Wednesday 18th July 2018

What Is Courage? 29/52. #LifeThisWeek. 2018.61.

What Is Courage? 29/52. #LIfeThisWeek. 2018.61.

To answer this question I sought responses from various people and the internet sure does pop up some good ones. Yes, I have read some before. Yes I understand them…now.

No I did not always get why courage was so important.

Surely staying safe and small was best. Then, over the last few years I needed guidance and knowledge to help me gain skills that I am sure became dormant in a body rattled by far too many changes in my life at one.

These photos explain more. I recall taking each of them…and the last one  I had started to feel the courage I needed.

 

From these quotes I can see there are a number of views on courage. I leave them here for you and after you have scrolled, read or skipped them…my responses, via examples, to What is courage will be below.

https://www.tes.com/lessons/ZP0RzEjUkL554Q/what-is-courage

https://www.pinterest.com.au/33rdchance/courage/

http://acelebrationofwomen.org/2013/02/courage-is-not-the-absence-of-fear-women-in-recovery/

https://randyfrazier.com/brene-brown-quote-on-courage/

 

http://www.azquotes.com/quote/1343701

I recently saw this quote and it had to be here: It’s from Dr Danny Penman who has written a book called: The Art of Breathing, which I have found very helpful.

What are some personal examples of courage? 

  • Moving away from our family, friends and the known to the unknown to live here on the Central Coast. I paid for this courage with resulting fear and anxiety yet, on reflection, 3 years afterwards it was worth it.

 

  • Deciding that I could apply for and get a principal’s role in 1998. Before then, I wanted to stay “safe” because that felt best. Yet as I considered my life as it continued, I knew UNLESS I got up the courage to go for roles, I would always regret it. I did get a principal’s position. I did really well in the first three years and then, the fourth year I was brought down by over-work and I had the courage to leave to help me save my mental health.

 

  • Starting a blog. I know that might not seem courageous to some but for me, a lonely retired educator I was prepared “to put myself out there”. It’s been hard to see some of the external measures of success in blogging by-pass me but look now, a lovely community thanks to this link up has joined in and that has made it worthwhile.

 

  • Speaking up and telling my father that some of his comments to me over the years have hurt me and I would prefer to have his support, no matter what, than advice that is not sought. I did wait till my mid-60s but I have done it and as a result, there is an adult to adult relationship now. I took the risk and it worked.

 

  • Insisting, after many sessions of conservative treatment,  that my dentist removed the bridge and attached teeth from my upper gums because of the pain and trouble the area had caused me for the past many months. Getting it done, despite my anxiety being sky-high at the time because I knew the only way was to find what was causing the problem underneath.

 

  • Being prepared to let go of any real or perceived attempts that I can control other people and their behaviours and this was especially true for my family relationships. I risked not knowing what I thought I needed to know and can accept this as a reality.

 

  • Determining, after taking some time to convince myself, that my cancer diagnosis, surgeries and treatments were not to harm nor scare me but to help and heal me and once I did that I was/am a more responsive and healing patient.

This list is not the end but an example of some instances that came to mind as I was preparing the post. Each of them starts with a verb. Yes, action is required in courage.

I found this example of my artwork which helped (and continues to help) me move through the often slow, boring and painful times of recovery from the BIG surgery in July 2017. I concur with past me!

A very influential person to help me learn aspects of the courage I could tap into in my latter years is my husband and along with him, my reading and listening to the works of Brene Brown. Her statements on vulnerability hit home!

So, what is courage for you?

Denyse.

 

 

Joining with Alicia here for Open Slather.

You can link up something old or new, just come on in. * Please add just ONE post each week! * Feel free to go with the prompt for the week to add your ‘take’ on the prompt. Or not. * Please do stay to comment on my post as I always reply and it’s a bloggy thing to do! * Check out what others are up to by leaving a comment because we all love our comments, right! * Add a link back to this blog in your post somewhere. I don’t have a ‘button’ so a link in text is fine! *Posts deemed by me, the owner of the blog and the link-up, to be unsuitable for my audience will be deleted without notice. * THANK you for linking up today!

Next Week’s Optional Prompt: 30/52. Share Your Snaps 6.  23/7/18.



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Thank A Teacher. #LifeThisWeek 26/52. 2018.53.

