Thursday, 31 January 2013

every girl should have one

So what makes a best friend just that .... A best friend?

Now for me it is pretty simple .... Elm is just that all encompassing, always there, can call her from jail at 2am kind of friend...

We always joke that her and I should be married and Franco and Eug married .... Her and I would go to movies and supper and shows several times a week if we could, but our hubby's work long hours and once dinner is eaten tend to hit the proverbial sack (or couch).

Elm and I are movie-holics and I have even dragged her to a couple of scary ones.  No movie is complete without a bite to eat before and a cappuccino after.  Live theatre is just as popular and we see a huge variety of stuff from music to drama to comedy.  Juicy Lucy was an addiction for us until they late last year decided to re-brand themselves and their menu .. Taking away our favourites and losing lifelong customers.

Fun to us is during time off .... At one of our houses with a good DVD or box office and killer coffee.  Talking of killer coffee you will find us often at Abreus ... Great cappuccino and small custard tarts ....we have raced our way through many loyalty coffee cards here.

She taught me how to play the "Portuguese"card game ... I taught her about Scattegories and 30 Seconds.  She taught me how to hem pants by first tacking them ......I taught her how much fun it is to treat yourself to a massage or something similar.  She taught me about keeping everything pristine .... I taught her how not to. :). She attends every event of the kids and all our collective kids are like family.

We  laugh together, we cry together, we scheme together and dream together .... It's a best friend thing and I am eternally grateful that I have her ..

Elm what adventures still lie ahead?

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

over the rainbow

Someday I'll wish upon a star .......... the words of this song have always been beautiful to me and I often sang it to Jessie when she was little and battling to sleep ........ and now I was wondering ..... if we could simply wish upon a star and find all the clouds and sadness in our lives behind us, our troubles melted ....... what would you wish for?

I know what I won't wish for ....... a different house, other friends and family, to have loved less or cared less, to have worried more or cried less, pots of money, movie star looks and all the other things that seem so unimportant in the big scheme of things ...

But what I would wish for?  A faster cure for cancer, a faster solution to the poverty in our country, longer days for Jess to finish all her school work in, the study light to stop buzzing, happiness and health always for my family, huge donations for Irene Homes, a way to ensure that no-one i care about ever stops being happy around me, the answer to where socks go in the laundry, a way to heal pain, the ability to leave an indelible impression on everyone who meets me, to always love, always laugh and always live, not just exist. ... 

So what would you wish for ? 

"Somewhere over the rainbow
Way up high,
There's a land that I heard of
Once in a lullaby.

Somewhere over the rainbow
Skies are blue,
And the dreams that you dare to dream
Really do come true.

Someday I'll wish upon a star
And wake up where the clouds are far
Behind me.
Where troubles melt like lemon drops
Away above the chimney tops
That's where you'll find me.

Somewhere over the rainbow
Bluebirds fly.
Birds fly over the rainbow.
Why then, oh why can't I?

If happy little bluebirds fly
Beyond the rainbow
Why, oh why can't I?" (Wizard of Oz cast)

Till next time,
c'est la vie

Thursday, 24 January 2013

47. fortyseven.

sjoe. That number is lying there waiting for me to reach it on Sunday.  47?  Certainly don't feel it and hopefully don't look it, but right after Jess turns 18 on Saturday I reaching that other number on Sunday. 

Wondered what else 47 is relevant about and found out the following crazy things:

47 is the most commonly ocurring two digit random number 

The Geneva Convention protecting prisoners of war was signed by 47 nations

The world's first inflatible wedding chapel is 47 feet high (ok that has got to be a pretty rocking wedding)

The Barnum and Bailey circus train is on the road 47 weeks of the year (in our country it is currently a circus 52 weeks of the year) *tongue in cheek*

In the movie Monsters Inc the factory floor had 47 days without incident before someone stuffed it up

The exit door on a Boeing 737 weighs 47 pounds (bet you were dying to know that hey)

Dr Seuss published 47 books in his lifetime

There are 47 voting members for the Academy Awards

In polo the bamboo handle of the mallet is a minimum of 47 inches

There are 47 species of gulls (can't die without knowing that)

Japan has 47 political regions

King Hussein of Jordan ruled for 47 years

Of all books sold, 47% are romance novels 

In every Star Trek movie the number 47 appears somewhere

So all the above has absolutely NOTHING to do with me turning 47 on the weekend ... but hey ..... who wouldn't want to share their birthday number with the world's first inflatable wedding chapel?  :)

Till next time
c'est la vie xxx 

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

it's a guy thing

Now men have this weird thing about TV.   For them the only channels on DSTV that seem to exist are those between 203 and 207.  With particular emphasise on 203.  DSTV should have special rates for people wanting to receive only those channels. 

