A Nectar And Pollen Beach Café

The birds and the bees enjoying a feast of nectar and pollen provided by this winter-flowering Greathead Aloe.

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Only one more day left here at the beach before our 600 km drive up to our daughter’s house in Johannesburg. It’s been a wonderful month with lots of time spent with my sister and good friends. The sound of the crashing waves is music to my ears, something  I’m really going to miss,

 

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Floral Friday: First Gardenia Flower

A few weeks ago, my daughter sent me a gardenia bonsai, “Just because I love you, Mom.” What a lovely surprise it was, and I stood it in my kitchen, read the instructions and waited for the buds to come out. I was supposed to mist it daily, keep the pebbles moist in the tray and make sure not to water it too much. Not that difficult really. My daughter was disappointed when she saw the photo, because in the brochure, it showed a bright red pot with many flowers already blooming.

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I followed the instructions religiously, but all that happened was that a couple of buds fell off. Then I had the bright idea to stand it outside in the humidity instead of inside in the air conditioning. Light bulb moment! The very next day, my first flower started to appear and now it’s looking gorgeous.

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The fragrance is wonderful and takes me back to when I was a teenager in the 60’s. For Christmas, my very favourite aunt bought me my first bottle of perfume, which was ‘Gardenia’ by Goya. I can still remember how excited I was when I opened the bottle and dabbed a couple of drops behind my ears.

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Tonight we’re going to see the fabulous Judy Carmichael performing at one of our local theatres. I wish I could play piano just like her. Tomorrow evening, we have dinner and dancing here at the club, so that should be fun too. Wishing you all a very happy weekend.

 

 

Pull Up A Seat At The Garden Centre

XingfuMama’s ‘Pull Up A Seat’ challenge showcases many places one can sit and rest one’s self either comfortably or sometimes not so comfortably, as is the case with this one I found at my sister’s local garden centre in South Africa.

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Just around the corner, was this cute couple all snuggled up on a tiny bench in the shade.

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If you have any photos of seats of any description which you’ve found on your travels, just click the link to be taken to XingfuMama’s challenge.

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Pull Up A Seat: Great Grandma’s Centenary Bench

To celebrate my Mom-in-law’s 100th birthday, she donated a bench to her village. When she was just a few years younger, she regularly walked a couple of miles uphill from her house into the village to do her shopping. Just before she arrived at the shops, was a wooden bench where she used to stop and rest for a while before doing her errands and returning home, usually carrying a bag of groceries in each hand.

One day she reached her usual rest stop, only to find to her disappointment that the bench had been badly vandalised and was no longer usable. When her centenary came around, it seemed fitting that she should replace the bench with an indestructible one for the use of other senior citizens.

At the time, she was the oldest person living in her village.

The following year, the family gathered for a sumptuous Christmas lunch at the picturesque country pub just across the road. Grandma was of course the guest of honour and my grandson together with his cousin, sitting on an old bench there, serenaded her with an impromptu ballad all about their amazing great grandma. She’s still going strong and her 106th birthday is coming up in August.

 

If you would like to join in XingfuMama’s ‘Pull up a seat’ challenge, Just click the link.

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My Family’s Tender Moments

Cee’s B&W Challenge this week is “Tender Moments.”

Many of our tender moments are experienced with family, and mine is no exception.

My sister-in-law with her sweet and much adored poodle Lucca, who sadly passed away a couple of weeks ago.

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My grandson with the family cat, Ravioli. She is very much loved by all and has long ago learned to endure all the cuddles she gets.

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My cute little grandson Max, cuddling up to granny.

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Our precious daughter Mandy with her dad and loving her first visit to us in Florida. What a wonderful ten days we had together.

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Our son comforting and encouraging his younger daughter Taylor when she suddenly got stage fright at the school concert.

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Last but not least, me cozying up to Santa, hoping he had a present in his sack with my name on it.

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Hope your weekend is a very relaxing and happy one.

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Pull Up A Seat Photo Challenge: Two ‘Throw-backs’.

I decided to take part in XingfuMama’s photo challenge this week. All you need to do is post photos of objects one can sit upon.

Here’s a ‘throw-back’ from 1998, snapped by our son Jeff. Hubby and I were resting on a bench in a rainy Central Park before leaving for the airport on our way back to South Africa. I really loved that flowery umbrella and wish I knew where it eventually disappeared to.

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Another memory from 6 years ago when our granddaughter Sienna was visiting us with her dad in Johannesburg. In our local shopping mall we came upon this rather flashily-dressed cow reading the Daily Mooews.

