Tuesday, July 20, 2010

And they tell me to stay calm....

In the mornings, I carry a small school juice bottle of milk in my carryall bag to work since we don't have a fridge and the bottle is enough for my daily coffee. As I twisted the lid shut this morning, I noticed the lid was cracked but as I was running out the door, I didn't have time to decant the milk into another bottle. All I did was put the bottle into a plastic bread bag to prevent spillage onto the other items in the bag.
In the car I placed the bag onto the back seat as Bradley occupies the front seat. The bag never falls over so I reckoned the bottle of milk would be fine as it was in an upright position. Whats the chances that just because the bottle was broken and a potential leaking hazard that the bag would fall over FOUR times - literally... It was like it had a mind of its own!
I even had to stop my car in a taxi stop zone with my hazards on to stand the bag upright again.
Then, sitting in a traffic queue of slow moving traffic, my car wouldn't idle properly. It had a miss which was threatening to stall the engine. My car is automatic so I put it in neutral and revved the engine a bit and then decided to engage pulling gear which basically keeps the car in first gear without changing to second gear. This was fine while moving slowly forward in the traffic queue but as I started moving faster I suddenly realised that I hadn't changed back into Drive gear and my engine was screaming. Well, there went my hazard lights on again as I had to come to a complete stop to change gears and I had to do this with the car behind me bearing down on me as I had to stop in a totally inappropriate place, just basically the middle of the road that I was travelling on.
To say I was relieved to finally get to work is an understatement and the amount of moaning and muttering to myself in the car this morning would probably be enough to get me a label of Crazy Lady.

Is it just me....

whose life seems to be so boring at the moment with the days just melting into each other. I just seem to be leaving work to go home or leaving home to come to work.
I had just got interested in reading again and re-joined our local library but now I'm battling to read. I have a problem with the inactivity of sitting and reading and can only read for short periods at a time. I have been reading the same book for more than a month, my library fines are mounting because I forget to renew and my other three books are sitting in the bag waiting to be read. I actually think that being active can be an addictive habit just as inactivity can. However, I would rather be accused of being busy than lazy! :)
Bradley managed to get through his first four days of school last week in one piece. He had soccer tryouts for two afternoons last week and was placed in the C team. His first match was last Saturday and I had to get him to the school before 7am to catch the bus down to Crawford College in La Lucia who his school were playing against. In preparation, Bradley had asked the Coach what time I had to collect him from the school. Brad's school is closer to my work than my house and I couldn't make too many trips up and down. I was told that I had to fetch him at 11am and I was rushing to get there at 11.30am, thinking I was late. But when I got to the school, no one was there. I drove round to speak to the security guard and he seemed sure that they would only be back at about 2.30pm! I ended up sitting at the school for 3 and a half hours without any liquid refreshment. Other parents eventually started arriving at 2pm and the bus arrived at 2.30pm. So disappointing because when Bradley eventually ran to the car, instead of congratulations on winning his first game, all he got was a screaming mother and he ended up in a huff too. That ogre inside me is escaping more and more often these days.
In aggravation of my demon, friend 'S's father has not paid in his financial contribution for his son's keep due to the fact that the whole family is on their way to South Africa this week. Unfortunately, I didn't realise that no funds would be forthcoming and did not budget accordingly and now my car and our house is running on the smell of an oil rag! I had strong words last night with other friends 'S' who keeps on coming and going like I'm running a charity organisation or the local flophouse and told him that he must leave in the morning and not return until he could contribute financially to the house. Friend 'S' who normally would pay board will have to leave at the end of this week since his family will now be here to take care of him. This has been an exceptionally expensive month for me with all the boys at home and eating like its going out of fashion. This whole scene is taking its toll on me because I have to keep on addressing the same problem and being the bad guy. It really is a problem when people come to stay, contribute very little and don't know when to leave and its crazy that their parents and extended family don't seem to think this is wrong! Seriously!
So now instead of hanging on by my fingernails, I'm trying to keep my head above water!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Holding on by my fingernails...

