Friday, 19 December 2014


Yeah it's Christmas again, season of love and goodwill, blah blah blah. Actually for some reason it's around this time of year I turn into the Grinch. I'm 99% done with my shopping, fighting the crowds of bad tempered shoppers may have something to do with it. Anything else that we discover we need, DH can brave the crowds for. I still have my baking to do and to prep for the big Turkey and trimmings family dinner on Christmas Eve. So, not a whole lot, what is there to be Grinchy about? Well, I'm not really sure, but I'm very easily annoyed and upset this past week, maybe it's the hormones, it's the perfect excuse so we'll blame them this year that's for sure.

The thing is, I'm lying here in bed this morning contemplating life, Diggle and Princess just had a fight over Minecraft, I talked them down. Princess is now chilling in her room watching videos while Diggle is having his 'alone time' in the living room with Christmas music blaring at full volume (sorry neighbours I know it's not even 7:30am). The monster dog is lying on my lap staring up at me like I'm better than a fillet steak and I realized how lucky I am. What have I done to deserve so much love in my life? Not only from this dog who literally pines for me each time I go out, but from my kids, from DH. I know without a doubt that I am loved, that I am treasured and that I am the single most important person in all their lives. I somedays feel like I don't deserve that level of devotion, I'm by no means the best mom or wife. I suck at housework, I don't always read and help my kids do homework, it's a stretch somedays to ensure they have clean socks to wear to school. I don't even regularly walk the dog since it's cold out there!  I mostly eat dinner without DH as he's late home, I have very little patience for arguments and listening to woes, and yet they love me.

Growing up I found it difficult to tell people, yes even my family that I loved them. It wasn't something that was tossed around on an every day basis. In my house now, it is said multiple times, every single day, to and from everyone. It is tossed out as someone is leaving for work or for school, a simple, "Have a good day, love you." It is said for no reason other than the person is standing or sitting next to you. I constantly hear, "love you, mom." being said when there is a lull in conversation. It is even thrown back in your face when there is a fight or argument, "Well I love you, so fuck you." or "Yes, sweetie, I know you don't like me, but I love you so it doesn't matter." Actually a more adequate description if I am being honest is probably a "tough, I love you, go to your room if you're going to act  like a brat."

I don't really know what point I'm trying to make here, this was just a random realization that crossed my mind. I may be a Grinch, but I'm a very lucky, very loved Grinch and I can only wish that you are all loved too and are lucky enough to know it.

Merry Christmas, happy Hanukkah or happy whatever else you may celebrate.
Ps. I love you all for reading my blog.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

It's catch up time

It's time to come clean. I haven't been blogging for a while because there has been a lot going on in my life that I didn't want to talk about. First and foremost DH has been unemployed for 8 months. We didn't want to worry certain family members who had enough going on in their lives so we decided not to mention it.

In these 8 months of stress, I started working again, a temp contract, nothing exciting, but it kept us afloat. My contract ends in a week. Dh's new job starts in a week. Really good timing! 

So, what else has been going on in my life? Well, my mom is living with us for now, the kids are in grade 4, monster dog is still a monster. Oh and I am waiting to hear surgery date on when I will be having a hysterectomy. Yep, stressful times indeed. My endometriosis has been acting up again, I was pretty lucky to have many years after the twins were born where it seemed to stay dormant but alas, no more. Ontop of this I have an adenomysis, so the doctors are prepping me for surgery in January. To prep for this means they are giving me monthly injections to keep me in a medicated version of menopause. Yes, I'm going through the delightful mood swings, hot flushes and other joys that this brings. Is it starting to make sense why I haven't been around much? 

Of course I'm still a delight to live with and a constant joy to be around. At this point I'll mention that I read about a woman on this medication who killed her husband and has claimed the medication made her do it. I'm keeping that one in reserve if I need it. I'm also guessing I may weed out my true friends from those who just tolerate me. My true friends of course will be the ones who will still give me an alibi. 

Thursday, 31 July 2014

I am from

I've seen a few other "I am from..." Pieces posted, I thought I'd give a try to writing my own. I am always asked when camping here where I am from, I'm never sure, do they mean originally in reference to my accent or where in Ontario?

I am from that house on the hill, the one where you could hear the ocean waves breaking at night.
I am from a family of 6, sometimes more.
I am from sunny skies, warm weather, braais and boerewors.

