You are browsing the archive for 2012 February.

Eeek! A Birthday

February 29, 2012 in Uncategorized

I nearly skrikked myself right out of my knickers when I read Sumanda’s blog because I suddenly realised that next week is March!  Not only that: but next week Tuesday is Jerry’s birthday – aaarrrggghhh!!!!! There are prezzies to buy, parties to plan, school eaties to plan/prepare, aftercare eaties to plan/prepare. Sheesh! There just aren’t enough hours in my day and days in my week!

And the worst is that for her party Jerry wants a sleepover with some of her girlfriends.  Problem is that her best friend’s folks are split and so I need to first establish which weekend said best friend will be with her Mom so that I can design the invites around that weekend.  Now it would help if the cell number the best friend was forced to learn actually worked but she keeps on telling Jerry that her Mom’s phone is flat – heaven help her if the school need to get hold of her in a panic!!!

I’ll simply write a note, in my best school book Afrikaans asking her politely which weekend her kidlet will be on this side of the world.

Question: seeing as these kids are in the eight to nine year old age group and it could quite likely be one of their first sleepovers do you think I should invite the parents for a pre-party cup of coffee before they drop their precious charges off in a stranger’s home? (Well ok, I’m only a stranger to 2 of the parents).  I’d like to think that someone would do that for me so that I could check out the scene.  Whadya think?

Anyhoo – let me panic off into the sunset.

Happy Day! Cool

A Very Fine Line

February 28, 2012 in Uncategorized

Where’s the line between caring and molly-coddling? And does that line grow thicker the older your child gets? Every morning when we get to school I park my car, walk in to the school with Jerry, carry her school case to her classroom (she carries her lunch bag and any extramural bags required) and once I’ve put her case in front of her class I interact with the other children milling around, greet the other teachers and Moms in the vicinity, hug Jerry good-bye (we only kiss in front of everyone when SHE wants to) and then I walk back to my car and leave.


I would estimate that probably about 30% of parents do the same and the rest simply drop their children off outside the school. This applies to all ages and grades of children although, obviously, there are less Grade 1s being dropped off and less Grade 7s being walked into the school grounds. I’m not saying parents dropping their children off are bad parents, they obviously just have a different method of raising their kidlets than I do.


So where does one draw the line? At this stage Jerry would be horrified and probably a little hurt if I just dropped her off with the car still running. And I’ve always had the philosophy that I will allow Jerry to be “my little girl” for as long as she wants to. Folk are amazed that I still carry Jerry every day but as long as she lifts her arms and wants to be carried I will do so. Too soon she’s going to be all grown up and won’t want to be my little girl anymore. And I encourage her to remain a child for as long as possible – it’s important! How many other 8 year olds do you know who wanted a dolly for Christmas? I watch, with much alarm and angst, how Jerry’s peers try to act much older than they actually are. One little girl (also 8 years old) arrived at school on Valentine’s Day (they were allowed to wear civvies) in a boob-tube dress which was trendily above the knee with a tight belt (in an attempt to create a waist, I think) and she tottered along in rather high shoes sporting somewhat badly applied make-up. Sjoe! My little girl pulled on a pair of jeans and a red t-shirt and just to prove she’s very much a “gurl” put flowers in her hair.


The question is: Am I being prudish? Or overprotective? Am I hampering my child’s progress in the world because I care? Do I care too much? Is there such a thing? I caught the bus to and from school from Grade 1 and had to carry my own school bag (which pulled my spine skew – but that’s another story for another day). Hmmm ………. I’m proud of the fact that my little girl is still exactly that: a little girl. Someone who has tea-parties with her dolls and teddies, someone who takes pleasure in making mud pies in the garden, someone who occasionally puts nail varnish on only to have it smudge because life is just to short to wait for it to dry, someone who says “Mom, watch this movie with me: its got a scary part in it” – referring to Bambi/The Fox and The Hound/E.T. etc.


