Amagreen And Awards

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Firstly I would like to say a great big thank you to Jean, Shoko and Kali at The Canadian Cats, Binky and Granny at AngelsWhisper and Nicolle, of Stories of A Highly Sensitive Introvert, who nominated me for the Blogger Recognition Award and the Black Cat Blue Sea Award. I am truly grateful for their kind thoughts – please go and visit, if you don’t already know them, lovely ladies, all of them.

So. As this is a combination post, I thought I would choose a combination crystal… Amagreen. This fascinating crystal is a new one for me, so I must thank and credit the wonderful www.healing-crystals-for-you.com for the information I am relaying back to you, for as I said, this is a new crystal for me too.

So far, I have found it to be a pleasant and calming stone, with a wonderful balance of purple amethyst, white quartz and green prasiolite. It releases a loving energy filled with compassion to encourage emotional healing. It can also be used to help awaken psychic abilities.

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The green element – prasiolite – is connected with the heart chakra, while both white and purple are connected with the higher head chakras; so it is a wonderful combination stone that promotes deep love and empathy; but also emotional intelligence and how to use it.

This brings me neatly to my nominations from The Canadian Cats and AngelsWhisper – wonderfully sensitive and caring ladies, and good friends who were some of the first people to befriend me here, on WordPress.

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For the Blogger Recognition Award, you have to tell the story of how your blog began, I did that here. As a post-script to that story, I am currently learning how to continue the blog – not the writing aspect, but the actual technical side – gulp… – as I am not the most computer literate person in the world, and my son has always taken care of that side of things for me. However, he is writing me careful, step-by-step instructions on how to publish a post etc. to prepare me for when he leaves for university in October.

As part of the procedure for the Blogger’s Recognition Award, you also have to give two pieces of advice – well, they also remain the same. Essentially: interact. Answer comments, talk to other people, visit other blogs. I’ve made some really good friends this way. The second piece of advice is: be nice! I can’t stress that enough, there is very little point in being unkind, or unpleasant, that’s like acid indigestion. You will just rot away from the inside out. (An additional piece of advice would be make sure you’re computer literate…)

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For the Black Cat, Blue Sea Award. I must thank Nicolle for nominating me – her questions can be seen here and my answers are:

  1. What would you like bloggers to do more of that they aren’t doing right now?

    To be honest, I don’t really know, the blogs I follow are high quality, and easily accessible, so just keep on doing what you’re doing!

  2. Tell us four things about yourself, one of which is not true, and see if we can guess…

    a) I have a secret passion for Justin Bieber

    b) I was persuaded to start an Instagram account by Gary

    c) I’m a natural brunette

    d) I have over 40 pieces of Rose Quartz

  3. Describe a perfect day that balances all the things you love.

    My perfect day… hmm… a decent night’s sleep – uninterrupted preferably, by having to remove live rey from the house thoughtfully brought in by Lily. Then sunshine would be good, and just basically relaxing with the cats in the garden! (I’m so boring…)

    I’m not going to nominate any specific blogs, so I will throw them both open to anyone who would like to have a go. And, thank you, as always, to anyone who’s been kind enough to stop for a like, a look, or a subscribe.

20991466_168616787026862_258343138_oThe Royal Portrait – Princess Charlotte Oddpaw

Real Neat Blog Award

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I was nominated for this award a couple of weeks ago by the wonderful Alex of Brian And Lily, I must thank her for this and her kind words. She’s one of my earliest friends on WordPress, so please go and have a look at her blog and meet the adorable Lily and Brian, her dogs. Alex (great name!) writes a wonderful blog full of details about life with and caring for her dogs.

Questions… I nipped over to Whippet Wisdom (another of Alex’s nominations and a great blog too!) to borrow the logo and questions for this post.

Here are the rules for the Real Neat Blog Award:

  1. Post the Award logo on your blog.
  2. Answer 7 questions asked by the person who nominated you.
  3. Thank the people who nominated you and link to their blog.
  4. Nominate any number of bloggers you like and link to their blog.
  5. Let them know you nominated them by leaving a comment on their blog.

