Sunday, 30 September 2007

My L.G. and me

What was supposed to have been a really mundane weekend turned into a really awesome one! Yesterday afternoon at about 17h00 my mom, dad, sister, bro-in-law and nephew arrived for a surprise visit - all the way from Durban for just one night here with us in the bush. A three hour trek (from Durban to Dundee), for just 15 hours together! And worth every cent spent on petrol getting here too! It was SOOOOO awesome! Even more so because it was so impromptu. Here are some pics. How cute is my dad in those pics?
After they left this afternoon for the long trek back home again, Robin and I got stuck into doing some LONG awaited and LONG OVERDUE things around the house. Woot woot! I have my washing mashine connected! Ohhhh... bliss! Needless to say, there's not much left in the house that needs laundering. Who'dathunk I could be this excited about doing laundry? Amorous thoughts toward my LG Top-loading Automatic Washing Machine abound. I even washed my slippers this evening. Granted, they were smelling rather...uh... fresh, after three months of not being washed. I know - how gross am I? Lucky, this time I have a valid excuse. Plumbing problems et cetera.
So, right now, it's one big laundry festival here in our hillbilly dump. If it can be shoved into my washing machine, it is being shoved into my washing machine. Pity Mr Weatherman aint playing along. Shortly after I'd hung out my first load and stuck in load number two, you know it: buckets of rain. Ugghhhh... You just can't win. But for today, I'm not complaining. How can I complain when my washing machine's connected? Yippeeee...! Have I mentioned how much I love my washing machine?

Um, no, I don't always dress that way - those are my painting house / gardening / housecleaning / chore clothes. Really!

Friday, 28 September 2007

Hubby n poochy

Couldn't resist posting these pics of my hubby and Buttercup sitting together in their hammock on our stoep, that I took a minute ago.

[ Pardon the pink star - this is a family friendly blog after all]

Operation Skinny Me

It was on a whim that I ran into my fave store on the planet... it just happened to be right next door to the pharmacy, so I figured I'd just have a quick browse after I'd bought some meds for the foot and mouth saga. My excuse was that I needed to buy a few packs of boxers for my hubby (seeing as we still don't have plumbing attached to my washing machine and hence have not been able to do any laundry since we moved here! - but that's a whole other story) because he's run out. Of rods. Imagine my delight when I found PILES of clothes marked down. Now, you all know that I'm not above snatching an item from under the nose of an unsuspecting fellow shopper mingling with the masses in search of that perfectly good (albeit it slightly out of fashion) marked-down item. Who really cares if it's so last season, right? Me either. I've become quite the expert shopper lately too. Min bucks = cleverer shopper. I've also realized the key to shopping without scaring the hubby: For every item you buy for yourself, buy two for him. Very nifty trick. Feel free to use it if you like. So anyway, I bought some (cotton) boxers for hubby (they say cotton boxers help with fertility. Yeah right. Ah, well, worth a try!), a new fleecy jacket for hubby at only twenty smackaroos (marked down from ninety-nine bucks) and then I spied some track-suit pants for moi. You know - those cute Oprah / J-lo style trackies. Marked down to Nineteen Ronts Ninety Nine. I know!

... so of course I tried them on, perrrrfect fit!, bought them and drove home with a huge smile on my face...

Oh my word! Have I joined the ranks of the country bpumpkins??? Those big fat roly poly ones who sit on their front porches with cigarettes dangling from between their lips* and shout profanity at passers-by? ME??? A plus size woman!!! Oh no. Surely it's not come to this? Oh alright, so I did notice a little while ago that sometimes, when I stop moving, my thighs don't. But only when I'm wearing sweats. The loose-fitting variety.

OK, who am I fooling? If I'm feeling good in a size 40, it's time to get dieting. Damn! And I was so enjoying my cappuccinos and chocolates. And crisps.

I wouldn't even have bothered about it too much - the fat, I mean - except, have you ever seen really nice round boozies look good on a roly poly? Nope? Me either. What's the point of me getting my boobs if they're just going to be camoflaged by my fatrolls? So, Operation Make Me Skinny has been activated. Back to counting my carbs and everything else that passes between my lips. And as of Monday, I will be exercising at least twice a week. For at least twenty minutes. Each time. I know you're all sitting there sniggering and thinking what a procrastinator I am. Well, I don't want to scare my fat into thinking I'm getting rid of it - that's when they cling tighter you see. Well, not really. It's more about mind over matter fatter. If I have a goal in mind - especially a realistic one - then I can achieve goals easier and in so doing motivate myself towards more action.

They also say that exercise releases endorphins, and I could really use some of those.

So, Adieu, cheese and onion chips that I love! Farewell, barbeque fritos! Adios Cadbury's Whole Nut Chocolate! Hello carrot sticks. And cucumber. And ugghhh... low fat milk! Hello Skinny Me. I will learn to love you. Repeat after me : "Big Girl, you are beautiful!" Mika - you're my hero!

*I don't smoke... or swear... but if the shoe image fits and all of that...

