Mom’s Soup ~ Comfort Food!

A few weeks ago, very early on a Saturday morning… after Dave was home from his trip to Namibia, and before he left for his trip to the Cape, I got up and realised all my family were sick with the snivvles and sniffles, so I knew it was up to me to cook. Something I don’t do very often, however when I do… it’s usually an all day affair. *Grin*

The weather was cold and windy, unusual for our part of the country even at the start of winter, so I decided I could make a stew, or even better my homemade soup. My kids love it, even though it tastes different every time, it’s usually a winner… and the pot doesn’t stay full long as they go back for seconds, and thirds… and often fourths or fifths. *Grin*

While everyone was still asleep, I started my preparations and within a short time, there were delicious aromas wafting through the house, that had each family member rising to meet the day mid morning, even though the soup was only in it’s starting stages. *Grin*

 

 

First, I peel and slice the onion which is fried in a little olive oil… and then I chop the meat into cubes, even adding the bones if there are any. Once the meat is browned, I add hot water and allow it to simmer, while I prepare the veggies. Half quantity of each vegetable is sliced and chopped… and half is grated, then added to the pot. *Smile*

 

 

I use mainly fresh seasonal veggies, depending on the time of the year… and of course what’s available.

Leeks, carrots, beans, parsnips, turnips, spring onions… fresh herbs like parsley… and if I have in the cupboard ~ a can of butter beans.
I also add a few secret ingredients, to give it that special something!

Then I let it bubble and simmer most of the day, adding water to ensure that all the ingredients are always covered. *Smile*

Just before it’s ready, I’ll add a can of three bean or pea soup to thicken the liquid if needed… and then we serve late on a Saturday afternoon with fresh rolls or bread, while watching a favourite movie together as a family. :)

If there’s any soup left… we have it warmed up for supper or lunch the next day.

 

 

To end…

“Live simply. Love generously. Speak truthfully. Pray daily. Leave everything else to God.” ~ Author Unknown

Jess had been asking me for a few days to make her my “love soup” …as at first she had a cold and then the flu, and then bronchitis… and of course I had to oblige. Interestingly enough, it did make her feel much better! *Smile*

Enjoy with love,
Mands

 

Finishing Projects

Sometimes I get excited by an idea and start a project, only to stop somewhere in the process because I discover that I don’t have something I need. Since I was gifted with boxes of project and crafting material… I have been endeavoring to finish projects before starting anymore. (Easier said than done, *Grin*).

Last year my mom gave me a bag of wool… all the same type of wool in various colours. So during winter last year, I knitted Jess a scarf. I used three colours and thought I had two balls of each colour… only to discover when I was more than half way that I had only one ball of the lilac colour… which meant when that was finished that the scarf was finished as well. Jess and I were both a bit disappointed as she wanted a long scarf, and well the scarf should have been double the length it is. Even though I had finished knitting the scarf nearly a year ago, I left it in the bag, neglected and unfinished as I needed to sew in the end threads. Yesterday, I got the scarf out and found a wool needle and started sewing in the threads… and Voila ~ it’s finished! *Smile*

Jess is already wearing it… and loving it! *Grin*

Hopefully, this is one of many projects I’ll be able to finish while staying home during this winter, and I hope you are keeping warm on this very cold day.

Love and Laughter
Mands
Three Colour Scarf

A Thousand Things…

I wrote “A Thousand Things” a few years ago and came across it while I was sorting out my journals to print… it was interesting for me to read it, and be reminded about how difficult and challenging a time it was for us… and especially for me… and for me to remember how abundantly and amazingly we have been blessed in the last couple of years. *BIG Grin*

I hope you enjoy reading it.

Even some of my health ailments and challenges, for which there is no medical treatment have improved so much… I truly have been blessed with too many miracles to count. *Smile*

A Thousand Things…

Written Tuesday, 6th October 2009,

Never before has life been as challenging for me as it is now… never has the budget been so difficult to balance, and never before have we been so challenged financially. Even simple things like buying groceries and ensuring we have enough food in the cupboards for just a week, is proving difficult… Simple daily challenges that were easily resolved and sorted just twelve months ago, seem like mountains instead of the molehills they actually are. Staying in touch with friends… sending an email, posting a letter, or wrapping a gift, seems to take an age… and time is running at the speed of a freight train. Paying bills and getting out of debt seem to be on a reverse rollercoaster that I forgot I climbed on… And yet!

