Things I wish I had taught my Children

We all have those retrospective moments where we look back on life and wish we had done things differently or at least wish we had specified or spoken about certain issues rather than them being implied.

Just recently I have being making a list of things I wish I had pushed more or spoken about more openly with my children, so I though it time to jot these down. There are not many but they are fundamentals in my book.

I thought these things would go without saying, and I should have ingrained it into my children well before they left home but it took them leaving home for me to realise the importance of these topics.

Family is Everything

I am not referring to Aunts and Uncles and distant relatives. What I am referring to is your kin, your blood relatives. Your direct family – brothers, sisters, mother, father.

We were a typical “boy” household. My sons all partook in the usual rough and tumble each day and as they got older the effects of too much testosterone was definitely felt in the house. Especially when they spoke about certain topics such as technology or IT (They are all geniuses when it comes to these topics)

I also find their ego’s get in the way. Each insisting they are right or they wont do X until the other comes to his senses or apologises. Typical sibling rivalry.

And as they got older and dispersed around the world, they are not as close as I would like.

Life is hard and can be really challenging at times, but the one thing you should all be able to count on, is your family. And you should be there for each other no matter what – in good times and bad. It is a life long bond.

And that means staying close, regular conversation and interest in what is going on in each others lives and being able to ask for help or offer help without there being an agenda.

You all get a free pass when it comes to family. And sometimes this means taking the first step to say “Hi, how are you doing? How is your family? ” And doing this regularly, even if the other doesnt reply. Do it again, and again, and again, till they respond, It may be that life has been hard and they don’t know how to reach out. There is never too much water under this bridge.

Debate is Good (Critical Thinking)

Covid has challenged family relationships and friendships alike. I struggled with this one. This whole Covid thing was new. So many opinions, articles, experts. All I wanted was to have a conversation, not only with my family, but friends alike. And no one wanted to explore any other view other than their own.

Each of us was labelled as crazy!

Sit down with those you love and care about. Listen to their view or opinion. They are not always right, but perhaps they have some insight or perspective you have not taken into consideration. And perhaps you can offer them some perspective or food for thought. As my partner always says, when in doubt go back to first premise. If I wasnt crazy last week, why would you think I am crazy today.

Have an open mind. Engage…

Listen, debate, discuss

It’s what helps you grow as a person.

The Importance of Calling your Mom (Communication)

Whew! Another one I struggle with. I think it’s a boy thing. Girls interact far more than boys (at least so I’m told).

I hear from my daughter-in-laws regularly. but I never get to hear from my sons. Saying that, I connect regularly with my 2 younger sons. I think as they get older and get married, the obligation is handed to their wives to make these calls.

The reality is that your mother is just as concerned about you today as she was when you were seconds old. She still goes to bed at night with her phone on loud, charging, in case her children need her, or want to chat. It doesn’t matter how hold you are.

I worry about my children every day. Not a day goes by where they are not the primary focus of my day. Concerned about them, are they ok? Wishing I could share all the hapy moments of my life with them.

Yes, I want the pictures and videos of my grandchildren, in fact I live for these moments. But I also want to know how my Son’s are. I want to hear their voices. Tell them I love them and miss them. I want to know what is going on in their lives.

Sadly my Mother passed on many many years ago and we had a troubled relationship. But there is not a day that goes by where I would’nt give anything to have had more time with my Mother.

This is one of the biggest regrets I have in my life. So a message to you all – Call you Mother, you will regret it when she is gone!

Smelling the Roses

I am as guilty as any if you in not taking time out to appreciate life and all it has to offer.

I’ve been under the weather lately, not feeling well but not sick enough to stay in bed. Realizing it is just pure stress and the daily obligations of life getting me down.

I read a poem yesterday reposted by a good friend of mine on Facebook and it puts life into perspective. So I thought I would share.

The poem is by Donna Ashworth from her new poetry book ‘LIFE’: https://amzn.eu/d/9Y6E6kz

NO WAITING ROOM

What if you didn’t wake up tomorrow and your soul is watching down thinking of all the things you didn’t get to do yet because you were too scared, or too shy, or too worried about money.
And all the things you told yourself you weren’t good enough for, swam in front of your eyes, fighting for a place in the line, beside the words you didn’t say and the joy you forgot to have.

My friend, there is absolutely no room for anything in your day, other than acceptance.
You will never have enough money, or time, and you will certainly never have that perfect body the world told you you need, to be happy.

And before you say it’s too late to embrace this thing we call life, no it is not.

You can do it right where you are. Right this minute.
Get outside, breathe, look at the trees, put your bare feet on the grass – hand on your heart to feel that pulse – and that’s it.

You’re living.

Keep that up.

Wait up for the moon sometimes or get up early to see a sunrise, just because you can.
Jump in the lake. Run, skip.
The things you need to feel alive are free and all around my friend.
You just have to see them.