Moving forward

I must admit, I was kind of expecting a few comments on my post yesterday. But I truly wasn't expecting so many kind, thoughtful emails from my friends who know me well enough to know when it's time to comment and when it's time to mail. Blogging has so many rewards, but the biggest reward is being able to say what I want to say, and know my friends can read between what I've said and what I'm holding in, and stand in the gap for me. Thank you for your prayers and emails. Yes, this whole infertility / adoption / surrogacy thing has squashed my Hope considerably. I have moments of complete despair over it. And then I have moments when I feel totally distanced from it - as if I don't really care what happens, one way or another. I suppose it could be a protective mechanism. (Well, what do you know - at least something in my body is working the way it should!) But mostly, right now, it all just feels numb. I have this overwhelming "WHATEVER!" sensation. Which is a good thing, I guess. I prefer this to sitting and crying about things. I don't do crying. Hate hate hate crying. So, numb is much nicer for me.
Of course, something that does always make me feel better is presents. I'm just saying. Thanks for the emails guys. But if you really wanna make me feel better, here's a (very condensed) list of things I would love (you know, just in case):-
  1. An voucher
  2. A round-trip ticket to visit my tjommies in North Carolina and/or Brussels
  3. An e-bay voucher (if they make such things)
  4. flowers
  5. C.K. Be (my fave perfume!)
  6. Chocolates
  7. Cappuccino in a real coffee shop (like starbucks)
  8. A baby (or your eggs. You know, just in case you were considering it... I'm just saying!)
  9. A visit to Oprah.
  10. New boobs (feel free to contribute to my Boozie Fund. Details to be announced soon.)

In the meantime, I'll be rocking myself in the corner feasting on all the things I wouldn't be allowed if I was preggie, e.g. stinky cheese, cappuccino, sugar and junk.

Thursday, 27 September 2007

Mopy Dopy

I'm at home today. Think I might have foot and mouth disease*. Seriously. On Saturday morning I awoke with my mouth feeling weird. Besides the normal dragon-breath, I mean. Almost as if I'd been eating pineapples all night. Like sore and, well, weird. I thought to myself, 'man, I really need to go slow on the sweets today!' and left it at that. By yesterday my mouth was one big blister. Inside, I mean. My cheeks, tongue, gums... ugghhh... and I am feeling o-so-sorry for myself. Boo hooo! What freaks me out a bit is that I have had something odd happening to my bod almost every week since we've been here! I mean, how many more weird "sick"nesses can I feel? From spray-painting the loo, to upchunking into buckets, to dizzy lizzy and now this! What next???
I only tell you this so that you can feel sorry for me too, of course. My usual dose of feeling-sorry-for-myself-alitus isn't quite enough to cover it today. Long story short, the surrogacy is not going to happen and I've been staring down the barrel of a childless future. I am sooo disappointed about it too. Could it really be that this is my destiny? Everything in me just fights against that possibility. Everything, besides my baby-making bits, that is. Blasted bits!
Let me tell you about the country I live in, and the clueless leaders who govern it. Just recently (about three or four weeks ago to be exact) parliament took a decision that South Africa and it's citizens are quite capable of caring for it's own orphans, and therefore does not need nor does it want to participate in placing any of it's orphans abroad, nor accept any orphans from abroad as candidates for international adoption. Basically, how this affects us is that because the baby from Marie-Jeanne would need to be adopted by me and my bloody awful bits, the surrogacy can therefore no longer be entertained. I've known this for a few weeks now, but between Marie-Jeanne and I, we've been trying to wangle a way to make it happen regardless. Many fruitless attempts later, many banging heads on doors, et cetera, and we are now dropping our hands in despair at a system that prohibits it's citizens from completing their families due to the ineptitude of it's governors. I am angry beyond comprehension at these ninkimpoops who rule over us. But trying my best to accept that this then is the way things are, and there's zip I can do about it. So I may as well not exhaust my energies on things I can do nothing to change. And I may as well not make myself unhappy in the process. Hard to do, but I'm really trying. This was an opportunity like no other, and one that seemed like the best solution to my infertility.
It's just so incomprehensible to me that everything we've tried just hasn't worked for us (me). Is it really possible that I will never have any children? Really? Is this it then?
So anyway, this foot and mouth saga is really just an excuse for me to sit at home and mope a bit. To refrain from interaction with happy people. Happy people with children of their own. Happy people with happy endings and children of their own. Why do they get to have happy endings and not me? I don't get it.
The cherry on the cake was an innocent little sentence in an innocent email from an innocent family member mentioning in passing that they are trying for their second child and couldn't wait to find out they were preggies. And it just reminded me how easy it is for the rest of the planet. And how impossible it is for me. Really? Can planning a family really be that easy?
Oh well! That was my rant. I'm done now. No more moping. For today. I have books to read. Cappuccino's to drink. And that should fill the gap for now. That and the prospect of new boobs, of course.

