A Tumbleweed dancing in the light of the moon.

Dear friends and other interesting creatures,

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It was cold the day I arrived at Tumbleweed Cottage in McGregor. A crisp kind of cold where you don’t shiver, but you would not say no to a mug of the coffee from Strictly Coffee in Robertson which I had become accustomed to while visiting these little patches of vibrantly alive dorpies.

Besides, I had discovered a true gentleman with a winning smile in the owner, Hanno Schwartz. I rate a feeling of belonging highly on my scale of returning. My head always thinking too much, with a heart born from sentimentality, which my also be the death of me.

All this, while indulging in their delicious, banting friendly breakfast and cappuccinos. I admit, I did not expect these little towns to know about banting and was pleasantly delighted when in conversation I realized they didn’t just think “low carb”, they had done their homework. I watched as Hanno checked each plate as it left his kitchen. Winner, right there.

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Tumbleweed Cottage looked like my white picket fence would have, had I ever had one. The kind where the look is a feeling, and in reality had nothing to do with fences dressed in white.

The front door had a trick to opening it. Once inside, I dumped my signature purple luggage,  breathed in and exhaled a smile.  It was perfect.

Clean lines, modern yet rich in history. Quiet but not silent. Open space without feeling lost. I walked towards the window overlooking the backyard.

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The white paint of the outbuildings in contrast with the deep blue plunge pool water. For a moment I lingered over the space where I imagined children laughing in the pool in warmer weather, the unique smell of South African braai fires, adults sitting on the back stoep enjoying the ample grape selection of the surrounding wine estates.

I turned around, curious to see what the rest of the space held. The lounge with an inviting fireplace caught my eye. I made a mental note to get wood. It was cozy while big enough to cater for a family. Rich leather seating you melted in, with a throw neatly arranged to curl up under. I noticed a Tumbleweed hanging from the roof. I love attention to detail.

The kitchen was not very large, but big enough for the needs of the cottage. Well equipped with all one may need.  My need went as far as coffee and rusks which was stocked in the cottage. The blends from Strictly Coffee was clearly well supported by the community.

I made a cup,  folding my hands around it for warmth,  stepped out of my shoes and in my socks I explored the huge clay shower downstairs. Felt the textures under my finger. Experience all things with all senses. Towels neatly stacked with a piece of lavender on top,  just so, as you enter the bathroom. Purple whispers. What’s not to love? I disturbed the arrangements as I spread out the towel to see the size. I like big bath towels you can get lost in, oh and two ply toilet paper. A non-negotiable for me.

I walked up the stairs to find the most beautiful main bedroom. A sense of romance. A bath one could read, or be coy in. I imagined my husbands laughter. The room was spacious and light played across the white bedding. A sacred space. I missed @SirNoid as I ran my fingers over the linen. Beautiful. As I walked downstairs, I turned once more for another look. Just in time to invite night to fall eventually on this room of fifty shades of dancing light.

Putting my cup in the sink,  I looked into the second and third bedrooms,  positioned on the ground floor.  One room comprised of two single beds and the other with a rather large bed with a door that opened onto the front stoep.

I decided to make myself comfortable in the bedroom downstairs with the large bed, as travelling alone, I did not want to taint my vision of the romantic loft.

Before I could go in search of wood, a man with a wheelbarrow arrived selling wood. I was very pleased as I was starting to feel the chill. I paid for the wood and probably looking at my purple hair and acrylic enhanced long nails, asked “Kan ek Mevrou help met die vuur?

I naturally accepted and he systematically explained step for step how to make a fire and if I need more wood, he would be back tomorrow.

I smiled, thanked him and asked for a hug. He truly looked shocked, surprised and delighted at the same time. A toothless grin as I hugged him and said I would see him the next day.

White woman offering a coloured man with a wheelbarrow a hug. Clearly was not the usual order of business by his reaction. Well, I’m not a very order of business kinda Wenchy.

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I had a lovely supper out in town at Tebaldi’s at Temenos which is worth an entry all on its own. When I returned, I put the heater on and closed the door to keep the heat captive.

I phoned home. Stretched out under the white, fresh linen and was soon lost in a land where wheelbarrows meant smiles, a Tumbleweed dangled from the moon and I was sipping champagne in a bath, in a room of wonders.

I found in McGregor, dreams could easily become reality. What you thought to be your truth, was easily challenged by the sincerity of a toothless grin.

You should visit… especially if you enjoy watching a Tumbleweed dancing in the light of the moon.