Thank A Teacher. #LifeThisWeek 26/52. 2018.53.

It’s coming up to end of first semester or end of term 2 2018.  School holidays are about to commence, or have and are not far off in most states and territories of Australia. I know that folks in the Northern Hemisphere are also on the long school summer vacation.

My old Primary School: I went here and taught here for 2 practice teaching times.

There’s a saying around that ‘teachers have it so good’ :

         9.00 a.m to 3.00 p.m. It is a great career. Look, the hours AND the holidays!

 

 

 

 

 

Do you believe it?

Well, here I am to de-bunk that myth right now!

These days here’s what most teachers are up to in the so-called holidays….

  • attending professional education conferences as attendees and presenters, most often at their own costs
  • planning the work that they will be presenting as part of the beginning of Term 3 called ‘SDD’ or ‘School Development Day’
  • meeting colleagues in schools and other venues to share ideas, make programs and plan for the educational needs of the students in the schools for Term 3 and beyond
  • marking essays, projects, assignments and adding to the program requirements for the term ahead to enable kids’ best learning to occur
  • making most of the child-free environment in their classrooms/halls/libraries and faculty areas to plan, file, cover books, accession records, add information and ‘get the work’ done so that when the kids return the priority is teaching and learning
  • attending to their personal and professional development by working on their portfolios and making plans for meeting the teaching standards as per the Australian Curriculum and their Education Authority.

 

My first…and last photo! This High School was where I attended 1962-67. Then in August 2015 I re-visited and presented for the last time to a professional meeting of teachers.

  • attending Winter Residential schools as they complete their post-graduate courses or degrees. Others may be teaching at Universities which often have holidays outside school holidays.
  • volunteering to help kids in school holiday care settings & camps where they may be paid to supplement wages.
  • One person who is very close to me, completed her Masters In Education (Teacher/Librarianship) over the years during HER school holidays, taking some long service leave to finish the last semester (busy single mother with 4 differing needs’ kids) She also volunteers at a Museum in Sydney in her not-spare time.

My Graduation M.Ed & our daughter’s over 23 years later!

They also make some time, I am hopeful, for caring for themselves physically and mentally by having some time out to personal care, relax, meet with friends and spend time with family as it is important to come back to school well and ready to go and….

Term 3 here we come. but not quite yet..

Maybe when you see your child’s teacher(s) next how about saying ‘thanks!’

My very best wishes to my family and friends who are teachers.

I KNOW how much you needed the ‘break’ and how hard you work.

The ways in which to thank a teacher are many but I always loved those who took the time to tell me face to face or to write it. It was never about the gifts. Always about how I was made to feel. Appreciated.

Once a teacher, always a teacher. It’s in me. I cannot let it go but I also love that too!

End 2009 official last days as a teacher. Unsurprisingly there were a few more!

Denyse.

Joining with Alicia here for Open Slather. She is a teacher too.

Life This Week 26/52. We are HALF-WAY everyone!!

You can link up something old or new, just come on in. * Please add just ONE post each week! * Feel free to go with the prompt for the week to add your ‘take’ on the prompt. Or not. * Please do stay to comment on my post as I always reply and it’s a bloggy thing to do! * Check out what others are up to by leaving a comment because we all love our comments, right! * Add a link back to this blog in your post somewhere. I don’t have a ‘button’ so a link in text is fine! *Posts deemed by me, the owner of the blog and the link-up, to be unsuitable for my audience will be deleted without notice. * THANK you for linking up today!

Next Week’s Optional Prompt: 27/52. Taking Stock 3. 2/7/18.


 

 

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Share Your Snaps 5. 25/52. #LifeThisWeek. 2018.51.

Share Your Snaps 5. 25/52. #LifeThisWeek. 2018.51.

Dear Readers and Fellow Bloggers,

THIS is our fifth ‘share your snaps’ and….takes us almost to being HALF-way through 2018.

Didn’t we just post our ‘words and intentions’ for the year ahead?

Please tell me it’s not just me who thinks T I M E is a-flying!! Oh, and it is June equinox this week: longest nights for us in the southern hemisphere, longest days for those in the  north!

Beach Writing by Me! Not right now, though ’tis a bit cool!

Sharing My Snaps here for the fifth time as a prompt was a bit of a challenge: what NOT to post! So I did this instead. A quick update of what I have been up to recently, then more below.

