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Palm Tree
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Recent Entries to this Blog Red-faced and ashamed
Posted: 19 Nov 2010
ROCK STAR - that is what I was
Posted: 29 Apr 2009
Weekend happy time
Posted: 17 Apr 2009
Hectic, happy times
Posted: 10 Feb 2009
Something smells FISHY
Posted: 15 Jul 2008

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Palm Tree's Blog

Happy Times

Red-faced and ashamed

Category: Lessons in my life | Posted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 7:10 am

What has become of me?? I am experiencing so many emotions and some of those emotions are just plain ugly. I feel ashamed, stupid, bad, exhilarated...
I feel ashamed and red-faced because in the time I was supposed to be getting better after the accident, - and my son helping me so diligently, I got better alright, in fact so much better that I became an internet surfer (par excellence) to the extent that I became an online trader. Imagine lil old me shifting monies around at the click of a mouse button.... Though this was in the time I was supposed to be getting better and get on with my regular life and activities. I stopped helping dear hubby out, I stopped stewing, I did not even garden or surf the garden stew. I was soooo stupid. Stupid because I could have been visiting Garden Stew and enjoy my regular morning stewing. More stupid because in my online trading efforts, when things were running so smoothly and I was making some monies, I accidently clicked on the wrong sport and took a substantial loss losing a mini- fortune. I had to make up the loss again and it took quite some time. Bottom line I neglected the important things in my life. Now how stupid is that.
Though I also felt exhilarated since I learned so much about trading, futures, commodities, equities and warrants, etc. and is still learning. In fact I made up my mini fortune loss to a point where I can now afford to take my family out on a holiday. Oops I almost said do away on a holiday. I do not want to go away. I should rather be getting back to my usual stuff, the good stuff. I must make time to stew with the Garden Stew crew, I must garden again, I must try to make green fig preserve (my figs are pushing out their first crop for the season), I must play with my pets, I must start swimming again, no more running as the arthritis has a hold on me. I want to go fishing or rather collecting muscles for bait,, etc...
With that said, I will start with stewing...

I just hope that this lesson that I learned will not be forgotton..

This blog entry has been viewed 376 times

ROCK STAR - that is what I was

Category: Happy Times | Posted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 2:01 pm

I was a rock star for a full five minutes and earned money on top of it all....Hehehehehehhe

Ok I know that I do not have a musical bone in my body and the only music (or sound nearest to music) that I make is the noise that I make when I sing (or so I think). While helping my husband with his work I had to wait on a customer who wanted to pick up his children at school before going to the cricket match at Newlands (our cricket ground) to watch the Rajasthan Royals battle it out with the Kolkata Knight Riders. So there I am waiting in the vehicle, but still able to hear what is going on.

Then it struck me. Listen... can you hear that? From somewhere in the school grounds there was the curious sound of scratching. An oddly insistent, almost like a song, rising up and down the driveway where parents usually come to pick up their children. Scratch, scratch, skritch . Followed by a click, a buzz and then a scream. I just had to investigate. Ah, it is the child we came to pick up. Perched on the edge of the step, face in a grimace with a guitar cradled in his hands. The scratches, buzzed and clicks were his fingers falling over each other as he tries to clamber from one fret to the next. The scream is the child as well where he tries to take a break to wave his aching digits in the air.

Did nobody tell this child that the strings can carve little grooves into his fingertips, and that the grooves can harden into calluses, and that his nails would snag, and the joints of his fingers would be aching all over due to the stretching? But what the heck, he was in the spot light. But also when you are learning to play, you are NOT the only one who will be feeling the pain. I stood there and watched the chap for a while, my feet tapping, my head nodding, he is in the spot light now.

Slowly his strumming started chugging into shape and akin to a car being coaxed into life on a cold winter's morning, he struck a chord - ka-ching. And it chimes like a school bell. And just there I started to think back to my childhood. There were always some boys starting a band. Those years all dreamt of being the Beatles. We always happened to be running away from them, unlike the real Beatles where, I suppose; all girls would run towards them. Eight days a week was THE song. I always happily accepted the common held theory and WISDOM that there were seven days in a week, and the Beatles taught me that you cannot always believe every word that you hear even if they tell you that it is a fact. The song was an epiphany for embattled first end second graders everywhere. We always used to wing out loud (actually belted out the sounds) - Love you everyday, girl, always on my mind, one thing I can say, girl, love you all the time - At that stage a prefect would usually come out and tell us to stop making a noise. Usually it was then that the wannabe bands would try to strum their guitars as well. That ws usually the tiem that we would end up running away from the 'noise' - Really, who could sing Eight days a Week and hope to let it echo around the school ground when some silly wannabes wanted to drown out your voice with their screeches and clicks, etc.
That was then - Now this child was playing Eight Days A Week and probably does not even know, or care who Paul, John, Ringo and George were, and which one he would want to be one day. Poor child sore fingers and all

... Then I had to do it ...

