Tuesday, March 31, 2015

House-warming

Once MIL Pam's unit was complete and we'd moved her in, the other oldies kept asking (tongue-in-the-cheek) when we were going to wet its roof. They maintained that if this wasn't done soon, the roof would blow off during one of the late summer storms! 

Last week I spoke to Hester, the admin manager of the center to arrange a suitable time and day for this function. We decided on Friday, 27th March at 9.30 am. 

MIL had given me a bottle of sparkling wine (called champagne by all) peach flavored, for my birthday in February. I'm not sure if she's forgotten that I've always been teetotal but I thought I'd keep it for an occasion.

And that occasion came with the house-warming, roof-wetting of MIL's unit! 

Rina and I invited three widows who still live in the houses in the center: Anna, her sister Vinkie, who was visiting and Myrtle. We asked Pam to invite the five ladies with whom she has lunch in the dining room every day, four of whom live in the unit section (including Pam) 

On Thursday Rina and I baked up a storm. She made chocolate cake and milk tart and also a savory tart. I baked two almond tarts. 
 Intrepid bakers...
...baking up a storm! 

On Friday morning we loaded the baked goods, tea bags, sugar, a carton of milk and the champagne in a bucket of ice, into Grant's car and set off for the old age center.

Hester had set the table with a grey cloth and green overlays. A beautiful table center graced the middle of the table. 
Hester had decorated the table in Pam's choice of colors: green and grey

Before the guests arrived, Rina and I posed at the laden table

Hester and I took the bottle of champagne outside where she proceeded to open it

Back inside the guests had arrived and Rina seated them around the table, with Pam at the head.  
Myrtle hugs Pam welcoming her to the center

While Rina and I poured the glasses of sparkling wine, Pam jumped up and said she wanted to make a speech. She then thanked Grant and Jo (moi!) for her beautiful unit, Rina for all the help she gives her and said how happy she was in the center.
Pam making her speech
While I welcomed Pam to Marquard and the center and thanked all the ladies for their wonderful friendship (they were all my age now, when I met them 20 years ago!) Rina snapped away

Then Rina raised a glass to Pam and the other oldies in the center

Once Rina and I had handed out plates of cake and tarts, and poured cups of tea for the guests to enjoy after the champers, Rina and I eventually sat down and chatted with everyone. They all wanted to know about Tanzania (the love of my life!) and we also heard about Marquard in days gone by (there's nothing that Pienkie doesn't know!)  Then Myrtle called on Rina to do her funny dance for the guests.  

Rina demonstrates a dance which she always does for company and which always evokes great laughs! 

When it was time to go, each lady thanked us for the lovely party. 87 year-old Maxie, (also an old Marquard resident) told me that they enjoyed the bubbly, the tea and eats, but most of all they enjoyed the company of "young" people such as we are! 

The staff told us afterwards that they love it if families do things for the oldies and involve all in the center. It gives an old person a reason to comb their hair and get dressed up and afterwards they have something to talk about for ages...

I'm linking my post to Our World Tuesday which you can visit here

Monday, March 30, 2015

Shadow Shot Sunday...

...on Monday! 
The shadows on our driveway on a sunny afternoon
The newly poled gate with shadows falling on it
A lamp post on the drive
The shadow of the lamp post
Aloe and tree shadows on the boundary wall between us and Amanda and Angus

I'm linking to Shadow Shot Sunday here

Last week while tidying out my cupboards, I came across a sealed jigsaw puzzle. It's 1500 pieces and wildlife scenes in South Africa. 

Grant joined two pieces of wood together to take the 610 x 838 cm puzzle. 
The jigsaw puzzle set out on a board on our dining table in the entertainment area

Rina and I started building the puzzle on Thursday at 12 noon. By 8 that evening we'd made the frame. The next afternoon we finished the pair of zebra which, in retrospect, turned out to be the easiest of the scenes.  

I returned to my blogging and e-mails and by now, Rina had started on the rhino above the zebra. Grant joined in. That night the rhino was 80% complete. On Saturday afternoon we all three worked on the wildebeest and in between Rina found most of the pieces for the rhino. 
The rhino, zebra and wildebeest were completed by Saturday afternoon

Meanwhile I'd returned in earnest and was trying to build the Bushbuck on the top left of the puzzle. 
 I managed to build most of the frame along that picture and then got stonewalled... 
Later while I made supper, Grant started to build my buck! I was thrilled

After supper on Saturday night, we all concentrated on completing the bushbuck. By 8.30, we'd completed the buck but for ONE piece. On the first evening I sorted all the pieces in color schemes in separate boxes. Now we walked around and around the table looking for this one piece. After twenty minutes, Grant called it a night; Rina and I continued until 9.15 without success.

On Sunday morning before church the three of us searched and searched for the elusive piece. Then Rina and I went off to the service. When we returned at 11 am, the first thing Grant told us as I drove the car onto the patio was that he'd found the piece!
 
The errant piece of puzzle which finally completed the bushbuck! 

The saga continues. After lunch I worked on the computer and Grant read a magazine, Rina  built the next picture on the left. She managed to create an elephant cow and its calf until the final seven pieces of sky with soft cloud. These pieces continue to elude her as I write up this post! 

As for me, I'm puzzled out! 

