The Advent Calendar

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I too get overwhelmed leading up to Christmas, starting with the Advent Calendar, which I make every year. I have great memories of my mom doing the same for my sister and me and hope that my girls will remember this too. They look forward to “what are you doing this year Mommy?” so no pressure at all! I have to think of a new way to present and create it every year. Last year we had chopped off the top of our cherry tree which I decorated with pottery robins and little parcels and even some fake snow.

I don’t think they realise how long it takes to wrap 48 individual chocolates. I was tempted to wrap a pair of knickers, for effect, with no chocolate hidden inside. Or maybe a dishwasher tablet with a note to remind them that it might be a great idea for them to unpack the dishwasher without me having to prompt them 5 times!

Thinking of it, this might be the best idea of all, have an advent calendar with notes on what to do, to make life easier for all in the household? The more I think about it the more appealing this sounds.

 

However I did end up sitting on the floor of my study with brown wrapping paper individually wrapping 48 chocolates and other little enticing bits after which I attached a pretty red and white ribbon and then another ribbon which had to be taped on securely. I will be hanging these little parcels all individually marked for the owner to be and with a number so there is no misunderstanding and hopefully all will be “fair’. Anyway these will be hanging off our existing wall hanging (picture will only be able to follow after the 1st December).

Even though I feel that it takes me forever to do this (and it does) I love the morning of the 1st December as my girls cannot wait to get downstairs to see what is waiting for them. And every year they are delighted…..what more could I want?

After all this effort G shakes his head and says:” surely you could just go and buy an Advent calendar?” He simply doesn’t understand sentimental, does he?

 

love to all

Ex

The Hamster!

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It is my daughters birthday tomorrow and she will be turning 8 years old.

The one thing she would love more than anything else would be a pet, preferably a dog! I would love to have a dog too, however I also know that a dog needs company and many days I’m out of the house for more that 5 hours and it would just not be fair.

We have thought about a cat, however after long discussions and deliberations G and I decided that she will be getting a hamster!

G did all the research, which ones bite and which ones don’t ( I bet you they all bite ) and I went to the pet store to do the final selection. Our hamster was booked and paid for, all I needed to do today was go and collect him. The cage was already assembled in the garage awaiting its new owner.

Off I go to the pet shop, make sure I purchase all the other bits and pieces to make sure he will have a great start in his new home. The hamster (he does not have a name yet, A will have to name him) is placed in a box with a little of his bedding and straw and lifted gently into my car. We put him at the passenger side on the floor just in case I would need to brake suddenly.

Off I drive, remembering to turn the heating onto window and away from the floor, as I didn’t want the little fellow to roast! He was scratching around his little box, so I put on classical music for some additional calm and chatted to him all the way home. It is not a long journey, only about 10 minutes.

I arrive home and still talking to the hamster tell him that I will go inside to prepare the cage with his bedding etc, to ensure he has a smooth transition.

I add all the straw (what a mess) finally figure out how to fill the water bottle, fill his bowl with food, which promptly fell over, and am now ready to rehouse our new friend.

I get his box out the car and tell him all about his new home. I gently open the box in direction of the cage opening as  I’m a little concerned he might be darting to freedom. I don’t really want to put my hand in the box either so gently, gently move all the straw and bedding out to discover………….. NO HAMSTER!!!!

My heart sank, of course I looked again, you know how you do, because you just cannot believe what you are seeing. The sad thing was there are no hidden areas in a box, are there? Unless you know of a magician. What I did discover was a rather large hole on the side of the box.

Oh no!!! Where is he? He had to be in the car. But where? I needed help, quickly. Luckily for me, our neighbour is a fireman, ok this might not fall in his job description, and he does work shifts. I didn’t care even if he would be asleep I ran over and rang the door bell. Thank goodness he was home and happy to help. After retrieving his gloves, as hamsters do bite, he dashed over to the rescue.

We slowly started to remove any items from the car, and we have a few,  ( I even found things I didn’t know I had lost) shook out the umbrella, just in case. After a what felt like ages we found him between the boot and the back row of seats, however there was no way we could get to him. So my neighbour suggests we move the seats, which we manage to do without  squashing the little rodent. He is moving about, not having any of this. I dash inside to get a piece of apple, food always helps, right? Any way after many back and forths he runs to the driver side and to the peddles. I had visions of him disappearing behind one of them ,but luckily he didn’t. I managed to scoop him up before he got there and together we placed him in the box and finally in his new cage.

I would like to say that I’m sipping a G&T while typing this, I certainly need one, I’m too old for all this excitement, but can say that little hamster is sound asleep in his new home.

All I hope is that A will be as delighted as we hope she will be, and the hamster will be in the cage as we left him.

