Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Love & Marriage ....... horse & carriage ......... Ying & Yang

Now my husband has the patience of Job when it comes to me.  Truly.  He just shakes his head and often says to the kids "it is a miracle that you two have turned out so well given how crazy your mom is" .... he means it in the best possible way. 

With me he truly does not sweat the small stuff.  Proof is in the fact that on Saturday, when Jess and I were actually at the mall to buy my moisturiser, we got waylaid by cages full of bassets, maltese poodles, border collies, jack russells and more at our local pet shop.  When the maltese licked Jess I knew her heart was lost.  Now please, it is not as if we don't have any dogs, we do ...... BUT ..... sigh, the things moms do to make their daughters happy. 
So we arrived home with puppy (Prince), new little bowls and puppy food.  I walked into the house, daughter in tow, and said to hubby, "Ok, now I have done something ..... don't say a word" ..... he looked at the puppy, said "who are you" and asked me "did we want another dog?".  That was it.  An hour later Prince was lying with Eug on the couch whilst Eug explained to him what a fabulous team Liverpool is ..... pffffft. 

He hates being late.  For anything.  If it was not for late I would never go anywhere.  It is the number two source of arguments between us.  But I suppose when something is unresolved for 26 years you just shrug ... haha .... i do the shrugging;  he does the frowning. 

We are almost complete opposites.  As extroverted as I am, he is introverted.  We read different books, we watch different programmes, we view solutions to many things differently, we operate on two different time zones within our house and on and on.  Our personalities, except for our extreme sense of humours and ability to be really comical, are vastly different too.  Don't be mistaken .... there are a ton of things we love to do and share ..... movies we go to (the old fashioned way in the cinema with popcorn), we watch Ray Donovan on TV, we are both soccer lovers, cricket lovers, kids sport lovers and very protective of our time as a family in our house.  He supports Liverpool and me ManU.  We love card games and board games ..... and we play ching chong chi to settle most things like who gets up to set the house alarm, who gets the blanket when we forget to put it on our bed ... who makes coffee etc.  Music?  We may find 5 songs in common if we think about it.  When he rides in my car he asks if Pitbull and funeral music are the only two types I have.

However we are the Ying and Yang of life .... two completely different people who when combined make a perfect whole.  Some people think that being completely different is a "problem" ..... ridiculous ........ it is a challenge, but one that can be embraced so completely because one person's strength is the other one's weakness but as a team .... you are lethal.  

Eug is a vegetarian.  I would rather have my lip cut off with a bandsaw than have to eat lentils so often.  I can drink endless cups of coffee a day.  Eug is happy with the odd espresso and a couple during the day but rather drinks 209 litres of water.  Ugh.  I read at least 2 novels a week.  He reads 2 a year.  Mostly because he falls asleep with it on his face.  I talk all the time.  He talks when he has something to say.  But that does not mean that he does not have an opinion about everything.  He has the greatest general knowledge of anyone I have ever met or currently know.  I love it.  I write all the time ...... he is a great admirer of that and continually encourages me to start putting pen to paper for that book that is in my heart (S-L and CT I know you think I can).  I do 109 things at once, 24/7.  He just shakes his head ..... and is happy to let me go ahead.  

And that is what you need to hope you find in life ..... not someone who lives up to your every expectation, not someone who you want to change to be like you want them to be, not someone who is going to be perfect every day, or madly loved every day, or love you madly every day, but someone that is always there, even on the bad days when you want to throttle them or wonder why the hell you married them ....... those days come and go .. there is no sunshine without rain. 

But in my life?  There can be no Ying without Yang.  And that is how on the 12th of September we will have survived 7670 married days and nights and 1826 days dating before that.  What a lot of days we got!!

And yes Eug ..... as you say ....... you will never try understand me .... you will just love me.  

till next time with love
c'est la vie xxx

Thursday, 22 August 2013

shake what ya mamma gave you *****

Yes I know you never thought you would see the day.  My name and the word exercise in the same sentence.  I went even one big step further .... my name and the word Zumba in the same sentence. 

