Friday, June 26, 2009


Icy cold weather always feels more manageable on a friday night when you are under the blanket, watching mindless reality TV shows and plotting a wonderfully empty weekend. I am of the opinion that if you dont have time to do nothing on a weekend then it is wasted. You should have time to reflect, be bored, snuggle and watch TV, especially if you are a working mom.

I recently bought a lovely book that is called 140000 things to be happy about and wanted to share some things out of it. I love it and find that it always makes me smile when i flip through it:
  • Clocks that tick.
  • Fairy tales
  • Laughing till you cry
  • Striped cooks aprons
  • Sipping a coke
  • Jasmine flowers
  • Pudding recipes
  • Singing in cars
  • Confetti tossed hair
  • The summer song of mowers
Come on, admit that at least one of these things made you feel a little bit happy! Something i have not shared yet is that the W's have some wild family relatives. And i am not talking about the W babies. I am talking about the four legged W's. We have two very fat W cats - Frodo and Tiger. Tiger looks nothing like a tiger. He started off life as a she with the name of tiger lily. After she turned out to be a he, we dropped the lily. Gender confused cats - go figure!!!
Anyway these fat cats have been mentioned because they are also some of my favourite winter things. Cats know about the benefits of winter company. They lie on laps and feet. They seek out sunny spots and creep under blankets. On that note one of my first big cross stitch items was of a fat sleepy cat. It isnt something that i would stitch now - look at all that black - what was i thinking??? But i still like it because, well it makes me happy! I just like sleeping cats.

So friends, whether its a sunny summer or cosy winter weekend, make it a good one!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


As my title suggests it is seriously cold. I have been away for two days to the Vaal and being down by the river was even colder. We are not even half way through winter and i have come to the conclusion that this weather is not for me. I am a sunshine baby. I thrive in the summer sun. Unless of course i am free to stay at home, rise as i wish, stay in my PJ's and watch TV. However, as all of that is highly unlikely, i say again, i am not a winter fan.

Today is a quiet lull after my crazy week start. I did two late nights at work and feel drained. Today i hope to leave a bit early and try to send some time with the little W's. I miss them when i am away. I also need to cook tonight as i suspect that they ate grilled cheese sandwiches for the last two nights in my absence!

Well, this is a short post.... just wanting to touch base and say i am still alive and kicking. I wish you a smooth wednesday and rapidly approaching weekend.

Sunday, June 21, 2009


Today i am celebrating father's. I am really blessed that my husband is such a good father. As the boys get older i see every day what an impact he makes in their lives. I grew up without my father as he died when i was twelve. I was the oldest, with my two brothers being about ten and six. They have no memory of him really and i only have scatterings of images, too murky to make up a real picture in my mind. I know of him from my mother. I know that my dad was handy, that he could build things, that he was an extrovert, that he was a little bit irresponsible. But, i really didnt know him, as an adult, as a person. I also really didnt mourn him as i did when my mother died years later. He is just a shadow image for me. As a result of his early death we grew up in a woman headed family. We were aware that we were not the standard nuclear family but all got along fine.

So fast forward years later. Suddenly i am a parent within the context of a wonderful marriage and i become aware for the first time just how important dads are to kids. I watch my husband with his sons. I see how much he guides them, how he stabilises my emotional nature, how level headed he can be. How he can stop them in their little tracks by saying "Dont talk to your mother like that.." and i become aware of just how much we lost out as kids without having my dad there. When babies are born, i think that most women take easy to the practical care of kids. We quickly pick up bathing, feeding, rocking to sleep and soon it can seem as if Dads are really just peripheral requirements for kids. But they are not. I see my sons blossom everyday because of the role that their dad plays in their lives. He gives them a sense of stability and safety that is tangible. I know that they are exposed to a great strong male role model. And if they turn out just like their dad, i will be very happy indeed.

So to my darling husband, Happy fathers day. You are very loved by all the W's.

And to my Father, as i get older i think more about how much i wished that i knew you. I think that we could have been good friends.......

Friday, June 19, 2009

Sweet empty hours

Its friday night. Work is done and the whole weekend lies ahead of me. I have plans and schemes as always but on the whole it is without commitments. Tonight i already have my winter attire on (Pj's, gown and slippers...). I have my crochet ready at my side and hot chocolate indulgences planned. Family is fed, kids are clean and slowly lulling towards sleep. All is well in the W house tonight.

