Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The aftermath of the flood...

When I returned home with Robynne last night, this being the first time since the big mop up after the flood, I was expecting to have a few problems to sort out. Bradley had been collected by his dad to spend a few days at his house because he was a bit tired of the mayhem. I was actually relieved that I could focus on what needed to be done. Apart from the main water having been dried up, chaos still reined.

My bedroom cupboard doors do not close at all now and have to be held closed with rubber bands. The bedroom door itself was obviously not closed firmly by Bradley since it was sticking a bit with the dampness and the dogs had pushed open the bedroom door and gorged themselves on my 10kg bag of dry cat food leaving only a few kgs behind. The sodden mattresses were still in the bedroom and the room was starting to smell. I got changed, poured myself some wine and got stuck in.

The mattresses were manhandled outside and propped up to dry and I started methodically sweeping and mopping from one side of the house to the other side even sweeping the worst of the muck off the patio. I was hoping to focus on the mountain of wet and soiled clothing and bedding but Robynne, after a weekend of relaxing, suddenly decided to do her washing first and I was banned from the washing machine. I worked until about 9.30pm and feel a lot better about how the house and my room in particular are looking and smelling!

Nothing like a flooded house as an incentive to do a bit of spring cleaning...!

Momcat xx

PS About half an hour after I put the mattresses outside to start drying, the rain poured down again so now they have had a good wash. At least I have one mattress to lie on...! :-}

Monday, October 29, 2012

Flood zone...!

We experienced a weekend of unpredictable weather, bright sunshine interspersed with thunderstorms, lightning and dramatic cloud formations. While away from home visiting Jerome on Saturday afternoon, I received some frantic messages and phone calls and messages just after another thunderstorm with heavy rainfall, to return home immediately as flood waters had entered our home and filled every room. Apparently this happened in the space of one minute and there had been no time to react or prevent it from happening.

The photo shows the rainwater flowing down the garden and the huge pool of water, just before it entered the house, soaking and damaging everything in its path. While we have had water flowing toward the house in this manner previously, usually it has just flowed across the patio and past the back door, draining harmlessly into the garden. However this time, the sheer volume of the water meant the water level was high enough to go over the raised step and straight into the house. I returned home with Jerome, who also was not expecting such a lot of mopping exercise. With all hands, and buckets, brooms and mops on deck, we managed to get the water mopped up but the house was left in a miserable state of sogginess...!

The weekend was not marred by this event and after seeing to the cats, I left again to enjoy the rest of my weekend. This week however is going to be a mission of getting the house dried out and sorted out again.

I'm thinking we need to have a couple of sandbags ready in case this happens again...!

Momcat xx

Thursday, October 25, 2012

More about Mom

My precious mom was admitted to hospital last week on Sunday. She had an operation on Tuesday. I think she was surprised that she survived the operation, having fully expected not to see the light of day again. Having overcome this hurdle, she was a little more confident and strong. She was also surprised at the cleanliness and hygiene of the hospital, which being a Government hospital, albeit a teaching hospital, she was not expecting to be run very well. The one thing that was extremely noticeable was the huge noise the nursing staff were making talking loudly amongst themselves on the occasions that I phoned Mom. Apparently, that was not the worst noise either. Obviously they think the sick people are all deaf!

Mom recovered in hospital until Friday. Nothing was removed during the operation but the decision was made for mom to start chemotherapy on the following week. She was supposed to stay in the hospital until chemo began but was very tearful and homesick and the doctors issued a 'weekend pass' for her to go home and report back this Monday past. She was supposedly due to start chemo on Tuesday and had built up the anticipation of this event so that she was extremely anxious and fearful. However, nothing has happened yet apart from an internal examination and another scan. One rather worrying thing that happened was that Mom was almost given a whole lot of medication including something for a heart ailment and almost discharged by mistake before the nursing staff discovered that all that was meant for another patient...Luckily she hadn't taken any of the medication. No names on the meds or the beds...!?

Mom managed to persuade the doctor in charge of her case that she needed to leave the hospital again yesterday as it is her birthday today and she wanted to be at home with her family and friends. She has this way of getting her own way, has my Mommy...!

So Happy Happy 70th Birthday, my precious Mom. May God grant you many more years to spend with your family. I love you. xxxxxx

Momcat xx

PS When I phoned just now to wish my mom for her birthday, dad answered the phone and said mom had a tea party in full swing with lots of her friends over to celebrate. Go Mom..!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Sticky shoes and other news

Monday morning started well and all was running smoothly until our dog pack decided to attack the newest member of the pack. In the ensuing melee, after I had successfully extracted the victim and lifted him onto a table to escape the snapping jaws of the other dogs, I sustained an injury which I only noticed after the excitement had died down. I had a sore spot on my foot and a spot of blood. It didn't seem serious and I dressed and drove myself and Robynne to work.

Our overseas visitors arrived, two from Denmark and one from Mexico and were settled in to work. Preparations were also underway for a rather unusual birthday party celebration. The widow of the founding member of our company has just celebrated her 100th birthday and since she has been very involved in the company since its inception, this occasion was celebrated at all branches and divisions around the world. The cake and the helium balloons arrived and photographs were taken and during all of these arrangements, my foot became more and more swollen and sore until eventually I couldnt walk anymore without extreme pain and wearing my shoes was an impossibility. I struggled on for the rest of the day but made an appointment to see the doctor on Tuesday.

By Tuesday, my foot was much improved but still swollen and a bit sore. I took Robynne to work and returned home. It was actually rather an enjoyable day because the weather was good and the tetanus injection was absolutely painless. Thanks Doc!

