A to Z Challenge – Zephyr

ZEPHYR: Soft mild gentle wind or breeze

 

 

 

Cicada’s bellow, bird song loud

their cacophony sometimes deafening

Afternoon zephyr still lingering

but no for long

as summer morphs into autumn

Abundance in the garden – past it’s best

Proof of a magnificent harvest

 

Trees dropping leaves

Cats snoozing in the last of summer heat

Feijoas signalling in the cooler months

 

Autumn and its unique beauty

offers time to reflect, contemplate

and prepare for winter……

 

A to Z Challenge – Yclept

YCLEPT: Called (by the name of)

 

I chose yclept because it is such an odd word, and I wanted at least one word I had never ever heard of before included in my  A-Z Challenge.

Pronounced: ee-klept

Synonyms: appellation, clepe, named, styled, titled, known as, termed.

In a sentence: My tortoise shell cat yclept Missy Moo  stretched as she enjoyed the warmth of the late afternoon sun.

IMG_2042

©hk photography

A to Z Challenge – Xmas

XMAS: Abbreviation for Christmas

My trusty 1976 dictionary contained only 26 X words.  It did however have Xmas as one of the 26 words so I am kind of grasping at straws and using an abbreviation – it was difficult finding a suitable word.

So in keeping with the Xmas theme I am sharing with you a fabulous Xmas cake recipe. For the last 10 years, in late October early November, I make at least 20 Xmas cakes for friends and family using a recipe given to me by a friend.  This was her mother’s recipe so it is at least 2 – 3 generations old.  Enjoy.

Bobbie’s Christmas Cake

Place in a large pan

  • 1/2 1b butter
  • 1 & 1/2 1bs brown sugar
  • 1 x 15oz tin of fruit salad
  • 1/2 cup rum
  • 1200 grams  mixed fruit
  • 2-3 teaspoons various spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, mixed spice)

Bring to the boil, simmer for 1 minute and cool

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When mixture cool add

  • 4 well beaten eggs
  • 2 tablespoons of golden syrup

then add

  • 2 cups wholemeal flour
  • 2 cups white flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

Mix all together 

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Line the bottom  of 9 inch cake tin with paper

Bake 130C for 3-4 hours 

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Notes:

  • The mixture of metric and imperial measurements is as it came from Bobbie.
  • Rather than icing the Xmas cake, decorate the top with almonds and/or glaze cherries before putting it in the oven to cook.
  • I use less sugar than the recipe states.
  • It is okay to double the recipe and I often use different size tins depending on who I am baking for.  Baking time will differ with size of tin used.
  • I have fan oven, so I lower the oven temperature to 120/125C

Thanks Bobbie for your recipe

A to Z Challenge – Valour

VALOUR: Personal courage esp. as shown in fighting.

 

“Lest We Forget”

This is my tribute to the nearly 500 Cook Island Soldiers recruited by New Zealand over the course of World War One. Of the 5 contingents recruited, 3 contingents saw active service.  The 4th contingent trained at Narrow Neck Camp, Auckland however shortly before their departure in 1918, the war ended. The 5th  contingent had been recruited but did not start training.

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‘The Rarotongan Company’ httpwww.nzhistory.net.nzwarpacific-islanders-nzefrarotongans, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 2-Sep-2014)

 

A to Z Challenge -Transform

TRANSFORM: Make change in form, outward appearance, character , disposition

 

Today I leave the past behind

Only looking forward enough to see my foot step land gently on the earth.

I move through the day quietly and respectively, taking the time to look at the moment of now, embracing everything I see, hear and touch; knowing the experience I am having is meant to be.

Making time to be still and breathe in life

Forever thankful for gifts received as I walk my path in this lifetime

Today I am transformed.

 

Check out other A-Z Challenge participants.

A to Z Challenge – Reflect

REFLECT:  Go back in thought, meditate or consult with oneself.

 

I sit

And reflect on actions, comments and thoughts of the day

Which ultimately affect my life and ripple through others

Could have – should have  – did I – why?

