Looking for answers to life's questions

The week has been quite busy for me doing not very creative things. Just more of the same old stuff like cooking, laundry, holding boards, and packing. The buyers are having some difficulty but we aren’t giving up yet. Either way, the work still needed to be done. My feet are giving up though. They announced their retirement at 5:30 yesterday and said enough. If I had a nickel for every time we have gone up and down those stairs, I could take us out to dinner. I never want to see stairs again.

The tiny shrubs I planted 2 years ago are big but gangly.

The tiny shrubs I planted 2 years ago are big but gangly.

We have no TV channels here at my son’s house and don’t have the time to watch anyway. At the end of the day, the computer takes care of business and I don’t want to look at bad news anyway. You’ve heard many people say over and over in different ways for many generations that the world is going to hell in a handbasket. Well, I’m wondering what their handbasket looks like. From where I sit here in front of my laptop, I see substantial evidence of a different world and a different handbasket.

One handbasket coming up.

One handbasket coming up.

I was reading The Contented Crafter latest post on her blog and once again am totally enthralled by her ability to take little bits of this, that and nothing much GIFTED to her by fellow bloggers from all over the world and turn it into an amazing work of art. Even if you are not a blogger, you should pop by and see some of the wonders of her mind. Her stories of Siddy and Orlando (fuzzy family) leave me giggling for hours.

If this is what a world going to hell in a handbasket looks like, sign me up for one of my own. I see things I could not have ever imagined before I started reading blogs. Who knew what wonders lurked out there? Sweet, kind and caring Gardening Nirvana introduced me to the world of Fairy Gardens that are just delightful. I want one of those baskets too. Add that to her introduction to Little Free Libraries and I was all in.

I shared with you already the delights I received from the hysterically funny and creative Boomdeeadda. When you drop by you will see her magical creations from little else other than paper!

The handbasket I’m carrying these days is filled with a collection of blogging friends who fill my day with mirth, entertainment and motivation when my spirits are lagging.

Lavender is huge but refreshes the soul. Grabbing a handful for my basket

Lavender is huge but refreshes the soul. Grabbing a handful for my basket

My friend at To Breathe is to Write writes stories that make me laugh or get my mystery fix satisfied. She can spin a yarn or tell it like it is. When I find someone’s blog I like, I check out the people who leave comments or follow her or him. That leads to a lot of great blogs and enlarges my community. This list could go on and on, so maybe I need a larger handbasket?

It's still not big enough for all the kindness I've seen lately

It’s still not big enough for all the kindness I’ve seen lately

Bells Palsy normally only lasts a few weeks or months for most, just like Shingles. Same virus, different expression. I’m heading into the 5th year with this.  I was under extreme stress when I got it and it expressed itself very much like a stroke. Balance is a continuing issue as well as the visual disturbance it caused. Huh, what did you say? I don’t hear as well either. No one knows why it won’t go away or how to fix it. It really doesn’t matter anymore. I now have a life full of friends in town and online that are constantly motivating me. When I see their creativity and thoughtfulness, there is no time to wallow. I just roll up my sleeves and get busy.

Roses, like good friends are treasures.

Roses, like good friends are treasures.

 

You can’t tell me the world is all bad. It’s like picking flowers to put in your basket from the yard. Which flowers do you want in that basket? I’ve found the flowers with the kindest energy out there. My basket is filled with beautiful blooms.

What are you putting in your handbasket? It’s always your choice.

Happy Thanksgiving to those in the States.

From my heart to yours,

Marlene Herself

Comments on: "In Search of the Handbasket" (22)

  1. Happy Thanksgiving Marlene! Thank you for this post, I loved it. There is a lot of good out in the world, we just have to look for it. I try and stay away from the bad news too, it’s just too much sometimes. Are you taking today off? Resting those feet a bit? I hope so. Big hugs and much love to you my friend! >3

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  2. “It is ALWAYS your choice!” This is my continuous mantra 🙂 What a lovely post Marlene and thank you for the ping-back while it is in my mind. I know I go off on rants all over the blogging world about this very thing – whenever I see fear and worry and negativity I simply want to walk away from it. It is not where I want to put my attention – even though sometimes I do! I love your hand basket image – I once knew someone who used to say ‘the world is going to hell in a handbag’ and sometimes that expression comes out of my mouth still.

    These days I am enjoying{?} the challenge of finding alternative ways to say and see things – and boy is it challenging! The easy part is changing focus on the things we protest about ‘anti-war march’ becomes ‘march for peace’ the ‘war against hunger’ becomes ‘feeding the world’….. etc.
    Choosing not to spread bad news stories is also important. Sharing is like breeding more energy into the event. [Gossip is absolutely the worst thing going – and look how much of that fills the airwaves and cyber space].

