Tuesday, March 27

{New Garden}

I wanted to show you this while & had a few minutes to myself.

We live in a duplex and we have the most awesome patio - it is very large & we live on it. We use it pretty much year round & it is a second lounge for us. The thing is we also have a small garden outback but ...

You can see why we don't use it much - it is so depressing I keep my curtains closed most of the time. Although Miguel loves it, he plays with his 'diggers' in it all the time - his ultimate aim is to 'dig a hole to china to see where the sun go's to sleep' so he tells me. As you can see by the holes he is not that far off from success.

We have decided at long last to do something about it - as neither Chris or myself have 'green fingers' in any way mean or form ... we have decided to get some help. Our brief to them was : simple to look after, child friendly, local indigenous plants, butterfly attractive & usable. This is what they have proposed to us, I think that they have done marvelously. Im so excited it look so structured & beautiful, so grown up - I never thought that I would have a garden that looked like this.

ps I made the scalloped, bent photo frames - what do you think??

{Birthday Cake and New Layouts}

We've just returned from my Da's birthday dinner. Miguel flew threw his dinner like a starving orphan. His goal was to get to the cake! As soon as he was done he was running around asking for the candles & the funker!! He stated that his abuelo (grandpa in Spanish) must have 4 candles as he was 'big and grown up'.

He kept asking for his abuela (grandma in Spanish) to 'funk' the candles. Funk is the sound that a lighter makes when lit - so he calls it a funk! He loves blowing out the candles and so we sang happy birthday 4 times, just so he could have the candles 'funked' again to blow them out. He was having such a great time ... giggling & laughing like a mad hyena!! Kept trying to get the Champagne when no one was looking. I love watching him have fun.

[Sorry the photos are not so great ... I took them with my phone - cant wait for a new point & shoot..its on my wish list.]

Here is a layout that I have just posted at digitalscrapbooking for a challenge that we have just had.

Credits can be seen here

Here is another one of a picture that we took in Balito last year on holiday - I love it . I'm really loving this use of white space ... I think that it is my new thing!!

Credits can be seen here

...I say that and here is one that is pretty busy though!

Journaling reads : Miguel, you were born with an artistic thumb. You have a passion to draw, paint mould, stick & colour - there is nothing that you wont try in order to express yourself. You are pretty good at it too, especially drawing on abuela & abuelo’s newly painted front door wall

credits can be seen here

Monday, March 26


It is my dads birthday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY DA!! He is an amazing man who has been there for his family first and formost my whole life. He is now the best grandfather that Miguel could ever have. Miguel is never a problem or a nuisance to have around, even though he is always 'helping' when my dad is doing work around the house.

See you tonight Da - we love you & have a great day!

WHY THE HELL ... has no one ever told me about TIM MCGRAW! Shame on you all for keeping it a secret. I discovered him today quite by accident inbetween our bizillion MP3's. The man is amazing - never mind that he is a 'bit' of a babe!! He is amazing - gosh those country lyrics are really powerful. In SA country is not listend to at all, so I have never been exposed to it.

Saturday, March 24

{Botanical Gardens}

New look, i wanted to try something out... I wanted it to feel like a journal and not a web page, it is more work but I think it is worth it ... leave me a note & let me know what you think... :O)
On Wednesday there was a public holiday here...yay!! It was a gorgeous day so we decided to go off to the Durban Botanical Gardens. We love to go there, It is extremely popular for weeding photographs & it is not unusual to see any where from 5-9 bridal parties at one time during the weekend!!

The site originally selected for Durban's first botanic gardens was on the flat land at the end of the Berea ridge besides the Umgeni River, near what is today Quarry Road. Here in December 1849 Dr Charles Johnston began work on planting out plots of 'economics'. Town was a good four kilometers away and the area was still rather wild: hippo and crocodile lived in the river and African python and mamba romped among the Euphorbias, a few of which still survive today on the slopes of the nearby Berea. To think that this amazing place a oasis in the middle of the city!

We just packed some hot dogs & then picked up my sister - Miguels aunty Nena (Geraldine) and off we went. Miguel Was in his element, playing ball, throwing frizbees, engaging strangers in his conversation, climbing trees(they allow the children to do that - how great is that?). , feeding the ducks. Im not sure who was more exhausted by the time we left, Miguel or Geraldine & Chris. I on the other hand felt completely relaxed, as it was FINALY my day off - I just lay on the blanket & took photos.
On some Sundays there is Music at the Lake, every thing from Orchestral to Pop music - we have even had Jamie Cullem play there (sorry I missed you, but Miguel was sick). Is is amazing ... it starts early afternoon & whole families, couples & groups of friends come with their picnic baskets & drinks - some go as simple as sandwiches & soft drinks on their blankets, while others go all out Champagne, wine, cocktail snacks with their tables & chairs set up under trees that are hundreds of years old and spend the rest of the afternoon & evening just chilling, relaxing and being together.

