Luck Love

I love the movie UP!
Such a beautiful love story, I find those silent tears visit at every viewing.
I enjoy chatting to ‘old people, often strangers I meet as I’m so talkative in queues etc.
I miss my grandparents so very much that I regret not spending more time with them than I did. I should have listened closely and more intently at their wonderful stories of their life’s journey.

It’s sad to see so many of the youth ignore their elders or find them annoying. How they hold so much history not only of your family tree but of life itself, world events and more.

Kudos to China on the introduction of their new law ‘forcing face to face weekly time with their elders.
Remember – time itself is a gift, use yours wisely.

I love my imperfect man completely, how could I not for I myself am not perfect.

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Black Friday.

Yesterday while watching CNN and all the depressing news around the world, they ran a snippet on Black Friday.

I was blow away at how psycho people went for a $5 item on sale. To the point CNN reported of previous years where there had been shootings, pepper spray, violence and stampedes. Queues of people camping outside stores the night before for that bargain shopping craze.

My thoughts were: Would you actually sacrifice precious, valuable time with you family on a night such as Thanksgiving to go camp out in queues ?!? Apparently so.

I live in Africa and never in my life have I witnessed such a thing happen in my country. Even when Nelson Mandela was released and we had our first Democratic elections – the talk was of our country going into a civil war. The tin foods were flying off the shelves and immigration offices jam packed with applications.  Nope – still even so, I can’t say I saw the behaviour of  those on Black Friday.

I think the people on telly going absolutely crazy need to see themselves on that box. Maybe, just maybe they will feel a little shameful or embarrasses or disgusted at their lack of civil behaviour. Don’t get me wrong here – there were some shop owners who had set out plans as to how they were to handle the masses. Kudos to those who plan extra cautiously. Letting in small amounts of people at a time.

I packed up laughing at the women who noticed they were being filmed and quickly hid their faces shamefully. Who knows – the media shows what they want you to see and try sway your perception of things. Maybe Black Friday isn’t as hectic as they made out and the bits of footage were of random bad incidences over the years.

Either way, I mention this to a close friend in Prague. She tells me she went to a store last year on Christmas Eve and bought 4 of the remaining 5 trifle puddings knowing full well there were people wanting some too. We got into a debate about it cause I’m the kind of person who would take one under the circumstances. She laughed and voiced her point being – well I needed 4 and I got there first – lucky me. My dear friend emphasised how she would not hesitate to use her inner ninja warrior skills if need be to obtain her goods. Now as a joke on Black Friday I tell her to wear a board warning other shoppers of her black belt & to rather back off.

Hope Black Friday went off smoothly yesterday for all in America and plenty bargains were had.

 

 

Trick Or Treat ?!?

We are not big fans of Halloween and for many years we did not even contemplate the slightest involvement. My hubby felt it was very ‘un-Christian’ of us. My sister however always went all out with her girls, dressed up, made up and all geared for a good night of fun trick or treating with all the other little monsters.

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Moms little vampire monster

A few years back I took the decision to join my sister on their next halloween adventure. We went down to the local commons where all the shop owners spoil the children with treats, the management cater with horror tunnels and decor throughout. Best dressed contests, live music and picnics see the littlest children through a fun filled evening. We then dinned and got our little people back home before the big, scary monsters came out to play. To me there was no harm in a little dress-up and fun. Hubby even joined in with all the other daddies with a little fake scar make-up etc. As I see it – where there is good, there is always a little bad too. Like-wise with bad, there will always be a little good too. Yin-yang. No harm in teaching our children as we can’t bubble wrap them all their lives.

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Such a joy to see all the little one out and about too.

Monsters come in many disguises in the real word, not so. We like going to the commons as it’s a ‘safe’ environment set up for the children where I doubt we will come across sweets laced with drugs of sorts, though I am on guard for those dodgy sick Uncle types who prey on children in such an environment. It leaves me thinking – We teach our children never to take candy from a stranger yet we take them trick or treating. How’s that for a contradiction. Frankly to me, this is the perfect time to teach children exactly that. We frequent these particular shops and often chat to the staff. We ‘know’ them to a certain degree and we tag along sampling the candy now and again – just for good measure. ‘Yip – those ones are safe, mom  is still standing’

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Mom’s Halloween Cake

So that was our halloween 2012, we didn’t go all out with the dress up as we were leaving that same night for our mid-week vacation. My little one was spoilt with plenty treats and silly tricks from his folks, like fake dog poop etc. I was so pleased to see him scoop cups full of candy and share with the children in our street who couldn’t make it to the commons. And that pretty much sums up an adventure that we don’t need to read too much into.