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  1. Where do most visits to your blog come from?That’s hard to answer as it seems to vary from day to day… The UK, the States and Canada, but I’ve also had visits from Singapore, Israel, Finland, the Philippines, Cape Town… all over really and all wonderful places that I aspire to visiting one day
  2. What is your favourite sport or exercise?I do a lot of walking, myself, as I like to observe, take note, pass the time of day with whatever happens to be out and about. Not really one for sport. My games teacher at school once gave me this report: “If Samantha were to put as much effort into participating in games as she does in avoiding it, she’d probably get on quite well.” Apparently that won a prize in the staffroom for the most original report.
  3. What has been a special moment for you so far in 2016?Starting this blog and entering the wonderful world of WordPress. I have met some great people that I am truly pleased to call friends.
  4. What is your favourite quote?I’ve answered this question a few times… the answer is still the same: This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.’ 14th Dalai Lama. I love these words, a great philosophy to live your life by.
  5. What was your favourite class when still at school?English. I love the vagaries of the English language. From ‘through’ to ‘thorough’ to ‘rough’. It has been used to write some of the most beautiful and memorable pieces of literature, yet remains quirky and individualistic.
  6. Anything you had wished to have learned earlier?
    To ride a bike. Still haven’t learned – too afraid of falling off… and I have a feeling it would have been a useful skill…!
  7. What musical instrument have you tried to play?I always wanted to learn to play the piano, it struck me as an elegant sort of an instrument.

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My questions:

  1. Sunshine or rain?
  2. If you were a herb, what would you be?
  3. First thing you ever cooked or baked?
  4. First pet?
  5. What country would you like to visit and why?
  6. What one piece of advice would you give to your 16 year old self?
  7. Favourite drink (alcoholic or otherwise)?

My nominations:

  1. Ella
  2. Chic-Soles
  3. Paperpuff
  4. Sasha’s Journey
  5. gillyflower
  6. Chloe Douglas Blog

As always, these nominations are a mark of appreciation. There is no pressure to accept of course, either.

And to everyone who’s been kind enough to stop and have a read, a like, or a subscribe –

THANK YOU VERY MUCH! xx

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Some lovely autumnal photos, taken by Alex Marlowe


Harry Potter Spell Tag

Potter 11.jpgThis is Iceland Spar (or Optical Calcite), used in a variety of optical equipment… I wear glasses for reading!

I must thank Chloe Douglas for nominating me for this. It is primarily directed towards Harry Potter fans, as you can see from the tags, however it was fun to do! By the way, I have read all the Harry Potter books…

 

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A childhood book connected to good memories.

I was quite ill when I was a child, so my mother taught me to read at a young age. She bought me the whole ‘Chronicles of Narnia’ series which transported me to a different time and world. This is a series that I returned to, even as an adult with the same enjoyment I had as a child, and an adult appreciation of the deeper message.

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A book that took you by surprise

The Murder Bag’ by Tony Parsons. Totally hooked on this author! Well-constructed plot, detailed, convincing… It’s a police/crime/thriller book and not my usual fare.

Potter 3

The last book you read.

The Good Girl’ by Fiona Neill. Hmm. Quite enjoyed it, although I found the character of the mother unlikeable and if there is a character that is taking up a lot of page space, I do like to find something just plain ol’ nice about them… still worthwhile reading though.

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A book that introduced you to a genre you hadn’t considered before.

The Martian’ by Andy Weir. I don’t know whether it could be strictly called Science Fiction, but I thoroughly enjoyed it and found it totally believable and compelling.

Potter 5

A funny book you’ve read.

The first funny book I ever read was ‘It Shouldn’t Happen to a Vet’ by James Herriot. My father was a vet, so I had a prior interest in it anyway, but I love James Herriot’s style of recounting his adventures in the Yorkshire Dales.

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A book you think everyone should know about.

‘Ferney’ by James Long. This is a beautiful bittersweet story of an endless love… Beautifully written, emotion-filled, gripping story… what more can I say? Just read it!

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Potter 7

A book or spoiler you would like to forget having read.

Alleigant’ by Veronica Roth. Sometimes I like Y.A. fiction. First two – brilliant. Last one – wish I hadn’t bothered.

Potter 13.pngCharlie obviously found this quite gripping!

Potter 8

A book you had to read for school.

Emma’ by Jane Austen. I first did this in school when I was about twelve and it was my first introduction to Classic Literature. I loved each delicately constructed sentence and carefully placed comma, the sly, but gentle humour and – of course – the ending. One book I would (and have) quite happily read for pleasure again and again.

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A book that was painful to read.

The Time Traveler’s Wife’ by Audrey Niffenegger. I loved the film, but unfortunately I found the book had no ‘flow’ and the jumping back and forth was irritating rather than helpful to the plot.

Potter 12.jpg“Personally I didn’t think much of that one.”

Potter 10

A book that could kill (interpret as you will).

