Friday, 30 August 2013


On Tuesday I abandoned this ...........................

For this....................

So not only did I steal time from work on Tuesday morning, but I also went for a Manicure and Pedicure during working hours on Tuesday afternoon. A new salon opened at the same center as Chad's gym and I told Mark the other week that I was thinking that I should have a pedicure whilst Chad is at gym, instead of driving up and down fetching him.

Don't get me wrong, I don't have a problem taking Chad to gym, my problem is that I HATE driving with a passion and these days I do so much driving and I hate it. Ever since I mentioned making an appointment at the salon, Mark asks me everyday when I am going to make the appointment - don't ask me why!! He has either realized that I am not really that high maintenance and I don't spend loads of money on myself or he thinks I will be more relaxed, less stressed, whatever the reason, he was more interested in me making the appointment than I was. He even offered to pay for it and then, because he had no cash on him when I left,  he said he will pay me back. Except Mark thought a manicure was french tips so was very confused when he saw my nails short and just varnished and  has conveniently forgotten to pay me back :(

To be honest, I don't really see the point of going to a salon to have a mani and or pedi done. I did a professional nail course, so can and do, do my own. I did Fibre; Silk; Acrylic and Gel Tips and basic manicures and pedicures. I can't do Fibre and Silk, it is far too fiddly and intricate and the smell of Acrylic almost makes me pass out, so lets not lie - I can do gel nails and tips only and I can do my own, but I don't because they damage your natural nails and my nails grow long and they grow quickly anyway. Mark asked why I never had tips and I asked why I would waste money on tips when my nails grow long naturally. He looked at me as if I was crazy, because my nails are short - I cut them on Monday night, because they were starting to break.

The whole idea was to relax and spoil myself whilst Chad was at gym, I made the appointment on Monday when I dropped him off at gym, but it turned out that he had to stay at school until 5 and only remembered on Tuesday morning. So what do they say about best laid plans............. never turns out that way.

I got back to work at 15h40 and then had to leave in peak our traffic at 16h20 to fetch Chad from school and he ended up waiting forever for me to get to school, because they never finished at 5, but at 4.20. I know it is only once in a blue moon that they have to stay after school to do work, but it does not take away the fact that it is a nuisance and inconvenient. You have to fight traffic to get to school, then fight traffic to get home from school - which is a nightmare. Then Chad still wanted to go to gym, so it was back home so he could get his stuff and then off to gym, then back home again. I ended up clocking up more mileage than ever, just because I decided to relax and spoil myself, but yesterday I was let off driving, because his personal trainer picked him up from home and dropped him off again.

Then on Tuesday 10 September, he has to do a Hotel & Catering Exam from 2 until 9 pm. On a Tuesday night - that really messes with my sleep. Chad chose easy subjects at school and it turned out worse than if he had taken difficult academic subjects. I told him last night that if he put half as much determination into his school work as what he has with gym, he would be a straight A student. He is already regretting his subject choice and knows he should have taken more academic subjects, but its done and since Clinty died, I have this philosophy of why make school and school work hell and stressful. I made Clint do maths and science and going to extra maths killed him and on the day he died he was so stressed about science homework that had to be done that afternoon and even a group of boys got together and could not figure it out. What was the point of all of it. Chad can always do a bridging course later, when he is older and more mature.

Hopefully, this weekend I will get to update my blog and post about our weekend away in June - two months ago already and just maybe our December holiday. At least now it is warming up, so it is not that tempting to lie in bed and sleep all weekend. Although now that the sun is setting later and later, we have been leaving work even later not realizing that it is so late.

Fortunately, Sheila starts dinner most nights for me. I usually prepare half the night before or in the morning and she starts cooking then I finish off. On Monday, I overslept and woke up so late. I set my alarm for 5.45 instead of 4.45 and then still fell asleep until what I thought was 5.10 and jumped out of bed when I realized it was ten past 6, so my whole day was out of sync. Thinking of what to have for dinner at 5 in the morning is not ideal at the best of times.