*Joking, obviously. My boss started out with this sore mouth thing a few days before he got the flu too, a week or so ago. So, I know what's coming. Been taking it easy to see if I can ward it off. So, I'm not toooo concerned that it's foot and mouth disease. Haha!

Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Wordless Wednesday

I really wasn't ever planning on joining the Wordless Wednesday thingy... but I'm so busy today it's hard to get a word in edgeways. Sorry guys. Gotta dash. In the meantime, hope you enjoyed a few pics of our weekend!

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

A little bit of this n that

I wanted to tell you my booby appointment date and time, but my poor friend that is my contact person for the surgeon is going through a bit of a crisis at home, and the last thing I wanted to do is phone her to ask her for the number and be all frivolous and frolicky when she's under so much pressure... That would be careless. And I like to think I'm not that self-involved. So, again, it's The Waiting Game. Which is of course the way things work in my life, and I shouldn't be in the least surprised.
But I just had to share a few pics of our weekend with you. My sister, her hubby, my nephew and one of our friends came to visit us in the bush. We had SUCH a good time. The men did the usual "manly" thing they usually do when they come to visit - sit on our stoep and shoot things off of our fence, go quad biking, fishing and then shooting things off the fence again... you know... manly stuff. And us gals? We did whatever we wanted to. It was absolutely fabulous, darling. Think loads of food, fresh air, lots of laughter, a movie or two and haphazard naps. The perfect long weekend. (For all of you non-South-Africans, yesterday it was Heritage Day in here. Hence the long weekend.) It was also Braai Day! (That's South African for BBQ - pronounced like "high" but with a "brrr" instead of the "h".)

Now look at that picture and tell me we don't look like a bunch of hillbillies, with the guns and all? That's L - R : Dale (friend), Robin (irresistably sexy hubby) and Andrew (bro-in-law)

Robin in his Bourne Ultimatum pose.

(That's a Josh Duhamel wannabe if I ever saw one! hahaha... remember Win A Date with Tad Hamilton? hahaha.)

More pics tomorrow. I forgot my camera at home. Just call me Clever Trevor. (These pics above are from Dale's camera)
It was also my tjommie Chantell's birthday. Happy birthday my tjommie. If only I could have phoned you. I hope you were spoiled vrot though, my pommie.
As if that's not enough to fill the day yesterday, it was aaaalso the day on which my old school-friend Kate gave birth to her little girl, Freya Molly *Surname*. Welcome to the world, little Freya. I wish you and your mommy and daddy a WONDERFUL life together, with sunny days spent chasing butterflies and splashing around on the farm, friends as awesome as your mommy was to me, gifted teachers at school, not too many people teasing you about your interesting name, and a life overflowing with blessings and beauty!

Friday, 21 September 2007

Cue the Baywatch soundtrack!

And my decision is... I am SO going to get me some boobs! Not enormous ones, mind. Just enough that you could actually tell that I am of the female persuasion. I've priced them (inclusive of surgery, etc.) and they will land up costing between fifteen and twenty thousand south african smackarooskis (U.S. $2000-$2670). That works out to about seven thousand-ish ronts per boozie... Which really isn't bad, considering. NEW boobs, people. And say that they last approximately fifteen years, so that works out to Three Rand Sixty Five (about 48c in U.S. currency) per day. For new boozies. Tell me that's not worth it! I spend more on moisturiser!!! So, I say, bring it on. I will tell you on Monday when my consultation is. Woot woot! New boobies! New boobies!

Thursday, 20 September 2007

Taking The Plunge

When I was small, they used to have opera on the telly on Sunday afternoons. Sometimes there'd be ballet, and I'd watch that if there weren't more exciting happenings going on. But if it was opera, you couldn't tempt me away from the teevee screen at all. Not even with chocolate. It was almost a fixation. I was transfixed by the drama, the music, the lighting, the story... and adults were fascinated by me. One pint sized five-year old glued to the screen. Little did they know that what I was really admiring (they'd never have guessed, thank goodness!) was the way those tight corsets pushed the women's boozies right up and turned their decoletage into something akin to big spongy bobbity booziness. Even back then, as an ignorant little five-year old, I wanted big round boobs. I couldn't WAIT for puberty so I could get them. Imagine my horror when one day I was sitting hiding under the foam bubbles in the bath with my cousin (almost two years my junior) and she pointed out how much bigger her boobs were than mine, with my chest which would put the Karoo to shame with it's flatness. Right there, that very moment, I decided that if there was ever any way to force my boozies out of their hibernation, I would grab that opportunity with both hands. Alas, puberty did me in, too. I got ski-slopes for boobs. And even with HUGELY padded bras (wonderbra wishes!) my poor little boozies still look... undernourished.
So, here's the thing. I would really like to get my boobs done. As in really really! And many of my close friends are very supportive. Others (especially my mom and aunty!) are uncertain totally against it. And then, there's the money side. Now, you all know that we certainly haven't landed with our butts in the money butter. But I have some dosh stashed for my boobs a rainy day, and Robin's like "Char, if you want to do it, I stand with you all the way. You do it if that's what you want to do."
I guess it also might have something to do with the betrayal I feel from my body. How do I describe this? If my body couldn't do something as "normal/natural" for a body to do, as make a baby, then at least it's going to look good. If it means that I have to FORCE it to look good, then so be it. I mean, these boobs will never have a babe suckling them, so if their only other purpose is to look spiffy, then, dammit, they WILL look spiffy! And round. And feminine. And round.
So, ladies (not gents please!), what are your thoughts? (I might wanna kick myself later for actually ASKING you for your opinion... but, oh well.) Give it to me. What do you think? Should I do it? Should I take the plunge and get a plunging neckline?

