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The Wedding Night…

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The pain was sharp and astonishing.
Dreamy wedding night illusions
induced by copious pages of Mills and Boons
shattered with vigorous thrusts.

©

Jacqueline

Who binged on Mills and Boons? Well, I did. I read tons of them and more and had many rose-coloured dreamy visions of married life…the rude truth is that the pages of a book tell huge lies 😉

Embracing My Quirkiness….The great book of lists.

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La Duchesse gave us a prompt ’embracing my quirkiness,’ that not only made me laugh but also made me spend a little time looking at those itty-bitty sides of me that though they may not be original, are part of me, like dusting of freckles or the little mole that occupies a part of your body.

I’m showing you my clay feet and it’s possible that the list is longer than this, but I’ll keep it short so that you don’t run away into the bush to get away from me 😉

  1. I am a touchy feely person, especially with those who I feel close to (but it’s not uncommon for me to hug a new found friend).
  2. I nibble my husband’s food when he’s eating. This used to drive him nutty, but 16 years has made him soften, that he now feeds me himself 😉
  3. I doodle while thinking or listening intently. I have no idea why, but I hear clearly this way.
  4. I carry a notepad everywhere. Everywhere!
  5. I could go for eons without remembering to watch TV. Just leave me with sufficient books, a thick notepad, and music, please 🙂
  6. I watch people’s feet and mentally try to build a fictitious life about them. Please don’t ask me why.
  7. I make up nonsensical songs about anything and sing when cooking. I think I borrowed the singing when cooking from my mother. She did it all through my growing up years and she’s been in the choir like forever.
  8. I always start a conversation with a total stranger; in a safe vicinity of course.
  9. I write to deal with issues on my mind. I pick it apart on a piece of paper.
  10. Okay, I am a die-hard romantic and still enjoy my Harlequin romances et al… feel free to wiggle your eyebrows 😉
  11. I collect itty-bitty silly dolls and give them names.
  12. I am always barefoot at home; pregnant or not. I just like the coolness of the floor under my feet and only put them into my cozy froggy footwear just before bedtime. I’m still trying to understand that.

Thank you for bearing with me and not running off by now. I’ll be watching your feet 😉

Jacqueline


Below is my first just published Poetry Book “Out of the silent breath” which is available on Amazon and Smashwords.

When you buy my book, you support me in an invaluable manner.

Stars, Five Stars, Logo, Icon, Symbol, Five, Rating

I have to say I’m in awe and spellbound by her poetry. She is amazing at describing love and life in her poems. She creates such beautiful images with her words. Truly, she is a talented writer and I’m so excited to have her poetry book and to continue reading through it.

Out of the silent breath

Elements of my day and so far so good…The great book of lists.

 

La Duchesse has given us a double prompting and I’ll just race through me as quick as breeze:

Veggie sauce bubbling on the gas :-)

Veggie sauce bubbling on the gas 🙂

Her idea for this prompt ‘elements of my day and so far so good,’ comes from Brandon Burchard’s day planner.

So, the instructions are to build your list :

  • quickly jot your to-do list
  • what are the 3 things you are excited about today
  • what are the 3 things you are truly thankful for today

My quick to do list

  • Revise for the end of year exams with the children. I have to quiz them and go through their subjects before shooing them confidently out of the door to go and get those grades.
  • Conclude my monthly bulk cooking of stews, soups, and stuff: I always prepare at least two batches of our native soup amongst other stews to ease life a bit. These could serve as quick dinner or lunch on busy days. It earns me some hours of putting up my feet 😉
  • Continue partying on my blog and mixing with fab folks. Come on in 🙂
  • Place some calls to family in Nigeria.
  • Writing quick drafts of some of my blog posts for the coming week so that I can face my other writing works.
  • Tweak my second self-hosted site a little bit. Not yet ready to run.
  • Do some research work for work on Mastermind Learning and Development strategy.

    Native vegetable 'Edikan-ikong' soup.

    Native vegetable ‘Edikan-ikong’ soup.

