Sunday, December 22, 2013
Saturday, December 21, 2013
Friday, December 20, 2013
Thursday, December 12, 2013
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
- Wake up cuddles in the bed with Bella
- Greeting the sun while we go downstairs
- Squeezing in some play time before school
- Spotting red cars on the way to school
- Doing our goodbye routine - hug-kiss-jump-in-my-heart at school
- Getting a surprise drawing of the day when I pick her up at school
- Having lunch together
- Playing outside - constructing a castle, climbing mountains, jump to the moon
- Watering our sprouting garden
- Closing our eyes for one or other surprise during the day (dress up giggles etc.)
- Cooking dinner together
- Doing our nails
- Bath time fun
- Bedtime stories and chats
- Sending love to our whole bodies, from the toes to the top of the head
- Saying a gratitude prayer
- Going to sleep (still the most difficult part of the day)
Sunday, December 8, 2013
Saturday, December 7, 2013
Friday, December 6, 2013
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Julia and I went searching for veranda chairs for our new house in Woodstock. We stumbled across this fabulous building called the African Co-op that was full of lovely stuff, locally made. Lots of quirky ideas, pencil cases made out of Lays crisp bags that had been recycled and laminated with plastic – big globe lights made up of the colourful recycling of bright plastic containers – greens, blues, pinks and yellows. There were vintage sections within the store selling lovely jewellery and quirky clothing. In one of the stops we found a gorgeous red felt hat…I put it on Julia's head and simply knew it must be hers, but left it there…we kept looking in other places and found a white lacy skirt that she loved but that was too big – I could have easily taken in the elastic for her but also knew that she would be getting something similar at xmas from me – a white lacy dress I am jazzing up with sequins and beads to present with fairy wings as a fairy outfit.
So I asked her – if you could choose – would you have the red hat or the skirt….immediately without hesitation her face lit up and she said the red hat! So we went back to the stall and picked it up and i put it on her head – she caught a ladies eye who pointed her out to her friend and said to me – she is so cute in that. She turned out to be the owner of that particular stall – I asked if it was a vintage piece and she said that the hat wasn't she’d bought it for herself but didn’t feel it had suited her in the end – I love it – it reminds me of a pair of beautiful grey woollen felt slippers that had a ladybird on them when she was little! It was just one of those special mother daughter days – we shared a giggle between ourselves with the hat on her head as we left the store!
And in case you are wondering why she is crossing her arms – those are her angel wings….its a Waldorf thing! She got the most exquisite report today – not a proper mainstream one – it included a story written for Julia and us to read to her that Delia made up and encapsulated Julia's qualities, then a separate letter just for Nev and I…. on leaving school today Delia said the most beautiful thing to us – she said thank you for giving me such a special gift this year!…and she meant Julia.
I will scan the story and send it to you xo
Monday, December 2, 2013
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
I justified it to myself by saying: " I am nurturing myself and when I nurture myself, it benefits the people around me". That lasted for five minutes and then I started thinking: "Maybe your life be terrible in a years time and people will say it's OK that she had a massage once a week because now her life is pretty shitty, poor thing." How crazy is that? Do I have few issues around guilt or what?
So I turned to free virtual advice, courtesy of my absolute favourite, inspirational, self help guru, Danielle LaPorte and found this article on her blog, You're going to feel guilty.
Sonja: Really? Really, really? It sucks. Interesting. Continue.
Danielle: So how to vanquish the guilt? How to avoid guilt altogether so you can go get what you want? You can’t. You don’t. You will experience guilt as you craft the life of your dreams. It’s part of your conscience, it’s the tension in “creative tension.”
Sonja: So now that I am taking action to create the feelings and life I desire, I am always going to feel guilty that my life is good?
The guilt of following your heart is a weight you can bear if your dream is strong enough. It’s the price of admission to fulfillment.You’re going to feel guilty. Breathe. Keep going. Ultimately, we’re all better off if you let your heart take the lead.
Sunday, November 24, 2013
The clouds opened at 11 in the morning, the thunderstorm stopped us in our tracks just as we were about to leave the house. Oh it was so amazing, to hear lightning and rain pouring down, to see lightning and rain pouring down...... I miss that the most about Pretoria than anything else combined.
