Painting and Maintaining

I had such a lovely weekend with my daughters last week. Last Saturday Lily went to a baby shower for a friend who lives in Cape Town and then came to join Caitlin and I to do some painting at Clay Café.

Caitlin nor I had eaten so we ordered food when we arrived. Healthy Cait ordered the grilled halloumi and avocado salad with cherry tomatoes, onion, cucumber, strawberries and a strawberry vinaigrette which she really enjoyed. Getting such a gorgeous char on that halloumi is an art! It was R95.

I decided I was on a keto break that weekend and ordered a waffle. It was R45 with soft serve vanilla ice cream and syrup and worth every single carb.

We started choosing what we were going to paint. Caitlin decided to paint 2 decorative items. One is a tealight holder and the other is a little vase. She had a colour palette of beige, caramel, stone and ivory which goes beautifully with their house.

Her and Wes’ house is done all in pale colours with a little accent of black or grey, she has amazing, understated and elegant taste.

After painting the background Caitlin did a bit of a Jackson Pollock splatter effect on hers. It looks really cool!

I painted 3 small serving bowls as one can never have enough little bowls. I painted the inside in ivory and the outside in stone. I then did little dots around the outside edge in white.

Lily joined us when she finished her baby shower. We had not planned a colour of the day for our designs or our clothes but we all coordinated on both. All 3 of us were wearing green and painted with the same subtle colour palette.

Caitlin did a free hand drawing of a delicious monster plant on a jug for Lily who then painted it and she also painted an ombré design on a little vase like Caitlin’s.

After we finally finished painting we started to tidy up our messy table a little bit, but Lily was confused and dumped her dirty stuff in the communal wash bowl and got told off. Oops. It is always one of us bringing embarrassment to the family.

We headed back to our house and we sat and chatted and Caitlin told Lily all of her engagement and holiday stories and then we decided to watch Lily’s wedding video. This is the short version which is like a little film all on it’s own. Lily looked so beautiful and her and Josh are so perfect together.

Josh & Lily from Pinnacle Studio Films on Vimeo.

We ordered dinner from Mr D and all had a munch and continued to chat. It is such a lovely energy to have my kids at home. I really missed seeing Trevor, especially as it was his birthday on the 6th of this month. Hopefully he can come visit or we can go to Wilderness soon.

On Sunday Lily had to drive back down the coast to home midday, but we spent the morning sitting outside with the dogs. The weather was a bit moody and looked like it was going to rain but it held off until evening.

The animals all adore Lily. Finn wanted to be in her lap the entire visit and was not happy if another of the animals came near to steal some Lily loves.

Do you want a giggle? Lily brought down the ‘table’ I had bought in an online auction from an auction house based in George. I’ve included the tennis ball for size context, I have a candle on it usually. It is divinely adorable but calling it a ‘table’ was a stretch of the imagination.

On Sunday evening the heavens opened and it poured with rain.

We were loving the downpour as it meant our new water tanks were filling up. On Monday it was so overcast and gloomy that my solar lights came on in the middle of the day! It continued to pour with rain until Wednesday when it finally started to clear and it was then bitterly cold outside.

Norm went away on Tuesday to Nairobi. He was there to assist the Kenya Academy of Sport, a division of the Kenya Ministry of Sport, Culture & Heritage, develop their Safeguarding in Sport policy. I am so proud of the work he is doing to protect the vulnerable from predators.

Proud as I was, his trip meant I had to cope with 5 animals, work and life all on my own and ensure I manage to keep us all alive for 3 entire days. I have online meetings every day from 9 to 11 but I still had to work in the animal’s various medications, food and still manage avoidance of noisy drama into my day. We got into a routine and I managed to cope but with the rain Finn was unable to get out and burn off his over-wired puppyness so he was a nightmare! He bounced around and drove us all mad.

After work I built a big fire and tried in vain to get the dogs to settle down with me on the couch.

I’ve kept low carb and cooked for myself on the nights that Norm was away and I did not leave the house for the entire time. On Tuesday I decided to treat myself as Norm is not a fan of crayfish. I cooked 2 crayfish tails, 4 scallops and combined it with the left over fillet steak from the night before. I had some grilled asparagus, red onion and avocado for a bit of bite and freshness. It was delicious and ready in minutes.

The following night I made a pot of chili using black beans (fewer carbs). It was still so cold and it was perfect chili weather.

I’m still slowly losing weight. I have now lost over 15kgs which is 33lbs. I still have a treat when I fancy one (see waffle above) but it is on the rare occasion instead of a daily (or thrice daily) occurrence. I am OK with that! I do not feel deprived and that is the key for me.

