Friday, February 15, 2019

My birthday...

.... earlier this week.

And  from first  light, I  was spoiled!  

The  first  person  to call  me,  was MIL Pam.  She's  almost 90,  struggles to  see, so one of the  helpers n the retirement home  dialed  my number and  she got through to me.

 I was subsequently wished on Whatsapp, Facebook and with phone calls  all through the day. Thank you to many of my Blogger friends who  wished me on  FB! 

Steve and Estelle invited me  too  breakfast at  The Valley Bakery before work. What a lovely start  to my  day. Caroline (Estelle's SIL and a dear  friend  of mine) and Carol,  another friend, joined us!
 Estelle, Steve,  Moi,, Caroline and Carol 
 My health  breakfast

During the day I  was inundated with phone calls and  messages.  Both my sons phoned me; I  reiterated to John,  older son, that I  sincerely  appreciated the fact that he continues to pay  my dear house-lady, Thandiwe's monthly salary. Not  only  is she such  a wonderful carer of my pets at home;  cleans  my house and does the laundry (especially the heavy linen from my accommodation) but she, as  a widow has an  income. 

Then,  at midday a courier arrived with  a parcel for me. I told the deliverer that I hadn't  ordered anything but he pointed to the name and address  on the  box and  said the parcel was for me.  I sent a  photo of the parcel to my younger son, Angus and asked if he knew anything about it? He replied: Open it! 

I did and was thrilled to see a brand new two-slice toaster inside. Last week on  the phone, I told Angus that I'd dropped my toaster off the top of the kitchen cabinet. Grant had  loved his toast for breakfast and while I don't eat regular breakfast at home (I eat overnight oats and yogurt at work), I do miss the toaster when I  feel like a light supper of baked beans on toast. Angus said he "heard" and acted. 

A few minutes later,  Amanda phoned and  was pleased that I liked  my gift! 

At one stage I  opened my Whatsapp and there was one  message from a walking partner at our monthly after work trail  run (walk!)   Marelize is yonks younger than me and does  the .Parkrun in a much faster time than I do. Yet, once a month, she and I take part in  the trail run at a brewery near my shop. It, like the Parkrun,  is also 5km long, but this time over rough terrain and through plantations and crossing a  river. So on THAT walk,  we walk and chat,  normally ending at the start / finish point as the  last  two walkers. We take an hour plus to do this walk whereas in Parkrun,  she covers  the distance in  43 minutes or less while  I always aim  to  finish at sub 45 minutes. The difference  is that on the monthly trail run, we have, over time, formed a special friendship. Marelize owns a business just down the road from my work - Scrumpy Jacks. It's a gift shop and restaurant and while she sells delicious cookies and yummy things like peanut brittle and ginger pieces, her husband does weekly tours in his glass bee-hive. Of course, having a bee-hive, Marelize sells pure and raw honey - by the kilogram tub. I only eat raw and non-irridiated honey, and always buy from Marelize. The morning of my birthday, Marelize sent me a birthday wish and asked me to please stop at her shop: she had a tub of honey as a gift for me ! What a generous present! 
Marelize, me and Tiger after our after-work 5km trail run walk

After work that day, I attended our monthly Probus committee meeting. The trusty committee (LOL) meets the Wednesday after the monthly meeting which takes place the previous Thursday. We go over the last meeting and plan for the next month's meeting. After this we all partake of the seven-course meal at the Nest Hotel - at a greatly reduced rate -  where we hold our committee meetings. This evening though, proprietors Shelley and Stuart refused to take my payment. The meal was on them! When we left, Shelley handed me an envelope. Inside was a personalized birthday card containing a voucher for a meal for two.  Another most generous gift! How blessed was I?

And it didn't end there!

Early the next morning , Janine, my neighbor arrived at my door with a gift for me. A beautiful winter dressing gown and  a tub of fragrant body butter.

From left, a winter dressing gown, body butter, hand lotion, 1kg of raw honey, a cosmetic bag of skincare (from Estelle) my personalized birthday card from the hoteliers with the voucher in front of it and my new toaster!  

And STILL the gifts continued to pour in! 

On Thursday at my Weigh-Less group, several members brought me gifts. 

 I find this the exciting part of receiving a gift - anticipating what's in/under the wrapping! 
 More beautiful,  fragrant body and bath products: A shower gel, a bag of bath salts, shower foam, body lotion and exfoliator. PLUS a soft feminine scarf! 
 While I was photographing my gifts, my images were...
... photobombed!  (Missy always has to be  the center of attraction! )

I wish you all a wonderful Friday ! 

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Hedges Kitty and dog update

Hello Bozo and Mum's blogger friend; this is Ambrose  with an update on the pet household. 

Mama Cass and I don't see eye to eye yet and she's still living in Mum's bedroom. 

Mama Cass keeps cool by  sleeping in Mum's wash hand basin

 Aunty Chappie sharpens her claws on Mum's ironing board. 
I don't think Mum minds 
Here I am sniffing around the dog's biscuit barrel  
Missy lolling on the carpet  

Below are photos of Skabenga who has to obey Mum before he is allowed  to pick up his  bone and eat it.  We kitties, don't follow rules...

