Friday, November 21, 2008

Three Years

So suddenly. So unexpectedly.

So missed.

We love you, Gramma.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Post Parental Visit

Ah yes. We are alive and well. Just watching the sky fill with big, fat snowflakes as I type. The kids just left for school, Steve is in the woods and I am in my sweatpants. Live is good.

Not much to report (or little time to report). Mom and Dad's visit came and went with a flash. As always, it was a happy visit...with little to do, but enjoy the company (and eat and drink and eat some more). The kids love having them here and it's always a bit of an adjustment when they leave (and I have to go back to folding my own laundry!). We are looking forward to the day when going home means they drive a couple of blocks instead of boarding a plane! Anyway, we did a very shabby job taking pictures while they were here, but this is a nice one of Mom and Dad with the kids.
Halloween quickly followed their departure and we sent two little witches and a hunter off the forage for candy. Our night started out at a friend's house with adult beverages aplenty and games to keep the kids from interrupting the overindulgence. Not surprisingly, my kids did very well at the donut eating contest."What are you lookin' at? Don't make me track you down."

"Eh, you seen my donut?"

"Gulp. I WIN!"

Let's see. After Halloween the girls had their official Brownie induction ceremony...a combination of so freaking adorable and batshit crazy corny. It was very official (I thought maybe they were being awarded the Purple Heart) and they were so proud...but it was hard to keep a straight face. They have earned six badges already (which means I have still have twelve badges to sew before Thursday) and are really enjoying their meetings.

Jack is playing basketball in the Catholic Youth Organization league. He practices up to twice a week and has weekly games through March. His height makes basketball a good fit for him and makes up for his lack of aggression. It's been a lot of fun watching him gain confidence and see the awkwardness give way to more natural athletic ability. And let's face it, with three kids to educate, we're grooming a scholarship here! I'll take pictures at his game this week and will post them soon.

And I think that's it. In the time it's taken to type this post, the snow has completely covered the grass (for the first time this season). And now I have a second cup of coffee to drink and a bed to warm back up!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Letter From Swaziland

Hello All from a wet and cold Swaziland!
Nice rain! Now for the normal farmer's complaint - we have just started harvesting the last of the sugar cane and the tractors are mucking up the field and the road. The rain is very welcome, but just not on that field!
Attached are pics of our holiday with Em and Mark. We had such a happy time with them! And there is always an added little something, like you can't just play boulle, but you have to wear funny hats. Anything for a laugh! We went to a fantastic restaurant called the Goat Shed, and you can see the goats tower in the background of one pic. You can also see just what a happy time we had.
I have had to work quite hard at work this week (funny thing that - working at work!) because I have had to learn a lot for the meeting I am going on tomorrow to Windhoek. I have a sore tummy. Mick (my young boss) is meeting me early tomorrow and he flies with me all the way to Windhoek, but then he carries on to Walvis Bay for a different meeting. I feel better about not travelling on my own - have a better chance of meeting someone on the plane going to the same meeting and Mick can introduce us and I will not feel like a raspberry. I have such a sore tummy... It is a hunting forum, and although we don't hunt in our parks, Ted wants us to be represented there (we always are, by Mick), and it is essentially about lions. As I run the CITES office, I will learn more because that is also coming under discussion. Will be back home on Friday night. My tum does hurt so. Joe will pick me up and drive me home. I am sure it will be fun, and that I will enjoy myself, and the meeting part I can cope with quite easily, but the thought of walking into the dining room and not knowing anyone to sit with is what I think is hurting my tummy. All will be well once I am there. Anticipation is not always a pleasurable thing!
And that brings me to another little problem. Little... Well, we have had a truck coming to the filling station pulling a little tank and filling up with fuel - about R14 000 at a time. Wigs was a bit concerned because of the amount, and it was on credit card, so he phoned the bank and was told that the card was fine and clear, and that he could relax. Well, three weeks later, another filling station phoned to say that they had been told by their bank that the card was a fraud, and the bank wanted their money back. We have now discovered that this has happened to several other stations, and the cards have been cloned, therefore they don't come up as hot cards until the company who owns the number discovers that they have spent a small fortune on petrol. Our friends have been taken for over R200 000 and us for R140 000. Wigs has moved our money to another account so the bank can't just access it back, but it seems that what they then do is just put you into overdraught! There is a huge fight in the offing, because we now feel that we can't trust any card except those with a chip, and there are not many of them around. Wigs is arguing that after checking the card, and all the transactions going through, it is not our responsibility, but should be the bank's and the owner of the card's, and they must find the culprits. How can we run any sort of business if we cannot trust the cards and the banks? But all will be fine - I don't mean for you to worry! It's not all black!
My emails are so full of negatives these past few weeks - I'm sorry! On the positive, my garden is so pleased with the rain! My seedlings are running a little late and will only be ready at the end of the month, and the ones in the garden have done their stuff. Today's maximum is 16 and I am pleased!
Christmas shopping coming up...Is that another negative? Hope not! My boss has suddenly woken up to the fact that he can buy his presents over the internet through his secretary. I spent a blissful moring browsing the book sites, printing out ones I thought he would be interested in and will do the ordering when I get back.

Love, love, love... you all!
Winks/Kath/Mummy Darling, Young and Beautiful!