The weather cleared up a bit on Wednesday and so our dog walker was able to take Finn out in the afternoon to the beach and he ran around with his pals and had a swim and generally burned off a bit of energy so he was a bit easier to manage that night but was soooo barky all evening. I was exhausted. I decided to be like those ‘Moms who Lunch’, sipping on a glass of Chablis and not giving a f#*k that her darling little Jemima is swinging from the handbag of the lady at another table while simultaneously screaming at the top of her little lungs.

I did not give a f#*k that my little Finneus was barking like a mofo. I shut the door and forgot about the world, I had enough going on just staying sane.

It always gives me confidence when I cope on my own. Yes, I know I am a 60 yr old mother of 3 adult sized humans and survival should not be a challenge, but it is a LOT for one person to deal with our household’s schedule. At one point when I was in a meeting that ran over past 5pm I had to say I needed to take a break to medicate my Pomeranian. Just what a client wants to hear when they are asking for your input on a process, ‘Can you hold while I give my dog his drugs?’.

Even seemingly minor things like bringing in firewood is a challenge. Norm filled the baskets for the first night he was away but I cannot lift a bag of wood, even Norm struggles to lift a full bag. However, if I wanted a fire on the second night then I needed firewood, so I clumsily heaved the bag up the garage stairs and into the pantry, pulled it onto a large towel we keep by the door for drying Finn, and then I pulled the towel with the wood through the house. I then just emptied it piece by piece into the wood basket once I managed to navigate through the house. A bag fills the basket and lasts for a single night.

Another thing I struggled with was removing Finn’s harness due to my arthritic hands. However I was also doing it incorrectly I later discovered. The dog walker showed me how to unfasten the locks on it so next time I can most likely manage on my own.

Thursday was ‘Youth Day’, a public holiday in South Africa. This year marks the 37th anniversary of the Soweto uprising. In 1975 protests started in the African schools after a directive that Afrikaans had to be used on an equal basis with English as a language of instruction in secondary schools. The issue, however, was not so much the Afrikaans teaching as it was the whole system of Bantu education which was characterised by separate schools and universities, poor facilities, overcrowded classrooms and inadequately trained teachers for the African children.

On 16 June 1976 more than 20,000 pupils from Soweto began a protest march. In the wake of clashes with the police, and the violence that ensued during the next few weeks, approximately seven hundred people, many of them youths, were killed and property destroyed.

South Africa still has a long way towards complete integration and understanding among the races.

I had an interaction this week with a young African woman who is a colleague. She had been struggling with the work she is responsible for and felt unsupported. When I provide feedback it is very thorough, brief and to the point and I know I can come off as harsh in my search for perfection. But we chatted and got to know each other and it has changed our relationship completely. She knows my feedback to her is not personal, it is about the deliverable we are creating for the client. She is newly married and I shared the video of Lily’s wedding and she was enamored with the beauty of it. She paid for her own simple wedding when she was married and said she did not know her birth father at all and that she was raised by her aunt. Her mother is my age so I told her that I could be her mommy and we laughed. She suggested I retire at 65, not sure what she meant by that.

Norm returned really late on Thursday as his flight was delayed (it is a 6 hour flight from Kenya) so when he arrived I was unconscious on the couch. The dogs were so loud because they were ecstatic to see him but I slept through the whole scene as I was exhausted. He woke me up to brush my teeth and go upstairs to sleep in our bed. It is lovely having him home again.

This week I finished binging a series called ‘God’s Favorite Idiot‘. I adore Melissa McCarthy so I will watch anything she is in and I was not disappointed as I laughed a lot! Melissa’s real life husband, Ben Falcone created the series and plays tech support employee Clark Thompson who finds love with co-worker Amily Luck (played by Melissa) at exactly the same time that he becomes the unwitting messenger of God.

I loved Melissa’s wardrobe in this series! Usually she has to wear baggy and drab ‘fat woman clothes’ which are usually cinched in with a weird unflattering belt, but in this series she is dressed very trendy and cool and I am living for it (her hair looks dreadful but I assume that is part of the character’s DGAF attitude?). I give this series 5 Kitten Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐.

Caitlin was supposed to be coming around tomorrow to visit Norm for Father’s Day but she messaged on Thursday to say that Wes was not feeling well so they chose to isolate just in case. Norm popped by yesterday afternoon to drop off a thermometer, oximeter and some hydration sachets. Hopefully he is better soon and Caitlin manages to avoid getting ill.

If I did not give an update on Lily’s little kitty Rocket who I told you about in a previous blog, at his last check up he was pronounced healthy and Lily is going to keep him. She is so happy as are the rest of the family.

I hope you all have a lovely week ahead and until next time, stay safe.

Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxoxox

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