Photo tags

One of my very favourite bloggers, Clive from "In the Now" tagged me recently and finally I am getting around to doing it. (I am so, so very busy at work and blogging is waaay down on my list of priorities right now)

The tag works like this: 1. navigate to where you keep your pictures, select the 6th folder, and the 6th picture in that folder. 2. Then post it on your blog with an explanation of the story behind the picture 3. tag 6 other people to do the same, and make sure you let them know about it.

So here is my pic:

That's my Rox girl, in the Southern Drakensberg, when we spent a weekend there in June last year. I love the southern berg, but the timeshare resort we stayed in that particular weekend was not very nice at all, so the weekend was a bit of a disappointment - but the company made up for it.
I am not going to tag anyone as everyone I would have tagged has done the meme already (that's what happens when you procrastinate!) but if you'd like to do it, please feel free, and drop me a comment so that I can pop by to see your photo.


I slept last night. Nothing special about that you'd think, but you'd be wrong. Let's just say I have been having some deeply troubling sleep issues lately.

Anyone who knows me well will tell you that I am a person who needs plenty of sleep. I don't just like it, I'm not just lazy, I actually have to have plenty of sleep. My kids complain that I am a monster if woken up in the middle of the night - in the wee hours I'm not only ugly, I'm unsympathetic and I am vicious! I need my 8 hours a night and I need those 8 hours to be continuous, restful sleep. Why then did I go and marry a man who not only snores, but twitches too??

Sleeping with Grant is an adventure and I don't mean that statement to be in any way erotic! Grant has the type of snore that is not regular, it comes in fits and starts and some of those fits and starts are alarmingly loud and vuvuzela-like. Trust me, it's verrry disturbing. Add to that the twitching of the legs - he has a genetic condition that causes his legs to literally leap about all night (he'll tell you it's a minor twitch, but believe me it isn't!). It's worse if he hasn't been cycling - now you know why I encourage the cycling to such an extent - it's not only to get him out of my hair, it's to ensure my sleep! So yes, lying next to my husband is not exactly conducive to a good night's rest, but I generally get by and he generally doesn't mind the odd punch in the ribs or well-aimed kick. Such is the stuff of middle-aged married life. (BTW, if you're young and innocent and comtemplating wedded bliss, think about these things before you tie the knot okay?)

Anyway, back to my sleep issues. For the last week I have not only had to deal with Grant and his nocturnal nonsense, to add to my pain I have been having nightmares. Not just run of the mill, scary little dreams, but full-on, horror-movie terrors of epic proportions. The kind of "dreams" that have you waking up a trembling, sweat-drenched wreck, unable to shut your eyes for fear of being transported back to that very scary place. I have been having these nightmares every.single.night.

As you can imagine I have been complaining bitterly about my sleep deprivation. I have been frantically busy at work, stressed out over Paula and her new school, trying to tackle a new diet (eeeuw!) dealing with the fact that Rox is now insulin resistant..... So the last thing I need is to be lacking in sleep!

You can imagine my reaction when on Wednesday night, as I was psyching myself up to fall into a relaxed, blissful slumber, Grant decided that now was a good time to read to me from his magazine which (stupidly!) stated that anything more than 6 hours sleep a night was unnecessary and could in fact cause you to feel tired the next day. Read to me in a chirpy, Mr Know-it-all, patronising voice. Hello? In what way did he think that was either helpful or appropriate??? Men!! I restrained myself from strangling him there and then and simply rolled my eyes and fell into an unrelaxed, terror-ridden night of un-sleep.

So what is this post about? It is simply to tell you that last night I slept, I actually closed my eyes and S.L.E.P.T and I had more than 8 hours and it was bloody marvellous thank you very much!!!

Paula's first day of high school!

My "baby" headed off to high school yesterday! Thankfully the name tag only has to be worn for a week ;-) (and yes, we are going to get that fringe cut soon!)

