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Showing posts from 2015

the moon, the cloud and the raindrops in my life

The weather made me think about 2 things in the last two hours. 

I was letting the dogs in and as I locked the gate I glanced up and through the trees I saw a sliver of moon, the rest concealed by a very black sky.  As I watched, within seconds, the dark cloud in front of the moon glided slightly to the right and then gracefully stopped and the moon that was barely visible a few seconds previously now stood more illuminated and only partially covered. 

Now, about 2 hours later, the 39 degree heat of today has suddenly and instantly been broken.  A crash of thunder and a huge bolt of lightning and the skies have opened, with decent rain.  Not that drippy excuse for rain kind of rain that stops after 72 drops, decent rain that has water cascading down our gutters and offers sweet reprieve for the brilliant blue skies and unrelenting heat we sweated under today. 

Instantly I thought of two things now.  How very much like our lives this weather is.  How often do we - vibrant, fun-loving, lum…

my 4 non-resolutions - just simply what i will glide into from today

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So this New Year resolution thing ..... same old same old.  Approach it with great enthusiasm during December - get the plans ready - many people go with the standard favourites - lose weight, eat healthy, sleep more, go to church more, be nicer to others etc etc etc.  All keen 31 December .... excited and enthused 1 Jan - needing reminding by 31 Jan and by 6 March ALL FALL DOWN.  Not everyone, but most of those that I know of.  Including me.  Which is why I stopped this ridiculous pressure on myself 4 years ago. 
Why do we need a fresh start on 1 Jan?  Why wait?  Do you decide that you are a crappy person in June but then you have to pass the time being like that until 1 Jan?  Why not just say in the summer that you will change in the winter?  Same delay tactic.  
So next year I am looking at a few things - not forcing, not pressurizing, not having a reward system and not being nagged by others.  Nothing worse than people that ask what your resolutions are and then nag you about them a…

the price of real friendship

Real deep friendship has no price
Real deep friendship has no conditions

It has unbelievable love and caring
It has sharing and deep and regular laughter

Real deep friendship says "I accept and love you just as you are. Always"
Real deep friendship says "Don't ever change who you are"

It allows you to be authentic
It allows you to let your guard down

Real deep friendship says I am always on  your side
Real deep friendship says I have your back - and does

It allows you to say let me help you
It allows you to say it's ok

Real deep friendship is a blessing that not everyone gets
Real deep friendship is an incredible privilege

It allows you to say you matter to me
It allows you to say just be you


The price of real meaningful friendship - there is not one.  I am blessed in that I am able to say to some "I love you just as you are.  Always".    If I have given you that gift, don't ever forget to treasure it.


till later
c'est la vie

searching for silence

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Our country is in complete turmoil.  The press abounds with news of the shock dismissal of our Minister of Finance.  The plummeting rand.  The newly appointed replacement Minister. Calls for President Zuma's resignation.  Bad news, bad news and many a talking point. 

At the same time it is Advent.  A time of waiting.  A time of quiet.  A time of preparation.  A journey. Not a race. 

And somewhere I need to find balance between the headlines, tweets, FB comments, press articles and barrage of negativity and the quietness I am seeking. 

I turn to my daily Advent reflections.  I play Gregorian Chanting loudly whilst I work.  I look for joy in my friendships, my family, my job, our pets, our parish and the quietness which that cool and reflective sanctuary brings. 

I look for quietness in my thoughts.  I am going to look for it when my leave starts on Tuesday.  A space.  Just a space.  Where I am not being asked a question every 2 minutes, juggling 10 things at once and being available al…

bond. james bond.

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Bond.  James Bond.

Who can resist?  Piercing blue eyes.  Tailored bespoke suits.  Just a tad of stubble.  That short short hair with a touch of grey at the temples.  That walk ... slow, measured and then of course he has an Aston Martin.  Face it.  You like him.

Saw the new Bond movie, Spectre, tonight.  It had all the makings of a Bond movie .... great car chases, lots of action, fight scenes, decent plot and then the Bond women.  This time there were 2 .... the awesome Monica Belluci who is 51 and since I am 50 next month, she made me feel awful.  She is spectacular.  However hers was barely a cameo role - the whole movie just centered around Bond's new blonde love interest.

