Archive for the ‘Soapbox’ Category

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One week later

1 November , 2019

It’s been a week since the operation. I’m obviously alive (yay!), and happy to report that I feel a million times better than last week.

The first few days were rough, I won’t lie. I was extremely sore and sorry for myself, but my outlook improved dramatically by Tuesday when I managed to sleep on my side again and could sleep for more than two hours at a time.

Family and friends and most especially Andy and Nicola, carried me through this time. I am forever grateful. (Apparently I am not the world’s worst patient, but they might just be saying that to be nice).

I am waaaay more emotional than usual, and that’s already a pretty high bar. For instance, yesterday Nicola told us that her teacher was mean to her again. I found the things she said beyond unacceptable and jumped on my battle axe to the school. I started out mighty furious on the phone to the vice principal in charge of this (I actually started off with the receptionist to let her know we’re on our way there and to find the principal now because this was urgent and we were mad as a nest of hornets), and I ended up still pretty furious but also sobbing uncontrollably in this poor women’s ear. Anyhoo, the matter has been addressed in chop-chop order, and Nicola looks like the weight of the world is off her shoulders.

I am still geared up for a proper face to face with this particular teacher. If she as much as breathes nastily in Nicola’s direction for the last 5 days of school left she’s going to wish she retired a year early.

I’m going to add that I did also chat to the vice principal about the English teacher, who has been Nicola’s light at the end of the tunnel this year. The value she has added by being a positive influence has been immense!

I don’t think teachers always realise what a massive influence they have on the young minds they’re shaping.

Anyhoo, today I am dragging my sorry self out the house for a bit. I was invited to a stakeholder luncheon for one of my previous clients and I’m going. Could be a great networking event and hopefully I can shake some work out of it.

And quickly, because I have the stamina of a day old chicken at the moment. I get tired so quickly, which I suppose is to be expected. Next week I’ll put my big girl panties on again, this week has mostly been about getting better and sleeping more than the average house cat.

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Plan B…and loads of photos

12 October , 2019

I’ve been meaning to write this post all week, but it is surprising how busy you can make yourself, even when you are currently unemployed (a.k.a self employed haha).

Anyhoo, while in limbo we’re exploring all sorts of other ways to make a living. Some with greater success than others. One such article I came accross suggested starting your own YouTube channel. I don’t personally know of anyone whose made a success of this although I do know it’s theoretically possible.

I said to Andy maybe we should start a Bargain Hunting channel. He’s REALLY good at it, and does it anyway, with or without channel. And I’m sure just about everybody could benefit from saving a buck or two, so I feel good about putting it out there too.

So yeah, baby steps, we’ve started. Obviously our channel isn’t super sophisticated (yet), but we’ve got the first few videos up. At this point anyone in SA could benefit from it, but there are some shops that are more specific to our area obviously.

We’ve got three videos up on specials so far, and we’re very excited about some of the other topics we have in mind for next week and beyond! One of the requirements of YouTube is to have at least one video which is an hour long…grrr…when everything out there tells you people lose interest after about 3 minutes. Anyhoo, we’re playing around with the idea of showcasing urban farming, you know having fruit trees or vegetable gardens to supplement or completely supply your household needs. We even know one family who farms fish in blow up pools in their back garden for this. Pretty sure we could do an hour out of this if we’re a bit creative.

So if you want to participate and you have something going in your yard or on your balcony, let me know…I’ll come visit with a camera 😉

Now for photos…

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The first time we’ve seen Andy’s dad in well over a year.

It is okay to cut out toxic people from your life. It’s also okay to re-engage them on your own terms if you want to.

So far it’s going really well actually. I’m glad Andy and his dad are in contact again, and my father-in-law has been really nice to me and Nicola too, even though he can’t remember our names and calls me sweetie.

He’s putting in a lot of effort, and it means a lot.

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We went to go check out the Green Market in Melville at 27 Boxes (last Sunday of every month) to go say hi to our cousin who sells imported Dutch seeds there and so that my dad could interrogate everyone on their lab result certificates who produce CBD oils.

