Why I blog...

I use this blog as a kind of therapy. Sometimes I'm happy and want to share it, sometimes it's just a random thought and sometimes it's to deal with things in my past. After all a burden shared is a burden halved

Friday, October 22, 2010

I'm making this up as I go along

Parenting has to be the most difficult job in the world, one with the worst salary, the longest hours, offering no training what so ever. So why do we do it? Well the rewards of having children far out way any difficulties one may encounter along the way. It's kind of like an earn while you learn experience. When the doctor, (or midwife in some cases)hands you that precious little bundle of joy, he doesn't give you an A-Z instruction manual on the correct way to raise it. The thing that no one tells you is that, there is no true and perfect way to raise a child or children. Each person is unique individual and what works for one parent may not work for you. You can seek the advice of other more 'experienced' parents (that just means they had their children before you) but they are just going to give you solutions based on what worked for them or advice that they have received from other parents based on what they found effective. There again it's still a matter of you experimenting with their advice to see if it applies to you and your offspring. It may work and it may not. So here is my advice from MY years of experience being a mother of 3 a teacher an aupair a babysitter and generally working in the childcare industry for 19 years: there are some things that are standard remedies for certain problems and will generally work with most children, but there is always that one exception to the rule. And chances are some one's child is going to be that exception. So for the most part parenting is all about trial and error and finding your own unique way of dealing with stuff that works for you and your family. Listen to the advice of others by all means, but if it doesn't yield the same results for you, it doesn't make you a bad parent.

Anyone who has never made a mistake, has never learnt something new - Albert Einstein

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Eventually it doesn't hurt to remember

I was 12 years old and spending the evening at my aunt and uncle's house, as I had done many many nights before. This particular evening was a very special evening as it was my aunt's 30th birthday. My cousin's were 8 and 6 years old and I spent a lot of my time with them. This evening was going to be a load of fun, there was a house party and I was sleeping over and would get to mingle amongst the adults and hang out with my cousins. all was going well, my cousins and I were having fun in the room while the adults partied up a storm in the lounge. As the night drew on guest after guest started leaving and by the end of the evening my cousins and I were safely tucked in bed fast asleep when my aunt (whose birthday it was) passed out in her bedroom. Pretty much in the way drunk people tend to do when they have had too much of a good time.

I was woken up that night by my uncle (the man who had come to represent one of the many father figures in my life). I was sharing a bed with his daughter, when he came into the room and removed her from the bed and placed her in her brothers room, then returned to me. I opened my eyes to find him hovering over me like an overbearing oaf. (he was a rather large man). I remember very clearly his words as he spoke; "Come I'll show the real meaning of that Madonna song, like a virgin". That night he raped me. He was so big and heavy and I remember trying in vain to push him off me, trying desperately to close my legs but my struggle was in vain. With all the strength in me I could not muster up enough to stop him from bearing down on me like an elephant. He was so much stronger than I could ever imagine. I remember telling him; "You're hurting me, stop" only to have him cup his hands over my mouth and say; "shh you're going to be just fine".

The next morning is kind of a blur. I showered and washed my body till it was quite raw, trying to remove all remnants of the night before's activity. I went about my daily life as if nothing happened too embarrassed to tell anyone. He had returned his daughter to her bed before retiring for the night and so the only evidence of any unusual activity was when my cousin asked me the next day if I had found her a little bit gone in the night. (was how she put it) apparently she had woken up to find herself in her brother's bed, but was still in a dreamlike sleep state only to wake up the next morning back in her own bed. I ignored her question and she just took it as a dream.

something changed inside me that next day. I looked at men with distrustful eyes. I felt guilty, ashamed and dirty. I felt as if somehow I had brought this on myself. I didn't have the heart to tell my aunt what her husband had done, for fear of upsetting her. In fact I didn't want to tell anyone, so I kept this dark dirty secret to myself for years.

When I was pregnant with my first child one evening I called my grandmother up and told her to come see me I had something important to tell her. sensing the urgency in my tone of voice, she came over right away. I told her the whole story, she was in tears and held me for what seemed like hours. It was very therapeutic, like a weight had literally been lifted from my shoulders. She went back home and relayed the story to the family and my aunt then divorced him. (It later came out that he had attempted the same thing wit another female member of the family)

The thing that I have learnt through time and life experience is that any event no matter how traumatic may never be entirely forgotten, but eventually there will come a time when it doesn't hurt to remember.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Young mommy

Being a young mom was awesome. I was always the youngest mom at all the P.T.A meetings and I loved the fact that when my daughters got to high school the other mom's thought we were sisters.

The day my eldest (now turning 22 in November) was born, I was 16 years old. I fell pregnant as a teenager and got married two weeks after I turned 16. I gave birth on November 22nd 1988 in Constantiaberg maternity ward. As I was not there the day before to pre-order my lunch, they brought it to me with a small bottle of red wine. I remember it so vividly it was a bottle of red Nederberg wine 1984 vintage (nogal). When the nurse brought it to me, I looked at her in disbelief. "who is this for?" I politely asked, pointing to the wine. "Its for you" was her reply. "Wow" I said, "but I'm not even old enough to drink". Then she looked at me with a look that said; but you're a married woman with a baby, what are you doing here.

