Passion – Andreana Holmes

15 September 2015

I had a lunch date with Andreana at Tasha’s, Canal Walk. We had so much to talk about we completely forgot to take a picture of ourselves while we had food on the table. Our waiter acted as our professional photographer and photographed us from all angles to ensure he snapped our best side.

Restaurant foto

I have seen Andreana behind her own desk and she looks pretty good there, but today I welcome you behind mine, Andreana……and you look absolutely great!  Thanks for sharing my desk with me!

Final desk foto

A bit about Andreana

 Andreana owns her own marketing company –  “The Blue Room”, now 15 years in existence.  She previously worked as Marketing Manager at Kenilworth Centre and when she reached her ‘career ceiling’, her mom, also an entrepreneur, encouraged her to start her own business.  The Blue Room specialises in shopping centre marketing with many well-known shopping centres part of their clientele portfolio. (www.theblueroom.co.za)

Website picture  (www.theblueroom.co.za)  I love this picture from her website!

Andreana is a hard working lady who is actively involved in every single contract and job.  She has an amazing relationship with her clients as well as her staff!  Indeed an achievement if staff can adore their boss.

Andreana’s mug

 This beautiful mug was a gift from Andreana’s mom – both her and her daughter received one.  Andreana is very clear on the fact that she loves tea, “but I do not do cups and saucers!”

Final mug

 Our Live, Love, Laugh conversation:

 Live:  “I cannot live without grace!  For me it is the beginning and the end of life”.  Andreana finds her stability, during good and bad times, in her spiritual life.  “Grace is what gets me through everything!”

You are an inspiration with this strong belief, Andreana!

Love your LookAndreans’s image and dress tips

“I do not follow fashion slavishly, but I do enjoy being trendy.  I wear outfits in which I am comfortable and which reflect my identity….yet I can be bold and move from dressing completely conservative to completely creative”.

Andreana confessed that she dislikes planned shopping trips.  Her best buys often happen when on an impulsive shopping trip.  She enjoys quality, but has no problem wearing cheaper, good looking and fitting clothes.

 ….and this woman is always immaculately groomed and dressed like a real lady!

 Laugh:  This story must be one of Andreana’s ‘most embarrassing moments’.  In her first job she had an L-shaped desk.  One day, for no specific reason, she sat on the part of the desk which is not supported independently, but hooks in underneath the main desk.  The desk collapsed under her and this 19 year young lady, dressed in her pretty dress landed on the floor!

Oh my word!  What would your first reaction have been at that age? 

Andreana’s secret revealed:

Andreana loves nature and hikes regularly, but her best sight of nature is birds flying over her head.  For her it is the ultimate picture of freedom.

shorebireds_overhead-1-1-of-11

The crazy classy gift!

Andreana has a very soft, friendly, lady-like appearance –  the handbag mirror, shaped like a rose and the notebook, shaped like a dress were the right lady-like gifts for her.

gift picture

What I have learned from Andreana: 

 I have never seen Andreana moody, stressed or negative…and believe me, this lady certainly has a stressful job.  I now know what her secret is:  she does not complicate life;  she lives by a very simple, yet powerful motto which enables her to handle whatever comes her way.

“I live by grace”.  Amen Andreana!

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Young and Retired – Elzette Geldenhuys

1 September 2015

Elzette and I met at Lavendula, a Vintage Coffee and Gift Shop in Brackenfell.  The cheerful ambience in the coffee shop was perfect for this first day of September, the start of Spring.

 Coffee shop pic

Elzette, I know you are retired, but you still look great behind a desk – especially MY desk!  It is a privilege to share it with you.

Elette Desk Final

A bit about Elzette

 Elzette worked at Sanlam Head Office for 28 years before she decided to retire like her husband did earlier this year. Retirement was a huge adjustment at first, but she now enjoys her freedom.

…..and if you think Elzette looks way too young to be retired, she is indeed!  This lady, however, can keep herself busy and amongst other things enjoys breeding with her English bulldog.

Elzette’s mugs

 These two beautiful mugs were a gift from Elzette’s mom shortly after her marriage.  As it is a bit too feminine and “flowery” for her husband, she used it at work and was recognised by her pretty mug.

Framed mugs

Our Live, Love, Laugh conversation:

 Live:  Elzette’s motto in life is “if you snooze, you lose” and therefore she does not postpone doing things.  She shared a special story relating to her motto. At the age of 3 she and her mom stayed in a flat and she loved playing on the outside deck.  Every afternoon she was greeted by a friendly man upon his return from work.  She really liked him, wanted him to be her daddy…so she invited him over for a coldrink one day. Her mom and this man really clicked, and the rest is history!  As a little girl, she then already realised that she may lose this “daddy” if she “snoozes”.

“My biggest lesson for life, however, is to just be quiet and allow God to sort out one’s life.  Be aware that He WANTS to help you”

That, Elzette, is precious advice!

Love your LookElzette’s image and dress tips

Elzette believes that “less is more” – dress plainly, but stylish.  She would also rather save to buy something she really wants and will wear, as to having lots of clothing.

 ….and Elzette admitted that she loves shoes and handbags!  Her favourite handbag is a red ostrich leather bag which her mom bought her. Sounds like a statement piece!

Laugh:  Shortly after Elzette started her career and finished her training for her new job, she had to call a client in Carnavon.  She did not realise that the call would go through a real old fashioned telephone exchange (as seen in the Afrikaans series “Nommer Asseblief”). She was pretty surprised, lost for words and asked for “Kar-na-von” (pronounced in a very Afrikaans way). Needless to say it took the lady on the other side of the line quite some time to figure out what place Elzette was referring to.

