David’s Birthday 2024

Friday

Dear Elsie

Today Uncle David celebrated his birthday. We were sorry to not have you come to stay this weekend, but ill health has kept your family at home, which is wise. There will be many more opportunities & we’ll get to speak tomorrow.

David had a good day. He knew he would be a little more tired than yesterday because yesterday he was very active. We took him coffee & gifts and he appreciated them. Later he came up for breakfast. Egg and bacon,  chipolatas & cherry tomatoes on C’est la vie fresh croissants.

David had a restful day. I worked and then went to Karin’s birthday tea as it’s her birthday as well.

I picked up a little dessert on the way home. For dinner, Mike and David had pizza and I had salad.  David slept this afternoon. After dinner we watched the end of Cool Runnings. He and Mike are now watching chess.

I’ve just made tea and it’s the end of the birthday week.

Mark 10:21
Jesus looked at him and loved him

It’s not about now – we are only passing through.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Gran xx 🙂

 

Posted in Day to Day Blogs | Tagged | Comments Off on David’s Birthday 2024

David Recovering From Long Covid

Thursday

Dear Elsie

Today was the day a new resident was installed on the gabion baskets. He stands tall and proud and keeps watch over the stairs.

Julian read the book he’s just given me and it’s a delightful story about rabbits. This one…

So when he came across the wire rabbit for sale, he couldn’t resist buying it. Courage gave it an extra coat of rust-proof paint & once it was dry, he attached it to the gabion wire. It can always be moved if we want it somewhere else. It will remind us of Watership Down.

We swam today. It was a lovely as usual.

Home to work. In the afternoon, I did a big shop for the weekend, including some extras for David’s birthday tomorrow. David woke up this morning feeling a lot better. He took his bicycle to Kommetjie and cycled the boardwalk route and back along the road – a distance of 2km. He felt much better than when he did it last time. Cycling is easier than walking because he is sitting. He had a tail wind as well, which made it easier. Then he went for a swim at Dalebrook.

This evening he said this is the best he’s felt in a year. My terminology is changing. It’s gone from “David has LC” to “David is recovering from Long Covid.” As we know, this journey is not a straight line of recovery. It zigs and zags both up and down. There are dips and upswings, plummets and improvements. But today was the best day he’s had since his diagnosis and it showed. He came up at about 5pm and stayed until after 8pm.  Before he left, we watched half of Cooling Runnings and will possibly watch the rest tomorrow. David may be tired tomorrow – we’ll see if today’s exercise leave him with additional fatigue.  Before the movie, while he and Mike were chatting, I went down to David’s unit, put in some snacks and restocked his bathroom.  He didn’t know until he went down a short while ago.

Tomorrow is his birthday & we both agreed it’s been the hardest year of his life. For our family, this last year has carried with it many trials. All we can do is pray and continue to trust the Lord. We take one day at a time.

Mark 10:27
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”

It’s not about now – we are only passing through.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Gran xx 🙂

Posted in Apartment living, Day to Day Blogs | Tagged , , | Comments Off on David Recovering From Long Covid

He Gasped

Wednesday

Dear Elsie

Today was the day Granpa celebrated his birthday. We gave him his new tablet. He knew it was coming, but he didn’t know which kind. When he opened the box, he gasped!  He’s very happy.

We went to the beach as planned. When we got back, I made bacon and eggs for breakfast and then I went to work. Mike went for a haircut. When he got back, he had work to do and has only now started getting his tablet sorted. He is already loving it and it will be a super addition when we travel. Well done Stace! I’m not sure when I’ll get my husband back.

He’s happy then!

We went to Dixies for dinner. I walked, passing a gulp (yes that’s the official collective noun) of junior cormorants.

A beautiful evening – lovely setting – good food and great company.

Happy Birthday Mike!

Today when I was in the sea and also walking to Dixies, this refrain was going through my mind…

Wide wide as the ocean, high as the heavens above, deep deep as the deepest sea is my Saviour’s love for me. I though so unworthy, still am a child of His care, for His Word teaches me that His love reaches me everywhere!

