Thursday, October 23, 2014
Hubby and I celebrated our 22 nd anniversary yesterday.
We usually don't do anything because for the first few years of our marriage we had no spare money so we just did stuff at home, with our kids and loved it. Then the next 10 yrs hubby spent traveling for work, and we were eternally in two different countries over our anniversary time. We kind of just got into a lazy habit of doing nothing. BUT NOT THIS YEAR.
Add, 2 young girlfriends and what you get is YOU HAVE TO DO SOMETHING.
First came Nikki who decided she should straighten my naturally curly hair with her GHD hair straightener. It was fabulous being pampered, Sooo relaxing I could barely sit straight on my chair....chatting was almost impossible, for fear I drooled down my chest. Once she was done, Izelle did my make up, and Nikki put the finishing touches to my nails. Izelle decided I should go for the understated look and it came out fabulously.
This is us in my garden for the natural light.
This was the finished product.
Hubby had decided that we would spoil ourselves by having dinner at Kingfisher Restaurant. The girls did not want him to see me before our actual "date" so I got put into my car and shooed off to the restaurant to await my prince charming. As I was reversing out of the property, Justin arrived with a colleague. All I could hear was izelle squealing 'GO GO GO GO...."
I took off obediently, but checking in my review mirror, I could see a very perplexed looking Justin staring after our car disappearing down the road when he was supposed to be in it. LOL
Needless to say, my other half is a jeans and shirt kinda guy and positively HATES dressing up. Again....he did not get away with that. The girls had him donning smarter clothes than that before he was allowed to join me.
Their first stop was a florist so my dearly beloved could buy me some flowers.
Ooooh choices choices, what flowers does the wife love best? (I chuckled on hearing this because the answer is simple...the wife loves ALL FLOWERS..you cant go wrong with me when it comes to flowers) After finally making his selection, he was raced off to the restaurant to join me.
I used to buy flowers every week before the cost of living rose so drastically. Then I grew my own, till the advent of puppies which put an end to any decent type of garden....oooh what we suffer to own pets, but I'm getting side-tracked, so let me get back to the point.
Initially, I sat alone waiting and waiting and waiting and you always get that "one person" who looks over at you with that "shame - alone" indulgent smile. I smiled back because I knew my secret. Within abut 20 minutes I saw Izelle's little blue car fly around the bend and into the parking and out jumped a beautifully dressed....gorgeous guy....my guy!
He looked surprised at the straight hair and smiled from ear to ear, seemingly enjoying the "other look". This is us at the restaurant.
And these are the beautiful, variegated Carnations in a rich, deep pink with Gypsophila (babies breath) to accompany the carnations.....truly beautiful.
We ordered a drink each, followed by our main course and shared a dessert before ending our evening with cappuccinos. The evening was more than I could have dreamed up and we had such a relaxing time laughing about the fact that I would return to my Cinderella look in the morning plus other memories we made over the past 22 years and make new plans to charter our course for the next 20.
We both took such a chance way back 22 yrs ago.
I'd been in a bad marriage before and was terrified of entering another marriage, period. To this day I still dont quite know how he whittled me down from NO to YES.
On his side, he took a chance on a broken woman, with two broken children....(as a bachelor). Quite a task. No matter what challenges we have faced, we faced them together with the promise that divorce would not be mentioned between us. It never was. Bible counsel and Dr Phil's book were good helpers lol during the tough times.
And here we are 22 yrs later....WE MADE IT.
It turned out to be one of the best personal decisions I have ever made with my life, and if I could have seen the future I'd have agreed that much quicker.
Monday, September 15, 2014
Oh my word, today was seriously much like a nightmare.
After sitting through three days of spiritual convention in our second language...which is tough enough because there are words that are never used in general conversation, only in theocratic conversation. Needless to say, it takes extra concentration and the program was 6 hrs each day with an hour for lunch. Quite a schedule and in a second language.
That meant, this morning I was tired and would have loved nothing more than a lie in, considering that the underwriting I'm doing for a book....is completed. So nothing urgent pressing me....or so I thought.
