Monday, September 30, 2013

Slow Living Month 9

Month 9 has been full and fabulous.
My finger was on the mend and slowly I could do more which made me really happy.
Spring is in the air and there are colorful blossoms everywhere. Days are noticeably lighter earlier and
for longer in the evenings. We have had some really cold spells with snow on nearby mountains too and a good deal of spring rain.

 Today however has been a perfectly warm spring day with a beach walk and a wonderful braai this evening.

This month I had great fun experimenting with my new Indian cook book that I recently won. We have eaten fish in coriander chutney, lemon and coriander chicken, spiced meatballs in tomato sauce, chicken in coriander and coconut sauce and new style bunny chow (not made from bunnies as my youngest thought!).
The recipes use ingredients that are commonplace and  the combinations of aromatic spices, chili and ginger certainly make the the most mouthwatering delicious meals.

Besides a little baking here and there, nothing else in this department but I have a few kilos of tomatoes that will be used for chili and tomato jam tomorrow.

My youngest has passed a few books onto his baby cousin and we are continually passing on items that are of no use to us anymore or clothes that we have outgrown or are no longer worn.

Coffee grounds are being scatted in the veg garden in the hopes of deterring the aphids that seem to be back again. Today I collected dried kelp at the beach so I can make kelp tea for my veg garden.

Things seem to be taking off in the garden all of a sudden. It is looking green and full. Sweet peas are flowering and sunflower and other seedlings are popping their first tender leaves through the rich soil and I look forward to what is to come.
We have been nibbling on peas, strawberries, gooseberries, herbs and lettuce. Mustard greens are enjoyed with hamburgers.


I enjoyed trying my hand at oil painting for the first time ever.

My Dad patiently spent hours instructing my youngest and me on mixing paints and brush techniques. It was most enjoyable and I look forward to returning to his studio to complete my painting. 

Once my finger was better , there was no stopping me in the mosaic department. 
I spent hours enjoying creating a number of items....

Our house number eventually made into onto the wall ...
( I think I started this project about 4 years ago!)

 decorative hearts, a pot stand and words....

I knitted my younger two each a colorful snood, a quick and easy knit completed over an evening or two. 

My daughter wanted hers longer and my boy can be seen wearing his almost daily. 

My daughter and I visited a local church fete and managed to pick up boxes of books for next to nothing. 
We have visited the library a few times this month and I have been browsing books on mosaic.
Our read aloud is a wonderful historical story about a whaling station in South Africa set in 1912.

Hubby has been tirelessly working around the home and done a little painting to spruce things up a bit. Bits and bobs that have needed hanging have been put up and it is great to have little changes in the way things look. We now have a blackboard wall in the kitchen and it's great for the never ending shopping list and the kids enjoy doodling there too! 
The younger two and I signed up for free Afrikaans lessons once a week at the local library. The class is filled with a dynamic group of people of various ages and nationalities.
My daughter held a holiday workshop where she taught seven youngsters from the age of 9 up various icing techniques.

Photo: Holiday cupcake workshop with 7 kids!

 Great fun and lots of finger licking!


The younger two kids and I made the most of the San Parks free entry week early in the month.

 We enjoyed two days "off school" visiting the national parks.
My eldest declined and was diligently preparing for his upcoming Matric final exams. 

 One day was spent with friends exploring Cape Point and the other at Silvermine Dam. 
We enjoyed a walk around the dam and lazed in the sun as I read aloud from our current novel.
 Thoroughly enjoyable!
My youngest and I visited my Dad's home overnight and enjoyed the break from the routine.
We celebrated our daughter's 16th birthday with a family dinner and then an afternoon tea party for friends and family. Next weekend we have an invasion of her teen friends for a pyjama party!
We have enjoyed a short spring break from school and it's been good to put away the books and just be.
Slow Living 2013 - Month by Month

Wonderful to link up with Christine again.

