Mother’s Day

Today is Mother’s Day. The UK celebrates it on a different day, and I often miss that one – and so, today, I will wish my stepmother, even though it’s ‘not applicable’ in their country for today. She became ‘Mum’ the year I turned eighteen. And unlike some horror stories with stepparents, she truly has been an absolute treasure in my life. I am very grateful for Mum, and her unconditional love. It hasn’t always been easy, but it definitely has been worth it.

I often feel that I fall short as a ‘Mum’. And to be entirely honest, I probably do in some ways. But isn’t that just life? We never get it 100% perfect.
When it comes to being human, and being me, I am always striving to be a ‘better me than I was yesterday’. To do things differently, to be more aware of how I react, to be kinder, to be gentler etc. And all these things apply to my parenting skills too. I just keep trying. Trial and error. What works, and what doesn’t – especially with a teenage girl in the house πŸ˜›

My children and I are not a ‘normal family’. Our relationship is a different dynamic in many ways – for example, we pretty much almost never eat a meal together. This is usually due to different timetables that can’t be changed, but it is what it is.

At the end of the day, even though my children are not really children anymore, my commitment to them remains the same in a lot of ways. I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that they will always be open and honest with me (even when my teen daughter knows it might get her into trouble, which it sometimes does πŸ˜› ) and that neither one of them will ever have cause to pause and wonder if I love them. And for me, those are the most important things and worthy of celebration!
We certainly are not a perfect family though, and we fail each other – like would you believe that my kids have never made me a cup of coffee or tea? Shocking, I know πŸ˜›
We bicker about little things, and in all honesty, there have been times where those little things have escalated quickly and we’ve almost gone to war. But we always get through it. And although there may be slight injuries, we heal… and we continue to forge forward, together.

And I love that about us.

So here’s to Mother’s Day, and single parenthood, and our ‘not normal/traditional’ little family.

I hope you all have an exceptional day celebrating!

To end off, if you’d like a laugh, please visit this old blog post… the video is for those who suffer from overprotective dad syndrome, which is rather applicable to me since I am both parents πŸ˜‰

Today’s Day

It would be remiss of me to not write a blog post about what day it is today. For it happens to be…

STAR WARS DAY

I was reminded of this by the above picture in a Facebook post that a friend of mine shared.

Star Wars was not a part of my childhood, Star Trek was – when I was able to sneakily watch episodes with my dad. (And oddly enough, as a little girl, I wanted to marry Captain Pickard and not Riker. πŸ˜› )

My father remarried the year I turned eighteen. I gained a British Mum, and four step siblings. I also gained Star Wars.

My stepbrother was in his teens – the only boy of the four – and I somehow doubt he was very amused by yet another female in the house when I went to visit. His amusement turned to horror when he discovered that his stepsister had never watched Star Wars.
”How did you get to be eighteen and you don’t know anything about it?”

He remedied that. Over and over. And over again.

In the month that I was with them, he and I had five (if I remember correctly) Star Wars movie marathons, because of course he had the VHS box set. And I loved every minute. This time, I chose Yoda (the little dude pictured above) as my husband πŸ˜›

Star Wars, for me, is not just about the movies. It’s about cherished moments spent with a ‘new sibling’ which gave us a common ground. (Our mutual love for Mr. Bean helped too!)

Now, if you haven’t watched Star Wars (and you’re HOW old?? πŸ˜› ) then you may not be familiar with one of the famous lines : May the Force be with you – now you see why ‘May the Fourth’ works so well πŸ˜‰

Interestingly enough though, β€œMay the Fourth be with you” was first used by Margaret Thatcher’s political party to congratulate her on her election on May 4th, 1979.

This morning, I think this was me….

