Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Gift from the Sea

My favourite beach at Jebel Ali 
I read this excerpt with different eyes yesterday. Of course it applies to romantic relationships but I think it can also be applied to any close relationship in our lives.......

"When you love someone, you do not love them all the time, in exactly the same way, from moment to moment. It is an impossibility. It is even a lie to pretend to. And yet this is exactly what most of us demand. We have so little faith in the ebb and flow of life, of love, of relationships. We leap at the flow of the tide and resist in terror its ebb. We are afraid it will never return. We insist on permanency, on duration, on continuity; when the only continuity possible, in life as in love, is in growth, in fluidity - in freedom, in the sense that the dancers are free, barely touching as they pass, but partners in the same pattern. 

The only real security is not in owning or possessing, not in demanding or expecting, not in hoping, even. Security in a relationship lies neither in looking back to what was in nostalgia, nor forward to what it might be in dread or anticipation, but living in the present relationship and accepting it as it is now. Relationships must be like islands, one must accept them for what they are here and now, within their limits - islands, surrounded and interrupted by the sea, and continually visited and abandoned by the tides."

Excerpt from "Gift From The Sea" by Anne Morrow Lindbergh 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Praying Mantis symbolism



I’ve finally found a symbolic meaning for the praying mantis which I guess does make some sense to me given the current circumstances in my life.

I’ve been neglecting this site – so I am grateful for time this evening to be able to gather my thoughts and sit in front of the fire keeping an eye on Wimbledon while I’m at it – even though my number one Nadel was knocked out in the first round – shocker of note!

Also for duster busters that have turbo power to vacuum up a whole heap of glitter drop on the freshly mopped floor by my shaking hands and non focused mind.

Flowers from our Garden

Pruning the small shrubs in the garden resulted in four vases of fresh flowers around the house. G and I picked them and she was also responsible for finding a place to put them. She also placed colourful potholders underneath it.  Just love seeing fresh flowers in almost every room.

Monday, June 24, 2013

A Sushi Puzzle

George came over to give the family a sushi tutorial. We did quite well for a first try and ended up with enough sushi for ten people! Was great fun and tasted great. G made her own (with a bit of assistance when it came to the rolling) and she was in her own little world, she loved it, followed the instructions, concentrated like crazy, got creative and really took her time and meticulously arranged the ingredients on the roll. Afterwards she said: "It's just like building a puzzle".

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Blissful Day at Home

Just had the most awesome Saturday. We spent most of the day in the pool, G had 3 swimming sessions, all in all close to 6 hours. The last time she got into the pool at 18h30 with my mom, she shouted: " I love swimming!" It was just such a relaxing, joyful, laid back day full of special moments. From the pool we watched the baby pigeons in the palm tree asking for lunch. As we were finishing our morning swim a sparrow came darting past G and I more than ten times trying to drink water from the pool, and it came extremely close to us, I thought the bird was a young teenager because his flying skills were not the best, he nearly flew into us several times. G is swimming underwater like a little fish, when she has her flippers on she is literally darting from one side to the other. Amazing to see her so confident in the water. She was in such a happy place the whole day, even though she said this morning that she didn't have a "bounce" in her step today.

I just felt so grateful for my happy lovable little "kabouter", our garden and the pool, especially now during summer, it is such an oasis in this scorching heat. We will live in the pool for at least another two months.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

School Shoes

So relieved and happy that we found very comfortable school shoes that G really liked. She didn't want to take it off after trying it on and we left the shop with her new school shoes on her feet. She was hopping and skipping and running all over the shopping mall.

Maybe going to school will be a walk in the park!

