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I garden, therefore I am

14 Nov

“If you have a mind at peace, a heart that cannot harden, go find a door that opens wide upon a lovely garden.”

Who would have ever thought that I would have developed green fingers. Certainly not the people who know me best! But I think I knew all along that I would get to this point. Everyone has felt that deep knowing at some point in their lives. Somehow I have always known that I was meant to get my fingers dirty and watch things grow. I think it was something that was always written into my soul and now that I have started, I am fully absorbed.

“The garden is a mirror of the heart.”

Make no mistake, it takes both time and money (both of which I have in short supply), but it takes patience and determination too (and I have that in bucketloads!). My garden will never be perfect, and there will always be more weeds needing to be pulled up. But I love it with a passion that still surprises me. Every now and then I stop and ask myself: seriously, this??

I recently dug up all the grass in my front garden and planted flowers everywhere. Every morning and evening I inspect them and enjoy them. I know it keeps me grounded and present and grateful.

“Gardening is the purest of human pleasures.” — Francis Bacon

My greatest pleasure this month has been my veggie garden. Most of it started off as seeds planted in a tray and they have grown into a substantial veggie garden! In my little veggie patch I have:

… tomatoes, beans, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, gem squash, lettuce, chillies, green peppers, rocket, cucumbers, strawberries, spring onions, chives and herbs (rosemary, origanum, basil, mint, parsley, coriander). And there is more on my “want” list.

Last week I made a vegetarian bolognaise with fresh herbs. Today Adam and I picked lettuce, chives and herbs for a salad (and he even ate the salad!). I can’t believe that I won’t need to buy prepackaged lettuce or tomatoes this summer. I can have a fresh salad whenever I want it.

This evening, just after the sun had set, I stood and watered my garden. Peaceful, quiet and perfect.

 “One who plants a garden, plants happiness.”


Joy Bubble

3 Nov

I have a painful secret… one I’m going to share with you right now…

Here it is: I have some shocking taste in music. It’s true. One of my favourite songs of the year? Usher – OMG. Loved it from the first moment I heard it. Still do, it’s my song of the year by a mile. Of course I love Train and Snow Patrol and John Mayer and (insert politically correct band here). Goes without saying.

But then – here’s the kicker – there’s The Zac Brown Band. More Pure American Country, you will not find. I love them as  much as I  love B.o.B. and Bruno Mars. And lordy, they put me in a good mood every single time I hear them. I dare anyone to listen to “Toes” and not be somewhat charmed.

One of their songs has the lyrics “Don’t let this moment pass, live inside this day”.  And that, folks, is what it is all about. Today I walked barefoot in my veggie garden. Today we pulled and ate a carrot fresh from the ground. 100% organic. Zero Carbon Footprint.  Today I drank delicious filter coffee. Today I connected with my friends. I revelled in choosing sparkly decorations for my son’s school and I mixed myself a tall glass of chocolate milk. Tonight the air is cool and building up for some rain. In the words of  The Zac Brown Band “Life is good today”.

Wednesday’s Joy Bubble

9 Jun

What is joy? To me, joy is that moment when your heart sings or bursts with happiness. It is a moment of happiness that is brief and pure and essential. For me, happiness is more of a general state of wellbeing while joy is a sharper flare of conscious, concentrated happiness. If happiness is a lake, then joy is the splash a pebble makes before it leaves ripples of pleasure in its wake.  

The trick to happiness is figuring out that the more you learn to recognise moments of joy in your life, the happier you will be. You’ve got to find and treasure as many of those pebbles as you can, you’ve got to revel in the splash of joy that they bring and the ripples of happiness will take care of themselves.

And the real secret is that you are already walking on a bed of pebbles, all you have to do is notice them and pick them up. It begins with you.

My pebbles come in a million different forms – the smell of coffee in the morning, glitter on my carpet, freshly washed linen, vuvuzelas and the sight of hundreds of South African flags flying from car windows.


10 May

Adam (I provided guidance) made cupcakes on Mother’s Day. He did all the measuring and pouring and stirring.

He switched the oven to the right temperature and he sat and watched them get “tall”. He decorated them with much diligence and ate them with much delight and enjoyment.

It’s moments like this that mean the world to me.


6 May

Oh, did I say I say I was going to miss Summer?

I am so fickle!

