We went bowling last night.
I didn't completely suck at it.
Only someone who fully understands the non-existence of my ball skills will truly grasp the significance of this statement.
Photo by Todd Baker courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

I found the answer!

Remember, I mentioned on Tuesday that Zip was becoming a tad too ummmm "frisky"? Well I think I may have found just the thing to take his mind off his *urges*

Have a look here (btw neither of these cats is Zip! I found this on Darren Scott's blog)

What makes a good blog?

What makes you go back to a blog again and again?

I regularly read a diverse cross-section of blogs. On the average day, I read the feeds of around 40 blogs or more. I know, I probably need to get out more ;-)

The blogs I read seem to fall loosely into a couple of categories:

* blogs that belong to my “blogging buddies”. I read these blogs to catch-up on what is going on in the blogger’s life and because I feel a connection to the blogger. I am not going to give examples for fear of leaving someone out by mistake and causing life-long offence!

* blogs I visit because of the fantastic quality of the writing and the content e.g. Tongue in Cheek (if I had to choose a favourite blog, "Tongue in Cheek" would probably be it), Scribbit, Cooksister, Bleeding Espresso, Food Blogga, Lulu's Petals

* blogs that are informative, these I read largely for their educational value e.g. Dermblog, iMod.

* Blogs about things I am interested in, in my case: parenting, “Mommy blogs”, cooking, reading

* Browsing through my blog-roll, I have discovered that I seem to have a penchant for blogs written by “transplanted” bloggers – bloggers living outside of their home countries. Or is it just that people living outside of their home countries feel compelled to blog? Interesting thought. In any case, there are many of them: Bleeding Espresso, Tongue in Cheek, Poppy Fields, Cooksister, Cotton-Pickin' Days, eLuckypacket, Charlotte’s Web and the most recent “transplant” Simone’s Butterfly amongst them.

* South African blogs. I read a good few blogs by fellow South Africans (take a look at the sidebar on the left listing all my favourite S.A blogs), we share a common history, we’re generally on the same wavelength and we write incredibly brilliant blogs ;-)

So what makes you read a particular blog? Which are your all time favourite blogs?

Zip is all grown up

OH DEAR, my darling little Zippity-Boo has discovered his.......libido!

No man! My precious "little boy" now a.k.a Porn Star, is humping his favourite toy, now a.k.a "The Sex Toy", at every opportunity. It's quite, quite revolting! I mean look at that innocent face, he just shouldn't be having *those* kind of thoughts....
I will be taking him to be neutered at the earliest opportunity.

The weekend that was

This weekend we went up to Midlands Saddle and Trout, a timeshare resort in the KZN Midlands, near to the small town of Mooiriver. We used to be frequent visitors, but unfortunately the place became a little run-down and badly managed and so we hadn't been back for quite some time. This time round we were pleasantly surprised, the resort has been re-vamped and the management appeared to have changed, so it was all good. And we had deliciously warm weather which is unusual in that area at this time of year.

Unfortunately I forgot to pack my camera and so I haven't got any photos to share. I was so annoyed with myself as we got to see a cow giving birth (it was quite amazing!) and I would love to have had the camera handy. Typical!

We also saw a Secretary Bird. I had only ever seen one in the wild once before, so that was pretty special too.
(photo from Wikipedia)

We browsed the Midlands Meander a little, had a pub lunch at Rawdons Hotel and spent some time looking at the horses at the resort. We also got to spend some family time with Impi, which was lovely as he is having a very busy term at school and is not getting home much. Paula misses him dreadfully, so she really enjoyed doing some bonding with her bro'. And that was our weekend in a nutshell.

(I won't mention a particular rugby match in which the Boks got slaughtered by the Aussies... or the fact that the Olympics ended with us having won exactly one medal.....sob, sob)

Talking about the Olympics did you see Maarten van der Weijden who won the Men's 10km swim? Oh my word! Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous! And he is a leukemia survivor, what a man.

Feel like complaining?

I got this via email this morning. Quite hard hitting isn't it!

