Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Its not easy for me to leave my house...

for any extended period of time. I have animals. The humans are fine. They can look after themselves but my kitties have to be fed. I have been cooking since last night. Okay I did have a break to sleep but I was at it again from 4am this morning.
A pot of rice and veg split into 2 halves. Each half gets a pot of meat porridge made from tinned food, pets mince and mealie meal and this mixed with the rice gets split into 2 halves again and placed into individual packets. Before this, the mixture must cool down to lukewarm. The packet gets tied up and placed in the freezer. I have created 18 separate packets of food. Each day Dael must take out two packets of food and after defrosting a bit in the microwave and removing from the bag, he must add bread and warm up to a good temperature for the animals to eat. I will be gone from midday tomorrow until the evening of Saturday, 2nd October. I hope I come home and find my animals still here!
In addition, there is also fresh drinking water for the animals to see to, feeding the fish, making sure everyone gets love and doesn't get insecure, making sure the house is secure especially when no one is here. And last, my personal favourite - Cleaning The Litterbox! My youngest kitties are very attached to me. I've got Toby sleeping on my lap at the moment and he is my shadow following me everywhere. When mom is not around for a few days they might decide to do something stupid like going through the fence to where the big dogs next door can eat them. If I am here they dont really stray.
Tonight I have to make sure everything I will need is packed, check on Bradley's packing and just generally be prepared because tomorrow I still have to go up to the school to fetch the transfer form and Bradley's report which I have to take up with me. I could have done without this trip but the forms weren't ready today.
Its going to be a long trip tomorrow on the bus. The bus only arrives at Midrand at ten to eight at night.
So if you dont see me for few days, I'll be in the big bad metropolis of Gauteng settling my youngest chick into his new routine.
See you on the other side!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

My 14 year old is leaving home!

Bradley is off to Johannesburg to live with his sister. I have seen my son grow increasingly unhappy and frustrated and become a different person this year since starting High School and I have come to realise that he is not ready for this experience.
I know that part of his anger and frustration and also the personality changes has got a lot to do with teenage hormones but I am not prepared to let everything slide and just hope for the best like I did with Dael. The best does not usually happen. Robynne and I have researched home schooling for Bradley as an option and we feel it has a good chance of working out for him. If it doesn't there are schools in Johannesburg in which we can place him, which KwaZulu Natal does not have. There is an extreme lack of remedial schools in this region to handle learning problems and disabilities.
So probably at the end of next week, Bradley and I will be travelling up to Johannesburg by bus to settle him in at his sister's house and while I am up there, to arrange for an assessment to be done and final applications to be submitted. Bradley is very excited at the prospect of his changed surroundings and is eager to go. I have alerted his current school to the fact that he will be leaving at the end of this term and not returning. The original plan was to keep him on at the school until the end of the year but his extreme negativity every day at the prospect of going to school has persuaded me that to keep him there will just be a waste of time. He has failed 3 out of 4 terms and would probably not have passed the year. Rather than wasting the remainder of the year, we can get him assessed to establish his level of knowledge and get him started on the homeschool curriculum.
On many levels, I am rebelling at my youngest, my baby leaving home at such a young age but on another level I can see that it is necessary. Familiarity has bred contempt. I see flashes of the closeness and affection from before but these are quickly stifled and shoved down under an attitude of toughness and masculinity. I feel the loss of my last fledgling and this loss is shoved in my face daily by this young stranger who has invaded my son's body. He needs to be away from me to appreciate what he has here and to experience the discipline that his sister and his father will dish out to him. He needs to experience new things and be away from the stifling mother influence. He needs to grow up.
I also need peace. It is a tenuous peace between Dael and Bradley. One a frustrated 20 year old, the other a frustrated 14 year old. They are the best of friends and the worst of enemies. One demands respect, the other determined not to give it. They have reached a stalemate with each other. They need distance from each other to each find his own way. It means I must see my family separated and be separated from my children. But I have to be the grownup and facilitate these changes. I have roots where I am now. It is not an option to move to Johannesburg myself. My dad has had a fall recently and although given a clean bill of health, still constantly suffers from dizzy spells when standing up or straightening up after leaning down. I have my house, my cats that are settled here, Dael who likes to live in this area. This may not always be the case but at the moment this is how it is.
So my 14 year old leaves home and starts a new life and routine in Johannesburg. Not quite empty nest yet but getting close...

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I am definitely not on holiday.