Friday, June 21, 2013

The Lantern Festival


Last night mum and dad van took great pleasure in arriving at Michael Oak Waldorf at 645pm to watch and help celebrate the lantern festival, shortest day of the year…. it was so gorgeous – the evening started with all the parents and kids in one of the kindy rooms with a story told by their lovely teacher about lanterns and gnomes and mother earth and seed babies – amazing to see all the kids totally absorbed in this beautiful magical story that even I had trouble sitting still with as it was pretty long– but they were all so mesmerised.  Then we all had to leave them behind us parents and go down to another room to await their arrival for the main part of the evening – they all walked in quietly, in awe of the evening. There had been magical light on arrival to the kindy grounds where candles in brown paper bags weighed down with sand  lined the path and transformed their daily garden for play into a magical land of light. So they arrived in the room and sat on chairs in a semi-circle all very quiet and a little bell sounded and each one (one at a time only) were urged gently to enter a tunnel of sorts – to walk down steps with their unlit lanterns into the unknown – it was probably quite a scary thing for them to do – I was surprised at how many went without  pause – out of 19 all but one needed their mum to go with – then they travelled out (we didn’t know where) and eventually came back into the room from the back with their candles alight.  We were so proud of all our kids and us especially of Julia – they came back with a tin in addition to the lanterns they had been all making for a few weeks leading up to the festival. 

Songs were being sung by all the kids and us parents as each child went on their journey to meet mother earth in the cave and to collect their seed baby with a blanket to keep it warm.

At the end all of us parents were invited to go into the cave in a single row (we had had no idea of what they experienced ) the spiral ramp that led down from one of the teachers classrooms to a different level below.  It was totally magical – all lined on the roof, sides and floors with satin and aglow with soft light from candles and mother earth herself sat in the corner wearing a golden robe – she had lit every child's lantern and given them a seed baby with a blanket (leaf with gold glitter) and that's what was in the tins.

I  am almost crying now with joy and wonderment and such gratefulness for the tremendous effort the teachers at Waldorf take to give the kids such a gift of fantasy and enrich them with such powerful values of respecting mother earth and treasuring gifts like the bulb and simple blanket of a leaf with golden glitter – all kids need is imagination to run wild with and to play – so they can stretch their minds to  become the most creative and adaptable  adults later on in life.

So I am so grateful for the ability to provide Julia with this gift through Waldorf.

New PINK wheels

Thankful for the new wheels, SKU 2-2, that Oupa & Ouma brought with from South Africa. It also doubles as gymnastic practice prop. It is easy to throw it in the back of the car when we go visit friends and there is a great ramp at one of the smaller shopping centers where the kids have a ball on their scooters (not the safest ever as it is close to the road, but with an adult standing at the bottom catching the children and scooters that go astray, it is lots of fun!)

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Count and Breathe

One of the practices that remained with me after the Yoga Trek in Nepal that we took in March 2012 is to count backwards from 37 to 0 while paying attention to my breathing, not manipulating it, just paying attention to it. If I loose track of the numbers, I have to start again at 37. I manage to complete the counting from 37 to 0 in one go now, and when I struggle it is usually a sign that the mind monkeys are chattering too much. This is a great practice to lull the noisy troop into a deep sleep (I am grateful if they just settle on taking a nap as well). I do this several times a day now when I need a break, refocus or chill and take a step back. I also do it once G has fallen asleep (maybe it is silent prayer that I am thankful that I've survived another day of motherhood and all it's challenges :-)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Plants and a Fuchsia Pink Wall

I love my succulents and plants, I love the joy they give me and the signs of life and growth and rejuvenation that are part of our world.
I love the different shapes and varieties of them and the way succulents look so lush when they are well cared for – with cacti it is the amazing brightness of a flower that can spring from such a spiky looking thing that can be scary to some.
I also love the new fuchsia pink wall we have and the way the dappled light shines through the trees above together with the contrasted shadows of the plants on the wall from which they hang.  Its amazing how a simple change of colour can add a new dimension and shift in mood of oneself and of ones home.

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A Beading and Life Lesson from a Preschooler

G wanted to make a beaded necklace from a gift she received. When we opened it up we saw the beads had very tiny holes but had to be strung onto ribbon with no needles or any other appropriate device or suggested techniques to make the process any easier. My mom and I immediately said this will never work.

G immediately got engrossed in trying to thread the ribbon through the beads, while I was trying to figure out a better plan.  To my surprise she managed to get beads onto the ribbon. When I asked her how on earth she managed that and she replied: "I just tried again and again Mom. That's all you have to do Mom, just try again and again".

Grateful for another valuable lesson in perseverance from my preschooler.
G's challenging beaded necklace

P.S. Due to an extreme turn in the weather in the preschooler's emotional world, she would not pose with the necklace on. PATIENCE, BREATHE, PATIENCE, BREATHE, PATIENCE, BREATHE..................
Hopefully the weather will change sooner than later, hope it is sooner.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


A great life lesson book is "If Life is Game, these are the Rules", by Cherie Carter-Scott. I had several Ah-hah moments when I first read this book and life reminds me often enough to heed the rules the advice.