Now we all know that no weekend could be complete with some crafty dreaming and that's what i have planned. With two kids under the age of 6 i dont get to do things like scheduled crafting but i soon got wise that twenty minutes here and there build up into a project. I would like to share the following two items with you:

The first is a cross stitch item that i made five years ago. It is a traditional sampler that had some unusual stitches in it and i really enjoyed making it. I changed the words to reflect my values and loved the meaning that they convey - I do believe that family is the golden thread that binds all hearts together. I love it when the gifts that we create with our hands can reflect the way that we live our lives...

The second is a scrapbooking page of my sweet baby Seth, or Sethy bear (Or Teti bear - we subscribe to the idea that a child much loved has many names...) as we like to call him. He is so different from his older brother and has such a sense of wild boyish energy. He is the strong silent type and doesnt talk much but he has such a sense of physical oomph! I think that this page captures his personality perfectly. I love the way i love both of my kids so much. And i love equally. I came from a family of three siblings and find it reassuring to realise that my mom was telling the truth when she said that she loved us all the same.... Now i know it is the truth.

To all my new friends who have been stopping into my little blog, thank you so much. Your comments are great. Amanda i am going to try making bread again this weekend and hope that there are some spores hanging around to help this batch out. I also hope to try out the bread machine and would love your recipes....

Wherever you are in the world tonight, i hope that you are close to someone or something that you love...... I have two little boys just waiting to remind me of their presence.....


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Apples and pears

Wanted to share some more cross stitch that i have done. These are past items that i made a couple of years ago. I am happy to say that i love each and every cross stitch item that i have made. These were a set and the shading is really beautiful. They look really realistic and i can picture them in my home for years to come. I apologise if you are blinded by the flash on the glass...

Otherwise i am enjoying my three day week and am glad that tomorrow is friday. I hope to see a friend on saturday but really want to keep it low key this weekend (do i say that every weekend??) Just to share that i had three great buys at the thrift shops. I bought two beautiful aprons at R15 each. The one is handmade and beautifully embroidered. Then i got a white cotton table cloth with hand embroidered flowers in cross stitch all around in a really ornate border for only R25 (about R7 to one Dollar for my overseas visitors....) I will post pictures of them. I always get sad when i think that someone worked so hard on something and it gets sold in that fashion. Knowing the work that goes into an item like a tablecloth it really represents weeks if not months of work...... But now it will be re-loved, i promise!!

All is well in my corner of the world. I am time strapped as always but that never changes.... I had a hard mothering day yesterday when i wanted to lose it all the time but am determined to keep my cool tonight. The reality is that the little W's dont understand when their Mama is stressed and tired.... So patience is my new mantra!!!!

Kind thoughts to all of you!


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Random thoughts....

Some random useless information about me right now...
  • I bought Gabby his first guitar today. I hope that it will be the start of a great hobby and not a closet collection of unused hobby stuff :) Dad has already tuned it for him and he felt so important... I have arranged for him to start lessons next week.
  • I have completed the blanket for myself and it is being used daily. Am i the only one who finishes an item and wears it or uses it immediately? Please tell me not! I am making a scarf and beanie for hubby right now and then home to make some small items. Three afghans in three months are a bit much!
  • I almost successfully made bread the other day. It tasted really good but i think i tried to make two loaves out of dough meant for one. So it rose but was still too low. I will try again on the weekend. Also went out and bought a bread making machine this weekend. Coughed up extra for the one with the timer setting so that we can set it to bake bread to be ready when we wake up. Hope that i really get my ass to do this and that i was not just suckered into paying an extra R200!
  • I feel pretty comfortably okay about life right now although the kids were a bit much today. They didnt go to school yesterday as it was a holiday. They were bouncing off the walls when i got home yesterday... You know when you arrive home and they are both swinging on the front door yelling "Mom, mom, mom!!!!".
  • Seth is going through a phase where he thinks he is a dog. He follows Gabby around barking and licking us. Gabby feeds him biscuits and calls him "Mr Ham". It is cute in its insanity....
  • I had full intention to cook today, veggie lasagne but i was weak and got take out instead - delivered to the door! Oh dear! I did cook great tomato, basil and feta pasta last night....
  • I am hoping for a quiet week with an equally quiet weekend..... Hope to squeeze in a visit with an old friend to talk absolute drivel over something wickedly sweet!
Have a good night.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Happy chaos..

