Thursday, 29 December 2011

Just because

Just because you don’t know how, doesn’t mean you can’t. There is much you can learn by simply getting started, and you have plenty of ways to learn even more.
Just because it’s difficult and complicated, doesn’t mean it’s impossible. For you are able to make a little progress, one step at a time, then make a little more and a little more, until the goal is reached.
Just because something is standing in your way, doesn’t mean it has to stop you. The fact is, you can take the necessary actions to get beyond whatever obstacles may confront you.
Just because people tell you that it can’t be done, or that you can’t do it, doesn’t mean they are correct. Remind yourself, again and again, that you can do what you choose to do, making use of your commitment, thoughts, and actions.
Just because there is strife and pain and negativity in the world, doesn’t mean you have to give up on life. You can change your own life, and many, many other lives for the better, when you decide to do so.
Just because you’ve been reckless or frustrated or disappointed in the past, doesn’t mean the future has to be that way. Today is a new day, your life is yours to live, and there’s no limit to the goodness and joy you can now create.
— Ralph Marston

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Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Monday, 26 December 2011

Catching up!

We have had a pretty busy December so far. 
  • 14 December we had our Sisters Dinner.  We exchanged gifts and were all thoroughly spoilt!
  • 15 December we completed the move to our new office so we are all up and ready for January.  I am so excited about this new challenge I have and my fear of driving on the highway is something I now must overcome! 
  • 16 - 21 December we spent a wonderful 5 days at the Zebula house.  There were 11 of us in total and its the first time in many years that our family have been away on holiday together.  We had lovely lazy days at the pool chatting and having the best time.  We had braai's and played cards and really had such fun. Gordon sent all of us ladies to the spa for a treatment as our Christmas gift.  I had a facial and it was divine.

Sunset at Zebula
  • Christmas shopping was done when we got home.  Absolute chaos as usual as I think many people leave their shopping to the last minute.

  • 23 December Beverlee came to visit and we spent a couple of hours chatting up a storm.

  • 24 December we went to Aunty Brenda for tea and cake to celebrate her birthday.  I love their family and always feel so welcome in their home.

  • Christmas Day we had our usual breakfast at 9.  We all received stunning gifts and the lounge looked like a toy shop with all the gifts for the grandchildren.  Late afternoon Wendy and Schatzie joined us and spent the evening with us.  We had a braai and sat outside chatting, then Stef and Tony also joined us for a drink.

  • Today its back to normal - cleaning, etc.

    Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!

    Friday, 23 December 2011

    Inspiration from The Brave Girls Club

    When we have old things in our hands that we are afraid of being without, with our fists tightly clenched around those things...and we walk around fearing what will happen if we ever open our hands and let those things go...when we worry whether or not anything else will make it's way into our lives...if we will ever have enough...if our hands will always remain empty if we open them and let the old clenched stuff go...........if we keep doing that, we will NEVER be able to grasp onto what is meant for us.

    What is done is done. What is over is over. We are meant to move forward, we are meant to progress. Everything natural and beautiful and true and living was designed to constantly be renewing itself, progressing, living living living and then dying....going on to the next step of it's life cycle. When we clench old things in our hands, we prevent new things from being able to hold hands with us. New experiences, new things to learn, new relationships, new things that we don't even know exist yet.

    Today is a great day to finally let go. It will be ok. In will be incredible.It might hurt for a minute, just like all endings do.......but the new beginning that is just behind the ending (the ending that is long past due) is where the miracles are. Hold on to that hope...but let the rest go.

    Let it go.It is time.

    Friday, 9 December 2011

    Be amazed!

    Don’t be ashamed to be amazed. Life is wondrous and amazing, so let yourself experience that amazement to its fullest extent.Even the most ordinary aspects of your life are really quite amazing.

    Think about the amazing things that have become commonplace and familiar, and be amazed again.Though you’ve explored and fulfilled many great possibilities, there are even more possibilities to bring to life. Consider the best of them, and feel your sense of amazement grow.

    The fact that you can feel anything at all is itself the height of amazement. Let that amazement lift your spirit and open your senses to the ever-expanding possibilities.Even when it seems that you’ve seen it all, you’ve really only seen a small fraction.

