31 December 2015

Remainder of 2015 ... events

My work colleagues and I travelled to head office in Jhb for a meeting
A rare moment ... all 6 of our kids together in one place!
And dearest hubby turned 60!
Jade and Raphael were engaged
The backyard garden received a revamp

Grandkids Kirsty and Jesse started cubs and Jesse started soccer at Tramway club.  I completed a short course in Training and Development management at UCT. Sarah attended a Youth Camp in Namibia.  Matt moved back to Cape Town in June and we treated him to a CTICC talk for his 30th birthday.  There was much electricity load-shedding during this year.  Jade and Raphael got engaged.

Hubby's 60th birthday was held at the scout hall.  Family provided potjies and brought desserts.  Carmy baked a beautiful 'garden' theme cake (can't find a pic right now). Gerald was the MC and my brother Peter arranged for a scottish bagpipe player to arrive and play amazing grace!  I made a slideshow of pics of his life set to the music of TEA singers.  Lucy made the crudites and fruit platters.  Sarah and Janine decorated the tables. Everyone helped so willingly and did it with love. Thank you!

I enjoyed watching The Truth about Cancer docu-series, and discovered One Yard Revolution.  

We finally finished our en-suite bathroom and at the very end of the work-year, I received notice that I had been promoted!

Thanksgiving was a picnic on a farm in Paarl.  It was so incredibly hot that day, that all we could do was lie in the shade of the trees.

That's some of the highlights from 2015.
Mom xx

26 September 2015

2015... a round-up so far, first 6 months

A very trim hubby at Suikerbossie for my birthday lunch in March.  The restaurant is on top of  a mountain, overlooking 2 oceans... quite stunning!

My beautiful birthday roses... gift from hubby.
Sarah passed her Drivers licence test in May!

Dear Layton (2nd from right) passed away on 4 April from heart attack
David and his Scouts team at Kontiki 2015, Wizard of Oz theme

Sarah 'manning' a Soil for Life stall at Kirstenbosch Plant Fair

Our dear uncle Joe passed away in May

05 January 2015

A time to ... catch up!

So much has happened since my last post in Jan 2014 that I don't quite know where to begin.  But begin I must!

After paging through my 2014 diary, I was reminded of these moments....

Connor was born to Lucy & Layton
David completed the Scouts PLTU leadership training course in April
Marlon graduated from CPUT in April
Did the 'Raw till 4' program for a while
Sarah joined the Eric Whittaker virtual choir for the opening of the Commonwealth Games
Sarah turned 18, and we hosted a special,vegan tea party for her 21 friends
Sarah and I on a date at 'Organic at Heart'

Jade and Raphael
Started the '100 days to health' program and facebook page with Sarah and began making it into a book
David's 16th birthday at 'Lucky Fish' and his indoor soccer party at Action Soccer studio
Sarah auditioned for the Cape Town Youth Choir in September, and started working part-time at Soil For Life as shop assistant
Jade and Raphael toured Thailand
Ivan started the Tramore Road Community Garden project (see facebook page)
One year anniversary of new house in October
Discovered Forks over Knives
Decided to try out eating a plant-based diet for the month of October, and both hubby and I felt so much better, that we decided to continue with it...
Raised funds (with work colleagues) for Bonga (a cleaner at work) to complete her school career
Finished knitting Ivan's jersey... too big!
Took a lovely trip to the country village of Napier for our anniversary weekend away, with a view to retiring there one day
Arrived home to find that our dogs had eaten all our chickens!
Pauline and friends on her last day in SA
Ivan's brother, Henry passed away on 3 November
Lovely breakfast at Buitenverwachting with Pauline and Matt
Ivan's brother-in-law, Norman passed away in December
Matt & I took a load of groceries to Aunty Mary in Steenberg
Helped Pauline to pack-down, bought her bookshelf and a few other furniture items
Pauline emigrated to the UK on 31 December
Thanksgiving was a Mexican theme, and everyone was given a small booklet in which to record their goals for the coming year (can't wait to read what I wrote :-)

Well that's it, in a nutshell.


01 January 2014

A time to say goodbye... to 2013!

Our new home
So much has happened since my last blog, but I'll begin with the greatest news for 2013 for our family... we have bought a new house and moved in October 2013! 

It was sad to say goodbye to the old house, which had been in my husband's family for over 50 years, but it was time to move on, and God was nudging us to do so.  For those who are sentimental, here's a pic of my lovely old kitchen...


So, without much further ado, and before the memory fades, here's a summary of 2013:

  • David started high school in grade 9
  • Sarah turned 17, finished homeschool and passed her GED with flying colours
  • Ruth turned 30 and found her new love
  • Matt turned 28, resigned from his regular job, toured overseas and started a new life - he spent 3 weeks with us at the end of the year
  • Our dear friend David Scott passed away on 29 July
  • Another dear friend Geoff, turned 80
  • Dennis & Gaile finished up their time in Grahamstown, Gaile passed her final exams and was ordained on 8 December
  • Aunty Ginny turned 80
  • Sarah J's family from the USA and Denmark came to visit in February
  • Arranged internship for Tishaam with auditors - which became a full-time position
  • Connie went to Australia for 3 months
  • Finished bookkeeping for Amandla
  • Became Treasurer for Scouts
  • Birthday with Ruth and Matthew in Jhb, due to attending Project Management workshop (they bought me a new laptop as a gift!)
  • Easter weekend in Franschoek with Winston and family
  • Noah was born to Athol and Julia
  • Spent months looking for a new home and finally found it on 16 June!
  • Finally bought a chest freezer
  • Springbok Day - Dad and Hannes drove to farm to fetch the springbok (which was hunted that week), Sarah learnt how to cut it up, froze the lot - meat for a year :-)
  • Had last meeting with Woodwind Circle Garden Committee
  • Another dear friend Leeart, got married to the lovely Samantha on 21 September on the most beautiful estate in Stellenbosch
  • Had a 'Farewell' to the old house for the family to have a last look
  • Moved house on 4th October
  • Had a House-warming & Birthday Tea for Ivan in new house on 26th October, invited all the family and friends
  • Installed solar geyser, carports and en-suite bathroom in new house
  • Hannah was born to Gerald and Sarah
  • Took Jesse & Kirsty to see Hansel & Gretel at the Baxter Theatre
  • The White family from Denmark joined us for Christmas Day lunch, together with Gerald/Sarah, Connie and Pauline - it was one of the hottest days ever!  That afternoon they had a dedication for Hannah
  • Thanksgiving on 31st was a super evening with all our family (except Ruth) where we ate home-made burgers and made wish lists for the year ahead
There it is... until next time!
Mom xxx