Breathe

Stillness

Let go

Push away thoughts of today, yesterday and tomorrow

Concentrate on now

Breathe

Stillness

Let go

Warmth on my face

As sun seeps through window

Eyes closed, relax

In tune with the noise of life

Birds fluttering, chirping

Distant sound of radio chatter

Occasional car hums by

Heart beat

 

Then nothing

SiLeNcE

MotionLess

ENJOYING NOW

A to Z Challenge – Quandary

QUANDARY: State of perplexity, difficult situation, practical dilemma.

 

Some questions just can’t be answered.

A couple of years ago, I was in my local supermarket standing in the aisle where the water is housed.  I was after some water with gas – the fizzy type.

I was distracted by someone in my peripheral vision.

She was about 80 years young

Immaculately dressed

And small in stature.

She stood beside me and perused the shelves of water at her eye level, my chest level.

We acknowledged each other with a smile, eye contact with an understanding that maybe we had known each other in another time.  Like minded humans, very comfortable.

Standing together mesmerised at the incredible selection of water.

Spring water, natural spring water, well water, still water, natural water, sparkling water, water with vitamins, water and lime, rose-water, water for energy, organic water and on and on.  Water in plastic, water in glass, water in cans, water in boxes. 6 packs, 12 packs, single bottles.

Finally a choice made.  Reaching on tippy toes for a glass bottle, she clasped it firmly in both hands and read the label.

Looking up at me with a perplexed look on her face she asked a question

“How do they know that this 1000 year old pure spring water expires in May 2016?”

A to Z Challenge – Pen Friend

PEN FRIEND: col Pen Pal – friend with whom one corresponds without meeting.

 

Pen to paper – who writes anymore

I can’t remember when I learnt to read and write.  As a young child, reading and writing was something I did at school, and when the bell rang for the end of the school day, I played.  At home, reading or story writing was not something my parents encouraged me to do.

My sister and I were brought up in the days of that classic saying “children should be seen and not heard”. There was no encouragement from our elders to actively participate in conversation or debate, and critical thinking was definitely not on the radar. To interact with adults was considered rude. Our contribution to problem solving was never required, even if the problem was related to us.  Our opinions were considered unimportant as decision making was the responsibility of grown-ups.

So my sister delved into the world of books and in a simple turn of a page escaped into the worlds of fantasy and adventure and I discovered the world of writing.   As a youngster, reading was not something I enjoyed, but at the age of ten, I found and replied to an advertisement in a magazine for a pen pal.  This was the start of a long letter writing relationship with a girl from Malaysia who was exactly my age.

I grew up on a small Pacific island in the years when the sight of an aeroplane was a novelty. At school, we were allowed outside to watch the Calibration planes fly over and land on the airfield nearby, a truly exhilarating experience.  Now, the thought of corresponding with someone from the other side of the world was a bigger thrill especially when our letters could be in those planes flying overhead.  I was so excited receiving her letters addressed to me.  I would devour every word that spilled off the pages and imagine her life in Malaysia and hoped that she would be doing the same with my letters.  In my best handwriting,  I responded to every comment she made; celebrating her achievements and sympathising with her disappointments. Meticulously I wrote my news, and surprisingly I had so much to tell her. This was my way of overcoming the “seen but not heard” philosophy of my parent’s generation.  Someone was hearing me.  I felt liberated.  Several pages later, the letter was neatly folded, inserted into an envelope, addressed, stamp attached and posted.   The wait for her reply seemed forever, and that reply sometimes took weeks to arrive.  I was never disappointed.  For the first ten years our letter writing was fervent.  We were pen pals!