The thunderstorm didn't last very long, not more than twenty minutes, but enough to flood the streets and our home. It took much longer than twenty minutes to clean up the water that seeped through every window on the west side of the house. G immediately rushed upstairs, got her water boots and umbrella and played in the rain.
Oh, how very grateful I am for a very timely and sorely missed thunderstorm. I was absolutely elated the whole day!
Saturday, November 23, 2013
Friday, November 22, 2013
Thursday, November 21, 2013
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
The timing would have been perfect if I left the hospital at the end of September as planned but because I stayed on until the end of October together with G's birthday party preparations, I couldn't keep up with the schedule. We do however have access to the course for another six months so I am just going to keep working at it. I have four layers on two canvases at the moment but they are both in the "ugly teenager phase", as Flora calls it. I let G do the first layers with me which was a lot of fun, but when it got to the third layer it wasn't that much fun anymore having her paint her own way. I will do the rest on my own :-)
Here are a few pictures of her doing part of the first layer, really getting into the painting, moving to music, lost in her own world.
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
It was great fun to be part of this global handmade and stitched post card swop.
Monday, November 18, 2013
Sunday, November 17, 2013
I had a lovely birthday this year. Many small gestures and surprises made it a very special day indeed, starting with a hug and kiss from my sleepy precious girl, followed with lovely handmade cards and gifts from G, flowers from our garden, a balloon, an almond-dried apricot-candle-face in my usual breakfast yogurt and massage vouchers, ensured that I started my day feeling very loved and appreciated. I needed nothing more but the surprises and pampering continued throughout the day. What a lovely birthday and what great feeling it is to feel the love surrounding me!
Saturday, November 16, 2013
Thursday, October 24, 2013
|Image by Shiloh Sophia|
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
I am grateful for all the love, care and community spirit of all parents and staff that has gone in to this years fair that will be on this Saturday. Our class has been busy crafting all year, butterfly, fairy wings with hand beaded felted centres, crowns, capes, bunny hoods, staffs, wands and wizard sticks. it’s been hard work but amazing in that such a community all has worked together to contribute to this event which is not only about raising funds for the school. In addition it helps parents in a class to bond and get to know each other, it is great for the kids in that they see us working together with a common goal and observing us creating things as a team from natural resources, and it brings together (at the fair) a larger community of people who end up supporting us by buying handmade craft, receiving gifts from of love (be it food, gifts of action (reiki, henna tattoos, massage, etc.) All to promote care of the environment as well as sustainable living and community living.
Having said all that, I am also grateful that my work sewing 27 bunny, dragon, donkey, bear,mice hoods is done and dusted. They will sell for R110 and are 100 per cent cotton.
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Monday, October 21, 2013
I have three and a halve days left at work, and I am tired to my bones. I think I have neglected myself for such a long time that body is just saying: "NO MORE!" I am looking forward to many things once I stay at home but what I am looking forward to the most is taking care of myself, giving myself what I need. I really really need that. I need to fill my cup to the brim. I now understand that what I need, I can only give myself.
Friday, October 18, 2013
Sunday, October 13, 2013
We saw some live flamenco in Spain – there is a lot more to that story – anyway – Julia fell in love with flamenco. When one of Petes guests at a dinner party fell in love with Julia and knew she loved flamenco (a Spanish local) she raced off and gave her this gift the very next day. I don’t think I have ever seen Julia's face light up as it did that day with the surprise of it all. She just loved it – especially the shoes (another sad story, but will chat later). I got all emotional seeing her in her heels and dress – a sign of the future years ahead, looking so grown up. Her and I are going to explore flamenco dance lessons together – I bought castanets over!
Friday, October 11, 2013
One of the things I love most about Julia is her love of nature and the joy she experiences when giving me gifts from nature like this pine cone in Spain from Finca el Otero which she decorated with red petals that had fallen on the ground – very rarely will she pick a flower – she uses what she finds on the ground – whether it be stones, shells, feathers, petals that are shrivelling up – I always bring them home and put them in water in a little egg cup or Chinese teacup!
Saturday, October 5, 2013
I’m meant to be detoxing and before this trip had been on a strict no sugar, no preservatives, limit on a glass of wine 1 or twice a week and basically being pure and true to my health. Well, that all went out the window on the aeroplane really. I packed a whole lot of nuts for my bag and fruit to avoid the terrible plane food for most of the way here. My efforts continued until arriving at Finca El Otero where Pete served us breakfast most mornings ( we have cut down now as it was just too much). Breakfasts there consisted of a starter, fruit and yoghurt and freshly squeezed orange juice, followed by something cooked – tortilla, salmon muffin, etc.