War and Peace’ by Leo Tolstoy. I went through a phase of reading Russian Classic Literature when I was an angst-ridden teenager. I read ‘War and Peace’ – it nearly killed me as indeed the physical book would if applied with sufficient force to someone’s head. It’s a big book…

I hope you enjoyed reading!

My nominees are:

In The Autumn Of My Life

Me:V

Wendy

…And, of course, anyone else who would like to have a go! Thank you as always for reading.

MakeItUltra™ Blogger Award

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I must thank A Floating Speck for nominating me for this award – please go and visit her blog for emotive poetry and evocative pictures…

 

ABOUT THE AWARD

The MakeItUltra™ Blogger Award is an award given to bloggers by bloggers for quality content, originality and presentation. The intention of this award is to encourage connectivity and support in the blogging community and to increase exposure for individual bloggers.

THE RULES

If you have been nominated for the MakeItUltra™ Blogger Award and choose to accept, write a blog post about the MakeItUltra™ Blogger Award in which you:

1. Thank the person who nominated you and post a link to their blog on your blog. Take a moment to positively promote the person who nominated you.

2. Display the award on your blog by adding it to your post and/or displaying it using a widget on your page (Save the image to your computer and upload it to your blog post).. Don’t forget to use the tag #MyUltraAward when you make your post!

3. Answer the following MakeItUltra™ Blogger Award questions.

 

What is your name?

Samantha

Where are you from?

England

How long have you been blogging and why did you start?

26th March 2016 – I used to write a lot when I was younger, but, you know, life happens and I lost confidence in myself… to cut a long story short, my younger son is friends with a wonderful man, who has been his mentor and guide. He’s involved with Copper Staple, an independent online publishing co. I asked him whether he thought I could write something for it… and he said yes. The man who said I can. Also my son was writing typing a letter for me on the laptop – I’d hurt my elbow and couldn’t grip a pen (I smoke with the left hand – ha ha!) and he was laughing aloud as I dictated. He said I should start a blog, as did his lovely crystal lady Lizian – whose stones  and insights feature in some of my posts. Long answer, I’m afraid, but there it is, a combination of three people, who I must always thank for their support and encouragement.

What are you most proud of?

My sons. 
What are your blogging goals?

To entertain, make people look again at something in a different light and perhaps even inform a little…
How do you spend your free time?

Generally just faffing about… dusting crystals, ironing, reading, writing, feeding my cats… oh dear that’s not very exciting ! Sorry!

img_6448-2Yellow Roses… for friendship.

4. Nominate 1-8 blogs that you feel deserve the award and provide links.

 

5. Provide 5 random facts about yourself (optional).

  • My great grandmother, grandmother and mother were all nurses. I’m not.
  • I had two pet tortoises when I was a little girl called Pecky Number One and Pecky Number Two.
  • I’ve never been stung by a bee.
  • I once dyed my hair pink… by accident.
  • My favourite book EVER is ‘Ferney’ by James Long

 

6. List these rules in your post (You can copy and paste from here).

 

7. Inform the people/blogs that you nominated that they have been nominated for the MakeItUltra™ Blogger Award and provide a link for them to your post.

 

You do not need to be nominated to make nominations!

Sunshine Blogger

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I must thank Xenia of Whippet Wisdom for nominating me for this award. I was surprised bur also pleased and touched that she thought of me. Please do go and have a look at her blog, stunning photographs, beautiful haikus and lovely stories of her clever, gentle dogs. Thank you Xenia for nominating me, thanks also to Eivor and Pearl, watched over by the faithful Seamus.

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A picture of our whippet, Misty, when I was a little girl, with my Burmese cat

The Sunshine Blogger Award is an award given to bloggers by bloggers. It is given to “bloggers who are positive and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere.”

Here are the rules to accept the Sunshine Award:

Thank the person who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.

  1. Answer the eleven questions sent by the person who nominated you.

  1. Nominate eleven blogs to receive the award and write them eleven new questions.

  1. List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or your blog.

 

Question 1: What book are you currently reading?

What book… I am re-reading ‘Jennie’ by Paul Gallico, tender story about cats and love.

Question 2: Name one goal you plan to accomplish this week.

One goal… stop smoking, or at least get my consumption down to five a day

Question 3: Three words that describe you.

3 words for me: I don’t know… my son says… honest, caring, funny.

Question 4: Paper and pen, or a laptop?

Always paper and pen… I’m not a great tech person, but I like to see the ink forming the words. It’s like giving birth but not half as painful!

Question 5: In one sentence, write a message to your younger self.

Don’t do it!

Question 6: Complete this: _______ is life.

Experience is life.

Question 7: Even without them speaking, whose presence causes you to smile?