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Wishing you all a great week ahead. To take part in this challenge, go to https://xingfumama.blog/pull-up-a-seat/

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Having Fun On A Windy Day

It’s been a strange sort of vacation, with far too much time spent in doctors’ waiting rooms, hospital X-ray department, CT Scan and Bronchoscopy units. There is no part of my lungs which haven’t been minutely inspected and scrutinized. My persistent cough is apparently due to nothing more serious than chest inflammation and sensitive airways. I’m now on my third lot of antibiotics plus a course of corticosteroid tablets which actually give me nightmares. For example, last night I dreamed that I was staggering around with a fold-up bed on my back, looking for hubby who was supposed to be meeting me with the car. My cell phone wasn’t working, so I couldn’t call him. Luckily I woke up before I got too tired of lugging the bed around whilst totally lost. So many pills that I do believe were I to be shaken, I’d rattle.

On the bright side, I’ve seen quite a lot of my darling sister and a few very dear friends. We’ve had some really fun times together. Here after dinner, we had just discovered that our fingers are actually identical in length.

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Today is the last day in our beach front apartment here in South Africa. Tomorrow we drive up to stay with our daughter in Johannesburg for the weekend, before flying to England on Monday to see hubby’s soon to be 104-year-old mom, Kathleen.

We have a splendid view of the Indian Ocean from our balcony and yesterday hubby took these photos of intrepid guys having fun in the surf. I think it must feel really awesome to do this.  I’m not much of a water-baby myself,  but I do enjoy watching them.

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I may not be able to blog or comment for the next week or so until we get back home to Florida on July 4th. I wish you all a very good week and will see you again soon.

 

Remembering my darling Mom

On Mothers’ Day,  I’m remembering how exciting it was as a child to celebrate my special  Mom.

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You were always my heroine, so pretty, chic and very clever. You taught me so much from a very young age. My love of music was nurtured because of your encouragement, and even though you had never learned to play an instrument, you were determined to give me the chance even though the cost of piano lessons was quite a sacrifice on your tight budget. You worked so hard at many menial jobs in order to supplement the family income, and yet still found the time to make my sister and I the most gorgeous clothes, often sitting at your sewing machine late into the night. I’ll never forget the Sunday School Anniversary dresses you sewed, especially the blue flocked one with the enormous navy bow at the back, which made it very difficult for us to sit down. Your daughters always had to be the smartest on the block, and I guess that’s why you insisted on the hats as the finishing touch. How we loathed wearing those feather hats, and also the ones that looked like a couple of beige blancmanges, but I’ve long since forgiven you. You were very brave in the hat-stakes yourself, and I remember that you were mortified, when at church one Sunday, our oldest member called out very loudly, “Vera, I like your new hat, but that feather makes you look just like Robin Hood.”

There always seemed to be just enough money to take us on a seaside holiday once a year, but only because of your thriftiness. Nothing was wasted in our house, and you somehow found the time to make all your own jams and pickles with fruit and vegetables harvested from dad’s garden. Coming home from school on cold winter days in England, I knew that there would always be a good fire going in the hearth, and toast or muffins with homemade strawberry jam to warm me up. You cajoled me into eating my vegetables, even brussel sprouts, with the promise that they were going to make my hair curl. I forgive you for that little white lie, but only because you made the best apple pies in the world.

I have so many wonderful memories of you. It was so heartbreaking to see you the way your health declined during the last two years of your life. You became so fragile and could no longer manage to stand on your own. When I took you for a walk in the garden in your wheelchair, I thought of how you used to push me in my stroller all those years ago. Our roles had somehow been reversed. You were always so dignified and independent; so strong and upright, and I longed for you to be like that once again, but as you said to me, “I just have to be content with the way things are now.” I know you wanted to tell me all sorts of things, and yet your mind just couldn’t process your thoughts and turn them into words. How frustrating this must have been for you. As we sat there trying to hold a conversation, I was really moved when Mrs. G, the lady in the chair next to you, rousing a little from her slumbers, reached her hand over the arm of the chair until it found yours. She didn’t even open her eyes but grasped your hand so tightly, and as you stroked her fingers I saw a glimmer of a smile on her face, probably remembering a time in the past when she had someone’s hand to hold, maybe a husband or even a child. She never had visitors, but I’m sure that your cool touch that day brought comfort to her heart and she felt loved, just as it used to for me when I was a child.

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Mom thank you for everything you did for me. You are loved so much and will always be in my heart.

Bench Series #45: Mosaic benches

“A bench with a message” is the requirement for Jude’s Bench Series this month. I hope these two lovely mosaic benches seen at ‘Glass Cuttings Gallery’ at the Piggly Wiggly country village on the Midlands Meander route, will qualify.

These pretty benches are a couple of creations from the “Fragments of Africa” collection by Sarah Pryke.

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They still have their price tags attached, and this one of a “Pied and Malachite Kingfisher” will cost you R4,800.

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I wish you all a very happy and relaxing weekend. I’m happy to report that my sister is back home and recovering well. Her surgeon says that she is allowed to paint for limited amounts of time once she feels up to it, but at the moment she’s sleeping quite a lot and just getting her strength back.