Mark 9:35
Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.”

It’s not about now – we are only passing through.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Gran xx 🙂

Posted in Day to Day Blogs | Tagged | Comments Off on He Gasped

Mike’s Birthday Eve

Tuesday

Dear Elsie

Today is Granpa’s Birthday Eve! Tomorrow is his birthday. I got him a very exciting birthday present (thanks to your Mom who suggested it). He knows what he is getting (a tablet) but he doesn’t know what kind and when he sees it, he is going to be very surprised.  It wasn’t cheap, but Granpa very seldom spends money on himself, so he deserves it. It got delivered today and is carefully stowed away for tomorrow morning. I also went and bought some miniature cupcakes to take to the beach tomorrow morning.

It’s one of the things the locals do. They take cake when it’s their birthday. As Mike spends some time sitting on the bench while I’m finishing my swim, he has gotten to know the locals better than I have… and he’s been the happy recipient of their birthday cakes too. Now it’s his turn to take and as the wind is expected to drop overnight, we are planning on swimming tomorrow.

I worked. I did some shopping. Julian left. I did washing and we have had a quiet evening. While last night there was Mike and Julian playing chess, tonight there is Mike and David. Although, I must add that from the sounds of it, it’s also a coaching session with David telling Mike what he should be doing. You don’t really want to be playing David. His comments are like, “if I were you I wouldn’t to that.” “Yeah, that move wasn’t great – it would be better if you did this or that…” but it is interspersed with, ‘I would have moved there as well.’ or ‘that move was not too bad’. He sees things in chess that are light years away from me. On the very odd occasion when I have played him, I’ve moved very gingerly and then looked at him to see if it was good or bad. I just never know what he’s thinking. It’s very intimidating.

This evening naughty Raiku caught a bird. Because it’s been so windy, we have kept the study window closed. That’s the window the cats usually use to go in and out. When it’s closed, they meow at the door to be let in. Fortunately, on this occasion, Raiku couldn’t bring his prey inside, so sat outside the front door proudly devouring his catch. It was only Courage who witnesses the sad meal. I went outside once he was done and swept up the remaining feathers. He’s going to have a sore tummy tonight.

Mark 9:24
Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”

It’s not about now – we are only passing through.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Gran xx 🙂

Posted in Day to Day Blogs | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Mike’s Birthday Eve

Blog Notifications Going Out Again

Monday

Dear Elsie

Today is the day your clever Dad updated my blog site and all the missing notifications got unplugged and sent off to recipients. Valerie-Gail was the first to tell me they were missing. She sent me a screenshot of a bunch of them coming all at once.

The thing with this daily account of my life is, while there are a (small) number of people who read it every day, it’s meant for future Elsie. She’ll scroll through the endless accounts of what happened each day and I think she will shake her head in amazement that I wrote every single day for hopefully a few decades. Maybe in 40 years time, if it’s still out in cyberspace, others will stumble on it and ooh and aah over the archaism of the times in which we live. I sometimes think of it in terms of David’s Long Covid. “Why was that such a big thing?” they may ask. Because there is no known cure. But one day there will be.

David has had a couple of good days.  The Low Dose Naltrexone seems to be helping, so I’m ordering more of that.

I worked a full day today. Wind is a strong south-easter so there was no swimming.

This evening, all is quiet on the home front. David has gone and Mike and Julian are playing chess.  The only other noise is the whistling wind.

While they are playing, as soon as this is done, I have another assignment. Julian has given me this book to read. I am setting myself a goal to read at least a few pages every day.

The big event of the day is that today is Lizzy’s first birthday! Happy birthday Lizzy!

Busy Monday done. I’m going to hit publish now and listen to see if Julian gets his notification.

Psalm 42:8
By day the Lord directs His love, at night His song is with me— a prayer to the God of my life.