Being young when you have your first child can be both scary and exciting at the same time. Not having any 'life' experience I didn't know what to expect. My mom tried to tell me of her experiences and covered most of the basics, but failed to mention one teeny tiny and particularly horrifying experience. I had to discover first hand what an enema was!!! Yip and now I know!!!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Friends and friendships

I have always considered myself a friendly person. Someone who can befriend anyone. You don't have to run in the same circles as me to be my friend. You don't have to have a lot in common with me to be my friend. In fact the more different you are, the more interesting I find you. Thanks to the internet there is also a whole range of social media in which we could connect and form all sorts of different friendships. You don't have to be like minded or think in a similar way to me. I enjoy conversation and a healthy debate. A little argumentitive banter is always good, as long as we realise at the end of it all that we can agree to disagree. I guess what I'm trying to say in a round about way is that we are all different (no surprise there) and that we should celebrate our differences-> ooh a very politically correct statement! I personally would find life very boring if we all thought and acted the same. Yes it's nice when people agree with you on an issue, but I find it far more exciting to meet someone who can look at a situation from a totally different perspective. I love meeting new people and learning about their life experiences. Yes sometimes that means I open myself up to being friendly with people who may, to an outside observer seem an unlikely companion, but hey that's me! (that's how I roll) My mom used to say: "this is my daughter Karen, she can talk to a stone" My first 4 years in school all my reports ended with "Karen is a chatterbox". I guess this was partly due to the fact that I was an only child until the age of 10 and desperately wanted a sibling to rival with. However having said that I like befriending all kinds of people I have realised recently that this also allows me to invite some not so savoury characters into my life. I also realised that people judge you by the company you keep. It is a sad but true fact that, if the company you keep is good, people will try and find your weak spot and focus on that. If the company you keep is bad, you will inevitably get tarred with the same brush and be perceived as equally vile, no matter how innocent that relationship is to you. So Sometimes in life we have to step back from what comes naturally to us and say: Is this good for me? is this friendship harmful to my well being or my families well being? and if the answer is yes, well then there is a tough choice to be made.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Personality traits

I have often wondered what makes up a person's personality? Is it their environment or current circumstances? Maybe its in your genetic make-up? What influences you?, what drives you? Why is it that some children follow in their parents footsteps while others rebel and do the exact opposite?

I know of some people who are not of the "Elvis " generation, but love his music because their parents listened to it and it kinda grew on them. I know of Pastor's children who grew up in the church environment and became pastors or church leaders themselves. Then there is a pastor's child who wont even set foot in a church because he felt indoctrinated and and rebelled (not because his dad was a bad pastor or anything like that) but simply out of a need to be an individual ands carve out his own path in life. Then I thought what makes good parents have bad children? and vice versa? I have a cousin who has never touched alcohol out of choice and partly because his parents drank and partied all the time when he was young. I remember him driving them home from a party one night when he was 12 years old because they were too inebriated to do it themselves. lucky for him he is very tall and could reach all the pedals by then. Then you get children of alcoholic parents who learn form their example and become alcoholics themselves repeating the cycle all over again. One wonders when they have children one day, what path will they take?

I myself could not stand rap music and normally listen to classical or light pop, but when my daughters became teenagers they were all about Usher, Lil Wayne and Tupac. The music grew on me as i passively listened and found myself singing along and even putting it on when no one was around.
The other day I professed to loving Akon and singing along to Dirty Bitch -yeah I have no shame, the rhythm got me. I was influenced I could have resisted but yip the rhythm got me good.

Just random thoughts flying around in my head

Monday, July 19, 2010

Reaching for your Dreams

Have you ever had a dream that came true? Did it live up to your expectations?

For a long time I had this dream of starting a new life and a vague idea of what that would be like. All I had to do was take that big bold step towards it. All the while hoping things would be great and praying for the happiness I felt I deserved which had eluded me for so long. I know what you're thinking; "who am I to demand happiness and bliss?" And you would be right this is the real world where utopia is but a myth. But you know I had come to a crossroads in my life where values and priorities were changing and the need to please other people even to my own detriment was starting to wane. I wanted to be my first priority for a change (dammit). This notion, the more I thought about it seemed both practical and selfish. So for a very long time I kept putting it off. Then one day I met some new friends who gave me a new perspective and taught me that it was quite okay to think of oneself now and then and demand nothing but extreme bliss. None of them lead a perfect life, but in their imperfection I saw happiness shinning through it all. It was then and there that I realised I needed to take care of ME first! because only then can I offer my family and friends the best of me.

It was a very rainy Monday evening when I packed up all my material possessions, loaded my little yellow car and sped off towards my new future.
I have been divorced 2months now and have been living with my new partner 5 weeks.

This dream I had of what it would be like to share a life with someone new was now a reality. And let me tell you!!!! the dream was nothing compared to the reality. I always worried that the reality wouldn't quite live up to the fantasy, but I am very happy to say BOY was I wrong. The reality of my new life with my new man has far surpassed all my dreams in so many ways.

