Celebrating the value of (a) woman

Yesterday we had a high tea in Hogsback to celebrate the value of woman, all woman, but especially  one woman who has made an incredible difference in the lives of not just woman, but everyone on the mountain. Her name is Norma.

Norma stands for everything that is gentle, kind, generous, caring and worthy. She was the doctor here in Hogsback for many years, caring for the sick and running an AIDS outreach. Even after she finally retired (after her initial attempt at retirement to Hogsback), she still remains totally invested in our little village as part of the executive board for our local outreach, Jikani, and as part of our Chapel lay preachers and pianists, as  a friend, a wife and a mother to all.

I think Silke’s poem for Norma says it all:

For a text copy of Silke’s poem, download it from here: goo.gl/KgChgf 

Norma read to us the story of when God created woman to remind us of our biggest flaw….

So, Norma, on your 70th celebration month, we can only say that you mean the world to us and that we appreciate you more than you can imagine! As you did not want to be honoured with presents and accolades I would like to ask everybody I know to acknowledge you by making a donation to your hearts project, Jikani (www.jikani.com) at the following banking details:

Acc name: Jikani
Acc No: 62391132075
Branch: fort Beaufort / 210419
Reference: 70th




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Very very funny

Every now and again a really funny story cross my path  so this time I have to thank Hannelie for sharing this….

Bored at Walmart

After I retired, my wife insisted that I accompany her on her trips to Walmart. Unfortunately, like most men, I found shopping boring and preferred to get in and get out. Equally unfortunate, my wife is like most women – she loves to browse.

Yesterday my dear wife received the following letter from the local Walmart

Dear Mrs. Woolf,

Over the past six months, your husband has caused quite a commotion in our store. We cannot tolerate this behavior and have been forced to ban both of you from the store. Our complaints against your husband, Mr. Woolf, are listed below and are “documented by our video surveillance cameras”:

1. June 15: He took 24 boxes of condoms and randomly put them in other people’s carts when they weren’t looking.

2. July 2: Set all the alarm clocks in Housewares to go off at 5-
minute intervals.

3. July 7: He made a trail of tomato juice on the floor leading to the
women’s restroom.

4. July 19: Walked up to an employee and told her in an official
voice, ‘Code 3 in Housewares. Get on it right away’. This caused the
employee to leave her assigned station and receive a reprimand from her Supervisor that in turn resulted in management getting involved causing management to lose time and costing the company money.

5. August 4: Went to the Service Desk and tried to reserve a bag of

6. August 14: Moved a ‘CAUTION – WET FLOOR’ sign to a carpeted area.

7. August 15: Set up a tent in the camping department and told the
children shoppers they could come in if they would bring pillows and
blankets from the bedding department – to which twenty children

8. August 23: When a clerk asked if they could help him he began
crying and screamed, ‘Why can’t you people just leave me alone?’
Emergency Medics were called.

9. September 4: Looked right into the security camera and used it as a mirror while he picked his nose.

10. September 10: While handling guns in the Sports department, he
asked the clerk where the antidepressants were.

11. October 3: Darted around the Store suspiciously while loudly
humming the ‘ Mission Impossible’ theme.

12. October 6: In the auto department, he practiced his ‘Madonna look’ by using different sizes of funnels.

13. October 18: Hid in a clothing rack and when people browsed
through, yelled ‘PICK ME! PICK ME!’

14. October 22: When an announcement came over the loud speaker, he assumed the fetal position and screamed ‘OH NO! IT’S THOSE VOICES AGAIN!

15. Took a box of condoms to the checkout clerk and asked where the fitting room was.

And last, but not least:

16. October 23: Went into a fitting room, shut the door, waited
awhile, and then yelled very loudly, ‘Hey! There’s no toilet paper in
here.’ One of the Staff passed out.

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Home Alone

If you are hoping for Home Alone 5, this is not it. If you are feeling a fleeting Siestog, this is not it either. This is a realization of freedom and contentment that I have only now, in the middle of this reflective Pause, allowed myself to writelise , sitting in bed in my pajamas looking out into the cozy cuddly mist wafting past my bedroom window.