This morning was back to work and we left early again as Robynne had lots of work to complete for month end. I'm actually getting rather addicted to sailing along to work rather than crawling along at a snail's pace and its really worth getting up at 4.30am rather than 5.00am. Bonus is getting to work really early for a relaxed start to the day.

We had to stop to get literally a pre-payday drop of petrol. As I left the petrol station, I drove through a concrete gulley and this bump was enough to tip Robynne's thermoflask upside down and empty streams of coffee...into my shoes! I take my shoes off to drive and this is the second time that the flask has attacked my footwear..

I kept calm though and simply issued terse instructions to Robynne to use whatever means necessary to get my shoes dried out. I thought the driver's seat was supposed to be sacrosant with no interference allowed! Needless to say I wasn't looking forward to putting those shoes on at my destination.

So, eventful week so far. Wonder what the rest of the week has in store for me?

Momcat xx

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Parenting Skills...

Only a parent can wake from a dead sleep to the sounds of someone being sick on the bed, identify the perpetrator in the dark and perform the eviction process in one smooth movement. Okay the kids used to hit the floor a little more softly than the cats but its the same procedure!

Professional parent...

Momcat xx

Friday, October 19, 2012

Fun on Friday...

A cricket had moved into our boardroom at work and every time I walked through the room to get to the other offices, I would hear this little creature chirruping away. Today, after about a week of hearing it, I decided that I would try and rescue it. I tracked it down to a cupboard and as I opened the door, as luck would have it, the cricket also got a fright and started bouncing off the walls. After a bit of bouncing around after it, I managed to grab it and walked through to the other offices with it cupped in my hand to see who I could terrorize..umm, show the cricket to! First of all, the office assistant Meriam who although she cringed, didnt have too much of a reaction. Next through to David, our Accounts Assistant who had just taken a phone call.

I opened my hand a fraction and as he peeped into the little gap, the cricket also sprang out causing David to scoot backwards on his roller chair. Unfortunately, he was kind of stuck because of his phone call but backed away as far as his phone cord would allow him to go while I, almost paralytic with laughter, hunted down the cricket which had sought refuge under his keyboard. I trapped the cricket on David's phone and went to release the cricket in our courtyard garden while David looked on, still wide eyed from his frightening experience although managing to maintain his composure....and conversation.

Got to liven up a slow day somehow...!

Momcat xx

Friday, October 12, 2012

One of my fears come to pass :(

I have always lived in close proximity to my parents, both for their benefit and mine as I wanted to bring up my kids close to their grandparents. When the decision was made for me to relocate to Jhb, one of my biggest worries as the eldest daughter was that one of my parents would get sick and I wouldnt be close to help them.

And this has just happened. My mom has been feeling bloated and uncomfortable in her abdomen and after visiting the doctor several times and taking prescribed medicine, with no improvement, decided that a visit to a hospital was needed. Now with no medical aid, private hospitals are not an option. They started at McCords Hospital on Durban's Berea, and after a long wait and a painful examination, was told to go for additional scans and tests. The result of the tests is that my mom has been admitted to hospital and will undergo an operation on Tuesday next week. Thankfully, this will take place at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Hospital which is an excellent hospital and I have got full confidence that she will receive the very best care available!

Its just hard not to be able to help and be close to support her and my dad in their time of need. They have been supportive of me at every step in my journey and I always want to be able to do the same for them. Another good result that has come out of this challenging time is that family members who are distant in terms of attitude or geography are being involved in helping out to keep home fires burning and that might not have happened if I had been closer.

So please keep my family in your prayers for the speedy recovery of my mom who is definitely the driving force behind our family.

Momcat xx

Monday, October 8, 2012

Busy but fun weekend!

Back to work after a hectic but extremely enjoyable weekend. And its been a good start to the day because I got to work early. Robynne needed to be at work by 7.30am to sit at reception at her office and because we left so early, traffic was clear. We arrived in Rivonia by 6.30am so Ive had a very quiet relaxed start to my day which was most welcome. This week at work is going to be hectic as one entire (very busy) department is going to be in training for the whole week so I know Im going to be run off my feet with taking messages and redirecting callers.

Friday's braai went off well although several folk from the office had left early for overseas business travel or were fasting for religious reasons. The food was good and I enjoyed a couple of drinkies and just chatting with my colleagues and getting to know them a bit better in a more relaxed environment.

I had warned Bradley to get to bed early as I had made an early morning haircut appointment for him, at his request. I had a full day of activities planned so we had to move early. I got up at five am to prepare the picnic food for my day out and then had to bully Brad into opening his eyes. After a quick cup of coffee, we were on our way. I dropped Brad at the hairdresser while I went to handle a few more necessary chores. Now this wasnt his usual hairdresser so I was hoping the haircut wouldnt go horribly awry because he is very protective over his hair. By the time I got back, his hair was shorter than I think he wanted but summer is promising to be very hot so I think it was definitely necessary. The comment from the hairdresser was that I have a lovely son as he is very sociable and was chatting away to her which is not the usual behaviour of teens. He is very self confident and can hold court among any age group of people, quite unlike his mom at his age!

After dropping Brad at home and grabbing picnic goodies, I headed off to Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens for my day out. It was promising to be a very hot day even early in the morning. After one wrong turn, I found the gardens and what a jewel they turned out to be. For a minimal fee, I gained access to a beautiful garden and nature reserve which is a very popular leisure venue. There were photographers, tourists, families and social groups. As soon as the hiking group of seven people had gathered, we headed out via the very beautiful waterfall, turning right and immediately climbing steeply a series of steps to the top of the hill overlooking the waterfall. I'm not as fit as I should be although I am fairly active and my heart was soon pounding away so hard that I had to stop and rest at intervals. The view was fantastic and nature soon started to have its therapeutic effect on me. It was a blessing once we got to the downhill section and back into the grassy park where we found a lovely shady spot under a wide canopy tree and the four of us who were staying for the picnic sat and relaxed and people-watched while we waited for the rest of the group to join us.