I wish you enough,
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McGregor

McGregor is a small village in the mountains of the Western Cape, South Africa. It is roughly 150 km east of Cape Town. It is located in Ward 5 of the Breede River Winelands Municipality. According to the Census 2001, this Ward has a population of 10,254 people (Stats SA, 2001).
McGregor Accommodation
Contact Mira for accommodation, places to go, things to see and all things country pumpkin around McGregor and the greater community:

Strictly Coffee

Strictly Coffee

  • Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/StrictlyCoffeeCapeTown
  • Twitter:  @StrictlyCoffee
  • Contact number:  083 270 9668
  • Email:  info@strictlycoffee.co.za

The first time ever I saw your face.

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My darling chicken little,

I miss you tremendously this morning. A sore that runs from my heart to my hands looking for yours and ending in a tear.

♡ #SmileBeautiful.. That is what you taught me. You need to © that shit.

♡ Be kind,  you never know which chapter of their book another person is on. Especially a teenager person…. or an old and frail person like me.  (Stop laughing!)

♡  Go give a random Grade 8 a hug today.

♡ You are funny,  without trying!

♡ You are perfect,  just as you are. (OK,  I’m sorry about that small hereditary illness, but hey… I didn’t choose it either!)

♡  You are an artist in so many ways. It comes with the freedom of never having the explain yourself.  Don’t.

♡ Some people will never get you. That’s OK. You were never meant to be a “one size fits all”.

♡ When I die,  you will inherit all my books. Remember this is not a valuable reason to kill me now!

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I wish you enough unicorns,  fairy dust and empathy to keep you real,  enough rainbows to keep you wishing but mostly enough magic to keep you sparkle.

The flawed Momma xxx

Posted to WordPress from the Galaxy of Samsung from the second cloud on your left.

… love never ends, if you keep it alive.

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Dear friends and other interesting creatures,

14 December 1984. I always count until a second before 19h00 thinking…. I also had a Dad. After that, nothing.

At 19h05, I dry my face and resume life. I’ve done this ritual for as long as I remember.
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My life was forever changed from that moment. I was 11 years old. Oupa Mike was crying. I felt confused. Oupa Mike didn’t cry.

I remember just observing, not grasping the depth of what just happened. I do remember my Mammie’s desperate grief, the tears that made her physically ill, the hopelessness and the forever you were not going to come back for.

I remember how loudly you laughed, I do remember you playing the guitar and singing. I remember milkshake and biltong. I remember someone placed a guitar made from flowers on your grave. It reminded me of Elvis.

I remember you, but you voice is silent in my memories. I hate I can’t remember what you sound like.

Oupa Mike stepped in and became my Dad. Solid. Dependable. Protective. How very blessed I am! Then, Dad Alex took us all on his shoulders.
imageYou are the fallen leaf on my new tattoo, on the left. There are two falling to the ground in remembrance of Oupa Mike and Ouma Chrissie.

Ek onthou.
Stel.

Shut your eyes and see.

Dear friends and other interesting creatures, 

Every year,  I do my best to approach December as a passage of time, just another month. Some years I do better than others.

The anniversary of my father’s death is on the 14th, and my Oupa Mike on the 12th… Just before Christmas is Oupa Mike’s birthday.

I remember the eleven year old me running into the safety of Oupa Mike’s arms the night my father died.

I remember a 14 year old Kev holding me the morning Oupa Mike died. The unsure reassurance we offered each other.

December holds memories I don’t want to remember, but just can’t forget.

I have found Christmas more difficult since the kids moved out. At least when the kids were home,  I had a reason to go through the motions. They all have their own lives.  Own friends.  New traditions and memories to make. I never want to guilt them into visiting.

It leaves me yearning for a yesterday  when I would decorate the table, put gifts under the tree and we would pretend whatever I burnt,  undercooked or completely stuffed up was the best thing ever.  🙂 I usually would redeem myself with pudding at least!

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I know if we stay home it will be like any given Sunday.  I want to feel something, go somewhere, make my heart dance…. but going out is double the price for Christmas, and having the kids all together is near impossible. Besides,  wherever you go,  you take yourself with you.  🙂 

How do YOU hold a moonbeam in your hand and have yourself a merry little Christmas?

I wish you enough,
Wenchy

Posted from the galaxy of Samsung from the second cloud on your left.

A name, I call myself…

Dear friends and other interesting creature,

My parents shared they were desperately wanting a little girl when they were pregnant with me.  Which is awesomeness cause I never wanted to be a boy.

As I understand it, my almost 20 year old father went to register me and decided Christine, the name they had chosen, after my Ouma Chrissie is not for me. See, he clearly already understood me them.

My mom tells me that my father was very much like my son Liam James. Charming.  Good looking. Always busy with a budding business idea.

