Friday, 25 November 2011


It's the color of blood, love, rubies, strawberries, roses, fire, the perfect color for a dress or shoes. It is also Christmas and apples, cherries, lipstick and the best crayon in the box. The Ferrari. Love RED.

What a way to finish the year. Love these last tow paintings for this year. So bright and happy.
...I think it's my new favorite color.

What's on my mind for 2012?
Horses! I can't wait and already have a nice collection of pictures and have a huge canvas waiting for running horses. It's going to be tough...

For Leo

For Leo's mom
So for 2011 it's 'Good Bye RED'

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Dove makes me laugh

Have you ever had one of those moments when you laugh so much you actually have tears running down your face and your tummy hurts?
I love it when that happens, to be honest it has been a long time since I’ve had one of those moments or days.
Things are a little crazy at work – I have missed two team meetings with the same boss. There have been a few important things that I have forgotten about....just lost in the mess of my work desk or mail box. I keep being reminded or asked for stuff; and then my reaction is oh yes I’ll give you that now! Yuks! I haven’t started it yet!
I feel like I’m chasing my tail. When I get home I have a million other things on the go at the same time and added to that is some admin church work that seems to be multiplying like mushrooms in the dark as if I needed extra pressure.

Anyway it happened - I received this really crazy email that had me in stitches, it’s not even that funny but together with a corny joke from my son ‘SUPPLIES!’ (say that with Chinese accent) ... I just couldn’t stop laughing about it.

It’s called releasing the dove!

You are at a wedding and it’s time to watch the bride and groom, they stand shoulder to shoulder with a dove in their hands as friends and family eagerly await.
The  photographer gives the signal  and they open their hands toward the sky.
Not a  dry eye  anywhere, the camera flashes; the beautiful moment is saved for  all eternity...
I purposely did a bad job with the blue
- but had to block it -
I'm sure you can imagine the rest 

I love it, I'm sorry if you're not rolling on the floor laughing but this came just at the right moment of the day. Made me take a huge *sigh* and I happily went back to work with a smile for the rest of the day.
Now you should hear the ‘SUPPLIES’ joke, but I will keep that for another day.

Keep Smiling!   :-)

Lifeguard needed

Is it uncool to say 'I'm so busy'?
If it is then I'll just have to be uncool, I really am busy, it's hectic in the office and I feel like I'm drowning. Just can't seem to catch up! Catching up at home is out of the question just as busy there mmm... shame *shacking my head* at myself and the situation I have created.

It is the end of the year and things just don't want to slow down.  I feel a bit like a tortoise with the belly up. And looking at the little creatures you can just see that it's uncomfortable, they were not built to lie in the sun with the belly up - and that is what I wish I could be doing...lying on the beach belly up.

There's a funny saying that comes to mind; 
"I'm so busy I don't know if I found a rope or lost my horse" or is this what they said about old people? Either way it's true I'm loosing my mind.

Lifeguard needed I'm drowning and make it a nice looking one please...

Monday, 21 November 2011

Humility and Communion

Humility is a strange thing, the minute you think you’ve got it, you’ve lost it!  Humility is being courteous and respectful of others. It is the opposite of aggressiveness and arrogance. I don’t think we are born with it or at least if we are we outgrow it and then we struggle to practice it for most of our lives. If we're humble, we don't blame the poor for their poverty we help them. If we're humble, we don't stone those who sin we plead with them and forgive them.

Now days people are so angry all the time that it’s as if they carry a gun in their bag the whole time. I mean that of men and women. Why so angry all the time? Why is the temper the first thing you show others? Why do you see evil in everything others do and don’t do? 
I’m going to be the arrogant one now and say ‘I think it’s because you are evil, that you only see the negative and ugly things in others, you spend your time questioning everything and looking for something wrong!’     
-    There now I feel better. 

I’m trying to practice humility. Its communion soon and foot washing time. Quite different from washing hands in public like certain medical examinations it can seem like a bit of an invasion. Easy do to with your best friend or partner but not so with other people. The ceremony is unusual and if you are really ‘in it’ and not being distracted by your friend - I think of some of the first ones I took part in they were more about feeling grown up and eating the bread - embarrassing to admit, sorry....