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

The Waiting Game. Again.

It's The Waiting Game again. I phoned bunches of breeders for a kitty. Perhaps it's because we're a little fussy perculiar particular. Because we don't want any old cat. Nope. We want a Maine Coon. The biggest domestic cat on the globe, baby. With the nicest character. Who can blame us when they're just SO HANDSOME? Oh, you don't know what a Maine Coon looks like? OK, then. Here's a kitty. (Not ours... just a pic off the net.)

But you can't really see how big they become in that one... so here's a pic of a slightly older maine coon (about 6 months old):-

And, alas, that still doesn't do it justice cos it's not fully grown yet in that pic. So here's another pic:-

Still don't have a concept of it's size? Fine, here's another one:-

Awesome huh? What? You want to see some more? Oh alright. Seeing as you're twisting my arm so.

Now, tell me those aren't the most beautiful cats you've ever seen? Apparently you don't simply "order" one of these. You phone the breeders, they "screen" you! ahem ahem... and then if you're realllly lucky they'll add you to their waiting list. Well, I sweet-talked that lady's ears almost off of her head and she promptly (after about half an hour of chit-chat, long-distance too nogal!) added me to her waiting list. I'd love to tell you she was immediately enthralled with my charming personality but it was really only after I played my trump card that she added us to the list. (I told her we are a childless couple with a very empty home!) Wooo hooo! Seems this infertility is good for something! haha! We are currently fifth in the queue (jumped the long list and made the shortlist, dahhhling!) for a Maine Coon kitten, which we may only adopt at age 12 weeks (i.e. December some time). Seems we're destined to be waiting. Oh well. At least there's something good coming to us at the end of this wait! One Fat Cat, baby!
Oh, almost forgot to mention... These cats are friggin expensive! They start at about one thousand eight hundred ront and go all the way up to about two thousand five hundred ronts (depending on the breeder. Some breeders are greedier than others). Our kitty will cost two thousand smackaroos. Way to break my piggy bank! (That's about U.S. $260. I know! Madness!)

Tuesday, 18 September 2007


There's a rat in my kitchen, what amma gonna do?
There's a rat in my kitchen, what amma gonna do?
Don't get me wrong. I don't mind rats. As long as they aren't in MY kitchen. Eating my food. And running over my feet and giving me potential heart failure every couple of seconds. Not to mention the threat of imminent rat-borne disease akin to nuclear fallout. And all of that. You know, all of the standard images evoked by scuttling creatures that come out to play at night. Hey, and we're not even going to mention THE PLAGUE! Uggghhhh... let's just say I have a healthy disdain for uninvited monsters in my house. Like rats, for example. And ants. et Cetera. So, what am I to do about this little fella that thinks the Hillbilly Dump should be renamed Rat's Residence? I can't bear the thought of a mousetrap. That's just cruel. Not to mention what if Buttercup happens upon said trap and lands up noseless? But the alternatives to the mousetrap are rat poison, rat poison or rat poison. And then, what if Buttercup happens upon said rat poison? See my dilemma? Me thinks the solution is a cat. A big fat tabby cat, that strikes the fear of death into all living creatures within a certain radius. Yes, a cat it is. Watch this space. I will be phoning kitty breeders this afternoon. My mind is made up. Watch out rats! Rattatattat. Rat-attack-cat. And all of that.
There's a rat in my kitchen what amma gonna do?
I'm gonna buy me a cat, that's what I'm gonna do!

Monday, 17 September 2007

Selfish realizations

It was a weekend of Highs and Lows. High highs. But very low lows.
It was Camp Meeting, which, if you’re a church-goer, you’ll know is one of the highlights of the year. I’m happy to belong to a church that has Camp Meeting at least twice a year. And it’s WONDERFUL!
Camp Meeting means a number of things for me:-
  • Wonderful spiritual refreshment
  • Reunions with friends
  • Awesome worship experiences
  • Great social interaction
  • Yummy food
  • Travelling to fab destinations
  • Usually the guest speaker comes from overseas somewhere (most often USA or Australia) which means I get to hear awesome accents too, and hear about far-flung places, which are two of my fave things.