Whew! I had more rest when I was working.
Seriously, being retrenched is no holiday. Last Monday, I had a run-in again with the nasty vet who treated my old boy Joe very roughly and seems to think every issue my cats have stems from some deep seated disease. His bedside manner sucks and I ended up walking out of there without paying. He told me I should avoid the practice on Monday as he is only there then. I told him that because of him, I would avoid the practice altogether from now on.
I have been trying to claim from my credit card insurances but the one bank after a long wait has simply given me another form to fill in and the other bank has never contacted me again or returned my call.
Then on Friday, I decided to brave the unemployment queue and after dropping Bradley at school, made my way along to the centre of town and joined the queue. Two hours later of standing on the pavement and the batch of applicants that I was in entered the building. Then it was shuffling our bums along chair to chair for another two hours until I got to the information counter and was handed another sheaf of forms. I had taken a form in that I had taken off the Labour Department website. It was outdated and had to be redone! And there I thought I was being proactive in getting the form completed beforehand... So tomorrow I will be joining the queue again with my bundle of forms.
I thought I had the cellphones and sim cards sorted out. The final item to sort out was a phone for Bradley. We had a phone that needed a new ribbon which is a part that breaks often in a slide phone. Dael went off to the cheaper side of town and purchased the ribbon for R120. He then spent time and fixed the phone for Bradley so he could listen to music and go on mxit and also be in contact with us. That lasted a week. On the weekend he visited cousin R and one of the little hooligans that live at the flat knocked the phone out of Brad's pocket and stood on it. Now the screen is broken. Apparently he thinks that the parents of this child will pay for the repairs. I don't have so much faith in humanity I'm afraid.
On Monday morning this week, Dael and I stood in another long queue at the Licensing Department to book for his drivers test. After about two hours it was Dael's turn to go in and complete his form. I was just congratulating myself for getting that far when he came out and asked for his photos. Now I had consulted the Licensing Department website as well before going there and it clearly said that the photos would only be required on the day of the test. My heart sank as we were going to lose our place in the queue. So off to the photographer at the entrance to the Licensing Department. Four photos for R50 later and we were back at the door to the booking office, luckily not having to wait in the queue again. He is now booked to do his drivers test on January 18, 2011.
Tuesday I mainly stayed home and kept busy in the office. The day was horrifically hot so we all kept a low profile.
Today was off to the dentist with Dael. His front four teeth are badly damaged and he will have to have them removed. He was apprehensive about this and had probably psyched himself up for the onslaught only to find out that he had to go and be fitted for a plate which will have to be made first before any teeth are removed. So we went straight off and had that done and then went shopping. You think its cheaper with boys. Think again. Five minutes into our shopping, Dael had chosen two pairs of shoes, both of which he wanted. The one pair was R139 and the other pair on special for R99. I was eventually persuaded and we went to pay. The shoes on special rang up to R29 instead of R99 so we got both pairs for R170. After stopping for a few groceries, it was Home James!
I cant relax and enjoy time off because at the back of my mind is the necessity for me to secure my future income. Which will happen, of that I am sure. I think that once I get all the details sorted out and all the queueing over and done with I'll be able to clear my head a bit and relax.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Invasion of the Kitties!

Joe is lying on a pillow on my desk and I have Torgen and Toby on my lap. I sit down for 2 minutes and cats arrive. I'm having to type with my arms outstretched as I cant pull my chair too close to the desk with the kitties on my lap. This is definitely an occupational hazard of working at home. Luckily they don't take offence if I have to remove them when I want to get up but Toby is now trying to distract me by staring at me while I type so that I will stroke him.

I'm going to have to give the kids and the kitties some boundaries. Any bets on all that working for too long.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Did you miss me?

As I write this at my desk, I look over the houses and gardens below my house. I am typing this from my home office.
I packed up and moved out of my last work office last Tuesday and apart from one last trip to my old office to supervise the move of the boxes of files which were going on to head office, I have been home based.
What a pleasure except I have no phone as the phone system I was using before has gone missing and my internet was only operational from last Saturday with my emails only being available today. Teething problems! Otherwise everything is looking rosy. I am just spending time sorting out my own personal paperwork and organising my office.
Its nice to be in communication with the world again. Its quite different to be able to just go from kitchen to office without even changing out of my pyjamas! I think having my desk and stationery from my previous office helps to put me into that work mindset but it is a constant battle for my chair and computer with the boys vying to have a turn at playing the computer game on my machine. Luckily my workday is really flexible so I just go watch tv for a while or do some other household chores until they get tired of playing.
Maybe I could get used to this.....