Belly laugh

Last night I laughed till I cried. It doesn't happen very often, so it was quite a momentous occasion. The reason for the hilarity? It was my hubby and his way with words again. You have to understand that for all his (many) wonderful qualities, Grant is not a good linguist and he often uses the word "thing" in inappropriate ways.

Our conversation last night went something like this:

Grant: "Did you hear on the radio about how they selected the woman to be hostesses at the Olympics?"
Me: "No, why?"
Grant: "It was crazy man! They had to have university degrees and their eyes had to be 3/10s the length of their faces and they had to show exactly eight teeth when they smile"
Me: "You're joking!"
Grant: "No serious, they had to practice by standing with a chopstick in their thing showing 8 teeth for hours on end"

ROFLOL. Of course by "thing" he meant MOUTH, but I had this really wacky image in my head of woman standing with chopsticks in their "you know whats" teeth bared. I was absolutely roaring, mascara pouring down my cheeks with Grant and the girls staring at me, verrry, verrrry puzzled.

Sorry, I will get my mind out of the gutter now.....

More about the selection process here


Have you ever been in circumstances where you know that the opinion some particular person has of you is nothing like the person that you really are?

There is someone I have dealings with almost daily, who truly, honestly believes I am someone completely different from the person I really am. I hate to say it, but I think she is almost a little scared of me! And truly, from the bottom of my heart I can tell you that I am anything but scary.... I am the world's worst naff. Cowardly, shy, neurotic, weak, insecure..... I'm all of those; but scary, nope, not me.

It's no big deal really, what this person thinks of me has no real bearings on my life, but it just bugs me that she thinks I am this slightly mean, scary person. The frustrating thing is that nothing I do seems to convince her otherwise. I have been friendly to the point of gushing and she still has this well-developed sense of suspicion around me.... I kind of want to walk in there with a sign saying "Hellooooo I'm a nice person, honest!"

Blog Action Day 08

Blog Action Day is happening on 15 October, and this year the theme is "Poverty".

Don't know what it's all about?
Simple. Blog Action Day is a day when a whole bunch of bloggers (and podcasters and videocasters) unite by posting about the same topic. The idea is that this "blogfest" will raise public awareness about the issue at hand and also generate some interesting and diverse viewpoints.

Feeling tempted to add your voice?
Great. Head along to the Blog Action Day 08 homepage and register. It's quick and easy! Then don't forget to post on 15 October 08.

Please leave a comment if you do decide to register so that I can be sure to swing by your site on 15 Oct.

Why I love living on the east coast of South Africa

You may have noticed that I have had the odd moment lately of wondering why on earth I continue to live in this crime-ravaged country of mine, when it seems that everyone I meet is contemplating emigrating, busy emigrating or has already emigrated.
Well all it takes is a day like today to convince me that I am very much an African and that this is exactly where I belong!
Where else in the world could I wander outside to water my garden, in the middle of Winter, barefoot, in my shorts and T-Shirt? The temperature is currently a balmy 27 degrees Celsius (I kid you not!) there's a gorgeous sun up above me in the bluest of blue skies, just a touch of a breeze brings the smell of the sea right into my garden and there's a monkey barking in the tree to keep me company (okaaay, I admit I don't always like those little fellas, but today life is good and they are welcome in my garden)
And the weather forecast for tomorrow?

....................................................................More of the same!

Left or right?

Sometimes (mainly when I can't sleep at night!) I go back in my mind to one or other life-changing decision that I have made over the course of my life and I picture the chain of events that would have unfolded had I made a completely different decision at that time.
For example: Imagine if I had decided to delay getting married for say 5 or 10 years – would I ultimately have married someone else? Would I have created a challenging career for myself? Imagine if Grant and I had married when we did, but had decided not to have children – would we have saved enough money to travel the world? Would we be living in another country?

I think back to New Year’s Day 2005, Grant and Roxy were umming and aaahing about going cycling, the weather wasn’t looking too good, but they felt like getting on their bikes. They eventually decided to ride, Grant had a bad fall, ended up in surgery having plates and pins inserted into his leg and that night suffered a DVT and landed up spending a few days in ICU. For a little while, things were touch and go. Had they not gone riding that day and opted instead to stay at home, would Grant have avoided that life-threatening situation?

