Thursday, August 27, 2015

Finding beauty

Look at this beautiful picture. My money shot :)

Rust, chipped paint, lovely texture, colours...


This, THIS, is what those earlier pics are of.


An old, smelly, not-very pretty at first sight toilet on a beach.

But how my mind works - I saw the rust (which is definitely one of my photo love languages) - moved a bit, and got a picture of the beauty!

Does this door below look different to you now?

Yummy, chipped paint!
I see the gorgeous texture :) :)

This has been a hard week for a lot of people - for me and a few others at work, I see on the social media too, a friend's grieving, and maybe you're also having a hard time.

But there's beauty in there somewhere.

Even if it's just that you're still standing.

Hope you see a sliver of beauty somewhere in your situation today!

And next time when you're having an awful time, think of this ugly toilet door and remember that lovely rust and texture above :)

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

There's something about God...



I usually only do online check-in if time is not on my side (early mornings).

Yesterday at work I did my online check-in for my flight this morning, and then I had a check in my spirit.

Hmm.

So later that day, exactly 24 hours before my return flight, I felt like I should do online check-in again.

It was weird but I obeyed because I've learned to trust rather than lean on my intellect.

I was a bit apprehensive about this trip because of the 75 km I had to drive AFTER my flight.

Flight left late so I was 30 minutes late (but I was not the main player and the work could continue - I was just making sure everyone played nicely).

Other than that, it was a wonderful drive.

The scenery in that part of the world is BEYOND gorgeous. My word, South Africa is beautiful.

I don't even have one photo because windy roads/ I was the driver/ I'm not taking chances with my life.

Right.



Finished the meeting, browsed a leather goods shop quickly (beautiful stuff - I was this close to undoing my Konmari work after smelling that beautiful leather) and then went back.

Apparently there are two airports and I just typed Nels.pruit Airport in the GPS. When I was close to my destination, I really needed to stop for (a very late) lunch when I started feeling there's something wrong, so instead I just grabbed my apple from the boot and carried on.

GOOD THING.

At the same time I say D had sent an SMS saying, "is everything ok?" I didn't respond because I can't type and drive and my battery was nearly dead.

Anyway, that first airport was the wrong destination.

I landed up who knows where, no-one knew what I was talking about so I carefully typed the full airport name from my e-ticket, and the GPS said.... 34 minutes to destination... on the other side of the city.... behind big, slow trucks.

I nearly had a fit right there in the car.



Won't bore you but suffice to say I screeched into the real airport 10 minutes before boarding and ran like ........ to the boarding gate.

Of course the flight back was again delayed by 20 minutes but you know they don't care if it's their fault.

If I'd not done online check-in, I'd be toast.... If I'd stopped for lunch like I intended, again, toast. I probably would still be in Nel.spruit because there's ONE flight out in the afternoon.

(that plane was so tiny.....)


So all this to say...

note to myself - PRAY, listen and OBEY.

And now I'm off to bed because this waking at 5 is for the birds, not for me :)

PS The last time we were in Hazy.view I was 6 weeks pregnant.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Can we talk about burgers?

I am not a burger type of person.

As in, a burger is probably the last thing I'd ever order. Wait no, a salad by itself is the last thing I'd ever order, with a burger coming in second last.

When I am not with D and the kids, then they go have burgers (that's how much I don't like burgers).


(although that place in Parkhurst does make fantastic burgers - Jeanette, help me?)

However...while we were in Ballito, I was suddenly quite taken with the idea of having a burger.

We were at the Milk Cafe and it was lunch time, and I didn't feel like my standard staple, a toasted cheese and tomato on brown bread.

I asked the waitress for the SMALLEST burger imaginable.

This is what I got.



Perfection.

I enjoyed that burger so much because it tasted home-made, the slab of meat wasn't too big and it felt manageable (not like a typical burger where I'm put off my food and I haven't even started eating). The roll was also nice and firm, not too white bready and soft (yuck!).

(when I shared this with two guys I work with, they both looked at me like I was crazy. I embrace the crazy...)

How do you feel about burgers on a scale of 1 - 10?

(I'm still a 2 on the scale, except this one was an 8 which is a lot for me!)

Next time we're going to talk about My Search for Thai Mussamen Curry.