The largest section of this puzzle is of two elephants approaching in a swirl of dust. I'll probably get involved when this part is worked on...

Here's wishing you all a wonderful week ahead. 

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Reflective cat



These are reflections of Shadow sitting in my bedroom window and reflected in the glass door at right angles to it from my entertainment area

I'm linking my post to Weekend Reflections here


Hedges Kitty Update

Hi Bozo, Lindy and Mum's blog readers. This is Ambrose with the latest post about the Hedges kitties. 

Last week Mum looked all over the yard for Dad Ginger and eventually found him at the front door. 
Dad Ginger checks out "his" domain from the front porch
Later me and Dad Ginger enjoyed the sunshine on the patio

Unca Shadow watches the patio from the sunny dining room table! 
Cousin Chappie sat on the baby chair under the patio chair cushions

I can't find more photos for Cousin Tipsy but I'll post about him and the doggies soon again.

Mum says I must wish everyone a happy Sunday! 

For more cute pet posts, please click here 


Saturday, March 28, 2015

Pretty critter rescued

Last week Grant said that Chappie (the household cat) was playing with something. I took a closer look and saw that it was a praying mantis. 
Fortunately Chappie hadn't yet injured the little creature
The praying mantis stood up in defence when I leaned over it with my camera
We guided the mantis onto a piece of wood

Afterwards  I placed it near a blade of grass onto which it clung and finally moved to safety

I'm linking my post to Saturday Critters with Eileen which you can access here

Happy weekend to everybody.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Autumn Skies over the Free State

The sun's early morning rays over the golf course last week

I'm linking to SkyWatch Friday which you can visit here

Today is also the birthdays of two very special girls in the Hedges family. Eryn, who is 12 today and her sister, Bethany who is six. 
Eryn, 12, holding her littlest sister, Keren-Happuch (ten months old) 
Bethany, six, sharing a special moment with her cousin Abby


I remember the day so well when Eryn was born. She was our very first grandchild and a girl at that. The Hedges only produce sons! So we were very thrilled.

Then on Eryn's sixth birthday, she and Joshua (then three) were staying with me while their mom and dad were at the hospital in another town. I took Eryn and Joshua to Pre-primary school here in Marquard with a birthday cake for Eryn's which she would share with her class mates. When I collected the  two children at midday, everybody (including the teachers) wanted to know if the new baby had arrived yet. Fortunately she [Bethany] had, John had texted me mid-morning I could share the good news! 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ERYN

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BETHANY








Thursday, March 26, 2015

Good fences - Great neighborhood walk

Since being home, we've been walking in the evening. Really walking - not strolling. I always have my camera and when I stop to take photos, I have to dash to catch up the my serious walking partners, Grant and Rina. (LOL!)

Last week I posted several birds which I'd photographed on a walk and also a fence post featuring a Cape Glossy Starling.

On Sunday I stopped regularly to photograph fences and boundary walls around the houses which we passed on that day's walk! 

On the corner property at the end of our street walking towards town, I spotted a yellow day lily; I couldn't resist snapping it through the palisade fencing surrounding the garden. 
A day lily behind the palisade fence surrounding a property near our home

This old house (just visible in the photo) belongs to a dear man who worked for the municipality for two and a half decades. The old-fashioned gate and wire fence fronts his roses, peach and pomegranate trees
A banksia rose in flower against a chicken-wired fence
This imposing red-bricked wall surrounds the house which used to be the magisterial residence. The young magistrate has since moved into his in-law's home with his wife and family. I'm not at all sure who occupies this house now
This elegant grey palisade fence surrounds a house which used to belong to our older son and daughter-in-law, John and Debbie. When they moved to their land in the Drakensberg, they sold their Marquard property to people from Johannesburg city


The building to the right of the photo used to be stables. After renovating it, the new owners left the sandstone foundation visible
The houses in Marquard are old but well-built. Debbie renovated this house by ripping up the old carpets and having the wooden floors sanded. She broke down walls in the living area, added pillars for support and created a large open lounge/diningroom
This beautiful wall surrounds the home of our doctor. The gate entrance leads to a gym where the doctor's wife, Ida gives aerobics and spinning classes. Many an icy winter's morning, I've entered this property to spend an hour working out ! 
Directly opposite the doctor's residence, are the blue gates to the retirement center. MIL Pam lives in a building at the end of this tarred drive 
Directly next door to the doctor, is a gentleman whose family arrived in Marquard from Lebanon 100 years ago. He and his brother married two Free State girls, began to farm and made their fortune over the years. Today both couples have retired from farming (the sons take over) and live in town: one in their own home...
...and the other directly opposite, in their own home within the center
On the next corner, we stopped to chat to two friendly Labradors behind their chicken-wire fencing


At the end of the street, we turned right to walk along the two blocks before reaching our street again. I took photos of the greens and fairway as well as the newly risen sun as we passed. 
The barbed wire fence surrounds our beautiful golf course

The view of a green and the fairway stretching beyond
You can see my shadow as I stood in our neighbors' (Angus and Amanda's) garden to get this shot. On the right is their double garage, while our electric gate now sports varnished fence slots. This was done so that the cats don't hang themselves on the spiky palisades when entering or exiting our property
A close-up of our gate and the fence beyond


I'm linking my post to Good Fences Thursday hosted by TexWisGirl here