The L List : Update

One hundred posts gone and time to review.  The first thing that comes to mind is, review the  L List , the one about living, loving, laughing daily.

Coo,c the cat who likes my cat hugging so much that she follows me everywhere
Coco, the cat who likes my cat hugging so much that she follows me everywhere

Here it is as I have written it originally. Now lets see which items I can tick and then what to add.

See Clarens in the Free State in autumn.   Tick April 2012.  Find something to laugh about everyday. Not enough.   Love the Lord  and commune with him everyday. Still working on this one.
See Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe again. Smile at the cashier in te grocery store even if I am tired. Not enough  Hold a grandchild in my arms. ( one for my children)
Visit our children In Tanzania.  Tick November 2012. Laugh at life’s small disastersSometimes I get this right needs work though.  Hug someone everyday even if it is the cat.  The cat hugging is going well so much so that she is following me like a shadow. 
Go on a trip with my only sister somewhere in the Cape Winelands.( no children or husbands allowed ) Laugh with others who are having funNot enough. Cultivate old friendships more. I have been seeing old friends and it was great to see them again. 
See the pyramids in Egypt    Love old people even if they are difficult. Both parents died last year thankfully, I have no regrets.
Visit The Serengetti and Ngorogoro. Maybe a little later this year.   See our two youngest children graduate. One of them graduates next week!
Learn to paint.    
Take a photography course.    

Looking back and reviewing the L List, I realised, I lack laughter and fun in my life. The past year has been a difficult one, but I look forward to incorporating more fun and more of my L List wishes in the coming months.

Do you have a living, laughing, loving list?

Blog 100

cropped-cropped-violas1.jpg 260 Days, 37  weeks 8.8  months, equals the amount of time that I have been blogging.  

Through the death of both parents, two children leaving home and starting life as young adults, and many happy and  unhappy moments, this new friend purpleviolas, accompanied me on my  journey through life.

Mostly blogging was fun, a way to express myself, to be creative, to communicate thoughts I might never have said out loud. It gave me a way to communicate with children and family who live far away,while at the same time giving them the choice to listen or not to listen.

Today I write the 100th post on my blog and as I saw when doing some research, there has been many blogposts published on why do I blog, what do I want to achieve, where am I going, how to attract more readers, likes, comments, pingbacks and on and on and on. I will not go there.

No to me  blogging is about fun, therefore I am going to celebrate my 100th post with photos, snippets and comments from those blogposts which meant the most to me. So join me for a snapshot of my blog or not if you don’t want to. The choice is yours.

The Start.


 It was an ordinary Wednesday morning at home when I started playing around on my computer and purpleviolas was born.


Venting Frustration.

There were many things to comment on both at work and in my personal life. The one that gave me the most satisfaction was the day I lost my patience with young ” I know everything about anything” colleagues and I wrote the post: The A team: A Plan Can Still come Together ( 25/08/12 )  No one commented and no one liked it , but I vented my frustration and felt better afterwards.

I Like it when a plan con=mes together
I Like it when a plan comes together

The sad moments. 

Then came the sad moments which is inevitable in life and blogging became a way of working through the grief of losing a father and a mother in a short space of time. The post: My Heart is Raining Tears (21 /01/ 13 ) brought great emotional release and helped me on the way to healing.

jew 2

Wood 1

The fun and happy moments.

Thankfully for us human beings, life is not all about pain and sorrow. There were also the fun times such as travelling to Dar es Salaam  to visit our children and having a wonderful family Christmas in Clarens, which led to these posts and photos: The L List Living: Three B’s Boat Bongoyo and Bjaj  (09/11/12)

DSC08008and Far From The Maddening Crowds ( 28/12/12/)

Clarens 1The Keeping busy moments

To my husband’s great frustration and sometimes satisfaction, I often have ideas for DIY projects. Unfortunately I am not very good at the practicalities of the ideas and that is when I need my other half to help. Such a project, which eventually gave us both joy and satisfaction was this one: Something Found, Something Round, SomethingNew ( 04/02/13)

organizer 3

Learning time.

There were the learning moments and for that I thank the Daily Post and Photo Challenges on WordPress. Participating in these challenges and reading the posts taught me lot and  challenged me to stretch myself and look at objects to be photographed in a  new and in depth way.

Some of the photos taken in response to challenges.

D 7

mango 1

In conclusion, blogging has so far been very enriching  experience for me. One that I will continue to have fun with,  learn from and  grow in my personal life. If I have readers and followers, I trust they will find joy, occasionally something to learn from me, maybe a laugh or two and even shed the occasional tear with me.If no one reads my blog, it is also fine, I still enjoy the writing,creativity and the endless possibilities to experiment with.

Now for the next 100 posts!

If Only This Chair Could Talk! Musings of a DIY- er

Slowly the dirt, grime and many layers of varnish disappear as I patiently sand them away. Underneath,  a beautiful teak wooden chair dating from about 1950  is emerging.

stoel voor

stoel skoon

This neglected piece of furniture was lying around in a store room  left by its previous owner and not claimed again. It became my latest DIY project and I am amazed at the beauty lying underneath the accumulated dust and grime of many years.  At first I was planning to paint the chair, but as the beautiful teak wood emerged, I changed plans and now it will only have a good dose of teak oil so that it can exhibit its natural shine and beauty.