If you would like to know more about Head and Neck Cancer & the support from BeyondFive via their Facebook page, here’s more: LIKE their Facebook page here https://www.facebook.com/beyondfiveorg/

Now: My Share Your Snaps: From a visit to the Hawkesbury River after coming off the Bridge on the M1 to (use the loo, as is tradition) have a break from the drive home from Westmead (done twice in 4 days!) on Friday afternoon.

Are you familiar with this place? For me it has significance in that it is the first stop…if I need one, on the way HOME to the Central Coast…or the last stop …on the way to SYDNEY! The drive on the M1 used to scare me…I wrote about that a long time ago here. and here .

Once I met that challenge once, twice…then I was fine.

I’ve been taking myself to all of the Westmead Prosthodontist visits since early March. My husband drives us to the Lifehouse appointments as he either needs to be there for me post-surgery or he wants to be part of the consultation.

I hope you have enjoyed seeing my snaps of late…and I look forward to seeing yours too if you have shared.

Thanks for joining in and reading too.

Denyse.

Alicia has a Monday link up called Open Slather here and I join in there too.

 

Life This Week 25/52.

 

You can link up something old or new, just come on in. * Please add just ONE post each week! * Feel free to go with the prompt for the week to add your ‘take’ on the prompt. Or not. * Please do stay to comment on my post as I always reply and it’s a bloggy thing to do! * Check out what others are up to by leaving a comment because we all love our comments, right! * Add a link back to this blog in your post somewhere. I don’t have a ‘button’ so a link in text is fine! *Posts deemed by me, the owner of the blog and the link-up, to be unsuitable for my audience will be deleted without notice. * THANK you for linking up today!

Next Week’s Optional Prompt: 26/52. Thank A Teacher. 25/6/18.


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The M-Z of Me. 24/52. #LifeThisWeek. 2018.49.

The M-Z of Me. 24/52. #LifeThisWeek. 2018.

This week’s optional prompt is a part two to this one: The A-L of Me.

As I mentioned last time, I had done an A-Z of me a few years back so I reviewed it and there was little to change. I find that interesting in itself.

Mother is a role, a word and a lifetime of tears, laughter, sleepless nights, pride, being over-protective, taking the blame, being respected, walking a tight-rope of ‘damned if I do and damned if I don’t’ …I became a mother at 21 and was not really ready for the many roles a mother must play. Selfish? Maybe. Realistic? Probably. But I always wanted to be a mother.

No-one notices an older lady, as I know unless I stand out by saying something, writing  or more. Invisible now to many in society, I am finding that can be a plus at times too.

Opinionated until someone wants to cross me, or criticise my view…and unless I can come back with strength I tend to crumble and admit defeat. More O for Optimistic that I used to be since I was diagnosed with cancer.

Private views tend to be kept by me on all manner of things I would LOVE to express, but I always get concerned about being criticised so I am more likely to ‘shut up’.

Quality is an important part of my work, and in my life, as I like to think my personal connections with others are ones of quality as I value this so much too. I also ask Questions a great deal!

Reader of anything, and via different means, including the newspapers and on-line as I like to be better informed each day. I love reading blogs, on-line articles about life, education & art.

Social is part of who I am and if I can’t have my social needs met within an informal setting or one where I am ‘at home’ I become lonely and sad. I love that I can count as friends people I have not yet met particularly from this wonderful world of blogging. My social network of friends (met and not yet met) buoys me through my cancer journey

Traveller me wants to keep on visiting places and people as I love this. What’s stopping me for now is cash and needing to be fully fit after cancer. I am actually enjoying being an armchair traveller following friends’ posts on Instagram too.

Unique I am. This makes me Denyse…and all that comprises me, and I enjoy being unique as much as I like seeing little parts of ‘me’ handed on to my family members as character traits – the good ones of course!

Vocal person, not only a loud voice, but I like to talk..and here as well as in person. I sometimes have too much to say, and don’t mind some silence, but generally I “have” an opinion or 2…and don’t try to stop me ‘having the last word’. Many have, few succeed!

Worrier describes me in many ways, as I 0ver-think, and 0ver-dramatise…and 0ver-expect..and 0ver-anticipate. True to form about 99% of what I worry about does not eventuate. *sigh*. My husband would say, I am a  “W is for Work in Progress.”

