Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Running Away From Home

Firstly no, it’s not what you think, as much as I threaten and bitch, this time I’m not the one who is planning on fleeing.
The past few days have been interesting. Let me start at the beginning.
The kids as they are getting older are getting more responsibility and being allowed to roam further and do more with their friends.
Well Diggle broke some rules and I was furious mad. He has been grounded, well not kept inside grounded, I’m not crazy. But he is limited to playing on our street for the next little while (I told him a year). He is not impressed. He has threatened to run away a few times. Here is our conversation yesterday.

Diggle: Comes storming in from outside and plonks himself down forcefully in the chair next to me. “Thanks a lot, mom!”

Me: “You’re welcome” Goes nonchalantly back to Twitter.

Diggle: “I was being sarcastic you know.”

Me: “Uh huh. Your friends go to the park without you?”

Diggle: “Yes and it’s your fault ‘cause you won’t let me.”

Diggle: “You don’t love me! No-one loves me. No, wait, Granny and Smudge (Monster Dog) love me. They’re the only ones who don’t yell at me.”

Me: “Really. Because I don’t want you dead or hurt ,I don’t love you?”

The conversation carried on for a while about why I don’t want him dead or hurt and what could happen to him if he doesn’t listen to the rules. Why rules are in place etc. Then he got frustrated.

Diggle: “I should just run away.”

Me: “Okay, well just remember it’s dark at night and you’d have to sleep in the forest. Your sister wouldn’t be there to wake up to go to the washroom with you...oh and you’d have to use leaves as toilet paper.”

Diggle: Squinting and glaring at me. I wouldn’t sleep in the forest. I’m not telling you where I would sleep.” Glares at me some more.

Me: “You’ll miss your sister.”

Diggle: “I’d see her at school. I’d still go to school you know.”

Me: “Who would make your lunches for school?”

Diggle squints at me some more while he processes this.

Me: “Also who would get your breakfast and dinner? I guess you could catch bugs for breakfast. They’re high in protein, but you’d better get up early to get enough so you don’t get hungry at snack time.”

Diggle: Squinting really hard now as he tries not to laugh too much. He gets up and walks off now rather than admit defeat.

Me: “I love you...can I have a hug?”

Diggle: “No!”
It took him about 5 minutes before he was back, sitting on my lap squeezing his arms around me tightly. He put his mouth really close to my ear and very softly whispered. “I love you too mommy.”

I think he’s planning on staying.

Tuesday, 7 April 2015


91, that's what my dad would've been turning today. Happy Birthday Dad.

It's been just over two years since he passed away.

My dad was not a hands on dad who did a lot of stuff with me, maybe it was different for my brothers, I should ask them. I was a late addition to the family, an after thought if you will. My mom always wanted a girl and at the last minute decided to try one more time. (I joke that she's regretted it ever since, but truthfully it's probably only during the teenage years from 14-18 that she had her doubts). I was the only girl with three older brothers. Maybe he just wasn't the sort of dad that got down on the floor and did stuff with you and that's okay, I'm not exactly that sort of parent either. He was however an incredible man and I never grew up wanting for much. We never had a lot of money for extravagances, but we always went on our camping trip holidays and were well taken care of. He taught me the value of being outdoors, doing family hikes in the mountains, trips to the dam to go sailing and I like to think gave me his gift of lateral thinking to make a plan when necessary. 

My dad was an exceptional man for his wealth of knowledge, I like to think if I inherited a fraction of his intelligence I will get by just fine. If we needed to know anything from chemical compounds to how to weld, he was our go to guy. He played a variety of sports through his years, from cricket, rugby, table tennis, hockey, ball room dancing to lawn bowls by the time he was elderly. He hiked the mountains, he was an avid amateur astronomer and a fantastic slight of hand magician, always entertaining our friends at birthday parties (while we cringed in case he made a mistake). He built us our first fold up caravan (camping trailer for you North Americans) before the collapsible models were on the market, it was a feat of engineering genius, with all the luxuries we could want. This was one of the reasons we were able to go on all those camping holidays. He welded security gates and fences for our home when things reached a point that we needed them. He also glued my burglar bars onto my bedroom window so I could no longer do nightly disappearing tricks when I was a teenager, but perhaps the less said about that the better.

He was a very quiet man, not very vocal unless shouting about injustices of the referee in the latest rugby match. I sometimes wish I'd got to know more of him as an adult, or sat down with him and asked him about his younger years, his time in the army and his family life as a kid. The only bit I know about his army days was during the war he broke his jaw while playing rugby for the army and spent most of his time recuperating at the Oppenheimer house in Johannesburg that had been turned into a convalescent hospital.

He did leave with me the extensive family tree, he did this in his younger years and traced it all the way back to Germany starting with relatives born before 1540. I have tried to continue it on and put all the information into digital copy along with the photos he left. He has left a legacy of 4 kids and 8 grandkids and I hope we have made him proud.