More friends, old and new, arrived and a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon was enjoyed by all of us. Food was produced and shared among the group, a riotous game of 30 seconds played, much joking and laughing. A short shady walk along the river completed the afternoon for a small group of us who grew tired of sitting.

That evening I was invited out to supper. My first time eating sushi so a little more adventure for the day. It was very enjoyable as was the company although the sun and the long day started to get to me and I found myself becoming very sleepy.

As my head hit the pillow a little later on, I was out like a light. Sunday morning was spent doing chores at a slow pace and then I had to get ready to go out again as I was invited to lunch with a new friend. It was great to meet after we had been chatting over social media. Nothing beats a face to face meeting. I received a beautiful gift to mark the occasion and sat down to a delicious lunch with a very interesting friend. It was a beautiful day but eventually became very hot and humid even though we were undercover and went our separate ways. I went home but was invited out again to visit another friend, only returning home after dark.

All in all, another successful weekend...

Busy busy,

Momcat xx

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Better again!

Actually it took the whole of last week and the weekend to get really better but from this week, the twinges and cramps have disappeared. This week has alternately been flat out busy or dragging. Today has been extra quiet and somewhat boring.

My activity last weekend apart from spending time with a sick friend on Saturday was to go to a breakfast meetup on Sunday morning with friends at Doppio Zero restaurant in Greenside. Every meetup I attend, there is a different mix of members and new friends as well as existing friends to meet and greet. After a very enjoyable breakfast and some jokes and laughter, I went home to catch up on my chores before the new work week.

This weekend is going to start on Friday at work with a braai to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of one of my work colleagues. Meat, salads and alcohol promise to drag the afternoon celebration into the evening and Im sure will be enjoyed by all.

On Saturday, I have to get Brad to an early appointment to get his hair cut and then proceed to Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens for a 3.5km hike which a few meetup folk are doing followed by a newbie picnic in the park in the afternoon. I have a dinner invitation as well so another full day envisaged.

On Sunday, hopefully a quiet morning, followed by a coffee date with a new friend in the afternoon.

Still absolutely enjoying meeting new friends, going to new places and enjoying this big vibrant city of Johannesburg!

Momcat xx

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Long weekend of contrasts...

I made some wonderful plans for the weekend just past and although not all the plans ran exactly to plan, I still spent time with wonderful friends and special people.

The arrangement for Saturday was to attend an airshow in Centurion. When Saturday dawned with thunder, lightning and torrential rain, I thought those plans were a washout! However, the rain dissipated somewhat and I headed off to the airshow with Jerome, his son Matthew and Bradley. The grounds at the airbase were extremely muddy after all the rain and Jerome found us some seating on an elevated viewing stand where we had a fantastic view of the aerial as well as the land manoevres. My favourite to watch was the jets and the powerful sonic boom they made as they passed over the crowd. So exciting! We walked around the showgrounds to let the teenagers see the various Defence Force vehicles and weapons and Bradley has decided to look into a career in the Navy. I am going to encourage this as I think it is something he would be good at and it would instill a lot of discipline in him. All in all a great day of entertainment and enjoyment..

On Saturday night, I went out with my fairly new friend Jackie for a couple of drinks but didnt really feel too well in the evening. Probably should have stayed home after a day of sun and fun. I ended up staying over at Jackie's house as it was a bit late to be tackling the road home after we returned from our jaunt. On Sunday, Jackie made early arrangements with another friend to have a braai at her house and invited me to return for that. The weather was perfect and it seemed a perfect idea.

Once I was home however, just pottering around, I really didnt feel up to going anywhere again that day. Not wanting to disappoint Jackie though, I dragged myself back and after relaxing for a while ended up having a fun girls' afternoon with some good laughs and possibly a teensy bit too much wine!

I had arranged to go with Jerome on Sunday on the Jhb Photowalkers excursion to Jeppe Boys High, a very historic venue with some beautiful buildings. During the night on Saturday, however, I woke with a bad bladder pain which was still nagging on by the morning. I drank some over the counter medication and hoping that the pain would disappear, I went off to the outing at the school. While still a sunny day, there was an icy wind and after battling along with the rest of the group, I found a warm bench to sit on in the sun. After a short while of sitting there, I decided that I was feeling worse and that I needed to get to a doctor. I felt very bad about dragging Jerome away from his photo excursion and also the braai afterwards that we had planned to attend but I really couldnt manage the pain. So the rest of the morning was spent at Fourways Life casualty where I ended up getting an injection for pain and fever as I was by that time running a temperature, as well as an antibiotic and a few other meds. I was soon feeling a lot better after the injection kicked in and ended up thoroughly enjoying the rest of the weekend even though plans had changed. Which goes to show its not what you spend time doing but who you are spending that time with that makes all the difference...!

Momcat xx

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Inspiration strikes....!

I have been inspired to post again by a new friend who, like many of my blog buddies, also posts to his blog daily.

There have been some changes and challenges in my life since I last posted but things are really looking better on all fronts. Workwise, I am employed again and have been with my new company for five weeks. They are a much better crowd than places I have worked before and the atmosphere is more relaxed although also productive. I am involved in reception and switchboard which I endeavour to make more interesting than it sounds. I also have responsibilities in accounts and office administration. It is a busy position and puts me exactly where I always want to be, at the centre of the action!