I sure hope my coffee kicks in soon! πŸ˜›

If you want to read some great Star Wars quotes, you can take a gander here.
I’ll end with this quote : β€œMaster Yoda says I should be mindful of the future… but not at the expense of the moment.”
Qui Gon Jinn

May you all see the good in the moments of TODAY… and may the fourth be with you πŸ˜‰

Old Rock Day

So amongst many other days being celebrated today all over the world (like the precious little boy who lives across from me who turns a whole eight years old today!!!) today is also Old Rock Day!

I was excited because I love listening to some good old Rock ‘n Roll…. BUT….

Wrong Rock!

They meant all things fossilised and stony! So I am guessing Geologists and amateur rock enthusiasts will be cracking the champagne this evening in celebration πŸ˜‰ (Unless they live in South Africa, where alcohol is still banned as part of ‘disaster management protocol for Covid πŸ˜› )

So here are some great rock ‘life’ quotes for you – minus the guitar πŸ˜‰ (I got them from Pinterest)

And I really loved this one…. it made me laugh…. so let’s keep on going into our 2021 year and….

πŸ˜‰

Disney

I’m sure you’ve guessed by the title…. this post is about Disney…. or more specifically, today is apparently

WALT DISNEY DAY!

So in celebration, here are some memes….
(Yes, I am still a sucker for a good Disney movie πŸ˜› πŸ˜‰ )

Photo Credit : media.bookbub.com

Photo credit : mamasgeeky.com

And some lessons I have learned πŸ˜›

Cinderella taught me that we should always get mice and birds to make our clothing…. (hellogiggles.com) and that a new pair of shoes can change your life πŸ˜›

My favourite scene from the Lion King is so applicable, always…
”The past can hurt… but we can either run from it, or learn from it!”

Snow White not only reminds me to not take food from strangers… but that apples are not necessarily good for me either. πŸ˜›
(Interestingly enough, I used to work for three doctors. There is the saying that ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’… well, I ate plenty of apples and they still came to work! πŸ˜› )

Monsters, Inc keeps reminding me that exercise is an important way to start your day… and equally as important is to make sure my paperwork is always up to date πŸ˜›

And then I checked out this page which was telling me the things I should NOT learn from Disney. Some of them really made me giggle, so here are my favourites πŸ˜› (Warning : the page contains some that are NOT so great… and some bad language… so you might not want to go there if you are sensitive to that type of stuff πŸ˜‰ )

Ratatouille – if I want gourmet meals in my kitchen, I must find some friendly rats πŸ˜›

101 Dalmations – it’s okay to have 101 dogs in my yard πŸ˜› πŸ˜‰

Aladdin – you will have a very bruised knee if you attempt cracking a melon on it… this is NOT a real easy thing to achieve πŸ˜›

I’ll end with some great life lessons :

Toy Story – Set your goals high (”Aim for the moon. If you miss, you may hit a star.” ~ W.Clement Stone)

The Princess and the Frog – Hard work is the key to success! (Even when you want to be successful at the things that truly matter – growth and heart change are very hard work!)

Tangled – Step outside your comfort zone. (You just never know which opportunities may appear!)

Up – It’s never too late!

Ratatouille – You are your own limit! ( β€œYou must not let anyone define your limits because of where you come from. Your only limit is your soul.” — Gusteau)

HAPPY WALT DISNEY DAY, EVERYONE!

Good neighbours

I live in a townhouse complex. And sometimes the people can be pretty complex too πŸ˜›
We do not have a security guard at the gate or anything like that, but basically we each have our own houses with a small fenced in yard, within a larger boundary that is high walled with electric fencing running along the top. With the increase in crime here, and a few incidents of late, the decision has been made to install cameras at the main gate as well.
Living like this has its perks, and its downfalls. You can’t help but ‘know your neighbours’ because they’re not very far away from you.
I know the neighbour next to me quite well, because he’s been living here for six years now, and I know the neighbours and their beautiful adopted little boys well too – we’ve shared life for nine years now!

I tell you this because today, among other days to be celebrated, is ‘Good Neighbour Day’.