My sons car battery died in the night, so I was woken early, and urgently needed to jump out of my warm bed and sleepy state and rush him to his gig. He is doing a "music awareness" week at a high school and had to be there BEFORE the start of school to set up his music room with 10 drums. tambourines, flutes and a didgeridoo. We get to my car to find that its locked and somethings gone wrong the mechanism, which meant we could not get the drivers door open for anything. Aaaargh why now when we were in such a rush. This meant I had to scramble over the center consul, tough job at the best of times and being 54 and overweight was not helping one bit. LOL Still, it had to be done and believe me, there is NO DIGNIFIED WAY to do that *blush*,
Once I had dropped a grateful Daniel off, I tore home to get hubby to work on time. On route home, I stopped to put fuel in, knowing I had popped my debit card into my bra (yeah I know, its a great purse lol) Once the fuel was in, to my embarrassment, it wasn't my debit card, but my drivers licence. OH MY WORD. I ended up phoning my sister who said she would pay my bill but in exchange, she wanted me to meet her for coffee because we had not seen each other for 4 days. She had a dreadful virus which led to vomiting and diarrhea...I did not want the virus....so I gave her a wide birth. She said she was suffering cabin fever and missssssing me, and wanted to "catch up". 4 Days is long for us, we see each other practically every day
I dropped hubby off, then to the mall and chose to a furthermost parking so I would not be witnessed by too many people doing my scramble over the center consul once more. Phew, I wonder if I can turn this into a sport and make some money out of my invention?
I finally got to the coffee shop and enjoyed a cup of really hot, fabulous coffee. We were deep in conversation catching up, laughing about her misadventure with the virus etc when my nephew walked through the door with "thought I'd find you here...I need a favor." I was like.....NOOOOOO not today, I seriously needed to not be needed today of all days. Thing is, his baby sister and two friends are coming to visit and hes desperate for some new jeans and sneakers. He's at that age plus when he last saw his sister he was on the bones of his bum, now he has a good job and has been signed up by a record producer and has just done a live show and doing his second one, which is why his sister is coming up. Another thing with this nephew is, he HATES SHOPPING and hes useless at it. He can spend all day and find absolutely nothing, while I on the other hand, have a trick I wish I'd never told anyone. I can stand in a doorway of a shop, scan it and know if what they want is there. Don't know how or why I developed this "skill" but I've been doing it for years. So, off I went and did my thing, and within minutes we ended up with a fabulous pair of jeans ONLY to find, that particular shop, while on his card, did not accept his card?? Some mumbo jumbo about head office and computer links etc. So we started the whole process again at another shop. He's on crutches, and I'm not in the shopping moooood at all. Not a good pair. LOL
We found another pair of jeans and sneakers within minutes at the second shop and the deal was done. Chase was in his element. But now....the chap suffers ADHD and the mall and coffee shop - I had to agree - was pretty noisy today, but my sister and I weren't nearly done chatting. So in the end, I gave my car to my nephew and decided to catch a ride back with my sister and her husband who was to come and join us for a quick cup of coffee. Based on the quick cup...I made my decision. Well, the quick cup was quick, but the trip back to my car was punctuated by 3 business stops and my brother in law LOVES people, so each time he went in, he stood and chatted away, while we sat in the hot car. While this was happening, I kept thinking about my younger son Cole at home, babysitting Axel for me. I said 2 hrs tops...and it was already 3.5hrs so I was feeling frustrated, but at the same time, Cole's phone was not being answered, so I couldn't explain what was happening.
Eventually I got back to my car...mad scramble over the center again, and as I was about to pull away, my phone rang. Some one who owed us money called to say he was sitting at a pub not far away with my cash, would I mind collecting it as he was waiting for someone and couldn't leave. Well, this money is long outstanding, so OBVIOUSLY I wasn't going to walk away. But I'm not a pub person, I don't like smoke. No, make that, I'm highly allergic to cigarette smoke, so I avoid those environments entirely. Still, this was a lot of money, and I've been chasing it for a while. So, I put on a brave front and went in.
While I was there, my nephew walked in and utterly surprised to see me there..obviously. He came over and introduced some local music mogul to me, the one that has just signed him up. He is a rapper, not a form of music I particularly like, but still, hes my nephew so I sit for a few minutes chatting to this youngster. He found out that I was the aunt and instantly went into "very respectful mode". You would have thought I gave birth to Chase and that he in fact was Elvis Presley LOL still, in this day and age, it really is nice to meet a youngster with so much respect for "the elderly", that's how he made me feel wahahaha.
