4 things

I saw this little game on my Facebook timeline, and decided to share it with all of you… just for fun. Because we all need some fun in our lives πŸ˜‰

4 names I go by :

Meg
Megs
Megster
Meggie Pegs

4 series that I like to watch :

(Hmmm… so it’s really tough to choose 4… and these are not my top 4… but I like them πŸ˜‰ )

Criminal Minds
Law and Order – all of them
NCIS
Forensic Files

4 places I have visited :

Morgan Bay
St Fagan’s outdoor National Museum of History (My favourite international place so far! πŸ˜‰ )
Hogsback (my favourite place in my country πŸ˜‰ )
Cambridge

4 things I love to eat :

Salty biscuits/crackers with a variety of cheeses
Vegetable Spring Rolls
Beef curry Samoosas
Cheesecake πŸ˜‰

4 things I love to drink :

Water
Coffee
Water
Tea
πŸ˜› πŸ˜‰

4 things I like to do :

Make a braai (similar to a BBQ).. but not for the purpose of cooking meat. More to just sit and watch the flames, and enjoy the warmth and peace I feel in doing so.
(Although the kids get super excited, and I wind up cooking meat on it in the end πŸ˜‰ )
(One day I am hoping to have a house with a fireplace – I just know I’d sit there for hours though πŸ˜‰ )

Read, read, and read some more πŸ˜‰

Writing. I love to write. πŸ™‚

Spread love and kindness in practical ways, offer encouragement, help others to feel hopeful when it seems like all is lost.

4 things I don’t like to do :

Iron. I just don’t like ironing.

Washing/Mopping floors – it’s endless with two dogs and tiles! πŸ˜›

Cooking liver, kidneys – basically all those types of delicacies! :/

Watching someone chew gum with their mouth open! πŸ˜›

 

If you want to make a list for me in the comments on just one or two of these, or even all of them, please feel free πŸ˜‰
If you decide to do the same on your blog, please let me know so that I can go and read! πŸ˜‰

Be safe, be well… and remember to laugh πŸ˜‰

 

 

risky business and travel

I was reading this blog post and there was a suggestion regarding blog content. The suggestion was to sometimes take a risk, be creative and fun, and present a blog post that is a little different to what you would normally post about. It was posed to me (the reader) that without the risk there can be no reward. So today I am going to be a little risky.

And when I think of today’s post, there just isn’t any way for me to shorten it. I promise to try and keep it entertaining, so as not to lose you – but I honestly will not be offended with the many parts you’ll choose to skip over…
I mean, how am I gonna know, right?!?! πŸ˜› πŸ˜‰
BUT IF YOU’RE AMERICAN, you may want to read it all πŸ˜› πŸ˜‰

Picture it. (No, not Sicily 1922 Golden Girls style) It’s 1983, actually – the place I am taking you to. We’d had television in our home since its introduction in South Africa in 1976. By 1983 I was five (and yes, now you know how old I am) and thanks to my lovely grandfolks I was constantly singing about hills being alive and the trouble with Maria. This would be because my grandfolks had a video machine, and had recorded The Sound of Music from one of the few channels our TV industry sported back then. It quickly became a firm favourite and was enjoyed a multitude of times. Naturally, I passed that down to my children πŸ˜‰

But there were others that they recorded too. Mostly for the older grandsons – things my mother would not allow me to watch at home. But so long as I played a good game of scrabble with the grandfolks, there was always the opportunity of glancing at the screen in their house πŸ˜‰ (Yes, I could read and write from an early age – but of course they always beat me. It’s how I learnt the bigger words!)

I was eight years old when I convinced my brothers to give me the pull out posters of my favourite actors – they were going to throw those parts of their silly teen magazines away anyway. (I did have Katherine Kelly Lang adorning my wall too though, even though I didn’t know who she was at the time. I had decided that when I grew up I was going to look like her. Boy, am I disappointed! πŸ˜› )

My little girl love was spread out evenly for these guys :
David Hasselhoff – Knight Rider
Richard Dean Anderson – MacGyver
Tom Selleck – Magnum PI

And naturally my enquiring mind wanted to know all there was to know about them, within reason, because I was still a kid πŸ˜‰

By age 10 my love for American TV shows and movies had grown. And actor obsessions changed from ”just the looks” to something a little more meaningful – I wanted to meet all these stars!

But more importantly, another obsession had begun to grow within me.

THE USA!

I ate up all I could find regarding the US in those days, and dreamed of being there – many hours locked in my head in a daydream of the US, many a morning waking with a smile because I had been there in my dreams. I didn’t know anyone there, and neither did I know of anyone who was travelling there. But the USA was still a part of me, I felt.

The internet created a whole new hunk of love. It was like I was there, and the information at my fingertips was a lot broader than what I’d had in the past. It was both wonderful and heartbreaking at the same time. Wonderful that I could ‘go there’ at any time, heartbreaking because I wanted it to be physical.