Now we do have 2 decoders .... one upstairs and one downstairs which means we can watch 2 different channels at a time whilst also taping one.  3 channels all the time at our fingertips so this works well in our house ..... but for hubby it is 203.  At least Nic has a slighter wider channel view, but 203 is pretty addictive for him too.

Now following Liverpool ... every match, every time slot is a matter of life and death in our house for the male species.  Anyone even daring to attempt to get near the TV at that stage does so at their own peril.  Now as Jess and I are  Man U supporters I have issues with this.  These LPool matches come with so many in-house rules.  Firstly no talking by the rest of us.  At all.  No comments.  No observations.  Just silence.  Hubby on the other hand may rant and rave, comment etc.  If you really want to get the death stare then you must criticise a LPool player.  Not wise ... take my advice if you visiting. 

Secondly do not touch the remote.  At all.  We don't want to watch upstairs during the day as it is 96 degrees up there.  Hubby on the other hand can flip in the halftime break between the other sports channels.  Different strokes for different folks. 

Do not arrange social events when LPool is playing.  I did once dare to suggest that the game be put onto PVR and watched upon our return.  I might as well have suggested an afternoon enema to hubby if you saw the reaction. 

And then of course there are those wonderful occasions when LPool and Man U play against each other.  That is a whole different blog to be written. 

Jessie and I like to watch America's Next Top Model .... a reality show with a $5-million contract as first prize.  Hubby says that only idiotic, non thinking people watch this programme (and Jess and I actually think we quite brainy) and thus any attempt by us to watch this AFTER football is met with great disdain.   Now make no mistake, with a son who plays school and club soccer and last season also provincial soccer, we all love the game and spend a lot of time next to fields all over Pretoria and Jhb, but we have never insinuated to hubby that only idiotic people follow LPool ...... we don't have a death wish. 

So the ruler of the 203 remote will continue to be the male species in our house .... it's a guy thing ... like shopping mall rules in a previous blog. 

Till next time, c'est la vie

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

18. eighteen. 8teen.

On Saturday Jess will be 18.  Eighteen.  And snip goes another one of those damn apron strings.  Our excitement at it being on a Saturday and thus we spend all day together was shortlived as the 2 day Matric Focus programme of the school is Friday and Saturday and so she will spend 7am to 5pm on her 18th with her matric friends at Goodlands .... getting their heads, spirits, attitudes etc ready for Matric.  It is a wonderful initiative by the school and very good for them ..... but I would have loved to have her all to ourselves for the day. 

18.  Suddenly she could sign her own form for Saturday for the Adventure organisers, only had to co-sign if she was not 18 on the day of the outing.  18.  She can go for her driver's licence (that won't be happening in our house as driver's ed 101 is still very much in progress and the about to be 18 year old seems quite happy to be carted around by good 'ole mom).  18. she can legally drink alcohol (ok so I not exactly running up and down the passage shouting whoop whoop) but we raised her well and we know that she is sensible. 

But suddenly as January draws to an almost end in this important year for her, it seems as if a million memories a day are flooding my mind. I look at this poised and confident young lady when she leaves in the morning and then at night I lie on her bed chatting to her and I see she is still very much my little girl, nervous about Matric, nervous about the big changes next year ..... hanging on to one side of her life whilst stepping gingerly into the next side.  

But that is it hey .... that is what moms do .... we teach and raise and scold and encourage and explore and cry and share and learn and motivate and watch and celebrate and mourn and clap and cheer and attend and worry and then the hardest of all ..... we learn to slowly let go. 

But somehow I know that is still going to be a while. 

Till next time
c'est la vie xxx

Monday, 21 January 2013

tale of the insulin resistor

So let's talk about this insulin resistant thing.  Oh yes, there I can see it, my family are rolling their eyes, muttering under their breath, counting my pills to make sure I taking them (ok I forgot some, ok more than some, but do we have to talk about it ALL the time). 

Now it seems that every 3rd person I interact with has insulin resistance.  Maybe there were always so many people, but if you don't have it yourself you won't know this.  Kind of scary, it seems to be an illness / condition that is growing at alarming speed amongst people ..... a sign of the fast lives we live, fast food, quick fixes and we move further and further from decent, regular and correct eating .... ugh decent, regular and correct eating ...... does not really sound like "party party". 

When I first found out I got such a big "skrik" that I immediately did EVERYTHING I was told ... followed the eating plan, cut out sugar and the things on the no list (ever noticed that all the fun things seem to be on the no list).  Weight just fell off me as it ran off shrieking in fear when I did not really take in any insulin high, sugary or fun food.  The weight assumed I was dying and deserted me like rats off a ship.  

