The Dinx Diary – 4 September 2010

Posted: Sat 4 September 2010, 12:56

Zak, Sage and Daniel at Lake Tahoe 20 August 2010I’ve been in a depression this week – not that I’m a depressive person by any means, but returning from 3 majorly intense months with my children and grandchildren, being with them 24/7, [in a time zone 9 hours behind this], leaving them, knowing I won’t see them for at least another year or more, leaves me scarred. And the scars from the year before are ruptured again. Scars on scars, year after year. I’ve been doing this for 12 years and it doesn’t get easier… definitely gets tougher. The ache and heartbreak runs deep… Nicki, before you say I’m over dramatising (your favourite quip with me lately), it is exactly how I feel. There is no dramatising whatsoever. My heart is sore.

On Wednesday late afternoon I called to wish my oldest 2 [grandsons], Daniel and Zak, good luck with their new school year and their new school. Daniel into 4th Grade and Zak into 1st. Moving from a private school system into a public school one is a whole new ball game, where they will be much less coccooned. It’s not a bad thing, as it’s a very good school, but it is rather a shock to their schooling culture. Daniel is still angry with me for leaving so I haven’t spoken to him yet, or rather, he hasn’t spoken to ME [yet]. But Zak told me he’s missing me and “when you come back next time Granny Di, please will you stay for 5 years“. I’ve not stopped crying since! Not that I’d stopped much before then, since I’m home. Zak has the most incredible vocabulary and he’s a wit to boot. Reminds me of the day their friends came for dinner and the 2 little girls (the same age as D & Z), came running up the stairs to play with them. Zak rushed to close the door. When I told him that was rude, he said “it’s inappropriate for girls to come into our room.” He’s 6 1/2 years old!!

I’ve also been busy organising air tickets for friends of mine to fly to London tonight – another very good reason for not blogging. I thought they’d booked while I was away, but he’d been waiting for the outcome of the online casino appeal – and for me to get home. V is the lawyer for Piggs Peak (as well as being one of the directors). Btw, yesterday they were granted leave to appeal, which means they have another year, at least, of grace to work on the case, thus their online casinos, which they shut down last Saturday night, will open again tonight – in case you’re interested. I’m thrilled to bits for them. And for the next year at least, if you gamble with Piggs Peak and win, the banks have to take/use your money! Nothing illegal about it… for a while at least.

Because they’d left it so late, I couldn’t use their Voyager air miles with SAA – who don’t make it easy to use one’s miles in any event and their tickets would have cost R60,000 each. Absolute highway (air?) robbery!!! I’m so sick of SAA. In retrospect I’m pleased as I was forced to research Virgin Atlantic. What a pleasure to deal with them. I got their tickets at HALF the price (of SAA) — their Premier Upper Class is far superior to SAA’s with FLAT beds which are made up by the stewards – as a real bed. And Virgin answer their phones like speedy Gonzales – no waiting for hours for someone to assist…. and boy do they assist. Also, their online booking is a breeze! Big UPS to Virgin and fly safely V&B, have fun with the kids and grandsons, Shana Tova (it’s our New Year on Wednesday), and come home safe and sound.

The appointment with the Prosthodontist on Thursday didn’t go the way I wanted it to unfortunately. The tooth I broke in the USA and subsequently had to have extracted is going to prove more costly and painful than the initial $600 I had to fork out. The bone in the gum broke badly, too close to the lower sinuses, which means surgery to build up the ridge with artificial bone and then an implant. And so on Tuesday, the next appointment is with a Periodontist… always something to fill my life, in case I didn’t think my life was hectic enough!

I’ve been busy uploading all my Tahoe pictures to the Kodak Gallery. Above: taken from the summit on the Sierra-Nevada mountain range over the lake. The left 2/3 of the picture is California and the right third (more or less) is Nevada. (Lots of Casinos in Nevada, which is less than 5 minutes from where we were staying in South Lake Tahoe – not that I went there, but the temptation was great :D).
Have a bright and beautiful weekend.

