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Praying out loud in public and other questionable things

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So on Saturday I joined a public Rosary rally in the park at Magnolia Dell.  Yes we took along our Rosaries and our hymns and prayers and everything else the coordinator had mailed us.  Yes us Catholics - we stood in a circle which drew attention.  Yes we sang - out loud and prayed - out loud (long prayers and short ones) and yes we prayed the Rosary - out loud. 

Yes we attracted stares - some of interest, some of confusion, some of mirth.  Some glanced our way, read our banner and carried on about their business.  Some stopped to hear what we were doing, some snickered, some stared openly.  Some smiled and seemed encouraged.  

It is a funny thing public displays of Faith.  We can go to a park, wearing the shirt of the sports team we support, kick around a ball and shout sporting terms.  We can go to a park and put up a display of art and other wares and encourage others to stop and look.  We can let people ride through the park loudly ringing bells and encouraging people to buy ice-cre…

social media. selfies and other not so smart smartphone stuff

So the smartphone ..... what a welcome addition to life.  It is there all the time, ringing, knocking, vibrating, blinking in silence, whistling, tapping, lighting up.  Alerting us that someone is calling us, called us, sms'd us, whatsapp'd us, tweeted us, tagged us on FB and then of course there is the plethera of sms'ing, whatsapping, tweets and FB that we ourselves do.  And then there are the websites, chatlines, chat sites, Tinder, meet a man, meet a chick, online shopping, online bookings etc etc.  Oh and not to forget that other thing - sexting and selfies and other such stuff which can come back and really be an issue .... because remember darlings ..... what you put out there is out there.  For good.  You can delete your message and photos or drop them into any place you wish .... they can be found should it ever be necessary.  Aaaah cyberspace .... what a blessing and a curse. 

I read an interesting article this weekend in the paper ... and then listened to a prank…

The madness of a cricket test match. A madness of supporters. The fun. And of course, Faf

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Test Cricket.  Yes it is about the score, the runs, the wides, the 4's, the 6's, the LBW's, the batsmen, the bowlers, the umpires, the outs and the ins, the reviews, the state of the pitch and the innings. 

But.  It is also about  the sun, the caps, the suntan lotion, the beers, the boerewors, the Sunfoil placards, the Standard Bank sponge finger and then ...... oh yes and then my darlings ...... 
it is about who sits around you.  
Day 1 of the NZ vs SA Test in Centurion, I part with my ticket as I have something urgent to attend to.  However my Day 2 ticket is all mine.  
We sit on the grandstand in really good seats and then starts the day long cricket.  And spectators. 
Behind us we have one young guy and two girls.  The entire grandstand added together simultaneously, did not speak as loudly or as dramatically as he did.  The arm movements alone could have conducted the Philharmonic. All day.  From 10 am to 4 pm.  They leave before the end.  I silently thank whoever was res…

Dear Mr President

Dear Mr President ..... You had a palatial home built with more annextures than the average Medical Terminology Book.  You had every kind of unnecessary and lavish item there.  Most South Africans objected.  You chose to ignore them. 
Dear Mr President .... The Guptas came along and seemed to become the day to day managers of our country and politics.  They ruled like puppetmasters and did unusual little things .... like land a private plane at a military airport.  Most South Africans objected.  You chose to ignore them. 
Dear Mr President .... The Sudanese President, a war criminal, was allowed to leave SA despite a High Court order ...... You allowed it.  Most South Africans objected.  You chose to ignore them. 
Dear Mr President ..... Universities and Education Institutions across the country took to the streets in protest under the banner of #feesmustfall.  Did you go out into the community and address the situation?  No.  You were hardly ever seen 
Dear Mr President ..... At your Ina…

The handbag. The church bell. Those embarrassing moments.

The 10 am Mass is currently on.  I should be in it.  I was.  At least for a very short time. And then it went pear shaped. 

I opened the Repository from 9 to 10 am as usual.  It was going well.  Great filter coffee, lovely customers, new floors, everyone likes the new layout of Repository and all was sunshine and happy Sunday morning.  

