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Archive for February 2008

Sweet joke

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Grandpa and Grandma were sitting in their porch rockers watching
the beautiful sunset and reminiscing about “The good old days,”
when Grandma turned to Grandpa and said,

“Honey, do you remember when we first started dating and you used
to just casually reach over and take my hand?”

Grandpa looked over at her, smiled and took her aged hand in his.
With a wry little smile Grandma pressed a little farther,

“Honey, do you remember how after we were engaged you’d sometimes
lean over and suddenly kiss me on the cheek?”

Grandpa leaned slowly toward Grandma and gave her a lingering
kiss on her wrinkled cheek.

Growing bolder still, Grandma said, “Honey, do you remember how,
after we were first married, you’d kind of nibble on my ear?”

Grandpa slowly got up from his rocker and headed into the house.
Alarmed, Grandma said, “Honey, where are you going?”

Grandpa replied, “To get my teeth!”

Written by Maggie

February 28, 2008 at 1:49 pm

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Three months and counting.

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1967 Alpha Romeo Duetto SpiderThe Spider.

On second thoughts, maybe it’s not so bad after all. Probably with the top down and a dangerously sexy looking guy behind the wheel, it could go with a bun and a coke. I wouldn’t turn it down if I got it as a gift. It might do something for my street cred. Ha ha.

If I were to get a job again (which I sincerely hope will happen in the next couple of years, health permitting), I think I will buy myself a Ford Ka.

I think they are just the cutest things on four wheels. They have the safety features, the air-con, a reasonable price-tag and boy, do they look easy to park.

Michael hates them. He said if I get one, it will be sleeping outside (the garage). With the keys in the ignition. And a big neon sign, saying “Take me!)

He says they look like a dung beetle on the road. That only endeared them to me even more. I have no problem with dung beetles – I think they’re quite charming. So, yes, if I were to buy a car for myself, it would be the Ka.

For now, though, I am having a fabulous time driving around in our Jetta. Which is still an Etta. (Gotta remember to glue that ‘J’ back on). It handles like a dream. Today Etta and I went off on a little jaunt while M got his lunchtime cycling training session in. This was probably the first time that I really felt relaxed behind the wheel again. Like the good old days. I know I keep going on about it, but it’s just so thrilling after five years of being totally dependent on other people to take me where I wanted to go. No fun that.

I will have to do something about my abysmal parking, though. Talk about a hike from the car to the kerb. And taking up at least one more bay than I’m actually entitled to. *blush*

Today is my 3 month cortisone-free anniversary. Yippee yay, and then some. Fingolimod rocks. Can’t wait till this stuff is available to the masses!

Written by Maggie

February 27, 2008 at 10:35 pm

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Some things about me…

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I love B&W photographs. It’s like magic; they can have more clarity than a full-colour, yet don’t reveal imperfections as readily. Brings the best to the front and disguises the not-so-good stuff.

I’m a big fan of sepia, as well. I find it very romantic. It can turn an ordinary photo into something really special.

To my surprise, my photo’s that I lovingly ‘doctored’ on Paint Shop Pro went largely unappreciated. The general consensus was, “We preferred them in colour.”

Well, sooo-reeee! lol. 

I like to think it makes me a bit of an artiste. Don’t artistes like stuff in B&W etc. Have a bit of culture, man.

On the issue of vintage cars, I do a smart about-turn. I do not like vintage cars. I’m a girl who appreciates my mod-cons when it comes to cars. When it comes to most stuff, actually. I hate old-fashioned furniture too. (And I mean this strictly as far as my own taste goes. It doesn’t bother me at all how other people furnish their homes. I’m really not being insincere if I compliment your rosewood cabinet that dates back to pre-Victorian times. But it’s not for me).

But back to the cars, old cars really don’t do it for me. Not as a pricey collector’s item, anyway. I don’t get rich people that spend millions acquiring and maintaining a bunch of cars from the 1950’s. Even if it does make them feel sentimental about their youth.

Give me my ABS, ESP, power-steering, air-bags and most important of all…my AIRCON. I want to feel safe and cool, and I ain’t gonna get that from vintage.