Posted in Personal Journal, USA | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Art, Artifacts, Signs & the Weird & Wonderful in Northern California – photojournal

Originally posted on Letterdash, Mon 30 Aug 2010, 16:52

Three weeks ago, whilst shopping with Nicki and the kids for their school back-packs in a rather remote area called Pinole, (ridiculous that the only ToysRUs have moved so far north from the East Bay of San Francisco), I came across this sign in front of a large supermarket. I was absolutely hysterical with laughter – I had all the kids, including little Jeddifish, laughing … at me laughing. Only later did I realise what had happened. Can you spot it? :)

On our visit to the Sonoma/Napa Wine Country, two Sundays ago, we had lunch at the well-known restaurant called The Girl and a Fig – their cheese platters and assortment of fromages – their speciality. An amazing, somewhat esoteric type eatery with a changing menu. We did have to make a reservation about a week in advance. Warren ordered this lamb pate in a crust, (below) – he loved it, I tasted it – not too bad… I’m not very brave with food :). Click on the link to see their basic menu and all the art by Julie Higgins (Girl and the Fig) which is on sale. I bought a selection of mini prints.

Below: the sign for a kiddies clothing store in The Valley of the Moon, Sonoma which you may have seen on my friend half-pint’s blog. I took this picture for her.

Above the schematic diagram of the Valley of the Moon in Sonoma County, Northern California. (The Sonoma Valley is the birthplace of the California wine industry and often called The Valley of the Moon.)
And the sign, below (above the stunning flower box), in this beautiful little Moon Valley town says: “If you’re not living on the edge you’re taking up too much space

Below: Trip to Lake Tahoe on Wednesday 18 August – on route into the Sierra-Nevada mountain range, a photo-shoot stop revealed Wigwams and log-cabins hidden behind the pine trees, alongside streams of water. Very beautiful – for me, awe-inspiring. On right of the picture, a wigwam, partly hidden behind a Pine.

A totem pole in the same area as the Wigwam, below left.

Below right, my oldest 3 angels standing below the bear ‘mascot’ for South Lake Tahoe (Bear country – unfortunately we never saw any live ones!) :)


Above: The Harley shop – very biiiiiiig in the US of A and the first shop my 3 grandsons walked into on our visit to the little village. The 16mth old Jeddifish was magnetised first, the other 2 walked straight after him. That’s Nicki going in to fetch them  Daniel with the yellow hat. :)

Up to the summit of the Sierra-Nevada mountain range on the 19 August, (no snow at this time of the year), by cable car, (they call them Gondolas), this is the sign that greeted us on disembarkation – at this point, we were 9000 feet, I think, above sea level.


Posted in Personal Journal, USA | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Friday? Already? Happy Birthday Linnie

Originally posted on  Fri 27 Aug 2010, 17:04

I cannot say my return to my homeland has been uneventful. I returned to the hospital/nursing/caregiving strikes, school teachers strikes, power failures (is Eskom trying the load-shedding again?), and a shut-down of my ADSL and Telkom landline yesterday for 24 hours. Hellooooo South Africa… Good old South Africa… I am back. I HATE Telkom the most though, (as bloggers here know how much I have battled with telephone and ADSL service over the past 3 years alone… we’ve actually had these problems for a lot longer).

The World Cup, which was a resounding success not only in South Africa, but across the oceans, where even the most die-hard footballers of the USA are talking soccer and the baseball fans in Los Angeles are blowing Vuvuzelas in celebration of their team wins. Back here in SA as the WC came to an end, so did the positive vibe. All in all, I’ve had a very distressing and traumatic return to my homeland. Life goes on… fortunately.

More importantly though, I want to wish my dear and wonderful friend, Linnie a very happy birthday and tons more. You deserve only the best my friend and my wish for you, is that your new journey will be a smooth, healthy and happy, but immensely exciting forever ride!

Tonight (Friday 27 Aug), at 9 pm, WATCH GLAM GURU! DSTV CHANNEL 111,

My beauty therapist, Madelyn van Zyl is HANNON’s guest make-up artist on the KYKNT Channel 111 tonight.
It was recorded before I went to the USA and I thought I was going to miss it. Fortunately I’m back in time :)… I look forward to your feedback. SO… if you do manage to catch it tonight, please do let me know what you think.

It’s difficult to type, so I’ll end off by thanking you for your kind comments and thoughts. Wishing everyone a marvellous and happy weekend.