My father and the lady behind the counter decided Christel is a gorgeous name. My father thought my Oupa Mike also needed acknowledgement and added Michel. ( … a Beetles song I’ve had both sober and drunk men sing to me. #bless) Having dyslexia, my father did not go for the usual spelling of either name.

It was the age of the double barrel name, and when the lady behind the counter suggested it to my father, he could probably just hear how fanTy that truly is.
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Christel-Michel is one name. One initial.  Its not Christel.  It’s Christel-Michel. Force yourself. The people behind my father in line is owed at least that.

Wenchy is who I am or who I became as life happened.  If you love me and can’t imagine your life without me, then it’s Stel. I’m am Afrikaanse boeremeisie at heart and its Aunty Stel if you remotely younger than me and I am very old. 

I do love the name my parents gave me. I do love Wenchy because it holds very dear memories for me. Most of all I just love how you say my name as if it’s just been born.

I wish you enough,
Wenchy

Miraculously recover or die. That’s the extent of our cultural bandwidth for chronic illness.

Dear friends and other interesting creatures,

The above quote is from S. Kelley Harwell.

Btw, when you read this, remember that everything good I have done, I did with these issues alongside me, just as everything crappy I have done. I’m still just me.

Living with chronic pain, fatigue (mentally, emotionally and physically) striving to be a loving, supportive wife, involved, caring mother and blossoming DIVA with many roles attached, is a challenging task. Sometimes I drop the ball all together.

For those late to the party, I was diagnosed as having Bipolar Disorder when I was 14 as well as Generalised Anxiety Disorder. At 28 I was diagnosed with Ankolysing Spondylitis which most woman in my family has (including my 16-year-old daughter). At 37 years of age, Fibromyalgia joined the party. The following year I stopped working in a corporate setting. Social Media found me and we have been in love ever since.

Sitting for hours is impossible for me. It feel as if someone used me as target practice. I have a blade stuck between my shoulder blades. I can’t dislodge the stupid thing.

A combination of meds is in place to make life as productive and dull ache instead of stabbing pain as possible. The bipolar part is very much stable with medication, anxiety remains an issue but living a life of not overstepping my physical limitations are much more difficult.

I am HUGELY thankful for my husband who does his best to provide me with medical care, cooking a roast dinner and rubbing my back like he did yesterday. I don’t think it is easy to live with anyone who chronically is in pain, or has an illness that always needs consideration.

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My lower back makes itself known if I am in one position too long. Bending forward, carrying grocery packets, all simple tasks that equal pain.

My body pains. My legs, arms and hips just hurt. Nothing happened to them. They have an illness onto themselves.

One of the most annoying, irritating and completely insane things, is the pain and lack of grip in my hands. There are days I cannot grip a pen, open a water bottle or pour from a jug. Holding a phone, a book or even typing on a keyboard can become impossible. I hate that!

The entire combination of symptoms leaves me with no point of escape. It is completely without warning for the most part. Ta da! I have great intentions but my body does not necessarily agree.

Then, there are times I am just dandy. The pain becomes dull and doesn’t consume me. Medication controls, and I am awesome. My mental state is without any issues, my body is playing nicely and in those moments…. hours, days, weeks, or months… I get a huge amount done. I’m running around and living it!

Unfortunately, the entire process is very unforgiving. For an awesome few days where I run flat out, it may take two weeks to recover and return to dull ache status.

Best part, I look fabulous to everyone most of the time. Oh yes, I’m the great pretender. #wink

I wish you enough,
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Tonight our hearts drown the distant drums

Dear friends and other interesting creatures,

I listen to the things my many children, husband and friends speak about, the way they see the world and experience the people beside them….and I reflect on my own long and cobbled stone road.

The universal pull is that people want to be loved, wanted, appreciated, listened to and acknowledged. We want to matter. We want to fit in, yet be our own person and march to our inner pan flute. Stuff that, I hate pan flutes…. the sound of a lone saxophone. That’s what I choose to be….. and we have music all right.

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Lonely. I have seldom felt more lonely than within a group of people. Sometimes they are pan flutes, some even play the triangle. They are lost to the sound of the saxophone. I don’t mind being alone. On my own. I’m really smashing company. Especially at 3am.

After I did my Radio Today interview, I felt utterly naked on a foreign stage to be judged. Bare. I’m not sure how I expected to feel, because nothing I said was different to what I would write or speak about. You can listen to the podcast:  HERE

Oh and do people love a small public lynching amongst themselves!