National Braai Day.

Monday the 24th of September was our countries National Braai Day. A public holiday at that. What is a ‘braai‘ you ask?, well in other countries such as the USA, England, Australia to name but a few – you may know of a braai as a BBQ 🙂

A good old original braai would consist of spiced marinated tender meat of all sorts grilled to perfection over hot, smoking coals or briquettes. Be it chicken, fish, prawns, tender steak, borewors (our traditional braai sausage) veggie skewers, grilled corn on the cob, garlic loaf and maybe a few potatoes wrapped in foil, spiced and left tendered to while baking amongst the hot coals.  Beetroot, coleslaw, fresh buns and a delish fusion green salad – and whalla. Excellent company, gorgeous wine, brilliant music and you’re set to go.  Summer time, the smell of braai smothers the air, enough to make you start your own – fast. Freshly cut green lawn and a swimming pool is much of the life of a South African during summer time.

I heard in some countries, one may not braai over coals, wood or briquettes as we do here for fear of triggering a forest fire such as the ones experienced in California USA this year (which I have followed on Instagram) and Australia over the last years.  

Note to self – don’t buy a wooden house on the backdrop of a forest in a country where such fires are a serious and real threat. 

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Every weekend is a braai weekend. As the battle of the tongs begins between father and son.

Have a blessed weekend

xxx

That Hippo Chased Me!

Pod of Hippos (Hippopotamus amphibius) in Luan...

Pod of Hippos (Hippopotamus amphibius) in Luangwa Valley, Zambia Français

Ah, with spring in full swing early on in the game, I was thinking back to last year where our spring/summer took so long to make it devout. Hippos were dying due to the lack of rain and I remember ever so clearly being upset about this. Hippo is in the top three of my all time favourite wild animals.  October we usually see fantastic rains, most welcomed as they wash away all the dust, dirt and old oil on the roads away. But not last year – November saw our first rains. Sad as our wildlife really battled. This year, we have seen it all way early – now, September. Whoohoo  (as she danced in the rain)

As a teen enjoying the lush beauty of a game reserve in Bela Bela, I stumbled upon a mommy Hippo nibbling on the river bed. It’s not often Hippos will come out in full view to nibble but the summers air was cool enough. About 50m from the Hippo was the swimming pool which I had come down to enjoy.

Here’s where my blonde moment #101 comes in. I’m born and bred African. I know the dangers of the wildlife so why did I think walking over to the Hippo to ‘pat’ it was an ever slight possibility ?!?

For some reason I thought – well, if it’s over this side of the river and so close to the pool, it must be ‘tame’.  Hanging around the pool too where a gang of rangers. Watching me. Looking back at them, they knew what stupidity was about to happen.

I nudged a little closer, slowly . . .  until . . . .

HELP – RUN FOR YOUR LIFE !!!

I was being chased by the Hippo. Where, what, when – the pool. I ran and dived into the pool then swam straight to the deep end faster than any olympic swimmer I bet.

Now what! Oh heck, Hippos live in water. She was lingering around the shallow end of the pool. I’m guessing no slope in or out held her back. Those wildlife rangers were laughing so hard, I bet they had sore stomachs the next day.

I felt like such a fool, stupid and embarrassed. There it was – her baby. We all know, you never approach a wild animal let alone one with young.

I laugh easily at myself as is, so no point not to join in the laughter with the game rangers.

Why? I asked them for sitting back in the know of what was about to unfold! Their response was ‘we couldn’t resist’ They knew this Hippo well apparently. Still to this day, I laugh at that video stuck in my memory.

Love Africa.

It’s Criminal For Sure.

I popped out later yesterday afternoon at our local Pick ‘n Pay store to grab a few odds and ends I needed for last nights dinner. Here in South Africa we have what’s called ‘car-guards’. A car guard is a person who hangs about the parking lot ‘watching’ your car while you shop. Upon your return one is expected to ‘tip’ the car guard. To me personally – this is a fake & utter nonsense of a so called job.