And then?  Well the and then is that I got a false sense of security (ok writing this blog is a double edged sword because several people are going to be nagging me now).  So it became ice-cream here, sweetie there, cookie here and so on and so on.  And the pills, out of sight out of mind baby.  The only 2 things I never faulted on was that in 18 months I have NEVER gone back to my 1.5 lit of Coca Cola a day habit or my insane addiction to Cadbury Flake.  Both companies had to issue a dividend warning that year due to me :).  In fact I have not had either item since. 

And then?  And then 2 weeks ago the wheels collapsed.  They had started to show bad alignment and balancing in October already, by December I was probably riding on the rims of my life and last week my body just said "tot hier toe en niks verder nie".  (spiteful).  After a very prolonged and insightful speech from my hubby about leading a horse to water etc ...... Nicholas delivering a much more short and to the point speech punctuated with much head shaking and glaring at me, I realised that I better get my "ish" together.  I was further motivated by the fact that I was not sure who was going to clout me first .... my daughter or my bff.  or both. 

So I have filled the script and faithfully put the tablet into my mouth every night (yes Nicholas you can count them).  I bought all the correct (codeword for "sensible") foods, I took out all the sheets from the 2 specialists who worked with me, and I started eating what I should (not the same as what I want).  So after 3 days with no sugar, no insulin affecting foods I was feeling a little like a rehab girl getting over the initial detox but as I sat at the gala today munching on my tomato (nerd) and a friend sat next to me and looked in my lunchbox and he said "mmm healthy food hey, are you on an eating plan?", I said "no, I am insulin resistant and if I don't get it together I will die".  Probably a bit OTT but since I know someone who ignored this initial warning about imminent diabetes and then had a stroke and died, I allowed myself the OTT. 

So to all of you out there with it ...... don't play around.  3 big and 3 small meals a day are actually quite cool .... you cannot possibly be hungry ...... if you eat from the list you not only eat healthily but you maintain your sugar levels ....... take your pills as that helps to break down the resistance and open those "locked doors" and yes ....... I miss all the fun things ... but as my doc says .... it is insulin resistance, not diabetes, so a small piece of cake at a special event won't kill me, but making every day a special event so that I can have a small piece of cake, will. 

Onwards and upwards, and yes Nic I took the tablet 2 hours ago. 

Till next time 
C'est la vie xxxxx

Sunday, 20 January 2013

life lessons for my kids

be a person of your word.  you don't have to be rich, or powerful, or the best at everything, but always, always be a person of your word

remember God.  He led you to where you are.  He will lead you further.  and He will never leave your side or betray you

never wear the same underwear two days in a row

be wary of people who start sentences with "i always" and "i never"  because they don't and they do

you can stretch the amount of cooked mince in a pot if you add a small handful of jungle oats

if you want true loyalty, buy a dog

brush your teeth at least twice a day

don't make promises you don't intend to keep.  to anyone 

long socks and short shorts look daft on guys.  i promise

make every day count at school.  because it does in the long run

don't let anyone tell you that you have to like olives.  you don't

big or small.  lies are lies. 

when a young guy starts a sentence with "but if you loved me" ..... get out.  fast.  for good. 

having several drinks out of a "fishbowl" is usually not a good idea

respect people around you.  friends. colleagues. whatever.  just do. 

never wear a speedo after you reach 8 years of age.  serious. 

don't take stuff that doesn't belong to you.  ever.  

even if something doesn't end happily ever after, if it taught you something then that's ok

whatever you decide to be in life, be the best at it that you can be

have a good heart.  worry about those less fortunate and do something for them.  

be the kind of person that you would want to be good friends with 

make your bed 

never hide from past mistakes.  learn.  and move on 

feed your dog every day 

the people you keep close to your heart on your best days are the ones who stayed on the worst ones

in difficult times remember, one day when you can tell the story without crying, you have healed

never count your wealth by the amount of money you have in the bank 

never cut your own fringe 

plan ahead ...... it was not raining when Noah built the Ark (thanks Sister Wink)

never be afraid to tell people you love them

and hug your mom ..... often 

till next time, 
c'est la vie xxxx

Thursday, 17 January 2013

that crazy Matric thing

so my daughter has hit the ground running with this matric thing!  one minute i took her there in gr R with huge pigtails and a gap-toothed smile, and now as she enters her 13th year in this school, the big M has arrived.  