~What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul.   – – Yiddish proverb

~Think for yourself and let others enjoy the privilege of doing so too. — Voltaire

~Everyone who got where he is had to begin where he was. — Richard L Evans

~If you try to look down at people from up where you are… they will look up at you and see nothing but someone going down! —  Julie Sullivan

~You can take it as understood that your luck changes only if it’s good. — Ogden Nash, 1902 – 1971

~”Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.” —  Will Rogers

~Intelligence is like four-wheel drive. It only allows you to get stuck in more remote places. — Garrison Keillor

~I learned to speak as I learned to skate or cycle: by doggedly making a fool of myself until I got used to it. —  George Bernard Shaw

~Human beings can always be relied upon to exert, with vigour, their G-d-given right to be stupid. — Dean Koontz

Posted in Personal Journal | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Dinx Diary – 23 to 25 August 2010 and minor surgery

Originally posted: Wed 25 Aug 2010, 23:53

As happy as I am to be in my own house and enjoying the quiet, I’m devastated to be so far away from my children and grandchildren. I miss them so much already. Very hard, this life we lead, but PG we will be together sometime in the not too distant future. And as long as they are safe and happy, I would never attempt trying to get them to come back.

I did, eventually, get to sleep last night at midnight after unpacking most of my stuff. As my char was coming in to day, I decided to put most of my clean stuff in the ‘ironing’ basket and Frieda ironed whatever needed to be and hung it all up as well as refolding and packing all my other stuff away today. What a pleasure! But I did have an excuse:
[Sadly for me], at 5.15 on Monday morning, as I walked out into the bathroom, I slipped (in the dark) in Pretzel’s wee (stupid dog… why me? Why did he do that on Monday morning.. OY!) Smashed my hand into the doorframe and slammed my thumbnail. With blood gushing my poor nail was hanging on a thread – (no, this isn’t called hangnail :P~~)
I bandaged myself up and managed to get to the airport in time.

Above Right: My reason for crying: The goodbyes on Sunday night were devastating. The kids were heartbroken and Daniel suprised me more than any of them as he was inconsolable. It finishes me off.

Because I brought some books I’d been given as gifts, also books I’d bought, as well as a rather hefty parcel of books with a Smartpen (Pulse 4G-I’m green with envy), for a friend of mine, I had 56 lbs in 1 case and 54 in the 2nd… if one has 1 lb over the 50 lbs allowed for dometic travel (eg. from SFO to Washington), one has to pay $25 per lb. A moneymaking racket which all airlines have adopted since 2005 in the US!! Fortunately (for me?) I was crying so much by that point at the check in, not only because of my poor aching thumb, that I think the check-in lady felt sorry for me… and never said a word… she just put the baggage stickers on the handles and gave me the receipts and my boarding cards for the long haul as well without a word! Most unusual… it pays to cry it seems… even in America! LOL

This morning, I was woken up at 9 am with a call from my friend. C’est la vie – later than I expected to wake up anyway. The rest of the morning passed in a blur and this afternoon I gathered courage and went to the the doctor. I’d thought he’d remove my nail, but no, he reckons that studies have shown that keeping the nail affixed somehow on to the nail bed as long as possible, is the way to go. As long as the nail bed hasn’t been badly damaged, promotes the growth of the new nail. So he gave me 4 lidocaine-type injections into and around the base of my thumb – very eina – to deaden it and then pushed the nail back into and the under the skin and bandaged it with a splint. Have to try and keep it like this for 3 weeks.

Other than that.. I’m tired and mizzies again… about to hit the sack.

Something that made me smile today (besides the lovely warm welcome I got from some of my friends per phone and on Facebook), is this photo I took Sunday a week ago at the winery in Sonoma, near Napa with my new telescopic lens I’d bought for my camera. One can just see the Jacuzzi name on the hillock in the distance.


