Sunday, January 29, 2017

Trump, the inauguration, womens's march, Christianity and all the things

These last few months have been very disturbing to me.
  • Obviously I was distraught and unsettled when Trump won the election and I still can't believe it happened.
  • And then there were some voices I followed with a reminder that God is still on the throne and He is to be looked at, not man.
  • This is why I put up Christmas so early. I needed some JOY in my life.
  • That calmed me down and what also calmed me down was people praying and taking action in volunteering, donating to causes they believed in and so on. 
  • There was also enough distance (just over two months) that I was prepared to engage my logical brain and give the man a chance to do his stuff.

And then the inauguration happened.

That speech! I couldn't believe it. I'm not even American and I don't know that America. It felt so exclusionary towards everyone other than those who think like him.

Anyway, I didn't watch much after the formalities.

(by the way, years and years ago, I used to follow a marketing coach and she said on a teleseminar that she only employs American people as she doesn't want to send her money elsewhere. I stopped buying product from her there and then because I was so insulted. For the record, I send my money all over the world and I receive money from all over as gratefully. The speech left the same feeling with me, X 100)

But then, the next day, the Women's March.

I want to say this carefully. I am anti-abortion but if I were a resident in the US, I would have marched for all the other things. The Human Rights things - equality and decency and common human rights.

On this abortion matter... I am firmly anti-abortion... for ME. But who am I to tell you what to do with your body?

I have two friends, one online and one in real life, who have both had terminations. The online one's life was in danger had this not happened; the other had other issues going on and she was desperate. I still think had I been in her situation I would have done differently but how can I be sure? I have not walked those miles in her shoes.

So I believe the thing I am is a pro-choice anti-abortionist :)

If just on this one issue it is so complicated. imagine if we add all the issues at play.

Back to the women's march.

I read and follow a very wide spectrum of women on social media from all countries.

The clear democrats were very vocal with pictures and points of view, and got trolled in some of their comments. I read some and quickly realised this is a thing. Not even a March was about standing for things people can agree on. Everything is so nuanced.

One faction that was very quiet (during the march and the election cycle actually) was that of the white Christian woman.

I follow many of those ladies too.

My own church is also quiet. I don't know if it's just because this is the South African branch (there are US branches too) or if it's the same over there too.

But I want to know how people feel and more importantly, why.

Then one young lady posted something about being disturbed about all the divisiveness in the church, and in her comments, I saw links, followed those and read all that stuff.

You know how this goes.

Some of the Christians voted for Trump based on this abortion thing and nothing else.

I had no idea that this was so nuanced. As I said, if I were in the US, I would have marched but I'm still anti-abortion.

Are these either/ or positions? If so, why? Why can't you believe in everybody deserving dignity and equal rights, and decide that abortion is not for you?

It has gotten worse over the last week (I can't even comprehend!!!) and honestly, I'm staying off social media as much as I can because hours go by and I feel worse.

But still, I feel compelled to speak about these things.

By the way, not one South African I follow is talking about this stuff so I might be talking to myself. That's okay too.

Are you thinking about these things or are they far removed from you?

Okay, happy Sunday!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Extraction and implant

I'm busy with a post about Trump but I need to chat about my tooth quickly.

Remember last year I went to the dentist.

My (root canal) tooth came loose.

The emergency dentist cemented it but said she didn't know how long it would last.

So I had to make an appointment with my real dentist.

That was last Thursday.

Here's the thing:

The little root has fractured and is no longer strong enough to support my tooth.

They told me (the dental surgeon and my dentist) I have to have it extracted and an implant put in. Then my gum has to grow around this implant and they make me a new tooth and put that in, three months later. Oh my word.

I blocked it out because I heard "we will manage the pain" and "outpatient procedure" and I had that whooshing sound in my head...

(some of you know I hate dentists!)

The quote arrived today. R10 617. Medical aid rates provided you have that kind of money in your medical savings account.