    The [hardest part] challenge for me is when I unexpectedly meet something upsetting or ugly. Yesterday I came across two people fighting in the street – really angry and hateful towards each other. It was only a moment or two and they were gone, but I felt the upsurge of fear and anger within me and had to stop walking so that I could feel how that made me feel and then find the positive out of it. It took quite a few minutes before I could get to ‘I am so happy that type of communication and energy is not part of my life!’ And then I could feel the reality I live within return. Once running into such an altercation would have thrown me back into my childhood and I would have taken days to free myself of the effects.

    There is so much good in the world and so many people have made the choice to put their attention there rather than into the fear-mongering that goes on. We need more to join with us, I hope your post reaches out and embraces many more and we all need to go out and get larger hand baskets! xoxo

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    • I’m 100% there Pauline. I have a new neighbor that wants to be friends. She is getting treatment for breast cancer and I took her a small bouquet of flowers to cheer her. She has all manner of Asian art and Buddha’s in her yard but calls to tell me about the latest gossip on the news or neighborhood. I finally had to tell her that I don’t do TV news. If it’s not good, I don’t want to know. I can be aware but detached. She is starting to get it. I loaned her a book, “Dying to Be Me” by Anita Moorjani that I thought might be helpful. She devoured it and did get something but seems to need more to bring her around. That kind of negativity affects us physically. No matter what is going on in life, there is always something to see that’s good. I’m one of those people that tapes the news and watches in fast forward. Sometimes there is something educational there, just a tidbit i can glean. The rest is garbage and I dump it. Thanks for reading and I do so love your work and attitude. No exaggeration there. 🙂

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      • Do you know that book was just returned to me yesterday. I thought I had lost it as I couldn’t remember who had it last and I was looking for it to give to someone else to read …… It is a wonderful insight! I’ve started advising people to listen to the Abraham Hicks recordings or read the books. There are so many facts and opportunities in there to ‘get it’ something must start to sink in. 🙂

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      • I have all of their books and get daily reminders. I’ve bought videos but had to give up the idea of going to hear them. It’s the first thing that’s answered all my questions in a way that makes sense. It also agrees with The Course In Miracles so how far off can they be? I’ve been reading their stuff for over 4 years but I only share on request. Not everyone is ready. When you are, books fall off the shelf at you. That’s how I found them. Can you tell I’m In Search of it All? 🙂

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      • Yes 🙂 And you are right about books falling off shelves into your hands – and The Course [which I had very interesting experiences with about 25[?] years ago].

        I have audio’s I lend out and which I often listen to when working in my art room. I figured years ago if it is just going in all the time at some stage something has to register 🙂

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      • I’d like to hear about that interesting experience someday. 🙂 Yes, it does soak in eventually. You can always e-mail me directly.

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  3. Wonderful post, Marlene! Oh, I love Pauline!!!!!!!!!!! If we’re particular what we focus on, the world is actually a lovely place, full of wonderful people.
    I wasn’t aware of your struggles with Bells Palsy. I’m sorry to hear that. You’ve got a great attitude, nothing good comes from wallowing in our problems.
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

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    • Thank you Jill for reading and the kind words. Yes, I adore Pauline. Her attitude and her talent. We have very similar philosophies on life. My aim with Bells is to educate the need to manage stress, not to illicit sympathy. It was quite the gift that keeps on giving. 🙂 It creates opportunities that I would not otherwise have had. So no wallowing allowed. Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving as well. Mine was grand.

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  4. H<3Y Marlenie you little cutie, thank you for cheering me on. I love being part of your posse. If I had a nickel for every time you make me smile, I could come for dinner too. I've been wondering about the projects you got going. You're getting tons of projects done, while I'm getting part of a few things half started, LOL The days are flying by and today there's snow flying with it. So much for finishing my outdoor Christmas lights but more time in the craft room. "Always look on the bright side of life"

    Some things in life are bad,
    They can really make you mad.
    Other things just make you swear and curse.
    When you're chewing on life's gristle,
    Don't grumble, give a whistle,
    And this'll help things turn out for the best.

    Dare I say, no one know's life like Monty Python..hehe xoxoxo K

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  5. There you are. I had to do something to see if you were still around. Miss you my friend. Yes, there is a bright side to everything. We are so close to being ready for this sale. Molding is all on and now he wants me to paint some of the old stuff. I still have 3 days left to get it done before heading home to START my projects. So the bright side is you are already half-way there. We had 83 yesterday and at my house it’s freezing. What a difference. I can hardly wait to get back to my sewing/craft room. I’ll never get caught up this year but maybe by the next one. It’s been a crazy year but with a lot of forward movement. Monty Python has a good attitude. Did you know I can’t whistle? I can hum though. 🙂 Hugs and thanks for reading.

