For You, Daddy!

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Honour Thy Father And Thy Mothers

   

This love affair of mine is no secret.

 

❤ 🙂 ❤

This image is from http://www.zmescience.com/

  

Although I’m Daddy’s Girl to the core, I do have space in my heart for two more.

 

 

My birth mother and my earth mother.

   

 

Bursting with earthy wholesomeness!

This image is from http://www.wondercliparts.com/

  

I am terribly saddened by these events around the world.

 

  

Thank you, Elaine, for permitting me the use of this image on behalf of China Org.

This image is from http://www.china.org.cn/  

So I try my darnedest to do what I know. 

  

Thank you, Heidi McDonald, for permitting me the use of this image from your website, Unique Teaching Resources.

Thank you, Heidi McDonald, for permitting me the use of this image from your website, Unique Teaching Resources.

The above two images are from http://www.uniqueteachingresources.com 

  

Then, there are other things that I do to make my earth mother less sad.

You know how I began using newspaper to wrap gifts 4 years ago. That sent a few ripples of the ‘She’s NUTS!’ sort, and I got a significant number of the ‘She’s got guts.‘ sort!

You win some + You lose some = Life.

And for me, there’s only one direction in life – onward and upward.

So for the past four years, everyone I know has received their gifts wrapped, very thoughtfully, in newspaper. Last year, I kicked my mother(earth)loving mania up a notch for Mum’s birthday.

Mum turned 80 and since it is one of those big deal milestones, Big Bro, Big Sis and I decided the annual dinner for a few dozen at home would just not do. When Mum, the ace party animal, gave her nod of consent (before we could complete the question!), the little ones began a-plannin’.  

“I’ll do the invitations!” Baby (bug)Bear AKA me, offered excitedly.

From experience, my older siblings recognised that kind of enthusiasm as trouble. From experience, too, this baby in the family knows when she can push her luck. And Lady Luck smiled down on Batty Baby because this is the invitation all the guests, in country and overseas, received for Mum’s birthday bash.

Better believe it!

 I hand wrote the invitations. All 102 of them.

 

  

I took an A4, cut it in half, uh, jazzed up the edges on two sides with a pair of pinking scissors (please be impressed) and wrote down the details using my everyday pen.

Okay, I’ll give you all a few seconds to pick your horrified jaws off the ground.

I know what you’re thinking. “Such an important occasion and you gave out these … these scraps of paper? WHY?”  

Simple. Because it breaks my heart to see how invitations are trashed after the occasion. Yes, people ooh and aah upon receipt of glitzy invitations. The more ostentatious invitations go on to become a topic of conversation briefly among some. But they all meet the same fate. The grossly outsized ones, the ones with multiple puzzling parts, the ones with glitter falling out when first opened and the perfumed ones. All in the trash can. How much my poor earth mother bled to make us, ungrateful children, happy for a few fleeting moments.

   

I believe in this.

Each day matters.

This image is from http://www.georgianc.on.ca/environment/news/every-day-is-earth-day-contest-enter-today/

   

So 80th birthday or not, Mum’s birthday was just another day to me. As I tend to, I chose to put my foot into my mouth. It’s fairly easy for me now because I open my mouth so nice and wide to begin with. 😉

When I folded the invitation, I put each one into a regular white envelope. I skipped writing the guests’ names on the envelope, as is the norm. Then I explained to our mildly bewildered friends and relatives, that I did that so that they could reuse the envelope themselves.

And my final green touch to the invitations was travelling to the homes of the guests in my state by public transport. I chose to deliver the invitations personally so that I could spend time with each of them. Having lived away from home since I left for university, I am not terribly close to most because I meet them during my annual visits home and then again, at events – weddings, birthdays or funerals. I don’t know these outer circle relatives and friends as well as I’d like to. Spending time when delivering the invitations made a significant difference on that front.

The other reason I decided to deliver the invitations in person was because I wanted to emphasise that they not bring a gift as requested at the bottom of the invitation.

Instead, I requested they fill in the enclosed, large Post-It-like slip of coloured paper than Big Sis had added a little artwork to.

That slip of paper was for each guest or family to write what they wished for Mum or share their experience with her. Big Sis thought of this because she pointed out that Mum is a sentimental fool (like me).