I dunno, call me what you will. I think the innocence is important. And the longer our children can remain innocent the better.


Happy Day! Cool

The best laid plans of mice and men …..

February 27, 2012 in Uncategorized

Sometimes things just never go as planned. This weekend we were supposed to spend Saturday with my cousins at the Vaal Dam and Sunday doing a few chores. Well it didn’t pan out that way, did it?


The plan: leave at ±08h00 on Saturday morning for the Vaal

The reality: one of our toilets sprung a massively serious leak early on Saturday morning and flooded the bathroom and once we’d stemmed the leak and half-cleaned the bathroom we left for the Vaal at 10h30.


(Quick Ad break: we had a truly splendid time at the Dam with my cousins just eating, sleeping and generally “kuiering” – was just what we needed but way too short.)


The original plan: leave the Vaal early on Sunday to (a) replace the basin in the main bathroom that had cracked (b) do washing and iron the school uniforms in preparation for the week (c) visit the HomeMakers Expo to see the yarn bombing display by Ideas Magazine.

The revised plan: leave the Vaal early on Sunday to (a) fix the leaking toilet properly, finish cleaning up the bathrooms and wash the towels used to sop up the water on Saturday (b) replace the basin in the main bathroom that had cracked (c) do washing and iron the school uniforms in preparation for the week (d) visit the HomeMakers Expo to see the yarn bombing display by Ideas Magazine.

The reality: our driveway gate motor was struck by lightening on Saturday night (causing the gate to open of its own accord, the dogs to run out and my poor sister, who was looking after them, to panic through the neighbourhood with my neighbour to round up the naughty puppies). We padlocked the gate closed ‘cos it kept opening by itself which caused the gate to bounce off the railing, pop a spot of welding and bend one of the wheels. Once we had assessed the damage the plan was to straighten the wheel and weld it back onto the gate, the reality was that the Gorgeous S had misplaced his welding helmet and welding rods, necessitating 2 trips to the ecstatic hardware shop.


By the end of Sunday we had repaired the gate, repaired the gate motor, partly repaired the broken toilet (the Gorgeous S will be off the plumber for a few new parts and seals today – guess what we’ll be doing tonight!), done the washing (unfortunately too late to dry in time to iron the uniforms – guess what I did this morning), dashed briefly through the expo and undone all the good done by our short rest at the Vaal. Sjoe! We need a weekend!


But here we are: Monday. Let’s see if we can make this week a little more organised than our weekend was.


Happy Day! Cool


Parenting extends to pets sometimes

February 24, 2012 in Uncategorized

As I sit here I’m quite easily the most exhausted person this side of the Limpopo. It feels as though my eyes are quietly sliding down my cheeks to hang about on the underside of my chin.


It all started day before yesterday. I was stuck in a spot of traffic on the way home and by the time I arrived realised that my petrol tank was so empty my little Dragon was literally gasping. I decided to wait until the traffic had died down before praying my way to the petrol station. By the time homework, supper and bathing were done it had started piss … sistently raining and the Gorgeous S suggested that I should rather go the petrol station early yesterday morning.


So 05h30 saw me in my little Dragon limping to the closest Sasol with the Gorgeous S in tow – he decided to follow in his car in case I ran out of petrol. The Dragon made it (I was awfully proud of her) and we proceeded to continue with the rest of the day as usual. But it doesn’t end there …..


At some stage yesterday my puppy, Wiggle, got hold of an old printer cartridge (I think she snitched it out of the dustbin in our study) and munched it. This is what happens when you own bull terriers (or bull terrorists). She hurled most of it up but I suspect that the plastic may have hurt her mouth and throat as well as probably her insides so she wouldn’t eat or drink anything.


