Thursday, April 18, 2013

If you were here, you are AWESOME! (40th Birthday Weekend Celebrations)

Last week Friday I turned 40.  A good excuse to have an AWESOME party, at an AMAZING venue.

I fell in love with the 'Kalahari Oasis Pub' from the moment we discovered it in December and in the back of mind, I knew this was where I wanted to celebrate my 40th.  I 'uhhmed' and 'aaahed' and finally my sister took control and booked everything.  A general 'this is what I am doing and would you like to join' invite was passed along to family and friends.

The pub can be found at Mabalingwe Nature Reserve and it's a really nifty place.  It is a photographer haven with so many opportunities to get some really cool shots.  I'm probably going to kick myself for missing more than a few.

We stayed in the Kalahari Bush Tented Camp and Dome Camp, and both of these are not too far from the pub, but crawling back to camp could be painful and I wouldn't recommend it.  LOL

On Saturday, the fires were lit and the Potjies started.  Potjie is basically a stew cooked in a 3 legged Cast Iron Pot.  This was the Oxtail Potjie - Gareth outdid himself and it was really yummy!!  The meat was tender and fell off the bones.

Hubby and I loaned Craig's Jeep and went on a self-drive game drive which on Saturday afternoon turned out to be a dud.  Not many animals to be seen at all.  Sad face!!  We then asked Craig if we could hang onto the keys and give it another bash in the morning.  This time around me had more success.  Our first major siting being Girafffe and then 2 Rhino - I was in heaven.  When we found the rhino I was squealing like a girl - wait - I am a girl.

It was a weekend of family, friends, divine red wine and good food.  We laughed and laughed some more and really enjoyed ourselves.  It was a great way to celebrate my 40th.  Josh my 8 (yo) whispered to me on Monday morning - "mom, I wish we were still at Mabalingwe".  I had to agree.  It was hard to leave and come home.  I love spending time in the bush.  I relish it and it's always hard to leave, but I guess we are fortunate that we have these places not to far from home.  Mabalingwe is only 2h30min drive.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Winning but at what cost?

"It doesn't matter if you win or lose, but how you played the game."

These days I find myself exhausted, not only physically but mentally as well.  The boys extra-murals which consist of two sports, swimming and cricket, keep us on our toes.  I discovered long ago with swimming not to even bother with school swimming - so we go to private coaching.   I am starting to wonder about school cricket as well but the boys love it.  I find myself hating it and it all boils down to something I heard often while I was at school - "It doesn't matter if you win or lose, but how you played the game".  Well, things have certainly changed and it would appear winning at all costs is the story of the day.  I am at the point of throwing in the towel, short of a miracle, I'm not sure in what direction to go.

Where has sportsmanship and being a team player gone?  When did it all become about an individual?  I find the schools/coaches/parent have their little stars and as for the rest of you - SCREW YOU!!  Without private coaching - you're screwed.  Your star will never be considered 'star' enough.  Yeah, I'm feeling cranky and tired.   Finding extra coaching for the boys has proven to be nearly 'Mission Impossible' (finding private swimming lessons has been far easier, much less competitive and less expensive) - short of going down on my knees begging, actually I might have and harassing our local coaches I might have achieved the impossible.   But, the weather is messing us about - storms messing with our private coaching sessions and me having to deal with heart broken kids when they are not selected to play - we're talking 'B' team here people.  All I want is for my boys to know enough and be able to at least make the 'B' team - maybe we need to aim higher to be taken more seriously - who knows.  Clearly my telling the coaches is that all I want for the boys is the ability to play and play well, not necessarily league/A team/Provincial level is falling on dumbfounded ears.

And I get even more mad when a coach/teacher can turn around and tell a bunch of kids that he is picking winners to play in a match and he wants to win a few games.  So the kids not selected feel like losers.  I am surprised I did not go ballistic when I found this out.

My youngest star - at least in my eyes

I had another mother boast proudly how her son plays for the U9's and U10's - well what about the kids who turn up to practice religiously and get left out.  I made my feelings known on that one.  The response I got - the school wants to win.  

