Friday's Feast 150

This weeks 5 Reason Friday makes way for Friday's Feast

How many pieces of jewelry do you wear most days?

Earrings, wedding ring, engagement ring, another ring and a watch - so that makes.... 5

What is your favorite instrumental song?

Anything by Kenny G

Who has a last name that you like?

We have friends with the surname "Lamont" and I have always thought that that is a lovely last name. I recently discovered that I have ancestors with the surname "Paxton" and I like that one too.

Main Course
Name a popular movie you’ve never seen.

I'm ashamed to admit that I have never seen "Casablanca"

Fill in the blank: Nothing makes me ___disappear________ like ____exercise!!________.

Personality tests

My eldest daughter, Roxy, recently went to an educational psychologist for career counselling. I found the follow-up interview fascinating. Some of the results were quite surprising (she is considered gifted at science), others were an exact reflection of the Roxy that lives with us everyday. After analysing a couple of seemingly arbitrary tests the psychologist could tell us things about my daughter that it had taken me years to figure out.

I found a few of the same sort of personality tests that the psychologist used at this site and analysed myself. The results were not really surprising!

ISFJ - "Conservator". Desires to be of service and to minister to individual needs - very loyal. 13.8% of total population.
Free Jung Personality Test (similar to Myers-Briggs/MBTI)

Oooh baby it's cold outside!

Today it's cold, I mean seriously cold. Red nose and slippers cold, cuddle up in bed with hot chocolate cold.... I love it, but only for a little while.

Which got me thinking.... I really do think that in the great scheme of things there IS "a time for everything and a season for every activity" (as the bible verse goes).

As hubby and I lay in bed this morning debating who would be brave enough to nip out and put the kettle on, my thoughts were that today is a day for staying in bed. A day for lazing about, a day for rest. My body was telling me this, the weather was telling me this, every instinct was telling me this, for goodness sake even my dogs were telling me this - but what did I do? I got up and put that kettle on, put the washing in and so began my day as usual.

I so wish we could live life according to our natural rhythms, according to the seasons and the weather. I wish we weren't governed by alarm clocks and schedules. I'm sure we would get just as much done (and with a lot more joy) in the long run if we lived a life driven more by our natural inclinations than by adherence to someone elses regulations.

Maybe oneday.....

8 Random facts about me

Kamsin has tagged me.

These are the rules of the tag (as copied from Kamsin's blog):
1. I have to post these rules before I give you the facts.
2. Each participant posts eight random facts about themselves.
3. Tagees should write a blogpost of eight random facts about themselves.
4. At the end of the post, eight more bloggers are tagged (named and shamed).
5. Go to their blog, leave a comment telling them they're tagged (cut and run).

Okay, so prepare to yawn – Eight Random Facts about me:
  1. I was born with a heart murmur
  2. I am scared of clowns, have been since childhood.
  3. My husband and I were in the same class at school from the age of eleven (which means I’ve seen him at his worst, so things can only get better, right??)
  4. The sight in my left eye is far weaker than the sight in my right eye (which is almost normal)
  5. There was a period in my childhood when my ambition in life was to become a nun. Seriously.
  6. I am utterly hopeless at any sport involving a ball.
  7. I had two ectopic pregnancies. And they say lightening doesn’t strike in the same place twice – whatever!
  8. I am double jointed in my left thumb
I tag: Hsien, Kerstin, Fifi, Paula, Annie, Jen, Kerri, Jennifer

I have a secret……… weakness!

I am an exceedingly good planner, a list-maker of note. Give me a holiday to plan, or a monthly budget, or even a simple trip to the grocery store and I will (and do) plan it to perfection.

Nothing brings me greater joy than sitting down with a pristine piece of paper and a pencil and making a list. BUT (and this is a BIG but!) I am hopeless, completely and utterly hopeless, at sticking to a plan.

For goodness sake, don’t tell my family this, because between you and me, they think I am awesome the way I plan and execute these things… I’d hate to disillusion them ;-)

It really is a most frustrating weakness. Most of the joy created in making a list is completely lost when I arrive home from grocery shopping and find the list still hanging on the fridge and realise that 90% of the items on the list are not what is weighing down my shopping bags.

I spend hours each month planning my budget to the final cent and do I stick to it? Not a chance! You’ve no idea the disappointment when I reach the end of the week and according to my budget I should have a couple of hundred rand floating about, when in reality I have 5 cents in my pocket.

Good grief, I think I’d better go and make a list of all the measures I can put in place to keep this from happening....