Sanding a chair by hand takes many hours of patient work and lots of time to reflect while doing it. That is when I began to wonder about the history of this chair.

What would it tell me if it could talk?

Maybe it witnessed the life of a family growing from being a young in love married couple to a closely knit unit with all the joy, frustrations, conflicts and tears which are synonymous with being a family, only to be thrown in a store room by the  grown up children after their parents passed away.

Or, did it witness an unhappy home with lots of conflict, violence, tears and regret.

Maybe it knows the secrets of this family. The joys when a first child was born, the tears when a family member passed away, the late night talks between a parent and a child in the growing up years, the conflicts which is inevitable in life, the prayers sent to heaven in good and difficult times.

The chair has scars which can not be removed, but surely each scar has a story to tell. Did a young child playing roughly with  a hand made toy make the deep scratches on the surface, or was it a careless adult or even a violent one?


I wonder how many hours someone sat one the chair mending clothes, reading, doing homework or studying. How many meals were eaten while sitting on the chair. Was it a happy existence or did conflict and worry rule its existence?

These thoughts brought me back to my own life.

What would the main theme of our family life’s story be if our furniture which have been in our home could talk?

There  were good times, sad times, laughing times, conflict times and worry times, children fighting times even the occasional violent times when fights broke out between siblings.

Generally however I think our chairs will report a happy normal family life. A goal which we could not have achieved without many prayers, guidance and grace from our Heavenly Father. His Spirit has always occupied one of our chairs and set the atmosphere in our home and for that I will  be eternally gratefull.

These verses from Proverbs confirm the above and admonish us to continue seeking guidance from the Holy Spirit in our everyday lives.

Proverbs 3: 5-6 

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; and lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he shall direct your paths. 

stoel 1

What would your furniture tell the world if they could talk?

Minnie Postma Who?


I can hear you asking or thinking who is Minnie Postma?

Why write a blogpost about her?

MP 1


This vibrant piece of weaving has been in my parents’ house and complimented  the colourful blue and rust colours in our lounge over many years.It was bought from the weaver, in this case Minnie Postma, in her then home town of Heidelberg Transvaal.

Having completely forgotten about it and about the origins, I did some research and learnt the following about this remarkable woman.

Minnie Postma was born in the Orange Free State on a farm bordering Lesotho. She grew up speaking the Sesotho language as well as Afrikaans, and as a child she heard many of the folktales and stories of the Basutho people. Her most well known book is Tales from the Basutho which has been translated into English by Susie McDermid.

Tales 2

She wrote more than thirty books for children and adults in Afrikaans and I for one can remember reading books from her “Mientjie” series.

She died in 1980 at the age of 81 years, leaving a legacy of Afrikaans literature which I am going to try and read again.

Scarf Tying How To

It seems my mother was lady of many facets which I am sadly only now uncovering.

Amongst her personal things I found this little booklet on how to tie scarves. No wonder I am addicted to scarves.It seems she was too, as not only did I find the booklet, I also found many beautiful scarves tucked away, which  my sister and I shared with our daughters. I have no idea how old the little booklet is, but it probably dates from the 1960’s or 70’s.

I share some of the pages in the booklet for you to try.I certainly am going to try them out.

Scarf tying 1

Scarf tying 2

scarf tying 3

Sacrf tying 4

scarf tying 5

scarf tying8

scarf tying 7

scarf tying 9

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie or Sit ?

‘It is nought good a slepyng hound to wake.’ ( Chaucer, Troylus and Crisedye (1374) )

 The quote above was probably the origin of this idiom which is still used today and means not to perturb a situation which is snoozed for the time being as it could fuel the conditions.   From
tarzan slaap crop 2

Early Saturday morning.

All is peaceful and quiet as only a Saturday morning can be while the rest of the household is still sleeping.

I am at my computer, when I look out of the window and there he is. The big left behind Boerboel sleeping in his usual strangely contorted position. He actually belongs to a previous resident of the flat on our property who left him with us as he couldn’t find a place for him to stay and gradually he became part of our family.

tarzan slaap crop

He is huge and ugly, but oh so characterful.

On first impressions he appears fearsome and everyone who visits us is scared of him. However on closer encounter he is just a big baby! Thunder storms and rain are the his biggest fears and once he is in the house when it is raining no amount of coaxing or scolding will convince him to leave.

He greets us when we return home with loud barks and joyful galloping like a horse next to the car, trying to put his huge head in through the window, which he can actually do as he is so big. He can be utterly relaxed and then sleeps in these strange positions as illustrated in the pictures.

Tarz slaapI for one, was totally against him  staying with us but now have to confess that he has won me over with his strange mannerisms and small doggy whimpers.

So this sleeping dog is not to be disturbed and stays where he is for the time being.

Tarz sleepy

Don’t you think he just needs a pipe to look like grandpa sitting on the stoep contemplating life?