Saturday nights are not my good housewife night. The house is really reflecting a day of chaos. The floors are covered in toys, there are clothes to be picked up, there are dishes in the sink. Newspapers lie on the lounge floor. As I type now Jason and the boys are playing hide and seek and my furniture is being shoved around as boys frantically look for hiding places. Seth doesn't quite get the game and always calls out to his dad.... Do I care? Not a wink... because this is a home, not a show house. Because i want a childhood for my kids where they get to lie on the couches and watch tv, where they get to make some happy madness. I want this to be there safe, happy space and not a mausoleum. Besides, i discovered long ago that i could either stress and tidy up the whole day or just relax and clean up at the end of the day..

I had a good day although my heart is with a family member who is going through a difficult time. I spent the day with my cousin in law and sister and spoke about lovely baby things. I finished my blanket and have the wool ready for when the kids are sleeping - black, red and golden yellow. We had a lovely saturday night, breakfast - eggs, sausages and toast for supper and my family are happily at peace.

I think that in winter you really appreciate that there is no place like home. That there needs to be a warm, soft, fragrant place at the end of a cold day. That while objects cannot make you happy, being surrounded by objects of beauty, things you love can bring magic and comfort into your life. While we may not be able to have the view of the little ice home above, your home is your safe place.

Have a good winter evening...

Friday, June 12, 2009

Warm moments

I had a good rough friday. Good in that i had no real work pressure for a change. Rough in that i slept four hours the night before with Seth projectile vomiting. He stayed at home today with the nanny and i took him to the doctor. Usual diagnosis - post nasal infection, so he was gagging on the mucus basically. Lovely....... I am now armed with the usual bag of medication. The fun will begin in an hour when i need to get it down his throat.........

But at least we are facing a weekend, a long one at that, at least for the kids who will be at home on Monday. I will be seeing friends tomorrow and have as little as possible planned for the weekend. I need rest and self indulgence. It will be father's day on Sunday so i hope to go out for lunch as a family. As i spent the day with Seth today i have promised Gabby that we can go shopping together tomorrow. Some serious lego shopping is scheduled.

And on a craft note, i hope to finish my afghan blanket tonight and already have the wool for hubby's scarf and blanket ready. A new project... there is nothing better for a crafter.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Hello moon.....

Here's the thing - the last two nights i have got home from work after dark. Which is not that hard in the middle of winter but is still awful. I hate getting home late and not having my quality time with the kids. That first hour before Mr. W gets home is good Mama and little W time. Thankfully, tomorrow i am home early and Monday looks promising. Tuesday is a public holiday which is a great gift that i totally forgot about.

It may be the cold, it may be the silence right now in my house, the warm cat at my feet, the warm drink at my side but i am decidedly satisfied with myself right now. I am happy right now at this moment and just a little aware of how lucky in love i am with all my boys around me. In the madness of life sometimes you just need to reflect on how fortunate you are that other souls have chosen to bind themselves to your life, either through birth, marriage or friendship. Perhaps this companionship is the greatest gift of all. I am also thinking of someone in my life who is facing the loss of a relationship and the sadness of it.

So if you have joined me tonight or tomorrow reflect on who touches your life, gives you joy, makes your heart skip a beat. And tell them that they do.... we all need to hear that sometimes.....

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Some days you are the chicken, some days you are the worm......

These are my Mpumalanga chickens. Mr W spotted them on the side of the road and we both liked them. He says that there is something majestically primitive about the rooster. I just though that they would go perfectly with my red walls!

Today i feel a little bit less like the worm although i am facing three days of working late. Which i really hate. I will need to be strategic about planning meals. Today i wont be too late so i will see if i can cook two meals. I have the veggies for a pot of soup which i can cook at the same time as tonight's meal. Then there will only be one night of take out.

The sky is a bitter grey here in JHB and your very soul wants to retreat to bed. Its going to be a cold long winter. So to help me survive here are some gratitudes from me:
Right now i am grateful for:
  • The fact that i really look forward to going home everyday. That my home is such a wonderful safe place for me, full of objects of beauty (at least in my eyes), particularly the little w's who make every day December sunny (My two summer boys).
  • That i always have a cat that will seek me out once my sons are sleeping. The shared warmth of lap sharing cannot be underestimated.
  • That i have a new book eyeing me out from my bedside table.
  • That i can shop for more wool on saturday guilt free because it is for something that i am going to make right now. Because i really do need some more craft supplies. What? I really do!!!!
  • That i have two days still left with my brother for late night chats over shared milo and biscuits.
  • That my hubby is so supportive about my crazy work life.
  • That we are already dreaming up another weekend away.......
So worms begone! Today i feel like a rooster (Well technically a hen but you know what i mean) :)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Grey city blues