For more secrets visit Sunday Scribblings
Photo by Ayala Moriel

5 Reasons to love...........DOGS

1. My dogs think I am blooming marvellous – it doesn’t matter to them whether I am having a bad hair day, have not yet brushed my teeth and am suffering from appalling PMT – in their eyes I am completely wonderful! They love me unconditionally.

2. My dogs eat all the leftovers that I would otherwise have to throw away. (They do get fed a balanced doggie diet on the whole, I promise!)

3. Apart from being our friends and companions our dogs are also our personal body-guards.

4. I never feel lonely because I always have a doggie friend willing to keep me company, even if I am just lying on the couch reading a book.

5. I get a laugh out of one or other of our dogs every single day without fail.
So how girlie are you? These are my results for this quiz:

You Can Hang With the Guys and the Girls

You've struck a good balance between girlie and laid back.
You can keep it casual but when you dress up, you are as girly as the next girl.

Moments that changed my life forever.....(Part Two)

Rox 2 days oldBecoming a mother was probably the single most life-changing moment of my life. As I mentioned in my post about getting married, which I blogged about here, I fell pregnant (doesn’t that phrase irritate you? Fell pregnant, where does "falling" come into it? But I digress..) shortly after Grant and I got married. What a shock! But so thrilling too.

Looking back, I can’t believe how na├»ve I was at the time. There hadn’t been a baby in my family for 16 years. Here I was, 21 years of age, pregnant, and I could count on one hand the number of times I had held a baby, scary, very scary!

At the time Grant and I were completely unaware that we are probably the most disaster-prone couple on the face of this earth. We were newly married and disaster of any sort had yet to strike. As they say, ignorance is bliss, so we blissfully contemplated the prospect of impending parenthood.

I of course went straight into “Earth-mother mode” and spent many happy hours contemplating Active Birth Units, water births, home births, exclusive breast-feeding etc etc. There was going to be none of this drug-assisted nonsense for me, this baby was going to be born with the bare minimum of medical intervention.

Pregnancy was the biggest adventure of my life. A whole new world opened up for me and boy was I going to enjoy it. And enjoy it I did. Apart from the fact that I could not gain any weight at all, no matter how much I ate, my pregnancy progressed just fine. I relished every minute of it.

That is until week 29 of my pregnancy. I was at work, going about my business in the usual way, when all of a sudden I began to haemorrhage. And so began a couple of weeks of my life that I never want to go through again, ever! I won’t bore you with all the gory details, suffice to say that there followed a couple of weeks of bed rest, drips, injections, bed pans (aargh!) scans, cortisone treatment etc etc and more people peered at parts of me, that I would really rather keep covered, than I had ever dreamed was possible!!

Everything changes when something like this happens. All of a sudden every little twinge is analysed – is it normal, is it a problem developing, is it the onset of labour again, is it just wind – do I call the gynae, or do I wait? The beautiful pregnancy that I had been so enjoying became a nerve-wracking scenario of buying time for my baby to grow a bit more, for her lungs to develop sufficiently, for her to gain a couple of very, very valuable grams, all of which would make her chances of being born healthy that much greater.

At week 32 ½ our baby was delivered by emergency Caesar. Roxy was born weighing 1700grams. She spent the first 24 hours of her life on a ventilator and was then able to breathe on her own with the help of an oxygen box. She was not able to suck, so was fed through a nasogastric tube for a couple of weeks. Her lowest weight was 1,6 kgs at which point she slowly began to gain weight and get stronger. We finally got to take her home nearly a month after she was born.

I will never forget the moment that Roxy was born. I had been told that there was a strong possibility that I would not be able to hold her when she was born, but fortunately they were able to give her to me for a couple of seconds. At that moment, as this little scrap of humanity was placed on my chest, making little mewing sounds and looking for all the world like a newborn mouse, the whole world shifted for me. This was IT, this was the moment I had waited my whole life for. I’d found my purpose in life – I was a Mom!

I’m loving…….Nivea Pampering Shower Oil

It’s absolutely gorgeous. It foams up in the shower, but leaves your skin with a very delicate layer of oil and it has the most gorgeous smell. It is definitely going to stay on my shopping list right through Winter.

The joys of being Eccentric

Imagine being able to blow a big fat raspberry at society in general and live life entirely according to your own rules…. to be as nutty and eccentric as you please, with a complete disregard for what is considered normal. It would be such fun! I wonder if the novelty would eventually wear off, or if you would always feel completely liberated?

