Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Reflections of 2008

Looking back I wondered what we did on this day in 2007. Now this is where the value of a blog comes in as I could at the click of a button look back and see that we had spent it at the Pretoria Zoo. We had fun that day!!

By February I know we had made the decision to sell our home and we put it on the market. We had realised we were in financial doo-doo. This situation has not got any better but we're digging our way out. Shortly after my birthday in April we sold our home and the biggest struggle of our lives would begin. When we should have been breathing a sigh of relief our buyers have given us grief at every turn. To date the Transfer has still not gone through - and for the festive month of December they hit us with another blow by not paying occupational rent. Off they were to Namibia to get married and visit family. I was struck with the 'how do we get through this month' and had my worst Christmas ever. We also had to live with their nastiness a few days before Christmas when they told us to basically go to hell.

We moved to a new home. It has it's problems and our landlord is not the kind of guy to fix things - so sadly we are looking for a new place. We have earmarked a few but we are not rushing into anything as we don't want to make another mistake. We also miss our pool - so that is at the top of the list. The next house has to have a pool!!

There was Bailey- Bless his soul!! I miss him dearly. I think I am warming up to Charlie and he is proving to be a beautiful, loving family dog!!

We decided to homeschool Bradley. It was a very hard decision to make. We are confident moving into 2009 with a fantastic curriculum.

Sadly, in the past 6 months my lampworking career took a backseat to everything happening in my life. I will not try and gloss it over but it has been one of the most stressful and trying times of my life. I am grateful to have had my family and marriage survive this - we are still licking our wounds but we are healing. That is what is important.

To all my Divas, my friends old and new who were there for me even when I was quiet, to my family who had to put up with the worst of me and to Elaine who managed to pull me through my darkest hours, I will be forever eternally grateful!! Those small things you did for me meant so much to me...I can only hope and pray we will meet in person one day!!

To all you secret and not so secret Santas - thank you for reminding me that there is something I am good at and to stick to it.

To Diana in Canada - who kept true and stood by me as well as Trish. It would be a pleasure to march into any battle with you!!

To Trish - right or wrong, nobody had the right to do what they did to you. May 2009 be your year!!

To those of you who find joy in tearing other people apart!! Who find the need to be vicious and hurtful. I can only hope and pray that you will one day find the value in true friendship.

and remember :


standing strong for your own beliefs and doing what's right even when others disagree.


understanding and appreciating unique qualities in others.


willingly working with others towards a common goal.


showing others consideration, admiration, and honor.
and most importantly


accepting, giving, sharing, feeling, and enjoying companionship with others . . .
taken from the Character Education Resource Guide, written by Regina G. Burch and published by Creative Teaching Press

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Approaching storm. . .

but it was not to be. . .

Laughter at someone's expense....

edited to add that I think some are just jealous cause they don't have a blog . . . (LOL) and also added another safer place to hangout at - see below!! Now that should surprise some!!

So the thread is now derailed!! Where is the respect now?? Could of sworn there was some hoo-haa over thread derailment recently as much as there was about deleting ones post/s but once again we need to look at the partakers to understand I guess!! Now laughter at someone else's expense is just fine - hmmm, boils down to that 'respect' word and who is slinging it around for it to have any meaning.

My final opinion on this matter:

No side won!! There are more questions than there are answers. Where does that leave us?? Well, the next poor soul who steps over that sacred line will be made an example of and the flaming will begin again. We can only hope that some realise that RESPECT is a two way street!!

And another thought:

Just because you're a big name artist doesn't mean that you automatically deserve respect or that it makes you a better human being. If anything there are too many questions surrounding this whole situation, it's timing and it's ending make me wonder about certain artists and their integrity!!

So for those of you who need to giggle over a vagina - good on you, whatever blows your horn - really!! To be honest I prefer the Kilt porn as a derailment myself.

My advise to newbies - tread carefully, stay in safe waters and watch-out for those Sharks!! They'll eat you alive!! or hang out at WC - much, much safer. And had to add that hanging out at TAM is probably a safe bet too!!

p.s. I thought I sensed trouble coming from a post in the bathroom regarding blogs....................clearly I did not have to worry. Shooooooooo!! This blogs stays the same - as is.

More pic porn on it's way.

