About Shirley

Shirley Corder is an author who writes to inspire and encourage. She has a passion for helping other writers and cancer survivors.

What is a Damp Squib?

Each Monday, I’m posting on my blog about a phrase or common saying, what they mean and how they came about.

I’m working through the alphabet and choosing one saying for each letter.

Have you ever watched a show on TV and heard someone describe it as a “damp squib?”

That’s what we’re looking at this week. What is a Damp Squib? And where did the expression come from? read more

Share Your World #SYW ~ July 3

This entry is part 9 of the series Share Your World

SYW: For your main meal do you prefer sweet and sour, hot and spicy, spicy and sweet, bitter, salty, bland or other?

It depends on the mood I’m in, but generally I prefer salty. I also enjoy a mild curry and rice, but it must be mild! I definitely don’t go for sweet when it comes to my main meal.

SYW: Where do you hide junk when people come over?

read more

Share Your World (SYW) – June 26

This entry is part 8 of the series Share Your World

SYW: What goal are you working on now? Your goal can be something fun or extremely serious.  Have fun with this question.

I’m working on writing an eBook which is taking way too long because I over-committed my time. I’m writing a series of eBooks which I intend converting to print after the current one is over. They are based on Bible women who are “hidden in the shadow” of someone or something else. read more

Do You Have Cold Feet?

“A Georgia woman who had disappeared a few days before her wedding turned up last weekend in New Mexico; she first told police she had been abducted, but in the end she confessed to having had cold feet.

Follow-up stories have quoted psychologists who guess “there’s more going on here than just cold feet” and wedding planners who say that brides-to-be get cold feet all the time. Where did this phrase come from?”

Thanks to Daniel Engber, a columnist for Slate. read more

Two Common Sayings beginning with B

This entry is part 2 of the series Common Sayings

Each Monday, I’m posting on my blog about a phrase or common saying, what they mean and how they came about Sometimes there will be only one saying, while other times there may be more. I won’t in any way cover all the possibilities as I’d like to complete the series in this lifetime. But it should be fun. Join me?

I intend working through the alphabet, so sign up at the end of the post so you don’t forget to visit me each Monday and perhaps participate by adding suggestions.

So today we look at B.

B is for Bite the Bullet, and Bring Home the Bacon.

read more

Share Your World ~ June 12

This entry is part 7 of the series Share Your World

Disclosure: This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience.
Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

Here are my answers to this week’s questions on the Share Your World (SYW) blogging challenge:

SYW: What do you do when you’re not working? If you are retired, what do you that is not part of your regular daytime routine?

When I’m not working (writing) I make cards. For my birthday last year, my family gave me a new toy, the Cuttlebug.

Recently I discovered an amazing treasure trove of Unbranded Cutting Dies on eBay that are so cheap. They come with free shipping but take about 6-8 weeks to arrive. Puts a new meaning to the slow boat to (from) China! read more

Two Common Sayings beginning with A

This entry is part 3 of the series Common Sayings

Disclosure: This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

American Words and their meaning

I have recently been impressed by a friend who has emigrated from South Africa and taken up residence in America. He sends out regular newsletters and has started including snippets on the meaning of American words and how they developed.

In the past I’ve had quite a bit published online and in print, about some of the different meanings of words and phrases between the various forms of International English. Not wanting to steal the idea from Eugene, but intrigued by the idea of where words or phrases come from, I’ve decided to research some common phrases—what they mean, and how they came about. read more

Share Your World ~ June 5

This entry is part 2 of the series Share Your World

Here are my answers to this week’s questions on the Share Your World (SYW) blogging challenge:

SYW: What’s your strongest sense?

My family would say my strongest sense is my sense of smell. I could walk into the house after a day on duty and stop in the doorway and say, “Who struck a match?” This was in the day when the boys tried to push their luck with cigarettes. They had no chance with me around, much to their frustration. (I think they’re grateful today.)

I will be sitting at my computer at the end of my cottage and call through to my husband who is IN THE KITCHEN, “What’s burning?” Traditional answer is, “Nothing . . . Oh.” My heart sinks. Most of his senses are sharp, but he has about a 2% sense of smell. read more

Making Cards For Love

A Fruitful Hobby

Many years ago, I made cards as a hobby. I ran a small card-making group within the church, called Cards 4 Luv.

Once a month we got together to create cards especially for a place of safety in a neighboring suburb. Our goal was to show love for the children who had been removed from their homes for different sad reasons.

Once a month we posted off a card to each child in the home, just to tell them we loved them. They mattered. Life might suck for them right now, but God loved them more than they could imagine—and He had a plan for them.

We signed each card, “Your secret friend.”

We never met any of the children, but I was in frequent contact with the lady in charge. She would phone me to say a child had gone home, or a new child had arrived and give the details. One of us would immediately send of a ready-made card to the new child welcoming him or her to our list and telling them to expect a card each month.

The housemother would also tell us if a child was sick or needed a cardie hug from our Cards 4 Luv store, and we would send a card off immediately. We all sent them cards on their birthdays, so they had about 6 or 7 cards in their post alcove on their special day.

A New Look at Cards

Recently, I took up card-making again, but purely as a hobby. I’m part of a bigger group of ladies that meet once a month, and sometimes on a Saturday in between. We learn a new technique each month, so I’m constantly working at improving my craft.

It is a source of amazement to me how we all follow the same instructions, cut to the same dimensions, use similar tools, and yet we come out with such a selection of lovely but different cards.

Isn’t there a lesson here for us? God has made us using the same techniques. He’s given us the same body parts. We all have the same organs (unless we’ve had some removed of course!) and the same material keeping them all together. We call that skin. Some have black skin, some brown, some yellow, some white . . .

