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Category Archives: Family

I have awesome children, I love them to bits and an amazing boyfriend who is the light of my life, so they will most definitely pop up here from time to time.

Mental well-being.

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False Bay, Western Cape, South Africa.

Be positive. Be positive. Be positive…

Easier said than done. I can pretend I am positive all the time, while I’m screaming inside. What good will that do? Maybe if I pretend hard enough, I’ll actually become positive? Maybe. I doubt it though.

I’ve written before about how I do all these little ‘things’ to stay busy and positive and happy. It’s not working for me anymore.

Let me tell you why. (You might not be interested to know about my woes, but I’ll tell you anyway…)

I AM happy about the fact that we (my loved ones) are all still healthy, have food to eat, and roofs over our heads. I AM happy that we are comparatively free to live our lives and go about our business (the ones here in South Africa anyway. The loved ones in Ireland and Canada, are much less free.)

But the fact that all of us cannot see the end of these limitations that have been placed on us regarding travel, the fact that a lot of things related to Covid and vaccines are still unclear and uncertain, is really, REALLY getting my goat now!!! And I know I’m not the only one. And it is also not only for the sake of traveling. Thousands, maybe millions of people have loved ones living in other countries – children, grandchildren, uncles, aunts, brothers, sisters – and we are forbidden to see them. What does that do to family relationships? How does that impact on people’s mental health? I can tell you – very negatively.

My shoulders and neck are sore and stiff all the time. I don’t sleep well. I’m irritated. I have difficulty breathing properly. And I cry at the drop of a hat.

Maybe that’s just me. Maybe I’m just a sugar lump, that melts at the first few drops of rain. But I’m thinking there must be others out there who feel the same way.

Greetings, friends!

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Photo by Tom Swinnen on Pexels.com

My goodness, it’s been a while!

I’ve had a crazy couple of weeks. You have to know it was busy if I didn’t have time to write a few words here.

We’ve been building and changing the guesthouse, and it took longer than planned, which had my nerves frayed by the end of it. I don’t want to write about that today, since I do not have the energy to recall and regale you with all the ‘fun’ we had and to download the pictures, but I will do that some time next week, as promised. Suffice it to say – the guests could come and stay as booked and planned, which was a relief.

With the way the different governments are handling the ‘pandemic’ (I’m way past believing that we still have a pandemic, if indeed we ever truly had one), I’m beginning to think that I will never see my children in Canada and Ireland again, and to my granddaughter I’ll forever be a face on a cell phone screen. When our travel restrictions are lifted, theirs aren’t, and vice versa. South Africa still has a few ridiculous rules, like suddenly restricting the sale and transport of alcohol for the Easter weekend, but generally we are quite free to move around.

We can travel anywhere inside our country, we can eat in restaurants and go to pubs, we can meet friends and family, we are just not allowed to have big gatherings of people, and we have to wear masks in public. I think it is time for the world to move on now, and for governments to stop using the excuse of the pandemic to further their own hidden agendas.

We spent a lovely few hours with my eldest son today (I’m going to stop saying ‘eldest son’ from now on, as he is the only son/child I can spend time with without having to get on a plane and fly somewhere). We met up with him at a market that was started in an old railway shed in the middle of the main apple growing area of South Africa, which was turned into a delightful place to meet with friends and family. There is live music, (which I could listen to all day – it was my kind of music, and the guy could actually sing), and a variety of food and drinks to choose from. We caught up a bit on what was happening in our lives, and of course – we sorted out the world’s problems!

The drive there and back is beautiful. It is one of my favourite routes, through mountains and valleys and apple orchards, so that added to the joy of the day.

Now I’m home, and I feel like it was a day well spent.

I hope you all had a good day. If not, I hope tomorrow will be so much better. 🙂

This is us.

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I thought I’d do something different today.

Instead of trying to help you, or teach you, or tell you off, or moan about the heat, I’m just going to post a few pictures. I don’t post a huge amount of personal photographs, but since it’s Friday, the start of the weekend, and I’m missing a lot of people, I’ll introduce you to some of them.

I’ll start off with this collage, introduce the people in the pics to you, and from there you’ll know who is who. 🙂

From top left: my mom and I; my daughter and her little family; my significant other and I, and at the bottom – my 2 sons, me, my daughter-in law (wife to my eldest son on the far L)

Like I said in my introduction on my homepage, I am the proud mother of three (now 5 with my children- in law!) and doting grandmother to one precious little girl. And my significant other is VERY significant in my life, even if we are apart a lot of the time…

I am on my own quite a lot, so blogging and my hobbies (mainly knitting/crocheting and gardening) keep me going and keep me sane!