A thousand things went right today…

  1. The sun rose in a kaleidoscope of the most amazing colours, brightening the sky from the darkened night to mauves and pinks… oranges and yellows.
  2. My husband, Dave called me to look out the back door at the Loeiries with amazing red wings like perfect fans, as they played in the top of a tree in our garden.
  3. The sun is shining.
  4. My husband smiled and told me he loved me as he hugged and kissed me good-bye before he left for work.
  5. Dave has a job to go to that pays him well.
  6. The sky is bright blue.
  7. I have hot water for a shower.
  8. We have electricity and water.
  9. The telephone line is working.
  10. My internet connection is on.
  11. I received an email from my friend.
  12. My daughter has a beautiful smile.
  13. We have a pool.
  14. My son is cleaning the pool.
  15. There is clean washing on the line.
  16. We have clothes.
  17. We have a car for my husband to get to work.
  18. I have a wonderful bed and had a great night’s sleep.
  19. I saw a pretty butterfly.
  20. It’s Spring.
  21. I’m writing.
  22. I have work.
  23. My children love me.
  24. We have a veggie garden that is growing.
  25. My PC monitor is working (last week it wasn’t).
  26. I’m listening to my favourite music.
  27. The air smells fresh and clean after the rain.
  28. I believe in God.
  29. I said a prayer and I know it was heard.
  30. I ate a banana.
  31. I drank a glass of water.
  32. My daughter hugged me.
  33. My son took out the refuse.
  34. The dustbin men collected the rubbish.
  35. My son took out the paper recycling bags.
  36. The paper truck collected them.
  37. I waved from my window and shouted, “Thank-you!”
  38. They waved back and shouted, “Pleasure, mam!”
  39. We fed the dogs.
  40. Our naughty puppy is sleeping under my desk.
  41. I laughed.
  42. I smiled
  43. I said, ‘Thank-you for this moment of understanding!’
  44. I am grateful.
  45. My heart is beating.
  46. My eyes are open.
  47. I can see.
  48. I can hear.
  49. I can smell.
  50. I can touch.
  51. I updated the Kaleidoscopes blog.
  52. I’m writing.
  53. I have a little money in the bank… J
  54. I have cash for petrol.
  55. I have food for supper.
  56. I am happy.
  57. I phoned my husband at lunch time.
  58. My son did the shopping.
  59. My daughter did her homework.
  60. My daughter brought in the washing.
  61. My son made supper.
  62. I love.
  63. I believe
  64. I have faith.
  65. I am learning.
  66. I have family.
  67. I have friends.
  68. I received email.
  69. I answered email.
  70. I sent email.
  71. I soaked in the bath.
  72. I read a book.
  73. I watched the monkeys eat mulberries in the trees.
  74. The dishes are done.
  75. I am loved.
  76. I wrote in my journal.
  77. I wrote on my blog.
  78. The grass is newly cut.
  79. I got to go bare feet and squiggle my toes in the grass.
  80. I don’t have to drive through traffic to get to my office…
    just walk down the stairs.
  81. My children swam together amidst splashes and laughter.
  82. My daughter cheered up her friend.
  83. My husband fell asleep on the couch.
  84. We have a comfortable couch. *Grin*
  85. The cat is asleep on my PC.
  86. There are little white butterflies in my garden.
  87. The breeze is cool and fresh.
  88. My daughter had fun doing her homework.
  89. I wrote about a long ago memory in my journal.
  90. My husband and children laughed together.
  91. My husband and I were ROTFWL (Rolling on the floor with Laughter) at a picture email I received.
  92. I’m happy.
  93. I have found peace within after months of chaos, that I am sincerely grateful for (even if it only lasts this moment… I will try and allow the moment to last as long as possible.
  94. I love making this list.
  95. I love the idea that, “A thousand things went right today.” – and that they actually did.
  96. My bed is made.
  97. I did this list.
  98. I am laughing at myself.
  99. I have a new motto, “Be Awesome, and I can do it!”
    (Corny I know… but even corn grows ;o)
  100. The spellchecker for “Mands” is “Madness” *Grin*

If you are like me…
Emotional, loving and caring – including all the opposite and equally opposing emotions that we aren’t going to name right now, however just add to the colour of our personalities,

If you are like me…
Unique and creative and struggle with a world that has so much emphasis on the material things, working to get bills paid, responsible yet needing time to enjoy life and the relationships you share with your family and friends,

If you are like me…
Wondering why time has sped up figuratively and literally and realise that there are things you can no longer delay doing, however aren’t sure how you are going to add even more to your schedule,

If you are like me…
Feel deeply, love freely and care more, that sometimes you forget to notice all the good, great and happy things going on around you because a friend is sick, a grown child is confused by what to do with his life, another friend is moving overseas and you have more friends that have left the country than are still living here in South Africa, the cupboards are half empty despite the size of the grocery bill and the glass is empty even as you turn it upside down seeking the last few drops,

Remember, A thousand things went right today…
So Be Awesome!