I would say on a scale of 1-10 of the bliss-o-meter it's about 15!

So if I'm ever in a quandary again about following my heart and my dreams, next time I will not hesitate. I will not procrastinate. I will dive in head first!!!

Monday, May 31, 2010

The wedding!!!!

attached is a few wedding pictures; enjoy!

So Sat the 29th of May was my daughter's wedding day. Melissa Meyer was my middle daughter, I had her when I was 18years old and now she is 19 and all grown up. The wedding went off well, we were all a bunch of nerves in the beginning but in the end it all worked out. Melissa has changed her name to Jasmin as she has married a Muslim and converted to Islam she also has a new surname and a husband. I was a very proud mama to see my daughter looking so beautiful she was positively glowing. It was a very full day starting with the men going off to the mosque while the women stayed behind and dressed the bride in a stunning satin blue dress. Then we all met together in the hall to have a meal together and watch them exchange rings. Next we went home to change into her White traditional wedding dress and it was off to the church for a christian ceremony. There I watched as her dad walked her down the isle with pride and gave her to her husband. My son was the dashingly handsome best man and did a very good "oh no I lost the ring impression" searching all his pockets before he finally found it. They drove off after rice was thrown in a vintage car to take photo's. We were very fortunate God had smiled upon us this day as we had the most beautiful weather. after the photo's it was off to the hall for the reception. All I can say was there was food, food and more food. After the reception it was time to go and see the house that the grooms family had been preparing for the new couple. All went well until his gran took my daughter by the hand and said to me; "say goodbye to your girl she is part of our family now". That's when I could no longer hold back my tears and I sobbed my heart out. Saying goodbye is always hard.

attached is a few wedding pictures; enjoy!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Extended family members

We have 3 new members of our family, their names are Snowy, Roxy and Max.
A month ago we had the unfortunate experience of putting down our Boxer. Her name was Donna and she was the most slobbery oafish dog on the planet, but we loved her and all her quirks. She developed cancer in her jaw and we had no choice but to do the humane thing and let her rest in peace. It was a very sad occasion, the day we took her she jumped up and down with excitement thinking she was going for a walk.

Snowy isn't actually my dog, she belongs to my eldest daughter who paid R5700 for her (I kid you not)just because she is a pedigree with papers and all. This little American bulldog is going to be one spoilt puppy I can tell. Roxy and Max are two boxer's Roxy is the female puppy who is 7months old and Max is the male. Their previous owners emigrated to Australia (along with the other half of South Africa)and were willing to give them away free to a loving home.

So besides two crazy adults three children, two ginger cats a Jack Russel, a miniature daschund, two boxer's and an American bulldog we also have a koi fish pond in the garden. I would say our family is pretty full! oh...but wait....this Sat the 29Th of May I gain a son-in law!!!!

The more the merrier!!!!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The unworn wedding dress

There is nothing sadder than something not fulfilling the purpose for which it was made! I often wonder am I fulfilling the purpose for which I was made? I have a dress that I bought for a specific occasion. It is a stunning black dress, but sadly the occasion in particular is not going to happen. So there it hangs in my cupboard, it's very existence mocking me a reminder of an event never to be, Like and unworn wedding dress after the engagement has been broken.

When I was little, and my mom was single, I remember her courtng days .Looking for the man who could possibly be 'the one' The string of suitors who came around to see her were all told I was her sister until she was sure (usually around the third date) that knowing she had a child would not chase them away. Once they knew about me, that's when all the "let's suck up to your daughter" behaviour began They thought being nice to the offspring would cement their relationship. (My mom, I am told was quite the player in her day). The two 'suitors' that stood out the most for me, was Andrew and Arthur. Quite coincidentally they both had names that begin with A. Andrew drove a motorcycle and went for karate lessons. I remember riding on the back of his motorbike to watch him do karate as part of some sort of mom's boyfriend/child bonding. Then there was Arthur, who actually got as far as proposing and getting engaged. All seemed set to go, when suddenly my mom backed out (I was too young to understand why at the time and since then never thought to ask) just days before the wedding day. My prospective dad now gone. Her wedding dress, never to fulfill the purpose for which it was made. Just like my black dress.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Full of life

He was a brilliant soccer player in his youth and an even greater coach later on in life. A popular fellow down at the pub. He drank too much, smoked a lot and liked to whistle at the ladies. He was quite the scoundrel in those early days I'm told. He loved his beer, his friends, his soccer and most of all the mountains
Then His life changed and he found his life partner a girl named Evelyn. They got married and had 5 kids, soon after that God found him and he became a wonderful christian. Him and his wife made quite the formidable evangelism team touching hearts and lives with the love of Jesus everywhere they went. His life was now all about God, his family, soccer and the mountains. He was a great provider, father, grandfather and great grandfather. He still loved nature, mountain climbing and long walks in the forest. He was an honourable man who always kept true to his word. Hardworking and willing to help wherever it was needed. As life went on, he bought a caravan and spent his vacations up the west coast with his wife and kids. Then the years went by, the kids moved out had families of their own. He and his wife downscaled sold their house and caravan and settled into a quieter existence, with the exception of the occasional west coast holiday with family and Friends. Life was about serving God, visiting family and friends, watching the kids play matches in their respective sports and lifting grand kids here and there until one day, something was not quite as it should be. The signs were subtle at first but as time went by they became more and more apparent. He had alzheimers. Slowly his brain started to deceive him until eventually his body just said enough. He passed away quietly in the arms of his loving wife and daughter on Friday 14Th of May 2010.