And then there is Moneypenny.  Always on her post, always pre-empting what Bond needs, always on the same wavelength, always able to answer his questions.  She has changed over the years in who plays her, but Moneypenny is the epitome of the dedicated secretary / pa / righthand woman.  She is bright, fiery…

the 12 word blog

hope 
trust
faith
have faith and trust that there is always hope

incense, schnitzels, stillenacht and hope

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Today we spent the late afternoon and evening at the ChristKindlMarkt held at the German School in Pretoria.  

It was lovely because the food was cheap, wholesome and perfect for dinner and the hall was full of little stands selling mostly things that make traditional German Christmas - little wooden tree ornaments, hand made lanterns, Stollen, Adventskranz, candles, marzipan, Christmas incense cones to burn and much more.  You did not have to spend money to go there and enjoy it, it was just as much fun seeing the lovely things and ideas. 

Most of all, especially with tomorrow being the 1st Sunday of Advent, I got the feeling for the first time, that Christmas is coming.  I smelt it in the incense in the market, in the beautiful big pine tree with lights.  However the greatest thing about the evening was the beautiful choir accompanied by an orchestra.  I was not able to catch where they were from, but they were not youngsters and it was magnificent. 

I love carols, and I love orchestra…

the science of sons

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And so today exams ended, and thereby the long child's gr 10 year.  Only one day left next week for the Liturgy for end of year and then he is home ..... for a lovely long break.  It is much needed and I intend to see that he enjoys every minute of it.  He has worked.  Late nights almost every school night and during exams he was joined by the hip to his books.  I am proud of him.  This year has not been easy for us and he soldiered on - head up, chin up in his quiet gentlemanly way.  The fact that his sister, aka chefgirl,  will be home for 5 days next month is a great source of joy for him. 

He is, besides his dad, the funniest person I know.  He has this off the cuff, laissez-faire way of remarking on things, a dry as Savannah sense of humour and is so astute it always amuses me.  We spend a lot of time laughing ... in the car to school and back, at home and when we go places.  He often sleeps in the morning on the way to school, interspersed with the odd laughing moment.  Other…

78 is my dad's number today - YAY

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So today my dad is turning 78.  What an awesome big number.  So many fun memories ... so many lekker places we have gone on holiday, so many special weekends together.  We have had meals together in so many places, seen so many shows together .... remember the Follies?  And the Angus Steer? And football at Callies - cheering me at Pilditch as I finished the ten gazillion km race ... about 2 days after I started running it ..... all those galas you supported .... the fantastic cappuccinos that you churn out on your machine when we visit, the drawer that has a neverending supply of biltong and Lays.  The dried peaches that I like only when they are rock hard, the lebkuchen when Christmas arrives, the hunting for Easter eggs in the garden ... even though we are all grown up now.   Each year we try see who can find the most bizarre hiding place.  Always listening to Silent Night before we open our gifts on Christmas Eve.  Board games with the kids .... you are a Thirty Seconds Addict and …

eisbeins, food stalls and plenty of firsts

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So last week was a big week of firsts.  

First time I dyed candles with paint and oven baking to make Advent candles.  First time I made Christmas wreaths (see my previous blog) and first time I did something I thought I would never do ... make Eisbein and my last first (get it?) ran a little teeny food stall at our Church Patronal Feast Day.  The money it made was not mind blowing in the big picture. But I made money, I was able to add to the fundraising of the day and that is all that matters.  Every drop helps fill a bucket. 

What a lot of firsts I had! 

Despite the fact that my dad was born in Germany, we make very few traditional German dishes from scratch.  He came to SA when he went to High School so to date the best place for Eisbein when I was growing up was at the German Club in town.  And now it is at a restaurant in the East of Pretoria.  

The most silly of all .... I have never eaten an Eisbein until I tasted a piece of the ones I made.  Nor have I ever had any inclination to…

Me in creative mode - a tale of Advent wreaths and other pretty things

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So to work out my frustrations I decided to turn to creativity.  It was either that or boxing but my son's punching bag and I had a small incident when it swung back towards me recently.