She came home from her first day yesterday feeling rather "under-awed" about high school. I gather that the layout of the school is constructed with the sole purpose of confusing the Grade 8s... LOL! They repeatedly ended up in the wrong classroom, for the wrong lesson, looking like complete charlies! She was a bundle of nerves by the time bed-time came last night, fretting about what today would bring. Well I'm happy to report that today went much better and the verdict when I fetched her today was that school was "awesome" :-)

Although the doctor booked Paula off for this week she was determined that she had to go to school - there was no way she was going to miss her 1st week of high school and arrive the 2nd week not knowing what was going on. I see where she is coming from, but I can't say I am too happy about her straining herself like this. She comes home completely exhausted. They are having a "sleep-over" at the school on Friday and again, I would far rather she skipped it, but she is one determined, stubborn young lady and she has every intention of being at the sleep-over...

I won something!

I just popped into Woolies for some groceries and won my entire purchase free :-) Yay me!! (Wish I had bought more, but hey, I can't be greedy!)

Interview Me!

My friend Lucy recently posted an interview on her blog. I thought it was a fun idea, so I asked her to interview me.

Here are the basic rules...**Let me know if you'd like to play along and I'll send you some questions!
1. Leave a comment saying Interview me.
2.If you want to keep your email address private, email me your request to interview you (
3. I will email you 5 questions. I get to pick the questions.
4. You can answer the questions on your blog.
5. post rules on your blog with an offer to interview anyone else who emails you wanting to be interviewed.
6. Anyone wishing to be interviewed should be sent 5 questions on their blog.
7. It would be nice if the questions were individualized for each blogger.

** here are the questions Lucy sent me and my answers.. (Thanks Lucy!)

1) Besides becoming more forgetful, (don't we all have that symptom?) what other changes have you felt are happening as you grow older? Good or bad.
The first thing that comes to mind is weight gain! The kilos just seem to pile on a hellava lot easier than they did before and are a whole lot harder to get rid of……. It’s all very disturbing!!

But on the positive side, I feel that I am a lot more comfortable in my own skin. I am far more accepting of who I am and I am not as afraid of standing up for myself. I like myself a lot more now than I did in my 20s and 30s. I’ve come to realize that if people don’t accept me as I am it is their problem, not mine (I really wish I had, had this figured out in my teens and 20s, it would have saved me SO much angst!!)

2) Tell us about your favorite school teacher and why you remember them
I had quite a few school teachers that I really liked, but I think the one that made the biggest impression on me was Mrs Douglas who was my teacher in Grade 3. I arrived in this woman’s class a whimpering, nervous wreck and in the space of one year she restored my faith in grown-ups and in me. Picture the scene: in the preceding 2 years I had moved away from my beloved grandparents who I had lived with for 3 years – they literally meant everything to me; I had been presented with a baby brother, my grandfather was terminally ill, my mother was in the process of divorcing for the 2nd time in 5 years, and I had just spent the preceding year in the class of Cruella DeVille herself (this woman was a raging monster, no kidding!) I was the most mixed up, unhappy little 8 year old you could possibly imagine. Mrs Douglas seemed like an angel to me, she never raised her voice, she was kindness and compassion personified and she was this stable, calm force in my life when I really needed one.

3) Where do u see yourself in 10 years? 20 years?
Oh my goodness, this one’s difficult!

In 10 years time I hope to still be living in Shelly Beach. But like many South Africans, I have to wonder whether I will even be living in this country?! I would LOVE not to be working, but in all likelihood I will still be going to work every day. My daughters will probably both have left home, so I would imagine that Grant and I would have moved into a complex of some sort. I imagine that I will have more time to devote to my hobbies, so maybe, just maybe, I would have finished the cross-stitch project I began 2 years ago (I kid you not!) and I might even have taken up scrapbooking again! I am almost afraid to say it, but I would love to become a granny in the next 10 years!

In 20 years I would surely have retired??!! I really hope to have a couple of grandkids to spoil rotten by that stage. I will be a lady of leisure, pottering around in my house accompanied by the little lap-dog that I plan to acquire the moment I retire. I will be reading countless books (probably in large print) and spending my time exactly as I please.

