Away for the weekend

This weekend is our annual staff weekend away, we're going to a timeshare place in the hills somewhere. Families are included, and the idea is to mingle and let our hair down. Being the introverted soul that I am, this type of thing is not my cup of tea at all. No doubt I will come home thinking that it really wasn't so bad after all and I should honestly make an effort to socialise more often.... I always do that - and then spend the next 12 months dreading the next one! (I admit that I am seriously weird and probably in need of psychological help!!)

I have missed the event for the last two years because of the small matter of kids writing exams (that's my story and I'm sticking with it!). Only people without school-going children would organise to head out of town during exam time, every year without fail! This time round I was given strict instructions that I would be at the getaway "or else!" And we have no exams going on in our household until 10 Nov. Paula is bringing a cart-load of studying with her and is probably going to hole-up in her room for the duration. Rox, in typical Rox fashion, is pretending that exams don't exist and she is out to extract as much fun from the weekend as she possibly can! Guess who has more of my genes?

So that's what we are doing this weekend. I'll be seeing ya'll on Monday!

Lost in translation......

I haven't mentioned Eunice on my blog much, although I did post about her briefly in this post. Eunice is Impi's mother. My relationship with Eunice defies description. She is part mother, part older sister, part friend. In every way that matters, I am closer to Eunice than I am to my actual mother. We love each other deeply and care for each other in so many ways, big and small. I know that Eunicie prays for me and my family every single day, without fail, and I carry that knowledge in my heart always. She is just the most wonderful, wise, gracious lady.

It's such a strange set-up because although Eunice and I are as close (in some cases closer!) as family, I am also her employer 2 days a week, but we don't let this get in the way of our friendship ;-)

What's even stranger is that neither Eunice nor I are fluent in each others language. Far from it. We get by by talking this sort of pidgin Zulu that I am quite fluent in! 9 times out of 10 we do just fine, we can talk, joke, gossip and commiserate quite comfortably in a language that just about nobody else understands!

But sometimes, like today, our language lets us down. A short while ago Eunice came to tell me a little tip that she had picked up from a friend - I know this now, but at the time I had no idea what she was telling me! She said what I understood to be "you must get some shock for your cupboards" Huh?? I asked her to repeat herself and she said it again. I confessed that I was lost. And so it continued. It ended up with us laughing rather hysterically, me miming a person getting an electric shock and Eunice moving her hand all over the wall..... Finally the penny dropped!!! Chalk, she was talking about chalk!

Apparently if you put a couple of sticks of chalk in your cupboard it removes any damp that may be lurking in there.

3 about me...

I received this meme as an email but thought I'd post it here instead:

Three jobs I have had:
  1. political campaign secretary
  2. bank clerk
  3. bookkeeper

Three places I have lived:

  1. Greytown
  2. Underberg
  3. Shelly Beach

Three shows that I watch:

  1. Army wives
  2. Survivor
  3. Grey's anatomy (can't wait for it to come back...)

Three places I have been:

  1. England
  2. Paris
  3. Scotland

Three of my favourite foods:

  1. Italian
  2. Seafood
  3. Chinese

Three places I'd rather be right now:

  1. Sun City
  2. Europe
  3. Cape Town

Three things I am looking forward to this year:

  1. The end of the school year (6 weeks to go.....)
  2. Closing the office for the Christmas break (no work for 2 weeks, yay!)
  3. Doing things together as a family over Christmas

Diet doldrums

I have been on diet for nearly 3 weeks.

In the first week I lost 2 kgs - one kilo off each breast ;-)

And since then? NOTHING-NIKS-NADA-ZERO!!

I am really fed up with this whole thing and on the verge of packing it all in and going on a binge session of note. Think......fruit chutney chips, chocolate, Mozart's ice-cream...super caramel flavour, toasted cheese sarmies.......

The thing is I can't - I am beginning to look like Barney (minus the *happy* face and the purple hue).

So, please people, talk to the weight-loss gods and arrange for a couple more kilos to fall off, pleeez, preferably off my rump this time okay!

Personal Needs Analysis tag

I was tagged for this meme by Tamara. It's a really fun one! If I've mentioned you, you are tagged! (BTW I chose the least offensive alternatives here LOL)

Simone needs: to understand that she has great ideas, she just needs to work on

Caz needs: to draw on the best of both worlds

Mel needs: to handle the sales end while some one else runs the company

Lucy needs: a haircut (considering Lucy is a hairstylist I find that hard to believe...)