Trust, Laugh and Love More.
Mands

 

“A thousand things went right today.”

~ Ilan Shamir

 

 

 

Sunrise At Dawn!

While Jess and I were out and about yesterday… we were talking about how early sunset is… which is now 4:50pm, and it’s already dark by 5:30pm. Which is not surprising, considering the shortest day (longest night) of the year is less than a month away on the 21st June 2012, (the Winter Solstice) and then our days will start lengthening again… slowly, however significantly. *Smile*

This morning I was awake and up and about before the sun… well I usually have to get up before sunrise… however, I was actually awake and appreciative of the dawn. The sky lightened and went a soft blue… there were fluffy clouds streaked across the sky, that turned pink and then a golden hue and everything was bathed in this soft golden light. Although it only lasted a few minutes and I was only able to capture a few moments on the camera… it allowed me to start the day in awe. *Smile*

 

Sunrise In KwaZulu Natal

 

It was simply beautiful… and as I held my breath in appreciation for this new day, it was like the day breathed in deeply… and then exhaled slowly, and the sun rose to lighten the path for the beginning of this new day.

 

 

Beauty in my day!

Today I love the…
Smell of Jess baking sugar cookies.
Sound of the wind rustling in the trees as the leaves fall.
Taste of cool water with a few drops of lemon juice.
Sight of the dawn of a new day.
Feel of Bunny Boo’s soft fur.

 

 

Happiness today…

I love my children, they are being so incredibly supportive
while Dave is away in the Cape … more than four weeks now!
(It feels like a lot longer than that. *Smile*).

 

 

I love my garden… even in winter. The grass isn’t growing before my eyes like it does in Summer, so it’s less work :) and it attracts the most amazing beautiful birds. This month we have seen a Hoopoe …a Brown Hooded Kingfisher, I was privileged to watch a Sunbird feeding from our Bottlebrush, just a metre away from where I was standing upstairs, and the Trumpeter Hornbills visited en masse. *Smile* Although we have heard the Loeries calling in the garden… we have only glimpsed them frolicking in the trees… as the tree tops are still full of green growth. *Smile*

 

 

Despite our many problems, I love South Africa, and I especially love living in Kwa-Zulu Natal. *Smile* No matter where you go… even if a dozen drivers cut you off, or nearly run you off the road… there is always someone who will let you in when you have taken a wrong lane. Even when it’s month-end and most of the tellers at the shops are less than courteous, there will be at least one person who smiles with a greeting… and no matter where I have been in South Africa, when I’m in trouble or in a difficult situation, there has always been someone to help… friend or stranger. That’s what makes South Africa the place I love… a land filled with people who care!

I hope you have the most incredible, wonderful day… filled with miracles and blessings.

I hope you have a day filled with love and light… inspiration and creativity… joy and happiness.

I hope you have the most amazing day… and that you know I’ll be thinking of you, hoping for the very best.

I hope that every moment will provide you with what you need…

*Smile* …laugh, love and hug someone you care about!

Enjoy your day!

With gratitude and love,
Mands

 

Brown Hooded Kingfisher

Dave was preparing lunch in the kitchen… and I was at my computer doing something, when Dave came and got the camera and went outside. He called me to come and see the Brown Hooded Kingfisher on the fence that he was busy trying to photograph. We have these gorgeous little birds visit our garden from time to time, however never have we been able to capture them with the digital camera. *Smile*

Dave managed to capture a rather large amount of photos in just a few minutes, *Smile* ….so I have included some of the best ones with some favourite quotes!

Enjoy and I hope you have somewhere warm to be on this rather cold Monday morning!
Love and Laughter
Mands

 

Brown Hooded Kingfisher

 

The most beautiful people are those who have known defeat, known suffering,
known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths.
These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life
that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern.

~ Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

 

Brown Hooded Kingfisher

 

Even if you have a lot of work to do, if you think of it as wonderful,
and if you feel it as wonderful, it will transform into the
energy of joy and fire, instead of becoming a burden.

