Author Archives: Mel

About Mel

I'm a single mother to a 13 year old daughter, 5 cats and 2 dogs.

The Circus is in Town

It was actually my birthday last week …

Pre-circus birthday drinks with My Girl

Pre-circus birthday drinks with My Girl

Happy 40th birthday to me! Kiwi and Lime Sponge Cake made by moi ... my icing skills need work lol

Happy 40th birthday to me! Kiwi and Lime Sponge Cake made by moi … my icing skills need work lol

 

 

 

 

 

 

The show started off with a trampoline act like I have never seen before

The show started off with a trampoline act like I have never seen before

 

 

So to celebrate I bought us circus tickets (to me, from me).  We went the night before last, and wow, were we entertained!  I refuse to go to any circus that has animal acts, but I’m quite okay with watching humans jump through hoops lol.  Last year we went to the Australian Circus Spectacular when they were on our shores and that was such an amazing experience.  It was the first circus I’d been to since I was a child and it was the first non-animal circus show I’d seen.  And the Great Moscow Circus didn’t disappoint either!  Remarkable show.  Kudos to them.

The Ringmaster and the "clown" were awesome and funny

The Ringmaster and the “clown” were awesome and funny

I loved the way the people thrive off of the audience and their enthusiasm for their performance shines through (even in the really scary acts where I had my eyes covered with my hands and was watching through my fingers lol).  I could barely watch the contortionist as I was scared it would give me nightmares!

 

 

The audience loved the show

The audience loved the show

These guys were CRAZY entertainers!  There were 2 guys that even got out and were walking and jumping and skipping on the outside of the wheel ...

These guys were CRAZY entertainers! There were 2 guys that even got out and were walking and jumping and skipping on the outside of the wheel …

I loved these skipping dudes!  So much entertaining with just a skipping rope.

I loved these skipping dudes! So much entertaining with just a skipping rope.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Very cool act of scary bikers in a scary dome

Very cool act of scary bikers in a scary dome

 

 

Me and My Girl after the show in front of the bike dome

Me and My Girl after the show in front of the bike dome

 

 

 

 

And so my forties have begun, not with a bang or a whimper, but with a circus … 😉

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2017 already

I have the best of intentions, but apparently the worst follow through … I haven’t touched this blog since the end of 2014 (can that be right???).  A lot has changed since the last post.  My child is suddenly 3 years older, tall, and growing curves in all the right places (I think I need to invest in a tower to keep her in until she’s 40 lol).  We have sadly lost 4 pets, but have gained 5.  We now have my beautiful Daisy-Boo (the only remaining from 3 years ago), 3 little kittens (turned 5 months old today), and two rescue puppies from our local SPCA (one is ± 7 months old and the other is under a year).  I will introduce them all soon.

We took our puppies for their first socialization and training this afternoon.  It was extremely hot up until then.  Suddenly the wind picked up and by the time we got home it was storming.  Only recently finished.  That’s 7.5 hours of thunder and lightning and it was very, very frightening!!!  I have an “irrational fear” of lightning, or so I’m told.  Quite frankly, I think it’s a very rational fear.  Storms are scary.  Storms can kill.  So I’ll continue shaking in my bed under the duvet in the dark whenever there’s a storm until the day that they invent a tablet to combat fear.  So after all that I don’t feel very sleepy (even though it’s technically an hour passed a new day).  Everyone else is asleep, including all the animals (phew!), so I have nobody to talk to and I get verbal diarrhea after a headache or storm disappears (I think it has something to do with the relief).  So I’m getting it out of my system here …. sorry! 😉

Anyway, I feel a coffee thirst coming on so I’m going to end it here.

I’ll be back … hopefully 😀

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From L to R: Rogers, Daisy-Boo, Marble, and Josie

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Lexi (the little dachshund cross) and Carly (her breed is Cute)

 

Election education

It was my first year voting, and it was a total anti-climax for me.  I expected more.  There was no fanfare.  There was no Noddy Badge.  I just got hustled out of the hall so that the voting queue kept going.  And to top it all off, the party I voted for didn’t even win!  I took time out of my busy schedule to vote for the future of my country, and all I have to show for it is a stained thumbnail.