I am from the mountains, hiking, sailing, lying in the sun.
I am from picking avocados, mulberrys, guavas, pawpaws and lemons out the garden.
I am from smelling the franjapani tree outside my bedroom window.

I am from the smell of the hot African earth when it rains,
The smell of the ocean when the winds blew.
I am from diving the Indian Ocean, from Raggies cave to Cathedral.
I am from the days on the beach drinking champagne in the sun.

I am from the busy hustle and bustle of the flea markets to the stark reality of being searched every time you entered a shopping centre.
I am from hearing bombs rattle your windows as they exploded in town and shedding a tear for the life we knew.
I am from long lines and chaos on Election Day, from hope and dancing, from the "rainbow nation."
I am from living behind security gates, from bars on the window.

I am from starting a new life, in a new place.
I am from finding new family, new friends.
I am from snow, ice and four seasons.

I am from being torn between two lands.
I am from knowing home is in two places, always far away.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Books and dreams

I find myself appreciating the small moments of happiness lately, if I don't I may lose my mind completely. One of the biggest things that has me smiling each day is seeing my kids reading. Finally!!

Yes, finally they have discovered the joy of reading for fun. I cannot tell you how long I have struggled with this, and for someone who has always read books by the dozen it was a major concern for me. Diggle enjoyed a bit of reading the past year, but I had to force him to sit and read. Princess would only enjoy being read to. 

This year however we started by getting some graphic novels out the library, this set in motion them joining the reading club there. This means they set a goal and if they reach it they get a prize. Diggle set 50 books over summer. He reads quickly, I wasn't that concerned, he's at 20 odd already. Princess set a goal of 30...this had me a little worried. However she's on book 10 and going strong...and yes we've progressed to chapter books. She started her first chapter book of Nancy Drew last night and she's nearly finished it. 

I've always cherished the childhood adventures I went on through the aid of my books. I visited faraway lands, I solved mysteries and crimes, I even went to non existent, make believe places, I still do! Books fueled my already vivid imagination and helped me dream of my future. Books were my escape and I have always wanted that for my kids. 

Seeing them reading, (sometimes in the evening all lying on Grannies bed with her). Having them not wanting to put that book down to go to sleep. Catching them reading in bed an hour after lights out, using the light from the corridor outside to see the words. It all brings me more joy than I can express!


As an aside, I write this blog for my own ramblings, if you don't want to read it or think it's time wasting drivel don't read it. It was shortly after I posted my last blog that a friend commented on Facebook about mommy bloggers and how everyone considers themselves a writer because they blog. I don't ask you to read my blog, I don't consider myself a writer, even though I've written fiction stories, non fiction articles for web sites and yes I blog. I'm just someone who likes to write my thoughts down, if anyone else wants to read them, well that's up to them!

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

That time of year

Summer break, school vacation, moms it what you will, tomorrow is the last day of the school year. The kids have been going to school all week to do nothing, they've watched movies, played games had popcorn. I've heard other moms say why send them, I'll admit to being more of the, I don't care, they're going, get them out my house kind of mom though.

The kids, I'm convinced can smell my fear, my desperation that soon, too soon I will be subjected to cries of I'm hungry, I'm bored, mom (insert other kids name) won't play what I want to.  Time to try and get creative (but not messy creative I'm not that good of a mom.) Our big thing of the summer is two, week long camping trips which are always our hi-light and best part! However that still leaves me with seven weeks to try and amuse my kids. We'll do our usual routine this summer, a mix of trips to the library, quiet days at home, trips to the local splash pad and maybe a friends pool, walks at the lake with granny and maybe some time at the park. Perhaps a few trips to the liquor store may be in order too.

I can see other moms I know reading this and rolling their eyes, they think I'm mean, overly dramatic, yes maybe just a touch. Okay, I'll come clean, as the kids have gotten older it's gotten a lot easier. They run outside and play with their friends, play on the computer or their DS's and even get their own food. There are advantages to summer, no more homework, no more making lunches before school and no more realizing you have nothing to give kids for lunch at the last minute.

Don't be fooled though, I'll be the mom celebrating with a very large drink the day they go back to school in September.

Monday, 2 June 2014

Home sweet home

I'm back home, back to the humdrum of everyday life, laundry, cooking, getting up early to make sandwiches for school and I'm so so happy to be home.