I don’t know why, but I used to have a thing for the Alpha-Romeo Spider (1967). I must have seen a picture of it somewhere, and I’ve always said that if I had to choose a vintage car, that would be it. I carried this romantic little idea of it around in my head – one and only concession to anything vintage. Well, no longer. I just did a search on it, and man! It’s butt-ugly. What was I thinking? Even being 18 at the time is no excuse. There must have been a boy involved, i.e. he was a Spider freak, and I lied and said I liked it too and then somehow forgot that I’d been pretending.

Moving on.

Wine. I have absolutely no culture whatsoever when it comes to wine. I don’t drink the stuff. Not, surprisingly, because of any kind of health reason, but simply because I really don’t like it. And that goes for any type of alcohol. I can barely stomach the stuff. I have to gag it down, and why would a person have something that you find that unpalatable?

But when the wine-talk starts, I better shut up because I’m sadly lacking on any sort of etiquette (red meat, red wine, is it?) or knowledge on the subject. I just about know how to pronounce sauvignon blanc. That’s it.

So I’m a little bit of a conundrum. I like classical music and literature, but hate poetry and wine. Is that a bit weird?

Written by Maggie

February 27, 2008 at 3:15 pm

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It sure took me long enough to log onto wordpress again after my last post.

About 2.5 seconds after I hit publish on my previous entry, I started pondering on the questionable taste of the DIY hotpants photo that I uploaded. Sure, I meant it as a joke, and thought it was really funny that Michael snuck that photo in ( I wasn’t aware I was being filmed, actually). Then I thought, perhaps that was a little something that should have remained categorised under the heading: Personal Joke.

Not that it mattered because even though I tried to go back and delete it before it got picked up by google (et al) feed-reader, it was too late. I couldn’t log onto my dashboard again until today. And the pic has been languishing there so long now that I might as well not even bother removing it. That ship has sailed, along with my trashy photo, lol. I must be more of an attention-seeker than I realised 😉 I guess I felt a bit out that I wasn’t in possession of a baby bump, too.

Congrats to my darling parents-in-law. 39 years married today. Now that’s what I call a cause for celebration.

I just spent the past fifteen minutes trying to upload some more photo’s on here. (None of which were of my butt). It was a pic that I doctored last  night of my gorgeous pregnant sisters. I think it might be the paintshop pro frames that I put on them that are causing the difficulty in uploading. What a pity.

Other than that, it’s quiet on the home-front. None too productive, either. I’m going to have to pull finger a bit if I want to achieve the goals that I set for myself this year. On some of them I’m doing very well (case in point: driving the car around). In other areas, I’m lagging sadly behind. It is so easy for a day to get swallowed up by domestic chores. Don’t get me wrong – I am delighted that I am able to perform said chores again, but I do want a little more out of my life than that…

Written by Maggie

February 26, 2008 at 5:05 pm

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Lovely day.

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We had a lovely family gathering at my parents’ house today. My pregnant baby sis was visiting from Jo’burg, and my pregnant older sis (who lives across the road from me) was there too. I was determined that there would be photo’s taken, as this is probably the last time the two of them would be together before the arrival of their baby girls. Take a gander at how cute these pics are:


They can hardly give each other a hug without bumping…bumps.


Here I am in the mix, too. I’m the skinny one on the left, lol.


The three of us again, me squashed in the middle 😉


This one taken by Michael 🙂 I found it highly flattering that my hubby of 7 years still wants to take pictures of my rear. Kindof unflattering pic though, as I shoved up the legs of my knee-length pants so they wouldn’t get wet in the pool when I put my feet in the water.


And finally, here is one of Sandy, all recovered from her battle-wounds, and mooching for food.

Written by Maggie

February 24, 2008 at 11:48 pm

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Hot as hell, but productive day.

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I just had a huge adventure. Wait for it… I drove myself to the centre of town, all on my own! Okay, I can tell you’re not impressed, a 28 year old woman can drive, big whoop.But this is a dream come true for me. It marks the end of my dependence on other people to go where I want to go. Michael has been SUCH a sweetie-pie these past five years, but I am sure he has had it with toting me round all the time during his lunch break, when all he wants to do is relax a bit in front of the tv.

