One Word Sunday: Old

Debbie’s theme for ‘One Word Sunday’ is ‘Old’. I’m a bit late to the party because I’ve been waiting for my Mom-in-law’s care home in England to upload photos taken of her on her 108th birthday. Here she is looking surprised and delighted with the flowers from us.

In spite of her great age, Kathleen is still active and takes part in all the goings on at the home, including the chair aerobics and the singing. Whenever we phone her, she is never in her room and the staff have to go looking for her to get her to the phone. Unfortunately because of COVID, no family members were allowed to attend her party, but a beautiful cake was made for the residents and staff to enjoy whilst the harpist she had requested, provided entertainment.

We had a phone call with her after the party and she was in high spirits, having enjoyed the occasion, especially the cake.

We are hoping that we’ll all be able to attend her 109th birthday next August if this pesky virus goes away at last.

I enjoyed my birthday with our family up in New Jersey and was thoroughly spoiled, wined and dined. Although I’m also old, I do still have way to go before I catch up to Kathleen, who is now the 62nd oldest person in the whole of the UK.

Floral Friday Fotos: Flamboyant Flame Tree

A few weeks ago I noticed something bright orange clinging to the top of a neighbour’s tree across the lake. From a distance, it looked like the wind might have blown a brightly coloured plastic bag up there. Eventually, my curiosity got the better of me and I zoomed my camera in on it. A single spray of beautiful flame colored flowers.


When we returned from our trip to NJ, I was delighted to see that the tree had been very busy producing many more of these lovely bright blooms. How beautiful they look against the blue Florida sky. This is a Royal Poinciana also known as the Flame Tree, for obvious reasons.


Our immediate family has seven May birthdays, all within two weeks, and today is my sister’s turn. I’ve sent her flowers of course,


and have just called her to wish her many happy returns of the day.


Hope you all have a relaxing and happy weekend.





Mundane Monday: Florida Wildflowers

Jithin of PhoTrablogger, invites us to find beauty in almost everything, and Jude of smallbluegreenflowers is on the lookout for beautiful wildflowers this month.

At Green Cay we saw quite a few wildflowers and I think I can safely say that this is a wild Hibiscus.


I think this could be Dogwood, also known here as ‘Appalachian Spring’. I’m sure Jude will know.


This one looks to me a bit like Honeysuckle.


Pretty in pink is all I can say about this one; maybe pink Statice?


Here we have lots of pretty snowflake flowers.


I really shouldn’t be sitting here guessing at wildflower names. I should be packing my case with slightly warmer clothes than I’m used to wearing her in Florida, for tomorrow we fly up to New Jersey to see our son and family. Little Taylor is going to be seven and is having a party at the weekend. We’ll be up there for a week, so as there are so many activities planned for whilst we’re there,  I will of necessity be absent from the blogs during that time. I’ll tell you all about it next week. Take care and have a great week.


Welcome to the USA and a very Happy Birthday

There was great excitement and relief here yesterday when the mail man delivered two priority mail envelopes containing our beautiful and long awaited Green Cards. I was surprised to see that they are actually green and not white, as someone had once told me. I’m even quite pleased with my photo, as on i.d. documents I usually end up looking like an alien.


Now it’s all systems go  for our trip over to South Africa. The flights are booked for Tuesday, and hubby has found a lovely 3-bedroomed beachfront apartment for us to rent for a month. I’m so excited to see my gorgeous Umhlanga lighthouse again.


Our daughter will be coming down from Johannesburg for Mom’s 90th, and will stay with us for a few days. Now all that’s left is to book the car hire and a hotel in London for a couple of nights, as we don’t fancy doing two night flights back to back. We’ll arrive in Johannesburg on the Saturday morning and will do the 6 hour drive down to the coast, arriving in the evening. Isn’t it amazing how things just work out? Thanks so much for all your thumb holding and positive thoughts and wishes. You may uncross everything now, including your eyes. I’m not looking forward to the packing, as I always find it so difficult deciding what to leave behind. Gilly suggested that I just take a “capsule wardrobe” but not the size of the Soyuz space capsule. 🙂

Today is my darling hubby’s birthday. Happy Birthday to the love of my life, and may we have many more happy years together


We’re going out for the day to celebrate with a fabulous lunch at the elegant Grand Lux Cafe, and to do a bit of shopping for his birthday present and also for gifts to take over for the family. He’s decided to give himself the day off from doing house renovations. It’s coming along very well, and we should be able to move in by December.

Wishing you all a fabulous weekend. I’ll catch up with your blogs a bit later.