Socially, I have started to attend more events being held by the social groups which I joined earlier this year. I have attended a nature hike and a town walk, both followed by a visit to the pub with congenial company, a music festival and several more events planned for coming days. Will definitely be posting more about these outings as they happen.

I have also met a very special person who I have shared some memorable moments with and am really happy spending time with. Early days yet but we plan to spend more time together as we really enjoy each other's company.

Last Friday, I was fortunate to attend my company employee appreciation day where we unanimously chose to do the Ama Zwing Zwing zipline canopy tour out at Amanzingwe near Harties. I was keen to undertake this adventure but must admit to feeling a little trepidation, as we were kitted out in our harnesses, helmets and thick leather gloves, a feeling which worsened somewhat as we climbed the first platform and gazed down from the dizzy heights to where we would we ziplining across. The first cable was very wobbly for everyone but by the sixth cable slide, our group were handling it like pro's and having so much fun. And then it ended. We weren't disappointed for long though since we were treated to a slap up lunch and some alcoholic beverages after that. Much joking, teasing and laughter ensued...!

(This pic is not of my colleagues but just to give an idea of the terrifying ordeal we mainly non-adventurous types all went through!)

Its been great to touch base again with my blogging buddies (hopefully you haven't all forgotten who I am) and to discover that I can still write.....!

Momcat xx

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Someone somewhere...!

Right now at this very minute -----------
    Someone is very proud of you
    Someone is thinking of you
    Someone cares about you
    Someone misses you
    Someone wants to talk to you
    Someone wants to be with you
    Someone hopes you aren't in trouble
    Someone is thankful for the support you have provided
    Someone wants to hold your hand
    Someone hopes everything turns out all right
    Someone wants you to be happy
    Someone wants you to find them
    Someone is celebrating your successes
    Someone wants to give you a gift
    Someone thinks you ARE a gift
    Someone hopes you are not too cold, or too hot
    Someone wants to hug you
    Someone loves you
    Someone wants to lavish you with small gifts
    Someone admires your strength
    Someone is thinking of you and smiling
    Someone wants to be your shoulder to cry on
    Someone wants to go out with you and have a lot of fun
    Someone thinks the world of you
    Someone wants to protect you
    Someone would do anything for you
    Someone wants to be forgiven
    Someone is grateful for your forgiveness
    Someone wants to laugh with you about old times
    Someone remembers you and wishes you were there
    Someone needs to know that your love is unconditional
    Someone values your advice
    Someone wants to tell you how much they care
    Someone wants to stay up watching old   movies with  you
    Someone wants to share their dreams with you
    Someone wants to hold you in their arms
    Someone wants YOU to hold them in your arms
    Someone treasures your spirit
    Someone wishes they could STOP time because of you
    Someone can't wait to see you
    Someone wishes that things didn't have to change
    Someone loves you for who you are
    Someone loves the way you make them feel
    Someone wants to be with you
    Someone hears a song that reminds them of you
    Someone wants you to know they are there for you
    Someone is glad that you're their friend
    Someone wants to be your   friend
    Someone stayed up all night thinking about you
    Someone is alive because of you
    Someone is wishing that you would notice them
    Someone wants to get to know you better
    Someone believes that you are their soul mate
    Someone wants to be near you
    Someone misses your guidance and advice
    Someone values your guidance and advice
    Someone has faith in you
    Someone trusts you
    Someone needs you to send them this letter
    Someone needs your support
    Someone needs you to have faith in them
    Someone needs you to let them be your friend
    Someone will cry when they read this....

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Big Freeze

So I'm sitting in front of the computer and Im all bundled up in triple layers of clothing with a polar fleece blankie wrapped around me, hat pulled down over my ears and a scarf wrapped round my neck so tightly its like a neck brace. The weather website says that its about 4 deg. C (with the sun shining) but it feels like -2 deg C because of wind chill, the wind blowing at about 38 kms/hour.

We have to keep the door open so that the dogs can run in and out so that chilly wind is coming right into the house. I have been sitting at the computer for a while but my fingers feel like they are getting frostbite so its almost time to escape to the bedroom where at least the heater has warmed the room up nicely.

I believe that in some corners of the world, people are experiencing a heat wave but its hard to imagine when sitting in the freezer!

Wherever you are I hope the temperature is comfortable and you are having a great relaxing day..:)

Friday, July 13, 2012

Oh my gosh, I love my life...

Isn't it just wonderful to be an intelligent, coherent, vibrant human being living in the 21st century!?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Living the Life...

Keeping a job in Johannesburg...Fail! Establishing a social life...Fail! Dating or finding significant other...Fail! Sense of Humour...Intact!!

Im still around...

Monday, April 30, 2012

Posting from my email..!

It is appropriate since I last posted on the 1st day of April to end the month off by posting again on the last day of the month. Haha, kidding!
Its been a busy month, what with my first month in a new job, Easter and 4 birthdays but culminating in the wonderful feeling of receiving a paycheck once again. Never underestimate the feeling of achievement just receiving payment for services rendered gives one.
One thing I didn't miss was standing in a bank queue, something I had to do again this past Saturday. It was a very long hour...
My first month at my new job has been interesting and after a couple of weeks, even broken up with all the long weekends as they were, I have started to feel as if I have been here for many months already, rather than just one month.
I have got things done that were pending or needed doing, I have been running around doing company shopping in a work bakkie and I received a compliment from the MD who said to some visitors in meeting where I was also present that I have been helping out a lot and taking the pressure off. So I feel that I am achieving what I was hired to do...
When I started, I didn't have a computer, stationery or a chair and I was feeling like I wasn't expected but now my desk is cluttered, people are coming to me with queries and I have an increasing workload, which I enjoy.
I have attended two craft markets this month, one of which I paid to attend and didn't even make a sale  so now I have vowed to only attend markets where I can get a free table so that if I don't make a sale, Im not left out of pocket either.
I haven't increased my stock much this month. Ive been knitting dog jerseys for Robynne's little pinschers, who are starting to feel the cold now. Im getting quite the expert at knitting dog jerseys now and will knit some for my stand as well.
Im typing this post up in Word. Its a test to see how it works out with me posting through my email so maybe I will be able to post more often if I don't have to work on a post while Im online. I can write at my leisure and reduce the amount of time that I am actually online. I'll see how this works.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

April Fools Day was no joke at all!