I have driven on and off here in the suburbs, but I have not driven myself to the city-centre (okay, we live in a very small city, but still) in FIVE years. Not since January 2003 when I had that severe attack of optic neuritis, followed by a crippling relapse of my MS. It has taken me till now to claw my way back to some sense of normalcy.

My heart is singing as I type this.

Not just because I could drive in traffic without incident, but also because I didn’t get mugged. I have been hearing stories of how violent and evil the CBD is, and how people will mug you soon as look at you. I couldn’t get a parking spot close to where I wanted to be, so had to drive around the block. Where I beheld a lovely, easy to get into parking-spot. Not only that, but a really nice car-watcher. My new best friend.
Car watchers don’t have the best reputation in SA. A largely held view is that they don’t serve much of a purpose. They help you park, when you are perfectly able to do so yourself. Then ‘watch’ your car, only to run away if it is stolen or broken into. Or else you can’t find them anywhere in the vicinity of your car when you get back to it. Then as you drive off, they materialise out of nowhere and want money. They are quite unpopular, especially the more obnoxious, in-your-face ones.

But not this guy. Firstly, he helped me park, and believe me when I say, I  do need help. Our Jetta (or Etta, as we can it since the ‘J’ fell off) is a big car, and I don’t want to be the one to bump it/ scratch it, or deface it in any way. Yeah, so he helped me, then asked very politely if he could watch my car. I said, yes, PLEASE. And when I went to put parking money in the meter, he told me not to worry – he had some coins and would put one in if he saw a meter-maid coming. So off I went on my looong walk around the block. Anyone who has been reading this blog for any length of time will know what a long walk in the sun will do to me.

Suddenly it occurred to me that I was a good target for a mugging. I looked around nervously, and said a quick prayer for the safe-keeping of my bodily integrity. And you know what? All around me, all I saw were friendly faces. Friendly, innocent-looking faces, going about their business. I went to the shop where I wanted to be, got my stuff and walked back. My charming car-watcher was there, and pleased at the R4 I gave him for five minutes work. Then he helped me ‘unpark’ myself and gave me a very cheerful wave goodbye. I wanted to give that old black guy a kiss for doing my faith in human nature such good. As I was driving off, I spotted a guy with a mean look on his face. He might have been the mugger, good job I missed him.

I had still wanted to go to Woolworths, but I had already been to the gym prior to my adventure, so I thought I wouldn’t push it. Good thing I didn’t because when I got back home the exacerbation arrived, good and solid. I battled into the flat and just about collapsed on the couch, where I stayed for a good half an hour to regroup.

But I feel very proud of myself that I have reached my ‘driving in the centre of the city’ milestone. It wasn’t as bad as I made it out in my mind to be.

I feel very tired now, but it is taking more to get me to the point of exhaustion now. Gym and a trip out in the car, including a walk around the block. Woo-hoo. Now excuse me while I go veg out for the rest of the day, as I have used up my entire quota of energy for today. But it was worth it. I feel so normal. Another milestone to cross off my list.

Edited to add: After an hour of vegging out in front of the tv, I did a smart recovery and was good to go again. Alas with no car at my disposal, ha ha. Michael and Etta had gone off to work again together. But it’s great that my recovery time has become so much less than it used to be. I have to say, seeing the tangible effects of my recovery is very exciting and motivating.

Written by Maggie

February 22, 2008 at 11:16 pm

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Well, well, well.

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I can actually log onto wordpress today.

So many people are complaining about their blog servers. It’s probably due to sheer numbers. Everyone and their granny has a blog these days. It’s very en vogue.

I’ve been blogging since 2005, on and off. First on Modblog, then on Blogspot and for the past year and a bit on wordpress. Sometimes I think I’ve had enough and decide to quit. But it always lures me back. There’s just something very intoxicating about sharing with such a potentially vast audience. (Even though I only have about 20 or 30 readers on any given day. That’s not the point. Theoretically, there could be millions). I think it fulfils a need in people. Not voyeuristic per se. But for those of us who will never have our fifteen minutes, it is nice to know that someone, somewhere finds us interesting enough to go to the trouble of typing in our URL, visiting our little chink of cyberspace and reading what we have to say.

Enough about such musings, however. Let me not waste this opportunity, for who knows what tomorrow will bring. Electricity is not a given these days. Neither is a successful log-on to wordpress. On that note, let me just apologise to anyone with a wordpress address. I read you on google-reader, but I can’t comment from there and the site itself won’t open. Weird.