Have a lovely weekend, and whatever you do, be safe. 😕🐞

Destiny.

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♥♥♥

I often wonder about the way things are playing out in my life…

You know – why did this happen? How am I going to deal with that? Why don’t my plans work out? What am I doing wrong? What should I do next?

I always try and go back to my faith to keep me going. I know not everybody believes the same things I do, and I am not going to try and convert you or convince you of my viewpoint. But to me it is something I need in my life, and it works for me. If not for that, I might have run into the sea a long time ago! Or hit somebody with a baseball bat. Or I might have decided to go and live in a cave.

Sometimes it feels as if everything is working against me, to make life as difficult as possible. I don’t always know how to deal with that. I get emotional often, sometimes I talk about it, often I pray for guidance. I do allow myself a day to feel and emote, and then I have to carry on. Just because things aren’t going my way, does not mean the end of life – life carries on, and so should I.

Fortunately today is not one of the bad (emotional, sad) days, but I am wondering about the reason for certain important things being denied me (by outside influences, like Covid and the world’s hysteria about it) – it doesn’t make sense to me. I have to believe there is a reason for it, but for the life of me, I cannot imagine what those reasons can be…

Today is gardening day, so I will connect with Mother Earth, and hopefully that will soothe my ruffled feathers.

Whatever it is that you believe in (if not in God) – karma, serendipity, luck, bad luck, coincidence – I hope light shines on you today, and that you have a good one!! 😀

Afters.

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Crimson cherries.

I’m not really a dessert person.

That is not to say that I never eat dessert. I would rather have a starter and a main, than a main and a dessert. I do, however, sometimes order a little somethin’ sweet when we go out, but then it has to be an unusual dessert, something you won’t make and eat at home. Or when we are invited for dinner, I’ll have dessert.

At home I’ve got tons of recipes, and I’ve tried a lot of them, but I normally make my “go to’s”, of which there is a handful.

At Christmas I thought I’ll make a little bit more of an effort, and since we have seriously hot weather over December, and I’ve canned some cherries shortly before, I searched for a good old fashioned ice cream recipe. I do not have an ice cream maker, but I decided to give a traditional recipe a try anyway.

And we were all glad I did! It came out beautifully, and was an absolute hit with the cherries. I took it out of the freezer when it was more than halfway frozen, and whisked it all up until smooth again, and put it back to freeze. It was possibly not quite as smooth as it would have been had I used an ice cream maker, but it was good enough for us!

Cherries and ice cream.

Unfortunately not the best picture I’ve ever taken, but I was probably in a hurry to start eating! Or blame it on the champagne, I don’t mind! 😉

The recipe I used was from Pinterest, from the blog of homemadefoodjunkie.com. I tweaked it for countries that use the metric system.

VANILLA BEAN ICE CREAM

Ingredients

  • 500 ml whole milk
  • 500 ml heavy cream
  • 250 ml granulated sugar
  • 1.5 ml salt
  • 1 whole vanilla bean-halved and seeds scraped
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 7.5 ml pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. In a large pot whisk together milk, cream, half of the sugar, salt and the scraped vanilla bean, including the pod. Bring the mixture just barely to a boil whisking constantly. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Next combine the yolks and remaining sugar in a separate medium bowl with an electric mixer on low, until yolks are thick and pale yellow.
  3. Add about 1/3 of the milk mixture slowly into the yolks, whisking constantly. Add another 1/3 of the milk mixture and whisk until blended. Add remaining milk mixture into the yolks and mix.
  4. Return it all to the pot and set on low heat.
  5. With a wooden spoon, stir the pot until it thickens slightly and coats the back of the spoon. Be careful not to boil it! (You will end up with scrambled eggs instead of custard.)
  6. The thickening process should take just a few minutes.
  7. Pour the custard mixture through a fine mesh strainer (discard the vanilla pod) and bring down to room temperature. Stir in the vanilla extract. Cover and refrigerate 1 to 2 hours or overnight – until THOROUGHLY chilled to refrigerator temperature!
  8. Follow your ice cream mixer directions and freeze until soft set. Five minutes before the mixer is done churning add in your favorite nuts, berries and candies as desired.
  9. Freeze finished ice cream for several hours or until it’s hardened to your desired consistency.

And of course, if you are very industrious, you could make a pavlova with the egg whites left over from the ice cream, which I actually did this time! Yay me! But I forgot to take a picture… 🤦🏼‍♀️ I love pavlova with cream and fresh fruit (strawberries this time) – the combination of the sweet meringue, with the rich cream and slightly sour fruit is a winner every time. We had the pav on Christmas eve, and the cherries and ice cream after lunch on Christmas day.

Do you have a sweet tooth or not? And what is your favourite dessert?