Yes, along with Jess I joined a Zumba class.  Our kickass ridiculously amazing fun teacher, Simone, is giving one of her classes in our church hall.  So since we all pray together, it seemed quite logical that we should all laugh and Zumba together.  It's nice to do stuff with people that you share your religion and a part of your life with. 

So off we went tonight.  Appropriately kitted in tshirts, leggings and takkies.  All ages made up the class, Jess was the youngest and no, I was not the oldest.  I may feel tomorrow like I am the oldest when I wake up, but not tonight. I did at one stage during the class wonder if your heart rate goes over a certain speed does it get a speed wobble, but I appear to have survived. 

Now Zumba is like Aerobics, except that in Zumba you are jumping, samba-ing, gyrating, getting down teenage style, doing that ass and chest wiggle thing and man did we shake what our mammas gave us.  

After 55 mins when we went into the cool down section of the class, I was aware of every inch of my body.  I appear to have discovered muscles in places I did not even know I had places.  We sweated, we gulped copious amounts of water, sometimes we lost our co-ords in which case you just rock it baby.  We clapped, we laughed and we danced to real fantastic music ...... Strictly Come Dancing contestants eat your hearts out ...... you ain't seen us yet!!!

Afterwards panting like crazy we greeted each other and I fell in my car ..... my poor thigh was shaking every time I pushed in the clutch. My body had contacted my brain and my whole body was on high alert code red emergency mode "what??? she is doing what????? exercising??" said my brain to my body. "Code red, code red".

Now?  Now my whole body aches.  And tomorrow when lactic acid sets in it is not going to be pretty, but you know what?  I FEEL FANTASTIC ..... alive, energised and when Jess was showing Nic what we did she told him "you must see mom shake her booty" ..... 

So you never too old it seems, and if you free on Thursday evenings from 7 to 8pm you better get down to Simone's class in the hall of the Queenswood Catholic Church ..... come on .... live a little!!

Naturally I can't do anything without coffee .... so after class Jess and I staggered into Cappuccinos and I gulped down a cappuccino whilst we patted ourselves on the back .... 

My fat has gone into shock. 

till next time, 
c'est la vie baby xoxox 

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

93 ..... the new 33

My grandmother is 93. 

For all intents and purposes she may as well be 63.  And is livelier than some people of 33. 
She loves movies, outings, shopping, going to Mass, tea & cake @ Jam & Daisies, having her hair and nails done, playing bingo and of course the pre-dinner Amarula every night.  And yes, she lives in a retirement home.  Rules the roost. Gets irritated by the "old people" as she calls them ... who are usually a minimum of 10 years younger than her. 

Before the weekend her health took a turn for the worse and she was admitted to hospital for a few days of observation.  She was not happy.  Yesterday we went to visit her.  Upon seeing us she whipped off what she termed "the stupid damn oxygen mask" and proceeded to instruct us to put a surplus of cushions behind her so she could sit up.  Immediately she was unhappy as she did not have her purse with her to give the kids some tuckshop money and she had no sweets in her drawer.  Tuck money and sweets are synonymous with their great-grandmother. 

Next began the analysis of the other 3 people in her ward with her.  The first one was just ridiculously overweight, could not fit properly on the bed, gasped all the time, groaned all the time and generally bothered my ouma.  Naturally this was her description.  Next she pointed to the woman opposite her and informed us that she "just lies there, staring at the same page of the You magazine for 4 hours .... how slowly does she read??".  By now the kids and I were collapsing with laughter.  This left only the woman next to her ..... "What's wrong with her?" asked the kids ..... "Nothing", says ouma ... "she is just damn old".  She looked a decade younger than ouma. 

Having done that she proceeded to tell us that supper was soup and then some beetroot.  She asked us who on earth eats that ridiculous combination.  And commented that they did not offer her a glass of sherry.  And so it went.  She reminded us that she was going home the next day and that soon we should come over to visit.  At the last visit she offered me tea at 2pm and then suggested we have a glass of Amarula first ..... I don't have Amarula often, in fact ever, at 2pm.  It was followed by dried fruit, sandwiches, sweets and an assortment of treats that only ouma's and great-grandmothers can provide. 

