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Archive for December 2008

Chewlius Caesar

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Apologies first – I’m a baaad blogger. To disappear over the festive season with nary a trace – bad style. And with no Christmas wishes for anyone and no thanks for the lovely comments left on my last post.

Sorry. And thank you 😉

Hope y’all had a lovely Christmas, and Happy New Year to anyone who sidles over to my humble blog-abode this week :-p

Not actually an excuse for bad blog behaviour (I haven’t replied to any of the lovely comments, which I did love reading, especially on the day that I somewhat regretted cutting my hair, lol), but I haven’t exactly been feeling on top of things.

It is so hot, for starters.

And I’m so having a relapse.

The pickle about this is that I go for my last visit for the trials on 3rd February, before commencing the open label, extention phase of the trials.

So on the 3rd of Feb, I have to have an MRI done. And the rules are that I may not use cortico-steroids for at least 30 days before having the scan done, otherwise the results are skewed because my immune system is being suppressed.

So basically that means that I either use cortisone now, before the 3rd of Jan (which means I’ll probably crash on my birthday, which is on the 4th), or I hold out till the 4th of Feb.

I was kinda thinking that I was prepared to hold out for a month. I can live with numb legs for a month and the optic neuritis seems to have calmed down a tad.

Unfortunately, over the past couple of days, I have been having trouble breathing. It just feels  more laboured than usual, especially when I am doing anything strenuous. Like taking the chow for a walk, lol. That is plenty strenuous, because she is under the impression that she is taking me for a walk 😉

What to do, what to do?

I really don’t feel like booking into hospital now and taking the meds. Nor do I feel like coping with the side-effects. And neither do I feel keen to drive to Jo’burg just so that my neurologist can ascertain that I am indeed having a relapse. That kinda narks me off.

I’ll see how I feel tomorrow.  Old year’s eve is as good a  night as any to spend in  hospital *pulls glum face*

As for my wacky title – therein lies quite a cute story.

(I always knew my hubby was way witty, but it turns out that he is also a lot more cultured than I give him credit for).

How it came about is that our Bluebeary was lying on Michael’s lap, watching the cricket with him, and idly nibbling his earlobe as she did so. She has a thing about ears. If she gets half a chance then she will bite/ nibble an ear and try and stick her tongue in it.  Not a nice feeling!

Anyway, she was trying to gaff M’s ear and he was pushing her away, when he said, “We gave this dog the wrong name.”

“What should we have called her?” I asked.

“Chewlius Caesar,” was his answer. “Friends, Romans, countrymen – lend me your ears…”

I haven’t laughed so hard in quite a while.

Written by Maggie

December 30, 2008 at 10:38 pm

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with 9 comments

I’m quite impulsive when it comes to my hair. Been feeling like cutting it, so today I took the plunge…


Haven’t had it this short since 2002. It feels good. Much cooler. Although, if my face looks shiny with sweat, that is because it is. We are having a heat-wave here that is making everyone believe in global warming! Even the sceptics.


Written by Maggie

December 23, 2008 at 11:33 pm

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From the dog’s point of view…

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Dog Pet Peeves

1. When you run away in the middle of a perfectly good leg

2. Blaming your farts on me… not funny.

3. Yelling at me for barking… I’M A FRIGGIN’ DOG YOU IDIOT!!

4. How you naively believe that the stupid cat isn’t all over
everything while you’re gone. (Have you noticed that your
toothbrush tastes a little like cat?)

 5. Taking me for a walk, then not letting me check stuff out.
Exactly whose walk is this anyway?

6. Any trick that involves balancing food on my nose… stop it.

 7. Yelling at me for rubbing my ass on your carpet. Why’d you
buy carpet?

8. Getting upset when I sniff the crotches of your guests. Sorry
but I haven’t quite mastered that handshake thing yet.

9. How you act disgusted when I lick myself. Look, we both know
the truth, you’re just jealous.

10. Dog sweaters. Have you noticed my fur?

11. Any haircut that involves bows or ribbons. Now you know why
we chew your stuff up when you’re not home.

12. When you insist on picking up the piles in the yard. Do you
realize how far behind schedule that puts me?

13. Taking me to the vet for “the big snip”, then acting
surprised when I freak out every time we go back there.

14. The sleight of hand, fake fetch throw. You fooled a dog! What
a proud moment for the top of the food chain.

15. Invisible fences. Why do you insist on screwing with us?

Written by Maggie

December 23, 2008 at 9:16 am

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That is what time it is 😉 Why do I always leave blogging for so late?