I have not been Home Alone much. As a matter of fact, I have not been home much really this year.

This year has been a whirlwind of busy-ness and travel to all my favourite training spaces and places with my favourite people, teachers, and my grand babies (the Boeboe Bunch and Smurfie boo). Until before this brief Pause, I could count on my one hand weekends when I did not have wonderful guests, friends and family sharing my paradise space with me. So Home Alone is kind of a foreign concept to me, one which I thought would not appeal to the social butterfly in me. I was so wrong.

Being wrong and making mistakes is starting to trend in education, as we can learn so much more from being wrong than being right. In politics and the world, living wrong has become the new right and learning from past mistakes is not PC (politically correct). So it is with surprise that I found my Home Alone Pause as feeling so right. No guilt about staying in bed. No guilt about getting back to my (new home) office to tie up loose ends. No guilt about tackling the rest of my spring cleaning spaces. No guilt about getting to go and say hi to mountain friends I have not said hi to yet. No guilt about having to have a ball. And no guilt about having this Home Alone liberating feeling all by myself. I know for a fact that there are those (who will remain nameless) who will feel envious, even resentful, of this Home Alone freedom and just for today I won’t feel guilty about this great gift.

It is always a good thing to find a Pause in which to reflect back. I can just visualize my teachers rolling their eyes as I have been forcing them to reflect, reflect , reflect (I will be collecting Memoires next year!!). What worked? What did not work? How can I improve? #Ict4red #ict4redttt #tpd4dml #life

So my reflection for this year is this: Everything worked. I worked. Hard. Everything did not work. Not all the time. That was okay too. I hope I learned. Can I improve? Of course I can. I can be a better daughter, a better sister, a better mother, a better grand mother (although I feel pretty confident about this one) and a better friend. I can moan less. Definitely moan a lot less!!! No more goat inspired meltdowns and more goat stews next year, for sure!

What stands out for me this year?

1The miracles. So many miracles. Big and small, but mainly big. My son survived a devastating crash. Friends battled and conquered the big C. The miracles of life and death. And the miracle of prayer. This year, even more than previous years, I became more aware of the miracle of prayer and God’s amazing love. Even in the middle of intense sadness and loss, God was there, with His rainbow of hope.

If I want to improve anything for next year, I would like to pray more. Spend more time Home Alone in prayer, praying for those who struggle with terrible addictions, loss, loneliness, rejection and emptiness which only God can fill. Sometimes we (I) are so busy winning over the world that we forget about spending time with God in our Home Alone spaces. Next year I am definitely going to make more Home Alone time with God.

Kitty kat is giving me that #youarenotHomeAloneiamhereandiamhungry look.Zena the kitty kat One of my things to do next year is to teach her how to make me coffee and add #selffeeding to her #selfcleaning skills. And I am also going to use less #hashtags and more #hugtags, which can only be done in real life (as opposed to virtually) and preferably in Hugsback.

So, now that I have done my reflective Home Alone Pause, let me sommer wish everybody a very blessed Christ-filled Christmas and a joyous New Year full of numerous memorable Home Alone moments!!!

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Saved from death by Grace

1I have not yet reflected on my miracle that God so graciously has afforded me, so this morning, as we celebrate God sacrificing His son, it is really appropiate to look back on what has happened to my son, Bertie, exactly a month ago today.

Any mother dread that phone call, late at night. That calm voice telling you to stay calm and that your son has been in a head on collision, that 2 people died, and that even though they are waiting for the paramedics and the jaws of life to get him out of the car, that he is talking and that everybody is there with him, praying for him. Thank you Keme for that calm voice.

The strange thing is that I woke up 20 minutes earlier, wide awake, remembering that I did not lock my car, got up, locked my car and got back into bed. That was the exact time of the accident.

My son was on his way back from a cell group meeting and took the tar road home. He stays on the farm out in Tarlton and the road in question has often made me say a quiet prayer for my children travelling on it often. It is narrow, the shoulders are ever eroding and visibility late at night has made it a death trap with many crosses next to the road paying tribute to loved ones lost.