I spotted this T-shirt and thought it would be brilliant for my SIL as a gift as she is now in remission from Melanoma, and Nicola just HAD to have one too! Obviously she can’t wear it to school, more for the swear word than the cannabis leaf.

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Nicola asked us to take her for hearing tests and I spotted this little guy in the parking lot. So cute, and boy does he MOVE! Smaller than Nicola’s fingernails, which is why the photo is so super blurry. I had to take quite a few to even get one this good.

Really thinking hard about getting a proper camera when cash flow allows again.

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I assume it’s a running club of sorts that are always painting messages on the road next to our bridge. I find them infinitely entertaining, just so you know.

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My dad’s plantation.

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His other plantation of tiny Avo trees. Once the rainy season kicks off he intends to release these into the green belt. In 7 years time they should provide ample Avos for any hungry pedestrians passing by.

I actually think this is such a great idea! We’ve spotted plenty of potplants which have been relocated to our green belt and now grow there wild. Sure, they’re not indigenous by any means, but neither are the Willow trees that City Parks planted there. At least the Avos will benefit someone down the line.

Imagine how cool it would be if all the City Parks had fruit trees and veggie gardens in them and people could just help themselves?

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Nibbles, the little Houdini went on a rampage in the house and disappeared. Great consternation, we couldn’t find him and were knocking on everything to try and hear his hiss.

Nicola eventually crawled around and heard him inside a cupboard! Thankfully one with drawers that we could take apart easily enough to get to him.

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These two cuzzies, so cute!

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Some of my dad’s Proteas. Everything blooming at the moment, and really stunning!

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This is not my photo, but I nicked it off my aunt’s Whatsapp profile. This is my Grandparents wedding photo.

You can see they clearly had no idea what was coming. I love seeing old photos of my grandmother, she really stayed the same pretty much throughout.

Is it odd, but I’ve really been thinking about both my grans a lot lately. I wish they were still around for a chat and a giggle, and I wonder what they would have thought about the state of the world today.

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This crate is part of an artwork that we counted recently. I just really liked the look of this particular bit of it. This crate has seen THINGS. 😉

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Protected: Voting Day tomorrow…meh

7 May , 2019

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And we’re all wearing black again?

26 October , 2017

So if you haven’t spent all of yesterday and today under a rock, you would know by now that there has been a call to “action” for everyone to wear black on Monday as a sign of protest againt all the recent farm murders.

I have in the past thrown my wardrobe in with similar worthy causes, see below:

So I don’t mind wearing black for this at all. In fact I am already wearing black now, and I’ll keep wearing it till Monday and beyond if it helps.

Will it help? No, it won’t. Will it make it worse? Also not. So I’ll go along with it.

Why does it feel like I’m attending the funeral of my country one wear-black-protest at a time?

I had a very disturbing dream earlier this week about a home invasion by the way. This is not new for me. I don’t remember dreams often but when I do they are usually about me protecting my loved ones from skollies (well either that, or flying with super powers – love those dreams!).

In this dream I was alone however. Four guys somehow broke into the house while I was working and had my earphones on. I didn’t specifically see what happened to three of them in my dream…but I do remember that I ended them with a bread knife and followed the fourth guy outside. He shot me, the asshole! And then I pressed the SOS emergency thing on my phone. Haha, probably should have done that sooner? Right? Anyway in my dream, #notavampire and my dad rocked up at the same time to my SOS. However since they’ve never met it was kind of crucial that I explain what the actual threat was. Skollie number 4 had scampered over the wall with only minor bread knife flesh wounds and I was busy painting the driveway red and starting to see spots.

At this point I passed out from blood loss in the dream and woke up from heart pulputations in the real world. Read into that what you want to. 😉

Anyway, never mind my fucked up dream where taking a bread knife to a gun fight actually seemed like a great move. It’s not. Seriously, if that’s all you have – try your best, but don’t make it your go to move. 

What I guess the point is that as dreams go, it’s not that far fetched. We have had armed robberies and home invasions up and down this street in almost every house but this one. My brother has been in multiple armed robberies (remember this?).