Skabenga waiting to pick up and eat his bone! 

For more cute pet posts, please click here

Saturday, February 9, 2019


Ewgh! I've been trying to get back to blogging because I MISS it and you all, when I don't! I love you all dearly and really do try to get here, but recently I've had several irons in the fire and struggling to post. However, here I am now and without further ado, my post for Eileen's Saturday Critters. 

After the most welcome summer rains which have cooled down the earth,  Skabenga and I are getting our daily walk in - sometimes twice daily! 

At the moment the migrating Amur falcons are prolific in our area. I managed to take photos but when I downloaded them, they were a total disappointment. I'm going out there soon again and will post on Wild Bird Wednesday if I have better images. 
 The lad loves his walk and of course, Mama gets her exercise in at the same time! 

Amur falcon (female) 
Amur falcon (male) 

The Amur falcon (Falco amurensis) is a small raptor of the falcon family. It breeds in south-eastern Siberia and Northern China before migrating in large flocks across India and over the Arabian Sea to winter in Southern Africa.

Males are dark grey with reddish brown thighs and undertail coverts; reddish orange eye-ring, cere, and feet. Females are duller above, with dark scaly markings on white underparts, an orange eye ring, cere, and legs. Only a pale wash of rufous is visible on their thighs and undertail coverts. Their diet consists mainly of insects, such as termites; during migration over the sea, they are thought to feed on migrating dragonflies.

I'm always fascinated by the Amur Falcon because for one of the very few times in the bird world, the female is definitely more attractive than the male! 

For more beautiful (and much better photos of birds) please click here


Thursday, February 7, 2019

My sweet friend, Penny

A few days ago, Estelle, who with Steve, owns the Art Box which I manage, brought me a card from her post box. It was from my dear friend, Penny (here) in Canada. She has never omitted to send me a Christmas card since we met in Kenya, in 2011.

What a beautiful card with an even more beautiful and welcome bookmark inside. 

What a  blessing to be remembered by blogger friends. 

Many of  my blogger friends, also visit Penny's blog. If you haven't yet. do click on the link above . Penny travels to Africa every two to three years and in between she subscribes to assisting  the underprivileged people in  rural Kenya. 

Penny and I met online soon after we'd both started blogging about 11 years ago. We "clicked" and have communicated via the blog comments, e-mail, messenger on  Facebook and on Whatsap  ever since. 

In 2011, on  one of Penny's  trips  to Kenya, and while Grant and I lived  in Kenya,  she and I met  in  Nakuru which  lies 20  miles south of the  Equator

I  love  being part of Blogger and love the friends I've made here.  I   find it much  more personal  than Facebook  and hope  get to visiting you all again.


Friday, February 1, 2019

Conference in the city (continued

Thanks to everyone who  commented about  my awards and doing the trip to the city and  back safely. Yes,  Sandra, that to me,  was the  greatest accomplishment! Over the years I've  become a  bit fearful of  doing long road trips on  my own. I need to do a trip to our old home town in the Free State some time this year. My MIL Pam turns 90 in May and  a few days later, my younger son, Angus celebrates his 40th birthday. I'm planning a trip with Grant's Aunts,  Gill and  Carol (whom I've posted about) will  also go up at that time. I want to arrange a party for Pam in the retirement center and later, join my son for any celebration my DIL, Amanda may be  organizing. All in the future and  gives me time to build up more confidence to do the trek up the hill  to Marquard! 

Meanwhile,, the plot  thickened at the conference I  attended on Saturday. As I bit into a banana, a  fellow group leader leaned over me and said the founder of the company wanted to  see me at her table up front. I joined her and she said  she wanted to offer me a position  of team manager in  charge of the Kwa-Zulu Natal midlands and Northern Natal including Pietermaritzburg, the  second largest  city in the province. 

 The company founder  and  me 

While it was rather a surprise to be offered this position, I'm still working daily at the art  shop in  the  Valley and where I've been happy for 18 months. So  for now  I'll continue with my afternoon groups  which fit in  with  my shop hours and which  type of work I enjoy more. 

At  the  conference I met up  with the group leaders whom I met in October and sat with my group leader and mentor who  trained me in September last year. Zulaika (I'm  standing next to her in  above photo)  is such an  inspiration to me. We  sat at the same table at the  event, and in between  the  talk and  later the awards, she gave me so many tips and ideas  to encourage new people  to  join Weigh-Less and "drop-out" members  to  return to the fold. 

I'm also planning to ree-open the group in Estcourt. I've beeen  in contact  with the group leader had to  give up the group due to ill health.  What  a  lovely lady. She is  arranging   with retirement  home where she is the admin manager, for me to continue to have a Weigh-Less venue at the Home. Once I have decided on  date to have an open day, (I'm  aiming at mid-February),  she will  send Whatsapp messages to her "old"   members and  hopefully  they'll pop in to meet me  and rejoin! 

So that's all on the  horizon  for me.