Because she wouldn’t budge from the lounge, listlessly shifting from couch to couch, I “slept” on one of the couches – sometimes under Jerry’s Pooh-Bear blanket, sometimes under Wiggle – whilst feeding her milk and water from a syringe and intermittently cleaning up doggie-throw-up. Just before midnight our power went out (the Randburg Sun had warned us but we’d forgotten) and not long after that Wiggle eventually settled down and I was able to put her to bed with her sister.


But as it is one doesn’t sleep well when the power’s out ‘cos it’s so quiet and besides which, I got up twice to check on the Wiggly-One (who was sleeping very nicely, thank you) and needless to say when my alarm went off this morning it was in serious danger of being flung, baseball-style through the window into the garden.


On a good note: Jerry’s been preparing for her first ever school speech which is due to be done today “Ek het ‘n Ierse Van. Ierland is a eiland lanks die Vereenigde Koningryk …”. When we got to school this morning the excitement was palpable as all the Grade 3s ran around sprouting their speeches at anyone who stood still for longer than a couple of seconds. I’m sure she’ll do well – that gift of the gab comes in quite handy at times like this.


Trust you’ll all have a truly splendid weekend.


Happy Day! Cool

The Famous Quiz Thingie

February 23, 2012 in Uncategorized


No, thank heavens.



Last Thursday, ‘cos I’d cut my feet and my family had left me all alone (see Tantrum blog)



‘s ok – kind of childlike but readable



One unspeakably beautiful step-daughter, one genius step-son (who is in heaven and who I miss incredibly) and one enchanting mischief of a daughter who is the love of my life












Almost obsessively, yes












My Mom



I’m wearing a denim frock with denim clogs



Sweet melon



A particularly rude client with the manners of a cockroach’s bum



Rugby, F1, Cricket, Athletics …. actually everything except golf and badminton



Mousy brown with quite a lot of grey covered with auburn hair colour






Nope, I wear spectacles for long-sightedness






Wearing a denim frock









Chocolate mousse



A husky sitting in snow



I play various musical instruments and sing



In a bed in a house in Kathleen Street, Florida (Gauteng)



Chutzpah! In bucket loads!

February 22, 2012 in Uncategorized

I don’t have a housekeeper/maid/DG. I used to have a char (once a week) and after she left I discovered that besides the fact that my house was not very clean, the number of my tumblers, glasses and teaspoons had depleted phenomenally and my iron and vacuum cleaner were burnt out.


I weighed up my options. I was giving: an above-market-related wage; a huge birthday present (she started reminding me 3 months before said birthday); a huge Christmas present (and a fat sulky lip if it wasn’t viewed as quite huge enough); a Christmas bonus; leave pay at the end of each year; food to eat throughout the day; two large shopping bags full of food (and who knew what else) each time she left my house (picture a teeny woman staggering off into the sunset with bags so heavy her arms had become twice their usual length and the bags were leaving drag marks behind her); as well as all old clothes, shoes and toys emanating from my household; never mind the “lend me R100 (on the never-never basis)”, “I need a new blanket”, “my child needs stationery (to the tune of R500)”. I was getting: a house that was clean on the surface only; traumatized birds and dogs; broke!! It was a no brainer. Financially, emotionally and mentally I couldn’t afford this “luxury”. And I’m not even talking about the times I almost suffered a thrombosis in my effort not to give the woman a flying snot klap on occasion (I don’t handle stupidity very well).


So I clean my own house. With the non-stop and tremendous assistance of my Gorgeous S. Over the past year I have developed a system that sees most of my home getting cleaned over a week and I don’t feel guilty when things aren’t glistening. I live in a home, not the pages of a House & Leisure magazine.