X can be for kisses at the end of my emails, and in real life, from my beautiful family and my loving spouse.

Young for my age is what I have always felt, but now I may not get away with this generous descriptor. Let me just say, that as a 68 year old on paper, I am definitely 20 years younger in my head & heart. But the mirror disagrees!

Z can represent the sleeping symbol, and l admit now, that sometimes I do not get enough of this as my active brain, and creative thoughts take me into lands of planning for the future.

Bit of a night owl. Need to go to S L E E P!

I hope you saw something of ‘me’ as you see me from these pages.

Thanks for reading, commenting AND linking-up I hope!

Denyse.

When Alicia has her link-up on Mondays, I join Open Slather here too.

 

Life This Week 24/52.

You can link up something old or new, just come on in. * Please add just ONE post each week! * Feel free to go with the prompt for the week to add your ‘take’ on the prompt. Or not. * Please do stay to comment on my post as I always reply and it’s a bloggy thing to do! * Check out what others are up to by leaving a comment because we all love our comments, right! * Add a link back to this blog in your post somewhere. I don’t have a ‘button’ so a link in text is fine! *Posts deemed by me, the owner of the blog and the link-up, to be unsuitable for my audience will be deleted without notice. * THANK you for linking up today!

Next Week’s Optional Prompt: 25/52. SHARE YOUR SNAPS 5. 18/6/18. 


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What I Will Never See Again. 23/52.#LifeThisWeek. 2018.47.

What I Will Never See Again. 23/52.#LifeThisWeek. 2018.47.

I am not sure what I thought this prompt would be about when it came to writing. Then, upon reflection, I decided the photos and some words could tell the story…of just a few things…of what I will never see again.

Some things of course are still there: Warragamba Dam, Manly Beach and Los Angeles…however, it is more likely than not that I will never see them again.

I note career items from my years as a young Mum and teacher, onto my senior years as Uni tutor and as an Education Specialist. Whilst I do not mention my grandchildren specifically any more (privacy reasons) it is noteworthy to add a drive to Sydney at dawn as a new grandchild was born and the eldest grandchild in an individual drama performance in the NSW Public Schools Spectacular in a place that no longer exists! With reference to our aging as I said to my husband when doing this post, there is hair neither of us will see again, along with our teeth! Gotta have a laugh.

There are things we will never see again because of where they occurred – the pool and the flowers – but who knows over time if we may not have at least one of those experiences again! More likely the flowers than the pool.

Enjoy!

 

Thank you for reading, commenting and I hope LINKING up a post, old or new, on or off prompt this week!
Denyse.
Joining with Alicia here for Open Slather.
Life This Week. 23/52. 

You can link up something old or new, just come on in. * Please add just ONE post each week! * Feel free to go with the prompt for the week to add your ‘take’ on the prompt. Or not. * Please do stay to comment on my post as I always reply and it’s a bloggy thing to do! * Check out what others are up to by leaving a comment because we all love our comments, right! * Add a link back to this blog in your post somewhere. I don’t have a ‘button’ so a link in text is fine! *Posts deemed by me, the owner of the blog and the link-up, to be unsuitable for my audience will be deleted without notice. * THANK you for linking up today!

Next Week’s Optional Prompt: 24/52. The M-Z of Me. 11/6/18. 


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Foods I Dislike. #LifeThisWeek. 14/52. 2018.29.

Foods I Dislike. #LifeThisWeek. 14/52. 2018.29.

I am tempted to say that for now, as it has been for the past nearly 9 months, I dislike all food I cannot eat since my rather drastic cancer surgery in my upper mouth!

I cannot chew.

I cannot crunch.

I cannot bite.

I cannot enjoy foods I miss so much because I literally cannot have them (yet).

These include: salads, most fruit, cooked meat (other than in minced form), bread with crust that I can bite into, bread rolls…shall I stop?

As a certain podcaster (if you aren’t already listening to The Hot Flush then do so now)  and well-know blogger, Mrs Woog along with her friend Mrs Berry, would say:

#borednow

The food I dislike is a mixture and I think it is a sensory thing.

EGGS.