Shortly after my daughters birth, and a two year stint in another town, we moved back to my hometown. A broken computer became the biggest blessing of all! Enter the computer guy – and another whole new world, way better than anything Aladdin promised πŸ˜›Β  The day that he came to fix my computer was a day that changed a very large portion of my life, and my heart.

He introduced me to the world of blogging. He even went so far as to set up a blog for me on a platform he was using – Xanga. He didn’t charge me for the extra two hours it took to teach me the basics, and show me where I could develop my skills. Personally, I felt he just enjoyed the fact that while I was not completely technologically challenged, I was slightly stupid in some of the ways of the blogging world. πŸ˜› He later told me that it was actually my excitement of being able to ‘be in touch’ with actual US citizens that amused him the most πŸ˜›

(There’s a standing joke that I am an American in my heart πŸ˜‰ )

That was 13 years ago. And within a year I had American FRIENDS. Our contact had gone beyond simple blogging – we were emailing each other too. The bizarre thing about all those connections was that those ‘strangers’ knew me better than the people who had my physical presence. (I think it helped that we were all very honest about ourselves and our circumstances – instead of creating a false online persona we were very real with each other.) And when I just couldn’t put any more heart into blogging due to circumstances, we took another connective step and added each other on Facebook.Β 

Facebook is, and always has been, my private place. When I look at my profile pictures collection, I often laugh and say, ‘the many faces of Meg’. BUT, my appearance is the only thing that really seems to change. Some people keep ‘a place’ on social media completely private, because that is where they are ‘real’. That’s not my reason. I am not hiding parts of my character that I don’t want anyone to know about. What you see here is pretty much what you’ll see there – but in a LOT LESS words πŸ˜›
The difference between here and there is that there I share more pictures – including ones of my kids. And there I have family watching – yeah, it’s complicated. I’ve successfully managed (I think) to keep my blogging world separate from the haters πŸ˜›
ANYWAY…. I am not one of those people who accept random friend requests….and I also take my time to really know someone before I am prepared to take that sort of plunge, so this was a big step for me.

Soon our communications were Facebook, regular emails, and even telephone calls.

Of those fourteen new friends, who I have never met in person, I have lost two in the past four years – not due to termination of friendship,Β  but sadly due to their deaths. And I cried a lot, and felt real pain at losing them – as if they’d been right here, interacting with me in physical presence, daily. But in a way they were. They were with me, thanks to the internet, in my home for 9 years +. And they’ll forever be in my heart.

One of those 14 is my sister, L. No, not biological. (Her mom was one of my friends too – sadly, she now keeps an eye on us from up above instead) L and I used to tease her mom and say that she’s lucky we weren’t biological because she never would have coped with both of us πŸ˜›

L and I found our common ground in the fact that we had children almost the same age. Her oldest is a year older than my son, her youngest is a year older than my daughter. Once we’d established that, we discovered a whole lot of other common ground in our lives. And for 13 years, we have journeyed through our lives together. We have watched each others children grow, and shared in the moments of elation and devastation that that sometimes brings. We’ve shared the triumphs and disappointments of life and the circumstances we’ve found ourselves in. We’ve both had moments where we’ve lost our way, and we’ve kind of disappeared on each other – only to pick up a few months later as if no time has passed at all – and share the learning experiences with one another.

She is me, but different. I have my strengths, but she’s stronger. She’s the fit one (she runs), I’m the fat one πŸ˜› (I don’t know if I could even run if something was chasing me these days!) She’s successful in all the ways that count, I still have moments where I’m waiting at the airport for my ship to come in πŸ˜› She’s braver than me, and more assertive. I admire her so much, and often look to her for advice and opinions.Β  For Grey’s Anatomy fans – she is my person.

The bond that has formed is so strong that even my children ‘know her’. And they mention her often, just as if she really was their aunt.Β  I know it all sounds so crazy and unrealistic. But it’s true.
(And yes, I asked her permission to share all this.)

My American friendships have made me love the country even more. My passion for the USA has gone from being a glowing ember to a full blown fire. It’s no longer just the places and famous people though that fuel that fire. It’s the REAL people! While it would still be great to meet one or two of my now many favourite actors and actresses, and while there are still places I’d like to see; my heart yearns to meet my American friends, who are scattered all over the US.

And I cry every time I entertain the thought of the day I will get to hug my sister and tell her in person that I think she rocks, and I love her dearly!

This blog post is actually based on a blogging question I found :

IF MONEY WAS NO OBJECT, NAME ONE PLACE YOU WOULD TRAVEL TO?

I think I made my answer clear πŸ˜‰

Of course, there are many beautiful places in this world and I have a list of destinations I’d like to visit, and things I’d like to explore.

But my heart lies with my faithful American friends who have been a big part of my life for a long time. So the USA would have to take precedence πŸ˜‰Β  With money not being an object, I guess I could go everywhere. But first and foremost (even to the point of moving there) the USA would be my choice, time and time again.

And with all the different places within the US we’d have to go, I think we’d do them proud with tourism πŸ˜‰ Yes, my kids have caught this passion of mine to a large degree – my daughter a little more so than my son, but I think it’s LA that calls to her most πŸ˜›
Kansas, Oregon, New York, Texas, West Virginia, South Dakota, Arizona, California, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and more!

