Monday, October 31, 2011

Reasons to be cheerful

I really don't like Mondays.  I constantly try to find ways to make Mondays meaningful and joyful and just a bit more bearable.  So in my ongoing attempts, here are my

reasons to be cheerful
  • I got to scrap with the Scrap Addicts on Saturday - it was awesome!  We did some stamping and embossing (thanks for helping me Lynn!) and I started working on a mini gift album for my mom for Christmas
  • we had quite a bit of rain over the weekend in Johannesburg
  • I have aircon in my car - to keep me cool during the scorching midday summer heat
  • my friend Greg (a helicopter pilot in Mauritius) is coming to visit for a few days this week
  • SERVD will be delivering all my dinners in November - it will save me sooo much time and I'l be eating healthy meals
  • I've made really good progress with my Christmas shopping, I'm probably about 80% done
  • my friend Lynn is going to help my sister unclutter her home; this will make Rose-Marie feel a bit more in control as she fights cancer
  • the Lions beat the Sharks in the rugby final on Saturday (yeah - I know, I dislike rubgy as much as Mondays, but hey, scraping the bottom of the barrel here!)
What are YOUR reasons to be cheerful this morning?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Made in Italy

The joy of my Italian holiday is starting to fade as my 'real life' intrudes.  Here are some final photo's to share..

The Ali Edwards ScrapMap Bella Tuscany Group in Florence

A last gelato in Florence before flying home to Africa

Handbags and shoes are my passion. 
I usualy buy a few (ok - several) handbags on each holiday.
This leather bag is a thing of beauty to me - soft buttery leather - love it!

And another handbag

filled with hot orange suede, it can be turned inside-out
so I have 2 bags for the price of 1

a gorgeous leather purse which I bought at the San Lorenzo Market in Florence
this was a gift for my younger sister Caron

the inside of the purse

and an Italian leather pencil bag to put into above handbags

hand-stitched leather kitty key rings

I bought a few Italian kitties as stocking-fillers

Of course I bought several scarves.  The Italian ladies stylishly throw on a
scarf with everything they wear - us tourists copied them. 
But we sweltered in the summer heat wearing scarves.
We didn't care, we wore them anyway.

I have a tradition to buy treats for my kitty children wherever I travel in the world. 
They have had kitty treats from London, Singapore, New York, and now Italy. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Just a list

Just a little list this morning...

wearing : flowers by kenzo
eating : Woolworths low fat caramel yoghurt
reading :  "29 gifts" by Cami Walker
listening : to the summer birdsong in my garden
feeling : constantly exhausted
hoping : for a miracle healing for Rose-Marie
trying : to get back into a good food and exercise routine
wanting : to spend more time art journaling and scrapping
need to : finish downloading and printing my holiday photo’s
working on : the challenge to have a more gentle and creative life NOW
wishing : I could get to grips with the clutter monster in my home
can’t wait : for the summer rains to come
enjoying : my summer garden...

the last of the winter pansies

princess lillies

"hey mom, watcha doing?"

miss Ruby

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Happy Birthday!!

Today is the 1 year anniversary of my blog - go me!  I have really enjoyed blogging, so the journey continues.

This past weekend was also my sister Rose-Marie's 50th birthday.  It started off with a party on Saturday night at the Harley-Davidson Club in Johannesburg

We bought Rosie some devils horns and bling glasses

and some black 'naughty angel wings'

Rosie, Mom and I - mom hated the crazy loud music!

I really enjoy spending time with my friend Pat

The monster chocolate birthday cake - it was delicious!

Rose-Marie on her Harley

I hosted a birthday brunch for the family on Sunday morning

My older brother and partner in crime - Michael 

We then headed north to Bidrest game farm on Sunday afternoon.

Despite the heat wave (it was 36 degrees in the shade!), we did a late afternoon
game drive and spotted this white rhino mother and her baby. 
They are desperately under threat from poachers,
2 rhino have already been poached on ths farm

These hippo snorted loudly while we sipped sundowners at the dam
It is an amazing sound in the African bush

and then the sun set in Africa

Friday, October 21, 2011

Family gathering

We managed to get together as a family on Saturday, a really rare occasion.  My older sister Rose-Marie is in the fight for her life against multiple forms of cancer, and right now, the prognosis is not good.  We all gathered at her home to support her and really just to take time out together as a family.

Back row : Step father Rob, Alison, my younger brother Robbie,
my niece Elizabeth (being a super-brat here!) and her mom, Tonia.
Front row : Rose-Marie, my mother Shirley and my older brother Michael

Rosie, mom and me

We're holding on, we're trying to find our way in a world filled with disease and doctors and medication and fear and uncertainty.  We're doing our best, we're making mistakes, we're trying to be brave.  Worst case scenario is a few months, best case scenario is a year.  This happens to other people, it doesn't happen to us...right?  Wrong.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A photo journal of Italy

Still settling in and getting my life back together.  So grateful that I was able to go on this adventure.  Some photo's to share of our magical trip to Italy...

Dusk at St. Marc's Piazza in Venice

The 'fake' David in Florence

Looking out over the Duomo in Florence

Organic food for lunch

Hanging out with Ali Edwards on the Cinque Terra

The town of Vinchi

At Slitti Chocolate Shop with Jim West, Founder of ScrapMap

Jim is crazy fun!

Cheers Leonie!

This photo cracks me up!  Taken in Sienna

The bronze David (I never did get to see the original)

Leonie and I with Ali and her long-time friend, Paolo

Remarkably chirpy at the airport in Germany

Heading home - snow on the Alps

Home at last with precious children; Miss Ruby would not get off my lap