Sunday, 14 September 2014

Wedding Bells

It's been a while since I've had a chance to get on to my Blog.  What a time it's been.

My youngest, Ross and his fiancée, Kerryn, decided that six years was way past time enough to get to know each other.  So, with 22 days to go to the anniversary of the day they met, they dropped the pleasure bomb on us.

The two families worked together to make it a most spectacular day.  I opened up my home; catering was provided by members of both families; décor was decided on by Kerryn and Edith, her Mom and all hands pitched in to make it work.  A lot of fun all around.

As you can see from the stark garden, July is still mid-winter so there was much prayer for decent weather.  We had a glorious day and the next day the temperatures plummeted down into the low teens (celsius).  Thank you, Lord for the perfect weather!
Waiting, waiting, waiting...

Who knew the bride could be late at a home garden wedding?
My sons, Ross and Darren with Jacques and Rodney

Dad and Daughter making an entrance at last

The ceremony under the draped gazebo

The moment!

Me, signing my new daughter into my family
Edith signing her new son into her family
The fathers, Neville and Mark, pouring the unity sand

Unity Sand - joining both families
Kerryn and Ross.  Happily married!
The reception area at the bottom of the garden

The guests showing their love

Yes, very happy
Evening lighting

The First Dance

Dad/Daughter and Mom/Son first dance

Friday, 13 June 2014

Liebster Award Nomination

Oh My Word!  What an honour!  Chrys Fey of Write with Fey nominated my blog for the Liebster Award.

I've pretty much allowed my blogging to take a back seat to 'life as she needs to be lived' since the April Blogging A-Z Challenge  finished and then, I woke up way too early this morning to Gina Stoneheart's comment on my previous post.  Thank you so very much, Chrys, I'm humbled to have been nominated by you with your other 10 exceptional nominees.

The Liebster Award is given to bloggers with less than 200 followers. The goal is to help people find these blogs that are worthy of a bigger following. In German "Liebster" means kindest, beloved, valued, and welcome.

The current rules for accepting this award are:

  1. 1.    List 11 random facts about myself.
  2. 2.    Answer 11 questions from the blogger who nominated me.
  3. 3.    Nominate 11 more blogs who have less than 200 followers and let them know they’ve been nominated.
  4. 4.    Post 11 new questions for those bloggers to answer (if they wish to accept the award—it’s completely optional).

So, here we go:

1.    I’m a Christian or, as one of my friends so aptly named it, ‘A Follower of The Way’.
2.    I was such a ‘girly girl’ when I was growing up.  While all the other girls were playing netball and hockey, I was passionately doing ballroom dancing.
3.    Later I made up for not playing sport and (even at my tremendous height of 5’ nothing) I played college basketball and, well into my forties, action cricket.  Now, two decades later, I walk for exercise.
4.    I’m accident-prone.  I blame this on my having ridiculously small UK-size 3 feet which are not feet at all and should, more accurately, be called ‘inches’.
5.    Through my late passion for sport, I’ve torn and snapped more ligaments and muscles than I thought a human body possessed.
6.    My first choice of career, at about age six I think, was to be doctor.  My high school course subjects were chosen with this in mind.  That career disappeared down the laboratory sink when, in Standard 8 (Grade 10) we had to dissect a frog.  Now any semblance of medical knowledge is restricted to first aid.
7.    I have three adult children, two of whom have wonderful spouses and my youngest who is engaged to an equally wonderful young lady.  My sons started a band called, Two Steps Left in which my youngest is the lead singer and rhythm guitarist and my eldest is the bassist.
8.    I rescue animals and people know that, if I can, I’ll help.  I currently have three rescue canine furchildren – Patrick the Yorkie; Angus the Scotty; and Castiel (named by my son), the Spaniel>  I also have five feline furchildren, the youngest of which is a feral rescue, Paisley, named for his beautiful markings and the fact that he keeps his tail curled up like a piglet – too cute.  Sadly, Paisley’s sister escaped and I never found her again.  My eldest is Max, who is nearly 20 years old and who is now becoming very frail.  The other three are my two pure black beauties, Panda and Cole and Oliver, my previous feral rescue.
9.    I love poetry and other writing and am trying to get the last two chapters of my first long story, Escape From Mount Vilipend, out of my head where they’ve been stuck for the longest time.  I suspect this might have a lot to do with not really believing that the work is any good but I do need to finish it.
10. I love to travel and would spend all my time writing and travelling or writing while travelling if it were possible.
11. I’m passionate about helping people and have started a business assisting myself and other people to develop an asset base of passive income.