Quick (and last, promise) update on Stix. The lady from the SPCA phoned my mom this morning to find out if Stix has been spayed. (She has). She then told my mom that Stix’s new home is with a couple staying on a local farm. Apparently the husband is away from home a lot at night, and the wife is feeling unsafe. Not anymore, however. Stix is sleeping with her in the house. Ha ha, I had to laugh when I heard that. All Stixie’s dreams have come true and then some. I bet she’s being spoilt rotten and that her and the lady will form a great bond. Stix has always wanted to be a house-dog, but with the size of her, it wasn’t encouraged. Now she’s firmly ensconced, it seems, in the boudoir. One thing about her, she really is a good watch dog. There are no kids there and no other dogs, so all the attention is on her. What a success story. And like my mom says, maybe after three weeks in the cooler, she’s calmed down a bit.

You know what happens when you make a promise to yourself to stop eating (so much) chocolate and then don’t keep it? A little bad karma comes your way, that’s what. Yesterday, after pledging yet again to go easy on the chocs, I ended up eating half the slab that M brought home. That wasn’t the bad bit. Afterwards, when I was tidying up, I came across the wrapper and en-route to the dustbin to throw it away, I absently licked it, lest there be a few crumbs  of chocolate left in it. There were, but what a strange texture! I looked down at the wrapper, and it was crawling with ants. Oh crap! I immediately starting spitting ants out of my mouth, but not before a couple of them bit me. Ow. My tongue was tingling for ages afterwards. Let that be a lesson, Maggie!

It was been relentlessly hot this week. Really bad. Nasty heat-wave in February, no less. When I was a kid, I was obsessed with swimming. And doing outdoorsy stuff. I loved Summer and would brook no discussion on any other season as candidate for favourite. When it got to end of February, I started dreading the approach of Winter, and short days, long, cold nights.

How things have changed. Winter is kind to me now. I can wear my jeans and long pants without being reduced to leglessness. A strange word, but very apt. If you have MS, no explanation is necessary – we all know the feeling.

I find myself looking forward to Autumn. Actually, and this is new to me, Autumn may well be the loveliest season of all. The days are cooler, but still mild. Moderate – now there’s a word I love. Especially while sitting here sweating, enduring temperatures of 32 degrees Celsius after eight pm. No man! 

I haven’t been having a great week, physically. For once, I’ll postpone labelling it a relapse and concede that I will have my bad days, as well as the good ones that I have been blessed with recently. And given how hot it’s been, it’s really no surprise. In six more days, I will have been three months relapse-free. This is a bit of a danger zone, they do tend to be three months apart. So hold thumbs for me that it’s just the heat.

I must say though, my bad days, lately, have been the equivalent of my extremely good days from a time not so long ago.

On Monday, I actually took the car and drove myself to my brother’s house (in the next town) to visit my niece for her birthday. Aiden is all of 3 years old, and is just as cute as pie. I’ve never seen a kid that young with such an expressive face. Too adorable.

Then on Tuesday, I washed and hung up the curtains in our sitting-room. They are big curtains, as they cover the french doors, which are the back entrance to our flat. Anyway, it’s quite a job. This may sound like a very silly milestone, but it is something that I haven’t been able to do in the longest time. I now have the  balance again to stand on a chair to reach the pelmets, and the stamina to stay there until I’ve finished hanging the curtains up. I felt such a sense of achievement. I’ve been meaning to do it for ages as they were very dusty, but I kept putting it off. Now it’s done and they look so pretty and clean. And I don’t sneeze every-time I draw them, lol.

But from Wednesday, I’ve felt pretty knackered. I don’t know if it’s because I overdid it a bit, or perhaps it’s the heat. I just hope it’s not option three – encroaching relapse. I don’t think so though. My guess is the heat. Everyone seems to be a bit out of sorts. Oh, and it’s a full moon, too. Ever noticed how that seems to aggravate people? Seriously.

Think I’ll go to bed now, I’ve waffled on for way too long.

So sleepy…

Written by Maggie

February 21, 2008 at 10:54 pm

Posted in Uncategorized