This is the CD cover that will be released soon.
I finally had to say goodbye, but due to this respect, he insisted on walking me to my car. I DID NOT WANT THAT, because I had to scramble over the center! But nothing I said, helped me and he walked me out holding my elbow as if I was 94 instead of 54
Fortunately for me, at that point his phone rang and he turned his back. I took my chance and did the scramble in double time. I'm probably going to wake in the morning to find I'm bruised all over my thighs and butt. I finally raced home to collect Axel and took some beef jerky to my son by way of apology. Appease the beast so to speak LOL
Once I had Axel, we went shopping. The family wants to barbecue tonight and asked me to buy certain meats and a bottle of wine and make some potato salad and a green salad. I stopped at the green grocer, collected salad ingredients, stopped at the bottle store and bought the wine. As we were leaving the store, my plastic carrier packet broke and the bottle fell, rolled all the way down the decline and finally stopped in the gutter......unhurt?! What a surprise, a grateful one I can assure you.
We made one more stop at the butcher. By this time Axel was hungry, so I bought him a chocolate milk shake to tide him over. They didn't have any with a screw top, just the ones with the silver foil, so I folded it back and handed it to Axel saying....be careful now, don't spill. It was like I jinxed us, because the next thing I knew, there was a "slip between cup and lip" and the bottle went down, chocolate milk shake everywhere on the front seat and me with nothing to clean it up with. Well, with no more stops before home, I decided to just climb in and be done with it. So, I ended up with a wet chocolate butt till I got home.
I got home and made the two salads and prepped the meat and all I want to do now is chill out, preferably in a hot bath BUT Daniel called to say, the school hes at, a parent wants a one-on-one lesson for their son NOW....cash job. Aaargh there is nothing I can do, I am "mommy" and mommies do just wait for daddy's to get finished with work. But at 54 I don't wanna be mommy, I wanna be granny. Oh well, such is life. I will get my break in 90 minutes and tomorrow will be better...it had better be better *insert mad laughter here*
So to steal the Bangles songs words.....
"It's just another manic Monday
I wish it was Sunday
'Cause that's my fun-day
My I don't have to run-day
It's just another manic Monday "
Monday, August 11, 2014
Mossel Bay is a little fishing village an hour away from where I live. Usually NOTHING happens in this town. It is one of the most laid back places, given to holiday makers fun.
Then suddenly out the blue DRAMA RULES.
According to the latest information, +-300 protesters are causing havoc in this area.
The protesters have cut off the towns entry/exit point with burning tires.
Photos are all from their face book page.
Since Mossel Bay only has one road in or out, this poses a problem for any folks trying to get out or get in, because the protesters are throwing stones, bricks and any other debris at passing vehicles.
The head of Provincial Traffic, urges Mossel Bay residents to be especially vigilant when travelling on the N2. She said traffic officials of both the Province and Municipality are on hand and asked that their directions be followed without question.
"People should also please not stop to have a look at what is happening as it may lead to further problems," she added.
Still vehicles are being damaged.
The sad reality, is that they have burned down a clinic as well as part of the municipal buildings.
Police are on high alert and the Public Order Police Unit of George is assisting local police to restore order.
Thankfully, according to police spokesperson Capt Wollie Fourie, no reported incidents of people being hurt as a result of the riots have as yet been received despite the fact that law enforcement were firing rubber bullets to disperse the perpetrators.
Its so shocking what is going on in the world right now. This time, its right on my door step. I cant wait for Jehovah to bring peace to this planet. Too many people are suffering and taking the law into their own hands because of the lack of justice they receive....sadly their way of handling the problem is still not the right one. Yet, when we try to tell them about the good things Gods Kingdom is going to bring in the near future...they dont always want to hear either. They want immediate resolutions and it is not ours to give.
Im praying that those I call friends and spiritual family are going to be okay.
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
We slept in....which was heaven for me. Im generally an early riser (by nature), but I managed to sleep till just after 9 am and woke up feeling like I'd been to a spa. Sleeping in the semi private Thesens Island was fabulous. The only sounds we heard were birds and lapping water. We took our friend to the local Spur Steak-Ranch for breakfast. We struggled to find parking despite the fact that it is currently out of season.....no struggling for these folks who cleverly took the rail car to the same venue.