This morning G and I had a wobbly morning mostly because she woke up way too early, full of energy but an hour later she was tired and a bit difficult. One of my lessons, that keeps popping up throughout motherhood, is one of PATIENCE. Sometimes I have to step away first and go to a place where I can go harvest some. This morning I opted to do yoga before returning to the scene. We both recovered well with me being patient but firm. We ended up taking a relaxing candle lit bath together before work and greeting the sun, thanking it for rising this morning. A "wobbly" morning turned into a "sunny" day. That is something to be grateful for!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Prima Ballerina

My little Prima Ballerina; she participated in the end of year concert even though she had a fever, being irritated by the costume that was scratching the living day lights out of her and a too small alice band.

We were all so proud of her and her class, they were absolutely adorable. Her world is expanding and providing her with opportunities to practice courage and perseverance.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

The Test Kitchen


Nev’s birthday was in April and I wanted to book a table for four at the Test Kitchen, South Africa’s top restaurant at the moment.  Of course as one would expect, the waiting list to get a table for 4 was 2 months and the 2 month date of 15th June (the day before Fathers Day as it turned out too!)arrived last night.

So baby sitter sorted and all jazzed up we headed off out in a taxi to this fabulous restaurant down the road in our part of the woods in the Old Biscuit Mill complex.

All I can say is that it was fabulous, art on a plate, delicious food – after a 5 course meal with surprises thrown in by the chef in between courses along the way.  Such a great evening and experience and well worth the wait!  ……and then…..the BILL arrived and that was something that made us laugh – better than crying hey?

A Dragonfly

What has been forefront in my mind lately is sending G to "big school" in September and I am dreading it a bit seeing that she quite often says that she doesn't want to go to the new school. I bring the topic up quite often because I want her to get used to the idea but no luck so far. I know she will adjust in time but I am quite scared that the first few weeks might be a bit of a disaster. The school hours are long, they have to wear uniforms and school shoes, just the regular traditional school stuff that is so inflexible ( I can so understand why you absolutely love Julia's Waldorf School).

A while ago G drew a dragonfly on the chalk board. When I asked her about it and where the idea came from, she just said she felt like drawing it. I thought it was interesting seeing that we haven't seen a dragon fly in ages. A few days later I found a piece on animal totems and symbolic meanings on the internet and what-do-you-know, a dragon fly represents CHANGE, prosperity, good luck, strength, peace, harmony and purity.

After reading the dragonfly signifies CHANGE I felt a strange sense of peace and realized that I am probably overreacting and that she might be sensing and preparing in her own way for the big changes coming up.

(I know it is easy to read meaning into anything but it does provide a sense of comfort, so I will just run with it in my mind for now).

Saturday, June 15, 2013

A Garden Full of Life

As you must have gathered we have quite a few rats around our place. Summer is the worst time because they feed on the dates and we often see them in the trees. It is a bit creepy. Occasionally one gets into the house which really freaks me out. We have been noticing for a few weeks that Bella is patrolling and sniffing around the pool so my father took a hosepipe to try and flush out the rat behind the pool pump. To his surprise the rat and three newborns appeared.  The mother ran away but tried to return for her babies. This all happened when I was at work and I nearly had a heart attack when G came strolling into the kitchen with the baby rats while I was unpacking the groceries!

The rat triplets

We felt so sorry for her we just couldn't get it over our hearts to get rid of the babies so we put them in an empty butter container and left them there overnight. The next morning the babies were gone. I hope they survived but I hope I don't see her or her babies any time soon.

My gratitude today is for a small garden which is full of life if you pause to look. We have a dove nesting in one tree and the babies have hatched because we picked up the egg shells. We have lots of gecko's, tiny spiders, lots of ants and unfortunately a few rats. G is very interested in all of them and has a zillion questions about all the critters. Her only disappointment is that she can't pick all of them up.

A baby gecko

Friday, June 14, 2013

There’s nothing like…


…a child’s authentic, uninhibited, free, vibrant and totally innocent art.