The 'sick jokes' started early...

On Saturday evening, I went with Robynne to a local pub where she was meeting friends for drinks and the plan was for me to return and collect her later on in the evening. I had put off the lights between 8.30 and 9.30pm and set my alarm for 10pm because I knew I would drop off to sleep in the dark after a busy day. Just before the alarm went off, Robynne phoned to say I wouldn't need to fetch her because she and her friends were moving to another bar further down the road and that Marco, who had been at a separate gathering with his friends, would be fetching her. I went back to sleep and the next thing I knew, Robynne was phoning again to ask if Marco had come home. This was now 12.30am and I told her that I hadn't seen or heard him come home.

Apparently, on his way to fetch her, he changed down gears as he was driving and his gearbox just started making horrible metallic grinding noises. He cruised to the side of the road and was out of action. The idea was for him to phone for a tow truck to bring the car home, fetch her car and drive back to fetch her. He eventually arrived with the car on a flatbed truck at about 1am, changed his clothes and left to fetch Robynne. I think they eventually only got back home at 3.30am.

The second April Fools disaster was waking to no electricity and freezing winds. I got up but soon decided to return to bed to wait and see if the electricity would come on soon. I heard some noises from the dogs in the lounge but when I eventually came through again, discovered shredded foam rubber carpeting the lounge floor. Bebe the doberman had scratched the lounge chair cushion right through to the webbing and caused a huge amount of damage. Marco had discovered this and put the dogs outside but the damage was done! And the electricity was still off!

I decided to clean up to keep myself busy and this took a couple of hours. We discovered that two of the other miniature pinscher doggies are sick so this is number four. And the electricity only eventually came back on at about 2pm.

So, tomorrow when I start work, because we now only have one car, we all three have to leave together at 6am to get Robynne to work in Midrand. She starts at 7.30am. Then drive back to get Marco to work in Randburg, drop him and I drive back to North Riding to start work at about 7.50am - complete circle. Then repeat that in the afternoon. I only finish at 4.30pm as does Robynne so she and Marco will just have to wait as I negotiate traffic to get back to them. I would rather have the car and do the driving than wait though. :) And on top of this, just saw a news broadcast on Yahoo.co.za that petrol and diesel prices rise steeply this week - Again!

Happy April...!

Momcat xx

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Earth Hour Musings

Is it only those who aren't doing anything interesting this Saturday night that will be commemorating earth hour from 8.30 to 9.30 pm local time wherever you are. In the opinion of Bradley, we've already stuffed this world up so much that putting off the lights for an hour is not going to make much difference or mean very much at all in the great scheme of things.

I don't think Ive ever commemorated earth hour before, purely because I missed the timing. I probably wasn't doing anything very important at all. This year, I happened to look at the clock and realised that I could probably do it this year (if I get a move on and feed the cats...)

We might make a dent in the electricity consumption of wherever we are but mainly its a symbolic contribution, just as not throwing down a piece of rubbish even though everybody else is throwing things down doesn't seem like an action destined to make much difference but if an attitude or an action of just one person at a time can be changed the difference will begin to be felt slowly and surely. My kids might litter but they will definitely remember that I told them every time not to. They might not turn off the lights this year but they will remember that I did and maybe they will decide to help the environment in some way as they go along.

At the very least, its going to help you to appreciate the easy access to power that we enjoy every day if you have to put off the power in the middle of your Saturday night movie!

Do something for the earth tonight - switch off!

Momcat xx

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Dental Hygiene for Dogs!

The dogs stole the old toothbrush out the shower that Robynne keeps there to scrub the concrete sections between the mosaics.

First of all Spider had the toothbrush and Big Bebe was trying to take it away from him. I alerted Bradley to the commotion and he retrieved the toothbrush and gave it to Bebe so he could take a cute photo. He then ended up play brushing everyone's teeth which was quite funny if not at all hygienic! Not that the dogs are overly concerned with any kind of hygiene...

As an aside, I have thoroughly enjoyed these last two weeks before starting work with no more pressure to look at work ads or apply for jobs, just surf the net, blog, knit and just hang out doing nothing much at all.

Momcat xx

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Ive unleashed a monster...and other happenings in my world!

The monster being the newest blogger in the family...Bradley!

He always asks me why I'm typing an essay on the computer and Ive explained that I'm either typing a blog post or commenting on another blog. So on Monday, he asked me to help him set up his own blog page. I set up the basic page for him but since he has gained an understanding of what is required, he is going like wildfire and developing his blog. The problem is that now I have to fight him for computer time!

I am trying to attend a craft market every month to sell at least some of the constant stream of knitted toys I am producing. In preparation for yesterday's market, I was trying to complete a Rupert Bear and I finished a bag of toy filling. I left the empty bag on a corner of the bed next to the full bag. Fell asleep late as I was still working on the toys. When I woke, I was moving some toys around to start working again and put the big half-finished monkey down on the empty plastic bag on the bed, together with the pattern for the Rupert Bear...only to discover a few minutes later that I had put them down in a pool of cat pee! One of the cats had peed on the empty bag during the night! Much soft cursing ensued (as it was still early morning!) and I rushed to the bathroom to wash the monkey.