I started belting out the words to the song he was trying to play. Away was the grimace, the fingers no longer hurt, we were the Beatles... for a short while at least. Some of the other parent who came to pick up their children tossed some coins in our direction. (I suppose it was to shut us up - who cares I got paid) That child was happy and so was I. If there is one thing that we can learn from children , all these decades down the line, it is this: The best thing we can teach our children, once they are familiar with the three Rs (Reading, wRiting and aRithmetic) and the days of the week and all that stuff, is to open their ears to the music that can change their lives.

Then again we do not even have to try and teach them. We just need to put the music on play, turn up the volume, and let them listen. (My children grew up with rock and alternative music , sometimes a little baroque - when my mother visits No brownie points guessing what type of music I like.)

Last edited: Wed Apr 29, 2009 2:01 pm

This blog entry has been viewed 535 times

Weekend happy time

Category: Happy Times | Posted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 12:03 pm

It was Easter and I could hardly visit the stew. I missed out on so many Easter fun and all the lovely stuff that the Stewbies share on the Stew.
My Easter weekend was spent with a few friends and of course my sister (the one that is always around when I need her) and her friends.
This is going to be one of those stolen moment blog entries because I do not want the others to walk in on me and see what I will be posting. (They always want to stay anonymous).

Thus with no further fuss - This is our Easter holiday place in Paternoster. Paternoster is a well-known fisherman's village on our West Coast.

Easter Holiday ( photo / image / picture from Palm Tree's Garden )

Even though it was quite hot, the water was freezing and alternative plans had to be made. Nobody, wanted to get that cold.

Easter Holiday - Too cold ( photo / image / picture from Palm Tree's Garden )

The alternative was beach soccer - major fun. (Whispering - she must not hear) This is my daughter.

Easter Holiday - Playing soccer ( photo / image / picture from Palm Tree's Garden )

And (whispering again) here is my sister also joining in the fun

Easter Holiday - Beach soccer ( photo / image / picture from Palm Tree's Garden )

Refreshments on the beach - always welcome (whispering again) My boy and my husband.

Easter Holiday - refreshments ( photo / image / picture from Palm Tree's Garden )

MJore fun -

Easter Holiday - friends ( photo / image / picture from Palm Tree's Garden )

ANd then the walk back to the house. (a sneaked photo)

Easter Holiday - Walk back ( photo / image / picture from Palm Tree's Garden )

Oops - have to dash - Ican hear them in the lounge making their way towards me...

This blog entry has been viewed 428 times

Hectic, happy times

Category: Happy Times | Posted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 3:06 pm

What a hectic and tumultuous time I have had in the last few months. So much so that I did not even visit the site to Stew. Boy, I missed it, and not, (am I making any sense here??)
Just allow me to explain the many events that happened. BIG, BIG news - I am no more a single mother. And to think I had to wait till my eldest is twenty-three err twenty four and my youngest sixteen. More Big news - my house has just been handed over to me by the building contractor. Now it is just me drawing up a snag list before I sign off the project.
Just see some of the snags I already identified:

Some damp spots.

Damaged timber on window frame.

Sloppy work under the kitchen counter top.

Unacceptable even if it is just the garage.

And that is just the start.
For now I just need to catch up with Stewing and see to my neglected garden.
Cheers for now!

This blog entry has been viewed 480 times

Something smells FISHY

Category: Happy Times | Posted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 1:24 pm

Whenever I visit this particular friend, I am always confronted with noise. Now let me explain - the noise is the type of noise one can expect in any house that has 8 year olds. This noise is either the roar of racing car engines, the thud of mortars or the rat-tat-tat of some machinegun that is used to shoot an opponent to a pulp. (On the PC of course) However, about two months ago I was pleasantly surprised. The PC was forgotten and in its place (the place that was attracting the most attention) was a hefty box of WATER. This hefty box of water filled to the brim by the hosepipe snaking in through the window. The new sounds/noise that hit me now was the sea of calm, the whisper of bubbles and the filter humming ever so softly.