Heartbreaking Africa

Well tonight was my first night out in about 5 months, I was so looking forward to doing grownup stuff again. Having a few getting dresses up, doing my hair. Having a couple of drinks, chatting listenting to a friend of mine's pals playing in a band at a trendy bar/side walk cafe in a very trendy part of town.
I enjoyed myself for the first half hour & then I started to look around me at the people walking by on the street and thats when it hit me like a ton of bricks and my heart broke and the fun night was over ... Africa along with all its beauty comes the abject poverty & desperation. Not 5 meters from where we were sitting there was a young african mother with her little boy about 10 months old making their nights home on the pavement with one thread bare blanket. The awful thing is she was one of many. Then as she was falling asleep trying to get her child to lie still on the cold concrete floor, the bar managment chased her away & now she had to find somewhere else out of the rain for the two of them.
I have become so insulated and yes isolated, in my little world of Miguel, Chris & my house (I have no car so I dont get out very much) that I had forgotten what was out there. God forgive me for forgetting and for taking what I had for granted. I sit here crying feeling the worlds weight on my shoulders asking myself how do I make a difference, is my contribution, raising my son to be a good man, a compasionate man, a giving & caring man - is that enough? How do I even begin to make a dent in the pain & desolation of this country? I love this country so much, but I have forgotten.
In south Africa we have over 44 million people, our unemployment rate is 25.5% (2006 est.). Population below poverty line: 50%. Did you know that our infant mortality rate is 60.66 deaths/1,000 live births !! That life expectancy is 42 years!! Thats insane! To put it in to perspective these are the stats for the USA ...
  • Infant mortality rate: 6.43 deaths/1,000 live births
  • Life expectancy at birth: 77.85 years
  • Unemployment rate: 4.8% (2006 est.)
  • Population below poverty line: 12%
We have a president who is more inteseted in buying private jets amd Armani suits, a minister of health who releases a press release stating that anti-retrol viral drugs will not be given to HIV positive people, because beetroot & garlic will cure them!
You all know how much I love this country, but how do I keep living here and bring up my child in this ?? I just feel so despondent. Will I too feel like I have no option but to leave . . . like so many before me? Im sorry .. i keep telling you about how wonderful my country is & that you should all come here, but unfortunatly there is a sad truth to the beauty here. I just had to get it of my chest. Im off to give Chris & my beautiful baby boy a hug & kiss, then im off (even though im not a particularly religious person) to thank God for everything I have & to ask him for forgivness for my blinkers, also to ask him for guidence on how to make a difference. And please God help her ...
i love you all

Monday, March 19

{Major Storm hits Durban}

For the last 2 days we have been hit by a huge storm off our coast ...

The beachfront areas were pounded by massive surf in the early hours of Monday morning leaving the city's famed Golden Mile littered with debris as emergency services rescued numerous people. The SA Weather Service in Durban said winds in excess of 40 knots [80km/h or gale force] were reported on Sunday night. All beaches and ports were closed on Monday after the South African Weather Service issued a national warning that high seas with wave heights in excess of seven metres are expected along the southern KwaZulu-Natal coastline.
On Durban's beachfront, some restaurants and shops were damaged after two freak waves "roughly three metres high" struck between 2 and 3am.Steers, Wimpy, Wrap It up, Milky Lane and other shops were battered. When the Daily News visited the area, owners and inspectors were inspecting the damages.Windows were shattered and doors were completely broken down. Fourteen workers who were trapped inside the restaurants were rescued by emergency services and taken to various hospitals. Steers, one of the restaurants hit, which is situated about 20m from where the beach sand begins, incurred damages of about R1m.

In Ballito (about 20 min up the north coast from Durban), Daily News readers reported that 10 houses had extensive damage, with one beach house found with trees in its lounge. Security gates, retaining walls and walls had all been washed away, leaving the houses exposed to the elements.

Residents on the KwaZulu-Natal coastline are bracing themselves for massive tidal waves expected early tomorrow morning. The area has already been pounded by huge waves, said to be 10m high. Umhlanga, Ballito, the Durban beachfront, Isipingo and Umkomaas were among the areas affected.

My prayers are with everyone who has suffered in this storm & with the families of those who have been lost, nay they find peace.

Tuesday, March 13


We had a such a great weekend - Sunday morning we all had a sleep in - until 9! It was wonderful. We then decided that we were going to an animal farm in a area inland from us (about 30 min) called Valley of a 1000 hills.

The Valley of 1000 Hills Route is one of KwaZulu Natal's best kept secrets. The Valley of a 1000 Hills forms around the majestic valley created by the Mngeni River and it's tributaries. Many artists and crafters have been attracted to the beauty and tranquility of this area which is dotted with cozy guest lodges, friendly pubs and tea gardens with sweeping views over the hills and dams. The main attractions on the 1000 Hills Experience are the dramatic landscape and Zulu culture which is well interpreted at three cultural villages. The 1000 Hills Choo Choo offers steam train trips from Kloof station to Cato Ridge on weekends and the more adventurous can view the stunning scenery from the skies. Microlight flips are organised from Cato Ridge Airfield. There are also boat cruises on Shongweni, Nagle and Inanda Dams and visitors can spend a day on a guided fishing trip or escorted 4 wheel drives through the Valley Floor. Alan Payton described it as 'These hills are grass-covered and rolling, and they are lovely beyond any singing of it.' in Cry the Beloved Country.

