Day 59 28 February – last day of summer

I feel like crying! Even though we will still have several warm days ahead *fingers crossed* during March, today officially marks the last day of summer in beautiful Aotearoa. There isn’t enough words in the dictionary to describe how much I LOVE SUMMER. The early morning sunlight desperately trying to peek through the curtains into the bedroom, the late evening walks along the beach front, the ice cream buying dash, the slip. slop. slap philosophy to ensure you don’t burn to a crisp, the cicadas buzzing loudly all day long.

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This morning was another stunner of a sunrise. Pushing my depressed thoughts aside, I went outside phone in hand, took a deep breath, smiled and took photos of the painted sky. I walked around the back of the house which oversees the polo training paddocks and captured the fog ever so gently forming an eerie layer over the fields. The fog is usually an indication of cooler mornings yet sunny days, and today was just that. I’m glad I took the time to take these photos as it lifted my spirit instantaneously and my day turned out pretty good.

Cheers summer, until next December.

 

Day 58 27 February – pay if forward

The concept of paying it forward is something that I value. I think I might have done it several times without realizing it as I LOVE giving without expecting anything in return. You do it because your soul has a desire to help, give, provide and please. But when you (or someone you love) receives something for no reason at all, a pay-it-forward moment, it fills you with hope that we are still surrounded by goodness and kindness.

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My daughter has made friends with the lady who works in the florist here at the shopping centre where our one shop is. Every time she is here she pops into the florist to say hallo and also look at the beautiful, and often exotic, flower displays. Today when my daughter walked passed and waved to her, she called her in and handed her a bunch of while lilies. She said that instead of throwing them out (as they are not ‘pretty’ anymore to use in a bouquet) she would rather give them to her because she knows they will last a few more days. My daughter came walking into the shop in tears of appreciation. She couldn’t believe that someone would do such a thoughtful act of kindness.

I teach my children to be selfless, to rather give than wanting to receive, to always be polite, smile and help where it is needed. It is a lovely surprise when you witness them being on the receiving end of such a philosophy.

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Day 57 26 February – simple life

I don’t ask for much, honestly. That’s why I find great pleasure with the simple things in life such as chips, home made avocado dip and Savanna ciders.

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Avocado dip essentials (mash and mix all together):

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 4-5 cherry tomatoes (pips removed and finely chopped)
  • 1/4 tsp crushed garlic
  • a decent squeeze of lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

Me time just got a whole lot better!

Day 56 25 February – cinema under the stars

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We didn’t have any plans for this evening as both my husband and I worked today. But we were invited to attend Movies in the Park at Beachlands with my son’s friend and his family. The clouds looked a bit gloomy so we decided we will play it by ear and depending on the weather we will go.

Several trips needed to be made before we arrived at 7:30pm. The sun will only set in a another hours time so we made ourselves comfortable in camping chairs, ate some sosaties, caught up with our friends and my husband took the kids in hand and bought them all ice cream. It was finally dark enough for the movie to be shown on the outdoor big screen, The Secret Life of Pets. I need to confess that I am a HUGE animated movie fan. I ‘chaperone’ my kids to the cinemas only because I don’t want to miss out. My son sat on my lap, all cuddled up underneath the warm blanket.

At some point an aeroplane flew over the venue, and when I looked up, the night sky caught my attention. The dark clouds from earlier are gone and what is left is a crisp clear twinkling sky. I could clearly make out The Hunter with Orion’s Belt. It was so tranquil and I might have lost a minute or two merely taking in my blessings. How fortunate we are to have friends, security, love and acceptance.

Oh, and I SO love Snowball and his rebellious revolution.

Day 55 24 February – pen on paper

My co-worker is away for a few days so I had the short straw on being at the shop until early evening. I don’t have a problem with this at all as it was reasonably busy at times, but there were moments of ‘you can hear a pin drop’ silence which frustrates the living daylights out of me. I don’t like being alone with my thoughts and need something to distract me. So I did what comes naturally, and that’s to draw.

I am a self-taught artist. I have mentioned in my blog entry Colours that both my ouma and oupa were artistic people. From a young age my sister and I were encouraged to find our own creative personality, and mine has been to draw. My mother enrolled me for art lessons during my final year of school as a way to help my destructive ED thought pattern and focus on positive creativity. The art teacher was a renown local artist called Spies Venter. I had an interview with him as he wanted to see my portfolio before taking me on board. He was impressed that I was able to teach myself still portrait drawing, but he noticed several mistakes and saw potential for improvement. He agreed to put me in a morning class for the times when I couldn’t attend school. I was the youngest person in my art class which suited me as I didn’t feel the need to compete with the other ladies. And I learned so much: depth, shadows, colours. I was thrilled when I was invited to have 2 of my art pieces on display at an exhibition for young artists.

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I have since drew several pieces for family as gifts, but haven’t put pencil on paper for 10 years. Today, with a burst of frustration I took the nearest pen and paper and started drawing. Tension leaves my hand as I focus on the detail of the owl’s face.

Breath, draw, repeat.

 

Day 54 23 February – salad in a jar

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In an attempt to keep the kids interested and excited over their school lunches, I decided to make them a salad in a jar. Why a jar? Because I have a shelve stacked with jars but no Tupperware containers to put the salad in.

What at first seemed complicated, turned out to be an easy and effective way to create a salad. The salad jars contained:

  • lettuce
  • cucumber
  • orange capsicum
  • cherry tomatoes
  • carrots
  • feta cheese

They each had a small non-leak container with a balsamic vinaigrette in to drizzle over the salad. I was at first sceptical knowing my son is a bit of a fussy eater and I surely don’t want to waste fresh produce. He was however the first to say how much he enjoyed the salad and that he ate it all! One very happy mother here.

We don’t only eat baked goods 🙂