It is too hot to go to sleep. Absolutely sweltering. Must be the hottest day of the year as well as the longest today! (Here in the southern hemisphere, we have our Summer equinox on 22 December, so from tomorrow the days will start getting shorter and, hopefully, cooler).

Of course, it’s all relative. My friend from Mozambique is visiting her parents nearby to where I live, and she is having a lovely, cool holiday. Back in Mo, temperatures are upwards of 40 degrees celcius. Yikes!

This same friend is due to give birth to her baby daughter any moment now. So exciting!

I want to go and have my hair cut tomorrow. The only question is how short…

I went outside this evening to check if there were any cockchafer beetles eating my roses’ leaves. I am on the warpath with them, stupid buggers. They eat the leaves of the roses until they look like old lace. Eventually, the rose bush will die from this as it can’t breathe properly any more.

I am learning about roses. And how to distinguish between the good guys and the baddies. Butterflies, ladybirds, praying mantis, bees = good guys. Cockchafer beetles, cutworm, aphids = bad guys.

Of course, I resolutely refuse to spray poisonous pesticides on the roses. Matter of principle + concern that Beary may eat some leaves with toxic residue on them. So I’m researching organic methods. The yuckiest one of these is to take a carcass of whatever it is you want to repel (in this case, the cockchafer beetle) infuse it in some water for a couple of days, put in a spray bottle and spritz the roses with it. I’ll try that as a last resort. It sounds a bit macabre to me.

Anyway, so I went out and checked the bushes for beetles, as they come out at night to feed on the roses. I couldn’t see any, but I did see one of the good guys…


Isn’t he sweet?

Then I went on to the second bush. Still didn’t see any beetles, but the rose was so pretty I had to photograph it. Imagine  my disgust when I saw this…


A nasty cockchafer beetle actually eating one of the roses. No man! So I ‘disposed’ of it. If it’s not careful, it’ll end up in some Dead Bug Spray.

After sorting out the beetle, I moved on to the other roses. No more beetles in sight. I was momentarily transfixed by the sight of the Blue Moon rose peeking out of its bud…


The colour of this rose, according to this website is supposed to be a clear, silver-lilac colour. Sounds good. Can’t wait.

This is turning out to be a good hobby that has exploded out of nowhere, ha ha.

While all of this was going on, Beary was sitting in her bush, watching me bemusedly…


This is the only part of the flower bed that she’s allowed in. She’s pretty good about not going near my roses, so she can do what she wants with this bush. I just hope it survives her attentions 😉 It is a shadow of its former self.

Now I’ve got to have a cold shower (only thing that cools a person down in this heat) and try and get some sleep.

Written by Maggie

December 22, 2008 at 11:22 pm

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with one comment

Just a quickie before I pop off to bed. Please humour me with my current fixation with roses. I’m sure it’s just a phase, lol.

This photo of the SOS Children’s rose just came out so much better tonight than the previous one did. For some reason, the light from the flash bounced off the rose yesterday and left the rose looking a bit overexposed and surreal. Tonight’s attempt captured its beauty a little better.


Written by Maggie

December 21, 2008 at 10:46 pm

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with 2 comments

I am feeling better now, as predicted.

Mind you, it wasn’t in my imagination after all.

Two of the people who had offended me actually apologised, entirely on their own, through no prompting by me. I didn’t even bring up the subject. The one was a major, grovelling apology, the other a slightly sheepish but sincere apology. Both of which I accepted fairly graciously.

I do feel better now. I was starting to think it was me.

