Friday, December 17, 2010


"MAXMOM" here...

Hello there everyone!

I thought I'd take over some blog time today...It's Toby's way of saying
"Merry Christmas!" to me.

The weather here has finally cleared.  The sun is out and our summer fun has returned!

 South Africa's highveld is like no other in the world!
 Our weather can transform itself in a matter of half an hour.  Dark thunderstorms suddenly become magical as rainbows emerge and a new, clean aura decends on our city.  We've had pouring rain for the past few days, which have caused flash floods in various low lying areas. Yesterday it continued to empy buckets on us, but suddenly lunch time arrived and the clouds dissipated.  A beautiful warm sun poked out its head. 
 "I'm back again," it seemed to say "just in time for Christmas!'

Toby was only too happy to oblige the call of the sun.

It's a long weekend here in South Africa.
Although today is 'officially' a working day, many people have converted this one working day into a long weekend and the start of their Christmas break. Long convoys of cars decorate the highways on their journeys to the seaside and our shops have turned into a buzz of humanity - something I try to steer clear of. 

Each year, when December arrives, a new vibrant culture emerges in our city.  The dormant chrysalis of the last 11 months erupts into a frenzy of reckless spending and revelry.  Drunken parties droll into early hours of the morning and endless Christmas carols get pumped through public address systems at the malls. "Little Drummer Boy" is a firm irritant to my own ear!

Despite this, I have to admit that Christmas is just not the same without carols! I too have succumbed to the craziness of the season. The shops have risen to the occasion and have filled their spaces with mounds of futile gifts. Their uses and value escape my understanding.

Anyway, it truly is 'Silly Season' and I prefer to avoid the shops.
(Although I admit that I still have some last minute Christmas shopping of my own to complete.)

Instead I've been in my kitchen for many hours recently - churning out Christmas cakes which have yet to find homes. 

For me, there is no better place than my kitchen!
 It is my space and somewhere where I can totally relax while I'm being productive.  Inevitably my mind wanders into a spirit of generosity and I conjure up all sorts of ideals and aspirations for my family.  I am always uplifted if I've spent time in my kitchen and my family always reaps the benefits.

The dogs too seem of the same opinion about my kitchen.  Wherever I walk, they are in tow and when it's into the kitchen, they sink down to their various allocated spaces on the floor, knowing that
 'This might take a while but it has rewards!'  
Slumber settles on them as they keep a lazy ear out for any generosity which might fall in their direction.

Our Christmas tree is finally up but...

This year, I've placed it on 'stilts' in the hope that Toby doesn't create his usual tornado.  He has already started the convertion of his singing "reindeer anklers" into a scrunchie.

The Christmas carols which have been designed to play from this contraption have merged into one long inexplicable musical masterpiece.
"Toby's Christmas Carol"  
(Jingle Bells silently Rocks!)

We have had quite a few giggles while trying to make sense of it all.  I hope he doesn't do this to our tree.

Perhaps this is false hope?....Watch this space!

So as we all wind down to Christmas day I remind you that Toby will be
on the 24th December 2010!

I also want to remind you that....
I love you all and wish you a...


Angus said...

What a wonderful Christmas . Toby has developed into quite a character so he will doubtless do his best to 'improve' the tree. And Toffee ?

Angel Tucker, Daisy and Leo said...

Glad your sun came back. Hope you all have a great Christmas, thanks for the card. Can't believe Toby is only 5 months, he looks almost as big as Aunt Tam in the pictures and will be a very big boy.

Heidi, Tucker and Daisy.

WFT Nobby said...

Oh I so agree with you about preferring the kitchen to the shops at this time of year...
And how wise of you to place your lovely tree on stilts. Bertie has already eaten one of my decorations and tried (unsuccessfully, I feel )to improve on my artistic arrangement of the tinsel!
PS from Bertie: I just loved the poem Toby wrote in my comment box today. Gosh he is such a clever wee chappie!

Ruth said...

Merry Christmas!

Becky Andrews said...

Sun sounds delightful as well as your kitchen. Love being home with Cricket nearby. Merry Christmas to you!

Two French Bulldogs said...

Toby thank you for the nice post. Sure glad the weather cleared. It looks like you are getting ready for Christmas. We love your tree. Our tree is up in the air too. Mom said Just in case. Whatever that means
Benny & Lily

♥I am Holly♥ said...

Merry Christmas to all of you! I love the first picture of Toby soaking up the sun!!! Your tree is beautiful!! Lots of love, Holly and mom

Ms. ~K said...

Lovely weather...we've been unusually cold here for December.
May we come take a dip in your pool, Toby?
~K and The Pups

Sierra Rose said...