Posted in Personal Journal, USA | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Dinx Diaries ~ Random ramblings 8 – 16 August

Written on Monday 16 August 2010 8.45 pm

Letter to my SA family:

I’ve been at Nicki & R with all the kids during the week and then with Tania & W on weekends for the past 2. It’s meshugge (crazy), here during the week. Running around trying to help (hope I am) :), and playing with the kids, which is of course the reason I come here in the first place. We’ve decided to go to Lake Tahoe on Wednesday – all arranged yesterday… quick stix. Nicki & me and the 4 kids (nearly wrote 44 .. maybe because it feels like 44 most days!) will drive on Wednesday – Ryan will come on Friday night and Tania & Warren will drive up early Saturday morning to spend the last day with me. I’m busy packing at the moment – huge job – as I won’t have time when we get back on Sunday afternoon. I leave early on Monday morning – must leave the house by 6 am.

Also, I’m a legalised Green Card holder now … my permanent resident’s card arrived a couple of weeks ago. Yaaayy me! For what it’s worth. The fact that I can work here doesn’t make this whole experience any easier. Not even in a good economic climate would we be able to survive in this city.. so for now, we will continue to work for our air tickets in South Africa – and hope we can continue to visit our children in future years. At our age, we have a problem Houston!

I’ve had lots of good quality time with both my daughters & respective families. Yesterday was wonderful with T&W in Sonoma and we did the wine tasting at the Jacuzzi family’s winery – they are the family who invented the Jacuzzis… and Tania, Warren and I laughed all day. Weird and wonderful people I’ve met on my travels. Obviously my time with Tans & W is much more peaceful and relaxed and very much easier on my old and decrepit back. Saturday night the 4 of them took me out – went to a lovely restaurant in Berkeley, but I should never have ordered meat at a fish eatery. They all loved their meal – I hated mine. The company was brilliant though :). Usually I like to stay and babysit the kids to give them time to go out without worrying about babysitters all the time. So this was fun. We’ve seen Despicable Me in 3D and taken the kids to Peter Pan (the live show). Nicki, Ryan and I went to see Wicked (live theatre) based on the supposed prequel to The Wizard of Oz. Absolutely brilliant!

The kids are divine and we’ve had loads of educational days together besides the movie and live theatre — scrapbooking, cookie making and frosting, reading, bookshop browsing and buying of course. All the kids ADORE books, even Jed turns pages like a pro. When he sees a magazine he touches his finger to his lips and zips the page open…. R is adamant he doesn’t do that, but we’ve seen him in action!

Left: Daniel & Zak on the play Structure at the Moscone Centre near Yerbo Bueno Park and Sage above

Painting, beading, drawing, singing together and just being. I’ve made biltong (twice – once for Tania/W and last Thursday for Nicki & co) – it’s delicious. Can’t wait to make my own at home. I’ve pickled cucumbers ’til it’s coming out of my ears. I’ve made chopped liver, chicken soup, chicken a la king, marinades for chops (this I think I could patent LOL! – made it up while I’ve been here and it’s a HUGE success) and my own guacamole/tomato recipe (also a huge success – also until it’s coming out of my ears).

I look as tired as I felt that day last week! But happy :)

I am tired and for that reason only, I need to go home – I miss my house and my stuff and my bed and my TV.. and my other child – I really miss you Doron – and husband. I haven’t watched a single TV program since I got back from Palm Springs. Kids programs don’t count. (Notice my spelling is American now – but only in America. I even say some words Americanised so I don’t have to repeat myself a million times… like Faster (short flat A), instead of Faaaaaster and tomAto instead of tomaaaato). BUT it’s going to be a huge wrench to leave them all. The kids are stuck to me like Velcro. I’m so lucky I have such special bonds with them all. All different but the bonds are strong. Even Jed the little surfer dude, has a connection to me and comes running for a hug when I come in. He’s so affectionate and huggy kissy. He’s hellava clever – understands everything in English and Spanish and says a few words in Spanish. His English vocab has flourished in the last month. I just adore him… and all of them!

Sage does her Nakeup with me every day – not makeup – and she wears Jeems – “they’re not deMons granny” (when I say denim), they’re jeaMmmms! Go figger! [She calls me Granny, the boys call me Granny Di]. And she brings me thlowers from the garden. She washes her face, but bees sit on THlowers. The “fl” sound which starts a word and words ending in “th” are a problem for her. Bath is Barf. The “Supercase” (suitcase) which she’s packing for the trip to Tahoe though, is a habit from her toddler days (I think). I have to stop myself from laughing and keep a very straight face. But she’s very good about me correcting her if there’s no one about. She doesn’t always stick to the corrections… but those will come, in time.

