Monday, 14 January 2013

2013: May it bring peace, joy, happiness and many blessings to all

At present I am sitting at my desk in my wee office trying to concentrate on the jobs at hand. I had a to-do list I want to complete and I am doing quite well. Only right now I am being distracted. It is snowing lightly outside. AWESOME! My day started pretty early and it is getting dark already, quite early in fact. I am having some ' down tools time'.

That's when I start thinking. Mulling things over in my mind. About family, friends, work, appointments, check FB messages.
I just finished parcelling up a package for New Zealand. Four dresses for my 4 granddaughters- meant for Christmas. They didn't get sent in time due to pa's illness and subsequent death. Needing all the time and energy to arrange his farewell. I fleetingly thought of getting them away before New Year- didn't happen. So they are now ready to be sent along with some nick- nak oma stuff.

Mij husband and his brother are at the house, dissembling some shelving and the like. I did n't feel the need to go. Needed some ' down time' for myself. Just doing the normal daily things like dusting, small errands, to the bank, enjoying a quiet cuppa on my own.

No, I am not depressed or anything. Truly. Actually I think I am doing rather well all things considered. I have some new ideas to develop, a new challenge is burbling to the surface. My energy level is returning to normal. Bring it on.......!

The New Year of 2011 didn't start particularly well either. My mum died just after the New Year set in at 01:05. Took some time to find my feet that year.  In 2012 Christmas wasn't a happy time. Still, I understand the rythme of life only too well. It is 2013 and I aim to meet the challenges, commit myself to my work for  A-plus Products , my own company. My goal is to pour energy into those things I value most. My faith, family, friends and business. It is my intention to set aside some time to design and develop a new project. All exciting stuff.

There is so much to learn. That in itself is a challenge. My husband uses his computer for work because he has to. I use the computer because I love to. I want to achieve more independence by learning more of the ins and outs. By attempting things I learn lots- by asking for advice and assistance, I learn even more.

It hasn't escaped me that I am a truly blessed person. The talents I have been given I want to develop further. To share with others what I know. I am looking forward to all that 2013 holds. January has reached it's mid-day already. Time stands still for no one although it sometimes feels like it does.

Today is the first day of the rest of my life. I am keen to get on with life!

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Possessions and memories

The past few weeks my husband, brother in law and I have been clearing. By that I mean, everything that was in pa's home at the time of his dying, has been handled by us. Looked at, talked about, unleashed memories or started the discussion - what do we do with..? In good harmony I may add.

In our lounge at home, on the coffee table on a platter are; two wedding rings, an engagement announcement and the Cake wedding dolls, two pairs of baby shoes, two birth announcements. Treasures from days gone by. Events that told the important events of pa's life. We have a multitude of albums with photos and two whole boxes of loose photos that never made it into the album pages. I claimed a small, heavy frypan. Not only because pa fried many an egg or piece of meat in it but also because of it's manageble size. We won't use 95% of the household and personal items 'from home' as we are fully stocked ourselves.

Today was a BIG day! I felt a lump in my throat and a sadness creeping in on me. All the 'smalls' in the home, cutlery, crockery, glassware, linnen, bedding, pots and pans, microwave and even scales and 3 umbrellas left the building.They will be used by others- people starting their lives afresh. Which in itself is rather beautiful as we are sure pa would have approved of this instead of it going to waste.

A house becomes a home, in my opinion anyway, when the kitchen is equipt to feed those taking up residence in the home. A cuppa, a sandwich, two fried eggs on toast, a warm stew, the Sunday roast. The kitchen is often referred to the 'heart' of the home. Last Tuesday I cooked our last meal 'at home'. We enjoyed sitting round the table, a glass of wine, music in the background. Very conscious of this ritual being our last there.

As of today home has become a house we have to empty of its contents. The new tenants have already been appointed and we have been notified. In 2 months time this house will once again become a home for a young family with two children - just like it did 52 years ago. 

Life goes on and rightly so! But..... there is a hurt that still has a sharp edge to it.

Monday, 7 January 2013

Early one morning

Have had this prayer in my possession for years now
It's even on my wall in my ' office' .
Ah, the things one takes for granted! 

I LOVE this prayer - don't know who wrote it but am thankful someone has!!
It has reminded me once again what my priorities are/should be!
Just thought I would share;
and maybe make a difference somewhere, for someone for what ever reason.......

The Difference

I got up early one morning
and rushed into the day:
I had so much to accomplish
that I didn't have time to pray

Problems just troubled about me
and heavier became each task.
"Why doesn't God help me"? I wondered
He answered, " You didn't ask".

I wanted to see joy and beauty
but the day toiled on, gray and bleak.
I wondered why God didn't show me
He said, " But you didn't seek".

I tried to come into God's presence
I used all my keys at the lock.
God gently and lovingly chided,
" My child, why didn't you knock"?

I woke up early this morning,
and paused before entering the day;
I had so much to accomplish
that I had to take time to pray.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Our chookrun

At the bottom of our garden is a chicken palace/run. 
It houses our 4 chickens. We have two species and maybe due to my ageing grey matter, I cannot for the life of me remember which sort they are. Never mind. That isn't the reason for my story, or is it? Mmmm..

They came from the same breeder and were in the same pen so we assumed that they got on or at least knew each other wel enough to get on. My husband Leen chose two and I chose two, so 2 x 2.

It didn't take long to realise that these chooks weren't as chummy as we thought. We hadn't noticed that in the large coup they came from. And well, it seems where more than one share a space, there always needs to be a BOSS. A leader, one that gives the go ahead and says, "go on, you can eat now. I've had my fill, picked out the yummiest bits, the rest is yours". That's the way it goes, in a chook run? Well, we kept an eye on things for a wee while. Thought, they need time to settle in, new surroundings, tons of space, different food. Excellent care.