But don’t think that my domestic woes are over. Oh no! Two weeks ago the Gorgeous S says “Ellen was looking for you”. Ellen is my neighbour’s housekeeper. I was puzzled until a week later sitting in my car at the robot near our house I noticed Ellen “hurrying” towards the car (a bit like a dumpling with 3 inch legs). She beamed breathlessly at me as I wound the window down. I greeted her and waited expectantly with raised eyebrows. “Tell S___ I want a TV.” Well you could have knocked me over with a feather and gently sprinkled me with honey. “WTF!?!?!?!?!” I screamed in my head, “you work for my neighbour but I must buy you a television??? Does it look like I store that kind of thing in my pockets?!?!?” But I just gave her a weak smile and told her I would pass the message on. I genuinely don’t know how to arrange my face on this one. The Gorgeous S is equally incredulous but I think I’m just going to ask my neighbour to sit sweet Ellen down and tell her gently that we, the Madd folk, are not appliance retailers. Sjoe!


And on another note, here’s a pet peeve: the landlords of our office park have made an incredible effort to source the cheapest sandpaper, ah sorry I mean toilet paper, on the planet. Nothing wastes time more than yanking the bog roll and only getting one block off at a time. And then the bosses give you a hairy eyeball for being in the ladies for over three hours. What’s a girl to do?


Happy Day! Cool

The best way to find a lost item is to replace it

February 20, 2012 in Uncategorized

And so it begins. A new week, that is. And what a way to start it off with the boom and thud of thunder and the loud shshshsh of rain. I woke a little earlier to pop a tray of muffins into the oven for the lunch boxes. I’m always amazed at how quiet the house can actually be at that time of day. Ok, this morning was a little different with the thunder and rain and the roof piddling intermittently into the bucket in our pub. But have you noticed that it’s getting darker in the mornings? Hmmm, heading downhill to my favourite season of all: Autumn (that’s “Fall” for some of my verbally different friends).


Yesterday Jerry and I spent a little more than 2 hours starting the preparations for her first ever speech. The theme? Tell us about the country your surname comes from. The required length of the speech? Teacher: “It really doesn’t matter how long it is, just as long as the basic four topics are covered.” Now that’s just silly! I have a daughter who gives the words “verbal-diarrhea” a whole new meaning. She could quite happily yack away for a few hours at a time. So this Mommy – who loves a challenge and equally loves making a point – is trying to see just how much information about Ireland my Jerry can retain. Wah ha ha ha ha ha ha – much evil laughter. But now seriously: I believe that she could lose points if her speech is too long just as easily as she could lose points if her speech is only four sentances long – covering the four basic topics. Sigh! School is just so different to when I was there.


Last year, Jerry’s ballet teacher informed me that I would need to make a certain “character skirt” for Jerry’s ballet exam this year. I dashed out and bought the necessary fabric only to have my Gorgeous S put it into a safe place. Now let me explain this phenomenon: my darling husband will often place various items – some being rather important – into a “safe place” and then promptly forget where said “safe place” is. I have been threatening to empty a cupboard out, put a lock on the thing, and a large sign with a flashing neon hand pointing to the words “SAFE PLACE”. That way we will know that whatever-it-is is safe and we will be able to find it quite easily. Be that as it may – the best way to find any lost item is to replace it. So off I dashed two weeks ago, bought new fabric, and lo and behold there appeared the first lot of fabric. Silly me not to realise that a perfectly safe place to store dress maker’s fabric is amongst the gift wrap.


So what are you going to do with your brand new week?


Happy Day! Cool

I had a tantrum (and felt just awful about it)

February 17, 2012 in Uncategorized


Yesterday evening I dropped the butter dish. It didn’t just break, it exploded and because I was barefoot it sliced a few of my toes in the process. The Gorgeous S dashed into the kitchen with a broom but then ran to grab cotton wool for my cuts. I managed to hobble to the bathroom and sat on the loo with my feet hanging over the bath whilst assessing the damage.


Most of the cuts were superficial and Jerry kindly opened plasters for me to dress each one with. One cut on my middle toe on my right foot was very deep though and bled like crazy. So there I sat, applying pressure to my teeny cut and thinking about the various things I needed to accomplish before bed. But this teeny cut (I think it is less than 1cm long) just wouldn’t stop bleeding. Clearly it was very deep and I could see that I needed stitches but given the two doctor’s visits in the past ten days and the antibiotics and antihistamine jabs and meds costing me just over a Grand stitches just weren’t a viability.


