I've fallen in love with a future guide-dog!

As you are probably aware, I am crazy about all things dog, and I have to confess that I have fallen deeply in love with yet another dog.  I have always had a soft spot for guide-dogs, since reading "Emma and I" donkey's years ago.  Now one of my favourite bloggers, Angel of Angel's Mind is raising a puppy for the SA Guide-dog Association, and boy-oh-boy has Volt captured my heart!  I have been following his story since his arrival in Angel's and Glugster's home and I have to say it's been fascinating.  I think what they are doing is remarkable.

There is SO much more to raising a puppy to be trained as a guide-dog than I ever imagined!  For instance, guide-dog puppies are not trained with food rewards, but instead with positive reinforcement; Volt can't play with tennis balls or frisbees; he has to be trained not to sniff and can only do so when he's going "to the toilet", and while on that subject, he has to be taught to wee and poop on demand, he must sleep in a special crate ... the list goes on and on.

I strongly recommend a visit to Angel's Furbabies where you can follow Volt's journey to becoming a fully-grown guide-dog.  If you want to read all about it from the very beginning scroll down to the bottom of the page and keep clicking on "older posts" until you get to Volt's arrival on 21 December 2011.

And here's a picture of the little guy that I swiped off the website, hope Angel won't mind!

60 things

I saw this on Angel's blog and as I am always up for a bout of navel-gazing, I decided to do it too

1. How old will you be in five years? 49 and I'm surprisingly cool with that!

2. Who did you spend at least two hours with today? My darling husband.  My goodness I love that man! 

3. How tall short are you? 158 centimetres.

4. What is the last movie you saw? We went and saw Jack and Jill..... it was undoubtedly the worst movie I have ever seen.

5. Who called you last? My Roxy-girl

6. Who did you call last? I tried to phone my aunt but she didn't answer - no surprises there, she never has her phone with her.

7. What was the last text message you received? A message from my Rox.  We communicate A LOT! 

8. Do you prefer calling or texting? I HATE talking on the phone and avoid it at all costs, unless it's one of my girls or Grant.

9. Are your parents married or divorced? Totally divorced.  Totally.

10. When did you last see your mother? On the day she died.

11. What color eyes do you have? Green.

12. When did you wake up today? 06:09  aaargh!  It's Saturday for goodness sake, what became of Saturday sleep-ins?

13. What is your favorite Christmas song? Last Christmas - Wham


But I had a very Michael Buble Christmas this year and I love, love, love his Christmas CD

14. What is your favorite place? My bed. I spend an embarrassing amount of time there, considering I'm not bed-ridden.

15. What place do you like the least? The gynaecologist's consulting room

16. Where do you think you will find yourself in ten years? I have this dream and I would like to think it may oneday come true, but if I'm being honest, I'll probably be living in Durban in 10 years time!

17. What scared you about the night as a child? The bit where it got dark.

18. What made you really laugh last? I have a guilty little secret and it's where I go if I need some hysterical laughter to get me through the day.  It's this website (only go there if you are not easily offended!  Don't say I didn't warn you...)

19. How big is your bed? In about a week's time our new king-size bed will arrive.  I.Cannot.Wait.

20. Do you have a desktop or laptop computer? Laptop. Love it.

21. Do you sleep with or without clothes on? I really cannot sleep without PJs on.  I've tried and I just can't do itThat whole being naked feeling.  Uh-Huh.

22. How many pillows do you have in bed? 2 flattish pillows.

23. How many provinces have you lived in? Born in Gauteng and emigrated to KZN.

24. Which cities have you lived in? I'm not a city kind of girl.  I'm a small town chick.

25. Do you prefer shoes, socks or bare feet? My house slops

26. Are you social? Not at all.

27. What is your favorite ice cream? Vanilla, with Horlicks sprinkled on top, yummy.

28. What is your favorite dessert? Creme Brulee.

29. Do you like Chinese food? Yes, please.

30. Do you like coffee? Only if it's made to my specific instructions - it has to be de-caf and the milk has to be boiled.

31. What do you have for breakfast? Fruits of the Cape yoghurt with Woolies vanilla muesli.

32. Do you sleep on a particular side? On the right.

33. Can you play poker? Nope.

34. Do you like to cuddle / snuggle? Only for a little bit and then I get fidgety and irritated.

35. Are you a dependent person? Oh yesHang around me for any length of time and I will begin to lean on you.

36. Do you know anyone with the same birthday as you? Mc Dreamy and Orlando Bloom, yay!

37. Do you have children? My two girls are the best thing that ever happened to meAnd I have an Impi too.  What can I say?  I lucked out!