When we left she gave a big smile, we said a prayer with her and as we walked out the door we said "now put on the oxygen mask again" .... and she flicked it up onto her forehead with twinkling eyes and said "like this?" ..... 

Grandmothers .... gotta love them.  I remember sleepovers by her when I was little, the stretcher next to her and my oupa's bed, my favourite meal of viennas cut into circles and smothered with tomato sauce, washed down with bright red colddrink that you mixed with water and a good dose of vanilla ice-cream completely covered in 100's and 1000's.  

Weekly trips into town on the wonderful double decker bus sitting right in front of the top section, so we could "see everything first".  Helping her work in the 2nd hand shop of Child Welfare where she worked for decades, and where I probably learnt my great love for this field, one in which I find myself working as the Business Development Manager of an NPO caring for Mentally Disabled Adults. 

And so I took leave of her yesterday at the hospital, half happy, half sad.  Happy that she is still full of the joie de vivre of life...... but sad that I am all too aware of the sands of time ....

till next time, 
c'est la vie xxx

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Moms writing Matric

Matric prelims.  13 fear inspiring, spine chilling letters.  And that is just for the moms.  Imagine how these kids are feeling.

My darling 18 year old bundle of nerves is hard at work.  After fantastic June exams report results she has at least got a serious head start on prelim studying.  But that does not stop the nervous - sleep deprived - half weepy - hysterical laughter that makes up Jess at the moment.

What do we moms do?  We memorize the timetable.  We get sleep deprived.  We stress.  We eat.  We make copious cups of tea and carry to aforementioned child.  We tell everyone else in the house to sssshh all the time.  We stress more.  We eat more.

Suddenly there are so many moments rushing towards us at once .... Prelims ..... Last school days ..... Matric dance etc etc and whilst our kids get used to the fact that a huge chapter of their lives is about to end whilst an exciting new book lies ahead, us moms are trying to adjust to the fact that our school uniform clad kids are now getting drivers licences, gaining more and more independant ground, not going to be in the car for the school run much longer etc etc.  More stressing.  More eating.  And tears.  Once again I am referring to the moms.

So as we flick frantically through these last pages of this final chapter of this riveting blockbuster which has been their school career, I look back with love and wonderful memories at every thread that has made up this beautiful tapestry of memories and I know that next year chef school and a new wonderful and exciting chapter of a new book lies ahead for her.  And us.

Motherhood .... What a ridiculously challenging joy

till next time xxx
c'est la vie

Sunday, 11 August 2013

a ridiculously real priest and an ATM

Now I have had parish priests before that, when I walk out of Mass, I think to myself "now what the hell was the actual message?".  I have had parish priests where I walk out afterwards and wonder how I managed to stay awake.  Now I have a parish priest who challenges me, and my family, all the time.  Sometimes we feel guilt at what we hear, other times we feel ridiculous joy.  He teaches us that it is ok to crack a smile during a Homily, that using the word "lekker" in your Homily makes it real and when you say FOMO during it, most teenagers think you are more cool then they already usually do. 

I never have to wonder what he was saying .... because he is so ridiculously real that the message is just easy to follow .... and since it is recorded and placed on social media and the website, you can go back and relisten during the week if you want to. 

Tonight he spoke about the "instant coffee mentality of life" and the truth rang clear in my head ..... how often do we use God as an ATM for requests, desires, needs and wants?  It is true what Fr Chris said .... it is like putting in your pin number, stating your request ... 'please can we have success', 'please can you give me this or that' and then expecting God to give us an instant reply, or even more, an instant positive reply to what we want, like grabbing our money out the machine.  But it does not work like that ..... sometimes we have to accept a NO (a bit like that piece of paper that comes out saying your balance is below a drawable amount).  Sometimes we have to wait for an answer and sometimes, heaven forbid, we don't get the answer we wanted. 