It’s not about now – we are only passing through.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Gran xx 🙂

Posted in Apartment living, Day to Day Blogs | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Blog Notifications Going Out Again

The Triangle of my Life

Sunday

Dear Elsie

Today’s the day I’ve been thinking of the triangle of my life. As you grow older you will become very familiar with our apartment. We have 2 bedrooms – one large and one small. The triangle of my life unfolds in my big bedroom, where we have my bed –

My desk…

And of course, my rocking chair…

Each spot holds much importance for me. My desk is where the work gets done. The rocking chair is where I do my Bible reading and sometimes I have an afternoon snooze (like today). And my bed is where I get my all important sleep. On the left of my desk is my puzzle table which has become a satisfying form of relaxation and distraction.

The triangle of my life – I find it really interesting because it’s a confined space and I spend most of my life in it – many days it’s about 20 hours.

This evening Mike made bread and it was a cracker of a loaf. David took the photo…

Talking of David, he’s just made tea for Mike & I, coffee for Julian and hot chocolate for himself. When Julian said he would do it, David said he was feeling good and while he is okay, he’ll make the drinks. It’s very good to hear him say, “I’m feeling good.” It was ‘good’ not ‘okay’. What music to my ears. With crashes and relapses part of the Long Covid journey, we take GOOD today. 🎉🙌🙏

I swam for more than an hour today. The rain had passed, but the cloud cover remained. The sea was warm and gentle. I was in the process of getting out when I spotted a paraglider high in the sky. He floated from the direction of Constantiaberg and I watched him glide over Fish Hoek, and then over the Kalk Bay mountains towards Muizenberg.  I was cold when I got home, so hot showered and dressed warmly for the rest of the day.

This weekend has been a good one. Tomorrow is my Grand-niece’s birthday. Lizzy is turning 1!

This was the Bible verse that soothed my soul this morning.

Psalm 41:3
The Lord sustains him on his sickbed; in his illness you restore him to full health.

Amen!

It’s not about now – we are only passing through.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Gran xx 🙂

Posted in Apartment living, Day to Day Blogs | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on The Triangle of my Life

Benefits of Puzzles

Saturday

Dear Elsie

Last night, I finished the puzzle. It was very satisfying putting the last piece in. Ta-da!

I was going to let it sit for a day or two – just I could admire it, but this morning the realisation dawned that I had no puzzle to do! So, I packed it up and got out the next one!

This is immediately proving to be easier. I’ve completed the frame and am working on the corners. Question: is doing puzzles a waste of time? Answer: Nope!

I’ll take it.

I swam this morning – the water was warmer than the air temperature. It was a lovely 45 minutes in a flat and clear ocean. At lunchtime, I walked down for some shopping and this evening Julian and I walked to Dixies where we met Mike and David for dinner.

After dinner, we sat and watched the live feed at Heathrow Airport. That was fun – seeing planes coming into land one after the other. Flight Focus 365 good to know about.

A good Saturday to be sure.

Psalm 40:16
But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who long for your saving help always say, The Lord is great!”

It’s not about now – we are only passing through.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Gran xx 🙂

Posted in Day to Day Blogs | Tagged , | Comments Off on Benefits of Puzzles

Admiring The Moon

Friday

Dear Elsie

Today I start the blog at the end. It’s almost full moon and it looks spectacular.

The light on the water always looks magical. When Mike was designing the house, he had in his mind the water house from Sleepless in Seattle where there were picture windows overlooking the water. While our house is far above the water, the effect of the twinkling lights across the bay  every evening always make a magical picture. When there’s a full moon, it’s extra special. I always enjoy it when there are guests here to enjoy it.

Julian and I walked to the beach and back where there was the usual amount of Friday evening paddling. There is a time trial every Friday evening with surf-skis padding a timed circuit. It brings out lots of spectators as well as photographers and drones.

For the rest, I worked, had a facial and am closing in on finishing the puzzle. I’ve got 76 pieces left. Here’s how far I was earlier…


Even though the puzzle has gone from 1000 pieces to less than 100, I’m at the tricky point where all the pieces have the same colours and could go in multiple places. But it should get done this weekend.