    Live with amazement, and you’ll experience much, much more. Be amazed, and be a conduit for life’s most positive, creative energy. Be amazed, and be richly and delightfully  alive. ~ Ralph Marston

    This explains exactly why my blog has its name!

    Tuesday, 6 December 2011

    50 and aged to perfection!!

    On Thursday 01 December my hubby turned a whole 50 years old.  We celebrated on 02 December at Pralina with family and friends.  Gordon was so spoilt by everyone. We had a stunning time and only got home at 03h00! I think the guards at our Estate think we are crazy as we keep coming home later and later.  Not bad going for two "old folks"...

    Good advice given to Gordon by his boss "Don't be scared of 50, its just a number".   

    The birthday cake was delicious!

     The two 50 year old!

    Wednesday, 30 November 2011

    It's fun to be ONE!

    Our youngest grandson Bradley celebrated his first birthday on Saturday 26 November.  We had his party at our house with close family.  We had a lovely afternoon and Brad was thoroughly spoilt!

    The delicious Birthday cake
    The Birthday boy

    Having fun with Uma

    Brad and Grampa

    Monday, 14 November 2011

    A beautiful poem...

    Continuing my clean-out today, I came across a calendar I kept from 1985! It has 12 poems, one for each month, written by Helen Steiner Rice.  I know we have all heard this one before and it's one of my favorites...

    Give Lavishly!
    Live Abundantly!

    The more you give,
    the more you get-
    The more you laugh,
    the less you fret-
    The more you do
    The more you live
    The more of everything
    you share,
    The more you'll always
    have to spare -
    The more you love,
    the more you'll find
    That life is good
    and friends are kind...
    For only what
     we give away,
    Enriches us
    from day to day.

    ~ Helen Steiner Rice ~

    Two of my many blessings - Gina & Bradley

    Sunday, 13 November 2011

    Sisters Dinner - Thursday 10 November

    Usually we have our monthly Sisters Dinner on the second Wednesday of every month.  Norma had been in London and only arrived home on Thursday morning so we had our dinner that night.

    We tried a restaurant called George's Bistro.  We all enjoyed our meals, they were hot, very tasty and well priced.  The service was good as well so all in all we had a good evening!

    Thursday, 10 November 2011

    Act on it

    Even the best idea is only an idea. To give it value, act on it.

    Even the most ambitious intention is only an intention until you begin to act on it. Once you take action and put some commitment behind it, then you begin to transform that intention into real value.

    Most of the world doesn’t really care about what you think you’ll do or what you plan to do. To make the world take notice, take action.

    Very few people care about what you think or how you feel. What will give you credibility and influence is what you actually do.

    By all means, think and plan and dream. Then stand up, step forward, follow through and do.

    Zero in on an intention that has real meaning for you. Then act on it, persistently and enthusiastically, and bring it fully to life.  — Ralph Marston

    Wednesday, 9 November 2011

    Resolutions - in November?!

    On 1st November I made some resolutions - sounds strange but nevertheless I did.  One of the things I need to change are my eating habits!  I tend to starve myself the whole day then eat whatever is in sight as soon as I get home. Biscuits and sweets ~  I have been doing this for years!  Then I end up not eating supper and the circle begins again.  So in reality all I was eating was just junk!

    Well, this is what my eating plan has changed to
    • Eating breakfast EVERY morning
    • Fruit  at around 10h00
    • Something light for lunch like a sandwich
    • Fruit when I get home around 15h00
    • Dinner ~ but still a very small portion
    • Lots of water
    I set myself a challenge a while ago of doing "A page a Day" to get my scrapbooking upto date.  Sadly I didn't keep it up.  I started sorting things out and have completed 5 whole pages since the weekend.  Gordon made a comment on the weekend that I have so many photos that are already developed "Why don't you just do the ones you already have?!" This is exactly what I am doing so hopefully by the end of November I will have completed no less than 30 pages.

    The paper clutter that I have is diminishing - everyday I am working at getting rid of the paper.

    I love motivational quotes and have them written down all over.  I decided to get them all together and write them in a single notebook.

    The next on my list is my cupboard - I am hoping to get started on it this afternoon.

    Finally to catch up on the movies on the PVR.  I watch movies in stages so I completed The Green Mile this morning.