We got to the Animal Farm Yard & Miguel could not contain himself. We were so busy going from one animal to another, I'm sure that he was just a sonic blur to regular passerby, but to us the super family the speed was just right. We fed, a large number of goats, pigs, horses & cows. Miguel insisted that all of us feed the animals. MMMMMM ... cow slobber, B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L ... love it, apparently all the top models use it for their beauty regimes!!

This was followed by a short but very bumpy ride on a 'most giant hugest' blue tractor - after which he spent about a half hour on a 'most giant hugest' jungle gym - I think that he went to little boy heaven. After lunch we went home & all three of us went for a very long afternoon nap.

When we all got up just before 5, it was still so lovely & warm that we decided to take Miguel & his first two wheeler to the beach front ( or Durban's Golden Mile as it is called) so that he could ride his bike along the promenade like children have been doing for many generations (including my sister & I as little girls).
Well my boy is growing up so fast, . He was so blaze about this new challenge - I could not believe my eyes when it took him all of 5 minutes to master this new skill - though the skill of breaking seems to be taking longer!! (sorry the pics are so bad - We took them with Chris phone - can you believe we did not bring the camera!)

He then decided that the promenade was too easy & that he would try his hand at the skate/trick bike park, flying up & down the ramps. He acted very cool, well as cool as he could with his mother running behind him like a mad woman - yelling at him that the 3 meter ramp was too big for a 2 1/2 year old that has only been riding for 5 minutes !!

Finally after almost 2 hours he was tired & ready to go home, we made a quick detour to have a ice cream for dinner (hey it was 30 deg Celsius = 86 degree Fahrenheit!) - I'm not sure who was sleeping first me or him!!! Off went to sleep one very happy & contented boy who has just conquered the world. Love you Miguel - sweet dreams ....

Friday, March 9

My first FREEBIE ever

This is a new layout that I have been working on for about a week, it just never seemed to look right.
Journaling on the newspaper reads :

Today we took Miguel to the Natural History Museum. He had no idea what to expect, but the adventure of going to the middle of the city, crossing at the zebra (pedestrian) crossings were enough to make his day.
When we got there the first thing he saw was a life size replica of an elephants head, he stood and stared for about 5 minutes in wonder. He loved it! He was amazed at how big an elephant, rhino & Giraffe really were, proclaiming at the top of his voice, standing on tip toes, hands reaching for the sky . . . that 'this one is the hugest giant one'. That was until he saw the next one and he would proclaim once again that THIS one was 'the hugest giant one'.
He was enthralled by the South African Mammal exhibit, going form one display to the next asking every question that came in to his head. He was very impressed with this until he turned the corner & came face to face ... well face to ankle with a 7 meter high TRex.
He looked as if he had found heaven. 'This is my one, its the most giant one he stated in a very solemn, serious voice'. He walked around it a few times just studying it from all angles. He then declared that because he was almost a grown up he could ride the 'most giant' dinosaurs tail, which he proceeded to do, as I am quite certain that countless boys before him have done.He sat there with a look of pure joy, adventure & recklessness.
By the time it was time to go home he was a happy, fulfilled & tired little boy that felt like he had conquered the world.
That night just before bed he asked me if for his birthday instead of a 'skater board' could he have the dinosaur instead, because he has no mommy & he could share his dinner too.

font : undercurrent
arrow - Kari Q
stapel - k hadfield, just minty mocha kit
photo frame - KPertiet_Ad21107
Blue paper with dino stitching, Museum ticket stub, dino die cuts & newspaper - Me!

Yip ... Ive jumped on the bandwagon & have worked on my first alpha set ever. Thought Id give it away just to get your crit on it. You know the drill, give me some love if you love it.

Thursday, March 1


This is for Chris.

The journaling reads :
When we first met, you were the opposite of every thing I had ever dreamed of, but you turned out to be everything that dreams are made of. THANK YOU & I LOVE YOU
I know that i'm not always the easiest to live with, I know that things have been very hard at times . . . yet through it all you have never given up on me & me getting better - doctor after doctor, even though I could see in your face you knew that to walk away would be the easiest thing to do. You have integrity, loyalty and a boundless love. Even though my dearest sexiest nerd, you drive me to bouts of moaning & wailing like a lost soul wringing her hands about the house when you get involved with one of your 4 "mistresses" (my man has 4 pc's at home that he is totally infatuated with!!); I do love you & thank you for all that you have given me.

This is a layout of Miguel & one of our many visits to Ushaka Marine world.
The journaling reads :
No matter how many times we go to the aquarium at Ushaka - you never cease to be enthralled and amazed. I think that you would go every week if you could.. I love watching you, the way you mimic the fish swimming, blowing ‘bubbles', grinning widely with big teeth like the sharks - which by far are your favourite. Then at the end of every trip you announce to me that when you are grown up and 'biiiig', you are going to swim in the deep with the sharks.