Julia made a paper doll with the most vibrant and rich crayons and I absolutely loved it and asked her to draw me another one that wasn’t cut out, to frame  - In the end I framed both – we framed them together and she watched that whole process of cutting mounting board, taking the staples out of the old framed picture, re-taping it, etc. 

Anyway, I love both of them, so one is in our bedroom upstairs and the other is downstairs on our ledge with all our photos in the lounge.

I love the way those 2 pictures light up morning/day when I look at them – the burst of joy they give me is awesome!  I love the rainbow colours in them!

This is the first one which was cut out and that I really love.

julias pics 003   

This is the next one which is in our room, the cute thing was the legs to one side.  I don’t think she really noticed that until I was hanging it on the wall and she said “Mummy, that doll is sitting on a chair”. I thought this was so clever as when you look at it, it does have that optical illusion, don’t you think?

julias pics 007

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Ryans Carwash

Today I want to express gratitude to the very hard workers (who had to be because there was no choice) who laboured over our car and gave it a meticulous clean from the shell up, removing the back seats, boot liners, spare tire and all to scrub and wash and steam clean so that it smells like its just be driven out of a car shop and will now have joes very new dog car hammock placed in the back seat so that we never have to let it get to that state again!

Thank you Ryans!

Get well soon!

Today we are very grateful that Gracy's emergency cholecystectomy went well. She had a terrible flight with severe pain back from the Philippines and went straight to ED when she arrived back in the UAE. I am grateful for the great care that she received from the Internist and the Surgeon. Also grateful for my parents who are kind enough to stay for another two weeks so that she will have some time to recover and take it easy for a while.

Gracy came to visit G before the surgery and G took her on a tour around the house, showing her every little change that was made since Gracy went on holiday. I am grateful that they are really close and crazy about each other. You can never have too much love and laughs in your life. They really mean a lot to each other.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Jump in my Heart

I am grateful for the goodbye routine we started about two years ago where whenever we say goodbye to Gabrielle we do the following ; give a hug, a kiss, jump into each others hearts and say or sing "LOVE YOU!!!!"

We never ever part without doing this and it is a lot of fun, we usually end up making jokes around it and we never ever forget to do it.

Monday, June 10, 2013

My Parents

I am grateful for my parents. Even though the different relationships are complicated at times and we often press each others buttons, there is always love at the bottom of it.

I am grateful that they have allowed me to reach + grow
I am grateful that they have protected me and that they are still protective of me
I am grateful that they have taught me about trust + commitment + being practical + sacrifice + hard work + financial responsibility
I am grateful that they have always been there for me
I am grateful that they have been there to witness my life in progress
I am grateful that we are connected
I am grateful for their care and love
I am grateful that they carry me in their hearts
I am grateful for their prayers
I am grateful for them.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Bliss is….


Doing things together with your daughter that you love and that your daughter is just beginning to explore.  I love this age where your child can just sit and learn and focus on something new and lose themselves in the process…along with you!

My learning too is that I must let go of how I envision things to be and just go with the flow – in this case the final product – Julia has her side and I have mine – I get to play with her side when she has had enough of the sticky tile adhesive on her fingers and she is okay with this.

mosaicing 001

mosaicing 008

mosaicing 019


This is amazing – Im not sure if this will work – its a Picassa album by a brain tumour patient from the UK – check out the slide show and the art work! So inspiring.

Then click on the square raw file and a slide show should come up - it really mirrors my own feelings and thoughts.  Nice to know there is someone out there on the same journey!

Friday, June 7, 2013

A Public Holiday

I'm grateful for a public holiday spent at home;
  • I slept till 7H30 
  • Had an alien juice (green juice)
  • Made collages with G, Ouma and Oupa
  • Did a few projects around the house. I put a extra railing in G's wardrobe so that she can reach her dresses and she just loves it. She helped by holding the level, making the marks and turning in the screws. When she finished she said: "Oupa is going to be so proud of me"
  • Had a looooonnnngggg shower
  • Painted the cork boards white. Will put it up in the art room exhibiting her creative endeavors
  • G and Oupa painted a rhinoceros which looks like a piggirafferhinosaurus
  • Had a refreshing swim
  • G had her shower in the garden after the swim
  • Had BBQ Leftovers for dinner (NZ lamb chops, yum), easy peasy
Oupa and G with their Piggirafferhinosaurus

Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Art Room

A space to create......... not that one needs a specific space but the art room has made painting and crafting more accessible on a regular basis. I read somewhere that your house should reflect what you love and what brings you joy and although it's a no-brainer, it was just the spark I needed to create this room. The supplies are on hand, we can make a mess, we can do what we want really.