    Monday, 7 November 2011

    Love yourself

     "You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection."

    - Buddha -   

    Friday, 4 November 2011

    Thought for the Day...

     "Oh the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person, having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all right out, just as they are -- chaff and grain together -- certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and with the breath of kindness blow the rest away...." Dinah Craik 
    We cherish our best friends and our special communities because we feel safe to be vulnerable when we're in their embrace. And yet I have discovered that as long as I identify with my self-image, with my ego, there's no safety possible anywhere. When the ego is on watch, even a dear friend's truth may trigger reactions like anxiety, self-criticism and fear. The only true safety exists in living the truth of our soul, our essence. 
    "Open your body and your mind to the subtler levels of experience, letting go of your attempt to control, to be right, not worrying about appearances, not trying to be safe."  Stephen Levine    
    From : Higher  Awareness
    I received this from my sister Norma yesterday - what an awesome message!

    Tuesday, 1 November 2011

    On my wish list...

    With December approaching and only about 6 weeks before most of our customers close, it seems that all around us people are making plans for the holidays.

    I would love a break to the 'country' - only a few hours/385km away from home at the Magoebaskloof Hotel.

    The views are magnificent and the air is crisp and clean - just what I need!  All you need is a good book and you're set!

    This picture, (taken last December)  is the breathtaking view we had from our room.

    Monday, 31 October 2011

    Reasons to be cheerful

    Here are my reasons to be cheerful today Ali...

    reasons to be cheerful
    • Completed 4 whole pages this weekend after not doing any scrapbooking for a while!
    • I completed the shopping for the donation we are giving to charity and will deliver it today
    • That I am blessed with an amazing family, husband, beautiful children and grandbabies
    • Spent almost the whole day with Ant yesterday
    • Continuing with my decluttering mission - the piles of paper are definitely disappearing ... slowly but surely
     What are YOUR reasons to be cheerful this morning

    Friday, 28 October 2011

    Perception [per-sep-shuh n], per·cep·tion, pəˈsɛpʃən)

    Last night I couldn't sleep and had thoughts milling around in my head.  The word that kept coming up whilst trying to make sense of everthing was perception...
    Its amazing how, when you think you actually know someone or something, things happen that change your whole perception of  the person or situation.
    I decided to get the exact meaning of the word this morning and this is what I came up with...
    1. the act or faculty of apprehending by means of the senses or of the mind; cognition; understanding.
    2.   immediate or intuitive recognition or appreciation, as of moral, psychological, or aesthetic qualities;; intuition; discernment: an artist of rare perception.
    3.   the result or product of, as distinguished from the act of
    Psychology. a single unified awareness derived from sensory processes while a stimulus is present.
    Origin: 1350–1400; Middle English percepcioun(< Old French percepcïon) < Latin perceptiōn-(stem of perceptiō) comprehension, literally, a taking in. 
    The psychological study of risk perception has found that an imposed risk almost always prompts more worry.
    Victory is merely the culmination of planning, perception and perseverance.

    Wednesday, 26 October 2011

    Just what I needed ...

    Brave Girls have to choose their battles. They just do.

    Sometimes we have to choose whether we want to be right, or whether we want to be happy.

    Sometimes we have to keep our opinions, grievances, and complaints to ourselves in order to love and respect others who are important to us.

    It doesn't make you weak to bite your tongue when the conversation gets heated. Live your truth and let others live theirs. Making a choice to show love and patience instead of proving ourselves right when the issue doesn't really matter more than the person and the relationship does--know what I mean? Of course you do! You are brilliant!

    Choose your battles wisely. People we love are always more important than just about anything.

    Tuesday, 25 October 2011

    A wonderful weekend!

    Saturday I spent doing what I love best - being a Granny!  In the afternoon I had Michael all to myself for about 4 hours (as his Grampa was taking stock).  We wrestled and played and had absolute fun.  In the evening we visited Gina and Bradley.  He is getting so big and I expect him to be walking really soon.

    Wendy invited us to High Tea at River Meadow Manor in Irene on Sunday.  What a stunning venue in the most beautiful garden.  History surrounds the Estate and sites close by and as I have never been to Irene before, will definitely be visiting again soon.   "Elegance and tranquility" describe the venue perfectly.