Don't get me wrong, I'm glad I got the chance to go back to South Africa again, it was wonderful to see my oldest brother and his family, to spend time with my best friend from school and see the old haunts. But it was no holiday. I have returned completely exhausted. There was so much work to be done to pack my mom up that I really needed a minimum of 2 weeks, but I worked flat out, survived on very little sleep and got most of what I could done. 

I've done two trips back back to South Africa now in the past two years after an extended period away and they've taught me a few things. (These may be a little jumbled, I'm still jet lagged and have a headache)

- it's possible to jump back into a manual stick shift car and drive on the wrong side of the road without completely freaking out. It comes back to you very quickly.
- it's strange how quickly you forget that you have to lock your car doors and drive with the windows up and your valuables or parcels hidden.
- there's something special about African air, being able to breath in the ocean air, or lie at night looking up at the stars watching palm trees wave.
- monkeys are pesky but cute
- I'm stronger than I give myself credit for but every now and then you just need to hear a loved ones voice or be able to message with them to keep you sane when things are getting rough and you're emotional or scared.
- I have absolutely no doubts that we did the right thing for our children's future in moving to Canada.
- DH is capable of surviving for a week (possible more) without me. He fed the kids and the dog, did laundry and got everyone to school on time and even remembered to collect them at the end of the day.
- it is possible to eat so much you feel ill at the mere thought of food for days after.
- hard alcohol doesn't really go bad, cream based alcohols can turn into a solid however and it's not pretty
-my skin loves the SA climate, my hair...not so much! I could not keep it from being frizzy, I oiled, I straightened it looked okay, 5 minutes later it would frizz. I remember why I used to have either long hair that I could tie back or really short easy hair!
-old friends who take the time and expense to come and see you when you're in the same country are the best. 
- long haul flights suck so bad, and hurt my body and my back way too much!

I doubt I'll be making any trips back to SA now for a long time, I wish I'd had more time to go a few places and have more fun there this time, but I had a strict timeline to abide by.
It was nice to know I was missed here by the dog, the kids and even DH.

If you missed my posts from South Africa on my adventures there see them here:

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Day 2 and 3 and I need a new diet and some sleep!

I'm surviving on around three hours of sleep a night and a constant flow of restaurant food. My body no longer knows what hour it is or what it should be eating. That's my excuse for why at 1:30 am last night I was working my way through my moms paperwork while eating chocolate cake.

Day 2 was a day of working through more cupboards and paperwork, a lunch out with my parents oldest friends, a short nap, more work and dinner at my brothers house so I could get my wifi fix and post a few pictures.

Day 3 my mom and I drove down the coast to visit my father in law and have lunch with him and my brother in law, it was great to see them both. We then did more packing work and headed out to dinner with my brother and family. I'm sure you can now see why I'm going to need a serious diet once I get home!

Day 4, I opened up my moms house to the staff at the retirement village to sell things, tomorrow I'm locking the doors and pretending I'm not home! 

People keep asking me how it feels to be back home and to be honest It's a strange feeling being back here. Things are so very familiar, but just not quite the same. There are times where it would be so easy to slip back into denial and living your life here, and then there are those moments I can feel my heart race a little faster, or I look around and shake my head at the sense of entitlement that a few people seem to have and know I'll never live back here.

Here are a few things that have left me unnerved or just shaking my head in astonishment.

  • Driving through my old suburb at night and seeing security guards outside houses.
  • Having my mom tell me to be aware at certain traffic lights as they're hijacking hotspots.
  • Driving past a guy wielding a rather big knife.
  • Being stuck in a traffic jam at a red light and having a guy walk up to you car, stand by the back door and peer into your car to see if there is anything worth doing a smash and grab for - and the sheer powerlessness to do anything, also the reason we drive with doors locked, windows wound up and valuables tucked away under your legs.
  • Being so used to being able to trust 99% of people and realizing that here you just can't take that gamble. I had people through the house today to buy stuff of my moms and little things I know we're taken when my back was turned while busy with someone else.
I convinced my mom to take half a sleeping pill tonight as she has not been sleeping either and was starting to be unable to focus, and I need her to focus on things right now. I've kind of decided it's no longer worthwhile trying to acclimatize my body to this time zone when I leave on Thursday, I think I'll just survive on the few hours a night with a short afternoon nap thrown in if I have time.

Two and a half more days and we have no choice but to be done, did I mention how I'm looking forward to going home yet?  Perhaps I shouldn't be lying here in the dark typing my blog. Late night paperwork anyone?