Finding your Inner goddess

It is time to say goodbye to another year and welcome in 2013.  But before we do, I would like to say thank you to all my fellow bloggers for the amazing support and friendship I have received from every one of you over the last year.  I have made some amazing friends across the world (Who would have thought talking to strangers could be so much fun!).

Belly Dancing
I don’t usually make New Years Resolutions, but this year I thought I would try one thing – and that is to try something that is totally out of my comfort zone.  And I would like to challenge you all to do the same.

I have made a short list of possible things I could try which will take me out of my comfort zone – and currently Belly Dancing is topping the list.

I have 2 left feet, am not very coordinated and I hate going to gym or exercising.  I have made a personal pledge to try.

Who knows – I may find my “Inner Goddess“!

Trashy Books and Other Good Reads

I like to do one or 2 posts a year about the books I have read. A year ago I was reading a book a week so it was easy blogging about what I have read.

I got lazy this year though. Or let me explain it this way – I discovered iBooks on my iPad. Being able to browse the store and download books in an instant is the next big thing to sliced bread. Or so I thought….  
The problem with reading books on your iPad is that there is just so much else to do and I started having problems concentrating. I would open a book and read a page or 2. Then I would check my email / check my facebook page / make a to do list for the next day / check my stats on my blog / read some comments on my blog / read other people’s blogs / comment on them / play some mahjong and eventually look at the clock to see it is way past midnight and I need to be up in 4 hours. 
So I stopped reading.
Then I read about all the hype surrounding 50 Shades of Grey and downloaded the first book. And read it in 2 days. I felt great again. My mind was relaxed and I slept better. So I downloaded books 2 and 3 of the trilogy – 50 Shades Darker and 50 shades Freed – and read them both within days. 
Then I got sidetracked again and stopped reading once more.
I read the hype surrounding JK Rowling’s Casual Vacancy and downloaded it – read a few pages but I just couldn’t get into it.  It is still sitting in my unread collection.
Downloaded Jeffrey Deaver’s XO – I usually love his books.  It has taken me 4 months to read half of it – also still sitting in my unread collection.
Downloaded 2 Nora Roberts books which I can usually read within a day or 2 – light reading / no thought required.  Could not get into either of these – also sitting in my unread collection.
Downloaded The Story of O – loved it and read it in days.  Managed to do a post on comparing Story of O to 50 Shades (click here to read it)
Have managed to read a few other books:  The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory.  And some other light erotic books – none really worth mentioning – quick reads – all fall into the trash category.
Ken Follet
Spotted the new Ken Follet book in the window of a local bookstore – Winter of the World – the second book in the Fall of Giants series.  I um’ed and ah’ed about getting it.  At the current rate at which I am reading, it would take me 6 years to get through it.  I do love his books though so I bought it anyway.  It sat on my side table for a month before I tried reading it.  I just could not concentrate – read a paragraph or 2 and fell asleep.  Tried again and again and the same thing happened.  It eventually occurred to me that the reason I could not concentrate was that the print was too small – not like reading on iBooks where I can change the size of the font.  So I got a stronger pair of reading glasses and have now managed to read almost half of it in a week.  Don’t think I will manage to finish it before the New Year but I will get through it soon.
Browsed the iBook store last night again and was looking at the top charts – Spotted Bared to you by Sylvia Day.  I have read about this book in a few other blogs and it has been recommended by others who enjoyed 50 Shades.  So I downloaded it last night.  Started reading it and couldn’t put it down – WOW – it is so steamy!  Plays on one’s fantasies and definitely gets one all HOT and WET if you know what I mean.  I haven’t finished it yet but will certainly be finishing it tonight.  Have also downloaded book 2 – Reflected in You.  Better than the 50 Shades trilogy so I strongly recommend this for those who like reading the odd erotic novel.
I have to admit that ebooks has changed what I read.  I would never have thought that I would try reading erotica never mind actually enjoying it.  And it has opened my mind up to a whole new fantasy world.

Absent Family and Friends

Christmas is a joyous time and brings so many families and friends together one way or another. Filled with joy and laughter and the screams of young children running around playing. 