But that does not mean we did not get a reaction.  God always dispenses the "money" but he does so, as I repeatedly tell my kids over the years, in His time.  Always in His time. 

And so in our hard and fast world we do look for that instant gratification he spoke about .... a lot.  Everything is here and now in an increasingly rushed life that we seldom get time to step out of and take stock. 

Sometimes not getting what you want can be the greatest thing that ever happened to you.  

So when you ask .... sit quietly and wait ...... and listen ...... the answer will come ..... but only in His time. 

till next time
c'est la vie xxx 

Friday, 9 August 2013

What woman want .... aka Woman's Day kind of wonderful

Now let me say right up front .... Ivy Sutton is my kind of motivational speaker.  She makes no apology for being loud, out there, vivacious and the thing I loved most was when she said life is full of what she calls "High 5 Nike" woman ... who run through life (not walk) bursting into every room, shouting High 5 and just like Nike they "just do it", every challenge, every opportunity, breath and life in every step ..... like Boom.  

My own table and my Lifeline friends commented that I am definitely that person.  Not the other side she described, the more quiet one (although I thought I belonged there .... whahahaha).  

My table at the Woman's Day event today clearly was a "Karin" table and those sitting there agreed that it personified me.  My Lifeline counsellor from the course I attended said without glitter there is no Karin-ness .... and then she found it on my cupcakes!!! 

Ivy told us about making memories every day with everyone, especially our husbands and to further encourage us she proceeded to deliver a very tongue in cheek, very funny 20 mins of how to do this ...... let me just say that in the absence of a feather boa .... it is permissible it seems to sommer grab the tinsel which you store for your Christmas tree.  And if I could tell you what she showed us to the tune of "Kaptein span die Seile" .... I would.  Trust me it had us shrieking with laughter and I can only imagine what people passing thought was going on in the church hall.  Who said us Catholic woman are boring?

Each table host was responsible for the eats at her table and let me say my daughter excelled herself ....... the fashion show was delightful and lets face it .... gather a large group of woman and let enough wine flow and the party is on!!  More for some than others ..... 

With prizes galore being given away ... great music ....... a very informative talk on breast cancer by Dr Brittain, belly dancing (never have a belly dancing show at the end of a function when woman have had wine .....) yes it became an interactive event and some of the church aunties really showed us a thing or two .... age and size played no role whatsoever. 

What did I learn?  That women just being women are a joy to be around .... that church functions can rock and that mischievous is just a step away ...

Now where the hell did I put that box of tinsel ...........

My table
Jess' catering 

Till next time ;)
c'est la vie xxx

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

What about this and that .... for my Russian reader

Amazingly I have 17 readers from Russia who translate my blog, followed by 12 in the Czech Republic .... I find it so fascinating that they would do so ....

Now one of the readers from Russia sent on a thing to me from her blog .... so because she is such a faithful reader I will answer it for her in a blog which I hope translates correctly ....

What irritates me the most:  People whose arrogance is so all encompassing that they cannot see past it to what is going on around them.  People who take other people for granted.  Drivers who change lanes without indicating.  Cold, weak coffee :).  Rude cashiers.

What makes me the happiest:  Great cappuccinos. Appreciation that is expressed.  My jobs.  Devouring novels.  Writing.  My ridiculously silly family. My ridiculously loving Alsation.  Watching my kids play sport.  My daughter's cooking.

Where have I travelled:  Mauritius, Comores, England, Germany, France, Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, Italy and a lot locally

What makes me laugh:  My kids.  My husband.  Modern Family.  Myself.  My colleagues.  My best friend.  My priest.  My life (a lot)

What scares me:  Being in a car accident again

What drives me:  Working with mentally disabled adults.  Appreciation.  My willingless to make a difference.

And last of all my nicknames .... Laverne, Lizi, Kikidee, Bubbles and K

Hope my Russian reader has learnt what she wanted to know.

till next time. mwah
c'est la vie xxx

What if ......

