Friday, May 31, 2013

My Hands


I have so much gratitude for my hands:
The ability to paint with them, to cook with them, to touch my daughter with them, to feel different textures with them, to play with them, to sew with them, to write and type with them, to caress my pets with them, to build a fire with them, to swim with them, to dress with them , to nurse a warm cup of coffee with them, to garden with them,  to do so much more than this list with them – I cannot express enough gratitude for the use of them!   Oh….and to photograph with them! Musn’t forget that one!!!

simonskloof holiday 022
simonskloof holiday 018simonskloof holiday 005
                                     

Thursday, May 30, 2013

The ultimate vegetarian burger


Yes!  I’ve finally found one that actually works for me – texture, taste, everything!  It even has nice thick substance to it.  Its been a long hard hunt with lots of disappointments along the way but here is the link  http://www.thecreativepot.net/2010/11/beetroot-burgers.html
Absolutely fab and thank you creative pot for the recipe!  I didn’t grind the fennel seeds but just put them in whole and I also added in some fresh fennel herb (not bulb) finely cut up.
I’m grateful for a daughter that will try anything once in terms of food – well anything in life really – but food in this case!  She tried the burgers but didn’t like them much and when I asked her why she said “ummm – I can’t really explain why – I just don’t” BUT she did eat some of the TVP curry that Nev made with peas, raisins and rice.. which lead me on to my next gratitude – I am grateful for discovering early on in my journey of vegetarianism (well 90% of the time) that TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein) is NOT the thing for me!

Believe in what you want


I am grateful for finding inspiration
I am grateful for feeling inspired
I am grateful for being a dreamer
I am grateful for being brave enough to believe
I am grateful for gaining clarity




Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A fluffy green frog

 

Gratitude comes today for seeing Julia in her new fluffy green dressing gown – we call it her frog dressing gown – so cuddly.

Also for play dates – they keep the kids happy and allow for grown up interaction at the same time. Two for the price of one.

For dreams – having the belief in them to help manifest them.  We are excited about an idea of having a weekend house in a quirky place an hour from Cape Town and a week house in Cape Town so Julia can still go to her school and Nev to work.  Nev would fulfil his dream of building a house!

Nothing you've ever done is wasted

" I believe wholeheartedly that whatever you are curious about, whatever delights you and brings you joy is precisely what will take you on the path towards your deepest dreams. You don't need to connect the dots or even understand it. In fact, it might be better if you don't. Just do it for the joy of it. And know that nothing, absolutely nothing you've ever done is wasted." - Andrea Scher

I almost cried when I read this the first time. It was as if it was written for me. I adopted it into my belief system at once. I have always seen myself as a "Jack-of-all- trades, Master-of-none" kind of person. I can do many different things and many things interest me but I am not necessarily an expert at any of these things. I always thought that it was nice to have interests but it that it didn't really amount to much.

I am going to belief this instead.

It is as if believing this allows me to just follow what gives me joy and trust that it will lead me somewhere.

I am grateful for inspiration from Andrea Scher and her blog: Superhero Journal. There are many inspiring posts and links. Here is the link to the complete post about "Nothing you have ever done is wasted" http://www.superherolife.com/2012/07/nothing-youve-ever-done-is-wasted/




Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Natures Gifts


I’m having an on going  gratitude for Mother Earths gifts – they teach us so much:
- how its the simple things in life that make a lasting impression
- that the smallest things can be the most beautiful and make the most difference
- they provide us with on going inspiration for everything
She reflects so much back to us about ourselves and our potential as human beings – emotional seasons,  that beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, that beautiful gifts come in ALL shapes and sizes – just as we do, we are all beautiful and unique,  Her diversity also emphasises this, how resilient we can be in the toughest of times, how the we can survive the toughest blows, how adaptable we can be…….there is SO much more she teaches us.

She also provides us with the best playground to enjoy ourselves in – reminds us that manmade constructions aren’t necessary.

Beauty in the big things...
 

Natures playground - leaves to stomp in...
 

Trees to climb in.
 