I was drinking tea now and suddenly something feels funny in my mouth. I go check and that tooth is loose again. Not completely but in a day or so it will be completely loose.

So I guess this is urgent then.

I was googling and that is never a good idea. We know this but I have to know!

And all this talk of pain and recovery is freaking me out.

Tell me, have any of you had an implant? what was your experience?  

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Grade 2!

I'm getting bored with myself.

You see, I keep saying "I can't believe it's been a week" and other such things, but yet I'm not changing my behaviour.

I'm re-listening to Better than Before, Gretchen Rubin's book on habits (highly recommended) and I clearly need to use the Strategy of Scheduling. Even though blogging is something I enjoy, I just don't get here unless I put it on my to-do list. So maybe that's what needs to happen.

But for now, let's talk about school.

So we've been back at school for a week already and it feels so much more chilled this year in terms of routines.

The kids are in different classes for the first time since pre-school and they don't seem to be missing their twins one bit.

Connor is with a firm teacher (which he needs) and Kendra is with a very soft and lovely teacher.

We had Parents Evening last night where the (new) principal spoke very briefly. We then went to our kids' separate classrooms. Suddenly the desks and chairs seem so small :)

We both met both teachers who seem friendlier than last year's teacher. There's a whatsapp group for the one class and the other class uses the notebook method.

What else?

Oh right, I love, love, love when the teachers say things that I have been saying because we all know the kids think the teachers know everything. So now I'm all Miss A and Miss W said you need 11 hours sleep a night, and so on and so on.

So that's school.

Did I tell you I saved about R1200 by buying my stationery on my own instead of the packs through the W stationers? And I am even more aware of time wastage than you are - I only made two trips "out of my way" but not really since the store is on the way home from work. Everything else from CNA and PnP.


One surprising thing that has happened this year...

The kids have had breakfast every day AND have been eating all their lunch. I'm pleasantly surprised. Usually Connor tells me he's too busy playing and Kendra mostly eats but only if no breakfast.

We haven't changed anything that we're putting on the lunch - cheese/ peanut butter and a piece of fruit.

Oh, I follow an Irish athlete (after hearing her on a podcast) and she does this Overnight Oats. Oats with milk put in fridge. Take out the next morning, add fruit and eat.

I do oats with milk and cinnamon sugar. I leave the two bowls in the fridge (they LOVE this and I do too - it's my acts of service love language) and they can take it out and heat for 30 minutes. I'm not sure what the big fuss is because they don't even get other fruit put on the top but they LOVE it. Maybe they feel the love?

Okay, I have to listen to reading now.

What's surprised you about school this year?
Do you like your kids' teachers?

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Currently.... in 15 minutes

Bringing you another old-school blog post (no pics) that I may or may not update this afternoon.


A Maeve Binchy collection of short stories around a theme. This woman knew how to do a short story. I keep saying I don't even like short stories but she does them perfectly. Plenty of character development and plot so you don't feel anything is unsaid.

I want to discuss one of these for Book Club, it is that good :)


I'm catching up on all my podcasts but Se7en, you'll be happy to know I deleted a whole bunch too!

I'm also re-listening to Better than Before on Audible since it is the new year and a book about habit formation can only be good, right?


I've been doing the mother of all backups.

It started when I did my usual monthly photo backup and my external hard drive didn't have enough space.

Now, I know how this can go. You then postpone the buying and so on, and your computer crashes....

So I went onto Takealot and bought the first thing that looked like it could do the job.

R1000 later, it was only supposed to be delivered tomorrow but it was delivered yesterday morning (two days early!)

So one disc will keep photos, and the other will have Other (all my business stuff, all my online products - I think there are about 30 - I should check), personal, budgets, etc.

The photos finished earlier and I'm finishing off the other stuff.

I must say, it's so nice to have just a couple of hundred from this year, and I have a "use for blogging" folder with all organising/ goals type photos.