I find it so interesting that a seemingly straightforward decision can have such far- reaching implications. I am also so glad that we don’t always know how life changing a particular decision will be.

Photo fun

Ness of Drovers Run is offering a wonderful opportunity for those of us who don't have the benefit of fancy photo editing software (or even those who do) to have a photo improved, touched up or tweaked. Never one to look a gift horse in the mouth ;-) I immediately took her up on her offer.

This is the photo I sent her:

and this is what she did with it:

Number 1

Number 2

Click here for her explanation of exactly what she did with the photo.
I am thrilled with the results. What do you think?

The offer is still open, so if you have a photo you'd like Ness to "fiddle with", hop on over to Drovers Run for the details.

10 least likeable things about being a mom:

Well apart from the obvious…crappy nappies and vomit!

1. Helplessness in the face of illness or injury

2. Worry. I’m a born worrier and having kids just cranks that up a level or two. I worry about my kids a lot. I worry about their safety, I worry about their health, I worry about their futures... I worry about car accidents, drunk drivers and hi-jackings, I worry about Imps picking up a serious sport injury, I worry about the choices they make, I worry…….You get the picture?

3. Dealing with toddler tantrums and teenage hormones (and we have rather a lot of those in the mix at the moment….)

4. First day at a new school. Watching them venture off all nervous and vulnerable, it’s horrid!

5. Boy-friends! Everything about them. Nuff said!

6. Dealing with sibling fights. As the mom you are in such a precarious position in these situations – you love both of them and you don’t want to appear to be taking sides, the situation is fraught with potential pit-falls. And I manage to fall into the pit again and again....

7. Seeing them being unfairly treated – by friends, teachers, sports coaches, whoever. Stuff happens and they have to learn to deal with it, but it is so hard watching it happen. It’s also horrible to see them lose their innocence, to see them realise that life isn’t always fair or just.

8. Those “end of an era” moments – when you throw away the last nappy (diaper), the last baby bottle, when your little girl wears a bra for the first time, your daughter’s last day at school... It’s in these moments that you realise that your babe is growing up and you know that you can never steal those “baby” moments back again. It’s heart-breaking!

9. When my kids look at me with a certain, patronising look of complete incomprehension – it’s a look that loosely translates to “What are you talking about? You are SO last decade!” You have to see it….

10. Letting go. It is SO hard and SO necessary

My first grey hair!!

I am declaring today a day of official mourning.....

This morning, while I was examining the web of "fine lines" (sounds so much better than wrinkles) that have set up residence under my eyes, I happened to glance up and I saw what looked like a grey hair - the shock, the horror! So I plucked it out (ouch!) and examined it closely under a bright light, the results were inconclusive, so I layed it against a dark surface and I was forced to admit that it is indeed a snowy white hair.

My first grey hair. Mourn with me people.....

The Secret Life of Bees

I've just finished reading "The Secret Life of Bees" by Sue Monk Kidd. What a wonderful read! It is set in the American South in 1964, the year of the Civil Rights Act and follows the journey of a 14 year old girl and her African-American nanny as they flee from the young girl's cruel father and from racial injustice in their small Southern town. They are not sure where they are headed, but ultimately find a place of safety, love and acceptance and learn much about life, love and the strength of the human spirit in-between.

I really don't do the book justice here, but if you haven't read it, get your hands on a copy, you won't be sorry.
Oh, and apparently the book has been made into a film, starring Dakota Fanning, Jennifer Hudson and Queen Latifah (I think she will make an excellent August) due for release later this year. I can't wait!

I got a gold card!

Thanks a million to Jen for presenting me with my first ever gold card ;-)
The rules of this award are:
1. Only 5 people allowed.
2. 4 have to be dedicated followers of your blog
3. One has to be someone new or recently new to your blog and live in another part of the world.
4. You must link back to whoever gave you the award.
Quite simple, really. It is a way of saying thank you to those who take time out for wonderful comments to boost your day.
As you may have realised by now, I am no good at following rules relating to the passing on of awards or memes, mainly because I live in fear of offending someone by leaving them out. So to avoid running that risk - if you have ever brightened my day by leaving a comment on my blog, consider yourself the proud recipient of a new gold card!