Look, make no mistake - there is a part of me that believes that the fish on planet earth should be either preserved in their natural state, surrounded by seaweed and rice and a little wasabi, ginger and soy on the side, or just wrapped in paper with some fried chips like in fish and chips. Then again I have read somewhere that some people claim that gazing at pretty fish in an aquarium can lower your pulse rate and stress levels. I found this to be true, as long as you are looking at someone ELSE's fish tank. Now let me explain why.

In this hefty box of water there are some water plants (my guess - probably Elodea - I was not quite sure) waving their fronds in the gentle current - so Zen-like on a bed of white and yellow gravel. A very soothing site I must admit. But that was before we go and get the fish.

The stressful thing about getting fish, is paying for the fish. (I do believe that the home aquarium business is run on the same principles as the home printing business.) You end up paying what seems a reasonable sum for the hardware, but it is the renewable/consumable materials that really set you back.

Just look at that little black and silver number darting around - R34,95 each
Just look at that beautifully spotted job slinking around at the bottom - R55, 95 each

It is unbelievable how expensive these fish get. In fact they are so expensive that I believe were they anywhere on a menu; they'd have an SQ after their name.

Then comes the looking after the fish - regulating the water temperature, switching the neon lamp off at night, sprinkling the surface with flakes of fish-food (reminds me of confetti and tasting like fish). About one week after the initial fish-tank visit - I look at the fish only to find that I cannot see the fish. The water resembled a swimming pool that was overgrown with algae. The fish-tank looked like pea soup with a distinct FISHY smell. - OK a fishier smell.

Off to the pet shop we go, the man at the counter tells us that it could be a result of overfeeding, or too much ammonia, or not enough friendly bacteria clinging to the filter. Here, try this...The cash register rings again!

We then throw a sachet of something into the water after we have replaced half of it with new water. Miracle of miracles - the water clears so much that we saw for the first time - a strange fringe of white on the fins of that small orange fish.

Back to the pet shop - to the man behind the counter it sounds like the poor fish is suffering from some fungal infection. - I have learnt a lot about caring for fish, aside from the cost of keeping fish, and that fish are a lot easier to deal with when they keep to themselves, lurking below the surface of rivers, and ponds and rock pools. BUT when they are just a pane of glass away from your eyes, it is hard not to take a personal interest in their welfare and health.

Every time I visit and sit and watch those fish darting and diving around, the more I think that if it carries on, sooner rather than later I will be left with no option - I will have to give up eating sushi and fish and chips. That is the most stressful thought of all.

Last edited: Tue Jul 15, 2008 3:18 pm

This blog entry has been viewed 879 times

Just dreaming: I can dream

Category: Happy Times | Posted: Mon Mar 10, 2008 7:54 pm

After reading the thread posted by Dooley I just could not help myself. I started dreaming and spent most of my day thinking WEDDING, and more particularly a farm wedding. Just imagine with everyone pitching in:
- Friends and neighbours lend cutlery and extra plates.
- The bridal bouquet and wedding flowers coming from the gardens and the veld and the vlei ( the vlei would be marshy areas where Zantedeschia and other bog type flowers grow naturally.)
- Impromptu music.
- Children having major fun,
- Grannies of both groom and bride finding their own quiet corners.
- Platters of food arriving with every new arrival, and all the farm workers being part of the occasion
- And the party continuing right into the evening around braai fires. (Braai - Afrikaans for barbeque)
When the bridal pair leaves for their honeymoon, the guests will find beds where they can or drive back to their own homes in pickup trucks with their children asleep on mattresses in the back...

I always wanted a wedding on a farm, alas I got married in a registry office complete with postponing the wedding by a day due to work pressure. Even directly after the wedding I had to go back to work with our parents going out to tea and cake in a restaurant. There was no honeymoon either.

My eldest is now 23 and I have been dreaming and thinking 'aloud' and this was what my son heard while I was 'thinking':
Guests from far and wide, including overseas. All converging on a farm in mid-December. (Our summertime). We would have a wedding celebration to end all celebrations. A huge barn obviously suitable decorated and all the implements, livestock and machinery cleaned out. Lighting courtesy of lanterns at dusk. Lamb on the spit and music for dancing. We would probably have to hire a musician to play rousing music for the occasion OR maybe even get old Koos, who cannot read music but will play any tune if you whistle it to him (We obviously cannot ask family members to provide the music even though most of them do play an instrument.) On the subject of Koos though I cannot quite see how we'd do this for the wedding march or trendy modern music for the young (including myself here). But someone said Koos is real good - in fact so good that the dogs howl.