    The tea was delicious - their Baked Cheescake and a Peach Tart with fresh cream were my favorite.

    Thursday, 13 October 2011

    Piatto - what a disastrous meal!

    Last night we had our monthly Sisters Dinner and we decided to give Piatto a try again.   We had a foccacia for starters and it was delicious.  I had Chicken Parmigannio (?) with veggies and a baked potato.  The potato was rotten in the middle which made me feel really sick.  Wendy's chicken was raw and that was the end of the meal for me.  Lynn and Norma enjoyed their meals -  so at least some good came out of it.

    To add to the disastrous meal, I ordered hot chocolate and it looked like dishwater!  I don't think we will be going back there again - EVER!

    Tuesday, 11 October 2011

    Perfect inspiration from The Brave Girls Club

    Most people do the best they can. Most people are doing all that they can to make their way through the world and make good decisions and to love and to feel loved.

    Sometimes we expect more out of people than they could possibly give. Sometimes we think others think exactly as we think, and we expect them to react the way we would react, behave the way that we would behave and to do what we would do in any given situation, and then we are disappointed and jaded when they don't.

    We bring ourselves and others so much pain when we have great expectations for others. Unconditional love, kindness and acceptance means that there are no expectations of others. We love for the sake of loving, even if we never get love in return. We are kind for the sake of being kind, even if the kindness is never returned. We accept for the sake of accepting, even if that acceptance is not returned in ways that we might have expected.

    Take pressure off of yourself, dear friend, and drop all expectations that you have of others. We can never know what is going on in a person's life, in their heart. We can never know what their intentions are or what they are truly thinking or planning. Expecting, assuming and creating conditions just leads to pain for everybody.

    Love for the sake of loving. It is the way to peace.

    Monday, 10 October 2011

    What have I been upto?

    Last week flew past and I can't believe it's Monday again!

    On Thursday afternoon I went with Sal and the boys to Jungle Rumble - what absolute fun!  This is the most brilliant idea for children - an indoor playground with loads of things to do.  I know it has been there for years but considering my children are all grown-up now I think the last time I went there was for a birthday party Connor had many years ago.

    Friday we had a serious Sales Meeting followed by a delicious lunch at Gino's.  Our evening was spent having dinner at Spur and I am so disappointed that they no longer have their Salad Bar.  Saturday morning up bright and early watching rugby.  Brad came to us for the afternoon and slept over.  He is so cute and has just started crawling, now the fun starts for his Mommy. We had a late afternoon braai with Norma as she had been feeling like one for ages and asked Gordon if he would do the honours.  We played Scrabble and the comments were flying - "Old ladies playing scrabble on a Saturday night", etc.  Unfortunately I was beaten but then again I think Norm is the Scrabble Queen!

    Sunday morning Brad was up at 5:30.  But after his bottle went back to sleep for another hour! We then watched our team get beaten!  I was really hoping they would get to the final!  Then off we went for lunch and Gina met us to fetch Brad.

    Car wash, shopping and then an afternoon nap was the order of the day. We watched the final of the Champions League and my team - Mumbai Indians won.  We have a problem in our house with sport though, Gordon and I support different teams in every sport, so we are always rooting for different teams.  He wanted the Royal Challengers to win but my team finished them off!  

    Looking forward to this new week!

    Thursday, 6 October 2011

    Wends - I stole as well!! Bunch of theives we are...