And Beauty in the small things






 

Wholehearted Parenting Manifesto

I am grateful that there are many wise people in the world that we can learn form. I am grateful that we have access to all this "free" information. I am grateful that there are people like BrenĂ© Brown. She calls herself a research storyteller and a vulnerability expert. She is an inspiring social studies researcher and author of several books including "Daring Greatly" and she has written the  Wholehearted Parenting Manifesto. Check it out, it is so inspiring and in many ways how we want to parent.

I believe if I can parent from a place of mindfulness the result will be wholehearted parenting. Perfect is not the ideal, but being vulnerable and real is.


(I've saved this picture from the internet but unfortunately can not find the link again to credit the artist but I will keep looking).

Monday, May 27, 2013

Away for a weekend

 

Oooohhhh – I have soooo much to be grateful for.  This weekend away was so FANTASTIC and revitalising in EVERY way that on a whim on Sunday morning we decided to stay an extra night!

Such a beautiful place – Simonskloof Mountain Retreat near Montagu.

Imagine this:

- no electricity, solar only but no lights, paraffin lanterns and candles to light the house at night, to cook by, to read by, to shower by etc., – took our camping headlights though and another camping lamp we have (all this was just sooo relaxing)

- no noise pollution or pollution of any kind around us and un interrupted magnificant views of the mountains and fynbos vistas

- being the only family to stay in the one of 3 places available so having an extra  quiet time!

- having an old Dover wood burning stove to heat the room and to cook in and 2 simple gas hotplates – simple and rustic!

- no cellphones, no computers, no music, only the sound of wood burning, julias sleeping, joes snoring and us chatting and sipping wine.

 

I will be sending pics of the holiday and gratitude for the extra special things about it as took a ton of pics, but here is a start! – the cottage, the views, the farm

simonskloof holiday 166simonskloof holiday 169simonskloof holiday 043

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Oodles of gratitude today...

....appear in the form of new brushes to paint with

- an habitual "sweet dreams lovely dreams"squeal from my daughters bedroom every night as I leave her room, along with 'I love you to bits"tonight

- our girl nights while daddy is working a late shift

- a complete deck all professionally made with love and precision by handy Nev (excuse the blurry pic)

- and a weekend to look forward to at a down to earth mountain retreat (Simonskloof) - check it out at www.simonskloof.com .  We are staying in the Faraway cottage - just the 4 of us Nev, Julia, Joe and I!  So excuse the pause in gratitude entries til after the weekend - I'll be sure to take my camera.

 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Autumn Leaves

 

I am grateful for the beauty of nature that the universe gives us every day.  On our garden gate this morning I saw the most exquisite white moth with red feet – I wish I had taken my macro lens out but I was lazy!

But beauty surrounds me every time I drive to Julias school.  Outside, across the road is a brick wall with a vine fall of red autumn leaves and they are in sync with the Autumn song she sings at her Waldorf school so well:

“Autumn leaves are falling down,

falling down, falling down

Autumn leaves are falling down,

Making a carpet on the ground”

 

julias art and skull progress plus autumn leaves 009                julias art and skull progress plus autumn leaves 011

2 catch-up entries

 

Sorry, Internet down yesterday and now sorted!

Yesterday I was the very lucky recipient of some new classical music that is the type that just touches your brain in the right places to make you feel so electrified.

The one album in particular is Copia by Eluvium – absolutely stunning and the other music was by Julia Kent. 

I just loved lying on the sofa listening to it with my feet in Nev's lap while he read his book. I then remembered my i pod portable docking station with remote, so that is now set up in our bedroom and last night I literally fell asleep drifting off to the sound of music – stunning!

Poets & Poetry

I've carried this poem with me for the past year and a half and it has pulled me, lifted me up and gently pushed me forward at times. I often read it and I found it inspiring every time.

Moving Forward

The deep parts of my life pour onward,
as if the river shores were opening out.
It seems that things are more like me now,
That I can see farther into paintings.
I feel closer to what language can't reach.
With my senses, as with birds, I climb
into the windy heaven, out of the oak,
in the ponds broken off from the sky
my failing sinks, as if standing on fishes.

- Rainer Maria Rilke

I am grateful for Poets and Poetry.