But remember, I mentioned it was highs and lows for me.
Being with my family again. The best part was that my dad surprised us by arriving unexpectedly on Sunday morning! He had to work on Saturday (he was on call) so he couldn’t leave Durban on Saturday. The sucky part of that was that it was also his birthday on Saturday! Shame – poor man was home alone all day… But boy oh boy, it was AWESOME when he pitched up on Sunday morning. We even threw a mini party for him in celebration! Haha. Yes, ahem, we are “those” people who celebrate everything with food. Good for socials, but baaaad for the waistline!
I was forced to contemplate my character this weekend. How very selfish and petty I am. Strangely enough, I’d never considered myself to be this way. I tell you, it’s not an easy realization either.
Uggghhhh… let me tell you what happened. I wasn’t going to, but it’ll be a challenge sharing this without explaining what happened. So, here goes. Go put on your kettle, make yourself a cuppa, then come and sit back down. This might take a while.
OK, by now you probably know that I’m quite a participator. In most things. I very seldom sit in the wings and do nothing. Which means that I’m often involved in things at camp meeting. I play piano (and LOVE it!) so most camp meetings I’m invited to be one of the musicians, along with the guitarists, etc. and worship leaders. So long story short, many moons ago I was asked to be the accompanying pianist for an old uncle at church (another congregation though) who wanted to sing a special item. Now, I really don’t mind accompanying anyone, even if I don’t necessarily like their style of music. That’s the job of an accompanist. You accompany. When they drag it out, you drag it out. You follow them. You’re not the “star” of the special item. You’re just accompanying. OK, you probably didn’t need that explanation, but oh well. So this uncle sings in a manner that’s VERRRRY hard to accompany. He drags out sections of the song that shouldn’t be dragged, and changes the timing mid-phrase and all sorts of horribly wrong things, musically. Then he has the audacity to look at you while you’re playing as if to make out that it’s YOUR fault if it sounds terrible. Ja well no fine. (That’s South African for “whatever”, by the way.) That’s still ok for me to deal with. I can cope with that. But then don’t apologize publicly for the accompaniment afterwards! Grrrrrr… Which is what he did to me once before. I was so ashamed and angry at the time! Oh well, let sleeping dogs lie and all of that. I put it behind me. And then this uncle wanted to sing again a few months after that incident. I decided at the time that I would bury the hatchet and just forget the previous incident. Give the guy the benefit of the doubt. Be a sucker for punishment the better person, you know? So I agreed and he faxed me about 8 pages of “classical” music at about Grade 8 level, which, if you know anything about music is the highest grade of music you can get prior to a university degree, i.e. dif-fi-cult! Here’s what I did. I took one whole precious day off from work to practice the piece of music to (near) perfection. By the time I arrived at church to play for this uncle I was so excited that I’d managed to get the piece of music ready that I could hardly wait to play! And then the uncle walks up to me (on the day he’s supposed to sing it, nogal!) and offhandedly tells me, “oh, by the way, I won’t need you to play – I’ve found my backtrack for the song” and off he walks. Well! I vowed and declared that I would never even consider accompanying the old guy again. (I really wanted to say “old fart” but that would have been rude!)
So, that’s my history with the old fella. That will help you understand why on Saturday night (at about 22h30) when a very good friend of mine who was involved in the organization of Camp Meeting, came up to me to ask me if I’d do her a HUGE favour and play for the guy the following morning, I flat refused. And then felt like a monster. [I have this annoying weakness in that I just can’t say no. Not to chocolate. Nor cappuccino. Nor to friends. It kills me.] She was obviously in a predicament, and really needed my help, otherwise she wouldn’t have come to me, but I just couldn’t get over forgive this old man who’d messed me around before. And so I made my friend’s life a misery. My stupid decision placed a wedge between me and my friend and I’m so sorry about it now. I could so easily have just said yes, and played for the old guy, gotten over my bitterness and resentment and saved my friend lots of frustration and hurt. In retrospect I wish I had just said yes. Instead I said no. Not once, but when she returned about 45 minutes later to explain that she really was in a predicament, I still refused. Uggghhhh I am so stubborn. And stupid. And fickle. And stupid. I mean, what’s more important, helping a friend out or just being stubborn? And I failed her. I am such a bad friend, people. B.A.D. If you’re my friend now, please remember this warning for future reference. Expect bad things from me. I honestly try my best. Most times. But then sometimes I get a nick in me and I just act stupidly and all high-horsedly and selfishly and stupidly and totally un-FRIEND-ly and stupidly. Like this past weekend.
Anyway, that’s what happened. Granted, it’s not this enormous thing. I understand that. I also know it’s my prerogative to make decisions and then to live with them. The heart of the matter is that my friend needed me and I allowed old resentments to cloud my judgement. I allowed my selfish nature to override my friend’s need. And that’s what was so hard for me to deal with. To have to realize that I am selfish. Horribly selfish. Putting my own “needs” ahead of my friend’s. Ugghhh…
Not fun.
I need some serious help from above. Otherwise this selfish one is doomed.

Friday, 14 September 2007

My hole-y quilt

A really precious friend of mine shared this with me. It's a long-ish read, but so worth the time.