Anyway, yesterday's market was held in an area that I hadn't yet been to (Ruimsig). As I was travelling along on the Main Road, I started to see a lot of informal traders, taxis and shacks along the right hand side of the road. I was a little apprehensive and watchful as being in a new area, I don't always know the ins and outs of the areas and Google Maps just shows the most efficient way of getting to an area, not always the area you feel comfortable travelling through. Anyway, just after that I turned down the road where the venue was situated and found myself in a semi rural area where a lot of conference and wedding venues are situated. The venue itself, Riverdeck, is fronted by a circular driveway and a fountain water feature which are very pretty. As the name suggests, it is situated along a gushing river and they have sloping lawn, shade trees and various animals wandering around, like peacock, guinea fowls, chickens and a pig! Didn't do too much business and the first spot I chose turned out to be very hot as the morning progressed. Ill go again because its held on the last Sunday of every month, the spot is free for stallholders and next time Ill pick a shady spot...

The latest on the evergrowing Doberman is that she has now learnt to get out the enclosed garden. When Robynne and Marco moved to this house, which is one of a few houses on a big plot, they discovered that their little doggies could get out of the big garden so they enclosed a section for them which leads out from the french doors. This is made of mesh wire and tree logs and was quite sufficient for the size of the dogs they have. However since the arrival of Bebe the Doberman and now that she is getting bigger and stronger, she has discovered that she can push the wire and pull it away from the log at the bottom. In some cases I have seen her actually lifting the logs up. She gets out and the small dogs follow! She was being allowed to run around in the bigger garden on her own but now has learnt to get out of the bottom section which leads onto the long grass and off the property altogether. This section is only strands of electric fence and the fence is not switched on so altogether useless. As a result, she is having to be kept inside and to be allowed the run of the house which means that she is creating havoc with the couches etc. She is very playful but clumsy and heavy, all three a recipe for havoc! The little kittens have learnt to run for their lives when she approaches as she tries to pick them up in her mouth and also some of the bigger cats that run when she approaches...then get chased as far as she can before they jump up on something. Bradley and I prefer the discipline approach but Robynne prefers the food tempting and reward approach which does cause a bit of conflict sometimes...

One of the few times of the day that she is good is bedtime and once she decided to sleep, she sleeps through the other dogs playing, Bradley playing playstation or people walking through the house in the middle of the night. I went to the loo in the middle of the night the other night and she didn't even change position or blink. Hope her guard dog abilities improve...!

Momcat xx

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

I am employed!

But getting to that point as everyone knows has been a frustrating exercise and the last leg of the process was no different.

I went straight from dropping Marco at work so was really early for my appointment at ten am. I saw the elderly lady whom I have seen on the previous two occasions as well as her son and daughter, both of whom also work at the company. I sat and chatted with them for about an hour and a half, the older lady going through various tasks I would be expected to handle, most of which she has told me before but basically it was to meet the children, all of whom are in positions of authority in the company. As the meeting ended, I mentioned that if they were seriously considering hiring me, I would need to receive an Offer of Employment within the next couple of hours as I had to let the other company that had already offered me employment know that I wouldn't be starting with them the next day.

I left and went back home but couldn't really get stuck into anything because I was sitting in front of the computer, checking for email updates every few minutes and stressing about the lack of resolution of my future. Bradley and I made a trip through to the shopping centre about mid afternoon but before we left I phoned the HR Consultant whom I had met at the very first meeting and she phoned me back to confirm that her client were preparing a letter and confirming the salary.

On my return from town, it was already after four pm and when I checked my email, still nothing received! Well by then, as you can imagine, I was freaking out. I emailed the Consultant again and she emailed back for me to relax as the employer was trying to email the letter through to me. And then the employer phoned me and apologised but said that for some reason she was battling to get emails out. Some technology issue. Murphy's law again!

Immediately, I said I would fetch the letter as I was around the corner and I battled through home time traffic and fetched my letter directly from her hand. I start work there on Monday, 2nd April. The salary is much better than was offered by the other company.

I had to phone the other Consultant and break the news to her that I wouldn't be starting with the other company, a task I hated doing because they are very nice people. I just believe the Consultant misrepresented my salary requirements to them. She actually said to me, if she could get her client to match the other salary offer, would I still consider working for them. And when I was hesitant in my reply, obviously realised what she was saying, retracted her statement and wished me luck where I would be working.

That onerous task dealt with, I could finally relax and enjoy the reality of being a part of the working world once again....

Friday, March 16, 2012

Advice please!

It doesn't just rain - it pours! Literally and figuratively. I have been for two interviews to a very local business (5 minutes away), the last interview being on Wednesday. I didn't hear anything yesterday from them and an HR Consultant who I have been dealing with phoned me yesterday to go to a new interview today with a different firm in Strijdom Park, which is also fairly close for me.

Well I thought the rain of yesterday would be over by today (it wasn't) and the power failure from last night was still a fail by this morning, necessitating some intricate fiddling with hair and clothes which couldn't be ironed but I bit the bullet and went off with Marco this morning. We had to stop at the garage to wipe a water resistant chemical on his windscreen because his wipers are busy giving up and only seem to work when the windscreen is dry not wet! I'm not joking...

Anyway through all these difficulties, I got to the interview venue safe and sound and on time if a little damp. And there was a fat kitty in reception to greet me. They have 3 office cats and these cats seem quite important to them i.e. signs up requesting visitors to be careful when moving their cars, etc.