I am excited

  • That school Summer break will commence over here in a couple of weeks. Don’t have a holiday plan yet but looking forward to working out something.
  • I have been nominated for The Annual Blogger’s Service to Bloggers Award. Have you voted yet? Please do cast your votes. Who would have thought that lil‘ me will be nominated for such 🙂
  • Some new ideas are cooking in my head and it makes me feel all warm at the thought.
  • Getting my teeth into my second book. It’s been a bit slow.
  • A 3-day self-improvement workshop that I’ll be attending. Okay, I’ve overshot the 3 things.

I am thankful:

  • For my husband and children. They are kind and supportive.
  • The blog World and the great supportive people I meet here. I’ve learnt so much in this space.
  • For life in general. Each day is a splendid opportunity.

So far so good and so not good.  I had to slip that in there 😉

  • I feel naughty and guilty for not having stuck to the ‘treat your body better rule’ that I set for myself. My weight loss has been sitting put like the Sitting Bull, but it’s my fault 😉 Okay, I’ve got that off my chest. Now to the good part.
  • My published poetry book makes me very happy.
  • The decent growth of my blog in just a year of blogging always amazes me. It’s just wonderful.
  • The endless burst of inspiration keeps me bubbling. I wish my fingers could work half as fast as the ideas that are streaming through my head.

Thank you, Duchesse. I enjoy your promptings.

P.S. You can join our Summer blog party by clicking the link. It’s taking place right now and really bubbling. It’s fun and you get to meet fantastic folks. Looking forward to seeing you:-)


Below is my first just published Poetry Book “Out of the silent breath” which is available on Amazon and Smashwords.

When you buy my book, you support me in an invaluable manner.

Out of the silent breath

Those who influence my life…Personal

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This week’s prompt for The great book of lists, La Duchesse wants us to talk about those who inspire us, so here goes:

At each juncture in my life, there are those who have inspired me and still inspire me. Their presence influences my past, present, and future.

My Dad: Without doubts, my father -God rest his soul- has remained the most influential man in my life.

He was a peaceful, loving, upright and hardworking soul whose views to life was very simple.

His integrity was impeccable and he would always tell us that once you don’t covet that which belonged to another, you would have a peaceful life.

There’s no day that passes that the echoing whisper of his words doesn’t reverberate in my mind. Especially when he would always tell you that anything worth doing, is worth doing well.

My quintessential mother: A gracious, generous, beautiful woman.

If half of the milk of human kindness that flows in this woman’s veins flows through mine, then I will consider myself a decent human.

She still remains my confidant, my prop, my source of inspiration and light.

My dear Himself: This husband of mine who drives me crazy, loves me and makes me know what love is. He’s a good man. A generous and loving dad to his children.

He pushes me to be better and to aspire for more.

He dreams big dreams and his intelligence never fails to impress me.

Now, if only I can get him to agree to everything I say….;-)

My children inspire me every day. I want to be a great parent because of them.

I want to leave a legacy that when they look back tomorrow, even when I’m gone, they will be happy that God chose me as their mother.

Others: I have a healthy dose of respect for people (famous or not) who wear the aura of positivity despite all the challenges that they might have faced or are facing. Such people inspire me.

My aggressors: Why would I choose such negative crowd?

This is a story that hasn’t been told.

Not because the words and the memories are gone, but because I’m not mentally ready and maybe some day, it will find it’s way into my memoir.

Yes, they inspired me not to curl up and die.

They inspired me to rise out of the burnt ashes from moments of insanity.

I will rest here. Blessed Be.

Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha


Below is my first just published Poetry Book “Out of the silent breath” which is available on Amazon and Smashwords.

When you buy my book, you support me in an invaluable manner.

Out of the silent breath

I can see clearly now the ghosts are laid to rest

Broken visions melded and better than the first

Atop the ladder of scattered dreams and buried bones,

I glimpse the brighter vision reflected and renewed.

**an excerpt of my poem**

I am currently….personal TGBOL

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For this week’s great book list, Duchess gave us something a little different. It’s a snap portraiture of who I am, what I do and what my current plans are.

She found the list idea on MAMBI website as a freebie for their Create 365 brand.