As he was travelling, a car with 2 people pass a lorry and did not see that the widening road shoulder abruptly come to a close (no signage) and hit the gravel which made them swerve right into Bert. Right into him. They hit him full on, right were he was sitting, at speed. And this is where God’s grace kicked in.

He should have been dead. Even the paramedics who attended the scene and reported the accident to the newspapers did not hold up much hope. But God had another plan for his life. He planned a miracle.

The miracle started with a cell group friend driving behind him on that dark night, on that lonely dangerous road, seeing the accident unfold and calling paramedics and everybody else. He was surrounded by a cover of prayer almost from the very first moment.

I phoned and contacted all my prayer warriors and our prayer was this:

That he will live. That not a bone in his body will be broken and that he will heal completely. In the name of Jesus. Who died for us on a cross so that we may live. Amen.

My prayer warrior sister (who spend years praying for 17349871_10155254654919994_6272353677427187451_ome and keeping me in grace, while I was “living it up”)  kept me company on the phone the whole night. I got the same message ( even the same verse) from all my prayer warrior friends. That I must not worry. That God has a great plan for his life.

Everything from the moment of the accident is testimony to God’s grace and mercy in my and my son’s life. Him being surrounded by his family and prayer warriors. Getting to the right surgeon at just the right time.

He spend more than a week in ICU. It was hard to see him there. Everyday a struggle, but everyday a weak smile.  On this day that we celebrate God sacrificing His son for our sins, I really, really understand, maybe for the first time, what that must have meant. And I am so grateful.

It is now exactly a month later and he has been back at work for a few hours everyday. He has no broken bones, he is walking. He has bruises and a long zipper across his tummy to remind him of God’s grace. But he will heal. Completely.

So don’t tell me that I don’t have a powerful God. A merciful God. A God who will even go as far as to sacrifice His own son so that we may live. So today Lord, I am so thankful. I am saved from death by your grace alone.

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Die kat kom weer

Zena the catSo I am at it again. Trying to share my life with a little furry life-force that will bring some purr-power into my paradise home. And the darling Village People are already starting to bet on how I am going to pull this one off. I did not have such a good start. But tomorrow is another day!!!!!

Lyndsay convinced me, against my better judgement, to adopt her son’s cat due to their relocation to faraway shores. As I love my neighbour dearly and as I have been missing some furry company since my last unsuccessful attempt at furring my house, I decided to give it a go again. On condition (I am just putting it here in writing) that she will come and look after her furry grandchild when I go a-travelling.

So yesterday was the big cat fetching day. All good. Cat survived the trip up to Hogsback. Still good. We had a fantastic purry furry evening of bonding and kitty settled in at the bottom of the bed as if she has been living with me all her life. Really good. OKay she did wake me up a few times during the night attempting to go outside to go and do her business only to find that that was a no-go and had to …..eventually….settle for the sand box. All still relatively good.

Today, however,…. was a less good day. The gardener fetched the shed key and left the door open. Kitty jubilantly made a bee-line out the door and disappeared into the bushes with me in my pajamas in panicked pursuit. To no avail. Really bad actually as when I returned to my front door after an unsuccessful search party, I found that it has slammed locked and to top it all, the jail lock was on. This meant that not even getting the spare key could get me back into my house and the back door had a key in which meant that I could really not get into my house. Really really bad. Breaking into my house involved some heavy machinery and even more spectacular gymnastics, but I am glad to report that I managed to get back in before my paying guests could see me in my pajamas. I can just imagine the review on Airbnb.Zena

In the interest of ending this story on a good note, I am glad to report that as I sat in the lounge crying and praying, I looked up, and there she was, strolling in as if she just went for a gentle little forest stroll. So as the saying goes, die kat kom weer. And let’s hope that she will be staying as I am nogal looking forward to us getting old together.

I said last week that I want to start recording all the wonderful everyday miracles that God entertain me with. So, thank you Lord for my cat miracle. As I sit here writing this, Zena is editing my typing and agreeing purrily……it was a good day after all!

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heb11-1It seems like God is currently taking me on a theme of HOPE . It is kind of weird as I look around me and and can actually see a sense of hopelessness. All the #mustfall uprisings is slowly robbing us of our peace and joy and #hopemustfall seems to be the quite acceptable. Then problem is, fear follows closely behind where there is no hope. And questions. Where is God? Why is He allowing all this to happen?