Two customers stayed after 10 am and as we were chatting about items in the Repository and WYD, the time ticked on and I only ran across the road at 10:10 ... this sometimes happens when I still have customers. Also there was a problem with an overflowing Jojo tank pointed out to me by several parishioners, which required me to make a call after 10:00 to someone. It could not wait.  And the Repository is my Ministry. 

Not wanting to walk into the church so late, and with the cry chapel being full, I circled the church, entered from the other side by the Sacristy and stood quietly in the passage at the back of the church.  It was still going well.  I liste…

A million Catholics at WYD. But also millions who are not.

The media is full of World Youth Day in Poland.  A massive gathering of Young Catholics *and the not so young* to spend time together examining their Faith, interacting with other young people, visiting churches and other landmarks, attending Masses and of course the very wonderful opportunity to actually see the Pope, up close (or as close as you can get with a million people) and personal.

Much attention and photographs have been published on social media about this - flags, excitement and a mutual bond of Catholicism.  Many comments have been published about how this massive group of dedicated young people intend to carry this message forward and live it out when they return to their respective countries and parishes.  Will everyone do this - no.  However one hopes that the majority do.

What has concerned me somewhat is the amount of emphasis on only this group when talking about the time to come, and I have even read 4 different articles / opinions over the past week which seem t…

cloudy waters washing over me

In Afrikaans there is a wonderful phrase "troebel waters" ..... cloudy, murky, turbulent ..... those are the waters I find myself in this week.  Unchartered waters - I feel like a lone person in a lifeboat being whacked from one side to the other by wave after wave after wave after wave of not entirely getting stuff right. 

I have always been a strong swimmer - a direct description of a person who can take the multitude of days that come your way .... great, mediocre or just downright crappy.  This week I have felt stuck in doggy paddling - two steps forward .... then 9 to the right and 109 backwards. 

Everyone seems to have a theory about why I am so uncertain, so confidence-less (yes I know that is not a word) - Sadly not one of them have it right.  Mainly because no-one has actually asked in depth.  And by asking you have to accept my answer.  And listen. And not judge. 

I have walked the road flat across to the Adoration Chapel where I have debated, questioned, demanded and…

Be the parish secretary. Go on I dare you.

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Parish Secretary.  Now to many people those 2 words conjure up the image of a retired lady, in twinset and pearls (and I mean no offence to either retired ladies or twinsets and pearls), sitting in the office for a few hours a day, answering the seldom ringing phone, making the odd cup of tea for the priest, filing a handful of documents a week and crocheting and reading to fill the rest of the hours.  That I believe is how most people think the advert for such a post would read.
Now I do not know every Parish Secretary that there is.  I do not know if the opposite of the above is unique to very large parishes only.  Or to parishes like mine that are vibrant and alive and have dozens of interest groups, ministries, support groups and other things like perpetual adoration, a massive catechism group, young adult group, youth group, bible study, parish council, articles in publications, soup kitchen, Lifeline and on and on and on.  
Busy parish = Busy priest = Busy secretary.  
I opened …

best self. better self. what a disaster. wisdom from a nun.

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Two weeks ago I commented to a friend that when I come back in my second life, I want to be a nun.  She asked why but the answer was complex .... and has nothing to do with my unbelievably awesome hubby and kids, but much more to do with a striving for excellence, compassion, kindness, near perfection and everything else that seems to come to mind when I see these ladies.  And yes, I speak to nuns regularly in my job. And yes they laugh if I say I strive to be as perfect. 

It took me longer to get my friend to stop laughing than it did to complete my nun explanation.  I do agree that when looking and listening to me, nun is not at the forefront of your mind.  Admit it. 

But yesterday I thought a lot about nuns again, because I spoke to one twice on the phone this week, and having spent time with several nuns on a social level over the last two years, I know to be true the fact that they too are striving .... to be compassionate, to be kind, to be doing the right thing ..... 

Our parish p…

50 kinds of gorgeous papers. what a lot of love.