Love you all, stay safe!!! and most importantly............celebrate tomorrow. I know I'm going into 2009 with a spring in my step!!!

Monday, December 29, 2008

For about 5 minutes. . .

I was tempted to for about, oh, 5 minutes this evening to make my blog private, just for tonight mind you.

Then I thought about it, and then I thought, well I could always put comment moderation on. But that's not me . . . so back to where I am. Bugger!!

This is my blog and in all honesty I can discuss what I want when I want (dot, dot, dot)

. . . and maybe I'll wake up in the morning and this post would have meant nothing and that is fine too.

about that character assissination.....(Part 2)

Well the hair has been trimmed and I'm happy with it. I then came home and my personal colourist, we'll call him Antoine, duly coloured my hair a nice rich brown.

Firstly, I want to say thanks again for all the words of encouragement and support. In this climate standing up for a friend is not an easy task, especially when there is a lot of risk.

About the deletion of my posts. Apparently that speaks volumes about who I am more than the fact that I stood by a friend when in need. Like hubby says 'take it from where it comes'. That thread has nothing positive to offer anyone. If anything that thread is enough to scare anyone from trying anything and then even showing it. Before I sat down and deleted my posts, I did think about it. I didn't need to research it as I am aware of other cases and the feelings that follow it. I knew I was taking a big step. This thread had and has nothing but hate and anger to share with the lampworking world and everything that is wrong with it. Everytime I typed my words a few things would happen. I'd be ignored, treated like an idiot who is not allowed an opinion or I felt personally attacked. It got to a stage where I felt that even in defending myself or Trish it was going to go no where and fast. Further entrenching why I felt so strongly about Trish not coming into that thread and trying to defend herself. Realising that deleted posts do cause hiccups in the reading I went with the: oh well, those who thought what I said was important enough, stupid enough or brilliant enough to warrant flaming or even acknowledgement have quoted me and hence began the deletion.

Did this change how I felt about Trish : NO!!
Did this mean I didn't want my words to stick : NO!! (some are still very stuck) and just so we are clear there are other threads where touchy topics are being discussed without the need to be snide, sarcastic, belittle or or posts are still there!!
Am I surprised that it took a while to realise this : Yes
Am I surprised that it came from someone who has no time for me and was reading my blog : Yes (you just can't tell who is reading....LOL)

Yes, I was very vocal in that thread. There comes a time in ones life when enough is enough!! I've sat back and watched flamings and turned my back when I should have said something. These bullies enjoy ripping into someone big time and they don't let go!! They push and push until the person being pushed has nothing left in them. The choices being slink back into the shadows and pray like hell you're not seen, give up entirely or move to safer ground.

The forum states that it is a friendly...... well as long as the bullies or as I stated months prior in the same forum 'The Country Club' don't notice you - you're fine!! Don't post a pic that is not yours, don't post a pic of a bead that is a hint of a copy to someone dear to them, don't look at them side ways, don't say anything out of line, don't have an opinion before you've got a zillion posts under you and yes, it is a friendly place to be. Just so we are clear - using other's photo's etc. without their permission is wrong and replicating beads to make a quick buck is not nice either. So please, don't go questioning my integrity here!! I just think these situations can be handled a tad bit better than making an example of someone.

Basically if my posts were so important to you - treating me with some respect might have been helpful!!

To all of you who have been friends to me, once again I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

about that character assissination......

To all of you who have commented here. Thank you!! from the bottom of my heart!!

I'm still wrapping my head around everything - the assissination on LE. Stuff happening on home ground.

Right now I'm hitting the shower and having my second haircut since the Shavathon. I'll be back later.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Bronkhorstspruit dam, 26 December : A day with family

Closing a door...

Edited to add:

I have deleted all my posts from the Bead on Beads thread over at LE. Why?? Because in all honestly did it matter what I had to say. I was there to stand up for a friend - I still stand by her but I am tired of the games, of words being twisted, of the subtle threats of reputations being ruined because you don't agree with the bullies, the by the way insults.........So no I did not delete my posts cause I have changed my mind about Trish - I still think those who started this should have tried to deal with it Privately before slamming/flaming Trish in her thread!! But what better way to make an example of someone.


I really wasn't going to bring this to my blog but for closure for me I think I need to.