Linda needs: a new best friend

(If I've tagged you, all you need to do is Google the name of the 5 bloggers you are tagging with the word "needs" attached and see what comes up)

Labels....they aren't good

It’s strange, I am not particularly keen on labeling people or pigeon-holing them and yet I have done it with my own daughters. I think in our family it was inevitable because my girls are so unalike. Paula is “the reader”, she’s “the academic one”, she’s “dreamy”; on the other hand Rox is “bubbly”, “adventurous”, “outdoorsy” and very “blonde”. (You might think it is strange that a girl who is clearly a brunette is labeled “blonde” – but trust me; think of any blonde joke you have ever heard…..and you could substitute Rox’s name for the blonde!! She isn’t by any means stupid, but she comes out with some really ‘doff’ things and frequently speaks without engaging her brain first!)

I have always felt that our labels are quite accurate, but boy was I in for a surprise while we were in the berg.

Paula is my dreamy, book-loving, laid-back daughter. She’s a real softie. So you can imagine our surprise when one morning she got up and said she wanted to go mountain-boarding! Mountain boarding is very much a “Rox-type” thing to do, definitely not a “Paula” sort of activity at all. But this girl was determined that she was going mountain-boarding. So off we went. I had no doubt that Paula would take one tumble and decide that mountain-boarding was not for her.

We got there, got her kitted out and she had some lessons on the small ramp. After 2 or 3 tries she decided it was time to head for the adult ramp….

Oh my word, I would never have dreamed that she would even consider it! Up she went, at which point I had to turn away! She fell really hard on her first try and I assumed that at that point she would call it a day. No such luck, up she went again….and again…..and again. The once she winded herself and she had tears in her eyes, but up she went again. I could not believe it! Unfortunately she never made it down without falling and eventually we told her she had to stop as she was going to end up black and blue. She was really sad that she hadn’t mastered the thing, but was quite proud of her bruises.

I have always known that Paulz has a stubborn streak – it’s hard to miss! But I never for one moment expected her to have such guts and determination. I am guilty of under-estimating my own child.

This little episode really brought home to me the fact that labels can be very limiting. Because I don’t expect Paula to do outdoorsy things like her sister, perhaps I am giving her the impression that she shouldn’t do these things. I truly hope that’s not the case!

I couldn't have said it better myself....

Which cartoon character are you?

I found this at Lulu's Petals.

I'm Charlie Brown!!

The Quiz:

1. Which one of the following describes the perfect date?
a) Candlelight dinner (4 pts.)
b) Fun/Theme Park (2 pts.)
c) Painting in the park (5 pts)
d) Rock concert (1 pt.)
e) Going to the movies (3 pts.)

2. What is your favorite type of music?
a) Rock and Roll (2 pts.)
b) Alternative (1 pt.)
c) Soft Rock (4 pts.)
d) Country (5 pts )
e) Pop (3 pts.)

3. What type of movies do you prefer?
a) Comedy (2 pts.)
b) Horror (1 pt.)
c) Musical (3 pts.)
d) Romance (4 pts.)
e) Documentary (5 pts.)

4. Which one of these occupations would you choose if you only could choose one of these?
a) Waiter (4 pts.)
b) Professional Sports Player (5 pts.)
c) Teacher (3 pts.)
d) Police (2 pts.)
e) Cashier (1 pt)

5. What do you do with your spare time?
a) Exercise (5 pts.)
b) Read (4 pts.)
c) Watch television (2 pts.)
d) Listen to music (1 pt.)
e) Sleep (3 pts.)

6. Which one of the following colors do you like best?
a) Yellow (1 pt.)
b) White (5 pts.)
c) Sky Blue (3 pts)
d) Dark Blue(2 pts.)
e) Red (4 pts.)

7. What do you prefer to eat?
a) Snow (3 pts.)
b) Pizza (2 pts.)
c) Sushi (1 pt.)
d) Pasta (4 pts.)
e) Salad (5 pts.)

8. What is your favorite holiday ?
a) Halloween(1 pt.)
b) Christmas(3 pts..)
c) New Year (2 pts.)
d) Valentine's Day(4 pts.)
e) Thanksgiving(5 pts.)