It takes a certain kind of person to be a true eccentric. Some people are just born very “normal”. My daughter Rox is one of those people, she’s a complete conformist. She is even inclined to view Paula and I with deep suspicion when we buy organic products. At the moment she has a strong objection to my use of organic fabric softener and keeps on telling me “Come on Mom, I want my clothes to smell like an ordinary person, please!” Privately, I think she has a deep-seated, unvoiced fear that I am going to morph into some sort of a hippy-person and cause her life-long shame ;-)

I’d love to be an eccentric. I’d buy a crumbling old house – something like the one in “Under the Tuscan Sun” and live there in slightly decrepit splendour, surrounded by adoring dogs of various mixed breeds. I’d bake bread in my old Aga, make homemade lemonade and grow herbs and read loads and loads of books until all hours of the night. Oh the joy of it! Maybe Rox’s fears aren’t so far-fetched after all…

This post is a result of this week’s Sunday Scribblings prompt “Eccentricity”
Photo by leinadsimpson courtesy of Flickr creative commons

5 Reasons to Dad

In honour of Father's Day and just because he's a good guy, I am dedicating this 5 reason Friday to my Dad.

5 reasons to love my Dad:

  1. Because he loves us so much

  2. Because he is there for us through thick and thin - I know that no matter what happens, I can always rely on my Dad to be there if we need him

  3. Because he only came into my life when I was 9 years old, but I have never felt like anything but his real daughter

  4. Because he is the most fantastic grandfather

  5. Because he spoils us rotten!

Grey's Anatomy

I am "counting the sleeps" until Season 3 of Grey's Anatomy starts on Monday night. You can rest assured that at 7:30 pm on Monday night I will be snuggled up on the couch ready and waiting for the first episode. In the meantime I am amusing myself with trivia such as this quiz - to see which of the Grey's characters I am. Turns out I'm "Callie" - which one are you?

7 Things I Love about Me

An Ordinary Mom tagged all of her readers with the meme “7 Things I love about Me”. It gave me some food for thought. I definitely have issues with self confidence, so to list things I love about me is not as easy as one might think. The disturbing thing is that I would have found it incredibly easy to list at least 40 things I dislike about me!

7 things I love about me….

  • I love that I am a loving mother to my children. I can honestly say that my two daughters have been raised with an abundance of love.
  • I love that I am a sensitive person, although I sometimes carry the hurts of others around in my heart and it is often a heavy weight to carry, I think that is better than being uncaring of the needs of others.
  • I love that I enjoy reading so much, I have learnt and continue to learn so much from my love of reading.
  • I love that I am not crazy about coffee – it’s one less thing to give up!
  • I love that I am stubborn and will stick to my principles
  • I love the fact that I am an organised, neat kind of person – it definitely makes life less stressful
  • I love that I have a secret reserve of strength. Being a rather shy and anxious person, I know that I can seem weak and yet I have faced some serious challenges in my life and have surprised myself with my strength and ability to cope under pressure. It’s nice to know that “when things get rough I can be tough”.

I challenge anyone who reads this to do the same (whether you have a blog or not). If you accept the challenge, please let me know.

It's a dog's life

A dog owns nothing, yet is seldom dissatisfied.
Irish Proverb

Time to add a little spice to my life

I am perfectly content with my life, really I am. I have a seriously good life. I live in an amazing part of the world, I have a perfectly satisfactory roof over my head, a warm bed to sleep in, two adorable daughters, a husband I love dearly and four canines who bring me much joy. I find it incredibly easy to while away my life taking care of my family, messing about on the computer, reading a book and going to work (only because I have to). So is this a problem, you might ask? Well actually it is! As I mentioned in a previous post, I have a great deal of trouble convincing myself to get off my butt and go out there and LIVE. It's time I added some spice to my life. I think all moms need and deserve at least a little spice in their lives. It's so easy to get bogged down in the mundane once you're a mom.

So what constitutes spice? Well being a decidedly unadventurous sort, my "spice" might be very different from, let's say, my husband's "spice". His idea of "spice" would probably be racing down an alarming incline on his mountain bike, or bungee jumping - horrors! I think we all have to look within ourselves to define our "spice", it's a matter of personal preference and what I consider "spice" might seem dead boring to someone else.