Let in opportunity and say yes to the invitations that scare you a little, in a good way.
Say no to some of the things you force yourself to do, knowing they rinse you of your peace.

Life was never supposed to be a waiting room, it was supposed to be a hillside, with paths leading in every direction and mountains as far as the eye can see, hiding adventures and new friends behind them.

Don’t let yourself get to the end of this ride without having stopped to smell those beautiful roses.
That’s the only thing you need to fear in this life.
Everything else is all part of it.
It’s all just a messy, complicated, beautiful and terrifying part of it.

Chin up, throw your arms wide open
and let it be so.

In Loving Memory of My Father

It is Father’s Day today and it also would have been the 95th birthday of my Dad.

So before I go rambling on about my Dad, may I wish all Father’s a Very Happy Father’s Day. I know the circumstances surrounding this special day are not always ideal and unfortunately not all Father’s have the opportunity or the privilege of spending time with their children today.

A sad reality of the times we live in is the number of broken marriages. And Father’s are often on the losing end when it comes to having to negotiate visiting rights and access to their children.

Sadly I am also aware of many Father’s who have decided to abandon their obligations to their children after the breakup of a marriage, and this not only means financial obligations, but also the obligation of being a parent and being part of their children’s lives.

My Dad was not the best Dad in the world and my parents did not have a happy marriage. I have many memories of plates being thrown across the room by my parents and the consistent yelling and screaming at each other that ensued, with my brother and I sitting in our rooms quietly hoping it would all go away and wishing we could just leave.

My Mother’s struggle with alcohol exacerbated the situation and I am sure there are many of you with similar stories.

This blog is not to share the pains and bad memories of my life, but rather a celebration of my Father.

Regardless of how bad things were at home, he was always there for us. He stuck it out and bit his tongue with my mother and the end of his years were enough to test anyone.

He always made sure we were well provided for and we wanted for nothing and he stood by my mother and us till the end.

I left home at 17 to seek a better life and that too was filled with its own trials and tribulations.

Sadly my Dad was diagnosed with Emphesema at about the same time as I left home and he spent many years carrying around an oxygen bottle as he was not able to breathe and slept in a recliner as he could not lay down.

My last memory of my Dad was my final visit to him in hospital before he passed away where he pointed to the corner of his room. He could not speak much as he had an oxygen mask on. He had bought my eldest son a gift for his second Birthday.

It was one of those black scooters that toddlers love riding around.

I remember the moment like it was yesterday. I was 22 at the time (some 32 years ago).

My Dad passed on a few days after this and never got to see his Grandson use the scooter.

I only have fleeting memories of my Dad now and wish I had more time with him and wish he could have gotten to know his 4 amazing Grandsons and Great Grandchildren. They have done me proud and I know he is looking down on them, full of pride and joy.

Here’s to you Dad, with all my love and thanks for bringing me into this world.

It’s MY time to Shine

I’m subtly aware of the whispers in the dark about my banner and I’ve often thought about taking it down. The honesty is that it took quite a bit (A LOT) of guts and thought to put it out there in the first place.

So why am I sprawled out in my lingerie?

The answer is simple, every woman needs to feel fabulous and I’m at an age where I have nothing to hide or to be ashamed of.

It’s me, a part of me and a part of all women.

Too often hidden, many times forgotten and all also sadly relagated to the bottom of a list that never quiet gets addressed as life and its challenges lay their demands at one’s door!

Its a reminder that I am more than a mother, a grandmother, a girlfriend, an entrepreneur or a work collegue.

You just gotta ignite the light, and let it shine

Like all women there is an enigma to us, so its a banner to that and at the same time it’s a catalyst to spur me forward to “Be all I can be” and as a very good friend always says “Why be less than Fabulous!”

My life has these past years morphed more and more into a life that reflects me, all of me, in small steps, large leaps and some painful setbacks. I am here and I am good with that!

So this is my Journey and its only just getting started! My youngest out the nest and very well set up all on his own steam.

Proud! Happy!  At ease and also looking forward to explore more that is me, hidden behind duty and need that family brings.

It’s my time to shine.

It’s time for you to shine too

Happy Thursday all and may you have a Fabulous day!

No 4 has flown the Coup

For those not familiar with my blog, I have 4 sons, ranging from the age of 21 through to 33 years of age and they have often been the subject of my blog. The eldest 2 are married to the most perfect wives. I have loved them like the daughters I never had and more. I just hope my 2 youngest sons can do them justice going forwards and find wives equally amazing.

The last 2 years have been very trying to everyone. Covid has been enough of a challenge and we now find ourselves not only trying to survive in this crazy world that is slowy coming out of the Covid madness, but also trying to save friendships, relationships and our own jobs going forward.

My youngest son recently left home. He decided he wanted to spread his wings in a whole new country and got on a plane to the UK 2 weeks ago and decided he wanted to explore job opportunities in London itself.