My sons and cats!

Question 8: Anything you want to say about yourself.

Not really, I can’t think of anything interesting! I’m never very good at these sort of questions… 


Question 9: What song makes you dance carefree?

Sit Down’ by James… fond memories of the Student Union…

Question 10. How many tattoos do you have?

One – it’s rubbish and I wish I’d never got it…

Question 11: What good will you do today?

Hopefully what I can as the opportunity presents itself – whether it’s from giving directions to a stranger to washing up for my mother!

 

 

Sunshine nominations: (in no particular order)

1) Limitless Blog: Priscilla, my lovely internet daughter. She writes with sincerity, maturity and emotion about all sorts: love you!

2) Perceptions – Iman Refaat: I start my day with a look at her blog, kind, thoughtful, bite size mindfulness to inspire me for the day.

3) Chic Soles: Sochi is funny, glamorous and has FABULOUS shoes and other information such as shoe care tips, fashion advice and up-to-date amazing shoe styles on her blog, well worth a look!

4) The Joyful Soul Creates: I love her Photo A Day Challenge, the card making skills, creative and friendly, always ready to chat. (I’m in awe of her creative abilities!)

5) Paperpuff: Chicken46 – love her cards and humour… she’s reduced me to tears on a couple of occasions!

6) askNapi: This blog features the beautiful Tabby cat Napi Simba and wonderful informative posts.

7) The Adopted Cat: This blog features the handsome Gatsby and some very powerful, well-researched posts, like the article on de-clawing

8) In The Autumn of My Life: wonderful blog, kind and gentle humour, posts about crystals, aromatherapy, Reiki… what’s not to love?!

9) Inside Kel’s Kitchen: I love this blog! Wonderful recipes that are easy to cope with – even for an idiot chef like me!

10) Magnetically Aesthetic: Belinda, a lovely lady who posts on a wide range of subjects form recipes to recycling. Caring and friendly – well worth a look!

11) garfieldhug’s blog: My lovely friend! Talented and witty, her blog is well worth a visit for wicked humour that makes me choke with laughter, insight, marriage guidance for my sons, history, food… I could go on… and on!

 

The questions for my nominees are:

1) What is your first childhood memory?

2) What is your favourite film?

3) What was your first ever pet?

4) What is your favourite flower?

5) If you could solve one world problem, what would it be and why?

6) What was your best ever holiday?

7) As it’s the Sunshine Award… sunshine or rain?

8) What is your favourite perfume/aftershave?

9) What book are you reading at the moment?

10) What did you want to be when you grew up?

11) Forest or desert?

img_6151-2Sunny crystals to go with the theme… Bottom left Goldstone, man-made glass with copper for sparkles but can help the wearer achieve their goals, gain strength and stabilise their emotions. Bottom right Sunstone, instills good nature and help you nurture your self. Top rough Citrine…

There is no obligation or pressure to accept this award, it’s just a nice way to show appreciation and recognition to other bloggers and pass it on.

Thank you, as always for reading!

YAAAY! My first nomination for anything EVER!

YAAAY! My first nomination for anything EVER!

First of all, I would like to thank Violet AKA CrazyCatMama for nominating me as I am a complete novice blogger and it is nice to know people are reading and enjoying my posts (I hope!) I can thoroughly recommend https://crazycatmamablog.wordpress.com/ for interesting and informative posts about cat behaviour and nutrition or just plain ol’ cat chat.

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These are my answers to the questions she asked me… I kind of waffled in places…

 

  1. What are you passionate about?

That’s tricky… I feel very strongly about animal cruelty – it’s on the increase and the attitude that just because they’re animals they’re expendable infuriates me. ALL life is important and animals can show us a lot about how to live our lives. I hate bullies, who are obviously so inadequate in their own lives they feel they can impose that on other people, through intimidation and insults. I hate negativity, it’s soul-destroying and pointless… On the other hand, I am passionate about my cats, animals only have little lives and it’s our duty to make them as happy as we can while they’re with us. I’m passionate about my kids, and although they’re 21 and 16, I still like texts from them so I know they’re safe… (“Mum, I’m in exactly the same place as I was an hour ago, a History lesson…”)

  1. What is your favourite animal? (Wild or domesticated)

Cats have to be my favourite domesticated animals, I’ve had them ever since I was a little girl. In fact, my first memory was walking round the garden with my first cat, typical kid-style, holding him under his armpits, so his back feet were touching the ground and walking with me… My favourite wild animal, another cat, no surprises there, would have to be the snow leopard, beautiful and endangered.