He was my grandad. R.I.P. oupa we will miss you very much, you were well loved and lived a great life and will never be forgotten.

Lionel Reginald Ohlsson born: 13th November 1931- 14th may 2010

Sunday, May 16, 2010

A day full of surprises

So I woke up to what was a very normal sunday morning. Then the surprises began; surprise number 1-> there on my dresser was gift with a handwritten note attached from my eldest. It was a bottle of perfume with a note saying "happy mother's day mom I love you". I was not expecting anything from her as I knew she was broke and probably couldn't afford a gift. Then we went off to church, it was a beautiful mother's day service filled with special songs and poems all dedicated to mothers. Then Surprise no2-> we all got a rose, a box of sweeties and a cupcake (which the men had to serve to us). Surprise no3-> when I got home form church there waiting for me in the microwave was a wonderful breakfast of scrambled eggs made by my daughter. Surprise no4-> On my bed was a pair of funky slippers and a card from my other two children, as well as a card from my husband thanking me for being the mother of his children. Surprise no5-> my gran came home with us form church and made us a delicious pot of curry for lunch (it was very yum). It was a real joy to have all three of my children at home with me for the whole day not something that happens very often these days so we decided to take a family portrait. The last (and only) time we had a full family portrait taken was in 1996! This quickly turned into an impromptu photo shoot (let's just say props and funny hats were involved).

All in all it was definitely not a very normal Sunday. It was a day full of love, family and surprises.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Feeling like sponge

Sometimes life can feel a little claustrophobic. Imagine an opera singer with her mouth taped shut. A piano player forced to wear mittens. A painter with his hands tied behind his back. A marathon runner losing both his legs right before an important race or an Olympic swimmer living in a desert never to see a pool again. All of these scenario's seem quite harsh and yet there are people who are worse off than any of them. there is the homeless man who has no where to call home, and doesn't know when or where his next meal will be coming from. I could go on and on, but each one of us have our own limits. Our very own version of personal hell. Pain is relative because of our varying pain thresholds and tolerances.

For me, my life is pretty 'normal' (another relative term)but sometimes, just sometimes it can be quite unbearable. Sometimes I feel like I am a cherry glaze cake (much like the one in the picture above) and life is wonderful. And then there are times when I feel like I have lost my glaze and all my cherries are gone. I am just a dry sponge. I am grateful for those 'sponge' moments as they make me stronger and help me learn to appreciate those times when I do have all my toppings.

So life has ups and downs, no surprises there. We all have to experience a bit of both in our life time. I just feel that we need to be sensitive to those around us, as you never know when someone is in their up or down phase. and what may seem like a minor complication to you may be a major crisis to someone else. God created us all different so that we may compliment and uplift one another.

So my challenge to myself and any one silly enough to be reading this(that's you) is this: Go out and untape that singer's mouth, go and untie those mittens, release the artists bonds, be the artificial leg for that runner or simply just dig a hole and make a pool for that swimmer. Just go out and buy some cherries and glaze that cake.

BE SOMETHING SPECIAL TO SOMEONE IN NEED!!! the rewards are everlasting.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Job description

The other day while pondering upon life's mysteries I counted all the things that I do or have done as a mother, wife teacher etc and this is what I came up with;

Home executive, Diva of domestication, I.T. consultant, google /search engine specialist (especially when needed to do Internet research for projects) Taxi/lift co-ordinater/ Travel consultant, sibling rivalry negotiator and facilitator, part-time short order cook, Chef and Sandwich maker, tea/coffee girl, Hostess, Make-up artist(for concerts and such)Creative accountant, fashion consultant "honey does this tie go with this shirt?")chief clothing buyer, Pantry stock er and all round shopping officer, Bath and shower singer, Washing and ironing expert, Amateur lounge entertainer (when guests come over and it literally is in my lounge)family Psychiatrist, Sexologist, 24 hour Nurse (always on call) Spiritual advisor, Sexual fulfilment participator, keeper of family secrets, Imagination enabler, Home decorator, Television viewer and part time remote control holder, Education specialist, Parent teacher conference holder, Pet feeder, Curfew manager, mail box checker, and avid supporter of reaching for your dreams.

All of these things are usually just a part of our every day life, and we wonder why we are so tired at the end of the day.

Partners in crime

Why is it when we look for a partner in business we look for like minded individuals with the same ideals and visions as ourselves? We want someone we respect and who has good business savvy that will help you reach your ultimate goal in life. Would you 'get into bed' with a business partner who has anything but your utmost respect?