~ Tulku Thondup Rinpoche

 

Brown Hooded Kingfisher

 

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.

~ Philo of Alexandria

 

Brown Hooded Kingfisher

 

When it is dark enough, you can see the stars.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

Brown Hooded Kingfisher

 

There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it’s going to be a butterfly.

~ Margaret Fuller

 

Brown Hooded Kingfisher

 

We are each gifted in a unique and important way.
It is our privilege and our adventure to discover our own special light.

~ Mary Dunbar

 

Brown Hooded Kingfisher

 

Three rules for a happy life
1.  Start each day with a grateful heart.
2.  Focus on the positive aspects of every person you encounter.
3.  End each day with a grateful heart.

~ Lucy MacDonald

 

Brown Hooded Kingfisher

 

If I could give you one key, and one key only to a more abundant life,
I would give you a sense of your own worth, an unshakeable sense of
your own dignity as one grounded in the source of the cosmic dance,
as one who plays a unique part in the unfolding of the story of the world…

~ Greta Crosby

 

Brown Hooded Kingfisher

 

This is a bright new day, complete with 24 hours of opportunities,
choices and attitudes – a perfectly matched set of 1440 minutes.
This unique gift, this one day, cannot be exchanged, replaced or refunded.
Handle with care; make the most of it – there is only one to a customer.

~ Author Unknown

 

Brown Hooded Kingfisher

 

Gratitude can turn a meal into a feast,
a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.
It makes sense of our past, brings peace for today,
and creates a vision for tomorrow.

~ Melody Beattie

 

Making Journals

I was chatting to my son on the phone one day last week, looking out at the sun shining through a break in the clouds… and realised that it had started raining, and that the raindrops were glinting in the sunlight like falling diamonds that melt and disappear. *Smile*

Perfect weather to stay inside and finish making my journals for 2010! *Grin*

I have been writing for more than 10 years, on websites, blogs and emails… and it was only in 2009 after one too many computer crashes, that I decided to take all that writing and print it out and make journals. Little did I realise how challenging that would be. *Grin* During 2009 it was easy enough to print out a months writing and make a journal… however, trying to go back and compile 10 years worth of writing that is in digital format… to something that would print in a format and layout that looked pretty, was more challenging than I had time for.

So I decided to just do a month at a time, until I was in a routine that allowed for me to tackle past writing.

Then my printer jammed… and then Jesses printer had a problem, and even our brand new printer has an alignment problem. *Sigh & Smile*

So with the 2009 journals finished… I have been working on completing my 2010 journals… which I just did! *Grin*

While punching holes in the pages and compiling them with the covers… it was a wonderful time to let my thoughts meander and make some notes… nothing spectacular, just ideas and random thoughts.

Today when I decided to finally post the photos of one of the journals I made… I found my notes and thought I’d share them with you. *Grin*

19th April 2012

Beauty in my day…
I see the sun shining beautifully on the falling raindrops… like melting diamonds.
I listen to softly playing music while Jess is asleep on the couch… hopefully, on her way to recovery from a bout of Bronchitis.
I feel such tender emotions as she struggles with her infirmity and the need to lie down and rest.
I taste the delicious smooth flavour of UltraMel custard, *Grin* a very late breakfast at 11:30am… or an early lunch treat. :)
I touch Jess gently on the check and I am swamped with deep love for her.

Finding happiness in my day…
I am discovering that being happy, is more a practiced art… than a happenstance related to an external event or occurrence. *Smile*
Choosing to embrace even a single positive thought or good thing that happened to me in a day, allows me to realise that even the “bad” things that happen, are sometimes just life and circumstances colliding with the path I want to tread… and that taking a detour can bring the most amazing miracles and blessings along the way!

Happiness today…
I love the rain… a new happiness discovered.
I love the Trumpeter Hornbills that are occupying our garden… I would say about a dozen of them are flying about and playing in the trees.
I love the young Brown Hooded Kingfisher that is visiting our garden.
I love hearing the Loeries call to each other as they clamber about in the trees. *Smile*

I had forgotten most of what happened on that Thursday two weeks ago… and I didn’t even realise that the ’19th of April 2012′ was a Thursday until I read my notes. As I read each word, I was suffused with those tender emotions and memories, and my day today, has bubbled with joy. *Smile*

Today, is another beautiful Autumn day… totally different from two weeks ago. *Smile*

We are loving the very warm breeze… it’s like a giant fan heater has been turned on and temperatures have reached 36°C. We have opened the doors to the front patio and back patio wide open and let the garden in. It’s just wonderful!

