Wednesday, December 28, 2011

After Christmas Ramblings

It's been ages since I posted and I should write "something". You'd think that I would have learnt by now that "should" is never a good reason for anything. Nothing like guilt and obligation to kill one completely.

This year has been difficult. I miss my SIL at various events, but especially missed her this Christmas.
Speaking of Christmas, we had our Christmas Eve family dinner and it was good. Everyone pitched in with food and drinks and it is always fun watching children with their presents. My folks had asked us each to write on a small piece of paper 5 things we like and 5 things we dislike. We weren't allowed to discuss this with our partners and were not allowed to be too obvious, or too vague - so it was quite a challenge!  When we arrived we put our slip of paper into a Chrismassy envelope and these were hung randomly on a tree.

During the meal, we each had a chance to read someone's "likes and dislikes" and we all had to guess who it belonged to. It was a lot of fun and we all learnt things about members of our family that we didn't know!

I still have about 3 weeks of holidays left and I have no idea what I am going to do with it!

Random Holiday Happenings:
  • Having My Man on leave - always good.
  • Going to spend some very chilled days with my folks who stay a couple of hours away from here in a quiet, yet surprisingly active town. We arrived and didn't get back into our car until we left. We read, swam, slept late and ate abundantly. It was a break we both needed.
  • Seeing 'old' friends. I have had breakfast with school friends, some of whom I have not seen for 25 years, met up with friends from up country that I haven't seen for about 10 years, as well as lots of dinners, braai's and other fun stuff with local friends.
  • My long-time friend arrived from Aus with her 9-month old whom I got to meet for the first time. That was special!
  • I have tickets to cricket next week - so looking forward to that!
Lots of cricket happening all over the show. It's definately SUMMER! 


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Oh! Christmas Tree

When I was in about Grade 5 we couldn't afford a Christmas tree. So my folks found a tree that was partly dead, sprayed it silver, and we hung our decorations on it. It's highly possible that at the time, I behaved like a spoilt brat and complained bitterly, but in my memory, it was the most beautiful tree I have, to this day, ever seen.

So much so, that I have never been happy with "traditional" trees. While "My Girl" was growing up, we had wire trees, sprayed trees, no tree, and a variety of ideas from me, until one day when she was in about Grade 7, she said to me "Mom, can't we just have a normal Christmas tree like everyone else?" - so from then on, we have pretty much done that.

A couple of years ago, was one of my most memorable Christmas's. My 'local' folks were overseas (of course we missed them!) and the siblings decided to get together and make our own fun! (while the cats away...  :-)  We each had to buy a present for under R30 and it had to be as kitch as possible.

On the night we got together, had supper and drew names. Depending on the name we drew, we got their kitch present. However, heres' the catch:- the deal was that you had to display the gift in your home in a prominent position for a year. I am not sure when I had last laughed as much as that night.

In fact, we laughed so much, that the tree got knocked over! It's a good memory and I will treasure it always. I had sprayed a tree silver for that night too...

The year the tree collapsed laughing
Subconsciously, I think that's why this year, I have gone back to my sprayed tree. Besides the fact that it remains my favourite.... Good memories are attached to it.

This year...
There is something else that is special about this tree. Do you remember this post? This same lady made us all a Christmas angel to hang on our tree as a gift. Some people are just a gift in themselves....

A special gift.
Of course, the real meaning behind the joy of Christmas is not in the tree.... but in the gift of love and grace  born on that day that changed the history of the universe forever.

Now THAT is a gift.

Monday, December 5, 2011

I almost "klapped" my printer.

It's THAT  time of the year where, at school, there is full on carnage.

It never seems to matter how well prepared you are in advance for the "end of year", that it always becomes a frenzy of half-crazed (and sometimes fully-crazed) people, all frantically trying to get everything done that needs to be done.

On Friday, in the middle of printing reports and award certificates - (All those things that have to be left to the last minute), I got an unusual message on my printer "Replace/Install Waste Toner Bin".


What the flippin heck is that ---- and why was there no WARNING??

And no, it's not like the toner, which gives you a good forewarning and then still prints for a decent period of time -- the printer just ceases to work.  So, I finally located this silly plastic piece of ...... (you fill that in), I emptied it and hoped that it would work. It didn't.

Please bear in mind that I am the only one with a colour printer. I am the only one who can do this. I now have teachers, quite literally, and quite within their rights, standing over me and needing their printing.

So, I phoned my local PC support guys and they promised me that they would get it first thing Monday morning. I was happy. This was do-able.

Fast forward to Monday.

Apparently, the supplier said that this will take 6 weeks to get.


(cough, choke, faint - 6 weeks???)

What part of  "I need it now" is so difficult to understand?

They sent a very helpful tech guy to come and try to 'make it work'.

It didn't work.

SO he took it away and it turns out that, wait for it.... Compressed air is my new best friend.  He just sprayed it inside the silly plastic piece of ...... (you fill that in), and it worked. Apparently there is a laser that detects even the tiniest bit of toner left in that silly plastic piece of ...... (you fill that in).

So, it's working. I am happy.

I am truly happy with my fabulous PC Support guys - it's not often you get that kind of service!

So now - onwards and upwards! Prize giving and holidays.

Bring it.