9. If you could go to one of these places which one would it be?
a) Paris (4 pts)
b) Spain (5 pts)
c) Las Vegas (1 pt)
d) Hawaii (4 pts)
e) Hollywood (3 pts)

10. With which of the following would you prefer to spend time with?
a) Someone Smart (5 pts.)
b) Someone attractive (2 pts.)
c) Someone who likes to Party (1 pt.)
d) Someone who always has fun (3 pts.)
e) Someone very sentimental (4 pts.)

The Answers:

(10-16 points) You are Garfield :You are very comfortable, easy going, and you definitely know how to have fun but sometimes you take it to an extreme. You always know what you are doing and you are always in control of your life. Others may not see things as you do, but that doesn't mean that you always have to do what is right. Try to remember, your happy spirit may hurt you or others.

(17-23 points) You are Snoopy:You are fun; you are very cool and popular. You always know what's in and you ' re never out of style , you are good at knowing how to satisfy everyone else. You have probably disappeared for a few days more than once but you always come home with the family values that you learned Being married and having children are important to you, but only after you have had your share of fun times

(24-28 points) You are Elmo:You have lots of friends and you are also popular, always willing to give advice and help out a person in need. You are very optimistic and you always see the bright side of things. Some good advice:try not to be too much of a dreamer. Dreaming too big could cause many conflicts in your life.

(29-35 points) You are Sponge Bob Square Pants. You are the classic person that everyone loves. You are the best friend that anyone could ever have and never wants to lose. You never cause harm to anyone and they would never not understand your feelings. Life is a journey, it's funny and calm for the most part Stay away from traitors and jealous people and you will be stress free.
(36-43 points) You are Charlie Brown:You are tender, you fall in love quickly but you are also very serious about all relationships. You are a family person. You call your Mom every Sunday. You have many friends and may occasionally forget a few Birthdays. Don't let your passion confuse you with reality.

(44-50 points ) You are Dexter:You are smart and definitely a thinker... Every situation is fronted with a plan. You have a brilliant mind. You demonstrate very strong family principles. You maintain a stable routine but never ignore a bad situation when it comes. Try to do less over thinking every once in a while to spice things up a bit with spontaneity!

So which cartoon character are YOU?

I'm nosey

I come from a family in which noses are a "big thing" - literally! Many of us are blessed (cursed more like it!) with what has become known as "The Tucker nose", thanks to one of our Tucker ancestors who had incredibly strong genes and an unfortunately protuding nose! Thanks to those self-same genes, I am one of the "blessed". Tucker noses are long, pointy affairs - some like to think they are aristocratic, I think they are plain ugly. At the birth of both of my daughters, one of the first things I looked for was the "Tucker nose", but thanks to their Dad's equally strong genes, neither of them are going to have to walk through life preceeded by the nose.

What Your Nose Says About You

It's likely that you'll be lucky with money, though this luck may come later in life.

You tend to be stubborn. You don't take other people's opinions seriously.

You are helpful and giving. You like cooperating, and you're always willing to lend a hand.

You are a realist. You aren't much of an optimist or a pessimist.

My hubby

So often this blog seems to focus on the girls and me, and poor old Grant gets sadly neglected. I saw this meme on Addie's blog and again on The Nocturnal Wench and knew I had to do it. So today, finally, Grant gets his day in the spotlight!

1. Who is your man? His name is Grant. To the girls he's Dad or "Annie" (don't ask!!) He's a really tough looking guy but, truth be told, he's a softie at heart (just don't tell his mountain-biking buddies, they'd never believe you ;-)

2. How long have you been together? Since 16 February 1985. 23 years

3. How long did you date before you got married? 4 years

4. How old is your man? 40 (I am 3 months older than my toy-boy)

5. Who eats more? Grant. Hey, he's a big man!

6. Who said “I love you” first? I really can’t remember (woops!)

7. Who is taller? He is, not difficult, I'm a short sh#t

8. Who sings better? He won’t admit it, but he really has a lovely voice (again, don't tell his MTB buddies, bad for the image you know!). I like to sing more, but he sings better.