So this morning God reminded me of why I have hope.

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;
1 Pe 3:15 NKJV http://bible.com/114/1pe.3.15.NKJV

So to quote Job, who in the midst of all his misery and problems , still had hope:

For I know that my Redeemer lives, And He shall stand at last on the earth;
Job 19:25 NKJV http://bible.com/114/job.19.25.NKJV

So how do I know?

I know. I know God’s grace has gifted me with indisputable evidence that surpasses my cynicism, my conventional wisdom and my questioning mind. I found that #knowing in a personal miracle. I found that #knowing in quiet time with God. I found it in the midst of my problems and fears. Especially there! .

To have faith is to be sure of the things we hope for, to be certain of the things we cannot see.
Heb 11:1 GNB http://bible.com/296/heb.11.1.GNB

So today I live in hope. I banish #hopemustfall in the name of my Saviour, Jesus. I know that #christhasrisen and that #fearmustfall.

Now, in all these things we have complete victory through him who loved us! For I am certain that nothing can separate us from his love: neither death nor life, neither angels nor other heavenly rulers or powers, neither the present nor the future, neither the world above nor the world below — there is nothing in all creation that will ever be able to separate us from the love of God which is ours through Christ Jesus our Lord.
Rom 8:37?-?39 GNB

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Reviving my personal blog

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An atheist was  walking through the woods.

‘What majestic trees!’
‘What powerful  rivers!’
‘What beautiful animals!’

He said to himself.

As  he was walking alongside the river, he heard a rustling  in the bushes behind him. He turned to look. He saw a 7-foot  grizzly bear charge towards  him. He ran as fast as  he could up the path. He looked over his shoulder and saw that the bear was closing in on him. He looked over his shoulder again  and the bear was even  closer.

He tripped and fell on the ground.

He rolled  over to pick himself up but saw that the bear was right on top of him, reaching for him with his left paw and raising his right paw to strike him…

At that  instant the Atheist cried out,

‘Oh my God!’

Time  Stopped.
The bear froze.
The forest was silent.

As a  bright light shone upon the man, a voice came out of the sky.

‘You  deny my existence for all these years, teach others I don’t exist and even credit creation to cosmic accident. Do you expect me to help  you out of this predicament? Am I to count you as a  believer?’

The atheist looked directly into the light.

‘It would be hypocritical of me to suddenly ask you to treat me as a Christian now, but  perhaps you could make the BEAR a Christian?’

‘Very well’, said  the voice.

The light went out. The sounds of the forest  resumed. And the bear dropped his right paw, brought both paws together, bowed his head and spoke:

‘For what I am about to receive, may the Lord  make me truly thankful,  Amen.’

[Thank you Monica for this one]

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The MTN grinch who stole Christmas and New year :-(

mtngrinchChristmas is a time when we all remember each other, send messages of hope, love and comedic moments as well as talk to those who we never talk to at any other time of the year, if ever. We start getting our Christmas and new year messages ready and texted-up from early on in December and failing to do that, we hook on and save the first cute text message that get send our way to send along again to everybody we know and love and hopefully remember to remove the one who send it to us and add our name to the message and so the Christmas spirit get send on and on…

With the “advent” of social media, facebook, twitter, pinterest, whatsapp, mixit etc, we are now in a position to not only share tried and trusted text messages but also colour in our messages with….where I had a silly moment….or….look at me hanging from the top of the tree….or… look at all the places I am visiting….or…..look we are sleeping…..(you know the usual exciting holiday fare).

But this year (maybe you have not even noticed which would really be tragic) the MTN Grinch stole my Christmas and New year and all the in-between happy moments that I could have happily shared with you. Not that it is the first time that this particular Grinch has tried to steal my happiness. It has happened quite a few times in the past as well. Normally when I am not at home near my landline and on the road when I really need to be mobily connected. MTN, as my service provider, has provided excellent service when I do not need it, and have efficiently managed my debit order, but the moment I need to have mobile access they make sure that they suspend it. I misguidedly thought that we use debit orders in order NOT to get suspended for non payment. Surely they manage their side of things and dip their greedy little paws into my account whenever one of their executives need to send their wife to a spa. But noooo, they like to show me who is boss by suspending me for…..I really don’t know.