It has been just over a year now. And boy oh boy, have I spent hours observing their behaviour. Whilst 'the boss' is a chicken- she actually wears the trousers and acts like a rooster ( except she lays the eggs). Part two of this duo, due to bullying, is the runt of the group. And totally understandably, has escaped a couple of times.

I actually feed her separately, secretly and on the quiet so that the 'boss' doesn't hear the grain fall on the surface. As soon as I walk past the run she gets all geared up to sneakely make her way to her feeding spot. If she has to pass her agressor, she makes a wide birth not wanting to arouse suspicion. Once arrived she stands there on her -weak in the knees, spindly legs- trembling all over.

Funnily enough the other two just kept to themselves, mindful they could be next. Whilst eating they keep their beady eye on the 'boss' just in case. They try to keep a safe and healthy distance and seem quite relaxed.

The niggly part is, is that the 'boss' is the only chook laying at present. I have dark thoughts about this chook and am not proud of them. Still, I am for the underdog ( in this case chook) and feel even the soup pot is too good for the 'boss'. Bet it's a tough bird!

A couple of days ago we noticed that our wee chook limped. Lookt whispy and sad. We set het apart with food and water close within beaks reach. She can't be intimidated now and has her own safe space to get well.

Lo and behold, what did I see this morning, The 'boss' has found herself another scapegoat ( chicken). Poor thing just skirted around and on higher ground just in time before it got henpecked. Appears the 'boss' needs a target and isn't slow in finding a replacement. A birth defect, in the genes, acquired habit???

I have a dilemma. Do I rid the chookrun of this bully? I am sure that as soon as we allow our wee one to rejoin the group she'll be picked on, the weakest is always the target. Assuming ofcourse she'll get well enough to go back that is.

Well, now here's the thing! This is the story of our chookrun. It sounds awefully similar to stories I read in the paper. Stories in society. Those thinking they have the unspoken right to 'rule' over others. Those who can't bear being 'one of the crowd'. Those who 'pick the best' out of everything, first in line. They are swift, alert, and don't miss a trick. And if they feel cheated or robbed- they hand out punishment, they don't end up in the soup!

I want peace in my chookrun. There is more than enough space, room for privacy. There is space for a gathering. Togetherness, They can sleep apart of snuggle up. When peace reigns, more eggs will follow though that isn't my main concern. Even without eggs - all I want is PEACE on EARTH.

It is the Epiphany today ( Three Kings). The Christmas story has just begun. Let's not douse the fire just yet. Let's stoke it up and let the flames be seen from afar, drawing people to it- together! Let there be PEACE - on everyone's turf!

Thursday, 3 January 2013

2013 is upon us

I started this BLOG last year with the intention of contributing a short piece each day of my 60th year. Allowing a select few to catch a glimpse of my daily doings, and for me a record 'on paper' of that special year. What happened: 
For many reasons I didnt manage to add a snippet each day, and;
those select few were just as diligent as I was. 

I  also write with more regularity a BLOG in dutch - my mother tongue. Recently I was asked to translate a piece into English which I had written. 

New Year 2013 thinking- I will now write two BLOGS - for my dutch and english speaking family and friends. A rough translation. Just to be able to reach more people. 

My challenge, and I am as keen as mustard.

For my BLOG readers!

We are faced with a new situation, time without pa. Somehow we will find our way. The road ahead is unclear and a little bumpy. In his memory we are going to make the most of life and what it has to offer. We would be shaming his memory if we did not.

It is the 3rd of January and for many 2013 is off to a flying start. For many a festive and positive event, for others a joyless and depressing experience. A world of emotions apart in expectations and future gazing.

Why is that, I wonder? Does one only experience the New Year on a positive note because of what went before?  Or is it because the coming year may hold disappointments, possible sadness or great scary unkown? Was the tunnel in 2012 that long that the light at the end of it never eventuated?

Whilst I am vigilant for the above, and attempt to experience each day as it comes, I too fall into the 'trap' of -forward thinking- as I call it. Recently my husband, brother in law and I spent a week discussing and imagining scenarios in how we would prepare and support pa (father in law) and how his living situation would need to change once he left hospital. That he wouldn't be able to live unassisted and would have to leave the family home and go "into care".  After a week of planning, brainstorming and imagining we stopped daydreaming. And all because of pa's wise words. "We are daytrippers - people of the moment". 

Those wise words didn't just help us focus on the here and now of THAT time, but helped us see that this was a valuable lesson for every day of our lives. Sometimes one needs a reminder- just to refocus on what's important. To be more conscious of every moment. Not to get too caught up in the maybes. Just let life BE! We all grew even closer those few weeks. Lived more intensely and spent quality time with pa - who didn't need to go into care at all. God took care of him - and we are intensely grateful that pa can now relax and be pain and discomfort free - Forever!

We aren't in the business of predicting. Not the weather, not the challeges we may get to face At best we can only speculate. Have premonitions of things to come. We attempt to prepare for possible things to come. Preparing for an event or happening isn't  a bad thing. But chrystal ball gazing does tend to distract us from the present. It shifts our focus of where we are at. In hindsight - looking back one often realises all the pre planning was in vain. Things turned out differently than expected or hoped. Unforeseen issues affected the pre-thought outcome.

I want to wish all those reading my BLOG a blessed and happy 2013. 

We are: People of the moment- THIS MOMENT- NOW! 

So enjoy- as I will, each day that I am given.