Can anyone enlighten me as to why it is that I am the only person in my household of 4 who can put the loo paper into the loo paper dispenser thingy?

It puzzles me! How is it that my eldest can control a classroom of 25 squirming 6 year olds and yet finds this menial task too taxing? For goodness' sake, Paula manages an entire village of SIMS with ease, this should be a piece of cake for her..... and yet she just can't get the hang of it. As for hubby, he's a guy, so I wouldn't expect him to do this kind of stuff anyway (puhleez, he hasn't fully evolutionised yet!)

A meme.....

My blog is suffering horribly from a bad case of neglect and as I seem to have lost my blogging mojo for the moment, I am posting a meme that I found on An Ordinary Life.

1. What is in the back seat of your car right now? absolutely nothing
2. When was the last time you threw up? I truly can't remember, it was a loooong time ago, thankfully!
3. What’s your favorite curse word? I swear.....a lot (and I am not proud of that fact!) and I have a very colourful vocabulary which I am not about to demonstrate here ;-)
4. Name three people who made you smile today. my 2 girls, my hubby and my aunt (ok that's 4)
5. What were you doing at 8am this morning? Fuming and hanging out the washing
6. What were you doing 30 minutes ago? Reading blogs!
7. What will you be doing 3 hours from now? Relaxing after my supper, I hope!
8. Have you ever been to a strip club? Nope!
9. What’s the last thing you said aloud? "I wonder"
10. What is the best ice cream flavor? Vanilla (topped with Horlicks, yum!)
11. What is the last thing you had to drink? De-caff coffee
12. What are you wearing right now? A T-shirt and jeans
13. What was the last thing you ate? an apple
14. Have you bought any new clothing items this week? Nope
15. When was the last time you ran? Oh glory be, it was a loooong time ago!
16. What’s the last sporting event you watched? The Sharks get beaten in the semi-final of the rugby Super 14.... woe is me....sob, sob
17. Who’s the last person you e-mailed? One of my favourite agony aunts..... my friend Moira
18. Ever go camping? Unfortunately yes, the idea of camping appeals to me, but the reality I experienced was not pleasant!
19. Do you have a tan? I wish
20. Do you drink your soda from a straw? Not often
21. Are you someone’s best friend? Yes I hope so.
22. What are you doing tomorrow? Working!
23. Where is your mom right now? Probably at home
24. Look to your left. What do you see? Next to my desk is a cluster of my girls' and my hubby's sporting photos - a few Midmar ones and a bunch of mountain biking ones
25. What color is your watch? gold
26. What comes to mind when you think of Australia? It's the home of a few of my childhood friends (thanks to the Rotary exchange program) and the place where some of my best friends are moving.... mixed feelings!
27. Would you consider plastic surgery? I sometimes looking in the mirror and it's a tempting thought, but no, I wouldn't
28. What is your birthstone? garnet
29. Do you go in at a fast food place or just hit the drive-thru? It depends on the circumstances
30. How many kids do you want? I wanted to and for a long time thought we were only destined to have one and then, thankfully, there was Paula!
31. Do you have a dog? Yes, 3
32. Last person you talked to on the phone. A client
33. Have you met anyone famous? The lead singer from Tree 63
34. Any plans today? supper and bed sounds appealing
35. Ever go to college? the worst 9 months of my life were spent at university and then I left
36. Where are you right now? at home at my desk
37. Biggest annoyance in your life right now? family.
38. Last song listened to? Not sure, what ever was on the radio when I got out my car.
39. Are you allergic to anything? pollen, dairy
40. Favorite pair of shoes you wear all the time? My Mary-Jane style crocs, love 'em!
41. Are you jealous of anyone? No
42. Who is your favorite actor/actress? Hugh Grant/Johnny Depp
43. What time is it? 16:25
44. Do any of your friends have children? All of them
45. Do you eat healthy? We try to keep it balanced, but don't always succeed... it depends on my stress levels!
46. What do you usually do during the day? Work in the morning and do the "mom's taxi"/housework thang all afternoon
47. How old will you be on your next birthday? 41
48. Have you ever been to Europe? Yes
49. Name one thing you’d still like to do. The East Coast Radio Big Walk
50. Favorite colour? Blue

Update 2

I'm just checking in to let you know that I am still alive and kicking!