Eventually, after nearly an hour and a half I realised that I couldn’t just sit there. I had stuff to do. I needed to clean the cut up and apply a pressure bandage. It would be nice to have some help, though, and my family were nowhere to be seen. Calling them was futile as the TV and radio were both on. I stood up to get my first aid kit and some fresh cotton wool and my toe just squirted blood everywhere. I grabbed it again and managed to stop the squirting but now realised that I couldn’t let go. Have you ever tried to walk anywhere whilst holding your toe? Go on, give it a shot, I’ll wait ……………….. there, you see? It’s impossible!


By now I was getting cross. Nobody had come to see if I needed anything for an hour and a half. I could hear the Gorgeous S pottering around in the kitchen, I could hear Rude Dog which told me that Jerry was plonked in front of the TV and obviously the fact that I wasn’t around them hadn’t even entered their heads. By now my cotton wool was saturated and starting to drip. Clearly I was going to have to do this myself. I leapt up and sprinted to my dressing table to get more cotton wool spraying blood everywhere. I then lunged for my first aid kit. Back in the bathroom I managed to clean the toe and apply the dressing using my left hand and my teeth (like the guys in the army films you see on TV). At this stage to say that I was livid would be the understatement of the year.


After cleaning up all the blood in the bathroom and bedroom I hobbled down the passage. The Gorgeous S wasn’t in the kitchen – he was covering our birds for the night.   “Where have you been?” I yelled at Jerry. “Did you notice that I haven’t been around for the last hour and a half?” She jumped like a scalded cat. Just then the Gorgeous S appeared. “I’m totally unimpressed with you two! Can you tell me that neither one of you could bother to come and see if I’m ok. I’ve not been feeling well for a few days and now you leave me on my own for an hour and a half after I’ve cut my foot. I could have bled to death!” By now their eyebrows were thoroughly ensconced in their hairlines.


And then it happened! I burst into tears (I think that could be AF’s fault). They stared! Mom had never done this before. I then hobbled into the kitchen in order to get the goodies to set the table refusing any assistance whatsoever. We ate our dinner in absolute silence and I refused to look at either of them. I barked Jerry into her pyjamas and into bed (there was no time for a bath). I finished up some things and when I got to bed I found that Jerry had left one of her Valentine’s chocolates on my pillow for me.


This morning I apologised to both for throwing a hissy fit but they both said that it wasn’t my fault and they’re still tiptoeing around me in a nervous fashion. Hee Hee – I hope they’re both feeling positively dreadful.


The old folks in my family always said that things happen in threes. Well I’ve had my three now: tonsillitis, allergic reaction, sliced toes. Cool! Now I can move forward into the year knowing that I’ve done my bit.


Happy Day! Cool

The Mystery and Movement of the Thick Ears

February 16, 2012 in Uncategorized

If you’d read my blog from yesterday you will know that I woke up with red, swollen, hot, itchy ears that left me puzzled, to say the least. Well, herewith follows the remainder of the episode.


At about 11h40 I took a drink of water out of my water bottle and immediately felt a large lump on the left hand side of my bottom lip. Eek! I now knew that the itchy ears were an allergy and that this reaction had now spread to my mouth. No time to lose – anaphylaxis can have dire consequences. Mentally I swapped my underwear onto the outside of my clothing in order to be in Superman-mode. I excused myself from my 2 bosses and jumped into my car whilst calling the Gorgeous S to explain my debacle. By the time I arrived at the clinic (2km and probably about 5 minutes later) my entire bottom lip was swollen to the extreme and hanging off my face like a broken door.