Friday, August 21, 2015

5 things I want less of this year


You guys seem to really like these kinds of posts!

If you missed the 5 things I want more of post, here you go.

1. Stuff in my house

I'm busy doing Konmari on my house. OH, I am loving it. Go read the full story on my other blog.

At the moment, I have a couch in my study FULL of my clothes, my dining room table is full of stuff, and I have a huge bag of puzzles/ games and another of clothes for a children's home.

If this is something that interests you, keep following that blog - I have enough for about 8 posts but I need to cap it at 5.




2. Weight

Every year I put "lose weight" on my list and strangely it doesn't frustrate me...much. I know it's not a big deal because I am healthy and strong, and that's what matters, but it would be nice to hit my number. Which is far off the Weigh-less number, but there you go.

I'm also aware that if nothing else changes (fitness levels and eating habits), every decade adds an automatic 5 kg due to a slowing down of metabolism....



3. Mental weight

During the first half of this year, many things weighed very heavy on my heart. I've shared small snippets of some of them here on the blog, and others remain unshared (except I shared a few snippets with Pamela in PE - maybe these are things to talk to people face-to-face instead of through words?)

My word of the year is enough. I've put into place a lot of boundaries because I've had enough of many things.

It's not easy and some of this mental weight has hurt me in the short term (this is still the short term), but I need to respect myself more in some areas by just letting go.

One quick example - at work, I've been working like a slave because somehow that was always my way. But this is a different environment and it's not possible to turn around things in 24 hours all the time, so I'm re-training my clients to have more reasonable turnaround times.



4. Untried recipes on my Pinterest board

I know some just use it for fun but I still see my boards as a target :)

For fun, I want less of the unrealistic pinning and more taking action and trying. I love it when I try things and they stick, or I can toss the recipe.

I want to go through my recipe folders (flip files) and if it doesn't spark joy, out it goes.

On that note, I'm ready to finally concede - I can't make fudge! Not even with a candy thermometer. I'm willing to give it one more bash IF I can do the next batch with someone.

Any fudge-makers out there?



5. Physical books on my shelf

I read a ton - fiction from the library and I buy books for my Kindle when I go on holiday - and of course, non-fiction. My new favourite (FAVOURITE!) way of reading non-fiction is through Audible which means I have lots of books on my shelves not getting read.

I'm going to be going through my books in the next couple of months to see which don't spark joy but in any case, I want fewer physical books unread and more read.

On another note, I really need to learn to stop reading stuff that I hate.

Now, what do you want less of for the remaining 4.5 months of 2015?

PS These are photos from Ballito - the kind of photos I love to take. Do you have a favourite?

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The last day of FIVE and a photowalk

"how old are you, Babies?"

Do you have a favourite?

Monday, August 17, 2015

The kids' 6th science-y birthday party


I feel like I have to write some of this down before I forget it all.

Invites
After agonising about who to invite, we settled on a set number of kids for K, C and me :) The school invites were completely out of my hands but I basically invited kids my children had spent time with over the last year, minus the ones from the pre-school that they no longer see.



RSVPs
I say this every year but I honest-to-goodness want to throttle people for not just saying YES or NO. Why is this so hard? Check your schedule, speak to your spouse and say yes or no.

We had the worst number of RSVPs ever....even after I reprinted the invites and popped in the bags again after the RSVP by date.

My friends at least RSVPd quickly :)

One parent RSVPd on the Monday before the party, about 10 days later....

Anyway, on the bright side (and Lord knows we need to look for a bright side), all those who RSVPd actually pitched.



The venue
From the time we first went to Sci-Bono at the beginning of last year, I've wanted to have a party there. It is fabulous inside. If you haven't been, go!

The reason I needed the numbers confirmed was because the venue allowed only a certain number of people. Of course, such a small number of people pitched that we had no problems in the end.

I actually considered either having a science party at home, or just paying for each family to enter the venue, but in the end I just sucked up the "wasted" cost and paid the party price.

The party price included entrance to the museum, a guided tour, science demonstration and gifts for each birthday child.



Food
I know from previous years that people just don't eat much early in the morning so we didn't have a lot of food. Good thing because of the transporting food to a venue story. I sent all the chips and juices to school when schools reopened for their Friday snack.