But if you are really fully taking part you can’t help being emotional. It’s a blessing if you allow it to be. I remember years ago when I was a teen and I somehow did not land next to my friend. It would be so obvious if I moved that I stayed in my place frozen staring across the room. On my left side I have no idea who was there my memory blocked it out. I just know that on my right side was someone that I liked, but I still wanted to just be next to my friend and we looked at each other but the white haired granny grabbed my hand and that was it. We were going to wash each other’s feet!!!
As I washed her feet, old and wrinkled as if she’d walked for a million miles I couldn’t help this how it feels to wash the feet of Jesus? And then when she was kneeling in front of me and I was staring at her white hair I felt that I was not worthy.
I think this is what humility really means, and communion may be strange for many people but normal for our church. 

So here goes...this is what I will be trying to do...rather than looking for faults in others I must look for good in others and correct the faults in myself. Humility. 

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Things he liked

It was a normal hot summer Sunday.  
It was hot but there was a bit of a breeze, the washing dried quickly. Lunch was simple and easy to make just could not imagine being in the kitchen in this heat. 
The boys both have an exam tomorrow and spent most of the day studying. I tried to do as little as possible, normal morning routine... laundry, loading dish washer, making beds, tidying up what ever was left lying around from Sabbath. 
Late breakfast for all of us and I spent the day by the pool, a magazine, looking at loads of cut out recipes and a book just in case I wanted to do something more serious than stare at pretty pictures!

But I didn't forget, today he would have been 70 years old. While I was lying on the beach towel listening to the creepy crawly - I like that sound, it's soothing - I thought about the things he liked. 
Liking family and the grandchildren is obvious, I was thinking more about - 

  • Lunch bars and the way he use to imitate the old TV ad.
  • All chocolates actually, and how Friday evening he'd hide a large slab in the same place so the boys could 'find' it.
  • Braais!
  • Sports on TV.
  • Reading his newspaper.
  • Eating lupins and cold boiled prawns.
  • Being in the garage and garden, not really doing much but just 'playing' around with his stuff in the garage.
  • Driving, he liked to take long trips and he played Julio Iglesias & Demis Roussos from tapes on his radio.
  • The beach.

From where I was lying on the floor soaking in the warm sun I looked at our very small portable braai and thought 'today I would have had some of your chicken'.  We have not had another braai like the ones he made, since he passed away no one wants to light up and we have all become vegetarians here at home, and vegetarians do braai, but it just doesn't feel right don't know if it's the chicken that is missing or the braai master.  I think it's more about the braai master than the food.

He also liked acting silly and Christmas is the funny, happy and silly season. We always had loads of fun and laughs...and yes that too has not been the same since he passed away. How can it be when the day he died was 23 December? It is getting a better and I do plan to put the tree up this year and decorate like the old days.

The silly season and the silly men in the family 
 This is one of my favorite old photos, oh that chair was embarrassing on the beach :) 

Sunday is over, it's back to work and I still need to pack lunches, agh my work never stops!
Good night 

Thursday, 10 November 2011

A Special Place - Clarens

Endless mountain views
 This past weekend we just upped and went to one of our favourite places in SA – Clarens!   Left the boys at home with gran with no guilty feelings and took a very slow, very scenic and very beautiful drive to the Free State. It truly is a beautiful area no matter what season we're in. In winter the mountains are covered in snow, in spring it is absolutely breathtaking and around April when everything is dry in Jhb and yellow ochre in color in Clarens it is all about gold!  

We had a wonderful picnic, just the two of us, visited our friend Tina and then it was time to visit the galleries.
I love going to Clarens.  It’s a small village where you can park your car and just walk around the square and discover little shops with nice goodies to eat, to buy or to just admire.
I enjoy the galleries for the inspiration I get while there - Blou Donki, Johan Smith, Tina de Beer, Robert Badenhorst, ArteFunto and Essensual are some of my favourite galleries.