Floral Friday Foto: My brave orchid

Last year, hubby bought me a beautiful orchid, and when we left to go back to South Africa for six months, I planted it out in the garden and just hoped for the best. When we got back, it looked like just a couple of dead sticks, but last week, I noticed it had started to come to life again. I was so thrilled that it had resurrected itself after so many months of neglect.


Thank you so much to all of you who wished me good luck yesterday. I’m sorry to report that our expedition to Fort Myers wasn’t a great success. When I walked in the door, the woman who had done my fingerprints previously, asked, “What are you doing back here again?” She couldn’t understand why the ink prints she’d done, hadn’t been accepted, as they looked fine to her. I asked if there was a good reason why we’d been summoned to their office, two and half hours drive from where we live, rather than out local Palm Beach USCIS. She didn’t know, but went off to have a word with her superior, who invited us into his office for a chat. What a charming man this officer was. He said the only reason he could think of, was that as their office was quite new and very quiet, someone had decided that they needed more traffic, without considering the inconvenience caused to people such as ourselves. He also said that I should never have been asked to go back for more fingerprinting, as, if two sets of prints aren’t acceptable, there is a different approach to be taken. He is sending an e-mail to whoever is in charge of our application, and advised me in the mean time to go to my local police station to get a clearance certificate saying that I haven’t been involved in any criminal activity since we’ve been living here in Florida. As I was there, they scanned my fingers once again, and only one print was acceptable. What a business this has turned out to be, but I’m sure it will all turn out okay in the end. The delays are such a pain though, as we need to book our flights back to South Africa to make sure we’re there for my mom’s 90th in May. Everything else is fine with our application, except for my elusive fingerprints. I guess I’ll just have to keep calm and hope for the best.

Happy Birthday Sienna

My darling granddaughter Sienna celebrates her ninth birthday today. She was such a cute little baby.


Now she’s an adorable, ‘not so little’ princess.


The really good news is that hubby and I are flying up to NJ next week to be at her birthday party.



Can’t wait to see them all again. It seems such a long time since last Christmas.

One Hundred And One Years Young Today.

Today, it’s my darling Mom-in-law’s 101st birthday. Kathleen Letitia was born August 4th, 1913. Since I first met her, almost 50 years ago, she has been a source of great inspiration to me. I really think that she must have found the secret of eternal, if not youth, then well-being. She has obviously aged, but in the most graceful and elegant way. I do remember, not long after hubby and I were married, being shown some old family photos. Looking at her wedding photo, I exclaimed, “Oh, but you look younger now than you did on your wedding day!” It was of course meant as a sincere compliment, but after I’d said it, I suddenly realised that she could easily have taken it the wrong way. After all, a bride on her wedding day is supposed to look the most radiantly beautiful that she ever will. Well, I needn’t have worried, because this darling lady, then well into in her 50’s, looked so delighted, and simply answered, “Oh, do you really think so dear? Thank you so much. That’s very kind of you to say so.”

Here she is, the belle of the ball at eighteen.

Kathleen at 18 in 1931

At twenty.

Kathleen age 20 in 1933.

Her marriage to Clifford in 1934.

12 Kathleen and Clifford's wedding 1934

Having fun, in her back garden in 1934.

11. Kathleen full of fun   1933

See how wonderful she looked on her 90th birthday, as she was about to serve up her delicious home-made Pavlova dessert.


Of course last year’s 100th birthday was a very special celebration, as she got her telegram from Queen Elizabeth.

Kathleen Shaw cutting her 100th cake

This happy, positive, and very active 101-year-old, still lives by herself in a two-storey house. and is up and down stairs several times a day. She wins scrabble competitions, knits beautiful hats, mittens and blankets for needy children around the world, bakes delicious cakes for local charity cake sales, and has a mind a sharp as a razor. I really hope to be just like her if I’m fortunate enough to live to such a great age. Happy 101st Birthday to a really wonderful woman.

I’m still up to my neck here in moving house, but I just had to make time to pay tribute to our family treasure.




Oceans apart in distance and age.

Today is my dear mom’s 89th birthday in South Africa, and it’s also my granddaughter Taylor’s 5th birthday in New Jersey. We celebrated both of these auspicious occasions of course, and went to see mom in the care home. She was sleeping when we arrived, but soon perked up when she saw her lovely chocolate cake that my sister had made for her to share with all the residents and staff, and the flowers, cards and presents which we’d brought. When we got home, we chatted to Taylor and the rest of the family on Skype. She was so excited about her party yesterday. She even had a visit from the Sleeping Beauty Princess, (actually her cousin in a blonde wig, although I’m not sure she realised this). Here are some pics of the two birthday girls with family and friends.

It’s less than ideal when families live so far apart, but thank goodness for Skype video calls and Facebook photos. What ever would we do without them?