My 11 Nominees, who may have more followers than I can discern, are: 
  1. Nick Wilford of Scattergun Scribblings
  2. Sam Farkas of Dizzy With Words
  3. Liz Blocker of Writing a Novel
  4. J E O'Neil of Still Writing
  5. Rebecca Giltrow of Rebecca Writes
  6. Damaria Senne and Pamela Moeng of Storypot (1 to go for 100)
  7. Elizabeth Sarah of Fashion and Figure Skating
  8. Sharon Bradshaw of Hope and Dreams
  9. Kat of A Writer's Musings
  10. Valerie Storey at Writing at Dava Books
  11. Untethered Realms

And my answers to the 11 Questions are:

1.  If you were allowed to read books by only one author, who would it be and why?
A. The Late James Oliver Rigney, Jr, whose pen name for his Wheel of Time Epic Fantasy series was Robert Jordan.  I have read and reread this series and never tire of it.  To me that is the mark of a master-author.

2.  What is your favourite dessert?
A. Meringues of any sort and in any combination.  Mmmmm.

3.  On a Friday night, what are you most likely to do?
A. At home doing nothing spectacular.  I enjoy being at home.

4.  If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be and why?
A. I would be confident within myself because ‘faking it’ becomes tiring after a while.

5.  Who is your favourite literary character? (You can pick one hero and one heroine.)
A. This is a difficult one.  Esther of the Bible must be my female heroine for her courage in saving her people; and Aragorn from Lord of The Rings for his strength (physical and mental) and humility – a combination I very much admire.

6.  What is your biggest dream?
A. I probably answered this in my random facts above.  I want to be financially free enough to experience the different cultures of the world and write – not about them but using them as catalysts for either poems or novels.

7.  What song could you listen to over and over again?
A. A number of songs actually – the most notable being - Royal Falcon by Parrish and Toppano; Barcelona by Queen; Dance With You by Live; Hear You Me by Jimmy Eat World; anything by my sons’ band, Two Steps Left.

8.  If your house were burning down, what would you take and why?
A. My animals.  Everything else is replaceable.  My writing is saved in the cloud and that’s important.

9.   Who is your inspiration, your hero?
A. Sarah Palin - without a doubt.  This lady was an exceptional Governor who, when she was nominated as Presidential Vice Presidential Candidate enjoyed an 82% favourability rating across both parties.  Her achievements are legend and yet she was vilified and even the church in which she worshipped was torched by political opponents who tried to destroy her.  They didn’t, she survived and thrived which I believe had a lot to do with her unwavering and unshakeable faith in Jesus in whose name there is infinite power.

10.  What advice would you give your teenage self?
A. Not everyone who appears to want the best for you, does.  Protect your heart   If you have any doubt, don’t!

11.If you were not in your current line of work, what would you be doing instead?
A. Retired because retirement has nothing to do with age, it’s a dynamic of finance.

My Questions to my nominees:
These are random questions and will not give you even the slightest inkling of what your personality is.  Choose the one which appeals most to you and give a few words on why.

1.    Company or solitude?
2.    Cats or dogs?
3.    Reading or listening?
4.    Flying or sailing?
5.    Lead or follow?
6.    Urban or rural?
7.    Mountains or sea?
8.    Straight or circular?
9.    Alphabetical or numerical?
10. Left or right?
11. Crunchy or smooth?

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Shepherd's Tree

A stunning new piece of art from one of my favourite artists, Brian Rolfe.  The serenity of this painting, called Shepherd's Tree, is quite amazing.  The title caught my eye immediately but the instant I saw the owl on the left of the picture, words popped into my head which wouldn't go away.

So, here's the painting and the words which wouldn't stay in my head...

Shepherd's Tree by artist, Brian Rolfe
(World, Owl, Word and Lord – all from that one word, 'World')

As the World sits and watches
A bearing to the right
Draws attention to a bird
Caught in momentary flight

As the Owl sits and watches
A movement to the left
Leaves no shadow of a doubt
That its food is in that cleft

As the Word sits and watches
The scene from high above
There is so much satisfaction
Of what is made with Love

As the Lord sits and watches
His handiwork below
He accepts His task as Shepherd
To lead those of us who follow

Apparently the painting above is not complete.  Here's the completed one with a link to the explanation of the tree...

