The things we don’t say

20130524-185009.jpg If you’ve known me in real life for any stretch of time you’ll know that I’m not great at tact and filtering. I’m a lot better and more patient than I used to be, but it’s hard work to keep quiet when I know that sometimes I would just be out of line just if those words come out of my mouth.

I find it especially hard to keep quiet when I see something that I know will eventually hurt someone and they are either heading for disaster, doing something that they’ll regret or someone is hurting them and it is none of my business. Very, very hard work.

For example:

In the mall I frequent there is a young lady in a wheelchair. Someone in my team asked her one day why she was in a wheelchair. Her answer? She has a fear of walking. She can walk, she just doesn’t like to.

I have been walking past this person almost daily for the last 2 years and every single time I see her rolling herself – with her feet – to the toilets I want to stop and suggest that she maybe go and see a shrink. It pisses me off to see someone this young just throw away their life. And then I talk myself off that ledge and back away from her, because it really is none of my business and I should live and let live and there’s possibly a very good reason for her being like this. But still, that’s so very wrong. I despair for her lack of independence without good reason.

There is also this person on twitter I really like. She is a beautiful, smart and strong woman, but she is so completely wrapped up in self-hate and self-loathing that it pulsates from her tweets. I desperately want to say something, but I’m scared that she’ll be upset with me. And then I consider the alternative and I’m tempted to say : Hey, stop doing that. It annoys people that you only put yourself down so much that it seems like attention seeking behavior of the worst kind. But, then I grind my teeth and keep quiet.

The friend whose husband can be a real ass sometimes? I can’t give him a klap upside the head because I know that he’ll know that she has been talking to me and it would be, well, awkward.

The neighbour who stood outside their house watching their dog attack another dog in front of our house the other day. It would not end well if I suggested that it may have been good for them to step in instead of Etienne and myself.

The two-faced energy-thief I loathe? Can’t say a word, just nod and smile.

This is possibly why I get so enraged when people don’t strap in their kids and friends from overseas talk crap about SA (that post is sitting in my drafts). There is the possibility I channel all the words I cannot say into these things.

Because I can.

But then, there are people like this guy, whom I applaud. It is SO something I would do.

Ps. Don’t google images for ‘zipped lip’. Just. Don’t.

Averting disaster

This entire past weekend it felt a little like I was either being hurtled toward disaster or barely escaping it.

It was my Dad’s birthday on Saturday and we had offered to cook him and my Mom a meal, seeing as how my Mom is still out of action due to a dislocated shoulder. I also (studiply) promised him a cheesecake which I’ve never tried before.

After a bit of a slow start on Saturday morning (blame Whine Club from the night before) we flung ourselves at the mercy of Stodels before I went screaming through the neighbourhood to get Daniel to a party at 11h00. I was meant to do my Dad’s cheesecake first thing in the morning, but thought I could drop Daniel off and then go back home and do the cheesecake.  No such luck.  (I’d never dropped Daniel off and left him at a party before and I was hoping I could do that on Saturday.  Alas)

He eventually said that I could leave him, giving me just enough time to drive to Willowbridge to see if I could buy a cheesecake.  Nope, no such luck.

Back to the party I went to collect Daniel, only to have Etienne call and say that the alarm had gone off at my In-Laws’ house* and he was going there with the girls to check it out. 10 minutes later he calls and asks me to fetch the girls so off I went to collect them and back to the party (which by now was actually long over, but there was a bunch of lovely Moms, the kids were having fun and I just couldn’t be arsed to deal with my Cheesecake Crisis. And there was wine.)

Eventually I dragged the kids off home, just in time to start supper.  At this point I realised that Cheesecake was just not going to happen, so Pavlova for dessert it was.  So now I have several containers of cream cheese in the fridge, I really have no excuse not to make the bloody cheesecake.

When I opened my handbag when we got home everything was wet inside, including my iPad cover and the iPad, so that went straight into the rice.  I was not happy at all, I was baffled by what could have happened until I picked up a bag of sweets that Daniel got at the party this morning to find it wet.  There was a waterballoon inside that had popped in my bag.  At least the iPad seems fine, phew, I would have been very upset.