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Many of you do know that when I turned 50 in January, my daughter turned 21, and came home from Cape Town for our joint celebration.  When she left to go home, and I returned from the airport, there was a glass jar on the dining room table.  Beautifully and colorfully decorated .... and marked in front in silver koki ... "50 Things About You".  My Jess had decorated this jar and inside were 50 slips of folded paper, to be opened and read one at a time whenever I felt like it.  And on each of the 50 papers she had written some memory - funny, poignant ... whatever, that she had of me. 

Friends have asked me what kind of things these slips said .... which I read out to my hubby and son, much to their amusement.  So here are the ones I have already opened - you will learn something about me .... and share in my joy at the same time. If you think you know me really well ... did you know all this? So ... as written by my daughter to me -


One word "crispy" - you sometimes …

casting your nets. asking for help. that man in the arena

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Casting nets on the other side of the boat was the Gospel today during Mass.  

It gave me food for thought whilst driving home.  How often do we do that?  Or do we tend to fish on the one side of our boat day in and day out and eventually in total despair just toss the net back into the boat.  Now I have, through trial and error, happy and bad times, by hook or by crook and such, become over the past couple of years a master of casting the net both sides of our boat.  Hell, I even cast in front and back sometimes and if necessary I will even swim under the boat dragging it. 

They say "necessity is the mother of invention".  Well Amen to that.  Whilst discussing it online with someone this afternoon she commented "but you do not know how hard it can be" .... no my dear, I do.  Trust me we have the PhD, MBA, and every other letter in this. Re-casting is what my speciality is.  I am not addressing this to people who tell me they are battling because they now eat out 3 a…

Once upon a book

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When last did you visit a book exchange?  When I was in high school and studying afterwards, this was quite the rage.  We did not go to high priced bookstores that exist today, nor were there really any.  CNA was the stationer and not really a book store, having the selection it has now.  You bought new books through Leisure Books or found them at smaller stores. However libraries were what people did.  We took out a pile of books and returned or renewed them two weeks later.  Every suburb had a library.  With a vast range of books.  However as I grew older, renewing on time became a problem for me.  I think that every library that still exists has a photo of me on their system "do not give her books" - simply because I lost two and refused to pay the R375 per book they wanted for a book that was for sale elsewhere for R100.  The rest was for capturing the book on the system, tagging it and what not else.  I would have helped them with that for free.  And two books in 21 yea…

Simply Being

So life has been craziness itself.  Work has been its usual merry go round of busy busy and no two days the same.  Being a wife is always fun - especially when you are married to someone as witty as my husband .... being a mom is always interesting - particularly when you are mom to a 17 year old who plays tons of sport and is always busy ... and also has the wit of his father .... just much drier ... and then my not so baby girl ... ok at 21 not baby girl at all, who keeps us up to date every day with her cheflife in CT.  Life is busy. 

So now when our son went off to stay with my sister for almost 5 days when the school hols started, then returned for one day to check on my hubby and I and of course get laundry done and then went off to the coast with a schoolfriend and his family for Easter, time was suddenly available.  In abundance.  Laundry was minimal, dishes were minimal, driving was minimal.  It co-incided with the plethera of Easter public holidays, so besides going off to ch…

the fantastic fabulousness of being fifty

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Some people arrive at the number five zero and go into some sort of panic spiral about being more than halfway through their lives, having to only look back now and no more forward. They panic about every little line, every kg, every everything.  Some tell me they are now on the back 9 of their lives ....... jeez, where was I when all this paranoia set in? 

January 27th heralded my 50th birthday ...... I don't like it ...... I love it!!!! 

Fifty years old and: 


I really could not care if people like my haircut, haircolour, style of dressing, bling jewellery and love of all things brightI will be as boisterous as ever, if not more so, because I see no sense in going through life muttering and apologisingI will not make excuses for who I am and what I do and do not likeI will continue to drink as much cappuccino as I can, watch as much ShowMax as possible, follow Borgias to the very last episode, watch Isidingo as I have for the last decade, eat chocolate and mangos. I will get too lit…