Today is a terrible way to end a wonderful weekend. Winter is here, people. It is one of those deathly winter days where the sky is dark, the city is wallowing in self pity and i should really be in bed. I had a really good weekend. Nathan arrived early Saturday morning and we spent the day together, having a great braai in the afternoon. Yesterday we met Adrian and Nicole for lunch and went out for a great family meal full of memories and laughter. The kids loved all the attention and had a fab time. I was a bit put out when my two old was smacked and bitten by another kid at the playground yesterday. Well actually more put out with the parents who sat there doing nothing while i had to stomp out and separate them. Well technically pull the little hell rat off my beloved child. As you can tell the Mama does not like other humans messing with the little W's.

But all in all the weekend was a splendid success! And you may ask: "Did you treat yourself to something horribly wonderful?" Of course i did: pancakes and hot chocolate on saturday and delicious home baked chocolate chip muffins, baked in the still of the house at 5:30am on Sunday morning. I find that the last couple of mornings, despite the cold i wake up early. Which is a good thing.

What i am grateful for on this wicked winter morning:
  • The creative space of my blog.
  • The warm blanket that i will spread over my knees and work on tonight.
  • The wonderful meal of chicken ala king that i can already taste that will be the W Monday night meal.
  • Some more catch up time with Nathan tonight.
  • The warmth of my children's arms tonight that warm my heart always!
Find warmth in your heart today!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Weekend bliss

It is really sad when you drool over fridays! Needless to say that the last two weeks have been rough. But that's the way life goes, i have discovered. One moment you are smooth sailing, the next you are blindsided by a tsunami. But the plus side is you are soon in smooth waters again. The cycles of life, blah, blah, blah!

But i am really glad it is a friday. I am even happier that i am seeing my brother this weekend. We just dont see enough of each other because he still lives in East London. We have always got along really well and whenever we are together we can literally talk nonsense for hours. I love it! Siblings are often the only ones who really get you. Know you from when you were in nappies, picking your nose and still love you now that you are all grown up. We have been through some tough times together and the two of us were never divided. I am grateful for that bond.

I plan to bake this weekend. I found this fantastic recipe for Gougeres, which are in essence cheese choux paste balls, with garlic butter and parmesan.. I mean come on! Check out the Baking obsession blog amongst my favourites on the right for the recipe. My hubby would love this. ( I sometimes think that he loves cheese more then he loves me! ). I also hope to bake some banana bread because that is my little boys favourite. Most of all i think that this weekend calls for some nesting and domestic life. It is my youngest brother's birthday tomorrow so i am sure that we will get together on Sunday for a lunch.

I would like to share another one of my cross stitch items with you. This is Seth's baby sampler, which took me much longer then G's. He was a year old before i completed it. But it is done!

I love the way it came out and hope that it will be something that he and his family will love in times to come. I did a similar one for my Nephew, Ethan. It is huge and i cant believe i actually stitched this twice!!! Cross stitch is a true act of devotion. An item like this probably cost me about R1500 with the framing. And it requires over 120 hours of solid hard work. But that says something for me. It is an act of love. Maybe you can tell from my ramblings that i am in the mood to stitch. Give me a peaceful house, a good movie, a strong light, a cup of coffee and my stitching. Heaven indeed.

Whatever you do this weekend, make or buy something absolutely decadent and very, very fattening and eat it. Eat it ALL.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Whats that i smell...... meatballs

My supper to be exact, which is currently in the oven. Authentic meatballs, tomato and basil spaghetti. As you can tell from the feast of gluttony ahead i need comfort! I had to attend a motivational session today with staff organised by HR. It turned into a religious experience with the pastor / motivational speaker telling us that we cannot love, succeed or be a good manner without god in our lives. I, the atheist, had to be sitting in the front row, which was a bit uncomfortable when she asked those in the room (about 300) people to put up their hands if they believed in god. I was the only one - noticeably so - who did not. Oh well...

My eyes are burning and i feel tired. I will have to do an early night tonight. To comfort myself i stopped at Clicks on the way home and indulged myself in full bath range of Pomegranate and Rosehip products that smell good enough to eat. Spaghetti and meatballs followed by a fragant, hot, communal bath. The Mama doesnt bath alone in this house!! Sometimes you just have to take care of yourself.