Spice for me (being such a boring soul!) would be relatively simple things such as:
  • going to a restaurant in Durban that I haven't ever been to before - no on second thoughts that might be more adventure than I am looking for, restaurants in Durban seem to be targeted by armed robbers lately!
  • buying some sexy new underwear.... now that's seriously spicy ;-)
  • going to a live show
  • having a picnic
  • a luxurious bubble bath with a glass of wine
  • cooking an exotic meal that I haven't cooked before

Not that hard to do - now I just have to convince myself to DO it!

(This post is my entry in this week's Sunday Scribblings)

The veggie garden and the monkey menace

I thought I would give an update on our doorsized, organic veggie garden.

On the whole, the garden is progressing well. We have staggered the planting of carrots and radishes, so that we should be able to reap quite regularly and they are all looking healthy. Our beetroot are flourishing, as are the frilly lettuces. Not all the beans that I planted have come up, but those that have are looking good.

Our main problem is the cabbages and this is where the “monkey menace” comes in. For some reason the monkeys, that move through our property on a daily basis, will insist on pulling our cabbages out. It drives me scatty because they generally pull them out and then throw them on the ground, without even eating them. They obviously don’t like them, so why come back for more?? The few remaining cabbages are also being attacked by little worms and I haven’t yet found an organic recipe for worm killer. So it looks like we might have total crop failure where the cabbages are concerned!

I planted baby tomatoes too and only a couple of those have come up. I know they generally grow like weeds, so I will definitely try again. They were planted in the horrible, dry soil outside the veggie garden proper, so it’s no wonder they are struggling.

We also planted lettuce seeds, but I am not quite sure where they were planted! We have learnt to be more careful about planting in rows and generally organising our planting. I think we were a bit over-enthusiastic to begin with and just planted all over the place! It’s a learning curve ;-)

5 reasons to….love being a mom

  1. There is nothing to beat the feeling of an unborn baby kicking in your tum. When I was pregnant I would spend hours lying in the bath watching my babe kick and roll. Those were such precious times.
  2. Those moments when you know that a hug from you is really going to do the trick – sometimes only a mom’s hug will do. I love it that even at the “ripe old age” of twelve, Paula insists that I kiss her goodnight and give her a cuddle before she goes to sleep. It’s lovely.
  3. It’s so fascinating to watch my daughters’ personalities develop – I just love seeing who they are becoming (if that makes sense!)
  4. You get to have a valid excuse to go and watch Shrek, Princess Diaries etc and to celeb watch. (Well I have to embrace their culture don’t I??)
  5. Shouting from the sidelines at galas and hockey matches. I know they find it very excruciatingly embarrassing, but I get to do it anyway ‘cause I’m the mom!

Teacher strikes

Yesterday we were caught up in the teacher strikes which are taking place in our country at the moment.

I got a phone call suggesting that I fetch my youngest daughter from school as they were expecting some action from strikers. (At my daughter's school the teachers have continued teaching as normal, apart from Friday, when the school closed.) I arrived at the school to find everything as normal, apart from the presence of a few police vehicles with policemen standing around and armed guards patrolling the fields. My eldest daughter (who homeschools) ran in to fetch her sister, while I waited in the car.

Cars carrying protesters began arriving, hooters blaring, waving banners and shouting. By the time my two daughters emerged from the school there were many protesters dancing around outside the school and many more arriving. Although none of them approached my vehicle, I found it terrifying as they were making a lot of noise and all looked way over excited.

My two daughters got in the car and by this time Paula was shaking and in tears. She was so worried about her friends who were left inside and her teacher. We battled to leave the school as the traffic was so congested. As we were leaving we saw protesters swarming over the walls and up the fences of the school. Paula was completely traumatised by this. School is now closed until Monday at the earliest.

Now I fully agree that our teachers should be paid more, I really do, BUT I have a huge problem with unruly protesters (who don't teach at the school) arriving and acting in a disturbing manner, scaring innocent children. It's just not right.

5 Reasons.....

(Drum roll) Welcome to the first ever "Five reason Friday"! Every Friday will now have a “5 reason…..” post. Starting with today’s -


  1. I only work until 12:30pm on a Friday – oh happy day!
  2. My darling, darling Eunice comes to my house on a Friday and cleans and irons for me
  3. Friday afternoons are fun, they’re generally spent reading a book or magazine, trawling the mall or messing about on the computer.
  4. Supper on a Friday night is a hit and miss affair – if we feel like cooking we cook, otherwise it’s take-aways or toast!
  5. I go to bed on a Friday night with the knowledge that my alarm clock is not going to wake me up in the morning – bliss!