9. Who is smarter? Academically, probably me, but in every other way Grant is.

10. Whose temper is worse? Mine, definitely!

11. Who does the laundry? It’s a joint effort, he puts it in the machine, I hang it out, we both iron

12. Who takes out the garbage? Usually Grant, but sometimes I do.

13. Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? Depends which way you look at the bed doesn’t it? No matter where we go, Grant sleeps nearest the door, so that he can fight the boogeymen, I take my chances with the guys coming in the windows ;-)

14. Who pays the bills? Me. Grant is not good with finances!

15. Who is better with the computer? I’m better at some things, he’s better at others. If it's Excel, he's the go-to man.

16. Who mows the lawn? Simon

17. Who cooks dinner? We complement each other beautifully in the kitchen. We generally cook together, it’s a lot of fun.

18. Who drives when you are together? Always Grant. I feel nervous and intimidated when I drive him.

19. Who pays when you go out? Usually Grant

20. Who is the most stubborn? Grant without a doubt

21. Who is the first to admit when they are wrong? Neither of us ;-)

22. Whose parents do you see most? We see mine almost daily, but it’s usually just in passing, we spend more concentrated time with his.

23. Who kissed who first? If I remember correctly, I kissed him. He was very backward in coming forward those days…..

24. Who asked who out? He asked me out, I can still remember it quite distinctly and I still get a funny feeling in my tummy when I think about it.

25. Who proposed? We came to a joint decision. There was no “getting down on bended knee” or anything like that. It was quite, quite unromantic!

26. Who is most sensitive? Definitely me.

27. Who has the most friends? Definitely Grant, I don't do the social thang.

28. Who has more siblings? Grant, he has a brother and a sister; since my brother died I don't have any siblings

29. Who wears the pants in the family? Grant hasn't figured this out yet, but I think it might just be me!

30. How did you meet? We were in the same class from the age of 11 and I thought he was quite the most revolting specimen of humanity! Until one night, at a Valentine’s party at a friend’s house, when we were 17. I had, had a couple of glasses of champagne (I know, under-age drinking….shocking!) and I don’t know whether that was why, but he suddenly looked quite…..delicious, and why on earth had I never noticed his cuuuuute butt before? Suddenly I was seeing him with completely different eyes, we’ve been together ever since..…

Blog Action Day 2008

Today is Blog Action Day and this year’s theme is Poverty.

With talk of a global recession, the rand reaching record lows and the interest rate sitting at a level that has made our bond repayments go through the roof, poverty is feeling rather close to home at the moment. And penny pinching doesn’t come easily to me, I have to confess.

So I’ve been feeling rather sorry for myself of late because, facts are facts, and we are having to cut back a little. This means we have to think twice before eating out (one of my favourite past-times) and I’ve had to determinedly walk past the clothing department of my favourite store as I know that a “quick browse” is always going to turn into “a bit of a splurge”. It sucks people!

But driving through the rural area close to where I live all of this is put very clearly into perspective for me. The people living in that area are living in poverty. The kind of poverty that means they don't have a proper roof over their heads, the kind of poverty that means their kids don't have decent clothes, the kind of poverty that means hungry tummies at night.
The cutting back that I am dealing with is SO not poverty! We have warm cosy beds to sleep in, we have more than enough to eat, we have cell phones, computers, TVs and a DVD player, we have hobbies that cost money and we don’t think twice about spending money on our health and well being. In short, we are living in the land of milk and honey!
The people in that rural area are living in makeshift shacks, they do not have the very basic necessities. Talk about humbling!

According to the Department of Public Works, seventy per cent of black South African children under 16 are classified as living in a state of poverty and undernourishment. Many children have lost both parents (often as a result of the AIDS epidemic) with the oldest children left to care for themselves and their siblings. They are frequently forced to drop out of school, reducing their chances of getting decent employment, and further reducing the chances of the household being able to move out of poverty.

It’s a vicious circle. So what is the answer? Frankly, I have no idea. But I really do believe that if each one of us did something small in our own lives to make a difference in the lives of those who are facing grinding poverty we could have a positive effect, albeit a small one.

Nelson Mandela said “Like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings.”

A couple of sites worth a visit: Greater Good SA and fellow blogger Mel’s Bosom Buddies

Exam time!