My mom went home on Saturday and although she seemed to find the whole business of being moved again quite confusing and traumatic, she has settled really well and is doing nicely. She is eating small amounts of food, which is very encouraging (what she eats in a day wouldn't keep me going for 5 minutes, but in her terms it's a LOT of food!) Mentally she is vastly improved now that she is in her own surroundings, she knows what is what and is not horribly confused like she was before. Her feet and lower legs swelled up quite dramatically last week, so we saw her GP, who said it is to do with her liver not functioning properly - he has given her medication for it and it seems to be improving.

So at the moment we are hopeful that for the time being she is happy and feeling better and we are coping well with the situation. We are under no illusions that she is ever going to recover completely, but for now she is okay.


Thank you so much for the kind comments and emails regarding my mom's illness. She is still in hospital, so we are making twice daily visits to the hospital, which plays havoc with our normal routine and is the reason I haven't been around much.

Just a quick update:
She is physically somewhat better - her potassium levels and blood sugar have stabilised and she has some colour now. She is eating small amounts, which is a vast improvement! Unfortunately, she is not able to walk yet and is still pretty weak.

She has suffered from early onset (she is only 62yo) dementia for some time now and that seems to have deteriorated quite considerably - whether this deterioration is permanent remains to be seen. She has moments of lucidity, but for much of the time she is "with the fairies" and judging by her demeanour, that is not a bad place to be! In some ways she is happier than I have seen her in years. Some of the stories she comes up with are quite hilarious, so there have been some light-hearted moments in amongst all the angst!

I had a bit of a "wobbly" over the weekend (I always have a delayed reaction to any kind of trauma!) but we are all doing fine now, and dealing with the situation as best we can.

Thanks again for the thoughts and prayers, they really are much appreciated!

The keys to my life...

The Keys to Your Life

Anything good in your life comes from your ability to play and be free.

The best way for you to solve a problem is to let go of it.

Anything bad in your life comes from sinking to the level of those around you.

Remember to lift people up, and refuse to participate in anything petty.

Tough times

I haven't been blogging much this week as we have been dealing with a very difficult family situation. I have been loathe to blog about this issue for a couple of reasons, one being that I don't feel comfortable blogging about other people's personal lives and the other being that in some ways my blog is an escape for me and I don't particularly want to bring the issues that stress me into this comfortable space. But if this blog is in any way going to be a true reflection of my life and who I am, I think it is time I blogged briefly about something which has affected me quite deeply this week.

My mom was admitted to ICU on Wednesday with dangerously low blood sugar and potassium levels, weighing roughly 32kgs. This didn't come as a shock as she has some deep-seated problems, mostly stemming from alcohol abuse, and has been on a downward spiral for years now, but things have been really falling apart for the last couple of months. She generally refuses to acknowledge or speak about her condition and will not consider any medical help at all. We only succeeded in getting her to hospital on Wednesday by way of the fact that she was unconcious at the time. Finally she is in hospital where at least some of her issues can be addressed.

For the time being she is out of immediate danger and there is now talk of her being tube fed. They are doing various tests on her, which is a huge relief to me, as these tests are long, long over-due. But I have to wonder in the long run if any of this will help.

I can't begin to describe how hard the last few years with my mom have been on us. She is an amazing, if difficult, person. She is so good at so much; she can sew beautifully, she is a brilliant cook, she knits, she plays piano and has the most beautiful singing voice, she drives better than any man I have ever met, she could name every bird she laid eyes on and could organise the most amazing parties, she had a keen interest in politics and for years campaigned for the political party she supported, she was good at her job and loved it; she had so much going for her and then she simply decided to give up on life. I think what did it to her was the death of my brother. And since then she has been slowly but surely committing suicide, right before our eyes. No matter how much we beg, plead and appeal to her, she doesn't want to get help or help herself. My emotions are on a perpetual roller-coaster - I get so angry with her, I feel so sorry for her, I get so angry with me for being angry with her.......

