Thursday, June 11, 2009

A mouse in the house

Back in the day when I was a new wife and mum living in my first home, a little two bedroom flat, my husband (the ideas man) decided to get himself a pet - a snake... I wasn't too concerned about this although I insisted that the snake's living quarters be made impenetrable. Being in the woodwork field, he had soon whipped up a decent sized wooden box with a sliding glass front for access to the snake.

The supplier of the snake was a client who was also a snake breeder and who had cases of poisonous snakes lining his bedroom! I kid you not. I saw this with my own eyes before I hop skipped it out of that room. He also had another little associated hobby of breeding mice although this he did in a shed at the end of the garden.

So hubby comes home with the snake which he pops into the box and two mice, one of which he pops into the box with the snake. While I wasn't watching, the snake swallowed the mouse. Its nature I know but not in my house - I wasn't impressed. So now the snake was fed and not due for another meal for a week or so. What to do with the other mouse?
Can you believe that I ended up buying a cage and accessories for this other mouse which ended up becoming a pet and lived with us for about another 2 years, in fact long after the novelty of the snake (which spent 100% of its time under the paper lining of the box) had worn off and the snake had been released back into nature, over the precast boundary wall of the block of flats.

I am an animal lover but I do not like pets to which you have to feed other pets. So bye bye snakey.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

My child is warped.

After Friday's mugging scare, Bradley tried to drum up some support for his mugger phobia. But he received no sympathy from his brother or me. We made alternative arrangements for him getting home and then made light of the whole situation and he couldn't resist joining in with a couple of jokes. I don't encourage a victim mentality with my kids but instead encourage a 'Safety first and then get up and get on' attitude.

Anyway, when I phoned him today, the first thing he does is breathe heavily into the phone and with a shaky voice tells me "I got mugged again, mom".
Oh no!...........Just joking.

This is one thing I have had to get used to with Bradley. He is an excellent actor and has the older teens and adults at social occasions rolling with laughter with his little skits and clever jokes. He also puts this ability to good use to simulate illness to get out of going to school or doing something he doesn't want to do. He knows all about the little boy who cried wolf but it hasn't stopped him from trying his luck.

Friday, June 5, 2009

I got a fright this afternoon.

Bradley miscalled my cellphone as usual after school today. When I called him back he sounded a bit shaky and soon lapsed into tears. I went into stress mode and tried to calm him down and get to the bottom of why he was upset. 'Don't be cross but I was mugged" - What!
It turns out that he was halfway up a steep road on his route home when an guy approached him and snatched his cellphone out of his school shorts pocket. Unbeknown to the thief, a lady rep was just driving out of her driveway and when this guy saw the lady he thrust the phone back at Bradley and then pretended to be friendly with him, for the benefit of this lady. Bradley said he had his arm around his shoulders and was whispering to Bradley that he would get his phone. Bradley reacted and shouted at the guy to leave him alone and wrenched away, running to the lady and telling her what happened. The lady flagged down a passing security guard and told him about the incident. She then insisted on taking Bradley home and making sure he was out of harms way. She gave him her card (she is a newspaper rep) and when I phoned to thank her for her help, she said that if Bradley ever has a problem while he is in the area, he should enter her yard and stay there and she would get him home safely. There are still good Samaritans around.
Thank God for watching over my son because this is the kind of incident which could have turned out more seriously than it did. As it is Bradley had nothing stolen but the whole thing gave him a fright and a serious wake up call about walking around the area, especially on his own. We are now going to let him get a lift to my sister's house with her neighbour who collects her kids from the same school and then he will stay there until I fetch him after work. He will also be given the old cellphone which is not much of an incentive to steal.
Children disappear worldwide on a daily basis. They are an easy target for unscrupulous thugs. We need to be vigilant. We need to train our kids. Luckily Bradley reacted and shouted out. He didn't let the thug intimidate him into silence. Self-defence can be the difference between life and death.

The cats enjoyed it!