Rox is writing her first UNISA exam this morning and my stomach is in a knot, I am running to the loo every 5 mins and if I was a nail-biter I would no doubt have chewed off all my nails by now. Why? Why is it that I am completely unable to disassociate myself from what goes on in my daughters' lives? For goodness' sake, she's a grown girl. If I'm like this now can you imagine the state I will be in when she has a baby oneday?
By the way, I have no internet access at home at the moment, for some inexplicable reason our ADSL line is non-functioning. So if I haven't been around your blog in the last couple of days that's the reason why! I am going to try to contact my service provider this afternoon and find out what's going on.

Blogging mojo M.I.A

You may have noticed that my blog posts have been a bit thin on the ground this week? I hate to admit it, but since I got back from our week away my blogging mojo is just gone.

Holidays are supposed to recharge my batteries, but instead, ungrateful wench that I am, all they seem to do is leave me wanting more holiday. I have spent the entire week sitting here at my desk, grumbling under my breath at the cruel injustice of my having to be here at all! I know, I'm a spoilt brat!

I'm hoping that by Monday I will have reconciled myself to the fact that every weekday for the next 10 weeks (yes, I counted!) my lazy ass will be sitting behind this desk, like it or not. Maybe once I have reached that stage of acceptance my blogging mojo will return

5 Ways Blogging has affected me

The rules:
1. Write about 5 specific ways blogging has affected you either positively or negatively
2. link back to the person who tagged you : Thanks Lucy
3. link back to this parent post: (the parent post link has, unfortunately, been lost along the way….)
4.tag a few friends or five, or none at all
5. post these rules— or just have fun breaking them!

Lucy and I seem to be 2 peas in a pod, I could copy her response to this tag, word for word, and it would all be true – but I’m going to try to be a little more original than that and post my own response!

1. Blogging has given me an outlet for all those thoughts, ideas and rants that mill around inside my head. Sometimes when something has really got me uptight and rattled I can let it all out in a blog post and feel an enormous sense of relief, other times it feels good simply to share something, but either way, it’s nice to have a place to record what’s happening in my life, the good, the bad and the ugly.

2. I have met some really, really nice people through blogging. This came as such a pleasant surprise as I didn’t get into blogging for the purpose of meeting people – it has been a wonderful, unexpected by-product of the process.

3. Blogging has given me a sense of accomplishment. I am inordinately proud of my little blog. I still get quite a thrill when I look at it and think “Wow, I created that and I did it all by myself” (with some help from angels like Sanni of course!)

4. Blogging gives me “Me Time”. It’s something I do just for me, and it gives me a break from all the other responsibilities that crowd my life. The family knows better than to bug me when I am blogging!

5. On the negative side, blogging gives me an excuse to sit on my fat rump in front of the computer. I SO don’t need another excuse to just park off! When I should be doing a myriad of other things, such as exercising, tidying cupboards, gardening…… I can be found blogging – which probably accounts for the cartload of weight I have gained this year!

I'm not going to tag anyone, but if you are keen to do this one please leave me a comment!

The Name Game

I found this at Trish's blog and had to steal it, 'cause this type of blog post is all that I am capable of right now!

1.Your rock star name (first pet, current car)
Silky Run-X

2.Your gangsta name (favorite ice cream flavor, favorite type of shoe)
Rum 'n Raisin Thong

3.Your Native American name (favorite color, favorite animal)
Grape Dog

4.Your soap opera name (middle name, city where you were born)
Donna Nigel (well I wouldn't call it a city as such...LOL!)

5.Your Star Wars name (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 of your first name)

6.Superhero name (2nd favorite color, favorite drink)
Blue Hunters

7.NASCAR name (the first names of your grandfathers)
Burton Stanley

8.Dancer name (the name of your favorite perfume/cologne/scent, favorite candy)
Eau Dynamisante Jelly Tot (Bwahahaha!)

9.TV weather anchor name (your 5th grade teacher’s last name, a major city that starts with the same letter)
Fox Frankfurt

10.Spy name (your favorite season/holiday, flower)
Autumn Rose

11.Cartoon name:(favorite fruit, article of clothing you’re wearing right now)
Mandarin Trackpants

12.Hippie name (what you ate for breakfast, your favorite tree)
Oats Oak

13.Movie star name (first pet, first street where you lived)
Silky Tyrell

A couple of photos from our holiday

Hi Honeys, I'm home!

Just wanted to pop in and say "Hi". We had a very relaxing, peaceful holiday in the berg, but it was way too short - could definitely have done with another week or two. At the moment I am playing catch up, but I will be back soon with a couple of photos.