Archive for November 2012
Well, I did it.
I managed to post an entry on my blog for every day in November.
Even though I did it last thing every day, and sometimes had to cobble together an entry real quick
Instead of ending with a bang, though, I’m going to keep this pretty short. It’s 11:30 and I need to be getting to bed.
I have loved this November. It’s been a fun, relaxing month, filled with good books and a new Kobo e-reader.
I have also finally gotten relief from my back-pain. My back is just about back to normal again. I want to look into a serious preventative program to stabilise and strengthen my back muscles to prevent this from happening periodically. Maybe even go and see a physiotherapist or biokineticist. But that is December’s worries.
I am very excited about December. I am really getting into the festive mood and am looking forward to celebrating Christmas with my loved ones.
Some fly in the ointment? I have been having a slight MS episode. Remember when I posted about feeling so tired and headachey and demotivated? Well, earlier in the week I realised that I’ve lost some vision in my left eye (where the headaches were centered around) and then I recalled seeing some ‘little flashing purple lights’ which is usually an indication for me of an Optic Neuritis attack.
And then I realised that my feet were quite a lot number than usual.
I think the worst is past, and hopefully I’m already on the mend. I’ve been taking the homeopathic drops that I usually take for Optic Neuritis and with any luck, that’ll clear it up for good.
I must stress that these mild attacks that I get from time to time are a) few and far between, and b) very mild compared to the relapses I used to have prior to starting on Gilenya.
In a way I am almost glad about the few symptoms I have had (not really, but if there is a positive spin then this is it) because it has reminded me how very fortunate I am to be on this medication that has helped me so much.
All the same, I’m ready for it to clear off now. I don’t like it when my MS starts acting up in any way, mild or not!
Going to bed now, but I have no intention of stopping the blogging now that I’ve gotten back in the groove.
See y’all in December.
I’m not feeling all that chatty tonight, so I thought I would share some photo’s and a quick story.
Here is Beary enjoying the sunset tonight…
Or at least, I was enjoying the sunset. Beary was watching out for Michael and Teddy returning from their walk.
They do the second part of the walk just the two of them, because lately Miss Beary has had very strong ideas about the route that she is prepared to walk.
She walks up the road for about 200m. Then comes to an abrupt halt. Short of dragging her along the road, there is no way to get her any further.
As soon as we turn around, she is happy as can be, and trots along without a care in the world. Then we go ’round the corner to Michael’s parents’ house. She drags us to the front door to say hello. Then it’s an about turn again and we go briskly back to our own house.
Teddy really prefers to go a bit further on walks, so now Michael deposits Beary back in our house, and proceeds to take Teddy for a longer walk. For the past couple of weeks, I have not been going along on the walks because of back pain. So I’m always greatly amused when the front door opens, Beary comes in, and then the door closes again as M & Ted go off.
Then I take off her harness and the two of us go outsaide to the garden to watch our boys going past the fence.
Hence the photo.
I was struck by how truly African this view was, with a glimpse of the setting sun through the Acacia trees. Right on the edge of suburbia – I thought it was rather charming…
And with that I am off to bed. (Talk about being a procrastinist – I always seem to get my blog posts in just before midnight, lol)
Three posts left till the successful completion of my goal.
I was going for quantity, not quality, but I do hope that it has been habit-forming to do a little post every day, whether I have much to say or not
I forgot to mention yesterday that supper included two baby gems and two baby marrows out of my garden and they were delicious. The skin on the baby marrows was so thick and green and glossy, and for once I could eat it without worrying what pesticides had been sprayed all over it. And even though I didn’t spray anything on them, they were perfect, without so much as a mark or a nibble by a bug. I took a photo, of course, but will have to upload it at a later stage. (When I’m not busy reading the last chapter of my Maeve Binchy book )
We didn’t go to Pretoria to see the roses after all. We decided it really is too far to go for breakfast, and I confessed to Michael that while I still like roses just fine, I’m no longer completely obsessed with them. Meaning that I’d like to pop by to see the rose farm one day when we are in the vicinity, but not make a special (6 hour round trip) trip to see them. I definitely don’t want to add to my rose collection at this point. They are keeping me plenty busy, the 36 I already have.