Zak is devastated that I’m leaving. He was hysterical when I went to Tania for the weekend last week. This week he told me if I go back to SA, I shouldn’t come back here, ‘cos it’s too hard. My heart breaks. Daniel is handling it a bit better this year, although he has started withdrawing in the last week, as he always does. I’m hoping going away to Tahoe with them, will put my departure out of the way until the last minute.

Tania & Jed playing on Friday night before Shabbat dinner

So now you have it all. I decided to send this to all of you, family & friends, at the same time, as this is a major update from me and none of you will hear from me again before I leave. So lots of love to all (South African and American family & friends) – will talk/write to you next week or the week after PG when I’ve recovered from the trip and the terrible sadness.
Hugs as always,

Posted in Personal Journal, USA | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Music and Me

I have so much going on in my head and my life at the moment with little time during the day to journal. I find myself rambling as I start writing. Until I can gather my thoughts in a more logical sequence, I’ve decided to merely jot down odd happenings here and there.

Besides my cousin, the Opera Lady, Colonialist also, is astounded that I do not enjoy Opera. I found it necessary to clarify… I really love classical music (I did in fact play the piano throughout my school years and learned at the Conservatoire of Music in Pretoria) as well as Ballet and I often attend the Symphony. My father was a jazz pianist and saxophonist and adored the Opera. I’m convinced that because he dragged my mom to the Opera so often when she was pregnant with me, is the reason I dislike it so much. However much I tell my cousin though, she will not let it rest and continues harping on more reasons why I should like it.

However, I’m not a total pleb… I do still like some – perhaps it’s the more commercialised and modern versions that I enjoy, but just to illustrate what I mean, the embedded video below I LOVE! The Israeli Philharmonic did a ‘viral’ type “spontaneous” concert in Dizengoff Square in Tel Aviv 4 weeks ago (on the weekend of 4th July). This I can listen to (and watch), over and over… Col… I hope this redeems me somehow? :)
I lived in Israel in the late 80’s early 90’s and Dizengoff Square was a favourite haunt of ours, hence I particularly loved this presentation. It’s the IPO performing Verdi’s, Il Trovatore. Enjoy!

I have an hectic week ahead – Nix is off to Utah for a conference from Sunday to Friday and I’m  going to be “Charles in charge” … of the 4 kids. I’m not stressed at all, but my son-in-law seems to be! He’ll be here before and after work to help, but I know he doesn’t cook! At least he can bathe the younger kids! Fortunately Jed has warmed to me the past month. He is still a mommy’s boy though.. as he sees her, he just about crawls into her skin!

Happy weekend, one and all.

Posted in Personal Journal, Zionist and Jewish | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

10 days in the USA: Southern California 29 June – 10 July

I’ve had an incredibly full and varied month – in fact it’s 5 weeks since I left South Africa and although I feel as though I’ve been away forever, I’m dreading leaving these angels of mine in 5 weeks time!

From sitting with my son’s skateboarding heroes, Tony Hawk (left) and Kevin Staab (right), on SAA, flying from Johannesburg to Washington on the 9/10 June… to breaking my tooth and having mouth surgery in my first week, every second has been memorable…

… adorable Zak  right, talking on the phone to his grampa B…

… to the dressed up princesses below, (my precious Sage with dark hair, friend is blonde)…

… flying out from Oakland airport over the Warriors’ (or Raiders’.. who cares or knows?), stadium …

…. circling over Glendale and Pasadena before landing at Bob Hope International in Burbank… many many swimming pools in these backyards!

…. out for dinner with my wonderful friends Rhona and Les at this interesting Asian restaurant on Wednesday, 30 June …

… walking on Venice beach promenade with one of my ‘oldest’ friends, Lunnie on Thursday (1 July)…  and catching the Venice Beach Paparazzi’s hangout (see below right right)!

This sight below never ceases to amaze me in California – legal medical marijuana sales “reps” inviting the public to step inside to see the doctor who will prescribe the marijuana necessary for your particular ills… and he grows same upstairs! :)

The meshugge (mad) ‘flea’ market stores abound on the promenade – this dude (off-the-wall-type fellow), sells painted skulls with a huge sign forbidding pictures of his wares… in case people copy his idea.. jah right. After assuring him that I had no interest in copying any of his designs, he allowed me to shoot a pic!