I totally forgot the topic as my mind ….. wonders around interesting spaces all the time. How great others would have done, never been in a studio before… “here is a microphone love, knock yourself out“. Well, I admit, while I truly enjoyed it and I would do it again in a heartbeat, I have learned a number of things during my 22 minutes on air. There are things I would do  very differently. Some technical, some behavioural, breathing would be good and not mention nymphomania in the first five minutes may be a stretch… but at the end of it, I always want to be unashamed me….and that I was. True to me.

Why do we all want to fit in so badly? We want to be ourselves. Okay forget the pan flutes you can all be drums if you like, but … “Please… oh do like me and and add me or send me an invitation to the A list of bloggers / school lunch break cool group / geek group / social outcast group / social media supreme luncheon / media drops / influencers / interesting creatures list. Just don’t leave me out here… with my nose pressed against the window looking in.” Love me. Care about me. Don’t exclude me. That is what we ALL want. Even the bad asses. We want to fit with someone or something…somewhere.

Did you know… there is no medal at death for being part of a herd? None. Well, none that any near death experiences documented that I have read, spoke about. Bright light and peaceful I’ve heard… even harps (right up there with pan flutes – save me!) but no medals. No reward. Not a pat on the back.

“Oh you were a fantastic herd person. Just stand in this line… no, oops ….sorry, wrong line, you were not an interesting person .. frankly we do believe you died while you were still alive. You were a mere flute… Our mistake… off you go.” tra-la-la (Bee I hear you now!)

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We really need to stop apologising for who we are and embrace ourselves. Nobody can be a better you, than you can be! Nobody is the world knows you better! Okay… maybe God and the Devil. I do believe they make it their business to know. Well, the Devil does. God already knows your details before you were born,… it is not God’s fault if you wanted to be a flute.

If you must, … rather play the triangle. At least we remember the triangle! …. but there is NOTHING like a lone Saxophone.

a cry that tells us love goes on and on
played on a solo saxophone
it’s telling me
to hold you tight
and dance like it’s the last night of the world
– Miss Saigon

I wish you enough,

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If I should fall behind, wait for me.

Happy Anniversary to my darling husband! The man with the thighs.

@SirNoid made from huge patience, a quick temper to match my own, tremendous dedication, huge love and passion for the girl who has her head in the clouds and her feet on a yellow brick road… sprinkled with purple fairy dust. Not always practical, never conventional and needs the challenge only testosterone provides.
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I appreciate all you do for us (today I am only writing about you and I… no kids), everything you give me from your heart, the haka on a beach, to helicopter flips over Victoria Falls, ice cream in winter, and flying me up the Drakensberg as you had wanted to exchange vows there…. where we can see forever… to the daily purple glitter that completes our life together.

Thank you for believing in my dreams and doing everything you can to make them possible. I know I test your will to live some days but that is kinda what comes with loving Wenchy. 🙂 Sounds dramatic cause I’m a Diva dammit! At least life with me is never boring or predictable at. Challenging at worst.

I love your quirky self that drives me bonkers at times as you pause the TV when I’m busy watching and you fell asleep…. or have to attack on #ClashOfClans midst serious discussion…. but having to look at every rock, hill or cloud formation during road l trips may be the iceberg! Ha!

I love your shoulder dance and your 3am we up calls. I love how you tell me everything on your heart as you get ready for work. I love that you eat my very mmm….. interesting concoctions and try really hard to sleep with the fan on.

You are very funny with jokes that I think you can’t wait for an opportunity to tell. You are considerate in bringing me a purple blanket when I’m cold or make coffee when the kettle is empty. You always bring me something when you travel and you try to understand my low days while the relief on my up days is celebrated.

You work 14 hour days / nights to make sure we are okay. I appreciate the excess you put into your branch with loyalty and purpose. I do not think your company, nor those who report to you, know how much extra you do for them. When I do my rounds as the bosses wife, I am incredibly proud of you. We have come so far.

Nobody but you and I know how much we have endured and overcome. I credit you as the one never to give up. Especially not on our relationship.

Besides this you are obviously a total pain in the neck, literally. 🙂

When I’m sore and you can do nothing to fix it, the desperate look on your face speaks volumes…you ask why the medicine doesn’t work when you work so hard to provide it…and neither of us has an answer. It is perhaps then, when your true vulnerability shows which you attempt to hide so well.

I may not be your first love, but I suspect you kept the best for last.

Loves you Coach…. and thank you. Happy Anniversary!
Wenchy

PS. I remind you of this part of our ceremony:

“With this ring, I give you my promise
that from this day forward
you shall not walk alone. 
I have no greater gift to give. 
May my heart be your shelter
and my arms be your home.”

My picket fence of many colours.