Dinners we have only been eating very late – around 9pm to 10pm – way too late for me – but after the guests have been served starter main and dessert, only then can we sit down as a family together and chat over a meal. Running a B & B is not for the faint hearted.
So there's has been, too much meat, home baked breads, local 70% chocolate, desserts every night. Having said all that – the most wonderful food has been at Finca and the lunch we were invited to at Riola San Gabriel. Other than that the local ‘tapas’ and food in restaurants has been very disappointing – maybe its because I live with amazing cooks around me right now – but it also seems to be a theme in small town Spain at the moment. The bigger more populated cities I’m sure will be much better. Right now I am snacking on a pre dinner snack of soft goats cheese with marinated Pimentos – dinner is being concocted as I write, baby calamari and baby clams in a tomato sauce to be served with some sautéed potatoes and watercress!
Friday, October 4, 2013
There are fans all around in Spain to buy, symbolic of the nations famed Flamenco I would imagine, we bought a lovely one in a gallery in Cuenca to take home and frame in our new house. It has a poem beautiful written on it by Pablo Neruda (the poet) which we will translate when we get a chance from Spanish to English – Julia wanted it to play with, but it was not a toy for her. Walking the streets today on our first day here in Granada, we walked past an art shop that had blank white fans and asked Julia if she would like that to decorate in her own way instead of a floral one that she could choose if she wanted later. She chose the first option! The result is a beautiful rainbow fan – one of a Julia kind!
Thursday, October 3, 2013
Plenty of gratitude to be had on this holiday….especially to my brother in law and his partner in Alicante who have been perfect hosts at Finca el Otero www.fincaelotero.net – their boutique B and B which is world class I might add. We were also invited to an out of this world lunch at a palace like residence which just opened for guests this year – but the owners were away, so one of the 2 guys that managed the place invited us to lunch with about 18 guests in total. The place is on the internet and you can check it out at www.riosangabriel.com – truely amazing and so inspiring – def will send and post photos on this blog. Thats all for now Adios xo
Friday, September 20, 2013
Relaxation comes in the form of a European holiday in Spain, staying in the premier suite at my brother in laws boutique B&B in Alicante – Finca del Otero – look it up on the net – its gorgeous here – our suite is on the top floor with a terrace and views looking over the olive groves and out to the Mediterranean sea. Julia has her own room and we are sleeping on luxurious Egyptian cotton sheets! Gratitude, Gratitude, Gratitude!
Sunday, September 15, 2013
I was having an afternoon rest and Julia comes up to me and says there is a little crocodile in the house . Lillian, our Malawian maid was downstairs and ironing so I told her I was resting and that of course there isn’t Julia – the next thing she comes again “…but mummy, come down, there really is a little crocodile downstairs – you know? the ones you like, Lillian swept it outside and now Canvas is playing with it” That got me up – now I knew what she was talking about – …went downstairs and there is Canvas our cat staring under the chair licking her lips at my favourite – a Cape Dwarf Chameleon, I picked it up much to Lillian's wonder and Julia's…. It’s sticky hands clung to mine seemingly grateful for saving its precious little endangered life, from the mouth of my hungry cat….. (actually she isn’t ever hungry, she eats non-stop!) Its tail curled around my finger gripping it. We put it in a container and placed it in the next door neighbours garden to happily live its threatened existence.
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
We had a beautiful day on Saturday afternoon, I had come home from painting after a week off feeling all inspired and really needing to create more…Nev and I had a deal that if he had Julia for the morning and went to the school craft day to make wizard sticks and I painted at Spencer Street Studios, then after art I would have Julia at home while he watched the rugby.