Once I chose the cover for my September 2010 journal,
it was just a matter of printing and putting everything together.

This has been one of the biggest journals I’ve made…
and it took a couple of weeks to print all the documents,
before I could check and compile the printed pages.

Punching the holes in the paper is probably
the most difficult part of the journal making process…
especially if I have to use batches, as it’s challenging
to keep lining up the paper so it’s all square when I’m
done. I have a really large hand drill punch which makes
the job easier, and fun… this time, I was just a little
out by just a few millimeters. *Grin*

When I first started making personal journals, I only included those things I deemed important… however with the passage of time, and the demise of my very clear and sharp memory, *Smile* I have started to include everything I can. *Grin* I copy all my Wow Blog articles and comments into a document so that I can print when it’s time to make the journal. I have another document, where I write personally… and I include my emails to family and friends, sometimes I copy SMSes received… and of course I add photos, ideas… anything to enhance my record keeping. I try to make a note of any of our family events… challenges and celebrations. Sometimes it prints and all comes together in a cohesive whole in a few hours… sometimes it takes a few days or even a few weeks to compile just one month’s journal. Sometimes, I combine two, three or four months journals into one cover, as I have times when I write daily… even for an entire day… and sometimes I go for weeks without even writing a word. *Smile*

I believe it’s important that we all keep a journal ~ diary… of things that happen and how we feel. The easiest way to start, is by just recording what you are grateful for. It transforms the chore of keeping a journal into an amazing adventure that is simply, Wow!

I’m celebrating this day with gratitude for the 2010 journals I’ve made… and for the legacy it will be for my daughter… one day! *Grin*

Love, blessings and sunny smiles
Mands

Legacy’s

When I die, there probably won’t be silver or gold or much of anything of worldly wealth for me to leave my family… as we are still counting each cent, and ensuring that each Rand made is well spent, in an effort to ensure that we slowly, but assuredly pay our debt. Debt brought about not for extravagance or even luxury, more for daily living expense in a time when our earnings were cut short, without any warning. Something I accept, even with appreciation for the lessons and amazing blessings that followed.

I will however, leave a legacy. Hopefully one that is rich and inspiring… that will bring tears and create laughter, and possibly even teach lessons and share wisdom… again, hopefully, by the time it is time for me to die, I will have printed and compiled my journals of my past… and continued writing. Some deeply personal, and some that I share with anyone willing to read in whatever format takes my fancy in the moment. *Grin* Letters, emails, website or blog.

Whilst my legacy may not be of any worldly value to most, I believe if protected from the passage of time… wear and tear, and even termites and fish moths, *Smile*  I hope that it will be one that my children… and their children will come to treasure.

One of the reasons for my lack of writing on my blog these past few weeks, was the need to write in my personal journal… and the amount of reading I have been doing of other’s emails and blogs. *Smile*

From utter nonsense and dribble, with typo’s and spelling mistakes… to sharing of heart and mind in words that have held me spellbound, by the pure honesty with which they have been captured and woven… to the comical, lyrical modern day wordsmiths… I have read, and read and read some more. Soaking up the written word like a sponge needs water to reach its intended potential. During which time I have experienced a kaleidoscope of emotions too numerous to even list. *Smile*

Just today I read a tribute to long passed family members, and felt the powerful tug of shared emotion even though the writer… nor the honourees are known to me.

I experienced awe for someone who could command the written word so effectively… and felt such joy at my own pleasure in the written word… I also felt despair and hints of frustration after reading some local writing… and the glaringly apparent chasm of third and first world written word.

I live in a country rich in heritage, with stories told from generation to generation as there was no written language, something I am deeply jealous of as my family fails and refuses to share their past history with me, that I can capture and record for all including our future generations, to read, enjoy, learn and experience…

I wonder what will happen to these stories of old… told from father to son… grandmother to grand-daughter, that I sense are like bright ribbons left in the sun to bleach…… or tapestries forgotten in a storage room gathering dust and fading over time…… because they no longer suit the current style or fashion.

What price would you pay to read your grandmother’s teenage journal… or the feelings and emotions of a family member whose life was cut too short by illness or an accident.

Do you wonder how your grandmother felt when she was engaged… married or expecting her first child? Do you think about your father and what he felt the first time he held you in his arms? Would you read the journals of your grandfather’s?