4) Tell us your favorite memory raising your children and one from your own childhood.
I’ve spent quite a bit of time thinking about this question. Having a 5 ½ year gap between my girls means that, on the whole, they have never been all that close – they have always been at vastly different stages of their lives. Lately though, the gap seems to be decreasing. Paula is entering her teenage years and Rox is still in her teenage years (most of the time) so they are finally beginning to have something in common. (I am getting to the part where I answer the question, promise!) I have many wonderful memories of raising my girls, but they are individual memories – Paula doing such and such, or Rox the day she did ****. I have very few memories of them doing things together, but since they have developed this new-found sibling closeness that is changing. One such memory that sticks out in my mind is the day that Rox drove Paula to school for the first time. Rox had this look of pride on her face – look at me, all grown up, driving my sister to school and Paula was equally proud, beaming from ear to ear – check me out dudes, heading off to school in my big sister’s car. It was so, so sweet!!

Okay, now a memory from my childhood. When I was a teenager my Gran lived in a flat (apartment) in the town we lived in. Often on weekends I would go and spend a night with her. We did nothing extraordinary, we’d cook a simple meal together and then chat or watch TV, but it always felt so special. Just the two of us, having a sleep-over. I really treasure the memories of those times, because not long after that she had a stroke which she never fully recovered from.

5) First kiss stories can be fun. Tell us yours.
Hee, hee! Believe it or not, I actually still talk to the beneficiary of my first kiss. We were 11 or 12 years old at the time and we were at one of our first “dancing” parties. The kiss happened in a dark corner and, at the time, I thought it was the most romantic moment of my life! In retrospect it was very much a “hit and miss” affair, flavoured with Strawberry Roll ‘o Gloss….. LOL!

Another update

Just heard that Paula's tumor was benign :-) I'm one *very* thankful mama right now!!!

Update on Paula

off to theatrePaula off to theatre! (notice the painter in the background - the hospital is undergoing major renovations....not much fun!)

A quick update on Paula: We've just come back from a visit to her and she is looking good! She is being spoilt rotten, with flowers, fruit baskets, sweets....... and feels like quite the princess.

Her surgery went well yesterday - they removed about a litre (!!) of fluid and quite a large tumor from her right ovary. According to the gynae "there were no obvious signs of cancer in the tumor" but it has been sent to the path lab just to be sure.
She was very nauseous and in a lot of pain after the op. It was so heart-wrenching to see her shivering and crying with pain when she came back to the ward, my heart broke in a thousand pieces! But they gave her some more medication for both the pain and the nausea and she was soon looking a lot more comfortable. I spent the whole day with her at the hospital and by last night was practically falling over with exhaustion - needless to say we both slept very well last night!

I told her to phone me first thing in the morning to let me know how she was feeling and she took my word for it and rang me at 05:15am! So we had quite an early morning Chez Richardson. And would you believe it, I totally forgot that it's my birthday today!!! Grant and I were sitting in bed chatting and sipping coffee when he suddenly woke up to the fact. You know you've reached an advanced age when you forget your own birthday! But in my defence, we celebrated on Sunday instead of today as we knew that Paulz would be in hospital today.

Thanks so much for your concern, Paula and I both really, really appreciate it!

Blog Improvement Project

Blog Improvement Project
The Blog Improvement Project is "a year-long challenge that will consist of twice-monthly activities to improve your blog. " I feel like I could use some blogging inspiration, so I am going to be following along this year - want to join me? Click on the image above :-)


So we had our trip to the gynae and Paula will be having surgery on Monday. She will be in hospital for 2-3 nights (hopefully two!) I wish he could have done the surgery tomorrow, as this waiting game is not much fun. My girl is bearing up well though, she is at her BFFs house at the moment "hanging out" as 13yos do :-)

What next??

Paula cyst belly
My Paula (at the grand old age of 13) has a gigantic ovarian cyst - it measures 15.6cm x 13cm, so it's a big mamma alright. We have been referred to the gynae (and don't I just love visiting him!) and she will possibly have surgery on Friday..... What is it with my girls and their ovaries???