So I wanted to get creative with Jubes and asked her what she wanted – clay! So we bought a bag of clay and set about it. I set us up and said I would take us through a meditational inspiration where we would start with the ball of clay in our hands and with our eyes closed we would explore it with our fingers and thumbs, noticing everything about it and that we should let go of any ideas of what we wanted to make and let the clay speak to us….. Julia had wanted to make a mermaid but in the end her first thing was a sunflower, angel, fountain, dish, person in chair, tortoise and still she wanted more! – I stuck with the one piece for the full 2 hours or so and loved every moment of it (jubes couldn’t understand why I was only doing 1 piece!)– we whispered together as i’d explained it is best to work in silence to let our creative inner voices speak to us but there was lovely soft unintrusive music playing in the back ground – everything was quite until everything totally opposite came through the door in the form of a human boxer puppy – leaping with joy over a historical rugby win to Aussie - the phone calls followed, the doors left open and crash went my silent retreat and space and focus – It made me realise how so important it is to have a quiet time and space, a sacred retreat within your own home, away from noise, chaos and potential sudden intrusions into the personal space (not so much of your house or room) but of your mind.
My clay process was amazing and I am going to post it on Sarahs Brainchild – it was amazing how as she developed i just had more and more ideas as to where she could go – i haven’t been deep in process like that for ages, if ever!..maybe it was because it was in my own space and time and it was my own process.
It is one of the most simple and divine pleasures in the world and we all need it to survive – touch! We are sensual beings and without it babies literally fail to thrive if not die, marriages fall apart….and mothers and children alike would never get the pleasures they do from simple twirling of hair and up-styles made of all the clips in Jubees bag – my oh my… my very own little hairdresser – maybe not!
And…it is so very cute when I am washing her back sometimes and she asks for her back to be scratched all over – “no there mum – and there – and a bit down …. a bit across”. I can just feel her back in those moments – definitely know how she feels – There is nothing like a good histamine rush.
Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Thursday, September 5, 2013
I am totally bewildered by Julia and need to get this down before I forget....she was a bit scared when I tucked her in tonight and as Nev wasn’t here I was happy to stay with her longer and said I would lie with her until she slept.....we’d heard a couple of noises in the house that i think triggered her feeling a bit scared.... anyway - what proceeded was the most beautiful thing. She asked if she could sing me to sleep and herself I guess!...I’ve sung to her before but not for ages....anyway – I was listening to her for about 10 minutes I would say with my eyes closed and hers were too and just wish I had it on tape – it was the same tune/melody over and over and repeated with different but also the same sequence every now and then of words. When she was singing, she would get to points where as she was making things up she would stumble on words and then start again – but all while her eyes were closed....here we go (i can’t remember exactly but will give you an idea!).......
“’…its time to go to bed now, its time to go to bed.....crystals rocks and stones its time to go to bed, fairies flowers every where they go to bed too, over mountains over rivers, over bridges too, daffodils are opening and lie in the ground, mummy’s lying here, keeping me safe and warm, its time to go to sleep , over mountains rock and stocks over rivers too, crystals rocks . stones and mountains and fairies everywhere, silkworms go to sleep in their box, go to sleep...
.Oh i could go on and on and made mental notes not to forget certain phrases but I've captured parts in this – it was so special and for me the most amazing thing was that I used to hum myself to sleep and rock my head – she was also humming in between – all to the same melody like I used to! If it wasn’t for Joe banging on the separation wood with his paw i think she would have sung herself to sleep and there were times she stopped then started again..but she woke as I was getting up to get Joe and I said that was so beautiful my darling and she said ‘you stayed here for ages mummy’ and I said i loved it – you were singing me to sleep and kissed her – she said – I’m tired now, I’ll go to sleep – then I let Joe outside and came back in and she was humming to herself – the NZ national anthem which she hums quite often (from the rugby ) she does the SA one too – but she was just humming it – so gorgeous – talk about seeing yourself in your daughter – how delightful – all these years I thought I was weird for humming myself to sleep and now I think it is the most beautiful thing ever – well – she hasn’t done the head rocking part yet - but even that I would love – a greater lesson in loving yourself which for me echoes the entry I made on self love 2 days ago – funny that, its just dawned on me – I met myself in my daughter tonight!
Wednesday, September 4, 2013
Well the magical fairy's have “resuscitated” the “sleeping” silk worms (i.e.; raised them from the dead) - though in Julia’s world we shall continue to say that they were sleeping (despite being dead for a week now!) Just too sad to convince her –she was adamant they were just sleeping. So hero Nev to the rescue, he picked up the school leaflet and saw a mother advertising silk worms for free – i gathered more than 70 I would say – way too many to sustain with mulberry leaves once older but shall hatch a plan.