We chose the Knysna Waterfront for breakfast, its always an interesting place full of hustle and bustle....the nice...happy people sounds. Flag of every country greet people on entry.
This is the waterfront, named for obvious reasons.
We chose the Spur so we could be upstairs and have the view that upstairs offers.
This is a world where toys are expensive and though we dont own any, we enjoyed seeing them moored at the dock in the morning sun. There was a slight breeze blowing which causes that fabulous sound of clinking rigging against metal frames. I love it, it calls to something deep inside my soul.
Additionally we sat next to the bridge which periodically opens to allow larger yachts or catamarans through. Each time a boat is due to go through, a deep siren goes off telling all walkers that the bridge is due to open. Its quite exciting to be there when it happens.
After breakfast, coffee and a lovely chat, we headed out to the wolf sanctuary. I have lived in our area for 24 yrs and never yet been there , so I was pleased that I would finally get the opportunity. Although it started out as a wolf sanctuary, it now has a diverse collection of wildlife and farmyard animals, all rescue cases in one way or another.
The very first sign before we even got inside, was a warning not to tease the animals (this always gets me...why should anyone need THAT warning, but sadly they do) and also not to run. I get too that running we act like prey....but these animals are in large areas, with electrified fences, so how could anyone running cause any trouble?
Unless its that they dont want these wolves to even slightly feel their wild genes???
In the very first cage lies Nalea.
Hubby did not like the wolf experience AT ALL, because he doesnt like ANY animal in ANY enclosure that should be wild and free. I feel the same, but, I do know that once people illegally import creatures from elsewhere as tiny pups, allow them to mate with local dogs and a problem occurs, then this is the next best thing. First choice is to take them "home" and free them. But these no longer know how to hunt for themselves, AND we dont have the food resources for them either. Left on their own, the local farmers will shoot to kill....if they are lucky. Worse case scenario, the animals are injured and left to die a slow painful death.
That being said....
When we found some that were not sleeping, that death stare is hard to explain. It seriously looked at me like I was food. I was in fact grateful that there was a fence between this magnificent beast and myself. Those yellow eyes are fearful to look into.
The photos I took are timber wolves. Timber wolves in the wild are usually found in packs of five to 12 animals. There is one alpha male and one alpha female in the pack. A hierarchy of dominant and subordinate animals within the pack helps them to function as a unit. Only one female in the pack breeds each year to the alpha male. The pack communicates with one another by using body language, facial expressions, scents and vocalizations such as howling. The rules of the pack are very important to them, as instinct tells them their survival depends on it. Subordinate members look to the alpha male and alpha female for direction. Their diet consists of bison, moose, elk, caribou, deer, rabbit, hare, beaver, mice and other rodents, and fish along with other animals. Some people have timber wolves in captivity as pets. Timber wolves living as pets still retain all of their natural born instincts.
For me, its sad to want to keep such a gorgeous animal who should be running and hunting in captivity....but it takes all kinds to make the world go round I guess.
I have no idea what happened, but one moment there was silence and the next a few donkeys were running braying and the wolves were howling....THAT HOWL....is spine tingling. To see them suddenly running along the fence was A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. It happened so fast and unexpectedly, I didnt get one photo...mores the pity.
The wolves in general looked pretty well fed and happy enough. Some lay inside their shelters while others lay outside or on top.
They had a petting camp, but charged an additional fee, so I gave that a miss, much as I would have loved to feel what a real wolf feels like, I'm going to guess that it probably feels a lot like a dog and be satisfied with just having been as close as I was to these beautiful creatures. These folks were waiting to enter the petting camp. The wolves appeared to be waiting too. Despite the fact that these could be petted, they were still contained behind double fencing and electric fencing?!
In the camp next to the wolves, there were some wild dogs. Now these were a pair of lazy chaps, they didnt even raise their heads to see who we were. Guess, they are tired of us gaping at them....and we aren't as beautiful to gape at as they are.
In the next camp was a black backed jackal. Their marking are just so incredibly gorgeous. The shiny black spotted backs on tan bodies is quite a site to see. Caught this one at a water hole enjoying a cool drink. Black-backed Jackals are generally widespread in South Africa, they are common in protected areas where suitable habitat occurs. Trouble is, the more we "steal" their land, the more they stray onto farmers lands looking for livestock. They are considered vermin, but despite strenuous control measures in many farming areas of southern Africa remain relatively abundant. They are very light on their feet, almost appears as if they are tip toeing around.
