Saturday, November 17, 2012


Greetings from South Africa!
Maxmom here...

Its a beautiful morning here in South Africa (Johannesburg). We had another thunderstorm last night and the world has been washed clean. The surrounding foliage is shimmering and wet.  
Our thunderstorms are huge, flashy events - lots of lightning and sudden buckets of rain. Flash floods can also happen during these storms and I have grown progressively more scared of them.  The dogs, too, huddle with me at these times.  All the rain, however, has made the world very green and beautiful. My veggie garden is flourishing (or should I say the Guinea pigs' vegetable garden is flourishing? After all, it was planted for them!)
Its Saturday today, so the world is quieter. Only a small drone from the highway across the hill. The traffic never goes to sleep.

Both my girls are home this weekend, and the Boss is also free, so I can look forward to hearty companionship.  

I'm going through a quiet, philosophical life-change at the moment after a major turn of events this past week.  This has left me very guarded with my internet activities and my writing. (Even writing this blog post is making me nervous)  It appears that, once you are on the Internet, your personal claim to your own blog, and what you put on it, is redundant in reality. 
Instead, I have been focussing on moving all my "stuff" in the house into one of the spare rooms.   (I am extremely creative and have so many 'crafty' projects going on.) I am converting this room into a 'den' for myself and am loving the feeling of independence and creative freedom.

  I've been making beads, sewing advent calenders, sorting out wool, scrapbooking, quilting, etc,etc...anything to take my mind off the recent disillusionment. I know I must get back to writing, but my heart is simply not in it. 
Above: Toby testing the chair in my den.

My latest project is a sewed/quilted advent calendar. It's a gift for someone who is working in appalling conditions - long hours, immense stress. Opening small gifts, every day, in the lead up to Christmas, will hopefully remind this person that they are greatly loved and valued. It's been fun planning it and buying the small gifts. I'll give this treasure gift towards the end of the month. It's still not quite finished yet. Hopefully it will remain a surprise.
My  Scrapbooking storage corner.

Today, the Boss and I are going to buy a large bookshelf for my den - to create more space for all my books, etc. and hopefully inspire me to write again..

Above: 12-year-old 'Tammy' barking at the neighbour's cat..."Looking good, girl!"
Toby and Tammy are very well. So are the Guineapigs. Toby is a real hooligan. He is so energetic and so strong, and we still battle with trying to encourage him to be calm. Tammy is getting really old now. She struggles mainly with her progressive arthritis and dry eyes, but then comes to life when the hooligan demands a game. She is a pretty amazing dog, but is starting to battle on our short walks. She enjoys them, however, and loves interacting with other dogs and 'reading the news'.   I know she will deteriorate over time and perhaps may not be with us for much longer, but she is twelve years old now and comfortable in her old age. I couldn't ask for more - at least she hasn't suffered like Max did.

The Guinea-pigs (Twix and Bonnie/Tinkie) are at such a cute stage. They respond to me as if I am one of them.  Their house/palace (in the kitchen) is such a fun place for them to be living in. They are always hanging out together and come to their balcony/loft whenever anyone is in the kitchen. It's like the "Romeo and Juliet" scene with the two of them hanging out the window, going "Wheet, Wheet, Wheet...." and calling for a treat.
I've been taking them to the vet every week now for 6 weeks to get their injections for mites, which they picked up somewhere.  Thankfully, I caught it early. They've stopped scratching now and are looking quite beautiful. Although Twix is about 3 months older than Bonnie, the two GP's are the same weight. Bonnie, however, is going to be a much bigger piggie than Twix. Poor Twixie had such a hard time in the beginning - with the pregnancy and all - that I doubt if she'll ever catch up in growth. But they love each other's's really cute to see them happy.  Here is a video of my sweet piggies:

Sending lots of love to all my friends across the world.  

Toby, too, sends lots of licks - so long as you don't take his throw toy away.
"Mine!" he says.  :)

Have a happy weekend!


~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

Caryl, I'm so sorry to read that you're feeling 'guarded' with your internet activities, but understand fully--I do hope you continue to enjoy creating your new space!

Your girl Tammy is really a beautiful Golden!! Remember I've had Goldens that lived to be 15, so I will hope Tammy reaches that respectable age!!