While trying to drown my sorrows over an enormous cup of golden brown steaming hot coffee, I came up with a plan.  The party I want to win should take a tactic out of the ANC’s little black book, and advocate prolific baby production in order to have sufficient people to win the votes and rescue the country in 18 years time.  While I’m sure there are plenty of faults with this theory (overpopulation, shortage of food and living space, and not enough jobs just to name a few), wouldn’t the end justify the means?  Besides, the ANC obviously don’t think there’s anything wrong with it, since they’re advising their supporters to do it.

But for now, it’s another 4 years of watching South Africa go further and further down into the brown stuff.  Another 4 years of wishing we had a president that didn’t have to try and correct or downplay the latest offensive thing he says to us.  On the bright side, it should be rather interesting to see how they cover up the whole Nkandla thing.  We “bright” people like to know what is happening in our country and the money that goes towards it.

In case you haven’t seen it …

2014

So it’s 2014 …

I didn’t make any New Year’s resolutions this year, other than the old standby of “lose more weight”.  Maybe you like to draw up lists by which you can validate your failure for the year, but I prefer to keep my feeling of inadequacy to a minimum, and with no proof after the fact ….  I prefer to have general wants and needs, like ‘study’ and ‘try to be more outgoing’. This way I have ability to swap and change, ignore and bury any ideas I may have started the year with.

So this year’s wants are:

… drum roll please …

In no particular order …

Finish studying.  I always say never again, but I somehow always end back in this position.  I think this may have to do with my need to fix myself.  I went through a stage where I spent far too much money on every different kind of self-help book I thought I needed.  This was going to be the one … the one that would make everything better!  My shelf has an esteemed collection of partially to never-been-touched self-help books.  From Dr Phil’s ‘The Ultimate Weight Solution’ (this one I actually finished – Noddy Badge!) to just about every parenting book of Dr James Dobson (and let’s not forget all the fix-yourself-by-Friday books by Kevin Leman).  There is even a section of my bookshelf devoted to Donald Trump and Robert Kiyosaki.  Somehow I don’t think they’re working.  I suppose I have to do more than just buy them ….  Most of these books could very easily be sold as new.  Anyway, I will finish my studies this year, so that can be crossed off my non-list.

Learn to say “No”.  I’m not talking about sex!  I’m talking about saying no when a family member or friend asks for a favour.  It won’t make me the Wicked Witch of the West to say no once in a while, would it?  I will have to practice this in the mirror for 364 days before I try this ….

Save.  With no fixed amount, I can’t fail at this … Look!  I just saved R10!  Mission accomplished.

Be a good mother.  Not an easy thing to do depending on your definition, and depending whether you’re homeschooling ….  I mean, what is a “good mother” these days?  One that doesn’t swear, drink too much or smoke in front of their children?  Or a mother who makes sure their home is perfect and clean and in complete order 24/7?  Or maybe the “cool mom” is the good mother ….  Some days, just the fact that I can tuck my girl into her own bed, safe and warm (very warm, dying of the summer heat), her belly full and she goes to sleep with a smile on her face, I feel like I’m there, I’m the “good mother”, I survived.  Other nights I go to sleep wracked with guilt over the little things that didn’t go right, or I didn’t do, or that she was naughty the whole day and it’s a reflection on me and how can I do this to my child and where is she going to end up!!  … breathe in … breathe out … breathe in … Yeah, a mother’s life is hard …. often self-inflicted.

Then there’s the usual things. Be good, be kind, be helpful, and above all …. LOVE

And last, but not least … (I can’t leave this one out)  Lose more weight …

Darnit!  I suppose this is now a list ….

Glow Kids

Glow Kids, Port Elizabeth, 2013

Glow Kids, Port Elizabeth, 2013

My daughter and I partook in the first Glow Run in South Africa, the Glow Kids in Port Elizabeth.  It was amazing!!!  We had a blast … good music, lots of colour, fun outfits and neon everywhere (I felt like I was revisiting my childhood lol).  (I also walked the Glow Run the next night and had so much fun … again)

Both nights it rained.  We looked like drowned rats.  But we were drowned rats having fun!