Sounds dramatic doesn't it! No, no extreme life changing things going on except that its that time of winter that I start longing for longer daylight hours and warmer weather....and hanging on by my fingernails. At work, I feel somewhat human but by the time I get home in the dark I feel like I'm running on my hamster wheel again, using a lot of energy but never getting anywhere, just repeating the same tasks over and over again.
Shopping in the icy evening air after leaving the warm cocoon of my office, nursing my geriatric and possibly terminally ill car homeward, arriving home to a messy house (which I had left tidy a mere 8 hours previously), cooking supper and tidying up the kitchen, feeding the animals. I sit down to watch a bit of tv or to indulge in my new favourite hobby of knitting, and half an hour later I start to feel sleepy. In the morning, I get up early, watch a bit of tv and then I'm late because I've got behind in the cleaning up of the living room area which I need to get done before work.
Sometimes I'm tempted to just stay at the office... This space is just mine alone (except when my boss pops in).
I'm sure it'll be better when spring arrives. Just another 7ish weeks to go!
Dael attended the fanpark at the beach for the soccer final. The weather was icy. He caught the shuttle bus down from the Pavilion shopping centre. He went with friend 'S'. Bradley didn't go. My car was newly fixed and I hadn't even wanted to make that trip down to Westville but because Dael had diligently worked on fixing the oil problem for most of Saturday, I humoured him and sponsored him the money for transport down to Durban. I left him to catch the bus at about 2.30pm. At about 9.15pm and about halfway through the game, I was already tucked up in bed, not expecting to have to go and fetch Dael because the plan was for him to stay all night with the fans and have fun. Because of the icy weather I was kind of expecting plans to change though and they did. He phoned from Durban to say that he would leave just as the game ended and catch the bus back up to the shopping centre and could I fetch him. I complained, my car complained and started to play up on the way back home again. I wasn't happy but Dael learned a valuable lesson. He is a creature of habit and after an evening of fun, he likes to come home. No such thing as staying out all night for him. He had a bad backache from all the walking to get where they had to be and from the cold. After a cup or two of hot coffee and some painkillers, he was out like a light! He said afterwards that he should have given the fanpark a miss and just used the money to go to his usual club on the Saturday night. Oh well, life is made up of these experiences.
I have completed 5 toys so far, an aeroplane, kitten, monkey, duck and mommy and baby kangaroo. I almost sold the monkey! I'm enjoying the hobby a lot.
Bradley is back to school, albeit with a very sad face every day. Today is first soccer practice and he has gone prepared. I am hoping that the second half of this year will see improved maturity and motivation towards school however onerous he considers it to be. Even if seen as a necessary evil, as long as it achieves the desired result, it will be worth it.
Dael has proven himself to be a totally committed and motivated person when faced with an engine to fix. He tackled the oil problem (which is basically cleaning out a sieve into the oil sump). This should have been sorted out previously by the garage to which I was taking my car for this very same problem last year. Thousands of rands spent and I still had sludge in my sump. That alone is enough reason for my son to learn mechanics. However, his extreme concentration and focus and commitment in terms of time when fixing an engine is a big incentive for me to continue to try and get him into this field of work. On the job training would be the ideal situation for him.
Everything around me seems to be freezing up in this cold snap. Even our work sliding complex gate is acting up. Yesterday, it wouldn't close once it was open. Today, the phone rings to indicate someone at the gate (intercom works through the phone) but no voice can be heard and no signal sent to the gate to open. Murphy's law dictates that this must be the very day that I get a lot of visitors. I think I have had to get up about 5 times with my remote and walk halfway up the parking area to get close enough to the gate for the remote signal to open the gate. Extra exercise for me today! The last time I let in a visitor, two monkeys were balancing across the top of the gate but as they felt the gate move, they catapulted into the bush in fright. It must be warming up a bit if the monkeys are coming out of hiding. The weatherman says another cold front is on its way from the Cape and that Jhb area will be freezing again from Thursday with it being only 11 deg. C during the day and Zero at night. This will affect us in KZN too but not nearly as badly as in other parts of the country.
My poor cats are battling hugely in this weather and I actually left the heater on for them to snuggle up to this morning. When I sit down to knit in the evening, the cats pile on. The small ones are okay but when the big chaps come and squash on top of everyone else, I get aggravated. I try to knit, lifting my arms higher and higher so that my knitting needles are almost poking me in the face and then I throw everyone off! Mean mommy but I also need my relaxing space. I'm not just a glorified cat pillow! By next winter I have got to get hold of some cat igloos for my cats to snuggle inside. Its getting a bit much now.
Oh and my ADSL connection was giving me a message from this Monday that I had reached my internet cap and I couldn't get onto any international websites but could only access South African websites. All of a sudden this morning late, I could get on again. Maybe someone at Head Office paid the account or maybe its a glitch. I'm not arguing and I thought I would quickly type a post before I get switched off again!