    1. Can you cook? Yes and I can bake
    2. What was your dream growing up? To be an air-hostess
    3. What talent do you wish you had? Play the violin
    4. Favorite place? The sea
    5. Favorite vegetable? Pumpkin
    6. What was the last book you read? Homecoming by Cathy Kelly
    7. What zodiac sign are you? Aries
    8. Any Tattoos and/or Piercings? Pierced ears
    9. Worst Habit? Smoking
    10. Do you personally know anybody on Blog? Yes
    11. What is your favorite sport? Soccer
    12. Negative or Optimistic attitude? Always try to be optimistic
    13. What would you do if you were stuck in an lift with someone of the opposite sex? Probably nothing as I am claustrophobic and wouldn't be able to breathe let alone do anything else!
    14. Worst thing to ever happen to you? Being hijacked at gun-point
    15. Tell me one weird fact about you: I can't think of anything right now!
    16. Do you have any pets? No
    17. Do you know how to do the macarena? Sorta
    18. Is the sun shining where you are now? No, its night time
    19. Do you think clowns are cute or scary? Mostly scary
    20. If you could change one thing about how you look, what would it be? My weight
    21. Would you be my good angel or bad angel? Good
    22. What color eyes do you have? Depending on my mood blue and sometimes green
    23. Ever been married? Yes
    24. Bottle or Draft? Bottle
    25. If you won £10,000 today, what would you do with it? Save it
    26. What kind of bubble gum do you prefer to chew? Wild Cherry
    27. What's your favorite bar to hang at? None
    28. Do you believe in ghosts? Try not to
    29. Favorite thing to do in your spare time? Spending time with my grandsons, Scrapbooking
    30. Do you swear a lot? Lately yes
    31. Biggest pet peeve? Lies and sniffing (absolutely hate it!)
    32. In one word, how would you describe yourself? Happy
    33. In two words, how would you describe yourself? Constantly trying

    Wednesday, 5 October 2011

    30 years of friendship....

    Beverlee and I met at work in March 1981 and through many changes in both of our lives have remained friends for an amazing 30 years!  We don't see each other often but when we do it's always good.  We met for lunch this afternoon and had a nice long chat with some laughs and tears as well.

    Here's to lasting friendships!!

    Tuesday, 27 September 2011

    Back to work

    Since my last post we are safely home after a welcome break.  Unfortunately, the weather was mostly miserable but we got to really relax!  The days were mainly cloudy, cool and very windy - not beach weather at all.  The sea was rough and the water really chilly - I think I have the misconception that it's always summer at the coast, but then again we have never been on holiday in September before.  Nevertheless I could have stayed for another week but Gordon can't be stuck inside for too long!

    We walked around the shopping centres, took a drive to Ballito, visited Aunty Ria and took long walks along the promenade every afternoon.  There were loads of people on holiday, either older people with no children and then young couples with children not in school yet. There's construction going on the beachfront - paving the walkway, etc. - I guess getting it all ready for the December holidays.  On Thursday night we checked the weather forecast and there was a 60% chance of rain so it was decided we would be coming home a day earlier...

    My darling Aunty Ria, someone I love without reservation!

    A view of the beach at Ballito

    Not a happy fella!

    Sunrise before we left on Friday

    Homeward bound!

    On Friday morning we left at around 07h00 and stopped at the Wimpy in Harrismith for breakfast. We arrived home at around 13h00.

    On Saturday the children were all busy so we got to see them on Sunday. I love having all the kids at home together!  Monday was spent shopping, going to the bank, visiting my Mom and catching up on e-mails and in the evening I visited Wendy. Today it's back to work.

    Monday, 19 September 2011

    So many things happening...

    The Girls

    On Wednesday night was our monthly "Sisters Dinner".  We met at Nando's in Meyersdal for something different.  As usual there was lots of chatting and loads of laughter. I really look forward to our monthly dinner as there is always so much to talk about!

    Thursday night Gordon attended the Steel Awards - a fancy affair at Emperor's Palace.  He had to wear a formal suit and looked quite dashing!
    My honey looking quite spiffy!

    On Friday evening we had a surprise dinner for Mom as she is turned 70 (today) and seeing as both Gordon and myself as well as Richie were going to be away, we had it a few days early.  We had a wonderful time and the food was delicious.  The family also got to meet Marisa, Dean's new girlfriend.  What a sweet child!

    Not bad for a 70 year old!!

    Saturday morning we left for Umhlanga at 07h00 and we arrived safely just before 14h00.
    We unpacked and got settled and then went to do a bit of shopping.  We had pasta for dinner - which I prepared!! We were in bed by 9.

    The Breakers Resort, Umhlanga

    Cooking up a storm...

    Sunday morning we went for coffee at the Java Cafe and walked along the main beach.
    The main beach

    The rest of the day we spent at the pool.  It was 34 deg and a perfect summer's day.  Late afternoon we went for a long walk along the promenade.  Being at the coast is a treat for me I love everything about it!

    Today the weather is miserable.  We went to Gateway and had breakfast at Mugg & Bean then looked at ALL the shops and never bought a single thing!  I think we must be the only people I know that can actually shop and not buy a thing!