I LOVE this rain. Wrapped up warm. Heater blowing delicious warm air around my legs. Rain tattooing on the skylight above my office. Thunder rumbling. Snuggly scarf. Yummy coffee. Chocolate Biscuits! It doesn’t get any better!!

**satisfied sigh**

Idea Vacuum

4 May

I have no bright ideas, no inspiration, no grand ideas I need to share. Just me. Plenty going on, just nothing to write about… hmmm… let’s see…

  • Winter is here. For the first time I am not jumping up and down with glee. For the first time, I have a feeling I am going to mourn summer a little bit. It feels a little strange. A little bit not me. If I wanted to get philosophical about it I would say that I’ve learnt how to be happy these last few months and I’ve associated the good feelings with the warmer weather… and I don’t want it to go away…? But maybe it’s just that summer feels nice and I’ll miss the sun.
  • I am so unbelievably ecstatic that Lost is back. Finally, I can feel my brain engaging when I sit in front of the tv. I am going to be devastated when it is over for good in a few months.
  • I read The Story of Edgar Sawtelle. Beautifully written. Evocative. Poetic. Epic. Couldn’t put it down. It made me want to get a dog. But, what the hell…?
  • I am now reading (all next to my bed), The Kite Runner, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Magician:Apprentice; Dead Until Dark (Sookie Stackhouse Series); and a few random Paulo Coelho books. I’m trying to decide which one to finish and I think I’ll go with a good old fantasy to get over Edgar Sawtelle.
  • I am SO thankful that I can now turn on the radio and hear a host of new songs. I am back in love with my itunes. (Not my ipod, mind you… we are STILL not communicating). But music is back on my radar and I am loving it.
  • While I’m on music: Crystal Bowersox rocks my socks, and Lee Dewyze is a close second. I am astounded that for the first time in living memory I am backing a girl and not one of my boys.
  • Dave is running the Comrades. I am a little bit worried, but also proud of him. 90km people.
  • Ashley should have won Survivor South Africa.
  • I have my Football Friday shirt. As does Adam. I hope you all do too. (37 days to go).
  • These made me laugh:

Getting Stuff Done

20 Apr

By  now most of you have heard that I have this little annoying list that I have promised to get through by the end of the year. Every now and then I re-read the list and seriously question my sanity. But it’s there and I’ll muddle my way through it.

I have been a little preoccupied lately and haven’t really had a chance to report back on how things are going with The List. I have been just a tiny bit obsessed with a girl who has a dragon tattoo. She also plays with fire and even goes on to kick a hornets nest. Distracted to say the least! But in between my eye-strain, I have managed to squeeze in a few to-do items. I realise that I need to kick into high gear if I am going to come close to finishing “The List” (insert suitable shark music).

#43 of 101 – Create Order in My Closet: I unpacked my entire closet, gave away half the contents and put it all back in neat piles. I discovered that I have 8 handbags that I no longer use. I also have 18 scarves I still use and can’t possibly part with. They take up about half my cupboard space! Who knew I had a thing for scarves…?!

#28 of 101 – Another Picnic: Adam and I took advantage of one of the last days of summer. We packed some sandwiches, some grapes and some chocolate and went off to have lunch outside. Such a simple way to make a little boy happy!

#34 of 101 – Donate Blood: I finally plucked up the courage to go back to donate blood. I went regularly before I fell pregnant, but could never muster the enthusiasm to go back afterwards. Even though I know it is for a good cause, and even though I have done it 15 times before, I still hate the whole process.  I hate the prick into the finger to test your iron, never mind the actual needle going in. I hate the blood going through the tubes, the little bag that fills up with your blood. I hate the feel of the needle pulling out. But I know that someone is going to benefit from my blood, so I look the other way and send lots of loving vibes into the blood and hope that it will help someone, somewhere.

#15 of 101 – Save Electricity – Turn my Geyser Down: Okay, so I fully intended to turn down the geyser myself, but I mentioned it to Dave, and he offered to do it for me. He roped in Adam to second him and they went about sorting out the geyser together. And every day since then, Adam has asked to go back into the roof – I am running out of ways to explain that it is not a good idea (he is not convinced, and thinks I am a serious stick in the mud). The geyser went down 10 degrees, and I can’t tell the difference. I could probably turn it down more – maybe next time I will go up myself!! (note the dirty, dusty face on the apprentice).

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