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Archive for November 2011

Crazy busy!

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Today was a very busy day for us.

Michael took on quite a big project with his second job – the one where he agents a popular international golf GPS in South Africa.

It was selected by a (big) bank, as promo gifts for their (huge) golf tournament.

I’m not doing any name-dropping, because we’re trying to run a business and I don’t want to attract any hits to my personal blog, if anyone puts in appropriate search terms.

The whole thing was a bit late notice and we really had to spark this week.

We had 1000 spiffy-looking fliers printed, professionally, and then had to print 1000 individual licence codes onto them ourselves.

So that’s what I have been doing for the past two days. I feel inordinately proud of them – they look so nice 🙂

And they are now all packaged up and ready to go tomorrow.

The real work will begin in a couple of days, when we have to provide support to the recipients of these licences. Gonna be busy.

I haven’t phoned to hear about my potential job. Partly because I suspect it might be better  etiquette for me to wait for them to contact me, as the insurance company is mediating for me. (Mind you, I think the insurance company has issued a request that I get a very non-stressful job to start off with, and if I don’t go and represent myself, who knows what I’ll get stuck with! A job that is too mundane surely carries its own stress!)

The other reason that I haven’t phoned them is that I’ve been busy helping Michael. And if this project takes off the way it might, I probably won’t be returning to my old job. I’ll have a brand new one 🙂 With a very sexy boss 😉

Written by Maggie

November 29, 2011 at 11:16 pm

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Time for the real deal…

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I’ve been thinking a lot about my blog lately.

What do I want from it?

It is sort of limping along at present. I post sporadically, of things that have no real relevance to my life, most of the time.

At a stage, I thought it might be nice to have hundreds of hits a day. The competitve side of me, that is.

And sponsonships and advertisers. The ‘work from home and get rich’ brigade are always  hinting at the nice money one can make from a blog.

Bloggers that win awards and get book deals – they’re out there.

I pride myself on being able to cobble together a couple of sentences in such a way that they don’t reek too badly 😉

Anyway… on Saturday night, I starting reading old posts of mine. I read the archives right through 2007 and well into 2008, after which I had to go to sleep because it was 2am!

Back then, I was giving free reign to my need to  journalise my thoughts and day-to-day experiences. I remember finding it immensely therapeutic. I was describing my daily challenges in minutiae.

And this is when the true treasure of my blog revealed itself…

I blog to document my life, first and foremost.

And somewhere along the way, I have made some really great friends, most of which I will probably never meet in real life, but who are as real to me as any of my real-life friends.

I documented extremely difficult stages in my life, the descriptions of which are now proving absolutely invaluable to me in making current decisions.

On top of this, I made whimsical references to things that Michael and I have done, and said to each other, that I can barely recall, but even as I read them, the memories flared in my mind. These things would have been lost to me, had I not written them down on my blog.

And so the goals of blogging became clear to me:

I need to blog about my daily life; things I do and say and get up to. I need to ‘keep it real’.

And post LOTS of photo’s.

Record funny conversations/ events.

Talk about my feelings, my hopes, my dreams. My heartaches, and my joys. Precious memories that would otherwise be lost in the sands of time.

At the end of the day, I want to entertain myself when I read back over the years.

If I can entertain anyone else along the way, and make a new friend or five, that will be an added bonus 😉

So expect things to get a bit more risque, a bit more meaty, a bit more quirky  and a lot more honest around here.

Written by Maggie

November 28, 2011 at 10:34 pm

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Working Girl…

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First things first – sorry about the teasey blog that I did in the week. I had intended to follow it up the next day, but then things got a bit busy, and, well!

Suffice it to say, that it looks like there is a better than average chance that I may be returning to work in the new year, perhaps even before.

I cannot emphasise enough how I have fantasised about this. The day I had to leave  my job 8 years (!) ago, I cried my eyes out for about a week.

It was a good job (in terms of how much I enjoyed it),  but it went about so much more at the time. I was so sick and felt like I was losing all control. I clung to my work for longer than could have been expected, given the circumstances, but in the end it was inevitable.

I was medically boarded and have been at home ever since. Not that I haven’t enjoyed it immensely, but it has been anything but a long vacation. It has been hard. For a long time, I was just fighting the good fight, physically speaking. But over the past couple of years, I have been feeling so much better that a lot of emotional issues have crept in. I was feeling distinctly ‘left behind’, as friends that I had worked with and been at school with and am still close to, earned degrees, got promotions, climbed the ladder, etc. It wasn’t really fair, was it?, I thought sadly to myself, in the grip of a pity party. The playing fields were not exactly level. I also had to abandon my studies, because my eye-sight was so bad at the time.

All that seems about to change. The insurance company where I have my disability pension, send me to their neurologist every year to assess my health and determine whether or not I still ‘fit the bill’ to be on a disability pension. Well, this year, with me doing so much better, he must have motivated for me to return to work.