I'm not entirely sure about the world our kids are growing up in.  Why did it seem easier when we were at school?  There was none of this Private Coaching and it costing you an arm and a leg.  Adults showed genuine interest and if a kid was keen he/she was taught the skills to play the game.  Now, as parents you're lucky if it costs you less than R400 per child per 1 hour lesson.

Josh : is having more luck than his older brother and is getting some match time.
Brad :  struggling on the side lines and hanging in there


Thursday, January 31, 2013


Today I ventured to the gym again, I needed to swipe my card, a rather important task when you're trying to keep your gym membership active and then, stepping on the scale to see if I have made any progress in the weight loss department, since I last stepped on the scale.

Yes, doing the happy dance here.  I've lost about 2.5 kg's.  So happy!!  I am really trying to avoid the Diet industry and rather opting to make lifestyle changes.   I'm not feeling pressure - I like this.  I recall a time when I was stepping on a scale everyday and getting frustrated and angry.  Some days are better than others and I'm really happy.

Last weekend we went fishing again.  Our family group was much larger and keeps growing as other family members decide to join in the fun.

Not much fishing was done but my cousin, Gayle, did manage to catch one teeny weeny one which was released back.

The Family

The only catch for the day

My oldest and his cousin enjoy some time fishing.  They really had fun this time around.

Tomorrow I am off to watch a little bit of cricket.  Josh, my youngest has been chosen to play at a mini cricket festival taking place during lunch of the 1st Test between South Africa and Pakistan.  He is so excited.  I wonder if we will meet a cricketer or two.

I have so much more to tell you.  Homework wars, teachers and busy schedules...we're never bored here.   LOL

Sunday, January 20, 2013


With the boys back at school and extra-murals in full swing, I find that on weekends I just want to put my feet up and not think.  This does not bode well for a photography business.  As it is - nearly all our weekends are booked into early March and none of them with clients.  Sigh!!

Last Sunday found us exploring Modderfontein and Pop's Soda Fountain.  The gentleman who owns the store is quite an interesting guy.  I'll say this - his Cherry Coke, Apple Pie Milkshake and everything else is pretty much, very YUMMY!!  He makes all his own syrups.

The boys found the Juke Box fascinating and really had fun with the Pin Ball machine - went through a few coins there.  LOL

This weekend it has been overcast and raining on and off.  We've pretty much been home bodies, not venturing to far.  Hubby spent Saturday trying something else with the car - hopefully we have fixed it or fixed it close enough.  I'm ready to put a match to her - I LOVE my car, but hate the stress.  Bring on the Lotto.  It would help if we played it more regularly.  LOL

Today has been a bit of tidying up, cooking Koeksisters (pure evil) and not good at all for any diet.  Now it's time for the lasagne to cook and snuggle under a blanket.  Cannot believe we were in the middle of a heat wave a week or so ago.

Hope you had a fab weekend and a GREAT week ahead.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Back to school

It's day 2 of being back to school.

I've cried, I've laughed and I've wanted to SCREAM!!

The school part has actually been the easiest.  Josh is happy with his Gr 3 teacher - GOOD NEWS for me.  Hopefully less yelling at teachers and the school in general.  Brad is Gr 6 and so far things are looking good, we're just trying to track down his Academic Bar and Scroll for his blazer - he worked hard for them.

We're currently suffering from a bit of a heat wave here.  Not as bad as Australia's but bad enough that it has me uncomfortable and finding more reason to lose this weight.  We won't talk about the photo that was taken of me in Swaziland that has me wanting to run for the hills.

And the cherry of top of all that could go wrong.  My car is giving me grief again and yep, once again leaving my mechanic clueless and me stressing.  We need to get out of this hole.  

I'm also at a loss as to what direction my photography should go in and it is always a constant nag at the back of my brain.  I'm guessing the heat is not helping.

But right now the only solution  is to give the universe the finger and shout 'SCREW YOU'.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Welcoming 2013

The plan was to get an early night on the 31st but the neighborhood turned into a 'Fireworks' war zone as we neared midnight and until way after.  Needless to say but I lost my cool with a few neighbors and the transition into the New Year at midnight was not a happy one.  Our poor dogs were beside themselves.