But sometimes due to circumstances beyond our control, we are not able to be with those we love and cherish and this post is dedicated to all those families and friends who are not able to share in this joyous occasion together.
My second eldest son was not able to join us this year for a second year in a row. He lives in Dubai and he was not able to get away from work to spend the time with us and as much as we wanted to, it was not possible for us to join him in Dubai either.
It goes unsaid that I love all my children with all my heart. It pains me to not have all my sons with me during this time. I accept that we will not all be able to be together in years to come and they will all make new lives with their own families and friends one day. 
I usually find myself taking loads of pictures over Christmas for my photo album – filled with memories of times gone by. I couldn’t take any pictures this year. Somehow it was admitting that I would be making memories without my son – not something I want to do willingly. So it is hard, really hard to enjoy the season and even harder to explain this.   I am a sensible woman and I know I am being silly and stupid, yet it makes perfect sense to me. It is like a puzzle with a missing piece or a jersey with an extra arm.  My life is just not complete.   I also know I am not alone and there are so many of you who have friends or family who could not be with you during this season either.
Unlike so many other people, I have so much to be grateful for.  I am surrounded by people I love and that love me and for that I am truly thankful.
The happiest moments of my life have been the few which I have passed at home in the bosom of my family. 
By Tomas Jefferson

Puppy Dog Eyes

Boy am I a sucker for punishment.

My brother asked if I’d like to look after his dogs while they are away over the holiday season.  Their newest addition is a Labrador puppy – and he is sooooooo cute.  There is nothing cuter than seeing a little puppy romping around.  Biting your ankles.  Rolling head over heals every time he stumbles over his own feet.  So I said yes, I’d love to.  I have been wanting a puppy for ages so I felt so excited about have a puppy to play with.

Hubby smiled when I told him – his comment was – Just remember you said yes!

So the big day arrived on Friday when my brother brought his dogs over – a Beagle called Stitch, a little on the heavy side but she has a great temperament, and the puppy who is called Milo.  Of course the puppy is now about 5 months old and stands almost 2 feet high.

So much for having a nice relaxing holiday on the couch – I have been kept on my feet all day by these two.  I am used to my own Cocker Spaniel who doesn’t do much – he just lies there – occasionally gets up to eat or move positions. I also only feed him once a day.

Guest doggies are fed more than once a day – different foods for different dogs.  The puppies food doesn’t touch sides – in fact he devours his food just by looking at it.  I can get him to sit when I hold the bowl but I cant get the bowl anywhere near the ground without him knocking the bowl or me flying!  And before the bowl reaches the ground, his food is finished.  I have tried various techniques to get him to sit and stay but nothing seems to help – even watched a few episodes of The Dog Whisperer.  But puppy still manages to get the better of me at feeding times.  I have given up now – I throw and run!

I have a patio which is kept open for my own dog – he is not fond of the rain and especially thunderstorms – which we get a lot of here.  So the patio supplies a little refuge for him.  He has his own basket and uses it faithfully.  My patio has a lounge suite and a dining room suite on it – nicely decorated with plants and rugs etc.

Knowing we had guest doggies – I have had to obliterate my patio.  I have had to pile all the cushions from my chairs up and anchor them down with  heavy objects.  I have moved pot plants and anything else which weights less than 50kg’s.

But the puppy still manages to get to things.  The first morning I got up to find one of my cushions on the grass outside – lucky still in one piece.  So I anchored them down a bit more.  Puppy had also found a plastic plant pot outside somewhere and was dragging this around – cant cause too much damage with this so I let him have it.

Second morning I found our braai brush (Long handled brush with metal and steel bristles used to clean the braai) in the puppies basket.  The cushion from our outside reclining lounger was in pieces – it had seen better days so no loss here either.  I hadn’t brought it in as it was on its last legs anyway – so puppy getting hold of it was a good excuse to finally throw it away.

Went out this morning – puppy has started to shred his own pillow in his basket so there was fluff everywhere.

I have a metal and glass coffee table outside – this has become their new resting place during the day.  If I look outside I can see the 2 of them sprawled on the table. They look so cute! (little shits!)

Been to buy some chew toys and bones and handed one to each of them yesterday. Stitch managed to second them all within 5 minutes.  Later in the day, my little Cocker Spaniel managed to get one back.  I don’t usually buy them for him as he just buries everything.  He wandered around the flower beds for about 20 minutes looking at various burial plots and then finally decided to bring it back to his basket.  The puppy was not happy with this and stood over him and yelped – and yelped and yelped and yelped.  Eventually I had to separate them – there was no fighting or snarling – just the puppy yelping at my little old dog.

I have about 6 holes which Stitch has dug in my lawn.  The gardener is on leave so the garden looks like a jungle.