The weird, the wonderful, the famous, the notorious and the insane, hang out around these parts, with skate boarders and cyclists and roller skaters and taggers (graffitti artistes) aplenty!

Next step: Driving 1200 km in 9 days…. I was off to Camarillo 60-70 miles, (on my own!) north-west of Los Angeles past Malibu on Friday, 2 July to meet up with more of my fabulous friends… Sharyn… who took me to Calabasas after a night of ‘catch up’, to visit another ailing friend who’d broken her hip and cracked 2 ribs. On the way back we stopped in at DASH (right – owned by the Kardashian girls). Nothing spectacular about this boutique, except for their prices! More of a hole in the wall in a crummy little strip mall. They sell bottled water (500ml), with Khloe’s photo on the label for $9.95 (R75???) – disgraceful!

Saturday was a trip and a half – to the Palm Desert 200 miles away – but first a stop at Ontario International Airport in Calif to pick up my other child Tania, and her hubs, who flew in from San Francisco to meet me for the next part of my journey.

Sunday, 4th of July, (Independence day!) brunch with Barbs (left) in Palm Springs – my madly eccentric cousin, the Opera Lady and both she and her dear husband, are owned by 16 cats and 5 dogs. The food looked delicious, and the bit I ate was tasty, but it was tough going knowing that these cats were all over the tables and furniture… (and food?) Oy vey!

But the company was excellent and we met some very interesting people: crazy weird in the most wonderful ways … a very odd pairing of young, old, gay and straight, very very rich (like $500 million!!!)… and very very poor… all ethnicities, but it worked AND we all had so much fun.

Below, the view from my resort villa at Desert Springs at sunset

My ducks sure were in a row!  On the estate of the Marriott resort next to one of the seven pools… wow it was hot – 42C in the shade…

The view from the pool over the resort toward the magnificent mountains of the desert…

Right: My precious daughter Tania – last Wednesday afternoon at the Cheesecake Factory before the 5.4 earthquake “hit”… I haven’t had such a fright in a long, long time… we held on to the table for all we were worth – it wouldn’t have done much good had the earth opened up then and there. Some people went under the tables, the staff held onto pillars and poles and things fell off all the flat surfaces… we actually felt the earth rolling underneath us… that was the longest 27 secs of my life. And Tania kept saying “is this THE ONE?” She was shattered.

And an hour later we went to the opera – we’d been cajoled (read BULLIED), by the cousin and I knew I would hate it. We walked out after the first act… I will never allow myself to be bullied into anything again. Eugene Onegen is not for me! I love the symphony and all classical music and ballets… hell I even play classical piano myself, but I dislike Opera intensely.

Above: I couldn't get enough of this magnificent scenery - my camera worked over time. Another photobook is in the making.

Above: Pretty Flamingoes... (at the Marriott Resorts and villas).

Thursday, 8 July below: we travelled the aerial Tramway – rotating cable car – 8500 feet to the top of Mount San Jacinto … above the Joshua Tree park… this shows how high we were above the cities of the desert. We travelled at least 2000 feet to get to the base station, so at this point we were well above 10,000 feet. Over the distance of 2 1/2 miles, we went through 4 climate changes – equivalent of travelling from Los Angeles to Alaska! The views were breathtaking!

Below, our last dinner with family and good friends at a gorgeous restaurant in Desert Springs, where we indulged in a magnificent piece of sirloin! Shocking picture of me, but I did achieve a good tan :).

Saturday 10 July, we bade the Desert and the palms adieu and drove back to Ontario to catch our connection back to Oakland. My other children had been in Hawaii the past 2 weeks and also got home on Saturday. I got the bestest hugs from my angel pies – they missed me as much as I missed them!