We were up early on the 1st, as we had a picnic to pack for.  The plan - to take the boys fishing.  It was so much fun and the best part - relaxing.  Well, when I wasn't worrying about getting fishing hooks in ears, toes and fingers.  By the end of the day, I was even baiting hooks.

Josh, Matt (my nephew) and Brad keen to get fishing.

Ant (clueless dad when it comes to fishing) helping Josh.

My nephew

My niece - proving girls can do it too!!

The boys caught fish.

Brad caught a trout which we had to keep.  It cost us R30 (not too bad).  They cleaned it for us and Brad then cooked it on the braai (barbecue) the next evening.  Yummy!!

Josh caught a teeny lil' fish which was returned to the dam.

It was a beautiful day out.  It was cooking (we have had some really hot weather) and we were all quite grateful for the clouds that were about.  A storm threatened but gave the area a miss.

Our dessert.  I've discovered I love making Pavlova - so yummy!!  These were fist sized.

We got to sit under trees, chill, read books and spend time with the kids fishing.  My sister and I have decided we like the idea of fishing as well and we're keen to get some rods for ourselves.  I would love a fly fishing rod but got the feeling that they don't come cheap.  I shall be investigating.  

My sister trying her hand at this fishing thing.

It is so beautiful, this spot we found for fishing - Brookwood Trout Farm - that we have promised ourselves that we will try to go once a month.  I hope we can get it right.  I'd love to go early one morning to see what shots I can get with the camera.

It is back to school tomorrow.  The boys are enjoying the last day chilling at home.  I'm dreading the homework wars - OUCH!!  Hoping this year will be easier.

Monday, December 31, 2012

Has it been a year and a half.....

Actually I think it's been longer.

Time does fly.  Can it slow down now.  It is scary to think how I can already be planning events way into 2013.  Eish!!  Can we just get through 2012. Ssshhhh, don't tell anyone, but I hit those 40's next year.

Remember all that weight I lost - it found me (sad face)!!

Hubby's remark after I bravely weighed myself at gym yesterday and I'm paraphrasing or whatever it is, but the good news is, he is still alive.  'At least you have a 2kg head start.'  Hmmmm, can I smack him.  Note, I was only visiting the gym to keep my membership active (naughty, naughty).  I cannot seem to put it in black and white what the scale said, needless to say it was 2 kg's less than the last time I decided I needed to lose this weight.  So I start again...

I had big dreams, very big dreams.  I was going to do a Duathlon (seeing as my swimming, is well, non existent...hehehehe).  I wanted to do Triathlons, well, if I could learn to swim properly that is.

So, I declare here and now that it is time to dust off those takkies (running shoes) and hit the tar.  I can do this, I have done it before and I can do it again.  My road bike is also feeling dusty and I'll need to dust her off as well.  The family did partake in a 40km ride race... (majority of the other people on bikes thought they were in a race and not a ride) it was mayhem and chaotic due to a circular route.  I quit after two 5km laps, Brad after 4 laps and Ant & Josh after 3.  Not too bad.  None of us got hurt - that was a bonus, considering all the mishaps that happened on the ride race itself.

As you can see it all back and this time it found my boobs breasts.  I suppose I should be grateful that the fat didn't find my waist, okay, some of it did, but I swear this time my 'you know whats' seem larger.  Urggggg!!

Once again coke (coca-cola) has found it's way onto the 'banned from the house' list.  It has been done before and can be done again.  So far we are doing good.  Peroni (some Italian beer), however, has made itself at home and in all honesty, I'm not quite ready to ban that one.

As for the 3 VIP guys in my life - thanking for putting up with me.  It's been a tough year, one I can happily say I am glad to see the back end of.  May homework be a breeze in 2013, may extra-murals keep us busy and may weekends be filled with family and fun.

Some of the family - love you all.  (just so we are clear, they are the pic above)

Some of my favorites from a recent trip to Mabalingwe.  That Chameleon thought I was nuts.  He did slow down for a second or two for me but then put foot.  He was having none of this paparazzi business.

Here's to adventure and 2013