It is time for me to close a door on LE (Lampwork Etc). I am tired of all the negativity, I am tired of my words being twisted and the last straw for me was that I was making excuses. The arrogance of 'just take a class' makes me want to slap some people silly. The attitude of just go to your library. Well, this is not America. The cost of importing a book, the R/$ exchange - the arrogance of here is a list of books - just import them!! The attacks, right or wrong - have me gobsmacked for words. Is everyone just looking for a fight.

"No one is going hand you the information is a neat little package" -Libby

If many writers had taken that attitude where would we be today.

I saw a need for what could be a brilliant book and got this snide remark - yes, I felt it was snide!!

You get patted on the head and told to go and spend hours, even days researching the net. Spend fortunes on books BUT asking for 'neat little package' gets you flamed.

You explain that due to financial and time restraints this is not possible and get slammed with snide remarks. No wonder others don't voice their opinions. Because someone out their just knows better than you do and how dare you make a suggestion.

Ask for clarity over words like technique and design - Oh boy!!! I'm pretty sure no one has answered that conclusively either.

You know what - I had to listen to my grandparents tell me how they had to walk to school for miles on end, suffering the heat of the day. No shoes, barefoot over tough veld grass etc. etc.
I loved listening to their stories from the days they were younger. But I don't think they ever begrudged me the fact that I could be taken to school in a car. I now tell my kiddies my stories of when I was kid...............................

Carys and her elusive smile.....

My niece is very sneaky!! Carys knows exactly when you have your camera ready and when you're not paying attention. She is full of smiles BUT when she sees that camera it disappears - cheeky monster!! The moment the camera is put down - Voila!! She smiles again.
I was pretty 'chuffed' with myself to capture these three.
Keep smiling Noo-Noo!!

Friday, December 26, 2008

A smile can say a thousand words...........

Just for now.......

I have a ton of pictures for you but I've just had two extrememly busy social and very emotionally trying days. (grin). These were taken today at Bronkhorstspruit Dam where we spent the day with my family. I now have a head which I could quite happily hand to someone else right now. LOL
I'm hoping all my readers have had a super Christmas and that you all got spoilt rotten. I was blessed with an amazing cook book, 'Harvest - Recipes from an Organic Farm' by Christine Stevens with Russel Wasserfall. I cannot wait to try some of those. I also got the movie 'Mamma Mia'- I think I love that and the latest Il Divo CD.
Till tomorrow. Have fun!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas to all those Supermom's out there!!

Hi there, just click on the picture for a fun read filled with laughter!!! This is dedicated to all those supermom's out there. You know who you are - HUGS from SA!!!

Waiting for Christmas....

The advent calendar says it all.
Woohoooooo!! This mom yells, and proudly plonks Father Christmas in the no. 24 slot. There were moments when I thought I would not make it in one piece but I have survived the build-up!! My bank account is empty and the retailers have my moolah- LOL
The boys are quiet - strange!! and Josh keeps telling me that it's getting darker. We're in full daylight here (grin). The one time they are wishing it for it to be night time. LOL
Merry Christmas Everyone!!!

Tree decorating last week....

And thanks Deb - this just had to be shared :))

"The Grinch"

He hadn't stopped Christmas from coming, it came!
Somehow or other it came just the same.
And the grinch, with his grinch feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling & puzzling
"How could it be so,
It came without ribbons,
It came without tags,
It came withoutpackages, boxes or bags!

"He puzzled & puzzed 'til his puzzler was sore,
Then the grinch thought of something he hadn't before
"Maybe Christmas", he thought "doesn't come from a store."
"Maybe Christmas, perhaps means a little bit more...."

Finding the real meaning of Christmas

This ended up in my email box a day or so ago and I didn't open it until now. As I have no way of knowing how to contact the original author, I can only hope that he does not mind me sharing this with all of you. It touched me today just when I was thinking I was not going to find much 'Spirit' this year. Then an email reminded me what it was about..................


Fellow Simplifiers,I have been struggling with gifts for my grandchildren and came upwith the following. It might come in handy if you are five days awayfrom some final gift. Happy holidays.