Oh, how my heart longs for it, and I think I’d find a deep, booming voice inside me yelling out loud for all to hear if I could say :

I’M COMING TO AMERICA!

But. Sigh. Money IS an object.

I have not lost hope though – I still believe it will happen one day. And of course, when that day comes, EVERYONE will know about it πŸ˜‰

Wolf Food

sound-effects-genres

Photo credit : asoundeffect.com

When it comes to music, books, films, series I am a multi-genre kind of girl. But am I really? It’s easy to get confused, because while I enjoy a bit of everything, there are some areas where I can be quite specific. For example, I generally don’t read romance. I can’t say I spent too much time on comedy either, which is strange because I am an always smiling, love to laugh, kind of person. I don’t do horror.

The funny thing is that when I was younger I thoroughly enjoyed all those things. Perhaps I overdid them? Or maybe as I have matured I have simply outgrown them? Whatever the reason, it’s immaterial, so it’s not something I spend a lot of time thinking about.

But if I had to choose my favourite genre – my favourite types of things to read and watch? They’d be murder mysteries, anything to do with crime, thrillers, psychological thrillers etc. My dad was a big influence – and my dear old Granny with whom I spent a lot of time as a child, watching many an episode of Murder, She Wrote.

Last week I got a message from a good friend, telling me that she had finished a really great series that was intriguing, mysterious and exciting – and IΒ just had to watch it too. (She did also mention that her partner hadΒ not enjoyed it, and had told her that he didn’t think it would be something I would enjoy either. But, what does he know anyway? πŸ˜› )

Where am I going with this? It’s been a rough seven days. I’ve had a few moments where one could almost say I have behaved a bit out of character – and I have felt unsettled and unusually anxious. I’ve allowed things to bother me that usually wouldn’t, and I have struggled a bit with staying focused. It was almost like the ‘peace’ of my mind had been disturbed.

And you know how ‘you know something‘?
How afterwards you could kick yourself because the answer was so simple and it’s something you know so well, and yet it eluded you?Β 

At lunchtime yesterday, upon further reflection of the past seven days, it came to me and it all finally made sense.

Let’s go back to the suggested series by my good friend.Β I am not going to name it, because maybe some of you out there have thoroughly enjoyed it. To name it may cause offence, and that’s not what this post is about.

Needless to say, I didn’t.

Now usually, when someone recommends something to me, I do a little research first. This time I failed miserably. Without giving a thought to first checking it out, I happily settled in last Friday evening to start watching.
I have a very strong stomach, which was something that I actually only fully developed while working for a doctor – you can’t have a queasy stomach and assist with procedures and clean up afterwards.
And I am not a person who is easily affected by a lot of things – which may be due to desensitisation for a variety of reasons.

But those first two episodes literally made me feel ill to my stomach. This wasΒ nothing like what I enjoy watching and I almost messaged my good friend to ask if she was sure she had recommended it to the right person. I don’t see how it is as popular as it is because it is just so wrong on every level – but then again, considering the world we live in – that may be the very reason why. (Although a few reviewsΒ did say that the individual was disappointed in themselves for wasting their time on it.)

The problem is that on Saturday evening, and every evening thereafter until Wednesday, I watched another two episodes. Because the only kind, decent and beautiful thing about it had captured my attention and I wanted to know more aboutΒ her. She was scarce though and so I had to sit through all the other rubbish.

If you don’t already know what negative character traits are, you’d be able to find them all in this series. Its filled to capacity with manipulation, dishonesty, disrespect, greediness, evil, aggression, hostility, violence, jealousy – and it throws in gore and disgusting displays of sexual acts just for good (bad) measure.

Now when I say I ”watched”, you need to understand I spent more than half the time only listening. (in the privacy of my bedroom with earphones in – I have an impressionable teenage girl) My son came in once and walked around to pet our dogs and saw the screen. It was during a particularly violent and gruesome part, which I wasn’t watching. I paused it, and his reaction was, “Flip Mom, what the heck are you watching?” To which I replied that I wasn’t going to tell him because it was absolutely awful and I didn’t want him watching it. He’s 21. That should have tipped me off to whatΒ I was doing.

So here’s the point : Garbage in, garbage out.

IΒ often refer to this story… it needs repeating today….

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. β€œA fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.Β β€œIt is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.”

He continued, β€œThe other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.Β The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, β€œWhich wolf will win?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, β€œThe one you feed.”

My behaviour, and the unsettling and anxious feelings within me have been my own doing. I have been feeding the wrong wolf. I have been going against the core values I treasure and live by – and allowing the balance in my life to shift in a way that has been detrimental to my person, to my soul.

Sometimes it happens so subtly that it takes deep reflection to find out where we’re going wrong. This was a giant hammer hitting me on the head and it still took me too long to figure it out. I’m just glad I did.

Onward and Upward!

(And I guess my friends partner knows me better than we thought πŸ˜› )