This all really does not make any sense to me as they stand to make a LOT of money out of me at moments like this as I am far more likely to want to talk to everybody and their aunties when I am on holiday and far away from home. Now you may snigger and rightfully wonder why I blame the MTN Grinch for suspending me in mid-data if possibly it could propably be a case of lack of end of year after-present- buying and holiday petrol buying and over indulgence-spending-fund-up-drying. But as lack would have it, I have managed to hook my MTN account into one of my hubbies accounts (don’t tell him) that seems to have money in at all the times (and yes there have been previous occasions of Grinch like behaviour) that they have suspended my data life stream.

And yes, I have on previous occasions tried to phone their helpline and pushed their various numbers without being lucky enough to connect to human beings. If anybody can enlighten me on how to actually talk to a non machine I would be most grateful, but numbers 1 through to 4 do not seem take any non push/voice input.  And yes, I have on these previous occasions got into my car and actually driven to my esteemed service providers’ centres, I have received my number and I have sat in a random queue for an extended period of time after which I have ranted and raved and kicked my feet in the air as well as tear my hair out at petrified Grinch agents that then tried to desperately pacify my with very rational explanations……..

It is The System. The System apparently randomly decide on occasions that they need to impose a credit limit on debit order accounts instead of just sticking to debit order logic- I talk/tweet–> you debit- all very orderly. Naaaah this System is the Grinch. No talking for you, especially when you are away from home, on holiday, out in the gramadoelas sticks doing training and especially not over Christmas and New year. So what if your loved ones, 4000 friends, circles, fellow twits and pins are dying to get your inspired Christmas and new years message of hope. The Grinch will show you. Christmas and new year suspended.

Then miraculously on the 2nd it came back on. Out of the blue. Or is a case that the whole of MTN also went on a festive season break? I really don’t know and as MTN (Maggie Talk Not) can’t be reached coherantly on numbers 1, 2, 3 or 4. After pressing 1 numerous times tin Grinch voice assured me in a staccato voice that I have Zerooo data bundes left and Zerooo sms’s and  Zerooo love and peace for 2013 left, but have for the hell of it connected me again. Go figure.

So as the MTN Grinch stole Christmas and new year from me, it does not “mean” that I do not love you all dearly and would have loved to have talked and tweeted and facebook you with wonderful wishes for this wonderful year. So I will try my best to catch up with good wishes as I go along this new year and wish you ALL a happy and prosperous and blessed year. If you do not hear from me again, it might be the Grinch being slightly irritated with me again which have resulted in me being suspended yet again.


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* 2 cups flour
* 1 stick butter
* 1 cup of water
* 1 tsp baking  soda
* 1 cup of  sugar
* 1 tsp  salt
* 1 cup of  brown sugar
*  Lemon juice
* 4  large eggs
*  Nuts
* 2  bottles wine
* 2  cups of dried fruit

Sample the wine to  check quality. Take a large bowl, check the wine again. To be sure  it is of the highest quality, pour one level cup and
drink. Repeat.  Turn on the electric mixer. Beat one cup of butter in a large fluffy  bowl. Add one teaspoon of sugar. Beat again. At this
point it’s best  to make sure the wine is still OK. Try another cup… Just in case.  Turn off the mixerer thingy. Break 2 eggs and add to the
bowl and  chuck in the cup of dried fruit.

Pick the frigging  fruit up off floor. Mix on the turner.. If the fried druit gets  stuck in the beaterers just pry it loose with a drewscriver. Sample  the wine to check for tonsisticity. Next, sift two cups of salt. Or  something. Check the wine. Now shift the lemon juice and strain your  nuts. Add one table. Add a spoon of sugar, or some fink. Whatever  you can find. Greash the oven. Turn the cake tin 360 degrees and try  not to fall over. Don’t forget to beat off the turner.

Finally,  throw the bowl through the window. Finish the wine and wipe counter  with the cat. Go to  Woollies and buy cake.

Bingle  Jells!

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