Monday, 6 April 2015

Murderous Tendencies

It's a wonder my kids are still alive, but that being said, I'l admit they have learnt to feed themselves and are pretty self sufficient, even the dog has learnt to bark at me when she wants dinner, and paw incessantly at her empty water bowl for a refill. However, before anyone calls child services, in this case it's okay, I'm referring to plants. Let's start two days ago. DH went to the store for a few items and came back with a potted hydrangea. I love hydrangeas they remind me of my moms garden back home, she always had an abundance of them in the flower beds, a testament to how easy they are to maintain and grow as like me, she was never a gardener. The plan I formed in my head was to keep it indoors for the next week or two then, when it's a bit warmer plant it in the garden for summer. We had the family over for Easter Dinner on Saturday night and my one sister in law commented on how hardy they are. I think she was insinuating I wouldn't kill it in the next two weeks. I laughed and said, "Give me time."

Honestly I have no ability to keep plants alive, but I did expect it to last longer than two days. I woke up this morning to a limp, flaccid (those are never good words in any context) plant. I have no idea what I did wrong. I gave it a glass of water yesterday, I didn't want to over water it. 

I'm attempting plant CPR as you read this, I'll let you know. 

... (update) it's responding to being drenched in the sink. I guess the poor thing was parched.

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Remember me?

My mom asked me yesterday if I'd been writing my blog recently, which as you all know is a no. I replied that I hadn't been inspired by anything. It was at this point that DH pointed out a crucial fact. He's been happy.

Hmmmm, a happy DH, one who doesn't come home complaining about his job everyday and suddenly I have nothing to write about? I guess I'm one of those tormented writers who needs to be miserable for inspiration. I really hope that's not the case as I have no desire to be miserable.

Anyway since its been a few months so I'll post a quick catch up. I had my surgery, it went well. Recovery was more frustrating than anything else. I felt good and wanted to do more but wasn't allowed. I have however gained around 6 lbs from sitting on my ass doing nothing and at some point I need to get back to exercise. I could regale you with the countless shows I watched on Netflix but I'll save you from that unbearable level of excitement. I bet you're getting the picture as to the lack of blog posts now.

On the bright side, the hot flushes of medically induced menopause are a thing of the past. Now I can wait for them to come back naturally later in life, the joy of having to go through it more than once in your life is only reserved for very special people. On the other side, I still have my ovaries, so I still go through PMS, just without the M. I now never know if I'm hormonal or just being a bitch. It's very confusing, I found myself staring at the scale the other day unable to answer the question, "Am I bloated today or just fat?" Well sure the answer was probably both, but that's not the point, a girl likes to know when she can blame those extra 2 lbs on water retention. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining, I feel better than I have in years, I'll take a bit of confusion any day!

Anyway spring is nearly here...well officially spring is here, but someone hasn't  told that Mother Nature yet because it's still freezing outside. Once it warms up we can get out camping and doing more exciting things, maybe I'll get my inspiration back then.

On the children front, I'll leave you with this gem I overheard from my kids bathroom the other night.

Princess: "Did you just fart while brushing your teeth?"

Diggle: "I'm multitasking."

Friday, 9 January 2015

Something I'll Never Be

I'm not skinny...hey there's a newsflash. Would I like to be thinner, yes, I won't deny that, that is why I go to weight watchers. I do however feel sorry for people who are so fixated on not gaining an ounce that they feel they have to justify if they post a picture of food. Case in point, a person I know casually, posted a picture of a burger, not a particularly big burger, it was at best, average size, there was no side of fries. She felt the need to justify that she had shared the burger with her husband. My first thought is what a sad life to only allow yourself to eat half a burger, a veggie burger at that. My second thought was that her poor husband must be malnourished unless she lets him order something extra. Fact is both of them run and workout religiously, they could afford to indulge in a whole burger when they go out to eat. Same person will post a picture of a cookie and proudly say, "I only had one bite, hubs ate the rest."  Now don't get me wrong, if you have a small appetite and can't finish a huge restaurant plateful good for you, I have those meals (occasionally) too. I bag them up and take them home to enjoy for lunch the next day though, I don't make my poor husband suffer through eating the other half and going home hungry.

Here's the thing, I will never be skinny, the best I can aim for is to fit into last years jeans when winter roles around. I'm okay with that. I don't want to be skinny and depriving myself of one of life's true joys. There are a few things in life that make some days tolerable. The smiles and hugs of your kids, sex, food, alcohol and good friends are amongst those that spring to mind immediately. 

Moving on from what we do or do not eat to people's warped version of what a good body size is, for which modern media is totally to blame. I saw this same person tweet a while back stating, "It’s not skinny jeans if you wear size 10 or higher …." Are you kidding me? Size 10 is not fat, where do you get off making someone feel bad about themselves because they are not a single digit size? It is thanks to people like you saying bitchy things like that that our daughters are suffering from eating disorders and thinking they need to starve themselves.  