There was a time when I lacked the ability to go to town without buying a rose plant. I think it was my saving grace when I was so sick with the MS. It kept me busy and gave me something to look forward to and talk about. And dream about and fantasise about, lol. I had it bad. Michael called it Rose Fever. Anyway, it’s passed now. I still love roses, but I no longer count every bud on every bush. Which is a pity, because I suspect they number over a thousand now during a good flush
Our complex gardener comes to do our garden on a Wednesday. I asked him to please dig out one of the roses that is planted in the ground, which he did for me very nicely.
It is my Princess Margaret rose, which is a stunning phlox pink rose. Sadly, the drainage in the soil is not what it should be and that plant has not made a single bloom this season. The plant is not looking that healthy and is going steadily backwards.
But as of today, it has been transplanted into a lovely new pot, in some special rose-planting mix. I definitely need to take a before photo of it, because I suspect that the ‘after’ photo is going to be good.
The same thing happened to my Blue Moon rose. It wasn’t blooming at all in the ground, and since being in a pot, is covered in beautiful silvery-lilac roses. I will take a photo of it tomorrow.
Now, as much as I would like to continue with this train of thought, I am getting tired, and I would like to finish my story book. So if you’ll be kind enough to excuse me, I will see you again tomorrow
Jeepers, but I’ll have to move it to get a quick post in before midnight. Can’t miss a day of posting with only 3 days of November left. Nearly there.
M & I made a discovery last week of a new flavour of Kit Kat Chunky. Peanut Butter! And it is delicious. My day is not complete without one at this stage. Bad! But so good
We had a good look at the display of chocolates at our local SPAR today, and noticed that they are all new (to us) variations of old favourites. An even closer look revealed that that particular display was imported from the UK. Under the name of each chocolate was a UK web address. Very interesting to chocolate-lovers such as ourselves, We lingered for longer than we should have, lol. (And did not go home empty-handed).
And here is a photo …
I should really be in bed already. If Michael can get off work tomorrow, we will finally be going to the rose farm.
On that note, let me say g’night.
I am having a fabulous time reading Maeve Binchy’s novel A Week in Winter.
So much so that I was hard-pressed to drag myself off the couch to write a quick blog post for the day. Michael has gone to bed early, as he plans to go for a cycle tomorrow before work. So it is very quiet and peaceful. The dogs are passed out of the living-room floor, although they do give me a resentful and aggrieved look every now and then that the light is still on while they are trying to sleep. (You’d think they’d be used to it by now, lol)
Anyway, I was reading my book, when suddenly Teddy sits bolt upright and attacks something crawling across the tile, I went over to see what it was, just in time to see him hoover up the second ant. I wonder if he makes a habit of this or if it was a once-off. Because I’m just saying, I would not interfere with such behaviour (Luckily we don’t put poison down for the ants, so they will do him no harm).
Now, about the gemsquash photo that I posted yesterday? Well, that gemsquash is no more. We had it for supper and it was SO delicious. Michael was very impressed when he heard that it was from our own garden.
It was no-where near fully mature, but I do like the baby gems that they sell at the supermarkets, so I thought, why not?
Can’t wait for the next one.
Also, I think the first couple of baby marrows should be ready for the table in about a week. It is strangely exciting, lol.
Another success story in the garden is the Purslane that is popping up everywhere.
I found out about a year or two ago that purslane (also known as pigweed) is a common garden ‘weed’, that is actually not a weed at all, but a highly nutricious vegetable.
It has the highest omega 3 content of any vegetable, and is rich in vitamins.
After seeing the photo’s on the net, I recognised a plant in my own garden. I identified it by the shape of the leaves and thick succulent stems, as well as the tiny yellow flowers that bloom only in the mornings and the little black seed pods.
I was sure enoughabout it to eat a leaf or two to see what happened. And nothing happened, not toxic.
I haven’t actually cooked some up or made a salad of it. I might do, because there is such an abundance of it in the garden this year. I pointed it out to the gardener and asked him not to dig them up and he hasn’t.
I feel quite chuffed about the whole thing. At least if I were (for some obscure reason) dropped off in the bushveld tomorrow with nothing to eat, I would be able to identify purslane and eat it. Live off the land, lol.
(It was drummed into me when I was young not to put funny stuff in the garden into my mouth, so it was not without due consideration that I actually ate some of the purslane. I was 100% sure of the identification first).
How does it taste? Salad-y, that’s how.
What does it look like? See for yourself… (click for a larger view if you are interested).