Saturday night was a veritable hurl-fest for me (No, I didn’t have *that* much to drink) so not much sleeping got done, but life goes on. We wanted to take the kids out for lunch yesterday and ended up at Eaglevlei.  We hadn’t been there in a while, but used to love it.

From the minute we walked in we could see that things aren’t what they used to be.  It used to be a really great restaurant with outstanding service.  They have expanded the seating in a big way, but with pub-type wooden benches and the menu seems smaller.  They now also have a Sunday Buffet and we despise buffets.

The dining experience wasn’t too bad (you can’t really mess up a salad), but it felt like they had taken elements of a fine dining restaurant and slapped it with some Spur.  Very weird.  I don’t think we’ll be going back in a hurry.  And I don’t care if you think I’m a food snob.

What did you get up to this weekend?

*a couple of assholes had taken a crowbar and broken the steel front gate as well as the front door, grabbed the 2 tv’s in the house and made a run for it.  They were literally in and out within a minute.  My In-laws luckily are away at the moment, so no-one got hurt, but it is really not cool.  Also, the audacity of robbing someone at 2pm on a Saturday afternoon in full view of the street is astounding.

PS: this is a very long and rambly post, I know. But it’s done now.

A surprise party for my Mom

You might remember my Mom fell a while ago and dislocated her shoulder. Since then she’s had to have surgery and is still immobile. Every year for her birthday she has a big tea party. She cooks and bakes for days beforehand and her friends come from all over to celebrate with her. It’s her ‘thing’, her annual tea party.

This year she obviously couldn’t bake a thing and there would be no party. She was a very sad Panda.

So we decided to have one anyway, but conveniently forget to tell her about it. Only thing was that it could only be the day after her birthday, on a Saturday. My mom made my Dad go and buy a cake and some snacks, but when she called her friends they were all ‘busy’. Man, was she upset. I think she drove my poor Dad around the bend the whole of last week, poor guy. And her friends all drove me insane, calling and saying how bad they feel lying to her, but I think we managed to pull it off.

I’m really bad at lying and keeping secrets, so I pretty much avoided her last week, which also didn’t go down very well.

My Mom’s friends are amazing, they all helped and baked and brought flowers and were all-round awesome and my sister made a kick-ass cheese board.

Here are some pics:

Her face as she walked in the door.  We were all hiding behind closed blinds
Her face as she walked in the door. We were all hiding behind closed blinds
She asked for a Red Velvet cake for her birthday
She asked for a Red Velvet cake for her birthday
Inside of red velvet cake
Inside of red velvet cake
The table with all the goodies and beautiful flowers
The table with all the goodies and beautiful flowers
Lastly a pic of all the Tannies.  I'm on the left standing behind my Mom and my sister is kneeling infront of her.  I was NOT happy about being in the pic.  Also missing from this pic is my Aunty Anne who ran away.
Lastly a pic of all the Tannies. I’m on the left standing behind my Mom and my sister is kneeling infront of her. I was NOT happy about being in the pic. Also missing from this pic is my Aunty Anne who ran away.

Not that I think any of the Tannies read my blog, but they were all amazing, thanks to everyone that helped!

ps you may have noticed that I have created another page called My Favourite Recipes and there you will links to the Red Velvet Cake and Cupcakes I made. This page is a work in progress, so not everything has links yet.  I’m not starting a food blog, I just need to keep my shiz together in one place.  Just so you know.

Allergies and Vitamins

keep-calm-and-take-vitaminsIt’s official: I’m allergic to gym.

It is the most bizarre thing.  After my first visit to the gym my sinuses packed up, I ignored it and I ended up on antibiotics and steroids and staying away for 2 weeks.  After my second visit to the gym I was immediately (as in the very same day) sick again and couldn’t go for another whole week.  I then decided to just ignore it anyway and carry on, but it really is the strangest thing.

I don’t do anything different at the gym either or over-exert myself, I purely go as I can’t walk at 05:00 anymore because it’s too dark and do the same thing I would do on the road. I’m probably sensitive to dust etc and something at gym triggers a sinus reaction, but I shall Keep Calm and Suck It Up, but this chronic sinus thing irritates the living crap out of me. I’ve cut out all diary, wheat and alcohol this week to see if it helps.  I am not pleased.