So I’ll wear the black on Monday. One day it may very well be for my own funeral or yours… I don’t see this getting better. And I don’t see a way out for me and my family (even if we wanted to go, which we don’t). 

We may get taken out…but we won’t go quietly. And until that day we’ll wear black when called to as the armchair activists we are.

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No…I’m not dead

14 September , 2016

There is actually so much that needs writing, but you know…if I’m not writing it, there’s probably a pretty good reason for it.

Today however, I do have something fit for sharing though: parenting hacks!

It’s been quite a ride, changing from a one parent one child household to a two parent three children one. Especially since we only have time share on two and when they’re not here there is obviously a whole other set of rules in their other house with their other parent, that we have no control over. Add to that, that we never actually know when they’ll be here – it gets kind of crazy.

It got to a stage where I felt like a hostage in my own house, cause these babies really bring out the worst in each other sometimes. Of course when you only have timeshare on the fruits of your loins, you don’t always want to be disciplining them and laying down the law…I mean really, who doesn’t want to be the fun parent?! But when it’s a free for all chaos spectacular…no one really ends up having fun. Well I know I wan’t having any.

We needed an action plan that would entail a lot less of me screaming like a banshee and bringing the thunder, and a lot less chaos!

I don’t know about you, but I have always found comfort in a good list. So that’s what we have now…sort of. 

Behold our magic white board on display in the playroom. On the left we have the hooligans listed by age. On a Wednesday each of them get credited with R20. Each time they break a rule (listed on the right), they lose R2. On the next Wednesday they get paid out the balance as a good behaviour bonus.

Occasionally we also have reward challenges to encourage something we want. As you can see, for instance, they’re all on R22 at the moment. They earned R1 each for picking up dog droppings, and then another R1 each for trying and eating all their dinner, which was something new (beef stroganoff). Next to their names you can see their previous Wednesday scores. 

I can’t even begin to tell you how much sanity this has brought to our home! Worst/best case scenario R240 a month between the three of them…money well spent!

Next up…we all had our hands in our hair about missing hair brushes. Specifically Miss Erin’s. She has about 7 in and around the house, but because she likes to stroll and brush they end up nowhere to be founds when you need them, all the time.

Solution: we tied one to the bathroom door handle. It’s been there for about a month and a half now. 

This has made mornings much more pleasant!

Mealtimes are a general pain in the ass. I want to take our kids to a place where kids get one bowl of porridge a day and are happy and thankful about it. They all seem to think we run a restaurant!

Nicola is the only one of the three that eats vegetables, but she doesn’t eat anything with sauce or gravy. She won’t even look at jam of marmite. Scott seems to only eat yogurt, chips or bread at the moment…occasionally burny chips or chicken nuggets, and is more than happy to have only a big cup of oros for a meal, followed up by half a million half cups of hot chocolate. He will wake up everyone screaming at 2am for his next fix and no amount of discipline will make him desist once he has his mind set on it. Erin loves chicken steakletts, chicken nuggets and fish fingers, and chips. She doesn’t eat banana or anything strawberry flavoured. And other than apples the only other fruit she’ll have is red grapes. Also lots and lots of chocolate nesquick.

So we are piloting a new meal plan, because quite frankly we’re sick and tired of tip toeing the line between all their fusses. 

We came up with a list of things we think are suitable for dinners (all to be had with at least one vegetable of our choice – not written, but expressly noted). Each baby got a day to pick, Nicola got two because she’s here all the time. Steve and I got the weekend days. On Thursdays we are usually at my folks, or we’ll get take aways. 

They could pick off the list for their days. There will only be one meal cooked and eaten. Anyone who doesn’t eat the food will lose money on the board (I still have to add this rule), also they will not be getting anything else. 

I really hope this works. So far so good though. They were very enthusiastic about compiling the list and everyone ate what we made tonight. It’s a good start! 

What handy parenting tricks do you have up your sleeves? Tell meeeeeeee….please. Also clue me in on the reason why you came up with it to begin with if you can.