Sunday, 28 February 2016

The Changing Seasons...

March is upon us and as cliched as it sounds, it did arrive too quickly. The days are cooling (slightly) and there is a distinct change in the skyline. Bright blues are turning to lilac pinks and orange. The midday heat and blue skies are still around, but the early mornings and late evenings are changing.

If you are a regular reader of my blog then you will know or you will remember after reading this heading that I hate the change of seasons, These two seasons - Autumn and Spring, March and September, the birth and the death, the rebirthing and the dying. The month and season Clinty was born and the month and season he died. Realistically, the month should not make a difference, because he is dead no matter what day, month or year it is, but oh does it make a difference.

Summer and Autumn were never significant to me or my life - they happened. Spring and the days leading up to Spring meant the start of the warm months and Clinty's birthday. Chad's birthday was (is) the sign of Winter. Yea we moan and grumble about the cold, but there is so much more to Winter than being freezing cold. Chad's birthday month is and always was the sign that cozy days, snuggled under warm blankets were about to start. Sitting next to a roaring fire, sipping mugs of hot chocolate while the aroma of curry wafted through the air. Spongy puddings drizzled in warm custard, full bellies hidden under warm fluffy jumpers.

Clinty's birthday month was the start of days at the dam, lazing by the pool, flowers blossoming. The start of Summer storms and Summer holidays. Ice creams and bikinis, tummies sucked in to hide the Winter comforts. Now dams are, of days past and along with Summer Storms comes storms of tears and heartache. Autumn is the month of death and dying, the month my life changed forever. The season with the strongest influence on my life, my moods, and my emotions. Nothing stops the flow of tears and anything gets them started - anything and nothing. Life goes on not because you want to move on but society forces you to wipe the tears, lift your weary body and shuffle along. So even with the unexplained phenomena of grief opening  the taps of tears, March and Clinty's death day are the days that I allow myself to wallow in pain and grief and only allow Chad and the joy of having Chad to lift me up and stop me from falling to the very bottom of that deep dark pit of hell known as grief.

Now on the subject of Chad, my rock and joy and happiness and LIFE. Yesterday he and JD went to the Shades of Ngwenya Glass Village and had a mould made of their hands clasped together in candle wax. They went to the candle making stall and initially the staff said it wouldn't work. JD was insistent that it would work and they finally came up with a plan. They were told it would cost R100.00 and Chad asked if they had card facilities, because he only had R40.00 cash. The staff said no. They left and walked around with JD all mopey and sad. Next thing one of the staff members ran up to them and said they did have card facilities. The staff didn't know but the owners said they do {insert confused face here}. Whilst they were having their hands moulded, three or four couples thought it was a great idea and paid to have their hands moulded as well. Through JD's stubborn insistence, the candle making store made R400.00 they would more than likely not have made that day. Probably the only candle making sales of the day. We used to go to Shades of Ngwenya when Chad was younger and he went there with his school and I went with as a lift mom. Chad said it is so different on the weekends because they have loud music and drinking and a restaurant - not the tranquility and peace during the week. They never went to the factory to see the glass blowing. I don't think they do that all the time. The went into the glass shop and Chad saw a Dachshund set made of glass - a mom with two babies. He wanted to buy it for me, in memory of Pluto but it was R450.00, which was too expensive for a random Saturday afternoon gift. Just knowing he wanted to buy it for me, turned my heart to mush and tears.

The hands do clasp together properly like they are holding hands, but I was not going to risk breaking them for a picture. In other news, one morning last year, like six months ago, I was reading blogs and online articles and I came across a charity in South Africa that collects bottle tops for wheelchairs for the needy. They collect bottle tops and the plastic tags from bread packets. These are recycled and a wheelchair is bought for a person who cannot afford one. It is called The Sweethearts Foundation. We don't have many bread tags, but we do have lots of bottle tops and it takes two seconds to rinse them and pop them in the tub instead of in the bin. I lost sight of why I was collecting them until JD asked Chad why we collect bottle tops. Chad came and asked why we collect them again and it reminded me to find a collection point and drop them off. They have collection points across South Africa. I was a bit irritated because the collection point I found about 3 streets away from our house, said she no longer has a driver and I should take them to Bramley - a tub of bottle tops all the way to Bramley about 30 Km's away. In traffic, that would equate to 100 km's away. The good I was doing to prevent plastic tops landing up in a landfill would be obliterated by the carbon emissions from traveling to the other side of town to drop them off. When she heard it was a little tub full, she said she would take them. Her pick up point was not down the road from our house, but close to work. I dropped them off at her house and hope one day they go towards a wheelchair and not stay in her garage. She was at work when I dropped them off with her cleaning lady, but I saw on WhatsApp that she is heavily pregnant. That is the downside of volunteering for a charity because you may go in with good intentions but life gets busy and others rely on the services you offered. I am still collecting bottle tops and will find another collection point because, by the time I have enough to hand in, she will have her hands full with her newborn baby. It is, after all, voluntary based and not paid staff so my irritation was over immediately and not a big deal. It cost me nothing to collect had she not been able to take them, but she kindly did. You can find out more about them over here.

Nala seems to have calmed down with her wanting to play. she still nags me, but once we have played she is happy to come inside or lie on the grass and chew on her ball. We have had workers at the house so they are "locked inside" for most of the day and let out for toilet breaks. When the workers leave Spike and Nala go all out crazy playing like they have been tied up for weeks on end. (They are not tied up). The other day I was like:- "You gotta be kidding me, locked up, cruel!! You spend EVERYDAY with your lazy butts sprawled across the house, the whole day - inside the house with Sheila, maybe venturing outside slowly and reluctantly when she hangs up the washing. Now you want to act like we are being cruel and locking you up and forcing you to stay in the house - come on really?? At least now you get to run to the door and bark when workers are here (all day long). When it is just you and Sheila at home you don't even growl under your breath."  Yea, how different are animals to kids. It rains and kids have to stay inside and they whine and moan. The day before the sun was shining and where were they - huddled up inside. I have noticed now that the evenings are cooler, Spike runs around like a crazed being and Nala hardly keeps up. This morning it was a bit chilly and they ran around the garden like tornadoes, playing with one ball. More fun with one between two than one each. I wanted to video them, but with all this rain and mud, my hands are muddy from the ball and my phone will get muddy.

I was going to put more effort into my blog and update all the recipes of the food we love, this coming month. I have had some of them on recipe card widgets in my drafts for over a year. I have had a recipe page unpublished since I started my blog. It was published in the beginning. I deleted the recipes when I changed my blog to Chad Life Us and I have still not published the page. Procrastination is my name. I was going to start this month as a distraction, but I don't think so.

I have {almost} completed my two photo-a-day challenges, but did skip a whole week, because... LIFE. I did catch up and I have to say this month both were not as fun as January. Why, because LIFE. Yes, life and the prompts were quite tough. I forgot to post the list of prompts this month so have posted them here now - a bit late. My third challenge without prompts on 365project is going badly. I am not creative so need prompts to give my brain a jolt. It is also so much easier to use your phone and post to Instagram than to use a camera, download then upload online. It does distract me from the mundane and that is what counts even when life gets the better of creativity.

That's it for this week and no doubt we will all hit March running... Have a great week ahead

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