Posted in Personal Journal, USA | Tagged , , , , , , | 16 Comments

San Francisco – June 2010 – Part I

 I promised myself I’d write a daily journal from the day I arrived in San Francisco. Well today is 2 weeks exactly and I’ve not yet made good my promise. With 4 grandchildren, ranging in age from almost 9 to 14 months, there’s very little room for self (when it comes to this granma). I don’t want to miss a minute of them! It’s kind of hard to do when 2 of them are stuck like glue. Even though they go to day camps now for the summer, the running up and down for different times of camp logistically, is a nightmare of a schedule. Fortunately I am here so Nicki can run out and about and leave 1 or more of the children and not to have to pack them all up to schlep in the car to fetch the others. We do have a problem Houston – Baby Jed, can’t bear to have his mama out of his line of sight. It’s a huge problem and he can scream for 20 minutes as if someone was attacking him with a bat. I was really nervous on the first day that the neighbours would call the police. And even though he sees me every day, he’s happy and talks to me and plays with me and we sing, as long as Mom is in sight – or the babysitter, which annoys me big time, as you can imagine :).

He’s already learnt from me to shake his finger and say NO NO NO as if someone was giving a lecture :) and he makes the hand movements for the poem “In a cottage in a wood” that I’ve taught them all at this stage of their lives. He doesn’t need to talk, we all understand the grunts and points and every need of Jed’s is anticipated, if not by mom and dad, then by the other 3 cutie pies. And of course now by me. I’m dying for him to come and play with me like the others did. Oh well, I can’t win ‘em all. If I leave him for a while and ignore the screams, he eventually settles down and comes to play, but it’s tough listening to those screams without pause, for well on 20 plus minutes. Then his mom walks in 2 hours later and he looks at me as if I was the axe murderer LOL. But when he’s good, he’s very very good.

Yesterday Nicki got a Gastro bug and today, her hubs and I and 2 of the kids had it too. I feel rather fluish as well, but that I think is due to the little surgical procedure I had on Tuesday on my mouth. Cracked a tooth on a cherry stone and $600 later, it has to settle so I can get back home to have an implant. G-d knows how expensive that will be.  I have stitches in my mouth and my cheeks are rather swollen – I do look like the cabbage patch dolls of yore, but not as cute.

The boys felt too bad to go to camp so they were rather bored unless watching TV or playing computer games, so I got Daniel, Zak and Sage on my bed for the afternoon and we played games and sang songs and had a ball… although it was tough going with them after a few hours – my body just ached, while Nicki had her haircut and a manicure and pedi. G-d knows how she does these things under normal circumstances. But I’ve been saying this forever and she’s been here 12 years, so all I can say is TG they are safe here and happy.

In fact, this was in their local city paper yesterday (it’s a weekly one) and I found it quite hysterical coming from South Africa. I’ve copied this verbatim:

SERIOUS CRIMES for the past week  And now for the others …
2… auto burglaries  43… traffic stops; 29 citations, 1 arrest
2… drunk drivers; 2 arrests  18… alarms
1… auto theft  11… medical emergencies/assists
1… grand theft  10… animal control
1… ID theft  7… security/welfare checks
1… vandalism  7… parking complaints, 6 citations
  4… non-injury accidents
  3… found property
  2… abandoned vehicles
  2… gas leaf blowers

More when I can get a minute or two without being totally exhausted


Posted in Health | Tagged , , , , , | 11 Comments

Terrible Tales

I had a terribly disturbing call a couple of hours ago. A good friend of my niece, a young single chap of 34 years of age, shot himself earlier this afternoon in Cape Town. My niece hadn’t heard yet, when I got this call. No one knows why really… not anyone outside of the family. I believe he sent a letter to his parents. I called my SIL (sister-in-law), a while ago to find out why, a young guy, in the prime of his life, with seemingly no financial burden, and no responsibilities known of, would do such a dastardly deed. Unfortunately SIL hadn’t heard this awful news and I became the bearer of shocking news. She became rather hysterical and as my thoughts were on this “child’s” poor family, I cut the conversation short. Although she managed to say that he was depressed and in fact, hated being with people. Actually, the phraseology SIL used, was that “he was a hermit and hated people”. Apparently he only saw my niece when no one outside of her husband and children, were around.