Poplar trees turning gold
The famous poplar trees turn from deep green to gold that is another reason why it is always busy with photographers and artists.  Every time we go there we find something different.

From dramatic to awesome blue skies everyday is different
This year we visited in April (my eager photographer looking for gold trees) and he gave Tina some of his photos for her portfolio file; material for new paintings. She returned the favor with an oil painting, that is why we made the impromptu visit last weekend. 

November is cherry festival time 

We collected our new painting! It is a beautiful typical Clarens scene.
Bought loads of cherries. 
And I left there rested, rejuvenated and very inspired! Ready to start my new painting.

Any chance you get go down to the Free State and do yourself a favor drive slowly so you can take in the space, the mountains, the breathtaking views and the beautiful South African skies. Stop at Clarens and take in the art. I LOVE my country.

Friday, 4 November 2011

To be like a Lovebird

“To dwell above with the saints in love – that will be glory!  
To dwell below with the saints I know – that’s another story.” 
A. J. Raitt

This quote is taken from a little book I have been reading, with short stories about church members. Mainly about the mistakes Christians make. Mistakes that actually apply to all of us, all of the time not just in church. And the lessons from this book can be applied at work, at home with our family and life in general. Relationships are the chemistry of life and sometimes we ruin both by our wrong impressions and our cloudy outlook of other people. My friendly smile will receive a warm welcome reaction and a genuine friendship will break through. A frown or angry face? that's too many wrinkles in just a few minutes.

So the writer uses eight different birds to describe our behavior, I have taken some of the birds from his book and some of the writers descriptions (can’t give it all away) and added some of my own little ‘nuggets’ because I am a very keen birdwatcher (both kinds of birds) so let me introduce you to some of them....

Straight-laced Nitpicker
Related to the vulture family, it is noted for its ability to spot flaws from a great distance. This bird sees everything in one tone or hue (monochromatic vision) and it is easily recognised by the beam in its eye, the bird has other handicaps too. 
Yes we know people like this, the ones that comment and find faults in everything you do but they just can’t do any better. Very irritating and discouraging.

Jaded Pew-warmer
The knowledgeable bird watcher will find this bird quickly. This bird can only be seen at special times, it has a limited range of habitat, it is almost never found at prayer meeting but can easily be seen in the car park during sermons and other occasions. 
Mmm that’s a special bird, maybe we have all done this before...just sit and never participate.

Teenaged Twitterpate
Colourful plumage and constant twittering, always in pairs. Population declining because of the Straight-laced Nitpickers. This bird can be mistaken for Jaded Pew-warmer and sometimes behaves the same but it is quite different. The plumage and twittering is part of elaborate ‘courtship’ dance.
Other birds need to tread carefully around this bird or it will fly away quickly!

Duck-billed Platitude
Immediately recognised by its loud call, high sounding with hollow ring to it.  It is not a true bird (more like a chicken) but is found in the company of Nitpickers and Pew-warmers. It occurs commonly in special functions and sermons for some reason. And Teenaged Twitterpates prey on it constantly.
Boring bird like the name suggests, its stale has nothing nice to say or do!

Well known for its colour, love, joy, peace, beautiful song, gentle and meek. This species does not occur naturally. Each Lovebird must be individually reared, hand held and perfected over the years. A more exact description is difficult to give, since Lovebirds have been successfully developed from each of the species listed above. Variation exists at each stage of development. It should be noted that the Creator of this remarkable bird has been described as a dove, a mother hen, an eagle caring for its young.
Wow! We should all strive to become like Lovebirds.

I looked in my bird book and this is what it says about Lovebirds  - lovable and affectionate birds. They make a strong bond with both their breeders and owners and the relation is lifelong. Their name also suggests their lovely nature. They like attention, hence, they are kept in pairs and spend their whole day chattering and twittering with their partner. They can also mimic human voice and love to kiss. 

Lovebird – us humans. Lovely Nature. Strong bond with owner – strong bond with God. Relation is lifelong! 
We should all be more like Lovebirds, happy with each other’s company and loving more instead of fighting. 


If only....