Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Brag a little

I don't always brag about my children, sometimes I am so busy with the negatives that I don't always see the positive.  It's not just about them it's the negatives of life, work, finances and just in life in general.  So sometimes we forget the good and the positive even in our children.

And so many times I wish I was part of the animal world so I could eat my young but shame they are really good kids.  And there are many positives and many good things to brag about.

They are home, they are each in their rooms studying; well one of them is, the other might be watching TV with the book on his lap. They are respectful, religious, well behaved teenage boys.  They are very funny and loving. 
And many people find them quiet but actually they talk a lot.  I like to drive them to school and pretend to listen to the radio and instead listen to them.  The stories of what happens in an all boy school is unbelievable, sometimes funny and other times shocking!

So today I am thankful, grateful and proud of the two boys in my house.  You two are beautiful & gorgeous (like me) intelligent (like dad - hate admitting that) and I'll brag about you again soon and more often. 

In this picture are all my kids 'any good friend my son has is also a child of mine' 

My boys & my other children 

love you lots and lots like jelly tots 

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Perfect Moments

Perfect Moment 1 - Farm Gate 

On September the 29th art students from 'The Art Centre' are donating their art works for a charity auction and exhibition.  
Our art is being sold to raise funds for the St. Francis Orphanage and the Society for Animals in Distress.  

September is almost here and I still need to finish one more painting for the Perfect Moments Charity Exhibition.  I committed two paintings...and they should preferably be dry! Yuks!  Things are moving very slowly.  

The theme is 'Perfect Moments' so it can be anything we imagine to be perfect.  Some of the paintings that are finished and decorating the class walls are awesome.  I look at mine and ... oh well I wonder if it is good enough to be in the same room with those amazing paintings.

All I want is for one of my paintings to be sold, just one, it would boost my morale and creativity and give me some hope that maybe my work is not so bad. 

Life never seems to be the way we want it
but we live it the best way we can 
there is no Perfect life, 
but we can fill it with perfect Moments

wish me luck guys ...

Monday, 22 August 2011

Snow in Jhb?

Snow causes such excitement in Johannesburg.  I think it’s only because we don’t have it every year.  It’s a novelty and we only tolerate the cold front with a bit of excitement because there is a  slight chance we will have a bit of snow.

My first snow experience was way back in 1981, still at school sitting in a classroom, looking bored (mills and boon was finished) when it started snowing!!  This was reported as - the first recorded snowfall in almost 26 years!  It snowed for just one day and we all went home to play!  Now being at school I don’t know what traffic was doing, and if it just stopped.  I don’t know what businesses in Johannesburg did, did they close or slow down for the day?  The worries of a school child are very different I just know we got to go home and leaving school early is a bonus anytime, never mind that we just got to leave early to play in the snow in Joubert Park!
(I just can't find those photos, remember my dad took a few, but where are they?  If I do find them I will have to post them later...)

Clarens and Drakensburg see snow almost every winter even if only on the mountain tops, sometimes (not always) they get it lower down and they too enjoy the snowman building and excitement for a day or two.  All I know is that when they do have it, that is when we get those horrible cold fronts.  

So my second snow memory was in 2001 sadly not in Johannesburg but in Clarens.  We were still in bed on a very cold Saturday morning when we received a call from a friend telling us that Clarens had snow. 

That was it!  The car was packed and in less than an hour and we were on the road, the kids were so excited about this trip.  This was the first time they experienced snow.  Clarense was beautiful, busy and warm.  We did a lot of sku (cu is the not so nice Portuguese word for bum, so add ski + cu = sku) we did a lot of that down the mountain.  We had the most amazing weekend with my sister for company. 

The third snow memory.....In 2007 we woke up to a surprise!  Our garden was white! 

We had to switch the radio on to hear news reports and confirm your-eyes-are-fine you have not gone-cookoo it is real snow in Jhb.  The boys spent the day in the garden playing and building a snowman that changed outfits and hats throughout the day.

Then this year (Aug 2011) the promise came close and caused much excitement even in the office block.  It was cold, freezing cold and it rained (odd for winter) then it hailed (even more odd) then some places got sleet and a few areas in Jhb did get a little bit of excitement, they got a tiny bit of snow.  We didn’t all get to see it but we all did feel the
Maybe next year we will get a bit of that excitement even if just for one day. 

Today I am glad to say it’s getting warmer, the blankets will soon be washed and put away and I’m wearing open shoes. Yeah! Toes are peeping!

The sign of spring is in the air.  The colours of Jhb are still a bit yellow ochre and there is dust everywhere but we are so looking forward to spring and summer in SA.  My garden is showing me that time is soon…

Look at the surprise I got this weekend (I finally ventured out into the garden)

My orchids are coming out and I will get so many this year.  This is what really excites me, better than snow, it's the little surprises in my own garden.