    Thursday, 15 September 2011

    Wednesday 13 September - Happy Birthday Nana!

    Nana and I

    Dean took this pic of Nana and I on her birthday.  She has been part of our family for 21 incredible years. Her name is actually  Linah but when she came to work for us and look after Dean when he was 18 months old, he couldn't say her name properly and "Nana" is what he started calling her and now that is what she is know by our whole family. She has seen my three children grow from little people into adults and now parents.  We often have a good laugh about it and my nickname for her is "Mrs Forget" and she tells me I am getting old now and I am a "Goggo" - which I think means Granny in English!

    Nana is the most loyal, caring and amazing woman.  She has been through some really tough times herself and has always come out on top.  We all love her and appreciate everything she has done and still does to make our lives so comfortable!  I hope when I turn 58 I still have as much energy and enthusiasm as Nana has.  I thank God for this wonderful woman - I couldn't have done it without her!

    Monday, 12 September 2011

    My weekend

    This past weekend I watched some programmes commemorating 9/11, and as I am the type of person who wants to know everything - all the details, many of my questions were finally answered - 10 years later.  Someone said we will always remember exactly where we were and what we were doing when this tragedy occurred. I was on my way back from an orthodontic visit with Gina and could not believe what I was hearing and later seeing on TV.

    On a lighter note, I got to see all of my grandsons on Saturday. The weather was fabulous and we had put the pool heater on so each one of them got to spend time in the pool with their doting Grampa.  Having all my children at home together is the most wonderful thing!  Norma popped past for a visit as well.  We had dinner at Pralina with Gina and George in the evening and it was absolutely delicious. 

    Sunday morning I made breakfast while the rugby was on and the rest of the day was spent doing the normal shopping, car wash, our 'Sunday afternoon walk' round the Estate and relaxing.

    Thursday, 8 September 2011

    My week so far...

    On Saturday we had lunch at home with Mary and Coenie.  It was a "Greek" meal which included delicious deboned lamb with pasta rice and salad.  We had a long and leisurely afternoon and our lunch ended at around 10pm after a couple of bottles of red wine!  Time flies when you're having fun. Sunday was the normal shopping, etc.

    This week has been busy and I am learning new things every day! On Tuesday I met my sister Norma for lunch as she has just got back from a trip to Greece and then popped in at my Mom for a quick cup of tea.

    Being the PA to my sons meant I got to go to lunch with them for Secretaries Day.  I also got a stunning gift and card from them - glad I am making a difference in their business.

    Dean took this pic of me at our lunch.

    Wednesday, 31 August 2011

    Rain - A Beatles Tribute

    On Sunday we met some family members at Monte Casino where we first had lunch at John Dory's and then went to see the show Rain which is a Tribute to The Beatles.

    If you are not a serious Beatles fan then many of the song would be new to you!  However, it was a really good production and there were people of all age groups enjoying the show. 

    Monday, 22 August 2011

    Gangsta's with Blue eyes...


    Aren't these just beautiful boys with gorgeous blue eyes?

    Tuesday, 16 August 2011

    A week in my life...

    Since my post dated 5 August here is what I have been up to:

    • Monday 8 Aug : Went into the office to do some work then Ant and I met Gina and Brad for lunch
    • Tuesday 9 Aug : Women's Day Scrapbooking - what a lovely time we had!  Thanks Ali and Lynn for a wonderful day! We were treated like royalty and the food was stunning!  In the evening Norma came for dinner as she had made us a delicious lamb curry.
    • Wednesday 10 Aug : Work - felt like I had been away for ages!
    • Thursday 11 Aug : Deanie arrived home safely from New Zealand!  Bittersweet is all I can say...
    • Friday 12 Aug : Spent the day catching up with Dean - so good to have him home. 
    • Saturday 13 Aug :  Bought paint for the house.  Can't wait to see how it will look once it's all done.
    • Sunday 14 Aug : Scrappin at my house with Lynn.  Managed to get loads of pages done with my "coach"!!  Wendy & Jarod popped in for a quick coffee as well.

    Women's Day Scrapbooking

    With Lynn & Wendy

    2 of my pages

    The "Girls"