These are things I sometimes think of… and especially my grandfather’s who were both apparently incredible men… one a South African Gold Medalist for Welter Weight Boxing and a member of the Olympic Team… the other fought in the Second World Ward in Northern Africa… this being the extent of information I have about them… and that despite the difference in their ages… both died the same year!

My friend’s husband died two years ago… and I wrote something I felt needed to be expressed, each time I read what I wrote, I am personally awed by the words and tears always flow freely down my face, and I am deeply humbled that I can express myself through the written word in such away… even as I sometimes struggle to find my voice so eloquently.

Twenty years ago when I hated writing even a cheque, as my dyslexia made it a challenge that needed each letter carefully printed, I couldn’t even comprehend how powerful a gift writing would become to me… for my own pleasure, and the joy of sharing… and little did I comprehend, that the pen is indeed, mightier than the sword.

Each time I write to share, or express myself… or even just to capture thoughts and feelings in my journal, I am more grateful than I am able to capture in those same words for this amazing gift that I have been given.

I don’t often read anything I have written that is more than a day or two old… and I sometimes go for months without even reading the Woman Of Worth poem, and then I receive an email, or a note of thanks or a comment on the Wow blog… and I’ll read it again… as I wrote it…

As a personal letter to myself… as a challenge to love, and forgive myself for past and present mistakes ~ even imagined ones. I’ll remember the dichotomy of emotions I felt… of love and sorrow, sadness and joy… and how it took me only twenty minutes to write… and a lifetime to capture and experience.

I’ll remember the profoundness of letting my own heart and soul express my feelings… I’ll remember one of the most incredible feelings of pure joy bubble and flow from within… and continue to remember for days after. *Smile*

Sometimes, I’ll hesitate just before I start reading the Women Of Worth poem… and wonder if the experience will be diluted by the passage of time, and every time it’s not.

That is still one of the most amazing miracles I have ever experienced… that something I wrote continues to inspire me, to allow my heart and soul to speak… and to capture that in the written word.

Even when I don’t want to write… and even when days and weeks have gone by when I haven’t written a word in my journal… something happens and I’m inspired and I just have to share, sometimes only with myself… and sometimes with you here, then I wonder why I struggled to write during that time of challenge and chaos and the words flow faster than I am able to capture them.

Today I’m celebrating the beauty of Autumn…
and the gift of the written word, *Smile*
With Love and Gratitude
Mands

 

Worker’s Day in South Africa!

Despite the fact that it’s a public holiday ~ May Day… a day for worker’s to take off… even goof off if they please, my husband is working, my eldest son is working… the refuse collectors are working… the recycling collectors are working, even unexpectedly the garden refuse collectors are working. *Smile*

So it was challenging to take the day off and relax… instead we did some chores, at a much slower pace than usual, and then watched a DVD in the late afternoon as part of our ‘goofing off’. *Smile*

However, in celebration of “Workers Day” I’m going to share an email my mom sent me, which is doing the rounds with her friends in America… and I thought it was a classic indication of “South African Working Humour” …at it’s very best. So enjoy and share with your family and friends! *Grin*

Dave has been away for nearly a week… as he has just started a three month project in the Cape. If I think of how long he will be gone and how far away he is, I’ll probably go crazy, as we have never been apart for more than a week at a time in our entire marriage of nearly 24 years. So together with Jess, I am focusing on the blessings and the things that I love in my day. *Smile*

We are loving the…
~ the Feel of autumn warmth
~ the Smell of freshly washed clothes
~ the Sound of the birds singing
~ the Taste of melted cheese on fried eggs for brunch, and
~ the Sight of our new addition Bunny Boo hopping on the grass in her new rabbit hutch, which Dave made a few days before he left for the Cape.

An idea inspired by “Today I love the…” by Jeni ~ In Colour Order, who also has a black bunny. *Grin*

Today we are celebrating…
~ Technology… the telephone, cellphone, internet & email that allows us to stay in touch with loved ones far away.

~ The Wow Blog… it’s good to be writing and publishing again. *Yay!*

~ A Clean & Clear Table… to layout my neglected quilting.

~ Good Health… Jess is finally feeling better after three weeks with a sore throat and Bronchitis.