Got home last night after stopping for petrol and a few groceries. The boys were lounging around with Dael's friend C, completely ignoring the increasingly messy living room. After changing, I got started washing the sink full of dishes which I hadn't had time to wash that morning. I couldn't start cooking with such a mess in the way. Wiped counters etc and then started preparing a sort of adapted Chicken-a-la-king.
While I was busy I noticed Dael had changed out of his work clothes into civvies. He was apparently going out to a local bar with friend C for a couple of hours. I was still cooking when they left for their evening out. I dished up for Bradley and myself and we enjoyed our meal. The pan of leftover chicken (of which there was still Dael's portion plus enough for a small Friday meal on toast) had been left on the stove with a cover plus weighted down with a pot of rice so the cats couldn't get to it.
After I finished my supper I returned to the kitchen with my empty plate and popped the frozen pets mince into the microwave oven to defrost so I could make the cats meat porridge. I returned to the couch to wait for the defrosting to finish and slipped under the blanket. And that's the last I knew until I emerged from my nap at 10pm to find that:
1) Bradley was still awake even though his bedtime is no later than 9.30pm, and
2) The hungry cats had managed to push the pot of rice off the pan of chicken to obviously get to the chicken. I was asleep at the time but Bradley had heard this happen and replaced the heavy pot with a light plastic container of cornflour. Obviously this was no contest for the cats who spent the rest of the evening eating the whole leftover pan of chicken.
That I wasn't pleased is an understatement and Bradley got an earful of screaming before he even went to bed.
Dael came home shortly afterwards and found no supper for himself.
1 tired mom with too much to do and not much home support = things like this happen fairly regularly.
Roll on the weekend...

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Under financial stress

Isn't it funny how when you mind is racing and plotting to work out your financial situation so that everything gets paid and the family still gets to eat, it becomes very difficult to write a daily post...or is it just me?
Since I last wrote, I have had to find money for a major vehicle repair and now my dog is in for repair.
My car went in for clogged oil arteries and is feeling much better thank you. Thanks to dad for helping me out until the end of the month with the payment.
My dogs sometimes sleep in the house, and we mostly leave our gates open. So when I let my two dogs out on Monday morning at about 4.30am, they discovered my neighbours big Boerbul dog in the walkway between my house and my garage and Piglet who is a cross between a Maltese and a Dachshund (and therefore small) went into attack mode and ended up with a bitten mouth. Well, Monday was a bad day and I only ended up taking him to the vet yesterday afternoon. The vet said he needed to put him under and put in a few stitches and when I mentioned that he was very aggressive with large dogs, the vet asked if he was fixed and why didn't we just do that too since he was going to be under for his lip. Estimated cost : about R800. So I just put R1000 on my credit card to pay dad back for the car repairs and now another R800. Honestly I don't do impulse shopping with my credit card - it does me! As soon as I manage to pay the card up, some necessary or emergency purchase becomes necessary.
Dael is still unhappy with his job as his department seems to need to do an overtime shift of 12 hours every weekend. He got flu this past week and was off work from Wednesday until he returned on Monday. I keep expecting him to be given his walking papers but he is still there. He told me this morning that he has a lot of feelings of anger lately and instead of just bottling it up he wants to try and vent his anger in some form of exercise like working out which I think is positive. I think his anger comes from DNA as well as his age and his frustration with his work and with not having his licence and reliable transport. It will all come right with time. I am glad that he feels he can talk to me about it (even though I am the target of his anger sometimes) and I feel like I am the closest to him that I have ever been now as he enters adulthood. I have never done so much speaking to him about life skills and life situations as I have recently. He has never wanted to speak but has rather just acted and existed. He is doing a lot of thinking now.
Bradley is on another go slow with his schoolwork and looks at me as if I am talking Chinese if I ask him for any information on his schoolwork. We are working towards another crackdown which is a continuous cycle with Bradley. Improvement - Slack Off - Crack Down. I get tired of the sound of my own voice. I never wanted to be a nag but I am forced into the role. His new thing of the last few months is the attitude. He is constantly reminding me that he has 'rights' but doesn't seem to understand that rights also come with responsibilities. The emerging teenager....
This week brought retrenchments to our company. A lot of people who have been with the company for quite some time but are still deemed to be last in have left and others who were working in one position now find themselves doing something quite different i.e. a PA is now the receptionist. Very unsettling for a lot of people. Not so much for me though. I have faced this demon before and lived to tell the tale and I have also been with the company for 5 years and have worked in quite a few departments.
Winter is a little draining. Lots of dark mornings and evenings when you can't really get anything done. The days seem to run into each other. I'm lucky to be living where I am though because other parts of South Africa also have biting cold to contend with. We're a bit nippy and a jersey or jacket is required but we haven't even used a heater for the last couple of years. I just keep a couple of blankets in the lounge for evening tv viewing for the benefit of the humans and the animals.
Signing off.