Got asked an interesting question by someone this morning after I explained to them what I all do to earn my bread and butter .... "What would you do if you got paid for doing what you love?".

Did not have to think too long to give my kneejerk reaction .... I would write.  All the time.  Quite happily.  Imagine getting paid to write ...... that would be such a soul fulfilling thing for me.  I do write.  A lot of the time.  Quite happily.  And I have all kinds of people read my stuff.  But imagine being able to do that ..... 

It led me to think about a further question and this person and I then debated that .. "What would you do if you didn't need a salary and could do simply whatever you want?" ....

Write.  And write some more. 

and a few more random ones:

Counsel youngsters. 
Work for an NPO. 
Learn to play the piano 
Get involved in my parish
Bake for anyone who wanted me to. 
Write some more

I asked some other people around me today.  It surprised me how many dreams people still had for their lives.  I realised how many of my dreams above I am already doing.  It also made me think seriously about how many of them still make me happy.  I want to make a difference I realised.  

So ask yourself this ... What would you do if you could get paid to do what you love?

till next time
c'est la vie

Monday, 5 August 2013

Body Shock .... Spring is when????

So today I had to have a little heart to heart with my body.  So I sat myself down and looking downwards told my dear body that I had some bad news.  Spring is about 3 weeks away.  My body reacted with shock.  "I have to come out from underneath the jerseys, jeans, scarves, gloves and other items of multi-covering functions?", it gasped in disbelief.  "Already?".  I nodded solemnly whilst berating myself for not reminding my body of this a little earlier. 

My body is now not talking to me. 

Yes once again it is almost Spring.  Spring ..... flowers, blossoms, warmer weather, couples skipping through lush green parks singing The Hills are Alive whilst smiling at each other, birds chirping, dogs fetching frisbies, icecream and ............ yes that other stuff ...... swimming costumes, tshirts, shorts and that long awaited moment when we bring our long covered flesh out into the open eye, and sunlight. 


It is usually at this time of year that we remind ourselves of what we told ourselves in Autumn.  "I am not going to eat a lot of comfort food this winter.  I will be sensible and stick to soups and healthy stews with brown rice and vegetables.  I will drink only rooibos tea".  I did say that to my body but for some unknown reason what my body heard was "I will drink tons of foamy cappuccino with brown sugar, lovely danishes on chilly winter mornings, chocolate dipped into my coffee on stressful days and .... soup?  Pfft ..... no thanks".  

Now thanks to the hearing problem of my body I have to find some sort of 53 day detox in order to shock charge my body for the great reveal.  I figure if I drink 19 glasses of water a day and shoot back 11 glasses of veggies blended with carrot juice and 9 water tablets I should make some progress in time for the September school holidays. 

So I guess I better get out my Virgin Active card (always seems such a contradiction that name) and get myself and my body down to the treadmill.  I wonder if they will allow me to have one of those divine Kauai smoothies whilst I am walking.  After all a minute on the treadmill is very stressful. 

Now where did I put that bathing costume ......

till next time
c'est la vie xxxx 

Sunday, 4 August 2013

pepe ... my dream come true

Today I got my new car.  Silly ridiculous dancing excited does not even begin to explain it.  After having my previous car written off by some idiot who slammed into me, a wonderful opportunity (after much car window shopping, reading up on the internet and speaking to various salesman)arose when we decided to ditch all the complications we had previously with pre-owned cars and buy a new one.  Not easy, it is a huge commitment to make to pay for over a looong time, but armed with the payout from the insurance and the abovementioned commitment, I found a fabulous saleslady at VW who highly efficiently sold me a Polo Sedan 1.4 Comfortline .... man this is a kickass car .... it has every bell and whistle standard, and to satisfy my family who are concerned about cellphone usage in vehicles (who me??), I got a bluetooth connected to my speakers for my cellphone.