A Christmas Gift for Timmy(To, Gulp, Share With Someone Else)

Dear Timothy,

For a long time now, thinking and caring people have believed and felt (two distinctly different ways of dealing with an issue) that we have allowed popular culture and corporatism to define us as human beings. This is particularly the case for gifting. Christmas is one of those times of the year in Christian culture that we have allowed to become more of a Consumer feeding frenzy than a time of reflection and celebration. It's not your fault. But it is partly our fault and I cannot go along with popular culture much further or much longer. (That is part of the reason I set you up last Christmas to gift an operation of a cleft pallet operation for some poor kid somewhere else in the world.

When a grandparent gets older and wiser and less concerned about what people think of him or her as a generous person it can be an understandable disappointment for grandchildren. But you and Annie are old enough and wise enough to understand my motivations and to forgive me for being so crotchety. Your Mom and Dad "raised you right" so you will have a head start in understanding this unusual Christmas gift.

I was pondering how to express my love to you this Christmas season without contributing too much to the destruction and dissolution of our little spaceship Earth. I had an original idea, one of two or three in my lifetime. It goes like this:

Enclosed is $100 in TWO fifty dollar bills, one is for you to spend on something you would like to have, the other fifty dollar bill is to burn a hole in your pocket to beeither given to or spent on someone outside your family and immediate circle of friends who needs (not wants) the money or what it can buy. When you make the decision as to who or what organization is to receive the other $50 you are to write me a letter (not an email) telling me how you made the decision. That will be your gift to me. As in other "Reality Shows" there is always a timeline. You have until June to make the decision and make the gift. You can hand me the letter when I see you in [home location].

You may find it more difficult than you would think to find someonewho really needs that money or what it can buy. That really is the gift I am giving to you -- an exercise along the path to the knowledge of how to sort out what a person wants, and what a person really needs. Perhaps you can share that knowledge someday with your grandchild.

Your Loving Grandfather

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Some of my favourite captured moments from yesterday

Josh, Erin (my cousin Gayle's daughter) and Amy (my sister's daughter)

Vicky (SIL) and Carys

The men around the braai - very South African

My sister Maryann (Mez) and Vicky (SIL)

The kiddies - blow out the candles time!!

Gayle (my cousin) and Carys


Carys ( I finally got a pic of those puckered lips)


Gilaume (Birthday Boy - my BIL's sister's son)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

On the move again!!

Yep, some security issues are really getting to me and are of MAJOR concern, so this morning we're house hunting and attending a birthday party. Will fill you all in later.

Have a super weekend!!!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Rescue Mission

Can you guess who is in the tree?

Ant is a bit higher than Brad and to the right. Lucky is somewhere in there. LOL

Ant and Brad working on a plan!!

This is Ground Control!!

Brad has Lucky while dad gets out of the tree. Ground Control thought his job was very easy.

Shooooo, there we go. One parakeet rescued.
The boys were feeding Lucky this morning when he took flight and headed to the Great Outdoors. Luckily he settled in a tree just next to our property. Shooooo. But how to get him out of said tree. Hmmm, love you're going to have to climb the tree.

Trying to identify the bird pictured below

Will somebody please turn back the clock. Wow, time is just flying by!!

I ended up being just as curious as Elaine and thought I should try and take some time to find out what sort of bird (photo below) it is.

I'm thinking it is the Black-headed Heron. See link:

Let me know if you concur with me. ((grin))

Okay so I have some more blog posts to do. Coming up:

Rescue Mission: Lucky, aka Sir Muggles, aka Joey from a big tree

Yes, I need to find time to have this Indian Ringneck's wings clipped. More coming soon.....

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Friday, December 5, 2008

A great thought to take with you into the weekend....

"Life is too short for drama & petty things, so kiss slowly, laugh insanely, love truly and forgive quickly"

p.s. not sure who the quote belongs too ((grin))

A fab link with more pics from last nights Carols

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Carols by Candlelight Pictures

Updates, updates, updates......

Yesterday was one of THOSE days!! I screamed, I yelled and I cried (poor hubby got the brunt of it) but after that I felt better. Strange that!! Next thing I knew I could face the world and move on.

But there is always the Good, the Bad and the Ugly:

The Good, the oh so heavenly good!!:

There are beautiful, caring and amazing people out there in this world. I am being blessed with beautiful gifts and Secret Santas. Anonymous - wine stoppers would be fabulous and I could kiss you. I been gifted with tutorials and a surprise from Val Cox - Thank you, thank you, thank you!!


