Monday, February 28, 2011

Thoughtful Pause

When one has children, a funny thing happens.
Suddenly ones eyes are opened as to how you behaved with your parents.  At various times since I became a mom I have apologised to my parents for my behaviour when I was younger. I only saw then what I must have put them through at the time.  After these few weeks, I feel there is something else I want to say:
To My Parents:
For all the times that I was sick and you lay awake to keep an eye on me,
For rushing me to hospital in the middle of the night,
For the food that you made to make being sick less awful,
For the colouring-in books and puzzles that you bought to keep me busy,
For the times that you lay with me when I couldn’t sleep...

Thank you for all of those things and so much more I have probably forgotten about.
I love you guys.

On a more practical note: "The patient" is feeling better and I am no longer Florence Nightingale. She is however, well enough for me to leave and I plan to do something fun and self indulgent on my own tomorrow.
Just because I want to.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Sing Like No-One's Looking

Stressful doesn’t begin to describe the last 2 weeks.  The patient” is still very weak and fragile. We’ve been told that she will need a good few months to recover completely and will need to be very careful about how much activity and exertion she involves herself in.
This morning on my way to work, I usually listen to the Radio, but I felt like putting on something fun and lively – nothing works for me quite like Mika for this (and Pink) but today it was Mika.
I put on Track 4 – “Love Today” and started singing.

At first my singing was just the usual 'sing to yourself', but by the time I got to the chorus I was belting it out like no-one’s business. You know that type of car singing? The one where you pull the facial expressions and clap and ‘dance’ in your seat - and then when you pull up at a robot and realise that you could look very strange but truly you don’t care at all?

Smile and Wave. Just smile and wave.
That’s what happened with me in the car today! 
Partay for one. 

Even the cover makes you happyyyyy!

Not even the BMW driver who raced to get in front of me in the section of the road where two lanes make one, could break my Rock-Star Mojo. Really? If being in front of me makes you go girl!

Everyone should sing as though there is no-one looking – it’s good for the soul!

Peace and Happiness People!

The New Daily Challenge

Since the beginning of the year when I posted this post, I have been reflecting on how I can make every day count and make it special.

The result was starting this blog - I decided to mix life up a bit by trying something new / different / or unlike me, everyday. (This clearly does not include anything illegal!) ...:)
I am having fun with it although its not the adventurous start I had pictured! Feel free to pop over and have a squizz at my mundane start - and even join me in my quest.

Something that has happened without any thought is that each day I am so aware of things that I am thankful for - perhaps that is an offshoot of having a child who has been really sick for 2 weeks and is still weak and recovering - so I might even add Just One Thing that I am thankful for each day too! 

Have a goodie.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

A Change of Plan

One needs to remain flexible.

This weekend turned out to be nothing like the plan we had. This WAS the plan:

Head out on Friday night to a good surveillance spot and eavesdrop on a major band playing in the city. We had planned picnic baskets, wine, friends, a great view and a sunset (no, we didn’t plan that, it’s a bonus that was thrown in).

Saturday was going to be spending the vouchers My Man received for great work last year at a glitzy mall not too far from us.

Sunday was church and heading out to braai at my brothers place and celebrate his birthday with him.

What we got was our 'grown-up-but-still-at-home-daughter’ being told she has glandular fever. Suddenly all the weekend festivities and outings took a back seat and mom-mode set in. She is so seldom sick and I, like every mom, don’t enjoy seeing her suffer.

I suppose I do get to mommy her and she does actually let me.

Monday, February 14, 2011


Once, my man bought me flowers.
Yes, only once.

We were just married, no occasion, he just surprised me with them and my response was “What did you do?”. It was then he realized that perhaps I was not the most romantic chick on the planet. I asked him to please rather go with me to the nursery and buy a flowering shrub that we would both like and would last forever.

So what happens on Valentines Day? No prizes for realizing that we don’t *do* Valentines Day. We never have. Actually, I lie, we tried to *do* it about 5 years ago, my man booked a table at our then favourite restaurant.

He looked smart. I wore heels. Off we went.
I don’t think we were half way through our starter when we found ourselves in an argument the likes of which we had never had before. We left before we finished our main course. As we do when we have these differences, we sort them out right away. Chatting in the car, we realized that we both had taken on board the very high expectations that Valentines Day puts upon people, especially by the media. One tends to think of chick flick scenes… and let’s face it, life is NOT like in the movies!

So, instead of spending outrageous amounts of cash on ridiculous teddies, jewellery, chocolates and flowers for one day of the year, we prefer to be romantic in other ways every day – we’ll hang out together, chat over a glass of wine while cooking, sometimes I write little notes and stick them in his lunchbox, he will often buy a chocolate and hide it under my pillow for bedtime, we still hold hands, we phone each other during the day and I still have to tell him that I am putting the phone down or we would both still say “You put down”, we do everything we can together; and this is true of chores and fun stuff. He is my best friend.

I know that none of this sounds romantic – but to me it’s the everyday things that we do in our relationships that show our love and not the amount of money we spend once a year.

So tonight, there is no special dinner reservation, definitely no flowers, maybe chocolate, but only because its one of the things we do anyway... but I am looking forward to spending the evening with my man, perhaps heading to the beach for a glass of wine, and knowing that I must be the luckiest girl in the world.
(PS. This is not in anyway meant to throw cold water on your Valentines Day - It's merely how we choose not to spend it. Whatever you do to celebrate it - enjoy it! :o))

Saturday, February 12, 2011

To Read and To Dream...

Some people buy the YOU, others JOY, GARDEN AND HOME or COSMO.

I, however, have never been a buyer of magazines.
Until today.