How does it work ? We should list items starting with I currently…. love, eat, drink, etc, so here goes…

a. Loving… Life and the state of my mind that keeps expanding with possibilities each day

b. Eating… Less even though I had one greasy Hardee’s burger after gamboling around the beach.

c. Drinking… Lots of water and blended fruits otherwise called smoothie these days.

d. Watching… Jumanji with the children and last night was Casino, with dear Himself.

e. Going…To start different things, a new blogging platform focusing on blogging, writing and speaking, searching more ardently for income opportunities and marketing my book.

f. ReadingA Prisoner of Birth, my bible, a host of blog posts and O’s Little Guide to Finding Your True Purpose (O’s Little Books/Guides)

g. Texting… Family and friends. Just finished having a chit-chat with one of my sisters and my roomie back in University.

h. Playing…. In the sand at the beach and watching the children ride their segway. I passed on their offer to teach their mother. I don’t want to break any bones or lose my dentition.

i. Working… On my second book. I decided to focus on one at a time instead of the different manuscripts I am working on.

j. Stressing… Over marketing methods, over an ill relative and the current state of my country, Nigeria.

k. Celebrating… My blog’s one year today and one of my boys will be celebrating his birthday in four days, so he’s making a long plan for me 😉

l. Listening… To Happy by Pharell Williams and my playlist, that uplifts my spirit.

m. Thanking… God every day for his grace and mercy and friends for their presence in my life.

n. Buying… Not much. Asides from our regular grocery and books to read each month, I have been on a spending hiatus.

o. Pinning… I honestly haven’t pinned much of anything, except darning my son’s shorts, I guess that passes for pinning something 😉

p. Planning… Summer slowly in my head and hoping to be done with my second book by then. Planning not to crowd my mind with so much and focus on the important things.

q. Visiting… Ajman. We went last weekend to the nearby Emirates and it was a lovely quiet time.

r. Wondering… Where to find the energy to do all my weekend cooking, writing and tidying. I am feeling lazy.

s. Feeling… A mix of emotions. More like melancholic.

© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha


Below is my first Poetry Book “Out of the silent breath” which is available on Amazon and Smashwords.

When you buy my book, you support me in an invaluable manner.

Out of the silent breath

Dance to your heart’s delight my African child, until echoes of your stamping feet, beating heart; bright eyes, smiling lips; and waving hands, resonates over and over like thunder claps, reverberating throughout the Universe.

Just dance.

Oh My! What A Long List..

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Please don’t peek too closely at my long list of groceries but I have a household to nourish you know 😉

For this week’s The great book of lists, our grocery shopping list is the prompting word.

I have a love and hate relationship with shopping, but it’s unavoidable and since I cook virtually every day except on evenings that we eat out thus, my grocery/shopping list is a quite lengthy.

I actually have a typed list on my computer which I print off and take along with me, even though taking the list has never stopped me from buying something that’s not on it, especially if it looks like a good bargain 😉

I have two phases of shopping. Regular shopping marts for everything and a visit to the African store for condiments to make our native soups and delicacies 😉

I always like a full larder and I do bulk shopping twice a month and then pick up fresh goods like vegetables, bread, milk etc as the need arises.

My children accompany me and sometimes Dear Himself can be talked into tagging along when he’s not at work.

My kiddos are learning to sniff out good bargains too which is a mix of joy at their company and exasperation 😉

The list runs from food items in one trolley and other needed household items in another basket.

Meat: We are Carnivores. Sometimes I think I am breeding little Tigers.

Fish: To balance out the meat.

Chicken:

Ham, sausages etc:

Eggs: We ate lots of eggs. Scrambled, poached, boiled, omelette…

Cheese: Yess!!! I love cheese

Beverages. My children like Nesquick or Nestle Milo.

Milk. Everyone takes full cream except me *not that it’s helped much :/

Yoghurt

Waffle mix

Pasta

Rice

Beans

Fresh vegetables

Fresh fruits: Lots and lots of mix of oranges, grapefruit, pomegranates,

watermelon, bananas, dates, clementines, avocado ….