It is not like they are bored – we go out an play a few times day and we have been having loads of time in the pool and throwing balls for the dogs.  Yet nothing seems to tire them out!

The End is Nigh

If you believe in the various doomsday prophecies, you will know that the end of the world is due to coincide with the end of the Winter Solstice this year – i.e 21 December 2012.

I found a few strategic ads floating around the webosphere relating to the end of the World and I thought this one was very apt!

21 December 2012

I found this on the Buzzfeed site – So pop over and have a look at some similar ads  – That is if you are not too busy playing!

Holidays at last

Well the end of the year is upon us. Kids are finally finished school and I can sleep a little later in the mornings.

Kids got their reports and son no 4 brought home an academic achievement award and a book prize. I am so proud of him. Both sons did really well and they are certainly looking forward to a good long holiday. Not to mention Christmas as well.  We don’t usually go away over the December holidays so we have a quiet few weeks at home doing nothing – feet up on the coffee table / occasional swim in the pool.
I had my staff luncheon on Friday which was superb. We went to a restaurant which was recommended to me. I arranged cocktails and mezze platters on the outside deck, then lunch inside in the restaurant and then deserts and coffee on the deck. The deck was so comfortable and my staff were all having a good time chatting away. The mezze platters were delicious and everyone devoured them – not because we were all starving, but because the food was amazing. Eventually every one agreed that we didn’t want to go inside and have lunch. So I arranged a few more mezze platters and we all sat for hours talking. No one got pissed or abusive – just a bunch of really nice people having a good time. Best party ever! And I had a really proud moment looking at my staff – there was something about looking at them all together for a change and feeling that they are really a great bunch of people and I am really happy to work with them all.

We have been getting corporate gifts from various companies. Hubby and I don’t drink so companies we work with have to think about what gifts to get us. We hardly ever get the obligatory bottle of wine or whiskey. Some of the gifts received so far are:

Cage full of tasty goodies

Model of the FNB Stadium
Hubby and I went shopping on Saturday morning to do some Christmas shopping. We are struggling to get into the Christmas spirit this year. The kids are old enough to not want a gazillion presents – just 1 or 2 meaningful gifts. Hubby and I haven’t been down the toy aisles for years now and hubby mentioned that it is about time we had a grandchild – this would certainly bring back some of the Christmas spirit. 

We are not religious at all so the term “Christmas Spirit” is used very loosely. Religion has not played any part in our lives, but we do celebrate Christmas – not that we celebrate any of the beliefs or traditions. We made our own traditions over the years – the Christmas tree comes out on the day that school closes. Presents go under the tree as I buy and wrap them. I don’t put from whom the gifts are from – just who they are for. We wake up early on Christmas Day. Hubby and I have a quiet cup of tea and then wake the kids up. We then open our presents. I make a huge lunch – roast turkey, gammon, Yorkshire puddings, roast potatoes, Brussel sprouts and pumpkin. Then in the afternoon we play games or watch a movie together. Now that the kids are older – they are not in a hurry to wake up and would rather sleep in. So the urgency surrounding the opening of presents is no longer there.   Hubby and I sleep a little later and the cup of tea lasts a little longer. 
Most companies close down this week so my emails are dramatically less than usual and I finally have time to catch up. I spent the day cleaning out storerooms on Monday and I even rewired our network patch panel on Tuesday We are having a new IP surveillance system installed tomorrow so I wanted to get the cabling sorted before they did the installation. 

I had my nails done this week and even had time to get my hair done with a little work in between. If only all days could be like this!

Funny Things Kids Know

As you get older things start to, now how do I put this diplomatically, go south or sag. Especially after giving birth to 4 kids.

Your boobs are definitely more familiar with your knees than your shoulders for instance. 
Hubby has recently lost just over 50kg’s and the other day we were comparing certain parts of our bodies that have seen better days. As a result of the weight loss, he has a lot of loose skin now. So we were seeing whose bits wobble the most.  
So I was showing him my arms and what I have always referred to as “turkey wings”. You know the underside of your upper arms that just hang there and wobble as you get older. 
Son no 4 then interrupts us and says “they are called Bingo Wings”.  
What are Bingo Wings I ask – and he reaches over and gently squeezes the underside of my upper arms and shows me. 
So I just had to query how he knows this. I mean do 12 year olds hang out at school and discuss their parents (or grandparents) wobbly bits and what they are called? 
Later that day I Googled the term Bingo Wings – and as sure as hell – they are what I have always referred to as turkey wings.