Needless to say this thinking did not go well with Ian or even his sister Vera-Lynn (16 going on 17) Vera-Lynn is thinking more in terms of hats, gloves, tails, embossed invitations, salmon served in green country settings that does not quite match my setting in the heat of summer and the harvest of wheat leaving just brown stubble and brown hills.
Ian on the other hand wanted to know how would one put up 100 people who would be driving considerable distances and we would then expect of them to drive back again afterwards. And what about the fact that there might just be on loo.
"I can just see 40 people at a time in a queue all for the loo. The water pump on the blink, a fight or two on the fringes in the crowd, the farm kids bungee-jumping off the tractors. The tannie (Afrikaans for auntie) from the other side of the mountain putting crocheted doilies on everything stationary and fainting away at the colourful language used by some members of the family in friendly banter. Besides what would the temperature be - 40 degrees Celsius in the shade? Everything brown and looking like a desert. This all makes a morning suit out of the question - the groom might just pass out from standing to attention in the heat?"

They at least both liked the idea of guests sitting on hay bales in a friendly barn with chickens roosting and music till dawn. I suppose I could build on that as a start. I can dream can't I?

Last edited: Mon Mar 10, 2008 8:27 pm

This blog entry has been viewed 676 times

Wasted time or Addiction?

Category: Weird times | Posted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 8:38 pm

My mother is addicted to "The Days of our Lives"!
I have no time or the finest inkling to watch soapies on TV. Personally I find it a waste of valuable time, but my mother have this thing with "The Days of our Lives" They even go so far as to record it on tape and watch then when they know that they will not make it in time to watch an episode.

I dropped in at my mother's the other night and guess what I encountered: "If you talk while this is on, I'll kill you." So there - I had to watch.

When it was finally over my mom sighed and said: "You know why I like soaps? It is so realistic."
WHAT realistic, you mean like in real people?? Mom who raised you, someone living in a trailer at Warner Bros or somewhere in Hollywood? There is absolutely nothing real about soapies.

"How can you say that?"
Just take a look at how 'real' they are - they wear Armani at the breakfast table, they sit around in Donna Karan. They do not even have realistic jobs. Can you honestly tell me that is how working adults look during the day?

"So what - they dress up"
And have you noticed that the only time that they do not have makeup on is when they are in a coma - gosh maybe not even because to portray in character in a come they make do with half the usual amount of make-up. Besides how can you keep up with the never-ending love-triangles and twists and turns in the story?

"OK I admit - some instances in the story is a bit farfetched, but I can relate to the story. Like ... the destruction of Gina's jewelry (Don't ask me who or why) while she was a patient. The demon in Marlena being foiled in its seduction of John, but creating a wind storm to prevent Marlena getting away from John. Carrie and Austin so overcome that they even renewed their romance with Carrie blissfully unaware that Austin's tryst had been with her own sister."
I just stared at my mother. - She remembers all these trivial details and cannot even remember to water her plants regularly.
"I know...." she replied.

Then another program started. What is this one I stupidly asked.
"This one is quite fascinating ...."
Is it only me who find that people watching soapies could rather have spent their time better?
To crown it all I get home just to witness my daughter watching Pop Idols.

I give up.

Do they not realize that they are wasting their time or could it be that they are addicted?

This blog entry has been viewed 640 times

Sort of strange how we "grow"

Category: Happy Times | Posted: Thu Jan 31, 2008 2:09 pm

Sort of strange - I was not always the one to cook the family meals. In fact my "culinary expertise" was always only put in practice only on special occasions and those odd days when hubby just could not manage to do the cooking and I happened to be at home. Most of the time though I was the one who would say things like WHAT WAS THAT DEAR, or SORRY I CANNOT HEAR A WORD YOU ARE SAYING (and in my mind I would complete the sentence - OVER THIS ROCK MUSIC).

I cannot help but think back of the way we disciplined our children. When my youngest was about seven years old and right up to 12 years old, and whenever she would resort to behaviour such as playing soccer indoors, or cutting up plants, or pulling the dog's tail, or better yet, ask for spaghetti when everyone else is eating fish; then hubby would rush to the kitchen drawer, whip out a terror-inspiring item. This item would then not be dramatic music or wind howling instruments, or anything of the kind - this item would be a spoon. And not just any spoon - a WOODEN SPOON. (Let me not neglect to add here that hubby did not actually use the spoon for anything other than, I thought then, spooning spaghetti out of the pot.)