The Bad:

For those of you who visit the LE Bathroom you will have seen my rant there. Yesterday my new bottle of oxygen was delivered. The guys who delivered it dropped my very expensive regulator and smashed it. Yes, very broken to a point that it won't work!! I just looked at the heavens and thought can anything else go wrong!! Phoned hubby and burst into tears and I think at that point sounded suicidal. I'd had enough!!

We'll include in the bad the house we are currently renting. I'm pretty sure there is not a room without a cupboard door falling off. The hinges are not holding. The one garage door gear has also broken, carpets are lifting and the house alarm has not been operational since me moved in and I'm tired of the promises to fix it. The fence and it's alarm is operational but the house is not!! The space is heaven, the view TDF but the state of the house has me running for the hills.

Then the Ugly:

Besides the buyers of our house telling us to leave them be, how they have been more than generous (uhhhm, explain that one to me) and they are now bankrupt (yes, they're holidaying and honeymooning in Namibia) THEY refuse to pay rent. Yes, every bit of communication has been they will not pay rent. Nevermind the months they got away with earlier this year not paying rent. Oh, about R22 000 worth!! They even asked the Transferring Attorney if they did not have to pay rent this month. The answer was - oh yes you do. We must apparently pay for their new kitchen, stove/oven, paint, new gate, removal of security gates........why should they. I mean - get real, we are so stinking rich - we must pay for their every whim. So Disa Oestlund and John - I hope karma comes back to bite you in the ASS. Thank goodness the only blessing out of this is that this whole matter is finally at the Deeds Office and should be transferred shortly. This means us moving into the New Year without the Sale hanging over our heads. The Attorneys will be drafting a Letter of Demand (not that I'm sure it will do anything) and anything left over after the attorneys have distributed the payments, we'll hopefully get some of our rent for this month. We also had the case of the geyser bursting. We were insured and they got to choose new wooden floors without us interfering and hubby made sure everything was sorted out promptly as well. Now it sounds like the woman is upset because I didn't rush there to mop up the floors - can you tell - she tops my favourite list of ppl to be around. Not!! So I've vented and I feel better.


Something to look forward too.

Tonight is the Carols by Candlelight that we have been looking forward to. Hubby is heading to work early so that he can get home early so that if we hit heavy traffic we'll still get there on time. My favourite SA artist will be singing as well. The boys and I will pack a picnic basket and we'll be crossing fingers that the weather holds. Loads of pics for tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

My blog personality!!

ESFP - The Performers

The entertaining and friendly type. They are especially attuned to pleasure and beauty and like to fill their surroundings with soft fabrics, bright colors and sweet smells. They live in the present moment and don´t like to plan ahead - they are always in risk of exhausting themselves. The enjoy work that makes them able to help other people in a concrete and visible way. They tend to avoid conflicts and rarely initiate confrontation - qualities that can make it hard for them in management positions.

Interesting suggested readings too. LOL

Happy tears.....

This is one morning I am so happy that I looked at my blog comments after checking the bank balance. I love you ladies and thank you for making me laugh, smile and cry tears of happiness.

As for the bank balance well it's a story of FRUSTRATION!!!! Remember we 'sold' our house - a long, long, long, long time ago. The house was put on the market in February this year, just after my birthday (12 April) we received an 'Offer to purchase'. The estate agent said this was an easy sale, there would be NO problems. Firstly, never ever believe what you are told!!! We are now into December, the idiots who have bought our house are holidaying and getting married in Namibia and it shouldn't surprise me - they have not paid there rent. We are horrible people for demanding it - all we care about is money - are we going to pay for their wedding. Well it appears we ARE paying for the &*%^$? wedding. It makes putting gifts under the tree harder but I WILL get through this somehow.

To top it all off I have to remove my wine stoppers from my Etsy shop because the rubber washers are degrading!!! These are the locally bought ones (yet imported crap, from India, I think) from our one and only *&%$? -ing Supplier. I should not be surprised though - I knew I was taking a HUGE risk. It would appear that if I want to make wine stoppers I will have NO other choice but to buy my bases for my wine stoppers from the USA - at least I can get quality!!

But I will find the holiday spirit, somewhere. I will boldly move forward, no matter what!!

To all my other Arteests - love you all!!