Chad always teases Sheila and gives her such a hard time and she hates her photo being taken when she has her work clothes on so hid her face when Chad took this photo of her watching the food whilst it cooks. I always tell her she does not have to stay in the kitchen, she just has to check on it. Chad took the photo and told her he is going to send it to me so I can see she is sitting doing nothing. Thank heavens she knows Chad so well and knows he is joking otherwise she would have left long ago.

Sheila and her dog - Jingles

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Stealing Time From Work

You know that feeling when you have so much work, but don't know where to start or want to start. As usual I am so tired, I can barely keep my eyes open. So I am at work, but bunking work. Our animals are starting to become such a problem, because they are affecting my quality of sleep and therefore my quality of life too. Mark and I have this "Thing" going on between us, where he says that the animals bring us so much joy - (I used to think so too), I say they bring no joy and are affecting the quality of my life.

Jingles and Miss Piggy are the worst. Jingles can jump up on the bed, she is a Jack Russell after all and very nimble on her feet, but every night she wakes me up to put her on the bed, exactly the same way Miss Piggy does. They scratch at me like I am a freaking door that they are trying to open and whimper and whine, until I lift them up. Then Pluto starts, at least Spike goes off to Chad's room. We have laminated wooden floors so before I get scratched at, I get woken up with tick tick tick up and down the floors. The lighter the dog (Jingles) the louder and more irritating the tick tick noise is. I told Mark the other day that I know what it is like to be tortured. No disrespect to anyone that has been captured and tortured, because I know it is nothing like that, but sleep deprivation is a form of torture and that is how I feel right now. The tick tick tick on the floors letting me know that the torture of not getting back to sleep is about to start, then having to lift them onto the bed, then they spread out on the bed and I have little or no space to sleep. Then the battle to get back to sleep and Mark's snoring and loud breathing - I can feel my blood pressure rushing up sky high when I am supposed to be fast asleep resting. If one thing is true about being Aquarius is that YOU DO NOT MESS WITH AN AQUARIUS' SLEEP - and that applies to me.

Last week on Tuesday night at exactly 23h55, I woke up to the sound of Chad puking in the other bathroom. I jumped out of bed with such a fright and went to see if he was OK. He was sitting slumped on the bathroom floor next to the toilet, puking is heart out. He told me to go back to bed and that he was fine - he says I sprinted back to bed, I was so happy I did not have to sit up with him. Not entirely true, but I was not going to argue with him and get into a fight about wanting to stay up with him when he did not want me to. Chad is as stubborn as can be. I have to admit that I took advantage and or was just too tired to get up the rest of the night when I heard him getting up to puke, about 5 or 6 times during the night.

He wanted to go to school - no not because he loves school and school work so much, but because he did not want to miss gym, but as he got out of bed he started puking again. During the night he had been sick on his linen and did not tell me and just threw it all in the bath and slept with just the duvet inner and no pillow cases. I made his bed for him with clean linen and told him that he should have told me so that I could have changed his linen during the night. He did not think it was necessary. I gave him a valoid, which he declined during the night when I went to check on him. The valoid and lack of sleep knocked him out, but whilst he was half sleeping and half awake when I had left for work he got sick again.

I came home at 11 to take him to the doctor, but he send he felt better and did not want to go to the doctor. He slept on and off for most of the day and ate nothing and only drank a bit of coke. He had no supper, but felt fine and said he was going to school the next day. The wind was howling during the night, blowing icy gales so when I woke up, I decided staying at home would do him more good than harm and left him to sleep. He was not impressed, because not going to school meant no gym and jumped out of bed to go shower, but felt weak and nauseous and happily stayed at home again. He lay in the lounge watching TV the whole day and ate nothing, but drank lots of coke and Fuse Tea. On Thursday night, I did not feel like cooking so we had Steers. Mark bought the new rib promo burgers, Chad ate his, he was so hungry from not eating for two days. When I went to bed I asked how he was feeling and he said fine, but it felt like his food was sitting here (just below his diaphragm), but he did not feel sick and did not want to take a valoid.

That should have set off warning bells for me and it half did, because I fell asleep wondering why he felt that his food was sitting there, but because the Steers Burgers were not nice and made me feel queasy, I did not give it much though, until midnight when we were awoken to Chad being sick AGAIN. I made him take a valoid and a bit of creme soda and we managed to get some sleep. I took him to the doctor and Chad who used to tell the doctor every little sign and symptom when he was little, has now grown up and told her very little, so she said it was from the change in diet and all the protein which has caused acid re-flux. I think he did have a bug and having a rich burger after being sick for two days, just started the puking again. She treated him for the nausea and for acid re-flux and by Sunday he was feeling much better, but has cut down on the protein, because he was dreaming about chicken just before he woke up to be sick the other night. He is happily back at gym, but not so happily back at school.

When he was little, every time he went to the doctor, he had to know exactly what was wrong with him, the name of the illness, how serious it was and what caused it and and and then he would tell everyone he had pneumonia :-). When we went to Mozambique when he was about 6 and he had to take his malaria tablets, he would say every day "Mommy must I have my pneumonia medicine so I don't get pneumonia" On Sunday afternoon when he said "so what was wrong with me" I replied you had a tummy bug and he said I know, but what was wrong. I just packed up laughing. Somethings change, some always stay the same and Chad will always be my little cutey pie.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Three Months; Three Weeks & Three Hours

Actually four hours and probably five or more by the time I have posted this................
Welcome to my never give up smoking blog giving up smoking blog. That's what my blog seems to be lately. I only blog about this incredibly difficult journey - giving up smoking.

I have not once given into the temptation, but I often think - maybe just one. I still say giving up smoking is so over rated and those who say you feel so much better and have so much energy when you give up smoking are lying - maybe not lying but maybe trying to convince themselves. My General Practitioner says that it is because I gave up my best friend and can't cope with it. Well I guess smoking has been the one constant in my life and has been there through every step of my life for 35 years. Through the good; the bad; happy times; sad times and the most devastating time of my life.

The other day, James, the upholsterer in our building came to get money one of his customers left with me and asked if it was true that I gave up smoking and what I took to help etc and we were chatting about smoking and I said there are far worse things in life than smoking and I never gave up for my health or to save money or because I hated smoking. I told him that the car fumes we breathe in all day in the workshop are far worse, then he said, "but with smoking it is something to you choose to do, so how can you choose to harm yourself?" I asked him if he ever spoke on his phone or sent text messages whilst driving and he said yes and I replied so how can you willingly chose to harm yourself and other innocent people when you know it is dangerous - he was a bit gob smacked - never mind the fact that I know he likes to drink a lot (alcohol) and no doubt drinks and drives. Funny how most anti-smokers conveniently forget just how bad some of the things they do are to other people. Smoking is just one of many bad habits that can harm and or kill other innocent people and yourself, but you do have far more chance of dying on our roads than from someone's cigarette - but that is termed an "accident" very far from accidental.

So why don't I just start smoking again, you are probably thinking. Well I don't want to appear weak I guess and I do totally hate the smell of stale cigarette smoke now days. I still love the smell of a freshly lit cigarette and still dream about smoking and even smell cigarette smoke sometimes in my sleep. When the cravings get so bad that I am close to giving in, I think about the reasons I gave up and try and balance the positives with the negatives.

  • Chad and I fought so much about me smoking I had to give up 
  • My health - it worried Chad so much that I would die of some smoke related illness and he believed I was selfish to not think about that
  • It had such a control over my life, what I did when I did it etc.
  • I am rather pedantic about laws and rules and breaking them - yet here I was smoking in reception at work when it is against the law to smoke in a building
  • The biggest reason for me, was the fact that I am forced to live without my child so how could I say I can't live without my cigarettes????????????
The truth of the matter is that Chad and I still fight, in fact we fight far more now than ever before. I am on such a short fuse, I am tired and stressed and just flip for nothing. It is partly smoking or the lack there of; partly hormonal and partly ill health, which takes me to item number two-
My health is so bad at the moment, I am always feeling ill, I have a stomach ulcer and 6 weeks into the medication it is worse than before; I have high blood pressure and when I am stressed I can actually feel the whoosh of blood going up to my head - OK maybe it is all in the mind, but it sure feels like it and my head feels like exploding. The only thing that stops me from having a smoke when I am stressed is telling myself that I could smoke ten packets of cigarettes in an hour and whatever it is that is stressing me out is not going to go away and neither will it change the person who is causing my stress, if it is someone who is stressing me out. 
Smoking still controls my life - I never stop thinking about it. All I do is sleep - the only thing that gets me out of bed on a Monday morning is knowing that on Saturday I will be able to sleep the whole day again.
I think the only reason that is valid and that stops me from smoking is the "breaking the rules" part of it and if I still worked from home, I would never have given up smoking.

This whole spiel about how your body starts healing within 20 minutes of giving up smoking is a lot of hogwash as far as I am concerned. So what happens when you are forced to not smoke for two hours because you are in a movie or standing in a long queue at the Revenue office or traffic department or anywhere getting stressed. Do your lungs shout out "Don't heal she hasn't given up smoking - she is going to have another smoke in an hour - as soon as she is out this queue." Then nothing until 8 hours....... OK so I do over analyse everything and I am not denying it, but really, I think it takes a lot longer than 20 minutes for your body to normalize - I am still struggling to breathe - something I never struggled with when I did smoke!!! I was never short of breath - now I am all the time.

My body has been through two severe shocks in my life. When Clinty died that shocked me and my body to the core, that aged me over night, made me ill and I had no immune system and now giving up smoking and going from 40 cigarettes a day to nothing after 35 years has shocked my body too and these past 3 months have not stopped the premature aging process that smoking causes - it has accelerated it and it is causing my body to shut down again - after a year of not going to the doctor I finally thought I was going back to where my health was before Clinty died, but since giving up smoking I am back to the doctor all the time with frustrating and irritating illnesses.

In hindsight I should never have given up smoking so drastically, I should have done it slowly or actually not at all and the main reason why I have not started again is because it will have been such a waste, going through all this - all for nothing.

To be honest I would not advise anyone to give up smoking if they have been smoking for longer than they haven't smoked in their lives, but to anyone who doesn't smoke - don't ever start smoking and that advice I would have given even when I was still smoking and was anti ever giving up. Yes we all know better and we all learn from our own mistakes, but seriously anyone out there reading this, especially teenagers - just don't do it. Besides the " bad for your health, smelly bad habit", it is just so not cool to be controlled by some inanimate object like a stupid little cigarette.

Even my blog is now being controlled by that little piece of paper wrapped around tobacco and chemicals and tar. I always plan on updating about our lives or lack of lives due to my constant sleeping, but end up on the "Oh how I hate the fact that I gave up smoking"  rant - not cool. 

I need to say good bye to these for good

Yes they are still controlling me and even though I have not touched a single one - I have not given up on them. 

PS: Excuse the spelling errors on this post and all the others - I do know the difference between their shoes are over there an to and too and two lately I have just subconsciously decided to change their to there and too to two

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Women's Day; Weekends And Other Things

Happy Belated Women's Day, here's hoping your day was filled with love and respect!!!
I am not into the whole RA-RA of special days like Women's Day, because lets be honest how many of us actually view it as anything more than a Public Holiday; a day off work and a day that hopefully turns a weekend into a long weekend, like this weekend.

However, I do believe that the women of yesteryear, who fought for the freedom of all women, who marched to the union buildings in 1956, should be commemorated and honored. I do believe that their fight should not have been in vain and that the fight for freedom of all women must carry on. The rape and abuse of all women and children must come to an end.