Dear friends and other interesting creatures,

I wonder if other parents felt the same way I did – that everything involving our children was painful in some way. The emotions, whether they were joy, sorrow, love or pride, were so deep and sharp that in the end they left you raw, exposed and yes, in pain. The human heart was not designed to beat outside the human body and yet, each child represented just that – a parent’s heart bared, beating forever outside its chest.
– Debra Ginsberg

4am. Nocturnal in Narnia. Fresh out the closet. I listen to birds waking up in the urban jungle, surprised that I don’t hear anything else.

A warning that the content of this post will be utterly random and thoughts will be written in a first thought,  first typed manner. Gooi mielies.

My son Kev and his girlfriend Kath stopped in today. Yay! Love a visit from my (older) kids cause it meant they purposefully came to see me. It was their choice and they chose to spend time with me! I sound like my Ouma Chrissie.

When your kids are small they hang onto your leg,  usually making annoying demanding type sounds that if you remotely honest,  can be very irritating. You can’t even go to the bathroom alone. Somebody is always knocking on the door!

Then they grow up and you want to hang onto their leg… Soon they will need to take you to the bathroom,  telling you not to lock the door because you are old and may forget where the hell you were going or lose the ability to unlock a door. Oh and when you take forever in the bathroom cause your legs have lost all feeling, somebody will be knocking on the door asking if you are okay. See the circle here?

Why didn’t anyone ever tell me how utterly disillusioned and remarkably weird “empty nest syndrome” is? It’s a thing! It leaves you questioning what you suppose to do with yourself now? What will you do with all that glitter you have left over from when you use to write them cards and letters for Valentine’s Day, Easter or cause it’s Tuesday and you feel really bad about your post work, pre dinner meltdown the night before?
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Besides my last wedding when SirNoid and I eloped, one had to attend preparation meetings with either a minister or counsellor before the church would marry you. It clearly was waisted on me and various grooms looking on how well it all worked out.

When you have a baby some useful, tired looking mom will give you a book “What to expect when you expecting” and there are classes on offer to teach you how to breathe. I’m more of c-section, prescription meds kinda girl and got breathing down fairly early in my life, so I chose to skip the classes.

Nobody hands you a book, offers you a class or even checks your breathing when you children grow up, leave home and make their own way in the world. You are on your own. Good luck! It is not bloody funny.

Yes,  there are perks to having grown up children. They don’t need you to give them tea in bed, put out their work clothes, get them dressed and fed, nor remind them to pack their lunch you made the night before. The boss won’t phone you because your angel takes extended lunches. Generally you will not be fetching your grown child from work, serve them dinner and make sure their to do list is actually done. You will be able to go to the bathroom, travel as money and commitments allow without having to find someone to look after the kids. You can even go out on a school night and have noisy sex with the door open! Bonus.

As grand as that may sound, you never stop thinking about your kids. Their concerns become your concerns, their excitement,  becomes yours, when they ill you will visit Woolworths and take them soup, just after buying a pharmacy of medication for the common cold … their new “love interest” becomes your research project. You give exceptional Google.

Once a parent, always a parent. There is no difference to me between the children I carried under my heart and those who were born in my heart. I chose to love, support, encourage, laugh and hold their hands in sad times.

Loving a child is not an 18 year long commitment. It is your heart and pieces of your soul joyfully roaming the earth without the need for your permission and no understanding of your concern.
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Letting go is difficult, but seeing them navigate life on their own terms is remarkable.

I wish you enough…
Wenchy

Celebrating my talents, managing my weaknesses.

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Dear friends and other interesting creatures,

It’s Tuesday! Every Tuesday Johan Oosthuizen and I embrace exploring my natural talents, while teaching me how to manage my weaknesses. It took me months after doing the initial test before I committed to allowing someone,  trained,  professional and kick ass to please help me be a better version of me.

I so regret I wasn’t able to do this for my kids,  but you can!

I’ve spent six years seeing psychologist which helped, but this is only my third session with Johan and ME getting to know ME, why I instinctively do what I do and why some things drain me by design.  My time with Strength Finder has rendered far more beneficial, real time ah hah! moments than traditional therapy.  Im hooked. I want to know more about who Wenchy is.

Positive psychology is changing my life and the soul satisfaction and energy I’m receiving is without measure.

Johan Oosthuizen 
#StrengthsfinderCoach
Cell: 082 829-3277
Skype: johan-oosthuizen
johan@iwantcoaching.co.za
http://www.iwantcoaching.co.za

Btw, no money is exchanged for this blog,  I’m just wanting to share what I’ve experienced with anyone open to knowing the why?

I wish you enough,
Wenchy