For one, our car insurance is pretty high in our country. Should my car be hi-jacked, stolen or involved in an accident, it is more than covered.  I have often watch women in particular being intimidated, obligated and pretty much harassed into not only ‘paying’ a tip but one the car guard deems acceptable. When out with my sister on a particular day – she had tipped the car guard a R5 where an average tip is R2, before we knew what was happening, he threw the tip back at her and demanded more as he forced half his body through her window yelling. To tip a car guard is something done out of kindness. Needless to say, we drove off rather fast and reeling in shock. This is not always the case but I can definitely say that when I am with my husband, the car guards don’t attempt such nonsense. More often than not, a car guard will see you approaching your car with your trolly and meet up with you to push it and unpack your shopping into your boot, then assist you in reversing. To me, this service is worthy of a tip. The stages of the month generally determine the amount tipped as well as how long I was away. Month end/pay day hubby would tip R10 or R20. Keep in mind R5 for every stop you make adds up. I’m sure we spend on average R400 plus on car guard tips alone in a month.

Back to my point of yesterday – while reversing after my shop, it was rather odd that the car guard hadn’t come harassing me for his tip before I even got my key in the ignition. After reversing extra slowing as I knew he would appear sooner than later. BAAM, he came running but seemed hesitant t leave the car he was at and hasty approached me. I asked him what was wrong. SHOCK, HORROR – he explained to me how he was scared to leave the car further up as there was a baby in it !! The mother decided to just leave her baby to sleep while she went on shopping. This is a criminal offence in our country and if the media got hold of it – trust me, her baby would have been taken away and herself arrested.

Lets not even mention the possible child kidnapping or a stolen car scenario of this.  I had my own baby in my car with the babysitter waiting for me back home with my other two as it was her home time.  So in my rush I sadly did nothing. In hindsight, I should have taken photos and called the police. This is probably the second time at this particular mall that I have witnessed such an incident this year. A third incident made it all over the news & social media. The mother was arrested and the baby placed in the husbands care pending the outcome of her court appearance. Sadly, she really didn’t fathom what the fuss was about.

I tossed and turned the whole night last night questioning myself as to why on earth I just drove off !! That is just so not like me. I’ve had a go at people in traffic driving with their toddlers or babies unstrapped, standing on the front passenger seat.  Or worse – yes, I have seen babies being breast fed while the mother is driving during peek traffic hour.

This morning I sent an email to the managing office at the mall, emphasising how car guards need to  report such cases to security so that action may be taken in future. I haven’t had a reply as yet but I do take comfort in having voiced my concerns and bringing such an incident to their attention.

What would you have done?

Growing Curves

 

Over the last months dew to plenty stress, bad eating habits and an occassional dose of depression, my butt decided it was time to let me know she existed and was growing on me fast. I took a long hard look in the mirror where honesty was the name of the game and there was no kidding myself.

Somehow, regardless of how many years rise to meet us – we tend to always presume ourselves to still be that 20 something year old with that same shape that was effortless to maintain, if at all.

There it was, the truth. Without hesitation I called my mom followed by my sister. The lies we want to hear are all there, laid on thick to appease who really ?!?
Then the big excuse – It’s your thyroid !! Okay, maybe. Off to the doc, blood tests and a few days wait. What do you mean my thyroid is fine ???

Thoughts going through my head – eat less, exercise more. And for crying out loud woman – DRINK WATER. I know deep down my cooking habits changes to accommodate the growing boys with very healthy appetites. Pasta, rice, potato, bread. Not that eating any of this is bad but big portions of the same thing …

I grew up in a house where fresh green salads and grilled chicken breasts or steaks with a helping of beetroot or such was a way of life. Reality check – living in the city is horrid. A simple thing like jogging on your own is not a safe or smart thing to do. After a trip to my dentist where we got chatting about womans health, she recommended a dietician in the same building. I had my appointment the next day. How raw can one be because who would you be lying to but yourself when it came to answering some of her questions. As I answered and heard my own words, I knew exactly where my problem areas were. I was taken back a little when seeing portion sizes too even though the rule of thumb was the palm of your hand. Well then – dinner will be served on a side plate for me. Just to help with the psychological aspect of it.

I’m loving my new eating plan, which I might add is taking some getting use to from a habit point of view. Hubby too has joined me which makes adjusting that much easier. Back to summer foods which I love – grilled steaks and fresh fusion salads, plenty BBQ‘s and activities in the lush sunshine. Ah, just love Africa.

I often joke with my friends when going out for a morning jog escorted by hubby. ‘I will wait till traffic dies down so I don’t get hooted at for a laugh as my butt is smacking me around ;)’

I’m having fun meeting new faces at Zumba and Pilates classes, especially choosing the back row – it’s a whole other picture.

Here’s to all the moms, wives and women out there, celebrating life in our 30’s and the ever changing curves we encounter as the double digits change. Having fun, living life and aging gracefully. As I said to Tumelo when wanting that last cupcake – life is too short, but even shorter if you’re fat.