One Community: April!

 

One Community is a monthly photoblogging project where participants take pictures of their homes and communities with a theme in mind. The goal is to showcase similarities and differences in our communities worldwide.

Our cues this month come from Rebekah at Honeysuckle Life, and they are:  Flowers, Spring, Purple and Rise

Spring! What better way to celebrate than to go for a walk this past Saturday to our local Farmers Market with this guy. Maceo’s job was to sit back, chill and eat strawberries. He’s very good at it.

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Flowers. There is a stall at our market that sells proteas, which just happen to be the national flower of South Africa. Obviously. Would you expect anything less of South Africa? I mean, come on!

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Spring. The market positively hums with new growth — succulents, fresh flowers, organic eggs, every variety of cheese … you name it!

I bought two skeins of handmade pasta, one of which came with a recipe for creamy lemon-garlic fettuccine with asparagus. So I had to buy asparagus, right? 

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Purple. The beets and their shocking purple! Beetroot always reminds me of my mom, would would steam and pickle large batches of it, and savor eating every slice. I’m not the biggest fan of beets, but they make me smile whenever I see them.

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Rise. There is a woman at the market who specializes in French breads and pastries. There is always a swarm of customers around her stall, waiting to buy.

And oy! The BUTTER! And the CUSTARD! And the SUGAR! All of it, light and poufy fresh, fresh, fresh!

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Maceo and I came home, stroller laden with goodies. All good!

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Click the link below to read more One Community posts and join us!

The Rules: Post one or more photos interpreting the words for the month, and add your blog post to the link-up. Please include a link back to the link-up post on your One Community post, and take a look at some of the other links and comment on them. This link-up is all about building community!

Forty Days of Lent: Fifteen Minute Project – 15 and Quit!

 

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Not sure if this falls into the 15 minutes Surface project or the Spend fifteen minutes and then quit one!

One of the joys of living in Southern California, is that your washer and dryer are often located in a closet outside the house. And no one likes to talk about it, but when it rains or the weather gets cooler, all kinds of critters make their way where it is warm and dry. Hence, rat poop on the shelves in my laundry closet. I know.

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I had a 45-minute gap between work and picking up Tau for karate. So I donned disposable gloves, a face mask, and went at those shelves with my vacuum cleaner and disinfectant.

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I also purged the piles of old towels and assorted pool toys that we store in that closet, and will wash (in hot water) the remaining pile before putting it back. I stopped with three minutes to spare, and just enough time to change my tee, wash my face and hands, and head out to karate!

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Forty Days of Lent: Fifteen Minute Project – A Kitchen Cupboard

Catching up on a couple of 15-minute de-clutterings. You can find out more and play along here.

For my birthday in late February friends gave me a set of beautiful new Crate ‘n Barrel champagne flutes. Other friends gave me a new set of martini glasses.

Either my friends think I don’t drink enough or they know the new glasses will be well used!

Anyhow, this led to me purging our glassware cupboard last week. Out with all the nasty plastic kidware — keeping only what we USE — and the Mexican glass goblets we probably haven’t used in a decade, and in with my pretty new glasses.

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Turns out the beautiful new flutes are too tall for our shelves, so I’m displaying them on top of the cupboard.

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Forty Days of Lent: Fifteen Minute Project – A Corner

 

The second in my series of 15-minute declutterings. You can find out more and play along here.

This is the spot in Tau’s room where toys that are not played with go to die get tossed aside. But he had a friend coming to sleep over and so we tackled his bedroom together.

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I know the before picture doesn’t look that bad — a plastic bag containing small gifts and stocking stuffers from Christmas (!), his stuffed animals in their pet bed (yes, we had to buy them a real pet bed from the store), and a pirate’s treasure chest, which contains at least five years’ worth of plastic birthday-party and fast-food crappy giveaways.

But consider that this project also involved purging and reorganizing the books and toys on the THREE bottom shelves, and making the floor so that you could walk on it again … at least until Tau’s friend arrived, and then 30 minutes later, it was covered in Beyblades and Lego all over again.

It was clear for those few moments — I have the picture to prove it!

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Forty Days of Lent: Fifteen Minute Project – A Table

 

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I decided to play along with Beth Woolsey’s 40 Days of Lent: 15 Minute Projects. My intention is to do at least five of these 15-minute purges throughout Lent, in the hopes that our home will be less messy and my mind feel less cluttered!

Maceo’s room doubles as my craft area — he’s too young to care! And the craft table and shelves, of course, become the dumping ground for anything that doesn’t fit in his closet or that I don’t know what to do with just right at that moment.

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Truth told, this was more of a 25-minute project than a 15-minute one. The purging and neatening took a wee bit longer than 15 minutes. I then spent another 15 minutes after the tidy up framing those four little pictures you see on the wall below — the frames have been sitting on said craft table for at least two years, waiting! It feels SO good to get this done!

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One Community: March!

 

One Community is a monthly photoblogging project where participants take pictures of their homes and communities with a theme in mind. The theme varies by month. The goal is to showcase similarities and differences in our communities worldwide.

Our cues this month come from Sarah at Beauty School Dropout, and they are:  Shower, Calm, Green and Friendship

Here goes!

Shower. We haven’t had rain in San Diego in — pfft! — 300 days or something crazy?! Then this past week, it rained on and off for four days. It may as well have stormed for a month, punctuated by tornadoes, an avalanche and perhaps an earthquake or two.