In closing i locked myself out of the house yesterday, which resulted in the Mama and the littlest W's having to break in, using the pool cleaning utensils (DONT ASK!!!). In the process, the Mama knocked over her bottle of Vitamin E oil and it broke. So after gaining entry into the house i had to clean up the glass. The little spectators where watching me as i did it. I thought that i had finished and Gabby was just about to walk over the spot when i stopped him. I ran my hand over the floor to check that there was no glass left.
I said: "Let me check that there is no glass left before you walk.."
G: "But then you will cut yourself..."
I: "I would rather cut myself then have you cut."
G: "You would?" (Look of total disbelief!)
G: " You must really love us Mama.."
Absolutely baby. This seemed to win me major brownie points. It also made me realise that as kids we really have no idea how absolutely, purely, without fail our parents love us. It takes being a parent to realise that kind of selflessness....

Hang in there friends..... its nearly over. I can smell friday! I hope that they chocolate fairy pays a visit to you....

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


I need to say that i have felt the need to work really hard lately. I am currently the acting chief director for safety, working directly with the big bosses and slightly out of my comfort zone. Here is the thing. I really like my comfortable office, positive working environment, papers and coffee on my desk, my PA. Having to ship off to a whole new office for a couple of weeks just is not the same. I am a creature of habit.

It was great to see my baby cousin last night for supper (um, can you call hastily made up boerewors rolls supper??) I am also looking forward to seeing my brother this weekend. He is arriving on Saturday and will be at my place for a week while he is up in JHB for training.

After my creative whirlwind this weekend, i hit a bit of a stopper the last two nights as i had to do work when the littlest W's were sleeping. I am been craving some cross stitch this weekend so i may dig up my enormous slow moving angel pic and do some stitches ( the joy of cross stitch - two hours work for a tiny square). I was taught to do cross stitch by a dear friend - Pam over the space of a couple of days back in 1999. I love it but it better fits into another time in my life - the time when i had time, when i had clean hands, when a child wasnt trying to climb on my lap, when i only had to keep the cat from sleeping on my embroidery bag. But it cant be beat for beauty. Its is timeless and i always feel that i making an heirloom when i stitch....

I thought i would share two of my favourite items that i have done - apologies for the poor pics...

All my cross stitch are special. This is Gabriel's birth sampler that i worked on forever but did finish before he was born. I have a special connection as i was working on it when i felt him kick for the first time. I was in Stellenbosch for work and was working in my hotel room on it when he fluttered softly. I think he knew i was busy just for him :)

This second one is just my style. Country, country, country! It went off with me to Barcelona and i worked on it, while sitting on a tiny balcony at 6am in the morning, lapping up the July Spanish sunshine.... The rest of the town was sleeping and there was an old lady diligently watering her geraniums down the road. It was beyond dreamy and will always stay in my mind. It was the top left corner to be exact.

The thing is i always make at least one mistake in my patterns, but i dont unpick. I "fix" the pattern so that it will work! And no-one else ever knows. Its just between me and the needle.... Shhhh.... dont tell!!!!

Try and find one beautiful thing to reflect on today....


Monday, June 1, 2009

Hello world

Shew, i feel that i am coming out of a fog. I have had a really crazy week. After my car accident i had a wham-bam week. I worked late on Wednesday night and then had a black tie dinner on Thursday and Friday. Even the good wine did not make up for it. The weekend was good but busy none the less and today i am officially acting chief director for safety in the province. And it was Monday. And it was the first day of winter. But at least i keep telling myself that i can start to count down the days of winter now.

I had a chance to do scrapbooking with a friend this Saturday and had so much fun. Crafting is really better with company and i managed to finish 9 pages and my Mpumalanga album. It looks great and i feel that it captures our experience as a family perfectly. What i love about this sort of album is that when you feel down you can take them out and they remind you of why you work and slave every day - so that you can take time out and have amazing experience in your family.

My garden is looking great and i have been using the spinach, letttuce and herbs. I am still waiting for the broccoli, Cauliflower and cabbages. Only in South Africa could you have a wonderful garden like this in the middle of winter....

Altogether satisfying. I love being able to go into the garden after work with the kids and pick what i need. Fresh, absolutely fresh. Its only when you eat vegetables like this do you realise how stale some of the stuff you buy in a shop is.

Hope you have a good winterly week! Cuddle up with someone or something you love!