I can remember the times when I lived in a ‘freestanding house’, on a road, along with other houses. I still knew my neighbours then, simply because when we moved in, I would go to the houses across from me and both sides of me and introduce myself. Many times, I think people thought I was just plain weird.
Someone once commented to me that it’s a good thing to do because at least you ‘know them’ if something happens to you, or if there’s a break in etc.

But that was never my reason. I’m a people person, and I like to ‘know’ – to try and connect. (So no, the reason was never out of curiosity or nosiness either πŸ˜› ) I also wanted people to ‘see me’, so that if they needed help they could approach me.

Your neighbours are not just the people living next to you, or in the vicinity of your home, though.

My theory is this : ‘home is where the heart is’, so wherever my heart travels (wherever I go, whether it be to the shop, or to the bank etc. my heart is inside my body and goes with me) and therefore every person who comes into contact with me could be considered my neighbour. Because I live in my body – it is a home for my soul.

And so yes, we get back to the familiar tangent I always seem to be on, ha ha ha!

Having a good house neighbour that you know you can call on to borrow some sugar, or feed your dogs if you’re away, or bring home bread and milk if you are ill etc, is fantastic!

What if, when we are out there in the world (away from our ‘living in’ home) we still practice being a good neighbour? A smile, and a greeting, to the person who we happen to catch the eye of; assistance for the lady juggling three bags of groceries and her keys; an offer to assist someone who seems to be wandering aimlessly around a grocery store (it can be fun to BOTH be searching for the same thing, ha ha ha!).

Sometimes this means stepping out of our comfort zone. For some of us, it isn’t easy to ‘go boldly and just do’ because it isn’t in our nature.

But the rewards of kindness, for both the person performing the act as well as the person on the receiving end, are simply out of this world! And they make your heart/home a little happier and lighter.

So once again….

Let’s leave footprints of love and kindness wherever we go! πŸ˜‰

Bring Your Manners To Work Day

Yes, apparently that is the day that is being celebrated today.

But as with all these days that have their own specific celebratory day, we should be practising them every day! Today is a good day to acknowledge the importance of manners though πŸ˜‰

My teen and young adult STILL sometimes forget their ‘please and thank you’s’ with me – and it frustrates me to no end.
But I have been told on numerous occasions that they are very well-mannered. And I was reminded of something someone once said to me when I complained about my then four year old’s behaviour.

”Would you rather have them misbehave at home, or in public? Because in public, she is an absolute gem, and you can be proud!”

Naturally my answer was that I was glad she wasn’t that way ‘out in the world’, ha ha ha!

But something I tell my kids regularly is this : it’s just as important ‘at home’, and when you’re alone, to be consistent in your behaviour – and that includes remembering your manners πŸ˜‰

Because what you keep doing, and thinking, and saying will eventually spill over into all spheres in your life.

Saying please and thank you are basic etiquette, and cost nothing. Such simple words that we sometimes seem to forget.

Such simple words that actually mean more than we sometimes realise, because they show kindness and respect, which are things of great value.

And if we really think about it? When we neglect the small things we start to form poor habits, and the consequences of that can be quite overwhelming.

So for today, PLEASE remember to say please πŸ˜‰
And don’t forget that a simple thank you can go a long way.

THANK YOU πŸ˜‰

Eat What You Want

As you may have noticed, there are blog posts where I refer to the Days of the Year site, and choose to celebrate along with them. There are a few ‘days’ being celebrated today, but of course the one that I’ve chosen absolutely appeals to me πŸ˜› πŸ˜› πŸ˜›

Apparently, today is Eat What You Want Day. Do you understand now why I couldn’t resist? πŸ˜‰

I see that this holiday was created by Thomas and Ruth Roy. So of course I wanted to see who these wonderful people were πŸ˜‰ and I popped off to Google. My goodness, then the fun really started.

