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Friday, August 27, 2010

Things that will guarantee an unhappy life

  1. Climb onto the bathroom scale naked every day.
  2. Seldom visit...and avoid retirement homes at all cost.
  3. Live on lettuce leaves, cucumbers, stolen fudge and diet cold drink.
  4. Put off praying in the morning
  5. Say:  "Nobody will every know" and then do what nobody will ever find out.
  6. Refuse to buy the next dress size.
  7. Say that you can't sing and don't.
  8. Wear perfume that you hate.
  9. Hang on to and wear your old pajamas.
  10. Be right, always right, without fail right, the only one that is always right.
Don't do any of this and have a happy weekend;-D
xx

    Thursday, August 26, 2010

    I know I have been very quiet on this blog, and that is purely because I have come to a place where I don't know what to say.

    Just to update you on what has happened since my last post:
    • Bianca went for the tonsil operation on Thursday 28 July and was adamant that she did not want to come home to recuperate...so we dropped her off at the flat and found out that she had been living with some guy.
    • On Saturday 30 July she sent me an sms to ask whether she can come and recuperate at home...and DH and I left immediately to go and fetch her.
    • After a week it became clear that she had no intention of moving back with her friends and I suspect that she left on that Saturday night without greeting them or telling them of her plans, thereby successfully burning another bridge.
    • When she had recovered fully from the operation she started going back to college and we just slipped back into the old routine.
    • It left me feeling uneasy as there was no remorse for what she had done and no apologies for her bad behaviour...I felt that there was a lot of unfinished business.
    • Everyday I walk past my guest room and see her yet unpacked suitcases and wonder when the day will come that I will come home and she is gone again.  
    • For this past weeks I have had a constant knot at the pit of my stomach.
    • A week ago we discovered items that had gone missing around the house between her belongings and had to confront her.  DH handled it so well (I am so proud of him) he offered to send her for help. (she lies and steals without batting an eyelid).  
    • She refused the help, which resulted in us asking her to stay elsewhere when we go away for weekends or holidays as she cannot be trusted alone at home.
    • We found out that she had contacted her biological mom in Australia in an effort to immigrate.
    Kobus and I spoke about her going to Australia and decided that we loved her enough to let her go.  We have invested time, energy and lots of love in her...if she can find her happiness in Australia that would be good.  Her happiness is what counts.  The problem is that she can not run from her problems and sooner or later they will surface again...and what then?  My sister Elsa, (her biological mom) is currently busy finding out what would be necessary for her to get a long term visa.  The whole process will take time and she will probably be able to complete her studies before she leaves.  I DO believe that a lot of unfinished business in Bianca and Elsa's lives will find closure if they can spend time together.

    What to do in the meantime tho?  I am sitting here feeling like an absolute zombie.   She did not come home last night and I did not sleep a wink. She does not accept that she has to live under our "house rules".  We have already sat down and laid down the rules and she goes out of her way to break them.  I can't do this anymore...my nerves are shattered.  I don't know what to expect from one day to the next.  Help!!!! Suggestions please?

    Team Up Thursday: Mountains

    This week's challenge: Mountains was my choice.

    First up Stefanie's photo:
    “I am choosing to go with this photo of Table Mountain taken early July while hubby was driving on the N1 into Cape Town.  I did take a trip to get some shots of the Stellenbosch mountains but the weather was miserable then and those pics came out murky.”
    ************************************************************************************
     ...and mine:

    "I have always said that the only thing missing in Port Elizabeth is mountains.  When you drive from Cape Town to PE, the mountain ranges stop 40km short of our city. I love mountains and when we were on our photography course we visited Draaikrans with it's beautiful rock formations and I knew this was going to be my mountain photo."

    To see the photo's of others that take part in Team up Thursday see my sidebar for links.

    Thank you for looking.

    xxx

    Wednesday, August 25, 2010

    Weekend on the farm

    This past weekend DH and our sons went hunting on my BIL's farm between Steytlerville and Willowmore.  This is usually an annual event and they sleep in the veld while they are there. On Thursday morning when they left it was bitterly cold.
    The first thing they do when they get there is to set up camp....
     ....and build a fire;-D
    Cowboy or hunter?
    They soon realised that they have forgotten to bring the pump to pump up the mattress...so exhaust fumes were used and they hoped and prayed that there would be no leak...or they would be gassed:-D
    Then it was coffee and long stories around the camp fire before they turned in.
    They survived a very, very cold night.  Everything left outside was covered in frost.
    Frost on the windshield of the car.
    Every part of South Africa has it's own beauty.  Here is DH and his brother.