Been a good day. I’m sorry you are still not getting my blog notifications. Each time I post I get this …

I’ll try find out what is going on. Now, back to the puzzle!

Psalm 40:1
I waited patiently for the Lord; He turned to me and heard my cry.

It’s not about now – we are only passing through.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Gran xx 🙂

Posted in Apartment living, Day to Day Blogs, Living on Fish Hoek mountainside | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Admiring The Moon

Warm is Relative

Thursday

Dear Elsie

Today was the day I went down to the beach in the afternoon on what was a windy day. We didn’t go this morning, but as I got to lunchtime, I couldn’t help it. I went off down the road. On the way I passed a family walking back up from the beach. I asked “is the water warm?” “NO!” they said emphatically. Hearing a foreign accent, I replied, “oh, it’s been very warm – like 18 or 19 degrees.” “Yes,” they said, “It’s chilly!”  The family consisted of an older couple, their daughter and grand-daughter. The parents were very dour. They did not look impressed – I think there had been a disagreement. It was the daughter who told me it was cold water.  They must be used to the Mediterranean in summer. Warm is relative, because when I got down there, it was delicious and delightful. It was also quite choppy. It took me 14 and a half minutes to get to the barrel (at almost high tide) and only 7 minutes to get back. My 22 minutes of dip in the ocean was perfect.

There was a reason why our bed got made very very late today.

I made him a sign which he came out to see…

The other (big) news of the day is David rode his bike for the first time in a year. He had Courage take it down to the road and put it in the car. He drove to Kommetjie and cycled a couple of kilometers. He found the first 800m or so tough, but after resting and restarting and then taking regular rests, he was able to  manage. He came home for a good rest. David with his bike (before he got sick).

Julian and I took a (almost) 4km walk down to the beach and back.

And I’ve finished collating my taxes! Yay for that job done.

I am still being told the notifications for my blog are not going out. I’ll ask my ‘systems administrator’ – if he can see where the problem lies.

Psalms 39:7
But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in You.

It’s not about now – we are only passing through.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Gran xx 🙂

Posted in Day to Day Blogs | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Warm is Relative

Two Swims Day

Wednesday

Dear Elsie

Today was the day I swam twice. We went down to the beach at 8am and, although there was a little wind, it was beautiful and clear and easy swimming. I realised today why I prefer the open sea to tidal pools – it’s because I like being out of my depth.

Home by 10am and I said I’d make David egg and bacon which I did. Then to work I went.  I worked until 2pm. Some friends were going for an afternoon swim, so, having finished most of my work, I walked down again and had another 40 minutes in the water. It was warmer, but certainly windier too. Swimming out to the barrel was hard work. Swimming back a breeze – literally. It was lovely though. A two swim day is a good day. Wind Guru indicates the wind will pick up tomorrow, so a sea day may be delayed until Friday.

Talking of the sea, I saw on Facebook, surprisingly, there have been Southern Right Whales off the Cape shores. They’ve been on the Atlantic side and there have been. Lovely photos by Nanette Smith. These were off Sea Point.

They are enormous!

I didn’t know they came this far south this early in the year.

The puzzle is edging its way to completion. I don’t have as much time to work on it during the day, but hope to finish it within a week.

Psalm 38:15
Lord, I wait for You; You will answer, Lord my God.

It’s not about now – we are only passing through.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Gran xx 🙂

 

 

Posted in Day to Day Blogs | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Two Swims Day

Cappuccino by Courage

Tuesday

Dear Elsie

Today was the day Courage made us cappuccinos! We have such a good guy in Courage. He is happy and willing all day long.

Our cappuccinos …

Later in the day, as he was leaving at 4.30pm, he encountered me at the bottom of the stairs with 4 bags of shopping, 3 of which were very heavy. Even though he was going home and was already 50 steps down to the road, he insisted on helping me and took 3 bags the 50 steps up again.  I was just going to take it very slowly. He’s a good lad!