28 July 2013

A time for ... springbok!

Cutting up springbok
On a rainy Saturday, 27 July 2013, Ivan and my nephew Hannes drove to a farm a few hundred kilometers away to fetch the springbok which we had ordered some months before.  They had been shot earlier that week, and then hung, ready for collection on Saturday.

My sister Celia and her son Hannes had done this the year before, and had given us a gift of some venison, which we enjoyed.  So when the time came to place an order, we decided to try it out.  It was the first time we (our family) had done anything like this, so it was all a new experience.

It was still raining steadily when they arrived at my sister's house with all 7 springbok in the van.  After weighing them all and choosing ours, Hannes then proceeded to show us how to cut it up into basic pieces.

Weighing the carcass

Sarah was quite keen to learn how to carve up the carcass, and she learnt quickly.  Celia and I had bags and labels ready for the pieces, which were heading straight for the freezer as soon as we got home.

Sarah learning to cut springbok

All together an interesting day! 

07 July 2013

A season for ... teeth!

Looks quite disgusting, doesn't it?  But I've learned a lot about the damage that amalgam (mercury + other metals) can do to us.  Every time we chew on an amalgam filling, a little of the toxic metal enters our system - it is slowly poisoning us, causing numerous symptoms. 

Another big issue is root canal - where the dentist actually removes the tooth pulp (the living, soft tissue in the middle of the tooth which contains the nerve and blood cells which feed the tooth - keeping it alive).  Then they stuff the hole with a chemical concoction and finally cap the tooth with a metal crown.  Underneath that cap, all mayhem may be breaking loose in terms of  bacterial growth and infection, but we don't know anything about it because we feel no pain (the nerve was removed and the tooth is dead!).  Research on the internet... the dangers of root canal, and be shocked out of complacency!

My research led me to find a biological dentist, who recently removed my 20+ year-old root-canal-treated tooth.  Black gunk came out from underneath the crown and it took almost a month for the area to heal, after taking various remedies and a detox.  The dentist explained that because this infection was seeping into my system for years, it could have caused cancer anywhere on the left meridian - where ironically I had to have a cyst surgically removed a few years ago!  I still have a swollen lymph gland on the left side, which I'm monitoring.

If you're interested in your health, strange as it may sound, perhaps your symptoms could be traced back to your teeth.

10 March 2013

A season of ... working full-time

I can hardly believe it's March! A quarter of 2013 has gone by since I last visited my blog.  My free time has been radically shortened, and I spend most of my days like the lady in the picture above, since I started working full-time at the beginning of this year.

Although the first few weeks were just a blur, lately I have started to question the advantages and disadvantages of working full-time. 

For us, the most obvious advantage is money, with which to make long-awaited changes at home, besides allowing a little more freedom to purchase (without having to count every cent).  We have a long list of needs, including car repairs, roof repairs, gas installation, bathroom renovation and flooring.  Then there's the even longer list of 'wants' like a new lounge suite, a deep freezer and so on.  I know you have a list too - even if it's not written down, it's in the back of your mind, constantly. 

This is what motivated us to accept the full-time employment offer.  Is this what motivates you too?

However, I have subconsciously been keeping another list in the back of my mind... This list includes all the sacrifices that had to be made along the way to our new financial 'freedom'.  And here's where the silent tears start to well up...

My family is suffering without a mom at home.  Even though we pay someone to help out once a week, our home is missing it's 'heart'.  By that I mean, you (the mother or homemaker) is not there to keep everything in order, meals start to become less planned, damage-control in the kitchen is the new 'norm', washing and shopping has to wait for weekends, husband and children have to wait till evening to speak to you, Dad has to pack his own lunch... Then there's the decluttering that never gets done, the sewing and mending that end up in the give-away bag, etc.

My pride-and-joy food garden, has almost become a waste-land, since there is no time to tend it. Vegetables that could have been harvested and preserved, end up rotting on the plants.  No time to plant seeds, no time to make preserves, no time to breathe that fresh morning air in the garden...

But worst of all, is the realisation that we're no longer PRODUCERS (making our own), but have become CONSUMERS!  That goes against everything we've stood for and worked so hard to overcome in the last few years.

Is it really worth it?  Did we anticipate that over R3000 a month would be deducted for a provident fund, or that another R2250 would pay for a compulsory medical aid?  That the paid help at home would cost us over R1000 a month?

A big eye-opener was when I marked every item on our budget that is a 'want' (iow, we could live without it if we had to) and it adding up to almost R10,000 a month!

Again I ask, is it worth it to work full-time?  I don't have a definitive answer yet, but as I consider all the above, my heart is leaning more towards home... no matter the cost.

I'd love to hear your thoughts in the 'comments' section below.