the first morning she left, prefect badge shiny, hair shiny, shoes shiny, honours blazer shiny, i looked at her and could almost not believe that she is just mere weeks from 18 and at such an important time of her life.  this first week has been a blur of new rosters, swimming training (highly important to her), english olympiad and of course the week long orientation programme for gr 8 scholars, which she and other prefects are running. 

last night by the time we got home it was 8pm.  by 830pm she was sleeping and at 1130pm she was back up to finish her homework.  this morning as she dashed out the door i reminded her that this is what it is, a 100 % commitment literally 24/7 because by September it is literally nearly all done bar the important bit.  She nodded, but a happy nod .... and i remembered that she has her head screwed on right .... she has spent her entire school career preparing for this moment. 

and snip snip i heard another apron string go, despite my best efforts to ignore it.  "18 is a special number", whispered the apron string, "driver's licence, matric, more freedom".  "shutup", i hissed to the apron string, "i am fully aware of this" ...... as i let the apron string slip gently a little further out my hand.  only a mom will understand this paragraph. 

till next time 
c'est la vie xxxx

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Wolf lady

Last night got to meet my all time favourite author, Jodi Picoult.  She is in SA on a book tour promoting her latest work, Lone Wolf.  I have read every book she ever wrote and like every avid fan of hers knew that when My Sister's Keeper was filmed, the director or producer deemed it fit to change the ending.  Last night on stage we learnt of her anger towards her work being changed like that without even the courtesy of telling her. 

BFF and I were together at the book event and needed a memory jolt as to how the book ended ..... so I am going to haul mine out to double check. 

Jodi is everything I had imagined ..... she leapt up onto the stage dressed in a black top and a silver blue knee length net tutu which she had seen in a shop in Sandton, loved, decided she had to own, did not know where one wears a tutu .... so she wore it to the YOU book event.  Long hair in beautiful squiggles, vibrant eyes, she drew us into her world in such a way that the 45 minutes she addressed us went past in a blur. 

Myself and 2 other ladies joined her on the stage where she taught us 3 different wolf calls which we did, much to the amusement of the audience.  Doing research for her book she spent time with a man who lives with a wolf pack.  She taught us fascinating things about hierarchy in such a pack and the howls were certainly a highlight for me.  I never thought I would ever get the joy of meeting her in person, never mind howling with her on stage.  

She signed my copy of Lone Wolf, we had pics taken and I realised once again that my dream to one day be able to write, must always remain in my focus.  Not a bestselling tour the whole world kind of writer (I wish) but the kind of writing that keeps people following and interested. 

Her next book is due out this year and I will be right in front of the queue when it is released. 

Till next time ...c'est la vie 

Sunday, 13 January 2013

beach tales

last week as I sat on the beach in Umdloti, a lady arrived there and sat down near to us with her two small kids.  now that in itself was not a big deal, but what really interested me was the fact that this lady was so self confident.  she was a big lady.  a really big lady.  and she had on the most gorgeous turquoise costume.  well fitted and perfect for her.  

now i watch young girls with fascination on the beach.  and here i mean the 17 - 19 ish category.  they have the loveliest bodies.  pretty bikinis and then they have this cover up issue.  they arrive at the beach in their bikinis with tiny shorts and a T or else some sort of something over their bikini.  when they get to the beach it only gets removed when a) they are sure no-one on the beach is looking b) they are sure the lifeguard is otherwise occupied and c) they are close to their towels .... preferably removing this whilst on their towels.  society has caused this.

then the walk to the water ...... very often accompanied by their towel around them which gets dropped as close to the water as can be without it getting wet.  this year at least jess and her bff gained some wonderful confidence .... off with the cover ups on the beach and running around playing soccer ... in the water .... back out ...... swimming ..... tanning ..... good for you girls ..... but the majority of the girls on the beach don't do this. 

most bigger ladies on the beach prefer to remain in shorts and t-shirts.  or swim with a huge tshirt over their costumes.  or don't move off their chairs.  this lady however marched over to the water and had a fantastic time playing in it with her kids.  she did not pull her costume down at the back and up in front all the time.  she was at the coast and she was going to enjoy it.  when the swim was done she strolled happily up to their towels, lay down and enjoyed the sun. 

imagine if everyone could be this comfortable on the beach.  feel quite happy to walk across the sand in front of people and have fun in the water.  but somehow our society is very harsh about this either too fat, too skinny, too knock-kneed, too pale, too ugly, too this or too that. 

sad .... but true 

till next time  .... c'est la vie 

Thursday, 10 January 2013

it's a chick thing

So now here is the thing.  Men (generally) don't want to do the mall thing.  Now please this is not ALL men but in my list it does include my hubby, my best friend's hubby, my friend the book supplier, my friend the school teacher, literally all the soccer dad's I know and ... well pretty much every guy I know. I think my dad and bro-in-law are excluded.  Kudos to you. 