We didn’t swim this morning. The day dawned like this…

It did clear but by then it was too late. I was in full work swing & got on with it until I’d done 7 hours.

Puzzle progress has been made. It’s now become roughly a 400 piece puzzle.

It’s a beautiful picture and believe it or not, it’s real! It comes from the Palace of Catalan Music in Barcelona, a majestic centre of music that opened in 1908. The puzzle picture is the dramatic skylight of the main concert hall.

The puzzle is just a snippet of this work of art.

Psalm 37:34
Hope in the Lord and keep His way.

It’s not about now – we are only passing through.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Gran xx 🙂

Posted in Apartment living | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Cappuccino by Courage

21 Today!

Monday

Dear Elsie

It was 21 today! The temperature of the sea water was 21 degrees Celsius and it was so lovely swimming. It was a beautiful day with a light breeze to offset a maximum of about 30.  The sunset has been beautiful.

The other exciting thing about today is Oupa’s African violets have their first buds…

A full summer’s day. We threw open all the doors and enjoyed being cooled by the south-easterly breeze. A number of things happened. Werner came to look at the collapsed ceiling board from Julian’s balcony. He will deliver a new piece tomorrow at R100 less than Mike can get it. Courage will fit & paint it. We had lovely guests arrived.

And we heard from our accommodation in Italy – we changed it from Chatillon (which was a nightmare to get to) to Arona which is an easy 1 hour train trip from Milan. The lovely hosts have bicycles for free use and there is a dedicated bike track along the closest lake, which is Maggiore. And, they’ve said they will allow us in when we arrive. We are due to land in Milan at 5.55am, so should get to Milan central somewhere between 8.30 & 9am & if we are all on time, we’ll arrive at our destination at 10.30am.

A successful day.

Mark 4:24
“Consider carefully what you hear,” He continued. “With the measure you use, it will be measured to you—and even more.

It’s not about now – we are only passing through.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Gran xx 🙂

Posted in Day to Day Blogs | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on 21 Today!

Rocking Chair Therapy

Sunday

Dear Elsie

Today was the day I got some lovely rocking chair therapy. When you come for a visit you’ll also get to enjoy the rocking chair again. This is you and I in 2021!  Wow! How you’ve grown!

There was plenty to see from my rocking chair today.

There were wind surfers, paddlers, birds and planes. I saw a large jet flying overhead and looked it up on flight radar – it was an Ethiopian Airline Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner heading to Addis Ababa. That’s the flight we will be going on in a couple of months. It seemed to be on time. It was a busy afternoon for Airlink – they had 3 Embraers take off one after the other – one going to Kimberley, one to George and the third to Jo’burg. I couldn’t see those – they didn’t come close enough.  I tried to see the one going to George but the sky is so big and the plane so small, I didn’t catch sight of it.  While in my rocking chair, I also managed to get the photo of Claw’d pinning Raiku down. I’ve wanted to get this shot for ages and today they were right in front of me and I had my camera at hand….

This is how Claw’d traps Raiku when he wants to clean him. The cats are a bit manic this evening. They somehow managed to catch a pigeon (off the balcony) and our solitary reverie was completed disrupted as furniture tumbled and a flurry of activity took place in the corner of the lounge. I rushed in and found Claw’d of all creatures with the poor thing in his mouth. I grabbed the cat who dropped the bird, rushed to get Raiku before he returned to his prey and locked them in the study. Meanwhile, the furore had woken Mike who opened the balcony doors wide open. The pigeon flew away, seemingly unharmed. He needs to get the message out on the birdwire that our balcony is to be avoided. Moments ago, there was another and Claw’d and Raiku having tasted victory, were licking their lips and smacking their teeth and chattering their chatter in the hope they could repeat their success.