Their business is called Wellcat – and according to their site :
Wellcat HerbsΒ features fine herbal products and informative commentary on the medicinal, culinary & mystical uses of herbs & spices.

But they also appear to have the copyright, and have published, somewhere in the region of about 80 different ‘holidays’. And I laughed my through the list because there are some really fun ones in there.

Now please don’t misunderstand.
EVERY day is a gift, no matter what. Every day is a day worthy of celebration. I definitely do know that, and I am grateful that I can wake up each morning to a new day, filled with possibilities and potential.

But here’s something I also know, and I’ve been made even more aware of it the past 8 weeks : sometimes circumstances (even those beyond our control) distract us. We still keep our chins up and try to remain positive and hopeful, but sometimes we forget to ‘celebrate’ life.Β 

And for me personally? Having that little push and reminder of ‘something in particular’ to celebrate can actually make a huge difference to my day.Β 

(Just as a side note : I had a good giggle when I saw that my birthday is actually one of those copyrighted days, and it’s so applicable to me. Of course, the days are different here because my seasons are the complete opposite, but it was so funny to see my birthday listed as ‘Stay Out Of The Sun’ day. I’m not a Summer person, I am a Winter gal through and through. I also don’t spend hours in the sunshine, ever! The sun makes me lazy and then I am completely unproductive, ha ha! I’ve always preferred night time and the mystery in the darkness/moonlight. So it’s rather appropriate that THAT day is listed for my birthday, don’t you think πŸ˜‰ I feel quite honoured πŸ˜‰ )

But back to today and eating what you want πŸ˜‰

Here’s the thing : thereΒ are limitations for me because there are some things that I really am not allowed to eat – not because of allergies, but because of a mild case of IBS coupled with some stomach ulcers due to a bacterial infection from three years ago that reappeared in January this year. Β So I do still need to be really careful about what I eat. Especially since I absolutely refuse to give up my coffee πŸ˜›

I’ve decided though, that for today, I am going to eat an 80g slab of wholenut chocolate for lunch πŸ˜‰ I simply have to celebrate this day somehow πŸ˜‰ And just the thought of lunchtime is making me smile, making my heart feel lighter – although I know it won’t make my body feel lighter πŸ˜›
But right now, my heart is more important πŸ˜‰

 

Sweet as Sugar, the chocolate coated kind

Today I am breaking away from my usual style of growth, inspiration, encouragement and purpose to bring you something of equal importance. Funny enough, this thing can be known to elicit responses in all of the above too! πŸ˜› πŸ˜‰

Today (according to Days of the Year) is Chocolate-Covered Peanuts Day!
How awesome is that? And what a fantastic type of day to celebrate!
Of course my euphoric level of excitement is prompted by the fact that Chocolate-Covered Peanuts are my absolute favourite!

And it’s just another reason for little old me to absolutely love the big old US!

Rumor has it that the first ones were sold in America in 1925, and that the unofficial festival pertaining to this day originated in the US!

The upside of these delicious little treats is that most times the peanuts are whole and not processed, so you get the nutritional benefits of them, as well as some fiber. The downside is that they are not calorie friendly at all, and because they’re so tasty, portioning them into smaller amounts to consume is tough.

I gained some very much unwanted kilos last year. I don’t know who said it, but it seems that last year I was the poster child for ‘I try to lose weight, but it keeps finding me’. That said, I have been assured a few times that I don’tΒ look bad – and my doctor told me the other day that I’m very far from an unhealthy weight.Β My problem with it though is that IΒ feel uncomfortable. So I knew I needed to change it.

Mid January, I started training my brain towards healthier eating – I’ve never been a bad eater… but I know there are things I could eat less of. And I have begun to ‘count my calories’. Not in an obsessive, ‘you’re such a failure because you’re 50 calories over’ kind of way…. I am just more conscious of the calories, and my food choices.