Hello London

I was so emotional the last few weeks before he left. It hits you hard when your youngest decides to finally leave home and not only that, decides he wants to go to a whole new country.

We encouraged him as South Africa has very little to offer him. It has been a struggling country for many years now and frought with fraud and corruption at every level of Government and Business. His prospects here in South Africa are virtually none.

Thank You

My partner called on some good friends of ours and asked for assistance with a bed to sleep in for a week or 2 for him in London. They kindly obliged and I am EXREMELY thankful to them. I cannot express my gratitude enough as without them I would have gone through hell not knowing if my son was safe or not.

So 2 weeks on and he has found himself a fantastic job in London and a place to stay with a few lads his age. He is super excited about starting his life in the UK.

It was his first day at work today. I have been counting the seconds till I can talk to him later to find out how it all went.

Very thankful to all those who have made this possible and I am so grateful he has managed to land on his feet there and I wish him the best life can offer in his new venture.

Love you my Son

Ciao for now

Covid-19: Should I be Terrified?

I have wanted to write this post for a few months now but as I know it is such a controversial topic, it has been hard to put pen to paper without speaking with some actual experience.

So here I am, 3 weeks after having tested positive for Covid-19 and this is my personal experience.

Firstly the reason I went to be tested was that I was supposed to go to a Christmas Eve Dinner with some close friends. It is a tradition formed quite a few years ago where a small group of us get together for a proper sit down meal and our host prepares an amazing meal for us, followed by Santa arriving secretly with big sacks of presents for the children which they go out to find in the field.

We didn’t have any specific symptoms that we thought were Covid related but there was some doubt at the back of our minds. So out of respect for our host, we thought we should test before attending.

So what were these doubts?

My partner had been having some stomach trouble a few days prior with some diarhea and general uneasiness. He normally has a sensitive stomach so we didn’t think it was abnormal at the time and certainly didn’t think it was Covid related. A few days earlier he had also had a mild fever for about 36 hours. Again probably related to gastric flu and it did not ring any alarm bells.

I had felt slightly off for a day or 2, again nothing major. Just feeling 90% rather that 100% well. And looking back after the fact, I had an episode where I falsely accused my dearly beloved of putting sweetener in my tea. My system seems to be intolerant to sweetener as it makes me really ill. This includes any form of dietary supplements, meal replacements, diet drinks etc. I get quite ill from it so I know to stay away from it all. I also don’t keep any sweetener in my grocery cupboard. So thinking back, this was probably an indication of Covid affecting my taste buds. But again, my taste buds are compromised due to a battle with Throat Cancer a few years prior and again I didn’t have a second thought as to why my taste was off. Again this was short lived with my taste returning to normal 2 days later.

So on the surface of it all, we did not think we had Covid and were quite surprised when we came back positive. We had been careful of who we met with and to this day we have no idea who we could have contracted if from. We always wore masks when going out and sanitised as required and limited where we went to and who we saw.

Once we tested positive on the 24th December 2020, we isolated immediately and started on the following medication (we had these on hand):

  • Vitamin C (We had been taking loads of Vitamin C prior anyway but upped our dose to a few chewable tablets per day.
  • Azithromyacin – An antibiotic used for upper respiratory infections

The health department also sent a team out to visit us on the 26th December and they gave us the same medication as above but added Zinc and Asprin to the list.

We had also done extensive research on the benefits of Ivormectin and took some orally on the 27th and then again 3 days later. Ivormectin had been banned by South Africa a few days earlier but as we deal with animals, we took the vetinary grade (injectable version taken orally in some juice – slightly bitter taste but am alive and well to tell the tale). There is extensive studies about the benefits of taking Ivormectin for Covid-19 on the web and YouTube so please go and look it up.

The following week or so was followed by us feeling not bad, but fatigued is as best as I can describe it. We were not sick, but found we tired quickly. We were up early everyday. We had a swim in the dam most days, sat outside in the fresh air and functioned fairly normally except we found we had to rest and slept more than usual.

My partner also found his blood pressure increased considerably so we kept a close eye on it and he also started with a dry nagging cough which he struggled with for about 2 weeks. He thinks it was a side effect of taking Azithromycin as he found it dried out his system.

Now 3 weeks later we are back to normal and haven’t had any symptoms for probably 12 days.

We live in a small farming community and we personally know about 40-50 people who have tested positive. All are well and none of them have had any adverse effects and have experienced no more than mild symptoms. A friend of ours yesterday described his experience as a mild flu with a mild hangover.

We also know of a one or two people within our extended community having died but I am unable to give context to this as to what exactly their circumstances were and if they had any underlying causes.

My father-in-law also tested positive. He is 77 years old. He had some bodily aches for a few days and we treated him with Ivermectin and the same medication we had when he first complained. Other than that he has had no other symptoms, no fatigue and has carried on with his daily routine despite being positive.