My grandfather and aunt came to  his house for a whistlestop visit so they could collect his firearm, which was in the empty house without a gun-safe. They stay in Jo’burg so whenever they are in this area I pop by for a visit. It is about 30 minutes drive from our house, which is nothing compared to the 2 hours plus it takes to get to Jo’ies. I had a lovely visit with my granddad. He is 87 years old and still has his wits about him all right. Such an interesting man. You can just about pick your topic and he will be able to have an intelligent conversation with you about it. We spoke about roses (lol) and he told me plenty of useful stuff. It is always such a bonus when he comes for a visit.

I am currently trying to source some earthworms for my roses. The soil in which I planted them is pretty dead. I didn’t even come across one single worm while I was planting my eleven trees. I read on a reputable-looking site that one can never have too many earthwoms for your roses. There is a guy not too far from here who farms with earthworms. Trying to get hold of him.

I am nodding off as I type this (mind you, it is 11pm so that comes as no surprise). But before I go to bed, some photo’s.

Star of tonight’s show – the SOS Children’s rose:


This one is the Red and Fragrant rose. I forgot to take a photo of it yesterday, when it was at its zenith. Today, it has been burnt black by the  ferocious sun. I love this photo, though. It reminds me of a rose made from wax:


The Princess Margaret rose:roses-006

A pic of Madame Bluebeary, sitting with us in the garden tonight with her gaze fixated on Michael’s toast that he was eating…


And finally, I was so delighted to see this little fellow in our garden. I don’t know how he got in, but I instantly adopted him as my good-luck frog 😉 Seriously, though, look at how completely perfectly he camouflages in with the pebbly sand of our garden:


G’night 🙂

Written by Maggie

December 20, 2008 at 11:16 pm

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I have just discovered WordPress’s Quickpress feature and decided to give it a try.

Can’t see how it is that much different, except that you don’t have to click
‘new post’ from your Dashboard.
It is cute though, tucked away in a corner, looking adorable 😉

Today is not a happy day for me. (So far). I don’t know if I am being overly sensitive or just not my usual mentally robust self, but I am getting the distinct feeling that it is open season on me. A couple of people this week have taken it upon themselves to not spare my feelings. And I do have them, you know.

I guess I am just a little under par and that is probably my whole trouble. I’ll probably feel better later.

Written by Maggie

December 20, 2008 at 1:04 pm

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Well, when is a relapse ever ‘timely’?

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I am so bored with having relapses over Christmas and my birthday.

A person can only get upset and stressed about the same damn thing so many times before it becomes boring. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that I am taking it in my stride, but honestly – my nerves can’t take it to get so worked up every time. So for now I’m just gonna chillax some.

Must just say, it is not normal to have this many relapses. Not that MS is ever normal but you know what I mean. Not your common and garden variety.

I am too hard on myself. I sometimes forget just how chronic this illness can be. It is true that a person can adapt to just about anything in life and that will become your normal.

Every now and then, though, I take a step back and think, “Wow, this is not normal.

It is not normal to have to practically dehydrate oneself if a trip anywhere is planned to try and calm the raging bladder. Seriously, it is contantly on my mind when I am out and about. I always have to know exactly where the nearest toilet is  before I can relax. It is not a peaceful way of life.

Also not normal is  how I felt after planting my latest rose-bush (the Blue Moon rose, can’t wait for it to bloom!!) Okay, it was in the midday sun, but still. I staggered haphazardly indoors like an alcoholic after a ten-day binge and collapsed in a bath of cold water. I hate that feeling.

And I hate the fatigue that is creeping over me. Like I said to my sister, “I feel fatigued. Mind you, at least I feel something, because I sure ain’t feelin’ my legs at the moment.”

Which isn’t strictly true. I can feel my legs, but it feels as though I have five pairs of Arctic trousers on. I feel, but as though muffled through many layers. An uncomfortable, woolly feeling. Kak, even.

Had to laugh at myself , though. I had the ‘invisible wedgie’ symptom yesterday, which is where you feel as though you have a mean wedgie, but actually it is just the one side of your butt that is so numb that it mimics the feeling of having your underpants wedged half up your ass.