This made me think about multivites and flu injections and I almost went for my first flu injection this year, but decided against it because (gasp) I was sick when they were doing it at work.

We have always been of the pro-active multivite persuasion in our house and used to buy a barrage of vitamins for the kids, especially this time of year, as our kids used to get the sickest during March/April with the change of seasons (as I’m sure your kids do).

Etienne is really good with his Vitamin B complex and Viral Choice and takes it religiously.  I dabble in those vites, but I lean more towards Vitamin D, Evening Primrose, CalMag that I have in my drawer at work because those are the things I can feel my body needs more often, although I have added bottles of Vitamin B and Viral Choice to my stash for winter. I feel like a druggie though as suddenly I have 10 pills lined first thing in the morning. I buy different bottles of vitamins as no single vitamin I have come across has everything that I need and I’m an obsessive label reader.

I’m curious though:

What vitamins do you adults take, if any?

Do you take the same set of vitamins right through the year or do you change your regime to accommodate for seasonal changes?

Do you read the labels and compare or do you just buy the cheapest one?

Replacing Google Reader

This post turned into a bit of a Tech post, apologies to those of you that come here for stories on snot and poop and general wiseassery, normal programming will resume shortly. Plus, I had to write a post so I could stick some code in which I hope I don’t mess up in all my Technophobic glory.

In most people’s lives using a reader isn’t a big deal, but it stresses me out having my mailbox full so I have used Google Reader for the longest time.  Last week we heard that Google will be retiring their Reader as of 1 July and a whole lot of us were a little freaked out.

At my age I’m starting to realise that sometimes I am a little change averse.  I mean, I love my Google Reader.  But, big girl panties and all that, let’s move right along.

Thanks to twitter (click here and click here for an article about other options) and the rest of the Mommy Blogging posse there are a few options available for those of us that prefer to stick our toes into the bliss of our favourite blogs at odd times of the day and I’ve looked at several of the options.

I need a reader option that is

  • purely for blogs so I can go to one place and find what I need, using apps like Feedly and Flipboard just didn’t do it for me, I was very confused when I first tried them (and Feedly keeps losing the blog feed)
  • available for PC and iPad as I use both
  • simple, easy to use and not too fancy.  I don’t do fancy or complicated as I don’t blog for a living and I’m no Tech expert.

So, after much to-ing and fro-ing I’m going to try Bloglovin, purely because it looks like something I could get used to. However, if you read only on tablet you should try Blogshelf, it’s beautiful.  The only reason I’m not using it is because I can’t use it on PC as far as I can see. (thanks to Tamiya for the suggestion!)

The only other reader that appealed to me was NewsBlur, but they have suspended all new free accounts for now and it’s not as clean as Reader. It sldo feels a little, well, industrial.  BUT I liked that I could import all my blogs from Reader, no mess no fuss.

How will you be reading your favourite blogs come 1 July?
Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Trip down memory lane

Etienne’s about to sell his car, a white 1996 Toyota Corolla. The same car he has had since 1998.

1998 people, 1998.

I know, the man is a saint. 3 kids, a loopy wife and he has been driving the same car for the last 15 years. Granted, it has only needed to take him to Sanlam and back every day for most of that time (a whopping 7km each way), but the man is the most un materialistic person I have ever met.

When we started dating I coveted his car as I drove a yellow Opel Kadett, circa 1989, that I inherited from my Mom. I’m on my 3rd car from that Kadett and he just carried on with the Corolla, because he didn’t *need* a new car.

Tonight he cleaned out the cubby hole and came across a lot of papers from the last 15 years, so I’ll share a few with you that warmed my heart.

First off he found a receipt from Arthur Murray for dance lessons we had. We did the Tango at our wedding as a surprise and it blew all our guests away. We used the music from the famous Tango in Scent of a woman and it is one of my favourite memories from our wedding.

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Then he found this receipt from our honeymoon. We took a road trip in the Corolla and the Cat Stevens CD got stuck in the car CD player for most of our trip after an unfortunate day on a gravel road.