An occupational therapist/ claims assessor from the insurance company,  phoned me last week to discuss the possibility of me returning to work at the company where I had worked for before I got boarded. We had a long chat, and not once did I get the feeling that they were trying to pressure me into going back to work a.s.a.p to get me out of their hair. She asked if I would need anything special with regards to my working conditions to make things easier for me. She also said that she understands the nature of MS, and that they didn’t want me getting all stressed out and relapsing again.

Long story short, she has contacted the guy in charge of human resources at my former place of work and is negotiating a half-day position for me. I had to supply my updated CV and she emailed it and an accompanying letter to him and CC’ed it to me. The letter reads that my cognitive functions are intact (good to know), that I mobilise independently and that I have good functional capacity. Doesn’t that just make me sound like a prime catch?!

She added that I am available for an interview.

I am unsure of whether I should perhaps phone him and set up a meeting to speed things along and show willing, or if I should wait for him to make contact in his own time.

The latter is appealing, as it would be nice to have one last festive season as a non-working lady. (If anyone adds ‘of leisure’ I will make you come and wash my dishes, vacuum my carpet, cook our meals, do customer tele-support to help Michael out, groom my dogs,  wash and iron the clothes, wash the tiles, and the bath/ toilet/ shower, shop for groceries, feed the dogs/ earthworms, make the bed/ water the roses, put out the garbage, pick up the dog-sh!t,etc.  😀

Of course, my days of staying up at night till I feel like it, and sleeping in as late as I like next morning will come to an abrupt end – but it will be for a good cause 🙂

Michael had a remark to make when he heard they wanted my updated CV. “Phone them and tell them you did your Master’s degree in Rocket Science, and absailed off Mnt Kilimanjaro, and should you include that in the CV?”

Michael can be a bit facetious 😉

But what did they think I did while on a disability pension, anyway?

In the end, I just used my old CV, but added a section on my Medical History, which I thought was appropriate.

So now I guess I wait.

Will update here as soon as I hear anything…

Written by Maggie

November 27, 2011 at 11:18 pm

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Big changes are afoot

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Why am I scratching around in my closet for an appropriate ‘office’ outfit (of which I have few)? And why am I updating my CV?

Would you hire this?


Written by Maggie

November 23, 2011 at 11:12 am

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Just Joey and rain

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The rains have arrived at last.

It is lovely and cool and the garden is wet and everything smells fresh and new. I love it.

My poor roses haven’t been looking that great shakes with the terrible heat we’ve been having. I’m thinking they are all breathing a collective sigh of relief now.

My ‘Just Joey’ rose bush is doing very well in its new container. Up until a couple of months ago, it was planted in the ground. Unfortunately, it was directly on the Chows route that they run on and no matter how hard it tried, it kept getting stymied by them everytime it put up a new cane.

That is no longer a problem, as it is safe and sound in its nice, buff container, and is doing exceptionally well…

With the delicious rain that is falling, it will probably do even better. Ain’t it pretty?

Written by Maggie

November 22, 2011 at 10:04 pm

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It’s that time of year again…

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… when Teddy Dear has to don faux reindeer antlers to get us (me) in the festive mood 🙂

I know he looks a bit annoyed, but I promise, those antlers were only on his head for 3 seconds and I only got one chance to take the photo 🙂

Written by Maggie

November 21, 2011 at 10:25 pm

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The green thing…

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This is a forwarded email that I have received a number of times. And I never get tired of reading it. I have no idea who the author is, but whoever it is put their point across most succinctly. We just are not going forward, in some matters. We need to learn from our elders and retrace our carbon footprints, before it is too late…

In the line at the store, the cashier told an older woman that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren’t good for the environment.

The woman apologised to him and explained, “We didn’t have the green thing back in my day.”

The clerk responded, “That’s our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment.”

He was right — our generation didn’t have the green thing in its day.

Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled. But we didn’t have the green thing back in our day.

We walked up stairs, because we didn’t have an escalator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn’t climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks. But he was right. We didn’t have the green thing in our day.

Back then, we washed the baby’s diapers because we didn’t have the throw-away kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine burning up 220 volts — wind and solar power really did dry the clothes. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing. But that old lady is right; we didn’t have the green thing back in our day.

Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house — not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of the state of Montana . In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn’t have electric machines to do everything for us. When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used a wadded up old newspaper to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap. Back then, we didn’t fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn’t need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity. But she’s right; we didn’t have the green thing back then.

We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water. We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull. But we didn’t have the green thing back then.

Back then, people took the street car or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their mums into a 24-hour taxi service. We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn’t need a computerised gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest pizza joint.

But isn’t it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn’t have the green thing back then?

Please forward this on to another selfish old person who needs a lesson in conservation from a smart ass young person.

Written by Maggie

November 14, 2011 at 9:53 pm

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Some more hair misadventures…

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I haven’t worn my hair in a french-plait since I was in school. Back then, it was my trademark look.

If I do say so myself, I could do a kick-ass french-plait on myself, a skill which I have sadly lost completely and utterly. S’pity.

But with my hair getting longer, I have been remembering how I used to plait it for school.