I explained to the fella at reception that although I didn’t have an appointment to see my doctor I was having an allergic reaction that had spread to my mouth and could he kindly squeeze me in somewhere. Said fella gave me one started look, shoved a piece of paper in front of me with instructions to write my surname on it, and then physically shoved me through to the emergency section of the clinic. I repeated my story to the nursing sister who said “um” and then shoved me onto a bed. A hive of nurses took my temperature and my blood pressure and asked me a lot of questions and it was only later when chatting to my doctor that I realised that, in fact, all these poor folk heard when my broken-door-lip fell open was “flup-dug-rug-rug-wuts-nuggle”. Shame, no wonder they all wore the look of one who’s been confronted by a Martian.


Shortly thereafter I was ushered out with strict instructions to “get home because the injection (cortisone/antihistamine) may make you drowsy”. I found myself heading down the road, tablets and doctor’s note in hand. I phoned the Gorgeous S again. “Warg-slub-natch-grunt-yobble”, I told him. “Ok, my Bokkie”, he says “let me know if you need anything”. Many years of trying to decipher the garble my mouth emits when my nose is blocked had clearly rendered him an expert in Martian.


My lip finally started to lose its mango size and hue at about 18h00 by which time I was drinking my tea through a straw whilst assisting my grinning child to do her homework. Had one further small scare when my top lip took over and swelled up like a genetically altered strawberry but one call to the doctor who used her best “doctorese” to tell me to “take the bloody muti you were given you silly goose” bringing my blood pressure back down to an only vaguely panic-stricken roar.


My top lip is still a little swollen and completely numb as we speak but at least my ears aren’t double their size anymore and are only slightly itchy. Given the fact that allergies can suddenly develop the list of things that may have caused this reaction is almost as long as my lip was. But I’ve made a list, and I guess we’ll try each item, one at a time, until I once again sport a face that would make Lennox Lewis proud and then I will know for sure what I’m allergic to. Well, that’s my big adventure, then. Over and Out.


Happy Day! Cool

Weirdness Beyond

February 15, 2012 in Uncategorized

This morning I woke up with thick ears! ……………….. Ok, now that you’ve all stopped laughing and are back seated in your chairs I’ll carry on writing. Laughing


Just before my alarm went off I woke up with a rather frantic itch behind my right ear. I absently gave it a darn good scratch but when I lay back down again I felt that the ear itself was somewhat swollen and it felt rather odd squished between my head and the pillow. I decided that I must have been bitten by something and this, of course, was fueled by the fact that we’ve had a few baby orb spiders making webs/nests in our garden. Ggggggrillllll!!!


After I’d woken Jerry and the Gorgeous S I jumped into the bath to wash all the imaginary spiders, goggos, goggo eggs and goonties and noonoos out of my hair. The Gorgeous S arrived with ammonia bottle in hand. (Ad break: ammonia is the best thing for ANY bite as it pulls the poison out of the bite and if you don’t have ammonia even handy andy or similar will do – there’s your health tip for the day.) Anyhoo so the Gorgeous S finds what appears to be a bite mark behind my ear although it’s at the bottom of my ear whereas the thickness and itchiness is at the top of my ear. While he is applying ammonia to the back of my ear, like a madwoman’s perfume, I inform him that I don’t actually think it is a bite anymore as my other ear is now also starting to itch and swell.


So here I sit. I have two ears that are itchy, swollen, hot and slightly numb to the touch. Whadya think? An allergy? Very weird! And no, I haven’t changed my shampoo, conditioner, softner, washing powder, face cream, make up, soap etc. The only thing that IS new …. ish (I’ve had them for 2 weeks) is my spectacles and I’m not wearing them any differently or for any longer than the previous ones. I vaguely recall something similar happening when I was a child but I don’t remember the outcome. And my Mom’s too far away to ask. For now I’ll just sit and ponder while I work. My spectacles are sitting a little high on my face and when I smile I can physically feel my ears moving, never mind the fact that it feels like I have two steamy hot sausages taped to the side of my head. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated but in the mean time I’m just glad I could make you giggle.


Happy Day! Cool