And I realised, upon discovery of what day today is, (chocolate-covered peanuts day, in case you didn’t know πŸ˜‰ ) that I haven’t eaten any of these heavenly treats since before Christmas! Wait, what? How is that even possible? Oh yeah, I’ve been looking for other food stuffs in the shops when I go – healthier options that are not so calorific!

I don’t think we should always deny ourselves small measures of things that bring us pleasure. I’m not deviating from my original plan, but because today’s celebration is one that is close to my heart (and even closer to my stomach πŸ˜› ) I think I will head out to the shops and purchase a small bag of this delightful treat! (Small, because I am still going to try and make healthier choices.)
We’ve already established (as mentioned in a previous post) that mystery isΒ not my superpower – but I know I have other superpowers.

And today I will prove that making a small bag of chocolate-covered peanuts disappear is one of them πŸ˜‰

 

really random

I’ve been quite absent the past few days, for numerous reasons.

One to celebrate was a dancing prize giving I attended for my daughter, where we also received her exam results from recent Hip Hop and Modern examinations. She scored highly in all 3 (having done two grades of Hip Hop in one year), achieving above 90%, and honours with distinction in all. She also received two trophies. I’m very pleased with her results, but can’t take any credit, other than the fact that I am the one who ensures she attends her classes πŸ˜›

My car has gone in for a service, and to fix brakes that were beginning to grind as if they too were taking part in a dance exam, with a partner πŸ˜› Hopefully it will be returned to me today. Don’t get me wrong, I love to walk, but personal safety trumps that love these days.

I’m exhausted this morning, and my pain levels are quite high, so attempting a meaningful blog post requires a lot more of me than I can give right now.
As I was leisurely going through the multitude of emails in my inbox that require my attention, I saw one that made me smile. And decided that that’s about all I can manage to post about today πŸ˜›

Did you know that today is World Fritter Day?

Here in South Africa, the most popular type is Pumpkin Fritters. You can find our recipe here, which is also where I got the picture from πŸ˜‰

1304627101.pumpkin-fritters

Different countries have different varieties, and of course what they call a fritter we usually have a different name for.

I was scrolling through the different types in various countries, and once again, the US has won my heart πŸ˜› πŸ˜‰
These apple fritters look like just what my stomach thinks it needs πŸ˜‰

(Emphasis on the thinks, because IΒ know that it doesn’t…. but thoughts are always good.)

IMG_0938

Photo credit : foodwishes.blogspot.com

And I learnt something else this morning, besides all the delicious types of fritter that made me stomach rumble and reminded me that I still haven’t had breakfast πŸ˜‰

I’m not too widely travelled, and admittedly my knowledge of the world map is relatively limited. While I have heard of Borneo, I have never heard of Brunei – and their fritters were featured. In Brunei, they call fritters ”cucur”, and they’re usually made with banana, shrimp, yam, sweet potatoes and vegetables. Apparently it is very popular street food. They look delicious – probably more like what we’d call dumplings here though….

cucurudangprawnfritters

While reading up on Brunei, I think the thing that made me happiest was when I discovered that it was the first country in Asia to ban shark finning. Good for them. I love sharks πŸ˜‰

a3b55e88799ddbb8a04032ec98b3459d.jpg

And that’s total randomness for you all πŸ˜‰

Happy Monday πŸ™‚

 

Will you accept the challenge?

~~~PLEASE READ TO THE END~~~

 

β€œI feel like I should go.”
Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β β€œWhenever you’re ready.”
β€œNot yet. I think I’ll have some more juice first.”

She smiled and filled his glass, and then plopped into the chair next to him, sighing deeply. He smiled, raised his glass to her, and said,
Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β  β€œHere’s to us.”
She winked and gave him the biggest smile she could. Then she giggled,
β€œHappy Valentine’s Day.”

He rolled his eyes and they laughed together. They’d been together for ten years and had never yet β€˜properly’ celebrated a Valentine’s Day together.

Continue reading