folks who all pitched in making a big cookout for about forty people. I made my grandmother’s potato salad with John’s help (tons of chopping) and we had a lot of compliments even though it was missing a couple of ingredients.

Here are a few our dinner companions post meal and cleanup waiting for a little Hokey-Pokey ice cream for dessert. Hokey-Pokey is said to be a favorite flavor of travelers through New Zealand and I have definitely become a fan.


We’ve just arrived in Christchurch where I am posting this now from an outdoor café. This is our last stop before we fly to Auckland to spend a couple of nights before leaving for Christmas with my family in Atlanta. It’s been a wonderful trip and Christchurch looks at first glance as if it has enough charm to continue adding to the memories we’ve been busy making.



Still Thinking Of You From Dunedin New Zealand

As Mariellen pointed out in a comment on my last post, I have managed to wean myself  somewhat from my computer. I have been a bit busy with my camera with 8622 photos at present and we still have a week to go in New Zealand.

I sit down to write a post and while trying to decide which images to include I get lost in my photographs and you get nothing. That combined with difficulty in getting a connection at times makes it seem like I don’t care about you. Of course you know that’s not true and I will be back soon.  I have so much to tell you.

Putting Our Feet Up At Punakaiki’s Pancake Rocks

We left Punakaiki yesterday after spending  four nights there resting from days spent exploring all there was to see in that lovely place. After asking a local how many people actually live there, I discovered that the number was even smaller than I had imagined.

She said that she was not exactly sure, but somewhere between 30 and 100 people lived in or close to Punakaiki with most providing services in some way to people like us who come to stay for a few days or those who pass through quickly stopping only for a few posed photos in front of the famous Pancake Rocks. I am going to show you some of what you miss if you think all Punakaiki has to offer are pancakes without syrup.

You can see that the rocks resemble a stack of pancakes from where they take their name.

John and I had the good fortune to be able to stay at a sweet little place just down the beach here about 30 steps from the sea.

In addition to some lovely sea views there was a path along a river in a park not far from where we were staying.

There was almost no one around until we spotted this man in the bushes photographing the river with a baby on his back. I had just snapped the photo below when I saw him and realized that he was photographing his wife and son on the river.

Our day trips included some cave time for me with John keeping an eye on the tide coming in while I went exploring. I’ll show you what I discovered next time.

One of my favorite photos of John lately … taken at sunset not long before I took the picture below.

Punakaiki Beach At Sunset


Two Minutes For 29 New Zealand Miners

A Memorial For The Miners In A Greymouth Shop Window

I woke this morning in Greymouth, New Zealand to the smell of a coal fire burning. John and I were staying in a place that heated its hot water with a coal-burning stove so I assumed that was the origin of the familiar scent.

In the Cornish village where we live in the UK some people still heat their homes with coal and the smell filters through the air more and more as the weather turns colder especially late at night.

This morning was different. Waking in a town where 29 coal miners lost their lives 10 days ago made me keenly aware of how the scent of burning coal might be affecting the families and friends of the men who died in the Pike River tragedy.

I cannot image the pain they must be feeling. What I can do is pause for two minutes to honor their lives and memory with the rest of New Zealand when everything stops for 2 minutes at 2:00 pm today during a memorial service for the miners. I have a feeling that I will be thinking of them even longer … linked as they are now for me with the scent of winter and the security of home.

Two minutes at 2:00 pm.