I don't seem to be very good at this blog thing do I, with a year gone past after my last message? The problem (I think) is that I get so busy with other things in my life I forget all about writing here!
So, to catch up on 2007, I am taking snipppets out of my Christmas 2007 letter sent to family members and friends.
2007 was an up-and-down year with highlights and lowlights. The troubling bits were the farm attacks (2) on Dad and Judith on the farm, and then Dad's ill health and two very big stroke scares. If it wasn't for the fact that my hair was dyed brown, I would probably have noticed many more grey hairs!
One of the highlights for me was my work trip to the Karoo to do some more brown locust field trials. We were lucky enough to actually find a large hopper band that we followed (and measured hourly) for one whole day. I really am lucky to be able to enjoy my work so much.
My craft work seemed to take a bit of a back seat with all the house repairs I undertook. Oh, and I eventually got that wardrobe built into my room - something I will never regret! This is my first built-in wardrobe - ever - so is absolute luxury for me. Not of course that we coudln't afford it when I was a child, or in my marriage, but we always seemed to have these loose wardrobes that could be shifted around when the room was re-arranged! Here's a photo of the cupboard in the newly painted room, and before I moved back in. Then, to complete the makeover I went and purchased a bedroom suite and now have a matching bed, dresser, and stool (also a first).
One project I did manage to complete - something I have been meaning to do for the last 4 years – was to sand, repair, and varnish the doll’s cot for Abigail. This cot was one that my Dad made for me when I was a little girl, and I have kept it all these years. It needed a good sanding, new wire springs installed, and then a few coats of varnish. To round off, I made a new mattress, pillow, and linen for the bed, and decoupaged some pictures onto the headboard. Abby helped me choose the material for the bed, and then stood like a supervisor next to me while I sewed all the items. She would not let me even take a tea break until it was all finished and she could put her doll “to bed”!
The next big and expensive project I tackled was to seal and repaint the roof of the house. I was getting rather tired of trying to find enough buckets and salad bowls to catch the water dripping through the ceiling every time it rained. Not only that, but I ended up playing ‘musical bowls’ trying to juxta position them under the various drips. I put in leave for a whole week, hired my gardener and my daughter's boyfriend, and the three of us scraped the roof, pasted sealer cloth down, and then gave the roof a good coat of paint. We started on Monday, spent every day on the roof, and finished late Friday afternoon – absolutely EXHAUSTED and with aching backs!! I was determined that there would not be one leak anymore, so EVERY screw, and vertical and horizontal overlaps were patched with sealing cloth! Yes, the roof looks like a patchwork quilt, but during the recent freak storm (3 inches in 1 hour!!!) there was not one leak!!! I have however come to the conclusion that at 54 years of age, it is no longer easy to climb onto-and-off a roof! Well, at least the view was good from up there and the job is now done.
The last task I undertook for the year was to have a very large fish tank custom built for my lounge. I have always had a fish tank but a small one, and nothing to brag about. I am thrilled with the new tank and have had so much fun putting in plants and fish. At the moment there are one Plecostobus (my "vacuum cleaner"), 2 x Bala Sharks, 2 Corydoras, 5 LARGE Angel fish, and 2 Pearl Gouramis. The fish must be happy because 2 Angel fish have paired up and laid 12 batches of eggs already!! The problem is of course that while the eggs are being laid, the Bala shark (male) and the male Gourami are stealing them from under the female's dorsal fin!
The Genealogy database is still growing and at the end of 2007 I had 1,621 names in the software, all linked to either my father's line or my mother's line - and still growing. Great stuff!
Now you can see why I get so busy I forget all about this blog.