Not the best feeling in the world! Could seriously drive one nutty.

Anyway, I was lamenting my fate at being struck by the ‘invisible wedgie’ when I inadvertantly discovered that it was, in fact, a genuine, bona-fide wedgie. A traditional, tangible one, that is.

Oh, what joy. To be able to remove that wedgie at once and to revel in that glorious liberated feeling.

I know I’m a bit nutty, but don’t judge me if you have never experienced a wedgie that is impossible to remove because it actully doesn’t exist.

Written by Maggie

December 19, 2008 at 11:57 pm

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with 2 comments

Funny how my blog views shoot up when I post Bluebeary pics, ha ha. How does that work?

Let me just sneak in a cute photo or two…


At her look-out post by the front door. She can see out comfortably now.


Isn’t that just such a teenaged doggy face?


Out for a walky. She really loves that. We are trying to familiarise her with her surroundings, so that if she should ever escape get out, she will be able to find her way back home. What we are most concerned about, however, is the fact that she is turning out to be quite the car-chaser. What she’ll do with one if she catches it remains to be seen, lol. We do worry about her being run over, though. Which is why she is always on the leash.

We bought quite a mean-looking stun-gun to take with on our walkies. Some folk are pretty careless about letting their big dogs get out of their gardens. I don’t relish the thought of being savaged by somebody’s mutt, hence the purchase of The Enforcer, and its 2,000,000 volts. I asked if it would kill a person (or a dog) and the salesman assured me that it would not. Amps kill, not volts, apparently. (I did take Science till matric on higher grade, but obviously I missed that lesson, lol) What it will do, is to incapacitate one’s assailant (canine or human) for about 2 – 3 minutes. Long enough to make a getaway plan, I reckon.

It does feel good to have a weapon of some sort in the house, too, especially if Michael should sleep out on a trip and I am alone in the house. (Well, not alone alone, but without human company, shall I say.

I do have a pepper spray, but this just feels more substantial. When the new firearm licensing laws came out, I gave up my 9mm pistol to be destroyed, as it was a bit of a clumsy weapon, and for a long time my hands were weak from the MS, so I didn’t want to give a criminal the chance to use the thing on us. Plus, I’m not a huge believer in guns.

*yawn* I actually had some more to say, but it’ll have to wait until tomorrow. Got to go to bed, because my dad is coming to fetch me bright and early to go to the gym. And I would like to plant my Blue Moon rose tree before he gets here so that I can brag with my eleven rose-bushes/ trees (still don’t really know the difference), arranged and planted by my own hands. I feel like such a gardener, lol.

Written by Maggie

December 18, 2008 at 10:01 pm

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Bluebeary pics, as promised.

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It is 10:14pm and I’m tired, but I did promise 😉 Beary has gotten so big and she just gets cuter all the time,


This is a pic taken on the day we took her to the doggy parlour to get a Summer cut so that she wouldn’t be so hot. Actually, might go for a Summer cut myself…


Doesn’t she look just like a little lion?


I still haven’t uploaded the rose photo’s. But on that topic, I did buy another two bushes today, the Pascali, which is a beautiful white rose, and the Just Joey which promises to be a rather stunning bronze-cream colour, with huge and prolific blooms. Can’t wait. Our garden isn’t that big, but when I’m finished with it, it will be chock and block with roses 😉

As far as the relapse goes, it is  more annoying than anything else, but as always is deeply worrying. My MS is still very active as far as relapses go. Tomorrow will mark one month since the last time I treated a relapse with solu-medrol. Not long at all. Probably because I was so confident that I would have a break over Christmas and New Year’s. And this heat is not helping at all. At this stage, I will ride it out for a bit, unless it impacts my ability to drive or to play the piano. That is non-negotiable. I am practising for my grade 7 exams in April next year and can’t afford bullsh*t with my hands right now. (Or ever, come to think of it).

Written by Maggie

December 17, 2008 at 10:27 pm

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