Book Club and a Happier Project I'm writing about tomorrow on Organising Queen. I want you all to join me if it sounds remotely interesting.


Nail polish. I'm going to insta at some point but I figured out I need about 24 nail polishes tops. I sorted them last night while cooking and there are many I didn't use/ used once. If you want some, let me know.

Alright, have to go fetch my Grade 2 babies! I can't wait to hear all the stories. Big kids are such fun :)

What are you reading, listening to, doing, planning and decluttering?

Saturday, January 07, 2017

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times

I did something awesome this year - I decided to reach my reading goal early so I wasn't pushing to reach a goal around Christmas/ New Year and I could just chill and play with my workbooks instead.

I realise chill and goals may not go together for you, but they do for me :)

However, I just had a really good year of reading so I finished my goal months ahead of time.

For final nerdiness, I ended on 97 books. The best since I've been tracking through Goodreads or, my adult life.

My previous best in 2001 was 95 books.

There are two people who read here who read way more books than that last year. Please tell us how many pages you read please because I get some questions like that and I don't read short books. I read normal books. My average book length is 340 pages.

More stats:

2016 books
Audible Kindle Physical
14 44 39

Non-fiction Fiction
24 73
25% 75%

This is probably the most non-fiction I've ever read in one year. Most of those were memoir-type books, which are my favourite non-fiction.

Longest book: Tara Road - Maeve Binchy (648 pages)

5* - 3 books: Stories I only tell my friends, Smart Money, Smart Kids and The Year of Living Danishly

 Please see if this Goodreads link works for you.

The bad book stuff? I abandoned a couple, one just a few days before the end of the year (!) and more than half done when I realised I actually don't care one iota about the characters.

I also read four 2* books but there you go.

And that's it!

Now, Terisha and I are starting a book club. I've extended the invitation to those who said they were interested on Instagram. If you're interested, let me know. We're meeting end Jan/ beginning Feb. Our first book is Big, Little Lies by Liane Moriarty.

We'll discuss everything at the first meeting.

Here's to a wonderful year of reading for us all!


PS the kids are 7.5 today!

Thursday, January 05, 2017

A chatty, catch-up post about Christmas

I've had it on my list to write this post for a long time (over a week) and today I told myself before I tackle my budget, I need to do this.

So here goes:

Christmas 2016

In my craziness, I invited everybody! My one friend didn't end up coming but I did have a house of 12 people.

Let's focus on all the good things, shall we?
  • Jesus is still the best Gift ever!
  • It was a beautifully overcast and rainy day
  • There was more than enough food (I had a little panic like was there going to be enough food?) and plenty left over. 
  • The SIL and BIL only bought one present per child (this I've been trying to get right for the last 7 years!!!).
  • The BIL ate food (super fussy) and plenty of it! Actually, I also think he's stopped smoking so that might be it.
  • The BIL complimented my house.

We told everyone we're not buying gifts so they listened... but I ended up looking through the rapidly diminishing gift shelf and so the grannies got gifts from there, and I made some keyrings with beautiful glass beads for them too. The grannies felt awkward about that so maybe I should specify no BOUGHT gifts next time because D and I love food gifts :)

Because of the aforementioned amazing weather (that apparently only D and I enjoy!), there was no swimming and people left around 5.... which meant we went to church again at 6, and that was really nice.

I do have one question: why is it that a house full of people for my birthday (usually even more!) doesn't stress me out one little bit but a house full of people for Christmas does?

Christmas is now all packed away and my house was thoroughly cleaned that day, two days later and again when Nanny S came back to work.

My To Marcia, From Marcia gift this year was a devotional colouring book - super little to colour daily with a scripture reference and about a minute of reading. Really low-key and hopefully a habit I can keep up, as long as Nanny S doesn't pack it away like she does everything else.

How was your Christmas? What did you get up to? Do you exchange gifts? Do you go wild? Do you buy a gift for yourself?


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