~ Blue Skies & Warm Sunshine… after a few days overcast weather, rain and cold temperatures. *Yay!*

Celebrating this moment with love and laughter,
Mands

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The Author of the info below is unknown… I do know that the photos are real, as I have seen the planes at the airport, and you can have a look at their website… the truth of the rest, is up to you to decide. *Smile*

Kulula is a low-cost South-African airline that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Check out their new livery! And have a read about their Customer Relations.

 

Click on the individual photos to get a bigger view.

Flying 101

*black box*

*co-captain*

*nose cone to tail*

*the big cheese*

*landing gear*

*This Way Up*

 

What a pity Kulula doesn’t fly internationally ~ we should support them if only for their humour!

So typically South African.

Kulula is an airline with their head office situated in Johannesburg, with airline attendants who make every effort to make the in-flight “safety lecture” and announcements, a bit more entertaining.

Here are some real examples that have been heard or reported:

On a Kulula flight, (there is no assigned seating, you just sit where you want) passengers were apparently having a hard time choosing, when a flight attendant announced, “People, people we’re not picking out furniture here, find a seat and get in it!”

—o0o—

On another flight with a very “senior” flight attendant crew, the pilot said, “Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve reached cruising altitude and will be turning down the cabin lights. This is for your comfort and to enhance the appearance of your flight attendants.”

—-o0o—

On landing, the stewardess said, “Please be sure to take all of your belongings… If you’re going to leave anything, please make sure it’s something we’d like to have.”

—-o0o—

“There may be 50 ways to leave your lover, but there are only 4 ways out of this airplane.”

—o0o—

“Thank you for flying Kulula. We hope you enjoyed giving us the business as much as we enjoyed taking you for a ride.”

—o0o—

As the plane landed and was coming to a stop at Durban Airport, a lone voice came over the loudspeaker: “Whoa, big fella. WHOA!”

—o0o–

After a particularly rough landing during thunderstorms in the Karoo, a flight attendant on a flight announced, “Please take care when opening the overhead compartments because, after a landing like that, sure as hell everything has shifted.”

—o0o—

From a Kulula employee: “Welcome aboard Kulula 271 to Port Elizabeth. To operate your seat belt, insert the metal tab into the buckle, and pull tight. It works just like every other seat belt; and, if you don’t know how to operate one, you probably shouldn’t be out in public unsupervised.”

—o0o—

“In the event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, masks will descend from the ceiling. Stop screaming, grab the mask, and pull it over your face. If you have a small child traveling with you, secure your mask before assisting with theirs. If you are traveling with more than one small child, pick your favorite.”

—o0o—

“Weather at our destination is 50 degrees with some broken clouds, but we’ll try to have them fixed before we arrive. Thank you, and remember, nobody loves you, or your money, more than Kulula Airlines.”

—-o0o—

“Your seats cushions can be used for flotation; and in the event of an emergency water landing, please paddle to shore and take them with our compliments.”

—o0o—

“As you exit the plane, make sure to gather all of your belongings. Anything left behind will be distributed evenly among the flight attendants. Please do not leave children or spouses..”

—o0o—

And from the pilot during his welcome message: “Kulula Airlines is pleased to announce that we have some of the best flight attendants in the industry. Unfortunately, none of them are on this flight!”

—o0o—

Heard on Kulula 255 just after a very hard landing in Cape Town: The flight attendant came on the intercom and said, “That was quite a bump and I know what y’all are thinking. I’m here to tell you it wasn’t the airline’s fault, it wasn’t the pilot’s fault, it wasn’t the flight attendant’s fault, it was the asphalt.”

—o0o—

Overheard on a Kulula flight into Cape Town, on a particularly windy and bumpy day: During the final approach, the Captain really had to fight it. After an extremely hard landing, the Flight Attendant said, “Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to The Mother City. Please remain in your seats with your seat belts fastened while the Captain taxis what’s left of our airplane to the gate!”

—o0o—

Another flight attendant’s comment on a less than perfect landing: “We ask you to please remain seated as Captain Kangaroo bounces us to the terminal.”

—o0o—

An airline pilot wrote that on this particular flight he had hammered his ship into the runway really hard. The airline had a policy which required the first officer to stand at the door while the passengers exited, smile, and give them a “Thanks for flying our airline”. He said that, in light of his bad landing, he had a hard time looking the passengers in the eye, thinking that someone would have a smart comment. Finally everyone had gotten off except for a little old lady walking with a cane. She said, “Sir, do you mind if I ask you a question?” “Why, no Ma’am,” said the pilot. “What is it?” The little old lady said, “Did we land, or were we shot down?”