Partners in crime: would you contemplate (hopefully not) but it is a good example, committing a crime with someone you hardly know? Someone you are not sure you can trust? someone you may know a little, but not really well?

Why then, when it comes to a lifetime partner or a spouse, one is ready to jump into a relationship half cocked. Not really knowing the other person or their goals, ideals or visions for the future? This to me is a sign of disrespect. Not respecting them enough to actually get to know them before jumping into bed with them (literally as well as figuratively). I think sometimes certain relationships fail because we are ruled by emotions, lust and physical attraction which makes us feel good when we are attracted to the other person but then we live by the mentality of; hey if it feels good then why not go for it.

But then it's all about feelings and emotions and lust (can't forget the lust). What happens when the feelings and emotions start to fade or die down? what are you left with then?

Just questions swimming around in the huge pool of my emotional brain. (yes I do have a brain)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Retribution, Disapointment and Punishment

I am told that when I was young I was quite the 'handful' Which is the politically correct way of saying I was a naughty little s..... My mom always maintained though that her consolation was that one day I would have kids of my own and they too would be teenagers at some point. This was her revenge as it were, and boy was she right! (but those stories are for another time) So back to my childhood, all the adults in my family had their own personal weapon of choice for metering out punishment. That was back in the day when corporal punishment was the norm and not a controversial subject. My paternal grandmother had a wooden spoon (which had a sad face drawn on it with marking khoki, i suspect) it was called 'tickler the wooden spoon'. This name always struck me as a bit odd, as it didn't tickle at all. My aunt on my mother's side had 'The purple slipper'. This was an adult sized (purple)  slipper with a rubberised sole, very flexible and therefore could deliver quite the spanking. My maternal grandparents preferred the old fashioned hand spanking method and my mother had a leather belt. Apparently the idea of the leather belt (I was told in later years) was meant to be so scary that it would not need to be used, merely threatened with. The threat was meant to coax me into submission. Unfortunately for me that theory was was ineffective. There was also the usual removal of privileges and cancelled play dates as well as 'time out 'in my room, these were for minor offences. But my ultimate worst punishment of all, the one I feared the most and could almost not bear to live through was when my grandpa looked me in the eye and said "my girl I'm so disappointed in you." Those words echoed around the room and felt like a knife jab straight to my heart. Still to this day I hate disappointing people in general. It's not so much that I have a need to please everyone, but I do have this need to not displease anyone.

In days of old when chivalry was rife, men gave their word and it was like an oath and could be trusted to be  true. They fought for the integrity of their word and to defend a woman's honour.
Today we are so used to broken promises, people not keeping their word and gossiping about other's that one's word is no longer considered to be true. Your word is taken with a pinch of salt and often not trusted unless proven to be true. Sort of like 'guilty until vindicated instead of innocent until proven otherwise'

So the bottom line is, I hate disappointment just like any other person, but not as much as I hate disappointing others. And if somehow, somewhere I have offended you or disappointed you in the past. I am truly deeply sorry.

Please forgive me

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Parenting and bumps

Did you ever make that statement, "when I grow up I'm going to be the coolest parent in the world. I'm not going to be so strict with my children " etc etc. Well flash forward 15 years and I find my mother's words coming out of my mouth. How did that happen? I had a plan, a well thought out and carefully constructed plan to avoid old sayings and cliche's. Yet there it is again, parent sayings like: "as long as you live under my roof"........ or" when I was your age"........ and my personal (un)favorite: "Just because I said so!" My beautiful daughters->

While society is evolving all the time, so must we, but there are however a few things that will never change. Parents will always try their best to be in control of their children and children will in turn always push boundaries as far as possible. Teenagers and parents will always clash on issues and just when you have decided you have had enough, you find out you are pregnant and are elated to go through it all over again.

Life as it turns out never runs according to your plan. No matter how hard you try there is always that unexpected bump in the road. You can't (even if you are a manipulating control freak) try and for see that bump and imagine your responses to it. I have found through experience that when faced with such trials my reactions are often not what I expected or planned for. So The best we can do is live life as full and as best as we can, not expecting to be perfect or for everything to run smoothly, but embracing everything that comes your way with a smile and a positive attitude. Bring on those bumps for a road would be boring an monotonous if it were just one straight long strip of tar.

my son (doing his impression of 'Edward" from Twilight

Thursday, March 18, 2010

chameleons and thermostats

Are you a thermostat or a thermometer? I heard a preacher once ask this question. He went on to explain that one's presence in any situation should always make a positive impact. A thermostat does just that, it measures the temperature of a room and changes it to an optimum level that is best. Where a s the thermometer merely reads the temperature and reports back it's findings not changing anything.