Here are a few links to my favourite poetry sites;
http://www.poetryfoundation.org/
http://www.poets.org/

Monday, May 20, 2013

A Nice Kinda Fatigue

I love those days/evenings where I am so tired because I've done so much and am so exhausted that I can slip into bed knowing that I have achieved a lot of good stuff that needed doing and that a good nights sleep is well on its way. It's a great kind of tired!

In addition I am grateful for knowing that just as the moon waxes and wanes, so too do our feelings and emotions - that when we aren't in such great spirits - so too will this change.

I am grateful for having knowledge of childhood wounds so that they don't have as much control over me - that by accepting them, I am dis-empowering them.  A most important piece of my puzzle has emerged from my subconscious, and although it is sad and will be part of me forever, it is welcome as it makes me understand so much about myself and my relationships with others.  Our "buttons" will always be there to press, its just that the pressing of the button won't cause as great a reaction as we practice positive self talk and inner awareness.
 

The Yorkie Exterminator

Bella, the Yorkie Teacup with her prey



We are grateful for Bella who is ensuring our villa is free off rats. This was her second kill. I've witnessed both and it was amazing to see her in action. She very quietly stalked her prey and finished the business in seconds. She didn't try to eat it but she wanted to bury it afterwards. No messing around with this little dog.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Sundays

This morning we all leaped out of bed and drove to Muizenberg surfing beach - the winter so far here has been amazing.  It's 22 C today with not a cloud in the sky - just perfect - we had takeaway coffee and sandwiches for breakfast then walked along the beach watching surfers of all ages and sizes enjoying themselves in the sea.  Julia loved the sand - digging in it, tipping water into it, slithering like a snake in it, underneath a whole lot of colourful beach huts, and drawing pictures in it.

I'm grateful for experiences like this morning's!

Mrs. Midori's painting classes

Little G and Mrs. Midori 
Mrs. Midori is Japanese watercolour artist. She comes to our house once a week to give little G painting lessons. She is kind, gracious and patient and G absolutely loves painting with her.
In one of her paint splattered, painting outfits, showing Oupa her seal painting

Very proud of her watercolour landscape

Last week they painted owls

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Razzle Dazzle & Nelson


Yesterday morning we took little G to pick out two goats at the live stock market in Al Ain. The goats are the latest addition to the old golf club.

 It was bloody hot, we went to so many goat pens and G wanted to touch and pick up all of them. There was one criteria for the selection process and one criteria only - FRIENDLINESS. In the end the goats picked her out. The two that came to her and ate from her hand are the ones that ended up at the new goat pen.

She picked out the names in the truck. The girl goat is Razzle Dazzle and the boy goat is Nelson. They looked very happy at their new home, they grazed on the lawn and was quite content to be patted by all the kids there.

Best of all, G knows that Razzle Dazzle loves pink - she tried to munch on  G's pink skirt several times. G wants to put pink nail polish and Razzle Dazzle and blue nail polish on Nelson. We settled for making name boards for the goats instead.

I'm grateful for:

  • George that came up with the idea of building a goat pen, executed it in record time and involved G in picking out the goats
  • G who learned how to make some tough choices between pretty and friendly
  • Team work to get a wire fence attached to the outer fence in the scorching desert summer heat in record time. George, Oupa, Gabrielle and myself  used wire to fasten the wire fence to the outer structure. Ouma kept us hydrated and looked after Bella
  • G's excitement that there are friendly goats at the golf club that she can touch and feed whenever her little heart feels like it


Friday, May 17, 2013

Gardens and blooms

Gratitude arrives in the form of germinating poppies planted 2 weeks  ago with Julia and bulbs sprouting up through the soil already - the garden in spring is going to look just fabulous! There are poppies of every colour planted, ranunculas, anemones, and freesias.

Beautiful blooms decorate the side bench in our living room with white crysanths and orange lillies - thanks to an adorable husband and loving daughter!  Lucky me xoxo

A night off 17/5/13

Gratitude comes in the form of dressing up and going out to a top restaurant in Cape Town (expenses all paid) feeling beautiful on my husbands arm and tasting delectable butterflied queen prawns drizzled with lemon and butter and chilli on the side.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Shhhhh.........gnomes and fairies live here.

The trees overheard two four year old girls telling their moms: "You need to be quiet otherwise we will scare the gnomes and fairies!".