Sweetness of September

"In our daily lives we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful but the gratefulness that makes us happy " A. Clarke

1758) The sounds of the neighborhood kids playing outdoors.
1759) A free box of fabric softener to share with friends delivered to my door.
1760) Another box of freebies delivered, delicious chocolate Horlicks
1761)San Parks free entry week and a visit to Cape Point with friends, breathtaking views, fresh air and fun.
1762) A visit to Silvermine Dam with my younger two, free entry, sun warming our backs as I read aloud to them, scent of Fynbos filling the air and beautiful displays of spring flowers.
1763) A house full of lady friends, laughter and fun
1764) A pod of dolphins gracefully surfing the waves at Muizenberg, amazing and beautiful to watch
1765) Warm fires, keeping us cozy as the snow on the nearby mountains chills the air. Thankful to my brother for the endless supply of wood.
1766) My hubby, working hard around the home, fixing things up and making it look good
1767) Time spent at my Dad's place with my youngest, blessed to have a break from the mundane tasks at home and be spoiled by my Dad 

1768) Breath taking views from his peaceful home, good for the soul
1769) My Dad, patiently teaching my youngest and me to paint with oils
1770) A box of free washing capsules to share delivered to my door by Home Tester Club
1771) Heritage Day spent in true South African style, relaxing around the braai with neighbors and family
1772) A sweet friend passing on loads of beautiful new and barely used summer clothing 
1773) One of my longest standing friends coming to visit, wonderful to have her as a guest in our home, memories and loads of laughter shared
1774) My friend blessing me with beautiful new lounge cushions
1775) Family dinner for our daughter's birthday, good food,  laughs and fun
1776) Birthday celebrations for our sweet 16 year old daughter, house full of happy people
1777) Thankful for the beautiful friends my daughter has made over the last few months
1778) Thankful to be part of a caring, friendly church family
1779) Beautiful spring weather and a walk on the beach with my teen boy and our crazy dog
1780) House full of teens again tonight, loud and happy


Sunday, September 29, 2013

Slow Living Month 8

A very long overdue review of August!
 Half way through the month I had an accident and slammed my index finger in a car door, crushing the bone and doing it great damage. It was frustrating to have to put things like my knitting on hold, and feel a little helpless without the use of my very sore finger. The family were amazingly supportive, dressing the wound, chopping veg, helping prepare meals, washing dishes and helping me out where ever needed. 


I was not much use in this department due to my broken finger but the family all did their bit to make sure we were fed and watered. 


We received loads of lemons from my mom in law's tree and made lemon curd, a lemon fridge-cake, lavender infused lemonade, lemon shortbread and a tasty lemon chutney. I also froze some lemon juice for later use.

I have diligently been unsubscribing from all sorts of mails that flood my inbox. Some days the amount of emails to sift through is totally over whelming. It is so good to receive less mail and far easier to spot the important work related mails. 

The usual composting and recycling of glass and paper have been done.

A friend and I spent a wonderful morning browsing the open garden at Soil for Life. We were both inspired to get into our gardens after that. The gardeners there are so helpful and full of useful information regarding veg gardening. I purchased some seedlings from them : lettuce, broccoli, cabbage and spring onions.

The harvest at this time of year is not fantastic but there were some strawberries, gooseberries, chilies, tomatoes, peas, herbs, lettuce, spinach and broccoli
My sweet sister sent me some loofah seeds from her own harvest and I look forward to seeing if they will grow. I also sowed pumpkin and pea seeds. 


Thankfully I finished the mosaic mirror I was working on before the finger accident....

My sister in law loved her birthday gift.

I also managed to finish off the beanie for my daughter and had just started knitting a pair of socks before the accident....then all craft went on hold.
Our daughter held her monthly craft workshop and the girls did some beautiful bead-work. 

I discovered Postcrossing, a fun new way for the kids to learn more about geography and other countries and cultures.We sent off our first post cards.