I heard a horrific story from Thandi, who works for us. The other day, about 2 weeks ago when she was on her way home, she arrived in her street and there were police, ambulances; medics and half the community outside. She lives in Zandspruit, more commonly known as Honeydew Squatter camp. A little girl, 3 or 4 years old was found in one of the houses (a shack) - for those who don't know Zandspruit or South Africa - squatter camps are a dime a dozen across the country, with people living in ZoZo Huts; Tin shanties anything for a roof over their heads. I don't know who or how they found the little girl, but she had been brutally raped and beaten all day by her mother's boyfriend. Mom went to work and left the child - not his child- in his care and they say she was raped all day. Who does that to a little baby girl? What sick bastard does it? The police were furious with the mother for leaving the child with her boyfriend, but did she know she was living with such a sick twisted cruel person. A neighbor apparently suspected that he abused the little girl, but said nothing for fear of causing trouble. If only she acted on her suspicions it might have prevented it from getting to such an extent that the little girl is now in ICU fighting for her life.  I know this is minor to the rape, but to illustrate the extent of the cruelty and rage, the little girl had long braids in her hair, these were ripped off in one sweep and were found lying on the floor. That in itself must have been sheer torture and pain with the feeling of being scalped. It is just horrific. These horror stories need to end, because they are not stories they are real and it happens far too often. So often that this did not even make the news, not even the local newspaper. How tragic and sick is that. To that dear little girl. You are in our thoughts with much love and light to get through the pain and trauma.

Now onto more pleasant things. We had a quiet day yesterday. Chad and Mark were going to go to Tarlton Raceway for the Fast Fest, but we woke up to hard rain. During the night Garfield woke me up to loud thunder, she hates it. I fell asleep again, not sure whether it was a dream or real. I woke up and it was pitch dark and the dogs wanted to go out. I was cussing and cursing, because they woke me up so early - except it was already 8 am but pitch dark.

Chad went to gym at 10, still debating on whether to go to Tarlton or not. I found out via Twitter that it was still on, plus the weather turned out great and it was a lovely sunny, but crisp winter's day. In the end they decided not to go, but to rather stay home and watch movies.

We watched "Blitz Patrollie". A South African Movie. I was not sure if I wanted to watch it. The name put me off and reminded me of a really amateur movie, an embarrassment to South Africa. Chad convinced me that it had our favorite comedians in it - yes they are good comedians, BUT can they act. I gave in and we downloaded it from box office. I wanted to watch "Guilt Trip" so I kinda sulked.

I didn't think it would be good, but watched anyway, because Chad convinced me that I should watch it. Chad loves watching David Kau and Kagiso Lediga on comedy central and also thinks Joey Rasdien is hilarious. Joey Rasdien was in "Material" another brilliant South African movie. So for Chad the cast made the movie brilliant even before seeing it. Chad is a Comedy Central junkie and watches the same skits over and over and he always gets me to watch with him. As for the guy who plays "Happy" the gay soccer star - who said about 3 words - that just made Chad's day - if you can get a "comedian hero" then he is Chad's. I don't know who he is, but Chad has seen him on some you tube video and thinks he is brilliant.

I have to admit, I was wrong and the movie was worth watching. All I can say is South Africa has so much character and with all the crime; corruption; potholes and general disrespect for the law in the country - by everyone, we are still such a colourful country and who cannot be proud to say they live in this country. Movies like Blitz Patrollie and Jozi and Finding Lenny and White Wedding to name but a few, bring out that "character and colourfulness" that makes South Africa the country we love. They highlight the negativity and flaws through humour, but the negatives are small in comparison. I am proudly South African and will always support South African movies. We have come such a long way since the Leon Schuster movies being the only South African movies to our credit and embarrassment. Those I am sorry to say I can't stand and don't watch or only watched in the past because I was "forced" to. In other words family outings or staying home alone. Now it is home alone.

So that was our Women's Day in a nutshell.

Spike & Mark Asleep As Usual - And Piggy Not Impressed

PS I am still smoke free - 3 months and 1 week - and the cravings are still as strong as week 3 :(

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