Friday, July 2, 2010

One of those moments...

I'm having one of those moments again. Where nothing that happens in my life or around me seems worth blogging about. I do feel the need to blog though so here goes.
Backtrack to last weekend... Friday was a bit of a bomb. On Saturday I was woken early to go the morning market. My mom has decided that she will only go every two weeks while the weather is so cold. This suits me fine as I now get every second week to just chill at home and do what I want to do. Mom had prepared a special display box for 'all' the knitted toys I had made but eventually we decided not to use it as I only had one toy finished, a knitted aeroplane in tones of blue.
The story behind the knitting is that I took up knitted toymaking about 24 years ago, before my daughter was born and while I was dating their father. In 1987, life got hectic and with a new marriage and a new daughter, the knitting was shelved. With all the creativity around me at the morning market and with my parents encouraging me to make something to sell, I decided to resurrect my knitting abilities.
I have several items in various stages to completion but should have several more items ready by the time next Saturday rolls around. Practice makes perfect and I am already improving in speed and quality of work. When I first started again, I couldn't even remember how to cast off! It is a bit like riding a bicycle though and I soon got into it again. Bradley is not impressed with my knitting skills and keeps telling me "Put that granny knitting down!" Obviously not cool enough for his liking.
I'm finding that the actual knitting of the work is really relaxing, especially while watching tv, even to the extent that I don't want to get up to make supper or feed the cats. I do obviously but am totally addicted at the moment to my new hobby. Sewing the item up is another story but I'm getting there.
Sunday was cold and we all hibernated. In the afternoon, I had bathed and had sat down on the couch with Bradley. He was teasing me and as I replied, I spilt coffee all over the clean outfit I had just put on. That was enough for me. I just blew up. After a few minutes of my ranting, Dael decided to blow up too. He has a quick temper and he ended up smashing a plate and throwing a stool, which also broke. I ended up calming down to calm him down. This is exactly how his father was and unfortunate to see coming out in Dael. A quick temper can be a dangerous thing. Anyway, I mentioned to my mom that we were now down to one dinner plate, which I was hiding away so that the boys wouldn't use it. They use plates all day long and everything has to be rewashed before dinner. I don't want to use a plastic plate so I hide mine. Anyway, mom cleaned out her cupboard and donated me all her old plates and mugs which she never uses so we're in the pound seat again, with a stock of useable plates and mugs for the boys to break again! With cats and kids, nothing breakable stays unbroken for long.
Last night, with the soccer games being more spaced apart, I actually got to operate the Dstv remote last night. We watched two cop dramas and a scary movie. It was bliss! After which, Dael wanted to play Playstation and the boys sent me to bed! I was starting to nod off anyway though.
Robynne is all moved into her new place and just all the unpacking remains to be done. This was a mission because it took place midweek and after work. Robynne took the afternoon off work to complete packing and cleaning but her dad could only come and help after work and they only finished moving by about 2am the next morning and then still had to get up and go to work. Not a pleasant situation but the big move is now achieved and maybe now Robynne can put down some roots and be settled. Since she arrived in Jhb last October, she has moved 4 times. On another note, it appears that she has developed the family trait of collecting belongings. She couldn't believe how much more 'stuff' she has accumulated since she has been in Jhb, especially for her furbabies.
Bradley has been away from home since Wednesday. He has been visiting his cousin R. They hadn't seen each other since the shoplifting incident. He took matters into his own hands by simply just going around to his cousin's house on Wednesday and phoning me from there and asking if he could stay over. I relented only because R mom is also at home. She works for a school and is on holiday with the kids. It worked out quite well because at my place, S is full of flu again and I don't want Bradley coming down with that again, not just he is due to go back to school again. So I will probably have cousin R at my house this weekend... Fun and games!
So long as they don't get between me and my knitting!