Wednesday, December 25, 2019

On the third year of Christmas

As happens this time of the year, we have many functions and parties. On Monday I stopped in at the farm office next door, at 7.30am. I found Ronnie, my landlady and employer, in her large farm dining room. After greeting me, she said: Jo, you're just in time to help make up the staff Christmas gifts.

She buys groceries in bulk and we set out 15 piles of candles, matches, soap, rice, sugar, dried beans, soya mince, sweets and more. Then we placed each into gift bags. Ron and John and Gavin held a braai (BBQ) for the workers at 5 that evening and they each received their presents.

Of course, that morning it was only 8.15 and Ronnie said why not go home and start our holiday! I had been invited to a birthday breakfast in the Valley, which I now could attend.

At midday I drove through to Winterton to set up for our year end Weigh-Less group / Christmas party. I take my hat off tot he 13 members who weighed in that day and who professed they were determined not to throw caution to the wind over the festive season.
 Our Christmas party

Two sisters flanking me - we were wearing Christmas headgear


Tuesday, December 24, 2019

The feline scribe is back

Hello to our Mum's blog readers. This is Ambrose, the only male kitty in the Hedges household. Skabby the friendly Lab is also a boy. He and I are very good friends.
Mum has been reminding me that she's back on blogger and I should write a post about the lady kitties in our family.
 As always, there's Chappie who has been in the family since my Dad Ginger and Unca Shadow were still with us
 Ambrose: the man of the family!

Mama cat, my Nemesis, is all blurry!
Mama rolling on the bed and being all blurry again!
 Missy is now two years old!
The most energetic of all the kitties
 She wanted "up"
She's the most agile of all the kitties as well!
She got "up" onto the rafters on the veranda!  
And then surveyed the garden from up there!

Luckily Skabby has been shaved. It's very hot at the moment

Mum says I must say:

Happy Tuesday to you all !

Sunday, December 15, 2019

I'm here!

Dear fellow Bloggers. I'm .here with an update on my life in the past two weeks since my last post.

As always, I'm working but it's always at what I enjoy. I manage holiday accommodation; I sell a skin care product - I have five consultants selling for me and I also have several dozen personal clients; I run four lifestyle /weight-management groups a week. Since I started Weigh-Less in October 2018, these have grown in membership from 18 to 80.  I work three mornings a week in the farm office across the lawn from my home.

Since posting about moving my furniture from Marquard to the farm in Winterton, I have arranged the furniture beautifully on the veranda. The two chairs which the farmer's son had stored in my home for two years, are on the veranda. And boy, do the cats LOVE them and the other furniture to lie on.

 Our beautiful Indonesian Teak patio suite which we used regularly on the patio in Marquard

It's up for sale at a rather high price so no serious takers yet. Meanwhile I eat breakfast here; I fold linen here; I process my make-up sales here and I also work on the laptop here during the day.

Of course, I have all my furbabies around me...

 Chappie and Missy on the old armchair
 Ambrose' favourite spot since I upturned this Provençale chair onto a higher chunky chair. This was his reaction when I told him my blog is up and running again and he'll have to hone his journalist skills for the Pets post.
 Mama is my right-paw help when I work at this table

And now... taaa-daaa…

Finally after three years, I managed to have Skabby shaved. He is not lightweight and I called in my neighbour's daughter, Jenna's help. She's a teacher at a private girls' school in Pietermaritzburg and is home on holiday. Between her, Thandiwe and Joyce (Ron's house-lady) they held his torso and nether regions. I cradled his head (he's terrified of getting into a car) and we loaded him into Jenna's parent's SUV. She and I drove to a destination about 5km where the traveling dog groomer had set up his parlour. Skabby was booked in for 10am.

When we stopped there, jumped out and I leashed him up. The groomer's Zulu assistant took Skabby and caged him. They told us to be back in an hour or more. Jenna and I had coffee at the Waffle Hut and at 11.30 we drove back to the parlour. He still wasn't ready and the groomer's assistant told me to wait in the car. If they dog saw me, they have a problem holding him still. This goes for all dogs and owners.

Finally he was ready and the groomer and two assistants loaded him into the vehicle.

What a relief for the boy. Being bred initially for Canadian weather, the poor dog has struggled in our heat with a double coat. He looks like a seal and is really so much more comfortable now.

Isn't he beautiful?


Sunday, December 1, 2019

A move and a countermove

Hello everyone. Thanks for the kind words of welcome and celebrating my regained health. 

As soon as I was able to undertake an extended road trip, I traveled up to Marquard where my furniture and household goods have been stored for the past three years. I had planned to stay for four days - in our old home which Angus and Amanda now occupy. 

With the help of my old houselady Emily, we repacked cartons and dusted off furniture in no time at all. Within the day I'd set aside for it, we had completed the task.  Rather than being a traumatic occasion, I found that finally ending our 24-year stay in Marquard, I found it brought closure rather than being an emotional ending. 

I took Emily and two carloads of furniture and items to her house in the township. Arriving there, her teenage grandson, Karebo came out to greet me and help carry the goods into their home. All-in-all a successful project completed and it was good to reconnect with my dear Emily again.

I spent every afternoon with my 91-year-old MIL, Pam who still lives in my unit in the care-assisted retirement home in Marquard. I sorted out her large-digit, loud ringing cell phone which my BIL had bought her two months ago. She had somehow activated the silent function and members of the family told me they were not able to get her.  Since Grant's death two years ago, she's not had television. The next day I visited the retail store which sells packages featuring several dozen channels and bought a suitable one for her. That night, Angus installed it for her. She insisted he set it on SABC 2 and to leave it there.  So much for the extra view channels!

Pam (MIL) and me, on my recent trip to Marquard 

On Saturday Angus and Michael (the kind friend who stored my stuff) loaded everything onto Angus' trailer and the cartons into the back of his doublecab pickup truck. Angus stored these in his garage. 

(Michael on the left, Angus on the right) 

My life in transit! 

The next weekend Angus, Amanda and children brought my furniture down to the farm and at the moment with all the cartons [fortunately] unpacked, my life is standing on my cottage veranda. 
One of the many, many pieces which adorned my home during my married life. These and many others are awaiting being sold 

The beautiful pine desk which Grant handcrafted for me way back in 2008, is under this laptop as I type. My oak sideboard, three cabinets and my trousseau kist are in my bedroom. Storing linen, several dinner services, glasses, casserole bowls, teasets and a cutlery canteen. I'll put these up for sale in due course.  

Meanwhile I continue to work at the four jobs that I do to keep going. 

This week it was the second anniversary of Grant's death. Having coffee with Estelle and Steve (artists/owners of the Art Box which I managed for two years until April this year) I said that I was relieved it's NOW and not two years ago. I feel as if I've come several thousand miles in forging ahead to succeed. And I'm thankful that I am still able to do these things. 

Last year, the first year of Grant's passing, Steve (who doesn't take commissions) did a beautiful painting in oils for me.  He said it was a pleasure and an honor to paint his old friend.
Grant Hedges 16/02/1951 - 27/11/2017

All the while the monolith peaks tower over the Valley. 

Champagne Castle and Cathkin Peak taken from my family holiday home