I have often taken pride in the fact that I can in almost chameleon like fashion fit into any environment I find myself in. I have taught children from poor communities and conversed with their parents on their level. I have also au-paired for some of the wealthiest families in cape Town and mingled with them and their friends after hours. I can talk to almost anyone, it's just part of who I am. But does that mean I am a thermometer? I don't really like to change the dynamic of a group upon entering it, I merely blend in and add to the conversation. I end up changing just a little of myself to suit the current surroundings. Or am I in fact changing the dynamic slightly just by engaging in the conversation in my own way? This leads me to wonder who I am really when I am all by myself.

when walking alone in the forest there are no 'airs' to put on no social masks to wear. just me and my (sometimes scary) thoughts at one with nature. so as much as I love being a social butterfly and I do really. I love meeting new people and going to new places, engaging in conversation with people I have just met is always very exciting to me. I feel that it's vitally important to the well being of my soul to get a good balance.

so when all alone I can ask myself: am I a thermostat or a thermometer?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Instant society

We live in an instant society, no longer content to wait a reasonable amount of time for coffee to percolate, we buy instant coffee. Don't feel like mixing ingredients and baking? buy instant pudding. Too much effort to make gravy from scratch no worries, you can get the gravy powder that you mix with boiling water and have wonderful gravy (it even comes in various flavours) just like grandma used to make in under a minute. Instant meals already made for those who just don't feel like bothering, just heat and eat. I ask myself with the current trend what's next instant babies?? Oh yes that's a great concept, can I have one that grows up in one minute too so I can skip the teenage years?

So now fast food just isn't fast enough if we still have to actually go into the establishment and order a meal and then wait. No we want to be able to just drive up and pick up our meal on our way through. Yip this is awesome, order at one window and by the time you get to the next window Taa-daa your meal is there. Oh dear but if (heaven forbid) it isn't there and we actually have to wait 5 minutes or so in our car, well then the service is just shocking!

I want it all and I want it now!!!

The list of instantaneous living goes on: speed dating hhmm find your soul mate in 3 minutes? Garages promising service delivery so fast they will get you back on the road super quick. Woolworths have a sign that says "this is a 3 minute queue, if you find yourself waiting longer than that please contact the management" Pizza delivery promised within a certain amount of time or it's free. This places extra and undue pressure on the delivery man to get it there on time or he doesn't get paid. All because we are an impatient society. Shew just thinking about how ones life can change in an instant.

So I will leave you with this now:


As I need to go stand in a queue at the traffic department to pay my outstanding speeding fine.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

I love Lemon Sorbet

Ok so I love Lemon sorbet, I love the way it feels when it's rich intense lemon and sweet tangy flavours run down my throat. I love the thought of it, the look of it and even the smell of it. I get excited like a 6 year old kid on his way to buy his favorite toy just thinking about it. Once you have tasted the intensity of it's awesome flavour you will understand, no other sorbet can quite compare everything else tastes bland in comparison.

It's kinda weird because generally I am not a fan of sorbet, not even ice-cream. I don't abhor ice-cream or dislike it I am simply not a lover of the stuff, although admittedly it does cool you down on a hot summer day. Getting back to my love for sorbet I mean I don't just love it like I love my car or my special pillow (that's for another blog another day) but I mean I really love it to the point I would run away and marry it if that were allowed.

Ok so you get the general idea lemon sorbet is the shiznit!! What really frustrates me is when I ask for a hot pudding at a restaurant and all they offer you with it is a side order of cream or ice-cream and possiby custard with your pudding. Those choices are so limited and I end up settling for cream, but in the back of my mind I'm thinking "all I really want is Lemon sorbet".

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

kids really do say the darnest things

If you are a parent of a pre-school child, don't be fooled into thinking you have any secrets from your child's teacher. The minute they step into that classroom they spill their guts, blab everything you don't want people to know like something reminiscent of Jim Carey's movie liar liar. As a pre-school teacher I have had the pleasure of hearing some of the weirdest stories and cutest sayings that could come out of the mouth of a 5 year old. Listed below are a few of my all time favorite gems:
When told to fetch his bag, shoes and jacket to take home with him 5year old Joshua responded with "How can you expect me to carry it all I'm not an octopus".
Upon hearing his classmate using a bad word, Mathew shouted "teacher teacher Rory said a square word". (I would hate to know what would constitute a hexagon word).
Truly innocent and not yet street wise
While discussing comic books with 10 year old James, I was told that 'those' books were inappropriate for his age group because they contained swear words. This was most disconcerting to me as I thought spider man and batman comic books were specifically designed for the pre-teen. I asked him what sort of swear words were in them, and he politely declined to tell me the exact word, but explained that it was the thing that beaver's build. The word in question was dam!
Airing dirty laundry
One Monday morning Ann's parents brought her to school together as they always had done, but somehow this morning I could tell by their demeanor that something was a little off. Later that day during news time Ann told us the lovely story of how her daddy screamed at her mommy and called her an ugly name that rhymed with itch. Then mommy got cross and threw the iron at daddy breaking the cupboard door when daddy cleverly ducked out of the way.
Mother's day
When I asked the class what special thing they were planning to do for their mommy on mother's day, Gabby who was 5 years old at the time, said she was going to wash her dad's motorbike for him. I pointed out to her that it was mother's day and not father's day, she replied "well if daddy's bike is clean maybe he will ride it all the way to Cape Point and give mommy some peace and quiet. (I hear mommy's voice in there somewhere, don't you?).
And my absolute favorite, the one that literally made me laugh out loud:
While aupairing full time for a family in Hout Bay a few years ago, Callum then a very bright 3 year old asked me if I would buy him his favourite Tweenies toy as it was only R200. I asked him if he has asked his mom to buy it for him. He told me his mom was not allowed to buy anything anymore because she had used up all his daddy's money that he worked so hard for and that daddy was as mad as the hat man in alice in wonderland. When I told him that I didn't have money either he said I should go and get some from the money robot. Curious as to what this was I asked and he explained; "You put your card with a message on it into the robot's eye and he spits out money from his mouth, lots and lots of paper money. (ATM machine?)
I crack myself up on a daily basis at work listening to little ones and their explanations.