  1. What is your favourite food/meal?

I’m not really a big foodie. I adore watching cookery programmes and following food blogs, and I’m a reasonable cook, I just have certain issues with food… Quite like chocolate digestives though – do they count?

  1. If you had all the money in the world, what would you do with it?

I would establish animal centres all over that would provide all the necessary veterinary care, so no more animals would suffer. Then I would sort the refugee crisis, establish world peace, remove corrupt politicians from office, eradicate poverty, provide better social care for adults and the elderly, sort the NHS – is there a time limit on this?…

  1. What’s your favourite pastime?

All sorts really. I enjoy reading, going to the cinema and theatre and I’ve only recently re-discovered how much I enjoy writing. Otherwise, just hanging out with the cats and exchanging witty banter…

  1. What is your favourite genre of books?

Crime, thrillers, mystery that sort of thing. I have particularly enjoyed Elly Griffiths’ series featuring Ruth Galloway, a forensic archaeologist, although I do enjoy some classic authors like D.H. Lawrence and the Brontë sisters.

  1. If you could go on holiday anywhere in the world right now, where would you go?

Israel. I went there when I was thirteen on holiday with my mother and it just had the most amazing vibe. We did the usual tours of both Christian and Jewish sites and the sense of history, a shared human history is just amazing.

  1. What is your happiest memory?

That’s actually a really hard one… I’ve had depression since I was very young, various other stuff happened too complicated to go in to, so I’m going to go for a recent memory that was happy. Last year, my younger son and I went to see ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ at the theatre. He wants to be an actor, I love the theatre so we were both really excited. We had good seats, and as the lights dimmed and the iconic first few notes started, we just looked at each other… that was enough.

  1. What is your religion/belief system?

I don’t have a named belief system as such, I’ve been drawn to things that speak to me from all sorts of beliefs. Ultimately, we are all trying to find our way back to source, or truth, or universal light, how you get there or what you call it doesn’t matter. I love the words of the Serenity Prayer, and I try to live my life by the Dalai Lama’s words: ‘This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.’

  1. What does love mean to you?

Another difficult one… it depends on how you interpret the word. One can ‘love’ chocolate biscuits… I suppose the most important meaning of ‘love’ for me is the love I have for my sons, you’ll do anything for your children and once I became a mother, I felt that was now the most important job description. And of course I love my cats! The unquestioning faith they have in me and the bond between us is ‘love’. A blessing and reward.

 

So, my nominees are:

1) https://lizianblog.com because she’s featured in some of my posts and I love her gentle wisdom and humour and unfailing good nature.

2) https://blogiantimothy.com for your unique world view and for giving me the courage and inspiration to write again. Also, thank you for your kindness and support to my son.

3) https://mirandavoice.com her posts have beautiful photos and lyrical descriptions – I feel as if I am there too.

4) https://endsandbeginningsblog.wordpress.com I love all his posts, he writes on a range of subjects, all of which I find interesting.

5) https://lilyandardbeg.wordpress.com she writes with compassion and empathy, some of her posts have moved me to tears.

6) https://reflectionsonlifeandfood.wordpress.com Another blogger who writes lovely posts about a range of subjects, again I found some of her posts really emotional.

11 Random Facts about me

1) I went to boarding school.

2) I have a secret passion for the music of Justin Bieber

3) It took me 20 years to pluck up the courage to tell my mother I don’t like brussel sprouts.

4) I can’t drive.

5) I wanted to be an archaeologist (I’m not, by the way.)

6) My favourite joke of the moment it:

          Q. What do you call an exploding monkey?

          A. A BaBOOM!

7) I love watermelon – the first time I tried it was by the Trevi Fountain in Rome when I was 12.

8) I love ‘The Deadliest Catch’, ‘Family Guy’ and ‘Dance Moms.’

9) I’ve been bitten by a sheep.

10) I don’t like fizzy drinks.

11) I broke my wrist when I was ten, falling in a school corridor.

Here are my questions for other people… some are deep and meaningful, some I’m just curious about!

1) Do you believe in reincarnation? If so, why?

2) If you could only eat one food item for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?

3) What makes you cry and why? (Can be tears of joy or sadness)

4) What music would you have at your funeral?

5) If a film of your life was made, who would play you?

6) Jungle or desert and why?

7) What is your favourite item of jewellery and why?

8) What was most defining moment in your life?

9) What is your favourite joke/one liner?

10) What is your favourite colour?

Don’t forget your 11 random facts please… looking forward to them! Thank you to everyone who’s been reading, I really appreciate it!