Happy Christmas! Lovely post :) Sounds like LOTS of celebratin' going on there! Can just imagine the good smells coming out of your kitchen....and your furrie helpers!
Mmmmmm! Enjoy!

Hugs and snaggle-tooth kisses,
Sierra Rose

Milo and Alfie Marshall said...

We're so glad Mr Sunshine is back for you! Thanks for a lovely update post.
It's snowing in our neck of the woods at the moment!

Angel Ginger Jasper said...

Thats a lovely post. All those gorgeous cakes, I am sorry we are so far away because they do look delicious and pretty. Glad your sun came back tom dry up all that rain. We are very cold here. Merry Christmas.. Hugs GJ xx

Mrs. JP said...

Oh, how lovely. I like your tree, and I bet your kitchen smells heavenly. Believe me, the shops are no place to be. I went w/ my mom to help her do her shopping today and it was crazy. I'm so glad to be home with my crew and my little rut that I love. I do love Christmas--I'm trying to remember that it's the day of God's unmatchable gift to us in Jesus. Those thoughts keep me centered (somewhat) during the madness.
I see Toby welcomed the sunshine on his pool chair!
Happy 5 months old buddy.
Merry Christmas to you all.

Molly the Airedale said...

We are so happy to hear that your sun is back!
Your tree is so pretty!
Happy holidays to all of you!

Love ya lots
Maggie and Mitch

NAK and The Residents of The Khottage Now With KhattleDog! said...

Toby's furst khristmas will be khwite special!

Thanks fur sharing these GReat pikhs!

NOW, how about some khake please?!?


Valerie Cummings said...

We do a lot of online shopping! We just hate to venture out to the malls this time of year. Your Christmas tree looks lovely!!! And it seems it was only yesterday you were telling us you were "thinking" about a puppy!!!! MY how time flies!!!! We hope Toby doesnt chew up his reindeer ears!!! Hugs, Joey and Kealani

Scout and Freyja said...

♥From the frozen north of Michigan to the sunny south of Africa, the hearts in the Sullivan home are wrapped around you in love and friendship♥

sprinkles said...

Those beautiful Christmas cakes would have a wonderful home with me! lol

I hope you have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year as well!

Jed and Abby in MerryLand said...

Good to see your sun has finally returned. Looks like you're all ready for Christmas - especially the good eating!

Congratulations, indeed, to Miss R for starting vet school! That is wonderful.

An anticipatory Happy 5 months Day and Merry Christmas!

Jed & Abby

Kate said...

And a furry Happy Christmas to you too Maxmom!

Your baking looks exquisite! And good luck with the last minute christmas shopperoo. Ma went to the shops today and she came home grumbling about the busyness or something.

How Sam Sees It said...

We wish you the best Christmas! ...and we hope your tree survives to the end!


Tama-Chan, Benny, Vidock, Violette, Ollie, Hotesse & Heloise said...

We can't quite believe the speed at which Toby is growing!

Glad your sun has returned. At this end, snow has arrived for Christmas!


Anonymous said...

OMD Carol! I cannot believe how beautiful Toby is growing up to be! What a handsome fellow he is!

It is so funny to see your pool all ready and such a sunny day in the backyard. Here is is freezing and when the wind chill is added it is below freezing. How I wish I was in your pool right now!

From my family to yours...

Merry Christmas

and a

Happy New Year!!!

Love Tessa, Blu and Mel too!

MySpecialDoggies said...

Hi Toby
We're sure glad the sun is out again. If Maxmom is looking for people (and doggies) to taste test her goodies - just send them here!

You are really growing up and bringing your Mom much joy & happiness.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas,
Nadine & Neeli
Angel doggie Apples (1994-2010)

Doris Sturm said...

Have yourself a merry little Christmas and try to stay away from the crowds. I think being in the kitchen is the best place to be and make goodies for your family and friends (and doggies)....

Merry Christmas to you and Toby and all the gang!

D.K. Wall said...

First of all - congratulations Miss R! We are behind on our blog reading and just caught the news, but think that is terrific.

Secondly - we are just chuckling at the thought of a five month old pup with a house full of Christmas. The last time for us was when Queen Natasha was but Princess Natasha and, at seven months old, succeeded in knocking the Christmas tree over while playing a game of chase with Nikita. Her look of innocence while sitting IN the branches was priceless.

The rest of The Herd came to us as adults, so we have not had a repeat of that "experience" since.

Tweedles -- that's me said...

Yeaaa to the sun coming back to shine on you!
What memories for Tobys first Christmas!
I wish we were there,, to enjoy your holiday with you,, and smell some of those wonderful things you are cooking, and eating too.
We love you