This list could go on for ages so I will let your imagination do the rest.

Somehow, a bar or several of chocolate have a way of sneaking into my trolley 🙂

Hey! Don’t judge! What’s a girl to do anyway?  Chocolate always goes well with a good book 😉

© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

 

 

Celebration and Acts of Love….The Great Book Of Lists.

 

La Duchesse Derat gave us two themes for this week’s Great Book Of Lists and as usual, they are topics that bring out the joy in us.

I am a very expressive person and I believe in appreciating those around me whether in little or big ways. What matters is that over time, those little things compound into something that they hold on to as a good memory.

The little Acts of love that I indulge in often are:

I am a hugger: Embracing my children, my husband and those whose are close to me always give me a warm buzz and it costs nothing.

Buying little tokens or giving a gift card: A lot of times I might stumble on a little item that makes me smile and think of someone, from a painted little vase, a book, or a card. I buy it and give to the person.

Occasionally, I indulge in gift cards that don’t cost the World – a 10, 20 or 50 dollar gift card depending on how buoyant my pocket is at that point in time and give them out in appreciation. There are times when I have a little bit extra to spare, I could buy up to 5 gift cards and just keep in my purse and give them out as my spirit moves me.

Cooking: Celebration calls for arrays of food. It always gives me pleasure to watch everyone eat, drink, laugh and generally enjoy the offerings that I made with a lot of love and sweat 🙂 There is this bond and camaraderie that eating together builds.

Calling and texting: I always endeavour to call or text family and my close friends to find out how they are doing. Now BBM, Whatsapp etc have made it cheaper to do so. It gives me an uplift in the spirit after a nice, warm chat.

I listen, I counsel and I pray: I always offer a listening ear and as much as possible, try to offer an objective advice that’s not biassed. If it requires praying, I would partner in prayers and counselling. If issues need to be straightened out, then as much as possible I will tell you my mind as gently as I can. I don’t believe in enabling someone to behave badly and unfortunately, this has once or twice not gone down well with one or two friends who sought my advice and expected me to side them in their bad behaviour…telling my friend that she’s wrong to wish her husband harm and going out of her way to his office to make a scene did not earn me any badges, but it’s not a friendship that I particularly miss. I will only proffer an advice that which I would probably resort to myself.

When it comes to celebrating:

I dance. I love to dance and possibly sing along to the music. Sometimes, when I feel very glad, it’s not uncommon to just play my loud jams and dance. Occasionally, my husband takes me out to go dancing and dining afterwards.

Going out with my family for a good time.

Take my body wholeheartedly to a spa and get a little pampered. There’s nothing like a deep tissue massage to work out the kinks and a relaxing pedicure to make you feel as if loads has been lifted off you. I love to paint bright red colour on my toes at such times. It makes me feel like revving my engine 😉

Indulge in some cheap home treat of reading, eating dark chocolate, running a nice hot tub and just feeling good.

I share my good news. I believe so much in the power of positive aura and when I have positive vibes to share, I do so.

© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

These Musical Chords That Tug My Heartstrings…

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La Duchesse seems to know all the good buttons to press to get my heart overflowing with good memories.

I grew up on the staple of a plethora of music from a father who adored music.

Our mornings started with music for as long as my dad was alive. Played on the Grundig turntable and then on to Bangs & Olufsen sound system.

I suspected my dad wanted to be a musical maestro and he had a gentle deep baritone.

I love music and barely discriminate except when they are offensive and filled with cuss words.

I love the oldies and the trending ones as well. Most days, I join my children in singing the new songs, especially as we drive around town and I teach them some old ones. We love turning on the radio and just having a go at it.

However, deep in my heart there are those beats that are ‘my forever’ rousing strings of chords. I shall choose 10 out of the string beats of my memories and 6 from recent ones.

They are those beats that I grew up listening to over and over as I grew up in my parents home. Their sounds always transports me right back to the butter yellow house with the red roof.  The house of my childhood.