As I faced my Maker at the last judgment, I knelt before the Lord along with all the other souls. Before each of us laid our lives like the squares ofa quilt in many piles; an angel sat before each of us sewing our quilt squares together into a tapestry that is our life. But as my angel took each piece of cloth off the pile, I noticed how ragged and empty each of my squares was. They were filled with giant holes. Each square was labeled with a part of my life that had been difficult, the challenges and temptations I was faced with in everyday life. I saw hardships that I endured, which were the largest holes of all. I glanced around me. Nobody else had such squares. Other than a tiny hole here and there, the other tapestries were filled with rich color and the bright hues of worldly fortune. I gazed upon myown life and was disheartened. My angel was sewing the ragged pieces of cloth together, threadbare and empty, like binding air. Finally the time came when each life was to be displayed, held up to the light, the scrutiny of truth. The others rose; each in turn, holding up their tapestries. So filled their lives had been. My angel looked upon me, and nodded for me to rise. My gaze dropped to the ground in shame. I hadn't had all the earthly fortunes. I had love in my life, and laughter. But there had also been trials of illness, and wealth, and false accusations that took from me my world, as I knew it. I had to start over many times. I often struggled with the temptation to quit, only to somehow muster the strength to pick up and begin again. I spent many nights on my knees in prayer, asking for help and guidance in my life. I had often been held up to ridicule which I endured painfully, each time offering it up to the Father in hope that I would not melt within my skin beneath the judgmental gaze of those who unfairly judged me. And now, I had to face the truth. My life was what it was, and I had to accept it for what it was. I rose and slowly lifted the combined squares of my life to the light. An awe-filled gasp filled the air. I gazed around at the others who stared at me with wide eyes.Then, I looked upon the tapestry before me. Light flooded the many holes, creating an image, the face of Christ. Then our Lord stood before me, with warmth and love in His eyes. He said, "Every time you gave over your life to Me, it became My life, My hardships, and My struggles. Each point of light in your life is when you stepped aside and let Me shine through, until there was more of Me than there was of you."

Oh how I long for my quilt to be threadbare and worn, allowing Christ to shine through!

Thursday, 13 September 2007


Woot woot! I am officially past the big ten-thousand-visits-to-my-blog mark! (Granted, about nine thousand eight hundred and fifty four of those visits are prolly lil ol' me...)... but maybe I'm popular after all! Woot woot! Thanks for reading my blog, all three of you!

A tale of my pigstails

I tend to be a bit of an instant gratification kinda girl. Combine that character trait with me being a hair-products whore and you’ll understand why it was SOOOO difficult for me to wait a couple of days before I could use my spiffy new hair products. See, what with our drippy no-pressure shower and all, using a deep moisturising conditioner is tantamount to pouring a bottle of oil on your head. So, since we moved here to Dundee, I haven't conditioned my hair at all! That's why, you can just imagine what torture it’s been for me to look at the nifty new jars of glooby sweet-smelling conditioners, treatments, etc. that I received from a friend who is an agent for A*von. (Luuurrrrve A*von products by the way! Yummy!) For a few days now, I’ve been waiting (im)patiently for our water pump to be installed so that I can put the shower pressure and my new hair goodies to the test. Imagine my excitement when I arrived home yesterday to find my hubby doing the jig in the bathroom. Water pressure is ON, baby! Really good water pressure! With steaming hot water too! Woot woot! It took all of my self-discipline not to hop into the shower on the spot! Instead, I waited until this morning. Ooooohhhhh baby! I can say, quite confidently too, that now I am officially squeaky clean. (Maybe even for the first time since we moved to the bush… Ew! I know!) So anyway, this morning I opened those jars of hair products. BOY OH BOY did I open them! And then I turned on that water. Lathered up, had a good steam, washed my hair, did a jig or two, sang a song or three… when my fingertips looked like raisins I decided that must be my cue to hop out. I couldn’t wait to blow-dry my newly-conditioned silky soft locks! The first time I’d used conditioner since my ill-fated attempt at showering on our first day in our hillbilly dump. I was buzzing with anxiety...
Well, it turns out that this is a tale of unrequited love. Sob! My spiffy new hair products don’t like me. This, my friends, is what my hair looks like:-
Grease galore!

Turns out less might be more, after all.

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

The "But" in Buttercup

Seems we now have a corgi Corky with special needs. Remember Corky Thatcher from "Life Goes On"? Um, yes. Our Buttercup has been diagnosed with all manner of mental illness, including o.c.d. (that's obsessive compulsive disorder, for those of you not in the know), a nervous tic (something like tirett's syndrome), deformity of the facial structure, loopiness, silliness and totally obsessive (compulsive) devotion to her father, Robin. This devotion does not extend to me. No sirreee. She only has "eyes" for Robin. I reckon it's because his feet are strong-smelling. So it appeals to Buttercup's senses. She likes cheese. snigger snigger! But seriously, our vet gave her a good once-over yesterday - we took her to be "fixed" - but it turns out she's a bit broken beyond repair. And I mean that in a one or forty-two sandwiches short of a picnic sort of way. We thought we'd surprise the vet with just how cute she is and wonder when he'd notice that she's blind, because she copes so well. Little did we know he'd take one peek at her and go - "oh, I see your little pooch is quite special!" Which just goes to show that indeed you do have to be cleverer to be a veterinarian than to be a doctor. I blame this whole special needs situation on Robin though, because he promised Nolene (his sister) many years ago, that we'd send our kids to whatever school she teaches at. And now she happens to be teaching at a school in Durban for children with special needs. Like autism, etc. So, there you go then. Never make promises you can't keep. As for me and my groovy hubby, and faulty dawg, we will praise the Lord regardless!