Having decided 2 weeks ago that I want to do some different holders and candles for Advent this year, as well as try my hand at Advent wreath making, I knuckled down yesterday, bought a bounty of items for my moment of inspiration, checked Pinterest for exactly how to bake the paint and set out. 

I wanted to make enough to stock and sell in the Repository at the Parish. 

Now for those for whom Advent is starting on 29 November, you know that you have 3 purple and 1 pink candle and these get lit starting with 1 candle and working up to all 4 candles over a four week period leading up to Christmas.  Some people have just the candles, others have the wreath as well.  I grew up in a home where we had the Christmas Krantz every year. 

So armed with glue spray, glitter, decorations, pipe cleaners, pegs and …

Frustration, anger, nightmares and hope

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This week has been trying, to say the least.  I have behind me a very busy last week at work, 3 nights of terrible nightmares ... covering all kinds of bizarre things, they have haunted me right until I wake up.  I dragged myself through today with a searing headache that gripped me the minute I opened my eyes this morning.  Add a pounding heart from the headache meds and my day was anything but fun.  

I drove home in absolute turmoil today.  Anger and frustration. Tiredness. 

Anxiety.  It has me in it's grip. 

I do not have to wonder if this is it, I absolutely know - anxiety brings the headaches, but a sure sign is the nightmares - I have walked this road before. 

Is it not amazing how our bodies react - the renowned fight or flight reaction.  How we allow the things in our lives, often not from our own doing, but many that we do by choice, to grip us and throttle us physically. 

It becomes a rolling ball of stress, pressure, work, anxiety, anxiety and yes, anxiety. 

I find solace acr…

jobs, marriages and life - go with all your heart

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Every time my world gets very full, I think about the things that make it so. When my world gets overfilled with things that I can handle, and make me happy, then all goes well, I deal with the tiredness and everything that comes with it.  However when it gets full of just STUFF, then I become run down and even more tired ---- like dragging a chain behind me. 

My dad's favourite question to me is "when are you going to slow down girl?" - "you do not rest enough and sleep" - probably because every time I go to their house I visit and then end the visit with a hour long sleep on the couch, irrespective of the day or time.  

I have this thing - I don't do half measures.  In anything.  If I work for you - I am all in.  I give my everything.  Throw myself in heart and soul.  When I am with my friends - I am all in.  All the laughter, joking, friendships.  Heart and Soul. Especially with my bestie.  At home - double heart and soul - it is a home of great laughter a…

what you need vs what you want

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Been thinking about the heat a lot (how can you not) and also been thinking about the rain we are praying for - which will bring much needed relief for our country and our crops and also a small reprieve from this murderous heat everywhere. 

Chatting to a friend with Nic this morning and commenting on how awesome this overcast sky is today, it suddenly reminded me of something - how we often in life want the opposite of what we have, and then when we get that - we long for the very thing we had in the first place. 

I know someone, lets call her X.  She was married for 20 years, to what appeared on the surface to be a great guy (who knows what goes on in other people's marriages).  Then along came person B - charming her and eventually this lead to an affair.  So she had what she wanted - she was bored of her mundane, every day the same life with her husband and longed for adventure and excitement.  And then?  She realised one day that she missed the stability of her husband, the war…

I wish I can keep track of my keys (and other wishes)

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My greatest wishes for myself: 


That I can find my car key every dayThat I can find my house key every dayThat I can find my remote every dayThat I can work out why I never ever look for my work keys and then apply it to the above 3 pointsThat I remember to take my tablets every dayThat I discover that I do not have to carry everything I own in my bootThat I can just once go into a secure parking alone and not have to pay the Lost Card Fee when I leave.  That I charge my phone when it gets to 10%.  Which is 3 x day. That I can find my car key when I leave work every day.  And not have to put it in my boss' fridge so that I know where it isThat I understand that the orange fuel light on my vehicle means the fuel is about to end.  It is not a suggestion. That I can find my house key every day (yes I repeated it, it is unbelievable)That I can drink less Coke (please do not lecture me - I get it)That I understand that making time for myself every day is not breaking any great ruleThat …

completely irrelevant and fun facts

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Did You Know: 

The average lead pencil can write 50 000 words before it becomes too stumpy.