Usually what I do is pop in to travel agencies and get brochures about remote and interesting destinations that we would love to visit. We spend hours poring over them, discussing where we want to go and googling interesting itineraries in those places. We love doing this. To us, the decision of where to go, the sourcing of places to stay and things to do, the bookings and all that comes with the planning of a major trip is a huge part of the fun.

Today at Pik ‘n Betaal I saw they had a Travel mag for sale at the till. It may have been there forever, I’ve never seen it before, but usually I am in a mad dash to get in and out of shops of any description in record time. Did I tell you that I think I am allergic to shopping and malls?

I paid the bucks and I’m not sorry.
What a lovely mag, great stories, competitions, special deals and articles:
local and international.

I just happened to flick it open on a page with a beautiful photograph of the brightly coloured hot air balloons over the moonlike landscape of Goreme together with a write-up on the magical Cappadocia. I read it and found myself wiping away tears. Why do I get emotional everytime I think of Turkey? When I close my eyes I can still smell the food and if I concentrate hard enough – I’m sure that I see the warm friendly faces and hear the voices calling out in the Istanbul bazaar. I want to go back so badly.

So, long story short. I think I buy a magazine now. It’s the PnP Travel Mag, I have subscribed to their newsletter with ‘earlybird discounts’. There is a whole world of beautiful places and interesting people to see and to meet.

Tonight, I find myself home alone for a few hours, a time to dream and to plan.

I foresee many adventures - and among them another visit to beautiful Turkey.


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Too Much of Thinking!

If you don’t have a culture, you are not a people”
~ God Grew Tired of Us ~

I am still thinking about this statement from my last post.
  1. Why is culture so important?
  2. What defines the culture of my country? Does it reflect me?
  3. Does having more than one culture in a nation affect it?
  4. Does the world as a whole have a 'culture' - Does it change? If so, why?
  5. What I am considering most is, if we are Christ followers, what is it that defines our culture as his people?
We are told to be in the world but not of it,
can our physical and spiritual ‘cultures’ co-exist?

Just thinking….

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

God Grew Tired of Us

I watched the movie “God Grew Tired of Us” again.

I’m not entirely sure why I keep watching it since it’s not exactly a ‘feel good’ movie. It will make you cry, it will make you laugh, it will make you think, it will make you re-evaluate and it will hopefully not leave you the way you were before you encountered it.

For those of you who have not seen it – it’s the true story of the Lost Boys of the Sudan. The story of how an entire generation of 13yr old and younger children had to flee, parentless, from the Sudan during the war. About 27 000 children left Sudan and when reaching Kenya some years later, roughly 12 000 survived. 13 year old child leaders had to bury the-dead-and-barely-there bodies in shallow graves.

Looking at the bunch of youngsters who had settled in Kenya, although they were often thin, they looked so happy, their faces shone, they danced to music from small radios, they shared everything that they had with one another and they loved being together. These children had formed one large family.

One man, realising the need to keep their spirits up when food was short and times were tough, established “Parliament”. This was the gathering of the people under beautiful trees, where he would sing to them and tell them stories for as long as was needed.

Several of these “Lost Boys” were given the opportunity to move to the USA to make a ‘better life’ for themselves. There are some humorous bits which I will leave for you to find out (I don’t want to give everything away!) They all had to work, which they did faithfully and well.

What blew me away were some of the ‘throw away’ comments:
  • A comment about the Christmas Trees: the one remarked that ‘its all very pretty but can someone please tell me what it has to do with the birth of Jesus Christ which is what the celebrations should be about’.
  • Another remark that was made was when it was felt that some of them were beginning to lose their identity and beginning to merge into western society and he said “If you don’t have a culture you are not a people” (possibly slightly paraphrased)…
  • Another comment: He felt that perhaps God had grown tired of them and that’s why they were suffering so at home.

I think what hit me most was the scene where one of the guys had just finished working and was waiting for his bus home at 02h00. He looked so sad, and reflected that everything was so busy, the work, the people and the city, and he wondered when the family got together. He missed home.

He missed home. He missed the people he loved.

He didn’t think of lack of housing or of food shortages or of the heat...he missed being able to just be with people that he loved.

I can’t tell you exactly how I felt about the movie because I am not sure. I don’t know if it was the right thing for the Boys to go to the USA, although good did come out of it in some of their lives. I don’t know if it made me feel better about my life, or worse.

I don’t know if it made me happy or sad.

I do know that I have changed since watching it and that my heart has been softened even more to the plight of those countries and families torn apart by war. I hope that I will never take the time I have with family and friends for granted and always remember how precious that time is.

I believe too that every opportunity to help others is an opportunity that we should take and not miss.

For up-to-date info go here. To view the Trailer go here.

For the transcript of an interview done with Jon go here.


Friday, February 4, 2011

Sweet Stuff

I am making pudding.

You’re wondering why that’s worthy of a blogpost, aren’t you?
Let me explain. When I make “a decent” supper its cause for celebration, so can you imagine the adoration I receive if I make pudding?

I am in the mood for some adoration –the last couple of days have been exhausting and my fantastic man, who loves to cook, has just stepped in and done the shopping and happily taken up the supper reigns. It won’t take a rocket scientist to realize how very easy it can become to take advantage of his kindness in this area. After all, if he enjoys it – why not let him just do it?

In my head that makes sense, but in the practicalities of it, it just ain’t right! I don’t work afternoons and he works so hard that I want to spoil him with good food but often my spirit is willing but ja, my flesh is weak!

Today – I have decided to outdo myself and make him a lovely meal, because I can cook (and cook well) and I am going to make him a delicious pudding to show him how extra sweet I think he is!

So now then… Onwards and Upwards woman – go thee forth and do it!