Friday, February 26, 2010

I love my job! really

Yes I know this is quite shocking that in this day and age where people spend a lot of time griping about work and bitching about their boss. I in turn love my job and my boss is great!!! I teach 4-6year old's and it's the most rewarding experience in the world. They are at such an impressionable age, not too young to grasp basic concepts and produce good work but not quite old enough to give me a really hard time ( they haven't learnt the disrespect and 'cheek' of a teenager yet) I am the master of my own little universe that is my classroom. I plan the lessons and it can be as much fun as I allow. Of course like any job there are downsides, the pay for one is well.....crap. no one goes into teaching (at least not in South Africa) to become rich, you do it because it's a calling and you just really love working with children. I read a bumper sticker once that said " Teaching is a work of the heart" that phrase encompasses exactly what it is to be a teacher. for me the greatest reward is to compare what each child is capable of at the start of the year to what he/she has accomplished throughout the year and by the end of it. Knowing that I played an instrumental role in that progress gives me a sense of achievement and great satisfaction. It is particularly rewarding when you have a child with learning difficulties and you watch them struggle to grasp even basic concepts only to persevere and see the elation on their face when they finally do get it. No amount of money in the world can make up for that feeling.
I can't imagine being in a job I hate. Having to go to a place called work and do something I abhor for 8-9 hours at a time only to come back and do the same the next day. That would be soul destroying and unbearable, I think I would end up a very miserable person. Lucky for me I LOVE MY JOB and I look forward to going to school/work every day I'm sorry if that annoys you but it's true.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

I want expensive lipstick dammit

I have a best friend and her name is Coleen. Coleen has not yet been blessed/cursed(depending on wether you are having a good week or not) with children, yet. She is much younger than I am and her husband feels there is still plenty of time for such things in the distant future. coleen and I used to work together and every payday we would take a monthly trip to clicks in our lunch break to "splurge" or rather she would splurge while I looked on disapprovingly. I would buy necessities for the home while she would buy make up and other interesting 'girly' things. All the while I would be thinking of how many bottles of Sta-soft and dish washing liquid i could have bought for the same price as her day cream. There was never any animosity or sense of competition between us, I was merely noting the differences in lifestyle choices. While I secretly wished I could buy the moisture rich lipstick from Estee Lauder (that costs more than I'd care to say) rather than the the cheap one on the sale rack. She in turn was quietly yearning to start a family and become a mom.
I guess it's a case of "you are never happy with what you have" The old cliche' that the grass is always greener on the other side. Ah but is it really greener or does it merely appear to be greener? Well you can never know the answer to that question unless you venture out, over the bridge to the other side and find out for yourself.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

New beginnings

This year I embarked on a new adventure in life one that can have several possible outcomes. Normally this type of uncertainty would be quite intimidating and leave me feeling quite unnerved, but I feel at peace with the decisions I have made thus far. Life under normal circumstances is complicated enough without upsetting the applecart and throwing life changing decisions in the mix. Whoever coined the phrase "truth is stranger than fiction" sure knew many truths. last year was a wake up call for me, I realised I am a grown woman. I am empowered to create my own happiness and proceeded to do so. I sat down and created two lists, one with all the things that make me happy and that I enjoy and one with the opposite, things that make me unhappy. I decided to do more of the things on list number one and start eliminating things from list number two altogether.
I found it quite liberating crossing things off list number two, almost like free therapy!!! Now I am not saying this will solve all of life's problems, but it means I am taking a pro-active step forward, with contentment being my ultimate goal. I don't expect to find "utopia" but at least some joy and happiness.

I don't mean I am going to live an indulgent lifestyle as this would be selfish, but I will assessing anything I do from now to see id it is contributing towards my happiness or taking me further away from it. Something I think I should have done a long time ago.

I feel like I am exfoliating the dead cells of my life to reveal the beautiful glowing me underneath.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

random arbitrary thoughts

Lighthearted and a bit silly, but hey these are my thoughts!!

My sister in- law once (many many years ago) said that when she died she wanted to come back as a tree. besides not believing in that type of after life personally I always thought that to be a rather odd statement.

For some reason this week I remembered this and it gave me pause for thought. Yes why not be a tree, after all they are very useful. I myself love going for long walks in the forest amongst the trees it is a sight too beautiful to describe. Trees provide oxygen for our environment, they provide shade on a sunny day. They provide shelter for many species of wildlife and sustenance with the fruits they bear.