I began a new "Hello Mornings Challenge". It is a challenge to be up before the children, spend time in the Word and exercise. I prefer to exercise with others so don't do that in the early morning but rather attend a free class at a local fit club.
We took part in Worldwide Culture Swap's mini summer swap. It was fun putting our parcel together and sending it off  across the world. We are still waiting expectantly for our  parcel to arrive.
A friend did a clear out of used books. It was a blessing to choose some books for us to enjoy. It also inspired me to pass along some books that we have been holding onto for far too long.


It was wonderful to have an unexpected visit with an old school friend and her two kiddies visiting from Singapore.
My daughter and I enjoyed a weekend conference at our church. We were so inspired by the dynamic and "real" ladies talking at the Woman's Good Life Conference.
A couple of girlfriends and I enjoyed the Girlfriends Getaway at the movies. The night ended with the finger accident which was not great at all !

We enjoyed a forest walk with our beautiful dog who bounded through rivers and thoroughly enjoyed acquainting himself with other furry friends.
We celebrated our youngest reaching the milestone of 13. It certainly is something to have 3 teens in the house. It's wonderful to see them grow into such interesting and beautiful people .
The younger two teens and I enjoyed an amazing afternoon of fun at the circus. Thankfully this is a circus with no animals, only humans.
At the end of the month we enjoyed our first weekend away in many moons. It was a fantastic weekend in a little seaside town....

 Just perfect.

Slow Living 2013 - Month by Month

Wonderful to link up with Christine again.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Five Minute Friday : True

It has been a while, it's true...
It has been bugging me that I have not been blogging recently, there are so many posts I need to "catch up" on but truth is, I have been avoiding spending too much time on my computer and I am a terrible procrastinator...
 Truth is, its fun to enjoy laughs or chats with the kids, spend evenings watching a series with hubby, craft or catch up with friends, or desperately try to finish reading the novel I am busy with so I can get to all the others I want to read or take a nap when I feel the need. 
Truth is...I do feel guilty too as I enjoy updating my blog so my far away Mum and dear sisters can continue to enjoy hearing of our lives down south. 
I promise to get back into it, carve out time and be true to my word and share with you !

"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, September 9, 2013

Grateful thanks

I am grateful for what I have and welcome His good and perfect gifts each new day....

1734) a wonderful evening enjoyed together as a family experiencing African cuisine and culture
1735) gift long awaited: a wonderful weekend at a seaside village with family and friends
1736) happy kids, all 7 of them getting on so well, laughs and fun all weekend
1737) the earth laughing in a wonderfully colorful array of spring flowers scattered on the hillside, a feast for the eyes
1738) the quiet shy buck, hermit crabs scuttling across the sand and elegant pink flamingos all declaring the Creator's greatness
1739) kids wading through the lagoon's turquoise waters , collecting shells where the water laps gently on the shore, gulls screaming overhead and beauty as far as the eye can see....memories made
1740) discovering a treasure trove of mosaic supplies in this little seaside village
1741) generous loan of my sister in law's large car and safe journey there and back
1742) finding my son's lost wallet
1743) leftovers from the weekend away that fed us for two days

1744) a morning walk with my sweet girl, spring flowers, scampering squirrels, geese and guinea fowl
1745) a visit from my sweet baby nephew and his mom
1746) gift given: blessed with beautiful seconds and some new clothes passed on by a kind friend
1747) a beautiful song sent to me by another sweet and gentle friend
1748) free exercise class at the fit club, enjoyed with my girl and a friend
1749) my prize arriving: a box filled with different types of rice and a wonderful Indian recipe book
1750) news that I have won another prize, a resturant voucher
1751) early morning walk with hubby, our youngest and our crazy dog....crisp and cool, the air laden with the scent of fynbos, mountain views, all so good for the soul
1752) thankful to return the cell phone we found to its rightful owner
1753) friends popping in unannounced for a cuppa and good laughs
1754) wonderful service in church tonight
1755) morning walk with the younger two and friends because we can on a "school day", blessed and thankful
1756) winning another prize today...R500 Sea Harvest Hamper!
1757) thankful for free Afrikaans lessons at our local library, thankful to the retired teacher who gives up his time for us