    Nadia (DIL) and Felicia (Kobus Jr.'s girlfriend) and I left for the farm on Friday morning.  We were not as brave as the men and stayed in the farmhouse with my SIL and BIL.  
    Nadia and Felicia

    We relaxed, chatted up a storm and ate way to much.  Christian and Lukas had a ball.  They were free to roam and spend a lot of time feeding a little boerbok hansie.

    xx

    Thursday, August 19, 2010

    Team Up Thursday: Wheels

    This week's challenge was chosen by Stefanie.  Here is her photograph:

    “ I chose the subject wheel(s) with this toy motorbike in mind. My niece gave the boys each one of these as thank-you gifts 5 years ago.  I am really enjoying photographing things much closer than I have before.
    I am also thankful that you couldn’t see me taking strain leaning backwards to get the shot with my other hand keeping the motorbike upright.  I managed to do that without falling over, in the road outside our house.”

    Here is my photograph:
    "With Stefanie's choice of the topic WHEELS in mind I was constantly on the look out for the perfect wheels to photograph.  While we were light painting on Saturday evening I noticed these old wagon wheels in front of the barn and asked Shayne to remind me to come back and photograph it the next day before we left for home.  A few minutes later our photography tutor suggested we light paint the wheels....and I was stunned at the result.  This photo was taken with the camera on a tripod and set at 20 second exposure.  The ISO was set to 400 and the F-stop at 8.  I love the result and the sepia colour that resulted gave the photo an old- worldly feel."

    Other bloggers taking part in this challenge is:


    Thank you for looking...and your comments are appreciated;-D

    xx

    Tuesday, August 17, 2010

    Our photography weekend!

    Since I received my Canon camera 3 years ago, I have been using it on auto.  Might as well have had a cheap "point-and-snap" camera.  So when Shayne forwarded me an e-mail two weeks ago I jumped at the chance of learning more about photography.  Spending time with Shayne was an added bonus. 

    The two of us in front of the main farm house (now a B&B)

    We had no idea what to expect so just imagine our total shock when we realised that we were the only to "students" for the weekend.  We found it a tad threatening and made BIG eyes at each other.  That evening after supper we did some stargazing and were told all sorts of stories from Greek mythology.  Just realising how vast the expanse of the heavens is just made me realise again how BIG and VAST our Creator is.

    The next morning started bright and early with a lot of theory and both Shayne and I were burning to go and practice what we were taught.  The main thing we learned is that you only shoot on AUTO when you are either a beginner or as "drunk as a skunk"(in the words of our learned teacher;-D)  Another very important fact that we learned was that using FLASH  is a big no-no.  
    During the afternoon we were taken to Draaikrans where we received a geology lesson and handled some fossils found in the area.
    Shayne and the teacher walking down the dry river bed at Draaikrans.

    We returned to the farm to get ready for our evening of supper and entertainment at the Karoo Theatrical Hotel.  The entertainment was a drag show and not my cup of tea at all.  We took a lot of photos and practiced focusing in a darkened theater with only light on the stage...and without a flash!
    This is a photo of the Madame miming a song.  She makes all her own outfits and wigs. (remember no flash was involved in taking this photo)

    On Saturday morning we were let loose on the local population to practice our new skills.  We drove into the township and started searching for some willing victims.  We came face-to-face with wonderful warm and well educated people but also saw the other side of the coin....absolute poverty and hardship.
    We had to remember that light is our friend and use the available light to capture our photos. This was one of my favourite shots taken in the township.

    Here is one of Shayne...what a blessing to have her in my life and how wonderful that a bloggy friend could become such a true friend. It was loads of fun learning together.  Later in the afternoon we were off again to see whether we could get some good shots of sunsets.  Here on a hill we learned about WHITE BALANCE and all the tricks that can be done with it. 

    You can make your sky a VERY blue....
    .....or you can make it red!