 

Sending you all my love from Ascot

 

Ex

…………..day 21

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Dear Gia

 

I have got to day 21 of my meditation, it has been great! I will make it my goal to continue to have at least 15 minutes a day to spend in “the gap”. I know that sounds perfectly reasonable, considering we have 24 hours in a day, about 15 of them awake, that takes me to 900 minutes. Asking for only 15 to have to myself sounds easy, doesn’t it? I do know that I need to take these 15 minutes as early in the day as possible as the 845 minutes just whizz by and another day has begun.

M, A and I are off to Germany tomorrow, where we will be visiting family. G has to work 😦 so it will just be the  3 of us. I will be driving, the first time I will be doing this journey on my own. I look forward to it, lots of stops on the way as we have no time pressure. We are staying with my cousin and then will be taking my aunt up to the North Sea to a 3 house town (town?) called Sielmoelken where we will be staying for a week. My aunt is not very well and the North Sea has been a favourite holiday destination for her. I’m sure that we will have a great time and if I may believe Mr weather forecast we might even catch a few rays of sun.

On the way back we will stay over in Brugge for one night, this will break up the journey as well as give us the opportunity to see a little of Belgium.

Did you know that during the night from August 12 to the 13th we will  have the chance to see one of the rarest meteor shower. During the night we will be able to see thousands of these falling starts  until August 23rd, however the night from the 12 to 13th will be the best with about 100 meteors per  hour. As we will be in the middle of nowhere I’m  hoping for us to get a really good view. It will have to compete with the closing ceremony of the Olympics……… actually I think nature will win gold for this one.

As we will be in the middle of nowhere we will have no access to the internet, what a lovely thought.

I hope you are well and enjoying the snow…… I have just seen a picture of the snow in Johannesburg, are you having snow in Cape Town too?

 

Lots of love

 

E x

Day 14, 15….

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Dear Gia

I’m still doing my meditation, don’t worry, I’m just  not managing to write about it every day.

Yesterday we were “healing the heart” “I am open and ready to give and receive more love than ever before

I like that very much!

Today we are living from love : “As I notice love all  around me. I look for more ways to love.”

I like that too!

The girls, some friends and I went berry picking yesterday. We do this every year and absolutely love it! I got so excited, it is better than any visit to a sweet shop. I have never seen such beautiful red and black currents and in pure abundance. Delightful!

Even more exciting is tasting while you are picking, you need to make sure that the fruit is good 😉 and then to get home and convert all these lovely fruits to jams, cordials and a few left to eat just as they are.

Love Ascot in the summer

Love

Ex

day 11, 12, 13…….

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Dear Gia

 

you must think that I have fallen off the bandwagon, and I have a bit.

What is it about the school holidays, I have even less time that during term time. The girls keep me busy and then of course we have the Olympics.

Wow, how lucky are we to be a short train ride away from London!

We had tickets to watch the mens gymnasts on Saturday at the Greenwich stadium. It was amazing!!! There is no other way to describe it. We spent the rest of the day in London and had a really good time. Once we were home G went straight on line to see if we could  get some more tickets. The website keeps saying there are tickets available, but when  you try and confirm your choice they are no longer there. Very, very frustrating, especially as we had seen how many empty seats were left in the stadium. So we tried to get tickets for the Paralympics and yes managed to get some! This will be so exciting to see, and our tickets are in the main stadium which is a real treat. I’m not sure if I mentioned, there was a competition at M’s school, the children had to design a poster and M’s groups poster was chosen and is displayed in the stadium. We just have to ensure we get to see it.

Anyway while we were looking to buy some further tickets, G suddenly said: Oh there are tickets available for the diving!”

A had just entered the room and hadn’t realised we were back on the Olympic site for the current games and not on the Paralympics. She looked a little confused and said: ” So what part of the body needs to be broken for you to do the diving?”

I love her to bits.

 

Back to my meditation, I did laps on the weekend, however have got back into it. Is this allowed? I will try and catch up. It seams the only way I can do this is first thing in the morning, as the day takes over and I cannot settle back into it. I’m still focusing on love and how to find the gap.

 

Hope you know where the gap is too

 

Love

 

Ex

Day 10

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Good morning Gia

 

How are you?

Early  morning again for me today, even though the girls are not here. I managed to do my meditation and am preparing for some friends to pop in for a Thermomix demonstration. Do you know about Thermomix?

It is a super, duper kitchen machine, which weighs, chops, stirs, cooks and steams. We have had one for over 3 years now and I would not want to be without it. You can get them in SA too, do have a look.

It was a lovely morning, with lots of ideas and of course at the end of it, lots of food to try.

Now we are preparing for our trip to London tomorrow to go and see the Olympic male gymnasts. I have bought train tickets for the girls and me, G has his monthly ticket. The Olympic tickets actually come with a free travel card, so we only need to pay from Feltham a few stops from Ascot. I’m really looking forward to see it all and will report back.

 

Coming back to my meditation, it is still about the heart, but the giving heart:

“Today and ever day I find simple ways to give to everyone I meet”

Sounds like a good idea, don’t you think?

 

Lots of love

E x