And now I simply must return to my book.
Till tomorrow then
My veggie garden is doing alright.
I have a lot of cos lettuce, which is convenient for when I want to make a quick salad.
The tomatoes seem to be doing okay, too and my one lone baby marrow plant has the most adorable baby marrows growing on it.
The gemsquah has been a bit of a trial, I must be honest. It grew so nicely at first.
I was so delighted when big, yellow flowers appeared, followed by tiny, wee gemsquashes. Well, that was easy, I told myself.
I counted my gems before they hatched, however.
Before my very eyes, the little gems turned yellow, shrivelled up and dropped off. The disappointment!
This kept up for some weeks. My neighbour asked me how they (the gems) were doing and I woefully told her that all I had were little, stunted gems that dropped clean off the plant.
She told me that is normal gemsquash behaviour, and that in due time they would stop going yellow and dropping off, and instead get nice and big and green and stay on the plant.
I’m really holding thumbs that she is right.
It’s looking promising, because I currently have this nice specimen that is hanging in there…
Apart from this plant that is in a pot, I have another three planted in the ground that are looking healthier and more settled. I put two garden chairs over them when I planted the seedlings to protect them from the dogs…
I think there are a fair number of gems hiding in there, but the leaves are so prickly I don’t really want to scratch around much
What is really cute are the little tendrils that the plant uses to climb on stuff. They have attached themselves to the chairs and are holding on tight – too cute…
The tendrils remind me so much of Cinderella’s pumpkin coach. Look at how they have latched onto the chair here:
Gardening is a lot of fun, but I feel a lot of the time that I don’t really know what I’m doing
Anyone have any tips on growing gemsquash for me?
What a lovely, lazy, rainy Saturday this has been.
I’m going to keep this short today, as we’re knee-deep in season one of Modern Family, which we missed the first time round on tv. We have rented the whole four-disc series and have three days to watch it in. I think it’s just the best show on tv. So good.
I went swimming at the gym today and it was wonderful. The water was the perfect temperature and felt like silk flowing over my limbs.
My back is feeling better for it. Not half as clicky and unstable. Why do I always have to wait until it’s in a state before I do something about it? Preventative! That’s what I need to focus on.
Last night I bought Maeve Binchy’s latest (and last) novel, released post-humously after her unexpected death some months back. I’ve read all her novels and am definitely not going to miss this one, although it will be bittersweet reading it, knowing that her warm and witty pen has been forever stilled
This is the third book I have bought since getting my Kobo e-reader, which I am loving more every day. I was running out of space to keep my (physical) books, so it is really nice to get them on one (thin) device, electronically, now. That, and the fact that I am getting the books at such cheap prices. Like, a fraction of what I would pay if I bought them at a bookstore.
Plus: Saving trees hand over fist here folks
Win win win win win!
We got the most lovely, lovely rain this afternoon. It’s deliciously cool tonight. So wonderful that the heat-wave has been broken.
M & I decided not to go to Pretoria this weekend. Too rainy in Gauteng. Tomorrow, we are going to chillax at home and rent the first season of Modern Family on DVD and watch it.
I told M that they were advertising Angry Bird flashdrives in the latest Incredible Connection ad catalogue. I have a thing about flashdrives. Have quite a collection of them already. And a thing about Angry Bird merchandise, also, lol.
So what does he come home with this afternoon? Only this little guy…
8 GB of storage space, yo!
The bottom pulls out to reveal the USB connection… behold…
Initially, I thought it was overpriced (R199) and that Rovio are taking us all for a ride with their Angry Bird merchandising. But I have to say that this is by far the best quality flashdrive that I’ve had thus far. (Obviously the cutest, too). The connection to my laptop is so stable and solid, and doesn’t stick out precariously like the others do. Very compact. I love it.
I invited Zander to come and do the origami thing again this afternoon. (He and I are obsessed with it, lol) . We got stuck on a difficult dog one (and got a bit depro about it), but then rallied the troups and made a bat, a heart-shape, a lilly and then…wait for it… two of the most adorable inflatable bunnies you have ever seen in your life
Here he is with them….
Small admission: after he left, I couldn’t help myself – I made a family of bunnies, with three baby ones. Waits till he sees those!
It really is a lot of fun
(I took another photo on my cell to put on facebook. Showed it to the little whippersnapper and asked what he thought of it.