My friend Mike and my hubby agree.  The function of a mall is to provide goods needed for purchasing.  You decide AT HOME what it is exactly that you want.  You drive there.  You go in, make a purchase, walk out and drive away.  No added impulse buys.  No added window shopping, browsing, uhming and ahing.  Always qualify for free under 15 min parking.  I do however wonder what would happen if there was free beer in the passages of the mall :)

Now for chicks it's a whole other thing.  Malls = shopping, browsing, wandering, looking and definately coffee!!

We are not really perturbed about the free parking.  We do, like guys, have a list.  Please note that this list is merely a guideline, not a definitive rule like for guys.  When guys say black shoes it is just that.  When we say black shoes it can mean buy them, look at them, decide between pumps, heels, slingbacks, court shoes ..... it's endless. It could also extend to several other pairs of shoes, which could then lead to clothing, handbags, lingerie and other perusal. 

This obviously will lead to us needing to stop for a refreshment .... malls and cappuccinos are one and the same in my mind. 

Trust me if we have 10 items on our list, we do have good intentions for those 10, but if you are in the mall, why not quickly look at those new rice cake snacks for kids, the new goodies in the craft shop, a pretty dress in a window etc etc etc. 

My hubby always asks when we have to go to a mall ..... do we have a purpose or are we just going "freestyle".... "please can we get in and get out asap".  Should we decide to divert from the "purpose" you will recognize him.  At the entrance to the shop.  Sighing.  Glancing at me.  Not will tenderness. 

My son accompanied Jess and I to the mall recently to buy some holiday clothes.  Standing in Jay Jays he acted out a scene mimicking Jess in a clothes store that had me crying with laughter.  What he has established is:

a)  He is not having daughters
b)  Should he have daughters he is not going clothes shopping ... they have a mom for that 
c)  Should his opinion be needed he will, he says, set up Skype and instruct his daughter to take an IPad with .....then he can communicate from home via screen 

However these rules do not seem to apply to the males in my house when it comes to Sports shops.  There freestyle is the order of the day. 

You see, dear, it is not true that woman was made from man's rib; she was really made from his funny bone.  ~J.M. Barrie, What Every Woman Knows  

Till next time ..... c'est la vie ..... shop your hearts out girls 

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

shop till you drop

So after 25 000 reads on my previous blog forum I finally decided after a trial seperation that me and that forum had to get divorced ... sad, but such a reality.  I hope to find a following here now.

So here I am, sitting at Circus Circus cafe in Gateway simultaneously creating a blog, drinking cappuccinos, calling kids to remind them to be back here by 630pm and watching the passers-by.  And boy are the passers-by and others entertaining!

I have witnessed a table of five that spoke so loudly that it started to sound .... as my friend Lloyd Mtuwa would say..... like a political gathering. It was actually just them.  Speaking to each other.  

Now opposite me are a family of 4 at a table for 2.  There are plenty of open tables. So he is standing.  She is sitting with a girl of about 12 on her lap. The other daughter of about 15 on the other chair.  Their drinks arrived ... he is standing having his.  Perhaps they charge less if you don't occupy a chair?  Why don't they say so .... I can stand and blog!

Just had a young couple pass by ... about 19 I guess.  He had that pained look that guys get when dragged round the mall.  She had a whole other look .... a more like "I thought my boobs are supposed to be mostly outside my top" kind of look.  Women glared.  Men stared.

What I did not see in the mall was that common sight in all Pretoria malls, especially the upmarket ones ..... the moisturizer and other cremes from the Dead Sea or Red Sea or whatever.  A stand in the middle of one of the busy mall areas and when you pass a chick jumps out with a little cup and says "try this on your hand".  Trust me when I say DON'T.  This is not a try the creme and move on area.  This is a once you touch the creme you get the sales pitch about why this extremely expensive product will change your life kind of area.  It's as lethal as giving your address to a win some timeshare agent.

I saw teenagers, pensioners, middle aged people, every race, every face, overdressed, underdressed, barely dressed, talking, laughing, scowling, arguing, with shopping bags, without shopping bags and I realized ..... Elaine Boosler was correct ...."When women are depressed they eat or go shopping.  Men invade another country.  It's a whole different way of thinking".

Till next time ** c'est la vie xxx

Okay so lets move to another province

“The company feels that there are great growth opportunities for it in the Cape” says hubby whilst we are sitting on the stoep of our chalet...