Vermin or not....he sure is beautiful.
Besides the really wild animals, the place had an abundance of tame animals (all rescue cases) and so we moved on from one section to the other. The first chap to greet us was this old tortoise. I wish I could tell how old this one was. I know they can reach 150 yrs of age. The way to tell how old a tortoise is, is to count its rings....like a tree ring, that shows its age, but who has time to sit and count? Plus another problem is that sometimes, if tortoises dont get enough food or water, they dont cultivate the rings either. And if they live through major stress, like a forest fire..they can develop more than one ring that season. So, how old this guys is....is much your guess as mine. Either way, they look prehistoric even as youngsters.
This one was peacefully chomping his way through the grass and seemed to be really enjoying the bits he managed to pull out.
We passed a pen of sheep and goats. A strange fact is that the sheeps white section of its skin was rather rough, yet the black shiny heads were soft as down. They felt awesome to stroke and loved being stroked....so it was a win win for both the sheep and myself.
I didn't get to touch the goats, but I loved how they looked.
This one looked like it had gone out and had a perm.
This one also seemed to have a "perm" but different horns altogether.
Some goats had beards.
And as different as all the sheep and goats were, they were all extremely happy when the vehicle came around with their food....chopped down trees. They looked and smelled like Eucalyptus trees and even the tortoise seemed to be happy at his lot of tree food.
The place had the usual collection of bunnies, emu's, ostrich, donkeys and such but when I came to the pigs.....well.....they were just SO ENTERTAINING. I mean, tell me this isnt just SO UGLY its BEAUTIFUL. This is called a Kolbroek (spotted pants) pig usually cultivated for its fat content.
And how about this sleeping baby pig....how adorable is that?
Hard to believe something so small ends up this size.
This little white/pink (depends how you view it) was also just sooooo cute.
I cant say his adult counterpart was particular attractive though lol
And to think the little fellow could end up this size is mind boggling. This is a landrace pig and it is cultivated for its meat more than its fat content. At this point, I wasn't amused at Justin asking me if I enjoyed my egg and bacon breakfast.....I felt sick at the thought.
Mind you, if pigs could smile...I recon this one was smiling. He/she had escaped the abattoirs and got to spend his day just lying around in the sun.
Some of the babies had escaped their pens and I tried to get a little one to eat off my hand. They were pretty shy, but couldnt resist the pellets in the end.
I think I finally know where the expression "happy as a pig in mud" comes from.
We said our goodbyes to this family of pigs and made our way to the restaurant to have some coffee and a scone before heading home.
It may have been a short time out....but it was wonderful.
Jewel has turned out to be a gem to Axel. Its rare to see the two apart these days. These were snapped in my kitchen. Axel sharing Jewels bed. She's an absolute darling of a dog.
Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Once we left our kids and grandson back at Fairy Knowe backpackers, we headed on to Knysna. The trip there was pleasant and uneventful (in the best possible way). We drove and saw some new sights along the way like the reptile farm which now has a giant water monitor on top of their sign. I can't wait to go inside this farm on one of my next trips.
People are really clever with the things they can make from scraps. Some of these animals are made from wood blocks, and others from bits of sheet metal. I can imagine a large property with a pair of giraffe standing somewhere.
We finally got to the town of Knysna itself, and were meeting our friend at Mugg&Bean coffee shop BECAUSE we knew where that was. Once we parked our car and walked into Woodmill lane shopping complex, we discovered that Mugg&Bean had moved. Aargh. Another phone call to be told to go to the Wimpy...ok that was simple enough, it was in the main road. We walked along to where the Wimpy should have been...but they also had moved. Turns out, the small town of Knysna now sports its own mall and everything had moved there....ah well, we walked the few blocks to where the new mall was and saw some stuff on the walk. One was this MOTORIZED BICYCLE. Wow have kids become lazy or what? I know that Knysna is very hilly....but still.
Then we passed this advert for an optician, possibly the worst (creepy) advert I have ever seen for opticians. Must be some new age thing I dont get.