During the course of my one and a half hour long interview, I saw five people, two of whom I would be working closely with, the general manager and the founding member of the company (general managers mom) and lastly the HR Consultant, the prognosis from all these people being very positive.

When I got home to find the power still off, I received a phone call from the lady at the other local firm where I have been for two interviews to go into their offices and see the other director whom I haven't seen yet on Monday morning at 10am. I confirmed the interview and five minutes later the HR consultant for the firm where I saw the five people today phoned and said the people liked me and wanted to offer me the position...to start on Monday!

So now what to do? Today's job interview is offering less money but on the other hand, they are nice people, its a local firm and its a definite job. The other closer firm is probably more money, also nice people but they haven't offered me the position yet. However it seems positive with me being asked to go in for a third interview. The work here seems to be more senior while at the firm where I went today, the work is secretary to a Manager plus assisting two other ladies.

Advice welcome please...

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Shock! Horror!..I nearly missed March...

How fast is this year going?

I had a comment on my last post that I'm definitely not posting enough even though I log in most days. Unfortunately, when I am stressed I not only stop eating a lot but my inspiration dries up too.

My bond over my house in Durban was on a three month suspension over the Christmas period but this came to an end at the end of February and I started getting phone calls from the bank for payment. It was decided to sell my old car which I left in Durban and I put an advert on Gumtree. The response was tremendous and it was sold within the week. We managed to pay two months of the bond with the proceeds, which gave me a little breathing room.

There is light at the end of the job hunting tunnel however but nothing finalised yet. Since last week, I have been for two more interviews, both businesses being situated close to home and either one of which could come back with a positive answer.

We went to fetch Brad's ID book yesterday from Home Affairs in Randburg and he is thrilled with it and carries it around with him. I was rather impressed with the speed with which we got the book, only having applied about mid-February. So about a month. Still while we waited for about five minutes yesterday for the person in front of us to finish, one lady was complaining rudely in a loud voice for having had to wait for 20 mins. They should try Home Affairs in Pinetown (KZN) where the average wait is an hour and a half to two hours!

I have been spending some good quality time with Bradley every day while I am waiting for work. We have caught up quite a lot with his homeschooling and are getting into a good daily work routine although Brad gets very distracted by the computer and his phone and anything else he can think of. This method is the only way I can think of to get him through his schooling, where he can work at his own pace and in manageable chunks of work. It may take a while longer than regular school but if he gets there eventually it will all have been worth it. The only sticking point in this is his father who would prefer him to go to regular school and doesn't believe in homeschooling but fortunately for Brad, I'm the one to calls the tune!

The only thing worrying me now is to find a social group for Brad. He would like to play soccer and this would probably help him to meet a few new local friends but to find a local team for him to join is proving a bit difficult. There is soccer coaching but this is a bit expensive and is not really what I want for him. I want a community soccer team in his age group for him to join.

On the 25th March, I will have a table of my knitted toys at a place called The River Deck in Ruimsig. It is a restaurant venue and the craft market is a new venture for them. Brad and I borrowed Robynne's car last Sunday to drive around and hand out some leaflets to advertise this market. We drove along a few suburban streets, basically me driving along slowly with my emergency lights flashing while Brad trotted along zigzagging across the street, in search of postboxes in which to place the leaflets. In Pinetown, everyone has a postbox which makes the job of the postman a little easier I'm sure because he then knows where to place the post! This phenomenon doesn't seem to have caught on in Jhb because only 1 house in 10 seems to have thought to put a postbox at their gate. Maybe they just don't want to receive any bills or maybe they just have all their post emailed to them. Anyway we persevered, only stopping briefly for an icecream and to walk around a pet shop and then gave up for good when the rain came down.

While I write this, rain is pouring down outside, an unknown happening for Johannesburg, or at least since Ive been up here. In KZN we are used to two weeks of rain at a stretch but here, there is a thunderstorm most day, a brief heavy rainfall and then continuing sunny days. Its unusual but also pleasant to have a rainy day today.

Signing off,

Momcat xx

Saturday, February 25, 2012

I lost a follower! Bummer!

Here I am logging in every day to see if I have any more followers and I log in today to find out I lost a follower. Unacceptable!

Kidding! I appreciate each and every one of my readers (followers). Otherwise whats the point. You guys ROCK!

Momcat xxxx

Friday, February 17, 2012

So my interview of the week...

was rather a shocker...by Johannesburg standards.

I was telephoned by a young lady. I'm still not sure if she got my CV off an employment website because I'm positive I would never have applied for a job such as this (unless I was under the influence of the dreaded wine!)

Telesales and office admin for a security company. The one plus is that its only a few kilometres away from where I'm staying but get this - the salary R6,000 a month - the hours 7am until 5pm minus tea breaks and lunch break (which I generally don't take anyway plus its an industrial area!). So 10 hours a day at work minus breaks at the offered salary is about R30 an hour.

And I was considering taking the position just to get some funds rolling in. The more I thought about it though, the more depressed about it I was getting, no matter how much I tried to justify why I should accept the position.

My last position in Durban which was also only 5 minutes from home (and no traffic!) was only half day i.e. 8am until 1pm plus alternate Saturdays from 8am until 12pm and for that I was making R5,500 per month and still not coming out financially.

So now I'm in Johannesburg with further distances to travel and everything costing a bit more and that's the salary they're offering for a full day job. My goodness.

I went for the first interview and the young HR lady was lamenting the 'terrible' applicants she had seen so far who didn't seem to want to work for that kind of money, young people who didn't seem to have any kind of work ethic but were wanting R15,000 with no experience.