So off we went this morn .... Eug and I plus kids plus grandparents.  Given that the kids thought I had bought a 2010 red Polo Vivo pre-owned with lots of kms on it, you can imagine their surprise when we said "let us cut through the showroom", and there .... front and centre, wrapped up in a red ribbon and bow with a board saying "Human family" ... actually "Human Farmily" ... sort of the same (there over the hill as my friend would say) ... was Pepe.  Yes Pepe, as in the footballer, Pepe the Polo.  Shrieks ensued whilst two gobsmacked teenagers let the news their eyes were giving them sink in. They rated a 10 out of 10, my giggling rated about a 14. 

The only small glitch was that the finance guy had taken his eye off the ball and had a mistake in the contract ... when we pointed it out he looked like Bambi in headlights and stayed that way for most of the hour the then needed discussions took place. The Dealer Principal dealt with it in a manner then that showed exactly why the heck he is the Dealer Principal .. high 5. The only other slight thing was when a man who was looking at cars in the showroom lent his whole face against my new car window to look inside, smearing his nose all over.  A quick "please don't smear my windows" quickly stopped that whilst my family dispersed so as not to look as if they were with me. 

It is lekker to get a new car, it is lekker to get any car, but the smell when you open the door of a new vehicle ..... when it was time to go the salesman held out the key and as I reached for it he snatched it back and said "oh no, not before you ring the bell" ... in the middle of the showroom floor is a biggish brass bell .... I dashed over and gave it a good yank so that the entire VW building resounded with the pealing ... and as the bells rang out every single VW employee, irrespective of job, started to clap and shout congratulations .... What a fantastic tradition!!! So with a hoot I drove off the showroom floor .... now it is funny.... I have had a licence for almost 30 years ... I drove away like a new driver, slowly, gently .... when we got in and out the car we swung our legs up like pole dancers, not letting our feet touch the running boards or any part of the vehicle.  No one was allowed to do anything but sit upright and anyone breathing onto the windows was immediately removed from the vehicle. If the kids could have held their feet parallel above the mats I would have been even more excited. 

So with a whole 28km on the clock Pepe has entered our lives.  I am already nearly finished with the encyclopaedia sized manual and know every feature of the car. I made 4 additional trips tonight to the Spar.  1st for milk.  Then for bread ... etc etc ...... I just wanna be in the car. 

Off to bed now.  Will I sleep?  I better, so I can wake up and drive my new baby. 

till next time,
c'est la vie xxx

Friday, 2 August 2013

Authenticity ..... and my desire for relevance

 “Authenticity is a collection of choices we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.”

"Just be authentic", my hubby tells me, "because the Karin that you are (and he never calls me Karin), is exactly the Karin that people love".  "You always show up and be real".

That seems logical.  Not entirely sure how practical it is.  Imagine how wonderful that is or could be.... to just show up where you have to be every day and be real.  Be you.  And have people love it. 
How many versions of your "authentic self" do you have?  Is our "real self" ever good enough?  Or do we have to conform to everyone's pre-defined "box" for us.  

There are so many labels ..... too loud, too withdrawn, too outspoken, too shy, too involved, too enthusiastic, too kind .....too kind (what the hell is too kind?) that I think for any person it would be hard to be true to themselves and remain authentic. 

Imagine how nice it would be if we could simply be who we are ......and not have to feel we have to justify it ...  

Being authentic is something my husband has always encouraged in me ..... because he sincerely believes that in me "what you see is what you get" ..... the Karin at work, is the Karin at home, is the Karin in church is the friend you get.  I don't do things in half measures. Somehow I cannot help wondering ..... can you be too authentic?  Is that possible?

So tonight I go to bed pondering authenticity.  And the answers that a very wise woman gave me yesterday.  My day has ended a bit windy, as my other friend would say.  I just love that term. 

Seek out that particular mental attribute which makes you feel most
deeply and vitally alive, along with which comes the inner voice which says,
'This is the real me,' and when you have found that attitude, follow it.

c'est la vie.  from the real me. 

2019 - new beginnings and other excitement

2019 is a big year for me.  For the first time in probably 30 years I am not in a fixed Monday to Friday job.  This is huge.  I return from...