P.S. Vet says we should only have her "fixed" in a few months, and has given her an injection to make sure she doesn't "come of age" in the next three months. He wants to make doubly sure that her kidneys are ok before he proceeds with surgery. So, guess what Robin did first thing this morning? Hahahaha! He had to catch her wee in a sterile bottle to take in for testing! Hahaha! That's what he gets for being the favourite. Hahaha!

Monday, 10 September 2007

Grouse Louse

I had that "deer in the headlight" feeling. You know, when everyone looks at you simultaneously, awaiting your response, and you have nothing to say but "uhhh..." and of course, let's not forget that feeling of responsibility to say something sensible and upbeat and "expected." The question was "how are you enjoying life in Dundee?" and really, having been in Durban for all of two days at that stage, I wasn't relishing the idea of returning to Dundee. At all. And actually, when it comes down to it, I'm really not unhappy here. As you guys know already. I just really miss some things. As you know. But when all eyes are on you, and you get asked "how are you enjoying it?" suddenly you have to LOVE it here. Know what I mean? And really, I don't love it here everyday. So I shared with them how I don't love it here when I'm missing our family. Or when I have to unpack the dirty dishes from the kitchen sink in order to wash my face or brush my teeth. Or when I arrive home to find that wild dogs have attacked our rubbish bin to get to the trash in there, and scattered litter all over our garden. Or when the cows have chomped my newly purchased plants. Or when ants devour my sugar. From inside a sealed tupperware container, the buggers! But generally speaking, I do quite like it here. It's only when people ask me how I like it that I really give some thought to it. And if you know me, then you know that if you ask me a direct question, I'll give you a direct answer. Whether or not you like the answer you're going to get. Even when I'm feeling the pressure to say something other than what I'm really feeling.
But afterwards, on the long trip back home to Dundee, I got thinking about our life here in the bush and what a poor picture I painted of it, to my friends. It feels like I'm always complaining about something or other. Like the blinking chickens. Or the plumbing. Or the cows. It seems I've become quite a masterful moaner. Which is a bit icky, really. I don't like being pessimistic. Or a fishwife. I want to be upbeat and happy and content in my little place under the sun.
Granted, this little blog is my venting space. My place to unload. But what a grrrr stopping spot this would be for you guys if my blogs were all "woe is me" until the cows come home. [Snigger snigger! See, I'm already adopting bush phrases and all!]
But, no matter how flat you roll a pancake, there's still two sides to it. (OK, so maybe you don't roll a pancake, but you get the gist of it!) The one side of my pancake is all ants, plumbing problems, cows n chickens. But the other side is delicious! It's waking up to gorgeous sunrises. The sounds of birds chirping. My hubby's laughter again. A great working environment. Lots of friends. And of course, now I have wireless. Ahhhh. Bliss!
So, guys, enough of the Grouse Louse. Chirpy Char is back. And ready for loads of Chit-Chatting. With pics.

P.S. I heard from our lawyer about the surrogacy... I will tell you about it tomorrow, after I've chatted with Marie-Jeanne.
P.P.S. Tomorrow there'll be pics of the weekend loaded. Promise. Wanted to load them today, but was sooooo busy with a deadline for tomorrow, had no time. And wanted to turn over my new leaf pancake online today. So, priorities, priorities. Tomorrow, ok?

Pics as promised

Don't ever say I don't keep my promises, y' hear? Here they are. Pics of our weekend in Durban, with our family. And what a weekend it was too! It was Ethan (my nephew)'s fourth birthday and we celebrated and celebrated until none of us even wanted to SEE a slice of cake again. Yes, very shortlived, our desires... I'm already wishing I'd had just one more slice.
Here are some pics of Ethan's birthday party. And here are some more of our time together.

Me and my mom. (Ethan had a cowboy party!)

Robin's mom and dad

My dad and Ethan

Friday, 7 September 2007


1 wireless internet device
+ 1 newly-fixed-unchipped-toothy-tooth
= 1 woopy-doopy-skippity-dippity Char. Need I say more?
Adios dial-up schmial-up! And good riddance too!