  1. We thank thee from Jim Reeves 
  2. The Archies. Sugar, sugar 
  3. Handel’s Messiah 
  4. Kenny Roger’s Through the years 
  5. Miriam Makeba 
  6. Nat King Cole 
  7. Bob Marley 
  8. Michael Jackson 
  9. Dolly Parton 
  10. The Beatles 

I rock these ones below with my children:

  1. Dido – Life for rent 
  2. Adele – Hello 
  3. Nico Vinz – I am wrong 
  4. Afrojack – Ten feet tall 
  5. Dimtri Vegas & Like Mike – Take me to a higher place 
  6. Mark Ronson – Uptown Funk 

Hang Your Bag…The big book of list.

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When La Duchesse Derat started this challenge my thoughts wavered on whether I could cope with adding it to my list , now it’s become a feature I look forward to weekly and this also goes to prove that you can go the extra mile and further if need be.

This week’s TGBOL prompt asking us to make a list of the ‘the words that matter to me‘ is what we refer back home as ‘buying market‘ or ‘inviting the insect infected log,‘ because yours faithfully Jacqueline has a lot to say, but I shall restrict my enthusiasm to 10 quotes.

1. ‘Hang your bag where your hands can reach.’

My parents used this phrase so much *in Igbo language * to teach us how to be contented with what we have and never be greedy for that which belongs to someone else.

They taught us that if you worked hard and with integrity, that yours will come and this is so true.

I can truthfully say that I have never owed for a day in my life because at every point in time even when it requires living the life of minimalism, what I have at that point in time is always enough and I even strive to create surplus from the little bit.

I endeavour never to buy that which I cannot afford to pay for, no matter how beautiful it is and for that, I have peace.

2. ‘For my Grace is sufficient unto the day.

The grace of God is free and belongs to all who seek for it. We all live by grace.’

3.’ As a man thinks in his heart so is he.’

Those things that you dwell on consistently, gradually erodes your mind and heart and becomes you, in the sense that you exhibit them and they control you.

4. ‘Never give up on yourself.’

Even if the World fails you, it’s only over when you fail yourself and stop believing in yourself that’s when it’s really over.

5. ‘For I have not given you the spirit of fear but of love, of power and of sound mind.’ 2 Tim 1:7

6. ‘Dare to dream big for the journey of a thousand miles started with a step, but you need to take that step and keep moving.’

Let your dreams be large. Then take them on. Even if you don’t arrive at that precise goal, you will have a heck of a good time getting there.

7. ‘Be appreciative of the simple things of life and be contented, for there in lies your sense of peace.’

The love from my family and the time spent with them is beyond priceless.

8. ‘Give. Be happy to share out of your bounty as well as your scarcity and you will see even more.’

Giving is not only when you have money in your pocket to hand out. If you do, all the better, but giving starts from the mind. Give of yourself and of the little that you have. Your resources well up and brim over.

9. ‘Be the light that you would like to see shining in others and do unto them as you would like them to do to you.’

10. ‘Be bold and be strong (courageous) for the Lord your God is with you.’ Deut 31:6

© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

If I Should Grow A Pair Of Wings…The Great Book Of Lists.

The fascination that other places and people’s culture holds for me, has turned me somewhat into an Oliver Twist, suffering from the ‘I want some more’ syndrome. When La Duchesse Derat sent out this week’s prompt for TGBOL as Dream travels, I told her that she has got me started on a gallivanting affair.

Having tasted the enriching delight and knowledge that comes from visiting so many places, if I say that I dream of the opportunity to travel the World, would I come across as asking for too much? Nah! Not to me.

Yet the truth is that these dreams don’t cost anything, but brings us so much delight when we do have a beautiful day dream and build candy castles in the winds.

Realistically, I know that these are ambitious thoughts, however, if I had the wherewithal to indulge my wanderlust, I would love to visit:

  • Morocco
  • Timbuktu
  • San Francisco
  • Vancouver
  • Czech Republic
  • A tour of Europe again – I totally love Europe 🙂
  • Buenos Aires
  • Bangkok
  • Budapest
  • India
  • New Zealand

And the rest can come after. Ha!

‘I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.’ Susan Sontag

© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha