Friday, November 28, 2014

{Friendship Friday} When friends cook for you :)

We've actually seen Robyn and her gang a lot this year (by Jhb standards - 4 times...) and I love it!

The kids get along, we get along, and I only wish they lived closer.

This time we went to their place where she prepared TWO of my favourite dishes - chicken breyani and "coloured" koeksisters (I hadn't had the latter for about 10 years!) For an acts of service girl, this was LOVE to me.

I'd told Robyn before that the next time I saw them I'd take some pics. The hubs wasn't having any photo tomfoolery though :(

It was a schlep while we were taking the pictures (when isn't it with 4 littles?!) but it's always worth it AFTERWARDS when the pictures are done and you see the moments!

Robyn's getting her CD tomorrow - if you haven't looked yet, put on a soppy love song while you look through them and you'll fall MORE in love with your kids. I promise :)

D got this one of me in action, as it were!

do you know what these are? Coloured koeksisters (read more here)

please note the pink eye shadow (things she would not find in my house!)

the pied pier with her girls

Which is your favourite photo?
Is there a favourite dish a friend's cooked for you?

PS Caren's husband A once cooked a delicious Thai Mussamen curry when they had us over, which is my favourite Thai dish.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Lady check-ups and other news...

I went to the gynae yesterday morning and didn’t cry in his office like I did the last two times.

Last time was actually super embarrassing when I burst into those big, ugly tears because he asked me, ”are you stressed?”

I went in Sept last year, he found 2 cysts (stress-related as my bloodwork said the same thing) and told me to manage my stress. Well, things got worse (biggest understatement of the year) and when I saw him again in March, the one cyst was still there and bigger.

Well this time I’ve managed my stress and they’re GONE!


I can’t tell you how happy I am about that – it was absolutely worth “just resigning”.

You do know it’s not just about two cysts but about what that represents. Also I believe strongly in yellow flags….. those cysts were yellow flags for me and I don’t really want a red flag situation so I try and listen to my body.

There’s been some really bad news in South African circles. A previously infertile girl (that’s how I know of her)’s husband died very unexpectedly on Tuesday of a heart attack.

My American friends, you might see lots of veiled references and vague booking going on with South African people you follow.

I also didn’t sleep much that night…..but His mercies are new every morning and today, I’m feeling more like God is still in control.

And then in absolutely wonderful news, instagrammers Hayley and Francois are expecting TWINS. Fellow twin moms, we won’t mention those first two years, okay? But the pregnancy is hard-fought-for and so I am OVER the moon at their news.

What’s going on in your life?

Ah, Thanksgiving!

My love for Thanksgiving is well-documented on this blog.




Johannesburg - April 2014

Today I want to take a few moments to thank God for getting me through those 13 months.

He has totally restored my work situation - I work with decent, amazingly normal people. I even have a new K (my old friend K and I used to talk about things that the new K and I talk about now), a lovely, chilled boss, and I'm in a better place financially than if I'd still been at ex company (I would probably only have hit this level by the end of next year!).

And I can't remember the last time I cried!

Drakensberg - May 2014
The other day something happened at work and because of my conditioning at the old place I was quite tense and anxious about it. I even asked my Bible-reading group to pray for me.

Boss's boss and I had a lovely meeting and we sorted it all out. He even made a phone call and chatted to someone so we could sort this thing out, and backed me in an email afterwards.

Here's the thing - after it all blew over, I realised the way this was dealt with (BB was calm, helpful and taught me about this new thing without thinking or acting like I'm dumb) is actually normal. I was just so scared of ever making a mistake because everything got blown out of proportion over nonsense (really, nonsense) at the old place that I've become scared.

I'm nearly done with Daring Greatly and in it, she gives symptoms of a workplace where shame is a value. It was definitely a value there - absolutely not a true learning culture.

One of the lovely things I put on my birthday list this year is "get my confidence back" and by Jove, I think it's slowly happening.

Praise God.
Ballito - Aug 2014

I said it in last year's post, but I don't think I'll completely be able to convey my thanks to all of you who stood by me during that horrible time. I felt "carried" on your prayers many, many days.

I don't want to talk about it much more but I honestly don't wish a toxic environment like that on anyone. Nobody should have to take little white pills just to get through their workday.

And Laura, your words were instrumental in pushing me to do something when you said "you'll always be able to get a job but you can't get your health back".

Thank you, friends.

What are you thankful for today?

PS as I type, I feel like I'm talking to someone.... if you need me to listen, please just email/ shout.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Gillooly's Farm

I honestly don't know why we don't go to Gillooly's Farm more often.

We only make it out about once a year, all together as a family, although the kids have managed to persuade their granny to take them a couple of times this year, when she comes for her monthly visit.

D is not spontaneous at all, so one Saturday when he said, "let's go to Gillooly's for a picnic", I was ONTO that!

I took my little pink friend to capture some photos.

And those who follow me on instagram will have seen K & C feeding the ducks.

Are there places near your home you somehow never find yourself at?

PS One other such place I need to get to is that viewpoint on Munro Drive (that link is a hotel but just to show you the views!)

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Photos on your work desk?

That sliver of red peeking out on the left is the only photoframe I currently have on my desk.

At the old desk I had about 4 - 5 photo frames plus about 10 - 15 photos stuck up on my cork board.

I heard from two people recently that having pics of your kids, etc. on your work desk is not a great idea, career-wise.

The one lady was being interviewed on a podcast and said something like she wants to be an equal to her male colleagues........... and the other lady is a colleague of mine who has a kid but we never hear about him nor see him. I asked about a photo and she said no way would she have a photo on her desk.....

You all know how I feel. This is who I am - take me or leave me. I like that I care about the other parts of my life enough to display them - I don't necessarily think it takes away from my professionalism.

But what do you think?
Do you have pics of your kids/ family up at work?

Monday, November 24, 2014

Traffic personalities - part 1

D has his preferred way to drive to work, and of course, I have mine.

Generally speaking, I'm the type who:
  • doesn't mind driving an extra 2 km if the driving is smooth sailing
  • doesn't like zigzagging around the suburbs
  • doesn't mind a bit of traffic if it's downhill (like down Glenhove)
  • hates "begging" to be let into the traffic flow (I'll happily wait a longer time for a traffic light rather than push my way in)
 Exhibit A
for your viewing pleasure, carrrrrrrrssssss everywhere!
 Exhibit B
and here's where you depend on someone to be kind and let you turn left into the traffic flow. Granted the cars turning right (red one straight ahead) have it worse, so there is that

On the days when I travel by myself, I occasionally try a new little bit here and there. I don't like change to my routes if they work, so this is only if it's a complete disaster somewhere.

One day I tried D's way (this one above) and I determined that it was the first and last. I hate feeling like I have to beg to be let in...

I'll take my chances crossing a busy road with no traffic light rather than this craziness.

I worked in the previous location for 14 years and after a few weeks of finding the best way at the best time (turn left and go one way except if after dark then rather turn right. Slightly longer but probably safer), I drove the same way to work all the time. No, it's not boring for me - it's comforting!

Except when I joined that new team and had to be at work at the crack of dawn - well then, all ways were horrible and I tried different routes all the time just in case there was a magic way that was better than any other (there wasn't).

Tell me about your traffic personality.

PS next time I'm going to talk about what happens when I get lost (hint - it's not a pretty sight)

Friday, November 21, 2014

What on earth must the tourists think of us?!

If you're the slightest bit observant, you'll have noticed those posters in the pic above EVERYWHERE in Jhb.

There are also other ones that say "bring back your lost lo.ver" or something similar.

At first I thought they were only in my part of town because these photos were taken on one of our many walks.

But all along the way to work they are everywhere. EVERYWHERE. And I work 18.5 km from my home (never forget that 0.5 km).

It's not a new thing, by the way, I just feel like writing about it now :)

gorgeous mosaic

I love speedy humps :)

jacarandas are falling

pyjama kids

Louisa, what is this flower called?

yes, it's good to stop now and again

this top is one of my "capsule" work tops - I wear it with navy pants

he's started saying YES when I ask if I can kiss him!
We've been decorating and so on... for CHRISTMAS.... I'll have to do a Christmas post on Monday.

This weekend I plan to finish the October photo organising and finally get stuck into the November photos.

What are your weekend plans?

Happy weekend!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

oh gosh, is it this stage of life or what?

I had other things I wanted to post about but they all feel too frivolous tonight.
  • One friend's FIL died earlier this week.
  • Another friend's FIL is very, very ill in ICU (she says it is a matter of when, and not if)
Then my sister emailed me this morning to tell me of an old school friend's death, also earlier this week.

Reading through the comments, another school friend said, "this is the 4th young girl in the last couple of months to die before they're 40" so I shut down facebook. I don't want to know.

The last one's mom was one of my teachers and she was a year below me (so my age - we are a few months apart) and at the same ballet school.

(She was diagnosed with cancer on 10 October so just over a month ago!)

A colleague and I were discussing whether it's at the stage of life we're in.
  • when you're in your mid-twenties and everyone's getting married
  • two years after that when all the fertile people start having babies
  • and then more babies and the crazy kid stages
  • and now everyone seems to have parents who are getting old
I heard some stats once about breast cancer. An insurer was marketing to me (and they did it well, it seems, since I still remember and I bought the product). Like how this disease affects 1 in 4 white people, 1 in 11 coloured people (remember, in SA, we are fine with being called coloured!). Indians were about 1 in 6 - 8, and Blacks 1 in 20-odd.

Just googled and found lots more stats - all different so who knows what the right things are.

Another interesting ins.urance fact - only about 20% of drivers on South African roads are insured. Then I think, okay, I'm the one who's insured so I look around and think about the other 4 cars near me.......... and chances are a good many of them are not insured!


Anyway, my point was, if I read 1 in 4, I always think, well me plus 3 others, and this will statistically happen to one of us...................

Do you think like that?
Which life stage are you in? What's happening to lots of your friends right now?

I seem to have lots of friends with babies (that is not happening around here) or school crazy

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A ziplining party and leave!

Last month the kids went to an adventure party with ropes, ziplining, climbing, etc.

It was great = tired kids nap!

Of course I forgot in the morning rush and that's why K's wearing normal shoes instead of takkies. Still, she coped well.

love this one

precious baby!

they were so brave!

stepping out!

my kind of pics amidst the action

another sweet baby! look at the cheeks!!!

Two kids flat-out refused to participate, a couple of others freaked out while moving through the obstacle course so I was very proud of them for participating without one moan, and completing it so well.

And they enjoyed it!

While I LOVE LOVE LOVE this idea, these kinds of parties are expensive (I went to look at prices afterwards!).

Do you know what Connor said to me?

Why do you never take us ziplining? (they'd been on 1 May - it was our May "adventure")!!!

We're going to The Berg (!) again in December so if they want to go ziplining, they'll be seasoned zipliners. As for me, I'll be very happy to watch and take pics. Maybe even read a book :)

Anyway, there are  3 weeks and 2 days til I go on leave. How did that happen so quickly?

When are you going on leave?

PS on this day last year. I have a very scary photo on my phone of my crying face. I'm so glad those days are over. (if you click through, read Lucky Life's comment - golden!)


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