We have different hairstyles and texture, some from birth and some through bottles or salons. Although we were all made the same, we all look so different.

We react in various ways to situations, and we communicate with different mannerisms.

We differ from other animals in the way we handle our emotions.  A word (or card) of love or encouragement helps us feel good. A harsh word or action causes our feelings to plummet.

Sometimes those of us in the card group mess up one of our creations. The temptation is to stamp our feet and throw the offending article in the trash. But we know that sometimes out of our mistakes can come something beautiful. So we cut, trim, add or subtract to the card, and in no time we have produced something we are truly proud of.

Words of Love

What will you do with your words (or cards) today? Is there some way you can use them to build up the people you have contact with? Will you pass on positive messages of encouragement to them?

Will you pay special attention to the unlovely person, the unhappy teenager or the angry older lady? See what you can do to sweeten their day. You may be thrilled with the outcome of your efforts.

Think for a moment. Do you make cards? Would you be able to give some of your Cards 4 Luv  to someone who needs a cardie-hug?

Whatever your interests, what can you do today to bring joy or show love to someone you’ll be in contact with? I’d love you to type a suggestion in the comment section below.

You might also enjoy:

Desert Road
Wonderful World
Even Elephants Communicate




Share Your World ~ May 29

This entry is part 3 of the series Share Your World

Here are my answers to this week’s questions on the Share Your World (SYW) blogging challenge:

SYW: What is the most famous landmark or building you have ever seen?

The Voortrekker Monument outside of Tswane (renamed from Pretoria) in S.Africa was built as man’s side of a covenant with God.

In 1838, in order to escape British rule as well as endless wars with the native Xhosas, the Afrikaans-speaking Boers (literally “farmers”) left the Cape Colony. They loaded their possessions into ox wagons and rounded up their cattle. Then they set out on their north-easterly trek, going where no white man had ever been.

Before long, the Voortrekkers (pioneers) encountered the mighty Zulu nation. Leader Piet Retief and 69 of his men were unexpectedly butchered to death by the Zulu king, Dingaan, and his impi (group of armed men.) In subsequent attacks, hundreds of men, women and children lost their lives. So an army of about 470 Voortrekker men set out to avenge Retief’s death.

On the 15th December, the pioneers camped along the banks of the Ncome River. Scouts warned them of an approaching Zulu Impi of over 12,000 warriors.

The Voortrekkers drew their wagons into a D-shaped lager (a circle of wagons secured together, with their animals corralled in the center). As they prepared to defend themselves, they prayed for God’s intervention. Their leader, Andries Pretorius, led the Voortrekkers in a vow to God. If He protected them against the attacking Zulus, the country would always commemorate that day as a Sabbath. They would also build a church to honor God’s name.

That night a heavy mist prevented the Zulus from attacking. Two hours before dawn, the Voortrekkers once again recited the covenant.

The dreaded attack

The attack came at dawn. The Zulus fought with shields and assegais, while the Voortrekkers had muzzle loaders, muskets and cannons. By midday, on 16th December, over 3,000 Zulu corpses littered the ground. The river had turned red with blood, and to this day the battle is known as The Battle of Blood River. Only three Voortrekkers were injured and none killed. The pioneers held a sober thanksgiving service, the first annual memorial service.

Several churches and monuments were built to commemorate this famous war. The best known is the Voortrekker Monument, outside the city of Tshwane.

This spectacular building has a small hole in the top of the roof. At exactly midday on 16th December, a ray of sunlight shines through the hole onto a cenotaph on the lower level of the monument. It falls upon the words, “Ons vir jou, Suid-Afrika” (Afrikaans for “We for Thee, South Africa.”) This phrase is part of the country’s national anthem. The light symbolizes God’s blessing on the life and work of the Voortrekkers.

Today, December 16th is still celebrated as a public holiday, although it is now called “The Day of Reconciliation” for political reasons.

SYW: Do you like long vacation or lots of mini-vacations?

Definitely a long vacation, although it is many years since I was able to enjoy one. I find it takes me 3 or 4 days to start to relax, so the mini-vacation is at an end before I start to enjoy it.

SYW: What is your favorite National or State Park?

The Kruger National Park. This is one of the largest game reserves in Africa, covering an area of 19,485 square kilometers (7,523 square miles.) It is situated in the northeastern part of South Africa.

All five of the Big Game animals are found here, i.e. lion, African elephant, Cape buffalo, African leopard and the rhinoceros. In addition, the park boasts a large population of wild-life from the graceful giraffe to the ugly crocodiles, dangerous snakes and a vast array of bird-life.  

What is your fantasy vacation?

All my life I have longed to visit Switzerland and surrounding areas. Today that dream also includes the opportunity to spend time with my daughter and son-in-law who are currently based in Monte Negro.

Optional Bonus question:

What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I think the highlight of last week was the opportunity to watch The King and I once again, this time with a group of friends from the retirement village where we live.

As I write this (but after you read it!) I am looking forward to attending the live show, Annie Get Your Gun in the theater, this time with a group of about 18 fellow members of the Happy Echo choir. We are blessed by some great theater groups and stage performances here in Port Elizabeth, and we often are able to attend with groups such as this.

SYW: What is the highlight of your week?

I’d love you to share in a comment below.

SYW: How about joining Share Your World?

This is a blogging challenge headed up by Cee Neuner.

Cee posts a few questions each week, and all participants need do is answer them. It’s a cool way to get to know one another. The idea is to answer the questions without overthinking them and just have fun. If you are interested in joining this blogging challenge—just copy/paste the above questions into a new post and answer them. Then put the link for your post here: Cee’s Challenge.