I can eat scrambled egg on crispy toast with some bacon on the side and some chutney on the egg….but I cannot abide egg in any other form. In fact photos of people on Social Media enjoying their poached eggs on toast at brunch require a quick scroll past for me. My husband has an egg on toast each day and let’s just say I leave him in peace while I swallow my mushed-up weetbix and milk.

I was a good mum and grandmother though because I could make eggs as a meal for the children even making egg salad sandwiches (I didn’t breathe much though).

BANANAS.

Bananas are another food where I am incredibly fussy. Ok, by that I mean, when I HAD teeth, and I had a crunchy bread roll I could add some sliced almost green banana on it add some sugar and really enjoy it. But not any other type of banana or banana product.

Yet, good Grandma and Mum I was with little kids, I could mash up a soft banana for them and even feed it to them without any trouble.

I admit now that when “Crunch and Sip” time was in a class I was teaching back when I couldn’t handle the smell of multiple bananas in the room, so I asked those children very nicely, if they could please eat theirs outside. They did. Phew. Cannot look at overripe bananas when people share that they are making banana bread. I know. It is me.

OFFAL.

As kids we were duped into eating offal by my depression-reared parents. They LOVED Steak and Kidney Pie. I learned how to take the kidney out! Then they ‘made’ us try Lambs’ Fry. Oh NO. Awful stuff. They loved it too. The bacon with was the only thing I would eat. I have never been given other offal, these were enough for me to know “offal is awful”. No photos.

So I hope that no reader is offended by my photos or my dislikes!

My husband loved both eggs and bananas (not offal) and when I cook with or eat salmon, HE is the one complaining about the odour!

We are all individuals are we not?

Tell me your food dislikes! I bet chocolate does not rate…unless of course it is, for me, fake chocolate called White Chocolate!

Denyse.

Joining with Alicia here for Open Slather.

Life This Week Link Up.

You can link up something old or new, just come on in. * Please add just ONE post each week! * Feel free to go with the prompt for the week to add your ‘take’ on the prompt. Or not. * Please do stay to comment on my post as I always reply and it’s a bloggy thing to do! * Check out what others are up to by leaving a comment because we all love our comments, right! * Add a link back to this blog in your post somewhere. I don’t have a ‘button’ so a link in text is fine! *Posts deemed by me, the owner of the blog and the link-up, to be unsuitable for my audience will be deleted without notice. * THANK you for linking up today!

Next Week is the optional prompt’: 15/52.  “Share Your Snaps 3.” 9.4.18.


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The Story of My First Name. #LifeThisWeek. 13/52. 2018.27.

The Story of My First Name. #LifeThisWeek. 13/52. 2018.27.

Happy 1/4 of the Year of 2018 GONE…

I know, it just started right?

And before I forget: the weekend coming, when the EB may visit (if you believe), do not forget to turn BACK the clocks…and Queenslanders, NT peeps and WA wonders, we are BACK..at what I call NORMAL transmission.

Ok, sorry to those who LOVE Daylight Saving. I admit, this time round it was not too bad. Probably because we did not have 5 days of temps over 38 deg as in February 2017.

Paternal Grandmother, Dad, Me, and Paternal Great Grandmother: My Christening in Wollongong in early 1950.

The optional prompt today…best I get on with it!

My first name is Denyse.

I do not like it much at all.

was to be named Jennifer.

I like that name.

But no, first child to my parents back in 1949 and Mum won! The naming game.

I was to be Denise Jennifer.

What do you notice?

Yes, that is NOT how I spell my name.

Dad went one up…and he changed to spelling on my birth certificate application so I became:

Denyse Jennifer.

And, I have no inkling why, but I “was” the only person in our little family to have a second name. Dad and Mum did not (babies of 1924) neither has my brother born after me. Must note this to ask Dad.

I don’t mind that the spelling is unusual BUT it becomes tedious ensuring the spelling is correct and once I could spell and read around 6 years of age I have been spelling my name for teachers, and all the people who want to know your first name: medical people, forms people,marriage certificate people and more. Including these:

 

And just for the fun of how my name can sound as people in high school told me: DEN W(y)ISE…so when I first tweeted and for about 50,000 tweets from 2010 to around 2014 when I closed that account my handle was: denwise1. Den Wise One. I liked it. In fact, a number of people who got to know me back then still call me Den. It is sweet that they do but my name was only ever shortened by me (and some others) to D or Dee or DJ.