San Diegans have a hard time with weather and with rain in particular for some reason. Local TV stations refer to coming showers as thunderstorms, even when there is no thunder, and a friend told me last week that we were due to have the worst weather in recent history for the region.

I got nervous for a moment until I remembered the night of torrential downpour, thunder and lightning that Dave, three-month-old Tau and I survived in Africa — a storm so fierce and unrelenting that rangers at the game lodge we were visiting had to drive us back to our rondawel through the mud in a big-wheel jeep, and even then it was touch and go.  I decided that the killer storm of San Diego 2014 probably wouldn’t be that bad.

This picture was taken through our dining room window Sunday. A steady but light rain, three days of it and, ahem, we survived!

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Calm. Meet my new friend Shimi, that’s short for Sashimi. He sits on my desk at work and is charged with keeping me chilled and focused on the bigger things in life.

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Green. Here is my little one, Maceo, watching the rain make puddles Sunday morning outside our bedroom window. He took every opportunity to slip outside and ride his push bike through the wet on our patio. He also took great pleasure in putting on his swim goggles and dunking his face in the deepest puddles.

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Friendship. This past weekend was my birthday! And throughout the week I got small parcels from friends. Lovely books and fabric from Kelli, and this fun naked mail from my friend Joslin. She knows I love me some Dark Chocolate Raisinets!

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Click the link below to read more One Community posts and join us!

The Rules: Post one or more photos interpreting the words for the month, and add your blog post to the link-up. Please include a link back to the link-up post on your One Community post, and take a look at some of the other links and comment on them. This link-up is all about building community!

One Community: February!

One Community is a monthly photoblogging project where participants take pictures of their homes and communities with a theme in mind. The theme varies by month. The goal is to showcase similarities and differences in our communities worldwide.

Our cues this month come from Africankelli: Heirloom, Style, Heart and Warmth

Heirloom. I have my mother and maternal grandmother’s engagement and wedding rings. I also have my great-aunty Boo’s string of pearls, and a very solid silver filigree clip bracelet that belonged, I believe, to my great grandmother.

But do you know what my most valuable heirlooms are? My granny’s biscuit-colored mixing bowl, and the yellowed bone-handled knife and battered spatula that my mother always used when she made scones and cupcakes. When I cook or bake I feel as close as I possibly can to Mom and Granny Sylvia. They’ve both passed away in the last five years, and using their tools is one of the best ways I know to spend time with them.

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Style. Our home is not filled with a whole lotta fancy. It’s small, so we try to keep it simple and uncluttered. And we tend not to decorate with store-bought stuff — pretty much all the decor in our home is personal and holds meaning.

This little glass bird, for example, belonged to my dad’s mom, my Granny Grace. It was given to her by my grandfather after a trip he made to France, likely in the 1940s. It’s beautiful when the sunlight catches it on my bedroom window sill, and its delicacy reminds me so much of her.

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This vintage map of the Natal coastline hangs on our dining room wall, a reminder of where Dave and I were raised in South Africa and where we met before moving to North America. The place names remind us of different trips and vacations, and I love the simple framing.

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Heart. We love San Diego. Love-love San Diego. But if there is another place on earth where my heart truly belongs, it is my Granny Sylvia’s family home in Johannesburg, at 60 Dunottar Street, where many of my happiest childhood memories are centered.

On the bookshelves in our San Diego living room, I now have the 80-plus year old house number off the gate at Dunottar street — the low gate and fence, which were replaced with tall concrete and barbed wire as break-ins and violent crime became more prevalent in Joburg in the 1980s.

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This number plaque, and those little wooden elephants too, come to think of it, are representative, and part of the few leftovers of all the years my maternal family spent in that heart-home where my grandmother and her sisters, and my mother too, were all raised.

Below is a picture of my Granny Sylvia in her early twenties, standing between her parents outside the Dunottar street house, her sisters Yvonne and Joy to the left.

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Warmth. Any skill I have with needle and thread, I come by honestly. Heh heh. My mother, grandmothers and great aunts all sewed, knitted and crocheted well. I could do all three by the time I was eight.

When my brother and I were little, my Granny Grace crocheted granny-square blankets for the two of us, and one for each of my four cousins. My mom loved what her mother-in-law had done so much that she did the same as soon as her grandchildren came along.

This blanket is Tau’s — insert link to adorable baby-Tau waking up picture here. It is perfectly matched to the colors in his bedroom, perfectly executed, as only my mother could.

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When Maceo came along, Mom asked for swatches of the colors I was using in his room. It was her way of ensuring that our adopted babe would be wrapped in the same granny-love from the other side of the globe.

Turns out, Mom never got to finish Maceo’s blankie. Rapid-onset dementia meant that she suddenly lost not only her cognitive abilities, but also the ability to see and work with her hands. So when I traveled to be with her, shortly before she died, I made sure that I found the unfinished blanket in her closet, squares neatly organized in a box with all the right hooks and yarn, and brought it home with me to finish. It’s been two years since Mom passed, and it’s finally time for me to take the blanket pieces out the box and learn to crochet again. It’s my project for the year, and it might take me even longer. So be it. My boy will need his blanket. And my Mom will want to know that it’s done.

Click the link below to read more One Community posts and join us!

The Rules: Post one or more photos interpreting the words for the month, and add your blog post to the link-up. Please include a link back to the link-up post on your One Community post, and take a look at some of the other links and comment on them. This link-up is all about building community!