Monday, December 3, 2012

The spirit of Christmas is descending...

 Hi there everybody,

The rain has been shimmering down and soaking our garden ever since Saturday morning. Tammy and Toby have been leaving pawprints all over my floors.  I'm continually wiping paws and brushing Golden fur.  Can't believe how much they shed.
Occasionally the sun pops its shiny head through the clouds.  It's a gentle reminder that its actually summer time.  You'd never guess this, considering these cooler temperatures.  At this time of the year, this weather evokes images of Christmas in the Northern hemisphere - log fires, elaborately adorned Christmas trees, Christmas lights and the joy of sharing time with family. I have always marvelled at the contagious mood which erupts from that first Christmas Carol pumped across the public address systems at the shopping centres.

"It's 'Jingle Bells' time!"

On Friday and Saturday, I handed out all my own carefully crafted advent calendars. (Afterall, it was the 1st December - only 25 days to Christmas!!!) 

Robz, my 22 year old daughter, imbued with childlike enthusiasm, bopped up and down in excitement as she studied the carefully wrapped packages in front of her. 
 "I don't think I have the restraint to wait until tomorrow!" she said, all smiles!  
What a wonderful time of the year this is!

Yesterday, however, I took full advantage of our cooler weather. I retrieved a fluffy blanket from the cupboard and settled down under it with my brand new 'Kindle' - a gift to myself  Cosy!.

I've been wanting a 'Kindle' for a while now, and have finally broken even with the money I spent on my book.  I finally took the step and dug into the coffers. I am so enjoying my new Kindle - although I haven't discarded the joy of a 'real' book in my hands.  Both have their merits in my lifestyle.  For the moment, however, I am having fun sifting through the many 'free' books available on Amazon.  It's at times like this that I wish I was living in a first-world country - where I could have access to the numerous on-line library lending facilities.  Perhaps the Amazon 'Prime's' lending library is the way for me to go.  
Anyone have a Kindle?  
Any recommendations?

The other thing that has allowed me to experience the descending Christmas spirit was being party to the "Raffle draw" on Saturday.  As I explained in my previous post - this was an effort to raise funds for my two nieces who are battling the debilitating effects of Juvenile arthritis. A condition like this brings enormous medical bills.   It was a simple idea - to raffle off a small cot-blanket which I had crocheted some time ago.  I put the idea out to the Facebook support group ...and it gathered unexpected momentum.  On Saturday the ticket sellers met at the Weinerlein family's house, for the two young girls to make the draw. 

 We 'took tea to them'  - wanting them to share in the excitement too.

I must say, I was totally overwhelmed when I realised the amount of money that had been collected for the family - a total of R4765.  This was far beyond our expectations, but it appears that so many people were moved by their story.  Not only did people buy tickets, but they also contributed, behind the scenes, to the girls' Trust Fund.  It's only the second time in my life that I've put together a raffle hamper, but wow, was I touched at the generosity of people who care the plight of others. Here is a picture of the group which met on Saturday to draw the winning ticket.

My weekend was also boosted by the fact that both my daughters were at home. "J" brought along her flat-mate from Pretoria, so our place was filled with happy chattering and stories shared over cups of tea.  Yesterday, the 'Boss' got out the 'braai tongs' too.  There is nothing like a South African barbeque (braai) to instil fellowship and goodwill. Admittedly, the weather wasn't the best, so the party was brought inside for a session of Wii games. 

This morning, I was so touched to receive a cyber-advent-calendar as a gift from 'Lisa' (Rottrover).  It is a 'Jackie Lawson' advent calendar - and one of the most beautiful I have ever received!  
The beautiful calendar is now securely installed on my laptop. 

 I am looking forward to opening up each little 'gift' between now and Christmas.  
And yes, I will show restraint! :)

Thank you, Lisa for the gift and the thought!  You made my day!
 (Above: "Hey Mom, it's raining...what do we do now?)

(Above: "Okay, we get it, this weather is perfect for a game of rough and tumble, BOL!")

Christmas is just around the corner.  It's time to start thinking about that Christmas menu; time to turn on the ovens, and time to fill the home with the wonderful aromas of cinnamon, cloves and ginger. Even the Guineapigs are getting a bath to herald in the season...

(Above: Robz' guinea pig, 'Scotch' receives his Christmas bath...together with a bunch of parsley.)

By the way, I am LOVING the intimacy of this new blog.   I hope you are too.  
Thank you for being my friends!

Sending lotsaluv


  1. Nothing like a little bitey face to ease the cabin fever. I'm trying to catch the spirit. I did manage to bring up the crates of decorations from the basement...

    Mango Momma

  2. Like you, I waited and waited before I finally bought a Kindle. I SO love the feel and even the smell of a book that I held off as long as I could. Then Jeff happened to tell me about the Kindle Paperwhite. After a little research I was convinced and bought one. LOVE it! Our local library has the capability of 'lending' books to Kindles and it is so cool. Of course, I also have the Prime account and - I have bought a couple of books that I've been wanting to read - much, much reduced in price to Kindle owners. Once the holiday rush is over with the biz I hope to get in a bit more reading☺.

  3. What a wonderful raffel you had! Congrats on it going so well. After reading yesterday's post, I had to send you the Advent Calendar. A friend (Wizard's mom) sends me one every year and I really do enjoy them! Have a great week!

  4. Well I never heard of a guinea pig being bathed before. The things one learns reading blogs. Bertie, by the way, is always delighted at references to other dogs shedding - it reminds me that this is one area where I can't complain about him at all, as he is virtually a non-shedder!
    What a fantastic job you have done raising money to help those dear girls with juvenile arthritis. Bad enough to get it when you're older. And arthritis in general does seem to be one of those 'unglamorous' diseases that doesn't usually get the attention it merits from the charity fundraisers, at least in the UK. So give yourself a pat on the back and settle down to enjoy a well deserved break, perhaps to read good book, either on the Kindle or the old-fashioned kind. I haven't yet taken the plunge with a Kindle, being the ultimate 'late-adopter' when it comes to technology, but I'm sure the time will come.
    Cheers, Gail.

  5. Hi Caryl, so glad you have your own blog now. Sorry we're behind. Having terrible internet problems cause of a big storm last Friday night. Thanks for asking me to visit. Will catch up again soon (I hope). No worries, and love, Carol

  6. I can believe how much fur two Golden Retrievers can shed!

    Well done raising money for the girls through your raffle.

    As for Kindles, I've had one for about a year, and am glad I bought it. I get my books from Amazon (free and paid) as our library system recently chose the Sony e-reader format so I can't get free books that way. I am currently reading a novel which is 918 pages long as a paperback. I know that I'd have found the physical weight and size of a paper book that long off putting (especially reading in bed) so may not have read the book, but I'm really enjoying reading it on my Kindle. I still prefer paper books for anythig with pictures, though, with improvements in technology, that may change as I've gotten very comfortable reading "newspapers" through my PC or smartphone (haven't tried through kindle yet) and rarely look at a paper version anymore.

    Have a great week,

  7. Hi Caryl, very nice new blog. We feel at home again. Thank you for including us.