—o0o—

After a real crusher of a landing in Johannesburg, the attendant came on with,”Ladies and Gentlemen, please remain in your seats until Captain Crash and the Crew have brought the aircraft to a screeching halt against the gate. And, once the tire smoke has cleared and the warning bells are silenced, we will open the door and you can pick your way through the wreckage to the terminal..”

—o0o—

Part of a flight attendant’s arrival announcement: “We’d like to thank you folks for flying with us today… And, the next time you get the insane urge to go blasting through the skies in a pressurized metal tube, we hope you’ll think of Kulula Airways.”

—o0o—

Heard on a Kulula flight: “Ladies and gentlemen, if you wish to smoke, the smoking section on this airplane is on the wing.. If you can light ‘em, you can smoke ‘em.”

—o0o—

Living It!

My friend shared this lovely quote from an unknown author… and in the moment I read it, a spark ignited in my heart and permeated my entire being, and it was if my soul said, ‘Yes… I’m doing that!’ *Smile*

The past is behind me and I’ve learned from it.
The future is ahead of me and I’m preparing for it.
The present is here and now, so I’m living it!

Until the moment I read that quote… I was busy, productive, achieving and getting things done… with only a little frustration that I wasn’t writing about what I was doing and taking photos to record in colour for my journal and Wow blog. *Grin*

It seems eons since I wrote or published here, and yet it’s only a few weeks, and I have deeply missed the experience. *Smile* I have discovered that often, not always but often… Autumn is a very busy time for me, and sometimes my life gets turned upside down and inside out… however, this year despite certain potentially devastating challenges, I have remained calm, and had faith and trusted that all will work out for the best, and that in fact life was unfurling in a certain way to allow for the best possible outcome… despite the natural instinct to see only the negative.

Life has returned to a slower pace this last week… however not by much. *Grin*

Jesses bedroom looks like she invited a tornado over to play, the result of her Autumn clean-up… and then got sick right in the thick of things, so she is resting through a bout of Bronchitis and her bedroom remains in a turmoil of chaos… and home schooling is ‘tabled’ for the duration.

Dave went on a trip to Namibia… and had an interesting experience, while Jordy frantically studied for his exams, and Wes got caught up in very stressful challenges at work. (For those of you who don’t know… Dave is my wonderful amazing husband… and Wes, (23), Jordy (20) and Jess (16) are our children :) ).

It seems that when the pace of life speeds up just a little, or we have just one of us challenged with ill health… our lives go from being moderately in our control, to being frantic in Zero to 13 seconds. *Grin*

Then I can live life or write about it… just not both, until I manage to restore some balance. *Smile*

Therein is the challenge.

To not write, or journal, or take photos in the experience that needs me to be fully present, so that even a negative experience may later be considered, reflected upon, and the amazing miracles revealed.

When I am completely captivated by the moment, and entirely focused on what I am experiencing, and the unfolding events taking place… it doesn’t actually matter if I write about it that day… or a week later or even a year later. The experience of being fully present allows a depth of feeling and memory that is almost wholly complete, sometimes even more so in reflection… as perspectives and perceptions that I wasn’t fully conscious of at the time, become more apparent in retrospect and a deeper understanding is revealed.

I’m coming to accept that there are days that I am living life… there are days that I can live life and write about it… and then there are days that I have enjoyed so much living, I spend an entire day writing about it. *Grin*

Love and blessings
Mands

 

The Lion Whisperer

When I read the words… “The Lion Whisperer” my automatic response was,

“Yeah, yeah!
I wonder who is claiming to do what?”

*Smile*

And… well, whilst I may judge a title by its insinuation, I’m usually curious enough to research whatever title has evoked, such a blasé response from my ego critic, and allow for doubt to be converted into interest, especially when it has something to do with Africa… and African animals.

I certainly wasn’t expecting such a wonderful display of trust and affection between man and the mighty king of the jungle, and I’m happy to concede that after watching video clip after video clip, Kevin Richardson can truly bear the title of  “The Lion Whisperer”  with ease and grace!

I think to be able to achieve what Kevin has… is both a responsibility and a gifted privilege. To share it with others that we may enjoy vicariously is a special gift indeed. *Smile*

Thank-you so much to Kevin Richardson… and his team!
Celebrating the moment with lions,
Mands

Please visit the White Lion website [ http://whitelionthemovie.com/ ]
Kevin Richardson ~ The Lion Whispererhttp://www.lionwhisperer.co.za/ ]