Shhhhhhhhhh...............................!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This was one special day, being with Sarah and our two little 4 year old fairies in Newlands Forest. The girls dressed themselves in matching outfits that morning and we went gnome and fairy spotting. We couldn't find any, but in between searching they hugged trees, tested their balance on water pipes, skinny dipped in a mountain stream, fed Joe (the boxer) pine cones and painted rocks (and themselves) with red clay.

Time stood still as they entertained themselves and Sarah and I had fun with our cameras.

A perfect day in so many ways and one to be dearly grateful for.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Swimming

Today I am grateful for the ability to swim - to feel the water on my skin and to submerge myself in that silent space where my thoughts are my own and where the regular breathing required by swimming gives me a meditative experience.  I am grateful to have use of my arms and legs to be able to swim.

I am also grateful for a husband who is loving and patient enough to help me apply hair colour in all the tricky places - even if he does miss a few gray spots

.....and I suppose that I have to be grateful for the 1 out of 14 images that were accepted on my dreamstime site despite the others not being technically wrong, my mud splattered girl made it!

To breathe....

So very grateful that I came across the writings about mindfulness by John Kabit-Zinn and the principles he employs at the Stress Reduction Clinic. Breathing is at the heart of it all and my breath has certainly been my anchor over the last couple of years.

Breathing brings me into the present, it shuts up the noisy mind monkeys and cultivates mindfulness. Being mindful has opened me up to experiencing droplets, rain showers and rivers of joy. And for THAT I am extremely grateful.

The impact has been huge.


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Best Friends

I have such gratitude for my best friend who, writes beautifully, is so creative, and who is beautiful in every sense of the word,  AND in addition, got this blog rolling!  Thanks babe. I love you lots xoxo




A green, green lawn


“And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.”

Kahlil Gibran

I am thankful for our little patch of green, green grass where;
  • I walk barefoot
  • I fill up with green. Love the feeling when I come home, open the gate and all the green (and Bella) greets me
  • I lie on my back and look at the sky through the palm trees
  • Little G runs like crazy with Bella
  • Little G rides her bike, again and again and again
  • Bella digs holes bigger than herself, sometimes I think she is trying to escape......

Monday, May 13, 2013

Art and Creativity

My gratitude today is for my brain tumor and the life it has given me - creativity is pouring out of me and my art teacher is amazing.  I am so grateful to her for her belief in me.  That part of me that didn't believe I was creative, is constantly being cut away, just as my tumour is shrinking, and together we have such exciting dreams ahead - my process art training also has had so much to do with this.

Sonja, I loved that peice of music and must go to the site again and check it out xoxo

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mothers Day

5 years ago I became the luckiest mother in the world when my little 'rae' of sunshine chose me to be her mother - the best present any mother could have.  I love you with all my heart Julia, mud splattered face and all,.... and always will!




 

A Day Overdue

1.  fantastic school community
2.  5km walks in a beatiful forest with our beautiful fairy princess
3. homemade manicotti (Soprano's)

Listening to Snatam Kaur while getting dressed

Don't know what it is about this album ANAND Bliss is just so tranquil and peaceful. I just love listening to it. Sarah you might get a kick out of knowing that she was in a Waldorf Primary School. Check out the yoga poses she did when she was two years old http://www.snatamkaur.com/web2.html

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Early morning candle lit bath

Little G and I bathed by candle light this morning, I suppose just because we could. My bathroom is very dark and my daughter asked if we could light the candles and I thought: "Why the heck not!?". So our morning started with a golden glow.

Friday, May 10, 2013

A swimming pool in the desert

1. With water at 32 degrees Celsius......
2. .....enabling little G (my 4 year old daughter) to swim for 3 hours non-stop this afternoon.
3. Exercise and laughs, a perfect combination.

Fluffy Slippers

Gratitude springs to mind:

1. when I get to slip my feet into warm fluffy slippers at the end of a long day on my feet
2. when I get to have  snuggle cuddle on the sofa with my boxer joe and remember how much I love it!
3. warm home cooked dahl, and roti with a full tummy at the end!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

My gratitude today is for:

1. electricity
2. candles and torches
3. cheese and baby aubergine atchaar sandwiches