The finished work of art

Sunday, 11 May 2014

3rd Molesey Band, Surrey, United Kingdom

For today, I give you two poems for two lovely children and their very proud parents...

This one's for Thomas for his first time with the 3rd Molesey Marching Band. It's not a new poem but it is most appropriate.

My Very First Drum

Grandad said
He knew where to find
An empty pepper tin
To make me a drum
Thomas, ready for action
My very first drum
So we climbed
And we climbed
The wooden stairs
Right up to the attic
A very large room

Grandad said
"It’s the granary, Tom
Where the salted bacon’s kept
Where the ham is kept as well
It’s all stored here
On great big hooks
Hanging and ready
To be hauled downstairs
For dinner or lunch
Made by your Mum or Gran"

Grandad found
The empty tin
Up on the shelf
Where he’d put it himself
In the corner of the room
In great excitement I took off the lid
And my nose took off as well
I sneezed and sneezed
Grandad chuckled and wheezed
Well, it was the pepper tin

Grandad and I polished
Until the tin sparkled and shone
We made a hole in the top
And the bottom
Then we threaded some string
Clean through the holes
And there it was
A beautiful thing
All shiny and bright
My very first drum

And (yes, I know one should never start a sentence with an 'and') this one (which is new) is for Amelia for her first time with the 3rd Molesey Marching Band.

Amelia, in action
See The Bugler

See the bugler standing proud
Hear the notes
Hear the echoed sounds
As the brass resounds
Leading the floats
Filling the air clear and loud

See Amelia in scarf and gloves
Ready to take her cue
Ready  for her refrain
To fill the air once again
As her eyes take in the view
Of the marching band she loves

See the bugler marching on
Hear the beat
Hear the rhythmic thrums
As the boom of the drums
And the brass compete
When the cymbals crash as one

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

2014 A-Z Reflections

I Love the "Blogging from A to Z April Challenge"!

That sentence stands on its own.  Truth in 10 words if one counts 'A' and 'Z' as words.  

I've only done the Challenge twice but I'm in love.  I firmly believe that it's because of the companionship and camaraderie which we share with others across all genres - all Bloggers supporting all Bloggers.  It doesn't get much better than that!

To all the wonderful Admins who kept the spirit alive in so many more ways than I ever thought possible - kudos.  It would take this entire post to thank you all and to say how much each of you has meant to me personally, so to you all, please accept my humble and profound thanks.  

For all the new friends I've met and for all of the 'old' friends who visited, I so appreciate your support. Although I am not going to mention everyone, there is one person who must receive my highest accolade. That person is Alex Cavanaugh.  Alex, I remain amazed at everything you do.  Thank you so much for being a constant visitor.  Your comments were always insightful and I looked forward to them with great anticipation and expectation.

I have to share how I was personally impacted by the Challenge.  I decided that the photographs I used to illustrate my poems would be taken by either myself or a family member.  There was only one photo in all 26 posts which wasn't.  This brings me to the highlight of the month which occurred through the simple use of one of my niece's photographs.  The photograph was of a satsuma peel which you can see here and which I believed perfectly illustrated my fun but serious poem which I've included here.  It's called Dear Addict but isn't quite what it seems.

Dear Addict

I think of you
Punch to the midriff
I think of you
My arms go weak
I think of you
My heart starts laughing
My blood gurgles too
As it recognises
My essence
The essence of you

My fingers tingle
As do my toes
My face starts to spasm
And wrinkles my nose
My cheeks join in
Reaching up to my eyes
Which twinkle and sparkle
Like stars in night skies

I say to myself
There’s a problem here
How can it be
That I hold him so dear?

Then once again
I think of you
Punch to the midriff
My knees touch the floor
Legs which can walk for miles
Don’t make the door

So I say to myself
There’s a problem here
How can it be
That I need him near?