Took them to school in Julia's silkworm box so that when she came out she could see that she was right all along, the worms had just been sleeping and the silkworm fairies had also waved their magic wand and created quite a few more!!!! The joy on her face was worth it!
Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Interestingly enough I just found this quote by Julia Cameron: “Procrastination is not Laziness", I tell him. "It is fear. Call it by its right name, and forgive yourself.”
Hooray to dumping - think it's a self care practice keeper!
Monday, September 2, 2013
Imagine a time when we meet ourselves at the door, with elation, and invite ourselves in, to become reacquainted with this ‘stranger’ who has loved you all of your life. Derek Walcott, Poet
I loved reading this on the net when i was browsing – isn’t it so lovely, the idea of meeting yourself in the street or wherever and to find that this person (you) has loved you all your life regardless of what it is you do or say or know or don’t know. To have such self acceptance where you can be exactly who you are without worrying about what other people may think but simply just be and take any reactions that may result (or not) as an opportunity for self learning or growth.
The same goes for my health and sense of wellbeing – it just does not make sense to put my self last, on the back burner, fizzing away to nothing.
It is from this day forward that I am focusing on the intention to love myself fully for who I am and to nurture and protect myself when need be. I took action today by spending the whole day in bed instead of getting up and forcing myself to do what I should do (art and physio – cancelled both for my wellbeing as well as being honest about my inability to take on more hoods to sew as I have just not got the energy right now)
Here is to loving ourselves and just giving ourselves a damned break!
I got up this morning at five, did my favourite twenty minute yoga dvd by Rodney Yee and was dressed by six when my little monkey woke up. We spent a few minutes in bed reading stories and playing with Bella. That was a good start to the day.
I have been struggling to get up in the morning because I go to bed so late. I just love being up late at night with no one around me and it is a difficult habit to break. I avoided the computer last night, instead I did the Body Scan by John Kabat Zinn before going to sleep and I must say, I was in a very relaxed state before I went to sleep and felt quite refreshed when I woke up.
This night owl is going to change into an early bird, one day at a time.
Sunday, September 1, 2013
Spring has always been my favourite time of the year as a kid, the anticipation of the beauty that is on its way; fruit tree blossoms, green grass, rain. I used to sing this Afrikaans song "Dit is heerlike lente, die winter is verby!" which directly translates to " It is delicious spring, the winter is over".
I love spring even if I am not in the southern hemisphere to enjoy it.
Thursday, August 29, 2013
This is so cute but also a bit of a sad story – I had these silk worm eggs given to me from last year – they have a yearly life cycle and hatch around the same time each year into pupae which you then feed mulberry leaves to or beetroot leaves to allow them to grow fully into silk worms which then spin a silk cocoon – a gorgeous project for little children – so I stored the eggs away and had it in the back of my mind to get them out – knowing that it was around this time that they hatch – well – I got the sealed plastic bag out to put them in a cardboard box and arrrghhh the bag was full of both dead and alive pupae – so just before Julias bed time I started organising a shoe box to put them in which I lined so they couldn’t get out the holes and Julia was just SOOOOO excited, it was delightful to see – made me want to cry with joy at how excited she was to have these silk worm pupae. She gave up her bedtime story to stay up late to watch them moving and then we were all convinced that there was a tiny egg hatching and we watched that forever convinced it was moving (but later, the next day found it was not). We labled the box Julia’s Silk Worms and she was just estatic! Below are some photos.
But alas, the next morning we awoke to find that none of the pupae were moving! Julia said “they’re just sleeping!” which was heartbreaking. She wanted to take them to school to show Delia anyway.
But on the way to school she said to Nev on the way – “they’re moving, they’re moving”!
Then last night there weren’t any again and so nev said perhaps they sleep at night!?
But today there are none moving – I may have to look into getting some somewhere in Cape Town – will keep you posted xo
She got glow-in-the-dark stars and a moon that we stuck on her shelve above her bed this week (even though it pains me to put stickers on furniture). We switch off the lights and watch the stars and the moon now every night and imagine we are outside (the real deal will be nicer, but it's pretty awesome to make up our own stories).
"Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them.” Marcus Aurelius
I hope to be see the night sky in all its glory somewhere far away from the bright city lights in the distant future, hopefully when winter rolls around.