Durbs vs Bush

Things I love about Durban:-

  • malls
  • working bathrooms
  • groovy dentists who don't hurt you
  • malls
  • coffee shops
  • internet
  • crisp clear radio stations
  • malls
  • coffee shops
  • internet
  • malls

Things I love about the bush:-

  • space
  • peace and quiet
  • ummm...
  • Happy hubby

Reasons I wouldn't mind moving back to Durban:-

  • malls
  • coffee shops
  • family
  • internet
  • crisp clear radio stations
  • lots of ants and moths in the bush
  • lots of spiders in the bush
  • lots of ants and moths in the bush
  • lots of spiders in the bush

Reasons I don't want to move back here:-

  • My hubby's happy in the bush
  • My hubby's happy in the bush
  • My hubby's happy in the bush

So, what can I do? Happy wife hubby, happy life. So, gimme the bush anyday!

Thursday, 6 September 2007

It's HEAVEN on Earth!

If this blog post is hectically wobbly and skippidy-dippity, then allow me to apologise ahead of the time. It's all my booty's fault. It just won't stop shaking since we arrived in Durban an hour or so ago. I am in cyber HEAVEN people. Hah-Eh-Vah-Eh-Nnn! Like seriously woopy-doopy-skippy-dippy. And all of that. Will share pics soon. For now, I'm just drooling on the keyboard of my father-in-law's superfast computer and way-out-connection speed. So, best get going before my already-shaking-booty catches a speed wobble and knocks me out. Wooot woooot!

Wednesday, 5 September 2007


I was pleasantly surprised BEYOND excited yesterday! It started out a normal working day. Wake up early-ish, take a shower, etc. etc. go to work and spend the day catching up on admin. Until about 11h30 in the morning, when my boss (John) walked in and said to me "Char, would you like to go to The Pavillion?" (which just happens to be THE BEST MALL on planet earth, and also happens to be within spitting distance of our home in Durban!) WOULD I LIKE TO GO TO PAVILLION? I mean??? Wild horses couldn't drag me away! But my family could. So on the spur of the moment I hopped into the car with John and we drove the three hours to Durban, skipped The Pavillion and surprised my family with a visit! I wish you could have seen the surprised look on my mom's face when I appeared at her kitchen door! It was priceless! And, of course spectacularly fabulously amazingly wonderful to just pop in there on a whim, spend an hour or two visiting, then travel the three hours back to Dundee again last night. AWESOME! And today, I'm back in Dundee and looking forward to Thursday night's trip back to the city. Just one more sleep then I'm going back to the city! Yippeeeeee!

Tuesday, 4 September 2007


One of my friends is the most inspiring person I know. Really. He has been led so directly by God, and whenever I’m in his presence I feel as if Jesus must surely be right there beside him. It’s really awe-inspiring. And I surmise sometimes that if he had lived in Bible times, he’d surely be another Daniel. Or a Joseph. Or an Enoch. Someone who is associated with being righteous. Of course, I know, we can’t stand in judgement of others (thank goodness!) and that none of us knows the heart of another, but surely, this guy simply drips God’s grace and kindness and I always leave his presence feeling a little empty. And like I’d prefer to just stand next to him than have to walk away. Oh, he also happens to be our pastor. But not one of those fuddy-duddy pastors. Nope. He’s amaaaaaazzzzzing. He is loved by the youth in our church. And by the oldies too. Which of course, is quite rare. And he was our friend before he was our pastor. So, I can vouch that this guy aint acting.
But you see now, I’ve totally lost my plot. What I was going to tell you about was how awe-inspiring his talk was this weekend. He told us a few stories about his experiences in Richards Bay (a seaside little town, about two hours from Dundee) over the past few weeks, where they’re holding a campaign and introducing people to Jesus. How God intervened on numerous occasions and His provision for the youth who are there running the drive. And then Heino (that’s my friend’s name) said, “Let’s read from God’s Word” and asked us to turn to John chapter one. You might know the text. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God…” and so forth. So, there we all are, looking down and reading from our Bibles. About a minute or two into the reading I realized that I’d never heard those texts before. Of course I’d read them before and it had held some meaning for me. But I’d never HEARD them before. If you know what I mean. It all just sounded so NEW and FRESH to me – as if it was the first time I’d ever heard them. It was then that I looked up from my Bible, to Heino. And noticed that he wasn’t even holding his Bible in his hand. He was reciting the scriptures, word for word, from John 1 v 1 all the way through to John 1 v 51. I was truly flabbergasted and humbled by the experience. Surely, you could have heard a pin drop in the church. Not a single person walked away from church un“touched” by the experience. I’m not saying that it was a miracle or something supernatural. It was just so extraordinary, yet so unassuming on Heino’s part. He wasn’t bragging or being all “look at me – I’ve memorised a whole chapter of scripture”… He was simply so familiar with the Word that he didn’t need to even hold his Bible in his hand to share it with us. He told us the story from God’s Word, word for word, as if he had lived it himself.
How I wish that I had such an intimate knowledge and experience of God’s Word as he so clearly had has. What an inspiration to me. I walked away from Church this weekend totally inspired by the “reading” of God’s Word. And determined to read it for myself again too.