However by waving that spoon in something of a threat display, the message is quite clear: Such behaviour will not be tolerated here, this is the last time that I am warning you. This type of disciplining action usually had the desired effect as my baby would then run off to her room to play with her lego toys. This is all fine and well - but for me I never really believed that the spoon wielding trick worked. My plan of action when dealing with a situation involving disciplining the children was always as follows: turn the volume control all the way to the right - this would drown out the sound of sibling squabbling, things breaking, or - most importantly - nagging when hubby wanted me to do something about the kids.

It was on one such occasion when my sister told me about Spock. Telling me that I should try the Spock - immediately my mind went STAR TREK. I mean what could a pointy-eared vulcan ever know about disciplining children, really. Then she said - no - Benjamin Spock - an American Pediatrician. Now Benjamin Spock believed that children should never be threatened, cajoled or spanked with a wooden spoon. One should rather try and be firm, patient and friendly - almost as if you are dealing with a person behind a counter when you are trying to explain why the last three months' payments did not go through. It certainly does not help to shut or throw things when disciplining children. Spock says that you should get a handle on your anger. Well hubby's handle was a wooden spoon.

I suppose all I want to say is that disciplining children is a sensitive issue that should be handled with empathy, trust and the understanding of both parents. Always avoid the threat of punishment and rather favour an approach that is rational and consistent and maintain an even-tempered approach ... WHAT!!

Nowadays - because I cook more often - whenever I have a wooden spoon in my hand I am transported back to those days. Now my baby is turning 16 and my eldest is 23. Gone are the days where a wooden spoon was a disciplining tool - now it is truly a culinary tool. I am still not a wonderful cook, but I have come a long way since then. Let me put it this way - I have grown as a cook.

Last edited: Mon Feb 25, 2008 7:46 pm

This blog entry has been viewed 558 times

And the lesson continued

Category: Lessons in my life | Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 9:36 am

And the lesson continued
I did more wrong things, I found out later. Since this was my first ever accident / injury / mistake with a pair of secateurs, I removed the secateurs.

The wound opened wide, tissue and blood oozing out. I moved real fast - ran to the bathroom, grabbed a clean towel and wrapped the towel tightly around my arm and then made the phone call to my sister.

I was told afterwards that it is best to leave the secateurs in since there was no bleeding while the secateurs was lodged in my forearm. I did not know that and the consequence of my ignorance was a lot of red stuff everywhere.

My dear sister cleaned up for me when she brought me home from the hospital. It was not too painful - in fact painkillers made me feel "Comfortably Numb" (I cannot resist this one Frank). The shock was however, well "shocking" I had nightmares for quite a while always waking up still seeing the secateurs lodged in my arm. Fortunately the nightmares also stopped now.
I was so relieved when the staples got removed. I could not do anything without the effort pulling on the staples and the risk of infection is much less now.

So the garden is a mess, but like Sjoerd advised, "the garden can wait". Besides Stewing will make me feel better too.

This blog entry has been viewed 486 times

The lesson I have learnt

Category: Lessons in my life | Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 11:09 am

I have learnt my lesson - the hard way.
Last time I could Stew was when I stated by new blog and my son just left after his visit. Naturally I had a lot of catching up to do in both the garden, which was beginning to look and feel neglected, and running, swimming, and not to mention stewing with the stewbies.

With no one at home at the time, I thought that I would start by deadheading the roses, and cleaning up around the Zantedeschias. Thus I set out on my garden rehab quest, armed with my little bin, wearing my garden gloves and a new pair of open secateurs in my hand. Just as I was making my way out of the kitchen, my ankle gave way and I started falling and could not stop and break my fall. When I looked down, I just saw the blade of the secateurs lodging itself in my lower right arm.

With no one at home, but myself, I wrapped up my arm and called my sister who lives in another suburb not too far, say about 10 minutes drive, away from me, she then drove me to hospital. It is quicker than calling for an ambulance and having to wait on them.
At the hospital they fixed me up with 7 staples all along the inside of my right arm about 10 centimeters up from my wrist. Gosh, the doctors told me it was a hairs breadth away from the main tendons and arteries. Then only it struck me, what if?!

Alas, that is why I have been absent. Every time I tried to it pulls on the staples. The staples came out yesterday.

It serves as a good warning...

I should never have had the secateurs open in my hand carrying a little bin with my garden gloves on.

When I stepped out of the kitchen into that back yard, on the little step, the dogs left some of their toys and that is what caused my fall.

So, that's my news and the lesson that I learnt the hard way, and why I have been away from the forum, which I have missed.

Last edited: Mon Jan 14, 2008 11:11 am

This blog entry has been viewed 674 times

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