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As you can see, we went big at the bar with a whopping R24.50 after a shocking R36 spent on a bottle of Porcupine Ridge. Big spenders!

Lastly he found a receipt from Dr Paul le Roux, our Fertility Specialist from September 2005 confirming our pregnancy and ‘supervision of pregnancy’.

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That one made me a little weepy. See, we might not drive fancy shiny new cars, but we are rich beyond our wildest dreams as we have been blessed with each other and 3 wonderful children.

Even though I had to ask the girls to stop jumping on our bed tonight and take the (play) teapot out of their panties. Oh the glamour of parenting.

Edit to add: The wonderful Sam Woulidge just tweeted me this link. Go watch it, it is marvelous.

Ps. That place we went on honeymoon? Those chalets are R1900 per night these days. How’s that for inflation?
Pps. Etienne’s Dad actually suggested we go there on honeymoon and sent us off with a visual of my brand new In-laws in a jacuzzi. You’re welcome.

Winner of the Backsberg Picnic Concert Tickets

I know, I’m late, but herewith the winner of the 2 tickets to join us at Backsberg Picnic Concert for the Koos Kombuis concert this coming Sunday.

And the winner is… Adele Robertson!!

Adele, please email me at rouxtania9 at gmail dot com to make arrangements.

Just because

How has your week been?

Mine’s been manic, my birthday party is on Saturday and work is mad.  All good stuff, just a lot of it, all at the same time.

My Mom also fell on Wednesday night and dislocated her shoulder.  She is still in hospital as they are running some tests, but I’m sure all will be good.*

Just because I need some beauty I’m sharing this, one of my favourite videos ever that I came across again on The Hoopla. It is a video of starlings in murmuration and it is exquisite. To understand what it is all about you can click here.

Then: have you ever woken up after a bad dream involving your significant other and been really pissed off at them?

A few nights ago I dreamt that Etienne and I were on one of those package island holiday thingies with a bunch of couples (the kids weren’t there) and he sulked THE WHOLE TIME. He was really just behaving like a brat and made me very cross.  So cross that I was still cross with him when I woke up.

Go figure.

May you have a fantastic weekend and I can’t wait to see so many of the people of my heart tomorrow night.  Please also arrange that wind behaves as I’m hoping to indulge my whimsy of having it outside.

* there might be more to this story, but I can’t say at the moment.  But I would not be able to blog and not say anything, if that makes any sense. We should know more in the next day or so.

 

 

The night someone threw a rock at my car

My Dad (bless him, I love him to distraction) is forever sending me emails about how we are all going to be killed in our sleep, how margarine is actually plastic and those random stories of scary strange things that happen to people. I usually scan through these mails, but don’t really take them seriously.

Until Saturday night.

He recently sent me an email about the modus operandi of guys that walk in the middle of the road just outside Meerendal at night and how they basically force people off the road, but I wasn’t really paying attention. I did find the location a bit close to home though. When I see these things I always think in my head ‘how stupid are these people, why do they slow down?’

Well. On Saturday night we were visiting friends in Melkbos and I was on drive duty. I knew I was good to drive and we smugly drove past the roadblock that was set up on the other side of the N7 for traffic going towards Malmesbury. I’m comfortable driving at night as I did so for a long long time when I was working shifts in the hotel industry. I regard myself as a pretty good driver and I’m confident on the road.

As we approached the Durbanville/Table View turnoff, just where the street lights begin, there was a car pulled off on the left shoulder of the 2 lane road. There were 2 guys that looked like they were crossing the highway and we saw them and commented on how someone was going to run them over. I kept an eye on them and they made me nervous so guess what I did?

I slowed down.

As we got closer the one guy ducked and the other guy, in the middle of the right-hand line threw something at my car that went DOOF on my bonnet, but because my Dad has drilled it into me my entire life that you never ever stop if you aren’t sure, I accelerated and kept going.

Etienne and I were SO shocked, it took us a couple of minutes to really comprehend that some asshole threw a rock at our car. We couldn’t believe it. All I know is that, if I was going any faster that rock would have been through the windscreen of the car.