    But the best was left for last....like a tasty pudding....and that is LIGHT PAINTING.  I think that both Shayne and I enjoyed this technique the most.  After supper we mounted our cameras on tripods, hooked it over our shoulders and climbed the hill behind the house.  It was pitch dark!  We also spend some time in the graveyard...oh yes...you read that correct!  Creepy!  We got some amazing images, all without ever using a flash.
    This is the image we got of the main house light painted with a flashlight over a 20 second exposure.  All-in-all a wonderful weekend and in hindsight I am so glad that we were the only students...we got loads of attention, all our questions answered and I even learned how to use my big attachable flash.

    Now it is going to be practice...practice and more practice.

    xxx

    Thursday, August 12, 2010

    Team Up Thursday: Sea

    This week the topic was my choice and I chose "Sea".  Here is Stefanie's take on this:
    She says:  “I haven’t been to the beach at all this year, can’t actually believe it, so I used a photo from my archives. I struggle to take landscape photos. I love to showcase animals or peoples lives or  some activity so I really like that I have  included some birds in this shot.
    This was taken in 2008 at Pearly beach with my fuji finepix camera and wow I can see such a difference in the quality of my shots now with the Nikon.”
     
    Here is my "sea" photo:
    This photo was taken at Kidds Beach last year.  I love the sea, amazingly the constant movement is what has a calming affect on me.  I can sit for hours and look at it's beauty.  I can't imagine living anywhere that is not close to the sea.

    Others taking part in this challenge:
     
    ******************************************************************
    Today Shayne and I leave for Noorspoort outside Steytlerville for a  three day photography course hosted by Pine Pienaar.

    The settings on my camera has always been a mystery to me and I can't wait to learn how to use them and to take stunning photos.

    xx

    Friday, August 6, 2010

    For the love of blogging

    Not much blogging going on at this HERE blog lately;-) I guess I have been keeping it very impersonal.  It is just amazing how sometimes one happening in your life can throw you so off balance that picking up the threads of life just become too hard. I cannot believe that a few days ago I was actually considering packing it in and deleting my blogs. I LOVE blogging, sometimes I need to get my thoughts out there to make sense of the jumble in my head. So here is an update on my family:
    • Bianca went for a tonsil operation last week Thursday, but wanted to go back to the flat she shares with room mates despite me thinking it is a better option to come home to recuperate.  On Saturday evening I received a SMS asking whether she can come home to recuperate...so obviously we went to fetch her. Now I am cooking her healthy easy to swallow meals and making her drink Ensure in between meals.  She has lost SO much weight.  For now, I am taking it one day at a time with no expectations.
    • Wynand is doing very well.  He is back to driving on his own but at the same time uses wisdom and when he has a bad night that affects his eyesight he allows Nadia to drive him.   He is such an endearing young man....I just love him to bits.
    • Kobus Jr. has a love interest.  Yes, you are reading this correctly.  Last week he sat on the kitchen counter while I was cooking and he said:  "Mamma, ek voel so ongelooflik gelukkig." (Mom, I feel so incredibly happy).  Before I could counsel him on "rebounds" etc. he quickly corrected me, telling me how terribly unhappy he had been for the past two years, and that he is ready to move on.  The young lady has quickly endeared herself to us.  The very first time she was visiting she made herself at home and even prepared lunch.  
    • I would love to get a Rand for each time Lukas says "Oupa"...I might just get rich;-)  I come a very sad second when it comes to who he would like to spend time with.
    • When little Dewan and Leane are with Kobus Jr. for the weekend they stick to him like glue...he is not allowed out of their sight....we are so blessed to be part of their lives. The early morning cuddles with the little ones are SO precious.
    • DH revamped my study into a fully fledged scrap room.  When I drooled over the Scrap Box he looked at it from all sides and then came up with a remarkable plan for my scrap room that will incorporate my huge stash and at the same time it will be a retreat where I will have a day bed where I can read books and laze away.  I actually hope that the urge to scrap will once again hit me....I have photo's dating back to November last year that need to be scrapped.  Yesterday I started organising and was shocked that I have managed to accumulate so much STUFF.  I purged a lot of stash. As soon as the day bed is in, I will take photos and show you my new room.
    Have a super weekend!

    xxx

      Thursday, August 5, 2010

      Team Up Thursday: Fruit

      This week Stefanie chose the challenge: Fruit.  Here is her photo for the challenge:
      I love the sharp focus on the orange with the rest going slightly out of focus.
      I had no time for a new photo and got this out of my archives.  The traditional fruit salad on Christmas day.
      xxx