I'm pretty sure that this person never reads my blog, and if they do they will know who they are and will probably unfollow and never tweet with me again. I have considered this before posting this and I came to the ultimate conclusion that I could live with that consequence, That tweet shows what is an obvious need to belittle others to make themself feel good.  I too like things in life that make me feel good and I'm done with people who irritate and annoy me.

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Things the past year has taught me

The past year was one that was an eye opener in so many different ways. I learned so much about myself, about my family, about my friends. I was lying in bed last night thinking it through and decided to share some of my thoughts with you. One of the many joys of medically induced menopause is lots of time to think while you're unable to sleep.

Here are just a few gems that crossed my mind.

  • I am a clutz and shouldn't be allowed near ice unless I have skates on. That's three trips to hospital now thanks to slips on the ice, yes one involved a lot of beer, but in general what this has taught me is I'm living in the wrong climate. Not once did I fall over on the beach sand and require hospitalization. I'm not saying I didn't fall over on the beach, there were days drinking champagne on the beach after diving...but no injuries occurred.

  • If you have a sick kid, put them on the bottom bunk of the bed. Projectile vomiting travels so much further from the top bunk. I learned this one the other night, I won't say much more about it because it wasn't pleasant, just picture scenes from the exorcist amid soft cuddly toys and cream carpets.

  • If you do buy your own birthday presents, don't short change yourself. I did. I got some much needed bras and underwear just for the kids to give me something, planning to go buy myself something nice. It never happened and it bugged me all year.  This year I may have to treat myself to something spectacular, perhaps some new socks too.

  • I shouldn't store my naked selfies in the Cloud, okay I technically didn't learn this about myself or my friends thankfully, but it was something I'm sure we all learned this past year thanks to social media. Always useful to know, but to be honest I don't store anything in the cloud and if I had naked selfies they may break the Internet in a bad way...a really really bad way. Especially after the Christmas gluttony, no one ever needs to see that, not even me. 

  • Cutting your dogs hair is hard, so much harder than a flailing kid who you can threaten into submission.  But if you cut it when the weather is cooler a bad haircut can be hidden by a doggy sweater, on the dog, not the kid, the kid will need a hat! 

  • It is possible for a 9 year old boy to eat more in a day than a 48 year old man. I seriously worry about how much grocery shopping I'm going to need to do as he becomes a teenager. Between Diggle and the Monster Dog we have no need for a garbage disposal.

  • I was enlightened to the fact that, raccoons can growl. Monster Dog still thinks she would've won that fight, I'm just saying, don't pick a fight with something bigger than you, biggest freakin raccoon ever! 

It was actually a year where I learned I could do scary things like go back to work after 10 years off. I realized sometimes the best friends are ones who leave you feeling happy after you've spent time with them. It was also a year where I learned no matter how much I plan and think I'm in control I will never know what is around the corner or which way life will take us. There is nothing you can do but hold on to the ones you love and try your best to enjoy what you can and get through the rest alive and relatively sane. (The last point is open for debate)

Monday, 29 December 2014

2015 - A new year, new possibilities

THIS, this describes my New Years plans completely! We're having a quiet one, a nice family dinner, maybe a fondue or steak and mushroom sauce. We can relax on the couch and watch a movie or some bad tv. We can cuddle the kids and pet the monster dog. Do not pity me and invite me out to a party, I am not free, I am doing nothing.

The honest truth is I am all socialed out after Christmas, so we are not going to a party or anywhere that involves being social and acting friendly.  I love Christmas, the parties, the festivities, having family over for dinner and getting together to open presents etc, but I reach a point after parties and gatherings when I am done. I'm tired of talking, I'm tired of thinking, I'm tired of eating and drinking.

I want to spend the next week mostly sitting on my couch or in my bed, with my iPad, a set of headphones in and just being alone. Sure, I will leave the house, I have a few things to do and a few places to be, but they will be necessities or things I choose to do.

So, 2015 will start off quietly, but that doesn't mean I'm not optimistic about all it holds. 2014 and 2013 were not great years, they certainly had their share of trials and tribulations. Surely our luck must turn? 2015 will be the year! Some may think this is a little strange for me to be optimistic considering I'm going in for major surgery in two weeks, but, DH has a job he is enjoying and after surgery I get to take some enforced R&R.  Once that's all done spring will be here and camping season can start. 

Just think of all the possibilities that await us, holidays, experiences, people we might meet, things we might do. Life in general, watching the kids mature that little bit more, becoming the people they are meant to be. Anniversaries, birthdays, sunsets and daydreams. What's not to look forward too?  Okay snap out of it, I'm sleep deprived and spent a good part of last night cleaning kids barff out of the carpet, 2015 can only get better.