The kids were asleep in the back of the car and I didn’t scream or anything, so they slept through the whole thing and know nothing about it, but still.

By the time we got home I had a little bit of the shakes, but mostly I was really, really pissed off. There’s quite a ding in the bonnet so it must have been quite a rock.

How dare some idiot fuck around on a highway in the middle of the night and endanger the lives of 5 people, 3 of which are MY children?

How dare they?

Ps. I tweeted Helen Zille last night asking who I could contact and she put me in contact with someone whom I am now in conversation with. Never underestimate the power of twitter

A tale of two pillows

This is a completely random story that may or may not bore you. What it will do is underline the gross generalisation that estate agents are born to lie. Much as BMW drivers are born to drive like assholes, but that’s for another day.

We had a lovely holiday (which is now a very distant memory) and checked out of the house we rented on 3 January. As I was already halfway terminal with Bronchitis I packed the suitcases and checked rooms and cupboards and drawers and made sure that everything was on the bed in our room. Everything including our pillows, that were in plain view.

We always travel with our own pillows. Etienne because he likes a really, really flat pillow and me because a) other people’s pillows give me the heebie jeebies and b) I sleep only on a (very expensive) memory foam pillow that I am very, very attached to. As in, I cannot sleep on any other pillow.

So, I stacked all the suitcases on our bed along with the pillows and Etienne was in charge of Evacuation and Packing. I was in charge of Getting Children to Pee.

We arrive home and unpack the car, only to realise the pillows were left behind. On the bed. In plain sight. (Have I mentioned this?) But let’s not linger at the sense of utter disappointment and betrayal I felt at being separated from my beloved pillow. Life’s too short, forgive and forget and all that you know.

I then drove to Tygervalley and, in my rapidly deteriorating health, dragged myself around trying to find another pillow. This was not possible as clearly everyone this side of the N1 decided they needed a farking memory foam pillow for Christmas. But anyway, as I said, no grudges held or anything like that, I kept calm and carried on.

I also called the agent, Pieter* and arrange for the pillows to be collected and dropped off with our friends that were leaving the next day.

Much to my surprise (gasp!), no pillows were dropped off and no-one at the Estate Agent’s office knew anything about the pillows the next day when our friends went out of their way to stop there and enquire.

Never fear, our friends had another friend that was only leaving a week later that was happy to bring them to Cape Town, then give them to our friends who would then return them to us. I was not pleased, but short of driving back to Shelley Point I really didn’t have much choice. I would just have to drown my separation anxiety in vodka.

Last Monday I called the lovely Pieter* to arrange for said pillows to be dropped off. He knows nothing about the pillows, hasn’t seen them, but promises to send someone to look for them. I breathe deeply, count to 10 and politely thank him for all his efforts. A little while later he calls back, ecstatic. I would never guess, the pillows have been in his car all this time and he will drop them off at the house (right around the corner!) that very same day. I could almost feel my lovely pillow under my check and I dreamt of all the lovely dreams I would dream once we are reunited, my pillow and I.

So, the week goes by and Etienne doesn’t want to keep bothering this friend of our friends about the pillows, so we wait. On Saturday morning I finally make him sms the guy, nope, sorry, no pillows have been dropped off. At which point I become very sad and unhappy about the imminent loss of my beloved pillow.

So, I call my dear friend Pieter*, but his phone is off. I call the office and leave a rather colourfully worded message on the voicemail. I have to confess, this news almost broke me, this potentially devastating and highly avoidable loss of my pillow was just a little too much for my gentle constitution.

I eventually get hold of a lady in the office who tells me that the pillows have been in their office SINCE THE DAY WE LEFT, but that she couldn’t help me as she had an appointment in 30 minutes and couldn’t drop our pillows off at the house AROUND THE CORNER, but that she would try to make a plan. I assured her that it would probably be in her best interest to try and make that plan.
Needless to say, no pillows came back to Cape Town with the friend of our friends.

BUT THEN. I received a phone call today to gleefully inform me to collect my pillows from a random company in Bellville with no indication of who to ask for or where they would be.

The Hunt for Tania’s Pillow continues.

*I have made absolutely no attempt to change his name. The liar.