“Take out the chair”, he says.
“I can’t crop it on my cellphone,” I said. (Too lazy to figure it out right then).
“Yes you can,” he says, reaching for the phone and proceeding to crop the photo.
Oh my word. Out-technoed by a six-year-old.
I posted earlier in the month about how upset I was that I lost most of our old photo’s. I was really very sad.
Well, thanks to my sis-in-law, Mel, I have recovered a lot of them, and even gotten some that I have never seen of Michael and I into the bargain.
I am indebted to Mel. Like I said to her, it is the best gift anyone’s ever given me and not one that you can put a price on.
Dear Mel and Tommie came and dropped the flashdrive with the photo’s on off at my house this afternoon and I had such fun going over them all. She even went to the trouble of putting them in folders according to the year they were taken in.
Thanks again, Mel. You are fantastic!
It rained this afternoon. Not for very long, but it was so wonderful. I actually stood in the rain with my arms in the air for a bit, it was that good
I’ve been feeling a bit crap of late. I understand there have been quite a lot of solar flares this past week. Maybe that had something to do with it, and the fearful heat.
But I am feeling back to myself again today. Really good and optimistic and ready for a challenge!
We might be going to Ludwig’s Rose Farm tomorrow, or the weekend to redeem a voucher that we have for a breakfast for two there. It was one of the options on our e-bucks rewards program and Michael thoughtfully chose it for me, knowing how much I love roses. Anyway, it is only valid for six months and is expiring on the 29th of November.
It’s far to ride for a breakfast. Close to three hours. Which is why we might plump for the weekend instead of tomorrow, so that we can combine it with a visit to my sister’s. We’ll see how it pans out.
Actually, I had better go and wash the dishes and go to bed, just in case we do go tomorrow.
Good night then
So hot again!
The kale that I planted over two years has gotten so stinky and bug-infested in this heat that it was finally time to let it go. Those things grew like Jack’s beanstalk; they were enormous.
I’m surprised the neighbours weren’t complaining, though. As I said, stinky, in a cruciferous kind of way.
Dug them out and left them out for the garden refuse collection truck.
Had a nice lunch ready when M got home. Cornish pies, carrot salad and fresh, steamed asparagus. That was quite a treat. I squeezed lemon juice over the asparagus, and ground some black pepper over it.
Afterwards, (though I know you’re not supposed to, after eating) I finally got that swim in at the gym. It was a very gentle swim. Not trying to break any records, just trying to stretch my back muscles and align my SI joint nicely. (I’ve had it with this pain in my SI joint. I think I need to see a biokineticist for some sort of program).
Getting into the cold water was fabulous. My whole body gave a sigh of relief! It felt to good to be cool for a while
This afternoon, my origami buddy came for another visit. He’s so cute. We made the hopping frog. Then another hopping frog that didn’t come out right, so he promptly changed it to a ‘bat’. After that he insisted that we make them beds. I said I wasn’t too sure if one could make origami beds.
So he gestured at the computer screen and said, “Do a search for Origami Bed’.
Ha ha, I complied and true as bob, tons of results on how to make an origami bed. So we made a bed for each charcter that we had made. Including the inflatable pig, which was a complete flop, lol.
This little dude has such a concentration span when it comes to origami. I think he could just do it indefinitely
My parents were having quite an exciting time at their own house.
The gazebo next to their pool has suddenly become home to a whole lot of bees. My dad spotted them this week, hanging under the cover of the gazebo, out of sight to the casual observer.
So today, they got a bee farmer to come and collect them. (I am very proud of them for doing this and not hauling out the can of doom, or smoking them out).
There is a bit of an international bee shortage going on in certain parts of the world. So best we treat our bees well.
The bee keeper has over 90 hives and really seems to know his stuff.
They ‘collected’ a large clump of bees and put them into a special type of box.
The bee guy said he didn’t know if he’d got the Queen Bee, but if he had, all the other bees would follow her in. The special box had holes in it large enough for the regular bees to go through, but too small for the Queen to squeeze out of.
It soon became evident that he had indeed captured the queen, as all the worker bees were following her in.
He waited a couple of hours, until nightfall, to give everybee a chance to get in the box Then he put a lid on it, loaded it in the back of his bakkie and off they went.
I just love this story. And now they whole little colony is going to be re-housed at the bee farm.
That’s a wrap for tonight then