Sunday, 31 January 2016

Birthdays, Phones, Appliances and Bad Luck

Today is another mish-mash of news - a bit like Days of our Lives - just as dramatic I would say. On Wednesday, it was my birthday and birthdays should be a celebration of having made it through another year, but for me, it is a difficult one always because it means I lived another year without Clint and survived. Then there is the other side of the coin that I have Chad and he deserves to have me around for another year. Birthdays are tough and both Chad and I struggle with them and be it subconsciously or consciously, the hurt cuts far deeper on days that should be celebrated. The reminder that Clint is not with us, although the pain is with us every day of our lives, it just screams much louder on days that should be happy occasions.

Black Forrest Cake

I wasn't going to go to work on Wednesday, but dragged myself off and when I arrived at work, Mark said I must go look in the fridge - the workshop staff bought me a cake for my birthday. The only staff we have - four men, put money together and rushed to the local Spar and bought a Black Forrest Cake and 2L coke for my birthday because I always buy cake when it is their birthdays. It was such a lovely kind gesture and reduced me to tears. It made it worse because I don't always buy them cake and I never did last year. I never make a big deal of my birthday and never buy or bake a cake when it is my birthday so they did it for me. Really sweet and the cake was so good.

Rib Eye Steak

We went out for dinner to a new restaurant called Beast. Our favourite Grill Shop closed down and this restaurant has opened in it's place. Initially, it seemed very overpriced, but the food was so good and the portions were huge. Chad and I had Queen Prawns and Calamari and the prawns were the biggest I have ever had. Normally the prawns may look big, but have no meat in them, these were full of meat and they were tasty. The calamari was tender and succulent. The only thing that put me off was that the food came on wooden platters and not plates. I know they have done further research and wood does not absorb germs like other materials and all the uproar years ago of wood in kitchens being full of germs was all a false alarm, I still didn't quite like the wood platters as authentic as what they looked.

Prawns and Calamari
 The staff were very attentive and friendly and always checked that everything was ok. We also had dessert and it was out of this world - I had Nutella Cheese Cake (about that Cholesterol - I know). It sounded like a strange combination, but it worked so well together. Very rich, but decadently delicious and plated up so well with Cream; Cherries and Chocolate drizzle.

Mark and Chad bought me a fancy digital scale; some bath and shower and body creams and a cup cake decorating set. All from Woolworths which I refer to as my last minute gifts, but Mark assures me they weren't. Chad made JD a Hair Dryer and Flat Iron holder from a craft picture she showed him and whilst he was making that he spray painted a piece of wood with a heart and love on for me. He said I can use it for a doorstop or throw it away - a really sweet gesture from my son who is not one to work with his hands.

The reason why I don't have a picture of the Hair Dryer Holder is because Chad lost his phone on Monday and even though it is just a phone and replaceable - all of his photos are gone. Every single one from his Matric dance and the best year of his school career. He never had location turned on so we could not locate it, although I rang it and rang it from Google device trace, I also locked and erased it, but only two days later. It happened at Builders Warehouse and they said often staff hand in phones they find so we didn't lock it straight away. It has really bothered me and I am sure Chad as well that someone is looking at all of his photos - it is such an invasion of your privacy, even though they are just everyday photos and nothing to hide. He has a new phone now and spent the whole day downloading everything and JD sent him lots of photos, but she didn't have many of the Matric dance. On Friday, I logged onto his Gmail account, clicked on his Samsung S5 to try and locate it again and I clicked on erase and lock it again to make sure it was completely erased and it was the wrong device. I reset his new phone to factory settings, because when you click on devices in Google, even though you click on the right device when it goes to the next page, you have to go to the drop down menu and choose the device you want again. I was devastated and he was so angry when I told him what I had done. He didn't know what happened and thought it was the phone when he saw that everything had vanished from his phone. He lost all the new photos, his contacts that he had added on the new phone and the worst thing he had to go to Capitec Bank again to get the banking app on his phone for the third time in a week and a half. He just opened his Capitec account a week ago, then lost his phone, went back to have the app installed on his new phone and then I reset the phone, so off to the bank for the third time. Capitec Banking App is not like other banks where you just download it from the app store, you have to set it up at the branch. Anyway, all is forgiven and I will never go on his account again to reset anything. He asked me to help him with his emails on his tablet that were not working and I said not a chance, but I did and he trusted me to fix it. I think his anger subsided because I was really upset and could not stop crying - it had been quite an emotional week.

Our dishwasher also packed up this week - I have long forgotten what it is like to wash dishes by hand, OK correction I was reminded of that this weekend and I also wash dishes when I bake and I wash dishes at work, but not like after dinner, lunch, breakfast and everything in between dishes. The first load of glasses I washed, I broke one glass (don't know how) and then after drying and packing away, a couple of hours later I found another glass in the cupboard with a weird chip out of it. I had seen the piece of glass in the rinse water, but I thought it was from the other glass I broke.

The worst part of it all is that we have a brand new dishwasher waiting to be installed when we redo our kitchen. Mark bought the appliances because the ones we wanted went on sale last week. We now have appliances and no new kitchen. The person who was going to do the kitchen sent his quote on Monday and just the cupboards and installation, excluding appliances and tiling and plumbing and electrical work, was R140K. The size of our kitchen just does not warrant spending that amount of money on it. Spending that amount of money on a small kitchen will not increase the value of the house proportionately. Now we have to start all over and get new estimates. That is after Mark kept asking the guy for a ballpark figure and throwing out figures that we had in mind on what the kitchen would cost in total. Now besides the broken dishwasher, the tiles that were chopped out in December when we had the burst pipe, windows have also been changed and the kitchen looks like an almighty mess. On Friday after the resetting of the phone debacle, I suddenly remembered that I had turned off the water for the washing machine and Sheila was doing washing - I normally start the washing except on Fridays, because I have cut down on the loads of clothing washing we do, since the water shortage - now I do fuller loads and don't do washing on Fridays. The tap has started leaking, it started when the plumber moved it (I have no idea why) when we had the burst pipe, I fiddled and it s stopped leaking and now it has started again so I turned it off and forgot to tell Sheila and when I remembered I thought the washing machine surely had burnt out, but Sheila had turned it on before doing the washing.

We also have this fancy stand-alone bath in our bathroom and it has a fancy Whirquin Plug that now for the second time has jammed shut and there is no way you can get it out. It is not a popup, it turns from a contraption on the bath. It jammed in November and Mark asked the plumber to change it to a normal popup so he "fixed it" which meant he pulled it out with a plunger or similar plumbing tool and removed the screw, now it can't even be adjusted, not that adjusting makes a difference. On Thursday night, I finish bathing and after 10 at night after a long week, all one wants to do after a relaxing bath, is drain the bath water, wash out the bath and go to bed, not have to drain the bath water with a bucket (which incidentally, I left until the next morning, before my shower).

I know there are bigger problems in the World, like animals dying of thirst and food prices going through the roof because of the drought, but right now these are my problems and my life and my blog and they are massive. Some days, one should just not get out of bed and I have had a few days like that and many nights of not being able to sleep and these little annoyances become massive problems.

As for Nala and her abundance of energy, I won't lie, I have been hiding away from her :D. I took the advice of Nicky another blogger and gorgeous Pit Bull Owner and wash her ball after we have finished playing when she is really exhausted and her tongue touches the ground almost. I take the ball and put it on a Big Jim Plastic Box in the carport where the other balls are and say no more and she politely takes the ball and goes back onto the grass to play. If I take the ball inside, she gets another one. I now leave her to lie on the grass and chew away on the ball, which she seems to enjoy or she pushes it around with her paws and mouth. I am quite concerned that she seems to be getting thinner. She is a tiny slim girl and nothing like a Pit Bull. She put on weight when she first came here (all the biscuits she ate) now I think she is getting far more exercise than she should and she is not getting muscular she is losing weight. She eats well and loves her kibble, she doesn't get scraps like she used to get before, but she makes up for it with dog biscuits. It is not an exaggeration to say that we go through a box of dog biscuits a day - mainly Piggy and then Nala. I now ration (try) them to last two days, but today the finished a whole box of Bobtail Peanut Butter Biscuits that were bought at around lunchtime. Our dogs are not starved nor do they go hungry, she also does not look skinny and underweight - maybe the others are just a bit overweight.

Just now I was watching Carte Blanche on TV and Nala kept crying by me and nagging me, until she climbed onto me and sat upright on my chest. Turns out she was hungry - Mark and Chad hadn't fed them yet and her bowl was empty. When Mark went to the kitchen she ran to get her food. Their bowls are rarely empty and they eat whenever they want to, but her time to eat is around 8 or later. Chad has now instructed me that she may not play excessively and burn up all her energy - she can't lose weight. I wish I had the same problem.

... AND ... She Needs A Bath

That's all for this week - wishing you a pleasant week ahead and I am hoping I don't have any more appliance failures or go around resetting any more devices.

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