  

A fool judges people by the presents they give him. ~ Chinese proverb

    

Mum has old handwritten cards and letters that are decades old. She goes through them at least twice a year when the family is together, usually around our dining table or in her bedroom. We read them aloud, talk about the ones who wrote them, run our fingers along the once familiar writing of those who live far away or who have passed away. And in some strange way, we feel like we are all together again.

Mother Hen with her chicklets.

Golden Girl – Mum

Little Girl Blue – Big Sis, Red Riding Cheongsam/Qipao – me, English Rose – Godbaby

 

 

Mum was delighted with all the notes that she got back. Most guests had filled up every little bit of blank space with anecdotes from the past, and we all learned so much more about Mum.

These are two of the least filled in slips we received.

From cousins Down Under.

This was the simplest one Mum got.

  

  

 

 

From close family friends.

This was my favourite one.

  

  

I loved this slip the most because Zinia added those little rose-y touches to it. 

Zinia thrilled me further by telling me that she did that as her little green contribution to the event. She and her family were delighted with the outcome, too, especially because they realised that something so simple could be turned into something so special. (Go, Kate, you green freak, go!)

 

Example is the school of mankind, and they will learn at no other.” ~ Edmund Burke (Irish statesman and philosopher. 1729-1797)

 

When I went around distributing the invitations, I was pleasantly surprised with everyone’s response when I explained the madness behind the reason for that very simple invitation. They understood my concern from the environmental point of view, agreed it was valid and commended me for taking that bold step. Most were honest enough to admit that they would not be able to do the same because they were too afraid of being ridiculed.

Ridicule? Doesn’t bother me. I get it so much, it’s like one of those magical little trace elements in my daily dose of multivitamins!

I’ll go further and twist the Adidas slogan and say – Ridicule is Nothing.

  

It’s a small price to pay if I want to live in this kind of a world.

    

A girl can dream, can’t she?

This image is from http://blog.woozworld.com/en/?p=3739

       

Earth Day is 22 April.   

::  :: ::  ::  ::  ::  ::  ::  ::     HEAR YE!   HEAR YE!      ::  ::  ::  ::  ::  ::  ::  ::  ::  ::

Bestie Boy arrives for a visit on 17 April. As you know, I am very particular about responding to comments that you all take the time and patience to write out. However, I will not be able to reply to comments you leave from 16 – 29 April.

I have been prepping for his visit and tying up things at work, which is why, my RSSed buds, I have not had the time to enjoy reading through and commenting on your blogs as well for a while now. Thank you for understanding.

I think of all of you. Our personalities filter through our words and that has helped me build up an image of each of you. Sorta like playing Sims (which I never did), but better! Because you are free to do your own thing, and I’m free to join you on your blogging journey.  

But I’m gonna break journey for a bit longer now.

And I’m going to walk on my head instead. 🙂   

 

    

 



Thank you, The Book of Terribleorples and  mj monaghan  for commenting on my last post.

Thank you, Don Cuney, Looking for Pemberley, The Ranting Chef,  The Book of Terrible, No Circ is WholeSon and orples for liking my last post.

***********************************************************************

P.S.: Cheerful Monk adds a footnote to every post acknowledging those who comment on her previous post. She also links the commenters’ names back to their own blogs.

 I like both these practices of acknowledging the time and effort made to comment, and the free advertising! So I’m doing what I do well – being a copycat! 



 

 

 

 

 

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7 Comments »

  1. Hi Kate!

    I love your post. I too, am big on recyling everything I get my hands on. I believe in composting,too. We should all try to live in harmony with our Earth. And I thought I was the only one that used newspaper as giftwrap. I’ve been doing that for years, mainly because I am too tight to buy giftwrap. At Christmas, I drive people crazy folding the remenants from ‘real’ wrapping paper, to reuse on smaller future gifts. No wonder, I have so much clutter lingering about, but usually when I need something it’s there. All of that bubble wrap, and those little styrofoam thingys that are shipped in the mail, get stuffed into a trashbag and hung from the rafters until needed again. I save a forture in addition to making a dent in ecology. A minor dent, grant you, but if we all did it, I’m sure it would be a big difference to the health of OUR planet.

