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Archive for March 2009

Buckle up…update to follow.

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I forgot how much fun it is not studying.

Obviously, one can’t just randomly not study although that is fun, too. But it is so much better if you are actually officially registered for an exam that is approaching at lightning speed. Ha ha.

When I have to study for something, I am easily distracted. I feel so creative, too, like I need to go and work on something that needs creativity, i.e. not studying. lol

On Friday, I got the urge to bake biscuits (for the first time since Michael and I have been married).


Here they are before they went into the oven…


And here they are all baked and golden brown. I was very taken with the whole project, particularly the teddy-bear shaped ones.

And just to waste a little more time, I spent a good five minutes on this DIY Rorschach test. The grease-proof paper was stuck to the baking tray in patches, and it reminded me of the inkblot tests, so I constructively used the time to find a witch, a wizard, a Roman emperor, an angry watchdog and a woolly mammoth, among others. Fun times. Then I got a grip on myself and went and did some work ๐Ÿ˜‰


The thing is, this stuff is hard, much harder than I thought it would be. I find it quite mentally exhausting, memorising the notes. Once it’s done, then it’s a lot of fun to play, but the actual learning is rather hard.

Take this piece, for example. Bach’s Allemande from the French Suite no.5 in G. I wrote it off as being an easy piece. Plus, it is only two pages long, I thought I’d finish it in two days, tops.

Well, as I said to Michael, I didn’t know it was gonna be two pages of blood, sweat and tears. I asked him, “Does this look like two pages of blood, sweat and tears?”

He replied, “Actually, it looks like a bunch of squiggles and blobs.”

I took that as support for my cause, lol.


I am enjoying the whole thing. But I did underestimate the fact that I haven’t done this stuff in 12 years.

Also, I noticed today that my hands are looking quite aged from all the dish-washing. Not a good look for a pianist, it must be said. So better that I start putting on some hand-cream (it puts the cream on? Silence of the Lambs gone funky, hehe) and using gloves when I wash dishes. Plus, I better do something about the wart on my finger that grew back. Guess it’ll take more than liquid nitrogen to finish off that sucker. Like chopping off the finger, but that will make it hard to play a decent C-chord. I should imagine.

I can’t wait until I have my grade 7 and can start giving lessons to kiddies. I wonder how that will work out for me.

Of course, an update wouldn’t be complete without a few Bluebeary pics. This dog is just amazing, we are really getting our money’s worth there. Best R450 we ever spent. She actually fetches her leash now to go for walkies. Isn’t that just too cute.


She’s cute and all, but she’s a bit slobby. You need to go take a shower when she’s done giving you some affection.


See what I mean?

And to finish off, a pic of my Just Joey rose that did a bit of a bloom. This is probably my favourite rose in the garden.

I asked the bloke at the nursery to recommend a good rose to me, back when I was going through my rose planting phase and this is what he suggested. Good choice, too. It is ginormous, stunning and has quite a beautiful fragrance.


Oh, and I nearly forgot, this is what opened up this morning…


This rose is called Bride’s Dream and it’s easy to see why. It is the softest of baby pinks and has the most elegant, elongated shape. Plus, the buds grow on really long, almost thornless stems, ideal for a bride’s bouquet.

I have yet to see a rose that isn’t beautiful. No wonder it is known as the Queen of the Garden.

Written by Maggie

March 30, 2009 at 5:39 pm

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Quick post while skiving off from ‘studying’.

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There is nothing like studying to make you feel like a kid again.

The good and the bad…hehe.

For the past two days I have been feeling half depressed. When I’m not hyperventilating from panic, that is.

I have hugely underestimated the exam I will be taking in April. My sister (the music teacher) was quite amazed when I told her I would be playing the April/ May session. Why not do it in October? she asked. Nah, I’ll do it now, I said. It’s just Grade 7!.

Hmmm. Just grade 7. Let me put it in perspective. Grade 7 is the equivalent of a grade 12ย  (high-school) subjectย  (should you take music as an extra subject at school, or if you are in an art school and choose to take it as one of your six subjects).

So imagine, if you will, studying for a grade 12 subject, on higher grade (like maths, science or biology, whatever you took). You have to do the whole syllabus in two and a half months, including revision. Oh, plus, you haven’t done that subject in 12 years and you can’t remember half the stuff.

I have one month left and after a sleepless night starting to panic about it, I have finally clutched in. Phew! High school all over again, leaving everything to the super-last minute.

It’s such fun, I’m having a blast, lol.

In my defense, the reason I was keen to do the April/ May session is that I never know what MS is going to pull out of the hat, so I thought I may as well make hay while the sun is shining.

Apart from the above mentioned problems, I have a set of unique ones which I sure didn’t have last go round.

The one is that I have to learn all the pieces off by heart. Ordinarily, one would just sight-read your exam pieces from the book, but as I have such diminished feeling in my fingers, I have to actually keep an eye on what they’re doing. Knowing the pieces by heart makes this a lot easier.

Anyway, what’s the fun in studying if you can’t skive off every now and then?

I was sitting in front of the keyboard trying to figure out a particularly difficult part when I heard the ice-cream van drive past, singing its little song.

So, for the first time in my adult life, I ran outside and bought myself an ice-cream. I had such a good chuckle at myself. But it was delicous. I sat in the garden with Beary, who was trying to mooch a lick of it and admired my roses, which are gearing up to do a really spectacular bloom, by the looks of things.

Life sure is good right now ๐Ÿ˜‰

Written by Maggie

March 25, 2009 at 5:27 pm

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It’s like I have a locust magnet…

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I have written before of my phobia of locusts. They really creep me out enormously.

There is currently one in the computer room with me. I am sitting here with my shoulders hunched up around my ears, trying to make myself as small as possible. Thank goodness I don’t have a webcam because I probably look quite ridiculous.

Thankfully, it is quite a small one. Barely a grasshopper. If it were one of the really large ones, I would sure as anything not be sitting here at all.

I saw it crawling up the wall and contemplated going to fetch a shoe to clobber it to death. But I actually felt sorry for it. It is, after all, a living being, with its own hopes and dreams. So I elected to take the high road and not kill it.

It was not five minutes later, however, when the little @!!#%*ย  jumped off the wall and onto my shoulder. I nearly freaked out totally, but did it quietly as Michael is asleep in the next room and has to get up early tomorrow morning to the tune of 4:30. That’s a.m. people. Does such a time even exist?

Once again, if it had been one of the big ones I would not have handled it as well.

Ugh. I flicked it off (took three attempts) and my skin is crawling so badly I feel like going to take a shower.

I have no idea why I hate these things so.

I am not enjoying sitting here typing because I don’t know where it is. It could pounce on me again at any moment. Euww!

Thank you so much for the comments re: my rose photo’s. That made my day ๐Ÿ™‚

Will write again soon when there isn’t a Sword of Damocles hanging over my head, a.k.a. a wily green locust circling the room and trying to land on me.

Written by Maggie

March 17, 2009 at 10:49 pm

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Eau d’Og

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I hardly see the dog that she’s not on the couch!

During the daytime, I can tell her to get off, but at night she is the couch princess. Nevermind that we bought her a really expensive doggie basket/ suite ๐Ÿ™‚

This is what I saw when I got up this morning…



Below is the dog-bed, for which she obviously has little regard.

Still, it is not everybody that has a real, live teddy-bear living with them, so I’m not too put out.

Just a pity that the lounge-suite is getting to be quite fragrant, with a not so subtle whiff of Eau d’Og. It is not all the rage in Paris this season. Maybe Parys though, I dunno.

Turns out the competition deadline is only the 18th, so I have one more day. I must choose between these two, so maybe you could help me choose.ย  I’d be thrilled to get some comments to help with the decision.

Both are of the Burning Sky rose, but which one is better?

Option one:


And option two:


Written by Maggie

March 16, 2009 at 6:56 pm

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Sunday, lovely Sunday ;-)

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Here is the description of an idyllic Sunday:

  • Wake up at 8:30. Only, you don’t know it’s 8:30 because it’s so overcast you think it is dawn, so you snuggle up for another half an hour.
  • Get up at 9:00 and think, hey, my back is sore and the only thing that helps is a swim at the gym. And gym closes at 10:00 on a Sunday.
  • Get your butt to the gym by 9:25. Saunter in, in the direction of the pool, only to be told that the pool closes at 9:40. So no time for a swim.
  • Do 5 minutes on the treadmill, for what it’s worth (so that it is not a completely wasted trip), and follow with twenty stomach crunches, so that stomach will firm up and maybe hark back to its glory days. Might take more than twenty crunchies, come to think of it ๐Ÿ˜‰
  • Go to Pick ‘n Pay on the way home to buy a lovely fresh bread, just out the oven. Also purchase slab of chocolate that eat up alone, as mildly miffed at, um, anyone else that might have wanted a bit of chocolate.
  • (Feel bad later when person mildly miffed at shares their chocolate with you, lol. You don’t say a word and eat it anyway).
  • While away entire Sunday, drifting from task to task lazily, wandering around in the garden, smelling the roses and playing ‘fetch’ with the dog.
  • Practise piano. For five minutes, after which you deem that is sufficient. (not worried at all about exam in a month’s time, having only done 1/2ย  a piece out of four pieces. La la laaaa).
  • Make excellent and healthy Sunday lunch.
  • Followed by excellent and not-so-healthy banana-bread.
  • Sugar intake for the day, between slab of chocolate eaten alone, bar of chocolate shared with loved miffed one, and banana-bread, most of which eaten by self: sky high. High apple-pie in the sky, high.ย  hee hee.
  • Bounce off walls for a while.
  • Do mini mountain of dishes that has accumulated from all the cooking and baking.
  • Take dog for a walk. With miffed one. Only, no longer miffed one. By now back to loved one. Can’t remember why was miffed one, come to think of it.
  • Wait, can remember. Grrr.
  • Stuff around on facebook for a while and read blogs.
  • Speak on phone with mother.
  • For an hour.
  • Spend happy twenty mins photographing roses for competition.
  • Have long and hot bath.
  • Thank lucky stars for life, as is.
  • Settle down for a nice, long blog post.

That about sums it up, folks. A nice Sunday at home.

To round off the week please indulge me as I post a few photographs on the wholly unexpected topics of roses and a pooch.



This is one of the photo’s that I want to enter in the competition. The competition is hosted by a well-known rose farm and the prize for the quarter finals is twenty rose plants of your choice. Sounds good to me.


This is another one that I am contemplating submitting. I can only enter two photo’s, so it will be tough to choose.

I have to enter tomorrow to meet the deadline.


This is how at home the pooch is in our house, despite my best efforts at keeping her off the couches.


Michael’s medal for the Argus Cycle Tour. Those in the know say this is the medal to have. Firstly, because of the atrocious weather conditions of the day, and the fact that so many didn’t finish, and secondly because there was a detour and new route that has never been done prior to this year.


Can’t remember if I’ve posted a photo of my South Africa rose yet. But it’s pretty enough to be featured twice, isn’t it? I feel so patriotic, having a South Africa rose in my garden.

Tomorrow morning I will be getting up at six seven. Want to put in a good couple ofย  hours practise on my keyboard because if I don’t start putting in some serious work then I am going to plug this exam. I have underestimated the Grade 7 a leetle bit…

Till next time then. Happy blogging y’all.

Written by Maggie

March 15, 2009 at 9:23 pm

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Howzit Honey…you’re home :-)

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Michael is home, safe and sound.

So order has been restored to Beary’s (and my) universe.

He is feeling T.I.R.E.D.

Firstly, from finishing the toughest Argus Tour ever, and then from 3.5 golf courses mapped for his golf GPS.

(By the way, he is the SA agent for WeGolf, a golf GPS application that you load onto your cell-phone) so if you or someone you know is a golf-lover, leave me a comment and I’ll get back to you about the brilliant free trial version that Michael can SMS to you anywhere in the world, as it is an international product).

How cute am I, doing some promo work for my hubby, right here on my blog? But seriously, send me golfers because the more versions of WeGolf he sells, the more roses I can buy for my garden, lol.

Speaking of roses, I am having a bit of a problem with black spot at the moment. This is one of the more common rose ailments and manifests after the rainy season when the leaves have gotten too wet for too long, resulting in, you guessed it, black spots on the leaves. It is a fungal infestation and not good for the health of your rose plant at all, as it kills off the leaves.

Now, I would rather all 24 my rose plants died than use a harmful chemical treatment on them. That is just not my style. So I am experimenting with home-made, organic anti-fungal sprays. I am also watering the roses just at the base of the plant and trying not to get water on the leaves. Hopefully this will work out.

Apart from the black spot, the roses are looking marvelous. March, after October, is your best ‘rose month’. I will post photo’s tomorrow, when it should be at its zenith, of the most beautiful PEACE rose that is blooming.

It is so exciting to go out into the garden every morning and see what is blooming. Like hunting for Easter eggs, only better.

Sjoe, I was gearing up for quite a decent blog post for a change, but I’m suddenly really sleepy. Think I’ll go snuggle up to my sleeping honey-bunny.

I have missed him this past week that he’s been gone. Even though he brought me nothing from Cape Town.

Luckily this bothers me not at all. Michael and I have never been the type of couple who get miffy if the one person doesn’t buy the other one something for whatever occasion, or a trip away.

(But seriously, not even a chocolate…)

Only kidding!


We don’t buy each other gifts for Christmas, or Valentine’s Day or even our anniversary. We’re weird that way. But I like it. Much less complicated. I didn’t marry Michael because I wanted him toย  buy me stuff. I married him so that he can give me his love. Which he does.


Onlykiddingonlykiddingonlykiddingonlykidding…!!! I just couldn’t resist.

(Honey, if you read this, that really was just a joke. In bad taste, probably. I dunno, some people tend to take offense if you call them a cheapskate. Hah. Okay, I’ll stop now).

Because you know I find myself reallly funny at night, right?

Anyway, the exception to the above rule is our birthdays. We go all out on birthdays. Generous gifts, cash and the policy that B-day is that person’s day and they get to call ALL the shots and present the spouse with an itinerary of exactly what they, as the birthday spouse, would like to do. All day. I love it. It’s the only time I ever expect a present, and it better be a lavish one. (And by lavish, I mean a dozen rose-bushes. Like, as in the whole plant. Twelve of them ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

And I don’t wait to see if he remembers my birthday. I make sure he does. I don’t waste my time on hints, subtle or otherwise.ย  I tell him exactly what I want. Usually cash ๐Ÿ˜‰

To fund the expanding rose-garden.

Michael is very generous with me, anyway. He generally spoils me every day, with little treats.

When I did the 5 Love Languages quiz, I was hard-pressed to choose only one dominant love language. I kinda need them all. Quality time: check, Acts of service: check, Physical touch: check, Words of affirmation: check… The only notable absence from my particular list of must-haves was Receiving of Gifts.

I really don’t need ’em. Not to feel loved, at any rate.

I appreciate a good, thoughtful gift, don’t get me wrong, but not on a must-have basis.

Also, I actually come quite close to hating jewelry. I have a couple of much-loved pieces, mainly my wedding ring, even though I don’t wear it every day. But Michael knows heads would roll if he bought me jewelry for my birthday. I’m just not a jewelry kinda girl.

I’m a chocolate kinda girl. Oh, and a roses kinda girl. But I really do prefer it if you buy me the whole plant ๐Ÿ˜‰ Funny thing that. The whole dang plant costs R45 (at the nursery that I buy from, anyway). Now tell me, where could you get a decent bouquet of roses for R45 or less? And that’s gonna last..what?… A week?

My point exactly.

Moral of the (extremely long-winded) story:

I don’t care that M didn’t bring me anything from the Cape. I’m only writing about it because it amuses me.

It didn’t even occur to me that he might bring me a prezzie. I only brought it up to tease him. You see, when you participate in the Argus, you get a ‘goodie bag’. Iย  normally ferret around in the goodie bag when he brings it home, even though the good stuff has already been taken i.e. the chocolates. lol

But there were some nice little sachets of breakfast food (luxury muesli) still left in the bag. Four of them. We were both feeling quite hungry, so I fixed two of them in bowls for us, with milk, to tide us over till supper. Then he went to do some stuff on the computer and I watched Just Shoot Me on tv. I was still hungry, so I opened another of the cereal packets, and ate it dry. When that was finished, I toyed with the idea of eating the last packet. Just when I’d decided that he wouldn’t mind, and was starting to tear open the packet, his disembodied voice came floating out of the spare room, where the PC is…

“Aren’t you going to leave me any?” he asked.

He knows me so well.

So I said, “Oh, I thought this is what you brought me from the Cape, but nevermind, my real present is probably still in your bag. I’ll wait till you give it to me later.”

“Oh, just eat it,” he replied.

Ha ha. That was what I was angling for.

In M’s belated defense, he did give me a ring from the Argus Expo and asked me if I would like him to buy me anything there. Like a nice jacket, socks…

I politely declined. I didn’t want anything from the expo. But I told him to call me if he should find himself at a place that sold roses… ๐Ÿ˜‰

Wow, I certainly got a second wind with this ‘ere blog post. Guess I wasn’t that tired after all.

Unfortunately my back is starting to protest, so I better start signing off.

Must just say, Beary thinks her sh*t doesn’t stink with her new haircut! So it’s all good ๐Ÿ™‚ You should have seen her showing off in front of her daddy. She was so glad to see him when he got home this avie. Leapt straight into his arms. He did stagger back a few paces. She is getting to be quite a big poochie now.

Over and out.

Written by Maggie

March 11, 2009 at 9:50 pm

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Not the Lion Cut!!

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Oh no!

I told them NOT to give Beary a lion cut. And what do I find when I go to pick her up? You guessed it – a friggen lion cut!

Not amused.


Luckily she’s cute enough to pull it off, but still.


Good job that fur, not unlike hair, does grow back. She’ll have her work cut out for her to make it in time for Winter, though.



Of course, when I got to the parlour ten minutes before four, she could barely be bothered to look at me. Too busy fawning over the lady at the parlour. Which I suppose is a good thing.

I am definitely more traumatised by the experience than she was, ha ha.

Can’t believe I had to fork out R70 for the privilege of having my dog shorn like a sheep.

(Still, at least she’s okay, that’s the mane thing. Pun intended.)

Written by Maggie

March 9, 2009 at 8:53 pm

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