So, everyone, now I have let you in on the story of my name, what is the story of yours?

Names are very challenging to get right. I admit, that I was pernickty about how I wanted our daughter’s name spelled (shades of Dad!) so I completed the form for her name in hospital!

One more thing, as teachers it can be very hard to select a name for your child IF, heaven forbid, you have taught someone of that name….ahem..and they were NOT the best kids you have come across in a classroom. To avoid any hurt or incrimination, I will not say what those names were. BUT…no, I still won’t…sorry! And hate to say it, it was 90% the boys.

Denyse.

Linking up with Alicia here for Open Slather.

Life This Week 13/52.

 

You can link up something old or new, just come on in. * Please add just ONE post each week! * Feel free to go with the prompt for the week to add your ‘take’ on the prompt. Or not. * Please do stay to comment on my post as I always reply and it’s a bloggy thing to do! * Check out what others are up to by leaving a comment because we all love our comments, right! * Add a link back to this blog in your post somewhere. I don’t have a ‘button’ so a link in text is fine! *Posts deemed by me, the owner of the blog and the link-up, to be unsuitable for my audience will be deleted without notice. * THANK you for linking up today!

Next Week is the optional prompt’: 14/52.  “Foods I Dislike.” 2.4.18.


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My Last Meal Was. #LifeThisWeek 11/52. 2018.23.

My Last Meal Was. #LifeThisWeek 11/52. 2018.23.

When I made this prompt up initially it was “My Last Meal” but that conjured up those of prisoners who are about to be executed (yikes) get to choose their last meal. I have wondered, as you do, how on earth ANYONE could actually EAT before they were led off…anyway, I need to lighten up…and here we go.

It’s hard for me to write about a meal in actual fact . I can have meals of course and I have written about what it’s been like to eat after cancer surgery here and tomorrow is the part two of that series.

It’s really been more than a year since I have been able to chew or crunch with success. My upper front gums were very sore and inflamed before we knew it was cancer. See here if you are new and missed that post back in May 2017. So even before Christmas 2016 I was seeking food that was softer.

Onto the now.

I cannot cite my ‘last meal’ because I am writing this pre-Monday. Every day for many months I have had two weetbix and milk for breakfast. Before I discovered I actually did not mind weetbix I was struggling to get something resembling toast down. I no longer try that. I can’t. Yet.

But here are some main/lunch meals I eat now with 8 front lower gum teeth and my strong tongue!

Each of the above requires a lot of time (I used to be a 10 mins and it’s eaten girl) and concentration so I do not overfill my mouth and can swallow with ease.

I always have water near me to help the food go down and for me, a long-time talker at meals, I try not to chat and to get my food down safely. I have been fine to date! I have had to use my ingenuity in this LONG (over 8 months now) post-surgery journey as I miss variety, textures and tastes.

Each of these was borne of my need to have all of those within my limitations.

I am quite proud of these. But will be glad in a few months when chewing and crunching may return!

Here’s two meals I had in the past that I will be looking forward to have again. Simple but nutritious and very comforting!

Now I realised “this” is not a meal. But oh my gosh it is both comforting and delicious and I do not have F.O.M.O. when I treat myself to this!

As I cannot bite into a donut, I break off tiny pieces from the BEST BIT, the edges and place them in my mouth. I leave the middle ….I never liked that much anyway.

I wonder what your last meal was….I must say I have stopped being envious of people who get to eat what I cannot yet as it was not helpful to me or to them.

Eating food we like is such an enjoyable event I would never want to put someone off theirs!

Here’s to eating well!

Denyse.

Joining with Alicia for Open Slather here…and let me say, some of her food pics are wonderful and almost everything is home-grown!

You can link up something old or new, just come on in. * Please add just ONE post each week! * Feel free to go with the prompt for the week to add your ‘take’ on the prompt. Or not. * Please do stay to comment on my post as I always reply and it’s a bloggy thing to do! * Check out what others are up to by leaving a comment because we all love our comments, right! * Add a link back to this blog in your post somewhere. I don’t have a ‘button’ so a link in text is fine! *Posts deemed by me, the owner of the blog and the link-up, to be unsuitable for my audience will be deleted without notice. * THANK you for linking up today!

Next Week is the optional prompt’: 12/52.  “Out My Window I See.” 19.3.18.


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