Sunday, June 30, 2013

Five Minute Friday : In Between

Late for Friday, being Sunday already but that's OK.

In Between :
I know what in between feels like. The space after the darkest hour...just before the dawn. 
I have been there... and now I am moving forward. 
Forward and away from that place into the dawn. Away from the cluttered and crowded thoughts. Pressing in to the new dawn and brightness. A place of simplicity, being grounded, blossoming and growth. 
Clearer and less cluttered.
There will be changes, letting go and moving forward with confidence and awareness. Allowing faith, joy, patience, grace and peace to be the tools that determine the growth. 
I will take baby steps and enjoy the journey. 

"Unscripted, unedited, real" Lisa- Jo Baker
Write for five minutes on the given topic, link up at Lisa- Jo's blog and encourage the person who linked up before you. Have fun!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

June's gifts

Though it is still Sunday, here is tomorrow's post.
Days have run into one another and keeping track of and counting my blessings has been a little different. Usually I write them down day by day, but in the last while I have kept a mental note of them....
I continue to be amazed by His goodness.

1552) a phone call that brought necessary change
1553) my sweetpea coming top of the class for her first ever exam
1554) hope for change
1555) meeting beautiful people who make me laugh
1556) covered in prayer
1557) feeling empty but knowing it can and will be different
1558) smiles of my precious family
1559) visit and chats with a friend
1560) enjoying making a gift for a dear friend
1561) flowers from my sweet nephew and my brother
1562) hubby making delicious dinner
1563) understanding and insight that brings peace
1564) time spent holding hands and chatting with my girl
1565) doing pottery for the first time in my life
1566) a day of rest and restoration
1567) hugs from my eldest
1568) thankful for my Dad and my hubby who is an awesome Dad to our three
1569) beautiful songs and birthday cake shared with people I met recently
1570) gift of words of wisdom that mean so much
1571) gifts from His word :
 God often uses our hard times to refine us into the people He wants us to be. Give Him your praise for His care:
You have dealt well with Your servant,
O Lord, according to Your word.
Teach me good judgment and knowledge,
For I believe Your commandments.
Before I was afflicted I went astray,
But now I keep Your word.
You are good, and do good;
Teach me Your statutes
(Psalm 119:65-68).
I am persuaded that neither death nor life,
nor angels nor principalities nor powers,
nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth,
nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us
from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord
(Romans 8:38-39)

1572) gifts moving : hubby and I hand in hand as we walked and talked on the beach, watching kites soaring high and free and swooping low
1573) time enjoyed catching up with girlfriends while hubby braaied for us
1574) spending time with my cutest ever nephew
1575) a new friend treating me to dinner out, good to laugh and chat
1576) facing difficult truths and trusting for growth and change
1577) hugs from my beautiful kids
1578) relaxation techniques learned while soft music plays
1579) kindness and empathy from beautiful people
1580) tears that bring healing and release
1581) tea time treats from my neighbour
1582) good food cooked by hubby
1583) chats with my mum and sweet sister

Slow Living Month 5

May..... it came and went so fast and finally, better late than never, I am linking up at Slow Living Essentials. It is good to look back on achievements, however small, that make life meaningful and enjoyable...


My daughter made a delicious orange cake in celebration of her Opa's birthday. 
We agreed it was her best ever orange cake.

 With cooler weather we have enjoyed various soups such as chicken noodle soup and spicy red lentil and tomato soup. The favourite has been a new butternut  soup recipe. 
My eldest says tastes better every time I make it .
 Here is the recipe:
1 onion chopped
4 garlic cloves
 4cm ginger 
1 chili 
45 my Thai Red Curry Paste
 15ml cumin 
Fry above ingredients together. 
Add 1.2 kg butternut and 750ml veg stock. Simmer until done, then blitz until smooth. 
Add 30 ml fish sauce, 1 can coconut milk and 1/2 cup of peanut butter. 
Season to taste with salt and pepper. 
Garnish with your choice of fresh chili  coriander, chopped peanuts or a swirl of Bulgarian yogurt.

I pickled some of the abundant chili harvest which I popped straight into the freezer as is for later use. I also froze granadilla pulp in hopes of making grannadilla butter soon,  or perhaps a granadilla cake.

I have been systematically un-subscribing from various emails that clutter my inbox and choosing to keep only those that serve me.

Hubby did a wonderful job of sanding down our outside table and benches, so much so that friends have asked if it is new!

Citrus peels have been scattered in the veg garden to deter the cat from going in there...
not too successful but worth a shot.
We were blessed with boxes of biodegradable pods from Espresso Ethical Coffee Company and the use of my neighbours Nespresso machine. The coffee grinds have been scattered in the garden and it is good to know the capsules have been made from renewable materials too. 

The two younger kids each bought themselves these colourful recycled coca cola can storage boxes. They were very fortunate to get them at a dramatically reduced price.


We have enjoyed tomatoes, granadillas, chillies, pepperdews, lettuce, peas, herbs , spring onions, green peppers, spinach and celery.
I planted broad bean seeds saved from my neighbour's crop from last season. Peas, carrots went into the soil as well as ranunculus bulbs that should bring some colour to the garden in the spring. These were a free gift from the nursery for this month.