The cakes were made by Pick and Pay, as they usually are, and were delicious.



My attitude
I honestly would rather have had the holiday instead of a party (used the party money to stay a day or two longer!) but of course, I was outvoted by D and the kids. And so I was freaked out before we went on holiday due to these RSVPs, mainly because I wanted my kids to have a nice party and it seemed like there would be only 6 kids total.

I really wanted to cancel at one point but D said it didn't matter if there were 6 kids or 16; our kids would still have a nice time. I wasn't convinced but I knew I was stressed with work and not thinking clearly so I just left it.

Once we went on holiday and I paid for the party, I relaxed into that state of not giving a toss anymore. Can I blame it on the beach?


The day of
People pitched, the venue was ready, the co-ordinators were friendly and good with kids and it was lovely. Honestly.

I got a few good pics but not as great as I'd have got outside. Then again, I have winter babies so basically it's inside parties forever.

I'd encouraged the guests to go explore and play in the museum afterwards so once the party ended, that's what we all did.

We overstayed our welcome by far - the party was 10 - 12, we were there from 9:30 - 16:20. We even heard the "the museum will be closing in 20 minutes" announcement.

I had a BALL!

We had once "incident" but that's a story for another day. Maybe.



Presents
This was the best part of the small party - only 5 presents :)



Thank-you notes
This year we recorded individual voicemail messages for each of those 5 families and we sent them by text.

They are VERY cute - I still have them. If I knew how to embed them here, I'd attach one.

And seems like the recipients enjoyed those thank-yous too.



Next time
I've already told all 3 of them that things will be Very Different next year:
  1. no parties during school holidays
  2. we are going on holidays without worrying about this party business
  3. we're having two small parties on the same day at home!



On another note
I've been keeping records and I told D we've only been to 4 parties this year - 3 kids of friends (Robyn's two kids!) and 1 school friend.
D said, "no wonder it feels like we have a life again" :)

So, what do you think?
Is this school holiday non-RSVP thing a thing?

And then, proof that I was there :)
 

Friday, August 14, 2015

{Friendship Friday} Tuesday friends

I read a blog post by Emily Freeman today that really spoke to me.

Here you go - have a read - I'll wait.


You see, I've been thinking about that kind of friendship for awhile.

Someone very close to a friend of mine is going through a situation that is quite awful. A close family member was diagnosed with the C-disease.

Amidst all the sadness, this person's friends have really rallied around and "stepped up". When I hear of the rosters to sort out kids and suppers and such, I am in awe of it all.

It's heartwarming to see love in action like that.

And in the same breath, it's a little bit scary.

Okay, a lot.

Because of two things - 1) I know I have far more acquaintance friends than Tuesday friends and 2) I have to ask myself, "am I a Tuesday friend to enough people?"

Acts of service is my primary love language and I am always willing to physically help out BUT I don't do death well.



A mom at the kids' pre-school wrote something on FB about her other child being in hospital so I sent her a message saying shall I fetch the other child and keep her here? It wasn't necessary because of grandparents but she knew I'd step in and bring food/ whatever/ keep the other one/ whatever was needed.

However, if it were a death, I'd be a little more reserved because death scares me and I'm afraid I'll say the wrong thing!

It's also hard knowing what the person needs if they're not a blabbermouth like I tend to be...

So let's talk about it.

Are you a good Tuesday friend?
What tangible acts do you do that we can all learn from?



While we're on the topic of friends, I'm thrilled that I got to meet Pamela when I was in PE nearly a month ago.

We met at the beachfront and had some tea/ coffee while chatting up a storm.

She is just as lovely as she appears online so the time of connection was really lovely!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The big tree

We went for a walk about a month ago and Connor wanted to go down a street they used to walk down before (they used to walk home from school that way last year), so we went.

So glad we did because... AMAZING tree, LEAVES, abundance!

We took an iphone photo which I loved but everything is better with the Big Camera, right?

The kids and I went back two days later to play in the leaves and have a "proper" photo shoot.


"don't you want to lie down in the leaves?" (Lie is correct; I checked :))
Magnificent!!!
and then we went to gym with my bag of tricks

Which is your favourite photo?

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