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So we had to dress up for this event.  We both agreed on tutus.  I bought different colours in tulle and ribbon.  We followed a pattern from the internet, How to Make a No Sew Tutu (or Google ‘no sew tutu’ … there’s so many).  I was interested to learn that the knot we did was called a Lark’s Head Knot or Cow Hitch, so we actually learnt something useful from this bit of fun.

I made one for myself and was going to make my daughter’s next, but she insisted she wanted to do it all on her own.  I was not allowed to touch it.  And, if I do say so myself, my girl did an awesome job doing all the knots by herself.

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So, to put it simply:

1.  Cut a thick-ish ribbon about the size of your waist plush 10 – 15 cm each side to tie the tutu.
2.  Measure the tulle to the length you want it and double it, add about another 2 cm to allow for the knot (we measure the length of the strips to fall mid-thigh).  Roll the tulle and cut the tulle in varying widths from 5 to 10 cm (the thinner lengths make for a fluffier puffier tutu – we did different widths).
3.  Tie the tulle strips and ribbon using the Lark’s Head Knot.
4.  The more strips used the more the tutu stands out (fuller).

The end result … beautiful!

When searching on the internet and Pinterest, I saw many variations of this, and also how the colours used affect the feel and look of it.  My next one will be a black one, maybe even slightly longer …

The only other words of wisdom I have, is have fun!

Cute idea alert!

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Childmade Christmas placemats

Here’s a cute idea we did a few years ago … Christmas placemats. All you’ll need is cardboard, glue, decorative things such as glitter /  glitter glue, stickers, etc, laminator and some of your child’s artwork (the more abstract the better).

Let your child have messy fun with finger paint / poster paint.  We used an A4 size piece of paper.  She made handprints and splotches of colour everywhere.  After it dried we cut the page a little smaller and stuck it to a piece of red cardboard, which I cut with my super fancy zig-zag scissors.  Amy them decorated the page with stars and squircles and leaves and glitter glue.  And after getting thoroughly messy and having a good afternoon we let the pages get dry overnight.

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Back of placemat

In the meantime, I got onto my pc and printed out a message with a pic of her and the date to glue to the back of the page.  The next morning we laminated the pages and we had gorgeous, festive Christmas placemats.

Looking at these, I can’t believe how fast time goes.  We made these 5 years ago!  The pic of her and the date on the back makes it extra special to me.  Beautiful memories.

The New Generation

I’m sitting in my lounge having breakfast and coffee and a good giggle.  My 54-year-old mother is asking my 8-year-old daughter to help her on Pinterest …. She doesn’t know how to create boards and how to pin things to a board.  She’s been talking about Pinterest for a month or two, telling me all the fantastic things she’s seen and found … Now I’m wondering what exactly she was doing all this time on Pinterest …?? lol

The parents

The parents

Then there’s my dad who used to write e-mails to his friends in one long paragraph with barely any punctuation, until he was shown the ‘Enter’ button …. It still takes him the whole night to send an e-mail of a 100 words or less, but at least he’s getting better in some areas.

Then there’s my daughter who is far more pc literate than my folks.  She can insert pics and tables in docs, create files, surf the net, and of course get around on Pinterest.  Youngsters find it so much easier to learn technology!  But is it because they’ve already adapted and have the correct mindset for the new things? or is it because they’re not afraid of looking stupid / making mistakes and asking questions?  If my dad had asked earlier, he would have known about the enter button a lot sooner, and my mom could have been pinning all the nice things she’d found on Pinterest if she’d asked questions ….

It seems that the older generation may be falling behind simply from not asking the necessary questions.  That is so sad!  I never want to stop learning and asking questions!  (Future me … if you’re reading this, I hope it serves as a reminder …)

So to all of you reading this, never forget to …. LIVE, LOVE, LAUGH & LEARN !!!

Til next time … XoXo