Dexter said...

It's hard to believe that Tammy is now a senior dog. The time goes by so quickly. I'm more than a little envious of your lovely den. It is important to have a space just for you.

Enjoy the day. Spending time making nice things for your home is just the ticket.

Mango Momma

How Sam Sees It said...

Sending you hugs - I know how those bad days can damage what you love.

For me, blogging has almost been a cure. I've suffered from terrible shyness my whole life - to put a piece of me out for the whole world to see never happened, and all the sudden I'm posting weekly, I'm sharing photos and stories. ...and the best part has been all the wonderful people I've met across the world. :D


Scout and Freyja said...

Sorry to hear that something happened to upset you about your blogging, etc. I read somewhere that once something is on the internet it belongs to everyone. Sad, that folks don't respect the intellectual property of others.

Happy to read that the furry guys in your house are all doing well. You've got a full house this weekend and I'll have a full place next week as all the kids and their kids will be here for Thanksgiving. I love all the food preparation and commotion and laughing and fun.

Sending much love to you and your crew - both human and four-footed.

Bouncing Bertie said...

Hi Caryl
Very sorry about what sounds to have been a negative experience this week. My advice - follow your inclination and if that means being creative with crafts etc. rather that writing, then that's the way to go. (I wish I had those sort of creative instincts too).
Was thinking of you earlier today when reading a free newspaper on the train, and saw a story about a couple whose car was overturned by a rampaging elephant in Kruger National Park!
Stay safe,

♥ Helen said...

Thank you for your nice and warm comments in my blog. Your animals look very happy ♥ and the guinea pigs so cuuuute!
Did you know my children are from Africa, it is not South Africa, but Ethiopia.
From Helen in Norway

The Life of Riley said...

I'm sorry the last week has been a bad one, but wish you many happy hours in your den creating good things.

Take care of yourself, and have a nice weekend with your family.

Love from,
Riley (and his mum)

NanaNor's said...

Hi my friend, I always love hearing about your different season in your part of the world. Your craft room is so lovely-just like you and I know that you will create so much there.
I'm sorry you are having issues with the internet-probably privacy, I can understand your being guarded.
Sending lots of love to you tonight.
xxxoooNoreen & Hunter

Tweedles -- that's me said...

Sweet friend
Oh we love to see the sweet hooligan and Tammy Girl and of course the piggies.
What a wonderful idea to make a den- a place just for you to hang out in.
I hope the rough waters pass soon.

Unknown said...

Hope this will cheer you up -- I just bought a copy of your book for my Kindle! Can't wait to start it this evening, though Petey may insist I read aloud to him.

All the best,

Jane and Petey

Two French Bulldogs said...

Toby you have a big job trying to cheer up mom. Cute den
Benny & Lily

Angel Tucker, Daisy and Leo said...

Caryl, I have been sorry to hear that you are having a rough patch with your writing, but remember that when the time is right it should flow again. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy your new den. Having my own sewing room the last few years has been very important in my growth as a quilter. So important to have a space for your creativity.

Heidi, Angel Tucker and Daisy

STELLA and RORY from Down Under said...

Hi Caryl, I am sorry to hear you have been upset this past week. I send you hugs and love.

I am so envious of your creative room all for yourself. How wonderful and relaxing. Loved your photos and the video of your two little piggies. They are adorable, especially those little chewing cheeks! Take care Caryl. No worries, and love, Carol (and Stella and Rory)

Mary Lou said...

I have never been a "guarded" person. I am, what Robert Downey Jr. once referred to as "share folk". However. One of the freedoms with having a Blog, to me, is that you "preapprove" everything which is being posted. Do not want to write about some subject? Then the solution is simple. Do not write about it!! ;)
Take care, Friend, and I miss your writing!! ;op
Love, Raelyn.... And Rose, my BEAUTIFULLY UNIQUE "Mystery Dog"!!

My Dog Sam - Ruptured Disk said...

Hi Maxmom, we wish you well.

Mary Lou said...

I just noticed your "out of office" note on top. I hope all is well for you.... --Hugs!!-- ;-}
I put "Maxdog" on my Christmas wish list. Did I mention this before? I hope to unwrap it on Christmas morning!! Time will tell.... ;)
Take care, Friend.... ;op