 

A to Z Challenge – Majestic

MAJESTIC:  Possessing stateliness or grandeur, imposing

 

 

Tuesday’s usual trip from the Kapiti Coast to Wellington

Takes me through familiar landmarks

which remain as constant as Tuesday follows Monday

Passing towns and suburbs

where people are going about their daily routines

Trains worming towards the big city

Cars inching forward in traffic jam

Pass Whenua Tapu cemetery

and  a keen eye notices a new monument decorated with flowers

At Paremata

 a little apprehensive

wondering if she will be there today

moored between road and rail bridges

Heading south the view between the bridges

is hampered by passing traffic, concrete walls

and walkers

NOT TO BE SEEN

So the wait begins, and as the day unfolds with regularity,

I head north for home

The motorway not so busy this time

as commuters are now parked in office buildings,

shops, universities, coffee houses

Before Paremata

I position myself for the ultimate view

I am not disappointed

I see her sat upon still water

that make the inlet

where fishers catch sprats

She is majestic

this small little boat

I smile as a drive past

KATE

 

Kate

Kate ©hk photography

A to Z Challenge – Life

LIFE:  Active part of existence, business and pleasures of the world

 

 

Playing trolley tag in the supermarket

Aisle much narrower than the norm

Harassed employee unstacks

then restacks shelves

Clutching coupons he appears agitated

Scrutinises then grabs selected product

Must be a big specials day

Shopper dithering over meat selection

all I want is the lamb shank displayed in front of her

I lean on trolley and wait my turn

Be patient

I wonder

What they are thinking

as product mechanically put in trolleys

Choices made

Would I buy that?

Checkout

Pimply faced boy starts the operation

Lamb shank scanned

Loyalty card swiped

Card inserted, pin keyed

Payment made

There done!

A to Z Challenge – Kindness

KINDNESS: There is no entry in my 1976 Concise English Dictionary. The nearest I could find was KIND.

KIND: Of gentle or benevolent nature; showing friendliness; affectionate; kind-hearted

KINDLY: Kind, kind-hearted,  pleasant, genial

http://www.oxforddictionaries.com define KINDNESS as:  The quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate:

I am overwhelmed by KINDNESS from family and friends.  After my recent diagnosis of rheumatic heart disease and impending surgery, I have witnessed what KINDNESS is.

Generosity, compassion, affection, goodness, grace

Unconditional love experienced first hand

I am humbled

Thank you to everyone who has shown me KINDNESS

I intend to pay KINDNESS forward with love

Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love – Lao Tzu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A to Z Challenge – Jim Jams

JIM JAMS: Delirium tremens; fit of depression or nervousness

Delirium tremens: a severe psychotic condition occurring in some persons with chronic alcoholism, characterized by delirium, tremor, anxiety, and vivid hallucinations

 

Stop!  I thought jim jams were pj’s, pyjamas, sleep wear.

This is when my trusty dictionary is replaced by Google.  So what does google say:

Colins Online Dictionary:

  1. a slang word for delirium tremens
  2. a state of nervous tension, excitement, or anxiety
  3. (informal) pyjamas

So how did pyjamas morf into jim jams?

 

A to Z Challenge – I

I: Me, myself, the ego, subject or object of self-consciousness

 

I     AdmiRe

I      BreAtHe

I CrY                                                  I   DreAm

I     EmpaTHise                              I   FRoliC

I    GiVe                              I HOpE                                                          I    ImaGine

JouRNey

I Know                        I  LoVe                                        I      Meander

I Need

I   OverCoMe                 I        PracTice

I   QuestioN                                       I       RaDiatE

 I Sing                               I  TeACh                                                  I  UnDersTand                      

 I  Value                                        I  WriTe                             I      XoXoXoX

 I YeaRn                                                                      I     ZigZaG

                                     I  AM

 

 

 

 

 

A to Z Challenge – Dilemma

DILEMMA: Argument forcing opponent to choose one of two alternatives both unfavourable to him; position that leaves only a choice between equally unwelcome possibilities. 

I was perplexed after reading the meaning from my 1976 dictionary, as this was not my understanding of Dilemma.  I get the bit where one has to choose, but the unfavourable or equally unwelcome possibilities got me.  Could you not have a dilemma over favourable or equally welcome choices?  Or is there another word for that state of mind?   I checked  online dictionaries and there are no positive dilemma’s.

Synonyms for Dilemma such as predicament, quandary, perplexed, conundrum and muddle, conjure up unfavourable possibilities for me.

So here’s a DilemMa

Must I stop thinking that making a choice between a  delicious slice of carrot cake or an exquisite chocolate brownie a DilemMa, because both are favourable  and equally most welcome to me!