David has just come down and is in a good space right now. He is back to the amount of energy he had in September & seems to have finally recovered from his relapse. Every few days he tries to get out – his main excursion is to have a dip in the ocean.  He used to get such a dopamine rush from exercise and with none of that happening, he misses it. A little swim gets him a drop of dopamine, which he’ll take.

End of a restful weekend.

Psalm 37:7
Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him.

It’s not about now – we are only passing through.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Gran xx 🙂

Posted in Day to Day Blogs | Tagged , | Comments Off on Rocking Chair Therapy

I Felt Useful Today

Saturday

Dear Elsie

Today was a useful day. I woke up around 6am and went  through my usual routine. With the wind churning up the sea, flinging mountains of seaweed onto a messy beach, I chose not to go down for a swim. When the shark spotter team didn’t put out the net, that was all the confirmation I needed that it was a good day to miss.  It was good to speak to you! You are playing Minetest and really enjoying it. I think your Mom is very smart getting you to do your chores before playing on the computer. You are so helpful in emptying the dishwasher and putting things away. It’s good to be a hard worker. This is one of your Minetest creations.

We had a relaxing day. I made egg and bacon for David & Mike. We love crispy bacon and I’ve found the perfect way to make it.  I didn’t have any this morning so David and Mike ate the whole 250g.

I checked my company e-mail and saw something important, so I hopped on line and did 2 hours of work, which made me feel very useful. I know the work I did will be appreciated. It’s Saturday and no one works on a Saturday! Also what I did reduces the amount of work I’ll have on Monday so it was win-win.

By 4pm I had only done 1481 steps so I took a walk to drop off some tin cans I’d been collecting for a local initiative. Home, dinner, bit of puzzling. I’m about a 3rd done. Going at this rate it will take me about 3 weeks. Sorting is really important. Once that’s done, it’s a matter of matching the pieces and putting them in. I find it very relaxing.

David has had a good few days. Last night I watched an excellent video which really explained his condition well.  If you want to know what’s going on with David, watch this…

We feel we are now all adapting and moving forward. Pacing is very important and he’s trying to get that right. We are feeling more positive.

Psalm 36:5
Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies.

It’s not about now – we are only passing through.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Gran xx 🙂

Posted in Day to Day Blogs | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on I Felt Useful Today

My Biggest Strength – My Biggest Weakness

Friday

Dear Elsie

Today was the day that dawned a beautiful cloudy sunrise.

The rain came shortly afterwards – a solid shower that half washed the windows. It soon passed but left us too late for the beach. While my tummy ache was better, I did work but had no appointments so, I spent almost the entire day in my pajamas.

Today I was reflecting on my biggest strength possibly being my biggest weakness. It was told to me when I was 12. My standard 5 teacher wrote…

Concern for others has led me to be a people pleaser of note. People pleasing is possibly my biggest weakness, but it probably is also my biggest strength. I think it also has its root in being the youngest of 4. On the good side it makes me very relational – and that has made me successful in my work.

It’s a weakness because I’m inclined to just do what people want me to do. I’m a follower that’s for sure, but when needed I can also lead. I’m just not predisposed to. I have learned over the decades to create boundaries and be a (tiny) bit assertive. Now days I do say no to things I don’t want to do. When I was younger, I cared about what people thought. Now I don’t so much – it’s one of the joys of getting older.  The hardest people to say no to are my family. There’s always space for improvement.

It was heart warming reading some of my reports.  One of my very first reports…

A couple of years later…

I didn’t win many awards during my education, but when I was 9 I won the Frank Johnson prize for English. I remember the accolades and my parents coming with me to the prize giving. Funny recollection – as my Mom was dressing, she looked very smart and I told her she looked like “Miss Rhodesia!” She laughed her head off.

I’ve got to end this as we are going out for dinner. David is staying home.

I’m also making puzzle progress…really enjoying this one…

Mark 2:10
But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.

It’s not about now – we are only passing through.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Gran xx 🙂

Posted in Day to Day Blogs | Tagged , , | Comments Off on My Biggest Strength – My Biggest Weakness