    You Mother looks great for her age, and very proud, too, surrounded by her lovely daughters …. Godbaby (what a nickname) is probably babied by all with a name that that. 🙂

    I am impressed that you took the time to handwrite so many invitations. You must have the patience of Jobe. Each guest doing a little paper sentiment is a lovely idea. I know when my mother aged, she didn’t particularly want ‘stuff’. One year we gave her cleaning supplies for Christmas, which got lots of laughs, but was really a practical gift. I’m sure though, the sentiments were much more, uh, sentimental.;) LOL.

    Like

    Comment by orples — Sunday, 15 April 2012 @ 10:03 am |Reply

  2. I wasn’t really finished with my earlier comment, but my computer was doing funny things, and I didn’t want to lose what I’d written so far. I wanted to add; I hope you and Beastie Boy enjoy your visit together, and both end up with lots of happy memories. May the remainder of April be all sunshine and joy for you and yours! 🙂

    Like

    Comment by orples — Sunday, 15 April 2012 @ 10:07 am |Reply

    • Heyyyy Marcy!

      >I love your post.
      – Thank you!

      >I too, am big on recyling everything I get my hands on. I believe in composting,too.
      – Yes, I noticed you are a big tree hugger, too. 🙂

      >And I thought I was the only one that used newspaper as giftwrap.
      – Great minds think alike. Great bodies do alike? 😉

      >I’ve been doing that for years, mainly because I am too tight to buy giftwrap.
      >I save a fortune in addition to making a dent in ecology.

      – Tight schmight. Who else is happier at the end of the day? Your bank balance! Woo hoo!

      >A minor dent, grant you, but if we all did it, I’m sure it would be a big difference to the health of OUR planet.
      – Very true. A few years ago, I read an article (I cannot remember the source, but it was one of the reliable ones; rather, an organisation I believe.) that said that real change could be made if everyone made one little change every day. It was not for the government or corporations to bring about change, it lies in our hands. Which is why these grubby hands do what they can.

      >You Mother looks great for her age,
      – Thank you. I think so, too. For a couple of years now, I have been telling Mum that since I inherited her height (which was a problem right through school because I was a front bencher) and her gigantic feet (which meant all the pretty shoes were out of bounds when I was growing up), I hope she bestows me with her silver hair. It’s her natural colour and I love it!

      >surrounded by her lovely daughters …. Godbaby (what a nickname) is probably babied by all with a name that that. 🙂
      – Godbaby is Big Sis’s only child. She is my godchild and I baby her alright. That’s why I call her Godbaby. As a matter of fact, I tell her regularly, “Your mama just had you, but really? You’re MINE.” 🙂

      >I am impressed that you took the time to handwrite so many invitations. You must have the patience of Jobe.
      – No, no, no, Marcy! Don’t go there! This swollen head is just getting back to normal after all the praise lavished upon me for my patience and my neat writing. What made me particularly happy was that most appreciated receiving a handwritten message.

      >Each guest doing a little paper sentiment is a lovely idea.
      – Big Sis struck gold with this idea! Almost everyone shared anecdotes and we learned of a lot of touching experiences in Mum’s life that we had never heard before. I loved that we got to know all this about our mother and that Mum got to bask in all that attention while she’s still alive, too.

      >I know when my mother aged, she didn’t particularly want ‘stuff’. One year we gave her cleaning supplies for Christmas, which got lots of laughs, but was really a practical gift.
      – That is a fantastic idea! I do the same, too. I give teenagers and younger children gifts that delight their little childlike souls. Adults get practical stuff, usually food stuff. Now everyone knows that the way to my heart is solely through my tummy.

      >I wasn’t really finished with my earlier comment, but my computer was doing funny things,
      – Thank you for giving it another go.

      I have a similar gripe, but it’s with WordPress. WordPress dismays me regularly. I can never get the spacing to be the way I want it and of the 12 posts so far, only 2 have gone live as per schedule. All the others have needed me to hit the Publish button despite scheduling the same ahead of time. This is frustrating because I do not have the luxury of a reliable Internet connection or much time for personal surfing.

      >I hope you and Beastie Boy enjoy your visit together, and both end up with lots of happy memories.
      – Thank you, thank you, Marcy! We both are so very excited!

      I think of the gentle soul you are often. I will catch up with you, Oscar (sorry, I called you Oliver once, Big Guy) and Olivia early next month.