 My ever creative daughter made these cute fairy wands and more miniature felt creations for an order.

Her craft club girls practised creativity by decorating cookies.

I made another scarf as a gift for a dear friend's birthday.

Two more quick and easy scarves were made as gifts for friends.
 I so enjoy knitting when the temperatures drop.

It was fun to put together this box of shells that have been collected over time. Some from long ago Dar es Salaam days, some from South African shores . It it so sweet to see my little nephew enjoying his Aunty's  shell collection.

I finally spent time "decorating" the garden with last December's birthday gifts.... cute labels and hanging hearts and more....yes, I can procrastinate terribly!

Mmmm....not much to add here.


My youngest and I enjoyed a morning in the arboretum with the nature club on our first ever geocache. 

Despite the geocache  not being found, it was a fun experience.

We enjoyed a wonderful afternoon with hubby's parents and Dutch cousin visiting our home for a braai. We were thankful that the weather was good to us that day.
Two girlfriends and I enjoyed a fish nibble foot treatment and pedicure as a Mother's Day treat. Lots of laughs and giggles as we enjoyed the experience.
Friend and family birthdays were celebrated.
Autumn beach walks and pine cone hunting in the forest nourished souls.
We spent a wonderful family morning out, exploring Montebello and Rhodes Memorial.

Thanks Christine for the great opportunity to link up and share.

Slow Living 2013 - Month by Month

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Five Minute Friday: Listen

I have not been listening, listening to my body and what it needs. I am learning, learning to listen. Learning to put in place the things that need to be there to be better. Better at being me, better at being a wife to my hubby and mother to my precious three. 
I am learning to listen attentively too, learning that it is important for those around me to be heard. For them to feel safe when I hear them and they need to be heard. I am listening for His quiet voice that promises so much...things I have heard but not taken in. Listening, hearing and learning. We all need to listen and we all need to be heard . 

Five Minute Friday

"Unscripted, unedited, real" Lisa- Jo Baker
Write for five minutes on the given topic, link up at Lisa- Jo's blog and encourage the person who linked up before you. Have fun!

Monday, June 3, 2013

A visit to Montebello and Rhodes Memorial

Two weekends ago we were planning a visit to the Waterfront but as the weather was turning nasty, though not nearly as nasty as this past weekend, we decided to visit Montebello Design Centre instead.
 Montebello has on site design studios, exhibition areas, shops, a restaurant as well as businesses. They have a job creation outreach programme with craft and design in townships and rural areas, as well as adult and child education programmes available to the general public. The buildings and land were the birth place of Ohlssons Brewery and Continental China. It was a treat to explore and certainly somewhere to visit again.

As we got out of the car, the fresh scent of wood filled the air and we discovered two men, hard at work, carving the most incredible wooden sculptures...

Everywhere we looked, there was something different to see...

We ventured on into the nursery area....

Something eye catching at every turn....

The greenhouse was filled with all sorts of treasures....

Beautiful things everywhere... 

Though looking rather solemn, I loved this "family" gathered around Peace in the Home..

Hearts and more....

The shop has a wide range of crafts on sale...

Delightfully scented handmade soaps, beautiful bead-work...

African animals, Tutu dolls, brightly coloured pottery and more... 

The weather was turning and we decided to quickly visit Rhodes Memorial as it was nearby. 
The kids said they had never been there, but I am sure they have just forgotten that they had when they were much younger!

The memorial is situated on the lower slope of Devil's Peak, said to be Rhodes' favourite spot. 
Despite the icy winds, the kids enjoyed gallivanting up and down the 49 granite steps, one for each year of his life.

We enjoyed the views of our city and discovering places we haven't been before....

Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop

Last of May and counting on

Thankfully counting His goodness and mercy....

Day 25
1533) thankful for fun family time out today, exploring new places
1534) sharing a simple meal around the table with the kids and hubby
1535) a nap when feeling exhausted today

Day 26
1536) a gift worn: my boots, cosy and comfy on this rainy day
1537) gift white:  bowl filled with steaming hot soup for dinner

Day 27
1538) visitors that made me smile
1539) sounds of guitar and giggling as my oldest taught his students

Day 28
1540) all wrapped in blankets and keeping cosy as we did our school reading today

Day 29
1541) at gift around 8h00: a call from my dad
1542) around 12h00: chai latte and chats with girlfriends
1543) around 20h00: houseful of noisy, happy teens having fun

Day 30
1544) my sweet baby nephew here for the evening, bedtime prayers and his sweet "amen" 

Day 31
1545) walk in the forest with my youngest this morning
1546) finding yogurts and cheese in my fridge, gift from the neighbour
1547) leftover dinner after a long day

Day 2
1548) my daughter baking 
1549) neighbours in pjs and gowns coming over for scones, jam and cream and a warm fire on this freezing evening

Day 3
1550) gift in today's conversations:  chatter and laughter with my daughter as she did chores and I cooked this evening
1551) my eldest passing his learner driver's license first time round today :)