My Heart starts laughing
Shoots straight to the core
I’m surprised at you Darling
So I’ll tell you once more

There’s nothing that you

Will be able to do
So I hope that at last
You’ll listen and hear

The only thing wrong 
With you My Dear
Is the song in your heart 
Of your love for him
Your very own Love Song
Which sings to your soul
The very same Love Song 
Which sings to your Heart

You’re an addict My Dear
You’re an addict it’s true
You’re an addict I fear
That much holds true

The cure is a punch to the midriff 
Each time you think of him
A punch to the midriff 
When your arms go weak

I laugh at my heart
As I think of you
I'll take that punch to my midriff 
My arms can going weak
I even don’t mind 

If I don’t reach the door
As long as I’m with you
I can ask for no more

I was surprised and delighted when Emma, my niece, commented on that post but even more so when she told me that the subject of the photograph I'd used was actually made by Thomas, of my grand-nephew.  It was Thomas's Dancing Satsuma Peel.  Thomas has autism so he tends to see life a little differently from most other people.  Well, that comment by Emma triggered a most natural response from me and I immediately did a post on Autism and wrote a poem for Thomas.  Emma read the poem to Tom and he thoroughly enjoyed it.  That, out of all the high points of the Challenge was the absolute highlight for me.  

Thank you all once again for an outstanding experience.


I missed World Autism Day but living with someone who is autistic isn't only for one day, so this is for my nephew, Kyle and his wife, Emma who have the honour of having being chosen by God to share their life with their wonderful son, Thomas (who is autistic) and their daughter Amelia.  What this is doing for my family is teaching them how to think very differently from what is considered ‘normal’ in today’s world. 

They are, in a very real sense, getting a glimpse into how God views us.  From 1 Samuel 16:7 we get this gem on God’s choosing of David to be King over others who were viewed by the prophet Samuel as being acceptable to be king of Israel.

“But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him.  The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.

I used Thomas’s ‘Dancing Satsuma Peel’ in my poem for ‘D’ (Dear Addict) for the April A-Z Challenge to describe a punch to the midriff, not knowing it was, in fact Thomas's work.  However, this is a much better story. 

Emma, Thomas’s mother and my darling niece-in-law (if there is such a thing.  I think of her simply as my niece) wrote the following message on my Facebook page:

“Thomas's dancing Satsuma peel.  I would be honoured to just share the thoughts of an autistic child for just one day. They look at the world as the world is.  It's raining cats and dogs, while we "get" that it means it's raining really hard.  Why don't we just say that?  That freaks an autistic person out, but if it DID really rain cats and dogs it would totally freak us all out! I think that they are more in tune with life and it's us that have a skewed outlook that sadly makes us "normal".  Think outside the box, as autism parents we have to do this every day.  It's a pleasure to do so.

So, here it is; a special poem for Emma, Kyle, Amelia and most particularly for my precious nephew, Thomas...

Satsuma Man

When you look at me
What do you see?
Do you know what I am?
No, I’m not eggs and ham

I can see it for real
It’s the torn off peel
You say as you widely grin
From an orange or mandarin

No, No, No
Look low
Say I
And then again look high

Look left
Past the crevice and cleft
Look right
For a wonderful sight

Keep moving your eyes
Watch it fall and then rise
Soon you’ll say, ‘Why, Yes I can’
It’s the Dancing Satsuma Man

It’s the Dancing Satsuma Man
Dancing as only he can
Arms and legs open wide
His head thrown back in pride

What a moment, what fun
See him dance; see him run
It’s the little peel man
The Dancing Satsuma Man

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Going Dark

Summer Coffee - South Africa Style
To all my Online Friends

Here is a video to ponder:

I'm taking the message seriously...


I love this reminder so I bid you farewell for the day
As I take myself off now to live my life my way!
I'm leaving my phone and my laptop beside
On my bedside table as I now go outside
Perhaps I'll do something, perhaps I'll just sit
To enjoy feeling grass on bare feet for a little bit
Perhaps I'll take in sights and sounds of a bird
Understand how wonderful life is when lived in life not in word
It's not that you're not important, you are
But I need to live life, not view it from afar
So, My Dear Online Friends, I'll pop back again soon
To let you know what's been happening under my sun and moon
I'm now going to live and love life in all its majesty
Not hoping and wishing and living it vicariously
Now as I bid you all a very fond 'adieu'
I hope I may meet you and we can chat 'un peu'
But not on a laptop or over a phone
Over coffee or tea and in person, not alone

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Zested Fibre

Another of Kyle and Em's photos

At the end of an incredible month of posting a new verse each day, I can think of no more fitting end.  I can think of so many people for whom this poem is a reality.  To those who love, this, then, is for you...

Each Zested Fibre

When Love overflows
Each petalled caress
Into a perfect rose

When desire deluges
Each whisped bouquet
The treasured words you say

When yearning cascades
Each satined ascent
That cherished occasion

When love overflows
Each zested fibre

My you-kissed awareness