So the other day, I went for a much needed trim and shape at the hairdresser’s.

When I left, Michael told me (beseechingly), “Please don’t cut it too short”. I love it, how he likes my hair longer. Mainly because I, too, am liking it longer at the moment, so we may as well be in agreement, lol.

Anyway, after my hairdresser had neatened my hair, which was starting to look a little tatty at the ends, I asked her if she wouldn’t mind doing a french plait for me, just for kicks. She obliged and did a pretty good job.

The funniest part was when I saw M again, he could only see the front view, and thought I had it cut short back and sides again. He valiantly tried to keep his disappointment hidden, but was noticeably relieved when he got the back view.

Later that evening, I was huffy with him over some stupid thing (can’t even remember what it was), which was inconvenient, because I wanted someone to take a photo of the back of my head, so I could have a good look, without doing that twisty thing with two mirrors.

I wasn’t going to make peace yet, just so he could take the pic, so I tried to take it myself. Not the easiest thing in the world to do – to take a photo of the back of your own head!

Seriously, this was the best one!


Then I got to thinking, surely this sucker (my cell camera) has a timer on it. So I tinkered around with it, and yes,  indeed, it had a timer. That made things a little easier.

Funny thing, it doesn’t look as sophisticated as I remember. It looks… well, deliciously school-girly. 🙂

The front view even more so…

And the side-view, oh my…

I was barricaded in the bathroom, doing all this photography, when I dropped the cellphone into the basin, amid much echoing and clanging. Poor Michael came to the door to enquire if I was alright (even though we had had words). I do love that about him. Even if he’s miffed at me, he still has my back. (I did reply to him that I was fine, of course).

Then it was time to loosen the plait so that I could go to bed. I was hopeful that there would be curls, I’ll admit. What I wasn’t quite prepared for, was The Wild Woman of Borneo!

Even Nina, from Fiela se Kind.

And this, my friends, is why it is a good thing that I don’t have naturally curly hair.

It was like a crazy photo-booth in that bathroom!

Then I got bored, forgave Michael for being a poop and went to bed.

The End.

Written by Maggie

November 12, 2011 at 11:40 pm

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Cold lunch on a hot day…

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Today was another hellishly hot day, with temperatures peaking in the high thirties.

I think we can safely say we are in the grip of a heatwave.

Ordinarily, I cook a lunch for us at about 12:30 or so. But today I told Michael there was no way I was standing in front of the stove to cook anything.

So we went to the supermarket down the road to get ingredients for a cold lunch. I suggested tuna and mayo on a bun. But Michael’s suggestion was way better, so we went with that…

Crispy white bread rolls, with cold roast beef, mustard, pickled gherkins, tomato slices and salad sprouts. (The salad sprouts, I grew myself, so please be impressed 😉 )

A taste sensation, I tell ya.

I had been craving ice-cream the whole morning, due to the stifling heat. So I made sure we bought a tub of Ola’s Vanilla, Chocolate and Caramel ice-cream.

I cannot remember the last time I enjoyed ice-cream this much. It literally cooled us down from the inside out…

In fact, we liked the whole meal so much, we had the exact same for supper. I forgot how much I like pickled sweet and tangy gherkins!

Don’t know how we are going to sleep in this heat, though. I do hope it is going to rain soon.

Written by Maggie

November 11, 2011 at 10:43 pm

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Crazy hot!

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The temps over the last coupla days have been crazy. Like 40+ degrees.

Everyone is going around all sweaty.

And it is so humid. I just wish it would RAIN already!

As it is, we have had very little rain this season. And the plants ain’t stupid. Oh no, they know the difference between rainwater and chlorinated tap water. And they are not partial to the latter.

Seriously, my roses are looking like crap. After their October bloom (which admittedly was pretty good) they seem to have thrown in the towel.

Even my earthworms are jumping ship. I opened up the worm farm this afternoon to check up on them and put in some banana peels, and a whole bunch of them were on the floor of the bin (where they have no business being) and I had to take the thing apart to reinstate them into the partially composted kitchen scraps. (Get back in there, you slackers, where do you think you’re going?) The nice thing about earthworms is that they don’t have a union, lol. But if they did, I’m sure it would be complaining that even earthworms shouldn’t be expected to work in this heat!

The chows are doing all right, surprisingly. I mean, they each have a pretty deluxe fur coat on, but they’re handling the heat pretty well. Beary is being a bit bitchy towards poor old Ted. Could be due to the full moon, but she nearly bit the head off of him over a vienna sausage tonight. I gave them each half  a worsie and she tried to pick a fight with him over his share. It lasted for all of 3 seconds and was more bluster than anything else… Guess we’re all a bit irritated by the heat.

So, tomorrow is 11 11 11. Is it just me, or does that sound incredibly lucky?

Ooh, I see it’s just gone midnight, so it already is the 11th of the 11th 2011.

Good night peeps, and have a happy Friday!



Written by Maggie

November 11, 2011 at 12:03 am

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