My first job at age 19 paid R500 a month but different time, different place. I made the shortlist and was supposed to go for a second interview today but when I discussed it with Robynne, laying out a possible reason to accept the position if offered it as at least having some form of an income as opposed to being at home with no income, she pointed out that I would be stuck in a low income job all day and unable to go for any more promising interviews should they come about.

With that reinforcement, I dropped an email to the young HR lady, thanking her for the opportunity but declining the second interview. I think I owe more to myself after more than twenty years of hard slog behind a hot computer than to set myself back so far in a junior position with no benefits.

Come on Jhb! Show me the money...!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

I didnt want to say it....

but maybe Ive got a bit of the old addictive personality too!

I thought that was reserved for my kids courtesy of their father. (All bad habits come from dad of course!)

But recently Ive found some consolation in the odd glass of wine or two. It dulls the stress and realities, sharpens the concentration and focus and relaxes the stress of everyday realities.

Bradley has also started smoking (at the age of 16), a reality that he vehemently denies. But every time he goes to 'shower' there is that distinctive smell of cigarette smoke wafting from the bathroom.
I have never smoked, can't stand the thought but wine is my consolation at the moment. It doesn't matter what type of wine. Any box wine will do. I don't deny myself. Marco buys it, I drink it. I need the distraction at the moment. But I am fully cognisant of my need for this substance. Obviously addiction is a mind thing and I am in tune with the desires of my mind (and body). Even if I really think I need a glass of wine, I question the validity of that need in my mind.

But I don't restrict myself. If i need a glass of wine, I give myself a glass of wine or two or three. (Three's my limit, by the way. I do still need to function!!)

Its interesting to discover what your particular Achilles Heel is, what your particular addiction is..

Maybe this discovery about myself is an important learning curve in the understanding of others.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Trying not to let my Positive turn into Negative.

Why is it that once you decide on a certain mindset or course of action, life conspires against you?

The new job never got off the ground. Too many duties never before carried out, computer programs I didn't know and of course the switchboard. I think they thought I would just swoop in and know everything. Like Superwoman?! I left at the end of the first week.

Finding a job in Johannesburg is not as easy as the pre-advertising made it out to be. I have done so many skills tests, had my fingerprints taken twice, my qualifications have been checked probably about ten times, my former colleagues must be so tired of giving verbal references that they probably put the phone down when they hear its for me...

On top of that is all the family drama since Ive been in Jhb. My daughter and her father fell out and Ive been caught in the middle of this. As has Bradley who was staying with his dad but is now with me and this is also difficult as now its an extra financial burden on my daughter and her boyfriend. The good thing is that Bradley is able to do his homeschooling with me.

We are left with only one car at the moment because the other one has a suspected electrical fault. There are issues surrounding the animals. Specifically the Doberman which Robynne and Marco adopted in early December. This puppy is growing by leaps and bounds, putting pressures on the daily food preparation for all the animals and trying to establish dominance over the other dogs by virtue of its increasing size. The other dogs are miniature pinschers who are all related plus the oldest doggie, a cross Maltese/Dachshund and they all know their place in the pack.

The rapidly growing Doberman is putting a lot of strain on the household with her restless barking, bouncing all over the place and other anti-social habits like putting her paws up on the counters and knocking things off or stealing things, barking continuously in the middle of the night, stealing and chewing items of clothing and just generally trying to get her own way. Robynne has been driven to tears with this behaviour with her bf trying to defend the dog and I in turn am trying to devise a routine of discipline and boundaries on this doggie who of course is just being her normal Doberman self.

I did warn them against bringing such a large active breed into their existing pack but because they wanted a 'guard dog' and the Doberman looks similar in colouring, etc., to their minpins, they decided to get her. I am of the opinion that since the commitment to this big dog was made, just because there are issues, is not cause to give up and want to get rid of her. Effort has to be put in now because if she is left, she could end up doing damage to one of the other doggies or one of the cats. I am not afraid to be tough with her as I have had big dogs before and I know that big dogs need strong guidance. The problem is that she is expected to know right from wrong as if she were human. A big mistake is to try to treat dogs as if they were human babies. They are part of your family but a dog pack operates very differently from a human family. They don't have the same sense of right and wrong and 'being fair' as humans.

Anyway, the above is some of what is going into my difficulty in staying positive. Although obviously being positive is more important when times are hard than when all is rosy. Sometimes I feel that I have been totally dislodged from life as I knew it. And its hard under these circumstances to get a feeling of my sense of self when I feel as though I am a passenger in the vehicle of my life.

Friday, January 6, 2012

2012 is it? Okay, so here goes....

First of all, wishing everyone a belated but VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR and thanks for reading my posts, I appreciate each and every one of you. Wishing you a Great and POSITIVE 2012, the underlined word being my word for 2012. My thanks to Lynette of A Work in Progress for providing the inspiration to choose my word for 2012.

On a very positive note, I have finally become employed, having completed my first day at my new job today. After having gone for many interviews in person and having conducted several telephonically, to no avail, this position was finalised very quickly. I went for an interview with the consultant last Wednesday, with the employer on Thursday, the decision to employ me was also finalised on Thursday, received my Offer of Employment on Friday and started working on Monday, chip chop and its done.

Okay, as with all positions, today was spent feeling really stupid as I didn't know anything and made a big stuff up with the big boss when I didn't record a phone message properly (yes, switchboard is part of the job). There are a lot of bitsy details to learn. The lady I am replacing is busy training me and it was stressful but I am gainfully employed. So that is a positive start to the year.

More later.....

Momcat xx