You breathe on average about 5 million times a year.  For me it must be 6 million if I add in the eye rolling and sighing my one friend says I do.

Months that begin on a Sunday always have a Friday 13th in them. 

"Almost" is the longest word in the English dictionary with all the letters in alphabetical order.

A silkworm consumes about 86 000 times it's weight in 56 days.  Hold back on fat jokes please.

11 % of the world population is left handed. 

Rubber bands stretch further and last longer if refrigerated.  You also then know where they are ... like my car keys (yes I put them in the fridge at work).

A snail can sleep for 3 years.  I am clearly a member of the snail family.

All the continent's names end with the same letter that they start with. 

A goldfish has a memory span of 3 seconds.  I have some friends like that as well. 

A hedgehog's heart beats 300 times a minute.  The sa…

all i want .... is authenticity

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if I wrote Poetry .... This is what i would want to say ........... i love her work ....... it is what i would say to everyone that i care for and everyone that i interact with ..... with me ... be you .... the authentic you ..... not the public you ...... not the person you think you have to be with others .... be authentic .... because that is how i love you.   And Always Will. 
By Oriah Mountain Dreamer The InvitationIt doesn't interest me
what you do for a living.
I want to know
what you ache for
and if you dare to dream
of meeting your heart's longing.

It doesn't interest me
how old you are.
I want to know
if you will risk
looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn't interest me
what planets are
squaring your moon...
I want to know
if you have touched
the centre of your own sorrow
if have been opened
by life's betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know
if you can sit with pain -
mine or your own
wit…

airlines. late check-ins. half marathons and more

The Travel by Air Manual

1.

All those travelling by air shall remember that whilst 2 of the "lower cost" airlines make more of a *humming* noise whilst flying, 1 of the others makes more of a *growling* sound.  Important to remember if you are uncomfortable with a teeny bit extra movement under the seat whilst flying.

2.

If you hire a car and return it to CT airport and catch the outgoing flight from there, please ensure that you add an additional 45 minutes on to your original "arrive to check-in" time.  It is quick to drive to the Car Rental returns spot.  And relatively quick to have them check that you have not totalled their vehicle.  What is not short, or quick however is the distance you have to walk from that spot to the Terminal.  Also important to bear in mind that when you push the trolley with the 35kgs of luggage (yes us 2 had that much), downhill to the underground parking to cross to the terminal, you better be able to hang onto that weight as well …

Facebook - not all friends, but its own kind of community

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Facebook is a funny little thing.  Social media indeed, but also very often well disguised and hiding what it can be - a malicious, spiteful little playground in which, like kids, people play little games.  It fascinates me for 2 reasons - one because I am stunned that people cannot just enjoy the site - share in other's happiness - be happy for other's happiness - say something - know when they share something sad that perhaps this forum is the only one one which they can share hurt, consider that before you mutter a nasty comment in your head, or to someone else about them.  Secondly because many people make it so obvious.  I shake my head in something akin to pity. 

I have a casual friend and we have a mutual acquaintance.  It tickles me - if she puts the word "the" as her status my friend will be the first Like she gets.  If she posts one of the vast collection of regular pics of herself, even if completely blurred and average ..... the land speed record for Like …

Young Men, Big Dreams & Insightful opinions

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Young Adults ..... teenagers ....... Youth ......... whatever it is that you call 16 year olds .... I think Young Adults is the best word .... teenagers is so 13-ish. 

Some people really battle to relate to this age - it can be cocky, frustrating, stone-walling, trying and exasperating.  It can also be interesting, fun, self-assured, cocky, inquisitive, loving, responsible and many more descriptive words. 

I speak as an expert.  I have a 16 year old son.  And 4 years ago my daughter was also 16 (but girls are a whole other blog).  Being school holidays there was a lot of interaction between Nic and other 16 year olds in his Grade this week. 

One of them stayed here for 3 days, one spent a whole day with us and one stayed overnight.  At various stages I had 3 of them together.  Probably the highlight of the past week for me. 

16 year olds have opinions.  About everything.  And before you shrug off their opinions as being defensive or cocky, listen to them.  Really listen.  Kids today are s…