I love silence (or if not silence at least no talking) and when G and I are in there we both get quiet, we get engaged in what we are doing while she hums or sings softly, which I absolutely love.

I'm grateful for our art room and all that we experience there; the freedom, the joy, the silence, the humming, the togetherness, the separateness, the energy, the many times we just play with color. It's a blank canvas (or recycled one), a fresh palette of colours and freedom to just be.

"Art doesn't have to be joyful to create joy, as long as it stirs in you a wonderful feeling about being alive. 
- Elaine Aron"

My mother


I am sooo lucky to have such a creative mum who takes her time and puts a lot of love into the most stunning original clothes for my little darling Julia.  This is her recent addition – a rainbow knitted cardigan and 2 lots of  bought pumpkin patch jeans which I received in the post today.

I'm grateful that the postal system has improved and that this package was delivered within 5 days of posting from New Zealand. Excuse the blurry photos!

julias knitted cardi from wema 008

julias knitted cardi from wema 003

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

A Passion for Photography

I'm grateful for a very special friend who helped revive my interest in photography – these pics weren't through that lens though Sonja.

simonskloof holiday 197
Life is filled with a glass full of Muscadel and a bunny hopping through the wilderness
simonskloof holiday 201
..... and reading with slippers on with marvelous views

What makes you come alive?

" Don't ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive"
Howard Thurman

I am grateful for finding this quote. It was up on our big blackboard for close to 8 months. I read it every single day. It is now part of me. I need to be creative to feel alive.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

I am a doggy

Little G in Bella's dog house
Little G loves playing she is a doggy. Some days we go full out with two bowls on the floor to feed the doggy. I still remember how my brother and I did exactly the same thing, placing our bowls on the floor (with anything from chips to jelly and ice cream mixed with water - uuuggghhh), pretending to be dogs. Very grateful for G bringing back these childhood memories and continuing the family tradition.

Monday, June 3, 2013

A Hail Storm


Watching my daughter have fabulous fun in the hail storm yesterday and being excited enough not to feel the rain and the cold whilst collecting handfuls of hail to eat – it was pea sized – the largest ive ever seen and  6C outside!


hail 010hail 012

A child sleeping

It must be one of the most beautiful things in the world to look at. My gratitude cup overflows when I look at my sleeping angel.

Both our bedroom air conditioners were not working last night so we "camped out" on mattresses in another room last night, was lots of fun. Grateful for the opportunity to turn a problem into a fun night.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Pizza in a wood fired oven

You have to appreciate and love slow food;
  • making the dough and pizza sauce in advance (it helps to have a brilliant tried and tested thin and crispy crust recipe)
  • preparing the toppings on the day
  • firing up the oven ( a good 4 to 6 hours before)
  • preparing the oven for baking (removing door, pushing back coals, testing temperature by throwing flour on the floor of the oven)
  • constructing one own's pizza, Thursday night's toppings were ham, mozzarella cheese, pineapple, avo and rocket
  • maneuvering the pizza for even cooking
  • sharing the pizza all around
  • taking a bite or 20
  • savouring the taste 
  • being grateful for the efforts of many amazing people that went into one home made pizza

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Email and cuddles


Today I am grateful for a lovely email that a friend sent me on “Recycling at its best”.  There were a whole range of pics and recycling options from graters used to hang earrings on, old plastic coat hangers to  use as a cookbook holder whilst cooking, teacups for herbs…but my favourite pic was this one:



I am also grateful for gumboots and raincoats that allow us to walk our boxer Joe in the rain on the weekend…..

….and for down time to read and snuggle with the family on a rainy cold 11C day in Cape Town with classical music and a warm fire in the background

Rain dance

Grateful for clouds on a hot summer's day,  so we did a rain dance in the pool. G was in control of singing and making music. I was only allowed to dance. The rain didn't come but the giggles did.