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