      Hugs to the three of you,
      Kate

      Like

      Comment by For you, Daddy! — Sunday, 15 April 2012 @ 11:14 am |Reply

  3. You have a beautiful – and full – soul, young lady.
    I enjoy your work very much; a visit here is a wonderful interlude from my sometimes cold, hard reality.
    Thank you.

    Like

    Comment by The Hook — Monday, 16 April 2012 @ 1:49 pm |Reply

    • >You have a beautiful – and full – soul, young lady.
      – Thank you, Hook! Just be sure to avoid me when I’m hungry or tired. Then, I’m anything but. 🙂

      >I enjoy your work very much;
      – Very glad to hear that.

      >a visit here is a wonderful interlude from my sometimes cold, hard reality.
      – And a visit to your blog is my dose of reality.

      I need to be shaken up the way your posts do because they remind me not to be complacent about matters that I can do something about with the choices I make. So you keep doing your thang, Hook. Each of us in the blogosphere caters to the interests and needs of someone out there.

      >Thank you.
      – Thank you for taking the time to encourage me. With some of the “wacky” things I do, I need every little bit of encouragement. It’s a wild world out there, you know? 😉

      Kate

      Like

      Comment by For you, Daddy! — Monday, 30 April 2012 @ 10:10 pm |Reply

  4. Ah, Kate, you never cease to surprise me. Handwritten AND hand-delivered invitations. You leave a lot to live up to. You are an old soul and a new soul all in one.

    So glad mum’s bash was fantastic, and what a great idea to deliver the invites by hand where you were able. That is unheard of today. I admire your love for you mum, dad, and for our planet.

    We need more people like you, for so many reasons.

    It’s so funny that during the time you were with Bestie, I was also away making a considerable, and physically challenging move from northern California to southern California. Do read my post when you get a chance.

    So yes, while you were having fun, I was working my proverbial tail off! hehehe. But I’m not jealous or envious. You deserved to enjoy this special time.

    Until next time, Small Baby Madam (I hope you don’t mind, but I just love that nickname).

    Like

    Comment by mj monaghan — Tuesday, 1 May 2012 @ 1:58 pm |Reply

    • >Ah, Kate, you never cease to surprise me. Handwritten AND hand-delivered invitations. You leave a lot to live up to.
      – Well, I’d love to take credit for everything I do, but I can’t. I do not remember who exactly did what or where I read what, but practically all my actions are not based on purely original thoughts. I mean, I learn from others. What I will take credit for is being a copycat and a plucky one at that. It’s not easy.

      >You are an old soul and a new soul all in one.
      – I like this description. Yes, I am that. I’m old fashioned and traditional, and I’m hip and all the rage. Am I not? I am … what? 😉

      >I admire your love for you mum, dad, and for our planet.
      – I never forget how blessed I am to have the parents I have. I also do not compare them to other parents because I’m happy with the way Daddy and Mummy have moulded me. Another major influence and support in my life are the people I surround myself with i.e. the organisations I choose to offer my talents to and avail the services of, and my friends, in real and cyber life.

      >It’s so funny that during the time you were with Bestie, I was also away making a considerable, and physically challenging move from northern California to southern California. Do read my post when you get a chance.
      – I did! Got all caught up yesterday and commented as well. I know you’ve got tons more than usual on your plate right now, but when you have time, I hope you get to my comment on about your photograph taken when you were 6.

      http://www.mjmonaghan.com/2012/04/06/mj-gates-photo-caption/comment-page-1/#comment-4136

      >So yes, while you were having fun, I was working my proverbial tail off! hehehe. But I’m not jealous or envious. You deserved to enjoy this special time.
      – While a twinge of envy now and again is normal and even healthy, I think, I like that you are not jealous about someone else having a good time. I recognised this trait in you and it’s yet another reason I return to enjoy your posts. Lessons and laughter go only so far with me. Goodness of heart is the primary draw.

      >Until next time, Small Baby Madam (I hope you don’t mind, but I just love that nickname).
      – No, I don’t mind at all. I’m just a little shy. All my friends are similarly amused with that name.

      While I appreciate every comment that my readers take the time to leave, I want to say a slightly louder ‘Thank you’ to you, MJ, because I know how terribly busy you are settling into a completely new place.

      Best to you and YLB!

      Kate

      Like

      Comment by For you, Daddy! — Wednesday, 2 May 2012 @ 12:35 am |Reply


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