For now bring on summer, can't wait for your arrival!


Friday, 19 August 2011

Why do animals eat their young?

Ever wonder why in the animal kingdom they sometimes eat their young?   Strange thing, nature can’t always be explained or maybe it can and we just don’t understand it.  Is it cannibalism if fish eat their baby fish?

I actually don’t sit and think about this type of thing until one of my own young starts to annoy me.  Then and only then (I promise) I have this strange puzzling thought …

Kids are taking too damn long to grow up, maybe I should just eat them!

They do nothing by the book! Why? There are a number of books on child rearing, teaching them good Christian principles and values and discipline.  So many good authors and books to choose from.  The problem is that by the time you have read and understood that one chapter and tried to apply it the child is in another age group or milestone altogether and you’ve missed the boat. 
And then they just don’t do anything by the book. They are different.

Why don’t they just come with an instruction manual, it would be available in many languages folded nicely into a little pamphlet that you can never get right again.  


If I had the energy to pick a up a book now on child discipline etc. I would add these notes at the back under the word Tigs –

  •      Cute as can be, I can do anything I like my eyes will-let-you-let-me
  •      To clean him something else must become dirty
  •      The later he stays up the more grumpy he is in the morning
  •      Mess in his room multiplies in every available corner
  •      If you want him to do something don’t ask, if you ask he won’t do it
  •      Patience!
  •      Can’t wait to drive a car but doesn't know how to use a lawnmower
  •      Hates school and does not see the need to go 

This would be under Moo -
  • The more time you spend on the meal the less he will eat
  • The quickest way to get his attention is to sit down and look comfortable
  • Patience!
  • Mess in his room multiplies in every available corner, in little neat piles 
  • If you want him to do something don’t ask, if you ask he won’t do it

Why is the one list longer than the other? 
Well it was Tigs turn to be ‘eaten’ this week, so I have more to moan about – just unbelievable how he can have absolutely no worries about school work.  All the teachers are at fault, of course, it’s not him.  He never has homework, he studies the night before and then it’s no wonder the marks look the way they do.  This week has been one of those where I wanted to eat one of my young or just be like a lion that slaps his cubs so hard they yelp, fall over and come back to play with the temperament a little milder if only for a few minutes.

hmmm this cub looks scared and he might not need that slap and the lion is so much bigger.  In my case the roles are reversed, my cubs are taller than me, they don't look frightened when I stand and stare up at them.  The impact is just not the same.  

The joys the ups and the downs of motherhood.  Wish they were still this size .... little sweeter, little milder, and the desire to eat them then was less.

One day these boys will be men, 
My heart my soul my pride my joy my boys my everything. 
I won't eat them today.

Friday, 12 August 2011

My Delight

Sabbath is a delight
It’s Friday and I can’t wait to get home and pass out that is how I usually feel on Friday evening.  But no, tonight is youth meeting at our place and two chocolate cakes are ready and waiting for a bunch of hungry teens!
Lunch tomorrow?  Hmm... I’m thinking about lentil bobotie and roast potatoes should be ready long before sunset.  So tonight when those bouncy energy bursting kids arrive for youth meeting everything will be in its place, and we can finally relax at home.  Enjoy our friends, some Gaither music (getting a bit tired of that), 3ABN, church and tomorrow’s lunch, which is always filled with other nice goodies and lasts till late afternoon.
It should be the high point of the week - the best food, the best fellowship, the best of everything.  If we are not enjoying the Sabbath, if we can't call it "a delight," then there's something wrong with how we are keeping it.  

Sunset in the Kalahari National Park - nothing more beautiful than an African sunset -
As the sun goes down, let the voice of prayer and the hymn of praise mark the close of the sacred hours and invite God’s presence through the cares of the week of labor

Happy Sabbath Everyone!  

PS - It's my sister in law's birthday today, Happy Birthday Candida.


Monday, 8 August 2011

Sometimes there isn’t any more…

Sometimes there isn’t any more…it gets all used up!

Some things last forever and if I sit here and think what is that thing that lasts forever, I frown because I was about to say my engagement ring.  Diamonds are forever that’s what all jewelry adverts say!  But then I remember my real diamond engagement ring that I got from hubby is gone.  I lost it years ago and that caused such drama, I was so scared of telling him I knew he had pawned his dad’s signet ring so that he could buy me that beautiful ring.  So for sure diamonds are not forever.

Then I think maybe it’s my car or house that lasts forever but even that could be stolen or burned down and gone in moment.