Finally we all found each other and after having coffee and a toasted sandwich we followed her back to the home she was house sitting. The mall is tiny, but one of the noisiest I have ever been in. Goodness the trolleys rattle past constantly sounding like bottles clinking together. Drove me near to scatty.
The place we were headed is called Thesens Island and it is BEEYOOOTIFUL.
It is advertised as....
Thesen Islands is a multi-award winning marina development located in the scenic Knysna estuary on the renowned "Garden Route" of South Africa. The marina is spread over 90ha and consists of 19 man-made islands linked by 21 arched bridges and surrounded by 25ha of tidal waterways. The marina consists of 489 individual homes and 56 apartment units, known as the Dry Mill apartments, situated on its own island within the marina. All the homes are built in a colonial maritime architectural style, conforming to Knysna’s vernacular architecture and its historical maritime and timber connections.
And it IS ALL THAT. These houses start at 8.9 million (843074.572 US Dollars) and go to 15 million (1420912.20 USD). We apparently stayed in the "cheapie" LOL
This is the entrance...very security conscious and because of all the security, nobody locks their homes. This IS impressive, but I lost our house keys in the first week of buying our house and its 14 yrs later and we have never replaced them, nor locked our home LOL so...I guess it wouldn't be a great selling feature to me if I were ever to FIND that kind of cash for a home anyway.
What did impress me, was that its a very slow world once you get inside the security gates. The roads are built over bridges so there is no speeding which suits me just fine.
Every home is situated on the water which reminded me a bit of Dubai without the bling.
This is all about nature since it is build around an estuary and THAT impressed me.
This is where we stayed.
I cannot describe the tranquility of Thesens Island. Most of the homes are holiday homes and since we are in winter, they are unoccupied. Ours belongs to a builder and is in regular use. We had no neighbors home, the water in front of us and behind us the estuary and the birds are in residence. Simply stunning.
The house itself is beautiful. Everything has a specially built place which makes it feel doubly big. Muted shades in all the rooms. Heated towel rails...you name it, its there...and believe me for 8.9 million...there is very little that isn't there. The folk who own it, are in Greece and my friend Anne is house sitting because of their cats. They have a wine cellar under the stairs and 12 bottles of REALLY good wine marked...Anne's box...DRINK!
Hubby and I aren't really drinkers, but we did help her finish a bottle of superb quality dry red.
She will have to figure out how to finish the other 11 bottles LOL
Each home is equipped with Jacuzzi's on the deck, plunge pools, canoes, wave jumpers basically all water toys.
My friend was marvelous in that, she knew we were there for some time out, and the darling that she is, she waited on us hand and foot. She was kindness itself and I was not allowed to lift one finger to help her with ANYTHING. The domestic was there to do the cleaning, but even so, I didn't have to prepare dinner....I almost did not have to feed myself, or lift my glass of wine to my lips. LOL
Justin sitting drinking wine on the deck....we could get used to this life style...I think.
Inside are more toys. From fabulous his/hers cars to top of the range bicycles and then this BMW motor bike. Hubby was practically drooling till.....
He saw the Ducati to the side. Ooh this is so potent, you expect to hear it growl.
My friend putting those babies back to bed
Inside the house, despite its "stuff", when all's said and done, fridges are fridges, chairs are chairs and tables are tables, tv's, microwaves etc....but this chandelier was seriously the most unique one I have ever seen. I guess its what you would call a "talking piece" because why else would one have glasses in your chandelier. Different it certainly was.
As the tide rose, it reminded me why I would also never buy a property on the water. Today's changing climate would make me worry about being so close to a large body of water.
Just look how the tide rose between one picture and the other.
The 3 of us sat around for hours watching the sun set and listening to the sound of water washing back and forth against the deck. It is paradise thats for sure.
I didn't worry overly since Anne was downstairs and we were upstairs LOL
I'm the NICE friend. mwahaha Needless to say, an evening in a home with underfloor heating, towel rail heating, log fires going...wine, roast pork for dinner and super chilled company....I slept soundly and woke up totally refreshed.
The next morning we were going to wake, have breakfast with Anne and we would be off to the Wolf Sanctuary....something that appeals to me.
Houses, cars, and stuff in general aren't my thing. I like them, but Im generally not worried about whether its a tent or a castle.
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