After mulling about this for the past couple of hours, my thoughts have been rather disjointed but I can’t stop thinking about this terrible tragedy. The thoughts creeping in to my head, have made me very, very sad and traumatised, thinking that people who do this deed, must be so tortured… and at the same time I’m terribly angry at the cowardice of a suicide and the pain it generates for the family, extended family and the community in general. I ‘lived’ through a colleague’s husband doing  this awful thing, about 7 years after we qualified. Her children were 4 and 6 and he was about 38 at the time. He used a knife and cut his arm upwards from wrist to elbow (the correct way) – never managed to get to the other arm – didn’t need to! The visual has stayed with me for 25+ years!  Since then, there have been many others at various ages – more and more lately–  for financial reasons mainly, I’ve deduced.

My hardened attitude to suicide comes from living through an attempted suicide of a very close family member. From that day, of his attempt 2 years ago, the mess he made and what he put his family through, was the day I became a hard and unbending immovable rock when it comes to suicide. I know I’ll get flak from stating this publicly, but life is hard and that’s what living is all about. Getting through the hard stuff and making the most of our living minutes. I’m proof of that. (See BACK TO BACK).

The only time I can make peace (personally), with a tragic end to life, in this manner would be in the instance of someone suffering from a terminal disease, with no quality of life and/or living with constant unmanageable pain.

Oy.. enough of my emotional mental rambling…

I broke a tooth on Thursday night (biting in to a delicious biltong stick). Fortunately the Prosthodontist fitted me in this morning early. He fixed it temporarily (hope it lasts 3 months)… I’ll have to have it crowned when I get back from the USA.  I also had my very last physio pummelling for 3 months. My back and neck and even my stomach are tight as a drum. Hard work and much ‘running’ to get ready. Although I’m told by my friends, that I rush around madly ALL the time! Maybe it’s just as well I’m getting away from the mental stress… it really is hard here for me. And my body is so rundown that I landed up getting this damn flu. I have to be better by Wednesday. The Benelyn for flu (thanks Celeste) with Sinuclear seem to be helping a whole lot.

I’ve packed one case … and will do the other one tomorrow. The hardest for me is the chronic medication. I don’t want to be caught without my essential stuff so I can’t risk it being “lost” from the baggage hold en route. For 3 months it’s a whole hellava lot of ‘stuff’ to get in my carry-on bag. Oy vey. I will get there.. I’ve done it before and I’ll do it again. In between, I’m beading the ostrich eggs, going through the freezers to organise food for the pater-figure. I also went to Menlyn today – the only place I can get an international driving licence. I HATE MENLYN!!! Everything is so far away from everything else.

Anyhoo that’s about it.. I’m going to shower and get into bed. It’s flippin’ freezin’ here. The ice is in my bones… not really… it’s in the metal fused to my bones. :)

THREE more sleeps including a 36 hour trip to the other side of the world… and then I’ll see them… my 4 adorable grandchildren, my beautiful daughters and my sons-in-law.

Adios from me, until San Francisco,

Posted in Health, Miscellaneous | Tagged , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Google pays tribute to Dennis Gabor

Today would have been the 110th birthday of the brilliant Dennis Gabor. Born Dénes Gábor, of Jewish-Hungarian parents, Bertalan and Adrienne Gabor, in Budapest on June 5, 1900. His father, Bertalan, was the director of a mining company. He studied electrical engineering, but his life-long passion, physics, started early at age 15. He won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1971

In 1927, after joining Siemens & Halske AG, he made his first successful invention: the high pressure quartz mercury lamp with superheated vapour and the molybdenum tape seal, since used in millions of street lamps. This was his “very first exercise in serendipity” (quote/unquote), which is the art of looking for something, then finding something else. The reason: he had set out to ‘find’ a cadmium lamp, but that experiment ended in him inventing the mercury lamp!

The Nobel Prize in Physics, bestowed on him in 1971, was for his invention of holography. (He received his first patent for his holographic experiments at the age of 11). Mr Gábor died in February 1979.

The following are quotes by Dennis Gabor:

— Poetry is plucking at the heartstrings, and making music with them.

— The most important and urgent problems of the technology of today are no longer the satisfactions of the primary needs or of archetypal wishes, but the reparation of the evils and damages by the technology of yesterday.

— Till now man has been up against Nature; from now on he will be up against his own nature.

Posted in Miscellaneous, Zionist and Jewish | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments