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Hello 2012 Happy New Year!

January 3, 2012
The sun has set on another year! 12 months ago 2011 arrived with a howling south easter and has already blown away in record time! At least this time it was an awesome night…..although I never did get to see it! Once again I can say time has flown….did I have fun while it happened?? Yes and no! 2011 was a year of mixed blessings for me. On the UP side I ran a very successful Food and Wine Blogger Indaba and met some amazing people.  I signed a contract to do some product development for ClemenGold and have had the most awesome time doing that and once again, met wonderful people and experienced so much and learned a whole lot more. On the DOWN side I had to have some awful oral surgery that kept me stuck indoors for many months…it was an incredibly lonely and frustratingly painful time. Not yet over….I have entered 2012 with more surgery to face but am hopeful that the end is in sight.  But through it all I have been blessed in the most wonderful ways. God is really faithful and He never does desert one! My family have been amazingly supportive as have so many of you out there. Facebook was my life line…..linking me with the rest of the world while I stayed indoors, away from others. It would have been very lonely if not for my wonderful online friends who’s antics entertained me no end and had me laughing on days when I was feeling very down! Food wise it was a seriously bleak year for me as I could not eat solids for almost 5 months and even now I can only manage soft or finely cut up food. Hence the lack of blog posts! I am looking forward to being more adventurous in the kitchen soon!

The festive season came and went in a blur….I had intended to do a lot more blog posts about holiday food but time ran away with me. You can catch some of my ClemenGold blogging here

We had a wonderful Christmas celebration on Christmas eve with family. The festive table groaned with all the wonderful food and we were also graced with a visit from Santa who left lovely gifts under our tree! The grandsons had great fun handing out and tearing open gifts! Christmas Day was spent quietly, we started off with our regular church service and then went and opened up more gifts at daughters house while enjoying some coffee and mince pies. Later in the day we fired up the braai and enjoyed a fantastic laid back crayfish and prawn braai. It was a wonderful sunny day and we all caught some rays. The boys had so much fun jumping in the jacuzzi and splashing about. Christmas eve we heard that my 86 year old Mother-in-law had taken ill, which was a bit worrying as she is rather frail and is visiting in Cape Town from the Eastern Cape.

Boxing Day we braved the hectic traffic and all traipsed behind the Boerewors Curtain for a big family get together at my sisters’ home. Everyone brought their left overs from Christmas Day and enjoyed a left over pot luck lunch around the pool while the boys had tremendous fun once again in the water.

We kept in touch with my Sister-in-law and heard that Gogo (great grandmother in Zulu) was resting comfortably but not showing signs of improving. On the 27th she was taken to the local hospital where she was fed intravenously and put onto a whole slew of medication. She was discharged 2 days later and came home to the brownie household and I took care of her until yesterday when she returned to my SIL’s home in a seaside village close by. It has been a while since I had to do such intensive care work 24/7 but I have to say that it was most rewarding to see how Gogo responded to some good home nursing and love. We spent some really special times together, her and I in the small hours of the night. Most notably on Old Years Eve when hubby walked (told you it was a beautiful evening) over to sweet daughter and son in laws house to enjoy a celebratory drink with them and a few friends. I sat by Gogo’s bedside and, after a meaningful prayer time, she began telling me the most amazing stories…from her youth. And the reason why she refuses to eat red jelly! For 80 years she has carried a picture in her mind that she saw in a book of war stories of a young soldier who had been killed in battle…a colour photograph that must have been particularly gory to a small child. She got ill and has never been able to eat red jelly to this day! She could not remember if she had just eaten red jelly or if it was just the association with the colour of the jelly that she could not tolerate. Found out that little tidbit as I was going to make her some jelly and custard and in her frail, sick state she asked me what colour and I replied red…to which she replied “No thank you darling….not red”! And I wondered why………maybe aloud because I got the reason when she was feeling better and had enough air in her lungs to chat! I spent 2 1/2 hours on the chair beside her bed…..fascinated while she chattered away and totally unaware of the spasm that was forming in my back muscles from sitting in that uncomfortable position for so long until much later when I got up. A very special thumbs up and thank you to Afrox who delivered an oxygen cylinder to my home on Old Years Eve so that Gogo (and I) could have an easier night! I am happy to say that she is on the mend from this current illness! I just love this photo of her with my sweet daughter taken on New Years Day…..

Siobhan and her beloved Granny Joan

I would like to wish all of you a blessed, healthy and prosperous 2012.
I hope that your hearts desires and dreams are fulfilled and hope you achieve all that you set out to do.

borrowed from Google Images

And once again I would love to share with you this poem that I love and read every year on old year’s eve. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I always do…….

And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year ”Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown”

And he replied: “Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.”

So I went forth and, finding the hand of God, trod gladly into the night.  And He led me towards the hills and the breaking of day in the lone east.

So heart….be still! What need our little life, our human life, to know if God hath comprehension?

In all the dizzy strife of things, both high and low, God hideth His intention.

God Knows. His will is best.The stretch of years which wind ahead, so dim to our imperfect vision, are clear to God. Our fears are premature; In Him all time hath full provision.

Then rest, until God moves to lift the veil from our impatient eyes when, as the sweeter features of life’s stern face we hail,

Fair beyond all surmise God’s thought around His creatures our minds shall fill.

Written in 1908 by the British poet Minnie Louise Haskins

Thank you to each and every one of you who enriched and filled my year with love and support. I could not have done it without you and I value and appreciate all of you!

I look forward to a great 2012 and planning the next Indaba which will, God willing, be happening in June 2012!

With love and hugs and the very best of wishes to each and every one of you,

browniegirl xx

7 Comments leave one →
  1. January 3, 2012 8:49 AM

    What a beautiful poem. Happy 2012 to you too, Colly ♥

    • January 3, 2012 9:33 AM

      Thank you so much Caylee. I hope you have a wonderfully blessed 2012 xxx

  2. January 3, 2012 12:17 PM

    What a moving and beautiful poem. I had no idea you’d been through so much hell last year Colly! I just wanted to thank you for all your support and concern for me and Mike throughout all our trials. As a Christian you remain a true inspiration to me! xxx Happy 2012 Colleen! May you be richly blessed.

  3. January 3, 2012 3:36 PM

    best wishes for you my dear friend – may this year bring all that you need xxx

  4. January 3, 2012 4:58 PM

    A hard post to write, I am sure. 2012 can only be better. I love you, my friend.

  5. January 4, 2012 3:12 PM

    Have a love and laughter filled 2012 Colleen. You so deserve a wonderful year ahead.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  6. January 5, 2012 9:31 AM

    A wonderful post, as always!! I hope 2012 will be wonderful, happy and blessed!

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