So upon reflecting I have decided it is indeed good to be a tree.............then I remembered wooden furniture!! hhmmm so it's good to be a tree unless of course you are spotted by a man with an axe to grind. "TIMBER"

Monday, February 1, 2010

My sister

I met my sister when she was 25 years old and I was 27. It was such an exciting occasion, I had known about her existence now for 14 years and often wondered what she was like. i was pleasantly surprised to find that even though we only had one parent in common we were extremely similar. We had the same taste in clothing, the same build and a lot of likes in common. In fact I thought she resembled a younger version of our mother. We bonded immediately and discovered we had our first child 6 months apart and many more commonalities.

Over the next 9years I got to know my sister who I came to love and respect, although we did not see each other too often we always made an effort to call or text and keep in touch.
I saw her last on June 16th 2008 (father's day service).

Sunday June 29th 2008-My birthday. my sister called me and wished me happy birthday and asked when I was coming to visit her again as she was missing me. I told her I would make an effort to come in the next two weeks as I was now on school holiday ( I am a teacher).

A week went by and I got a phone call from my mom the following Sunday 6th Of July. My sister was in hospital, she had swallowed a massive amount of prescription pills.

Monday 7th July 2008, at 8:30am she was pronounced legally brain dead but her body was still being kept alive with machines. At 8pm on Monday the 7th of July Adelle Jones was taken off life support. It took only 15minutes for her heart to give in and she was pronounced legally dead at 8:15pm.

I will always live with the regret of not going to visit her that week and wonder what it was that made her feel her life was so desperately doomed that there was no way to overcome it.

I will never allow my life to become so unhappy to the point that I will no longer want to live it!! EVER!!!

I will live it and do it to the fullest for my sister!

I love you sis -just remembering you today xx

family ties

My mother had three children. Me(mistake no:1) , a product of free night and alcohol abuse, my sister (mistake no:2) also the product of alcohol and free love. well i was told hey its was the 70's everyone was promiscuous. and My brother (the only planned for child) who was born when i was 10yrs old. Isn't it strange my mom conceived and literally "popped" out two healthy girls unplanned for and when she finally gets married and decides to have a child it took her three years to conceive and two miscarriages before my brother graced us with his presence.

when I came along my mother was only 17 years old and still living at home with her parents.

My grandparents were a very happy but humble couple who lived simply and got by without much. Grandpa worked for the Post Office, fixing telephone lines and Grandma or Ma as we all affectionately call her, stayed at home and took care of the kids (their 5 children and me child no:6). When my mom made mistake no: 2 she decided it was too much strain on their family life to have a 7th child so she discreetly "went away" for a couple of months. She had put my sister up for adoption much to the disappointment of my grandparents who were very family orientated and would do anything for anybody. I was only told of the existence of my sister when i was 13years old.

I have always had this enormous concern for closed adoptions and sperm banks. That someday you may meet someone of the opposite sex so perfect for you in every way, that it's like you were separated at birth, only to find out that in fact your DNA does come form the same donor.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Sexism is it rife? or blame it on crime?

I found this old letter I wrote 5 years ago to the local newspaper;

Dear Editor,

I am writing in response to the appalling increase in muggings and attacks in and around the greater Southfield area. i would like to take this opportunity to tell you the story of my daughter Melissa A.K.A." Argie girl". My daughter has always been an academic in school and in an effort to be independent she wanted to learn the value of money first hand by earning her own salary form a young age. As she was only 14 she was not old enough to waitress, so she managed to secure herself a job delivering the Argus to the entire area of Southfield. She started at the end of last year and all was going well. the local kids in the park would call out "here comes Argie girl" when she came around, some residents even gave her fruit and juice along her route. This lasted until two and a half months ago when she was attacked by five youths with a knife. They pushed her off her bicycle and relieved her of her cellphone. She arrived home in tears, shook up, but nevertheless determined to continue with her job. She decided not to become a victim and instead used this experience as a stepping -stone and not a stumbling block. she chose to walk her route in fear of the perpetrators returning for her bicycle. All was going well until two weeks ago when she was accosted yet again, this time by two youths who pushed her to the ground and proceeded to pull on her clothing in order to see if she was hiding a cellphone. this time she fought back, kicking and screaming until someone came walking by, the attackers the fled the scene. she arrived home in tears (yet again) a little less shook up, but wit the same determination as before. All I could think of was that this is one tough cookie. This time her father who is a Captain in the South African Police Service put his foot down and forbid her to continue in fear of further attacks. after relaying her story to her supervisor I was greeted with the same reaction as everyone else. "yes it is better if a boy does the job". As an O.B.E. trained teacher I have always held the opinion that racism and sexism has no place in the new democratic South Africa. I always taught girls they could play with cars and it's okay if boys play with dolls now and then, they will make great fathers someday. These ideals it seems have no place where crime is rife. i am still all for more women in the workforce, empowerment to women (hoorah hoorah, etc). Oh....but wait hold picket line. what happened to" Argie girl?" yes it is better for a boy to do the job. so the moral? I guess there are some things a girl can"t do.