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  6. Marlene, how wonderful that you have chosen to focus on a handbasket full of good things! and I’m so glad to have found you in this great big wordpress world through many of the bloggers that you mention.
    I’m hoping that you are resting as you read the responses to your lovely post. Good luck as your make forward progress toward the sale!
    (as an Women’t Health NP, I’ve seen Bell’s Palsy a few times, and yes, with resolution. I’m just assuming you’ve gotten a second opinion on that diagnosis? I apologize if that is an out of line statement).
    Take care of yourself and be sure to alternate periods of activity with periods of rest if possible.

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  7. No apologies necessary. The reason I started this blog was to find help for this Bells. So far no one has offered anything I haven’t tried.The list is long. I had two neurologists check me. One MRI and one CT scan. Definite Bells. They wanted to rule out stroke as that’s what it looked like other than the pain of shingles on my head and then the facial paralysis. I’ve tried every alternative treatment I could find until I ran out of funds. Still do massage once a month. I manage stress and boundaries better now too. I can do more than 4 years ago, but rest at intervals is still a requirement. When I get real tippy, I know it’s time to rest.

    Thanks for the good wishes on the sale. Whether it goes through or not, this time, it will eventually be sold and the work needed to be done. We are redoing the stairs this weekend. This place was a real money pit and I will be glad when some young couple with a big family gets some use out of all this space. It’s way too much for a single bachelor who worked too much till he lost his job. I’ll hopefully catch up on my reading next week when I’m finally back home. Have a good weekend and thanks for reading.

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  8. I too love the idea of a hand basket full of goodness and light, creativity, love and joy. It’s so true: we get to decide where to put our focus. I’ve been avoiding the news, newspaper and even some Facebook posts as they pile on to the difficulties in my every day life and I feel drained and helpless to do anything. You’re a breath of fresh air, Marlene, wise and kind and filled to the brim with world experiences.

    I know what it’s like to lose a father at a young age, but I can’t imagine what it was like for you (and my own mom) to lose the father of your children. It’s a fear that weighed on me for years. xox

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    • Thank you Alys. I’ve even become blunt with a new neighbor who is a news junkie. (self professed) I let her know I did not want to hear anything that wasn’t good new and especially not gossip. I can feel my cortisol levels shooting up when people want to draw me into the drama. If I can’t do anything about it, I don’t need to know. I can’t save every animal, child, abused person in the world. I figured out that what is put in front of me, is mine to take care of …sometimes. Sometimes to guide someone into taking care of it themselves.

      You have nothing to fear Alys. There is no unfinished business between your children and their parents. If they lost either of you now, they would know they were cherished every moment and have a good foundation. My daughter had a lot of unfinished business with her dad. We are still working on it My kids and I will never have unfinished business. We tell each other how important the other is in our lives daily. That’s all that matters.

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      • Good for you, Marlene! You have to be blunt with some people or they simply don’t get it. Or…they don’t want to. They like the gossip, the dark news, being the bearer of bad news. They’re the Fox “news” of the real world. Run…run!

        Thanks for your reassuring words. When each of my sons turned 9,my age when our dad died, I remember thinking “wow…I was so young.’ It also really hit me when I turned 54, the age my dad was when he died. I’ve worked on it a lot.

        I’m very sorry your daughter had/has unfinished business with her dad. It seems that it follows you throughout life. I’m so glad you have each other and that she has you. Best of luck on the continued journey.

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  9. Marlene, I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to find you, since many of my favourite bloggers follow you and have commented on this post! You know how it’s said that you can tell your own character by that of your friends.

    I love your topic! I have had the same thoughts so many times, when people loudly criticize the Internet for being the reason “people don’t relate to each other anymore.” Pardon me, but I have found amazingly talented and generous and beautiful and kind people online, and we have real relationships. I think the Internet is wonderful. Hee. 🙂

    I am really excited to virtually “meet” you and I think it will just be the funnest thing to send you my Christmas letter. You’ll be the second blogger I mailed it to. The first time was three years ago.

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    • Thank you so much Crystal. I’m glad we found each other. Yes, I know a lot of people think the internet and computers are a bad thing. It’s perspective. I have a wonderful circle of physical friends but enjoy the friends I have not physically met yet as well. I think we can see someone’s heart through their writing. It’s hard to hide when you are letting it all hang out in a blog. I’m looking forward to getting your letter.

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  10. I am so far behind I have finally decided to take some time to read all the posts I’ve missed, like yours. This may be one of my favorite posts by you. I have a friend, very young friend, who has taken the phrase “hell in a hand basket” as one of his favorites when he is overwhelmed by the world around him, which lately is often. i like your way of looking for the good still around us as a better way of using this phrase. My hand basket has my family, friends both online and in real life. Good books and fun experiences. i can’t control what the future holds so i may as well enjoy what I have now.

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  11. Thanks Lois. I’m glad you liked it. I’ve never denied that things could be better in the world and we should do our best to bring it about if possible. I just like to focus more on what good is going on. There is a saying that what you focus on increases.I’m not going to catch up either but since I’m not, I’ll just do what I can and let the rest go.

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