So that is what we are dealing with right now. I am just hoping that we will reach a turning point sometime soon.

I'm loving.......iGoogle

I was sitting down to post this post today and then I began browsing through my feeds and came across this post on eLuckypacket....... oh dear, now it looks like I am having to steal other people's ideas for want of inspiration! Not true, I promise ;-)

Anyway, back to my post.

I am loving iGoogle! I have set up a personalised iGoogle page as my home page and it is simply brilliant. With iGoogle you get to choose from all sorts of lovely content to display on your home page - on mine I've got:
  • my Google Reader
  • a calendar
  • my Gmail
  • shortcuts to my favourite websites
  • a weather forecast for my area
  • a unit converter
  • a direct link to Wikipedia
  • a To-do list
  • and various other arbitary bits and pieces

For the uninitiated, all you need to do is go here and then click on Get Started - you will be taken to a page with a few of the most popular options for the content you will want to display on your homepage, all you have to do is tick the boxes and click save. You will then get taken to your, at this stage very basic, homepage - not too impressive, but have no fear, the fun is only beginning! Now have a look on the upper right of the page, where you will definitely want to click on the link to choose a theme (there are many and some are lovely!) and once that is done, you simply must click on the "add stuff" link - this is the fun part, there are literally hundreds of amazing gadgets to pimp your page.

So easy and so handy!

Friday's Feast

What was your favorite cartoon when you were a child?

Donald Duck

Pretend you are about to get a new pet. Which animal would you pick, and what would you name it?

We got a little kitten 2 weeks ago. I am generally a "dog person", but I have to say that having this kitten has been quite a revelation! He's so easy to have, he uses his litter tray, doesn't squeak and whine all night, is very undemanding, but he's a lot of fun. So if I had to get another pet (not that I want one!!), I reckon, at this point in my life, it would be a kitten. I would name the kitten Piccolo, after Papa Piccolo - one of my favourite children's books

On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being highest, how much do you enjoy getting all dressed up for a special occasion?

2. I don't enjoy dressing up at all, I am very much a jeans and T-shirt kind of gal!

Main Course
What kind of music do you listen to while you drive?

I generally have the radio locked on to East Coast Radio, but if I decide to play a CD it is usually Lighthouse Family

When was the last time you bought a clock? And in which room did you put it?

A digital clock for our bedroom.

A couple of read-aholics!

I can’t tell you how special it is to me that Paula is a reader. I absolutely love that we can curl up on my bed together on a rainy day, each of us immersed in a book, surfacing only to forage in the kitchen for sustenance, or to make tea. Bliss!

But what I love best is when we both read the same series of books at more or less the same time; it is such fun to re-hash the books, to laugh together at the funny bits, and get a bit teary eyed over the sad bits. (Grant and Rox, the adrenalin junkies in the family, think we are a bit “sad”, but we don’t let them bother us ;-) ) Normally, one of us will start the first book and the minute they have finished reading it, the other will start it and so we continue, right through the series.

In the last year or so we have read Janette Okes’ “Love Comes Softly” series, her “Prairie Legacy” series, her “Canadian West” series and her “Seasons of the Heart” series – you could say we enjoy Janette Oke books! We also thoroughly enjoyed Lori Wick’s “A Place called Home” books and her “English Garden” series. In December/January we started on the Harry Potter books (I have to confess that I gave up when they started getting a bit too scary for me… I think it was book 5, but Paula read on to the very end - she’s a braver soul than her mom!) We also devoured the 5 books in Rebecca Shaw’s “Barleybridge” series.

A couple of weeks ago we finished reading all of the Anne of Green Gables books. I had read them years ago and couldn’t wait to re-read them alongside my daughter. I recently discovered that this year is the 100 year anniversary of the publication of Anne of Green Gables. How I’d love for the two of us to hop on a plane and go and join in the festivities!

I think I am going to try to get my hands on all of the books in Lori Wick’s “Kensington Chronicles” and “Yellow Rose” series next. Now that Winter is settling in, I can look forward to many happy afternoons cosied up with my babe and our books.