So what are my thoughts on it all? And this is where it gets controversial.

I have lived the experience and I have watched others live the experience so I can only comment on this.

Prior to “lock-down” towards the end of March 2020, my company employed some 194 people. Due to the lock-down we had to stop operating with only a small part of our company re-opening in the last half of the year. But with the effects on not being able to operate fully, we have found ourselves unable to recover and 194 people are now unemployed. A very sad state of affairs. My heart goes out to them and their families as I know they will not find alternative employment with the majority probably not finding employment at all for a very long time. We live in a country where the unemployment rate was well above 25% at the start of the outbreak and I am sure this figure now sits at above 50%.

The Government offered a benefit to companies for their staff to accommodate the loss of income. However we managed to claim for 1 month out of 8 successfully with it being extremely difficult to use their online portal with no support or assistance and no hope of the other 7 months being paid out for no other reason other than the Governments inability to manage their systems correctly and I won’t go down the road of bringing up the fraud and misuse of tax payers money as part of this post. That aside, our company has been a victim of not of Covid itself, but of Governments inability to think of the consequences of their actions. Every single 1 of our 194 employees would rather risk Covid than being unemployed and not being able to put food on the table.

The daily Coronavirus Death Toll numbers are staggering – or are they? That is the million dollar question. The real facts are that people are not dying in the streets and statistics need to be taken in context. And yes, people are dying. Can one put a value on life? Is 1 death too many? So where lies the line one may ask.

Just for some perspective, I found the following information on Worldometer for the 2021 year to date. Almost double the number of people have died from Cancer so far this year than from Covid-19 and we turn a blind eye to this. I am a Cancer Survivor and I can honestly say that I would gamble with Covid-19 anyday over Cancer.

https://www.worldometers.info
Worldometers Stats on 12 January 2021

The negative effects to lockdown has caused poverty, malnutrition, unemployment, loss of income, destruction of businesses, disruption to food supplies and food security, distress sale of assets, suicides, long term mental effects, disruption of education, chronic loneliness, increase of domestic violence, the list is endless. How will we mitigate all of this against the virus itself is the question. There are a privileged few who can work from home or are able to sit at home and wait it all out, but the vast majority of us have to go out to work to put food on the table. Finding a way forward in dealing with the virus will require a reckoning with the harm, the hurt and the death that lockdown, not the virus itself, has caused.

There is not a day that goes by where I do not do some form of research on Covid-19. I have read hundred’s of articles on the subject from scientific papers to government statements to conspiracy theories. And the only thing I am sure of, is that there is no consensus. And I am flabbergasted at this. How can there still be such controversy a year later. So in the absence of truth, all I can base my opinion on is my own personal experience.

I am not sure I have convinced you one way or another that the virus is nothing to be scared of. But then I didn’t set out to change your mind. All I wanted was to share my personal experience.

I hope the powers that be find a solution quickly to not only curing the Virus itself but also to the catastrophic consequences of the lockdowns for it is killing us one way or the other.

Older and Wiser

Sadly its that time of year again.  I am another year older.  I have been a bear with a sore head the last few days with the realisation that yes, I will be another year older again.  And sadly I cannot stop time.

But then one has to get old gracefully and I woke up this morning full of acceptance of the fact that I am not a year older, but a year wiser.

Now I currently live in a house where there is only 1 shared bathroom and no en-suite.  And it is currently freezing at night.  If you know me, you will know that I don’t do the cold gracefully and I get cold very quickly.

So I woke up this morning, needing to pee.  Something I have to do every morning before I do anything else.  I desperately need to empty my bladder.  And the thought of getting out of bed and putting a gown on so I can tip toe to the other side of the house, freezing, so I can do my business did not appeal to me.Thought

It then dawned on me why adult diapers were invented (That new little bit of wisdom kicking in)

Wonder if I could rock them in the bedroom?

diaper

Have a good Friday all.

Ciao

 

 

Just Add a Little Sugar

I have been feeling a little low these past 2 days.  No particular reason, just struggling with the motivation to do things and get things done – and believe you me there is a lot to do on the farm.

So I lay in bed this morning, I lay in for a little longer than usualtrying to find the energy to get up, and it dawned on me, I am a Sunshine kinda girl.

I love blue skies and sunlight.  And to make me even happier, add a few Sunflowers.

Sunflower

Blue Skies, Sunshine and Sunflowers

And the sky has been overcast the last 2 days and this affects my mood more than I realise.  

So I’ve dragged myself out of bed and decided to play some happy music.  One of our favorites is Sugar Sugar by the Archies.  We play it almost every morning on the way to work.  Very difficult arriving at the office in a bad mood ready to shout at people after listening to this.

Hope it makes you all feel a little happier too.

Ciao