Elzette’s secret revealed:

She loves crossword puzzles and will often compete with her mom to see who can complete a specific crossword puzzle the quickest and who knows the most.

Very good mental stimulation for a retired girl!

The crazy classy gift!

As Elzette is now lady of leisure her gift was a special straw – to sip cocktails while enjoying a pedicure!

Gift photo

What I have learned from Elzette: 

 Elzette does not postpone on things she needs to do and she often gets more done than others.  So if you do not “snooze” on any task at hand you will not “lose” sleep over lost time.

She keeps life simple through her trust in God!

 

Cannot wait for my next tea date!

Who cares?…..

This morning I attended a Spring Tea with my dearest Dad, now one month in the care division of his retirement village.  He has entered the next fragile phase of his life, now part of  a different group of residents and we are still getting used to the new circumstances.

The guests (the residents) arrived:  some in their wheelchairs, others with their walkers and a few more on the arm of a caregiver.  The hall is decorated in spring colours.  Jaco Losgelaat, an emerging singer, is the entertainer. The staff served us the most delicious snacks.

I watch all of the activity and for a moment I am overwhelmed by my emotions.  I have to dry a tear of gratitude on my cheek – gratitude for this special place where my Dad now lives.  Here staff and caregivers are not doing a job, they live out a passion.

I think about their job description:  bath resident; dress him/her;  assist  to brush teeth, comb hair;  make bed;  tidy room;  take washing to laundry; assist with breakfast; make him/her comfortable in chair;  start activity to occupy him/her;  take to lunch;  put to bed for afternoon nap;  help out of bed after nap;  serve tea/coffee; assist to supper;  put on pajamas;  put to bed; put off light. Oh yes, they still need their medication too!  And what about everyone’s whims?  Not to mention the demands of the families?!

It is so easy to see when there is someone else’s trousers in Dad’s cupboard, or when his washing is not packed away immediately, or he did not get to the library as requested… but for one moment let’s think about the incredible responsibility, the incredible patience and the incredible love that is needed to care for (sometimes very difficult) fragile seniors day in and day out?

I have never seen impatience from the staff and caregivers  when visiting Dad. Neither a frown on a face, nor a voice raised!  Always just smiles, friendly voices, care and the sometimes hilarious telling of incidents which happened.

Today I salute every caregiver at Panorama Palms Retirement Village, as well as every person in this world caring for fragile seniors, in the last season of their lives, with lots of love and care.  I have the privilege to enjoy a peaceful night’s rest knowing that someone else, a caregiver, loves my dad almost as much as I do.

Not many elderly people get long-term care insurance. It's expensive and many hope their kids will look after them instead.

WIE GEE OM?….

Ek woon vanoggend ‘n Lente Tee by saam met my liefste Paps , nou ‘n maand in die Versorgingsafdeling van sy aftreeoord.  Hy het ‘n volgende fase van sy lewe betree, is nou deel van ‘n ander groep inwoners en ons raak nog gewoond aan die nuwe omstandighede.

Dis tyd vir die gaste (die inwoners) om te arriveer:  sommige in hul rolstoele, ander met hul looprame en nog ‘n paar aan die arm van ‘n versorger.  Die saal is vrolik versier.   Jaco Losgelaat, ‘n opkomende sanger, sorg vir die vermaak.  Die personeel bedien ons met die heerlikste eetgoed.

Ek hou al die bedrywigheid dop en vir ‘n oomblik oorweldig my emosies my.  Ek druk ‘n traan van dankbaarheid op my wang droog – dankbaarheid vir hierdie plek waar my Paps nou woon.  Hier doen elke personeellid en elke versorger nie ‘n werk  nie, maar leef ‘n roeping uit.

Ek dink aan hulle posbeskrywing:   bad inwoner;  trek hom/haar aan; help met tandeborsel; kam hare; maak bed op; maak kamer aan die kant; neem wasgoed na die wassery; help met ontbyt; maak gemaklik in stoel; gee aktiwiteit om te doen; neem vir middagete; sit in bed vir middagslapie; help uit bed na middagslapie; gee tee/koffie; neem vir aandete; trek nagklere aan; sit in bed; sit lig af.  O ja, hulle moet nog pille ook kry. En wat van elkeen se grille en giere?  Om nie eers te praat van die families se eise nie?!

Dis maklik om te sien as iemand anders se broek in Pa se kas is, of sy wasgoed nie dadelik weggepak word nie, of hy toe nie by die biblioteek uitgekom het soos gevra is nie….  maar dink net vir een oomblik aan die ongelooflike verantwoordelikheid, die ongelooflike geduld en die ongelooflike liefde wat nodig is om (soms baie moeilike) seniors dag in en dag uit te versorg.

Nog nooit het ek ongeduldige personeel of versorgers gesien as ek by Paps gaan kuier nie.  Nie ‘n frons op ‘n voorkop of ‘n geirriteerde stemtoon nie! Net altyd glimlagte, vriendelike stemme, omgee en grappige vertellings as daar dalk ‘n insident was.

Vanoggend salueer ek elke versorger by Panorama Palms Aftreeoord, asook elke persoon in die wêreld wat verswakte seniors in die laaste seisoen van hulle lewe met soveel liefde en omgee versorg.  Ek het die voorreg om elke aand met ‘n geruste hart te gaan slaap, want iemand anders, ‘n versorger, is amper net so lief vir my Pa soos ek.