What about photos? Don’t they say that ‘memories are forever! print your memories here’ ?  Well the old system of printing photos was taken over by digital photography and as we all know the old photos lose their color after some years and start looking a bit washed out. 
What about the digital ones?
I have lost so many, that’s so easy when your computer is corrupt or has a virus.  Or a camera is stolen with the latest Christmas photos on it gone forever not even a chance to download!

Nothing lasts forever not even hard material things, they get replaced by something bigger, better and faster all the time.  There is one thing though, only one thing that I think lasts forever, that thing is love.
I know I loved other people and then stopped loving them and it’s a life cycle and part of growing up, but do you ever stop loving your children?  That is what I’m talking about that kind of love not some old school friend or boyfriend thing.

Sometimes, what we care about most gets all used up and goes away never to return.  
So while we have it, it's best we love it and care for it and fix it when it's broken and heal it when it's sick.
This is true for marriage and old cars and children with bad report cards and dogs with bad hips and aging parents and grandparents.  
We keep them because they are worth it, because we are worth it.  
Some things we keep.
There are just some things that make life important, like people we know who are special and so, we keep them close!
But even those special people get used up sometimes and go away and then there isn’t any more…
And when my father died, on a warm December night in a cold hospital room, I was struck with the pain of learning that sometimes there isn't any more…
Sometimes, what we care about most gets all used up and goes away never to return.  So while we have it, it's best we love it and care for it.

He has been on mind a lot lately, still miss my dad and love him


Saturday, 6 August 2011

Italy. My dream, my holiday and my adventure

Beautiful Italy!

Pasta and  pizza, ciao bella and whistling men, beautiful women, arches and art, gelato and fountains, columns and statues, Romans and centurions, silk scarf’s and ties, the country side and cheese, museums and religion...Italy is all this and more. Italy is all about history, dreams, making wishes and romance.

It was a childhood dream one that I was sure would not materialise.   I learnt about Mussolini at school and watched mafia movies with my dad and read about Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci and the dreams of visiting Italy were just dreams... 
Even when my sister moved to Italy I always thought she’d come back long before I ever got the chance to visit the country.  But last year in May I embarked on an adventure, and I call it an adventure because I got to do it with a friend.  It was not a normal family holiday.  It was an escape from reality from family responsibilities , school lunches, home work, house work and my full time job.  I was a tourist in Italy with my BFF.

You don’t really need to speak the language, most people speak enough English to help you, you need lots of money, a good pair of shoes a map and a good friend.  Oh yes if you have a driver like ours that would also help.  He was just like the movie ‘fast and furious’ a wannabe formula one driver.  Got us everywhere safe and sound never got lost and even drove from Milan to Rome  (he hates Rome).  I was in Rome so yes I got to see the Sistine Chapel and lots lots more!!

In a very short story told in pictures - this is our adventure in Italy.  I wish I could say this here with the hand gesture and the accent :) 

In Milan - Windowsills with flowers everywhere and the Milan Cathedral (Duomo) 

still in Milan
Piazza del Duomo - La Galleria - turning the heel of your shoe on the bull, this is so you are guaranteed to come back to Milan.  The poppy fields so beautiful

in Pisa the leaning tower is truly beautiful and in Rome St. Peter's Basilica

in Rome
Inside the Colosseum just unbelievable how it stands after so many years, built for gladiators contests.  The remains are proof of grandeur and cruelty. 

Fontana di Trevi another beautiful must see, there are many fountains in Italy but this one has something special, a sort of romantic air...

in Florence
Basilica Croce and replica of David.  The family _ Giancarlo (aka GC our driver), Carla (crazy sis with Leo in tummy), Nathalie (my BFF) and Andrea (my nephew)

in Venice - the Rialto Bridge

I left these for last because this was really the highlight of my trip.  My dream to one day see the Pieta of Michelangelo - this was in St Peter's Basilica in Rome.  The photo does not do it justice, absolutely beautiful!

inside the Vatican Museum in Rome - not knowing what to expect and after seeing so many different pieces of art, this came as a total surprise and was my favorite room of the museum.  Raffaello's Room - painting on the wall 

the last thing we saw before leaving the Vatican Museum was the Sistine Chapel.  In history class this was the only part that did not make me sleep the story of how Michelangelo painted the ceiling.  Pictures are not allowed and this is the best illegal photo I have of the famous ceiling and the finger of God giving life to Adam

ah the very very best for last.  This evening was one of the last ones in Milan and after finishing a pizza each we shared some laughs and still had an appetite to share sweet Italian delicacies and little Andrea my gorgeous nephew enjoyed a mouth full :)

So much more to share and so many memories, Itlay is an amazing little country with so much to see.  So many amazing experiences we had, best pizza and gelato!  Wish I could go back some time soon *sigh* 

Ciao Bella Italia