38. Do you know any languages other than English? Afrikaans and a very peculiar form of Zulu.

39. Have you ever driven an ambulance? Huh?

40. Do you prefer the ocean or a pool? To look at - the ocean, to be in - the pool.

41. What do you spend money on? Apart from the usual household stuff, mainly e-books.

42. Do you have precious jewellery? The ring I inherited from my darling aunt, that I now wear as a wedding ring.

43. What are your favorite shows on TV? I only ever watch Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice

44. Can you roll your tongue? Nope.

45. Who is the funniest person you know? Grant.  He cracks me up.

46. Do you sleep with stuffed animals? Definitely not, but I sleep with a live little Jack Russell ♥

47. What is your ringtone? I think it's "The Sting"

48. Do you still have clothes from when you were little? Nope.

49. What is closest to you right now that is red? My Body Shop Strawberry Body Butter. Love it!

50. Do you flirt much? Not nearly as much as I used to! 

51. Can you change the oil on the car: Bwahahaha.  No.

52. Have you received a speeding ticket ever: Nope, I'm not a speedy kind of girl

53. What was the last book you read? The latest Sherryl Woods.

54. Do you read a newspaper? I read the Mercury every weekday.

55. Subscribe to a magazine? For some weird reason, after being a magazine-aholic.  I have gone off magazines.

56. Do you dance in the car: No, but I do sing.

57. Which radio station did you listen to last? East Coast Radio. Although it's never been the same since Dave Guselli left.  sob, sob

58. What was the last thing you scribbled down on paper? My shopping list.

59. When were you at church last? I no longer go to church.

60. Are you happy? I am.  I don't take for granted how very blessed I am.

So I'm White, what does that MEAN?

My faults and personality quirks are many and varied.  I am quite happy to admit that I am often obnoxious, frequently bitchy, permanently moody, I swear a lot, I enjoy a tasty tid-bit of scandal..... the list goes on and on.  I don't deny any of it.  But what I am NOT is racist.  That is one label that you can't stick on me.  So it really irks me when someone assumes, based solely on the fact that I happen to be South African and I was born with a lily-white skin, that I am racist. 

It has happened twice in the last month that people I have just met and have begun chatting to, have suddenly alluded to the fact that they don't particularly like black people and assumed that I feel the same way.  You want to see my hackles rise?  Do that to me!  Weirdly enough, both these people were "people of colour". 

Seriously, do people in general assume that ALL white South Africans are racist?  Surely not!  Surely you can't jump to that kind of assumption before you know a person.

One of my children is a black man.  It breaks my heart to think that there are people out there who automatically dislike Impi because he was born with a gorgeous chocolate coloured skin.  The nicest person I have ever have the privilege of knowing and who I am proud to call my very best friend, happens to be a black domestic worker.  How completely and utterly daft to like or dislike people based on the colour of their skin.  I really, truly and honestly don't get it.  It's like saying I don't like people with brown eyes.  For goodness' sake, how infantile!

Yes, there are black people I despise, there are also white people I loathe and as for the Afrikaans people who live on the corner of our street.... I despise, loathe AND detest them.  This has stuff all to do with the colour of their skin and a lot to do with their pond-scum-like personalities. 

To my way of thinking, you need to spend a bit of time getting to know someone before you decide to dislike them and you need to spend more than 5 minutes with a person before labelling them a racist!

Rant over.  Climbing off my soap-box now!

Wedding photos - PART 3

Wedding photos - PART 2

Wedding photos - PART 1

Surrender......easier said than done!

The theme for the month of February in the online course I'm doing  is "Surrender your Heart".  The course itself is not too deep or anything, but it's got me doing some thinking and rather a lot of painful soul-searching.  I'm also reading Sue Monk Kidd's "When the Heart Waits" (recommended by Mel of Simply Mel ) and that's got me thinking, big time!

I think if I had to highlight the one flaw that really hinders me in nearly every sphere of my life, it would be the issues I have with control.  I am really, really uncomfortable in any situation where I feel I don't have the necessary degree (and for me that's a lot!) of control.  Which is all well and good in my work situation - it's possibly even a positive there - but in nearly every other situation its a huge negative. 

So frankly, surrender is a big no-no for me!  You can't really be in control and surrender at the same time can you?!  I realise that there are some areas of my life in which surrender is completely necessary - marriage, Christianity, mother-hood, to name a few.  And no surprises - it's the surrender aspects of these relationships that I battle with. 

I will come right out and say that I don't think I have ever totally surrendered my heart in any relationship ever.  In a way I think it boils down, not only to a control issue, but to a matter of trust.  When you surrender your heart you have to trust that the other person is going to take really good care of it - and I don't fully, completely, 100%, trust anyone.  I have major, major abandonment issues (no doubt a legacy of my father turning his back on me and never coming back) and unfortunately, with those issues comes a large dollop of dis-trust. 

So, it appears that my control, trust and surrender issues are all bound up in each other and that it's an area I need to do a huge amount of work on.  Seems like I have my work cut out for me! 

People!  This post was DEEP!